Adapting Patterns When You have No Idea What You are Doing

This story might have a sad ending.  I am not sure because I haven’t reached the end of it yet.

Some of you know, I’m having a baby!  No, that isn’t the sad part.  I’m also Orthodox, which means babies are baptized after they are 40 days old.   So I found this beautiful baptism gown, which I love.   I did all the necessary requirements, well except wind the yarn.  I’m writing this post instead of winding the yarn.

I bought the pattern and set about reading it to see what I had gotten myself into.  The first big thing, no charts.  A lace pattern without charts?  I am feeling pretty apprehensive.  There is a reason why I love charts and that is I can’t read written directions very well.  But I calmed myself.  It’s ok.  It’s only a 16 row repeat.  You could even chart it out yourself to give you practice for designing.  I soothed myself with these thoughts.

Then I actually read the pattern.  It states:

With one ball of yarn and size 3.75mm needles cast on 72 sts.

With a second ball of yarn, on same needles, cast on 141 sts.

With a third ball of yarn, on same needles, cast on 72 sts.

Purl 1 row, increasing 3 stitches across the centre 141 sts. (144 sts)

Uh what?  3 balls of yarn?  What the heck?!

Turns out that those 3 holes are for the arms later.  You have to seam the arms onto the dress I guess.  At this point, I have pulled the emergency brake.

After one lace repeat on each of the 3 balls, you knit them all together (the start of the skirt I suppose), but flat.  Oh hell no.  I refuse to work a skirt flat so that I have to seam it all up the back.  UGH.  Luckily I will just join it in the round there (and so did everyone who has knit this pattern before).

So I realized if I am going to knit this pattern, I am going to have to change it to suit my needs.

First off, there is no way I am knitting with 3 different balls of yarn.

  1. I’m lazy and I don’t want to have to wind all three balls of yarn at once
  2. I would rather have live stitches hanging out than trying to seam it later
  3. I don’t mind working sleeves from the top down.
  4. Just no.

Unfortunately, all my experience has to do with knitting lace shawls, not sweaters.  I think I can just cast on extra stitches and let them hang out on placeholders, but I am not really sure.  Any knitting experts want to chime in?  Would I add the stitches to the cast on section (the upper part of the shoulders) or do I keep adding stitches as I go down the repeat?  Or do I just add all the stitches at the bottom of the repeat?  I have no clue.

So I am talking to one of my online knitting groups, and I will be talking to my in-person knitting group.  I hope they can set me straight.  However, there is no way I can cast on until I figure this out.  So I am just going to have to put this off another day.  Rather frustrating but you can either fall the directions or try it your own way.  And we know I am all about doing things my way.

I’ll keep you informed!  It might be a sad ending though, with me choosing another pattern in despair.

Advertisements

Designing a Christmas Shawl

I have decided that this next year I want to design and publish a shawl pattern (no surprise there!).  Earlier this year I tried designing a cowl but that turned out to be a miserable failure.  But now it is time to try again and stick with things I know, lace shawls.

I got three gorgeous skeins from the yarn store Huldra Husflid og Kunsthandverk in Flåm, Norway.  This is an amazing store, full of awesome yarn and I think I bought around 30 skeins there.  It is a great store.  Anyways, I loved the Christmas colors together and knew I wanted a Christmas shawl out of them.

The yarn is called Hjerte Superwash, a 100% wool heavy fingering made by Hifa.  I love this yarn.  I have already made a shawl and a baby blanket out of it. It’s beautiful and works up great! If you are in Norway, I highly recommend you get some.  When I go back to Norway, I am going to have to stock up again.

 

Yet, it has been two years since I was in Norway, as another Christmas rolls around, I still haven’t found the right pattern for my yarn.  Finally, it dawned on me, I need to make my own pattern.  So I have started the process of designing my first Christmas shawl!

 

I am using OneNote, which has been really helpful so far.  I like that I can type where ever, add pictures, screenshots, files, highlight, and draw!  It has been really helpful in my quest to design, because it keeps me organized in one place and I can easily replace ideas I had with new ideas.  I also like seeing how my ideas evolve over time from simple to more complex.

Right now I have run into a little snag.  I need to figure out how to simulate bind off stitches in lace work.  It’s probably a simple decrease but I haven’t quite figured it out yet and so it is time to do some swatching until I find the perfect combination!    Wish me luck!  Or even better, leave a comment below about what decreases you would use!

Nürnberg Castle and Shopping

On sunday we finally had a much cooler day, thank God.  We headed off the check out the castle. It’s a pretty neat castle, but like most of Nürnberg, it was mostly destroyed during the war.  But some parts weren’t and we went in them at some point.
The walk up the hill was well up a hill.  But we had a beautiful view of the city.

image

image

Very steep

image

image

The castle was really cool and I recommend it.  The ticket we bought gave us access into many rooms, the museam, the well, and the tower.  The first couple of rooms were alright including the chapel. 

image

image

Upstairs had the history of the ruler of the city.  So now we have been the all the famous castles of the area which was neat.  I found Charlemagne again. Also saw the crown, which I think was the Original one!

image

image

Then we got to go into the weapons museam which was awesome! So I’ll just show you pictures.

image

My new boyfriend. He only says as you wish

image

image

image

image

image

image

We then came upon an opportunity to build the castle ourselves.  So we did with great gusto.  However, a young boy came over and told me “this is a child’s toy, you aren’t children.”  I told him we were children. He kept repeating That we weren’t. Finally I told him he could help us, which he did while still grumbling about us.  Then he ran away before we finished so I don’t know what offended him more, that we were playing with a toy or that he didn’t get it do it by himself.  Here is our finished castle.

image

Then there were a bunch of tack for horses shown as well.  It was neat expect for some reason they had a modern snaffle bit in there which was odd.

image

image

image

image

Next we headed to the well.  Here we finally found something sierra doesn’t like, wells.  This well was 50 meters deep dug by hand in the 14th century.  Can you imagine?  I didn’t want to loose my phone so only two pictures.

image

image

Then we headed to the tower which was not destroyed during the bombing.  I didn’t think that we would have to climb for some reason.  Anyways I started freaking out but Sierra was awesome and made me talk about knitting which worked pretty well and I made it to the top.

image

image

image

We knitted at the top, though I would have much preferred to go back down.  Making good progress on the sleeve. I’ve started the increases.
We got a bit lost looking fot the gardens but we found them and they were beautiful. Naturally we had to sit and knit there too.

image

image

image

image

image

image

There I cast on my latest lace shawl with yarn I bought early on.  It looks crappy because all lace shawls start out that way but I’m excited! The pattern is really lovely and should be very rewarding.

image

image

Then we headed to an outdoor dinning room to watch the end of the Irland vs France game  (which was very exciting, in the last 20 minutes France score twice and won the game).  We ate and knitted while waiting for the Germany vs Slovakia game to start.  Germany just crushed Slovakia but it was nice to hang out and watch.  Lots of goals, a rarity in soccer.

image

image

Today we have mostly just hung out. We thought about hiking but that seemed too difficult to get to.  We went shopping in the down town.  I bought some clothes. We had a nice lunch with the bold sparrows (they jumped on our table!). 

image

Then we found Another yarn store!  Whoot! We hit them in almost every town we were in.  This owner was really rude though and not in the least bit friendly.  Which was a bit disappointing.  I did end up buying a couple of balls for a baby sweater, it’s going to be adorable.  Sierra bought some buttons.

image

image

Now we are on the train to Frankfurt.  We both leave tomorrow, though at differnt times.  It has been a wonderful trip, but I’m really ready to see my husband again. 
image

I also finished my shawl a couple of days ago but forgot to take a picture. Here it is over Iceland ‘ s awesome win!
We stayed at a pretty ghetto hotel, but we survived despite being the only women we saw there.  The check in guy tried to convince me I had “perfect german” after he couldn’t understand what I was asking about the password.  The toilet lid wouldn’t open all the way so you had it digging into your back while you used said toilet.  I was pretty sure we were going to die.  But we didn’t and I have sent sierra off to catch her plane.  My plane isn’t until 530 so I’m sitting at the train station, having loaded up on Milka (the best chocolate ever), trying to decide if I want to go check out the churches down town or sit in front of starbucks a bit longer.  It’s trying to rain so I can’t decide what to do.

Thanks for reading the knitting trip of the year! It was amazing and I really enjoyed myself.  I hope you enjoyed reading along and laughing st our adventures. 

Nürnberg and Churches

So I lost this post again, which is so frustrating.  So here we go for try two.
Today we moseyed around Nürnberg’s old town.  It’s a short walk from our apartment but man we were already sweating by the time we got there.

image

We found two churches literally right across from one another.  The first was a big unsusal as they had the alter in the center of the dom.  But it has great acoustics and since no one was there, I sang the Greek Christ is risen (I know Pascha is over but it’s the first thing that came to mind). And sure enough it sounded awesome and the echos made it sound like more than one of me.

image

image

The next church had cool middle ages era paintings and an interesting organ.

image

image

We set off in search of a guard tower to explore.  While looking for a door, we almost stumbled into the red light district.  Luckily the thoughtful Germans had a sign with English explaining what was going on that street.  There were some guys who yell maybe at us but we escaped with incident.

image

On our way to the main market we found another church….

image

image

This was a Lutheran church.  Nürnberg was one of the first cities to become a protestant city in the early days.
We crossed the river and found the market.  Later we bought berries but for now we just strolled.

image

image

And there was another church right across from the market!

image

image

Then we found Another church!

image

image

Finally we were churched out and headed to the park to knit.  I ran out of yarn on my lace shawl so I’m doing to bind off now.  I’m half way done with the bind off so I’ll finish today or tomorrow.

image

Then we headed to Albrecht Dürer’s house.  Dürer is one of my favorite artists and I was so excited to see his house. We decided to take the guided tour in English and the extra money was worth it.  The guide was Agnes, Dürer’s wife.  She showed us how tools like the printing press and the kitchen were used.  It was really cool.  We also got to see original woodcuts by Dürer upstairs but of course we couldn’t take pictures.  I got to see my favorite, der Ritter, which gave me chills.

image

One of my favorites, his self portrait, but not an original.

image

Cabinets from Dürer’s house. Amazing!

image

image

image

image

image

The very best part was. A couple of rooms had ac. So we went to the viewing room and knitted while viewing the art. It was glorious. 

image

I’m working on my sweater sleeve right now and it’s coming along.  I’ve even got the magic loop downish.

We rewarded ourselves with crepes.

image

At a shop we stopped in, the lady thought I had studied German in Germany! So that was very nice.  Enough people have said it so I think my German is finally coming along.  This trip really has been good for it. 
On our way back we stopped to buy food for this evening. I picked up a bottle of wine.  At the check out, I was thinking how nice it would be not to get carded.  I loathe getting carded, it’s such an inconvenience got me and it pretty much always happens.  So the cashier picks up my wine and looks me straight in the eye and says in a tone of a father scolding a child “are you 18?” I sputter.  He quickly realize that the legal age for wine is 16 and revises his statement.  I am indignant. I spit out in German, “really? I’m 24.” I then proceed to show him my drivers license. I have never ever been carded in Europe.  Not even when I was 17.  Never. All over a bottle of 2 buck chuck! At this point, Sierra, who had no idea what was going on, says very loudly “are you being carded?” And bursts out laughing.  The cashier quickly realized his mistakes and rings me up. I’m red and still indignant.  The older man behind me kindly tries to assure me it’s a compliment, while the young man behind him starts laughing. I can’t speak but I’m prwtty sure the cashier is embarrassed too.  We make our escape with Sierra still laughing at me.  I’m still irritated when I think back on it. 

We made it home and God answered our prayers.  It rained like crazy and sierra and I went out to dance in the rain which felt amazing! We locked ourselves out though so we had to run around giggling and wet to the front door.  It was great, thunder and everything.  I feel much better now.

Munich and Wollemiese

Today we explored Munich.  It’s a very lovely city, but my allergies hate it.  I’ve been terrible nice we have been here.  Right now I have a death cough from laying down and I’ve used several packs of tissue.
In the morning we went to Viktualienmarkt, an open air market in the old city.  It was very peaceful and we saw lots of cool food, but the vendors were very pushy, which I didn’t like.  I bought cheese, cherries, and bread (not fresh which made me mad) for breakfast and some of it for dinner later.

image

The cheese I bought

image

image

Mushrooms!

image

Knitting in the square

We hunted down some churches but most we weren’t allowed to take pictures in and the others were too baroque for me.

image

We also went to the Rathaus or town hall, which was very lovely.

image

I

t

image

It has these beautiful stain glass windows and a billion stairs.  I climbed up to where the entrance was to the tower but I decided that I didn’t want to pay in case of another panic attack, though Ussually I’m pretty good with towers. 

image

Next we went in search of the residence but first we found this cool building (I think it’s the court house?

image

Finally we arrived at the Residence, which was the seat of the electors (people who got a say in who would be a holy Roman emperor).  It’s really cheap compared to other tours, you can stay as long as you like and you can take pictures!   It’s a pretty fantastic building.  The audio tour is actually a big long and towards the end I stopped listening but there is good information in it.  It’s a very baroque style palace, filled with gold everywhere.  It’s still pretty amazing.  Here are some pictures.  They had this hideous goto called the pleasure something and it was made with sea shells and it’s so ugly, but it was a novelty among all the gold.

image

The next room was a grand hall of some sort filled with statues and very beautiful.  Sierra and I sat and knitted in the room for about 20 minutes. 

image

image

image

Worked on the lace wish shawl, which is almost done, just a few more rows to go and then bind off!
There was a very lovely statue of Venus, modeled after the very famous Venus statue.  I love Venus statues, this one depicts Venus emerging from her bath.

image

There followed many other beautiful rooms and objects, but I will just show you a smattering here.

image

The church which was completely destroyed by the war. What it used to look like.

image

image

Gold door.

image

The music room and the one I liked best. Anyone guess why?

image

image

image

The throne room and obligitory miror selfe.

image

There are little porcelain jars in blue among the gold.

image

The halls of ancestors, a precursor to english portrait galleries.  Basicly. This hall gave the king right to be a king.

image

Charlemagne, who they believe they were decended from.

image

The family tree. With Adam and eve at the bottom.

image

After spending a couple of hours exploring, we headed off to find the yarn store in Munich.  After a little bit of difficulty, we found it!

image

image

It was a great store, but sadly only stocked American yarn, which was of no use to us. But we spent a couple hours knitting. 

The next day we got up bright and early to go to the highlight of any yarn tour, wollemiese. This is a very famous yarn store and brand.  We were so excited to go!  We arrived and the fun began!

image

The town who holds the store.

image

image

image

image

image

image

We spent a lot of time deciding on what we wanted.  Then we knit, then we shopped some more.  It was ungodly hot and humid.  Luckily on our side of the store there was a fan.  The lady told me though that if we sat too long in front of the fan we would get sick.  Sigh.  This is very powerful old wives tale that is the reason for no ac in Germany. Which was just awful on that day.  I think I lost 10 lbs in sweat.

image

Then we made friends with a lovely Australian girl from Melbourne.  She was awesome, besides being a knitter, she was also a spinner.  She showed us this gorgeous blanket she had just finished knitting, in which she had hand spun the wool.  It was amazing! If only i had time to spin! After fussing some more about what we wanted to buy, we bought our yarn.

image

image

image

This is me in front of the lace weight skiens. 1800 yards in a skien!!!

We had lunch with the Australian lady, I introduced them to Döner which they loved.  There we met a Bavarian lady, with a very thick accent and 6 children. Who wanted to tell me all about the middle ages in this part of Bavaria.  I only understood about 3 words our of 7.  But there was something about witches, festivals, and castles.  She also told me that the dialect liked to make everything shorter, something I had noticed but was glad to hear confirmed as I only had one example.

We sadly had to part ways with our new friend. Who told us to come visit her, to which we happily agreed! After waiting in the stifling heat for the train, we boarded also to be stifled on this train as well.  There was only a little breeze every one and a while.  I lost another 5 pounds in sweat. At some point I realized we had gotten on the longer train, which was a bummer but worked out to be about the same time.  There was so beautiful country side! Woods, old towns with walls, and I even saw a castle. The worst part was the river that kept taunting me winding by the train window.  I longed to throw myself into it. 

image

Anyways we arrived and collapsed into our new room in Nürnberg, and refused to leave, so no dinner for us.  Who knows what this new day holds?

Trains, Trains, and Castles

Well I wrote this whole post up and then it got deleted.  So I think the rewrite will be a bit shorter. 

We left super early from Vienna for a 4 hour train ride to Munich.  The train had wifi which was awesome because I could finally translate the sweater pattern I’d been meaning to do.  And I started working on the arm.  I also worked on sheherazad, but I think I am going to run out of yarn soon and the next ball is at home.

image

image

image

We also got some great views of the country side and the alps.

We arrived in Munich only to board the next train (2 more hours) for Füssen.  Here we got more great views of the alps and Alpine lakes.

image

image

Once we got to Füssen we had a tiny bit of confusion about which bus would take us to the castle.  That is right castle.  But I found out to my great delight that my regional pass worked for buses as well. So less money was spent which made me happy.  Once we arrived and got out tickets we had to wait another hour and a half before we could take the tour.  But it was ok.  We got ice cream and waiting in line for our carriage ride up the hill.  It’s takes about 40 mins to walk up the hill so we opted to save our legs and take a horse ride.   What castle am I talking about? Neuschwanstein! Only my favorite castle (and probably the world’s favorite castle as well) since I was 12.  Last time I was here, I didn’t go inside and I’m so happy I did. But first the carriage ride. 

There were a bunch of people in line so two carriages went before us.  But I’m glad because the carriage that took us contained an amazing man.  He jumped down from the cart and came and stood in the shade with us.  I told him it was the perfect idea and we started to converse.  We laughed a lot and then he promised us a good place, which he fullfilled.  We got to sit up front right next to him.

image

image

We talked about a bunch of things on the way up.  He told me he had been doing this for 21 years and before that he was a cow farmer.  I asked him what breed his horses were and he told me southern German cold bloods (a type of draft horse).  I then told him about the one time I drove cold bloods and before I knew it, he was putting the reins in my hands and letting me drive.  Driving is different then riding, since you have two horses you have to be a bit more firm, which I didn’t really figure out until the end.  But it was really neat. He let me drive the whole rest of the way and even park.  It was amazing.  So it pays to make friends with natives.

image

image

If you eat my fingers it will all be over.

image

image

The castle is amazing. If you haven’t seen it or are thinking about it, go!  It’s only half finished on the inside but what is done will blow you away. I sadly don’t have any pictures because you weren’t allowed to take any.  But it is spectacular! There are so many paintings, wood carvings, and mosaics that the half and hour tour is really not enough time to take it all in. I could have been in there for a couple of hours at least.  The throne room was decorated like an orthodox byzantine church, complete with a large chandler. The floor was a 2 million mosaic, that was amazing.  There was a great painting of st. George on the wall across from the king, who is the patron saint of the area.  The king was definitely influenced by orthodoxy as the icon of the Theotokos over his bed had the Greek letters for her name. Everything was stunning and I wish I had pictures to show you.
I do have pictures of my dream kitchen and the views from the balcony.

image

image

image

Then we left.  It was a bumpy ride getting back. We weren’t sure we were going to make the bus or the train, so we practicly ran down the hill (15 mins whoot!) And made it to the bus with 10 minutes to spare.  I almost got squeezed to death getting on the train as three people rushed forward at once and were being pushing inward by people behind.  Group panics are scary.  Anyways we made it on and made it back to Munich for a total of 8 hours on a train. 

The inside of Munich is really nice with lots of shops.  Once we stepped outside though it was a whole different world.  There were people who were high as kites, prostitutes, and several group of guys, one of which yelled at us.  It was kind of scary.  One of the high guys tried to play chicken with the tram, which he luckily won. Finally after getting on the wrong tram and having to switch, we made it to our new place. 
Today’s post is coming shortly.

The Other Country and Lipizzaners

Yesterday we went to Bratislava, Slovakia and a yarn store. 

The yarn store was called wollewi en and man was it wonderful.  Knitter visiting Vienna will be entranced with the store.  The store has their own brand which they sell in many colors and fibers including this wonderful feeling fiber called milk fiber.  Even cooler was we finally found hand dyed yarn! This yarn was made in Austria and was also dyed here.  It’s beautiful and comes in sock and lace weight.  Sierra and I were drooling.  The owner was very nice and had a real taste for style and good yarn.  I highly recommend going there if you are in Austria.  It’s a beautiful store with yarn unique to austria which makes it awesome!

image

image

image

The hand dyed ya

image

rn

The store has a great atmosphere and it very welcoming.  She also speaks great English. 
Then it was onto Bratislava.  Since the train ride was an hour long, of course we knitted.  Also we meet a french guy on the train. He was very nice and tried to speak with me I’m French. A very bad idea so I told him my German is much better.  He thought I was from Austria which was nice.  He wishes us a good trip in Bratislava but told us Budapest was cheaper and and better. 

image

The country side was very beautiful and I enjoyed our trip.  I also made good progress on sheherazad finishing two rows.   That may not seem like a lot to non knitters but I have over 600 stiches on the needles and each row takes me approx 45 to an hour to complete.
When we arrived, we spent some time fumbling to figure out the right us and which stop we should get off at.  We figured it out with the partial help from a Slovakian girl.  We were on our way to the city.  The castle is a breath taking sight coming into view, but sadly I didn’t get a picture.

All in all, bratislava was disappointing.  When we arrived we were told by the tourist shop that everything was closed because Mondays were a holiday for Slovakia.  So nothing was open, only shops.  So we wandered around the old city.  We did find st Michaels gate, an important gate for getting into the old city.

image

The old city was very pretty with my favorite types of roofs and lovely buildings.  There was also a ton of consoluates there.

image

image

We wondered into a book store and I found a small but very expensive collection of linguistic books!

image

And some interesting humor put in by workers during communism.

image

We found one church that was open, in which I found 3 skulls which I was very surprised to see.  They were a bit green, which seemed kind of odd but so they were.

image

The church was very beautiful and had this great status to st. Martin.  You know the saint who was a soldier and one day saw this poor bagger and tore his cloak in half and gave it to the bagger.  I love the statue.

image

image

We thought about going up to the castle but since it was closed that walk seemed a bit too difficult. Instead we walked along the old wall and read some information on the wall.

image

image

So we left.  We went back to Wien and had cake, which was so good (I need to learn how to make it) and the best peppermint tea ever.  Sierra had her first apple strudel, which she said was ok.  I think the problem was it wasn’t warm.

image

Day 6: Back in Wien
Since I missed yesterday, I’ll put today in here as well.  Today was the best day.  We didn’t have anything planned until one so we just relaxed in the morning and went to a tummy breakfast.  I tried my first Melange, which tasted great after I put 4 (or was it 5 ?) Sugars in it.  I didn’t realize it was expresso until it was too late.  Oh well I tried it.

image

Once we arrived in the old town, we found a church.  The city is filled with them.  It seems like on every corner there is a church, I love it.  This church was pretty amazing, it had these huge columns that when up forever and made you feel so small.  It was magnificent.

image

image

image

St. Francis of Assisi, really cool.

It had this gorgeous little chapel on the side that had sunlight streaming in.

image

Then we headed off to explore the Hofburg gardens, which were beautiful.  They had so many beautiful roses and it was a lovely garden.  While we waited for our tour of the stables we sat and knitted. But during our exploring we found a statue of empress Elisabeth.

image

image

image

I’m on the last chart on the baby blanket, but sadly it still has a long way to go.

Then!!!!! We headed over to see the Lipizzaners!!!!!!!!!! For those of you who don’t know me, I am horse crazy.  Ever since I was little, as a child I owned over 200 toy horses and had names for them all. One of my favorite horse authors is Margaret Henry(who is an amazing children’s author and I recommend all her books), who wrote this book White Stallion of Lipizza.  It was one of my favorite books and is all about the Spanish riding school. I have always wanted to come to Vienna and see them.  I saw them preform in the States but I’ve always wanted to see them up close.  Today I got my change.

Ok but first, a poor lady was offering anyone who would listen to buy a ticket for 50 Euros.  I told her no sorry, I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.  She didn’t find a way onto our tour but I hope she made it on to some other tour.

The tour consisted of the summer area and the Spanish riding hall.  Sadly the hall was under construction to be converted to the ball room for the ball on Friday. The summer area has the largest oval hot walker in the world, with room for up to 19 horses and walk/trot speeds. 

image

The hot walker.
Here are some pictures of the hall

image

image

I was ridiculously giddy

image

image

What the hall normally looks like.
Then we got to see the horses.  Sadly a bunch of them had already left for their summer break but there were still plenty of horses to make me happy.  I touched one,  or rather he touched me, to find out if my fingers were food.  Also we weren’t supposed to take pictures but I have one Stallion selfie.

image

He wanted to know what I was doing.

The tack room was amazing!  So beautiful. 

image

It ended all too soon but it was heaven to be with horses, horse smells, and happiness.  On the way out I met a nice man who trained carriage horses and competed.  He told me some lovely stories, including one about a 70 year old man who had had a stroke and was never to ride again got involved with carriage driving.  He learned how to drive after learning his lesson about patience and went on to win his first driving class.  So good to know if this disk thing keeps being a issue, I have options.
We popped into one more church, the famous st Michaels church with crypts.  But you had to pay and since I’m not into paying to see dead people, we passed.

image

image

Look! The alter surporting an icon of the Theotokos!

image

Had some neat medieval icons.

image

We spent the rest of the day at the park reading and relaxing on the grass. It was heaven.  Now sierra is off on a night tour and I’m chilling in the room.  Tomorrow we go back to Germany and München.

image

I think this is a statue of persephone and hades

The Other Country

Yesterday we went to Bratislava, Slovakia and a yarn store. 

The yarn store was called wollewi en and man was it wonderful.  Knitter visiting Vienna will be entranced with the store.  The store has their own brand which they sell in many colors and fibers including this wonderful feeling fiber called milk fiber.  Even cooler was we finally found hand dyed yarn! This yarn was made in Austria and was also dyed here.  It’s beautiful and comes in sock and lace weight.  Sierra and I were drooling.  The owner was very nice and had a real taste for style and good yarn.  I highly recommend going there if you are in Austria.  It’s a beautiful store with yarn unique to austria which makes it awesome!

image

image

image

The hand dyed ya

image

rn

The store has a great atmosphere and it very welcoming.  She also speaks great English. 
Then it was onto Bratislava.  Since the train ride was an hour long, of course we knitted.  Also we meet a french guy on the train. He was very nice and tried to speak with me I’m French. A very bad idea so I told him my German is much better.  He thought I was from Austria which was nice.  He wishes us a good trip in Bratislava but told us Budapest was cheaper and and better. 

image

The country side was very beautiful and I enjoyed our trip.  I also made good progress on sheherazad finishing two rows.   That may not seem like a lot to non knitters but I have over 600 stiches on the needles and each row takes me approx 45 to an hour to complete.
When we arrived, we spent some time fumbling to figure out the right us and which stop we should get off at.  We figured it out with the partial help from a Slovakian girl.  We were on our way to the city.  The castle is a breath taking sight coming into view, but sadly I didn’t get a picture.

All in all, bratislava was disappointing.  When we arrived we were told by the tourist shop that everything was closed because Mondays were a holiday for Slovakia.  So nothing was open, only shops.  So we wandered around the old city.  We did find st Michaels gate, an important gate for getting into the old city.

image

The old city was very pretty with my favorite types of roofs and lovely buildings.  There was also a ton of consoluates there.

image

image

We wondered into a book store and I found a small but very expensive collection of linguistic books!

image

And some interesting humor put in by workers during communism.

image

We found one church that was open, in which I found 3 skulls which I was very surprised to see.  They were a bit green, which seemed kind of odd but so they were.

image

The church was very beautiful and had this great status to st. Martin.  You know the saint who was a soldier and one day saw this poor bagger and tore his cloak in half and gave it to the bagger.  I love the statue.

image

image

We thought about going up to the castle but since it was closed that walk seemed a bit too difficult. Instead we walked along the old wall and read some information on the wall.

image

image

So we left.  We went back to Wien and had cake, which was so good (I need to learn how to make it) and the best peppermint tea ever.  Sierra had her first apple strudel, which she said was ok.  I think the problem was it wasn’t warm.

image

Day 6: Back in Wien
Since I missed yesterday, I’ll put today in here as well.  Today was the best day.  We didn’t have anything planned until one so we just relaxed in the morning and went to a tummy breakfast.  I tried my first Melange, which tasted great after I put 4 (or was it 5 ?) Sugars in it.  I didn’t realize it was expresso until it was too late.  Oh well I tried it.

image

Once we arrived in the old town, we found a church.  The city is filled with them.  It seems like on every corner there is a church, I love it.  This church was pretty amazing, it had these huge columns that when up forever and made you feel so small.  It was magnificent.

image

image

image

St. Francis of Assisi, really cool.

It had this gorgeous little chapel on the side that had sunlight streaming in.

image

Then we headed off to explore the Hofburg gardens, which were beautiful.  They had so many beautiful roses and it was a lovely garden.  While we waited for our tour of the stables we sat and knitted. But during our exploring we found a statue of empress Elisabeth.

image

image

image

I’m on the last chart on the baby blanket, but sadly it still has a long way to go.

Then!!!!! We headed over to see the Lipizzaners!!!!!!!!!! For those of you who don’t know me, I am horse crazy.  Ever since I was little, as a child I owned over 200 toy horses and had names for them all. One of my favorite horse authors is Margaret Henry(who is an amazing children’s author and I recommend all her books), who wrote this book White Stallion of Lipizza.  It was one of my favorite books and is all about the Spanish riding school. I have always wanted to come to Vienna and see them.  I saw them preform in the States but I’ve always wanted to see them up close.  Today I got my change.

Ok but first, a poor lady was offering anyone who would listen to buy a ticket for 50 Euros.  I told her no sorry, I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.  She didn’t find a way onto our tour but I hope she made it on to some other tour.

The tour consisted of the summer area and the Spanish riding hall.  Sadly the hall was under construction to be converted to the ball room for the ball on Friday. The summer area has the largest oval hot walker in the world, with room for up to 19 horses and walk/trot speeds. 

image

The hot walker.
Here are some pictures of the hall

image

image

I was ridiculously giddy

image

image

What the hall normally looks like.
Then we got to see the horses.  Sadly a bunch of them had already left for their summer break but there were still plenty of horses to make me happy.  I touched one,  or rather he touched me, to find out if my fingers were food.  Also we weren’t supposed to take pictures but I have one Stallion selfie.

image

He wanted to know what I was doing.

The tack room was amazing!  So beautiful. 

image

It ended all too soon but it was heaven to be with horses, horse smells, and happiness.  On the way out I met a nice man who trained carriage horses and competed.  He told me some lovely stories, including one about a 70 year old man who had had a stroke and was never to ride again got involved with carriage driving.  He learned how to drive after learning his lesson about patience and went on to win his first driving class.  So good to know if this disk thing keeps being a issue, I have options.
We popped into one more church, the famous st Michaels church with crypts.  But you had to pay and since I’m not into paying to see dead people, we passed.

image

image

Look! The alter surporting an icon of the Theotokos!

image

Had some neat medieval icons.

image

We spent the rest of the day at the park reading and relaxing on the grass. It was heaven.  Now sierra is off on a night tour and I’m chilling in the room.  Tomorrow we go back to Germany and München.

image

I think this is a statue of persephone and hades

Palaces and Churches

Today is sunday, Pentecost, and father’s day.  Today we saw churches and a palace.  It was another incredible day!

The closest orthodox church was the Greek cathedral.  It was a stunning church.  Truly beautiful, though the icons were much more western in style.  My father and I were unwitting participants in a hiarchical liturgy(this means that the service has a bishop, which makes the service a lot longer).  I should have know since it was a cathedral.  But I didn’t.

image

image

Also even though the online info said 9, liturgy didn’t start until 945ish.  So when we arrived, I had no idea what was happening. It was the greeting of the bishop, but I didn’t realize it for quite some time.  But the service was lovely, they had a very nice all male choir.  The only funny thing that happened, was one of the deacons recognized that we weren’t Greek right away and at some point came over and told us that we could go to the urkrainian church down the road (which was catholic by the way ).  I was kind of confused but I told him we were fine.  I wasn’t really sure what his intentions were by telling me this, but I’m going to assume he just wanted us to be comfortable.  We were fine, except standing on marble for 3 hours hurts a lot. We had to leave at noon, before the service was over, which made me sad but we still had a lot to see.

image

image

image

The ceiling

image

A bit different from russian churches, the bishop’s seat was on the side. The bishop is the father in white.

After we met up with Sierra, we headed of to Schloss Schönbrunn.  What a beautiful palace! I have a little of what the Austrians call Sisifieber, or Sisi fever, I am a bit addicted to the empress of Austria, Elisabeth.  Anyways, she lived there for a bit and it was really cool to learn more about her life and her husband’s life.  The palace is a less grand version of Versailles, but still very beautiful!

image

We had an Austrian lunch, bratwurst and golosh for dad.  We took a walk around the gardens before our time for the palace.  They were also very beautiful.

image

image

image

image

Then we headed inside the palace to tour 26 rooms, which was just the right amount.  I’m glad we didn’t do the 40 rooms that we could have done.   However, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, so I only have a few illegal ones I took.

image

image

image

While dad went in search of Pepsi he had seen, a rarity in Europe, I sat on the steps of the palace and knitted. Eventually Sierra came and joined me, it was great.  I’m so close to being finished with the lilac wish shawl.

image

image

  We headed back to the gardens, so we could walk to the top of the hill, but we got way laid by a photo shot.  It was worth it though.  Again, I really should just bring an amazing dress with me when I am in Europe and keep it in my bag until such occasion as this arises, then put it on a take those pictures.  When will I learn? First I need to aquire that amazing dress.

image

image

It was pretty awesome being rapunzel. My hair cooperated quite nicely.

The walk up the hill was tough, man are my calves and ankles hurting, but the view was worth it. Such a pretty view of the palace and the city.

image

Me chilling with the merhorse.

image

image

image

image

Dad stayed behind, so sierra and I sat at the top and knitted for 20 minutes.  It was glorious.  It was cool but the sun with shining with a breeze.  In all it was perfect.

image

The next part is a bit painful for me.  We went to st Charles church, which is a magnificent church that was build by Emperor Charles and then finished by his son.  It’s amazing.

image

image

It has a great dome ceiling with beautiful paintings on it. And they charge you to get in so that you may take an elevator to the top of the Dom and look at the painting.  If you know me, you know I am terribly afraid of hights, something my father and I share. But he is braver than me.  He convinces me to get on the death trap.

image

As soon as the doors shut, I know I’ve made a huge mistake and I began to panic.  Which turned into a full on panic attack when we reached the top because the floor moved and shook when people walked around or climbed the next set of stairs for a view out of the Dom window.  So my dad goes to see how far he can climb on the stairs  (2 floors btw because it also shook when you climbed) and I’m sitting on a chair, trying to not completely loose it and throw up.  I’m shaking, I’m pale, I keep saying lord have mercy or oh my God. And this Italian woman who spoke very little english, thought it was the funnest thing in the world that I am losing my mind at the top of the dom.  She keep laughing at me.  Got to say when you are panicing, people laughing at you is not helpful.  So next time you see someone having a panic attack, try to reassure them, don’t laugh at them.
I did take a few pictures from the place I sat. I’m sure it was very beautiful, I honestly can’t remember, I was too busy contemplating my imminent death from falling 200 feet.

image

image

image

The ride down wasn’t as bad surprisingly, but dad held my hand and made sure no one came on our elevator so I could melt down in peace.  It look me 30 minutes to recover, but now I know for sure I will not be attempting any more high places I’m europe.  And no it wasn’t worth it, since it still makes me sick just thinking about it.

image

Pretty church on the bottom though! We walked back home and as promised, here are pictures of my projects. 

image

I finished the second chart on my baby blanket. Finally!! So now I am back to the first chart, which is the easy blue snowflakes on white border from the first side. Sheherazad is coming nicely, I’m almost half way into my current chart, which is very exciting.  I realized though, I brought too many projects that required you to look down, aka the baby blanket.  So I am going to cast on another lace shawl with the red baby alpaca lace weight I bought in Bonn. Just need the needles. 
My dad is leaving today (monday) so we are on our own and going to Bratislava! Yay a new country!

Wien, Wien, Wien

Today we had the best weather we have had so far.  I may not have mentioned it much, because I have been so relieved that I haven’t been in 110 heat, but it’s been cool and rainy and humid. But in Vienna, it’s been sunny with a light breeze, perfect weather. It’s been wonderful.

Getting here was a bit interesting.  We were delayed by a broken plane, so our flight was delayed by a bit.  However, it wasn’t too long before we boarded.  I sat next to a very nice girl, who looked a lot like my sister in law.  We had a very pleasant chat about many things.  Her husband owns an ice cream shop and that is where she works.  They honeymooned in Tanzania, and had some lovely pictures to show me.  She considers herself Turkish, even though she was born in Germany.  She suggested a couple of places to go.  We also talked about my knitting and she was very patient with my very limited German knitting vocabulary. I encouraged her to take up knitting, so who knows maybe I converted her.

Ah Wien.  It’s a beautiful place. Stunning really. This is the view from our hotel.

image

It doesn’t get much better than that.  One thing I have learned about Wien is you have to book things ahead of time.  One of the main things I wanted to see here is the Lipizzaners, a breed of horses that do what is now modern day dressage,  but has been around since 1830ish). However, their last performance was today and it was sold out. So I won’t get to see them dance this time.  Even worse, the tour of the riding hall and the stables was also sold out until Tuesday.  So I am going on Tuesday.   But If you go, make sure you book things a head of time.

We headed out to our first yarn shop.

image

It was a pretty shop but nothing that they had screamed must be bought.  So neither sierra or I bought something. What’s worse the shop owner gave us bad information.  She told us that the wien card (that we had bought at the hotel, thinking that it gave unlimited travel for 3 days) didn’t do that and was only a discount card.  So we paid more money for another card.

Off we went to the big church, seen from the picture in the window. It was a beautiful church.  Very old and Gothic.  We went inside but we didn’t get to wander too much as Mass was going on.  But it was still lovely. I recorded some of the mass, but I don’t know if I can upload videos here.  The church also had these lace art things that hung from the ceiling, saying faith hope and love, which were very interesting.

image

image

image

image

After a very mediocre lunch we went to another church. A wedding was happening inside! They had the most beautiful soprano singing. It was incredible!  I wish I could sing like that.  We wished the bride good luck as she walked by us, newly married.

image

This church had the most incredible ceiling and was a very baroque style church.

image

A short walk later brought us to the might of the Hapsberg empire. There must be 15 buildings that were build throughout the empire. It’s huge and amazing.  While walking I just wanted a dress from the 1700 hundreds and to slip back into time. You could just imagine the hundreds of people who ran the palace and the government buildings.

image

I am sure the enimies of Austria were awed by the power and wealth displayed.  I know I was.

image

We headed to the national library.  I’m a big fan of libraries and it was well worth the 4 euros I paid to see it!  Dad, being the very friendly man he is, when asked by the ticket girl where he was from, he said west Austria.  And that she didn’t know there was an ocean in west austria.  The girls just loved that.  She told me that I was lucky to have him as my father, I totally agree. 

image

Riding into the clouds.

The library was incredible and overwhelming all at once.  I felt like Belle in my own library for the very first time and again I wanted to be in a dress. 

image

image

image

It was amazing. What is even more amazing is all those books on the walls, anyone can come read them.  I made friends with a curator who told me that I can get a card and check out a book in the reading room.  I can read a book from 1500-1800!!!! With gloves!  I’m so excited, I think we are doing this Tuesday.  He also thought I was from Norway or Poland.  While I get the norway reference, I look nothing like polish girls.  I was flattered though and he was very surprised I was American and spoke German.
After that amazing experience, I hurt everywhere and we headed back to the hotel for a little rest.
After watching a movie, knitting, and recharging, we headed out to the best food yet, Vietnamese food.

image

image

Oh man it was so good. We took an after dinner walk.  We saw ducks, blue heron, and a rat.  Sierra freaked out about the rat but I laughed at her since I owned 3 rats as a kid.

image

image

Since Austria didn’t loose to Portugal, there were amazing fireworks.

image

Lastly, a knitting update.  I am almost done with my lilac wish shawl! I made a big mistake on sheherazad shawl at the begining of a row and had to go all the way back to fix it, but now it is fixed and I’m making good progress towards the end.  I’m also so close on finishing the chart on the baby blanket. I’ll try to take pictures tomorrow but I’m very pleased on my progress!