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!

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?

Homeoffice

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!

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:

dark_wings

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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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Still here

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I’ve been back from London and the Wildcraft Spin-In for almost four weeks but with my dissertation deadline looming I had to dive back into it right away. Now I’ve finished the first chapter and I’m feeling a bit better – maybe this will turn out ok in the end and my PhD will be done by next summer. Keeping my fingers crossed!!!

I’ve decided against a full post about my London adventure and the Spin-In but you can have a look here and see what I’ve been up to.

I want to get back into blogging more regularly which for me seems to be a question of not trying to write the perfect post but just get on with it.

So, I thought I’d show you what has made struggling with that first proper chapter of my dissertation bearable!

Fibre & Yarn from London and the Spin-In

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I had lots of fun doing the dyeing workshop at the Spin-In and since I’ve been good with my yarn purchases in London I allowed myself to splurge a bit on Wildcraft fibre and spindles.  The Spin-In provided lots of time to get used to my new spindle and I finished spinning the first part of a lovely Falkland fibre.

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This is another spindle I couldn’t resist!

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As for yarn, I only bought some Brooklyn Tweed Loft from Loop London and some lovely soft Tweed yarn from Studio Donegal at Nest while I waited to be picked up for the journey to Dorset.

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New tea cup

Back home a parcel from England was waiting for me and I have been enjoying my tea from this lovely new cup from Cecily Vessey:

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I love the small Big Ben on the inside! Check out her designs at etsy!

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Autumn

In the last weeks the weather has got colder and I finally had the opportunity to wear my Curious Cardigan!

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Also, squash season started at my local farmer’s market, so I made some soup last week.

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The new semester starts next Monday and I’m already dreading it a bit. It will be harder to meet the deadlines in my plan while teaching and preparing the classes. I’m going to enjoy the peace and quiet this week while I can!

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A cure for the common PhD crisis

Warning: This post contains serious moaning and wining in large quantities. Proceed at your own risk!

Yesterday was a horrible day. I woke up at 5 a.m. because my neck and shoulders had seized up – must have been an awful dream – and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Well, I got up, did some exercises to persuade my muscles to relax and brewed myself a heavy-duty cup of tea (i.e. three bags of Yorkshire Tea on 300 ml of water!). By 7 a.m. I had managed to shower, eat breakfast and do the dishes – fuelled by my second cuppa.

Although I got some actual work done until 11 a.m. by then everything had gone downhill and I felt like crap. You know when you already feel tired and bad and then there’s a voice at the back of your mind making everything worse? Well, mine said things like “If you carry on like this you won’t make your dissertation deadline. Look, it’s already mid-April!. And, maybe it’s better that way, because who wants to read about lexical loss in Old High German and Old English anyway!?” and so on.

Let’s face the facts: I have no choice but to finish this stupid bugger of a dissertation. My PhD supervisor (who is also my boss) is … let’s say unhelpful and says things like:

” Your PhD comes first and btw you’ll have to teach three courses this semester on     25 % less pay. I’m off to my sabbatical term! Bye!”

Not.funny.at.all!!!!

But, well, there’s nothing to do than bucking up and ploughing through and finding things to cheer me up in between. Which I did (and we’re now leaving the self-pity-zone!)! Look!

bags

These lovely bags came to my flat via the MysticMooseCrafts etsy shop. I’m always toting a huge mass of things around and a nice and funny bag is always a good thing.

Today I finished a huge chunk of my dictionary work and decided to treat myself to a quick visit at my LYS. I had a lovely chat with the owner and went home with this:

botany

This is Araucania Botany Lace, a nice Merino Lace yarn which is more of a fingering weight. Lovely colours and it’s soft and bouncy. This will become a small shawl, not sure which pattern yet.
I’m off to the spinning wheel now (another reward for being studious today) to ply some yarn. See U!