Saturday, February 24, 2007

Too many pictureless posts

...that's why you get 2 this time!
K is just on his way back to Munich, he's somewhere over Asia right now. He's also bringing the camera back, so I can start taking pictures real soon again. I'm cleaning out our place a bit today, so he won't be too shocked when he arrives tomorrow morning.

This first picture is from the first weekend of February (time is running, it's incredible how fast it is!) when the Security Conference was on. K and I stumbled in the middle of a rally, and I had the feeling (yet again) that there was more police than demonstrators. What was also striking was the number of young and firm police guys... as if they were fresh from the academy.

Apparently, the whole conference weekend when quite smoothly, no excesses whatsoever.

On the yarn front I have some sort of finished objects. Remember my pot holders made from recycled yarn? I think I had 4 small ones before, and ended up with 3 large ones (the pic shows the latest 2). The crocheting is all done, all I have left is to weave in the ends and I'm not really loving this part. I guess I'll do that when I can't work on the K_sweater any more.

The K_sweater is doing good, the sleeves are all done now! But before I begin putting it all together so I can knit on the turtle neck, I'm ripping out the top parts of both back and front. I'm making the bit between the armpit and the shoulder decreases a bit larger so it doesn't pinch or is too short. I'm sooo close to finishing this one! I can't tell you how excited I am... this would be the first sweater that fits, hopefully! Okay, it's the first sweater at all, if I don't count the baby jumper for my nephew. Stay tuned for more sweater news next week!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Video Day - Knitted Ferrari

This is only a short one, and I think it has been around a bit before... but enjoy it anyway!

Somebody seems to have just too much time on her hand!

ETA: Interweave Knits replied to my email that my copy of the new issue is late or missing. They said all subscribers should have the Spring Issue 07 by March, 2nd. I'll wait and see...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Needles for cheap

You know what happens when you oversleep? You miss out on a chance of cheap knitting needles. That's what happened to me today. German discounter supermarket Lidl (there's one in the UK, too, different offers though) had knitting needles, yarn and crochet hooks as their special offer today. I went there, and, needless to say, the needles and hooks were all sold out. Damn! That was the only thing I really had wanted to buy, as the yarns were totally unsightly. I'm thinking right now if I should try going to another branch, but I'm not sure if they have any leftover. Is it a waste of time? I couldn't take a close look at the needles on their webpage; it did have the needle sizes listed, but not the lengths for the circular needles.
Oh well, I might just wait till they have such an offer again... which might not come before next year. But then I better get up real early!

Monday, February 19, 2007

To dye for

There's some white sock yarn, 75% wool, 25% acrylic or whatever, in my stash that I bought ages ago. This yarn is longing to be dyed. Right now I happen to have a couple of beetroots leftover in my fridge, and as K is still on holiday I'm not likely to eat them; I'm just not a great fan of beetroots. However, as I know the color of beetroot (my family are beetroot-lovers. My mom always makes a salad, and I know what her lips look like after such a salad), I thought it might look nice on the yarn. I haven't dyed anything apart from easter eggs before (here, it didn't matter if the color didn't stay on long), and I don't want the color to wash out (too) easily. Is there a way I can make the natural color stick to the yarn without washing out? Do I have to add chemicals, or is there a natural way of dyeing? I heard that back in the olden days dyers would use urine to help make a good color, but I don't want to be this natural. Is there anything I have to pay attention to while dyeing? Or am I just insane, wanting to use natural dye (or dyeing in general)?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Oh IK, where art thou?

They did it again... or actually, they didn't do anything, again. The Spring Issue of Interweave Knits is going to be published on Tuesday, and my subscription should have been here by now. I somehow doubt that the magazine will find its way into my mailbox on Monday. I wonder how they first manage to get the magazine here fine (that worked out for 2 issues), and then screw it up. So far, only 2 out of 5 issues got here before their release date. Am I just too demanding? I mean, when I subscribe to a magazine then I want to receive it early, before it's published. Why else would I subscribe? As much as I like IK, but dealing with it being late or going missing almost every time makes me rethink if I really want the magazine at all. I just hope so much that I don't have to wait another 3 weeks after the official sales date for my copy to arrive.

ETA: It's Monday today, and still no IK.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I have a problem... I think

Um, I kinda have a problem with the K_sweater. At least I see the possibility of a problem. Now, the pattern - which I'm following, basically - of both front and back calls for a distance from armhole shaping to shoulder decrease of 20cm/7.9in. So far, so nice; that's what I knitted.

However, in order to make sure the sweater fits K in the end, I'm comparing the knit sweater's measurements with a store-bought sweater that fits K quite well. So far everything is going quite well - although there is a little discrepancy and I'm not sure if it will matter or not. The distance between armhole shaping and shoulder decrease on the store-bought sweater is a whopping 24cm/9.4in. Hmmm. Would that result in a great pinch? I don't really want to seam back and front and try it on the living model because that would mean I have to wait for K to come back from his holiday, and I really wanted to finish this sweater as a surprise or at least come as close to finishing as possible. I'm thinking now if I should just go with the pattern, after all the designer put some thought in it. And I really can't remember the exact fit of the store-bought sweater on K, if the armhole area was rather roomy or just normal.

The alternative would be to frog the top parts of front and back and add another 4cm/1.6in... which of course is an extra effort, and I'm not sure if it's necessary. Hmmm... I just had the idea of checking some more of K's sweaters and compare their measurements, to see if there's any difference. Sounds like I came up with a plan! I'll have to do that tomorrow though, as it's in the middle of the night all of a sudden and if I don't go to bed real soon I don't get enough of my beauty sleep (which is much needed). I just hope K didn't take too many of his sweaters with him!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Video Day - Knit Wits

If you like The Godfather, or The Sopranos, you have to watch this one! Even if you don't like them... watch it anyway and turn your speakers on!

Sleeve #1 is almost done, but I won't finish it tonight any more. I'm off to bed now - sleep well y'all!


Yeah, I know it's boring, another meaningless progress shot, this time of a sleeve. I took this picture on Sunday already as K left for Melbourne early on Monday morning and he took the camera with him.

In the meantime I've been doing more sleeve-knitting and am almost done with sleeve #1. Right now I'm doing the shoulder shaping and should be done with the sleeve by tonight, or maybe tomorrow. My goal is to be done with sleeve #2 some time on the weekend, I hope I can do that! Then there's the usual blocking and seaming, and then I can knit on the turtle neck.

Okay, this closeup isn't too great, due to the stockinette stitch - you know what I mean. I wanted to do some fancy pictures, but all of a sudden it was Sunday afternoon and the lighting wasn't great any more, and I still hadn't taken my photos. So I thought, what the heck, I'll do it anyway.
On other news, K arrived safe and sound in Melbourne (the one in Australia, yep, that's the one on the other side of the globe. Unless you live there, because then pretty much anything else is on the other side of the world), it's stinking hot there right now (the forecast for the weekend is around 38° C/100°F), and they're on water restrictions - the water storage is 35% full. I so hope they're getting some serious rain real soon! Use your water wisely, folks - no matter where you live.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Wow! I made my own favicon! You should be able to see it in the address bar instead of the bright orange Blogger-b (unless you're using Internet Explorer; I heard that the favicon isn't working in IE); and you should be able to see the favicon when you bookmark my blog (I think this applies for new bookmarks only).
I'm so proud I did it!

I also have some knitting news for you: I'm well into the first sleeve of the K_sweater, it's maybe halfway done. I can't wait to finish the sleeve(s) so I can cast on for a baby hat for my ex-coworker; I'd like to make the bunny tail hat in a bear version with some leftover Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I have to take pictures of my progress on the K_sweater this weekend because K might take the camera to Melbourne. Tomorrow we're doing some souvenir shopping for his family, I hope the weather is nice enough for some decent photos. Munich is (supposedly) the safest place this weekend, as the Conference on Security Policy is in town. They do that every year, and every year it's a pain in the ass again - these "important" people reside at the Hotel Bayrischer Hof which is in the city center. Loads and loads of police in riot gear with machine guns (this is quite exceptional for Germany... most guns we get to see here are in American tv shows) bar the hotel and the area around it - nobody except for residents can get in or out. This leads to detours and delays in traffic, and it's just annoying.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Video Day - The Last Knit

This one's a bit long, but well worth watching! Don't forget to turn your speakers on.

When knitting becomes an obsession...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


"I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work"
-Benjamin Franklin

Now that is a very good motto.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Never enough?

Last night I had an emotional low of quite some depth. I started thinking about how I always think that whatever I do, it's never enough, that I often think when I don't do something perfectly, I fail. I was writing a blog post in my mind, telling you rather open-heartedly about my dreams and fears (mostly about the fears). This is a bit paradoxical, as I don't open up to people for quite some time; but I guess internet communication makes this a bit different. I wanted to tell you that I would like to be a better blog writer, that I would write more frequently and in a better style. That I would like to knit more and faster, so I could present you more. That I would overcome my exam nerves and get my thesis done (if I don't want to extend, the next two months are going to be stressful. Very stressful), because I don't like Uni any more. I just want it to stop, even though I don't have a plan for afterwards. Which freaks me out even more.

I am so glad that K is here to support me, calm me down when I'm angst-ridden again and that he just listens to my never-ending problems. He's going on holiday to visit his friends and family in Melbourne, Australia, soon, and I'll be staying here, thanks to my thesis. I would love to go with him, but I know I have to get things done (and I hope I will); I understand perfectly that he wants to go, as he hasn't seen his folks in over 3 years now. As a surprise when he's back, I plan to finish the K_sweater in the meantime. I started with the sleeves on the weekend, but didn't get much done yet. (Can you see what I'm doing again? I really shouldn't say that; instead, I should say something like "even though I didn't have much knitting time on the weekend at all, I got lots of the sleeve done - almost the whole cuff" to cut out the "I failed"-message)

Why am I telling you this? I guess blogging does make me open up to (complete) strangers. Hey stranger! Say hello! (Or maybe I'm still stuck in the "6 weird things about me"-meme...) I think I should make an intention, not just for 2007, but for... maybe forever. Don't get scared so much. Don't scare myself so much. Start seeing the glass half-full instead of half-empty. Focus - on one thing at a time. Don't annoy people by telling them how you think you're one big failure.

I'd like to finish this post with a picture I took at Schloss Nymphenburg, back in September, so this post has a nice ending. It's a detailed shot of a lamp's foot outside the castle. I like this photo a lot, I had it as a background on my desktop for a while. Hope you like it too!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Germans don't like knitting

Or so one could think when one goes into a bookshop in Germany and wants to look at knitting books. The same thing happened to me last week or so when I went to a major bookshop here in Munich. There were several handicraft books on display on a counter, and even a few on knitting - I was quite surprised, as this doesn't happen very often. However, it was just the usual sight: about 5 knitting books, and 4 of them were butt-ugly. The fifth one, the only one that looked good, was a translation of Last Minute Knitted Gifts - although I don't understand why the German version uses such a violent green in the cover shoot.

Despite that there are so many yarn and needle manufacturers here in this country, the range of knitting books and magazines is meagre, and disappointing, to be honest. The problem with the German books is that they look like they're straight out of the eighties, even when they're not. Lots of books are on sock knitting (unfortunately, there's no German Nancy Bush), because it's quick, or other smaller projects, or the instructions are for sweaters using voluminous, or fancy yarn, or fun fur. All this because they are quick knits. I have 2 German books in my knitting library; one I got from my mom, and the other I bought via Amazon marketplace. It's ugly, but I bought it because it was recommended on a blog, and it was a bargain - less than 2 Euros! The first book has some knitting basics, and the second is on lace. All the other books I have are in English, either from the UK or the US. So what makes these books more attractive? Debbie Stoller's Stitch'N Bitch Knitter's Handbook for example uses a fresh, up-to-date language, it explains everything in an easy way, and the projects have a modern approach.

What about other ways of knitting, Fair Isle, Scandinavian traditions, etc.? I did a search on, but I couldn't find anything in the German book section. Not even a translation. However, it's not that German knitters aren't interested in modern, "fresh" books and/or magazines that are layouted nicely, that have photos which are well-done and display the knitted item well enough, not twisted or on a model that's striking a pose.
All this isn't a big problem for myself (although it's a bit annoying); from my German knitting group I know however that there are quite a few ladies who's faces light up when I show them a book, only to be sobered up by recognizing that the book is in English. Although there's a lot of people in Germany who speak or understand English well enough, reading knitting instructions in a foreign language is still a huge challenge for many. So, what do I have to do if I want a knitting book that's well done and in German? Write it myself?

I'm a regular reader of the blue blog, and Allison made me curious about a book she's been knitting from a lot lately. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting myself, but I have a nephew of 15 months, and every now and then I hear about someone I know having a baby. So I guess this book's an investment in the future!

It's spiral-bound which I usually don't like, but I understand that it makes perfectly sense for knitters. There's a rather large how-to-knit section in the beginning of the book, but don't they all have that? What I really like about this book are the photos and the colors - cute babies with colorful and very nice hats. I wouldn't go so far as to say the designs are simple; they aren't complicated for sure, but they have a twist which gives them their je ne sais quois. I only flicked through this book, but I don't want to miss it any more in my knitting library. It's there to stay!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Can you believe it? I finally have a finished object to announce!

finished baby booties, originally uploaded by d.knit.
These baby booties are for my now ex-colleague C. And yes, they are the same booties as in the instructional pictures. I translated the instruction while actually knitting, to minimize errors and to make sure it's easy to read.
Next thing on the needles, or things - plural - I should rather say, are the sleeves for the K_sweater, a baby hat for the same colleague, and everything else that I forgot.

The last day at the office came and went, and it didn't even feel weird. I was there only one day a week, so I guess I might feel a bit strange next week when I don't have to go there any more. The dips were great! I made hommus and baba ghanoush and served it with Turkish flat bread from a nearby Turkish bakery. Everybody liked it, but they complained a bit about the garlic in the dips... hmmm... I didn't put as much garlic in as I wanted because I ran out of it... and everybody knows that garlic's good for you.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Video Day - Real Men Knit

Guys, grab your sticks!

Did I mention that I love YouTube?