Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Review, a Preview, and a Riddle

Some love it, others hate it: those obligatory "Best-of"-posts at the end of the year. I'm a huge fan of those posts! Why? Because when I write my own review-post, I flip through my archiv and discover things that I had already forgotten, so it's a nice review for myself, to see what I have accomplished this year.
I also love those 2012-summary-posts on other blogs, because when you're following lots of crochet blogs (and some of them just recently), it just happens that you miss some beautiful projects - and in those end-of-the-year-posts, you suddenly find them (again), and have all the good stuff in one post.

So let's see, what has been going on in k-town this year?

The bigger projects were the two blankets I've made this year. One was the wedding-blanket I've made for my friend in spring, the other one was the Christmas blanket I've made for my Mom later this year.

The Wedding Blanket

The Christmas Blanket

A fun and interactive highlight of my crochet year was the 3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week in April. During this week I also introduced you to my little IKEA-stool that I had covered:

Frosta: something a little bit different

Although I still enjoy it, I haven't made as many crochet covered stones as last year. Here they are:

1: birthday-stone for my sister-in-law, 2: a gift for John's sister, 3: a gift for a friend

 And here are some more smaller items I've made this year, they were mainly gifts:

1: three Kindle-covers, 2: my first baby-hat, 3: a smartphone-cover, 4: a potholder dress for John's Mom, 5: a new pair of potholders, 6: Easter Bunnies, 7: potholder dresses for my Mom, 8: Birthday Potholders

 The most popular posts were the free patterns I've shared this year:

Little Spring Mandala

Spiral Coasters

Christmas Bowl

Last but not least, this year I've worked my way through Edie Eckman's book "Beyond the Square" - I'm sure you didn't miss The Grand Finale, did you?

Beyond the Square: The Grand Finale

Oh, and one more thing that's dear to me: I've started a second crochet-site, "The Crochet Boulevard".

The Crochet Boulevard

It's a place dedicated to crochet link-parties only: usually there's one theme-party and one free-topic link-party every month. The whole month of December was reserved for Winter- and Christmas-Crochet, but there's still a poll going on for the first theme-party in 2013 - have you placed your vote yet?

And talking about 2013, I think it'll be a very exciting year, both in real life and on my blog. The spring will probably be filled with wedding-preparations, but there are still a few weeks of winter, which will hopefully be filled with lots of crochet-posts, both by myself and by amazing guest-bloggers.
Some of you might like to hear that I've also started a Facebook-page for my blog (although I'm not quite sure if that even makes sense, but we'll see). I had already created this page a few months ago, but then I forgot about it. But now I see more and more crochet blogs being on Facebook, too, and I thought - why not give it a try and see what happens, and so I've published the yesterday. So, if you're on Facebook, too, maybe you want to give Made in K-town the thumbs-up! :)
I'm also thinking about starting an online-shop (probably on Etsy) to sell my handmade items - but this is still future talk, I haven't given more thought to that yet.

Let's get down to the real things instead, things I've made but haven't published yet: the squares for Jill's Beautiful Blogger Blanket 2013, a custom-made R2D2-hat (the first item I've ever sold), a custom-made toilet paper cover (yes, indeed...), a beautiful shawl made with a vintage pattern, the start of a brand-new blanket,... and this:

This is my New Year's Riddle for you: tell me - what could it be? Some hints: the size of this item is approximately the size of a small dish towel (but of course it isn't one, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it), and it's already finished and ready to serve its purpose (i.e. it's not part of something bigger). Can you guess what it is?

With this riddle I'll leave you for today, and I'll post the solution some time next year.

In Germany we say "einen guten Rutsch (ins neue Jahr)!", a literal translation would be something like "have a good slide (into the new year)!" I kinda like that! :)

So, thanks for your visits in k-town this year, I hope to see you all happy and healthy in 2013,

Have a good slide everyone!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Guest Posts 2013

The year is almost over, I've finally completed the "Beyond the Square"-Challenge, and I already start missing this project, that had accompanied me for the last twelve months. Time for something new to spice up my blog! On the other hand, I'll probably won't have that much time for a time-consuming project next year (with all the wedding stuff on my mind), so I thought: why not let YOU do the work for me? :)
I've already send e-mails to some of my blogging friends out there and asked them if they would like to write a guest post for my blog - and everyone of them said yes, isn't that awesome? Depending on how you all like this project, I'll write more and more invitations, both to bloggers I've already got on my long, long blog-list, as well as to new bloggers I hope to meet next year.
So, what are the benefits for you, as a guest blogger? Of course I hope you'll get some more readers and "meet" new people. But - writing an introduction or summary about your blog might be an enjoyable thing for you, too: Maybe it will encourage you to go for a walk in your archives and discover great posts you've almost forgot about. Maybe you remember an unfinished project and feel like giving it another try. A blog inventory like this could help you define new goals for both your favorite hobby and your blog, and you could even use your guest-post (or parts of it) as an introduction on the "About"-page on your blog, if you need one. Or maybe you just need a kick-start to your brand-new blog? And maybe it's just fun :) - oh my gosh, this talk turned me so on, that I want to write a guest-post myself!!
The benefits for me are even greater: I'd have lots of awesome posts on my blog (without having to make an effort myself), meet some of your readers (that is, if you mention your guest-post for me on your own blog too, which would be nice *gg*), and after a while I'd have a great collection of introductions to my favorite crochet blogs - which in turn gives any reader a good orientation of all the amazing crochet blogs out there.

Here are some suggestions how your guest-post could be structured and things you could write about. Please don't see it as a strict guideline, I've just written down a few ideas that I had in mind, things that might help you to write your own unique guest post, if you're not sure how to start. (If you've already got an idea how to write the best advertisement for your blog, then please do it the way that you want to write it!)

Introducing yourself:
Suggestions: tell us who you are, where you live, and what you enjoy (other than crocheting). You can write about your family and your job, quote your favorite words of wisdom etc.

Introducing your crochet history:
Suggesions: let us know when and how you've learned it, who taught you (a family member? Internet videos?), what benefits you have from crocheting, etc.

Introducing your blog, this should be the main part of the guest post:
Suggestions: When did you start your blog? Why? How is the structure of your blog, where's your focus? Blankets? Amigurumis? Items for your little ones? Are you a yarn-bomber, or do you "specialize" on a certain crochet technique, like freeform, filet, tunesian or else? Do you share other crafts or hobbies as well? Do you publish your own patterns or tutorials? Do you organize events as link-parties, CALs or Swaps? Do you participate in projects like those? Do you crochet for charity? Do you have special sections that appear on a regular basis (like WIP Wednesday, FO Friday, picture posts, or similar)? Can we find the Crochet-You on other platforms (Ravelry, Pinterest, Facebook etc.)? What are your favorite crochet or craft blogs?

Of course you should spice up your guest post with some pictures: maybe you show an older project that's dear to you and that you're proud of, or your latest finished project, something you've just started, or the project that is most popular with your readers. Or make a collage, if you've got too many things you want to share! Needless to say: bring your blog-button if you've got one (memo to myself: maybe it's time to make one for my blog, too! *gg*)

Maybe I'll add a few words from my side, like why I've asked you to write a guest post, or maybe I'll just let your post speak for itself. 

You see, there are still a lot of maybe's and could-be's, and that's the exciting thing about this new project. I can't wait to get started and see how it develops!

Oh, and just in case you worry: of course I've got plenty of my own crochet to share with you in the next few weeks, too, starting with the good ol' Review-and-Preview-Post before the year is over - stay tuned!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Grand Finale

Phew, I'm finished just in time! The end of the year 2012 also marks the end of my Challenge: For the last twelve months I've been working my way through Edie Eckman's book "Beyond the Square" and completed all of the 144 motifs. Earlier today I've posted my last motif, one of my favorites:

Motif # 17, a circle

Along the way, I've made beautiful circles, interesting hexagons, relaxing triangles, unique squares and other unusual motifs.

Motif # 1, a circle
Motif # 51, a hexagon
Motif # 62, a triangle
Motif # 114, a square
Motif # 143, an unusual shape

Is it strange to say it was an exciting adventure? Probably, because any Surfer or Bungee Jumper might have another definition of excitement and adventure :) For me, however, it's been a pleasure to meet the well known stitches and arrange them in a new way, or to try new and sometimes challenging stitches, like the folding single crochet stitches as in motif # 23.

Motif # 23, a circle
An easier stitch was the Leaning Tower Stitch, but it was so much fun to do and I love the three dimensional effect it adds to the traditional granny, as in motif # 109.

Motif # 109, a square

144 motifs, that means:

For more beautiful motifs please check out our Shared Gallery once again, where the other participants have linked their versions. And that brings me to the thank-you-part of this post:

A big thanks goes to all the other girls who have joined me on my journey through this book, although we took different routes, we've often met on some crossroads along the way. It would have been quite boring to go this way alone!

I also have to thank the readers of my blog who frequently came to visit and always found something nice to say about the motifs I've been posting all year - it would have been quite boring without you, too!

And of course, I want to thank the author of the book, Edie Eckman: thank you for writing this book, for watching my progress from afar, and for the free copy of "Connect the Shapes - Crochet Motifs" that arrived at my house a week before Christmas - what a wonderful present, thank you so much!

Flipping through Edie's new book almost made me want to start the next Challenge for 2013, but for now I'll have to take a little break from the motifs. Still, I couldn't resist trying one special motif that caught my eye the first time I've opened the book. It's a hexagon-motif from the "swirls"-section of the book, I've added some picot-3's to the corners to give it a more Christmassy look:

Motif # 69, a swirls-hexagon, from "Connect the Shapes"

Now that's it. I kinda miss this Challenge already... What about you, girls? What's your summary at the end of this year? Have you reached your personal goal? Do you want to continue the Challenge for a while in 2013? Our actual gallery was supposed to close by the end of the year, but I can add a few more weeks/months, even another year, if you want me to - just give me a quick feedback, okay?

Thanks for your visit today, I'll be back soon for a general 2012-review. See you then!

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Beyond the Square: Motif # 17

Motif # 17

Category: Circles

Progress: 144 of 144

I saved the best for last... from the first time I've flipped through this book, this one was my favorite and I knew that I wanted to finish the Challenge with it, be it 100 or 144. It's very elaborate, each of the eight little flowers is made separately and joined to the previous flower, that means there are lots of ends to weave in - and twice as much, when you make the flowers in two colors, like I did (other than in the book, where the motif is plain green).

I really hope you've enjoyed this year's journey through a fabulous book. And now it's time for one last Celebration Post...

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

What's on your wishlist this year? To tell you the truth, although I've always known that health and happiness for the family is the most important thing you could wish for, I somehow always took it for granted that we were all doing fine and nothing terrible ever happened to us. At least not in my closest family. This year we've experienced a severe thread to the family, and so being well and healthy has become more important than ever, especially when you're constantly reminded - in the News, in blogland and in your personal surroundings - that not every family is that lucky.

So I wish every single one of you out there all the best for you and your loved ones, may all your wishes, hopes and dreams come true! And of course I can't leave you with a bit of Christmas Nostalgia - say, do you believe in Santa...?


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 135

Motif # 135

Category: Unusual Shapes

Progress: 143 of 144

Not exactly a Christmas star, it rather looks like another star-fish and reminds me a little of motif # 144 that I've posted very early in this Challenge. Anyway, this is the last unusual shape I've got for you. And now there's only one more motif left, but I'll keep you waiting until after Christmas - can you guess which one is missing?

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 116

Motif # 116

Category: Squares

Progress: 142 of 144

The last square of the Challenge: an unusual motif with long chain-loops in the center.

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Source: Pinterest

Have a good End-of-the-World-Day tomorrow, and see you all afterwards! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 86

Motif # 86

Category: Triangles

Progress: 141 of 144

The last triangle of the Challenge, made in two shades of green.

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 139

Motif # 139

Category: Unusual Shapes

Progress: 140 of 144

Another "stretched" hexagon, very quick and easy to make with the good ole dc's. I can't believe I'm almost through with the Challenge and can't wait to reach the finish line!

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 111

Motif # 111

Category: Squares

Progress: 139 of 144

Popcorn overkill! For those who can't get enough of popcorn stitches... :)

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Beautiful Blogger Blanket 2013 - A Teaser

I was a little bit angry with myself because I had missed taking part in the Beautiful Blogger Blanket 2012 project, that Stocki had organized last year. Imagine my delight, when I found out that there'll be a Beautiful Blogger Blanket 2013!!

In case you haven't heard about it (shame on you...): Every participant will crochet one square or more (up to four this time) and send it to Stocki until the end of January. Then she'll sew them together to an amazing blanket - and in the end, one of the participants will win this treasure, made by people from all over the world! For more info, please visit Stocki's blog.

I'm finished with my squares, but I don't want to give away too much yet - I don't want to spoil the surprise for Stocki and her readers. So here's just a little teaser:

In the next few days I'm gonna send these squares to the UK, and as soon as Stocki has published them on her blog, I'll tell you more about them (including free pattern!) Hope I've made you a bit curious now :)

I'll be back soon with the last motifs for the Challenge,
until then, have a peaceful Sunday with your loved ones,


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 55

Motif # 55

Category: Hexagons

Progress: 138 of 144

First category finished: this is the last hexagon I've made. Once again, it is a star - perfect for this time of the year!

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 104

Motif # 104

Category: Squares

Progress: 137 of 144

This must be the smallest of all squares. It's a pretty one with those popcorn stitches!

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Something funny to get you in the right holiday mood,
Rudolph on Facebook:

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