Friday, December 27, 2013

A Beautiful Day in Santa Fe


I have wanted to visit northern New Mexico for a long time, and it is even more enchanted than I had imagined. The sky sparkles a rich blue against the tan land and adobe buildings.

The air is cool and crisp, just as I had hoped. And the food is that wonderful fusion of southwestern America and Mexican.
This is the part of the world where painter Georgia O'Keeffe found a spiritual home and just being here gives me a taste of why.
This desolate desert landscape offers up a freedom and clarity, the emotions I feel in her works, like the one above that we saw at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum this morning. 
From there, we headed over to Canyon Road, one of the places art collectors go to shop. We wandered in and out of galleries, finding an unending parade of beautiful and thought-provoking works. None in our price range, but that's OK. I don't know how anyone chooses just one. Or even two.
Driving the high road to Taos this afternoon, we came across this lovingly preserved church in a little town.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

True Holiday Knitting Cheer

What a perfect way to start out the day:

I met my friend Marsha at La Brioche, bakery/restaurant in our part of town, for breakfast. She's a knitter, too. Luckily business was slow (I assume most people were out finishing their shopping!), so we were able to linger and knit. As you can see, I'm still plugging away at my Les Cables de Faux leg warmers. I was sipping a hazelnut steamer.

Being Jewish in a Christian world can be a little strange. But I have to say that it was lovely yesterday to have the day off and no festivities to prepare for. I love to knit and talk with Marsha. She's the kind of person who listens well, offers support, shares insight. And she is hilarious! I hope I am half the friend that she is.

Today we are having Christmas dinner with Keith's family because on Christmas itself we are flying to Albuquerque, then driving up to Santa Fe and Taos. Even though we are in the midst of binging on Breaking Bad, we are not going to take one of the Breaking Bad tours in Albuquerque. I can't wait to hit all the galleries and museums, while Keith is looking forward to skiing.

May your holidays be happy!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

For A Special Girl

My dear, dear niece has been diagnosed with POTS -- Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which is caused by a low volume of blood returning to the heart after a person stands. The most common symptoms are ligh-theadedness or fainting. My sweet girl has also been suffering from headaches, nausea, and a sensitivity to light and sound.

I wanted to share this because it took doctors almost a month to figure out what was wrong, a month in which she was unable to go to school or do much of anything. We had never heard of this, and apparently many doctors were unaware of it also! It tends to strike women between the ages of 15 and 50. Young women like my niece, who is 13, usually are symptom-free within five years.

Since I haven't figured out how to send hugs to the East Coast, I knit up this pair of Peekaboo Mitts (my current obsessions) for her. The yarn is Plymouth Jelli Beenz Yarn, a 75% wool/25% acrylic blend that gets a 4/5 star rating on Ravelry. I found it to be very pleasant to knit with. It's machine-washable, which I decided was uber-important to this busy family.
One of the symptoms of POTS is cold hands, so I hope my niece finds warmth and comfort in these mitts. I also hope the line at the post office isn't too long!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday


During last week's cold snap, I discovered that leg warmers are even warmer than pants. The one set I have is a purple-ish pink, so it doesn't match all of my clothes. I decided that I needed a set in a more neutral color. Thus I launched into this:

 

It's the first of the Les Cables de Faux leg warmers. It's a free pattern, very easy, great TV knitting. 

I picked out the yarn by wandering through my LYS. This gray heather colorway called out my name. It's Galway Worsted in gray heather. It's fairly scratchy, but I'll be wearing it over tights, so I don't think that will be a problem. There was a similar color in Cascade 220. The Galway won out because a) it was $1 cheaper per skein; and b) it did not need to be swifted before knitting.

I have a great swift (this LYS doesn't offer swifting), but swifting does take time and effort. We are starting a couple new programs at my school, and I am working killer hours. So at this point, not swifting is a huge advantage.

However, I will find a few moments to check out the other WIPs on Tami Amis' WIP Wednesday post!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Discontinued?



I love this mini-mitten. I especially like the glowing orange-yellow color. It's made from one of my favorite yarns: Cascade Quatro. I was looking at the Cascade wall at my LYS a few days ago and noticed there were only a few skeins of Quatro. A staffer happened by and said, "It's discontinued, you know."

No, I didn't know!

Every now and then, my old news reporter instincts kick in. I just have to know what's going on with Quatro!  I found a brief and uninformative exchange on Ravelry here. The Webs site says it is discontinued, but the Cascade site doesn't have any information at all. 

The best I can surmise is that the lovely, two-toned Quatro has been discontinued. However, there is a superwash version (who knew?) that seems to be available.

Still I love the original and I am crestfallen that I missed any discontinued sales. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to buy up half the stock at my LYS. You never know when a great yarn is going to be discontinued! Anyone remember Sheep Shop Yarn?

And why am I knitting a mini-mitten? That, my friends, is another post!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Well the high temperature here today was 16 degrees Farenheit -- that's -9 Celcius. In other words, it was COLD! So it's a good think I finished these:

These are my second pair of Peekaboo Mitts, knit from the amazingly soft worsted produced by Three Irish Girls, right here in Wisconsin.

I have to apologize for the fuzziness of the second picture -- but, hey, when it is 16 degrees outside, you snap those photos pretty darn fast.


I wanted to include this photo to show you how luxuriously long these mitts are. They are so, so cozy. I just love them!

I actually like this weather, as long as the wind is mild. It is just so nice to curl up with a good book -- or some knitting -- when the air is so sharp. However, I've been trying to resist both of those activities for the most part because my house needs a good cleaning and de-cluttering. I usually do these in the summer, when I'm off school, but my broken leg interfered with last summer's cleaning. So I'm trying to make up for that now.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

When Mitts Are A Necessity


When you keep your thermostat at 62 -- or colder -- you realize the value of fingerless mitts.  I finished my first pair of Peekaboo Mitts just before Thanksgiving and immediately started second pair. The first pair were quickly swaddled in wrapping paper as a holiday gift for my son's girlfriend. Either she's a really good actress or she loved the mitts. (Although, there's no reason both those couldn't be true!)

It's been a tough fall, so I indulged myself and bought a skein of Springvale Worsted from Three Irish Girls. These indie dyers are based in Superior, Wis., so I can feel good about buying local -- even though Superior is about a 7-hour drive from Madison! The colors are luscious and the yarn is buttery soft. It's quite a nice little luxury in the middle of this busy season.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Am Rich


Ok, that may be an exaggeration. But I made more than $300 at the Local Products art show on Sunday. I realize this is small change, but it is a record for me. This is a fairly small show, but this little success makes me want to shoot higher.

However, I'm going to have to do something about my display first:

It's pretty amateurish, I know. Designing a low-cost display is harder than you might think. I know that I need to go to some other shows/fairs and really pay attention to the displays. It's just so easy to get distracted by what they are selling!

Doing a show on Sunday was exhausting after the Thanksgivakkah weekend, but it was worth it!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Miter Made


 I never seem to get tired of patterns using mitered squares. I think that you have to love this technique to do it because most patterns require that you knit a lot of them.


Mitered squares make for great TV knitting. Keith and I are just beginning the 3rd season of Breaking Bad, which is helping quite a bit with this baby blanket. Still, I feel a little odd knitting a baby blanket while watching such a dark show!

Not that I've watched one minute of TV this weekend. Cooking and hanging out with family has kept me busy. Last night I got to celebrate Hanukkah with both of my kids, and I was in heaven! 

Is there a technique that you never tire of?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Longing For Turkey

This is how Nagi spent much of Thanksgiving day:

He is looking up at Keith's brother, Brian, who was carving the turkey. Whenever anyone was near the bird, he took up this post!

We had a relatively quiet -- but truly relaxing -- holiday. I was nervous about roasting the turkey -- it's only the third time in my life that I have done so -- but it turned out to be deliciously juicy meat, perfect for homemade cranberry sauce. Keith's family has a tradition of eating noodles and gravy over mashed potatoes. I know it sounds odd, but I was a fan the first time I tasted it!

So, one holiday down; one to go. Tomorrow night we celebrate Hanukkah!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Suddenly It's Winter

Less than a week ago, it was sweater weather. Then the overnight temperatures plunged to 7 degrees (-14 degrees celsius) this past weekend and this morning we woke up to snow. Fortunately, I love cold crisp days, especially when the sky is blue, as it was today.

I also love getting to wear my hand-knits. I pulled out these mittens over the weekend:

They are from Robin Hansen's book, Favorite Mittens. They are actually quite homely, at least as I knit them, but they are so warm. They taught me why Fair Isle is more than decorative.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It is easy to forget how fragile life is as we rush from one commitment to the next. But a few weeks ago, I had a reminder:

I made the mistake of trying to drive across town after a Badger game. The Badgers are the University of Wisconsin's football team and Badger games are major events in this town, where the stadium seats 80,000 fans. I live a little more than a mile from the stadium, and I know enough to stay put on game days. But last Saturday, I really wanted to attend a meditation group on the other side of Madison.

It quickly became clear to me that the traffic was impossibly thick and there was no way I'd get to my event in time. So I drove around block and headed back home. I thought I was through the worst of it
when a SUV ran a stop sign and crashed into my beloved little car:

The hulking vehicle hit the driver's side broadside. If I had been three feet further into the intersection, I'd be dead. The other driver was very nasty -- until the police arrived. I think I shook for two days. Let's face it, Americans die on the road every day.

I always worry that I'll space out for a second and have an accident. I can't imagine living with the guilt of hurting or killing someone. However, the driver of the SUV bolted into a very busy intersection. The roads were in near-gridlock. This was a very deliberate attempt to somehow jump ahead of the other cars. This was not an "accident' in the true sense.

Of course, the irony of getting hit when I was trying to get to meditation is obvious. I think the other driver should do some meditation! I can't do anything about the other party, but I hope that I've become a more mindful driver.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Rare Event: Stash-Busting

If you've been following my holiday knitting saga, you are no doubt dying of boredom. I am now on my 5th Turn-a-Square Hat by Jared Flood. It's a great pattern, but even I need a little diversion.

Since I SHOULD be holiday knitting, I decided that it would be OK for me to do some stash-busting.

I wanted something quick but useful, something that could be a gift or for myself. Seeing as fingerless mitts seem to be quite the fashion item this season, I went in search of a simple, comfy pattern. I found one that I love: Peekaboo Mitts.

This pattern is so simple, but is exactly what I was looking for. Often, mitts are too short in either the cuff or the hand (or both) for my taste. These are 9 inches long -- which is downright luxurious. I am thinking that it would be nice to turn out a few of these for gifts!

What are your last-minute gift knits?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Jewelry FO


 I wish I could take credit for this lovely wrapped bracelet:
 
But I have to give credit where credit is due. The Lissome Plum Bracelet is the brainchild of Roxi Rogers. The bracelet and directions for making it can be found on your newstand right now in Quick + Easy Beadwork, a special issue from the Beadwork folks.

It's a very simple but elegant pattern that uses sizes 11 and 8 beads. You can give it a more dressy feel with a more formal button for the closure. I chose a vintage plastic button from my stash since I don't have much occasion for formal jewelry.

My co-workers paid me many compliments, so I'm wondering if I could whip up a few more for holiday gifts? I think it would be tons of fun to check out different color combinations.

This particular issue of Beadwork has lots of great projects that aren't too difficult. And, no, I'm not getting paid by Beadwork to hawk their magazine!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Work Sock

I hope I'm not the only who knits at work. I don't knit in front of the kids. For one thing, they'd probably try to snatch my dpns to use in play fights. Secondly, I don't think I could solve linear equations while turning a heel.

The times when I NEED knitting is when I'm in meetings. I've never been good at sitting still. Both of my careers involve jobs with lots of movement: newspaper reporting and teaching. I got through high school and college by doodling and working on my handwriting (and I do have lovely handwriting). I really think I'm one of those people who thinks better when she has something in her hands.


I started the sock above at the beginning of this school year. In the past, It has taken me a year to do a single sock. I finished this one at the end of the first quarter -- which tells you a lot about how things are changing for teachers, at least in Wisconsin.

Thank goodness for knitting! At this point, I could knit two full pairs by the end of the school year!

Friday, November 8, 2013

FO Friday!

It has been a long time since I posted an FO, but here, at last, is the Turn a Square Hat.

Since none of my male relatives read my blog, I guess I can say that I'm churning these babies out like nobody's business because this they are all getting one for Hanukkah. Or Christmas. Between them, they celebrate in a variety of ways.

I've made four of these, but would like to knit a couple more. Or not. It would be fun to do something else! Still, I am happy with the way the hats turned out. The colors of the Noro really stand out against the solid stripes (Cascade 220). I knit the hat per the directions, except I did a longtail cast-on, which seems to be plenty stretchy. The pattern calls for a tubular cast-on, but I'm devoted to the longtail. It's always worked for me.

How are you doing on your holiday knitting?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

SOFA Is Not a Couch!


My friend Tsela and I headed to Chicago last weekend to attend SOFA, the Sculpture Objects and Functional Art + Design, held on the Windy City's Navy Pier. It's the kind of place where "real" artists show and sell their works -- and the kind of event that attracts the truly rich. The cheapest thing we saw was a simple metal ring for $495! All in all, it's a fascinating event.

This piece is woven from pages of magazines and comics:

Would anyone ever drink out of these hand-painted coffee cups?


And there were lots of "dolls" -- none of which you would want a young child to play with!

It was a typical November day: cold, windy and gray. Still, I love the skyline under any circumstances!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Featured on the Web

One of my drawings is featured on the Draw Madison web site. You can see it here.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pricing Is Hard

With a craft fair coming up at the end of this month -- not to mention that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day this year -- I am beginning to freak out a little bit. This week, I've been working to turn out a few necklaces made of these beads:
I love these beads and I get tons of compliments on the necklace I wear. But this week I've become painfully aware of how much work they are. First I have to make the beads from clay; second, I have to bathe them in brown acrylic paint to give them an old, worn look; and third, I have to wipe and then sand off the paint.

All in all, it's a time-consuming process. And while I love they way they look, these beads make a simple statement. So I have no idea how much to ask for them! There are all sorts of books and articles about how to price your jewelry, but in the end, it comes down to this question: What will people pay?

I have a feeling that I'll be making this decision at the final moment!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Purse Knitting


 This sock has seen a lot of doctors. 

Oh, there's nothing wrong with the sock. It's just the project that I carry around town with me so that I can knit whenever I have a few extra moments. Because of breaking my leg earlier this year, I've spent a lot of time in doctor's offices!

I used to get a lot more purse knitting done, but then I got my iPhone and discovered Bejeweled, which is an incredibly addictive game. When I first got hooked on it, I emailed my friend Dori, who had been playing for a while, saying that I had a "little Bejeweled problem." She replied: "Oh, there is no such thing as a LITTLE Bejeweled problem!"

I really want to cut back on the Bejeweled, though, because the knitting really is a better use of my time!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Bit of Beading

When I am really stressed, I find that following a pattern to make jewelry is relaxing.
I've put these little bracelets together over the past week, using a pattern that I Xeroxed from a book a while ago. I think that the pattern may from Hip to Bead, but I'm not sure.

Why so much stress? Well, it goes without saying that work is stressful. The continuing cuts to education funding makes each year harder than the one before.

And then I have yet another health problem. I mean, really, wasn't breaking my leg in April enough? Apparently not. I had a CAT scan a week ago to see if I had a concussion (smacked my head into the mantel while cleaning -- doesn't everyone do that?). The concussion was mild, but it turns out I have severe arthritis in my right jaw. And I am nowhere near old enough to have such a severe case.

For some reason, that news really upset me. But I've begun physical therapy and it is feeling more manageable. A friend says I should use it as an excuse to go to a milkshake diet ... which is tempting!

The bracelets are a simple right-angle weave with 2 x 2 squares, embellished with fire-polished glass beads. They helped. And they have fewer calories than a milkshake!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another Baby Blanket


The gift-knitting extravaganza continues: 
One of my co-workers is expecting a baby in January, so I "had" to start a second baby blanket of the year.

I'm going with a quilt-type look, just plain squares. I finished my last baby blanket in August (also for a co-worker) and it was a log-cabin design. I'm doing mitered squares, which I have done a lot of. I just love them and find that they are fairly mindless.

I'm using the same yarn I did for the last blanket -- Lion Brand Jiffy -- which I love for its thick and sturdy qualities. It has the added bonus of being stash busting --unless I find that my left-over yarn isn't enough and I need to "invest" in more Jiffy.

Mindless knitting does have its drawbacks -- i.e. boredom -- so it's a good thing that Keith and I recently began watching Breaking Bad!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Loving that Noro

(It is tempting to start out by apologizing for my gap in blogging, but that is SO boring that I'll assume that you assume that I am indeed sorry.)

There has been some knitting, but not much to say about it. I am still churning out gifts. This is my third Turn a Square Hat by Jared Flood. The colors in the photo seem to have a purplish tint; in reality, the solid yarn is black and the variegated is gray and blue. I do love watching the color changes in the Noro.

It took me a long time to understand what anyone saw in this scratchy yarn -- but now I do. It's a good thing the yarn is too scratchy for me to wear against my skin or I'd be tempted to invest a fortune in Noro yarns.

I should have taken some photos last weekend when my daughter was visiting from Washington, D.C. It's so amazing to watch her turn into a fabulous adult person who I would want as my friend. She and her brother are applying for grad school next fall, so it's going to be a long winter of waiting to hear where they will end up!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Due To Technical Difficulties

When I got back from my travels this summer, my scanner would not cooperate. I had all these great sketches, and no way to get them digitized! Back to school time is always hectic, so it took a while for Keith and I to figure out the problem.

So, in the spirit of better-late-than-never, here are a few of my favorites. The first one is from Madrid:


I drew this sitting on the steps of a little Church on a square near our apartment. I worked in the mornings while sipping my coffee and nibbling a chocolate croissant. It is a very typical apartment building from the older sections of Madrid. Those wrought iron railings are everywhere and give the city an elegant feel. I had a lovely soundtrack while drawing: the morning services a the church!

This next sketch is from Copenhagen:

This was the first castle that my daughter, Rachel, had ever seen, and it was so much fun to share that discovery with her. The wealth contained in these castles resonated strongly with both of us -- how can the few have so much when the many have so little? Nonetheless, it is magical to walk the halls of history and have the people and places jump of the pages of history books.

And I have to add that sketching has added depth to my travels. I really see something when you draw it. The experience is more important than the final product!



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Same Hat, Different Color


Yikes! I did not blog at all last week. Just one of those weeks. Lots of work. Spent time with family. Who knows where the hours go?

There was some knitting, though.


This is yet another Turn a Square Hat by Jared Flood. Again I'm using the yarns called for in the pattern: Cascade 220 (black in this case) and Noro Silk Garden in a gray/blue colorway. At this point, I am not at all tired of knitting this pattern, so maybe I really will be able to knit four more!

However, I have enough gift projects that I'm going to need some tv/videos. A friend keeps encouraging me to watch Breaking Bad. A long time ago, I watched the first episode and it was just too dark for me. My friend says it's worth it. Have you seen Breaking Bad? What did you think?







Saturday, September 28, 2013

More Gift Knitting


I am almost done with this scarf. I love to wear scarves, and I love to give them as gifts. I feel like they are likely to be worn by the giftee. Fingering-weight scarves have always appealed to me. They are so pretty and light-weight enough to wear comfortably. But, few things are as tedious as a fingering-weight scarf!

I'm nearing the finish line with this, and I will be glad to cast-off! But I still think it's pretty and I know the exact person to appreciate it!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gift knitting

No selfish knitting for this girl!

There are so many things I want to knit for myself, but I decided a while ago that I was going to give knitted gifts to all the guys on my list. Hanukkah falls really early this year, so I don't really have time to change my mind.

So, hat number 1 is almost done:


It's  the Turn A Square Hat by the ever-popular Jared Flood, who blogs at Brooklyn Tweed.

It's a great pattern, fast but a truly lovely finished hat. I'm using the yarns he calls for: Cascade 220 for the solids and Noro Silk Garden for the stripes. Noro is SO expensive, so it's nice to use it as one yarn in a project. I think I can get at least two hats out of one skein of each yarn.

Am I the only one thinking of the holidays?


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcoming the Cold

The weather here went from summer to fall overnight, which gave me the opportunity to cover myself with hand knits:

I am wearing a hat from a Vogue Magazine pattern; mitts from a free Internet pattern; basic ribbed leg warmers knit with Kidsilk and Cascade 220; and a very simple shawl. I love fall!

We ate outdoors last night -- in a temporary structure called a sukkah. The sukkah is part of the Jewish celebration of Sukkot, a harvest celebration.

It was a potluck, and most of the dishes were vegan. It seems like more and more people I know are vegan, which I find challenging to cook for. I make a lot of vegetarian dishes, but many of them have cheese or eggs.

Are you running into this, too? My friend Tsela recommends two books: Vegamonicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. I am going to check these out. It's not that I plan to ever become vegan -- no more cheese? forget it! -- but I  want to be able to make food for all my friends.

Are you running into more vegans these days, too?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Getaway

Keith and I drove to Milwaukee Saturday morning. Luckily we wanted to do a some indoor activities because it was a rainy, windy weekend.
We toured the botanical domes, which were a bit disappointing because the tropical dome was closed for maintenance.

We really enjoyed a special exhibit on African-American art at the Milwaukee Art Museum:



And we went to some fun restaurants, like Honeypie on the hip Kinnickinnik Street, where the meals are homey and the pies are amazing!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

With school starting this week, I haven't done a whole lot of knitting. But I haven't yet shared with you this great painting I saw in an art museum in Copenhagen:

The painting, titled "Anna Seekamp," depicts the artist's sister, knitting in her hand! Bertha Wegman, a Dane, of course, painted it in 1882. It was so much fun to stumble on this little masterpiece at the Statens Museum for Kunst -- the National Gallery of Denmark.

Do Europeans know how lucky they are to be surrounded by so much beautiful art and architecture?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

One Done & One Begun

I finished this last night:

I thought that weaving in all the ends would be tedious but it was not, thanks to my current Netflix obsession. I have been watching Arrested Development from the start and I am really liking it. It is quirky so it might not be for everyone, but it has grown on me.

I immediately jumped into another baby blanket using the same yarn, Lion Brand Jiffy.

I need some variety so I am going to do muttered squares - even though that will leave me with a lot of ends to weave. Thank goodness for Netflix!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Knitting Deadline

Let me start by saying that I have already missed the deadline. The little boy who will be receiving the blanket has already made his entrance.

Still, I'm close to the end. I've just begun picking up stitches for the border. Yes, it is a little crooked; apparently I picked up too many stitches on one square. Oh well. I think a little boy will not mind at all.

The mom is a coworker who I just adore. I'm even forgiving her for taking time off work!

It's a Log Cabin-style blanket that I just made up as I went. The yarn is Lion Brand Jiffy. I like it for baby blankets because it wears like steel, can be washed and dried by machine, and makes a nice puffy surface to lay a baby on.

I can't wait to finish it so I can go over my friend's house and meet Cole!

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Body is Home But My Mind ....

is still here:

This is the quintessential Copenhagen scene. Nyhavn is the old harbor and still one of the most beautiful places I've been. As hard as it was to leave Denmark, it was even harder to leave my daughter back at her home in Washington, DC -- as well as my brother and his family. In my perfect world, all the people I love would live in the same city as I do!

My daughter, who has absolutely no interest in knitting, helped me find a yarn store in Copenhagen. Somehow we had the wrong address, but Rachel figured it out. Then she waited patiently while I examined the wares at Sommerfuglen, which was a moderate walk from our hotel:


I had done my research so I knew that this is the premier yarn store in Copenhagen. As you can see, it was filled with yummy stuff. They also had some gorgeous knits on display:


The selection of yarns was brought and lovely, albeit expensive. This is not a place to go for cheap yarn. Much to my surprise, the prices on given yarns were no higher than they are in the United States. As advertised, the staff is friendly and helpful.

I simply could not leave empty handed, and ended up with a couple of "souvenirs":


The skein toward the top is Hand Maiden Casbah, a luxurious mix of merino, cashmire and nylon. I have no idea of what I'm going to do with it, but I had to have it! The colors are so rich and deep. I'd heard about but never seen this yarn before. It's a pricey one, and I just wasn't willing to buy it over the Internet.

Below that is a second ball of Crazy Zauberball. I wrote about discovering this yarn a few weeks ago here. I am still knitting on that scarf and love it so much that I have to make another one in this colorway.

Speaking of colors, do you see a pattern there?

Now I need to go back on a yarn diet -- just as I need to stop with the chocolate-filled croissants that you find all over Europe!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hamlet and Knitting

Yesterday Rachel and  I took a whirlwind bus tour so we could see castles and Viking ships that are 30 to 45 miles outside of Copenhagen. I generally avoid tours because I like to go at my own pace, but there were so many places we wanted to see.

The first stop was to see Kronborg castle in Helsingor. This is the castle were Shakespeare set Hamlet. It is the oldest standing castle in Denmark and a World Heritage Site:


Next we headed to Hillerod to see the Frederiksborg castle. First we stopped on town for lunch. A half block from the cafe I spotted this:


Yes, it is a yarn store! I rushed in and quickly bought this:

I know nothing about this yarn, but I like the colors and it is a brand I had not seen before. I will have to check it out on Ravelry when I get home.

I am glad that I rushed in the store because the castle is magnificent.

This  Renaissance castle was built in the 16th century by King Christian IV, and it is the ultimate fairy-tale castle. We walked through it in wonder.

We finished the day by touring a cathedral and the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde.


It was a great day, made even greater by sharing it with my daughter!