Archive for the ‘petersburg’ Category

Decreasing to almost nothing

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Less and less

Like a video game, knitting consists of levels. Every row is actually a level. And like in a video game, to hold your attention the levels must be daunting and versatile, or else you will put away your knitting soon enough. That is unless you are really motivated because for instance it’s getting cold and if you don’t finish that sweater you’ll freeze to death. But who gets in that situation nowadays? The problem which I have introduced with this daring comparison is that the last 100 levels of my cardigan with little holes have been exactly the same. As a result I have been putting my knitting away after about 6 rows the last two weeks or so. I made progress, but no more than about an inch per session. The trick was to start as many little 6-row sessions as I could in one day. Every little spare moment I picked up the needles and cleared a few levels.

no rainActually, right now I’m in a somewhat more exciting stage of the game, because I’m working on the decreases of the first sleeve. And decreases are like time portals in a video game: every time I do a decrease, I know the next level is gonna take me less time, and the more decreases I do, the closer I get to the boss stage, which in knitting isn’t hard at all. Just casting off remaining stitches, leaving nothing less then a completed sleeve.
The best part about reaching the decreases-part is that now my levels are all different, and so even I, having a very limited concentration span, can do almost half a sleeve in one session! In one session I can see my stitches going from a lot, decreasing, decreasing faster, decreasing even faster, to almost nothing. So rewarding, those last levels! Check my ravelry thing or flickr for a picture of the progress if you’re interested. It wasn’t pretty enough to dwell here in this post.

For those people who like neither knitting nor video games and who didn’t understand this entire bit, here’s a summary: I was bored with my knitting and now I’m not anymore!

What’s also decreased exponentially is my unhappy state of mind that developed in the beginning of the week. Right now it’s in the process of being cast off.

I’ve finally digitalized a picture I drew in Petersburg, and I wanted to show it to everybody, it’s a datsja in a village near Pskov. I took a picture of it and then drew the picture at home (being my room in Petersburg). The pencil drawing was later filled in with water colour. Why I did make a picture of the pencil drawing, but not of the final picture, I still don’t understand. But hey, I wouldn’t be as proud to finally show it if I had!

Datsja

datsja watercolour

The photo update project

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Extreme arenaIn april and march I was in Petersburg, Russia to study some Russian. I was there with my ‘odnoklassniki’, classmates, from Holland. I’d already uploaded some of my own pictures to Flickr a while back, but this week I got a shipment of new pictures from Yara, who was, we found out, our personal picture-taker throughout the trip. She literally took a thousand pictures or more of everything cool that happened with her present. It was such a pleasure to watch all those pictures again. Mine I had already seen more than once, and I had gotten used to them now. Yara’s however I had only seen once in Petersburg and then only on her little camera screen. I’ll post some of the nicest here now, be sure to check out the rest of them on her blog and my Flickr page. I also posted some of my own photos I didn’t upload before, I was that enthousiastic. The first day we had classes together we had dinner at a bar-like restaurant called ‘Krokodil’. In the KrokodilThe food was excellent, but the best thing about that dinner was the fact that we had all made it to weird Russia in one piece and we enjoyed the ‘vecherinka’ (a small get together) so much. Katherine, Ludovic (see pic.) and me had fixed ourselves phonecards and sheet music that afternoon and since it was bitter cold and it snowed it was a delight to sit down in a nice warm restaurant with nice people with whom you can speak Dutch. After a few days I got used to the cold, but then the heat in my room became a problem. Because in Russia central heating is on 24 hours a day until ‘summer’ starts. This is a ridiculous waste of energy, because the temperature inside rises to sauna levels so that every sane person opens their windows and the heat escapes. A bummer was that the street on which I looked out was rather noisy when I opened a window, though the view was lovely.

Looking out on Griboedov canal

As I discovered some really nasty looking flaws in this blog when opened in Internet Explorer, I’m quickly gonna fix that. I’ll upload more later, much more!

Well, since I fixed it already and my inspiration is still far from lacking, I might as well continue some more. I just turned on the gas heating in my room again. I love that typical smell when you first turn it on again after a long summer (ahem) and there’s some dust in it. The smell of the dust heating inside, it’s a nice cosy autumn smell. But anyway, I was in Russia, And then what happened? One of the first days I was still oozing with inspiration. Maybe it was the strangeness of the city, maybe the fact that I missed my boyfriend. But I actually drew and painted a little.

View on the other side of the street

This here is the view from my window again, which is written beneath it in Dutch. I really liked the Russian architecture. Crappy and rusty as everything was, it really had an atmosphere, everything looked very real, and very Russian. It’s hard to explain, but if I’m something of a writer, I must be able to do it. It was a mix of respect for a country which is so big but still has cities that have a character, with houses that look like there’s real Russian people living there. It just appealed to something Russian I have inside me probably, which must be why I’m studying and loving it so much too.

This week has been real fun so far, but that’s also the problem with this post: the fun things seem to come in bunches, and then when I want to blog about them, I have to write a huge post. For instance I still want to tell you that yesterday me and my boyfriend were together exactly four years! And We both felt that it had been so easy so far. Everybody should try it, really! And I also want to tell about my visit to Sanne in Rotterdam. We had dinner and bought books with ridiculous titles, a hobby of ours that goes years back. But if everyone just reads this post first, and tells me if they really want all those other subjects too, I’ll decide whether it’s the right choice to do so. For now, I’m just glad if you were able to cope with this much blogpost.

Thank you and goodnight.