Sunday, December 18, 2016

Great Bear Makeover.

Since I started working over a month ago, my free time is reduced to few hours a day. The fact that it gets dark before I even finish my dinner doesn't help either.

But enough whining! I did something very special today.
Mom asked me if I still had my pillows that I bought for stuffing amigurumi. "Sure, what do you need stuffed?"
And she gave me this:

That is my dearly beloved teddy bear! I can't even estimate his age. I'm 100% sure I had him already in 1995 when I went to preschool. And he wasn't in much better shape back then :)
Over years he lost the nose, along with most of his volume. My grandma did her best to rescue him on multiple occasions. But let's make it clear - there was no fiberfill back in 1990s!

I didn't even had to cut him open, because he was already torn on the side, and partially decapitated.

[warning: graphic image]

Inside I found multiple hard chunks of old stuffing, some cloths and even piece of a sleeve(?).
Here's a picture of my flattened bear - as you can see he wasn't much better before:

I used two types of filling: older low quality one I got from an old pillow - I put it in limbs, because it is thicker and holds shape better. Head and belly were filled with the best fiberfill I could find. I did some stitching and to my surprise...

...I discovered that my bear was designed to sit on his own. He NEVER did!

In case you wonder why is he nameless - as a kid I rarely named my toys.
He wasn't just a bear though, he was the Bear!

Good to have you back, pal!

Have a nice afternoon.


PS.: In my town there's a saying that when sky is red in December - Santa bakes cookies. He's clearly busy this year :))

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Winter is nigh!

I'm sorry it took me so long to start that post! In fact, I started writing it last week when temperature went below 0°C(32°F) for the first time. Today's weather is warm and damp, but not as photogenic.

I got out into the freezing cold of early morning to take those, I hope you appreciate that!

Those spider webs sure looked festive!

Since it was really cold I had to speed things up with hubby's scarf-in-making. And here it is! He loves it and no longer calls it "too colorful" :)

Pattern is called ZickZack Scarf by Christy Kamm, free on Ravelry.
I really enjoyed knitting it! It was easy to memorize, just 12 sts repeat throughout the entire thing. I used Merino Gold II by Oren Brayan for this (the 70% acrylic 30% merino version) - one skein of plain gray and one in grayish batik. I didn't use up it all - I cast off at about 180cm.
My only modification was casting on 60sts and adding 2 extra for edges - 1st slipped purlwise, last knitted.

Currently I'm working on a cardi I intend to use during my night shifts. It's a simple open-front raglan cardi in a very "medical" teal shade. I don't like that color but at least yarn was a freebie!  I need to put some serious effort into that, cause I already had my first night shift... and my cardi is still nowhere near to FO.

Back to knitting then!

Have a nice afternoon!


PS.: Here's a pic from our forest trip three weeks ago. It was fun! :)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Taking up my old hobbies.

I'm deeply sorry for my long absence! I had to take care of a huge pile of paperwork to progress with my career (get my full license, start specialty training). Now I have a few free weeks ahead, waiting for more paperwork to come. But hey, I'm pursuing a dream!:)

Staying at home I had time to refresh some of my older, a bit dusty hobbies!
As a kid I spent hours drawing. I even attended some afternoon classes. Last week I bought a nice (and discounted) set of oil pastels. I also dug up a 15 year old set I got in my elementary school! That, some dry pastels, black craft paper and few hours of being crafty resulted in this:

Getting my fingers dirty with a mix of autumnal shades makes me happy and relaxed.
Some pieces even make me feel rather proud:

Others - a little less proud (cheesiness and all):

...and there are those that don't. They just don't:

An aggressive squirrel.

And this is SUPPOSED TO BE Tiny Tina

I also re-started my stick insect farm. Well, there are only three of them and they comfortably fit in a jar, so it's hardly a "farm"... Nevertheles I feel so excited about watching them grow! Especially because I have no idea what species are they :)

The third "forgotten" hobby of mine is playing Morrowind. I thought I wouldn't enjoy the rather out-dated gameplay, after playing Skyrim and Witcher 3... but I do! And it is as much fun as it was in 2006 when I first played it :)

Between all that I still have some time for knitting/crocheting. Currently I'm working on two projects. My hubby's scarf -  ZickZack Scarf by Christy Kamm.

He dared to call it "too colorful"! Can you believe it?!

The second project I would like to keep secret. I'm 99% sure the future owner never reads my blog, but there's no rush for him to find out about it. Yet.

We're having a beautiful weather today, so we'll be spending our Sunday afternoon in a forest outside of town. It will surely be inspiring.

Have a nice afternoon!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Shift Shawl!

Let's sum it up, shall we?
  • 1 pattern by Larissa Brown
  • 5 skeins of Drops Alpaca
  • 1 set of 4mm circular needles
  • 25 days
  • 18 hours of blocking
  • gazillion alpaca fibers on my clothes
...and here it is. My Shift Shawl.

I made some minor changes to the original. I ran out of light beige yarn after 8 garter ridges (instead of 9, so I made additional two garter rows in off white, and then bound off using Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.
Wet blocking took almost 18 hours, but it was worth it!

I wish I had a set of blocking wires, that could help me with this weird wavy edge you can see on pic above. Luckily it vanishes when the shawl is worn! :)

This happens to be my first knitted shawl. The first one that's not a forever-WIP that is. And it is HUGE! I even convinced my reluctant husband to help me with pictures:

I'm still figuring out ways to wear it. In fact, I had to rush a bit this weekend, because tomorrow I'm going to buy a winter coat. And I don't have to tell you what will be first criterion!

Here's more detailed color info:

Garnstudio DROPS Alpaca (100% alpaca, sport weight)

A - natural white 0100
B - dark beige 0618
C - brown 0403
D - dark red 3650
E - light beige 0302

I used up most of color D, all but 2g of color E, but I should be able to knit a matching hat from what I have left.

However weird that sounds, I'm so happy about the gloomy, windy, damp days we have now. Weather like this was made for alpaca!

Have a nice (not necessarily warm) afternoon!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

3000 stitches to go.

Two months ago I learned how important it is to read labels carefully. I was looking for a suitable yarn to make a Shift Shawl by Larissa Brown. My pick was Drops Alpaca, so I started my search for perfect color combination.  I felt so lucky, finding it in lower than usual price... and in fact I felt lucky for another few minutes, until I realized I just purchased 5 skeins of Drops ALASKA instead of ALPACA. More haste, less speed I guess. I did put it into good use though!

My second approach was successful and I managed to purchase the correct amount of yarn I intended to buy. Yay!
I started working on September 13th, and after two and a half weeks (and one train trip to Katowice) I got so far:

And I absolutely ADORE this yarn! It is so soft, fuzzy, and smells so good! Of course, I had to be greedy, trying to squeeze in one extra garter ridge in each color section. Now I'm afraid I will lose the game of yarn chicken with the light beige skein. This won't make a big difference, though. I can make the edge with off-white yarn.

My sister pointed out that colors I picked are a bit old-fashioned and grandmother-like. Well, I think the word she was looking for was "retro".

At this moment I have at least 5 more beige ridges to make, 4-5 off white stockinette stripes and edging. This is well over 3000 stitches to be made. No time to lose!

I secretly hope this winter will be colder than the last one, so I will be able to use my shawl often, without risking overheating.

Have a nice afternoon!


PS.: I might have ordered 10 skeins of yarn for a baby blankie yesterday... whoops.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Autumnal Fennec Fox.

Autumn is officially here! As usual, it brings changes. I'm slowly finishing my internship, meaning I will start a "real job" soon. This will mean less time for my hobby, I'm afraid.

Luckily there are things that stay the same. Like my everlasting love for amigurumi for instance. Last weekend hubby talked me into buying a new magazine, dedicated only to crocheting toys.
Inside I found several patterns for woodland creatures, and one that caught my eye from the start. It took me about 4-5 hours to complete it.

Meet my sweet little Fennec Fox!

Pattern  Amigurumi Fifi the Fennec Fox by Sweet N' Cute Creations  is also  available on Ravelry.
It was very easy to make. I'm not sure if the assembly is depicted better in pdf version, but I didn't find many tips in print. It took me few tries to be happy with result.

For the first time I inserted glass marbles into hind legs and one into chest region. It made it more stable. Most of my plushies end up as baby toys at one point, so I rarely put anything except fiberfill inside. Fennec however, is moving to Cracow to accompany my sister-in-law on her college adventures. I hope she knows better! :)

Next time I will share my big autumnal project! I completed 3 out of 5 sections so far, but rows are getting dangerously loooong. But how can I complain, if I get to work with pure alpaca? <3

Have a nice afternoon!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it.

In case any of you wondered why I'm gone - let me explain with a picture:

See? That's a good reason! Let me share some sunny memories with you!

A week ago me and hubby returned from our best summer trip so far.
We spent two weeks in mountains. To be more precise in Low Beskids. In a small village known for it's water springs.

I have to admit, I managed to drink only two glasses of the spring water. Mainly because it was salty and tasted a bit... rusty? I just hope that clean air, hours spent on hiking and relax will be enough to keep us in a good health for the next year.

First day in Wysowa greeted us with bad weather. We woke up very early, and decided to go for a stroll around the park. I guess, we weren't the only ones with this idea:

Deer. Wild deer in a park in the middle of a village! This is when I felt that's it's a perfect holiday spot for me! Even with all the rain and 99% humidity.

Of course I was prepared for that! In case of a bad weather I packed my yarn bag with freshly bought Drops Alaska. I wanted to buy Alpaca, but I got distracted by a low price and didn't read the label twice...
Aaaanyway. Inspired by all grey, green and yellow shades mixing in my surroundings I came up with an idea for a cowl.

I used a free pattern Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks by Morgen Dämmerung, but I think it's also called just star stitch. Knitting goes surprisingly fast, when you have a bad/none Internet connection, and no job to worry about. After just few days I had is all done:

In the meantime weather changed drastically. For almost a week we haven't seen a single cloud in the sky. We did our best to do as much hiking as our legs would allow.

Our longest trip involved: climbing a 881m high mountain (don't let the height fool you - it was NOT EASY), visiting a valley with dozens of horses on a giant pasture, getting lost on a way back and drinking water from a forest stream. All of this over 8 hours of almost constant walking.

It was worth it!

We also took various breaks from hinking, relaxing on beauiful meadows:

And doing some low-budget kriotheraphy for our sore feet.

Fun fact! The region we visited was world's first oil field. And the river we enjoyed so much was called Ropa - "petroleum" in English :)

It was really hard to come back to work after all this.
With all that said, I hope you'll forgive me my abscence. Returning to work was a bit of a shock, especially since it's the first time I had to do that.

I'm taking my third chance on the state exam next week  so I need plenty of relax (aka knitting another pair of socks). I could also use your crossed fingers! :)

Have a nice afternoon!