My Strings

The Figurative and Literal Strings of My Life


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When Life Sucks – Just Sock It

One day you wake up and everything gets turned upside down – and you find yourself alone. Maybe not completely – but that is what it feels like.

Things change – sometimes for the better – or rather hopefully for the better. But at times it can be hard to see the forest for all the trees – and for some time I’ve been in the thickest of woods – the kind you today only find in fairytales set in the deep, darkness of Eastern Europe.

Time to come out of...

Time to come out of…

To top it all of as if this wasn’t enough I had to stop running for a while – as I got an infection (annoying – there goes that marathon dream for April this year). And at the same time my knee started hurting – had the ‘runners knee’-scare big time – turns out having a job where you sit still alot, and school where you sit a lot, and several hobbies where I…guess…sit a LOT…(I really need my running) is a bad combination for me. It is actually unhealthy for me to sit still. HA, maybe that’ll shut those people up who says I do too much, work out too much. HA! I win.

Well, this state of darkness and brokenness have also been reflected in my crafts these past few months I’ve been away from my blog. I found no expressive creativeness though I kept to my path of getting in control of my addiction and huge amount of craft articles. But there have been  a slight shift – from fabric management to yarn play.

Ready or not...

Ready or not…

These homy, woollen, soft, fluffy little balls of comfort seemed like just the thing for me at this time. I’ve always considered knitting and crocheting as the crafters version of comfort food. Nothing like a soft and managable knitting project to give a lovely safe feeling – a little kick – a bit like chocolate…just without the sugar high.

And since part of my path is also the plan to handle my yarn collection. My state of mind combined with that fact that I do have a lot of yarn but not a whole lot of the same kind or colour – it panned out in a lot of socks.

Starting out with massive amounts of baby socks as my sister gave birth to her second child August last. An amacing little girl – Camilla. And true to tradition I just had to make her a baby basket as well. But I’ll come back to that in another post.

My beautiful little niece Camilla

My beautiful little niece Camilla

Here in the new year I’m still socking it. Big time. I think I’ve made 15 or 20 pairs the past 4 months. For my self, for my sister, for my nephew and niece, and lastly also for my wonderful, beautiful and loving yoga teacher – and my inspiration – in so much more that yoga – Tanja. Such a giving person – so seldom you have a person like her crossing your path. I am so thankful that for the time being our lives are running along side one anothers, that I get to share her light.

And I wanted so to give just a little back for all of what she gives me.

Norwegian ragsocks with a rose pattern

Norwegian ragsocks with a rose pattern

I found this free pattern for Norwegian rag socks – but a bit less plain than the usual/traditional rag socks. I just though they were too sweet not to try out. I chose to combine my sockproduction with another passion of mine – re-purpose. These socks were made with re-purposed Icelandic eco wool in light grey and a pale orangy red (dyed with madder). Both wools are single strand spun and quite thick – and actually too thick compared to what’s used in the pattern. So I had to ajust needle size and number of stitches but it didn’t give me that much trouble.

Also the orange yarn was slightly thicker than the grey, I could have chosen another colour making the thickness more even but I decided I liked that the rose popped.

Also Tanja has several times been wearing these cute little socklets which her grandmother made for her. That made for the next idea.

Not the best pic...

Not the best pic…

This pattern is from a Vogue book of sock patterns – both cuff-down and toe-up. The latter being new to me – not knowing that they exist – just never saw they point to them when I was fine making the cuff-down. But they are great if you are making scrap socks. Then you let the yarn determine the lenght of the leg and you don’t have to decide beforehand.

The pattern was pretty easy to follow but I still had to rip up several times as I felt the sock looked too boxy for my taste. It didn’t fit and hug as evenly and smooth as when I knit cuff-down. I finally came to a place where I felt I could be sort of satisfied with my work. In the picture they look very boxy this evens out a lot when you put them on.

But I do like them – they are cute. But also I will be making them again correcting the issues I still feel there are with the pattern as is. I definitely will be making more of them.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel

Opening up, coming back out again, feeling ready to meet the world on a more even playing field – and strong enough for…

Another aspect of my path to growing and opening up, to learn how to trust myself and to trust people around me and becoming a better version of myself – giving back by showing the people who affect my life that I appreciate their contributions and that I love having them in my life. Hopefully, some day in a near future I will be able to also tell them directly – with words.

And maybe someday I can believe this

And maybe someday I can believe this


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Baby Patch

In my family it has always been a tradition to make things for any kind of occation…big or small.

David – 3 years – loves Cars

And three years ago my sister had her first baby – georgeous little boy – and I of course wanted to make something special. As it so often happen with me and my crafts need one idea sort of expanded into several.

I ended up making a patchwork baby blanket – hand sewn from one end to the other – perfect for going home from the hospital wearing new garb. The blanket is also a perfect fit for the baby carriage. It actually didn’t take as much time as I would have thought. I made it in a wind mill 3D pattern in blue tones with a triangular quilting pattern. Very cute.

My inspiration for Davids blanket

I knitted a carriage suit, a matching hat, several pairs of booties and a sweater. I also made an embroidered keep sake with his facts. Lastly I made a very simple double layred fleece comfy blanket with a hand stitched edge. My nephew still uses it – perfect for those hot summer nights where a duvet is just too much.

Windmill

Well, three years on and another baby on it way – new plans. Actually, I going to do much the same again – with a few variations. No need to make the same – the items are fine and can be used again. But still, she… (yes, my perfect sister, doing everything the perfect way is now having a girl :-)…no love that gives me opportunity for variation in my creativity)…she needs to get something new, that’ll be just hers.

The finished blanket – patch, quilt and all

So firstly I made her a patchwork baby blanket matching the first one. The patterns are sort of similar – but then again not. This one is also made with a 3D windmill pattern – looks very much like the plastic windmills on a stick you can get children at the carnival.

The four different blocks assembled

Even though it is for a girl and made more girly than the first one I made – I really didn’t want to go all in on girlyness – so I was carefull to tone it down.

I had the three in front (yeah) – the fabric for the back side I bought

I chose four different kinds of cotton fabrics. For the back layer I chose  pink fish on a white background. The front I cose to compose of a classic candy striped, one with tiny roses on green and then a sort of kitchen things/flower theme print on white. It was a bit of a gamble whether they would work – but you got to live a little on the dangerous side sometimes.

Quilting pattern consists of circles and half circles

I’ve started a mutli-coloured cardigan – and I’ll make a hat and some booties again. The booties mostly beacause I’va found two great vintage magazines with some cute suggestions. But I not as pressed for time with these things  as I was with the blanket – she needed to get that before she had her little girl.

Other than these things I have only got one more set plan – the baby fact embroidery (klokkestreng – still not sure what it is called in English or if even is something used outside Scandinavia).


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Promises vs. Fact

So far so good – and I was doing so good – on the verge of being proud of myself. But no sunshine without tons of rain to spice things up.

The plan was as follows: One in and one out – at least…better would be: Two out to one in…making up for and getting on top of projects backing up…

And I raelly was sticking to the plan…but then evil took over – something possesed me…my resolve dissolved faster than and SunLolly.

Yup – I had a go at my overly sweet and girly fabric again.

Evil girlyness

Don’t let the shyness and soft pastel blue fool you – once it gets you – it gets you good. And wins the battle in even faster than Russell Rees vs. Des Sowden.  It all began with me trying to se hhow far there was to go with one of my storage spaces – the bridal chest of 1841. I began…and found it really was possible…

The amazing…

See…all empty…

C’est fini

Or not – nope – I am not even close to being close to finished. And also the chest is not exactly my only fabric-hide away. This is where it went during my empty-out the darned thing frenzy…

Once there was a bed

But even though it is a huge ordeal to empty the chest and fill it again – it helps me ship the fabrics around – so when I open the cest it is not always the same inspirations that stare back at me. And this time – even though it is not that far back it just started yelling at me again.

The extreme behavior payed off. It started out with a plan to make another skirt. That got me thinking – I’ve made so many skirts and not that many tops. Admittingly I had my reservations about this fabric and it’s ability to morph into a suitable and nicelooking top. But…no risk no gain…or something.

Flower – hope for power

Next I’ve been missing a pair of simple and basic shorts. So I dug out a Vogue patterns featuring a set with jacket and long shorts. A little bit of adaption – and the shorts got shorter – the other length’ll just make me shorter anyway.

But still – more cloth…(be ware of offers that gives you 6 meters for a very low price…them seem to procreate whenever left alone. So following the girly-girl trail the last of the fabric was spent on a short pleated skirt – very school-girl like – just hoping I can find something to tone it down…Or I’ll just have to sell it of…

So more work ahead…and there is a promised project hanging over my head – a fitted corset pattern….I really just need to jump and finish it…it is not as if it is that hard…just…not exceiting right now…where most of my creative attention is divided between kimonos and the Copenhagen Gotesque Burlesque party in August.

Can’t wait…right now I’m debating with myself if I can overcome my fears and arrive in a spandex one-piece with just a corset to adorne the thing – but can I rock that…even though it would be perfect as the theme is ‘Palace of Forbidden Acrobatics’.

Uh – nasty flashes back to the days of show gymnastics…

Is this scary business me

Or is it just a no go…

Or go for the hooded kind and hide the awfull truth

Still undecided.


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B-day in style

A friend of mine had decided to go all in on her birthday – no arguements here. Her her husband and some friends of his had ‘burger night’ and sat the kids – making it possible for her to go out and paint the town…something she haven’t done in years. A shame she is really good at it :-).

Well,  she invited me and some other girls to a very good sushi restaurant and later we went for fancy drinks. Already here – good evening recipe. The restaurant is situated on top of Copenhagen – so to speak. It is on the top of a very tall building housing the Tivoli Hotel – so very nice view all around.  We said in the ‘asian’-side – meaning no shoes – but to accomodate that no everybody can sit on the floor and eat properly – they’ve mades holes in the floor for the tables and backs, a pillow and arm rests long side the tables making it up for chairs.

A little part of the selection of the evening

We had the best table possible – about 3-4 feet from the window making the view and later the sunset fill up all the way through dinner. Very nice. Decision was we had to come back just to try and sit out on the terrace – to enjoy the view with more sushi and cool white wine.

It wasn’t just dinner we went all out on – also dress up. All in means all in all the way. My friend had bought a fantastisk 50s style dress from a little local shop. This gorgeous  thing the pattern and colour made up of dark red velvet like roses on a black setting. Looked so good on her.

Pretty Woman

I of course decided to make my dress for the evening myself – need to…and this was a Perfect excuse. I went for an old Butterick pattern. I originally made one of these years ago. I was a great dress – but it being a bit poopy and me being poofy back then – it just added up to a little too much poof. But with the extra weight gone I decided to give the pattern a go again.

Butterick poof in both ends

The fabric chosen is a satin weaved cotton – weaved in stripes of shine and dull – in a lovely dark red tone. Very fancy. It is actually a pretty simple dress.  Single layered 4-part skirt – just your basis all round, skirt lining with a gathered 30-35 cm tulle band set a little over halft way up the skirt lining.

Tulle lining

And more tulle – I think the ruffle is made up of about 8 or 10 panels 35cm x 100cm – give or take.

Tulle close up

A doubled up top front part – that you just fold in over a strap from the back top part after the dress has been put together and you’ve finished setting the zipper – stitch lightly in place. And there you go – a dress.

Back view

I think the thing that took the longest was to gather the tulle and set it on the lining. So all in all a very easy dress. Also I hardly had to adjyst anything. Only the waist to chest ratio is never quite right – I always have to take it in. It’s not that I’m small in the chest-department – but loosing weight have taken of some substantial weight there also – a thing that never happened before when loosing weight.

Front view

So my “perfect” 1950s measurement ratio is gone. Bye bye…well at least for the top part. The bottom part is still perfect ratio – meaning no pants will fit me in todays fashion. And going for the 40s and 50s fashion with the hight waist – that I absolutely adore – is just a ‘No Go’ – high waisted pants just make me even shorter than I am. And I really can’t afford that….being  only 5,2…

And hopefully this will be the last horrible show the clothes pics – I’ve finally found a dressform living up to my picky standarts. Just need to find the time to pick it up…so maybe there’ll be a few more horrible pics…but I hope not.


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Shoes for every occation

Sitting in my sofa with a hot cup of coffee trying to get warm after the ordeals of the day so far.

I finally finally pulled myself together – so after my morning power yoga session I ventured out into the pouring rain (and I really men pouring – it is coming down like there is no tomorrow out there) and went to the marathon store. Great place for the running people of the city – all and everything just for runners – with only runners working there – so as opposed to other stores with sports equipment you are sure they know what you are talking about when describing your situation.

And 4 trys, 4 filmed runs, loads of evaluation, discussions back and forth, a second opinion, more evaluation, 45 minutes later I was one pair of shoes richer – but even more rich in the running department.

Billede

And that last part is worth so much more – running is a cheap sport. But if you wan to be good to yourself, be good to your feet, knees, thighs and all the joints and hamstrings – you go seek help from professionals to guide you to a happier life with your feet.

And please to have the love of your feet for a long time follow these rules:

1. Do NOT look at the price until you´ve chosen your shoe.

2. Do NOT look at the visual design – it isn´t what makes it a good shoe.

3. Listen to your feet – what do they tell you.

No sense in buying expensive shoes if not for the wellfare and benefit of you feet and legs. But somehow you always seem to end up with a shoe you didn’t fall for on the showcase wall, and somehow the right shoe for you feet is almost never funky just kind of dull – especially when displayed next to those aluring shoes of many an eye-catching and head turning colours – like Newtons.

Billede

But stick to the shoe that fits you and then you can always spice the shoe up – e.g. bright laces.

Hope the weather will clear up for tomorrow – so I can give them their first try – just a short one I promise to be good – not more than a 10k.

And for the rest of the weekend I’ll be flashing these babies….

Billede

I just love cognec coloured leather…so pretty…I love my addiction….

Nice weekend to all out there.


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On a roll…or something

Two new projects on the go.

This losing weight business is really hard in more ways than just losing the weight. That has almost been the easiest part – wierd thing to say – don’t get me wrong losing the d…… kilos was not all fun and glory.

But clothes-wise I thought I had it all planned. I had kept a lot of clothes from my way up in weight – so I planned to wear these on the way down as well. Good plan – only I hadn’t taken my own little devious mind into account in the brilliant plan. It is still playng trix on me – as I know it always will – so I should have known better and kept my mind under control.

‘Cause what it ended up with was that when I finally talked myself into having a go at the scales – I had lost 15 kg in abouth 5 months. Nothing criminal at all – except all the clothes I had looked forward to wearing on my way down…well…most of it was too big (luckyly for a good friend and the nearby second hand shop).

This also meant that all of my coats and jackets were too big – so I set out made a new jacket. Loved it – and just the other day I found out I’d actually worn it to pieces. Day of mourning – oh my…and then vanity struck – and even though the huge hole is under one arm and can’t been seen – the vain little me just can’t show myself it it…

So tadaaa…need to make a new one and I ended up not being able to settle on just one pattern – ended up with two: Made som alternations so they fit better what I had in mind and then I went rumaging through my chest of fabric goodies…and found some hand-wowen black wool – very nice. Perhaps not as spring- or summer friendly as it could have been…but…there are room for more than one, two…three…jackets.

Jackets are great accessories – so now I’ve cut two.