WIP week 4

Last week, I haven’t really knitted as much. I am maybe 1/3 done with the back of my cardigan.

Instead I have been sewing a little more. The skirt I mentioned only needs a button now, which I still have to buy. Other than that it is done.
Now I am sewing a jacket. I got a bunch of fabric from two generous ladies at the knitting course I go to and this is one of them. It is a warm winter fabric with three layers. The outside, batting and an inner lining and they are all quilted together which gives it a nice look. I made this pattern by altering a pattern for a winter overall that I had. It is a simple jacket as I think that this fabric doesn’t need too many details. I am not going to add a hood to this jacket even though the ones in the stores always seem to have one. I never use them anyways because Johannes is wearing a hat which makes a hood kind of unnecessary.

jacket

Then I also started a shirt with an envelope neck. I only cut it out so far and pinned one of the neckbands on one of the pieces. The reason why I also started this shirt now is that I am using my Mom’s serger. It has the overlock feature and also a coverstitch for hemming. Switching between these two always takes some time, mainly because I don’t use it very often and am not used to it. But it definitely gives the finished garment a neater, more professional look from the inside.

IMG_7158

WIP week 3

New year, new projects!

knitprojectweek3

As the new year just settled in, I am starting a cardigan in a lovely green, that I like to call hunter’s green. The yarn is very soft and nice to knit with. As with all yarns from the yearly sale at the “Hamburger Wollfabrik” (wool factory of Hamburg), this yarn isn’t twisted. You can let them twist it there but it costs a bunch extra. I don’t mind that it isn’t twisted although I have to be a little more careful and knit a little slower. It is a mix of merino, cashmere, silk and a little bit of acrylic.
At the moment I am working on the back and I am not that far yet. I should hurry up so that I will be able to wear it this winter which is likely not going to happen. But even in spring it is nice to have some cardigans to wear instead of the normal jacket.

I am not really getting any further with my actual sewing project at the moment. I am almost done making a skirt but then some other clothes had to be sewn first. Some clothes for the baby, 2 dress shirts that still needed the buttons and rain pants for my husband. He bikes to work and it has been raining a lot lately. He asked me to make some because the rain cape he has doesn’t cover his legs. I kept them pretty simple by just using a pattern for some pants I made for him before and cutting out the fabric a little larger. He can pull them over the pants he is wearing and tighten them with a string.

And that’s about it for this week. I am only focusing on this cardigan and hopefully on my skirt again soon.

raisin knots

Lately, I got kind of obsessed with bread baking. I am trying to get good at baking artisan breads, using sourdough or a preferment. They taste so much better than the average quick rise bread but of course need some planning ahead. I don’t have all the tools to make the perfect loaf yet but a baking stone and a bread slashing tool are on my wishlist and then I will work on getting the perfect loaf. But for now, I am happy with getting some experience that I can gain without them.
The other day I had a craving for raisin bread. I wanted to try out a new recipe that uses a preferment, as I yet have to make some sourdough. In the beginning I was thinking of making a white bread that I made a bunch of times and just add raisins to it. But then I decided to look for a new recipe. After finding a bunch of sourdough raisin breads, I saw these raisin rolls. Why shouldn’t I make raisin buns instead of a bread? It sounded like a fun project to form the dough into knots. Also it is a very good excuse to eat a whole bun and not just one slice. I thought that it was a good idea to replace the water of the dough (not of the biga) with milk. It turned out very nice and believe me, you will enjoy every bite of this soft, raisin filled yumminess.

raisinbun

some handmade gifts and baby clothes

This post is kind of a summary of some crafts I made and got in the last few weeks. There are some more that aren’t included, but I will show them another time.

pirateromper

I made two rompers for Johannes recently using this pattern (it is in German but has lots of pictures so it should be easy to sew for anybody). I added some feet on this pirate one because socks always tend to fall off.
There are so many cute fabrics out there it is hard to decide which ones to buy. And it is super quick and fun to make these tiny clothes.

babypants

These baby pants are pretty nice because they are designed to “grow” with the baby for a while so he will be able to wear them for a few more weeks, I guess. They are pretty long still and the pattern originally had even longer legs. The pattern also is in German. I managed to get a sweater, a romper and these pants from one meter of this fabric which seems like a pretty good deal, because I only spend something like 19 Euros for it.

babysweater

My grandmother knitted a sweater for Johannes as a Christmas present. She asked if I preferred it to be red or blue and I told her that red would be nice. Turns out that my grandmother thought it was red but it actually is pink. Good thing a 4 month old doesn’t know that pink is a girly color. I think that this sweater is super cute with the little chickens on it.

scarfandmittens

Since my grandmother knits and crochets almost all day, she has so many knitted sweaters for herself and my grandfather that she doesn’t really need more. But she likes knitting, so her Christmas presents normally are handmade. This year I got a scarf and some mittens. I really love the bright colors of this scarf!

playtime

And I just had to include this picture. They were playing while I was trying to take some nice pictures for this post and this picture is way too cute to not include in the post.

fall/winter plans

1. Isn’t the green of this cardigan such a nice fall color?
2. Maybe I am going to crochet this.
3. I really would love to make such a skirt. (Doesn’t seem to be on this website anymore)
4. This dress comes with a free pattern. Isn’t it lovely?

inspiration

This fall and winter I want to make as many of my clothes as possible.
A lot of my shirts don’t look very good anymore. Some have those annoying little holes around the waist that seem to appear at the same spot in most shirts.(Does anybody have the same issue?) Others are too short or worn out.
My plan is to sew a few basics, especially shirts. But I also want to sew some skirts and dresses. Often I sew fancy clothes that I then don’t wear as often, so this time I am going to focus on more casual every day outfits.
For knitting, I want to make a green cardigan, some gloves and mittens and if I am done with these things quickly I would really love to make a mustard colored sweater for myself. I have no idea how much knitting I will get done because I joined this crochet along.

CAL-button

A mystery crochet along sounded too tempting not to join, especially because the skill level says beginner/intermediate and the colors seem interesting.

I have no idea how much I will actually get done but I am looking forward to my projects and feel very motivated. What are your plans for the season?

WIP: sweater with seamless set-in sleeves from the top down

Do you know those moments when you are super motivated to do something and suddenly something is stopping you from it? This sweater project is a good example of that sort of moment. I started to knit it in the end of July and was done with the back within 1 week. Then as I start to knit the front my right hand suddenly started hurting a lot. I tried to knit a bit at least, but it made it worse, and my fingers would actually feel numb. My decision was that I should try to use my right hand as little as possible which meant no knitting. This was going to be an easy quick sweater as the pattern is so simple. I was very disappointed because I was so motivated to knit. My right hand was swollen at that point. Possibly due to my pregnancy. If I ignored the pain and kept working, I thought maybe I would have developed carpal tunnel syndrome.
Now I finally can knit again. The front and back of my sweater are done and seamed together and I started the top down sleeves. I guess I can see my delay positively as I wouldn’t have known about this method before. I saw a link to it on Pinterest lately. The tutorial is very detailed and has lots of pictures. I am hoping to finish this sweater soon as I have a few projects in mind I would like to finish this fall and winter. I am going to show you my plans in another post.

And just as I was about to publish this, my needle broke! Arrgh! I guess I won’t be able to finish it as soon as I was hoping because I won’t be able to buy new needles before Wednesday.

brokenneedle

6 weeks and 1 day ago…

… I gave birth to our son. He is such a cutiepie and fills our days with joy and love.
In the first few weeks I didn’t get much crafting done but now I have settled to a new routine and enjoy to knit, sew and crochet more often again.

Here is my latest crocheting project, I linked to here.

potholder

I fell in love with these potholders right away when I saw them and it seemed like an easy beginner project. They turned out a little bigger than it looked like in the beginning. I actually chained on more than the pattern suggested because it seemed too small. At least bigger means that there is a smaller risk of burning myself.

I really enjoyed crocheting the cherries.

cherries

Maybe I will find another project to add them to at some point. They might be nice on a hat or scarf for a girl. Not so much for my son maybe. 😉

I can definitely say that crocheting is another craft that I love. I already have two bigger projects planned but first I want to finish knitting my sweater and use up some more of the yarn in my stash. Well, at least I will try. You can never have too much yarn and my yarn stash isn’t actually as big. 😉

octopus sweater

My due date is approaching with big steps. My days are filled with knitting, sewing, making sure that everything is prepared for the baby, precooking some meals, going for walks, some gardening and napping. It seems like the days are passing quickly and I can’t believe that it is so soon that there will be a baby filling our days with joy.
The last clothes I sewed for the baby is this set of a sweater and matching pants. Since the fabric was plain, I appliqued an octopus on the sweater and matched the feet of the pants with the same fabric. There are so many cute patterned fabrics out there but I also like appliques.
The pants originally were designed to have an elastic on the legs. That’s why the legs were way wider so I had to modify them a little to be able to make footed pants out of them. It was actually kind of hard to sew the feet on because the pants are so tiny.

octopus applique

berry cake – with a creamy egg topping

The other day I decided to finally eat as little sugar as possible. I always cut down on the sugar that is asked for in recipes already anyways. I like sweet treats but certainly not too sweet. The problem with cutting down on sugar is that I don’t bake as much anymore. And I love baking! So instead of going no sugar at all, I just banned all refined sugars out of my kitchen. Unrefined sweeteners like Rapadura (dehydrated cane sugar juice), maple syrup and honey are fine as long as you don’t have too much.
The problem with refined sugar is that we didn’t evolve to eat refined food. Unrefined carbohydrates and sugar give our body vitamins, enzymes, protein, fat, fiber and minerals that are essential whereas the refined ones actually use up these components from our body’s storage to be able to digest the refined food.
I don’t want my body to have to use up important vitamins and minerals just so that I can please my sweet tooth. I believe that it is easy to get used to less sweet cakes and it especially is easy to use unrefined sugar in most recipes.
I have not yet figured out how to make powdered sugar but I believe I’ve seen a tutorial that shows you how to make your own from Rapadura. I don’t use powdered sugar very often but I am sure at some point I would like some and then I will look up how to make it and share my experience with you.
I will also harvest my first Stevia soon. I don’t like the store bought stuff which I read is often actually refined in some way and that this is why it has some weird taste! So I hope that I will like my Stevia and that I will be able to use that in my baking.
Anyways, as I said before, I love baking so yesterday I came up with a cake that doesn’t use a lot of sugar at all. In the past I would have used more sugar but I decided that the berries sweeten it enough to not have to add too much sugar to it. I used blueberries which are already sweet but you can use any kind of berry. Some berries might need more sugar than others and of course it depends on your personal preference of how much sweetness you need. This berry cake has an egg cream mixture as a topping which makes it moist and the berries add extra juiciness to this simple cake.

berry cake

Berry Cake

for the dough
150g quark
3 tbsp milk
5 tbsp olive oil
50g sugar
1 pinch of salt
300g flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder

for the topping

500g berries (I used blueberries)
sugar to taste
3 eggs
300 ml whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Add the flour and baking powder and knead. Roll out and transfer to a buttered baking pan (I used a 38cm * 26cm pan) with a 1cm edge.
Put the berries of you choice on top.
Whisk together, the eggs, cream and vanilla. Also add sugar. This really depends on how sweet the berries you are using are and how much sugar you like. I added 2 tbsp of sugar which is sweet enough for me with the blueberries.
Pour the liquid mixture on top of the dough and bake at 200°C (395° F) for 30-35 minutes.

berry cake

crocheting the first

As I said in my last post, I want to learn crocheting. Like really learn it and not just crochet a simple project once a year. I call this dishcloth my first real crochet project because I am finally learning the phrases from a written pattern and I am not just following a video tutorial where I can see how to crochet the stitches (and forget about them once I am done). In theory it is my second project but this time I actually will try to remember the names and how to do the different stitches because I am going to crochet more now. My next project will most likely be some pot holders. This way I will use the same stitches again and improve how even they are. I think that I shouldn’t start crocheting in a round before I perfected a rectangular.
There are a bunch of little projects that I will enjoy whenever I feel like taking a one or two day knitting break. At the moment I would still say that I prefer knitting but the reason for that is possibly that I didn’t get the best results with this dishcloth. (Pattern can be found here)

dishcloth

I am pretty sure that I missed a stitch or two in between because at some point I noticed that the edge wasn’t super straight. I was almost done already though when I noticed and just didn’t feel like unraveling all. It is a learning project after all and I chose a dishcloth because I don’t care if it isn’t 100% perfect. In theory I don’t at least. When I finished I looked at it and thought that I definitely could have done better.
But I remember trying to knit a scarf and my tension wasn’t even at all. The scarf looked horrible and I didn’t knit anything again for another 5 years. I don’t want to get discouraged by my first corcheting project not being perfect. I will get better over time and soon my parents will be home again from their vacation so I will have somebody I can ask for help.

It also helped me a lot to be able to ask questions to my Mom and grandmother when I started knitting again and I got very good results from the beginning on.
Here is a picture of the first sweater I knitted after only knitting another scarf before. Both were for my husband and I am very happy with the projects.

sweater

Sorry I didn’t have a better picture.

Long story short, I will crochet more before I decide whether I like it or not. I have to learn that not everything can be perfect right away when learning a new skill.

What was your first crocheting project and how did it turn out?