Mandalas for Marinke

Marinke died. It sucks, big time. In her last blog she said she was looking for the light. I hope she has found it now.

MandalaLet’s all make a mandala for Wink. See for more details the links below.

RIP, Marinke.


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No, I do not need another WiP!

I can start a new project in a split second. This usually happens when I see a nice blanket (it’s almost always a blanket) on the internet. I try to suppress it but most of the time the urge of starting a new project wins. Like yesterday. Twelve Block Granny Square BlanketI saw a very pretty *blanket made by Kristen of Cozymadethings and that was the answer to my question ‘what to do with my leftovers and other yarns?’.
big granny square I had already started a blanket with big granny squares a while ago, in darker shades, 24 rounds each. The Autumn-Winter-colours are really lovely, but as it is Summer now I need some Summer-colours. Right, about the new blanket. No rules, no colour matching, well, not really, anyway. Everything and anything is allowed. But I might make the last round of each square in one colour. Or not.
WoodstockThis will be a project with no rush, no deadline, no stress what so-ever. Just lots and lots of colour-happiness. I grabbed all the colours I could find, leftovers and yarn I once bought but didn’t know what to do with, threw them in my biggest shopper (don’t you just love my big shopper?) and made a first square.IMG_2104Now, doesn’t that look cheerful? Summer-ish? That yellow center really makes it definitely a sunburst granny square. It actually looks like a sun now I look at it …
About the yellow, I decided to make all the centres of each granny in yellow. That is a constant factor, I realize. That wasn’t the plan, really, constant factors. Right, that’s sorted then.
IMG_2105 PicmAfter finishing the first square I made another decision, that each square must end with two rows of blue. Any shade of blue, whatever is in the bag. So, that is constant factor no. 2. There is a third constant factor: rows five and six are also in just one colour. I just can’t help it, I do need steady factors in my life and in my crochet. It gives me peace and quietness.
Blanket Woodstock PicmAnd this way it gives the granny still lots of variety ánd calmness , too. Ow, I dó love the start of a new project … 🙂

I have asked Kristen’s permission to show her blanket in this blog post. Thank you, Kristen!

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Bags and shawls and a bag ….

I like crochet-groups on the Internet, on Facebook, I really do. I like it when people, strangers to each other really,  help each other with difficult stitches or with choosing colours. I also like it when people are friendly to each other. I mean, come on, it’s crochet! And so I have removed myself from the Flight of Fancy-Facebook group. Let’s say I just didn’t like the way how people were treated who asked ordinary questions, people like myself. Frogging flowersI am so p…sed off that I started to frog all the sixteen flowers I made. Right,  ‘nough said about the matter. Let’s focus on fun stuff. Fun stuff like bags.
Now, the Bagalong-group, for example, is great. Such friendly people, and there is so much talent and inspiration in that group! I think Kathryn did a wonderful job with the design of her big bag and the idea of sharing the pattern in a bagalong, and so many people joined in. Dania OlsenSo many beautiful bags were added to the group, like this one, made by Dania Olsen (thanks, Dania, for your permission). I really love those soft colours. As I want to make one for our livingroom I too want to make one in quiet and muted colours. Bagalong with DaanSo my bag will be in six two colours. I am nearly done, it only needs a lining, but I think I need my Mother for that (she’s the sewing expert).First bag everMaking bags is not only fun, it is also a useful product. One of the first items I made when I learned how to crochet was a bag. When I look at it now I think holy crap (pardon my French), that bag is crap. But hey, I was learning. I have only used a couple of times. You should see the lining, made of K’s old shirt. The idea of the bag was okay, the accomplishment wasn’t ….Summer bag cottonI also made a Summer bag, with cotton. My o my … I removed the strap later and now use this bag as a cushion cover … But the wooden buttons are nice, don’t you think?Ocean Blue-bagAnd now I am working on a new bag, my own design. You already had a sneak preview  here. A design I have been thinking about for weeks, but I didn’t have the time to start it. I think about it while in bed, yes, it literally keeps me awake. In my mind I see the bag in use, big enough for a book, a mobile phone, a cheese-sandwich and a purse. And there is also space for a ball of yarn and a crochet hook, of course.IMG_1985I am making this bag with Cygnet Superwash DK. It’s the first time I crochet with this yarn and I like it a lot. I also really love the colours of that range. For this bag I use five colours:
** White ** Navy ** Blueberry ** Bluebell ** Denim **
Ocean Blue-bagI’ll promise to make a tutorial of this bag, for free, and anyone can join. No negativity, just lots of fun and a bag at the end. And you can ask me any question you like.


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A creative mess

Desk People say that messy people are creative people. I am not sure about that, but I think it can be true. In my case it sure is. Look at the state of my desk. I am doing ten times at the same time, and when I want to do something I suddenly remember I had to do something else. And then I forget what I wanted to do first. Do you recognize this, or is it just me being chaotic?
JournalMy planner is nowadays more closed than open, which is weird as I have lots of stuff to write down. Because I can’t afford to forget it. Shock horror, I have counted five, no six, agenda’s in my room. I really should use them more often. When I still had an office job, I used my agenda (in The Netherlands we call these ‘Filofaxes’ agenda) a lot, but now, working from home it is different. I work with notes. Pieces of paper that can go missing, but believe it or not, they never ever do! Agenda's I know I have also a smaller agenda somewhere, a Succes Junior, but I don’t know where it is. Now how the heck did that happen? I have a very soft spot for leather agenda’s especially the ones ‘made’ of crocodile leather. You know by know that I do love animals, but crocodiles are not on that list. But I do like their skin. In my opinion crocodiles are mean and only good for one purpose. Leather bags. And leather agenda’s. So, basically they’re good for two things, sorry.Sticky notesI have a small addiction for paper, I just love, love lovely stationary. It’s a girls thing, I think. These sticky notes were on sale for only 69 cents at the drugstore and I had to have them. I am also very fond of stickers. Stickers brighten up the place, or in this case, a journal. What I also do is cutting out nice photos I see in old magazines to glue in my journal. Lately I haven’t done that a lot, as I was too occupied with the soon-to-be-opened-business and other important issues like cutting peony’s in the garden.Peony and PippiPipIn my study it can be hard to throw things away. As you can see I am not to blame here. While writing this Pippi is now fast asleep and snoring. PeonyRight, I’d better get on with it. No, wait. First it’s time for a cappuccino and a sniff at the peony. It smells so good and sweet! Isn’t that rose pretty, ánd enormous? I have measured the flower, it’s 16 cm in diameter. Wow.Bagalong and cappuccinoAnd a bit of crochet I also need to do. Just one row and then I start tidying up. Promised.


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Time for cherries

My riding-lesson this morning went crap, I wobbled on Mareina from left to right, and felt very, very insecure and very nervous. I can be such a chicken sometimes. The thing is, Mareina should do want I tell/order her to do, but I am too sweet for her. I always think I’ll hurt her, which is not the case. I am sure next week goes better. Absolutely.CherriesOn my way home I made a stop at one of the cherry orchards along the road.  We have many of them this area, as I live in the fruit-area of The Netherlands. The saleslady gave me a cherry to try, mjummy it was, and I bought two boxes. CherriesA sweet treat. She also had strawberries, but the cherries were enough for today. As our household has only two people, we have to eat them together. Don’t worry, we manage.
BagalongBack home it was time for some lunch and for some serious hooky-business, outside in the garden. Although it was sunny it was also windy. But I just had to sit outside. I am now working on my second square for the BIG BAG bagalong, with my tweed yarn. I’ll make the bottom in just the one colour, in blue, I think, as you can’t see the bottom anyway. Tweedgaren PicmTweed yarnBut I also have red and yellow tweed yarn left. Don’t know what to do yet but I think the blue is going to win.
My other bag, my own design, also got some attention today. As I use navy blue and other shades of blue, it easier to work on this one during the day, with proper daylight.
Ocean Blue-bagI am must say, I am really pleased how this one comes together, and the funny thing is that I don’t know yet how it ends. Yet, that is.


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CAL’s and Roses

RosesRoseYes, the roses are blooming. This means Summer has started, with warmth and lots of sunny days. So I won’t tell you it’s raining right now. But it is not cold! And just look at the roses, how fabulous they are. I cut one rosebud and put in inside and look what happened. An explosion of beautiness. Roses HollyhockI took these pics with my mobile, so there are not the best photos, sorry. But aren’t the colours vibrant and luscious? What about the hollyhock (stokroos), pretty isn’t it? StokrozenSix (or is it seven?) years ago, when we moved in into our house we had lots of hollyhocks in front of the house. They looked amazing, don’t you think?
This week I have been busy with the soon to be opened business. It is so much fun to work on it, and I even like doing the bookkeeping. Well, kind of. I have also been busy with selling yarn, yarn I didn’t use anymore. I’ve sold forty balls of yarn. Yes, 40! There is a Dutch group on Facebook where you can sell your yarn, or if you miss one ball for your current WiP, you might find it here. I am very happy I found that group.
Yarn is not the only thing I have sold this week as I have also sold a dress and a pair of shoes. Yes, I am on a roll here. Getting rid of stuff you don’t really need makes your head feel lighter. Really, it does.Bagalong3It was also a week with crochet. I am participating in two CAL’s at the moment. The first one is the Bagalong from Crafternoon Treats, designed by the talented and lovely Kathryn. It’s a big bag and you can use it for all sorts of purposes like your knitting and crochet projects. I’d already started one with a double strand but that caused problems with my hands and fingers. It was too tight and it was painful to my fingers. So I frogged that one. Now I’ll make one with some proper chunky, but I have to wait for some chunky yarn to arrive (it’s all for the business, you know!). Meanwhile I work on the other CAL.
Flight of FancyMy second CAL is the Flight of Fancy-shawl by Annelies Baes. You can find the instructions for the shawl on Facebook, both in English and in Dutch. Flight of FancyIt’s a lovely pattern, it’s a shawl with flowers, and they are easy to make. As I have more than enough cotton I decided to make two shawls, one in pink and one in blue and green. The flower on the right, with the mint in the center, didn’t make it after all. Flight of Fancy blockingFlight of Fancy 1st roundI didn’t like the mint, so I replaced the mint for ecru. So much better. Anyway, I see I have some ends to darn in.

Have a nice weekend!

Ed. to add: According to K it has been eight years ago we moved in …

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Just a walk on the dyke

IMG_1881 IMG_1882IMG_1883 I keep reminding myself I should walk more often. Now this week we had some lovely weather and warmth. A good excuse to get up and to go out for a walk. I had been crocheting all morning and my hands and arms were sore, so I needed a break. IMG_1887When I sit in the garden I can hear the sheep on the dyke. They sound so funny. I can hear the little ones bleating and the mothers responding.   IMG_1888 IMG_1884Everything is so green and fresh-looking right now. In the slopes lots and lots of daisies are growing. I love daisies. They are Summer.IMG_1897I couldn’t resist to pick some. I am sure the sheep won’t mind. IMG_1891 IMG_1892 IMG_1894 IMG_1895IMG_1898IMG_1899At the end of our street there is this small orchard. Within a few months it is time for fresh apples and pears. I hope this year are own apple tree will provide us with some yummy apples.IMG_1900 IMG_1901 IMG_1902 IMG_1903This handsome feller lives at the end of our street. When I sais hi to him he immediately walked towards me. ‘Sorry, pretty man, I didn’t bring you an apple.’ I stroked him on the nose and moved on.IMG_1906 IMG_1907My neighbour has these lovelies growing at her house. Aren’t these flowers vibrant and luscious? I have no idea what they are called, but they are so pretty.flowersBut my picked flowers are pretty, too.

Have a nice and sunny weekend!

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New days

Sadle of MareinaI have kind of lost my temporary part-time job, which is fine, but it takes some adjustments to my new daily schedule. And even when this means less no money I’ve decided to reserve Wednesday-morning for a horseback riding lesson. Ow yes. Those thirty minutes of utter joy and horse-love are mine. This week I had a bit of practice indoors on lovely Mareina and then my teacher took us outside for a little walk. I love riding outside. One day, when I am filthy rich have my own horses (a horse is herd animal, so that is a very good excuse to own more than one horse) I’ll go out every day with my horses. When the weather is nice, of course. When it’s pouring outside I stay indoors with my hook and yarn.
Not having that part-time job anymore doesn’t mean I am bored, on the contrary, I am busy. It means I can spend more hours to the business, and yes, we’re nearly open.
blanket Cygnet DKThere is also more time for some serious hooky-business. I’ve finished my blanket, the one made with Cygnet DK, in seven colours. I really enjoyed working on that one, it went pretty fast and the colours are yummy. Just the way I like them. This blanket deserves a proper Finished!-post, and it’ll get one. Yesterday was a lovely day and I took lots of photos in the garden. As you can see the grass needs some mowing (according to K) but I happen to like daisies a lot. So before K got the chance to kill all of these cuties I had a photo shoot with my blanket.
BagalongBagalong2Something else I started is a granny square bag. I am participating in the Bagalong, hosted and organized by the lovely Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats. You can read everything about it on her blog and there is a special Facebook group. Bagalong3I make mine with two strands so that I get a very firm bag and I am only using two colours. Although it’s a fast project, but when using two strands it make my fingers sore, so I might start another bag (attempt no. 3) with just one strand.
Do join us and make a bag!


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Less Sophie, more Lima

Sophies first roundsAh yes, the Sophie. Well, here’s an update. It’s not working. My Sophie isn’t working and it is just not only the yarn I use.  About that yarn, when working on Sophie I noticed that crocheting with cotton is not going smoothly. The cotton I am using is not soft enough to work with on this particular project. No, not for this blanket anyway. It’s too sturdy. So, on to Plan B. And Plan B involves acrylic yarn. Which I have, so that issue is solved. yarn stash(Now, when looking at the pic above, please don’t be shocked as it looks like I have a lot of yarn, but I am re-organising all of my yarn. So it looks a lot more than in real life. Really. It’s not that I am a yarnaholic, or something like that.)
ANyway, I look at the pattern. I sigh. Deeply. As I said before, the pattern is amazing. A true work of art. But … it’s just not my kind of pattern, I’m afraid. I am sorry, I really am, but it is just all a bit too much for me. Even when using only a few colours I find the pattern too overwhelming. Some stitches I really want to try though, like those oh so pretty roses. But I guess I am just the ripple kind of person, the ordinary granny square type. What can you do about it?
Right, let’s talk about Plan C: breaking up with Sophie. For now that is. We might get back together later.LimaI have decided to make another blanket, a blanket with rows and/or granny’s and (maybe) I’ll try some of Sophies stitches. When I look on the internet I see Lanas de Ana’s fantasy blanket. Do have a look, it’s lovely. I have used some of here stitches in a blanket (my first) before and I’ve decided to make my own -kind of- fantasy blanket. A few stitches from her and a few of my own. Plus I can now use stitches from my recently purchased book. Yes, this blanket is perfect to try these.
I am using my Drops Lima for this project, so it’s going to be a smaller blanket than I am used to, as there aren’t a lot of meters on these balls of yarn.
LimaI case you’re wondering which colours I am using, they are:
3145 Powder pink
4305 Dark blue
8112 Ice blue
7219 Pistachio
0100 Naturel
0206 Light beige mix
6235 Grey blue
7810 Mossgreen
IMG_1830Love, love, love these colours. I wasn’t sure about the pink at first, but it looks perfect with the other shades.IMG_1826Have a nice weekend!


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Back in the sadle again …

Riding bootsAbout fours years ago I met friend M when I was looking for someone who could teach me how to horseback ride. It was something I wanted to try for years, horseback riding, and when I moved to the village I knew this was the chance. In those days there was a woman living in our street who walked her horse and pony’s every day to the meadow at the end/beginning of our street. I wanted to ask her if she might could teach me but she was always so unfriendly to me, never said ‘hello’ back to me when I greeted her, that I didn’t even bother. Luckily I met M and at her place I had my first lessons. I was so nervous that first time and I thought: I’ll love this or I’ll hate this. I absolutely loved it. I discovered you can fall in love with a horse. That night after the first lesson I couldn’t sleep of excitement. And in bed I still felt the movement of the horse … (anyone recognizing this??).Rover                                                                           ♥ Rover, 2011
Schanulleke en Corine                                                                      ♥ Schanulleke, 2012
When I started with horseback riding I was on a long sick leave, and I had discussed it with my doctor to do something that would make me feel better. She said that starting with horseback riding was an excellent idea. If this would make me feel better it would help me to get back on track. And it did work.
Phantom                                                                        Phantom, 2013Limit                                                                          Limit, 2013
Although I loved riding at M’s place I also wanted to try some riding lessons at a riding school. I wanted to ride on other horses, too. So I did and I rode on Limit, Phantom and Mareina. Such lovely horses and also so much (well, a bit) bigger than Schanulleke. Oh my, they were huge! I needed to overcome some serious anxiety here, pfff …. but then I stopped riding, for nearly two whole years. I had to stop because I couldn’t afford it any longer and there was too much going in my life. Life got in the way.Limit 2And then, three weeks ago, my cousin died. He lived life to the fullest and it made me, once again, realise that life is fragile and sometimes very short. It was that wake-up call I needed. Don’t wait with doing things that you truly, madly love and what makes you feel happy.
Mareina                                                                           ♥ Mareina, 2015
I had to start riding again. I think if I waited any longer I wouldn’t dare anymore. Riding bootsSo I dusted off my rubber riding boots, removed some spider cobs from the inside (unknown species were living in my boots, I kid you not), grabbed my cap (ALWAYS, I repeat ALWAYS wear a cap) and brushes and drove to the riding school.Mareina, good girlMareina  Ooww …. I do  the smell of horse manure. And I Mareina too …

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