Nov 242015

For episode one and further information go here

Nov 082015



  • gray merino for a sweater for my husband
  • green merino (leftover fiber from the Jehane sweater that I spun into a fingering weight 2-ply)
  • olive green Polwarth from Spinning Martha on the Bosworth Mini
  • purple Polwarth from Spinning Martha on the Bosworth Mini
  • brown Ashford merino on the Bosworth Mini
  • green silk cap: spun but not plied
  • red and black BFL/silk/viscose/bamboo for a Pi shawl
  • gray, black and white Shetland/Tussah
  • colorful merino superwash
  • red merino
  • gray merino/silk
  • red cotton
  • turquoise merino
  • purple merino
  • green merino/silk on the Bosworth Featherweight that should become a cabled sock yarn


  • tablet weaving
  • leftover sock yarn blanket, 2nd part
  • wool blanket for my father


  • muslin for the Courrèges-dress
  • Courrèges-dress
  • black linen dress
  • 2 Miette skirts
  • next up Simplicity 1080


Oct 232015

Actually I am feeling distinctly zombie-like by now.

I got sick about a week ago, and so I had to cancel the Saturday knitting meeting. I am still having a cold but I’m feeling much better now. But then I had to go to two parent meeting-things in a row, one on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday, and to a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, and by then I looked to wrung out from not getting enough sleep and time on my own that the doctor asked me three times if I were okay.

Um, yes. I’m just so tired that I’m barely conscious, sorry.

Which meant that yesterday passed in a kind of fog but last night I got almost enough sleep, and I am feeling well enough that I only want to curl up on the floor to take a nap about once or twice per hour.

Those of you who have been following this blog (or know me in real life) know that I have been rather obsessed with getting enough sleep for years now. And I am getting better at turning the lights out at a reasonable time. Which doesn’t mean I am doing that every night. And these days when I go to bed on time I still might not get enough sleep because my body has learned a new trick:

I turn out the lights at 9.30 or so, I sleep really well, then I wake up wide-eyed and completely awake – one hour before my alarm.

Now you’d think that my body would be telling me I’ve slept enough, eight hours is plenty, go on with your life but I’m still all tired all day.

So I’m trying the „good sleep hygiene“-thing. No alcohol most days, no screens after dinner, no bright lights, get ready for bed early, then read in bed for a few minutes, I meditate every day, and exercise most days. Still. I sleep, I wake up, I can’t fall asleep again, I’m all tired all day.

And it’s not that I have thoughts running through my brain, or that I’m worrying in the middle of the night. I just wake up – bam! – and I’m awake. Very annoying.

Though I have to say that meeting people in the evening after work is always rather draining. And every time I meet with other parents, and hear their stories about their children, and themselves, and school I need days and days afterwards to rethink them, and make sense of them, and sort through them.

Every single time. Which is why I don’t go out to meet people all that often. Especially when it means getting home late and not getting enough sleep on top of it.

But both the meetings I went to felt necessary, and I did have fun while there. It’s only that I’m barely functioning the next day. And I if I do it two days in a row it takes me about a week to recuperate.

Now you might ask, „If meeting people is so draining to you why do you do it?”

Well. It might be exhausting but it’s also nice and fun. I like talking, and learning about other people, and exchanging stories. It’s just that I need a break afterwards.

As I said, today I am feeling much better already, and I will only teach very few students, and then I will have the whole afternoon and tomorrow to myself. Which will be glorious.

And if I’m lucky I will manage to go to bed early enough that I can get enough sleep even if I wake up at 5 am.

So what are your weekend plans?


Oct 202015

The other day someone said to me, „I admire you for your self-discipline.”

I looked at that sentence, and my first impulse was to laugh my head of. I am in no way self-disciplined, I thought, this is really funny.

Then I remembered that the same thing happened a few times in the past few months, first when people noticed that I had lost weight, and then when I started talking about how much I love exercising, and that I want to do more of it. So that was odd. (By the way the exercise and the weight loss are in no way related to each other. No, really.)

And then I realized that those people only knew me as the woman who loses weight and exercises six times a week. Not as the woman who has to learn every new habit four times and then can never be sure that it will stick.

The thing is that I have been trying to become a person who has a grip on her life, who is tidy, and has healthy habits ever since I turned eight. That was when I realized that not everybody is constantly losing keys, and mittens, and umbrellas, and so I set out to learn how to become a person who doesn’t lose things.

At that point I thought if I willed it strong enough I would succeed. Well, after decades of trying that approach I can say that it doesn’t work at all. Willpower is a finite resource and wishing and willing doesn’t help you over the days where you just don’t care if you reach your longtime goals.

Still, I never gave up. (First time I decided to become more athletic was when I was ten. I ran every night for about a week, hated every second, and stopped because of the first day of snow. I never tried again but decided that running just wasn’t for me. Well, until about ten years ago.)

I started reading time-management books in my teens, and have read tons of self-help for decades as well. Some things helped, others didn’t.

Still, deep in my heart I’ve always wished that some day I would wake up and be this different person, this improved version of myself. The one who would fold her clothes every night, brushed her teeth twice a day, had a nice a tidy room, didn’t lose things, and generally did things right.

And then I turned older and found that that will never happen. On the contrary it seems that I am someone for whom learning how to floss might take up to ten years. Which is ridiculous for such a small habit but there you are.

Of course I could give up and say, „Well, I guess I’m just not that person. It takes all kinds.“ But I still think that a reasonably healthy adult should be able to change things about herself that drive her crazy.

I have learned a lot about myself along the way. Which things are hard. And which aren’t. And that I do better with rules than with deciding everything on the spot. (I’m not the only one.) For example ever since I found out that I am fructose-intolerant and that my body doesn’t really like to digest sugar at all I made a rule that when I go to a potluck thing I will only eat whatever I prepared myself. That rule is interestingly easy to follow because every time I break it I feel lousy afterwards. So all it takes to follow the rule is to remind myself of how I felt the last time I didn’t follow it.

Now about exercise. I trick myself into it. In the beginning my only goal was to move in some way for ten minutes a day. Walking to the grocery store counted, doing yoga counted, everything counted.

Then I set a goal of starting to run again. Then I changed everything completely up because I was so motivated from reading „Younger Next Year“ that I strived to exercise 6 times a week for at least 45 minutes.

The thing is that most weeks I don’t. I always think I do but when I actually write it down it’s more like four or five times a week. But that’s not failure. That’s still a lot of exercise and much better than sitting on my butt all the time.

So I’m usually doing strength training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I made my son join me in that because he doesn’t move enough as well, and having strong muscles is very cool. Now I really have to do it because I need to be a good example.

Which leaves the running that I try to do three other days a week. (Or ideally every day but I’m not there yet.) Now running is enjoyable because I get to listen to podcasts while I do it. Or to music. Running or walking are the only times I listen to podcasts and I like listening to podcasts. So the thought of, „There is this new podcast episode, this will be fun.“ is often what gets me into my running shoes.

But the foremost reason why I exercise so much is this:

When I exercise I don’t hurt.

I have had chronic back pain, knee pain, and hip pain every since I was 15. I used to sit just so, and bend just so because I always hurt.

These days I’m 48 and as long as I exercise I don’t hurt at all. Not the least little bit.

As soon as I stop exercising – like right now because I have a bad cold – the pain comes back. As I’m typing this my knees hurt, and my back a little, and my right hip.

See, no self-discipline needed.

I just try, and fail, and try, and fail, and get better at things, and then worse, and then better again. But the one thing I never do is give up. I want to be a person who exercises six times a week, and so I will do everything I can to make that happen.

I trick myself, sometimes I bribe myself, I give myself gold stars – whatever works. But I never ever beat myself up. I treat my change of habits more like an experiment, and think about what worked, and what didn’t, and what I can tweak to make it better.

And then it turns out that exercising makes me really, really happy.

Who would have thought?

Oct 152015

Gestrickt habe ich:

Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • Yoshi: alle Teile fertig, die man ohne Zusammennähen fertighäkeln kann
  • Taylor Fingerless Gloves: alle drei fertig
  • Crochet Hat fertig
  • noch einen Man Woman Knit Look Cowl Neckwarmer fertig

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • lila Merino auf dem Victoria: fertig
  • rote Baumwolle: weitergesponnen
  • grüne Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Mini weiter gesponnen, das zweite Sechstel ist halbfertig

Erwähnt wurde:

Oct 102015

I was sorely tempted. I love NaNoWriMo. I love the challenge, and the exhilaration of doing something almost impossible but not quite. I love the rush when I have fallen behind and then I sit down and hammer out 5,000 words in a day.I do not love how I feel after that, though.

I will forever be grateful for NaNoWriMo because without it I probably would never have gotten beyond the very first words of any story. I wouldn’t have met the writers that formed the group that met every month for five years. And I wouldn’t have the almost-finished novel sitting as a stack of paper on my desk.


While I usually finish and „win“ NaNoWriMo I also usually stop writing for about two months afterwards. After pressing out all those words I just sit back and don’t write at all. Even if I want to. And getting back into a daily writing habit actually becomes harder after having written almost 2,000 words every day.

And I want to become a real writer some day, someone who writes novel after novel, not someone who writes half a novel once a year and then never finishes it. In order to do that I need a habit of writing something between 500 and 1,000 words a day. I also need the very new habit of revising, finishing, and publishing things but first of all I need to write.

You can’t publish what you haven’t written.

500 words a day used to be pretty sustainable. Especially when I managed to start writing at about 8 am. I’d clean the breakfast table off, get the laptop out (no wifi!), and start writing. Half an hour later I’d usually have my 500 words and life was good.

Then my husband started getting up earlier. Instead of 9.15 he’d be up and about at 8.30, and if I had dawdled a bit over tea I had a problem. Mind you, my husband is all for creativity so if I told him that I desperately need that time to write he’d stay in the annex until 9.15.

But this time over breakfast is the only time we spend together all day. And it’s a bit cruel to have someone postpone his breakfast for an hour after waking up hungry.

So what I need in my life is a flexible habit of writing about 500 to 1,000 words a day. One that I can move around a bit if need be. Not a mad dash to „winning“ an arbitrary competition. A small daily thing.

And I think I may have found a solution. First I need to bring my laptop into the kitchen again so that I have it in the morning when I want to write. And second my schedule just changed, and I’m having more breaks in the afternoon again. And I really hope that on days when I don’t manage to write in the morning I can use those breaks.

So instead of big, mad, crazy, fun challenge I’m choosing slow and steady this year. I hope it works.

Wish me luck.

Oct 092015

I haven’t posted anything here but podcast episodes for so long that sitting down and typing this feels rather ridiculous.

You might say I’m having a kind of writer’s block but then I don’t really feel blocked as such. It’s more that I somehow lost the habit of writing.

It’s all the fault of the almost-finished novel. I finished writing it, and then I told myself that I would start writing again after having revised the first draft, and then I did revision (mostly), and then I decided to read the whole thing through looking for typos and such, and then I just couldn’t face that thing anymore, and avoided reading it, and still didn’t write.

Turns out that I didn’t write on the blog as well.

Also I am spending a lot of time on ravelry, and I exercise a lot more, and I also go to bed earlier, and there are only so many hours in a day.

So I thought about giving up blogging. But that didn’t feel right. And then I thought about starting a new habit of writing a daily journal on here. I read a few blogs that do that, and I love reading about everyday life of other people. When they write about it in an entertaining way.

But I fear that if I declare to write a blog post a day this will go exactly like the time I decided to write one every week. I think I did three of them. And then I didn’t post for weeks. Bad move.

And the longer I didn’t write the sillier it seemed.

So I’m declaring this a reboot of blogging. I hope there are still some of you reading this out there. And I really, really hope this won’t be the only post sitting there for the next few weeks. (It’s a bit meager for that, isn’t it?)

Anyways, it’s fall and I’m reading self-help books again, and am building habits (again), and I bought a new app to track it (which is very important, of course), and so I hope that writing will be one of those rebuilt habits, along with meditating, making music every day, exercising, and flossing. Oh, and editing the almost-finished novel for 2 minutes a day. Which sounds like a ridiculously low goal. Which it is but I have been reading „Mini-Habits“ and thought I’d give it a try. So far I’ve edited for two consecutive days. And for more than two minutes each day. Which is good.

So. What are you doing out there? Do you try to make a fresh start in autumn as well?

Sep 292015

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Ocracoke: ruht; ich habe das Vorder- und Rückenteil bis zu den Armausschnitten fertig
  • Pi-Tuch aus BFL/Seide/Viskose/Bambus
  • Deflect Socks
  • Wild Cherry
Gehäkelt habe ich:


Gesponnen habe ich:

  • türkise Merino auf dem Victoria: fertig
  • lila Merino auf dem Victoria: fast fertig
  • rote Baumwolle: weitergesponnen
  • grüne Merino/Seide auf der Bosworth Mini angefangen
  • grünes Seiden-Cap fertig gesponnen, muss noch gezwirnt werden 
Gewoben habe ich:
  • Wolldecke fertig
IMG_1664Genäht habe ich:
  • als nächstes in Planung Simplicity 1080

Erwähnt wurde:


Aug 312015

Bis jetzt noch mit unvollständigen Notizen, aber ich werde sie später noch ergänzen.

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Stinos
  • Vanilla Latte
  • Ocracoke
  • Pi-Tuch aus BFL/Seide/Viskose/Bambus
  • Sherman Socks
  • Deflect Socks
  • Wild Cherry


Gesponnen habe ich:

  • etwas mehr von dem grünen Seiden-Cap
  • jede Menge Shetland/Tussah
  • superwash Merino
  • rotes Merino
  • graues Merino mit Seide
  • rote Baumwolle
Gewoben habe ich:
  • Probestück für Wolldecke
  • Wolldecke angefangen
Genäht habe ich:
  • das schwarze Kleid ist fertig
  • zwei Miette-Röcke
  • als nächstes in Planung Simplicity 1080

Erwähnt wurde:

  • Louet Victoria S95
  • Spinnert und Gewollt
  • das Wollschaf
  • das Blog von Amanda Soule
  • Sara Lamb
  • The Yurt
  • Cotton Cloud
  • Waschlappenmuster von Abby Franquemont
  • Alpakahof, von dem ich das Schälchen zum Spinnen habe
  • Wollfest in Regensburg
  • Yeti unterwegs-Thread
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
  • Stinos
  • Ocracoke
  • Pi-Tuch
  • Sherman Socks
  • graues und schwarzes Shetland/Tussah
  • Schnittmuster für Miette ausgedruckt, zusammengeklebt und ausgeschnitten

Erwähnt wurde: