Lace shawl

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Yeah! Finally! After almost two years of knitting I finished this lace shawl. I gave it as a gift to my mom. It was my first attempt at knitting lace. Thanks to the wealth of online tutorials I learned a few new stitches – I am usually a somewhat “wild” knitter and improvise usually a lot along the way. This was one rare occasion where I had to follow a detailed pattern – and I enjoyed it!

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What did not work out well for me was the edge of the shawl. It was to tight compared to the pattern and I should have knitted it more loose.

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And when finishing the shawl I overdid it there and finished it too loose. So the whole think is a bit out of shape and not the perfect triangle. But hey, it keeps my mom warm and toasty!

Yarn:  A lovely wool-silk-mohair mix (I can’t find the paper band anymore).

Needles: 3.5 mm

Pattern: Wiebkes Lieblingstuch but I did not add the border.

Would I do it again? I want to learn more lace to next time I will be another pattern.

This is a contribution to Creadienstag.

This post first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

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Simplify in 2015

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The good thing about those All-Good-Plans-For-The-New-Year type of post is that it is always interesting to see at the end of the year how much we accomplished. The New Year is already well on its way but still young enough to make big and hopeful plans and define a motto for this year: Simplify!

Since we moved to a new home and with three young energetic boys around laundry keeps piling up, the fridge gets emptied too fast, somebody needs to clean and cook, and boys need to be brought to and from school and extra-curricular activities. We have still boxes unpacked, still trying to find the right place for everything. We have many ideas for wonderful projects and excursions and want to invite our new friends. It all feels like a blessed chaos, but I would like everything to be a bit more organized, thought through, planed and simplified.

Thus, it is my aim for this year to get everything a bit straitened out. Just a bit more organization and simplification might bring some calm into out life so that we have more time to enjoy each other and the things we do. And I hope that by the end of the year we have found our way of dealing with chores, projects and things.

And here are the four big things we want to simplify:

  1. Simplify the house: declutter and organize. Although we tried to get rid of many things before we moved, we still have way too much stuff (does our nine month old baby really need 18 bodies and 15 pairs of socks?). So there is no question that things can and have to go. This will be a real challenge and I am realistic enough to know that this process will need many rounds. Furthermore, many things still need to find good practical permanent places. Thus, my plan is to tackle one area a month and be done with one round within a year. This month I organize and declutter the office.
  2. Simplify housework: getting the kids involved into cleaning and cooking. This is probably no simplification yet, because kids are kids and many things are done much faster by myself than involving the kids. But I consider this an important educational effort. My boys should learn that a nice and clean home is a communal effort (no, we don’t have elves coming in at night to do the laundry). This year I will teach  the kids how to clean the house and let them take over some duties. We will also develop chore charts and schedules together (we started on this already – see pictures – but it still needs to be improved).
  3. Simplify daily life: developing daily and weekly routines. This goes hand in hand with the previous point. It is much easier to get everyone to help, when the demand is part of a schedule or routine. This year we will develop a (semi-) fixed weekly and daily schedule so that everyone knows when it is pick-up time, reading time, chore time, etc.
  4. Simplify our family life: planning our weekends and time together. And of course we want to have fun!  49 weeks are still ahead of us, plenty of time for wonderful projects. Each month we want to try at least one new recipe, plan at least one trip to a new location, have at least on big crafting project and invite friends over as often as possible.

Well, these are our plans to simplify and I am curious to see how we’ll manage!

 

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This post appeared first on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

Fast Breakfast-Rolls

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We love fresh home-made breakfast-rolls on a Sunday morning! And we also love to sleep in on a Sunday morning… So, needless to say, I was very happy when I came across those fast delicious rolls at tastsherif. There is a lot of curd in the dough for a nice moist texture and the baking powder cuts the preparation process really short.  The rolls can be prepared and baked in less than an hour – and this is the time it takes anyway until everyone is up.

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You’ll need:

  • 500 g curd (I prefer to use a curd with high fat content, but I guess any curd will do)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 pack of vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 500 g flour (I like to use whole grain spelt flour)
  • 1 pack of baking powder (ca. 15-20g or 1 tbsp)
  • optional: 100 g dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • some milk
  1.  Whisk together curd, eggs, sugar and salt.
  2.  Add flour and baking powder and combine into a smooth dough.
  3.  With wet hands form 16-24 balls and set them onto two trays.
  4.  Brush them with milk.
  5.  Bake at 180 degrees  for ca. 15-20 minutes.

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Yummy! As variations we baked the rolls with poppy seeds (replace 100 g of flour with 100 g of steamed poppy seeds), or with raisins, or with cinnamon and a bit more sugar – and we all loved them!

This post first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

Jute basket

2015.01.01.NewYear.044sWhat a great idea to crochet baskets out of thick jute yarn! I followed the instructions on Naturkinder and made already three baskets in different sizes. It is hard work but rewarding. They are great for about everything. I made a small one for keys, the one pictured was a gift for my mom (and was also used to keep the goodies from St. Nicolas) and a larger basket is holding baby’s little toys.

I had some trouble in the beginning to make a nice transition between rounds. But with this tutorial I finally figured it out!

Yarn: Jute yarn 6mm 6-ply (e.g. from Rayher)

Crochet hook: 12 mm (from bamboo)

Will I do it again? Yes! I just put in an order for more jute yarn.

 

This post appeard first on tamtamtieger.wordpress.com.

School

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Much has happened during the past year: we welcomed a new baby, we moved to a new city, we changed jobs and our oldest started school. I am still adjusting to all while trying to keep up with everyday life.  Packing boxes and managing four men (two of which are still in diapers) did not leave much time to craft or post about it. But a few things I did make and with a new computer at hand I can finally present them here.

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Among the few things I did make were things for our oldest who started school this year. We enrolled our son into Waldorf-school for which he needed some special things. It feels good that he can take something with him to school which I made for him.

A crayon pouch roll for Stockmar wax crayons and blocks:

  • You’ll need: cut two pieces of cotton fabric ca. 30×40 cm, a piece of woven ribbon ca. 70 cm length.
  • Sew the two pieces of cotton fabric right-on-right-side, leaving a small opening. Turn it inside out.
  • Fold the ribbon into half. Pin the closed end into the opening of the fabric. Close the opening with a top stitch close to the edge.
  • Top stitch close to the edge all around.
  • Fold in the two long sides about 5 cm and iron into place.
  • To make the little pouched for the blocks and crayons measure alternating 3.5 cm (for the blocks) and 2.5 cm (for the crayons) and mark the places with pins. Sew along the markings and secure the edges well.
  • To be able to get out the blocks more easily I added a seam along the edge in a distance about 1.5 cm from the edge.

Calculation stones:

This was a wonderful family project. We went into the forest to collect a dry branch from a beech tree and cut off 24 slices. We sanded the pieces and rubbed them with olive oil. To hold them I made a small cotton bag. I like to use French seams in bags, but I didn’t find a better way to male opening for a draw-string other than attaching an extra piece of fabric for the tunnel. I applied some numbers for fun. This wooden pieces are used in school to teach the first steps arithmetic.

Pouch for a  flute:

The third piece was a pouch for his flute. In Waldorf-school all children start to play recorder in first grade. It is a special pentatonic wooden recorder which apparently is easier to play than a normal recorder because it has less holes.  The pouch is padded with some thick cotton molleton.

Still missing is a bag for his needlework…..

This post first appeared first on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com and is a contribution to Creadienstag.