Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Whoosh

I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth, but blogwise I haven't really had a lot of time to put anything online. March has been busy. Busy with what? I have no idea. Really. It just went whoosh. One morning I just woke up and it was the end of the month again. How? Pffff, you tell me. It's not as if I have been knitting up a fury and produced loads of things. It's not as if I have already finished another book and been busy with that (eh... bit of a sore point that, but I'll get to that in a minute). March was just taken up by loads of little things. The odd run, the odd trip to mum and the hospital, the odd trip to the allotment and loads of work. Yes, there has been loads of work, but of the type that gets in the way of proper work. A few days spent at the police station interpreting (which is great, but still, time guzzlers), lots of little jobs for companies far away and closer-by, doing VAT returns, getting started on my annual accounts, that type of stuff. And as a result, I only got started on my third book (writing-wise) yesterday. With a deadline in about 2 weeks. I AM SOOOOO ..... I will finish it, I will survive, but again, I left it way too late for inspiration to hit me (well, it's still only giving me the occasional nudge, to be honest, I bet the hammer hitting bit won't happen until later on in the week). Tomorrow I'm off to shadow a GP for the book, and I'm hoping that that will give me plenty of material to do some significant writing over the next few days.

And in between, whenever I wasn't too beat that I rolled into bed straight away after finishing work, I did a little bit of knitting. I had already finished the Little Sister Dress (Ravelry link) for my friend Daniella, but now that she has finally given birth to her gorgeous bundle of joy Sietske Karlijn, after two boisterous boys, I can now show it here.

It is a great little knit! The ribbing did not always come out as nice as I wanted to, as I knit most of it in the evenings, and especially when you knit darkish yarn in the semi-dark, things can go wrong a bit. Bit the idea is so simple and so effective! I knit the 3m size, as my friend's other two kiddies were biggies at birth, and Karlijn proved no different. She arrived at a healthy 4200 grams, and will be fitting this little dress quite soon!

The yarn is Drops Alpaca, one of my yarns of choice. But again, I ran into the 'smell' issue when it came to blocking it. It smells horribly when it's wet. It's almost as if you have a wet alpaca running around in your house, really! Luckily, as soon as it's dry, the smell goes away, and the yarn just has that lovely sniff of 'real' fibre. Great!

The buttons were bought at the Handwerkbeurs. I had two sets, but decided on the simpler, slight bigger and round ones in the end, as the design is so simple, that adding really flash buttons just doesn't work. This is definitely a design I will be knitting again! A close-up of the buttons.




This picture shows the dress with the onesie that served as the 'colour inspiration'. The cream with pink, hot orange and reds just said burgundy to me. And it looks great! The only change I made was crocheting around the edging under the arms and around the button opening, just to neaten the edges up a bit. Apart from that, no changes...

As I had already sent off the dress before the birth, I decided to knit up a little toy for our visit last weekend. This is the Daisy toy (Ravelry link) from the Bernat website. The green I had was not super (note to self, buy more green), but I think it is super cute! I actually should have put a little bell in the toy, that would have totally finished it off, but I had already closed the donut and added the petals before I realised that, and then it was too late. And it only took an evening to make, really quick!

Before little Sietske Karlijn came along, I went to visit another friend of mine, who also give birth to a baby girl: Laurine. And for Laurine I made a little Sophie. Sophie is also such a joy to make! I purchased the pattern from Ysolda together with Elijah, which I made for my little cousin a few weeks (eh... months) ago. The plan had been to knit up Sophie for Hannah for Xmas, but that never happened. At the Handwerkbeurs I got this beautiful soft-pink baby merino from Drops (Wolhemel my usual yarn pimp) and it took about one and a half balls to knit up this little bunny. The design is just amazing! It's a bit fiddly when you start on the arms, legs and ears, but boy, the result is so satisfying.

You just don't want to let go... (A certain little boy was almost heartbroken when Sophie left... I think this pattern will be knit up again soon...)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lean mean knitting machines

Via the Ravelry forum I found the link to this article in the Star Tribune, about knitting soldiers in Iraq. Really, when are we going to have a referendum to make knitting an obligatory part of military training? I can so understand how relaxing it is, after a day of tenseness, keeping guard, seeing the most horrible things, all that tragedy - to sit down and knit and chat with a few good mates.

Beats the crap out of stitch 'n bitch nights, though. And I guess they don't have the odd wine with their knitting... Hats off to them!

(I do admit, I'm a pacifist and totally against armies and war and things, and don't even get me started on Iraq or Afghanistan, but this I found very cool...)

Breien op commando

Via het Ravelry-forum vond ik de link naar dit artikel in de Star Tribune, over breiende soldaten in Irak. Echt, wanneer houden we hier een referendum om breien verplicht te stellen tijdens de militaire opleiding? Ik snap zo goed hoe ontspannend het is om na een dag vol spanningen, wacht lopen, de vreselijkste dingen voor je zien gebeuren, al die tragedie - dat het dan heerlijk is om even lekker te zitten breien en kletsen met wat maten. 

Onze stitch 'n bitch-avonden zijn hier niets bij, haha... En ik durf te wedden dat zij niet zo nu en dan een wijntje nemen bij het breiwerk... Petje af!

(Ik geef toe, ik ben nogal een pacifist en helemaal tegen legers en oorlog en zo, en over Irak en Afghanistan wil ik het al helemaal niet hebben, maar dit vond ik toch wel erg cool...)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm a runner!

I started running this week. Last week, I signed up for the 5K/10K of Leeuwarden on June 6 and I will be starting the proper running clinics next week. To make sure I don't look like a complete dufus when I turn up there next Saturday at 9.30AM, I decided to start practicing a bit. After getting my running shoes (the store were great, they have a mini track, so you can try out different shoes, and a camera to see how straight you're running) I went out for the first time they day before yesterday, with 'Couch to 5K' on my Blackberry and Map my tracks turned on...
You can sort of see where I am running, but as I'm already quite a brisk walker, there is not that much of a difference. It was hard, especially the 7th of the 8 one-minute runs, but I did it. And I did it again this morning. Proud is not the word. Smug, that's how I feel.

Ik ben een hardloper!

Ik ben deze week begonnen met hardlopen. Vorige week heb ik me (in een vlaag van verstandsver-bijstering, haha) opgegeven  voor de 5/10K van Leeuwarden op 6 juni en volgende week beginnen daarvoor de loopclinics. Om niet helemaal voor paal te staan als ik volgende week zaterdag om 9.30 uur in de Groene Ster aan kom wandelen, ben ik alvast wat aan het oefenen. Nadat ik woensdag mijn schoenen had gehaald (in een geweldige winkel, met een mini-hardloopbaan om verschillende schoenen uit te proberen en een camera om te kijken hoe recht je erop loopt - oja, en dankzij De Friesland met 50% !!!! korting), ben ik eergisteren voor het eerst op pad gegaan, met 'Couch to 5K' op mijn Blackberry en Map my tracks aan... 
Je kunt zien waar ik hardloop, maar omdat ik van stevig doorstappen houd, is het verschil niet echt groot. Het was zwaar, zeker de 7e van de 8 een-minuut-hardrenstukjes, maar ik heb het gehaald. En vanochtend nog een keer. Trots beschrijft niet genoeg hoe ik me voel. Zelfvoldaan, dat is het meer. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

A lovely sight

Spring is in the air! On the first day of March, we started the day off with sunshine. I immediately pumped up my tires and we went off to the pool on the bike, for the first time in months. And it was great! On the way back, we got some nice rolls for lunch and bought some springy plants for on the windowsill and on the garden table. And then I put out the laundry. How nice it is, to be able to hang the laundry out to dry!
The garden is still a soggy mess, but that will soon be sorted out by putting in better drainage, and hopefully a lot more sunshine!!!

And another lovely sight was this, my stash from the Handwerkbeurs! I thoroughly enjoyed the fair this year. We worked very hard at the Wolhemel stand for a few hours, and then I went off with my 'shopping list'. I got most of the things I wanted, because somewhere in the melee I lost my list, so the bigger projects have been put on hold as I have to recalculate how much yarn I need for them.
I bought:
2 balls of Drops Delight, pink/purple, for socks for me
2 balls of Online, light and hot pink, for these socks for Hannah
2 balls of Drops Merino, which are currently being turned into Sophie
1 skein of Trekking Hand-art, for socks for Steve
Buttons for the little sister's dress and Sam's still to be knit from yarn to be bought chain-mail shirt.
Some knitting notions
250 grams of merino-silk wool for spinning
and: my new Harmony needle set!  

I am very happy with my purchases, which I did in about 20 minutes. ;) Speedy Gonzales, that's me!

Wat een prachtig gezicht!


Het voorjaar hangt in de lucht! Op de eerste dag van maart begonnen we met zonneschijn. Ik heb direct maar de banden van fiets een goed opgepompt en ben toen samen met zoonlief op de fiets naar het zwembad gegaan voor ons wekelijks spatterhalfuurtje. Dit was voor het eerst sinds maanden. Heerlijk! Op de terugweg hebben we broodjes gehaald voor de lunch en wat plantjes voor in de vensterbank en op de tuintafel. En daarna heb ik de was buiten gehangen. Wat is het toch fijn dat die weer lekker buiten kan hangen drogen!
De tuin zelf is nog een kleffe, natte boel, maar dat komt ook wel snel weer goed, als we zelf even wat aan de drainage doen en het zonnetje blijft schijnen!!!

Een ander mooi gezicht zijn mijn aankopen op de Handwerkbeurs! Ik heb echt een heerlijke dag gehad. We  hebben een paar uurtjes hard gewerkt op de stand van Wolhemel, en daarna ben ik er met mijn boodschappenlijst op uit getrokken. Ik heb het meeste gekocht wat op mijn lijstje stond, maar ergens onderweg ben ik mijn lijstje verloren, dus de grotere projecten wachten nog op wol tot ik heb berekend hoeveel ik waar voor nodig heb.
Wat heb ik gekocht:

2 bollen Drops Delight, roze/paars, voor sokken voor mezelf
2 bollen Online, licht en felroze voor deze sokken voor  Hannah
2 bollen Drops Merino, die nu worden opgebreid tot een Sophie 
1 skein Trekking Hand-art, voor sokken voor Steve
Knoopjes voor het kleinezusjesjurkje en voor het ridderhemd van Sam dat ik nog ga breien van garen dat ik nog ga kopen.
Breiringetjes 
250 gram merino met zijde om te spinnen 
en: mijn nieuwe Harmony-naaldenset!   

Ik ben er echt heel blij mee, en had dit echt binnen 20 minuten bij elkaar ;) Ik ben een echte Speedy Gonzales... ;)