Two little helpers

I am totally in love 😍. Okay, I know that I am easily falling in love with a pattern and have so in the past several times but this time it’s serious. When I first saw the Crafter Granny from Zhaya Design, I just knew that I need to make one for myself. Not only am I a huge fan of anything the designer has created so far, her patterns are always well written and easy to follow. I started to work on head and body and ran out of stuffing as this project is really big and I just didn’t have that much left at home. Additionally I filled a little bottle with rice to weight her body down so that she has a real solid stand. I mostly used leftover yarn and had several close calls with loosing at yarn chicken but luckily made it through. In the end I added some detail – a button on the hair band and a pearl necklace. I totally love the result and she is such a lovely helper. She usually stands next to me on the arm of my crafting chair holding my row counter, my stitch markers and my wool needle for me. I hate to put the row counter on my finger as it hampers me while crocheting and I kept misplacing my stitch markers all the time. Now anything I might need is stored nicely in Granny’s apron – even my sissors don’t fall off the arms of my chair again. Thanks so much Granny – and of cause thank you Kathrin!

After finishing my Granny I was again procrastinating, not wanting to work on my long timers. Then I remembered that a couple of weeks ago I bought the first book of Supergurumi where he shares all his patterns for bookmarks. You might remember that the rat bookmark “Leseratte” has been made by me several times already. Super cute but I wanted to make something different for myself. I had also bought some fluffy wool from Schachenmayr to fit the sheep pattern. Well let’s say, that was not one of my smartest moves: tough this wool is so nice and fluffy, it is awful to work with – the thread cut into my finger and the stitches where so hard do see that I am really not sure if I worked the stitches correctly (they most probably aren’t). I needed to adjust the pattern too as the bobbles on the head were impossible to make with this yarn. But in the end I winged it nicely I think and I now am proud owner of my first – and only – fluffy book sheep.

Last but not least – if you are curious about the Cake Dutchess Modelling Alphabet Collaboration I did my little hare for and want to know what all other participants created, mark the date in your calendar and bookmark Etty’s website. The reveal is scheduled for the 20th of March and I can assure you that you will be totally amazed of the creativeness of each and every one that took part!

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Lazy Birthday

This week was terrible – I just couldn’t motivate myself to work on anything. Don’t know why but sometimes I just need a break from creating. So I had a really lazy week of playing games and reading and watching TV. And then I realized that at the moment I have only long term projects to work on again. And I tend to loose focus on long time projects as it just seems that I don’t get anywhere. A short, easy project – that’s what I needed!

temp-16As it was my birthday yesterday I made myself a little, low calory birthday cake. The pattern is from Yarn Blossom Boutique and can be found on Ravelry. The result is super-sweet but when sewing the candle on, I slipped and pricked my finger with the wool needle right under my nail. Hurt like hell and makes holding my project while crocheting pretty hard. I started Zhaya Designs Crafter Granny nevertheless – she kept popping up in my Facebook stream again and again and I just love the idea. I realized that I do not have enough stuffing any more to finish her, so I will need to do a little bit of shopping today.

temp-17My hubby spoiled me with a self made birthday dinner that was really excellent – pork curry Madras with rice and a water melon limoncello trifle with almond brittle. This was really special for me as my hubby usually does not cook. He helps me in the kitchen whenever I do the cooking but hardly cooks himself. He helped me afterwards with baking some red velvet whoopie pies with marshmallow buttercreme filling too.

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Sandy, Yoga and a new CAL

img_0603This week I was forced to stay at home due to a lot of sneezing and sick feeling. Luckily it was not the flu but only a short cold. This on the other hand gave me time to work on some projects and start some new ones.

I was lucky to get picked by Emma from EmmaCraftDesign to test the pattern for her super-cute Sandy, the Sea Dragon. I fell in love with this little fellow from first sight and had waited already for the pattern release. The pattern is so well written that it really worked up fast and easy. It’s probably not the right pattern for a total beginner as it has some tricky spots but I can highly recommend it for anyone with already a little bit of experience in amigurumi patterns.

 

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The pattern calls for DK weight – I actually used Scheepjes Catona which is a 4-ply and a multi-color cotton yarn I had leftovers from. She ended up approximately 12 cm from fins to horns. Look at this cute stuby nose <3. I am certain that I will make her some more companions – sea dragons live in flocks as far as I know…. Thanks so much Emma for this great pattern and a lovely first testing experience!

 

 

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After whipping up Sandy, I started the Solar System CAL designed by Alex from Two Hearts Crochet. I struggled a little bit with the beginning as the Sun started to curl really a lot – and though our solar system might not be flat, my project is supposed to be. I want to use it as a rug in my library and I really don’t want to stumble over the sun all the time. Luckily I was not alone with this problem and as I am late to the party, there were also several solutions proposed on her blog. Now even though the sun bugles a little bit, its much better and the rest is nice and flat. It will probably not become my favorite project though – and if you’ve ever done a project with only half double crochet stitches in the round then you might understand why. Can’t wait to get the base finished so that I can add the fun stuff to it!

 

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Finally I had a go at sewing again after quite a long break. My running buddy convinced me to join her at a yoga class as an alternative training for better mobility and core stability. And as I find it really, really, REALLY gross to train on a mat someone else sweated on, I went on a shopping spree and bought myself a yoga mat. Wow, those mats are seriously expensive … As a result I decided against also purchasing a yoga bag and will just sew that myself. The shop I usually buy my fabric from however had a terrible selection of oilskin fabric and so I postponed the bag-sewing to another time. That made me in need of something to prevent the mat from unrolling when carrying it. So I came up with the idea of just copying the paper sleeve the mat came with. That was an easy and fun sewing project: just sewed a double sided rectangle and added some Prym Colour Snaps.

 

Last but not least I wanted to sew that little fish kit but I totally messed up. I made the worst beginner error of all. I did not think when cutting the shapes from the fabric and ended with two front side pieces for body, head and fins. So stupid of me to not flip the template over for the backside! I was frustrated, stomped and rumbled a lot while my hubby tried to hide from my stormy mood. I was actually almost ready to throw everything away in frustration – almost crying because it was a present from my best friend. Luckily I did not yet because now that I have cooled down again, I have the perfect solution. There will be two fish with different fronts and backs – fish never swim alone anyway ;).

Hoppy Easter!

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pattern by lalylala

It’s this time of the year again, when young ones go outside in order to search for bright and colourful eggs and sweets. I become sentimental every year as I remember how eager I was watching my mother each easter when I was a kid in order to catch her hiding our sweets in the garden. I was never successful though – it must have been some mother-superpower.

This year however I caught something – it was hopping past my window and was looking to hide some bright eggs in my living room. It had a fluffy tail,  some really long ears and a wiggly nose. I gave it a carrot and it dropped some chocolate eggs as an exchange.

IMG_0280Additionally I was working on the next two squares of my Nuts about Roses blanket. The second design was Spiro Star by the fabulous designer Helen Shrimpton. This pattern really looks so beautiful when finished but it has some nice challenge in it. I will never be a fan of a triple treble that’s for sure. I was uncertain until now about my color choice – especially that really bright pink is usually so not me. But I love how it all comes together. I think that it really depends on how you arrange the squares next to each other to make it work. I can’t wait to have all squares finished so that I can arrange them.

IMG_0286The third one was called Denna by designer Polly Plum.  This one is currently my absolut favourite design. Not only do my colors work perfectly together in these squares, they were also easy and fun to make.  But every time I see those squares now, I have this song line creeping into my head – x-ses and o-s ……

Now I have to wait again until Thursday for the next pattern to be released. In the meantime I’ll finish the next parts of Hygge and there might be some time again to work on my Sophie.

Until then – happy hoppy easter everyone!

Spring is in the air

Spring is the season I love most – colors are brightening and everywhere you see new life appearing. Each year, when the weather gets warmer and the sun comes out to play, I feel my spirit rising and find much more power to do my projects.

So it’s also no wonder that in spring I am prone to finding new projects I want to start. And sad to say, it seems that this year I have become a CALoholic. As you all know for the Hygge shawl I joined the corresponding Facebook group. All of a sudden there popped up a posting about the Nuts about Squares CAL that’s supposed to start end of March. The minute I saw the pictures I was lost. So terribly beautiful – I really struggled hard not to join. But then I made the biggest mistake EVER! I joined the corresponding CAL-Facebook-Group. It’s actually only partly related to the CAL – it’s more like a group of creative crochet crazies which have a lot of fun together sharing their newest finished projects. I was so DOOMED! It’s like you tangle the drug right in front of the drug addict saying “come and get it”. 100 million new ideas! So no wonder I ordered a kit for Nuts about Squares – I just couldn’t help it. Okay, okay, I actually ordered two – one with the suggested color scheme Earth and one of my own making. IMG_0253In order to soothe my conscience afterwards I finished one of my WIP projects. You might remember the project amigurumi_craze and I where working on during our interview? It was half finished until now as I worked on other stuff in the meantime. It took me less than 2 hours to finish it and I am happy with the result. It’s Titus from lalylala’s spring minis. I so love this designer and I will definitely also do Bjoern and Carla soon.

I got distracted however by this crazy new group and after seeing all those really gorgeous Mandala Madnesses and Sophie’s Universes I wanted to do something similar. But maybe not that big and time consuming. However I am in love with mandala crochet and I asked Dr. Google who burped up really a lot. I probably now have mandala designs ready for the next millennium 🙂 I picked a really simple one – I wanted something soothing and relaxing, not another challenge. It’s a free design by Arne & Carlos and can be found on the website of the yarn manufacturer Schachenmayr. It was nice working on something simple for a moment and I love how the colors brighten everything. I use it as cover of an old pillow for my balcony garden. I’d love to sit outside as soon as it gets warm …

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Spot on: amigurumi_craze

Welcome to my first “Spot on” – interviews and stories of people that are amazingly creative! There will be designers, crafters, innovators, dealers, backers, miniature painting heroes and many, many more – people that you really should keep an eye on.

I am lucky to know amigurumi_craze in person and even fear I am an ezzy-bizzy tiny bit responsible for her amigurumi craziness. Okay, maybe not that tiny…. I am always so impressed by how fast she is creating her critters. She really has a hand for adding those tiny little special details that fit perfectly and make each amigurumi something totally unique. And she is always finding the perfect shooting scenery for her woolly friends.

So spotlight on! I proudly present you – amigurumi_craze!

So tell us, when did you first learn to crochet? 

Actually, back in school. Or we were supposed to learn it, at least. I used to bring everything back home to my mom, who then kindly finished the unwanted job.
But, since you always seem to meet twice in life, along came a good friend and gave me an amigurumi snail, and I loved it at first sight and wanted to create my own. Fun aside, actually it was all your fault, really. You gave me the snail, and next came a crochet set for an oven cloth for Xmas – and I have been hooked ever since.

What is the number one reason that you crochet?

I read a quote recently: I crochet not to kill anybody 😊 It actually calmes me, helps me relax after a hard day at the office, plus I love that you create something.

img_0204What are your preferred projects?

My preferred projects are still amigurumi, even though I try the odd granny square bag or blanket once in a while. I like small projects, though, a big one would have me bored easily.

Do you have a favorite designer?

I love all the amigurumi creations by Miss Hook and lalylala. They have a lot of personality in my mind, and every piece teaches you some new trick.

img_0202Which of your projects are you most proud of?

I love all my amigurumi children of course 😊 but since I have to pick one, it would be Alpen Resi by Miss Hook. She was the first more complex Amigurumi I made, and I love how she turned out.

What would you love to learn concerning crochet that you have not had time for yet?

Well, I still cast a dreamy eye upon crochet clothing, pullovers or tops. But I am a little scared of the measurements plus I am worried to get bored before finished.

What is the most important thing you would tell a crochet-newbie?

To just crochet along. Take it stitch by stitch, even though the pattern might be confusing at first. Never give up!

How many UFOs are currently in your to do basket?

What a torturous question. Let’s see…half a cotton granny square blanket, a Marilyn Monroe amigurumi without legs, a Miss Hook amigurumi with legs but no upper body, the simply crochet pick’n mix CAL blanket and – thanks to you my dear – the lalylala spring bird we just started… so this makes 5 UFOs. I really try to avoid them but they just keep popping up…too many projects, too little time…

Is there any other creative spark in you life?

I love everything creative, I used to draw, paint, make clay figures, I love make-up art and nail-art. But at the moment I stick to my one love – the crochet hook 😊

Where can we sneak in and take a look at your projects?

Best to visit me on Instagram – as Amigurumi_craze.

Thanks very much, amigurumi_craze, for sharing your story! Want to know what amigurumi_craze was working on while being interviewed? Check out her accounts for the amazing results!

Want to be in the spotlight and share your story, too? Drop me a line and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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