Tue Apr 10 09:27:03 CEST 2012

Chlorine alert

Today the workday in our physics building was rudely interrupted by the police. Apparently Chlorine gas leaked somewhere and everyone had to leave the building. Or wasn't allowed in in the first place, since it was early morning. For an hour everyone was standing around, first outside, then we were allowed into a small part of the building.

All things considered it was slightly exiting and a nice variation on the fairly common fire alarm. Usually that happens without the police and lasts no longer than 30 minutes.

Posted by lizzie | Permalink

Mon Apr 2 12:31:22 CEST 2012

Travelling Friends

A few days ago we received a very nice postcard from a friend, who is visiting LA and doing a bit of research there. Thank you very much for that!

Mail from LA

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Traveling, Stuff

Mon Apr 2 10:39:45 CEST 2012


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 23 19:24:45 CET 2012

Brunching and a recipe

I thought, I'd give you a short rehash of yesterday plus a vague recipe. So yesterday a friend had all of us over for brunch, which was simply nice and I think it has to be repeated even without an occasion, though probably scaled down. We went at 11 o'clock and at 6 o'clock we noticed the time and left; that alone should tell you plenty about the day :) Later we had visitors over for soup and watching Alias, which was a perfect quiet end to a smashing Sunday.

The day started with me baking my mom's Easter plait, for with I'll try to give you recipe. It's not that easy an undertaking, because my Mom is the queen of "so halt" (which is German for like THIS). This means I never saw a written down recipe with actual quantities, but on the other hand she taught me baking and cooking is all about consistency and the right feel of things instead of sticking to the right amount of flour. Enough of the preface, here is the recipe:

Easter plait

  • 500 g flour (in Germany that's not self-raising flour)
  • 42 g (a cube) of fresh yeast
  • ca 6 tablespoons of lukewarm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g butter (warmed in the microwave)
  • 50 g sugar
  • 100 ml milk (plus more, if necessary)
  • a dash of salt

Pour the flour into a bowl and make a big indentation in the middle. Crumble the yeast into it and add the lukewarm water. Mix with a fork, whisking in an bit of the flour. Let proof for 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix using an egg whisk. Knead for approximately 10 minutes until the dough is smooth, while adding more milk if it is too dry after thorough kneading or more flour if it is too sticky. Cover with a clean cloth and let proof for additional 30 to 60 minutes. Then divide in three equal parts, roll them into a sausage form and plait while pressing the ends together. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and bake until golden brown and firm. To prevent burning your Easter plait to a crisp you may cover it halfway through baking with aluminium foil. Brush milk onto the still hot plait and let it cool.

Be proud of yourself and have a victory dance in your kitchen (and cut yourself a still warm slice and enjoy it with ham or jam. Yummy).

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Cooking

Mon Jan 16 11:49:42 CET 2012

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

Sat Nov 5 12:49:16 CET 2011

Catching up (Part 1)

Obviously, I got lazy with the blog in the last few weeks. I'm trying to catch you up on what happened. And I will split it into different posts, only because osti always complains, he has to read so much when I post :). So now I'll try to write up what has happened in my life since the last post, the next one will deal with the knitting progress and general yarn stuff and in a third post I'll tell you what is going on right now. :)

In my last post I just started on different nursing shawls for my big sister, when I got swallowed up by the preparations for the freshman orientation week. First of all I invested two days into reediting our little magazine for freshman. I don't recall if it already came up, but I used to be quite involved in the student site of faculty politics. Nowadays I'm mostly retired and try to be the voice of experience and if it is necessary I chip in. So this year I was stuck with updating, proofreading and finally re-layouting the "Hamsterexpress". I worked for two days straight and long hours to make the deadline for printing only to get the news, that the printer was broken and printing had to be delayed for a day. Damn. But through luck and persistence it got printed in time.

As a special treat for our freshmen this year prepared a screening of "Piled Higher and Deeper - The PhD-Movie". To cover the expenses we advertised on the whole science campus and arranged for a advance ticket sale; that meant me sitting all day long in the office with the tickets. Advance sales started on Monday with the screening on Friday. Sales were picking up slowly, but by Wednesday afternoon all our expenses were covered; than, apparently, we hopped onto a train to crazy town, because by Thursday morning we had to print additional tickets and by afternoon we had sold twice as many tickets as Wednesday afternoon; us booking more than one lecture hall, didn't seem like over-carefulness any longer, but more like a necessity. By midday on Friday we had to close advance sales in order to have any tickets left for sales before the screening. There we were sold out flat in 15 minutes, leaving approximately a hundred people without tickets. We had 565 guests that evening and are still simply flabbergasted by the sheer amount of people. But it was a ton of fun and the atmosphere was overwhelming.

The next Monday (surprisingly) the semester started up again and I had to pick my courses. Simultaneously I did some proofreading for ostis dissertation. Not much to tell there, but time consuming.

That was my recap of the past weeks, my next post will be all about my knitting projects.

Posted by lizzie | Permalink | Categories: Stuff

Sun Oct 2 12:03:42 CEST 2011

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

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

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 Sep 8 19:27:29 CEST 2011

The sweetest thing

Today happened the sweetest thing that can possibly happen to a knitter. First you have to know that today is the first real day of autumn here. It's been raining on and of the whole day, hardly any sun at all. You might think this gloomy, for me it's the beginning of my favourite time of year. And it has been aptly accompanied by my personal sign of the approaching glory: I found the first chestnuts of the year. And then my father phoned just to say that he is wearing Blue Beast the first time and that it is so soft and warm and caresses his back. (That was just what I had in mind for him while I was knitting away on it, since he has been plagued by backaches for years.) And that an acquaintance commented on it, asking if it was hand knit, because those were the best :)

Meanwhile Wraparound got four tiny adorable mother-of-pearl buttons from my mothers button stash, that in itself is comprised of her mothers, her (paternal) grandmothers and her own. That, I think, is really, really sweet and makes for great discoveries and hidden treasures every time you go through it. Also I finished Double Heelix sock No 1 and cast on No 2. I'm still not sure, if should make them identical or fraternal (switching the colours on foot and leg) but that decision can wait till nearly to the end, making it possible to discuss it lengthly with ette :)

One thing remains and must be told: My niece refused unwaveringly to wear the striped cotton sweater because it has neither pink nor violet in it and that makes clothes unacceptable to her right now (Truth to be told, it bugs the hell out of my sister). But she had a rather ingenious idea: she took my niece shopping for buttons and they picked three cute ducks to be sewn decoratively to the sweater. My sis wanted to place them on the red stripes as they have red bows around their necks but my niece insisted that they had to go on the green one, because they are going for a walk. Nothing could be more logical.

Posted by lizzie | Permalink