Monday, 20 August 2012

Nautical Knits & Crochet WIP's

Hey there!!!
How are you all doing? Thank you so much for all of the kind and encouraging comments from our last post. We do love reading them and it's so lovely to hear about the projects you are all busy working on. 

Wow!! We've had such a lovely, bright and sunny day here in Hamburg!! It's been amazing, not at all a day to be locked up inside working on projects! We do however, both have a couple of 'work in progress' projects to share with you.

As you all know I've been working on a Granny Stripe blanket for a friend at work. I started this back in May with the intention of crocheting a stripe a day and having the blanket complete by winter. Things haven't really gone according to plan and I found that my granny stripe stopped growing due to a busy schedule.
This week I finally pulled my Granny stripe out of hibernation with the intention of carrying on with it. I'm not quite sure what happened but after starting another row I realised I had lost my desire to continue with it.
  


I had noticed that it was starting to look a little wonky and knew that I didn't want to continue with a project that I wasn't fully happy with (especially as it was a gift for somebody else).

After being completely and utterly blown away by a gorgeous granny square blanket I saw on Ravelry, I decided to frog my granny stripe and make a similar granny square blanket instead.
Now I must show you what my inspiration was:


Isn't that the most gorgeous blanket?! It was made by a lady called Sandra, who really has a wonderful eye for colour. Not only does she make gorgeous creations, she takes amazing photographs and shares them all on her lovely blog . You really must stop by and visit her, it will be worth your while.

Obviously my blanket is going to look a little different as I'm using different colours. Here's what I've got so far:


I'm loving how quick and easy it is to make a square and watch the blanket grow at a nice fast rate!

Dennis is still sticking to his knitting needles, and started another project! Being at sea so much for his job, he chose to make a scarf with a Nautical theme! His big inspiration he found on Ravelry as well (where else?). It's quite a popular pattern (Nuvem), but the original version calls for 1 colour (or variegated) of yarn. However, one of the people who made this scarf, decided to make a Nautical version of it with blue and white stripes, and an icord red bind off! Exactly what Dennis wanted to make!

Now, this project is still in the making, but he took some pictures to share with you guys! It's coming along very nice, and it's a very relaxing knit. No purl stitches (seriously, NONE!!!), only plain knitting in the round with some easy increases. 


Actually, the only tricky part of this scarf, was the very beginning. It starts with Judy's Magic Cast On, which is beautiful because it completely disappears after working the first round. In the picture below you can see the thicker blue stripe in the middle of the scarf. The cast on is in the middle of that row, and it's basically invisible! 


We'll keep you posted on the progress of our projects! Meanwhile, happy crocheting and happy knitting :-)

Matt & Dennis xxx

Monday, 13 August 2012

Wrapped In Lace.

Hello lovelies! How are you all doing? It so nice that you popped by for a visit, I've got a little something to share with you :-)

I have a little bit of extra time at the moment, which is nice! I've given up my German course for a month or so,  until I'm done learning the material for my new role at work. I was finding a little bit much trying to balance everything so I think stopping the course for a while is wise. It means I was able to finish a project!!
 
As you know last month I bought some new yarn (you can read about it here in my 'Silver Linings' post). Some Zpagetti yarn and some lovely vibrant lace. I had a play around with both. One of the yarns I absolutely adored, the other...errrrr..... not so much!!!


Ok so lets briefly talk about the yarn I didn't like so much. The Zpagetti yarn. I was super excited about working with this extra thick yarn. It is made from strips of cotton material and looked like it would be a lot of fun to work with.
It was interesting to work with, but not fun. I found it quite tricky to use as it stretches a lot and also working with yarn so thick took some getting used to.
I had a go at following the instructions it came with to make a bag, but I wasn't happy with the outcome. I had a go at some other things from the Zpageti website but also wasn't happy with the how they turned out. The biggest problem for me was that the yarn varies tremendously in thickness as you work through it. This resulted in my work looking very wonky. I HATE it when my work looks wonky!!! Enough said!!!!!!!
Sooooo I still have two balls of Zpagetti yarn waiting to be made into something. I haven't given up on it totally, I'm just waiting until I find the some  Zpagetti fuelled inspiration.

The other yarn I bought was a gorgeous lace merino from Lana Grossa. It's a delicious bright turquoise and I've been franticly whipping it up into a delicate shawl for a friend of mine. I do Hope she likes it!

Here it is!!!


I'm very happy with how it turned out. I used a pattern by Kim Miller, it's called 'Wrapped in Lace' (Here's a link to it on Ravelry).


It's the first time I've ever made a lacy shawl. The pattern was very easy to follow and can be made to the size you desire.


Isn't it beautiful how delicately it hangs!? I'm obsessed with this colour at the moment. It sums up happiness and Summer. I think that it appears very classy and fresh.


I used 150g of the lace (3 balls) and just loved how it worked up.
I adapted the pattern a little when it came to edging as I didn't want to add beads to the shawl. Instead I went for a little picot design.


I wasn't sure about how the edging was looking when I first started. However,  once I blocked the shawl I was extremely happy with it.


So there we have it. My 'Wrapped in Lace Shawl' for my friend Mimi!

 

I can't wait to give it to her now that it is finished! Maybe I'll be able to pursued her to have a picture taken whilst wearing it so I can share with you all.

What kind of projects are you all working on? Anything similar to the shawl I've just finished?

Have a SMASHING week!! ;-)
Matt xxx

Monday, 6 August 2012

Barcelona

We're back!!! What an amazing week we've had!!!
Dennis and I had such a lovely time away in Barcelona! It was a perfect balance of busy city break mixed with relaxing beach holiday! We got to spend some time together (It's been a while as Dennis has only just got back from his latest cruise ship contract), we were able to forget about work and any stresses we may of had, and......... we got to eat a lot (and I mean A LOT!!!!!!)

Now I know it can be a little boring when somebody gets back from holiday and they insist on showing you the 'holiday snaps'. I'm Sorry..... I simply can not resist!!! :-) 
I won't give you a day by day account, just a selection of some of my favourite memories.

So pretend to be mesmerized, nod and acknowledged in the correct places and I'll take it as a sure sign that your enthralled by the pics! :-)


The first thing I noticed (apart from the heat) when we arrived in the city, was just how lively it was. Soooo many people, street artists, musicians and painters It was really quite exciting!

We stayed in a hotel on  'Las Ramblas' probably the busiest street I had ever seen. It was a tourists haven. Packed full with souvenir stands, artists, market stalls and restaurants.

 
 It also held some lovely looking shops.



and a great big fresh produce market:


I personally found 'Las Ramblas' a little too touristy and overwhelming at times. What I did love about it though was the little side streets that led from it. 


It was amazing to me how you could be on a jam packed street one moment, then in a quiet and secluded side street leading to some amazing local shops and architecture. 


Of course hidden away in one of these beautiful streets we found the yarn store. They had a great selection of colourful yarns and was the cutest shop ever! It was called 'All You Knit Is Love', so true :-)


Now you've probably noticed already just how beautiful and artistic the buildings and monuments are. Really....some of them were truly breathtaking.
Here are some of my favourite places that were were lucky enough to visit.



Guadi House.







 
La Sagrada Familia Cathedral
The thing I loved about the city's architecture was the little details you would spot every now and then.

Intricate designed floor tiles:


or gorgeousness hiding underneath a balcony:


We were also lucky enough to visit the Olympic Stadium. It seemed very appropriate, what with the Olympics taking place right now. 



We had a lovely day in the city's park. What a beautiful park it was!


We walked around the lake.



Watched a group of tap dancers.


And had some fun taking pictures of each other.



We spent lovely days at the coastal town of Sitges. Enjoying the beach and the lovely friendly atmosphere that the town had to offer.


 


The beach was lovely, the park was lovely, the architecture was lovely, the food was amazing!!!
My favourite thing about the whole holiday was dinner! (is that bad)
Each night Dennis and I would find a cute little traditional Spanish tapas bar. We would spend hours eating a variety of tapas whilst sipping on yummiest cocktails. It really was heaven!!!







We both had such a fantastic time! 
A city I would definately love to visit again! It was a very delicious city!

I do hope all you lovely, gorgeous people are well? Dennis and I missed you whilst we were away! 

Matt xxx