Tag Archives: july

The Wollmeise Report

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Hi…Guess where I’m going?!

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The wall of “nobody is perfect” skeins.

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And here are the regular skeins. Knitting supplies at the back.

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One happy shopper!

So yeah, I got to visit the Wollmeise store on June 29th. The train ride from Münich took about 30 minutes to Pfaffenhofen, and then we had a 10 minute walk to the store. It was over 30 degrees outside, the hottest day of our trip, but even that didn’t lessen my enthusiasm.

The shop was organized very well, the colours amazing (of course), and everyone was super nice. On the way back, I also got to spend some extra time with two other Ravelers (check out manduh’s blog here and adriprints’ here).

And…Well, I guess you want to see the goods, right?

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Starting from above-left, I got Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in “Orient”, two Twin “nobody is perfect” skeins (ie, the colour does not match the colourway it was supposed to be), 100% Merino in “Saami”, another “nobody is perfect” skein and a huge 300g skein of Wollmeise lace (a nobody is perfect -version of The Auster colourway).

Yes, I’m now on a yarn diet. But it was worth it!

I also recently managed to finish the knitting that I had with me on the trip (I’m also working on it in that first photo). I took only one project, can you believe that?

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The yarn is also wollmeise, a NiP version of “Blue Suzanne”. I knew I wanted to knit wollmeise on my vacation, but agonized over which pattern to choose. Finally I settled on a sock pattern, “Helix Socks” from Brave New Knits.

I knit the rib and a few rounds before leaving. I did try the sock on at that point, and it seemed fine. Unfortunately, after that I mostly knit on it in public places -and didn’t try it on again until after finishing the heel. Didn’t fit. It wasn’t even close. At which point I was in Dresden, and really didn’t want to rip the whole thing. So I ripped the heel and made mittens. They are long, warm, and lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Deutschland! (Part I)

I’m back from my two-week vacation in Germany! There’s just so much to tell that I’m going to divide my report into multiple posts (probably one for each city we visited, plus one special entry for Wollmeise).

Part I: Landed in Berlin

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After another production of “The Flying Dutchman” / I landed in Berlin

(Rufus Wainwright: “Perfect Man”)

As our last two trips were to Amsterdam and Copenhagen, Berlin by comparison is huge. My legs hurt from trying to walk everywhere.

Tiergarten

Won’t you walk me through the Tiergarten / Won’t you walk me through it all, darling

Doesn’t matter if it is raining / We’ll get to the other side of town

(Rufus Wainwright: “Tiergarten”)

We walked in Tiergarten on a very cloudy, humid midday. Birds sang and we saw very few people. The place was definitely one of my favorites.

When me emerged from the peacefulness of the Tiergarten, we were confronted by the huge screens and beer advertisements of the UEFA “fan area”. Then it was empty, but on the eve of the Germany-Greece match half a million people gathered to watch the game there.

Food-wise, we mostly relied on restaurants listed on HappyCow.com, or improvised with Asian places that seem to be hugely popular all over Germany. Also, if we had stayed in a place with a kitchen, the numerous eco-supermarkets would have served as fine; they always seemed to have soy milk, soy cheese, tofu and vegan candies. Still, a few times during the vacation I was forced to eat just pommes frites, or pasta arrabiata, ohne käse” bitte (without cheese, please). 

For my daily dose of caffeine, I relied very heavily on Starbucks. Probably slightly more expensive than the local average cup of coffee, but they also have free wi-fi and don’t charge extra for soy milk.

Since we visited so many restaurants, I’m only going to give the highlights of each city. In Berlin, our favourite was Vaust (address Pestalozzistrasse 8; info on Happycow here). The dishes showed some imagination, in my opinion:

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A watermelon “steak” with peas and rice. It was really good! I do love tofu, but it’s nice to eat something else sometimes.

Our other favourite was Veggie Chinese Gourmet Cuisine (infopage here). Really good value for the price, but we had severe problems getting understood in German or English. The service, while extremely friendly, also wasn’t the fastest. Still, the best Satay Tofu I’ve had:

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Because I knew I was going to the Wollmeise store later, I did hardly any yarn shopping in Berlin. I only visited one shop, Handmade Berlin:
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The cafe kept dear BF happy while I browsed. I did in the end buy one skein of a locally dyed sock yarn (Yarn Edition Socks by Tulliver).

 

 

The best summer knitting

My current obsession seems to be shawls (not lace -see below.)

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Pattern: Oaklet shawl (it is free!)

Yarn: Schachenmayr nomotta Catania, a little under three skeins

Needles: 3.5mm

 

I really only bought this yarn because of the colour (closest to pansy purple, or so Wikipedia tells me) but was also pleasantly surprised by have nice it was to knit. A soft cotton yarn, not too thick or too lightweight. Pretty cheap too. I did notice some colour bleeding during the blocking, though, which might be a hazard if the yarn was used for knitting garments.

I added the garter ridges to the pattern and also did a garter edge since I had extra yarn.

Right now I am completely smitten with an all-garter scarf that I am knitting out of a handpainted yarn. So my obsession most definitely is not with lace (although I do like it, as long as it’s not too difficult or tedious) but rather with knits that

1.consist of only one piece,

2. are relatively quick,

3. and can be worn even during summer.

Obviously cotton scarves are winning since socks come in pairs and I find it hard to wear a hat in the kind of weather we’ve been enjoying. 

In which there is vegan food, ponytails, and knitting.

(Scroll down for knitting content)

We took a day trip to Porvoo.

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It was hot (30 C) and humid, so we went by boat. Nice wind and all that.

(Please note the incognito sunglasses.)

 

We had lunch in a terrific vegetarian café. The name of the place was Fredrikan lähde (Fredrika’s Fountain) and they have a website.

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Yes, that’s me having lunch. In a garden under an apple tree. I can’t imagine a better place to have lunch at, really.

 

Would you like to take a closer look at the food?

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Homemade bread with hummus, some kale salad, some green stuff that tasted good but was not spinach like I thought, and something that tasted like the salad version of gazpacho. Absolutely yummy. The lunch also included soup, of which I forgot to take a picture. And there were vegan dessert options, so this wasn’t really the light lunch that salad picture might lead you to believe…

So that was my short report on eating vegan in Porvoo. I know I google things like this when going on a trip, so maybe this will one day help a tourist or two ๐Ÿ™‚ Now on to the knitting!

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(Apparently a ponytail is my hairdo of choice in hot weather.)

It is Ishbel, and it is finished. Some specs:

Pattern: Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague. Here’s her website. Ishbel is part of her Whimsical Little Knits collection, but is also available separately. The pattern has two sizes (S and L) and the first time I knit this in 2008, I made the small size. This time I knit the L stockinette with S lace. 

Yarn: This is a bit of a mystery. Probably The Natural Dye Studio’s Sparkle sock. In any case, it’s discontinued. Sorry! I really liked it too. It’s a cotton-tencel mix and light fingering weight.

Needles: 3mm Addi circs.

Finished size: About 125cm wingspan and 44cm along the spine, blocked. I did have some yarn left over. The same size could probably be achieved with  a single skein of Malabrigo sock.

Feelings: The yarn was absolutely wonderful to knit with, and I love the feel of the finished shawl -although it does not feel as light as I expected. The yarn bled while blocking.

The ishbel lace pattern, while obviously quite lovely, is really annoying in that I did not manage to memorize the pattern. I had to check the chart after every row which meant that I couldn’t knit this on lunch breaks at work. But now it’s finished, and luckily the finished lace is worth the effort ๐Ÿ™‚

 

(almost) Blue for July: the sock edition

I have a FO!

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Pattern: Spring Cable (available here)

Yarn: Kollage Yarns Luscious, colorway Aqua Green

Needles: 2mm

 

This is my first finished pair of socks since October last year, almost a cause for celebration! I used to be obsessed with sock knitting, and was even afraid for a while that I was never going to get that enthusiasm back.

These socks are also special in that (as I explained before) I knit this pair to replace another dear pair, and even in the same pattern. They are also my first pair of non-wool knit socks, and I’m really looking forward to wearing them.

 

Summer reruns

 If someone claims Finnish summers are cold, well they might not have been here during the last two years. Going outside feels like walking into a different country, more hot and humid than I thought possible. I do love summer and warm weather, but even I crave for rain now. 

After a few hours in the sun this afternoon I had to escape indoors. Luckily I do have sufficient entertainment for Sunday evenings like this: Hercule Poirot and knitting. Of course the Poirot episodes are reruns (it’s summer after all) but hey, so is the knitting!

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This is Ishbel, the über-popular pattern by Ysolda Teague. I knit it first in June 2009, when even a small amount of lace felt like a huge accomplishment. This week I was desperately trying to figure out what to do with my beautiful skein of hand-dyed cotton/tencel and for some reason could only imagine it as Ishbel. I was going to knit the small size but got accidently carried away at knitting night, so I guess I’m doing the large stockinette with the small lace border.

I’m also (still) knitting the socks mentioned previously -also a pattern rerun. The only completely new thing I’m working on is this:

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Yes, it’s a hat. But at least it’s 50% blue ๐Ÿ˜‰

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C´est fini!

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I definitely saw this as a water-themed project (perfect for the blue month of PS!) and chose my skein of wollmeise twin in the “neptune” colourway.

I knit 11 repeats of the main lace chart, and the blocked wingspan of the shawl is about 123cm. It’s certainly more a shoulder shawl than something to be wrapped around the neck.

I have to leave for work soon, so let’s keep this short and sweet ๐Ÿ™‚