mánudagur, maí 05, 2008

They say it's summer here now

triple tulips
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?
Noro sockyarn
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..

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!

föstudagur, júlí 20, 2007

I solemnly swear, I am up for an update!

What's been going on over here?
Okay, France? Been there.

Tour Eiffel
Sockapalooza socks? Done.
Waving Lace socks for Sockapalooza 4
Waving lace socks. They will get their own post eventually!

What kept me from posting so long? Well, for once, the little ones.
Kohl and Merkel
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...
yarn shop
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!
MalogMenning HP book release
(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!

föstudagur, júní 08, 2007


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:

Icelandic lambs
Icelandic lambs

föstudagur, maí 25, 2007

Time, it is relative

One week


...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.
Embossed Leaves for Franziska
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 weeks

... I finished Shedir. (PDF-link to the special cancer issue of knitty.com)
I 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 weeks

...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!
Willy after 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!
Willy huging Lopi

fimmtudagur, maí 17, 2007

In one day


Yarn, needles, coffee, ipod - check. Pattern yet to be decided!
Today's newspaper headline proves that I am not cheating ;-)

Starting a sock in a day
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!
sock in a day - leg


Heel done.


Only the unexpected, foul play or an injury can stop me now!
Starting a sock in a day

22:50 - Done!
Finished sock

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!

miðvikudagur, maí 16, 2007

The size of great things

See, sometimes, you've got things that are cute and they are tiny.

Baby booties

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.
The Giantess
A huge marionette stamped through the city, incidentally looking for her father, the giant.
Papa Giant
He left hints and traces where to find him.
Stomped carKnifed bus
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.
Baby booties and kitten

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.
Toasty toes Socks
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.
Sock in a day buttonTo 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.

laugardagur, maí 12, 2007

Let's fly the flag

German flag cake
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!

German flag cake