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!

Diamonds are a girls best friend

At the moment I am in a phase where I just cannot make myself work on something really crafty.  I have three crochet projects in progress but every time after work I just am too tired to pick them up. I have at least two beading projects I have bought beads for and I really would love to make but every time I think of starting them, I do not have enough energy to actually do it. Who knows me in person knows that I ALWAYS have something in progress – even when chatting with friends. I cannot hold still and need my hands busy all the time. Now I find myself sitting watching TV and NOT doing anything – and it does not feel good.

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So this Sunday I treated myself to sleeping long hours and to making the best breakfast for me and my hubby.  Waffles made in the oven with Greek yogurt, berries and a drizzle of caramel syrup. The recipe is actually not mine – I grabbed it out of the internet from Zimt und Kuchenliebe and it is the best waffles recipe ever! Really! Easy to make – the dough is whipped up in less than 10 minutes and backed in only 15 more – with not too much sweetness so that you can add whatever you like to suit your sweet tongue.

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In the meantime I also started something new – I just cannot do nothing at all the whole week. I wanted to try diamond painting for quite some time as it is kind of cross stitching with little stones. I was not sure how good the quality of the final picture would be but I just jumped in and ordered some kits. The intention was to put them up on the doors of several rooms in my apartment cause I do not like the plain white doors. The kits finally arrived last week and the first task was to actually check, if all the little stones where delivered. This was tedious work as I picked larger kit sizes (the bigger the pic the better the effect of the pixels) and the little diamonds came in very small packages. Of course I had to try it out – and I just cannot quit any more. It’s addictive to see it grow – even though progress is slow as I just work on it for a short time each day. Quality is pretty good and I love the effect of the diamond pixels coming together – you can really see the little fox by now. Isn’t he cute?

Last Wacky square, a bracelet and partying all day (and night)

This week was a little bit more on the party rather than the creative side. It was Pride week again which means lots of music and fun outside. On Saturday my sister came over and we had a lot of fun together checking out small street markets all around Vienna. There was the Prosi exotic food festival (we checked that one out on Friday already), the StrassenKunstFest (little stalls where creative people sold DIY jewellery and other handmade stuff), the Mexican food festival (very tiny and with less music than expected), the Joya Yoga convention and open house at a couple of art studios (very interesting pieces of art – and some really strange ones).  The climax was the Pride parade on Saturday afternoon which was as colourful and fun as every year. Afterwards we decided to also go to an after-parade party which actually was more fun then I had expected. I am not that much the party girl especially with strangers but the atmosphere was cool, open and very relaxing.

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So that’s the reason why I was not able to do much on the creative side. I finished the last squares of the Wacky Weave CAL though, so I am through with one set of squares. Now I will continue with the second set but will not bug you with pics until the joining and border phase. I have been practicing Micro Macramé jewellery making a little bit but am not happy with the waxed cord I have bought for that. So I will be trying out different cords and hopefully will have something to share next week.

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Additionally I made a small bracelet for my sister. It looks quite simple with twisted rows of beads but it was the reason for some of my gray hair :). That twisting made me miss some beads when joining together and therefore I had to remake it once after having it almost finished. But there was no way I would give away something with a fault in it… But even though I had some struggles, it was fun to bead again. I really need to do some more soon.

 

 

Wacky Weave (again), Crewel embroidery sampler and Running for Acceptance

img_0758This weeks square looks quite elegant. My husband and I usually play the “which side do you like better” game. But honestly, this time I can’t make up my mind which one I like best. At the moment I am working on the final set of squares – quite a melancholic situation as usual. Yes, I still need to make another set of two each but now I know each square by heart already and it will not be a surprise every week any more. I will really need to focus on doing them and not leave them for now being led astray by other projects. But it will be very hard as it is really hot here and such things as joining a whole blanket are terribly hot work.

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After finishing my squares I started to prepare the canvas for my crewel embroidery sampler. I hand sewed the edge with variegated embroidery thread to prevent fraying and to ensure that I am able to pick up the sampler for reference later. I started with a simple lazy daisy stitch but not sure where I will be heading from that now. It’s like doodling on canvas and I am not very good at doodling at all. I rather prefer following a certain layout but I want to step out of the comfort zone with this sampler.

CaptureLast but not least on Saturday I participated in the final run before the summer race break.  It was the first Vienna Pride Run – Run for Acceptance. For me it was not only a race but also running to support a movement I strongly believe in. The right for everyone to love whoever you want no matter of gender. It was a very small race – only about 2000 people participated – and only half as crazy as I had expected it. It was well organitzed though – even better than most of the bigger ones. Running went really well this time, even though it was pretty hot: 5k in 39:39 which makes a pace of 7:54. I am so happy to finally be at a pace below 8:00 again – I know, only barely but who cares ;). Now it’s back to practicing again to ensure that this pace was not seen only once. As well, I need to keep up my distance training for next years 10k runs. After the race is always also before the race. The next races will be in autumn, so until then you will not be bugged by race reports again 🙂

Still more Wacky Weave and another race

Are you tired of reading about my Wacky Weave CAL already? Well, rest assured – we only have a couple of squares left until we are supposed to join and add the border. I still have to do the squares a second time but I guess I will not bore you with pictures of them again 🙂 This weeks square was very symmetrical. I love the effect of it as it adds some dynamic feeling. In the picture they look a little bit too much like a rectangle.

On Sunday I participated in another race – the 31st Asics Woman’s Run. I actually was not keen on participating this year as there are about 33.000 women running that day and I really don’t like such huge crowds. But than my running buddy signed up and quite insistent begged me not to leave her running alone…. We signed up for the 10k as the number of runners is not that big as for the 5k. It was pretty hot this year again but I was able to stay mostly in the shade which made it quite nice to run. I am happy with the result as it is better than my training runs even though I was 2min slower than last year. Now I need to continue training so that next year I have the change to beat my personal best.

Wacky Weave 8 and an old project finished

This weeks Wacky Weave square was again my most favourite one. It was so fast to make and so much fun watching the pattern appear. One other participant said that one side looks like little bats and now I just can’t unsee my flock of little bats 🦇. I still need the second set of squares done – maybe I’ll start with them soon before the whole set of blocks has been released.

This Sunday I had a friend come over for a Westworld season one marathon. Now that season two has started we decided that it was more than time to watch season one. It has been in my movie library for quite some time and I never watched it. We successfully conquered the whole season and I can tell you: I love that serie! Of course I was not lazy while watching and picked up an old project that was ducked away for quite a while now. Remember the Spirits of the Orchid wrap? Well the yarn bundle came with the add on pattern, a metal hoop and enough yarn for a mandala dreamcatcher. I kind of messed up the first time and had therefore put it aside – but it was a perfect project now. I added some details – some peacock feathers designed by TheCurioCraftsRoom and some pearls for the sparkle. Don’t look to closely at the window – I definitely need to clean them but I wanted to put the dreamcatcher up right away. I love how it looks when the sun shines through the window. Sadly that sun makes it impossible to shoot a decend picture, so I can’t show you how it shines and sparkles.

Wacky catch up, shuttle tatting and the hunt for Mister Y

I did some mayor catching up on my Wacky Weave CAL and have now from all squares released two of a kind. The last one – number 7 – really was fun to make. It was very easy as it is mostly two separate squares only woven together after several rows. I did put all my squares on to the blocking board now as they are slightly rectangle and this will give them time to square up. Now only four more squares until I have them all and need to start thinking on layout, joining and border. I still have some time though as I will be making each square again twice for a serious cuddle beneath hubby blanket.

After catching up I actually had some time to start something totally different. I have been needle tatting on and of but have not been too happy with it. There are so many lovely tatting patterns out there that are only written for shuttle tatting. Of course some can be translated to needle tatting but some just cannot be changed. My friend had tried to switch to the shuttle recently and actually told me it was easy. So I just gave it a go. Using the book “new tatting” by Tomoko Morimoto the start was really simple. The book seriously has the best instructions I have ever seen. If you want to start with shuttle tatting, this book is a must. Well, I really got hooked on shuttle tatting after getting used to the different way of holding the thread and making the movements. There will be some more tatting projects pretty soon for sure.

My hubby and I love to solve riddles and so it does not come as a surprise that we were all ears when reading about a mystery hunt hosted by the local public transportation system. A hunt for Mister Y who has send a mysterious coded message to them. Such things are real fun: hints are given on signs on the public transportation system – in buses, the subway and street cars. Some hints point to the district the searched for mysterious object to solve the riddle can be found, some to the object itself and some to locations around the object. So my hubby and I spend Saturday on a hunt for hints and where very successful. It was fun also to watch the confused looks of people when we just hopped on a bus, made a picture of the clue and rushed of before the bus left. Guess not everyone knew what was going on. We believe we found the mysterious object though in the end – however now we need to figure out how to use this object on the key. We still have some time until the mystery hunt is over – we will solve that riddle!

Wacky Weave successes and happy running

Remember that Wacky Weave square number 4 that gave me a hard time? I successfully conquered it – okay mostly. I messed up the turning a little bit but this does not show as it is covered with the border. After the struggle I just didn’t want to do that square again with my second color right afterwards. Luckily I am a little bit behind so that I had some more patterns up my sleeve. I decided to go for number 5 in the same color instead, hoping that it would not give me as much trouble as number 4. It was so nice and uncomplicated that I fell in love with it right away. And with the next one too. But I really need to get back to tackling those squares in my second color soon. Otherwise my hubby will end up with only a baby sized blanket 😂.

Additionally I am training again for the next upcoming race. This weekend actually would have been the Wings for Life Run where we participated via app the last two years. However this year we would have had to pay upfront rather than donate whatever money you want or can afford. It was quite expensive, especially given that the app hardly ever worked correctly. At least I would like to have a serious time measurement if I have to pay. Given that temperatures were also supposed to become pretty high and the race was scheduled to begin at 1 pm, I decided that I would rather run in the morning without the app and just donate some money. Honestly it was a much more relaxed run than it would have been at noon time. I planned to go for 10k as this is the distance I will be tackling in three weeks at the Women’s Run. And 10k it was – at little bit tough on the last 500m but this time I was able to run the whole distance. And this with the sun already pretty though. I am actually pretty proud of myself – even though I might have bored the hell out of my hubby as his pace is much faster than mine …