Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter light

This is the shortest day of the year. From now on, the days will be longer and the light will come back. This always makes me happy! And it's amazing that the magnolia branches I picked some weeks ago started to blossom :-) I'm taking a little blog break now, and I want to wish you all the best in 2012!

Ik word altijd blij van de kortste dag van het jaar, omdat de dagen dan weer langer worden. En de magnoliatakken die ik laatst geplukt heb, staan ook in bloei, echt magisch! Ik neem even een blog pauze en wens jullie het allerbeste voor 2012!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas knitting: final post

The Christmas Fair in the Lebuinus Church was wonderful. It was a sunny day, light was streaming in through the high windows, the air smelled of waffles, there were a lot of stalls selling food and hand-made products, there was music, people were interested in our knitting... It was great to be part of it! I didn't have time to take much pictures, though, but here's a shot of  the decoration of our stall. This is my last post on knitted Christmas balls, now it's time to move on :-)

De kerstmarkt in de Lebuinus Kerk was prachtig: mooi zonlicht, heerlijke geur van wafels, mooie muziek, prachtige kraampjes, en veel belangstelling voor ons “gebrei”. Het was echt leuk om hier deel van uit te maken! Dit is trouwens mijn laatste post over gebreide kerstballen, nu is het weer tijd voor iets anders :-).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Workshop kerstballen breien @ Lebuinuskerk Deventer

This Saturday, I will join "Het Kleinvak, Schalkhaar" to give a knitting workshop during the Christmas Fair in the Lebuinuskerk in Deventer. If you would like to learn how to knit Christmas balls, please join us from 10:00 -13:00!

Komende zaterdag ga ik samen met "Het Kleinvak, Schalkhaar" een workshop "kerstballen breien" geven tijdens de kerstmarkt in de Lebuinuskerk in Deventer. Als je dit graag wilt leren, schuif dan bij ons aan tussen 10:00-13:00. Je bent van harte uitgenodigd!

ps: de toegang tot de kerstmarkt is 2,50 euro, de workshop is gratis, materialen kun je ter plekke kopen of zelf meenemen

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Time out: a comfy crocheted cushion cover

Since I'm very busy with lots of pre-Christmas deadlines, I wanted to do something soothing. This project is inspired by three balls of yarn in my stash that were too expensive for a knitted throw, not the right color for a scarf and too beautiful to use in any other way. Yes, sometimes I think yarn is too beautiful to use, so it ends up sleeping in my stash...

So, inspired by Heins Home and the flickr group Subdued Stitching, I finally decided to use this yarn, and to crochet a cushion cover (hook size 12).

ps: I added the round border with Picnik, a free online photo editing program.

Omdat tijdens de aanloop naar kerst zo druk is, had ik behoefte aan haakproject waar je lekker rustig van wordt. Voor deze kussenhoes gebruik ik drie bollen wol die ik al heel lang heb: ze waren te duur om een volledige sprei mee te breien, de verkeerde kleur voor een sjaal en eigenlijk te mooi om überhaupt te gebruiken. En dat is natuurlijk ook weer zonde, dus nu worden ze een mooi kussen :-)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Two aran knit balls

It's cold, it's dark and I'm photo-shopping like crazy to make my pictures look winter white, instead of swampy gray :-). I've put a jug of magnolia branches on our mantle piece and added some of my aran knitted Christmas balls. Next week, we'll buy a tree!

ps: the pattern is from Knitting Daily, you can download it here

Het is koud en donker en ik moet behoorlijk wat fotoshoppen om een lichte foto te krijgen :-). Hier heb ik twee gebreide kerstballen met kabelpatroon in magnoliatakken gehangen. Je kunt het patroon hier downloaden.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two birds

The Christmas book from Arne & Carlos has 55 designs, but I limited myself to the ones with hearts and birds. I think the birds are really sweet!

Now that I've finished the yarn I bought for these Christmas balls, I'm going to use the little balls of white left-over yarn I found in my stash, and then I think it's time to start working on my throw again :-)

ps: I was told that Arne and Carlos are working on an Easter knitting book. You can browse the look book (no patterns) here. And, they've designed an extra advent Christmas ball, downloadable for free here. It's in Norse, but don't let that scare you, because the basic pattern is the same as the one in their book.

Dit zijn de vogelballen uit het boek van Arne en Carlos. Ze hebben ook nog een gratis patroon voor een gebreide Advent kerstbal gemaakt (hier) en werken aan een Paasbreiboek. (voorproefje hier)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Knitted leaf & lace throw: a '70s interpretation

So far, I've finished 5 leaf & lace squares, only four more to go :-) It was nice to find a seventies example of this throw in the thrift store last week! I didn't like the colors (orange and brown), but I do like the way the design was adapted, such as knitting the leafs and the border in two different colors. I think this would work for e.g. a cushion cover knitted in thick yarn. The squares are stitched together diagonally. This surprised me, because it makes finishing the border quite difficult. She (I assume it was knitted by a woman :-), used half a square to fill the gaps in the border. Now that I'm writing this, I wonder how she did that... I forgot to take a look...

I took picture of the throw, but I didn't buy it because of the colors. I really hope it will find a happy new home!

Inmiddels heb ik vijf gebreide blokken :-) Vorige week vond ik een jaren-70 versie van dezelfde sprei in de kringloop. Ik heb hem niet gekocht (want bruin + oranje), maar ik vond dat er wel leuke details in zaten, zoals het gebruik van twee kleuren en de manier waarop de blokken aan elkaar genaaid zijn.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lavender and light blue

This color palette was inspired by my train commute through the Veluwe, a forest in the Netherlands. Last week, we had the first frosty November mornings, and the forest was beautiful in shades of gray, light blue and lavender.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A crochet workshop @ Kleinvak, Schalkhaar

Last week, I was at a crochet workshop in my local yarn store, Het Kleinvak Schalkhaar. We learned how to crochet with Hoooked Zpagetti, a very thick yarn (hook size 12!) made out of left-overs from the textile industry. It was really fun! In the top left corner, you can see the fluo-pink toy basket I made for my daughter. She now uses it as a hat, by the way :-) The cute gray bags were made by Mireille, the shop owner.

Ps: The Hoooked Zpagetti website offers free patterns of bags and pillow covers in Dutch, English and German.

Vorige week heb ik meegedaan aan de Hoooked Zpagetti workshop van Het Kleinvak in Schalkhaar. Het was erg leuk, en ik ging naar huis met een knalroze speelgoedmand voor mijn dochter. De grijze tasjes op de foto's zijn gehaakt door Mireille, de eigenaresse van Het Kleinvak. Je kunt de patronen gratis downloaden van de Hoooked Zpagetti site.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Aran knitted Christmas balls

Last weekend, I visited the Knitting & Crochet Day in my local yarn store. Knitted Christmas balls were all the rage, and we exchanged a lot of tips, tricks and patterns. That's how I found out about this aran Christmas ball pattern. It's taken from a free HolidayKnitting e-book by Knitting Daily. It’s quite small, about 5 cm, and really sweet :-)

Ps: I decided to include a Dutch summary in my posts from now on. 

Vorige week was ik naar de Breidag van “Het Kleinvak” in Schalkhaar. Een leuke dag, met veel gebreide kerstballen! Dit patroon voor een gebreide kerstbal met kabels komt uit een gratis e-book van Knitting Daily.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A collage: watery shades of blue and green

I love playing with color and making mood boards and collages. So, I really enjoyed last week's Blogging Your Way, when we learned how to make collages in different types of photo programs. One of the programs discussed was Google Picasa, which you can download for free here. It's very user-friendly, in a “drag-drop-and-click” kind of way, and it can be used to make the type of collages below. It doesn't have fonts, so I uploaded the collage in The Gimp to add the text.

These are some pictures I took on my holiday in Sweden and Denmark this summer. The bakery and the seaside garden are in Gotland, and I saw the wonderful door in the city center of Copenhagen. So actually, I should have called this “Scandinavian summer colors” :-). The shade card is from Werner's Nomenclature of Colors, an early 19th century book on the nature of colors. It really makes me drool, and I hope that one day, I'll find the plate that's called “Colors of the sea”. I've seen it in a picture of and artist's atelier once, so I know it must be out there somewhere... :-)

Monday, October 31, 2011

How to knit balls: two video tutorials by Judy Graham

In the previous post, I wrote about knitted Christmas balls, and in the comments section, we discussed the type of skills needed to make such balls. Arne and Carlos assume that you know how to knit in the round using 5 needles, and that you know how to increase and decrease, which results in the ball shape.

These two video tutorials by Judy Graham explain how to knit a ball using 4 needles. It’s really clear and helpful! Knitting on five needles follows the same principle. Instead of casting on the stitches on 3 needles and use the 4th needle to knit, you cast the stitches on 4 needles and use the 5th needle to knit.

I didn't know Judy Graham, but I'm so glad I discovered her work by googling for tutorials! She knitted for film and tv and made pieces for eg Barbara Streisand and Tom Hanks. She shares her work, tips and tutorials on her Youtube channel, website and blog. If you’re interested in knitting, be sure to take a look her work!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Knitted Christmas balls

It can feel weird to mix up the course of the seasons. I saw Arne & Carlos' book 55 Christmas balls to knit in August, but I didn't want to start making Christmas decorations too early... I have a short Autumn holiday right now, so I thought it was a good time to finally get started!

The book contains 55 knitting patterns for Christmas balls, based on traditional Scandinavian knitting patterns. The combination of traditional craft and modern design is wonderful, the photography and styling are lovely and the book is written with a dry, understated sense of humor. If you want to get an impression of what the book is like, watch their Youtube commercial here.

I made my first ball in cotton, but that type of yarn didn't really work, so I switched to a woolly type of yarn instead. The color palette in this picture seems to clash with my previous pictures and my general blog lay-out, but it's just that, for Christmas, I like to stick to classic red, white, wood and hearts :-) I've got 1,5 ball right now, so I'll definitely be knitting some more, to combine with the felt hearts I made last year!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

From traditional design to something new: a mood board

I'm fascinated by using traditional needlework designs in a fresh, modern way. Most needlecraft books I use are from the seventies and early eighties, and style wise, that's not really my period :-).

If you want to get an idea of how to use a traditional design in your own way, making a mood board can really help. It's a way to visualize what your design might look like, and in what type of interior it might be used.

Here's one I made for the throw I'm working on right now. I'm making it for our bedroom, which I want to be warm, soft and cozy :-) I tried to play with contrast by to using different textures (apple wood, wool, linen, silk, paper) and a combination of dark and light colors.

ps: I'm a big fan of Sibella Court. This image of hers was an inspiration too. It's funny to find out how some images can stay with you for a long time and then come to mind all of a sudden...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Embroidered fabric samples from 1866

Needleprint, a wonderful textile craft blog, wrote about The Textile Manufactures of India a few days ago, and I knew I just had to share this with you. By the way, if you're interested in historical embroidery, you just have to read Needleprint!

The Textile Manufactures of India is a collection of fabric sample books from 1866 . These books are now published on-line here. You can browse the database by material, object type, origin, pattern, technique and use. I browsed by technique and found some lovely embroidered fabrics, sigh....

ps: I'm trying to customize my new blogger template :-)


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Marie Claire Idées

All images from Marie Claire Idées

One of my favorite magazines is the French craft magazine Marie Claire Idées. I was in Brussels for the weekend, picked up the September/October issue and fell in love once more with their projects, color choices, styling, everything! The magazine features a range of crafts (knitting, sewing, embroidery, paper crafts, painting, cooking, floral arrangements) on different levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced). Their website is wonderful too; you can search for projects by technique, color, materials, occasion, … The only problem might be that the site is in French, but don't let that stop you from taking a look!
Here's a collage of the projects from their website I was drawn to this time: autumn colors and cozy textiles...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blogging your way

Wow, I signed up for the final Blogging your way e-course, by Holly & Thorsten Becker, and Leslie Shrewring. We're starting this Friday and I'm really looking for ward to it :-)

One of the things I've learned through blogging so far, is how much I like the combination of pink and blue. This '70s chair from my parents used to be black, red, lilac and peach, and is now pink , the dahlia is from my garden and I bought the teacup in Copenhagen last summer. It's from my favorite series of dinnerware ever, Royal Copenhagen Blue Fluted Mega. It's way out of my budget, but I just couldn't resist one teacup :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Leaf & lace throw: work in progress

It's been a while since I wrote about my leaf & lace throw, but finally I've made some progress. I finished 3 blocks and sew them together to see what the final size might be. It's 150 cm wide, so a 3*3 throw will be 15*150 cm. I guess that's big enough :-)

ps: I blogged a about the background of this design here, and about similar patterns to be found online here

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Late summer pinks

These are some of the zinnia's that I managed to rescue from the snails, in lovely shades of pink.

I was hoping to post some images of my leaf & lace throw instead, but I can't. The third block is almost finished, but I made a mistake somewhere, and I don't really know which part/row to unravel... I really have to find some courage to start working on it again:-)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Early autumn colors

One of my New Year's resolutions was to sow zinnia's, and they're in full bloom right now :-) And the dahlia's are back too! Together, they add a little splash of early autumn colors to my table.

I realize I haven't been writing about needlework on this blog for quite some time now. It's because I finished my medieval smocked apron (see tutorial on Medieval Silkwork).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Swedish summer colors

I'm back from my holiday in Sweden and Denmark, and once more, I completely fell in love with the light and the shades of soft blue, gray, white and green. I took this image in Krusmynta Garden, a lovely herb garden/ tea garden close to the beach. This seaside corner under the pear trees really makes me happy. Maybe I should print this out come November, when it's cold and dark here :-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Th. de Dillmont art nouveau embroidery book, 1895

images from Dillmont, Th. de, ed D.M.C. Motifs pour Broderies [1, Mulhouse, Dollfus-Mieg & Cie, [c.1895], 112 pgs, download part 1 , part 2

A few weeks ago, I found a copy of a Th. De Dillmont art nouveau embroidery book in an open air book fair (one of those things I love about summer!). Because the weather is so bad, I haven't taken pictures of it yet. I did find a similar copy online, so you can get an idea of what it looks like. It's really worth taking a look at the transfer sheets at the end of the book. I may not like the colors that were used in the examples, but the transfers really show the designs and those are definitely inspiring!

Monday, July 11, 2011

July colors: pea and mint

Last week I wrote about my blog break, but since then, I realized I like blogging way too much. Let's just say I will probably write less frequently :-).

This is my first pea harvest ever: only a handful, but delicious and in a wonderful shade of green.

ps: yes, I'm experimenting with borders, text and picture size :-)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A blog break

I've decided that I'm taking a blog break, because there is too much on my plate right now: preparing a conference, finishing my current job and finding a new one, travelling between the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and Sweden, taking driving lessons (I do have a licence, but I haven't driven for ten years..). I hope to be back early Autumn :-)

Monday, June 13, 2011

First leaf & lace square finished

I finished my first leaf & lace square, and I pinned it onto a cushion to see what it looks like. I just love the way the leafs seem to float on top of the square :-) In the end, I decided to use a soft cream yarn instead of green. I will always love cream, whereas I'm not so sure of green...

The yarn is a Dutch brand, Lammy Ibiza, to be knitted with needles size 6. The square measures 50*50 cm. I'm thinking about making a throw with 9 squares. It's much quicker than the crocheted throw I just finished :-)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

May colors

I haven't posted for some time, because of a crafty deadline :-) I had to finish some medieval embroidery because the reenactment festival season is starting again. I finished a smocked apron for my daughter, and a linen embroidered cap for myself. This is an image of me wearing my medieval outfit :-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pin board: Craft inspiration April 2011

Someone asked me if I didn't miss working on my blanket, after a year of crocheting. The answer is YES. I haven't decided what to do next... I'm now working on a historical smock embroidery project (I'll show you when it's finished). Now that the weather is so good, I don't really feel like knitting.. I was thinking about making a memory quilt with some of my daughter's shirts, but I've never done quilting, so that takes some research...

So that's why there are so many examples of smocking and quilting in this board :-)

Monday, April 25, 2011

April colors

April colors: pink, blue and touches of yellow in a posy of tulips and forget-me-nots from my garden. This makes me really happy :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's finished

It's hard to believe... after a year of crocheting, my throw is finished.... (150 * 200 cm). I didn't manage to take a picture inside, so I took it to an orchard nearby.

ps: I can't give up granny squares yet, so I'm making a mini throw for a doll's bed now :-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring colors: white and green

Some cherry blossom on my night stand. My bedroom looks very uncluttered in this picture. I wish that were true in real life :-)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Shades of green

This is a mood board for our bedroom: light walls, shades of green and chocolate, and little touches of pinkish red (of course!). I wanted to knit a lace& leaf throw, but I still haven't found the right yarn. "Cafe Tasse chocolate wrapper green" would be nice, but it's quite difficult to find :-)

Pin board: throws and blankets

I haven't posted a pinterest board for quite some time. Now that the day's are growing longer, I spent less time on-line, so that's probably why. Here is a glimpse of my 'throws and blankets' board. You can find it here, and click on each image to go to its original source.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Two weeks ago, the "big" magnolia in my village was pruned, and I asked if I could have some branches. They started flowering this week :-) Such a perfect excuse to play with shades of brown and pink!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Only 20 more granny squares to go

Writing for my blog made my realize I collect quite a lot of things: vintage china, enamelware, and books with pretty covers :-). I found these volumes from the fifties in the thrift store. I will probably not read them, but I really love these covers.

ps: the same rules for collecting apply: the books have to be cheap and have lovely covers :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

March colors: shades of pale green

Last week was the first time this year I picked flowers from my garden, a little bunch of snowdrops :-).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Priscilla bedspread book, 1914

As you may have guessed, I have a thing for throws and blankets. That's why I really liked the Priscilla bedspread book. It's a collection of crochet patterns for lovely bedspreads, downloadable for free here. These are some of my favorite designs:

Throws with flower and lace designs like these would not be warm, they would be an awful lot of work to make, but they are so so pretty! I also like the idea of making a throw with pieces of fabric and crocheted borders, like the one below:

All images were taken from The Priscilla bedspread book, 1914

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cups and saucers

It's a very sunny and cold March day, so I decided to try to take a picture of my vintage china. Spring is on its way, and I'm really looking forward to the open air brocante & antiques fairs. I collect cups and saucers, but only the ones I really really love (and cost less than 2 euro). That's why I've bought only three of them in the past year...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Only 32 more squares to go...

.. and then I can start working on the border :-) Mia posted a wonderful tutorial for a crocheted border on her blog here. It may be a little too much for a throw like this, but I'm definitely thinking in that direction.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A beautiful blog on 18th and 19th century dress

Images via Hats & Laces

Hats & Laces is a Tumbr blog full of pictures of beautiful dresses (swoon!) focusing mainly on the 18th and 19th century. I completely fell in love with this dress from ca 1885: the colors, the ribbon details, the flower patterned stripes, … Maybe I should have been a period drama actress :-)

There was no background information, so I don't know where this dress is from. That's a typical problem of sites like Pinterest or Tumblr: sometimes images are reblogged so often that the original image credits get lost...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Paint it pink

Last week I bought a little table for my daughter at the thrift store. It was a horrible shade of green, and after seeing the latest Ariadne at Home magazine, I just knew it had to be pink :-) Her chair is a matching cherry red! There is some paint left, so maybe .. one of my wooden chairs...

ps: the paint is a Dutch brand: Flexa, oudroze 1015, hoogglans

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yarn experiments

It's fun to experiment with different types of yarn for a knitted leaf & lace throw. Last week, I bought a some of this yarn: Lana Grossa Ragazza, 100 % merino wool to be knitted with needles size 12 (US 17). It's absolutely wonderful, but.... it's way too expensive for a throw... I made a mini square to calculate the amount of yarn I would need, and it's just too much (sigh!). I'll save these balls to make a super comfy shawl. But that's for next winter, because I'm already in a Spring mood :-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Craft inspiration January 2011

Here's some craft inspiration I collected in January. You can find this pin board here. Click on each image to view its original source.

Monday, January 31, 2011

February colors

Pale shades of blue, yellow and cream, with touches of black and chocolate. February is almost Spring, but it has its dark days too... I chose these images by color, so it was fun to see that there was an “accidental” bird theme in this collage too :-). Perfect for february, when birds start to sing again. I can't wait to hear the first blackbird.

The painting is by an anonymous Flemish painter, ca 1520.

ps: I would love to have the blue scale :-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Am embroidered panel, ca 1909

An embroidered panel by Helen Adelaide Lamb, 1909
Image via The Textile Blog

I haven't posted much these weeks, because it's busy at work.... There will be a lot of deadlines this year, so maybe I'll be posting less frequently..

I really love the embroidery above, that's why I wanted to share it with you. You can read more this, and about Scottish embroidery from ca 1900, on the Textile Blog.