Friday, 21 April 2017

Captain Poprocks' Australian Adventures


Hi there!

It is hard to believe, that we have been home in Germany for over four weeks now. Our time in Australia feels like yesterday and so long ago at the same time! So about time I show you some pictures and tell you a bit about our travels, don't you think?

I finally got to meet Captain Poprocks in person (eh.. in hippo). As he has traveled Australia quite a bit already, we were lucky that he offered to be our tour guide and show us around!


We spent the first week in Sydney with Michelle and her family. For the first weekend they took us to the holiday house at Lake Macquarie and my, we had a wonderful time there. The house turned out stunning (I had only seen pictures before!). It was so wonderful so start our time in Australia with the whole family and great summer weather. There were even kangaroos in the garden to greet us. After returning to Sydney, the husband and I wandered around the CBD and several suburbs. A lot has changed since I was there last (2011) and I am quite fond of the new district between the Rocks and Darling Harbour. I wasn't so fond of the huge, huge cruise ships at Circular Quay - there were always cruise ships around when I was in Sydney before but these new ones are soo big and take quite a bit of the view. Some of my former favourite places to sit aren't even accessible anymore.



Just a week after we arrived, we flew down to Melbourne. We spent the first three nights in St. Kilda which was really lovely. The weather was great and thus we could easily wander around Melbourne, look for the best coffee shops, eat good food and meet some penguins!



When we went to pick up our car rental, we were in for a shock: There was no booking in the system and thus no car! I had booked the car via one of the biggest German car rental homepages (Billiger Mietwagen) and had already paid for it. I wasn't happy and I have to confess lots of tears were involved. In the end, we had to hire another car and pay for it again. Took us half a day and so far (over four weeks later!), we haven't been refunded. As you might guess, I won't ever book a car through that agency again. I will wait for another two weeks and if nothing has happened by then, I guess we will have to involve a lawyer.


Once we had a car we drove to Rye at the Mornington Peninsula. As with all our accommodations in Victoria we had booked via AirBnB and this place was amazing! We just loved it there to pieces! We went on a tour to swim with dolphins and while none showed up the first time we went, a whole bunch came the second time! They didn't stay for long but it was magical nevertheless!


After our time in Rye, we caught the ferry and started to travel the Great Ocean Road! We stayed in Apollo Bay for a couple of days - I already wrote about our visit to Tarndie farm



We celebrated my husbands birthday while we were there. The dinner we had at Chris' Beacon was probably one of the best I ever had! Mmmm, so yummy! 


The last couple of days down in Victoria we spent in Warrnambool. To get there we drove the most touristy part of the Great Ocean Road. When we visited the Twelve Apostles Captain Poprocks and I were shoved out of the way by rude Chinese ladies who wanted the spot to take photos. This happened several times with the same group! Sometimes I don't get people... 


Other spots along the road were less crowded and thus we enjoyed looking at the sights more. Mother Nature is the true artist on this world, don't you think??

We spent our last week in Sydney doing all kind of fun things! The husband (and the Captain) quite enjoyed sailing in the Sydney Harbour for example! I loved the crochet/yarn/chatting times with Michelle best... We took plenty of pictures and I will write a short blog post about our time at Crochet Between Worlds HQ soon! :)



Oh man, the more I write about Australia, the more I want to go back... Cross your fingers it won't be another 5 years before Michelle and I get to see each other in person again!

Take care
Anne

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Ta-dah! The Peacock Double Spiral Afghan

Hey everyone! 

There's projects going on left right and centre here, including some super exciting stuff that we can't talk about yet ;) 

So for today, I'm going to share my finished Peacock Double Spiral Afghan with you!


My friend Lori wanted a snuggly blanket to go along with the ones I have made for her children, in peacock colours, and something a bit crazy and possibly paisley inspired. After some thought, I remembered buying this gorgeous Kaye Adolphson Double Spiral Throw pattern aaaages ago because it was so beautiful, but hadn't had the opportunity to make it yet - this was the moment! Lori also loved it, and after much discussion we came up with the colour selection in my very favourite (and colourful and hardwearing) Stylecraft Special DK. The colours are Mustard, Gold, Grass Green, Green, Teal, Empire, Royal, Turquoise, Emperor and Lobelia.


The next challenge was randomising the colours! As you know, making something look actually random takes a lot of preparation - I made up a table of colours, and when I needed extra spirals I outsourced to a wonderful engineer friend who is pretty amazing at spreadsheets! 

The double spirals were lots of fun to make (despite all the ends), and I got into an excellent rhythm working on those while watching tv, and my siblings playing the new Zelda Nintendo game. 


Rather than 5 x 5 spirals, I ended up making it 7 x 5 (so 35 double spirals) to make it a bit longer and more cuddly for an adult to snuggle under on the couch. It finished up about 1x1.5m. 

I decided to do the joining before the slipstitch detailing, in case blocking required more stretching and persuasion than the slipstitching would allow. And... oh man, the joining. I won't lie, the blanket very nearly got tossed off the balcony a few times! 

After doing a practice join 4 times, having it not sit even close to flat each time, and frogging whilst doing lots of swearing, I reached out to the designer for help. Kaye kindly sent me some higher quality, more detailed photos of the joins, which really helped. Thanks Kaye! I am hoping she will add those photos to the pattern as well so that future crocheters will have an easier time of it. The key was giving up any expectation I had of being able to do it evenly and regularly, and embracing the fudge. I do not like fudgy crochet.


After a preliminary block (just with water, which did very little), I worked the slipstitch detailing on the double spirals and the mini-spirals that fill the space between the double spirals. Using one colour cut down on the ends, but it still took a long time, and many many many more ends. I need a new yarn needle as all the silver has come off!! 


Final blocking time! I read up online about steam blocking acrylic, as this blanket was going to need some pretty intense help to get it to sit even vaguely flattish. I borrowed my Mum's steam iron, washed the blanket, slithered around on the floor on my stomach getting it all viciously pinned out, and started steaming... and brown lumpy goop splattered out along with the steam. Plus, it seemed to all be rising rather than going into the blanket. It was time for some creative thinking! 

My husband sprayed the blanket generously with cool water, and we let it soak in for a while. Then I put on a podcast, stuck my headphones in, and let rip with the hairdryer on high, moving slowly across each section until they felt warm and less damp under my fingers. We then left it all pinned out and went away for the Easter long weekend... 


And, it worked! The edge is still frilly (but was impossible to block, so I'm calling that a feature), and it's not 100% flat but looks much less like a coral reef! 


The slipstitching looks so good contrasted with the royal blue joining colour, and really brings it all together.

So, in summary: I'm glad I made this once, but I am in no hurry to make another one!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

2017 Sydney Royal Arts & Crafts Competition - Results!

Hey everyone!

This is just a quick post tonight, but I couldn't wait to let you know how I went at the 2017 Sydney Royal Arts & Crafts Competition!! 

All 6 of my entries were on display! 

I won a Highly Commended Ribbon for my Dragon Scale Booties!



And... a First Place AND Standard of Excellence for my Lotus Moon Tiles Afghan! :D :D :D 



This is such a huge achievement and honour!! If you're going to the Show over the next couple of weeks, take another picture for me? It hasn't quite sunk in yet...

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Muster: The Last Butterfly Schal (German)

Hallo ihr Lieben,

anbei findet ihr die Übersetzung des "The Last Butterfly"-Schal von Michelle.


Das Muster nutzt zwei Maschenarten, deren deutsche Übersetzung ich nicht finden konnte. Wenn ihr den deutschen Begriff kennt, freue ich mich, wenn ihr uns eine kurze Nachricht schreibt. Es handelt sich um die Maschen "Foundation Sc" und "stacked standing dc". Ich habe beiden Maschen deutsche Namen verpasst und unten im Glossar verzeichnet. 


Für beide Maschen findet ihr Anleitungen. Für die Anfangsreihen-feste-Masche gibt es die Anleitung bisher nur auf Englisch. Wenn ihr großen, großen Bedarf anmeldet, werde ich die Anleitung in der Zukunft auch in Deutsche übersetzen.


Wenn ihr damit Probleme habt, meldet euch gerne - wir können euch sicher helfen. Am einfachsten ist es, wenn ihr uns auf Facebook schreibt.


Die Übersetzung ist leider nicht testgehäkelt. Ich habe mir größte Mühe gegeben, aber natürlich kann sich immer mal ein kleiner Fehler einschleichen. Solltet ihr einen entdecken oder glauben, einen entdeckt zu haben, schreibt mir doch bitte ganz fix! Danke!

Herzliche Grüße
Anne

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Der letzte Schmetterling - Schal
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Maße
165cm x 20cm

Materialien
-      Wolltraum Glitter Party 150g (Farbe: "The Last Unicorn")
-      3,5 mm Häkelnadel
-      Nähnadel
-      Schere

Abkürzungen
AfM: Anfangsreihen-Feste-Masche („Foundation Row“ – eine Bilderanleitung findest du hier)
Lm: Luftmasche
fM: Feste Masche
Stb: Stäbchen
DStb: Doppelstäbchen
gStb: Gestabeltes Stb (fM in die Zielmasche, führe die Nadel unten den äußersten zwei linken Fäden der fM hindurch, Faden aufnehmen und eine zweite fM häkeln. S. Fotoanleitung)



Anleitung

Anfangsreihe: 351AfM, 1Lm, wenden.  Um den Schal kürzer oder länger zu machen, brauchst du nur 14 AfM abziehen oder hinzufügen.

Reihe 1: gStb in die erste Masche, *Stb in die nächsten 7 Masche, 7Lm, überspringe 7 Maschen* wiederhole zwischen den ** bis zum Ende der Reihe, Stb in die letzte Masche, 1Lm, wenden.

Reihe 2: Wiederhole Reihe 1.

Reihe 3: gStb in die erste Masche, Stb in die nächsten 6 (Stb-)Maschen, *2Stb in die nächste Masche, 2Lm, DStb in die 4. übersprungene Masche der Anfangsreihe und umschließe damit die Lm-Kette aus Reihe 2, 2Lm, 2Stb in die nächste (Stb-)Masche, Stb in die nächsten 5 (Stb-)Maschen*,  wiederhole zwischen den ** bis zum Ende der Reihe, Stb in die letzten 2 Maschen, 1Lm, wenden.

Reihe 4: fM in die erste Masche, fM in die nächsten 8 Maschen, *2fM in den 2Lm Zwischenraum, fM in das DStb, 2fM in den 2Lm Zwischenraum, fM in die nächsten 9 Maschen, wiederhole zwischen den ** bis zum Ende der Reihe, 1Lm, wenden.

Reihe 5: gStb in die erste Masche, Stb in die nächsten 14 Masche, *7Lm, überspringe 7 Masche, Stb in die nächsten 7 Maschen, wiederhole zwischen den ** bis zum Ende der Reihe, Stb in die letzten 8 (Stb)-Maschen, 1Lm, wenden.

Reihe 6: Wiederhole Reihe 5.

Reihe 7: gStb in die erste Masche, Stb in die nächsten 13 Maschen, *2Stb in die nächste (Stb-)Masche, 2Lm, DStb in die 4. übersprungene Masche der 4.Reihe und umschließe damit die Lm-Ketten, 2Lm, 2Stb in die nächste Masche, Stb in die nächsten 5 (Stb-)Maschen*, wiederhole zwischen den ** bis zum Ende der Reihe, Stb in die letzten 9 (Stb-)Masche, 1Lm, wenden.

Reihe 8: fM in die erste Masche, fM in die nächsten 15 Masche, *2fm in den 2Lm Zwischenraum, fm in das DStb, 2fm in den 2Lm Zwischenraum, fm in die nächsten 9 Maschen, wiederhole zwischen den ** bis zum Ende der Reihe, fM in die letzten 7 Maschen, 1Lm, wenden.

Wiederhole die Reihen 1-8 zweimal, dann schließe einmal die Reihen 1-4 an. Masche am Ende von Reihe 4 ab.


Vernähe die Enden und blocke den Schal. Benutze dazu unbedingt genügend Stecknadeln, so dass man die Schmetterlinge hinterher gut sehen kann und sie ihre glitzernden Flügel ausbreiten können!

Friday, 31 March 2017

FREE PATTERN: The Last Butterfly Scarf

For ages I've been looking for the right yarn and the right pattern to make a beautiful scarf for a beautiful lady - it had to be girly and classy, based around purple/black, able to be dressed up and dressed down... a seemingly impossible quandary! 

But then the Australian stockist of Wolltraum, Blayney Sew N More had a sale on Facebook, and ... The Last Unicorn was on offer. Just a 150g cake, but I just KNEW it was the right yarn for this project! It fades from baby pink through to black, with a gorgeous sparkly thread through it.



Next challenge: the right pattern. It needed to be a regular shape (so rectangular, not too modern and asymmetric, and definitely not frilly), a design that worked well with the slow-colour-change yarn, used about 150g of yarn to get the whole effect of the colour change... Yeah, there wasn't anything out there that really ticked all the boxes AND tickled my buttons. But then I found this beautiful triangular shawl of multi-row butterflies and fell in love! 


(c) NJSharon (ravelry.com)
I searched high and low for a straight version of the pattern and found nothing. So, with much swearing, graphing and calculating, I figured it out! As I was making it, I thought - what if there are others like me who want to make a straight scarf using these butterflies!? So, to save you all the effort, the pattern (and chart!) is written out below and I've called it The Last Butterfly Scarf in homage to both the butterflies and yarn :) I am indebted to njSharon and Debi Adams for the beautiful butterfly sequence of stitches.  

The final product came out exactly how I wanted it. Kindly modelled by my friend Alice, it could be worn as a normal scarf, or as a wrap to dress up an outfit!


You can find, queue and favourite this pattern on Ravelry at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-last-butterfly-scarf

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FREE PATTERN: THE LAST BUTTERFLY SCARF
-----------------------------------------------------




Finished size: 165cm x 20cm (65" x 8")

Materials

- Wolltraum Glitter Party 150g in "The Last Unicorn"
- 3.5mm hook
- Yarn needle
- Scissors

All stitches are in US/American terminology

fsc - foundation sc (photo tutorial here
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
tc - treble crochet
ssdc - stacked standing double crochet: sc into target stitch. Insert hook under two leftmost strands of sc, yarn over hook to do a second sc.



Instructions

Foundation: 351fsc, ch1, turn. To make your scarf longer or shorter, add or subtract fsc in multiples of 14. 

Row 1: ssdc in first stitch. *dc in next 7 st, ch7, skip 7 st* repeat ** to end of row, dc in last st. ch1, turn.

Row 2: Repeat Row 1.

Row 3: ssdc in first stitch, dc in next 6 dc. *2dc in next dc, ch2, tc into 4th skipped sc of Foundation below enclosing chains, ch2, 2dc in next dc, dc in next 5dc* repeat ** to end of row, dc in last 2 dc. ch1, turn.

Row 4: sc in first st, sc in next 8 st. *2sc in ch2 space, sc in tc, 2sc in ch2 space, sc in next 9st* repeat ** to end of row. ch1, turn.

Row 5: ssdc in first st. dc in next 14 st. *ch7, skip 7 st, dc in next 7 st* repeat ** to end of row, dc in last 8 dc. ch1, turn.

Row 6: Repeat Row 5

Row 7: ssdc in first stitch, dc in next 13 dc. *2dc in next dc, ch2, tc into 4th skipped sc of Row 4 below enclosing chains, ch2, 2dc in next dc, dc in next 5dc* repeat ** to end of row, dc in last 9 dc. ch1, turn.

Row 8: sc in first st, sc in next 15 st. *2sc in ch2 space, sc in tc, 2sc in ch2 space, sc in next 9st* repeat ** to end of row, sc in last 7 st. ch1, turn.


Repeat Rows 1-8 twice, then do Rows 1-4 again, finishing off after Row 4. 

Weave in ends and block with many pins to make the butterflies show off their sparkles!



Chart 
(using standard US crochet symbols)




Monday, 27 March 2017

A visit to Tarndwarncoort Homestead

Hello lovely people!

During the four weeks we spent in Australia (oh how fast these flew by...), the husband and I traveled the Great Ocean Road for two weeks. One day when it was pretty cloudy and rainy in Apollo Bay, we decided to drive past the mountains as the forecast promised better weather on the other side and guess what! The forecast was right for once!


We discovered the Tarndie farm in a little leaflet about the Otway Harvest trail and as there was yarn mentioned, I just had to go there! After having possible the best pizza ever at the Meating Place Café (pumpkin and goat cheese - oh my god, it was soo amazing!), we drove down to the farm. It was a bit tricky to find and at some point we were close to giving up but in the end we made it.


The Tarndie farm / Tarndwarncoort Homestead is a sheep farm and is owned by the Dennis family. It is also the place were the Polwarth wool (or rather the Polwarth sheep) origin from. As pure merino sheep weren't made to survive in the Otway climate/landscape well, these sheep were breed in the 1880s - they are 3/4 merino and 1/4 lincoln and next to that they are really cute, they can survive the climate and land in the Otway very well!


At the farm we were greeted my the owners and I was told so much about their yarn and I got to spent as much time in their little shop as I wanted too (the husband got to spend time in the sun with lemonade - so win-win!). Tom and Wendy were very kind and answered all my questions!


 I would have loved to try all their yarn but in the end I bought around 400 grams of white and grayish yarn. I think I will make a sheep (amigurumi) with it - kinda fitting, don't you think?



We got to wander around the farm a bit and man, it is a beautiful place. Best thing: we got to meet some of their sheep who were very friendly (I am pretty sure they are hoping for food). It was just two weeks before the annual shearing, so they were packed with wool.



How I wished we could have stayed longer! They have a little cottage where one can stay for holidays. If I had known before, we would have certainly stayed there. Did you know they have yarn retreats? How wonderful would it be to stay on a sheep farm for a yarn retreat?! Well, I guess, I have to return to Australia soonish, doesn't it? 



Take care
Anne

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Sydney Royal Arts & Crafts Competition - Bring It On!

Hi everyone! 

Apologies again for the blog silence over the last few weeks - Anne and Alex have been visiting me here in Australia (!!) and I've also been super busy with Days for Girls, work and... preparing my items for the Sydney Royal Arts and Crafts Competition! Anne will be posting soon about their Australian adventures with Captain Poprocks, but today is all about my Easter Show entries :D 

All 6 entries are now finished, and with days to spare (I know, what is wrong with me...), and I'm so excited to share them with you! 

1. Stole or Shawl, 4 ply or thicker - Mine Once More

I made this beautiful shawl/scarf last year for my mother - fortunately she has not worn it yet, so I can enter it in the Show! The yarn is Wolltraum My Melodyy in colourway Atemlos, and the pattern is by the ever amazing Michelle duNaier http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mine-once-more. Here it is modelled by my beautiful sister-friend Jess <3 



2. Stole or Shawl, finer than 4 ply - the Raspberry Borealis Shawl

Using Fyberspates Gleem Lace in Mixed Magentas and the Borealis Shawl pattern by Cal Patch (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/borealis-shawl), it worked up beautifully! Much blocking was required to get the lace to actually show up - but I'm so happy with the interesting geometry of this shawl. Modelled here by Anne (!!) when we went up to the lake house a few weeks ago <3




3. Pram or Cot Cover or Bunny Rug, unlined - the Rainbow Cloud Baby Wrap

You probably recognise this pattern - it's the Virus Blanket! Worked in Wolltraum My Melodyy in colourway Mamma Mia, it almost looks like the colour changes are deliberate. Crocheting this pattern was like meditating; I can't wait to make another :D




4. Travel, Knee or Afghan Rug, wool or wool blend - the Lotus Moon Tiles Afghan

You heard all about this one a few weeks ago (http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.com.au/2017/02/ta-dah-lotus-moon-tiles-afghan.html) - I'm so happy with how it came out, but still hoping someone buys it at the show...



5. Adult Crocheted Accessories - Dragon Scale Boots

I LOVE Bonita Designs' gorgeous Crocodile Stitch Booties, and have made many pairs now in all sorts of sizes! These ones are ladies size 7-8, and I used Stylecraft Special DK in Turquoise for hardy soles, and Moda Vera Fayette in Frenzy for the rest. They are so comfortable - maybe I should hope that they don't get sold at the show? Getting the colour changes to be roughly the same on each boot was an interesting challenge for sure!




6. Creative Crochet - Fiesta! 

As soon as I came up with this idea, I knew it had to be my Creative Crochet entry for the show. It's all Stylecraft Special DK, in Black, Turquoise, Empire, Grass Green, Fuchsia Purple, Spice and Citron, lined with charcoal Vilene, and with snaps to finish! It doesn't sit quite straight or flat because of the freeform slipstitching, but hopefully it's good enough. The bag is the perfect size for one Hobbit ;)





So, wish me luck! I'll find out the results on Tuesday 4 April, and will definitely let you know! :D