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

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Frida's Flowers CAL - Block 4 - Rosa

Hi!

Can you believe we are already in week four of the CAL? Time is certainly flying by! :)


The Fourth 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 4 - Rosa:



Front
Back
You'll need to make 4 hexagons.

Yarn usage:
11g Sunflower (21m)
7g Plum (13m)
12g Poppy (22m)

5g Shrimp (10m)
13g Greek Blue (24m)
7g Nocturne (13m)
6g Toffee (11m)
47g Black (87m)
19g Ivory (35m)

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 Rosa Block:


1) Jane suggests in the Get Ready Document that is clever to work on all four parts at once, that is you do each row/round on each of the four flowers before moving onto the next row. We highly recommend this way of crocheting the squares as well. They work up far more even this way, as it is highly likely you will crochet the rows with the same tension.

2) Sew in the ends after finishing off a colour. Block 4 has - just like block 3 - a whole lots of colour changes and thus many, many ends to sew in.


Just about everyone hates sewing in ends but doing it straight away has two advantages: 


a. you won't have lots and lots of ends to sew in after finishing the block. If you are like me, you might be put off by all the ends and won't finish the block or lose the joy in making the square. By doing the sewing in bit by bit, you don't have a massive pile up. 

b. You will crochet over your sewn in ends and thus they will be stitched in even safer.

3) Round 3 can be a bit tricky! 


Into each group of 5sc in Round 2, you do:

1st sc - sc
2nd sc - hdc
3rd sc - 2dc
4th sc - 2dc
5th sc - hdc  



I think the pattern wants us to sc into the stitch you skipped at the beginning when you get back around to the start :) If you're lazy like me, just do the first sc into the same stitch as the ch1, and follow the pattern from there! 

4) Start Round 4 with a standing sc instead of a ch1 pretending to be a spike stitch! Your work will be neater and easier to join into when you get back to the beginning of the round. You can find a tutorial for the knotless standing sc here: http://mrsmicawber.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/crochet-turning-chain-alternatives.html



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

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, 3 May 2016

Frida's Flowers CAL - Block 3 - Bird of Paradise

The Third 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 
I am working the CAL along with you all (in the Classique Cotton, provided by the wonderful Stylecraft team), and I'll post my 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 3 - the Bird of Paradise.

Front
Back
You'll need to make 4 hexagons.

Yarn usage:
11g Sunflower (21m)
9g Plum (17m)
4g Poppy (8m)
9g Leaf (17m)
10g Greek Blue (19m)
7g Nocturne (13m)
7g Toffee (13m)
50g Black (92m)
18g Ivory (33m)

Remember: I'm 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 I am 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! 


My top tips for the Bird of Paradise Block:

1. The pattern gets more complex this week. Make sure you take the time to read the instructions properly!! 

I can't emphasise this enough - the few issues I had with this block came from me not reading the instructions closely enough.

2. When you're starting a new colour with a stitch taller than an sc (e.g. hdc, dc, tr, etc), consider using standing stitches rather than chains.

Moogly has some great tutorials for standing stitches - I thoroughly recommend them! 

http://www.mooglyblog.com/standing-double-crochet-joining/



You can of course use the Stacked Standing DC we talked about last week, but I find that most suitable for when you're continuing with the same colour. 

3. In Round 7, make sure you work dc3tog in FRONT of the last few rows, not over them.



If you work over the rows, encasing them in the stitch, your hexagon will be scrunched up in strange places. Keep it flat, work in front :)

4. In Round 9 with the white dc3tog petals, try using Moogly's standing dc to make a true dc3tog to start! 

Do the standing dc up to the last yoh and pull through 2 loops, and continue as you would for a normal dc3tog. It'll look neater and more consistent with the other petals! 



5. I recommend reviewing the tips from Blocks 1 and 2 - some of that information is still relevant to this more complex block! You can find those posts here:

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

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

Friday, 29 April 2016

Ta-dah! Rainbow Cozy Stripes Blanket

Hello everyone!

Finally a new blog post from me. Somehow I have troubles getting back into a good blogging habit this year. I shall try to do better from now on (as I love blogging)!


You might remember I have been working on the blanket which shall be a wedding present for my honoary aunt for quite a few weeks now. I think I started in February and guess what - it is finally finished!


The finished blanket is about 170 cm x 190 cm and weights over 2kg. I used 24 colours and tried (...) to use them in the same order all the time. It worked out more or less but in the end the skipped colors don't matter much. The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK - man, I am in love with this yarn! So soft and great to work with! Instead of buying new yarn, I used yarn from my stash - I wasn't aware I had that much (and there is more in the stash!).

Altogether the blanket is huge! And just right for some people to cuddle under :) As the blanket is so big, I wasn't able to take a picture of the whole blanket yet. I hope to be able to spread it on grass outside sometime the next week but at the moment it is too rainy outside. 



The pattern is from Lucy from Attic24 which I followed for the blanket body but not the border. The border is a linen-stitch-repreat with all the colors I used for the body (except one as I ran out of yarn). I adore the border so much! Next time I would go up a hook size for the border though as it is a bit to tight for the blanket to lay flat.

I am in love with this blanket! It was a pleasure to have in the living room while I was working on it because it was so rainbow-ish! I hope the new owners will love it as much as I do! It will be a wedding present. 
  



What are you working on at the moment? Now that I have finished the cozy stripes blanket, I will start on the Stylecraft CAL. :)

Take care
Anne

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Frida's Flowers CAL - Block 2 - Dahlia Bud

The Second 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
I'll be working the CAL along with you all (in the Classique Cotton, provided by the wonderful Stylecraft team), and I'll post my 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 2 - the Dahlia Bud.






You'll need to make 4 hexagons and 4 half hexagons, the same as Part 1 :)

Yarn usage:
129g Nocturne (238m)
4g Sunflower (8m)
14g Ivory (26m)

Remember: I'm 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 I am 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! 




My top tips for the Dahlia Bud block:

1. When joining Round 1 (Ivory), slip stitch to the first dc, which is now hiding around the back in the middle of the popcorn.


2. Do all your Dahlia flowers at the same time, and then weave in ends before continuing!

Once I filled in behind the flower, it got much harder to manoeuvre around and get the ends securely stitched in.

3. Use the stacked standing dc instead of ch3 to start a round - this will give you neater edges, more even stitches, and the stacked dc is much easier to work into on the next round!


Stacked Standing Double Crochet - sc into target stitch. Insert hook under two leftmost strands of sc, yarn over hook to do a second sc.


NB: When you do a stacked standing dc instead of 3 ch, you can make a "true" dc2tog to start a row - just work the second dc of dc2tog after you've pulled through the loop to do the second sc (i.e. stop after picture 3 above), and then pull through all three loops to finish!

4. When the pattern asks you to start with 2ch pretending to be an hdc, do the 2ch THEN the correct number of stitches. If you have to join into that stitch when you come back around, skip the 2ch and join direct to the first hdc, and don't work into the 2ch if you're going back and forth.

I find real hdcs much nicer to work into and the extra few chain is barely noticeable.


5. On the last round, the 3sc goes into the third hdc of previous round - the top of the stitch sits to the right of the post for hdc.
I had a little argument with the pattern, because it seemed to be asking me to do the 3sc into the second hdc of the previous round, which looked wonky. Make sure your 3sc group goes into the third hdc, and you have 17 single sc on each side, and all will be hunky dory.




I hope you are having a fantastic time with this gorgeous CAL, and don't hesitate to comment, visit a Facebook group or ask us on Facebook if you need any help :D

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Ta-dah! Rainbow Unicorns!

Hi everyone! 


Unicorns! I've just finished up two unique little rainbow unicorn buddies, using the Fatty Lumpkin the Brave African Flower Pony pattern by the incredible HeidiBears, and adding a horn (because, unicorns are really just ponies with horns :P ) 

I had a lot of fun on Sunday night, live-instagramming making the manes for these babies - 

Neatly lined up bundles of coloured threads (right before the cat jumped up on my knee and made a mess of everything):



Threads all knotted onto the base chain for the tail:


And, of course I needed to keep the mane out of the way whilst stitching on the ears and horn so... check out the hipster unicorn with his manbun!



All the Heidi Bears toys are different because they're handmade - I don't have a machine to just stamp them out identically. But, these two unicorns are a bit more different - I've used slightly different colours and layouts for the body of the beast :)

This one is pink, blue, yellow and green:



And this one has purple added in too! 



I could not convince the Heidi Bears horn pattern to work for me, so I made up my own, and added some silver thread embroidery. 

Hairdressing is not one of my best skills (as you can probably see from the uneven ends of the manes and tails), but I can only assume that their new owners will be as enthusiastic about scissors as I was when I was little so it won't really matter. So many bald Barbie dolls...

I can't wait to send these boys off to their little girls! 

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Frida's Flowers CAL - Block 1 - White Cosmos

TODAY begins the Frida's Flowers Blanket Crochet-Along, designed by Jane Crowfoot and hosted by Stylecraft Yarns :D The first pattern is available to download NOW from the Stylecraft website, in English (US and UK), German and Dutch. The patterns will be published at that link once a fortnight for 14 weeks, so 8 patterns in total. The Getting Ready document has been up for a few weeks now, and I definitely recommend having a read through that to learn about the idea behind the design, and what to expect! 


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 

I'll be working the CAL along with you all (in the Classique Cotton, provided by the wonderful Stylecraft team), and I'll post my 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!

A quick note about tension swatches: For this project, the tension testing is only really required if you're terrified of running out of yarn. From past experience my tension is fairly similar to Jane's, so I will let you know how much yarn I use for each block to give you an idea of what to expect!

So, Block 1 - the White Cosmos.


Front
Back
This pattern is a nice, straightforward one to ease us into the CAL. You'll need to make 4 hexagon and 4 half-hexagon blocks this fortnight. 

Yarn usage:
145g Plum (267m)
7g Leaf (13m)
9g Ivory (17m)

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

My top tips for the White Cosmos block:

1. Change hook when the pattern tells you to! 

It might seem a bit silly to those of us (like me) who really only use one hook size per project, but it really does make a difference - I forgot to change back to the 3.5mm for one hexagon, and it ended up quite a lot larger than the others and needed to be frogged and redone!! 

2. The corner 3sc (US) on the last row needs to be worked on the central stitch of the 3dc (US) of the previous row.

I'm sure it will only be me who stuffs this up the first time, but just in case :P

3. Yes, the half hexagon will look a bit bigger than half, and that's ok.



As my mother always tells me, peer pressure is an amazing force in a crochet blanket - the edges will come out square in the end!


I hope you have a fantastic time with this gorgeous CAL, and don't hesitate to comment, visit a Facebook group or ask Anne or Michelle on Facebook if you need any help :D