A week with Nuts and Pride

This week I have not been working a lot on my squares for my Nuts about Roses. But at the end my conscience kicked in and it kicked me really well. Maybe it also helped that I am actually close to finishing another big project. I present you the next two weeks even though I have almost finished two more. But one week is still on the blocking board and the last ones are still only half finished.

IMG_0346The next square I finished is the lovely Fall Blossom by designer Aurora Suominen This square is so beautiful, I fell in love with it right away. It creates so much texture with simple stitches – I really enjoyed every minute with it. I am getting used to adapting the size of the last rounds now though in order to come out with squares which are equally sized. I just wished I had known that much in week two already – when blocking that one, I had to stretch it quite much and I could have prevented that by just adapting the stitches of the last rounds. But as the saying goes: we grow with every error we make – and believe me, I have grown much with the Nuts CAL. Or I might have become a designer with all those “design elements” added 😜.

IMG_0347The next week brought a surprise – just two squares where on the list. But that’s actually okay for whoever is doing the math will surely see that 3 squares each week for 12 weeks would add up to 36 squares which would be hard to join in a rectangular blanket.  We are actually doing 35 squares which will be joined to create a 5×7 blanket. The two squares where also not the same pattern but two different ones. The first one was the lovely Maroccan Window by Heather Gibbs. The second one the square Sweet and Fair by Julie Yeager. I actually am a little bit disappointed by the later one. It was nice and easy for sure – but I feel like it just does not fit in with the other squares as it lacks structure and depth. I will take a look at how it will fit in as soon as the final layout is out and might then consider a substitute. On the other hand my color C is running low so I might just have to live with it.

IMG_0348The rest of the week I spend actually mostly with enjoying myself after work at the Vienna Pride – Austria’s landmark LGBT event. I am a strong believer in everybody’s personal right to love whoever he or she wants and the right not to be prosecuted for loving someone. This week there was a wholeIMG_0349 week of music and queer performances and it was nice sitting outside with a cocktail or two celebrating love. On Saturday my husband and I went to see the Rainbow Parade which is always a colorful and great event. And we even got a good view on some “celebrities” like designer Glöckner.  Or a group of crocheters with gorgeous crocheted umbrellas – I almost wanted to run and ask them for the pattern. And I saw some mystical creatures – unicorns, angels and even mermaids …

 

 

I have been nominated *happy dance*

Light Dotted

As I already hinted in my last post, I have been nominated for the Liebster Award.  I have not heard about that award before but I am a newbie to the world of serious blogging, so I still have a lot to learn. It’s an award from bloggers for bloggers and was created so that people get to know new bloggers.

My nomination came from fellow blogger Tracy of It’s a T-Sweets day! and I want to thank her with all my heart. Every time I read her blog, I feel like she is a kindred spirit. She seems to have the same creative interests – quilting, crocheting, traveling, cooking, … And when I see the gorgeous quilting projects, she is creating at the moment, I feel the urge to pick up some fabric and start up my sewing machine again myself. But what I find most amazing about her are her crazy crafty ideas – like setting up a doomsday preparation bucket (would never have thought about that myself) or organizing buttons by using safety pins (so simple but so never came to my mind). She is such an inspiration!

Now the rules of the award state that I have to get personal. I am supposed to state 10 facts about myself so that you get to know me a little. Here we go!

  • I am married to the love of my life for almost 15 years now. We knew each other already at school but then I would “never ever date him” – a fact over which we laugh still from time to time.
  • We actually got married a long way from home – in Mombasa, Kenya. And we stuck to celebrating our anniversaries abroad since then as we share the same passion for travelling.
  • I love to learn and am a strictly defender of the life-long-learning movement. I love plattforms like Coursera and EDX where you have access to a lot of courses on university level for free.
  • In primary school I hated crafting class – I was a cocky little girl and thought that I knew better than my teacher voicing my opinion loudly. Therefore I was forced to stand in front of the class and tell my classmates how it’s done correctly as a punishment. As I actually didn’t know anything at all, it was quite a sobering, embarrassing experience.
  • I started to get interested in crafts again when meeting my aunt years later. It was mostly crocheting but also some cross stitching and knitting. We spent hours together chatting, drinking coffee (lots of it!) and working on our projects. When we had a serious falling out, it took me a long time to actually pick up a crochet hook again.
  • I am very good at starting things but have a hard time sticking with something. I get distracted easily by new project ideas. This blog actually is kind of a therapeutic thing to get me to finish projects – and so far it is actually working quite well 😉
  • I am a book worm – I currently have over 1000 books at home (not counting ebooks) and have dedicated a whole room to them. It consists books on history (mainly Irish/Celtic), Wicca (I am a no longer practicing solitary), fantasy and sci-fi, classics, biology and psychotherapy (studied both but sadly never finished), management, requirements engineering and computer sciences (my daily business). I love my library!
  • I am a collect-o-holic – I collect patterns (currently over 400 on ravelry not to count the real printed one in books and journals at home), fabric (could make approximately 10 quilts right away without worrying) and yarn (2 projects on the go, another one waiting, a whole set of Catania colors for amigurumis and some really old yarn I recently found again).
  • I love console games – especially RPGs with a good storyline or great graphic design. And sadly I have to confess: I like to play Pokemon which has neither but just calls out to my collect-o-holic nature 🙂
  • My internet nickname is Silverwheel and has been choosen a long time ago. It is derived from Arianrhod, the Celtic goddess of the silver wheel, who is assoziated with the moon. I was always drawn to the moon and felt connected with the goddess right from the start. Might be because one other aspect of this moon goddess is called Brigidh – which is the origin of my real name.

Tracy is also curious about specific things and has provided the following questions to her nominees.

1.How did you get started quilting or sewing or crocheting?

I actually was forced to learn crocheting, knitting and sewing at school – girls where supposed to have crafting classes. I still envy the boys for learning to work with drilling machines and other “manly” machinery. I just never could get a hang on those. Quilting I taught myself 5 years ago – I stumbled over some beautiful projects in the internet, loved it at first sight and just tried it out.

2.If you could have one present, what would it be?

I have a great family, a handful of really good friends with whom I can have a lot of fun (those reading this know to whom this is referred <3) and a nice little cozy home of my own.  So the only thing that’s missing is a life-long supply of yarn and fabric. Yeah, that would be one nice present 🙂

3.What is your favorite sewing tool?

Definitely my Toyota sewing machine. It was a present from my husband about 12 years ago but I was too scared to use it then. I took it out when I learned quilting and love it since.  I always say, I don’t need a Ferrari (one of those fancy machines with tons of electronic stuff) cause I have my good old Toyota 😉

4.What has been you favorite blog post?

Of my own – none, my babies are all equal 😉 I enjoyed writing every single one of them.

5.Who has been your inspiration?

Primarily my grandmother – she was always creating things. My memory is a little bit fuzzy on that cause I can’t remember any actual project, but I know she always had a crafty project with her on her visits. Other than that there are a lot of inspirational people on the net – Etty van Urk – the Cake Duchess – my cake modelling muse or Ester from It’s all in a Nutshell with her great youtube channel that makes crocheting really easy.

6.What is your favorite food?

I love strawberries and anything strawberry related. As a kid I always wanted a strawberry cake for my birthday and was always disappointed as they are not ripe in March yet. I grow some on my balcony garden and even though they are still not ripe in March, I love picking them right from the greens like we did as kids. Pure bliss ….

7.When do you blog?

I prepare my blog posts every Sunday – latest in the evening but mostly in the afternoon. I actually tried for some time to be ready earlier but I just never finish my projects in time ;). As a full time worker crafty joy has to be done in the evenings and on weekends only. Therefore I decided to publish regularly Monday morning my time zone (GMT+1).

8.Did your mother sew?

A long long time ago when I was very little, my mother did sew and knit (she actually finished one of my school projects because I hated knitting so much). Sadly she became very sick and lost her creative drive during her illness.

9.What makes a perfectly SWEET day at your house?

Staying long in bed, having a nice breakfast on my balcony with my hubby and then settling down with some project watching our favorite series.

10.What advice would you give to future sewer/bloggers?

Start with what you love and never give up. If something does not work out – and believe me it will, no matter if it’s sewing or blogging – just shake it off and continue. Get inspired by other people’s blogs – not only for projects but also how they set up their blogs. But most of all: enjoy the journey!

Now to the hardest part but the one I enjoyed most. I had not taken much time yet to check out other blogs even though I added my own to Bloglovin. I was so busy setting up my own and creating stuff to share. Also it might have been some serious subconscious self rescuing scheme that just didn’t want me to take a too close look at other gorgeous projects, so to not adding more to the ever growing pile of might-be-s 😉

Now after some relax time with a nice cup of coffee I present you some treasures that really should be on your regular reading list. So – drumroll – those are my nominees:

  • Lovemade Handmade: Oh what lovely pictures you can find on that blog – not only are the projects gorgeous but you can learn a lot about professional photography there. I’m always a lazy daisy concerning pictures as I am always late for my weekly postings – but one day I want to have time to shoot such pics too….
  • The Messy Brunette: So many different projects here – from crochet to upcycling to embroidery. Creativity at it’s best!
  • My Crafty Musings: Crochet inspirations in every post – all lovely bright and colourful.
  • Catherine’s Crochet Corner: That blog is such an inspiration for me – not only for color choices but this ring binder cover idea went right on my must-really-have list of future projects. And everyone knows her gorgeous Demelza blanket, don’t you?
  • Susanblog: this blog is written by a – in my opinion – very strong and creative woman. Not loosing hope in her situation and still producing such great projects (check out her beautiful fusion quilt <3), shows a strong spirit.

For the guideline of the award check out this link here.

And here are my questions to you, my dear nominees – looking forward to reading your answers soon!

  1. Cat person or dog person?
  2. If you had only time for one more project – which one would you choose?
  3. What craft would you love to learn but did not have had time to try?
  4. Of all the projects you have ever created which on is your favorite?
  5. Travelling is my passion – what passion other than crafting to you have?
  6. You are stranded on a lonely island with only 5 items – which are your absolutely must haves you could not live without?
  7. As a bookworm myself I have to ask – what’s the best book which everyone should have read?
  8. What’s your favorite color?
  9. What is the most important thing you would tell a newbie in your favorite craft?
  10. How many UFOs are currently in your to do basket?

Of Boho Style and In-Betweeners

I am a little bit tired of creating endless numbers of squares for my current two CALs. Don’t get me wrong – I really love them and the challenges they bring up every week. However it’s kind of a perpetuum mobile – each week new squares, once done wait for the next and on and on and on …. This is why I needed some smaller in between projects. Projects which show a result pretty soon and make me feel like I achieved something right away.

IMG_0311I started out by testing the newest hype – Rico Creative Bubble. It’s a yarn that can be used to knit or crochet your own personal kitchen scrubby. When I found it in a local store, I just had to grab two balls to try it out. The color choices are terrible but I guess that’s accounted to the material: 100% polyester and thats exactly how it feels like. As you can see in the picture it has tiny little “hair” – those should lead to the scrubby effect. It definitely does it’s job but it is also terrible on your fingers when you are working with it. I did not buy the corresponding books as they contained just simple patters which just would not be worth the money. I thought I could just wing those anyway without a pattern.

IMG_0331I decided to give it a try with a simple round mandala design. Nothing fancy really but after several trials and errors it became clear pretty fast, why the books contained only simple patterns. You just can’t make anything other that looks at least a bit neat. I then decided just to wing a quick pattern that contains only single crochet and drop stitches. It looks okay but I surely will not work with that yarn ever again. And I would definitely never ever use it as a bath scrubby as the manufacturer actually suggests – I rather prefer natural products on my skin.

IMG_0329The second in-betweener was an idea that I had on my mind for quite some time now. I had bought a 9cm cross stitch hoop and wanted to create a mandala to hang in there. It should then become part of my craft room decoration. I have been searching the world wide web and ravelry to and fro, bookmarking 1 million new project ideas, but never finding anything that fitted 9cm. I fell in love with the pattern Rhiannon by Grace Fearon however and I thought I might give it a try using crochet thread. And guess what – it fits perfectly! I messed up with crocheting around the hoop on the last round a little and it ended a bit too loose. So I had to become creative in tightening them up. It’s not perfect but I love it nevertheless.

IMG_0332The third project was something totally different. I stumbled over the latest issue of the Cross Stitcher and it contained a freebie of a fake leather boho style crochet bracelet. I fell in love with it at first sight and I just had to bring it home with me. It was soo nice cross stitching again after such a long time and it took me only a couple hours to finish. I now have to find those boho earing freebies I have bought previously but have not done yet …

And finally, what made my week perfect: I got nominated for the Liebster award by Tracy from It’s a T-Sweets day!  (Check out her blog if you have not done it yet!). It’s an award to get to know new blogs and I am so proud that my tiny little blog got noticed. Now I have just read it yesterday and had no time to prepare everything properly for a serious posting about it today but I just HAD to let you know *makes a happy dance*

Stardust Melodies – the Music continues

IMG_0313Did you know that there actually exists a youtube playlist for the Stardust Melodies CAL? Each square is designed around a peace of music and it’s really fun to listen to it while crocheting along.

The second square was fun to make as it creates a lot of texture with simple stitches. It’s called Fools Rush In and it is well named – I did rush in, messed up in the beginning and had a hard time figuring out where I went wrong.  I had quite a laugh afterwards about that.

IMG_0318The third square is called Don’t Fence Me In – a nice and easy pattern that will actually make a great square in between some busier squares. I am now trying to take the complexity of the pattern into account when choosing the colour of the square. I have settled on a colour layout right in the beginning and now need to fill in the appropriate squares when the pattern is released. As you can see in the picture the square fits well next to the Fools Rush In but lacks next to Begin the Beguine.

IMG_0324The CAL continued with a square called I’m Beginning To See The Light. Now if you  need to practice bobbles you should try this square. But it’s fun to see the square in the square growing in the process. It’s a little bit wobbly and needs blocking but I just store it on my blocking board for the moment until I am sure that each square ends up the same size. Until now it works fine but my experience with blocking the Nuts about Squares CAL has shown me not to get to cocky. One square might just make me reconsider the size I thought would be appropriate. Even though that means that I will have a lot of squares to block before being able to crochet them together.

Of Fantastic, Cat’s Claws and Tropical Delights

I am terribly sorry about having you made to wait for todays post. Usually I set everything up on Sunday so that publishing occurs right on time. Yesterday however I was so tired that I could not make myself write anything that would at least make a moderate amount of sense. For those who are wondering now – no I did not spent the whole nights of the long weekend crocheting (though I actually did one square). My hubby and I spent three days sightseeing the city of Hamburg – a really great place to visit. We have walked what felt like a marathon or two and almost every day just dropped right into bed as soon as we were back at the hotel again.

IMG_0319Last week I promised you some gorgeous squares of my Nuts about Rose – so this is what I will therefore do now.

The first three where really fun to make and seeing the picture might make you understand why I love this square. I am really considering exchanging my logo with a nice shot of one of them – even though I like the current one which I hand lettered myself. The squares name is chosen well – it’s Fantastic! by Julie Yeager and fantastic is what this square really is.

IMG_0320The second set of squares actually contains two patterns – one called Cat’s Claw by Margaret MacInnes and the other one Tropical Delight by Susan Stevens. I ❤️ the Tropical Delight as it looks so pretty – my color scheme works great here. But it was by miles the hardest pattern I have ever crocheted – and I have already done very many … It felt like ages until I was finally finished and I messed up the stitch count in the last rounds and had to get creative to get to the right stitch count on all sides in th end. I think the complexity of that square was the reason why it was matched with two Cat’s Claws. This one was really easy and is fast to make. Nevertheless it looks quite fancy.

The blanket is now fast approaching a good size – I laid out the squares on my floor (yes, I know, again ☺️) to see how the squares fit together. I am really happy with how it starts to look.

A finish and a new beginning

IMG_0303Last week was actually the last week for my hygge – and I am really a little bit sentimental about it. It’s been a long journey with quite some ups and downs and it was a really hard work blocking it in the end too. It softened up after wet-blocking so actually using it as a wrap might be an option. I have not found a fabric yet that spoke hygge or Danish mermaid to me. So I did not line it yet and at the moment it is just hanging around a little bit waiting for the right usage.

 

IMG_0307As it seems now I have a lot of spare time and as I promised last week there’s a new CAL I am participating in. It’s Stardust Melodies by the gorgeous and creative designer Polly Plum. It’s all about textures, so I picked some Paintbox cotton aran as cotton makes stitches more defined than the fluffy acrylic yarn. My hubby picked the colour scheme and I ordered three packs without knowing how much I will actually need for the blanket. Seems I have miscalculated a little bit but Loveknitting was so fast delivering that I am not concerned about ordering more as soon as I need more. They missed to send one yarn ball though – you can see the missing dark blue in the top row – but resent it without any trouble. Really great support service!

IMG_0309I started of cause as soon as I had my yarn with the square called Begin the Beguine. It looks complicated but actually is really simple as soon as you have figured it out. It’s a little bit smaller than I expected – it will block to 20 cm – but this just means that I might have to make more of the squares. At the moment I am planning on doing 2 of each for a 6×8 sized blanket. I have not done the second one as I am not sure about the layout  of the blanket. I’ll make one of each square and then check out which fit together best. They are actually really nice and easy to fit in every evening – maybe because the are single color – so no weaving in of a million threads like the Nuts about Squares CAl. In case you want to try to create one too, make sure to check out Polly’s great video tutorial on Youtube. It is really very helpful in case you are not the pattern reading type of crocheter or if you want to clarify where to put a specific stitch.

Now I am off to do my next Nuts about Squares squares – I can tell you for sure that next week there will be some beauties showing up here!

Nuts about Roses – Squares, Squares and more Squares

What’s my favorite shape at the moment? Squares! Each week I am at least finishing three of them each week for the Nuts about Squares CAL. If you have not checked it out yet, you really should – it’s amazingly creative, fun, pretty and so out of my comfort zone :). In the meantime I have a neatly stacked little tower of squares that I love to look at. I hardly can wait to join them together. Maybe I am the only crazy one laying them out every week in different ways just to take a look at how they come along. Would be great if you leave me a message if you do that too, so I know that I am not just weird 😛

IMG_0305The next square I have not shown you yet, as it was on the blocking board last time, is Rachel by Melissa Green. It was the first square I actually considered changing. When I took a look at the square on Ravelry, it was so not my style. Not only am I definitely not a flower power girl but those color schemes in the pics really don’t work well with the pattern in my opinion. That’s really sad because the first impression is usually what counts. Now I am happy that I actually stuck with the original design – also due to the fact that I just don’t know which squares will come up and don’t want to accidentally change to a pattern that needs to be done later. To be honest I am a little bit in love with the treble border around the flower.

IMG_0304Last week then came Bavarian Beauty by Heather Gibbs. Now this is a square to my liking. Not only is it so much fun to make, I also love the geometric look.  If you ever had troubles with trebles – that’s the square you should consider making as you will get a LOT of practice ;). What I can highly recommend – and I have probably written it now several times already – is to watch Esther’s videos. In the beginning I was really used to written patterns and was thinking along the way of “I don’t need a video to crochet! I am an expert!”. Well, but Esther’s voice is so nice to listen too and it’s much easier to just crochet along to what she is saying than reading the pattern and figuring it out myself. I am a lazy girl, I know. But time is essential when crocheting – so many projects, so little time ….

Well, concerning projects I will be bugging you with progress pictures for another CAL pretty soon – to be precise as soon as the yarn I ordered from Loveknitting finally arrives. Postal service is soo terribly slow here. The CAL I am so urgently what to start with – but I promise, only after I have finished my Hygge – is the Stardust Melodies CAL by amazing designer Polly Plum. It’s a afghan that will challenge me with totally new texture crochet. But I love a really good challenge – and this year’s winter my husband and I will be kept really nice and warm with all the blankets I am creating 😉