Monday, 25 May 2015

Finished Objects: Mini Pookies

Pattern: Mini Pookies by Barbara Prime
Yarn: different fingering weight leftovers
Colours: red, green and blue
Needles: 2.5 mm DPS
Start of project: May 11, 2015
End of project: May 25, 2015

On Ravelry

Before starting something longer again, I wanted to finish my family of mini pookies. I knit the little fox (red body) for myself a couple of weeks ago, then I knit a little sheep (green body) for Yannick last week and today I knit the polar bear (blue body) for Antonia. I think all of them are cute but my favourite is probably the little bear.

What I learnt from knitting them:
  • even though having to sew them together in the end, knitting flat is worth it
  • smaller eyes are better, the eyes of the fox are too big and too prominent
  • red eyes do look spooky (they weren't my choice ;-)
  • embroidering the faces is tricky, every milimeter counts
  • the ears are the most important feature, they make them look so much better.

A hike to Schloss Heidegg

At the beginning of the weekend I told the kids that I wanted to do at least one little hike with them before school started again. Too often we spend too much time at home, mostly on the sofa looking into some device getting on each others' nerves.

Good thing that we had a little leaflet from Nivea in the mailbox that same day with family friendly hikes all over Switzerland. Yannick chose route Hitzkirch to Baldegg for us. Today the weather forecast wasn't very good, rain and thunderstorms were expected and we were close to calling it off. But fortunately we went anyway. We spent a lovely few hours outside, walking and talking and laughing. And just as we sat down in the train back home it started to rain ;-)

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Finished Object: Waterlily

Pattern: Waterlily by Meghan Fernandes
Yarn: Quincy & Co Tern
Colours: Seaweed
Needles: 3.75 mm and 4mm Round Needle
Start of project: May 13, 2015
End of project: May 23, 2015

On Ravelry

I finished my Waterlily today. I knit it as part of the TTT KAL (Tops, Tanks and Tees) by Very Shannon. I had this T-shirt in my queue for a while because I really liked the pictures in PomPom Quarterly 8.

I am rather ambivalent about my version - there are things I really like but there are also a few things I am not wild about...

what I like:
  • For this T-shirt I used my new Hiya Hiya interchangeables for the first time. They are really worth their money, the sharp points make it so easy to knit more than one stitch at the same time and they are very light. I am also very much in love with the beautiful little bag they came in.
  • This was the first time I used Quincy and Co. I am very happy with the quality and the feeling of the Tern yarn I used, I will definitely use it again.
  • I like the way the lace looks. I found the pattern rather difficult to get into at first but it turned out nicely and after a while I got into a good rhythmn. 
  • I like the modifications I made. The extra 10 cm in length were totally needed, I am not sure if the waist shaping is very visible but I think it was good I added it and I like the deeper v-neck.
  • I learnt three new techniques with this pattern.The first one was the Latvian Braid which I found very fiddly but I think it keeps the lace from falling apart. Then I knit my first v-neck ever (and I love v-necks ;-). Finding out the right spot of the pattern row after row and figuring out if I had the exact amount of stitches took a lot of counting. The last new thing for me was the back neckline band. Thanks to other knitters' notes I knew I had to alternate between k2tog and k3tog in order to avoid a wavey neck. I think it worked out well and I like the clever way it finishes the t-shirt. I think learning new stuff and having to use my brain is a great part of why I love knitting.
what I don't like:
  • I wanted to do my Waterlily with stripes (a mix between Waterlily and the Regatta Tee) and for that I had ordered a second colour to go with the Seaweed. Unfortunately the two colours don't look well together, the Mist is too dark and it looked heavy and not at all like I had pictured it in my mind. 
  • I am also not a huge fan of the Seaweed (for this particular t-shirt). It's a nice colour but it doesn't feel very summery and I am not sure if the colour suits me or if it washes me out. I wished I'd chosen either a much lighter colour or maybe petrol.
  • I think it turned out rather big for me (especially around my belly). I like my t-shirts fitted and I was barely able to block the lace because it was already wide enough.
  • While I was knitting it, I noticed that all the yarn ends and new beginnings were on one side. I was sure they were on my front, so I did half an extra row to move them to the back. Too bad that they somehow ended up in the front anyway which I only noticed when I tried it on after I had finished everything. Somehow knitting orientation is not my strong suit.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Finished Object: 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
End of project: May 9, 2015

On Ravelry

It's done. It took a while, in the end each row was soo long I needed more than 10 minutes to get from one end to the other. I also had to frog back about 5 cm right before the end when I realised that there wouldn't be enough yarn to finish the way I wanted. So I just added another chart E instead of doing a chart F.

I am very glad I started again bigger because the M fits me much better than the S would have done. Right now the cardigan is drying and I can't wait to take it off the needles to see how it looks for real. But I am pretty sure this will see a lot of wear, because a cardigan like this is just perfect to wear on top of a t-shirt.

It looks like the last skein was slightly lighter than the other two (or maybe it lost more colour when I soaked it because I never noticed it while knitting) There is a difference of colour but I hope it won't be terribly noticable once it's dry, especially because the garment won't be flat when worn. There is no way I'll go back a whole skein ;-)

Today (Sunday) it was finally ready. Once again Antonia helped me out and was my photographer. We were very lucky to get the last bit of sunshine and lots and lots of green and yellow. I am very happy with how this turned out!!!

I will share this post with "auf den Nadeln im Mai"...

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Looking back: 5th of May

In 2007 it was raining so hard the deck chairs had the day off and I got to use Yannick's zebra umbrella.

2008 was much friendlier with daisies for a selfie and gorgeous evening light in the garden.

In 2009 I got a new lense for my Nikon, a 10mm. Very good for claustrophobic selfies in the elevator and to get four kids in one shot ;-)

Saturday, 2 May 2015


Yesterday was family day. Two of my cousins came to visit with their kids. I've only started to see them again more often in the last two years. Before that I'd see them occasionally, every few years maybe. Then two years ago, these two organised a big christmas gathering, kind of like the ones we used to have as kids. I really enjoyed seeing everybody and I think my kids loved it too, because they don't have any close cousins. The ones from their dad's side are much older and my brother doesn't have kids at all.

Anyway, after that christmas two years ago I helped prepare this year's christmas with them. Y&A couldn't come to the actual event because they were skiing in Zermatt. So we decided to meet again sometimes in the spring - which brings us to yesterday ;-)

I was a bit apprehensive about what to do with 4 kids who don't know each other and are quite far apart agewise. Especially because it poured all day, which drowned my plans to go outside and hope for the best. Fortunately I remembered one idea that used to be fun when the weather was really bad -  going to the the gym at school. There is a definite advantage to having a key that unlocks an empty hall with lots and lots of equipment. And it was a success, we had a lot of fun, tried out masses of stuff and I even took some photos. Of course the timer always went off when at least one person wasn't ready or was laughing too hard and there were was a lot of photobombing involved.

In the evening we ate lots and lots of fajitas and it was comfortable and cozy and I was very happy when everybody left. It's lovely to do family stuff sometimes!!!

Friday, 1 May 2015

30 Days of Yoga Tone up

I wrote about strengthening my back in the beginning of April. Now the month is over and I am really pleased with myself. Every day in April I did some kind of exercise. I set my goal at a minimum of 15 minutes per day but most of the days I did more than that.

I went to Osteopathie once.
I did classical physio exercices twice.
I did Release the Neck with David Procyshyn once.
I did all or part of the Tight Hips Yoga programme 21 times (yay!!!)
I went to Kieser Training 8 times.
I went dancing once (and yes, that's an intense workout ;-)
I did Carla's workout at school twice.

Also I started cycling more, usually I mostly cycle to school and back and that's only about 1km per way but now I try to cycle to Kieser as well which is about 8 km.

In the beginning I was sore quite a lot. Of course I had to push myself, otherwise it wouldn't be a challenge, would it. After a while I got more sensible and I started to relax a little bit. So I didn't make myself do everything in the Yoga programme and I allowed to stop whenever I felt in pain. That helped a lot. I am pretty sure I am more flexible now than in the beginning of April, my back feels ok (we'll see what my next visit to Osteopathie will tell), my neck is less tense and if it is tense it loosens up during the day.

For May, there will be a new challenge on YBC, a 30 days Yoga Tone Up Programme. Perfect for me because I just bought a new bikini and the pool will open on the 9th. I already picked my pose to work on, I will do modifided boat pose (you can see my first try on the photo, freshly out of bed ;-) I think I can more or less manage that, but I can't hold it for very long at all.

Reading Challenge - April

I am not really sure if this Reading Challenge is the thing for me. I can't read my books in the order I am supposed to read. Reading is fun and I want to choose whatever book I like depending on the mood I am in.

Also some of the prompts either don't speak to me or they don't work. For example # 13 was supposed to be a book set in a different country - well the thing is there aren't that many books that are set in Switzerland so most of my books are set in a different country which doesn't make this a challenge at all. So I changed it to a book in a different language (French is different from my two main book languages English and German). I also changed # 17 to a book Goodreads recommended me (because I don't have friends...  no, I meant to say I don't have friends that recommend me books ;-).

I guess as this is my own challenge, I can do with it what I want but it still feels like cheating a little bit when I try to squeeze all my books onto the list (at least for now, there will probably be more books than 52 at the end of the year) because I have to be a good gatherer (and no, I am not OCD at all)

Anyway right now I am stuck with my French book (#13). It's not terribly difficult but it takes more concentration to read but I am just not really into the story, so I keep adding new books to my kindle and don't make any progress with it.

The second book I am reading right now (Elisabeth is missing) is quite scary but also fascinating. It's about this really confused elderly lady who keeps forgetting what she wanted to do from moment to moment. Not an easy read either but I think I'll finish that one.

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 in a different language: "Alors tu ne serais plus jamais triste" by Baptiste Beaulieu (currently reading)
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: "Reset" by Petra Ivanov (04/20)
17. a book Goodreads recommended: "Elisabeth Is Missing" by Emma Healey (currently reading)
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 (04/04)
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:"Love Anthony" by Lisa Genova (04/26)
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:"Never never" by Colleen Hoover (04/24)
37. a book set in the future:
38. a book set in high school: "Anna and the French Kiss" by Stephanie Perkins (04/15)
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)