Friday, 25 January 2008

1st Blog Birthday!

I noticed that I started this blog a year yesterday, but I've been away from home for most of the day, so there's a belated birthday entry!
Although I have tons of more important things to do, I shall post some more later about my yesterday, as well as about a few UFOs and plans I am working on... also, there will be something on Hugo, for all the lagomorphs fans out there!

Monday, 21 January 2008

FO: Wisp

Yes, it's finished... but I don't have a pic of it yet, because the weather has been absolutely miserable today.
So, instead of Wisp, here's Hugo:

Yes, it's my front door...

He's so much cuter than a scarf anyway ;-)

Sunday, 20 January 2008

UK Swap Questionnaire

I admit that I am a master of procrastination... I have a translation to take care of, do my accounts, and what do I do? I blog.

This is for the first official UK Swap started in Ravelry. Here we go...

Do you knit, crochet, or both?
I knit. I can do chains with crochet, and maybe a few stitches, but I wouldn't know what stitches they are.
I have a book on how to crochet, but I keep on mixing up the different stitches, so, there you have it. I am a knitter.
But hey, I use crochet hooks to save stitches from unravelling :)
I learnt how to spin using a drop spindle back in February 2006, but I haven't spun anything for more than one year...must do some spinning eventually, as I have some lovely fibre waiting for me.

What do you like to make? Do you have a favourite project?
I have done many sweaters and cardigans, even a few coats, in the past. In the last two years, I have done mostly scarves and shawls, fingerless mittens and even one pair of socks!! There's something about small projects that makes me knit more and more of them.
I am loving doing Lady E. stoles, but then I love entrelac. I cannot say that I have a favourite project: almost every project is my favourite, while I am working at it, until I cast on for the next one...

Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?
I have not yet worked with pure cashmere, qiviut or lama, but so far I prefer blends, where natural fibres are mixed with some artificial ones. Wool/tencel, wool/silk, cotton/silk, bamboo pure or mixed, and merino/acrylic are great, and as far as brands are concerned, I am currently in love with Noro, Lanagrossa, Lang Yarns, Natural Dye Studio, Hand Maiden and Fyberspates (lovely mohair!).

Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
I cannot stand chenille, although I like the softness. It just doesn't look right when I knit it, and starts developing worms :( Nasty quality yarn is a no-no for me.

Do you do any other crafts?
I sew...not so much these days, apart from lining knitted bags, and the odd shortening of trousers or seams, but I used to sew garnments for myself, even my Renaissance gowns, for the shows we did when I was dancing with a Renaissance dance group. Eventually, I would like to sew more.

If building planning can be seen as a craft, I will design runs and bunny castles for my houserabbit: currently I am planning a large run to be part of the large hutch for the foster bunnies.

What knitting do you bring ‘on the go’?
I tend to do a fair amount of travel every month, due to my job. So, what I am taking with me will be of two sorts:

a. the project to work on the train: a scarf, neckwarmer, shawlette, bag or fingerless mitten, that doesn't need too much counting, if possible, or any newly started project that can be quickly stashed in its protective bag and back into my backpack or handbag;

b. the larger project to put into the suitcase, to work on in the evenings in the hotels, while away from home for several days. This project can well be lace, cables, or socks (because I need to concentrate for these!).

What do you carry your ‘on the go’ knitting in? Do you want something new?
As I said before, my "knitting on the go" is usually packed in a cloth bag, which goes inside a plastic bag, and all disappears into my handbag or backpack. Because I travel mostly for work, I always have with me a handbag or packpack, a laptop bag, and for trips of more than one day, overnight trolley or larger trolley suitcase. One more bag just for my "knitting on the go" would just make me loook more like a coathanger full of bags :-D, and be really unpractical when boarding and getting off trains.
Although I love the look of some of the knitting bags on the market, I feel that I would only be able to use one in the event of car travels with my other half. But then again, why should I spend £££ in a bag that would hardly get used, when I can use the cash for...yes, getting more yummy yarn??? ;-)

Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over?
Well... I'd love to get some sock blockers at some stage, and blocking pins, as I never can have enough.
One day I will get my own set of wooden interchangeables from KnitPicks. This one will be probably my birthday present for this year!
In terms of yarn, I am dying to try out the worsted and lace yarns of Wollmeise, as well as the Kureyon sock yarn.
I can never have too many special buttons, especially in bright colours, and one day I will have finally enough row markers for all the knitting needles, especially the large ones.

What is your favourite colour? What is your least favourite colour?
My favourite colours tend to change with the season sometimes... I am loving all sorts of purples, especially strong ones, monoshade or multiple shades, all goes for me. I am also loving greens and blues, especially the strong shades, and I will always love the "autumn" colours.
Probably, my least favourite colour has to be pastels on their own, as I find them difficult to combine with my clothing, and they don't go so well with my skin - pale pink, yellow, blues and lilac make me look like dead...LOL!

What scents/smells do you like? What don’t you like?
I love fresh smells with an edge of bitterness, sometimes... cut grass, watermelon, grapefruit, green tea, but also lilies and jasmin. I cannot stand heavy scents (patchouli based) and too sweet ones (banana..yuck!). Floral smellies (poutpourris come to mind) are not my cup of tea.

How do you like to pamper yourself? (bubble bath, hand creams, massage, manicure)
My ideal of pampering is a meal at the Afghan restaurant Lemar in Munich, or the vegan restaurant BuX, also in Munich...yum! Other pampering bits: sleeping without alarm clock (once in a while!), lazy weekend on the sofa with a)knitting, b)good book, c) bunnies, d)sunshine & blue sky.

What goodies to you like to treat your tummy with? (chocolate, biscuits, truffles, etc.)
I love chocolate, but I am member of the Chocolate Testing Club and feel a bit of a snob when it comes to chocolate! So, I don't eat much sweet stuff, but every now and then I love a piece of a really good cake. Yum!

Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Any particular kind? Favourite mug/cup?
I drink liters of tea...roiboos (an organic sort with natural aromas that I get from a shop in Ingolstadt), organic green tea, and some Lady Grey and Earl Grey too. Coffee tends to be mostly my espresso, made with my special espresso machine, but in the morning I will get one or two cups of standard coffee...
Cups... I have so many cups and mugs is surreal! My fav mug for tea is the bunny mug of the Anita Jeram collection for Whittard. I used to have a "tea for one" set, all in white china, which I loved, but it is sadly no longer.

Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit? (TVshow-Along, movies, music, podcasts)
I listen to audiobooks, but mostly will watch TV...thrillers, films, documentaries, live discussions, the news...anything is good.

Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)

Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?
I moved to Nottingham in 2004, after having spent 5 years in London. Before then, I lived for 14 years in Germany (Bavaria), and before then I lived in Sardinia, where I was born.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Hmmm... so many places I'd like to visit and have not yet been... I'd love to visit Mongolia. And Madagascar. And Iceland and Alaska. That should keep me occupied for a bit...

If you couldn’t go to a knitting group, what other kind of gathering would you go to? (book club, tea party, yoga class, jewelery class, etc.)
This is a funny question! As it is, I cannot even go to a knitting group, as the LYS's knit&bitch sessions do not go well with my weekly job - the one in the evening starts too early. Oh well! I still have my bookcrossing meetups on saturdays, when I can make them ;-)

What’s your style? (elegant, traditional, glamourous, girly, natural, sporty, outgoing, etc.)
I am a mix of many things... mostly natural & sporty, jeans or practical clothing, but I like a bit of elegant to throw in the mix every now and then. Excentric is not a foreign word in my wardrobe :)

Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?
I am allergic to some nuts, and *sigh* ....fresh fruit with stone, like cherries, apricots, peaches, etc plus apples, some pears, kiwis and some honey melons. Once cooked, though, I can eat all of those, is sadly not the same :(
I have no allergy to animal hair...if I had, I'd seek professional help, as I couldn't bear to live without bunnies!

Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?
I did another questionnaire for a vegan swap, and it can provide more information on me. Whatever my partner wants to know, I can be contacted via my blog or per email at yowlyy at gmail dot com. Go on, ask a question, because, you know, there aren't stupid questions, but just silly answers :)

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Bookcrossing meetup and more on books

Nottingham BC meetup 19.01.08
It has been ages since my last participation to a meetup with the local bookcrossers, and today I finally managed to go. Luckily for me, I could get rid of several books, without picking up any. Mr D would have been pleased...he has always complained about the insane quantity of books that I am surrounded with.
And I shall set you free...
I have been very good in not signing up for many bookrings or bookrays, and those that have been visiting me did not stay long. The best thing of all is that I am making progress in culling my Mount TBR, easy task when reading Sue Grafton's alphabet far, I have read up to "I". As soon as the three rings in my hands have left, I shall keep on reading. They're fairly short, but the plots are gripping, and I have grown quite fond of the main characters.

Another book that came to visit, quite unexpected, is "World Without End" by Ken Follett. I was very enthusiastic of "The Pillars of the Earth" when I read it, back when it was first printed, and could not wait to read the follow-up (if I can call it so). Therefore, how could I say no when someone offered me the book on loan?
I am sure that I won't be able to start it before February, but still I can feel the tempting call of all those 1,111 pages...

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Here goes the yarn diet...

I did not really make a resolution about stopping my yarn purchases, but was quite confident that I would resist temptation and the offers of yarn on sale of the shops. I was strong. Until Wednesday night, when I saw these beauties on ebay:

Copihue by Araucania #506

Aysen by Araucania #474

I had the excuse that I needed some 5.5mm Surina DPNs from the same seller, as well as a pair of 7.5mm Surina for MissPiggott, so I did not feel too bad. I did not feel bad when two days later the parcel arrived, either! Actually, I love both Araucanias...if I did not have so many projects on the go, I'd turn at least one of them into a ball to cast on.

During this week, I managed to cast on and finish a new Fickle Fingers Scarf:

Fickle Fingers Scarf

Not yet pics of the finished objects, as the weather has been not too good today, so insufficient light, again.

And then, the Lady Eleanor for my mum is also ready to go:

Lady Eleanor...finally finished!

I am planning to ship it on Tuesday, and hopefully will be on the sunny island by the beginning of the following week. After all, I must be quick... spring will be there in a few weeks time....

Monday, 7 January 2008

2008: The year of the FOs

I just did a quick count: I have 3 UFOs that are progressing, one almost finished:

Danica in progress


Lady Eleanor Stole
The Lady Eleanor is growing

.... and 3 UFOs where the only thing I need to do to turn them into FOs is to find a suitable button/s and sew it/them on:

Tzarina Wrap
Tzarina Wrap

Bunnyometry aka Calorimetry:

Angora Neckwarmer:

Which one first?

New year

No new year resolutions, apart from one... to procrastinate less! I will try, but cannot guarantee that I will be successful!

In loving memory of

Nik (28.11.2003 - 26.09.2007)

Billie (14.08.2001-30.09.2007)

On the 17th of November 2007, after much thinking, we visited Julie's Rabbit and Guinea Pig Welfare to see if we could adopt a bunny, as the living room was too empty without a lagomorph... we left Rugby with Hugo:

Hugo is quite the star... he brought back the smiles and laughter in the house, and I am sure that
from the Rainbow Bridge country, Nik, Billie and Sir Harvey approve of our new adopted bunny.
More on Hugo's story soon...