Jun 252015
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • etwas mehr von dem grünen Seiden-Cap
  • rotes BFL/Seide/Viskose/Bambus für einen Pi Shawl fertig
Gewoben habe ich:
  • Sockenwollrestedecke weiter
Genäht habe ich:
  • das schwarze Kleid ist so gut wie fertig
Projekte!
  • Stinos
  • Ocracoke
  • Pi-Tuch
  • Sherman Socks
  • graues und schwarzes Shetland/Tussah
  • Schnittmuster für Miette ausgedruckt, zusammengeklebt und ausgeschnitten

Erwähnt wurde:

May 282015
 

As you know I have a thing for bags, and I’m a bit obsessed with packing and especially with packing and traveling light. Which is also a little absurd because I don’t travel much. Take this year, for example, I was away for two days in April, will be visiting my parents at the end of May, and that will probably be it.

Still I love reading packing lists, and this is a topic where I even watch videos which I don’t usually do. I know, it’s a bit weird, but it doesn’t hurt anyone.

So I thought you might want to know what I took for an overnight stay to the Backnanger Wollfest. I went there by train, took two workshops, stayed one night in a hotel and went back home again.

When I thought about what and how to pack I knew that I would have to change trains (or buses even) three times each way, and that I would have to carry everything I had with me around all day on the second day. So I didn’t want to take too much stuff. Still I like to be comfortable, and I needed to take stuff for the workshops.

I’ve been completely mesmerized by minimalist packing for years now but then I decided that going all minimalist was not the right thing for me. It also seems that traveling with minimalist luggage means you have to buy a ton of stuff that you only use when traveling, and that’s just not practical when you never leave your home for longer than a few hours at a time.

So the first thing I decided that I would only bring spindles to the two workshops I was taking. For second one it said to bring a spinning wheel or spindle or both, and the more I thought about carrying my spinning wheel around for a day or so the more I didn’t really want to do it. Which is sensible but also a bit funny because when I go to local spinning meetings I carry my spinning wheel with me no problem. But then I know I only have to walk for fifteen minutes or so in total, and I only change trains once for that one. So first decision was no spinning wheel.

Since I was only staying one night I decided to wear the same clothes both days. I always wear my clothes two days in a row at home as well. I did feel a little uncomfortable about not having any spare clothes at first. What if I spilled something on me? What if any of my clothes ripped? Then I stepped down from panic mode, and realized that a) nothing like that had ever happened to me ever, and b) I was traveling to a German town on Friday and Saturday, so if there had been a clothing emergency I could have bought new clothes right there. Also it is possible to survive with stained jeans.

The weather was a bit hard to dress for, 8° C in the morning when I had to leave, and something around 25°C later in the day. So I dressed in jeans and handmade socks and a handspun hand knitted t-shirt and cardigan, both very lightweight, both somewhat warm because wool, and both completely suitable to be worn in weather that warm. I also took a (handspun handknit) lace shawl, fingerless mitts and a light jacket with a hood. And comfortable walking shoes, of course.

This combination worked very well. I was just a little too cold in the morning while waiting twenty minutes for the next train, and a little too hot right in the midday sun, otherwise everything was exactly right.

Here’s a picture of what else I took, and also a picture of my packed backpack:

 

IMG_1631

That backpack is the one I use all the time at home. It carries my groceries, and it goes hiking with me, and is just my general backpack. It holds 25 liters which is somewhat big for a purse but pretty small for luggage on trips. It is comfortable but not all that waterproof, and it could have better ventilation on my back. I like the outside pockets, and it has a laptop compartment that’s adequate but could be better padded at the bottom.

The picture is not quite correct because I ended up leaving the iPad mini and keyboard at home.

image

Doesn’t look too bad, does it? And it wasn’t.

 

I did weigh it but have forgotten how much it was, sorry. It got considerably lighter once I had given the two bottles of beer to the spinning teacher. I don’t usually carry beer around while traveling.

The whole thing was a raging success, and made me think that I might even be able to travel for a week or more with this backpack. The only downside was that there was not enough room to fit my jacket in. Everything else fit.

On the other hand I am thinking that having just a little more room might be nice as well. My „big“ backpack isn’t all that big, and I don’t really have to stuff it full. And usually I have the big backpack, and a smaller bag for the stuff I need on the train, and that is nice too. I can leave the big one at my seat when I go to the washroom, and the small bag at my feet on the train leaves more room.

I’m thinking about packing again because I will be leaving in two days to visit my parents for a week. At first I wanted to just take the small backpack again. But then I talked to my mother and she said we might go swimming, and we might ride bikes, and I found that it will be really warm for two days but less warm for the rest of the time, and I decided to take a second pair of shoes even though I don’t usually do that.

So I’ll take the bigger backpack again this time. Also the ukulele, some knitting but only one spindle…

So what do you think, do you like to travel light or do you like to take everything?

May 172015
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • etwas mehr von dem grünen Seiden-Cap
  • rotes BFL/Seide/Viskose/Bambus für einen Pi Shawl ca. 80 Gramm fertig
  • Kaschmir
  • Kamel
Gewoben habe ich:
  • zweites Brettchenwebband fertig
  • drittes auch
Genäht habe ich:
  • den Schnitt für das schwarze Kleid durchgepaust und ausgeschnitten

Erwähnt wurde:

Apr 222015
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • braunes Merino von Ashford auf der Bosworth Mini: genug um den Pullover fertigzustricken
  • etwas mehr von dem grünen Seiden-Cap
Gewoben habe ich:
  • etwas mehr von meinem zweiten Brettchenweb-Band

Erwähnt wurde:

Mar 252015
 

I am still thinking about habits, and how I want my daily life to be and such. Because the things I do every day (or almost every day) matter much more than the things I only do once in a while. So I want my daily life to reflect the things that are important to me.

Of course I’m working on all.the.things at once. As usual. At the beginning of January I decided that going to bed on time and getting enough sleep would be the main habit to focus on. It went rather well for some time, and then it didn’t and right now it’s hit or miss. It does become more complicated through the fact that I often don’t sleep well even if I managed to get to bed on time. So there are related habits surrounding this one. „No screens one hour before bed“ is one, dealing with things that make me anxious on time so that I am less tense, getting back into the habit of meditating ten minutes a day, not drinking too much tea right before bed.

The more I think about it the longer the list gets. Which, of course, doesn’t help.

The other main thing has been exercise (and I know I wrote about this before). Exercising six times a week takes quite a bit of time. Pare that with trying to get nine hours of straight sleep every night, and there is not all that much free time left. When I do it I feel so much better that it’s definitely worth it but still – part of me resents the fact that I get less time to play.

One habit that I want to break is to spend every free moment glued to the computer or tablet screen. I really enjoy ravelry, and iPad games, and reading blogs but when I do it for more than an hour or so per day I start feeling bad. Because when I do these things I can’t do the other things that are important like practicing the piano or working on my novel.

Though I have to say I have been quite good with the “working on my novel“-part. The last few weeks I have managed to work on it for something between thirty and sixty minutes every morning after breakfast. More often it was thirty minutes but then progress is good. Even if it’s slow.

I know there are people reading this who think I should just relax, and not stress myself out so much. But a) I am not stressing myself, I just try to live the life I want to live, and b) I really don’t think I’ll be content with a life where I just did my job, did my chores, and otherwise lean back and watch TV or something.

This is not about being productive all day long, it is just about looking back on the last year or so thinking, „Do I feel good about how I spent my time and energy? Is this the life I want to live?”

And then to change my habits accordingly.

Mar 172015
 
  • After the big guests/performance/music-upheaval at the end of February I though things would be back to normal by now.
  • They are but it seems that normal contains more things to do and to think about than I like.
  • When I talk to people and try to explain why there is so much stuff I never can remember what exactly is so much. That’s because it’ s a long string of small things, not one or two big things.
  • My husband, by the way, is already working on the next big project. He is planning something for February 2017, and is up to his neck in planning, and playing songs, and deciding on equipment. No, I don’t quite understand it as well.
  • I, on the other hand, am furiously working on finally completing my first novel. Revision is a bitch but I can see the light on the end of the tunnel. I had hoped to have it finished in two weeks but by now that looks rather unlikely.
  • I am also working on getting all the things I want to do crammed in every day. Exercise, housework, knitting, spinning, blogging, learning French, playing computer games, reading, spending time with my family, it doesn’t always work out.
  • As usual for every day that I get it right there are two or three where I drop the ball. I haven’t managed to clean the house in weeks despite doing some cleaning every Friday. Then I decided to do a little each day, did that twice, and that was that.
  • Today I go and get myself a new pair of glasses. Since I now need progressives, and since I am really nearsighted they will cost a fortune. In fact I have been saving money for about a year now just for these. It is a little disheartening.
  • But then I am really looking forward to being able to read again. Playing piano from sheet music has become rather unpleasant what with me looking at ever more fuzzy notes.
  • I did not forget about wanting to post here once a week, really, only somehow I didn’t manage during the last few weeks.
  • And finally I actually enrolled in a free class about blogging a few weeks ago. Guess what, I already knew all of what I was taught there. Seems that if you do a thing for nine years you end up knowing something about it after all.
  • On a brighter note it looks as if it will be spring here soon. That doesn’t mean there won’t be freezing nights anymore, or snow (there is a reason why planting time here starts in May) but today one can go outside without winter coat, without a hat and mittens. I like it.

 

Mar 102015
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • gerippte Stinos für meinen Mann aus Hundertwasser-Wolle: fertigRingelstinos
  • ein zweiter Hitchhiker für meinen Mann: auch fertighitchhiker gruen
  • Striped Polwarth/Merino Shirt: Angefangen, zur Runde geschlossen

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grünes Merino, insgesamt 132 Gramm fertig
  • braunes Merino von Ashford auf der Bosworth Mini
Genäht habe ich:
  • hier noch Fotos vom ProbekleidProbekleidProbekleid 2
  • das AuftrittskleidBeat-KleidBeat-Kleid1

Erwähnt wurde:

 

Feb 132015
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Hyrule Warriors Scarf: fertig und heiß geliebt
  • gerippte Stinos für meinen Mann aus Hundertwasser-Wolle: beim zweiten Socken bin ich kurz vor dem Zwickel (der vor der Ferse kommt)

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • grünes Merino, beide Spulen voll, etwas mehr als 100 Gramm, das meiste davon ist auch verzwirnt
  • braunes Merino von Ashford auf der Bosworth Mini
Genäht habe ich:
  • das Probekleid für das Auftrittskleid ist so weit fertig, dass ich sehen kann, was ich noch verbessern muss

Erwähnt wurde:

 

Feb 112015
 

Nine years ago today I started blogging in earnest. Actually using the space I had made for myself on the internet. I don’t know what I would have thought about the fact that I would still be doing this nine years later then.

I do know that my life was both very different, and very much the same as now. In that first official post I wrote:

You’d think that having your preschooler finally in kindergarten would make live easier on the music front, but for now we’re living in constant upheaval. But then, there’s nothing special about this. The whole family is thriving on drama. ‘Though recently we started trying to calm things down. (And we’re almost as successful as this wording.)

Yep, that was the time my son started going to kindergarten. And like many mothers that was the time when I started having just a little more time to myself.

Mind you, I have never been one to forget all about myself and my own life but actually doing something about it is much easier when you have a few hours a week to yourself. When playing the piano doesn’t mean doing it while your toddler bangs on the keys right along, and when meditating doesn’t mean having a squirming child on your lap.

These days I don’t write much about my son. He is very much his own person now, and while he is still rather important to my life there is more of a sense of his life over there, and my life over here. Much of my schedule and quite a few of my obligations are determined by his life but I don’t have to micro-manage him anymore, and there are moments when he is actually helping. Like yesterday when I called for Chinese takeout, and he was the one getting it, or like last Friday when we made the deal that if he helped with the dishes there would be time enough to watch “Star Trek” together.

Interestingly I still don’t manage to play the piano every day but then I have picked up both guitar and ukulele since starting this blog. Not to forget writing fiction. And all sorts of crafts like spinning and weaving. No wonder I often feel like I can’t do everything I want.

In the last year I have not posted as often as I wanted, and at times I thought about quitting. About not doing the blog anymore like so many other bloggers that have started out with me, just post on ravelry, and continue doing the podcast. But then I still like reading blogs, and I feel that writing here is good for me. And there do seem to be people reading.

So you might have noticed that I have been trying to update once a week since the beginning of the year. I like having a schedule, it makes me a little less lazy.

I have no idea how long this will go on but I raise my glass to nine years of writing, and reading, and you, my lovely readers being part of this.

Thanks a lot for listening which was extemely important to me when I sat here, all alone with a small child trying to make new friends and failing. If it hadn’t been for the internet, for you, my life would have been much, much worse.

Thanks again.

 

Feb 062015
 

So I've been thinking about what problem I have with this setting goals thing. I really do want to change things for the better only I might have to find a better way.

Just living my life like I did the past few years won't do because there are things I want to change to become happier and healthier. Just willing myself doesn't work, that one I know for sure.

I also don't like to be told what to do, not even by myself. So in a way I have to trick myself into change.

And then I also realized that what I want is not so much about reaching some arbitrary goal but it's about changing what I do on a daily basis. You can even see it in the way I formulated my goals. “Make music for at least ten minutes a day for at least fives tiems a week.” is not really a goal. It is a habit in disguise.

What I want in my life longterm are things like a daily habit of playing music, a writing habit, an exercise habit, and a daily tidying and cleaning habit.

To me it's not really about the big goal in the future. I vividly remember sitting in a Munich jazz club years ago thinking, “In five years I want to stand up there on stage with my own band.” And then my life changed and I changed, and suddenly playing that kind of gig didn't really appeal to me anymore.

But what hasn't changed since then is that making some kind of music, and singing in particular are really important for my wellbeing. So that's what I'm currently working on. Creating new habits that make me happy, or at least feel better in the long run.

True to form I am of course working on everything at once but my main focus since the beginning of January has been on going to sleep on time. And yes, I know I've been whining about this for decades, and I tried and failed, and tried and failed but weirdly enough at the moment I actually seem to get better at it.

It's not that I have slept my nine hours straight every night this month but I have slept at least eight and often a little more most nights.

This often means I can't watch DVDs at night,or do something for me but I found that being rested throughout the day, and having a bit more energy is totally worth it.

So I'm changing my life one habit at a time, and I really hope this will continue working.