Heute ist Geburtstag …

Today, there will be no knitting on this here blog, as I’m busy having a birthday.

Just to make sure you’re still entertained, here’s a video that shows a contemporary German birthday party.

 

 

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The Breaking Bad Throw

crocheted blanket
crocheted blanket

My apologies for the really bad picture – it was taken quickly, between another go at the b***y ice-troll that kept killing me, and a superb night out with a sushi class.

This is the blanket as seen in the TV series “Breaking Bad” – as it happens, I wasn’t very interested in watching the series initially. Then I saw the blanket being discussed in a blog, and kinda fell in love with the pattern.

So I decided I have to make one. And of course, I tried to watch the series again – in case you haven’t heard of it, the story is about a rather burned-out teacher who leads a life full of underwhelming experiences (his students suck, he’s got to work double shifts at a car-wash to make ends meet, and of course the bully from his school spots him there) is diagnosed with cancer.

To make sure his family will be provided for he decides to start cooking meth cocaine – what could possibly go wrong with that, right? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot … but you should watch for yourself. It’s brilliant.

 

Of wordless Fridays

Today is Friday, and I don’t have a knitting related post for you 😦

And I can’t even claim Thanksgiving as an excuse – I’m a German living in the UK, so no food induced coma for me.

I have, however, a shopping tip – the Colette Holiday Bundle.

For a measly $50, you get the Colette Sewing Handbook and two of their lovely patterns – total bargain! This translates to just a tad over £40, including the shipping fees.

I’ve wanted the handbook for ages, and I’ve been secretly in love with Parfait ever since I saw it first online – and that’s saying something for somebody who never wears dresses 😀

My second choice was Violet, which just looks adorable with the little peter pan collar and the half-length sleeves.

If you are participating in a “No buy Friday”, which I think is a brilliant idea, don’t despair – the bundle is available throughout the Holiday season.

Happy Shopping!

Not knitting – in green and purple

This week turns out to be rather hectic again, so this is a short-but-sweet update …

Last weekend, I didn’t spend a lot of time knitting, because when I wasn’t running around like a headless chicken to catch up on errands, I spent hunched over the sewing machine.

Here’s what I made:

To say it with the words of my colleague: If you’re asked where you bought them, that’s probably the best compliment you can get.

They did ask, and I’m rather chuffed with the outcome – especially considering that these were meant to be a toile, a test run, and I would have been okay if they’d turned out not so great. As it is, I have now a pair of purple-and-green tartan trousers.

Good thing Christmas is just around the corner … !

Of The Top-Down Cardi

Araucania Cardi 1
Araucania Cardi 1

You will have noticed, dear Reader, that I usually make smaller things. For some reason, the whole sweater and cardi business has not appealed to me during the last year.

Continue reading “Of The Top-Down Cardi”

Of Socks with Heel Flaps

Sock knitting and I have a bit of a checkered history.

Despite the fact that I always loved wearing hand knit socks, I never really liked to make them. Back in the day, when I learned to knit, more years ago than is appropriate to reveal publicly, there was only one method. You started at the cuff, did a heel flap and then grafted the toes together.

My heels were always more or less complete failures – having small instead of gaping holes along the pickup sides of the flap counted as a major success. My grafting sucked, and the toe ends were always more or less puckered, with a few holes added for good measure.

In short, my socks were mostly unwearable, which of course totally defeated the purpose of making them, especially since it was such a painful and frustrating process – the two circular method wasn’t around, either.

Socks! With heels!
Socks! With heels!

Fast forward 20 an undisclosed number of years, and there are more methods to make socks than I have fingers on my hand. Both hands, actually.

So I started to make toe ups socks, with short-row heels, and I was in sock heaven. Easy-peasy, a pair made in a couple of days. Brilliant.

Then a friend on G+ vented her frustration about heel flaps, and the great community came up with a lot of great advice, and I felt inspired to try a toe-up sock with heel flaps.

Enter Wendy D. Johnson and her book , “Socks from the toe up” – there’s a link on the right hand side, if you’d like to check it out. I chose to make the “Mock Cable Socks”, but modified the pattern a bit, and swapped the cables for Eyelet Mock Cable Rib.

They turned out perfect, if I may say so myself:

The Mighty Slip Stitch Heel
The Mighty Slip Stitch Heel

Of Organization and Other Things

Let me show you a picture of my dinner table:

dinner table
dinner table

Yeah, that’s right, that’s my dinner table, not my craft room table (take note of the fruit bowl). I don’t have a dedicated space for my crafting, I don’t own a lot of furniture, so the dinner table is where things tend to pile up. Unhandled bills. Magazines waiting to be read. It’s the semi-permanent living space for my sewing machine (which lives next to it on the floor if the dinner table is to be used for it’s originally designated purpose, dining). And then there are the Other Things … measuring tape. Scissors. Pattern parts. And, of course, knitting projects.

Needless to say, this situation is sub-optimal. For a while, I have occasionally given a thought or two to how to reclaim this space for social activity, but I actually like my sparsely furnished appartment. Space is at a premium here in Brighton, and I like to have some room so I can move around without bumping into things.

Enter Knit Purl Gurl and her sew-along for a project bag. Sewing things is something I enjoy doing. Sewing bags is something I haven’t done much of (I have a mishap project somewhere I’m still not sure of …). I need to get things off my table, which implies they need to go into … somewhere. Why not a project bag? I’m sold.

Supplies
Supplies

A trip to Fabricland, and roughly £10 later, I have ample supplies for two bags. Our charming lead for the sew-along has two sick children at home, alas, so the start is a bit delayed. Since I have some sewing experience, and I really wanted that stuff off the table, I decided to start on my own.

The tutorial is fairly clear, and despite some confusion on my side (do I need to cut the length of fabric in half? Turns out, no. Are the edge seams here … or more like there? More there in my next bag.), it went well overall, and about an hour and a half later I’m the proud owner of a project bag:

project bag
project bag

I’m rather pleased with it, overall … it’s a bit too cubic, so next time the seams that make it so will be a bit smaller, but other than that, it’s exactly what I needed.

It’s neat, pretty and can go into any old corner. Or the wardrobe. Or … well, with me, even! Yay!

project bag inside
project bag inside

Result!