Tuesday 22 November 2016

A long time in the making...

...and finally done! I had a finish that justifies another quick update, even if it's much shorter than the last ones. Today, I finally finished knitting the shawl Lestrona I started for my grandma over a year ago. I didn't always love this project, I was arguing with myself whether to start over or not (since I felt I should use a 'better' yarn than ordinary sock yarn to knit such a pattern)...but after all, it was the pattern and the yarn my grandma picked out, and so I stuck to it, made a few mistakes along the way, and finished it anyways, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out - so far, of course it still needs blocking, but that should be managable before Christmas.

I also did some more stitching and finished 'Second Breakfast' on the Hobbit Meal Planer. Just one more line going up, then three more going down!

I also took a short break over the weekend to work on this month's ornament. November had two to chose from again, and even though both are very very pretty, I had my heart set on the orange one since I have different plans for the yellow one!

And I just realized, I haven't shown you guys the second of my 'crochet a week' yet either! So here it is, much bigger than the first one, so it makes me wonder at which size those will turn out on average.

Alphabet Club Catch Up - F

I just checked my calendar and was suprised to learn it is, in fact, already time for another Alphabet Club Catch up post! We have reached the letter 'F' now, so let's celebrate this Fact with a visit of this cute little Fuchs (fox), and also some Fliegenpilze (fly agaric, according to my dictionary). He's also a very Fitting host to introduce today's Funny word, which is 'fuchsteufelswild' (fox-fevil-wild, if you take it literally). It decribes the state of being really, really mad about something or someone, and my dictionary offers 'hopping mad' as a translation. Really short post today, but I thought it was a cute little word still!

Sunday 20 November 2016

Fixing Purple Bunny

So in between my vigerous holiday crafing, here's another little project I wanted to share with you.

Ever since he was a little boy, Felix has had this little purple stuffed rabbit. He loves it dearly, but as well know, being dearly loved can take a toll on little stuffed rabbits, so it has become very worn over time. A few years back, I crocheted a pair of flap trousers to help cover all the spots on its belly where the filling started to leak out, but lately, it's neck had become all thin and hole-y as well, so while Felix was on a business trip last week, I decided to make fix his bunny and make it pretty again.

Here's our patient pre-surgery. First, I gave him a good soak and let him dry on the radiator for a few days, then I set to work. I took some soft white cotton and cut to shapes that had roughly the shape of the bunnies body. I sewed the lover half together to get kind of a tube, then I put the bunny inside this tube. I sewed the lower end of the tube to its legs, then sewed around his legs, and lastly I sewed the upper part to his neck/chin area - since the neck was so worn, I had to go pretty far up, so it looks a bit love Purple Bunny is wearing a sleevless long turtleneck now!

Lastly, I put the freshly washed pants back on and added a little neckerchief I cut from some flower-print cotton I had in my stash. Isn't this a handsome little bunny boy?

I'm pretty happy with how my little improvised bunny surgery turned out, and Felix is super happy he can snuggle his bunny again without fearing to accidentally tear its head off!

Wednesday 16 November 2016

November WIPocalypse & Gifted Gorgeousness

Just ten days since my last post, and I feel like I already have a ton to write about - and there are two SALs to check in as well! Let's start with WIPocalypse. as the checkin was a day earlier. The question of the month is What pattern (or designer) is on your must-try-to-stitch bucket list? and oh my, where even to start for a question like that? There are, of course, a ton of designs I want to stitch, so I'll focus on designs of designers I haven't worked on yet. So for one, I, like many other stitchers want to do a Chatelaine some day - I haven't decided which one, although I really like the Japanese Garden. I also have been wanting to stitch Joan Elliott's three Oriental Graces for some time now,  and Electra from Nora Corbett's Bewitching Pixies. And of course all the Mucha Princess patterns by my friend Ashley!

Now for my progress, I've been working on a lot of things, three of which don't qualify for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - for one, I finished the 5th page of the Fire and Ember SAL. I loved this page, those bright red, orange and yellow colours where so much fun to work with, and they look stunning now!

Then, my friend Carla joined a crochet-a-day challenge on dA, where she attempts to do one small motif every day. She's using some very pretty perle yarn for hers, and they looked so pretty that I couldn't resist joining in as well - more with a corchet a week-ish thing, but let's see how it works out. Instead of the awesome book Carla is using, I'm using the patterns from a 'Crochet for your purse' box my grandma gave me a while back, and also some yarn I got for Easter this year. I'm planning to do most of this in the same two colours and join them together into some kind of wallhanging later.

As Felix is on a bussiness trip this week, I used his room to get my blocking mats out and finally finish-finish my snowflake party shawl I had finished knitting in August. It's more than two meters in length now, and sooo snuggly and soft with the 50% merion, 50% silk yarn. I have to admit, I'm very happy with this pattern and yarn and very proud of the result.

Of course, I also worked more on my list for Gifted Gorgeousness. For the two hats I finished knitting, I bought a plastic pompom maker (which was like 5€ for three different sizes) which was much easier to handle than the paper ones, and I made two nice and round pompoms with which I was finally able to finish-finish the hats. I've been wearing mine every day since then and my grandma loved hers as well. Now just two more to go!

I also finish-finished the puprle baby jacket. I had a few problems with the buttons I wanted to use - I originally wanted to use some cute caterpillars together with the butterflies, but they couldn't be attached safely enought for me to be comfortable with gifting it to someone. So I went to my stash and found some neutral ones that went well with the colours, and I really like the result as well. I will have to increase my button stash eventually, though.

So my new update on my to-do list is as follows:

  1. Two toddler-scarfes 'Sharky-Pie' - beginning of one is pictures in blue - as christmas presents for a friend's twins
  2. Two One more small Mill Hill kits as christmas presents for friends/coworkers of ours
  3. Shawl Lestrona for my grandma- a little over ten rows to go!
  4. One pair of socks for Felix' dad - one sock done up to the heel
  5. One BSJ for a soon-to-be-a-dad coworkers of mine - due in December
  6. One pair of Baby Booties and one Toddler sized purse for the kids of a friend - due in December
  7. One pair of Baby Booties for a coworker - due in October
  8. Two gifts for the kids of another coworker - plans are being made - due in January
  9. Cut Thru' Cottage as a housewarming gift for Felix sister- two more pages to go! - due whenever
  10. Four Three Two more hats for my grandparents, Felix and myself
  11. 'Elevenses' by fiddlesticksau as a birthday present for Felix' brother - Due in January - 2/7 done

So a fair bit of progress, but still quite a bit to go as well. I still think it can be done, though! Next up I'm trying to finish Lestrona for my grandma, and another two lines on Elevenses.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Alphabet Club Catch Up - E

Time for another Alphabet Clup Catch Up - the letter this week is E, and luckyly, I actually have a fitting WIP to show! My current project is called Elevenses, and I have already stitched this word too. And since the last time you saw this, I've also added about half of the next (or prior) meal, 'Second Breakfast':

I also have another fun German word for you, and this word is Eselsbrücke. A Eselsbrücke (literally: Donkey Bridge) is a fun saying or poem that is meant to help you remember something, like a formula, historical dates or the sequence of something. I'm not sure where the term 'Eselsbrücke' actually comes from, as all the explonations I have read (about the nature of donkeys and how the don't like to cross water unless they are provided with a safe bridge) seem kind of sketchy to me, but I know that it is actually a Latin term as well - pons asinorum. The best translation my dictionary had was 'mnemonic rhyme' - do you know another, colloquial term for this in English or another language?

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Alphabet Club Catch Up - C

For a while now, I've been thinking about picking up the Alphabet Club SAL I dropped quiiiite a while ago - but I also knew I wouldn't be satisfied just doing one mashed-together catch up post, and the thought of doing aaaaaall the posts I missed in between seemed really challenging. Then Jo suggested I try and do one of the old posts each week, which should bring me up to date a bit before the end of the SAL, and I think that is a marvelous idea, and something I should be able to manage! So I went back through my blog, and discovered that the last letter I wrote about was 'D', but I also had skipped 'C' - and if I'm doing a catch up, I might as well do it properly! So this week I'll do 'C', next week 'E', and then just following the alphabet.

Now, first for the easy part - the stitching! I went through my pictures and suprisingly, found the same project I already showed in my D post. I present you, on the thrid from the left - Jack Sparrow! Wait, where's the C...oh right, my mistake. Of course, it is CAPT'N Jack Sparrow!

Now for the word...this is a bit trickier. You see, the letter 'C' is a bit of a special case in German, as it never stands on its own (other than in words that originate from other languages), but appears either as a 'ck' (which is just a short 'k' - normaly, consonants are doubled to get the short version, but for 'k', it gets an extra 'c'), which can only appear in the middle of words, or 'ch'. I checked my dictionary up and down, but I didn't find any word starting with a 'C' that isn't originally from English or French or some other language...but I still found one that might be worth a little fun fact, and that is the word 'Chef'.
Now in English, a chef is a cook - but in German, 'Chef' means 'boss', so we have a so-called 'false friend' here! That is why Germans, even if they are clever enough to avoid the word 'chef', might think the right English word to use is 'chief', which sounds kinda similiar, but would probably make for a funny mix-up in some situations as well.

Sunday 6 November 2016

It's about time...

...I get this post up! I've been meaning to all week, but you know how it goes. 'I'll just finish this one thing before I post', 'But first, let me work on a million other things!' So I gave myself until today, which marks the last day of our glorious two weeks off work (how did time manage to move this fast again?!) and swore to post what I got, no matter how fast or close from a finish I am.

So let's see...last time, I showed you my preperations for my latest project, and as a few of you have already guessed correctly, it is of course the Hobbit menu plan from fiddlesticksau on Etsy! So far, I have finished two of seven lines, and next I will be working my way up to Second Breakfast and Breakfast. I'm stitching this with Handdyed by Nina floss, and I have to say it is just lovely - very soft, almost like silk. Sadly, I can't get the slight colour variations to show in the picture (Joy is a very light bink/beige, Konico a subtly varingated emerald green), but I will try to get a better picture with daylight once I'm done.

Next, I worked on Lestrona, a lace shawl for my grandma. I actually started this last year sometime, then dicovered a mistake and lost motivation. Now I decided to get it sorted out, and actually I just had to undo two rows to be back on track. I knitted a bit further, and started the actual lace border now. About 20 more rows and I will be done, which I think is very manageable for Christmas.

I also worked on my newest Suprise Baby Jacket, and finished all the basic knitting. I still need to close the second shoulder, knitt the collar, weave in the loose ends and sew on the buttons...which would probably be an afternoon's work, if I could just get myself to do it!

In the beginning of the week, we went to visit a friend we hadn't met in quite a while, and with all the sitting and talking and catching up that happend, so did the second of my series of hats! This one will be my grandma's. I have since tried to make a proper pompom, but it's not as round as I'd like it to be yet, sou I'll probably have to try again. Other than that, not much finishing left to do here, either!

And last but not least, a new month also means a new page on Fire and Ember! I've been stitching on this for the past few days, and already got about half the page done. The second half will have a few colours I didn't use (much) before...mostly more shades of red, but still, so exciting! I hope to show you this page finished soon.

Now tomorrow it's back to work, but I hope with all the relaxing and recovering I got in these past two weeks, I will do okay and still find time to work on stuff. I got a list to work on for Christmas, after all!