Sonntag, 29. April 2012

Sunday of Plenty

Some days just feel so much larger than others, larger as in so much more stuff fits into that day than into an average one. I really don't know how that happens. If it all depends on the way you start your day? Possibly starting the day with freshly bakes scones helps? What do you think?

A walk after breakfast with some brought in lilacs (?) might also do the trick...

A day like that certainly needs a lot of yarn, yummy colors, maybe some dyeing even, no harm in that!

Definately giving some extra special moment to your enlarged day will be having a good chat with your Papa under a blanket without Mama to see you. Papa needs lots and lots of soccer on telly on a day like that and some running during Aarons nap time.

Mama needs this:

Yes! Enjoying my new spinning wheel, at the balcony, so much! With a cute little boy discovering his toes showing out of his new summer shoes, how weird...

And anyway, sunday living at the balcony, never to be underestimated! Ooops, there's been a road accident... (no hurt feelings here, we have done the chalk drawings way earlier, I don' think he even recognized that stickmann, so it just looks a bit evil in the picture).

Some late spring seeding of Physalis... (late, since I forgot the seeds in the freezer. Because on the package it said to give them two weeks of frost, it might have been a few more, I hope they survived...)

Of course a day like that needs good, fresh food. We had some asparagus-potato salat with chives, olive oil and a little salt. Sooooo yummy!

Knitting? Sure there has been a wee bit of that too. (Never mind my toe nails need some up doing...)

But even a day full of plenty like that comes to an end. Too bad I can't take my wheel to bed with me, so here it is once more. I am so in love :-)

How has been your weekend? I hope to see you over at Amandas for Weekending!

Edit: happyly joing in Woolly Wednesday this month too. 

Freitag, 27. April 2012

{this moment}

Some time back, Soulemama came up with this wonderful tradition:
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - 

Mittwoch, 25. April 2012

Yarn Along - Mama Sambona enjoys life

Knittin and reading. My favourite things to complete a perfect day. So I am joining Ginny on Wednesdays for Yarn Along to share my passions with you. Come and join in if you like!

My holidays are over. Two great weeks have been spent with lots and lots of Family, Knitting, Spinning and Dyeing. The coming weeks working call for some easy to-go knitting projects again. Stuff I can knit on the train, in a meeting or in a waiting room of a doctors office. Oh yeah, with my clients I usually spend a LOT of time at those places, not the worst places to work at when you have some knitting. In fact, its the best thing to do to pass time and whilst knitting I can still pay all the nessesary attention to my clients.
In my tea break I often spend some time in one of my favourite cafés, today I went to "Cafe Eichhörnchen" a very small and wonderful Belgium café, fortunatly just near my todays clients place. There is nothing better for a break than some french music, a tea or coffee and some knitting, right?!

I picked up one of my UFOs as an easy project to-go. It`s the babys kicking bag I started a while back and got stuck with because I ran out of yarn I had dyed turquoise with easter egg dyes. 
Now I finally bought another skein of organic yarn. Because I was very sure I would not manage to dye another skein in exactly the same colorway I decided to go for a completely different color instead. This orange is what happend...  I frogged a lot of what I had already knitted to start with the orange earlier. What can I say, color really makes me do it. I am so exhited about how the combination of colors is working out so I started knitting like crazy and am almost done by now. I will never again knit such a simple, call it boring, project again in only one color because I will never finish it. Mix in some more colors and the stitches are flying away... you just need to know how to outsmart yourself.

Oh and there is this wonderful book I found in a book store and have enjoyed so much already. I am not sure at what age I should read it to Aaron but I am sure I will. There is no English translation so I wil try to tell you the story here:
The lady you can see in the picture is Mama Sambona. She lives as a queen on the Island Ukerewe in Lake Victoria in East Afrika (part of it belongs to Uganda btw.) Mama Sambona is very old and Dead has plans to take her "home". Problem is, Dead is only allowed to try and take someone home three times. Since he knows Mama Sambona will not be an easy play, he sends his rabbit first but Mama Sambona is nowhere to be found: Her neighbour informs rabbit the queen went to Uganda to buy some hunting dogs. Rabbit does not like hunting dogs and runs off. Dead is angry with rabbit and pays his own first visit to Mama Sambona. Dead politetly asks her to finish her tea and join him on their way back to the ancestors but Mama Sabona excuses herself because she still has to help her granddaughter with her homework. Dead knows he can't let somone die as long as that person does something good for a child so he leaves in vain.  The second time Dead come for Mama Sambona, she can't join him because she is harvesting millet for her granddaughter. The third time Mama Sambona has organized a big festival so Dead believes she welcomes him with music this time to say good bye to her people. But Mama Sambona asks Dead for a dance and Dead enjoyes that dance so much he completely forgets what a he came for.
That is why Mama Sambona still lives on her Island Ukerewe and drinks her tea with pleasure. She gave up smoking though... :-)

Happy Knitting!

P.S.: I found a spinning wheel, or rather my sister did. It might  be with me by next week! I am so exhited!

Montag, 23. April 2012

Flying Visit to Holland

When I am at my parents place, my dad and me have this wonderful tradition of always trying to squeeze in a short day trip to Groningen, a city in the north of Holland, about 1 hour drive from where my parents live. I have very early childhood memories of fantastic days spent in that city based on some shopping, watching the laissez-faire lifestyle of the dutch people and enjoying a dinner at a chinese restaurante. Somehow nothing of that has ever changed much...

I guess living on one of these boats looks far more romantic than it actually is but I love sneeking a look here and there, trying to find out what kind of people would lead such a life. And I am telling you, there  are much more romantic boats than the ones I can show you here, we just didn't see any that day. Imagine a beautiful container garden on a boat roof...
One of the very early tradition of our dutch day trips is eating some "Hollandse Nieuwe" (mild, salty herrings), sorry, yes it looks rather gross, especially if you eat that fish the traditional style, hold it up and "suck" it in... but seriously, if you like fish, it tastes great!

Anyway, one of my favourite activities in Holland is to discover pretty and interesting bikes. This time I  only spent about half an hour taking pictures of bikes and this is what I found:

Isn't it just fantastic? So much love for a bike!
This time I fell especially in love with the front carriere style of those bikes, the baskets, and boxes and the strong carriere itself and I really wanted  one like that for my grandfathers bike. And, I was very, very lucky and found one in a second-hand store for very cheep and like new. I was dancing through the streets!
(I fixed it to my bike in our bed room because it was raining outside...) 

Now I just have to find a nice basket to go with it...
I also bought a typical dutch style front kids seat but I want to attache that to a ladys bike,I am too scared to ride that mens bike with Aaron on it. I can't get on and off fast enough.

Maybe a little inspired by our trip to Holland I dyed some more yarn with easter egg dyes, only this time I used tablets for hot water instead of cold, turns out the colors are MUCH stronger and vibrant. I was kind of shocked to see my yarn turn alarmingly yellow and orange. Now I call it my dutch Oranje yarn since orange is the national color of Holland ;-)
Well, after the first shock I did have an idea what to use it for. I will show you on Wednesday for Yarn Along. Hope to see you there!

Freitag, 20. April 2012

{this moment}

Some time back, Soulemama came up with this wonderful tradition:
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - 

Donnerstag, 19. April 2012

Treasures from my grandmothers closet

I am sure my late grandmother has owned some very valuable things, like jewelry, pottery and the like. We have not gone into the details of sorting through those things yet, it just didn't feel right. My grandfather wanted some closets to be cleared though. Look what I found: treasures!

Having grown up during the second world war, my grandma wasn't what you'd call a crafter, she was more of a fixer. She never threw things but mended them with care as well as she could. She only made things that were needed, like socks, table cloth, carpets. Like the one in the picture. When I said I would take it I was not sure at all wether I wanted it in our sitting room but I really like it now. It is so colorful and it makes me very happy to know that Aarons great-grandmother made the carpet he is playing on now. (He has another mat in his room that his ugandan godfather has brought for him from Uganda, the type of palm leafe mat Aarons ugandan grandmother makes.)

I love all these vintage aprons that I found. Unfortunatly I never wear aprons so I am thinking about using the fabric for something unique, like a quilt (never quilted before either, but it seems like a good reason to start, right?). I am not sure I can cut into those lovely pieces though...

And did you notice the hanger? WHY on earth does anyone knit or crochet around hangers? They are covered by clothes and are hidden in a closet most of their life (unless you have a blog and want to show off your sewings which I doubt my grandma did)... 

What treasures are hidden in your families closets?

Mittwoch, 18. April 2012

Yarn Along - Spinning Beginnings

Knittin and reading. My favourite things to complete a perfect day. So I am joining Ginny on Wednesdays for Yarn Along to share my passions with you. Come and join in if you like!

In German there is a funny homonym for the word spinning because "Ich spinne" (I am spinning) can also mean "I am nuts". My dad never stopped to tease my mum with her spinning abilities and he is very delighted that I have now joined the club (both my sisters know how to spin also, so all his family is nuts now...). 
Aaaah, what a fantastic feeling to make your own yarn. The possibilities are just endless (after a few days of practice of course and with the right fiber).
If you get your wool straight from the sheep, like my mum did, there is a lot of work like washing and carding involved in the process until you can actually start spinning. I was fortunate enough that my mum had already prepared enough wool for me so I could get the wheel going soon.
Because my mum and me are not the most constructive teacher-student match, I had ordered for this very great book on spinning and additionally watched some very helpful videos on You Tube (in German) It all together has been very successful:

The first bobbing I filled was full of overtwisted and fluffy parts, an unintended thick-and-thin thread but I it was love on first sight :-) Once dyed and turned into a ball it looked some more serious and less curly and even knittable...

I dyed it in a deep blue. I plied it (twist it with another yarn) with some very thin yarn my sister had spun earlier, dyed in a green-blue
I only had one skein so I decided to knit it up into a small basket from "More last minute knitted gifts".

Oh, all that dying... (we used chemical dyes this time as we didn't have all the ingredients for natural colors)

We also dyed some of the wool before spinning (the purple in the top picture). 

Today Aaron and me arrived back home in Cologne, after 10 days at my parents place. A suitcase full of handspun goodness, a few skeins still ready to be dyed into any given color. Now my search begins for my own spinning wheel... oh how I want that right now...

Aaron never left his daddys arm again after the reunion at the train station, it was the longest time they had ever been seperated and as soon as we got home all three of us cuddled up on the sofa for the rest of the evening...

Happy Knitting!