Saturday, November 22, 2008


This will be a terrible whining post...
Winter...Is not my time of the year. I actually get very depressed. I hate the cold, I hate the darkness. I would gladly give up Xmas and all if I wouldn't had to endure winter.
Other stuff troubling me as well. I am struggling with work, it is simply not going as it should. I keep wondering if it is my fault (probably yes, to a point, but I just don't know what to do, what else to try...) or the other party's impatience, or simply I have too many boss. I do know that I am not such an idiot as I am made to appear. Also there are changes coming and I don't know if it will be good or bad. This week I came home in tears a couple of times and on Thursday I broke out crying in the office. Fortunately there was only two colleague there to witness it, one of them is my ex boss (who wasn't really), and an other very nice lady, who tried to comfort me... afterward I was so ashamed of myself. And due to the current economic situation I can't even say to myself that if I don't feel well, I will just leave and find something else, because there will be no something else... Add to all this I can't even come home to complain, or get comfort, because PJ would...1. gloat over my un-succes...2. tell me that it is entirely my fault...3. keep referring to it for not only years, but decades...
On other fronts I keep running into walls, whatever I try I seem to fail, except for knitting.
On the home-front no changes and that is something that bothers me too... and as the days get shorter I draw back more and more, and sink into the big blue depression deeper and deeper, and it seems to get worst every year...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I proved

To myself that if I put my mind to something I can do it.

I knitted something I never thought I would...This might give you a hint:

Color-work knitting always eluded me. I keep telling how I grew up seeing my mom knit, but I don’t remember her doing many colors in one piece. The only stranded sweater I remember her making was a blue and white summer sweater. I fell in love with the pattern and asked her to make it for me. She did it, and then nobody would believe it was handmade. Unfortunately the last time we left Miami we still planned to go back, so a lot of things stayed there, including this last thing my mom made for me.
Anyway, as much as I looked at them in awe, and always oh-ed and ah-ed how gorgeous they are, I always thought they are way too complicated to make.
I though I will have happily knit my lacy and cabled projects forever when a couple of things happened … I listened all the back-episodes of the Sticks and Strings podcast, in which David keeps mentioning his Henry sweater. Then Dinara knit this gorgeous Alice Starmore pattern. Then incidentally in a second hand store I pulled out from the pajama/lingerie bin a very nice red shirt (my favorite brand, perfect size). As lovely as it was I have to admit is was red. Very red. So I kept thinking about how could I tone it down a little bit and Dinara’s vest kept coming into my mind. Yeas, a black and red, or a charcoal and red vest, but I still wasn’t sure I would dare to venture into the land of Fair Isle, but it kept bugging me. I looked on the net, checked some videos, how people do it. Throwing, or knitting the continental way, or with a yarn in each hand. I did small swatches. I went yarn shopping, found black, red, orange and maroon yarn in the same brand. I kept looking into patterns. By then I knew that Fair Isle is not as complicated as it looks, especially because it never uses more than two colors in a row. I kept looking at patterns, but they either used more (or less) colors than I had, or they had many stitches in one color which meant long floats in the back, and I didn’t think I was up to dealing with those for the first try.
It seemed I can’t find what I wanted, so I sat down with an excel sheet and started to design my own “Fist-Isle” pattern (Thank you Angela for pointing me to this excellent tutorial!). Most probably it is not very original, but I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, for a first timer.

Then I knitted the vest up in one week! OK, I admit there was a night when I went sleep at half past three, because I couldn’t stop knitting, but still I am still amazed how fast it went. I decided not to steak it. Steaks are scary and I don’t want to scare anyone from doing color-works. Besides looking up on steaking I found it works best with small gauge and yarn that is sticky, or even felts. I used DK yarn because I didn’t want it taking forever (and because that was the yarn I found readily available).
So, may I present my first “official” design: The First Fair Isle Vest:

Modelled picture and pattern is coming soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I am still knitting

Even though it doesn't looks like I do from my posts...
I finished the knitting on the Hey Teach cardi

And the done up the orangey bamboo socks. I tried several patterns with the yarn, but it resisted all of them, so I ended up doing two by two ribbing and a turned down to where I twisted (cabled) the ribbing and I bind it off with a picot edging:

And finally a modelled shot from the tiny short shrug I made out of four balls of Rowan cotton tape:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finding our place

Our little knitting group is in a constant serach for the "perfect" place to hold out meetings... the summer was no problem, the cafe on the St Stephan square and on the Szabadság tér was great, but they are closed for the fall... so we keep looking...
We like the Coffe Company (where teh pic of the yoga wrap was shot) is OK, but if there is more than three of us, we have difficulties to fin enough comfortable chairs, and we can hardly hear each other...
We went to the Teahouse To The Red Lion wihish is nice and not expensive, the tea is great too, but... it is dark, and the chairs downstairs are only comfortable for the time one sits down to drink a tea, not for prolongated knitting. The upper level, has pillows and bean bags on the floor. Again not the best for knitting, not to mention that there is not enough light and way too much noise.
This week we went to Lukács cukrászda (a coffe/tea/cake-house). The place is gorgeous, elegant. not too crowded, but..........way too expensive for regular meetings.
So the search is still on...
I leave you with a picture of Jenny (our member from England) knitting in the Lukács... She knits English style. Come to think of it we had about 8-10 people coming and going in our group, and we all knit differently...


I already told you about the team-building stuff that goes own. My teaching knitting to my collegaues was part of this series,.
This month we went to a salsa class. Once again it was great fun. Though I have to admit cuban music is not my favourite (I had enough of it in Miami), but I love to dance. We learned a few basic steps and a couple o figures.
P. dropped Chris off at the class at a point, but he acted better than I hoped for :-)))

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy halloween!

As I already told in the previous post here in Hungary we don't celebrate Halloween as they do in the US or even in the UK. Like many things coming from overseas it gets more and more fashionable. I love dressing up, but I prefer the carnival... We didn't plan on any party or dressing up for the day, but my son asked for a Jack'o lantern... So we went to the market, bought a small pumpkin and carved it... I never did anything like this, but thanks to the advice Angela gave me (she pointed me to some really good sites)...
The most difficult time I had was scraping the pumpkin flesh out. (I cooked it up to a pumpkin soup. We'll see how it goes with Christopher).
Here is the end result. Christopher drew up the face:

And I put a bat at the back of it.

And here how it glowed in the dark (these pictures were done with my cell-phone's camera, which doesn't have a flash).

When we lighted it and turned off the electric lightbulbs, my son was so happy, he jumped up and down, clapping his hands... So it was all worth it :-)))

Lovely day

Here comes a long post with lots of pictures.
Chris's school is off for the fall break in this week, and I managed to get two days of vacation too. P. went to the lake and I have my boy for all myself (yay).

November 1st is the day of "all saints" and nov. 2nd is the "day of the dead", which means we spend time to remember those who are not with us anymore (or as we tell to Chris "those who went back to the stars"). This is the time when everyone (even those who usually do not) goes to the cemeteries, light a candle, and remember.

This year with many things coming together I decided I take Chris to the city where I grew up, and where my mom is buried.

We took a small wreath and lighted a candle, but Chris was adamant about a small bouquet of flowers.

Afterwards we stopped a "Cukrászda" (cafe? tea house? but the emphasis is on the sweets, the cakes. Chris asked for an ice cream and a frog shaped sweet.

We took a bus and I showed him the windows of the ground-floor apartment I grew up. (Behind the lilac bush is the window of my childhood room).

Then the elementary school I learned to read and write:

And the small river with the dam we played so much on:

On the dam we walked toward the "inner" city. I always loved walking there. behind in the distance there is the small pedestrian bridge, where I got my first kiss.

The small river (Zagyva) runs into a bigger one, and just at the crossing there is the boathouse where I went rowing for years.

The park behind the pool I learned to swim. When I was a kid, the small pond was crumbling and empty. Now it had frog sculpture, and water fountains.

We also checked the high school I went to.

And my son played on the new playground in the park right beside it.

Before we left he city we looked the sculpture that was put there as a remembrance of all who lost their lives in the first world war.

But the truth is that the whole city calls it "the naked butt", because from the walkway on the banks of the Tisza it looks like this:

I don't know about these days, but back it was common to make dates by "the naked butt".
By then the sky turned cloudy and windy and we got pretty tired, so we headed for the train station and got on the next train to Budapest...
After we got back we stopped at the cafe which is one of the place we meet for knitting. A girl from Ravelry was in Hungary and we met her. She is cute and young. Christopher was the end of his (and my rope). Until I had my son I never believed that when kids get tired they get hyperactive (which for my basically very active son looks like he goes nuts LOL). Now I know it happens but still do not understand... But by the time we got home, I made my baby have a shower, drink a cup of ovomaltine, and as soon as his head hit the pillow he fell asleep (yay), and didn't wake up until nine in the morning (I've been sleeping badly because he always comes over and sleeps in my bed... rather restlessly. Not last night. Yay.)
Ps: I shot the pictures with my brand new cell phone. I guess the 3 megapixel camera it has is not bad at all...