2018 / 2019 – Weeks 6 – 8

The best news first: temperatures are cooling down, we’re getting back to enjoying our regular German summer at 25° – 28° C. Thank heavens for that! I felt like my brain was beginning to melt in that 36° C heatwave.

The most exciting news next: Steve passed his driving test on 10th August and now is officially allowed to drive any motorcycles without restrictions! We went on our first ever trip together on 11th August (not far, though, we just went over to my mom’s to show off Lilly), and it was so much fun. I love to drive with him, and I’m so looking forward to going on some longer tours in the future. My mom kindly took a photo of us just before we headed back home, so here’s a cherished reminder of our first ever trip together:

Hopefully, there’ll be some warm, sunny days during the last two weeks in September when we’re both on vacation, we might go out for some day trips then. I’ll make sure to bring my camera and snap along.

In crafty terms, not much happened during the last few weeks. It was too hot to do anything yarn-related, I wasn’t really in the mood for sewing (infact, all I wanted to do was sit in the fridge and read peacefully), and frankly, I didn’t feel like running around in the heat and taking photos. I did start some smaller projects, though – started a new project book in a beautiful clear planner to have all my project notes and ideas ready at hand at any time, started a smash book for all my magazine clippings (not much in it yet but already such an incredible source of inspiration), and did some decluttering. I managed to finish the pair of socks for my friend, now I just have to weave in the ends, put a little card together, and off they go.

Steve got all crafty and made this:

(The  bench, of course, not the pillows, I made them a few years ago. 😉 )  It’s not entirely finished because he ran out of paint but it’s quite nice. We will need big pillows to make it more comfortable to sit on, and I might put small flower pots in the spaces on top of the recline, and he is planning on making a second one, a one-seater just for me.

I just had to try and see what the Waver will look like on our new bench, and yes, I think it’s going to look lovely. I managed to crochet a few rows on the blanket, it’s such a mindless pattern, and to be honest, I can’t wait to use up more of my sock yarn leftovers. I’m growing kind of tired of my stash and all the clutter it causes, so part of my vacation will be spent sorting through my stash, deciding on what I really really REALLY want to keep, and getting rid of stuff I don’t want or need anymore (not just stash stuff but also clothes I haven’t worn in ages, books I don’t want anymore, household items as well … well, you get the idea). I find that I need a clean house with a place for everything and everything in its place to be able to breathe and function properly. I also found out that I have four copies of one of my favourite books, all of them aquired for free from various book huts and mini libraries (that is not counting the ebook on Skoobe), and no matter how much I like that book, four copies seems to be a little exaggerated. To help with the stashdown, I joined a Ravelry group, and am going to do the „Fall back into love Stash Dash“. It’s not too overwhelming, even with my somewhat busy schedule.

I’m not just weeding out stuff, I’m also weeding out habits. I’ve found that I’ve come to dislike Facebook more and more. I was never a fan to begin with, and only joined on request of a friend who thought it would be easier to stay in touch that way. I stayed because I discovered a number of groups that matched my interests – but honestly, I can have all that on Ravelry, and so much more drama free, and without political (or sometimes even downright dumb) comments of friends‘ friends that I’m not interested in reading. So I’ll shut down my Facebook account at the end of the month. I will keep Instagram because I still love the challenge of improving my cell photography abilities, and also because I recently found out that I can link my Instagram account to Ravelry, and use my Insta photos for my projects. It will make getting new projects into Rav so much easier. And next to go, after Facebook, will be my Flickr account. I only used it for my Rav photos anyway, and apparently, I don’t need it anymore. I will delete my older projects on Rav and start all anew – I so love fresh starts!

In the spirit of starting anew, I decided to cast on a sweater with a lovely yarn I bought a month or so ago when a LYS closed down:

This is Lang Yarns Ella, and yes, the name was part the reason I bought it. 😉 That and the price of 50 cents per ball. I’ve got more than enough for a sweater in this red colourway, and a few odd balls in other colours as well. My first idea was to make a top down raglan but due to the irregularity of the yarn, I just didn’t like the look of it as a raglan. See here:

Parts of it are so see-through that I will definitely have to wear a top of sorts underneath, and that just doesn’t speak „raglan“ to me. So instead, I’m going to make a huge boxy sweater, bottom up, and add sleeve stitches on the go, and make a really huge open neckline. It’s going to be a light summer sweater, the kind that slips off your shoulder if you let it, and it’s going to be so light-weight that I can easily put it in a backpack to take along on bike trips.

This is how far I got (the colour in this picture is quite accurate – red is sooooo hard to photograph). I’ve not yet had the time to put it on Rav as my new project – well, forecast says it’s going to rain during the weekend, so here’s hoping. 😉

And that’s it for now. If you’d like to see what my fellow YOPers are up to, or would want to join in the fun, visit us on Ravelry.

2018 / 2019 – Week 5

Sorry, no quilt. *sigh* Oh, wait – hello my dears, how are you? As you can see, it’s socks again this week. I did manage to cut some more squares for the quilt but then the heatwave got the better of me, and I spent most of my time reading („The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society“ – I’m madly in love and cannot recommend it enough), and more or less unable to move a muscle. Fortunately, we had a fabulous thunderstorm over the weekend, and temperatures did cool down a bit. Not for long, though. Ah well, before we know it, winter will be here, and I’ll be complaining about the cold. Might as well enjoy the warmth and the sun while I can.

As for the socks, these are going to be a present for a very good friend, and I just hope they’ll fit. I don’t usually knit socks for anybody other than Steve and myself because I’m afraid I won’t get the size right, and honestly, why bother with all the work and effort if they don’t fit in the end? The friend these are for has almost the same size as I have, so if they end up being just a tad too big for me, they should be perfectly right for her. I hope she’ll like the colours. (Actually, I know she will. She’s one of the few people who are absolutely knitworthy, and she’ll be so happy and grateful to receive something handmade.)

Other than that, all I did this week was change the blog template and layout. I do like to work with WordPress because it’s easy and fast, and there’s a ton of free themes and plugins out there for practically every kind of website you want to design. Some of these themes and plugins come with a price, though – and I’m not talking about money. I found out that the theme I used made six (!!!) duplicates of every photo I uploaded, in just as many different sizes. And the plugin I used to make those lovely tiled galleries even added a few more duplicates in even more sizes. I found as many as fourteen (!!!) duplicates of one photo that I had used as a featured image as well as in a gallery. Maybe I’m weird but that was something I wasn’t prepared to live with. I self-host my blog and pay for my webspace, and all those duplicates were using up an awful lot of that webspace. So I went back from my fully responsive, retina ready, mobile friendly theme and fancy tiled galleries plugin to an older theme that is much more webspace friendly and still very adjustable, and a gallery plugin that allows me to add photos from URL and still open them in a separate lightbox window. It might not look as modern and en vogue as before but it’s much more me.

And then, there’s this:

Our very first self-raised bell pepper. It’s still pretty tiny but hey, it’s a start! We also have teeny tiny tomatoes on one of our plants, and snacked on the blackberries for the first time today. This is all so exciting! If I’m not careful, I might be turning into a good housewife with all the gardening and vegetable growing, and the ironing I did today …

2018 / 2019 – Week 4

Socks! Again! Can you believe I finished a pair of vanillas within a mere week? Open that bottle of bubbly, we’ve got a reason to celebrate!

Seriously, I can hardly believe it myself. Inspite of a week full of travelling and long work hours, I managed to get this pair done, and even started a new project:

I started cutting the squares for my rag quilt. I got 46 of the 80 squares I need done today, and yes, there was a change of plan, I doubled the squares in size. I wanted to do 10 x 10 cm squares but now have settled for 20 x 20 cm. Of course, being the busy bee I am, this was not about getting that quilt done any faster, it was all about showing of the beautiful pieces of cotton I assembled for the quilt (that’s my story, and I’ll stick to it).

Another 34 squares, plus 80 squares of batting, and I’ll be ready for the sewing and assembling part which will be the quickest of all. I want the quilt to look similar to the pillow cover I did some time ago:

I have a couple of days off next week so who knows, I might actually finish the entire quilt. At least I should get some progress done, and make quite a dent in my fabric stash. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels to get back to being creative and crafty, and to just take the time to make something with my own hands. All of a sudden, I’ve got lots and lots and LOTS of ideas and plans and projects in my head, and I’ve got another two week holiday coming up in September, and a few vacation days left for November. The second half of this year could well turn out to be rather productive. Wish me luck, please.

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.

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.

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