Sunday, December 30, 2007

268 out of 447

My friends Gisela and Ralf have returned from their well deserved trip to Florida and nice people as they are, they brought back a whole bunch of DMC threads (among other things ... )
DMC threads are expensive here in Germany (I'm talking about $1.50 for one skein, no kiddin'), so everytime somebody gets across the pond, they get an order for DMC threads.
Once I've got them, I had, of course, to update my DMC list - the list of all threads I have as whole skeins (once a skein gets wrapped for stitching - I use the bobbin system - it gets off the list)
Updating the list (which I do 2 or three times a year) includes taking out all skeins and make sure that the list is right. There are always one or two mistakes, but luckily nothing so far that has bit me in the butt.

This is 800 - 996

Once all are checked against the list and everything is updated, I put them back in the storage cabinet I've made a couple of years back.

It's basically a little box with nine drawers I've got some time ago at Ikea (I checked, it looks like they don't carry it any more). I treaded the wood to make it darker, then painted the fronts blue. In seven of the drawers are the standard DMC threads, then there's one for all metalics and one for 'others' (like verigate (sp?) threads, silks and so on)

For the records, I've got currently (as skeins) 268 different solid DMC colors (out of 447 colors available according to the DMC thread card 2001). Obviously I've got still a bit to go before I've all.

Well, christmas is over for this year and it had been quite nice. My sisters were both out of the country (one in Sweden the other in South Africa), so we didn't have any gift giving under the tree like every year. We decided a long time ago that we don't get any gifts for the adults, which is perfectly fine with me as it takes out a lot of the pre-christmas stress. Still I've got a puzzle from my friend Bill and I also treaded myself with some totally useless.
At least there was a tree:

Some of my time the last week was taken up with finally finishing Zelda: the Twilight Princess. I've manged to kill the big, big boss after a long battle last Friday. Go me!

I did some knitting but not that much really, as I've spent more time on the computer writting once again.

Well, so much for 2007. All in all, I'd say it was a good year for me. I'm healthy and got a good job, which counts for a lot nowadays. I've got good friends, which makes life even better. If I'd have to pick one highlight I'd probably go for the flight over Misty Fford in July this year. Considering that just a week after I've I took the trip one of the planes on the same tour crashed and everybody on board was killed, I count myself lucky.

To everybody a happy new year.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings over the last year and especial thanks to anybody who left a comment.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

White Christmas

Everybody is dreaming of a white Christmas (exept maybe those living in a northern country and thus get all the snow they possibly could want and more).
Here in Germany it's usually a less than 50 percent chance of snow on Christmas eve. Normally it's just too warm for snow and I remember many a Christmas where it just was miserable and wet and not at all like the postcards depict it.
This year, though, there's a really strange thing going on and one I don't remember ever happening before (at least not at Christmas time). It's not snowing and there's no snow and there will be no snow, but still, there's a white Christmas. What's going on is that it's been cold the last couple of days and then, suddenly, fog rolled it and the fog started to form white frost (there's a link to Wikedipia here to explain it, in case I didn't make myself clear)

It's quite lovely actually (as you can see from the pics I've made just in front of my door)

Though the coolest one is the frozen spideweb on my balcony.

Isn't that just cool?

Well, it being cold outside and Christmas just around the corner, I've started a second batch of cookies. Didn't have much time for it so far this year (with the trip to Japan and all) so I had to hurry to get any done.

From left to right:
- Coconut macaroons (which I've made actually end of November)
- Angel Eyes (a soft shortbread cookie with some jelly in the center)
- cinamon hearts (tradition dictates that it should be in the form of a star, but I couldn't find my star cooky cutter - they still taste great)
- ginger-honey halfmoons (with candied ginger - after that photo was taken I've decorated them with a bit of chocolate, so those are not the final versions)
- and finally my first attempt on honey cake cookies (also called Basler L├Ąckeris). I have to admit the attempt wasn't a full success as the stuff turned out to be rather on the hard side (and now that I've found there's an entry for those in Wikepedia, I learn that they are suppossed to be hard, so maybe not a failure after all ;)).

Finally, I'm still knitting socks. Though yesterday I've first had to do some repairs on some older socks. I know, I said a couple of weeks ago that I don't really need new socks as the old ones don't wear out. So much for that statement, as I've found out last week.

Luckily I've still got plenty of the original wool left (Wollmeise in the color Thunderstorm Sky), and it was only the lower foot affected, so I had to rip up only a little bit and could fairly easily fix the problem.

A Very Merry Christmas to everbody.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

There's wool in Japan

... though it's not that easy to find, sometimes.
To start with, I've found a list from the Tokyo Stitch 'n Bitch for yarn stores in Tokyo. From the three I noted from this list, I couldn't find the first, because I couldn't even find the subway station, the second I found the subway station, but not the store (but I found a lovely place, selling beads) and the last one I only found after I basically had given up and was on my way back to the station - the name was writting only on one side of the building in western letters. However, that last one was certainly I hit.

Those will be one day two pairs of socks (both are 100% wool, though not sure if they are superwash):

Thouse will eventually be knitted up into a shawl (with beads):

This one is already in the process of being turned into a fancy little shawl (very glittery that one):

Those ... I have no idea what I make with those, but they were just too pretty to pass up:

Of course, having all this wool, with no clear idea what the yarn actually contains, is a bit of an adventure in knitting and also the fact that there will be no more of it (at least not until my next Japan trip which might be some time)

Back home, I finished today the second of the green pair of socks:

I managed to match them almost perfectly :)
Yarn is Regia 4 ply Canyon Color 2810, the pattern is basically the Mermaid Socks from Cool Socks Warm Feet, though I've changed cuff, heel and toes and also made it so that pattern doesn't go across the sole (and this was a bit fiddly to find out). I've tried to make the second sock spin in the other direction, but it didn't work out the way I wanted so both twist in same way.
My mon volunteered to take them off my hands, so there's going to have a new home soon.

Trip homw wasn't too bad - I'm tiered, though ...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

konnichi wa

Yep, Japan again.

I'll quickly skip over the long flight (11:00 hours) and the jetlag (yes, I have it), to come to the good bits.

A) The weather: Since I've arrived here it's been sunny and comfortable. Yes it's sort of cold (after all, it's winter here, too) but not too bad really, and almost no wind.

B) Food: Yummy. One example lunch today

First, though, you have to tackle the menue.

Many restaurants in Japan have picture menues and also often have some sort of examples of what they have to offer in form of a plastic model. Sad to say, this restaurant didn't. Luckily one of my collegues is bi-lingual (English / Japanese), so he helped us to get what we wanted.

I wanted Udon soup (with tempura)

C) History: We went to visit Matsumoto, which is famous for its castle.

400 years old and in an excellent condition (it never saw a battle, though, even though it was as a fortress originally). To protect the indoor floors, every visitor gets a pair of slippers and they have to carry their outdoor shoes in a plastic bag with them. I don't know why we got nicer slippers then the rest, but well, we did. Maybe because we were obviously foreigners.

D) Knitting: This time I opted for not taking any cross stitch, but concentrate instead on some knitting. So I took a skein of Rowan kidsilk haze and started on a fancy little scarf.

I already pretty much doubled the length from the one in this pictures on the (long) train ride back.

So, tomorrow I'll go to Tokyo for some shopping (electronics, maybe another lens for my camera and, if I can find it, some yarn)