Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter Wonderland

It's cold outside (... there's no kind of atmosphere, I'm all alone, more or less. Let me fly, far away from here, fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun. ... ugh, sorry, Red Dwarf flashback here)

Well, as I said, it's cold, so the logical response from me is to knit something warm.

My first ever self-knitted knee-socks. I used some cheapy yarn in alternating 4-row stripes. The socks were my knitting project from my Japan trip, and so I titled them 'Stripes over Tokyo'

Even though I followed the pattern and did the increase every 10 rows they are a bit tight on the shanks. So next time my plan is to do the increases every 8 rows.

Another knitting project that got finished (the knitting part I did weeks ago) are the second pairs of French Press Felted Slippers. After the hand felting (see here for more) they were still rather big. I could use them, but I wanted to try to get them a little smaller at least.

I put them in the washing machine together with two other felting projects. When I pulled them out I thought I've gone too far and they would only fit a five-year old. But with some tugging and pulling and walking around in the wet slippers, I managed to model them to my feet and now they are a perfect fit.

Sadely I think I did break my washing machine with this project (though I blame the potholder that went in with the slippers for it). It won't pump the water out anymore and my guess would be that the lint got into the pump. I have to see if I can get the machine fixed or not. It's twelve years old, so getting a new one wouldn't be too bad.
In the mean time I bring along laundry when I visit friends ... *grin*

While in Japan I've picked up a kit for Sashinko stitching. The book I bought later here. The technique is fairly simple, but I do like the effect and the geometrical design appeals to me. I've got a few more projects in mind.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sushi & Co.

If you ask anybody about the quintessential Japanese food, I bet you 9 out of 10 people would say it's sushi. They wouldn't be very wrong either, but, on the other hand, the Japanese cuisine is so much more than just sushi. Chicken skewers grilles over an open flame (Yakitori), vegetables dipped in batter and deep fried (Tempura), fatty pork, battered and fried and searved with raw cabbage, and the soups, oh, the soups. There is so much more, really, and it's not all fish.
On my trip to Japan over the last two weeks I had all kinds of food and all of it very Japanese and all of it very good.
Only in Japan, though, I think it was possible to invent something that is a combination of food, technology and entertainment and that's conveyor belt sushi. We went to one restaurant last week and it was great fun (and it was tasty too)
We were sat at a bar and in front of us dozens of different kinds of sushi passed by on a conveyor belt. All you have to do is to take a plate from the converyor belt and enjoy.

Also, in front of you is a computer screen where you can order special kinds of sushi, or soup or deserts. Once you have placed the order a little train drives up on a track above the conveyor belt to where you're sitting with your order. After you take your plates you push another button and the train rushes back into the kitchen ready for the next order.

Once you're done eating, a waitress comes by, counts the stack of plates you have in front of you and all that's left to do is to pay. With a measly 100 yen per plate, it is an actually relatively cheap enjoyment.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Konichi-wa once again. It's another business trip for me to Japan.
Today two of my collegues and I headed to Nikko, a small town about 150km North of Tokyo with many shrines and temples and also the entrance to the Nikko National Park. They are very proud to call themselves a World Heritage Site and they deserve it.

At the entrance of the shrine areal they is this lovely bridge.

Also quite famous are these three monkeys: hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.What intrigued me without ends are the hundreds of stone lanterns which all were covered with moss, giving them a mystique flavor.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Remember the Queen?

It's been a while since I've posted any update on the Queen Nefertiti cross stitch project. This is mostly because I haven't stitched very much on it. Once in a while I pull her out and put in some stitches only to leave her alone for weeks. The area I've been working on is also rather dull, so I don't feel that motivated. There's not much to see in there.

Anyway, after the last update in May, finally another one. The project is still alive and I hope to make more progress soon.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Knitting is all about transformations. First of one starts with a string of yarn, and, by using two long sticks, one turns that string into a flat or even three-dimensional object. It's pretty amazing if you think about it.
But it doesn't end there.
Depending on the material used (preferable natural wool) and the addition of water and agitation, one can turn that somewhat flobby object one has made, into a far more tense and sturdy thing.

Exhibit A (category felting/fulling):

It's not finished yet, really, as I would like to add some embellishment to it. What exactly, I'm not 100% sure yet. My first idea didn't work out, so I'm thinking about alternatives.

Another examble for the magic that is post-knitting transformations is blocking. By soaking the finished object one has knitted into water for half an hour or so, pressing most of the water out and then stretching it with the aid of some blocking wires and/or half a million pins, one can change something that once looked like a bowl of uncooked ramen noodles into something that defys description.

Exhibit B (category lace / blocking, pre-blocked):

and Exhibit C (category lace / blocking, post-blocking):
This is a pair of curtains I've been knitting for my new place in Dresden. I haven't hung them yet, so please keep your fingers crossed they are the correct size.

Another kind of transformation is currently taking place as fall/autum is clearly over for this year and nature has decided to dump a respectable amount of snow on us last Friday. Yep, it's winter.
With snow this early, my guess is that around christmas it will be spring like temperatures ...

Sunday, November 14, 2010


A few weeks ago Aldi had a sale on wool for felting. Never one to refuse to buy yarn on sale, I bought two packs, one in red and one in grey.

For a while already, I've had my eyes on the pattern for the French Press Felted Slippers, so I purchased the pattern, got me a set of needles and went to work. The knitting up was done quickly (I did add some Cascade 220 for the sole and the straps). I then sewed them up and last Thursday I've pulled out my bucket and plunger and started on the felting/fulling process. While I splashed away, I did listen to the soundtrack of Glee on my ipod, hence I dubbed them 'Glees'

It worked out pretty well and they fit nicely.

I might end up making another pair soon ....

Sunday, November 07, 2010

One sock, two sock, three sock, ...

After knitting gloves, I've went back to knitting socks. I guess, my turnover for socks is just bigger, simply because I'll put on my socks in the morning and then off again before I go to bed, wearing them the whole day. However, with gloves I only really ever put them on when I go outside and it's cold. This means of course, that I need to wash my socks much more often than my gloves, meaning that I go through more of them in the term of a week.

And this means, I guess, I'll need to have more socks.

Also, a few weeks ago, I went through my sock drawer at home and culled some of my older experiments in sock knitting and discarded them. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with those old pairs, but this made room in the drawer for some new members to move in.

First of those is this pair.
The pattern is from the first Verena Spezial: In 80 Socken um die Welt ('In 80 socks around the world'). In fact, it's the pair on the the cover, though I shortened the part between the jaquard border and the beginning of the foot by quite a bit. A new technique - for me at least - was the so called Vikkel braid, which is a bit fiddly to do, but the end result's very nice.

Second pair is the pattern 'Lindsay' from Cookie A.'s book 'Sock Innovation'

The yarn is a cotton/wool/nylon mix. It makes for somewhat slouchy socks, but very comfortable. It was the first time I made a garder stitch short row heel and toe, but it was no problem and they turned out really nice.

I'm on the next pair already ...

To knit something else, I've also made a quick hat from a devine silk/merion mix. I haven't actually worn it yet, as the weather was either too warm or too windy.

I'm working on a matching scarf in the same yarn also using the snowdrop pattern. I think I might need to buy another skein of the yarn, as at the moment the scarf looks to be very short. Hmm, as if I need another excuse to visit my favorite yarn store ....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dresden at Night

I'm trying the stretch my fotographic skills and so I dragged my tripod and camera with me to Dresden last night. Luckily the weather was cooperating and there was no rain.

First there are the buildings on the other side of the river from the hotel. I particularly like the moon and the reflections on the water.

Then I went to get the typical skyline. I had to play around with the settings a little to get what I wanted, but eventually, I got this shot.

The conference center next door was hosting a party and put on the special lighting.

And, last, but not least, there was a carnival closeby and I took this shot of the ferris wheel. I like it, but wish there was a way to make it not look like it's falling over backwards. Maybe next time I keep a larger distance

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I've started this blog in July 2006. I wanted to have a forum to showcase my stitching and grafting and photography and to give my family and friends an opertunity to see and hear what I'm up to. I also wanted something for me to keep track of what I've made and I've used this blog more than once to go back a few years and look what I've done back then.

My aim is to make one post every week, updating on Sunday evening if I have the chance, and so far, I'm doing not too badly. This is post 250.

Over the years I've collected 10 followers, which I think is pretty cool.

My mom always complains that I write my blog in English, and I've been think about doing it bilingual, but eventually decided against it. Sorry, mom.
To make you feel a little bit better (I hope) here's a peace offering:

My mom asked me for mittens, so I've made her some.
They're made following a free pattern from DROPS design (sort of - originally the pattern was for gloves, so I improvised) and I used some leftover yarn I've had in my stash. I did run out of the white yarn (Rowan Cotton Wool) for the thumb of the second mitten, so I ribbed out some of the cuff of the first mitten and got just enough to finish the pair.

While working on those, I've also started a pair of gloves for myself. I pulled out one of the skeins I've bought in Backnang and some beads and started 'Galaxy'
They're pretty cool! They're also a complete set, but it's more difficult than one would think to make a picture of your own hands while holding the camera that is used to make the pictures. So, for now, only one hand photographed.

Ah, I almost forgot. My Ringwood gloves have been featured on the Knitty blog, where they show the first couple of finished projects from the latest edition of Knitty.
I'm getting famous!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

A couple of months ago the movie 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' hit the theaters and as I liked what I saw in the trailer, I went, shelled out the Euros and watched it. Three times.

I really liked the look and the feel of the movie, I liked the soundtrack (bought it of course), I liked the actors, I liked the action and the special effects. I liked the humor and the sense that the three brothers really cared about each other (even though two of them accused the third of murdering their father). I liked the story.

Yep, I guess you could say I liked it. A lot.

I've been eying the game 'Prince of Persia: Sands of Time' for quite a long time, but never was sure enough if I really wanted to buy it. First I didn't trust the computing power of my PC, but that was easily fixed by the new computer and so I, driven by the impact of the movie (and the fact that I had to wait so long for the DVD finally hitting the shelves) I got the game and played it.
Even though there have been a couple of really frustrating spots in the game, where I had to repeat a fight several dozen times, some glitches (i.e. the prince needs to move a box to a certain place but he just wouldn't allow me to push it in that direction) and the fact that halfway through the game I lost all my saves when the computer died on me, I really, really enjoyed it. And I'm damn proud I did eventually beat the last battle and thus the game.
I've started on the second part now ('The Warrior Within' was part of a bundle where I got game one and two together) and start to get into the game, but not as much as with Sand of Time. The mood is much darker and the soundtrack is frankly annoying in parts. I'll have to see if I will play it through or not.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gloves Are The New Socks

Last year around this time I was churning out socks like there was no tomorrow. I guess I had a feeling the winter would be long and cold and in the end I was rather glad I had all those socks to keep my feet warm.

This year it's gloves. I'm on my third pair and have at least one more in the pipeline. The first pair were really wrist warmers, but, hey, they're there to keep my hands warm, so I think they count.

The second pair are the Ringwood gloves:
The yarn is some Cherry Tree Hill Supersock yarn I've bought in Florida last year. I've used only about half the skein, so maybe I'll make something else with it (it should be enough for at least one pair of wrist warmers ...)
The pattern is from the lastest Knitty and when I saw it (the pattern) I knew I had to make them. It is a surprisingly easy knit and it took me only about two days.

Speaking of Knitty; this new issue is great. The one before was a bit on the bla side of things and the only thing I wanted to knit (and did knit) was the Coquille shawl (and that pattern only showed up as a surprise pattern a few months after the original issue was puplished)

The new issue, now, I have already faved about seven pattern, and though I don't know if I really will knit them all, they are definitly on my list if I'm looking for something in that area.

First one is Eileen, a lovely, lacey cardigan with clear, simple, none-frilly lines. It looks like a nice, every day cardigan, which would work great with what I like to wear.

Pretty Maids looks like a cool lace shawl. I love to knit lace, but to be honest I don't usually wear them. So this is more something I would like to make, but propably won't as I don't know what to do with it once it's done. One the other hand, I might just take the lace pattern and make a scarf from it ... this might work.

Eleanor is another one that looks cool, and a cowl is currently a very 'in' item to have. For this I would need the perfect yarn, though, something with cashmir or like that, just something übersoft.

Brumbles seems to be a cool hat. I imagine it would be nice together with a matching scarf with the same cable pattern as the hat's edge.

Another hat I like would be Spry. This has the advantage that I would have the perfect yarn in my stash already, so I'm rather tempted.

I also love the two sock pattern in that issue (Riff and Nemesis) and could imagine knitting them both. Even Kilravock would work for me. That is if I wanted to knit some knee length socks. Which, if this winter turns out as cold as the last one, might be a posibility.

So, all in all, a really good issue with many possibilies.

Until I get around to knit those, I've made one little addition to my household. Last weekend I went to see 'Despicable Me' and I loved it. Leaving the theater I knew I had to make myself one of the minions from the movie. They are sooooooo cute. I love them. So I present you 100 (so named because he's my 100th project I've posted on Ravelry)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Happy Birthday, Big Sister

Last week was my big sister's *mumblemumble* birthday (it was one of those round ones everybody is scared of, so I will not name the number)
So, a happy birthday to you!!!
As my sister is living in Sweden and I'm not, it will be a while until she gets her birthday present, but at least I can show it to her now.

It a log cabin afghan with noro and lopi yarn (so it's sort of a Japanese / Icelandic joint project). Size is 180 x 180cm, plenty big enough to keep you warm in the cold Swedish winters. It already kept me warm while I was sewing everything together.

I would have finished it exactly on your birthday if not for an error I discovered after I started putting everything together. I fixed it now, so no worries.

The colors are to die for:

I hope you like it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Not Knitting Fast Enough

I'm currently knitting a small shawl (Coquille Shawl). The pattern says I would need about 370 meters. I've got 420 meters (one ball of Crazy Zauberball in blue/green/gray), so I'm okay.
Of course, I wouldn't write about if this would have been no problem.

I noticed fairly early on that it might be a bit tight, that there's wouldn't be much yarn left over once I'm done, but I've plowed on. I just followed the old maxim that if you think you might not have enough yarn, you just knit faster. So you'd be able to finish before the yarn runs out.

Of course, this doesn't really work, and I got the point where I've got about one repeat of the pattern to do and still 30 stitches on the needle when the yarn ran out.


So, the only thing I could do really, was to rip the shawl back up until about half way point, take out one repeat there and start again working my way back to the end.

Luckily it's a rather fun pattern and the changes in the yarn also keep it entertaining.

Hey, the way I see it, I'll get about 50% more knitting enjoyment out of it than if I'd finished it already.


At least that's what I've been telling myself....
Ah, almost forgot, I've got my computer back. They just reinstalled win7 and sent it back. Naturally, now I wonder if the next time I need to do a recovery I'll end up with exactly the same problem.
I've got a lot of data in the backup, but I still suffered a few losses. All the pictures I've took between May and September are gone as I stored them on a different partition of the hard disk which, as it seems, had not been backuped. Luckily nothing really important, but still it sucks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Internet is very dodgy right now, so this will be short.

Computer update: the new computer is at the computer doctor to be fixed. Careful estimate is three to four weeks.

On the old computer, the internet is not working well. It's okay right now, but I don't know for how long. (Well, it didn't last long ... I hope this can get out, but I'm not holding my breath)

To lighten my mood (and because we bought tickets weeks ago) a friend and I drove to Backnang, a small town close to Stuttgart, in order to knit. It's the second annular German Ravelry Meeting and hundreds of ladies (and a few brave men) came together to talk about yarn, pattern and techniques. And to oogle the lovely yarn on sale.

There was a lot of it. Even a pool full. Takes the term 'stash diving' to a whole new level. Some lucky ladies got the opportunity to fill large bags with that yarn, but sadly not me.

Instead, I took those home with me:

From left to right:

- Wetterhoff Silvia (30% silk, 70% wool) lace yarn

- Sedapur by wollerey (100% Schappé silk)

- Zauberglöckchen sock yarn (75% super wash wool, 25% polyamid)

- 2x Zauberglöckchen tweed melage sock yarn (75% super wash wool, 25% polyamid)

- Spinning Martha (100% merino)

- Spinning Martha sock yarn ((75% super wash wool, 25% polyamid)

and - Zauberglöckchen lace (baby alpaca, cashmere and silk)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Code Purple

My lovely new computer died on me yesterday. It started out small, with it wanting to dial up the internet and I'm telling him that with the new router it didn't need to do that. I've got the new router for two weeks now and even though the computer insisted once or twice that it wanted to dial up, I usually just cancelled and the computer accepted that. No problems with getting into the internet either.
Now, yesterday it didn't accept it, so I do my usual thing, which is to power the computer down. It will be fine once it's back up, right.
As I boot up again, it suddely insists to do a recovery and format the hard disk.
Still, no panic yet. I have a back up, so once windows is installed again, I'm fine.
Wrong again!
The coumputer does the install, everything seems to be fine but when it reboots again, eventually I get a 'configuration error'.
Just that, a 'configuration error'. And, at the end of the text, which instructs me to call service (which, as it's Saturday is no answering the phone ...) the message 'code purple'
What the f*** is a 'code purple'?

Long story short, my new computer is dead, Jim, and I'm back to my old one, which I luckily have kept around.
This one, surprisingly, doesn't have any problems with the internet. At least I've got that.

Good thing I don't have any pictures anyway. I'm focusing on a big, secret project right now, which, because it's secret, I can't show right now..

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Preparing for Winter

I know, I know, winter is still a good way away (luckily), but then one can never start early enough with winter knitting.

So, my first 'wintery' project are the Sourwood Mountain handwarmers (or fingerless gloves) knitted in some leftover yarn from the brown cardigan I knitted May 2009.

I love them!!!

I also finished the Shaelyn shawl in Jawoll Magic. I hoped for seven repeats of the pattern, but ran out of yarn about two rows from the end, so I improvised a bit. I don't think it hurt the project though. As a shawl it's a bit on the smallish side, but I think it should still do the job.

Colors are a very dark blue/grey to a nice mid blue.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Look, I've made something

My friend lost the film container she had used to store her needles (sewing, stitching, you name it ...). She's been complaining about it for weeks, so I decided I solve the problem for her. 2008 I've made the Needle Case Guardian by Teresa Wentzler. This time I've decided to stitch it on a blue fabric. I had to change a few things, but in essence it's the same needle case.

I gave it to her yesterday and she seemed very happy about it.

Then, a few weeks ago, I came across a yarn called 'Sekku' by Noro yarns. As most Noro yarns it is very bright with many different collors. Sekku is a lace weight yarn (about 400m to 50g) made from cotton, silk, wool and nylon. It feels very nice.
I've decided to crochet a scarf from it and I used every last scrape. In the end it turned out a bit on the shortish side with only 150cm, but over all it's okay.

Knitting wise I'm make a triangular scarf from Jawoll Magic (the same yarn I've made my last socks). The pattern is called Shaelyn. I hope I have enough yarn for one more repeat.
Keep your fingers crossed.

My new internet connection is acting up a bit. I hope I get that posted ....

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Though I did knit and crochet a little this week, I haven't photographed any of this yet. So other pictures for now...

I've played around a bit with Photoshop. I've got the software and a 2,5 kg book to go with it, and I'm really only at the very beginning, but I like what I've did so far.
The bike I photographed in Sweden this winter. I left the saddle and the rear light in the original color, but black and whited everything else.
Same principle, on an owl I photographed about a year ago in Büdingen.

Last, but not least, I flower I photographed last week at our BBQ.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lizards and Snakes and Fish, Oh My!

The family of one of my friends is breeding repiles. Yesterday, we've came together for our annular barbeque and so I took the chance to take a few pictures (which wasn't that easy with the animals being indoors and the lighting being rather poor)

This little chapp is living together with three others of his family (I'm rather sure he didn't even say 'sorry' for stepping on his siblings tail ....)

He just had shedded his skin and was still working on getting rid of the last bits of his old skin in his face
I don't even know if this is a he or a she

Oh, and they have beautiful fish too.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

176 grams

... is the weight of a feather(weight cardigan)

I finished knitting it today, but still need to block it. It is soaking right now.
I have the feeling it turned out as too large. The sleeves are definitely too wide. But then, I can always wear it to slouch in at home, so who will know?

Also finished the Wandering Vine socks from the 'Think outside the Sox' book I've got for my birthday. I used Jawoll Magic for it and love, love, LOVE the shading. The yarn is a bit on the splitty side, so you have to pay attention when knitting, but the result is wonderful and very soft.

The was a mistake in the charts for the pattern, but nothing too difficult to figure out.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Last time I've been to Dresden I've brought my camera along. The weather was glorious (though a bit on the hot side), so I also went to Moritzburg, which is a castle close to Dresden.

A gryphon on the roof of the Semper Oper:
Sunset at the river:
The castle at Moritzburg:
The castle was once used as a hunting retreat:
A swan on the lake.