Sunday, 5 March 2017

Looking back: 4th of March

Lots of snow on the 4th of March, even though it feels like the beginning of spring in my mind...

In 2006 it started to snow heavily in the evening. By the next day, almost a metre of snow had fallen, very unusual for Zürich, especially so late in winter.




In 2007 we drove to Einsiedeln. There we visited the monastery and my selfie of the day looks quite holy as well.




In 2008 Silvia and I met Steffen and a friend of his in Lucerne. While we were exploring the city, it started to snow.




 In 2010 Antonia was very concentrated.



In 2012 I felt inspired by a night out at 80s forever and the Cure.


In 2017 I spent the weekend in Feldis at a yoga retreat together with Sivia. At first we had a spring like temperatures and then all of a sudden we found ourselves in the middle of a a snow storm.



Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tschiertschen 4.0

Last week we went back to Tschiertschen for the fourth time in as many years (See 2015 and 2016 as well). Our holiday feelings already started down in Chur when getting on the bus. That's when we saw the first familiar faces and we knew we were in for another week of that cosy feeling of staying at Hotel Gürgaletsch.



By dinner time we had settled into our rooms, had rented our ski stuff in the village and had met more friends from the years before on the sofas downstairs. At six o'clock the bell was run and everybody sat down in the dining room for our first meal together. We were happy to find out that the cook from last year was still there and dove into the soup and the salad. Not everybody was a fan of the gorgonzola on the pizza, but there were other toppings to chose from and the desert made more than up for it.


After dinner, some guests stayed on to talk about their plans for the next few days and to catch up on the past year, others helped with the washing up and sooner or later everybody ended up somewhere in the living room; starting a 500 pieces puzzle, picking up the knitting needles, reading or talking or teaching each other new games.

Apparently it's true that the mountain air is responsible for wild dreams, there were a lot of intense stories told at breakfast. Also the weather looked really promising, it was still a bit cloudy but with enough snow on the slopes and we were promised more sun in the afternoon.



As usual we came back for our lunch at noon. We try to eat outside on the terrasse if the weather allows it and this year the temperatures were almost spring like. I really love taking off my boots for a while and sometimes this feeling is just too good, so I don't go back skiing in the afternoon but decide to go for a hike or to use on of the hotel's sledges for a run down with a stop at Furgglis (it's important to drink a lot of hot chocolate or tea in winter ;-).



Shortly after 4 o'clock the hotel started to get full again. This year I found another yoga afficionada and we managed to do a practice in our room every single afternoon before dinner.


Falling back into the familiar rhythmn of Gürgaletsch, so different from my usual life is one of the reasons I really love going to Tschiertschen again and again. I was quite tired and a bit burnt out when I arrived but it only took me a couple of days to feel so much better again. The kids love it as well, because everything is so small there that they can be totally independent and I often only see them for meals or maybe from far away going down a slope at high speed. And yep, we already booked our rooms for next year ;-)

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Finished Objects: Brioche Cowl and Hat

Pattern: Two Colour Brioche Shawl
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage
Colour: Tern and Silver Fox
Needles: 5mm Round Needles
Start of project: January 9th, 2017
End of project: February 6th, 2017

On Ravelry

Brioche has been on my to learn list for a while. Everybody was talking about it so I wanted to try it as well. So when Antonia asked me to knit her a cowl and the pictures she showed me all looked very much like brioche, I knew I had to find out how to do it.


It was kind of hard to find a very simple pattern, so in the end I went without one. Instead I watched a few YouTube videos to learn about casting on with two colours and then knitting brioche and then all I had to do was to keep going till it was long enough to be wrapped around the neck twice. In the beginning I got lost easily but once I got into a rhytmn it was quite ok. It took me a while to get to 48 inches then I cast off and sewed it together.

I am glad to say that Antonia seems very pleased with her cowl and has been wearing it a lot already.


Because there was quite a bit of yarn left over and I didn't feel done with brioche I cast on in the round for second project:

Pattern: Brioche Cable Cap by Marylynn Blacketer
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage
Colour: Tern and Silver Fox
Needles: 4.5 and 3.75mm Round Needles
Start of project: February 7th, 2017
End of project: February 15th, 2017

On Ravelry

This time I used at least part of a pattern. I tried to do another two colour cast on which in the end I don't really like (I wanted to add a neater iCord edging after the hat was done but A. liked it too much to part with it even for a little while).

I played around with the cables for a little while but it got messy and I decided to frog back (and I was positively surprised that it wasn't too hard to pick up the stitches again after ripping back). I also didn't like the crown of the hat, so I searched for different ways to decrease. In the end I went with six decreases spread out over that head that get slimmer till they meet at the top (I should have taken a photo from the top)


I knit this hat while on holiday and the little girls there were very interested in its progress. The hat was a bit tight for both Antonia and I so I decided to give it to the most eager of the admirers. It was fun to see how much she liked it and how often she wore it afterwards. She even got inspired to learn how to knit  and learnt it very fast and successfully (the little wrist warmers in my last blog entry where her first project)

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A year in knitting - year 3

It's been three years now since this passion of mine started. I wrote about my first year and about my second year, but let's talk about my third one now.

During the last 12 months I knit 15059 metres and I finished 33 projects. Again this is less than last year but I am far from losing momentum. Recently I have often needed a quiet evening in my bed instead of staying up on the sofa but I still love knitting. I kind of started teaching how to knit to a few people as well; one was a failure, the second one is still going strong and we've been knitting together on each others sofa on many Sundays and my last try was during our winter holidays when one of the little girls really wanted to learn and got into it surprisingly fast. Look at her cute little wrist warmers - she just sent me the picture today...



I also went to my first stitching retreat last April where I met so many cool and friendly knitters. I often see them on Tuesdays at our local knit'n'sip, so knitting is no longer a solitary thing for me.

Tops

4. Playdate; 3. Airflow; 2. Boden: 1. Clarke

My favourite top is probably my Silversmith Hoodie because it turned out just the way I hoped it would. It's really great to wear when it's too warm for a coat but chilly enough for something long and cozy. I also like wearing my Airflow which is an excellent top over a T-shirt in the summer and my stripey Clarke goes well with everything. I am a bit at a loss with my Boden, it looks great, it's a beautiful pattern but it's not very practical to wear unless you keep completely still. Again I knit a few baby or toddler tops; I just can't resist to play around with these beautiful patterns.

Socks


My sock drawer got fuller again and I've been wearing them a lot. I had to retire a few of my first socks because I am not that good at mending yet. I love my Wanderers because they are perfect for toasty feet on my sofa, I am very happy that Antonia is happy with her Tardis Socks and I think the colours of the Gryffindor Socks are just so cool. 

Hats 


Apparently one can have enough hats, at least for the moment. I've been wearing my Sliver from last year almost constantly, so I didn't really need new hats for myself. I love knitting hats for other though and I am quite taken with how the Snare turned out and I had fun learning something new while improvising with the Brioche Cable Cap. 

Mittens


Only one pair of mittens for myself, but I love my Spates, they are perfect for chilly but not icy weather. Other than that I've been wearing my own Heart Mittens a lot, they still look really nice. The Poppy Hearts went to Vancouver and the Fiddle Heads are hopefully warming my aunt's hands. I plan to knit a pair of real five finger gloves with a fair isle pattern but so far they only exist in my mind and in the yarn that's waiting in my stash.

Shawls and Cowls


A warm shawl for me to wrap into and my first attempt at Brioche for Antonia. I was so happy that she wore it all week while skiing. 

Other Stuff


I continued my Memory Blanket but it's far from being done. I tried to learn to crochet with a CAL, I gave in to temptation and bought a Bounce kit, I knit an iPhone cover for a friend and I totally love knitting toys, especially monkey and clothes for toys with left overs. 

So here's to year #4 and many more projects ;-)

Friday, 3 February 2017

Looking back: 3rd of February

It seems that the 3rd day of February is a rather slow day photography wise. It is usually still to cold to go outside, there are no holidays and everybody is just waiting for a change... But I found at least a few photos of that day...

In 2007 I had a bit of a cold but we went to the zoo anyway where we met a beautiful peacock and saw a colourful sunset on our way back home.





In 2008 we went to build a snowwoman next to the Türlersee. The lake was frozen but not open for iceskating and it was very cold. 




In 2010 it was still really dark and foggy at 7:44. 


In 2016 I met an old friend from school for a coffee and on my way back I bought a pair of wellingtons because it was pouring so hard.


Today it feels a bit like spring. The snow and ice of January is mostly gone and there's finally sunshine again. I tried to find something new, but it's too early. Instead I found this little bit of colour.


Monday, 30 January 2017

30 Days yoga challenge

23 hours 7 minutes and 22 seconds, that's how much yoga I did during the last 30 days thanks to the 30-Day Yoga Challenge from doyogawith me. What a great experience.


I started using this yoga site because of my friend Silvia, way back in November 2011. Then my back started to act up and I wasn't really strong enough for most excercises and neither did I have any idea what I was doing. I visited the site on and off, then I had to do intense physio training to get better over more than a year and I mostly forgot about yoga. I occasionally came back and I followed other yoga sites but not very regularly.

I really came back to yoga when I signed up for my first yoga retreat in Portugal. By the time I came back I was seriously hooked and I think I've done some yoga most of the days and very often I used Do Yoga With me. I also started to go to a local yoga class once a week on Wednesday (I did so in January as well, so sometimes I actually did yoga twice a day). But having this amazing site has been so helpful because they offer so many good yoga classes.

When I saw that there was going to be a 30days challenge starting in January, I knew I'd join. At first I wasn't sure whether to go with the beginner or the intermediate level. After a lot of thinking I decided to go with the slower version and I am glad I did. In the beginning it was a good challenge to keep still, to appreciate what I have and to learn more about relaxing. At the same time I did improve, I got more flexible and probably also a little stronger. Furthermore I can build up on what I have now,

I will try to continue now with the 14day intermediate challenge, but do the classes over more than just two weeks, alternating with grounding hatha classes.

It was sometimes intense to make room for these lessons every day. Some of them are only short but a few are more than an hour and I don't have a lot of time each day. I was lucky to start during my holidays, but once school started I had to be creative. I did all my Friday yoga classes in my actual classroom, by moving away my desk and setting up the projector. The first time this felt a bit weird but now I think I might keep doing it because it was really great to wind down like this before teaching again in the afternoon.


So this got into quite a long text which probably shows you how much this meant to me ;-)

Because I liked this blog entry about doing monthly mini resolutions over a whole year,  for my February mini challenge I'll try to work on my photos, first of all I want to do my next photo book which should have been done about a year ago and then if there is time left, I'll continue to tidy up and tag the photos that aren't done yet in my iPhoto.


And just in case Do Yoga With Me decide to delete the challenge I wrote down all the classes here...

Day 1 Hatha Yoga for Grounding (49:03)
Day 2 Yoga for Stress Relief (29:12)
Day 3 Hatha for Self Care II (50:34)
Day 4 A Deep Release for the Shoulders and Neck (49:43)
Day 5 Settling into Relaxation (26:50)
Day 6 Yin/Yang Yoga for the Shoulders and Upper Back (42:00)
Day 7 Spinal Care for Beginners (61:53)
Day 8 Release the Neck (16:08)
Day 9 Flow Yoga to Energize (47:14)
Day 10 Hatha Yoga for the Heart Chakra (20:00)
Day 11 Deep Release for the Hips, Hamstrings and Lower Back (47:32)
Day 12 Bend and Stretch (34:50)
Day 13 Yoga for Inner Strength (42:13)
Day 14 Align, Stabilize and Stretch (53:32)
Day 15 Love Yourself (32:42)
Day 16 Bedtime Yin Yoga (42:03)
Day 17 Yoga for the Feet (26:25)
Day 18 Breath, Balance and Twists (57:01)
Day 19 Yin Yoga for the Lower Back (36:30)
Day 20 Deepening Relaxation (48:57)
Day 21 Core Strength and Stretch (54:50)
Day 22 Yin Yoga for the Shoulders (34:09)
Day 23 Yoga for Sciata Relief (41:50)
Day 24 Morning Slow Hatha Yoga Flow (17:39)
Day 25 Kundalini for Beginners (78:39)
Day 26 A Yin Practice (28:27)
Day 27 Challenging Beginner Hatha Yoga (33:13)
Day 28 Kundalini Yoga for the Root Chakra (29:41)
Day 29 Yoga for Inner Acceptance (34:38)
Day 30 Hatha Yoga for Better Sleep (39:54)

Friday, 20 January 2017

Finished Objects: Tschiertschen and Monkey Jacobus

Pattern: Peanut by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: YOTH Yarns Big Sister
Colour: Thyme, Hazelnut
Needles: 3.75mm and 4.5mm Round Needles
Start of project: January 5th, 2016
End of project: January 8th, 2017

On Ravelry

I knit this little vest for a baby that I will see for the first time in February. I hope he won't be too big by the time we get there, I wasn't sure how much yarn I had, so I went with size 6 to 12 months. 

I combined a few pattern for this project. The basic vest pattern is Peanut, the fair isle pattern is Anders. Because I needed a number dividable by 12 I had to add 4 stitches, but that wasn't very complicated. When I got to the end and the only thing left was the cast off I remembered the beautiful finish of the button band of my Silversmith Hoodie so I added an iCord in the contrast colour. I am really happy with how that turned out, it looks so very tidy now.


In the end there was still a bit of the yarn left over so I cast on for another project for the same baby:

Pattern: Monkey Jacobus by Annita Wilschut
Yarn: YOTH Yarns Big Sister and a bit of Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label
Colour: Thyme, Hazelnut and Poppy
Needles: 3.5mm Round Needles
Start of project: January 8th, 2016
End of project: January 15th, 2017

On Ravelry

I love knitting toy and this is going to stay another favourite of mine. It was so interesting to knit this monkey, I can't believe how clever all the construction was.

I knew it was going to be very tight with the left over yarn. In the end, I didn't have enough of the Thyme for the last arm. After a bit of playing around I settled on a stripe of neon yellow and a slightly wider one in red which I think looks super funky and retro. The Hazelnut was just enough, there was probably about 10 inches left in the end. I used the red yarn for the mouth and the tail as well.


Now there is only one problem - Antonia and I are seriously in love with this monkey and we both can't imagine to let it go. So I might have to find some other yarn and knit a second version, this one just stole into our heart and seems to want to live on our sofa ;-)


ETA: Because we were so attached to this monkey I started a second one. I used up the small left overs from my bounce blanket. Somehow the second monkey looks more feminin which is why we call her Lotta. They both stay on the sofa for the moment but I think we are ready now to let the first one go and just keep the second one ;-)