Wednesday, 26 October 2011

KAL 3 and Yarn Along 14

Hello my dear knitters and readers! And crocheters of course, too!
Are you sick of pictures of the Surya shawl yet? If so, don't worry - it'll all be over soon. I am approaching the end of my little KAL with Linda and I can't wait to see how the shawl will look after blocking. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, I still have to knit the edge. Even in an unblocked state, the shawl is now so big that it takes up the whole length of the 100 cm circular needle (and more). Here's a close-up of the sunspots in their squishy, unblocked state:
While the pattern is marvellous and correct and neat and absolutely wonderful, I was more than happy to leave the sunspots behind me and move on to the more mindless garter stitch section. I'm usually not a big fan of garter stitch but in this case it was a welcome brainless knit (even if only for a few rows) and it does make a nice looking interlude between the two parts of the pattern. Now I'm two rows into the edge and I already feel the excitement of a soon to be finished project, oh yes!

I've finished "Voyager" by Diana Gabaldon and am now out of Outlander books *eek*. But Christmas is nearing and I have to be patient and work my way through other unread books that are waiting on the shelves. I started on "Northern Lights" by Philip Pullman, which is the first book of the "His Dark Materials"-Trilogy. I'm loving it so far and the fact that we already own the following two books as well pleases me a lot =)

I'm off to Ginny's now to look at your works and books, cya there! =)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Yarn Along 13

It's Wednesday, it's Yarn Along time!
The book I'm showing you today isn't a new acquisition but I haven't shown it here before. It's in use almost every day (except for when I'm lazy) and has helped me to eliminate a lot of pain in my back and neck. "Die 7 Minuten" - I think the original version is called "7 Minutes of Magic" by Lee Holden. Mr. Holden encourages you to spend 7 minutes in the morning and 7 minutes before bedtime with training and breathing exercises, combining Yoga, Pilates and Qi Gong. I have to be honest with you, I need more than 7 minutes for the whole routine but then again I try very hard to do it right. The pictures in the book could be a bit better and I had to look up some postures on the INet because I wasn't clear about how my feet should be standing and things like that. But apart from that I like the book very much. Mr. Holden gives information on his own journey to exercising and provides additional helpful techniques that can be done during the day, like techniques to calm your mind when stress threatens to take over. Particularly the evening training helps me a lot, I can fall asleep better and I am in less pain when I wake up. Being the sloppy person that I am, I get lazy from time to time and climb into bed without my 7 (or 15) minutes of stretching and relaxing. Most of the times I regret that in the morning.

Knittingwise I am especially proud this week. Right now I have my very first own design on the needles! It's a pair of fingerless mittens in a sunny yellow fingering weight sockyarn, the first is already done and I'm happily knitting away on the second one while more ideas for designs swirl through my head. Once the knitting is done I have to take proper photos and write the instructions down so that everyone can understand them. So far I only have a lot of untidy scribbling on several loose pieces of paper... I hope I will be able to do this right but I'm certainly not lacking motivation or excitement =)

Please head over to Ginny's for more knitting inspiration and interesting books!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Yarn Along 12

Hi and welcome to the weekly Yarn Along, hosted by Ginny from Small Things! I finally got my new wooden circular needle and was therefore able to add some rows to the "Surya" shawl which I am knitting for my KAL with Linda from Norway! I have done 7 repeats of the shawl body pattern by now and could move on to the next part if I were aiming for the shawlette size. But as I decided on making the shawl size I have another 2 repeats to go. As much fun as it is to knit the sun spots, I'll be glad to move on with the pattern. I think there will be a couple of garter rows before the leafy edge - some mindless knitting for a change! I can't wait to finish and block the shawl and see those sun spots clearly.

The bobbles are growing, too and they are starting to look better and neater I think. The curling edge is driving me batty, it makes it harder to shift the stitches on the needles and is just a pain in the butt in general. But I so adore the bobbles! All in all I didn't make that much progress knittingwise for two reasons. One: I haven't been knitting as much as usual (I know, call an ambulance!). Two: When I've been knitting, I worked on these little beauties:

The pattern is "Autumn Pumpkins" by Jan Lewis. I've actually made three so far. I gave one to Sebastian's mother and the two in the picture made their way to my godmother, who celebrates her birthday this week. Now I will have to make at least two more because my mother wants one, too and I want at least one for myself! They are easy and fun to make but knitting them is extremely hard on my wrists because the gauge better be tight as hell so the stuffing won't show through. But still, fun to make!

I even have a book to show this week, yay me! It's "Meditation des Lichts" - "Meditation of Light" by Leonardo Boff. Sebastian's mother gave it to me for Easter this year but apart from flipping through I just kept it on the "to read"-pile so far. I haven't read much yet but I kind of like it. It deals with methods and techniques for meditation of the highest light that are suitable even for everyday life. A how-to on filling up on divine energy of light so to say. I've always had trouble with meditating, not being able to focus and getting my mind to shut up and be quiet. I'm often so anxious and antsy, a bit of meditating and calming the mind would be so great. I've picked up on Yoga and it has helped me a lot, especially when it comes to getting some sleep. But I still have to work on surpressing or outletting (is that even a verb??) the constant buzz of thoughts.