Postcards from Friesland

So, to keep with the good intentions for this blog, I finally uploaded the pictures from my camera! It seems like I last did this in June 2013 which means there are lots of things I have yet to blog about (more backlog – fibre, yarn, books, pictures and stories – getting there!). Since I very much want to go forward now I’m starting with the first trip I made after handing in my dissertation in December. Before spending Christmas with my parents I went to Friesland (NL) for a few days with my best friend. We had a lovely time walking at the sea, shopping in Groningen and overall just relaxing. Grab yourself a cuppa and relax with the pictures as well, if you like (or go view the slide show on Flickr)

 

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Next post will be a batch of yarn and fibre related pics, promise! See U!

Reformatting

It’s been a while since I even thought about my blog but as I’m slowly relaunching my life I hope to use this space once more. I handed in my dissertation about two months ago and I’m defending it in two weeks. After almost a year of constant work I find myself in a bit of a struggle to getting things done, even things I dreamt of having time for last year, like knitting, reading, spinning, taking walks outside and so on. So, I’m trying to use and enjoy my free time and hopefully, write about them here. Now I only need to remember to take my camera with me and upload the pictures…

So, I’m looking forward to some of these things this year:

  • treating myself to a short city trip after the disputation – Berlin or London?
  • enrolling in a new subject at university in April (combining computers and language)
  • turning a lot of my spinning fibre into yarn
  • reading the mountain of books I bought in the last years, but had no time to read
  • listening to my embarrassingly huge backlog of audiobooks
  • finally starting a yoga-class

So, if you’re still reading my blog after almost a year of absence, thanks! I’m off for a bite to eat and some knitting now. Pictures to follow!

Keep cool and carry on

This week has been a struggle of trying to keep reasonably cool – hard work if you live in a top-floor flat and your new office building at work is made of metal and has no air-conditioning – and carry on with writing. It was not a pretty sight, I’m afraid…

Still, I managed to make a reasonable amount of progress and by now we are back under the twenty degree mark (Celsius, of course) after nearly 37 °C on Wednesday.

Despite the heat I spun a bit more of the Texel and started plying the first half:

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Wednesday evening I went to see the Watermill Propeller Company play Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew at this year’s Shakespeare Festival. Thankfully, we had seats on the ground floor, as this replica of the Globe Theatre is mostly made of metal:

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If you ever have the chance to see Propeller, do it! They are really good and very intense!

And today I had a lovely afternoon with my best friend visiting an exhibition.

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I had a tasty piece of cake…

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… at the beautiful museum café…

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Next week I hope to finish chapter one of my dissertation and hopefully have some fun at the weekend.  Also, I need to decide which fibre to spin for the upcoming Tour de Fleece! See U next Sunday!

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Plans

Well, it’s Sunday again which seems to develop into my designated blogging day.  With the deadline for my dissertation looming in a few months, my life feels like one big schedule  and I find myself adhering to some kind of plan even on my one free day of the week – Sunday. Not so healthy in general but the blogging seems to benefit from it. Also, the end is in sight! By Christmas this will be over! Since everything revolves about work at the moment I thought I’d show you my working place!

Remember this?

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I took this picture right after I managed to assemble the parts (Thanks, Ikea!) and since then the inevitable chaos has crept in a bit.

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I suspect it will get even worse in the next months…

The highlight of last week was a trip to the garden centre to pick up some plants for my flat!

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There has also been some spinning with my new spindle. Also, I seem to have lost my knitting mojo. I hope to free up my wheel and the spindle in time for the Tour de Fleece!

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I love the look of the cop, but it takes longer to wind it than on a normal drop spindle. I think I did something wrong as well because the cop should start to look more like a ball. The fibre is a Southern Cross Club Fibre, a beautiful Texel in the colourway ‘Spring Meadow’. I love a proper wooly fibre!

I’m off to enjoy the rest of my scheduled free Sunday – I’m dreading next week because come tomorrow the weather forecast promised our first summer heat-wave. Hope you’re having a better June! I’ll leave you with another summer sunset from my window:

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Have a good week!

Busy Week

I’ve had a really busy week doing not much besides writing and reading with the occasional short walk thrown in for good measure. So, I thought I’d Show you some of the things that kept my mood up through all the work!

A walk and a visit to the museum of roman life in Haltern am See
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A vintage type-writer I bought some time ago at a flee-market – it has a place of honour on my sideboard!

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My new turkish spindle from IST Crafts – so cute and it spins beautifully!

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Lunch fresh from the farmer’s market

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Sunsets viewed from my window

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Hope you had a good week! Happy weekend!

Out and about

So, as promised I’m back with some evidence that now and then I do leave my desk now and then! A few weeks ago on the first sunny and warm Sunday I went on a lovely walk along the Rhine in the south part of town and remembered to take my camera with me.

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You can walk directly at the riverbank though I suspect at the moment this will be all underwater. While we didn’t suffer any flooding here, the Rhine is filled to the brim.

There were sheep!

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Lots of lambs:

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Interesting trees:

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And fields full of rapeseed…

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A lovely walk although I managed to get sunburned. I’m enjoying the sun anyway while the temperatures are still bearable.
I’ll leave you with a picture of the Dew Drops Shawl I cast on – finally taken during an afternoon of knitting at the park yesterday.

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halfway through

It’s June and I don’t know where the first five months of 2013 have gone! I seem to be stuck in a perpetual dilemma the longer I go without posting, the harder is becomes to select what to post. Not that I actually do a lot these days, well, apart from sitting at my desk with writing my dissertation (not yet desperately, but getting there). My goal is handing it in by the end of the year and defending in January or February 2014 – I can’t wait until this is done!
The only thing besides writing and reading and working I’ve been doing recently is cooking (because I want to eat healthier Food) and Spinning (because I seem to have lots my knitting mojo).

Here’s the latest output:

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Southern Cross Club Fibre
Colour: Dark Wings
 Fibre: Polwarth
 230m/110g – 2ply

I’m still not sure if I like this colourway, have to see how it knits up.

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This is Wildcraft fibre, I think the colourway is Sea Pool! It’s a Gradient dyed mix of BFL, silk and camel. It came out at approx. 700m/100g – left it as a single.
(I’ve cast on for a Dew Drops Shawl yesterday evening with this but haven’t taken any pics yet.)

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I’ve spun this Hilltop Cloud roving on my IST spindle (took me nearly half a year) and plied it on my wheel. Very squishy! It’s a 2ply – about 310m/100g.

And another Southern Cross fibre, this one from shop update. Polwarth, again!
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And finally my first batt – Hilltop Cloud again and a mixture of Merino, Shetland, soy silk and sari silk. It Looks great but I’m still finding bits of soy silk all over the flat and on my twice washed clothes.

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That’s it for now! I’m still spending most of my time at my desk, but there should be another post coming up soon with pictures of a grand day out and some knitting!

Still here

Well, this has been a record of blog-abandonment so far – it’s been over four months since my last post. On top of not writing anything here I returned to lurking on my favourite blogs instead of commenting. As my very uninspired title states, I’m still here, still knitting, still trying to finish my dissertation and finally be done with my PhD and starting to be a bit unsatisfied with my life at the moment. Unfortunately, there’s nothing for it but to get a move with writing – until then I’m stuck in my current position. Due to the fact that I’m prone to migraine-attacks when stressed too much I have to try to balance everything, getting enough work done to feel good about it but not too much to feel stressed, getting enough sleep and experiencing nice things on the side.

Objectively, I made good progress on the dissertation and I’m much more clear now about its structure and the aspects I want to discuss. If everything goes well I should be able to hand it in around September which means I would be finished with my PhD by the end of the year and therefore before I turn 35.

So, to make this a successful day I need to get back to reading about lexical structures and leave you with a visual account of the last months and a promise to be back soon and post more regularly here!

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Wovember & spinning

As promised, the next post in my November catch-up series! Before I get to the spinning I wanted to tell those of you that haven’t seen it already about Wovember. Wovember is a project initiated and invented last November by Kate Davies (needled) and Felicity Ford (the domestic soundscape) and dedicated to Real Wool during November. This year the project has gotten an addition by Tom of Holland whom you may know through his Visible Mending Project (if not, go take a look!).

The idea behind Wovember is to explore and celebrate the properties of real wool in all its dimensions, from the different breeds of sheep to the shades of the fibre, from the people producing wool to those who use it and from the feel of real wool to the sounds of wool (and for me, the smell. Love the smell of sheepy wool!).

Real wool opposed to what sells as wool in shops, mind. When I wanted to buy a new winter coat last year I simply couldn’t find one made solely of wool! I had to settle for one with a mixture of wool/Cashmere/Nylon but I found ‘wool’ coats with only 10 % wool in total. If you don’t make it yourself, real wool is hard to find in clothes and even finding 100% wool fabric proved difficult.

This year the motto is ‘closing the gap’, meaning the gap between yarn and clothes and the origin of wool used.

You can read more (and much better explained!) about the purpose of Wovember here and have a look at what has already been going on (since I’m late) here .

I really love this project and I’ve been looking forward to November very much.I’m trying to wear as much wool as possible this month and I will be spinning fibre from different sheep breeds (more on that in a later post). My mobile phone has a sheepy ring-tone which you can download from here ( together with other wool related sound files) and I will be wearing the assorted Wovember badges Felicity Ford made for Wovember.

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Now to the fibre and the spinning!

I’ve finally finished spinning and plying the rest of my Hello Yarn Polwarth in ‘Cauldron’!

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Together with the skein I finished ages ago this is destined to become a squishy cowl!

I’m also on the last part of the Wildcraft Falkland I started spinning at the Spin-In in Dorset in September (I forgot all my fibre at home in Germany) and I plied the first half on my wheel.

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I’ve wound the third part on my Nostepinne and got another fibre-egg and I’m now spinning the last 50g.

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Further spinning plans involve making a DKish yarn for a pair of leg warmers and to spin wool from German sheep-breeds. Happy Wovember!!!!

November knitting

I’ve run out of excuses for neglecting my blog – it’s nearly been a month since my last post! We’re now smack in the middle of one of my favourite months (It’s a bit hard to decide between October, November and December) and we’ve had some fabulous autumnal weather:

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Since I’ve caught a very nasty cold I’ve been stuck to my bed and my sofa since last Saturday and today is the first time I felt well enough for a short walk. I’m still using up a mountain of tissues but at least I no longer have to sleep most of the day. When I wasn’t sleeping I knitted. Well, reading was out and so I listened to audiobooks, watched crap daytime telly and knitted. As a result, I’ve cast on and finished two hats, one sleeve and finally made progress on a long forgotten sock.

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pattern: Hurricane Hat by Andrea Goutier
yarn: Southern Cross Fibre Club ‘sugar & spice’
used about 80 meters

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pattern: Marina by Wooly Wormhead
yarn: Southern Cross Fibre Club ‘medieval’

Since my handspun usually turns out a bit uneven and I almost never plan ahead I had to fiddle a bit with the numbers.
Marina is knit sideways and it turned out my stitch gauge was a bit off (what a surprise!) so this turned out super slouchy. It’s soft and warm (the yarn is a BFL/Silk mix) but I have to fold the brim over to avoid looking like a gnome.

With the Hurricane Hat I miscalculated how much yarn I would need and, as I was overly cautious, ended up with a very much not slouchy hat and leftover yarn. I haven’t blocked this one and I hope it will grow a bit after a good wash but this will be the perfect hat for windy bicycle tours as it’s almost windproof.

Then there’s another project I finished before I got ill:

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pattern: Wellenreiter
 yarn: Rowan Colourscape Chunky + Frankenwolle Merino

I saw this in my LYS and instantly fell in love! Fortunately, the pattern was available at the store and when I came home I immediately cast on. It’s constructed with short rows without wraps and the coloured sections a knitted in garter stitch to create a relief-like effect. I can comfortably wrap this around my neck and shoulders twice and it’s very warm and cosy. Unfortunately, we’ve had higher temperatures again so I had no opportunity to wear this yet. Looking forward to the cold! The only action shot I managed to take is very dark but you get the general idea:

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Since I have such a backlog of things to show and tell you I decided to split it into several posts (which I will write now and publish later – thank WordPress for the schedule function!). So, stay tuned for spinning, bike tours and Wovember!