Saturday, January 16, 2016

Holiday Projects

I have gone almost a month without actively working on a knitting or crocheting project.  I got distracted, and my creativity ran off in another direction.  Behold, one of the most selfish Christmas gifts ever.
 My mother has a large supply of novelty cotton prints for the making of I-spy quilts.  She would like to reduce this supply.  She would also like to produce some blankets appropriate for a small child.  I wanted to try my hand at patchwork and quilting.  I therefore was granted permission to raid my mother's fabric stash over the holidays and use her sewing machine.  With a few coupons to a fabric-selling big box craft store, I selected a few additional fabrics and off I went.

I hauled my very own rotary cutter and ruler across the ocean for this.  I did purchase a new cutting mat for my mom, though.  My mom's sewing machine is brand new a Brother CS6000i.  This thing was the greatest deal, guys.  I am almost a little jealous.  I took to calling it the mighty midget, because this sewing machine has a bunch of nice features for quilting while feeling like it weighs next to nothing.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Saga of the Kitchen

Several months ago, my husband and I moved to Germany.  Moving to a new country always presents many adjustments, but I found one of the most disconcerting to be what is considered a furnishing in an unfurnished apartment.  In Belgium, light fixtures (and I mean the ones you screw into the ceiling or wall) were furnishings.  They were the property of the tenant, and tenants took their lights with them when they moved out.  In Germany, the lights and the kitchen are considered furnishings.

This includes the kitchen appliances.  It includes the counter-top.  It includes the kitchen cabinets.  It includes the sink and the faucet.  The "kitchen" in an unfurnished apartment around here comes as a room with a few pipes hanging out of the walls.
That's the original "kitchen"
Clearly moving into an apartment without a functional kitchen is a problem.  There are a couple work-arounds commonly used to make the transition easier.  The first is that often the old tenants have no more desire to pull out all the cabinets, appliances, and fixtures of their old kitchen to pack along to a new place (not to mention the difficulty of getting a pre-existing set up to fit correctly in a new apartment) than the new tenants do to find, purchase, and install all the cabinets, appliances, and fixtures necessary for a kitchen.  A deal can then be made where the new tenants pay the old tenants to leave their kitchen in place.  This effectively increases the initial cost of moving in, but requires no additional effort on anyone's part.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 in Knitting Review and the State of the Stash

Happy New Year!  I hope that you had a wonderful holiday and that 2016 is off to a good start.  I spent the holiday with my family in the US, and recently returned to Europe.  I am now dealing with a lingering case of jet-lag that keeps waking me up in the middle of the night, so I apologize in advance for any incoherence in this post.

Following my post from last year, let's see how 2015 compares with previous years in knitting.
I did not meet my goal of twelve finished projects this year, as I only managed to get through ten.  That's one less than last year.  However, as shown below, these ten projects used a bit more yarn than 2014's eleven projects.  One of the big drivers of that is the Elizabeth shawl, which was the biggest yarn eater of the year.