Wednesday 24 May 2017

Wednesday WIP Wroundup!

Hey everyone!

We finally bit the bullet and employed a cleaner - with Kiah working full time now, and me not really capable of doing many useful things, it just made sense to have a cleaner to make sure that the apartment gets cleaned on a regular basis. But, it does mean that I have to tidy up my mess on a regular basis as well - maybe that's a good thing!

This week's job was clearing up my crafty corner, which has morphed over time from one box of current projects and one of play yarn, to... well, a giant mess of all the things I thought I might do, or couldn't fit in another cupboard or who knows really. 

In tidying up, I found a multitude of unfinished projects, so this blog post is a little window into what craziness I've started indulging in, and also a reminder to me to get some of these things finished. Shall we meet back here in, say, 3 months and see if I've made any progress or just added more to the pile? 

And yes, I know that Roundup doesn't traditionally have a W in it, I was just tickled at the idea of such an alliterative blog title ;)

1. New Designs

I don't have any photos to show you of these little activities, but I have 5 (!) new designs at various stages of the writing/testing process, including one gorgeous baby blanket that should be coming out very soon! Keep an eye out, as there'll be a discount code for our lovely readers ;) I'm counting those 5 designs as one item on this list though, otherwise it's just too depressing.

2. Fiesta Laptop Case

I was making myself a laptop case using my Fiesta Clutch design. The fabric is so large and intimidating to fill all that blank white space! 

3. Winter Sparkle Cross-stitch

Oh I love how this is coming along, and I only have less than 6 pages left to do. I just need some time to focus on it for a week or two, maybe when the weather is not so drying on my hands that I have to keep so clean...

4. Tie-Back Tunic

Ok, this one is less in the WIP pile and more in the naughty corner. I had been lusting after this Marly Bird pattern for ages, finally got the e-book on special, splashed out on some stunning Cascade merino yarn and... the pattern did not work. After much swearing, consulting with my mother and extensive pattern rewriting and fiddling, we finally came up with a garment that'll fit, but now I hate it. What do you think - should I just finish it and probably leave it folded up in my wardrobe forever, or frog and repurpose the yarn for something else?

5. Ella Mohair Wrap

I bought this yarn in a bulk buy group ages ago, planning to design some kind of elegant lacy shawl which I have never got around to, and am unlikely to do so. So I started to use it in Berniolie's Ella Wrap and it is coming up beautifully! Definitely want to finish this one, just need some patient time to deal with the mohair fluff... 

6. Days for Girls Daysies for Menstrual Hygiene Day

This one has a firm deadline on it - I need to make as many Daysies as I can for our Days for Girls working bee this Sunday, as a gift for attendees in celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day. I, uh, better make the rest of this quick and hop to it!

7. Crochet Meditation Podcast

This is an idea in progress, and I can't show you the little bits I've already designed for this in case you want to listen to the podcast - half the point is that you don't know what the end result is, so you have to focus and listen to each stitch as you hear it. Hopefully soon I'll be able to record the rest of the first four podcasts and get them prettied up with lovely relaxing music, and release them to the world! 

8. Luna the African Flower Cat

I'm sure the recipient of this kitty thinks I have forgotten about it, but never fear! It is still here and glares at me accusingly on a regular basis (similar to my real lift cat...hmm). The pattern is by Jo's Crocheteria and while it makes a lovely cat in the end, the instructions leave something to be desired. So it waits until I can be figged plowing through figuring out how to join up these bajillion little African flowers. Then, I'm going to get my talented mother to give kitty some acupuncture (that is, lay out colours on it for a candy version), then make that one up, so in future I have one always on hand to refer to! 

9. Blue Happypotamus

This is today's project, which has to be delivered on Sunday, but I'm including it this list so I have at least two things I can definitely tick off next time we have this chat ;) 

10. Destash Box of Stylecraft Special DK

I am slowly, slowly in the process of using up my Stylecraft Special DK stash to make Wrap With Love squares. Slowly. So far I have nearly two blankets worth of squares, and the pile of yarn is about a third of an IKEA box, down from 3 big boxes. Not all of that has become squares yet - the full or almost full balls went to live in my mother's bath with the stash she keeps for her Wrap With Love knitting ladies. 

Don't worry - there's plenty of other places in my parents' house to bathe! 

Phew! That ... is a really long list. To cheer myself up, here's something I actually finished this week - a Road Trip Scarf in McLana Jazz! It's super pretty yarn with a slight sheen to it, perfect for these cheery neckerchief scarves :)  

Next WIP check-in: end of August 2017

Saturday 20 May 2017

REVIEW: A Hook and a Book Subscription Box

Hello Hello!

A couple of weeks Maddy from Hook and a Book asked us if we could take a look at her new crochet subscription boxes! As her boxes are a combination of a crochet pattern plus yarn and a book - two of our favourite things - we were hooked and eagerly waited for our surprise boxes to arrive. Now we both got our boxes, we are very happy to tell you about what we found in there! Please note though that this is not a sponsored post - even though Maddy send us the boxes for free, we are allowed to write whatever we like and are in no way required to write a positive review! :) We do really like the box though, so here is our walk through the box:

First ... Open the box with Michelle!

In case you can't quite see what exactly we found in the box, here is a list: 
"Where the Rainbow Ends" by Cecelia Ahern, a crochet pattern for a hook case, a skein of Rainbow Stylecraft Cabaret, a crochet hook, sewing needles and tea bags for a relaxing time! 

Now onto our reviews:


The box arrived just a few days after it was posted from the UK! I wasn't home when it was delivered and the neighbours who took the parcel in, weren't home for two days... oh the wait before I could pick up the parcel! Opening the box was great fun - I love surprises like this.

Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors - I have read all her novels except the one in the box! Can you imagine how lucky that was?! Can't wait to start reading it. I adore novels and reading used to be my favourite pastime but these days it is either crochet or reading. Most time crocheting wins but I will need to make time for this novel! I will drink the tea when I read the novel... Very excited about the tea actually as I can't get this one in Germany and thus it will be a real different treat.

I have worked with Stylecraft Cabaret before and really liked the way it works up. The colour "Rainbow" is no exception to this! The glitter is very lovely for shawls. The pattern of this box is a hook case - while I don't use hook cases, the yarn fits the pattern well. I would have loved to have seen a closer connection between the book, pattern and yarn. Don't get me wrong - it is there though the names of the book and the yarn but I think it would be a lovely touch for future boxes to have a bit more of a narration or story between the two special parts of the boxes. That said: I know it is the first box from Hook and a Book and thus I am a 100 % sure this "story" between pattern, yarn and book will be even more visible in the future. :)


Well, this is a really cool idea - I love reading and crochet, and surprise mystery projects, so this box could have been tailor made for me. 

The parcel took almost two weeks to get from the UK to Australia, which is pretty good for international mail. 

I worked up the hook case (and found a couple of mistakes in the pattern, oops!) and it used almost the whole ball which is excellent efficiency! I am not sure I'll use it as I have a beautiful patchwork hook roll for travelling with many hooks, and my trusty glasses case for smaller kit requirements, but it definitely works which is the important thing.

The price seems pretty good for what you get! I've asked Maddy if she would consider the option of audio/kindle books instead of a paper copy, as I hardly ever read paper books anymore :P

Overall, I really liked the Hook and a Book box and wish I could afford to subscribe! If you can, you should - I'm dying to see what the project is in next month's box!!! 

If you would like to subscribe to the boxes, hop over here. It is now open world wide and if you like yarn AND books, you should certainly consider these boxes!

Monday 15 May 2017

Meet Noah, the Rhino!


How are you these days? I have been busy working on Michelle's super secret new blanket design for the last couple of weeks. Last week though, I decided it was time for a smaller project and so I went for a scroll through instagram and came across the designs from Trolleugen! Aren't her animals absolutely adorable?

I picked Noah, the Rhino, for my first project from her designs. Instead of buying the suggested yarns, I went for my yarn stash and found several skeins of Drops Cotton Merino which fitted Noah quite perfectly. 

The pattern isn't made in rounds but in separate pieces. For those who have been following my crochet adventures for some time, it will be no news that I hate sewing and it was no different with this project. The crochet part was perfectly fine and easy but I had my angry fits with the sewing parts. As one has to crochet into the sides and not only the loops, I wasn't (and still am not) too happy with the uneven joins as the joining yarn shines through and it doesn't look even in some parts. That isn't a problem of the pattern though - it is my hate of sewing and my love for neat edges. At the moment I am thinking how I can work this pattern in rows, so that there will be less sewing. I will sew on the eyes before the stuffing next time, that's for sure.

The finished rhino is very cute and I hope it will be well loved by its new owner. :)

Take care

Friday 5 May 2017

FREE PATTERN: Super Simple Tea Cosy

Hey everyone!

Do you ever have those days, where you just want to make a thing but can't find a pattern that works nicely?? Well, one morning a few weeks ago, my brain decided I needed a tea cosy. Nothing fancy, or smothered in roses - just a super simple practical tea cosy that would keep my teapot warm in between cups of tea.

I looked at soooooo many patterns on Ravelry. But none of them really waved their spouts around saying "Pick me! Make me!" I tried a few, but they didn't end up fitting my beautiful Swiss teapot...

Long story short, I made my own up using Stylecraft's super soft and self-striping Merry-Go-Round yarn! And then I made another one. And then I used the same instructions but changed the size to fit my smaller teapot. I liked it so much, I thought some of you might like it too :) 

You can find, queue and favourite this pattern on Ravelry at 


Fits 1L teapot (but easily adaptable!)

Use selfstriping yarn and this hdc pattern to create a plain and simple tea cosy! You can then leave it as is, or embellish however you like :)

25g Stylecraft Wondersoft Merry-Go-Round
4mm/G hook
Yarn needle

This pattern uses all US terminology
slst - slip stitch
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
hdc - half double crochet
hdc2tog - half double crochet decrease (tutorial at
fhdc - foundation half double crochet (tutorial at )


- Turn after each row, even when working in the round
- Turning chain does not count as a stitch
- You can decorate with appliques, roses, stars, curly bits - the options are endless!

How to change the size:

- Have your teapot with you (and empty!) to make sure it fits properly
- If your teapot is wider or narrower, increase or decrease the fhdc as required but make sure you have an odd number.
- The formula for working out the number of stitches in your side panels is (fhdc-3) divided by 2
- If your teapot is taller or shorter, increase or decrease the number of rows in the side panels, making sure you have an even number.
- Smaller teapots don't usually have a much smaller spout or handle, so you shouldn't need to alter that part of the instructions :) 


Row 1: 63 fhdc, slst to top of first fhdc. Ch2, turn.

Row 2: hdc in each st, slst to top of first hdc. Ch2, turn.

Row 3: repeat Row 2.

Row 4: hdc in each st, DO NOT JOIN. Ch2, turn.

Row 5: repeat Row 4.

Now we are going to start the side panel of the tea cosy. If you have increased or decreased the number of fhdc, use the formula above to find out how wide your side panels need to be!

Row 6: hdc in next 30 st, DO NOT JOIN. Ch2, turn.

Mark the 4th stitch in Row 5 after the 30hdc of Row 6.

Rows 7-11: repeat Row 6. Finish off after Row 11, omitting final ch2.

Next job: the panel on the other side! Row 6a will go in the same direction as Row 6.

Row 6a: join yarn with slst in marked stitch of Row 5. Ch2, hdc in same st. hdc in next 29 st (this should bring you back around to the last unworked stitch of Row 5). Ch2, turn.

Row 7a: hdc in next 30st. Ch2, turn.

Rows 8a-11a: repeat Row 7a. DO NOT FINISH OFF.

Row 12: hdc in next 30st. ch3, hdc in next 30 st. slst join to first hdc. Ch2, turn.

Row 13: 2hdc in first st. hdc in next 29 st. 1sc in ch3 space, hdc in next 29st. 2hdc in last st. slst join to first hdc. Ch2, turn.

Row 14: hdc in next 63 st. slst join to first hdc. ch2, turn.

Row 15: repeat Row 14.

Row 16: *hdc in next 2 st, hdc2tog* repeat ** to last 3 st. hdc in last 3 st. slst join to first hdc. ch2, turn.

Row 17: *hdc, hdc2tog*, repeat ** to end of row. slst join to first hdc, ch2, turn.

Row 18: Repeat Row 17.

Row 19: hdc2tog around. slst join to first hdc2tog. DO NOT TURN.

Row 20: ch1. *sc in next st, 3ch* repeat around. slst join to first sc. finish off and weave in ends.peat around. slst join to first sc. Finish off and weave in ends.