Ah, the EU. As much as I love it (the Euro! free choice of where you want to live and work! no border controls when travelling! easy buying and selling of stuff!), sometimes the rules and regulations and bureaucratic bullshitty shenanigans really drive me crazy.

Most recent in this line: the new data protection laws. If you have subscribed to any newsletters, are registered in any forum or something similar, chances are you’ve already received at least a few emails telling you that privacy guidelines have been updated, or that you will need to confirm again that you want to receive the newsletter. That is due to the regulation coming into force on May 25.

So I, too, have been working on updating my privacy statement on the website (the German one is done, but I still need to do the English one) and making sure that everything is okay according to the new rules. Fortunately, there’s very little that needs changing or updating on my site.

It’s still a pain in the neck, and it still ate up a good chunk of time. Time that I’d rather have spent on some of my other ongoing projects, but oh, well, Saint Bureaucratius needs his worshipping time, right?

My bitching about this aside – I actually do think that the new rules are a good thing. They do require everyone handling personal data to make very clear what is handled, why, and for what purpose(s). I’m not sure it will actually help against unsolicited mails and newsletters (I have quite a few of those turn up, and I’m pretty sure I never handed them my mail address), but ah, one can hope. And if I’ve made you curious, you can read more about them here. Or have a youtube explainer video here.

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(This post was intended to go live yesterday, but obviously I’m not good with numbers, including calendar numbers. Dates. So sorry for yesterday’s blog silence – and I hope you enjoy knitting news a day later, too!)

Current knitting news:

toesocks

There is, as you can see, some sock progress. A little more on each sock, and I will call them finished (and then there’s only a few last ends to weave in).

Other knitting progress is going on as well, as in “a swatch is happening”:

blautopf_swatch

It is very blue, and very beautiful, and I have about 780 m of this yarn… which might be just enough for something vaguely sweater-like. We shall see once the swatch has been finished.

Speaking of finishing – there’s a long article about grafting on the Interweave site that might be of interest for you.

Or if you’re more into crocheting and/or into fancy stuff and/or into really, really old stuff, you might want to crochet your own copy of the famous Venus von Willendorf statue. Yes, really, there’s a pattern for it, it’s free, and the result really looks a lot like the original – it’s amazing!

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Time for another link roundup!

Here is a (German) article about the last fair I was at, the Wollfest Hohenlohe, in the local newspaper.

Archaeologists found a comb with the inscription “comb” on it, and there’s some excitement about that.

The DGUF (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ur-und Frühgeschichte) is giving away surplus books to members and new members.

A reconstruction of a Roman ship was built in Erlangen, and I know about that because my friend Tertius Pictor did the painting. It has now made its inaugural trip, and there’s a little video about it here.

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When I came back from the last fair, the garden greeted me with lots of beautiful flowers, and it’s Friday, and I think you might enjoy some garden pics too, so here you go:

tulip3

Tulips!

tulip1

Even more tulips!

tulip2

Still more tulips! Can you tell I really like these flowers? Also, they don’t need much care and come back every year, so… the perfect thing for my not very consistent gardening approach.

The cherry tree is also in full bloom:

cherryblossom

It’s a very small, shrub-like morello cherry tree, and if the amount of blossoms is a hint on how many fruit it will have, we’ll be in for a treat this summer. Maybe a lovely cherry cake?

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When I was winding all these yarns in pre-fair prep, I finally got to catch up some more on my backlog of podcasts – including, of course, Escape Pod, the thing with which my podcast-listening began.

They’ve recently published one of the best stories I’ve ever consumed, so good that I’ve listened to it twice already and am planning to do so again. It’s called “A Cure for Homesickness”, written by S.L. Scott and an Escape Pod original. Go have it, too – it is amazing. Well narrated as well, so it’s an utter delight to listen to – or, if you prefer reading, you can read the whole text on the site as well, just follow the link.

Escape Pod, by the way, made the Hugo Awards Shortlist, to my utter great delight. Finally! I do hope they will get the rocket, they absolutely deserve it!

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It’s time again for the ticks – I’ve already removed several from the cat in the last few days, some already sucking, some still wandering in search of a spot. So…

Ticks can transmit both meningoencephalitis and Lyme disease, so if you are in a place where there are ticks, or are planning to travel in one this summer, please remember to refresh (or get) your vaccination against tick meningoencephalitis in time.

And if you find a tick and want to kill it, do make sure you really kill it dead – dropping it down the drain will not do the trick. I find it easiest to burn them with a lighter or to pour boiling water on them, which will reliably kill them.

So… please go check your vaccination records, and make sure you are safe. The meningoencephalitis is incurable once it has set on, and almost all of Europe has ticks these days. Don’t risk your brains.

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I had a beyond wonderful time at the last fair – a lot of people stopped by to say hello that I see way, way too rarely; I had lovely food (Margit treated me to Königsburger Klopse for one dinner) and lots of nice coffee and there was sunshine and warmth and general enjoyment. The fair featured a nice, large, well-lighted space with tables to sit and eat and drink and knit in one part, and most of the stalls in the second part, with a little foyer inbetween.

As usual, I didn’t get out much from behind my table, but it was enough time to go on a button-hunting safari for the Most Patient Husband of Them All, who has almost finished knitting his cardi and needed buttons for that. So out I went, armed with a yarn sample (for colour coordination) and my phone and a size indicator and sent him photos of buttons I supposed might please him. I can definitely tell you that proxy-button-shopping is an exciting thing! (It was also successful, to my great delight.)

stand_blaufelden

As usual, I’m standing side by side with Margit from Alte Künste

There was even a little knitting done in the evening – my five-toe socks are slowly creeping towards being done. And I definitely need to knit faster. Or spend more time knitting. Or, preferably, both… because, you see, there might have been a tiny little mishap at the fair.

You know that good resolution that we knitters tend to have? About not buying any more yarn before the last project is finished, or the stash has been diminished a little? Well. While I was flanked on one side by Margit’s stall, I had Holles Wollfärberei on my other side. And when I returned from a quick run to fetch some coffee, I sort of got confused for a few minutes and turned left a few metres too late, and by the time I had sorted out my directions, I might have accidentally dropped some money at that stall, and some yarn might, in turn, have accidentally dropped into my bag.

hollewolle

I blame fair-addled brains. And her choice of blues.

So. That does look, to me, like a little cardi and a pair of socks, some assembly required. See why I need to knit faster?

(She has an Etsy shop. Just in case you wonder how to get that stuff.)

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