2018 / 2019 – Week 22

Hello my lovelies, can you believe this – for the first time in weeks, or rather, months, I’m posting on time and have something to show! I can hardly believe it myself. So, here we go …

Yes, I did it. I frogged and restarted my „Call Them Cherry Blossoms„. This time, I’m using the red as main colour and the grey as contrast colour, and voila, red blossoms against a grey background! Ahem … actually it’s more of a brownish red, the colours run from bright red to muted red to dark red to brown, with a dash of dark green somewhere in there, too. The overall look and feel of the yarn is red, though. I can’t remember what brand it is, I think it might be a Lana Grossa yarn.

Whatever it is, it’s lovely, and there should be enough for a pair of socks and a pair of mittens, too. This is the sole, and I’ve almost reached the heel starting point. It’s worked differently with these socks, and I’m going to take detailed notes so that I can adapt the general pattern for any kind of stranded socks, and come up with my own patterns along the way. These will be sofa socks, though, they might be a tad too warm and thick to wear in shoes, and besides, nobody would get to see the pattern if I wore them with shoes.

Today, I’m going to give this baby some love:

It’s my Seed Stitch Blanket, and it’s as mindless as it gets. I started reading a fabulous book last night, „The Man Who Didn’t Call“ by Rosie Walsh, and I need to keep reading and find out why he didn’t call. I can’t read while working on the socks but I can while working the k1 p1 pattern of the blanket, so I suppose I’ll have a finished book and a significantly larger blanket by tomorrow.

If you’re curious about what my fellow YOPpers are up to, or would like to join in the fun, find our group on Ravelry.

2018 / 2019 – Week 21

Hello my dears – mind you, with starting the week in hospital and all, I didn’t even realize I still had time to post my YOP update until just now! Well, here we go …

I finished crocheting the basic net of the Tea Flower Shawl, and have started the flower border. I decided on pink sock yarn for the flowers. It’s difficult to tell in artificial light but the pink looks lovely against the various shades of blue, green and yellow.

There will be an awful lot of lose ends to weave in, though.

Then there are the „Call Them Cherry Blossoms“ socks I started in hospital:

I’m using a light grey as main colour and red variagated as contrast colour. I might switch the colours for the second sock, though. Having red flowers on a light grey background might look even nicer… Hmmm, maybe I should frog and start anew? What do you think?

If you’re curious about what my fellow YOPpers are up to, or would like to join in the fun, find our group on Ravelry.

2018 / 2019 – Week 18

Socks. I’m getting a bit bored of them, I must admit. Seems like all I ever finish are socks, and even those here aren’t actually finished because I still have to weave in the ends. *sigh* Anyway, the two pairs are for my knitworthy friend, and the single one on top is for me. And just in time, I might add, since we had our first batch of snow today. (Totally makes sense – we switched back from daylight savings time last night and are on what is called „Winterzeit“ – „winter time“ in German – so yeah, winter totally hit the spot this year!)

As usual, this is the time of year I finally come up for a breather and a bit of contemplating. The year just wooshed by in such a hurry, looking back makes my head spin. I think I mentioned before that I work two jobs, one in that little shop I wrote about earlier in the year, and one for a fashion chain. Both couldn’t offer me the 20 – 25 hours / week that I actually want and need to work, but since each offered 13, and since chain was okay with me working weekends for little shop, I could combine them almost perfectly well. It worked well at the beginning. Then, once the 2017 Christmas rush was over, business quieted down in little shop, and my boss had to cut down my hours. Fortunately (well, that’s debateable, but let’s stick to that word for a while), one of my coworkers at chain quit, and I could take on her hours and work in some overtime to make up for the loss. Until about two weeks ago when the arrangement came to a rather abrupt halt. I was told by my boss at chain that I can’t work any more overtime, and they can’t up my hours anymore, so I’m back to working 13 hours / week with no extras. At my other job, I’m lucky if I get 13 hours / month! Steve and I have been calculating and contemplating how to make it work, since I actually like both jobs, and being happy is important as well. However, the truth is it won’t work in the long run. So whether I like it or not, I’m out job hunting again. Well, not right now, though, since I’m on sick leave with two broken ribs (no, I didn’t fall off my bike, I mobbed the floor, slipped and fell, and crashed ribs first into a chest of drawers) and hardly able to move at all. Even breathing is painful.

Crocheting still works, thank heavens. This is the beginning of the Tea Flower Shawl by Mijo Crochet. I bought the yarn at a yarn store in Forchheim in April, it’s Katia Spring Rainbow, and though it’s nice enough quality-wise (a cotton / acrylic blend, soft to the touch and a pleasure to work with even though the four strands aren’t plied), I’m less than thrilled with the colour changes. Usually, those multi-colour cakes just replace one tiny strand at a time which makes for practically invisible knots, and you just have two tiny strands to weave in. Not this one, though – one colour changes but all four strands are cut and re-knotted, and need I mention that knots of that size do come apart easily? Well, guess I’ll live. And the shawl is going to be lovely, if I do say so myself. I’m going to use up the entire cake for the net pattern, and add flowers in a contrasting colour, maybe some red or pink.

While I really could do without the pain, I’m trying to be positive about this broken ribs histoire – just think about all the crafting time I’ve got now, since I’m not allowed to do any housework or lift anything heavier than a sheet of paper (or a ball of yarn). Who knows, I might even get something finished! *gasp*

If you’re curious about what my fellow YOPpers are up to, or would like to join in the fun, find our group on Ravelry.

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 …