Category Archives: Books

Meeting again

Just a quick post to let you know I’m still around…. kind of. The past couple of weeks have gone by so fast, and still there is not really much to tell you.


This is a chair I have upholstered nearly 5 years ago. I just liked to play with the fabrics and try to make something out of this plain grey chair. It is still one of my favorite pieces in the house and it is holding up quite nicely.


I had some fabrics left and this time I used them for something much easier: a simple draught excluder.


It is just half an inch too long, but I did that on purpose, because the draught on this door is really too much, and this way it definitely will help ( I at least hope so).


And then there is this:


This year I didn’t have any New Years resolutions but one; to read more books in English. It is so easy to read only Dutch translations, but as one of the reasons I started this blog was because I wanted to improve my English, there are more ways to do so, and reading is actually one of the most obvious. So for a good start, I bought these three novels ( and read the first two).

P1020732 P1020731 P1020725

The covers of these books are simply amazing, don’t you think?

Groetjes, Dorien

A little bit of everything



Quite a pile of books, isn’t it? These are the books I read since my last post, and I didn’t read any more than usual. It just has been so long ago.

Nothing really happened, just life; work, study, family, dog,  holiday, books, museums/exhibitions and a bit of crochet every day.

So I guess I’ll just kind of randomly show bits and pieces of these last few months, hoping I can get back to a normal number of 1 or 2 posts a week.

The first exhibition was ‘The Oasis of Matisse’


The special thing about Matisse was the diversity of techniques he used. Started as a painter he tried a variety of styles and slowly he worked towards his cuttings. But even the themes and shapes he used there, were also present in a lot of other works:


Stained Glass


A Woven Wallhanging

The other exhibition I’ve visited was the wonderful ‘Late Rembrandt

Although rather crowded, it was absolutely amazing. Of course I’d seen pictures of this painter before, but never so many of his works together, and that was phenomenal.

Just 2 of my favorites:


The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis


Reading Old Lady – detail

Both museums are on a large square in Amsterdam, and only last week something very odd but beautiful was shown there: Waterlicht by Studio Rosegaarde. I was very lucky to be there and although not as beautiful as the real thing, maybe this picture can give you an idea.


Then, I travelled; together with my son I made went to a beautiful city. I think you can guess where….?!

Triomf van Sint Ignatius van Loyola - detail (America en Europa) - Andrea Pozzo

Spaanse Trappen



I made over 400 pictures in just 4 days. I think it is best to leave it at these four.

Last but not least a little preview of what I working on. It’s almost finished, and I think I like it that much that I will write a pattern for it.

P1000678 P1000680

Groetjes, Dorien


PS: 2 jaar geleden heb ik een vertaling gemaakt van Jam Mades patroon van een olifantje. Helaas heeft zij plotseling haar toestemming hiervoor ingetrokken en mij gevraagd het patroon te verwijderen. Om jullie de kans te geven het patroon toch af te maken als je ermee bezig bent, heb ik besloten het nog 2 weken te laten staan, maar vanaf 5 juni zal het echt weg zijn. Mocht je dus een olifantje aan het haken zijn, of ken je iemand die ermee bezig is, zorg dan dat je niet voor verrassingen komt te staan!

Boho Crochet Book


Finally I can tell you about a little secret I’ve had since last Summer. Back in August I received an email from a lovely woman called Hazel, who asked me if I was interested in having my blankets featured in a crochet book she was making. Of course I was! I never dreamed of something like this.

The book is finally published and has 30 lovely colourful projects, from very small and easy to quite large and a little bit more complicated. Nothing too difficult.


There is a book for the US market and one for the UK. The covers are slightly different, but the content is not, except for the crochet terms, which differ in both countries.


The book contains 2 projects from my hand. The Colourwheel Hexagon Blanket, and of course The Happy Colours Blanket.


Besides these, you can find a range of beautiful designs and projects in the book, all made by different designers.

Edit: The book for the UK is released by Apple Press, the book for US by Martingale.

Groetjes, Dorien

About a church, dresses, hairdo’s, veils and a bit of poison.

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on the Cowl from Scraps. It is always nice to read these kind words.

It has been busy these last few days. The last gifts for December have been made; I will show and tell next week. This weekend we have been back to the town I was born and raised because of my fathers birthday. And since we were a bit early, we had time to go into town for just an hour. Not enough to have a  long walk in this beautiful and old city, but enough to go and visit a world famous book shop.

Dominikanen Maastricht

As you can see it was quite crowded, but it still looks awesome, doesn’t it. This church, Dominikaner in Maastricht, was first build in the 13th century, and during its history it has been destroyed and build again, and around 8 years ago it has been changed into this bookshop.

View from 2nd floor

The pile of books we bought was so high, that we realized it is a good thing this shop isn’t around the corner for us.

Then today we had another outing.

The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague is hosting an exhibition of the work of Mark Rothko, and at the same time an exhibition with Fashion from the Romantic period. Rothko alone is really worth going there, and I enjoyed every minute I was in these rooms with those immensly huge and very intensive paintings. I don’t have pictures for 2 reasons. First you can find them all over the web, but secondly and for me most importantly, the impact of these paintings can’t be shown in pictures. It only shows when you stand in front of them. I did hear about this effect,but never really knew what to expect. I can’t explain, but now I understand I can’t just show you some pictures. If you ever have the opportunity to go and see some of his work, I can highly recommend it. You’ll never forget.

The second exhibition wasn’t this intense; it was fun, candy for the eye.


Entering a room like this, brings you back a few centuries. The dresses were grouped using movies and books as a guide. Wuthering Heights (Bronte sisters), Gone with the Wind, La Dame aux Camelias, Pride and Prejudice, and our Dutch protagonist, Eline Vere; they all came by and were the center of room. Because almost everyone has images of these movies and their dresses in mind, I won’t show all these dresses, but some details I was quite amazed by.




This last picture isn’t of an old dress; it is actually a detail of a dress worn by Cora in Downton Abbey!!

The dresses were a lot of fun, but what really caught my eye, were the pages from ladies magazines from the 19th century.



Beautiful dresses; but what do you think of pages about hairdo’s, or about how to wear a veil?



And there was a Horror Room! It appears that the substances used for dyeing, sometimes were toxic, sometimes even lethal. They even once used arsenic to obtain a special shade of green which was very fashionable.


On the chair you can see a dress which was actually worn by someone; now it has been decomposed quite a bit.This was one of the few rooms with a cord preventing the public from getting too close!


Groetjes, Dorien

Going on a trip to Central and South America

Before I’ll tell you about anything happening over here, I want to apologize for not responding to your lovely comments on my last post. I’ve read all of them with pleasure, and it is so nice to see that I’m not at all the last person reading paper books. In fact, telling me you have ordered a book case of 3.5 meters makes me a little bit envious!

But back to now. Since my last post we’ve had a very stubborn and obstinate guest. He (of course it’s a HE) took over our home and family, and didn’t want to leave. Mr. Flu! What a nasty guest he has been. But, with leaving a little bit of rubbish behind, he finally has left the house.

I’ve used this opportunity to go through a few of my most beautiful books.


Both are by Catherine Legrand, who has an eye for textiles and costumes from over the world. The pictures are wonderful with lots of detail.


Looking at these pictures, my eye was drawn to especially the fabrics and colours from Central and South America. And on pinterest I found a lot more.

Mosaic of pictures from Pinterest Costumes

Mosaic of Pictures from Pinterest textiles

Looking at all of this, I wondered if I could do something with it. Weaving is not something I do; I like a bit of embroidery, but not too much. But, I do love knitting, so I thought it might be an idea to translate the colours and motifs into something knitted.

I’ve come up with a few  small patterns so far.

001 003

Lots of ideas, which take a lot of time for computerwork; not really my forte. So I’m going to start with making samples, to see how the colours work, and to get a final idea of what I want to make with it.  To do this, I need yarn. Of course.


Beautiful Shetland Wool in the most wonderful colours. I’ve tried to find at least 4 shades of every colour.

I’ll keep you posted!

Groetjes, Dorien

A very special Book Case

It’s no secret that I am as much a book lover as a fiber addict. Sometimes you’re asked what you would spend your last dime on, and I honestly wouldn’t know; books or yarn. They both are very important to me. 

My love for books isn’t only about the content. The shape, colours, pictures on the cover and inside, the texture of a book, yes, even the smell; they all make a book what it is.

So when I learned a while ago, about this very special bookcase in Amsterdam, I knew I had to go there to see it, and it took me a lot longer then I anticipated, but this morning I finally had the time.


Isn’t this amazing?? It’s a façade of appr. 250 ceramic books in a neighborhood in Amsterdam, where the streets have the names of 18th and 19th century poets and writers. Most of them kind of forgotten.


It measures about 7.5 x 2.5 meters, and is made by Sanja Medic.

And what a coincidence:  one of the writers whose booktitles are used, is Jacob Staringh, and I live in a street named after just this man. Never knew he was a writer.


On the topshelf in this picture, you can see fourth from the left a book with a very odd title “Hoe men een vrouw behandelen moet”; in English: “how a woman should be treated”. I haven’t figured out whoever wrote a book with this title, but I guess nowadays one probably wouldn’t get away with it.

Groetjes, Dorien


In between the last bits of cleaning in the house and packing, I found a little bit of time to make a last post for this year. It has  been a strange year for my family, and somehow I’m glad it’s over. As for crafting it has been an awesome year. Lots of new ideas and finished projects. I’ve thought about making a mosaic representing this year, but as almost everyone seems to do this, I don’t think you are looking forward to yet another one.


This beautiful image is from a book I was spoiled with at Christmas. And there is a bit of a story to tell about that.

A couple of years ago I joined a ‘4 Seasons Swap’ and the partner I was assigned to came from Estonia. And every single package she included a pamphlet or magazine about knitting, crochet or embroidery in Estonian style. These were amazing and made me want to learn more about the traditions the Estonian have in this area. And of course internet is a wonderful source, but I’m as much a book-addict as a yarn-addict. So this is what I got:


A beautiful book filled with pages about crochet, knitting, embroidery and a bit of sewing. It’s mainly about the traditions on the Isle of Muhu. And that is just perfect because the style of this island  is quite bold with very bright colours and gorgeous motifs, flowers, curls, some geometric designs. Well, exactly what I love.





Well, before I show you all the pages in the book, I better stop. But I think you get a good idea about the beauty of this book. Browsing through the pages makes me wonder if I’m born in the wrong country?!

The book is going in my suitcase. We are leaving this afternoon with Fleur, for a few days. We found a place where it is not allowed to have fireworks, so hopefully we can finally have a nice New Years evening, especially for the dog.

Before I go I want to thank all of you for all the comments and support this year. It is always a joy to read your comments and I cherish every single one of them.

Best wishes for everyone!

Groetjes, Dorien

Going to the Circus

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been to France this Summer. We stayed at a camping site at a farm, where the ducks came to our tent every night around dinner time, to see if there were any crumbs left for them.

And that tells exactly the story of this holiday; it was calm, cozy and time just went by without noticing.

Of course there was a bit of excitement; you can’t go some place with 2 teenage boys, and do nothing at all!

So, one of the things they really, really like, is climbing. And in France there are these huge high rope courses and that is where we went. And there was no longer any way I could avoid joining, …….

At first the boys were very patient, and waited for me on every next platform, where they had all the time to make the most awful pictures of me! But that didn’t take long; I was far too slow for them, so they went on, and lucky for me my husband stayed with me. I ended up doing 3 courses including rope sling and zip line.  This was the first and the last time!

For me, the most exciting part of the vacation was a visit to the town of Moulins. It’s really beautiful with a very nice, Medieval center. But that was not the best part.

This was:


As it turned out, there is a Museum for Costumes from the theatre, opera and ballet in Moulins. It is the first museum in the world with this kind of collection, and ever since its opening in 2006 it has had exhibitions about a certain theme. Now the theme was the Circus! In a tour through 13 rooms one could get a very close look at the beautiful costumes used in the circus. From very old, to costumes used in the shows of the Cirque du Soleil.

Because it wasn’t permitted to make pictures, I couldn’t do anything else but to take home a few books.


The one on the bottom is the catalogue of this exhibition. In it are all the costumes in beautiful pictures. Like this one from the Saltimbanco show from the Cirque du Soleil:


A coat completely covered with paillettes, made for the clown Weber Rehde:


The details used in these costumes are incredible. Look at the embroidery, applique and all the paillettes:


I can show so much more; it was just amazing. It was great to see how much work and effort are used to make these wonderful costumes; a few of the techniques were shown in detail and there were some drawings of well known fashion designers (like Jean Paul Gaultier).

Which brings me to the book on top. Christian Lacroix is known for his fashion, but he has also designed for the ballet in Paris, and in this book is described how he actually designs and makes his costumes. From sketches, to actual design drawings, mood boards and collections of fabric, the sewing, embellishing,.. it is all in the book.



The book in the middle is comparable to these two; the subject is the permanent collection of the museum, a lot of history, and of course, lots and lots of pictures.

All I can say, is that if you ever are in the vicinity of Moulins in the Auverne in France are, you really have to go to this place. It is like a candy store (without the calories!), and it gives you so much inspiration.

Groetjes, Dorien

Something HUGE !!!

Hello! First of all I want to apologize for not being around for so long. I haven’t read any blog, but I haven’t stitched one stitch either.

The reason: lumbago. An awful pain in my lower back, which has kept me lying in bed for several days. Then when I got up, and carefully tried to get my life back, it happened again, so I’ve been out of it now for 10 days. Hopefully it will be over soon, because I’m starting to get very cranky by now.

But, I’ve got some good news too!

I guess every knitter has her (or his) own way of finding new techniques and tutorials. The web is a great source, and so are many very good reference books.  But these resources lack usually one big thing, and that’s the comparison of techniques.

Now I’ve found a book which is nothing less than a huge, and I really mean HUGE bible, where everything you want to know or want to learn is described in detail.


Indeed, the title: The Principles of Knitting, by June Hemmons Hiatt.

700 Pages filled with everything you want to know. And the big difference with other reference books, is that this is not a book for quick answers. There is so much information, that it is more like a study book. What about 34 pages only about casting-on?!!


Sometimes the author uses her own words or definition, instead of more commonly used words, but I don’t really mind, because it is always clear what she means.

Aside from being a yarn-addict, I’ve always been very fond of books. So when both are joined in such a phenomenal book, I’m very happy.

Groetjes, Dorien

Blues and Books

Hello and thank you for your lovely comments on my potholders. It is so nice to see that it inspired someone else to make the same pattern: go and have a look at Monique’s blog.

In the last few days I’ve started to think about a few swaps I signed up for, and the birthday of my sister. For all these three ladies, I need/want to make something myself. For the swaps I have to, for my sister I want to, because it is so much more fun to give a handmade item, and I know she really appreciates it.


All three ladies have one thing in common: they all love the colour blue. Makes it possible for me to show a few pictures of what I’m doing.


I started with 5 shades of blue/purple and made a lot of flower like these. Then I made them into hexagons.


You may recognize the pattern as ’African Flowers’. The pattern can be found in a lot of places on the net. Some written, some with pictures. It’s not difficult, but I like it very much.


Now I’m going to join these hexagons into …….  I’m not going to tell, and I’m afraid it will take at least 6-8 weeks, before I can show. But I promise, by then I will.

Besides the yarn and hook, there is something else calling me. All day. All evening. Even in the night I dream about it. It’s a bit obsessive. It’s this:


I already was a huge fan of this author, but this story is indescribable. I love every single page. And lucky me, it doesn’t stop after two books, there is a third one too!! (I just had a look, but it seems the English translation won’t be out before October).

Next weekend, both the boys are out on camps, so I guess I will have enough time to read the whole story. YAY!!

Groetjes, Dorien