Work in Progress

Last year, I bought three of those bags at an appartment shopping, hosted by a young designer. Two of the bags are made from fabric Sara has bought in Africa. Originally, each of them had only one string but that turned out to be unfunctional. Luckily, the pink lace was long enough to cut into halves (which is what I did). The green and silber bag has shoe laces now :)

The turqouis bag has been with me for almost 10 years now. It was given to us when J was born (it came with a bib if I remember right).

haekelmonster.comThe blue and pink sack is my favorite. It has tiny little white dots. At present, it holds the “less loved” WIP though. A black lace wrap made of a thread thin as surgical silk (…) that I may never finish …

I much rather knit the green merino wrap in the green and silver bag. However, somehow the orange sack gets to come along with me more often than its silblings. Right now, it is keeping the white Elise shawl.

How do you store your WIP’s?

Summer Crochet: Elise & I

It’s a fake. But I could not resist when getting off the train this morning.

shawl Elise haekelmonster.comNot the Bahamas, no vacation – Berlin Wannsee, journey to work. And I would only stay long enough for a few pictures (thank you gentle breeze, for your help).

Thereafter, I would stuff the (half way) finished lovely Elise shawl back into my backpack and hurry to work, trying to make up for the quick time-out at the lake.

Filing and bookkeeping are on my desk for today … (ugh!).

Unfortunately, swapping job with the duck was not an option :)

wannsee haekelmonster.comWhatever you’re up to: enjoy!

Stitch Markers

In need of stitch markers I have made my own.

handmade stitch markersSo far, they’re only prototypes: some are too long, the two on the very right may be too sharp-edged (depending on the yarn), and the little ring is too small on all of them (whereas the top loop is too big … sigh …).

I found these beads in the streets of Chicago when walking along. 17 beads all in. So I would pick them up, wondering what to do with them whenever I saw them again in my purse. Stitch markers were (and still are) the perfect solution. And guess what – they do the trick: they mark stitches :)


In Germany Pentecost is a holiday. There is Pentecost Sunday and Pentecost Monday. That makes it a three-day weekend and we were very much looking forward to it.

35°C outside (that is 95°F), enough ice cream in the freezer, and my parents visiting made up for J‘s root canal treatment (…) on Friday.

IMG_2105It feels like I didn’t knit or crochet that much lately (not to mention my orphaned blog …). Progress is ever so slow … Obviously, when it comes to knitting 35°C is the upper limit (for me). However, I am a lizard – I love the warmth!

An A-shape tunic, made of cotton yarn, is (one of four projects) on my needles right now.

Plum Colored Cardigan

I still owe you the pictures of my cardigan -  I almost forgot. Remember, I worried about ruining it in the washing machine? Well, luckily I did not.

Finding the perfect buttons took pretty much as long as knitting the cardigan. For days I could not decide which ones to attach. Finally, I decided on mother of pearl. Depending on the light, there is some brownish-violet-plum inside that beautifully matches the yarn.

Then, I had M take pictures. That – again – would take a long time as either the yarn was depicted a lot lighter than it actually is (but all stitches were clearly visible) or it was pictured in its beautiful proper color (too dark to see anything at all).

Now, here is what we agreed upon:

IMG_1990 IMG_2020

It is a perfect cardigan in a very pretty color. However, if I were to make another one of these, I would probably choose a different yarn as the cardigan is now very heavy. I am afraid it might wear out at the yoke sooner or later. But for now it fits like a glove (is that what you say?).

Talking about colors, my hair started to turn gray when I was in my mid twenties. I would color it for a while (brown, blonde, blue) until I became too lazy (and less of a revolutionary …). Weird to see how white it has become (actually, quite a nice contrast to the dark cardigan :) ).

Journey to Work

I live in Berlin (SE) and I work in Berlin (SW). However, going to work takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r …

“f-o-r-e-v-e-r” means: a 5 min. walk + subway for 16 stops + 13 stops with the commuter train + another 15 min. walk = 1h 26min.

That’s one way.

Going home is another 1h 26min (unless a train is cancelled – in this case it might take longer).

At first, I would dread the journey but then I came to terms with it for three reasons:

(1) it is considerably less expensive than taking the car, better for the environment, and (usually) stress free

(2) I get to knit quite a bit (or to crochet)

(3) when I get off the train after 1h 26min., I am still in Berlin (I mentioned that before, I know). And this is what I see:

IMG_1832 IMG_1837 IMG_1855IMG_1850No real happy ending though as I still have to walk little less than a mile from there, so I do not see the lake from my desk … :)

How long does it take you to go to work and what’s it like?


Flower Blanket Reloaded

It has been a while since I gave the red flower blanket to a wonderful friend of mine. M and I got to stay at her house last weekend and I was thrilled to see her actually using it. In spite of (or because of?) the space between the flowers it’s snugly and warming – perfect for those long-awaited evenings spent outside.

Makes me want to crochet another one right away …

red flower blanket

My Cardigan

This morning I sat in front of the washing machine, never loosing sight of the “bull’s eye” … 600 rpm spin speed … a hand knitted cardigan inside … nerves all on edge … :) Luckily, all went well.

I am sure you have been there before.

IMG_1902It has been a while since I knitted a garment. Even longer since I knitted something for myself. Scarves, wraps, monsters, wrist warmers, blankets for others? Yes. Something for me? Not really.

Until now.

IMG_0937Now, a cardigan – the color of dark plums and knitted in garter stitch with a leaf pattern on the yoke – is recovering on a big towel. As soon as it is dry I will show pictures.

Sifu Design Studio & Fine Yarns

Sifu is Chinese for “Master” or “Teacher.” In Mandarin it is pronounced like “sure foo”, whereas in Cantonese it is more like “see foo.” However, no matter how you vocalize it, it is used to express the speaker’s utmost respect with regard to the addressee’s skills and experience.

A Japanese friend (when taught how to knit) called Lisa her Sifu. Understandably, Lisa would feel very honored and when starting her business the Sifu became her mission statement: “You, too, can be a master of your craft.”

When asking where and how to get a copy of Chicago Knits Magazine’s first issue I was told to buy it at Sifu Design Studio & Fine Yarns in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. And this is where I went.

IMG_1160IMG_1163To cut a long story short: it is a store with a soul! Does that make sense? I so wish it would be in my neighborhood!

There is that huge table in the back, where probably ten people of all ages would sit, knit, work on computers, laugh and chat away, while one was trying to refloat a knitting machine (or loom?). The center of the store (if there is a center) is an old counter, surrounded by mostly antique furniture along the walls, such as drawers, suitcases, shelves, boxes and dressers, brimming over with yarn of all colors imaginable. The walls are covered with paintings, thread spools, and other decoration. There are books, magazines, postcards, all sorts of hooks and needles, ribbons, buttons, stitch holders in little drawers, trinkets everywhere.

IMG_1153An amazing store, punishing me for every time I had been (too?) strict with J: “You’re supposed to look with your eyes, not with your hands. Don’t touch it! Put that down!” Well, here I was, in knitting wonderland, wanting to touch everything, as everywhere was something to see, to admire, and – yes – to desire, to long for …

IMG_1154As the world is small, my friend Mamie has known Lisa for quiet a few years and when I told her that I wanted to go to the store, Mamie left a gift certificate for me behind Lisa’s counter. What a treat!

IMG_1155No doubt – M and J needed quite a bit of patience until I was done choosing from all the lovely yarn and stuff that was there … Here is what I (finally) picked: Four skeins of Cascade 220 sport in “Lake Chelan Heather” and the most beautiful handmade little stitch markers in turquoise and orange. Again, thank you so much Mamie – once I have decided what to make out of it I will let you know!IMG_1882

And guess who I met while there: Kim Richardson, the Chicago Knits Magazine‘s “mother.”IMG_1157If you like to know more about Lisa and her Sifu Design Store – she is featured in the magazine. If you get a chance to visit – GO!