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)

Saturday, August 13, 2011


There are few yarns in the knitting world that cause a hype such as those sold by the Wollmeise. A couple of years ago it was still possible to simply go online and order the yarns in the colors you wanted – you could even ask for different shades (light/medium/dark).

Nowadays, you have to be there (online) right on time when the weekly job update happens on Friday mornings. Still, there’s a good change that between the time you manage to put a skein in the color you want into your shopping basket and the time after you dug your credit card out of your purse in the living room, the skein will not be available anymore. This has let to skeins being sold on ebay for ridicules amounts of money. On Ravelry, skeins of Wollmeise being offered in trade are gone within seconds. People downright horde skeins. “My precious” is heard more than once as proud owners cradle their skeins. One might get the impression they are made of gold.

Other than buying online, there are very few places you actually can go and buy this yarn. Here in Germany there is a brick and mortar store in Pfaffenhofen (close to Munich), but this is only open every other weekend or so, which makes going there a little bit difficult for the average working stiff. Except, once per year (I think), the shop is open for a whole week. However, you can’t buy the regular yarn during that week, but only second choice, the ‘unlucky fellows’ (aka ‘Unglücksraben’) that didn’t quite made the cut, may it because the color didn’t quite come out the way they should have, or because there are knots in the skeins, or because the skeins are under weight.

Still, even with those little flaws, the yarn is still very, very pretty.

So, on Thursday, on my way from Frankfurt to Dresden, I took a little detour. What is 300km for some Wollmeise yarn, really? I know of people who fly from the US just to shop there (though, I guess, usually they try to sell it to their family as a jolly good vacation in the lovely country of Germany).

I arrived around 2pm in Pfaffenhofen and quickly found my way to the store. Overwhelmed by wool fumes and assaulted by pretty colors I stumbled back out 45 min later, a good part of my money gone, but with 10 skeins of sock yarn in blues, green, red, honey and white and 2 skeins of lace yarn in blue.

For the lace yarn I plan on making another Featherweight cardigan and the sock yarn calls to being knit into a nice colorful blanket and/or maybe even into socks.

But for now, I’m going to sit next to my pretty new yarn any time I can and pet it a little bit now and then.

Monday, August 08, 2011

General Update

I've now got 329 patches for the scrap sock yarn blanket. I decided to put them together on a bias using off white sock yarn. The reason I picked the white is A) I have at least 4 skeins of it as I bought it a long time ago with the intention of dying it and B) the white is nicely neutral and doesn't swallow the other colors in the blanket. I gave it a try putting five rows together and I do like it a lot. It does curl a little bit at the corners, but I hope with some light blocking this will go away. The stripe is 200cm wide with 16 patches across.

I would love to go on putting those squares together, but as I still have about 150 - 180 patches more to make and I don't know what colors I'll end up with, I had to put a stop on it. It's just too much fun picking up a patch at (more or less) random and see how it goes with the others around it.

Those socks have been finished some time ago, but only now I got around to take the picture.

The yarn is Opal Handpainted in the colorway 'Asien' and the pattern is Spring Forward from an older issue of Knitty.I now wish I had made about a half repeat more on the leg section, but, well, it is what it is. Besides, the left over yarn is already used up in the blanket (you can even see one of the patches in the top picture)

Then, I pulled out my loom again and using up some yarn I bought because I liked the color very much (and it is still a great color), but when the yarn arrived I discovered that it is one of the most scratichest yarns I've ever got and certainly not usuable for socks (I think it was labeled a sock yarn, but I'm not sure now).

Anyway, I added some golden yarn to the mix and going to weave a piece of fabric I then plan to make into a small project bag.