Saturday, 28 April 2012

After Amsterdam

I had *such* a lovely time! The people were really friendly and the weather wasn't so bad and I ate soooo much and saw some amazing things. I don't really know where to start so here is a random splurge of highlights.

Endless canals, bicycles and bridges.
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Pondering life from the water on a canal tour.
Me
Visiting the newly opened Tulip Museum.
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Bags ancient to modern at the Bag Museum - this one is a sewing set and was about 5" high. So desirable.
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Kitchy souvenirs.
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AWESOME knitting shops. At Penelope Craft she could see I was having trouble deciding between colourways and offered me the use of her mac to look at my ravelry queue. Now that is someone who understands their customers.
Penelope Crafts Knitting Shop
Discovering some new filters on my camera that make it seem less gloomy and rainy than it was.
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The Kattenkabinet (Cat Museum) with paintings by Picasso as well as more contemporary pieces.
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And then there were the tulips.
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I spent a morning at the Keukenhof Gardens and it was just incredible. Millions of the little buggers, which are my favourite flower.
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They were arranged in every possible combination and there were hundreds of varieties.
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I am so glad I went.
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Plus a very nice woman took a picture of me standing in a giant clog.
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If you happen to like tulips as much as I do then there are about 120 more photos of them here.

I've got lots more I could share but that's enough for now.

My knitting while I was away was mainly the ripple socks of doom. I talked about them in my last post. I'm about 2/3 done on the second sock and have run out of the contrast yarn and am about to run out of the main yarn too. I think I may just frog and give it up.
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They're pretty ugly. So in lieu of those I started a free Drops pattern where you knit the sole of the socks first and the whole thing is done in garter stitch.
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I rather like them and it makes a change from magic loop.

I leave you with two of my souvenirs. Someone on twitter thought these were actually wooden ones.
Clog slippers
I assure you they're not. The second is rather more tasteful.
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My littlest sister brought me back a smaller one of these after a visit to Amsterdam a few years ago which has sat ever since in my pen pot at work. These ones are for me at home. I'm now wishing I had bought 3 times as many but I'd run out of money. I guess I'll just have to go back again...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

What Should You be Doing?

I got up and knew my task was to tidy up. So imagine my surprise when about 15 minutes later I found myself sewing a button onto the knitting bag I made a few weeks ago.
Sari Silk Bag with Cat Lining
I finished doing that and thought "Right, this is it..." So I set myself to tidying and 15 minutes later had made a small notebook.
Glitter Card Notebook
Wasn't my last post about keeping your mind on one thing at once? Amazing how clever your subconscious is (as well as completely neanderthally stupid at the same time).

The knitting bag will carry my revised ripple socks with me to Amsterdam (that's my hotel pool on the laptop in the photo above).
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I say "revised" because I'd almost finished the first sock in just the greenish stuff when I realised I had enough wool for about 10% of the second sock. Cue ripping and striping. The notebook is because I am not good at 'the unknown' and so to stave off anxiety in Amsterdam have been carefully planning my trip. I remain flexible but at the same time I know exactly how to get from the station to my hotel and where I want to visit in each part of the city.
Binding of Glitter Card Notebook
It is all recorded in my cunning little book - glitter card for the cover and plain purple for the inside. I used my longest straight stitch setting on my machine to create and binding. It's rather sweet - perhaps I'll start making some for presents or....etsy shop? You never know.

For those of you who sew fabric as well as notebooks, the Festival of Quilts tickets are on sale for Birmingham in August. I think this will be my fourth year and my third with Mater. I've even signed us both up to a workshop for right about the time your feet are hurting because you've walked round looking at so many jaw dropping quilts and then gone and splurged on the fabric you need to make at least three of them.
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My photos from last year are here and I frequently flick through them for inspiration. It is a must for anyone who likes quilting or patchwork. 
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