half done and on the road again

I can't believe it but I'm half through the my paisley park rug!
I started using sticking-plaster and wrapped it around my knuckles to protect them from more "wounds". On my last post frill.friend suggested to use simple clear cleening gloves to protect them, which I think is a brilliant idea and I will try that with the next rug.

and I'm off to Aachen to another congress until saturday. I'm not really looking forward for this one, it's just one of these congresses where you have alot of work before going there but don't get much out of it. Well, it's a job, not my hobby.
Anyway what should I pack? I want to take my rug and latch hook with me, pretty nice to spend my evening at the hotel. But now I wonder knitting or crochet for the train? I only have my leaf and acorn shawl on the needles that I would like to take with me on the other hand there are some critters that want to be finished, all of them need eyes. And I think I would like to crochet a new gurumi as well, but gurumis need stuffing and having not only the needles and yarn but also the stuffing in my bag? Isn't that a bit too much? Can I ever bring too much of craftyness with me?

Another great news, I signed for the first german ravelry meeting (rav link) in september! Yeah, and I did not only sign to come to the party I will give a lesson on amigurumi as well, wow!
The meeting will take place in Backnang/Baden-Württemberg on the 12th and 13th september and I can't wait until september.


we have an aisley

so I found out that latch hooking is pretty mindless.
Not much attention to the pattern, some counting, all in all it's very nice to sit on the couch and watch television while hooking. The only thing that bugs me is that my skin is irritated by the stiffness of the fabric, I scratch my hands on it and have minor wounds (oh, this sounds very bad, maybe wounds is not the right word, but - well, it's red and hurts a little)

I must have made about 800 knots so far (eight hundret! wow) because the first package of yarn is almost empty (cream color) and the second one is half through (there are 540 strands of yarn per package)


a new hobby


so now that it is new years =^__^= I might start to learn something new, one should always learn one new thing every year. This year latch hooking is the new one thing for me.
I was pretty surpised to find out that latch hooking is what I'm about to do, I thought it was knotting, because in german more or less everything that can create a rug is called "knotting". But obviously the english language has a name for every different way of knotting depending on the tool you will use - I will use a latch hook and I want to make a new bath rug. Some weeks ago I crocheted a mat for my bath room and it turned very pretty but doesn't do the job that well. The spaces between the flowers are a little too big and I get cold feet, not to mention I always fear I might slip when coming out of the shower.
So I thought I might "knot" me a rug. The idea popped into my head when I was in a fan board looking at all the cool things fans have made. If you follow this blog for a while you might know that I'm a huge fan of Prince and even though I never was one to decorate my room with posters and such things I liked the Prince themed stuff I saw on a german based fan site (prince-web.de). I found coasters and lamps and little lights for your car and many more cool things and I got the feeling I might like at least one thing in my apartment, why not a bath rug?
I started to experiment with Prince's famous symbol but didn't really like what I could come up with, so I had a look at what other "symbols" were related to Prince. One of them (he has quite a few) was the one from an early album called Around the world in a day. On that cover he has a paisley shaped symbol formed by the words paisley park.

I liked the yin yang aspect of it, when you put two of them together, and also that it could be mistaken by fish, especially when found in a bath room. . .
I started to love the idea and also what I could come up with.

So I bought a hook, and fabric and ordered yarn.
After realizing how expensive rug yarn is and the fact that I might not like latch hooking very much and therefore possibly not finishing this rug plus the fact that is supposed to be for a wet room I choose acrylic yarn. The yarn looks good and will be very good for the bath room, but working with it is ugghh! It's very scratchy but the hooking itself is quite nice, it's a completely new way to use my hands and I would call it 'hand aerobics'.

I started by drawing the "pattern" onto the smyrna (the stiff fabric) but soon realized I might not see very well where to make a knot and where not so I made a gridded picture of my pattern to start hooking (to find the correct grid size was a bit of a pain but after three or four mistakes I finally found the right size and could start)

merry christmas

I can see question marks in your faces, but don't worry I didn't get insane or something alike. My friends and I only decided some years ago to not be all overstressed by christmas even more in trying to find a date when we all could get together and have a wonderfull jolly afternoon and evening.
It's a lot easier this way and so today we had christmas fun.

We cooked and played cards and talked alot and laughed alot and last but not least exchanged little gifts. (I got the scrabble deluxe edition game - very happy and thankful me, one that jas been on my wishlist for quite some time)

Now I'm nearly off to bed, it's already nearly half past one in the morning, so I hope you all had a wonderfull christmas as well =^__^=
see you tomorrow when I get to talk about my new hobby (?)


all new and all mine

yepp all mine, yesterday I was at the customs and I could open my package from kpixie. Inside I found my new knitting bag, actually my first REAL knitting bag, one that is titled knitting bag, even before I make it one. My new namaste zuma bag in gorgeous peacock color. It is a lot prettier than in the pictures of the website (I would share my own pictures today if I had my laptop working). And it has a lovely soft touch to the hand. I also got the small buddy case in olive, I just couldn't resist the price. And it reminds me if the thing my granny used to have, I don't remember if ot was for her glasses or manicure set or maybe even crafty things, I only remember her having one like these, although I think hers didn't had magnets inside (this sounds like it will be very helpful when traveling).

I also bought a new crochet hook, with the new soft grip! It actually doesn't feel much different than before, but maybe I just don't realize, who knows. (maybe I'm just too cruel to my hooks, a nice comment mentions my passion when I hook . . . ;o))

oh, and today I received the latest and maybe hottest spam mail: Now there no longer are strange pills and enlargments, NOPE!
NOW I get email from THE PRESIDENT!!! whooohoo, anybody else =^__^=



little accident just happened:

As you can see I started another mermaid, this time with a green tail, I think she will have brown hair maybe in a bun and brown eyes as well. And talking of green the green hook started to bend weeks ago and I knew it would break sooner or later, I actually was thinking of buying a new hook when I was in my LYS last week, just in case my hook would break sooner than I thought, but I guess for some weird reason I didn't.
However I didn't continue much on Gabrielle, instead I continued a bit at one of my critters, the monkey and I also finished two of my seahorses - but don't worry Gabrielle will be finished soon, I just can't decide right now on bra or not to bra, that is the question ;o)

But after this little accident I can't crochet anything tonight because I need it to help me grab the yarn at smaller circumferences or smaller stitches such as those tight slip stitches, instead I might read a little or surf the internet. . .



Gabrielle has hair and it's red!

And isn't she cute?

I want to add some sweet details like seastars and a bra and a hairband, maybe make her a small fishy friend or maybe an octopus, we'll see =^__^=

I 'embroidered' her hair onto a crocheted wig like owlishly described in her tutorial, that I also had included in my how to.


green eyes

my mermaid has a head now, and Gabrielle also has lovely green eyes. Deep like the sea. Did I mention before that her name is Gabrielle? Do you like it?

I made some changes to the body she doesn't look much different from the side now, but from the front it's a whole new mermaid, much better shaping, and much closer to what I had pictured. I want to give her a girl like impression, the impression of a teen under the sea, with reddish brown hair and ponytails.
I first went for curly hair and also tried a couple of different curling hairs. I liked the three on the left side the best and also started to crochet her a wig but I soon realized her hair will be too big and I wanted straighter hair. But I love the color, so I will keep it like that

and I got myself a little treat today, the best snack ever!

dried sour cherries


curves and tails

first progress pictures fo my mermaid:

The tail turned out great, it curves wonderfully, the fin is a bit floppy but that's kinda cute too. The body though is not as satifying as I had it in mind so I'm going to frog it again and try once more, I don't want her to be that thin and "grown up", she has too much behind and her waist also starts too early, probably a little hard to explain, but I can vision her and you will see her soon as well. I think this "mis-shaping" has alot to do with the fact, that I've never ever made a doll from the behind to the front before, it feels a little weird to see a doll grow the other way round.

I also got lots of new doll yarn - yummi

and when the yarn for my new hobby arrives I will post on latch hooking, I have a new bath rug in mind and want to try it, I think it will take a whole lotta time to finish something like that but you never know, I might love it and finish within days, more when the yarn is here


under the sea

so I started on a mermaid - yesterday in the evening I finally made some research on mermaids, tail forms, length and everything and I started to crochet, the caudal fins were a little tricky to realize but I think they look good now.

I also continued a little on my little critters and ordered new yarn to finish my critter monkey, that only has a head and ears at the moment. All the other critters more or less only require eyes now. So I think the pattern is about to be started to be written down.

But like I know myself, the mermaid has got my attention now and writing the patterns will take a few more days (on the other hand my vacations are over and I need to return to work tomorrow - it's not like I couldn't stay at home a few more days, but I might find some time on the computer there . . . or in the evenings when I'm too tired to crochet)



I was searching the web for - what was I searching for again? oh, right a good way of cutting thick felt properly without having these fluffy ends (guess what's the best tip? sharp scissors, I could have come up with that, duh!)
Well, I was surfing the web, and found some great new blogs and sites. One of them is giggleface studios, where I learned more on tinting felt and fabrics with crayons. That's a very interesting idea I've not seen before and also leaves me with the simple idea of embroidering my felt pieces (I want to make coasters) instead of decorating them with cutted felt pieces.

Sponge design is a very cool site as well (I was back on my search for cutting felt), there I've seen some cute felt placemats that were cutted and then sewn, but I also found this entry on a before and after story of a ottoman that wanted to be a coffee table. And following this ottoman I found, and that is the reason why I post today, this entry on the artwork of Paul Villinski: butterfly art pieces, so beautiful!

I might consider this as something for my next appartment, the picture below is my favorite arrangement.


critters everywhere

first thanks alot for your replies on my question redarging my new stole. Most comments were very encouraging to just go on. And I think that's what I might do - just continue, I can always frog it again if I don't like the outcome. But there's also a little voice in my head that suggests to start over again with a slightly smaller needle. I guess I just wait and see what happens.
For now I can show you that I've been quite productive lately, I crocheted like mad. My little critters series starts to grow. I started with a fox, followed by a mouse and a giraffe, and now there also will be monkey, squirrel and beaver. All critters are made with the same main body shape and have their typical legs, ears and so on. Very cute.

I also made some new seahorses, they swim in my living room and I think they enjoy it =^__^=

btw. seeing the seahorsy tail I start thinking of mermaids, what you think?


I don't think it's supposed to look this way

yesterday I casted on a new shawl project, the south sea stole from Laura Patterson. (rav link for pattern). I had this in my queue for at least a year and finally I found the yarn for it. And now that I casted on I feel this is wrong. Either the needles are too big, or the yarn is too thin, I mean it feels like knitting with thread. It's my first REAL lace project so maybe it's just me thinking that it's wrong but - it can't be right, right?
I know lace will bloom after blocking and always looks "ugly" first, but this is beyond my imaginations.

To be honest it's not my first real lace, I have the leaf and acorn scarf on the needles, and being half through the thing makes me think my needles might be a little too small for the yarn I choose (wollmeise, sock yarn in yummi frog green), but after all it will serve as a scarf more than a shawl so I don't really mind.

So I still learn on lace, but a little hint if the blue stole looks "good" for lace would be very appreciated.


rosy cheeks

my dad is visiting my lil' brother this week and today they came around for a little visit at mine. After lunch and chatting (and some data file exchanging at my laptop) we decided to use the day for a walk at the beach although the weather wasn't the finest.

and frozen and wind blown as we were we had some coffee and cake at a very lovely little cafe (Café Röntgen). Me and my brother had some cake made from mousse au chocolat.

And Dad had a little tartlet made from a cream of seabuckthorn.

both very delicious, and also the coffee was so good that dad said he could use a bed now, 'cause after good coffee he allways fells sleepy (this is something I can't relate to, coffee makes me awake)


FO - Sylvi Cardigan

First post of the year and a finished object shoot - what a good start.

pattern: Sylvi
designer: Mari Muinonen / tikru
started: November 29th
finished: December 29th
yarn: 100 % merino, 12 ply from the Hamburger Wollfabrik, in yummi moss green
needles: US 11 / 7 mm

alterations: quiet a few, the most important will be the changes I made to the back panel: I skipped some rows to turn the coat into a cardigan. I mirrored the first 60 rows and skipped row 61-101. Row 102 til the end were knitted as the pattern presented them. The mirrored part and the upper part needed a few minor changes to make them fit together. Also I made minor alterations to the most upper leaf, it was just to big to fit and I just skipped all the purl rows, also I needed to start the lower flower three rows earlier to have the bobbles on the back and not within the side seam.
My gauge was off, I had two more stitches per 10 cm / 4" and learned that if I wanted to make one more I might go with an even bigger gauge to avoid these minor changes. My row gauge (22 rows / 10 cm) was perfect for a cardigan length.
I also changed the sleeves to close fitting ribbed sleeves. I made a 1*1 ribbing and included the shaping (to have arm wide diamater) within the ribbing, making the increases in the seed stitch looked weird.
As you can see I don't have a hood. Hoods are something I never wear, so I decided to make a turtleneck-like collar. I made 5 more rows to the back, front and arms, continuing the decreases and added little neck shaping to the back to start the collar a little higher than the hood would have started. When reaching height I just skipped from seed stitch to 1*1 ribbing and made about 24 cm so I could fold the collar down and have the zipper hidden in the collar seam (I was afraid it might scratch my chin). I bound off VERY loosly and sewed the collar down, leaving enouh space to sew in the zipper later.
And last but not least I seamed the arm seams to the outside just like the seams at the sides. It matched the side seams and also "hides" the shaping at the shoulders. Not that there really is something to hide but the seed stitch looked a little off and the bulky seams are taking all the attention.