Monday, 28 April 2014

How to avoid crocheter's elbow

Hello all!

Did you know you could get a tennis arm or golfer's elbow from too much crocheting? I didn't but discovered the hard way.

My elbow hurts when I crochet too long or if I work at the computer (which I have to for work). Ouch. It started about two weeks ago and I was sure I just bumped my right elbow into something. I am clumsy like that after all. When the pain didn't disappear, I talked to my office colleague about it and she knew right away what I was talking about... So I have a golfer's elbow. That is, the underside of my elbow hurts. It's a dull pain which gets worse the more I repeat one motion (such as crochet or keyboard work). 

A golfer's elbow therefore seems to be a repetitive strain injury. I am not a medical person, so I can't really tell you much about it except that it hurts. 

Anyway, I spent some time on the internet to come up with cure (apparently there is none) and ways to avoid getting a nasty golfer's elbow. Since there are probably a lot of people around who share the crocheter's elbow or want to avoid one, I will share my research with you.


How to avoid a crocheter's elbow

1. Make sure your elbow isn't "free". Pop a pillow under your arm when you crochet, so the elbow rests on it. 

2. Stop crocheting right away if you feel any pain.

3. Stretch your forearms and hands often. I found that these stretching exercises actually help: Youtube Stretch Exercises.

4. Massage your forearm muscles after a crochet workout. I have one of these back massage pillows and discovered it works for arm massage too. 

5. Try out an ergonomic crochet hook. This didn't work for me but it might for you.



Do you know more tricks? I am happy to add them to this list, so drop me a line!

Take care, Anne

P.S. Does any of you know a miracle cure for my elbow? I have crochet withdrawal....

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Adventures of Captain Poprocks

We just got back yesterday from our annual pilgrimage to Melbourne for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival! This is the 10th year that we have travelled down together as a group - 19 people this year :)

Captain Poprocks, my candy hippo, travelled along with us and had some very special experiences!



It was very early on Good Friday when we arrived at the airport in Sydney. The Captain was very excited for his first ever plane flight, and spent most of the time looking out the window at the NSW/Victorian countryside going past.






We also bought some trashy magazines, and luckily the Captain is good at crosswords.



After arriving in Melbourne, Captain Poprocks made some new friends in the taxi on the way into the city!



First we left our bags in my brother's Melbourne office, and the Captain sneaked some photos in reception ;) 



We went to brunch at Tropicana, a fabulous little cafe on Elizabeth Street, which has some pretty awesome decorations.


    

We had an early dinner at a gorgeous little Italian restaurant off Collins Street. Captain Poprocks particularly liked Kiah's baked macaroni! 



Our first show was Puppet Up! Uncensored, by Henson Alternative, all the way from the USA. We had seen this group perform a few years ago, and just loved the combination of improvisation, muppets, and smuttiness :P The Captain even got to have his photo taken with some of the puppets and puppeteers afterwards!




On Saturday, we met up with some Melbourne friends in Lygon Street and discovered this amazing Italian bakery and coffee shop called Brunetti's. I can't believe we've never been there before! I had profiteroles and a cherry custard tart, and Kiah had this amazing chocolate caramel creation. Captain Poprocks loves sugar, but I think perhaps he indulged a bit too much...





On Saturday night we saw Matt Okine, who was very funny but also quite melancholic, and then Ali McGregor's Late-Nite-Variety-Nite-Night at the Spiegeltent. As usual, our group was in the front two rows, and as usual, we overtook most of the audience participation. There were two standup comedians, a hula girl and a musical comedian, as well as Ms McGregor herself performing songs quite outside of their usual style - all very funny and entertaining!



Captain Poprocks was brought up on stage by the first guest, Doc Brown, and I think has developed a little taste of fame! He managed to score a cuddle and a picture with the lady Ali herself after the show.


On Sunday we went to the Queen Victoria Markets to get supplies for the $5 lunch challenge. This is an idea we stole from YSA Melbourne - every person in the group is allocated to a category (meats, cheese, bread, fruit or drinks) and is allowed to spend $5 in that category.  Then we all meet up in the park and have a big picnic, sharing our finds. The Captain was too tired and hungover to come out of his bag for the picnic. 

In the evening we saw Cal Wilson, one of our favourite comedians, perform her show about what her life might have been like if she'd been born different or taken different paths. Again the Captain was too nervous to come out of his bag during the show (I was the star of this one...), but he snuck onto the stage at the end for a quick piccy. 



After the show we headed back to Fitzroy to have dinner at one of our favourite Melbourne restaurants, Palookaville. Captain Poprocks went off with another person in the group - was she a bad influence on him, or the other way around?



Easter Monday we had a free day until the evening, when it was time for our 10th Anniversary Regressive Dinner! 

We started off with liquid nitrogen icecream at LN2...





...then went to Bimbo Deluxe for pizza and drinks (and some very interesting interior design and cocktails)...





... and finished up back at our house for more cocktails and chips for entree! 





It was also a birthday day, so there was pirate ship cake!




On Tuesday we were planning to go to Acland Street, St Kilda to eat vast quantities of cake, but the weather gods conspired against us to make a cold, wet and windy day. Sensibly, we decided to stay at home! 

In the afternoon we had a super special 10th anniversary surprise - one of our favourite comedians, Tegan Higginbotham, came to do her show for us in our living room! It was pretty awesomely amazing and lots of fun, and we got a little photo with Tegan and her friend Paul Verhoeven afterwards :)



Most of the group then went to a taping of The Project at the Channel 10 studios at South Yarra, and we all met up again in the city at Stalactites for an impressive Greek feast. So much delicious meat...

It was a great trip, and I'm pleased/terrified to say that I've already received some deposits for next year's Easter Melbourne extravaganza! 

We love being away, but heading home is something special :) And now when Captain Poprocks goes to his forever home, he will have lots and lots of stories to tell!



Sunday, 20 April 2014

Maybelle Flowers

Hello you lot!

Spring is finally back! We had rather cold, stormy and rainy weather these last days but today there is a lot of sun! I adore sunny days - it just lifts my spirit and I tend to smile a lot just because!

Easter is here!. In Germany, we have the Friday and the Monday off, so it shall be a nice long weekend. We will visit the inlaws and my parents - I love the visits but the car rides are sooo long. Well, for a German that is. It takes us 2-3 hours on the autobahn which I know is right around the corner for many Australians :P

I am very busy with my yarn. There is one huge WIP going on but I can't tell you about it because it will be a gift. Let's just say: Last week a box with 5 kg of yarn arrived at my place...




I fell in love the Maybelle Flowers a couple of weeks ago.  I made several sets which can be used as coasters but I might also transform some into a bunting for our living room. I can highly recommend the pattern: It's very easy but makes beautiful results. I knew it by heart after the third flower - that's how easy it is! I did however start with a magic circle instead of the chain of 10. Much easier!




A couple of weeks I told you about my new zpagetti yarn. Well, some of it got transformed into a Maybelle flower too. Since the material is 100 % cotton, these zpagetti flowers can be uses as large coasters for pots.




Take care and have a wonderful Easter weekend,
Anne





Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Stegosaurus!

Just a quick post to show off my new Stegosaurus! It's a brand new pattern from the amazing Heidi Bears.






Isn't he adorable??

Also, at the crack of sparrow's on Friday morning we are off for our annual Melbourne Comedy Festival Escapade! I'm taking my little candy hippo with me, but he needs a name!!



What do you think his name is?

Friday, 11 April 2014

Villigster Decken

Hello all!

My granny-patches fever is back! Well, that doesn't mean I don't have like 10 other projects going on as well, but these are so much fun! Also, it's a lovely way to get rid of left over yarn.
These patches you see have a history. As I mentioned before I work for the scholarship organization of the protestant church (also was a scholarship pupil there myself). The scholarship system in Germany is rather different from most other countries: It's not the unis which give away scholarships but 13 organizations which operate nationwide. They receive money from the government to hand out said money (plus money from their background organizations, donations and so on). There are four confessional organizations, several political ones and some others.
 

Anyway, the scholarship people of Villigst have a "solidarity fund". One of the scholarship holders is responsible for the fund and almost every one pays a monthly fee into the fund. Also it lives off donations. If some scholarship holder is in dire monetary need, he/she can ask for money out of the fund. No one will ever know he/she got money (except for the person responsible for the pay out). This fund has existed for many years and in my opinion it is a great, great thing. I was lucky enough that I never had to ask for money out of the fund, but I know some people who have.

As I said the fund also "lives" off donations. This week, Wibke and I had the idea to fund a projects which shall rise money for the fund: Villigster Decken (Blankets of Villigst). There are a lot of current and former scholarship people who love to crochet or knit. Thus we asked them to crochet/knit little patches (10 cm x10 cm) and post them to me. I will sew them together and we will auction the finished blankets of. The first one shall be finished for the annual pentecost meeting (there will be a lot of current/former scholarship people and we hope the blanket with rise good money).
I have tons of left over yarn, so this will go into little patches. I had forgotten how much fun granny squares are! So easy and such a quick reward! As you can see, I also did a basket weave and a corner to corner patch.
Oh how I wish the day had more hours! So many crochet projects I want to start!
Have you donated crocheted/knitted goods for charity before?



Take care,
Anne 


Sunday, 6 April 2014

A new housemate: Amineko Cat

Hello all!
About a year ago, I received a wonderful gift in the mail: My friend Anne from Manly/Australia knew I was having a very tough time and send me a crochet book.

Aren't these cats adorable?


Since then I wanted to make one of these but only now (a year later), I got around to it. Anyway, may I introduce you to my Amineko cat? I went in spirals instead of closed rounds. The pattern asked for the later but I misread. Well, that is, I didn't read that part. I figured that it would go in spirals since is was an Amigurumi. I don't think it makes much difference and there is no seam. A win-win situation!

Looks like I will make more of these cats too. I ordered cotton yarn (4ply) and will transform some of it into cats. First my finger needs to heal though. I cut stuff for pizza and well, slicing the onion didn't work out as I intended too. Sighs.
How did you spend your weekend?
Take care,
Anne