Miss Winkle / Christmas in July

204 days ago I made a promise. It was Christmas 2013 and my moms wish was that I would knit her a shawl. And because I don’t like knitting without knowing that the presentee will really, REALLY love what I make I gave my mom a gift certificate for a present of my own.

Right after Christmas my mom chose a lovely pattern on ravelry - Miss Winkle by Martina Behm / Strickmich! - and we went to my favorite yarn store in my hometown in Germany. The owner was so kind to teach me how to knit a sweater when I was 13… I have to show you pictures of that sweater one day… Anyhow, we went there and one of the employees helped us pick a yarn. A lace yarn. My mom liked the color and the employee reassured me that even if the pattern recommends a fingering weight yarn it’s totally fine to use this lace yarn. 

And so the knitting journey began.

While I was trying to figure out how the pattern works the lace yarn gave me a hard time. Everything was tiny and looked messy. I started over three or for times but it didn’t get any prettier… What was supposed to be loops looked like holes made by accident. Lace yarn was obviously the wrong choice. I was disappointed and gave up. You can see my first attempt in the bottom image on the left side.

Then I decided to give the pattern another chance and knitted it with some leftover sock yarn. And - tadaaa - it looked good! The loops still gave me a hard time, I had problems to attach them with the right twist. But anyway you could actually identify the loops. In knew that I would only have to order the right yarn. To avoid further yarn choice mistakes I decided to buy the same yarn that Martina Behm used in her pattern: Deep Sea Jellyfish by Miss Babs. Good choice!

You think that at that point my mom finally got her Christmas gift? I have to disappoint you… Because Santa Claus refused to work in June I had to send it to Germany myself. And for whatever reason German customs had decided that my package was suspicious… So my mom had to wait a little bit longer.

As you can see in my pictures the knitting journey came to an end after weeks (months) of trying, frustration, trying again, ordering yarn, knitting, blocking, shipping and boarder control. I’m really happy with the result and my mom is happy too. All’s well that ends well!

Zion National Park

The next stop on our journey was Zion National Park. The Landscape is overwhelmingly beautiful. And even if we were there during the main season it never felt crowded. It was really hot and the air was dry which made it very exhausting to hike. Luckily I had my ginormous sun hat with me :-)

The next thing I’ll show you is Bryce Canyon. Be prepared for another breathtaking landscape!

One night in Las Vegas

Oh wow. Again it’s been a long time since my last blog post. What is going on? Nothing special. Just life. The good life! Working on my doctoral thesis got pretty serious in the last months — it has to be over some day! And we spent some time traveling (California, Las Vegas, some National Parks, Salt Lake City…). And then there was the World Cup… Like I said: just the good life. 

Over the next days I want to share some pictures of our last trip with you. What you can see here is our flight from Seattle to Las Vegas. We started in the beautifully green Pacific Northwest, saw some very impressive Mountains (the first picture shows an impressive Mt. Rainier on the way out of Seattle, the other one is Mt. Hood next to Portland) and arrived in the desert. 

We were in Las Vegas only for 24 hours — I would say that was enough. This city is really overwhelming and exhausting with all the lights and sounds. Everything is artificial, fake reality, and when you are inside you totally lose track of time. Also it’s really sad to see people sit alone in front of their one-armed bandit for hours. I’m glad that I’ve seen it with my own eyes and we had fun but I really don’t have to go there again.

With one exception: our hotel pool (we stayed at the Caesars). I have a thing for pools. That could definitely be a good reason to go back one day :-) 

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.

— Paulo Coelho

Tiny people

Some pictures from our trip to the Pacific (Olympic Peninsula). Thanks to my lovely husband who took most of them.

Hoh Rainforest

In March we visited Hoh Rainforest again (see the pictures from our last visit there). The last time I was very impressed by the really big old trees. This time I focused more on all the tiny mushrooms and the beautiful moss that is everywhere in the rainforest. The mushrooms you see on my pictures are not much larger than an inch!

I used a special macro lense from Photojojo that you can attach to your iPhone or Android. I’m not really happy with the results, it was very difficult to get sharp images. But because I’m so in love with those tiny rainforest inhabitants I wanted to show them to you anyway :-)

Hoh Rainforest

Im März waren wir zum zweiten mal im Hoh Rainforest (hier könnt ihr die Bilder von unserem letzten Ausflug sehen). Beim letzten mal war ich sehr beeindruckt von den wirklich großen und alten Bäumen. Dieses mal haben mich die vielen kleinen Pilze und das Moos fasziniert. Die Pilze, die ihr auf meinen Bildern seht, sind nur wenige Zentimeter groß!

Ich habe eine spezielle Makro-Linse von Photojojo benutzt die man am Smartphone anbringen kann. Ich bin nicht wirklich zufrieden mit den Ergebnissen, es war sehr schwer scharfe Aufnahmen zu bekommen. Aber weil ich so verliebt bin in diese kleinen Waldbewohner zeige ich sie euch heute trotzdem :-)

Mail Sack II

Here it is, Mail Sack number two! This time for a very dear friend in Germany. Remember my first Mail Sack? This is the small version of Mail Sack by Pink Chalk Studio

The fabric I used is Moda Cross Weave in three different colors: grey, blue and something like eggplant. I changed one thing about the pattern: I inserted a zipper (like its big brother has one). The zipper is four inches long and fits a mobile phone perfectly

Oh, one day I’ll make a Mail Sack for myself and I think it’s going to be a small one!

Mail Sack II

Hier ist er, mein zweiter Mail Sack! Dieses mal für eine liebe Freundin in Deutschland. Erinnert ihr euch an meinen ersten Mail Sack? Dieser hier ist die kleine Version nach dem Schnittmuster von Pink Chalk Studio

Der Stoff ist Moda Cross Weave in Grau, Blau und so etwas wie Aubergine. Ich habe nur eine Änderung am Schnittmuster vorgenommen: ich habe (genau wie bei der großen Variante der Tasche) einen Reißverschluss eingefügt. Er ist ungefähr 10 cm lang, so passt gut ein Smartphone in die zusätzliche Innentasche. 

Bald kommt der Tag, da nähe ich mir auch einen Mail Sack. Und ich bin mir ziemlich sicher, dass es diese kleine Variante sein wird. Sehr praktisch!

Beautiful River at Hoh Rainforest

quilted baby blanket eggplant kitty dreams| Babydecke aubergine gequilted quilted baby blanket eggplant kitty dreams| Babydecke aubergine gequilted

Baby blanket 

Oooh, this baby blanket for little Alma in Berlin is so soft and cuddly! It feels weird to me that my friends in Germany have kids and I’m not there to cuddle them… That’s why I put all my love into these sewing projects.

I got my inspiration from the lap duvet by The Purl Bee and I bought the fabric here in Ballard at Drygoodsdesign. The purple fabric is Simply Color Metro Ombre Eggplant from Moda Fabric. Towards the center the color is fading so that the blanket is colored in different shades of eggplant. The other fabric is Kitty Dreams in White designed by Lizzy House. As you can imagine I’m totally in love with the cats! 

In contrast to my previous baby blankets this one is on both sides made of cotton fabric. I filled it with a fleece made ​​of bamboo that is cozy and durable.

Sewing the blanket was pretty easy and fun. The only thing that didn’t make me happy is that you could see the white thread at the purple side of the blanket. For the next blanket I will try a different quilting stitch and quilting needles.

I made the baby blanket in March, but it was on it’s way to Germany for a looong time and therefore I couldn’t show it earlier on the blog :-)

Babydecke

Oooh, so kuschelig weich ist sie geworden, die Babydecke für die kleine Alma in Berlin! Es fühlt sich komisch an, dass meine Freunde in Deutschland Kinder bekommen und ich bin nicht da… Deshalb schicke ich meine Zuneigung in Form von Baby-Nähprojekten zu meinen Liebsten.

Meine Inspiration für diese Babydecke habe ich von The Purl Bees Nähprojekt 'lap duvet’, den Stoff habe ich hier in Ballard bei Drygoodsdesign gekauft. Der auberginefarbene Stoff heißt Simply Color Metro Ombre Eggplant von Moda Fabric. Zur Mitte hin wird die Farbe schwächer, die Decke hat also verschiedene Schattierungen von Aubergine. Der andere Stoff ist Kitty Dreams in White, entworfen von Lizzy House. Wie ihr euch vorstellen könnt bin ich ganz verliebt in die Kätzchen!

Im Unterschied zu meinen bisherigen Babydecken ist diese Decke hier von beiden Seiten aus Baumwollstoff. Gefüllt ist sie mit einem Fleece aus Bambus, das ist kuschelig und strapazierfähig.

Die Decke zu nähen war nicht schwer und hat Spaß gemacht. Da das Fleece zwischen zwei Baumwollstoffen liegt rutscht es einem nicht immer so weg… Das einzige was mich nicht so glücklich gemacht hat war, dass man den weißen Faden auf der auberginefarbenen Seite der Decke sehen konnte. Nächstes mal werde ich einen anderen Quilting Stich ausprobieren und spezielle Quilting Nadeln benutzen.

Craftcation 2014 Recap
Oh my, time flies by! 
On the first weekend of April I was at the Craftcation conference and now is the time I can finally write about it… First, I was on a road trip in California, then I was sick for about a week. I think I’m now officially the last one in the blogosphere who tells you about the amazing weekend we had in Ventura. Many bloggers shared their experiences and I could not have put it better than these incredible bloggers:
Christine Haynes | City Stitching
Rachel | The Crafted Life
Mere | Not Merely Living
It felt wonderful to be in such an inspiring atmosphere and to meet so many wonderful makers. Being in California was the icing on this cake.
I met wonderful crafters and bloggers who’s work I’ve been admiring for a while now like Michelle Ward, Lisa Congdon and Brittni Mehlhoff. And I got to know many more inspiring people like Christine Heynes, Jenifer Lake, Nicole Stevenson and Marlo Miyashiro.
I discovered wonderful new crafting adventures like embroidery, cross stitching and block printing. I made my very first terrarium and brought it safely back to Seattle. I made accessories with fresh flowers. That was soooo much fun!
But most important: I made wonderful new friends that share my passion for making and crafting. Yay! 

Craftcation 2014 Recap

Oh my, time flies by! 

On the first weekend of April I was at the Craftcation conference and now is the time I can finally write about it… First, I was on a road trip in California, then I was sick for about a week. I think I’m now officially the last one in the blogosphere who tells you about the amazing weekend we had in Ventura. Many bloggers shared their experiences and I could not have put it better than these incredible bloggers:

It felt wonderful to be in such an inspiring atmosphere and to meet so many wonderful makers. Being in California was the icing on this cake.

I met wonderful crafters and bloggers who’s work I’ve been admiring for a while now like Michelle WardLisa Congdon and Brittni Mehlhoff. And I got to know many more inspiring people like Christine HeynesJenifer LakeNicole Stevenson and Marlo Miyashiro.

I discovered wonderful new crafting adventures like embroidery, cross stitching and block printing. I made my very first terrarium and brought it safely back to Seattle. I made accessories with fresh flowers. That was soooo much fun!

But most important: I made wonderful new friends that share my passion for making and crafting. Yay! 

Washi Dress

Today I finally show you my Washi Dress (I have to admit: I finished it in January). My first self-sewn garment! That feels great. I’m ready for spring now.

Thanks to the drygoods team in Ballard for their help!

Washi Dress

Heute zeige ich euch endlich mein Washi Dress, seit Januar wartet es auf seinen großen Auftritt hier im Blog. Mein erstes selbstgenähtes Kleidungsstück! Das fühlt sich großartig an. Jetzt kann der Frühling kommen.

Danke liebes drygoods Team für eure Hilfe!

Pompoms

Once again I made pompoms - they float now in our bedroom. If you’re looking for a good tutorial visit Debbies blog “one little project at a time”.

Pompoms

Ich habe mal wieder Pompoms gebastelt - sie schweben jetzt im Schlafzimmer. Wenn ihr ein gutes Tutorial sucht dann schaut doch mal bei Debbie von “one little project at a time" vorbei.

Mail Sack

I made this bag for a dear friend of mine. She wanted a bag that will match her summer coat. So we went to the fabric store together and picked those beautiful summer colors. Sewing for my friends is very exciting for me. When I’m sewing my thoughts are with them and every finished project declares my love for them.

The pattern is "Mail Sack" from Pink Chalk Studio. It was a real pleasure to sew this big and robust bag and it was a great opportunity to strengthen my zipper skills (I made progress since my first attempts with zippers). The pattern explains every step very well. This Mail Sack is definitely not the last one I made — I already have planned two more :-)

Mail Sack

Ich habe diese Tasche für eine liebe Freundin genäht. Sie wollte eine Tasche die zu ihrem Sommermantel passt. Also haben wir zusammen im Stoffladen (Myo Stoffe in Köln) diese schönen Sommerfarben ausgesucht. Für Freunde zu nähen ist für mich immer sehr aufregend. Während ich nähe bin ich in Gedanken bei ihnen und jedes fertige Stück ist eine kleine Liebeserklärung. 

Der Schnitt heißt "Mail Sack" und ist von Pink Chalk Studio. Es hat mir richtig Spaß gemacht diese große und stabile Tasche zu nähen. Außerdem war es eine gute Gelegenheit meine Reißverschluss-Fähigkeiten auszubauen (es gibt Fortschritte seit meinen ersten Reißverschluss-Versuchen). In der Anleitung zum Schnittmuster sind alle Schritte gut erklärt. Dieser Mail Sack ist definitiv nicht der letzte den ich nähen werde - zwei weitere sind schon fest eingeplant :-)

Tuba on the Ballard Farmers Market