12 April 2015 @ 03:21 pm
I finished my first ever cardigan, the Gyre Cardigan.

Even though I did cave and knit a swatch (I hate swatching. It seems like such a waste of time), I got worried at first and started out with thirty stitches more at the beginning because it seemed too small, and several larger things that I'd knitted turned out far too small. It was very difficult at first to judge whether or not the cardigan would when it was still on the needles.

Read more... )

I should be doing several things for work at the moment, instead I'm learning how to do cable projects, starting with, what else, a scarf. It'll go well with my green hat, though.

Current Mood: accomplished
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
16 March 2015 @ 06:15 pm
Wavy scarf  
Tried my hand at an actual pattern for grown up knitters: Kieran Foley's Arran Waves.

Close-up before...

... and while being blocked on our living room floor rug:

And man, this was tricky. It took me over a month, I started over twice, but ended up with a result that I'm quite happy with. What i'm really not happy with anymore after this time is the yarn. In the beginning I liked the blue texture, but on the whole, the pattern is far too busy to do it justice. It also looks as though it really wanted to become a sock. Well, it can't be changed, and I'm not about to do this again any time soon. Sadly, it's also a bit too short for my taste . 
08 September 2014 @ 09:09 pm
Look what I made for T., [ profile] angie_21_237's little girl. Not that she's old enough to care, but I'm really happy with the result and am working on one for Crocky and me.

I used baby-appropriate wool that is washable and dyed in dye that does not threaten anyone's health. Well, and this pattern.

Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: okay
12 July 2014 @ 10:27 am
Ready for Halloween  
Winter can come - I'm not that good yet, so most of my knitting output is limited to scarves and hats. Among them, I've been working on a set of pumpkin hats.

This is the first model and then both together:

Next, I'll try my hand at a blueberry hat, and I've still got to block the asymetrical scarf that I've knitted. It's taken on the dimensions of a long blanket, albeit not a very broad one. 
Current Mood: okay
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
30 May 2014 @ 09:55 pm
Floaty Shawl II  
I made this:

Kvothe and Slytherin )
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
04 May 2014 @ 04:41 pm
Of knitting, blocking, and tasselled things.  
I finished my second major knitting project today, this shawl. This is the first time that I'd blocked anything I knitted, and I'm rather taken with the result. It went from something much smaller and slightly curly to this:

The finished product with tassels looks like this:

Everything I knit turns out about only about 2/3rds the size it's supposed to be, so I still have a long way to go. My stitches are also not as even as they could be, and my first squat puffy attempt at tassels also does nothing to compliment this very light lacy shawl. I'm doing a second one for myself right now. 
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: accomplished
28 February 2014 @ 09:26 pm
Benjamin Blümchen  
Stress resulted in this this week:

Current Mood: stressed
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
16 February 2014 @ 10:42 pm
I'm done! I couldn't do much during the past five days because of my cold, and here is the result:

Even though as you can see there are some unevenness when it comes to flower centres and yarns I'm very pleased with the result. I'm not sure what to do with this happy little fellow now, but it was still great to make.
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: sick
14 February 2014 @ 07:39 pm
Of course I ran out of wool on the last legs of Crocky's broomstick lace (or rather: plunger lace) scarf, so that project is on hold for now. I did purchase some ... Bändchengarn. Ribbon yarn? I don't know, but it looks like this and completed a scarf with that. I'm quite happy with how it turned out, but it isn't very warming, albeit decorative:

I love this stitch, it's fun to do and looks quite fancy, especially with the new yarn (the above scarf is about 1,60m long and made of exactly one ball of the yarn mentioned above).

I also caved and started working on a project involving this year's version of the granny squares that is currently all the rage on Ravelry, a pattern called "African Flowers", though I don't really understand where the name comes from.

Currently I'm trying to work on a Heidi Bear's Happypotamus, though I can't join-as-you-go as required by the project and though I don't really have any of the stuffing material that I'd need yet, either.

Quite apart from the fact that I'm not entirely clear what I'm going to do with a Hippopotamus toy once I'm done. Crocheting does clutter up the place with stuff. Ah, we'll see how this one turns out. I binned some of my early projects already because I didn't think that they were salvageable and I couldn't unravel all of them, especially if they were made of fuzzier yarn.
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
07 February 2014 @ 09:35 pm
Broomstick Lace  
A while ago I came across an "Athenian Scarf" that had a very strange and intricate-looking pattern which I forgot about because what I could just about do was a chain stitch and some pot holders in single crochets.

Now, a bit later, I found this again and also found out that it is called a "broomstick lace". It looks like this:

And as everything that I tackle in this woolly adventure that I'm on, it's really easy, otherwise I wouldn't be able to do it. YouTube has video tutorials of this here. I'm not using that kind of intimidating-looking "knitting needle" (what can you knit with that? It looks like something you'd take vampire hunting), I'm using the handle of the plunger that Crocky uses as a mute for her trombone. That's actually supposedly why it's called "broomstick lace", because you use the handles of broomsticks for it, and thus quite a witchy pursuit.

Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: Audio book: World War Z
05 February 2014 @ 08:10 pm
So, I tried to crochet this hood, which looks so elegant on the page and sort of quirky.

Even though I stuck to the pattern, my result looks more like something that I wore when I was about three years old and therefore more fuzzy and cutesy rather than elegant. Using two different yarn weights turned out to be a worse idea than anticipated. It means that the non-scaly parts of both the cowl and the hood become unintentionally... springy. Still, it's my first major project and I'm quite pleased.

That's me in the hood, by the way. The angle makes it look as though I'm wearing a crocheted bag over my head.

The hood from the back and fuzzy wrist warmers )
Current Music: Audiobook: World War Z
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: accomplished
28 January 2014 @ 02:59 pm
Recent projects  
I'm now on ravelry and I finished two projects since then- the dragonscale bracers -  they can't really be worn in public, but they're really warm and pretty - and a hideous fluffy pink bear ear hat with earflaps which wouldn't even look cute on a child. A brave soul who'd put that thing on, but it was fun to crochet while it lasted and then not fun enough to salvage when I couldn't get the beanie base to get large enough to fit and thus had to resort to the hideous earflaps. Ah, well.


Read more... )
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Music: The Read Headed League
14 January 2014 @ 04:50 pm
Fingerless scaly gauntlet  
So, my second attempt at something larger than an oven cloth (when I saw them in our kitchen I realised that those where my first crocheting project back in '03 when I made two Slytherin-coloured ones for Crocky).

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Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: accomplished
12 January 2014 @ 03:11 am
Neck warmer!  
I finished my crocheting project: I made it a neck warmer rather than a scarf, though. I'm thinking about making some fingerless gloves or gauntlets in the same pattern now that I'm done with this pattern. I actually bought the yarn to knit a scarf, but it looks as though knitting will have to wait a bit longer.

This is it. Front:

Read more... )
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
05 January 2014 @ 05:48 pm
I've always been about as good at anything involving yarn as the average cat is, so I usually avoid it. I decided to give it another go this week and am currently making a crocodile pattern scarf:

This is a crocodile pattern:

2 more )
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: awake
16 November 2013 @ 11:24 am
More modular origami  
With the last week more or less spent half-delirious on the couch I wasn't up to much. Reading was out of the question because I couldn't concentrate well enough, so I watched TV a whole lot and made another foray into modular origami. With my disastrous attempts at fröbeling and the more successful attempts at the bascetta star (video tutorial here) I branched out. I don't like the look of the modules needed for the bascetta star, they do wind up looking untidy and jagged. They're the blue and orange things on the photo.

My attempts with the sonobe module (video tutorial here) were successful, too, but the result looks far more like a ball than a star, so it's not really Christmas decoration. It's also not as see-through that I had hoped. On the picture, it's the grey item in the background.

I think at the moment my favourites are the fairly easy omega stars (video tutorial), they're the small orange and yellow ones on the picture, which unfortunately also wind up looking rather untidy and they always tear in the corners when I try to fold them over. The tutorial makes it look really easy to end up with far superior, tidier, pointier stars, but I didn't manage.

Edit: I found a less messy module than the one used in the Bascetta star that can be used to make a dodecahedral star (video tutorial here):

Brought to you by the two piles of student papers that I had to ignore all of last week and that is too forbidding to scale now. I really like this module, though, and I think this could probably be used to make other stellated polyhedra.

EDIT II: Send help. Here's another icosahedral star following a design and using the modules by Francesco Mancini (video tutorial here).

Oh, the work? Um. Yes, the work. The mountain is slowly getting smaller, but I can't believe how much work has piled up. I returned to school to a completely filled pigeon hole with work students handed in last Friday, and since I missed three tests with all of my small classes I spent the Friday afternoon correcting those. They're actually quite fast, but altogether I still took three hours.
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: okay
Current Music: Wie weit ist es bis zum Horizont - Knorkator
03 November 2013 @ 05:31 pm
"It is helpful to imagine the resulting icosahedron!"  
Even though I am not sure that imagining an icosahedron is ever helpful, I still had a lot of fun on a German site called Mathematische Basteleien which offers a neat tutorial for a Bascetta Star.

Inspired by our fröbeling yesterday and this is what is now gracing my desk:

Current Mood: accomplished
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Music: Laurie J. Marks: Fire Logic, Chapter 2
03 November 2013 @ 10:09 am
It was Crocky's sister Teddy's birthday party yesterday, or rather, one of them- this was the "queer adult edition". I was reacquainted (do people still use this word?) with Crocky's and Teddy's older bisexual foster sister and Crocky's bisexual godmother. I've often marvelled at the fact that my MIL, who died in 1991, had so many queer friends and foster children, and then wound up having a bisexual daughter, too.

Teddy, my former Russian learning partner, is still at it because she's planning to spend a few months in that country on her world tour. I'm slightly jealous because I could never do the same. I'm worried for Teddy, too. Still, I hope she's going to have a great time touring the globe and will return home safely. She cooked a tasty dish from her Russian cuisine cook book for us.

We spent the time eating, laughing, and trying to fold Fröbel stars. which their foster sister brought. The English Wikipedia has this to say:

"Froebel stars are very common in Germany, although few people know how to make them."

To which I can testify- IRL I don't know many people who can do Fröbel stars. I know that my grandparents could make them and my mother can, too, but I am convinced that in my generation I think that only the incredibly crafty like [ profile] angie_21_237 can do it- and the latter is the head of a kindergarten, so it's probably basically her job to know these things.
I have the shrewd suspicion that you talented flisties are probably experts at paper crafts happily fröbeling away, too.

We did end up with things resembling the stars, though and were quite proud of ourselves.

If you want to have a go yourself or need a refresher on how to make them, here's something that looks a lot like the directions we had:

Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: accomplished
03 March 2013 @ 05:58 pm
Trips and Electricity  
Crocky and I are going to Prague!

On a budget bus tour. We've taken a similar one with an equally questionable organiser before when we went to London for the midnight release of DH. In many ways, it was terrible, but if you didn't join any of the tour-organised crap and went off by yourselves, things improved drastically.

I'm apprehensive about doing just that because in London, this was possible because I am reasonably skilled in conversing with the natives, but in Prague? My Czech skills are very limited, I doubt that I can read the language well enough to get by, let alone understand any spoken Czech.

Still, at this stage it all sounds exciting and adventurous. When I'm stuck lost in Prague without any way of finding back, my phone dying and no map in sight, things will probably be different.

Otherwise I've been avoiding my pile of grammar exams by trying to put up another lamp in our living room. I'm not very good at this. In my limited experience, if you unscrew electrical fixtures over here, you're looking at a blue neutral and a brown live wire and sometimes green and yellow ground wires.

In this case, it's like looking at Medusa's head. There are two brown wires, three blue ones, two green-yellow ones and a black one. None of them appear to be live. Going by my previous experiences with installing fixtures in this flat this is not surprising, but I'm also apprehensive about what'll happen.

In the hallway, there are three live wires bunched together in a really crowded junction box, two of which don't appear to be live, so I took them out of the box and isolated them individually. But when I was I was fixing the hallway lamp's live wire in there using only the remaining live one, the result was that I didn't have any power in my room, which seems to be dependent entirely on one of those three wires connected to the light in the hall. I'm pretty sure that this is not How Things Are Done Usually. 
Current Mood: excited
Current Location: Bremen
02 March 2013 @ 11:38 pm
Done vs. to-do  
sleep in to catch up on sleep.
have porridge with unsweetened cocoa powder and a bit of peanut butter for breakfast.
inspect piles of assorted stuff that have grown on our floors during the past week and throw away half of it.
vacuum everything.
clean all floors.
clean bathroom and dramatically recite "Crossing the Bar" while scrubbing shower.
wipe down all surfaces with furniture polish.
load and run dishwasher.
reorganise kitchen closet.
cut off cables and plugs from lamps to prepare them for being put up in hallway.
nearly electrocute myself doing so because, contrary to what common sense would indicate, the lamps in the hallway are not connected to the fuse labelled "Hall", but to the "Kitchen" fuse.
celebrate fact that growing up I was drilled to use a screwdriver test light before attempting anything on anything electrical.
call my mother to inform her of my near-death experience as she is the one responsible for my test light training.
mope to my mother about fuses, school, and students for an hour.
defrost freezer and peel about 1kg of solid ice off the evaporator coils.
do laundry, including curtains.
play a merry game of sock memory to reunite long-lost sock brethren.
buy black leather coat on eBay for under €6.
buy soft shell coat that looks like a cross between a diving suit and a raincoat but which the reviewers said is very comfortable.
attempt to draw something. Give up when it turns out it sucks.
research short city sightseeing trips Crocky and I could take in the Easter holidays.
research courses offered by the local university and debate feasibility of pulling off completing one while working a full-time job.

Actual to-do-list:
- correct my seventh year's exam.
- talk to the kind crazy cat neighbours.
- draft an exam paper for my other seventh years.
- prepare exercises for my eleventh years for Monday.
- finish minutes of Wednesday's workshop.
Current Music: Mumford & Sons - The Cave
Current Mood: chipper
Current Location: Home
09 October 2011 @ 04:36 pm
In my search for autumn-related arts & crafts projects I came across some very worthwhile-sounding things, like the leaf lantern, the idea to stick colourful dried leaves to your windows with self-adhesive book covers (not sure if I'd be looking forward to scraping the glue off the windows afterwards, though), a leaf mobile (or, as in this case, leaf gratitude mobile). 

I'm thinking about doing a leaf mobile now, and I kinda want to do it with dried leaves instead of paper or clay leaves. Let's see, maybe I can find some maples somewhere today. 

EDIT: also, if I was still in kindergarten, I'd totally want to do a leaf crown. This looks SO much easier and more convenient than the stupid daisy chains I tried to make over and over at that age. 
Current Mood: procrastinating