Category Archives: Yarn

Toys and Candy

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This week I ordered a box of yarn I never used before. Usually I try to knit and crochet with all natural yarns, so only wool or cotton, sometimes a bit of linen.

I never used synthetic yarns. But because they certainly have their advantages, I thought it might be a good idea to try  and when I want to try something it doesn’t mean I buy 1 skein. So yesterday a huge box was delivered with all 73 colors available of Stylecraft Special DK. 

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The choice for this yarn was made after doing some research; reading about different yarns, looking at pictures of projects made with various yarns and looking what yarns are popular. Isn’t Ravelry the most wonderful place?

But now what to do with it?

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The idea is to knit in fair-isle technique and to make something inspired by patterns from all over the world. So not only Scandinavian stars, or patterns used for Latvanian mittens, but also inspired by geometrical African patterns, woven Chinese fabrics or Japanese kimono fabrics.  It is fun to collect these patterns and designs and to translate them into something that can be knitted.

Hopefully it works out; at least I’m having a good time!

Groetjes, Dorien

A huge surprise and an important question

A little while ago I received a question for using one of the photographs of my Happy Colours Blanket. The person asking was making a series of chapters  about designing with color. Every chapter is published separately, and is also available in an audio format. Of course I said she could use the picture(s). And in our correspondence I mentioned I was already an admirer of her work; her yarns look really amazing.

Now you’re wondering about who I’m talking. Her shop is called colorshiftyarn, and the very kind Erica Heftmann is the owner. Her self dyed yarns look absolutely yummie. Her trademark is yarns in gradated colours, inviting the knitter to create the most wonderful items.

As a thank you, she promised me to send me some yarn, and this weekend her package arrived.

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This isn’t at all what I expected; so many colours, looking already beautiful in this package.

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Wonderful Autumn colours, browns, oranges, yellows and greens; such a great palette. I already know what to make with them: a new scarf with leaves and flowers in Autumn colours, maybe some acorns and pumpkins too. I did make such a scarf before, but I want to try and make more different shapes and some actual Fall flowers. Before using this soft, gorgeous yarn, I’ll try and figure out some patterns with scraps and leftovers.

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Finally, I have a question for you. The Happy Colours Blanket is a huge succes and the tutorial has been used by lots of people to make a huge variety of projects. I would love to make a kind of collage of these projects. So if you have made a blanket, a pillow, a bag or anything else, using the tutorials for the Happy Colours Blanket, I would love it if you could send me a picture of your finished project. If you have a blog it would be great if you mention the URL, because then I can link to you. If you don’t have a blog, that’s perfectly fine too; then I will just mention your (first) name. On the right side bar of this blog, you can find a button “EMAIL”, please use this to send me your pictures. I’m really looking forward to seeing them.

Groetjes, Dorien

Happy Stash

One of the things that make me very happy, is stash. Fabric or yarn; both are very valuable to me and I love to add to my stash. It’s not about having; it’s all about going through it time and again, and think about all the possibilities, but also about not having to wait whenever I have an idea to work out.

So last week I told you about learning to know about a (to me) new yarn: Catania Cotton (Schachenmayr). And I love working with it. So much!

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It’s smooth, it doesn’t split, it has a great shine without being too shiny, and it comes in the incredible amount of 51 colours.

If you’ve read this  blog before, you just might know that our kitchen is being renovated. This comes with a lot, and I mean A LOT of noise. So at the end of the week I was kind of feeling sorry for myself and I thought it would make my day to give myself a little present. Only….I couldn’t choose so it became a rather large present.

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This definitely made me feel better!!

All I had to do now, was put it in a box. Well, I don’t just put it in a box. I have all my stash in transparent boxes, but the yarns I have a lot of, like Drops Safran, Finlandia Shetland and now, Catania Cotton, I also make sample-cards with name and number.

It takes a few hours to do this, but I love having these little cards. Whenever I’m looking for colours to make something, I don’t have to use the skeins themselves; it’s easy to take them if I need some fabric or buttons to go with the colours, and whenever I run out of a colour, it’s easy to find out the number to re-order it.

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So, here it is: a completely filled box with the cards in a zipper bag on top.

When I was doing all this, I was wondering: how do you organize your stash??

Groetjes, Dorien

Something New and Something Old

 

Usually I’m using Drops Safran for almost every crochet project I work on. This time I was asked to make skirt guards with the exact colours of the rainbow (as a symbol for the LGBT Community), and this wasn’t possible with the Safran. The colours just aren’t bright enough. So I went out to look for a different brand in the same category and I think this just might be right. It is Catania Cotton from Schachenmayr. The skirt guards are going to be different from the usual in the way that I’m going to make 2 rows with small flowers. A new challenge to get this right: different design and different yarn.

I’ve told you before that we are renovating the kitchen. Last weekend it was finally completely stripped; walls, ceiling and floor: all was gone.

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And especially the space under the floor was filled with a lot of rubbish, but also something very nice:

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A paper half as old as our house

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Unfortunately it couldn’t be touched without falling apart to crumbles, so all I could do was quickly make a picture before it was gone. Too bad; I would have loved to read the paper and see not only what the news back then was, but also in what way the language was different from today.

Groetjes, Dorien

Busy as a Bee

 

Sometimes nothing really happens, and then all of a sudden everything seems to happen at the same time. This last week was such a week. I’ve spent more hours in the chair of the dentist then I’ve ever done before; really, this man needs another hobby! Then on Friday I went to the annual exhibition of the National Quilters Guild. It was only 5 minutes walk away from my home, so I couldn’t resist.
Now there is this funny thing about this exhibition, and every time I go, I come home with the same feeling. The quilts are really beautiful, and very well made (far better than I ever could do), but the style is very conservative. There are only a few quilts you could call innovatory, and that makes me a bit sad. Maybe it is just the wrong place for me. But I do want to show the masterpiece of the exhibition.

It is called ‘Hot Africa’, and made by Janneke de Vries. On her website you can find more detailes from this beautiful piece of art.

Sunday was special too. For the first time in a few decades, my husband and I went to a concert; The Wall by Roger Waters. It was great!! I really hope it’s not going to take this long before we can go to another concert, because it really is such a nice way of spending time together.

As for crafting: I received a package I ordered, and I can’t show too much, because it is going to be a gift for someone who reads this blog occasionally.

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Actually, it is about the yarn, but the fabric might give a little clue.

Then on my table: fabric, lots of fabric.

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These fabrics don’t match at all, but then they don’t have to. I’m making new blouses for myself.

And last but not least, I think I found a new hobby for myself, or maybe it is just Midlife Crisis??

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Well, I guess this is enough for now. Hope you are having a great time too!

Groetjes, Dorien

Gifts

Today I want to show you some gifts I’ve gotten this week.

As you might know, we have a host son from Chili, and he asked his parents to send us some gifts. Did I say some?? Two days ago, 2 large boxes arrived, filled with the most awesome gifts for all of us. He just wanted to show his appreciation!!

All of the gifts, for each person, were very thoughtful. So can you guess what was in the boxes for me? Right, yarn. 1200 grams of beautiful, naturally dyed yarn.

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Three skeins, quite bulky yarn, and with it, a pair of beautiful wooden knitting needles.

Yesterday, another package arrived.  It was the quilt for the New Beginnings Swap.

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It has travelled all the way from New Zealand, and in this detail picture you can see that the maker used New Zealand as inspiration. All these fabrics represent native trees. Most of them I’d never heard from. But isn’t that one of the nice aspects of swaps; learning about other countries and their habits and nature!

You can see the quilt I made here.

Groetjes, Dorien

Dyeing Yarn

Hello! How nice of you to stop by. Yesterday J. got back home from his camp, so the next days I am alone with him. And immediately the first day, we got to do what we both like so much: playing a game. We are the only two members of this family who like to do so, and I must admit, that it made me quite happy, when he asked me to play with him.

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This picture was taken right after we started, so the piles with money on both sides are quite equal. Now we are taking a break, and I’m not brave enough to make a picture now!

This morning, I finally did something I was wanting to do for a very, very long time. It started with this:

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Beautiful, soft Merino soaking in the sink.

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made:

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These jars were put inside a pan with a layer of water in it. I squeezed the water a bit out of the yarn, and put it in the jars.

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All the yarn had to be soaked in the lemonade, and then the water had to be brought to a boil. Fire out, and wait until it has cooled of.

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Then when taking out the yarn, it was clear where all the colour went:

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I gave the yarn a good rinse, and now I have this beautiful coloured skein.

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This is really a lot of fun; it’s clean and quick. Now only the kitchen has this rather sweet smell. Too bad, Kool Aid isn’t available in our country.

Groetjes, Dorien

What does a girl need??

Housekeeping is not my favourite way to spend time. But there is one exception; ironing! I just love to do that. Put some music on, clear the table to put all the piles on, and iron a couple of baskets away. But this week my back was hurting so much, that my husband didn’t want me to do it. Usually, I’m quite stubborn and do it anyway, but this week he was home so many days, that there wasn’t a moment for me to do it. And he did! So sweet! It took him like forever, but he managed to get everything in the closets by the end of the morning.

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And he did all of it; even the fabrics I got last week! How amazing is that.

This month there was a sale of Drops yarn in Holland. Quite a lot of the different yarns of Drops-Garnstudio were for sale with 30% off. And because I really like to create things, just with what I have in stash, I should have a large stash, don’t you think? Well, any excuse is welcome to go and buy some lovely yarn.

There are a few varieties of Drops I already have almost every colour of in my stash, but this last year I started to use Delight, a beautiful fingering weight yarn with fabulous colour transitions. So I indulged myself and bought a few skeins.

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some blues

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some green and brown

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purple shades.

Well, to be honest, I just bought every shade they had……

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twice….

 

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Now what more does a girl need then a husband who does the laundry and a basket full of yarn??

 

Groetjes, Dorien