yarny bookworm

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Montag, 30. Juni 2014

blog hop - the answers

As I mentioned before, I volunteered to take part in a blog hop. I got invited by Julie from little woollie and to take part I have to answer four questions regarding my creativity and my creative thinking. So here we go.

Question 1:
What am I working on?

Right now I'm working on two different projects. The first one is the cushion cover that I'm making for a friend. She chose the colors and the design. It's really nice to work under the instructions of someone else for a change. I probably wouldn't have chosen the beige yarn to surround the green grannys. But I really like it. I guess I will work with similar color combinations again in the future. 

The second project I am working on is a blanket. A big blanket. A very big blanket. For my man. See, he loves Super Mario. And I stumbled upon a Super Mario blanket one day on the internet and immediately thought: "That's perfect for my man!" So I bought some yarn and started it. I crochet five round solid granny squares. 14 squares per row and the finished blanket will be 18 rows long. It's a long term project. At first, I only worked on it, when my man wasn't at home, because I thought, I might give him the blanket as a surprise gift on christmas. But then I realised that it will never be finished this way. I'm on row five right now, but as the commissioned work got in the way it is currently put on hold. 

The Mario blanket

Question 2:
How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That's a tough one. To be honest - I really don't know how my work differs. Up until now, I only know how to crochet. I am not able to sew my own clothes (yet) and I could probably manage to knit a simple scarf - but that's about it. So I would say, that my work differs inasmuch as I am still in the learning phase of crafting. I experiment with different color combinations, different techniques, different yarns and materials. I definitely want to work on my knitting skills (they are practically non-existant, so there is still a lot to learn) and I want to improve my sewing. So I plan my work around the things that I am able to do and not the things I would like to produce. Hopefully, this will change in a few weeks, months, years. But I guess, crafting is always a learning process. There are always new things that you can do, which you have never done before.

Question 3:
Why do I create what I do?

I love making things myself. I love the fact, that I can create a blanket, or a bag, or something decorative out of a ball of yarn and a crochet hook. And I love having unique things, things, that no one else but me has. It really brings a personal touch to your home. It's something special. And it really helps me relax and calm. For example: I came home from work one day last week and I had a really stressful and exhausting day. I was angry. I was grumpy. I was far from being relaxed. So I flunked myself on the couch, grabbed my yarn and hook and started to work on the back side of my granny cushion. And it worked. I produced all the nine squares that I need for the back side and by the time my man came home I was relaxed and happy. 

a scarf I made for my brother - he requested it and never wore it as he claimed it was too big. 

two of my blankets

a bag in the making. turned out it was way too big to wear it to work (that's what I made it for). Now it holds some of my yarn.

And the third reason is to have an outlet for my creativity. I always did something creative. I wrote stories, I did some origami, I painted...but nothing really satifisfied me until I started to crochet again. That's the craft I got stuck at. And I love it.

Question 3:
How does my creating process work?

Oh boy, what a question. Believe me, if you would have knowledge about the ongoings in my head, I would be very happy. Truth is - there is no real process. I see something and then I think "I could make that too." Sometimes I really sit down to do it - sometimes I don't. Last year in autumn I thought about making a nice blanket, just for myself. So I looked around on the internet and searched some blogs for inspiration. And somehow I always got drawn to a ripple blanket. A nice, big, colorful ripple blanket. Something rainbowy and bright. I found a tutorial, I chose the yarn on the interent and just had to wait for my next salary to order the yarn and start the work. I made color charts and graphics to see which color combination would look best for me. And then I rememberd that I saw the larksfoot blanket over at the lovely blog of Mel. (She has the link for the tutorial in her post). So I canceled my yarn order, chose some blues, whites and greys and finally made a completely different blanket than the one I have planned for days and weeks. 

the finished larksfoot blanket. And a picture of my part-time dog Hugo.

That's how my creating process work. It doesn't. There are spontanious decisions, I often let my gut decide. And if you want to know: There's still no ripple blanket in my home. It's still on my to do list and I still have all the yarn that I want to use on my yarn-buying-wish-list. But then I started my Mario blanket. So believe me. You don't want to know how my mind works. It's really confusing.

I'm tagging Helen over at woollybluebells
and Mary at little sweet home in heart

Samstag, 28. Juni 2014


I remember the last sunrise that I've watched. It was in January 2013, I was on the west coast of Australia, travelling from Darwin to Perth in a Campervan (we did that in 4 weeks!), as a part of a four month round-the-world-trip I did with my man and his best friend. (More infos on that trip will follow some other time). I think we made stop in Geraldton. My man and me really wanted to take a surfing lesson. The only instructor we would get hold on was a teacher. It was his first time in the new school year, so we had our lesson at 5:30 in the morning. Which meant we had to get up early and were able to watch our first sunrise in Australia. We watched the sun set every day, but we never managed to watch it rise. I remember that I walked alone to the beach to take it all in. I really concentrated on that moment to be able to remember this sunrise for all my life. And I can. I can smell the sea. I can hear the wind blowing, I can feel the goosebumps the breeze gave me. And I still know how happy and adventurous abd blessed I felt in that moment. 

Right now I'm sitting at the balcony of my parents house, the house where I grew up in. It's in a small village, in the very eastern part of Austria, near the Hungarian border. It's the first day of my holiday. And I just came home. I've been out with my girls. Five women whom I've known since I'm three years old. One of them got baptised on the same day as me. There are baby pictures, showing us together. My best friend is also my cousin.  

Tonight was girls night out. No boyfriends. Just us. It was great! It remindend me of how precious this friendship is, how lucky we are. We have been friends all of our lives. We started kindergarten together. We started school. We helped each other through deaths of siblings, through first loves, breakups, we had most of our "first time" experiences together. And tonight, we partied. Just us five. 

And as I went home, I heard the birds slowely waking up. They're chirping. The sun is rising. I can't remember, when I consciously watched a sunrise in my little village. There are bats flying everywhere. The sky is slowly turning pink. It's really late. Or really early. I'm really tired. But I didn't walk straight home into my bed. I'm sitting here, watching the sunrise. Just because. 

P.S.: no pictures here as the few that I took on my phone before my phone died are of really crappy quality. But I'm sure you've seen the sun rise before. Just insert imaginaty pictures. 

Mittwoch, 25. Juni 2014

beach books, anyone?

I love, love, love books. Books are my favourite thing to buy. I studied German language and literature to be able to work with books one day. One year and three months after my graduation I will finally start a job that has to do with books. Yay. For this job I will also commute by train instead of my car, so that will hopefully give me more time to read. My reading time is very limited right now. I get up. I drive to work. I drive back home. I make dinner for my man, as I am the first one at home. Twice a week I go running. And after dinner we make ourselves comfortable on the couch and watch one or two episodes of Dexter (I just bought the last three seasons, we can't stop watching. It's sooo addictive) and then go to bed. Sometimes I skip the TV, head straight to bed and manage to read a few pages. But I always get tired.

My treat on weekends is to stay in bed, after waking up, to spend an hour or more reading. But since I share my bed with my man - I don't do that either. We only get to have breakfast together on the weekends and so my books get left behind - again.

Long story short - when it comes to books, I am the person to ask for my friends and my family. My best friend is going on a great trip to the USA in two weeks and she asked me, if I could recommend holiday books to her. "Something light. But no chick-lit. Nothing tooo light. No romance novels. You get the idea." And before I was able to start my rambling (as you might have noticed by now - I'm not a friend of few words) she immediately added: "And don't give me a whole list. Two or three books are enough, I will then chose one of them."

So, here are the three books I recommended to her, and, to please her wishes, I will introduce them to you in a very short way.

Number Three:
T.C. Boyle - The women
This book is a biography of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It's divided into three parts, each one dedicated to one of his wives. Love, tragic, comedy, bizarre elements and one of the most amazing ends that I have ever read, which left me with tears in my eyes. And whoever knows me, knows, that it's very hard for a book (or a movie for that matter) to bring me to tears. I bought this book in Paris, read it at the côte d'azur and took it to every holiday ever since.

Number Two:
Harper Lee - To kill a Mockingbird
It's a classic of world literature for a reason. Written from the view of a littel girl and it's so authentic, that you really think that there's a little girl standing in front of you, telling you a wonderful story. A story that you get to see through the eyes of the child. A child who learns that not everyone in this world is nice. That people harm each other, hurt each other and talk bad about each other. It's one of the books that makes you read 'just a few more pages' even though you know you will be tired the next day.

Number one:
Jeffrey Eugenides - Middlesex
Probably the book that I have read the most frequent. Lots of pages, but the language is so beautiful, that it leaves you sad, once it's finished. A book that tells the story of three generations, that draws the bow from Greece to the USA, from poor people to the industrial revolution, from a girl to a boy, from love, to live, to happiness and sadness. My all time favourite book.

Now I know that these are rather short and cryptic book description. But I think it's enough to get your curiosity. I don't like long and detailed summaries. It kind of destroys the whole process of discovering a story, getting to know the characters and really evolve a feeling for the book, the writing, the author. So these are my top three holiday books for you. What are your favourite books? Which books do you love to read on your holidays, at the beach or in the evening in bed? I'm always open for new suggestions. Also let me know if you decided to read one of my three books. Did you like it? What's your opinion? I'm looking forward to your reading experiences!

Servus from Austria,

Montag, 23. Juni 2014

blog hop - the question

Hello, you lovely people out there!

How was your weekend? I hope it was at least as good as mine. Believe it or not - I managed to tackle two points on my to-do-list already. Seems that putting these things up on the internet, for (theoretically) everyone to see, made a positive contribution to my motivation! I went running. Twice. I went for a bike ride. Also twice. One time with my man and the second time alone as I am cycling a little (read that - a lot) faster than he does and it drove me a little insane that I always had to wait for him. The second bike ride brought me - again - to the lake. I live in the vicinity of the lake (lake Neusiedl, by the way! You can read more about it here) for more than one year now, yet somehow I just now realized how beautiful and convenient it is, to have it around. To be honest - it's not the most beautiful lake in the world. It has no crystal clear water. 

As you can see  the water is a greyish-green color. That's because the ground is muddy. And when I say muddy, I mean it. The lake's not deeper than two meters. But if you dare and stop swimming to stand in this yucky, muddy ground, you will sink into this soft and slimy texture almost up to your knees. It takes some training to get used to his. But I always dreamed about living by some sort of water. And until I win the lottery to buy myself a house on the beach -  the lake is the perfect option! 

And the area surrounding it is flat as a pancake and provides the perfect conditions for bike rides.

 I only managed to take one panorama picture of the cycle path as we only made one stop and I didn't dare to take a photo while I was still on my bike. But you can imagine, how beautiful it is to ride in between the lake, wineyards and fields. I can't get enough of it. It's one of the reasons why I can't live in the city anymore. There is no good view.

I also managed to finish the front of my pillowcase/cushion cover. I got the yarn on friday and started to work on it the next day. 

In just one morning I crocheted 9 granny squares, joined them and made a border (with buttonholes, might I add. Something I've done just once before and now I realised - I did it wrong. Should be okay now. I hope). 

I really like the look of it. But I really overestimated my yarn usage. I have enough yarn to make a second pillowcase. Anyone interested? I would make one to custom wishes and sell it. Just contact me, I'd be happy to give it a nice, lovely home! 

Anyway, as the title of my post says, I actually didn't want to write about the lake and my bike. I agreed to take part in a blog hop. Julie from little woollie was looking for some people to take part and I volunteered as I think it's a beautiful way to reach out into this blogging world. I still feel a bit lost here and thought, this might help.

To take part you have to answer four questions regarding your creativity and your creative work. Not that complicated. My post will be published next week. In order to continue this blog hop and spread it all over the world I need to find three people/blogs that I can link in my post and who will answer the questions and tag another three people. You get the idea.

So here's my QUESTION: who wants to take part in this blog hop? I've you're interested just leave me a comment with your e-mail adress and I will forward you all the information you need. It would be nice to get in contact with some of you that way. 

Sunny greetings from Austria! 

Mittwoch, 18. Juni 2014

the pink panther's to do list

looks like this:

(Hands up if you got that theme song stuck in your head now!)

My to-do list looks a little different. As I mentioned before, I am in the middle of changing my job. I will start my new one in August, but still have some holidays left. So the first two weeks in July will be non-working time. I will spend a few days visiting a friend in Hamburg (sooo excited) but the rest of it is reserved for ME! So here is a list (because I love making lists) of the things I want to get done in that time:

1.  Sew
I learnd sewing in school. Which means, I kind of know how to operate a sewing machine. I managed to shorten the curtains for my old appartment. But that only happend because my mother sat beside me the whole time and talked my through that, step by step. But since then I wanted to be able to sew my own clothes. So I hope to find an easy and understandable online tutorial (preferably in german - any suggestions and helping links are more than welcome!!) and finally unpack that sewing machine I got for christmas.

If everything goes as I plan (I want to make a skirt. A skirt can't be that hard. That's my theory), I see a new addictive, appartment-space-needing, storage-place-consuming new hobby (with the potential threat of stockpiling) on the horizon. The man will be thrilled.

2. Run
I work in an office. And in my new job I will be working in an office as well. This means hours and hours of sitting in front of the computer. That's why I started running, back in March. At first, I ran three times a week. Then my knee ached. So I paused. Then I started again, this time just twice a week. Then I was tired after work. It was hot. So there were weeks when there was no running at all. Then once a week. Then again nothing. Yesterday I went for a run after a four week pause. Oh boy. I looked really similar to that pink panther on the top. So, number two on my to-do list: go jogging. At least for 30 minutes, at least two times a week. And because I live in an area that is flat as a pancake: Throw in at least one bike ride. I always feel better and more energetic after I did some sport. Need to keep remind myself of that.

3. Read
When I was at university (I studied German language and literature) I managed to read about a hundred books a year. In 2014, I read 14. So far. That's not enough for me! I need to take more time for reading. A two week holiday is a good time for that. Don't you think? 

Although that's not a temporary resolution. Things will be better in August, when I will commute by train and not by car. 80 minutes solid reading or crocheting time a day. That should do it.

4. Cook
I love to cook. And I recently discovered my love for baking! I got a wonderful cook book for my birthday in March - It's called Vegetarian Austrian. Now, I'm in no way a vegetarian, neither is my extremly carnivorous man. But I need some inspiration vegetable-wise. And the book is wonderful. It's beautifully illustrated, the recipes are organized after the seasons and it also includes some yummy-looking bakery. This will certainly please the man. Maybe he won't see the new balls of wool and the new piles of fabric if I feed him enough sugar.

And last but not least:

5. Crochet
I got my newest order of wool in the mailbox today. And the best part of it: I won't have to pay it! It's the yarn that I need for my first ever commission. Woohoo. Remember the pillow I made for myself? I posted a picture of it on facebook and a friend of mine liked it so much, that she wants one for herself. And who am I to decline such a beautiful wish. She's a crafter herself, so she knows and appreciates how much work goes into a handmade item. I can't wait to start working on those lovely green granny squares. 

The yarn is a cotton/acrylic mix as she wanted it to be very soft and snuggly. I never worked with it before, but the colors look lovely, the texture is really nice and I think it's always interesting to try out new yarns.

From July on, I have 15 days to tick off everything on that to-do list. Things get complicated by the fact that I will spend 6 of these 15 days in Germany with a very lovely friend. No time to sew. No way I will be running there. No time to cook.
Easy is not a word I use very often.

Sonntag, 15. Juni 2014

what a weekend...

...what was supposed to be a relaxing, calm and nice weekend turned out to be quite chaotic and stressful. BUT there was some time spend at my parents house. They have a wonderful garden where I love to spend my time, especially in summertime. Look at the pictures below, you will understand what I'm talking about.

This is the back of the garden. It's not their house on the left, this was the house of my great-grand-aunt (or something like that) and I guess it must be about 100 years old. Nobody lives there anymore, nowadays it's a garage and storage room. In the front of the pictures is the strawberry patch. Not many strawberries are at this time of the year, but I managed to get the probably last ones.

Enough for me and yes, they were as sweet and delicious as they look! 

After picking the strawberries I wanted to relax at the pool and spend some time reading in the sun.

This is probably my favorite part of the garden. I love being around water. It doesn't matter if it's a pool, a pond, a lake or the sea. Water and sun make me happy. But the sun didn't stick around for very long. As soon as I changed into my bikini and made myself comfortable big, grey clouds pushed themselves in front of the sun. 

This was the last patch of blue sky. It didn't stick around for very long. 

And what do you do, if it's too cold to chill outside?

Right - you work on your current project. Now the color combination may look slightly ugly - but it will all work together, once this very biiiig thing is finished. 60 squares done, 195 to go. It will be some kind of pixel blanket. Again an idea that I found somewhere on the internet, again a blanket for my man. Stay tuned for more information. 

Wish you all a lovely sunday! 

Donnerstag, 12. Juni 2014

I'm on Instagram!

You can find me under the name of woolly_bookworm

I'm not quite sure how to handle it though. But the first picture has been taken. Now I just need to get used to take more pictures!

Dienstag, 10. Juni 2014

Just another manic...Tuesday

Hello everyone. 
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend - I sure did! And I'm glad that I had enough time to refuel my batteries. I'm in the middle of changing jobs now. I resigned last week and will start my new work in August. So right now I get up waaaay to early, commute to current work (where I'm alone right now, because my co-worker is on holiday), stay there for nine hours, commute to the new work because they have to show me certain things before I can start and after another hour I commute back home - which takes about another hour. So there's not much going on in my life except working, learning, driving and trying (and failing, by the way) to get enough sleep. Red Bull and the coffee machine are my best friends right now and while I love, love, love coffee I absolutely hate all kinds of energy drinks. Two more weeks, then it's my turn to have some holidays. Can't wait! 

Anyway, besides lying in the grass and enjoying this view: 

(Which is by the way the beautiful lake where I live. Well, not really on the lakeside, but I can go there on my bike in about 15 minutes. Pretty nice, isn't it?) I actually managed to make a little creative project. My best friend is graduating from university next week and I made her a little card. 

I like it. And though I'm a liiiittle fed up with all those owls (how and when did this start, by the way? A few months ago no one cared about owls and now these little buggers are EVERYWHERE! You can't escape them. It's like a crafty version of Hitchcoks's birds!) I chose this design because the owl stands for wisdom and since she will soon have a Master's degree she's officially smart! Clever, eh? 

Freitag, 6. Juni 2014

Summer's here...

...finally, and just in time for the long weekend (there's a holidy on monday in Austria). I'm not much of a winter person. In fact, I hate the sight of snow. It immediately ruins my day. I don't want to see it. I don't wan't to feel it. I don't want to have it anywhere near me. Same goes for temperatures under 20 degrees. There's a reason why I have a big sun-mandala tatooed on my back!

There won't be much crocheting going on because the weather is way too warm to have wool wrapped around my fingers and my man's familiy comes for a visit which will take up most of our weekend time. The only things that I plan for the next three days are lying in the sun, enjoy some reading and eat massive amounts of food. As the temperatures are predicted to top off the 30 degrees border, there will hopefully also be some jumping in water involved. Great things to look forward to!

But as I've learned from reading what feels like thousands of blog post entries, I know that posts are more appreciated if they are accompanied with some pictures. As none of you knows, my man and I just moved into a new appartment three months ago. It was my third move in two years and as you can imagine I was more than ready to have a steady home, some place, where I won't move out of in the foreseeable future. I think we found that place. It's a lovely, rather small appartment, but more than big enough for the two of us. And for the first time in many years I finally have the opportunity to DECORATE! What a coincidence, that I was reading a lot of great blogs at that time which gave me plenty of inspiration.

One of these inspirational ideas was found here. I was able to save the curtains I bought for our last appartment and take them with me to our new home. As I didn't really want to cut them off again (I had to do this before and let me tell you - I can count the times that I operated a sewing machine on my two hands -  I want to work on that though, I got a sewing machine for Christmas which is still untouched in it's original packaging! But more on that another time) I looked for another opportunity to make them look good. I loved Gillians idea to crochet curtain tie-backs. I chose the colors green and yellow as they dominate the kitchen where the curtains hang and also because they are featured in the curtain as well. I used Schachenmayr Catania, a 100% cotton yarn which I absolutely love. It's wonderful to work with and I love the way the cotton feels and looks. I found the pattern for the squares somewhere on the interent. I tried to trace it back so I can link it here but I'm somehow unable to find it anymore.

It was a very quick and easy and therefore also a very satisfying project. As I tend to do projects (i.e. blankets) that take a loooong time to finish, it was really nice to have something whipped up in a few days. And I love them! So glad that my man doesn't care that there is so much crochet around ("look at those nice colors", he said when he saw my lovely tie-backs). He actually loves the blanket I made for him in winter and refuses to let me use it. "Nope. My blanket. Go make your own." Best man in the world.

Mittwoch, 4. Juni 2014

The hand. And a pillow.

My man and I love drama series. We binge-watched Breaking Bad (I recall a sunday where one whole season was watched), we worked our way through Six Feet Under (a bit tedious sometimes, but the finale was worth it!!) and now we are currently in the middle of Dexter. As it was raining most of the weekend we managed to finish season four. Lots of pain, blood, tears, horror and cut-off or split-open body parts. To me, it's fiction. Something on TV. But things are different for my man. He lives the series he's currently watching. He talks about it. He dreams about it. He really works himself up about it. After seeing way too much of the inner workings of psychotic mass murderers for two days, we managed to get outside. We had a little drive through the beautiful, calm Austrian countryside, when I drove over a yellow rubber glove, which was lying in the middle of the road. 
"Why did you do that?", asked my man. 
"Do what? What do you mean?", I replied. 
"Drive over that hand", he said calmly. "It is not nice to drive over a cut-off hand. Somebody might still need it", and proceeded to look out the window. 
Ladies and Gentleman, this man thought it perfectly natural not only to find a human hand on the side of the road but for me to be a little rude just to drive over it. Guess who will be having a break from watching Dexter for a little while! 

But on to less disturbing things. If you look closely, you can see the word 'crochet' on the top left corner. The initial idea behind setting up this blog was to show off my humble crochet creations to people who might be interested in seeing them instead of shoving them in my man's face in a desperate attempt to gain some apprais. ("Nice colors", my man says. "The yarn is really soft!")
So here is what it's all about: I proudly present my first ever granny square cushion cover. After the disaster with my first attempt at creating something out of squares (I just threw away about 100 horrible grannies), I gave the good old granny (my, that sounds awefully wrong) another go. I worked without a tutorial, just crocheted nine squares, crocheted them together, made one big square for the back and squeezed a pillow inside. 

Now, the idea behind this was to use up some leftover yarn I had from a bag I made before. The two left-over balls were used and I had to buy about ten new balls to be able to finish the cushion. I overestimated my yarn-usage though. There are now two balls of yarn left. But look how pretty it is. Nice colors. And the yarn is very soft. Totally worth it! 

Dienstag, 3. Juni 2014

oh boy...

Here I am, writing my first ever blog post...I've been toying with the idea of setting up my own blog for a while now. It all started about a year ago, when I was looking for some crotchet tutorials. I've learned how to crochet back in school and wanted to start again. Ambitious as I am, I wanted to start with a blanket. Last weekend I've thrown away a full bag of granny squares. Ugly, deformed granny squares, made from a very ugly and cheap acrylic yarn. Since then I've improved a lot. I made two blankets, I just started my third and somehow it now felt right, to join this wonderful online community that I've been following passively for the last few months.

So - hello everyone! I'm Emma, nice to meet you!