Thursday, 30 April 2015

Spring photo walk

Today, I was quite scared because it seemed that my camera was broken. Last time I took some photos with it, it made this really weird sound for a few seconds. Then it worked again without problems. But when I wanted to turn it on today it stayed dark. I tried to find out what the problem was but at first I had no clue. It didn't work with my other lense either, so I guessed the shutter (if that's what it's called ;-) didn't open anymore. I was ready to give up and go to the photo shop tomorrow and already saw a new body in the near future when I tried one last thing. I took off the lense again and pressed the release. All of a sudden the shutter opened and when I reattached the lense I was able to use my camera again. You can imagine how happy that made me.

I was so glad we got to go outside and take a few spring photos with Antonia who still likes to come with me on little walks like that. Most of the trees have turned green already but there were still some pink blooms left.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Finished Object: Savannah Chaps - Zebra

Pattern: Savannah Chaps by Barbara Prime
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Art Green Label
Colours: Lucky Penny and Sand
Needles: 4mm DPS
Start of project: April 3, 2015
End of project: April 5, 2015

On Ravelry

I fell in love with this zebra when I saw one on Julie's Blog Knitted Bliss. I added it to my long queue list without a plan for when to knit it.

Then I had quite a bit of leftover from my R&R Hoodie and even though the yarn is not really a gradient yarn, I thought it was varied enough for the darker stripes. And I was totally right, I love the subtle colour changes.

This little toy is done very quickly. You knit all the parts seperately and in the flat and then you sew it, stuff it and join it all together.

I was a bit apprehensive about the face, I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, but it wasn't too difficult. I love the intense black eyes and the mouth looks friendly. The mane took quite a while, but it was worth it, now it has this 80s style hair, kind of like my own ;-)

I will share this on "Auf den Nadeln im April

Finished Object: R&R Hoodie

Pattern: R&R Hoodie by Tanis Lavallée
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Art Green Label
Colours: Lucky Penny
Needles: 4mm and 4.5 mm Round Needle
Start of project: March 30, 2015
End of project: April 3, 2015

On Ravelry

About a year ago, I fell in love with this hoodie. Then I'd only knit wrist warmers and couldn't imagine ever knitting anything like this. I also fell in love with Tanis Lavallee's patterns and her yarns.

Slowly my knitting got better. I brazenly knit my first I heart Cardigan,  then a Trench Hat, a School Boy Vest with a Frosted Alpine Hat, a pair of Business Casual Socks, another Baby Set, a few Love You Forever and a pair of Adelia Mitts. Then I started ordering her yarn too, knit another I heart Cardigan, Antonia's Moses Hoodie (with Amy Christoffers' pattern) and now I've come full circle and knit the first thing that got me on Tanis' homepage: an R&R Hoodie in Lucky Penny.

Wow, when I look at this list, I realise that I am indeed infatuated ;-)

Anyway, I am so happy with how this turned out and I can't wait to give it to the baby that isn't born yet, which is why I have to wait posting this for a little while longer... (ETA: the baby was finally born on 26th of April. I saw him quickly at the hospital today. He is supercute and I am so glad he is going to wear this ;-)

Monday, 27 April 2015

Currently knitting: Hitofude Cardigan

Pattern: Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light
Colours: Jade
Needles: 3.5 mm Round Needle
Start of project: April 19, 2015

On Ravelry

Last week I had a lot of time to knit. It was the first week of spring holidays and both kids were at a computer camp in the mountains. I had a few things to do for school and I tried to move my back every day but apart from that it was a relaxed and lazy week which I used for coffee breaks with friends and for knitting. The weather was brilliant the whole week, lots and lots of sunshine, quite cool in the beginning but almost summery warm in the end. I knit on the balcony or on the sofa watching The West Wing and things progressed nicely.

Until I realised that once again I had chosen a size that was going to be at least very tight if not too tight. I don't know why I always do that, I like fitted clothes so there's always a chance that it might end up too small, but still. Also I was too lazy to knit a proper gauge swatch this time.

On Thursday afternoon I tried on my cardigan on which I had already done both arms and the body had started to grow down. It felt too tight, especially around the armpits. I debated forwards and backwards with myself about going back to the arms and make one more pattern and then I just tried. Somehow I wasn't careful enough and I went back too far and in the end I wasn't able to pick up the stitches anymore at all. Which left me with more than half an hour of ribbing and quite a nasty feeling for losing so much effort.

I cast on again (and the second provisional cast on wasn't much more enjoyable than the first one) and then I tried to get back on track. I knit so much that my hand started to hurt intensly but by then I had  lost the joy of knitting and I just wanted to get back to the point where I had been before.

Finally yesterday after almost 4 days of knitting I reached that point and now I can start to relax again. I haven't tried on the cardigan yet (the photos are from the tight version), but I can see that it looks wider and I am pretty sure this time it will be ok. How come I always put so much pressure on myself, there is no dead line to this whole knitting business ;-)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Finished Object: Faux Cable Socks

Pattern: Faux Cable Socks by Jen Lucas
Yarn: Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic Dégradé
Colours: Brown to Yellow
Needles: 2.5mm DPS
Start of project: April 12, 2015
End of project: April 19, 2015

On Ravelry

My bee socks are done. I am a bit ambivalent about them. I think the pattern looks nice and they didn't take long to knit, but there wasn't a lot of passion on my side. I always think I should knit more socks while forgetting that I don't particularly like to knit them. It's not the second sock that bothers me, but the fit is never quite right. They have to be very tight to fit well afterwards and that's hard to do. Another thing I find hard with sock is to wash them carefully. At first I wash them by hand but then I get bored with doing that and I push them in the washing maschine where they suffer until they look all fuzzy.

I am also not that sure about the colour I chose. The brown yellow looked like fun in the yarn shop but now I find them a bit silly, looking like a bumble bee.

I guess I shouldn't overthink it so much and either stop knitting socks or just wear them without too much blabla ;-)

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Spring has arrived

Pattern: Faux Cable Socks by Jen Lucas
Yarn: Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic Dégradé
Colours: Brown to Yellow
Needles: 2.5mm DPS
Start of project: April 12, 2015

On Ravelry

The weather has been getting warmer over the last few days and today it really felt like spring for the first time. So I decided to take my newest socks along to my walk with Silvia.

We met at Bürkliplatz, just before the Sechsilüüte started. There were a lot of people around, tourists and everybody who had been locked inside during the winter. But even though it was busy, it was wonderful outside.

We found an empty bench at Badi Mythenquai. It was lovely sitting in the sunshine, people watch, talk, knit and look out at the lake. We even dipped our toes into the water, but it was definitely still too cold to go in with more than just the legs. I'll try again in a few weeks ;-) 

Days like these remind me why I love Zürich...

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Working my back

During the last few weeks, probably even months, I've been neglecting my back. I used to do my physio exercises daily, go to weight training at Kieser twice a week, do Pilates once a week and I even found time to do a little cycling most weeks. But then I got lazy, always found an excuse not to do it or not to go.

One of the reasons (and a positive one at that) is that my back has been much better since last summer. After two years with quite a lot of pain from my Spondylolisthesis (what a long word for a vertebra that isn't attached properly and wants to slide away from its neighbour) it seemed that all the building of strength and the monthly visitis with Philipp, my osteopath were finally paying off.

But recently I seemed to be stiffer than I used to be, my lower back sometimes hurt, my neck was often slightly blocked (from a rib it seems) and so when I went to see Philipp in the beginning of April I decided that I had to get back into a routine, preferably a daily one, because those are the ones that work best for me - no possibility for easy cheating and postponements to the next day.

Almost at the same time my friend Silvia posted a link to a Yoga Programme she'd been doing for a while, where a 30 day programme for tight hips had just started. I decided to give it a try and so far I've been good to my promise and have moved every day.

The Yoga programme is quite intense and some of the poses are too difficult for me, but I can feel that I am already closer to the ground in my chosen hip pose, which I have to practice every day. I chose the easiest one (not easy for me though), the Forward Fold.

It's not easy to find the time to do the programme every day, it takes up to an hour, but I will try to do as much as possible without stressing too much about perfection.

Today I was close to calling it a day (for the day ;-) when I started the last part anyway, a 25 minute chillout yoga video and now I am so happy that I did, because it was just perfect, gentle and relaxing.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Looking back: 4th of April

Ups, I just realised that I missed the 4th of April. But I guess, better late than never ;-)

2009 was the first spring in our new flat at the top of the building. With all the leaves still gone the wedding ballon that had got stuck on the tree right in front of our balcony was visible, but it was too high up to reach.

On the same day I had a photoshooting with Beat. It was a great experience to see him take photos even though it felt slightly weird not to take selfies.

In 2010 I had coffee with Claudi at Henrici's. My first iPhone was all new and I took a lot of Hipstamatics, which I still do ;-)

The second photo of the same year is from our living room. Antonia was still so small then...

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Reading Challenge - March

1. a book with more than 500 pages: "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt (01/24)
2. a romance: "Sweet Filthy Boy" by Christina Lauren (02/09)
3. a book that became a movie: "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova (03/27)
4. a book published this year: "First Frost" by Sarah Addison Allen (01/28)
5. a book with a number in the title:"28 Tage lang" by David Safier (02/21)
6. a book written by someone under 30: "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed (02/13)
7. a book with nonhuman characters: "Saubande" by Arne Blum (03/24)
8. a funny book:
9. a book by a female author: "Dash & Lily's Book of Dares" by Rachel Cohn (02/28)
10. a mystery or thriller: "Das Flüstern der Fische" by Walter Christian Kärger (03/21)
11. a book with a one-word title: "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon (03/08)
12. a book of short stories:  
13. a book set in a different country:
14. a nonfiction book: 
15. a popular author's first book: "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen (01/06)
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: 
17. a book a friend recommended:
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: 
19. a book based on a true story:
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: 
21. a book your mom or dad loves: 
22. a book that scares you: "Left Neglected" by Lisa Genova (currently reading)
23. a book more than 100 years old: 
24. a book based entirely on its cover:
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: 
26. a memoir:
27. a book you can finish in a day: "The Same Sky" by Amanda Eyre Ward" (01/25)
28. a book with antonyms in the title:
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit:
30. a book that came out the year you were born: 
31. a book with bad reviews:
32. a trilogy (the first):  "A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness (02/03)
33. a trilogy (the second): "Shadow of Night" by Deborah Harkness (03/02)
34. a trilogy (the third): "The Book of Life" by Deborah Harkness (03/10)
35. a book from your childhood:
36. a book with a love triangle:
37. a book set in the future:
38. a book set in high school: 
39. a book with a color in the title:  
40. a book that made/makes you cry:
41. a book with magic: "Lost Lake" by Sarah Addison Allen (01/04)
42. a graphic novel:
43. a book by an author you've never read before: "Accidents of Marriage" by Randy Susan Meyers (02/08)
44. a book you own but have never read: 
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: "Hafturlaub" by Petra Ivanov (02/28)
46. a book that was originally written in another language: 
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday):
48. a book written by an author with your same initials:
49. a play:
50. a banned book:
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show:
52. a book you started but never finished: "Attachments" by Rainbow Powell (03/17)