More Havana and the end of race season

Last week I was not able to crochet as much as I liked. It’s difficult if you have only the evenings for private stuff – and if some of those are not craft related than I cannot reach my own personal crochet goals. I was able to finish part 5 though and start a little bit on part 6. So by now I am delayed by one week as everyone else is already working on part 7 that was release today. The fun thing when crocheting this blanket is that by now I am able to snuggle up beneath it while still adding sections ;). I checked with my hubby and it seems that it might still end up too short to cover him though. Not sure if I am extending it by adding another section or by just creating a bigger border. I will have to see as soon as the border pattern is out how easily it can be adapted.

Since three years the “Er&Sie Lauf” marks the end of the race season for my hubby and myself. It’s a pretty short relay race with only 4 k for each on of us but it is usually pretty much fun. I was preparing for this race for a couple of weeks now with continuous runs for 30 to 50 minutes aiming of course for a better result than last year. Race day was nice weather – not too warm and not too cold, no rain but no blazing sunlight either. Just perfect racing conditions. I went off first and it started pretty well – felt relaxed and easy just checking my watch now and again. Half way done I passed by my hubby and my running buddy cheering me on which gave me confidence to push on. Afterwards my hubby told me, I looked a little worse for the wear but I actually felt quite okay at that time :). In the end I was successful in running this year’s personal best with 30:16 minutes for the 4 k – a pace of 7:34. I was so proud of myself as I was almost 3 minutes better than last year and even 1 minute better than the year before! However only another runner can understand that little frustration concerning those tiny little 16 seconds that crashed my dream of running it under 30 minutes :). But let’s see what next year will bring …

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Havana Part 5 – not quite there yet …

This week I was binge crocheting to catch up with my Havana. I did have two days off, so I thought that I might actually finish part 5 on time for part 6 being updated. However too much crocheting left me with a sore hand and I had to take a break. I did not know that you can get blisters from a crochet hook 😂. I so enjoy the pattern though and celebrate the changing of colours all the time. Now the pinks start and the whole blanket looks gorgeous already. It is too big to shoot without draping it over something, so I created a collage instead. Still some colours do not show as in real – the blues are more bluish and not as bland as in the picture.

So I just gave up trying to be on time and did some more clean up of my craft room. I now have all my yarn and fabric stored in identical boxes. It looks so tidy and I can find whatever I want now! Creating will be so much fun again! Now I just need to finish my bead storage cleanup and then I am all set – until chaos kicks in again 🙂

Havana Update

Last week I was ill and therefore have not been able to post. It all started with terrible headaches that just made me want to crawl into bed and hide from light and sounds. I was not able to craft a lot – no sense in trying to crochet when you cannot focus on your stitches.

However I was lucky that there was a public holiday on Friday, so I was able to play some catch-up. I am not so terribly behind that I loose focus to continue. As well I am enjoying it so much whenever a new colour starts. Now I am heading into the pink section and I just cannot wait until I see the final piece. I decided to try the production line concept during catching up – work two rows at the same time. It works really well and speeds up the process a little bit. So instead of 48 single rows I have to only crochet 24 doubles. Though I just might be cheating my own mind 😉

Sadly in the pic I took the colours look different to the real looks. I had to shoot the picture in artifical lighting which does not help at all. I hope that next week I am able to take a pic in natural light, so that you can also enjoy the colours I have really chosen. It’s getting difficult to take a picture of the whole project though as now it starts to get really big 🙂

Havana CAL and getting ready for painting

The Havana CAL is keeping me pretty occupied at the moment. With the increase in size it is really not so easy to fall behind too much. I finished part 1 in the middle of the week and now still need one more repeat of part 2 before heading to the next pattern. I love the colour transition and how the pattern transforms between parts though. Today I saw a preview of Tinna’s new pattern from her testers and I really need to do that too. Probably not a blanket but there was one cool idea of a table runner with that design.

Additionally I finally cleaned up my miniature painting area. It is getting cooler now, so it’s the perfect time to do some serious painting again. The table however is some kind of different universe where a black hole seems to dump all the crazy stuff. Usually whenever I want to paint, I am not able to do so without getting rid of all the chaos first. So this time I hope I will be able to fend of entropy long enough to finish some long runner projects.

My running practice is coming along well too. I have been practicing with my hubby this week as my running buddy was ill and this gave me some serious push. My hubby is much faster than I am but even though he was holding back really good, I was able to slightly increase my average speed and still be able to chat with him. I don’t even have sore muscles after my long runs at the moment. I think that if I am able to continue my practice that way, I might seriously hit some personal bests in the races this and next year.

Havana and running for a good cause

Last week I was busy, busy, busy as the new Havana CAL started. I have been looking forward to it as it is an amazing piece of art and it is the perfect pattern for an adjustable in size blanket. So I did some advanced mathematics and calculated the number of repeats needed for a blanket my hubby and I can snuggle up underneath together. It is pretty big and needs much more time than expected – so sadly I will be falling behind pretty soon. However I am totally in love with it already, even though I have not finished part one yet. Still 6 more rows until I can switch to the next pattern and colour. But look how it even looks lovely on the back side! Luckily all those ends will be covered by a border because I would be hard pressed sewing them all in….

My running buddy, my hubby and I have decided that 2020 will be out year and we will do the half marathon at the Vienna City Marathon. Therefore we started training for it already and decided to do some more races this and next year that will prepare us well. So on Saturday I did not have much time for crocheting as I participated in a charity race. Each mile run contributed to raising funds for research against cancer. My goal was to run through at least 50 minutes and aim for 6 miles. I ended up with 1 1/2 hours of running and 6 miles in total – a result I am really happy with as I restarted training only one week ago.

On Sunday a really good friend came for a visit so I rather chatted and crocheted and did not work on the pictures from my vacation. So sadly you’ll have to wait a little bit more before seeing some more vacation impressions. But I promise that I will work on them this coming weekend!

Vacation apologies and new spirit

I want to apologize to my readers for not posting the last couple of weeks. I actually wanted to set up everything, so that during my vacation I would be able to release new blog posts while traveling to the other side of the world (literally).But then spirits were low and I just could not make myself craft anything – too much heat and too much stress added up to me actually sitting after work not doing anything at all. Even my hubby realized that something was terribly wrong as I only do not craft when I am feeling really really bad….

But vacation gave me the long needed break and the refocus on what I love. Travelling with my hubby and seeing beautiful places is definitely on top of this list. We spent three totally cool weeks in New Zealand traveling slowly around the north island. It was great not to be too rushed, so that we could take in beautiful scenery and a bunch of totally amazing people. I definitely fell in love with Kiwis who are so friendly and open-minded – even the staff at the airport (security and bio diversity) are laughing, friendly and having a good time. Below are just a bunch of impressions – I still have to sort out 2000 pics from my hubby and myself. I will write a little bit more over the next weeks and will pep up my posts with some stories from our trip.

Of course I could not come back from New Zealand without at least a little bit of something to craft. I was stupid enough to plan Napier on a Sunday so that I could not shop at the only yarn store I could convince my hubby to plan into our trip. But I found a nice little shop in Auckland that sold beautiful New Zealand-ish bookmarks and fat quarters. However I was not able to put the whole store into my luggage, but I know I will be coming back anyway, so next time I’ll just plan accordingly.

This Saturday I could also convince my hubby to visit the local baking and crafting show – which actually was very disappointing. I always envy people from other countries like US, UK or even Germany because there craft shows are big and beautiful and totally devastating on your budget. Here it was just terribly small and hardly anything worth looking at – until my hubby pointed out the nice little display of Wolloase multicoloured yarn bobbels. He even got quite into a frenzy pointing out one bobbel he liked after another. He definitely is a keeper ;). So we ended up with three bobbels and a hand full of beading stuff and this wife went home pretty happy.

With spirit high again I have now huge plans for the next months: one of this bobbels will become a Grinda Shawl, I will participate in the Havana CAL and I still need to finish my hubbies blanket before it gets really cold. As well I start thinking about Christmas presents – not sure what those will be this year. And a friend had a baby shortly before my vacation and I am thinking of whipping up a baby blanket for her too. So look forward to a lot of new projects on this blog soon.

A is for Apple

img_0783Another terribly hot week has passed, in which I was hardly able to do anything seriously craftsy. I am currently just playing couch potato trying my best to keep my blood pressure from plummeting to the floor and just playing dead there. Such heat has always been a problem for me since I was a teenager and time and age did not help to make it better at all.

I was lucky being invited by a colleague and friend to visit her home in the middle of nowhere in Lower Austria for the public holiday on Wednesday. It seemed that we must have been close to Siberia there as temperature was so much better that I even had chilly times (approximately 20 degrees or so) in the morning. The place was huge – and the best thing was the orchard with tons of ripe apples. So I went home with about 2 kg of apples right from (or rather below) the tree ready to be transformed into something totally delicious.

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I decided that – given the heat in the city I was returning to – I would rather stick to a quick recipe than do anything fancy. Some short pastry apple pockets and some puff pastry apple strudel. I used the ready to use version of both doughs this time as making them at 30 degrees is not a good idea. The butter really has to stay cold for both of them but the apples just couldn’t wait for cooler weather. The recipe for the filling I picked from Martha Steward’s Pies and Tarts book and I have to say: this lady really knows her art. My hubby does not like cinnamon that much and most apple recipes are loaded with it – but in this filling there is only a hint of it and therefore he has not complained a bit! Also the filling is not sweet at all as there is lemon added and as little sugar as possible. Of course such a recipe depends on the apples used but the ones I have picked have been quite sweet by themselves. The result was a nice sweet and tart little apple paradise!