Thursday, September 27, 2007

And now on something totally different.

Totally different, not just different art history or different yarn.
We have this minority minority * radio station. There's culture, you know. Real culture, no pop-culture. Books, opera, concerts, smart talks and the like.
St home I never listen to any other radio station. No need to, after all. I'm a simple girl and I'm happy enough with lots of classical music or radio plays. Of course I listen to music on cds. I een got this smart cable that connects my computer with the speakers because the sounds get somewhat... awful when performed by the computer speakers and I'm not deaf.
Anyhow, there's some sort of music festival going on and yesterday there was a concert of some mariachi band (I'll check for the name, I don't want to write crap) accompanied by the Radio Orchestra. In the poshest concert hall in this city and the people were clapping and thumping and screaming. I regretted that I couldn't see it. Anyhow, it was damn cool. I have hardly any music education but I can recognize good stuff.
So, again, I discovered a whole field of music of which I hadn't had any idea before. Being an intellectual snob has its strong points.
Such as this.
*italianism. Words are doubled to stress the meaning. I like it. Stupid and effective, almost like me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

From today I'm a postgrad student.

It took me two hours in the queue, everybody wanted to sign up just today and the people at the office have only a short time of office hours. But, I got my student card, my paper that I was accepted for the course so now I plan to find some nice scholarship in Italy and Sweden and wherever else.
I have a new flatmate from tomorrow on. A Hungarian guy. Likes cats, seems okay.

I did a nice bit of knitting while I was waiting for something to happen.
Green sweater to be finished for the etsyFAST September challenge. It's mohair blend and I guess I have enough for one more sweater and polyamide carryalong dyed in shades ofgreen by yours truly. There will be some pink at the ends of the sleeves. I worked out a new way how to knit the upper part of the torso in one piece in the round so it'll be another structural achievment.
Blue sweater made of Noro Mizuho, linen, acrylic and whoknowswhat blend which is very nice, like a felted boucle yarn. There will be red satin ribbon along the upper line of the sleeves and I plan to keep it for myself. Well... I planned it with the copper sweater as well, which I love madly and find it totally stunning but I somehow still stick to my carrot orange sweatshirt I bought in 2003. Same with the Opera sweater which I wore once to try how it fits, got a heap of stunned comments and found out that it fits but makes me nervous or what the hell.
And.... the famous rug. I wanted to have it ready by the end of July and it's around halfway although the proportions should be different so it'll be smaller. I didn't count the remaining balls, due to that many colours I somewhat lost track. I have no idea what will I do with the remaining yarn, it felts when you thrust a teary look at it so it has no other use but felting. I'll maybe start making handbags (what do you think, etsian fellows, can I make something decent, if not nice, in this sense?) or cat beds. And... I'll have to felt it. If there's some skilled felter, then I have a question: If I put the thing on a plastic foil, pour water on that, roll the foil, put the roll in the bathtub and walk on it, will it felt nicely? I have no space to felt it flat, unless I borrow Mom's laundry room and I don't want to because I don't want to hear her comments on my stupid useless activities (could the hell someone buy a sweater from me? So that I would feel at least a bit self-confident?)
I have some bulkier yarns. Usually some leftovers, random buys and oddments. And sweater's worth of Noro Hodaka (grey ball under the green one), sweater's worth of Gedifra Iglu (white), two sweaters' worth of Noro Transitions in greenish and pinks (the striped ball, partly under the sampler)... and one ball of other Transitions in browns (wide brown stripes) and one ball of Kabuki Tamu in browns and jewel tones (dark brown stripe. Looks awful).
(and there's the green yarn for the rug, purple something I used for a structural sample, cell phone and other usual stuff found in large amounts on my table. And I ran out of coffee, as you see.)
I planned to somehow combine these, that explains the sampler. Gedifra is boucle yarn so I decided not to mess it with Noro. The plan is a long hooded sweater of Hodaka with something else and/or a long hooded sweater of the coloured Transitions. Maybe I'll start with that one, I could toss it to Etsy and use my rare collection Noro yarns for me myself.
I need to go to the students' registration and then there's three hours on the train to parents' so I'll need some on-board entertainment as well.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I came home after a week and first thing I noticed was that the place wasn't locked. I wondered, It's quite a warm day and with my flatmate's predilection for air, I wondered why her window isn't wide open.
The second thing I noticed was that the cartons were gone from the hallway.
The third thing was that the keys were left on the piano.*
She is gone. Forever!
Well, she didn't pay the rent for the last month but... bite it. I reclaimed my home and I can find someone nice.

*Normal people have a shelf next to the door. I have a piano. I cannot afford a shelf, I guess.. whereas the piano came with the house. Along with crystal chandeliers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I was tagged

There's this tagging thing going on and around. Someone tags you, you write seven random facts about you and tag seven other people. So Jane Carlstrom of Glorious Hats did this to me.
The rules go thusly
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.
The bad thing is that I'm the least popular person in the blogosphere, I'm almost asocial so I'll have to think very hard to tag seven other people, I just don't follow that many blogs. I actually have a hard time to follow mine.

As for Jane, I have some sort of weak spot for her. She is such a positive person even across the ocean and life just isn't fair when it puts nice people far away. Actually I've been thinking about sending her some yarn, I need to destash my place and I have some purple stuff and she seems to love all those lilac shades.... [frantic waving in the direction of Minnesota]

I'll find someone to tag. Then I'll finish this post but I do not promise that it'll be soon.

Later on

It seems to me that anyone else whose blog I follow has already been tagged. The explanation is in math, if everyone tags 7 people, we soon run out of people.
So I'll stick to seven random facts without tagging anyone.
- Some people hate me because I'm practical - I make sandwiches before long trips, I carry a Swiss army knife with me... and some people hate me because I'm not practical - that I waste my time on Latin instead of drinking beer or something. I don't understand it.
- I have a Siamese cat. Or rather, I'm had by a Siamese cat. They are that way.
- I'm an art historian.
- I'm on diet and it sucks.
- I love ballet. I mean, doing it. Much better than just watching.
- I lived in Italy and I damn miss it.
- I eat small children for breakfast. Or little fluffy puppies.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Lately I've been sitting at home and studying. Sort of.
In fact I'm sitting at home, browsing my books, discovering that I already know a nice bit of stuff so as a result I'm sitting at home, listening to the radio and knitting and working out (my knee is finally okayish so now I need to get my muscles to shape).
I knit a lace sock. Yes, yours truly knit a lace sock. I'm not a sock person and neither am I a lace person. But I wanted to know whether it's possible to use bamboo yarn for socks. It is, with a few precautions. If you want the pattern (easy), yell in the comments. Or I can send it to, if you yell that not only you, my few dear readers, want the pattern but that the whole world needs it. The yarn is Linnaeus, made by me, 100% bamboo, will be available in my etsy store if you yell that you want it. Well, it'll be available anyway, I guess, but I have no time for dyeing.
Well, the sock doesn't have its mate, I just started and there's not enough to cover my big toe. I just hope the second one will be easier, I ripped the thing like ten times. And still, it looks like there is a plenty of mistakes but I have a bit uneven tension when I knit, I guess. I particularly love the detail on the heel.
The bamboo yarn is not as stretchy as wool. So the sock looks pretty large even when not on my large paw, even the stitches look large although I used 2mm (or 2.5mm) needles instead of 3mm which I normally use for socks (Mental note: get the gauge thing.) I needed to make the upper part (from the heel up) wider than what I would do with wool, I used my usual way to knit socks and then I couldn't put it on - I discovered this halfway on the plane from Stockholm to Vienna, the Swedish guy who was sitting next to me seemed to be mildly puzzled but he kept it low profile and pretended to be deeply immersed in Dagens Nyheter.
I finished the Selbu sweater. I almost ran out of yarn (white alpaca, double strand, half a kilo, Silk garden by Noro, I cut most of the green pieces out, I didn't like them in the large areas of colour so I used 11 skeins but there are lots of leftovers) and I still need to do the finishing but it's so absolutely beautiful. And my floats are almost a masterpiece. Floats are the loose threads on the reverse, if you happen not to be a knitter.
It is heavy and thick, after all, it's actually double/layered and it fits nicely. I tried it onand even tried to take a pic in the bathroom mirror but it came out too dark. There's a mannequin in the attic so if I manage to remove all that dust, I'll put it on that one because the sweater is just absolutely stunning and the details on the shoulders which are hard to see when laid flat are just nice... I usually make this shape with a boatneck but it isn't too handy for heavy winter sweaters so I had to invent something. I made the back part a bit longer so that it fits better and... and anyway, it's a masterpiece. I have to do some finishing, there are those hanging threads and the ends of the sleeves rolling in but in a few days it will be posted on Etsy. Should you want a totally cool Christmas gift, then it's Italian size around 48 (idiotic but it's just my size and I know my sizing only in Italian numbers. It is something between 42 and 44 in the German sizing - Italian sizing fits me exactly, the German one falls usually in between and since the tags contain usually both... well, what the heck), it weighs just under a kilo, it is very warm - not recommended for your Portuguese aunt, I guess - and the price will be around $700, maybe a bit more, I have to do the counting.
Lately, I've been trying to get rid of my flatmate. Hopefully she goes soon, I told her to go by next Tuesday, I even gave her a few urls to look for something. Her cartons remain unpacked so her intentions ofnot staying seem to be clear but she is still there...I went to Prague because I needed to do some paperwork so I checked.
The police had called me, that's it. As they are perfectly organized, one guy called when I was just slamming the door before leaving for Vienna, telling me that I should come and pick my lens and my necklace. I told him that I'm leaving and he said okay, maybe you can come and pick it now? Well, I'm leaving just now, sir, I cannot... The other guy who worked on the same case called me when I was in Arlanda, waiting for my Helsinki flight. No, sir, I cannot come now or tomorrow, I'm in Stockholm... Oh, are you? sigh.
Anyway, they caught me on the phone just when I was leaving a bakery where I sought some consolation for my stressed stomach after having finished, printed, bound and submitted my thesis and we fixed the appointment on Aug 3. I went there, picked my lens, my wonderful, most useful lens. There is still the tag from the second-hand store. 13 500, it says. No matter whether it's drilled cowrie shells or some other currency, the original price was 44 000. (Okay, czk. Around 30 of them for euro, if you need to know). Bastards. Anyhow, I have my most favourite lens back. They cleaned away the plum marmalade (had got it somewhat mixed up with my lunch) but the sticker covering the metal stayed. They couldn't find the necklace, though. After searching, arguing who is responsible for the loss and several excuses, they discovered it in the bag with my name and the accompanying papers.... it's like my mom who calls the service guy before checking that the damn not working thing is turned on:D
Well, time of good pictures is coming.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Just a quick overview

I arrived back to the South like a week ago, finished the thesis, submitted it, told my flatmate to please kindly move away because I don't want to live with her anymore. I guess I should mail her to make sure that she got the point. I got to the state that I dislike being in my own home.
Now I'm at parents and I'm mostly studying,nothing exciting is happening, though.
I still haven't finished my travel entries but there's no time....

Hunter and gatherer

I came home with some new stuff.
New books, to be exact. I was four kilos overweight when I was going up to the Ultima Thule so i knew I have to manage somehow. I got rid of those ten kilos of gifts which gave me six for new crap, on the other hand, I got some shoes, the Tapio Wirkkala jar and some chocolates (and the plush reindeed for Dad but I got that on the airport and carried it under my arm all the time so I effectively looked like an idiot) so I had some vague idea that there will be problems. I Have a sort of a guess when my suitcase is overweight or not.
So, since the airline regulations permit one piece of hand luggage plus ladies' handbag plus reasonable amount of reading matter and who the hell knows what, I stuffed the dictionaries in the hand luggage - the Samsonite bag seemed to be designed for that book format. 8 kilos, I guess. The art stuff and Revelationes and the laptop and camera and stuff went to the ladies' handbag which in my case was the Grafikko bag by Marimekko, which can hold the laptop and eight kilos of potatoes and a heap of books. However, nobody objected. Not that I complained.
I got myself some dictionaries - after all, good dictionary makes life easier. One day I'll count how many of them I have in total. For like 8 languages. I got myself even an etymologic dictionary which was a caprice because nobody ever will make me a linguist. It's just fun to poke in the things.
Since it's some anniversary of Linné the botanist, the travel diaries of his were published as cheap paperbacks. Nice and funny reading, I got them all.
I got a book on medieval stone churches in Finland. Nice pics, Kirsi said that the guy who wrote that is a cool lecturer and... and anyway. People buy worse souvenirs. Plush reindeers and stuff.
I found some general work on Medieval art in Sweden. Lovable, with lots of bibliography and pictures and stuff. I would never guess that the Linköping cathedral is that interesting. Not that I wouldn't notice, I just lack all the pieces of knowledge which I have about the stuff around.
And, I forgot to mark one book, it's the thinner one above the Swedish Medieval art. Axel Gallén or Akselli Gallén-Kallela, my favourite kitsch. I got to know about Finnish art at school. Oddly enough. Since the general meaning at our department in the far South is that there is nothing interesting beyond the seas, the Baltic included, it was a bit odd that the modern art guy had a whole series of lectures on art of the beginning of the 20th century in faraway places like Poland or the Baltic states or Finland. Much later, actually in July this year, I needed to find his email address and there was his biography on the website so I discovered that he had spent the summer of 2003, just before he had those lectures, in Jyväskylä. It's in Finland, just in case you didn't know [waves at ignorants who are plentiful]. Anyway, check the Kalevala stuff. And enjoy or enjoy not.
I got the two later books by Mikael Niemi. (Some info here or here, whatever incomprehensible language you may please. I am evil indeed. I never claimed the opposite.) The Populärmusic från Vittula was published in Czech and since it got sold out and stolen from the libraries in no time - without any hyperpositive reviews or something, the word just spread - I acquired it in Swedish. Actually, Swedish humour is much better in Swedish than translated. And I became addicted. Svålhålet is a series of science-fiction stories and don't ask me to translate the title. (I never claimed to be good in Swedish or even bad and fluent. I care a damn that the stories say otherwise) and Mannen som dod som en lax is a cross between... but who cares about books but me.
I was wrapping the books in foil and wondered. I have a very close relationship with my books. When I was graduating from high school when I was 19, I had like 200 volumes and three friends. I still have the books, friends remained two. Meantime I acquired some 1,000 more books and around ten friends of which eight disappeared in oblivion for no specific reasons (specific reasons would be arguments or things like that. Non-specific reasons are those... you know, a relationship just dissolves, disappears, one day you find out you haven't seen the person for half a year, you have no urge to call but when you fix the meeting, you find out that there's nothing to talk about. Sometimes it's caused by changed family status, people moving far away - but that is not a rule and I have friendships which survived me living in Italy and them living in Santa Cruz, California or getting married and having two babies). Books do not talk back, books are always around to console you and as Petrarca (damn I want my Latin be half good as his) says it, the last level of death is the death of books. It's somewhere in Secretum meum, should some literature nerd be around.
Thinking of it, I should sign my books, make a catalogue and then make a nice testament where they will go. It would be much of a waste to throw them on a heap on some garage sale and apart from a few niceties, it's the only thing of value I have. And the best thing that ever happened to me, along with knowledge... and I guess that nothing better can ever happen to me anyway. It would be nice to leave Linda's funds in the National Library or somewhere.
Yeah, I'm impossible.