Monday, June 27, 2005

Some Bunny Loves Me....

ooh la la

If It Feels So Good, It Can't Be Bad, Right?

Finished the first sock and must say I can't stop blubbering about the pattern (and the yarn). It reminds me of something Mum said when she taught me my first stitches. She said a German lady told her years ago to always knit with the best yarn she could afford, never settle for less. She was a bit miffed at the time being that this woman was a complete stranger and unsolicited for advice but found it a great nugget that stayed with her through the years..

I agree that the nicest yarn I've knit up (aka: the most expensive) has made some of the most memorable and satisfying projects. Like the Sweetness Sweater for Erika, the Noro Booga Bag for a work colleague and the cabled sweater in merino I made for Cian to wear in Ireland.

I love blogging! I can pretend to wax poetic about projects, memories and even throw in sage parental advice when all I'm really doing is rationalizing another order of Mountain Colors' Bearfoot from Threadbear.... Mastercard, here I come!

Ain't the Internet great???!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Taking Issue With The Process

I'm having issues with my knitting.

Not with yarns, patterns, needles or accessories, but my knitting.

On Sunday I taught France to cast on, knit and purl and then went perusing through the Stitch and Bitch book while she practiced. I just meant to check for beginner patterns, but then realized it was one of the best learning-to-knit books I had seen to date. And then I came across the page where Debbie described her categories of knitters. Like the Yarn Snobs, the Forever-Acrylics, and the Never-With-Patterns. I wasn't paying much attention until my eyes came across something like "most of this knitter's projects are given away as gifts" and I thought "that's me! which one is that again?". It was the Process Knitter, who doesn't necessarily knit for something to have or wear, but because they like th stitch or pattern.
I immediately read through all the descriptions again, thinking this could never be me. I'm sure I'm more like the Yarn Snobs or the Creative Types or Old Grannies Club....and this has been running around in my head since Sunday, driving me even closer to nuts than I already was.
Finally yesterday I realized that the silly cable sock I knitting was never going to fit anyone I know and I was seriously only knitting it because I liked the pattern. Not because I wanted to wear the pattern or thought the yarn would look wonderful in it - but because I liked the pattern and was excited to have a yarn that would lend itself to the design nicely.

The only reason I came to this crossroads is that this is some of the first "nice" yarn that I've ever bought for myself and I really wanted to wear it. Quick background, when I first started knitting, Mum found loads of yarn for me in the 2nd hand shops in England and I was soon loaded up with some outstanding wool. But rather than having bought yarn for a pattern or because I liked it, I received wool and then went searching for a pattern to match the gauge and amount of skeins and then made my project. Then, I got such a big kick out of giving away projects that I started knitting whatever patterns I found and then worried about a recipient after.

And I think this is how I became a Process Knitter and this is why I have 1 pair of my own socks and didn't even make myself a scarf until I'd been knitting over 2 years!!! It's like cooking and not eating your own food!!

Last night I broke the chain of Process Knitting last night. I put away the cabled sock pattern (maybe Mum is right and I knit the pattern too tightly, but it ain't never gonna fit any feet I know and I really want to wear this yarn, dammit!) and I searched the internet for a better pattern and found this. It's been adapted to my yarn and gauge and it think it's going to be just gorgeous and just for me :)

And I even like the process, too!

The Sock Monologues

Am making lots of process on my new sock while watching The Vagina Monologues.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fuzzy Wuzzy Wuz A Sock!

I finally untangled my 100g skein of Mountain Colors "Bearfoot" and wound it up on my newly fixed wool winder (yes, now I've learned my lesson and next time will spend the extra 5 minutes setting up the swift instead of thinking "no problem, it's all in a nice little skein, how tangled could one skein get???"). And I can't believe I avoided fixing my yarn winder for this long - we'll blame that on the move, too. Turned out I just needed to change the rubber ring at the bottom of the winding-cone so that the balls don't look so wonky. So now we're winding all sorts of stuff, like sock yarn with mohair! Super soft and super strong - I've been told that the mohair wears like iron.

I'm knitting the Uptown Boot Socks from Interweave Knits Winter 2003. I tried a similar pattern to this from Socks Socks Socks but found I couldn't get the socks over my ankle. Same thing happened with this pair; cast on enough stitches for the women's medium and couldn't pull it over my ankle :( so cast on for the bigger pair. These will fit over my ankle, but there's not a lot of room for error. I'm turning the heel now, so I'll check again after the gussett and if they are still too tight, I'm giving up on socks with cables all-together.
Here's hoping!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Sunday Fun-day in the Sun!!

Iveira picked up some meat yesterday and I threw together a pasta salad this morning. Frances brought the Kahlua and Absolut and Dave stocked up the beer yesterday. Invited the neighbors and Paulina (and I shit you not) hopped into her car and ran up to their garden plot and picked a couple quarts of strawberries for dessert. After we stuffed ourselves with grilled goodies and as many still-warm-from-the-fields strawberries as possible, we roasted ourselves in the sun again and the kids grilled the berries over the fire and proclaimed the best part of the meal.

Also, Frances learned how to knit today. She asked me a while ago but we were at her house sans needles. She mentioned it today when we were lying in the sun, so we took a sunbathing break and took our oiled selves up to the wool studio to cast on.

Maybe it's my teaching, but I think she might be a natural....
She's practicing right now as we watch Super Troopers for the 8 thousandth time (that's a lot of Dimp!) and can already find, read and repair her mistakes. I even supplied her with some bamboo circulars so that she can take her knitting on the plane to Vietnam (for business, suuuuuurrrreeee).

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My Doorstep Overfloweth

You'll never guess how busy my doorstep was this weekend....

First, going back to the beginning of the year, Sock Lady and I decided to do an exchange. Then I up and moved house smack in the middle of it. I won't bore you with the details of the Deutsche Post and their regulations, but this package must have had one heck of an adventure - you couldn't see the box top for the amount of customs and Post stickers. It's probably been to Botswana and back to boot!

But talk about something being worth the wait. Not only did she send me the gorgeous colourfully-plied and softer-than-a-baby's-bottom yarn that I've been coveting, but all sorts of soft and fluffy balls of different colours(even more than you can see in the picture). These companion balls are currently bickering amongst themselves over whether to become a fair-isle hat or an intarsia neck-warmer.....
Or maybe I'll just leave it lounging nearby to pet from time to time :)

As if I wasn't happy enough, on Sunday, Erica and Connor came to visit.
One of the cutest smiles I've seen in a long time! Isn't he just a darling?

We hung out at home for like a million years while Cian insisted there were no clothes in his bedroom and then we packed up and went for a walk through the Kunsthandwerkmarkt (art-hand-work-market) or Arts Fair. We found great fest food immediately (looooove Bratwurst and Broetchen) and saw loads of cool pottery. I kept talking about buying a bowl and I'm sort of kicking myself now. At least I'm prepared for next year (bring money and the wagon!) I did get a picture of a cool quilt (middle one).

After the Arts Fair, we hung out at home and did lots of chatting about living in Germany and buying yarn and knitting and stuff. We had a bit of dinner and then tucked into the fresh strawberries. Can I just say that I am growing strawberries next spring!

This is the first time I've ever met up with someone off the internet. It sort of felt like a stigma at first - like the couples your hear about that get married after meeting on the internet. Except we were just going shopping. But still, it was like internet-dating and a blind-date all rolled into one. I kept thinking "will she be a yarn snob like me?" or "what if it turns out she likes to crochet more?" or "what if she was one of those cool people in high school and she immediately recognizes me as a chorus nerd?" or "what if she's one of those moms who insist on scrubbing the entire house with clorox before her baby enters "(I'm not being dramatic, I actually KNOW moms like this).
And then I go and sleep in on Sunday - snuck up to the guest room without a clock/alarm the night before because it was also the room without the snorer) and wake up 5 minutes before the doorbell rings. Introducing yourself to someone with crazy hair, half-pajamas and no contact lenses is not the way to make a great impression, but I think she forgave me for it.
We found plenty to talk about, enough so that I totally forgot about pictures until it was time to go.

And man Oh! man was that Connor a charmer all day long. Flirt, flirt, flirt, giggle and then grinning all over the place. Geeze, if kids are this easy and cute, I need like 10 of them!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Old McMueller Had A Farm

Went to check out the farms and gardens in Serlbach today.
Started off the day by introducing foreign wildlife to the tiny mountain town (Dorf) 3 kms from the house. Introducing Benjamin Bluemchen.

Instead of the elephant sounds I'm used to hearing from toddlers, Cian dons his new mask and runs around yelling "teeerrraaaa"

Took some time to check out the wool supplies....

Shopping for wool in Serlbach

The main reason for the trip was to take Cian on the "tractor" neighbor has a John Deere riding mower and offered to let the kids help.


Ciara also got a chance to drive all by herself (well, almost...)

Dave's favorite photo was of us picking strawberries for him - so he thinks ;)

He obviously wasn't in charge of taking flattering pics today :(

Not that we got enough to share...

All in all, it was a bang up day. The kids came home and coloured thank-you pictures for Paulina and Georg. Ciara did a sunset and a pic of her on the riding mower - Cian drew the mower and one of a grandma. Georg asked "my grandma or yours", Cian said "yours" and Georg said "but my grandma isn't purple" Cians answer: "nonetheless" and shrugged his shoulds.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Awww Hecke*

The boys were working the hedges this evening. Georg (far right) had started messing with the hedges when the Irishman came home this evening. Being that they were our hedges, the boy jumped into his work clothes and joined in. Duschko, not willing to be left out of anything, brought his hedge clippers over. And once Norbert saw that there were boys with toys, drinking beer and laughing at the hedges that were getting shorter by the minute (because they just weren't straight enough and needed to be adjusted that little bit more....) he wanted to try out Duschko's hedge clippers.
There was beer, even a bit of whiskey and some snackie-snacks - now they're all seated around the dining room table and laughing as much at themselves as each other. And all I have is a SweetTart-coloured Dublin Bay sock to keep me company.

But she's cute though, ain't she?
And she's making me crazy hungry for Chewy SweetTarts! Aaarrggghhh - the torture!

*Hecke is German word for hedge (now you know....and knowing is half the battle - GI Joe!!!!)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Peg's Last Days...

We went back to the Sommerrodelbahn - snapped a pic of Peg that shows off the view...

Nuremberg Market

All through the visit I was finishing the Horse Chesnut socks and coincidentally, they fit Peg perfectly - hope they kept her tootsies warm on the plane ride home :)

Our Rose

First of the season :)