Monday, July 21, 2014

Wool Shorties

Baby G is beating the heat with some brand new, mama-made woollies.  Wool is amazing and perfect for a cloth diapered bum.  It's breathable, making it good over a prefold or fitted in the heat (much cooler than disposables or PUL cloth dipes).  Wool also has antibacterial properties that keep it clean and smelling nice with minimal washing.  And with a nice coat of lanolin the wool repels moisture making it virtually waterproof.  Amazing!

These shorties were made from the Ladybug Loops pattern  with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn in Marina and Caution. I followed the pattern for DK instead of worsted because I feel like the WotA yarn is on the lighter side of worsted weight.  For the finish I did a combination of eyelet finish and ruffle and added an I-chord to the waist.  I am so happy with how these turned out and will definitely be casting on for some longies before winter.  There is absolutely nothing better than seeing my family dressed in handmade.  It makes my heart happy.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Johannisbeeren or Red Currant Jam

We've been suffering through a bit of a heat wave for the past few days here in Germany.  Cooking with the oven was put on hold, windows were tightly shut after 9am, and fans were strategically set up around the house for optimal coolness.  Baby G, Papa K, and I are all a bit grouchy in the heat so we've all been doing a fair bit of sulking.  When I woke up this morning and opened the windows, and then kept them open for hours and hours more because the breeze was staying cool, I knew it was time for a little celebration.  These berries glistened like gemstones as Baby G and I sat merrily in our kitchen carefully removing stems.  This was my first attempt at canning (sterilized jars and all) so I'm quite please with my output.  I'm looking forward to having some delicious red currant jam to dip into this winter on a cold, cloudy day.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

{This Moment}

Joining Amanda today. In her words...

{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. 
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Recent Adventures in Homemade Foods

Ok, I constantly tell people that I can't cook. That's not exactly true.  I don't usually like to cook, but today I'm going to take you on a little photo montage of my recent adventures in homemade food.  Life is hectic so we try to slow down and take pleasure in the very simplest of foods (even if making the simple foods is a bit more work).  Bonus points if said food is consumed in the twilight on our back porch.  From homemade bread with homemade jam to freshly squeezed orange juice to hand whipped cream, life in my kitchen has been feeling very exquisite in its simplicity lately.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Little Bad Wolf

Life has been crazy, hectic, and non-stop work for the last several days.  Sitting down to relax for one of the first times today and my feet are throbbing from all the going.  In my small moments I've been trying to squeeze a little bit of personal pleasure and fun. I completely devoured Sara Gruen's book Water for Elephants over the course of several very late night readings (it was delicious and captivating).  Life is just better with books.

For yarn I've been crocheting away on some requests and finishing little projects for the family one by one.  Today's project is a little bad wolf for a friend of mine...can you tell who I'll be making next?  Stay tuned for his little red-caped companion soon!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hooks and Books - July 11

Some new little treasures entered my life yesterday and I'd love to show them to you.  Baby G's grandparents spoil her with little baby care packages and Gg just loves them.  Yesterday we received one such box from my mom and after letting the baby drool over her new toys, I was very happily surprised by a little bundle of something for me...vintage crochet hooks!  Two of my great loves! My mom knows just what I love. Edit: I just learned that these hooks once belonged to my Great-Grandma Smart. I can just imagine the amazing doilies she made with those little metal hooks!

Oh the things I'll make with these!  Must finish current projects before starting anything new, though.  Keep crocheting....

Our other treasures came in the form of some old books at the library.  We brought a stack of books for the "take one, leave one" shelf and came away with a new little stack.  The book on mammals started G's collection of nature books and yesterday we added a couple about trees.  I got a book on dairy goats (I dream!) and K picked up the Umberto Eco.  They all have a very faint dusty book smell about them that I just love.  What a lovely way to build a library....leave a book, take a book.  Wonderful.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Button Finds

It's a drizzly day here in the Rhineland Pfalz; The type of day when a big pot of Sweet and Spicy tea and hours of family play time in the newly finished playroom are just the ticket.  And play we have...after a wee bit of shopping!  There's little better than some vintage shopping on a dreary day to brighten things up!

At K's suggestion we stopped by a beautifully curated little antique store where I stumbled on a huge array of vintage buttons.  I sifted through bags, boxes, and jars and finally settled on just ten (below in the first photo).  When I got home I had the urge to dig out some of my other recent button purchases and have a little photo session.  Hmm, now I think I need to knit some sweaters for all this vintage goodness, don't you?

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Fairy Tale Playroom

The playroom is finished! After finding the perfect rug for Baby G's fantastical castle-themed playroom and nursery, I was inspired to rearrange the rest of the furniture and give the room some final whimsical touches. In celebration of the clean (for now) room, I thought I'd share some photos with you.



 I feel like there will be many days full of whimsical playtime in this fairy tale space under the watchful eye of some original portraits, thoughtful gifts, German antiques, and a growing collection of books. The sun shines in just beautifully all day long, begging for sunbathing, tummy time, and perhaps a bit of knitting? A girl can hope.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Never Enough Mermaids

Back in Hawaii I made a set of mermaid dolls for fun (here they are!) but I never actually wrote down the pattern I used.  Now that I have a little baby and a new reason to make dolls I've been itching to try my hand at making mermaids again. Over the last couple of days I've come up with this sweet lady.

She's quite a bit bigger than my last mermaid dolls, which I really like, and I'm excited to make her in a few different colors.

Baby G just loves to pull and shake her hair about. I can't get enough of making toys for my little peanut.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My Day In Yarn

I have been getting some serious feel-goods from yarn the last few days, largely due to my discovery of a center-pull ball winder in my possession.  Last Fall for 10 Euro I bought an old suitcase full of wool sock yarn and a yarn swift that I had no clue how to assemble.  At that price I was just excited to be getting such a good deal on wool. The yarn has been making it's way into little projects here and there, but the swift has been gathering dust for the past 9 months.  Well something clicked two nights ago and suddenly I was able to put it together and start winding all sorts of beautiful yarn.  Some of it is hand-dyed by my mother-in-law, making it very special, some of it was collected and gifted by her, and some of it is locally found treasure.

Something about the way yarn looks when it's wound into a ball like this makes my nerves tingle and a piece of me internally go "ahhh".  It makes me feel like an addict, winding ball after ball of gorgeously dyed fibers.  "Just one more and then I'll go to bed.  Just one more and I'll be completely calm." If I had the extra money lying around I'm sure I would have impulsively bought a spinning wheel after hours of playing with this yarn.

Winding yarn is satisfying, but it's quick.  Knitting an item for a loved one takes days, weeks, or even months, but it gives an even more gratifying feeling.  Watching my baby play and roll around in a sweater that I carefully created makes my heart swell.  Even when she's out of my arms, she's still wrapped up in a warm hug from mom.  I think this is why I knit instead of jumping off the couch to do housework at every opportunity.  My house may not be spotless, but my family is warm. When we sit together in the evenings as a family, Baby G wrapped in her castle blanket, Papa K in an afghan, and both he and I in knit slippers, I feel content.