Sunday, 27 April 2014

How-to knit Kings Balls

Here's the patterns for the Kingsday rings I was knitting in-public on Kingsday in Korte Lauwerstraat in Utrecht. Pattern is fairly straight forward and self-explanatory. The basic model is based on the infamous christmas balls by Arne & Carlos. If you want to make an easier and simpler model, you can easily drop the flag stripes in the tips.

Kingsday knitting in public

Here I am knitting in-public on Kingsday / Koningsday, a national holiday and supa dupa big party in the Netherlands. Particularly in Utrecht as we are allowed to start the night before, which makes it a 24 hrs. go-crazy folks party. The general rule is, anything is allowed, but preferably it should be funny, entertaining, wacky and creative. Welcome to have a royal under-tone, or be tungue-in-cheak about the royal family.

Lo and Karin kindly let me sit in-front of their house in the Korte Lauwerstraat, which is right in the cosiest part of the festivities. as you can see I'm wearing a couple of Queensday rings, a pattern I developed last year, whilst I was knitting Kings Balls, some new patterns I had developed for this years Kingsday, based on the infamous Christmas balls by Arne & Carlos. You can see some of them in the background, I promise I will release them very soon, I just have to fix some flaws that I found whilst working. The balls are very labour intensive and complex, actually I didn't sell a single one. Not that I was really there to be a shop and sell, I was more there for the fun and to see the surprise in people's face when they realize that I'm actually REALLY KNITTING. this is something that causes people's big surprise, some people stop to tell stories about their grand-ma's and other people just stop and stare in awe whilst I work.

I did sell a couple of Queensday rings, here are some of the happy receivers :-) actually I had to stop knitting at a certain point and crochet rings, to keep up with the orders.

The first customer of the day. This was the guitar-player of a live acting/singing band housed around the corner

Kingsday party-mood girls

Very friendly and enthusiastic neighbor
Super friendly and supportive neighbor
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Monday, 21 April 2014

Kingsballs; preps for Kingsday

For this years kingsday I'm preparing Kings Balls. Since last year the Netherlands have a King, Amsterdam city was full of decoration carrying his new logo etc, see the ball in the background were I have tried knitting it. Was dang complicated I tell you. Balls in foreground carry simple crowns, one for king Alexander and one for princess Maxima, much easier.

For the last Queensday last year (or was it already Kingsday?) I crocheted princess rings, I thought they were lovely, but didn't sell very well (Dutch like to watch but not to buy, or at least for the "free market" everything is supposed to be dead cheap) so the tourists were my best customers. This year I was thinking of making the crafting more of a show, just for the pure joy of people being flabbergasted at me actually being able to knit.

So was thinking I should be sitting at an elevated chair with a big board and some supersize balls above my head, that should attract some attention. But as I'm quite busy at work, not sure I will be able to manage too many preparations, so will probably just end up sitting on a chair somewhere close to Plompetorengracht in Utrecht (on case you want to come and find me)

Friday, 11 April 2014

Easy Peasy necklace

Spool-knitting a necklace is super-easy, and it creates quick decorative results, like this necklace I'm wearing here. Probably made it in an evening, using some scrap-yarns that I had lying around. Using these two tints of mustard yellow and olive green which I like very much right now.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Da-Mi's mini-me

When it became clear that Da-Mi was going to leave us, there was only one thing for me to do to say proper good-bye; crochet a Mini Da-Mi to give her as good-bye present!


Da-Mi was always so enthusiastic about the crochet. First one to want a Queensday ring etc. And she had made several attempts to try out the crocheting herself, on saturdays we had gotten together and I had been teaching her the crochet, she had made a start at making a doll herself. But it turned out to be slightly more difficult than anticipated. and there was a bit of bad luck, the hair we had decided to put on her doll, really, was looking like afro. What a throw-back. after that never much came of it ever again. That's why I thought if anybody deserves a doll, it's Da-Mi.

Here are some more pictures

Friday, 28 February 2014

Knitted throw-around blanket jacket

You would think that something as simple as this needn't take very long to make. But this very simple, straight throw-around blanket jacket has been on it's way for a long time. I got this old sweater from my mum which was not exactly pretty, but I liked the yarn, the blend of colours it had in it, so I decided to un-ravel it and create something new with this yarn. something I have done many times, you can read more about that in my re-knit manifesto. Anyways it took so long, since every time I tried something it didn't work out. But finally setting on such a simple model, with just a plain regular stitch it worked. (just very boring to make) all the complicated stuff just didn't work with this yarn. and I'm glad my sister liked, it was her christmas gift.

The throw-around is just a plain flat square, to emphasize the simplicity I made no ribs at the extremities, so it rolls a bit, and I added a bit of yellow edge at the bottom, that has become a bit more orange on the picture than it is reality because of the beautiful autumn leaves in the background. Only made a little bit of rib on the vertical edge to prevent too much inwards rolling. It's the outwards rolling that I like. It's so super simple it has no closing, it's just two slabs of fabric one over the other, keeping them together with a supersize safety pin. I did put on pockets in the end, of course it would have been more simple without, but pockets are so practical, and as you see she likes to stick her hands inside them.

here's a picture of one of the previous attempts, was trying to make sort of ladies tailored jacket, as you can see the texture of the beautiful in-out ribs are just not at all visible at all. also had an attempt where a brioche stitch was going to create some puff sleeves (the Isabel Marant way) also just didn't work. probably ended up knitting this piece 3 or 4 times before ending up with this the final one.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Old knitting photos

Recently I posted the finger-less gloves with Space-invaders sort-off intarsia pattern. I was telling how these gloves were made of the yarn I had used for the rim with running-men for a sweater I knitted many, many years ago.
One of my good old friends Sandy picked up on this story. Out of her archive she dug pictures of me knitting the sweater back then. Unfortunately I'm myself much more disorganized, live in boxes because of never-ending re-build etcetc, so I cannot find any old pictures right now, but one day when things get more organized I will dig out an old picture were I'm actually wearing that sweater.
we think the pictures date back to 1986'ish. Which means the finger-less gloves are re-knitted out of yarn dating back almost 30 years ..... this is what I love about yarn, you can use it again and again, (as long as the moths haven't eaten it) because it's and (almost) endless thread. Read more about that in my re-knit manifesto.
The pictures are from times when people were more conscious about when to taking a picture, i.e. took pictures at special occasions etc, were it was not normal to take picture of everything all the time, so Sandy remembers that Ulla (to the left) and myself were making fun of here photographing us in such a uninteresting situation.

How I loved those shoes.

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