Over the last months, I have spent quite some time on the peaceful island which is the garden of my South London home, trying to squeeze yet another PhD chapter out of my confused and tired brain. Writing was [and is] particularly difficult this time, which I guess has to do with the fact that the project is slowly coming to an end, and I will have to think about how to wrap up things shortly, which has always been a difficult and challenging task for me.

Thankfully, this summer we have been blessed with a lot of sunshine and warm weather which allowed for nice and relaxing weekend outings to distract me from worrying to much. I still enjoy exploring the city immensely (and regret that I do not document my adventures here as regularly as I want to).

However, since I am a country girl at heart and need my regular dose of mountains, two weeks ago, [c] and I set out for a short break at my mum’s in the Tyrolean Alps. Despite a lot of rain, we managed to do some hiking without getting soaked, and we even got rewarded with some particularly nice and dramatic valley views.

And of course we also managed to dwell within the odd old wall, and to stick our noses into a monastery or castle or two.

After such a wonderful break it does not feel too bad to be back in London, and to pick up writing once again. And knitting, for that matter. But before I share my current explorations on that front with you, here’s a project I already finished back in March, but never got around to posting it here:

Pattern: Geometry | Hypotenuse by Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Yarn: Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino Superwash [colour: Versuchskaninchen]
Needles: 4.5mm
[More project details on Ravelry]

Happy knitting, writing […insert activity you are currently engaged in…] everyone!

Happy New Year!

January 5, 2014

I have just returned to London after my annual Christmas hibernation in the Tyrolean Alps, which this year, was even better than usual: On Christmas Day morning, we woke up to one metre of freshly fallen snow which over night, had covered the mountains, trees, houses and stables in its silent white wintry sheets. The view from my mum’s kitchen window presented itself like this:

The snowploughs were so busy clearing up all the streets and paths leading to the many widespread villages and farms in our valley, that we were literally snowed in for two days. Thankfully, electricity did not fail like in other parts of the region, so we could snuggle up behind the stove and enjoy Christmas like I think it should be: peaceful and quiet.

2013 has been a very challenging year for me. The PhD project has kept me busy far more than was healthy, and I failed at making enough time for other things that are as important to me as work [as much as I love doing research and writing]. Keeping in touch with friends, enjoying nature and walking, as well as indulging in the more creative sides of live certainly fell by the wayside. This snowy Christmas thus was a more than necessary break from the everyday rhythms that determine my London life, and a welcome opportunity to step back, re-think and re-boot. And what better way of doing this than with a pair of needles in your hands?

Pattern: Lightweight Pullover by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt Alpaca/Silk Sport/DK [colour: dreich]
Needles: 4mm
[More project details on Ravelry]

A wonderful stockinette pattern knit in the round, which allowed for plenty of thinking and daydreaming whilst the needles clacked along happily. The yarn is simply divine, very soft and smooth. Unfortunately, the photographs taken in poor Northern January light, do not do justice to the wonderfully subtly colour hues.

I am not very good at sticking to New Year’s resolutions, so haven’t made any. However, I hope that with this pullover, I have taken a good portion of calm and peace from the mountains to the city, and that it will be a good reminder for balance in 2014!

Happy New Year to you and your families, too! May it be a good one!