Friday, May 25, 2007

A Yarny Prize and Germany (Pt. 3)

First things first: I won yarn on Carrie's blog! It's this pretty shade of STR Bambu, and it's all soft and squishy and lovely and pettable. How do I know? I've been petting it, of course!
And isn't that the cutest tea-themed tape measure?

And now, the last part of the Germany trip. Here is the reason I went in the first place. Meet the Batty people!

Me, my dad and my mom, and

me and my sister. She's back from Thailand, and she loved it there. Poor thing got back on Tuesday and had to work Thursday afternoon and evening. Nothing like being jet lagged and having to work!

About my last post: the yarn is CTH Supersock. I think the colorway is Jewels, but I'm not entirely sure (and won't be until I get the ball band out of the middle of the yarn... yes, I did it again).
The dad sweater is a modified Paton's pattern, no. 4 from their Casual Classics booklet. Instead of gray with burgundy cables, I'm doing it in burgundy with gray cables because my dad looks good in burgundy.
And to all the oompa instrument players out there: Sure, why don't we start a knitting oompa band? If people don't like our music, we'll chase them with pointy sticks.
The less said about the swimming pool experiment, the better. That's why I didn't initially mention the fact that it included bubbles. It was a bubble bath swimming pool, and 15 years later, my carpet still faintly smelled like bubble bath.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

WIPs and The MEME

I, too, have been tagged with the 7 random facts. Pixieriot tagged me first, and at least 3 other people have followed suit.

The rules: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

So, without further ado, here are 7 random facts about me:

1. I used to play the accordion. 'nuff said.

2. I can bend back my left thumb so it touches my left forearm, but I can't do it with my right thumb.

3. I'm a klutz. When I got married, I had to throw the bouquet twice because the first time, it landed in the chandelier and came down in a rain of crystal. At least 6 people have told me since that they saw it coming.

4. For the longest time, I collected erasers. Not the boring ones, but erasers that came in fun shapes and colors. I had over 350, including one shaped like a faucet (3D, not just a flat one).

5. I have an unhealthy obsession with bureaucracy and the way it works. In grad school, my fellow historians used to wonder out loud when I'd write a paper about people instead of documents. Does this make me a boring person? I don't know, but it's just the way I'm wired.

6. When I was 4, I built a swimming pool in the middle of my room by making a square out of rectangular cushions. After about the 10th bucket of water, my friends and I had to admit this wasn't working -- about the same time my mom and her friend decided it was way too quiet up there and we got busted.

7. I'll randomly start humming the Inquisition song from Monty Python's History of the World. Make of that what you will.

Thise meme has been around for a while, and I'm losing sight of who's already done and who hasn't. So, in direct violation of the rules, I'm tagging everyone who hasn't done it yet but would like to. It's so much easier than checking everyone's archives to see if they've already been tagged, or if they dislike memes!

And now, some knitting content. My first Conwy sock is finished, and I'm starting my second today.

The front of my Dad's sweater is about 1" away from getting interesting. So far, it's only lots of burgundy reverse stockinette (the color is not a bright tomato red in real life), but I'm about to start on the blue border and the grey cables.

It's a very fast knit, though I'm getting a bad feeling about not washing the swatch for this one. I think I'm knitting up another swatch (ripped out the old one, bad me!) and giving it the wash and block treatment. This is the first time I've worked with pure alpaca, and I wouldn't want it to grow and surprise me after I'm done!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Germany (Pt.2)

My sister is still in Thailand, and I won't have her pictures until a week or two from now. But in the meantime, here's what else Mr. Batty and I were up to.

First, my parents and I took him to the Autostadt in Wolfsburg. We live less than an hour from the Volkswagen plant, and Volkswagen has built a kind of theme park, sort of a car-themed version of Epcot Center. 'There's a car museum with some seriously nice-looking cars like this little red number, which I really covet. I love the late 1800s and early 1900s, though after cataloging loads of books about the medicine of the period, I'm glad things have advanced! It's all fun and games until somebody gets sick.

Mr. Batty, on the other hand, found a cute little beer truck in the 1930's section.

What he didn't know: my parents' dental office was on our way home, and they decided to take a spontaneous look at his teeth. Here is Dr. Batty, Sr., going about his usual business. My sweetie was lucky, though: there was nothing wrong with his teeth and he didn't get any dental work that day.

Later on, we went to the Millennium Tower in Magdeburg. It's the world's tallest wooden tower (66 meters tall), and it reminds me of one of DaVinci's designs. Inside is a science museum with a really cool exhibit showing the progress of science from the Babylonians and Egyptians to prognoses of future developments. We spent an entire day in there.

Next post, it'll be back to knitting, though. You didn't think there were no WIPs I started in Germany, now, did you?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jespere's Amazing Socks and German Yarn

Sometimes, a package shows up exactly when it's needed. I was having a pretty bad day until I got home and found a bag with a package from the Netherlands! I don't know many people from that part of the world, so I knew right away that I had received the gift of socks. Jespere, my pal from the knitty sock exchange, knit these beauties for me. I put them on right away and showed them off to my parents, who were appropriately impressed with the perfection of color choice, fit, pattern, and happy daughter who was sticking her foot in their faces shouting, "Look! Look at these amazing socks!"

They really do fit perfectly. The color is the prettiest red I have ever seen, and I'm in love with the pattern, the cuff details in particular. Thank you, Jespere! You really made my day.

Oh, and there were cookies and chocolate in that package... alas, they no longer exist for me to take pictures of them. Somebody ate them...
*looks away innocently while trying to wipe off a couple of crumbs*

And now, as promised: German yarn. I bought 4 skeins of Regia Silk so I can knit Clessidra and one other skein of fancy Regia yarn. The rest of the sock yarn? Skeins that cost between 1.99 to 5 Euros and were mostly bought at a grocery store that had gotten in sock yarn! In retrospect, I wish I'd taken pictures of the yarn on display, but at the time, I was too busy oohing and aahing and stuffing yarn in a basket to do much else.

The stuff in the lower left corner is crochet cotton. I'm usually not a pot holder person, but I found the most adorable book of pot holder patterns. Chickens, sheep, horses, coffee mugs... I'll be crocheting up a storm. Maybe some of them will even look like they're supposed to!

The purplish stuff on the right is a sweater's worth of the most beautiful shiny novelty yarn I've ever seen. And I'm so not a novelty yarn person! But look at these beauties. Here, take a closer look. Click on the picture, make them bigger, see why I couldn't resist. The fact that my mother's patient owns the yarn store and gave me a discount doesn't hurt, but I would have bought these at full price without a second thought.

The color is a bit lighter than I usually wear, but it'll be a pretty summery lace sweater. I can always creep it up by wearing black under it!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Germany Experience (Pt. 1)

Germany was fun. The rumors about yarn in grocery stores are true! I bought sock yarn at a grocery store, and I think American grocery stores could attract an even bigger number of knitters than they already do. Yes, we all need food, but what would happen if the knitter went to a grocery stores for her occasional yarn emergency? The economic possibilities are mind-blowing.

Some things, on the other hand, are mind-boggling. When I got to the Frankfurt Airport at 5:30 AM local time, I had to go through the psychadelic tunnel of weirdness. Note how long it is. The lights change as you gently roll along on the slow-moving walkway, and strange sounds enhance the utterly surreal atmosphere. Just what you want to see after an already disorienting transatlantic flight! Oh, and look at the length of this hallway. Your psychedelic tunnel experience will take a good 5+ minutes even if you walk fairly quickly. What genius thought changing lights and strange zoioioing sounds were exactly what the tired and disoriented international traveler needs???

But all in all, much fun was had. My sister has a whole series of family pictures that won't be available until she gets back from Thailand in about two weeks, but I'll make sure to post some of the good ones then. My friend Linda forgot to take pictures on the day I forgot to bring my camera (and besides being generally creepy, we are friends because we have occasional flaky tendencies!), so no pictures there.

But here are some German knitters. Jeannine knitting a sock, and

Silke knitting the inevitable Mother-in-law scarf. Who hasn't made one of those? With fun fur?

We had a fun sock knitting get-together. One of her Main Coon Cats really enjoyed it too. Here's the boy kitten checking out the yarn. He is so cute! That's really good for him because otherwise, chewing up Silke's sock yarn could have been a problem.

The only thing I regret is that I was a little too early for the Wave Gotik Treffen, a 4 day goth extravaganza in Leipzig. Maybe next year or the year after that, Linda and I will be able to go again.

More pictures are coming soon, including those of the beautiful socks Jespere sent me and of my yarn purchases. Needless to say, I came back with significantly more yarn than I left with.