exploring

pretty place

August 17, 2016

IMG_4241A couple of friends of mine and I went to visit Pretty Place last weekend. This place has been on my must-visit list since the first time I heard about it last spring. I’m so happy I got to see this magical place on my last weekend in Greenville, SC. My last work day is on Friday, and then I’ll travel through the Deep South before returning to good old Germany.

IMG_4256Pretty Place is the name of a well-known chapel on top of the mountains in the upstate South Carolina. The chapel’s proper name is Fred W. Symmes Chapel but it is better known as Pretty Place. And oh my does this place do its name justice!

From the outside it looks like a small, uninteresting building but when you enter you walk down a couple of stairs and you’re rewarded with the most beautiful view in South Carolina.

Pretty PlaceIt was a rather foggy morning when we went but it was breathtaking nonetheless. Even more so, ten minutes after we arrived the few other people up there left and we had this beautiful place to ourselves. I’m sure we would have shared this experience with more people if the weather had been better. So yay for foggy mornings that scare the tourists away 😉

Pretty Place IIIThis is probably the best timer photo I ever took with my cell phone. I love it!

If you ever find yourself in the Upstate of South Carolina, this is one of the must-see places. Oh I’m gonna miss living just a short drive away from South Carolina’s beautiful mountains!

exploring

New York, New York // Day 2

July 22, 2016

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We started the second day of our New York, New York adventure off with a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.This was probably the most touristy thing we did during the whole trip, but pretty amazing nontheless. The architecture of the bridge is stunning, you have great views on both the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn skyline, and there is little distraction from cars/ traffic as the car lanes are a level below the pedestrian one.

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However, there were quite a lot of bicyclists. And by bicyclists I mean a lot of tourists who probably never rode a bike before and almost hit you with their ridiculous looking cruiser bikes. But hey, we survived and even got to take a bunch of touristy shots with a perfect puffy-cloud sky 😉

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We spent the rest of the day in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is very cute and relaxing compared to the hectic crowds in Manhattan. Isn’t this tiny version of the Brooklyn Bridge the cutest? Small details like this make me really appreciate and love places.

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Brooklyn also has adorable coffee shops. After walking in the heat for 1.5 hours we went to the Brooklyn Pharmacy & Soda Fountain (supposedly one of the top 10 restaurants in the US. Hah!), a very cute coffee shop with a very vintage feel, a-m-a-z-i-n-g donuts and lots of sparkling drinks. Of course I had my travel knitting (a pair of vanilla socks made from scraps) with me.

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The next stop was the Brooklyn General Store. This store has the perfect mix of a great, high-quality yarn selection, a neat selection of quilting cottons and apparel fabric, as well as a bunch of little tidbits that you don’t need but definitely want.

IMG_3240Just look at this yummy selection of yarn… swoon! I bought some chambray fabric for a top, some cotton + steel fabrics for a tote (or a couple of project bags?), and tosh merino light yarn for a sweater. If you’re ever in NYC and for some unimaginable reason you only get to visit one yarn store, go to Brooklyn General!

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Next up was Argyle, yet another cute yarn store in Brooklyn. See the tiny narwhale in my pocket? He accompanied us on our New York adventure :)

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45,000 steps later, it was time to fly back to South Carolina. My suitcase was full of fabrics and yarn, my belly was filled with bagels and donuts, and my head was filled to the brim with new project ideas and memories.

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Last but not least, a blurry shot of NYC at night. Flying out of LaGuardia was fun – do you see the One World Trade Center at the tip of Manhattan? And the brightly illuminated Times Square area? And of course Central Park.

Exploring New York with a crafty friend was amazing and a very different experience from the regular touristy stuff I did in the past. However, I have to admit I was quite happy to be back in South Carolina – without all the traffic, the crowds of people and the $5 cups of coffee. I’m a small town girl after all :)

exploring

New York, New York // Day 1

July 18, 2016

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Last month (I know, I know…) I flew up to NYC to meet my good friend Sam for a weekend filled with fabric shopping, awesome food, long conversations and interesting experiences in subway stations. My suitcase was filled with comfy sneakers, a lightweight travel knitting project and an interesting book (‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert but it deserves a separate post).

IMG_3047 Sam got a good deal for us in a hotel room right in the Financial District in walking distance to Ground Zero, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Trump building (unintentional! But let’s not get political otherwise this will be a long and vicious post). Our hotel was awesome and had a good breakfast (very important! And no bed bugs!). The only downside was that our room was on the 29th floor. I took the stairs once. Despite my reservation towards elevators I have to admit I was thankful they existed.

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On Saturday morning we walked to Ground Zero. On our way there we explored a very cute church that had a pretty awesome door handle. I think I need a beard-grabber like this for my apartment door, hehe.

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The church step had a very majestical aura. I stood on the same spot where Queen Elizabeth II stood almost 40 years ago. And let’s not downplay that Prince Philip stood nearby!

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Ground Zero was exactly as expected: impressive, peaceful and painful. This was also the only time during the entire trip where I wished I had taken my DSLR. A cell phone camera simply cannot do it justice.

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After an interesting (yet slightly disturbing) experience at a metro station we walked from the Times Square to the Garment District. We also explored Grand Central Terminal. The building was gorgeous, the architecture impressive but the restrooms were a little disappointing 😉

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On to the Garment District. So where do I start? We probably visited around 30 fabric stores that day. Everything from neat, well-organized shops over spandex world to the most chaotic basement stores you can imagine.

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Needless to say, we loved every single one! Spandex world broadened my horizon a lot – who would have thought that there are spandex fabrics with fried eggs, hotdogs, and kittens in bathing suits motives? I’m pretty sure this is where Stephen West buys fabrics for his outfits 😉IMG_3089

Next stop was Mood. Mood is probably the biggest fabric store I have ever seen. It is h-u-g-e. Overwhelming! I could’ve spent days in this store. The picture above shows a part of the leather section. I think that gives you an idea how big the entire store is, considering most fabric shops only have a small bin filled with leather.

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After we were done exploring the Garment District we visited the iconic Purl Soho shop. More fabrics! And many beautiful yarns, looms, spindles, embroidery projects… sigh. Inspiration everywhere!

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I visited the store when it still was in its old (and much smaller) location in 2009. The ‘new’ store is much bigger, nicer and has a more ‘home-y’ feel than the old store. Seeing nicely decorated yarn stores always makes me homesick. Bizarre, but after half a year of living in a bedroom with a terrible wall color, stained carpets and without a quilt + cat I’m anxious to come home.

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It was World Wide Knit In Public Day so we joined other knitters outside the store. Turns out knitting in public in New York City invites strangers to stop and talk to you, showing genuine interest. Not the usual ‘OMG what a freak’ look I usually get in South Carolina.

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We had dinner in Little Italy – we shared a pretty delicious pizza.

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We wandered the streets of Little Italy and Chinatown on our way back to our hotel. We walked a lot that day. Like 10 miles #happyFitbit.

 

Are you curious about our second day in New York, New York?

Uncategorized

twenty five

April 6, 2016

25 It’s tradition to take one awkward birthday photo every year (here are 24, 23, 22 and 21). So here it is, this year’s awkward birthday portrait. It features my work uniform and – since I printed this at work – a simple 25 with the fancy BMW Plant Spartanburg letterhead.

Let’s hope 25 will bring lots of blog-worthy moments.

Cheers!

PS: Please excuse the blurriness, my roommate never took a photo with a DSLR prior to this one.

exploring knitting

baa-ble hat

January 16, 2016

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Hooray, I have a finished object to share!

Knitting the baa-ble hat by Donna Smith was pure joy. The pattern is a free download and it’s a quick knit. It took me a grand total of two days to finish it – plus another week until I was motivated to make the pompom.

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This hat is a great scrap project. I went deep stash diving and found some merino and some pure wool yarns scraps. Not having to buy yarn for a project is awesome buy now I have scraps from the scraps from old projects. Maybe I should knit a couple more of these to get rid off some of my scraps?

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I’m usually not a pompom-person (yeah, that is a thing.) but this hat just needed one. Admittedly, my pompom turned out to be very dense, thus heavy. It wobbles with each step but that’s the fun thing about pompoms, right? MBP_7324

Next on my list is stitching the brim together so I don’t have to fiddle with it every time I put on the hat. And I might add a fleece lining to make it even warmer.

Photographs: Pictures 2 and 4 were taken by my mom, who also modeled for pictures 1 and 3.

Location: All the pictures were taken during my recent trip to beautiful Munich. We went to the English Garden, which was empty and gorgeous. Munich in the winter is beautiful and the English Garden is no exception; the snow gave it a calm and peaceful atmosphere – quite the opposite from the busy and fun summer version of the park!

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