Goodbye, creepy hotel room, and goodbye Brussels! I’m back home and it’s so awesome to be here again!
It’s been such a strange week. The work meetings were intense as always, but I think they went really well. There was also some socializing in the evenings which kept me out of my hotel room for a few hours after work. And all the nights I slept with the light on, which is something I never do – in fact I can’t remember leaving the light on even as a child. But look at these photos and tell me that you wouldn’t feel weird there? Especially considering that these 2-storey rooms are located in a totally different part of the hotel than all the “normal” rooms, and to go there you have to climb very narrow stairscase and walk through an old, isolated and dark corridor.
It’s the time of the year when I visit Brussels again. Unlike in September, when I take part in the training at the beginning of each new working season, the winter panel meeting is filled with arguing intense discussions and can be quite exhausting. We start at 9 each day (for 4 days total) and finish in the evening, in theory around 6 p.m. but it’s never true – we usually stay much longer. Plus we always have a “European party” one of the evenings when we eat and drink food and wine typical for the country of each person in the team. Since we have nearly all European nationalities represented in our team, it’s a very interesting experience! And as for me, I usually bring some whiskey-based Irish sweets – fudge or chocolates. They’re a nice change after all the cheese and hams and other salty snacks 🙂
I’m not sure why but I can’t resist knitting more and more hats and scarves. There’s just something I love about it: instant gratification because they take so little time to knit, so many awesome and very different patterns and ideas, and how they can easily change the character of an outfit. They also don’t require large amount of yarn which makes them perfect de-stashing projects.
This is a super quick, simple knit that I worked on mostly in the car to and from Wexford over the weekend. I made it as another item for the February pet rescue auction based on what was selling well the last time I participated (baby clothing, toys and dog clothes).
Warning: this is going to be a lengthy venting post with some soul searching from me. Not knitting related.
The beginning of the new year has been difficult for me. Not that anything happened, surprisingly we are both healthy (finally!), the Boyfriend is back home and things are just fine. But emotionally I’ve been struggling and my mood is very far from good.
I think it’s caused by a few different factors combined. Surely my poor health last year has contributed: when I look back I can see that in fact I’ve been feeling sick since my visit to Poland in April. I’d had a cold there which had triggered other chronic issues, and then like a real snowball effect one thing has followed another. Not being able to do much outside of home, cancelling plans all the time and feeling weak and fatigued for months definitely doesn’t help me stay positive.
Some time in the last year I had tried to knit a doggie jumper for my parents’ Nika. Nika is not a very standard dog when it comes to body shape, in that she’s very deep-chested for a dog her size, so knitting for her can be a challenge – especially when she is not around to modify the pattern as I knit. In the end, neither jumper fit her very well and they were both donated to a dog rescue group. But at least I could see what was wrong and apply the modifications in my new project!
Hello, welcome in 2018! I’m really amazed that it’s already this year, I remember thinking as a child how old I would be in 2000, much less 2010 or later – yet here we are!
I hope you are entering this new year with great plans, ideas and in awesome moods. To be honest, my beginning of the year wasn’t the best, but not the worst either so I’m trying not to complain. I have some goals for this year, mostly related with my professional and financial situation, but who knows if I manage to achieve them… Well, at least I’m going to try! Beside that I’m still recovering from the bronchitis, and I think I can finally say that it’s almost fully over. Still coughing a little, but it’s really just a residual dry cough, nothing serious. Worst thing is that my Boyfriend is sick now, and he is in Greece visiting his father who is going through chemotherapy, which means he can’t see him! That sucks. I’m beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with our house, because as much as I can somehow justify my own illnesses (due to meds I’m taking because of my chronic intestinal disease my immune system can be weakened), the Boyfriend being sick so often is really unusual. I have actually spent the last couple of days disinfecting, bleaching, and laundering in hot water everything around the apartment (although I didn’t dare to bathe the cats, but luckily they take care of it themselves 😉 ). If there was some bug hidden in these walls, no chance that it survived this purge!
Anyways… at the end of the last year I have started knitting my second Lotus Shawl. I made it differently than the previous one, because I needed a longer scarf rather than a shawl this time. So I made more pattern repeats but less rows of repeats. Since it’s a scarf and will be worn wrapped around my neck once or twice, I didn’t bother blocking it very carefully. I just washed it and blocked lightly on the dryer, but I skipped careful pinning, so as a result the edges curl a little. It doesn’t really matter. I used exactly the same yarn as previously so knitting it was a little boring – obviously I’m not a fan of repeating the same projects, especially without yarn variation! The yarn however is just as soft, squishy and cozy and previously and I love it.
As it turned out, my “cold” is actually bronchitis and it hit me hard enough to spend Christmas mostly in bed or sitting on the coach wrapped in two blankets (one was just not enough). I really felt like ignoring Christmas completely, because I only wanted to sleep to escape the constant coughing, and for the first time ever I didn’t even clean the apartment before Christmas Eve. Anyone who knows me realizes that this is indeed a bad sign 😉 My Boyfriend did all the cooking and baking (I had only baked gingerbread thins a couple of days earlier, because they are better after 2-3 days in the jar) and was generally really awesome. The sad thing is that I lost the sense of taste for a couple of days anyways so I couldn’t even enjoy any of his meals!
Well, so the only thing that could enhance my mood was a new knitting project, something cheerful and colourful. The Caramel Cardigan by Isabell Kraemer seemed like a perfect choice, and I decided to combine stripes in three different bright colours of Drops Lima (part of my Drops Alpaca Party sale haul) and a neutral, cream-coloured background. I love such colour combos and wear them very often.
It’s the last week before Christmas and we haven’t really planned anything yet, meals included, but I’m feeling absolutely relaxed and stress-free about that. The only plan we’ve made was to go to the south of Ireland this week for a few days since we haven’t really had any kind of holidays this year. The plan included a stay in a SPA hotel, and I’ve been really looking forward to soaking in the Jacuzzi and sweating all the stress of the year in the sauna. In addition, we’ve planned a couple of interesting places to see. And guess what? That’s right, I’m sick again! I really don’t know what’s going on with me this year, I can’t recall anything like that since childhood when I used to be sick all the time but tonsillectomy took care of it. There is nothing left to remove now though so this solution is no longer an option 😉 Anyways, I am trying to cancel the reservation today and hopefully reschedule the stay to January but it may be tricky since the hotel has 48 hours cancellation policy and we were supposed to go there on Friday. I hope they will consider my argument that checking in starts at 4 p.m. (so I’m not in the 48 hours window yet) and won’t make me pay for a cancelled stay.
Well, to sum it up, I just gave up on making plans and stressing out about them. Luckily my wonderful Other Half has offered to prepare all our Christmas meals this year (usually we both prepare something from our national cuisine) and of course my Mum has added some yummy food to her Christmas gift package, so we won’t starve. I think my Mum secretly believes that I don’t have anything to eat here, even though I’ve gained weight and keep reminding her that there are two Polish stores in my neighbourhood, not to mention the huge shopping centre just across the street!
Since I’d used up half of the yarn bought for Mum’s Madigan top to knit Dad’s hat and scarf, I decided to steal the remaining half for my own selfish knitting. This way I’ll have an excuse to order another lovely colourway for Mum, and that already makes me happy! Besides after all this scarves and shawls knitting, I realised I haven’t actually made one for myself this year apart from the sort-of-felted scarf. Up till now I’ve been wearing my last year’s cabled shawl almost all the time and while I love it, one is simply not enough for a whole winter ahead of us, right? Plus I wanted something bigger, to be able to cover my shoulders and use it as additional layer over the jumper or cardigan.