Monday, 7 May 2018

Nesting: Part 2

Hi everyone!

The nursery is set up, the orders are all completed, and so while I try and get some rest in these last two weeks I've been playing with some more crocheted baby things...

Flower Puddles Ripple Blanket

Pattern: Flower Puddles Ripple Blanket

Yarn: Wolltraum My Melodyy 4ply in Forever 



While I don't really need more blankets, I just love this design and maybe it'll be a good photo prop? Once it gets outgrown, I am thinking about mounting it on some self-adhesive board and hanging on the wall <3 


The pattern is really well written and really does look like ripples in a puddle! 



Eloise Sweater

Pattern: Eloise Sweater by Moogly

Yarn: Moda Vera Fayette in Smoke, Stylecraft Special DK in Empire and Paintbox DK in Turquoise


I wasn't planning to crochet any baby clothes. I thought they'd be too hard to wash and dry, and therefore just sit in the cupboard gathering dust rather than getting used! But, we had dinner with some lovely friends on the weekend who said that one of their favourite gifts for their baby was a collection of handknitted jumpers, which were machine washable and got used and loved to death over the wintertime. So, I had a go at one and it came out so cute!!


Fortunately I had exactly the right coloured buttons in my button stash, which is getting sadly depleted - nearly time to go back to the craft op shop around the corner and stock up again!



Because I used DK yarn rather than Worsted, I made the 6-12 month size - hopefully it won't be too small! 


Next projects...

I've almost finished another little jacket, but it really needs the buttons before I can show it off properly ;) 

While I wait for the Stardust Melodies squares to arrive from Anne in Germany and the Blogstars in the UK, I want to make more little cardigans/jumpers! The lovely people at American Yarns are sending me some of the new Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable Waves to try out - it's going to make some gorgeous booties and a cardigan or two :D 

Do you have any favourite baby patterns using DK yarn, preferably not too nanna-ish? 

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Magazine features!

Hi there!

Long time since the last blog post! Life is rather busy for both of us and somehow blogging always gets pushed towards the end of the to-do-list. We are (or at least try) are regularly on instagram, so hop over there if you want to see what we are currently working on (--> we are actually working on the same blanket at the moment - not just the same pattern but actually the same blanket!). I promise there shall be a blog post about it soon - remind us about it in case we forget. :)

This year has been pretty exciting for our little blog already and we haven't told you about it yet! We have been in two (!) crochet magazines! Man, we would have never thought we make it to one magazine let alone two!


Crochet Now ran a feature on our blog in the Stylecraft Blogstar column and also published a pattern of ours. We worked on the pattern together in true Crochet Between Worlds fashion: Anne came up with the idea, Michelle worked the pattern out and Anne crocheted the little lolly bag up. We hope you like the bag - unfortunately, I took no proper picture before I send it of to the magazine. Opps - there was a bit of a hurry in the end!


Inside Crochet published an interview with us in their issue 98. We haven't managed to get our hands on the issue yet (the "joys" of living on the other side of the world/in an non-English-speaking country) but we have seen the way the page looks like. :)

Has any of you seen us in one of the magazines? That would be so cool! It is still hard to believe we have actually been featured in magazines and that people would like to read about our story! :) 

Captain Poprocks wants me to mention that he was in the pictures as well - that little dive now thinks he is famous. Sighs - young hippos these days. As those you follow us for some time know of course, Captain Poprocks wasn't made by any of our patterns - the pattern for him is from the amazing Heidi Bears! Unfortunately that info didn't make it, so we would like to mention that here again. 

Take care
Anne


Thursday, 22 March 2018

Yarn Review: Bernat Baby Blanket Tiny (from American Yarns)

Hi everyone!

I was recently given the opportunity by a yarn retailer in Melbourne, American Yarns, to try out some of their brands and write about it here. Well, who am I to say no to free yarn, and also, a lot of the American yarn brands are actually quite difficult and expensive to get hold of here in Australia! But where to start!? So many beautiful squishies, from Bernat to Caron to Lily Sugar'n'Cream, and some new Red Heart lines I haven't seen before... 


I've been admiring the Bernat Baby Blanket Tiny chenille yarns for ages to make some little animal friends. What better opportunity to try some, and also make some baby things for my own little one! American Yarns kindly sent me some in the Wildflower and Hush Pink colourways. 


The postage was very quick (fortunately, because I am very impatient) and then I had to decide what to make. This gave me time for some very enjoyable squishing and cuddling of the yarn - it is so soft and snuggly!


My first thought was to make one of Anne's gorgeous little Cross Your Heart Teddies as a cosy little friend for my tiny human, but then I thought I better find a bigger project first, as the teddies don't need all that much yarn and I didn't want to run out on making a blanket!

After perusing the Ravelry Projects Gallery for the yarn, I started with a Corner to Corner blanket, thinking that it would show off the colour changes without looking too mind bendy. However I discovered very quickly that because the lovely squishy chenille yarn has almost no stitch definition, it was very difficult to work into chains. So, that half a ball of blanket is sitting here now waiting for me to be inspired to either finish it and make a lovey, or undo it and repurpose the yarn. The outcome is extremely warm, soft and beautiful to touch and hold, just the crocheting was not a lot of fun. 


Do you have any suggestions on blanket patterns that require minimal working into chains? 

So on to the teddy. Oh my goodness, it worked up so well with a 3.5mm hook, and it is just so soft (I need to find another word for soft). My husband Kiah nearly claimed it for his own, and spent quite a lot of time the evening I finished it with it tucked between his neck and shoulder, just enjoying the cuddles. I am going to make a few more so that as they need washing or the chenille wears a bit thin, the wee flea can still have its snuggly toy! 


It's been heaps of fun trying out this yarn. If you're in Australia and looking to buy American branded yarns, have a look at American Yarns! I'm excited to dive in further and try more, but they might have to wait until after I get used to having a small baby in the house! 


Saturday, 17 March 2018

Nesting: Part 1

Hey everyone!

Oh man I have been so bad at blogging and crocheting so far this year - my output is way down and my crojo has spent a lot of time AWOL. I've just been extra tired, what with growing a whole new human being! Kiah and I are having our first child, due in mid-May. So far pregnancy has not been enjoyable at all between the very hot summer, my chronic fatigue and all the usual "perfectly normal" things that go along with the whole process, so thank goodness there's only 9 weeks to go! We're not going to find out whether it's a boy or a girl until it arrives :) 

I have managed to make a few things though, and it's super exciting to be making baby things for me for once :P 



We have some big things coming along this year - continuing our work with Stylecraft and the Blogstars, a new collaboration with an Australian yarn retailer, and hopefully working with a mindfulness magazine called Breathe later in the year on another meditation CAL. Plus, there's a bunch of new designs at  various stages of production that I really should get moving on before all my time is devoted to a tiny screaming person! 

But, while that is all in progress, I thought I'd share with you the things that I've been working on over the last few months :) 

Neat Ripple Blanket

Pattern: Attic24 Neat Ripple

Yarn: Bella Baby Bambini Print, 50% Acrylic 50% Nylon


I started this blanket ages ago - the yarn is so soft and silky, and worked up so beautifully in Lucy's neat ripple pattern. When my crojo first disappeared in January it was really nice to pick up again and just do something relatively mindless and repetitive, and I'm so happy with how it came out!  


Rainbow Cloud Wrap

Pattern: Virus Blanket / Scallop Border for Virus Shawl

Yarn: Wolltraum My Melodyy 4ply in Mamma Mia (500g cake)


I made one of these for the Sydney Easter Show last year, and sold that one very soon after. I still had the other 500g cake which was wound with the colours in the opposite direction with dreams of making another one someday... Then, I was looking for a project I could take with me to sit in the extremely boring waiting room of the antenatal clinic, and picked up the second cake to give it a go! 


The pattern was so easy to remember after a few rounds, and it was a lovely project to just sit in front of the tv through this hot Sydney summer, no need to change colours or weave in ends... The texture is absolutely wonderful - warm but breathable - and I can't wait to wrap our baby in it! It's also machine washable (and goes in the dryer on low) so I don't have to be afraid to use it in case it gets dirty! 


For the edging, I found an edging pattern for the virus shawl and it was pretty easy to adapt to the square blanket. It finishes it off beautifully! 


Rainbow Happypotamus

Pattern: Happypotamus 

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Rum Paradise 

I have been drooling over this yarn forever - such bright rainbow colours... But, I am not too excited about making more socks (knitting is just so slow!?) and as it's a wool/nylon blend, what else is it really good for? 


It's good for happypotami. The outcome is just so pretty, but the texture of the yarn is a bit scratchy from the wool so maybe this will be a toy for looking at on the shelf rather than playing with :P 


I only ended up cutting the yarn to start in a different place once, for the nose piece - otherwise every piece just continues on from the previous one, and it worked out really well!


I absolutely adore the colours! 

What's next? 

Anne and I are working on a project with the other Blogstars using Polly Plum's Stardust Melodies patterns and the new Bambino Yarn - but we'll tell you all about that next time! 

Hugs,
Michelle

Friday, 16 February 2018

A long time in the making... Frida's Flowers Blanket

Hi there!

At some point I thought I would never be able to write this blogpost. That is a post where I share my finished Frida's Flowers blanket. In the end, it took me close to two years to finish it. As you might guess, it sat in the naughty corner looking reproachful at me for quite some time. 


How did it come to this? Well, as some of you might recall, I translated the Frida's Flowers CAL into German and boy, that was some work. I also managed the German Facebook group, wrote the German pattern errata list and so on. At some point I was just over the blanket. That I had no idea what to actually do with the blanket once it was done. So... after finishing part 1-3 while I was on holidays in Denmark in 2016, the blanket kit moved into the WIP/UFO corner. 



But whenever I walked past it, it looked at me and I felt pretty bad. What to do with the already finished pieces and what to do with the left over yarn? I couldn't get myself to repurpose the yarn and well, sometime last year, I "bite into the sour apple" (German phrase) and started working on it again. And guess what? I actually enjoyed it (not the ends but that is another story)! I was going to finish it for Christmas but as usual life had other plans. So, I finished it in January/February instead and will ship it off to it's new owner (who doesn't know she will get it, so I won't name her here) soon. Pheww! 



The pattern is very well written and along with Michelle's helpful tips from two years ago, the crochet process wasn't too hard. The crocheting together? Not my favorite part but that is not the blanket's fault as I don't like putting crochet pieces together in any case. I used the recommend Stylecraft Classique Cotton and fell in love with it. Finally a cotton yarn which doesn't split all the time! I will certainly use it again in the future - when the right projects comes up. I adore cotton yarn but it makes blankets so heavy and amigurumi a bit hard (if crocheted tight). 



I can't even express how relieved I am that this project is FINALLY done. There are tons of projects which moved into the naughty corner (and stayed there) in the past, tons of projects   frogged or thrown out but this one... this one needed to be finished. And now that it is, well, we will see where it takes me!


Project details

Pattern: Frida's Flowers Blanket by Jane Crowfoot 
Hooks: Clover Amour 4-5 mm
Duration: March 2016 - February 2018

Take care 
Anne

P.S. It is the middle of winter here in Germany... The weather is ... um... not good for photos.  Thus no outside picture of the blanket as it would get wet and soggy within seconds!






Sunday, 11 February 2018

Stylecraft Blogstar Meetup 2018

Hi everyone!

Hard to believe it is February already! Didn't 2018 just begin yesterday?! Sometimes I wish time was flying by less fast and unless someone invents the time turner Hermione used in Harry Potter, we will just have to make most of the moments we have and actually notice them!


Something very notice-worthy was the first Stylecraft Blogstar meet up of the year last weekend! Stylecraft invited its blogstars to a meet up twice a year and while we couldn't attend in person (again, no one has invented apparition for us muggles yet...), we joined the others via Skype on Saturday! The lovely people from Stylecraft installed a table microphone this time and thus is was so much easier to hear everyone at the table! 


Over the course of the morning we got plenty of exciting news and background information, talked about social media annnddd got to see the new yarns which will be released this spring! A big box with samples of all these new yarns arrived in Germany and Australia weeks back and after days of just looking at the box, we were finally allowed to dive into it! You see, there was a big sign on it, telling us not to open it before the meeting! Oh the anticipation! Some of the new yarns are released already (have a look here), some others aren't yet and thus we can't tell you about them (except that is is worth waiting for them!). Michelle really loved the new Bambino yarn, while Anne is rather excited about one of the still super-secret yarns. 


(The picture above is from Stylecraft because ... well obviously we weren't there to take the picture ourselves).

There are some really exciting projects coming up over the next year which we Blogstars plan to do together but... it is all a secret for now! Cross your fingers that everything will work up as dreamt up. :) We certainly can't wait for the next meet up in July!

On a side note: Helen from Josiekitten has a bit of fundraising going on at the moment. She is raising funds for the British Heart Foundation in memory of her late husband. When you donate just two pounds, you will get the change to win amazing yarn-y prizes! Have a look at her page, drool about the prizes (there are over 70!) and donate to this worthy cause! 

We can't wait for the next meet up and really hope we can join the others in person one day...

Take care
Michelle & Anne


Friday, 5 January 2018

GUEST POST: Carole Marie's Vinicunca Blanket

Happy new year everyone!! 

We have a treat for you today - a guest post from Carole of Carole Marie Designs! We absolutely adore Carole's colourful, geometric designs, and recently she was inspired by Michelle's Bargello Baby Blanket to create a crazy zig zag of bargello called the Vinicunca Blanket. We asked her to write a little bit about her design process, and it is absolutely fascinating to get a peek into a designer's brain!

And, just for our wonderful readers, Carole is offering  her Vinicunca Blanket pattern to us for free until next Tuesday, 9 January 2018!! 

Head to https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vinicunca and use the code vinim 

Thank you Carole!

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Where did Vinicunca come from?  Well thats easy really, it came from the Michelle’s Bargello pattern and a frustrating moment of not being able to control my tension.  Michelle and I share an interest in the formation of Bargello, Michelle in stitching, myself in the quilting form. The other thing I love is colour, bright rainbow colour so it seemed the right moment to have a bit of a play.  However my play wasn't working, tension issues.  I don't know why but I couldn't close the gap, it just wasn’t happening.  So I sat for a while getting more and more frustrated ready for throwing my hook into the naughty corner, when I realised that maybe I could turn single stitches into clusters instead and see if that worked.  Well easier said than done.  MATHS!  Another favourite of mine, I like to play with numbers.  

So then here’s Michelle pattern, to make the clusters sit right I would need to make the beginning chain 3 lengths longer... heck hold on ... its going to big.   Well OK sorted out the starting chain, applied Michelle’s technique and got cracking.   WHOOPS hold on.... now I had a long BUT skinny piece of work, well that was no use for a blanket.  Ermmm... got to work this out now, again a couple of hours of frustration playing around with stitches and how to make my blanket fatter (I only do fat blankets).  

Then hey presto a mad moment of thinking: What if I could reverse and mirror image the pattern. making sure the same colours sat on top of each other?  Again I had to play around with the stitches how could I work this backwards so everything sat at the right ?  I think on the 4th attempt I had worked it out so off I went again.  Once that second part was finished it was looking fatter but still a rectangle PLUS I still had half of my 12 colours left, I don't like to waste yarn, if I can I'll use a full ball of yarn.  So off I went again mirroring the pattern until 4 sections had been finished.  Still some yarn left so applied a simple border with all 12 colours and finished off with the dreaded crab stitch.

It was a real tah da moment for myself, a pleasing journey of creativity.  Of course I had to show it off and asked Michelle if I could write the pattern up and publish it.  And wonderfully she said yes. Then inspired by some of my closest crochet friends, the blanket was named Vinicunca, representing the mountains in Peru.  


This also meant that after a long period of time I had my 50th pattern to publish.  It had been such a long time, because of opening my own yarn shop that I had published anything.



This is what happens when you Crochet Between Worlds, you make great creative friends willing to share techniques and design ideas.