YOP2019 #4

Hello my dears, and welcome back me. My, what a month February has been! I don’t really want to go into detail, let’s just say that on top of the health problems I told you about last time, I developed shingles, and to add insult to injury (or was it the other way round?), it only showed in my face. I still went to work inspite until my left eye started swelling and closing, and my coworker sent me home with strict orders to stay away until I had recovered. So here I am, home on sick leave, and still no progress to speak of. And guess what? I’m done with the contemplating and worrying and caring, it won’t make any of this go away. I’ll just take each day as it comes, try to regroup and look for a new direction. Something or other will turn up with time, I’m sure. For now, I’ll just LIVE. Oh, and I’ve registered with a driving school, so bike driving license, here I come.

Due to numerous things (like forgetting that February actually is a few days shorter than all the other months) I’m a bit late with my calendar pages this month. I’ve chosen snowdrops for March – nothing else speaks „spring“ to me like snowdrops do. I’m so glad that at least some of them survived the landscaping we did last year! By the way, I don’t know if I mentioned this before – if you like my calendar pages and would like to keep them or collect them, feel free to download them. (Do not reblog or publish anywhere without asking first, though, please.) I’ll add an extra album to the Eye Candy page soon.

On to the crafty stuff, shall we? As you can see, my Chocolate Box blanket is growing. All these squares were made from the same yarn, and I’m seriously tempted to go to my LYS and buy whatever balls they have left – if they have any of this left. The way the colours play together is just so lovely, and to be honest, I can’t picture any of my other sock yarns working so beautifully with this pattern. Then again, even if I did manage to buy a few more balls of this yarn, it would absolutely defeat the purpose of the blanket because a, I wanted to use up as much of my sock yarn remnants as possible, and b, I wanted this blanket to be made lots of different yarns, to give it a million different colours and the look and feel of all the many different variagated yarns I’ve used so far. I’ve used many of the blues and greys and dark colours on the Waver blanket, and am going to keep it blue-ish if possible (unless I get sea-sick, that is), but I really need something else to use up the multi-coloured yarns and all the pinks and pastels and yellows that don’t stand out against the white rows in the Waver blanket. So to cut a long story short – going to keep working on the Chocolate Box blanket and introduce some of my other yarns to it soon.

The Surf & Turf stole is finished. Well, at least the knitting part is done, I have yet to block it. No matter how much I love to knit lace, the blocking part is my least favourite. I never seem to get the edges straight, it always ends up wonky and wobbly. Plus even though I own a set of those styrofoam puzzle mats that were all the rage a few years ago, they are just never big enough for my lace shawls, and I end up dragging the shawls through the house, in search of something to block them on, and a place where they can dry peacefully. For now and the Surf & Turf stole, I’m waiting for spring to bring warm, sunny, and most of all dry days so I can take it outside and block it right there.

Next, I started a new pair of socks in a rather plain (and slightly dull) light blue. Since the yarn doesn’t have much to offer in the „catches your eye“ department, I decided to spice up the pattern a bit. No plain vanillas this time, but a very simple ribbing pattern – rd 1 + 2: k2, p2, rd 3 + 4: knit. I haven’t taken a photo of it yet, actually I’m still on the foot part of sock no. 1. My knitting got interrupted by the kitchen remodel – we inherited a certain sum of money and decided to finally get the kitchen done. Actually, it was on the list for this year anyway, but thanks to the extra Euros, we were able to buy an Ikea kitchen instead of building all the furniture from scratch. We put up new wallpaper, laid new laminate flooring, bought the furniture, brought it home and assembled it (as for that, Steve had to do most of it alone because the cold he had so generously passed on to me finally knocked me off my feet on Assembly Day), all within a mere week. No, I’m not kidding you – Tuesday was wallpaper day, Thursday we finished the wallpaper and started laying the floor, Friday we went to Ikea to get our furniture, and the rest of the weekend was spent finishing the floor and putting up the furniture. We had our first meal in our new kitchen on Saturday evening. We’ve since sorted through all our stuff, thrown out some older pots and pans and some china and glasses and stuff, given all the stuff we’re going to keep a good swim in the dishwasher, and sorted everything into the various cabinets. I just love how well thought-out everything is, and how organized we can be now, and how lovely it looks. Cooking and baking is so much more fun when everything you need is within reach, and there’s a place for everything. I promise to show you the new kitchen in all it’s glory soon.

Well, that leaves me with this:

This was supposed to become Drops 8-2 jumper, and I wanted it to be extra huge. Unfortunately, it will fit but not be huge, and I found out the hard way (by looking in the mirrow) that those 80s style jumpers with a high cuff and extra wide sleeves don’t look flattering on me. So I’ve since frogged the dear thing and re-started, same pattern, same yarn, smaller cuff, and I’m going to give it regular sleeves. Knitting it is fun, the pattern is easy enough, and for some reason, stranded knitting is just so much faster. I’m quite content with how it looks, and trying to ignore the fact that there will be steeking and cutting.

Well, that’s about all I was up to in February. Here’s hoping March will be better, in every respect.

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.

YOP 2019 #3

Hello my dears, and here we go, we have progress and new beginnings and even a finished book, can you believe it?

So, I made amazing progress on my Surf & Turf stole, and it’s beginning to look really interesting:

The pink does make all the difference. I’m on the 4th repeat of section B, or in other words, about two thirds in, and I’m definitely going to finish it and enjoy wearing it once the dreaded blocking is done. Something tells me this pattern is going to need some hardcore blocking but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, I’ll just knit, admire, and then knit some more.

I also made some progress on the Opal socks (first sock almost completed, 15 more rounds on the leg, and then 15 rounds cuff) but decided on another carry-on project. We went out for dinner with a group of bikers we met last year, and while a vanilla is a great carry-on because of its mindlessness, I always have to carry a notepad of some sort because I’m a little (okay, who am I trying to fool – awfully) obsessed with making both socks the exact same size, so I take notes of how many rounds I’ve already completed. Juggling a sock-to-be plus notepad at the dinner table is a bit too much even for my taste, so I decided to bring a very simple crochet granny project:

It’s the Chocolate Box pattern by Jan Eaton, and I’m using self-striping sock yarn with longer colour repeats. I love the way this one turned out, I’ve completed two more in the meantime, and am aiming to make at least one per day. Not really sure yet whether to collect the grannies until I’ve got enough for a blanket, or put a few together as soon as I’ve got a matching pile … I’m determined to take my time and just enjoy the process, maybe think things over while I’m crocheting, and just let the world be for the time it takes to complete one granny.

And since I had my crochet hook out anyway, I decided to give another pattern a try:

It’s my first attempt at the Medina Mosaic Tile pattern by Mark Roseboom aka the guy with the hook. I used a cotton yarn in whatever colours just to try and see how it turns out. I love the texture and shine of the cotton but I think an entire blanket might get too heavy. Also, I’d rather work with lighter colours next time, I think it gets too gloomy with the purple. Overall, it’s a well-written pattern with lots of photos to help you through, and I love how it turned out so far.

On to the book I finished:

I might have picked the weakest one in the series (it was one of those free promo offers) but I didn’t like it much. The characters were okay but the story was a bit boring, and it felt like the main character said and thought the same lines over and over and over. But at least there was knitting.

All in all, it was a good week, inspite of Steve passing on his cold to me. Oh, by the way, if you ever wanted to know the true difference between men and women, I think I’ve found it:

Steve: *coughs*
I: „Honey, shall I make you a nice hot cup of tea?“

I: *cough*
Steve: „Yeah – I passed on my cold – mission accomplished!“

He’s lucky he’s cute (and the ground is frozen). ­čśë

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 – 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┬á bench, of course, not the pillows, I made them a few years ago. ­čśë )┬á 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. ­čśë 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. ­čśë

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 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┬á(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┬á(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┬á(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┬á(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.