Yarn along 39 – 1 Christmas Dress down, 2 more to come

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I decided to downsize my project list a little and concentrate on one topic per week. I seem to have been too distracted to actually move forward with any of my projects. This why last week I finally finished christmas present no.1, the smallest dress for Michael’s nieces. I browsed ravelry many times to find a good pattern but everything I tried wasn’t just right. I even started knitting a bottom up dress but when I came to the point to divide for the sleeves I frogged it again because it looked weird. I finally ended up the the 10 dress. I took the stitches count to cast on and the division for front, back and sleeves as my starting point and started working in my own style from there on. And here it is, my first dress. It is suppossed to be a size 4 or about 116 in German kids size. I double checked the measurements with sizes I got from a magazine and I hope this will fit. It is now blocked and ready to be store for christmas.

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And because now it’s already end of September I immediately cast on no. 2. Because the neckband seems to be pretty loose for the small one, I didn’t cast on more for the size 6 dress. I can still pull it over my head which means it should definitively fit over a 5.5 year old’s head too without problems. The girls all get a different blue for the stripes. The first one goes to a light brown haired 3.5 year old and should be a fun coloured dress for her. The second one goes to a blond one which is why I chose (or ok, I made Michael choose) the lighter blue for her. Funny how changing one color makes it look so different already. The last one will be a bright blue and goes to a red head. I hope they will like it even though it is not super girly with pinks or ruffles.

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I’m knitting with Drops Baby Merino. I love the yarn and it gets even better after blocking. I guess I will have quite a bit of yarn left when I have finished the dresses so I’m already thinking of what I could knit myself with such a pretty grey…

Linking with Ginny and the Yarn Along ladies.

 

Me made Mittwoch & Yarn Along 38

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It’s been a while since I last yarned along or even participated in Me Made Mittwoch. Work got in the way and then I was on holidays last week (pictures & stories to come soon). But today I’m back and want to do a Me made Yarn Along Wednesday.

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About two weeks before I went on holidays I went shopping in my lunch break. This meant as usual that I ended up in the yarn department of the nearest department store (ok, it is the only department store in all of Düsseldorf that has a yarn department…). And there I saw that many summer yarns were 50% off. Ok. I was and still am in the middle of knitting several other projects but when I saw Ashana from Schachenmayr I couldn’t help but buy some. I wanted a semi-warm summer sweater and the yarn seemed perfect for it. And after a little bit of testing I came up with a pattern I liked: overall seed stitch and overly wide shoulders which fall down to the upper arms and a bit of an relaxed positive ease.

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The sweater is worked with only two seams (on the shoulders). Everything else is knit in the round and the sleeves are picked up along the arm slits. The sweater grew quickly. I only absolutely underestimated the amount of yarn I needed. I bought 10 skeins (500g) at the beginning and it was soon clear that I needed more. I bought another 5 skeins but when I was nearly finished with the second sleeve, I realised I missed one skein. I’m still not sure if this one skein is now living somewhere under or behind our couch or if I just miscalculated. But of again I went to buy a final skein. And then to my horror they had already rearranged the whole yarn department and were now sporting winter yarns. I was already about to leave (because I hadn’t memorized the name, number and dye lot to ask, if more yarn was somewhere to be found) when I saw a sales box with lots of different yarns. And there it was, my last skein!

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So I managed to finish my by now super heavy sweater (750-800g!) sweater in just 1.5 weeks. I really like it but it is currently still far too warm to wear. After taking a picture this morning I took it off immediately. But when the summer passes I guess I will get a lot of wear out of it.

Yarn along 34 – Hexipuffs

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I wanted to finish stuff last week. I did. I finished the V-lace Top but I will show you pictures maybe next week. It needs to get a little warmer for me to wear it. And then I looked up something on ravelry. And somehow stumbled over the beekeepers quilt again. And remembered that in 2013 I had vowed to knit one hexipuff a day but had stopped at about 100. But back then I had knit my own chubby formless hexipuffs. So I decided to finally buy the pattern and do proper Hexipuffs. And well this is how I spend my weekend: knitting new hexipuffs, frogging old ones.

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I also decided that I won’t frog the ones that were made out of something else than sock yarn weight. They get opened up, I take out the filling and then I sew them together and they go to California to the Yarnbomber to be part of his next installation. Opening them and sewing them together is a little bit of a pain but hey, I want to make a proper contribution and not only send him tiny bits and pieces that he needs to stitch together then.

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Other than that I didn’t do that much. I added a stripe on the first christmas dress and am looking forward to handing the knit over to my MIL because she said she wants to participate in the christmas knitting as it is for her grandchildren. And she said she’ll do the boring part were there is mainly stockinette stitch and only a tiny bit of construction. And the Pintuck Tee and the socks? Not much news there. I tried to do a bomerang heel while still doing colorwork. Not much of an success plus I think they get to thick anyway. So I’ll rip that part out and then it won’t take that long any more.

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Linking with Ginny and the Yarn along ladys. What are you knitting?

A summer day in Berlin

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After finally posting my post on Leipzig, somehing seems to have clicked and I decided I could as well finally post pictures from my trip to Berlin. Early in July my brother got his diploma in medicine in Berlin so my whole family went their. It has been ages since we all went somewhere together.

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This screamed for a family selfie and so I think is one of the very few pictures of the four of us together. Well, but getting back to our trip. I’ve been to Berlin several times, mostly job related, in the last six years and always only for a short time. Again this time we actually had just one real sightseeing day but we used it to the fullest. We walked about 4kms that day and saw all the primary sights. The route is easy to follow and went like this:

1. Holocaust Monument

We had an apartment close to the Brandenburg Gate and just around the corner of the Holocaust monument, so we started our tour there. It is a very weird place but I think it is a very good monument. It gives you a claustrophobic feeling when walk through it, a feeling of being lost and alone. And yet it is not only a sad place. People use it, take pictures there, play there and I think this is good. (Pictures are actually from a trip some years ago as I didn’t take pictures there yet)

2. Brandenburg Gate

From the Holocaust Monument we just walked around the corner to get to the Brandenburg Gate. Actually super easy yet when we were there it was still the time of the World Cup and this was were the Fan Mile was. So the view on the Brandenburg Gate was blocked. You could have a look on it from the Unter den Linden Side but the picture I feature here is from last year so you get a better picture of it.

3. Gendarmenmarkt

We headed down Unter den Linden, Berlin’s famous inner city street which is a huge road work and not very nice. But once they are finally done (no idea when this will be) it will be a most amazing street. We actually had breakfast here the next day at Cafe Dressler and except from the view, it was amazing. If you want to have a huge and delicous breakfast, this is your place to go. Next we walked into Friedrichstraße and then turned left towards Gendarmenmarkt. This square is a classic triple with two church buildings and a theatre.

4. Museum’s island

After the Gedarmenmarkt we meandered back to Unter den Linden, passing beautiful university buildings and had a look at the “Neue Wache” a monument against war before moving towards the Museum’s island. By the way: don’t be tempted by the beautiful view from the cafe terrasse of the Deutsches Historisches Museum. Service is  terrible here! We entered the Museum’s island and had a look around, seeing all those imposing museum buildings. One day I want to go to Berlin and finally visit all these museums.

5. Hackscher Markt and Höfe

Next we walked over to the Hackscher Markt with the amazing city train station and into the Hackschen Höfe, the best know courtyard building in the Scheunenviertel in Berlin. It is super touristy there but so beautiful. We actually even shopped there. We went into a cute little hat shop there and my mum and I tried on hats. In the end my father bought us both a handmade hat and we were not allowed to see the amount of money he spend. I hope I find some more times to wear the hat other than my brother’s graduation ceremony.

6.Regierungsviertel

Next we walked along Oranienburger Straße, had a quick look on the new synagoge, passed Monbijou park and then along the spree river until we finally reached the government quarters. Everything, well except from the Reichstag, is new here. When the German government moved to Berlin in the late 1990s they had the advantage of a huge empty space in the middle of Berlin due to the former Berlin wall where they could build a complete new quarter. On the edge of this quarter sits the Reichstag, the well known government building with its new glass dome. By then we were already quite tired and decided to have a break. I was actually aiming for cake and coffee but we ended up at a Bavarian beergarden, next to the Brandenburg Gate, a rather touristy place. It felt a bit wrong to sit in a Bavarian beergarden while being in Berlin on the other side of the country, but service, food and drinks were just perfect. So if you don’t care about were in Germany you are, this place is definitively recommended.

7. Potsdamer Platz

After a short refreshment stop in our apartment we ventured on to find a nice place for dinner. Instead of turning right to the Brandburg Gate we now turned left towards Potsdamer Platz, a surreal super modern square. From my point of view, you can have a look at it, wonder about it and then just leave again.

8. Prenzlauer Berg

To see a bit more of Berlin then just centrally located “Mitte” we then took the subway to Prenzlauer Berg, an trendy squarter to the south east. We got at Senefelderplatz and then walked diagonal to Schönhauser Allee through up nicely gentrified Kollwitzstraße and stoped at Gugelhof, an Alsatian restuarant, were we had a great dinner. After that we only managed to walk to the next subway station (which is there already a Hochbahn, a train on elevanted tracks) Eberswalder Straße and than back to the apartment and off to bed.

With this walking tour you see basically all main sights. You might want to integrate Check Point Charlie on your tour or take the bus 100 or 200 to go around Tiergarten and over to the center of West Berlin, to see 50s style main shopping street Kurfürsten Damm or palace Charlottenburg. But for this you definitively need more days. Writing this, I think I definitively need to do one more trip to Berlin but this time for a longer period so I can finally see more than the main sights.

Where do I go from here

I have been quite absent from this blog lately. This is because two weeks ago I decided to take all my nailpolish stuff further and opened a pure nail polish blog in German which you can find at http://www.sullybabenails.wordpress.com . Why was that? I moved my blog from kathatravelling.wordpress,com here because I wasn’t travelling that much anymore. I did a lot a knitting and nail painting and wanted everything to be represented. But as work kept me busy, I noticed that blogging got more and more neglected because showing you little progress in my knitting every week was just not very interesting. But I do paint my nails everyday – or at least nearly everyday. So I decided I should try nail blogging and so far it works just fine. I have fun writing about my nails ( oh what a superficial person I seem to be). Blogging here will go back, but I won’t give up this blog.