For those of you on Facebook

June 18, 2010 @ 2:47 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

you can follow what I’m spinning on my Bockstark Handspun Facebook page. I’ve been so lame about updating this page, and FB is just so much easier… What can I say, I’m lazy! ;)

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Just checking in!

May 14, 2009 @ 5:56 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

Hey there folks. Sorry for the long absence. I’ve lost my blogging mojo, mostly because all I do is spin spin spin. And there’s not too much blogging excitement in that – here’s roving, here’s yarn. Tadaaaaa! :) I also apologize that I haven’t been very good with reading my favorite blogs and flickr pics too, I’m terrible!

But mostly, I’ve been focusing my energies into running. I am kind of going through a mid-life crisis of sorts and decided I need to get off my lazy butt and exercise. I started back in November, kind of casually – about 2 or so times a week. I am ashamed to admit that I couldn’t go more than a block or two without getting winded. Then I became more serious whenever I went to Hawaii in December, upping it to 3 miles/3x a week. When we came back to Munich, I continued on, through the rain, snow and cold.

In March, I decided I needed to have a goal other than “run 3x a week”, so I signed up for the Munich half marathon. It was really overwhelming at first and I thought I would die just training for it. But as the weeks went on and I started doing longer and longer runs, I now feel like it will be a piece o’ cake. Ok, not EASY, but finish-able. On my birthday, after a few glasses of wine, I decided I needed yet another challenge, so I signed up to run the Loch Ness Marathon in Scotland in October. YEAH! I think the idea of the marathon being somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, as well as being such a famous area, makes me really really excited. I will run the full length of the Loch (maybe catch a glimpse of Nessie while I’m there) and then end in Inverness. For part of my training, I will run a full marathon a month before the actual race. So really, I will run 2 marathons this year, one official, and one not. One in Munich, one in Scotland. It will be the most physically demanding thing I have ever done in my life. But I am actually ENJOYING it, which is really surprising me.

I am currently able to run 8 miles, with only a few stops to walk. It is amazing how fast my cardio has developed. As a nice side effect, I lost 20 lbs so far and am able to fit some pre-pregnancy jeans! That in itself is keeping me going!

I am going on vacation for a couple of weeks, first to Paris. I’ve never been there before and since my parents will be watching the boys, I will fly and meet my husband, who will be arriving by train from Brussels (he works for a company there and goes 1 week a month). We don’t have much plans, other than visiting with our friends, shop for Maille mustard (mmmmmm) as well as stuff at La Drougerie, and I’m really interested in going to Le Refuge des Fondus, where you drink wine out of baby bottles. And we’re also going to do a 10 mile run through the city that will take us on a little sight seeing tour – to the Eiffel tower, along the Seine, and end at the l’Arc de Triomphe. Fantastic! I’m really looking forward to it. After we get back, we’re going with the whole family down to our favorite parts of Italy – Bolzano and Gardasee. Paris, Brussels, Italy, Scotland…we sound so european! :)

Surprise package from Robin!

One last note, I wanted to thank Robin of Robin’s Nest! I won a contest on her blog and she sent me an amazing package filled with a bunch of patterns/pattern books, lovely citrus-y soap, a stitch marker, sheep note paper and sticky notes, and a wonderful calming “Peaceful Pond” CD. Ahhhh…it’s like a day in a knitting spa! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

That’s all the news fit to print…until next time!

Comments (11)

New Labels are here

March 13, 2009 @ 3:39 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

and I love them! Makes me all official-like! :)

I have arrived

The new labels

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I met my Heroes!

February 10, 2009 @ 11:26 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc,spinning

I was lucky enough to meet up with KnottyNaomi while I was in Hawaii this year! She doesn’t go every year at Christmas, so I was just lucky! If you don’t know who she is, she is a spinner/photographer extraordinaire and one of my spinning heroes! She creates gorgeous yarn and is known for her bulky “ropes”. We met at a fellow knitter/spinner’s house – Opal, the AkamaiKnitter. I met Opal last Christmas at the Aloha Knitters meetings and we’ve been in blog contact ever since! She also creates amazing yarn at the other end of the thickness spectrum – laceweight! Seriously, this girl can spin 2ply laceweight and get 1000+ yards from 4oz – 2ply!!! Sheesh!

Get together with AkamaiKnitter and KnottyNaomi
Opal, Naomi and me

Anyways, we spent a few hours in the afternoon showing each other how we spin. It is a real learning experience and I wish there were more spinning gatherings. And I wish I had a traveling wheel! :) Luckily, Opal has 2 wheels so I spun on her Lendrum while Naomi spun on her Majacraft. Before this, it has been next to impossible for me to spin thick, consistently, that is. But for some reason, after watching her do it, it just clicked. Maybe it’s seeing how much twist she puts in? I dunno. So after I had a 2 month spinning hiatus, I sat down and channeled my “inner Naomi” and created some rope. Man, the fiber goes so fast!!! I can make a dent in my stash for sure! :)

Handspun CMF corriedale in

got rope?
Channeling my inner Naomi yarn!

Then as if that wasn’t enough, on my way back to Germany, we had a layover in SFO and Stephen of Y-Knit fame came out to meet me and the boys. Have your heard his and WonderMike’s super uber-professional podcast? My god, it puts everyone else to shame!!! But the instant he arrived at the airport, we were non-stop talking about all kinds of stuff. He was such a hoot and I enjoyed his company immensely. And his hugs…oh his hugs…they are the BEST! He gives those really tight hugs that makes your jaw hurt from smiling so big and you really feel loved. I cannot wait to see him again, and I hope next time we’ll have more time! I’m trying to convince him to come out to Germany, especially since his husband speaks fluent German!

hizKnits + Bockstark
hizKnits and me


hizKnits corrupting my baby!!! ;)

And he was such a sweetie and gave me a whole bunch of yummy clif bars (most of which we consumed on the plane) as well as a skein of STR Monsoon. I sold off all my STR whenever I took the spinning plunge, so to feel the squish again was nice. When I got home, I cast on for a Kid’s Cowl since my boys need one. And it stripes up beautifully! Thanks Stephen!!!

Kid Cowl

Kids Cowl in STR mediumweight Monsoon

So anyways, that was the excitement from my vacation! :) Now it’s back to spinning spinning spinning!

Comments (17)

Posting avoidance…

February 2, 2009 @ 3:18 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

I started spinning again!!! After 2 months of no wheel (1 month because I was away and 1 month because that’s how long it took for me to get my shit together and clean up my desk), it feels good to have fiber between my fingers again. I don’t have pictures or anything yet. So to avoid writing something new, I’ll post the 25 random things about me from Facebook. I like to recycle. ;)

1. I normally don’t do these things but enough people tagged me to do it so I am. But I’m not tagging other people since I don’t want them to feel obligated to do it. If you’re reading this and want to, then do it. If not, no biggie. (oh, and if you tagged me, then I curse you!!! nah, just kidding!)

2. Related to #1, I don’t like making people feel obligated to do/buy things. Like having a birthday party – I like throwing a party, but don’t like people feeling like they have to buy me a gift. That’s why I never had a baby shower or wedding shower.

3. BUT, I do love getting gifts from my husband!!! :) Maybe it’s the fact that he has to painstakingly figure out what I want then figure out how to get it. And it’s cute when he tries to hide that he writes a note to himself (and then forgets that he wrote it seconds later).

4. I met Michael when I was 18, in my first semester at USC. But he wasn’t a student, he was a guitarist in a rock band (Avant Garde/Zoom) and I was a sunset-strip-hanger-outer every weekend. I did not go to football games, I went clubbing!

5. Our first date was a walking tour of Hollywood for a class project (don’t even ask) and we ate ice cream. Michael impressed me with his innocence, wit and talent. He is an incredible guitarist and it made me go weak in the knees. What I love most about him is that he has so much passion for what he does – first it was music/guitar, then it was school (computers), and now climbing. He doesn’t do things half-assed. It’s all the way or nothing.

6. Michael and I broke up for a month about 3 months into our relationship because “guys in bands shouldn’t have girlfriends”. Yeah, uh huh. But I was very persistent and still hung around and eventually he saw the light. HA! I always wonder where I would be if I walked away.

7. I got married when I was 21, and it was stressful because my family did not want me to get married. And they thought I was pregnant. We were poor but wanted to get married in a church. So we had a 10 minute ceremony in a Unity church in Houston and rented renaissance costumes. Had no honeymoon. The only thing I regretted about the whole affair was that we didn’t hire a professional photographer.

8. Because we had no honeymoon, we would take big trips (like going to Europe twice) and call them our honeymoons. I loved that! Now with kids, we can’t afford them anymore. :( But since we’re living in Europe now, we can go to exotic places much cheaper!

9. I played the piano, cello, guitar (rock and classical) and flute and have taken lessons for all of them. The only instruments I wanted to play was the guitar and flute (piano and cello was forced by my parents). I played the flute as an adult and wanted to play it for my children one day. But I stopped before I even got pregnant and now my flute is rotting on my shelf. I hope to one day break it out again. Michael and I did some really cool Stephen Collins Foster guitar/flute duets.

10. I love to spin yarn. It is my absolute favorite hobby next to wasting time on the internet. I used to knit a lot more, but spinning is much more satisfying to me. I still knit though, mostly socks, gifts, baby things, scarves, hats, small things.

11. I hated facebook at first, and now I’m addicted to it. I love getting back in touch with people from my past and seeing what they’re up to now. But I’m embarrassed when someone remembers me and I don’t remember them. I won’t say who those people are! :) I also am pretty good at keeping in touch with folks – every year we send out 250 christmas cards! I have been sucky with email lately though…I’m working on it! :)

12. As if you couldn’t tell, I’m an internet junkie. Being a stay at home mom in a foreign country has made me kind of a hermit. I used to be comfortable in social situations, but now shy away from them and sometimes dread them. Not because I don’t want to visit with people, but because I’m afraid they won’t like me or that I won’t have anything to say. But give me a glass of wine or five and I’m so there!

13. I like to go barefoot. I have a lot of hand knitted socks and I very rarely wear them. Even in the winter. The Germans stare at me like I’m a freak. I kind of am, I guess. My kids are as well. When they come home from school, they take off everything except their shirt and underwear! My husband says “you can take a girl out of Hawaii, but you can’t take Hawaii out of the girl!”

14. I have a cavity on almost every tooth in my mouth. But I haven’t had a new cavity in over 10 years. I fear getting more crowns not because my tooth is rotted, but because they’re damn expensive.

15. I am a Coke girl. I love Coke. I love Coke Zero. If a place only has Pepsi, I will drink 7Up or Rootbeer or just water, anything other than Pepsi. I also don’t drink coffee or tea. This is the reason why #14 exists. But since I mainly drink Coke Zero now, I’m ok.

16. I wanted an adventure all by myself before we had kids, so in 2003 I went to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for 3 weeks. In the months prior to that, I got my scuba certification so that I could go diving in the islands. I loved that trip and have many fond memories. I signed up to learn spanish and lived with local families in both places (Quito and Puerto Aroya). In the mornings, I had 4 hours of spanish learning, then in the afternoons I went exploring. I even visited Microsoft in Quito! They were really nice. Quito was a little scary, but I still enjoyed it. The Galapagos islands was a big party! I loved it there, even though there was no hot running water. The diving was phenomenal and I will never forget swimming amongst the turtles, fish and seals. After 3 weeks, I felt like I could speak Spanish as well as I can in German now (after 3 years of living here!). I still keep in touch with the Galapagos family as well as a couple of the other students that were living in the house.

17. I wanted to be a veterinarian up until I was in the 6th grade. I used to study dogs and knew every breed of dog. We had dobermans, and I trained the first one (Kimi) and did the whole obedience training show thing. I was one ribbon away from her being a champion dog (you need to get 3 ribbons and we had only 2). We even knew the dogs (and trainer) that were on Magnum, P.I. One of them was named Nohea, so we named our next dog after her. But then people always thought her name was “no hair” and that drove me crazy. We also had chickens and rabbits and I would run to their cages every day to check for eggs. I named my animals all the same – “Kimi” was a popular name, don’t know why, as well as “Peppermint Patty” and “Marci”. And I also named a chicken “Saimin” and my favorite rabbit “Guess”. I’m just happy we managed to give our kids fairly normal names.

18. I do not have a college degree. I went to USC for 2 years then I was supposed to go to art school in San Francisco – even got accepted into San Francisco Art Institute and the California College of Arts and Crafts, but got a job at UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab as an admin and worked instead. I do not regret making that choice at all.

19. I believe in things happening for a reason. So far, all the bad things in my life has resulted in some good. (Of course, not deaths or sicknesses or anything like that) For example, when we moved to Houston, I was so perfect for this one job at Rice University. I did super well at the interviews and I was crushed to find out I didn’t get the job. I was depressed for days. Then I got a job at a place called Cogniseis Development and that’s where I learned about scripting/programming and that led me to more and more technical jobs rather than administrative. So I think had I gotten the job at Rice, I would’ve been forever in admin work. OK, maybe not, but it sure feels that way.

20. I grew my hair past my butt and then chopped it all of when I got a job with Microsoft. It was 24″ of virgin hair (the hair was virgin, not me! heh!) and I sold it to someone online though a hair board. I found out that there were a lot of men who have fetishes for cutting women’s hair off. And would pay big money to do it themselves. Ewwww! The guy who bought my hair seemed very professional about it and I think I got $250. But he also could be rolling around naked in it. I guess I don’t care, as long as I’m not involved.

21. Michael and I are both risk takers. We are not rich because of it, but we do live a pretty full and satisfying life. We are adventurers at heart (Michael more so than me) and hope that our boys will be too.

22. I hate doing housework and exercising, but found out with the right playlists, I will pretty much do it all. I will cook and clean and do dishes without complaint. And will even run for miles. I must always have an iPod with me for the rest of my life.

23. When we both were working at Microsoft, we had a cook. The cook was awesome, she came to our house and made 40 servings of food (per our menu choices) and then stored it all in our freezer. I miss her.

24. I was a tomboy when I was little and loved to do stuff with my dad. I felt bad that he didn’t have a son, so I tried to be one for him. We went fishing, played softball, volleyball, tinkered around with stuff in the garage, it was fun. I was even a score keeper for his softball team for awhile and I had my little score keeping book where I wrote down the plays. And then puberty hit and it was all over.

25. I am a night owl, always have been, always will be. I remember when I lived at home, I would calculate how much I could sleep in based on how many times my mom banged on my door and how angry her tone was. I can get ready pretty quickly. I sacrificed makeup and hair for sleep. Ok, not so much in my high school years, but as much as I could.

Comments (7)

Oh the 80′s were so awesome

January 28, 2009 @ 1:14 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

I just saw this video and couldn’t stop cracking up. Was this really sexy back then? I wonder if he dances around his bedroom like this when no one is looking. My favorite part is when he rips off his flashdance shirt and then puts on another flashdance shirt. Freaking hilarious! You just gotta love Billy Squire!

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This might be controversial and TMI, but it’s my blog!

January 21, 2009 @ 1:16 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

Warning: Anyone not comfortable talking about circumcision can skip this post! I’m not debating whether it should be done or not. Hurtful/spiteful comments will be deleted.

I was very sad to find out yesterday that one of my boys needs to be circumcised (he’s 4). Not that I’m against it or anything, but to put him through the pain is upsetting. I don’t know any of the details yet, I still have to meet with the doctor to see exactly what the procedure is.

Other concerns are that none of the other boys are cut at school (the exact opposite problem from the US), so I hope it doesn’t give him a complex about it. I’m sure I’m making a bigger deal out of this than I should, but I worry about these things!

If there’s anyone who had their boy cut “after the fact” contact me? I have questions!

Comments (26)

Buying a fleece

November 7, 2008 @ 2:15 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

OK, so after my last post about undyed spinning, my husband and I decided that what would be *REALLY* cool is to buy a fleece (I’m attracted to the shetland dark brown/black) and have it processed. The problem is – how do I buy one? from Germany? Since I am going to the states this winter, it would be really cool to buy one now, send it away to get processed, then have it sent to my parents where I can bring it home with me. Any recommendations? I would LOVE to go to a fiber festival and get one but .. there isn’t really any opportunity for me to do that. Are there places that sell fleeces? European places would be even better!

Also, I will need recommendations for processing mills! Thanks so much to everyone who responded, you have convinced me to make a zippered cardigan for the husband. :)

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Huh? Halloween is over?

November 3, 2008 @ 12:12 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

We were oh so young
Michael and I in 1989

So, being in Germany, we didn’t celebrate Halloween. There is no trick-or-treating or dressing up. There are some stores that sell kinda Halloweeny things, but unless you know a lot of Americans, it just doesn’t seem like it exists. My poor boys, have only had one Halloween 3 years ago when they were 1. They probably will never go trick-or-treating. Kinda makes me sad. But ah well…

I uploaded some old pictures of me to flickr and one of them got a lot of attention. People thought it was our Halloween costume! That’s how dated it was. I had to laugh – our hair – so big! Check it out! This month we will have been 19 years together. Yep, nineteen. Freaky.

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Too much beer

October 6, 2008 @ 5:56 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

Oktoberfest 2008
Those things are heavy!

Sorry for not being regular at posting, I’ve kinda been off the internet for awhile. You know how it is. Oktoberfest is now over and we went on the last day (Sunday) and had a lot to drink. We went with my husband’s work group and so we had free beer and chicken all afternoon/evening. Awesome! I started off with a coke (which I spiked myself with some grappa), then had a radler (which is 1/2 beer and 1/2 lemonade or something sweet), then had the full on Oktoberfest beer, which is quite potent stuff – 13% alcohol, if I remember correctly. I’m not a beer drinker, so this progression (sweet -> beer) made it possible for me to handle it.

I love Oktoberfest, it is a really great tradition. It’s so cool to just hang out, talk to random strangers (whoever sits next to you) and you just drink and eat and drink. Sounds like a huge frat party, and in some ways it is, but it’s really great to see people of all ages (not so much kids, but old and young) having a great time. It gets rowdier during the night since people have been sitting there all day drinking beer, but I’ve never seen it out of control. So much gemütlichkeit!

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What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.