Unter einem Regenschirm am Abend

July 24, 2010 § 1 Comment

So, last night was the Max Raabe concert at Schloss Augustusburg. For reference, this dude in this place:

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Unfortunately, to say that the sky wasn’t quite as blue as in the photo would be the understatement of the year. The concert was open air in the courtyard, it was pouring rain, and as far as I could tell, we were the only ones without any sort of protective garb. We were slightly overdressed in little black dresses and blazers.

Needless to say, I didn’t wear the yellow Swallowtail Stole. It needs reblocking from being carried across the street in my backpack, I’d hate to see what would’ve happened if I’d actually exposed it to two and a half or three hours of pouring rain.

But other than the pouring rain, the horror that was the drive back (downpour, curving streets, and my rear lights were mysteriously broken, wtf), it was amazing. I think the rain made the contrast between the timeless glamour of the Golden Twenties onstage and us sodden lowlives even more striking.

It was classic.

It was definitely unforgettable.

I’ve never been that wet in my life.

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This is me, after 160km (about 100 miles) of driving, halfway dry except for my dress, which I’d periodically wrung out during the concert and that had gotten clammier than clammy on the drive back until my kidneys were just about to jump out of my body.

But that’s okay. We had a great time yesterday, we’ll talk about this for years, and we put the dog in a Union Jack hat today.

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Glamour shots

July 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

Excuse the double posting, but I really wanted these to have their own post.

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It is so pretty, I swear. And so light too, with gorgeous drape and the perfect size, and the color, and… just everything. It even goes with the dress I want to wear it with.

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I can’t be the only one who picks clothes according to what will go best with the accessories, can I?

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Max Raabe tomorrow. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

I’m excited.

Beau’iful plumage

July 18, 2010 § 3 Comments

Did I mention my Swallowtail Stole is done? Finished, finito, fertig?

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And in just under four months, too. A time that could have easily been cut in half if the poor thing hadn’t languished in various corners. For no reason other than that I was too lazy to do a couple of minutes worth of math, to figure out how many stitches I had to fudge for the transitions from one chart to the other.

Either way, here it is, in all its blocking glory. After Python: African and Python: European, I present Python: Norwegian Blue. Beau’iful plumage!

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Swallowtail Stole, based on the charts of Evelyn A Clark’s Swallowtail Shawl, 4mm bamboo circs. Yarn: LaceMerino handgefärbt from Die WollLust. Converted to rectangular shape and knit in the round following Marianne Kinzel’s Instructions for Oval and Oblong Designs from her ‘Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting’.

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Ended row 5 of the Lace Edging chart with 560 stitches, row 7 with 700 stitches (70 scallops). Dimensions: 50cm by 140cm. (Much better size than the Big Green Monster)

Days left till deadline: 5.

Oh, I rock.

Burning of the Midnight Lamp

July 17, 2010 § 1 Comment

After doing pretty much nothing else for two days, let me just humbly announce…

HELL YES THE DAMN SWALLOWTAIL STOLE IS FINISHED. FINISHED I TELL YOU.

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All I need to do is block it tomorrow morning (cause I don’t fancy sleeping on the floor), and then I can leave for my parents’ in peace.

And did I mention it’s perfect? The dimensions, the proportions, the color… perfect. Everything. And no mistakes. I can’t wait to show it off next week. Oh, the cleverness of me!

I’m TNT, dynamite!

May 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

After finally getting around to buying darning needles, I’m on FIRE finishing stuff.

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I finished knitting and blocking the TARDIS-cowl I made for the KAL in the Who Knits? Ravelry group. Like I’ve said before, it’s made from butter-soft, light, teal alpaca, and while it’s a bit big, it was a joy to make and I can’t wait to find buttons for it. I want very light mother-of-pearl ones, and I hope I won’t have to wait another half year, like for Tempest.

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And then… Haruni. I don’t know how exactly, but the edging just flew off my needles. Contrary to what the pattern said, it took only a quarter of the yarn, and that despite the middle being larger: I have eight pairs of leaves on each side instead of six.

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I finished it yesterday afternoon, with a bind-off that took almost exactly two hours. Two hours with a crochet hook in my hand – not my favorite way of spending time. But it did give me opportunity to listen to a Horrible Histories audiobook, and start with Lois Lowrie’s ‘The Giver’ again.

Blocking took another very cramped half-hour, and by the end of it my thighs were trembling uncontrollably. But… it was totally worth it.

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It’s Zitron filigran Lace No. 1 in a wonderful denim blue, on 3.5mm needles. It’s also slightly bigger than the TARDIS cowl.

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I also finished a sock last night, nothing extraordinary, just a high-shaft 1×1 rib sock for cold days, and I’ll probably try and finish the first Tadpole sock tonight. Man, I started the Tadpoles in March, it’s been such slow going with my knitting recently. Half a step before the finish line, I somehow lose interest.

Like the Swallowtail Stole: I’m done with the Lily of the Valley motif, I have been for a while. But there’s some mathematical inconsistency, the number of stitches I have isn’t divisible by 8, but I can’t get myself to calculate how many stitches I’d have to add, look where I could put them, and do that whole shebang. So the poor thing’s just languishing there, in the corner of my desk, and sometimes I feel bad.

Which isn’t stopping me from participating in the Rav SPN group’s loosely wing-themed Summer KAL. I’m doing Garden of Alla for it, I just need to decide between yarns: fingering-weight Kauni or laceweight Drachenwolle.

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They’re both gorgeous. Ah, decisions, decisions.

Jaws was never my scene and I don’t like Star Wars

April 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

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Summer’s kind of starting out in full force this year, which means that my summer lag of knitting  less and lazing around in the sun more has hit early this year.

Or, you know, instead of lazing around I’ll be studying vocab and cursing the gods and my own stupidity for taking Spanish. Ah, well. Honestly, if I’d put a fraction of the work I put into uni into high school, I probably would’ve gone out of there with a 1.0 and a reputation of being no fun at all.

Either way, I do actually manage to knit, occasionally, so in the past two weeks and a half, I’ve managed to make… a hat. (Marnie McLean’s Chapeau Marnier, 3mm bamboo needles, Drachenwolle Leinen/Merino)

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And three quarters of a sock. (Tadpoles by Jenna Swanson, 2.5 and 2.25 mm DPNs, Drachenwolle)

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Aaaaand a bit of the swallowtail stole, which is coming around gorgeous and doesn’t look as 70s as the photo would make you believe.

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Making progress on the Stole, which looks more and more like this giant yellow ruffle, is sort of a tedious business: with 500+ stitches to a row, the patience and perseverance I learned on the Green Monster are coming in quite handy. So what if I need a good 20 minutes for one row? It’s practically meditation. And I am making good progress; I’m already on the second half of the Lily of the Valley charts.

Even so, striking out rows on a chart has never felt so good. Ever.

Belting out Sunlight

March 30, 2010 § 4 Comments

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I have a new orchid. It’s gorgeous. I originally wanted a white one, but this one was just too huge and pretty to turn down. And when the sun was out in full force today, I took a couple of pictures.

Speaking of being out in full force… Ricky Martin came out via his blog yesterday. Which, huh. I guess the only ones truly surprised are a couple of grandmas in Iceland, but still, I wouldn’t exactly have expected it. Especially not so beautifully worded, in English too but in Spanish even more so: “Hoy ACEPTO MI HOMOSEXUALIDAD como un regalo que me da la vida. ¡Me siento bendecido de ser quien soy!” (Today I accept my homosexuality as a gift that life gives me. I am blessed to be who I am!)

Now. Less pop culture, more knitting. The Swallowtail Stole, aka Python: Norwegian Blue. Yesterday I tried my hand at the set-up round again, finished that one and the plain round after that, and then realized… I hadn’t started or ended the second long side with the edge stitches, but jumped straight into the pattern. So I decided, screw it, and did this:

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And when I cast on again, I’d learned from my previous mistakes. I left a long tail to sew the middle together in the end. I put down markers every 30 sts on the long sides, and between the sections where I needed them. Which, believe it or not, helped a lot. So now, just about 28 hours later, I have this:

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Which doesn’t look like much, but here’s a secret: I actually have twice that width. Cause I’m just that awesome.

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I just pinned the middle together, and I really really hope it doesn’t look like that when I sew it… I might have to try it on a swatch before. For reference, I got the idea (and technique)  from The Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting by Marianne Kinzel. She has truly gorgeous designs in there, which were the reason for buying the book in the first place, and one day I’ll knit myself half a Balmoral thistle as a shawl. Since right now I’m gathering experience with having a gazillion stitches on my needles. Well, right now it’s ‘only’ around 400 (and I can’t believe I wrote ‘only, either), but it’s still enough to look like a lovely lacy ruffle on the cable of my circ.

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One day I’ll have to make those lacy ruffle cuff thingies. I have a thing for pretty, lacy, delicate, girly, useless things, which is… basically the opposite of everything else I wear. But who says butch-ish girls can’t enjoy pretty things?

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Even if I enjoy a good breakfast even more. (Seriously, best breakfast ever.)

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