speaking of Zagreb…

The Zagreb Film Festival is going on at the moment… And I quite enjoyed stalking this promotor, dressed as the mascot of the Festival, handing out programmes.

Those less familiar with the Festival were utterly baffled. Being used to the endless free newspapers we get handed on every other corner, some assumed he was just a guy who put the thing on his head out of embarassment for doing that job…

Others simply giggled. I did too, but it was a knowing giggle… :) And the man just continued about his business… :)

the magic of home

You all know how much I love London. But as I was leaving it, I promised to show you other magical corners of the world. And now, after being back home for about a month, I am revelling in the special magic home holds – the hidden gems only locals know about, the little stories and legends of the city, the memories on every corner… So please allow me to introduce you to the city which will never lose its unique status as – home.

As a welcome to Zagreb, I’ll start with something that catches my eye as I travel around other cities in the world – graffiti. I love the fact that graffiti is so urban and universal, yet so diverse. If you ask Zagreb visitors and residents about graffiti, the first thing they’ll probably do is – complain. Yes, we do have a problem with some ‘artists’.

But on a short stroll through Zagreb, you’ll also notice some much more serious art. The surface doesn’t have to be the side of the building – it can be a paper recycling bin as well.

The message can be very concrete. This, for instance, was part of student protests demanding that higher education remains free (i.e. paid for by the state), as it has been forever here… The image is of the (former) minister of education, and the caption is “Free education – not free market!”

Or there can be no message at all. I discovered this little series of related graffiti the other day, and I just love how seemingly random it is!

Wouldn’t you just love your neighborhood more if it was adorned with such silly and happy images? :)

I know I would! :)

sideways

As the project of removing the chaos from my knitting continues, one of the key activities is dealing with all the loose ends (metaphorical and literal) lying around. This means ripping what needs to be ripped (as seen yesterday), but also finishing what needs to be finished. The great thing about the latter is rediscovering things I had been looking forward to wearing before they dropped into the ‘almost done, but not quite’ abyss!

This is the Sideways Grande Cloche, for which I bought the yarn at Knit Nation. It is finally finished and I couldn’t be happier about it!

The construction of this hat is really interesting, and produces a simple yet stunning effect. It’s also done incredibly quick!

I made a few modifications, some procedure-wise: knitting the crown in the round rather than flat (I always avoid seaming if I can!)…

… and some design-wise: I removed one side strap and created a straight band rather than a cable. I just couldn’t make the design work for me as it was and I really love it this way!

I’m so proud of myself for having the courage to personalize a design and make it just right for me! And I’m sure that will add to the joy of wearing it… :)

Do you like it? :)

under siege

My room has been taken over… by yarn!

When a sudden unprovoked reboot of my computer this morning finally forced me to do the data back-up which I’ve been putting off for ages (a little bit of fear works like a charm with me), I thought I may as well use the time away from the computer (but keeping a close eye on it) in some good way.

I had also noticed for the last few days that that despite the enormous amount of yarn I had I just couldn’t settle on a project to start. I think it was all the chaos that was causing this. So I started coupling balls of identical yarn, arranging them in a logical way, cataloguing if you will.

And ripping some things that have been waiting to be ripped for a while.

Probably as long as the computer has waited for a back-up, actually.

I have a few more things on the rip (and soak and rewind) list, and then I’ll put everything away in some way that allows me to have a good overview of what I have. And by then, I’m sure I’ll be ready to start knitting it away! ;)

autumn

The other day, one of my readers asked if it was really possible that it was autumn already in London. Intrigued by this question, I set out to discover if Zagreb had also succumbed to autumn.

After putting on my detective outfit, I started casting around suspicious glances.

Does this leaf above me qualify as green or yellow… Hm… And what about the ones lurking behind my back…

Yup, definitely yellow and brown.  Ok, autumn, I concede. You are definitely here. I bow to your royal presence.

Please accept this token of my servitude. I knit it knowing that you would come, sooner or later. I welcome you.

The pattern is Sixteen. The yarn is Rowan Kid Classic. The hat is on its way to the new (unsuspecting :) owner.

out of the darkness

The Sideways Grande Cloche has been sitting in a dark corner of my room for a long time, waiting for me to figure out what I want to do with it. After a few initial bumps, it became a lovely hat, but somehow I just couldn’t make the side strips work and I didn’t know what to do with them.

Today, I pulled it out and had a flash of inspiration. Perhaps this hat just wants to be simple.

Yup, that’s right, one of the strips is gone! I’m going to try a much simpler solution for hiding the seam. Perhaps then the hat will manage to fooly emerge from the darkness. :)

Gretel in action

My friend Michelle and her boyfriend, who are both talented photographers, sent me some photos from their recent walk around London. And guess who had a guest star role in the photos! The Gretel I made for Michelle a few months ago. :)

It is a-mazing to have photos of the hat done by people who actually know what they’re doing with the camera, as opposed to myself!

It is also wonderful to see the hat being used. It was still summer (though a chilly one) when I gave it to Michelle and it’s such a joy to see it being worn now in appropriate weather.

Aren’t they gorgeous?! If you’re curious about more autumnal sights, click on the photos to go to Michelle’s Flickr photostream – you’ll be happy you did, trust me! ;)

getting there…

… and enjoying the colours en route!

The Manos yarn is so special, I am glad to be using it for a project which requires me to look at it constantly – the colour changes and the amazing tones unfailingly keep me amused. I could just stare at this yarn for hours. Every colour is more beautiful than the next…

Any other fans out there? :)

seven down…

After leaving the hat to block last night, I was itching to start a new project, and the skein of Manos that I bought at Knit Nation for a Scroll Lace Scarf was looking at me so pleadingly. At first I wasn’t so sure about how it was coming out in the pattern, but the further I go the more I like it! The edging includes a total of 28 repeats of a 14-row motif, and this is how much I’ve got so far.

… twenty one to go!

When I’m faced with something like this, I tend to divide it into smaller ‘units’ or ‘assignments’. For this, seven pattern repeats seemed like a small enough yet meaningful unit, so I’m trying to do seven in one go. That way, I’ll be done with the edging in only four knitting sessions… How do you deal with having to do many repeats? Or does the phrase “repeat this 27 more times” not horrify you at all? :)