Friday, 17 November 2017

FREE PATTERN: Enchanted Violets Scarf/Wrap

Hey everyone!

How on earth can it possibly be 5 weeks to Christmas!? 2017 has positively flown by. I am really looking forward to the holidays this year though, because my siblings who moved away from Sydney during the year will be back to visit :D Kathryn has been working in Japan for Google, and James and Jess moved to Melbourne for a Masters degree, and it has been very quiet here without them! 

We are doing something a bit special for the Advent season this year - a weekly Crochet Meditation Podcast! The idea is that you take half an hour out of your week during this crazy time to create something mindfully, with only a spoken pattern. No written pattern, no charts, no option to race ahead; you just have to hook what you're told, when you're told to do it, and at the end you'll have a neat set of coasters! If you are interested in taking part, all you'll need is about 100g DK cotton yarn and a 4mm hook. The first pattern will be posted on Saturday 2 December, but keep an eye out next week for more information.

But today, we have a special treat for you - a free pattern! 



Several months ago I was gifted this glorious cake of cotton/acrylic/filament yarn to play with, and it just immediately screamed FLOWERS at me, and I am not usually a flowery person! Sadly you won't be able to get this exact yarn, but any slow colour change yarn such as Wolltraum will have a similar effect! In fact, this pattern will work with any yarn - just change to an appropriate hook size, and you may also have to increase/decrease the number of starting stitches to get the right length. 




With 200g/800m, and at around 4ply/fingering weight, a scarf was the obvious choice, and I was inspired to adapt MyPicot's adorable butterflies into textured 5 petal flowers, which just worked so well with the yarn.

Without further ado, the Enchanted Violets Scarf!

You can queue or favourite this pattern on Ravelry here:
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/enchanted-violets-scarf
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FREE PATTERN: ENCHANTED VIOLETS SCARF
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Finished Size: 165cm x 16cm (65" x 6")

Materials

200g 4ply long self-striping yarn such as Wolltraum (aim for 200g/800m)
3.5mm/E hook
Yarn needle
Scissors

All stitches are in US/American terminology

fdc - foundation dc (photo tutorial here
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
slst - slip stitch
fptr - front post treble crochet
ssdc - stacked standing double crochet (video here): sc into target stitch. Insert hook under two leftmost strands of sc, yarn over hook to do a second sc. 



Instructions

Row 1: 357fdc, ch1, turn. To make your scarf longer or shorter, add or subtract fdc in multiples of 11. 

Row 2: sc in each st. ch1, turn.

Row 3: ssdc in first st. dc in each st, turn. 

Row 4: (violet row - see below for detailed photo tutorial) sc in next 13 st. *in blo of next st, (slst, ch3, 3dc, ch3) twice, turn work clockwide and in flo, (slst, ch3, 3dc, ch3) 3 times. slst in flo. continue turning work clockwise and sc in next 21 st.* repeat * to * to end of row, omitting 8sc from final repeat. 
ch1, turn.

Row 5: ssdc in first st. *dc to violet st, fptr in same st as violet*, repeat to end of row. ch1, turn. (see below for photo tutorial). 

Row 6: sc in each st. ch1, turn.

Row 7: 
ssdc in first st. dc in each st, turn.

Row 8: 
(violet row) sc in next 24 st. *in blo of next st, (slst, ch3, 3dc, ch3) twice, turn work clockwide and in flo, (slst, ch3, 3dc, ch3) 3 times. slst in flo. continue turning work clockwise and sc in next 21 st.* repeat * to * to end of row, adding 3sc after final repeat. ch1, turn.

Rows 9-11: Repeat Rows 5-7

Repeat Rows 4-11 until you have 6 rows of violets, or to size desired! 

Weave in ends and block aggressively with many pins to spread the violet petals out properly.


VIOLET ROW PHOTO TUTORIAL

(note: I've worked this tutorial sample in two separate colours so it's easier to see the stitches) 

sc up to the stitch you need to work the violet into.



This is your target stitch - note the front loop and back loop, as you'll be working into each loop separately.


Work the first two petals into the back loop only. 



Now, turn your whole work clockwise, so it is upside down. You'll be working into the front loop next, continuing in in an anti-clockwise direction. 



Finish Petal 2 by slipstitching into the front loop only. 



Complete your last three petals in the front loop only. It'll look kinda stretched and crowded, and that's ok. 



Now keep turning your work clockwise so the working edge is up the top again. 



Fold the violet forward and locate the next empty stitch that you're going to need to sc in. If everything is a bit tight and squished, wriggle the violet stitches around until you can see that next stitch clearly.



Ta-dah! One violet completed :) 




ROW 5 PHOTO TUTORIAL

It can be a little challenging sometimes to locate the right dc to fptr into because working so many stitches into the top loops of that dc can make the post short, stubby and weird looking.

dc up to the stitch before your violet. Remember, because we're working back the other way, the top loops are to the left of the post, not the right (as they would be if we were working in the round). See that stumpy little post there under the violet? That's where to put the fptr. 



You can see it a bit more clearly here.



Just do your fptr arouns that post, and then carry on with your dc stitches. 



Easy peasy! 


Friday, 10 November 2017

Star Blankets

Hi there!

Hope you are all doing well! I miss the long summer days but oh well, autumn/winter means cozy crochet time on the couch, doesn't it? 


Some weeks ago I felt like doing another Star Blanket from Celeste Young's pattern. I made three of these blankets last year and they were such a joy to make! So off I ventured and pulled some skeins of Stylecraft Special DK from my stash. I did that just before we left for a weekend at my mum's and the light wasn't perfect, so the colors didn't turn out to be the ones I thought they were when I pulled them out of the bag the next day. Oops! With the help of my husband (who is much better with colors than I am) I managed to put together a blanket color order which worked very well together in the end. Phew! One skein traveled in vain though - there was no vain it actually fitted with the other colors (it did in dim light...).




When I finished the first blanket, I had quite a bit of yarn left over and thus I decided to make other of the star blankets with the same yet of colors just in reverse order. To tell the truth, I played yarn chicken with the last two colors but it worked out in the end! I used one skein of each color except for the white (1,5 skeins). 



I adore the blanket pattern. I fell into a rhythm very quickly and thus crocheting these rows was so relaxing. The finished look of the blanket is something really as well! I think I will make another one soon just because it is such a joy to crochet the pattern. I would like to make a larger one at some point but for that I would need more yarn for the outer rows.



Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 



Take care
Anne

P.S. I know that the blankets need a good blocking at some point... I will get there. Eventually. 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Captain Poprocks' Trip to Oslo

Hi there!

2017 being the year of the anniversary of the Reformation meant that Germans got an extra public holiday on the 31st of October. As I live in a state which also has a public holiday at the 1st of November, I was in the lucky position to get a 5 day weekend with just one vacation day used. As I have very little vacation days left over for this year (... after all we spent four weeks in Australia earlier this year), this was a very lucky coincidence. In late summer, my mum and my sister suggested that we spent the time together on a holiday and found a mini-cruise from Kiel (Germany) to Oslo (Norway) with two nights spent on board and one night in a hotel in Oslo. 


As you might guess, Captain Poprocks insisted on coming. He was very cross with me anyway because I didn't take him on an adventure since August (gasp!) and thus I was very relieved to finally be able to offer him another trip...


We began our short trip in Kiel which is a sea town in North Germany. There was a huge storm coming and we surely felt the wind when we left the harbor! The wind was so strong that I could lean against it. The Captain had to stay in my handbag most of the time (he was not happy!) but he got to try the life belt... It stayed really windy but fortunately that didn't result into much unsteadiness (I get seasick sometime). 



We had a lovely cabin with a porthole and an really great dinner buffet with all kinds of scandinavian food. Best was the dessert part though - really yummy creme brûlée and creme catalana (two of my favorite dishes ever! I can make creme brûlée but I haven't yet mastered creme catalana. Does any of you have a good recipe by any chance?).



Due to the summer time ending we got an extra hour of sleep and when we got up, the ship just started to pull into the Oslofjorden. What an amazing view! After breakfast we spent all the time outside just watching the sunset and the stunning landscape! I had been to Norway before but never on this route. 


After checking into our hotel in Oslo, we went all tourist-y. We walked everywhere and man, by the end of the day my feet hurt. 



The Captain was lucky enough not to have to walk himself... We were incredible lucky with the weather. It was cold (as expected in Norway) but sunny all the time! The Captain missed his poncho though. 


So at some point he tried to hide in a gun barrel (it wasn't much warmer though. Sighs. The little trouble maker!).



The hotel was really, really good - in fact, my husband and I agree that we never had such a good breakfast in a hotel (and we have seen quite a few). The Captain made new friends right away...





I am really fond of Oslo! It has just the right size for a city, is located at the sea and a stunning landscape, has wonderful food shops and there are very few cars in the city (and if there are lots of them are electronic cars, so it is really quite!). 



In the end we wished we had booked and extra night but oh well, I guess that just means we have to come back! I am sure the Captain agrees... 

Take care
Anne (and Captain Poprocks)