Friday, 6 March 2020

Back to blogging!

Hi all!

I used to be a regular blogger, and, man, I enjoyed it. Often, I would write one post per week, documenting my crochet journey and life in general. When I started working for my own coaching business next to my regular full-time work, time became scarce, and as a result, blogging became less. Then, in 2018, my husband and I relocated to the Netherlands, started new jobs, and bought a house. If I thought I was busy before, I was wrong! So, my blogging “career” mostly stopped. I am still active on Instagram, but I miss blogging. In fact, whenever I talk to my husband about what I would like to do more blogging pops up within my top 5. Yet, even though I talk about it a lot, I never actually do it. It is so hard to pick up a routine after it got lost, isn’t it?

Anyway, with this post, I am trying to bite the bullet and start blogging again! Fingers crossed, I will stick to it…

******

Life in the Netherlands is… wet. There has been so much rain over the last couple of weeks! Combined with grey clouds, it is sometimes hard to remember that there is a sun out there (somewhere…). Yet, the first signs of spring are here. In our (very) little garden, crocuses have been popping up for some weeks now, and I think the first daffodil is getting ready to bloom. 


In February, on a dry day (yes! We had these, too), we even planted new lilacs and a couple of other plants, which will hopefully be loved by bees and other insects. The decrease in insect numbers is incredibly worrying, and we are trying to do our best to help them find food. Gardens in our area tend to be desgined to require as little maintenance as possible. As a result, a lot of gardens are made out of stone only with a couple of flower pots (if at all). When we bought our house, our garden had very little in it that might appeal to bees. So, we have made it our task to transform our backyard. This project will, of course, take time, but I guess little steps are better than none. You should have heard my squeals of delight last summer whenever a bumblebee visited my newly planted lavender! I hope that this year, my little bumblebee will bring a lot of friends…


***** 

My crochet adventures over the last couple of weeks/months have been focused on Bargello crochet. Michelle has three (!) new Bargello patterns in the pipeline, which I have tested/am busy testing (one of them is in the naughty corner. Not because of the pattern, but because I made a mess counting stitches). I have finished one big blanket, and am working on an even larger one at the moment. The latter one is my favorite so far – it uses two strands of yarn, which means it a. is super-soft and b. works up quickly! 



I hope to have finished both blankets by the time Michelle comes to visit me in April! YES! Michelle is coming to visit! We have not seen each other in person since my trip to Australia in 2017, and, man, I can’t wait to see her in person again. Plus, I finally get to meet Allie! So exciting!



Next to the blankets, I have also made some owls. I forgot how addictive the pattern is! I have the feeling that there will be more turning up in our house soon... 

***** 

Okay! I made it through my first blogpost in 2020! Hurray! 

Hope to see you again next week!

Take care,
Anne

Monday, 27 January 2020

Teddy's Busy Day (+ yarn review!)

Hi everyone!

It has been a truly epic summer here in Australia, and I must admit I'm glad to be tumbling into February. Both Kiah and I ended up in hospital for several before Christmas with unrelated illnesses, the heat and humidity has been oppressive, the country has burned down and now there's floods. I think it's nearly time for a break!

So today I've put together something a bit fun for you, to show off Stylecraft's gorgeous new Regatta yarn. It's 74% cotton plus polyamide and elastane, which makes the yarn super bouncy. It still doesn't stretch lengthways like acrylic, but springs out sideways. I don't usually like making toys with cotton because the yarn gets "stringy" and the holes in the fabric get bigger and bigger, but with this yarn the sideways spring makes it look amazing. Check out the stitch definition, and these gorgeous colours! 

I used the Crew colourway, and Anne's adorable Cross Your Heart Teddy pattern. Allie has already claimed it, and loves cuddling Teddy and tucking him into bed . 

Stylecraft sent me this yarn to try out, but the opinions in this blogpost are my own and I am under no obligation to say nice things. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TEDDY'S BUSY DAY

*BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP*

Teddy rolled over and cracked open his eyes - it was 6am, time to start another day. He stumbled to the shower to wake himself up a bit. 



The shower wasn't quite enough, so he had to have a really strong coffee as well.



After coffee he felt a bit better, and so before work he had a play on the slide.



At work, Teddy had LOTS of drawing to do.



He also had to do reading, but that was ok - Teddy likes reading. 



Fortunately, then it was time for lunch!


After lunch, Teddy had to go to lots of meetings. Luckily there was cake at one of them, otherwise he didn't know how he would have coped.


Finally it was time to go home. On his way, Teddy stopped off at the gym to do his exercises. He was a bit optimistic about the weights but is very squishy so it wasn't a big problem.


Once he got home, Teddy popped out to the garden for a quick game of hide and seek (and to pull out the weeds of course).


Teddy had such a busy day! It was time for him to go to bed. Night night Teddy! 



See you in the morning!


Sunday, 22 December 2019

Advent Meditation Crochet Along - Week 4

Hi everyone!

It is time for the fourth and last part of the Advent Meditation CAL! Hard to believe, isn't it? We had a good time and we hope you did as well!

For those who are just joining us, you can find an overview of all information about the CAL here

For those of you who celebrate: Merry Christmas! Have wonderful days with your loved ones and lots of good food - we certainly plan to!

Sooo, here comes pattern no 4:




Stitch Guide:

dc3tog - double crochet 3 together (or bobble stitch) - Tutorial from LookAtWhatIMade (includes instructions for beg dc3tog - beginning double crochet 3 together - called a First Bobble Stitch in this tutorial)

hdc - half double crochet - Photo and Video Tutorial from Lion Brand Yarns

spike sc - spike single crochet - Photo Tutorial from The Spruce Crafts




Sunday, 15 December 2019

Advent Meditation Crochet Along - Week 3

Hi everyone!

2019 is disappearing quickly and somehow it's already time for Week 3 of the Crochet Between Worlds Advent Meditation Crochet Along! You can find an overview of all information about the CAL here

We hope that you enjoyed the first two patterns and would love to see your pictures! If you use instagram, can you use the hashtag #cbwadvent? That would be brilliant. :) 

To slow down the video, you can click on "Settings" and reduce the Playback Speed to 0.75. If you go much slower than that, Michelle sounds like she's been having wayyyyy too much Christmas cheer :P 

Pattern no 3 is a wee bit more complicated, but just pause as often as you need to!

 

Stitch Guide

sc2tog - single crochet 2 together - Photo, text and video tutorial by New Stitch a Day

sc3tog - single crochet 3 together - Photo tutorial by Knotions

fphdc - front post half double crochet - Photo Tutorial by Crochet Parfait

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Advent Meditation Crochet Along - Week 2

Hi everyone!

It's already time for Week 2 of the Crochet Between Worlds Advent Meditation Crochet Along! You can find an overview of all information about the CAL here

We hope that you enjoyed the first pattern and would love to see your pictures! If you use instagram, can you use the hashtag #cbwadvent? That would be brilliant. :) 

To slow down the video, you can click on "Settings" and reduce the Playback Speed to 0.75. If you go much slower than that, Michelle sounds like she's been having wayyyyy too much Christmas cheer :P 

So without further ado, here comes pattern no 2!




Stitch Guide


Puff stitch - Tutorial from Annie's Catalog (but you can make your puff stitches as puffy as you want!) 

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Advent Meditation Crochet Along - Week 1

Hi everyone!

It's time for Week 1 of the Crochet Between Worlds Advent Meditation Crochet Along. We hope you are as excited as we are!

You can find all information about the CAL here. If you have questions, you can post them here. We are also active in the Stylecraft Make-Along Facebook group. We will try to answer as soon as possible, but we are not online all the time (you know... life, work, sleep, and so on).

The meditation available on youtube at  or you can view the file below. It's just audio, with a placeholder picture. 






This weeks pattern uses some "special" stitches next to the normal one. If you are unfamiliar with one of them (list below), we recommend that you read the linked tutorial before you start.

Special Stitch Guide for Week 1

Stacked standing double crochet - you can use this instead of 3ch or another kind of standing dc - Video Tutorial by Michelle

treble 5 together - Tutorial by LookAtWhatIMade but with an extra helper to make your tr5tog pointier: at the last step, don't pull through all 6 loops at the same! yo, pull through three, then yo, pull through the rest! 

sc in the third loop - Where is the Third Loop - Tutorial by Oombawaka Design


We can't wait to see your decorations! 

Love,
Michelle & Anne xx 


P.S. Please remember that we are offering this crochet meditation CAL for free in our spare time. We will not be able to answer your questions at any time of the day. Living in two different time zones (Australia and Europe) means that we cover a decent chunk of the days; however, we also have a life and will definitely not always be online or available even if we are awake. Furthermore, there is a chance that technical difficulties might occur (they did last time) or that there are errors in the pattern (we tried to do our best to make sure they are fine!). We ask you to notify us if there are technical issues or errors, but we also ask you to be patient with us. We will work on it as soon as humanely possible.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

BAWJ2019 - Weeks 31-35!

Hi everyone!

Back again, as promised, with Squares 31 to 35 of the BAWJ2019! 


Have you seen our 2019 Advent Meditation CAL? It starts on 1 December 2019, and the first episode is already recorded, tested and waiting for you!

If you want to join in on BAWJ2019 and see the squares we've been working over the year, check out Julie's Facebookgroupblog and Ravelry Board for more information.


WEEK 31 - OCTOBER LOVE by AURORA SUOMINEN


Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/october-love


Yarn colours: Sage, Rose, Copper 



Oh, it was so nice to have a relatively simple pattern this week! The clean lines made it the perfect opportunity to show off the Stylecraft Batik Elements in the centre section. 





WEEK 32 - RINSKE SQUARE by SUSAN CARLSON

Pattern: https://feltedbutton.com/blogs/new-felted-button-blog/free-crochet-pattern-rinske-square


Yarn colours: Olive (no longer available), Plum and Coral



I enjoyed playing with the colours on this incredible textured square. It uses a lot of yarn, with rows layered over one another! Felted Button writes beautifully clear patterns that are easy to follow. 


Look at all that texture!

WEEK 33 - FLORA & FAUNA by SANDRA ENG

Pattern: https://mobiusgirldesign.com/flora-fauna-free-crochet-block-pattern/


Yarn colours: Gold, Raspberry, Mint, Silver



I'm not sure where the fauna are in this square, but I do love it! It worked up pretty square, and the textures are lovely. 



These rich colours in the Stylecraft Batik made the design sing, in my opinion :) 




WEEK 34 - AMAYA by MELISSA GREEN

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/amaya-3


Yarn colours: Lupin, Cream



As advertised, this square worked up quickly and easily. I followed the colour change directions in the pattern, and it came out quite nicely! 




WEEK 35 - ARBORETUM SQUARE by SONYA BLACKSTONE


Pattern: https://blackstone-designs.com/arboretum-square/


Yarn colours: Mint, Plum, Heather



Hoo boy. No amount of blocking is going for make this look straight. I don't know how Julie did it in her test version!



The techniques were interesting to learn, and the design is fascinating but I think I'd need to change directions each row to get it to any semblance of straight. Overall it is square though!

PHEW. Next instalment: Squares 36-40!