Friday, September 28, 2007


We went to Amsterdam!!!

The Montelbaanstoren.
This may have been a light house at some point. It is a tower standing at the intersection of two large canals.

Just a three hour train ride and we where in the city of bikes. No kidding there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam. The roads are more for bikes than cars. People use them for everything, we saw parents with their kids on their bike, guys with their girlfriend on the back, people with groceries and workers with tool kits and a beer! People rode bikes and talked on their cell phone or rode next to a friend and gossiped. Everywhere people on bikes and still there where thousands locked up on railings, bike racks, and light posts. Gummibaer doesn’t like to ride bikes so we opted to see the sights on foot.

The streets where full of people enjoying the sights. We strolled past beautiful buildings everywhere.
This is the Oude Kerk.
The streets are narrow so it is hard to get a good picture and you won’t get anything without lots of tourists in it so I just took the roofline and the sky.

This is a view of the back of the Rijksmuseum.
There is a beautiful park there, it has fountains and playgrounds and a huge grassy area that would be great for a picnic.

After all that walking we stopped for a rest on a bench by the water.
This is one of the bigger canals in Amsterdam, the Singelgracht. It was lined with old homes and lawns leading to private docks, beautiful!

Amsterdam is all about water so to really experience that we stayed in a small cabin on a boat! It was great! Our hosts where a friendly local man, Hans, and his sweet dog. Breakfast was provided on board in a lovely home-style dinning area. Nothing could be better than good tea, good food, sunshine and a view of the city from the water!

Next, we visited the Van Gough museum, a favorite artist of Gummibaer’s and one I also enjoy. The paintings where beautiful! I definitely recommend seeing his work in person if you ever get the chance.

We stopped at a café for some refreshment.
Local beer, and quite possibly the simplest and most delicious sandwich ever. French Brie and cucumbers!

Naturally, there was also Sock knitting!

I turned the heels of my Pomatomus Socks!

And last but not least, I like to look for ordinary things that a tourist might not normally see.

I saw this on a small side street out of the way and it seemed to me to be a picture of a local’s Amsterdam.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sea life

We took our friend to Sea Life on Sunday.
Sea Life is a huge aquarium in Centro (the largest mall in Germany).

I took a lot of pictures and I thought I would share some of the better ones. I have to warn you, these are all taken through glass and without a flash so some of them are a bit blurry!

You enter through a room that holds people in groups to spread them out before letting them into the long pathway through the exhibit and once you get in it is a whole different world! It is mostly dark and you walk past lots on windows that look into the tanks, there are even tunnels where you go under the tanks and the fish swim over you!

I totally enjoyed this aquarium! The exhibits where very nicely done and there was lots of interactive stuff for kids in both German and English. I highly recommend checking it out if you are in the area especially if you have kids.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Austrian Friends and German Beer

This past weekend we had a friend form Austria come and stay with us! What better excuse to go out for some German beer and food?
We went to a beer garden in Duisburg to enjoy the fine weather and soak up the atmosphere.
Gummibaer is a beer aficionado so he took us to a place that has almost 200 types of beer, mostly from Germany. Of course we had to try a few!
We even found some beer I liked!

Yummm...... Raspberry Lambic.

The food was good too!

I had Gnocchi with mushrooms and cheese sauce.

The only difficulty was keeping Gummibaer from eating it all before I could!

Three hours later we finished our beers and headed home by train, bus and foot. Public transportation is very good in Germany. You don't need a DD as long as everyone can walk!
Enjoying life in Germany

Monday, September 17, 2007

One year!

It has been one year since I started this blog. It got kind of a slow start because I didn't have a camera and I am just now starting to feel comfortable with the idea of writing for others to read. I still don't know where I want to go with it but I think it is a good way for me to practice my writing and photography! I really enjoy reading blogs and I feel that having my own blog gives back to the blogging community in a small way. I hope that as I continue blogging I will get to know new friends and become a better writer. Most of all I would like to thank YOU the reader* for bearing with me through my learning experiences and to say if you are lurking, delurk! and let me know what you think of my first year and give me any ideas you might have for the future.

As a Thank You for reading and an extra incentive to delurk, I will send a surprise package to a randomly selected commenter on this post!

(If you are selected I will contact you through your blog or email and ask for your snail mail address so I can send it off.)

*Hi Mom!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Eating local

I really like to shop for food. I know it sounds weird but that's how it is. I even have dreams about it. Today I found fresh local plums. They look like the kind my Mom loves. I couldn't resist trying them, delicious! I have been exploring the grocery stores here in Germany to see what they have and learn the names of things. When I can't find something one day I get out the dictionary and write the German name next to the English and look again. So far I have found most things but not necessarily the same as I am used to. I got garlic the other day and much to my surprise it didn't have cloves, each small head is sold garlic goodness. Every day is an adventure!

Monday, September 03, 2007

More socks

My SOS sock collection is slowly growing. I am working on Vine lace stockings, Pomatomus and Jaywalkers. I have more I want to cast on but for now I am resisting. I had a little problem with the Pomatomus, all I can say is, trust Cookie! She has forgotten more about socks than I'll ever know. The Jaywalkers where coming along well until I tried them on. They where too small and so had to be frogged. The good news is that now I am comfortable with the patten and so decided to tackle toe up! I prefer toe up pattens because you can use up all your yarn. I don't like having leftovers laying around.
The vine lace is coming along well. I am happy with my modifications so far and I am loving this yarn!

My picture is not showing the beautiful way the color changes shade just a little.

(If you notice my fun stitch makers, I got them at Zero and I love them!)

I have been thinking about needles recently. I do all my socks on two circulars needles for one reason and one reason only, two at a time! However, I've been missing my DPNs lately. Doing patten stitches on circular needles two at a time can be very frustrating because if you need to move stitches from one needle to another you have to plan way ahead and use stitch holders, grrr. With DPNs everything is neat and easy. I also am getting frustrated with my long needles. I got them because when I make socks for Gummibaer I need them because his feet are huge, but most of the time they just get in the way. I just wish I could do two at a time on DPNs. I know some of you just cast on both socks at the same time and knit on one for a while and then pick up the other and keep them even but I would not be good at that, I would get excited and zoom along on one without the other and forget all the little adjustments I made before I got to the second one! I have even heard that some people do one inside the other! I can imagine doing that on plain stockinette but not on anything else! Any other Ideas??? Or should I just stick with my circs and get over it?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

UFO's and A Yarn Store.

I visited the LYS here and found some fun sock yarn! They had a great sock yarn selection. I don't know how much of it is available in the states, I think most of it, but I have never seen so much nice stuff in one place. There was no hand painted or any indie dyer stuff but lots of good self striping and such. I picked the bamboo because I can never resist bamboo!I am in love with bamboo, every time I see it I ohhh and ahhhh even before I look at the ball band and see that it is bamboo. I really want to start spinning bamboo top on a drop spindle but I guess I should learn how first!
I also found some cotton to use for dish clothes. I wanted to make my apartment feel a little more like home so I got some. Isn't it pretty?!
I am using the Garterlac dish cloth pattern from Dave of Criminy Jickets. It is a very well written pattern and I think it's fun to knit. Plus, it looks cool!

Now, I have to 'fess up, I have a UFO. I think I started this last November or something like that. It is not a hard knit, I am just board with it. It is the pulse Cotton sweater from Denim People. I am making it in Tahki classic cotton because I don't think the recipient would like anything in white.
The back is almost done and I am trying to buckle down and make some headway now that I have so much knitting time!