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Dienstag, 15. Mai 2012
New Ikea furniture for the hallway.
Every year spring seems to bring with it a strong urge to start some redecorating, to sort out old stuff and to rearrange some furniture. And maybe finally getting around to painting the darned staircase and get rid of the ugly terracotta color the previous owners had in the bedroom. This year things got even worse since my sister moved to Berlin and she needed furniture for this gorgeous little apartment she'd found in a nice, green quarter of town. Of course that meant numerous trips to Ikea. What a hardship ;o) And we all know how trips to Ikea end up. You buy way more stuff than you intended to. But that's half of the fun, isn't it?
Well, this time my sister's move finally got me to call the painter and within a week they showed up and fixed up the staircase and the bedroom. It's all nice and white now. The perfect canvas to put on some decoration myself. Can't wait for the wall tattoos to get here to brighten up the bedroom and the first floor hallway. Next big project is the carpet. The carpet itself is neutral enough and looks still okay to me. But the previous owners put these really ugly stair mats and a matching runner on the first floor hallway. Unfortunately they are glued tightly to the steps. The runner was easy enough to throw out. I'm glad it's finally gone. Stair mats are next on the agenda. The wooden staircase is really nice bit probably forever ruined by the carpet glue :-/ Nothing short of grinding them down would help, I'm afraid. I've made my peace with this though since the mats make the stairs safer to navigate anyway. I think I'll get some nice, natural colored sisal mats so the glue remains won't matter.
Now the freshly painted hallway looked kinda bland and it totally deserved some nice furniture, too. This little side table from Ikea was just too cute to resist. The mirror is a new addition, too and they both go really well together. Talk about Ikea style. But I really don't mind. It looks cute and bright and bit romantic. Not much of a decorator here anyway. Yes, I love my crafts and fiber hobbies but somehow decorating is not my thing. Too much work and I'd rather sit and knit – or spin – some more :-)
Montag, 2. Januar 2012
Knitting projects 2011
And here we are. Another year in front of us. Full of new possibilites and challenges. Time to see what's been going on knitting wise here at Sooza's. The clever Ravelry database tells me I've got 35 projects logged in for 2011. Not bad. Lots of this has actually been crochet which was a surprise for me. The year 2011 was all about re-learning and improving my skills with a crochet hook. And it's been fun.
Another skill I wanted to try my hands on was weaving. No progress on this front though. But I've got the loom now and it will be one of the projects I'll take with me into 2012.
What else has been going on? I discovered the concept of everyday carry and fell down the rabbit hole of collecting pocket knives. To keep this blog mostly about my crafts and some personal side notes I've been setting up a Tumblr blog for my EDC hobby - Sooza's EDC and Stuff. I'm thinking about putting out some knife reviews in the upcoming weeks. Will have to see wether I find the time.
Happy New year everyone and the best of luck for all your new endeavors and discoveries.
Donnerstag, 29. September 2011
Mirabell Garden (Salzburg, Austria)
"Wake Me Up When September Ends"
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends
I've probably quoted this before but somehow this time of the year always brings this particular Green Day song to mind. After a summer that mostly seems to have left a cold and wet impression we seem to be hitting a mild early autumn period for a change where you can still enjoy the parks, gardens and terraces.
On the one hand I'm kind of sad to see summer go. But as a knitter and crafts person I can't help looking forward to shorter days and cozy evenings at home. My mind is awhirl with new ideas for knitting projects and other crafts stuff. A trip business trip to Salzburg over the last weekend triggered some interest in traditional alpine/Tyrollean dress. I bought an interesting book about the history of the dirndl and traditional dress and I bought some accompanying sewing and knitting books. Those dirndls are so very pretty and really versatile. I'm a bit sad to live in a region where wearing a dirndl is pretty much out of the question.
Enjoying the last warm days
In the picture above is also one my latest obsessions - a Spyderco pocket knife. Somehow I've been sucked into the world of pocket knives and found them to be incredibly useful to have at hand. Opening parcels and letters, cutting card bord, peeling an apple, cutting a roll and putting on butter while outdoors, small stuff in the garden and around the house. I'm particularly fond of Spyderco. Spyderco's trademark is the so-called 'spyderhole' in the blade serving as a means to open the knife one-handed. I really like their style and the superb quality. In the picture there's the still fairly new 'Squeak'. It's a small non-locking blade mostly geared towards markets where pocket knives are under very heavy restrictions regarding size and locking capabilities. It's manufactured not in Asia or the United States but in Maniago, Italy's number one place for steel blade making. Unfortunately most of Spyderco's knives fall under §42a of the German weapon's law. Which means they are locking blades and feature one-hand opening. Those are not allowed to carry in public on your person. But Spyderco is one of the few companies aware of the fact that more and more countries put quite severe restrictions on knives and tries to find ways innovative solutions while staying true to their trademark look and feel.
Spyderco Delica 4 FFG in pink
This is probably my favorite Spyderco model - a Delica 4 FFG. I've got one in purple and one pink just for kicks. The size is just right even for bigger tasks while still being light-weight and compact. There's more pictures to proof my hopeless decline into just another obsession on Flickr ;o)
Montag, 25. Oktober 2010
Colorful leaves. Air is clear and nippy.
I've been content to snap pictures with our very reliable little point 'n shoot Fuji Finepix camera for a few years now. It made more than adequate pictures most of the time and in most standard situations. But I've been longing for the digital SLR experience for quite some time now. I loved taking pictures with our Canon EOS 500. Choosing lenses according to the situation. Trying out different options to get the best picture possible. The only drawback: it was analog. And after getting used to the immediacy of digital photography the lag between taking a pic and seeing how it had turned out wasn't acceptable any longer. So the EOS 500 started to gather dust in a corner along with some fairly decent lenses. It was a shame, really. Two weeks ago I did some research and decided I would go and try buying an old digital Canon EOS semi-professional model and see how I liked that. An old EOS 20D goes for quite reasonable prices these days. Sure, it's not state of the art but what the heck. Our lenses were compatible and I was pretty sure it would be a sturdy piece of technology.
Canon EOS 20D
Over the course of only one short week I've taken more than 300 pictures already. I've been reading the manual, trying out settings, making adjustments and having general fun with this stone-age digital SLR. It's not entirely without fault. But going by discussion boards on the net things like occasional error messages and acting up CF cards seem to be troubling owners of new and old Canon models alike. So I'll enjoy it as long as it lasts. And it is indeed tremendous fun to get back on topic with photography, the theory behind it, the technology.
Manual White Balance captures these Wollmeise colors almost exactly right.
Parc fermé at an Autocross event at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben
It's so easy to get interesting portraits and to play with focus and depth of field.
It's puddle season.
And puddle jumping is fun for 3-year olds.
Gorgeous autumn weather.
Donnerstag, 17. Juni 2010
Oh my, it's been a more than a month since I wrote something here. Time is flying. When I'm not working or knitting I'm playing support team and pit stop crew for DH. He's doing autocross competitions. What's autocross, you ask? Well, here's what the international Wikipedia has to say about it:
Autocross is a form of motorsports that emphasizes safe, low-cost competition and active participation. An autocross is a timed competition where drivers navigate one at a time through a temporary course marked by traffic cones, rather than racing on a track with multiple other cars, as in road racing or oval racing. Autocross tends to place more emphasis on car handling and driver skill than on sheer horsepower, and events typically have many classes which allow almost any vehicle, from economy sedans to purpose-built vehicles, to compete. Speeds are slower in absolute terms when compared to other forms of motorsports, usually not exceeding highway speeds, but the activity level (measured in discrete turns per minute) can be higher than even Formula One due to the large number of elements packed into each course. Autocross courses are typically 40 to 70 seconds in length. In addition to being a national-level motorsport in its own right, autocrossing is a good way to learn skills that transfer to road racing, as drivers learn vehicle control and club ethics. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autocross
Traffic cones mark a temporary course.
It's actually a pretty cool thing to do for a hobby and not in the least as involved as playing any of the usual team sports. There are no training sessions twice a week, no real need for any club memberships, no nothing. For starting out you only need a car and a helmet.
That being said, it's most likely that once involved in the whole scene certain investments will HAVE to be made. Slick tyres, anyone? Better brake shoes? And this data recording stuff and software analysis is seriously neat. But what else is to be expected from a Geek extraordinaire turned autocross racer? I'm not complaining though. I mean, look at me! I've got a hudge spindle collection, more wool and yarn then I can knit up in the foreseeable future and shelves of knitting books. Did I already mention that I'm pondering buying a weaving loom?
Those autocross weekends are something of a mixture between boy scout camp, carnival and family reunion. Most people there seem to have known each other for 30 years or more. And then there's already the kids racing around on bicycles, little dirt bikes or karts. And if the weather is as nice as the weekend before last, you can enjoy a relaxing weekend in some out of the way place. The pictures show Groß-Dölln, an abandoned Russian air base about an hour north of Berlin. The whole place is fascinating and totally creepy at the same time. If you imagine that not even 20 years ago they had nuclear bombers stationed there ready for take-off 24/7. And now some crazy guys are using that perfectly flat tarmac to race cars. Weird but happily weird.
After starting out on the family car, a 2008 Subaru Impreza, DH's got himself the perfect autocross car - a Mazda Miata/MX5. This model already came with sports suspension and whatnot. Driving in this little powerhouse of a car takes some use. Forget comfort. Pure driving fun here we come.
People are trying to get me to compete, too. Sure, I enjoy driving most of the time. But this autocross thing kinda scares me. Maybe one of these day I might muster the courage and try my hand at it. It won't be in the Miata though because I barely fit in there without a helmet. But since helmets are required I wouldn't manage to get in there at all.
Waiting your turn at the start
Right now I'm perfectly alright with driving the support car which basically means having it loaded up to the roof with a full set of sports tyres. And knitting is a good method to while away the time - when you're not taking pics, keeping the Little Girl from getting run over or enjoy a little chat with your "paddock" neighbor, that is.
A trunk full of tyres. There is another one behind the driver's seat.
If all goes well, your weekend ends with some of those kitschy trophies :-)
And you've had some fun in between.
And maybe even got some knitting done.
Sound of Waves, pattern by Keiran Foley
Pattern: Sound of Waves by Kieran Foley
Yarn: Soft Silk by BC Garn (100% coarse silk/noil; 350 m/100 g), 2 skeins, color ss13 - turquoise
Needles: 4.5 mm
Size: 40 x 200 cm
Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010
Galium odoratum, Waldmeister, Woodruff
This spring I've put five little plants of the lovely herb we call 'Waldmeister' in front of our house in the hopes of having a decorative as well as useful addition to our garden. And to my utter delight so far they are obviously thriving well in the shadowy north facing spot. Today I picked some branches, let them wilt for a bit and then dipped them into a jug of white wine/water mixture for about 30 minutes. The 'Waldmeister' gives off its particular flavour into the wine and makes a lovey 'May vine'.
Galium odoratum is a perennial plant in the family Rubiaceae, native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia. A herbaceous plant, it grows to 30-50 cm (12-20 ins.) long, often lying flat on the ground or supported by other plants. Its vernacular names include woodruff, sweet woodruff, and wild baby's breath; master of the woods is probably a translation of the German Waldmeister. It is sometimes confused with Galium triflorum and Galium verum.
Samstag, 7. November 2009
Picturesque clearing in the woods
Lots of trees
Area restricted for spectators
Loud cars raising dust
Little cars raising even more dust
Having fun. B. instantly took a liking to the brand new, geeky knitted hat.
The little hat was inspired by the Binary scarf that had been featured in Kitty.com, issue Winter 2006. It's knitted from 4-ply sock yarn and the binary code actually contains a message. I used the converter provided here to convert ASCII text into ones and zeros. It's a really fun knit. Currently working on another one for best husband of all.
Dienstag, 14. Juli 2009
Donnerstag, 12. Februar 2009
No Apple Key anymore.
Ja, gestern war es wieder so weit. Ich bin wieder ein Jahr älter. Ich nehm es locker, was soll man auch sonst tun. Es war also mein Geburtstag und der beste Ehemann von allen ist an meinem Geburtstag außer Landes. Und trotzdem schafft er es, mir eine riesige Geburtstagsüberaschung zu bereiten. Ich konnte aus seinem Versteck im Kleiderschrank einen funkelnden, niegelnagelneuen iMac hervorholen. Mein alter Computer gab so langsam aber sicher den Geist auf und ein neuer war ein ganz großer Wunsch. Und nun steht er hier und ich bin begeistert. Einziger Wehmutstropfen: Es gibt keine Apfeltaste mehr :-( Die war doch immer so süüüüüß ;-)
Yeah, it was this day of the year again. Again I'm one year older. It doesn't feel any different than the day before yesterday. As I said, it was my birthday and the best husband of all is abroad for a business trip which is kind of sad but can't be helped. But he still manages to procure the greatest birthday surprise ever. A call clued me in that in the back of our bedroom wardrobe a big box was waiting for me. And in the big box was a shiny new iMac! Wow! What a present. He is without a doubt THE BEST. And now it sits on my desk all ready for work and I'm totally smitten. The only drawback: They dumped the Apple key :-( Not that anyone really needs it for anything but it was soooo cute ;-)
Montag, 13. Oktober 2008
Not so easy to care for socks
Did I ever tell you that my handknit socks have to withstand the most horrible treatment imaginable? They go through the washer with all my other clothes at 30-40°C, they have to endure fabric softener and last but not least they have to put up with my feet. Commercial sock yarn is usually more than up to these tasks without complaining. So far some did better than others but all in all my socks are usually with me for a long, long time. You want to know what happend to this one pair of socks knit out of lovely Colinette JitterBug sock yarn that's supposedly "easy care Merino"? It gets treated just the same as the other socks in my sock drawer because that's what I always do with ALL my socks, of course. I seem to remember that the label read "easy care" but there was also this little symbol incicating a washing machine. So what can possibly happen? Obviously "easy care" is NOT the same as "machine washable" even though it might take a couple of washings to show. What can I say other than "May they rest in peace"?! Maybe that I'll stick to real commercial sock yarn in the future or at least to the stuff that's been 100% washing machine tested?
Freitag, 8. August 2008
Der Schöne Brunnen, Hauptmarkt
Ein kleiner Ausflug in den Süden, nach Nürnberg, erwies sich als recht unterhaltsam und auch in Sachen Wolle als recht ergiebig. Dank Arlenes ortskundigen Tipps war ein Tag praktisch ganz und gar dem Erkunden von Wollgeschäften zugedacht. In Nürnbergs Innenstadt ist das eine recht dankbare Aufgabe, denn es finden sich immerhin 5 Geschäfte in unmittelbarer Fußreichweite. Welch ein Paradies für den gemeinen Berliner, der daran gewöhnt ist, immer erst mal minestens eine halbe Stunde U-/S-Bahn zu fahren. Erwähnt seien an dieser Stelle die beiden Geschäfte, welche mir besonders gefielen: Treffpunkt Wolle an der Lorenzkirche und Tolle Wolle am Weinmarkt.
Der Treffpunkt führt nur Lana Grossa, ist dafür jedoch gut sortiert, es gab Angebote der auslaufenden Saison, jede Menge Sockengarn und der Herr im Laden war sehr nett. Wir hatten ein sehr angeregtes Gespräch über Trendfarben und den uns beiden unangenehmen Hang der Hersteller zu superdicken Schnellstrickgarnen. In dem Laden gingen jeweils ein Knäuel Meilenweit Cotton und Cotton Stretch sowie das aktuelle Merino-Heft in die Tasche.
Tolle Wolle ist ein bunter, inspirierender, bis unter die Decke mit Wolle vollgestopfter Laden, der neben Garnen auch ausgefallene Klamotten aus natürlichen Materialien führt. Von Noro-Garnen über GGH bis hin zu Sockengarnen diverser namhafter Hersteller ist im Sortiment so einiges vertreten. Der Laden macht einen gemütlichen Eindruck und die Eigentümer scheinen was von ihrem Geschäft zu verstehen und auch ganz nett zu sein. Allerdings war der Laden praktisch leer und trotzdem haben sie sich nicht recht um ein Gespräch bemüht, was ich immer sehr schade finde. Vielleichts liegts an der viel "gerühmten" Maulfaulheit der Franken?! Der Laden war auf jeden Fall der erste, in dem ich Noro Kureyon Sockengarn habe liegen sehen. Irre Farben, irrer Preis, völlig irre (im negativen Sinne) Qualität. Wer bitte kommt auf die Idee, einfädiges Sockengarn herzustellen? Aber egal. Zwei Knäuel mussten allein aus Testgründen mit. Allein, Socken werden das wohl nicht werden.
Nürnberg selbst war sehr nett. Die Stadt war irgendwie größer als ich mir vorgestellt hatte und besonders die riesige Fußgängerzone in der Altstadt ist schon was. Zu sehen gibt es jede Menge. Da das ganze jedoch zu einem erholsamen Ausflug werden sollte, habe ich mir mit Berenike lediglich die Kaiserburg angeschaut und die anderen Museen, Ausstellungen und interessanten Orte für ein andermal aufgehoben.
We took one of husband's business trips to the south as a chance to have a little family short trip on the side, too. Our journey took us to the city of Nuremberg. It's a very picturesque town complete with castle on the hill and impressive, well preserved fortifications around the old city. Thanks to Arlene I knew about the local yarn shops and did a little tour. It's really great to have 5 yarn places within waking distance. I mean from a Berliners point of view this is as close to heaven as it gets ;-) We are pretty much used to spending at least half an hour in public transport no matter where we go. I particularily liked two places: Treffpunkt Wolle at Lorenzkirche and Tolle Wolle at Weinmarkt.
The first one stocks only Lana Grossa but has a nice selection and offers sales on seasonal yarns. The guy in the store was very nice and we had a lively chat about fashion and yarn trends. I took two skeins of sock yarn with me and the latest issue of the Merino pattern book.
Tolle Wolle is packed up to the ceiling with yarn and clothes. It's a very inspiring and creative place. They carry all kinds of brands from Noro to Trekking sock yarn. The owners seemed nice enough albeit a bit taciturn. But maybe this is just the Franconian's standard operating procedure. They were my first shop ever to have Noro Kureyon sock yarn on display. I've been courting this yarn ever since I first heard about on the internet so I couldn't resist temptation and bought two skeins. Crazy colors, crazy price tag, crazy spinning quality. Who in their right mind would think of a single ply sock yarn? Ah, doesn't matter. I had to have some but I'm pretty sure it's not going to become a pair of socks.
Dienstag, 22. Juli 2008
Birkis Fun Air Ciel
Hier war eine Weile Funkstille, weil mich eine Gürtelrose schwer erwischt hatte. Außer Bettruhe und bißchen Lesen ging da leider gar nichts. Und dieser fiese Ausschlag, äh, man wünscht diese Krankheit seinem ärgsten Feind nicht an den Hals. Das Schlimmste ist nun überstanden, allerdings werden mich die Schmerzen wohl noch ein wenig begleiten. Aber immerhin ist Stricken wieder drin. Weil es strickmäßig nichts Aufregendes zu zeigen gibt, hier mal ein Bild der kürzlich neu erworbenen Clogs. Wunderbar leicht und spaßig in himmelblau, so kann es sonnig sein oder auch regnen. Komforttechnisch schlagen die Birkis meiner Meinung nach die originalen Croc's um Längen. Es gibt sie in den - für meine Füße - sinnvolleren europäischen Größen und wie für Birkenstock meist üblich mit einem Fußbett in zwei Weiten. Ach ja, sie sind bei 30° maschinenwaschbar. Cool, oder?! :-)
I've been absent for a while because I came down with shingles, of all things. Those f***ers truely knocked me out and I was bed-ridden for nearly a week. Apart from reading I couldn't do much of anything. This stuff hurts like hell, let me tell you. Honestly wouldn't wish it to my worst enemy. I'm better now although probably still have to live with a bit of pain for while. At least I'm back to knitting. The Biased Blanket is coming along but there isn't much to show besides loads of white fabric in moss stitch. As a substitute I'm showing you a pair of fun shoes I bought not too long ago. They are practical and comfy and a joy to look at. In my opinion they are way better than the original Crocs since they come in european sizes and like most Birkenstock shoes are available in two differents width for the footbed. Oh, and just like real sock yarn they are machine-washable up to 30°C! Cool, eh?! :-)
Freitag, 13. Juni 2008
Ich bin ganz gerührt. Stephanie von Steffi's Wollzauber hat mir vor kurzem in ihrem Blog den Kreativ Blogger Award verliehen. Vielen lieben Dank, Steffi.
Ich müsste diesen nun eigentlich weitergeben, muss allerdings gestehen, dass ich mich nicht recht entscheiden kann. Ich lese im Moment nur sehr sporadisch in Blogs und einige meiner liebsten Blogs haben den Award schon verliehen bekommen. Sorry, wenn ich die Kette im Moment hier erst mal unterbreche. Bei Gelegenheit hole ich das nach, versprochen.
Dienstag, 10. Juni 2008
Wir hatten am Samstag, den 7. Juni einen wunderbaren Gottesdienst mit Trauung und Taufe im Kreise unserer Lieben. Das Wetter war einfach traumhaft und es gab Kaffee und Kuchen im Grünen im Schatten einer alten Kastanie. Wie von einigen von Euch gewünscht oben auch ein Foto von Berenike im abgeänderten Taufkleid.
Gott hat uns nicht gegeben des Geist der Furcht, sondern der Kraft und der Liebe und der Besonnenheit. (2. Tim 1, 7)
Durch den Glauben erkennen wir, dass die Welt durch Gottes Wort geschaffen ist, so dass alles, was man sieht, aus nichts geworden ist. (Hebr 11, 3)
Last Saturday, June 7th, we had a wonderful private church service with marriage ceremony and baptism of our daughter amongst our family. Even the weather was as nice as it could be making it possible to have coffee and cakes outside under the wings of an old chestnut tree. As requested I post a picture of Berenike in her cute baptism gown.
Our wedding motto:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
(2 Tim 1, 7)
Berenike's baptismal motto:
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebr 11, 3)
Sonntag, 1. Juni 2008
My Christening Robe from the 70s
Nächsten Samstag steht uns ein großes Ereignis ins Haus. Unsere Tochter wird getauft. Passend zum Ereignis hat meine Mutter bereits vor einiger Zeit meines und meiner Schwester altes Taufkleid aus der Mottenkiste geholt. Besonders apart sind der im typischen 70er-Jahre-Stil bestickte Polyester-Stoff des Kleides, wie im Detail zu sehen, und die Farbe. Weiß war damals offenbar überhaupt nicht in Mode. Im Original ist das Kleid sehr lang, was wahrscheinlich der Tatsache geschuldet ist, dass Kinder normalerweise recht früh getauft werden und man sie zu dem Zeitpunkt noch ständig rumträgt. Unsere Tochter ist nun aber schon neuneinhalb Monate alt, krabbelt fleißig und stellt sich mit Hilfe von Gegenständen auf und läuft daran entlang und ich habe nicht vor, sie in der Kirche anzubinden. Also bedurfte es einer Änderung. Eine Wäsche und ein paar Handgriffe mit Bügeleisen und Nähmaschine später passt das Kleid nun wie angegossen und ist bereit für den großen Tag.
Next Saturday will be a big day for our baby girl. She is going to be baptized. My mom dug into the old storage closet and produced the christening robe me and my sister wore when we were both baptized. It's original 70s style both in pattern and material but still very lovely and not too frou frou. Although I find the robe awfully long which might be due to the fact that at the time children were baptized early when they were still carried around and did not already crawl around by themselves. Well, our nine and a half months old daughter is crawling around like a whirlwind, standing up with help of any available furniture and walking along said furniture and I don't plan on putting a leash on her while in church. No question, the dress had to be shortened for practicality's sake. After a trip through the washer, a meeting with a flat iron and with my sewing machine it is a perfect fit. Now it's waiting for the big day.
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