Crochet for Kidney Research

“So how is this supposed to work? Will all of us be working on the very same blanket?” was one of the main questions when I started introducing German crocheters to the idea of a baby blanket CAL. Consequently, “who gets to have it in the end” was among those questions too.

Now, as the CAL is up and going, everyone knows that they are working on their very own blankets but somehow the idea of several people working on the same blanket stuck with me. And all of a sudden I realized that this is exactly what Natasja over at crochettime has been asking for since early September. I have been following Natasja and her blog for quite some time and still I failed to notice several of her posts on Crochet for Kidney Research …. Skimming over the wordpress reader I took all those pretty squares she has been posting lately for parts of a blanket she is working on herself. Mistake!

Fortunately, there are about 20 days left and I’ll do my best to make up for it!

Here’s the story behind, copied from Natasja’s blog:

Why Kidney Research UK: My husband, John, met someone who suffered from full kidney failure a year ago. Pieter had been on dialysis for 4 years and on the Organ Donor’s List. John was so moved by his suffering and story, that he decided he would donate one of his kidneys to him. Over the months of compatibility tests they became the best of friends, during which time we learnt that they were a very good match. The transplant operation was on 27. November 2012 and went extremely well. John’s donation also made history by being the first directed altruistic organ donation in the UK. It’s now 9 months later and they are both in very good health. Pieter wants to pay it forward and recently became a Board Member of the Kidney Research UK “Making EVERY Kidney Count” appeal. Pieter has committed to raise £150,000 over three years. I want to help him in the only way I know how: crochet.”

Natasja wants to make blankets for dialysis patients and needs our help. Those blankets shall be made from squares that are supposed to look like this:

“Any design of square, as long as it’s close to 15cm squared and you stick to shades of purple and white (as these are the official colors of Kidney Research UK). Please do not use wool as it may shrink or felt when the recipients wash their blankets on a too warm wash. Acrylics and cottons are best.” (See her ravelry group for even more information).

All had in my stash was two purple cotton balls that I would use to immediately start my first squares. So far it’s looking good and I think I’ll manage to make at least another three tonight.

purple aquares

Now, why don’t you join in too? Once you’re done you may want to register here to get Natasja’s address. There are so many crocheters out there – we should be able to provide Natasja with the squares for at least one blanket, don’t you think?

Have a great week!

The Purple Lace

My sister is 50 today. She’ll have a party at her house and then on Thursday her and her family – brother-in-law, my 3 nephews, and 2 nieces – will drive all the way up to Berlin to stay with us for a long weekend and to celebrate some more.

The house is getting ready (I am counting couches, bedsteads, and mattresses …) and so are we.

And YES, I did finish the lace in time! In spite of my quarrelling, unraveling, and whining 🙂 When halfway through, I actually loved making it. The color is gorgeous, the feel is just how I wanted it to be, and the pattern is beautiful.

So, pleased as I am, I am posting more pictures than usual.

purple lace scarf

purple lace scarf

purple lace scarf

purple lace scarf

purple lace scarf

purple lace scarf

Lace & me

It’s getting there, slowly, but steadily. 50 cm (= 19.2 in.) so far.


Knitting … and unraveling, knitting … and unraveling, knitting … Why? I don’t know. Even though the pattern is not complicated at all, something makes me add a loop where there’s not supposed to be one, while loosing another and only realizing it several rows later. Exhausting at times and if it wasn’t for my sister …

Luckily, Caityrosey foreshadowed (between the lines) that it might take some time to love lace knitting. Fortunately, AnastasiaMW knew that blocking helps to even out stitches. I am grateful for all comments and support. I needed support. And to be honest – I still do. Part of the lovely purple yarn was twisted and ragged, I had to use new strands twice. Hence, I have several ends now to sew up instead of just two.

Any suggestions anyone how to finish a lace scarf (once I am done …) with those ugly ends being invisible?  How do I weave them in? Thanks so much for your help!

Lace Debut

I never thought much about lace scarves. To be honest: I never thought about doing anything lace at all. Until, very early this year, All She Wants To Do Is Knit started blogging about lace, “lazy-ness,” and her wedding shawl. Trying to decide on a pattern, she suggested several she had found on Ravelry – and that is exactly how lace got me …

So, here I was: admiring the most beautiful shawls ever, with my elder sister in mind who will be turning 50 in May. Consequently, I (finally!) went to the store on Tuesday to get lace yarn. I picked a bright purple in 100% merino wool to make a scarf for my sister! And somehow it feels different than any other project I have started so far: well-thought-out, mature, deliberate – does that make sense?

lace yarn

The very nice gentleman in the store helped me choose a pattern and I could hardly wait to get started last night! It’s an easy one, a “beginner kit” so to speak. The lace is not too thin (I am knitting with size 3,5 needles = US 4), the pattern repeats itself every four rows, and the rows are not too long either.

I had found the pattern rather by chance and I have to admit it was not love at first sight – until I saw what Avelinux had made out of it. If only bright green would be my sister’s color I would have copied Avelinux’ version of the shawl without hesitation. Besides, the vendor (who was more of an advisor) convinced me that all those fancy patterns I had in mind, those lovely feathers, flowers, and spider webs, are nothing to start with as a debutant … So I am making the “Little Leaf Lace Scarf” and I love it. So far, I have knitted an inch …

By the way, did I mention that my sister’s birthday is May 7? 🙂 Hence, not much posting on my side for the next days. I need to KNIT!

Purple Crocus

March has never been that cold in Berlin for the last 130 years, that’s what they said in today’s papers. I can’t speak for 130 years but at least over the last 40 years I don’t remember searching (or – later in life – assisting the Easter bunny in hiding … 🙂 ) Easter eggs in ankle-deep snow myself.

However, there’s hope! See what I discovered in our garden today: New life!


In this spirit, Happy Easter to all spring (and candy) lovers out there.