Friday 27 February 2015

An exciting week!


I had a rather strange week with lots of good and bad excitement. Looking back I can't quite believe it happened in less than a week!

Last Saturday our car started to make very strange noises when starting. If it started that is. No good sign at all! The car isn't that old (5 years) and well maintained. I took it to the garage about three weeks ago to get it checked because it made some high pitched noises and the gear was weird too. They assured me that there was nothing wrong. At all. 

On Sunday we realized the car warranty guarantee would run out on Wednesday.

On Monday I called the garage and made an appointment on Tuesday at 7:40 am. At around 10 am I got a call from them telling me that  the starter broke, it would cost over 3500 € and they weren't sure the guarantee would cover it. Ouch! At 4 pm we got the call it would be covered but you can imagine the hours in between... Lots of worrying.

In order to get to work the next days I had to take public transport which involved three different types of transportation plus a lot of walking. On Thursday, a bomb was found near the station in Dortmund where I had to get off (a dud bomb from WW2), so I basically left work running to get home via public transport before the evacuation started... Why? Because I needed to get off at that station in order to not be stranded at work and I had other appointments in Dortmund later that day. Oh and did I mention I had to pick up my now fixed car from the garage which was pretty close to the evacuation side?!

What a week! It worked out fine in the end but there was a lot of stress and I am tired. Stress makes my fatigue flare which is really annoying (I get fatigue from my autoimmune sickness too but a different kind than Michelle).

On the other hand it was a week full of excitement too. I haven't been to Australia since Michelle's wedding in 2011 - a very long time Michelle and I haven't seen each other in person and I haven't been in my favourite town, Sydney (we talked about the times we saw each other in person here). Plus my boyfriend hasn't meet Michelle's family yet and hasn't seen Down Under. So we planned to go there sometime later this year or in 2016. It was all very hypothetical though.

Well, on Tuesday I looked up flights just for the fun of it and saw a brilliant offer from Singapore Airline. And what shall I say... We booked! So we will be in Australia for four weeks this winter. Michelle thought I was kidding for about half a day when I told her btw... :P I am soo excited even though it's still over ten months away. The little giraffe Michelle gave me for my birthday in 2013 is very anxious to see her relatives in Australia again too and begs me to take her with me. I think I will. :D

Oh and I also managed to sneak in some crochet this week. Not as I hoped I would but some... I finally finished the blanket for my dad and will post it soon. Also I made another Granny Star Blanket, this time in reverse colours. And I worked a bit on the blanket for my Granny. Hm, I just realized I actually got more done than I thought!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Take care

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Hippos and Crocodile and Sophies, Oh My!

Hello everyone! Welcome to all our new readers, and especially to our old friends :) We love reading every single one of your comments, on here and on Facebook and Instagram

Remember how I started a list a few weeks ago to try and keep me on track and get done the things I needed to get done? Well, I finished 4 scarves, my Sophie, and the Happypotamus to enter into the Sydney Royal Easter Show this week! I also did too much housework which has led to me being crashingly exhausted - there's definitely a lesson in that.

The Happypotamus is the new, improved Captain Poprocks style, and definitely needs a name. What would you call it? There's no obvious signs of it being male or female (I've checked), so don't feel restrained on that count :P 

I also got some wonderful feedback from the beautiful mum who ordered the Crocodile Stitch Booties I've been raving about. Despite it being 40°C in Adelaide, the little one insisted on wearing her "favourite gumboots", and would only take them off to sleep if they were right there on the bedside table! It doesn't get much better than that :D

On that delightful high note, here is our progress on the Sophie's Universe CAL for this week!! The roses are absolutely gorgeous, by themselves... 

... and in a row... 

I love the flower "growing" on the short side! 

An artsy sideways shot so you can see all the wonderful textures.

And the full banana! I'm going to have to extend the dining table for the next photo - it is almost as wide as the table now! I had to block it at this stage so that it stayed flat, and didn't just curl up all over the place.

And here is Kathryn's update photo from last week :) She's done a few more rows since this was taken, but this is to the end of Part 6. 

Nicole is up to the first row of popcorns! I love her vibrant colour choices - it's going to be a tropical garden :)

So many photos! I hope you are enjoying our Sophie progress updates :)  Don't forget to comment with your name for the Happypotamus! 

Friday 20 February 2015

Granny Star Blanket - Love it!

Hello you all!

Thanks for all your lovely comments on our last blog posts! It's always a joy to read them!

I am starting to feel better but the exhausting of the cold is still there. But I finally have the feeling I am getting my life back on track. Phew. About time as we are already in the middle of February!

I also got my cro-jo back. In January I mostly worked on the blue ripple blanket and I really missed the colours. After I finished the poncho last week, I longed for more granny stitch magic and for colours... As I have several pregnant friends, I decided to make a baby blanket.

The pattern is the Granny Star Blanket from Lulu Loves Crochet. The pattern is really easy to follow and it felt sooo good to use the granny stitch again. It's very relaxing and comforting at the same time. It's so good in fact that I am currently on the 2nd blanket. Same colours just in reverse direction. 

The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK and I used 7 colours. So far it looks like I can finish two baby blankets with 7 balls of 100 gram DK yarn. Pretty good in my opinion.

What are you working on at the moment?

I wish you a wonderful weekend with lots of time with your loved ones and of course crochet or any craft of your addiction!

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Sophie's Universe CAL - Update!

Hello lovely readers! Welcome to those of you who are visiting for the first time - we'd love to hear from you in the comments, on our Facebook page or on Instagram :) 

Some exciting news this week - my entry pack for the 2015 Sydney Royal Easter Show arrived!!! Now that I actually have the little barcodes and entry passes, it's a little more real... must get working on my scarf and hippo entries!

It's now week 5, Part 6 of the Sophie's Universe CAL hosted by Dedri Uys at :D 

I've done two parts since I last blogged about this project, because I was saving Part 5 to do at our Crafternoons gathering on Sunday! 

Here is Part 5! I particularly love the little yellow tulips - so cute!

And Part 6!

Sophie did nearly go over the balcony a few times last night - I discovered at the end of Row 53 that I'd missed one (ONE!) stitch at the end of Row 51 :'( After some cursing and icecream, I decided I really did need to fix it, so undid all of Rows 53 and 52, and fixed up the end of Row 51 and then redid 52 and 53. It seemed heartbreaking at the time but I know I'll be happier with it in the end, especially when I don't know what stitches will be needed later in the work! 

Because I made her wait until Sunday to do Part 5, Kathryn has not had time to do Part 6 yet. I love her colour choices though - it's like the garden at nighttime, whereas mine is the garden in full sunshine! Her blue tulip row is gorgeous :D 

We've also convinced our mother to join the CAL, and ordered her some lovely squishy Stylecraft yarn to do it in! Hopefully it will arrive soon, but knowing how fast Mum crochets it won't take her long to catch up...

I'm doing pretty well with my list of things to do this week - posted the crocodile stitch booties to their new owners (will hopefully get some cute pictures to share with you soon), posted a hippo to a brand new baby, got my Sophie up to date, and I've done two scarves so far. Phew, and it's only Wednesday!

How is your week going?

Saturday 14 February 2015

Cowl Neck Poncho Love!

Hello you all!

Guess who is sick (again)? Ugh, I think I have had enough colds this winter to last for a couple of years... That is the reason I look so sickish on the pic below! Somehow I can't get my immune system back on its feet. Any tips to fix that?

Anyway, after some weeks without much crochet, I got my crochet motivation back :-) You probably saw the cowl neck poncho on quite a few blogs by now. It seems to be "the" thing to have as a crochet-addicted person at the moment. The pattern was published in the Issue 25 from Simply Crochet and is quite easy to follow. 

I used the yarn suggested (Drops Nepal) but in different colours. As you know I am a huge fan of the Drops yarn and I wasn't disappointed with Nepal! It is very lovely to work with and nice to the skin. I used goldenrod, deep red, navy blue and off white as colours. I wasn't sure about the goldenrod at first but it turned out fine in the end. Phew!

The original pattern starts with a very long chain. I am no big fan of chain starts as they usually turn out a bit wobbly and I tend to miscount (which results in a lot of frogging). So I started with a foundation chain which turned out perfectly. Man, I am in love with foundation chains since Michelle introduced them to me in this post!

 The original pattern calls for 16 rows of granny stitches but when I was done with these, my poncho was farrr too short. So I added more rows. In the end I did 28 rows which turned out the perfect size for me. 

I was going to do the fringe the pattern called for until I saw Lucy's version and went for that. I still like the fringes but I was a bit scared it would tangle up to easily. 

Can't wait to wear it in public/to work!

What are you working on at the moment? 

Take care

P.S. More Work In Progress pictures can be found on our Instagram account. I haven't yet figured out how to download these pictures yet...

Wednesday 11 February 2015


I blame the Fox Collection - if it wasn't for the most gorgeous cross-stitch in their last catalogue I would probably have done much more crochet this week! 

Instead, I have devised a system for myself. I need to get one road trip scarf made during the days at home, then in the evening I'm allowed to do something else - be that cross-stitch, working on Sophie, or another project.

It seems to be working for me! I have 12 scarves all ready to be tagged and bagged for my market stall in June! And one more half-way done :) I am really enjoying the Yarn Bee Aurora Borealis Yarn all the way from the USA - not only is it chunkier than my usual 8 ply and so works up faster, it's so soft and squishy. Why can't it be winter already so I can wear one! 

So now that I've done the "work" part of things, here is my new cross stitch :) It's called Winter Sparkle, and is based on a painting by Megan Duncanson. 

Terrifyingly, it has 92 different colours, and 24 A4 pages of pattern. It should keep me entertained for a good long time! 

Today I've also been playing with puffy paint to make the soles of my Crocodile Stitch Booties non-slip. As you can see, I probably should stick to crochet or cross-stitch - my drawing skills leave a lot to be desired! The way this paint works is that you draw on the fabric/material, leave it to dry for 5 hours and then use the hairdryer to make it puff up. I've already puffed the paint on the little yellow ones - the others will get the hairdryer after dinner tonight :) 

No progress to report on my Sophie's Universe this week - I promised my sister that we could do Week 5 together at our Crafternoons@Meadowbank gathering on Sunday! However, she has been catching up to the end of week 4...

And has even started teaching one of her workmates! I am wildly jealous of their Lunchtime Crochet Club!

I am very much looking forward to seeing how our three (very) different Sophie colour schemes work up as the CAL goes on :) 

Sunday 8 February 2015

A Weekend in my Home Town

Hello you lot!

I am finally on the way to get my life back on track and thus I get to write a blog post again. January has been tough on me and my family and I hope this month will be better. I got some crochet done but life was mostly just surviving. I am at my parents' place at the moment which is nice.

Weyhe is the town I grew up in and the place Michelle spent her year abroad. No big surprise that it's also the place where Michelle and I met. Back then I lived in a different part of the town/village but my parents moved some years ago and now their house is just a couple of meters away from Michelle's first host family's house. This part of Weyhe is called Sudweyhe and it probably the most village-y part. Right after my parents' street, fields start - which is why I got to capture pictures of the sunrise on Friday.

My days here were filled to the brim - I reckon that is a normal thing when you return to your hometown after some time for a visit. I saw some friends which was great (I wish we could see each other more often!) and attended my sisters bachelor thesis defence. She did great and while she is still waiting for her mark, I am 110% sure she passed! Very proud of her!

I was able to sneak some crochet in though. My poncho is growing! As you can see, I am using different colours than the original pattern. The fourth colour will be a dark yellow. Looking forward to see it finished! Fingers crossed that (now that my life seems to be getting back on track) I will be faster with my crochet stuff again!

How did you spend your weekend?

Take care

P.S. We love reading your comments - thank you so much for them! :-) You should see Michelle and my conversations on Facebook about it! There is a lot of squealing about every new comment involved... :D

Wednesday 4 February 2015

These boots are made for... snuggling!

Hello everyone! Sorry I'm a bit late this week - I was hoping to blog last night but me and Sophie were NOT getting along, and I wanted to show you all how this week's part of the CAL looks :) 

First up though, I have been having loads of fun recently making Crocodile Stitch Booties! Using this fabulous set of patterns from Bonita Designs, I've made baby ones in Stylecraft Special DK Citron:

Child ones with a Stylecraft Special DK Lavender sole and Moda Vera Fayette Jewel Mix tops:

And adult ones with a Moda Vera Marvel Green sole and Moda Vera Fayette Frenzy tops!

It is a fantastic pattern - very easy to follow and well explained for uneducated people like me who have never done crocodile stitch or rib stitch before - I highly recommend it. And, so cute!

I particularly had fun at Mum's house on Sunday, shopping in her button collection :) Do you think these were good choices?

The baby ones don't have buttons yet. I need to either figure out how to crochet buttons that are the right size and work well, or maybe get some velcro? What do you think?

And here is my Sophie's Universe progress! It took me much longer than it should have to do the last 10 rows, but I kept reading the pattern wrong and miscounting and discovering mistakes in previous rows... Sophie didn't quite go over the balcony, but it was a near thing a few times. I love the colours though!!

Here's hoping I have better luck with next week's part 5 :) 

EDITED TO ADD: Here is my sister's start on the Sophie's Universe CAL - I love how the different colour scheme gives a totally different effect!! She was inspired by the Attic24 Cottage pack in choosing her colours.