Sunday, 17 July 2016

Winter Set

Hi you!

Now that the Stylecraft CAL is over, I finally have time for more crochet. Translating ate lots of my free time and thus I didn't hook as much over the last weeks as I hoped I would! Plus I really need to catch up with all your blog posts!


I went for a quick project this week: Anca brought home yarn from Iceland and asked me to make something with it. There were 4 balls of Lettlopi Yarn. 100 % wool (and found little bits of hay inside the yarn!) and aran weight. 


There were two balls of blue, one green and one yellow. It made finding a pattern a bit difficult because most pattern I had in mind asked for either more yarn or more than one ball of a color. I found two patterns in the end though!




This is the Little Wings Shawlette from Crochet Uncut. It worked up nicely and I think it had a decent size. In the end I realized I could have made it bigger (as I had no idea how the yarn worked up, I went for the safe option) but on the other hand, this sizes is pretty perfect, of you ask me. 


The other pattern I used was the Everly Head Wrap from Mamachee. I added 10 extra ch to the starting row as it looked too small before (and I was right!) plus I only did 9 rows because while it would have been very tight if I had gone for the original stitch count, the head band would have been far too big in height if I had stuck with the original 12 rows.  I am happy with how it turned out, but I hope the yarn won't be too scratchy to wear!

What is on your hook today?

Take care
Anne

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Frida's Flowers CAL - Edging and TA-DAH!

Congratulations on reaching the end of the Frida's Flowers CAL! The edging instructions have just been uploaded to the Stylecraft website in English (UK and US), Dutch and German - head over there to download now: http://www.stylecraft-yarns.co.uk/Crochet.htm. Thank you all so much for coming on this adventure with us! We have had a great time, learned a lot, and can't wait for the next Stylecraft CAL :D



I didn't record yarn usage for the edging, as there was no need to see how much was left! I came very close to using up all the black, but did not run out of anything. 

Here's a closeup of the finished edging:



Our top tips for the finishing off are:

1. Don't be afraid to join the pieces in a different colour to black! 

I joined my central flower in Greek Blue, and totally love the effect. I would have had enough black to do it, but as usual totally overestimated how much yarn I would need.


2. In Round 1 of the edging, where you do 3sc together in the dip of the zigzag edge, don't work into the joined stitches, just in the join. 

Hopefully the picture below will make this clearer :P If you are just more confused, ignore me!


3. There's a bit of fudging required in Round 2. My counts up to this point matched Jane's perfectly, and I still had to do some stitch-skipping to get the scs to land in the right places! Don't worry about the exact stitch count - after Round 2 everything will work fine.

4. Blocking. You don't necessarily need to block your Frida, but it does help the flower petals sit neater if you're working in the cotton or life dk (for 100% acrylic yarns, I find blocking is less effective). I just washed mine in the washing machine on a very gentle cycle with woolwash, pinned it out on my foam blocking boards and let it dry over a few days out of the sun. A bit of a wash helps the cotton soften up as well!


For our tips from previous weeks, visit:




Inspired by some of Frida Kahlo's artwork with lavish jungle/forest scenes in the background, I tracked down some urban jungle of my own to take some more photos! 



- Michelle & Anne xx

Friday, 1 July 2016

The Joy of Imperfection

Hi there!

How are you doing these days?

Whenever I can find a free minute, I am crocheting ghosts. I am not sure how many I have made by now but it must be around ten (it feels like more). I need to finish another 3 but after that I am going to take a break from ghosts. As cute as they are, making them gets a bit boring after hooking so many of them! After that I will move onto baby blankets: Several friends of mine are pregnant and due later this year. I haven't decided on a pattern yet but I want to something colourful yet an easy pattern. Nothing too complicated, that is something I can easily hook after long days at work. Any suggestions?




I started writing this blog post some days ago and then stopped because it got me thinking. I was going to write about my clumsy fingers as I have troubles sewing on fiddly pieces onto amigurumi. It was going to be a self shaming post mixed with a bit of humour. As mentioned before, I stopped writing because it didn't feel right. I didn't know why I was feeling like that until I was at my mum's house and came across the first amigurumis I ever made. You can see pictures of them in this posts... They are far from perfect but still my mum kept them on display in the downstairs bathroom. Sometimes I felt ashamed about them but nowadays I don't anymore. 


When I stood in the bathroom, all of a sudden I realized how far I have come and that I really shouldn't engage in self-shaming. I can't do fiddly stuff? Oh well, so what? I will learn. Or I won't. And both is okay. 

All my life I have been a kind of perfectionist. I say a kind of because I am not one of these people who try and try until something is perfect. Instead, I want it to be perfect right from the beginning. As in NOW. That's not a very healthy way of thinking and it has hindered my in my life a lot. Over the last couple of years, I started to change my thinking moving towards a mindset which believes in growing. I am getting better in allowing myself to grow and to give myself time. It is still a long way but one that is worth while. 


Craft helped me a lot on the way. At first I wanted to be perfect but had to realize I had to learn and it would take time. Along with learning this came the realization that the way, that is the way of learning or making something, is what brings most of the fun. Not the finished project but the process of making it. Now quite a few of you will probably roll your eyes because this realization/this knowledge is so obvious. Well it wasn't for me. Some days I still struggle because I am unhappy with how my projects turn out or because I can't master a new stitch right away. But it is getting better. And some day, I hope to allow myself "imperfection" and "failure" without feeling bad about it!




How are you dealing when you can't master something new right away? I am happy about all kinds of advice!

Hope you are having a wonderful crafty weekend!

Take care
Anne

 P.S. As you can see, I worked with bulky yarn at first, so that I could see the stitches... 

P.S. If you are following us on Instagram, you probably saw that I already started on a baby blanket.. This post was written before I caught the summer flu and forgot to post it!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Frida's Flowers CAL - Block 7 - Frida's Bouquet

The Seventh Instalment of the Frida's Flowers Blanket Crochet-Along, designed by Jane Crowfoot and hosted by Stylecraft Yarns has just been posted, and is available to download NOW from the Stylecraft website, in English (US and UK), German and Dutch.


The Ravelry pattern page can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fridas-flowers-blanket 

We are working the CAL along with you all (in the Classique Cotton, provided by the wonderful Stylecraft team), and will post our tips and tricks for each part at the same time as the pattern is published over at the Stylecraft website. If you have any questions or need help, there are Facebook groups (English: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1555519964767343/ , German: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1039765272753087/ and Dutch:https://www.facebook.com/groups/145851979128898/ ),
and you are always welcome to leave a comment here or ask us on Facebook.
 

As you know, Anne is doing the German translations for the CAL, so ask away in German too!

So, Block 7 - Frida's Bouquet:


Front
Back
You'll need to make 5 hexagons.

Yarn usage:
22g Sunflower (41m)
7g Plum (13m)
11g Poppy (20m)

9g Shrimp (17m)
14g Teal (26m)
22g Leaf (41m)

29g Ivory (53m)
40g Black (74m)
2g Greek Blue (4m)

Remember: We are using the Classique Cotton, so use the meterage above if you are making Frida in another DK yarn.

Here's a little spreadsheet tool that Michelle is using to track yarn usage - just enter your start and finish weights for your yarns, and then the weight and meterage used will be automatically calculated! 



A little note on yarn usage - for the border, you will need almost a full ball of Black, half a ball of Poppy and half a ball of Shrimp. If you haven't joined your hexagons yet, keep in mind that you can use other colours to join and create a gorgeous design on the back of your Frida as well! 

Our Top Tips for the Frida's Bouquet block:

1. In Row 5, when you need to work 1sc, 5ch, 1sc into the turning chain at the tip of the leaf, just work into the front loop! It's much easier, and looks the same in the end.


2. In Row 6, the central sc of the 3sc group that you need to work into is the one between the leaves.


3. Bullion stitches again! I wrapped the yarn around my hook 4 times instead of 5 for these smaller bullions that are closer together. 

See last week's photo tutorial if you need a bit of help with these stitches! 

http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.com/2016/06/fridas-flowers-cal-block-6-ring-of-roses.html



You should be able to hide the ends fairly neatly underneath Row 1 :)  


For our tips from previous weeks, visit:




We're nearly there! Next time we will be finishing any joining not done yet (I left mine until the very end), and then the gorgeously simple border.  

Happy hooking! Don't hesitate to comment, visit a Facebook group or ask Anne or Michelle on Facebook if you need any help :D

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Frida's Flowers CAL - Block 6 - Ring of Roses

The Sixth Instalment of the Frida's Flowers Blanket Crochet-Along, designed by Jane Crowfoot and hosted by Stylecraft Yarns has just been posted, and is available to download NOW from the Stylecraft website, in English (US and UK), German and Dutch.

If you haven't set up a Ravelry project yet, the pattern page can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fridas-flowers-blanket 

We are working the CAL along with you all (in the Classique Cotton, provided by the wonderful Stylecraft team), and will post our tips and tricks for each part at the same time as the pattern is published over at the Stylecraft website. If you have any questions or need help, there are Facebook groups (English: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1555519964767343/ , German: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1039765272753087/ and Dutch:https://www.facebook.com/groups/145851979128898/ ),
and you are always welcome to leave a comment here or ask us on Facebook.
 

As you know, Anne is doing the German translations for the CAL, so ask away in German too!

So, Block 6 - Ring of Roses:


Front
Back

You'll need to make 6 hexagons.

Yarn usage:
17g Sunflower (32m)
15g Plum (28m)
24g Poppy (44m)

22g Shrimp (41m)
19g Teal (35m)
24g Leaf (44m)

22g Ivory (41m)
58g Black (107m)

Remember: We are using the Classique Cotton, so use the meterage above if you are making Frida in another DK yarn.

Here's a little spreadsheet tool that Michelle is using to track yarn usage - just enter your start and finish weights for your yarns, and then the weight and meterage used will be automatically calculated! 




Our Top Tips for the Ring of Roses block:

We are starting to get some repetition in stitch sequences and techniques, so make sure you check out our tips for previous blocks too! (links are below this week's tips)

1. I felt like I was going super slow this week - remember you need to make 6 hexagons so it'll take 50% longer!! 

Be kind to yourself! You're making more pieces, and the patterns are getting increasingly complicated too!

2. Use standing stitches to start rows instead of joining your yarn and chaining.

I know I know, I'm a broken record on this - but standing stitches instead of chains has made my crochet work much neater! 

Tutorial for Standing Double Crochet:
http://www.mooglyblog.com/standing-double-crochet-joining/

Tutorial for Standing Single Crochet: http://mrsmicawber.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/knotless-standing-single-crochet.html 

3. In Row 5, we need to fpdc into some of the sc of Row 2, to outline the petals. The easiest way to figure out which stitch to work around is to find the single sc that lies below the edge of the petal, and then fpdc around every second one. 

In the picture below, I have marked the alternating 1sc and 2sc pattern of Row 2 - you can see how the fpdc is worked around every second 1sc :) You can totally use the stitch markers like it says in the pattern, but this was just as simple for me!


4. The Bullion Stitches (*dramatic music*)

I am not an embroiderer. It took me so long (and much unpicking and curse words) to figure this one out, including reading the pattern a million times and googling for bullion stitch tutorials on youtube. So, here is a step by step photo and word tutorial of how I did it! I hope it helps you if you are not an experienced embroiderer either :)

Step 1: Stick your needle in from the back to the front of your work, leaving a good sized tail to weave in later. Then, wrap the yarn around your hook 5 times close to where it pops out of your work. 


Step 2: Insert the pointy end of your needle under the next stitch and back out to the front again.


Step 3: Veeeeerrry gently, pull your needle through. You might need to ease the wrapped loops off with your fingers to keep them neat while allowing the eye of the needle to pass through. Ta dah! Bullion stitch done :D


Repeat steps 1 to 3 until you get to the end of the round - you'll have a bullion stitch sitting on top of every second dc of Row 1! It looks best if you do it exactly the same way each time. 

Weave your ends in very carefully and securely - I found I could hide the yellow fairly easily in the sc of Row 2. 

5.  In Round 11, the 3sc corner goes into first dc of the second 5dc group (i.e. immediately after central white petal of round 9). The stitch you skip after the sc into the tip of your leaf is the first dc of the second 4dc group.




Happy hooking! Don't hesitate to comment, visit a Facebook group or ask Anne or Michelle on Facebook if you need any help :D

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Frida's Flowers CAL - Block 5 - Heart Rose

The Fifth Instalment of the Frida's Flowers Blanket Crochet-Along, designed by Jane Crowfoot and hosted by Stylecraft Yarns has just been posted, and is available to download NOW from the Stylecraft website, in English (US and UK), German and Dutch.


If you haven't set up a Ravelry project yet, the pattern page can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fridas-flowers-blanket 

We are working the CAL along with you all (in the Classique Cotton, provided by the wonderful Stylecraft team), and will post our tips and tricks for each part at the same time as the pattern is published over at the Stylecraft website. If you have any questions or need help, there are Facebook groups (English: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1555519964767343/ , German: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1039765272753087/ and Dutch:https://www.facebook.com/groups/145851979128898/ ),
and you are always welcome to leave a comment here or ask us on Facebook.
 

As you know, Anne is doing the German translations for the CAL, so ask away in German too!


So, Block 5 - Heart Rose:



Front
Back
You'll need to make 4 hexagons.

Yarn usage:
11g Sunflower (21m)
8g Plum (15m)
22g Poppy (41m)

9g Shrimp (17m)
8g Teal (15m)
18g Leaf (33m)

8g Mauve (15m)
15g Ivory (28m)
39g Black (72m)

Remember: We are using the Classique Cotton, so use the meterage above if you are making Frida in another DK yarn.

Here's a little spreadsheet tool that Michelle is using to track yarn usage - just enter your start and finish weights for your yarns, and then the weight and meterage used will be automatically calculated! 





Our Top Tips for the Heart Rose Block:


1. In Round 3, starting with either 2ch or a standing hdc can be tricky! 


I recommend that you start in the next stitch with a standing dc, dc in same stitch, continuing according to the pattern around. Don't forget to finish with an hdc in 2nd dc (the one the pattern says to do at the start!), and join to standing dc to finish the round.




2. In Round 5, instead of trying to work into the top of the sc (which is kind of behind where you're working), work into the left two legs of the sc (like in the stacked standing dc).






3. In Round 6, try finishing the picot by slipstitching into the side of the last dc rather than back into the first chain. I find this looks neater and gives me a less twisted looking picot!




4. In Round 11, note that the 3sc corner goes into first dc of the second 5dc group (i.e. immediately after central white petal of round 9). The stitch you skip after the hdc into the picot of Round 6 is the first dc of the second 4dc group (i.e. over the sc stitches of Rounds 7, 8 and 9.





For our tips from previous weeks, visit:

Block 1: http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/fridas-flowers-cal-block-1-white-cosmos.html

Block 2: http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/fridas-flowers-cal-block-2-dahlia-bud.html


Block 3: http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/fridas-flowers-cal-block-3-bird-of.html


Block 4: http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.com/2016/05/fridas-flowers-cal-block-4-rosa.html


Happy hooking! Don't hesitate to comment, visit a Facebook group or ask Anne or Michelle on Facebook if you need any help :D

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Ghost Times!

Hi!

How are you doing these days? Life is busy for me but I try to embrace this fact. Fortunately I can squeeze some crochet time in - not as much as I want but some! New to the usual life, a new rowing machine is "stealing" my crochet time. My husband and I are trying to get fitter and thus a water rower moved into our flat. The rowing is good fun and the swishing sound of the water is so soothing! 



I am crocheting for fundraising again. Some of our readers might remember the Villigst Blanket I made two years ago. This time I am making little ghost which people can "buy" for a donation to non-material support (= such as summer schools or study abroad). They can be "bought" for 25 € and 100% of this money will be donated - I am donating my crochet time and the craft materials. 


The current and former scholarship holders often talk about the "Villigster Geist" / "Villigster Ghost or Spirit" which connects them and thus I crocheted a ghost for a prize for a fundraiser at the annual Pentecost meeting. Some people asked if I could crochet a ghost for them as well and here I am making more amigurumi ghosts! The adventures of the ghosts can be followed under the hashtag #geistreichmitvilligst on Instagram. The hashtag plays with the German word for witty (geistreich). In a literal translation witty means "full of ghost/spirit". :D


The pattern is from Crafteando and easy to follow. :) I hate sewing on the arms and thus I am thinking about crocheting them on in future ghosts. I also changed the little bow and made it bigger. :) 


I love how each little ghost turns out a little different and thus special!! Fingers crossed many more of  these ghosts will be ordered!


What are you crafting these days?

Take care
Anne