Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dayflower mini-KAL update

What a great week-end!!!!

I baked cupcakes (cranberry), watched dvds(Roswell season 2 - first 8 episodes) and went to the movies with Bertie (Knocked Up). (

Actually, after the baking and knitting and choice of movie/tv watching I feel kinda like I've spent the weekend hanging out with Izzie!)

I wasn't really sure what to expect from the film, but I just enjoyed it so much!
It was teen-movie gross in bits and really grown-up and touching in other bits.
And hilarious all the way through!
Definately recommend =)

I also got a bit of knitting done =) (yipa!)

The second Manly Mitt is now fini - it turned out about 2cm bigger, since the first was a bit tight around the thumb, but I have been assured they are equally warm and coomfy.

There has also been considerable progress on the dayflower lace scarf, which I cast on for (with Patons merino totem) on Saturday.

The pattern is a repeat of 16 rows, and though I did have a few false starts while I made sense of the chart (I haven't really laced before) it is now going pretty quickly and I'm up to my 6th repeat.

I'm enjoying knitting it, but am sure I'll be ready for something a little more complex after this (I'm thinking Kiri).

It's not actually blocking - I've just pinned it out for the picture.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend too =)

Friday, July 27, 2007

emergency transplant surgery

After the grossy-outness of Wednesday's burger wall I thought I'd decorate today's post with a some tastier items of dutch cuisine:
stroopwafels (which you can buy fresh at the EPIC farmers' market!!!) just there to the right, and in the pic below we're enjoying a plate (or two) of poffertjes in Amsterdam =) mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I'm not sure whether I posted about it, but when I arrived home (two weeks ago!!!!!) I found my laptop somewhat under the weather.

Something is wrong with the screen - it is staying really dark, I can just barely make out the icons.

A little investigation, Veronica Mars style, suggested a problem with the backlight (the failure of which is apparently often simply due to the failure of one tiny little wire.) in the screen, which looked like it would be reasonably straightforward to repair.

And it would. If Dell made the parts available.
Turns out that the only way to fix the backlight, or its tiny wire, is to replace the entire LCD screen, to do which I was quoted $1500 to $1600!!!! (yes, that's what my entire laptop cost 2 years ago)

Faced with the options of a)having a break down, b) buying a new laptop and c) getting creative (Veronica Mars style! ;)), I picked the third option and gave the vendor a call.

Turned out that for a price (slightly more than the cost of the part but far less that the quote for replacement) I could buy a year of warranty, and someone would come and fix it for me.

I organised the warranty on Wednesday and right now there is a guy here performing emergency LCD screen transplant surgery in my loungeroom.

Here's hoping it works!!!

besos =)

ps. it has to work - I got my invite to Ravelry today (thanks to Bells for her support through the emotional minutes where it hadn't arrived in my inbox and I thought it was never going to come and I would have to go back into the queue for thousands of years (well, a couple of weeks....) - thanks!!!!) and I'm picturing a weekend of exploring =)

pps. taa daa!!! One healthy post-op laptop =)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lacey lust

At SnB on Tuesday (which, btw, was fabulous fun) Georgie, Bells and I put our heads together to decide how best to scratch this lace itch we've all been feeling.
We've decided to tackle the dayflower scarf (clicky-click for pattern, and here for more pics) mini-KAL style! =)

This may be smartly followed by a Kiri, after seeing a gorgeous example on Tuesday night (I'm not sure if Rachel has a blog??), and then probably a forest canopy shawl (since Jejeune's is looking fabulous!!!) =)

The pic to the left there is a special request.

Its a fast-food chain in the Netherlands called FEBO.

The whole wall is made up of tiny boxes, and if you look carefully you can see that in each box there is a burger, or someother snacky item.

The idea is that you don't have to line up at the counter - just put in a euro (or two or whatever)then the little door opens and you can help yourself to the snacky goodness (eeeek) inside.

I have to admit I was never brave enough to try this myself.
I guess the plan is that its handy at night when you've had a few sherbets and you don't mind that your burger has been sitting in the wall for who knows how long.

The thing is, at that time of night there's likely to be quite a number of people on a break from the pub and looking for cheap entertainment.
Legend has it these types will put in the coins and open the door, only to mess with the burger (spit, boogers, whatever) then close the door with the burger still in there for someone else to take!!!!!


(I stuck to freshly prepared fries with the delish satay dipping sauce handed directly to me by the friendly fry cook at the counter instead!!!)

besos =)

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Before I left for my holidays I had plans to do a little yarn shopping while away.

In particular, I had dreams about mountains of sock yarn at bargain prices in Germany (ok, I'm going to admit that I don't actually knit socks, but ooh mountains!!)

Now I didn't actually get a whole lot of yarny action Germany - we did vist a store in the main street of Friedberg (named after a cat?) but we were there on Tuesday and they happen to be closed on Tuesdays!!

Denmark, however, was a completely different story.

Soon after arriving at my host parents house in Gl. Ry I decided to do a little yarny research, to avoid the same sort of closed on Tuesday situation as in Germany.

I had been warned that 'nobody really knits in Denamark any more' (to which my answer was ooooh, I bet they do - you just haven't seen them! Try looking here and here, here, here and ... well, you get the idea =)) so was plesantly surprised when my google turned up a fabulous knitting store in Ry, just a 10 minute drive away!

I have no reservations in putting it out there that GarnGalleriet is one of the absolute best yarn stores in Denmark (and I was staying just around the corner)!

When Mum and I visited the store it was all the website had promised and then some more (ooh and discount baskets out the front are always a good start!)

The girls at GarnGalleriet stock a great range of yarns (some of which are available through only a handful of retailers across Denmark) including Noro, Colinette Yarns, Debbie Bliss, Karen Noe Design and Opal sock yarns.

As well as a delicious range of yarns for knitting, GarnGalleriet also stocks fibre for spinning, felting and weaving, and have just become the Danish retailer for Kromski spinning and weaving.

Birthe (who is responsible for the GarnGalleriet's blog, Den GarnGales Blog - it is all in Danish, but there are some fab pictures) also designs and sells patterns - available on the website for 10kr (about AUS$2.50)

While it sounds cliched, visiting GarnGalleriet really was like being in Aladdin's cave (but without the monkey)

The walls are filled ceiling to floor with hanks and skeins and balls of various yarn types in a great range of jewel colours, as well as racks of finished hand-knitted garments just incase you need more inspiration.

In one corner of the store there is a little studio area - a table holding various WIPs and a spinning wheel - ooh, did I mention that when she isn't blogging or designing Birthe creates the most beautiful handspun yarns?

I think its so nice to see people in a yarn store actually working with the yarn - its so hyggelig and welcoming and makes you feel that you're talking to someone who understands what you need, and it something I think is missing from yarn retailers in Canberra. (Actually, we even saw this in a department store in Paris!!)

It is also the perfect setting for the 'knit cafe' held at the store about once a month.
Mmmm, as if I needed any more reason to wish I was living there! ;)

Besos =)

Oooh, just incase you thought I got away empty handed, there was some purchasing of the yarny variety at GarnGalleriet.

I bought the Noro pictured above (mmm Noro!), as well as some of the GarnGalleriet's own 100% merino (probably handspun and possibly hand dyed)
(The colours there are actually pretty close to real, I think)

Oh, and re the lace, I'm thinking about the dayflower scarf? hmm

(btw, that's us on Himmelbjerg (literally 'heaven mountain') which, at 147m above sea level, is Denmarks highest point!!)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

snow no show

I have to admit that I've been feeling somewhat cheated.

Here I was under the delusion that we livid in an almost civilised city, only to be disappointed back to reality by a day of relatively pleasant weather and a distinct lack of snowy action here in Canberra yesterday.

The forecasts were full of promise - even going so far as to predict two days of snow showers!!

I'm not sure why I had such an emotional attachment to the idea - I guess having just come back from more snow-prone parts of the world has brought back fond memories of European winter wonderlands...

Also, I figure that if it is going to be so fracking cold we might as well get some snow out of it!!

It hasn't been entirely unreasonably cold outside, but chez kuka you could make icecream in a bowl on the couch!!

Seriously - we're talking fog breath all day long in here - although the Boy did zip out to get a new heater on Saturday while I slept off the plane trip (mind you, I am still sleeping off the plane trip - the minute I sit down I'm completely out of it - I even missed NCIS the other day falling asleep on the couch in front of the TV) - that has been a very welcome addition to the family =)

Mind you if you try to have this conversation in a less monologuey kind of way the obvious response is that if you're in a snowy climate its going to be even colder.

The thing is I can deal with cold outside, its the complete lack of heating indoors
here that gets me.

(as I mentioned we had some chilly weather in Denmark while we were over there but indoors was always perfect - the heating is set to 20 all year round! aaaah the luxury!)

Well, I guess, all the more reason to knit mittens, hey ;)
I have yarn all ready to go for finishing the Boy's manly mitts, and also for two more pairs of corazon mittens (for mum and J-Mo).
(I also have an idea for a modification on the squirrelly mitts in mind)

I had been hoping to be finished with the manly mitts by now, I'm sure the boy is keen to have them in the aforementioned cold, but this whole falling asleep the second I sit down is really slowing me down!

I do have a project ready for the danish sourced angora - there was a very pretty pattern for a shawl on the front on a danish magazine I bought, but I would like to try something else in lace before I try a pattern in danish.

Luckily I do still have a ball of lovely reddy maroon coloured kid mohair from England (Cambridge none the less!) that needs a lacey pattern.
Hmmmm help?

Oooh, speaking of knitting and communities and help and patterns and all things exciting like that, I checked my position in the Ravelry queue tonight - there are only 751 people ahead of me!
This might sound like kind of a lot, but there are 11694 behind, so in that perspective it sounds pretty good after all!
I'm not sure how quick the line is moving, but I'm pretty happy to be at that end of it =)

Today's pictures are brought to you by Odense - the home town of fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen.
Aah pretty pretty prettty!!!!

The house believed to be his place of birth has been transformed into a museum - it's very cool.
It was intersting to read a bit about H.C.Andersen as a person - I was really struck by the similarities between him and Vincent van Gogh in how socially awkward they both were - for example being so keen to make close friends with their colleagues but being kept at arms length by everyone around them.

And did I mention pretty pretty?

Besos =)

***edited to add***
Not that I'm being all OC disease (don't call it that!) about this or anything, but just to get an idea of how fast things are moving I checked my position again just now, (midday Friday) and there are now only 676 ahead of me!!!
At this rate I should hopefully get my invite sometime in the next week hurrah =)Now I must get that laptop fixed in preparation =)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chicken little

So, the first day back at work today and the sky didn't fall in.
In fact it wasn't entirely terrible at all (but let's be honest - I'd rather still be somewhere else!!)

Every thing was pretty much the same - a little bit of musical chairs within our section at work (wouldn't be the public service without!) and the yarn selection at W may be marginally worse than before - but mostly it was like I had never been away.

Luckily I have the pictures to prove it!!! =)
I'm not really sure the best way to go about sharing the rest of my trip, so I think I'll post some pictures I like (I may not be able to resist post a couple more from legoland!)and tell you a bit about it as I post about other things.

I plan to upload a whole bunch of photos to my flickr account soon too, at the moment I'm on computer shifts with the boy, since the backlight in my laptop screen has 'expired' leaving it out of action =S

We have spare PC monitor in the study that I am hoping to be able to run the laptop through while I investigate the possibility of repairs. (as soon as I can manage to sit down for a period of more than 27 minutes without falling asleep!! hehe)

The pics here today are from Denmark, a couple from a rose farm close by the farm where my first host family live, the other two from my host aunt's house on Sjaelland where we stayed while visiting around Copenhagen.

Denmark was putting on some of its most unfriendly summer weather on record - as we were heading home to Jylland ferries were on massive delays and there had been traffic banked up on either side of the bridges linking Jylland to the island Funen and Funen to Sjaelland due to the strong winds (the bridge to Germany was closed on account of wind making it too dangerous) (BTW, Denmark seriously has some of the most amazing bridges in the world, also including the Oresund bridge which connects Copenhagen to Malmo in Sweden)- so the fire provided much appreciated danish hygge =)

(aaah, hygge! I heart hygge!! For some hygge without leaving your computer you have to visit Alex at Hyyge House)

Ooh, and see there on the top of the fire, those frying pans?
They're for making aebleskiver!
Remember before Christmas I was trying desperately to get my hands on an aebleskiver pan? (it ended in tears when I couldn't find anyone willing to ship to Australia).

This time I bought one in Denmark then dragged it all around Europe with me to make sure I could get my aebleskiver on back here in Australia!
(ooh I'm so excited to try it out this weekend)

Back home and with the knitting news:
- I see at least two pairs of corazon mittens in my near bus knitting future (actually, that's what the trip to W today was in aid of)
- I have a couple of souvenir yarns, including a blue/green angora which has already whispered that it would like to be some kind of lacey scarf - I'm thinking maybe knitty's Branching Out? Any suggestions for other lacey scarfy type projects?
- Ooh, and I've seen some gorgeous things from magnificent mittens =)

ooh, and hurrah for Wife Swap back on the tv!! (even if it is past my bedtime!! hehe) =)

besos =)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Not just a river in Egypt

Dear colleagues,
Perhaps there are those amongst you expecting me back at work tomorrow.
Surely you have miscalculated the end point of my leave.
I'm sure I'm not even due back in the country for at least 7 weeks.
See, there I am punting at Cambridge.
There is no way I'm going back to work already.
No no no no no.. no... noooo


Friday, July 06, 2007

You're nicked!

Well, we've dodged several disasters to arrive safely in London.
(Thank goodness we dodged the derailed underground funny train story - we were on another line when we heard about it!)
The weather is much of the same, but to be honest it hasn't really stopped us from being out and seeing lots of really cool stuff.
This afternoon we will checkout some of the set up for tomorrow's tour prologue, and maybe swing by Antony Worrall Thompson's for dinner =)


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bonjour from Paris! aka il pleut. C'est la vie.

Well, we made it to Paris, via Amsterdam and Gent (and a little more fun on the train!!)
Unfortunately there seems to be a cell of 13 degree rainy weather following us across the continent!!!
Yesterday was mostly fine, though, so we had the chance to take some pics and a Seine cruise.
Today, being rainy, we had planned to visit the Louvre - but they're closed on Tueday (eek)
So plan 'B' (or so) is a bit of shopping (i'm on the hunt for some Parisian Noro!) followed by Musee d'Orsay and some serious coffee/crepe/people watching.