Friday, 28 May 2021

Yarn Review: You and Me!

Hey everybody! 

What an epic year we've had! Life regularly seems close to normal here in Australia, but we are still having outbreaks and mini lockdowns.

In between work and Rotary and now chasing two tiny humans around, I've had some time to try out Stylecraft's (now not all that new) yarn, You and Me

In short, I LOVE IT - and definitely not because they sent the first ball to me for free. As proof, I've been back to one of the big online retailers and bought more for myself to make jumpers for the kids. 

I made one of my Impossible Hexagon Sweaters for Allie first, and it came up so rich and warm and sturdy, I can't imagine she will ever be able to wear it out. 


The yarn is an acrylic and cashmere-effect polyamide blend - it feels like it has the strength and stitch definition of cotton, but the warmth of acrylic and just so ridiculously soft and silky. 

I wanted to branch out this year to some different cardigan and jumper designs, and my eyes just about jumped out of my head when I spotted the Jasmine Sweater by Mon Petit Violon... yes yes yes yes yes!

It's taken weeks of scraping out a few minutes here and there, but finally I finished it last night, and couldn't wait to share it here! 


(Please excuse the grubbiness of the model - she had an excellent play with her new textas *eyeroll*) 


I love how the self-striping yarn worked in with the pattern. Often I find that highly textured designs lose all their effect when worked with other than a plain coloured yarn, but this worked really well -  I think it looks a bit like a Monet?


It's so cosy warm too which is fortunate, because it looks like Sydney is in for a very cold and dry winter. 


Check that stitch definition! I did have to fiddle with the pattern a bit to get the sleeves to fit, but I do have a very long skinny bean to clothe. Her little brother seems to be going the same way, although already much bigger than she was at this age. 


Do you have any other toddler/preschooler jumper or cardigan patterns you can suggest for me to try crocheting for this monkey? I'd love to hear your suggestions! 

Monday, 9 November 2020

PATTERN: Queen Bargello Wave Bedspread AND Bargello Blocks Throw!

Hi everyone! 

Obligatory acknowledgement here that I've been terrible at blogging consistently again, along with vague intention to do better in the future... 

This year has just been bananas for everyone! Hot tip: International Student Exchange and Regional Human Resources Consulting are NOT relaxing industries to work in during a global pandemic, 0/10 do not recommend. The jobs themselves are fascinating and interesting, but after the constant tsunamis of feelings coming at me for months on end, the idea of doing anything constructive other than staring at the wall has been too much to contemplate.

However, I have made progress on my goal of getting written/designed patterns actually up there and published this year, and today is one of those red letter days!

In August, I finally published (to no announcement and fanfare) my Impossible Hexagon Sweater and Cardigan patterns, which I'll blog about another day (but here are the links to the patterns if you want to have a look:

Impossible Hexagon Sweater

Impossible Hexagon Cardigan)

But, to today's news!

After the success of our Bargello Wave Baby Blanket, we decided to try and figure out how to make a bigger version that didn't lean even harder to the right, and by goodness we cracked it! Today I can share with you not one, but TWO larger bargello blanket patterns! Both of these test beauties were made by my partner in crochet crime Anne, and I'm sure you'll agree she's done an outstanding job.


BARGELLO BLOCKS THROW

Pattern Link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bargello-blocks-throw 


This design is worked corner to corner using a unique block method, along with the classic bargello style of maintaining the same block height whilst changing the width of each column of blocks. This is what creates the wave effect! Anne took her test blanket to the beach and my jaw literally dropped when the photos came in.



QUEEN BARGELLO WAVE BEDSPREAD

Pattern Link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/queen-bargello-wave-bedspread


The bedspread is a massive 210cm square (unblocked) to fit your queen size bed, and is made with larger blocks and two strands of yarn held together. 


If you love both of these patterns, for the next two weeks 
(until Saturday 21 November), 
put both patterns in your Ravelry cart and use the code

UNDULATE

to get a discount! 

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!)