Wednesday 31 May 2017

What happens on Cyprus...

...must be shared on the blog! Hello lovelies.I know it's high time for me to report back from my business trip to Cyprus earlier this month - it was great, lots and lots of food, nice people, and some interesting lectures too. Sadly, we didn't have much time to actually explore the island, but we had a guided tour and some bus trips to get a good impression of stuff. Cyprus sure had a rough history, being invaded again and again, the the current situation isn't looking all that bright either, but as usual, I don't really want to get political here. And the locals we met were all so very friendly and nice. It was fun and very interesting, but I'm not sure I will be back if business doesn't take me - the island is beautiful, but there are so many other places I also want to see - and I can't even remember the last time I traveled outside of Germany (and longer than a weekend) for pleasure!

As a crafter, of course I was interested in local techniques, and not having time to go look for them, I was very pleased to accidentally stumble across two of them. First, we got a little goodie bag hat the hotel, which contained these coasters. I don't have the name right now, but it's a special weaving technique (the coasters are photographs, not actual fabric), and there also was a flyer for a museum to learn more about it, but sadly, we did not have time to go there.

The other one I only say shortly before our departure, at the airport. It's called Lefkaritiko and seems to be a kind of hardanger-like embroidery. Of course the pieces on sale were all pretty expensive - they are hand made, after all - but if I had known about this earlier (and given the time), I would have liked to see if I could find some craft stores and maybe patterns for this kind of work. It looks so pretty, so I'd love to try it out! Maybe some day.

I'll be back with a post about my own crafts shortly, so stay tuned!

Thursday 25 May 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - S

I've missed one week (last week was really busy as we were away on business last weekend - more on that later), but it's time for another post on the road of catching up!

This weeks letter is 'S', so here are my 'Turtels all the way down', and 'turtles' in German is 'Schildkröten'. Literally, that means something like 'shield toad' or 'armored toad' - you know how Germans are, we rather combine words in funny ways than invent new ones! Another example (and incidently, it also starts with an 'S') is 'Schnecke' - 'snail'. And then 'slug' means 'Nacktschnecke' - 'naked snail'!

Tuesday 16 May 2017

A little Gifted Gorgeousness...

...and a lot of other stuff! I did work on some gifts this month (most importantly, I finished the Mermaid Tail), but now that is time for the actual GG post, I only have one thing to show. At least I am somehow on time - depending on timezone, it might still be the 15th when you read this (well, probably not because I got distracted and posted later than intended). Anyway, my one Gifted Gorgeousness project is Lady and the Tramp, which I got for my birthday a few years ago from my grandparents. I really wanted to work on this again, so when we went to Felix' parents last week, I just took it with my. It's been a while since you saw it, so here is the before and after shot - for a busy weekend, I got quite a bit done!

Then I had another start to work on during that lecture series I mentioned a while ago (we fly on Friday! I'm pretty excited.) This is Smooth Sailor by StrickMich Designs, and when finished it's going to be a vest/shawl/shrug hybrid. The construction is pretty interesting, but from here on it's pretty much just straight knitting. The yarn is a hand dyed lace by Manos del Urugay, and it's lovely, but I had a few problems with it - when opening the skein, I must have cut a wrong thread, because somehow I ended up with not one, but five pieces. Two are very short, so I dismissed them, and the remaining balls are 10g, 30g and 60g, respectively. I started with the 10g and I can at least do the whole 60g one too without looking at the pattern again, so perfect to work on during lectures.

I've continued working on the 2016 Halloween SAL, and I finally finished the next section. The middle is all done now, next I'm going to move to the bottom section.

But first, I'm going to have to finish the current page of Fire and Ember! I started page 8 (but the 11th page for me) last weekend, and so far I got one colour done. Many more to go!

And last but not least, I played some more catch up on the Puppeteer. I got another ~550 stitches in and I'm getting closer to a page finish, but I'm still more than two weeks behind on this one!

So, that's it again for today. For next month, I hope to start (and possibly finish) a few more gift projects again, and there are quite a few holidays coming up, so I might have more to show in the June post :)

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - R

Hello, lovelies! Another week, another letter to catch up on - thankfully, a letter much easier than the 'Q' we had last time.

So my stitching for this post is this cute little rubber duck (coincidentally, that would be 'Quietscheente' in German - if only I had though of this last week!) from Mill Hill, and my word of the week is...well actually, I thought this would be much easier than 'Q', but I really can't think of any funny or interesting words, so it's going to be an expression instead - 'Rad ab', literally 'wheel off'. If someone has a 'Rad ab' (is missing a wheel), he or she is kind of crazy or idiotic. Another way to say that (and on the same theme, too!) would be 'nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben', 'to be missing some cups in the cupboard'. On this basis, some people (not me...nooo never me) will think up more creative variations, like someone is missing some keys from their keyboard, or some chocolates from their box, you get the picture ;)

Thursday 4 May 2017

April WIPocalpyse

Hello my lovelies! Live has been good lately - good, but really busy - and I hardly get to read all of your lovely blogs, yet alone blog myself! Nevertheless, here I am, just a tiny few days late for this month's WIPocalpyse checkin. Things have been happening, and I'm going to talk about those things in a moment, but first I'm going to answer the current WIPocalpyse question of the month: What projects are in your UFO pile? Well, over the last few years, a few projects have accumulated that I haven't touched in a while. Still, I wouldn't consider any of them UFOs, since I really want to finish all of them and love working on them, and honestly, it hasn't been THAT long! I do, however, have three table clothes I have had forever, and I don't really enjoy working on them, so I'm counting them as UFOs. (I was sure I had a picture of them, but I can't find it, and they are buried way to deep in my WIP box to dig them out right now!). I still hope to get them finished some day.

Now for my newer progress - first of all, and most important, I finished my mermaid tail blanket! I think I used about 35 skeins of yarn in the end (I had to reorder some because I only bought 30 initially) and it's heavy and big and snuggly. I'm really proud of myself and tempted to make another one to keep someday. I still didn't have a chance to give it to our friend - she was supposed to visit last weekend, but then she got sick and had to cancel (we still had a lovely weekend with Felix' parents, brother and best friend who did visit - featuring laser tag, an outdoor escape room-esque mystery walk, and an awesome movie soundtrack concert), but maybe I'll get to see her next weekend.

Then I worked some more on Cut Thru Cottage. I finished the light blue on the current page and started filling in the other colours. It will still be a while, but I enjoy working on this bit by bit.

I had been itching to do this for a while, so after finishing the blanket I allowed myself to pull out last year's Halloween SAL (which still wasn't even a third done). I stitched the border of the right most block and started on filling in the motif. I think I will allow myself some more time with this before moving on to my regular stitching for the month (mostly, the next page of fire and ember).

Over the past month, I had fallen behind quite a bit on my Puppeteer project. To make up for the lost time, I've been doing two lengths of thread most days for the past two weeks or so. I'm still behind by quite a bit, but I'm getting there! So far, I have finished page two and added another ~700 stitches to page 3.

Also, I finally found some time to work on my Blackwork Water Lily again! We spent a lot of time at my grandparent's lately, but there was always something to do and until today, I never got to just sit and stitch, but now I added three whole petals.

Last but not least, I also made a new start - this is one of two projects I want to take to a work trip/lecture series I'll be going to later this month, and I want to get them both to the point where I can work on them without thinking or counting (the other one is a bit stubbor, but will make an appearance soon just as well!). This one is going to be a giant granny square blanket. I want to use the whole ball of yarn you can see in the picture, so I can get the full colour gradient, and since I have no idea how far that will get me, I'm leaving this one up to fate - depending on size, it will either be a baby blanket for a friend of ours, or a full size blanket to keep.