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Showing posts from January, 2014

A First View of Switzerland

Nothing big, just a small movie. This is a little mountain next to the city of Zug, where I currently live. We took an automated train-thing up to the top in late afternoon.

Unfortunately the video doesn't show very well just how steep the incline was, but I still think it's pretty cool:




PS If this movie ever stops working, please let me know and I'll fix it! I had to resort to html tricks to get it to show up in the first place.

Crafting non-sewing things: a list

Yesterday was a pretty bad day, but I'm all better this morning. I decided to make a list of things I can do without a sewing machine. Turns out there are quite a few!

Embroidery

I bought this embroidery book a while ago, Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection, and while I did read it, I didn't do much otherwise. I'm planning to pick up embroidery again. The book, of course, is in storage along with everything else, but I'm sure the interwebs will be useful for figuring out what to do.

My first project - for which I bought supplies already - is embroidering Totoro on one of my work shirts. This is Totoro:


Crochet

I really like crochet (final installment off craftsy class review coming next week!), but here I have a problem. I'm not sure what yarn to purchase. I think I understand the differences between yarn weights, but not having had much tactile experience with them it's hard to figure out what to buy around here. The choice seems limited too, so I think I nee…

I do miss all my sewing things!

I've been working late and not crafting at all. To add insult to injury, I pass a Bernina store every day on my way to and from work and peek in through the glass at the machines (expensive!) and fabrics - those are probably expensive too but I haven't left work early enough to be able to go in yet. In the absence of sewing things, I ordered EverydayCrochet: WearableDesigns Just for You from amazon, but it hasn't arrived yet. I'm hoping to make a few winter clothes-things before winter ends. I'm really looking forward to getting my sewing stuff out of storage!

Craftsy Series: Crochet Lab (2)

Crochet Lab is a crochet class for absolute beginners, and takes people from "how to hold a crochet hook" all the way to "how to make a stuffed animal". This series tells the story of the class I watched and went back to most often on Craftsy, Crochet Lab by Vickie Howell.


I'm back with my second post on Crochet Lab. In this post, I'll concentrate on the two staples of crochet, the two lessons on single crochet and double crochet.
As I said before, I learnt all of this from scratch: I started the single crochet lesson without knowing anything. The teacher suggests to crochet a 21-stitch square swatch, but instead I decided to be adventurous: I bought a bunch of balls of yarn when I visited Zurich in October and proceeded to start crocheting a blanket.
I mostly did this because the class on chain making taught me that if I don't practice, I will stop with crocheting altogether. I saw the first few classes in March, then only followed up with the rest in …

Getting Fit: Week 2

This year I set myself a challenge to get fit. For the first three months, I'm working out bodyweight and interval training, on alternate days. My first milestone, due in April, is to fit well into my pink dress.

This week was move week, and a particularly bad week for getting fit: I didn't eat well for most of the week and I didn't exercise enough.

Since I knew Monday and Tuesday would be impossible to get a workout on, I did a bodyweight workout on Sunday. I'm still following the nerdfitness beginner workout.

I had planned to workout at work on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday but in the end I only managed a workout on Thursday at home. This was my best yet though, 3 full circuits. The reason I didn't do anything on other days is: (1) tiredness and (2) no sneakers.

I threw away my sneakers before I moved since they both didn't fit in my bags and they were pretty much falling apart. I'm hoping to pick up a new pair before next week, as the Google Zurich office …

The scarf... the I'm-officially-ready-for-winter-scarf

I made a scarf. Unlike the beanie I made in December, this one I made entirely on my own - no pattern!. I'd also like to make a matching hat but I'm not sure I have enough yarn for one.


I didn't want a long scarf, so I kept it as short as I could - I wanted something I can make a knot with but that wouldn't be long enough to hang too low.
This, however, means I can only wear it in a few ways besides the knotting technique shown above, that is, over my shoulder, under my jacket:
or just opened:

I made it in a thickish worsted yarn that a friend gave me. I don't quite understand ask the different worsted varieties, so I won't go any further with that description. The yarn came complete with pictures of the alpacas it came from!
The pattern is my own, and this picture shows it best:

It's not the best pic in the world, but the pattern goes something like: |||V||||V||||V|||
Each V is crocheted in the chain sp left by the previous one. The pattern is pretty easy …

I made it!

I'm in Switzerland! My winter preparations will come as a longer post later in the week but here they are in a nutshell:


Craftsy Series: Crochet Lab (1)

Crochet Lab is a crochet class for absolute beginners, and takes people from "how to hold a crochet hook" all the way to "how to make a stuffed animal". This series tells the story of the class I watched and went back to most often on Craftsy, Crochet Lab by Vickie Howell.


The class has 9 lessons, and lessons are certainly on the shorter side than the other the classes I watched so far. The lessons are:
IntroductionMaterialsChain MakingSingle CrochetDouble CrochetTechie CozyGaugeHalf Double CrochetGranny Squares
Of these, I didn't watch the last two (no interest in them yet), but the rest were quite informative. It's interesting that in the Half Double Crochet seems to have been retrofitted at a later point since Vickie Howell says at some point in the DC lesson that there won't be a lesson on it. 
When I started, I was a complete noobie - I just picked up some yarn and a crochet hook and got on with it. The first two classes are not particularly informa…

Getting Fit: Week 1

This year I set myself a challenge to get fit. For the first three months, I'm working out bodyweight and interval training, on alternate days. My first milestone, due in April, is to fit well into my pink dress.

This week I only did bodyweight training. I wasn't sure what to do on my own so I decided to just follow the beginner bodyweight training model. I plan to start interval training when I get to Switzerland next week.

The most interesting thing about this model is that it's short and keeps me entertained. Maybe I'll keep at it!

Monday

I just followed the schedule and I discovered a few things:
- I'm not sure I'm doing squats right, they're just too easy
- lunges are easy as well but I'm pretty sure I'm doing those correctly

Wednesday

I thought I'd get the worst muscle ache after the workout on Monday but I was fine on Tuesday. Out really hit me on Wednesday morning and I spent all day limping from meeting to meeting.

I read a post and watch…

Getting Fit: The Pink Dress

Last year, when Mr T and I were doing Christmas shopping, I came across an amazing pink dress that I just had to buy on the spot.  The label - Damsel In A Dress - helped a lot too. I really love that name!

This was the dress - the Abby dress from the 2012 collection. It also has a jacket, and both have pockets! Besides pockets, the dress has a full lining and Hong Kong seam finishes.




I got this dress in December 2012 and it didn't get a lot of wear - I think I wore it 2 or 3 times in 2013. Here's the dress in October 2013 - the picture was taken in front of the Crooked Billet in Wimbledon:



But the last time I wore it I did notice that it didn't fit very well on my hips anymore. I don't think it was visible, but my movement was clearly impeded. If you look at the picture above, the pull lines can just about be seen.

So, as part of the new year's resolution, I'm setting a getting fit challenge: by the time this dress is out of storage, circa April, it should fit …

Work in progress

Just wanted to share my work in progress. After everything was packed, I realized I didn't keep any scarves out... Meaning I have no scarf for the winter in Switzerland.  It was silly of me, but it was a hectic time.

So instead of buying one, I'm crocheting one. I don't have a pattern, this is me putting together a model using stitches I have learned while crocheting other patterns.


Hopefully I'll be able to finish it this week and take pictures at the weekend!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Everything is packed (sewing machine included) and I decided to finally write a post about resolutions and everything that happened over the past year, so a word heavy post will follow.

I don't think I did much sewing in 2013. However, I DO assure you I made more things than I posted about. Truth is, 2013 was just a hard year and more often than not I crashed in the evening and at weekends than doing any sewing. I have a bunch of things I never posted about, including this dress which I made for friends' wedding:


I got around to doing some big life decisions though. After three and a half years in London, I decided the UK isn't for me (see, some Romanians are leaving the UK *chuckle*). That meant that when the opportunity presented itself, I didn't hesitate. The funny thing is - I wasn't planning to move, it just happened. Starting this January, I'll be in Zurich. I'll miss the pubs though.

Then, I bought auxetically.com. Right now,…