Autumn 2013

Autumn 2013

Friday, August 31, 2012


Hello, everybody, and welcome once again! Come on in, have a seat and a drink of your choice.
This week, I recommend the cider: cool and fresh for a hot day, if you’re having one of those, or mulled to keep that autumnal chill at bay. I know, it’s only August, but the mornings here are definitely cooler than they used to be, wet and foggy, though we are having some balmy days of sunshine and only a few showers. The air is beginning to smell like autumn is approaching ... and I have my woollen socks on.
So, how have you been? Well, I hope, and looking forward to either autumn or spring, depending on your hemispherical persuasion. Life here is finding a routine with the boys in school and me doing what I call work these days. And knitting, of course.

The Apple of the Week this time is all about – apples.

It is late summer now, and the earlier apples are ready for picking; some have been for a while. Already a whole month ago, Victor and I picked apples for his birthday cake. 
And for the next couple of months, more apples will ripen and fall to the ground, releasing sweetness when they are crushed underfoot or in a lawn mower, or be picked and used for cakes, desserts, cider, savoury dishes, decoration – or simply for munching. Apples are intrinsic to the feel and smell of autumn in northern temperate areas: the crispness in the air, the first cool mornings, are accompanied by the red fruits hanging from trees.
A lot of traditional Christmas foods contain apples: many Danish families have duck for Christmas dinner, in which the filling consists of apples and prunes; several variations of pork, always a popular meat around these parts, come with apples in some form; and the Waldorf salad has apples, as well.
The popularity of apples in Nordic winter foods is, of course, based on the fact that apples thrive in temperate climates and keep well when stored coolly. Some types of apples even benefit from a touch of frost. So from the earliest of times, people have been able to gather apples all through autumn and keep them through the winter, when everything else is frozen. They can be dried in slices over a wood fire and munched like that, or they can add rare sweetness to porridges and stews of meat and cabbage.
Not surprising, then, that apples play an important part in ancient myths and folklore.

Apples in mythology
We all know of the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden; this is traditionally portrayed as an apple. The text only defines the forbidden fruit as a tree-fruit, though; and given the Middle Eastern setting of the story, it is much more likely to have been a fig or a peach. But never mind about that – in this context, we can be happy to call it an apple. Because the forbidden knowledge that the eating of the fruit imparted to these first humans was the knowledge of sexuality, and apples in many mythologies are symbols of fertility.
It probably didn’t hinder the identification, either, that the words in Latin for ‘apple’ and ‘bad / evil’ are similar – though by no means the same: apple is mālus with a long a, while bad is mălus with a short a.

Apple trees spring up everywhere, seemingly in random places and of their own accord; they grow and bear fruits with many uses, fruit that sustain people through darkness and cold: a red apple in the dead of winter is a sign that world is not dead, even though it may be buried under the snow for now.
The Norse goddess Ydun (or Ydunn, or Idun, or Idunn: there are several ways to spell this) guards the apples of longevity and youth that all the gods need to eat once a year. The apple has a connection to both the Vanir, the fertility gods Frej and Freja; and possibly to a goddess of the Underworld, making the apple the fruit of the dead.
Again, the apple is connected to life & death, sexuality and mortality.

In Greek mythology, we have the golden apples on the tree that the Hesperides, the daughters of the Evening, guard in the westernmost part of the world; and golden apples are used to lure and distract people on several occasions.
The goddess of strife, Eris, is miffed at not being invited to the wedding of king Peleus and the sea goddess Thetis (later parents of Achilles) and, much like the thirteenth godmother at Sleeping Beauty’s christening, decides to ruin the party. She lets a golden apple on which is inscribed the words HE KALLISTE, ‘to the most beautiful’ (in feminine form), roll onto the floor. The goddesses immediately turn into America’s Next Top Model candidates, and Zeus wisely decides to not be the judge, but get a mortal to do it. They locate a prince, Paris from Troy, who chooses Aphrodite in return for the lovely Helena, queen of Sparta. Aphrodite is not bothered by the fact that the lady is married; but her husband is, and thus begins the Trojan War ...
And the apple becomes one of the symbols of Aphrodite and love: erotic love, as in sexual attraction and desire, that is; Eros is the love-child (sorry about that) of Aphrodite and Ares, the war demon. Once again, we have the connection between apples, sex, and death.

No coincidence, either, that the evil queen in Snow White chooses an apple to poison her stepdaughter with, the apple being the symbol of youth and fertility and therefore beauty and desirability: that the young woman should die by a sign of the very traits that the older woman begrudges her, is the ultimate irony.

So, what shall we make of the saying ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’? In the case of Doctor Who, that may not be what we want; on the other hand, if apples keep you young and strong and sexy, it might be an idea – as long as you make sure it isn’t poisoned.

The Knitting:

I mentioned last week the post-Ravellenic knitalong; in the meantime, I finished the cowl. Several knitters, including myself, found that the suggested needle size, 5 mm / US 8, made for a very loose gauge, and changed down. I went so far as a size 3 mm / US 2½, but then my yarn is a bit lighter than what the pattern calls for.
I did only 7 pattern repeats instead of 8, because I wanted it to fit snugly. And I put in buttonholes on the final garter edge. The buttons with the snakes on them remind me of the Ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail to symbolise the wheel of time – which goes rather well with the whole time-travelling theme, I think.
Anyway, when the cowl was done and sitting there all soft on my neck, I still had 22 grams of yarn left out of the original 50. It is a light fingering weight tussah silk from BC Garn; you can see the blue, green and purple tweed flecks in the photo. This was the one that somehow slipped into my virtual shopping basket, when I was buying Christmas presents last year. Oops.
My sister has made a pair of fingerless mitts and a Baktus scarf from her skein, so I thought: Tardis mitts! I could make a pair of fingerless mitts to go with the cowl. So I cast on, weighing the yarn several times to make sure I didn’t use more than half for the first mitt. They are worked in the round, so I had to modify the pattern a bit. I’m writing it up, and I’ll put it up on Ravelry when I’ve finished the mitts – just to make sure the instructions are followable.

As for the other knitalong project, the Damson is coming along nicely. I rather quickly decided to make a lace edging from one of the modifications put up on Ravelry; after the garter body of the shawl, something had to happen. So, beaded lace it is.
This is my second one-skein shawlette, the first being the Haruni I made for my mum in June; for quick gift knits, both are good, though I personally prefer the Haruni in terms of interesting knitting.

One important criterion for choosing the yarn for the Damson was that I had to have enough of it for one of the four colours in the Creekbed scarf, as well. The Damson is for my cousin’s wife, and the Creekbed for my cousin; and though I’m not into the matching his & hers type of dressing or accessorising, this has a rather discreet matching effect. Not surprisingly, given my predilection for purples, I had about a skein and a half of the purple Shetland wool, a fingering weight, again from BC Garn (they are not paying me for this, I promise!); and I found several possible combinations for the Creekbed. I ended up with purple, blue, green, and yellow; many years ago (well, 14), I made a jumper while expecting my third child, who turned out to be Victor, in those colours. I haven’t got the jumper (or sweater, if you’re American) anymore, but I can still see it in my mind’s eye. The colour combination was intended to be gender neutral with just a hint of the daring – not that purple on a man can shock anybody these days, which is fine.
And then I changed my mind, just a bit, so the scarf will be purple, blue, green, and grey instead of yellow. Stuff happens.

I actually already cast on for the Creekbed; this Sunday, I went to check out a new local crafting group, and I wanted to bring something simple that didn’t require looking at a pattern or fiddling with beads. Casting on 441 stitches and maybe knitting a few rows seemed doable while chatting.
And it was; I spent a lot of time counting and re-counting, though, as I kept getting distracted and losing my place. But in the end, all of the stitches were cast on, I knit a few rows and counted again, when I got home. Still 441 stitches.

The predominant age range in this group is somewhat on the granny side, including the obligatory little old lady with dyed hair and pastel coloured acrylic yarn on plastic needles. Even though the hair on this one is black, not blue ...
There are a handful of women – no men at all – around my age and a couple even younger. Not that I count myself as young, but I am nowhere near granny age, mind you! And knitting in company is nice for a change; my mum knits on occasion, my sister knits, a friend of my parents is now my knitting buddy – but that’s about it. Most of my knitting ‘friends’ are scattered around the world, and I only ‘meet’ them on Ravelry or listen to their podcasts. So I’ll be going along to the group again next month.

I had intended to tell you about more knitting podcasts, but that will have to wait; I am re-embarking on a dyeing adventure. The sun is shining, the fresh air is beckoning me outside – my workshop is in the bike shed – and there is wool yarn to be soaked and treated and dyed.
Much more about that next time; and about the craft exhibition this Saturday, and a movie, and ... some knitting, I suppose :o)

But for now, have a good weekend! Enjoy the weather, keep happy & healthy, stay crafty :o)
Happy knitting!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Hello, everybody, and welcome once again to the Apple Basket. This week, I give you an update on my knitting – lots happening there – I have three crafting events coming up, and something about what to do while knitting.
So I hope that you are well and enjoying what remains of summer; we had a few days of really warm weather – I want to say hot, but it didn’t get over 27°Celsius, though that is rather hot for Denmark. So yes, we had a couple of hot days. Now, though, it’s raining. Autumn is lurking, and soon, the leaves will begin to change and fall. We are getting apples and plums from generous people with big fruit trees, everybody is back in school; all in all, it’s late August. Not a bad time at all, and we can still hope for summery weather for a while yet.

The Knitting:
When last I wrote, I was in a bit of a post-party slump; I had really enjoyed the whole Ravellenic get-up, the knit-along and the feeling of belonging to a group. So when one of the lovely members of Team TARDIS suggested a Tilting Tardis Cowl KAL, I jumped at it and cast on immediately. Well, almost. First I had to find out if I had the yarn for it in my stash – I’m still stash-downing and wasn’t going to rush out and buy yarn on a whim.
Anyway, I ended up having to choose between three blue fingering / sport weight yarns: what luxury! I chose a tussah silk tweed yarn that I ‘accidentally’ bought last Christmas, when I was getting a present for my sister. This should stave off the post-Ravellenic withdrawal symptoms for a while.

I still finished the Princess dress for Laura in time, of course, and she got it on her birthday this past Saturday. It turned out quite adorable, if I may say so myself, and she will have good use of it when the weather turns colder. The day itself was one of the hot ones, not one for wearing any more clothes than necessary. And certainly not a DK weight cotton-wool blend.

Of course, I have lots of Doctor Who-related knitting ideas and plans; among these a dress ... I’m letting that simmer for a while, and maybe I’ll knit it for the winter Games 2014. We’ll see.
In the meantime, I plan to challenge myself with toys: 13 knitted toys in 2013 – the Doctors, K-9 and a Dalek. I’m going to start a thread on the Who Knits? group on Ravelry to invite others to join a toy-along.

Speaking of KALs, I found one yesterday morning on the aplayfulday group, for finishing Ravellenic wips or getting started on the holiday knitting. It will be running until 9th September, when the Paralympic Games close. Now, while the Tilting Tardis KAL is informal and open-ended, this one comes with a deadline, and you know how I’ve been whining about deadline knitting, right?
So yes, of course I signed on. What did you expect? I did choose, though, an already queued project, a Damson for my cousin’s wife.
This is a little shawl by Ysolda Teague, a very popular pattern on Ravelry.
I’ve done the first 28 rows, and I’m already looking forward to the lace edging that comes after 72 rows of garter stitch. With yarnovers, though, but still not the most challenging project. I may well do one of the lace modifications that generous knitters have put on Ravelry.
At this point, I became thoroughly bored with the yarn; it’s a lovely angora-silk tweed in a denim blue colour, very nice in itself. But I was looking at the pattern pictures featuring a pretty purple Malabrigo – oh, and a pretty girl, too, but let’s prioritise here, shall we – and my tilty Tardis cowl was sitting beside me; and the denim blue looked increasingly dry and dusty. So I went stash diving and came up with a purple Shetland wool instead. Great. I just had to wind it, and then I could begin anew.
And then the skein turned out to be one of those tangly, fiddly ones that are almost impossible to wind: you go half a round on the skein and then have to stop and unpick a knotty part. Ugh. I was doing it last night, and Victor wanted to help, and the yarn refused to cooperate, and the poor lad thought it was his fault. So we let it sit over night to think about its behaviour, and then I went back to it this morning and finished it. With a bit of growling. But anyway, now I’m finally ready to cast on again, and it’s going to be pretty. I'll have pictures next time.

Coming up:

This Sunday, I’m going to a craft café. It’s a new thing starting up very locally, at the church, I think. They invite everybody to come along to knit or crochet or sew; you don’t have to know anything, they’re hoping for experts to show up and help. I’ll go over there and see what might be going on.

On Saturday 1st September from 11 am to 3 pm, the women’s organisation Zonta will be holding a craft exhibition at Brænderigården in Viborg, featuring various designers and their products on sale. It seems there is jewellery, pottery, maybe knitting, metal work. All proceeds go to Mothers’ Help. Again, I’ll go and see what’s going on.

And the following weekend, 7th to 9th September, is the big annual craft fair by Kreativ Fritid, also in Viborg. The concert hall, Tinghallen, and the Stadium hall will be filled with crafters from all over the country; this year, they are expecting 16,000 visitors. The vendors cover a wide range of craftiness, from all the woolly goodness of spinning and knitting, over jewellery, stationery, wood working, glass, quilting, embroidery – you name it, it’s there. Oh, and beekeeping, too.
I’ll be going on the Friday, I think, with my sister.

I will tell you about all of these events in due time, with pictures and everything :o)

And now for the title section of today’s chat: 

Like lots of other crafters, I enjoy listening to stuff while I knit. And while I dye, in the kitchen (I don’t dye in the kitchen, I have a workshop of sorts), around the house, in the garden, out walking or driving or ... you get it. Several years ago, when I started commuting to work, I got into audio books on tape (yes, my first car was that old!) and CD. Some time after that, my sister gave me her old iPod, when she got a new one; at first I had no idea what to do with it (I’m tech savvy that way), but slowly I found out about podcasts and putting audio books into the iPod as well. My kids were getting older, so I had more listening time.
Now, for quite a while, my concept of podcasts was mainly radio shows, from the BBC or the Danish radio – but then a ravelation happened. See what I did there? Rav-elation? (Awful pun, sorry about that.) Somebody on a thread on Ravelry mentioned knitting podcasts, and I fell into the rabbit hole.
At first, I knew about Electric Sheep and Cast On. I decided to listen to both of them from the beginning of 2011: that would give me a back story instead of just jumping in now, without there being too many episodes to catch up on. When I was caught up, I would listen to the new episodes and in between them the old ones. Then the lovely Hoxton on Electric Sheep mentioned a new (this was an August 2011 episode, I think) Canadian podcast, Knit1 Geek2, and I tried that one out. They only started podcasting in July 2011, so I listened to all the episodes.
Now I had three podcasts to catch up on, including Ravelry groups and everything. I’ll give you a quick overview:
Electric Sheep is a London-based podcast, first in Hoxton (hence the username of the hostess (can I say hostess, or does that conjure up images of geishas and airlines? If so, I apologise)), now in South London. We get knitting, reviews of knitting magazines and pattern books, thoughtful essays of the ways of the world, tales of the Sheep himself and his exploits – and they are worth listening to, I can promise you that – and various weird goings-on, not least involving beards.
Cast On is hosted by Brenda Dayne, an American now living in Wales. She talks of knitting, the beauty of Wales, her dogs, feminism, books, music, designing, her family; all in a very nice way. And she always ends her shows with: ‘Remember, if you’re cold, put on a sweater. That’s what they’re for.’ Isn’t that sweet?
Knit1Geek2 has two hosts, Karen and Maggie, which gives a different feel to the whole thing, like a knitting group. They talk, very amusingly, about their knitting (you didn’t see that one coming, did you?) and all kinds of geeky stuff, in fiction and in science.

Now, I don’t want to bore your socks off – especially not the Malabrigo ones – so I’ll leave the podcast review section for now and give you some more next time. In the side bar, you can see a list of (most of) what I listen to. It has kinda snowballed on me ...
There are dozens of knitting and crafting and other podcasts out there; of the ones I don’t mention here, there are those that I simply don’t know about; some that I have heard of but not yet listened to, some that I have tried out and decided either to pass on or leave for later; I can’t follow all of them, there aren’t enough hours in the day.
I am not going to say which of the above are which, because tastes and preferences in podcasts, as in everything else, are so different. Every single podcaster out there is doing a huge job and is putting herself or himself on the line, and it’s not for me to say that this or the other podcast is not worth listening to.

I have always loved books; one of my early memories is trying to convince my mother that I could read one of my favourite books – when I was 3. She wasn’t convinced, realising that I knew the book by heart (it was about a cow who lost her bell and went around to the other animals asking about it). Anyway, at 5 I started school and learned to read in English. We were living in Malawi at the time. At home, we had books and newspapers in Danish, and I figured out how to read those.
But I digress. The point of all this is, of course, audio books. Now, this blog is not sponsored by Audible, which would be silly and does make a lot more sense for a podcast; but I do have an Audible account and I get books from there.
During the Ravellenic Games, I listened to two Doctor Who books while knitting TARDISes:
SHADA by Douglas Adams, with the 4th Doctor, and
The Silent Stars Go By by Dan Abnett, featuring the 11th Doctor.
I can highly recommend both of them :o)

Right now (well, not right now while I’m typing, obviously, you know what I mean), I’m listening to Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James. I do love her books – I want to be P. D. James when I grow up.
Hmm, I’m going to mention another podcast, after all: CraftLit with Heather Ordover. She calls it ‘a podcast for crafters who like books’ – which is me!
Anyway, I heard about CraftLit on ... Electric Sheep, maybe? and downloaded ALL the episodes. Free books? Bring it on! And Heather herself is lovely, I really enjoy listening to her. The first book of the podcast (from 2006) is Pride and Prejudice; I have read it at least once, I have seen the movie, but never mind, it’s still a great story – and you get Heather’s comments, too. She used to be an English teacher, so she knows what she’s talking about. This is brilliant.
Pemberley is, as you know, Darcy’s house; P. D. James sets her murder mystery 6 years after the original story, when Elizabeth and Darcy have been married a while. I’m not going to tell you more: no spoilers!
But again: I highly recommend both the podcast, the book, and Audible itself. It’s a book club of sorts: for £ 7.99 each month, you get a credit for a book; you can keep up to 5 credits waiting, if you are undecided. So, when you need an audio book, you go and download one; it almost feels like getting it for free. And you can download the books as many times as you want.

So, you can put on a sweater, pick up your pointy sticks and turn on a book: it’s time to cast on, keep crafting, and stay playful!
Thank you for stopping by, do come back another time, and until then:
Happy knitting!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Marathon Knitting Academy

Hello, everybody, and welcome once again to a bit of chatter about life, the universe of knitting, and all the other stuff going on – well, some of it, anyway.
I hope you are all well and that the weather where you are is as lovely as it is here. We are having a bit of summer again after a period of rather dismal, chilly and wet weather. It never fails: when the schools start, the weather turns.

This was supposed to be last week’s post, but knitting got in the way. Now, of course, the Ravellenic Games as well as the Olympics are all done, and life can return to normal. The Apple of the Week is related to sports, though, and The Knitting is nearly all about the Ravellenic projects. So let’s get onto that.

It’s Monday morning after the party ... the party that lasted more than two weeks. There has been lots of knitting, lots of reading and posting in fora (I refuse to call them ‘forums’, that would be selling out), lots of sport – well, not that much sport, actually. I’ve watched bits here & there, following the medal counts; we did watch the opening ceremony, but not yet the closing ceremony. We taped it (not literally, it’s been recorded on an HD box), because it started at 10 pm, which is too late on a school night.

One of the final events of this year’s Olympics, taking place on Sunday, was the men’s marathon, in which – not surprisingly – the three medals were won by Africans, one from Uganda and two Kenyans. I was just looking at the stats and noticed this, of course, but also that the two North Koreans came in at exactly the same time. How weird is that?
Running a marathon is a big accomplishment; whether everybody has it in them, as they say on Marathon Training Academy, I can’t tell. I think maybe quite a few people who don’t think they can, could if they really, really want to and are prepared to put in the tremendous effort that it takes to train and prepare for it. If you make sure to pick the right parents for the optimal genetic make-up and to grow up in a mountain region for oxygen utilisation conditioning, you will make it easier on yourself; so remember to do that.

The 42 kilometres or 26.2 miles have become an iconic distance, something to put on your bucket list for a once-in-a-lifetime achievement or, for the really ambitious, something to do 50 times in 50 states. And if you’re Dean Karnazes – which nobody is but himself – 50 times in 50 days in 50 states. Or, for the likes of sir Ranulph Fiennes, 7 times in 7 continents in 7 days. Amazing.

Now, we all know the story behind the distance, right? The one about the soldier who, after the battle of Marathon, ran all the way back to Athens to announce the victory and then dropped dead. Great story, isn’t it? Full of drama, sensation, and pathos. Quite the tabloid kind of news.
You see where I’m going here? That’s right: do not believe this story. It’s most likely fiction. We have no textual evidence of this tale from around the time when it is supposed to have happened, only from more than 600 years later; and let’s face it, it is rather too good to be true.
There is another story that is much less sensational, but much more likely and in fact even better.
Let’s have a little background first, from the historian Herodotus, who wrote about the Persian Wars in BCE 490 and 480-479. Herodotus gives us several hundred years of history before the wars, to explain how the Persian Empire expanded and how the animosity between Hellenic and barbaric (i.e. non-Greek speaking) states arose. He starts out with stories that we regard as legends: in those days, they didn’t distinguish too much. So one of the stories is about a prince from Ilion (Troy) who stole a Spartan queen, which led to a full-scale war – according to the Persian historians, says Herodotus, this was the cause of all the troubles. Because who in their right mind bothers to fight over a woman?

Anyway, the Persian Wars:
In 490, the Persian king Dareios the Great decided to add Hellas to his already vast empire. The Hellenic city states, poleis, weren’t too happy about this, particularly not the Athenians. They had just invented democracy – or what passed for democracy in those days – and had no intention at all of being subjects to a foreign king. They prepared their defence near a town called Marathon north-east of Athens. Now, the Persian army was huge, so the Athenians decided to ask the Spartans for help in the upcoming battle – the Spartans being known elite warriors (more about them later).
To get the message through, they did the usual thing and deployed a runner. Herodotus tells us that the man, Pheidippides, arrived in Sparta ‘the next day’ after having run about 150 kilometres. We get no more details than that, no counting of hours, let alone minutes or seconds, no list of aid stations or fuelling strategy or anything like that. This is obviously all in a day’s work for a Hellenic runner. We may guess that he chose to run through the night, this being August; and we know from the runners who attempt this distance today that it is regarded as one of the hardest ultra marathons, through mountainous regions and a climate that can be quite hot.

Anyway, Pheidippides arrived in Sparta with the plea for help; but the Spartans would not give it. They were in the midst of a religious festival and could not go to war. Which message Pheidippides then brought back to Athens. The Athenians were on their own in the battle – and they defeated the Persians hands down. No problem.

Of course, the Athenians thought they were the cat’s whiskers after this; but 10 years later, they needed help once again. In 480, the new king of the Persians, Xerxes son of Dareios, tried to fulfil his father’s ambitions and add Hellas to the Persian empire. This time, he marched his vast army across the lands and came to Hellas from the north. At a mountain pass well known as Thermopylai, he was delayed in his progress for about a week, mainly due to the heroism of 300 Spartan warriors, who chose to fight to the death.
Again, it is Herodotus who tells us the story. The movie is based on a cartoon by Frank Miller; this means that for once, it is fairly easy to discern what is history and what is fiction: we get the chronological sequence of events as told by Herodotus, while the more grotesque elements are quite obvious additions. Very tidy.

To round it all off, even though we are digressing somewhat from the Marathon theme: in the year following the battle at Thermopylai, there was a sea battle at Salamis outside Athens, in which the Persian fleet was destroyed, and another ground battle at Plataiai, where the Persian army was finally defeated. Xerxes gave up his attempts on Hellas.

Take a moment to think about it: these Persian Wars were one of the defining events in European – and World – history. If Dareios or Xerxes had succeeded, it would have been the end of the fledgling democracy in Athens. The rational thought and  scientific endeavours of the natural philosophers would have been curbed. All of this might, of course, have resurfaced in later times, but when? Rome was at this time, in the early 5th century BCE, far too small and weak to have been able to oppose the Persians – for they would not have been satisfied with just Hellas, they would have continued their conquests.
We owe a lot to men like Pheidippides, citizen soldiers who fought to protect their homes and their freedom; just as we owe a lot to our soldiers today who fight to protect the global home and freedom of all of us.

Moving on now to The Knitting:
It feels like I’ve been deadline-knitting for months ... and I have, actually. I started out back in May with the baby blanket and the shawl that wasn’t finished – and still isn’t, come to think of it.
Then came the wedding blanket that was finished. Just. At the last moment.
In the few days’ lull before the Games began, I cast on for Laura’s birthday dress – and then, of course, it’s been all about TARDISes for the past two weeks :o) Mostly, anyway.
The TARDIS appears quite suddenly
Now, how will the Doctor get out of this?
More TARDISes! In the middle of the Time Vortex

I started writing this yesterday and then realised that I needed to get knitting to get my third Ravellenic project across the finish line. Which I did. This is the top formerly known as Pythia, that I renamed Daphne because of the laurel leaf pattern. I finished all of my planned projects! 
Remember Daphne?
And I have been celebrating it on various Ravelry threads, mostly the one for Team TARDIS.

So today, I’m getting the birthday dress back out. It’s for this coming Saturday. I can make it; I'm already well into te pattern again and the whole idea of it. No pics yet, but they will be coming.

After all this, it will be nice to be able to choose a project, maybe even have a day of not knitting very much, if I don’t feel like it or have other things that need to be taken care of.
Now, before you all shout at me: I am very well aware that I chose all of these projects myself and that I chose to knit them at all in the first place. Nobody held a gun to my head; nobody kidnapped my children and sent me a ransom note specifying knitted items. If that happened, I would have to call Liam Neeson to come and kill them with pointy sticks.

Anyway, I know that I laid this on myself; I have no-one to blame. And really, I am not complaining. I enjoy knitting – maybe not so much the last day and a half of the wedding blanket, when I hated the pattern and my hands hurt, but apart from that – I enjoy the challenge of trying out new patterns and techniques and even having specified periods of time to do them in. I really have enjoyed the knitalong-like experience of being on a team where everybody knits related items and several people even knit the same pattern: there are a lot of new Bigger on the Inside shawls out there!

I have been knitting a lot this summer, more than I probably would have if it hadn’t been for all these self-imposed deadlines. But nobody got hurt, the garden hasn’t quite turned into a jungle yet, the kids and the cat were fed. And did I mention I enjoy knitting?

So that is what I will do: knit on to make a dress for my niece for her 3rd birthday. And everybody is happy :o)

Thank you for stopping by once again! I hope you have a brilliant week, whether you or yours are back in school or not. I’ll be back, and until then:
Happy knitting!

PS: A few shots from my garden (I am not showing you the unmowed lawn):

Sunday, August 5, 2012


So, we're back! after a long weekend in Copenhagen: a lot of driving, a lot of walking, sightseeing, a bit of knitting and watching Olympics ... that's about it. 

Thursday: 4½ hours driving, not a lot by US standards, but this is practically across the whole country :o) 
We stayed at an airport hotel near Kastrup, the Copenhagen GO hotel. The rooms are small: we had a double room with an extra bed, that turned out to be a bunk bed placed across the head end of the double beds. So if you're staying three people, one of you has to be able to climb a ladder. It was fine for us, though. The breakfast room had three tvs going on different channels (no sound, though); I have no idea what they show outside the Olympics.

Anyway, Friday we went to the Zoo. My boys are always happy to look at animals, living or dead, science and / or natural history museums. 
For some reason, I decided to drive. Normally, I avoid driving in Copenhagen: lots of traffic in unfamiliar territory is not really my cup of tea, and the parking was a bit of a nightmare - if the car had been a real TARDIS, I could just have plonked it somewhere behind some trees, and all would be well. I was on a steep learning curve ... but we got there in the end.
The weather behaved, the lion cubs were adorable, and I even got to do a little knitting in public - my Pythia top is ideal for an out-and-about project, being one-skein and in-the-round.

This memorial stone is for my great-grandfather, who was Director of the Zoo.

Saturday saw the original reason for going to Copenhagen: my 14 yr-old, Victor, is into geology - and guitars - and so we went to the Museum of Geology, headed by the internationally renowned Minik Rosing (he wasn't there, though). This time, we took a train into town ... 

To get to the museum from the station, we walked through the Botanical Gardens in beautiful sunshine and even popped inside the tropical house. 

Outside the museum, which is a part of the University, sits (most of) one of the heaviest meteorites found in Greenland. This bit weighs around 15 tonnes. The rust colour shows the high iron content.

I had wanted to go to the Art Museum right across the street, but for some reason, my boys were rather tired at this point (they will happily walk miles for animals, plants, and rocks, but paintings ... not so much). So we chose to stroll through the pedestrianised streets, savouring the summer Saturday scenes of vendors, performers and general throngs of people, across Raadhuspladsen and right past Tivoli to Hard Rock Café for an early dinner. 
And more public knitting :o) 

And so today, we just got up, packed, breakfasted (including Olympic swimming, badminton, and football) and drove back home. 

I didn't get too much knitting done; a couple of rounds here & there on the Pythia during the days out; 
in the mornings and evenings, it was TARDIS time. I did manage to bead all the lights for the Tardises on the Bigger on the Inside and finish 2 sides of the Tardis to be stuffed. 

But ... from the outset, I divided all three projects into smaller 'jobs' and then calculated that I had to do 5 small jobs a day to finish. When I got home today, with a week left of the Olympics, I still had 48 jobs left - which of course means 7 jobs a day! I'll have to get busy to get everything done in time ... 

So now you will have to excuse me :o) 
Thank you for stopping by, I will be back soon with more tales of life, knitting and other things.