Last week I still did not have much time for crocheting as there was another cake waiting for me to be made. This time it was for the mother of my best friend. This woman is a really great person and kind of “adopted” my husband and me. So there was no way I would say no when I was asked to create a cake for her 80th birthday. Sadly she has diabetes so I had to ensure that the cake did not contain too much sugar. I picked yellow sponge cake with blueberry filling and a whipped cream-mascarpone cream. Her favourite color is yellow so I added some yellow roses and blue hydrangea made of Cake Dutchess modelling paste. I love how thin this paste can be rolled out and still be workable for some time.
I love how easy the petals could be dusted with petal dust and how well it holds the color after steaming. I have used this cake as an excuse to buy the cake steamer I had an eye on for quite some time. It was on sale at that moment so my restrain to buy it was easily resolved 🙂 It’s so much easier to work with a professional steamer rather than the water boiler I had used before (and almost burned my fingers with). Now I have all my equipment ready to practice more flowers as roses are fairly easy as soon as you have figured them out. The hydrangea don’t look that right though – maybe it would have been better to make them in white and dust them later just as I did with the roses.
Now that the cake season is over again for some time, I will again have time for some CAL work. I will give you an short update on my Stardust Melodies CAL. Here you see the next six squares ready to be joined to the rest. I am still behind six squares but I am sure that I am able to catch up. I am not sure yet if I am going to add more squares or if I just use it as a lap blanket. I think it will become pretty heavy the more squares are added as it is made of cotton yarn. I am not sure if I want to give it away every time for washing as I don’t know if washing saloons have enough knowledge still so that they don’t mess it up. I would be devastated if it got ruined after having invested so much time…
In the mean time I have a sneak peak for you until next week. Something I have been working on in between flower making for my upcoming vacation…..
I know, I know – I am supposed to work on my Stardust Melodies CAL or my Ross Poldark CAL. But I got side-tracked a little bit – not only because I am currently sick of working on long time projects. Those who read my blog regularly have seen the sneak peak already – so …. *dramatic drumroll*
Since the first time I have seen pictures of the In Bloom pillow by Johanna Lindal from Mijo Crochet, I knew that I had to make one for myself. And of course for someone who knows what my living room looks like, it should be really easy to find out which color scheme I was aiming for: Winter Rose. I did change it a little as I went for cream rather than using the harsher contrast of real white but I love the more subtle look. This pillow took much longer than expected – it’s actually a really big square that’s folded over and crocheted together in the back. It took me quite some time to figure out how this is done correctly – while trying to ignore the probably well-ment comments of my hubby such as “Are you sure that is right? It looks funny that way… “.
The second half of the week was dedicated to something totally different – a late-birthday cake for a good friend and dedicated running partner. She requested a Death by Chocolate so a Death by Chocolate she got. Rich chocolate cake with dark chocolate buttercream frosting and dark chocolate ganache topped with – of course – chocolate! It was 37 degrees outside and I was messing around with buttercream – not an easy feat for sure. But what really got me enoyed was, when my first patch of ganache desided to split. What a mess! No quick safe measure worked and I really got frustrated. It was already late on Saturday and I had to rush to the supermarket to grab some more chocolate before the market closed. The second patch worked fine though and I am happy with the result. The dripping could have been finer (will use a squeeze bottle next time) but overall it worked out as planned. And it was so moist and deliciously rich – I still try not to think of the amount of calories though …. But the party guest seemed to have loved it, so that I was able to redistribute those tiny little buggers to someone else’s hips :P. And if you want to have a good laugh, check the funny results produced in our session of “Stille Post Extreme” at my friend’s blog – my belly still hurts from laughing so much yesterday!
I am falling behind with my Stardust Melodies CAL because of working on my Ross Poldark in parallel. Therefore I show you what I have been working on the whole week. This time we had to make eight squares in total – eight really big squares. This actually did take so much time that I just have not been able to work on anything else. Working on eight squares simultaneously really got on my nerves – I hate repetitive work and I had a hard time convincing myself that it’s worth the effort.
The squares are a little bit smaller than the ones of week two, so I will probably need to block all before joining. I was so hoping to being able not to block anything this time – blocking is tedious for a big blanket.
Now that I finished this week I actually really love the way these squares look. Aren’t these pretties? I now really hope that I can keep myself motivated next week too as there will be again eight squares waiting to be made. Maybe this time I’ll split them up in two times four instead.
So it’s kick off week again – this time I present to you the amazing Ross Poldark blanket. Or at least the first two weeks as the CAL will take place until August. But what I like about this CAL is that you actually know what the finished product will look like as the pattern has already been released before. So I know I love the design and also the original masculine color scheme. The first week consisted of sixteen small squares – after the Nuts squares they looked tiny. They where quite easy to do as they do not contain any fancy stitches. I like the way it creates a nice pattern while staying simple.
The next week was only four squares – but this time bigger ones. Don’t the colors look gorgeous? And they where quite fast to make in only two evenings. Can’t wait for this week’s release in order to see how the squares will come together. As well those small squares are nice to work on even when it’s hot. And while waiting I am working on the next squares of my Stardust Melodies CAL.
It’s now official – I finished the longest project I’ve been working on in a row – my Nuts about Roses blanket. Working on the border during a heat wave really cost me dearly. As I was not able to think clearly, I messed up the stitch count – one row it was okay, the next it was all haywired. I found out three rows later – but then I was not going to frog everything again because of a minor “design element”. If you know the pattern, you might see where I messed up, but as I am the only one in my household having actually read the pattern, I can hide it from everyone 😜.
I really rushed through the border as I had to get one project finished before the next one started. Maybe it was because of that the end came as quite a shock – one second I was crocheting as fast as can be and the next it was all over. Only other crafters might understand this moment when you suddenly feel like you lost something precious.
I am really proud of the outcome though and am glad that I participated in this CAL. Not only did I get to know some really great people sharing the same passion, I also learned a lot myself. I’ve never done such designs before and also joining was a first timer. I love how my color scheme works out in the end, even though I am still not too fond of this really bright pink. However the squares come together great in the end and the blanket is so soft, I would be cuddling with it all the time – if not for those terrible 30 degrees or more. I can’t wait for winter – I will not be cold this year for sure.
And even though I finished one project doesn’t mean that I am not working on something again. Next to the other CALs I am participating in I started a new, smaller project. I actually thought that I’d be able to show you the result already this week but it seems to take more time than I actually expected. But I can give you a little sneak peak already ….
This week was quite busy – not concerning finishing projects but more on getting new projects on board. I worked on my Nuts Border but we are currently having a heat wave which makes cocheting on it slow work. So sadly I don’t have a finished blanket yet.
However the first new project added to my list is the Ross Poldark CAL. The pattern was created by the amazingly creative designer Catherine Bligh and the CAL will be starting on the 12th of July. I have received my yarn pack already from Loveknitting and can’t wait to get started. The colors are so lovely and the design is so gorgeous <3. And of course it’s again connected to a Facebook group – my fourth crochet related one – that provides me with one million of new project ideas. I am so doomed ….
A good friend of mine is actually responsible for the second project added. She asked me recently if I do anything else besides crocheting. Yes, I still clean my apartment and even my balcony garden gets watered now and again :P. And I have time to meet with friends, too. But it’s quite true that this year I spent very much time on crocheting – it can be done next to the TV, it is easy to pick up and easy to store away and I don’t need to plan very much (which is nice after a hard day at work which involves lots of planning and organizing). So on my way home I read that Etty van Urk, the Cake Dutchess, who is my inspiration for modelling fondant figurines, wanted to start an “edible alphabet cake topper collaboration” using Cake Dutchess modelling paste. My fingers were faster to type “I’m in!” than my brain was able to process what I was doing :P. I now have to come up with an idea for a word starting with the letter “H” and an kids-suitable design. I am loving the challenge!
And last but not least I published my first free pattern. You might remember the dish scrubber I created using Rico Creative Bubble. It’s not a fancy design but I thought that I might as well write it down as I was not able to find such a pattern when searching the web. I decided to publish it on Ravelry, my own preferred source of patterns – and after quite a struggle with figuring out how to actually get my instructions uploaded there, I am happy to announce that you can find it here in case you want to give it a try too. It’s my first written and charted pattern – so please be kind to me ;). Any feedback is welcome – especially if anyone knows the official chart symbol for a drop stitch (searched the web to and fro and was not able to find anything on it at all).
Why on earth are there such things as catch-up weeks in CALs? And how could it happen that this week was catch-up week on BOTH CALs I am currently participating? Why was I punished like that? I participate in two CALs at the same time in order not to have too much waiting time! I was devastated….
So actually I was wandering back and forth and looking at my yarn stash, trying to figure out what to do with all that spare time. And even though I didn’t want to start another big project I could not resist for long. I started my own Charlotte’s Dream throw for my bedroom. I love when a color scheme I had in my head works out just perfectly. I love this pattern so much – the texture, the central flower, the easiness of creating it. Each square is huge but I still need at least 23 more. It will be my in between project, so it might take eternity until finished.
Then I decided to do something about all those squares already on my blocking board. I can still remember how hard it was to join all those squares on my Nuts, so I didn’t want to wait until the end with the Stardust Melodies. I was undecided which join to use – I was torn between the celtic lace join and the flat braid join. I tried the celtic lace first but it was way to dominant for the squares. I wanted something that helps bring out the texture of the squares not distract from them. The flat braid join works perfect for that – I totally love how it adds a filigrane feeling to the rather solid squares.