23 September 2008

Our Heater Control Looks Like the Hadron Collider

I hear that most of the world (well, at least the parts I used to live in) is at about 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit right now. Lucky bastards. Is this how it always was and I just don't remember it?

Well, we have been freezing here. It has been in the 50's, which isn't too bad, but when your heater isn't working and you have thick-ass cement walls, your flat kinda goes into hibernation and begins to get colder. Pretty soon, hubbo and I were wearing sweaters and hats in the house wondering at what point we would see our breath.

At the end of last winter I made sure to not permanently turn off the heat because I knew I would not remember how to turn it on again come this year. I mean, look at this thing: I am scared to touch a single button on it. I swear one must control that Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
So I get the help of our neighbors, the Klauss's, upstairs. We surmise the problem is that there is no water in the boiler (see the round gauge at the left--it was at zero). Long story short, we fill it up to get pressure, next morning water is all over our floor, but now it is fixed. Turns out two knobs were kaputt so they were replaced. Oy vey.

But now we are toasty warm. I explained to Herr Huhn that I am always cold and could he please program that thing (see above) to be as warm as humanly possible, which he did. It only took pressing of about 7 buttons and turning 2 knobs to do it. Only.

But the impending winter inside the flat got me cracking on some socks that have taken me too long to finish. I bought this sock yarn a long time ago at Stitch DC (Capitol Hill) in Washington, DC, where we used to live before coming to Germany. It's Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch. I knit them up on US 2 dpns--the pattern is mine. I've made so many socks now that I don't even bother with a pattern unless I'm looking for a special stitch. They are started from the toe with a middle eastern cast on (see Anna Zilboorg's Fancy Feet) and knit with a 3x1 knit/purl ribbing till about two inches from the heel. From there I did a short row heel and then continued up the leg with the established ribbing and finished up with a hemmed top of all stockinette stitch for ten rows, one row of purl for the fold line, then another ten rows of stockinette, did a bind off, and baste stitched the edge down for a sturdy edge. Oh, and I also increased four stitches as I approached the calf (I did this in the knit section of the ribbing) so it wouldn't be so tight. All in all a very comfortable knit, and I still have a good chunk of yarn leftover from the ball.

I also started a Finnish lace pattern called Revontuli, meaning "Northern Lights". Several people on Ravelry have used Kauni, a Danish yarn, for this, and I had enough in my stash to try this. A few months ago I bought some Kauni at a LYS in Nusssloch and so this was my first time to use it. It's a very rough wool initially, and seems to have a lot of lanolin in it (unless it's oil from being spun?). I suspect that it's lanolin, though, and it makes my hands soft as I knit it. As with all lace, it'[s looks like a clump of dump now, but when I block it I'm sure it will turn out beautiful. The Finnish patterns on Ravelry are so impressive.

I'm also knitting a Finnish sweater...for the second time. First time I didn't trust my gauge (a theme of mine lately) so I frogged it). Now I am on the second go and I noticed a mistake in the garter yoke section...arrrgh..so I think I'll try fixing each stitch by dropping it and using a crochet hook to turn it around. I am so pissed about that.

Finally, my friend, Sara, who I was in the Peace Corps with, is coming to visit us tomorrow and she is staying for a month. Yay! We'll hang out here in Heidelberg for the rest of this week and then Monday we are off to Munich for Oktoberfest, then Salzburg, Austria.


Henrietta Handy said...

Doing my first pair of actual socks now, in worsted weight acrylic for my own feet, and since I have such horrible feet, this pair, and all subsequent socks for myself, will be done as "tube socks", which actually makes more sense.

Have fun with your friend! Don't forget to update!

Siga said...

I've been thinking of you during those cold weeks. Surprisingly, we did get some September sun this weekend.

Jenn said...

I'm so jealous of your trip to Salzburg. It seems that I just rooked myself out of being able to make a Salburg trip this go round. Being the mindful taxpayer that I am I didn't feel right having one appointment on the 17th and one of the 24th so I asked if they had any closer together and ended up with BOTH on the 24th....OY VEY!

Siga said...

Hi Christine! Your post is so funny, I had to show it to Jan - we loved your hadron collider.
BTW, you've been tagged. ;-)

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