Saturday, 4 January 2014

Currently Knitting: Big Herringbone Cowl by Purlbee

After finishing the Hierro Mittens I was project less and as I knew I had a few hours in the car to get to Berlin I set of to find a pattern. I wanted something fairly simple as I get car sick and didn't want a project that required a lot of pattern reading. It also had to be a fairly fast project and not too big as I want to finish it before going back to university. In the end, after looking at numerous patterns, I decided to do the Big Herringbone Cowl by Purlbee.

The knitting shop closest to my parents place predominantly sells Lana Grossa wool. So I checked on Ravelry if someone had done this cowl with Lana Grossa wool. A few people had and after looking at their comments and pictures I decided that the wool called Bingo was probably best for what I was imagining.

I set of and made it to the shop just in time before they closed. I got the wool in a cream colour as well as 12 mm round needles. So far I love the needles. I really like that they are pink it is a great change from the usual needles I use. I am not sure about the wool though. It is not tightly spun and does seem to unravel a bit at some points making the stitches uneven looking. It feels nice though and I hope that it will even out once I have blocked the finished cowl.

The pattern is fairly easy to follow and has nice big pictures to illustrate the steps. Still, it took me a few rows to figure out how to do the change between rows once I had completed a round. Overall I would recommend this pattern to a beginner because it could be a great project for trying out knitting in the round. It uses basic knitting stitches but still has a great effect and interesting looking pattern. 

I have now joined the fourth ball of wool out of six and hope to finish it in the next few days. I will show you pictures once it is finished.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Year's in Berlin

This year for New Year we went to Berlin because it was also one of my family members 50th birthday. I had been to Berlin about 12 years ago and so I was really excited to go. Originally we had planned to stay from 29.12.2013 to 2.01.2014 but with the illnesses back home we already had to leave a day earlier. So in total we had two days and an evening.

After we had arrived we set of to the Brandenburg Gate with a stop at the Potsdamer Platz where I took a picture of the decorations which had been put up for The Hobbit premier. Afterwards we met for dinner with the family. The dinner was a bit disappointing for me because they only had one vegetarian meal to choose from.

Decorations put up for The Hobbit Premier

At the Brandenburg Gate

The next morning we met with my aunts and uncle that had come to Berlin as well and just wandered around town. As it was really busy in Berlin it was really difficult to stick together. We went to see the Cathedral and then to the Alex (the big TV tower). It was really great to walk around Berlin and hear all these different languages.

Berlin Cathedral

The Alex

The next day (New Year's Eve) we only spend about half the day in town and this time it was only my family and me. We went to Kreuzberg which had some smaller independent shops but unfortunately a lot of them were closed. Afterwards we went to the Hackische Höfe which is a big complex of house connected by courtyards with a lot of nice shops. There I made a nice necklace for myself as a souvenir. The evening was spend with my family celebrating the birthday and the New Year.

Hackische Höfe

Street Art near Hackische Höfe

Necklace I had made near the Hackische Höfe

Overall, it was really great to see Berlin after such a long time. I liked it and I think it would be great to return at a less busy and may be a bit warmer time of year.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Welcome 2014

Hello new year!!! So far you proved to be up to no good but I sincerely hope it will get better. I don't want to go into detail about why this year hasn't started as well as one would hope a new year to start, lets just say a few of my family members are ill and it has meant a bit of a bumpy start.

But as I tend to have a positive view of life I do believe it will get better.

Most people start their new year with a bunch of resolutions but I am not a big fan of that. Mainly for two reasons: 1) if I really wanted to change something I shouldn't have to wait for the new year and 2) if I start thinking about a list of resolutions I never know where to stop.

That doesn't mean that I don't think it works for other people and I do enjoy reading resolutions or goals other people set themselves for the coming year. I find them very inspiring and they do give me a lot of new ideas and things to think about.

So instead of resolutions, here is a list of things to come this year in my life:

- going to New York at the end of this months
- handing in my dissertation in February and finishing my undergrad studies in June
- deciding if I want to continue with post grad studies
- going to London for an internship (hopefully, if I can find accommodation that is)
- moving away from my current place of residence to somewhere else
- a lot of knitting and (hopefully) more crocheting
- spinning wool
- reading at least 50 books (I am doing the Goodreads 2014 reading challenge)

I am sure much more will happen this year, things I can't remember right now, things that will take me absolutely by surprise, that will make me happy, sad and everything in between. I can't wait for everything that this year has in store for me and my family and friends.

First of all though, I will watch the new episode of Sherlock season 3!!!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Hierro Mittens

They actually do have the same size. It only looks like they are different on the photo.

 In the first Pom Pom Quarterly (Autum 2013) I ordered where these strunning mittens by Kelly Ashfield. I had been meaning to make them ever since I got the magazine. I ordered the wool DyeForYarn Absinthe Silk/Merino DK Yarn superwash that I wanted to use but life got in the way. Okay, may be also the fact that I started to knit a jumper (more about that in a few days).

I finally got around to starting them just before Christmas which was about time as I wanted to give them to my friend as a Christmas/Housewarming gift. She has recently moved into her first own flat.

The pattern is really straight forward and easy to follow. The only difficulties was to figure out how to do the decreases with the pattern. After a bit of trail and error it I figured it out and then it was really esay making me wonder what I had found so difficult before. I finished each mitten in about a day. I think they are good for a beginner knitter looking for a small project with a bit of chart reading.

Detail of the pattern

I changed the pattern slightly by leaving out the bobbles. I am not really a fan of bobbles and I think the criss cross pattern with the stunning colour of the wool was more than enought.

The wool was a delight to work with. It knitted up very well and feels really soft. The colour is really as pretty as it looks on the picture. If you ever look for stunning colour and really good quality wool I highly recommend DyeForYarn's prodcuts. Have a look at their shop on Etsy.

Friday, 27 December 2013

What to do with leftover chocolate Santas

Now the Christmas days are over we have a ton of chocolate left over and we are not very fond of chocolate Santas. Instead of having them in the cupboard for months on end I decided they are best turned into chocolate crisps.

Besides all the chocolates you have lying around you need corn flakes, and if you want any nuts you like.

Gather all the chocolate from Christmas and smash them into small pieces. But them in a bowl and put it over simmering water to melt the chocolate.

When all is melted take the bowl of the heat and pour in corn flakes (and nuts if you are adding them). Using spoons put about a spoon full on baking trays lined with baking paper. After all the mixture has been spooned out, put the tray(s) in a cool place and wait until the chocolate is set. Enjoy!!!

Mine turned out a bit funny because I thought it would be a good idea to add cream. It wasn’t. The chocolate turned crumbly. They don’t look nice, no shine on them but they taste alright.

I remember making them with my gran before Christmas when we were baking for Christmas. They are ridiculously simple to make but are always a hit. Who doesn’t like crunchy chocolate?

Well, I will be enjoying mine tonight with a friend watching all the Narnia films. She recently moved into her own flat and it will be my first time visiting her. I am really excited to see her new home.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Pretty things

Is there a more stylish way to store your yarn stash? I don't think so. When this appeared on my tumblr dashboard today I was overcome by want. Aren't the colours just amazing? And all the projects you could make out of all that wool. Too bad I don't actually have a living room or that much yarn. One day...

Via Este Mar
This is my perfect fall/winter outfit. I just love the colours of the whole look and also the nice balance between geeky and stylish. My favourite item of the whole look is the jacket. I have been on the look out for something similar for a while now but unfortunately I haven't had any luck yet.

Via nyujanuaryterm2014
Well, not really a thing but still pretty. I am posting this because I am going to New York in January and we just booked the tickets a few days ago. I have never been to the US and wanted to go to New York really badly for an eternity. And now it is finally becoming reality. Today it is exactly two months before we will fly out of London. Is it possible to fast forward?

Any tips on what to see and where to go?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Pattern round-up: Slippers

It seems like I will have quite a bit of wool left from knitting my jumper. I guess I must have calculated the amount of skeins for the yardage wrong. But that doesn't matter because I already have an idea what I want to make. I had to part with my very warm and comfy slippers this summer because they were basically falling apart. Ever since I have been meaning to get a new pair. But now with so much left over wool I might as well make some. Here are two of my favourite patterns (I just have to decided which one to make):


Nola's Slippers. Photo by sneezerville
These slippers look like they will keep your feet toasty during cold days. Pattern is by Nola Miller and can be found on Ravelry.



Crochet slippers by All about Ami
I really love the colours and the detail of the buttons. They look fairly easy to make as well. But I think they might be better suited for a little warm weather than we are experiencing at the moment. Pattern can be found here.