A Canadian gal in Stuttgart, Germany, who loves nothing better than crafting by the seat of her pants. See her snip, sew, knit, knot, glue, sculpt, splatter, spin, and of course, talk about herself.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005
Post-Christmas Shawl

This is my Oma. She's the greatest EVER. She tells me all kinds of stories that are at once fascinating and heartbreaking about what it is was like to grow up in Germany, through economic crisis and enormous civil unrest after the first world war, to the nightmare of the second, to the struggle for survival that followed, and of a life married to a man amputated during the war, both physically and emotionally.
Her two children live in Canada (my dad) and in Spain. Although they have built thier lives so far away, they both visit whenever time and money allow, and call frequently, to keep her company as best they can in the years since my grandfather died. One of the reasons I decided to study in Germany was that I would be able to visit her more often, and get to know her better. It's terrible that for most of my life not only was I so far away from her, but couldn't even speak to her properly, since she only knows what little english she remembers from school, and I wasn't able to speak German until I got to university.
She can hardly believe I'm so nuts about her. I only got to visit a few times when I was younger, and since I've been in Germany she's been in pretty rough shape. She can't do most things anymore, and spends most of her time sitting because walking is difficult. I can't be with her as often as I'd like, but to help give her a warm hug now and then, when I can't do it in person, I started knitting a shawl for her. I though of it a bit late, so it wasn't done for christmas, but it has christmasy colours. It's got 2 yarns, one is a blend I bought on ebay a while back, with brown, reds, and a metallic copper thread that makes it a touch glitzy, but in a nice way. It only sparkles a little among the other threads. It knits up nice n chunky, but I soon realized that it wouldn't be enough for a whole shawl, so I blended my own mix out of a few thinner yarns to supplement. A cranberry coloured cotton with 2 threads each of laceweight brown and burnt orange wool. It knits up to about the same thickness as the other yarn, and has a similar colour scheme, only with a red background instead of brown. I hope my Oma likes it, and I hope I have the time to get it done soon!

posted by tatjana @ 6:47 p.m.   2 comments
Monday, December 19, 2005
I am knitting....really!

Originally uploaded by happy go lovely.
To celebrate finally finishing my thesis, I have been madly catching up on everything I neglected for about 4 months. Like my two part-time jobs at the university, many friends who will soon be moving back to their respective countries, my boy, and of course, my knitting :) For christmas I'm knitting Matthias (aka bunny LOL!)this cable sweater in a grey/white mix of different wool and alpaca threads. These mixed thread type yarns are very popular on German eBay. Some of them have very nice colour and fibre combinations, like this one here, while others really don't. Some are also a bit annoying to knit, because if you knit quickly, and don't look, you may knit only part of the yarn into your stitch :P But this yarn has knit up quite well, and I made a swatch to wash before I started and it washed like a dream. It came out all full and fluffy and cuddly, just gorgeous! The risk though, is that I don't know how many metres I have of this stuff, and I'm hoping I won't run short. I knit cables on the front, but the back will just be stockinette, to save yarn, and also so the sweater isn't too bulky. With the alpaka, it would get too warm. I think I'll knit the sleeves in stockinette, with a single cable running down the middle. I'm halfway done the back, and knitting is going quickly, so hopefully it'll be done in time. Matthias knows I'm knitting it, and is excited to see how it turns out, since it's his first sweater from me.
I'm also working on a shawl for my grandmother. We went to visit her in Köln yesterday, which is about 3 hours away, since we won't see her for christmas. She isn't doing to well, so a long drive like that is too much of a strain, otherwise we'd bring her to our place so she can have christmas with us. It's really too bad that my dad is all the way in Canada and my aunt is in Spain and can't make it either :( She says she doesn't mind, but I hate the thought of her spending Christmas by herself. I won't be able to finish the shawl in time, because it's only about a third done, but she got to see it yesterday, and knows it's coming, and that made her happy :) I'll post some pics of it soon.

posted by tatjana @ 9:57 p.m.   1 comments
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Goodness gracious, great balls of YARN!

look at it! isn't it gorgeous!?!?! i can't even begin to describe the joy i felt when i laid my eyes on these bundles just bursting with gorgeous colours!!! this all thanks to my overwhelmingly fabulous gift elf Kim in exchange for the Holz & Stein ebony needles i was able to get for her. 3 skeins of shadow in vineyard and in sunset, so i can make 2 mary jane cardigans!! woohoo! and 2 skeins each of Alpaca Cloud in iris and Shimmer in grape hyacinth. i just hope those needles are as much fun for her, as i had dancing around the living room with these, making my boyfriend think i was out of my mind.
but wait! that's not all! she sent more. so much more! she sent more fibre for me to spin, and more NORO. NORONORONORONORONORONORONORONORO. you know, if you say it long and fast enough, it sounds just like my kittens when they purr. coincidence? i think not. she sent me a peppermint foot scrubby, all delicious smelling and if i'm not mistaken, homemade, along with some yummy blackberry lip balm, which were in the cute little snowman bag. the picture doesn't show it very well, but that big blue candle, which smells divine, and will be accompanying my next bath, is sitting on a gorgeous carved, wooden candle rest, made out of the same wood as the beautiful ornament in the foreground. and there are the other two lovely smelly candles, and a pretty flowered photo album, which is just what i need, because i'm getting tired of all my pics being pc only. and last, but not least, two whopping skeins of knitpicks dye-your-own which are going to be so much fun!!! i have to convince my honey he has to keep an eye on the cats for an afternoon while i go dye crazy, i can't wait!! it's just all almost too good to be true! and the funny thing is, Kim knew that with the thesis n all being finally over, i was really ready for some knit treats, but what she didn't know, was that this past week was none other than my birthday! so the timing couldn't have been more perfect. i can't wait to see what she thinks of the package i'm getting ready to send her! i can only hope she'll be half as happy as she's made me!

posted by tatjana @ 9:21 p.m.   1 comments

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