Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend in Amsterdam

We spent this past weekend in Amsterdam, hanging out with my brother and his girlfriend. We had a blast!

Our favorite things:

Drinking beer from Dutch microbreweries at t'Arendsnest (thank you New York Times article).

Looking at flowers

Going on a Mike's Bike Tour (Countryside edition) with the Wackiest Guide Ever.

Pretending I'm the owner of said Wacky Guide's Awesome Orange (of course) Fiets.

The end of the garbage-men strike (24 hours after we arrived; they had 12 days' worth in the city!)
 ::no pictures - that's a good thing::

Wandering aimlessly through the streets, taking random pictures of wonky houses

Waving at tourists on boats (and getting them to wave back)

Looking at (the wrong kind of) bells

Coveting bicycles (especially Bakfietsen)

Drinking more beer

Eating frites and frikandel, from the frituur recommended by the bartender at t'Arendsnest

Lifting up tiny cars

  Dutch trains, especially the doobledockers (sp?)

 Taking the ferry back and forth (Husband's idea)

Eating a really yummy lunch after finding a gaggle of happy Dutch people sitting outside a cafe, eating food that looked great

There are more pictures on Flickr but they're behind the "friends and family" wall - friend me if you want to see them!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mysterious blue knitted thing: revealed

I happen to know a very cute 1-year-old. Which is, I think, mutually beneficial. I saw this pattern by Tora Froseth on Ravelry and HAD to make it.

I nearly made it in time for said 1-year-old's birthday, but got distracted by all the ninja-gardening when my mom was here.

The yarn was a Debbie Bliss Rialto fingering-weight that was incredible to knit with - it's really soft and just seemed to flow across the needles.

Combined with some really cute buttons that my mom found (at Wibbling Wools, of course), I think it was a huge success. I'm really glad that I made the 18-month size rather than the 12 month size. She's a tall one!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

John & Kate Plus Houseguests, Episode 2

The guest bed had just about cooled down after my mom left, when one of my Colby buddies arrived to hang out with us for a Sunday afternoon. She's "Coburn Freshman Hall Resident Now In A Relationship With A Brit" No.3. They must have been putting something in the water...

Anyway, because of the whims and vagaries of Sunday rail replacement busses, we realised that in order for her to get back to where she was staying before midnight she'd have to leave Stowmarket at 3pm. Having arrived at noon. BUMMER.

I suggested she stay over and take normal trains back on Monday morning. WOOHOO! So we kidnapped her and took her to Kentwell Hall, followed by a sojourn to the now world-famous Radhuni.

Kentwell was a blast - we took the cross-country route.

Kate: "The speed limit on this [single track, winding] road is now 50 miles per hour."
Viv: "Um, what??"

John later commented that Viv and I were both knitting, chatting, looking out the window, and I was also navigating. He said that had he been attempting to do all of those things simultaneously, his brain would have fused.

Here's a sneak-peek at what I was making. It's a birthday present that hasn't been given yet - finished product pictures soon!

While at Kentwell, we took inspiration for what I need to do with hedging in our front garden:

Parts of the house have a higgldy-piggldy feel to them - this lookeed like they just kept adding bits on.

I loved the sign on this ex-greenhouse.

We were bad and got put in the stocks:

And Mr. Peacock decided that Vivienne was the bee's knees and kept showing her his tail feathers. Um, she's taken, Mr. Peacock, but I guess you would still fall into the English Boyfriend category!

Viv also showed me some knitting tips - I've been doing my M1 increases all wrong, leaving a trail of little holes behind me. This is now resolved. I was also weaving in my ends wrong. All future knitting projects (and the previously-pictured blue mystery project) will have awesomely woven-in ends. Phew.