Samstag, 31. Dezember 2016

Do we still have a savegame from 2015?

Do you know this cartoon from Adam Ellis? Well, that kind of sums it up.

2016 started out really great. During the first half of the year I learned a lot of new things. I went skiing for the first time in my life and didn't suck at it (or that's what people told me), did a pottery class, saw the Sisters of Mercy live, quit sugar and spent most of the football matches in which Germany played running through my deserted village listening to that one album by Soilwork. One sunday morning I ran 5 km in 30 minutes and 14 seconds without even trying. Hillary was on top, my job got waaaay better, I was getting rid of lots of stuff I didn't need anymore, there were a pregnancy and several weddings (not mine, but I caught the flower bouquet). Life was good.

The man and I were preparing for our life together, this time for good. We found a flat, we found a way to make the move happen, we made the move happen. After that we both had some adventure time, he in the north, I in the south. I got some freckles on my nose, I got soaked more times than I care to remember, I got ill, I got better again. My feet hurt, my shoulder hurt, but I kept on walking. I didn't see an elk, but I think I heard one.

But when I got home, somehow, the spell was broken. I still don't fully understand why or how exactly things went wrong. I don't want to go into detail, and right now it doesn't matter. What matters is that I am finally able to accept it, because that is the first step to change it. It took me quite some time to get to this point, but since it's still 2016, I guess it counts. 

Honestly I don't know yet what to expect from and hope for in 2017 because I am so taken up with the current situation. My list with good intentions is written, but everything else is still shrouded by fog. Manage expectations and disappointments, make baby steps, celebrate small victories. Hang in there. That's all we can do, right? 

I hope you are well, had a good end-of-the-year holiday and spent some time with your loved ones. 2017 means 365 fresh days to make it a good year. Should be enough. :)

Samstag, 17. Dezember 2016

Come follow me we'll go down where the river flows

Aaaaand there is another pattern online (yay!). It's an asymmetrical knit triangular shawl with lots of garter stitch and a nice little lace border. Perfect for a late autumn walk (ehm), evenings in front of the fire or just everyday. The pattern features three different sizes, from small to bigger-than-you-might-think, but you can also adjust it to your yardage and preference. The sample was knit in size small.

I designed this shawl after I got hold of two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in a lovely deep petrol colour. It was a clear case of reward shopping, but I regret nothing.

As I said, there is a lot of garter stitch going on, which makes the main body of the shawl a rather mindless (and super fast!) business. The lace border is very simple, too, making it the perfect project for a lace beginner.

The pictures were again taken by the man, back when the sun was still shining. We had to walk up the mountain quite a bit to catch the last rays in the afternoon and it was damn cold, but so worth it. Just look how well the petrol and gold go together!

Right now you can purchase the pattern for the Elva Shawl on my Ravelry page, but I plan to offer it on Etsy, too. Bonus: The pattern is only 2 € until Christmas Eve (CET)!

And to lure you into another sales funnel: Sebastian has finally set up an online shop for his photographs. And just in time for Christmas, how convenient is that?! You can order either digital files or prints on different materials and in different sizes. We got one on canvas as a test and the quality both of the frame and the print is great! I especially like the landscapes, but the plants are nice, too. Go get one (or two, or three...)!

Merry whichever end-of-the-year holiday you are celebrating :D

Mittwoch, 30. November 2016

Marius Fingerless Mittens - Pattern release!

Remember the Marius Fingerless Mittens from a month back? Well, the pattern has now been tested, tweaked to perfection, and... uploaded!

Yes! And just in time for the holidays! 

Either knit them up and place them under the tree for a loved one, or make a kit complete with pattern, yarn and all, and give it to the knitter in your life. In my experience, this almost certainly results in YOU getting a pair of mittens some weeks or months later.

To purchase the pattern, please follow this link to Ravelry or click on the button in the sidebar.

I hope you like the pattern and I very very much look forward to see your projects. The 36 colours of Holst Tides should leave enough room for you to find the perfect combination.

Enjoy and happy knitting!

Update: And if you are on Instagram, there is a discount code that gives you 25% off (until Monday night (CET)!

Follow me on @themidnightarchitect

Samstag, 19. November 2016

Waning light

It's dark outside and getting darker every day. Officially the sun will go down (and stay there for about two months) only next weekend, but our house is located in a valley with a mountain to the south, which means that the last time I saw the sun from the kitchen window was already a few weeks ago.

To counteract the darkness outside we stocked up on candles and I am trying to wrap my head around vitamin D, lumen, and where to get a daylight lamp. And, after more than two years (WTF?!), I finally got my dyepot out again. Woohoo!

This blend of 70% BFL and 30% silk seems to be one of my staple bases, I have used it a lot in the past and still like it. The colours are also very "me", I thought that since I became a bit rusty, it would be nice to start out with an easy colour combo that I knew would work.

These two came out of the same pot, but the bases are different and so are the results. The Polwarth/Tencel/Seacell blend (50/25/25) in the top picture came out much darker than the BFL/Bamboo blend (50/50) below, but I like them both. Looks a bit like burnt candy.

And, because I could not help myself, a (slightly messy) gradient. The base is 50% Shetland with 20% Silk and 20% Tencel. The wool was not entirely white, but a mixture of white and grey, toning the colours down somewhat. The silk adds a bit of shiny-ness, and white streaks come from the Tencel (a cellulose fiber that is not touched by the acid dyes).

I added the braids to my Ravelry stash and they will go up for sale soon. I also got myself an Instagram Account and a Facebook page. And, to add to the good news, it finally started snowing. Yippieh!

Donnerstag, 10. November 2016

The Season of Metal on Ice

It seems everybody is getting snow right now. They have snow in Finland. They have snow in the south of Germany. They even have snow in the north of Germany! So when I was getting onto the plane in Oslo the other day and there was snow on the airport runway, I expected to land in Tromsø in a heap of whiteness. 

Except I didn't.

One third of November gone and no snow yet. Ok, there is snow above 300m, which is about 20 minutes up the hill, but down here at sea level? Nothing. It is cold enough, but the weather is just too good. We only have ice, and more than enough of it. It is a bit gloomy with the sun standing so low, but that makes the pictures look even more hipsteresque.

And this is the dirt road where I go running. Normally. Last time, I was glad I did not slip and fall. The sun will not reach this trail for the next four months and by now, it has a solid layer of ice on top.

Which means that from now on there is no going outside without these:

(And a safety vest, as soon as I have one.)

Tough life. And remember, it hasn't even snowed yet.

Montag, 24. Oktober 2016

Fingerless Marius Mittens

There is this thing in Norway with Marius. Named after Norwegian pilot, skier and actor (in that order) Marius Eriksen, this pattern has been around for over 60 years. It is considered to be Norway's most popular knitting pattern, which means they put it on everything: sweaters, underwear, pot holders and blankets, but also non-knitwear like mugs, paper napkins, mouse pads and muffin cases. Just google "mariusmønster" and be amazed by the idea of being able to Marius-ize your whole wardrobe. And house. And everything else. 


Maybe a pair of fingerless mittens is enough for the moment. 

Using Holst Samarkand (now discontinued)* and 2.00 mm needles, the mittens are very light, but also surprisingly windproof. The stranded colourwork adds a bit of thickness at the wrist, while the palm remains plain to show off the beautiful, tweedy texture of the yarn. 

To update the classic pattern for a modern and more minimalistic feel, I used muted shades of blue and grey for the main pattern and worked just a few duplicate stitches in red as a tiny nod to the original colour scheme.

As with the Brua Cowl, the pattern for the Fingerless Marius Mittens is almost ready and waiting to be tested. If you are interested, please drop me a note in the comments or send me an email. The pattern is written in English and will be provided as a PDF. Considering Holst's great range of colours, you could probably knit a different pair for each week of the year, secretly Marius-izing your wardrobe one (or two) mittens at a time. Have a great week!

* Holst came up with a new yarn named Tides, which has almost the same fiber content (70% wool, 30% silk) as Samarkand (75% wool, 25% silk) and the exact same meterage. The pattern includes shade names for both Tides and Samarkand.

Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2016

Pattern coming + search for testers

Having done minimal to zero creative work in the past few months, I decided to make up for it by designing more knitwear and writing patterns for it. By now it is mainly accessories, but we will see where it takes me. 

First up: The Brua Cowl

This cowl uses a simple and very versatile stitch repeat that allows you to make the cowl as high and wide as you wish. The original sample was knit in Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy (colour 065 Edelweiss). 

The pattern is almost ready for upload and I am now looking for a few testers who would like to knit the cowl and provide some feedback. You can follow this link to Ravelry and sign up for the test or send me an email/leave a comment here and I will get back to you with the details.

Thanks and have a lovely week!

Mittwoch, 12. Oktober 2016

Going places

A lot has happened since we spoke last. There has been an unhealthy amount of carrying boxes and driving cars, a healthy amount of sleeping in the woods, followed by a lot of walking and even more sleeping in the woods (more on that later). We had fish straight from the fjord and northern lights. The man and I are finally settled in our new home by the river where we have a more or less stable internet connection, though no proper desks yet. Our freezer is packed with blueberries and cranberries and we are writing shopping lists for the winter. Very high on mine: Spikes for my bike and proper gloves for skiing, snowshoeing and well, general survival at 69°N. 

Enjoy the view and stay tuned for more tales from the North ;)

Freitag, 6. Mai 2016

... und nächste Woche gehen wir anzelten!

Mein Blog ist einer dieser halbtoten Zombie-Blogs geworden, in die man alle paar Monate mal reinschaut, um dann festzustellen, dass es wieder nur einen neuen Post gibt. Ein großes Sorry dafür. Ich verbringe auf der Arbeit zwar den ganzen Tag im Internet, aber eben in ganz anderen Ecken als normalerweise. Wikipedia, Google Translate und Linguee sind meine besten Freunde geworden, nachdem uns in der Uni eingetrichtert wurde, diese Seiten höchstens als allerersten Wegweiser und nur heimlich zu Hause zu verwenden. Die Rache der freien Wirtschaft. 

Nach einigen Hochs und Tiefs habe ich jetzt zumindest wieder Spaß an der Arbeit, das Gefühl, in die richtige Richtung zu laufen (wir erinnern uns) und nebenher noch Zeit für Sightseeing. Es geht voran, slow and steady. 

Und damit ihr nicht ganz umsonst gekommen seid, hier noch ein kleines "Life lately" von März bis gestern Nachmittag: 

Schneeschuhspaziergang hinter'm Haus.

"Noch Kaffee, Schatz?"
Der Stuhl ist da fest installiert und Teil eines "Guck mal wie schön unsere Küste ist (Duh!)"-Projekts in Harstad. Womit ich offiziell auch mal auf den Vesterålen war. 

Vitamin D in Holst Coast und etwas zu eng unter den Armen. Meine Maschenprobe wich etwas von der vorgegebenen ab, aber ich wollte es natürlich nicht wahrhaben. 

Langzeit- und Selbstkasteiungsprojekt Orenburgstola. Wenn ihr da jetzt einen Fehler findet, sagt es mit nicht. Bitte. Die Nadeln haben Stärke 2,0. 

Primärfarbenes Stickprojekt. 

Zukunftspatriotisches Strickprojekt.