Friday, January 19, 2018

Girl's weekend and lots of sockknitting

Everybody has to have those special girlfriends that you can talk through the night with, about everything. And when I mean everything, it means everything. No matter if it's bad dates, deepest fears or something like you favourite sex position. I am lucky enough to have some of the finest friends somebody could wish for. 
At least once a year we try to meet for a weekend of just us, as meeting up spontaneously has become increasingly difficult with two of them living far away, one having a family and all the other stuff everybody has been doing. 

Our first trip was to Dublin two years ago and last year we just met up for a wellness-weekend in a town nearby. This time we decided to take it low-key as well, having a cozy winter-weekend with a sauna and a fireplace. We were pretty lucky to find a beautiful holiday home in an area with not much going on and therefore also very cheap. It was all we wanted for the weekend, we went running, sat in the sauna, sat in front of the fireplace and just talked a lot. In fact, we were pretty lazy. 

I imagined our holiday with snow around us, which was not the case, but as I enjoyed sockknitting so much, I promised all of them to knit a warm pair of socks for them. (My ravelry page features a lot of sock patterns now) After finally deciding on the pattern and being finished with my "christmas-gift-knitting", I really had to throw in a lot of knitting time to finish in time. (Which I still didn't manage to do. Pauline's socks were only finished after the weekend. I wil give them to her the next time we see each other.)

The first pattern I knit was intended for toe-up knitting, which I have never done, so I figured, just knit top-down and it will work. It didn't though, the lizard in the pattern was much longer than the foot, so their heads are a bit anomalic, but the pattern in general is really cool. The next time I am going to make them I will give the other way a try. 



The second one I found on a request of my good friend Dani's who likes green and purple. The pattern features a lot more colours, but I loved it too much not to choose it. They took me some time, especially since the footsize was so big, but it was well worth it. 

Fairytale Socks

I had never knit anything in black and white and I love the effect those clearcut colours have in a pattern. The regularity of the pattern creates a very nice structure that keeps the feet nice and warm and I definitely recommend it.







For the last pair I chose the blue and green colour which I thought would make a nice addition to the pattern I chose. It is nice, but the two socks are very different from each other, plus the color gradient creates a sharp contrast in the one full round that is knit when knitting the heel. Also, the original pattern has a pretty cool application with buttons in it. For time reasons I left it out, but the next time I knit this pattern I will include it. 




For now, not having anything I "have" to knit, I decided to tackle one of the bigger projects I chose for myself. Only a few days ago I started with my long planned Beatnik-Sweater in Marine Drops yarn. At first I was a little intimidated by all the different acbles of the pattern, but what can I say? I love it! And it is not nearly as hard as I imagined it to be. I made good progress and am already looking forward to wearing it. (Also I am glad to knit with only one colour for a change.)
I got this little helper to better knit with two colours


A new book I bought myself and the beginning of my Beatnik-Sweater


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year everybody!

What has everybody been up to?
December has been a very crazy month, like always. And although I took some days off prior to Christmas, I still didn't manage to create and prepare all the presents smoothly. The long shawl I knit for my cousin took me hours before Christmas Eve, in fact I went to bed at 3:30 after I had finally managed to finish it.

It didn't help that we had two weddings to attend to in the last weeks of the year, to reduce the stress. Looking for presents and preparing our clothes, etc. My friend who got married asked me to take pictures and as I almost never take pics indoors, which is why I got myself an early Christmas present in the form of an external flash.
The wedding went smoothly and I realized that if you are a photographer at a wedding it's good advice to get to know everybody, do a lot of smalltalk and make them less afraid of the big camera and the big flashlight. I still had some problems with the tech sometimes, but in the end I am mostly satisfied with the pictures.

A week later one of my best friends, who moved to Canada years ago, came by with her husband to also celebrate their wedding. It was great seeing her again and getting to know her husband, who is a funny and interesting guy and seeing them together made me really happy. When we were little we swore none of us would ever get married, but they seem to be pretty happy together, so I guess I am alright with her breaking the vow. Jeannie's parents have a young dog, who was a big fan of Lisek, wanting to play with him all the time. She was very cheeky and sometimes Lisek even played a bit, but it seemed more forced, to get rid of her. I am still amazed by the patience he showed towards her all the time.

I had the chance to take Jeannie and her husband on a stroll through the forest we used to take the horses to and it was like a huge flashback. The two of them are into birdwatching, so we took the time to watch some of the very common birds here feeding. As they are living in Newfoundland, our birds are not so common to them. It was great seeing them and I hope we can manage to go and see them in St. John's in the summer. Jeannie does whale watching tours with tourists in the summer and this must to be one of the most amazing jobs ever.

Christmas Eve was amazing. In recent years I have been really enjoying the time with my family. Everybody just gets one present and so it gives us much more time to have dinner together and just talk. I have a couple of cousins I only ever see on Christmas and it is great to see how they develop and what they are up to in life. Most of them I can still remember as little babies.
All in all we had a few christmas days with a lot of us-time, chilling and relaxing. I loved it. On the 28th of December we had spontaneously booked a trip to the closest mountains, hoping for some snow. We were meetings two friends who have a camper van as well and it was a pretty sweet deal, sleeping in the vans, including breakfast at the hotel and being able to use their pool and sauna. The hotel wasn't top class, it was ok, but there were too many little things waiting for repair for it to be perfect. The first few days we had quite an amount of snow, which made our walks super-romantic and a lot of fun for Lisek. While the New Year's Eve party was not the greatest, it was a perfect way to end the old year, with a lot of relaxed conversations, hot coffee and knitting, walking outside, hearing the snow crack beneath our shoes. I loved it!

Now we are back home, working and finally deciding to do more sports. (What an original New Year's resolution). I started already after I had seen myself on the pictures of the wedding, so horrible! But I am going to write another post on our progress in the cooking, sports and fasting department.

Prepare for a lot of doggie pictures!

Dancing at my friend's wedding

Jeannine & Ian's wedding cake

Yessi, always trying to animate Lisek to play

So cute! Lisek got that collar from his auntie Sarah

Crazy dogs

Lisek stole Yessi's bone and he felt like the king

Romantic decoration at the wedding party

Playing with the dogs - one of my favourite things to do

Knitting on Christmas Eve - one of my other favourite things to do

Breakfast table at my parents' house

Lisek with his already destroyed present

Another cute pic of the pooch

Stroll in the forest

Yessi tends to get sick in a car, so Ian made her put her nose out of the window, which helped. 

I love that picture

in my hometown

Christmas Presents for my parents

Last evening in Düsseldorf in 2017

Alt-Astenberg in the mountains




The men in deep conversation

Snow fun

The cute snowball

Snow Cabin

Have a wonderful year 2018!




And then the snow was gone












Monday, December 11, 2017

Knitting through a Winter Wonderland!

Let it Snow, let it Snow, let it Snow

So folks, how have you been? We have been enjoying the Adventszeit, as we call the last four weeks before Christmas. Only yesterday we even got to enjoy a Winterwonderland in the city of Düsseldorf, which basically never happens. Lisek was very excited and tried to eat all the snow on the ground. I always let him, although I am a bit afraid, his belly might ache later.
Life has been pretty busy, with birthdays, writing for the thesis, weekend-trips, surprise visits, LeanIn Meetings, helping friends and knitting a lot, as always in this time of the year.

The last week of October / beginning of November we took Scottie on a tour eastbound, to Berlin. On the way we had a few stops, e.g. in Gothar and in Quedlingburg, both adorable!. Berlin for us means, visitng a lot of friends, which is always great. It also meant a lot of dates, a lot of driving around, but also seeing so much of Berlin. For the first time in my life I was in Potsdam, which is so pretty! You should definitely go, if you have time while you are in Berlin. The old mansions are pretty impressive, as well as the Dutch quarter and of course, Castle Sanssouci. 

Last week we went to Leipzig, to hang out for a few days and enjoy the beautiful architecture and the Christmassy feel about it. The Old Town is pretty small, but has some of the nicest Christmas markets. Needless to say, we had a Glühwein or two and went to great restaurants in the southern part of Leipzig where all the hip people go to. In contrast to Düsseldorf, the city has a very vocal and visible politically alternative scene whose creative outlets you can see in the Südstadt. Scottie was parked in an official parking spot in the middle of the city for just 10 € a day. Not too shabby. The way back on Sunday started earlier than usual, as they announced snow falling. Germans instantly lose their ability to drive when they see the hint of a snowflake, so we figured it would be better to get onto the autobahn as soon as possible. Sure enough, the streets were white and so many people apparently didn’t have the right wheels that their cars sled and sometimes collapsed. Luckily, we didn’t see any major damage or bad accidents, but it was pretty chaotic.

The last week saw a lot of visits to the Christmas market with our neighbours, with old friends visiting and also just the two of us. I love Christmas markets! As every year I will have quite some days off before the Christmas chaos with the family, which I will spend hunting for presents, knitting presents and going to see friends. One of the babies that was born recently lives in Hannover, so I am planning to visit my friend there and hang with her and the little one a bit. Oddly enough, it is not only a lot of birthdays, preparation for the holidays and markets happening this year, but also two weddings of good friends in the last days of the year. Which of course adds up to all the presents I have to create / buy, anyway. Still, I love this time of year. Christmas songs on the radio (and in my head), the whole city illuminated with the most beautiful lights, smelling cinnamon, new cookies and good food everywhere. Sitting in a cozy blanket while knitting and enjoying one of the roughly 1000 christmas movies…. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.


Last week I took one evening to bake Christmas cookies. The kitchen looked horrible afterwards, but I was pretty pleased with the result. It also helped that my family decided a while ago that everybody will only buy and get one present. That way I have way more time for other stuff than present-hunting. (We are about 15 people on Christmas day). Maybe I am mistaken, but it feels like a trend that people actually start taking more time for what Christmas was initially for. Stillness, enjoyment, Meditation. Many of my friends now have kids, so Christmas is a totally different game for them anyway. But everything seems to be a bit more mindful to me, more people are trying to give to people who are less fortunate than themselves and try to make their actions count. I love that!

Lisek waiting patiently on our last auumn-trip in front of the castle in Gothar

Summer Toboggan Run - So much fun!

Scottie on the way with the BangBus (Van-Friends)

For a few days we went to Berlin, to visit some of the dearest friends. And of course, we needed Berliner Weisse!

I was in Potsdam and also the Park of Sanssouci for the first time. It was so vast and beautiful!

Sanssouci as well

Little Cutie

We parked for one night right in front of the old airfield of Tempelhof. Amazing to have that much space in the middle of a city.

Little Bonnet with Southern American Wave-pattern

Yoga-Sock made from leftovers

To cuddle in bed - the best!

Birthday Cake from my best friends

Look at that tea-party. So nice!

A hat I made for myself

Lisek went out with his best friend Zaza

Beautiful Düsseldorf

Getting this veggie-box every week again makes me so happy

New mittens for me


I made my first Hefezopf. It was pretty delicious

Mr. Schön gave me this handy knitting board for my birthday

Part of a newborn-set I knit for a little one. 

Lisek got this collar with his name on it from a dear friend. Isn't it adorable?

In Leipzig, deciding on breakfast

Tired doggy

I suck at taking mirror pictures

Those churros were magical!

Baking cookies

Finally some snow - How exciting!