Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Happy New Year + a new CAL!

Hi everyone!

Fwoah, 2018 was an epic year - new baby, no more housemate, new boss at work... I feel like I hardly crocheted at all :'( But Allie is growing like a weed, now nearly 8 months old and commando crawling about the place at great speed and talking up a storm. She has ba ba ba and da da da down pat - dare I hope for some ma ma ma soon? 


We are having a heatwave in Australia this week, to the point where the meteorology service had to invent a new colour to designate hot temperatures - thank goodness for air conditioning! 

I know the traditional new years blog post is a resolution to blog more regularly, but that just feels like empty words without a plan for action. So in 2019, I am going to do JulieAnny's Block a Week Crochet-A-Long and try to keep up every week. Then I have no excuse - I should be able to blog once a week about the new square and anything else that is going on! Sound like a plan? 

I did start a little late because we were still on holidays when it started, but I'm all caught up now. 

Introduction

The idea behind the CAL is that a new free square pattern is released every week, late on Monday night Sydney time. There will be 48 squares between now and November, then in December we will join and border the afghans. It's being called BAWJ2019 on Instagram so that's what I'm going to call it from now on!

I have loved Julie's designs ever since I made the Stained Glass Afghan, and had lots of fun with her 2015 Mystery CAL. I can't wait to see what Julie and her team of designers come up with over the year :D  

I am using Stylecraft Batik and Batik Elements, of which I have a surprisingly large stash! I think I way overestimated how much yarn I would need for a new design and, well, you know how these things can get out of hand. It is lovely and soft, and all the colours go well together which makes it a great stash busting yarn! I'm picking colours pretty much at random and changing colours on each square where the pattern says to.

If you want to join in on BAWJ2019, check out Julie's Facebook group, blog and Ravelry Board for more information.



WEEK 1 - POPCORN HEARTS by JULIE YEAGER

Pattern: http://julieyeagerdesigns.com/week-1-bawj2019/ 

Yarn colours: Sage, Silver & Bismuth 


So. Many. Popcorns.


So many. But such a pretty square! I like how the hearts pop up around the middle. Plus I got to learn a new stitch - the berry stitch - which is worked from the wrong side and pops out the front. I think learning new stitches is my favourite part of CALs :) 

I did have a bit of trouble stitching into "the top of the popcorn" but I think that's me overthinking things rather than it being inherently confusing... 


It's even pretty from the back! 

WEEK 2 - LOLA BEAN SQUARE by SARAH SHEA

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lola-bean

Yarn colours: Gold, Plum, Heather and Iron


A dodecahedron to an octagon to a square? Love it!  


I got to learn TWO new stitches in this square - the bean stitch and the extended dc. The extended dc was the most interesting, as it could be a good substitute for trebles!   



This one is going to need much more blocking, but then again, peer pressure is a powerful force in afghans :P 

Phew, that's the first two weeks! Wish me luck in keeping up! 

What projects are you planning for 2019? 

Saturday, 5 January 2019

First 2019 Reflections


Happy 2019 everyone!

2018 was quite the adventure... Moving to the Netherlands, starting a new job, and so on. It was a pretty exhausting year - I felt like I was running the whole time without ever catching up or catching a breath.


Hopefully, 2019 will be better. So far, the first couple of days have been good. I knew I was sleep deprived, but man, until now, I didn't know how much... I feel like a whole new person after a couple of well-rested nights! Fingers crossed, the feeling will stay. 


I didn't finish the crochet projects I planned as Christmas presents. There were lots of tears involved when I realized I couldn't make it. There was too much going on, and I was plainly exhausted. Looking back, I feel sad how much I was beating myself up mentally for not being able to finish the projects. It did suck the joy out of crocheting, and I don't think that is something I want to happen again. 



At the moment, I have just one blanket on the hook, and I think it will take quite a few more days to finish it. I am using the Hydrangea Stripe Blanket pattern from Attic 24, and I really like the relaxing nature of the pattern flow. Oh, and I am even a good girl and am weaving in the ends after finishing each color! Woohoo! 



Don't the colors work well together? I am sure I mentioned this before, but I love the Belissima Yarn from Stylecraft. It has such a beautiful stitch definition, is so soft, and just flows from the hook. I hope they will add more colors in the future. For this blanket, I underestimated the yarn usage, so, I will need to get more yarn soonish.  I would love a stronger yellow for example. 



This blanket was supposed to be finished in December as a gift to a dear friend of mine. As mentioned, I didn't complete any of the intended projects last months, AND I am sure this blanket won't even be finished in January. I am still coming to terms with it, but in the end, I am sure it won't matter that the gift arrives late. My friend lives in Australia which means she couldn't use the blanket now anyway (too hot!)...

How is your 2019 going so far?

Take care, Anne

P.S. Stylecraft Yarns send the yarn I am using for the blanket mentioned above last summer, but I am not in any way obliged to say anything nice about the yarn. Thus, all sentiments expressed above a 100% mine! :)


Sunday, 4 November 2018

A visit to Zwolle (Breidagen)

Hi all!

It's November already... Man, these last weeks flew by! We now live in the Netherlands for a little over a month. It feels longer and shorter at the same time. There is still so much to do, to organize, but we are getting there. Step by step.



Two weeks ago I had a little break from all the moving chaos and travelled to Zwolle to attend the Breidagen Yarn Festival. A couple of the Stylecraft Blogstars taught workshops there and since I had never met any of the other Blogstars in person, this seemed as a good opportunity.



So, I jumped onto the train, changed trains two times (in Eindhoven and Utrecht) annndd arrived in Zwolle after about 2,5 hours. Fortunately, the Dutch trains seems to be pretty reliable, so there were no delays (I am used to German Bahn delays...). It was quite easy to find the hall where the festival was hold, because there was quite the pilgrimage going there. I guess, I was not the only one attracted to yarn. ;-)


I found the Stylecraft Yarns table right away (well, I knew where to look) and spent some time chatting there (and crocheting). I also brought our Hexagon Stacking Baskets and popped them on the display table with the other Blogstars projects.


Just after lunch, I got the change to attend Emma's amigurumi workshop. We crocheted up her Billy Bear pattern (which is really easy to follow btw) and talked and talked! I had so much fun! Thank you, Emma, for letting me attend the class. :) I finished my little bear a couple of days after the festival and I think I will make another one soon. 




There was so much amazing yarn at the festival - I am still quite surprised that I managed NOT to buy anything. I told myself that I have far too much yarn already, but man, staying "abstinent" was haarrddd!





Take care,
Anne


Monday, 29 October 2018

Mini-potamus!

Hey everyone!

You know how, sometimes, you just have to do something a little bit mad? Last week I needed to do something a little bit mad. 

Work is busy, Allie is growing like a weed (such a cheerful little weed!) and Kiah is going back to work this week (gulp). I have crochet orders to fill, about 5 other projects in various stages of completion including two brand new patterns... so of course I had to start something new.  

(excuse my squinty eyes, it was very windy at the park and I still have bloody conjunctivitis)

Meet the Mini-potamus! Kiah asked me ages ago to make a hippo for Allie in the pastel patchwork colourway, but I just hadn't got to it yet. Then I wondered if it would work to make an itty bitty one, which is much more Allie's size at the moment! 


I used Heidi Bears' amazing Happypotamus pattern (which I can almost make in my sleep now!) and just made two row solid pieces instead of African flowers. 

It's 5.5"/14cm long from nose to butt, and 2.5"/6cm tall. 


I stayed up wayyy too late on Saturday night finishing it off, but it was worth it to give Allie a new little friend to snuggle with on Sunday <3 

 

Now I wonder if I can make a mini-Captain? A travel sized Captain! 

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Stylecraft Blogstar Tour 2018: Stacking Hexagon Baskets

Welcome to Crochet Between Worlds for the Stylecraft Blogstar Tour! 

This year's Blogstar Tour yarn is Bellissima which came out earlier this month. Man, we are in love (and we are not obliged to say so!!) - it is incredibly soft and lovely to work with. It is effectively the grown up version of the Bambino yarn we made Michelle's baby blanket out of! 



So when we were asked to design a pattern with the yarn, we were very happy to do so! Unfortunately this year, we are both incredible busy during the Blogtour (and before) with life, so please bear with us if there aren't super fancy tutorials and pictures. We do have good excuses though (we think): Michelle has a newborn at home and Anne just moved country from Germany to the Netherlands last week!




The pack we used for our design is called Autumn Leaves (scroll down for a chance to win this pack!). It contains five colors and a skein has 100 grams. 






If you follow our blog, you know that we dislike sewing. And we love useful and easy things. Combining these "features" the Stacking Hexagon Baskets were born. They can we used for everything really... a bread basket, a toy basket or whatever tickles your fancy. When not used, they can easily stacked into each other, so they won't be space eaters. We hope you like them as much as we do!



Want to win a Autumn Leaves Yarn Pack to make these baskets? The giveaway is open until 10am GMT tomorrow! The giveaway is run by Stylecraft yarns.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tomorrow the Blogtour will stop at Cherry Heart

Make sure not to miss out on the other Blogstars' patterns (and more chances to win yarn). The tour will run for quite a few more days.

You can visit their blogs here: Crystals and CrochetGet Knotted Yarn CraftEvery Trick on the HookZooty OwlLucia's Fig TreeCherry HeartHand Knitted ThingsJosiekittenThe Twisted YarnAnnaboo's HouseCrafternoon TreatsThe Patchwork HeartEmma Varnam Jane Crowfoot and Catherine's Crochet Corner.

Anyway without further ado.... the Stacking Hexagon Baskets!

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FREE PATTERN: Stacking Hexagon Baskets
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Queue and favourite on Ravelry here: 
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stacking-hexagon-baskets


Materials:

5 balls of Stylecraft Bellissima or other 8 ply yarn
4mm hook
scissors
yarn needle

Stitches:
US terminology

st – stitch
slst – slip stitch
ch – chain
dc – double crochet

Notes:

1. Use the same pattern for all 4 baskets - just add rows to each hexagon to make each consecutive basket bigger: 

  • Basket 1 - 4 rows
  • Basket 2 - 6 rows
  • Basket 3 - 8 rows
  • Basket 4 - 10 rows. 
There is enough yarn to make another 4 row basket, possibly 6 rows depending on your colour choices. The size 8 and 10 baskets are real yarn eaters - they look very innocent but man they are hungry! 

2. The first three hexagons of each basket are made in Colour A, and the second three in Colour B.


JAYG INSTRUCTIONS

Basically, the joining method is to drop the loop from your hook, insert your hook front to back through the top two loops of the corresponding dc on the adjacent hexagon, pick up the loop again and pull it through. 

For joining to one corner: After the first dc in a corner chain space, Ch1, drop loop from your hook, insert hook front to back through the chain space you want to join to, pick up the loop again and pull it through. Ch1. continue with the second dc in the corner space.

For joining to two corners: After the join to the final dc, ch1, drop loop from your hook, insert hook front to back through the first corner chain space you want to join to, pick up the loop again and pull it through. Ch1, drop loop from your hook, insert hook front to back through the second corner chain space you want to join to, pick up the loop again and pull it through. Ch1, continue with the second dc in the corner space. 

I've had another go at a brief tutorial video - I hope it helps! 



PATTERN

Start with a magic circle

Row 1: ch5, (2dc, 2ch) 5 times, dc, join to 3rd of ch5 with slst.


Row 2: slst into chain space, (ch5, dc into same chain space). *dc in each dc, (dc, ch2, dc) into chain space.* Repeat * to *, omitting last dc on final corner. slst to 3rd of ch5 with slst to close.

Hexagon 1:
Repeat Row 2 until the hexagon is the correct number of rows. 


Hexagon 2:
Repeat Row 2 until you are one row short of the correct number of rows. On the final row, JAYG to Hexagon 1 on two sides.


Hexagon 3:
Repeat Row 2 until you are one row short of the correct number of rows. On the final row, JAYG to Hexagons 1 and 2 on 4 sides.


Hexagon 4:
Repeat Row 2 until you are one row short of the correct number of rows. On the final row, JAYG to Hexagons 1 and 2 on 2 sides.


Hexagon 5:
Repeat Row 2 until you are one row short of the correct number of rows. On the final row, JAYG to Hexagons 2, 3 and 4 on 4 sides.


Hexagon 6:
Repeat Row 2 until you are one row short of the correct number of rows. On the final row, JAYG to Hexagons 1, 3, 4 and 5 on ALL sides.

(The giveaway is run by Stylecraft Yarns, so this makes this a sponsored post. Please note that even though we are Stylecraft Blogstars, we are not obliged to say anything nice or bad about the yarns - we can share our opinions freely and we aren't compensated monetary in any way).