Strega's Needles & Hooks

This is my little piece of cyber space where I rant or rave, depending on my mood. Postings are whatever interests me at the time. Life with an Italian in Switzerland is interesting indeed! CLICK ON PHOTOS TO SEE ENLARGEMENTS

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007
We went for a drive in the car to find a castle. It turned out that we're not very savvy castle seekers because, after 4 hrs, we still didn't find that particular castle.
However, we did tour around some lakes.
This is a place called Weggis. It's one of many tiny towns along Lake Vierwaldstatter in central Switzerland, about 1.5 hrs from our home.

I spotted these goats grazing near the road. Aren't they cute!

This is Lucerne. We've been here several times so I just snapped a few pictures of the historic centre as we passed by in the car.

This is the Chapel Bridge and water tower, built in 1333.

Random pics of Lucerne

This is Schloss (castle) Neuhabsburg at Meggen, the one we were looking for but didn't find. Later we did a bit of research and now know exactly where to find it. I'll be posting my own pics of it after our visit. I found the one below on the 'net'.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
The Uzume socks are done!

I finished the Gentleman's Half Hose from Knitting Vintage Socks.
Since these are for my son who has chicken skinny legs, I didn't do the calf increases. However, I did use a double strand of yarn for the heel & toe since he tends to get holes very easily.... like two weeks after first wearing! From the top of the cuff to the top of the heel, these socks are almost 11" long, perfect for winter temps of -40°C!

After finishing 2 pairs of socks, I rewarded myself by casting on another project. This will be a top down raglan pullover, also for my son. I really like this recycled tweedy wool I got from an Etsy vendor. I'm not using a pattern for this sweater because I know my son's measurments. If the sweater is oversized & baggy, he's a happy camper.

The other 3 WIPs I posted about before are growing very slowly. I might pick them up more often because the stockinette stitch of the sweater will be a boring knit.

We had every intention of heading out on the motorcycle again today but the nasty, rainy weather stopped us. Instead we took a drive in the car to the Zugerzee area.

The sock came along for the ride.

We saw some interesting architecture along the way.

This church is in Cham.

We looked around for the Schloss (castle) St. Andreas .
When we found it, we tried to park the car in a no-parking zone but were warned by a passer-by that the police ticket & tow everyone who leaves a car in the area. The rain was really coming down and we didn't want to get soaked so I ran and snapped a few pics before we headed out.

We will return on the motorcycle when the weather is nicer.

We took a cruise on the motorcycle to the

Walensee. It's a long beautiful lake

with very panoramic views.

Then we went to the tiny Principality of Lichtenstein.
The capital, and only city, is Vaduz.

This is the home of the recent Prince of Lichtenstein. Sadly but understandably, the castle interior is not accessible to the public.

We crossed the border from Lichtenstein into Austria when

our stomachs started growling.

The first city we came to was Feldkirch. It looked very Austrian and very charming. Our stomachs were speaking louder now so we set out to find a place to eat. We liked the look of this glassed-in restaurant but the prices were way out of our league! Instead we grabbed some take-out at a quaint terraced restaurant, parked ourselves under an umbrella, and pigged out. We ordered one strawberry shortcake for dessert, which we shared (neither of us need more padding!) ;o)

Then we toured around on foot for about an hour.

Katzenturm (Cat Tower)

The eight-story high, round building was established during the town fortification in 1491-1507 under the Emperor Maximilian I. In the 17th century the bell tower was built for the biggest bell in Vorarlberg province, however today only the fourth bell is attached.The tower was decorated with a madonna, which was restored by Florus Scheel in the 19th century. Why it was originally called the Cat tower hasn't really been discovered. There is a theory saying that cat heads had been attached to the canons of the original fortified tower and had been used to aim at the enemy.

This is Schattenburg Castle built in the early 1200s. It was the seat for the Counts of Monfort.

I'm still on a 'stash busting' expedition and wanted to use up some of my practice handspun. It seemed a shame to just toss it in the trash when there must be
something I could make with it even though it was unevenly spun & too tightly plied.
I knew I couldn't knit an article of clothing because this handspun was really horrible!
After much contemplation, I decided on a tote to porter around my small knitting projects.
The yarn was all about worsted weight thickness so I cast on 80 sts and knit stockinette stitch in the round for about 1.5 inches. Then I knit a round of K2tog, YO for the I-cord eyelets. Then I knit till the yarn was basically all used up except for about 2 feet. I kitchenered the halves together to close the bottom.

I had some other scrap yarn laying around that I used for the I-cord. I didn't want it very long but long enough to sling over my shoulder if need be.

I've had some very old cowboy shirts sitting in my fabric stash for a long time so I pulled one out. After I measured the tote, I cut a piece of fabric large enough to have a double thickness liner (the shirt was thin!). Then I sewed it into a rectangular pouch a tad smaller than the tote. I stitched the top of the liner into the tote with yarn.
The pockets on that cowboy shirt were so cute that I decided to add one to the inside of my tote for holding all sorts of small knitting accessories. Since the pocket was already complete, I needed only to stitch the top of the pocket to the liner.

This morning I threw my sock knitting in the tote and off we went on our Saturday morning grocery shopping spree. I knit happily in the car while the 'chauffeur' portered us to a mall 40 minutes away.

The tote is a perfect size. It fit nicely beside my feet in the car. The yarn never once got tangled. And, upon returning home, the I-cord stayed firmly in place on my shoulder while I carried bags of groceries into the house. :o)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm still waiting for a package to arrive in my mailbox from the Sock Hop Swap.
I've received 2 emails with promises from my pal but it's getting later by the minute so I'm wondering how long it takes to knit one sock and mail that sock & yarn for the mate to your pal. I did it in 2 weeks. Why would it take 4 months for someone else?
I'm suspicious because I've been a victim before.
Sock Wars was a lot of work and expense. I knitted 2 pairs and 1 sock, and then shipped them to 3 different locations, but I received nothing in return.
Another totally disasterous swap was SP9.
Even after emailing the hostesses many times, I still received nothing! How on earth does one deal with this kind of dishonesty in a swap??
Don't get me wrong, I love swapping when both parties are totally committed to their part of the bargain. I've received some terrific swap packages in the past and I continue to committ myself to new swaps. The idea of swapping with someone on the other side of the world is fascinating. But both parties must be honest and keep their end of the bargain. Why commit to a swap when you have no intention of sending anything? Dare I say that these swappers are nothing but thieves in disguise? It just may seem so.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

This comment from All Tangled Up on my last post broke me up!!
"It's a good goal. If I had your will power I might have less than 50 UFO's littering the house!"
Where on earth do you sequester 50 UFOs?
Unless they're all socks, mittens or other very small projects, it would be impossible for me to find space for them. Not only that, I don't even own enough needles to have 50 UFOs all at the same time! Well, maybe I do, but the thought of it gives me the 'heeby jeebies'!
Really, I don't want to own that many needles or even know that I do,
just in case the urge hits me to begin accumulating 50 UFOs.
NO WAY! It will never happen to me!!
I would never get any spinning done because even 5 UFOs drive me crazy!
I know I couldn't stand it having more of them stare me in the face every day without having a severe panic attack.... or more probably a fatale heart attack! Hmmm.. that would solve the problem of the UFOs.
Even if I didn't die, who knits in the hospital with tubes coming out of every orafice? Hah!
All kidding aside, and even though she's got more UFOs than I'll have or ever want in my lifetime,
please go visit her blog .
She's got some cute free patterns that just might tickle your fancy. ;o)