Small is Beautiful

Now that Nitzer Ebb is finished, I’m working on the baby sweater.  The pattern is called “Daisy” but I’m not doing it exactly as described.  As you can see, I’ve changed the pattern stitch and colors and yarn and gauge.  So sue me.  This yarn is cotton/acrylic blend and feels sooo soft – perfect for a baby.  The shape will be the same as Daisy.  This is the first sleeve.  The fronts and back are done.  I’m working on the second sleeve.  Then the hood is last.  It will be amazingly cute, I’m sure.

I’ve been knitting it mostly at night while watching Master Chef on the BBC.  This is the final week and they are down to 3 contestants.  I find the judges, Gregg and John, incredibly annoying.  I also really hate the fact that the BBC thinks all viewers have the memory and attention span of fleas and are constantly repeating the same lines over and over and over and….  but I’m always curious enough about what the contestants will cook next to keep coming back.  Last year we rooted for Dean, who was ROBBED when he lost.  This year I have a soft spot for 18 year old Emily.   She has such an imagination when it comes to cooking.  I wish I had that!  I have to say, if I wasn’t so busy knitting, I’m be cooking more.

Nitzer Ebb is Finished!

This afternoon I finished the long awaited Nitzer Ebb sweater for DB.  His mom made him the first version about 15 years ago.  It was completely worn out and DB really wanted another one.  Together we charted the album front and back designs.  I knit it, steamed it, sewed it up, frogged part, steamed it again, sewed it again, steamed it again, and voila!  It’s finished and fits perfectly.  I can check that one off my list!

More photos here.

D is for Dikes

Here is DB walking along the dike in Den Helder. We were visiting DB’s parents a few weekends ago and we went jogging on the top of this dike. It separates the North Sea from the town and farm land below. In the very far distance you can see the radar towers of the navy base. Den Helder sits on the farthest northwest tip of the Netherlands. It is a very strategic piece of land, taken over by Napoleon, who left cannons behind, and was bombed to smithereens by the Germans at the beginning of WWII. There’s no old city center in Den Helder, just like Rotterdam. Bombed to dust.

But anyway, back to D for Dikes. Dikes define the Netherlands. Dikes are everywhere. Old dikes, new dikes. Dikes to keep out water. Dikes to keep in water. Dikes of dirt mainly. The Mother of All Dikes would be the Afsluitdijk, which was built between 1927 and 1933. It closed off the Zuiderzee, turning it from a salt water bay to a fresh water lake. What a feat of engineering! Wikipedia has a nice write up about it. Here’s an image that I found on the site of Huub Mous.

I have not yet driven across the Afsluitdijk, but when Mom comes to visit, this is another place I want to take her. (It’s becoming a long list!) The road over the dike is highway A7, linking the province of Noord Holland to province Friesland. We want to visit Friesland anyway, so this is the route we will take.

If you come to the Netherlands, and venture outside the cities, you will see dikes a plenty, water everywhere, and if lucky a few old windmills.

For more D is for Dutch things, check out Andy’s D is for Drop!

Neil Young rocks my world

Monday night we went to see Neil Young at the RAI theater in Amsterdam.  Two nights later I can still hear the music and see the stage in my head.  Neil Young has been my musical hero since I first heard After the Gold Rush, some 33 years ago.  33 years!  How is that possible?  Unlike other old rockers who are still around, Neil has never stopped experimenting and making new music, his own way.  And man this 62 year old man can still burn the house down with his sizzling guitar.  I loved every minute of it.  The first half of the concert was acoustic with Neil moving between his circle of guitars, to the piano, and back again.  The second half was loud and rockin’ with the band backing him up.  I’m not a music reviewer, so I won’t attempt to do that here.  There are plenty of sites with reviews you can google.  I only wanted to post about my own personal excitement and enjoyment of the event.

I’ve been a Neil Young fan nearly all my life.  Who else can you say that about?  No other singer/author/actor/band/act has followed me through my life and has affected me at an impressionable age.  I listened to Neil sing “Oh Lonesome Me” last night and I had to smile when, in my head, I head the skip/click of the worn out vinyl record I played over and over and over as a teenager.

I have to say, I’m very glad the concerts (3 nights in a row) were at the RAI instead of at Heineken Music Hall or somewhere larger.  I wished we all would have stood up and danced through the whole of the second half.  I found it hard to sit still!  It was only during the last 2 songs that everyone stayed standing and rocked out to the end.

I loved the evening.  I loved seeing Neil.  I loved that he was in a good mood and played with the audience as well as played to us.  I loved hearing my old friends played again and hearing new songs I didn’t know so well.

Come back again Neil.  I’ll pay the big bucks. :-0