Renaissance of the Handmade

earlier this year I received an email from the Goethe institute asking if they could have an interview with me on how the handmade gets more and more important and my point of view as a designer. I was flattered and agreed, of course. The Goethe institue is welll known for its quality.
So in february I received the phone call and Stephanie (the author) and I spoke a good quality of time. How I started in the beginning, what I do when not crocheting, how the reactions of people are who see my work, how it feels to sell stuff and so on.
Today the article got published. And you can read it here (it's in german though)

for all who don't speak german, the article tells my story and those of a few other deisgners, most of us people with a job and a hobby they love to share with others. The article also covers some information on DaWanda, the german match to etsy.

All in all it feels great to be featured upon so many other great designers and to read your name in an article.

Edit: blimey, I must be blind or something, you can find the english version here



the whole week was pretty ordinary, working all day and not much crochet. I need to finish a few custom orders but don't feel the inspiration for it. One of these custom orders is a scorpion and to "top it all" I ran out of yarn. Argh.

only three out of six legs done. This scorpion will be walking in a circle with only legs on one side of its body. I already changed the color of its pedipalps in wise prevision, well more out of a feeling that this pink would be way too much for a complete scorpion, but it turned out to be good.

p.s. I miss knitting
p.p.s. I miss sewing as well, haven't sewed in years, it takes a lot more preparations than crochet or knitting do and you can't do it on a couch wathcing tv, but still I miss it. It might be spring coming closer and me wanting to have new dresses and skirts (I have a wonderful red scots checked fabric in my stash I always wanted to make a dress from - maybe, hopefully this summer)



something funny I just found on one of the blogs I read. (Drawn!)

Nicole Mitchell’s Zoologic. The piece took home the gold in this year’s Student Academy Awards, and it’s easy to see why. The misadventures of an overly-controlling zookeeper are a delight to watch.


HOW TO - add new yarn

click on the pictures to see them bigger

there are alot of ways to add a new color or simply a new ball of yarn to your work, a few I will show here.

the simplest will be making a knot.

making a knot is super for adding a new ball of yarn when you run out of the old one. When you make the knot and get close to the point where you will continue with the new color make sure the knot will stay inside your doll (picture 4 of 4 above). So if for example you find yourself in a situation when you might pull the knot through the loops to the front - unravel a few stitches and work them again, only this time work a little tighter. This will give you enough yarn to leave the knot behind your stitches.
When you want to add a new color you get a pretty smooth color break but the areas where you added the new yarn can build some sort of "ladder" to avoid this you can alternate both colors (the new one and the old one) with every stitch. This will create a wavy look and blend better at starting areas. See the picture below to see clearly what I mean, on the left side you can see where the new color started. The crossing fits into the whole wavy character of the new rounds. One example on a doll you can see here: the troll.

Here you can see how to alternate the sitches. Take care to not work too tight. Also it's a little fiddly to knot the new color to the old one. When you finished the round you can either cut the old yarn and secure the end (for example by hiding it inside the next stitches) or let it drop and get back to it later when you want to change the color again on a later stage of your doll.


The next two methods will blend the uneven color change you receive when you don't alternate the stitches. It's also a very good way to start the beginning of clothes or shoes. The direction in which you crochet your doll or your doll parts will decide which method to choose. You can either let the new color cover the old one, like for the shoes in this picture where I crocheted upside down or let the old color cover the new one like pictured here where the shirts blend into trousers.

new color covers the old one: In this case red above green. On the picture below you can see how this can look. I like it better than the next method because it's smoother and you don't risk to work too tight.

Before you can add the new ball of yarn, you need to make a chain. Chain as many stitches as you made in the last round with your old color PLUS one stich. Here I have a tube of 18 stitches around so I made a chain of 19 stitches. Now I put the doll piece back onto my hook (picture 2) and make the next stitches through the chain AND the doll fabric. To have the loopy side facing you, you will need to use the little loop on the backside of your chain (picture 3 and 4). Now start crocheting: push your hook through this "behind" loop [only for the first stitch: start in the second chain from the hook] and through the next stitch of your doll (pic 5), pull the yarn through (pic 6) and finish the (for example) single crochet stitch by pulling the yarn through all remaining loops on your hook (pic 7). From now on you continue like your pattern tells you to (always through chain and doll fabric, pictures 8-10). The arrow in picture 9 shows you the first stitch of the second round.

To blend the beginning simply thread the yarn end onto a darning needle, push it through the loops facing you and into your doll, here you can secure it by making a knot with the yarn end of the old color (pictures 11, 12)

This next method is showing you the other way round: The old color covers the new one: green above pink

This method is a little easier than the method described above, simply because you will not need to start with an extra chain. To prepare the blending effect you decide in which row you want the color break to be. Then you continue with your current yarn by crocheting only into the front loops of your doll farbic (picture 1) for one round and binding this color off. To add the new color you will now only use the back loops. To add the new color: push into the first back loop of your doll fabric and pull up a loop (pic 3). Chain one (pic 4) to secure the loop and make a single crochet into the SAME stitch you just pulled up the first loop through (pic 5). Continue working into the back loops (picture 6) and when you finished the first full round continue a spiral like your pattern tells you to.

In this example I made slip stitches to receive the same blending effect as in the method described above. When you make single crochet stitches instead you can easily turn this method into a way to add the brim of throusers or the end of a shirt to your doll. Keep in mind here to increase stitches in the next rounds with your "old" yarn, the shirt color, to keep it from being too tight, or to decrease a few stitches in the next rounds with your new yarn, the fabric or body color below your shirt to prevent the same "too tight" effect.


big foot

it seems like I only made feet this week, girly feet, manly feet and froggy feet. The froggy feet belong to Simon and are alot bigger than I intended them to be, they are smaller than the ones of Wagner, but alot too big for this little frog prince, which I kind of like.
When I first made a frog prince about two years ago I knew I was going to make a smaller version one day. So when this smaller version is the new frog prince, good old Wagner must be the frog king, right?

Anyway, I'm also preparing the first of the new tutorials that I plan at the moment, it will contain several ways to add a new color or a new yarn to your amigurumi, so stay tuned ;o)



all by himself


aaand brown shoes, manly, at first I felt they were a bit too small but the proportion are all right, they seem small when compared with the female feet, but the proportions are allright, well I guess it's just me


I will walk on these red shoes

yepp, how do you like them? These feet belong to one of my "bald heads" don't worry they both will have hair soon. I just couldn't find the time lately to get back to the work I love because the work that pays my bills is really taking all my strength (it's gotton really tough there and I already started searching for a new job, but the job situation isn't that easy which doesn't make working alot easier, you know when you know that all you start will never be finished because you will leave soon and you can't tell your boss, because a) he won't listen and b) you can't say goodbye before you're about to actually leave)

anyway, when I do find some time to crochet I make feet with shoes, like the one above. And making these made me get a biiiig step closer to the pattern I want to publish for a long time now. I have had the pattern tested by two lovely crocheters last november and all I needed to do was making one or two more dolls to be able to add some pictures. And now that I also make a boy I got aware of the fact that this pattern would only contain "girl" feet. The pattern will include basic instructions for my fairies, which you of course easily can turn into human dolls. Their cute behinds will suit both genders, the one thing bothering me: boy feet missing! Well that's not much of an issue, troll feet can make manly feet, a little tweaking and testing and the pattern will have feet for everybody


it's shrinking OR how to finish a rug

it looked so much smaller after I glued the excess fabric to the backsides of the rug!

But I get used to it and now I'll show you what I have done. (I made a google search for some information but all I could find was kits and other people asking the very same question or how to make it into a pillow, which is a nice idea as well)

anyway, I started by trimming all excess farbic to about 3 cm width.
Then I folded and pressed this fabric to the inside and glued it to the rug surface. I also made some cuts into the fabric to avoid thick folding lines.

Then I needed to decide wether to first add the silicone to make it slip proof or to secure the edge by sewing on some faric tape.
I went for the silicone first, I thought it will not only make it slip proof but also add some stability to the single knots by "glueing" them.
After this was dry (and it smelled alot!!! so I recommend to do it on a balcony or a backyard. I only had my kitchen and an open window and the result was I felt a little dizzy) I added another layer to the center or rather some single dots.

And the final finish is the fabric tape which I first glued to the edge of the rug (pinning didn't work since the rug was too thick) and sewed into place afterwards.


press the pictures to enlarge them


and suddenly it was done

well not completely but the knotting is finished, tata:

yesterday evening I was watching tv and knotted and out of the blue I didn't do anymore colorwork and *snap* the last eight creme colored knots - done! All in all it took me about two weeks which I think is pretty darn good. So this afternoon I will visit my LYS and ask for further advice with finishing this beauty, I know I will need some sort of tape or something like that to secure the edges and to finish it completely I then will paint the floor side with silicone rubber (which I bought ages ago to make slip proof house socks) to make it (you name it) slip proof. This will lay in front of my bath tub and I don't want to slip someday because I missed this step of finishing.

please excuse the bad picture, I made it with my web cam


I'm too old for this

I will turn 30 this summer but right now I know I'm getting old. Why? ebay. That's why.
I feel exhausted. I forbade my dad to bid on ebay himself (I know he will spend all his money there - Hi Dad) so I need to bid for him whenever he sees something he wants. At 20 minues to 7 pm dad calles:

"Do you have your computer on?"


- smalltalk -

4 minutes to go

- smalltalk -

1 minute to go I enter the first bid - yeah we're first
40 seconds - we're first
20 seconds - uhoh someone starts bidding, we're still first
10 seconds - only 50 cents to our bid, I try to raise our bid, dad still talking

"oh, someone bid, is that you?"

hectic me "no, em, wait, no"

auction ended, I'm sure we lost, I could not raise the bid

"you won, cool"

"no, I couldn't raise"

"you won, it's your name there"

"why do you think it's me?" (auctions are anonymous)

"110 stars, that's you"

I press F5, suprise!

"oh, we DID win, strange"

so we won, with only 4 cents tight. Cool, but I'm exhausted and I feel old.

hooking again

not crochet but latch hooking

the batch rug I started about 5 weeks ago grows again, yesterday I spend the day on the couch with a big pillow on my lap and the rug on top. The darker blue is very dark indeed, I'm glad I started with the peak one, I could see a lot better what I was doing and now I can profit from this and instead of tweaking my "pattern" again I simply made a foto of the back of the first half and now use this as my "pattern".

and now I make my way back to the couch with some chocolate ice cream topped with a few cherries - the weather is very "beachy" (rain and mist and cold, typical spring day)


happy friday


this week has been a rough one and I only managed to stuff stuffing into the arms I made last weekend. Not even had the time to take a picture


cherry pie, apple kisses

everything was cool! (citation of good love from Prince)

I'm back from my weekend in Berlin and I had a blast! I met with some other Prince-Fans and we spent the whole time laughing and talking about music in general and Prince in particular and I didn't even get to sleep, so I'm still a bit tired even if I got to bed pretty early yesterday.

The cool weekend started out fantastic too! On the train I started crocheting some arms for the bald heads when I heard someone breath behind me, slowly but steady, inhaling and exhaling. I thought the person behind me might have fallen asleep and fell over to the front now leaning to the chair next to me and I felt a little shy to turn around and look into the open mouth of a sleeping stranger. But the breathing continued and I finally turned around. There was a little girl watching me crochet. As soon as she knew I knew she jumped around and I started showing and explaning what I did. The rest of the ride Anne (that was her name) and me were crocheting together, she is a little natural talent: her first try looked a bit like breaking fingers but turned out great. Anne learned weaving at school and now she makes a rug for her doll house, next thing she plans is learn how to crochet and make dolls.

And today I recieved an email, subject: Glubschi & Picker (round eyed & pecker)
included was this cute picture

The story of . . .
Round Eyed and Pecker
1: peck
2: glance
3: perspiring feet
4: faint