A new construction site

It’s been a little quiet around here lately. I didn’t have much to show you because I’m currently working on my master plan for 2018 (apart from finishing DWXS6 – just a couple of days now).

At the beginning of the month I decided to gather inspiration for new craft projects I’m going to work on during the next year (read: the next one hundred years 😉 ). So I’ve spread the first part of my hoarded press clippings on the floor, roughly sorted, to finally create a place to have them all together in one place.

Juggling with my scissors and the glue bottle, the first random pages have found their way into a ring binder.

Now how do I sort everything to find again what I have in mind? By colour, texture, shapes, subject, material, artist? Or intended projects? That’s the tricky part I’ll have to master yet.

Nevertheless, Dave the Muse is sporting a wide grin while he makes notes upon notes on every new page finished.

Dream Catchers


My hometown, Kiel, Germany, is celebrating Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) every last complete week in June. Learn more about it here.

The special program for children on Spiellinie (Krusenkoppel) has a new motto every year. There are concerts and storytellers, a mud pool, craft projects, fabric dyeing, weaving and building things from wooden boards. This year’s motto is “Die Kinder des Manitu” (Children of Manitou). In other words, they’re playing Red Indians (without cowboys) – building buffalo from chicken wire and straw, hammering together wooden teepees, painting a wooden wall or weaving dream catchers.

I took some pictures on Saturday and more on Sunday and have put together a litte gallery of my shots for you. Do I need to mention that I’m inspired again? 🙂

Knitted Neckpieces

Neckpiece samples

As my idea of a knitted neckpiece inspired by the Sev(en)circle pattern by Kirsten Johnstone has now been knit into shape, this post is about inspiration.

I’ve tried out a couple of options. I’m not giving you a detailed how-to at this spot. But I’d love to challenge your own creativity, so here are some ideas.

Basic instructions
Cast on using your preferred method
– If you want a ‘knit’ surface: cast on 8 to 15 stitches, depending on the yarn you use, knit in stockinette/stocking stitch about 70 to 75 cms length. Garter stitch doesn’t work – it doesn’t curl up.
– If you want a ‘purl’ surface: cast on about 130 stitches (4 mm circular needle/US 6/UK 8) or more, according to yarn used, knit about 10 rows in the round (until it curls up)
Cast off, join ends using your favourite method – sew together or graft.

Now it’s playtime! Be your own designer
Experiment with a combination of knit/purl patterns
Knit as much rings as you like – even just one will look great done with the right yarn
Make the rings in different sizes, making them longer/shorter (or narrower/wider on circulars)
Knit one long strand, coil it up, sew ends together
Use various yarns – thick, thin, regular, novelty
Embellish the rings – buttons, beads, sequins, found objects, embroidery

You can always combine the rings anew – depending on whatever mood you’re in or what you’re wearing today, mix colours and material. Wear them individually or tie them together with some nice piece of lace, knit a separate ring to hold them together (in this case they will not be interchangeable) – you can even use some decorative hairclip. Sounds weird, but I’m sure it will look great.

Where Is Your Muse When You Need Him?

Magenta Madness material

The other day I pulled out an old project of mine of which I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I had various ideas but none of them really pleased me.

Dave! Hello! Are you there? I need your help.
– Not now! I’m busy! –
(What?) Where are you?
– Doesn’t matter. –

Sounds like he’s over at The Boudoir again. (heads over) Look at that. Am I dreaming?

What are you doing there?
– Just looking. –
You’re never ‘just looking’. – I need your help with this one. Magenta Madness is what I used to call it.
– (mumbles) Aptly named. –
You know, I dislike the colour, so I put everything into this bag to use it in one project only. I’ve made a couple of sketches already but the ideas don’t fit together.
– Then make them fit. –
(He has climbed down from his little step and is examining the next drawer.)

Are you listening to me?
– Sure. Don’t fit.
Any ideas?
– No. –
– How can a non-existing idea be great? (proceeds to examine the next drawer) I don’t care what you do with that stuff. Use it for the book project if you like. – Oh, look … strips! –

This is incredible. I hope your muse is a little more cooperative.

The Impossible Task

decorative stitch sample

What’s up for 2013? Well, I’ve got a long list of ideas and possible projects. And you never know what kind of stuff Dave, my muse, might come up with.

My first aim is to finish my 50+ patchwork projects aka UFOs. I’ve started blogging about this already on my freshly renovated blog. Currently there are five projects left that need piecing to make a top. After finishing them all of my UFOs will get borders and a back.

The Boudoir is still in a state of mayhem and therefore in an urgent need to be cleaned up. I need to know where everything is to finish my projects. I’m afraid I’ll make some new discoveries.

I’m so wanting to use all my collected bits and pieces – beads, buttons, lace, all those everyday things to recycle for art purposes. I’ve got a plan about this. You may know I’m a lawyer’s secretary. At the office, there were some old and out-of-date collections of German law texts that could go. Well, they did but after taking out all the pages I took the empty spines home. My idea is to make covers and pages and turn them into fabric books. This would give me an opportunity to work on a small scale and I could use up some of my fabric scraps, test swatches and embellishments and maybe even try out some new techniques. I will tell you a little bit more about this in a future post.

There are also three scarves left to be finished as well as a couple of GĂŒnnis and DaveyDolls that demand to be knit. And some corals to be crocheted. And some cross stitch portraits of a tall skinny Scottish bloke to be made.

What do I hear you say – This is an impossible task? Not impossible, just improbable.

Well, I’m off to work on this. Let’s see where I am in a year’s time.

decorative stitch sample

Way too many ideas

Sample of machine embroidery

On posting this, I’ve noticed that my last post (Edit: on From The Boudoir) was one month ago. Sorry I’ve neglected you but I’m currently drowning in ideas my little friend Dave the muse is giving me. Apart from the fact that he’s been sending me off to take pictures for his photoblog. Time to have a word with him, I suppose.

Hi, Dave.
– Hiya! –
Can I have a word with you?
– Oh – something serious? –
Sort of. It’s about all your ideas. Your way too many ideas.
– But having ideas is my job. –
Which you are doing perfectly well. And that’s exactly the point. Don’t get me wrong, I like all the stuff and projects you make me do. But I would love to explore a couple of them more deeply and I’ve got to finish all the ‘works in progress’ I’ve got lying around The Boudoir. I’m planning to finish my patchwork UFOs next year. I want to finish knitting the scarves. Teddy needs a new sweater. I’ve got a couple of plastic bags with yarns waiting to be made into corals. Some cross stitch projects are waiting to be made. Paper art, photo ideas, textile art – I stopped de-cluttering The Boudoir because of all this. And last but not least, I still have to knit the other half of your jacket. I’m not complaining, but besides of all this, I’ve got a full-time job at the office. I can hardly tell my boss I’m taking six months off to pursue my crafting and would he please pay me anyway.
– OK, mentioning my jacket made the point. What do you expect me to do about it? –
I don’t know. I can’t stop you from having ideas, can I?
– No, not really. But wait – aren’t you on holiday? You could use the time for catching up. –
Are you kidding? It’s only two weeks, not two years.
– Eh, hmm, in this case … –
You better have some idea about this as well, my little creative friend. The sooner, the better.