Monthly Archives: April 2016

Scrap Sunday: Remember how lucky you are

Do you sometimes need a reminder that actually you are a really happy person and should stop complaining about little things? I certainly do. I guess because I am Austrian. Austrians loooove moaning. We have lots of words for it. I am also quite good at wallowing in self-pity. Especially after tiring nights. And that is when I need a gently reminder that actually it is all good. Really good. I only seem to see that when I hear from other who aren’t as lucky as me.

Someone I actually don’t know that well just had a premature baby and I just wanted to make something nice for her.

I found two lovely freebooks for premature baby clothes but only used the one for the wrap cardigan.

IMG_4784IMG_4787 IMG_4786 It is incredible how tiny this piece is when you see it next to your healthy and well nourished 5 months old.

Clearly this is one of the more useful and meaningful ideas that I have ever published for Scrap Sunday and I will definitely enquire in the local hospitals to see if there is a need for premature baby clothes and what kind of donations they would want. It would be nice to know that actually some of these odd small pieces in my scrap box could make someone else happy.

 

 

Quick catch up

As you know, I am most productive when I have my children around. Still not sure why. But I can definitely get a lot done when they play next to me. At least as long as they don’t fight or try to burn the house down.

So actually I was really busy during the first half of the Easter break. I am still working on a big yoga bag order but I did take some breaks (when I had done my daily task) and made a few things for my children.

The least exciting one would be this shirt, using the left overs from my niece’s shirt in combination with a stripy jersey that was once in a “surprise bag” from Michas Stoffecke and a cheap grey jersey from Shepherds Bush, initially intended as trial material on my search for the perfect breastfeeding top (which I will ideally make while still breastfeeding)

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I used my usual pattydoo pattern but I am now normally hiding the seam at the neck which looks much more professional:

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and I am trying out a new stitch for the hem. I used the twin needle in the past and was really pleased with the look but that seam actually fell apart in some of the shirts which is not exactly ideal.

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I am not sure if I have even posted a picture of the initial girl version, made in February already:

The second most exciting item was a dress, using a klimperklein pattern and a pink flowery sweat that I have since a while:

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I find this dress really cool. I think the sporty raglan pattern and the colour of the heart go very well in combination with the rather girly fabric.

So two lovely projects for two lovely children but the loveliest (project, not child – they are all exactly the same lovely) of all is still to be shown:

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A reversible jacket with a pointy hood. Just right for the “in between seasons” season.

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I didn’t have enough of the brown car sweat left for the whole jacket so I made blue sleeves. Then I thought that the inner jacket should similarly have different sleeves but I am not entirely sure about it. It looks a bit odd. Maybe I should have done the hood in the orange stripes as well. Plus the teal of the star fabric doesn’t go with the blue of the sleeves but I was really keen on using it. It is a lovely fabric, almost a bit of a waste to be used as lining only. I can’t wait until the outside gets vomit on it so I’ll have an excuse to turn it.

I have used another klimperklein pattern, this time from her book. I was so excited to get that book. When it finally arrived I was slightly disappointed at first. I guess, after all the great e-books I expected much more pictures and variations of each pattern. Which is silly and totally my fault. A book simply can’t provide the same amount of  step by step pictures and 20 variations of each item. And actually the author Pauline Dohmen must have thought the same as she is now even publishing amazing tutorials on her blog for the most crucial questions. Like how to properly sew and turn a reversible jacket…. or a lined coat :). The tutorial landed in my inbox just about a week after I had struggled with the coat! What a bad timing. But I will now know forever how to do this 🙂

Just a few pictures of my little jacket, a proper tutorial  can be found on the klimperklein blog.

First, the two jackets sewn together, except at the sleeves. The two jackets are NOT to be put inside each other. (And obviously, there is a gap at one of the side seams of the inner jacket so they can later be turned inside out):

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Now, join the sleeves, being careful not to twist them. Pauline Dohmen refers to it as kissing elephant trunks. What a useful image!

Finally, the jackets fully sewn together – except the turning gap at the inner jacket, you can see it on the left side.

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I love that little jacket so much, I have never been happier to live in England where it will be just the right weather for an “in between season” jacket for another 6 months 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shriek Sunday: eye catching body parts

Warning: This post contains the description of unspeakable things, female body parts misused for baby feeding and there is even a picture of a BREAST. Naked. Really.

The holidays are finally coming to an end. We have done lots but nothing spectacular (unless you call a daily visit to the same playground spectacular). As we didn’t travel anywhere, we frequently pretended to be tourists and had lots of unhealthy food or healthy food in the pretend cafe at our dining table. (Can’t recommend this place, ridiculous prices, a single breadstick for £1!) We had stomach bugs, teething, eye tests, two visits to the fun fair and one immunisation which lead to multiple running away threats (a day later even). He would have taken his sister and initially the baby brother. But as this one needs to be breastfed he would have left him behind with the horrible mother that drags her children to nurses with needles. Which leads to today’s topic: the baby hat in the shape of a female breast or as others would call it: the booby beanie.

A dear friend of mine and midwife wants to learn knitting to be able to knit a booby beanie. As she wanted to present one in about a weeks time, I offered to knit one for her and let her learn knitting without the stress of a deadline.

I followed this pattern, written by Amanda Rundquist (she seems to focus on food now and I will definitely check out the website. That burger looks rather yummy, even at 8.30 in the morning (well, it is almost lunch time for me, I am up since a few hours).

I used some Rowan handknit cotton from my stash.  I chose the yarn because it was the one that came closest to my own skin colour, but it looks a bit unhealthy, not enough red in it. However, I think it will be presented to a bunch of Japanese midwifes, so it might not be totally wrong, maybe a bit too pale.

I did see a few hats online that were white or light pink with a bright pink nipple. I guess these colours make the hat look cuter but I personally think if I choose to put a breast on the head of my baby than it is a statement. Tongue-in-cheek pro breastfeeding in public. So I think the more natural and realistic the better.

I altered the pattern slightly as I was comparing with my own reality. So the colour change is two rows later but I didn’t decrease down to 5 stitches for the I-cord and did a few rounds with 8 stitches instead to form the nipple.

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I knitted the smaller size and didn’t do a tension square as it will only be used as a sample but it fitted the baby well enough to wear it for a picture 🙂

Stillkappe 2And if you stare hard enough, you can actually see my skin! Really. I tried hard to cover my breast with that baby but I failed. Luckily this was in the privacy of my home and not in a public space 😉

 

 

 

Scrap Sunday or the “commitment to commissioned work” problem

There is this romantic image of the poor artist sitting in his freezing atelier, trying to hold his brush in his clammy hands to finish that magnificent painting before dying from pneumonia. Or the composer writing down the most wonderful music with the last tiny bit of his pencil before dying from hunger. Only the hope that one’s artistic genius will finally be recognised by coming generations keeps them going.

Other artists or artisans have a more pragmatic approach. They produce what the paying customer wants.

Now, I do not even dream of putting my name in the same sentence with Van Gogh or Mozart (Ok, I just found out that he wasn’t actually that poor, that is just a myth!!!!) but so far I am happy to say that I usually like what I make and that I am fully committed to it. So far, I never had to question the things that I made for others, be it a present or be it a custom order. I had been wondering in the past, if I would ever come in a situation where I would have to say: “No, I am not going to make this, it does not reflect any of my values” or “that is beneath me”. Or even worse, where I actually had to make something that would not reflect any of my values or that would be beneath me. Not because I would fall for a huge fee but because the safety or emotional well being of a close person would be threatened. Have you ever asked yourself where you would draw the line?

By now you might be wondering why I am going on about this problem, after all it is “only” Scrap Sunday. Well, you will see.

Last week, one of my friends took her children to a fun fair and for reasons that are not to be discussed here she convinced her daughter to have a go at the “catch a duck” game. The girl overcame her objections and caught a duck (obviously). She chose a toy set which included some plastic high heels and was incredibly pleased as she knew her mother would have never ever agreed on buying her high heels. She is that sort of humourless kill-joy who wants her children to play with a few stones and a jute bag to develop their creativity. (I believe I have shown you the results of their creativity on here already.)

So already the educational persuasion to catch a duck had backfired slightly. But things got worse.

At home the little girl realised that the shoes didn’t fit. A bit like Cinderella’s step sisters. Which is why the mother suggested to cut off those toes with a knife* (correction: the woman has clearly a brilliant sense of humour) . After this fabulous joke which was not really appreciated by the girl with the big toes, she promised to somehow fix the problem so the girl could enjoy her beautiful price.

And this is where finally my Scrap Sunday comes in. As I actually had to sacrifice some of my pink stripy jersey to make the little shoe big enough for the not so little girl. I removed the plastic top of the shoe and replaced it with a stripe of stretchy jersey which I crossed over to give a bit more security.

IMG_4689Toes are still big but get through.

IMG_4691I never thought that I would actively be involved in saving toy high heels but considering that I my friend had started the whole thing with the duck catching, it would have been too cruel to add the educational lesson of “see how these cheap plastic toys are of poor quality and have no value whatsoever, they even lead to negative feelings.”

And luckily after a day with the toy set and the fixed shoes the girl realised the latter all by herself :

* The German version by the Grimm brothers features two step sisters, who cut off their toe respectively heel in order to fit into the tiny glass shoe.