Thursday, January 17, 2008

Travel with Grace (knitting content at the end)

When the blog gets quiet, it's usually an indication that I'm swamped, which would mean that I have TONS of stuff to blog about...sigh. When I have all the time in the world, I have to come up with things, but then when I've got really interesting stuff going on, I can't even manage to upload a photo, much less discuss it. Anyway, this past month has been busy and wonderful. Grace (one of my sisters) flew in on Christmas Eve and just flew back to the States yesterday morning. We are 9 years apart, but somehow she always challenges me in all the right ways, and motivates me to actually do the things that I say I want to do. (To skip this post and go straight to all of the pictrures, the entire collection of 4 albums is here.)

Now that Daisy's a little bit older and doesn't need to nurse as often, it's a little easier to actually go out and do stuff, so we did! First, we did a little bit of shopping in Kaiserslautern, where I got this:
Chocolate bark, purchased at Hussel in Kaiserslautern
(Click for photo page, then hover mouse over picture for flavor information.)

Next, we went to Saarbruken, where I finally found this beautiful little yarn botique I'd heard about (and hadn't been able to find last time), and...a shop called Chocolate.
Purchases from Chocolate in Saarbruken
From left: truffles, cocoa beans covered in chocolate and dusted in cocoa powder and cinnamon.

Another day was spent in Trier, home of the Porta Nigra and The Cathedral Of Trier (Dom St Peter).

The high point of our trips was in Brussels, Belgium, where we spent last weekend (a trip that The Mr. could finally come with us on). We took so many pictures there that I'm just going to give you one here -- click for the entire album (most of the pictures have descriptive titles if you're interested).

While there, we got a bunch of chocolate:
Chocolate from Belgium

Finally, we finished out her visit with a day trip to Luxembourg City.
Luxembourg City
I'm not a history buff, but whenever I visit a new city and/or country, I'm suddenly interested to know more about it.

Luxembourg is only 998 square miles, and has a population under half a million, yet it was a founding member of both the United Nations and NATO. In school they are taught three different languages: for the first few years are Luxumbourgish, which then changes to German. By high school, they've switched to French. From 8th grade, they're also taught English. In Luxumbourg City, however, we found that most everyone speaks French, and a tiny bit of English, with (sadly) no German speakers to be found. The more proficient I become at German, the more I miss it when I'm in a foreign country that does not speak it.

On the knitting front, I've been working on some socks in Kureyon Sock, brand new from Noro (thanks Jillian for the yarn!)
The colors are so gorgeous that I'm just knitting them plain, and letting the yarn do it's thing.

While Grace was here, I got her to knit. First she worked up a hat, then she borrowed this pair of huge orange needles from a friend, and knit up a massively chunky garter-stitch scarf in an afternoon.

I've been working on spinning up the neon glowey Party Dress from the latest Spunky Club.
I divided it up into the separate colors.
This was the sample that helped me decide not to ply any of the colors together -- this marled combination is not my thing.
I've decided to spin up a two ply of each color, than knit it into a wide-stripe sweater for Daisy. We'll see how far I actually get on it. So far I've spun up all of the read, but traveling has kept me from doing anything else with it.

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