So 15. Apr 18:24:41 CEST 2012 (ette)

Cold in April

I'm recovering from a cold. Yesterday I was able to knit again. So far so good. I finished a pair of socks, I got a lot done with my green scarf but when I turned to the scarf knitted with the knobbly yarn things got out of control.

The knobbly yarn informed me it didn't want to be a boring scarf. It wants to be a pullover, a vest, legwarmers or at least a scarf with pompoms. I think it has a point. Pompoms would be cool! And I really loove crazy clothes! Maybe a pullover with pompoms?

Thing is, I always wear non-crazy clothes. Usually in one color. I'd have to lose some weight and gain a lot of confidence to wear the clothes the knobbly yarn suggests.

Lizzie advised me to put it aside and talk to it again when I'm well. Good plan. Right? *sigh*

Posted by ette | Permalink | Categories: Knitting

Mo 2. Apr 11:20:42 CEST 2012 (ette)

Nine Days ago

Last weekend I traveled to lizzie and osti. Because my car is sick I went by bus and train and that was amazingly not annoying: I finished what I call my red bat. That's this lovely shawl in, you'd have guessed it right, red :D. My first attempt in lace knitting went well, but I'm procrastinating on blocking it because I fear it turned out too small. And yes, there's no logic whatsoever in not blocking it and finding out for real.

After some family time with loads of important stuff happening on Friday night, all of which is not your concern ;) we had a NKL meetup on Saturday. NKL you ask? That's the Ninja Knitting League Lizzie and I founded with two friends. Lots of fun so far :) This time we started by visiting a local yarn shop. Not sure it classifies as a brilliant or a really bad idea... All the attending NKL members fell in love with beautiful yarn and bought way more then they wanted including me.

the yarn I scored

This is what I bought. I really only wanted some green cotton yarn to make a hat for the summer as I get sunburn on my head and sadly all hats you can buy are too small for my head. Who invented one size fits all? IT DOESN'T!!!! Well, they not only don't fit, I also don't have a hat face. It looks plain wrong. But... sunburn! Not fun... I decided to make a green hat, because I love the colour and what the heck, if I have to look stupid it better be in my favourite colour :D. You see the yarn in the left lower corner.

Then I fell in love with the two sock yarns in the right lower corner. One in greens and one in candy colour. This are the two shades that always scream to me... Lizzie already laughs about it a lot. May be the reason why I don't have any male sock yarn :D

And then the two skeins of knobbly yarn! It's merino and 1% nylon and it's soo soft and beautiful and I love it! (It's blick fang from zitron in the shade Wohlgefühl) I immediately casted on a simple shawl on Sunday morning. As much as I love the yarn as much of a pain in the *clears her throat* behind it is to knit it. Knobs... not fun to knit... but it's so soft, I think the result will be worth the annoyance. I had to unravel it once, because I changed the pattern and made it less wide to gain more length. It now looks like this:

the scarf

The amount of yarn already gone now made me suspicious and I feared a short shawl and this yarn screams for a loong scarf! I did some research on ravelry, calculated a bit and found out that with my current width it only will be as long as 177cm. Too short. If I reduce the width from now 24cm to 18 cm it will be 237cm long. Better. Not good though. But I can't make it any smaller, 18cm is the minimum width in my book :) I'll see how it turns out, maybe I'll need to acquire more yarn. Sadly that means I have to unravel it all AGAIN. And if the knitting is annoying, unraveling a knotty yarn is really really bad...

I really wanted another sock yarn too, btw, but my fellow ninjas were faster than me and took the great yarn, in greens again, right before my eyes... I tried to snitch a skein but sadly lizzie caught me. She also checked my bags before I travelled home. The saying "All is fair in love and war." should be extended <.<;

Now that I described the wool wonders, I can get to the rest of the day: We ate de-li-cious burritos with guacamole lizzie made herself. So very yummy! We drank caipis and we chatted and showed each other our finished and unfinished projects and newly acquired yarn. I have to mention two beautiful lace shawls, cool socks, leg warmers and a dragon hat! And we sat in the spring sun an knitted. It was amazing!

Posted by ette | Permalink | Categories: Knitting

Mon Apr 2 10:39:45 CEST 2012 (lizzie)


Hi there. I'm really annoyed. I have three projects in my current knitting rotation (I do have lots and lots more on the needles, but those are the ones I've knit on in the last week or so) and all three hit a snag over the weekend.

First of all I finished up a secret project for my mothers birthday and the nagging feeling I had the whole time proved to be well founded. After Bind-off I couldn't ignore any longer that it's totally too small. Luckily the deadline is not until July, so I do have time to fix this and I have already an idea how to do that. When I see ette at easter I will bounce that off her.

Then there is this cute little cardigan for my nephew. The problem there: I'm out of yarn, and it still needs a buttonband. Sadly I got the yarn on sale, because it was the last. It seems to be in the process of being discontinued. I'm trying to score a final ball in various yarn shops. Otherwise I need to find a similar yarn and all that before my nephew grows :/

Finally, I started knittys Carousel which went really well, except for a minor sizing issue. Turns out by following the pattern I don't knit it for me, but for my mother, who has significantly smaller feet than me. That is totally fine with me. (I really like knitting socks, but sadly I don't really like wearing them. I have constantly warm feet and also being to warm tends make my fuse grow shorter by the minute. According to my mother that was already true, when I was a baby) For some whacked out reason I miscounted, when joining the second sock. I finally noticed something was off, when the color shift didn't match at the ankle. Damn!

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Knitting

Mon Jan 16 11:49:42 CET 2012 (lizzie)

Back again (again)

Hi there. Now that the dust of the holidays and their preparation has settled, I'm trying to live up to my own resolution of "more blogging". osti keeps nagging me :) I'll try to touch on the main subjects since my last blog post.

In early December I became aunt of a beautiful baby boy. That event was foreshadowed by an true mountain of knitted items, which I have to tell you about an other time. And there were various birthdays and of course a bit of Christmas knitting. All of that I'm going to skip for now and tell you about our fabulous knitting club.

This past weekend saw our second official meeting. My sis and an friend came to our flat and stayed for the night. Sadly the fourth member didn't have time. But we had boatloads of fun and soup, burgers, hot chocolate with little marshmallows and lots and lots of knitting. Additionally we got ourselves started on our private rerun of Doctor Who. Both me and my sis have watched it already, but our number three didn't and got hooked, so we threw our plans of going out to the movies out the window.

It was a fun weekend hopefully soon to be repeated :)

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Knitting, Stuff

Sun Oct 2 12:03:42 CEST 2011 (lizzie)

Indian Summer

After a really crappy summer with mostly no sun or only in combination with miserly high humidity, we are positively basking in a golden Indian summer. Yesterday for example we had ourself a nice barbecue with a bunch of friends and ette, who is visiting. The whole summer we never got to barbecuing except for once in spring, but yesterday it was really beautiful. It got dark rather fast, but we lighted tea candles and a torch and later it got cold rather fast but we came prepared with sweaters and blankets.

In other — that is knitting — news I asked my big sis (that is a rather bad qualifier, since all my sisters are older than me. I'm talking about my oldest sis) what I can knit for her or my soon-to-be born nephew. I have knitted everything I could not stop myself from knitting and now it is time to knit something that will be really useful. She hasn't gone through the boxes of newborn clothes, so she didn't come up with actual newborn stuff, but she asked me for a wrap. She will be nursing all through winter and needs something to ward off the cold, when she goes partially naked. So I started two wraps.

I had two beautiful skeins of Crystal Palaces Mini Mochi in the gorgeous colourway Lake Trail in my stash. The colour shifts from brown through green to a brilliant turquoise and back. Sadly two skeins with a total meterage of 356 is a bit too little for a full blown wrap, so I chose Summit and hope that its special construction with rather big holes makes for a big enough shawl. I wanted to try that pattern since I first saw it. Due to the long colour change of the yarn it has a peculiar look that differs a lot from the pattern. As soon as osti is done playing with optics, a cd, a glass of water and his new lens, I'm going to badger him into taking pictures of all my knitting stuff.

For the second shawl I found a pattern I had to try: Ginko Shoulderette Shawl. It has the added virtue of being mindless knitting for the most part, which was perfect for yesterday night. So I dyed white sock yarn to a rich yellow with turmeric and cast on. I had to overcome a few obstacles, since the pattern has you cast on provisionally with a crochet cast on and I had not read the pattern that closely before and then had to perform a crochet cast on without a crochet hook, just a little piece of scrap yarn (naturally I also didn't bring extra yarn and had to make due with the pieces that had held together the skein) and in the half-dark. Surprisingly it wasn't a bad morning after and the cast on doesn't look botched up :) .

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Knitting, Stuff

Tue Sep 27 11:11:42 CEST 2011 (lizzie)

Back to Blogging

I'm back to blogging after my final physics exam yesterday (I'm entirely pleased with the result, just for the record) but I'm a little off my game today, really, really tired and I think the cold that was looming over me for the last few days may become full-fledged. So today I'm doing everything I had no time for before the exam. That includes blogging and making new and exciting knitting plans.

So yesterday I was waiting for my exam and sat on the hall in the theoretics department, a complete nervous wreck. And in the next room there was a heated discussion going on. Raised voices in thickly accented clumsy English. The few bits and pieces I actually caught indicated some kind of professionally disagreement. I fully expected that before someone would start sharpening vectors ;) I'm asking you, what could possibly get so emotionally heated in theoretical physics that it could warrant a full-blown shouting match?

Back to knitting: I finished the double heelix socks and I am rather sorry but I don't think I can present you this a picture, because they have to go rather quickly to the post office, so that they get where they are going in time. But I will try to badger the recipient into taking one and sending it to me. They ended up being identical because it would seem rather strange to have dramatically different sock legs peaking out of your shoes...

Also yarnharlot bombarded me with the cutest baby patterns during her baby watch 2011 and I couldn't resist and made a tiny zig-zag-cap and turned the left-over-yarn from Blue beast into a tiny Puerperium Cardigan. It's still waiting for buttons but a I'm conferring with a friend over them today. I can also report that I have done nine and a half of the fifteen seams of Rainbow. It's coming together and it is about time :)

The super secret project has been started. I have to think of a code name. One that doesn't give away anything. Code Name is actually not so bad :D It's not bad at all. For that project I started doing colourwork two-handed. I really have to concentrate to do that and my right hand keeps cramping up. That's not so unexpected since I only recently learned English knitting and the movements are not quite as familiar as picking is.

And now I going to browse the web for new knitting ideas and try to find the one yarn I have to get to finish the Blue Laminaria. It will hopefully be perfect for my big sis who requested a wrap to ward off the cold.

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Knitting, Stuff

Fri Sep 16 11:06:36 CEST 2011 (lizzie)

Autumn rapidly aproaching

This morning is the perfect morning: The sky is unbelievably blue, it's sunny but the air is crisp and brings a slight blush to your cheeks and it smells faintly of the leaves, that are going to fall in another week. And to top it all off I have a cup of coffee and cranked Foreigner up (I'm currently going through a Foreigner phase).

Also I got my shipment of woolen goodies. I can't talk about all of them, because there are people reading the blog who can't know my plans :) But I can tell you that the second version of Quack is well on it's way, the first step is nearly done on both of the pair. (This version has a slightly more complex construction as it will be felted when it is half done) I'm a bit worried about the felting part and hoping it won't turn out too small. Then I got elephant-gray yarn for the elephant sweater and it is in a good elephant colour. I also got merino wool in green and brown, as a sweater I knit last year again for my niece needs embellishing. She's again refusing to wear it for lack of pink and now will get an apple tree. And since green and brown seemed so lonely (and I think I'll need more colours to make anything and it's gorgeous Merino) I also got sand, red and petrol.

And last but not least I treated myself to luxury fibers since I passed my psychology exam: Two lace yarns, one is a stunning red and Merino (75%) and Kashmir (25%) and the other one is Kid Mohair (70%) und Seide (30%), fluffy and in an colourway, that was apparently named as boring as they could: sand. Both are oh so soft and whispering of the beautiful things I can make them into. I have to think very hard about that, so that the turn into exactly the right things.

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Knitting

Thu Aug 25 13:02:39 CEST 2011 (lizzie)

Slayed the Beast

Since today is the first time in a week I really enjoyed my morning coffee I have all reason to declare myself healthy again :) Seriously, my throat bothered me to the point of refusing coffee, that sadly aggravated my poor sore throat, especially in the mornings, when it was already dried up. Except for an occasional cough I'm back to my normal self.

After my last blog entry ette came for a visit, but this time she took the direct route to me (or should I say she tried?) instead of going via our parents. So she endet up in the big road works going on under my living room window. To be more precise she was redirected around the construction zone and taking the first sign, that read "University Northern Campus" she ended up in an area completely unknown to her. Unfortunately the redirection took her the long way around the campus area and nearly very road sign will direct you to the Campus (frankly because there isn't anything else there) and instead of taking the first one of those, she would have been perfectly OK, had she taken any other exit :) So now she was parked in the lot of the new Botanical Garden, with no idea how to get to the lot of the Physics Building. So she phoned me and asked be basically "I have no idea where I am. How do I get to you." Even Botanical Garden parking lot is not especially helpful as there are two botanical Gardens there in close proximity each with at least two parking lots. But then there was the helpful bit: "I think I can see your house". Hallelujah. We confirmed that suspicion with frantic waving and holding up a large piece of white paper on my side and a quick description of her clothes on ettes side. Than I picked up my mp3-player and went to her and directed her to the right parking lot, all the while shaking with laughter :)

We sat down on my couch and knit away and discussed our plans. We had a fair bit of knitting and talking about knitting to do, especially on ettes super secret knitting project and wanted to go to the movies to watch Captain America on Monday night.

Now I have to report my knitting progress or the next thing that came over us won't make any sense to you :) I finally finished Blue Beast (hence the title)! It looks really great (even if I say so, but ette confirmed it also) and I sticked with the sewn cast off because it relaxed nicely since my last entry and doesn't flare anymore. "Cuddly and Sweet" is also done and awaits the fun that is to come. "Rainbow" has four and a half seam done. And I really started on "Wraparound" that is as of now more than half way done. Also I cast on a new pair of socks, that kept nagging me to try them since the last knitty-issue came out: double heelix. I chose sock wool in a foggy gray-green and a simple cream to offset the green wool and make it pop in contrast. I'm thinking of adding a spiral toe and cuff, but the jury is still out on that one.

Back to recapping ettes visit we went grocery shopping on Monday morning and since I was sadly projectless (more or less) and also kept thinking about the Aeolian Shawl and my ball of regia lace and how I didn't have exactly the right beads for that I dragged ette to my local yarn source. And than ette discovered that there was sock yarn on sale. That was the beginning of the disaster as it was half or even a third of the original price. After about half an hour of getting high on wool fumes we left both with way to much wool and in my case to new pattern books. I got a happy orange and a pale yellow to set it of. another ball of gorgeous deep green wool (as if I didn't have enough of those). Also I got a nice booklet with patterns to knit acorns, mushrooms, berries, bumblebees and other things you meet in meadows and forests. And a knitting book for women with curves pointed out to me by the really nice clerk. But the zinger was the hand painted sock yarn in a deep coffee and chocolate brown, that apparently no one loved as there were several left. They looked so lonely that I adopted three skeins. I have no idea what they are going to become, but it will be fabulous and I think it will have lots and lots of stockinette so the color way can have the stage.

At that point ette was already a bit miffed because she broke her sock wool rule but I hadn't found the right beads for the regia lace. So I had to go to the arts and crafts store next door where ette pointed out the perfect beads, I quickly picked up those earring wire thingies and ette had a little accident in the aisle with the knitting books and bought two pattern books that I have to steal at the next possible occasion. Than we really went grocery shopping and collapsed on my couch. When I had found my breath again we ate and then ette had me make the decisions on her super secret knitting project because she couldn't muster up the required courage. The details I can't share as they still secret and of course they are ettes to share. But it involved some weird kind of impromtu-steeking which should be enough to make you understand her reluctance.

Finally we decided to skip Captain America because it would be no fun for me sitting in the movie theater, sneezing and coughing in turns, and pissing of every other person there. We will simply watch it next week. We ordered rather bad pizza, watched "The Mentalist", knitted and talked.

We ran knitting project ideas by each other and I have at least three new projects in line. Number one is another version of "Quack", Number two will be a sweater for my niece with an elephant on the front and Number three is super secret and a perfect present for a dear friend. All of them require new yarn, so that ette should get things together on her end. We will order together to save on shipping and because I already have an account.

And now I have to finish this in order to chat with osti who is currently in Argonne, near Chicago :)

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Knitting, Stuff

Tue Aug 16 12:26:49 CEST 2011 (lizzie)

Checking things off my agenda

So now I have to come clean and tell you how much actually got done from my agenda over the extended weekend (I snuck in an extra day at my parents, mostly spent cuddling my niece).
  • "Blue Beast" was bound off, the ends woven in and ready for the big steek adventure about ten min before ette rang. I had to wrangle a bit with my sewing machine, because the little conveyer belt (or what ever it is properly called) under the needle liked the knitted fabric a little too much. Additionally the bound off edge kept curling over the little foot-like thingie, that keeps the fabric in place. Than I got out the latte macchiato liqueur and got myself a little bit of courage. I got out the scissors, ette had to reassure me a bit and then I cut the steeks. I was enormously relieved that the blob of wool had finally taken on the intended shape :) And then I spend the next two hours backstitching the hell out of the steek edges to sew down the cut bits and get a clean field for picking up stitches. That I did yesterday night. It should be ready for giving away well ahead of time. Regarding pictures I have to tell you, its all very secret until its been given away. We did take lots of pictures, but, of cause, forgot to transfer them :)
  • I finally managed to knit one foot for "Cuddly and Sweet" in the appropriate size. But I had to frog one really small one for that, but luckily only the sole. So it should be done soon.
  • I seem to have a problem with "Quack". Its really only about ten rows of roughly 40 stitches to do plus weaving in the ends, but it always gets bumped to the end of the active queue. Maybe its because there is so little left to do: I think I keep thinking it won't be enough to keep me occupied and that I don't want to schlep too many projects and I'll need a sewing needle and a pair of scissors and... Man, its really handy, that it only needs to be done by late October :) Though I think I'll have to knit an other version of them.
  • Getting to "Rainbow" I can tell you proudly, that I got done nearly one half of one seam. And that one looks really great. (And I don't want to think about the 13 and a half seams that still need to be seamed. Lalala. I've still got months for that. Lalala)
  • On elongating the cotton sweater I can report picking up the stitches and picking apart one row and knitting nearly all of the elongation on the front part. I'm telling you, playgrounds are a really great place to knit, as long as Granpa is watching my niece :) Also I got talked about by some half grown girls in not so hushed tones. "That woman is sewing!" - "No, it's knitting", I reply. - "It looks really hard" - "Not so much. You get used to it" (Because what else can you say.) And that was as long their attention span reached.

So that puts me at two and two halves out of five. All in all I can't complain. Now I just have to figure out what exactly the command for switching on the spell check is and I can bore you to tears with this post :) I may be boring you till you get that twitch in your eye, but at least my spelling won't make you weep :)

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Knitting

Fri Aug 12 11:17:22 CEST 2011 (lizzie)

Prepping for the Weekend

Today is all about the upcoming weekend. I put my shopping list next to my Petronius, so that I can jot anything down, that comes to mind. On sunday ette is coming for a visit and we are going to do some super-secret knitting-stuff. To be precise we are going to do two different super-secret knitting-stuff things. And one of them is going to involve "Rainbow".

Maybe we are going to do some dyeing, since ette may want to try that and osti will be gone to France :( by then and therefore won't complain :)

Mostly I hope until then I have the main part of "Big Blue" done. That is because it has steeks and my very first ones. I may need ette to hold my hand and mop my brow while cutting those. *scribbling down "white wine" on my shopping list.* We may need that. (Or would you prefer eggnog, ette?) You'll get a full report by next week.

Hopefully I'll get some of the odds and ends on those nearly done projects from my last post finished. Seeing them written down motivated me to finish them and getting them off my queue. Also I discovered some additional half-forgotten projects and that list is about to become even longer:
  • Another thrummed project: mittens in black for a friend of ette. For those I have a decent excuse: the color of the thrums has not been decided definitely by the recipient (ette: that is an not so subtle reminder to get that data)
  • A pair of fingerless gloves in orange with red beads. Number one is about two thirds done, but I seem to have lost interest the moment it stopped being so fricking cold in spring.
  • The first square of a double-knit blanket with colorwork. I'm starting to think it may take that one years and years to get finished.

Now I think I need an agenda for those odds and ends. Hmm. Thats very ette of me :)
  1. knitting on "Blue Beast" till I'm getting to the point of cutting the steeks
  2. new feet for "Cuddly and Sweet"
  3. finishing "Quack" and weaving in the ends
  4. starting the sewing part of "Rainbow"
  5. finally elongating the striped cotton sweater

Hmm, that looks like an weekend heavy on knitting :) And I'm thinking along the lines of two kinds of cookies and visiting my parents, before osti is off to France. I can picture how that ends: Next week we are going to see eachother again and I'm going to have the exact same agenda :/

And now I'm going back to my books before someone (*glaring in a very specific direction*) is going to scold me. I better add chocolate to my shopping list...

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Knitting, Stuff

Sun Aug 7 19:24:28 CEST 2011 (lizzie)

Full Disclosure

As I am starting this blog, I think I have to start with a full recap of my ongoing knitting projects. But this is getting rather difficult, because my most active projects are all those I can't disclose of just yet. They are going to be presents. I'll have to fill them in, as I give them away. Now here is my rather embarrassingly long list, that proves my short attention span (concerning knitting projects):
  • code name "Blue Beast". Yesterday I got out my food colouring and dyed the second batch of blue wool with a bit of green. I'm really hoping that those 500g in total will be enough because osti won't stop complaining about the smell of hot wool and vinegar. Knitwise I'm approximately at the halfway point.
  • code name "Cuddly and Sweet". Something cute and funny for my nephew to-be-born. Following the pattern I ended up with ridiculously large feet. I have to get around to fixing that, but Blue Beast's recipient's birthday is coming up.
  • code name "Quack". This is funny and for very little feet and just needs a few last stitches and the ends woven in.
  • code name "Wraparound". My first serious attempt at developing a pattern and again for my nephew. (I know. It's getting ridiculous.)
  • a cute little sweater in cotton for my niece. I had it finished, but in trying it on, my sister and I decided it needs a little more body length
  • code name "Rainbow". I'm not going to say anything at all. This one will be a really big surprise.
  • one pair of Argyle-Socks. I was halfway through the first pattern, when I realised the intended recipient won't appreciate it at all or even be happy about it. So now I'm one present short for the upcoming birthdays and the Argyles have to do some meditating at the bottom of my knitting basket.
  • code name "Very blue". There is nothing I can say. Any details at all and the recipient will catch on.
  • a little blue jacket, that my sis started. She discovered that she doesn't find any knitting time at all, so I'm finishing that. We are faking it following a purchased jacket, which in itself is posing several problems. Then there is the yarn: a gorgeous deep blue Merino-Alpaka-Nylon blend, but clingy as hell.
  • One half knit sock in red with thrums in different yellows. I was too damn stupid when I knit those for my mothers birthday and started the second one on smaller needles. They turned out widely too small. But since my mother reported that her pair got bigger in wearing them, they may have a future there.
  • one pair of a knitty-sock pattern, that I can't remember right now, in foggy green. The first one is nearly finished.
  • two Laminarias, again knitty pattern. The first one is a really beautiful Merino in shocking blue. It only needs about three rows but I'm out of yarn and I really have to buy more. The other is not very far along and forest green.
  • code name "Pick a Side" a sweater for my niece that's only one half of an arm right now.

I think that is it. You're going to see hopefully everyone of them again as I finish them or, in case of the secret ones, as I give them away.

Now I have to start cooking because we are starving and tonight it's meatloaf.

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Knitting