Sunday 26 February 2017

Ta-Dah! The Lotus Moon Tiles Afghan!

Hey everyone!

It's been a bit quiet here at CBWHQ because... Anne is here in Australia to visit!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's been 5.5 years since we've seen each other in person, and we've just been having too much fun catching up... and of course crocheting ;) There's more regular photos on our Instagram feed @crochetbetweenworlds - if you're not following us there, you definitely should!

Today however is all about the Lotus Moon Tiles Afghan :D I finally finished the second version of this stunning design from Polly Plum (go, get it here and make one!) in 100% Australian Wool to enter into the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Anne, Alex, Kiah and I took lots of photos of it while we were up at the lake house last weekend - it was lots of fun to work together in person for once!

I am sensitive to wool, it makes me itch like crazy and loose fibres make me cough and sneeze. But, the Show category demanded wool, so wool they are getting. Next time I will definitely consider shelling out more money for better quality wool - the $4/50g balls from Spotlight were awful to work with! Full of straw and twigs (!?), knots all over the place (I got very good at felting ends together), and even more scratchy and horrible than wool usually feels to me. But now, it's DONE, and blocked, and I hardly have to touch it anymore. 

The flowers are in 3 different colours - pink, red/orange and purple. It was lovely to work this design again - I didn't even mind the ends (too much)! 

I researched online how we could make this scratchy horrid wool a little bit nicer, and came across this article from The Tricksy Knitter advising to soak the blanket in a gentle Wool Wash and warm water for several hours, and then after rinsing, soak it in warm water with hair conditioner in it! It was somewhat bizarre to do (and my husband whisking Herbal Essences into the laundry sink just made it weirder), but... it worked! The wool is so much softer; I am more comfortable selling it to someone now as I don't think it'll scrub the hairs off their legs anymore! We rinsed and rinsed, and squeezed the water out in some bath towels, and then used a million pins (possibly less, but I did have to send Kiah to the supermarket to buy more) to block it out - including every single flower petal...

The Schülers (Anne and her husband) are now off exploring Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road with Captain Poprocks as tour guide (since he's been there before). They'll be back in Sydney in a few weeks, to spend one more week here before heading home. 

In the meantime I better get cracking on my last few Easter Show entries! Wish me luck!

Sunday 12 February 2017

Tadahh! Winter in Spiekeroog Blanket


Hope you are all doing well!

I... finished my Winter in Spiekeroog blanket!! I am so happy with the result and can't wait to cuddle under the blanket and remember the stormy days at the Northern Sea in January. Actually, I finished the blanket almost a month ago but I kept waiting for the right photo weather. Guess what? It did not happen! So, even though my inner perfectionist hoped for the perfect photo, I couldn't take it. The blanket is huge and thus the only way I could photograph it in its proper glory would be to go outside. With the snow, rain and darkness of these days... well, it is not going to happen anytime soon. So you get to see my blanket in imperfect photos but in summer I will take new ones (I promised myself)!

As you can see, I modified the pattern at the top of the blanket. I wish I could say that it was my plan all along, but in truth, it was the result of me forgetting the rows in "sage". But as they say, some mistakes are supposed to happen and I simply love the sunset I crocheted on top of the sky to make the blanket longer.

I used four different shades of red to crochet the sunset. As I wasn't the calmest person while crocheting this part (I was worried I had "destroyed" the blanket by forgetting that one color), I didn't keep note of the way I made the rows. Should anyone be interested in how I made the sunset, I can probably reconstruct it though. Just drop me a note!

As mentioned in my last post I didn't use Colorcrafter but Special DK instead. Changing from Colourcrafter to Special DK was really easy as they use the same numbers/color codes for the colors. Of course the colors look slightly different but that doesn't bother me at all. 

It didn't take too long to make the blanket. I started at the 29/12/16 and finished on the 22/1/17.  So about 3 1/2 weeks with some days without crochet in between.

My least favorite part was sewing the huts and triangles together. Sewing and I just don't mix. At all. Oh well, I guess it is like a necessary evil, right? Because the beach huts were crocheted differently than the sand/waves/sky, the blanketed tugged in after the huts and had to have a nice, strong blocking. I needed around 400 pins to pin it down. Eh as you can guess, I pricked my fingers more than once!

The pattern is very well written and has photos for all the tricky parts. So even if you are a beginner, this is the blanket for you! :) I am sure I will make another one someday - different colors of the beach houses perhaps to make it more fitting to the Northern Sea here in Germany? We will see. :)

Blanket details
Pattern: Summer in Swanage from LookWhatIMade
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK
Hooks: 5,5 mm & 6 mm
Time: 3 1/2 weeks

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Lace Shawls - Pattern Roundup!

Hey everyone! 

I've had cause recently to go drooling over Ravelry's extensive collection of lace-weight crochet shawls and... oh man, there are some beauties out there! I am going to need more lace weight yarn to make more of these. 

I picked one to make for the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year, but I also wanted to share all the stunning shawls with you!! I hope you love them as much as I do :D 

They are in no particular order, and all pictures are from the pattern pages and belong to their respective owners. 

by Bernadette Ambergen

Cost: €5.50

by Aoibhe Ni

Cost: €6.00

Cape Cod Shawl
by Maria Bittner

Cost: US$5.00

Basket Case Wrap
by Jarta Jasmine Designs

Cost: US$5.58

Midsummer Night's Shawl
by Lisa Naskrent

Cost: $5.50

Borealis Shawl
by Cal Patch

Cost: US$6.00