Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Finished Object: Bradway Shawl

Pattern: Bradway by Shannon Cook
Yarn: Madelinetosh Pashina Worsted
Colours: Vintage Sari, Vintage Antler, Worn Denim
Needles: 4.5mm Round Needle
Start of project: July 18th, 2015
End of project: July 28th, 2015

On Ravelry

When I saw this Mini KAL on Very Shannon, I knew this project would be perfect to knit while on the road in Canada. So I ordered three lovely colours in Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted and then I had to wait for our departure time to get closer ;-)

I didn't want to do the first bit on the plane, because it's easier to get into a rhythmn at home. So I cast on and knit the first little part still at home.

The rest of it is a true Road Trip project: I knit on the train to a friend's birthday party, knit on the plane to Reykjavik and Vancouver and I knit at all the places we stopped - the Hummingbird Guesthouse in Port Alberni, the Seafarer's B&B in Tofino, on board of the Raincoast Maiden somewhere among the Broken Islands and close to Ucluelet, on Long Beach and finally at the Kingfisher Oceanside Spa and Resort in Courtenay. I am sure the spirit of all those amazing places is knit into the shawl and will stay there for as long as I remember our holiday.

I used one whole skein of the Vintage Sari and needed the second skein only for the cast off row, there is still a small ball of the Vintage Antler and the Worn Denim left. I think, I'll try to knit a hat with these leftovers - I have kind of an idea already but I don't know if I'll be able to pull it off.

I haven't blocked the shawl yet and I hope I can get it to grow quite a bit. I want to really be able to wrap myself in it once it's totally finished.

Thanks to my iPhone and my daughter and with the help of the stunning scenery of Vancouver Island I even have some photos ready to show. I took more with my proper camera but those will have to wait 'till we are back in Switzerland.

I'll also write more about our adventures later, when I'll be in front of a proper computer again ;-)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Finished Object: Gemini

Pattern: Gemini by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima Fine
Colours: Cranberry
Needles: 3.5mm and 3.75mm Round Needles
Start of project: June 27th, 2015
End of project: July 18th, 2015

On Ravelry

Wow, this took me forever. There were a few hickups, like having to go back quite a bit because size XS was just too small. Size S has still a lot of negative ease but I like the way it looks. Then I realised that I'd run out of yarn, ordered more yarn and then realised that I'd ordered the wrong yarn in the first place and had to order more of that wrong yarn. You see there's Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima and Ultra Pima Fine. One comes in 100gr and is DK weight, the other comes in 50gr and is fingering weight. I had started with the finer one (which wasn't the one I was supposed to use, but it somehow worked with my gauge), then when I ordered more I chose the wrong one, so that I have now two skeins of Ultra Pima DK in cranberry (who knows what that will turn into) and finally I ordered the right one.

Add to this chaos an intense heat wave which has made it pretty unpleasant to even touch yarn. I was only able to knit a few lines every day, either late at night or very early in the mornings and so I didn't make any progress.

But yesterday I was so stressed out by this non-progress that I sat down and just kept going. I finished the body and the first sleeve and today all I had to do was to finish the other sleeve and sew in the threads. Then Antonia took some photos (during a thunderstorm with really bad light in the staircase ;-) and now it's blocking and I am free to start my Canada holiday knitting. High time because we will take off tomorrow...

Can you tell why the top is called Gemini from the pictures? Well, you can wear it in two different ways, with the lace in the front or in the back. Clever isn't it.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Swimming in the Rhine

Today my parents took us to a place they go to quite often, to Diessenhofen to the river bank of the Rhine.

There we put our stuff down at the camp ground and then we walked back up the river for about 10 minutes. We did that so that we could swim back down again. We wore our sneakers which at first felt really weird in the water but we were glad because the ground was quite rough and it was easier to get in and out of the water.

The water was quite cool, probably around 21 degrees which feels cold when you enter, gets better once you are swimming but really cools you down when you stay in for a while. Close to the bank the water only had a little flow but in the middle you got quite fast and it took a while to swim back again, especially for the kids.

We must have walked up and swum down at least 6 or 7 times, it was so much fun! A perfect holiday day...

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Looking back: 7th of July

Ups, it happened again, I missed the day. To my excuse I have to say that I was away without internet in the most intense heatwaves since 2006. So I guess, two days is not so much of a problem, when there have been 143 months ;-)

Ever since my twins were born on the 7th of August 2003 I tried to take three photos of them on each 7th of the month. (one of each and one together) I used three different cameras and there are two different sofas. Sometimes I have to cheat a little and it's a day early or a day late but so far we haven't missed a month. Here you see them grow a year from July to July. 
I also took other photos on the 7th of July but I think those would be too much...

2004 - 11 months

2005 - 23 months

2006 - 35 months

2007 - 47 months
2008 - 59 months 
2009 - 71 months

2010 - 83 months

 2011 - 95 months

2012 - 107 months

2013 - 119 months

2014 - 131 months

2015 - 143 months

Sunday, 5 July 2015

How to enjoy the heat

Zürich has been in the middle of a European heat wave these last few days. We've been having daily temperatures of more than 35 degrees and all our nights were tropical, I guess it was never cooler than around 23 degrees. Most houses in Switzerland don't have AC because we simply don't need it so you can imagine that it got quite warm inside. Especially if you live on the top floor, right underneath the flat roof with sunshine from 6am to 9pm. Yep, I guess it's around 35 degrees inside my bedroom and at night the heat just doesn't leave at all.

So last night Antonia and I decided to take action and we moved two mattresses on the balcony (there was just enough space) and we slept out there. It was so lovely to lie under the stars and it was definitely cooler than inside; it felt just like holidays. In the morning we were woken up at the first bit of light by the birds around us, there are some crows and some magpies that love fighting around 6am.

It didn't really matter because I wanted to get up early to go swimming anyway. I arrived at the lake at 8:10am after a lovely bike ride through a mostly empty city. Seebad Enge is the perfect place for an early start at the lake. The water was beautiful, clean and warm and it was ok to sit in the sun for a while. I had an iced coffee, went swimming for three more rounds and was home shortly after 10am, escaping the heat and all the people who were too lazy to get up earlier. Now I'll spend the rest of the day inside, looking forward to spending another night outside.

Life is good ;-)

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Sometimes it takes so little for it to be perfect. A hot day, the need for a cool down, an idea and a message on the phone.

Thanks to Tobi I went swimming in the Türlersee (a little lake 20 minutes by car outside Zürich) at 7:30pm today and it felt like a holiday.

Swimming after such a hot day was wonderful. The water felt like silk with this really warm layer on top but underneath these 20 centimetres you could feel the freshness and the cold.

The bath was still busy but not crowded anymore and the sun was gentle instead of hot.

On the way back we turned up the stereo and listened to Freddy Mercury and Montserrat Caballé and then just to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody (while mocking Kanye West's cover version). Just before we crossed the city limits we saw a fox leisurely taking an evening stroll, making these two hours even more magical.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

31 days of de-stress yoga

The title of July's yoga programme sounds just perfect. We are 10 days away from summer holidays and everybody at school is running on empty batteries. It also got really hot these last few days and there are heat warnings for the next week or so. De-stress Yoga sounds like the perfect solution. I'll try to find time either in the early mornings or late in the evenings when there is more of a cool breeze around.

I'll have one week of holidays here in Zürich during that month and then we will road tripping in Canada from the 19th of July. I'll try to find time there as well. In my imagination, I see myself doing yoga on some beach early in the morning - doesn't that sound great ;-)

I think I'll use a mix of child's pose, tree pose and cobbler's pose to practice on regularly.

I am quite happy with my June. I really enjoyed the month of Balance. I loved the meditation parts and I got to 6 minutes of Tree Pose on each leg. It was interesting to see how much difference my state of mind and the surroundings made, it was harder when I was tired and it worked best inside in front of the wall ;-)

I went to Osteopathie once.
I did all or part of the Balance Yoga Programme 19 times.
I went to Kieser Training 4 times (when it was too hot I was more tempted to go swimming)
I did Carla's workout at school 4 times (wow every single week!).
I went swimming 13 times. The last few times I actually started swimming for real and I got my first few kilometers under my swimsuit.