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!

Hygge – cutting the yarn

IMG_0296Hygge 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.

IMG_0297The 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.

IMG_0299I 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 🙂

Hygge and Running

IMG_0288Here’s another update on my Hygge. As mid time is past, every week is kind of short in comparison. The first part was a group of nice green flowers which were fun to make. And I even now get the separator right from the start without any help. Its kind of weird to know that there will only be two more of them to do after this week …

IMG_0292The second part was some bright green squares. I love the contrast of those two parts – they really pop as much as I like then to pop. Now only two more panels until the final bobbel part – not sure yet, if I stick to the design or copy week one for an even look. I am not even sure if I’ll wear it as a wrap as honestly it’s pretty heavy by now. And I still need to go shopping for some fabric to line it with – oh dear, as if I would need an excuse to go fabric shopping :).

The rest of the weekend I spent with something totally different. I have started to run again last year together with a friend and a colleague of mine convinced us to join in the relay marathon. Due to several illness related breaks in training, I was way behind my training plan but the great atmosphere at the Vienna City Marathon really kept me going. Personal best for a distance of 9,5km – and even a glimse at the elite runners as they past me by while waiting for my friend. Together we were better than we expected – we only missed the 5h by some tiny seconds. Now we have a new goal for next year 😜

Hygge Midtime (Sheepjes CAL 2017)


IMG_0283Today I am feeling a little bit sentimental. It’s kind of weird how much I came to love the time I spent on my Hygge. And it is sad that this time is pretty close to reaching an end. I am now more than halfway done and have been working very hard on the middle panel of the shawl. I am not a noob concerning cross stitch but this panel really had it in for me.

It was worked in two parts – therefore after the first week I left some threads for the second part. A couple less ends to weave in. Honestly, I was glad about even the tiniest amount of that! It felt like I was weaving in one million ends and it was driving me crazy.  But the final result was so worth the effort. Those tiny details work so well together and make the otherwise quite heavy wrap visually light.

IMG_0282Look at all those tiny details – even a sweet little bird is hidden in the design. I was worried that the light colors would make it blend in too much but it’s perfect.

When I prepared my canvas I was risky enough to already do the separator at the end. I was spot on – not even the slightest mistake in counting on that one!

Now next time there will be smaller parts again and I am happy about that as Nuts about Squares really takes a lot time.  Two big projects at a time is more than enough for me at the moment and that really means something 😜.

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Preparing the canvas on my Hygge (Sheepjes CAL 2017)

IMG_0241One thing is for sure – each week a new part of the hygge pattern is released and then we are all happily crocheting along around the world 🌎 – some faster, some slower, some following the pattern, some doing their own thing. I am still sticking to the original and loving the design so far.

This week we started off with a nice band of clover-like flowers which this time really pop. I now do not regret picking this colour scheme because it all starts to fit together well. After that part however came the bad part.

IMG_0248For me its quite hard to only do single crochet stitches. I find it quite boring for my mind and therefore have a tendency to loose stitches. But the middle part of the Hygge is approaching which means quite a lot of cross stitching is coming my way. I am so looking forward to this – however preparing the canvas with 50 rows of plain and simple single crochet gave me the fright. In order to prevent myself from loosing focus on my stitch counts, I decided to use a trick I had learned a long time ago for repeating patterns of doilies – I carry a bright yarn with my stitches at a certain frequence and therefore always know exactly where I am. Even when my lovely hubby disturbes my counting 🙂

As you can see it worked well and was much easier than counting the whole row every time. Now half of the canvas is prepared – sadly I need to make the second half too. So I am off for the next 50 rows of single crochet.

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More Hygge time (Scheepjes Cal 2017)

Time flies by quickly and I have another two weeks progress on my Danish Mermaid Hygge shawl.

This time it started with the first new technique for me: surface crochet. It’s really not that difficult –  but have you tried a zick-zack pattern freehand before? I thought that I could just wing it and how cool was it that I ended up with ten peaks just as I was supposed to have. I was so proud of myself – until I started the second line of the separator. What laugh I had when I realized that in order to have ten peaks in the end, I should have five peaks for each line. Frogging time!

IMG_0211The next section was stitching and this was pretty simple for me. It’s quite easy to stitch on crochet fabric – it just takes a little bit of concentration in order to ensure ecen stitches. I was not sure of the colour choice however – I still believe that this section lacks a bit concerning the colours as the stars just don’t show that well against the dark base colour.

IMG_0234Some participants crochet in advance what they think they will need the next week but I had other things to do anyway – such as working on the birthday cake I posted last week – that I was glad that I had a little break in between the weekly pattern releases. And guess what – my beloved separator had a come back. You might think that as soon as you had done it once it would be easier to do it again. Well, not with the separator – that’s for sure. I messed it up again and had to unravel the first line too as I found I had somehow lost a stitch on the base crochet. It’s kind of wierd that even though it’s just single stiches, sometime you just loose a stitch.  And Sheepjes Stonewash is terrible to unravel. I got a lot of practicing this time. I love how the cross stitched hearts ended up however – those really make you forget all the pain you suffered from till you got this far.

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Now I have already a piece that slightly starts to look like a wrap. Just can’t wait for the next weeks – though more cross stitch will be coming up for sure and I need to calculate enough time for that.  Now in between the weeks I will get a little bit into spring feeling – so look forward to what’s coming up next week!

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Sheepjes CAL 2017: Hygge – the first two weeks

Are you up for more Hygge time? Well, I have definitely had my share in the last two weeks.

It all began a little bit before the official start with a kind of teaser. We were supposed to work on a gauge square to assess if the suggested crochet hook size would lead to the expected result of the real product. I have never done a gauge square before as I was always telling myself “What do I need that for? What will come out of it will be fine with me. No need to be all perfectionist about the size…”  But then people started to complain or worry about their square sizes and I began wondering how mine would end up. I was just curious from a scientific point of view – really, I did not fall victim to peer pressure …

So I “watched” the video instructions – which was mainly skipping through to the trouble shooting part. It’s not that I am new to crochet and need to see what a single crochet looks like … However I really did learn something even though I consider myself to be a crochet veteran:

  • There’s a difference between UK terms and US terms. A US single crochet (sc) is a UK double crochet (dc), whereas a US double crochet (dc) is a UK treble (tr). A US triple crochet (trc) – which would sound almost like a treble – is a UK double treble (dtr) instead. Confusing, I know, and you really have to make sure to know where your instructions are coming from or you might actually crochet wrong! Luckily the pictographs are the same all around the world though. Seems that I have always worked with US style patterns until now.
  • In case you are lacking in width or are too wide, you need to adjust your hook size.  I had to go down from the recommended 4,5 to a 4 in order to get the width correct. This will not help with a difference in height though!
  • Difference in height comes from the so called “golden loop” which is the last loop of a crochet stitch and defines the way you crochet. Crocheters are either yankers (golden loop too tight), riders (golden loop just right) or lifters (golden loop to loose). In case you are a yanker or a lifter you might need to work more focused on loosen up or tightening your golden loop for the needed height. Luckily I am a rider and therefore have gotten a perfect square.

img_0199We also had to stitch a heart on our gauge square which was easy for me as I am stitching for over 25 years now. Stitching on crochet is just like stitching on Aida fabric – you only have a certain way where the stitches have to go. I really love how easily the ends can be woven in so that they are hidden completely in the crochet stitches. I pimped up the square in the end in order to use it as a coaster – otherwise it would have been a waste of yarn and I would hate that 😉

After a short wait the real race was off – and how off it was! You would have thought that the survival of mankind was depending on how fast the part of the first week was finished. The instructions were hardly posted, the first finished pieces appeared on Facebook. Some people have definitely way too much time :P.  What even surprised me more was the number of perfectionists and the effects of peer pressure – it was like watching as social compatibility study taking place right before your eyes.

It was all about bobbles – and the first part contained a lot of those. The instructions were pretty clear but soon people started to complain about non-popping bobbles. The number of “I’m not happy with what I created” people really increased fast – and most really had nothing to complain about because their work looked great. Then someone started to experiment with different ways of doing bobbles and it felt like everyone jumped right in. It actually mostly ended up in not making bobble stitches as designed but other stitches instead. Don’t get me wrong – everyone has a right to crochet their work as they like it but it felt weird that they didn’t stuck with what the designer intended. I mean there’s a difference between a popcorn stitch and a bobble/puff stitch. The designer intended it to be a little bit puffy, not popping. Some added additional stitches to the bobbles to make them bigger, some added more rows to the design. I really wonder why so16831061_1262985983754631_4894572479788695305_nmeone participates in a CAL when in the end they are designing their own piece anyway? I am a little bit torn between seeing it as being creative or as a slap in the face of the designer.

Well, I for my part stuck with the original design and I am really happy with the result. I love the texture of the bobbles – if you stroke them they really feel great. And I for sure enjoyed the process. In the end that’s really what matters – it’s all about the joy during the process of creation and of the final result. Don’t let group pressure ever ruin that for you!

Now enough rambling – I’m off to work on part 2 of the pattern ❤