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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Monday, October 24, 2005
improv cardigan
sometime forever ago, i got a big pile of Gedifra Big Point and started to make a sweater. i was so excited. i thought, with yarn this fat, i'll be done in no time! and sure enough, it went quite quickly, until i hit the wall. what was the wall? i realized i was about to run out of yarn with half of the front left to go. i was still a novice so i didn't realize how much yarn you need for some things, particularly when it's bulky. i also realized that i had made the thing too big, and that i didn't really like it. so, as we've all done many times, i threw it in the closet and tried to forget about it :)

but now my pile of bulky lavendar yarn is being resurrected, and i'm hoping i can turn it into something fun. here are the ideas i'm working with:
i want a simple cardi like the green one (first issue of Vogue's Knit1) but i also really liked the collar and the general look of the white cardigan (an old issue of Verena, a German knitting mag). i tried out the diamond pattern with my chunky yarn tho, but it came out too big and jester-looking and looked so horrid i just had to rip it out before i even thought to take a picture.
so i decided i'd just stick with a basic stockinette and add some kind of accent along the way. so far i've got a good chunk of the body done, now i just have to figure out what i want to do with the sleeves. i can't decide if i want to stick with stockinette and just make really wide 2x1 rib (or is it 1x2 rib?) that i will fold over, or maybe a cable or something on the arm. i think i will definitely use a collar like on the white cardigan, as that will make it extra cozy and keep my neck warm :)
posted by tatjana @ 10:45 PM   1 comments
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Noro One Skein Scarf

Noro One Skein Scarf
Originally uploaded by happy go lovely.
as i mentioned a couple days ago, i made this fabulous scarf from the Noro that Kim sent me, and it occured to me that other people may have a skein of Noro, or some other pretty yarn around, and not know what to do with it. i find this scarf is a nice length and weight, and all you need is 100m or more of yarn knit with 4.5-5mm (7-8 US) needles. I got the stitch from an old copy of the Mon Tricot stitch lexicon, and knit the scarf using 7mm needles (10.5-11 US) to get a looser knit.
Cast on 20 stitches. To keep the edges neat, I used the German "Randmasche" which means that you always slip the first stitch knitwise, and knit the last. I'm not sure if it makes any real difference, so use it or not, as you like :)
R1 - K1, P1, *YO, K1, P1* repeat * to end
R2 - *K1, P2tog, YO* repeat * to last 2, K1, P1
R3 - K1, P1, *YO, K2tog, P1* repeat * to end.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 til you're almost out of yarn, and bind off. Voila! Quick, easy, one skein scarf!
posted by tatjana @ 11:57 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Taggedy-tag-tag
Caught! by the oh-so-sneaky Kim! ;) so here goes the meme....

10 YEARS AGO
I was in Toronto, failing math and drinking way too much for a girl my age. I was madly in love with a manic/depressive, obsessive/compulsive, straight edge dancing fool who oddly kept me a lot more stable than he was.

5 YEARS AGO
I was in Guelph, in a house with 3 girls, one guy, a cat, a dog and a patio sofa that made your butt fall asleep. But we had lovely shag carpeting that the clean freak kept spotless for us, so we just sprawled on the floor. My life was lab-lecture-lab-greenhouse-lab-pub. Nothing was more interesting than plants, or the waiter at Wimpy's diner who played classical guitar and took me to a concert once. (yes, i was a little boy crazy. so kill me.)

1 YEAR AGO
I was halfway through my MSc Programme here in Germany, thinking I had picked the best supervisor for my thesis (HA!! HA!! don't you love being wrong wrong wrong??) and almost a year with Matthias. We went to Ireland and he took more plant pictures than I did. God I love that boy.

FIVE SNACKS
Ruffles potato chips with onion dip (oh how i miss thee!)
Pudding. Germany must produce about 50,000 kinds of pudding. and it's so good!
Ice cream. I finally found Haagen-Dazs AND Ben and Jerry's here. Matthias buys it for me when I'm grumpy.
That's it. Just 3. I'm not a big snacker.

FIVE SONGS I KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO
1. It had to be you - Frank Sinatra
2. I will survive - Gloria Gaynor
3. Anything from Bjork's first 3 albums
4. Most songs from the Beatles first 2 (3?) albums --thanks dad!
5. Wrap around - Brad Paisley (Yeehaw!)

FIVE THINGS I WOULD DO WITH $100 MILLION
1. Pay off my damn school loans
2. Buy my folks the purdiest house ever and my dad the Mercedes convertible i promised him when i was little ;)
3. Build an organic farm/foster house/summer camp in Canada with my boy and my best friend where under-priviledged kids can come get fresh air, dirty hands and animal love.
4. Take my mom on a Paris shopping spree.
5. Save whatever's left til I find a way to use it to really help people.

FIVE PLACES TO RUN AWAY TO
1. My boy's arms. First choice every time, even when it's him i think i'm running from.
2. My mother in law's kitchen. it always smells good and contains the sweetest woman on the planet.
3. Sherwood Forest. a real one, in Toronto, not the Robin Hood one.
4. Honest Ed's Warehouse. a huge junkhouse in Toronto where you can get lost among mountains of tackiness.
5. Ross Beach, Ireland at sunset.

FIVE THINGS I WOULD NEVER WEAR
1. A G-string. nothing goes in my butt, no matter how floss-like.
2. Feathers. I am not Phyllis Diller.
3. Anything leather other than shoes or belts. I can't stand the smell.
4. A lip ring. I'm sure I would just drool all over the place.
5. Belly shirts, because I do not have a six pack. But i will wear a sari that exposes belly, because Bollywood movies say that pudgy Indian bellies are sexy. really.

FIVE FAVORITE TV SHOWS
1. Buffy
2. Any Jamie Oliver show
3. Desperate Housewives
4. Trading Spaces (is it still even on? i don't get it here.)
5. anything not made in Germany, TV here is AWFUL!!!

FIVE BIGGEST JOYS
1. My boy
2. My cats
3. Doing anything creative
4. My family
5. Learning new things

FAVORITE TOYS
1. My laptop. She's blue and her name is Mona.
2. My digital camera, even if it sucks at kitty action shots.
3. As soon as I get a German license, my boy's new car. 218 Horsepower baby. Autobahn here I come!
4. My piles of knittage, fabric and sundry textiles stuffs.

Free to be grabbed by who wants it! Long live the MEME!
posted by tatjana @ 1:12 PM   0 comments
Monday, October 17, 2005
I HAVE THE BEST GIFT ELF EVER!!!!

sometimes, it's just necessary to make exagerated use of capitals and exclamation points. like when you open your mail box to find a package full of impossibly wonderful goodies that you'd never dreamed you'd get your greedy little hands on, let alone as a gift. my gift elf sent me a skein of Noro silk garden and recycled sari, so i could finally see what they really looked and felt like, (have i mentioned i go absolutely apesh$% for variegated colour?) and some lovely fibres for me to try spinning. look ma! it's real silk! and cashmere too! it's so nice n soft, i'm almost afraid to try, lest i mess it up entirely, but i swear that once i've practiced with regular wool a bit more i'll get up the nerve to try spinning some nice fine yarn out of it. and i have a great big fluffball of kid mohair to play with too! fuzzy yarn! woohoo!
i haven't decided what to do with my sari yarn yet, but my noro has already been transformed into a lovely scarf. i wasn't sure if one skein would be enough, but i found a stitch pattern with lots of yarn overs to make it stretch a bit further and ended up with a really nice just-long-enough scarf that i can wear with just about everything. i'll post the pic and pattern tomorrow.
posted by tatjana @ 8:02 PM   0 comments
the magic of kitties

ok, big slacker that i am, i have totally neglected my blog in favour of two little balls of furry cuteness that we finally picked up last weekend. by then they were at least 7 or 8 weeks old, and eating solid food, so it was ok for them to come home with Matthias and I. after all the trouble we had finding kittens in the first place, and then waiting til these little gals were ready, it almost seemed too good to be true that we were finally going to be cat parents!
as you can see, they made themselves right at home, and we've been having a blast watching their antics ever since. Matthias got sick and ended up staying home all of last week, and then i got sick, so we both got to just sit around and play with the kittens all week, at least in between my writing stints. it makes such a difference to have them here, it somehow makes our place more of a home.
we were tossing names around all week because we just couldn't make up our minds. we finally settled on Julia and Sophia Tiger Lily and Abigail. now we just have to wait for the cats to figure out that those are their names after a week of 'hey you! cat!' or more often 'hey du! katze!'
posted by tatjana @ 7:43 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Thesis from hell meets the Amazing yarn makeover!
i was supposed to give the final draft of me thesis to my supervisor yesterday. but it's still not done. i'm still working out the end. my conclusions. read: what i think about the whole bloody thing. i think i hate hay. i don't care which hay is better for milk production. i don't drink a lot of milk. i can switch to soy. i'm ok with that. just don't make me read any more about what protein content you need in your grass to get some good fatty milk, ok? cuz i don't care anymore.
to relieve my poor dwindling brain of this horror. i took a break to play with yarn. mmmmm, yarn. happy yarn. we likes yarn. but not this yarn.
backstory: i long time ago i found yet another poor bundle of unwanted stash that noone was bidding for, and was therefore really cheap, and to top it all off, little bundle was mixed with Angora. mmmm, bunny yarn. we like bunnies. we think it's fantabulous that bunnies give us the warm cozy gift of bunny fuzz to provide knitting delight. everyone should be as generous as bunnies.
BUT. you couldn't see the colour very well, and it looked like it mabe wasn't that nice. but of course i bought the darn stuff anyway. and so it arrived, and upon opening the box i saw it for what it was, a pile of ochre hideousness. i'm really not a fan of yellow, i avoid it whenever possible. i'm forever asking my boyfriend What in God's name possessed you to buy a YELLOW SOFA?? (this was pre-me).
hence the makeover. in desperate need of a break, but not wanting to break out the needles, lest i be unable to stop, i gathered up the portion that i had skeined at some point and dropped them in a pot of lovely deep red dye. then i went back to chain myself to the desk again while it simmered for about an hour.
i didn't take the dye as well as i hoped, but i really like the sorta burnt orange colour it turned. it's very fall in canada and makes me think of home. now i just have to find the perfect pattern for it, cuz this stuff is just the softest ever, and i gotta make something i can wear often, so i can marvel at bunny fuzzy softness.
posted by tatjana @ 12:36 PM   2 comments







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