Thursday, 31 March 2011

My Creative Space .... Not Much Happening Here!

Having finished most of the projects I brought with me to keep me occupied till we move, I've been playing around with some left-over yarn.  There are so many different tutorials on making these japanese flowers, but I used Elizabeth Cat's.  

I like it and it could decorate the bag I showed you last week:

Just pinned on right now - I'm not 100% sure yet!!  I will be adding a lining to this bag after all of your advice last week to stop the bag stretching out of shape.  This is going to be a birthday present for my soon to be 9-year-old niece (how time flies!).  

Is the flower too much?

The one unfinished project in my bag is the crochet necklace I started back in Canada.  For such a small project, it's given me some headaches!  Last night I decided to have another go and started again from scratch.  I thought it had gone quite well, but in the light of day there are a few mistakes and some problems because of twisting:

And it's really hard to photograph clearly in this light!!  It should look like this one on Ravelry!!  

I am fast coming to the conclusion that I have neither the patience nor the eyesight for fiddly crochet on tiny hooks ... so don't be expecting any intricate, lacy doilies from me anytime soon (or, indeed, ever!).  I can hear my husband breathing a sigh of relief on that score!!

Doubt if there'll be time for any crafting this next week - we get the house keys this weekend and our container full of our belongings will arrive on Monday - yippee!!

Go and have a look at other creative spaces over on Kirsty's blog.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sunny Frankfurt!

I've been making the most of my last 10 days in the city - wandering about in the sunshine with my camera.  Above a view east from der Eiserne Steg - an old steel footbridge across the river Main.

From the same bridge looking towards Frankfurt's business district. Frankfurt is Germany's financial centre - the stock exchange is here and many banks have their headquarters here too in the tower blocks above.

Der eiserne Steg; according to Wikipedia it was built in 1868 and was called an iron (Eisen) bridge even though it was made of steel!! This isn't the original bridge - that was blown up by the German army along with many other bridges to hinder the Allies' advance in the last days of WWII.  It's quite nice to know it isn't something we bombed for a change!!  It was rebuilt in 1946 and then again in 1993 due to corrosion.

This is the Alte Oper (old opera house).  It really isn't as old as it looks - this building dates from 1981 and is a reconstruction of the original Alte Oper which opened in 1880 and was destroyed during an Allied air raid in 1944. This is no longer the home of Frankfurt's opera company, but is a venue for all sorts of concerts and has a very handy car park underneath.

That concludes my tour of Frankfurt!!  We're moving out to the Taunus - the hilly area to the north west of the city - next weekend.  Life is going to become much quieter, with country walks for the dog and mountain biking for Andy.  We'll be out of our cramped, noisy apartment and living somewhere that feels much more like us and I'll be able to unpack my sewing machine at last!!  I've enjoyed the crochet, but it's time for a change!!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

My Creative Space: A nearly finished bag!

The really handy thing about not having any internet connection yesterday, was that I made significant progress with my Marina Bag .. and I think it even looks like the picture on the pattern which is always a good sign!

Just a few more rows left to complete, but I thought I'd better post this now just in case I don't have a connection again when I've finished!!

This really is a tiny bag - it's as tall as the width of an A4 sheet of paper and not as wide!!   

I'm debating whether to add a lining and/or a wee crochet flower in a contrasting colour to finish it off.  What do you think? 

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Marina Bag

As I can't sew anything for a few more weeks, I thought I'd try my hand at a crochet bag.  

This is slow going - thin yarn that likes to split and a relatively small hook.  The instructions say to crochet tightly too .. not my strong point, but I'm trying to get it right!  The other reason it's slow is because I had some problems reading the pattern, so there's been some unravelling along the way!  I think I've got it all sorted out now and it's slowly taking shape.

It's going to be smaller than I thought - the base is a mere 7 inches across.  It should be larger, but my yarn is quite fine - I think I'd add some stitches to the starting chain next time to scale it up slightly; or I guess I could try thicker yarn!

I quite like it, but it's more child size than an adult's bag, so this may become a present down the line.

Got to finish it first!!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

My Creative Space: Crochet

I've been teaching myself to crochet shells!! 

I photocopied a lovely pattern from one of my crochet books and brought it with me along with some wool and the right sized hook.  Then I realised I had absolutely no idea what double treble stitch was and of course the book that tells me is somewhere mid-Atlantic - doh!  I had to wait for a day with a decent internet connection (quite rare in this apartment) to find an online tutorial and then I could start.

I'm not going to show you what this is going to become ... because it's probably a present and I don't want to spoil the surprise.  Besides, I think it will look very different when it has been blocked and I can't block it until we move again in April! 

I've also been making a few more granny squares for Sarah's Crochet a Rainbow appeal.

And I may even get round to finishing the red crochet necklace I started about a month ago!  The trouble is that the hook is tiny, my eyesight isn't that good and the light in the apartment is awful ... so this project keeps slipping down the list!

I've got some different yarns and patterns to keep me going for the next 3 weeks till we move into our new house ... and lots of stuff to organise for the house too, a car to buy....  

We're getting there ... slowly but surely!

For other creative spaces, take a look at Kirsty's blog.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

More Photos of Frankfurt

We've had some lovely spring weather - perfect for wandering around with a camera!  This is the Hauptwache or the main guard post, built in 1730.  This is right at one end of the main shopping street and is now a lovely little cafe.

As you can see - it is now surrounded by modern buildings and there is an underground station below it too.

Zeil is the main shopping street and this new shopping centre was completed in the last few years.  Quite a unique design!  I keep wondering how they clean all that glass .... or maybe they don't!


Paulskirche - one of the first buildings to be rebuilt after the war, this former church and sometime parliament building is now used for exhibitions, concerts and official ceremonies.



Paulsplatz - that tall building houses both Subway and Starbucks!  

It's March and not very warm yet, but the cafe culture is very much alive.  One of many reasons I'm pleased to be back in Europe!

I'm making the most of the city for the short time we're here.  I've found a great house and we'll be moving to a very sleepy little place north of the city in early April.  I'm told our furniture will arrive at the port of Bremerhaven next week - so everything seems to be working out perfectly!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A Birthday Present

This is a bucket bag from Lisa Lam's book The Bag Making Bible which I got last year.  I see this more as a shopping bag than a handbag - it's quite large and would be ideal for a small shopping trip.

I adapted the pattern slightly.  It was supposed to be reversible but I didn't like the idea of having a button closure on a safety pin which you changed over to whichever side you wanted.  Seemed a bit makeshift!  I went with a magnetic snap instead and added a small interior pocket for shopping lists etc...

This was a present for a family birthday yesterday ... I've been sitting on this post for quite a while now having made the bag and posted it at the end of January so that it didn't get packed in the sea container by mistake!