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.
I 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.
I 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.
The 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.
The 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*
Did 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.
The 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.
The 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.
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.
Last 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.
The 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.
Last 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.
As 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!
I 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!
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 😛
The 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.
Last 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 😉
Hygge is fast approaching the end. It feels quite strange to me to finish one of the longest projects I’ve been continuously working on soon. This time I really stuck with it and each week I did the pattern that was released. The final cross stitch part were beautiful diamonds – the picture just doesn’t show the subtleness of colour changes well. We still have not used our small goodies yet as you can see. I believe that they might be part of the border or the finish.
The last week was the second bobbles section. I considered at first to copy the bobble section of the first week but then I stuck with the original design. I just made a small ajustment – rather then working the bobbles from the back I added another row of single crochet and worked them from the right side. I just didn’t like the look from the back and I love the feeling of bobbling bobbles. And then there was this one moment – the one where the pattern says “cut of your yarn and weave in all the ends”. I captured this moment on the picture as it felt quite strange to cut the yarn after 11 weeks of securing it and continuing the next week from there.
I still have quite a lot of yarn left even though I still need some for the border. It is said that the border will take approximately 1 1/2 to 2 skeins of Sheepjes Stone washed but I still have 4 1/2 left. I heard rumors that there might be an additional pattern waiting on the last day for using that yarn though. But I might use them to create some bathroom accessory that’s been on my mind for quite some time though.
I am still uncertain what I am going to do with my Hygge. The wrap feels to me quite stiff and heavy – I know I am a tight crocheter. I am used to lighter wraps like my lovely cotton yarn Seychelle wrap I made last year and love to wear now that it’s getting warmer. Maybe it will become a wall hanging. Or a table runner. I just need to figure that out soon as it influences if I line it or not. My backside is quite nice so there actually is no need for a lining.
But guess what – the end of a CAL means always that you have now more time for a new project. Therefore I ordered myself some yarn for a – well actually 2 – new projects. And there’s also still the Nuts about Squares CAL going on which is now halfway finished too. Time is flying by so quickly, it’s quite scary.
Want to laugh instead? Check out the blog post of a very good friend of mine about our gaming session of “Stille Post extrem”. We had such a hard laugh that I still feel my belly muscles – guess I’ll they will be quite sore tomorrow 🙂
This week I hwave been busy with my spring cleaning so I am not well prepared for my writing. Actually it’s more like a total throw out type of cleaning as I work myself through everything checking if I really need it. It’s quite amazing how much gets accumulated over time – things that I have put away because I might need them someday or I want to look at it at a later time. I really believe that every couple of years you need to do such a big clean up and am happy that I do not live in a huge house :). Now I am almost finished and guess what – I found out that there is still some space free in my appartment :). Maybe that’s the reason I brought home some nice addition to my working space recently – a storage for my current WIP, Nuts about Squares. I picked it up at Zara Home and it actually stores my yarn for Nuts about Roses and Nuts about Earth next to each other. It’s now very easy to pick up the yarn I need for a certain row as they yarn is sorted by the letters in the colour chart. It can be carried outside easily so that I am able to work on my squares in the sun. And even my hook set fits in with my yarn.
The next squares of my NAS I have been working on have been quite a challenge as they have been so outside of my comfort zone. Le Vesinet by Sigrun Hugoey starts with nine circles that are then linked by sewing them together and then squared of by crocheting around. As you can see in the picture they really neeed blocking as they came out a little bit wonky. I actually already have blocked them by now and they look really pretty – just been too busy to take a picture of them blocked yet. I even finished this weeks squares too, but they are still on the blocking board, so sadly you have to wait until next time. But I can tell you at least that much – they are really lovely even though I thought about substituting them in the beginning.