Friday, December 31, 2004

The last day of the year

...and I am being cynical about it. I don't believe in "new year's resolutions" - if you don't make them you don't have to stop one day and think about if you kept up with what you were making up on December 31st of last year. What the new year brings is confusion when writing a date, it always takes me a while to remember that it is a different year now. For me this is kind of one day like all the others, mainly because there will be no fireworks. Fireworks ring in the new year in Germany and since living on the North-American continent I have been missing this tradition. I never bought fireworks myself, we just went outside and watched it. Last year it was actually past twelve when we realized, hey, the new year is here.

A good friend of mine died this year, he was someone who did not believe in regrets about ones actions or missed opportunities. Instead he would go and try to do better in the future. Not that he needed a lot of improvement, he was a great guy and I miss him a lot. I haven't come to the point of no regrets yet but I am working on it. I also know I could do a lot better in some areas of my life and that I have to change others. But I don't need January 1st to start doing this. I just have to remind myself everyday that it is neccessary to do ones best so that there will be no possibility of feeling regretful. I still have a long way to go.

What I want to say is: If you think you have to change things in your life that you're not happy about at the beginning of a new year, go ahead, use January 1st your best way possible. But don't hesitate to keep changing in the ongoing year either, don't waste your time waiting for appropriate dates to begin with changes, they are good and we need them.

When I started writing this post I didn't think it would turn out this way, especially since it feels now as if I am stating the obvious - at least to me.

Nonetheless and without any cynic intentions: I wish you the best and all the happiness you can get for the new year!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Just stole this...

...from Deawn

You Are From Venus

You love all forms of beauty. You love dressing up and anything luxurious.
A social butterfly, you're incredibly popular and a great host.
You're known for your fairness and affection. And as a friend to all.
Careful though! Your desire to please may make you too willing to conform.
Be yourself. Focus on what matters to you. You'll be all the more popular for it.

I think those quizzes are fun - though wouldn't rely on the outcome...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Some more details

Jo is right to ask questions. I haven't been too explicit about anything but the number of stitches....

It's the sock on the last picture I posted you have to guess the stitches from, the orange, green, purple, pink and blue striped one. No hint on the size, 'cause it would be too easy then!

The contest will end on Sunday January 2nd - that should leave enough time for everyone to leave their guess.

One stitch at a time

Ever wondered how many stitches one has to knit till the garment is finished? I "counted" mine of the recent sock (okay, so I used a calculator). I was amazed how many it turned out to be.

What do you think?

a) 11.538 sts
b) 12.022 sts
c) 12.884 sts

Leave a comment with your pick to win this:

A starter kit for socks in form of "Fortissima Colori Mexico", if you will. It's fun to knit with this yarn, the socks will grow in now time.

If there should be more than one correct answer I will draw the winner the oldfashioned way: names written on a piece of paper and hubby will pick with his eyes closed.

Good luck!

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments - Lee Ann, the sweet potatoes were a hit! Lauren, glad to have had you here, hope you'll be back.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Still in "sock-mode"

I knew it. Once I start knitting socks, I will go on. Because it's so easy and you're rewarded quickly with a FO. So here's another one of a pair:

And of course I know enough people who love to get them, even though Christmas is over.

Talking about Christmas: My knitted gifts were well received, at least the ones I gave away here in Montreal. My packages to Germany haven't arrived yet.

I love it when the recipient tries the knitting on at once - everyone did so. Do you remember the too-small Zara-Shedir? I gave it to two year old Fiona, she put it on and the hat wouldn't come off all evening though it must have been quite hot wearing it. I was thrilled and her Mom, too, cause Fiona won't wear anything at the moment that is NOT PINK - well, except for the hat. Yay! (I totally understand, who could resist the softness of Zara?? - I hope to post a picture in the near future, I forgot my camera again so I will have to rely on the kindness of anyone who took a pic of her.)

The celtic cap plus scarf were also a big hit with Judy. And the socks - I am always happy when they fit, Peter was, too.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

"One ring to bind them all"

Call me Sauron. Or Gollum. I might be not as evil but I am just as desperately looking for my ring. It might have been the marathon viewing of "Lord of the Rings" - the extended versions, or it might have been my own stupidity that made me lose it. My ring, that is. It looks exactly like this one:

I don't know when, where or how I lost it. And that's where I stand and pull my hair. If I had done something like dropping it in the elevator shaft, you know, in between the two doors of an elevator (have done so with a key and a glove) I at least wouldn't have to go around and ask myself those useless questions: when did I see it last? where could I have put it? etc. etc. Drives you nuts. Really.

I don't have a clue where it is gone. It may have developed its own agenda after seeing the movies and thinking about its possibilities in life. I am sad, upset and angry, angry that I am so attached to a mere thing, a thing that makes me desperately look in every nook and cranny in our apartment and be disappointed when I - of course - find nothing. Should you cross its path please say 'hello' and ask if it considers coming back to me - my precious!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas everyone!

The socks are finished, the hat and scarf are wrapped - I have been trying to post all day but blogger wasn't cooperating.

I am contributing to dinner with "Lee Ann's sweet potatoes" (Lee Ann's potatoes because she told me how to make them, thanks again!), they are in the oven right now. I am a bit on the last minute thing, but then I always am, so no panic here.

I hope y'all have a great time, jingle all the way...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

One last Christmas gift - I think

Socks from variegated yarn. Easy as pie. And fast. They should be done till Saturday.

This year we are actually invited to a Christmas Day dinner - I am really looking forward to it because the last three years we had very quiet holidays, just my hubby and me. He doesn't mind but I am used to have family around on Christmas, and in two days I will have "relatives on loan". And a huge turkey dinner, too. YAY!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Finished Celtic cap and matching scarf

And all in variegated yarn. Who would've thought.

The yarn is 100% Merino "Muskoka" from Berella - I had it in my stash, I think it is discontinued, the colourway is "jewel tones".

Monday, December 20, 2004

Canadian winters, eh?

Minus 25°C at 8 a.m. this morning, with windchill -39°. And more snow on Wednesday, but warmer Temperatures. Thank goodness.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Courage what you need when you bragged that you will model your hat and then while taking photos you get to the "crap, what was I thinking"...

Yup, definitely: WHAT WAS I THINKING???

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Once again...

...I don't heed what I said, once again I have thrown a principle over board and once again I haven't paid enough attention to what I do:

I, who was of the opinion that cables are "wasted" on variegated yarn, am knitting the Celtic Cap with yarn I had in my stash and which is variegated. Actually, it doesn't look half bad and one can see the cables pretty well.

I find that cabling instructions and my interpretion of said instructions don't mix. I frequently do it in the wrong direction, i.e. cabling in front instead of back and vice versa. Now, I have discovered that "oops, I did it again" and I am not up to frogging. It's not that I did one cable wrong, I did it all of them wrong. So one could argue: hey, it was supposed to go this way....whatever. I won't frog, that's it.

Apart from that you might have thought that there is not much knitting going on - wrong. I made another Celtic Cap for myself and I even decided to model it myself on the photo because it turned out to be a hat I don't mind wearing (well, don't mind too much). I wear it differently than intended 'cause that's what I do. I tweak things to make them mine. I had a picot edge in mind and when I was finished I tried the cap on before fixing the rim. I like it rolled and it gives it the little bit of extra room I prefer. I still like the picot edge - just not on me. The cap is big, my gauge check was sloppy, but it turns out that's a good thing. Will post picture as soon as I've made it.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Cookie exchange, Christmas Party and TV - part 2

As I promised yesterday here now comes the story of how cookies, knitting and TV go together at a Christmas party.

First of all let me thank Svetlana, the nice lady who owns Mouliné Yarns and prepared a buffet to die for (well, almost). So here's a big Thank you!

I arrived a bit earlier than 7 p.m. but I had needs to attend to: a new 4 mm circ and I wanted some yarn - you know how it is, and because I thought I could help Svetlana a bit (best intentions, got distracted during everything I started, was not good help) I got my needles but never came to the yarn part because there was a journalist with a TV camera (I cannot remember his name, so sorry!) strolling around the shop, interviewing people...see, the CBC show "Culture shock" called our LYSO and asked if they could do a feature about the "new popularity of knitting" (or similar to that), she agreed and the date was set. I understand that there are a lot more people who knit than even five years ago, what I don't really understand is why. And that's what I got asked later by him, amongst other things. How confusing, especially when he holds a camera and you don't know if it's turned on or not.

Back to his question. It seems that the other interviewees in another large Canadian city insisted that a certain book started this new interest in knitting. I won't say which one, but I couldn't disagree more. One book cannot start a hype about knitting, it may augment it, that's it. You may have figured that I don't especially like this book, but I am entitled to my own taste and to say so. (Oh, BTW, anything you will read is MY opinion, so if yours differs please don't get upset but inform me of yours in the comment section.)

I remember reading somewhere something about how knitting was picked up more and more after 9/11 because people had to cope with what happened and one effect seemed to be that they were "going back to basics". Knitting has been around for a long time, I can see how one would describe it at a basic thing. And, the repetition of the movement can be calming and your mind can wander while creating something new. This is one reason I kind of understand.

Yesterday I said that another reason for the popularity of knitting might also be that a lot of celebrities claim to knit, or even "get caught" knitting. Ah, well, I never was one of the people who needed/wanted to do something because somebody famous was doing it, but then there are the easily impressed masses who want to do what their favourite actor/actress seemingly does, too. I have been knitting since I was five - knitting for me is more like the need to eat and sleep, and when it's overdone it can have similar bad effects. I only can try to understand what knitting is for people who take it on because it's hip to do so. Compliment to those who find a true pleasure in the craft, stay with it and go on to projects like sweaters, hats or socks after their initial garter-stitch-scarf-in-a-novelty-yarn - of course with written instructions.

The friendly journalist was asking me about blogs, too. If blogs contributed to the popularity of knitting. At this I stumbled a bit because I don't think that people who accidentally discover a knitting blog will start knitting, I rather think they will start blogging because it's such an easy medium to let one self and what one does be known. There are about 600 knitting bloggers in North America (V. whispered that fact to me) - I repeated this loudly and almost instantly felt a bit bad because knitting isn't only popular in North America, but in Europe, Australia even Asia, too. And a pretty number of the blogs listed in rings created by American bloggers are from other continents - so it makes me wonder if a blog can be attributed to a country, I mean, it's the internet and they are "out there". These 600 mentioned blogs might be the ones written in English, but there a lots more in other languages. This had to be said because before I started blogging I considered doing it in either English or German, I went for English because I figured more people would be able to understand it and threrefor: read it.

Let it be known that I don't mind the popularity of knitting. I mind the hype about it. I can't go on and on about the scarf someone wore in one or the other movie, I won't write to anyone to find out what yarn was used and I won't go gaga about any actress who knits in a film, I note it and find it amusing. It makes me happy that knitting is (once again) considered worth doing, and that one can do it in public without being considered hopelessly old-fashioned.

For now I don't know when the feature about knitting will be broadcasted, I figure some time early next year. I am keen on seeing what they have done with bits and pieces of the interviews and once I find out the airing date I will let you know.

On to things that are lighter to digest: cookies!
We also had our cookie-exchange, my first one but I hope to repeat it.

Here goes the loot:

Black and white cookies (chocolate and almond) from Véronik
Gingerbread men from Svetlana
Snickerdoodles (love the name! and they came in a pretty tin box, too) from Deawn
Pecan Macaroons (I think) from Margaret
Orange Nut Biscotti from Lee Ann

Once I have tried them all I will let you know that they tasted as deliciously as they look...

I mentioned the buffet Svetlana put up, didn't I? Buffets are great, you go and pick what you want - repeatedly so. The bad thing about buffets and me is: I can't seem to grasp the amount of food I am really eating because you get to eat tiny sandwiches and filled things and then you feel really full and say to yourself: but I only tried this and this and this and you realize that it was indeed a lot.

Oh, one thing I have to mention that was not buffetstyle but homemade by Reina (I hope I spell the name correctly): FLAN. It was heavenly. You know, I like (ahem, love) food, but I rarely attribute adjectives like this to any prepared dish, I have to do so with Reina's FLAN. FLAN because it deserves to be shouted, it was soo delicious...ok, will stop now.

I say everyone who was there had a great time - the journalist could be spotted even among the camera shy people (right, Jo?) after he was done with his work and I say there's hardly anything better than a X-mas party in a yarn store with friends, good food and yarn to fondle, buy, knit...

To all the people who were there and feel that I omitted something important, go on, tell me and I will make sure to mention it on my next post.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Cookie exchange, Christmas Party and TV - part 1

Just got home from an excellent Christmas party. Never had anything like it before, 'cause it involved: knitting, a TV-Camera, a cookie exchange and of course lots of food!

I bet you want to know how all of the above goes together? Well, I am really tired and I guess you'll have to wait till tomorrow...

One thing though: I want to knit something with "Silky Wool" from Elsebeth Lavold - I saw and touched a sweater Margaret knitted tonight and it's just b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l, soft and the fabric is just right, not too thick and not too thin...comes to mind: "I wants it, my precious!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Got hip?

You figure something is seriously amiss when you walk to the bus-stop, your left hip is hurting like hell and you wish you could exchange it for a new one. WTF?? I am 34 years old, the hip I have should do just fine, thank you very much! So for now I am going to blame it on the cold weather and keep with Seneca: "Scorn pain. Either it goes away or you do."

Monday, December 13, 2004

FO alert - Henry-socks!

I just finished and modeled them:

Oy, cookies!

Don't know where the "oy" came from, but here are some of the cookies for the cookie-swap I'm in:

I have only about 20 done but I thought I'd share. Please don't ask about finishing socks etc. - knitting isn't much of an option when you have three batches of these to make. By the way, here's the tongue-twister of a name (at least for native English-speakers): Hildabrötchen. They are my absolute favourite Christmas-cookies - hope my fellow swappers will like them, too.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

No sock, but Shedir

So much for lightly thrown out remarks about sock finishing...we got invited last night and so I didn't finish the Henry-sock. In lieu of a finished sock here the picture of the Zara Shedir.

That's my big head modeling the hat. I sincerely dislike being photographed and even more so when the picture is supposed to go on my blog - that's why I took a picture of Rolf wearing Shedir and quickly decided against posting it, but now just for the fun of it here it is anyhow:

I am sorry to say that I married Egg-head, indeed. No matter what angle I tried I couldn't make it look evenly rounded. Should I feel bad about exposing him like that to the world? Nah, he knows I love him anyways...

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

We've been letting it snow for a whole night....look:

And it still does, BTW (I'd say we are at 20 cm by now - they keep clearing so it's hard to say). I put up our sorry excuse for a Christmas-tree yesterday (plastic, yuck!) and I must say once it's dressed it's just half as ghastly. Nothing better than a real tree, but I truly wouldn't know where to put it.

There's no picture but am happy to report that the second Henry-sock is progressed past the heel, the possibility of getting a FO today is very high.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Of ice-rain, story telling and a ride home

We had a nice come-together last night...I am glad I braved the icy rain and took the bus to the café where we were meeting. When I arrived there was story telling going on and the proprietors made us move from next to the event to the front of the café. Apparently our excitement about having another knitter's meeting was expressed in too loud voices thus disturbing the story listeners. I bet we would have shut up if the story had been about any knitting related topic but from the bits and pieces I heard it was not involving yarn and pointy sticks.

Jo worked on the scarf with the hearts of the knitty surprise issue, cleverly combining purple Highland Wool with a variegated wool (it looked great and made me think that I would have never picked that combination and then: why not?) Deawn stabbed her yarn with incredibly big wooden needles (I couldn't supress images of Buffy and her vampire killing "Mr. Pointy" - no offense Deawn, my dear!) into a scarf (I was much too intrigued by her tools to pay attention to the outcome but looking at the pictures of her blog I am sure it will be pretty), Véronik was working on one of her designs (when you know her work you know it can't be other than beautiful), Alison is still on that gorgeously soft blue sweater and Molly-Ann brought her "Kool-aid-fair-isle" (she dyed yellow wool with different colours, not only are they lovely but also go so well together). No, I wasn't working on the second sock but tried to figure out the armhole decreases on my cardi.

The very best thing of the evening though was the ride home Carl and Jo gave me - I was and am really thankful that I didn't have to go out into and onto that dangerous element called rain turned ice again.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Half a pair

The first "Henry"-sock is done. I started with a tubular cast-on and continued in a wide rib-pattern. Ribs provide a snug fit and the only thing I don't like about them is that the finished sock looks distorted because the purl stitches "vanish".

Off now to start the second, remember: I still have to send them to B.C. and Canada Post is veeery busy at the moment.

Monday, December 06, 2004


That's what the 6th of December is called in Germany. And one gets little presents and chocolate and Lebkuchen. Ah, how I miss that.

The sock is coming along nicely - I am almost at the toe. Tonight our apartment seems a bit chilly and I don't knit well with cold hands. The reason why I haven't posted a picture of the Zara (mini)Shedir yet is that I haven't woven in the ends...

Kitty of that 70s show was wearing a sweater tonight that reminded me a lot of the "Klaralund"-sweater one sees quite frequently at the moment. Not only was it constructed the same way, it was also striped. What a coincidence...

The new knitty is out and I must say I disagree with the "cute womb". If "because we can" cuts it for you, go ahead, knit one. I am partial to Belle Epoque and am happy for everyone who finds something he (he? that's a bit of German grammar sneaking in) likes amongst all the other patterns.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Socks for Henry

Yesterday I remembered that I promised to knit socks for my uncle in Kamloops. For Christmas, of course. OOOOps. Have to get going on this one, so I cast on and will be knitting quite boring ribbed socks. Am saying: the socks will be nice, knitting rib is boring!

My second Shedir is finished. I cut one pattern repeat because the last one was too big - guess what? This one is the perfect child-size. Brilliant. It was meant to be for an adult. Even if I find the time to knit another one, I really can't imagine myself knitting a Shedir again. I need change and am sure I will find another pretty hat pattern soon. Yeah, yeah, I know there are lots out there, but I am picky when it comes to hats! Come to think of this: I draw my hat for Jo who is determined to knit 12 hats till X-mas (or maybe new years eve). You go girl!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Friday, again?!

And I am feeling a bit less cranky. Though I seem to get nothing done. I wish I could snap my fingers like Mary Poppins, I wouldn't sing though, 'cause I am not really good at it.

Christmas is only three weeks away and I couldn't care less. When I was younger I couldn't wait to get up every day - starting with december 1st. My Mom used to make us advent-calendars stuffed with really cool things. Barbie clothes she knitted, the matching shoes, chocolate of course, too. I've been getting advent-calendars from my Mom as long as I can think - this year, too. Maybe looking at it and opening one little door after another each day will finally get me in the right mood.

Cute, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


That's what I am having. A knitting slump. After my last enthusiastic post I fell into a hole. I worked on the back of my cardi and I am almost at the armhole shaping, but somehow it doesn't appeal to me to go on. At least at the moment. I have to finish the Zara Shedir too, and am not up to it.

Maybe I can blame it on the weather. We Montrealers woke up to this this morning:

Nice, wet, slushy snow that wouldn't stay because it is not cold enough and instead inundated the streets, which gave me wet feet. Luckily I live in Westmount and they seem to spend an awful lot of money on maintenance so the nuisance is getting removed at this moment.

And if you're thinking "man, she's in a crappy mood today!" you're absolutely right.

"Thou shalt not blog when you are having a bad day!" - will try to think of this next time!

3 p.m.: I cut my hair. That's what happens when I go stir-crazy and don't know what else to do. It was all about the same length and I didn't like it. So I cut it. Now I do like it. Here's a really bad picture and when you haven't seen me before you won't know what I am talking about. The others might.

Please ignore the fact that I look like I am possessed...taking pictures of one self is not as easy as it sounds.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

100 out of a million...

Done to death and yet the best way to get to know me a bit better.

1. I was born a week before my mother's 20th birthday.
2. That was in 1970 and she wasn't married.
3. That's why at first my grandpa wouldn't have anything to do with me - until he laid eyes on my cute little butt face
4. I was christened a catholic and until I was six I loved to go to church
5. When I started school they made me a lutheran protestant
6. Now I am an agnostic
7. I didn't know that my "father" adopted me until I was 28
8. I have three half-siblings, a sister and two brothers
9. I am bad at science, I do much better with languages
10. I married a scientist
11. We got married in Kamloops, BC in 1999
12. When I was younger I had a real bad temper - sometimes even now
13. My patience runs short, but I am getting better at it
14. My husband and I started the immigration process for Quebec in December 1999
15. It took until September 2002 to get the papers
16. On September 29 in 2001 I joined my husband in Carbondale, Illinois where he was doing a post-doc
17. It wasn't sure if we could make our flight because of 9/11
18. We moved to Montreal in October 2002
19. I regret not having visited Provence/France while it was a lot easier
20. I miss German Christmas-time rituals
21. Germans unwrap their presents on the evening of December 24th - we still do so
22. I am a librarian (with a German degree that's not worth a penny here)
23. I worked in a department store on saturdays to help finance my studies
24. My sister is a pharmacist - I always wanted to be one until I found out that I suck at science
25. My sister and I are like oil and water - we don't mix
26. I have tinnitus
27. I am allergic to a lot of things
28. I have a scar in my right eye that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses
29. Therefore my eyesight on this eye is only 40%
30. When I have to give blood I frequently faint
31. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite movie of all times
32. I rarely cry in public
33. I am embarrassed easily
34. I am very curious
35. I love to cook but not cleaning afterward
36. Housework is high on my "How-I-hate-that" list
37. I love coffee - with lots of milk and quite sweet
38. Truffels are my favourite chocolate
39. I make a kick-ass Lasagne - says my husband
40. I love to read
41. Yes, I love Harry Potter
42. And the Outlander series, too
43. I am bibliophile - don't mistreat my books or else!
44. I've been writing a journal since I was ten
45. I love paintings by Gustav Klimt, but not necessarily "the Kiss"
46. I rush into things and lose interest fast and quite frequently
45. I have a godson called Lasse
48. I am afraid that he won't recognize me when he sees me again
49. I have no clue when that will be
50. He is the son of my best friend in highschool, Nicole
51. The older I get the more I seem to cry about stupid things
52. Intolerance makes me angry
53. I am all for gay marriage
54. I believe in womens' rights but am not necessarily a feminist
55. I am attracted to everything out of the ordinary
56. which doesn't mean that I will like it
57. The only fish I really like is Tuna and Salmon
58. But I refuse to eat it uncooked
59. I have a thing for fountain pens
60. If I had a lot of money I would buy all the "Pelikan" Fountain pens I could get my hands on
61. I am a collector, I collect stupid things
62. I used to be obsessed with blue glass, now I kind of hate it
63. I used to be obsessed with matchboxes, too. I still have way too many of them.
64. I you need matches, contact me. You have to pick them up though, because it's forbidden to send them by mail.
65. I have a thing for organization but cannot stay organized.
66. I am convinced that everything needs to have its place which doesn't mean I put it back there when I used it.
67. I had long hair until I was 27.
68. My hair is as straight as it comes.
67. In my teens I was a Madonna fan and tried to dress like her.
68. I wasn't really succesful but I developed my own "style".
69. Today I would be much too embarrassed to wear half of that stuff in public.
70. I knitted my first pullover when I was 13 - and it was my own design
71. Knitting was very handy when it came to my outrageous fashion style.
72. My grandmother said on occasion that she wouldn't want to be seen with me on the street - she never made me change, though.
73. I was very good at school until I turned 15. I think that was my rebellious phase.
74. I regretted slacking when I had to pass my "Abitur" - it was too late then.
75. I learned Latin for seven years - all I remember is "veni, vidi, vici" and "alea iacta est". Okay, maybe a bit more...
76. It hasn't helped me a bit in my professional career.
77. But then, nothing I learned at school did, except for the English language.
78. When I visited Canada for the first time in 1989 a kid asked me if we had electricity in Germany.
79. I can't believe the educational system here is really that bad.
80. I try to be informed what goes on in the world, but since I don't care for politics the details elude me.
81. I talk back to the TV when I see something/someone that upsets me.
82. It happens a lot lately.
83. I get embarrassed for those people on TV who'd do anything to be on a show.
84. I am not embarrassed to admit that I like Buffy, Angel and the Gilmore Girls.
85. But I also enjoy CSI and ER
86. Not to forget all the Star Trek series, though Voyager is my favourite.
87. I avoid reality shows like the plague
88. I love going to the movies.
89. I am a sucker for chick-flicks.
90. But mostly I have to watch them alone.
91. Action movies and Sci-Fi I get to watch with my husband.
92. I love to travel, I've been to 14 different countries so far.
93. High on my favourite list is Scotland
94. I think I could be happy living there
95. Spending an evening with friends playing board games is a favourite pastime of mine
96. It can't be a strategic game though, I am not good at strategic games. I need the "luck-factor".
97. I drink alcohol only in company, never alone at home.
98. I yet have to learn to say "no" to people, I often pressure myself into things I'd rather not do.
99. I have good intentions when it comes to eating but I know I don't eat enough fruit and vegetables.
100. I prefer comfort food to "cuisine".

What, that's it?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Mackintosh Rose

I love Art Nouveau. One of my favorite artits of this period is Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Whenever I look at his designs I feel the urge to create something myself. When I saw this chair inspiration hit.

This combined with his trademark - the stylized rose - will become my Mackintosh Rose Cardi.

To give you a little idea how it's going to look like, here is the part of the back I have worked so far.

I took the chair back and translated it into knit and purl stitches. The rose will be integrated in both front parts, I am still working on the details for that. Remember the pic of the Highland wool I posted a while ago? All of the colours will be used.

Following a pattern in a magazine can be very satisfiying - creating your own much more so, and exciting, too!

Friday, November 26, 2004


"Gifted" by Kate

I needed a quick gift. I remembered that I had seen "Gifted" on Kate Gilbert's blog. I didn't have any chunky yarn in my stash but I had two balls of Stahl "Teddy". I said to myself "why not"?

This pattern is fun to knit - and what's more: real fast. It took only two hours for one mitten. It looks a bit different 'cause Teddy is a bouclé yarn but hey, who said it has to be Cashmerino??

Thanks Kate!!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I'm done, I'm done, I'm do-hone!

There. This is my TTT with a twist. Actually, it's my Mom's. She just doesn't know it yet. I really, really hope she likes it.

Now I can send it off and go on to other very important knitting. Doing the "I-am-done-dance" and lovin' it. See ya all later!

Technical Details:
Pattern: Sally Melville's Two Tone Top from "The Purl Stitch", adapted to my requirements
Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa "Oxford", (142 yds/50 g) almost 5 balls Albany and a little bit more than 5 balls Chocolate Spice (493 g, including swatch)
Gauge: 21 sts/28 rows for 10x10 cm, latticework: 30 sts = 10 cm on 3.5 mm needles

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Getting there

Yesterday I worked all afternoon on the TTT with a twist. I am done with knitting, I just have to sew it together. My neckline idea turned out to be a hell of a job, literally speaking, I had to work it over three times until I was satisfied with the outcome.

I had planned a "reference" to the lattice work below and crossed 8 stitches before I started decreasing for the neckline, then I picked up stitches along the neckline and knitted an I-cord (attached by SSK the last st with a picked up st). I like how it looks now though I imagined it a bit different when I had the idea.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Spoiled Love

What on earth have I done to deserve this???

This is the second knot in the second ball of yarn in as many weeks. And I have been working on exactly three projects with four different yarn-balls - you do the math. There's rarely a thing I despise more when it comes to quality yarn (i.e. pricey) that's supposed to be in one piece in one ball!

Monday, November 22, 2004

I've been talking about it....

...and now I'm finally doing it: getting rid of the Patons Decor on eBay.

If you want it, come and get it. You're most welcome to, says Ms Yarnsnob.

I am on the cap of the second sleeve of the TTT with a twist...I spend a lot of time on "tinking", somehow I can't concentrate on the appropriate decreases. Blech.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Bad, bad girl!!

I have finished these:

And then I worked on this...

...instead of going straight to work on this...

...and this:

And my only defense is: "Zara seduced me!! It's all her fault!!" With a faulty self-control like that it's no wonder I get nothing done on time...SIGH.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Four time's a charm

I knew I could do it. I just thought it would happen without me throwing a hissy fit and with less cursing. Here it is:

I need to finish everything I want to send to Germany (another sock and my Mom's TTT - I shortened the list after it was clear that I cannot manage more, so it is really not that bad) this weekend so I can send it off next week. If I am lucky it will arrive on time. Keep your fingers crossed...

Wednesday, November 17, 2004



is a picture of my third sorry attempt to graft the toe on this sock. I thought it was about time to try this, so far I have been using a far easier method (just pull the last 8 stitches together) but I thought the grafted toe looked nice and I know I can do it.

HA! How pathetic am I?? (Off now to my fourth attempt of toe grafting...)

Monday, November 15, 2004

"Stupid Is As Stupid Does"

And who told Stupid to put a knot in my selfstriping sock yarn??


Saturday, November 13, 2004

One down, one more to go

We are talking about the Two-Tone-Tops. I (finally) finished the one for my sis and hey, sewing it up really wasn't that bad.

The sleeves went in quite smoothly, I was a bit worried about that. It worked out fine. It looks a bit blah, I have to admit. Ah well, it's just the right thing to throw on with a jeans and go wherever, isn't it?

Technical details:
Yarn: Schoeller&Stahl Geisha in navy and nile blue, I used 2 balls of navy and a little bit more than two balls of nile blue. This baby only weighs 202 g!!
Needles: It's knitted with 4mm Needles, the gauge is very loose, on purpose because it's a mohair yarn. Next time I am going to use a 3.5mm needle because now I think that would be loose enough.
Gauge:I don't remember and can't find my notes...I guess the same as was given in the pattern since I followed it.

I'm in finishing gear. I took a hard long look at my calendar, counted, calculated, went white as a sheet (hardly) and stormed off to my christmassy projects...

Friday, November 12, 2004

Isn't that....??

YES! It is the "I-won't-wear-it-vest". While you are looking at this picture imagine me doing the happy dance. (Just ignore his crazy "posing"...)

I have another FO and my dear husband is wearing it, too! The only complaint I've heard so far (there had to be one) is: it's too darn hot! Duh, it's darn cold outside, it is supposed to be warm!

Here is a detail of the neckline:

I am pretty pleased with the outcome. It actually looks like I had imagined it, it could be a bit closer to the neck, though. The article by Véronik Avery about short rows in the new Interweave Knits was very helpful. Thanks, Véronik! (...also for the grafting tip, though it's a lot of work!)

Just remind me next time that a special neckline is enough and that one doesn't have to have side slits - I am not convinced I made a good choice with those.

Technical details:
Yarn: I ordered 9 skeins of "Classic Elite Tweed 03" in "charcoal" (143 yds/50 gr) and used 402 g of the 450 g I had (including the swatch).
Needles: I used a 4 mm needle because I knit loosely and 4.5 mm (as given on the label) wouldn't give a good stitch definition
Gauge: My gauge was 20 st/28 rows for 10x10 cm

This yarn is soft to begin with, but after it's washed it gets even nicer. The only negative thing I have to report is that it tears quite easily, so cast on carefully and use a couple of shorter threads when sewing with it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Elle est arrivée!! It's here!! Sie ist da!!

I am indulging in two posts in one day. I have good reason: my order of Highland Wool has arrived. This stuff is really incredible. I want more!

If you haven't ordered yet, don't do it! - so I can get your share....heehee!

Entrevue vs. Interview

Conducting a job interview in French is no piece of cake, I can tell ya! Why is it that when you need your brain the most it seems it has gone to mush? This is a totally rhetoric question since I know quite well why I was more babbling than procuring well thought out sentences. I was sooo NERVOUS! Lets leave it at that, it's done with the interview and I don't want to think about it any more.

Thanks to everyone who wished me luck - it was neccessary, oh yeah.

Yesterday afternoon I blew a fuse by changing a light bulb. There was no electricity in our apartment, except for the fridge, microwave and stove. It happened when it just started to grow dark - of course. Our Concierge was due back from work after six, he changed the fuse (he used a 15 amp. - we need a 25 amp.) and asked me not to turn on the offending lamp 'cause that might blow the fuse again. I asked politely when he would bring the needed 25 amp. fuse. He said: "Oh, you can go and buy one yourself." I was so stumped by this that I didn't respond at all. I mean, even though I can't deny I blew the fuse isn't that his job being the Concierge and all?

You can imagine my mood coming late to our S&B - which happened to be at a yarn store yesterday. Never underestimate the calming effect of wool...and of course the presence of well meaning friends. Which didn't stop me from ranting again once I came home and told my husband all about the events of the day... :-P

I was just finished with writing all of the above when the doorbell rang and the Concierge and a member of the management came in. They changed the fuse and even made me check that stupid lamp - there is a short circuit in the cables. Now I don't have a reason to be mad anymore and I feel like a deflated tire because all the hot air has been taken away...I won't change the post though because I still think it was not the right thing to say to me.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Shedir the incredible

I finished it. It's a bit out of the given measurements, yup, I didn't swatch. It's 9.5" high instead of nine. Here it is before washing:

This pattern is very clever (Jenna Wilson, you rock!) and really not that hard to knit. The only thing I would try to avoid next time are the holes from making one stitch after the ribbing. They kind of bug me. Maybe it'll look better after the wash I am going to give it now. And maybe they are only there to begin with because I used different yarn.

Back to the X-mas knitting now - I really shouldn't dabble with Shedirs and the like, but it's so much fun.

7.15 p.m.: Ugh. Just got a call from "Bureau en Gros" - I am invited to an interview. The whole call happened in French and I am still dazed and confused, luckily Rolf was listening to what I was saying or else I wouldn't have remembered the time of the interview and the name of the person who called. Ugh.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Another breakdown

I can't deny that it was I who wrote "why knitting what everyone else is knitting?" Heck, what do I care what I said last week, it's my prerogative to change my mind. I started "Shedir" last night. The pattern is just irresistible. I am using the Cranberry-dyed handspun (I think it is) yarn I bought at the Château Ramezay with my Mom. I am not so thrilled with the outcome. I blame it on the very uneven yarn. That's why my stitch definition sucks.

Since I don't believe in regrets I won't be going on about how "I should've bought the one ball of Calmer yesterday at our beautiful new LYS - even though one ball is 17,95 CAD...", nooooo, I won't do that. Instead I will brave the 100% wool, rustic feeling (an euphemism for scratchy - maybe a good rinse with Eucalan will remedy that) yarn and hope for the best.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Shopping sprees

The title refers to what I have been doing today and hope to continue!

But first: Kajin, thanks, I am feeling much better today! Lee Ann: glad I could be of help!

Rolf and I have been shopping for a new winter coat for him. I was a bit anxious because he can be difficult when it comes to clothes - I said can, and today he wasn't and we were lucky!! I don't like shopping at Winners for myself but shopping for Rolf there has been great today. We found not one jacket but two, I like them both and they were less together than I expected one to be. Hooray.

The next shopping spree isn't exactly one. I don't think I will be buying a lot when I (or "we" since V. might come along) check out "Mouliné yarns" but you never know, it is a yarn store after all!

And I have a confession to make. To whom I don't know 'cause it was surprisingly sanctioned as "OK" by Rolf but here it goes: I broke down and ordered Peruvian Highland wool from elann - with the Canadian Dollar so strong it is actually right now only 2.70 CAD a ball!! I've never knitted with it but can't wait to get started with the design I've been cooking up.

With all the talk about Shedir I've been thinking about knitting one myself. I am awfully thankful that I don't know anyone who needs it as a chemo cap and so I only have to wonder "whom for?" (or is it "who for?") The pattern is just so clever and intruiging. I look awful in hats, I have started wearing them nonetheless in our very cold Montreal winters (only after having gotten ill two times - didn't I tell you I am a slow learner?), but I am not sure if I am ready for Shedir, as much as I like the design.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Wading in wadding or: Where's my head?

I don't feel well. My head feels like it's wrapped in wadding (you know, that white stuff used in quilts) and everything around me seems far away. I don't really feel ill, I just don't feel well. How I hate that. Maybe that is why I am having difficulties finishing the vest. Why is it that I have this very clear idea in my head how it is supposed to look like but can't make it work??

I started the ribbing on the neck twice only to rip it out again. I think I need to put it aside and try again tomorrow. It's not that I don't have anything else to knit on.

Afternoon: Montreal knitters can get excited about a new yarn store in town: Mouliné Yarns, 2679 Nôtre-Dame Ouest, at the corner Levis/Nôtre-Dame and quite close to the Lionel Groulx Metro station. Jo has already paid a visit to it and she seems to like it a lot. If I am not mistaken we will read all about it on her blog soon...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The "I-won't-wear-it"-vest, 2nd ed.

Here it is, wet and blocked. The front looks a bit funny with that big neckline, I know. But it will be okay once I've done the ribbing, I promise.

I hope it'll be dry tomorrow so I can sew it up and then get to the armhole and neck ribbing. Oh, and not to forget the ribbing on the side-slits. (And in case you wondered: yes, it's lying on our bed and all that yellow is an afghan I knitted, queen-sized and all in one piece - stupidest idea I ever had...)

Of course you will get to see the finished object, when you're lucky even on the man himself.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, mein Schatz! *

* Happy Birthday, honey!

Like theYarn Harlot I ended up marrying a very special person, and like her I have my very special reasons to be thankful for my "birthday boy". And here he is (this morning, around 7.30 a.m.)

I still can't believe that I actually got a picture without him sticking his tongue out (yet another reason why I have to insist on calling him birthday boy). And he looks happy, doesn't he? Maybe that is because I couldn't finish his vest, but lets not jump to conclusions.

As my cousin puts it I am lucky to have ended up with a "good one", someone who can surprise me to no end just when I thought I had figured him all out. Someone who doesn't mind spending his hard earned money on a fairly expensive plane ticket just because I am feeling homesick and need to see my Mommy. Someone who can finish a sentence that I begin and gets it right. Someone who doesn't give a lot about birthday and christmas presents but brings me home little gifts during the year, just because. Someone who tells me daily that he loves me, and repeatedly so. Someone who doesn't mind my poor housekeeping. Someone who gets excited when I actually do the dishes right after dinner. Someone who does the ironing for me "because I like it" (he does like ironing, really!). Someone who listens patiently (for the most part) to my "knitting stuff". Someone who quotes movie lines and makes me laugh. Someone who might end up wearing his vest after all...

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Out for Dinner

We were invited for Dinner to an Italian restaurant this evening. It was really nice and everything tasted great. And it was a treat. Can it get any better? Yes, it can! My friend C. was wearing the sweater I made for her, and it's always terrific when people actually wear what you knit for them. If I had known I would have brought my camera. Ah, well, there'll be a next time.

I have only about a third of the front of the vest done...good thing I have a second present for Rolf since Tuesday is only three nights and two days away. I don't feel too bad about it 'cause he is still giving me a hard time "I'm not gonna wear it"-style.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Facts of life vol.1: Caffeine

I found something out about me last night. Or should I say the "ongoing night" - it's five a.m. for cryin' out loud!! I found out that I am not immune to caffeine after all. I, who is well known for her sleeping capacity, i.e. falling asleep in minutes and sleeping for very long hours, am incapable of going back to sleep after waking up ca. 55 min. or so ago. It must be the "I am too old for this"-thing. I usually don't have trouble going back to sleep no matter when I wake up. Note to self: don't ingest a large latte after 7 p.m. or pay the price...come to think of it, I believe I did have the same problem the last time after my little knit outing. Hm...I guess this qualifies me as a slow learner.

I got to have a look at Jo's Clapotis last night. It's very soft and cuddly. And the colour is really nice, too. I am very tempted to start one myself...

Not that I need enabling when it comes to buying yarn, fondling swatches of a mixture of alpaca and silk makes it even easier - it's just my budget that keeps me from doing so. Darn. Maybe I should have another look at the job offers today...

Later that day:
It must be the after effect of sleep deprivation (or maybe the subtle hints my husband gave me) that made me do it. You want to now what makes me pull my hair? I put in a job application. Not that I haven't done it before, so far it was just to no avail. This time I actually think I have a chance and that scares me. What do I need a 40 hour job for? When I was joking about the job offers this morning I certainly wasn't thinking of really doing something about it - at least not in the 40 hours range. And so it goes...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Stitch and bitch

I was looking for a better title but it's late and I can't think of one. I just came home from another knit meetup. And today we were joined by a man. By accident, but since he was there and interested in our group he came over and pulled out his knitting, too. Love that. We are meeting more often now. Love that, too.

I finished the back of the vest. Maybe I will make it till Tuesday after all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


That's what I am trying to do. I am having a hard time letting go of things. Especially books. I was crazy enough to bring my childhood book collection with me from Germany (there was a lot of space in the container, what can I say?) I have thrown out some over the last couple of months, but there are more. Most of them I won't read again. Some of them I really want to keep. Where to draw the line?

I need to make room - how I don't know yet. We live in an one bedroom apartment - there's not a lot of space that comes with it. My "everything knitting" collection grows steadily so letting go of stuff is high on my "what-I-have-to-learn-list". I am still a beginner. Though I know from experience that I can live sans le bagage I think necessary now.

When space is precious you have to be ruthless with your posessions. I am still much too kind...

Knitting news: The vest is growing much too slowly. I decided that I have to concentrate on it because it is (was...) supposed to be finished next Tuesday. I am not sure about the shoulder part yet...short rows, cast-off, three-way-bind-off...way too many choices...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Fashion of the 80s

As promised yesterday, get in the mood for the 80s:

I managed to save some knitting magazines from my teenage years. I did it mainly because I haven't got any photos of me wearing all the creations we (my Mom and I) knitted and sewed from them. I can't believe it's been 20 years...

First up is a pullover in Cotton flammé yarn, from the 1984 April edition of "Nicole" - one of my favourite magazine edition ever (even now):

I had to have it - layering was really "in" in those days. It seemed to be two parts but it was only one, at least in the magazine. I kept them separate because I wanted to wear the cream colored thingy with other tops, too.

The following was a surprise Christmas gift my Mom managed to keep secret from me, she was (and is) really good at surprises.

Yes, I got to have this and I loved my "Samurai"-sweater - I wore it then and even would wear it now.

Next up is a sweater I fell in love with so much my Mom just couldn't let me suffer any more and knitted it for my 15th birthday in 1985:

I still like it, though this boxy style is really not the best for me nowadays!

I remember having this pullover in an apple green, well, a bright green cotton. My grandma knitted it for me - and a lot of other sweaters I sadly don't have pictures from.

I was quite adventurous when it came to fashion, these creations only scrape the surface of the crazy things I used to wear. Actually, they are all very timid! The following jacket from 1986 I had in black/white/mustard (My Mom made three halves!). It was fun changing the parts of it - though I remember wearing mostly the black and white halves.

Last but not least:

The blouse on the left and the grey tunic on the right were a welcome addition to my wardrobe when I was 14, too. I helped sewing them and they are from the same "Nicole" edition I mentioned earlier.

I enjoyed this trip into the past immensely, maybe it's not such a bad thing the 80's are kind of back! What'dya think?