Birthdays mean … treats!

Well, last year, it meant an impending half marathon, which was no fun at all. This year, things should be much more interesting … Can’t wait for my Hero drum carder from Woolmakers and Wollwolff Kämmstation to arrive …

Looking back – the first hand-spun sweater

Handspun merino

This spring’s mega spinning project? 600 g of super-soft grey merino from Das Wollschaf … enough for my first hand-spun sweater … I hope. I still can’t work out if I’m spinning woolen or worsted, but at least I know it’s Navajo plied! It’s already turning into Looking Back – a back-to-front sweater/cardigan that the Engineer can’t get his head round (‘So, how does it …

Building a DIY wool picker

DIY wool picker

EDIT: There seem to be an awful lot of people in the world trying to build wool pickers! If you enjoy this post or build something, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. You might also like a new project I’m working on: Building an electric spinning wheel – Part 1 Thanks for reading! ………………… With the imminent arrival of half a flock …

Alpaca dreams

The long journey from alpaca fleece to something usable has begun. Having found a fantastic supply of alpaca fleece on eBay Kleinanzeigen at an irresistible price, I ordered six kilos. I didn’t really think about the wheres or hows or whys of this decision until this box arrived … Mr DHL wouldn’t even carry it up the stairs … I’d originally planned it so this guilty purchase would arrive …

An eco-printed souvenir from New York

Eco-printing silk

Funny how souvenirs start looking a bit different when you’re a crafter. No I ♥ NY T-shirts here … Instead, a cute rusted mini-manhole cover that I found in the gutter (no, I didn’t walk around the streets of Brooklyn with a crowbar pinching civic fixtures and fittings…). I paired it with a cream silk scarf from my favourite 90 cent bin at Das Kaufhaus and …

Taking patterns from clothing without cutting anything up

Taking patterns without cutting

A week ago I did my annual online bulk-ordering of sportswear in the hope of finding at least a few pieces to spruce up the workout wardrobe. As usual, this process was a total disaster and almost everything went back. While I thought I’d learnt by now that ready-to-wear clothing doesn’t usually fit me, I’d hoped that sportswear – the world of spandex-supported easy-fit clothing – would still have something …

Holiday revelations

Christmas Markets Stuttgart

The festive season is finally done and dusted and it’s time to get back into the swing of things. Right now, this is involving aching all over from the revived exercise regime and reviewing all my recent extravagant eBay purchases and Christmas DIYs, oh, and working out exactly what to do with my growing stash in 2015. As with any New Year, there’s a hint of sadness, based largely around …

Flying with a sewing machine (Fliegen mit Nähmaschinen)

Pfaff Expression 4.0 flying

Besides the shaky arms (a painful reminder of why I just bought gym membership), this process was entirely, almost disappointingly, uneventful. Given the amount of personal interaction I ended up having (which began with ‘I’m sorry, I’m travelling with a sewing machine’ and ended with a variety of comments ranging from a clueless ‘Oh. Have you removed the needle?’ (Yes, but what kind of havoc …

A miserable introduction to machine knitting (kein Spaß beim Maschinenstricken)

Toyota KS901 Knitting Machine/sStrickmaschine

So, I’ve acquired a Toyota KS901 knitting machine together with the KR506 ribber (Feinstricker). Apparently, this makes it a double-bed machine, although what this actually looks like in practice is still beyond me. I say ‘acquired’, I actually transported the machine through four countries on three connecting trains over a 12-hour period, which is right up there with the most stupid and painful things I’ve ever done, but I …