Doing Everything Else….

Well, I’m sure every one of you knows this feeling: you have to get done one thing, but you do all the other things first…..

In this case, I should write my thesis and I should see that I finish my boyfriend’s hoodie soon, since it is a birthday present and his birthday was in July.

At least I stick to my yoga practice and I’m now halfway through my challenge.
I feel great and I notice more and more improvements every day. That is really awesome.
But, as you might have noticed, I should have come to day 18 by now, that means I’m three days late. That is because I had a nasty inflammation of my bladder, involving my kidneys as well, so I had to take a break and get well again before doing anything besides lying in bed. Of course I didn’t do anything for my thesis in these days as well.

And what every one of you can imagine, I was not staying in bed for two days without doing anything fun. So I decided that my hot-water bottle was rather ugly and needed a soft cover…..

Beginning the Cover
Beginning the Cover
Finished Cover
Finished Cover

Super wonderful I-make-you-happy-and-take-your-pain-away cover 🙂

For those of you who would like to use the same pattern for a project, you can find it here (I inserted the row of double crochets): Nadelspiel

So get yourself a cup of tea (or what I prefer right now: water with lemon slices) and enjoy life…
I’ll get some things done meanwhile 😉

30 Days of Yoga

As I already told you, I started the yoga challenge 30 Days of Yoga by Yoga With Adrienne.
Today I did the challenge for Day 8 and it was exactly what I needed.

So let’s look back on this first week.
For the last four days, I was constantly sore and everything hurt, but today it’s a lot better.
I was really surprised how tough some of the exercises were, but I knew beforehand that I’m really really really out of shape. Eventually this was one of the reasons for starting the challenge. I already can feel improvements in some poses. I’m getting stronger and built up muscles (at least I hope so).

The hardest part is to get out of bed everyday and go straight to my mat. Well, going straight on my mat is the easier part. But it’s so hard to get up. Every damn day.
But I feel improvements here as well. Yoga is not only for the body, but also for the mind. I wake up and look forward to my time on my mat. This is my time for myself. And I feel so much better afterwards.

Day 8
Day 8 –
Stretching and opening the hips

I don’t only get up easier, I feel the effects of my training in my everyday life. I sit up straight more often. When I start struggling with something I take a deep breath. And another. And then I keep on fighting. I am able to remain calm more often.

Today I feel totally in balance.
I missed that feeling for a long time.
I am finally able to enjoy life today.

Lots of hugs for all of you :*

New Start

Hi guys!
It’s been a while since my last entry…. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t find time with all the deadlines and exams coming up. But now I have a little more time for myself again, so here I come again.

I’ve got a lot to catch up with…. my knitting projects, all the books I’ve read….

No, the hoodie is not finished. I just didn’t manage, but my boyfriend is ok with that, although he already had his birthday. But I knitted a scarf in the meantime and almost finished the first sock of a new pair. There will be an update of my reading challenge, including The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Island of Dr Moreau and Union Atlantic.

Term break is here and I already had the most important exams. Now I still have to hand in a task sheet within a week, go on programming on a project (but this has no deadline) and on top of my to-do list: my thesis. I hope I will finish that in time….

Whatever, I definitely have to get fit again. My yoga class ended three weeks ago and since then I was rather busy and accordingly lazy when it comes to sports…. But I’m changing for the better.

Today I started a yoga challenge. It’s called 30 Days of Yoga by Yoga with Adrienne. I’m glad, I’m back on my mat and I hope these 30 days will help me to keep sticking to my everyday practice again.
I also started writing a yoga diary to keep me motivated. It will contain what I felt like that day and how long I practiced and perhaps the favourite poses I did that day. I also plan to include a lot of photos of me doing yoga so that I can see my progress. Additionally I should watch my diet and eat more healthy again…

It’s good to be back.
Lots of hugs :*

Frankenstein and an Update of my Reading Challenge

Last Thursday was the day when my reading of Frankenstein was due. I actually managed to read the book except for the last few pages, which I then managed on Thursday after class. Unfortunately I didn’t find time to write about it here, but now here I am.

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is the original title of Mary Shelley’s novel dating back to 1818.
The book begins with letters written by Robert Walton to his sister Margaret, telling her about his voyage to the arctic. He meets our protagonist, Victor Frankenstein there in the ice, who tells him a curious story. Victor begins his story in Geneva, where he grows up with his parents, his adoptive sister (who is of the same age as he is) and his 2 brothers.
Later he starts studying natural sciences in Ingolstadt and makes an astounding discovery: He is able to give live to a somewhat humanlike, but rather monstrous creature. He is horrified right after the monster looks at him for the first time. The monster flees and Victor studies languages with his friend until he gets a letter by his father, that his littlest brother is dead.
When almost at home, he wanders around one night and sights the monster in the surrounding mountains. Back at home, he comes to know how his brother died and that one of the servants is accused of this horrific murder. Although Victor knows the real murder, he is not able to prevent the execution. Thus he feels like he is the cause for the death of these two beloved ones.
In his search for tranquility he encounters the monster again, which urges him to hear his story. The monster explains how everyone rejects him only by his sight, although he is really friendly and reasons Victor into a promise to get him a female companion.
Victor’s father wishes that Victor and his adoptive sister might marry soon, but Victor wants to get rid of his monster problem first and goes to Great Britain with his best friend. While his friend tours the Island, he confines himself on a small Scottish island to create the female.
When he reflects about his promise again, he comes to the conclusion that he could never allow that there might be a new species of monsters terrorising humanity, so he destroys the almost complete female. The monster swears revenge and vanishes.
By some strange incidents, Victor then ends up in Ireland and is accused of murder of his best friend who was found dead the same day. When he becomes ill, the people in town send for his father, who comes to bring Victor back home, that he might get sound again and might marry his love.
In the wedding night, the monster kills the bride so that Victor is tormented the same way he is. Victor goes back to his father, but he dies soon as well, so Victor starts chasing the monster to kill it. This is how he comes to meet Robert Walton in the arctic.
In the end, Victor dies on Robert Walton’s ship. The monster comes back to find him dead and, having no other connection to our human society, swears that it will burn itself and vanishes.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the first novel that can be called science fiction. Here we have for the first time a story that is based on what might happen when scientists experiment with “giving life”. Although the novel is almost 200 years old, I think it is still modern and up-to-date. Today we are not able to give life to death matter, or rather a dead body sewn together from single human pieces. But our sciences are making fast progress when it comes to giving life from only one cell and similar things. I think, the setting of Frankenstein could as well be at some university today; perhaps a little more updated when it comes to technology like cars and how lectures are presented.

Now I’ll give you an update of my reading challenge, which I forgot for the last two books I read….

The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe:

  • A book with nonhuman characters
  • A book more than 100 years old
  • A book by any author you’ve never read before
  • A play

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

  • A book with nonhuman characters
  • A funny book
  • (A trilogy – well, it’s called a trilogy, but isn’t)
  • A book you own but have never read

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

  • A book that became a movie
  • A book written by someone under 30 (Shelley was only 20 then)
  • (A book with nonhuman characters)
  • A book by a female author
  • (A book with a one-word title – often referred to as Frankenstein)
  • A book set in a different country (with exception of Ingolstadt)
  • A popular author’s first book
  • A book more than 100 years old

Right now this makes a total of 24 out of 50 items, 25 if we count the Restaurant as part of a trilogy, but I haven’t finished the “trilogy” right now, so this does not count. Way to go!

I really should start reading different genres. I have several Items that don’t have enough space on my list, like “A book with nonhuman characters” or “A book with magic”. There are already so many books, while other items are empty. Perhaps it will become a little more balanced until the end of the year. But I still have this boxed set of the Harry Potter series, that I haven’t read in English yet…. Maybe there will be no balance.

I hope you have wonderful books on your to-be-read pile as well.
And a cup of tea next to you.Lots of hugs to all of you.

New Hoodie – Update

At first I’d like to say sorry – I know that I’m posting less than I did before.
Life right now is somewhat confusing. I just can’t find the right rhythm.
I’m trying to find a rhythm in daily life and to find balance (with the help of yoga) but life goes its own way….

But I don’t want to bore you with my problems –  let’s come to a nicer topic: my current knitting project!

As I already told you, I got a nice knitting pattern for the Assassin’s Creed Black Flag symbol of my boyfriend’s hoodie (at least after some problems). Right now I’m knitting the last bit of the skull and I think it is recognisable. Or I hope at least those of you who know the symbol can guess it from the picture.

back of hoodie - Black Flag logo
current status of hoodie back – Assassin’s Creed Black Flag

I quite forgot how annoying it is to knit with several balls of wool at once and how often they get tangled…. But I think my boyfriend is worth the effort and I guess/hope he knows how much effort and love I put into knitting his hoodie.
Recently he told me that I am his first girlfriend who knits for him and that he is really glad about it.

So I guess I will go on tangling all my balls of wool (6 of them currently!) and drink a nice cup of tea to keep calm while unraveling everything.

My latest read is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, but I’m not finished yet (although I should have read it for class until Thursday). So hopefully I finish this week to write a new post about it soon (and to be able to discuss it in class, but I already read it once, so this shouldn’t be the problem).

Have a nice cup of tea (while untangling some wool or reading a book or whatever you do) and enjoy life 🙂

The Restuarant at the End of the Universe and a new Knitting Chart

Last week was very busy for me. All the same, I don’t feel like I make any progress in any of the many things I currently do.
There’s so much to do and no time for any of it. I’m sure you know that feeling.

At least I managed to finish reading The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams, the second book in the Hitchhiker series.
I totally loved it. There were many scenes that made me laugh out loud. My boyfriend was a bit irritated by my laughing, but when I showed him the scene I found so funny his irritation did rather become greater than otherwise. So I guess the scenes are really only funny in their specific context, which is why I won’t quote any lines that made me so happy. I’ll line out the story with emphasise on the plotlines I especially liked:
In this book, Zaphod and his companions are almost dying, which is prevented by Zaphod’s great-grandfather (great-great-?). Zaphod summons him and he is not the least amused by the prospect of soon living together with Zaphod in the afterlife, so he gets him and the Heart of Gold in the exact position that was planned long ago. Zaphod is to meet the most important man in the universe, but he doesn’t know anything about it.
This is how a wonderful adventure begins, full of twists and funny plots. Zaphod and his companions end up at Milliways, the restaurant at the end of the universe. This restaurant is in a kind of bubble which has engines to travel in time and it repeats the end of the universe for its guests every “night”. From here – again in a plot full of wonders – Arthur Dent and his alien friend Ford Prefect come to land on the planet Earth. That is, they find themselves on a space ship that is loaded with annoying people and is about to crash into a yet unimportant planet. Ford and Arthur find out that it is Earth – several million years in the past. While the people from the spaceship try to go through a time of development (delayed by the important question, which colour the wheel should have, when they develop it), Arthur tries to teach Scrabble to the indigenous people. When Ford remembers that Marvin explained he could read the answer to everything in Arthur’s mind, they experiment with Scrabble tiles to find out. They indeed get an answer, but I personally think it is incomplete because they didn’t have enough tiles. But I have three more books to find out if I’m right.

Another accomplishment last week was that I started knitting the Assassin’s Creed Black Flag symbol on the back of my boyfriend’s hoodie.
As I already told you, he coded a tool that would return the input image in a grid so that I can use it as a knitting pattern. So far so good, the programme did its best and the result looked great – until I counted columns and rows… It had more rows and columns than it should. The problem lay in rounding errors, which came up because the computer couldn’t split pixels. So we tried different versions, a bit larger, a bit smaller than the original plan, until we came up with a pleasing result – now the image will be a little smaller, but the computer calculated my stitches in the right relationship between rows and columns. I hope we can improve this for future projects.

Apart from this, it doesn’t seem that I accomplished anything. But this is life; there are ups and downs, productive and unproductive weeks.
Let’s enjoy a good cup of tea together and hope for the best.
Lots of hugs!

Starting the next Hoodie

The day before yesterday I started knitting the next hoodie. Unfortunately the yarn does not have the same length as the last one. I thought they might be almost equivalent, but now the yarn runs 40m longer (for 100g). That means the yarn is a little tinner than the one before and I need some more stitches. Strangely enough, the producer suggests a larger needle size for the new yarn.

Now I figured out that I will stay with the same needle size and how many stitches I need. I already knitted a small part of the back.
The next step is to figure out how to knit the black Assassin’s Creed symbol on the back of this red hoodie.
My boyfriend likes the Assassin’s Creed series a lot and asked me if I am able to knit the Assassin’s Creed Black Flag symbol and a hood that is similar to the ones in the game.

Knitting with 2 colours is not the problem. But it is always an awful lot of work until you have an accurate pattern that does not look strange when you finished knitting. Here my boyfriend came into play again and offered help.
He started programming a tool that helps me to figure out the correct pattern. Beginning with a knitting example of the yarn, I calculated how many stitches and how many rows I will need for the picture. Then I told my boyfriend (and hopefully will tell the programme in the future) and he did some computer-magic and now has a picture with a fitting grid on it. He plans to fill the resulting boxes with the appropriate colour, so that in the end I get a “pixelised” version of the input image. Special feature: The grid on the input (black-and-white) picture is red, so that I can distinguish the single boxes.

Isn’t that great?
As I already told you – I have the best boyfriend in this whole wide world.
But otherwise I wouldn’t take on the burden of knitting a whole hoodie for him. 😉

Later I will have to figure out, how to knit the hood so that it looks like the ones they have in Assassin’s Creed.
I hope that I can again knit the hood like a heel, but I have to change something with the border.
When knitting my own hood, I knitted the border in garter sitch to prevent it from furling. To keep up the pattern I did a knit/purl-pattern in the front when finishing the hood. Now the problem is that it shrinks up in that part of the hood. Doesn’t matter for my hood – it was my first try, so it is acceptable.
When I am going to knit that pointed part on the Creed hoodie though, I don’t think it will look anything but strange if it shrinks up. So I have to figure out how I can avoid both this shrinking up and the furling that will happen otherwise. Perhaps I will knit something like moss stitch or so. We’ll see.

I will tell you how well the pattern works and show you any progress as soon as there is something to show.
Meanwhile I suggest you enjoy a nice cup of tea and how beautiful life can be.
Lots of hugs :*

Dr Faustus and the Book Addict

Do you know the feeling when you want to read all the time? Every minute of the day? Without working, eating or sleeping?
That urgent book craving?
Well, then you know how I currently feel.
Unfortunately, I do not have the time, which is another feeling you might know.

This week I got 5 new books. One of the bookstores in my town is closing, so they sell the last books very cheap.
This alone is a wonderful reason to buy new books, but I had a different one as well.
I have a course this semester that will prepare me for my Staatsexamen in a year and we will work very hard to improve our language. We will be tested on the same level as native speakers (by native speakers), so I really have to work on my language. Our teacher told us to read the news, listen to podcasts, watch movies and series and read contemporary literature. This is the second thought behind buying new books. In fact, all of them are English novels.

When I look at my shelf, there are so many books that I haven’t read yet. But most of them are classics like Charles Dickens or they are German. I also thought all of my English books must be classics, but that is completely wrong. Markus Zusak, Ben Aaronovitch, Terry Pratchett and Sarah Winman are contemporary writers.
As I said, there are classics and German books and now there are 5 new English novels (all of them contemporary English as far as I know) still unread in my shelf.
Sooner or later, you will read about every one of them here!

The day before yesterday I finished reading The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe.
What surprised me in the beginning was that I still can understand Latin sentences  (at least roughly). I wouldn’t have thought that I could understand more than a few single words after all that time.
But let’s come to the story of the book:
Young Faustus studies in Germany, but he doesn’t feel quite satisfied with his studies. He looks through several books and becomes more and more unhappy until he decides to study magic. He makes a deal with a devil: he has 24 years left on this earth and in this time the spirit/demon Mephastophilis will grant him every wish. Faustus becomes famous in the whole country and travels a lot to show his power.
During the whole 24 years he thinks about what he has done and if it wouldn’t be better to repent and come back to god to find peace. However, the devil and Mephastophilis prevent him from doing so until the very last breath.
Faustus’ death was an impressive scene. He lies on the ground and sees Christ’s blood on the firmament (which was once a sign for something bad to happen). He knows that one drop, even half a drop could rescue him, but some demons hold him to the ground. Faustus knows that he was wrong and that it is too late to repent. Finally, when the clock strikes midnight, some devils come with thunder and lightning and carry him to hell.

All in all I was a little disappointed by the book. I know a rough summary of Faust by Goethe and the parts with the poodle and Gretchen are missing.
Additionally some scenes seem to be without any relation to other scenes. I was reading the former A-text from 1604 and according to the introduction, some scenes might be missing in this manuscript. I also have The English Faust Book in my edition, which was Marlowe’s source. I think about reading that as well to have more context.

Right now, I would prefer reading The Restaurant at the End of the Universe from the Hitchhiker Trilogy, which is my current bedtime reading. Unfortunately, I should be programming right now, but I don’t think I will go back to that today. However, as I already told you above, I should read English news as well, so I will do that and read the Hitchhiker afterwards. And I should start knitting the hoodie for my boyfriend as well….
So much to do (or at least planned to do) and no time….. as always….

Get yourself a cup of tea and enjoy life (despite all the nagging items on your to-do list)!
Lots of hugs :*

Finished Hoodie

Today I was finally able to finish my hoodie. I’m so happy!

This is the first time I knitted a hood and the first time I put a zipper into a pullover. I’m really proud. My grandma instructed me and I think I did a good job.
It’s not perfect, but I love it.

My mum and my boyfriend tried it on as well and they think it’s quite comfortable.

Here you can enjoy some pictures:

Finished hoodie
Made with love

Reading Habits

Once again, I noticed how strange I am sometimes.
You know, normally people take books with them if they have the intention to read them, or might need them in class or something similar.
Well, this is not the case with my books.
I (almost) always have a book with me. When I have a literature class, you can be sure that the current book is in my bag. This might also include the days before and after the class. Or the whole week. Or several weeks in a row, as long as were talking about the book in class, in this case. Seems normal? Ok.
But I also have books with me, when I don’t have class. Ok, I already said that. Usually people would read these books then, say, in their lunch break. Sometimes I do. Or sometimes I read on the bus. Everything pretty normal, I admit it.

However, I always have a book with me. One of the several I am currently reading at least. Yeah – bad habit – I shouldn’t read several books at the same time…. back to the book packing: I even pack a book before I go although I know beforehand that I will not have one minute to read it. Isn’t that strange?
I feel like I have a little friend in my bag, which I can always get out and feel better. Yes, feeling better, by just knowing that book is here. I even go so far as putting it on my desk while working in the library, just to feel calm, or secure, or I don’t know why exactly I’m doing it.

Crazy, isn’t it?

Sometimes this behaviour has advantages. For example if a class is cancelled and I have nothing else to do (haha – when did this happen the last time?). Or if I have to wait for something and have nothing else with me (with my tablet around, this doesn’t happen so often either). But waiting at a doctor’s doesn’t seem as long as without a book! And if I really need a break from complicated papers and lectures – a good story is at hand!

Here I might be strange as well. I can always read. Even if I’m ill I usually prefer reading to watching TV. I don’t know why, but I get headaches from watching TV. Perhaps this is the reason I prefer reading the books to watching the movies. Ok, the reason for that might also be, that the characters are developed more detailed in the books that they are presented in the movies. As well as the story itself.

What other reading habits do I have?
Well, reading in English takes longer than reading in German, but I think this is always the case with first and second languages….
What else?
Oh, I’m a slow reader. I always have to taste the words on my tongue, whether I’m reading aloud or not. I have to taste the words when you read them and this takes longer than just rushing past them in a hurry.
And I like to read aloud, but I’m afraid I don’t have that much listeners. When I was at the trip with the group of children recently, I could read a bedtime story to them. I really enjoyed it. And what surprised me was that they would actually listen. The night before they didn’t shut up or sit still. And when I was reading they were just sitting there, eagerly listening although most of them already knew the story. That was great. The other adults told me that I read really well, but I don’t know if I actually do.

Please tell me, that there are other people in this world who always have books about.
Am I the only one that crazy?

Enjoy a good book wherever you are.
Lots of hugs :*