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Preview: sheep and no city

sheep and no city

About living and knitting in artic climate

Updated: 2014-03-19T10:13:17.026+00:00


They say it's summer here now


At least it really does feel as if the dementors finally stopped breeding around here. I am taking deep breaths of fresh, mild air and can smell flowers and green grass. What a change - winter really got me badly this time. Feels good to be back!

Even though, I have done lots of knitting during all this time of absence, I didn't feel like talking about it. Moreover, I also didn't feel like reading about other people's work. Bloglines is probably up in the five-digit numbers for me - I didn't dare to look. In fact, I didn't feel like doing a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g.
But now, maybe because of alles neu macht der Mai, as a badly rhyming German proverb goes, I am going to start over again..

Maybe, because after months and months without even one single sock on the needles I finally started one again?
Yes, the famous Noro Kureyon sock yarn,
which I amgoing to "review" at another time.

Or, because my anonymous handcrafting struggles have come to an end and my virtual endeavours met real life?
In a secretive manner, I signed up for a spinning class, or more accurately a "from sheep to yarn" adventure course. There, I met fellow knitblogger Sigga (who diligently has done her homework already. Go and look.). Of course, this had to happen one day, it was just a matter of time in this very small world here. But it still feels weird. In a good way, though.
We are going to learn about preparing the sheep's fleece into something that will eventually result in beautiful yarn. For now, with just tiny batts of tog and þel I am not very confident on this matter. We'll see..
(image) (image)
Left, the raw material in two natural colours,
on the right, a small portion of tog.

And now, I am looking forward to reading all of your blogs again. I could try to further explain my absence or ponder about the vicious circle of what was first, egg or hen, I mean "not-blogging" or the devastating reclusive state I tend to fall in those gloomy winter months. But I could also just skip this and do nicer things.
See you!

I solemnly swear, I am up for an update!


What's been going on over here?Okay, France? Been there.Sockapalooza socks? Done.Waving lace socks. They will get their own post eventually!What kept me from posting so long? Well, for once, the little ones.Please, meet Herr Kohl and Frau Merkel! Apparently, when it comes to cat names, we do stick to the German politicians over here.They are incredibly cute but also extremely lively. But then, it is not possible to take a picture of them, of course! Everybody keeps reassuring me that they calm down sooner than later. We'll see. Just this week, they started to calm down a little.It's a shame, however, that cat life still has to happen indoors. We experienced the most beautiful weather imaginable (Icelandic standards). There has been sunshine for almost four weeks, with temperatures blasting the thermometers. Well, the ones with a scale up to 20°C/68F anyway. Thus, we spend every minute outside, not to miss a single ray of sunshine (imagine, being able to invite friends for a barbeque days ahead AND staying outside in t-shirts until almost midnight!)The sparse time spent indoors was exclusively dedicated to the kittens. It is impossible to pet them both and operate the computer. They do make sure that they get full attention, I assure you. I have the feeling they already learned the trick, my childhood cat was playing on us. Throwing things down. First, letters/papers/bills. Those papers ususally just reminded you that the cat is somewhere around. Then he forced the key down the commode onto the tilings. It would be hard to pretend, you didn't hear that. If none of us wouldn't move to play with him, he would veeerrryy carefully push my parent's reading glasses (or any other fragile object) near the edge of the commode until somebody is forced to jump. So very clever.Between all the sunbathing (just enough to get a sunburn but definitely not enough to charge my solar cells to survive the Icelandic winter) and pretending to be a cat toy, I also got my invitation for ravelry. Woohooo! Indeed, excellent news, if my unread posts in blogline wouldn't have hit the four-digit mark meanwhile.Okay, ravelry seriously rocks! I am so looking forward to having the time to really have a look around and use everything what's there. The needle size tool? Ingenius! Also, I have to take pictures of my stash...No, just kidding... But, I did mention, I would start a new job, right? What I didn't tell was that it would involve yarn! The job is nothing exciting, but I think, my lunch break view is ;-) Don't you?Loadzz of Icelandic plötulopi!Soooo.. to round up this short and hasty update I can also announce a technical one. You all know that blogger sucks when it comes to comments. Well, sometimes, it's just lazy old me but sometimes it's the software's fault, I swear!I have heard that Haloscan works really well with the new blogger software and I am going to try that now.However... if you don't hear anything from me even now, I do have another excuse: I'm off to a week holidays in the beautiful Icelandic country side. Right, go on holidays, when the weather begins to turns nasty again. Take your tent and join an open-air event..Maybe, I will be able to grab a copy on the way!(Crazy enough, there was a Harry Potter 7 release outside the book store waiting party (video link). When I was passing it today, I was surprised to see that the majority of the waiting paople were boys in there late teens. Of course, they have to be older here to be able to read English. But in my imagination, I was expecting 10-12yo girls and, well, "mature" knitters ;-))But most likely, I will not - so DON'T TELL ME!Okay, I'm off!Thank you so much for still reading here![...]



I'm bad.
I am flying out in less than eight hours, haven't finished packing yet and I don't even want to think about all the other things left undone and post/emails unanswered..
No, wait. The really bad thing is writing a post in the midst of the chaos around me here.
Have to go on holidays now!
Hoping to see you again after a week, or so..
Have a nice time as well!
.....sheep and no city - see:


Time, it is relative


One weekago......I had just finished the first of my blue Embossed Leaves socks. It took me a bit less than a week to finish the second one. Even with ripping back and shortening the toe on both socks about one pattern repeat.Have you seen some of these socks in this fabulous pattern around in the Sockapalooza circus? I particularily like the white version Peggy knit. Alison had even collected together some more links of Sockapalooza's Embossed Leave versions while I was still busy linking to hers. Ah, the internet. Too fast for me.from now......I will have finished my first day of work after spending 3 months on sick leave. It will also be a new job. It's kind of exciting, even though the job is not that exciting ... really....Two weeksago...... I finished Shedir. (PDF-link to the special cancer issue of substituted the yarn called for with Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino (colour 203). Since I was way off the row gauge, I had to break into another skein. Consequently, the plan is to add a pair of ankle socks matching the hat. They are just not completed yet, nothing to show.from now......I will be off spending a week in continental Europe! In France, to be precise. Another thing to look forward to.Three weeksago......I finished this Lopi cardigan. Brace yourself for appropriate and necessary exclamations of outrage: Even though everything was handpicked by the recipient (pattern, colour combination, even the buttons) he didn't even bother to TRY IT ON once. Since completion the cardi resides now in the coatrack for three weeks. I should have known that something like this happens. Oh, well... I'm proud of it anyway. I'm not often knitting b i g.from now......we are going to have a new family member. After the first alarming incident and my untimely farewell to Willy, he left for real! He's been missing now for a months and we are about to abandoning hope that he might come home again*. We miss him so very much. Though we cannot replace him, we decided to carry on with sharing our house with a feline. So, after the holidays the time is ripe. I am already checking out the page of the local cat shelter on a daily base. Firstly, to check of course if somebody registers Willy and now, secondly, to find "our" new cat.Okay, enough jumping around in time. Looking at the result, I feel kind of optimistic and that's definitely a good thing these days.*Poor Willy was still suffering from his involuntary diet and was so weak that the vet had to force-feed him with via transfusion!He headn't really recovered when he took off again. Because of that, he unfortunately wouldn't have the reserves to survive another long stroll (there's not much wildlife here to live from for stray cats)Three pictures of finished objects justify just another shot of Willy, don't you think? Here he is not playing with my plötulopi yarn - no! He just grabbed the hanging strands and hugged them in his sleep. Oh, so cute![...]

In one day



Yarn, needles, coffee, ipod - check. Pattern yet to be decided!
Today's newspaper headline proves that I am not cheating ;-)
Helpfully, the weather looks like there is nothing better to do than snuggle up under a blanket and knit.


Cuff and first pattern repeat done, pattern Embossed Leaves.
Hmm... I have no idea if I can make it yet.
In case anyone is wondering why I knit them in baby blue - it might be known here and there that I cannot stand wearing blue (except for jeans). The plan is to cheat a little on this knit a sock in a day challenge by knitting socks for a friend. Two shoe sizes smaller than my own feet, hehe.


Leg finished, time to start the heel!


Heel done.


Only the unexpected, foul play or an injury can stop me now!

22:50 - Done!

Unwashed, unblocked and blurry. Wow.
To sum up, there were days in my life sure more worthwhile than today. On the other hand, I've seen worse. So, tomorrow the second? I don't think so - but I will cast on.

Stats: 39 g (or 152 m) of SandnessGarn Lanett, colour 4904. 5 bamboo needles, 2 stitchmarkers,1 tapestry needle, 1 pattern with absolutely no changes neccessary, exept not cutting the yarn at the heel.
Stimulants: 3 cups of coffee, 5 cups of Rooibos tea, 9(!) hours of the 24h (!) dramatised version of Tad Williams' Otherland, 2 glasses of red wine, this evening's TV programme (Desperate Housewives, Without a trace - the latter so boring that I could already use the time for a photo shoot and posting)

Thanks for cheering!

The size of great things


See, sometimes, you've got things that are cute and they are tiny.But sometimes cute goes XXXL.Last weekend was the final round up of a French Art Festival (Pourquoi pas?) which had lasted since February. Obviously, it had to end with something extraordinaire. And so it did.A huge marionette stamped through the city, incidentally looking for her father, the giant.He left hints and traces where to find him.There's a knife in that bus!It is such a funny idea and I was amazed that such a "simple" show can lure thousands of people onto the street. I mean, in times of Godzilla digitally remastered and all. It was literally great!I think, for a couple of days you can still follow this link to see the news footage on the giant little girl's stroll through town.But back to the little things. These baby booties are made out of scraps from Regia rainbow stripes I received from Judy in the good old sock scrap swap (September 2005!).The design is by Dorothee from d.knit, you can find a link to the pdf file on her site.Aren't they sweet? My new friend, the neighbour's kitten, thinks so.I also have some normal size knitting to show. Long way back when it was time for Toasty Toes, I liked the socks I knitted for Cynthia so much that I decided to made myself a sibling pair.Same pattern, same yarn (Kid Mohair/Merino Sock Yarn from Crown Mountain Farms) different colour ("More Teals"). They are almost too warm for May, even in our climate.Talking about socks.. uhm, who is talking about anything else these days, anyway?I have heard from my sockapalooza pal via comments but forgot to mention it the other day.Hi Pal, thanks for reassuring me, there's somebody out there knitting for me!There seems to be some confusion this time with the contacting part. All the previous rounds have been quite silent and secretive on this matter, haven't they? But with over 1.000 participants it is quite understandable that people get nervous.Okay Pal. Your comment is very much appreciated but please don't feel like you have to contact me. I know it can be a bit tricky trying not to give your identity away or you might just not be the secret message person. That's okay. Because, I know you are there now and trust in getting socks in the end ;-) Thanks. Before I take action in the sockapalooza business myself, I thought I'd sign up for a challenge.To warm up, you know. I am going to knit a sock in a day! This sounds absolutely crazy just the right thing to do now that I am beginning to feel a lot better in my back (thanks for all your comments on this, you definitely sent some good karma!). Nonetheless, I am strictly advised not to do anything silly (like gardening or painting the roof for example, both in the top seats of the to-do-list). However, I didn't dare to ask my therapist if this challenge would be a sane thing to do in my condition. I am too afraid, the physical immobility might have had an impact on my brain.[...]

Let's fly the flag


This Saturday is posing a serious challenge on the Icelander's national pride as well as Iceland's National Broadcasting Service.
First, there are the national elections which are of course always a big deal. People can give their vote to parties with illustrious names like Independence party, Progressive Party, the Icelandic Movement and what have you. I don't have the right to vote but I do hope that people will finally put a stop to the current interpretation - and worse - execution of "progress" or "independence". (Let me shortly remind you of inviting heavy industry on subsidised terms into this country, not regarding the loss and costs for nature, health and tourism. Or the former Prime Minister's "independence" in declaring Iceland a member of the "willing nations" in the Iraq war while the majority of the population does not agree with him. Another very progressive and independent move was surely to resume commercial whaling!) Moreover, I don't want to see the face of a certain foreign minister any longer. Even though I am not Icelandic, I am embarassed to see her lacking the fundamental skill for such a position: being able to communicate with representatives of other countries. Yes, I do think, this particular job description should read "being able to converse fluently in English".

But first, we will gather for the less serious part of the evening, the
Eurovison Song Contest
. Uups, I am only allowed to say that because Iceland dropped out in the Semi-Finals. Again! Last year, it was claimed that the Icelandic presentation had been too provocative and modern, hence Europe not yet ready for Iceland. This year, sending an elderly long-haired veteran of Eurovision Song Contest, presenting a schmaltzy hard rock ballade proved to be too old fashioned. Oh boy.

In order to oppose today's outbreak of Icelandic nationalism, I made this cake. Which was supposed to look a bit more like the German flag (black - red - gold), inside and outside. Damn food colours. They do work better on yarn!


Socks, socks, socks


I guess there's not much one would envy me for these days, but these socks are! I got the Spring Fever socks from Julie - Woohoo!My sincerest appologies for not blogging about them earlier - they did arrive well in time - good job, Julie, thanks! However, one good reason is of course that I was completely stunned to receive such beautiful socks. The other is, well, let's postpone this until later...It does feel a bit stupid to write a post without being able to follow up other blogs let alone comment on them, but this one, of course, is mainly to make you all jealous praise my Bloomin' Feet pal Julie from stoneview and the Bloomin' Feet goddess and queen of the more intimate sock swaps, Amanda. Thank you both so much!But now, do you want to see details of the socks?Thank you so much, Julie! You did an amazing job knitting these beautiful socks. All the little embroidered flowers and beads! They are simply stunning. I already got compliments on them from many people who never bothered to comment on the socks I knitted myself. Some even remembered them and commented on them several days later (like when I was wearing my if I may say so pretty Embossed Leaves socks - "hey, you were really wearing some amazingly beautiul socks the other day"). Julie, you are not only lifting my spirits, you are also lifting my image as a sock knitter. No, of course I gave you the full credits!Julie did not stop by just knitting these beautiful socks, and sending them, of course. She also added some many extra goodies. I only managed to take a picture of the cute little hanks she added for if there should ever be the need for darning. Very much appreciated. I do hope, I can keep them a long while just looking cute, but I am afraid, these socks will experience a LOT of wear. They are just too adorable! There was also some Debbie Bliss merino aran. Great feel, great colour, I love it!The obligatory sweet treat has partly vanished and I somehow forgot to take a picture. I also didn't take a picture of the other great, great gift she added: sock patterns. One of them is the Gothic Spire sock pattern by Cookie A and I am soo tempted to knit these socks up right away. I got also some other patterns by designers yet unkown to me and I am sure, they will appear on this blog sooner or later. Maybe even for Sockapalooza 4? Julie, I am amazed how generous and thoughtful your package was packed and what an amount of work, skills and love for knitting went into the socks you made me. Thank you so very much, I am still overwhelmed - and very happy!My sock headed towards their destination with a slight delay but should be arriving a-n-y m-i-n-u-t-e. At least I do hope so!I have to thank all the commenters (and again, I am very sorry for not replying to your helpful suggestions!) . I really felt encouraged to go with the leaf design. I do hope, my pal likes them, too.For the record, they were knitted in Socks That Rock, colourway Rose Quartz on bamboo dpns 2,5mm. I might consider to publish the pattern one day, but I can't bother at the moment, sorry.I am still or more again feeling really really bad in my back. If my doctor would know that I am sitting down in front of the computer at the moment, he wouldn't be pleased with me at all. No sitting for me! It is so boring and I am seriously becoming very impatient about the slow healing process. But better this then going to surgery I am told.Well, see you all soon for Sockapalooza 4![...]

Bloomin' Feet: Confusion, choice and collaboration


Thank you all so much for the compliments on my Elfine's socks. I like them, too. In fact, I love them very much and that's why they are MINE ;-) I deserve them.
Not that my Bloomin' Feet pal does not deserve something so lovely, far from that! But the Elfine's are for me, me, me. For my Bloomin' Feet pal - I had and have other plans!

It is somehow not surprising how it came to the confusion that I would give away my Elfine's [gasp!]. In desperate need of STR for swatching I used the lemongrass yarn. As a matter of fact, it is still part of my project.
But now, I need your opinion.
I wanted something flowery for my Bloomin' Feet and especially after I decided for the Rose Quartz colourway. A rose pattern would obviously have been the perfect choice, but I couldn't find any. That's why I went for leaves instead.
I imagined the leaves somehow entwining around or along the foot and I wanted an organic look. I came up with a design where the leaf tendril sort of sprouts from the toe.
Please, do tell me how you like it. I am going to finish this sock for myself anyway (my pal has the same size, yeah for the match, Mr. Clothesknit!) and I quite like it. But since it is my baby I am not impartial.
The other sock (right side) is, you surely recognise it, Baudelaire by Cookie A from I came across this this pattern when looking for a toe-up heel flap for my Elfine's and I let me tell you: this is the best heel I have ever knit! What a stroke of genius! The fit is not only much, much better than that of any short-row heel I ever knit, it is also so much prettier. You have to try it!
However, after copying the heel and being so very pleased with it, I asked myself what are the chances, that the whole sock is very clever? My educated guess was very high. As a result, the Baudelaires will be my fallback solution aka Plan B socks. That is, until you tell me that they would be the better choice for my Bloomin' Feet pal. Go on, tell me. Please! And be honest, I can handle criticism.
Need more pictures?

An unexpected birthday


Editorial note: So I am back on the right track again. It was so very disappointing to have plenty of time to blog, writing post after post and nothing appeared on the net. My problem: I hat too much time. I upgraded to the new blogger software, tried ambitiously to try another blogsoftware and implement these posts into blogger plus changing my server for pictures. Yeah, well, never change a running system. Something caused a hick-up and while I could see the posts on my computer, they did not appear anywhere else. I found out, that I am not writing these posts just for myself ;-)Now, everything is back to normal. Or so I hope.First, congratulations to the birthday boy! As you could have seen in an earlier post, Willy is back! Today, he is one year old. An exciting one, no doubt.In celebration of this event, I am going to share with you a pattern for a cat toy, which I called Catoy. Ingenious, isn't it?Meet the toy in action:[you know this, mouse over!]Make your cat, puppy, guinea pig or any other loved one too - to get this look. You'll find the link to the pdf-file in the sidebar.Unfortunately, the star of the party feels rather weak today, in fact he is sick. I think, he might have had a nibble on one of the flowers which came just out for the Easter Holidays.[Yes, it feels like spring even in Iceland now]Not good for a little cat's stomach. Naturally, it is only I who feels bad about having to put him on diet and under house arrest on his birthday. He seems to accept his lot more or less. However, his resting places and behaviour simply spell indignation to me.[curled up beside the toilet]Cliffhanger for today will be the progress on my Bloomin' Feet socks. Shout with me "Uh, design, ah, plan B...."Yes, I do promise knitting content![...]



Some socks are prettiere than others.
The transformation works as following:

Pattern:..Elfine's socks by designer Anna Bell at My fashionable life

Yarn:.... .Socks That Rock from Blue Moon Fiberarts,
...................light weight, colourway Lemongrass


Heel flap instead of short-row-heel
...................Eye-of-Partridge padding in the ball section of the sole (see following picture)

.2,5 mm dpns, bamboo

I highly recommend this design! The lace pattern looks lovely is easy to knit (and remember) and very comfortable to wear. Last but not least, you will also find that the pdf-file has a beautiful layout and well written instructions.
I am so happy with these socks! - Happy Easter everyone! That is, if anyone can read this, since I still have issues with finding my own blogspost. Creepy...


Warm and heart warming


I am bad, so bad - and you are all good! Or in other words, I am obviously an half-empty-glass person and all you sympathetic comments showed that there are plenty of optimists out there. Right you are!
Willy is back!

He came back last night, looking very peaky and being awfully smelly but nevertheless we couldn't stop cuddling him. Now he is very, very tired from his big adventure. He has most likely been locked in some place and was finally released or could escape last night. I don't want to think about the stench he left behind in the garage or cellar he was in...
Maybe I should read my hymn of praise to him for making him realise, how much I missed him. Oh, and cats have so many lives.. I will probably go through this many more times.
Gosh! Thank you all for your encouraging comments- you have been right!

For warming the feet, not the heart, I have a finished hot water bottle cosy now.


Life feels good today.

edited 9th April 2007 PS: Is anybody able to see this post? Yes, finally they are!

Many thanks for tiny things!


Yesterday evening, the postman delivered my Wee Tiny Sock, knitted by Darlene
Thank you Darlene, the sock is lovely. (And do you all see the card? How cute is that!!!)
And thank you, Emily, for this idea. It is such a small thing to do (knitting a tiny sock) but seems to evoke exponential fun. At least here. Maybe my excitement is a bit over the top because Darlene also included a tiny sock blocker!
I had seen those cute little sock blockers on Emily's blog, of course and had to order some myself. Not for me, no no no, but to give them away.

Well, I might have considered to keep one for myself... But now - I got one - just for me!
Hooray for mini sock blockers! Can you resist to get some for yourself? No? Go and visit feltupdesigns and talk to Debbie. She does an incredible job making and shipping them. Thanks, Debbie!

The hint of sunlight in the pictures above encouraged me to go out for another photoshoot. Finally, my Bloomin' Feet yarn aka Socks That Rock in Rose Quartz arrived ...
...and I am swatching and sketching for my grand design.
Wish me luck.

Rear window


Hmm.. I feel a little bit like James Stewart these days. You remember the movie where he sits with a broken leg and stares out of the window all day long? Only, that there is really nothing suspicious to observe outside. Except for when the cat is away, the mice birds will play.
True to the Hitchock-feeling it felt like The Birds once in a while. We do feed them in weather like this, but usually the starlings where too afraid of Willy. Since he has left the territory, even other cats come sneaking in more frequently.
Wait, take a closer look at this guy.
[I found him sleeping under the living room table!*]

Isn't this in fact a Kitler!? I have to admit that I don't know this term for long and cannot remember how and when I found out about it. But surely, this page ("Cats that look like Hitler" - can you believe it!?) is in my opinion the most striking evidence that there is nothing too silly or absurd that you wouldn't find it on the internet. Nothing!

Okay, crazy but boring garden pictures and weird www philosophy aside. Some knitting has happend. Really.
The hot water bottle cosy is beginning to grow. I decided to go for a fishbone pattern as suggested in Maggie's pattern but in two-colour work. The yarn I am using (Highlands & Islands "Country Style" from Sirdar), which should be metioned here is a gift from the wonderful Wanda, thank you!) is only DK weight. Better have a double layer around the hot bottle.
Funny colour combination, but I think, I'm liking it.

*I cheated: I flipped the picture for a better match of the significant parting. but still...



Meet my best friends these days...Even though it might by now look like this blog is turning into a "fishing for sympathy blog" - this is not my intention. Today, I stumbled across some rants concerning the right and meaning of blogs without comments. Fortunately, I get comments and I appreciate every single one of them (even though I do not answer them all, partly because of blogger's flaws, partly because of my laziness - sorry! - but I do try to track people down and comment on there blog in return - honestly). But I also write my posts just to keep track of things, mainly my knitting projects, or just because it feels good sometimes, to "talk" about things that happen, affect and move me which, unfortunately, is not always possible in real life. As a result, my blog is a selfish hobby that turns into a wonderful, lively, encouraging, sometimes nagging or enlightening little communication tool when others participate. Thank you, every single one of you!But what about the pain and ache this time? I have been home on so called sick leave (well, they stop paying you after two weeks, don't they?) for quite some while now. First, my doctor suspected a lumbago but I didn't agree because it just did not feel like it should (it's all out there on the internet, you know!). Unfortunately, I was right and a CT revealed that I have been suffering from a considerable herniated disc. Ouch!What really causes me some pain in the arse (pun, pun!) is the fact that I can neither lie nor sit without pain and should in fact walk a lot. However, the weather beggars all description, and surely, slithering on icy pavements with sleet blowing down your collar isn't really fun, either. Walking around in my not so roomy apartment, however, I always find something to do that I rather shouldn't (you don't want to take a look under my bed after three weeks without vacuum-cleaning!)Well, I thought it was at least time to knit up a Hot Water Bottle Cozy (links to a word.doc), designed by Canadian knitter Maggie who visited Iceland (and sort of me) back in May (so much for the community aspect of blogging). Go over, visit her blog and say hello. She knits adorably little toys and also sweaters, apparently in the blink of an eye.Yeah, knitting... I'm kind of in a knitting blues. Not to be able to sit all that comfy takes the fun out of it. Plus, I am not easy to please with my projects these days. There are plenty new things I would like to start (see: bottle cosy) but my stash is savely stashed away in no-go areas, such as the attic or cellar, both only accessible by ladder.There is of course Bloomin' Feet '07! While I am following the progress of the other participants, there's not much I can do. Reading my pal's preferences, together with my intention to make a theme sock, I could not resist ordering some STR in Rose Quartz. So cute! Never for myself, but nonetheless.I placed my order looooong time ago and it arrived very soon afterwards at my sister's in Germany, who was due to send me a parcel anyway. You know, all the tricky sideways I go to avoid the impertinent custom fees here. Apparently, in Germany, they are back to delivery by stagecoach or maybe even attempt to walk the parcel here. I think, the parcel is travelling now for four weeks. And so is the new Interweave's Favourite Socks which I ordered on because a friend wanted to have a look at it before she would send it here "second hand". Apparently, the book left Amazon on 20th March but the post's tracking service informs me that estimated delivery date is 28th April. Beg your pardon? We are talking about 300 km distance!So, what does this mean to my Bloomin' Feet socks? I swatched, I browsed the in[...]

Farewell to Willy


Willy is gone![drawing from just one hour before his disappearance]This weekend, we had the whole family(IL) for dinner around and the little fellow chose to escape into the night instead of taking a rest in one of the unfrequented rooms. Nothing wrong with hanging out outside, I would say, normally. Unfortunately, this night was one of the coldest and ghastliest. Icy storm roared and forced powdery snow drifts round and round.Well, Willy, who is also know as Willy Haarlos (hairless), does not like snow very much but had to stick his nose out of course once in a while. We were at first quite surprised and shortly after worried what would keep him out so long. - We still don't know but it kept him until now. Lost for 48 hours! In weather conditions like this, it can sadly only mean one thing. My hopes were high for him being trapped inside a garage, cellar or garden shed, the only way to survive the deadly cold. But, the time is running for poor Willy in this kind of refuge, too, if he hasn't been discovered and released by now.I think, it's time to face the facts.Willy will be so painfully missed! Even though probably not the prettiest cat on earth, he was the perfect one. At least, the cat with the best character I have known so far. In his short life, it would have been his 1st birthday on 9th April, he was always entertaining and cheerful but never a nuisance (well, there was the bird). Not once did he use his claws to hurt either one of us nor our furniture. Unbelievably, he also just wouldn't touch anything that was not meant for him, like juicy meat left on the table. He was unbelievably cute and made me smile in the mornings when he was waking me up exactly one or two minutes before the alarm clock would go off. I will miss how he would come home from one of his strolls and in his loquacious manner tell me exactly what was going on outside. Or inside, for this matter, as in the last shot I took of him in purpose of blogging about him. A neighbour cat came for "visit" and Willy the coward rather called me indignantly for help as taking the matter into his own paws, fangs and claws.As for the knitting memories of Willy, it has to be said in his honour that he never played with yarn except it had been especially labelled as toy for him. He was in particular fond of the Lizard Ridge as you can see here in his appreciating pose.Yes, good news. The Lizard Ridge is finished, all sewn up, blocked and very, very beautiful. It just needs an edging now. I have not have had an enlightenment about that (Noro or another yarn). It will not only be the biggest and undoubtedly prettiest thing I ever knit but also a Willy memorial blanket, because I will always remember how he spent his last night here cuddled up sleeping on it.[...]

Wee tiny post


Wee Tiny sock
Grand idea. Thanks, Emily.



I'm a winner! You need some explanation for this outcry? Here you go.Long time ago, Amanda had the terrific idea of giving previously unnoticed and anonymous world wide travelling yarn a worthwhile setting: Yarn Aboard! It didn't stop there and in inconceivable dimensions a second round was hosted. Yarn Aboard II. I am still amazed about all the creativity, enthusiasm but also hard work and cold cash Amanda was willing to spend on this project. Thank you, Amanda! I enjoyed this yarn exchange so very much. And it still makes me smile when I stumble across one of the names of the discoverers and find myself associating their name with boxes full of yarn and goodies instead of "discoveries".However, no exchange without participants, so big thanks go out to everyone who joined in! And before this starts to sound like the Oscars, I'll better keep it short.There was a contest involved and I want to say Thank you to everybody who voted for my Leif Eriksson post. Taking the Leif-box out on one of the iciest and stormiest days I recall from last winter on this photo trip earned me - in your eyes and thanks to Amanda's generosity - a gift certificate from Scout's Swag. Yippieh!In case you wonder what happened to the content of the Leif-parcel. Well, sooner or later sock yarn turns into socks! (and you know where the chocolate usually makes it reappearance) Phoebe had sent me among other lovely goodies two skeins of long anticipated fabulous Koigu yarn in a beautiful semi-solid grey silver.Pattern:..Nautilus by Anna Bell from My fashionable LifeYarn:.... .Koigu KPM, colourway "grey" (lost the label, sorry)Needles:.2,0 mm dpn rosewoodWhat can I say? The Koigu yarn, not at least in its fascinating greyish non-colour-silver-shininess, is definitely a winner. In our short love affair it presented itself not quite as springy as e.g. STR but instead "crispier" in texture. The pattern was a delight to knit, catchy with a little twist, not your Planet Earth kind of knit, but simple enough for any other sort of TV programme.In spite of lacking evidence on the picture, I assure you, I completed two socks. Sort of impractical to duplicate socks in a mirror for the purpose of wearing them. There is a good reason why I cannot take any other pictures at the moment, (most likely to be revealed in the next post) and therefore I give you a detail shot of the sip (sock in progress) from back in December, proving how very cosy they are.Thank you again, Phoebe![...]

You spin me right round, baby - and left!


I can't get this silly song out of my head when thinking about the RPM socks. And talking about head, the fact that this song also evokes memories in the direction of hair fashion in this glorious time makes knitting and thinking and talking about these socks quite a challenge.But they are finished now (actually since before Christmas!) and they feel good!Of course, in honour to their name and designer Ajia Goto's photo shooting, I had to dive into my record collection in order to model them approbiately. (Have you seen Ajia' latest knitty design?)I might have looked just like this on several occasions during the knitting process.Facts about RPM in STR:Pattern:..RPM by Ajia Goto, summer 06Modifications: ...................I reversed the purl spiral in the second sock to have one turning right...................and one left or both inside (or outside, you know what I mean...)...................Heel: Eye of Partridge heel instead of short-row...................Toe: the one from Embossed Leaves by Mona Schmidt (IK winter 05)....................I felt it just perfectly helped to carry some of the purl stitches from...................the spiral into the toe and besides it is very comfortable with my feet.Yarn:.... .Socks That Rock from Blue Moon Fiberarts,...................light weight, colourway Scottish HiglandsNeedles:.2,5 mm dpn bambooI have to admit that it was a very challenging process to knit these socks. I completely overlooked the tag tangy at knitty's - what the heck, knit and purl...? But, I frequently messed up the counting when moving the purl snake over the round's join. However, the pattern is a winner. I always liked the little purl bumps of variegated yarns and this spiral is also a nice twist to striped yarn. Great design.[...]

Taking you by surprise


I'm back. Thus, a hearty welcome back to the patient readers and friends who not only seem to come back to this deserted space but also kept nagging encouraging me to post again. Thank you all very much!
I am not going to waste time on explanations for my flight under the radar. Instead I will jump right into what we are ll here for: knitting content. It's all here, new projects, known but grown projects and things that I haven't touched since I "left" you back in December. Meaning, there is in fact plenty material for many future posts and work to be done, like cleaning up the sidebars and so on. In fact, I was planning to move the blog to a new provider since I am not really happy with blogger (e.g. the awful comment section, which renders almost every comment as anonymous) but haven't decided on an alternative yet. Any suggestions?
But now pictures.
[mouse over for a cat-free view]

The Lizard Ridge is coming along nicely. After several "sqares" (I did not follow the instructions to stop after 12 segments but rather finished the skein) I decided to knit stripes out of two skeins. Two of those double-stripes plus one "square" have been grafted together now for a long stripe (=5 skeins). I have now 5 of these and the only tasks left are sewing and blocking. Tedious... but I am sure the outcome will be very satisfying.

In the next posts I will not be able to resist showing off some finished projects. And introduce the project for my one and only actual swap/KAL Bloomin' Feet. I am really excited about this exchange and want to use the opportunity to send out some warm virtual greetings to my secret pal!

Indoor season


Toasty Toes, even in -10°C (14F), thanks to Emily and a huge mug of hot tea.It was too cold, however, to sit down and take detailed pictures. Jumping around on one leg on frosty ground was no option, though of course possible entertainment for the neighbours. And not as risky as the days before where I would have been literally blown of my feet with winds around 25 m/s (56 mph acc. to That sounds scary, huh? But most of all: COLD!I learned now that due to these wind peaks and combined with the frosty temperatures the windchill provided for a felt temperature down to -35°C (-31F - how come they are so close now? I will never understand this system). Of course, in times like this, the hot water reserves run low and neither the ovens nor the shower was as warm as desired (we heat with hot water). But - toasty toes!And here's the whole chocolate haul Emily included. Imagine, I had to stop myself from trying for six days because I wanted to make a decent picture in daylight and that's only possible during weekends this time of the year.But look, chocolate from the Andes (anything to do with KnitPicks yarn?), delicious organic chocolate and extra strong dark chocolove, complete with stamp and a love poem inside (how cool is that!). The Whitman (Walt?) sampler comes in an adorable old-style tin box which will be perfect once it is empty to hold my growing stitch marker collection. Or shall I use the cute little box that now still holds Harney's & Sons "Winter White Earl Tea"? Again, thank you so much Emily, you have been such a generous swap pal!But talking about Winter white..How very clever of me to step out for the sock shot on Saturday.Because this morning, it looked like this.Willy's first snow. I was excited to witness this in the same way "normal" people witness the first word, tooth or step of their babies...More pictures?Unfortunately, it was impossible to snap his four-legged-backward jump that followed.First conclusion, Willy does not appreciate snow for it is cold and covers everything that smells and moves (hunting leaves in the snow had been his favourite sport during the stormy period)But snow also brings finally the official proper excuse for cozy, snuggly winter knits. I jumped on the band-wagon and started the Lizard Ridge afghan from kitty. Very clever pattern and I can even read doing it while knitting backwards!I'm going to knit three (or four) stripes rahter than single squares in order to get the best use out of the precious Kureyon. However, organising this proves to be too hard to handle for me already. With only two balls I have already lost one banderole![...]



Amanda's Toasty Toes round up list today told me that almost everybody has received a heart feet warming parcel by now. Of course, I was prepared to wait a little longer being aware of the distance...Naturally, the list also told me, which socks I could not hope for anymore. (If you haven't seen the Toasty Toes socks by now, go there and check them out. Seriously!)Each and every pair is adorable and surfing the remaining participants (yes, I admit, very snoopy), I had just opened this blog, when the doorbell rang.A parcel for me. Not just any parcel but the Toasty Toes parcel and from exactly the blog I was just reading! No kidding!completely wrapped in red - I love red!Emily put together countless goodies, most of all a HUGE selection of (presumably) very tasty chocolates.You can also see a very stylish thermos mug for any beverage that keeps me warm inside. How generous! Tea is also included, but Emily recommands hot chocolate. I agree, especially tonight.[mouse over for US conversion]And of course the socks!Oh, oh, oh... I adored her choice of yarn (Socks That Rock in Lagoon) already back in July when she had a poll on her Toasty Toes sock yarn. And now the socks are here, all mine. They are sooo pretty. They fit perfectly. They are toasty and even show off the Toasty Toes due to the special toe Emily made. I would have never dared to attach a different coloured toe and you could see me for some while muttering "Why not? Why not - in all these years of knitting socks!". It is such a clever idea and just adds the little extra twist to a handmade pair. I really love these socks, Emily, they are perfect!As I am writing this, I am of course wearing the sock. The sock_? Yes: only one because I still have to wear a bandage around my right ankle and I don't want to overstretch my brand new socks. But I can feel the difference. My left toes are definitely toastier!I owe you detailed pictures of the socks but there is no way I can shoot them right now. It's so dark and the above pictures are poor enough.So, we are all looking forward to see these beauties with their fantastic stretchy seed stitch rib, fabulous gussets and flashy hot toes in bright daylight.Thank you so much, Emily, for knitting these wonderful socks!Thank you, Amanda, for initiating and hosting this great sock swap![...]



Me and the rpm sock ain't gonna be friends... hm hmm hmm hm hm hhmmmm

I totally messed up the counting - hey, it's not that difficul: 9 st pattern repeat, knit and purl. How very smart of me not to touch my Icarus shawl at the moment!
However, I felt too lazy to rip back the whole sock and only dropped a "few" stitches.
You probably know better than I did. The whole process of picking them up and tidying the messy strands possibly takes much longer time than just rip and reknit.
Suddenly, I realised that it was time to run (hobble) for the appointment at the doctor's. (What a butcher this time. Teared off my bandages with pure force. Idiot!) Coming home, I felt slightly uneasy about the fact that Willy and the vulnerable sock, hastily dropped onto a table before sudden departure, were all alone at home. However, I can not say that it was fortunate that he did not care for the sock in my 30 minutes absence. See why. Better yet, don't click if you are sensitive to bloody crime scenes. Because, Willy proudly presents his first contribution to the family's menu: starling tartare on ÖDUM (IKEA rug)
(oops...reminds me that I still have to think about my contribution to the fabulous knit & dish swap over at Amanda's...)

Call it a bad day, yeah?
No, not yet. Having picked up all the stitches, counted them about a zillion times and getting started to finally make some progress in this beloved grrrrrrpm sock, THIS is what happens!
I think I will spend some money on a lottery ticket this week. I should at least win enough to buy a new set of rosewood needles. Argh!

Who is wearing socks anyway?


Has it been quite here again? Yes? Too quite?
That's why.
Someone does not mind me not washing my foot for some days now.
Or wait, does it smell like fish already?

No, I don't type with my right foot but...
That's a partially torn ligament (Everybody assures me that's the best that could happen compared to a fully torn ligament or a simple ligamental strain. Please keep quite on this one because in my opinion, the best would have been, not to twist my ankle in the first place!)
It has been responsible for hours and hours spent in hospital, at doctors and on the phone, trying to be on (paid) sick-leave, and, yes, resting my ankle while observing the invasion of dust bunnies and mysterious multiplication of dirty dishes.

It feels somehow nice though having official approval to spend the days lying on the sofa. I just wish there would be more time for knitting. But there isn't. The pile of reading material is higher than would be healthy resting my foot on.
However, feeling so bad about my Socktober record, I had to cast on for some mindless- knitting-while-reading socks. As so many things take the wrong turn in my life these days, so does this sock.
See, beautiful Socks That Rock yarn in the colourway Scottish Highlands*.
Which is very appropriate because of the weather here, momentarily changing from mild autumn sun to heavy dark rainfalls faster as you can say Socks That Rock in Scottish Highland. Or faster than you can spell p-o-o-l-i-n-g! And the pattern (rpm,, although simple, demands for some serious counting. Well... Plan B is therefore the challenge to follow one of the most difficult books I ever read (Tolkien's Silmarillion) in audiobook format and knit (and count, and curse).
Anybody perked up his or her ears when I said Tolkien? Great, because last time it was so very, very helpful to have people commenting on my study work. This time it's a Tolkien seminar and my main concern is an essay on "The Evil of Saruman". You are so very welcome to share your thoughts!

*I really love this yarn, even hand-winding it into skeins. But I was not too happy to find a knot in the hank, hence the small ball in front.

Across the ocean


He's coming home, he's coming home, he's coming, Leif is coming home.Resemblance?[click for a closer view of the inscription]"face to face"So, Leif Eriksson made it "back home". How come that I guessed to be one of his landing ports rather than say Vasco da Gama or Marco Polo? Hehe... The suspense was of course not to know when the vessel would arrive here. It did so last Friday.Want to see what was inside?Phoebe sent a bursting box full of goodies! !!!!Yarn first: she included two skeins of Koigu KPM yarn in a beautiful silvery/grey shade. The absolutely stunning colour shines like silk and will be perfect for patterned socks. I love it! She also included a ball of Cascade Fixation. Super cool! My sister has this no wool! attitude when it comes to socks. Unfortunately, I don't enjoy to knit with cotton. But the elastic Fixation just looks like it fits the bill. Thank you, Phoebe, that was very observant. The icluded sock pattern looks very intriguing (Peak Experience Socks by Betsy McCarthy) and included on the page is an inch metre (great!) and a grafting diagram. I will finally be able to survive without an online connection.The parcel was also packed with some chocolate extraordinaire (it took some time until I understood the concept of "whack and unwrap") and delicious citrus tea. Very thoughtful again, Phoebe, to include tea filters! It is not long since those were (if at all) only available in special tea/coffee shops over here and you almost had to buy them piece by piece (or more wish you could, given the price). Thank you very much, Phoebe!Here's a tiny little peak inside the parcel that I send off ..hmm.. back to "Vínland"? Who knows..On other means, you have probably read that Iceland "is giving the finger to the international community" by resuming commercial hunting of whales. The hunting for "research" purposes already stirred up the discussion last year and I am getting kind of tired.As much as the idea to kill whales might disturb me in general, I am also able to blend out my emotions here. The mere fact, these animals are bigger or supposedly more intelligent or "cuter" than others, doesn't neccessarily grant them a better stand than other animals, breed and hunted for feeding purposes. At least, I think, they are free roaming and apparently happy animals as long as they live (not regarding the increasing pollution of the oceans at this point). Something one cannot assume for the majority of poultry and pigs for example.However, I cannot find a single argument in the official statements for resuming the commercial hunting.I remember a poll from last year, revealing that 2% of the population had actually used the opportunity to be able to buy and eat whale meat again. I don't seem to find the source again. Anyway, make it even up to 20%. That's not really a pressing demand that has to be satisfied. Together with the fact that the meat is not at all selling as hot cakes. Quite the opposite. Even though being one of rather the cheapest meat you can buy, it fails to be a commercial success.The other favoured argument leading the discussion is that of tradition. Well, traditions are not neccessarily a good thing and need to be revised here and then. Hundred years ago, girls were not allowed to go to school and I won't even go into topics like female genital mutilation.. but everybody would whole-heartedly agree here in interfering and stopping the corresponding n[...]