Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Finished Object: No-Purl Ribbed Scarf

Pattern: No-Purl Ribbed Scarf from Purl Soho
Yarn: Lang Yarns Merino + Superwash
Colours: marine, light olive and off white
Needles: 5mm round needle
Start of project: November 22, 2014
End of project: December 30, 2014

On Ravelry

Somehow this scarf took forever. I can't even tell what it was, the pattern was very easy and I like the ribs. Maybe there wasn't enough of a challenge to really keep me at it, I got a bit bored with it after a while. So I knit it while watching TV and it took many episodes of different series to finally get to the 80 inches. I hope it's long enough now.

Yannick tested it for me and for him the scarf is huge ;-)

Monday, 29 December 2014

Winter has arrived

It took a long time this year for the first snow to fall in Zürich. But two days ago it started with a wet and ugly mixture of snow and rain. Then yesterday it got colder and the snow stayed and turned everything white and calm.

In the city cars had to drive slowly or not at all and most bicycles were too covered up to ride.

The mood was rather melancholic, there weren't a lot of colours nor was there much light because of the fog. People tried not to stay outside for too long and were glad to be inside again.

In the afternoon we visited my parents. After lunch we decided to go outside for a bit of much needed fresh air. In the wood the snow was quite deep already. There were a lot of people walking or running, we even met Helen who braved the snow while running uphill. It was the perfect weather to wear handknit woolen things, three hats, one pair of mitts and my Sundottir sweater were all put to good use.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

My books in 2014

These are the books I read in 2014.

  • 54 books are written in English
  • 9 books are written in German
  • 3 books are written in French
  • 18 books are proper books
  • 50 books are on my iPad

My favourites are:

  • The Silver Lining Playbook
  • Still Life With Breadcrumbs
  • The Geography Of Me And You
  • Meine Antonia
  • The Invention Of Wings
  • Necessary Lies
  • No Place To Fall
  • Written In My Own Hearts' Blood
  • Little Lies
  • The Storied Life Of AJ Fickry

Saturday, 27 December 2014

2014 resumé

I used to do this summary every year when I had a blog on LJ. I always liked it so here it is for 2014.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
I learnt how to knit properly. I knit a few small things rather unsuccessfully when I was a teenager and then I never tried again. Then I got hooked on our skiing holidays and haven't stopped knitting.
I rented a car all by myself in Wales and I drove on the left for the first time.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any. I usually try to find a project and stick to it. For 2015 I'd like to get back to writing (here and definitely by hand, I have sadly neglected my Moleskines) and to actively live the good moments.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Two of my colleagues had boys and two more friends are expecting their babies in 2015.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
In April, I went to Paris in France with Antonia. We had a lovely time together. I especially liked cycling around the park at Versailles and just hanging out with her. These one-kids holidays are really so important.

In July, we flew to Bristol, UK and then we spent the next 9 days in Wales. I enjoyed the road trip immensely, I think it's my favourite kind of holidays and I am really looking forward to this summer when we can travel around again.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Maybe more adult people to talk to? Sometimes it's hard to be around preteenagers all the time and I think that I put too much pressure on the friends I see regularly. Maybe I need a therapist ;-), they get payed to listen.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
9th of February which was a perfect day at the Hamam with Renata.
15th - 22nd of February which we spent in Tschiertschen skiing.
22th - 25th of April which I spent in Paris with Antonia.
17th to the 25th of July which was our road trip in Wales. Especially the evening in Abergavenny and the train ride the next day.

19th to the 21st of September which we spent hiking with my parents in Tschiertschen again.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
That I didn't lose it big time. I was close to being overwhelmed a few time but I never crashed. I  agreed to so many things and I always finished them well and on time.
That I could enjoy the good moments.
That I really learnt a new thing and I got actually quite good at it quickly.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn't learn yet to say no to new projects when my plate is already full.
I also doubted myself too often and let myself be pushed into the defensive.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Overall I'd say my body was stronger than the years before. My back was more stable, my knee more flexible, my leg is mostly ok. Towards the end of the year I might have got a new thing but I have no doctor's verdict about it yet, so we will see...

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I got a new table which we inaugurated on Christmas eve. Now I need matching chairs and new plates and glasses to go with it ;-)

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Friends that were there for me again and again.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
There were three people who did but I don't want to dwell on it too much. It won't change anything.

14. Where did most of your money go?
I spent a lot of money on holidays but the memories were so worth it.
I also spent a lot on yarn but I got so many new beautiful things to wear from it, so I think it's totally ok. Apart from that I don't think I spent all that much.

15. What did you get really, really excited about?
It was a year of small moments - nothing earthshaking.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
I tried to find one but it seems that I don't have a special song for 2014.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Probably about the same. The end of the year is my least favourite time but I have started to feel better these last few days
b) thinner or fatter? The same.
c) richer or poorer? I have no idea, I need to have a look at my bank statement. Slightly richer maybe.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Gone outside. I spent a lot of time on my sofa.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worried about problems that weren't ready to be solved.

20. How did you be spend Christmas?
I spent the 20th of December with all my uncles, aunts and cousins for the second time in a row. It was lovely again and I was happy to be part of the preparations for the party this time.
On the 24th we had Fondue Bourguinnone at my place.
On the 25th we ate at my mother-in-law's.

21. What was your favourite month of 2014?
I didn't have a favourite month, but my least favourite month was definitely November.

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Too difficult to choose just one ;-)
Downton Abbey, The Good Wife, Shameless, Gilmore Girls and Friday Night Lights were the ones I knew and loved again and again.
I started watching Mom, The Killing, True Detective and Outlander which I all really enjoyed.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Kind of, but I am trying to get over it. Hate is such a destructive feeling.

26. What was the best book you read?
"The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd. It really made me think.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I was a musical failure this year!

28. What did you want and get?
Less pain. I hope my back keeps up like this!

29. What did you want and not get?
A new job. But I am quite happy with my old one.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I've only been to the cinema a few times this year and I can't remember anything special. I enjoyed watching movies with my kids, we should do that more often instead of spending time seperately in front of our computers! That might be a good resolution - a movie night each week!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 43 years old and it wasn't my favourite day of the year.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I don't know if there was one big thing missing.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Lots of handknit stuff, lots of hats. I didn't buy a lot of clothes, I made them instead which was such a great feeling.

34. What kept you sane?
My kids, talking with friends, going away on holidays, knitting.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I wouldn't kick Matthew Goode off my bed, but he has his hands full with both Alicia Florrick and Lady Mary Grantham.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I am glad that we didn't embarrass ourselves in front of all the world by saying yes to "Ecopop".

37. Who did you miss?

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I didn't meet anybody new but I got to know a few people more deeply and that was cool.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
I'll keep the one from last year:
As long as you are still breathing there is more right with you than wrong (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
If you don't like my peaches then don't shake the tree. (Leslie Clio - I couldn't care less)

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Finished Object: Foxy Hat

Pattern: Foxy and Wolfie from Ekaterina Blanchard
Yarn: Maddison Furbetto
Colours: orange and beige
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm DPS
Start of project: December 22, 2014
End of project: December 23, 2014

On Ravelry

For the first time since I took up knitting again in February I've been in a rut. I just didn't feel like doing anything, I guess I am a typical case of empty batteries. I'm still knitting a scarf that has been on the needle for more than a month, but I could only manage a few lines each day.

Then on the 20th we celebrated an early christmas with my cousins and all my uncles and one aunt (she was the only girl to six boys). When I saw my little nephew and his fox trousers I knew he had to have a Foxy Hat. I'd seen it a couple of times in different blogs, most recently on ela-strickt. I thought it was very cute, but my kids are too grown up for an animal hat, so I forgot about it again - until I saw Andrin.

I really enjoyed knitting this hat. It was challenging enough because there were four new techniques I had to learn -  the twisted German cast on, knitting intarsia, short row shadow wraps and the three needle bind off. They were all very well explained and I managed fine. I am very happy with how it turned out!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Finished Object: Dreaming of Cornwall

Pattern: Dreaming of Cornwall from ela strickt
Yarn: Blacker Yarns Westcountry Tweed
Colours: natural grey and olive
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm round needles
Start of project: November 26, 2014
End of project: November 29, 2014

On Ravelry

I was fortunate enough to get to test knit this cabled beanie hat for ela at the end of November. I ordered the original yarn she used for her hat from England and I was pleasantly surprised how fast it arrived in Zürich and how very kind and helpful the people from Blacker Yarns were.

The yarn was quite a new feeling for me. It's very much a wooly yarn, quite scratchy at first, sometimes there were even tiny twigs or grass in the yarn.The yarn is lightly spotted with little dots of colours that truly look like flowers in the middle of wild grass. At first it took some getting used to the roughness but I got into it after a while and the yarn changes a lot once it's blocked, it gets softer.

There were two new things in this pattern apart from the yarn. The first was the Italian cast on. I had never done that before and I struggled with it. I guess it would have been better to learn it with a different yarn and during the day instead of in near darkness on the sofa. I am still not sure if I did it correctly, but my ribbing looks ok now and I just could't get myself to start again (I think I started about 4 or 5 times...) The second thing I learnt was knitting with two cable needles at the same time. For the first row it felt a bit much but then I got the concept and enjoyed it.

The hat has a great fit and it's really warm and squishy now. I added a pompom at the top of it (my stylist aka my dear daughter told me it looked ok ;-)

I am very happy that I was able to be part of this test knit which is finally over today (15th of December. I've been wearing my hat every day and it's really warm and the wool gets softer each time.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Looking back: 12th of December

Wow, I totally forgot to post this yesterday! It's such an intense time right now...
Don't be surprised that I am in most of these photos - 12th of December is kind of my day ;-)

The oldest photo I found was from 2002:

Weird to see this. It was taken the year before I had my kids (they were actually inside me but I didn't know yet) That's my brother and his girlfriend on the sofa - that still happened then. Funnily enough I slept with that sheep for the last two days (there's a hot bottle inside it) because my feet were always cold.

The next photo is from 2006:

This Crumpler bag was my first camera bag. My Nikon still lives in there but I don't carry it around it that often anymore. Then it was my constant compagnion, I took it with me wherever I went and took so many photos.

I was all wrapped up in 2007:

  A selfie I took for my 36th birthday ;-)

In the evening we went out and had these amazing moules et frites. I love that kind of food and wished I could have some right now. Sadly that restaurant doesn't exist anymore.

A few festive pictures from 2008:

We had our yearly schoolball on the 12th of December. I think the theme must have been elegant or Prom. I took lots of photos of dressed up students. I wonder what they are all doing today.


Just me in a corner with some decoration.

Just me ;-) 

All of my reviews:

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Currently knitting: Love You Forever

Pattern: Love You Forever by Tanis Lavallee
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, Madelinetosh Pashmina
Colours: different leftovers
Needles: 2.5mm DPS
Start of project: December 6, 2014

On Ravelry

The last few weeks have been intense, too much darkness, too much mind twisting, too much second guessing. All of it made me quite subdued, doubting myself and feeling lonely and sorry for myself. I don't even feel like knitting that much which is a first ever since I started. All I can manage at the moment are little project with instant gratification.

So when I saw these cute hearts that Tanis designed they felt just right. They are small but very lovely, I get to use up sock yarn left overs and I will have a few ornaments for our christmas tree or little pendants for christmas presents. Mostly they make me smile.

I hope you are all in a more festive mood and when you can spare some positive vibes send them my way, I could sure use it.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Finished Object: Ravello

Pattern: Ravello by Isabell Kraemer
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock
Colours: MC Silverfox, CC1 Tart, CC2 Smokestack
Needles: 3.5 mm DPS/ round needle, 3mm DPS
Start of project: November 10, 2014
End of project: December 1, 2014

On Ravelry

Yay, look what December brought ;-)

I finally finished my Ravello. I don't know why it took me so long, because this was such a pleasure to knit. The Madelinetosh Tosh Sock is a dream to use, so soft and the colours are just amazing. It was a lot of stockinette, but I wasn't bored by it. I just had to do it in little bits here and there, because there was (and is) so much going on right now. 

This was my first Raglan sweater and I found it a great way to knit a sweater, because I could try it on while it was still growing. I tried something new for the cast off, because all the cast offs I knew looked wrong. In the end I went for a sewn cast off and I think it looks really neat.

I might wear this on Christmas eve because the colours look so festive or I might just wear it all the time and never take it off anymore. I can see more fingering weight sweaters coming in my future...

And because this was still on my needles in December for a little while, I can post it on "auf den Nadeln im Dezember".