Story: Road Trip. A Story, or a Dream

(This is not about yarn, but I wrote a small story today, and I’d like to share it with you. Enjoy! Feedback is always welcome. 😉 Yarny stories will follow.)

Road Trip. A Story, or a Dream.

I want to sit next to you. In the car.
We both in the front, you at the wheel.
Just us.

We’re not talking much. You point at the stereo.
“Can I turn it off?”
“Sure.“

We drive in silence.
Comfortable silence, not the kind where you are trying to make conversation, searching for words, trying to communicate, frantically grabbing random words from the shelves of your brain and stuffing them into your mouth only to watch them tumble out again.
Good silence.

I love to know you beside me.
Breathing.
Alive.
Sharing this same spot on the planet with me.
It’s not like in the stories – I don’t get a whiff of your aftershave, my perfume doesn’t blend in with the smells in the car. Our scents don’t mix. They don’t need to.

The road goes on.
The car is warm.

“Did you ever-”
You don’t look at me, eyes on the road, the sound of your voice fills the car and my ears, and now we are talking movies, talking books, talking music, talking about whatever comes to our minds, and just as the silence before, the flow of words that runs between us now feels good; natural.
We are stringing words, like pearls, weaving, not a web to entangle us, but a tapestry of sounds that binds our cores closer together and that, as we both know, will keep us warm much later.

We turn the music on.

Lunch is at a small diner, somewhere. We both eat sandwiches, salad, and share a plate of fries.
Again, we’re not talking much. You buy yourself a beer.

When we get back to the car, we switch seats.
You look out of the window, lost in thought – and then you look at me, ask me a question, I answer.
We’re working on the tapestry again.

Night falls.
You are asleep, in the passenger seat, head tilted back, arms crossed in front of your chest. I smile, and turn down the volume of the radio.

We will stop at a motel, later, and we will talk and we’ll eat, and we’ll drink, and we might watch some stupid TV show, and I will write and fall asleep, curled up on my bed, and when I wake up, in the middle of the night, you will be there, in the bed beside me, sleeping. Or you might still be up, watching TV, sports.

The next day, it’s your turn to drive.

 

© Julia Müller, 28.01.2018

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Last haul for 2017

HO HO HO!

Is everybody getting into the Christmas spirit at last? I hope you are … I have a bit of a problem, but maybe it will hit me full force tomorrow.

The last few days were busy for us, and I am really glad that I finished my Christmas knitting on time this year … I wouldn’t have had much time to finish it this week. On Thursday, we baked the last two batches of cookies (we decided to give homemade cookies as presents to some people, as it’s nothing that will collect dust and cookies are always appreciated) – in between that, I made two trips to the post office to get a package. Yesterday, I worked on the PhD dissertation for almost three hours, answered emails for my second job, wrote an important email for the first job (I will have to meet my boss before the year ends, because there was some mistake with my extra hours, please keep your fingers crossed for me, if you can), and made a last trip to the post office and the drugstore, while Philipp cleaned the flat and did some last minute grocery shopping. Then we put the tree up and wrapped the presents; everything that was left to do today was cleaning the shower (me), dealing with one more load of laundry (us) and decorating the tree (also us). Now, Philipp is at the local Christmas market, meeting some friends, while I am taking the evening off, having wrapped his presents. I did the rest of the laundry and ironed the last tea towels and blouses, and now it’s writing this blog post and tea and knitting for me, while listening to some cyberpunk ambient sound.

While I was working away on my chores, I was always hoping for the doorbell to ring – because I expected YARN. (or YARRRRRN).

It came at last.

Now, if I did one thing in 2017, it was buy yarn, but this is the last haul for a while – that is set. I have so much of it now that it spills into the living room, and I will flash my stash after Christmas so we can have a better look at it. For now I want to show you what I got from this wonderful, awesome shop I found online (a lot of the yarn I bought was purchased there. Ahem.).

All of this yarn came Angelina, a very talented indie dyer who lives in London and operates the etsy shop gamercrafting. She has sock yarn, lace yarn, superbulky yarn, stitch markers, and lots of cool stuff, shipping is superfast, and while this package took almost two weeks to arrive, I was 100% sure that it is worth waiting for. Let’s have a look what I got …

This lace yarn was going out of stock, and I am happy to say that I got the last skein! It belonged to the Halloween themed series, and has the wonderful name “Pumpkin spice”. I’m not a Starbuck’s fan, and I don’t drink coffee usually, but I do love brown and can wear it well, and I am seriously looking forward to knitting this up into something nice (it will be nice. More than nice. This is 100% Merino we’re talking about).

The next skein is also lace yarn, but the theme is very, very different …

Meet Angelina’s Alien themed hand dyed lace yarn in the colourway “Weyland-Yutani”, the company that employs some of the biggest arseholes Ellen Ripley probably ever encountered! (we did watch Aliens on Sunday, and I hated Burke. Passionately. Sorry for the outburst).

I already have two other skeins of this series, Faded Stompers and LV 426 (the planet where the Nostromo-crew finds the aliens), and I have made myself a shawl from the latter yarn that I forgot to show you. Lace yarn from gamercrafting always comes in singles, but it’s sturdy and knits up like a dream (because it’s 100% Merino. Just sayin’).

The last yarn is the exact opposite of lace …


It’s superbulky yarn from the Harry Potter themed series in the colourway Patronus. Knitting with superbulky yarn is very unusual for me, but since E. got me two balls of it the year before last for Christmas, I have somewhat made my peace with it and I appreciate how quickly it knits up. (does anybody want to guess what kind of fiber this is? Yeah? You in the back? That’s right, me luv, it’s 100% Merino!)

These three skeins added another 315g to my stash (skeins are always genereously weighed, another feature I appreciate), and, provided I don’t get any yarn for Christmas, this will be it for a while.

And so, this is it for today, I think …

I hope that you have a very jolly and peaceful Christmas, my friends, I hope your family gathering will be great, that there will be no fights and no arguments, that everybody loves the gifts you got them, handmade or not (or at least are polite enough to say thank you!), and that, while it can be a bit much, you have a great, wonderful time.

Merry Christmas!

Julia.

P.S.: In case anybody is wondering: No, this is not a sponsored post. I pay for my yarn like anybody else, but I’m all for supporting the artists. 🙂

Shortly before Christmas

Hello there!

Before I disappear again for too long again, I thought I’d give you a quick update – I uploaded a lot of pictures today, and prepared some posts so hopefully, blogging will be a bit easier. For now, I just wanted to give you an update on what’s new, and I hope everybody is okay with that. 🙂 Let’s go …

Do you remember this picture from the last blog post? These socks

are done!

I love them so much. They are very simple, just a k2,p2 pair of socks with one half-round of purl stitches before I started the toe decreases. For a bit of contrast, I did an eye of patridge heel:

And I am incredibly happy about them.

Philipp got socks:

And I am very proud of them, because I somewhat designed them on my own. They have ribbing at the back and small patches of ribbing at the front.

(I might put the ribbing all the way down to the top half of the afterthought heel next time though)

He loves them. And so do I.

Right now, there are two WIPs on my needles: For one, I  picked up the Perfidy à l’orange shawl again (the pattern is only called Perfidy, but my sense of humor is a bit strange sometimes). After ripping out what I had (because I got confused and didn’t know where I was in the pattern), I started anew, but got worried that the fabric was too loose or too tight. I bound off at six pattern repeats and treated the tiny shawl like a swatch:

Then I decided I liked the fabric and accidentally undid the cast on instead of the bind off.

Then I stuffed the shawl into timeout.

A week or so later, I picked it up again, and so far, things have been going great:


Knitting is easy, the Russian joints haven’t made any problems so far, and adding wedges to the main section is happening intinuitively.


Not to brag, but I think, we’re friends now.

The other WIP is something I am really excited about. It’s a pair of socks for Philipp (again), but this time – in Matrix-coloured yarn.

It may sound weird, but I had my eye on this yarn for two years, but never really dared to buy it, because Philipp wasn’t into too-bright or too colourful socks two years ago. Since this has changed significantly, I just grabbed the yarn when I was at the LYS in September and had 300g of sock yarn in the basket already anyway, and was determined to make a pair of Sci-Fi socks for him. When I brought it home, he got very excited, commenting on how cool the yarn looked and that um, YES, he’d TOTALLY like a pair of socks out of that, but if I wanted to make something for ME that was fine as well … 😉

I cast on last Sunday, when we sat down to watch Aliens, and it was the best combination ever.

Instead of knitting vanilla socks, I decided to purl all the green stitches, and I absolutely love the effect. The socks were set aside until today, when I knit on them in between two trips to the post office and baking two batches of cookies with Philipp:

I just love the combo of Science Fiction and knitting on these socks, with some Cyberpunk ambient sound playing in the background.

Christmas knitting is done, by the way, and I’ll be showing my knits after the holidays. 😉

Take care and please don’t let yourself get too stressed out, my friends!

All the love,
Julia 😀

The long silence

Dear friends,

I haven’t written since summer. There are a couple of reasons for that, but I don’t want to talk about why I didn’t write really (it was mostly stress-related), but rather share what I am working on right now.

My stash has grown excessively this year – I’ve surpassed the 13kg of yarn (which is … well, kind of counter productive if you wanted to stashbust), but to be honest, I have given up on trying to refrain from buying for this year, and I’ll shift stashbusting to the next year. (please remind me of that. 😉 )

Philipp and me have been on vacation in Scotland – and while we were there, I did not only buy another kilogram’s worth of yarn,

but I also asked for his hand in marriage, and he said yes! So now, after almost 13 years together, we are happily engaged, and while this is a BIG THING for me, I am really, really happy (he is, too. The first thing he said after we were done hugging, kissing and crying was “You beat me to it”, and I don’t think there is a better reaction to a marriage proposal. 😉 ).

So, just a quick update on what I am working on right now!

Of course, it’s socks. I’m always knitting socks. Earlier this year, I treated myself to three gorgeous Opal skeins of the “Schafpate”-collection, and although the blue ball was originally intended to become socks for Philipp (I frogged his hideous birthday pair in the end), they ended up too small.

The first one is done, and I am FINALLY at the gusset decreases for the second sock!

The other WIP (which got shoved aside a bit) is a Mousseux-shawl in natural white:

And I am just showing you this photo because it’s the first time that I did not fuck up the garter tab. It looks really nice when done right, actually! 😉

Since this modest beginning, the shawl grew significantly:

and I worked on it on train rides in Scotland and in the hotel rooms in the evenings. I’m making it a bit bigger than the original, and so far, the garter stitch is working its magic again, I love this knit!

Christmas knitting has also started already, and I actually have a pair of mittens that I can show you at the end of next week. 😉

So, to keep this sweet and short – would you like to see some pictures of Scotland? Is anybody still reading this blog? It feels awkward to write here again after being silent for so many months, but I’d like to get into the habit again, and I’d be thrilled if you wanna come with me!

All the love, my friends! Take care!
Julia 🙂

Going red, no, green

If there is one thing I am really passionate about, it’s … the environment and recycling. I kid you not.

Growing up, recycling and preventing unneccessary waste was a big thing in my family (it still is), and that includes not using tons of chemicals for cleaning, but simple stuff, like, for example, vinegar to get off chalk stains, and using baking powder and vinegar to clean pipes. Taking cloth bags instead of plastic ones. Choose the loose fruit, not the one in plastic packages.

Recently, I’d like to take this a little step further. Over the last few years, I have knit a couple of dishcloths, and Philipp and I have agreed that I will make more, and, in the long run, use self-made ones instead of storebought ones.

But there is more. Simple cleaning is something that seems to sit in the corner of my brain and climbs on top of my thoughts from time to time, and a few days ago, I googled for recipes to make your own cleaners and found a great website that tells you how to make your own (they also have tips for saving money, and recipes, and upcycling stuff – it’s a German website, but you might want to have a look).

I got the ingredients to mix our own washing powder, and I’m really excited to try it! We also debated mixing our own dishsoap, but Philipp is a bit hesitant (he is willing to give it a try though, despite being sceptical).

I know that this probably sounds really hippie for a lot of folks, but it’s important to me. We have lavender and sage on the balcony for the bees and bumble bees, we take care to buy eco friendly and local, we recycle, we donate stuff we don’t need anymore, and the next thing is to safe a bit of money and consume maybe a bit less in the cleaning department.

I am also planning on making a small string bag like this one when we buy fruit so we can put an end to these small plastic bags we do not have use for anymore (at least not that often) and which tend to pile up in the kitchen, but shh. Don’t tell Philipp. I think it might be a bit much right now. 😉

Pattern: Boxy Dishcloth (freebie on ravelry!)

Yarn: Wolle Roedel Universal cotton, 66,3m / 72.5y

 

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! I’ll be on the sofa, nursing my sore throat and drinking lots of tea. 😉
Julia 🙂

Done, done, and done.

FINALLY, PROGRESS!

The next week will be superbusy, but I am glad that I did get a lot done this weekend, and a good part of it is knitting.

After the blanket desaster, Philipp and me had a look at our friends’ wishlist, searching for a gift that would allow me to knit them at least something, however small. We debated several items and settled on some fancy kitchen equipment in the end, and I decided that I’d make them potholders.

Fancy, eh? I’m not really sure how well they’d serve as potholders, to be honest, because of the lacey parts, but at least the motif is suitable for a wedding. The pattern is Heart Dishcloth: Knit version by Lily / Sugar’n Cream, a freebie on ravelry, and it knit up in no time. 54 grams, 91.4 metres (or 100.4 yards). Done.

To make it easier to store the potholders, I bound off all stitches knitwise, until there was only one loop on the needle – instead of snipping the threat, I crocheted 10 chain stitches and secured it on the left with a … single crochet or double crochet, depending on where you live. I still have to wash them and pat them into shape, and of course they do not hold a candle to a blanket, but at least it’s something handmade, and Laura will get socks for her birthday, after all.

Made from this yarn, to be precise (it’s a little too dark in the photograph; the original yarn is brighter and happier).

Before I made the wedding potholders, I decided to swatch for once (usually, I don’t bother for stuff like potholders), and make a simple dishcloth to use up my orange cotton. Of course I didn’t get the gauge I needed for the Heart Dishcloth pattern (that would’ve been 21sts and 28 rows to 10cm/4″, and of course I got 18.6sts and 25.3 rows on 4,0mm needles, so I switched to 3,5mm ones for the heart potholders), but the yarn is used up now, and that is all that counts.

The project was easy and fast – I basically cast on 34 stitches, knit 2 ridges of garter and then proceeded in stockinette stitch, with a garter border of three stitches per side. After 39 rows, I did another 2 ridges of garter, bound of and wham! Done. 19 grams out of the stash. Funnily enough, Lenka (who had asked to see the dishcloth when it was done) was so enthusiastic about the colour that I will wrap this little buddy up and send it to her. Sometimes it’s so easy to make somebody happy! 🙂

Last but not last … I finally made myself a pair of socks again.

I love them. A few weeks ago, when the stress was really getting to me, I found a website that had older Opal collections for sale (they also have other brands), and after debating whether or not to get some (my stash has grown to over 13(!) kg of yarn. Plus fiber), I gave in and treated myself to these three beauties:

All of them are from an older “Schafpate” collection – the blue one is “Huetehund” (shepherd’s dog), the rainbow yarn is called “Blickfang” (eye-catcher), and the green was is “Ruhezeit” (downtime). I love them all and was wondering if I should snag what’s left of the collection as well …

I knit the socks top-down, 64 stitches on 2,0mm DPNs (gauge is 32sts and 50rows to 10cm/4″ – I never get anything above 8sts/inch, and I am not willing to go below 2,0mm needles for it). The pattern I used is Heather Sebastian’s Chain Drive Socks, another freebie. I already knit it once, to make my mum socks for Christmas, but it worked fine this time.

As you can see, I repeated the pattern on the back of the leg, and I have to say that I absolutely love it. The cables put enough interest in knitting to prevent it from being boring, but, in my humble opinion, are not too busy for the absolutely beautiful colours.

This is the second pair of socks I have made for me this year (not counting the lavender ones, which are still hibernating), and I am totally smitten with them. They are everything I hoped for, and I am really glad I bought this yarn. I used exactly 75grams, and the leftovers will probably be used in the neverending blanket – we’ll see. So these are done as well.

Done, done, and done.

And now? What now? What shall I knit next?

Well, for one, I started another Curl:

This is Perfidy, another pattern taken from Hunter Hammersen’s Curls 2, knit from some of the Merino yarn that was intended for the blanket (I dubbed the ravelry project “Perfidy à l’orange”, and I find this très chic), knit on 4,0mm needles …

I wanted to make AJ (E’s daughter) a Little Sister’s Dress (I have to frog this, though, I made a mistake and can’t seem to find it) …

And then, I really wanted to get a headstart on granddad’s socks. He’s turning 88, after all.
Have a really great week, my friends! Take care!
All the love,

Julia 😀