Monday, 20 December 2010

It's been a while...

Oh my God, last post in August?? That sux, I agree! Once again my New Year's resolution (one of many) is to blog much more often. It's not that I didn't want to blog the past months but at first I was busy. Then I was on holiday (the first time since ca. 8 years). Then I was busy again. Then it had already been so long that I didn't know what I wanted to write first. Then it had gotten more and more awkward by the day and I kept thinking "Wow I really need to update my blog, it's been sooo long already."
I still don't know where to start so I'll just sum things up a bit and elaborate on some aspects over the coming days / weeks (I can do this!!).
My exams went good and bad. One exam was really good and I scored an exceptionally good grade. One exam went as bad as it could and I failed. If you read some of my university-complain-posts you already know which exam that was...yes, math of course. I've been crying and raging enough about that already, I'm going to take the exam again im March 2011, and that's that for the moment. Apart from that freaking exam, I'm done with university and could have started teaching in February. Argh.

A new guinea pig moved in with us after Ruth had died. Her name is Fiona and she is wonderful and awesome. I still have to properly introduce Luna who had her 1 year anniversary with us in August and I'm afraid both introductions have to be postponed a bit longer. I really need to bribe them with a lot of food to sit still for 20 seconds so I can snap a decent photo of those rascals.

There has been knitting those past few months, oh yes. There has been a lot of knitting the past few days. And a bit of anger. Angry knitting leads to aching wrists and shoulders. I am still looking for the perfect number of stitches for a perfect sock for me. I have been ripping back what could have been several pairs of socks. My feet are completely off the charts, they are fairly small (or short) but I have a high arch and they seem to be wider as they look (huh??). So most socks are fine around the toes but so tight on the instep that I can barely put them on. I've been fiddling with total stitch counts and needle sizes and nothing satisfied me so far. I don't mind the challenge and I don't mind ripping that much but as I have problems with wrist and forearm pain, I rip back a lot of work that came at a high prize. I know that the solution for that sock fitting problem is to knit ribbed socks. But some sock yarns are so wonderfully colourful and self-striping that I really want to knit them in plain stockinette stitch. I like to knit socks from the toe up and now I'm trying a bigger size than seems reasonable. It seems to be too wide around the toes but I want to see how it fits once I turned the heel. I've already tried several heel types and I love a slip stitch heel with a gusset.

I intend to prepare a couple of blog posts, one will be of our vacation in England. Until then I leave you with a photo of me and the pretty White Cliffs of Dover (click to make it bigger!). See you soon!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Farewell Ruth

July the 26th was a crappy day. Top to bottom: crap. With one exception: Ruth's suffering was finally over. It started a few months ago when I recognised that she had lost weight. Concerning guinea pigs, that is always the signal to take a closer look than usual. I weighed her 2 times a day for a couple of days and her weight dropped even more. Not much, but even so. Then she seemed to lose strength in her hindlegs. Our guineapigs live in a compound that has a plexiglass window on one side and they always stand on their hindlegs and jump and scrape at the panel when they are begging for food =) Ruth had difficulties standing on her hindlegs. I didn't waste any more time and took her to the vet. I was afraid that she could be suffering from a kind of paralysis that is known to befall guineapigs. The vet seemed to think so, too. You can treat it and keep the symptoms at bay if you're lucky but you cannot heal it. We treated Ruth with a lot of vitamins and watched her closely. The weird thing was that it only seemed to be her feet that were paralysed. The problems with animals that small is that they have a very fast metabolism. That means that everything that happens, happens quickly. She lost the muscles in her hindlegs very quickly but could still move relatively fast despite her wobbly feet. I was hopeful that she would learn to live with the situation, even though I knew that it would probably shorten her livespan. We still don't know for sure what it was exactly that she was suffering from, even the vet could only guess. I think that it was definitely a neuronal problem. The upper part of her body was alright, but the paralysis probably affected her kidneys, too. She lost every control of her bladder and her intestine and got major problems with infections in her bladder as her bottom always lay directly on the floor due to the numb feet / legs. We took care of her and cleaned her little hiney several times a day. She was happy when she could lie and sleep on a hot water bottle (she was cold due to her loss of weight) and eat her favourite food. As always, we carried on as long as she would be happy despite her many issues. But on July the 26th she would neither eat tomato nor cucumber and I decided that it was time to let her go. The vet put her to sleep while I stroked her head and whispered that I were by her side and how much I loved her and that she needed not to be afraid

The appointment with the vet was in the afternoon and I tried to make her last hours as comfy as possible. Luckily I still had some of the painkillers that I got for her and she even nibbled a bit of lettuce. During those hours I always had one thought in my head: „These are the last minutes you have with 3 pm you will have to say goodbye.“ But I am glad that there is the possibility to send them on their journey because sometimes they want to leave but can't. Ruth surely would have died eventually on her own, but it would have taken days and she would have been in pain. I let them die naturally when I know that it will be peaceful and painfree because it surely is nicer to die in your home, surrounded by friends.

We buried her in the evening and – so very fitting – it started to rain as we walked into the forest to find a nice place for her. It was not only raining, it came down in sheets. We were drenched to the skin within seconds. I was already completely crushed, but when I laid her into that tiny hole I got even more sad as I couldn't see a thing in all that rain that spattered my glasses. I have buried many, many animals during the years, it aches the same every time. But I am glad that she is reunited with Emma now, painfree and at peace.

Farewell Ruth, thank you for a splendid and funny time! We will never forget you!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Strawberry Perfection

One of the absolute highlights of summer: Strawberries! Perfect in every way. The taste, the colour, the smell, the texture. When I had my first strawberry of the year last week it made me so happy that I actually felt a bit stupid. But that's what it's all about, right? Enjoying the little things. I am always sold on all the wonderful things that nature gives us but when it comes to strawberries and cherries I am lost for words =) For you sci-fi fans out there: There's one episode of "Firefly" where Kaylee sinks her teeth in the first strawberry she has eaten in months or even years, closes her eyes and is completely lost in the moment. That's how I felt, only without being a cool girl machinist on a spaceship...

Remember the mugs I told you about? The ones Seb gave me for my birthday? Not easy to get a good shot of those, they're very shiny and the print nearly covers the whole mug. The mug on the left has been printed with smaller versions of both collages.

Here's a close-up of one mug (you can click on the pictures to see them even bigger):

Oh I miss them all so much...

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

One year

Hello and sorry for no posts since several weeks. I wanted to write something on Monday which was my first blog anniversary, but I could not find the time. I cannot believe that it has already been one year. Sometimes it is those things that show how quickly time passes.
My birthday has been quiet and nice. Sebastian always wants to give me presents already at midnight (he had to wake me for that, I was asleep on the sofa), so my birthday started very early with great, great gifts. He gave me the first two seasons of "Everybody loves Raymond" on DVD (hilarious!) and 3 big mugs which he had had printed with photos of nearly all the furry friends that lived with us over the years! Some are missing on there, but there was not enough space. I love those mugs!! I will post some pictures of them soon, I promise. He gave me two photo-mugs years ago but I always felt that I needed more pictures to look at while I am drinking coffee or tea. Looking at those pictures makes me both happy and sad at the same time. We buried a lot of animals over the last 8 or so years and I miss them all sooo much. Those mugs are a great and very thoughtful gift and were a big surprise.

My parents came over the next day but did not stay long as my father had to get up very early the next day. Everything went okay and without argueing so that was good, too. On Saturday morning I had some friends over for breakfast and we had a pretty good time. So now I am thirty and it feels a bit weird to say it. But to be honest, feels the same as 29 =)

Of course there has been a lot of knitting since my last post. Remember the coat I was working on? Well, I ripped it. The instructions were written that poorly, not even the very skilled lady from my local yarnstore could understand them. She said that I should improvise and see where it leads. I tried that, didn't work, was very stressful and generally a huge pain in the ass. After hours of trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to do in row whatsoever, I gave up. Normally I hate to give up that quickly but knitting should not be so hard and frustrating. It is bad enough that my wrists and arms often hurt, I do not need such an awful knitting pattern. So there you go, one last look and byebye:

There I was, having that lovely alpaca blend in my stash and no idea what to do with it. I tried several patterns but could not get the correct gauge. Then I found this and I think it will turn out nice:

Sebastian's socks are done now and they are alright. Not great, but alright:

I am hugely excited about clogs at the moment. I have a pair in an aqua/turquoise shade and wanted to have a pair of matching socks so I can still wear them during autumn (and maybe even on a dry winter's day with no snow). I found yarn in a great colour and casted on another of Wendy Johnson's fabulous patterns. May I present: Rivulets Socks!

As woolen socks always become wider after having been worn for only 2 hours, I knitted them with 2,25 mm (US 1) needles. I love how even the stitches are but the sock is very tight, especially on the highest part of the instep (where the leg meets the foot). I can get them on but I have to be very careful. It is not ideal but if they widen then it will be alright, I think.

I got some money for my birthday and spent a part of it on my second pair of clogs. I looooooooooove fly agarics and Sanita brought out red clogs with white polka dots about two years ago. I couldn't afford them then and now had a hard time finding them. But an online store had them on sale and in my size, too! Yay!! Again, pictures coming soon, promise! I'd love to wear clogs all day long but I can only wear them outside as they make too much noise.

There's more knitting and even some sewing coming up, I still need to take pictures so please visit again =)

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

"Because that's how it's done!"

Actually I wanted to finally introduce Luna - a wonderful guinea pig that came to us in August 2009 - and it really is about time to do that (I think she is already a bit grumpy). But the good piggy does not like having her picture taken and all shots I have are blurry. So you will still have to wait a bit.

Instead, I want to complain - again. If you are already tired of me blowing off steam, please ignore this post and wait for a knitting-related post which will come in near future =)
My birthday is on Thursday and I'm turning 30. Wow, even writing this is weird. I mean 30... that's really grown-up and what not. I am feeling a bit funny about turning 30. I don't panic because I am leaving my twenties but I thought a lot about my decisions these past years. Unfortunately I have a habit of constantly questioning my choices and decisions. That is stupid because even if I had chosen any other way, I'd still be questioning it. I am not good at making choices but as everybody has to do it at some point, I choose. I chose to give up my job, go back to school and after that attend university in 2006. I will hopefully be done with my studies this autumn. So far, so good. My studies took longer that I had planned so my major plan went down the drain: Becoming a mother before thirty (at least once). I know you can't have it all but still... After a lot of thinking and planning, I think the new plan is to have a child by the time I am 33. The only problem is: I can think of nothing else since months. Two months ago, when I had a lot of exams and stress, my period came 5 days late. Normally it's right on time so I got a bit nervous the second day it didn't come. It would not have been the ideal time to get pregnant but nevertheless I was exited and had high hopes. I did a pregnancy test which was negative. Another three days later I was on my period and was a bit crushed. It must have been the stress of taking exams that had caused the delay. I will be patient and wait until it is time for me / us to have children but it is getting harder by the day.

To pick up this post's title: "Because that's how it's done!". That is a sentence I have been hearing a lot lately. I don't like to throw a party for my own birthday, the last time I did this was on my 18th birthday. Every year my parents are offended because I don't invite them for my birthday. Every single year my mother keeps nagging to invite them over "because that's how it's done". Or: "I cannot understand why you wouldn't invite your own parents to your birthday." And so on... Quite apart from not liking people to make a fuss about my birthday (and me), it's not that easy. Sebastian and I live in his parents house. We have our own storey and everything but of course I can't invite my parents without inviting his parents (as they live in the same house and would notice it), that would be rude. And I can't invite them both because the thought alone gives me nausea and stomach cramps. Our parents are completely different, the situation would be so awkward and distressing...
But as my mother was extra insistent this year I gave in. Sebs parents are on holiday over the weekend so I told my mother that I would like having her and my father over for breakfast on Friday or Saturday after my birthday. It was her suggestion to do it for breakfast because they both don't like cake so much. I told her over the phone and she said that my father had to work on Friday and Saturday. Is this a joke?? She kept nagging for weeks and now this? Normally my father knows his working schedule for weeks to come, so I am a bit pissed now, having to reschedule and all. So I tried to find a solution for this problem but couldn't find one as I have to juggle having my parents over AND having some friends over on the same weekend (no, it can't be at the same time...). When I finally told my mother to come alone because my father has to work, she got all pissed and told me that she would certainly not do that. She is always trying to force my father's company on me and gets sooo angry when I get evasive.

"Because that's how it's done." That is something I won't be putting up with anymore from now on. The funny thing is: A lot of people and especially family do feel the same way about it, but they do things nevertheless because that's the way things have always been. This is 2010 and a lot of things have changed over the years. I am sick of expectations and pressure just for the sake of formality and etiquette. It's bad enough what some people have to put up with during Christmas time, I think everyone should be able to do what they like on their birthday.

Whew, I had to get this off my chest. But other than that I am really looking forward to my birthday. Any excuse to eat tons of cake =) Plus it collides with a public holiday this year and Sebastian has Thursday and Friday off from work and after that it's already weekend. Yay =))

Monday, 3 May 2010

Wonderful Socks and a crappy Saturday

I finished the wonderful Waterfall Socks and they fit so perfectly. As always I couldn't take a photo that shows the actual colour, so just imagine the socks to be the colour of the grass and the grass to be a darker green:

Now I intend to finish Sebastian's socks (yes, I had already knitted one sock for him with this yarn but I ripped it as it didn't fit that well and looked awful):

And I am finally knitting this red yarn into something that actually fits and looks acceptable:

I rarely say that but I am glad the weekend is over. Sunday was good with a lot of relaxing, coffee, pizza and good movies. And we did need that good Sunday because Saturday sucked. It all started with the simple fact that it was my father's birthday. And we were invited. Shit. He likes to party often and a lot so he threw a party for himself Saturday night. Having been to too many of my parents parties, I feared the endless boring small talk, the stupidity of their idiotic friends: "Oh hey, what happened to your pink hair??" (That was ten years ago and they have seen me a couple of times since then...) And of course the awful music that no amount of alcohol can tune out.
This time I risked the possibility of my parents being offended and said that we would only come in the afternoon for coffee and cake. That turned out to be the right decision because we had to endure a shorter span of time. So we sat there 90 minutes and listened to my father talking a humungous amount of crap. 90 minutes in which he stated quite clearly and several times that he surely would not pay a single cent for my wedding party as no one paid for his. (Do you see the logic here? Because I don't.) Please note that we did not ask him to, we were just talking about weddings in general. I am used to statements like this so I was not surprised. But I really had to bite my tongue and not say what was in my head that moment ("Yeah and why should you pay for a party you're not invited to anyway?"). Ah family, there's nothing like it.

After 90 minutes of stunning conversation we went straight to a friend's house for our first barbecue of the year. The food was great and we had a lot of fun for 2 hours. Then someone wanted to watch a movie. I would have preferred to stay at the table and just keep talking and laughing. It is very hard to find a movie that each of 5 people really wants to see. So after a lot of arguing we watched 2 movies that were a total snooze fest (I won't say the title of the movies, I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings). One friend went home 10 minutes into the second movie. That was the fourth time that we ended an otherwise great evening by arguing over movies and I simply don't understand why we have to watch movies in the first place. Normally we just sit there several hours and have a great time talking. I even brought that thought up but someone became whiny and wanted to watch a movie. It felt like being back in kindergarten. We finally drove home at 11.00 pm. Later in bed I thought that I could have had finished another sock instead...

Edit: Everybody liked my potato salad. That was nice.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Dumbledore Bananarama

Our furry companions love food (who doesn't?) and it always makes me happy to see how much they enjoy eating their way through mountains of hay, fruit, vegetables and other stuff. Dumbledore is especially fond of bananas. As bananas are strictly speaking no rabbit food, he only gets a bit as a treat now and then. He munches on that sticky sweet stuff with his mouth open and enjoys it immensely. I asked Sebastian to take photos of this so you can enjoy it, too. It's really really cute and you can even see his tongue!! Come on, who of you has ever seen a rabbit-tongue? Exactly.
(Don't mind the watery eye on one photo, he sometimes has issues with that but we're on it.)

Ohhh yes, gimme that sticky sweet piece of heaven!


*nom nom*

I need more...


Wtf?? No whole banana for me??

There might still be something in my whiskers...

Monday, 19 April 2010

Socks and Yarn

Well hello, it's been a while. Sebastian has 2 weeks off from work and we have been driving around a lot, went on hikes and yesterday we rode our mountainbikes for the first time this year. It was a very pretty tour with a lot of rocks, mud and sand to race through (in my case: to get stuck in). I have to say, half of the track would have been enough, as we're just getting started again after a long winter. My buttocks are so sore, I am actually thinking about writing this post in a standing position. While puffing up the hills, I realised that I didn't get any fitter during a winter of sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. That came as a real shock =)

Before I move over to knitting related news, I am proud to say that I passed another exam. Not with top grades, but I passed. It was an oral examination and the worst I ever had. The examiners were mean and grumpy (it was a friday afternoon, I think that had something to do with it) and it took only 10 minutes for me to enter full panic mode. As always when in panic in an oral exam, my mind went completely blank. A good examiner recognises this and tries to calm you down and changes the questions. Those two just raised their eyebrows and said "You don't know that??" All in all, I didn't think I did that bad, the first part went fairly well and the second part of the exam was not top notch but I could have done worse. When I left the room for 5 minutes to give the examiners time to discuss my grades I knew I hadn't aced it but was relatively sure I had passed. I re-entered the room and my heart sank when I looked at their faces. After a lot of sighing, they told me I had passed but barely. Of course I was glad to have had passed but the things they said to me afterwards were neither nice nor helpful for the future. I know that I didn't do very good, but the stuff they said was really not true. But I passed and that's all that matters for now.

Knitting. Yes, there has been some of that, too. After ripping out countless attempts, I finally produced a nice pair of socks. No wait, the second sock is not finished yet, but it will be tonight! Better photos will follow once both socks are done.

Pattern: Waterfall Socks by Wendy
Ravelry Link: Waterfall Socks

The instructions are very clear and it is so much fun to knit! I love the slip-stitch heel! I chose a green yarn because I think the pattern looks like a vine that winds its way up the leg. I might knit another pair of socks in a blue yarn for a more waterfall-ish look. Here's the yarn I used:

We also used the holidays to visit lovely old towns with yarn shops that left me standing there with my mouth open, drooling all over the floor. Sebastian was very understanding and bought me those lovelies:

I can't wait to knit socks with the rainbow yarn on the right!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Happy Easter!

I wish you all a Happy Easter, or whatever you are celebrating this time of year. We had a rainy day yesterday, but today the sun is poking out and it feels like spring.
I mostly decorate the house for every season, not for a special holiday or celebration except for Christmas, and I've never been much into the whole colourful egg business. But this year, I arranged some hazelnut brances in a brown jug and actually painted some eggs. When I was a child, we used to draw on eggs with felt-tip pens. I wasn't good at drawing back then and I'm even more awful at it today. So I blew some eggs and applied a ground coat of an acrylic paint (some eggs needed 2 or even 3 coats).

getting started

applying ground coat

When the paint was completely dry, I applied illustrations of animals and plants via paper napkin decoupage or simply polka-dotted the eggs:

I let the applied items dry properly before glossing over the whole egg with a silk-mat varnish, let it dry once more, attached a thread to the eggs (by tying thread to a match and poking it through the hole on the top) and hung them on the hazelnut branches:

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, 2 April 2010

A Jumper and a Cowl

I seem to be doing more ripping than knitting lately. Remember the red socks I've been knitting? I finished them, they were too tight, I ripped them. I knitted them again, they were too wide and the heel sucked, I ripped them. I am at the point where I really hate the yarn and can't stand to knit it again, for now...

On a happier note: I finished my second jumper. Before you look at the pictures, get ready to see a lot of pastiness =) I know, the colour doesn't look so good on me, maybe letting the sun kiss me will do the trick, who knows?
The yarn is "ONline Linie 11 Alpha", colours 16, 40 and 66. It is 100 % cotton and very, very soft. The original pattern was published in the "Verena" knitting magazine, spring edition 2009.
The seams are still not great, but getting better. I am not completely satisfied with the result in general, but I made some progress and am still learning a lot.

I took the jumper for a walk today and I have to say, the yarn really feels nice and is perfect for spring as it provides enough warmth due to its thickness. The colours look awful with the blue jeans, but if I want to put on my white jeans I will have to go with the unbuttoned look as they are tight as hell at the moment. And not in a good way!

And another FO that has been finished for quite a while now: Gudrun Johnston's "Crofter's Cowl". I've worn this piece a lot since it came off of the needles. The cowl starts rolling itself together after a while, which sadly hides the wonderful pattern, but it is nevertheless a beautiful and useful thing to wear. For information on the yarn etc.: Crofter's Cowl (ravelry link)

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Yeah, you already told me - twice.

Last weekend I had to endure several conversations I had to endure before. I could flip out when people tell me stuff over and over again. I don't mean the never ending "Tidy up your room!" that my mother gave me a thousand times. That was annoying, too, but I learned to ignore it after some time. No, I mean when you are sitting together with some friends, having dinner and chatting about this and that. Last weekend we had pizza with another couple and watched a movie afterwards (District 9, highly disturbing but interesting with quite some bloody shocker scenes). And without fail, I had to hear stories I had heard before. More than once. They were boring. And pointless. And stupid. And although I said "Yeah, you already told me.", she will bring it up again the next time. It wouldn't annoy me so much if it was something important and interesting like the sense of life, the fate of planet earth and the beings living on it, or child education or where to find the best sockyarn *g*. But it concerned something the co-workers had said, something the doctor had said, how the ugly hole in the sofa is ugly, and whatnot.
That really takes me back to when the mother of my ex-boyfriend tortured me with endless stories about laundry and how the house was build after her imagination and plans. She told me the same stories on a daily basis, really, no kidding! My ex-boyfriend found that highly amusing because she had changed her focus from him to me and he didn't need to shout at her to shut it anymore. Good times.
Really now, what is that?? Do some people talk so much bollocks the whole day long that they only recognize it as a low humming sound and therefore are completely oblivious to what they say??

Another thing I don't like: Having to tell the same thing over and over again. Now you could say that for that reason, becoming a teacher won't probably be the right thing for me =) Anyway, I have a fairly good memory and consider it polite, respectful and important to remember what people are telling me. At least the major part of it, of course I can't remember everything. I might be wrong to expect the same from them, but I somehow do. But last weekend - yes, we're still there - I answered the same questions I answered at least four times before. While I appreciate the interest in my life, I kind of suspect the interest to not be real, as the person either doesn't really listen or forgets it after a few hours.
I don't mind telling the same thing over and over again to different people but to one person? I tell you, that Saturday I felt like Bill Murray and was extremely annoyed by that blabbering and blubbering groundhog.
Ah yes, and you know what? People who can't shut it while watching a movie annoy me, too! "What is this?" "What's he doing?" "That is disgusting, can we watch something else?" "What did she just say?" "Is that blood?"

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Endless relief

I passed! I finally, finally passed that maths exam!!! After several disappointments and tries, I passed. I didn't write about actually taking another shot at that freaking exam, because I couldn't have stood writing about another possible fail... Now I can take my final maths exam around August this year and be done with that annoying sh**. No more infinity of primes, no more icosahedrons and their many useless rotation axes, no more calculus of probabilities...YAY!!
I am so relieved, I nearly peed myself when I got the result. Yes, there still is the final exam, but that will be different, as that will mostly cover didactics for primary schools, hence things I will actually be doing in the future. Ehm, did I even mention what I'm studying?? I am studying to become a teacher for primary schools. My major subjects are German and religious studies/education (I hope that's the right word for it) but I was forced to do maths as well as a minor subject. Now please don't say "Come on, it's maths for primary schools, get a grip...". I get that all the time... "primary school" is just my main focus but I could teach classes up to 10th grade. Hard to explain really because educational systems vary from country to country. That made it extra frustrating for me because I had to study so hard for things I hated AND will never actually be teaching.
Anyhow, it's done now, I'm extremely happy and relieved and want to share it with you =))) Whoooohoooo!!!

Friday, 12 March 2010

A friend to knit with

I came across this nice blog a while ago:
I really like the name because it is something I have been hoping for for quite some time now: A friend to knit with. Or a friend to crochet with or to do any other crafts with.
I only have a handful of friends, I don't have a best friend. I might not even have really good or close friends besides Sebastian. Over the years, a lot of friendships broke up due to various reasons and it is harder to find new friends the older you get. I always had more male friends than female ones, something that's still valid today. Women tend to not like my kind of humour and are often offended by my (sometimes too) blunt honesty. Many friendships broke up because my parents chose to move 3 times, forcing me to change schools. Then I lost very good friends because my former boyfriend and they hated each other and I chose him over them (something I still regret deeply). After finishing school, most of my friends chose to go to other towns because of their studies while I became an industrial business management assistant and had much less time for parties and stuff like that. Today they have "real jobs" while I'm studying =)
Sebastian is a phantastic partner and the best friend I could imagine, so I am not really missing anything. Sometimes it would be nice to discuss some things with a girlfriend, but I'm not sad or lonely without a girlfriend. But someone to knit with, that would be heaven. I knit with my mom but I don't know if our relationship has the quality of a friendship. Someone to knit with, that's what I want. And maybe a close friendship is waiting somewhere in a ball of yarn and when it finally pokes out, I wouldn't send it away.
I'm not an easy person, I know that. People tend to annoy me, I hate shallowness and indifference. I have strong principles and try to stick to them, but I'm not intolerant and I don't care what a person looks like or how old he/she is. Of course it is nice if a friend likes the same things oneself likes, but I don't care if he/she does not want to watch "Outlander" at least once a week with me.
I can't stand certain things like cruelty to animals and children or pollution of nature. I hate when people think they have a right to only think of themselves, stomping through the world, completely oblivious to the distruction they leave behind.
I'm not perfect in that way either, but I really try to make a difference and live a frugal life without waste. I rarely eat meat but when I do, I make sure that the animal who died to feed me has lived a good life.
I better stop now or I'll ramble on and on....

Getting back to the title of this post: Yes, someone to knit with would be great. Knitting, drinking too much coffee and eating cake with someone who does not think that animals are only meant to feed, clothe and amuse us. That's not too much to ask, is it??

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Stitching again

Because of the much rambled about pain in my wrists, I started cross-stitching again. That hurts, too, but only a bit and only in my left hand. That is due to the way I hold the fabric, I hate embroidery hoops and frames. So I kind of stretch the fabric with the fingers of my left hand. Hard to explain... Anyway, over all the knitting-excitement I almost forgot how much I loved to stitch. I have several WIPs, mostly really big projects that I just can't constantly work on. The constant change of colours and their various shades slows progress way down and I often change the project or start and finish a small one.
I always find it hard to focus my taste on one special style. This concerns handcrafts als well als music, colours, fashion, decorating and so on... Of course there are things I absolutely hate, but in general I tend to find pleasure in a diversity of things. For example: I love and adore Teresa Wentzlers designs and want to stitch them all (which would take several lifetimes and more hands), but I also like the patterns by The Prairie Schooler. They use only few colours and no backstitches at all but their designs are very pretty in their simplicity.
Since two years (or more?) I wanted to do all of those patterns so I could have something new and pretty on the wall every month:
Well, I won't stitch July, as I am not American. I will surely do October and November because Halloween is just great and the turkey is cute and works for me even though we don't celebrate Thanksgiving as the Americans do.
I already finished June and now I started on February. I am not sure I will make the finished projects into little pillows as shown in the books. I am lousy at sewing and therefore too afraid to test my skills on a piece of linen with beautiful embroidery...
I was a bit too stingy with the fabric so framing will only work if I use a passe-partout.

Sewn gifts

I found some pictures on my camera which have been sitting there since December. Last Christmas I gave a few handmade things as gifts because I am pretty broke at the moment. My godmother almost always gets handmade things because they make her happy and she really appreciates them. She is a very nice lady and I could not wish for a better godmother. As she has everything and can buy everything she likes, I switched to crafted presents rather than buying things a long time ago. This time, I did some sewing, both with my sewing machine and manually. The hearts and the bird are stuffed with a poly-something filling. Being unable to draw anything a normal human could recognize for what it is supposed to be, I found the instructions online. The wonderful bird can be found here (I only slightly altered mine):

Note: The winged heart is supposed to look wonky! =)

I used some stashed fabrics, mostly of clothes that got too tight *ahem* Using things from my stash pleases me to no end. Using and at the same time recycling stashed things whilst saving money and creating something beautiful to make someone happy comes close to ecstasy. Really, it feels nice.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Looping it

I am knitting again, but only a few rows at a time. Some days the wrists feel almost OK, some days they hurt. Yesterday I overdid it because I got all excited about Magic Loop. Although I am able to knit socks on double-pointed needles and don't mind doing it that way, I had a feeling that they are responsible for my wristpain. It might be the way I hold them, it is just different from the way I hold circular needles. So I tried Magic Loop and tried knitting one sock on one long circular needle. And it worked! Straight away, without numerous tries. I tend to cramp up while knitting the heel (any kind of heel...), Magic Loop cannot completely change that, at least not yet. I hate accidentally creating holes while knitting the heel, so I try really hard to do everything right, automatically sit straight and tense and am rewarded with pain in my wrists, hands, arms, back AND holes in the heel part!
After some tantrums and disappointments, I choose to accept the fact that I might be needing more experience and practice in knitting and especially sock-knitting. After all, I only finished two pairs of socks yet and I will rip one pair apart again...remember the reddish ones? Knitted way too tight, they felt awful on my feet, I couldn't spread my toes and the stitches were stretched til bursting point. I only knitted the second sock because I hoped they would get wider while being worn (as ALL of my socks do, but no, not the red ones)... I wondered if I could give them to someone as a gift but I don't want to give something away I am not satisfied with myself. The heels suck and so do the tips and I won't give crappy socks as a present!

After huge amounts of snow which came as a surprise, it feels like spring today. It is warmer, most of the snow melted and the birds sing so beautifully. But man, that really was some winter. We always get snow in January and February but it does not stay long and always is quickly exchanged for cold rain. This time, it started on New Years Eve and we had so much snow, it was incredible. I really liked it and certainly won't complain about finally having had a real winter but I am looking forward to spring now, a lot.
I hope your day is as sunny as mine!

Friday, 15 January 2010

More knitting

Ever since I knitted the first pair of socks, I think it is absolutely necessary to have at least one pair in the making at all times. It is a lot of fun and so very useful as I tend to have cold feet. My hands tend to get cold, too, or sweaty, or both. Sebastian calls them "cold and grubby little gollum-hands". Charming? No. Funny? Hmm..
Being to stupid to use the camera properly, I made the red socks look extra-red =( They are for me, the yarn is ONline sierra-color, colour 1187. This time I knitted a hybrid heel, which is a short-row heel with a gusset. The gusset is great to make a short-row heel also fitting for a higher instep. I knitted them in a plain stocking stitch as the yarn itself creates a very nice pattern.

The brownish ones are for Sebastian. The yarn is also ONline sierra-color, but this time in colour 1183. I want to knit them in stocking stitch, too, but it seems as if the pattern does not come out so well in this colour.

And my latest project: a coat/jacket/cardigan...not sure what to call it. The pattern is from the autumn 2009 issue of the Verena Stricken magazine, the yarn is GGH Cumba print, colour 102. It is sooo exciting to see the colour change from light to dark. See the zig-zag stripes? Awesome!! It is 41 % wool, 28 % alpaca and 30 % polyacrylics. Normally, I don't like to have plastic in my clothes, but it does provide a bit more durability, especially when it comes to socks.

The yarn is really lovely and a bit fuzzy, which makes it difficult to frog or reknit stitches.
I miss knitting =((

My first pair of socks

My boyfriend found the cable! Great, here come the updates on more or less recent knitting.

Interlude: I'm tired of saying "my boyfriend". It reminds me a lot of a former classmate, who - once he found a girlfriend - kept saying things like "My girlfriend thinks that..../ As I've said to my girlfriend....Tomorrow my girlfriend and I..." While I was happy for him, I couldn't help but thinking "Yes, we get it, you have a girlfriend now. But the girl does have a name, you know?" So from now on, when I talk about Sebastian, I will use his name, alright? So keep in mind: Sebastian = boyfriend *sigh*

Ok, get ready for the first pair of socks I ever knitted. A bit difficult to catch the colours, so mix the two pics together to get an idea of the real look:

And I have matching tights! I had those before, though.
I knitted the socks a bit too large for my feet, but I still love them. The yarn is Regia Galaxy Saturn, colour "saturn lapetus". The heel is a shortrow-heel, which might not be the perfect heel for my feet. I used double-pointed needles and the pattern is a very basic ribbing pattern.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Tek ma tek

I want to show you so much knitty stuff, but the cable thingy to transfer the pictures to the computer is gone....have to keep searching but until then: no looky =(
Man, my wrists still hurt! I have been a good girl and not even touched a knitting needle or crochet hook, but excessive typing might not be so healthy either. Plus I shovelled snow one time. After that, it got a lot worse. I gotta say, I'm a bit cranky. It's not as if I don't have other hobbies apart from knitting, but they all involve my hands! Ok, reading is fine, but stitching, MMORPGs, crocheting...*grmpf* And there is no way I can pause for several months. Some people knit up one pair of socks per evening, maybe they have rubber arms. My boyfriend might not be too happy either with all my whining and forcing him to constantly check my wrists if the little swollen bumps have gotten smaller. Plus, normally I let him watch any movie on DVD, because I am knitting through the evening anyway and don't pay much attention to the movie. But now I have to watch actively, so there is no way we will be watching the umpteenth film about something Mars related, like Red Planet or Mars Attacks... Yes of course I just exaggerated, but there's a bit of truth in it.

So instead of having that wonderful bliss of yarn and needles and the monotonous action my wrists hate so much, I have to keep my mind off things with watching the awesome Dr. Daniel Jackson save the world once more. We have been through all Stargate and Atlantis seasons several times, but that does not matter in the slightest. We're at season 7 now, where Daniel finally comes back, NAKED! I can imagine my boyfriend rolling his eyes while reading this, but I am not able to knit at the moment, for heaven's sake.

But enough of the whining (for now) I have to search for that camera cable thing. Until then, kel vak Jaffa!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year!!

A very happy 2010 to you all! Do you have any New Year's resolutions? Many people seem to have given up on that idea because they would fall back into their old bad habits only one week into the new year. And of couse, you can decide to change your life every monday, or every hour, minute, second of any day... But I still like the idea of starting a new year with fresh ideas and resolutions. It might bring some disappointment and frustration when some things won't go the way you thought and you are still drinking too much coffee and study way too little and are too sleazy because all you can think of is knitting... Nevertheless, I still haven't given up on myself and I really want to change all those things that annoy me most about myself.

I have to go easy on the knitting anyway because the pain in my wrists turned out to be the beginnings of tenosynovitis. Yay me.... I started to panic a bit and ran to the doctor quickly. It's not as if I couldn't stand a bit of pain, but my boyfriend has a chronic tenosynovitis on his left wrist, which gives him a lot of pain sometimes. Plus, I wanted to have those fine things: ManuTrain
They say you can wear those splints and still be active. It turns out, you can't knit or type while wearing them. But they instantly take away the pain when put on, so it is an improvement.

Despite the hurting wrists I have some knitting to show you. And I will, because one of my New Year's resolutions is: Be a better blogger!
So please stay tuned!