Wednesday 30 December 2015

Looking back - Goodbye 2015

Hi ladies and gents!

I hope you all had a wonderful christmas with lots of cozy and loving moments! We had a very calm christmas in the midst of family which was lovely and reassuring. We missed my dad a lot of course and in many ways I haven't realized that he is gone. Grief comes in waves I discovered. 

2015 is almost finished and I figured it would be a good moment to look back and see what happened in life and in crochet over the last twelve month. I can't believe it is that time of the year again already - it feels like I only just wrote the hello 2015 post!

It was a year full of ups and downs. As you might recall, I lost my grandparents earlier this year and in November my dad lost his battle with cancer. My grandparents were old (101 and 96 years), so I kinda expected to have to say goodbye to them at some point, but with my dad, well I expected to have him at my side for at least another 20 years. The pain is deep and raw.

Next to all the grief, there were happy moments too: Alex and I got married in November in midst of our closest family. It was a wonderful day and I will be forever thankful that my dad could still be there with us and the rest of the family. In December I became an auntie for the first time - to twins! I am so excited about this new role and am looking forward to see the two lovely little boys grow up! 

Somehow it felt like it didn't complete many crochet projects this years but a look back proved me wrong! I finished several blankets - some of family and many to welcome newborn babies into this world. Also, I got back into owl making: the little ones can be found in my Dawanda store along with some baby beanies I made. Oh and it was the year of the teddies as you might recall! I lost count how many teddies I finished! Some of them went to refugee children to make them feel more at home in Germany, others will go into my Dawanda store where they will be sold hopefully, so that I can buy more yarn to make more teddies to give away. 

In December I finally made several Elise shawls as prayer shawls. I think the Elise shawl pattern was on my to do list for almost two years, so I am quite happy I finally got around to make the shawls. 

Looking back, I certainly expanded my skills in crochet - I feel a lot more confident with amigurumi for example. In 2016 I hope to learn more new stitches! Perhaps I will start a Sophie blanket for example?! Michelle mentioned she learnt so much while making the blankets, so it might be a good starting point. First I have to finish the two little blankets for my nephews though!

How did your 2015 go? I wish you all a wonderful and magical 2016 with lots of special and happy moments!

Take care and see you next year

Thursday 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

Hi there!

A very merry christmas from Germany and Australia! 

We hope you have wonderful time wherever on this world you are! :) Hopefully, you will find some crochet time during these hectic and yet peaceful days!

Take care
Michelle and Anne

Thursday 17 December 2015

Prayer Shawls for my Dad

Hello from Germany,

those who follow us on Facebook or Instagram probably already read why I didn't blog for such a long time. 

My dad died on the 29th of November. I am heartbroken and miss him so much. He was just 60 years old and the best dad I could ever wish for. Loving, caring and always there for us - I could always rely on him and I hope I can carry on his legacy of love and caring for the rest of my life. 

Grief comes in waves these days. Some days, I am doing fine, other days everything brings me to tears. Right now, I have tears in my eyes again. I hope he is watching us from above and feels the love we all have for him.

We spent his last days at his bed side at home, something I am forever thankful for. During this time I had to keep my hands busy and decided to crochet some kind of prayer shawls.

I decided on the Elise Shawl pattern, a pattern I had in my to do list forever. So I got different sock weighted yarns from the LYS in my hometown and started crocheting. Three weeks after my dad's death, I already made several of these shawls and gave one as a gift already. 

The pattern is quite addictive and it calms my mind, so I think I will make many more over the next weeks. I might block the shawls at some point but at the moment I don't have anything large enough to block them on yet. As I went down some hook sizes (4,5 mm instead of 5,5 mm), they are fine to wear without blocking as well though, so I am not too worried.

Hugs from Germany

FREE PATTERN: Rainbow Crochet Shorts Keyring

I am sure this is a universal experience of anyone who crochets and has a Facebook account - someone has either shared in a group you're in, on your wall or messaged you one (or more!) pictures of crochet shorts or onesies.

Sigh. They, of course, think that they are being very funny. But, I don't like the idea of laughing at someone else's hard work, even if it's not necessarily to my taste! I would be devastated if I posted on the internet something that I was proud of making, and others shared it around for laughs :/

Going by the principle that what you make jokes about reveals your deepest desires, here is a little, quick and easy pattern to give as a gift to those people :)

Queue or Favourite this pattern on Ravelry here:



Small amounts of DK yarn in 6 rainbow colours - I used Stylecraft Special DK in Lipstick, Spice, Sunshine, Green, Aster and Violet
3.25mm/D hook
Yarn needle
Keyring with short chain and second smaller split ring

This pattern uses all US terminology

sc - single crochet
st - stitch
blo - back loop only
slst - slip stitch


- For the only time ever, I recommend crocheting over your ends as you go rather than having to spend time weaving them in at the end. I crocheted over the starting end of the current colour for the first 6 stitches, and over the tail from the previous row with the final 6 stitches.

- Use standing sc stitches to start each row if you can! Reducing bulk will make your tiny shorts less flare-y. 

- If you're not good at remembering which end you started at, I recommend using a stitch marker to mark the end! You only really need this for the construction phase.

- Don't turn after each row!


Leg Sleeves (make 2)

Row 1 - Using Lipstick, ch13. Turn and sc into the back loop of each chain. Finish off and cut yarn (12 sc). 

Row 2 - Using Spice, join yarn with a standing sc in blo of first sc of Row 1. sc in BLO of each st. Finish off and cut yarn (12sc).

Row 3 - Repeat Row 2 with Sunshine. 

Row 4 - Repeat Row 2 with Green

Row 5 - Repeat Row 2 with Aster

Row 6 - Repeat Row 2 with Violet

Row 7 - Repeat Row 2 with Lipstick

Row 8 - Repeat Row 2 with Spice

Row 9 - Repeat Row 2 with Sunshine

Row 10 - Repeat Row 2 with Green

Row 11 - Repeat Row 2 with Aster

Row 12 - Repeat Row 2 with Violet

Weave in all ends. 


1. Thread a 30cm length of Lipstick onto your yarn needle. With the first leg sleeve, fold in half with the right sides together, with the Violet row on top. Starting from the right hand side (which is the side with the ends rather than the starts of each row), whip stitch the two edges together for 6 stitches. If you want to match the BLO pattern, stitch into the front loop of both the Violet and Lipstick only. 

2. Once you've joined 6 stitches, do an extra stitch in the last spot, and then pick up your second leg sleeve and fold in half with the right sides together, with the Lipstick row on top. Into the 7th stitches from the right, insert your yarn needle and do a little knot. Continue stitching towards the left - you'll do 6 stitches again. If you want to match the BLO pattern, stitch into the front loop of the Lipstick, and back loop of the Violet edges. Finish off securely and weave in your ends.

3. Now we need to do the front-to-back seam of the tiny shorts. Line up the un-joined edges of the leg sleeves so that you are joining one sleeve to the other (as opposed to one sleeve to itself to make the leg holes). Whip stitch along this seam, adding an extra knot in the crotch if you think it's necessary. Finish off and weave in your ends securely.


Row 1 - Join Aster in the end of any row with a standing sc. sc in the end of each row around. Slst to join to the first sc, cut yarn and weave in ends. (24sc)

Row 2 - Join Sunshine into any sc. sc into each st around. Slst to join to the first sc, cut yarn and weave in ends. (24sc)

Row 3 - Repeat Row 2 with Lipstick. (24sc)


Join your keyring to the side of the waistband using the smaller split ring, around a stitch on Row 2 of the waistband.

Ta-dah! Tiny rainbow crochet shorts!

Monday 14 December 2015

Christmas Crochet!

Hello everyone! 

I can't believe Christmas is less than two weeks away - where did this year go!? Fortunately I have most of my Christmas presents organised (though just about all of them are still in the post somewhere), and I have a date with our French exchange student, Violette, to put together our holiday menu and recipe book.

On Sunday, we hosted our last Crochet Class of the year. These have been great fun, and we are looking forward to doing more next year! 

Tis the Season, so the patterns were for Christmas tree decorations :) If you're looking for some quick and easy crochet decorations for your tree/fireplace/house, I've linked all the patterns we used below. 

There were little Christmas socks from Le Monde de Sucrette...

More mini stockings (made with granny pentagons!) from Maggie's Crochet...

Stars from Petals to Picots...

And little Christmas trees from Crochet Jewel!

We had some beginners too, so there were also a few granny squares produced. Isn't this yarn just gorgeous?

Overall it was a fun afternoon, and everyone got to take home something that they had made :)

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Ta-dah! Around the Bases CAL

Hi everyone! 

It's been a busy week here at Casa del Westlund, making and posting teddies all about the place and working on other orders. So far we've raised $110 for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre! Thank you to all who have supported so far :) 

This week I also managed to (finally) finish the Around the Bases Crochet-Along!!! After 16 innings, the finished afghan is 51"x55" (130cmx140cm) - the perfect size to keep someone's knees warm next winter. 

I started this project as a stashbuster, both to use up my bits and pieces of Stylecraft Special DK, and to challenge myself to use clashing and contrasting colours without worrying about it. The end result is bright, crazy, messy and just gorgeous! When I ran out of one colour, I just Russian joined the next one on and carried on crocheting :P 

I've learned some new stitches, and also valuable lessons about counting, frogging and fudging.

It has been great fun to do - thank you to ChiChi from KeitoPalette for an excellent and entertaining pattern :)

Monday 30 November 2015

Teddies for Refugees

Good morning everyone! And happy birthday to me! 

For my birthday this year, I want to give gifts rather than receive them. 

I am so lucky to have been born and live in this peaceful, prosperous country, to have a wonderfully supportive family, to have safe and open access to education for as long as I want to, to say pretty much what I like where I like, and to have many excellent friends of different ethnicities and backgrounds. 

There are lots of people in the world who have not been nearly as lucky as me - they were born and live in war-torn countries, or where they are not free to be themselves; who live in fear of their lives and the lives of those they love every day. Some muster the courage (and funds!) to escape, to seek refuge in countries like mine, to share and build peace and prosperity. 

Australia is built on our native peoples' lands, and the work and effort of all Australians, whether born here or overseas. We are a nation of immigrants, and it saddens me that our government is indulging in dog whistle politics, trying to scare us about new people arriving. We keep people, including children, in "immigration detention". We are learning to be selfish and judgmental.

This year I want to do something to help - to prove to the thousands of people seeking safety and opportunity in Australia that most Australians do care, do want them here, and do recognise the achievements and contributions of refugees past and future. But what could I do? I do not have much money to spend, nor do I have much energy for activism or physical assistance. But I can crochet :)

So, I have launched my "Teddies for Refugees" shop on Etsy today, for my birthday. For each teddy sold, $10 will be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, an organisation providing practical assistance and advocacy to those seeking a new life in Australia. I have chosen this organisation because of the great work it does, and their work fits well with my career in the legal profession, as well as my practical nature. If you want to learn more about what the ASRC does, visit their website at 

My birthday wish is for my friends to share my shop link, so that we have the best chance of selling as many teddies as possible to help the ASRC.

At the moment it's only available to Australian customers because of ridiculous postage costs to anywhere else, but if you are not in Australia and want to help those fleeing terrible situations, I encourage you to contact a refugee organisation in your area and ask them what they need the most. 

As the Australian national anthem itself says:

"For those who've come across the seas, 
we've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
to Advance Australia Fair."

Friday 27 November 2015

FREE PATTERN: Cross Your Heart Teddy

Hello lovelies!

A few weeks ago, I published the Heart Teddy Bear pattern on this blog. Since than I have made a lot of teddies, as did Michelle. They are really addictive, believe me!

My husband - who works in math education at uni - suggested that I should adapt the pattern, so that the legs are a bit shorter, the neck a bit wider and the head a bit larger. Apparently these changes would make it look more mathematical in order and thus cuter for the eye. I wasn't totally convinced but I tried and guess what?! He was right! I still like the larger Heart Teddy Bear but I also like the smaller, different version and so I decided to share that one with you too.

So without further ado, here is the Cross Your Heart Teddy Bear pattern! Thank you Angela from Get Knotted Yarn Craft for the wonderful name suggestion! 

Cross Your Heart Teddy Bear

You will need:
ca. 100gr DK Yarn (or any other yarn you like)
3 mm hook (use at least half a hook size smaller than you would usually use for the chosen yarn)
Stitch Counter
Safety Eyes
Safety Nose (or, embroider a nose on the snout piece with black yarn)

Note: I use the invisible decrease method for amigurumi. Planet June hat a great tutorial for this stitch in case you want to learn. :)


Arm (Make 2)

1) Magic Ring with 6st (6)
2) 2sc into each stitch around (12)
3) *1sc into the next stitch, 2sc into the next stitch* 6 times (18)
4-6) 1sc into each st around (18)
7) *1sc into the next stitch, sc2tog* 6 times (12)
8) *1sc into the next 4 stitches, sc2tog* 2 times (10)

Fill the hand.

9-23) 1sc into each st around (10)

Do not fill the arm.

Leg (Make 2)

1)    magic ring with 6sc (6)
2)    2sc in each stitch (12) 
3)    *1sc in the next stitch, 2sc in the next st* repeat 6 times (18)
4)    *1sc in the next 2st, 2sc in the next st* repeat 6 times (24)
5)    *1sc in the next 3st, 2sc in the next st* repeat 6 times (30)
6)    – 8) 1sc in each st around (30)
9) *1sc in the next 3st, sc2tog* repeat 6 times (24)
10) *sc2tog* 6 times, 1sc in the remaining 12 st (18)

Stuff the foot

11) *sc2tog* 4 times, 1sc in the remaining 10 st (14)
12) *sc2tog* 2 times, 1sc in the remaining 10 st (12)
13-17) 1sc in each st around

Leg 1: Sl into first st of row 17, finish off, weave in ends

Continue with leg 2. You are now moving to the body part


18) 1st into the next 9st, *ch1, turn, 1 sc into the next 4 st* 4 times (this makes the "bridge). With the next four stitches crochet the second leg to the just made "bridge" (Pictures A and B below), 1sc into the next 8st, evenly place 4sc into the "bridge" between the legs, 1sc into the next 3st (24 - Picture C)

19) *1sc in the next 3st, 2sc in the next st* repeat 6 times (30) Note: The bridge between the two legs equals 4st
20) *1sc into the next 4st, 2sc into the next st* repeat 6 times (36)
21) *1sc into the next 5st, 2sc into the next st* repeat 6 times (42)

Fill the legs.

22) *1sc into the next 6st, 2sc into the next st* repeat 6 times (48)
23)-32) 1sc into each st around (48)
33) *1sc in the next 6st, sc2tog* repeat 6 times (42)
34) *1sc in the next 5st, sc2tog* repeat 6 times (36)
35-37) 1sc into each st around (36)
38) *1sc in the next 4st, sc2tog* repeat 6 times (30)
39) *1sc in the next 3st, sc2tog* repeat 6 times (24)
40) 1sc into each st around (24)

You will now attach the arms. Flatten the arms so that you have 5st on each side. You will attach the arms with 5 stitches in row 41 and 5 stitches in row 42.

41) 1sc into the next stitch, with the next 5sc crochet the first arm to the body using 5 of the arm stitches, 1sc into the next 8st, with the next 5st crochet the second arm to the body using 5 of the arm stitches, 1st into the next 5sc (24)

42) 1sc into the next stitch, with the next 5st crochet the first arm to the body using the remaining 5 arm stitches, 1sc into the next 8sc, with the next 5sc crochet the second arm to the body with the remaining 5 arm stitches, 1sc into the next 5st (24)

Stuff the Body.

43) *1sc in the next 2st, sc2tog* 6 times (18)

You will now move onto the head


44) *1sc in the next 2st, 2sc in the next st* 6 times (24)
45) *1sc in the next 3st, 2sc in the next st* 6 times (30) 
46) *1sc into the next 4st, 2sc into the next st* times (36)
47) *1sc into the next 5st, 2sc into the next st* 6 times (42)
48) *1sc into the next 6st, 2sc into the next st* 6 times (48)
49-58) 1sc into each st around (48)
59) *1sc in the next 6st, sc2tog* 6 times (42)
60) *1sc in the next 5st, sc2tog* 6 times (36)
61) *1sc in the next 4st, sc2tog* 6 times (30)
62) *1sc in the next 3st, sc2tog* 6 times (24)
Stuff the head.
63) *1sc in the next 2st, sc2tog* 6 times (18)
64) *1sc in the next 1st, sc2tog* 6 times (12)

Stuff the rest of the head.

65) *sc2tog* 6 times (6)

Sl into the first st of rd 65, finish of. Weave the tail through 6st of row 65 and pull tight to close the hole. Weave in the tail.

Ear (make 2)

1) magic ring with 6st (6)
2) 2sc in each stitch around (12) 
3) *1sc into the next st, 2sc into the next st* 6 times (18)
4) *1sc into the next 5st, 2sc in next st* 3 times (21)
5) *1sc into the next 5st, sc2tog* 3 times (18)
6) *1sc in next 4st, sc2tog* 3 times (15)
7) 1sc in each st around (15)

Sl into first st of round 7, finish off, leave long tail for sewing the ear onto the head


1) Magic Ring with 6st (6)
2) 2sc into each stitch around (12)
3) *1sc into the next stitch, 2sc into the next stitch* 6 times (18)
4)*1sc into the next 2 stitches, 2sc into the next stitch* 6 times (24)
5-6) 1sc into each stitch around (24)

Sl into first stitch of round 6, finish off, leave a long tail for sewing onto the head.


1) Magic Ring with 6st (6)
2) 2sc into each stitch around (12)
3) *1sc into the next stitch, 2sc into the next stitch* 6 times (18)
4-5) 1sc into each stitch around (18)
6) *1sc in the next 1st, sc2tog* 6 times (12)
7) *1sc in the next 4st, sc2tog* 2 times (10)

Sl into first st of round 7, finish off, leave long tail for sewing the tail onto the body.

Sew the ears, snout (stuff it a bit while sewing on) and tail onto your teddy, and then give it lots of hugs! 

Friday 20 November 2015

Wedding on Spiekeroog


You probably noticed that I have been absent a lot. One of the reasons is the very poor and terminal health of my dad but there is also a positive reason:

I got married last week!

We had a very small civil wedding on Spiekeroog which is one of the North Sea islands. My parents, my sister, Alex's parents and his brother. Unfortunately my sister in law couldn't come but as she is highly pregnant with twins, she had a pretty good reason! Can't wait to become an auntie!

We arrived on the island two days before the wedding and were greeted with very sunny and very unlike weather for November. So we got to explore the island in sunshine and got to see a wonderful sunset over the North Sea! The next days were a bit more stormy and rainy but that was perfectly fine with us. After all, we decided to get married in November on an island! Actually, I quite enjoyed the stormy weather. :)

The ceremony was wonderful and very special. We got married in the small city hall and got to spent some time there afterwards (photos & sparkling wine). My mum gave a very touching speech and it was so special that my dad could be there. I am really grateful!

Oh - and I got to wear my bonfire beanie in some wedding shots! A pic will follow I promise! My brother in law took the most amazing weddings pics and will post them to us soon!

And as the bonfire beanie got to play such a wonderful part in the wedding, we put the pattern on special. Use the code Wedding on Ravelry to get 60 % off for some days!

Hope you will have an amazing weekend!

Take care