Going red, no, green

If there is one thing I am really passionate about, it’s … the environment and recycling. I kid you not.

Growing up, recycling and preventing unneccessary waste was a big thing in my family (it still is), and that includes not using tons of chemicals for cleaning, but simple stuff, like, for example, vinegar to get off chalk stains, and using baking powder and vinegar to clean pipes. Taking cloth bags instead of plastic ones. Choose the loose fruit, not the one in plastic packages.

Recently, I’d like to take this a little step further. Over the last few years, I have knit a couple of dishcloths, and Philipp and I have agreed that I will make more, and, in the long run, use self-made ones instead of storebought ones.

But there is more. Simple cleaning is something that seems to sit in the corner of my brain and climbs on top of my thoughts from time to time, and a few days ago, I googled for recipes to make your own cleaners and found a great website that tells you how to make your own (they also have tips for saving money, and recipes, and upcycling stuff – it’s a German website, but you might want to have a look).

I got the ingredients to mix our own washing powder, and I’m really excited to try it! We also debated mixing our own dishsoap, but Philipp is a bit hesitant (he is willing to give it a try though, despite being sceptical).

I know that this probably sounds really hippie for a lot of folks, but it’s important to me. We have lavender and sage on the balcony for the bees and bumble bees, we take care to buy eco friendly and local, we recycle, we donate stuff we don’t need anymore, and the next thing is to safe a bit of money and consume maybe a bit less in the cleaning department.

I am also planning on making a small string bag like this one when we buy fruit so we can put an end to these small plastic bags we do not have use for anymore (at least not that often) and which tend to pile up in the kitchen, but shh. Don’t tell Philipp. I think it might be a bit much right now. 😉

Pattern: Boxy Dishcloth (freebie on ravelry!)

Yarn: Wolle Roedel Universal cotton, 66,3m / 72.5y

 

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! I’ll be on the sofa, nursing my sore throat and drinking lots of tea. 😉
Julia 🙂

Done, done, and done.

FINALLY, PROGRESS!

The next week will be superbusy, but I am glad that I did get a lot done this weekend, and a good part of it is knitting.

After the blanket desaster, Philipp and me had a look at our friends’ wishlist, searching for a gift that would allow me to knit them at least something, however small. We debated several items and settled on some fancy kitchen equipment in the end, and I decided that I’d make them potholders.

Fancy, eh? I’m not really sure how well they’d serve as potholders, to be honest, because of the lacey parts, but at least the motif is suitable for a wedding. The pattern is Heart Dishcloth: Knit version by Lily / Sugar’n Cream, a freebie on ravelry, and it knit up in no time. 54 grams, 91.4 metres (or 100.4 yards). Done.

To make it easier to store the potholders, I bound off all stitches knitwise, until there was only one loop on the needle – instead of snipping the threat, I crocheted 10 chain stitches and secured it on the left with a … single crochet or double crochet, depending on where you live. I still have to wash them and pat them into shape, and of course they do not hold a candle to a blanket, but at least it’s something handmade, and Laura will get socks for her birthday, after all.

Made from this yarn, to be precise (it’s a little too dark in the photograph; the original yarn is brighter and happier).

Before I made the wedding potholders, I decided to swatch for once (usually, I don’t bother for stuff like potholders), and make a simple dishcloth to use up my orange cotton. Of course I didn’t get the gauge I needed for the Heart Dishcloth pattern (that would’ve been 21sts and 28 rows to 10cm/4″, and of course I got 18.6sts and 25.3 rows on 4,0mm needles, so I switched to 3,5mm ones for the heart potholders), but the yarn is used up now, and that is all that counts.

The project was easy and fast – I basically cast on 34 stitches, knit 2 ridges of garter and then proceeded in stockinette stitch, with a garter border of three stitches per side. After 39 rows, I did another 2 ridges of garter, bound of and wham! Done. 19 grams out of the stash. Funnily enough, Lenka (who had asked to see the dishcloth when it was done) was so enthusiastic about the colour that I will wrap this little buddy up and send it to her. Sometimes it’s so easy to make somebody happy! 🙂

Last but not last … I finally made myself a pair of socks again.

I love them. A few weeks ago, when the stress was really getting to me, I found a website that had older Opal collections for sale (they also have other brands), and after debating whether or not to get some (my stash has grown to over 13(!) kg of yarn. Plus fiber), I gave in and treated myself to these three beauties:

All of them are from an older “Schafpate” collection – the blue one is “Huetehund” (shepherd’s dog), the rainbow yarn is called “Blickfang” (eye-catcher), and the green was is “Ruhezeit” (downtime). I love them all and was wondering if I should snag what’s left of the collection as well …

I knit the socks top-down, 64 stitches on 2,0mm DPNs (gauge is 32sts and 50rows to 10cm/4″ – I never get anything above 8sts/inch, and I am not willing to go below 2,0mm needles for it). The pattern I used is Heather Sebastian’s Chain Drive Socks, another freebie. I already knit it once, to make my mum socks for Christmas, but it worked fine this time.

As you can see, I repeated the pattern on the back of the leg, and I have to say that I absolutely love it. The cables put enough interest in knitting to prevent it from being boring, but, in my humble opinion, are not too busy for the absolutely beautiful colours.

This is the second pair of socks I have made for me this year (not counting the lavender ones, which are still hibernating), and I am totally smitten with them. They are everything I hoped for, and I am really glad I bought this yarn. I used exactly 75grams, and the leftovers will probably be used in the neverending blanket – we’ll see. So these are done as well.

Done, done, and done.

And now? What now? What shall I knit next?

Well, for one, I started another Curl:

This is Perfidy, another pattern taken from Hunter Hammersen’s Curls 2, knit from some of the Merino yarn that was intended for the blanket (I dubbed the ravelry project “Perfidy à l’orange”, and I find this très chic), knit on 4,0mm needles …

I wanted to make AJ (E’s daughter) a Little Sister’s Dress (I have to frog this, though, I made a mistake and can’t seem to find it) …

And then, I really wanted to get a headstart on granddad’s socks. He’s turning 88, after all.
Have a really great week, my friends! Take care!
All the love,

Julia 😀

A Ton of Tiny Stuff

Apart from the socks, the last two months have been busy …

I think I told you that points play a very important role in the HPKCHC, so lots of people make small things like potholder or dishcloths to hand them in for classes and obtain 15 points for their house (and maybe something extra).

Since a big, big goal of mine is to do some stashbusting this year, I thought that I might kill two birds with one stone …

First of all, there were the potholders for E. and her husband. These were finished in January and February – one pair on white and blue, the othe one in yellow and black:

Topflappenset 04
Not the best picture I ever made, but I hope that they will serve the two of them well. Her husband’s potholders are a little bigger (bigger hands and all that), and hopefully, they are to their taste!

Talking about kitchen-related items – I also made a lot of dishcloths!

Dishcloth blau
I know I have often said that I would never ever knit one of these … but now I have become really fond of them.

Dishcloth weiß
They are quick to knit, hold up a lot better than sponges and the small cloths and can be washed at 60°C in the washing machine.

Sunny Rectangle 02
We usually use about three per week – to wipe down the stove top and the counter, and to clean up water stains. That’s about everything we need to do, so we don’t change them every day. I thought about making a few for general cleaning, but Philipp isn’t too fond of that idea, and I can see why.

Tiny Black Sun
This is the most recent (and maybe the most impractical and ugliest) one. It is a small version of the Almost forgotten dishcloth, and I might try and make the big one some time … But right now, this one will suffice as a scrubby or whatever. We’ll see.

I also did a bit of charity knitting for the cup – all of these items are going either to the “Tafel” or to one of the refugee lodgings in my hometown. You have seen the tiny mittens already:

Tiny blueish hands

But I also made a pair of socks (using leftovers from my mother’s Christmas socks the year before last)Tiny Fairy Feet
and, finally, another tiny hat in preemie size …

Tiny Hat 01

… for which I even found a model. 😉

Tiny Hat 02
Have a great start into the week, everybody! See ya later!

Love,
Julia 😀

Projects In Between (Picture Heavy!)

Hi folks!

The weather is … woah. During the last week, the temperature in my flat was constantly something between 26°C and 28°C … Add a handful of thunderstorms and I think you can imagine how I feel. 😉

My shawl is finished! This:

Fairy Shawl 01

is now a beautiful, slightly crazy shawl that I love already and that was so much fun to knit! It hasn’t been washed and blocked yet, however, so I’ll show it later, with decent photographs …

After I finished the shawl, I still hadn’t decided about the colour for my next project … I’ll knit the Widsith Socks next (link to ravelry pattern), but I was wondering wether I’d like them in a solid colour or a something variegated … This will be the first time I’ll take part in the Kal of the German sock knitters group “Sockenstrickereien”! It’s such a beautiful pattern … And free, too!

These are my choices so far: Continue reading