Sonntag, 31. Mai 2015

May DESIGN

Yet another last minute post for my SAL ;)


What project are you talking about this month?

My designer of the month for May is Glendon Place. 'Stop!', you might yell, 'What did you stitch by them?' True, I haven't shared it here yet, but I did start the Red Velvet Cake I got for my birthday  this year last weekend. It's a mandala like design, so I'm stitching in circles startin in the middle, and here's the innermost round.

Have you stitched a project by this designer before?
Nope, not yet :)

Would you buy/stitch a design by this designer again? Why/Why not?


Yes! In fact, I NEED most of the other A-Maze-ing Desserts, and have wishlisted quite some more...

What made you choose this particular design/designer?

I really, really like the A-Maze-Ing Desserts series by Glendon Place. I've seen pictures of Tiramisu and Plum Pudding on another blog, but Red Velvet Cake was the one I fell most in love with instantly. I just LOVE the colours (and stitching with those silks is delicious!), and the shapes, there are hearts in the border, it's just adorably cute :)

Did you notice anything that distinguished this designer from others? - For example specialty stitches, fractionals, much/little 'confetti', beads, special fibers...
I think Glendon Place's pattern can be devided in two groups: One, ornamental/mandala like patterns, often worked with silks and other variengated threads and using beads, and two, funny designs, mostly for Halloween, with great detail and colors. I love both of them, and want to work on both, if I can find the time. This design is very clear to read, only uses five or six colors (and I think four or five kinds of beads), and is a real joy to stitch :)





Freitag, 29. Mai 2015

Blog parade: Yarn

Last month I posted my first entry for the blog parade Daniela from the German blog Gemachtmitliebe.de is hosting. She's asking a different question for bloggers to answer every month. Now May is almost over, but I still have a few days left to post this response. This month, the question was about yarn: Which yarn do you like most for crochet and why? Which yarn would you like to experiment with? Where do you buy your yarn, and how much to you buy a month?

Now I now this blog parade is focusing mostly on crochet, but honestly, if I only wrote about that, this post would be very short: I'm kind of the opposite of a yarn snob. Over the years I bought what ever was pretty, cheap and easyly avaiable, mostly no name cottons and buttinette's Versaille, a fngering acrylic yarn, in the colors I needed for whatever I was making - which was mostly amigurumi, oven mittens and stuff for dools/stuffed animals where material didn't matter much.

But now, to do a bit of a loop, since I started getting into knitting, I'm focusing more on making actual garmets for people to wear, and suddenly material starts to matter - and more and more I find myself buying yarn for certain projects. And while I have mostly done so for knitting thus far, I'm also getting more into crochet as a by-product as well, so let's talk about what I bought for knitting!

So far, I'm mostly working with sock yarn. I like that it's easy to use, to wash (something that's rooted kinda deep into my brain since my grandma it's always the first thing my grandma looks at when buying yarn or clothes), and how many colour choices there are - hand dyed stuff, but then also colourways as awesome as the Lang Yarn Sock & Lace Luxe I recently bought! But also normal sock yarn can give really awesome effects if used on a larger piece of knitting:



Now what I've used so far was mostly a mix of cotton and arcrylic fibers. What I really want to start doing now is to experiment a bit with what I consider 'luxury' yarns - silk, mohair, alpaca, merino...not as easyly washable, but since I'm doing my own laundry now I can deal with that, and lots more expensive, but I think my income can cope with that now that I'm not a poor student anymore :D 

So far I've bought most of my yarn online at different stores, but I found out about a few awesome-sounding shops in town that I want to check out later this year. I've also got a few pinned down to visit in towns I will be traveling to. As for the amount, buying yarn usually comes in spurts for me...I won't buy anything for months, then I find some awesome new source or patterns or whatever, ideas start flowing into my head and I will buy 10 balls/skeins at once (see first picture above ;) ). So I really can't break it down to what I buy a month, it vastly differs.



Dienstag, 26. Mai 2015

May SFS and TUSAL

Month: May
Spent: 26.63€
Earned: 20€

I know, I know, I promised lots of posts for the weekend, but then I turned out to be pretty lazy...I think I might be brewing up a cold again, since I didn't feel so good at work today, lost my appetite, and now I hava a nice sore throat and a bit of a headache to top it off. felix isn't feeling too well either, I think that busy last year or so is finally catching up on us - we might just take it slow for a while until we start in our usual busy summer program :D So I'm just getting those two SALs out of the way now, then return to my couch for a bit of stitching and resting.

So let's first account for what I spent: all fabric, actually. I ordered a piece of Pumpkin Patch evenweave at Sparklies for the Halloween SAL I'm planning with Carla and Nancy, and it really is an amazing color. The 13x18" piece of 32ct was 7.50GBP. The little blue square is a sample piece of Moonlighting - Kate offers those at 1GBP each. I needed to see the color in person before I order more for a larger project (test passed!), and the small piece will probably end up becoming an ornament or something.
Since I wasn't so sure about Pumpkin Patch turning out like I want it to, I also ordered a piece of Chocolate Orange opal linen at craftykitten, that hasn't arrived yet. I'm not sure which one I will use for the SAL yet, but I'm sure I'll find some good use for the other one was well :) That piece was 8.90GBP.
And last but not least, I got a piece of unlabeled, natural colored linen off ebay last week. I'll have to determine the count myself, and it's not as even and clean as I'm used from crafting fabric, but I'm sure I will find some use for it - and it was only 2€ for a huge (about 45x28") piece plus some scrap parts!



For the earning part, I did have to smalls - Magical's May ornament and the Aster wedding sampler I did a while back. Both are free patterns and fall well into the 4€ range of SFS.


I also finished the third page of Dark Force, which adds another 12€ to my earning. Now it's only one and a partial page to reach the right edge of the design!


That concludes the counted SFS part, and should put me at 34.83€ (carryover) + 20€ + 25€ - 26.63€ = 53.20€ to spent in June, plus the new budget for the month of course :)

I also got some more goodies: My threads for this month, including the hand dyed skein that was missing last month, and then I got another awesome envelope from Magical, who helped me with missing colours for her ornament again, but also gave me a qsnap she doesn't use and two duplicates of the Crossstitcher magazine she had. Yay for magical Magical! :)


This month's thread shipment also allowed me to finally get on with my Mystery Band Sampler, and I managed to stitch up all the remaining eight bands this weekend. So much fun! That also adjusts for the yellow threads on top of my TUSAL jar, the remainder is just my usual little bit of everything :)


And with that I conclude this heavyly picture-dominated post, I'll catch up on everything else later (hopefully) - for now I'm off to the couch, to spend some quality time with Felix and DF :D


Samstag, 23. Mai 2015

Strange German Holidays #6 - Ascension/Father's Day

Lots of blog posts to write this weekend, but this one has probably waited to longest, so I'll start with it - as I think I already mentioned once, May is full of holidays ins Germany, and last week was another one - Ascension, the 39th day after Easter, and "coincidentally" always on a Thursday, which has the potential for a long weekend (although we went to work on friday). The day Jesus went home to his heavenly father - but apart from the Catholics going to church, that isn't much celebrated.

However, German Father's Day is celebrated on Ascension as well. Now, I've only ever known the quiet kind to celebrate that - you know, hugging your dad and giving him a box of chocolate or a bottle of wine (the same stuff you do on Mother's Day, which is why I didn't think to write about that one), but apparently there is a new trend to celebrating this day. It's open to all men, not just fathers, and it hails from around Berlin (my best friend is from Berlin, so I'm not going to say anything against them, but still, I'm not suprised). Apprently, young men will assemble to drive out to the country  - usually with handcarts ('bollerwagen') or carriages, but in modern times they will also use motorized vehicels - and do some manly activities, usually getting drunk a lot. Coincidentally, Father's Day is also the day with the most alcohol induced car accidents...suprise, suprise.

Sorry I don't have pretty pictures or more to say for that day, but I thought it would be nice to have a kind of stupid new tradition amongst all the nice old ones :D

Dienstag, 19. Mai 2015

May IHSW

This past weekend was IHSW, and even though I only noticed once it was almost over (Joyce, the organisator, is a bit busy with family matters at the moment), I actually did get quite some stitching done (we had thursday off - do I smell another holiday post coming up? - so we did most of our most-do program for the weekend down there, and since Felix managed to get a light concussion on tuesday we took it really slow for the rest of the week anyway).
First off, the lovely, generous Magical had sent me the threads to stitch up her May ornament, which I happyly did - I really loved that one, the colors and the design both. This and January are my favourite of all the monthly ornaments so far.


Apart from that I had planned to spent the weekend with Lady, since the Disney Dreams group on facebook had a SAL weekend, but somehow I didn't really 'feel' it, so I only put a couple hundred stitches in and instead I pulled out the Things Unseen sampler. I stitched the last word in the upper row and with that also finished the upper part from the border. Now that I have much less border to stitch at a time,  the sampler itself progresses much faster, and I'm already mostly done with the second row. There is even a new color, which I find just lovely!


There was also progress on the Baby Jacket (I did about two rows a day and as you can see, it has grown considerably, and the remaining ball of yarn has shrunk just as much) and on Soyeux (finished the first ball and got a few rows in with the new one).


As for watching, amazon prime recently added Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and since we just saw Avengers Age of Ultron a week ago we were in the right mindset or that, so we watched E1-10 of Season 1 this weekend. We also saw R.I.P.D., a action/fantasy/cop-comedy, which was quite entertaining and enjoyable, and earned Felix the right to pick out movies again :D


Sonntag, 17. Mai 2015

May Tons of Tiny & Gifted Gorgeousness

Two sign ins that opened last week and that I'm combining into one post, since I had only one finish for ToT that fits into GG as well :D That one tiny is, of course, the Asters I stitched as a wedding sampler for friends of ours. I still need to add the personalization and frame it before we see them again.


I also finished the next column on Dark Force, the pattern of which was a gift by my friend Carla - almost done with page 3 now! Plus, I worked a bit more on Cut Thru Cottage a House Warming Gift for Felix' sister, this week, and finished the toilet. Next up: A huge chunk of bedroom!


The only other gifted piece I worked on last month is Lady & Tramp, but I put a few more stitches into that one this weekend so I'll show you in the IHSW report next week.

As for watching, there was more How I met your Mother (S3, E8-19) and Supernatural (S7, 9-13). We're probably taking a short break from that for something else, awfl stuff keeps happening and an interesting new show popped up on amazon prime :)

Sonntag, 10. Mai 2015

May WIPocalypse

So after some delay due to technical problems at Measi's blog, the WIPocalypse signin is up and I no longer have an excuse not to post mine - so let's hurry up before I have to press three SALs into one post again!  The question for this month is:

I would like to know if you look for LNS’s when you travel. What is the favorite shop you’ve ever found?

Since I haven't found any good LNSs localy yet, of course I tend to look for them when I travel. But when on business trip I usually lack the time to actually go shopping, so I didn't find a lot yet. The one we found in Prague wasn't very impressive, but I would still be glad to have something like that one here, and if it's just for needles (they usually only cary size 24 and upwards here) and DMC floss (only Anchor avaiable locally). Felix found a really promising looking store in Munich when we went there in February, but it was closed when we got there, so we will have to come back to that one.

So, now to my actual stitching: Another column of Dark Force was stitched. Only two more to the page finish, now isn't that exciting? Those last two look a bit more confetti-heavy though, so I'll have to concentrate a bit more on that one and wll probably spend more than three days stitching this next week.


Last weekend, I finished the Aster for the wedding sampler. I still need to add the names and date, but since we are not invited (they are having a really small, private ceremony) I will add them after the wedding to give it to them and consider it finished for now.


I have also started working on page 5 of Cut Thru' Cottage, finished the bathroom now and almost done with the toilet as well. Next up is more of the living room.

Of course I also continued crocheting on Soyeux and got quite a few more rows in - that one ball of yarn I had is almost gone, so last week I went shopping and got one more and also the same yarn in dark purples with gold sparkles. I already have plans for that one once I finish something.


And I should finish something, because I also had two new knitting starts - one is another Baby Suprise Jacket, same yarn as last time, but a different colourway, and the other one is a lac shawl called Lestrona for my grandma, using some of the Wollelfe yarn I showed a while back. I'm trying to get two rows done on the BSJ each day, that way I can still finish it in time, and I work on Lestrona mostly on weekends because I need to focus a bit more on the pattern here.


Now to the non-stitching related stuff: We went to see Avengers Age of Ultron on Wednesday, which was totally awesome - but then I might be a bit biased since I'm a huge fan of the whole Marvel cinematic universe :D We also did some watching at home, of course: Supernatural (S7, E2-8), How I met your mother (S2, E11-22 and S3, E1-7). I also finally got to start Once Upon a Time (S1, E1-3), which is awesome, but with Dr Who and Castle I am now mid season on three shows, I really should pick one and focus on that. We also saw My Awkward Sexual Adventure, and after that Felix is no longer allowed to pick comedies to watch, this is the third time we really didn't enjoy the one he decided on. I made up for it a few days later by picking Pillow Talk, sometimes the classics are still the best to go to. We also saw 2012 on friday (finally, for me), which was awesome, but pretty sad at time as well.

On the reading front, I finished The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) a few days ago, and I really liked that one, it's better than the first, and I started #3 this weekend, which started quite promising.

Gamingwise, I got to play Never Alone for PS4 last weekend. That one is a really cute game about a girl and a polar fox, setting out to save thei village from violent winter storms. It's based on an Alaskan legend, and there are quite a few short documentaries called 'culture insights' throughout the game, delivering, well, insight on the local culture. It was really fun to play, but it's also quite short, took me only about 3 hours, and the price of 15€ (around here at least) isn't really justified in my opinion. But if you can pick it up on sale in PSN or Steam (and I think it's on Wii U as well), I can highly recommend that one :)




Donnerstag, 7. Mai 2015

Strange German Holidays #5 - 1st of May

So again a little late, and I should probably do my WIPocalypse post first, but the sign in page with the monthly question hasn't been published yet, so I'm using the opportunity to get a non stitching related post out first :D

So Mai 1st is a national holiday in Germany as well as in many other countries world wide - and a strange one too! Why strange? Because May 1st is the International Day of work - and noone is working! I did a bit of reading on the history of the day, and apprently the north-american worker movement called in a general strike on May 1st in order to establish 8 hour workdays. Cue riots, violence, dead people and an international day to remember them. Very interesting stuff, but: Day of Work might be why we have that day off of work, but what we actually celebrate in Germany is the beginning of May itself.

At least in rural regions, celebrations start on the evening of April 30th. April 30th is traditionally known as 'Walpurgisnacht', the night where witches get on their brooms and fly to the 'Blocksberg' or 'Brocken', and dance around the fire (most visually depicted in Goethe's 'Faust'). Normal people also get to dance, there are usually lots of parties and festivities so people can 'dance into may'. Then their is also the raising of the 'Maibaum', which is celebrated on the evening of April 30th in some areas and on May 1st in others. The may tree or maypole is usually a bare tree trunk of a fir tree or spruce, about 10-20m in height, and 'crowned' by a wreath of green leaves, decorated with ribbons. It's placed in the village our town square by the local associations and their usually is a small fair to acompany the raising.


On the morning of May 1st, local brass bands will march through the streets and play music (again something only still done in rural areas), stopping here and there for drinks and snacks where they are offered. Felix does play in such a band and I'm always amazed how much enthusiasm they put into it, I certainly would not be thrilled to meet up before 7am on a holiday!

Another practice I just read about but have never seen practiced myself is that in the night between April 30th and May 1st, young men will place small, decorated may poles at the houses of their wifes/girlfriends/crushes. I think it's a sweet practice, but living with a muscian who gets up at 6am on May 1st anyways I don't think I'll ever get one myself :D

Freitag, 1. Mai 2015

A bit of catching up

I have a nice, three-day weekend ahead of me - so before I lunge right into that (or talk about why there are three days - yup, another holiday post coming up), I should catch up a bit on what I have done during the lat 1 1/2 weeks. I actually wanted to post this on Monday or Tuesday, but I was kind of lazy occupied with other things :D

Good girl that I am, I continued my one-row-a-week on Dark Force, so I can show you row 17 from last week and row 18 from this week. The page I am on now has quite a bit of color blocking, making my stitching faster and thus leaving more time for my other projects. This two only took me 2 and 3 days to stitch :)


Last weekend we were at Felix' parents, because the band he and his family play in had their yearly concert. I took Lady & the Tramp with me, but didn't find much time to stitch, I just filled in some more browns. It's funny, everytime I work on this looking on a small area it feelx like I'm making tons of progress, but then I look at the whole page and it seems like nothing at all!


I also crocheted some more on Soyeux, mostly on the car ride - fixed that two rows I had had to rip, and got a few more pattern repeats in.


Appart from the crafting, I did a lot of gaming those last weeks, probably one of the reasons I didn't get to update here sooner. I even manage to finish two: one was a silly little match-3 game called Juwel Keepers: Easter Islands, which was free for PSP some years ago. It's 40 levels, some quite challenging, and I kept playing a few here and there until I finally got the last one done ast weekend. the other game I finished is Mass Effect. I think it has reached the status of a modern classic by now, a really great SciFi-RPG by BioWare. Not to great for completion-perfectionists like me, since I needed three playthroughs, and there are a LOT of side quests, but strangely enough, I still had fun the third time around, so that's okay I guess :) I'm currently downloading the sequel and really looking forward to playing that.

On the watching front, there was more Supernatural (S5, E16-22 and S7, E1) and How I met your Mother (S1, E16-22 and S2, S1-10). We also went to the cinema on Monday with a few collegues to see a movie called Ex Machina. It's a british relativley low budget production with a very interesting take on KIs, we really liked it but it's also one of those movies that make you think about it long after you left the cinema. If you like SciFi and philosophy and have a chance to catch this, I highly recommend watching it.