Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sunday Stash #17

So, Christmas is over once more. Are you all returning to normalcy or still feeling stuffed and like slumbering away the days? I know I'm doing the latter in an absolutely guilt-free manner. Yummy food, good wine and mulled wine, reading books, knitting, enjoying the lights of our tree, my nephew's laughter - Christmas was absolutely lovely and I'm trying to salvage the mood for as long as possible.

It was an extra nice Christmas as I got to spend it with my gran and her grand cooking again after not being able to do so last year. Even better, it was the first time that my husband, my sister's husband-to-be and my nephew joined our family on the 24th and 25th. The years before my wedding it was just us girls going back home until the 25th and then spending time with our guys and their families in Berlin on the 26th. Seeing my gran age isn't always easy (and difficult to accept) but seeing her being surrounded by all of us and loving every minute of it was fantastic.

But onto the eye candy you've come for. Christmas without fabric - these days I don't know how that has ever been possible. Here's my Christmas loot thanks to my mum who let me shop with her credit card a few short weeks ago.

Three yards of navy blue Simply Style zig zags which will surely become a skirt.

Yard cuts of Retro chevrons and Glimma kites.

Half yard and yard cuts of prints from the Enchant line. Those animal medallions are so so sweet.

A yard of Children at Play - this has been around long, hasn't it? I've finally succumbed and will keep this in my stash for one or two future baby quilts.

A  yard of cotton slub duck for new cushion covers.

Fearing that the fabric parcel wouldn't make it through customs quickly enough - a realistic one, it arrived just in time last Sunday - my mum got me some yarn and knitting needles for a loop and hat.

I'm glad she fell in love with the wool because I don't really feel it, neither colour nor texture (though I can always use more needles!). My mum's often spot on regarding my taste but when she's off she's off by a mile. Anyway, it's all good. This way I can make her something she'll enjoy and give back for the many things she's done and keeps doing. Now I only have to find the right pattern - and time. As I'm not going to stress about this - the weather is still very mild in these parts - it might just turn out to be a Christmas 2014 thing.

Well, I hope your celebrations were filled with as much love and coziness as mine.You've not only been following the good and shiny but also my tribulations, my nagging, my ups and downs, even my absence - thank you and thanks for continuously dropping by and sharing your thoughts and positivity with me. I'm hopeful that 2014 will bring many an adventure and also more time spent sewing, knitting, and blogging to share with you. I'll find a way to make it so.

All the very best and happy sewing!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Happy Holidays!

Oh my, I've been away for such a seriously long time it's like late 2012 all over again - only better because I've not had to move to Bavaria again and have been busy working rather than studying and did have access to the internet even though I was often too tired to actually go online.

But the best thing about it is that all the hard work which has caused my absence has paid off. Not only did the events we've been setting up for our clients and the huge office Christmas party I was in charge of turn out great, nope, there's more. From January on, after just half the time that was set for my intern, I'm fully employed with a permanent contract. And I still love the team and the job to bits. Honestly, I couldn't be happier right now. It's such a load off our shoulders and such great news to take into the holidays and New Year's.

Speaking of which, I'm pretty happy how our tree has turned out, too.

There's just a few modern decorations but the majority are still from the GDR (German Democratic Republic) and salvaged from my mum and grandma. Like this 80s bauble which has always been a favourite of mine during childhood.

And this tree topper and delicately painted silver baubles which my granddad gave my grandma back in the 60s.

Even the tinsel is vintage - salvaged by my mother-in-law and also about 30 years old. We still have the GDR packaging. Such a nostalgic/eastalgic tree.

On the other hand, I'm not happy at all with the progress made on my sister's scarf - overtime does take its dues - but am set to spend this evening and the following ones knitting to finally deliver.

Mine, however, is all finished and such a joy to wear. So warm and snuggly.

I also knit up a quick hat to go with it.

To return to the Christmas theme, I sewed up this little something as a present for my nephew. Considering that his granddad, my dad, is a learned deep sea fisher we have to start him young, right? He's in love with red at the moment and simply gorgeous. Such an active and happy baby.

I put this squeaky thing inside to drive his parents nuts. *wink*

Right, I'm off for today but am looking forward to some serious sewing and reading your blogs once I'm back from three days with the family. Got to make the most of the holidays!

Happy holidays and happy sewing!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sunday Stash

This weekend I've been feeling like a bear of sorts preparing for hibernation or a baby with a sleep eat repeat routine. A nasty cold knocked me out right after the work week was finished, sigh, but I'm confident that another herbal bath and early night will have me restored just in time tomorrow.

Since I've got no finished skirt to show you, much less pictures of me outside wearing said skirt, I thought I'd show off what I couldn't resist buying the other day when I went into the store for necessities only - it's always like that, isn't it? - two luscious fat quarters. No idea what they'll become but I had to have them.

Taking a peek at a different front, progress on my sister's scarf has been slow but I've knit up the first blue ball and am set to soldier on this coming week.

That's it folks, just a quick update. Now come on an join the Sunday Stash fun over at The Floral Suitcase.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Skirt Update of the Quick and Short Kind

As I'm not going to finish this in time for TGIFF I can post my skirt update just as well tonight. Skirts always look a bit boring on a hanger but please bear with me. I'll try to deliver a "worn" picture as soon as possible.

A few more things need to be done, like sewing down the yoke inside (hence the pins), prettifying the side seam allowances and, of course, hemming by hand. The pockets are all done, though.

Yay, another skirt with pockets - so useful, especially when you're someone who often doesn't know where to put her hands.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Layout Fun

Serious progress has been made on the layout front this weekend. First of all I put a lot of squares aside, all the wood and sky themed ones, and focused on the plants and sea creatures.

I sewed up two nine patches, cut them up and got working around the resulting blocks. The gaps will be filled with either a print or a solid but first I need to figure out whether I'd like the centre piece to be really fishy, har har, or surrounded by plants. I'd hoped the pics would help me to figure it out but I'm still not entirely sure. What's your take?

Either way, I'm pleased with the route this is taking and confident to be able to send it off in time for the expected January arrival of my UK-based friends.

With that I'm off to a Sunday dinner with friends. Last time I made two large lasagnas but this time around I'm responsible for dessert and have made a walnut cranberry cake tweaking this recipe by making double the dough and replacing the pecans with walnuts since I couldn't find any pecans on my shopping trip.

Hopefully it'll taste as nice as it looks and smells!

Happy sewing, knitting and a few more wonderful Sunday hours!

Monday, 21 October 2013

You Guessed It - More Knitting

So, after my last post, you've come here expecting to see my shiny new skirt? Maybe even a picture of me actually twirling around in it? Meh, I thought so. Alas, I have to let you down, sewing wasn't on the cards this weekend.

Instead I took up knitting my sister's scarf. The yarn is doing its best to drive me crazy. Well, technically that's not true but I'd rather blame the yarn than my attention span for requiring five attempts to start this thing. I kept on twisting my work when joining it in the round and only realised this after at least two rounds each. Boo. Such a waste of perfectly good time! Anyway, now that my brain the yarn's decided to behave I'm making good progress and am a little stunned how different it looks in these colours.

It's been a while since I played with the grey and blue squares. Originally I'd meant to make a second quilt for my nephew (still cute a s a button, I can assure you) but then life happened - as it does - and I struggled finishing quilt number one so I put the squares aside. However, good friends of mine are expecting their firstborn in January and this imminent arrival of another wee little boy is a great opportunity to finally turn them into something special. So I'm back to playing with the layout.

In not totally unrelated news, my laptop's graphics board is playing up and keeping me offline a lot but I hope that the husband can fix it soon-ish and I'll probably catch up with you during a lunch break or two this week.

Happy sewing and knitting!

Monday, 14 October 2013

My Perfect Weekend...

...included hilarious attempts to make cake pops with my sister & Indian takeaway on Saturday, relaxing with the husband & homemade roast duck on Sunday, and this...

As planned I cut the pieces for my skirt. Success! Even though I didn't actually sew a stitch, I did iron interfacing to the yoke and am ready to start sewing any minute now. Well, I might assemble the yoke and the pockets on a good evening during the week but most of the work will be kept for the weekend. No need to rush and repeat stupid mistakes like this.

Intense knitting was also part of my perfect weeked. I still have to weave in the ends of all the balls of yarn inside but it's finally time to learn how to merge the ends and turn the whole thing into a loop. The pattern does link to a tutorial which I've not yet bothered to look up. Risky to start a pattern without having internalised all the know how? Maybe but I'm positive I'll be fine.

This means I can finally start with my sister's version. Fingering weight yarn and smaller needles should keep me busy for a while but I'm pretty confident to make the deadline of her birthday in late November. That's still a whopping six weeks from now. Eeeeaaasy, right?

I'm glad that my weekend included more crafty things than the last few. I think I'm slowly getting back into managing a proper dose of hobbies into the work and household chores routine as well as seeing friends and family. How was your weekend?

Happy sewing!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Zig Zag Update

I hope you're not yet sick of this scarf because I'm more in love by the day. These days it's my only creative outlet, too, filling at least an hour after work and dinner, helping me to unwind. (Work's still going swell and I'm feeling right at home, by the way.) Last night I got to glorious 116 cm! Only 46 cm until the162 cm the pattern calls for. Whoohoo. This close to actually wearing my pretty.

Knitty enthusiasm aside, though, I hope I get to get sewing this weekend. I'd prepped my latest skirt fabric haul Friday last but felt like I might have caught a cold so kept a low profile with lots of sleep and tea, hot baths and cuddles. Still, definitely longing to work with this, I miss the sound of my machine.

Happy sewing, well, and knitting, of course!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Knitting Along

I'm right in the middle of another fabulous week, enjoying the colder but sunny autumn days just as much as working with my new colleagues. I'm also knitting up a storm in the evenings.

My zig zag loop is now 1.5 the size it was on Sunday and will certainly be double the size come Sunday.

At 65 cm the scarf's more than one third done - I think a finish in a little over a week is highly likely and I'm very much looking forward to wearing this beauty soon.

Anyway, now the husband's off to play footie with his friends after a yummy homemade Schnitzel lunch, I'm going to celebrate The Day of German Unity and my day off by reading your blogs and writing a few long overdue emails. Watch out!

Happy sewing!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday Stash - Yarn, Yarn, and Some Fabric (long post, scroll down for fabric)

First things first, I'm alive and well and very busy. Four out of five applications led to interview invitations. Once the first two resulted in job offers I cancelled the following interviews because I knew from advance information that number two had the best pay, a more challenging work description, and I felt really good during the interview. It's still only an intern but I'm still really happy with my decision because the team's super nice, pay has improved a ton from the previous intern, thus alleviating our financial situation, and suddenly the prospect of a real job is on the horizon, too. These past two weeks have flown by without sewing but with the fulfilling knowledge of moving on and upwards and with the not unwelcome rhythm of a regular work schedule.

Knitting, however, has continued. Evidence A.

I still like the pattern but I think I might unravel these 30 cm of work again because I don't feel the width at the moment. The first ball lasted longer than I'd anticipated so I could make it wider without losing the length I want. For now, I've put it away to ponder my options. Instead, I've started this loop.

Jenny Faifel's lucky no 7 in a thicker yarn. This is a wearable test run - I love these colours! - for the scarf my sister would like for her birthday in late November made from this fingering weight yarn.

I'm not completely over my dread of the time-consuming thinness but seeing the progress I'm making with my scarf I'm a lot more confident about making that deadline.

The pattern is yarn-hungry, roughly three balls of 120m for 45 cm (18'') so I've stocked up and even had to reorder the grey at the shoppe. Some thicker grey wool (right side) for a warm hat begged me to be come home with me.

Yesterday was quite the stash day. On top of yarn from the first store I stocked up on wadding, rattles and a squeaky sound-making thing for plushies at store number two.

Half metre cuts of these pretties had to be purchased and are likely to become seasonal cushion covers.

All I had originally intended to come home with were these essentials for a new skirt from my tried and approved Burda pattern. Hehe. I think it will look simply fabulous with the zig zag loop. Also, it's got to have pockets. I pulled out my lovely Alice skirt the other day and have fallen all over for pockets again.

Last but not least I even bought elastic to fix the husband's sweatpants. Something he's asked me to do for months. *hangs head in shame* I have to put this out here with a picture or it might take another shamefully long period of time before I tackle it. Hah, fixing things simply isn't fun and therefore no priority. Am I right?

Another pretty addition from three weeks ago which will leave soon is this beautiful mirror ball dot print. I'd seen the collection over at Molli's and knew it was perfect when my sister asked me to make new cushion covers for her brown sofa. Now I only need to sew them!

Oh, and another important addition made a week ago is this Cake Cabarita Knit Top pattern that I bought from my dear friend Perlendiva to finally make a perfectly fitting top for myself. She just opened Santa Lucia Patterns to make it easier / quicker for us Germans to buy indie designer patterns. She's even offering translations. Go on and take a look. I think she's doing a fantastic job and am hoping this business will take off in no time.

Whew, quite the post. Congrats and thanks if you've made it to the end! I really hope more regular posting and blog reading will resume once I've really settled into my new routine. It's weird to neglect this space and my crafty friends like this.

Happy sewing and join Sunday Stash, this time hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Has It Really Been A Week?

I've been away but for good reasons like collecting job interviews (one more on Tuesday and Thursday each, wish me luck!) and spending a long weekend at my parents which was absolutely wonderful. There I even had time to get on with my knitting. Here's my scarf / shawl at 20 cm after the first ball of wool and three pattern repeats. Don't be fooled, it's actually a rich black without so much as a hint of blue.

Two more rattle-filled monsters (check out RevoluzZza's tutorial) were finished last Thursday for my friend J who will gift them to toddlers in her circle of friends. I cannot get enough of these little cuties.

That's it for the moment but hopefully I'll be back with more finishes and good news soon. I'll try to catch up with you guys over the week, too, but please don't be mad if it takes a little longer.

Happy sewing!

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