Sunday, May 29, 2005

Do I need a Clean Sweep?

I was watching "Clean Sweep" on Friday night and this time around I was quite revolted by the amount of stuff these people had in their home - and the state the rooms were in because of it. Then I turned around, saw this...

...and felt like a big fat hypocrite.

Seems I need help, too. I figure organizer Peter would be appalled by my accumulation of things/stuff/doodads/whatever and make me throw out 50%.

How long can you claim it's the moving that caused this mess? (At this time I feel urged to remind you: this mess should be preliminary, I have good hopes of finding a space for everything I want to keep. Let's see how long that lasts.)

Now, looking over the stuff I deem neccessary, let me ask you:

How can I throw out anything knit-related? Neither yarn, books nor knitting utensils can be gotten rid of. Touch my sock yarn and you'll regret it!

I am a librarian, I love books. I have gotten rid of many books over the last four years, cherished books of my childhood included. So no more getting rid of book as of now. Any tips?

I don't get it, I moved from a 3 1/2 into a 6 1/2, have one whole room for myself now and am not effing capable of getting this in order. Not to mention the fact that I have under bed storage and can fit it under my bed. I don't even feel ashamed, I just wish I had more space. Can you believe it?

After this first peek into my new "yarn room" (also called "office", "library", "room of her own"), are you sure you want to see more?

Commenting on comments:

Jo: I said it was fun, I never said it was family friendly or cheap, it really is NOT - though I wish it, I mean. As requested I won't talk of the "other thing".

K.: The mileage is really great, isn't it? For a while my hubby and I were joking about driving across Canada with our smart, but then we found out we'd had to pay 200% of its asking price in customs if we'd decided to import it then...ludacris!!

Toni and Froggy - glad you like it! (Of course, Froggy has her own cute "Mini" edition - who is spinning, nonetheless!)

Also, thanks to everyone who commented on my posts with pictures from Germany!!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Get smart!

My pride and joy in 1999 - and the first car I "owned" (leased) ever! And it had an orange interior, too! Driving it was exhilarating, really, especially when people stopped and stared. Happened in Strasbourg where I visited my hubby. A bike stopped and the guy on it threw his hands in the air and went "mon Dieu, mon Dieu". That was because in 1999 the smart was pretty new to everyone.

During my vacation in Germany I realized you can see the smarts literally everywhere - I wish I could get mine back. You can buy them now in Canada, too, (see: SHE has one *grumble*)

Nowadays neither the orange nor the green is available, for a short while there was a blue one like that, too. Why did they revert to the "boring" colours? I don't know.

Check this out: It's fun!

(Maybe I should take over K.'s idea of setting up a donations button - but mine would be for the car, not the shoes, of course.)

Friday, May 27, 2005


Yes, all the people I know in Germany live in quaint little towns where old stuff like this tower are nothing special and around every corner.

Yes, we all shop for groceries on these fabulous little street farmers markets where everything you could possibly want can be found. That's my friend Nicole shopping for potatoes - new potatoes for a very nice meal with salmon and "grüner Soße" (green sauce made with lots of different herbs) we had on Sunday.

Yes, we have nice yarn shops with cute names where we buy yarn... this Regia in a for me irrestistible colorway:

That was "Heppenheim an der Bergstraße", where our friends Nicole and Thomas with our godchildren Lasse and Luzie live, in short form.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Back in Montreal

We arrived yesterday to find the apartment unchanged and still heaps of stuff to be organized. I don't really know what I was expecting, I will say that it is good to be home again.

I plan to show you pictures of my "yarn room" in the near future, right now it resembles a pile of rubble and boxes. Yes, it still does. Since we are expecting a visitor on June 15th (who is going to stay for a week) I am under pressure to get everything done - which is good because then I work best.

In the meantime I might fall back on more pictures taken in Germany - I think there's more to be seen. Just let me get over the jet-lag and find the camera...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Dungeons and Dragons - almost

Before we get to the dungeons here is proof that the town my Mom lives in is really as picturesque as seen on the link I posted few days ago.

Thursday afternoon Rolf and I were bicycling a bit and stopped to take this photo.

Wednesday - believe it or not - we were back at the castle. This time we hiked to see it close up. First thing in view is a big rock.

In the area called "Pfalz" are a lot of big rocks and countless piles of rubble/ruins to be found, nothing special to me but maybe new to you. So I thought I'd share.

Once you hiked about 20 minutes uphill you get to the castle itself. The big event is announced by the stairs you have to climb. Look at how the natural rock is integrated in the (ok, I admit, renovated) stairs. The castle itself was mentioned first in 1024 AD, one has to reckon that most of the original stairs are gone by now. Personally I am of the opinion they did a good job to rebuild the whole friggin' thing, wait and see.

Oh, actually, see now:

In impressive heap of old and new stones, isn't it? You can climb up inside and enjoy the view from the tower. It's huge.

We walked to one end of the area, I asked Rolf to take a picture. He did it from far away because he can't stand heights and nothing but a fence between him and the abyss. And this is just to prove I was really there!

Then we went inside to climb up and have a look down. I tried to capture the inside but the meagre flashlight on my camera spectalularly failed to iluminate the greatness. Will say: apart from detailed photos I have none of the great hall that is worth looking at. I give you this instead:

My knight in shining armour!

Inside there are many nooks and crannies and, of course, the traditional castle window seats. (Let me tell you, it's no fun sitting there. Forget the view. All you can think about is the cold stone underneath your butt!)

Why, oh why did I leave my knitting outside with my Mom?

The attentive reader will have realized that on this picture is the same spot I stood in before - only that this is it seen from the tower.

From the tower the view can be spectacular, if you have beautiful weather, which we had not. However, I won't leave you with a feeling of deprivation but will show you how it looked when we were there:

And to prove the point of "countless piles of rubbles" here the mountain next to the one we were on:

The tower is another relict built by a knight, duke or king in the middle ages and I can't tell you anything about it. I am aware of my non-knowledge, I don't have any good excuse. To make things worse, on our way out I was looking everywhere for the prominently in the title mentioned dungeon, I couldn't find one, I think it was filled in and please don't tell me you were expecting a dragon, d'oh!

Back to the other reason I like staying in Germany: addis. Or so.

Turns out they are not as easy to find as one would like to believe.

Even a rarer find are books about knitting! In the largest book store in Karlsruhe they had about eight inches reserved for the knitting section, I almost dropped dead. Such a disappointment! And lots of them are really not German, but translations of earlier English publications. Like "Das große Strickmuster Lexikon" is a combination of the second and third book of the "Harmony Guides". Good thing I don't have them or it would have been a big let-down.

The series "Bäuerliches Stricken" (ordered online) concentrates mostly on sock patterns of old times, very interesting, especially for a sock-nut like me. Then there's a book (an original German one, too!) about Gansey knitting, and the obligatory "Rebecca", "Verena" and "Sabrina". "124 alte und neue Strickmuster" was a good find, I looked for it online, too, since my Mom wouldn't part with her copy, tehee.

Looking at all these patterns I couldn't escape inspiration, the cheap sock yarn and two new 60cm-2mm-circs (no addis, but close):

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Leave it to Mom

Leave it to Mom to get things confused. Thoroughly in my opinion. I was expecting Regia on our trip today. I got Schoeller&Stahl. Also Schoeller&Stahl "undercover" as "Ilse-Wolle" (which is too funny since my Mother's name is Ilse and I personally would know if there was yarn named like myself!)

I didn't complain. I looked around and thought it wasn't so bad, after all, Schoeller&Stahl is a respectable brand, too. I kinda overdosed. I bought 1.4 kg of sock yarn for 47€ (75.20CAD), that's just 1.68€/50g ball(2.69CAD).

Surprisingly enough it doesn't look like much, does it?

On our trip to the "shop" (it's one room in the lady's house, really, I forgot to take a picture) we came by the "Trifels Castle" where my parents dragged me often to hike when I was younger.

One can get good Pizza in this restaurant in the town close by. They have a glass covered hole in the floor where the water runs underneath the building and you can watch the old mill wheel go round behind glass while eating.

That's the little stream running underneath the old mill. Usually there are lots of flowerpots and such, I guess the weather wasn't good enough to put them out yet.

Today we did not have pizza (we went there last week) but drank coffee in a combined ice cream/coffee shop, i.e. "Chelini Café". We also had very good cake. Then we dragged our kilos of yarn home and spent the evening admiring our acquisitions.

There's more. I am going to save the showing of several books and magazines for another post. I also have to take a picture first. Off now to think about what sock yarn to use next...

I hope Lee Ann's surgery went well, I keep thinking about her and can't wait to hear the good news.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Thinking of a friend

This is a special post for Lee Ann who has to go through surgery today.

Send the good vibes, and if you are so inclined, say a prayer for her, it will be most welcome, though I am sure that she is going to be OK and showing off her first knitted sock soon!

Lee Ann, I am going to keep my fingers crossed all day mentally, my best wishes for you!!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Things to do in Germany - for example yarn shopping

Lookie who's here with pictures. My dear husband is back from Berlin and has fixed my laptop so I can post with pics again! A big "thank you" goes his way and I hope you are thankful, too. It took about three unplanned days longer than foreseen 'cause herself forgot the 'puter at her Mom's over the weekend...

I have taken some pictures (you know me, it's really more than some but most of them are unusable, so let's say "some") and here are four of them (four because it is getting late here and tomorrow we mean to get an early start, there will be more of course).

Wolle Rödel - a chain store for yarn (and other fibre related needs like embroidery) in Germany. I dig it because the prices are really ok and they are a good source for no-nonsense yarn like 100% wool and merino (there's your share of fun fur, too, but hey, some people actually like this stuff).

And now - drum roll, please - my favourite section:

SOCK YARN! All of it. And there are some baskets and bins with the specials, 100g balls from their house brand and Regia, 150g balls of the 6ply and special colour ways, and all starting at 3.20€/50g ball (about 5.12CAD at the moment, tax included). I bought a 100g ball of the Rödel house brand with cotton for 5.45€ (8.72CAD) which looks exactly like the Lana Grossa "Meilenweit" which is more but still much less than in Canada.

I leave you now with the information that tomorrow my Mom and I are going to make a trip to a shop where one can get Regia for 2€/50g (3.20CAD) where I plan to overdose on sock yarn and fill up my now half empty suitcase.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

This is where I am

I am sorry to say that I did not bring the cable to upload pictures I have taken to my Mom's computer, but since I don't have the matching software either it doesn't really matter, eh? I have high hopes that once Rolf arrives everything will be fixed to everyones satisfaction.

I cannot use my Laptop to make a really nice post with pictures and whatnots (I have to admit blushingly that I'd have to install "Hello" on my Mom's PC and hello, I don't really know how...) so I tell you about some links that show adequately how beautiful the area where I grew up is. The websites of the charming towns and villages of the south-western part of Germany sorely lack any English content, bear with me and have a good look at the pictures!

This is the town where I was born in. My Grandfather and lots of relatives still live there. My Mom and I went there on Saturday just after I arrived and it really looked like on the pictures, just the weather wasn't as nice.

I am staying with my Mom who lives in Kandel where incidentally Rolf grew up also.

Yesterday I spent some time shopping in Karlsruhe which is situated on the other side of the Rhine River where I used to live and work before moving to Canada.

To round things off: Tonight we'll be going here, also pretty and nice to shop in. Click on "Tourismus & Freizeit" and then "virtueller Stadtrundgang" to see pictures, I couldn't make it work otherwise.

I totally understand that links are not as entertaining as posted pictures, nothing I can do about this now. Should everything go as expected count on appearing pictures from Saturday on.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Guess who's on my Shitlist?

That would be sympatico. Thursday came and went and of course NO INTERNET. Rolf called again but to no avail. I won't mention the fact that we both ignored the fact that there's something like the "dial up" service (yes, Miss D, we had no clue we could use that instead, how sad is that?) after we coincidentally found out about it on Thursday. We want our DSL back, now!

BTW, thanks for all the good wishes in the comments - as you might have guessed I am sitting on my Mom's PC in Germany and enjoy DSL provided by the German Telekom. But then she didn't move lately.

My flight was surprisingly pleasant, on time and the train ride from Frankfurt to Karlsruhe let me reminisce (sp??) about times long gone. (Forgive any mistakes in grammar, spelling or else - it's 3.40 a.m. in the morning, for cryin' out loud!)

Uhm, yes, I am aware that this is a blog about knitting, sadly I don't have a lot to report in that area. I was astonished when I realized ONE week had gone by (packing, moving, unpacking) without me picking up anything looking like a knitting needle. But I knit on the plane. I started a sock and got fancy with cables. I have to rip it out because my beauty sense is aggravated by the not so symetric alignment of said cables. Must have been the lack of elbow space, the dry air or the boring movies that made me lose track.

More later, I promise.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Why did I have to say it?

Just a very short post to let you know that we survived the move and have a phone line, cable-tv BUT NO INTERNET. Though I phoned on the 18th of April and the guy assured me everything was taken care of. HA! I shoulda known better.

Talk to you again on Thursday - I hope...