Thursday, January 17, 2008

Water, Birds and Yarn Talk

I decided at the beginning of the year that I want to document some things that I've been noticing about Amsterdam and life here for the past few years. I feel like I've been remiss in documenting them as I've been seeing them. Here are two:
  • When I was in the Detroit airport over Thanksgiving, I washed my hands (one should always wash his hands) and I noticed that the water in the airport restroom was warm. Water in the sinks restrooms in the Netherlands is cold, sometimes it's ice cold, especially in the winter. When my friend, Sally, was getting her WC (that's water closet the uninitiated) re-done, she told them that she wanted both hot and cold in the little sink that was in the room. The guy said, "Why?" She said, "Because I want it." He said, "But why?" She said, "Because I'm paying for it." It makes no sense that the water is always so cold, but it is. I hate it. That's issue one.
  • I was recently on the balcony in the back of the apartment when I looked up and noticed that the birds were back. Huge flocks. of birds were flying together. It was these masses of birds flying in a group. The form swelled and shrank, elongated and bunched up. Then they'd change directions or dip, making a great wave. Another flock would fly by and they would mix with the first group and fly off in another direction and some would continue in the same direction. And while I was watching that, another group appeared suddenly from the other direction (usually the right) or flew is a giant noisy mass from directly overhead over the roof of the building. It was absolutely mesmerizing.
Last year it seems like there were more birds. I hope this is just the start of it. (The last time I wrote about it was March, so it might be.) They don't fly like that in the rain and they don't do it on really gray days. It's a certain kind of weather. I just want to remember that this is the time of year that they do it.

I also finally finished the Sally gloves, as I've been calling them. I like how they look. They're pretty perfect and I'm very happy with them. I like the black bits for an 18-year-old. Not sure I would have done them for 58-year-old Sally. I'm glad I did them on the magic loop so that I didn't have to suffer "second glove syndrome," like some sock knitters have to do. I took them to choir last Tuesday so that they could get the choir/church vibe into them before I send them out. Sort of like having the priest bless something, but no direct contact or priest was involved. A lay minister tried one on. Maybe that counts for something. Of course he's a Methodist...but still.

For my next trick, I'll be doing the Noro scarf รก la Jared Flood. It's pretty boring as stitches go (Slip the first stitch, K1 P1), but it uses four balls of the Kureyon and the color changes every four rows is sort of entertaining. My picture here looks like chopped liver next to the beautiful steak (Are you keeping up? I'm using meat analogies.) that is the photos of Jared. But it's terrible picture taking weather here and our camera has limitations.

Having just used up 220 or so meters of yarn, I'm sort of hungry to get rid of more and I think this scarf will take a bite out of it. That'll be 400 yards more gone. Not a world record, but yarn out, not yarn in. I could start my sweater, but I'm still swatching and I'm not sure that the pattern I'm playing with is right. I sort of feel like I'm flexing and warming up for the big event. Part of this is completing the sweater sampler that is part of The Sweater Workshop. It's helpful and interesting, and if I can get it done, I believe it will help me in my quest to knit myself a sweater. (The question is really not if, but when.)

A colleague of mine is pregnant, so maybe I'll do the baby surprise jacket. I've been meaning to do that. I have the yarn. We'll see. I'm sure my gift would be completely out of left field, but that's sort of fine. Keep 'em guessing.

And I'm going to do a pair of Knucks for a friend - a woman who asked for them. (So if she's reading this, she should act surprised when she gets them.) I'm going to budget a week for them. I think the finger-down construction will speed things up.


Littlelou said...

Those gloves look perfect!! Im still knitting socks..I did knit a glove but it was only fit for a one handed giant.
Looking forward to more of your A'Dam observations.
I was intrigued to read that the red light windows have been made into fashion displays for young bizzare!

Littlelou said...

I remembered your mention of birds and realised they must be Starlings. I recall watching some nature programme or other where it was mentioned they swarm in a such a fashion, apparantly they all struggle to not be the birds on the edge of such a group and this creates the wave like effect. The things that stick in your brain eh?

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I like those gloves. I want some...maybe in pink and blue.

Crafty Andy said...

Thanks for sharing your life in Amsterdam. I liked the glove, but the scarf is very cleverly patterned. The wool is fantastic.