Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hi people. Life on the other side of the pond is good.
Castles and towers and vikings and dark bread. Tons of salmon. Cousins are fun, the country is beautiful and the architecture is quaint and colorful. Turns out we are also right on the beach, which would be a bonus if only it was warm and sunny. Instead the water is lovely to look at while wrapped up in a jacket, umbrella nearby. I forgot about Danish summer. It's alot like the Boston June we'd left behind. Except it changes as the day goes on. Every day has a little sun, a little clouds and then a huge downpour. We try to time a cafe visit when the clouds gather.
Weird things:
1. the popularity of capri harem pants. Yeah, you heard that right. Everywhere.
2. a weird beef jello, commonly eaten on bread with other toppings. Not only does it taste like Beef Jello, but just try and balance stuff on that shit. Get ordinary Jello and spread it with a knife. go ahead and see what happens. yep. if only it was worth the effort, but it's not since it tastes like BEEF.
Beer is everywhere - not so much the cocktails or wine. Dark, light, chocolate and otherwise. My new waistline is a testament to the tasty beer. And the amount of excuses to sit and enjoy a tasty beer. The bottles are fun to photograph, so I'll show you later - I'm not downloading pics til I return. The girls have a new fave drink of their own, called Softvan. It's a syrup you add to water here and most kids drink it as a treat. The girls love the berry flavors - and the cafes serve them while the grownups have their beers, so everyone can have a little something to bide the time.
The wet weather is great for gardens and everyone has their own kitchen gardens - strawberries, cherries, currants, pears, snap peas and other things. My cousins also have a chili experiment going. The girls have loved picking them all. What cocktail garnishes I could have made if only we were drinking mixed drinks. But see above. The Danes take their beer seriously, I'm not thinking they want a cherry propped in the top. No limes, no lemons either.
So, anyways.
A hint on travel knitting without a pattern in hand.
Pay attention.

I am almost done with my amazing textured alpaca sleeveless cardigan, and it looks exactly like I'd hoped except for one thing. It's mini sized. Seems I'm only knitting on the move here. And all those trains and planes and automobiles don't give me the space to lay things out on a table and really take a look, huh? (oh how I miss my dining room table!) By now I'd imagine I'm experienced enough to have recognized the problem as I knit, but apparently not. From the hem, up the hips to the sleeves I continued the thing without a clue. It could have been because I'm going from the bottom up in one piece, so the thing is much bigger than a regular sweater back. Either way, it's not meant to be sausage casing, so for now it's gone back in the bag for a good frog and restart back in the states. I may have to resize it anyways, due to the beer problem stated above.
Instead I've turned my attention back to Juno, which is lovely and coming straight from an established pattern in front of my face. But it looks like the sun may be coming out, so away from the computer and down to town we go. I just may have to get a beer in the town square.
Back late next week. Hope you are all well :-)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

This one's a blender drink. They were so good, we drank a little too much out prior to the picture, so they aren't as pretty as they should have been.

1 banana
1 peach
double shot of OJ
double shot of milk
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
double shot of light rum

We just pretended it was sunny and didn't add ice. They were amazing. The milk and OJ combo gives the peach banana kind of a Creamsicle edge. Sooo tasty. And that brown mess down bottom? That's my next design project. Something super simple and textured.

To be honest, there have been other drinks. I just haven't been very good about blogging about them or having my camera nearby when the drinks were on hand. In fact, last weekend up in Maine, we drove up to freshly shaken cosmos in beautiful red martini glasses - call that service - and - also so very pretty. But I'd just gotten out of the car when they asked if I needed to photograph them. Nope, I just wanted to drink them.

Then, at dinner the next night, a friend took took one look at the dinner table full of lobster and bottles of wine and said, "Hey, you should blog about this!" Again, I just wanted to hang so you don't get to see the table and I don't get to tell you about the wines.

These are friends, who by the way, don't knit and don't read either my blog or any other blog, but still know I'm the nut who photographs drinks before enjoying them. Occasionally I'll style the tabletop and I've been caught in public doing so, which always leads to some explanation for the newbie.

Sometimes my knowing friends "pose" with their drinks for me, offering themselves up as blog bait, which I never take. I know full well when I'm being mocked, yes I do. And I have my own blogging agenda which will not be altered by their whims or desire for knitting blog fame. But it doesn't stop em. Do your non knitting friends do this to you?

In fact, my family has been entertaining themselves at my expense lately by suggesting I start a secondary blog. It's about all the great public toilets I find out in the world. See, I'm a woman who had kids without the C section. And I drink coffee in the morning, water during the day and booze at beer thirty, so I find it's important to know the spots. You all understand, don't you? There's not always a big lead time anymore so one must be prepared.

Yes, I am good at tracking 'em down or seeing the options from afar - only because I have to be. But no, I DO NOT want to start the Potty Blog, as they continually suggest every time we're somewhere new and I pull a bathroom out of my hat. No no no. I'm walking down the pier in Old Orchard Beach this weekend, Maya and Craig hot on my heels, dictating text to me about the spanking new restroom I found out by the parking lot. Granted, it's hard to find an clean new one at the cheesy beach pier, and I did pick a winner out there by the car. Totally cracking themselves up, they were. "Take pics of the outsides and then the actual toilets. It'll be great!" "Give a rating system - one sheet of toilet paper, two sheets of toilet paper...." "Reviews" "Distance points"

Yep, shut the fuck up. or no more knits for you.

BTW, Why can't the men have the babies?? They can secret pee almost anywhere.

Anyways, my camera was still in the car and I wasn't about to go get it - either for the lobster or the Old Orchard Beach Restroom (which was a great find, I'll admit).

Anyways, moving onto plans for next week, when life off the screen and blog will take over. Here are a few knits to take to Denmark. I don't think I'll be taking the new design project, since it's sweater sized.

Instead, some beautiful Shuibui sock yarn for kid mittens and a big skein of cream colored cashmere merino to make a Juno out of. I'm thinking Juno is the perfect travel knit since it's only one skein, has some detail at the beginning (a plane ride) a long boring middle (sightseeing and hanging out) and then more detail at the end (another plane ride).

I might just check in again before Sunday.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Well, not my entire vacation, but here's how I spent the rainy part.

For now, I'm calling this my Fall Design -- it's based on a sweater I saw and coveted in a Lucky Magazine a few seasons back for like $300. This is why I loooove the knitting. See it? Love it? Just make it.

I changed a million things from the original, which, for the money, was NEVER going to look good on me. It was made out of big mustard colored chunky yarn. Enough said. And it had a thick woven cable on the body and arms - enough said there too. I need more of a horizontal design, and slimmer cables.

I didn't like the shoulder lines on the magazine one either -- the collar went way out to the arm and it looked like it had raglan shaping -(the pic was small). Being short and curvy with boobs, I need fitted shoulders and a thinner collar. I also wanted some ribs and some seed stitch on the sides ( both for the rest in thinking while I knit and because I think that would make sizing easy if I decide to write this up ;-))

Anyways, a few years and about 20 notebook pages later, here we go.

It's knit out of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran, and took every bit of the 12 skeins I'd had in my stash. I had maybe 3" leftover. The yarn (now discontinued)? It's a lovely chocolate color, a little sheeny, soft and amazing on the hands. It should wear well and pill very little (am guessing here, but I think I'm right - based on my extensive yarn feeling and wearing experiences)

But -- Debbie discontinued it. If I write this puppy up, I'm going to suggest either Berrocco Pure Merino or Karabella Aurora 8 - or a sub from Webs. I also think it could be cool in an Aran tweed like Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran or the amazing Queensland Kathmandu.

I need to put a little invisible button on the inside so the bottoms stay lined up, but you can see how it looks here. With a sundress.

And you know, it can stop raining now, since I'm done knitting -- We leave for our big trip in 6 days. Woo hoo. Just a few more things to do. When I get off the computer. ha.

For vacation knitting, I'll bring a pattern all written up by another knitter so I don't have to think. A big lacy scarf with an easy repeat. I've brought Cherry Fizz from Twist and am also thinking of something I can do an alpaca wrap out of... After all, there are two long plane trips. With multiple legs. And I broke down and got Maya that DS, so the kids will be happybusy.

A drink later.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I can't believe it's almost the 4th! Been getting ready for our long July trip and trying to stay sane in the rain over here.

The beach worked out just fine -- it started foggy, but as the morning wore on it became apparent we chose the one sunny day to go, so we stayed put from 9am all the way till 5pm - missed Karate and everything. No one was leaving once the sun showed up. Since then, it's been rainy.

Except yesterday afternoon, when we decided to gamble again.

We ended up with a somewhat cloudy afternoon at our local pond beach - a bonus since you get the whole joint to yourselves. Since it's literally a block away from our house, we figured we'd stay put. And I had a project to get moving.

Just look how that paid off!

These are coming to Denmark next weekend.

Before we leave, I'm trying to get through the brown cabled number. Just a little more neckline to go and I'll share. My goal is to get it written and charted before I leave, and I'm hoping to find test knitters in August. It takes about 1200 yds of aran merino - or aran tweed. If you're interested and have some in your stash, drop me a comment with your email. I'll need knitters who are comfy with cables and short rows!

Or you might want to wait and see what it looks like first.

Sorry, no drinks this time. Been too busy!

Just a FYI,
I'll be taking the links to purchase patterns off my blog temporarliy (July 11 - Aug 5), since I can't be sure what computer access I'll have or want in Europe. Instead, anyone who wants can purchase on Ravelry where the download is automatic.