Friday, 28 October 2016

Wedding Bliss


We had our religious wedding last week and man, it was bliss!! As you might remember, my husband and I got married last November but there was no big party and only our closest family as guests. This time, we had 60 guests + children and it was just wonderful.

 We don't have the photos from our photographer yet but I sparkled this post with some pictures taken by my uncle, my cousin and some mobile phone photos. :)

My wedding dress was a spur-of-the-moment buy... My husband and I were in Bremen in May and we weren't looking for dresses - in fact we were looking for coffee because we were tired. Well and then this dress popped into our vision (it was in the display window). We couldn't walk past it and went in. The ladies there weren't too willing to get it out of the window at first (I guess we didn't look like the kind of people who could afford a dress?!) but did it in the end. I tried the dress on and guess what... we bought it right away! 

You know what I loved best about the dress? The fact that my mum and sister had to use a crochet hook to close the dress. How cool is that??

The ceremony was in a small, very modern chapel at Haus Villigst - we fell in love with the chapel when we saw it and of course we had to get married there. :) The party was in an old industrial hall turned restaurant (Rohrmeisterei Schwerte). The food was amazing - my, good food is one of the most important things in weddings, isn't it? I wish I could have eaten more but as some point my stomach informed be there wasn't one little space left (not even for more dessert!)...

My mum and sister fabricated the most amazing candy bar. They baked all the cake pops and cakes themselves, there were m&m with our faces on it and all of our favorite sweets were included! YumYumYum! My mum also organized lots of toys for the kids (and the grown ups as it turned out :P) which were greatly enjoyed.

Unfortunately Michelle couldn't come due to the horrible CFS but all my Australian family and friends were there in spirit! We even got a letter signed from Lena (my... eh, Michelle's parents' cat)!! :D

It was a wonderful, wonderful day and I am so thankful for everyone involved! I will add pics from the photographer when they arrive to a later post!

Take care

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

FREE PATTERN: The Fiesta Clutch!

I had time last weekend to play with an idea that had been bumping around in my head for a while - a freeform slipstitch fabric, folded in three to make a little clutch purse. If you read this blog regularly you'll know that I am a stickler for precision, organisation, structure, patterns... all of which I had to pretty much ignore in order to get this idea out of my head. 

It went bananas on Instagram and Facebook as I posted project pictures over the weekend. So, by request, here is the "pattern" to make your very own Fiesta Clutch :) 

Please keep in mind that this is an inherently random and personalised pattern - no two (even made by the same person) will be exactly alike. So, consider the following a set of guidelines and supports to help you rather than a strict pattern!

Queue or Favourite this pattern on Ravelry here:


- base colour 4 ply cotton - ~50g (I used Red Heart Miami in White)
- mixed coloured 4 ply cottons - ~50-80g all up (I used Red Hear Miami in blue, purple, pink, orange, yellow and green - use as many or as few as you like).
- Vilene or other iron on interfacing 
- 2.75mm hook and 3 or 3.25mm hook
- scissors
- yarn needle
- iron (with a steam setting) and ironing board
- press studs
- sewing needle and thread

This pattern uses all US terminology

ch - chain stitch
sc - single crochet
slst - slip stitch


- Use 100% cotton or bamboo yarn! The surface slip stitching will stretch and warp your fabric base, and you need to be able to apply heat and steam with an iron to get it flat again, as well as ironing on the interfacing. If you use acrylic, the fabric will go really strange and droopy when you iron it.


Part 1 - Base Fabric

Use 2.75mm hook

The first thing to do is decide how big you want your Fiesta to be - coin purse? clutch? laptop cover? The height of the base fabric should be 3 times the height of your finished bag, but you can play around with how long each fold is.

For example, my white Fiesta Clutch fabric pictured above is 19cm wide and 33cm high, which was 40sc and 72 rows for me. Your tension may be different. 

Once you have your measurements, make a chain a bit longer than you want the width of the bag. The length will depend on your tension; if you want to be 100% sure of a snug fit, a tension swatch is helpful. 

ch1 extra at the end, and turn. sc into the second chain from your hook, and sc in each ch to the end. 

*ch1, turn, sc in each sc to end of row* 

Repeat * to * until your base fabric is the height you want. Next, we will do an sc border around with an extra sc in each corner to give a clean edge for joining later. 

sc border:
ch1, turn, 2sc first sc, then sc in each stitch to end of row, 2sc in last stitch. Turn your fabric 90 degrees, sc in the end of the last row (this is probably the same space that you did the 2sc in). Continue sc in the side of each row until you reach the next corner. Turn your fabric 90 degrees, 2sc in the first ch of starting chain (same space as the last sc of the side edge). sc in each ch to the end of the row, 2sc in the last ch. Turn your fabric 90 degrees, and sc in the first row of sc. sc in each row to the end, slst join to first sc. Finish off. 

(for the first Fiesta I made, I did the sc border after the freeform slip stitching and it was much more difficult at that stage!)

Part 2 - Free Form Slip Stitch

Use 3 or 3.25mm hook.

This is the part where you get to make your own artwork! 

Start a thread by pulling a loop through from back to front with your hook. Don't tie a knot, just keep a long starting tail and we'll sort those out later. 

To finish a thread, cut a long-ish tail and pull through your last loop, then pull the little knot and tail to the back of your fabric. 

Some guidelines for your crochet drawing:

1. Don't cross the stitches over - it'll make the fabric lumpy and it won't sit nicely at the end.

2. Don't make your slipstitching too dense. Making spirals and circles and diagonals will tug your base fabric in all sorts of strange directions, and if the decoration is too dense then we won't be able to make it sit flat at the end. 

You can see in this first picture that I had wayyy too many stitches in the space, and it was stretching the base fabric completely out of shape. Your fabric will get a bit lumpy and bumpy, but you should be able to mostly flatten it out with your fingers. 

3. Don't be afraid of letting the base fabric show! It's part of the art!

4. Let your creative spirit fly! There is no right or wrong way to do this :D 

Part 3 - The Ends

Once you've created your one-of-a-kind masterpiece, it's time to deal with all those ends.

With a yarn needle, run each end under 4 or 5 stitches at the back, away from the edges, then snip off leaving a 1cm-ish tail.

The next task is to iron your fabric flat. With a fairly hot iron and the maximum steam setting, gently press the fabric. You might need to do a bit of tugging and stretching to get the piece back to rectangular and deal with the edges. Take your time ironing, and don't forget to iron both the front and back. 

To secure all those ends and make a workable bag, we are going to cheat!! Get yourself some Vilene (iron-on interfacing, usually used in dressmaking and applique to give structure and firmness), and cut out a rectangle that is the same size as your fabric INSIDE THE SC BORDER. It's really important that you can still access the sc border as you'll need it to join up your bag. 

Place your Vilene piece on the back of your fabric (sticky side down please) and iron on gently. It will take about 5 minutes of ironing for everything to glue together, so be patient. It's still faster than figuring out how to secure all those ends separately! Give it some time to cool down and set the glue - maybe 10-15 minutes - before you move onto assembly. 

Part 4 - Assembly

Now let's make your flat fabric into a bag! 

First step is to play around, folding your fabric until you're happy with the overlap on the front and the pocket inside. Turn it over so you're looking at the front and back, and the pocket is on the underside.

Pick up your larger hook (3 or 3.25mm) and pull a loop of your favourite colour through the sc border at the bottom right corner (marked with a green arrow on the picture above). slipstitch the two layers of fabric together. Once you run out of pocket, continue slipstitching around the sc border until you come back to the other side of the pocket. Then, slipstitch together the final section, finish off, and use your yarn needle to poke the ends in between the fabric and Vilene. You might want to give it another quick iron to make sure everything is solidly glued down! 

Sew your press studs on securely with a sewing needle and thread (I put mine in the corners of the front flap to give extra protection to the Vilene corners).

Ta-dah! Your very own one-of-a-kind, useful artwork :D 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Carousel CAL - Part 4

I hope you all enjoyed the Pentagons a fortnight ago! This week we go one side better and make Hexagons :P 

Part Four of the Carousel Crochet-Along, designed by Sue Pinner and hosted by Stylecraft Yarns has just been posted, and is available to download NOW from the Stylecraft website, in English (US and UK), German and Dutch.

If you haven't set up a Ravelry project yet, the pattern page can be found here:  

We are working the CAL along with you all, and will post our tips and tricks for each part at the same time as the pattern is published over at the Stylecraft website. 

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments or on our Facebook page ( - we are here to help you. Anne is doing the German translations for the CAL again, so ask away in German too!

Part Four, the Shaped Hexagons:

Our top tips for the Shaped Hexagons are:

1. The Hexagons provide more practice for everything we've learned so far: padded centres, standing stitches, numbered pieces, join-as-you-go... I've linked our previous Tips posts below, and recommend having a flick through before you start your Hexagons. 

2. Colour charts! I've created them again for the Hexagons to make the colour lists easier to read and follow. Download your required colour chart from these links:

(to use find/replace if you are using different colours) 

3. After Row 4 your hexagons will curl up. That's ok - it will flatten out again as you get further out. 

4. If you're using the little paper numbers to keep track of which piece is which, you can save on stitch markers (and moving them every row) and pin them on the hexagon towards the outside point once you've done Row 5. 

5. I got to rewrite the joining instructions for this part, so hopefully they are easy to follow! 

You'll be joining to other shapes on all sides (so no awkward band joining), and if you get lost just remember - slip stitch into the adjoining stitch on the sides of each hexagon, and in the corners, replace chains with slipstitches into adjacent corners.  

For a little extra help, I made this short video showing how I joined the Hexagons in. Totally unofficial and not approved by Sue or Stylecraft, but hopefully it will help you visualise the instructions :)

We hope these tips help you! 

Check back here in two weeks on Tuesday 1 November for Part Five - the Ripple Border :) 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Star Time

Hi ladies and gents,

how are you doing? We are having our religious wedding with a big party this weekend and thus there is a lot of planning to do! The dress is finished, the food ordered and basically everything else finished as well, so I am confident everything will go fine :)

In September we spent two weeks in Strasbourg/France. At first I worked on the Carousel Blanket but at some point I couldn't carry it around in my hand bag anymore. Plus we found this cute danish shop and guess what... they had yarn! Very lovely cotton yarn and well, I managed to resist for two days and then gave in to my yarn cravings. 

I wanted to try the Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket pattern for some time and the cotton yarn just seemed perfect for it! The pattern is very easy and the blanket looks so pretty! I made a mistake in the first blanket I made resulting in it not lying flat (doesn't matter though, the blanket is still great! :)). The pattern is fast track on the way to become my favorite blanket pattern next to the C2C pattern!

At the moment I am still working on the second blanket and I am playing a bit of yarn chicken. Fingers crossed the blue/teal yarn will be enough to finish the last row...  

So, I need to go back to wedding stuff!

Take care and crochet hard

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Carousel CAL - Part Three

The Pentagons are finally here!

Part Three of the Carousel Crochet-Along, designed by Sue Pinner and hosted by Stylecraft Yarns has just been posted, and is available to download NOW from the Stylecraft website, in English (US and UK), German and Dutch.

If you haven't set up a Ravelry project yet, the pattern page can be found here:  

We are working the CAL along with you all (Anne in the new Batik yarn, and Michelle in Special DK, and will post our tips and tricks for each part at the same time as the pattern is published over at the Stylecraft website. Anne is still catching up after her holidays :)

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments or on our Facebook page ( - we are here to help you. Anne is doing the German translations for the CAL again, so ask away in German too!

Part Three, the Pentagons:

Note: All the below tips use US terminology.

Our top tips for the Pentagons are:

1. Yep, I'm recommending standing stitches again! 

For these cute little pentagons, you'll mostly need the joining standing stitch rather than the stacked one, as you change colour for each row.

Standing dc (US) or tr (UK) tutorial by Moogly

2. Finding the colour lists hard to follow? I've made a handy table for the colours of each row for each pentagon, in both yarn types, that you can download here:

Part 3 - Pentagons - Special DK

Part 3 - Pentagons - Batik DK

If you're using other colours, you can download the Word doc tables and find/replace with your colour plan here: 

Part 3 - Pentagons - Word Doc (both yarns)

3. To keep track of colours whilst working a round at a time on each pentagon (so if you prefer to do all the Round 2, then all the Round 3, etc), pin a little piece of paper with the pentagon number into the centre of each piece! You can then leave the pinned paper attached to the middle for as long as you like - as you can see in my finished picture at the top of this post, I left them on until all were joined in.

I used sewing pins because I like to live dangerously, but it would probably be safer and less owwie if you used little safety pins. 

4. Join Pentagon 1 to a Cream band! Then, as you go around, you'll be joining the Cream pentagon to a Lipstick/Cherry band, and the Lipstick/Cherry pentagon to a Cream band :) 

5. The Join As You Go method of joining is fabulous - no sewing! In case you're not experienced in this yet (and you will be by the end of this beautiful Carousel), here's what I did, which might help you.


First Pentagon - The instructions are lovely and detailed for this first join, you shouldn't need any help from me!

Second - Fifteenth Pentagons

Side 2, First Joined Corner: after the dc in the corner space of the pentagon you're doing the final round of (we will call this PentagonA), do ch1, then slst into the corner space of the pentagon you're joining to (PentagonB from here on). Ch1 again, then do your second dc into PentagonA. (slst into corresponding dc of PentagonB, dc into next st of PentagonA) to the end of the row, and then slst into the second last dc of PentagonB, dc into corner space of PentagonA, slst into last dc of PentagonB. 

Side 3, Second Joined Corner: slst into corner space of PentagonB, ch1, slst into first st of banding strip. 

dc again in corner space of PentagonA, then (slst into next dc of banding strip, dc into next dc of PentagonA) to the end of the row. 

dc into the corner space of Pentagon A, slst to the last st of the banding strip, ch2.

Then, continue finishing off the last row of your pentagon as normal :)

Sixteenth Pentagon

Side 2, First Joined Corner: same as above.

Side 3, Second Joined Corner: same as above.

Side 4, Third Joined Corner: dc into corner space of PentagonA, slst to the last st of the banding strip, ch1.

Then, slst to the corner space of the first pentagon you joined (We'll call this PentagonC for ease of reference). dc into the PentagonA corner space again, slst to the first dc of PentagonC. (dc into next st of PentagonA, slst into next st of PentagonC) to end of row.

Side 5, Fourth Joined Corner: dc into corner space of PentagonA, slst to the last st of the row of PentagonC. ch1, slst into corner space of PentagonC, ch1, then finish off the last row of PentagonA as normal.

We hope these tips help you! 

Check back here in two weeks on Tuesday 18 October for Part Four - the Shaped Hexagons :)