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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Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I did it! I ran! Yay me! And I didn't die or throw up or anything! (Don't laugh, one of my co-workers took off like a wild man last year, without having practiced his stretch to see how long it was, and had to give up when he hurled) :D Although I wasn't as fast as I would have liked, I managed my stretch better than I thought I would based on how my training went. With no experience running, I did try to jog regularly over the last month and we had a test run of the relay with my a few of co-workers last week, which I did not do well on, having to walk part of the way near the end when I just ran out of gas. But this time I actually managed to at least keep up a jog the whole way, and our team managed to have a decent time for the whole course. I'm definitely doing it again next year, but will try to start a jogging or cycling regimen to get me fit until then.
The best part is, they had prizes for everyone who participated. Most weren't terribly exciting, some t-shirts and mugs of course, and other small prizes, but the great thing was, is that as each time went up to get their prize, they got to pick it out of a hat of whatever was left. And lo and behold, thanks to our new doctorate student from Benin - Aminou, who ran the longest stretch of 1.5km with a good part uphill and totally saved our team - we won the last of these: Stuttgarter Hofbraeu
A 5L keg of beer. I think only in Germany could you win beer at a running event :D We couldn't drink it tho, not only because it was warm, but because in his excitement Aminou tossed it over his head amongst the cheering, so we though it would be better to let it rest a day or two instead of drenching our table with a beer fountain.
And on a separate note, for those of you interested in colour-grown cottons, which are usually organic (this is really important because there is no other crop that gets drenched in pesticides like cotton does!), there are a couple links for cotton stuffs on today's Ideal Bite. For those who don't know it, they mail out tips on eco-friendly products to help you reduce your day to day weight on the world by just being a bit more conscious of what products you use.
Ok, that's it for now. More knit stuff tomorrow, I promise :)


posted by tatjana @ 11:37 a.m.   2 comments
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
On a personal note...
I have to make a confession. I am not the fittest person in the world. When I was younger (in Germany this is usually only used by really old people, so i get laughed at for saying it) I was not so much sporty as really more of a bad girl. I tried not only every colour of hair but every colour of lsd to match and spent a fair amount of my high school years drinking way too much vodka or coffee and smoking like I thought it would be really cool to get a tracheotomy. I shaped up in many ways when I one day decided that I was going to a great academic. But although university life may be conducive to many things, getting fit is not one of them. I did try to work out from time to time, since my school had great facilities, and I gave up smoking, but I've never had the desire to do what I am going to do today.

I am joining a team of my co-workers/grads in a relay race. It's not the longest run in the world, about 1km, but it's running. I hate running. I don't know why I signed on for this. But I gotta do it now, so wish me luck!


posted by tatjana @ 5:27 p.m.   1 comments
Saturday, June 24, 2006
It's here! It's here! It's HERE!!
mmmm....yarn prize and beer
Can you tell I'm excited? ;) I opened up the mailbox today to find none other than my Knit the Classics prize. Four gorgeous skeins of Comfort Cotton from Green Mountain Spinnery. The colours are just gorgeous. From top to bottom, they're Weathered Green, Denim, Maize and Peony. The names are lovely too, aren't they? And who can resist organic cotton? I also just happen to have a fascination for the stuff ever since I found out you can actually grow it in colours. Having studied many aspects of plant biology before moving to agriculture, the endless variety the plant world has to offer never ceases to amaze me, and of course I get especially excited when it means fun yarn ;) Oddly enough though, I haven't gotten around to buying any yet, but I'm working hard to keep on my yarn diet. So it's extra nice to get free surprise yarn when I'm not allowed to buy it for myself :) So now I'm going to go back to sit on the patio, steal my boy's beer and contemplate my lovely new stash acquisition. We're working at re-planting the garden right now, so maybe it'll give me some flower ideas! Prosit! (Cheers!)

posted by tatjana @ 8:20 p.m.   6 comments
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Maybe it's just me....
I've seen talk about alpaca shearing on a couple of the blogs...at farms or at fibre festivals and such. Somehow though, everytime I see one of those shorn little alpacas, I can't help but think of Anthony Michael Hall, back in the 80s when he was in movies like the Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink. What do you think?
Alpaca Micheal Hall?


posted by tatjana @ 5:39 p.m.   3 comments
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Finally! Lizzie Pattern
First, a warning. I didn't take very detailed notes while making this, and has to write up the pattern from what I remembered and what I could see from the cardigan itself, so the pattern may be a little off. But I'm perfectly happy to help those having trouble if there's an error - leave a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! Also, I'm still knitting this up again with a lighter weight cotton. But for this one I've decided to make it a closed top, and try to add a bit of shaping to it. This will be 'Lizzie Light' and I'll put up a pattern for that too once it's done.
I'm not so good at pattern writing, so I hope it's ok! Good luck n have fun!



You need:
4mm (US ) circular needle 80 or 100cm (32-40”)
4mm (US ) knitting needles (or just you the circular needle for the sleeves as well)
350g or 575m (640 yards) of DK weight cotton
Stitchholder or scrap yarn
Darning needle
Crochet hook (not needed if button loops done with i-cord or ribbon, etc.)
6 buttons

Gauge: 19 stitches x 25 rows for a 10x10cm (4 inch) square

Garment Measurements: about 90cm or 36 inches around and 45cm/18 inches in length from shoulder to hem

Cast on 168 stitches. Knit the first row. Begin leaf lace pattern. In each row, between each repeat of the leaf lace, knit the lace column. This is to separate the leaves so that they don’t blend together. After knitting 4 sets of the leaf lace + leaf column, knit one set of leaf lace II for the tops of the leaves. Do not continue the lace column, knit the stitches between each set of leaves. At the end of Leaf Lace II, knit 6 rows of stockinette and then separate the front and back of the cardigan – put 42 stitches for the left front and 84 stitches for the back on a stitchholder or a piece of scrap yarn before beginning the armhole decreases.

Armhole decreases
Working on the right front, there should be 42 stitches on the needle. On the right front, bind off 3 stitches. Continuing in stockinette, decrease one stitch at the beginning of every right side row using SSK. After 20 rows, knit 6 rows of garter stitch and bind off on a right side row. For the left front bind off 3 stitches and knit the same as right side. For armhole, decrease one at the end of every right side row, using K2tog. For the back of the cardigan, bind off 3 stitches on each side, and continue in stockinette. On every right side row, decrease one on the right with SSK, and one on the left with K2tog. As with the front, knit 10 rows with decreases in stockinette, then knit 6 rows in garter stitch (no decreases).

Stitch Pattern - Lizzie Cardi

Cast on 48 stitches.
Rows 1-4 1x1 rib = K1, P1 across the row
Row 5 Increase row – Knit into front and back of every stitch. (96 stitches)
Row 6 Begin Berry Lace pattern.
Continue lace pattern until sleeve measures 22cm (~9 inches). (This can be made a bit shorter if you prefer more of a cap sleeve, or made longer, up to a ¾ length sleeve. If you want to make a full length sleeve, you will have to make the opening a bit smaller.)
Decrease Row – K2tog across entire row. There should 48 stitches again.
Knit 6 rows of garter stitch and bind off.

Berry Lace
Row 1 – K1 *in the same stitch K1-YO-K1; P3tog* repeat * K1
Row 2 and 4 – Knit all stitches
Row 3 – K1 *P3tog, in the same stitch K1-YO-K1* repeat * K1

Seaming together
Before sewing the sleeves to the body, sew a portion of the sides together. Folding each sleeve in half lengthwise, sew along the sides starting at the bottom (rib border) and continuing for about 10cm (4 inches). This is the portion shown in blue on the diagram. To attach the sleeves to the body, match up the garter stitch border at the tops of the sleeves with the garter stitch on the body, and sew the open portion of the sleeve to the decrease section of the body as shown in the diagram. The section of the sleeve which is sewn to the body should measure about 12.5cm (5 inches).
For the buttons, make 6 loops (or more if you wish) and attach them at regular intervals along the front left edge. (Mine are about 6.5cm or 2.5 inches apart.) These can be crocheted, in simple chain stitch, or I-cord, or with any kind of ribbon or trim. My buttons were about 11mm (a little less than ½ inch) wide, and my loops were about 2.5cm (~1 inch) long. Sew on the buttons to line match up with the loops.
Now you just weave in any remaining ends and you’re done!

Lizzie Diagram


posted by tatjana @ 7:42 p.m.   5 comments
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Sometimes, when you design your own project things don't turn out quite as planned. Like buttons. I had a vision of a row of cute little loops, and another of neat little buttons, keeping my Lizzie cardi snugly shut. This vision did not involve gaping. Oh but gaping there is, between every treacherous pair of them! Matthias swears it looks fine that way, but I'm not so sure. I will put it on and take a picture tomorrow. In the meantime it's got me thinking that maybe with the second I will actuall knit it closed, as a top, rather than a cardigan. If I do I'll post patterns for both versions I guess.
Swatch - Horseshoe Lace Tunic
I'm also getting ready to start on a tunic, as soon as I remember to wash this swatch to see if it shrinks. It will be slightly tailored with a scoopneck and have the lace pattern along the bottom border and at the sleeves. The sleeves will be 3/4 and bell slightly. I should have just enough of this yarn, hope it works out!
And since I was away for a bit, I didn't post any of my new stash from Canada. I tried not to go overboard with yarn because I really want to work through more of the stash I have, but then found it harder to resist the thrift store...
Thrifting fabric finds
Here are some fun bedsheets and tablecloths I found and with any luck will eventually turn into some skirts and handbags or shopping bags. Thrift stores aren't very popular in Germany, they don't much like used stuff, so there aren't many places to go hunting. So I took advantage while I could back home, poor Matthias! He was very patient though, and was happy to go for a walk or wait for me in the car with the paper when I just had to look through everything :) I'll post some pics of the yarn acquisitions tomorrow and maybe even get some shots of my lovely new button collection. Now if I can just figure out how to make them look right on a garment...:P
posted by tatjana @ 11:19 p.m.   1 comments
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Lizzie Cardi

She stills needs some buttons, and I haven't decided if I want to add a bit of a crochet edge, or maybe just some ribbon facing, but other than that she's done. I've always been a fan of gathered sleeves and empire waisted things, and thought I could try and incorporate that into a cardi. Of all the things I've just made up, I like this one by far the best. It's not so much a cardi like I planned, it's become more top-lik, but it's still quite nice for covering up a bit when your tank top seems too naked.
The yarn is come basic cotton I've had in my stash for a while, which I think is meant to be used for dishcloths. I just though the colour was very fitting, so I went ahead and used it anyway. I knit it on 4mm needles (US 6, UK 8) from the bottom up in the round, separating the back and front when I got to the arm. The sleeves were knit separately and sewn on at the end. I found the leaf lace pattern on a tank top in one of my Rebecca magazines, and the sleeves are done in berry stitch. I will definitely make another one of these, especially since I have a bunch of cotton laying around from an ebay spree a while back. The other cotton I have is nicer, mercerised, and knits on 3mm needles, so it will make it look more delicate and polished, and even more like a top, since it'll be thinner. But that's ok. This was fun and easy to make, so while I'm making up the next one I think I'll put together the pattern for it so others can make a Lizzie too! Then we can all be super girlie together. Won't that be fun?

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posted by tatjana @ 10:46 p.m.   5 comments

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