Ross Poldark begins

IMG_0393So 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.

IMG_0395The 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.

Nuts no more

IMG_0391It’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.

IMG_0389I 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 ….

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Ross Poldark, the Alphabet Collaboration and a free pattern

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.

IMG_0385However 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!

IMG_0331And 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).

 

Catch-up week times two – no way!

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….

IMG_0375So 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.

IMG_0383Then 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.

 

Nuts Joining

IMG_0350I know I am breaking my own routine by not writing about the Starburst Melodies CAL but about my Nuts about Roses. But on the one hand side I messed up square 11 of the Starburst Melodies and had to frog it already twice and on the other hand I just couldn’t stop with my Nuts.

IMG_0352The last square was Lise by probably one of my most favourite designers – Polly Plum. This one was so much fun as it was easy to make. Just the right square to finish of the square making. I love how in these squares my color choice really played well together.

I still have a lot of yarn left of my color B – the really bright pink – and some of color C – the green – but I already have a stashbuster project in mind. I just wait until I am sure that I really don’t need any of those for the border.

IMG_0358And then the joining started – it was the first time I ever joined squares together. The instructions called for a zipper join. I was happy about that because I like that neat look it creates. And it does not add too much to the already pretty busy blanket.

Halfway through – when checking the Facebook group – I found out that I started totally wrong. I was supposed to start joining the short rows first and then add the length to it. I started with the length and then had to struggle a little bit with the heaviness of the blanket. I was almost finished when I realized that I twisted two squares on the last row by accident. So some frogging and a break later, all squares where at least halfway joined.

IMG_0357Then the really tedious work began – the joining of the rows while balancing the whole blanket on my legs in a heat period going up to 36 degrees. What a hell but at least I now know that the finished blanket will be nice and warm. And I tested it already on my hubby and for his blanket I need to add at least one more row to it. I am already thinking on which squares I am going to pick as add-ons.

But now I have to wait for two weeks until the pattern for the border is released. I hope that until then the weather is a little bit cooler cause I am not looking forward working on my Nuts in heat again.

 

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?