2018 / 2019 – Week 3

Hello my dears, welcome to the „We’ve Got Vanillas!“ edition! Inspite of a very exhausting week, I actually managed to finish my second sock AND even darn in those ends:

Just plain vanillas done in Aldi yarn my mother gave me ages ago. I really like all the different shades of blue but the yarn itself wasn’t too nice to knit with, the ply was kind of irregular, with thicker and thinner parts throughout. Ah well, I’ll live, I guess. Anyway, they’re finished and will keep my toes warm next winter, and that’s all that matters in the end.

Since I had my darning needle out anyway …

This is the pair of socks I started back in May, finished knitting some time in Idontevenremember – I think it must have been June, though – and just now got round to weaving ends in. The yarn is an ONline Merino, and it’s so beautifully soft soft soft, and will be wonderful to wear.

So all in all, I proudly present FOs no.s 2 and 3 for this year (the first being the pair of silk vanillas that I never took a photo of). I cast on another pair of vanillas right away (seriously, why change a winning team? At least I’m getting SOMETHING done, right?) because I really need a take along project for this week. It’s going to be a week of travelling and long work hours, and I will definitely need something mindless to work on during breaks.

2018 / 2019 – Week 2

Aaaaand we have a sock, ladies and gentlemen, yes, you read that right: we have a sock!

I finished the first one yesterday night and cast on the second one right away. Other than that, I just crocheted a few rows on my Fruit Salad Wave blanket. By the way, I’ve decided to rename it, that name is way too long, so maybe I’m just going to call it The Waver.

I bought a new pattern this week, I think I saw it on Facebook first, and fell in love instantly. I know I have a ton of patterns, plus there’s another ton or three free patterns on Ravelry, but this one is so amazing, I just had to have it. I guess you all know this feeling, don’t you? It’s the „Medina Mosaic Tiles“ pattern by Mark Roseboom, and it’s gorgeous and reasonably priced. It took all my willpower and then some not to cast on right away.

Other than that, we spent a lovely few hours today at a local fair. It’s an annual event all about gardening and plants, at the manor in the next village. We didn’t buy any plants, though, but I so enjoyed taking photos and getting inspiration for our own garden. Let me share them with you, please:

 

If nothing else, at least I’ve succeeded at rekindling my love for photography this week. And that’s a lot, I think.

2018 / 2019 – Week 1

So here we go, a new start to the Year of Projects that I tried (and failed) to participate in the previous year. The idea behind it is to create a list of projects to complete within the next twelve months but I found that while I’m really great at writing lists, I’m not so great at sticking to them, let alone completing items on said list. This year, I’ll just make stuff and blog about it without putting pressure on myself. If I get things finished – great. If not, so what? It’s a hobby after all, not a competition.

I do have a few WIPs that I would like to finish off, though, and a few plans and ideas about what to make next, so here’s my mini list:

  • Seed Stitch Blanket (knitting) – I’ve been working on this for quite a while now, have completed nine of the 16 coloured stripes I intended to knit, and I think it might be doable to finish this before winter. By the way, it’s the blanket pictured above.
  • Fruit Wave Salad Blanket (crochet) – I’m not that far in with this one but since it’s a pretty mindless pattern, it works up really fast. This is another one I think I might be able to finish before winter.
  • Picnic Shawl (knitting) – Almost feels like cheating to include this in the WIPs list since it’s almost done, all I have to do is finish the 20+ single leaves of the border. I already finished two last night and yikes! I love the look of the shawl, though, so it’s worth it.
  • Vanilla Socks (knitting) – I’ve learned the hard way not to say that „they’re so simple, they’ll be done in the blink of an eye“ because … yeah, right.
  • Spicier Life Blanket (crochet) – I started it, put it down for a while, picked it back up, realized I hadn’t kept any notes, forgot where I was, found that I didn’t like the fabric, and decided to just start over and keep better notes next time.
  • Rag Quilt (sewing) – I’ve collected lots and lots of old cotton duvet covers in a variety of colours and prints, and I’m going to make a very simple quilt with it. It’s not a difficult one, just time-consuming, but I’ll try to get it done in time for winter so I’ll have something pretty to snuggle under when it gets cold.

Another ongoing project Steve and I are working on together is our R&R – „Remodel & Renovate“. We’re still working on renovating our house (let me put it this way: renovating an old house you already live in is a form of torture that hasn’t been declared illegal yet), and have plans to remodel our garden.

This project is almost done, it’s a new shed Steve added at the back of our house. It’s already painted and sealed on the outside, he is busy working on the inside, all that’s missing is the gate. Since this is going to be a kind of garage where he’ll keep all his tools (and Lilly), and can work on our cars (and Lilly), it needs a garage door that we haven’t been able to afford yet (partly due to Lilly).

Okay, so much for a start. If you feel like joining in on YOP, please visit our Ravelry group and jump right in. And if you’re curious about Lilly … well, I’ll introduce her soon.

Week 20/18

Wow, so this is week 20 already! It’s been a while since my last weekly post. Now on the plus side, I finished the socks I started at the beginning of the year, started another pair but frogged it almost immediately because I didn’t like the yarn, and bought this lovely ONline merino yarn in those beautiful pinks that you see above instead. I’m still on my first sock, though. I keep dragging my knitting around, determined to sit and read or watch TV and knit along but somehow I hardly ever do. Life is just so full of amazing things right now, and somehow, knitting gets pushed to the back burner all the time.

Among the amazing things is this:

We built a raised bed last year – or rather, I kind of requested it and Steve, kind as ever, did all the manual labour that I wouldn’t know how to do – and planted a few herbs. Parsley, basil and chives, to be precise. When winter came, I totally forgot to take them out and pot them to take them inside. The basil and parsley did not make it, but just look at the chives! Growing strong, about twice as much as I planted last year, and blooming so beautifully! Every time I walk past the bed, I stop to admire them.

Then there’s rosemary, we planted it this year and it takes much longer to grow. I have no idea if it is as hardy as the chives, so I’m definitely going to bring it inside when it gets cold (would somebody please remind me in, say, November? Thank you so much!). We also planted mint that has grown into quite a bush already, and Steve added a bell pepper plant yesterday. I have no idea if bell peppers will grow in a raised bed but I’m all for trying. Steve also bought three tomato plants, a cherry tree and a peach tree. The plan is to grow some kind of „pick and taste“ garden all around the house. We already have five varieties of grapes and a yellow raspberry in front of the house plus the wild raspberries and strawberries that self-seeded a few years ago, and let’s not forget the elderberry bushes the former owners planted many, many moons ago.

So while I’m not exactly a successful knitter / crocheter at present, I have rekindled my love for photography. My Canon DSLR is still the love of my life but just recently, I decided to give snapping away with my cellphone another chance. The main purpose was to take photos of the shop and post them to Instagram, and one day while I fiddled with it, I discovered that my cell actually has „professionel“ settings. It’s no comparison to my DSLR, of course, but the more I try, the more comfortable I become with it, the more I realize it’s a nice tool and just as easy as shooting a polaroid, but with better quality results. So I’ve started taking one photo per day to post on Instagram and share on Facebook. It’s quite an exciting learning curve for me, and I’m so curious to find out where it’ll lead me in the end. You can find the link to my Instagram account in the footer if you’re interested. I’d be so honoured if you followed me. As for Facebook, I only share things with my friends, and I don’t accept random friend requests, so if you’d like to follow me on Facebook, please PM me first.

So much for this week. I still owe you the list of books I’ve read in the meantime but I’ve decided to write an extra post for them to catch up, and get back to posting them in my weeklies from next week on.

Week 4/18

Hello my dears, thanks so much for all your lovely  comments on my last post. Melvin says thank you, too. He’s a very content little fish (read: spoiled brat) today, his quarters were freshened up with some fresh water, and his chow is in the making, or rather, defrosting.

Let’s move on to the yarny goodness, shall we? This:

is my latest yarn haul. 11 balls of Lang Presto in dark grey and 6 balls in light blue. Since the yarn is discontinued, my LYS had a special sale, and I grabbed these in the hope they’ll be enough for a yoke sweater for yours truly. It’s a cotton mix yarn with only about 65 m per 50 g, so not really much mileage to get out of one ball. The 11 balls of dark grey wouldn’t have been enough so I decided to add some stranded colourwork in light blue. I’m planning to do a stranded pattern in the yoke, plus smaller patterns at the ends of both the body and sleeves. I never made a seamless top-down yoke before but how hard can it be? (Famous last words, I know.) I’m going to follow the excellent instructions in „The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters“ by Ann Budd and hope to get it right. I might wait until March and my vacation, though. Might be a good idea to be able to concentrate on this for a few days in a row.

Other than that, I finished the crocheting part of Chai (with many thanks to Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail – somehow, I crochet faster when watching a nice movie), started the second sock, and even managed a few more stitches on my Fruit Salad Wave blanket. I still skipped week 3 because frankly, my mind was stuffed full with shop talk. I so enjoyed that trip to Hamburg even though it was quite a long day, it’s a 500+ km drive (one way!) so since we had to start early, I had to get up at 2 a.m., but as I was so excited (and nervous as well), I hardly slept at all the night before. We did get there alright, had a lovely day walking around the trade fair, ordered our tea, and after an early dinner, got home just in time for the snow storm. Since many of you asked about what teas I was going to pick, I decided to „show“ you the shop I work at and tell you a little more about it in an extra post.

The better part of last week was spent trying to remember a song. Do you know this feeling when you hear this one line of a song in your head, it’s on repeat, you know that you know and like that song, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember the title or any other part of the lyrics except for this one line that keeps playing on and on and on and on … Back in the old days, I would have gone to the record store and told the guy working there that I was looking for a song, „and it goes like this: *sing*“. These days, I’m spared the embarrassment because I can ask „okay, Google“. Thankfully, Auntie G. knew the song and even directed me to Youtube where I found:

Yeah, I know, right? I’ve no idea where that came from, it’s way out of my musical comfort zone.

And I also managed to squeeze a couple of books in:

„Murder at Merisham Lodge“ is the first in a three book series about Joan Hart and Verity Hunter. I liked it very much, it’s a typical British cosy. „Which end is up?“ is all about change, with infuriating and sad parts, but I still enjoyed it, even though I thought the ending was a bit rushed.

With luck, I might have my first new FO to show next week. Seriously, how much longer can it take to finish some plain vanillas?