Europe is so gorgeous!

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I have not been around here for a bit, and the good news is that I was travelling to Europe for a vacation.

It was very hot, and I got a lovely tan to show off now.  🙂  I only visited Belgium and Holland, and tried to see as much as is possible.  I absolutely loved every moment of it, and I think I left a little piece of myself behind in Rotterdam.  I fell in love with this city the moment I arrived.  Everywhere we went was stunning and gorgeous, and I did everything I could to see it all.  But in Rotterdam I had the best time.  I definitely plan to go back and spend time there again.

The first stop was Belgium, and we stayed in Brussels. I did not have any idea of where the woolshops or such was.  I did however discover these gorgeously soft yarns in the back of a huge store, and also got the sweetest little kit for a doggie to stitch.

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

In Rotterdam I took some time one morning and visited the store Schroder.  It was a quick walk there, and I had such a lovely time.  I spent time with the lovely ladies assisting me, and we had lots of good chats and laughs.  The choice was difficult.  🙂  I wanted it all, but had to keep in mind going home with it all.  So I settled for some Scheepjes knitting yarn, and Scheepjes crochet cottons, and of course, I could not resist a few stunning pieces of pretty blue dutch themed fabric.  I did not get around to Jawol in Rotterdam, as it was summer holidays and most stores were enjoying the holidays too.  I did go to the Markthal and was overwhelmed.  🙂  A must see to all.  And if you are not afraid of heights, Euromast!!  I went all the way to the top, and we even had lunch in the restaurant there, way up in the sky.

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

Amsterdam had to include a stop at De Bejinkorf, of course.  I checked out the routes there the evening we arrived already, so I knew where to go the next day.  🙂  And the lovely Stephen and Penelope is walking distance from there.  I am so happy I finally got around to the store, and loved the visit.  Such a lot of yarns, notions, pins, bags, needles and hooks.  I loved the yarn I got, “the Night Watch” as inspired by the famous painting.  And how cute are those little house needle size gauges.

🙂  yes I did see all the paintings and visited the museums too.

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

So worth the trip, and so worth the long haul home.  It was 37 hours from getting up the morning, last few hours before travelling later in the afternoon, layover in Paris, overnight flight, and getting back to Johannesburg the next day.  Collecting Miekie and finally home again.  I will do it again anytime.

Going home again

Going home again

Thank you Air France and KLM for taking such good care of us.

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New projects and Wips’

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So it is already July and the middle of the year.

And with that, a lot of new small projects and new wip’s that have found their way onto my needles and hooks.

The blanket square pattern are now settled.  I am happy with the look of the pattern and will continue to knit these squares until I have used all the yarn and have enough squares for a blanket.  🙂  It is a large project that may take a bit, but in the end I will have a pretty big and cozy blanket.

Blanket squares

Blanket squares

Then I started with some crochet.  🙂  I had been in the mood to crochet something, and small projects like these crocheted bags were just what I needed to feel very happy with taking out my hooks again.

I made a small cotton bag, and this local cotton works so well.  It is lovely and sturdy and feels good on your hands.

Then I also crocheted a bamboo bag.  I love bamboo yarn to crochet with, it is very smooth and easy to work with.  I added a pretty daisy that I got from a swap buddy last year.  It really adds to the bag, and makes it super cheerful.

Still working with cotton, I am making a small pile of cotton kitchen cloths.  This is the first one, with a few more to follow.

For the kitchen

for the kitchen

And thanks to all the beautiful embroidery work of so many, I could no longer keep myself in check.  I have started a cross stitch project.  I am not sure yet if I will be framing it, or using it as a tea cloth or a centrepiece for something larger.  But I love the variegated floss I got and am working on this when the light is good.  (old eyes you know 🙂 )

A bit of embroidery

a bit of embroidery

Also lurking in the background is this floppy bunny.  I have cut the white fur.  🙂  and had bits of white fur and fluff all over the table and workplace in the end.  I still have to cut the grey fur, which is about twice as much.  🙂  but am still working up the courage to cut into this fluffy fur again.  It is gorgeously soft and will sew up beautifully I think.

Fluffy floppy bunny

Fluffy floppy bunny

It is of course mid winter here in Johannesburg, so lots of time to relax and craft and enjoy a sunny cozy spot in the sun.

Happy crafting all.

New Blanket in the making

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About a year ago, or maybe even longer, I was working on this blanket, but I was really not making much progress.  The pattern I was using was not easy to follow, and you had to concentrate and count mostly all the time.  I also attempted to knit the whole blanket all in one.

After a while of not getting anywhere with it, I frogged it and put the yarn to one side.  The intention to still make a blanket from it was still there.

So finally I have started this rather ambitious project again.  🙂 This time I will rather knit big squares, that I can work on any time, and hopefully over a period of time, I will knit all the yarn that I have set out for this.  Then I can just join it and have a blanket.

After a few attempts at working on a square that I would like, and would be able to pick up and put down, I think this one is the one that I really like and enjoy.

 

Blanket Square

Blanket Square

 

 

 

The last of my #Wip’s

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The last of my current wips are now off my needles.  🙂

I finished the Chasing Blizzard shawl.  I did not use alternating yarns as per the pattern, as my yarn already had all my favourite colours in one ball.  This is a stunning pattern that is absolutely a pleasure to knit.

The yarn is lovely and warm and the yarn cake was big enough to make a large and very cozy and warm shawl with.  It wears well and drapes beautifully.

Chasing Blizzard Shawl

Chasing Blizzard Shawl

Now time to dive for some yarns and patterns and ideas.  I have already got a stitching project ready.  🙂

Winter is here ….

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Winter is here,

Friday morning started off very cold, and very misty.  The mist burned off when the sun came out, but it remained a typical winters day here in Johannesburg.

Misty Mornings

Misty mornings

That of course, meant a cold and wintery weekend.  And lots of time for crafting.  🙂  Yay.

I finished the crochet blanket I was working on.  Miekie loved the idea and could not snuggle under it soon enough.  I used a very plain stitch and pattern and it went amazingly quick.  I love this yarn and colour, “woodpecker” colour says the label.  It works well and fast.

And Old Ned, the little green and red bear, also got done.  He turned out so cute, and the perfect little friend for Old Blu that I did a while back.  I really like the fur with the two colours.

It is a chilly Monday here and this morning was a mere 3 degrees C but it warmed up again to a nice winters day.

Happy crafting all.

Happy Winter Crafting

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So winter is here now, and the days are lovely, chilly and sunny.  I do enjoy a good winter’s day around here.  Although lately we have had some pretty cloudy overcast days, specially in the afternoons, and with drizzle during the night too.  Winter rainfall is unusual in Johannesburg.  The trees have started losing their leaves, and the lawn has a leafy blanket now.

This then means more crafting time for me now.

I have had enough daylight to stitch me little bear, Old Ned.  All the parts are sewn, and ready for stuffing.  Then his face and ears, which is my best loved part, as it gives character to them.  Then I am ready to assemble the last bits.

Little bear progress

Little bear progress

And of course, winter brings shawls.  And even though I have many already, and love to wear them, I guess I can never have to many.  The latest one is a pretty blue-ish one.  The yarn is a yarn cake, and fades into shades of blue.  I found the perfect pattern, Chasing Blizzard Shawl.  The pattern makes use of various colours, but since my yarn is already coloured, I just follow the pattern without changing yarns.  It is an amazing easy pattern and knits very nicely.

New shawl

New shawl

And when the cold is a bit to nippy, I can now change to the Woodpecker blanket, which is growing steadily at a lovely pace, and now big enough to keep my legs warm.  It will definitely be finished this winter still.

Woodpecker blanket progress

Woodpecker blanket progress

Happy crafting to you all.  🙂

 

 

 

 

Just in time

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Just a quick update.  🙂

I finished the cabled beanie for myself on the weekend.  And just in time.

I woke this morning to a very wet and chilly Johannesburg.

Happy crafting to all, and those down south, winter is here, keep warm.  🙂

Keeping it going

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It is very noticeable just how much you start to craft and feel like crafting once the weather turns, and you are cozy and comfy in a spot of sunlight on a chilly Fall day.

That is how is feels to me at least.  During summer I did craft, but I think a lot less.  Now I am on a roll again.

I have cast on a quick hat, I think I want this one for myself.

Cabled Beanie

Cabled Beanie

And I even stitched this little kit that I had.  I had not done embroidery for a while, and loved it.  I tried to keep the black lines of the design to give it a little different look.  Normally I cover the design lines and wash them out.  But I think this works.

Embroidery kit

Embroidery kit

The crocket “Woodpecker” blanket is coming along too, I should even be using it this winter when the really colder weather arrives.

 

Time for some finished projects

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It has been a very good and progressive couple of weeks.  The cooler weather has finally arrived, and it meant more time for crafting and relaxing.

Plus we have had some lovely long weekends to enjoy, and I made very good use of all the extra days.

I took a long road trip to visit the Nan Hua Temple.  It is an absolutely beautiful place to visit, and I spent the day there and enjoyed a beautiful vegetarian lunch.  I find it very peaceful and tranquil.

Temple Entrance

Temple Entrance

 

I crocheted a new bag that I could use the funky cheeky piece of fabric I had.  This time the fit was perfect, and I even inserted a zipper.

Off my needles is my first pair of socks for the winter.  I tried a little something new / different on the heels, but I may need to practice a bit more.

Socks

Socks

The left over sock yarn became a cowl and bandanna for Miekie.  She seems happy with the new goodies.

Do you remember this yarn I got from my daughter?  🙂  I decided to make a crocheted blanket.  The colourway is called Woodpecker, and I am calling this my “woodpecker” blanket.  The colours does remind me very much of a little woodpecker bird.

New Crochet Blanket

New Crochet Blanket

Happy crafting all.

My Knitted Carry All

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I completed the knitted carry all I was working on.  But unfortunately the pretty cheeky fabric I had in mind for the lining, was a bit to small for the finished bag.

So I opted to line the bag with a soft satiny fabric in a very bright and cheerful yellow.  Added to that, I made a cheeky little yellow custard cream cookie to add to the bag, and finished it off with a brown leather strap.

Knitted Carry All

Knitted Carry All

Knitted Carry All

Knitted Carry All

Knitted Carry All

Knitted Carry All

I am working on another smaller and different type bag for the cheeky fabric.  🙂