Friday 31 March 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - O

Another week, another letter to catch up on - I feel like i'm getting a bit closer now, but then it's almost April and everyone will be another letter ahead of me then. I better had get to it, right?
Here are a few Owls I worked on in the last years - I really do enjoy owls, sorry, Carla! Actually, in German it's 'Eule', but I just couldn't find something I had stitched that worked in both languages.

Now for ma word of the week, I think this is again something uniquely German, and as I just spent a wonderful weekend in Leipzig (which is in the former 'East Germany' or DDR), I think it is quite fitting - 'Ostalgie'. This is a combination of 'Ost' ('East') and 'Nostalgie' ('Nostalgia').
Now, as you probably all know, from 1949 until 1990, Germany was devided into a West (BRD) and East (DDR) part. And of course, quite a few things were different 'over there' - apart from politics, there were different products, different TV shows, even the people on the traffic lights looked a bit different. And while lots of stuff (again, politics...I don't really want to get into that here) weren't exactly handled 'well' in the DDR and I don't think many people actually enjoyed living under those conditions, nostalgia tends to shed a softer light on things, and today, many people who lived in the DDR (and even some who didn't!) are getting nostalgic for the positive aspects - and so we have a huge market for 'DDR products', shirts with the distinc traffic light guy, revivals of certain brands that were sold only there, TV shows on get the picture. For me (being just born about the time of the reunion) it's quite interesting to get this kind of 'living history' today! 

Thursday 23 March 2017

March Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello my lovelies...I know it's been a while since my last update, and I'm especially late for Gifted Gorgeousness by more than a week, but I've been terribly busy at work - we had a paper deadline Tuesday morning, and I was working late hours and almost all weekend. Then it also was my birthday this week, and of course a bit pf celebration with my grandparents was due (Felix is out of town on a business trip...we'll get to celebrate together this weekend when we are going to Leipzig with my best friend) and after all the work and stuff, I needed a bit of time to myself to get back down to earth yesterday, so no is honestly the first time I can sit down and write this post - although I don't have that much to show either because, you know, busy!

Anyways, a bit of crafting did happen after all. For Gifted Gorgeousness, I've still been working on some gifts I can't show you just yet (but soon, I promise!), and also on the Mermaid Tail blanket. I think this is about four, maybe five, skeins since the last time I showed it. So, progress is being made, but I feel like it's much to slow...I can't take this with my this weekend (it's just gotten to BIG!), but I will have some serious crocheting to do next week.

I've also got some stichty presents for my birthday! I forgot to take pictures of the titles, but I'll link you to them. From Felix, I got the Japanese Garden kit by Dimensions, and my grandparents gave me the Blackwork Water Lily kit from Bothy Threads. I've wanted to try blackwork for quite a while now, so of course I had to start it right away, and it's so much fun! I've left it at my grandparents' house, though, so it won't mess up my rotation at home (I just know I couldn't keep my hands of it) and also because I like having something to work on for when I visit them. So I'll still have a little progress to show almost every week. Here's how far I got on Tuesday evening:

Now on the non-gifty side, I have finished the March page (page 21 in the pattern, page 9 for me) on the Fire and Ember SAL. There were less colour blocks on this page, so it was more difficult to line up both sides for the fixing, and it does show a bit more, but I still really really hope it will be okay in the end. The next page (and last page of fixing) is mostly black, so it will be easier to get is back to lined up and keep it there, I'm hoping.

Last but not least, I've also been working on my Puppeteer. I'm behind by a few days though, so I only added about 400 stitches. I'll catch up next week, hopefully.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - N

My last post has been a while, but I am back now with fun stuff, and madly trying to catch up before the end of the alphabet! This week, my letter is N, and since I didn't find a proper 'N' picture among my stitching, here is the November Ornament from the series my friend Magical did a few Years ago.

My word of the month is 'Nesthäkchen'. Literally, it means something like 'nest hooklet', but I've been told it actually originates from 'hocken' as in 'sitting' - so something or someone small, sitting in a nest. 'Nesthäkchen' means the youngest of a group (usually the youngest child of a family) and often, but not always, means being spoiled as well (as often happens with youngest children when everyone dotes on them).

Sunday 12 March 2017

Better late then never...

...I'm not just talking about another long overdue progress update, but also about a WIP that needs to be finished soon and that I see no chance finishing in time now that I picked it up again after way too long a break. In my defense (although it's a weak defense for getting distracted like I get all the time!) it's for a friend of Felix' and I didn't think we'd actually get to see her until about a month after her birthday, and now we are going to her party after all so I guess I just won't be ready. So now that I got you all thorougly confused, let me show you what I'm talking about:

Do you recognize it? It's the mermaid tail blanked I started back in January! Last weekend when we were visiting Felix' parents, I left my stitching at home and only took the blanket and a ton of yarn and I made some serious progress. I finished the fins (don't worry, they'll get folded and sewn together to look better in the end) and made a total progress of almost ten skeins now (I ordered 30, we'll see if that's enough), so I'm at least confident I can get it done until our 'about a month after the birthday' meeting.

I also started the next page of the Fire and Ember SAL. This page is a bit more difficult (with the fix going on and everything) since it has less colour blocking, but it's still going okay. I only have one colour finished yet, but I hope to get a good chunk of it done the coming week.

And last but not least, I also go some more black done on the Puppeteer - about 500 stitches. It's still a lot of fun watching this grow!

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - M

 Another catch up post, while the main bunch of participants has already reached the letter 'T' I'm still on 'M'. So here is some 'M'- stitching - a Meerschweinchen, German for guinea pig (Meerschweinchen literally means 'sea piglet', as in 'piglet that came from overseas'..but the animal is cute, in any case!)

I'm nor sure if the word I picked this month is actually intranslatable, but it is one I particularly like - 'menscheln' (literaly 'to human'), usually used as 'Es menschelt' (It humans). It's used when stuff happens that is especially human in nature, and can be used in both directions - both with stuff that leads to conflicts, like jealousy or envy, but also when showing empathy and warmth, especially in situations where those are not common usually. It's usually used to describe 'human weakness', but also in situations where this 'weakness' is positive in nature (like not making a tough business decision out of empathy).

Thursday 2 March 2017

February WIPocalypse

Since I'm always a few days late with this kind of checking, and hearing the same lame excuses over and over is just boring, I decided that everything less than a week doesn't count, so I can just lunge right into the February WIPocalypse! The question of the month is What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?  (bonus points if you provide a how-to link or diagram it on your blog post!)
Problem is, I don't have very much experience with specialty stitches. I love them when they come up, and I've done a few band samplers that did use a lot of them, but I can't really name them or decide on a favourite, sorry. I really need to work on that more!

Now for something I can show, that is progress! I did finish the next page on my Fire and Ember SAL, which was a bit difficult - somehow, the left and right side of the fix didn't want to stay aligned, and I had to work some serious magic to get them to comply - but I think it does look pretty okay in the end. I hope the next page will be more cooperative, so this won't take ages!

I also couldn't help stitching a bit on Fans of the Far East, despite all the other stuff I should be working on (I did work on some of it and even have a finish to report, but one of the can't-show-yet kind!). I finished the blue on the left (as far as it fit inside the frame) and also a bit more of the gold background of the first fan.

Next, Felix helped me to finally frame the Hobbits Mealplan for his brother - we'll be meeting him this weekend to finally give it to him, so it was high time! We picked a simple old-ish looking silver frame, and I think Felix did a marvelous job again.

Last but not least, I continued stitching my one length of black on the Puppeteer each day and finished the first page. There's actually a little mistake in there, but it's just background and it would have required a LOT of frogging (like, one week backwards) so I decided I'll either fix it when I get there or leave it. This first page has about 1.800 stitches of black, and the second page has even more as it's almost entirely black. So far, I only got around 125 stitches into that second page, though (I'm only doing the exact counting as I finish off a page, I was always off with the daily count anyways!)