Hiking in Zermatt – isn’t the view amazing???
Finished handspun socks!
We planned this trip awhile ago, and with everything going on I kinda forgot about it, but then suddenly it was here. My family and I (and my parents) went to Zermatt, Switzerland for a week. It was freakishly expensive, but after the initial shock, we learned to live with it and thank goodness our apartment had a kitchen so we could cook all our meals.
We had more good weather days than bad and oh, when the sun shines, it is truly one of the most beautiful places to be. We had an awesome view from our apartment, but to get out there with the boys was really fun. They are hardcore hikers/climbers! They always took the hardest paths and always wanted to go up up up to the top! One of the most memorable days we took the train/ski lift up and walked down. It was about 2 miles (maybe more?) and we were constantly amazed at how well the boys did, considering they haven’t really done much hiking. The whole time I kept thinking, THIS is why we moved to Europe. The accessibility to the outdoors is really great here, and I am ALL for taking a lift up to a mountain top and/or enjoying a hot meal and wine in a hut. :)
The trip back we had some back luck – my wonderful husband read the wrong departure time, so we missed our comfy glacier express. We took the regional trains back home and I think we had to transfer 6 or so times. Yeah, that was fun. But I’m home and getting caught up on stuff.
So, now I’m off to bed, thought I would leave you with some pictures! One is of my family on the memorable hike and the other is my husband showing off his new socks which I’ve named “36 pieces of flair”. Hope everyone knows the reference. :)
So we’ve had a traumatic past couple of days. Thursday afternoon, we headed out on a train to Chur (me, husband and boys). My parents left early in the morning so they were already there. It’s a long story about a car that has been in the shop for 4 weeks as to why we didn’t leave all together. Anyways, the train ride was actually pleasant, the boys did great. The boys have been potty trained for about a month now and have been doing so very well. Hardly any accidents and if it did happen, it would happen during their nap. Bathrooms on the train really aren’t great for beginning potty trained boys. One of them did fine, but Elijah got totally freaked out by the weird toilet and how it moved. I think this really scarred him for life and he didn’t want to use a toilet after that – even the ones in the train station and in our hotel. So we put him in diapers again. He always wants to wear underwear but then when he realizes that means going to the toilet, he starts screaming and crying. Ugh. Today Michael bought a kids toilet seat – you know, the kind that fits over the toilet so it’s smaller and he is finally comfortable enough to use it. We got a rude introduction to Switzerland! When we got to Chur, it was surprising at how expensive everything is. Thank goodness my parents were there to warn us. We knew it would be expensive, but I don’t think we were quite prepared. One swiss franc is about the same as one US dollar. We paid close to $40 for a McDonalds meal for 2 adults and 2 kids. Wow. We also booked a cheap room (at least in Chur – it was $130 a room) and it was in the middle of all these strip clubs and bars. How embarrassing it was to be walking with 2 kids and your parents with pictures of these naked ladies everywhere. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. The next day we took the Glacier Expess train to Zermatt and it was a really great train ride (but OH MY GOD expensive) Zermatt was so much nicer and everything is clean and there are no cars (except for these little electric cars). Our room is amazing and surprisingly not that expensive. Off of our balcony we have an incredible view of the Matterhorn and the weather is PERFECT! We have a kitchen here so we plan to cook as much as possible to save on the costs. So anyways, that was my rant about Switzerland. On to knitting! I finished spinning the skein of CMF superwash merino in San Francisco and I was so-so about it. It wasn’t as thin as I would’ve liked it and also I wasn’t sure about the colors, they kind of went everywhere. I decided to knit Michael socks with it anyways (and he saw the colors
and thought it was ok), and I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. The transformation that handspun makes from yarn to sock is amazing. Oh, it is so awesome. I wish I could take a picture of it, but sadly, internet connection here costs money (of course) and the computer that works with the internet connection doesn’t have a port that fits the memory card. Argh. I’ll take pictures and post them later. I am making a plain stockinette foot with a 2×2 rib leg and an afterthought heel. I never made those heels before so I thought I should try it. Other than that, I am missing my spinning (no wheel for 1 whole week!) but have my handspun socks and Fiddleheads to keep me company among the mountains! Oh yeah, today is WWKIP day, I’m going to try and knit outside awhile. But it’s kinda sad that I’ll be by myself. There is a yarn shop here, I’ll have to find it! :)
Look at that amazing texture!
I am being so good. I am knitting from my stash. And not recent stash – DEEP stash! I bought this yarn about a year ago and didn’t like the feel and color of it. It is 70% merino and 30% cashmere and it is indeed soft, but it’s kind of sticky like when you rub velvet the wrong way. I think the colors on the web were much more darker and vibrant, so it was a slight let down. But I liked it enough to keep it, and the person it was for would like it. It was supposed to be socks for my mother-in-law LAST YEAR, but never got the time to do it, so I decided to do it this year. And it makes me feel good that I’m getting a jump start on Christmas. Well, really, what it is is that I want to reduce how much we spend at Christmas, and hand knit socks are priceless!! Hand knit cashmere socks…well…much better than some bargain basement DVD from Target.
Anyways, so I wound the yarn up on my injured ball winder and still didn’t like it, and I started having regrets. But then, I started knitting with it and my god, it was amazing. The pattern was the perfect choice – Baudelaire by CookieA. The stitch definition and the fabric was very pleasing and oh-so-soft-you-can’t-stop-touching-it.
I’m still not happy with the color, but I have to remember that it’s not for me. I know that my MIL will love it!
||October 22, 2007 @ 11:07 pm|
The malabrigo is just ok
Hanami + marisilk = heaven
So, since I finished 2 pairs of socks, I have been casting on like crazy. Why oh why do I do this? It’s just pure torture for me. I know it’s normal for everyone else, but for me 2 projects are good. And really, I only work on one at a time anyways. So what did I cast on?
I think I already told you about the Firestarters. I started that in London. I didn’t post any pictures though. It’s with Wollmeise Poison Nr. 5 and how can you not love that color? I really want some magic pooling to occur but with Wollmeise, I almost always get stripes. Not a bad thing, but I love pooling.
Then, I have been planning to do the Hanami Stole for awhile now. Shannon of the SSK Podcast convinced me that I need to do one. So I bought the malabrigo laceweight and then I had problems finding beads. The sizes aren’t the same here, no real surprise. So I had a hard time guessing what size to get. Shannon volunteered to send me some of her leftover beads so that solved the problem. Only I waited, and waited, and waited. No beads. The damn post office is out to get me, I swear. I think it’s a conspiracy that they don’t want me knitting.
So, when I went to London, there were many bead stalls, so I picked out some (same sizing as the US yay!) and got a little extra since they were cheap. Well, relatively. OK, so now I’m ready. I had the urge a few nights ago to cast on and I had needles, I dug up the yarn and even found that I wound a ball already, and now…where did I put those dang beads. I looked everywhere twice and then finally found them in this huge cavernous yarn stash bin. Must’ve gotten in there when I put all the yarn I bought in there.
OK, I cast on! I really enjoyed doing the beaded cast on. It’s lovely. I didn’t expect to like it that much because I am not a bead person. And I love the way it just sparkles and makes the stole more dressier. Not gaudy at all. Only thing is that I didn’t like the way the malabrigo is so light and airy. It knits up nice but it has no substance. After 3 repeats, this started to bother me as the marisilk sitting on my desk starts to invade my thoughts.
I balled up the Marisilk and started knitting with US5 circs. The stitches were too loose so I cast on again with US3’s. Much, much better. I love the way the stitches are tight and defined. The fabric is just a tad bit stiff, but I’m thinking that will be ok once I wash and block. I just love the weight of the silk and the sheen. I will have a hard time giving this one up as a gift.
So I’m obsessing over this pattern. I can’t stop thinking about it and knitting it and envisioning the finished product. I think I’m setting myself up for disappointment because in my head I’m building it up so much. Why do I torture myself so? I also want to do it in Wollmeise laceweight too now. :) But I’m going to hold off and finish it before I start making plans for the next one. I think it’s that damn beaded cast on! HA!
Sorry no pictures! Thank you SO MUCH for all of your comments and input. After looking at everyone’s suggestions, I completely FROGGED IT! Yep. I did. I wasn’t really satisfied with the designs on the sides, so if I was going to frog it back to the beginning of the gusset, I might was well frog it completely. The only bad thing is that the yarn is kind of weird knitting it back again. You know what I mean? Frogged yarn is never as good as “fresh” yarn, so it has weird little bumps here and there. I’m hoping they will go away when I wash it. My solution was to change it to 84sts, but have 78 in the foot, and then increase to 84 in the gusset/heel. I wanted to keep the same gauge, because I tried knitting to a 8sts/in, and the design
looked kind of loose. 9sts is perfect, esp with the Wollmeise yarn. The good news is that I changed the design and it is looking fab! I am back to the gusset again and even though there are more stitches, it’s going really fast. Probably because I memorized the patterns! :) The BEST news though is that I showed pictures of the socks to Billy and he is so excited about it that it *may* inspire him to write a new music video about socks! :) woohoo!!! So if you want to knit him some socks to push him over the edge to FORCE him to write a song, email me and I’ll let you know the details!