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Monday, 27 April 2015

Crochet Challenge: square

About one and a half week ago I stumbled upon a rather interesting blog. It's author, Isabelle Kessedjian is organising a weekly crochet challenge. There is a theme, and you have the week to invent and create something corresponding to that theme. You are not supposed to follow a pre-existing pattern but other than that you are pretty free to do whatever you like!

This is my very first participation and I am quite excited about it. The theme of the week is: "square".

It took me a little while to think about it, then I decided to make dish-/wash-cloths.

Crochet size: 4mm
Yarn: Cotton in yellow and peach
Size: about 20x20cm
Stitches used (UK): Chain, Slip Stitch, Double Crochet, Treble Crochet

1st Colour:
 
I first chained about 35 stitches + 3 for my 1st treble.
Then 3 rows of Tr, 4 rows of Dc, 6 rows of Tr, 4 rows of Dc, 6 rows of Tr, 4 rows of Dc and 3 rows of Tr.
Afterwards I Dc-ed all around as basis for my edge.

2nd Colour:

Dc all around.
Then Shell edging (instructions there). I won't repeat the instructions, they are quite clear on that blog. I will also try to practice the other types of edging in the near future :)

The result:
For the "museum" :)
I still need to steam-block them, they are also a little clumsy. I did not pay enough attention (was watching "Frozen" with my little ones!) and made some counting mistakes. It does not really matter though, I am looking forward to using them.

Have a look at the other participations now and wait for my next posts, I am preparing several right now!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Un Mot, des titres : session 31

Cela devient une très mauvaise habitude... me voici encore une fois en retard! Cette fois-ci j'ai même commencé le livre le 14 au soir :( Toutes mes excuses Calypso!

Une autre habitude, fâcheuse aussi: choisir des livres qui sont en réalité des Tomes 2 ou 3!

Pour le mot "Peur" j'ai choisi le livre :

Jean-sans-Peur, de Michel Zévaco


Ce livre est précédé de "L'Hôtel Saint Pol", ils ont tous les deux été publiés en 1911. Jean sans Peur est Jean 1er de Bourgogne, il aspire au trône de France qui est occupé par le roi Charles VI (dont la santé mentale est plus que vacillante). Nous sommes au XVème siècle, en 1407. Deux partis se disputent: les Armagnacs et les Bourguignons.

Malgré le titre, l'histoire ne tourne par particulièrement autour du personnage de Jean de Bourgogne. Au contraire, le personnage principale est un certain Chevalier Hardy de Passevant. Nous rencontrons un sorcier qui expériemente avec la mémoire, la vie et la mort, à la recherche de l'acte suprême et de la vie éternelle. Notre Chevalier de Passevant se retrouve comme un pion, utilisé par la reine, utilisé par Jean sans Peur, utilisé par le sorcier, mais à chaque fois il s'en sort et semble avoir une chance inouïe. Il devrait être mort plusieurs fois mais en a réchappé au moins trois à quatre fois. Il est d'un grand courage et son but est de retrouvé sa bien-aimée qu'il croyait morte mais qui est en fait, elle aussi, manipulée par les grands pouvoirs de l'histoire

Très honnêtement je ne sais pas si j'ai réellement apprécié le livre, probablement pas suffisament car je n'ai pas particulièrement envie de lire la première partie. Par contre il était suffisament intéressant pour éveiller ma curiosité par rapport aux faits historiques.


Voilà tout ce que j'ai envie de dire par rapport à Jean sans Peur. C'est peu, je sais, mais je manque d'inspiration pour en dire plus. Le mois prochain sera peut-être meilleur. Je l'espère!

Friday, 10 April 2015

T-shirt garn rug

I've been keeping old t-shirts for a while now, even before getting on Pinterest. Then I found pins on how to cut them to make yarn. So now I'm cutting my t-shirts and making a lot of yarn. One t-shirt gives about 10 meters of yarn. There are also many tutorials for rugs but I decided to give a try to making up my own pattern.

I'm presenting it to you now. It is my first one and I know already that there are mistakes, I'll point them out later with the pictures.

T-shirt yarn rug

Using about 5 to 6 t-shirts with a 10 mm hook
I am using UK terminology / dc = double crochet ; ch = chain ; sl.st = slip stich ; htr = half trebble ; tr = trebble ; ch.sp. = chain space
*..* repeat all around
1-  6dc in a magic ring
2- 2dc in each stitch
3- 2dc in each stitch
4- Ch2 *1dc - ch2* join with sl.st
5- Ch2 *3htr in each ch.sp. - ch1* sl.st in the 1st ch
6- Sl.st in the next ch.sp
7- *4dc in ch.sp - ch1*
 Note = you can stop here to make a table mat

8- Ch3 *Tr in each st*
9- Ch3 *2tr - ch1 - skip 1 st*
10- *ch5 - skip 2 st and sl.st in the 3rd st*
11- In each ch.sp around *dc - htr - tr - htr - dc*

Done!
 So now, let's start with some self-criticism :)

The rug does curl a bit, which I think means that there are too many stitches on one row and you can also see exactly where I started every new row. It's very obviously crooked!!
So I suppose you can give a try to the pattern but there are definitely some adjustments to be made.

On the whole I am quite pleased with the rug's general look. What do you think?

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Adjusting trousers' waist in less than 10min

Online one can find many tutorials on how to adjust the waist of one's trousers. I am glad to read that I am not the only woman on Earth having a "gap" problem!

Last time I bought trousers (about two years ago I think) I tried one technique which consisted of sewing an elastic band to the waist band of the trousers. It worked well enough for me to wear them (with additional belt) during those two years. But I wasn't entirely satisfied, it didn't look nice and had been a hassle to sew.

Yesterday I went shopping again because my previous trousers were too worn (I am planning on upcycling them into short trousers for summer though!). The "gap" still being there, I looked for other ideas on how to get rid of it. There is another technique where one makes two holes to slip through an elastic band and this band is sewn with the machine on both sides to the trousers waist. It seems like a good idea, but I do not like that you cannot adjust it at will. Since I've had my two children I have the tendency to gain and lose weight every few months *annoyed sigh*.

So I've decided to go for the second technique without the sewing-machine part! 

What you need:
A pair of scissors, needle and thread, two buttons, a safety-pin and elastic-band with button-holes
 How to:
Cut a hole inside the trousers waistband
Sew your two buttons a little further away from the hole
Button one end of the elastic, attach the safety pin to the other end, and push it through the hole
Tadaaaa! You're good to go after an under 10minutes job!
Now you have plenty of time left to grab a cup of tea and do something else while knowing that your trousers are adjusted and adjustable :)

I have a few more tutorials to come, I am so happy with crocheting that I have started making up patterns!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Sleepyheads

Good morning!

I am sorry to be so quiet these days, I have a lot to do. I have been planning the opening of an online shop, taking care of alternating sick children and been "out of order twice" myself. Now things seem to be getting back on track and I hope to be able to share the link to my shop very very soon!
You can already check my Facebook page already, just look for "The Giraffe & the Elephant" !

 In the meantime let me show you what I have been busy crocheting this weekend!

 My father-in-law makes wooden jewel, last year I asked him to make a series of little crosses to use in different ways. For Easter I crocheted a long chain (200 chain stitches) to make pendants for my two adorable children. They found them in the garden during the eggs hunt. They loved them!

Now, I don't know if you will remember but I had found on Pinterest a pattern that decided me to learn crochet. It took me a little while to practice my new skills, but finally yesterday I finished them! I present to you our new baby dolls. My son, T. , hasn't named his, but my daughter, N.,  did name hers after me: "Fred" :)

Don't they look adorable? I love amigurumi!
I'll write again soon, I have a lot to show you :)


P.S: sorry for the page settings and text font+colours, I am writing from my phone and struggling to get what I really want. I will correct all this once at home. DONE! ^^
 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter!

I would like to wish you all a very happy Easter! I hope you are enjoying this weekend. In our part of Germany, the weather is whimsical but we are still having a lovely family time :)

Sharing a few pictures of the weather on thursday and of my mother-in-law's Eater "trees". They are very traditional in Germany. I did not have time to make one this year and therefore did not get the chance to win some delicious chocolate on Le Petit Pari.
Next year maybe!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Un mot, des Titres - session 30

Ca y est! Je présente avec un peu de retard - cela devient une mauvaise habitude! - mon article sur ma lecture du mois dont le mot était: Couleur.

J'ai choisi pour l'occasion un livre pour enfants que j'ai découvert il y a quelques années de cela et que j'aime beaucoup:

Le Magicien des Couleurs, Arnold Lobel


Au début de l'histoire le monde de ce magicien est un monde en noir et blanc avec des nuances de gris:
Cela finit par ennuyer le magicien qui décide de descendre expérimenter dans sa cave. Un jour il obtient du bleu. Il peint sa propre maison en bleu et toute la ville le supplie de leur donner cette couleur aussi:
Finalement au bout d'un certain temps tout le monde devient triste, ce qui décide le magicien à essayer de trouver autre chose. Il trouve une autre couleur, tout est repeint en jaune, mais cela ne va pas non plus, puis il trouve le rouge qui finit par mettre tout le monde en colère. Je ne vais pas vous raconter la fin de ce livre mais vous la devinerez sans doute aisément.

Ce livre est très bien pour apprendre les couleurs aux enfants, ainsi que certaines émotions et la relation cause-conséquence. Je pense aussi qu'il est parfaitement adapté comme lecture d'apprentissage du français pour les adultes débutants car il n'est pas infantilisant. C'est un livre très sympatique et agréablement illustré que je vous conseille très vivement!

Au mois prochain pour un nouveau billet avec le mot: "peur" - le challenge est ouvert à tous, pour les francophones et francophiles qui me lisent: n'hésitez pas à aller sur le blog de Calypso, Aperto Libro

Monday, 16 February 2015

Crochet again and again!

It is becoming a real addiction! Worse than when I first got my smartphone I must say!! I crochet when I wake up, I crochet while T. is playing in his room, I crochet while he he sleeping, I crochet before falling asleep... Addicted, I told you!

Several things I have realised: I will not be making a full blanket with my Granny Squares. My current stock of wool isn't big enough and all the skeins are of different sizes, qualities and not all wool, some are poly-acrylic, cotton etc... I am not sure how the blanket would behave after being used, washed etc. So I will add 2 to my current 10, and will make to doll blankets for my children.

I will keep using my scraps and stock to make small things, but for more "serious" projects I am going to have to begin buying proper material. Oooooh the thought of it! I am getting goose-bumps ;)

Want to see what I have been making in  the last days?

Headwarmers based on this pattern from Frayed Knot: 
Since I have used a different size of both hook and wool, I obtained something slightly smaller which is perfect for N. She just loves it!
It was originally intended for me, this raspberry colour fits perfectly with my winter jacket. So I made it again, added two more stitches and therefore four ranks, and I got the perfect size :)
After showing my sisters, two of them have asked if they could also get one! One wants it thin like N.'s but long like mine, the other wants it long like N.'s and large like mine. One in red, one in green. Haven't done the red one just yet, but the green is ready to be shipped to Ireland!
It is longer than expected though, because I lost count of my ranks! I hope it will still fit though.
 I also decided to modify the button-hole a bit. I think it looks prettier like this.

Then if you remember, I was practicing flowers. Here are two that I put on hairclips for my nieces. Just for fun I have called them "The Elsa and Anna Hairclips". My nieces are big fan of "Frozen", so that should make their day when they receive them ;)

 Still while practicing, I was curious to see what it would look like to crochet around a small wooden figure for instance. My children really like those "flower children" and play a lot with them. Children definitely don't need very elaborate toys, do they? At least for now they seem to particularly like what I make! *happy mummy*

 T. was getting jealous of N.'s headwarmer and he wanted something for himself. So I chose the less girly colours I had: black and yellow! And started a bee-beanie with the instructions from Oombawka Design. Again, not exactly the right sizes (hook and wool), but I chose a larger size in order to make up for it. In the end I actually got the announced final size... I still need to figure out when it is really important to use the right hook ;)
 T. was so thrilled! He wears it all the time now. There is one thing I had not thought of though: these are the colours of our town and also of our local football club! So I do not get asked whether he is a little bee, but rather if he is a football fan! The boys at the Kindergarten went crazy this morning because of that. 

I also loaded a few free pattern ebooks on my Kindle. And on the weekend I made dreamcatchers. They take no time to make! For the second one, N. asked to have a go. She helped me through the 2nd round, but she soon gave up. I guess 3,5yo is still a little young to manipulate the hook easily.

Last night I wanted to make a cocoon for the children's dolls and started improvising. It went really well until I realised that I actually did not have enough of the nice thick wool. So I finished it with a much thinner and angora like black wool. I like how the colours and textures contrast, but I now have a sort of "empty-your-pockets" bowl for which I have no use and nobody in my family seem to want it... Maybe I'll try to sell it ;)

 And finally, I finished just before lunch a doll cocoon from Cre8tion Crochet. I again used the material I have so: thin wool and small crochet. I wanted it to be a test for a real size version that I will make for my sister who is a professional photographer. It is rather easy to make and the result is stunning! I cannot wait to make it bigger!

 T. was standing next to me during the last 10 ranks, asking if it was for "Claude" (the doll), if I was soon done. At the moment I am writing, he is napping with "Claude" in his cocoon. I am sure he will show it first thing to his sister when she comes back from the Kindergarten!! 

I am done for today. Going back to my sewing-machine now and to my hook later on ;) I will very soon have more to post! I actually still have a lot to write about, some stuff was done around Christmas time, but time is lacking and I sometimes find it difficult to keep writing, sewing, crochetting as well as house-chores, taking care of the children... I just hope the few readers that I have will not hold a grudge against me for not being more regular on this blog.