About survival, new squares and sharing the beading bug

img_0725How come that weeks are passing by so quickly? It seems that as soon as I have published one blog entry, it is already weekend again. I am lucky that the Wacky Weave CAL is actually pretty fast to whip up – otherwise I would not have much to show again. I actually was able to almost catch up. I finished two squares of week 1 and 2 and have one and a half squares finished of week 3. I calculated however with the size of the squares and figured out that I’ll probably need 4 squares of each design to cover my hubby with the finished blanket. This will mean more yarn shopping as this yarn is used up pretty fast.

img_0720Next I went shopping with my friend amigurumi_craze for a basic set of beads. When I made a pendant for her last Christmas, she told me that she would like to try that out herself. The hardest thing was to figure out which pattern to use with the beads we bought – of course I did not do that beforehand :). We went with a design by Victorya Antipova – the Metalic Sunshine. It is an easy to follow Youtube video that really works up pretty! Didn’t my friend do well? I love her color choice <3!

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And last but not least I did run with my team in the Vienna City Relay Marathon. My part was the 9k and it started out pretty well. People were nice as usual and spirits were high. And then the sun hit me – it actually was 28 degrees with no wind and running without shade felt like hell. I survived however and did not do too badly: about 1h 17min with a 8:22 pace was pretty good compared to my training runs before. Our team made it in 5:08h which is only slightly slower than last year where we were shivering in 12 degrees windy wet weather… Maybe next year will finally be a comfortable run πŸ™‚

 

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Wacky Weave CAL and first yarn making

This week was again pretty busy. As next weekend I will be participating in the Vienna City Relay Marathon, it was trainig time again. Not only did I run 8k with my training buddy who is also part of my team. I also been hiking about 9k uphill (to 1260m!) for a friend’s birthday party. It was pretty intense but also much fun. We were lucky that we had really nice weather and the view was amazing up there! Of course I also had to go downhill the same distance the next day which was way more fun ;).

Not much on the creative side though. But I got squishy mail again for my hubby’s blanket. We found now the ideal design for him – the Wacky Weave CAL by Hilda Steyn – and he picked his yarn (“soft and fluffy”) and colours. The CAL calls for some special cotton yarn that is difficult to find in Europe and I just didn’t want to use regular cotton yarn as the blanket would be way too heavy. Therefore our choice is Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo which is super soft and not so heavy. I love how easy it is to work with. Wacky Weave is a CAL with Interlocking Crochet squares – something I have never done before. It’s actually a technique how to weave two colours together so that front and back look different. So with a nice back the blanket will be fully reversable!

Last but not least I spent some time at the Long Night of Science that took place in Vienna last Friday. I read that the museum of nature had some representatives for their citizen science projects there. I hoped that the lady who studies ancient tablet weaving techniques was there and I was not disappointed. As she was busy when we arrived, we spend some time learning how to twist yarn with a hand spindle in the meantime. It was fun even though the lady showing us was a little bit too forceful when correcting. I like it more to try it out myself than to have my fingers moved by someone else. We got the yarn we did afterwards and even though it’s a little bit uneaven, I will keep it as a lucky charm. Afterwards we had a long chat with Mag. Dr. Karina GrΓΆmer on the faszinating science of experimental archeology and finding out how textiles where created, dyed and woven in previous times. I loved her enthusiastic way of talking and you could really see that not only is she an expert in her field but also that she loves what she does. I now know that, if I start tablet weaving and want to try myself on some hallstatt designs, I am more than welcome to share my project and any insights with her.

Some excuses and some more Jacaranda

Another week has past and I have not made much progress. My excuse for this week is my training for the Vienna City Relay Marathon where I will be running the 9k part. I did not succeed in running all through winter as it was cold and slippery and I just don’t like running the treadmill. So I need to practice to gain distance again – with success I would say as I did almost 9k this week and am still alive :). So I guess I will survive the race too two weeks from now.

Another excuse is me going to the cinemas again – this time watching “Ready Player One”. I read some critiques that stated the story too flat but I actually liked it a lot. Maybe you have to be a gamer to understand this movie and to sypathise with the main characters.

And my third and final excuse is my Yoga training which I now will continue on a weekly basis as I really gain so much from it. Relaxing, freeing my mind from all the troubles at work, strength and flexibility and a lot of fun. This weeks session however was pretty intense and left me with some sore muscles. But also the feeling that my flexibility has increased so much over the last couple of weeks. And I was even able to balance on one foot without falling all over!

I was able to continue a little bit with my Jacaranda however. It’s still too small to cover the pillow completely so I might really end up with doing the whole CAL. Never thought it would actually take a blanket to cover a pillow. I love the corner parts of this design so much – they look much prettier when stretched a little bit though. And can you see the butterflies on the edges? Aren’t those lovely too? When I took the picture I thought that I had finished part 5 and sat down afterwards to continue with part 6. Then I realized that I missed out on one row πŸ˜‚. Well that was back to part 5 again but the updated pictures will have to wait for next week. And I can tell you one thing – part 6 started out amazing again!

A necklace finished and Jacaranda Update

I am a little bit late, I know – but I took a day off and with the Easter holidays I wanted to spend a couple of very relaxing days. I was able to finish my PWAT necklace after what felt like ages. I really love the technique but 45 cm take a really long time. I had a huge struggle with the ending and adding the magnetic claps but love how it worked out in the end. I plan on doing some Russian leaf earrings with a similar look but have not started them yet. Not sure if I will also do a bracelet to create a set though.

I decided to continue my Jacaranda instead. It was laying around now for quite a while and the CAL is almost finished. I finalized part 3 and – having fun again with it – continued with part 4. Love the corners and how it is squared of. It also fits perfectly with the pillow I want to put it on. Not sure how many parts I will need to finish it but I will keep on going. So watch out for an update soon!

Easter tatting and another PWAT project

Easter is approaching fast and I am still working on my Easter decoration. I strongly believe that someday I might be able to produce countercyclical so that I will be ready when the seasons are approaching. Not this year though as it seems … First items on my list were some needle tatted easter eggs. I tried different techniques this time – first using seed beads and second tatting with two different yarns. I still love the simplicity of tatting as all you actually need is a needle and some yarn. I tatted one egg while traveling to a friend by train and did not need to take more than a very small crafting bag with me. With more practice and after realising how simple tatting with beads is, a couple of project ideas keep coming up. I’d love to try my hand on tatted jewellery – maybe some celtic motives inspired earrings or a fragile looking neclace for special occasions.

However I started another beading project with my newest favourite technique – Peyote with a twist, not crochet. This time I picked a pattern that is elegant and sleak without being over complicated – or so I thought. The pattern I used is the Tina Hemr Ribbon pattern and is in my opinion a very classical design. I was over confident as it seemed though. I struggled with joining as I interpreted the pattern wrongly and I tried so many time that I was really frustated when it did not work out. Sometimes I should just read what is written and NOT THINK at all! It took me two evenings and the help of the group to figure out where I went wrong. On the other hand it helped me a lot to understand the maths of a PWAT pattern. This method is a slow process though and therefore I still have not finished my project – also because this time I am aiming for a necklace. I will show you the WIP though as I am totally in love with the pattern and my colour choice. I guess by now every regular reader already knows that my favourite colours are purple and magenta πŸ˜‚

Busy, busy, busy – or why not being productive makes me unhappy

There are those weeks when I run from one appointment to the next and at the end I realize that I was not able to squeeze anything creative into the last seven days. This week was definitely one of those.

My hubby and I love to go to the cinema but did not have time to do so since end of December. Therefore on Monday we went to watch “The shape of water”, a movie I can highly recommend. It’s a modern fairy tale but not in a happy-go-lucky world but with a dark, emotional background. I love the subtle pictures the movie paints in between the obvious.

On Tuesday I came home late and did some homework as I knew I would not have time the coming weekend. Wednesday was the last of my beginner’s Yoga course which took the whole evening. Thursday there was a company event taking place I wanted to participate and Friday I prepared everything for a weekend trip to visit some very good friends. My friend is singing in a choir and they were giving a big concert together with other choirs, an orchestra and a percussion group. The theme was songs from movies – so I just had to come. It was such a great performance that I do not regret going there but as the concert was scheduled late and it was far from home, we had to stay over night. I did take some needle tatting project with me but hardly could find time to work on it. On Sunday we went to a nice little Zoo with our friends so that we had some time to chat – therefore we travelled home pretty late. I finished my needle tatting afterwards but it is still drying on my blocking board.

So as you can see, I was busy but not in a way that makes me feel like I achieved something. I actually hate it very much when days slip by like this and I have not much to prove that anything even happened. With crafting I am always able to look at the finished product and can remember the happy times. In search of a picture to go with this blogpost, I actually stumbled over one of those happy moments I have not shared with you yet. These are the first pieces of jewelry I made in October last year as practice pieces for the Christmas presents I had planned. I carried one set to the concert this weekend and am still very proud of them. And guess what: my friend asked me to make her some earrings to match the pendant I made for her. This really gave me the shivers as that means she really likes it! Now I have to figure out how to change the design to make it smaller and more fit for earrings. I love a good challenge!

Two little helpers

I am totally in love 😍. Okay, I know that I am easily falling in love with a pattern and have so in the past several times but this time it’s serious. When I first saw the Crafter Granny from Zhaya Design, I just knew that I need to make one for myself. Not only am I a huge fan of anything the designer has created so far, her patterns are always well written and easy to follow. I started to work on head and body and ran out of stuffing as this project is really big and I just didn’t have that much left at home. Additionally I filled a little bottle with rice to weight her body down so that she has a real solid stand. I mostly used leftover yarn and had several close calls with loosing at yarn chicken but luckily made it through. In the end I added some detail – a button on the hair band and a pearl necklace. I totally love the result and she is such a lovely helper. She usually stands next to me on the arm of my crafting chair holding my row counter, my stitch markers and my wool needle for me. I hate to put the row counter on my finger as it hampers me while crocheting and I kept misplacing my stitch markers all the time. Now anything I might need is stored nicely in Granny’s apron – even my sissors don’t fall off the arms of my chair again. Thanks so much Granny – and of cause thank you Kathrin!

After finishing my Granny I was again procrastinating, not wanting to work on my long timers. Then I remembered that a couple of weeks ago I bought the first book of Supergurumi where he shares all his patterns for bookmarks. You might remember that the rat bookmark “Leseratte” has been made by me several times already. Super cute but I wanted to make something different for myself. I had also bought some fluffy wool from Schachenmayr to fit the sheep pattern. Well let’s say, that was not one of my smartest moves: tough this wool is so nice and fluffy, it is awful to work with – the thread cut into my finger and the stitches where so hard do see that I am really not sure if I worked the stitches correctly (they most probably aren’t). I needed to adjust the pattern too as the bobbles on the head were impossible to make with this yarn. But in the end I winged it nicely I think and I now am proud owner of my first – and only – fluffy book sheep.

Last but not least – if you are curious about the Cake Dutchess Modelling Alphabet Collaboration I did my little hare for and want to know what all other participants created, mark the date in your calendar and bookmark Etty’s website. The reveal is scheduled for the 20th of March and I can assure you that you will be totally amazed of the creativeness of each and every one that took part!