Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of Year Statistics

There've been 42 projects for me this year.

8 projects have been weaving, the rest mostly knitting with some crocheting thrown in.
I wove a couple of scarfs, but knitting some as well.
I've made 7 pairs of socks, though only 3 pairs stayed with me, the rest went to friends and family.
I finished two large blankets (one knitted, one crocheted)
I also made two cardigans for me.
For collegues I've made two bady cardigans (and probably will make another one for next year)

If I put all the bandwraps of all the yarn I've used last year into a big bowl I get something like this:

That is 116 band wraps!
If I add up all the yarn I've used this year, I discover that I've knitted about 24.5 km of yarn.
As I have - according to my stash list in Ravelry - still 55.3 km yarn available at home, I should be okay for the next 2 years at least.

The last project for 2011 is this hat. It has the lovely name 'Wurm' and it made with two shades of Wollmeise Twin yarn. The lighter yarn does match my new jacket, so I hope I'll get a lot of use out of it.
To all, a Happy New Year 2012. Stay healthy and be happy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Military History

The Museum for Military History reopened a couple of months ago after its remodeling by the US star-architect Daniel Liebeskind (funny little side note here, when I had my prom at the end of dancing school, my partner's name was also Liebeskind, though I think he was a Detlef ...).
I do like this new addition to the place, a pretty cool mix of classic and modern. From the tip of the wedge you also have a pretty good view out over Dresden.
The museum itself was quite interesting - we Germans have a somewhat strange view at our military history and it certainly wasn't always flowers and songs. So it's not an easy task to find a good balance to show to the audience.The building has a lot of unusual angles and corners, and on one of the slanting walls they displayed a couple of bombs seemingly falling directly down on you. Not a nice thought to know that not too long ago those weren't just props in a museum, but real bombs made to kill people.

Mom, the second jigsaw is done:

Hey, this is post 300.
Go me!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Knitting Update

The knitting part for Cria is finished. I got 20 buttons (10 for the front and 2x5 for the cuffs) but still need to sew then on. After than it's washing and blocking and then the exciting moment where it turns out if it fits or not.
For my new Jack Wolfskin winter jacket, I made a short scarf. It's just long enough to cross properly on my chest, which is okay, and enough to keep the wind out. I would have liked it to be a little bit longer, but I ran out of the light yarn. It's nice and warm and soft, though - everything a scarf should be.
Still, a few more centimeters would have been nice.

Everybody is knitting a Hitchhiker shawl, so I'm doing one, too. I'm using Wollmeise Twin in the colorway 'Wasserratz' plus some beads on each tip. Totally love it. I did a test on the Magic Square Potholder and it turned out okay - only, there's not enough yarn left to make a second one in the same color way, so this one will be a single. So, instead, I'm making a striped version with some leftover cotton yarn I still have. It will be very colorful, I think.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

That Season Again

It might come as a surprise to some, but it's x-mas season again. Didn't we just have one last year and the year before? It can't be THAT time of the year again!
As my family decided years ago to not give presents among the adults, this time is actually fairly relaxing for me. No need to hunt for that one perfect present among throngs of other desperate shoppers with the same goal. I have the whole year to look around and if I happen to come across something I just know one of my loved ones will like, I can buy it and give it to them any time I like.
Ah, the season of peace.Being in Dresden, It is inevitable that at one point or another I'm going to check out the local Christmas Market. The Strietzelmarkt is Germany's oldest Christmas Market and it's been held for 577 years. Yupp, that's longer than Christoph Columbus 'discovering' America.
The Market is held in the Altmarkt square and attracts millions of visitors.
As it was just too warm for the famous muled wine tradionally drunken on a christmas market, I just stroled around and looked at the things on display.Funny thing about Dresden, though, there's not just one christmas market, there are (at least) five.
There's the one on the Newmarket square, which is more craft orientated (it's my personal favorite)There's the medievil one in the Stallhhof (stable court yard)There's one next to the Frauenkirche (not to be confused with the one on the Neumarkt, even though they are no more than 50m appart).
There's one on the other side of the river with a big ferris wheel.
And I'm sure, there are more ...

Finally, Mom, prove I finished the jigsaw puzzle:
It was easy and it took me 2 ~ 3 hours, tops.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sock Month November

There's something about the cold, wet fogginess of November to promt a person to start knitting socks.

First pair is rather spring-y (as in the month spring) with colorful flowers on a green lawn. I bought the green yarn last year in Bagnang at the Ravelry meetup, but didn't find a suitable pattern for it until I came across this one here.Second pair is made from the prescious Wollmeise in the color 'Mon Cherie' (plus 'Natur' and a wee bit of 'Fliederbusch'). This pair was a birthday present for a dear friend. Lastly, another skein of yarn I've bought in Bagnang. It's Zauberglöckchen handdyed in the color o'yello. As the pair turned out a wee bit too small, I asked a friend if she liked it and she did.
If those colors don't chase the November blues away, I don't know.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Early Start

X-mas is still 36 days away, but I've already did get my christmas cookie baking out of the way. Thing is I've had a week vacation time, and no other chance to do the baking so it was was either now or never. Never would probably have been better for my weigth ...

The first lot is not exactly what it should have been (mainly, the shape should have stayed much more defined), but still they are yummy, so no complaining.
The cinamon stars are an every year stable. I love them.

Another stable, ginger Heidesand (a very buttery, shortbread type of cookie). This time with some orange peel added to the mix.

And, finally, butter cookies filled with jam. Not only pretty, but also very tasty.

All in all, very happy with my production this year.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Six Heads and One Hat

The plan was to go to Berlin and visit the famous bust of Nefertiti (or 'Nofretete' as she is spelled in German)
Sadely, even though it's permitted to take photos all over the Neue Museum, it was 'verboten' to do so in the room she's kept. So all I have as a proof is a shot I snug in while the guard wasn't in the way (he somehow managed to sidle just into my line of sight every time I lifted the camera to to a shot)

Yepp, that's her, the blurry golden spot in the center of the picture.

Luckily, there were plenty of other photo opertunities. Like this guy, just on the other side of the long corridor.

He was quite tall (and I forgot who he was supossed to be).

I rather liked this relief.

This guy has a bit of a nose problem, but other than that I am just amazed how smooth the surface of this bust looks. He also has a bit of a smirker ;)
Speaking of smirks... No idea who he is, or were he comes from. He has rather big ears, too.

This is the Boy from Xanten ('Xanterer Knabe'). He was found in the river Rhein 150 years ago, but is originally of Roman origin. He's in a pretty good condition for somebody who spend hundereds of years in the water.

Finally, the 'Berliner Goldhut' (Berlin Golden Hat). The hat is a 'late Bronze Age' artefact, that - at least that's what archeologists are thinking - can be used as a calender to calculated the sun- and the moon years. Maybe not a fashion statement, but pretty cool nonetheless.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hail the Queen

Last week I finished a stitching project for a change.
Nefertiti - The Beauty of Egypt, a kit out of the Joandoor Collection by Lanarte.
I stitched the matching King Tutankamum in 2007/2008 and plan on placing them next to each other in my guest room.
I worked on her on and of for a good 1 1/2 years. The reason it took so long is simply that I don't stitch that much any more, doing more knitting lately.
So, now all I have to do is visiting her in Berlin for real (I did see Tutankamum's mask many years ago, so Nefertiti's bust is sort of a must, now). Maybe next week on my day off if the weather is not too bad.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still Alive

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth. I'm still here and busy.

I have finished one project and started on two more. I've also done some more cross stitch on my 'Nefertiti' and am sooooo close to finish here.

Finished project are the socks for my mom (remember the blue-green-brown sock from the last post). I've added some liquid rubber dots on the soles so they are not so slippery and will hand them over to my mom next week when I see her.
(I could wait for her birthday, but that wouldn't be quite fair as it's cold right now and socks are needed to keep ones feet warm)

Cria also made some progress:

Actually, I by now finished the body part and started with the first sleeve. Still looking good and the fit is also good, though for the next time (and there might be a next time, as I really love this pattern) I would add some more stitches in the front, as it's a rather open cardigan.

Spectra is at wedge 56 or 57, so maybe 75% done.

I've started a new pair of socks with flowers in fair isle knitting. I call them 'Blumenwiese'.

I've also started a beaded cowl in malabrigo lace yarn which is sooooooooo soft. Pure joy to knit with.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


With the big sock yarn blanket project out of the way I've got time again for other things (not that having a big project to work on normally would stop me from working on other projects, but for some reasons I was fairly monogamistic with the blanket, which is pretty unusual for me)

Anyway, since the sock yarn blanket is done, I've made not one but two pairs of wristwarmers. One pair I've got no photo handy, the other pair is here.

The pattern is a freebie by Hanne Falkenberg, a danish designer. I got a copy of the pattern in my favorite yarn store in Dresden and had to cast on right away. Super fast knit and lovely end products.

Then I'm ready to tackle the replacement of my mom's favorite socks. I've made them in November 2007 and already got them back for repair once. This time though, I decided to knit the same socks again in another color.

First one's done and it does fit, so I'm off onto the second one.

After my recent burst of Wollmeise aquicions I thought it might be a good idea to knit with some of it. Though, to be honest, I also would have liked to leave the skeins alone in their unearthly lovelyness. It's sort of a 'eating the cake / keeping the cake' thing.
Anyway, I cast on Spectra by Stephen West. The bluish yarn is the Wollmeise 100% Merino in the color Silberdistel (Silver Thistle), the other a skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn I happened to have in my stash. Love - LOVE - this combination.
And, finally, I did cast an for Cria a lovely little cardigan by Ysolda out of her book 'Little Red In The City'. It's a top down cardigan with set-in arms, only you don't sew in the arms in the end, but knit them as you go. Simply brilliant. I'm not 100% sure on the yarn (Rowan Revive in the color basalt), though. To begin with, the gauge is way off, so I'm following the pattern for a much smaller size. Also, the yarn is pretty rough to knit with (though it does soften a lot once it's been washed). And it smells. And I'm not sure I have enough.
Ah well, I will see.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blanket of Many Colors and Yarns

In May, I started turning my sock yarn left overs into something useful.
I picked a pattern from Drops and began to crochet small sqares from all the little balls of sockyarn, which have accumulated over the years. I made squares in blue, in green, red, orange, grey, brown, pink, yellow and any combination thereof. When a ball got too small for a full square, I combined it with others to make multicolored patches (up to five colors sometimes).

After getting 512 patches together (long since I had run out of my own scrapes and asked for and received donations from friends), I started to crochet them all together, using some off-white sock yarn I had in my stash. I had four skeins, but this was not enough, I needed a fifth one, which luckily was found in a friends yarn basket.
I didn't follow any particular order, only made sure that not two identical colors ended up next to each other.
I still need to wash the blanket and lightly block it. I hope that stops the curling on the edges.

Technical info:
material - sockyarn, about 2 kg I think
Regia 4ply, Regia hand-dyed, Regia Cotton, Colinette Jitterbug, Wollmeise 100%, Opal Hand-Painted, Gründle, Noro Sock Yarn, Lana Grossa Meilenweit, Schoppelwolle Admiral, Zitron Trekking Hand Art, Schoppel Zauberball, Mark & Kattens Fame Trend, Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic, ....

Crochet hook - 2.5 mm and 3 mm

Pattern - Crochet DROPS blanket in ”Delight” and ”Fabel” for the squares, the rest I sort made up as I went

Size - about 200 x 220 cm

Final thoughts - I just can't quite express how much I love this blanket. Colors I never thought would go together are happily next to each other and the whole thing is just amazing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Baby Surprise Jacket

I don't know why I don't knit more baby stuff. There are only advantages.

A) you don't need much yarn. You can pick a ball or two (or three) and for a little bit of money you get enough material for a complete project. Not like a jacket for myself which is really quite a bit of an investment.
The yarn below I scored at I Knit in London. At this time I didn't know if it would be a boy or girl, so I went with something fairly neutral.

B) Knitting something for a baby is usually a very quick knit. The Baby Surprise Jacket (aka BSJ) by Elizabeth Zimmerman is a hugely popular pattern for it's fast and fun (and really a bit surprising - that woman was a genius). There are more than 16000 projects for this pattern on Ravelry as of today. It took me one weekend to finish. It's still missing buttons, though.

C) Finished projects are super cute and one has the sudden urge to find a random baby to put the jacket on.

And there lies the problem (that's why I don't to more of that stuff). I have a certain lack of babies around me. And I don't see how this will change in the near future.
Ah well, back to knitting stuff for myself. How much yarn do I need for this .....?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Three Guesses

... on where I've been. 'London'?
Damn, you're good.
I took a quick trip to visit a friend, do some sightseeing and watch a couple of shows.
On the first day I've rode the London Eye and got a great view on Parlament and Big Ben.I then walked down to the Tower Bridge.On the second day I then visited the Queen.I also went to see two shows: 'We Will Rock You' and 'War Horse'.

I saw 'We Will Rock You' a couple of years ago in Köln and enjoyed it a lot. It's one of those musicals with an abandonce of energy that will have you dancing in the aisles at the end. Loved it.

'War Horse', on the other hand, is a bit more serious. It's based on a children's book by Michael Morpurgo, showing the horrors of World War I through a horse's point of view. The play was excellent and I was blown away by the puppetry (or 'horse choreography' as they called it) which was used to bring the horses to life. The play has won quite a few awards, and rightly so.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Berlin, Berlin (again)

It's been a while since the last time I've went to Berlin. Of course, this time I just had to pick one of the hottest days this year to go.

Still, the sights were something to see, so sightseeing I did.

Brandenburger Tor

I actually wondered if I ever walked through it before or not. This time, I did.

Reichstag (no, I didn't get inside. You have to reserve well in advanced)

Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas (or, short, the Holocaust-Memorial)

Die Siegessäule

In the Pergamonmuseum, the Market Gate of Miletus

One of the lions on the wall of the Gates of Babylon. The colors and details of those is absolutely amazing.

And finally (but certainly not least), a very different tower … A Ritter Sport Chocolate Tower (though, to be honest, this is only a mock up, but one can wish … and, I think there was enough chocolate in that place to make it real)

I haven't seen half of what I wanted to see and done half of what I wanted to do, so I guess another visit to Berlin will happen soon(ish)