Against the stress.

I will take a deep breath now and focus on writing a nice, calm post about knitting. And yarn. And planning presents for wonderful people. Because I just read another news article (this time about the upcoming French election), and the nationalism shown in the comments make my guts turn. I cannot escape politics right now. I check the news several times a day and in 90% of the time, something new comes up. Some of it is good, but most of it leaves me sitting in front of the screen with disbelief and worry.

I could write more about this, but I won’t. Enough. I need some space to breathe and to relax. There are other things, good things, important things. I think it is wonderful that in times like these, act of kindness still happen, and we should show them more, and use them to remind us and others that not everything has gone down the drain.

Here we go.

1. Look at this.

geschenk-von-stacey-januar-2017

Last year, I found Stacey from weekendknitter on tumblr (or rather: We found that tumblr was another way to connect for us, as I have been reading her blog for ages, and she, as I am happy to say, reads mine, occasionally), and it’s wonderful to see her short postings about spinning and spindling and doing all things yarny there, and to be in touch. Stacey is a mother of two, a wonderful, strong person, an incredibly talented (fiber-) artist, and she is all kinds of awesome. We updated our addresses, and she spotted this at Joann’s and send it to me. It’s absolutely terrific. Not only are the articles interesting (what awaits you at a fiber festival, how do you spin batts, how can you play with colourful fiber and spin it up the way you want to knit it later), but the patterns in this magazine are great. Simply wonderful. Stacey, I love you, and you’re one of the best people! πŸ™‚

2. The mittens are done.

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Knitting them was really interesting – I have only knit fingerless mittens before, and while I didn’t find knitting the fingers hard (it wasn’t even as fiddly, because I was knitting with aran weight yarn and 3.0mm needles), I changed the pattern a bit and measured my father’s hands thoroughly. I am really happy about the stripes (the original pattern has two, which looks nice as well), and, what is most important – my father loves them, and they fit him fine.

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3. I bought yarn.

250grams of aran weight, to be precise.

shawl-fur-monika

As you may know (or not know – well, you know now), Little Church Knits (link to designer page on ravelry) has a Free Pattern Friday every week – this week, it’s The Big Skinny. (link to her blogpost, where you will get the code for this pattern).

Little M.’s grandmother will celebrate her birthday next month, and she wears mostly cold colours, so I thought that a nice garter stitch shawl would be a wonderful present for her. I am not 100% secure about the colour combination, but I like it, it reminds me of art deco somehow, and something else I cannot quite lay my finger on. But I hope she will love it as well.

4. I knit myself a new pair of socks.

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Last year, we were doing a Secret Santa at work. Quite a few colleagues joined us (we were ten people in the end), and the coworker who drew me got me – yarn. While I probably wasn’t the hardest candidate to get a present for (everybody at the office knows I love to knit), she really put a lot of thought into it, went to a LYS, asked whether the ball of yarn she selected would get me a pair of identical socks, because she was sure I’d prefer that (!), and made sure that one ball of yarn would be enough for a pair of socks at all. I was over the moon with joy, and at once decided that this would be the first sock project of the year for me.

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This was my travel project for January, so I put an afterthought heel in and did them in simple stockinette stitch. I love them! Yarn is Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Color, knit on 2,0mm needles (64 sts). (Yes, I have worn them at work and showed her the socks. πŸ˜‰ ‘Course I did.)

5. Philipp is getting scrap socks.

When I weighed my “leftover” stash last year, I discovered that I had about 750grams of “leftover” sock yarn. This is quite a lot, particularly, because some of the balls are about 30grams. I put three colours together (the little ball at the top of the picture might not be used, I haven’t decided yet) and, after asking Philipp whether he approved of them (he did), cast on.

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The toe was knit in Opal Sweet & Spicey 2 “Weintraube” (the bright blue yarn), and now I am alternating the green yarn and the Regia yarn. Actually, I am on the second version … the first sock had really big ladders at the sides, but it’s better now.

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There is more to share, I knit so many things for Christmas I didn’t get around to blog about, and I took pictures of my stash as well – guess I am going to write one big post about all the projects and show them off in one go. Meanwhile, keep your heads up, my friends, and your hearts open! We will get through this, I know it.

All the love!
Julia πŸ˜€

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Books for Vacation! Quite some variety

Whenever I go on vacation, I have a big fat problem.

I always have trouble making room for the books.

When I was a kid, my mother would take my sister and me to the library before we went on holiday. She had a blue-and-white checkered plastic bag and we were allowed to fill it up to the brim with the books we wanted to take with us (later, that amound expanded to our backpacks). After we came home, my mum put all the books away and we were not allowed to touch them until we got into the car and were ready to go! The blue-and-white bag would be placed between my sister and me, and we could start getting through the books, thus not being so much of a pain in my parents’ behinds during the journey (we still managed, though). Although it has never happened in one single holiday, I am always frightened by the idea of running our of reading material. Especially when there is no Internet and lots of free time. So this is what I took with me.Β All of these books were – you guessed it – from the library (except for the ones on the right; these are mine).

What I took

All the books I took with me. For six days of vacation.

Due to the lack of Internet access and lots of free time, I managed to read quite a lot of them:

Read during holiday

Because this blog posting will be long enough as it is, I will only give shorter opinions on these books and no plot summaries (we’ve got amazon for that, let’s be honest). If you’re interested and want more details (or a translation; for ease, I’ll write about the books in English), hit the “Comment” box below. πŸ™‚ Let’s go! Continue reading

Books for August

Do you remember when I told you I wanted to write about the books I read?

Well, today is the first time I am doing this. From now on, there will be two blog posts per month, in which I am talking about the books I want to read or have been reading (I can’t promise everything, but I have good intentions).Β  Mostly, I will talk about library books, but I will also include my own books, because there are loads on my shelves which I haven’t read yet …

August 2015

To make it more convenient for you, I will do two things. First, I created a category called “books” and I will tag all blog posts about literature accordingly. Second, I put the word “Books” in all the blog posts concerning literature and reading, so that those of you who are not interested in literary content can pass on that blog posting. If I am talking about a knitting book, I will let you know in the title.

Is everyone okay with that? Let’s go! πŸ˜€ Continue reading