Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

I know, I know, I've already posted this last year,
but this is just my favorite Christmas Cartoon:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Meet Rajeswari from "Diaper Mum"

It's the third Sunday in Advent and I'm happy to share with you another guest-post in my "Meet in K-town"-series. Today Rajeswari from Diaper Mum has come all the way from Hong Kong to chat a little about her beautiful blog...

"Thank you dear Barbara for inviting me as a guest in your very creative space @ Made-in-K-Town. It really is a special honor to be writing this for you and all your lovely readers!

My name is Rajeswari and besides being happily married and mom of 2 kids, I own my happy space at “Diapermum”. My home country is India but I live in Hong Kong right now. I used to be a run-off-the-mill IT consultant before I was blessed with my little angel and later on with my charming prince. Crocheting and crafting were my passions since childhood days and being a stay at home mom gave me the perfect oppurtunity to get back to my crafty adventures. Blogging has been my creative outlet and has connected me with so many amazing and talented people from all over the world.

In my little space I share my creations in crochet, paper craft, home decor and general ramblings of a crafty lady.
Through this blog I wish to share some of my own patterns and ideas, free of course. I have found inspiration in so many blogging sites and I try to spread this joy. For me creativity is not a hobby but a way of life! A day is not complete unless I make some mess! Being artistic or even appreciating art is the only thing that makes the human being a superior race and I want my kids to be sensitive to art.
Crocheting has always been my first love and a life saver many a days. Some days are not as good as others and those days crochet is the perfect comfort craft to ease away all the blues.

With little ones around and Hong Kong compact living spaces I do not get much time or space for persuing other crafts as much as I like. But I do ocassionally dabble in paper crafting, quilling and general DIYs for home improvement.

So if you are in a mood for some crochet therapy, color riot, paper crafting ideas, child management skills mistakes or just some laughs do stop over @ my blog –Diapermum – A Mum’s Crochet and Crafty space. 

Thank you dear Barbara for bringing us crocheters and crafters together. I had a blast writing this post for you and all your lovely readers! Hope to “meet” you over a good cuppa and some crochet of course and if I may add “We’ll always have YARN!”

Thank you Rajeswari for this sympathetic glimpse into your colorful, crafty world! And one more suggestion to you, dear readers: when you hop over to Diaper Mum, you just have to check out Rajeswari's Giant Granny Patch Blanket - such a beautiful blanket in stunning colors, captured in wonderful pictures!

I asume this was the last guest-post in 2013 - I'd like to thank all my guests this year for coming over and chatting with me, and all my readers for their interest and feedback. I hope that I can lure more guests over to k-town in 2014, and introduce you to some more exciting crochet and craft blogs!

Happy Sunday everyone, and don't forget: Only 9 more days until Christmas!! :) 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Spiral Coasters

Hello, hello!
How are you all doing on this second Sunday in Advent?
Here's a little something I've made from one of my own patterns. Although the Little Spring Mandala seems to be my most popular pattern (and post), I personally like my Spiral Coasters better. They're so quick and easy to make, and so I've made two new sets last week:

It's a set of six coaster, made with different shades of blue, turquoise and green, and so I've called it the "Ocean Breeze" set.

And here's the "Rosegarden" set, made with different shades of red, pink and purple:

Maybe I should have made a yellow one, too (you know, like "The Yellow Rose of Texas"), but then again - not everyone's a fan of Country Music and yellow wouldn't really fit into the Rosegarden-palette. Great, and now I've got Lynn Anderson's "Rosegarden" in my head! I beg your pardon... :)

These Coaster Sets are now available in my Etsy-Shop, but if you'd rather like to make some coasters yourself, you can find the free pattern here. Oh, and if you're looking for more inspiration, I'd suggest you hop over to the Project Gallery on Ravelry and check out all the lovely Spiral Coasters that other users have shared.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone,

Countdown: only 16 more days until Christmas-Eve! Yes, I love it!! :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dots'n'Dashes Baby Throw


My Dots'n'Dashes Baby Throw is finished! Well, actually it's been finished for quite a while, but it took me forever to take and edit the pictures and to write this post.

I've blogged about the progress with this blanket in another post and had a lot of comments (and Pinterest visitors) for that. Thank you very much! :)
The blanket measures 95 x 100 cm (37"x39") and is made with Stylecraft Special DK, an acrylic yarn. I've used the following colors: Cream, Spring-Green, Shrimp and Saffron. The yarn is available in the UK, but so far I've tried two online-shops that ship overseas as well: Masons and Wool Warehouse.

The Pattern for this Dots'n'Dashes Crochet Throw by Darla Fanton is available as a free download on Red Heart.
The pattern is actually written for three colors, but I've worked with four. Someone asked me in the comments of my previous post, how this pattern works with four colors, so I'll explain here (maybe others are interested, too): The pattern says, you should carry the unused yarn along the edges - this way, when you get to the end of a row, there's always your next yarn already waiting for you, and the color-sequence forms all by itself: ABC-ABC-ABC and so on. When you work with four colors, you also have to carry the unused colors along the edges, and when you reach the end of the row, you sometimes have one color waiting - then take it :). Or you've got two colors waiting: then make a command decision, which color you want to go on with. Working this way, a color-sequence like ABCD-ABCD-ABCD is not possible! (Unless you cut the threads).

In my case, I wanted cream to be the dominating color - so everytime cream was "available" at the end of the row, I took it. This way, I've got cream in every third row, and the rest is just random. :)
For the edging I've used - once more - Lucy's Bobble-Shell Edging as seen on Attic24.

I'm sure this wasn't the last time that I've used this quick, easy and beautiful pattern! The only thing I would change is the first row of the edging: I've found that the whole blanket curls a bit, so next time I'll try with some decreases here and there. For now I just pretend that the ruffles are intended :)

This blanket is for sale in my Etsy-Shop now. It's beautiful for both little boys and girls :)

I hope there'll be a little sunshine tomorrow, so I can finally take picture of all my other finished items and show them here. Oh - and if you're looking for some last-minute Christmas inspiration, please check out the new linkparty at The Crochet Boulevard, with Christmas and Winter goodies all through the month of December!

Have a great Winter-Weekend everybody!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Source: Pinterest

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends out there!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, November 22, 2013

Giveaway closed and some other Quickies

Hey, it's me again, with just a few quick announcements:

The Giveaway is already closed (actually it has been just a few hours after I had posted it): Vikki from By HOOKS 4U was the first one to enter the correct year of my birth, which is 1979. Congratulations again, Vikki, I've already send you the pattern!

Pattern available in my Etsy-Shop

To all the others: thanks for all the birthday wishes, it made me smile to read all your comments (especially those who guessed my birth year 1980 and younger *gg*)

I'd also like to link to Sam's blog Betsy Makes again. She has already blogged about her experience with testing my Mandala, and I have to admit that she has picked really the cutest colors to make a set of 3 Mandalas, which she will donate for a charity project. Please hop over to see her version of the Star-Mandalas, and stay a little longer to check out her other beautiful projects!

So, and after visiting Sam's blog, you're also invited to The Crochet Boulevard, because there's a party going on right now! This month's topic: Crochet Clothing! See what others have been making and share your own runway-creations! :)

As promised, this was just a quick post to keep you up to date.

Have a great week-end everybody!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shop-Opening, (Birthday-)Giveaway and More!

Hello World!

Wow, what a busy week this is! There are Birthdays everywhere I look (including my own), I've finally managed to set up my Etsy-Shop (although it still needs some fine-tuning here and there), and although I've got this week off from work, it just seems to fly by with the speed of light! Be prepared for a longer post and stay with me, because there's something to win, too! :)

Remember my last post, when I looked for a pattern-tester for my new Star-Mandala?

Boy, that was a tough decision! I feel a little bad that I had to disappoint so many of you, because unfortunately I couldn't pick all who offered their help, but I really appreciate all your enthusiastic comments! In the end I decided to give this pattern to Samantha from Betsy Makes, a lovely site you shouldn't miss, I'm really glad I've found her and her blog. Thank you, Sam, for testing and your thoughtful feedback, you helped me a lot!

I also had some comments from my German readers, and so I thought I could - for the first time - translate one of my patterns to German, too. So, if you're from Germany and would like to test the German version, please leave a comment here and I might come back to you!

So, and on we go: Have I mentioned that I've finally opened my Etsy-Shop? :) >>Come on in!<<

The shelves aren't as full as I hoped they would be on the Grand Opening Day, but if I wait until I've taken pictures of all my finished items, written all the descriptions (both in German and English), and calculated all the shipping costs, well... Christmas would be over and nobody would want a Star-Mandala anymore anyway, right?

So, for now you can purchase the pattern for my Star-Mandala in the English version as PDF with instant download (it works: John was so kind to invest some money in me and was my first customer to see if it works smoothly), or - if you're not a crocheter yourself - you can also go for some ready-made Mandalas in different color-combos, like this one:

Or - you can just enter my Giveaway here and now, and maybe you will win the PDF-pattern which will be send to you in an e-mail - great, isn't it?

So, as I mentioned before, it's the week of Birthdays: on Monday I turned one year... better, and tomorrow it's John's turn. Happy Birthday to us! :) I think I've never mentioned my exact age here on this blog, did I? Wanna guess? Don't worry, I won't get mad if you judge me 20 years older than I am, I'm feeling a little more relaxed about this whole age-thing than I did some years ago. Maybe because I'm married now *lol*. And we're not talking about age anyway - all I want to know from you (to win the Giveaway) is the year of my birth. The first one who enters the correct year, will win my pattern. Fair, sweet and simple. The Giveaway will be open until the correct answer is given.

Good Luck to all of you!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Wanted: Pattern Tester For New Star-Mandala!

Hello my friends! Today I've got a special offer for you! As you might know, I'm planning to open my own Etsy-Shop, and I thought that along with my crocheted items I could also offer at least one pattern for sale - but please don't worry: of course the free patterns you find on my blog will always stay free, and there will also be more free patterns here in the future, and some for sale in my shop.

But now back to my offer: Before publishing the pattern, I'd like to ask one (or two) of you to be the first tester of this new Star-Mandala, the perfect decoration for the coming Christmas season:

As this is gonna be a pattern for sale, I want it to be absolutely flawless and easy to understand. I'm thinking about the following:
  • If you're interested in testing this pattern, please leave a comment here.
  • I'll pick one (or two) of you and send you the written pattern with lots of pictures as a PDF in an e-mail.
  • You'll try to crochet the Mandala and give me feedback about the pattern, i.e. if you find any mistakes or where you think the instructions should be clearer.
  • I'll make corrections if necessary and send you back the final version for you to keep.
  • Another bonus for you: I allow you to share a free copy of the final pattern as a giveaway for one of your readers!
Sounds good? It's actually a win-win situation for both of us: I'll get a free revision for my pattern and a free promotion for my shop, when you blog about it. You'll get a pattern for free, plus a giveaway for your readers, plus a mention of your giveaway/blog here on my site!

So, how do I decide who gets the pattern to test? I'd love to have a tester who's experienced in both reading AND writing patterns (for a better feedback). You should be able to make the pattern and let me know your thoughts within one week. You should have your own blog and be willing to write a post in which you show your finished Star-Mandala and offer one copy of the pattern as a giveaway, along with a link-back to my blog/shop. How you handle the giveaway (random generator, quiz, or secret giveaway) is completely up to you!

I'm also thinking about giving this pattern to a second tester, who'd consider herself as a beginning crocheter (in this case, you don't have to have any experience in pattern-designing/writing, of course). However, you should have a blog and be willing to promote this pattern as explained above.
The Star-Mandala in the typical Christmas colors: green, red and white

So, what do you say? Are you in? :)
If you've got further questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll pick my tester within a week and contact her/them via e-mail (please make sure you leave the address of your blog in your comment as well, if it's not visible from your profile!).

I'm looking forward to your comments, have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Meet Linda from "Linda's Crafty Corner"

Hello world! 

My guest today is Linda from Linda's Crafty Corner, another lovely lady that has joined me in my "Beyond the Square Challenge" last year. Obviously Linda likes Challenges a lot, because the whole year she's been engaged in her Stashbuster Challenge - so let's see what she's got to tell us about her Challenges and her blog:

"Thank you so much for inviting me to be one of your guest bloggers Barbara I am honoured and thrilled to be here.
My name is Linda and my blog is called Linda’s Crafty Corner.  I am an English almost 61 year old wannabe grandmother and I am pretty much addicted to crochet especially but almost everything crafty too. I learnt to knit when I was just eight years old when my grandmother taught me how to make kettle holders, she used to take me from door to door to visit her neighbours and they would fill my bag with scraps of brightly coloured yarn.  I can still remember the pleasure I got from seeing all that lovely colourful yarn and I have to say I still get the same sort of pleasure now, just put me where there is yarn and I am in heaven.

my idea of heaven.

I began my blogging adventures back in 2010, I just wanted somewhere to keep track of the things I made for charity,  I soon learnt however that there could be so much more to blogging than that. Now my blog is a place where I like to share my adventures in hand crafting and I love to explore and try new techniques and patterns.  Most of the things I make are made for charity and I am a member of Loving hands a group of lovely people who knit/crochet and sew things for all sorts of charities both in the UK and overseas.

Some Charity makes

To start your week with a smile I host The Monday Smile,  anyone is invited to participate by sending me an email of their favourite joke, story or picture I will publish it so we can all share it and have a laugh too.

At the beginning of this year I blogged about my serious stash dilemma and  Ana from Lanas de Anna suggested we challenged each other to use up some of our stash each month, I agreed as I can never refuse a challenge and the Stash-Buster Challenge 2013 was born.  Many have joined us and share their beautiful projects in the stash-buster link parties. The challenge is open to anyone who wants to join in, there is still two months to go before the end of the year, you can still bust a lot of stash in that time and who knows there may be a 2014 stash challenge too.

The thing that fills me with the most pleasure in the blogging world is you the lovely bloggers, I have made so many lovely blogging friends and I love visiting you all, reading your stories and sharing your crafting experiences.  Many of you are very generous in sharing your patterns too and I like to try out the free patterns that are available and leave links to their source. You can find these along with my own free patterns on the Projects, Patterns and Ideas tab at the top of my blog.

So if you would like to visit my blog and I really hope that you do, make sure that you have a nice cuppa coffee and a bit of time to sit and browse, have a giggle, enjoy a stroll through my garden and enjoy looking at some of the projects that I have made. Hopefully you will find some inspiration and a few new patterns too.

Hope to see you there, thanks again for the invite Barbara I've had a lovely time." :)

Thank you Linda, for taking the time to introduce us to your blog! Unfortunately I haven't been doing much stash-busting myself (or crocheting at all) for most of the year, but if there's really a 2014 Challenge, I'd better hop right in ;)
As we speak, Linda's already busy with another Challenge: this week-end she's putting together knitted squares to make a blanket for Syrian refugees. Hats off to you Linda, I really admire your Charity work!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your week-end,

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another Baby Blanket in Progress

The WIP I want to show you today is a typical (although rare) case of "Pinned it - made it".

Isn't that one unique and lovely pattern? A while ago, I've already posted a picture on my Facebook page, and of course some of you wanted to know where I got the pattern from. Unfortunately there's only a picture tutorial on a russian site, but this pattern is so easy-peasy that you should be fine!

And you know what I like best about this pattern? Although there are what feels like zillion ends to weave in...

... in the end you just have to knot them together, and add some fringes! I'm not that far yet, but if you've checked out the photo tutorial I've mentioned above, you'll know what I mean - genious, isn't it?

I've tried to keep my color-choice similar to the original version, but I bet this pattern looks awesome in strong and bright colors, too! If you try it, please let me know, I'd love to see more variations of this beautiful pattern!

Wishing you all a perfect Sunday,

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