Archive for September, 2007

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.

Redemption / Verlossing

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

As I promised yesterday, I will now finally post pictures of my baby, my darling, my first, my precious: my finished cardigan. It comes with a crocheted hem, buttons, buttonholes and all.Fair-isle cardigan, green and white I got the pattern here, from Jessica Tromp’s site, for free. And the yarn is Rowan Pure Wool DK in Enamel and Avocado. It wasn’t all fun and games I must admit, knitting the back (the first part) just took forever. I started the pattern with the intention of starting and finishing it in Russia, so that meant two months. Eventually it took me six months. I carried my knitting bag with me to school, to my mom’s house, to parties, on holidays. Luckily it’s a cool bag, but it won’t close so well so from time to time it just flung open and my precious knitting utensils would be all over the pavement. And sometimes someone would spill sugar, breadcrumbs or even their coffee on my knitting. And then I would get upset and sometimes even convinced that it was stupid to believe that I would actually finish this damn thing. But hey, I finished it! And look how proud I am!

Wearing my fair-isle cardigan proudly

It’s now probably safe to say I will never get off knitting again. It won’t get me rockhard abs or cold hard cash, but the sweet satisfaction of completely producing your own nifty garment, I can’t think of more than one thing that beats that!

Zoals ik gisteren al beloofde zijn hier dan de foto’s van mijn jongstgeborene, mijn lieveling, mijn schat: mijn voltooide vestje! Hij heeft een gehaakt randje, knoopjes, knoopsgaten, alles! Ik heb het patroon hiervandaan, van de site van Jessica Tromp, gratis. En de wol is Rowan Pure Wool DK in de kleuren enamel en avocado (en ik hou niet eens van avocado!).

Ik moet wel toegeven dat het niet een groot feest was, hoor. Het achterpand (het eerste deel) heeft een eeuwigheid geduurd. En het was mijn plan om dit project mee naar Rusland te nemen en het daar te maken. Dat was twee maanden. Uiteindelijk heb ik er zes maanden over gedaan. Ik nam mijn breitas overal met me mee, naar school, naar mijn moeders huis, naar feestjes, op vakantie. Het is gelukkig een enorm coole retrotas, maar hij sluit niet zo goed zodat hij soms ineens midden op straat opensprong en al mijn breispulletjes over straat rolden. En soms knoeide iemand suiker of broodkruimels of zelfs koffie over mijn breiwerk en dan werd ik helemaal boos en raakte ik soms zelfs overtuigd dat ik dat stomme ding nooit af zou krijgen.

Maar ik heb hem af! En kijk eens hoe trots ik ben! Ik denk dat ik wel kan stellen dat ik nooit meer van dat breien af kom. Ik krijg er dan geen afgetraind lijf van en geld levert het me ook niet op, maar dat gevoel dat je je eigen mooie kledingstuk helemaal zelf produceert, ik kan maar één ding bedenken dat dat overtreft!

New yarn

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Eager as I am to start a new project, with still four more buttonholes to go on my cardigan, I bought 8 skeins of Rowan 4ply cotton in 121 Ripple yesterday at De Afstap in Amsterdam. Rowan 4ply cotton 121 rippleOriginally I was going to get this yarn from my boyfriend for my birthday, but with al his online ordering skills and experience, he wasn’t able to a find store that sold it cheap and delivered on time. So he gave me books instead, Putin’s Russia by Anna Politkovskaya, Das Schloss by Franz Kafka and one more that I can’t remember right now.

The project I will be starting is Martha, from Rowan magazine 37. When I saw how thin the yarn was, I felt a little set back, because I figured that this project too was going to take me months, just like the one I’m finishing now. But then I just stopped thinking about it, and my problem never seemed to have existed.

Tomorrow the pictures of my finished first cardigan ever will appear right here on this blog, don’t miss it. I’m not sure whether I’ll be having a special party to celibrate this joyful occasion, but that it will be another great day is beyond doubt. Man do I love knitting!

Almost done

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

I’m tempted to say ‘Oh my god’ because my cardigan is really starting to come together now and I’m so proud of it, but I kind of hate that phrase so I won’t say it. I took some pictures, but I don’t want to give away how it looks completely before it’s all done. So this one only gives a little preview. Sleeve being worn

I had a great day yesterday. I met some people from Germany, Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, Italy and also from good old Holland. I met them through a Swedish girl I met at school last week, Lina, and we had a real good time at the Jordaanfestival, singing along with hits like ‘Oh Johnny’ and ‘Geef mij maar Amsterdam’. After that we moved to the park to have what probably was the last picknick of the year. It was wonderful. And this very same weekend I was able wear my cardigan without pins for the first time! There’s no way anyone could ruin my weekend now. Even though I’ve lots of stuff to do, including memorizing stupid Russian paradigms, I feel like a million euros.