Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas

 

What a year it's been. I had a bumpy start, but it luckily only got better. Oh, how I love this place and how much it has helped me ahead. It's great to experience what color and some stimulating comments can do in ones' life.


This is some the stuff that came out of my hands and head these last twelve months. It makes me so happy to see all this color!


Before I take my loooong vacation, I wanted to take the time to thank you all for visiting me. For the compliments, the support and the inspiration you gave me. I loved doing it and hope to have inspired some of you.


And for now I will wish you all a very merry christmas and a festive new year! May it be colorful and happy and may we see each other then!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Inspiration


I was spoiled last week at Sinterklaas. I asked for the Haken en Kleur book and got it! Yes! I was extra excited, 'cause I'm going to the book signing next saturday at Echtstudio


The writers of the book, Saskia and Claire, work with just as many colors as I do, so the book is very inspiring. The pictures show you some of the patterns I really like. I'm sure I'm going to make the yellow shawl, and I love the colorful flower tote... 


Got another lovely present. A big wallet from Santoro. Last week when we were in Antwerpen at Akotee, I was checking this out, not noticing my man keeping an eye on me. I was totally surprised he got this for me. It makes me instantly happy just looking at it. (Even if it's empty...)


And this is what I'm working on now. Still finishing the coasters. I think this pattern is going to be in my shop, as are the coasters themselves. Can anyone tell me, how do you make a pdf pattern. Do you make a chart or a description? Is it possible to just draw a cart and make a picture, or does it have to be digital?

Anywho, am also (finally!) finishing the granny baby blanket and loving it to pieces. 

Have a pinkish monday!



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PS. Does anybody have suggestions for crochet drawing software for Mac??

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Crocheters Block


I've never experienced this before. I feel a bit flustered... I don't know what to crochet these days. I start all kinds of patterns, but don't fall in love like I'm used to. My Etsy shop is in my mind all day and I wonder what to sell, and if my work is good enough. I'm afraid the yarn ends will come loose, or it deforms after washing or stuff like that. I know, I'm a bit of a wimp!


I've been postponing this moment for over a year now. It makes me kind of nervous. It's quite a commitment, if you ask me. Well, others might disagree... It's just an online shop. But I have to make sure my work is high quality. And I have to send it on time. And on top of it all, I will have to learn how to work with Paypal... Been postponing that too.


I feel like such a nerd. What's the big deal? I can just open up the shop, see if anyone would like to buy my stuff, and make a little money during the process. No big deal. If no one wants to buy it, I just close the shop, right? Or wait a bit longer (patience is not my strong point). I know, I KNOW! I just have to JUMP. Gonna make the pic's next week. And the text too.


I did find a lovely color combination yesterday. And am trying to make a new pattern for some coasters. Yes I know, AGAIN... I just love them so much! What d'you think?


One more note. I came across this post at Dada's Place. She used my pattern and I'm in love with the result. It's so much fun to see how others use your pattern. I also like the change of the center. Works perfectly. Oh, and I absolutely LOVE her colors! Go over there and check it out.


Anywho, this was an extra post. I will see you all on monday!


Have an uproarious day! (I could have said stormy, but liked this translation better... It's gonna be a stormy day here in Holland).


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Nog een opmerking voor mijn Nederlandse lezers: Op 14 december aanstaande is er een signeersessie van Claire en Saskia en hun boek Haken en Kleur, bij Echtstudio in Alphen aan den Rijn. Ik ben erbij. Kom jij ook?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Yarn Talk


The last few weeks I got several questions about the yarn I use. I thought I'd answer you all in a post about it. I use a lot of different brands, because I need the colors to be just right, and haven't found a brand yet that has all the colors I love. They are all (more or less) the same quality and thickness.


For cushion covers, coasters, potholders and other small projects I use about 5 brands of the same type yarn. I use Schachenmayr SMC Catania, Phil Coton 3, Rio (this one is significantly cheaper), Katia Capri and Cotton Quick. The last one I only discovered recently (I don't have a picture of the label... I'm not so organized with yarn). This shop sells 4 of these brands. Because you all come from different countries I'm not sure which ones can be ordered or bought in you country. Just look for the brands on the internet and I'm sure you'll find something. It's all mercerized cotton and I use a 3,5 mm hook. There are other brands too that have the same quality.


For blankets I use a thicker yarn. I use 3 different brands and just mix them, the same as I do with my other yarn. I use Creative Cotton, Drops Paris and the yellow I use is Catania Grande (I don't like the other colors of this brand). The last brand is mercerized, that's why I only use it for the center of squares or circles,  otherwise it would be noticeable it's a different yarn. (The first 2 brands aren't mercerized). Some people don't like the first 2 brands, 'cause it splits easily, but I really don't mind that so much. You need to use a smooth high quality hook and than you'll be fine. I really like the softness of this yarn and the great great colors! And on top of all that, it's really inexpensive!


I did only a little crochet this last week. Still busy designing and making coasters. I've always loved the African Flower Hexagon, but never used it before. I thought they might make some nice happy coasters... And they did!! I used Pigtails' tutorial. (Thank you Magda!).


There's also some unfinished business I'm transforming into something else. Started it ages ago and don't like the color combination anymore. So it's going to be something else...


A last remark on the yarn: Echtstudio is a great yarn shop. It's in the town where I live, so I'm very lucky, but it's also possible to order. (I'm not sure if you can order from abroad though...)

Hope this was helpful. Enjoy your day!

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Cheating...


Yes, I know, I would be talking Christmas Crochet Gifts last week... Well, I was having a little  crochet meltdown. I did crochet some christmas gifts (some would say they are easter gifts...), but after my third egg cozy, I flipped. Nothing is as boring as repeating a single crochet (in the same color no less) for who knows how many rounds. This is why I've never made a single amigurumi in my life, it's plain BORING!!! To me it is anyway...


So I started an affaire. With FELT. Wanted to make some christmas ornaments and found this pin in Pinterest. How lovely are they? And since felt is an old lover of mine, I went back to my ex for a bit. It's so fun and easy. No loose ends to finish of, no endless yarn, no hook. Just some felt (in every color of the rainbow), a needle and a few buttons here and there and your DONE.


And although I haven't made a lot, my affair didn't last long. I'm missing my True Love already. I need to get me another yarn fix. A hook, some stitches, the familiar feeling of RSI in my wrist... What can I say, I'm a hooker through and through...



Anywho, how do you like the felt mustaches?? Thought they were an extra nice feature during Movember...


Made a new potholder pattern too. I saw something like this in my mother in law's kitchen. They were about a hundred years old and clearly ready for replacing, so I made these for her. I really like the pattern. It's so easy and they look stylish. I think I'll make a few pair for my Etsy shop (opening in January...)


I might be out for the rest of the week. These are busy times. In Holland we not only celebrate christmas, but also Sinterklaas. Our kids are out of their minds with tension and this will last for 3 weeks (another 1 and a half to go). After that, there's christmas and after new years normal life will start again... Oh, how great is december??!!

Have an over easy monday.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas Presents Inspiration I


I know it's earl, but when you plan on making some of your christmas presents, now would be the time to start, if you ask me. I don't like rushing everything at the last minute. This year I'm making coasters. They are useful to anyone and also easy to make. On top of it all, there are a million different patterns to find on both the internet as in books. 


This pattern is to be found here, on the blog Karin aan den haak. You will be finished quite fast and it's fun experimenting with color. I made a pastel rainbow version. (Everybody knows how I love rainbows...). Was done in about one and a half hours.


This pattern I got from this book (for Dutch readers this book). There are lots of nice patterns in this book. I got it in the Japanese version when I lived in Thailand a few years ago. I love it when I suddenly think of a pattern from an 'old' book and get inspired all over again! 


This is a very simple granny square coaster. I used this pattern (my own) for the edge. You can see that the colors of most of the coasters are kind of plain and boring compared to my usual work. That's because most people in my environment can't handle the normal amount of color I use... I totally restrained myself... Well, a little at least.


Although I haven't made these (yet) I wanted to share this pattern with you. I found it on Pinterest. You can find it here. I love it. It looks so sunny and delicious!


And last but not least, I found this pattern. It's from Anabelia. I changed it a little bit, 'cause mine were getting a bit big, probably because of my choice of yarn or hook. So they look a little different from the ones you will find on her blog. I really like them anyways... Do you?

This whole week is going to be about crocheted christmas presents. Hopefully I'll find some other fun small projects. Do you have other ideas for simple christmas presents? And have you started yet??

Have an anything but blue monday!

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Unfinished Business


The last few days I started to loose oversight of what I'm doing... There are too many projects!! It kind of stresses me out. Do you ever get this??

 

There is the place mats from the Mollie Makes Book. I started one and am just over half way. I must say, I never really like the same stitch and the same color over and over when I'm creating. It gets kind of boring doing it. (Something one would do while watching TV, which I don't anymore...). The result would be so pretty, but I have to find some perseverance in myself.
I also got started on some christmas gifts. I have to be discrete 'cause you never know who's watching, but I'm making something anyone could use and is still doable in the amount of time I have left.


Then there is the Scraps Project. I still haven't decided if it's going to be a blanket or a cushion... Am almost done finishing of the loose ends (from what I have now). I think it would be very pretty as a baby blanket...


Started this on monday evening, when I had a friend over for a crochet night. Maybe I'll make a bag out of this, or will I... So many choices to make, it's driving me MAD!


And I can never restrain myself from starting new projects. I love this color scheme... Blanket or cushion??

 

I think you get the picture of how disorganized I feel (and am) at the moment. And even though I know I should just finish something before I start something new, I can never withhold myself.  


Another idea I got on mondaynight. It's the same block as the Scraps Project... Works with the thicker yarn too. And will be finished faster... Or should I just wait a while???????

Have a (hopefully) relaxing weekend!




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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Flower Extravagance


So as promised I'll give you the sources of the flowers I made last week. Do you have that sometimes, you just feel like crocheting some flowers? I do, although I almost never know what to do with them. I just love to make them and look at them. Just look at this sunny colorful picture above, doesn't it instantly make you happy??


The flower in the left upper corner and the one in the right lower corner are from the Mollie Makes Crochet Book. I especially like the Folk Daisy pattern (lower right). It's very simple and looks so pretty! These patterns are designed by Emma Lamb. All the patterns come with a written description (there are no charts though...).


I have had this book for about 4 years and must admit, don't use it often. But since my crochet skills improved I thought I'd give it another go. 


There are so many patterns in this book. To everyones taste there are different flowers. And not only does it contain crochet patterns, you could also get your knit groove on.


This flower is my favorite. I think it looks sooo pretty. I'm gonna try and make a six petal version too.



This flower is one of my all time favorites. I made a tote with this pattern once (something old perhaps...). It's from the lovely blog Colour In a Simple Life and you'll find very clear instructions to try it yourself. I made a petal shaped hexagon behind it.


But I must say, this pattern is the most fun. Sooooo easy and instantly rewarding. For the people that don't read charts a quick explanation.
Make a magic circle (or chain 4, ss). 12 single crochet in the loop, ss. Change color. *ch 1, 3 double crochet into the next stitch, ss into the next stitch*. Just repeat *to* all around, to make 6 petals.


This one is also easy. I made a chart for you to read. (Sorry, chart illiterates, no written explanation...) The second round (the double crochets) is optional. I actually like them with and without. 

Now there's only one problem left. What to do with this lovely bunch of flowers? I figured I might decorate my christmas gifts with them. Or the tree in my little ones' room... Do you have any ideas for me??

Hope to have inspired you! Happy wednesday!

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