Dec 24, 2012

Happy holidays!

I'm sorry for the long blog absence. But my life has been so busy lately: Christmas partys, several meetings with friends, shopping for christmas presents, baking cookies and making christmas gifts!

At least I managed to get all the presents for christmas. :) Some of them were already exchanged, some of them got shipped to different locations.

I unfortunatelly didn't had the time to carve special christmas stamps. :( So I used simple forms and stamps I already own to embellish the wrapping paper and gift tags.

I also worked on different christmas presents, like this dodo bookend... :D I just crocheted a round big body and for the beak, wings and feet I used this lovely dodo amigurumi pattern.

...and this hat... :) I used this pattern for it.

I also got some christmas mail. :D

Especially the one from dear Celine made me so happy. She's prepared such a beautiful and lovely snail mail, thank you so much! Look at all the wonderful things she's sent me. :D

I wish you all wonderful and joyful holidays! I hope you cheerish every moment with your beloved family and friends and make great memories to remember. :)
I'm going to take a blog pause and I'm looking forward to seeing you again after the holidays!

Dec 5, 2012

The last days of November and the start of December

I have to admit it.
I almost got nothing done in November...
At least not for my November project. ;)

What I did instead was giving a small knitting class and preparing a korean multi-course dinner for 12 people. This took that much time that I just didn't had the time to start anything for christmas. At least I did some brainstorming. :) And I sent out a bunch of advent calendars, even though a little late! But hopefully they've arrived at their destinations in time!

I also did some yarn crafting. :) As always. ;)
Another macrame bracelet as a birthday present for a good friend of mine:

And as you already know, I finally finished my loop scarf:

My December project won't differ much from the one in November. :) Now I REALLY have to start making and buying gifts, prepare wrapping material and christmas cards/tags. As you see in my project plan, I have a "topic" every week. That doesn't mean I'm not going to do other things in the week too, but it's easier for me to focus on one thing like this.

And I'm very much looking forward to baking cookies and drinking "Glühwein" at the Christmas market. :) :)
How are your christmas preparations going on?

Dec 3, 2012

Ending a loop scarf - tutorial

I finally finished my loop scarf. :)

I've already told you in the last post about the ending, but today I would like to give you a detailed description of step 5 with images. Hopefully it helps you to finish your loop scarf. :)

After carefully ripping the first row (those stitches you've casted on with a separate yarn in the beginning of the scarf) and slipping the stitches back to a needle, you get two open ends. The upper stitches in the picture are those, which you get after ripping the first row:

Holding both needles pointing to the right, start binding-off the stitches. For this, always knit the first stitches of both left needles (I'll just call them double-stitches) together:

Next, pass the first (right) stitch over the second (left) stitch on the working needle. (In the beginning you have to bind-off a double-stitch two times, so you get two stitches on the working needle. After this, you are able to do this step.)

If you continue like this, binding-off a double-stitch and slipping the first stitch over the second stitch on the working needle, the resulting scarf looks like this, a clear nice seam:

I hope this tutorial makes the process of finishing a scarf clearer to you. If you still have a question, please let me know! :)

Nov 22, 2012

Loop scarf tutorial

Last Tuesday I gave a little knitting basic class for two friends. :) We decided that our first knitting project would be a loop scarf.

We started with a swatch, because we all used different kinds of wool. I also made my students knit some patterns to decide which one they want to include in the final scarf. Unfortunately I only took pictures of their work at the beginning without the pattern.

I always thought knitting was very easy. But when I started to explain what to do, I realized it was harder than I thought. ;) But finally everyone managed to purl and knit. :D
Now everyone of us is knitting the scarf at home. And every time my students make a mistake or have a question I look over their work and try to help them. :)

This is the loop scarf I am making:

I used the so called brioche stitch ("Patentmuster" in German). It's very simple, yet I like the outcome.

I decided to make a little tutorial if someone is interested in knitting an easy loop scarf for this winter or as a christmas present. :) So here it goes:

1. Cast on as many stitches as you like. I casted on 34 stitches so the final width of the scarf is about 20 cm (7.8 inches). When casting on, use a separate piece of yarn. At the end of the tutorial I'll tell you why. :)

2. Work the first row as follows:
Knit, *knit, purl*, repat from * to * until one stitch is left, purl the last stitch.

3. Now work the pattern, which is the same for every row:
Knit (selvedge stitch), *knit, slip a stitch purlwise (with yarn in front)*, repeat from * to * until one stitch is left, slip stitch purlwise (selvedge stitch).

This is how to hold the needle when slip stitching purlwise. Don't purl the stitch, just slip it like this on the needle. You'll get two strings of yarn on the right needle.

In the first row of the pattern you have to knit just one string of yarn. Beginning from the second row you have to knit two strings of yarn (the ones you got from slip stitching in the previous row).

I wanted the border to come out nicely, so I decided to make a slip stitch edge. You only have to knit the first selvedge stitch and slip stitch the last stitch purlwise.

The border then looks like this:

4. Knit the scarf as long as you like. I'm going to use all 5 balls of wool I bought. I want the scarf to be around 140 cm long (about 55 inches).

5. For connecting the two ends, the casting on with a separate piece of yarn comes in handy. :) Carefully rip the first row (the stitches you've casted on at the beginning) while slipping the resulting stitches back on a separate needle. Now you have two open ends, you just have to bind off together. :)
For a basic knit bind-off hold the two endings next to each other (without any twists in the scarf), so that both of the two needles are oriented to the right. With a third needle *knit the first two stitches of each needle together. Do the same with the second two stitches. Pass the first stitch over the second stitch.* Repeat from * to *.

As I'm in the middle of my scarf I haven't tried out the ending yet, but if you have a question or a problem with it just ask me. :) I would love to help you!

I hope you like this little tutorial, my first one. :) As soon as I'm done with my scarf I'll show it to you. :)

Nov 14, 2012

Yarn basket

My yarn stock was getting out of control, so I needed a second yarn container. Therefore I crocheted a yarn basket out of old yarn. :)

I crocheted it according to this wonderful tutorial. I only made it a bit larger. Funnily the last time I met one of my dearest friends, she gave me a small one as a gift! Isn't it cute?! :D

Especially next to the big one I made. :)

Crocheting the basket was really simple, but yet the outcome was very practical! That made me think that this would make a great selfmade gift for christmas! :)

The last days I made some christmas planning and started a little brainstorming for selfmade gifts. I'm yet not sure, how to include this into the blog. First I thought of thinking of gift ideas and showing them to you on the blog, but there are two problems with that: Some of my friends who would receive those gifts read my blog ;) and November is going to be so busy, I don't think I have the time for preparing gift ideas. :(

But let's see how this month is going to turn out. :) I'll just take things as they come. :)

Nov 8, 2012

November project: Christmas preparation

When I hear "November" I always have to think of the christmas season. It's like a preparation month for all the lovely christmas-y things to come in December. ;)

This year I want to make a lot by myself: the christmas cards, wrapping paper, some of the christmas gifts. This is why I have to start early this year and so I chose this as my November project: Christmas preparation. :)

I'm going to do everything christmas related I allow myself to already do in November. Like brainstorm presents, make christmas stamps, send out advent calendars, start making presents and prepare myself for the christmas season.

By the way, things I don't allow myself to do before December would be for example buying christmas sweets or drinking "glühwein". ;)

November is going to be an exciting month by the way. I'm going to give a basic knitting class for two friends and we're having the third round of "a perfect dinner" with friends at our home. :) So a lot of preparing. I'm really looking forward to this. :)

What are your plans for November? Are you also looking forward to the christmas season?

Nov 7, 2012

October project outcome

This month I concentrated on all the started projects and remaining things I wanted to finish and try out since a long time. The project was so fun, as I had the freedom to do whatever I felt like. There were (and still are) so many different projects on my todo list that I always had a wide choice what to choose next. :) :)

I blogged about almost all of the things I did, but here is a little overview of what I did:

1. Finished sport socks 2. Tried out mini crocheting 3. Made crocheted buttons 4. Prepared the textile letter swap 5. Ordered some things 6. Did macrame again 7. Knit a mp3 cover 8. Made crocheted stones 9. Crocheted new candle covers

The project was just perfect for this month. I was quite busy and often kind of exhausted. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't have had the energy to do one thing at all! But as I had the list of all the different and small projects, I always felt like doing something, even if it was just a small thing. :)

This month I'm a little late with my monthly project, but I'm looking forward to tell you about it. :)

Nov 4, 2012

Decorating our dining table

I wanted to decorate our dining table for quite a long time. :)

The first thing I wanted to do for a long time is to crochet new covers for candle lights, since I didn't like the colors, the wool and the simple pattern of the old ones any more.

I was inspired by this pattern and finally crocheted new ones.

The second thing I wanted do try out for a really long time was crochet covered stones. :) I wanted to do this since I found beautiful pictures of such stones in the internet, which was months ago. :) I wanted to decorate our dining table with it. So with the help of this tutorial I made two crochet covers. :)

Do you also like to decorate your home with knitted or crocheted things? I love that there exist so many wonderful ideas to decorate your home with yarn! :) :)

Nov 3, 2012

Yarn crafting

This month I did a lot of yarn crafting..until I injured my right wrist during sports. :( And my boyfriend forbid me to do any crafting at all. ;) That's by the way the reason for the little blog pause.

But today I would like to show you what I did the last month.

I wanted to try mini crocheting for a really long time. So I embraced the opportunity and tried it out for the textile letters swap with dear Karina! (I'm going to show you the final swap package in a separate post, but I still haven't finished it yet.)

I bought a really small crochet hook. It's 0.6 mm and I love that it's pink! :D I made a pattern (found on Ravelry) I tried out before with "normal" wool.

Crocheting this pattern with such small thread was kind of exhausting, but really fun! :D I like the pretty colors of the threads. :)

I also made some crocheted buttons. You can find the tutorial here. The only thing I modified was that I didn't glue fabric to the back of the button (as I didn't know which glue to use). So instead I crocheted a back.

And I finally made a mp3 player cover for my boyfriend. :) I know it looks kind of shabby, but he wanted it black and he wanted it without any "specials" (no buttons, no extra pocket...)

My wrist is still not healed entirely, but hopefully soon. Did you do any yarn crafting last month? I would love to see what you've made. :)

Oct 23, 2012

Sport socks

As I've shown you in this post I was yarn crafting a lot the last weeks. :)

One project on the top of my todo list were sport socks for my boyfriend, which I started to knit about a year ago. :)

I already finished the first sock last year, but it got too short at first and when I redid the end it got too long. After this I ran out of steam and put the project aside (I think it was also based on all the socks I've already knitted before that year).

This year I started to redo the first one. But I bought too little yarn last year and when I wanted to buy a second ball of wool in my local shop they didn't had the same wool. So I bought two balls of another wool and started right from the beginning and knitted two brand-new sport socks, which I'm now proud to present. :D

Have you tried knitting socks? I would've never thought how easy it is! At least the boomerang heel socks. :D I plan to knit some socks as christmas presents this year. ;)

Oct 20, 2012

Macrame bracelet

One yarn project I did the last week was a birthday gift for a good friend of mine. :)

I made her a macrame bracelet! :D I used to do macrame a lot when I was in school and it was so fun to knot again.

I had a pattern in mind I did years ago. But I didn't own the book with the pattern (I remember I got it from the library back then). So I had to figure out how to knot it and luckily I found pictures of already finished bracelets with this pattern in the internet. So I did some testing and figured it out! :) It wasn't that hard, but still... :)

So this is the bracelet I made.

Back then we used to wear those bracelets non-stop, but this time I wanted the bracelet to have a clasp. :)

How do you like the pattern of the bracelet? :) Do you also like macrame?

Oct 16, 2012

Blog header design

Today I would like to write about my blog header design. :) When I decided to start blogging I gave the layout a lot of thought. It was my very wish to design and draw everything by myself. :)

It was very hard to decide which kind of header to make. Sketches or clear outlines? Color or b/w? Colored by hand or on the computer?

So at first I started drawing various objects which came to my mind, when I thought about the name of my blog and things I like the most: a baobab trunk with various kinds of leafs, origami animals and objects, crocheted objects, books, snowflakes and jars, flowers producing soap bubbles and so on.

Not every one of them made it into the final header. :) This one just didn't fit into the entire image, even though I kind of like the bubbles and the origami flowers. ;)

I left out this "self portrait" too, since I had the feeling that it's too style defining. It reminds me of my drawings when I was younger and liked mangas a lot. ;) I still like to draw little funny figures, but I just didn't want it in the header of my blog. :)

So after matching everything to a final image, which took reaaaaaaaaally long by the way, I "colored" it on the computer with watercolor brushes. I was too self-conscious to color it by hand. (But watercoloring is something I MUST try out soon!)

I'm still not sure, if I'm content with my header, but I think I got kind of used to it. :) So I guess I'll leave it like least for a while. ;)
What about you? I would love to hear about your experiences while designing your blog layout! :)

Oct 12, 2012

Working on some projects...

Last week I was busy working on different projects. :)

None of them is finished yet, but hopefully I can show them to you as soon as possible. :)

Oct 10, 2012

The little things -Strasbourg

Today I would like to show you some inspiring spots I found during a weekend trip to Strasbourg, when we visited a good friend of mine. While we were walking along the streets, I stopped every time I saw something beautiful and took a picture of it. :) I would love to share those pictures with you.

Isn't this house just too cute with its adorable decoration? I'm buy the way a lover of houses, for example half-timber houses. :)

I like the different roofs of the houses, the slightly different colors and the different shapes. :)

Look at this cute house! I love how small it is compared to its neighbours. Like a little child next to its parents. :D

I hope you like my little findings. :)