Keep it simple.

27. Januar 2007
When my friend gave birth to her first son at the very beginning of this year it was clear to me that I just needed a present to show her I think of her and her little one.

Having made some babyquilts earlier I knew this would be the right gift. On the other hand I also could have send her some selfmade baby clothes... It´s been hard to decide.
I asked my mom and my sister as well as another friend for advice - though inside I knew that they would vote for the quilt, which also was my "first choice".
They also reminded me to "Keep it simple!", so my friend would receive the quilt before her baby would move out and go to college (remember my problem with deadlines and time plans...*sigh*).

After some sketches for a "own" pattern I finally decided to alternate a traditional ninepatch-block and a single square with a theme print. Honestly, I tend to get lost in patterns... I tend to want to much and to "make" too much. I really need to learn to "keep it simple". This is how it all turned out:

colorful ocean

I like the way the orange squares pop out of the ocean-colorscheme, and I also like the very simple parallel lines quilting. In this quilt I even love the usually not-so-loved batic fabrics, because they were perfect blenders with the different blues of the ocean.

Next week the babyblankie will travel to New Zealand - along with happy thoughts, many best wishes and surely some love.

Hope my friend will like that I kept it simple.

Take a Stitch

15. Januar 2007
... yesterday, while searching something completely different, I stumbled over "Take a Stitch Tuesday". Sharon of inaminuteago started this in November 2006, and because I´m not a great embroiderer I just quickly read her call to "take a stitch" and forgot about it.

Failure!
This challenge (that isn´t a challenge in the sense of the word but a challenge to yourselves) really seems to be inspiring and refreshing in many ways. Every week, Sharon posts a roundup, linking every entry - and the pictures in the different blogs are beautiful!
I´ve never dreamt of what can be made with a simple herringbone stitch or with a basic, plain buttonhole stitch!

I deeply regret that I´m such a loser when it comes to embroidery, but these things make me think about giving it another try. They make me think about embroidered clothes...
Still, a WIP for my mom is laying around. I digged it out of the UFO-chest to show and *maybe* to finish it until her birthday (in april, so there´s a realistic chance...). Maybe the take-a-stitch-tuesdays will be inspiring enough to keep me working on this from time to time?!

wip2

Don´t forget to browse the TAST-flickr group for stunning and inspirational pictures!

Monkey see, Monkey do.

12. Januar 2007
I´m the monkey, I saw.
And here´s the monkey I did:

happy monkey feet

Socks.
They´re everywhere. Beautiful, colorful, patterned. And I´m not the only one who´s addicted!
I swore NEVER to knit socks. But I did.
And to make it worse, I´ve ordered three skeins of beautiful hand-dyed sock yarn a few days ago. *sigh*

monkey socks

Regia sock yarn, knit on a ply of 2.5 mm dpns. Obviously, this is a pattern from knitty.

I don´t know the exact color name of the yarn, but I immediately fell in love with the chocolate-latte-machiato-strawberry-ice-cream dyed wool. Socks are like shoes. They must be colorful!

The pattern isn´t boring, but easy enough to remember so you´re able to knit while watching TV with the hubby.
I really like how the socks turned out, and I won´t block them.
Why should I? They´re stretchy enough to fit my feet without blocking, and I really LOVE the texture of the unblocked sock! Looks like a kind of freakin´ cables to me ... *gg*

Mine and many more monkeys on flickr.
And now?

On to new heights! ;)

Twinkle, twinkle little toe!

twinkletoes

When I saw these over at knitty, there was no way to get around them.

At first glance I knew immediately that they were just right as a birthday present for my friend, who´s a cutie².
I browsed the web to see how the pattern would work (okay, and to take a sneak peak what other people do...) and found some very wonderful Twinkletoes in different colors and sizes in blogland. Seems many people have them on their to-do-list, too!
See some more Twinkletoes over at flickr.

I chose a very soft, fluffy yarn (cool wool) in a pale pink, grabbed some 4.0 mm needles and off I went.

Things I´ve learned while knitting these nice ballerina shoes:
- I love the right and left lifted increase. Looks very distinguished...
- I don´t like wrap & turn and take up the wraps in the next row(s). I did w&t before, but this time it was just bugging me.
- Sewing leather soles to a knit thing is boring. I did it anyways, as I don´t want my ballerina to slip and break a leg... wouldn´t be a nice present. *g*
- If you make one pair as a present, you´ll surely be needing one pair for yourself. They´ll look very cute in black, don´t you think?!

twinkletoes

These cuties are quick to make and fun to knit. You should cast on some for yourself!

Small eats

8. Januar 2007
This weekend we had our annual turkey-feast. Family and friends are invited to join us for a small eat (in this case, a stuffed, small 25-pound-eat):

yummy turkey

Usually this is held at my mom´s house, but this year we were "sentenced" to have the party at our place. No problem, heaven thanks there´s a "Bierbankgarnitur"!
No question the kitchen was a mess "after the war was over"... occasionally I´m very thankful for having a dishwasher... *g*

But, instead of just making you drool and just write of food, here´s a receipe for a favourite winter-tea-time meal: baked apples. Yummy-yummy!

baked apples

Take apples - the ones that are lightly sour work best (Boskop, for example).
Prick it several times with a fork or a knife all over the surface. This will make the juice come out while baking.
Generously scrape out the core.
Place apples in a pan or casserole dish.
Fill the holes left by the core as follows (this is MY way, but you can use almost everything you can imagine):
  • a bit butter (unsalted!)
  • raisins or dried cranberries
  • chopped almonds or walnuts
  • a piece of chocolate
  • top with another bit of butter
Scatter little pieces of butter, chocolate, raisins and nuts inside your casserole dish around the apples, this will make an excellent sauce.
Pour some whiskey in the casserole dish (if you´ll eat this together with your kids, take applejuice).
Bake in your (not preheated) oven at 200°C for about 45 minutes or until the peel of the apples bursts open.
Serve hot!
If you want, serve it along with ice cream or whip cream.

Mahlzeit! ;)