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 ūüėú.

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 РPolly 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 ūüėú.

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‚Äôs 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 Gl√∂ckner. ¬†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 …

 

 

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*