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...