30. Oktober 2007

I have no words!

(Actually I do have some at first, but later on I'll start to stammer and repeat myself.)

Two days ago I got a secret e-mail, telling me that I would get my Vegan Pal 2 swap package the next day (so that's yesterday!). Usually UPS stuff arrives at around 2-3 p.m. I was here, I was waiting, nothing happend. At around 4 I didn't really believe that it would still arrive. At 5.15 I called Johanna, who had asked me to inform her the minute I got my package, that we could give it up for the day. At 6.30 my package arrived. I swear never ever has UPS delivered something this late to our place. It's like they did this on purpose...

Anyway, I settled down with my package in the living room and dicovered that my package came from the UK, from YowlYY aka Bunnies, needles and books to be excact! I carefully opened it up. I was oohing and aahing the whole time. I got out all of the things you can see here. (No, not the cat!)

See the package in the middle? That's not wrapping paper, that's a beautiful piece of fabric! Of course I had to take a picture of everything right then, even though the lighting was bad.
Mücke came to inspect right away...

Inside that package were the magic yarn balls (yes, you heard that right, there were more than one!) and inside the magic yarn balls were two (!) sets of stitch markes, some luxury chocolate and another (!) crochet hook. See it all?
Vegan Pal 2 swap package
YowlYY really put together the most amazing package ever. I'm so so happy! I can't tell you how much I like EVERYTHING!

Here are the yarns and the crochet hooks for better viewing:
I got two balls of the amazing 100% organic Pakucho cotton in "Brown Cafe" and "Brown Dark" and two stunningly beautiful wooden crochet hooks.

Like that wasn't already enough I also got a ball of NORO Ganpi abaka surabu:
I didn't know at first that it was Ganpi abaka, but this yarn felt so special when I was winding it into a ball. Isn't this the most gorgeous yarn ever? I think I'll make a very nice summer scarf out of this...

Here is a close-up of the two stitch marker sets:

And let's end this post with some very yummy stuff:

The Falafel Mix has already been turned into this:
So very delicious.
Now I'm off to give the Cream of Lentil Soup (YowlYY's included recipe) a try!

Thank you so much, YowlYY! The package you put together was more than perfect. I still can't believe how you managed to meet my taste with every single thing you picked out. Fabulous!
I was so so lucky with this swap. I couldn't be happier to have gotten you and Chan as my pals. You guys are awesome!

Another swap!

I'm going to participate at the

Registration is still open, so hurry over there and get the details. I know this is going to be a fun swap!

Here's the questionnaire (Most of you won't be very interested in those details so you can skip right to the bottom of this post, where I'll show you something pretty!):


What are your favorite kinds of coffee? (Brands, Roasts, anything at all you'd like to share!)
I’ve got to admit that I’m not a very big coffee fan. I don’t drink it regularly. And even though I’d say that my taste buds are quite good when it comes to food, I must admit that I can’t really taste much of a difference when it comes to coffee brands or roasts... shocking, right? I’m very willing to learn though and my mom will probably very happy to help me here!

Do you prefer whole bean or ground coffee?
It gets worse. I’d say instant would be good, since we only have a Nespresso machine and no regular coffee maker. Whole beans would be fantastic too though. My parents, who are our next door neighbors, have a super fancy coffee maker (something like this) and I’d love to go over there to have a cup of “my” coffee with them.

This time of year, there are often Holiday Blends available, and many flavored coffees - do you drink flavored coffee? Do you enjoy special blends?
Flavored coffee is the best thing ever! Vanilla, cinnamon, Lebkuchen, ... I’ll try everything!

How do you take your coffee? Cream and Sugar? Straight up? Decaf?
No coffee for me without soy milk and sugar/flavored syrup!

Do you prefer drinking from a nice thick mug, or a matched cup and saucer?
A big mug is wonderful, but a travel mug is in most cases even better!

Winter and Holidays - PLEASE be descriptive! Your pal will need this information to be sure to put together a package you will enjoy!

What is your favorite part of Winter?
Let it snow and I’m happy! Well, I might have to say it has to be “good” snow, the kind that sticks around for a while and will let you build snowmen.

Do you celebrate a holiday in December, and if so, which holiday?

If you celebrate Christmas, do you put up a tree?
Unfortunately our house is so small that there is actually no room for a tree, but I always get some twigs and decorate those... as well as the rest of the house.

Would you enjoy items related to the holiday, or would you prefer a Winter themed package?
Tough question. I think I’d go with Winter themed, but if my swap partner finds something holiday related that she or he (yeah right!) likes better it’s fine with me, too.

Do you collect anything? Are there any holiday or winter-themed items (Snowmen, Angels, Snowflakes, Santas, etc) that you collect?
No, I don’t. I do like snowflakes a lot though.

Do you wear scarves? Mittens? Hats?
Yes, I do. Love them! (And can’t seem to stop knitting hats these days...)

What is your favorite holiday or winter treat?
Anything that’s vegan. (Did I mention I’m vegan before? Well, I am and I really hope this is not causing too much trouble for my swap partner! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I don't want to be complicated and I don't really think I am...) I’m quite easy to please when it comes to food. Cookies and chocolate will always work for me.

Please share a favorite Winter or Holiday memory.
I’m not good at this... Let’s just say this would be my perfect winter:

(Please note: It needs to have a decent amount of snow and at least partly blue skies!)

Yarn and Crafting

Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long?
I knit and crochet. For a really long time! My great-grandmother taught me at a very early age. Both crafts are very much related to the Fall and Winter season though and I always make just fairly small projects.

Do you like wooden, metal, or plastic needles\hooks? Circular or straight?
Almost anything will work for me. There might be a tiny preference for bamboo or wood though. dpn’s are great, but I don’t like straight needles too much... I keep poking myself with those. I don’t know why.

What sort of projects do you enjoy making?
As I said I sort of only make small projects. I love hats, mittens, scarves and socks. But wait socks almost don’t count as a small project for me. Doing the same thing twice is just too boring for me. Therefore I’ll sometimes try to get my mom to knit the second one.

What are your favorite types of yarn to work with?
Everything vegan is perfect. Cotton and bamboo (blends) are types I love, but I’d also love to try out yarns made of soy or corn (those are types that are impossible to get around here!).

Do you spin or dye?

Do you do other crafts such as scrapbooking or needlepoint or anything else?
Sewing, counted cross stitch: I love it!
Scrapbooking: I love it too, but not for making a photo album. Instead I love making tags or cards and small stuff like that.


When is your birthday?
November 19th

Do you have any children? (Furry kind count!)
I don’t have any children. We share our house with two cats and a dogs though.

What are your favorite colors?
It really depends on the project I’d say. For socks almost anything will go – variegated yarn is something I love for socks! For scarves and mittens it would probably be more earthy or softer tones, nothing extremely bright.

Edited (because I didn't notice this was more like a general question): If you look at my blog you might think my favorite color is pink, but in fact that is not true. If I had to choose one color only it would be a soft green, but in general I like almost any color, as long as they are not neon or sort of close to neon. I always thought I didn't like blue that much, but found out that is not true, if it's a softer tone.
Our living room is mostly green with spots of pink and red here and there, while our kitchen is mostly yellow with some red and orange. Any color will be fine for bedroom or bathroom.

It's easy! You can't go wrong here!

Do you have any allergies?
None that would matter here, but as mentioned once or twice before: I’m a vegan. So please no animal products or fibres for me. Wait, a skein of cotton yarn covered in cat hair would be fine! I have some of that already.


Now, here's a sneak peek of something amazingly pretty I got yesterday. My Vegan Pal 2 package arrived. I'm still so exited...

I'll give you the details in an instant!

27. Oktober 2007

Stripes hate me...

...but I love them anyway!
Ravelry is really great. So many wonderful projects, so many great patterns and so many of them available for free. I saw a very cute hat and the pattern for it can be found here on the great Dutch blog of KNITTING AJOUR. I knew I had to make one the minute I saw it.

Stripes always seem to mean trouble for me. While knitting the hat I noticed that mine looked slightly different from knittinajours', but that didn't make me stop and check the pattern. No, I carried on regardless. When I was sort of done with my hat, the mistake was very obvious. Instead of decreasing every third row I had done it every fourth. I had no other option than to rip my third (!) striped hat and start over. Once it was finished for the second time I wanted to check if it would look good when worn. With no cute little baby around, I had to improvise.

Now it's getting a bit ridiculous...

?!? - But I must admit he was a very patient model...

My friend already received the hat and it fits her baby girl very well. I got the cutest mms ever and would love to post it here, but my mobile won't let me.

24. Oktober 2007

Sewing and knitting united!

A while ago I asked Chan if she could recommend a good knitting book that would provide the basics. I do have a German one, but now that I'm on Ravelry I wanted to be able to understand English patterns as well. I'm really glad I asked Chan, because her recommendation was "Stitch 'n Bitch" and this is a great book! I don't think I will use many of the patterns provided, but I really like the explanations and all the helpful tips, plus it's such a fun read.The first thing I wanted to do, after I had flipped through the book, was getting my needles organized. So I got them all out and sorted them by size and filled out the needle tracker copy I had made from the book (Great idea!). After I was done with that it didn't feel right to cram all the dpn's back into my ugly storage box, where they would easily be messed up again. Instead I decided to sew a needle case. There is a pattern for one like this inside "Stitch 'n Bitch", but that one is for single-pointed straight needles (and I don't have many of those - I actually don't like them that much). Therefore I had to make some adjustments to the size. I cut the outside fabric and the inside surface fabric for the roll 26" wide and 11" long. For the inside needle holder I used a 26" x 13" piece and folded it in half, so it would measure 26" x 6,5". I also didn't attach a flap, because I was too lazy and I don't think I'll carry my case around much, so falling out needles hopefully won't be a problem. (And should it become one, I can still add that.)If you don't have the book and want to make a needle case anyway, you can follow Pink Chalk's great tutorial for the super cute pencil roll instead!See my lonely bamboo needles? I inherited all the other needles from my great-grandmother and grandmother. They obviously prefered metal.

22. Oktober 2007

Enjoying fall!

The weather is fantastic these days. I'm truly enjoying the outdoors! We went for a long walk in the woods with our dogs. I took lots of pictures while trying to keep up with my parent's pace.
Bille, 10/07

When I'm not outside and not studying, I try to get as much off my to-do-list as possible. Today I did some applique on these two shirts:
Shirt for H.
I really hope the two girls have not outgrown them already since the shirts were purchased/given to me months (!) ago.
Cupcake Shirt for H.

20. Oktober 2007


This is actually my second try on completing a pillow case for a friend's son. I was almost finished with the first, when I suddenly didn't like it anymore.
What I really did like though is the fabric combination of my last bag and while sewing it I suddenly knew that I wanted to use the same for the pillow case.

I finally got to make a freezer paper stencil. I wanted to try that for ages. I've seen those on various blogs months ago and ordered some Freezer Paper right away (in Germany you can order it here. It's quite expensive, but I think it will last a long time. If you do have other sources or if there is actually something similar available in stores around here please share!).

I wanted to add a dinosaur, so I googled for a silhouette, printed it out and (using my window as a light box) traced it onto the freezer paper. I then followed the tutorial of angry chicken.
It's really fairly simple and the hardest part for me was to let the fabric paint dry.
Now I don't think you can see it too well in the picture, but the outlines of the dinosaur came out very clear and exact. So yay for freezer paper stencils!

edited to add:
Now it's all ready to go. See the little tag up there?

I made it using my new rubber stamp from Sweet Papery! I first saw them here on creative little daisy's blog (she always makes great discoveries!). Now go, get some for yourself... they make great gifts, too!

19. Oktober 2007

Stash is a good thing!

We all knew it. It's good to buy lots of fabrics, even with no concrete project in mind. Because someday you will need something and be thrilled to find it already there... in your stash!

I wanted to use part of my new Urban Chicks fabric for a bag and was looking for some uni-colored fabric that would go with it and there it was: some linen in exactly the same blueish colorway. I bought this fabric online, thinking of making it into another skirt for myself, but when it arrived the color looked very different to what I had imagined. With no more hot summer days in sight anyway, I put it away.

Now, here is its comeback!

15. Oktober 2007


I started another hat. This time supposedly for myself, using the green colorways of the Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton and after my mom told me she really liked the striped one I started before, I figured I should give it another try.

I got as far as this:
Then I tried it on and it didn't look good. Yeah, I know one doesn't look good with needles on top of your head, but that's not what I mean. I believe I would need a different edging, something more like the one I made for the last hat. So now comes the sighing part. I need to frog a striped hat... AGAIN!

Or (and I noticed this accidentely): Go figure! I obviously have a huge head, because it could also become a baby sweater instead.
Well, I guess it's a wee bit too small for that and actually if I'd knit some sort of clothing for a baby I believe I'd much rather make a jacket.
So, sigh again and start frogging, Nicole!

14. Oktober 2007

Finally: Some fabric and a doggy bag!

Okay, the title is all wrong. It's not some fabric, it's a lot! We spend actually about two hours in the store and I could have stayed even longer, but it got really crowded in the end and I already had bought too much.

First up are some fabrics I bought for a baby blanket:

I love the snail fabric. When I saw it I knew I wanted to use it for the blanket. All the other fabrics were chosen afterwards. And the little bird fabric was actually not supposed to be part of it. I just really wanted it too and when I came home and folded up all the fabrics I noticed that it would probably look quite good with the rest. What do you think?
I am not sure what kind of pattern I'll be using. Any suggestions? I don't think I want plain squares, but I don't want anything too complicated either.

Next up:

I want to use these to make a Note Taker. Yes, you heard me right. I finally bought the pattern at Pink Chalk Studio. I've been eyeing it for months and now it's mine!

I believe I'll have to make some changes to it since our paper writing pads are not the same size, but I guess it will work out fine. Also I can't get Timtex around here so I have to use something else. Kathy and two of her friends gave me some very useful advice on what to look for (thank you again!), but of course I would also like to hear what you would suggest.

Then I also had to have some of these. Just because...

Oh, and the one with the red and white stripes is actually Johanna's (to be used for hearts), just like these two which will become a nice big pillow case someday.

I told you we bought a lot! (Yes Johanna, you didn't, it was just me.)

Guess what! I already sewed something. And guess what else! I didn't use any of the new fabrics.

This here was long overdue. My friend's daughter was supposed to get a bag for a long time. She chose the fabrics for it way back. I sewed it this morning and gave it to her already. I think she likes it.

12. Oktober 2007

Some good things have happened!

First of all: I passed my first oral exam last Tuesday. It was actually not that big of a deal, if I might say so now. I hope the next five will be just as "nice".

On the same day I had my exam, my swap partner from Vegan Pal 2 got her package. I can now reveal that I was lucky enough to get the fabulous Chan as my downstream partner. She sent me the nicest thank-you-mail you can imagine and I'm really happy she liked everything I put in her package. I sure hope we'll stay in contact now that the swap is over since I think we have a lot in common and Chan is such a great person. (If you want to know what I sent her exactly you can find it out here in Chan's very sweet description!)

So this swap has already been so much fun for me and very rewarding, but there's more. Yesterday Isabelle aka Tricotine posted on Vegan Pal 2 that she made the decision to go "Veg", following this...

How cool is that? You need to go and check out her blog, where she explains why she is doing it and where you'll find some helpful links in case you decide to give the pledge a try yourself. If you already are a "Veg" it would certainly be nice if you'd go there too to give her some support! I can not wait to see where this is going and how many other people are going to join her!

What else? I received my invite from Ravelry (My name there will be - who could have guessed it - "suessstoff".) I haven't uploaded anything yet and actually there isn't that much I could upload, but it's fun to check out all the patterns and projects. I certainly can understand how you can spend hours at that place.

And last but not least: Tomorrow Johanna and I will be off to do some shopping at Charlotta's. I can't wait! I have so many things on my list which I want to sew during the next few days.

So see you tomorrow for some pictures of beautiful fabrics!


(Another great thing I saw at Tricotine's blog. Spell with flickr. )

4. Oktober 2007

The blue hat!

It's done. Okay, the pattern wasn't really more challenging, but when I saw it in a magazine (Inspiration Nr. 52 S by Schachenmayr nomotta) I simply wanted to do it. I used some more of my Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton and it's starting to become one of my favorite yarns for this season. I see more hats and scarves in the near future!