Monthly Archives: August 2012

Deutschland! (Part III)

The last post about my summer vacation -and about time too, since summer is pretty much over!

Part I (Berlin) is here.

Part II (Dresden) is here.

And my report on my excursion to the Wollmeise store is here.

Now all that remains is Münich.

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View from the tower in the Olympic Park. Note the huge BMW logo. If you ever go to Münich with a car-enthusiast, the BMW museum is a must. Even for me it wasn’t too dull.

It might be because we stayed in Münich longer than in the other cities, or because there we got to experience some serious summer heat, but it might have been my favourite. It’s not as huge as Berlin, so walking was easier, food was great, the weather was warm and people less homogeneous.

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We did a lot of the basic tourist stuff. There are a ton of beautiful churches in Münich -my favourite was one that is on a small shopping street, nestled between clothing stores and cafés. To step from a busy 21st century shopping area to a highly ornamental 19th century church feels surreal. There was also a small yarn store nearby, that I came across simpyl by accident. And it wasn’t even the only time – I found another LYS near the Filmmuseum of Münich. Even if the Wollmeise store wasn’t just a train ride away, Münich would still be a great place for knitters.

When it comes to the restaurants, there were a few definite highlights. The first one is Max Pett.

An all-vegan restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, the place was just the perfect one for dining on a hot July night. Fancy enough for special occasions, but not so formal as to make me uncomfortable in a tank top.

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This photo was taken the night we ate outside. My starter salad had a Asian vibe (with mushrooms and seitan meat), and was very delicious. The drink is rhubarb juice mixed with sparkling water. It’s hard to buy good rhubarb juice in Finland, so I used every opportunity for it in Germany,

We ate at Max Pett twice and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you are planning to go, do reserve a table, however -the place got very full on our first visit.

For a compeltely different meal, I recommend Royal Kebabhaus, located at Arnulfstrasse 5 (right next to the main railway station):

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Yep, vegan kebab! The place was open pretty late, and the staff was very friendly and understood English. Especially great if you have only a short time in Münich.

So, that’s pretty much it! I had so much fun on the trip that I could seriously imagine going again. 

Trials and Triumphs

I have a lot of knitting to write about, but first a little FYI: Posterous is annoying the hell out of me. For example, it says on my “manage” page that the last post has two comments -Alarwyn’s and then my response- but the web view only shows Alarwyn’s comment.

(I have also twice lost a draft because Posterous got completely stuck once I hit the “save” button. I’ve since learned to copy-paste all drafts to gmail. But onto other things!)

Ever since I got back from my holiday in Germany, I’ve had some problems in my knitting. Patterns I expected to be fool-proof successes end up the wrong size, or I mess them up; I lose enthusiasm halfway through; the softest yarn in the world turns out to be supersplitty and annoying. So far I think that I have frogged:

– 4 hat projects (3 barely started, 1 mostly done)

– at least 2 separate sock attempts

– a shawl

– a glove (visible in a photograph in the last entry)

– a mitten

While this has been really frustrating, I’ve also learned some things about both myself as a knitter (no linen stitch on small needles for me, thank you!) and the yarns I have. I’ve become especially acutely aware of the fact that as long as I enjoy the process of knitting something, it doesn’t matter if I realize halfway through it won’t fit me (it will fit someone).

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So Exhibit A: gorgeous yarn (Araucania Botany Lace), easy pattern (Truffle by Susanna IC, free on ravelry), too small for me -really suits dear BF, though!

This hat was the first thing I finished after I got home from Germany. I had been planning to take it with me, but was so close to finishing it that it wouldn’t have kept me entertained very long.

After the hat, I couldn’t get anything done for a while. Finally I decided that the only solution was the ultimate instant-gratification-project, a bulky hat:

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The yarn is Madelinetosh Vintage in “hickory”, the pattern is from my head. Done in two days, and turned out exactly the way I envisioned it!

Then, before the Olympics started, I was struggling again. I think it was because I had been expecting the Knitting Olympics or Ravellenics for so long, and with such excitement, that my olympic project had to be just perfect. (I hurt my arm during the winter olympics and couldn’t knit then, so I was really eager to take part this year.)

Finally I settled upon The Bayret hat pattern, to be knit in the yarn I bought from Berlin:

ravellenic progress

I wanted a challenge, but there are cable twists on e v e r y round. It’s super slow, and I am really worried that I won’t finish in time.

Then inspiration struck. Another raveller needed a few yards of a sock yarn that I had a full skein of, so I went diving in my stash to mail some to her. And once I had the yarn in my hands I got an idea…

gloves knit in Handmaiden Casbah

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…And my idea worked! There’s more info on my project page, but I was inspired by two patterns and also used LarisDesign’s Knotty Gloves for guidance. I was worried that the fingers would just seem really fiddly, but it was actually pretty fun to knit them. All in all, the project went really fast -I was ready in 4 days! The Usain Bolt -equivalent of the knitting world, isn’t it? 😉

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This cute cupcake I got from a friend as a gift when I turned in my thesis for official review. Another personal triumph!