Home » Musings » Coal and Steel and Steam

Coal and Steel and Steam

Hello everybody! 😀

I hope you’re fine and everything is okay in your part of the world? Of course I know about the crisis in the US and I do hope that it will be over soon and that those of you who are affected by it get through this  time!!!

A lot has happened since I wrote my last posting.Last Friday, on the 27th of September, I handed in my M.A. thesis. All in all, I have written 100 pages (roughly – of course, the title, the bibliography and the contents page don’t count). Although I don’t know if my professor will like it (that won’t be until the end of November, probably), I am proud of myself, because I managed to work on one subject almost every day without panicking or falling behind too much due to procrastination.

The last week, of course, was the hardest: A fatigue set in, not because I was bored with the subject, but nevertheless fed up, and all I wanted was to rest and sleep and knit and read and do nothing.  The most stressful day was Thursday, because I had to refine my conclusion and have a final go at the contents page (checking the page numbers) and all the foot notes, before attending a conference in the evening and then working on Philipp’s corrections for the conclusion … BUT the work was finished at 22:30, I didn’t have to stay up all night and do some frantic last-minute work.

On Friday, I was able to get to the post office and post my thesis at about 11am. Three days before the official deadline (September 30), I was done.

Of course, I now found out that the package has apparently sat in the post office for a week(!!) now and nothing happened to it – when I called the German postal service, they advised me to wait until Monday and then file a request so that they can start searching for the package … Hooray! But there is always something. 😉

(For those of you who are irritated – I have to hand in the receipt to prove that I handed the thesis in time. If the post loses the package now, it’s not my fault – worst thing that could happen is that I have to pay for the print again).

Since last Monday, I’m not a student anymore, but will be again when I’ve received my marks and my grade and can start my dissertation – that is, if my professor isn’t so taken aback with my work that she changes her mind about that. 😉

Okay, that’s enough university stuff! You’re here for the knitting, after all. 😀 And rightly so!

During the last two months of my thesis, I knit a lot, and it really helped me to stay sane. Whenever the stress level rose too high, I knit a couple of rows and let the stitches soothe me. Maybe this is a reason why I knit two shawls and started a third one?

Since you voted for the Coal and Steel and Steam Kerchief, I’ll be showing this one first, but don’t worry! You’ll get to see the other ones as well. 😀


You remember this yarn, right? I was intended for what I know like to call my Coal and Steel and Steam Kerchief, because that this is more appropriate to the area I live in. Mining was a big thing here, as was the Steel industry. During World War II, the Ruhr district as bombed heavily, because almost all the heavy industry was here and most weapons were produced in this area.

After the war, the mining continued to be very important for this area’s industry and also, identity. Up to this day a lot of people (also Germans!) who visit the Ruhr district have very specific ideas when they visit “us” for the very first time: Smoking chimneys, mines everywhere, black faces, no grass, only gray and black and the occasional flames.

As you know, I work at the tourist information centre of my city, and I love it when we have tourists coming in and I can show them all the beautiful parks and landscapes and lakes we have in the area! 😀 But the identity-thing has remained: People from the Ruhr district are said to be hard-working, very straight forward, open and open-minded – indeed, a lot of people living here have roots in Italy, Poland, Turkey, Greece and so on. I consider the Ruhr district my home, and although it may very well never be as “hip” or “cool” as Berlin, Munich or Hamburg, I don’t really want to live anywhere else. If you ever come to Germany – come here! I’ll show you my favourite places. 😀 (oh, btw – if you’re a bit interested and want to see some pictures, click here.


I wanted to knit this shawl for a very long time, and on some point during my thesis, I decided that now was the right time and place.

The colour here looks very blue, but the wool itself was more of a grayish-blue kind of thing. I liked it, but was a bit hesitant at first, to be honest (also, because there had been a darker shade of blue available, but of course that colourway was sold out when I finally managed to get my bum to the LYS …) 😉

This was knit on the wooden needles I bought lately, and I have to say that it was a lot easier for me.

Now, if someone wants a quick and satisfying knit – this is one! I had so much fun knitting the shawl and it seemed that it grew all by itself!

Here it is off the needles – I decided to add a pattern repeat (and am very happy to have done so) and it used up almost all my yarn, which is great. 🙂

Blocking took some time, though – since this yarn is 100% cotton, I knew that it could grow immensely, but it also meant that Philipp and me had to stretch the hell out of it! (sorry for the crappy picture, btw).

A couple of days ago, I was able to make decent photographs ( or rather, Philipp did them):

As you can see, the shawl is large enough to be wrapped around oneself comfortably – it is very light and although I think that it won’t be warm enough in winter time, it makes a great shawl for the other seasons.

Here is another picture that shows of the textures nicely:

In my opinion, the kf&b increases add to the rustic look of the shawl, and I love that. The colour is very, very pretty and I will buy more of this wool next year!


Okay, that was a lot of rambling to get through – I hope you enjoyed it, though! Have a lovely, lovely Sunday! 😀



P.S.: I don’t know whether I will have Internet access next week, so if I don’t answer to you comments, don’t be disappointed! I’ll get to it as soon as I can. 😀



5 thoughts on “Coal and Steel and Steam

  1. Congratulations on finishing your thesis, and for doing so with no last-minute scrambling (unlike myself, haha). I love that little shawl, I added a repeat to mine as well and found it a much better size.

    • Thank you so much!!!
      Yeah, I was really surprised that everything was so smooth – it’s almost too good to be true, but MAYBE the final blow is yet to come! :mrgreen:

      Thank you also for he compliment on the shawl! I have to say that it looked bigger in the pattern picture – but when I read that a lot of people added repeats, and I think it’s great that this is so easily possible with lace. 😀

    • Thank you so much! I’ve worn it often so far and found out that it can be surprisingly warm as well!

      Thank you also for your well-whishes on finishing my thesis – although I was tired of the subject and wanted a break, I am really looking forward to work more on the field, and I take that as a good sign! 😀

  2. Pingback: Warming up Autumn | Words and Stitches

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s