Thursday, August 31, 2006

Italian approach

A few weeks ago I bought some new knitting magazines, with fresh and crisp models for fall. K chose a nice stripey sweater with a turtle neck (or should I say, I talked him into wanting it?). Our deal is, he pays for the yarn, and I do the knitting. You see, I don't believe in the boyfriend sweater curse... but I figured, when he pays for the yarn, then I don't jinx it. Clever, huh?
Anyways, this sweater required an Italian cast-on, something that was new to me. It took me two attempts (and I hated it at the start), but then I had it. It was quite easy actually, and I really like the result:

It's not as "cut-off" like it is with a regular cast-on... although, I haven't tried that many types - the way I usually cast-on is the one with the long tail. But I'm already kinda planning on using this cast-on method in something else, because it looks so good! Just like in a bought sweater... as if this would make it any more real. Isn't it strange to consider something which is handknit as not as real, or as not as proper, as something that is store-bought knit? Or is it just me?
The yarn, though, is a pleasure. It's Schachenmayr Alpaka, and I can't stop knitting with it because it's so soft. Yumm!

The other project I'm about to start is a sweater for myself. It's from a magazine from last year's fall, and thought about making it ever since. It has a deep v-neck, both on the front and on the back, and some cables. And I forgot to take a picture of the picture... I'll have to wait until daylight tomorrow.

This time I went for a quite daring color! I've had enough of muted colors, or of blue all the time, so I figured - why not? It's ggh yarn, Solitaire. The softness is nice, but no way near the Alpaka. It's quite light though, and that is a quality I like about it. It's supposed to be a winter sweater after all, and I wouldn't want a heavy piece that drags downwards.

And yes, I still do work on a summer top, although there's not much point doing that any more. My summer holiday has been cancelled, and August here was the complete opposite to July. Where July was the hottest since they started collecting the weather data, August is the coldest/rainiest/windiest in 50 years. Today it was about 13 degrees Celsius (55F), and it was pouring on and off. Not to mention the wind. I had a hard time resisting the urge to turn on the heating, I can tell ya!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Edited to add

Last night, after the last post, I checked all my knitting books to see what they said about gauge. They all had the same basic information, but that was it. They did say what to do when you didn't get the necessary stitch number, but none of them mentioned the row number, let alone what to do if your row number wasn't matching the one in the instructions. All hail to the Knitter's Handbook!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Got gauge?

Yay, K is coming back today! I'm not only saying this because he brings back the camera and then I can take pictures of the swatches I made with the new yarn I just bought... which brings me to gauge. I've noticed this before when I made gauge swatches, that I get the number of stitches right, but not always the number of rows. I then usually figure that if I adjust the needle size to get the row number right, then the stitch number will be messed up. I regard the stitch number as more important, as I need to count the stitches (when casting on, increasing, decreasing, etc.), but the length of what I knit is measured in centimeters, not counted in rows. Or do I get something wrong here? How do you handle this?
Even if I had to have the row number correct, how could I do this without affecting the stitch number? Knit tighter/looser, but not wider? Is that even possible? What are knitters like me supposed to do when this happens, or is this just "knitter's bad luck"? Books etc. only talk about the amount of stitches, and how to adjust it. But I never read anything about the importance of row numbers, or maybe I only overlooked it.

Edit: I just checked my Knitter's Almanac (aka Elizabeth Zimmermann's (or is it Montse Stanley's?) Knitter's Handbook), and it says that the stitch number is more important: "When trying to achieve tensions stated in instructions, it may be impossible to achieve botch stitch and row counts. Concentrate on the stitches and, if the row difference is large, avoid projects where the numbers of rows are crucial. In projects where length is checked with a tape measure rather than by counting rows, remember that you will probably need a different amount of yarn than the instructions say."
I think I should read my knitting books more closely. Problem solved!

50 Cent, er things

1. First Name? Dorothee
2. Were you named after anyone? Not that I know of (my Mom's friend's daughter's name was Dorothee, but my Mom didn't like the name when she first heard it. Don't ask me why she still gave me this name)
3. Last time you cried? Some time this year
4. Do you like your handwriting? Yeah, if I don't write too fast
5. What is your favorite lunch meat? I don't think I have any
6. Do you have kids? Nope
7. Would you be friends with you if you were someone else? Yep
8. Do you keep a journal? Does a blog count as a journal?
9. Do you tend toward sarcasm? Sometimes
10. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes, and I planned on keeping them
11. Would you bungee jump? No way! I'm not crazy
12. What’s your favorite cereal? Some honey-toasted crunchy organic muesli
13. Do you untie your shoes before you take them off? How else am I supposed to take them off?
14. Are you strong? Physically or mentally?
15. What is your favorite ice cream? Häagen-Dasz. Almost any kind. Yum!
16. Shoe size? Depends on the shoe
17. What do you like least about yourself? My fears
18. Who do you miss the most?
19. Do you want this sent back to you? Not really... but if you post this, let me know.
20. What color pants and shoes are you wearing right now? Light blue track pants and dark blue Birkenstock house shoes
21. Last thing you ate? Miso soup with tofu, zucchini strips and soba noodles
22. What are you listening to right now? CSI Las Vegas on tv
23. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Why would I want to be a crayon??
24. Favorite smell? Anything yummy
25. Last person you talked to on the phone? My boyfriend K
26. First thing you notice about someone of the opposite sex? Eyes/eyebrows
27. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Christine didn't send me this, but I do like her
28. Favorite drink? K's latte macchiato... good hot chocolate... Mountain Fresh Fruit Juices (unfortunately, I can't get them in Germany)... freshly squeezed orange juice... Champagne... I think I could keep going here for a while
29. Favorite sport? Horseback riding
30. Eye color? Green
31. Hat size? I can't remember it, but I know that it's big
32. Do you wear contacts? No, I wear glasses
33. Favorite food? There's too much to list it here
34. Scary movie or happy ending? Both
35. Last movie you saw at a movie theater? Volver
36. What color shirt are you wearing? Black
37. Summer or winter? Summer or winter what?
38. Hugs or kisses? By who?
39. Favorite dessert? See question 33
40. Who is most likely to respond? Respond to what? To this questionnaire?
41. Least likely to respond? See above
42. What books are you reading? A book on US-foreign policy
43. What’s on your mousepad? I don't have one
44. What did you watch on TV last night? Surface
45. Favorite sounds? They call it music
46. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Neither?
47. The furthest you’ve been from home? Define home
48. What’s your special talent? Knitting? Baking? Being there for other people?
49. Where were you born? Schwäbisch Gmünd
50. Who sent this to you? I picked it up at Christine's

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


What is it about celebrities that makes normal people giggle like 13-year-old school girls when they notice them?

There are two knitting groups in Munich where I'm going to. One is Stitch'n Bitch, which takes place twice a week and where we speak English. SnB is quite a young, fashionable crowd with lots of unusual knitting going on.
Then, there's this other (German speaking) knitting group that meets once a week; the ladies are a bit older than the ones at SnB (I got adopted by one of them last week, when we found out that I was the same age as her sons. I call her "Mama" now), and this group focuses more on the knitting instead of the bitchin'. Anyways, a little while ago I asked Elemmaciltur if he wanted to come. Well, tonight he decided to join us, and we had a nice time.
After some time, a guy walked into the restaurant and sat down at the table next to ours. I looked at him, and thought he looked familiar (I get that sometimes, and then I can't remember where I know the people from... most of the time, I've seen them somewhere at Uni, but not this time). Suddenly, a movie title popped up in my head (the trailer was on tv lately), and I thought, can it be? Can it really be Benno Fürmann? Turns out, it was.
(Okay, so this might only be interesting for my readers who know who I'm talking about... he's an actor, kinda famous in Germany)
Anyways, Benno was just sitting there, having dinner like a normal person (or should I say like the rest of us?). I'm not sure if he noticed the giggling knitters at the table next to his (okay, only Elemmaciltur and I were giggling), and if he did, if he's used to it.

I didn't have my camera with me, so I didn't even think about whether I wanted to take a photo (K went to Slovenia today and took the camera with him, in case you wanted to know). Elemmaciltur, however, got his courage together and asked him about a picture (and I admire him for that, I wouldn't have been able to do that!)... you can see the result below. For the rest of the story, check out Elemmaciltur's blog. Elemm, thanks for coming! Let's see which star we can get next week to sit next to us and watch us knit.

Elemmaciltur on the left, and Benno Fürmann on the right.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code I can live with that!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

This is for Grace

Above are most of the squares I've made for Grace so far. The colors aren't quite acurate, because I took the pictures at dusk. But I think the patterns come out quite well. Hopefully, I'll get some more done soon, and then off they go in the mail, heading towards Canada!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Grass widow

K is going away tomorrow for a few days while I have to stay here and work on my paper. On the one hand, I'd love to come with him, but if I get some work done, then we can go on a (short) holiday to Italy soon! That should make a good reward for me, shouldn't it?
But K is also going to take the camera with him, so I better make some pictures before he goes. I managed to make a few more squares for Grace, and I finished the ones I already made. They only need a wash now and then I have to pin and stretch them a bit, so they are the right size.

And... I ordered some yarn! Some for a sweater for myself, and some for a sweater for K (and no, I do not believe in the Boyfriend Sweater Curse!)... and I'm looking for some more for a bolero (yes! I know! A bolero for myself! Even though I never believed in boleros, because I always considered them as 'nothing whole, nothing half'. I seem to have changed my mind...) And I'm thinking about even more projects! That might have something to do with the fact that I just bought a few magazines, like the new Rebecca. Yarnyarnyarn! My precious! I want it! (I totally feel like Gollum now)

It's strange, I didn't want to buy new yarn until I hade made room for new; but I find it like you put yourself on a very strict diet. While you try and stay very good, after a while you go out and binge. Totally. Urgh. So, does that mean that I should find a 'more reasonable' kind of way for my yarn diet, so I don't binge any more? Just like with food. Healthy stuff is good and all that, but we all need a large piece of chocolate mud cake once in a while, to keep up the level of happiness, don't we?!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

One down, only three gazillion more to go

Finally, another FO! Let's celebrate the reduction of my stash, even though it's only a little reduction. I made a baby hat, using some of the yarn I had leftover from my nephew's Christening Cardigan.

The green is actually much lighter and softer than in the picture. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, and it's incredibly soft. I just love knitting with it! I still have some more leftover, and I'm looking forward to using it!
I don't have a baby who could model the hat, and I'm definitely not going to put it on a doll's head because I think this looks creepy as hell! Like they'd come alive any second... Anyways, the hat's supposed to look like this:

I made it in firstborne's size. The style is really cool, because it covers so much of the baby's head. But I think it's a bit strange that the hat's name translates into "devil's hat"... What did I say about creepiness before?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The curse of self-imposed pressure

Thank God it's raining today. It's been cooler for a couple of days now, and the temperature in my apartment is back to normal now. It was about time!

Below is a picture of my last FO, baby sandals from an old Schachenmayr magazine. They are sooo cute! I made them with the Holz&Stein rosewood needles K gave me a while ago, and the colors looked so adorable. I'm thinking if I should make another pair of the sandals, but then again, seaming the sandals, weaving in the ends and sewing on the buttons was quite a pain in the ass. It took a disproportionate amount of time, compared to how long it took to knit them. But they are so pretty!

Oh well, I'll see. I still have quite some baby yarn leftover, and I definitely want to make more baby stuff.

It's a bit weird; ever since I started blogging, I always feel that I have to knit something (preferably something that's in fashion right now, or with a popular yarn), that I should take part in some kind of swap or palooza or knitalong or whatever's there. Even when I know that I'm not so interested in reading tons of other blogs, or that I simply do not have the time to do so. Or the money, or, more importantly, that I don't have the space for loads of yarn purchases for the gazillion projects that I'd like to make (and later on, while knitting, I get insecure if I'd really wear what I'm making. This just happened to the Victoria Tank).
I don't know if anyone of you knows this kind of feeling... is blogland just getting to fast for me? Now, I'm not saying it's bad to have so many swaps and knitalongs and God-knows-what-else going on, not at all. For example, I would have liked to take part in the sequel of Yarn Aboard, because I think it's a fun thing to do and I like the idea of the travelling box. But I didn't sign up, because for so many reasons... like wondering, 'is my pal going to be happy with what I send her', or thinking that I should read the blog entries of what the others received, or whatsoever. Above all, it would mean that I have to spend time reading even more blogs, that I have to buy more yarn even though I should save the money (I know I could afford it. On the other hand, I also know that it would be wiser to just save the money for the upcoming tuition fees, or a holiday), and it wouldn't reduce my stash. In general, that's not something I would worry about, it's only that my stash boxes are bursting at the seams. And my apartment is simply not big enough for more boxes (unless I throw K out... but he's been cooking a lot for me lately, so I better keep him). That's why I want to use some of the yarn I have already before I go and buy even more for new projects.
Knitting sure can be a curse! The curse of self-imposed pressure, that is. Nobody is forcing me to new projects after all. So, what am I afraid of? That I lose my readers because what I'm doing isn't "interesting" enough? That nobody leaves me a comment any more, that the internets community deserts me? This is why I'm in therapy (and no, it sure isn't a retail therapy)
I know that this won't happen. ( I hope. Oh, common, stop it, you know it won't.) Geez, it's incredible how much pressure a blog can put on one. Even though it's all in my head only.