Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Eastereggcover!!

Or a toe-up sock for Cian - take your pick.

I popped into the wool shop yesterday to stock up on some Polycon that I have not been able to find anywhere else in the city (seriously, Socklady, I can't tell you how embarassed I am that I thought I could finish the box so easily and it's taken forever to hunt this stuff down) and I found this Regia cotton. Now the last time I used Regia cotton, it was so scratchy that I was almost embarassed to give away the socks I knit. I say almost because I used it to knit the Traveler something socks from Knitting on the Road and I was so excited to finish. This stuff is just comfy as the Gedifra Happy Feet that I've been using for years and yesterday I found this great, springtime colourway.

I started this sock for Cian and wanted to try a slipped-stitch effect with the lines of colour. See the little jaggedy effect on every colour other than the turquoise? That's the slipped-stitch thingie - but I think it's making the sock look a little bit puckered.

I'm reserving judgement until I see it slipped onto the foot of little Mr. Princess Charming himself.

We're not talking about the beige, pink and blue socks. I got halfway down the second foot and ran out of wool. Dude! I've only got size 8 feet, I'm no Big Foot by any means, how in the world can the sock yarn run out??? So, it's either kid socks, ankle socks or buy another ball and knit a mammoth pair for the Irishman. Have to admit, I like that one of those options involves visiting a yarn shop :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Artsy Fartsy House

Had a little extra time at work and fiddle with the house picture. Tried to get it to show up where the lighthouse is now (top left) on this page, but nuthin-doin. I need another html crash course. You can't see it too well here, but there's a plum tree directly behind the bottom balcony and a garden on this side of it - you can see a line where the stones are at the bottom edge of the dirt pile.
Kids and I played around in the dirt last weekend. Ciara was way impressed with the carrots left over from last year (oh God knows how long ago) and Cian was scared of the worms. Except that he wanted to see them over and over again. After I put the worm back into the dirt and covered it, he'd pat the dirt with his spade and chirp "Aus! Aus!" Which is what we yell at Benny the bulldog (nextdoor) when we don't want him to jump on us. I tried to explain that we need the worms to make the dirt healthy for our veggies, but he just shook his head and said "beh" which is Cianspeak for "Eeew". I might have a hard time getting this kid to eat veggies out of the garden, eh?

Oh yeah, did some delegating this weekend. Ciara is all puffy-chest-proud that she's in charge of the plums when the tree bears fruit and the carrots we are planning to sow. I wonder if she'd be this proud to be in charge of the vacuuming...

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Stripes and Tribulations

Despite many naughty distractions, I've still gotten a bit of knitting done ;)

Moving has done funny things for my knitting. I packed up all my yarn (kept only 1 ball of sock yarn out) thinking that I would be unpacking everything in a couple of weeks. That was a couple of weeks ago - and we're not looking at moving into the house for at least another "couple of weeks". This move is starting to be as long as an Irish pint is tall ;)

As a result of all of this, my sock knitting has really picked up. I even got all creative and stuff and took Ryan's Dublin Bay Sock idea and adapted my own pattern (which decreases with the calf) and came up with a non-holey thingie-ma-bob down the middle.
I like the running-down-the-middle theme, but I'm not sure if I've hit on the right pattern yet. It's a bit tricky to see and if you're not the open-minded sort, it looks just like a boring old seed stitch. But, if we continue with Ryan's Irish water theme, we could name this sock after a waterfall, because I think that's exactly what the alternating purl stitches look like to me. Not that any of this shows up on camera...

But still, my romantic notions sometimes get the better of me.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy Paddy's Day!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! You wouldn't think it's such a big deal in Germany - actually, it's usually only celebrated in the Irish pubs - but living with an Irishman has taught me the importance of many different kinds of pub visits. Such as:

Quick Pint After Work: the mis-nomer here is in using the word "pint" in the singular. A "pint after work" can take anything from one hour to 5 or sometimes it lasts until closing time. On the rare occasion (read: bi-weekly), it even goes further into the morning in an after-hours bar. I sometimes wonder how big that pint glass really is ;)

A Couple of Pints: at least this one lets you know you're planning on staying a bit longer. But it's more complicated than a straight-forward "night out." If you don't see anyone you know, you're cool. You have your pints, listen to some music and you go home. This doesn't happen often because the Irish pubs have a knack of getting some great talent onto the stage. And if it's not a good band, a "couple of pints" makes crap musicians seem quite funny and you stay for the entertainment (and maybe to heckle). Worse, if you meet up with friends (either planned or by coincidence) there's a good chance a round of Irish Flag shots are soon to follow. And, after the Irish Flag shots, my friend, it's all over. No sense in fighting the natural order of things. Might as well settle in for the night, cause you're not going home anytime soon.

The Traditional Music Session: At first glance this pub visit is all about the music. But it's mostly about harrassing the performers into playing all the songs that you know the words to and eventually wrangling your way onto stage to play the one song you can remember drunk on the guitar. You don't want to know how many times I've heard a warbled "Wish I was back hooome in Derrrreeeeee......"

Meet Up for A Meal: As in: Were going to meet up with Neal and Iveira for an Irish breakfast at Finnegan's today. This is a sly follow up to the Saturday night-out. You're quite hungover, but the thought of rashers and Irish sausages and someone else brewing coffee for you is too much to resist. Usually meeting time is about 2:30. The meal takes about an hour. We seldom leave the pub before dark. I think you can see where this is going.

Best defence is to either opt-out of the pub evening altogether or find a pub that you like and make sure you are planting your pint-drinking butt in a pub that's cozy and friendly. And thank the Lord above that you're in Germany where the pubs have seats and not in Ireland where you'd be standing ALL NIGHT and you have no table service. Remember your favourite disco when you were 22 and it was such a pain fighting your way to the bar to get cocktails for your friends - it's like that except you're older now and the guys aren't as cute.

And you wonder why I take my knitting to the pubs with me...

On more sober news, we went to visit the house this morning - they've torn down the wall in the living room and it looks tons brighter already. They'll do the wall in the kitchen today and we can get a better look at the flooring situation - I'm really hoping we can keep the wood, I think it's quite pretty. I didn't want to mess with the garden this year, just maybe clean it up, but we've got a couple of rose bushes and I think I might at least do a little pruning. you know, just for the sake of the plants themselves...

After the visit, I dropped Dave off at work and drove the car home. It was a lot more difficult than it sounds. Apparently it's not just me that likes daily visits to IKEA, it was all I could do to keep the car on course back to the house - at least I think it was the car that was trying to take a left towards IKEA ;)
Maybe I can just make a deal with the car, that we can visit our favourite shop when I get the clothes situation upstairs sorted (that should put off shopping for a good while!)


Woe is me - I finished sorting my clothes AND the books. In one afternoon! Imagine that! It's amazing what just a scoche of motivation'll do, eh. Now I have free reign to visit IKEA - land of affordable luxury - I'll take what I can get ;)

Actually, it's just about time for me to head out the door to Finnegan's for a "Feed of Pints". Forgot to add that one earlier. It's just your basic night out where you've already called in sick for work the next day, your bedside table is prepared with water and Alka-Seltzer (specially imported for occasions like these), leftovers are in the fridge for eating tomorrow and you've admitted that this evening is going to start with the Irish Flag shots. Dress is best kept casual - don't want anything too complicated to re-fasten in the pub bathroom tonight, honey. Must remove any obstacles between front door and bed and we're good to go.

On that note, I leave you with a Fare Thee Well and a hearty Sláinte.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I can't knit!!!

Why in the world was I so excited about this house? Didn't I realize that I would have to MOVE? What's wrong with me???

Luckily, I've got a couple of days' vacation to get most of the packing done. But my knitting has taken a serious nosedive (possibly due to the packing up of most of my needles, yarn, books and assorted novelties). Even the pair of socks in my purse have gotten very little attention - when I'm not packing, I'm flipping through magazines for my dream kitchen.

But just wait until I post a picture of my new knitting/spinning needs a bit more light, but I'm not too bothered by that - all in good time, eh?


Friday, March 04, 2005

Rib on down, Rib on down the rooooaaad

Remember The Wiz? That was cool. And I am being a majoro dorko sitting here humming as I knit more on this scarf from Mag-Knits. It's that groovy to knit on - just enough crazy pattern changes to keep my attention and enough repetition and pattern logic for me to remember.

Unfortunately, my current wool enjoyment does not extend to the Evil Wool Winder. I have never in my life ever seen anyone operate a wool winder, seriously. I bought it off of ebay and and just sort of figured it out for myself (while re-winding my entire stash in the process) and got some great-looking balls on my first try. But nowadays, it's gone all wonky on me and no amount of adjusting the wool guide seems to help. I get a ball started just fine and then my yarn gets caught under the wool-holder-thingie and starts wrapping all funky. Check out the ball in the picture above - you can see the underlying well-wrapped ball and then the freaky Saturn-like ring of yarn from bottom right to top left.

What's all that about???

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Have you seen this ribby scarf in the new Mag-Knits yet? I haven't taken the short-row challenge yet and I've been quite curious about how it works.

I'm wondering how a certain homespun would look knit up into this scarf...

Good excuse to swatch :)


I started the first two foundation triangles and tried not to panic - after all, it does say "triangle" so maybe my swatch should look this scary?

Following the Commencing of the Zig Zag pattern, my swatch looked a little better. I'm still wondering if I maybe missed a line in the pattern or something.

It's too late to worry about right now - time to hit the hay and have wonderful dreams because I'm just so tickled to be knitting with my handspun. I know, I know - it's just yarn. But let me ask you this: is it ever really "just" yarn? ;)

Goodnight Moon