Friday, April 16, 2010

Yarn, yarn, everywhere YARN...

Yes, it's true. I knit and I have yarn. Lots of yarn. Lots of nice, soft, beautiful yarns.

My lace yarn collection... *Click on photos for a larger/clearer view

Sock yarn
... some brands (Regia) can be found in a couple of the German grocery stores... Can't you see it now? Just buy some yogurt, gummy bears, and some sock yarn and soon you have lots of sock yarn.

My wollmeise yarn collection...

I must admit to a problem with the wollmeise yarns.. it's so pretty.. that I seem to be frozen searching for the perfect pattern to make the yarn shine as it should.

Acrylic yarns for toys, ornaments, baby gifts (sometimes) etc.

AND.. I have more yarn that I didn't photograph. Yes, I need to get busy knitting.

However, almost everything that I knit is gifted to others. I knew that- but, until I was looking at some photos of items that I had knitted in the past couple of years.. I didn't realize how much I did knit for others..(and most of the time- I forget to take photos of what I knit before I give it away) so, I have decided.. that I really, really need to make some changes. I deserve some of the knitted yummyness. I will appreciate it- after all I know how much time it takes to knit something.

So, here is my plan...

Baby knitted gifts, retirement gifts, and milestone birthday knitted gifts are allowed exceptions. Otherwise, I really, really am going to try to knit items for myself.

Of course, prior to coming up with my new decision.. I had knitted some long neck bunnies that I'm going to felt..

and a couple of knitted cat toys that I'll give to the human owners..
A donut and a felted mouse.

I did go through my yarn stash and I found this nice tweedy yarn that I had bought in Italy when I lived there about 10 years ago.. I love this color.

I did start knitting a cardigan with it.. the yarn does seem scratchy though. I'm going to knit a swatch and wash/dry it and see if I can get it to soften up with a wash.

Does anyone else have this same problem? You find that you knit almost only for others? I enjoy knitting for others.. but, darn it.. I'd enjoy some knitted items too.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I had plans of traveling to Istanbul for a few days, or maybe even seeing the local sites..

However, the reality is.. I still have bronchitis and I was still too sick to spend big bucks to fly somewhere and not feel like doing anything once I arrived. I figured that I could save the $ and stay at home doing that- plus, I had another doctor's appointment that I couldn't miss anyway.

I'm slowly getting better... I finally made a chart so that I can remember to take the 4 different inhalers and the prescribed 'pills' for the actual lung illness at the right times.

I decided that my job for this spring break was to simply do a lot of resting and try to get well.. or at the best best.. a rested body will certainly be able to get well faster than.. not missing work, even while sick, because it was the end of a grading period.

At least, I'm not as sick as I was last winter.. I had pneumonia for 4 months and as you can imagine.. not fun.. and is draining for weeks/months afterwards. *Which was one of the reasons.. I wasn't posting much on my blog last year. (not counting the 3 months it took to get phone/internet service installed in my house)

Ok, I did go and do one fun thing.. On Saturday, a friend and I went on an adventure and found a couple of glass places that I had been taken to last year. MY friend is moving in June and I wanted her to have a chance to see this place. Apparently, there are stores and stores that produce and sell glass pieces for miles and miles.. but, I only had the energy to go to the two shops that are only a mile apart. **Of course, we ran out of money anyway.. so, it didn't matter if we'd both wanted to continue shopping.

Here is what you find on the grassy area when you arrive. A glass fence...

An owl tree.. they did have another 'just birds' tree..

And, doesn't everyone need a glass peacock on their lawn? Much quieter than the live peacocks and almost as pretty.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I've lived overseas now for 20 years in various countries around the world. Many of my USA friends are also school teachers. I have often sent little 'holiday' gifts to them from my travels or cute little local tokens of cute, neat, unusual things that I've found for holidays.

This year, I decided to knit everyone something for Easter. Ok, the first plan was to knit a little 'nest' and fill it with a knitted egg, two, or three and a knitted animal.. chicken, bunny, or some other typical Spring time or Easter animal.

The problem seemed to be something called: TIME

I made one little nest... and it took an entire night to knit it.. I thought.. "Humm, this knitting a little nest for everyone on my list just isn't going to work out." So, I decided to just knit the eggs and the little knitted animals instead.

Here are some eggs.. Problem is.. even they took more time that I thought was reasonable..

Can you see a theme? My desire to knit yarny cuteness is bigger than the reality of time.

So, now my new plan was just to knit and knit and see what I can finish in a two week period. I also just happened upon some cute little metal plates with adorable bunny paintings on them in a local German grocery store. I decided to buy those and use them instead of the 'knitted nests' that I had hoped to knit.

Once I realized that Easter was a week sooner than I thought it was.. Yes, I know, I know.. I really do need a new calendar.

Update: I have a new calendar to hang on the wall.

Due to my shortened knitting time allowance.. 2 weeks vs the 3 weeks that I thought that I had available- Last week, it was time to wrap everything up to take it to the post-office on base (AN AMERICAN POST OFFICE mind you) and mail my little Easter goodies to my friends in the states.

I had all my packages wrapped, labeled, and custom's forms filled out. I went to the counter and discovered that I now had two problems..

1. They had changed the little 'easy to fill out' green custom's form on me. It is now this multi-layered, many copies, very detailed form that you have to fill out. So, I was sent to the back of the room to 're-fill-out' the new custom's forms for all of my packages. Sigh

I got the forms filled out.. get back into the now very long line, then I finally make it to the front of the line again.. with my 5 very lightweight packages and the newly filled out custom's forms.

2. Once the first package was weighed, I discovered that they (USA Postal Office) have raised the rates.. apparently a LOT for small packages!!

BECAUSE.. my tiny package of one tiny little 4 inch tall bunny and one very lightweight metal plate.. (costing only $1.50 to purchase) was going to cost $8.75 to mail!!! EACH!!!

YIKES!! Now, I don't have enough money to mail all 5 packages.. oh no.. I now have enough money to mail maybe 2 or at best 3 of the packages!

So, I opted not to mail anything.. I grabbed some of the 'flat rate boxes' and later I will stuff the flat rate boxes, that I will mail at a later date 'full' of other goodies. A couple of the boxes will also have birthday gifts included in the boxes.

*I'm having difficulties with blogger uploading my photos.. so, after trying for over an hour.. I have given up trying to post photos of all of the little knitted goodies.

I'm sorry that my boxes full of Easter cuteness is going to be a little late.. but, know that I did have good intentions. Does that help?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring... when a gal's heart turns to: WOLLMEISE

The month's long winter snows seemed safely past us... I was ready for something bright, exciting, and inspiring. So, I asked another friend to join me for a train outing to get some more Wollmeise yarn from Claudia's shop. My friend doesn't knit.. but, I did entice her to join me with the promise of checking out the local Saturday market in the town square after yarn shopping and lunch at a wonderful place that I know on the town square. I might have also mentioned stopping by to check out the Easter Market in Nuremberg before we went back towards our part of Germany.

So, we got the Bavarian Pass and headed off to the small city that shelters the wonders known as Wollmeise. *If you want more information about the shop and my first visit -- I do have another entry on my blog.. just look for the Wollmeise entry. I am fortunate to only be about 3 hours away from Claudia's shop (one way) and I have been there several times.

I had also knitted a little egg out of cotton yarn. Once I arrived and was greeted by Claudia.. I gave her the little striped egg and Claudia promptly placed it a flower pot in her Spring/Easter display. The egg looked so cute in the display. I totally forgot to take a photo- but, It's the egg on the top in the photo. *If you click on the photos- you'll see a much larger image.

Claudia took me around the shop showing me all of the new colors since I'd last visited the shop. I wanted almost each and every skein. If only.. I had enough $$ to buy all that caught my eye. I had a big pile of dazzling skeins spread out on the couch.. and I finally managed to cull the large collection of skeins that had caught my eye to a more manageable amount to better match the EURO in my wallet.

The big hunk of lace yarn that I bought.. doesn't this just look like the sea? It does to me- I used to live in Okinawa, Japan and the water was blue like this..

If you've never been to the shop.. it is well worth the visit. I feel like the yarn displayed in the wooden cubbies looks just like a new box of yarn crayons just waiting for someone to use them to create knitted treasures, gifts, and lovelies.

I did buy a couple of skeins to knit for gifts. One skein.. might be a gift.. if I can bear to give it away.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

ahh spring returns to Bavaria...

The snow piles finally begin to melt.

Spring/Easter decorations begin to appear outside shops...

Spring flowers are sold in the markets...

And the tulips that I planted last year have started sprouting...

And what do I see here? Some tiny blooming bulbs.. that I had planted last year..

I'm sorry that I haven't posted lately.. but, I've been sick with bronchitis for a few weeks. However, I'm happy to say that I'm not nearly as sick as I was last year (one reason that I wasn't posting much last year) when I had pneumonia for 3 months and fever every day for 4 months.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

See, I do knit 'sometimes'...

This yarn has long stripes of color.. but, I love the cool 'pooling' that happened on the cuff area of the hat. I took an 'inside' view of the hat so you can see the bands of color on the hat cuff area. I made the hat like this- so, that the baby can wear it turned up when it is small and then as the baby grows (maybe even next winter?) the hat can be worn with the cuff pulled down to fit a larger sized head. The ribbing will stretch and fit the baby for a while.

A baby shower gift for a co-worker. The yarn is RED HEART Kids.

The hat pattern? I made it up.

The booties? A free bernat pattern. No official name on the pattern- however, this is the information found at the top of the bootie pattern. Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Bernat Satin Baby Booties (to Knit). Just go to: and click on free patterns, booties, or baby and you'll find the same pattern.

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010...

Lookie here.. an unusual sight: No, not the snow in March.. but, the SUNSHINE.. do you see the shadows? The sun actually came out for awhile yesterday. Pretty unusual.. I took a photo because it was so unusual.

What can I say? 4 inches of new snow or more on the ground and it was 7*F when I drove to work this morning.

It snowed off and on today. I had outside crosswalk duty today (and the rest of the week too)... not good when someone missed most of last week because they had bronchitis. I'm working on getting someone else to do my duty for me this week and then I'll do it for them another time later in the year -- when I'm not sick.

However, I am happy to report that it is finally much lighter in the morning when I drive to work and it doesn't get dark at 4:30pm now.

Now... can we start having "NO SNOW" and warmer weather please?

Ok, I'll admit it.. I DO NOT LIKE 6 month long winters. There, I've said it.. I feel much better.. still don't like the dark, dreary, cold, dismal winters.. but, at least.. we are in the month of March and surely it will get warmer soon, right? RIGHT?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Freaky weather Part 2

Picture it..

Bavaria, Germany at 4:30pm.. date: March 4, 2010.

*Why do I feel like I'm in an episode of: THE GOLDEN GIRLS and have an urge to grab a handbag and put it on my arm??

The sun is brightly shining.. no, that's not the 'freaky' part.. (even though it is quite unusual)... no, the freaky weather part.. is..

THE SUN WAS SHINING and SNOWING at the same time!

At first, when I looked out the window, I thought that the sun had suddenly warmed and awakened all the little flying bugs or those little fuzzy things that float in the air in the summertime... but, I looked closer and I realized that what was floating in the air outside the 2nd story window was SNOW and the sun was still shining brightly.

I went downstairs to get my camera to see if I could take a photo of the latest in WEIRD GERMANY weather.

The sun continued to shine brightly.. during the 15 minutes of unexpected snowfall.

Before I found my camera, the snow had been quite heavy and it is a little difficult to see the falling snow 'due' to the bright sunshine.. but, I think that you might be able to see some of the snowflakes?

Sure do hope that spring is beginning to warm your corner of the world.. after all.. the calendar does indeed say: MARCH

We have had over a week of above freezing temps and a few days of sunshine.. and I'm happy to report that most of the snowfall that has been on the ground for weeks and weeks has finally melted. OF course, the huge snow mountains of shoveled snow will take longer to disappear.

Monday, March 1, 2010


March 1... the beginning of warmer weather for some... spring just around the corner and all that...

Except apparently not here.. in my little corner of BAVARIA, GERMANY!

This morning, I left for work at my usual time.. it was 'sort of sprinkling'.. not enough to worry about with an umbrella. I started the Jeep and drove away. By the time that I was on the main highway... it had started sleeting and raining..

Within moments.. it was sleeting heavy! I mean.. so heavy that the road was white (and getting slick), the hood of the Jeep was solid white, and I had the windshield wipers on full blast.. but, it still wasn't fast enough to remove the sleet from the windows so that I could see!!!

I drove for about 8 miles in this freak 'sleet blizzard'... turned off this highway onto the next highway and the last 4-5 miles of my route to work.

In less than a mile.. the sleet stopped, the roads were dry, and the gauge on the Jeep's dash showed that the outside temperatures had now crept above freezing.

Very surreal.. is the best description that I can give because.. Within 2 miles the sun was shining (very unusual for Germany at this time of the year) and no evidence that a freak 'sleet blizzard' had ever happened.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2010 Carnevale in Venice, Italy

People are there in amazing costumes.. posing for photographs. It's not a drunken brawl or anything.. of course, I don't know what happens there after sunset... during Carnevale.