Tuesday, 16 December 2014

PATTERN: Double Spiral Square Motif

Hello everyone, and welcome!

This is our 100th blog post! Thank you all for reading and supporting us! We love all your comments and shares and saves on Bloglovin :) 

And as a special present just for all you wonderful readers, here is my brand new pattern (with photo tutorial): The Double Spiral Square Motif!! As you know, I'm a bit mad on spirals. After I did the translation of Patty Crochète's gorgeous Solid Spiral Granny Square, my lovely friend Angela from Get Knotted Yarn Craft sent me this picture of a doona cover, and suggested that maybe the solid spiral granny could be converted to make this double spiral square:

What an idea! I spent way too many hours and brainspoons figuring out how to do the spiral with two colours instead of four, and then how to connect opposite ends of the squares to make it spiral like this... and here it is, with a photo tutorial! It has only been lightly tested, so please let me know if something is unclear, or needs more information/photos :)

What could you do with this motif? The sky's the limit! I can see two of them sewn together and lined to make a little pencil case; or stitch a whole bunch together to make an afghan; or as an accent row in a groovyghan; or as a square-ish market bag... So many options! 

Add it to your Ravelry queue or favourites here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/double-spiral-square-motif


Two colours of yarn (Colour A and Colour B)
Hook, size appropriate to yarn
Yarn needle

All stitches are in US terminology
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain stitch
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet

- The square spiral is made by alternating forward and reverse (1dc, 1tr) (1tr, 2dc) stitch sequence in the corners. This pattern makes a specific size - refer back to the Solid Granny Spiral Square pattern for information on how to make it bigger!
- Drop yarn means to pull up a large loop of the yarn, and let it go to start working with a different colour. When you go back to your large loop, pull it tight before continuing.
- All stitches are worked into the top of the stitch below, not into the space between stitches, unless otherwise specifically stated.

1. Making each spiral square:

In colour A ch5.  Sl st into first chain to form a ring. 

Ch 3, into ring (2dc, 2tr, 3dc, 2tr, 3dc). Pull up large loop of yarn and drop colour A.

Using colour B join into ring. Ch 3, 2 dc into ring.  Into 3 ch loop of colour A, (dc, 2 tr, dc). dc into next 2 dc. In next tr (dc, tr). In next tr (tr, 2 dc). dc in next 3 dc. In next tr (2dc, tr). In next tr (tr, dc). Pull up large loop of yarn and drop colour B.

Pick up colour A. With colour A, in 3 ch loop of colour B, (dc, 2 tr, dc). dc in next 3 dc. In next tr (dc, tr). In next tr (tr, 2 dc). dc in next 4 dc. In next tr (2dc, tr). In next tr (tr, dc). dc in next 7 dc. Pull up long loop of yarn and drop colour A.

Pick up colour B. dc in next 4 dc. In next tr (dc, tr). In next tr (tr, 2dc). dc in next 5 dc. dc in next tr. 2dc in next tr. Cut off, pull end through.

Pick up colour A. In next tr (dc, tr). In next tr (tr, 2dc). dc in next 6 dc. In next tr (2 dc, tr). Pull up long loop of colour A, cut end, leaving very long tail (approx. 60cm).

Make two spiral squares in the same way.

2. Joining spirals

Lay out your squares according to the picture below. You should have one Colour A yarn at the top on one side, and one on the bottom on the other side.

**With colour A tail, tr in next tr. Slip-stitch into the top of the last stitch of colour B on the other square. 

In same tr, dc, then slip-stitch into the top of the second-last stitch of colour B. (dc in next dc, slip-stitch into top of next colour B stitch) x4.**

Repeat **to** with colour A loop at the other end of the join.

I found it easier to pull the yarn through to the top of the work rather than try and grab it through the gap.

Ta dah!

Finish both Colour A threads & weave in ends. To tighten up the tiny gap between the finishing points, weave the end into the opposite side (so in the same direction as you were already going).

3. Outside row

Using colour B, join to either of the Colour B sideways dc stitches. Then, 2ch, 2hdc in the same space.

**hdc in next 9 dc (don't forget the stitch that the sideways dc is made in). 

In next tr (1hdc, 1dc). In next tr (1dc, 2hdc). hdc in next 9 dc. In next tr (2hdc, 1dc). In next tr (1dc, 1hdc). hdc in next 10 dc. hdc in next 2 tr. **

3hdc in next Colour B sideways dc stitch.  Repeat ** to **. Sl st in top of first ch2, cut off and pull end through.

Weave in all your ends. 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Recipe: Christmas Punch

Good Evening!

I was going to write a long post about all my crafty adventures but unfortunately, I am quite sick/exhausted. This week I developed an allergy to the antibiotics I was taking and let's say I have been very spotty since... :P

Since this won't be a long post as planned with great crochet pictures (it's stormy and rainy outside... no time for good pictures), I figured I could gift you a recipe instead. This recipe has been in my family for some time and it is alway a big hit: Alcohol-Free Christmas Punch. The original recipe provides over 10L, so I broke it down a bit. This version is perfect for a 5L pot. :)


2L black tea
2L red grape juice
1-2 cans of mixed fruits
1 glass morello
200 grams peeled, whole almonds or hazelnuts
200 grams raisins
1 lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
5-10 pieces of star anise
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
Mulled Wine Spices

How to make it

(1) Steep the tea and pour it into a large pot.
(2) Cut the lemon into slices and add to the tea. 
(3) Add all the other ingredients. Note: The juice of the mixed fruits and of the morello need to go in the pot too! That way no extra sugar is needed.
(4) Let it simmer for 1 hour.
(5) Serve! Make sure to provide a spoon for the fruits. Oh and tell people not to munch on the star anise. That doesn't taste so good. You could - of course - fish all the star anise out beforehand but it's a bit annoying to find all the pieces really.


You could add alcohol but it isn't needed. Best to put a bottle of clear alcohol next to the pot, so people can spice up their punch if they want to.

Hope you will have a wonderful 3rd Advent!

Take care

P.S. The pictures were taken at the Christmas market at Schloss Lückenbeck (Castle Lückenbeck) last weekend.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Rainbow Afghan #1

Hello everyone!!

Welcome to all the new readers and welcome back to all the regulars! We love to read your comments - so thank you for taking the time to drop us a note! 

Today is just a short post as the fatigue is kicking my butt, but I just couldn't WAIT to share this with you all :) 

A few weeks ago I wrote about my lust for Stylecraft Special DK yarn (especially when it is on sale), and put up three sketches of rainbow afghan layouts. If you missed that, go check out the post here.

Thank you for all your kind comments, and votes on your favourite layout for me to start with. By a very close margin, the Twist and Turn won!

The layout did need a few changes from my pencil sketch as (a) I had 10 colours not 7 to work with, and (b) I wanted to make it a little bit closer to the original inspiration. Without further ado, the Twist and Turn Rainbow Afghan!

Now I'm really looking forward to the Christmas holidays, so I can get started on this little beauty! I will also be doing up proper graphs for the other two patterns as I want to do them as well! If you want to make an afghan using this graph please do so, but please link back to this blog!

I have set up an Instagram for my Wrapped with Love business, where there will be updates on my rainbow afghan projects over the holidays! My handle is @wrappedwithlovebymichelle - I'd love to see you (and follow you)! We also have Instagram for Crochet Between Worlds now, and you can find us @crochetbetweenworlds.  
My mother had an excellent idea for a project for visitors to our house at Lake Macquarie between Christmas and New Years. We are going to use the Hypno-Diamonds sketch as a guide, and get our guests to make some little granny squares, which we will join up into an afghan made by everyone! I'm super excited about this idea, and look forward to (hopefully) posting photos of the process, and the finished product! 

What are you up to at the moment? We'd love to hear about your Christmas holiday projects!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Tutorial: (Multi-Layered) Paper Stars

Hello you lot!

Welcome to all the new readers and welcome back to all the regulars! We love to read your comments - so thank you for taking the time to drop us a note!

Today, I bring you another tutorial but... it's not about crochet! What a shock! It is about some paper art (I warned you some weeks ago that you would see some of that on this blog too).

There are two reasons why I decided to make these stars.
1. I saw something like this on Dawanda (the German version of Etsy) some time ago and really liked it a lot. I did forget about it after a while though.
2. We brought home maps, paper bags and such from our travels. They were keepsakes but had no space in our flat. We didn't want to toss them but couldn't figure where to put them either. So the boyfriend suggested that I make some kind of oranments out of them (to hang on the Christmas tree). And BAM! I remember the paper stars. 

I couldn't find a good tutorial online, so I came up with my own which I will share with you today! :)

Tutorial: (Multi-Layered) Paper Stars

You need

Paper - I usually use heavy transparent paper or old book sides
Star stamper in the desired size of the stars
Sewing Maschine

Step 1

Stamp four stars out of the paper.

Put the pieces on top of each other.

Fasten with paperclips.

 Step 2

Head over to your sewing machine and get it ready to go. Pull some thread through to start with - this will make the hanging thread of your star later.

Put the point of the star underneath the needle.

Sew together with a straight line.

Optional: Add next star after about 15 cm. That way you will get a "star chain".

Cut thread. 

Step 3

Put a knot at the bottom of the star.

Fold in the sides of the star, so it becomes 3-dimensional.

Hang your star/star chain.

Enjoy! :)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me! :)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Mich's Year of 30th - Opening Weekend

Hello and welcome to all our new readers and hugs for old friends :) 

Last weekend was my birthday, and (shamelessly stealing the idea from my friend Pat) I decided it wasn't just my 29th birthday, it was also the start of my year of turning 30! It therefore needed to be a proper Opening Weekend for this very important celebration. 

We spent the weekend up at our new house at Lake Macquarie - cooking, eating, crocheting... it was wonderful :) Here are lots of photos, taken by my amazing friend Emily Sandrussi, who is a multi-award winning photographer! Her new exhibition opens tomorrow in Sydney, and you should at least go check out the website for the exhibition! 

But onto the photos!

We had handsome men at work in the kitchen ...

... dragons and Captain Poprocks helping themselves to some home made meringues ...

... the food was pretty impressive, if I do say so myself - all home made (except the bread and corn chips) ...

French onion dip and tzatziki
Raspberry Citrus Gravlax with Lemon Cream Cheese
Lomo (L) and Bresaola
Slow roasted pork belly with crispy crackling ...
... and bacon-y cabbage, and spiced apple jelly ... 
... and roast potatoes and carrots, with steamed broccoli.
... the company was excellent ...


... someone else did the cleaning up ... 

... and then there was dessert.

Eton Mess Mouthfuls
Chocolate Fudge Cake

On Sunday, we lazed about the place, painting and crocheting and sewing and building websites and playing video games...

... and some of the boys even learned how to crochet! 

Overall it was a wonderful weekend, and a good test of the new house, which now has all its furniture! 

We're all ready for Christmas at the lake now :) 

Many thanks to everyone who came, ate, cooked, cleaned, laughed and enjoyed!