Saturday 22 November 2014

Totebags from my flax stash

I recently discovered this box of flax stash that I have probably been carrying around for at least 20 years. Time to use it!! for tunesian knit tote bags, as I'm so sick (not life threatening) that I the only thing that keeps me sane is to knit really simple projects. and this beautiful tote bag by Purl Soho. so I made some different versions which I gave away to different people.
as I just work with the material I have I ended up with a design with a contrast stripe, as I needed something to seperate the 2 different flax yarns that I was using.

this bag was for Ellen, who has been so kind to me in this difficult time.

It could be a man-bag

selection of somewhat similar flax, I still have some of it left

my long forgotten flax stash in a cardboard box

Monday 3 November 2014

wrap-around blanket vest - the first

This is a fantastic knitted jacket or cardigan or something in-between, some people call it a flap jacket. It's one big rectangle in seed stitch with two sleeves inserted. so it's really simple. The trick or sophistication lies in how the shoulders are slightly raglan shaped which hangs the cardigan nicely on the shoulders, and then the sleeves are of the lovely top-down knitted style, credit to ByGumByGolly. so in the end there are also hardly any seams that need to be sewn together. great for a lazy knitter like myself, always nice to find out new tricks to save yourself time and effort.

This pattern is a better version of a cardigan that I knitted earlier for my sister, that one was really square, missing the raglan shoulders and top-down knitted sleeves.

I came up with this design as I was very, very sick in second half of 2014. I basically was lying down for 6 months (gastro-intestinal problems, not life threatening) when I was able to sit-up, reclined against a big cushion, the only thing I was able to do was listen to pod-casts and knit. so knitting big surfaces of just simple back and forwards was great. Being able to knit saved my sanity, I think.
(this is an ante-dated post, as obviously I was not able to write blog-posts at that time)

well, here are some pictures.

Sunday 7 September 2014

Repair vest

In august 2014 I became very, very sick. Knitting, crocheting and stitching became the one thing that saved my sanity throughout autumn 2014, as it was almost litterally the only thing I was able to do. In the periods when I was able to sit-up somewhat straight.
One of the first things I resorted to when I was able to crawl out of bed in the beginning of September was to repair a vest. It was full of holes, probably moths but I still wonder why the moths made the holes is such a randomn way and i.e. not all the way through the fabric, I still also consider that chemicals might have been the reason.

so on-top of the holes I embroidered a little dot in different coloured embroidery yarn

strange selfie :-) and I can see another hole that needs repair
the vest before, and as you see full of holes

Sunday 29 June 2014

Jacob's bear

Bianca calls Jacob "beertje", Helle was so kind to help me with this clue. cause I was a bit clueless about what to crochet for Bianca's baby. So it became a bear in perfect Bianca colours; brownish with accent of mostard yellow and beige. I'm particularly proud and happy about the felt-embroidery detailing of this bear.

Friday 6 June 2014

julies mini-me

proudly presenting the mini-mi amigurumi doll that I crocheted for my favorite niece Julie for the celebration of her "confirmation" (first communion) specially on request of her. Worked out quite nicely if I should say it myself.

and yes! all star sneakers

The dress was a bit of work, I first knitted one, then realized it would never look anywhere near the real dress, then resorted to stitching one by hand from scraps that I had.  

Julie's amigurumi mini-mi backside

the hair really wasn't easy. It ended up quite tussled, which I thought was kinda ok, as Julie's hair on the day was also quite casually, naturally tussled
Oeps, for the actual party it was still only half finished
half finished in the box

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)