Friday, December 30, 2011

My 2011 Crochet Mosaic

Various Crochet Projects 2011

Clockwise, starting top left, ending in the middle: Sunny Pincushion Tutorial - The Colorful World of Pincushions - Pop Heart (with free pattern link) - Wiggly Work in Progress - Wiggly Cushion: Finally Finished - Love is in the Air (with free pattern link) - Christmas Ornaments - Bobble Wheel Ornament Pattern - Birthday Potholders (with free pattern link) - Flowers in Progress - Fishin' for Compliments (with free pattern link) - Wiggly Tutorial (2) - Bavarian Popcorn Flower Pattern


Left: A Blanket with a History - Top: The Magic Blanket Ride, Chapter 2 - Middle: United Colors Baby Blanket - Bottom: The Magic Blanket Ride, The End

Crochet Covered Stones

view all posts with covered stones

Lookin' forward to seeing you next year! :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Keeping Christmas

Let me just say: Merry Christmas to all of you and your loved ones, may all your wishes for the future come true! And thanks for all the nice Christmas wishes that you've left here lately, you're great! And now I leave you with my favorite Christmas thoughts: the beautiful words of Henry van Dyke in his Short Christmas Sermon:

(...)But there is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.

Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you;
to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world;
to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground;
to see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy;
to own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life;
to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness.

Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children;
to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old;
to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough;
to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts;
to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you;
to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you;
to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open.

Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas.

And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?
But you can never keep it alone.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Tree and a Tradition

We've decorated our tree today! Most people in Germany (at least all the people I know) decorate their tree later, usually on Christmas Eve or the day before. Ever since I've moved into my own appartment and had my own Christmas tree, I decorated the tree earlier - I just like it better this way, and thank god John doesn't mind either :)
It was nice today, we had Christmas music playing in the background and John managed to put the tree lighting on without cursing - the first time, I think :)
We've got mainly Christmas balls as ornaments, and our main color is a warm gold with some ornaments in white or silver.
We've also got some special ornaments that I'd like to show you today. We've got a little tradition: Five years ago, when John and I celebrated our first Christmas together, we had the idea to buy one special ball or other ornament every year. And here's our Christmas history so far:

2006 and 2007 we've visited the Christmas Market in Nuremberg, not far from us. It's quite a famous market and everything is sooooo romantic - when you watch the reports on TV :) So the next year (2008) we weren't in the mood for the Christmas Market and John found this cartoon ball in a supermarket and persuaded me. It doesn't really fit the style of the other balls, but somehow it's cute. The words mean: "Without you, Christmas sucks. Tree: sucks. Snowman: sucks." and so on :) The 2009 ornament is our favorite so far: an incredible fragile (and expensive) heart of glas with painting on it, bought in a gift shop.  I'm always afraid that one year I'll break it. So far, so good :)

Last year, 2010, we've been busy and almost forgot to buy an ornament, so the day before Christmas Eve, we've ran around town and finally bought this porcelain heart in a DIY Store. When I looked at it today, I thought it was a good choice after all:

This year - since it's my crochet year - I've decided early, that I wanted to make my own special crochet covered Christmas ball. Here it is, our special Christmas ornament 2011:

It took a while to make it: I didn't want to use a transparent plastic ball, but rather a real golden glass one. I had already expected to break a few balls and cut a few fingers, but everything worked out just fine :) First I've tried some given patterns from a Christmas crochet magazine, but either the size wasn't right for my ball, or the motif just didn't look good. In the end I took the pattern for a snowflake doily (from the same magazine), changed the center so that it would fit over the hanger of the ball, changed the number of stitches so that the fabric was ball-shaped, added a few beads, and closed the pattern at the bottom of the ball. Et voilá - another special Christmas ornament for our collection, and we're really looking forward to lots more :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bobble Wheel Ornament Pattern

Pattern: Made in K-Town by Barbara

Please respect my rights as designer: do not sell, share, translate, or publish any parts of this pattern (including pictures) online or elsewhere without my permission. Do not claim this pattern as your own. Feel free to sell the finished items you’ve made from my pattern! If you do, a link-back to my blog would be great.
Thank you! 

Material and some general notes:

I used small amounts of cotton yarn and a 2.5mm hook. The ornament is worked around a 4cm (1.6") plastic ring. I used simple and cheap curtain rings, they're available round or flat.

If you're using thicker/thinner yarn or a bigger/smaller ring, you'll have to adjust the number of stitches accordingly: any multiple of 2 will work, make sure you work enough stitches around the ring, because there's no increase in the second round (if you start with too few stitches, the ornament won't lie flat)! Example: for another ornament with acrylic yarn and a 3.5mm hook, I started with 32 stitches.

For this pattern I use US crochet terms. We’ll need the following stitches: chain stitch (ch), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), and treble (tr) (Yes, it's the US treble, we don't need any dcs here).

I don't like dealing with too many ends, so I don't cut the thread of my first color: I secure the loop, and just pick it up again for the last round, it looks quite inconspicuous.

You'll have to turn the work after the third round!

That's it, I hope - maybe we should start now :)


1st Round: Attach the yarn to the ring with a sl st, ch1, then work 42 sc into the ring, join with a sl st to the first sc (42 sc).

2nd Round Ch1, sc in the same st, ch1, skip the next stitch, then repeat (sc, ch1, skip the next stitch) around, join with a sl st to the first sc (21 ch1-spaces).

3rd Round Join a new color with a sl st to any ch1-space, ch1, then work (sc, ch2) into the same space and in every ch1-space around. (21 ch2-spaces). TURN!

4th Round Join (or pick up) your first color again with a sl st to the next ch2-space, ch1, then work (sc, treble, sc) into the same space and in every ch2-space around (21 "bobbles").

Fasten off, weave in the ends, and the Bobble Wheel is finished:

Here's the acrylic version with 32 stitches:

If you've got any questions, please let me know! :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Christmas Ornaments


There are so many cute Christmas decorations out there, and I was amazed when I stumbled across Doni's "Ringing in Christmas" ornament series on Whiskers & Wool. Doni has already started this series on November the 1st, and so far she has shared seven ornament patterns, all worked around a 2" ring. They're all great, but I have only tried two patterns - (1) and (2) - so far:

(1) is Doni's Christmas Wreath Ring Ornament and (2) is her Lacy Snowflake Ring Ornament. It's easy and fun to crochet around a ring, and the results are lovely, so I was inspired to create my own little ornament (3), I call it "Bobble Wheel Ornament". I've already written down the pattern and will post it by the end of this week. (Edit: find the pattern here)

Make sure you check out Doni's great blog, the other ornaments are awesome, too! :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Poll and some Knitting

Hey girls! :)

I'm back today with a little bit of knitting:

But before I tell you about this scarf, I've got two other things I'd like to mention:

First, I've started a new poll for our link-party in January. Once again, you can vote for your favorite topic: Baby Crochet, Kitchen, Clothing, Colorful, Pretty in Pink, Animals, or a Free Topic Party. The last one is a new category, which is actually no topic at all, because you're free to link up whatever you'd like - as long as it is crochet, of course :)

Second, I'd like to link to our current Christmas Crochet link-party again: You've already posted great ideas, check out what's new and maybe link up your latest Christmas creations - the party's still on!

And now back to my knitted scarf:

Isn't it fancy? :) To tell you the truth: I'm a very bad knitter, I just don't feel that comfortable with knitting needles like I do with a crochet hook. I like knitting socks (the first one, the second one is boring), but that's all I've ever made over the last few years. But this scarf was too easy, really - you just need the simple knit stitches, eight stitches per row, over and over again. The scarf looks curly, because it's made with a special yarn (or rather net), that looks like this:

One ball - one scarf, and then you just make knots into the ends, you don't even have to weave them in! Actually it feels a little bit like cheating, similar to those painting-by-numbers pictures: you don't have to be very talented to have a great result with little effort - awesome! :)

The color - which I've learned is teal *gg* - is almost the same as the one I've used for one of my potholders, I like it a lot! This scarf will be a present for a friend, but I think I'll make another one, soon - there are lovely colors available, even variegated yarn with a great effect for the finished scarf!

I hope you liked this little foray into the world of knitting - does anyone of you knit sometimes, too? What do you like better, crochet or knitting? And of course: Why?
I'm looking forward to reading your opinions, have a great Sunday everyone!! :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"My" Day

Hello everybody, did you know that it's Saint Barbara's Day today? I usually forget about that myself, but my family always remembers. Especially my sister-in-law never forgets to give me some twigs. "Twigs??" you might wonder? I don't know if this is a tradition outside Germany, too, so let me tell you a little bit about Saint Barbara.

Barbara is a Christian Saint, martyr, and one of the 14 Holy Helpers. She's the patron saint of artillerymen, military engineers and miners, and she's a helper against lighning and fire. I've read on Wikipedia, that Saint Barbara's Day is celebrated by the British, Australian and Canadian armed forces and that she's also the patron saint of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Ordnancemen (I didn't know that before)

What I haven't found on the English article on Wikipedia is the tradition that we have in some regions in Germany: On Saint Barbara's Day, the 4th of December, it's a tradition to cut some twigs from a fruit tree, put them into water and wait until Christmas - if you're lucky, the buds will open and bloom until Christmas Eve. If they do, the next year will be a happy one :)

This is a picture of my twigs today - I hope I can show you another picture with some blossoms until Christmas (usually I'm lucky) - and maybe those of you out there in the world would like to join this little German tradition? Twigs from cherry or apple trees are great, but I think any other fruit tree is good as well. I'd love to see some St. Barbara's twigs in your living-rooms! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

More Flower Potholders

Remember the potholders I've made for my Mom's birthday in September? She really liked them a lot, so a few days ago, she asked me if I could make two more. No, wait - actually she asked me if I've "coincidentally" got two new potholders lying around. Err... no :) (does anyone of you?)
Next week-end my parents will go to Austria for a little pre-Christmas vacation (they've started this two years ago), and my Mom would like to bring some little gifts, like my potholders, for their friends down there.
I used Jennifer Martin's Flower Potholders pattern again and a thicker cotton yarn this time:

I had exactly these four colors of thick cotton yarn, and maybe they wouldn't have been my no.1 choices if I had a whole range of colors to choose from, but now I think they've turned out quite pretty. I like the blue-ish one, in Germany the color's called "Petrol", but I don't know what it is called in English, the dictionary is no help here ;) Somehow I seem to be drawn to this color, because right now I'm knitting (!) a scarf in a similar shade - I hope I can finish it this week-end :)

For more Christmas Inspiration, please visit my Christmas Crochet link-party

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Theme Party # 5: Christmas Crochet

I love the advent season, don't you? Here's your chance to show off your Christmas Crochet: Things you've made last year or the years before, and things you've made just recently. Maybe you'll find new ideas and inspiration and come back to link up more :)

I'd like to start the poll for the next theme-party in January, soon - so if you've got suggestions for new topics, please leave a comment!

Some things you should keep in mind:
What you see is what you get: please link to the specific post where your chosen project can be found (not just your main blog address), and make sure that your post is about crochet and matches the given theme! No shops! Please understand that I might remove links that ignore these points.
Feel free to post as many links as you like - you should really search in the depths of your archives to retrieve your forgotten treasures, this is your chance to bring them back to the surface! :) more info

This collection can be found at The Crochet Boulevard now!
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