Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Bunnies, Bunnies, Bunnies everywhere!

Hello all!

I hope you are all doing well! Enjoy the longest day of the year (if you live in the northern hemisphere that is...)! Life if rather busy here and some days there isn't even enough time for crochet. Oh the horror! Fingers crossed it will get better soon! I am rather involved in crochet-y things though as I am translating the new Stylecraft CAL into German again. We have a give away at our Instagram account running atm (until Sunday), so hop over there for your chance to win a complete yarn pack to the CAL! :)

Anyway, onto real crochet... After working on only blankets for some time, I felt it was time to something else. Plus I was traveling and I couldn't take many skeins of yarn in my small carry on luggage. So, it was time to amigurumi again!

I have used the bunny pattern from Isabelle Kessedijan a couple of times last year and as I love the way the bunnies look, I went to make another one! This time I applied some changes to the pattern which I will list below!

Isn't it wonderful how different all three of these little bunnies look? The white one is made in Drops Cotton Merino and the two others were made with Stylecraft Batik DK. I liked the Batik DK before but after seeing how it worked up with the bunnies, I would go so far and say the yarn is just perfect for amigurumi! I like the yarn in blankets, but man, look at the color fading in the bodies of the bunny!

If you are reading this blog for some time already, you probably already know that I am NOT fond of sewing. Thus I try to eliminate sewing as much as possible... I came up with the Cross my Heart Teddy and the Heart Teddy for exactly this reason. The bunny pattern wants you to make the head and body separately and then sew them together. I figured that was silly and just continued to crochet the head after I finished the body. For that I literally worked the head pattern from the end instead of the beginning (= whenever it called for decrease, I increased and vice versa). I could have crocheted the arms on but for once I decided to sew them on (I did that when the head was halfway done). Next time I will probably just crochet them like I do with the teddy arms.

Take care

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.

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

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!