Saving the planet …

… my way.

This is going to be about the things we do to live a bit more eco-friendly. Note: I strongly believe that everyone should try to find what works best for them. Our way might not be suitable for everybody else, and also we’re still improving.

Now that is out of the way, let’s dive in.

1. Consumption

In recent years I found that I dislike the clothes of H&M and the likes. This developed into me getting curious about slow fashion and fair fashion. I also did several small purges and got rid of unloved stuff (which was donated). Currently I am on a „buy one, get rid of one“ shopping motto. When I bought a new jacket last weekend, an old one that looked a bit shabby and was more than 5 years old got donated.

Apropos: I wear my clothes as long as possible. I fix them when they get small holes or I replace buttons. If they aren’t appropriate for work anymore, they become either sleep wear or I wear them at home on weekends. And then they either get tossed or turned to rags. I still wear items that are easily older than 5 years. And I won’t need to look long for things that I got when I moved out of my parent’s in 2008.

We also try to not buy unnecessary things or only replace broken stuff. My cell phone is a bit over 2 years old now, but even though I could’ve replaced it with a newer one when my contract was up, I didn’t. It still works, and after buying a new battery and downloading a cleaning app it’s as good as new.

If we need some special stuff, we try to got for quality. I needed hiking boots, and I got good ones that will last longer than cheap ones. I am really grateful that with a bit of saving, if needed, I can afford good quality now. I know not everyone can manage that.

In terms of fair fashion, I also switched to buying from ethical brands. I cannot fulfill all my needs from these brands, but I try to use them as much as possible. Again, they are more pricey but I hope they will last longer.

Also with me knitting I have a different perspective on how long it takes to make clothing. I also want to get a sewing machine and start making my own clothes. It will also help with fixing / altering clothes.

Final fun fact: Today I over dyed an old faded skirt. Good as new, yay!

2. Waste

Food waste is something I still think we need to improve on. We are pretty good with leftovers from the weekend – in fact, every weekend lunch leftover is my Monday lunch. Yet we still toss too much. I’m not easily squished out by things past their expiration dates, if it looks okay I’ll eat it, but sometimes we just toss cold cuts because no one ate them in 3 days. That’s bad. Also we need to rethink buying apples – we buy them with good intentions but neither of us eats them.

Since Germans are masters of recycling, that really works. Nothing to improve. We also reuse things, see rags, but also boxes or similar things.

In terms of tossing things in general – I talked about it above. The rule mentioned there also applies to electronics and any goods an average household needs.

We also do not shy away from used things. If there was a good thrift store anywhere close, I’d be there. When my in-laws heard our new flat had a balcony, they gave us their old set of table and chairs. When they got a new kitchen table, we got the old one. After his Grandparents died, we kinda inherited the kitchen furniture. It was partially due to us being broke students, but also because it would be a shame to toss a still good wooden table.

I also have dug through the public clothes exchange in my work town and got many a book from bulk trash in the streets.

Friends gave me unloved clothes and even shoes (thank you, M.!)

Our new car already was a year old and used when we bought it. Yes, it was cheaper, but also it was already driven in and every possible „teen sickness“ found out.

3. Commute

Since I already wrote in length about my commute, you know that I take the trains to work. Better than a car. We also walk a lot (the joys of small town life) if the weather isn’t horrible.

4. Miscellaneous

Not yet a vegetarian, but I only eat meat on the weekend and sometimes on my sandwich. If there was lab grown meat already, I’d totally switch to that.

I am trying to use less and less plastic. That’s a hard one.

We switched to drinking tap water only half a year ago. Each one of us has a reusable metal bottle. I take mine everywhere. I also only drink tap water at work. Or tea. Or coffee.

If I need a coffee to go, I have it poured into my personal fake-porcelain to-go mug. No paper cups for me!

Our balcony will be a mini garden! Additionally to having flowers, we will be growing herbs, tomatoes, peas, salad, garlic and strawberries. It’s amazing to see what can be possible on few square metres!

Fun fact: My wedding dress was on clearance and the last dress the bridal store sold. It closed for good after we walked out. Still the greatest dress possible!

 

That’s it. This is only a snapshot. We try to improve and there is so much more to do as one household.

Let me know what you do personally to be eco-friendly and a bit more easy on the planet?

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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!

Going to bed? What is this thing?

So I am procrastinating going to bed. I listen to Soundcloud and browse the Web. And someone recommened a tumblr, and there it was – a questionnaire. You know I love them – and I am feeling guilty about neglecting my blog. Answering yet another questionnaire eases the pain a bit…

Feel free to share on your blog!

1. Do you want a boyfriend or girlfriend? Doesn’t matter. I have a boyfriend.
2. When did your last hug take place? Yesterday evening, when I came home from work.
3. Are you a jealous person? Yes.
4. Are you tired right now? No.
5. Do you chew on your straws? Sometimes.
6. Have you ever been called a tease? Yes!
7. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? I’m boring, so: nope.
8. Do you cry easily? Oh yes. Even thinking about emotional scenes I saw or read opens the gates.
9. What should you be doing right now? Sleeping… or at least be in bed.
10. Are you a heavy sleeper? Yes.
11. Do you think you can last in a relationship for 6 months? My current relationship lasts for 5 years now… What more do I need to say?
12. Are you mad at someone right now? A bit, yes.
13. Do you believe in love? Of course!
14. What makes you laugh no matter what? Silly videos of cute animals. And the puns my fiancé makes.
15. Who was the last person you talked to? Personally? A book seller. On the phone: My fiancé. Via social media: a good friend.
16. Do you get butterflies around the person you like? Yup.
17. Will you get married? Soooooooooooooooooooooooon.
18. When was the last time you smiled? Right now.
19. Does anyone like you? I hope so!
20. Do you secretly like someone? Who doesn’t?
21. Who was the first person you talked to today? My fiancé.
22. Who do you feel most comfortable talking to about anything? Myself, then my fiancé.
23. What are you NOT looking forward to? The heating bill…
24. What ARE you looking forward to? The next day.
25. Has someone of the opposite sex ever told you they loved you, and meant it? Yes.
26. Suppose you see your ex kissing another person what would you do? Walk on, and be glad for him.
27. Do you plan on moving out within the next year? No.
28. Are you a forgiving person? Not easily.
29. How many TRUE friends do you have? Three, I think. Maybe one and a half more.
30. Do you fall for people easily? Yes.
31. Have you ever fallen for your ex’s best friend? Nope.
32. What’s the last thing you put in your mouth? Water to drink.
33. Who was the last person you drove with? My fiancé, getting groceries.
34. How late did you stay up last night and why? 22.30. I hadn’t run out of internet until then.
35. If you could move somewhere else, would you? Yes, I would.
36. Who was the last person you took a picture of? If body parts count, me. I took a pic of unfinished mittens I’m knitting.
37. Can you live a day without TV? Sure.
38. When was the last time you were extremely disappointed? Can’t remember.
39. Three names you go by.. Honey, my middle name and, eager beaver when I was in school.
40. Are you currently in a relationship? Yes. But you already figured that out while reading, didn’t you?
41. What is your all-time favorite romance movie? „Love Actually“.
42. Do you believe that everyone has a soul-mate? Yes. Yes. Yes.
43. What’s your current problem? I’m past my bedtime.
44. Have you ever had your heart broken? No, and I never broke one, as far as I know.
45. Your thoughts of long distance relationships? They suck, and bless the inventor of Skype and mobile phones and flatrates.
46. How many kids do you want to have? Two.
47. Have you ever found it hard to tell someone you like them? No.

Good night, dear reader, good night.

Knitting Skills & Techniques

Ich found this somewhere, forgot where… Bold is what I’ve done, italics show things I have planned to do…

Afghan
I-cord
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Shawl
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Hat
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Sweater
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino/modular knitting
Shadow/illusion knitting
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Cardigan
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Knitting with your own hand-dyed yarn
Slippers

Graffiti knitting

Designing knitted garments
Cable/aran stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Scarf
Teaching a child to knit/crochet
American/English style knitting (throwing)
Continental style knitting
Knitting to make money
Buttonholes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dyeing with plant colors

Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars

Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Bobbles
Knitting for a living

Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn
Steeks
Knitting art
Knitting two socks (on two circulars) simultaneously
Felting/fulling
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Purses/bags
Knitting with beads
Swatching
Long Tail CO
Entrelac
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
Darning
Jewelry
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Gloves
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
Intarsia
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Pillows
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Rug
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Shrug/bolero/poncho
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public
Meet knitterati/famous knitters

Jahresrückblicksstöckchen 2012

1. Ganz grob auf einer Skala von 1 bis 10: Wie war Dein Jahr?

Das Jahr ging recht gemächlich los und steigerte sich dann doch noch mächtig. Und da ich zum rückblickenden Verklären neige, bekommt es eine 8.

2. Zugenommen oder abgenommen?

Weder noch. Passt.

3. Haare länger oder kürzer?

Länger. Ich lasse sie mir immer noch wachsen, was durch das regelmäßige Schneiden der Spitzen dauert.

4. Kurzsichtiger oder weitsichtiger?

Weitsichtiger, bestenfalls. Wir werden sehen.

5. Mehr Kohle oder weniger?

Mehr Kohle! Ich habe einen Job, verdiene eigenes Geld (am Ende bleibt aber trotzdem nicht mehr übrig…)

6. Besseren Job oder schlechteren?

Von der Studentin zur Volontärin – besser!

7. Mehr ausgegeben oder weniger?

Mehr. Ich bin umgezogen, war auf dem Wollefest. Überhaupt reißt Wolle stets die Löcher ins Budget… Leider.

8. Dieses Jahr etwas gewonnen und wenn ja, was?

Ja: Eine liebe neue Mitbewohnerin.

9. Mehr bewegt oder weniger?

Ich habe mich vor allem in den letzten drei, vier Montaten mehr bewegt. Ich habe einen fußläufig zu erreichenden Arbeitsplatz und fahre alle längeren Wege mit dem Rad. Die Tram benutze ich nur, wenn ich vom/zum Bahnhof muss.

10. Anzahl der Erkrankungen dieses Jahr?

Erstaunlich wenig. Etwas Schnupfen, einmal mysteriöse Übelkeit, das war’s auch schon.

11. Davon war für Dich die Schlimmste?

Besagte Übelkeit. Ist einfach nich schön.

12. Der hirnrissigste Plan?

Fällt mir spontan keiner ein. Außer die ganzen Auftragsstrickereien, das war schon unbedacht, aber nicht direkt hirnrissig.

13. Die gefährlichste Unternehmung?

Rumlatschen auf einem verlassenen Schlachthof. Gottseidank nicht allein, sondern mit Freund und Mitbewohnerin, aber trotzdem. Hätte ja was einstürzen können.

14. Die teuerste Anschaffung?

Eine 100 Euro-Bestellung Wolle in den USA. Aber hey, die wurde für mich extra gefärbt!

15. Das leckerste Essen?

Die selbstgemachte Marmelade im Sommer, vielleicht.

16. Das beeindruckendste Buch?

Zu gleichen Teilen: „Jeder stirbt für sich allein“ von Hans Fallada und „Aller Tage Abend“ von Jenny Erpenbeck.

17. Der ergreifendste Film?

„Melancholia“ von Lars von Trier. Nur die Handkamera war blöd.

18. Die beste CD?

„The Light the Dead See“ von den Soulsavers und „Ceremonials“ von Florence and the Machine.

19. Das schönste Konzert?

Coldplay in Leipzig. Großartig. Wann immer „Paradise“ im Radio läuft, bin ich wieder in der Arena.

20. Die meiste Zeit verbracht mit?

Kommilitonen, Kollegen und mir. Leider.

21. Die schönste Zeit verbracht mit?

Familie, Freund und Freunden.

22. 2012 zum ersten Mal getan?

Zöpfe gestrickt; richtig allein (in einer WG) gewohnt; Klopapier gekauft; Zoll auf irgendetwas bezahlt.

23. 2012 nach langer Zeit wieder getan?

Das zu Weihnachen 2011 geschenkt bekommene PC-Spiel gespielt. Der erste Speicherstand ist vom 8.12.12.

24. Drei Dinge, auf die ich gut hätte verzichten mögen?

Familiäre Dinge – das waren mehr als drei.

25. Die wichtigste Sache, von der ich jemanden überzeugen wollte?

Puuuh…

26. Das schönste Geschenk, das ich jemandem gemacht habe?

Bleibt geheim 😉

27. Das schönste Geschenk, das mir jemand gemacht hat?

Ein Ring. Von meinem Freund. Ahem.

28. Der schönste Satz, den jemand zu mir gesagt hat?

„Willst du mich heiraten?“

29. Der schönste Satz, den ich zu jemandem gesagt habe?

„Ich hab den Job!“

30. Dein Wort des Jahres?

Volontariat, vermutlich.

31. Dein Unwort des Jahres?

Energiewende. Aus’m Bauch heraus.

32. Deine Liebglingsblogs des Jahres?

Frau Nessy und Kate Davies‘ Blog.

33. Zum Vergleich: Verlinke Dein Stöckchem vom vorigen Jahr!

Da gab’s keins… 😦

Half-year knitting review

Or: Have I reached some of my goals?

Okay, I copied the list I posted here and added whether I make it or not:

1) a beret for me [done. And another hat.]
2) Socks for me [two pairs. Hell yeah! Third on the needles, fourth planned.]
3) a Hitchhiker [done. In wonderful orange lace yarn from KnitPicks.]
4) socks for Mom [not yet.]
5) a Nuvem [yarn is purchased. I need more needles. Seriously.]
6) a light hat for me [nope.]
7) socks for my Sweetheart [not yet.]
8) a shawl called “Double Leaf Saroyan” [nope.]
9) a shawl called “Haruni” [nope. But the yarn’s there in my stash.]
10) a muff or mittens for me [mittens – yeah.]

 

 

 

 

11) finish my Work in Progress [since I don’t know what WiP is was, I assume I did it ;-)]
12) mittens for my Mom [nope.]

I also wanted to improve my skills and therefore learn new techniques:

  1. cables [nope.]
  2. short rows [I’m such a short row pro now.]
  3. the secret of swatching [ahem.]

You see, I only did 4 out of 12 planned projects. But. I did much more that was not listed.

A cowl.
A triangular, asymmetric shawl
A lace-edged shawl (wonderful!)

A second pair of socks.

 

 

 

A second hat.
A shawl for my Mom.
A hat for my dear friend A. (in progress)

 

 

 

I’d love to post more pictures, but that would make this post rather long. So, if you’re a Ravelry member, you can see my projects here.

Filmstöckchen – alles nur geklaut

Ich stehle Stöckchen ja hemmungslos… Kurzes Vorwort: Ich bin während meiner Zeit in L. zweimal im Monat im Kino gewesen. Dabei habe ich viele Independentfilme gesehen und meinen Geschmack eindeutig weitergebildet. Ach, es fehlt mir…

1. Was war Dein erster Kinofilm und hast Du ihn später noch einmal gesehen? Wie fandest Du ihn dann?

Mein erster bewusst als solcher wahrgenommener Kinofilm war „Der Glöckner von Notre-Dame“. Oder „König der Löwen“.

2. Welches sind Deine drei liebsten Filmszenen und warum?

Die erste: Die Szene in „Der Herr der Ringe“, in der Aragorn Eowyn zudeckt. Hach. Da wünschte ich immer, ich wäre Eowyn. Dann würde ich auch Faramir abkriegen.

Die zweite: „Harry Potter 6“, auf dem Astronomieturm. Oben Dumbledore im Plausch mit den Todessern, unten Harry. Snape kommt an und macht „Pssst!“, damit Harry die klappe hält – bei der Szene könnte ich in den Sessel kriegen. Ich vergöttere Alan Rickman alias Snape.

Die dritte: „Independence Day“. Eigentlich ist der komplette Film eine einzige geniale Szene, aber am liebsten mag ich die Stelle, in der Jeff Goldblum auf dem Dach seines Senders steht und dieses Raumschiff zum ersten Mal sieht. Ich vergöttere Jeff Goldblum.

Außer Konkurrenz: Die Einleitungsszene aus „Inglorious Basterds“.

3. Hast Du schon einmal selbst einen Film gedreht, und sei es nur auf Video oder Super 8, so richtig mit Drehbuch, Maske/Kostüm und was war das für einer? Bzw. was wäre das für einer, wenn Du das machen würdest?

Wenn ich je einen Film drehen würde, wäre das eine Mischung aus „Independence Day“, „Bladerunner“ und „Matrix“. Oder irgendwas Post-Apokalyptisches…

4. Gibt es einen Film, der Dir Angst macht und den Du nie, nie, nie wieder sehen willst?

Angst? Hmm, ich wähle meine Filme ziemlich gut aus und bin nicht der Typ für Splatter-Orgien.
„Antichrist“ war aber echt gruslig. Wenn Lars von Trier, dann lieber „Melancholia“.
5. Und welchen Film würdest Du gerne noch einmal auf der großen Leinwand sehen, der leider nur noch im TV oder auf DVD zu haben ist?

Einmal im Kino sitzen und „Fahrenheit 451“ oder „2001“ sehen, das wär’s.

6. Nenne einen Schauspieler, zwei Schauspielerinnen und drei Filme, die Du sehr gerne magst, und erzähle bitte warum!

Nur einer geht nicht… Herren: Alan Rickman (Stimme, Präsenz), Jeff Goldblum (Sympathie), Oskar Werner (Oskar!) und Colin Firth (Präsenz).

Damen: Cate Blanchett. Tilda Swinton.

Filme: „Fahrenheit 451“ – ich habe seit jeher einen Hang zu Dystopien. „Der Herr der Ringe“ – ohne Worte, gell? „Kill Bill“ – ja doch, durchaus.

7. Bist Du schon einmal vorzeitig im Kino aus einem Film gegangen? Warum und aus welchem?

Nich dass ich wüsste. Ich bin nur im Theater einmal eher gegangen.
8. Gibt es eine Filmszene, in der ein Song gespielt wird, die sich Dir beide untrennbar ins Gedächtnis gegraben haben?

Im zweiten Teil von „Johnny English“ schneidet Rowan Atkinson Gemüse zu „In der Halle des Bergkönigs“ von Edvard Grieg. Super.

9. Welches ist Dein Lieblingskino und warum ist es das?

Ich mag die Passage Kinos in Leipzig. Klein, schöne Filmauswahl. Ich hab da die besten Filme meines Lebens geschaut.

10. Lieber Filme oder TVSerien? Warum?

Eher Filme im Kino – wegen Kino-Atmosphäre.

Anmerkung (9.4.): Diverse Rechtschreibfehler wurden geändert. Wer noch welche findet, darf sie behalten.