an early happy new year!

tomorrow morning I'll start to move to Berlin, today I spent packing and cleaning out and I will be glad when everything will be in its place again.

I only come by to wish you all a super great start into the new year!!!

I hope to be online soon again but don't really know when this might be (the telephone company was a bit imprecise in giving me a real date)

see you in the new year - have a good start!


december post

oh boy, I admit it I lost this place for a few weeks but to defend myself I'm pretty surprised how much there is to do when you're moving into a new city, seeing friends, organizing the moving, checking dates with the old and the new flat, sleeping all day ;)

I didn't knit much, I started a new pair of gaiters but am only half way through so there's not much to see yet and I don't have a picture.

I found myself in a very typical situation for any knitter but weird situation for anybody else: last week at the sport studio when finshed and dressing again there was a lady with a super cool pair of tights and guess what I loved the pattern so much I asked if I could take a picture with my mobile (I didn't ask where she bought them or started with a compliment, nope I asked right away if I could take a picture of her leg). The tights were store bought but the pattern seems easy to be re-knit. And she let me take a picture! woo-hoo! here's a peak:

love the butterfly like stitch

I also taught crochet, which was very funny on one hand and very interesting on the other, I loved how my friend made one funny face after the other when trying a new stitch or finding herself in a tricky situation. She refused to let me take a picture of her or her work (which I can understand somehow but find very sad) but here's a pic of my dorsal fin of Chubby showing her how to make hers:

I also saw a lot of friends the last weeks and went to a super cool party last weekend - 4 days in Hannover, the last three of them partying with 20 other Prince Fans. I could give my Prince Cap to its new proud owner and laughed a lot, met new friends and old ones, Hello Mr Dieter =^__^= and enjoyed the days very very much, can't wait for the next party to come ....

in case I shouldn't post again before the holidays: have a wonderful time, spend it wisely, enjoy yourself, don't eat toooo much, but as much as you can, maybe there is snow where you are then make snow men or snow angels - have fun and happy Holidays!!!

xoxo, Diana


too fluffy

it's the first of december and I made a cake, a classic marble cake, one with sour cream in it that should make it fluffilier and it is so fluffy my cake pan ate the cake:


what I miss

I need to post one more time today cause I just came across the blog of an artist living in france (Chhuy-Ing IA) that made me aware of how much I miss drawing!!! Her art is awesome have a look.

when browsing through her work I came across her life drawings and these reminded me of old times when I used to draw every day - I miss!!

some little knits

during the last three weeks I didn't knit much but it's enough to show you three finished objects. First I made gaiters for myself. I love to wear gaiters in winter season over my shoes/tights - they keep my feet warm, they look tight and they can hide an extra pair of socks underneath when it's really really cold. This is the first pair that I knitted and I made a little mistake with these: I made them fit my foot not my foot wearing a shoe. Nevertheless I really like them and wear them and know what to change when making my next pair.

I also made cuffs for a friend. She wanted black ones, a bit lacey and what I came up with are these beauties. I added a bit of shaping to make them tighter at the wrist and I added short rows to make the upper part a bit longer than the palm side.

And you might remember my Prince cap for another friend. I know he will love it, cause I do! After knitting it in 2 days it took me quite a while to sew in the ends and sew the facing to the inside of the hat.


sie ist ein Model

wow it's been weeks since my last post, sorry about that, but I have found a new flat in Berlin, I had a cold and I knitted a little bit, not much but enough to post about that tomorrow. Today I want to show you a few pics of my first experience as a model. On 29th of october my sport studio had a feast to celebrate fall and asked me if I wanted to participate as a model - me? was my first thought - I don't see myself as a model, not at all, but I enjoyed the evening alot. Heike Wintzer of Herbstzeitlose hosted the catwalk with some of the clothes she sells which is mostly designer wear. So here are a few impressions from the show:

and this is my favorite picture; I like how happy I look


first snow = big fun

today we had the first snow !!! this morning it was only cold and grey but now it's cold and white :o)
when I got home from work there were a couple of little boys on my train - at every stop they ran out of the train and made snow balls and ran back into the train until the next stop, soon they realized they might bother the other passengers (they were not I found it very funny) and so they started to ask every single person on the train: "are you annoyed?" most just smiled and denied and the boys were laughing! Hilarious - I had a big fat smile on my face leaving the train.

Now I'm torn between the need to make snow angels and my cozy couch . . .

xoxo, Diana



but it's all so exciting

everything is official now and I finally can tell you what's been happening here in the last months or what will happen in the next few weeks: I will move to Berlin! happy
why? because my new job is there! happy I quit from my job happy
It's all so exciting now, a new job, a new city, a new neighbourhood, new friends, new sky, a new flat to decorate, everything is sooo exciting. happy and it's a bit frightening too, leaving behind friends and my flat which I lived in for 10 years, will everything turn out good?

but all in all the last two weeks have been the happiest of the year! I have been grinning and singing and dancing and laughing happy


xoxo, Diana



starting this cap I only knew the head circumference of the recipient and my gauge and after a first try, where I casted on for the exact head circumference I ripped out made a 'second' hat with a negetive ease of about an inch / 2 cm. And so it happend I casted on 144 stitches which (lucky me) is divided by six easily. See the beautiful outcome of the decreases? I like!

p.s. I like that much, I spent a few minutes thinking I might keep the hat, even though I would never where a black hat nor one with a symbol on front, no matter how big of a fan I am


black is not nice!

I actually wanted to name this post: "the inside of a hat" but now that I knitted already more than just the facing and got to knit more with the black yarn that's making the actual hat I only find that knitting with black yarn is not nice, you don't really see what you are doing! I'm glad I only knit stockinette otherwise I might have frogged it already. The yarn is merino and knits awesome, but I didn't expect it differently =^__^=

btw. This is going to be a Prince hat for a friend of mine, a few days ago I found this cap on craft magazine and this friend of mine was screaming that he wants one - in black with a golden symbol! I don't really use the pattern in the link above, I use a thinner yarn and of course thinner needles, I refinded the symbol chart (I found the original looked a bit . . . well unbalanced) and I'll make a sewn shut facing (techknitter made a wonderful tutorial about this one).

In case you wonder about my snailigan - it grows, I finished the second sleeve and although I only increased a total of 6 more stitches, it fits a lot better. Now I'm about to frog (aka rip out) the first sleeve and worry about pilling and of course re-knit the first sleeve.


ooh, and don't forget to get your copy of Betty Bat,
it's only free for one more day


merino heaven

on wednesday I had a day off and the took the opportunity to make a trip to hamburgs yarn factory (Hamburger Wollfabrik). I wanted to buy a few yarns and colors to make some winter hats and mittens and also some gaiters to warm my feet. And beeing there I sort of forgot that yarn is money too and was like: "200g of that color, and 200g of that one over there - oooh that color is cute, it will match perfectly with this yarn. I'll take 400 g." - - all in all I came home with more that 2.5 kg!!!


Betty Bat - Pattern

and there it is, my little special something for this years Halloween:

Betty Bat

This pattern can be made within 3 hours, so be quick and tell everyone you think might be interested! Betty spreads 13 cm or about 5 inches when made with yarn that requires a 3.5 mm hook. You will also need 12 mm safety eyes, have a look at the 'how to paint safety eyes' tutorial here.

Hope you enjoy this little pattern and maybe you can send me a few pics of your finished Betty Bats.

and last but not least: The link to download
download now

sadly the week is over, but you can still get your copy of Betty Bat

USD 3.50
add to cart --- show cart


announcing a booo!

it's still a secret but I am sure you will like it.
From october 13th 'til october 21st you can download my little halloween sepcial here for free!
It will match you're halloween decoration extremely well and you've seen it on this blog before. You can crochet it and it will take you only a few hours to make it.
so check it out.




How to amigurumi - neat bind off

it's been about time to make a new tutorial and this time it's about binding off, we already know how to start an amigurumi and how to add new colors or how to shape.

I will divide this post into two parts: first how to bind off open ends / open body parts, like arms or details like eyes and the second part will be on how to close the final hole of a doll.

bind off open ends:

when crocheting in spirals or in other words without joining every round and making a single crochet to reach the level for the next row there is a little "bump" at the very end of the row.

But this "bumpiness" can be hidden very easily. To hide the last stitch at "open" body parts such as ears or maybe arms and legs, and snouts that you often can find in one of my patterns you use a simple trick: a slip stitch that will not be drawn closed but sewn closed.

To end a row this way you make a slip stitch after you've made the last stitch that's required by the pattern.

Now pull the yarn through the slip stitch but don't pull the slip stitch tight yet, just cut the yarn (often it's good to cut it long enough so you can sew on the body part to the doll you just made) and thread the yarn end onto a darning needle. Now I "seam" the yarn end:

- insert the needle into the next stitch from the outside to the inside of your body part

- don't pull tight

- now lead the needle through the back loop of your slip stitch (from below up) and pull through

- pull the yarn end a little

- and now insert the needle into the stitch you used in the first step but this time from inside out

- pull the yarn tight (but don't too tight)

and that's it!

the slip stitch blends into the main fabric very smoothly and can't be recognized very easily.

binding off / closing final holes:

to close the final hole of a doll I use a slip stitch bind off as decribed above and add a few more steps:

- I use the yarn end to pull all the remaining stitches "inside" or better I force them to face each other: use the yarn and needle and insert the needle from the inside to the outside of every stitch around. This makes the stitches face each other and also helps securing the yarn end.

- an additional step is to thread your needle through the seam you just made to pull the hole of the doll closed completely:


a general tip for securing yarn ends is to hide them inside your doll and secure them / knot them with other yarn ends.
I often use facing yarn ends to knot with each other (such as eyes) and hide both the knot and the yarn ends themselves inside the doll.


to frog or not to frog

what a question. I'm thinking about frogging my first sleeve. It turned out tight, not too tight just a bit tight. It still gives in a lot and doesn't feel tight or anything I just don't feel very comfortable with how it looks when worn. I mean you can see the spaces between the knit stitches and that sort of bothers me.

I think I will start the second sleeve now and give it a few extra increases and than will check which I like better.

p.s. on sunday I will post a new amigurumi tutorial on how to bind off neatly. And I also plan a little Halloween special, so stay tuned =^__^=


snailigan & more Backnang

above you can see what I brought home from Backnang, as you can see I didn't buy yarn, I bought buttons and I needed to be very very strong because at one stand there where knitting books there as well. Patterns and books are my kryptonite!

and below my progress on the snailigan. I almost finished the back, both front parts and one sleeve. All end below the underarm, because I now plan to knit my cardigan just like the tangled yoke cardigan from Eunny Jang. While sitting on the train home from Backnang Cleo suggested to add some tiny snails all around (where the tangled yoke cardigan has its celtic design) and I really like the idea although designing another snail that's even smaller than both other ones is a little tricky.

and last but not least I served myself some birthday style food today: sushi - nom, nom, nom


quick notion

I have so much to tell and show you I don't know where to start. First of all, thanks to all of you who sent me birthday wishes, thanks for the emails, the short messages or calls and ecards!

hugs'n'kisses (100)

looks like ravelry? reminds me of something, the meeting in Backnang was awesome! I met so many nice people there and to finally add some faces to names is great too. When I signed in to the site today I found over 40 new messages, new friends, more birthday wishes and comments on my Sylvi Cardigan, (I needed to turn my back to people that often it surprised me that there still where people who didn't see it before, got plenty of compliments *blush*) I also got oohs and aaahs on the snailigan, which I will show you later.

When returning from Backnang a hardcore week of work was waiting for me; observing an experiment from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. resulted in no online time (which explains why I couldn't write this post until now), lack of sleep, and some knitting time between the single parts of the experiment. All in all my Snailigan grew quite abit. Writing this I realize how tired I am, so I will go to bed early today and tomorrow I can show you the progress on my Snailigan. (btw. I finally got the yarn and needles I've been waiting for so patiently)

For now I will leave you with some impressions from Backnang. When I arrived in the hotel there were two people knitting and then coming to the "Bürgerhaus" (the meeting place) there were knitters knittng everywhere, what a view!


what a difference a day makes

or rather nine hours on the train on monday or (as it might seem to you) a few days more. On these nine hours on the train I made real good progress on my snailigan: I almost finsihed the whole colorwork snail pattern, only two rows of the snails tentacles are left.

the rest of the week was filled with congress sessions and too many speakers who spoke real bad english, I mean I don't blame anybody for not speaking a second language properly, but sometimes my ears just can't take any more bad grammar and mispronounciations. Anyway the congress is history and tomorrow morning I'm going to Backnang. Enjoy your weekend as well, as I'm sure I will =^__^=


pretty backside

not mine, well it's nice =^_^= but not as nice as this:

I casted on the snailigan, as I tend to call it for now, my snail cardigan. I didn't plan to cast on but I don't have the needles that I still wait for yet and also I didn't want to carry around a project that needs much attention when traveling the next 8 days. But since the yarn for my Liesl didn't approach my door as well and I needed something to knit while beeing on the road I freed my (not yet finished) acorn scarf from its needles and started a new project. What I really admire is how my purling looks now and that I really got used to throw yarn, at the beginning that was what irritated me most but it feels quite natural now. And before you ask what the front side looks like:

have a wonderful week. I start my trip in munich tomorrow and go to Backnang on saturday for the big ravelry meeting - really looking forward this one.


a dark cloud on the horizon?

I really hope not. I was just thinking and wondering if maybe, only maybe knitting something with snails might be the reason why I'm still waiting for my new knitting needles to arrive. I ordered them at the 21st last month and they were supposed to be shipped the very next day so I believe they already should be here - but they are not. Snails? Really snaily snail mail? ugh.
I'm also waiting for new yarn to arrive, I plan to knit a new Liesl on my train rides next week (going to a congress in munich and spending the following weekend at the first german raveler meeting, so excited!), I love that pattern and started one when my Sylvi was blocking but I used an acrylic yarn that would not handle the lacy pattern at all and so I put it away, I must show you a pic though (I still haven't frog that one) cause I think I never mentioned it here before. In case you like to know the colorway I ordered even before I get to see them: I'm waiting for a 100 % merino 10 ply to arrive. Same yarn I used for my Sylvi (it wears great, no pilling wonderful touch to the skin) and you can choose from app. 200 solid colors and even create your own yarn when mixing some solid strands into a thicker yarn. I mixed the ones below to create a warm reddish tone and a cooler green, so that makes two Liesls for me =^__^=

(I think I choose the upper red/yellow combination, because the one in the middle didn't had the yellow available at the moment, but both look pretty, hope they do too when they arrive here)

Oh and before I forget, a picture of my snail swatch blocked and dry, it's pretty huge but I'm glad it turned out a good size so I won't need to re-chart anything to fit my cardi design.


the biggest swatch I've ever made

thanks for your input on my dilemma which design to choose. Seems like nearly everybody agrees on the middle one. I like that one too, so I will knit it =^__^=

Also I made a swatch, the third one actually, but this time I included colorwork. I knitted both bigger snail versions and right now I tend to the smaller shell (the one on the left). This snail looks a lot more elegant.

The swatch is still unwashed and even though I improved my color-knitting extremely while making it you still can see the different tensions between some stitches, I hope this evens out when the swatch is dryed.

If you look at the back of the swatch you see I used a method that weaves in the yarn while you knit it this way there's nothing to tangle. I really like the outcome and used a method that is described here. At first I had problems knitting the wrong side but I needed to find out how to purl it since I won't knit the cardigan in the round - but once I found out how to do it it was quite easy and came pretty naturally.


which one should I choose?

Help please. I'm totally confused and get more and more confused the longer I try to think about this one. I said I was thinking about snails last time because of some gorgeous mittens. Well these snails circled my thoughts the whole day and this makes me think I will knit a snaily cardigan!

But now I have a problem, a serious one, one that's so typical for me, which version of my ideas shall I use? First the snails themselves. I created a smaller snail just like in the mittens (it's not the original pattern since I don't have the book they are in but I think I made a pretty good job in recharting them, even though I made some "error" in the neck area, but that doesn't bother me much) and then I charted a bigger version of the snail to go with the smaller one - and there is my problem, I don't know which bigger snail to use. They are only slightly different, I only made a little change to the shell but it's visible clearly. Which one do you like better? the left or the right one?

And then there is the arrangement on the back. I started with the idea on the left: all snail facing the outside of the cardigan. But then I thought why not make them face the center? and it makes a completely different effect, especially on graph paper. The outside facing verion looks alot wider whereas the center facing version seemed to create a thinner looking garment. And to make my confusion complete I made the snails face each other, looks good too! What I was surprised of was that the huge effect that there was on graph paper melted alot when I put the snails into a cardigan sketch to give me a clearer idea of what I was going to do. You see - confusion everywhere. Which would you make?

jus a side note: is it fair isle if it's working with 2 colors only and doesn't use the typical geometric repetitive style


creating something new

is difficult.

I mentioned that I plan a new cardigan for myself. I got inspired when I saw an old episode of gilmore girls and Lorelai wearing a simple blue cardi that was tied up in the front instead of using a button. It had 3/4 sleeves - and that was what caught my attention - 3/4 sleeves are perfect for summer and it still doesn't seem like turning winter very soon so I figured I could need a new summer cardigan.

On first instinct I only knew 3/4 sleeves, simple button, low cleavage, not that low though (I have one storebought cardigan that my boobs always fall out off, and it's pretty annoying to always check the fit of your wardrobe)

Planing began - what would I like more than just 3/4 sleeves? something simple, a quick knit, maybe a bit lacy but still looking like stockinette at first glance and adding some embroidery after I finished, maybe some flowers or something similar. I started swatching but didn't like the base stitch I choose and thought why not stockinette? just because it's boring? no!, I'm a better kniter meanwhile, I will not stop a project just because the stitch doesn't keep my attention alive (like I used to when I was 15 years old) - mmmh, what else? maybe an interesting stitch inbetween? some cables? some lace columns? and I started thinking about adding a second color, a yellow, because blue and yellow go well together, so I thought striping, but making colored sketches made me see, that this is not what I want. I jumped into ravelry looking for ideas and came across fair isle - why not fair isle?

And there I am at the moment planing a fair isle cardigan, I still don't want the whole project to be fair isle, cause I know I'm still not that good of a knitter (something this big - especially with 3 mm needles - will stop me at some point). Right now I plan a fair isle waistband and maybe some snails that border it above. I always loved the snails you can find at the Norwegian Snail Mittens by Adrian Bizilia (both ravelry links) but knew I wouldn't actually make or wear them, but in a cardigan? I definitely would.

So far my plan until today, lets see what my mind works like when I receive the new sets of needle I ordered two days ago . . .


like snow - a FO

in the last post I mentioned I finished the snow-white seahorse, well I did and here it is.

it came out great - greater than I expected when I started. It's a custom order and the wish was for white, I wanted to try a pale cream but of course the customers wish is my command =^__^=
All the way while crocheting it I was frightened I might dirty it, white is such a delicate color! (although I never dirtied any of my dolls, this one scared me in some way). Another thing I spent alot of time thinking about and trying out stuff were the eyes. I normally use a snowy white for the background of the pupil to create a nice eye but with a white seahorse? how would I make the eyes sort of pop out? In the end I choose a brown instead of a black for the pupil, which made the eyes softer and a cream to blend into the white of the seahorse itself. All in all I really like the outcome. Hope the customer does too!


only to show you I'm still here post

do you remember this?

Ana asked me about the pattern for it, so here you go:


1 - make a double ring with 5 sc
2 - m2, sc4
3 - sc1, m2, sc4
4 - sc1, m2 x2, sc2, sc2tog
5 - sc2, m2, sc5
6 - sc3, m2 x2, sc3, sc2tog (from now on the decreases will always cross the first stitch of the new/next round, don't worry, just start the new round after the decrease like nothing happend)
7 - sc3, m2, sc6
8 - sc4, m2 x2, sc4, sc2tog
9 - sc4, m2, sc7
10 - sc5, m2 x2, sc5, sc2tog
11 - sc5, m2, sc8
12 - sc6, m2 x2, sc6, sc2tog
13 - sc6, m2, sc9
14 - sc7, m2 x2, sc7, sc2tog
15 - sc7, m2, sc10
16 - sc8, m2 x2, sc8, sc2tog
17 - sc8, m2, sc11
(with a 3,5 mm hook my horn was about 6,5 cm long, there is a rhythm after row 8 that you can easily recognize and that allows you to elongate and enlarge the horn as wide as you like)

you might remember this beginning of a seahorse as well. I finally finished it, yay! pictures will follow in the next days.

I also started thinking about a new cardigan. I choose the blue silk/wool blend pictured here. I was first thinking about the golden yellow but prefer the blue now. It's a single ply and winding it into a ball I immediately saw it's not a good yarn to frog which means I cannot allow myself alot of trial and error with this cardigan. The issue is I only know that I want 3/4 sleeves and buttons. I want a back motif similar to Sylvie, but of course not Sylvie. And I have no idea about the cleavage - do I want one? a turtle neck? a low neckline? noooo idea!


before I forget, it would be cool to see what you make of the horn pattern, as I mentioned before I can imagine it in alot of different purposes like alien feet, bird beeks, tails?


fighting heat with lemons

The last days have been incredibly hot and what did I do? standing in the heat of the kitchen baking a cake: a lemon cake
this is a very typical yet easy german cake aka kuchen

original recipe

and in english for all my internatinal friends

350 g butter
350 g sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
6 medium sized eggs
350 g all pupose flour
3 tsp baking powder
zest of two lemons

for the frosting:
250 g icing sugar
as much lemon juice as you need to make it smooth, texture shoud be like honey

how to:
mix soft butter and sugar until well blended, add eggs one by one and also zest of lemons.
in another bowl mix flour and baking powder and then mix with butter/sugar to make a soft dough.
spread onto baking sheet and bake at 180°C for 20 to 30 mins
in the meantime: mix icing sugar and lemon juice, spread onto finished cake.
set aside to let cool, enjoy!

I also read like mad in the last 10 days. couldn't put away Trudi Canavans BLACK MAGICIAN TRILOGY. The story itself was not very surprising, I actually got a bit angry in the middle of the second book because of one magician totally changing its personality. But it's all very well written, I wanted to know what happened and read more than 1.500 pages in a few days (I don't remember anytime I have read that much). I'm still a bit sad at how the story ended and that it ended although I finished reading on friday afternoon so I think all in all it's been a very good read (and it came in very handy that I had all book of the trilogy at hand - what's worse than a story you need to wait for more than a year to know how it continues? I don't want to be reminded of my Harry Potter time here =^__^=)

Hope you enjoyed the weekend and will have a good start into the new week too!


about flowers and butterflies

I visited my home town on tuesday, picked up my brother and we both went to see the current garden exhibition. The exhibition area is huge and the organisators planed it very well, surrounding our beautiful castle. The castle was first built in 1160 and now presents its full beauty again after several years of restoration. It's been a great day with lots and lots of ladybugs, butterflies, flowers and castle pictures, but have a look yourself:

(click on the pictures to see them bigger)

in case you'ld like to see a few more pictures