Sunday, October 31, 2004

Something Sugary This Way Comes

It all started so innocently.

Ciara's eyes were this big when I started this poncho yesterday afternoon and they were really big when I tied off the fringe this afternoon. What can I say - it was a big gauge. Luckily, the weather is still mild so she could give the poncho a nice autumny trial on the way home today. Pictured on a quaint German street, the Harlot poncho out of Schachenmayr Sportic is draped elegantly over a very scary witch costume. Below is the completed witch:

Didja catch the orange hair on that one? It gets better.

Normally a mild, charming (and very disarming) young man, Cian has just finished his makeover and is on tippy-toes for a view in the hall mirror.

After getting into character, he was unstoppable and insisted on pretending to bite and eat anyone he could find - while making the appropriate biting and hissing noises. He chased me for 10 minutes straight around benches and tables in the Biergarten.

If I didn't know better, I'd think someone gave this child sugar......
Honestly, I'm quite glad that I'm not putting him to sleep after he does Trick or Treating tonight :) He won't be saying that, though. The Germans say "Suess or sonst gibts Saures" which roughly translates to "give us something sweet or you'll get something sour".
No knocks on our door tonight yet - which means my Dove chocolate miniatures are safe for the time being. I might just eat a couple to make sure they're safe for children and all - can't be too careful these days.
Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Jaggedy-arse Wool

After deciding not to inflict any of my family or friends with a hat out of this stuff, I let it sulk in a corner of my knitting basket for the past two months. Just long enough for it to forget how angry I was when I realized my first spinning attempt didn't produce Lorna's Laces skin-friendly silky yarn. Wasn't there an old quote about a sow's ear.........

The Irishman is trying to hide his emotion about this wool and look cute (but I see right through him). It's the first wool I spun and plied on my new spinning wheel (or in my life, for that matter!) and it' not the softest wool you've ever run into. I started knitting a hat out of it immediately after plying and quickly came to the conclusion that no sane person would want to wear this on their head. Irishboy here likes Billy Connolly and his stand-up and copied his unfair comments about knitted items - he calls my beautifully spun, dark brown and light grey-plied romney "jaggedy-arse wool" - the kind that is so scratchy it could only have come from the arse-end of a sheep.
So I've decided that I will knit Briggs & Little Heavy Hand Knit Socks. The best socks to have between your softly-socked feet and boots that have just sunk into 2 feet of snow. Now, who in the family, in a cold climate, is sweet enough to not hurt my feelings when I give them jaggedy-arsed socks for Christmas?
Note to self: chat more to sister-in-Maine's boyfriend, because he probably wants to be liked by family and just needs a pair of socks to prove himself......

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Queen of the Sky

Ellen Simonetti

Queen of the Sky
- grounded by her airline for putting this and similar pics on her website. Check out the link and read her story. I can't imagine how anything could be controversial enough to cost a job. A warning, maybe, but a suspension?
Makes me think I should never type about how much knitting I get done at work ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

More Irish Pictures and Spinning Hopes

In the kitchen, getting all spiffied up. Owen, Pat (Dad) and Mark (Bridegroom)

Before the ceremony trying to shake off the nerves in front of the church. Pat, Mark, Owen, Jonny and Cian is up front.

In recent news, I got an email yesterday that the Franken Spinning Group is meeting up again Nov 13. It's a regional German spinning group I found online that meets bi-monthly. I have to bring a buffet item, wool to occupy myself and good humour. Starts at 10 in the morning and ends officially "whenever" - I wonder if there's alcohol involved? Think I'll pack away a bottle of rum and a liter of Coke just in case. Right next to the carding combs. Oh and I'm cooking up a pot o' my famous chili and cornbread. Hope it's not too spicy for them.
Can't wait for this meetup! I did a bit on the drop spindle one afternoon in Yarmouth this July and haven't seen another human being spin since then. The first couple of spindles off of my Ashford Traveler (€150 off of EBay!!) were pretty pathetic and not wearable. I hope I can spin something skin-worthy come November 14th. Here's hoping.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Pictures from Ireland - Part 1

Just Married...

Anne and Mark with Page Boy Cian - starting the procession out of the beautiful stone church. Can you see the stones in the background? Seriously, it was like one of those Four Wedding and a Funeral churches - an old monastery with loads of little chapels and flagstone floor.

Cian in the Back Garden of Grandma Janie's House - guarding the laundry on the very cool, very red tractor.
Can you spot the knitting content in this picture?
Nah, me either.

Friday, October 08, 2004

3, 2, 1.....Liftoff

Cian's got a brand new "pulli" to wear in Ireland. We leave tomorrow morning and fly from Munich to Dublin for two weeks to stay with Dave's family and celebrate the wedding of his brother Mark to a lovely girl named Anne. I can't tell you how excited I am about this trip!!

Knit from Lena Stengard's Nursery Knitting. It's a book that intimidated me the first time I saw it, but I ended up making my 2nd sweater ever from her "Cricket Knits" section. And now that I've knocked this out, it's becoming on of my favorites.
Cian looooves trying new clothes on - he prefers when they are red, pink or yellow, but this blue was nice enough to get his approval. Talk about a lucky kid, this Gedifra Merino De Luxe is oh-so-soft and will keep him nice and cozy in the land of rain and cool temps. If HRH Harlot thinks her house is cold, the Irish could give her a run for her money. I made sure both kids had new full-length flannel 'jammies and I am trying to figure out why I didn't think to knit some slippers.

My sister asked for everyday pictures from Ireland - kitchens, kids, chip shops and everything - so I hope to be posting while away. But this will all depend on scattered internet access and hangover severity. If you hear nothing, I'll be full of craic and photos in two weeks ("craic" is said like crack but means news or info - instead of "what's up?" the Irish ask "any craic?" or "anyting strange?" - phone calls to the Old Country always crack me up!)
Wish me fun - Slainté!!!

Pretty Day

This is my answer to all the people who have been posting pictures of the sky in their neighborhood.

This was the view out of my office window yesterday for all of 5 minutes. I took the photo quickly before the clouds and rain and mist and fog and general greyness of Autumn returned. One of these days, I'm going to learn how to post pictures so that they show up nicely. You can't see it here, but the shorter building in the middle of the picture has red, red leaves climbing up the top of the triangle. Very cool.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Mitten, Interrupted

This may look like the mitten picture I posted a couple of days ago. But it's really a new, revised, re-knit, re-sized and ribbed-for-her-pleasure thrum mitten. I found that, even thought I have extremely small hands, my paws couldn't barely squeeze through the adult small size with all that blasted roving in the way. So I swam a lap around the frog pond, ripped the entire thing and restarted with ribbing and thrums that last up to two stitches. We are much happier now, isn't we precious?

And, in case you missed the background of the picture, here it is again:

My sister, who unlike me, knows how to turn her sewing machine on, used Mary Engelbreit fabric to make me a book jacket and bookmarker. How awesome is that??? I absolutely adore this fabric. If the Irishman would let me, I'd probably cover the walls in the stuff. Which is really weird, cause ME is the only girly and cute stuff I like. If it weren't for her, I'd think my hiking boots were the height of fashion (because they are the coolest things this side of Patagonia!).
And finally a view out my window last night. The Michaelis Kirchweih has started in town and they have one of those towers of terror. We hardly get any noise from the fest, except every ten minutes the tower of terror is in operation and we hear screams until the people drop back below the rooftops. It had us wondering for a while there....
p.s. don't mind the blur on the picture - the camera has got a bit of a drinking problem - we're working on it

And you thought it was us drinking the beer in the photos from last weekend. Darn Ricoh just can't say no.
Now I want to figure out how to make Mary Engelbreit mittens.......

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Mon Cherie c'est finis - or something like that!

I cast off during the party and was surprised at how incredibly long this thing became. It grew and grew and grew and grew. I held the middle up to my forehead and both ends touched the ground!
Here is Sandrine all wrapped up in her new chic-ness!


I had a chili dinner Friday night for my birthday and we had lots of guests, lots of beer and lots of kids. There was also lots of music.

Craig was playing his fiddle so Cian (3) decided he needed to bring out the kids guitar and accompany him. Cian carrying the guitar is like a knight's first day wearing a sword - any slight turn left or right and the guitar clears everything in its path - like beer. From the kitchen I heard a crash and when I got to the living room to see what the story was, Ciara (8, very clever!) turns around to me and says:

Don't worry - it didn't get any of the wool!

Later that evening when I was telling this to a couple of people, Ciara overheard me, looks kind of sheepish and says: well, it didn't get any of the good wool.

I could kiss her, just literally kiss her!