Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Weekend Away: Amsterdam

Good Morning!

Again, no post about new crochet things from me (gasp!). I spent the weekend away and didn't take any yarn with me. I know, I know. Crazy lady.

Last Thursday we drove to Amsterdam/The Netherlands. The weekend away in Amsterdam was my birthday present to the boyfriend. The Rijkmuseum was holding an exhibition about the painting from Rembrandt (his later years). As my boyfriend likes the art, going there was part of the present. :)

We were lucky and the Friday was really sunny and warm (the other days not so much, but hey, it is the end of April - one nice, warm sunny day is more than to expect!). So, lots of walking all over the city! I love how the flowers were blooming and the sun sparkled in the town canals!

On Saturday we went to see a local market with lots of organic fruits, veggies and bread. Oh my! I wish we had a market like that over here! Not only did the veggies look so yummy (and ripe), the prices were good too! It can be tough to get ripe fruit and veggies here in Germany which is such a pity. Somehow it seems, Germans prefer unripe things... 

I managed to spot some crochet works all over the town! :) Soo nice to see some yarn-y works! The little crochet dolls were sold at the Rijkmuseum shop. I didn't take a photo of the label but they were made somewhere in Asia by local women as part of supporting their family. 

Have you been to Amsterdam yet? I am sure I will return at some point. It really isn't far away from Dortmund. Only about 2 1/2 hours (if there is no traffic jam like last Thursday)!

Take care

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Catching up!

Hello everyone! 

I haven't blogged much about everyday things for so long - between patterns and Melbourne, it's been a bit busy! Here's a little update on what's going on for me :) 

First, since it has been so long, a Sophie's Universe CAL update in pictures! I love the butterflies and the little plum tulips :) It is also big enough now to keep my knees warm while I work on it - very useful now that the weather is starting to get chilly of an evening. Only 3 more weeks to go!! 

I've also started on a new Crochet Along - Jane Crowfoot's Lily Pond Blanket together with Stylecraft Yarns. I wasn't that excited about it after I saw the initial photos, it seemed very dark. But now that I've made my first set of pieces, it really does look like ripples in a pond! I chose mostly Stylecraft Special DK colours to sort of match the Stylecraft Life DK set colours, but I think my choices are a bit brighter than the Special DK alternates provided.

I broke my yarn fast (again) last weekend at Spotlight's 40% off yarn sale. It was just too good to resist! I discovered some colourways of Moda Vera Bouvardia that I actually like, such as Tokyo:

and Sunset Dive:

And I am definitely excited about getting more of these yarns as they make such lovely Road Trip Scarves for my stall in June :) Fortunately Bouvardia is on sale for VIPs until 10 May, so I just have to get back to Spotlight before then! 

I also found a new Moda Vera Marvel variation called Magic Stripe - it has longer variegations in colour, and I think it works well for these booties! What do you think? I'm about to get started on a blue/green/white pair as well. 

But, our big excitement this week were the huge storms, rain and wind around Sydney and the Central Coast/Newcastle. We were fine here in Meadowbank (although the hot water was off for about a day due to damage to the hot water tanks), but up at the Lake House, things were a little bit different. There were trees down all over the place, they still have no power after 4 days, and the lake overflowed just a little bit! The combination of a king tide and the storm surge meant that the lake couldn't do its usual tidal thing at Swansea, so it got a tad overfull...

See that bench out in the water behind a tree? It's usually about a metre from the edge of the lake... The ducks thought it was all marvellous though :)  

We were meant to be going up there for this weekend to celebrate my mother's and my sister's birthdays, but without power we couldn't have hot showers or even make tea! Kiah and I quickly cleaned out the fridges and freezers, which were already defrosting, and just came home instead. It made for a long day, especially after getting evacuated from Spotlight at Tuggerah on the way! 

Tomorrow there will be birthday lunch at my parents' house - slow roasted pork belly, roast vegies and, by special request, red velvet birthday cake with salted caramel and white chocolate cream cheese icing! Wish me luck with the cake, I've never made red velvet before! 

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend :) Don't forget, if you are interested in participating in the Crochet Between Worlds Christmas Market, send us a message on our Facebook page! We are going to start organising in earnest at the end of May when I get back from the Great Ocean Road Marathon! 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

This and That...

Hello from Germany!

 Thank you for all your kind comments! We love, love, love reading them!

Again, my week didn't involve much crochet but lots of yarn winding. I am making progress but not as fast as I was hoping for. Unfortunatly the quality of the yarnwinder isn't helping much. I usually have to hold it firm while winding which makes my neck ache.

Which brand of yarn winder do you use and how is it working out for you?!

I saw some beautiful wooden ones online but they are really, really expensive (like this one). Plus shipping to Germany would add almost half the price again.

As I mentioned before I was gifted the left over yarn of my granny's sock yarn collection (this granny is still alive). I decided to make tiny corner to corner squares with it but I am not yet sure what they will become. Perhaps a blanket? One of my ideas regarding the squares is to add whites ones inbetween, so the color of the striped ones pops out. What you you reckon?

Last Sunday, we met my parents in Osnabrück which is a town halfway between our hometowns. The old town looked stunning in the sunlight! I really need to visit the town one day when the shops are open (I spotted a yarn shop). Oh and I even spotted some yarn bombing! Doesn't the spider look awesome?!

Hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Take care

Friday, 17 April 2015

Melbourne 2015, featuring Captain Poprocks!

This year's Easter pilgrimage to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival was bittersweet for Captain Poprocks. 

On the one hand, he was excited to see many world-famous Australian and international comedians and hang out with 18 of his closest buddies, but on the other hand... she wasn't coming back. As you know, General Millie was sold at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and I had made the mistake of telling the Captain that if she came back, there could be the opportunity for romance. He was a bit sad this trip, and didn't spend nearly as much time as last year out of his bag socialising. 

We started our trip a day early, with a trip to see The Lion King at the Regent Theatre with our friends Alicia and Matt! It was a spectacular show - some of the most amazing costumes I've ever seen. At interval, the Captain tried out his Simba impression :P 

We stayed that night at the Hotel Windsor, which I mostly chose because it was the place where The Hon Phryne Fisher first lived when she arrived back in Melbourne! It was incredibly swanky (possibly even too swanky) but we had a very enjoyable time and a delicious breakfast. 

On Good Friday we headed over to our new house in Footscray and our fellow travellers trickled in over the afternoon :) In the evening, we went to our favourite restaurant (Palookaville in Fitzroy, can't recommend this place enough) and then to see Gillian Cosgriff at the Trades Hall in the evening. Oh man, if you ever get the chance to go see this amazingly talented and musical lady, DO IT. The Captain and I had our photo taken with the star herself and The Ugliest Bag in the World.

Saturday was a fairly relaxing day, because in the evening we had not one, but TWO shows to see, in not one, but TWO Spiegeltents!!

The first one was Head First Acrobats performing Elixir, at the Wonderland Spiegeltent in Melbourne's Docklands. Three incredibly hot guys, doing amazing feats of acrobatics and getting increasingly undressed... excuse me for a moment.

Our second Spiegeltent experience for the night was an old favourite, Ali McGregor's Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night. The Captain sneaked on to the stage before it started...

The lady herself, Ali McGregor was brilliant, and the guests were East End Cabaret, Tony Law and Nina Conti, and I think we achieved 100% audience participation! 

Our Pat had at least one of the ladies of East End Cabaret on his knee, Deniz got dragged up on stage for a surreal interpretive dance on caring for the world with Tony Law, and my poor, poor brother was nominated to be Nina Conti's ventriloquy victim... Let's just say, there are videos, and the packed out audience all nearly split themselves laughing :D 

After the show the Captain met up with East End Cabaret - you should definitely check them out on Youtube if you want some risque, musical silliness.

A very late night, including the end of daylight savings, made Sunday a very quiet day. On Sunday evening we saw the always hilarious Cal Wilson at the Swiss Club, and since we were a bit early, Captain Poprocks tried his hand at standup comedy, but the microphone was just a little bit too high.

Giving up on being heard, he decided to entertain us with some pre-Cal pole-dancing...

Following a delicious schnitzel dinner at the Swiss Club, we toddled down to the Athenaeum to see Adam Hills! In a familiar theme for the weekend, as the show went on there was progressively more nudity! 

Monday night was our house party! We all dressed up for a Wild West Cookup of Mexican food (chicken fajitas on the barbeque and slow cooked beef carnitas) with all the trimmings, and then tasty and cheap jam doughnuts from the world famous doughnut van at Footscray Station. They squirt the jam out of a dolphin!  
We all tried to solve the mystery of "Who Shot Mayor Poprocks?" with the man himself playing the title role with great panache. He is still refusing to take the bandanna off. 

Tuesday night was the end of my spoons for the week, so while I stayed at home with crochet, takeaway Thai and TV, the rest of the group went off to see Watson perform "Who's Afraid of the Dark" at Old Melbourne Watch House. By all reports it was an excellent show, and as Pat said, "Comedy which requires a safe word is the best kind of comedy". They've been nominated for a Golden Gibbo, which is awarded to a local, independent show that bucks trends and pursues the artist's idea more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure. The winners are announced tomorrow night! 

What a week! And the best part? We're already booked in for next Easter :D

What did you get up to over the Easter long weekend? 

Take care,

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Fussy Brain Crochet Time

Good Evening!

Thank you for your kind words regarding my granny's passing. The funeral was really nice and while we miss her a lot, we are happy that she is with my grand-dad now.

Some weeks ago, Michelle and I switched our blog days. The switch makes a lot of sense regarding our work times, however my brain is still confused by it... So, last week, I forgot to blog on Tuesday. Oops.

Looks like all my brain power went into pattern testing. Do you remember the flames which Michelle posted some weeks ago? Well, I put them into a beanie. What started as a seemingly easy idea ended up being rather complicated. There was a lot of frogging, cursing and almost crying involved. Due to the way the flames are crocheted, the beanie has to be started from the bottom. This makes sizing a lot harder as crochet beanies usually start from the top.

Several beanies later, it looks as if I nailed it... I think. Now it is time to write up the pattern and adjust it to different sizes. So many stitches, so many numbers, so much counting. My brain is pretty cooked up. 

I also started to work on Michelle's ZigZag Tote. So far I made the bottom part and am in a bit of a fight with numbers again. Sighs. I know how it should look, I know how it is crocheted but at the moment my brain/hands can't do it. Laughs. Hopefully tonight! I have a desperate urge to move on to the colourful part as I have been crocheting with black too much over the last couple of days. 

My yarn stash is a bit of a mess and rather large. Time to do something about that! So last week I ordered a yarnwinder which arrived yesterday. While I am a bit unhappy with the quality (it wasn't that cheap!), it is mostly working fine. True, it ate some yarn last night but now I kinda know how it works best. Aren't these yarn cakes adorable?!

How is life and crochet going for you these days? Fussing brain like me or crochet wonderwoman? :)

Take care

Friday, 10 April 2015

PATTERN: Zig Zag Tote Bag

Thanks everybody! The Crochet Between Worlds Instagram account has reached 400 followers! 

As a special thank you to all our readers, followers and likers, we have a special offer for you on Michelle's brand new pattern - the Zig Zag Tote Bag!

Head over to the pattern page on Ravelry, hit "Buy it Now" and enter the coupon code for a 50% discount:


We'd love it if you could give the pattern a bit of love by adding it to your favourites (it's easiest to do this before you buy it!). 

Thank you all so much again, here's to many more posts, patterns, ideas, designs and friends!  

TUTORIAL: Foundation Single Crochet

I have a brand new pattern with the graphic designer at the moment! So exciting :D However, it uses a LOT of foundation single crochet stitch. To make your lives easier, here is the Crochet Between Worlds Foundation Single Crochet Photo Tutorial! 




1. With your hook and yarn, start with a slip knot.

2. Do 2 chain stitch. 

3. Now, look carefully at your first chain stitch (2nd from your hook). There are three threads - the "chain loops" and the "third loop" - I've marked them on this photo for you. You need to insert your hook from front to back through the "chain loops".

4. Yarn over hook, and pull it back to the front - now you have two loops on your hook. 

5. Now the magic begins! Yarn over hook, and bring it through ONLY THE FIRST LOOP, like the photo below. This creates the chains to mimic a foundation chain starting row. 

6. The next step is to make the single crochet stitch - yarn over hook again, and pull through BOTH LOOPS. Tada! You've made your first foundation sc stitch! 

7. This is the part where I was coming undone in other tutorials - where do you put your hook through to start the next stitch? Well, here you go! If you turn the work over so you are looking at the underneath (the "chain" part), you'll see a group of loops. I've labelled with pink arrows which are the "chain loops" that you need to stick your hook through.

Put your hook through those loops from front to back.

Now yarn over hook, and pull through the "chain loops". You'll have two loops on your hook again.  

8. Just like the first time, yarn over hook and pull through the FIRST LOOP only, to create the "chain" section of the stitch.   

9. Then, pull through both loops to create foundation sc #2!

10. Turn you work over again to look at the "chain" side of things. See the next two chain loops that you need to put your hook through to start the next stitch? I've labelled them with yellow arrows below :) 

When you are looking for the next chain loops, make sure you don't pick up the "third loop" by accident! I've spread the threads out a bit and labelled them below. If you start using the "third loop", your chain side will look a bit strange!

Once you've got the hang of it, continue on in the same way: 


STEP 1:  Insert hook front to back through chain loops of last stitch, yarn over hook, pull back through chain loops (2 loops on hook). 

STEP 2:  Yarn over hook, pull through 1 loop ("chain") (2 loops on hook). 

STEP 3: Yarn over hook, pull through both loops ("sc").