Friday, December 29, 2006

Flower Basket Shawl

A shawl for my grandma (Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark, from Interweave Fall 2004). If you ask me nicely I can tell you where to get the pattern. ;-)

I'm too lazy to get dressed and model this shawl. The little one here is also doing a good job.

Yarn: "Rheumawolle", which translates as rheumatism yarn? by Wolle Rödel, 100% wool
Color: #4860
Price: 3-and-a-bit-more €, at Wolle Rödel (Wolle Rödel is what you might a yarn store chain? Not sure about the proper English term)
Amount: 1 ball and a little bit of the second ball, 280 m/50 g
Needles: 4 mm
Gauge: Ha, I'm an independent woman and I don't have to slavishly follow gauge requirements when knitting a shawl, hihihi :D
Dimensions: 142 cm wide, 72 cm from tip to center of bottom

The yarn is very light, airy (good for insulating and keeping the warmth, hence "rheumatism wool") and soft. It just doesn't have a lot of sheen though. It's ok for knitting, but well, there is just nothing really special about it. They also just had it in white, although other brands also carry other colors, like 'sand', 'light grey', 'weird light brown', etc. none that I find really thrilling.

I had tried to dye a ball with something similar to Kool Aid (they don't sell Kool Aid here), but the end result just wasn't that thrilling either. I have a yarn now that is partially a light weird green and partially a very very light pink, that is so light that it looks like a dirty white.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My great new rosewood needles

Here are some pics of my new rosewood needles. They are really nice to knit with. What I like especially about them is the join. Unlike a lot of other wood needles that I have seen these don't have such a big metal join, there is just a small metal ring (or the part of a metal tube that is sticking out of the wood, I have no clue about the actual construction of the needle) between the cord and the needle that is barely visible. I also like that the cords are thinner, thus more flexible.

At the moment I'm using a 3.5 mm needle to knit the Swallowtail Shawl (in the same color and with the same yarn as the original - how original of me, eh? :D Give a gal a break sometimes. :p I'm doing enough projects where I substitute yarn and then have to recalculate everything. I guess, that's the reason why I like doing scarfs, they are quick to knit, nobody cares about gauge or swatches, and you don't have to worry about the right fit, which can become something that a perfectionist likes to obsess about - frogging, reknitting, frogging, reknitting. Ugh. Just give me the original yarn... :D ). Anyway, for knitting with the Misti Alpaca yarn they are good solution, as this yarn is so slippery (but also oh-so-soft, I'm in love with it. :D ), but with the wood needles there is a tad more friction to keep them on the needles.

Here's another close-up. "Holz & Stein" means wood and stone.

They are actually perfect. There is just one thing that bothers me a bit, I knit a bit tighter than other people it seems and when I do the row with the decreases and yarnovers and change to the purl row my stitches get a bit stuck at the join and I have to move them manually. With my other needles (Inox) I had less problems as the needles had a smaller diameter around the join and then gradually increased in size.

Add: My mom bought the needles in a department stores, but you can also order the needles at the manufacturer's, Holz & Stein, website.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Grumpy potholders...

The title says it all, these are potholders. Crocheted. With holes. Guess they will only serve as decoration :D Ok, ok, I didn't do it on purpose. It just happens that I do not crochet a lot. The last time I remember working on any crochet project was a blanket I had promised to my brother (and which has never seen the light of the day, he was still young, cute and naive then... :D )

They are supposed to be Christmas gift for a friend of mine who I haven't met yet. I'm also working on another pair with similar colors. All I can say is, crocheting bores me. Also my middle finger hurts, because I try to crochet tightly (so the potholders don't have too many holes). I'm afraid these potholders have not really been crocheted with a lot of love... :/ For a couple of reasons I just feel unmotivated to get her something. These potholders are just a compromise.

I think I will include the yarn information, dimensions, etc. in my next post.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Japanese Feather scarf

I've finished another item! :D Ok, I've have been working on it for a while, so it's not as if I made this since my last post.

It's a scarf for my mom. It was supposed to be a Christmas present, but as it was not a secret anyway she has received it today.

This is the scarf while blocking:

This is me modeling it, so you can see how it is when worn.

The pattern is called "Japanese Feathers" and has been used in this freely available Japanese Feather sock pattern , but first I saw it on some other blogger's website, Knitting Interrupted. Her stole was then in the beginning, but now she has finished it and it just looks gorgeous. There is a pattern for a stole called "Baltic Sea Stole" which incorporates this pattern and it looks soooo great. Take a look here. I've ordered the pattern and might start working on it one day. At the moment I'm waiting for my yarn package to arrive so that I can start with the "Deep V Argyle Vest".

Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr wool-silk, 50% merino wool, 50% Chinese Tussah silk
Color: White
Price: $ 8, bought at Theknitter
Amount: Less than a 2oz ball (630 yards), I still have some yarn left.
Needles: 3 mm
Gauge: none. I cast on 62 stitches with a garter border of 2 stitches on both sides.
Dimensions: about 20 cm wide. I have no clue how long, long enough to wrap it around my neck once and to have some ends dangling around. :D

Here's a picture of the leftover, not sure yet what I will do with it. I wonder if there is enough left for these cute mitts.

I forgot to give a report about my knitting experience with this yarn. It was weird at first to knit with such a fine yarn as I'm more used to thicker yarns, sock knitting yarns were as far as now the thinnest yarns with which I had ever knitted, but it didn't take me long to get used it. The yarn seems so fine, but it's astonishingly resistant, you have pull quite a lot for such a thin yarn till it breaks. I would definitely recommend it.

I'd also like to take a moment to express my gratitude to the the internet :D, because it's impossible to find yarn in lace weight here. I've visited several local yarn shops and none had anything in lace weight, sock weight seems to be the bottom of what is possible. I wonder where other people get the yarn for their lace knitting as internet shopping is still somewhat new. Where did they get their yarn, let's say, 10 years ago?

Last, but not least, I would like to add that in the last couple of months I have finished a couple of more projects than the ones I have posted about, it's just I'm a bit lazy with taking pictures. So, I've been a good girl and I deserve the rosewood needles that my mom has got me for Christmas. Yippiiiieeh. :D It seems these are luxury rosewood needles, can't wait to get them and try them out. My mom got these in a shop and thus saved shipping costs, but as far as I know you can ask them for special orders with no additional fees. I've contacted them to ask for shorter needles (I mean the needle part on circulars, not the length of the cord), we'll see what they will reply.

P.S. If someone needs a program for recalculating units, try Jonelo's software. It's open source software and in this case for free. I find it useful for converting yards, ounces, pounds, etc. into meters and grams.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Finished: Birds Eye Scarf

I finished something! :D Yeah! It's a white scarf, knit in Regia Silk. I got the pattern from the Heirloom Knitting site, it's called Birds Eyes (um, not sure if this is such a great name for a pattern - eyes of birds?! - freaky :D). The original pattern is for a triangular shawl, but I wanted a scarf, so I modified the edge a bit (actually my mom was so nice to do it for me).

Scarf unblocked:

I've actually finished the scarf quite a while ago, but I just never managed to block it. I didn't know how and where. Now I did it on my couch with a microfiber towel. At the moment it's still drying. I can't really say that I like blocking, it's all this pinning that I don't like. Some people don't like seaming, I think I don't like blocking.

The yellow thing is the microfiber towel that is kind of, um, waterrepellent. :D Not sure why they produce a towel that absolutely takes up no water. I used it once after taking a shower and I was just as wet as before. Anyway, it has found a new purpose. It does not soak up the water and therefore allows for a quick drying.

Scarf blocked:

Yarn: Regia Silk sock yarn, 4 ply, 55% merino, 20% silk, 25% polyamide
Color: white
Price: about 5,50 € per ball
Amount: 1 ball, 200 m/50 g

There's a shawl in "Victorian lace today" which uses the same pattern.

I think I'm going to knit this one, too. I love the color and I really like the pattern, although it's quite boring to knit, requires attention at every row (no purl rows...) and the many yarn overs and decreases slow my knitting down. By the way, the sell this book at the Book Depository at a pretty good price and you also get free delivery. I bought it by the same seller on Amazon, but here I had to pay an additional 3 € for shipping.

If you want to see some pictures of the models in this book, take a look at Grumperina's blog.

Last but not least, a picture of my cat. I think she looks so cute in this pic. She hates me, because I'm occupying her room, but ok, I'll forgive her. :D

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Where I have already been

I just found this. Here is my map:

create your own visited countries map or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Regarding knitting I haven't done a lot lately. I don't really think the pink top fits and it's too cold anyway. I guess if it was warmer I would try to finish it, but right now I don't feel motivated at all. I have managed to finish a couple of other things in my life though, so it's ok I guess. :D

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pink top III

I think I hate this thing...

a) It still seems to be so small. I nearly had the gauge and thought that was ok, but now it still looks too small.

b) Within a couple of days the weather has turned from oven heat to freezer coldness. I don't really feel motivated to knit something that will never see the sunlight this year...

Next topic:

I have seen this gorgeous fair isle sweater on Eunny Jang's website. I'm soo looking forward to the Interweave
winter issue and to trying fair isle knitting. I always thought it was too difficult for me with all the different colors and so on, but this sweater looks too cute. And I love boat slit necklines. :)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

About things you have already done or want to do one day (and those that will only happen over your dead body :D )

I read this a while ago and thought this looks like a good list, I want to do this and see how many of these things have I really done already.

I've highlighted in bold what I have already done.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 10 provinces (What country is this from?)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe (Does staying in backpack places count?)
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason (I got them after I complained a bit, so I don't think it counts)
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse (Does sitting on a horse count?)
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (parts at school)
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident (Does bumping against sidewalks, parking cars or columns count, too? :D)
150. Saved someone's life

There are still a lot of good things that I want to experience one day. This list will be a reminder. :)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Modified version of the Phildar no. 20a

That's the Phildar sweater no. 20a from "Tendances" automne 05/06.

I probably knitted this sweater two or three times at least... (har, har, har :D). I'm sure I had to do thousands of modifications, I swear, thousands. :D

It's shorter in general, the neckline is higher, the armholes are also smaller, the sleeves are shorter, can remember anything else right now. (Ok, ok, I'm a short person, but still...) Oh, I also used a different yarn.

I used "Klassik with Teflon" by Schoeller+Stahl, color 14. Recommended needles are 3-4mm. [I don't know how many balls I needed. I'm sure it's less than 10, but I would have to weigh it. If someone drops me a line and asks I will weigh my sweater, but right now I'm too lazy. :D ). I used 3mm and 3,5mm. My gauge was 24 sts x 32 rows = 10 x 10 cm.

I washed the swatch, but didn't block it. I also didn't block the whole sweater. I had tried to block another swatch and it looked flat, flatter than my hair :D, so I thought I would not block it. It looked awful before washing, pretty stiff and I thought this whole thing was awful (at least I had finished it - ha :D), but the yarn turned out pretty soft after washing and the sweater fit, so I just left it alone (no more fussing around with this damn thing :D ).

Is anyone interested in me writing down the complete modifications?

P.S. I'm indeed proud that I finished this thing. I had to frog so much, it was insane... The thing was so long that I had to frog about 20 cm. The neckline and shoulder part had to be reknit at least three times. Inbetween I had already set in the sleeves, but it looked so ugly that I had to redo the shoulders again. But it's finished now! Yay! :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Searching the internet with Firefox

Hmmm, I think I need to spice up my blog somehow... Fill it with exciting stories and useful information, you know what I mean. :D

There's nothing really exciting to tell, so I'll try it with something useful. This is actually supposed to be a blog about knitting (or traveling, but I'm not doing much of it, although I'm hoping that I will be able to relocate soon), but right now I'm really not able to teach you anything that I haven't seen being explained a lot better on some other website, so I will talk about possible ways to speed up your search when you're looking for something on the internet (I just hope I'm not boring people with trivialities that everybody knows anyway... :o ). Anyway, here goes.

First of all, you need to use the Firefox browser. It's a safer and faster browser than the Internet Explorer and I can only recommend everybody to download and install it if you haven't done so yet.

If you have installed it, you may notice that the creators of this browser have been so kind to have included some useful links into the bookmark collection.

Go to bookmarks. Open the bookmark manager. Go to something called "quicksearch". There you will find a collection of links that are useful when you are looking for information on the internet. For example Google. Look for "Google Quicksearch". The Address will be

The description for this link will say: "Type "google " in the location bar to perform a Google search"

What does this mean?

If for example you are looking for more information about the vicious grab attack (edit: or should I rather call it a "grope attack"? :D ) of Bush on the lovely chancellor Merkel (har, har, har :D ) you hit CTRL+ L, a hot key that puts your cursor in the location bar, type "google bush grabbing merkel" (without the quotation marks) and you will end up with the same Google results as when you had typed and then "bush grabbing merkel" in the Google search bar. Best thing is to modify your tab setting so that a new tab will be automatically opened whenever you type something into your location bar. Move to the new tab and when you have finished close it with CTRL + W.

I hope you all have been able to follow me as far as now. Now, this does not only work with Google (and it's other search functions, e.g. for images, etc), but also with a lot of other search engines, dictionaries and websites like Altavista, Yahoo, Wikipedia,,, etc.

How does it work with the other websites?

I'll explain it with an example. Let's do it with Wikipedia. Go to and look up a word, let's say "serendipity". This will lead you to this page

What you will do next is substitute "serendipity" with "%s". Store the new link

Now you have to assign a keyword to it. Go to bookmarks, highlight the link, make a right click with the mouse and the context menu opens. There should be something like "features, characteristics, options" (sorry, I don't have the English version, I have to guess what it's called). Go there. A little window should open. Give the link a keyword, like "wiki". Next time you want to look up something in Wikipedia you only have to type "wiki " in the location bar.

You can do it with any of the aforementioned websites (and probably many more). The keyword also works for any kind of websites, even if you don't want to search for anything. You just have to bookmark the website and assign a keyword to it, that's all.

Another possibility is to use the search engines that can be added as plugins. You can move to the search bar by hitting CTRL + K, but if you want to use another search engine you have to switch to your mouse and change it. It's up to you what you prefer.
I'm not going to talk a lot about extensions now, because I want to watch TV now and work a bit on my pink top :D, but two that I find quite useful when I'm doing some research on the internet is Aggregate Yahoo! & Google and CustomizeGoogle. The former combines the Google search with a Yahoo search and the results of both search engines is displayed on one page. The latter offers a list of other search engines that you can use if the Google search wasn't so helpful.

Ok, that's it. :D

Edit: The keyword can be also just be a letter, it doesn't have to be a word. And try it with other the other Google search engines. I know it works for images, too. For the German Google for images, the URL looks like this: Give it a keyword and voilà!

Pink top II

It's too small... *sigh*

I started again with needles 3,5mm. I'm knitting tighter than I usually do and I give the yarn an extra tug when I change from knit to purl. As far as now it looks ok.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Phildar "Tendances" no. 20a

As I'm writing anyway, I have to tell you about this sweater. :D It's from the Phildar "Tendances", automne 05/06.

The design doesn't have a name, just a number, no.20a.

Looks cute, doesn't it? Let me just tell you, this picture is one big fraud. If you follow the pattern exactly you will end up with something that looks quite different.

This sweater looks short, but in fact, it's really long. Compare it with the cardigan in this picture, that's about the same length, actually it's even a bit longer!

I had actually finished the front piece and was already starting to bind off for the armholes when I realized how long this thing was. Ugh... That's wayyy too long for me.

Then, you probably think the sleeves are close fitting? Yeah... Dream on. :D

Or the holes are not that bad? Well, I can only say, I used a different, finer yarn and smaller needles and I find the holes big enough to provide me with sufficient ventilation. Don't forget wearing a bra. :D

Yeah, don't forget to wear a bra, because you'll be showing cleavage, lots and lots of cleavage, with this thing. No kidding. If you don't have breasts that sag to your knees, be sure that you won't be able to cover the important bits with this sweater. :D

If I have taken pictures of my sweater I will post them together with my modifications.

By the way, in general, I think the Phildar magazines have great designs, but I'm scared now to start another of their knitting project. :D

This is one is cute, isn't it? I think I would change the sleeves though. Bell shaped sleeves probably would look better.

You can find more on their website: I've ordered a couple of magazines from their homepage and the fees for shipping within Europe were ok (a couple of Euros).

There's a knitalong here, but no one has shown pictures of her finished sweater yet (actually, I'm not surprised, I was about to throw this thing into the trash can...).

Why do I blog?

I'm lazy. I don't know why I have a blog. After reading so many knitting blogs I felt inspired to start one, too, but I haven't really felt like writing a lot about my knitting. But anyway, let me show you the latest project that I started a couple of days ago.

The design is from Schachenmayr Nomotta "Inspiration", issue 85 S4.

I chose this cute pink top (number 5882).

The top is knit in Punto Shine pink 235, 100m/50g. It's a 47% cotton/39% polyacrylic/14% polyamide blend. For size 36/38 4 balls are required, for size 40/42 5-6 balls. I paid 2,65 € for each ball, but I think on the internet you can get it for slightly less.

Here's a picture of my progress so far. I'm using needles size 3mm which gives a very tight knit, but with 3,5mm needles my stitches are just too loose. My gauge is, um, ok, required are 20 stitches x 28 rows for 10 cm x 10 cm, but as I already said, I'm knitting really tight and my piece is smaller than the original size, but I wanted a closer fit anyway. We'll see how it fits when it's finished... This just enhances the fun of knitting, you never know if it will fit or not. :D

I'm also working on a white top (my own design - how exciting, another risky project :D ), a pair of white socks, a purple purse, a shrug, a white bag, etc.

My mom calls me project leader, because I used to start so many projects and never finish anything. She recently frogged my old unfinished projects. I guess, it must have been at least 10, probably way more... I looked at the unfinished sweaters I had started and I was wondering who this girl was who started one project after another.

It was like a trip back to my youth. I saw stuff in horrible colors, horrible designs (where did I get these?? I must have created them on my own, because I remember I rarely chose something from magazines. Then most designs caused damage to the eyes. :D ) and awfully complicated patterns like Aran that would exhaust my patience now (at the moment I'm pretty happy with knitting in the round in stockinette stitch :D ).

It's difficult being a perfectionist. I obsess too much about details and that exhausts you eventually and kills the fun... :/

I think I haven't been touching needles for more than 15 years and it's just been for a couple of months that I started knitting again. I guess I've been able to overcome my perfectionist tendencies somewhat (I also claim that my taste has improved considerably :D ), because I have have already finished some projects since I have picked up the needles again, but it's still hard to stick through it and finish.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My "Somewhat Cowl" sweater

My wonderful sweater. :D You can find the pattern here. Note my cat in the lower right corner. :)

A close up.


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