I am not at all a person for resolutions, because I know I feel bad when I break them and there is usually no way to avoid breaking them, ambitious as most of them are. However, looking at my stash last winter I had the thought that it might be good to try and not to add to it excessively for a while... And so far I did pretty well with my self-imposed yarn diet, but I can't deny that I was very happy when I discovered a yarn store during our short trip to the Harz (nearby low mountain range). Because souvenir yarn is of course an exception to the rule... ;-)
The lovely shop in Wernigerode is called Umgarnt, a word play with the German word 'Garn' for yarn which you find in the word 'umgarnt' meaning ensnared. Well, I certainly was ensnared when I found the store and since they carried hand-painted yarn - a basic criteria to be considered souvenir yarn - I couldn't leave the shop without any new 'yarn babies'.
So we've been away on holidays for a couple of days and as you all know, it's kind of a tradition to visit a yarn store when we are abroad. We did this time too, but - believe it or not - I left the store without a purchase! That definitely is a first for me. It's not that they didn't have any nice yarn, but part of my self-imposed yarn diet is that yarn only counts as souvenir yarn when it is a local yarn. And I couldn't find any of that in the yarn store we visited, so... my yarn piggy bank was quite pleased.
But ahem, it wouldn't be me if I had made it back to our appartment without a 'crafty' purchase. Looks like I'm going to work on a couple of cards next or rather when time allows. Sometimes I really wonder how much time I think I have...
My, this has been some crazy weather we've had all day: Lots of snow in a hefty storm. When you are outside it feels like it is snowing from whichever direction, lol. Well, definitely a day to get the handmades out. :)
... without new yarn. :) Very happy Santa listened to my wishes and brought me this awesome box filled with yarn for a shawl in illusion knitting technique.
Still in my pyjamas and with bed hair, but eager to get started...
Merry Christmas, everyone!
... to a yarny advent calendar this year. I tried to resist, but well, this has been such a rotten year, it called for a special pick-me-up. I chose the one by The Knitting Goddess and hm, maybe the fab box the yarn came in was one of the reasons... ;-)
The box holds 48 mini skeins of approximately 10 g each and the colours form a colour weel. There are also some extra goodies like decorations (shown in the foreground because the box is filled to the brim with yarn).
Hm, and since I know myself well enough to know that the yarn will only end up as an addition to my stash if I don't use it right away, I already started a project with it. A big stole, that is supposed to use up all the yarn and the aim is to use the two skeins I take out of the box each day right away. We'll see how that goes.
So, I admit my lack of motivation these days is quite something. So sick and tired of all those restrictions because of Covid and very unhappy that once again we are in lockdown. They call it 'light', but honestly, what's light about not being allowed to see your friends?
Anyway, since I am not in my best mood, I seem to have trouble to even knit. Let's see if cross stitch is more up my alley - this long neglected projects sure deserves to be worked on... We'll see.
... there is no way I walk past a yarn store. Imagine a sigh here - and I am not even sure if it's a sigh from frustration that I can't resist to purchase yarn even though I have tons of it back at home, or if it is a sigh from pleasure because I have some new yarns to fondle... I guess it's a bit of both.
But then, we went to visit Fanø and well, that's where designer Christel Seyfarth has her store, so a small souvenir was a must. I admit it took all my will power to not buy a - quite expensive - yarn kit for one of
her fabulous shawls. On our way back from there we stopped in Ribe. And believe it or not, the fist store we came across was a yarn store... That was fate, wasn't it? And since Sandnes Garn
is hard to get here (or at least I told myself so)... I added a bit to my bag.
I think it's not hard to tell that I had my favourite colour scheme in mind when choosing my purchases, lol.
Unfortunately the store also had a HUGE collection of cross stitch kits - which is my second love besides knitting currently. They had sooooo many wonderful things , but for once I was a bit reasonable and realized that there is no way I could fit in a big project any time soon. But two kids for tiny 10x10 cm pictures somehow hopped in my basket ... Love them - and love my wonderful husband who never complains when I all of a sudden spoil our plans when I see a craft store.
Okay, let’s face it, I am often enough the queen of procrastinating. We do an ornament exchange in our Ravelry group every single year, but usually it’s something like October before I finally get my behind into gear. Not this year!
I had decided to go for ornaments in cross stich and because I know they take a while to make, I for once was sensible enough to start them in spring already. And ta-dah, all of them are done!
I feel pretty satisfied for being so organized – now only to not start procrastinating again when it comes to mailing them…
Finally there is a bit of 'normality' back in our life. We went to a fab concert with Stoppok on Friday and have another one with Juliano Rossi to look forward to tonight. So no wonder all the 'Deister Rocks' (Deistersteine) I painted this morning have a musical theme... :)
... by a broken wrist bone. So here I am, happy that the darn cast came off, but unfortunately there are still many things which I am not allowed to do and/or that are very painful. Like knitting, for example... sigh, for me the worst case. I manage to knit a couple of rounds, but after a few minutes I have to stop again.
What does work quite well is sewing. So even though I don't think that making masks or rather some kind of covering for mouth and nose mandatory in Germany is the right step to take at this time of the pandemic, at least I can sew masks in my style...
Happy colours, fun motifs, which is at least something and for me way better than the store-bought disposable masks. Not only do they look better, but better for the environment too. But as much as I like my masks - here's to hoping we are not forced to wear them for too long...
Well, I admit this whole lockdown thing is really getting at me. I do understand the reasons, but still, it seems that all that makes life enjoyable for me is forbidden these days. So why not add to the misery by fracturing a wrist bone... ? Really, this is so not what I needed. Of course, being right-handed I damaged my right wrist, so the cast I have to wear for at least three weeks makes all the things I've enjoyed doing lately all the more difficult... But I try.
Painted a few rocks (obviously my Easter collection) which will go on our daily work with us tomorrow and I'll leave them somewhere for others to find. Maybe I'll be lucky this time and the finder posts a picture. So far all my other Deistersteine (painted rocks from the Deister area) only disappeared... ah well, I just have to imagine they put a smile to somebody's face. :)
It's leap day today and since we don't have it often (yes, I know, I know, every four years), how about one of my seldom post that are not craft related? In my Ravelry group we discussed the other day that it is sad that we all got so little nice mail, but that instead our mailbox is stuffed with bills and junk. So...
... we started a postcard exchange! No matter when, no matter what the occasion, but we all comitted to sending 2-5 postcards to all participants during the year. Above are my first three and each one made me smile when I took it out of the mailbox. For now they are at my pin board but who knows? They might turn into something creative at the end of the year. :)
My knitting mojo seems to be taking a break, so almost all the knitting I do these days is some work on long neglected WiPs. And once again I've realized that I'm just not the person for endless rows in garter or stockinette stitch, lol. Anyway, I try my best to clean up my knitting basket, but I need breaks ever so often. So it's good I developed a severe new addiction...
... rock painting. Love the 'Deistersteine' idea I told you about the other day so much, that there are several rocks ready to be 'hidden' somewhere around. Okay, my drawing skills aren't something worth mentioning (that poor Snoopy lookls like it went through a severe diet), but it's the idea that counts, don't you think?
The other day when we went for a walk, we found a beautifully painted little rock. Of course it put a huge smile to our faces and when we learnt that this is an idea to just do that: gift other folks a smile, we were intrigued. You can either choose to keep the rock or take it with you and put it somewhere for somebody else to find, which is what we did (unfortunately without a picture).
Anyway, we found the ides so cute, so we used our long holiday break for some rock painting as well. :)
The ones above are not yet ready, but will need their finishing touches before they start their travels, but the one below, painted by Ulli, is already out in the wild. Let's see if we get to see it again in the Facebook group dedicated to #Deistersteine (Deister Stones - Deister is the name of a chain of hills in the region where we live).
... is the only fitting word, I'm afraird. This is what I look at when at my desk and it is pretty much all I can tell you about my knitting life these days: Lots and lots of samples that are waiting for their final photoshoot and next to it a way too long neglected shawl project.
When I wasn't busy with a secret project on a deadline, I played around with new pattern ideas: I've swatched, tried colour combination, tried new stitch patterns... and there are several ideas I am excited about, but that I'd rather not share yet. In addition I had the wonderful idea to do some renovation work around the house... hm. No idea what made me think that giving the wood floor a treatment with wood oil is a good idea - yes, it does look good, but the smell... ugh. Not to mention that it takes forever, sigh. So my dear readers, there's more to come about my knitting eventually, stay tuned. And until then: Have a fab summer and happy knitting!
... about what I've been up to in the last two weeks.
I received yarn for a new design with some delay (actually a day past the deadline for the finished design...) so I've been knitting up a storm since it arrived. And it has been hard work, since a garment in Shetland wool and tempratures well above 35°C aren't the best fit, I tell you... But today is the day: the sample is in the mail, the pattern sent - and for once I look forward to an evening spend without knitting. ;-)
This year's summer holidays took us to a place I absolutely love: Ireland! And as so often in the past, I managed to plan our trip to the island with a visit to a yarn fest... I couldn't be happier! Don't get this wrong, I would have gone there anyway because Ireland is such a beautiful country that we always enjoy going there. I mean, just look at this: what's there not to like?
The blues, the greens, the beautiful... We love it!
Anyway, before we started our travel in the south-west of the country, I had the chance to visit Woollinn Dublin and it was such a fab event. I took a workshop with Bristol Ivy which I absolutely loved and which was very inspiring, had fun drooling over yarns and ahem, yes, added a bit to my stash...
Finished the hat for this cutie only this morning in the nick of time and now our gift for my mum is already enjoying the wonderful weather we are having this easter: Heli, the Easter Lamb.
Why is she called Heli, you ask? Well, when DH first showed me what he made, her ears made me laugh so hard and I said she looks more like a helicopter than a sheep... so Heli she was named right away. ;-) Now that she is completed, I think our joint project turned out great and my mum sure loves her.
Happy Eater, everyone!
... since that more than awful Valentine's day. I know that only pet owners will understand, but for us it was shattering having to let our cat Klecks go. He was very sick and we know that out of love for him we took the right decision, but still... sob. It breaks my heart to look at this picture I took only a short while back.
I miss you big time, Klecks, and not even knitting is fun without you sitting on my lap! And now to look for more tissues...
So there we were, alsways saying that a cruise is nothing we would enjoy - but we threw our prejudices over board (so to speak), the moment we saw that a local band - Fury in the Slaughterhouse - would organize a short event cruise with loads of music... So last weekend off we went and boy, we had a blast!
Fury, Wingenfelder, Stoppok and many more and last but certainly not least our favourite band Terry Hoax! The pool deck show was one to never be forgotten...
But then, even with all the music I do have this craving for yarn - and fortunately we had a stop in Amsterdam and I got to visit a shop I had hoped to go to for a long time: Stephen & Penelope.
... at least I think that's what I'm suffering from when I look at the rocking chair in our kitchen.
Four socks that won't make a pair and there other half is bearly started - which didn't stop me from casting on yet another pair. Now what? Mismatched socks or muster up the energy to finish all these? Fortunately it's still too hot to even consider wearing handknit socks. ;-)
Busy with lots of new projects and for a break I looked at our holiday pictures and realized, I haven't even told you about a fun conincidence. At Woolfest I bought some yarn from Ripples Craft Hand Dyed Yarns and we had a lovely chat with Helen and Mr. Ripples Crafts, so imagine my surprise when we came thourgh a tiny village at the west coast of Scotland and I saw this
And yes, the sign said OPEN... So I guess you know where we went? Right...
Helen welcomed us to their place and showed us where her dying magic happens
... involve of course a 'yarny fix'. :)
This year my wonderful husband agreed to visit Woolfest again and I had hoped to show you lots of pictures of all my yarn fondling, but well, let's say it was a bit troublesome. I sprained my ancle while we were on the ferry going over to the UK, so my visit there was not as enjoyable as planned. But I did get to make friends with these beautiful creature...
I got to do a bit of yarn fondling...
As I've told a couple of times before, I like to test knitting needles new on the market and I already showed you my Addi CraSyTrio the other day. I started a pair of socks with them a while ago, but then switched to my 'go to' DPNs, because I was in a bit of a hurry and felt a bit clumsy with the new needles. So it was time for a second test and since I had planned to reknit my Jigs&Reels pattern, I went to work right away.
The 3 pieces set consists of metall needles with a short flexible cable (40 mm) in the middle, alike circular needles but much shorter (see pic below). Well, since I use two short circs when I don't want to use DPNs (like in planes when dropping a needle isn't really considered fun), I thought I should like them and the knitting indeed is quite nice.
But for me one of the advantages of circular needles compared to my loved DPNs is, that the needles stay in the fabric at all time, so there is no risk of dropping them. With this set once again you need one needle into the fabric, but the other one out of it. Well, for me that still is a bit confusing, it feels like a circ, so I don't have to hold on to it when all stitches are knit, but it behaves like a DPN, so you see me dropping needles even more often than usual, lol.
There are so many things I love in our international knitting community on Ravelry, and one event which is always fun is travelling socks. Each participant starts a pair of socks, which is then send to a knitting friend, who adds a bit, then sends it on to the next knitting friend... and so on you get the picture.
My socks are currently in the USA, but this week I received two pairs to knit on.
The pair above is for my dear friend Laurel and since it fit her colour scheme so good, I even used one of my precious new sock yarns from Hedgehog Fibres, the variegated one above the orange. I LOVE how it looks and I was tempted to cast on a pair of socks right away. But, sigh, still some samples which have top priority...
The pair below also is for a knitting friend from the USA, Stacy. I am really smitten with her colour scheme, colours from the ocean. So far these look like socks I'd love to have for myself... not only because of the colours, but because I like the fit of socks knit entirely in ribbing. But just as Laurel's pair, Stacy's pair is now on its way to the next knitter.
Let's face it, folks, in my neck of the woods winter often means day after day with grey skies, lots of rain, cold temperatures... all in all a weather you best enjoy snuggled up on your couch with you knitting. But this year the weather blues has been so bad, that I even lack any knitting mojo... so what to do? Thankfully I remember my paint by numbers project, which I've worked on forever and which should get eventually finished. And, best of all, it's all happy colours; the perfect cure against all that weather grey.
This is just the first piece of three, so I am far away from getting it done, but who knows? If the weather continues to be as awful all month? We'll see...
Well, in the evenings when watching TV or chatting with DH, I can't paint, so do I knit? Nope, not even then (pretty sure my knitting mojo was clever and extended its stay on the Canaries), but I've worked on one of my cross stitch projects. All the back stitching took forever, but, ta-dah
So there I am, as always with the best intention to have my x-mas surprises sent to my friends abroad early, and as always it is once again a matter of luck whether my packages arrive on time. It's not even an excuse that I had to finish some handmades, is it? I definitely should work on my time management, however, I am so happy I finished these.
Well, I can only hope my friends will enjoy their x-mas gnome sachets filled wiht lavendar whenever they arrive. Now, fingers crossed the mail travels fast...
Busy, busy, busy with deadline knitting... Why do all my commissions always seems to be due at the same time? Ah well, I am glad that so many of my patterns will appear in some magazine or the other next year!
Anyway, after a couple of hours of knitting my shoulder usually tells me I should do something else and this time I listened and worked on a small x-mas gift.
A tiny fabric bag filled with lavender - I really enjoyed to do the cross stitch motif. Isn't this a cute Christmas imp? I hope the recipient will like it. :)
We just came back from two wonderful weeks on the Canaries and looking at the project I took with me, I really had to laugh and I realized how relaxed I have been. Well, I had decided not to knit on holidays to give my shoulders a rest after all the sample speed knitting I had to do in the past few months, so I took a cross stich project with me. Actually a quick and easy one with thick yarn, but my progress on it? Hm...
10%, maybe? And Ihad thought I finish it while away, lol. With all the samples I have to work on now that I'm back home, I think I can already file it away under 'Keep calm and finish another Christmas'... ;-)
... and not make myself a gift even though it is DH's birthday today, when there's such a wonderful new book? Okay, it was a conincidence it arrived today, but it was fun nevertheless and I am so thrilled about this stitch dictonary.
Lots and lots of beautiful and unique colourwork design and my head was spinning with idea when browsing threw it for the first time.
While sorting through my stash, I've been playing around with ideas what to knit next winter. Although, truth be told, looking at our summer weather I should make me a cup of coffee and get comfortable on the couch with my knitting this very moment. Sigh... Summer already is so short, why does it have to rain all the time? More sighs...
But enough ranting, so there I was, considering ideas and I really think I should knit some more garments. I don't do that very often and I think what puts me off is not only the darn seaming when all pieces are done, but also that there's usually a bit of math to do. Even with a well written pattern and the same yarn used for the sample, I get myself into gauge issues and/or need to adjust the pattern to fit my long arms and what not.
So the idea to knit top down (with the option to try on the garment and decide then whether the length is right), sounded very appealing. And in addition someone did all the math for me and I can use any yarn I like? How was I supposed not to add a new book to my bookshelf...
Ann Budd's Top-Down Sweaters! Four basic sweater types are explained and a couple of patterns are given for each. They come in lots of sizes and for each all the numbers for different gauges are calculated. It doesn't get any better, even though at first sight it looks a bit intimidating, don't you think?
... how much I like counted cross stitch. But when decluttering the attic I came across this project and couldn't restist to start right away. :) Or maybe, I do admit it might have be a reason, it was a great way to get away from cleaning up the attic...tee-hee. Anyway, I've enjoyed it and I'm sure I'll love it when it'll be finished.
Spring for sure has been taking the slow road to arrive here, but finally the weather has improved a little and you can spot first signs of spring everywhere. We made best use of our day off (bank holiday here today) and went for a walk through the fields and woods.
You can see in the distance that the rape is getting ready to bloom and I just love the budding leaves on all the trees.
I've got to admit that all the grey and rain is really getting on my nerves and apparently my motivation doesn't like the weather either and has moved to some sunnier place. Not much to tell about my crafts, since all I seem to have worked on for nearly a week were swatches for new design ideas and a couple of x-mas ornaments for our ornament exchange. My creativity clearly has been in hibernation.
While searching for scrap yarn to use for the ornaments though, I came across some happy-coloured sock yarn. I was stumped when I realized it's the yarn I used for a pair of socks years ago. The socks no longer exist since they were a favourite pair and I literally wore them to pieces. And there was enough yarn left for another pair. So...
...I'm now trying to lure spring into arrving in Germany with these cheerful colours. ;-)
I'm using the Addi Sock Wonder needles for this; we'll see if with an easier pattern I like it better to work with them. At the moment I still feel pretty clumsy with this tiny circular needle. Oh, and even though I usually don't like to knit the same pattern more than once, I decided to go with the pattern of the 'original socks'. It's called 'Bremen Muster' by Kristin Benecken (free on Ravelry); it's fun and easy to knit and goes so well with a striping yarn.
Those who read along probably know that this time of the year is my least favourte season at all: grey, dull, rainy, ugh... I could easily live without the German winter and I admit that seeing the same sh.. every single day is a bit depressing. So hooray for this wonderful idea to brighten each day in February: the Yarn Love Challenge. The idea is simple: participants post each day a yarny, fibery, craft-related picture based on the list of themes below with the hashtag #yarnlovechallenge on Instagram.
And even though it's only the third day, I can tell you that the challenge is the perfect cure for my winter blues. So, so many wonderful pictures to look at! If you are on Instagram, don't miss out, it's fun!
In the last couple of years it became kind of a 'tradition' to visit the Handmade exhibition in Bielefeld, a town about an hour away from where we live. It's an exhibition for all kinds of crafts, so not exactely the perfect one for a yarnlover, but then, what better way is there to fight the winter blues than looking at beautiful handcrafted stuff and colourful supplies? And of course, there are a few stalls selling yarn... Wanna walk around with me?
The exhibition takes place in Bielefeld's municipal hall and it's actually two seperate halls, connected by a gallery. Here's a few into the main hall with all the stalls. Luckily it isn't as crowded as it was in past years in this picture, so you can see one reason I love to go there again and again right in front: Ponderosa Yarns. Really one of my favourite German indie dyers.
I've been knitting so much this year and had quite a few patterns published in several magazines, so I thought there's nothing wrong with making myself a Christmas gift. ;-) Kidding apart, everyone who knits knows that every now and then new needles are a must: either because you've got to replace old ones or because there are more projects than needles... In this case it was probably because the special edition 'spoke to me' right away...
I am not even the biggest fan of metal needles and use wooden ones way more often, but how was I supposed to resist? Just the box is sooo pretty...
After procrastinating literally for years, I finally tackled the task to add new lights to the wooden Christmas tree decoration I made years ago. There went so much work into sawing the pieces and attaching the decoration, and it was such a pity we didn't use it anymore, only because some lights were broken.
But I can tell you, it was quite the job to do. When I built the tree the distance between the lights on the chain of lights was complete different from the ones you can buy now, so a lot of trial and error was needed to make it work and before I could finally glue the chain on. But I succeeded, eventually. So happy our decoration is in use again. :)
The same procedure as every year - but something I really do look forward to: preparing Christmas gifts for our friends. Yummy ones...
A bit of alcohol, nougat cream, vanilla, powdered sugar, cinnamon, coffee... a bit of mixing, cooling the mixture... adding whipped cream and...
... the yummy liqueur is ready to be sampled (not pictured, tee-hee) and bottled. A bit of decoration and our gifts are ready to go. :)
Hopefully everyone who receives a bottle will like our treat and enjoy it as much as we enjoyed preparing them.
I don't go wild with Christmas decoration, but there are always a few selected things around the house to get us into the right Christmas spirit. Usually I put them up in the week before the first Advent Sunday and this year was no exception, so that's what my limited time for stuff was spent with in the past few days. My favourite decoration are these fir branches in our hall.
Not only do I like the scent of the fir branches, but these are used for handmade ornaments I received from my friends all over the world.
Years ago I had the pleasure to visit Knit Nation in London and to attend Cookie A.’s class “Sock Innovation: Top Down Sock Design” . Well, I had created my own patterns for ages, but never written them down. Thanks to the very inspiring and instructive class I was determined to change that. During class I not only started a pair of socks but also took notes to turn them into a pattern. Hm, pretty embarassing to say that even five years later the pattern was not released - because I seem to get distracted by other things all the time...
But the socks turned out really nice and were actually finished back in 2011. DH claimed them for himself right away and I was happy for him to have them. Until a few days ago, when he showed me this...
These days I seem to have a ton of 'must knit and finish quickly' projects on my needles, so at the moment knitting is not my top choice when I need a moment to relax. Which, as strange as it feels, was perfect since the bird feeders we made years ago were waiting for a touch-up for quite a while. So I changed my knitting needles with a paint brush...
... and gave them a bit of resh paint. I don't think the birds will even realize, but I love their cheerful look.
Remember the socks I started a while ago using the Sock Wonder needles? Well, the socks got finished...
...but I admit that I gave up on the needles when I was only a couple of centimetres into the leg pattern. Yes, it is nice not having to change needles, but I found it very fiddly to work a lace pattern and when I reached the first bobble in the pattern I was done with it. So much quicker with DPNs, at least for me. They might be great for vanilla socks or maybe with an easy knit and purl pattern, but for this kind of pattern, it's the Morning Dew Sock pattern I told you about when it was released, didn't work for me. And I didn't even get as far as to figure out how to manage with a heel wit heel flap and gusset... I think I'll give them another try with one of the self-patterning yarns in my stash.
It is probably not a big surprise, that I love knitting books just as much as yanrn, especially the ones about knitting history, techniques, stitch pattern. So when I read in a newsletter about Estonian Knitting, Traditions and Techniques by Anu Pink, Siiri Reimann and Kristi Joeste, I knew it'll find its way on my bookshelf eventually. And a short while back I finally ordered my copy in Estonia... and boy, was in in for a treat.
The first part of the book covers the rich knitting history of Estonia, complete with lots of pictures of samples from different times and information about regional differences.
Quite a while since I last wrote a post, but those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that we were away on holidays. We had a great time travelling the northeast of the USA and I guess it comes as no surprise that this trip was planned around one of the fibre festivals I always wanted to visit: The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck.
It took place last weekend and wow, it is by far the biggest event I've ever been to. Even if we had been there both days during all opening hours, I doubt I could have seen everything. Livestock, vendors of anything fibre related you can think of, demonstrations, workshops... it was mind-blowing. Best of all for me was that several of my Ravelry friends attended the show and after years we've 'known' each other online, it was fantastic to finally put faces to names. What a wonderful time we had - a lot of chatting and getting to know each other and since we are all knitters...
... drooling over yarn. ;-) As I already mentioned, there was sooooo much to see. I admit, I concentrated on things I love: yarn, yarn, more yarn and nick-nacks and I more or less skipped the livestock barns (we've seen all this last year at Woolfest) and only glanced at fleece and roving and spinning supplies. Well, have a 'walk around' with me. The yarn I'm coveting in the picture above is this
I guess it's well known by now that I've got a yarn stash that could almost compete with a small yarn store, but I have to admit, yarn isn't the only thing I can't say 'no' to. Whenever there are new knitting needles available, I can't wait to get my hands on them. No matter if metall, wood, bamboo, no matter if round or square or with stiletto tips - I've got to try them at least once. So when I heard about Addi's circular needles called 'Sock Wonder', I had to order them right away.
This tiny ciculare needle is for knitting socks in the round with just one needle. It is only 25 cm long and what is special is that the needle tips are of different length: one is 45 mm only, the other is 70 mm long. Well, when they arrived here they came packaged as any other needle without a description, so I went with trial and error to figure out which needle goes where (Yep, silly me, I should have searched the internet first). When that 'problem' was solved I cast on for a pair of socks...
We've spent the past few days cleaning up the attic above our garage and I can't even tell you about all the dust and spiderwebs we had to deal with. Ages ago, when this house was a farm house, the attic was used to store corn, but in the past 40 to 50 years or so, it became the place to store 'stuff one might need one day'. So there's a lot of garbage, but also some interesting findings. Like this antique swift.
There are some small bits missing and the base had an encounter with wood worms, but it still works. I really think it's a great piece of craftsmanship.
In one of the groups on Ravelry I'm in, we've run a round of 'travelling socks'. The idea is, that each participant starts a pair of socks, finishes the cuff and then sends the WiP on to a friend in the group. The socks travel from knitter to knitter, whoever wants to participate adds a bit, and once the socks are finished they are returned to the sock owner.
The 'sock owner' provides all details like sizes and construction preferences and also chooses the colours for their socks. It is al ways a fun activity and its fab to see how many beautiful pairs of sock are knit. Since it's only an inch or so everyone adds, it's a project even folks with little knitting time can participate in.
My socks started their journey end of January and I wished for them colours that make you think of faded jeans or the sea on a dull day. Today they cambe back home - and I LOVE them! So me! Many, many thanks to my friends all over the world who knit on them - these will be treasured!
Last weekend I've visited the H&H cologne, a German B2B trade fair for creative handicraft and hobby supplies and it's hard to find words to describe all the inspiring things I've seen and experienced. All the well-known brands presented their ranges and had awesome samples displayed, there were lots of indie dyers and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing some yarns I'd only known thanks to the internet and I enjoyed having a chat with the representatives from abroad.
I started my day off by competing in the 'The German Quick Knit Championship', but even though I think I'm pretty quick, I am not anywhere near to what some people manage to knit within a minute. But the event was held by Miriam Tegels who is in the Guiness Book of World Records as world's fastest knitter. 118 stitches in a minute... at that rate I'd whip up a pair of socks in a day. I manage 168 stitche... but in 3 minutes... ;-) Anyway, it was good fun and for a good cause in addition, because all the squares knit are turned into blankets that go to charity.
Next on my list was yarn fondling, and boy, there was a lot to fondle...
I’m sorry I’ve neglected you a while, but this always seems to be the busiest time of the year. Lots of work, lots of social appointments and hardly any time for any ‘crafting adventures’. At least Ulli and I found the time last weekend to prepare our traditional gift for our friends: Nougat liqueur. Mm. Yummy. You know we had to try to make sure our friends will love it, right?
But all these bottles will be emptied and hopefully enjoyed by someone else. :)
Oh, and there is something else I finished. I am still not sure the hook and I will ever be good friends, but at least we got along well enough to finish the Santa Gonk I started a while ago (pattern by Ling Ryan available on the Ravelry website – here). There are bits I should work on improving, but I think it turned out quite nice. And it is already travelling to its new home – hope the recipient will like it.
What a happy day! I finally made it and gave the finishing touches to the barn doors this afternoon. And it’s not just the one I showed you a picture of the other day – no, all of them are done! Finally! :)
Okay, they don’t look exactly as good as new as I said they would, but they do look as good as doors that are more than 50 years old can look. No idea how old they really are, because they were already there and weathered and worn when I was a kid. Anyway, happy I’m done with that job.
My knitting time was limited thanks to the doors, but I did finish something nevertheless and it’s actually something I was about to frog. When I was searching for a 2.25 mm needle the other day I remembered that there’s one in use for the doily, one of my ‘I can’t remember when I started this’ WIPs and I was just about to pull it out when Ulli said: You want to rip that out? Really? The colour is pretty. And well, he’s right. So I put the project on our kitchen table for an occasional round with my morning coffee and funnily enough I even enjoyed it. The crochet cast off not so much and we won’t talk about blocking the thing… but it’s done. And looks quite nice. Love the feeling of accomplishment.
Summer in Germany and not much time to be around and show you something new, fresh off the needles. And no, this is not because I (like so many others) don’t like to knit when it’s too warm. I actually don’t mind and could knit warm cabled sweaters no matter what season. But there’s always so much to do around the house during the summer. This year, after procrastinating for what feels like ages, I finally decided to paint our barn doors. Why was I so hesitant to start, you ask? Well, it doesn’t make much sense to put new paint on several layers of weather-worn old paint, right? And I knew I’d be in trouble when I try to get the old stuff off… and how I right I was. I tried any method I could think of, but it came down to using a hot-air gun and a scraper and peel the stuff off square centimetre by square centimetre . Hm…
This is the work of, ah, better not think about it, but quite some hours. And every evening after a couple of hours doing that ‘wonderful’ job, my shoulders usually 'ask' me, if I really think that knitting is necessary or if I shouldn’t collapse onto the sofa, lol. So no evening knitting time for me these days, just a couple of rows with my morning coffee. And once again I was reminded, why I love to knit small and quick projects… the feeling of accomplishment is just wonderful. :) Look, here’s the project from this morning
Phew, why is that when coming back from holidays there's always so much to do and there's so little leisure time? Still lots of things waiting on my desk for my attention, but I can't wait any longer to tell you about the 'yarny surprise' that was waiting for me in Ireland. But I've got to give you the background first: We go to the Canaries at least once a year and usually around the same time. Well, we are not the only ones who do that, so over the years we've met a lovely Irish couple again and again. And became friends. :) When we met last time, I told them that I bought a new to me yarn from a German online shop, Mein Wollshop, and that I discovered later that Life in the Long Grass is from their hometown. They had never heard about it, but then, they don't knit. I had almost forgotten that bit of chatter…
Now, this summer we went to visit them in Ireland and we had hardly arrived when we were told that we would go on a trip.Can you guess where this car is heading to?
I've neglected my knitting while on holiday, can you imagine that all I brought back after 2 1/2 weeks away was one sock? And that one I can't even share with you yet. But while travelling through England and Ireland there were lots of things to do and discover, that make a fibre friend smile. You already know I went to Woolfest (and I'm still so happy I was able to - what a terrific event), I enjoyed that I had the chance to accompany my friend Yola to her Knit and Chat group at her LYS, I discovered that apparently some fleece is dyed while still on the sheep - these ones really made me laugh:
and I learnt that my way of knitting socks is perfect for me. Much easier to knit with DPNs than to learn how to manage this sock knitting machine, lol.
(Please click the pictures for more information. The link will take you to the website of the exhibitor/organisation.)
What do you think you see here
That's the Mitchell's Lakeland Livestock Centre – in Cockermouth, Cumbria, UK, and once a year it's the place every fibre enthusiast wishes to be, because that's were Woolfest takes place. I went there last weekend and there was so much to see and enjoy. There were fibre arts to admire
So, last night I finished a cabled sock and Ulli told me right away that he wanted to have them. Well, as I said, I finished one sock, so when I told him that it might take a while to finish the second one, he just laughed and said something like: I know. I’m still waiting for the other cabled pair, the green ones. Green ones? Hm?? Thinking about it really hard I had a vague recollection of socks knit in green tweed yarn I started during our holidays… in April? Or last year October? Anyhow, they had to be somewhere and I took the fatal decision to look for them in my huge WIP basket. And I guess you now know why the subject today is: How many is too many?
In the basket I found 11 (!) pairs of socks, whereas the word ‘pairs’ only refers to the fact that there should be pairs at some point. Some of them are almost finished, with just one toe to knit or a sewn bind off to do, some are just the cuff and a couple of rounds into the leg. All of them prototypes for patterns already in publishing or that I hope to publish one day, so no pictures of these. I actually don’t mind all that much they are there and the same applies to a pair of gloves (still only one glove with three fingers yet to knit) and two pairs of fingerless mitts (at least one of each pair finished). But there’s the ‘cushion’ for all these WIPs I found underneath… This
Apparently a doily-to-be – but I haven’t knit doilies in years and years, so I don’t even remember starting this. Hello 3 mm circular needles, I’ve missed you. Then this
You get what you wish for. :) We've had a terrific weekend, with lots of sunshine and warm temperatures. Thank you, summer, I hope you are here to stay. We've spent most of the weekend outdoors, busy with the things that need to be done around the house or just relaxing, so there wasn't much creativity involved, but there's certainly a lot of inspiration these days. It just makes me happy and gives me ideas to see our meadow in early summer!
Now let's make someone else happy - Eryn, thank you so much for playing in the contest the other day. You are the lucky duck who won the two skeins of Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn. Congratulations!
So the summer has started - at least when you go by the seasons according to the meteorologists - but it doesn't feel like summer at all in my neck of the world. Too cool, nasty wind, too much grey... hard to take for a sun loving person like I am. Funnily enough not much rain, so all the farmers and gardeners are complaining too, but for different reasons. Isn't it just perfect that we cannot change the weather? There would never be a consent what is best, lol.
Anyway, some work in the garden has to be done, no matter if I fully enjoy the weather, but I admit that I preferred this weak's task: to take care of our garden decoration, so an indoor task. A couple of years ago we bought this stoneware cat and over the years the weather took its toll: it was just plain white with some weird green (!) strikes. Not catlike at all. Now, I’m not really talented when it comes to paint something, but I did my best and then found the cat a place a bit hidden in the flower bed and from afar I think it looks quite nice.
Now to wait for summer to get into full swing, so that we can enjoy not only the newly painted cat but also all the flowers blooming in our garden. Do you spy the cat?
Almost the mid of May and the ice saints are almost over – you know what that means? According to folklore we’ve seen the last nightly frosts of the spring, so it’s time to plant summer flowers. The sooner the better, if you ask my mum. Don’t get me wrong, I like garden work (except for mowing the lawn…) and I love to see lots of flowers in beautiful colours in our garden, but my mum is the one with the green thumb and her love for summer flowers is only to compare with my love for yarn. So we went to the garden centre today…
… and my guess is that I won’t get any knitting done in the next few days since all of these have to find a new home around the house. Isn’t it amazing how much you can fit into a small car when you are determined to do so? That’s quite a burst of colours, isn’t it? Hopefully our summer will be nice enough for us to fully enjoy our sea of flowers.
Well, I know it has been a while since I last shared something with you - but apparently in spring there isn't much time to come up with something worth sharing. Whenever the German weather allowed I spent my days outdoors and started with some of the garden stuff that spring calls for and my knitting time was dedicated to projects I can't share, at least not yet. But it won't be long, I promise. Now we are on a short Easter holiday for a couple of days and well, it looks that my knitting mojo hasn't made it here because all I managed so far is half a sock... How about I show you the lovely socks Glen from New Zealand knit for me and that I took with me to keep my feet warm on still cool Canarian evenings?
Stunning, aren't they? Glen knit them from yarn I sent her for our 'Knit my Yarn' Challenge and she had the socks done in no time! I love them and they fit like a glove.
Hopefully Glen will love her socks just as much when they are done - but that'll be a while because as of now here's all there is...
I've worked on lots of projects in the past few days, but all of them must be kept secret for one reason or another. It's either birthday gifts for people who might spot them here (and maybe even guess they are for them) or ideas meant for publishing I've worked on. So there isn't anything I can share that 'Mone made' - so how about things that make Mone happy instead? Just look...
Nature is awakening - spring has arrived in Germany! Let's hope it's here to stay and not just for a visit before winter decides to come back another time. Puts me in a happy mood when there's blue sky, sun, milder temperatures and colours other than all that winter grey!
One of my fellow designers in Sockupied, Jennifer Raymond, who designed the beautiful Karner Butterfly Socks
is running a seires of interviews on her blog this week. Lots of fun stuff to read about the people who were involved in this issue and also the chance to win awesome prizes. Check out her blog: Tinking Turtle
It's my turn tomorrow, February 19th.
Well, first of all I just had to realize that it doesn't make a lot of sense to write blog posts and then just to store them, does it? Looks like new technologies really are challenging for me. So a late release of last weeks news and let's see if I manage better in the future.
Now, what I really came here for - have a look what I received in the mail today.
I love Converse chucks anyhow and how is a 'hardcore knitter' supposed to not buy these? Winter chucks with a knitted surface! Drool... Love them!
Last weekend we visited the 'Handmade', a crafts fair with lots of stalls with supplies such as fabrics, fibres, yarn, materials for card making and jewellery making and any kinds of handmades you can think of and like always it was fun to go there. Especially since there was beautiful hand-dyed yarn to have and my fave stall was by far Ponderosa Wolle. I wish I could have bought one of each. It was sooo hard to choose, just look at all these wonderful colours:
Today I should rename my blog, since what I'd like to share with you wasn't made by me, but by my wonderful DH. Well, most of it at least, he just needed a bit of help with the finishing touch (and I admit I wasn't really good at that either).
DH loves to do woodwork but he often complains that he has to go into his studio to work with wood and that he'd love to have a hobby he could engage in in the evening when we are in our living room. Just like I do almost every evening with my knitting. So when we browsed through a catalogue with craft supplies last year and he pointed to a carpet and said something like 'I could do something like that too. I think it's fun.', I immediately took action... and bought him a kit for his birthday. Yep, it got me a startled 'Really?' but when the first amaze was over, he got hooked right away. And he worked on it almost every night.
It's a doormat, about 70 x 45 cm and I love the motif and the colours. And I'm so happy that Ulli is so happy with his work. Now to find the perfect place in our house for this wonderful handmade.
So, the postie had a lovely surprise for me today - he brought the pink package from Posh Yarn with the prize I won in the Posh Sock Challenge. An oh-so-soft skein of Martha Sock in a beautiful colourway! Out of my normal 'colour comfort zone', but sooo pretty. Looks 'winterish' to me. Funnily enough it made me think of marzipan right away, lol, probably because DH eats chocolate thingies with marzipan centre that come in a purple wrapper.
It hasn’t told me yet what it wants to be - okay, it told me it wants to be sock, but the pattern? Hm… I think it whispers something like ‘cables’, but we’ll see what’s going to happen when I cast on. :) Thanks again, Dee and Tony, for this wonderful prize!
One of my favourite indie dyers from the UK is Posh Yarn. I just love the stunning colours Tony creates every single week with his dyes and Dee's fanciful names for the colourways have put a smile to my face very often - and one needs to love things that make you happy, right?
Well, in 2014 we had a 'sock challenge' in the Posh group on Ravelry. The aim was to knit seven pairs of socks from Posh yarns, one for each day of the week, over the course of a year and as by now you know that I love to knit socks, you know that I had to knit along. Such good fun since a challenge like this keeps you going - and today the challenge in addition brought a fantabulous surprise, since there were prizes o win.
I used this wonderful variegated skein of Hannah Sock for my 'Thursday socks'
and today my 'Any Given Thursday Socks' were picked as a winning pair by Tony himself!
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your start into 2015 was as smoothly and nice as was my one and I'm wishing you a year filled with happy moments only and lots of time for your creative hobbies. Did you make any new years resolutions? I stay away from those, since I've learnt that I always break them, so why have any in the first place? There are some things I plan to accomplish, though.
With some Ravelry friends I'm doing a 'Sock Challenge'. It's all about challenging yourself to knit a certain number of socks in 2015. Well, I know that I'll probably knit lots of socks, but for this particular challenge I decided to stick to the small number of 7 pairs, all of them for DH. For years he had complained that his sock drawer is overflowing but a while ago he told me that he could use a few new pairs. So 7 pairs, one for each day of the week it is and my plan is to knit all of them from the yarns in my stash that are already wound into balls. When I 'caked' them I obviously had plans to knit them up, but then neglected them - and I hope to turn them into something in 2015. Here are some I spotted at the dip, more than enough for the challenge. And I cast on already... Let's see how I'll do.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!
* 'Joint venture': DH made the woodwork, I did the painting and made sure they have warm accessories.
My granny always used to say: 'It is never too late to learn'*and since I made her words my motto - here we go. I am starting a blog. Even though I'd call my skills when it comes to all the new technologies and media rather basic - so this is a real challenge for me. Let's see how I'll do and hope my granny was right.
Welcome to MoneMade. :)
*well, actually my granny used the German phrase which is much funnier, literally translated it says: You can get old as a cow and still learn something new.