Friday, 29 May 2015

Ta-dah! Sunday Poncho!

For such a long time I've been drooling over Alia Bland's Sunday Shawl pattern

But... I just can't wear shawls. They always fall off my shoulders, forwards backwards and sideways, and I spend my whole life rearranging the shawl that I'm wearing.

I decided that for our Great Ocean Road Trip (post and photos coming soon), I wanted to make something for myself, and what a great opportunity to convert this gorgeous shawl pattern into a poncho! I took advantage of the Drops sale and got a small mountain of Drops Cotton Merino, a beautiful DK yarn that is 50% cotton and 50% merino wool. So happy to find woollen yarn that doesn't make me itch like crazy! My excellent sister-in-law helped me to pick the colours :) 

After discussions with my mother and my favourite crochet ladies on Facebook, I decided on a 3 corner poncho. There was much mathematics (even a pencil and paper came out at one point, and the printed pattern is all scribbled with little charts and counting numbers), much frogging (and a little bit of swearing), but finally it's done! All the details on the changes that I made to the pattern are on my Ravelry Project Page.

Ta-dah! My Sunday Poncho :D  








It's so warm and snuggly, but not too warm, and is very comfortable to wear around the house and sitting in my crochet chair. I am wearing it right now! 

And of course, if I was getting a poncho then Captain Poprocks needed one for himself :P 



Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Zpagetti Yarn Plays

Hello all!

I hope you all had a wonderful Pentecost weekend! I was at work all weekend but it was good fun. Every year at Pentecost there is a huge meeting of current and former scholarship holders in Villigst. Many generations, many talks and much fun! Not much time for crochet but still a wonderful weekend! :)

Last week I was very lucky indeed! Some time ago I won the give away at Emerald Cottage and this week Jill's parcel arrived. Wow! Look at all these wonderful goodies!! Thank you so much Jill!! I really love the postcard - such a cute, cute kitten!


After I finished the blanket I talked about last week, I need to use some bigger yarn. So I went for Zpagetti Yarn. From a 2,5 mm hook to a 8 mm one. Quite the change! Most people use 12 mm hooks for the Zpagetti Yarn but I prefer smaller ones. I just wish there were Clover Amour hooks in larger sizes!

I made some trivets using the Maybelle Flower pattern. Already made some last year and they are pretty useful. It's a bit hard on the hands and shoulder to make them but in the end the finished trivet is worth it. 



As I have plenty of Zpagetti yarn (went on a shopping spree last year), I will make more of these. Not sure what I will do with them though. Probably give them as gift or I might even sell them. We will see.

Did you work with T-Shirt yarn yet? And do you have tricks which save the shoulders and hands?!

Take care
Anne

Friday, 22 May 2015

PATTERN: Tension Finger Saver

I am usually a pretty loose crocheter. My sister and I can both make exactly the same pattern, and mine is usually much much bigger than hers! 

But, for some projects, I find that tight tension is essential for the correct look or size. Maintaining that sort of tight tension is difficult, especially when I start to get serious dents and burn marks across my middle finger where the yarn runs across! 

I came up with this little tension finger saver using hardy 4 ply cotton, and it has done wonders for my poor hands when crocheting with tight tension :) 



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PATTERN: TENSION FINGER SAVER
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This pattern uses all US terminology. It is worked in a spiral rather than joining each row and then moving up.

Materials
Small amount of 4 ply cotton
2.25mm/B hook 
Scissors
Yarn needle

Instructions

Row 1: Using foundation single crochet stitch (fsc), 15fsc (or however many you need to fit snugly around your problem finger). It needs to be quite a firm fit, so that it doesn't spin around your finger with the yarn, but not so firm that it cuts off the blood supply!

Row 2: Insert your hook back through the first fsc and do a normal sc. sc in each stitch around (15sc)




Rows 3-9: sc in each stitch around (15 sc) 

To finish: Slip stitch into the next stitch. Fasten off and cut yarn. With starting end, slip stitch into final fsc and fasten off. Weave in ends.



There you have it! I ended up making two - one for my middle finger and one for my little finger to save them from dents and burns making the cutest happypotami :) 



Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Why I declutter


Good Morning!

Thanks for all your kind words - we love reading your comments! It is wonderful to be connected by crochet to people all over the world!

Not too much crochet happened in this house here in Germany over the past few weeks. This has two reasons: 

 (1) I worked on a 90x90cm baby blanket with 4ply/sportsyarn. Took ages... I quite like how it looks like now though. The yarn itself is very soft but worked up with a 2,5 mm hook it turned out to be a bit stiff.I will soak and wash it and hopefully it will be softer afterwards. What is your favourite trick to soften yarn?


(2) As mentioned in my last post, a lot of decluttering is going on in our flat. We give to charity, we toss and so on. In many ways, we try to become more minimalistic. Because we want to focus what is important.


Of course there is some "clutter" which we won't give away or toss. Like the stone the boyfriend got from one of the examiners at his doctoral thesis defense. Or my Harry Potter books - they are dear to my heart! Living with less doesn't mean that we live without meaningful things. Quite the opposite: We only want to live with meaningful things; that is, things which we use or things which are very dear to us. I rather want to invest in memories and happiness than in things. I do love my yarn but not for the yarn itself but for the things I can make with it and the joy the crochet time gives me!


Many people associate minimalism with white, squeaky clean and empty flats. Our home will never be like that. Our flat shall be colorful and full of life. Just with less stuff...
 
That said: There is still a LOT of stuff in our house and I can tell you this: It will take several more months, perhaps even years before we reach the goal :P The decluttering feels pretty good though! :) 


I am dreaming of having a paperless office one day. 
Do any of you have experience with such a thing?

Take care
Anne

Friday, 15 May 2015

Ta-dah! Sophie's Universe!

It's been nearly 18 weeks now since I started on the Sophie's Universe CAL, and I cannot believe how much I've learned in that time. Sophie has made me a much better and more confident crocheter - what a girl! 

Before we get to the photos, a HUGE thank you to the incredible Dedri Uys from www.lookatwhatimade.net, the designer of this stunning project. 

Now, isn't she beautiful? 










Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Decluttering and Organising the Yarn Stash

Hello all!

Guess what... I am sick with the cold again. Gosh, I am so annoyed by this. Does any of you have good ideas on how to avoid getting sick this much?! I am willing to try almost everything by now.

Anyway, back to more pleasant things. As I told you some weeks ago, I got myself a yarn winder to organize my yarn stash. It took me a lot longer to wind all the yarn balls into nice yarn cakes than I expected - lot more yarn than I thought I had. Opps.


As you can see on the pictures, I stacked the yarn cakes into IKEA shelves which seems to work really well. I get about 4x4x4 yarn cakes into one shelf. I do see the problem of getting to the yarn cakes at the back but at the moment this seems to be the best solution. I could add metal drawers but I wouldn't be able to add as much yarn to them. And let's face it: There is only so much space in my office/studio. Sighs. Perhaps one day?



If you search for "yarn storage" on Pinterest, you will find tons of wonderful ideas - this board for example has tons of ideas, tricks and hints.. I have tried some of them, like the boxes, but the yarn got tangeled up all the time. And if I put them into shelves it worked as long as the yarn was in proper balls. By the time I used half of it or more, it tended to get very messy. 
 
How do you store your stash? Send us pictures to crochet.between.worlds@gmail.com and I will add them to this post if you like!

 

You shall be very proud of me! I filled three bags with yarn which I won't use and will give it to charity. Wohoo, I never thought the day where I would give yarn away (willing) would arrive. Did you? At the moment, we (as in the boyfriend and I) are very busy decluttering the flat. One wouldn't believe all the stuff one collected over the years which is still in very good shape but never used. So it shall leave our flat and more somewhere else. We usually donate our things to Oxfam which will resell the stuff. There is a little store here in Dortmund and it is always a bit funny when I go in there and discover things in the selling shelves which used to belong to us. Feels good though. It is amzing how less stuff in the flat actually frees one's mind!


Have a wonderful week! Is it a long weekend for you too? It is here in Germany (well, for most people. Thursday is public holiday and most people take the friday off).

Take care
Anne

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Ta-dah! Overlay Crochet Mandala No.1!

Hello everyone! I hope you've all had a good week :) 

Anne and I have not had such a good week - we have both been hit really hard by the fatigue monster. Stupid monster. When Anne comes to visit me in December we are going to crochet ourselves a Fatigue Monster so we can stick pins in it and hit it with a hammer!!! 

To cheer ourselves up we are having a little giveaway on Instagram, to celebrate reaching 500 followers! If you are on Instagram and haven't found us yet, we are @crochetbetweenworlds :) Go find us and enter the giveaway!! 

You might remember that last week, on a rainy and cold day here in Sydney, I posted about my crochet wishlist. This week I really needed some bright colour and quick satisfaction, so I decided to have a go at CAROcreated's Crochet Overlay Mandala No.1. Here are lots of photos of it, because I love it so much :D









Even the back is pretty!




Have you made mandalas before? 
What are your favourite mandala patterns?