Another Traveling Shawl

Last week, after coming back from Berlin, I finished this little shawl.  It was my travel project and was supposed to last me another month! I guess I’ve been traveling too much.

The pattern is from Joji Locatelli, called “Imagine When”.  It uses ~150g of fingering weight yarn.  I used a skein of Wollmeise in color Digitessa.  It weighs 154g and I had 6g leftover.  Just enough!

I knit this as part of the Yarniacs Colors of Fall KAL and as part of that KAL you had to “style” your project.  Well, it’s just too hot right now to even think about wearing wool around your neck.  So I put some clothes together on a hanger and that would have to do.

This color is so specific I think I can only wear it with black or grey or brown.  I really like the fact that it is reversible and I don’t have to think about right or wrong sides, and it was very simple to make.  And of course the Wollmeise yarn is fabulous.  Looking for a good travel project? Pick this one!

Speaking of the hot weather, here’s a photo I took this morning when I went out for a run.  I managed to run for 1k and walked another 4.6k.  It was just too muggy and warm.

Parnassia in May

We were at the beach before the crowds today.  Actually we were surprised at how quiet it was.  I went for a 5k run and DB sat at a table at Parnassia strandtent as he was recovering from a night with friends in Haarlem.  And his long run will be tomorrow.  Anyway, it was a lovely sunny day in the dunes and at the beach.

I did the usual 5k loop and even in that small distance I saw bunnies (too fast to photograph), 3 groups of highland cattle, 2 groups of wild horses, a shetland pony, lots of furry caterpillars, lots of birds and waterfowl.

I’m sure that tomorrow, Sunday, there will be traffic jams getting to the beach and back.  It’s a lovely place to come hang out or walk around or just sit and read or knit and drink coffee.  But come early or come by bike or train.  But definitely come.

New Plants

Wow, gardening is tiring! Just 4 hours in the garden, planting new plants, pulling weeds, cutting the front hedge, and I’m sore and tired.

I started by going to the local garden center.  It was packed, as I expected on a sunny Saturday morning in Spring.  I spent an hour wandering around, picking out what I wanted and wheeling my heavy cart around.  When my cart was full I figured I’d better get out of there.

Above is the small area just next to our front door.  It’s a place where I’ve not been able to grow anything.  It’s the sunniest place we have and it doesn’t get any rain.  Everything dies that I plant there, mostly from neglect.  I am determined this year to make it look nice.

I bought the plants and pots and rose quartz stone.  It will have to be watered every day. Every single day.  It will become a ritual.

The thing I like about having a lot of little pots is that I can change out what plants run their course and put in new ones as we go through the season.  I won’t be precious about them.

I also planted pansies on either side of the little fig tree, and put a hortensia/hydrangea in a pot.

And planted some new strawberry plants.

And I also fertilized roses and the cherry and pear trees and the blackberry bush. I’m expecting great things in the garden this year.  I make the best of my small spaces.

Spring in Haarlem

This morning I went for a walk around our neighborhood.  In the middle of the night last night I had to get up and take a migraine pill, which meant that I really didn’t feel like running this morning.  But I did want to get out and walk.

The above photo was taken in a small park about 3 blocks from our house.  Daffodils are in bloom everywhere right now.  The crocuses have already come and gone.  It was a chilly but sunny morning and the only people out walking were people with dogs, or small kids, and me – the only single walker! People don’t walk on Sunday mornings it seems unless they have a dog or kid – or a camera.

I walked through the park, then along the canal next to the Jan Gijzekade.  I was looking for the black swans.  Every winter they disappear and I don’t know where they go, and then in Spring they are back along the canal.  This year there are 4! When we first moved here I only ever saw 2.  Then for a few years there were 3 – a pair and a singleton that I think is one of the pair’s offspring.  Now 4!  The pair are always swimming together.  The 3rd one hangs around with the pair but is not a partner with either of them.  The 4th one that I saw today was hanging out within site of the group of 3, but didn’t seem welcome or interested in swimming with them.

the pair

Last winter (2012-13) was so very cold and lasted well into June, and I don’t think any of the pair’s cygnets survived.  I didn’t see any anyway.  We’ve had a very mild winter this year and Spring has really started nicely, so maybe the pair will have young that will survive.  Maybe the 2 singles will soon have mates.  It’s just nice to see them back each year.

Windy Day at the Beach

Windy Day
Windy Day

As we often do on Sundays, we went to the beach and dunes for a run/walk.  He ran, I walked.  And I took some photos.  It was sunny and cold and very windy.

The wind made interesting relief sculptures out of small stones and shells.

wind sculptures

I haven’t seen any animals here for quite a while.  I don’t know where they are hiding! I see lots of sheep and cattle poop, but not the animals themselves.  I did find a hole in the side of a hill where I think the fox lives.  Maybe I’ll have to do a stakeout and see if he comes out.

trees in dunes
winter lake

Little Birds

bird out the window

I was going to show you my progress on the lime lace project today, however, that project is in time out.  I’m mad at it.

Saturday morning I was working on it, starting a new pattern round.  The stitch count didn’t work. There was something wrong.  I counted, then recounted, and counted again.  Only after knitting and tinking 12 stitches, 4 times, did I see that there was a very small notation at the beginning of the chart on row 83.  “1M.Z.”  Oh. What the heck does this mean?

I remembered reading on Ravelry that on some rows you have to shift the start of the round 1 stitch ahead or behind.  I guessed that I needed to move 1 stitch backwards (zuruk) and indeed, once I did that, the stitch count came out perfect. On I went.

However, moving these stitches around means moving the stitch markers and somehow, I have no idea how, I dropped the stitch marker, went to reach for it, and pulled the stitches off the needles and dropped 3 stitches. And they fell. And fell.  This is at the mesh section.  You know, with double yarn overs and ssk and k2t stitches making a mesh.  I tried to recover and knit it back up, but it looked bad and I was not happy.

I tinked back 3 rounds. That took well over an hour.  Then proceeded to drop 2 more stitches and tinked back 2 more rounds.  And then when I tried to start knitting again nothing looked right.  It was, by then, 9pm Saturday night.  Screw you lace knitting.  I obsessed over this thing all day and couldn’t face it anymore.

I put it down at the end of the couch and there it has sat all day.  In time out.  It’s been a long time since I’ve gone a day without knitting, but today is a break day.  Tomorrow will be better.

The above photo was taken out of our living room window this morning.  Isn’t he pretty?