Thursday, November 30, 2006

Work in progress, November edition

1. Thesis. Something like a unicorn, no-one has seen it yet but it exists somewhere.. .. maybe.
2. Mohair sweater. I hope to have it finished soon, it's just k1p1 ad infinitum or until your hands fall off, these furry arns are no good for complicated patterns
3. Lone sock

4. Foxes and violets sweater for Elisabeth (Notice the ball. It's 400g og my own handpaint, blue-black on one end, pale green on another. The original pattern from which I adopted the idea of foxes and violets and from which I dropped buttons, various decorative stripes and 16 balls of various gray-something colours was too complicated for my simple blonde mind...). I love the yarn - nothing special, just ordinary but nice Superwash wool but the colors are simply a masterpiece. And Elisabeth is a forest person so I hope she'll like that.
5. Some more

Another oversize sweater

I always make a gauge swatch. And I invariably make the sweaters somehow too big. I like long sweaters that keep the kidneys warm even when the wearer is sitting. But.. the red and green one is just.... too big. I finished it (and God knows that for whatever the reason I hated knitting it), I put it on... and it was pretty long which is inalterable due to the fact that I knit it sideways... and far too wide. I tried to wear it to see how the fabric will act. It appeared to be pretty wide too. So either I'll make it narrower in the middle or I'll leave it as it is, I'll block it nicely and offer on Etsy to some massive wearer. It has one interesting irregularity visible on the picture, since the yarn is a handpaint and I stupidly made it in two batches and even more stupidly, somehow placed the palest ball next to the darkest, it has the colour division in the middle. It's not that apparent on the final product as on the pic, though.
Here it still looks hopeful....I'll make a pic of it on me as soon as I get someone to take a pic of me. Meaning next week.


On Saturday in the evening the kitties arrived. In fact they suck big time, they fight, one of them pees on the carpet (luckily no-one needs the room..I'll have to clean it all when she gives in and starts to use the sandbox regularly, she knows what is it good for but just doesn't use it consistently) , Tähti is pissed off and pretty annoying, now she lies on my hands and effect
ively prevents me from typing. She is responsible for the weird typos.
The silk sweater had a bad fate. It smelled when wet so mom washed it at 90 degrees and the result was something very wide and very short. So I dyed it in rainbow coloured stripes and then I spent the whole evening ripping it and making into two separate skeins (it was knit double), they will go to etsy and since it's recycled yarn, part of the revenue will go to the kitties as charity. And the good thing is that it's already boiled so it won't shrink anymore:-)
The colours are really wonderful but it's quite apparent that the thing had no shape. Well, the skeins are wonderful but I didn't feel like reusing them myself. I believe someone will adore them, this silk isn't the glossy sort but it's still soft and warm and nice to touch.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I have the USB cable. So I can not only make pics but also show them. And make my blog colourful and interesting and crap.
So, let me introduce you Siri. One of the shelter kitties. She now lives under my bed. Then there's Dellie behind the fridge and Dahlia somewhere around (or what the hell their names are and which is which). And.... Siri is a yarn thief. I'll have to cover my stash box - I bought that thing in Ikea quite a few months ago but for whatever the reason I didn't assemble it and I kept my yarn in bags and boxes. Now it's all in this box, decoratively arranged and.. accessible.
I was to a knitting workshop on Saturday. To see people, to learn entrelac (didn't finish that sample), to boast with my handpaints - on Friday I dyed some angora, for example, and definitely not to buy any yarn, I have lots of it. So I got this:

The gray one is the silk yarn... I put my silk sweater in a knitting contest and won the yarn used for the product and I gathered it at the ocassion since the lady who organized the workshop owns an internet store.... and the dark stuff is helluva expensive mohair blend which I saw on the website and I thiught that it might be interesting weren't it that expensive. It looks sort of muddy on the pics but it is speckled in blue and purple and orange and gray-green and it's lovely. And expensive. I spent all money I took with me just in case I met something irresistible. Bad, bad me.
The workshop took place in a local cultural centre or what the hell it was and one of the rooms looked..... you know, it was full of packs of yarn. So I simply got poisoned by wool fumes. I couldn't do anything about it, you see, it was an accident. So now I have not 30 but 30.5 kilos of yarn and I'm not eating until the end of the month.
The workshop was cool. Not that I hadn't known that there's many knitters somewhere around but I hadn't met any. It felt nice there. It's always nice to be in company of people who share the same obsession.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Social life

Since I hardly go outside and if I go, it's lifesaving missions for buying food or getting paperwork done, I decided to throw a party. I also applied for a knitting workshop to which I"m going right now.
So, yesterday I baked cheese sticks, apple pastries, made some salad and nothing happened. I was fine, I started cleaning and stuff - I admit it was needed. Katarina didn't show at all and I couldn't reach her on the phone, I just hope she's ok, Michal was very eager to meet her.
I got a big bar of Fazer chocolate with instructions like Hide it and eat it alone, Finnish chocolate is better than the Swiss ones. Sigh.
Anyhow, off I go, check this post later for pics form the workshop.


Friday, November 24, 2006

I reckon that I have no readers.

I analyzed the situation and realized that the zero comments and almost zero attendance started when pictures stopped. I decided thusly: I will pretend that there are pictures. And bonus for readers: they will come, I'll get the cable to the camera I have now on Monday.
I got some angora yarn (for those who do not know, it's made of bunnies and it's soft, fluffy and warm. You don't have to knit it, you can cuddle it for the rest of your life) and dyed it.. before baking and cleaning. I got five skeins and while cleaning I was inventing funny names for teh colorways. Those on the left will be something like Drunk gardener got lost in the foliage, next to it is Bunny gone punk. I'll put them to my tiny store on and I'll see what happens. Maybe I'll finally (1) earn some money (2) discover that the purpose of my life is to dye yarn, not art history (eeeek).
Yesterday I was to see Barka and the first thing she told me after the Hello was Would you cut my hair. I made an evil grin and said Yes, no problem. She handed me awful scissors from Ikea (not that I had any basic objection against Chinese comrades but for them being comrades... but not all products they make are top class), showed me That short and there i went. When I was halfway through, cursing the massive scissors - you cannot feel what you cut when the thing is too big...., remembering the coool Fiskars thing at Mom's house, which was designed for cutting hair and well, cost ten times that many (Finnish comrades have social uinsurance and stuff. And they can make better steel apparently). WHen I was halfway through, Barka asked whether I did the thing before and I said No. She was mildly surprised that I didn't show any sign of hesitation.... but I'm not very hesitant in many areas of life and this makes people think that I'm capable of next to anything, that I'm smart, brave and whatever. But.. it's just a form of stupidity. Well... see the pics. I guess I didn't fuck it up totally.
I gave all remaining chocolates to Barka. Not that there were many, I developed this habit of eating them daily.. and when I went to buy some underwear, I discovered that my usual size jsut doesn't fit and told myself No way and decided to give everything out. Maybe I should stop thinking about diets and starting one. Barka was happy. Mom called thht she had bought me some christmas chocolates. I think I"ll make more people happy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I went to the police, they showed me a room full of things. Alas, the only thing mine was a chain with aquamarine pendant, no camera, no comp, no whatever. But, better than nothing.
I was totally surprised in what poor conditions the poor police guys have to work... antique computers, no LAN, I wondered how they can do anything at all.
And having not found my poor innocent camera, I cannot show you any pics of Hannu's sock or anything else I've been messing with. Some another day.

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What's up lately

I started knitting a lovely angora scarf (because I found some angora in one yarn store and wanted to give it a try), I dyed a whole heap of yarn for some sweaters and I'm currently knitting a sock (today's project). No pics, dear children. I borrowed my dad's camera which is a soapbox so sophisticated that it was nearly as expensive as my late SLR and as dad doesn't use it, he didn't give me the USB cable so there's no chance to communicate the pics to you. But there's mom's colleague coming to Prague later in this week so maybe I'll get the thing.
Yesterday I got a letter from the police that they discovered nothing and they don't plan to do so anymore, go home, folks. The writing skills were horrid, this is apparently some sort of police tradition (I imagine a course for the newbies where they learn to intersperse normal texts with ortography horrors, typos so stupid that one is bound to cry and the worst style atrocities one can invent.....)
I couldn't log in to the university system. It claimed that I don't exist. Not only the login thing - there might well be some mistake of mine but also the password recovery form which said that a student of such a name doesn't study there. I was pissed off, I wanted to submit a grant application, I want to do some research and spend thus a nice sophisticated holiday in Italian libraries... but when I don't exist, I cannot apply for university grant. So I went to the relevant office, they decided that I do exist in their computer and generated a new passport to me.
With a certain degree of desperateness I filled in the form - There were fields like What are you going to do with the research results, Where you plan to publish the research results, How are the research results good for the society.... so I put everywhere that I want to use it for my thesis (and my doctoral thesis, maybe, depends on what I find, but I'm not gonna mention it, because the whole grant is for year 2007 and I plan to be gone by June and do my doctoral studies elsewhere, as widely known) and that it might be published in a corpus of foreing manuscripts in local libraries on which the department's students are working and maybe somewhere else. Crap.
The manuscript in question (go here and the shelf mark is IV.H.10, if you feel interested) is one of the early copies of St. Birgitta's Revelaciones, written before the edition of Alfonso de Jaén prepared for the caninozation, meaning that it's helluva early. There's no pics, just initials in red, which doesn't have to be told to the grant people, alnong with not telling them that I'm interested in iconography and that I"m only too happy to leave the textual stuff to Hans Aili of Lund University (and others. I couldn't find the mention of the manuscript and its context, it's somewhere in Imagines Sanctae Birgittae by Aili and Svanberg but I have a lousy copy which is hard to just browse....).
I wanted to submit the thing and The System informed me that my thesis theme isn't registered, meaning that I'm not entitled to grants. I felt like killing someone because I gave in the paper in June. Meaning that someone at the department lost it or that someone somewhere forgot about something and today I have to run around... and I will yell if the thing is not settled immediately.
I also realized that the deadline for the Guggenheim scholarship is not Dec 15 but Dec 1 so I have to get the papers ready now. Luckily I have my Business Italian book around, there's a chapter on writing CV in Italian. Not that I was able to do it in any language. I prefer to write a nice essay about me and my life and achievements, this modern stuff like born: whenever is just lifeless.
And at the end, the police called that today I come to their place, that they caught a bunch of fellow citizens who indulged in robbing places (well, not fellow citizens. Some Romanian gypsies or what, and whoever steals, aint my fellow. It was a figure of speech, clear?)
Today I wanted to sit at home and study until the afternoon and then go to a lecture and study in the evening. I"ll spend the day on errands. Damn life.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Freedom day

My notebook says that the official name of this is Day of fighting for freedom and democracy. However you might want to call it, it was yesterday and I found neither the time to write something nor the time to go and light the candle in the portico where the poor demonstrating guys got beaten.. which started the anti-commie coup in this country in 1989.
Our (not so) dear President said in one of his speeches that it was not the opponents of the regime who were the main people to cause its collapse but those who did nothing, waved their flags when asked for it, went to shout some 'Long live [whoever]' when asked to, denunciated their neighbours when asked to - but the bravery of those people was that they didn't do things like that when not asked to. In moments like that I wonder whether the guy is not an idiot.
On not protesting could be a long essay... next time, though. Back to November 17 and its consequences. The socialism, communism, pretended communism, however one might call that, collapsed and despite the Czech nature of constant complaining, in this context that life was better under the commies anyway because people had jobs and bread was cheaper... well, you can pick your bag and go wherever you want. You can quit your job and go breed goats, if you want. You can be unemployed or start your own business if youwant. You can study three universities at the same time and no-one asks whether your granfather's cousin's neighbour hangs the flags on state holidays as it should be.
I should write something pathetic (like Beethoven's Pathetic Symphony, not pathetic = silly) but I'm somehow short of ideas. I remember the first time when I sent for holidays by myself. By train to Amsterdam. I went to buy a ticket. I didn't need a letter from the street committee and from the employer that I'm a good girl and deserve a permit to leave the country, I didn't need a letter that I'm allowed to apply for visa and another permit to go to the bank to exchange the money. I simply went and bought the ticket. (Note: In 1989 I was 10. In sumer 1989, my parents, after years of trying to get the proper papers, got them and we were travelling around Sweden and Norway and places like that and I had had some idea how difficult it was to get all the bureaucracy done. Summer holidays abroad started with making a schedule of the paperwork to do - in January. It could happily happen that some idiot with a rubber stamp decided that you simply don't deserve the paper no. 25 because you have better hairdo than her and you could save money by staying at home...) And I sat on the train and went. When I was crossing the (West) German borders, I was moved. Simply because I could, because they checked that the pic in my passport looks like me and didn't search every bit of my luggage for something illegal like a letter to someone's exiled aunt.
We here can do whatever we want. Isn't that cool enough?

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm changing into a maniac.

After having ordered four kilos of sock yarn (bad, bad me), Minna showed me this link . The very first pair of socks is ab-so-lu-te-ly wonderful. There aren't any charts for colours on the site.... but that doesn't matter. I can invent some other landscape with birches....


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hot new news

Apart for the possibility of getting a research grant from the university (someone decided to be generous, the upper limit is like 11 000 euros) , meaning that I might get the money to go to Italy to see some pics and books, nothing extraordinary is happening. I finished my rainbow scarf, I go to school ocassionally, I write the thesis, version 2.0, I started translating Ripa again, it sucks, yesterday I got some material help in form of CDs, candies and knitting patterns (thanx, Sandy and Minna) and finally went to buy a cushion for my kitchen chair I use for sitting at the comp.
I'll take pics of things I've done as soon as I lure someone with a camera to my vinegar den.
I promised some shaded yarn to Minna. It didn't come out as shaded as I expected, since I don't have the dyeing pot, I cannot fix it with vapour and seems that oven doesn't work that well so I simply boiled it in some light blue to saturate the colors a bit. When I took it out of the pot, it looked terribly dark but most of the stuff does so I have to wait until it dries. That's the worst time of the process, expecting the results.
I bought four kilos of sock yarn. I swore that I'm not going to buy any new yarn until I knit half of the stuff I have (okay, until I start knitting. I usually have several unfinished projects at a time) or unless there's some heartbreaking sale. And sock yarn per seven euros per kilo, a price for which I'd get one skein normally, is totally irresistible. I wanted to get some sock yarn anyway, for the christmas socks and everything was just expensive.. but for this.
I named the kitten Apricot and if everything goes ok, i'll get rid of her today.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Sick, tired and sleepy

Nothing special is happening.
I finished one Cashmerino sock (I wondered what to use that yarn for, I have only two balls... so I decided for socks.) Well, nearly finished, I cast off and it was too tight so I ripped it a bit and I'll have to fix it. But the sock looks damn good even though it's covered by cat hair (white). I started a scarf in quite a nice plastic pattern, from the Tosca yarn (yellow-green-pink-blue), but I'm afraid it'll be too short with three balls only... I'm at the end of the first one and it's a really small bit. I'll see. There are a few unfinished things to do but nothing special is happening with them.
Red is hissing at me when I try to catch her but when I catch her, she's the most cuddly cat one can imagine. She's gonna be lovable with people hwo don't have a hysterical, jealous and self-centered Siamese.
Tomorrow I"ll have a comp home so maybe I'll write something when I'm in a mood to write.