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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Another Secret

I know it seems I dropped off the blogging radar.  I did.  The children and I traveled back to the U.S. for a few months (which we are in the middle of), we've been on several road trips, our sweet little 13 year old dog passed away,  then SOMEBODY knocked my computer into the floor and it needs some work.  (I'm actually typing this on my iPod so we're going to stick with short and sweet.). It's been a crazy, adventure filled few weeks.  I am knitting though.  

This is another "secret project".  I'll give you all the details later, I promise.  I'll also fill you in on the last "secret project".  I'm so pleased with how that one turned out that I'm making another one for myself.  

I'm also reading The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.  I loved the movie and since books are usually better than the movies I figured it was a safe bet.  So far it's great.  

I'm yarning along with Ginny at Small Things again.  (I'm not too sure how to link to her site just using my iPod though so we'll see how that turns out).

That may be the best I can do for now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Secret Knitting

Mom...don't read this one.  For real.

My mom AND my MIL have birthdays coming up in April.  I plan to knit for both of them but I've started the one for my mom already.  (I'll show you MIL's when I get it started)  We will just call them my "secret knitting projects" for now.

Don't you just love that yarn?  It's Louisa Harding Yarns 'Amitola' in color 108.  It's delicious. 

Side note:  I love those green leaves.  It's snowing in
Frankfurt today and that green just makes me happy.

I'll share all the details once I get it finished and gifted.

I'm not really reading anything right now.  I've got a massive stack of books to read but nothing is happening with that. 

Joining in with Ginny again and her lovely Small Things.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Finished Path

I finished my Crooked German Path hat last week and I LOVE it!  What a beautiful pattern that is.  I already cast on another one for my sister.  I'm a little freaked out that the yarn I chose for hers is slightly thicker that what I used the first time.  I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle adjusting the gauge.  Maybe I'll just buy some smaller yarn. 

Sorry for the ipod pictures here, but at least you
can see what it looks like.


My fantastic husband's Valentine gift to me was...yarn.  I know, he's such a keeper.  It's a beautiful yarn and I started some simple toast  arm warmers.  Here are my Ravelry notes as I'm using different yarn and needles than called for.

I'm still reading The Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett.  Lately though, I just read half a page before I fall asleep so I'm not making much progress.  It's Wednesday so I'm yarning along with Ginny at Small Things again.  I just love it over there!



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crooked German Paths

A few weeks ago I found a lovely (and very tiny) yarn shop here in Frankfurt.  Wolle-Boutique Elflein is one my husband had actually found before we arrived and he was also excited for me to be able to take a look. The lady there is so kind and speaks excellent English.  I bought a nice ball of Rowan yarn thinking I would make a warmer hat for myself.  I looked on Ravelry for days to find just the right hat pattern.  I decided on Crooked Paths by Melissa LaBarre. 

My new skills for the week are ssk, k1f/b, and charts!  I learned how to read knitting charts!  I am really enjoying the new pattern.  It's the first one I've actually purchased and I'm very pleased with it.  (It's funny how paying for a pattern will push you to learn the skills you need to use it.)  I did have trouble with the charted row 7 and had to frog the whole thing.  Boo!  But, I figure that's just extra practice and it'll look awesome when I finally get it done. 

I'm reading The Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett but not while I knit.  I just can't do that yet.  Yarning along with Ginny at Small Things again this week. 


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Second Time Around

You may remember me posting a while back about trying out needle felting.  While I enjoyed it, I didn't really get the feel of it.  I did pretty well adding details to things like birthday banners but, I just couldn't seem to get the hang of the 3 dimensional needle felting.  That all seemed to change last Sunday. 

I had run into the craft store for a few supplies (we recently moved to Frankfurt so I was craving something familiar.) and I came across the felting section.  I quickly snapped up a foam block, a few needles, and an assorted bag of wool.  (all for less than 15 euros)  That next day (Sunday) I felted the entire day.  I didn't really start out with a plan I just looked around on Pinterest for some "pinspiration" and started felting. 

Now first of all let me say...I'm totally not an expert in needle felting.  That said, this little project turned out so much better than I could have hoped for. 

The Wonky House

It also helped me see where I might have gone wrong before.  So here are a few felting tips based on my (totally unprofessional) experience.

1.  Use the material.  Seriously.  Last time I remember thinking "I don't want to use too much wool" and that was totally stupid.  You're supposed to use it.  Quit being cheap!

Interior detail.

2.  If you're making something 3 dimensional with walls and you think they're thick enough...they're not.  Double the thickness and you may come close.  With this house I realized after I attached the walls to the base that they were not thick enough.  I "cheated" this by making another wall section and adding detail for the inside and putting those layers together.  It would have been waaaay simpler to just make them super thick to start with. 

Two walls stuck together.

3.  Use quality wool.  Now, I'm not saying you should spend a fortune here (my wool was only 7 euros)  but you want it to look like it came off an actual sheep.  The roving I had purchased in the US was not the same quality I bought here.  It was too shiny and too "perfect".  This stuff LOOKS like it came of a sheep and was dyed funky colors.  I could have totally imagined this but the wool here looks less processed.

4.  The more you mess with it...the worse it looks.  Less is totally more with this free form stuff.  I like tightly felted beads as much as the next guy, but structures look better with less felting.  (again my unprofessional opinion)

I really like the furry little details.

5.  I think the most important thing to remember is that you'll probably suck at first.  How unfair would it be if you were just great at everything on the first try?  Try it again.  And again.  And again if you have to to get the hang of it.  The wool really isn't that expensive. 

Those are really the main lessons I learned with felting.  It was so much fun and I can't wait to get more wool (my house needs furniture).  And I'm thinking I want to try one of those play mats too.  I'll keep you posted of course. 

Oh and don't poke your finger! 


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just kidding...this hat.

Remember how I was knitting the Jacques Cousteau hat for my dear husband?  Well I finally finished it right before his birthday.  (score!)  It took and I swore I'd never knit that pattern again.  Tiny needles.  Anyway, turns out it was HUGE.  Like, we could have both fit our heads into it, huge.  So....I had him choose another pattern (which I followed the alternate directions for - he likes to have his ears totally covered) and started knitting another hat.  We decided on The Boyfriend Hat and I'm so glad we did!  I knit it while unraveling the first one which just felt wrong, but this one fits SO MUCH BETTER!  I'm so happy I redid it.  I think he's much happier with it too (although he'd never come out and say he didn't like the first one - he's awesome like that.).

I couldn't get picture in natural light.

I tried to take one this morning with Little Man wearing it but
it's just too cloudy here.  He's cute anyway.

So that's what I've been knitting.  I just visited my new yarn shop here in Frankfurt last night and bought something for a warmer hat for myself.  I imagine I'll cast that on tonight and you'll see it next week sometime. 

I'm finally finishing up Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett on my nook.  I'm also working my way through What Your First Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. 

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things today for the Yarn Along.  Can't wait to see what everyone is working on!


Thursday, January 24, 2013


This may come as a shock to you but...I've been knitting.  I know! 

I brought a few small projects with me to Frankfurt and I've been using up the leftover yarn from those to make other stuff.  (I have found a couple yarn shops here but my husband works 6 days a week and somehow it's just not as relaxing to go to yarn shopping with a 4 & 7 year old who really don't want to be there.) 

I had several small bits of cotton yarn that I'd been making dishrags with when I came across this pattern on Ravelry.  It's the perfect project to use up leftover yarn.

And it just so happens my children are collectors of treasure.  I made these a little larger than the original pattern.  You can see my Ravelry notes here.  This way they also hold a little snack before you start collecting.

It really is a great size for a small apple or orange.

Try this project out!  It's quick and simple.