One down

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Yep, throat still hurts and there is not much knitting going on but at least I’ve finished a wrist warmer. Good that they are not that big because I don’t know how much more white I can do. I’m getting a little tired of it to tell the truth. But they look pretty!

The jet setter in me

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Okay, the bumps are finally evened out, a bit, and I can start showing you this weekend and our new jetset lifestyle. It started early on Friday morning but not early enough since we were wokened at 5 am by the call from the taxi announcing it was outside our buildning. We hurriedly got up and dressed and dashed through the front door. If the picture above is a little blurry it’s because it’s our breakfast at the airport and we were still a little blurry by then.

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I had my knitting with me and managed to make a few rounds during breakfast. We were just at our gate but apparently that wasn’t enough as we heard through the speakers that this was the final call for the flight to Warsaw. We dashed again and as the last passengers we entered the bus that was to take us to the plane (apparently it’s cheaper to pick up the passengers by bus and drive them to where the plane is parked than it is to tow the plane to the gate, if it has been parked over night). We weren’t that late though, the plane wasn’t ready for us so we had to wait a few minutes on the bus before we could board.

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In my eagerness not to pack anything unnecessary in my carry-on I had removed my little pouch of knitting necessities and it became evident on the plane when I needed a measuring tape. If the cuff of my wristwarmer is half an inch too long it’s only because I wanted to be sure it really was 6,5 cm and not a millimeter shorter.

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After we landed we went straight to make some errands. The wristwarmer tagged along.

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We went to my favourite yarn store in Warsaw, Magicloop, where the lovely Agnieszka helped me pick up some really nice yarn, not much though, just 30 skeins or so. I take yarn buying seriously, it’s not something I do without thinking it through, which ment a good one and a half hour in the yarn store. I think my not-as-fond-of-yarn-as-I-am-company got some insights in the wonders of buying yarn.

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That yarn is not mine. Or at least not all of it. I picked up another, almost as big smaller pile, in colors more towards yellow and red.

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While Agnieszka printed my bill I sat down to knit (that was the best thing I could think of as the concept of waiting in a yarnstore only makes that bill higher than it originally is).

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After a yarnstore it is essential to go and have chocolate to celebrate good yarn purchase. Luckily, Wedel is on the same block as Magicloop. We had chocolate. And cake.

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I might have bought some chocolate as well. Might have, I say.

In the evening we were exhausted and all we had the energy to do was watch Sex and the City (it’s so 90′s) and do a little knitting.

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The next day we woke up early even though we had tried to sleep in due to the up-coming events of the day. At 3:30 we headed for this church, which I’ve totally forgotten the name of except that it belong to the Dominican monastery, or something like that (I don’t know that much about monasterys or convents, besides watching Sound of Music many, many times and reading French fabliaux in my very first literature class at university eleven years ago). Anyway, it was a very pretty and mighty church and it had many weddings this day. We were standing outside when the bridal couple from the previous wedding came out and we saw the bridal couple of the wedding after enter the church as we were heading out. Also, I think there were some guests that were confused, because we were sitting next to an older lady, she came in the middle of the ceremony and then she stayed for the next wedding. I figure she was either a professional wedding ceremony visitor (which I can totally understand, the church was huge and to fill it you would have had to have many, many hundreds of guests) or had just come a little too early.

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I’m sorry for the blurry picture, Agata and Geoffroy walked very fast. They were beautiful, I’m sure you can tell despite the blurriness. The ceremony was beautiful too, even though I didn’t understand much since my Polish is still very limited and my French vocabulary, although otherwise quite excellent, is somewhat lacking when it comes to religious ceremonies (even though I have once gone in a Lucia parade at a home for retired nuns so if we had sung Silent Night in French at this wedding I could have joined but sadly (and undertandably) we didn’t). I can talk at lenght about sight-seeing in Uppsala in French though but, again sadly, no one asked me. The priest did a very good job at juggling both langugages and Julle and I was trying to figure out if he had French or Polish as his native langugage (the irony that he could do in one person what took us two people to do, speak both French and Polish, was not lost on us. We suspect he didn’t know Swedish though.) Julle said his Polish was excellent and even though I couldn’t notice any mistakes in the French he stumbled on a few French words and we decided he was Polish by birth. It later turned out we were right but man, was I impressed with him.

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I’ve had some worries about what to wear at this wedding since I’ve never attended a Polish wedding before and dress codes can be tricky. In the end I e-mailed the bride and she was the sweetest and her advice helped me a lot. When it came to the gift though, we tried to color code it with the wedding inviation (I’ll show you later what the actual gift is, once we know that Agata and Geoffroy has opened it), something that turned out to be very fortunate. Just look at that picture with our gift and the program for the ceremony, it’s perfect. It also turned out that maple leaves were a huge part of the decorations and we were spot on with that too. I love it when things just work out.

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The bridal couple drove away in a car to the venue where the party was and the guests?

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We took the bus. That is a regular commuter bus. It was awesome.

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The bus really took it’s new role as wedding guest transporter seriously. We didn’t have to press the button though, it new where to stop (which was more than we knew).

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The party was great, the people were friendly and Agata and Geoffroy looked very happy. After midnight the cake came out and the dancing continued and Julle didn’t catch Geoffroy’s tie but accidentally knocked one of the other guests (he didn’t catch the tie either). I was not in the run for the boquet, I have already caught a boquet in my life and I think that’s enough (since it was Lyndsey’s I figure I have already caught the most important one, so to speak (among the weddings I’ve attended where the boquet is actaully thrown (three so far) as is not custom at Swedish weddings), and I think it was better that people who actually knows Agata were in the run for it instead).

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We danced all night, we drank all night (mojitos!) and we ate all night and we met the most lovely people (one particularly lovely girl was very impressed by my handknit shawl (white with red beads), I think we will become friends for life. The groom was very taken with Julle’s red shoes and I think there is a spiring close friendship there as well. (We both respond well to compliments)). It was wonderful and such a clever idea to serve food all night long, that way you can get the party lasting for much longer. Also, it’s not often that you get to eat as many bread-sticks as you want instead of the token one. I was very pleased with the whole arrangement. At 3.30 we left the party, went straight home to change (not that I couldn’t have gone on the plane in my party dress, it was just that my skirt and top took up more space in the suitcase than my dress did and my suitcase was already filled with yarn) and went to the airport.

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I slept some at the gate and then again at the plane but I was able to make a few more rounds on my wristwarmer. The first one is done now.

My cold has continued on and even though I’ve now got caught up on my sleep I still feel like maybe I’m not really cut out to be a real jet setter. It was fun while it lasted though.

Too many bumps

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So, I have a cold. Apparently I’m not cut to be a jetsetter if I get a cold due to just some lack of sleep (and an acquantance with germs). (This must show that I’m really not 25 anymore.) I was going to show you all about the trip anyway but it turns out that I’m not only a bad jetsetter, I’m also a bad blogger because I made the person who constantly hold my pictures hostage take the pictures. Pictures I need for my blog post. That’s way too many obstacles so I guess this is just a blog post about a non-existent blog post and I’m going to watch TV under a blanket and drink tea. (And maybe knit. Maybe. (That’s how wiped out I am.)

 

Sunday evening

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It’s been an intense weekend during which we’ve barely slept at all. We are exhausted but happy as we finally go to bed at eight pm. It’s been a weekend of family, yarn, chocolate, languages, new experiences and love, all the things you need in life. Later this week I’ll tell you all about our new jetset lifestyle but for now this will have to be enough because I need to get that highly sought after sleep (I’m not 25 anymore) so that I will actually have the energy later on to tell you about this weekend.

Good night!

Back to the beginning

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Yesterday was my bobbin lace class. It’s so much fun. We’re sitting around the table, eight ladies and a teacher, bobbin away and talking about grandchildren and retirement and handcrafts and such. It’s very lovely.

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This time for my new lace, I decided to go back to basics. In early 2013, when I first started taking bobbin lace classes, my very first lace was a lace called Udd och stad (point and selvedge). It’s only six pairs of bobbins and is therefore a fairly quick lace. I bobbined and bobbined in my mother’s kitchen and the next class I could show an 8 inches (20 cm) long lace which my bobbin lace teacher praised adequately. (Considering how life was in February 2013 I needed a lot of praise, it made me childishly happy (I responded well to gifts too). Not that I didn’t want praise before that, and after too, but spring 2013 was something exceptional, and bobbin lace was perfect: something I turned out to be fairly good at almost from the start and a very enthusiastic teacher.)

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I wish I would have filmed my work and my progress with that first lace, it would have been fun too watch and see if there has been any development in skill (there must be) in comparison with this attempt. I think it’s beneficial to go back to basics every once in a while, as a reminder of the progress and development. I know I can make much bigger and more difficult laces now but it isn’t until I go back to that first lace I can truly feel that I’m a better lace maker now than 18 months ago. If nothing else, I’m definitely faster.

Blank spaces on the map

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It’s been obvious to me these past few days. Fall is here and the mornings are cold. I have switched my cardigan for a jacket when I take my bike to work. It’s getting more and more clear though that there might be a need for some kind of fingerless mitt to finish the ensemble (and prevent me from freezing).

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In times like these, when there is an urge and something needs to happen quite fast, the easiest is to just turn to the already known. A pattern I’ve already made and are familiar with. It happens so easily. Sometimes I just happen to like the pattern and therefore enjoy knitting a lot from it to get it out of my system. Sometimes I suspect it’s pure laziness. Like that shawl pattern I used for three Christmas gifts in 2010 (sure, I was a much less experienced knitter back then but how would I have learned more if I only ever made one type of shawl?) or the Cupcake Cutie Caps in 2013.

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Now with the evident need of a pair of fingerless mitts (and of course I don’t care for the ones I already have right now (granted most of them are mere wristwarmers and I’m looking for something a little more “covering” and that I made most of them in 2005 which means they are kind of worn out (and by worn out I mean that some of them are literally falling to pieces))) my first thought was to go the pattern for the ones I made in late May and early June.

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I have, not a rule, but a goal, an aim. I have plenty of pattern books and magazines and booklets and to sort of advocate to myself the need and necessity of all these books, magazines and booklets I try to knit at least one pattern from each item in a sort of “If I’ve used them it wasn’t an unnecessary purchase”. This has prooven a bit difficult at times when the rate of my pattern purchases exceeds my ability to knit.

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When I first cast on wristwarmers in late May I was happy, it was a new pattern from a book that was in my book case and I could tick off another book.

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Now though, these are already done and I’ve made something from that book and why don’t I try something new? What’s the fun in making something I’ve already done? Why should I wear the same kinds of fingerless mitts as everyone else? Sure, it’s easy, but should I go for easy every time? No, I’m going to search my pattern library and pick something I haven’t knit before. (I can at least pick another pattern from the same book.) Surely I can do it!

(This means that The Sweater Committment will be a little less committed for a week or so but I believe that the question of warmth should be a priority this time of the year.)

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Pattern: Rosa Rubiginosa Mitts by Hunter Hammersen. Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, color 204 Velvet grapes and Drops Baby Alpaca Silk from Garnstudio, color 6347 blue purple (I think).

CO stands for COmmittment

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I have started. After much contemplating (or actually, I just did what the pattern said I should do with the swatch and I measured but didn’t really make any decisions or learned something from it) I have cast on. We’ll see íf my two color plan will work (it better, because I don’t have enough yarn in either color). Now I have a small part of the right shoulder done. We’re doing this in small steps.

Level of committment

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I take this sweater committment seriously, you might even say that I’m committed. I have swatched, see, only there you have proof of my committment. But that’s not all. I have blocked the swatch and I have even hung it to see what happens when there is some pressure to it. I have read through the pattern and it seems its going to be hard to do what I’m thinking. I want to use two colors but the construction of the garment makes it hard to do what I have planned. I will not give up though, I will try and eventually I will succeed. Or just cast on something else.