Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Finished Object: No Purl Monkey Socks

Pattern: No Purl Monkey by Crafty Pancakes / Cookie A.
Yarn: MalabrigoYarn Sock
Colour: Fresco Y Seco
Needles: 2.5 mm DPS
Start of project: October 21, 2014
End of project: October 27, 2014

On Ravelry

It felt good knitting a proper pair of socks in between all the little socks I still have to knit (right now I need another 21...) I had tried the No Purl Monkey pattern before with Madelinetosh Sock in the colour Turtle, but the colourmix was far too busy for this lace pattern. With the gentle mix of the Malabrigo yarn it looks much better (though I have to remember next time not to trust the Malabrigo photos, the colour looked very different when I ordered it - blue instead of green)

I think they turned out really cute and I will totally wear them today.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Happy Moments

School started again this week and I really tried to notice the good moments, because I know that's going to help me through the next few weeks till christmas. Sometimes I took photos, sometimes I just payed attention. Here's a selection of what made me happy:

1. A sunrise for the start of the next term: On Monday I walked to our training day. This has been one of my traditions for the last few years. Somehow it's much nicer to start the dark season with a walk first thing in the morning and once more I was lucky because there was a great sunrise (a few minutes ealier than this photo everything was all pink) and sunshine during the day.


2. Decoration for our living room: I saw a leaf chain like this on Julie's blog (KnittedBliss) a few weeks ago. Usually I am not that into indoor decorations, our appartement looks the same all the time. But I really liked that idea, so I went leaf hunting with Antonia and by myself, pressed them and then we put them up above the sofa. It looks so nice and colourful that it makes me smile each time I see it.


3. A new project with yummie yarn: Yesterday I got a new yarn delivery. This is going to be knit into a Ravello which I saw last week on Ravelry and fell in love with. I kind of wished the darker grey were more obviously darker than the lighter one, but it's knit top down, so if it doesn't work out with these colours I can change it to something more noticeable.

4. Charity run: Yesterday both my kids took part in the charity run for their athletics club. They had to run 400m rounds for 30 minutes at the football stadium. They were among the youngest and it was their first time. Both of them did really well. It was good to see them go on and on without giving in to their fatigue. Now I have to pay for 27 rounds...

5. Time with my girl: Today Antonia and I wanted to go for coffee and cake. Not surprisingly, everybody else had had the same idea, so all the cafés were totally packed. In the end we walked for quite a bit and then got our cake to go and ate it on the balcony, where it was really nice and sunny.

6. New FOs: And here are my latest socks for the advents calendar. The yarn for the extra colours I bought was slightly thicker, so there are three different sizes now. My new favourite sock is the one at the bottom row on the left. Who would have thought that this combination works? The green - blue - red one was knit for Pumpkinspins ;-)

Wow, I hadn't realised how many photos I'd taken and how many good moments I'd had in just one week!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

I've been blogged on Ravelry

Wow, my lace and cable wrist warmers were mentioned in the Community Eye Candy on Ravelry!!! I feel so honoured. What a cool surprise to wake up to! (and I totally want to knit that gradient sweater - it's soo beautiful!!!)
I guess, there is a better way to link to another page than just to post screen shots, but I am new to this blog business and it's not even 7am yet...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Finished Object: Estuary

Pattern: Estuary by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light
Colour: Jade
Needles: 4mm Circular
Start of project: September 30, 2014
End of project: October 19, 2014

On Ravelry

I did it - it's finished.

There were many times when I was close to giving up but once I'd reached the halfway point it kind of started rolling. I got more into the pattern, knew how to count the stitches and didn't get lost half as often. Then the decrease started and with every stitchmarker I could put away I got faster and more determined.

On Saturday I got in a knitting frenzy and knitted for more than 5 hours on it and then it was just the last pattern on Sunday to the finish line. The shawl didn't look like much unblocked but I knew it would change a lot.

I used two long improvised wires to block it and tonight it was dry enough to take it off the mat and try it on.

It's so incredibly light, it weighs almost nothing at all (I only used one skein of the yarn) but it's warm anyway. I am sure I will wear this a lot and it's just in time because tomorrow there is supposed to be a big temperature drop. Thanks to my great photographer girl Antonia I can show you what it looks like...

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The end of my holidays

Sadly the two weeks of fall holidays are already over. I just went back to school to reorganise my classroom (it was thoroughly cleaned while there was no school). It was rather frustrating because they left a lot of chaos and they didn't put in enough tables and chairs so it might be a bit of a hassle next week.

I didn't go away this time - the kids were each away for a week and I had the other one at home. Most of the time that was a good thing, we had more time to talk, to go on little excursion for a day, to cook and to watch films together. But sometimes it was also quite a struggle. It's hard to keep them away from their iPads, without the structure of school they tend to spend far too much time glued in front of their screens. Also they are definitely turning into teenagers with all the "lovely" traits that come along with it.

I hope the next 9 weeks till christmas won't be too stressful. It's usually an intense time with little light and lots of rain and fog. We always have a big school party right before christmas which means more work and little concentration for the mundane stuff like French or Maths and all the students are really tired right before the end of the year.

I'll try not to fall into the stress trap, find little moments for myself and try to breath deeply.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Choose my next sock

Pattern: Little Sock Ornaments by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Lang Yarn Merino + superwash
Colour: lots of leftovers from various projects
Needles: 3.5 mm DPS
Start of project: October 11, 2014

On Ravelry

My sock collection (first batch) has been growing quite a bit these last few days. Yesterday evening I had done 8 small ones and 9 medium ones. I have tried to vary them, different yarn combinations, different patterns and I bought three colours that I haven't used yet (they will be my next medium one).

new colours

So because there are still many socks to be done and I can't ask my kids what colours I should mix (I am trying to make this a surprise -  how that is supposed to work when they can see me knit all the time I don't know, but I can hope ;-) I wanted to ask YOU what I should knit next.

second batch

There are two sizes to choose from: S/M
There are a lot of colours to choose from: white, grey, black, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, lilac, turquoise, royal blue, smoke blue, light olive green, dark olive green, fir-tree green
There are also the different patterns I already tried or you can wish for a new one (if it's doable ;-)

So what would YOU like to see or which one should I knit again (I can have twins because the socks are for two kids)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Finished Object: Paddle

Pattern: Paddle by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK
Colour: Tern (MC), Leaf (CC)
Needles: 3.5mm and 4mm DPS
Start of project: Ocotber 4, 2014
End of project: October 6, 2014

On Ravelry

These mitts are my first project from the new book "Road Trip" by Tin Can Knits. The mitts knit up very quickly which was perfect in between all that intense concentration on my Estuary. I wasn't sure how big they were going to turn out because for once my gauge was slightly off in the other direction (usually I need more stitches than everybody else). So I knit the adult S to see how big they would turn out and they are a bit too big for me which is great because I didn't knit them for myself :-)

I added an extra half inch to the ribbing because it seemed a bit short with just 3 inches. Now they are quite long which I think it's great when it's cold, warm wrists are so important. These mitts will be great for wearing in the winter, because they are really warm and it's still possible to take photos while wearing them.

Originally they were meant to paddle on a Canadian lake, so I might have to knit another, slightly smaller pair for myself and take them with me next summer. After all, Road Trip is one of the main reasons I couldn't resist booking our flights to Vancouver next July.

I've been waiting to post this for a little while but today is T's birthday and so it's no longer a secret ;-)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Currently knitting: Little socks

Pattern: Little Sock Ornaments by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Lang Yarn Merino + superwash
Colour: lots of leftovers from various projects
Needles: 3.5 mm DPS
Start of project: October 11, 2014

On Ravelry

I've been in a sock fever these last few days.

I started knitting them on Saturday and since then the pile of finished little socks has been growing. They are just so much fun to knit. They are very easy to do, I can binge-watch TV series -  it takes about one episode per sock and they are an excellent way to use up all my left over yarn. They use so little yarn that I can use even the shortest bit of yarn.

I knit them in two different sizes. The smaller ones start with 16 stitches, the bigger ones with 20 stitches. I actually prefer the bigger ones, they turn out more even and I think, they will be better suited for what I am making them for.

On the whole I plan to knit 48 socks and I have about 50 days left to get them done. I want to use them for two new advent's calendars. On the first of December, I will put them on a washing line and fill them with little treats and chocolate.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Dreams of Vancouver Island

Yesterday I met with two friends who had been to Canada this summer. They told me about their road trip, what they liked and what they wouldn't recommend. I think I am starting to see our own trip more clearly.

We have 15 nights and I will have to drive everything myself. I don't want to drive more than 150 km per day on average, preferably less and the biggest distance for one day shouldn't be much more than 250 km.

I would love to see both the Pacific and the Rockies, but I think that's just too ambitious. We do have great mountains in Switzerland and while they are probably much smaller and much more populated, that seems to be the part that I can live without. So I want to concentrate on the sea.

We will start in Vancouver, but I'd like to go to Vancouver Island soon after our arrival. At least half of the time I would like to spend on Vancouver Island. I am not sure yet if it would be better to stay in the same spot (Tofino or Ucluelet) and drive around from that starting point or to change location every two to four nights.

I'd also like to see the American islands (maybe San Juan Island) and go back to Vancouver via the National parks along the American-Canadian border. I am pretty sure our passports are still good to go into the USA without problems, I think, the ESTA is valid for two years.

At the end of our trip, I'd love to spend maybe two nights in Vancouver before going home again.

So next I'll have to read my new travel guide, have a look at the distances and just try to find out as much as possible ;-)

Friday, 10 October 2014

Perseverance: Estuary shawl

Pattern: Estuary by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light
Colour: Jade
Needles: 4mm Circular
Start of project: September 30, 2014

On Ravelry

Knitting this shawl is such a struggle. The pattern is incredibly difficult. Each time I picking it up again after a break I get lost. I need total concentration and quietness and every little thing bothers and distracts me. Normally I can talk, watch TV or even read while I am knitting but here nothing goes. I need to count every stitch because it's just never apparent where I am.

I also use every procastrinaton possible, just like right now when I'd rather write this blog than knit more than the first two lines I've done today so far...

Why not give up? Pride maybe, because others have done it as well. Stringiness, because the yarn was expensive and I actually like it even though it's quite a pain to knit with. I don't know ;-)

I guess I'll just keep trying and hope that it will grow at least slowly...

Looking back: 10th of October

My friend Sunneschii did a blog entry a few days ago (on the 5th) about looking at old photos in her archives on flickr. I really liked the idea and decided to copy it. So for the next few months I want to look back too. And because October is the 10th month, I will start with the 10th of October...

My first photo is from 2006:

These were Y&As dummies. They exchanged them for a toy at the toystore that day and I remember how hard it was for them to fall asleep without them the first night, there were a lot of tears and some swearing too. In the morning they didn't want to go back to exchange their present anymore and by the evening the dummies wrere mostly forgotten. This photo is part of my first year of A Picture a Day, it was day 16.

In 2007 there were a few pictures to choose from... Here is one of them...

Trini and Sandra, two  German women I'd met online via flickr came to Zürich for the day. We took selfies (of course), had a glass of bubbly (broseggo actually ;-) and did some sightseeing. It has been far too long since I've seen these two in real life but thanks to facebook and flickr I still keep up with them.

While there was no photo for 2008, I could choose between a spider and fall in 2009.

You get a leaf, raindrops on a car and a definite feeling of the end of summer and warmth. But the important thing is to see beauty in all seasons!

In 2010 we were on holidays in Engi / GL.

We had a beautiful, surprisingly warm week in the mountains. We stayed in an old farmhouse where we had to cook with wood and fire. In the evenings we huddled around the tile stove, even though it was barely cool enough to light it. We got friends with Idefix, the farmer's dog, who protected us from every stranger that dared to come close.

There are no pictures from 2011 nor 2012, but in 2013 we were on our road trip through Canada and the USA.

Exactly a year ago we climbed Mt. Washington with our rental car. Even though we have lots of mountains in Switzerland it was a fantastic experience to climb that mountain and to see the landscape change with every meter. At the top, we had a fantastic view and we were lucky because there was barely any wind. Looking at these photos makes me want to go on tour again right now!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Hiking in Braunwald

Antonia and I went hiking with my parents again. We went to Braunwald / GL. It took much longer than I expected, especially because there was so much traffic through the little villages and Glarus.

When we arrived at the bottom of the cable railway up to Braunwald we had just enough time to park the car and squeeze into one of the compartements, there were so many people in there already. Beautiful weather, summery temperatures and fall holidays attracted many people to go hiking.

Once outside again people spread quite quickly and we were able to enjoy the wonderful scenery. We hiked for a bit more than an hour, then we ate an excellent Rösti at Restaurant Nussbühl. On our way back, the Föhn had really picked up speed, Antonia and I sometimes were almost blinded by our own hair.

We had a great time and I felt sad to go back home again, especially because Zürich was already quite cloudy. We might go back to the mountains again tomorrow, maybe we'll be lucky again with the weather.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Currently knitting: Estuary shawl

Pattern: Estuary by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light
Colour: Jade
Needles: 4mm Circular
Start of project: September 30, 2014

On Ravelry

This beautiful shawl has been on my wishlist for quite some time. I ordered the yarn a few weeks ago but somehow I needed to be done with all my other projects before I could think of starting it.

Two days ago I decided the time was right and I cast on the two necessary stitches. Fastest cast on ever.

But that's it with the easy knitting because, believe me, this pattern needs a lot of concentration. Every line is full of ssks, yarn overs and in between stitches that constantly change, so my progress is very very slow. Somehow that is perfect for now.

So on the first evening I knit 20 rows (10 pattern rows and 10 faster WS rows) and today I did another 20.

My shawl is really just a tiny little arrow right now (about twice as big as on the photo, that was after 20 rows) but already it looks very pretty.

The yarn is so delicate that it feels like knitting a spiderweb and it's quite mesmerising to see how the pattern develops. I will really try to take this very slowly and enjoy the meditative knitting.

I will share this with Auf den Nadeln im Oktober as well, because here I will hopefully be able to share some progress during the month of October.

Reknitted: Trench Hat

... my poor hat in yarn balls ...
Pattern: Trench Hat by Tanis Lavallee
Yarn: Rico Design Essentials Merino DK (about 1 ball for the fuchsia, less for the other colours)
Needles: 4 / 4.5 mm Double Point
Start of project: April 17, 2014
End of project: October 1, 2014
On Ravelry

This was the first hat I ever knit. I made it from leftover yarn and I loved it from the first moment. I've worn it all over spring and summer, whenever it was slightly chillier. It was loose from the start and most of the time I just ignored that, but secretly I wished I could make it a bit tighter.

Today I wore it again and it really moved around on my head with every move I made. So I decided to frog and reknit it. It took a while to rip it apart and it felt quite terrible to see it unravel. I started again with 8 stitches less. The knitting was kind of akward in the beginning because the yarn was very wavy and it didn't move through my fingers very well. After a while I got used to it and I was hopeful that I might be able to redo my lovely hat.

what it looked like in April
Thanks to the sunshine, A.'s company on the balcony, an Aperol Spritz and a yummie dinner which I didn't have to cook myself, the hat grew back into shape quite fast. So once we were home again, I was ready to commit and finish it tonight (of course I remember that I swore I wouldn't do that anymore only two nights ago, but you know...)

At about 11:15 pm it was done, all the ends woven in. It is definitely tighter and kind of wavy. At the moment it's blocking which will hopefully flatten it out some and then I'll be able to wear it again soon.

This blog entry will be linked to Auf den Nadeln im Oktober on Marisa's maschenfein blog.