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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 :-)
Sonntag, 6. November 2011
Miata (Mazda MX5) on autocross track
Yesterday the best husband of all took part in the last autocross events on this year's schedule. The weather even though mighty cold in the morning warmed up nicely during the day and made the last day of the season a huge success. The number of participants was astonishing and it seemed like everyone wanted to take their car to the track one last time before winter lowers its white blanket.
Birkenallee in Groß Dölln - birch lined country road
I enjoyed the trip through the flat Brandenburg countryside prettied up by the low autumn sun and those awesome tree lined country roads. This one here is on the terrain of former Soviet air base in Groß Dölln. The clearing on the right side would have been the parade-ground. Weird how quiet and peaceful this place is today. Privately owned "Driving Center Groß Dölln" has become a mecca for motorsports enthusiasts across the country. And imagine, it's still an active air strip. So from time to time you'll have small air planes making their way down onto the tarmac where the guys do their dance around the cones. But with two air strips of 4000 meters there's plenty of room for everyone.
Basic handknit socks for Nike. Very pink, of course.
With the switch from DST to regular time the evenings start mighty early all of a sudden. Four o'clock in the evening has had us seeing the most beautiful sunsets this past week. For most knitters this turn of the clock signals the upcoming high season for our hobby. There's mittens and socks needed to keep small hands and feet warm. Wool garments pulled out of the closet to ward off the chill. Christmas presents to be planned and materials to be acquired. And the of course there's much knitting to be done. Let the fun begin :-)
Freitag, 7. Oktober 2011
Spydercos from back to front: Delica 4 FFG, Squeak, Kiwi, Grasshopper
I am beyond happy about the pink Delica. The Delica model is about my favorite Spydie with the only drawback that it's not legal to carry in Germany because it locks and is one hand operated. This one has been a special edition for the Spyderco distributor Midwest Gun Exchange and I secured one via eBay. The other three knives are non-locking folders and therefore legal. The Kiwi is really cool and I particularly like the Wharncliff blade. Unfortunately my husband thought so, too and the knife is now his :-)
Sonntag, 31. Juli 2011
Wolfgangsee at its most spectacular
View from Schafbergspitze, 1783 metres
So many pretty flowers
Giant ice caves at Dachstein
View to Dachstein glacier from mount Krippenstein
5 Fingers view point at mount Krippenstein
Salzburg - Mozart, music, chocolates
Summit cross at Zwölferhorn
Boat tour on lake Wolfgangsee
Innsbruck, Goldnes Dachl (Golden Roof)
I've got to admit, mountains were never quite my thing. Too high, too much snow, too far away. But this vacation was seriously fun and Austria turned out to be a really great place for a vacation with kids. It's got everything from beautiful lakes to VERY high mountains and on top of that all kinds of cultural and outdoors stuff. I'm looking forward being back in Salzburg this autumn on a trip with the company.
Sonntag, 10. April 2011
It's not even middle of April and the autocross season is already in full swing. This weekend the Husband competed in 3 club tournaments and brought home one class win and two third places. Congrats, GeekSpeed :-)
Isn't '404' the geekiest starting number off all?! :-D
The autocross tournaments and the lovely spring weather provided ample opportunity to try out my new zoom lens, a Canon EF 75-300mm/ 4-5,6/ III USM lens for EOS. It's really useful for taking shots all the way across the autocross track. And it works nicely for close-up shots, too. I'm quite pleased with it considering that it doesn't have an image stabilizer and was an affordable piece of technology.
Autocross tournament at Platz des 4. Juli in Berlin
Apart from shooting 400 something pictures at autocross I've also managed some gardening and simply admiring nature's awakening.
An allergic's nightmare but makes for nice pictures in the evening hours.
More pretty blossoms
Mittwoch, 6. April 2011
They are everywhere now, those pink blossoms.
Spring is finally here. The Forsythias are in full bloom and those trees with the lovely pink blossoms are cheering things up quite a bit, too. I have no idea what kind of trees those are. Maybe Cherry? They look awfully nice anyway.
Samstag, 25. Dezember 2010
And again a year is drawing to a close. Over the last year it turned out that social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Ravelry have gotten most of my attention when it comes to status updates, pictures and reviews. It's hard to keep up blogging with longer, more profound updates. Ravely is just so convenient when it comes to keeping records of works in progress and staying in contact with knitting and spinning buddies. And for the short "I'm still here, still kickin'" messages Twitter is really handy. So where does that leave my blog? I'm not entirely sure yet to be honest. I found that I still like to check in with other people's blogs from time to time to look at pictures, read comments and see what they've been up to. And I found that alongside all the other networks I really like to sum up a few of my projects and talk about what's been going on at least once or twice a month. So this will be my new blog agenda for the next year. Don't completely drop of the radar but come up for air at least once a month with some pictures and some tidbits about knitting, spinning, life and what happens in between.
So here's a few shots of our Christmas in a nutshell.
Loads of snow
Time for some knitting and spinning
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.
Samstag, 19. Juni 2010
Donnerstag, 13. Mai 2010
Bouquet of lilac
The scent of lilac in bloom is everywhere right now. It's the most amazing thing. I get home, out of the car and am surrounded by this beautiful spring like scent. And lilac not only grows in gardens but also as hedgerows alongside the street. I love this time of the year.
This is my favorite lilac color
Dienstag, 27. April 2010
Plum tree in bloom
Spring has really arrived in our neck in the woods and I am mighty glad for it. It's so lovely to see all those trees in full bloom and the hyacinths, tulips, daffodils and not to forget those pesky dandelions, which are a pain in the neck. Our little vegetable patch seems to do nicely, too. The salad peeks out and we'll hopefully complain about way too many radishes some time in near future.
Oh so pretty, these pink hyacinths.
Besides spring feeling there is still lots of knitting going on in the house of Sooza. The latest finished shawl I'm mightily proud of. I took the basic construction of Miralda's Triangular Shawl and added in different patterns. The pretty hearts edging is from Nancy Bush's Greta Garbo Shawl which is pictured on page 2 of my copy of "Knitted Lace of Estonia". Unfortunately the shawl pattern isn't included in the book due to space restrictions or something. So I took the photograph and charted the edging by examining it closely. Initially I wanted to fill the inner part of the shawl with the star pattern only. But somehow the Greta Garbo pattern stitch wouldn't leave me alone. So I gave in and took the basic Greta Garbo pattern stitch from Bush's book and incorporated it in the shawl.
Hearts in Estonia Shawl
Knitting this shawl has been tremendous fun and a great knitting adventure. Should I ever find the time I actually plan on publishing this pattern. There's been lots of requests on Ravelry. If it just wouldn't be quite as time consuming to make the charts, check the numbers, write some halfway readable instructions and put it all into a nice layout.
This has been the second time I've worked with this particular yarn and I absolutely love it. It's so different from the over-processed stuff that you can buy in your run of the mill local yarn shop. It has body and loft and blocks so nicely. And the best thing is, the un-dyed heather grey is much, much softer then the dyed yarn I've used for Miralda. Both shawls used only one skein of this light fingering weight yarn. IMO, this is the most fun you can't get out of a measely EUR 6.95.
Yarn: 1 skein of Filcolana New Zealand Lammeuld, 600 m/100 g, light grey heather
Size: 170 cm wide, 70 cm deep
Pattern: Inspired by Nancy Bush's Greta Garbo Shawl. Construction similar to Miralda's Triangular Shawl. Star pattern for shawl body from Laminaria shawl.
More details on the Ravelry project page.
Dienstag, 23. März 2010
Samstag, 9. Januar 2010
Well, it's snowing up a little storm out there and the wind keeps heaping up snowbanks in the most inconvenient places. Like our door for example. But I won't complain. It's weekend, all the snow looks real pretty and we don't really need to go outside if we don't want to. Gives me the chance to get in some knitting and spinning and blogging and of course some quality time with Little Girl and the best husband of all. So, on to the blogging part.
When KnitPro started to make clear acrylic needle tips (KnitPro Spectra = KnitPicks Zephyr Acrylic) for their interchangeable needle system I was instantly hooked. They looked so stylish and the idea of lightweight, flexible and warm needles appealed to me. I bought a couple of tips to give them a try. Even though some people complained about icky noises and about the needles being too sticky I got along very well with mine. So when KnitPro offered a special needle set in fuchsia I couldn't help but buying the whole set. I'm a sucker for everything pink/fuchsia/purple. The set contains 8 needle tips from size 3.5 to 8 mm and 4 different cables. It's not as if I really needed more knitting needles but who can refuse something that looks like this?
Needles from KnitPro Spectra Flair Deluxe Set
The Spectras feature the same sharp tips as all the other KnitPro needles. I like the fact that they are less slippery than the metal and wooden needles and that they are more flexible and kinda feel nicer to the touch. Not sure how long the smallest size needle will survive though because it really BENDS quite a bit. But maybe that's the trick. I like the little case the set came in. My other needle tips and cables fit in too so now I finally have a place where to keep them all in one place. Since it's a KnitPro product it has the same quality issues as all their other needles. On one pair of needles the acrylic part of the needle is glued to the metal casing off center so their is this place where the yarn catches. I contacted the seller about a replacement and will see what happens. Personally, I think these needles are great value for your money and a good investment for a beginner or if you want to complete your needle collection. It might not be ideal choice of needle for if you're knitting really tight or if you like to work with acrylic yarns. I shudder at thought of the electrostatic buzz you'd be creating.
The first thing that came from this needles was an airy piece of nothing I dubbed Ice Leaf Scarf. The construction and lace pattern are inspired by a commercially available pattern Cedar Leaf Shawlette.
Ice Leaf Scarf
Pattern: Cedar Leaf Shawlette by Alana Dakos
Needles: 4 mm
Yarn: 25 grams of Cascade Baby Alpaca Lace (100% Aplaca, 400 m/50 grams), color: Carribean
Size: 12 cm wide, 190 cm long
Freitag, 1. Januar 2010
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.
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