Monday, January 31, 2011


Two roads diverged in a knitting wood,
And be one knitter, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
- charming, aesthetically pleasing, and actually-the-right-thing to do -
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other,
- drastic, gaudy and kind-of-crazy -
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(catcouch's adaptation of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken")

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Pleasures

Came down with a cold on Friday night, simultaneously cast on this silky something for Clara to keep my thoughts warm and shiny.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fresh & Organic 3

All fruit & veg gone except for one red apple and it is Saturday...
Time for our weekly veggie box!

What's inside?

fruit: oranges, apples, kiwis, lemon, bananas, pears

vegetables: avocado, potatoes, leek, carrots, cauliflower, egg tomatoes, red bellpepper, snake cucumber, winter purslane, yellow turnips, beetroot, onions (snakes and eggs? - are we still vegan?)

miscellaneous: hedgehog soft toy (Clara's sense of decoration)

Friday, January 28, 2011


In addition to yesterday...

I knit in the car. Always.
Someone else has to do the driving.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


A sure sign of a knitting obsession (or call it more innocently a knitting lifestyle) is to never leave the house without a knitting project. You just don't know what might happen.

Some say knitting is the new yoga or yoga-on-the-go. Being a yoga teacher I doubt that. I like the combination of both. What yoga and knitting do have in common is the relaxing effect (once you get past the sometimes frustrating beginner level). For me, knitting is more like a meditation practice. Like for Meera who commented to my post Knitting in India, she uses knitting like a rosary, a mantra for every stitch.

You probably would not come into a headstand while waiting at the bus stop, but you can safely take out your knitting (until your hands get really cold in this winter weather).

and knit on the bus

Waiting time is premium knitting time. I am happily embracing every opportunity to knit.

at the bank counter

in line at the farmers' market (our veggie box is nearly used up)

It makes me patient, even when I am a patient (pun intended)...

... waiting for a massage at the physical therapist.
I like to pretend that the recent tension in my right shoulder does not come from knitting. Medical research proves how healing knitting is.
On all levels. It even blocks pain...

Regular exercise and walking are also known to be good for you.
I enhance the healthy effects of a moderate cardiovascular training outdoors with my favourite concentration practice, knitting-on-the-go.

walking around the block

But I still need to figure out how to knit while riding my bike.

The new yoga again - yoga and knitting do go together in my life.

I knit before classes.

And then there are the classic spots for knitting, of course. Last Knit Night I knit with this cute little baby on my lap, his ex utero premiere.

But my favourite knitting spot in the world remains here...

... on the couch (in yoga pants).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Once a week Clara and I go to a children's art class.
A place where she can enjoy painting and playing and no worries for me about spilling, sprinkling and cleaning. I met Petra, the artist, at a primary school where we both teach extracurricular activities - Petra teaches art, of course, and I teach yoga for children, of course.

Last week Clara painted this picture and when she showed it to me, my heart just melted.

Our little family of hearts
(in pink & purple)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Treats

I have a little routine on my route on Tuesdays. After my mama & baby yoga class I ride my bike to a yarn shop in that area. Often just for eye candy, but sometimes I leave the shop with some treats (my Lace Citron and the Lanesplitters resulted mostly from these Tuesday trips).

Today I was in the definite mood for buying.
Proudly presenting:

My first yarn purchase of the year 2011

It is Louisa Harding Grace Hand-dyed, 50% merino and 50% silk (made in Italy, dyed in Chile) and Debbie Bliss Andes, 65% baby alpaca and 35% mulberry silk (made in Peru). I have not worked with silk before and want to give it a go. Just for the touch of it.

I know that my choice of wool is not vegan, but so was lunch at my favourite Asian place in Oldenburg:

a bento sushi platter

Tuesdays, I like you!


our crafting table
(is it still Christmas...?)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Goodnight, Dolls!

This is the way Clara put the dolls to bed the other night.

Using a couch cushion as a sleeping bag.

Welcome to the Doll Couch

Dolls have been quite popular around here for the last month, especially celebrating doll's birthdays, complete with presents, songs and games.
Clara has not been a "doll girl" before. But this changed with Esmeralda, or Esmi as she is mostly called, the Waldorf doll she got for her fourth birthday.

Esmeralda comes from my hands, actually I forgot to mention her in my One Year of Sewing post. I wanted to make a Waldorf doll for over a year and was surprised how quickly the doll came together using this book. Great step-by-step instructions and photos, with a whole lot of clothes to sew and knit. I think sewing the dress and knitting Esmi's cardigan and shoes took much longer than making her.

(using the same vintage fabric for the fifth time...)

I was not sure whether Clara would be playing with the doll. And I am so happy now seeing how much the doll is loved and cared for. This totally convinces me of the Waldorf doll concept. They are made from natural materials, soft, great for cuddling, lightweight, often made for a special child in mind. Clara saw me making the doll in the beginning when it still looked quite "raw", so she knows where it comes from. I let her decide on the hair colour and hairstyle, there is a whole hairdo section in the book. The finishing touches were a secret, of course, when the doll came together as a whole and suddenly got her own character and look.

This weekend Clara said to me: "Look, mama, it is still so cold outside. Esmi needs a hat and a scarf." Said, done.

I used some yarn (from a never ending skein) I knitted Clara' socks and my yoga socks with last January.

The bonnet pattern comes from the book. I love how it is knitted in one piece with no seams.

And the scarf is the easiest knitting object I ever made: cast on 10 stitches, knit every row to desired length, cast off.

Dressed like this, Esmeralda was very well prepared for our Sunday bicycle trip downtown to meet a young mama, a baby and two cats.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More Matryoshkas

I discovered some more of those ladies in my house:

a keyring pendant

iron-on appliqué

and these wooden matryoshkas arrived in the mail

for my girl and me to have fun with on the weekend.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

(Fresh & Organic) x 2

When our first box of organic vegetables and fruit arrived last Saturday,
I wrote something about enough for a whole week... by Monday it was all gone, completely. Quite understandable with this family that enjoys food and eating. And this (90 percent) vegan person in the household (that is me) who instantly wanted to experiment with the fresh ingredients.

So going with the flow of double things lately, we ordered the box of vegetables for twice the price.

What's in the box today?

Potatoes with a red peel called Laura, apples, oranges, carrots, pears, blood oranges, kohlrabi, broccoli, cucumber, kiwis, Batavia lettuce, watercress, beetroot, fennel, leek, Savoy cabbage, cherry tomatoes and flat mushrooms.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Summer 2010

Just out of bed and before anything else - straight to the living room to the "crafting table" (Basteltisch, that is what our big table is called and looks like around here). Spending her time crafting with paper and glue, drawing and painting, if given the chance, she would do that all day.

When her parents got up in the morning, Clara had decorated the chest of drawers in the living room. The blue post-its acting as a reminder where to finish her decoration in the afternoon after kindergarten.

She used a curtain clip from her room as a template.

When I said: "How beautiful, sunny flowers in winter!"
Clara answered: " No, mama, these are star snow crystals!"

Some more stars this week. By my girl.
My next sewing project is for her.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

One Year of Sewing

There is something going on with anniversaries right now, I feel them coming without consciously thinking about them. I started my blog on my 1-year-anniversary of serious knitting (here).
Yesterday I completed the last date on my "sewing card" from my sewing school classes, the card is full now.

(the other side is full, two)

With a curious feeling I looked up last year's calender and guess the date of my first sewing lesson: 20th January 2010, exactly one year ago, of course. That's sewing coming to a full circle (on a full moon... ). Before I get too esoteric and all, let's look at the hard facts of this year, the results. Fasten your seat belts, we start our trip through the marvelous land of sewing.

January/February 2010
Shortly after I re-fell in love with knitting, I felt that I also wanted to learn to sew. I knew how to sew on a button or mend a hole in a sock, but I had never learned it at school. Truth be told, as a child or teenager I was not keen on sewing, I preferred knitting and crochet. Clothes came magically from somewhere and landed in a shop. My mother used to sew a bit when I was young, but I wasn't attracted. That changed at the beginning of last year. I bought some fabric and enrolled at a sewing course.

No need to sew a pillow or an apron first, start with a real thing you like, the seamstress said. I had never used a sewing machine before, so that was exciting. And even though the needle broke at the first session, I made a little summer dress for my daughter over the following weeks.

The pattern is Burda 9885.

At the end of February I changed to another sewing school, at the fabric shop Tuchfühlung in Oldenburg, where I stayed until now. Only words of praise for them, and for my sewing teacher Cornelia in particular. Great creative atmosphere and professional tuition in small groups.
And I even made friends there.

March 2010

a spring scarf with doilies

I wore it in April, even took it abroad as you can see in this post. The lovely idea comes from Amanda Blake Soule's book Handmade Home - Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures.

April / May 2010
Something for my mama, in her favourite colour.

Burda 8043

June - September 2010
Something hippie-esque also for me. A long dress. Burda 7682

Now I got megalomanic. The cutting out of the fabric took me six hours alone. It took me all summer to sew. When the dress eventually got finished in September, it was already too cold to wear it.

It is still waiting for its Big Day.

But in between, at the beginning of August, we welcomed my first sewing machine to our house.

With the arrival of it I started the pillow production.
All made from vintage fabric from my mama's sewing days.

The blue pillow was for a friend who had just had her baby boy. Pillow for baby, eye pillow for the new mama - for the relaxed moments (she had come to my prenatal classes, too).

a towel rug for our bathroom

and BAGS!

tutorial here

(let's throw in some knitting just for fun)

The pattern for this bag is Mama's Bag, also from Handmade Home, just like the eye pillow and the towel rug. The following bedtime bag for my daughter is from Soule's The Creative Family, blogged about here.

cat`s couch cushions with a touch of crochet

another great tutorial here

September - November 2010
the wall pockets I blogged about, some mending here and there

December 2010
yesterday's skirts

That's it! Thank you for your attention.