Friday, 31 July 2015

Welcome back, Crojo!

Hello!

Eh, I am not good with blogging these days. Why? Eh, I forget. Oops. Shall try to be better!

Last week I thought I lost my Crojo. Gasp! I had several projects on my hook(s) but I couldn't get myself to actually work on them. A very weird feeling indeed.

Since this was obviously not normal, I decided that it must be because of the projects I was working on. The solution? Start another one of course!


So I spent some time looking for something to crochet and the Leaping Stripes Blanket from Moogly got me interested. And I even had just the right yarn for it! I bought this aran/bulky yarn about three years ago in Münster but never found the right project for it. Until last weekend! Hurray!

My brain wasn't working too well, so it took me some time to work out how to do it. Such a simple pattern and my brain... oh, well, I won't go into detail. Once I got the hang of it, it was incredible easy! I did start with a sc foundation chain instead of a normal chain though. Hurray for foundation chains - I wonder how I ever lived without them?!


***

Guess what! I finally, finally dared to open my Dawanda Shop! You can find it here!



:) Oh and I even sold two owls already! Hopefully I will sell the other ones too. I am incredibly delighted I finally found the courage to do so. After all I had the plan since 2012... 

Do you have wonderful things planned for the weekend? 

I am looking forward to some quiet time and probably some crochet in the sun.

Take care
Anne

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Around the Bases CAL - Afghan Square Round Up!

Hello everyone! 

It's been another hectic week here, but I've managed to tick one thing off my list - my centre square for the Around the Bases CAL, starting on August 9! 


I'm going to use all Stylecraft Special DK for this afghan, choosing colours with a random pull from my bag of scraps and rejecting only if I've used the same colour in the last 10 rows already. It's made for some interesting colours so far... but that will be part of the charm!

The really special thing about this CAL is that each one is going to be unique, because WE get to choose the starting square! 

I spent quite a long time on Ravelry looking at different square options, before narrowing it down to a shortlist and coming to a decision. It was really hard! I ended up deciding on a square and then converting it to a rectangle - after Sophie and the Lily Pond, I need a break from square afghans :P 

But what to do with all the other pretty squares that I found? It seems a shame to just forget all about the lovely crochet that I found... 

So, shared here for you (and me) are the big afghan squares that tempted me the most as the centre square for this CAL :) They are in no particular order, and all pictures are from the pattern pages and belong to their respective owners. 


Tropical Delight
Published by Mellie Blossom

Cost: Free! 
Link: http://www.mellieblossom.com/free-tropical-delight-crochet-pattern/



Starburst Square
by Tera Kulling

Cost: Free!
Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/starburst-square-2



August Sun
by Donna Kay Lacey

Cost: $1.99
Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/august-sun---wwbamcal



Firenze
by Julie Yeager

Cost: $2.99
Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/firenze-afghan-block



Grand Granny
by Angela Harriman

Cost: $1.00
Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/grand-granny



Daisy Centre Mandala Square
by Zooty Owl

Cost: Free!
Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/daisy-centre-mandala-square



Denna Square
by Polly Plum

Cost: Free! 
Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/denna-square



The Enchanted Garden
by Courtney Jones Laube

Cost: $3 + $1.99 for the Crocodile Stitch Flower pattern
Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-enchanted-garden-tote



Sophie's Garden

Cost: Free!
Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sophies-garden



The Darkness Held at Bay
by Shan Sevcik

Cost: $1.50
Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-darkness-held-at-bay-10-and-12-block


So, what did I go with in the end?

The Darkness Held at Bay, with some extra rows of bphdc after the centre square to make it rectangular, and then an extra row around the edge to get to the right stitch count :) 


What do you think? Are you interested in joining this CAL too?  Which afghan square would you use to start with?

Hugs,
Michelle

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Review of my 2015 Resolutions

Hi there!

Can you believe it is the end of July already? I most certainly can't. 2015 is passing by so quickly, it is hard to keep up! Actually I am pretty sure we skipped a few months this year... Sigh.

Anyway, it seems like a good time to review my 2015 goals, which I wrote about in this post. The following were my five resolutions.


Let's see how I have succeed so far...

(1) Open a Dawanda Shop

I finally bit the bullet last weekend. So far I have been too afraid to open a shop because I was afraid people wouldn't like my stuff. Silly, I know (they just won't buy it, if they don't like it) but I was afraid. Now I need to work on the General Terms and Conditions. Man, I thought overcoming my fear was the biggest part in the progress but no, working on these terms is a lot harder! Who would have thought?!



(2) Use a daily planner each day

Well, I didn't do too well on this so far. I tried. I really did but it didn't work for me. I wonder if I should try again or just give up?! Do you have good experience with daily planners? 

I use a planner and a to do app at work but somehow I don't seem to need (?!) one at home. Hm.

(3) Exercise daily

Eh, I tried? Again not very successful BUT I bought a fitbit charge HR last week and so far I have done 10 000 steps each day plus I started watching what I eat. Little steps, little steps...

Why did I get the fitness tracker you might ask? Well I am certainly not into self optimizing but this tracker proves itself pretty useful to get into a new habit. And I need a new habit: I am incredible unfit and I hate that status, so I need to change it. :)


I also went running with the boyfriend twice. Well, kinda - there was a lot of walking involved. I need to get fit enough for morning runs though as Kathryn, Michelle's sister, suggested that there would be kangaroos in the morning if we go running together this winter (=summer in Australia).

(4) Drink a Green Smoothie daily

We did well on that for a few weeks but in the end it took so long to prepare them. Recently I read some articles online on how people prepare all their smoothie mixes for the week ahead. Perhaps I will give that a try.

(5) Declutter the flat



Yay, finally something we are doing well with. There is still heaps of stuff in the flat but we tossed several boxes of stuff, took the good stuff to Oxfam and made sure not to bring too much new stuff in the flat. It is a long way but we are getting there. I might even declutter my yarn stash. We will see...


Did you have any new year resolutions and how did you go on them so far?

I try not to feel guilty about not reaching mine (yet). I see them more as guidelines and if they don't work out for me, I need to find new ones. :)

Take care

Anne

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Busy Times! Plus, the Great Destash

Hello everyone! 

It's been a mad couple of weeks here, and things are finally starting to settle down. The weather has also been freezing cold - I am trying to be glad of that so that when I am sweaty and miserable in the height of summer I can honestly say I wish it was wintet ;)

New Job

On July 1 I started a new job, as Secretary to our local Rotary District Youth Exchange Committee. I've had to hit the ground running on that, as there are two big events coming up at the end of July! It has been a steep, steep learning curve, but I'm starting to feel like I might know what I'm doing. Incidentally, if you know anyone who is in year 8 this year and might be interested in a year away at school in another country in 2017, learning another language, let me know! I can put you in touch with the right people ;)
As part of that, I really needed a place to work and store all of the associated paperwork in our apartment. Kiah heroically sacrificed (and tidied and cleaned!!) part of his mancave for me, and we borrowed a desk and a chair from my parents. It's taken several days to organise, but now I have a desk and a printer and easy access to the files, as well as a designated spot for me to go and work. This is as much for my brain as anything else - it is easier to physically go and sit somewhere to do a specific task, than to mentally have to change gears, or feel that I'm always on duty. 


New Patterns

It was a total headache trying to get our new patterns up for sale! Based on my Flame Motif, Anne designed the Bonfire Beanie and I designed the Moroccan Doorways Mini Clutch - you probably saw the blog post about these last week :) Of course, in this crazy, fast-moving world, it's impossible to know what is going to be popular or not... If you have a few moments on Ravelry this week, could you visit our patterns and give it a favourite or a queue, even if you don't want to buy? 




DeStashInator!!!

My biggest achievement this week has definitely been weeding over 9kg of un-needed yarn out of my stash! I always buy more yarn than I need, even for specific projects, and the excess has just been getting more and more out of control.



I first shared with my close Aussie yarnie friends on Facebook and shifted about 5kg through them, then listed on a yarn selling Facebook group and by 11:30pm last night it was all sold! Now we are making the post office very happy (and rich), posting yarn all over the country! 

It's hard to say goodbye to yarn, especially yarn I wanted so much and bought for special projects. However, realistically I'm not going to use this stuff, and if I want more I can always go to the shops or the online yarn warehouses and buy more! Better money in the pocket than too much yarn spilling off the shelves, right? 


New Project

And, just because I'm never busy enough, I'm starting a new project soon - the Around the Bases CAL by KeitoPalette! It looks like heaps of fun, and a good way to use up my scraps and bits of Stylecraft Special DK. I'm still looking for a good centre square though - do you have any ideas for me? 

Hugs,
Michelle

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Downsizing - Surprises, Upsides and Downsides

Hello!

I hope you are going well wherever you are in this world. :) Germany overcame the heatwave but apparently it is going to be pretty hot again tomorrow. I am not doing too well with all these temperatures changes but oh well, there isn't anything I can do about it.

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about how we are trying to downsize; that is, to live more minimalistic. We are still on our way... several more boxes are packed to go to Oxfam and this Monday we finally bought new living room furniture. This furniture was the last part missing in the living room as we still had my old student's shelves from IKEA. I liked them back then but they were too dark for our living room plus it really didn't fit in. Oh and there was too much space in them. So, we went shopping. Both me and the boyfriend love solid wood beech furniture - it is so pretty but also the reason why we had to save up before we got the new stuff. So, the upside of downsizing: place for new stuff which is so pretty and makes the room complete.


However it also involved a huge mess. So much stuff which had to leave the old places, go into Oxfam boxes, in the bin or the new shelves. Plus the old furniture is still there and clogs the flat. I am hoping to sell it but really if no one picks it up by Friday I will probably just give it away. So the downside of downsizing is a temporary mess!



There were some surprises involved as well, as I found UFOs, that is unfinished crochet items. Like this granny square variation. I think I talked about it in the early blog days but forgot about it soon after. Hmm. I wonder if I should just toss these squares?! What do you think?


Also there were heaps of blankets in the living room, some unfinished as they want to go to their new home soon but need some tender loving care... That is sewing in the ends.

Phew. So not that much time for crochet this week... Well, except for some owls made on the train ride to Cologne last weekend.


How are you doing at the moment and do you have more time for crafty things? 

Take care
Anne

Friday, 10 July 2015

New Patterns! Bonfire Beanie and Moroccan Doorways Mini Clutch

Hello everyone!


We finally ironed out our problems with Paypal and Ravelry and that means... our new patterns are on sale! We've used small variations on the same overlay crochet pattern to make these two very different items - what do you think?

Make sure you read all the way through before clicking through to Ravelry, as there is a special offer right at the end ;) 

Bonfire Beanie


Pattern available from http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bonfire-beanie 






Keep warm and toasty around the campfire with this Bonfire Beanie! The band is made using overlay crochet techniques to create the flame motif.



Opening Weekend Sale - 10% off with code OVERLAYSALE

Moroccan Doorways Overlay Crochet Mini-Clutch



The design reminds me photos I have seen of colourful markets and souks in North Africa, enticing buyers in with rich colours. Make sure you use lovely bright colours to bring this little clutch alive with the colours of the market!

Pattern available from http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/moroccan-doorways-overlay-crochet-mini-clutch


Opening Weekend Sale - 10% off with code OVERLAYSALE


SPECIAL OFFER!!!

If you want to buy both patterns, add both to your cart and use the code DOUBLEFIRE to get 30% off the total!!

(Important: Make sure you Add to Cart, not Buy Now, 
to take advantage of this double offer!)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A Parliament of Owls

Hi there!

We have a heat wave here in Germany. Temperatures above 30, close to 40 ° C. Plus it is humid. So in other words, there isn't much to do except sitting around, drinking lots of water and sweating. Yuck.


Anyway, it is too hot to crochet blankets as they become incredible hot on the legs the larger they get. So I returned to an old crochet passion of mine: Making owls. 


I love the owls made from BunnyMummy's tutorial. And I really can't count how many I made of them already. There was a real owl party going on in our flat for some time but I gave most of them away. And I took a break from owl making.


But now that I started again... man, I can't stop. I use cotton yarn in different sizes resulting in different sized owls. Oh and the filling is cherry pits. Cherry pits are so useful as they don't pop through the little holes and it also makes the owls very squishy.


So I can now introduce to you to the Owly Family!


Do you prefer the long ear hair or the short ear hair? I am not sure...

Take care
Anne