german yarn and german beer

Posted in knit, travel on April 27th, 2007 by fabienne

oh the colors

last weekend i travelled to münchen to see the wollmeise in person along with bockstark and elem. i had such a lovely time capitulated by diving head first into a huge pile of wollmeise yarn at a spring market. i can’t emphasize how incredible it is to be able to see the hand dyed colors in person and compare and contrast. elem and bockstark were so awesome in person, it totally made my day. they recommended an awesome vegetarian restaurant and the victorian house for some lychee + peach tea (yum). they both must have thought i was a lunatic for my constant yarn and knitting babble, but frankly i don’t have much of an outlet at home what with the lack of weekly knit groups and such in my area (perhaps i should start one?). and before you think i bought too much sock yarn, three of those seven skeins are not staying with me, and the other purchase was worsted weight for a sweater.

i was hoping to finish my wild berry zinger socks before travelling there, but i finished late saturday night, after i saw the wollmeise and bockstark + elem. they started as two-at-a-time toe up stockinette socks to see how much i could squeeze out of a skein of wollmeise, but they ended up as knee socks because i ran out of leg before i ran out of yarn. what better place to finish some german sock yarn socks than in a beer garten in münchen? i now have seven skeins of wollmeise sock yarn in my stash, four from this weekend, and three from earlier, and two finished pairs of socks for myself. i can’t wait until my entire sock shelf is filled with these gorgeous colors.

when in munich,

of all the intersecting lines in the sand i routed

Posted in music on April 23rd, 2007 by fabienne

drake'sbeach03

i don’t usually gush about albums, but frankly i think a love affair with a full album is overdue. the shins‘ newest wincing the night away snuck up on my like a semi truck. firstly, wazee pimped the fourth track “phantom limb” for the past three weeks. from phantom limb’s incredible burst into falsetto on the lyric “follow the lines and wonder why” on to the chorus of oooh-wa-oooh’s in the second half of the song the track eats its way into my ear. i still haven’t the foggiest idea what the lyrics are referring to, but the lack of repetition in the words makes the poetic flow of the song all the more magical.

after hearing track four in constant rotation on wazee, i saw this video blog‘s recording of an outdoor impromptu concert with the shins wandering through the streets in montmartre. when i put two and two together (and 2+2 made 1 since i was in mod 3) and realized the same group was responsible for the awesomeness on wazee and this outdoor concert, i had to grab the album. i’ve since listened to the album in the original track order, top to bottom a dozen times in a few days. the album is folk-pop-rock-stream-of-consciousness-poetry-with-a-touch-of-programmed-loop-electro and i love it.

[the photo is drake’s beach in pt. reyes taken by me in 2002]

knitting on the side of a rock face

Posted in knit on April 18th, 2007 by fabienne

incredible formations

this past weekend i did a fair amount of [secret] knitting and the clincher is that my hands are damaged not from the clinking of needles, but from bouldering in the park on saturday. the sun was out, the smell of deep spring was in the air and it was too warm for hand-knit wool socks. after visiting two local yarn shops i had never perused, i had to sprint home and grab my rock climbing shoes and chalk bag and go plaster myself onto a rock face. i was a bit ambitious for not having clumb in, oh, three and a half years, and managed to leave a large chunk of skin from my left middle finger on the rock.

then monday came around and after work i got itchy to take advantage of the warm air again. the significant other was back in town after a hiatus and we went to kick a soccer ball around in the small park closest to our place. soon a group of teenagers came and asked if they could play a pick up game with us, and we old-sters agreed (i made a stipulation that we would play only if the girls in their group joined in). i had forgotten that teenage energy is one of those volatile, pent-up, steam engine sorts of energy. we played a mean game (the s.o. and i were on separate teams) and in the process i blocked a shot with my hand while it was my turn to be goalie and the index finger on my left hand now has a nasty blood blister hanging out under the surface. luckily when rock climbing i completely cut off all my finger nails or the injury would have been much worse. all that to say that it’s not just knitting injuries (yes that needle that stabbed into my hand last week drew blood) giving me the appearance of a tough girl.

[the photo above is of my hand in October of 2003 in the forest of Fontainebleau south of Paris, home of incredible natural bouldering, and that was probably the last time i really went rock climbing]

learning to knit

Posted in knit on April 13th, 2007 by fabienne

pink scarf and i

1) How old were you when you learned to knit?

i started knitting around age 8, then i had a scarf phase in 2003/2004, and since january i’ve been in a sock mode. in between those manic periods there was zero knitting.

2) Who taught you?

my mom taught me to knit around age eight with a crazy purple and yellow scarf (that she found again a few weeks ago while cleaning). i was sort of a perfectionist and over achiever then and i moved on to multi color intarsia (see an example from that period here) which i learned from a library book. a couple of decades later the incredibly soft mohair from La Droguerie in paris called to me and i made a series of huge needled scarves for people (pictured above is me in 2003 with one of those but with vintage pink italian mohair which i have since ripped and it is back in my stash) and then i put down the needles for another few years. lately i have been blog-taught in the ways of sock knitting addiction. next up: fiber optics and interactive controllers in knitting.

…and hi Bobbi, *smile*, thanks for taking the time to take care of our rather large and widespread sp10 group.

spring was all bundled up in a package

Posted in knit on April 13th, 2007 by fabienne

first package from my secret pal!

oh secret pal, you totally made my week. when weeks get crunchy (you know what i mean, that chewy bad sort of crunchy when the universe seems a bit like it is imploding directly in your direction and you also have a nasty cold? yeah that crunchy), getting a fabulous unexpected thing or two in the mail is just the pick-me-up. my secret pal sent me this wonderfully spring-ily wrapped package of happiness and BAM didn’t the sun just pop back into the sky.

i unwrapped each piece (while on the phone much to the amusement of the person on the other end of the line who chuckled at the funky robotic noise artifacts the crinkling paper made when my voip provider‘s codec processed it) and lo and behold the contents were awesome. first check out the very cute mini knit sock keychain:

sock keychain

and the rest of the amazing package:

all unwrapped... so awesome

…the contents being:

– a lovely blue-striped journal i will be sticking all of my knitting notes in

– wild berry zinger tea which has already inspired some socks

– a beautiful mug, much needed around here the only two in the cupboard have been so loved they are a bit sad

– some prym bamboo double points, which will come in handy for some upcoming plane flights with those nasty metal detectors

– two skeins of yummy soft blue jawoll! yes this will become a pair of socks with a crazy complex stitch pattern, i am sure of it.

– a very cute card and the aforementioned mini sock

So, Ms. Secret Pal, THANK YOU. you rock. yes. *ahem* You ROCK.

when in doubt, wollmeise

Posted in knit on April 13th, 2007 by fabienne

wearable swatch

when all else fails, bust out some wollmeise yarn and everything will be right with the universe. i finished an uber-secret knitting project a week or so ago and since then my knitting mojo has been sort of waning. when i felt down, my wollmeise yarn cheered me right up! even though the crazy purple and fuschia one pictured below looks simple, it actually is in its third iteration after two froggings. oh, and i am calling it the wild berry zinger sock thanks to the awesome tea my secret pal sent me! more soon on her awesome package of gifts. wollmeise yarn is color therapy, the extreme edition.

wild berry zinger socks

secret knitting

Posted in gadgets, knit on April 5th, 2007 by fabienne

how much does one sock take?

these vivid starburst candy-colored orange socks are one of the no-longer-a-surprise gifts i finished lately, but there are some still in transit. i have had to wait for the postal service to drag them across the world before i write about them. nothing is worse than completing a really complicated project and not be able to blog about it or post photos. in the same orange theme, i got to fondle the openmoko phone last week during a birthday bash at which one of the openmoko devs was present with an alpha prototype. this phone is teh sexeh. i seriously can’t wait to have one to add to my growing pile of hackable gadgets!

openmoko linux phone alpha: ports