Relocation and how to bond to the new place

Hi there!

This post is exactly what it says on the tin – how I dealt with moving and connecting to my new home. I don’t know if some of you mght face a move soon, but maybe my tips help you as well.

As some of you might know, in October we moved to a new place. Taking in consideration our workplaces, we made a completely rational decision to go to a town which was conveniently located in the middle between the town towns my husband and I work in.

I used to live in my worktown, and he had just gotten his gig in his town. Now we have about the same distance to cover to get to our jobs.

I went from a quick bike ride to an hour-long commute (as detailed before). So with me getting up early in the morning and being home late (think 7 to 7), I spend more time on the train or away than at home. And most of that time I was asleep!

The short weekends didn’t help, and I felt dislocated and really not at home.

Worktown (where I used to live) has about 230,000 inhabitants, but now we have only 27,000 other people here. That’s quite a drop, and naturally you see it in infrastructure and size. (Still so glad I have a small cinema here! Couldn’t live without.)

Then I got sick and was on sick leave for a week. I ran errands or had a walk everyday, and actually being around town helped a bit.

During the holiday break, I got to spend even more time in town. We went to the Christmas market several times, shopped in the local stores and I signed up for the gym.

This really made me feel at home. We participated in a guided tour around town, hearing some interesting bits about its history, discovered more favourite walk routes and got really settled.

To me, it was a gradual shift. At the end of my holidays, I realized that I was „home“, that I felt comfortable in my new place.

Still some challenges remain: Making friends and acquaintances, which is difficult where you’re working away. I’ll try.

A look back & a look forward

Hello 2017!

I hope you all had a great start into the new year. We had a quiet evening, just the two of us, boardgames, homebrew wine from my FIL and our little traditions.

The latter half of 2016 was a busy one: Mr Charming had finished his teaching internship and looked for a new place. He found one only to get a better one starting two months later. This meant having two small and one big move within a few months. I’m not going to move for some time again, thank you very much.

In knitting terms, I was moderately successful. I knit 6 gifts, 1 shawl, 1 cowl, 1 pair of mittens, and half a cardigan. I also started fingerless mittens.
More selfish knitting this year, I guess? Or less procreating coworkers, because half of the gifts were for adorable coworker sprogs. The other half went to my Mum 🙂

***

Okay, so what’s in store for 2017?

First off, now that we’ve settled into our new life with me commuting, I want to tweak some things. I still buy too much food in my lunch break, which often leads to unhealthy stuff. So I want to bring more healthy lunches to work or at least avoid the ready-made meals when shopping for food. I also eat too many carbs in general – the main station bakery is too tempting. Alternatives could be prepared snacks that I munch on the train ride home. Or a change in eating habits at work, so that I can skip that entirely.

I also want to continue my workouts. Despite me having colds the last month, we managed to keep up the weekly swimming dates. I want to introduce a second sporting thing in the week. We’ll see if that takes too much time from my evenings, which are already short.

Once the weather gets warmer, I’ll take my bike on the train and go back to riding to work. It’s only a short distance, but I have a feeling that I need the extra bit of biking up that hill. It’ll also cut time in the tram, another potential infection spot and will make me arrive faster at work. Bonus.

In knitting, I want to finish my green cardigan (preferably in January) and start another one. I also haven’t knit a single pair of socks in 2016, and they make great commute projects, so there will be socks.

My knitting group decided on a hap-KAL for our trip to Edinburgh (more on that later, but SQUEEE!!!), so the shawl will be my first portable project. Judging by how fast the last one went, getting it done before March should be easy-peasy.

That’s it for now!

Let me know – what are your plans for the fresh year? Have a great 20017!

5 weeks after

It’s been almost 5 weeks since we moved. Time to step back and see what’s different, what’s better and what’s worse.

  1. Routine. We both now have a completely new routine. I get up almost an hour earlier than I used to. My commute is now by train and not by foot/tram/bike, which also means I’m home much later. Recently it means leaving in the dark and arriving in the dark, but that will change after midwinter.
  2. More time. I can use my commute for knitting, listening to podcasts or reading. I got so much done in terms of knitting progress and I burn through 2-3 episodes one way, it’s insane. It’s also great to snooze about in the mornings and take my time to get properly awake, and after a stressful day it’s nice to unwind and calm down. The landscape is nice to watch, and I’ve seen a few roes already!
  3. Dependency on public transport. If the train fails, I’m screwed. If it’s during break, I can take our car, but if it’s on regular school days, well, as I said. Screwed.
  4. Evenings with Mr Charming. This is the biggest pro and just so great. After being in a long-distance-relationship for a looooooong time (7+ years), spending the evening together is da bomb. I enjoy talking about how our days went and the cuddling is hard to beat 😉 Though I kinda miss my alone evenings with Netflix and knitting – some shows I watch just aren’t his pair of shoes, but that’s okay. There will be enough nights when he’s holed up in his room grading tests.
  5. So much stuff. Combining two households creates so many duplicates. I keep telling myself I have to go on a big purge in the holiday break. Maybe I’ll do it.
  6. More space! Yay! We now have a two-bedroom apartment (three-room-flat for the Germans reading this) and it feels great. Though as mentioned in 4., we have lots of stuff, so it’s not that any room is empty …
  7. Smaller kitchen. Oh yeah, that took us some time to get used to. Our old kitchen was really spacious compared to the new one. But the lack of counter space leads to less clutter on them, so it’s blessing in disguise?
  8. Having upstairs neighbors. We used to live right below the attic (which only we used for drying our laundry), so there was no sound from above ever. But now a family lives upstairs, and I chuckle at 9 p.m. when I hear the kid running around, trying to invade bedtime!
  9. A balcony! This was an absolute must on our shopping list, and very nice to have. I can’t wait for the first breakfast in the sun – it even faces east, perfect!

Yeah, that’s it so far. What about you? Any novelty in your life that changed your habits? Got a puppy? Tell me!

Lost & found and NaKniSweMo

In the first week of October, we moved to another town. Before the move, with all the organisation and box-packing going on, I completely lost my knitting mojo. I either was too tired or simply not in the right mindset to pick up my needles. It felt kinda weird, because on the one hand it was unusual to not knit while watching tv or Netflix, but on the other hand it was … interesting to see how I dealt with not knitting. It didn’t feel good per se, but it was like I needed a break from it. Does that make sense?
But my knitting mojo is slowly coming back – yesterday I even started my first colourwork project. I know it’s going to look terrible, but practise makes perfect, right?
Since I now have a commute, I can also use it and knit on the train. The only downside is that I don’t have space for more complex patterns that require a print-out. But that’s not a big problem. I just need to take projects that are small and have an easy to memorize pattern, and I’m set!

Remember this sweater? According to Ravelry, I started it in … February. Holy moly. Did not expect it to be this early. Anyway, as you may know, November is the National Knit a Sweater Month in which a lot of knitters produce a garment within a month.
For me and the upcoming November, I’ve decided I want to finish my Lipstick Cardigan.
It’s intended to be worn in my office, which can get quite chilly (one wall is an outside wall and that cools the whole room down). So in order to get to wear the cardigan at least a few times before spring, I want to finish the majority in November.
That means I want to finish knitting what is left of the body (two rows plus cast-off), the arms and the buttonband. Sewing in ends and blocking can happen in December, that’s okay. But 90% should be done within the month.
It’s also allowed to knit other stuff, which is a no-brainer because I can’t take it on my commute. So I need at least one other project for my commute and my lunch break.
We’ll see how it pans out. I’m fairly hopeful it’ll work.

And now you: Do you have plans for NaKniSweMo? If so, what plans?

What I learned from working out

For about three years (or maybe two and a half) I more of less regulary go the gym. Once a week, that’s the goal. Most weeks, I manage that.

It’s not the typical gym you might picture, with lots of workout machinery, it only has spinning bikes and those gymnastic balls and the small accessories. The gym is women-only, and focuses on courses rather than machines. The family-like vibe is something I liked instantly.

When I went to the first few lessons, I was really aware of how little I knew about the routines and things to do. Sports were never my strongest subject in school, and I still throw balls like the typical girl.

But slowly I found that I go better. More and more, the transitions in the step aerobic classes went smooth, the number of repeats I could do increased, and I started to feel better in my body. It’s the little things you notice: stamina, a flexed arm, enjoying some stretching after a long walk.

I also realised that nobody cared how much I sweat or if my head gets all red when doing push-ups. We are too busy getting those remaining 8 repeats done while continuing to breathe to care. It’s freeing.

The group of ladies there is really nice. They mostly are a bit older than I, but they are funny and helpful. And interesting, too! Really diverse backgrounds, and some go to the gym since it opened 15 years or so ago.

The owners helped me with my recovery during some back problems (the joy of sitting in an office all day).

Since we will move soon and I’ll need to find a new gym, I want to say thank you for making sports fun for me. Never forgetting that.

So yeah, I’m a bit sad about leaving this place. What about you? What have you learned recently through something unexpected?

Praxistest

Dieser Tage habe ich mein erstes komplett selbst gestricktes Kleidungsstück, den „Old Romance Cardigan“ (Ravelry-Link) den ganzen Tag über getragen. Das heißt: Während des Arbeitstages und nach Feierabend auf einer Veranstaltung. Ich habe ihn schon während einer Feier angehabt, aber das waren nur zwei Stunden, bevor mir zu warm wurde und ich ihn ausziehen musste 🙂
Vorab hatte ich ein wenig Bedenken wegen des Lochmusterteils, dass ich da frieren würde und andererseits, dass es unterwegs unter der Jacke zu warm werden würde. Beides hat sich nicht bewahrheitet; ich hatte ein T-Shirt drunter, was witterungsbedingt und büroklimatisch genau richtig war. Ein Langarm-Shirt wäre wohl zu warm gewesen.
Der Schnitt hat sich auch als unkompliziert erwiesen, die Jacke ist mir nicht einmal von den Schultern gerutscht. Ich musste zwar manchmal ein bisschen „zuppeln“, aber nur, um den Sitz zu korrigieren und den Lochmusterstreifen gerade zu ziehen. Die Ärmel musste ich wegen der 3/4-Länge auch nicht hochschieben, gute Entscheidung, die nur so lang zu machen. Die offene Front kommt mir sehr entgegen, da ich Strickjacken selten geschlossen trage. Ich hatte überlegt, da noch einen Knopf und eine Schlaufe dranzuzaubern, habe mich aber erstmal dagegen entschieden. Zur Not tut’s eine Brosche.
Von hinten gefällt mir der Ausschnitt übrigens sehr, der ist genau richtig von der Höhe her.
Das Holst-Garn ist auch nach längerem Tragen auf den blanken Unterarmen angenehm, ich bin da aber sowieso recht schmerzfrei.
Ich habe auch (nach dezentem Hinweis auf das Teil, ahem) viele Komplimente bekommen. Ein Kommentar war der Klassiker „Sieht ja aus wie gekauft!”, was ich mal dahingehend interpretiere, dass das Teil nicht dem Öko-Strickpulli-Klischee entspricht und offenbar tragbar und nach Mode aussieht 😉
Die Jacke wanderte auch daheim nach dem Auslüften nicht zurück in den Schrank, sondern wurde noch für einen Kurzurlaub am Wochenende eingepackt. Dazu gibt es aber noch kein Fazit 😉

Der Tag hat mir jedenfalls zwei Erkenntnisse gebracht:
1) Ich brauche mehr Strickoberteile!
2) Den Old Romance werde ich definitiv öfter tragen!

Welche Erfahrungen habt ihr mit euren gestrickten Sachen im Alltag gemacht?

PS: Letztes Jahr zu Pfingsten, da war das Stück gerade in Arbeit, bin ich mit dem Zug an Leipzig vorbeigefahren. Leipzig + Pfingsten = Wave Gotik Treffen. Es stiegen zwei Besucher zu, wir kamen ins Gespräch und das hier passierte:

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Podcasts Or How I Get Stuff Done

Woohoo, second post in a month or so!

On topic, girl, on topic.

A few years ago, this post wouldn’t have been written. I did not know that podcasts were A Thing, much less that I would listen to them. Before, I didn’t like listening to audio books. Audio drama was okay, but there only was one drama I followed, mainly because a friend introduced me to it and wanted to stick to it. There were huge gaps between me and the next bunch of episodes.

The one podcast that started my love is Welcome to Night Vale. It made its round on Facebook and Ravelry, and after I heard only praise, I gave it a try. Calling it an epiphany would be too much, but it did change my mind. I remember listening to it in bed, being truly comforted by Cecils (to those unfamiliar: he is the host of the fictional radio show about the town called Night Vale) voive, and not a bit spooked by the things he described.

After I ran out of back episodes, I started checking for other shows. The rest is history.

I do follow some knitting podcasts, but those either stopped updating (Brenda, oh Brenda), or update rather rarely, so these don’t count here.

My current selection of podcasts in my podcast app is quite diverse:

said Welcome to Night Vale

Serial: The first season followed a criminal case in which it isn’t sure whether the right person was convicted or not. I was obsessed, and so were a lot of people.The second seasons takes a different turn.

Criminal: This show talks about something crime-related in every episode, like K9 officer training or divers who get bodies out of water or curious crimes.

No Such Thing As A Fish: A spinoff of the tv show QI, four people talk about their favourite facts of the week and related stuff, loving insults and general awesomeness ensues. Oh, and it’s British 🙂

And, lastly, Futility Closet: This relates to NSTAAF, with something interesting to learn about in each episode, plus lateral thinking puzzles which are great brain food.

***

And then, there is housework. You know, doing laundry, ironing, folding clothes, hanging it up, putting it down, doing dishes, all the things I don’t particularly enjoy.

Cue podcasts. They make this boring work easier. I have fond memories of putting down laundry in the attic while hearing about a girl who saved several people from drowing, sqeeing over Cecil and Carlos while ironing or walking home from work and giggling over one of the NSTAAF hosts forgetting the name of one of the others while introducing him.

I also remember crying when Brenda from Cast On announced she would stop podcasting (she started again since then), I was washing dishes and had to stop for a moment.

But they are also good for knitting. I love listening and knitting.

Do you listen to podcasts? Tell me, I’d love to hear about them!