Mittwoch, 30. März 2016

5 Reasons a Scarf is no good Beginner Knitting Project


My first knitting project I tried as a ten year old was a scarf. I gave up in the middle, after my Mom made me unravel almost half of what I already knit. Ten years later I wanted to learn knitting again. I started with a scarf again and after I finished this I gave up again. Some years later my urge to knit hit again, but finally I learned something and started with some cute baby booties for a friend's newborn. And got hooked. Since then I am knitting (almost) regularly and enjoying it. So despite hearing again and again that a scarf is such a great beginner knitting project, here are my five reasons it is not (and let me get this clear, if you have more patience and talent than I have a scarf may be an ideal project for you, but these are just my personal reasons):

1. It takes forever to finish it

Especially at the beginning of your knitting career it is normal to knit very slowly. And I mean really, really slow. I remember how I was always fascinated when my mother knit something. It was like watching a prima ballerina. Everything seemed to be so easy and quick. But each of my stitches was a fight. At first I was glad when the damned string would go through this tiny loop and each stitch felt like a torture. So of course a scarf will take a very long time before it is finished. And to be honest I am not a very patient person. I want to see progress with my project. This is the reason I sticked to sewing only for a very long time, because I can have a finished dress after one day, whereas with knitting I need a week for a tiny accessory.
Of course the more you knit, the faster you will get, but here we come to the next reason ...

2. It is boring

With a scarf, especially a beginner one, you knit the same row over and over again. What can be relaxing when you have a bit of experience, can make you insane when you are learning. At the beginning I was unable to tell knit from purl stitches and I was not able to count them right. I was very confused altogether. But even my scarf with only knit stitches made me not happy, because it was so damned boring. And I only wanted it to end. There was no excitement to learn something new. I only wanted to be done with this thing.
So maybe a small project with some more stitches may be better as a start. I loved my hand warmers. They were entirely made with knit and purl stitches, like a scarf. But because this was a much smaller project, it was much more fun. The progress was visible with every row.

3. It is expensive

A scarf with wool is like my son with chocolate. In the blink of an eye it has inhaled all of it. For a long scarf you will need a whole lot of wool. And the other reason I preferred sewing to knitting was that wool is really expensive. With fabric you can get a good deal and have a nice item, but with wool you should not make compromises. I learned for myself that it is always better to pay for the better wool. It feels better, it knits better and you will be much more pleased with the finished item.
So in the beginning, when you are not quite sure if this knitting thing is something for you, you may not want to spend a fortune on supplies, because let's be honest ...

4. You will probably never finish it

Because of reason 1. and 2. it is most likely that you will not have the patience to finish this boring as hell scarf. And then you have another UFO flying around that is haunting you. And you get nightmares about knitting needles stabbing you to death and ... Ok, I am exaggerating. It is just frustrating to fail with something you want to learn.
Or if you are really stubborn about finishing it, there is my last reason ...

5. You will probably never wear it

Your first rows and stitches will most likely not be perfect. And so the finished scarf will most likely look like a first grader made it. And most likely you will not want to wear it in public. At least this was the case with my first scarf. It screamed homemade! And I am not the person to rock this look. It was so frustrating to put all the hours into something I would never wear. I had more fun with knitting when I used the things I made or at least they looked a bit less homemade (or they were just for the fun of it, like knitted toys).

I don't want to scare you of knitting. Quite the contrary, but I really want to warn you about the scarf as an ideal beginner project. Maybe something small like a hat or hand warmers will be much more rewarding. Or at least not so frustrating to put in the back of a drawer. And after some small projects you will find that a bigger project like a cardigan or sweater or even a scarf will be much less frightening.

Sonntag, 27. März 2016

My little Easter Bunny


First of all I wish you all a Happy Easter Weekend. I hope you have a nice time and the Easter Bunny brings you something sweet.

For our Easter cards this year I decided to make the little one a bunny hat. This blog post was the main inspiration. So I got the "Little Things to Sew" book and got to work. I used the leftover fabric from the fox costume as the main fabric and some fabric I had in my stash for quite a while (I bought this from the sales pile with no project in mind). The sewing was so easy. I just lengthened the ears. The pattern is really well constructed. Not even my thick fabric was a problem.


After the cute hat (which is still a bit big for the little one, next time I should take into account that he has a small head like me) I thought how fun would be matching pants. So I pulled out my Ottobre magazines and searched for an easy pattern. I wanted something quick with an elastic waistband. These pants are meant for baby girls, but they are okay. The waistband sits a bit low, but I was not in the mood to rip it out and sew it again.


Getting a nice photo of the little one was such a hassle. I planned to buy some spring flowers to put in this Ikea vase for him to hold (I love this vase so much I bought the small and the middle one), but in the flower shop they had only flowers which were not blooming yet. So next time I should make sure to buy the flowers beforehand. Maybe next year.
And because the little one had nothing to hold onto, he was like a whirlwind. He did not stand still long enough so that I could focus. It was not helpful that there was a steep hill nearby which he wanted to climb over and over again.


In the end I got a fantastic photo merely by chance. I love this photo very much, because he looks wild and energetic, like he is most times. I am really sorry I can't show it to you, but deleting his face from the picture would really ruin it.

What do we learn from this: A) plan ahead B) give a toddler something to hold onto when you want him to stand still and C) if all else fails just snap photos and hope for the best (I normally go with option C).

Now I only hope my little easter bunny will like his presents. Have a nice Sunday!

Mittwoch, 23. März 2016

Fox Masks


For the birthday party I found these adorable fox masks in the book "Belle and Boo - S is for Sewing" and had to make them for the little one and his cousin. The sewing was very easy. I used fusible web for the first time. It was nice to use, but at least with my stuff I had to sew over the edges, because otherwise the pieces would have fallen apart.


The boys were not much interested in the masks. The little one with his two years is still too young to grasp the concept, but I have some hopes that he will use it later. I fear the older one (six years old) is just not into foxes. Maybe a superhero mask would have been better for him.

Sonntag, 20. März 2016

Birthday outfit and a finished Myrna cardigan


Fortunately I already made this fox dress two years ago (from New Look 6262) so I at least had not to sew something new (and not buy new fabric). But I somehow decided it was time to finish the cardigan I started almost two years ago for an Outfit Along (I made the dress on time, but obviously not the cardigan). I think it is funny that I now ended up wearing the cardigan with the dress it was thought for. And just for fun, here is my progress on Ravelry:

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-16 um 11.06.48

Myrna was my first cardigan and my first clothing item in general (besides accessories like hats or scarves). It was a bit challenging but it was also fun to learn new stitches. Overall I would say it is a great beginners project. Because of the wool, the needle size and the short sleeves it is quick to knit (of course only if one actually knits and does not put it in a bag and forgets about it). I love the outcome. It looks so cute and is not screaming self-made at all. The wool I used was the recommended one Yowza by Miss Babs in Vlads. It was a dream to work with. I only needed one skein so it was not cheap but affordable. Overall I love my new cardigan and can't wait for the weather to get warmer so that I can wear it.


Dress - self made (New Look 6262)
Cardigan - self made (Myrna by Untangling Knots)
Fox brooch - self made (Mollie Makes kit)
Earrings - Etsy
Fox Tattoo - Etsy (Tattoorary)
Head scarf - vintage
Shoes - JustFab

Mittwoch, 16. März 2016

Fox Birthday Party


Last weekend we celebrated the little one's second birthday. I decided to do a fox theme. It was so much fun to put all the stuff together. Fortunately foxes are a bit on trend right now so it was not too difficult. I did not go for a woodland style, but tried to stay with orange, black, white and gold as colors.


For place cards I printed out these foxes and wrote the names with gold watercolor. They were a bit hard to read, but I liked them nonetheless.


The first thing I finished were these napkin rings from the Mollie Makes Woodland Friends book. They were really easy to make and look so cute.


Some hours before the party I even finished three of these knit foxes. The pattern is by Mochimochiland. They were so easy and quick to knit.


My boyfriend and I baked two cakes this year. At first we did not even want to make any, but then I discovered the recipe for the orange cake in the last issue of my favorite cooking magazine and had to make it. The A-cake was also not planned. I was searching for an A shaped baking form for quite a while now, but was not lucky. But then two weeks before the party I discovered this form on Amazon UK and it even arrived on time. So we also made this cake. Both were delicious.

We also made a balloon garland I forgot to photograph (duh!). I bought fox shaped cookies (which came with other woodland animals and guess which animal was the rarest in the bags) and gummy foxes (cola flavored, yummy!).

We had much fun at the party. It was much more relaxed than last year, now that the little one gets older and plays more independently. He got a lot of books, because he already has so much toys. I can't really say what he liked best. He got a cleaning set from Melissa and Doug which he immediately had to unpack and play with. Small children are so cute!

Samstag, 12. März 2016

Secret Penpal Scavenger Hunt 2016

Fab from Snail Mail Love again organized the Secret Penpal Scavenger Hunt. I participated already last year and it was so much fun to gather all the things for my partner. So this year I took part again.

Unfortunately the week we had to gather all the things I was ill. So it was a bit more difficult to get everything together. But I hope my partner will like everything I got for her.

I was very lucky to not only get my package early, but also my partner was so generous. I got so much great gifts. To honor all the goodness, I made a little stop-motion-video. This was the first time I did something like this. It was so much fun taking the photos and planning the video, but the editing was a nightmare. But I like the outcome.

My swap partner sent me a cute bird figure as something that is neither rectangular nor square. The bird is even my favorite summer color, mint green. I got a huge Bad Day Kit. It included candy (I already tasted both and they are delicious), bathing items (a Lush bath bomb!), a recipe and a list with movies. There was also a mix CD with some great music. The Mail Lovers Kit included cards with my initial on them. For something to read she sent me "The Great Gatsby". I already read this book, but it was really nice, so I don't mind having a copy (I read it on my kindle). And last I got some knitting needles in great colors. One can never have too many knitting needles!

I am already thinking about making more videos, stop motion or otherwise. We will see if I find something that would benefit from a video.

Have a nice weekend!

Mittwoch, 9. März 2016

Which new Simplicity patterns I would buy (if I had the money)

Simplicity released some new patterns and I after some disappointing collections the last months, I am really excited about this one. There are some very nice pieces and more important, patterns I would make and wear.

Simplicity 8073


I would not make this as a dress for everyday wear, but to wear while working in the garden (when we hopefully have one soon). It would look really cute with a nice shirt underneath.

Simplicity 8058


I saw this a while ago and instantly fell in love. Probably I would only make the trousers. I am not much of a pants girl, but sometimes I like to wear some. And my wardrobe is a bit sparse in this category.

Yeah, I like the patterns by Cynthia Rowley (I already own some). And yeah, it is back to the roots with this cute dress. But I think this pattern would make great everyday dresses.

Simplicity 8085


This is the first vintage pattern in a while I could see me really making. It looks like a wrap dress one can actually wear. I was not so satisfied with the Butterick Walk-Away Dress, but liked the Vogue (8788) one. So I think this would make a nice wrap-dress for me, too. The short version would be great for garden work.

Sonntag, 6. März 2016

New Hair Color


I finally had the courage to change my hair color. I like my natural hair color, but sometimes it can be a bit boring. And I wanted to have red hair since I was a teenager. And now that I have a hairdresser in the family it was time to risk it.


What should I say, I was really nervous, but I love the outcome. The red will be a bit more vibrant with each coloring, but I think it looks so pretty now. Maybe now people will stop staring at me, because I am so pale.

Oh and by the way, can you believe that tomorrow will be the little one's second birthday? How time flies!

Dienstag, 1. März 2016

My first Nettie


Of course I had to hop on the bandwagon and make a Nettie. The pattern is really fast forward and was a quick make. Or it could have been, if my twin needle was not a total jerk and refused to work properly. So the seam finishes took as long as the rest of the sewing, especially the neck finish.


I like the outcome, but it is not the most comfortable dress to wear. I made the wide neckline, which looks really cool (and reminds me of my ballet leotards), but it is a pain to wear, especially with a toddler to look after. I wore the dress for a birthday party and it was okay, but I don't see myself wearing this as an everyday dress.

But all in all, Nettie is a great pattern. I already made another version with a high neckline and a big fail version. Can't wait to share these with you!

Dress - self-made
Tights - local shop
Shoes - Tamaris
Earrings - self-made