I have an announcement to make.
London will just have to do without us. We aren’t moving. We are staying in lovely Haarlem and that is just fine with us.

It’s a long story, and as this is a very public forum, I will not go into the details. Don’t bite the hand that feeds and right now that hand is still feeding me so no details for you faithful readers! Suffice it to say that the company I work for is going through some difficult and strange times which means it is not a good time to sell a house and uproot your family to a foreign country, no matter how friendly and nice that country is. I still have a job, for now, but the future is uncertain. The company is going to restructure, that has been announced, but no one knows yet who will be affected or how. We won’t know until mid-December. Merry Christmas.

For now I’m commuting to London quite often. In the last four weeks I’ve gone to London every week for a three day stretch, then worked in Amsterdam the rest of the days. It’s tiring. Even that schedule isn’t set in stone, though, and for the next two weeks I’m staying full time in the Netherlands. During those commuting weeks I’ve been flying to London and taking the train home. The train is wonderful. I highly recommend it.

So! We took our house off the market and are trying to fall in love again with the house and garden and neighborhood. It’s a funny thing. When you think you are leaving you find all the reasons to be glad about it – I didn’t want to fix that fence anyway – I’ll be glad to be rid of that small toilet in the hallway – we won’t have to finish painting after all. But now that we are staying all those things are ours again. We will eventually have to replace that rotting back fence. It will be really nice to finish the painting next Spring.

I always viewed NL as my (adopted) home and knew that we would move back here one day. And now I have to turn my thoughts and emotions around to being happy to not leave here at all. When I’m in London I see what an amazing city it is and how much it has to offer, and when I come home I see how small and provincial Haarlem is, but also how much I like it here. I like being so close to the sea. I like the small city center with all the great shops. I like that it’s quiet after midnight.

I will try to write here more often. It’s been a rough past four weeks. Hopefully I’ve found a level of “zen” where I’m taking things one week at a time. I hope to have more space going forward to write more often.

Knitting I Can Show You

Contrary to what this blog would suggest lately, I actually HAVE been knitting.  I haven’t shown much of it lately because much of it is for presents and putting those projects on the blog would ruin the surprise.  Here’s what I CAN show you.

I finally finished the second sock of this pair of Seasonal Socks.  They are my own pattern which you can download from Ravelry for free.  These are made with Pigeonroof Studios Siren II Sock, color Bitter Orange.  Fantastic yarn that feels as good to wear as it does to knit up.

Do hand knit knee socks stay up?  Well, these aren’t too bad actually.  I’m wearing them in the photo above over nylon stockings, which also helps to keep them up.  When I’m walking down the street I have to pull them up about every 5 minutes.  I can live with that.  I did buy some very thin elastic that I can sew into the top band, but I haven’t gotten around to doing that yet.

I can also show you some knitting WIP (work in progress).

This is the back piece for the Dahlia Sweater I’m working on.  I just finished this part 3 days ago and quickly blocked it to see if it’s the right size and what it looks like.  The color in the photo is COMPLETELY WRONG.  I don’t know why my camera refuses to capture the correct color.  I tried to edit it but could get there.  Below is a photo of the skeins of yarn, and THIS is the correct color:

What a difference, right?  The yarn is Madelinetosh Pashmina, 75% merino, 15% silk and 10% cashmere.  It’s luscious.

The lace square was supposed to end up at 13″ square but mine is 13 3/4″ square.  This is actually good news as it means I can safely knit the 35″ sweater size and it will fit just right.  I was undecided whether to knit the 35″ or 40″ size and now I know.

Here’s a photo of what the finished thing should look like (from Interweave Knits):

I also just finished a birthday present for my niece, which I’ve mailed off to her, and I’m busy with Christmas present knitting, which of course I can’t show you.  I hope to post some photos of said niece wearing said FO in the near future.

With all the upheaval of putting our house on the marketing, ending one job yesterday and starting a new one tomorrow (commuting to London), knitting (and running) keep me sane and calm.  Keep Calm and Carry Yarn is certainly my motto these days.