Projects, projects everywhere!

I’m back! And still insanely busy… In between the holidays, a very busy time at work, getting sick a couple times, and having my birthday, I’ve been working on loads of little projects that just didn’t seem to want to be made into a blog post. Thus, I’ve decided to try and put them all in one.

So here’s a quick overview of what I’ve been up to:
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I made a bunch of stuff to sell with Tegendraads at Gamepitcon last January.
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Finished work on the blanket I started back in October/November (still need to somehow attach the fleece that I bought for the back)
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Made some cute felt owls with a kit I bought way back at the Kreadoe
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Went to the Haakathon for the Dutch leprosy relief and made a couple ‘red cats’
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Went to the opening of a new Crochet store by the girls behind Briljant Crochet (they seem to really be living the dream!)
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Made some cards with a kit I got for my birthday.

And together with my friend Doretta, we taught two more people to crochet ^_^ I hope they enjoyed it and are still working on their skills.

Right now, I’m working on Vlad the vampire bat by Lalylala. Using this:
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A ball of awesome ‘magic swing’ yarn from Briljant Crochet. It’s got a little sparkle mixed in it ❤ but I have to work it together with my normal yarn, which made for some hard work. Thankfully it's almost done now!
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Magic swing in action, it’s a lot of fun to watch the balls of yarn taking shape.

After Vlad is finished, I’ve got a couple projects lined up already (african flower crocodile, a froggy coin purse, actually really finishing the blanket, maybe even start on another blanket with the Stylecraft CAL in April) I hope to be making more blog posts again in the future! I’ll probably elaborate a bit on the Haakathon in a later post ^_^

Plus, something totally not crochet or craft related, I got a new fish tank!

What have you guys been up to?
Cheers, Lydia

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Kreadoe 2014

Last Saturday, Doretta and I went to the Kreadoe. This is a huge arts and crafts fair in the Netherlands, with tonnes of stands promoting different crafts and selling the materials you need.

We went last year as well, but didn’t really enjoy ourselves as much as we would’ve hoped. So this year, we weren’t sure if we would go at all. Eventually, we both decided that we deserved to have a nice “girl’s day out” and went anyway. Luckily, this time we knew what to expect and we came prepared. I’d checked out the site already, and found a couple workshops that I wanted to attend. On the day itself, I ended up doing other things, which were just as much fun nonetheless.

My yarn wish-list was pretty big, since I had a couple of projects that I wanted to get started on, or was in the middle of when I ran out of the right yarn. I ended up buying loads of different things, but hardly anything from my wish-list. That’s the fun bit about this kind of fair. Since it’s not focused on crocheting alone, you can get into contact with some other crafts that you might like just as much (or maybe even more)

As for the workshops, the two that I attended were the following: covering a Styrofoam heart with moss and other natural materials, and making an origami Christmas ornament. And here are the results:

The paper is kind of shiny, so pretty <3

The paper is kind of shiny, so pretty ❤

I made a number plate for our house ^_^

I made a number plate for our house ^_^

Like I said, I bought loads of different things, so here are some pictures of my haul:

Everything put out on the table

Everything put out on the table

The yarn I bought. I ended up buying two versions of almost the same colour to start on a flamingo pattern I'd wanted to make for a while now. Turns out I can now make a small army of flamingos if I want to... I really love the multicolour yarn, and I'm rather glad that I didn't know the price until I went to the register (man, pretty multicolour yarn is expensive!)

The yarn I bought. I ended up buying two versions of almost the same colour to start on a flamingo pattern I’d wanted to make for a while now. Turns out I can now make a small army of flamingos if I want to… I really love the multicolour yarn, and I’m rather glad that I didn’t know the price until I went to the register (man, pretty multicolour yarn is expensive!)

Of course, I couldn't resist to buy a package that lets me make a cute owl out of felt <3

Of course, I couldn’t resist to buy a package that lets me make a cute owl out of felt ❤

A set to make a Styrofoam fish. I loved the finished ones they had at their stand and couldn't let myself walk away without a set to make one of my own

A set to make a Styrofoam fish. I loved the finished ones they had at their stand and couldn’t let myself walk away without a set to make one of my own

Little tiles to make a mosaic with

Little tiles to make a mosaic with

And lastly, a set of three cute little vases

And lastly, a set of three cute little vases

I already made the mosaic inside a little tray. I just need to fill the spaces between the tiles. And the flamingo is halfway done. I ran into a little problem with the way the feathers are crocheted, but thanks to the lovely crochet community, I got some helpful tips and should soon be well on my way to finish it. Other than that, my head is brimming with ideas and inspiration. Let’s just hope I don’t lose it before everything is finished up.

Do you enjoy looking at other crafts, or do you prefer to stick to what you know? I love to experiment a little bit (or else, I would have never started to crochet!)

Cheers, Lydia

Sorting the ‘stash’

I’m sure you all know the feeling. You need that one particular colour, but your stash is so messy that you end up spending endless amounts of time digging through it all to find what you’re looking for.

A while back, I got a nice big trunk to store my yarn in and I figured if I kept the colours together, I wouldn’t have to spend too much time looking for anything. Man, was I ever wrong. Eventually, my stash ended up looking like this:
DSC05987I decided that I needed to do something, or I would have to keep buying more and more yarn because I couldn’t find that one skein that’s hidden all the way at the bottom. The perfect idea came to me when I read a post from All About Ami about making a DIY Yarn Storage. I needed compartments in the trunk to sort my skeins. I thought I’d found some at Ikea, but as it turned out, they didn’t fit. (They did fit perfectly in the drawers of our new wardrobe, so our socks and stuff are sorted as well)
That’s when I realised, I could just as easily make something myself.

And today, I finally set myself to work on it.

Everything I used: a piece of foamboard, two big pieces of cardboard, a pencil, scissors, box cutter, measuring tape, hot glue gun and something that helps you draw straight lines

Everything you need: a piece of foamboard, two big pieces of cardboard, a pencil, scissors, box cutter, measuring tape, hot glue gun and something that helps you draw straight lines

Plus, of course: a cup of tea. (optional)

Plus, of course: a cup of tea. (optional)

I cut the foamboard in two pieces that fit inside the trunk when laid flat. These make the base of the compartments, so I could fit multiple layers inside that were easy to lift up. It’s important that the underside is nice and sturdy, to that it doesn’t bend or break under the weight of the yarn. The dividers don’t need to be as sturdy, so I used the thinner cardboard. It’s actually pretty nice that they give way a little bit, so you can squeeze in that last skein. I think it’s easiest (for me to type and less text for you), if I just show you in pictures how I made the compartments.

First, I divided the foamboard in two fitting pieces

First, I divided the foamboard in two fitting pieces

Then, I measured the strips to make the dividers

Then, I measured the strips to make the dividers

Cut them all and then used the hot glue gun to attach four of them around the bottom

Cut them all and then used the hot glue gun to attach four of them around the bottom

After glueing, you get this

After glueing, you get this

Time for another cup of tea!

Time for another cup of tea!

Cutting notches so that the dividers can be placed together

Cutting notches so that the dividers can be placed together

The dividers put together

The dividers put together

They can also be folded if I ever decide I don't need them for a while

They can also be folded if I ever decide I don’t need them for a while

The complete compartment. The dividers are loose, so they can be taken out or replaced if need be

The complete compartment. The dividers are loose, so they can be taken out or replaced if need be

Time to cuddle with the cats before I start on the sorting

Time to cuddle with the cats before I start on the sorting (they look totally happy to see me in this picture :P)

The bottom holds a couple skeins that I don't use very often, since it's bigger yarn, plus some tiny skeins, needle felting materials and a little bit of stuffing.

The bottom holds a couple skeins that I don’t use very often, since it’s bigger yarn, plus some tiny skeins, needle felting materials and a little bit of stuffing.

The second layer holds one of the compartments

The second layer holds one of the compartments

And then there's the top layer with the second compartment

And then there’s the top layer with the second compartment

A sorted stash is a happy stash! Hopefully it will stay neat this time ^_~

How do you sort your stash? Is it sorted at all? And did you find this little post of mine to be helpful? Feel free to let me know in a comment! ^_^

Cheers, Lydia

My Apologies

I’m so sorry guys. I really feel kind of terrible for not posting anything for so very long.
For some reason, life really caught up with me and I just couldn’t find the time to blog. To be honest, I didn’t think there was an awful lot to blog about.

But now, I will take some time to let you guys know what I’ve been up to!

First off, as usual, I’ve been working a lot. Right now we’re smack in the middle of vacation season, so we’re missing co-workers and the ones that aren’t on holiday need to work a little bit more. So that’s pretty busy. Next to that, last month it was time for Animecon 2014, one of the biggest J-pop culture conventions in the Netherlands and I’m one of the lucky people who help to organise the whole thing. It was a blast, but also a very stressful time, which left me pretty much exhausted. Luckily, my duties are mostly during the convention only, so the rest of the year is more peaceful. But that one weekend a year can sure take a lot out of me.

Then, there’s some great news: Boyfriend and I bought a house! We will get the keys in a couple weeks, so I’ll be pretty busy packing up all our stuff and moving. It’s all very exciting and a little bit stressful, but I believe it’s amazing that we are able to take this huge step in life together ^_^ Sadly, it will cut into my crocheting and blogging time though, but it’s the best reason I can think of. Plus, I get my very own room to work in, so I’m trying to get lots of inspiration for decorating it.

More exciting news: I joined a Dutch crafts group called Tegendraads (Dutch site!). They sell different kinds of handmade goods and usually give workshops at different conventions in the Netherlands. This august will be the first time I will try to sell my work, so I’m trying to figure out what to bring and how to price the items. Thankfully, the girls are really helpful with giving loads of tips. But it will always be a surprise what will sell well and what I will have to bring back home with me. I’ll keep you updated.

I’ve gotten in touch with a new craft at Animecon as well. Needle felting! I find that it’s almost therapeutic to stick a needle into a bunch of felting wool until it gets the shape you want it to have. I bought a small starting kit at the convention and really enjoyed working on it. So when I ran into some kits at a local story, I just couldn’t resist. I’m working on trying to make some really small creatures. Not sure why, but for some reason it seems like more of a challenge to make things as tiny as possible, while still being recognisable. Here are the ones I’ve made so far:

Bunny made with the starter kit

Bunny made with the starter kit

Tiny piglet :3

Tiny piglet :3

And a teeny, tiny blue Totoro <3

And a teeny, tiny blue Totoro ❤

Next to that, I am still crocheting of course!
Right now, I’m working on a teddy bear for one of my little cousins and of course the items I would like to try and sell for Tegendraads.
Pics or it didn’t happen:

Hedgehog made using a pattern from Zoomigurumi 3 and a Stone Washed yarn

Hedgehog made using a pattern from Zoomigurumi 3 and a Stone Washed yarn

Another African Flower Owl, this one will stay with me (hopefully)

Another African Flower Owl, this one will stay with me (hopefully)

This one was a commission for a friend. It's supposed to be the avatar from some YouTuber, but I wasn't familiar with the little dude until my friend asked me to make her one ^_^"

This one was a commission for a friend. It’s supposed to be the avatar from some YouTuber, but I wasn’t familiar with the little dude until my friend asked me to make her one ^_^”

Pokéballs! These are keyrings that I will try to sell :) The ultraball got cancelled by me though, it just wouldn't come out the way I wanted it to

Pokéballs! These are key-rings that I will try to sell 🙂 The ultra ball got cancelled by me though, it just wouldn’t come out the way I wanted it to

So yeah, busy times and I’m not taking the time I need to take to blog. But I will try to keep you all updated a bit more. As usual, if you happen to miss me for too long, check out my FaceBook page. It’s a lot easier to update, since I don’t feel the need to write long stories. I keep that one up to date with pictures of current projects!

So once again, my apologies for disappearing and hopefully I will be able to write to you guys a lot more in the future, with more original patterns to come!

Cheers, Lydia

Octopi Family – the tale of a Crochet Lounge gone wild

A while back, I joined a FaceBook group called Briljant (Brilliant) Crochet. The group was started by two very enthusiastic ladies who love to crochet so much they just had to share with others. They started organising Crochet Lounges, either evenings or Saturday afternoons when you could come in and crochet together with other people with the same interest. Like the Hook-ins I go to every once in a while, except a lot closer to home ^_^

I hadn’t had the chance to join in any of them though, since work and other obligations held a tight grip on my time. But at the end of April there was one that I just couldn’t pass up: a Lalylala themed Crochet Lounge. Some of you may remember Paul the Toadstool that I made last year. He is one of the patterns in ‘the Doll Project‘ from Lalylala. I really enjoyed making him, even though there were some bumps along the road.

But I digress. Back to the Lalylala Crochet Lounge. The idea was that you’d pay a certain amount, pick the pattern you wanted, and come to the Crochet Lounge to pick up your kit to build your very own Lalylala doll. It was quite the task to pick out the pattern that I really wanted to make, up until the point where my eye fell on Oleg the Octopus. I have no idea why, but I adore octopi. They are just too darn cute with all their squiggly legs and puffy bodies. So the choice was made. I dragged along my friend Doretta from Hagoort&co (Dutch blog!) who picked Buzz as her first Lalylala project.

The project turned out to be a bigger challenge than normally is the case with a big pattern. But I believe the story is best told in pictures, because for once, I took loads of them while working 😛

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Upon arrival at the crochet lounge, everyone could pick up their kit containing the pattern they chose together with the yarn, stuffing, eyes and other accessories to make their own Lalylala doll.

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The pattern for Oleg

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Everyone was asked to bring any and all Lalylala’s they made before. So many different kinds of cuteness! (and no, my Paul isn’t in this picture, because he doesn’t live at home any more ^_~) There were 70 crocheters gathered at the lounge, but luckily, not as many dolls or else there would’ve been no room left on stage

 

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At the end of the evening, I had finished the head already!

Continued working hard on Oleg at home, but Murphy showed his ugly head: I ran out of yarn!

Continued working hard at home, but Murphy showed his ugly head: I ran out of yarn!

Ran out of yarn again, so no arms yet for Oleg...

Ran out of yarn again, so no arms yet for Oleg…

As if that wasn't enough, my hook broke! It was one of my favourites...

As if that wasn’t enough, my hook broke! It was one of my favourites…

Finally Oleg is done and able to play with his little elephant friend

Finally Oleg is done and able to play with his little elephant friend

A wild girlfriend appeared! (Olga? Help me name her!)

A wild girlfriend appeared! (Olga? Help me name her!)

The happy couple with their pet elephant (that's not weird at all!)

The happy couple with their pet elephant (that’s not weird at all!)

Luckily, working on his girlfriend didn’t take me quite as long and I came prepared for any yarn-shortages. I ran into that lovely coral colour at the crochet lounge and instantly the idea of a little female Oleg popped into my head. When I had to order more blue yarn, I immediately included some skeins of coral to make sure I wouldn’t run into the same problems again (Paul flashback >_<) I’m not sure why she looks so different from Oleg, though. I followed the exact same pattern with the exact same brand of yarn and the same hook. Only difference is the stuffing and that I excluded a few rounds on the hat part. But I really like how they both ended up with their own looks and personalities!

They now live happily ever after on our dinner table until I have found a better spot for them ^_^ These dolls can take up a lot of time and yarn, but in the end, it’s all totally worth it!

Right now, I kind of can’t wait for the next themed Crochet Lounge!
Cheers, Lydia

ps: the elephant pattern was translated by All About Ami and can be found here for free!

Tiny Projects

Because the store where I work is a little understaffed at the moment, I’m going to be working a lot more than usual. It has been pretty busy already so I haven’t been able to do a lot of crochet work. I’ve mostly been working on little projects, but I do love the result ^_^

The first was a request made by a friend that I’d almost forgotten about until she reminded me a few weeks back.

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It’s a little baby-Squirtle! The pattern is made by Aphid777 on Deviant Art can be found here. I fell in love with the pictures even before I got to work on my own. So before I got to crocheting, I saved all her other patterns for baby Pokémon on my to-do list! The main difference between my Squirtle and hers, is that I didn’t needle-felt the eyes, but made them with iron-on cloth and acrylic paint. Also, I couldn’t get the markings on his belly quite right, but then again, he’s supposed to lay on his tummy, so that shouldn’t matter too much ^_^”

The second was a project that has been on my to-do list for a while now. Luckily, in the big bag of yarn that I got from a friend a while back contained just the right colours. Now I can present you:

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It’s an extremely cute little hedgehog! The pattern is by Ana Paula Rimoli and can be bought here.  The quills were a lot of work, but it is worth it. From the top he looks like a walking afro 🙂

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The third one was something that I wanted to do a long time, but didn’t really look for until this week.

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Atashi from Chobits ❤
The very first thing I bought at my very first anime convention was an Atashi keyring. I’d never even seen the anime or read the manga, but I the thing was just so adorable that I couldn’t leave it. Over time it got pretty beat up and now it’s sitting around somewhere in a drawer collecting dust. Thanks to this pattern by Djonesgirl 0n Craftsy.  I do regret making the eyes from felt, since the shape didn’t turn out the way I’d liked to. But then again, it’s still very lovely 🙂

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So yeah, I’m going to be pretty busy the coming weeks. And the blog will be rather quiet as well 😦 But I will try to share my latest crochet creations whenever I can! I’ve already got a couple new patterns planned, but still need to find the time to work on them ^_^”

Bare with me please. Also, sorry for the crappy pictures, my phone did not want to work with me… Though I do love the one of the baby-Squirtle 🙂

Cheers, Lydia

Workshop worries

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Not much to post about lately. My crocheting has been slow at best, mostly because my days have been rather busy. I didn’t have to work all that much, but my free days were filled with activities. One of those was the crochet workshop I did together with my friend Doretta from hagoort&co (Dutch site!).

Earlier this week we did the shopping for the needed materials. I had to contain myself in order not to buy too much stuff for myself, but I ended up coming home with some pompom makers anyway. I couldn’t resist. Not that I make a lot of pompoms, but whenever I do, it’s a lot of work messing around with cardboard circles. Now those messy days should be over! I saw a lot of other stuff that made me go squee, but I really had to take it easy.

This has been a week of shopping at least a little bit. On Thursday I visited a museum with my mom, my cousin, and her daughters. After that, we went into Leiden to do a little shopping. I fell in love with this huge chest with owls on it. And my mom bought it for me ❤ now I have more than plenty of room for my stash (my old box wouldn’t really close any more) I do still want to sort everything on colour, but I ended up just putting everything in there quickly, cause I just didn’t have a lot of time to sort.

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Coming to my point, yesterday it was time for the workshop. I was pretty nervous about this, since I didn’t know the people that we were supposed to teach how to crochet. I worried if they would like the pattern we were working on, if they would be able to pick up the technique, if I would be able to explain things clearly. Luckily for me, they were pretty enthusiastic and my friend did most of the explaining.

Something I learned about myself: I am not a patient woman. I am more than happy to explain something, but I just can’t get myself to do so several times in a row. After a while I get sidetracked and want to just take the work out of their hands to do it for them. I really need to work on that ^_^” Thankfully I was working on the same pattern, so I got to work ahead a little bit in between waiting for the others to get the hang of things.

It’s hard to imagine now that I started out exactly the same way. It’s been almost three years and I’m so happy that I didn’t give up when I had trouble at first. In the end, I think the three people who signed up did have fun and I hope they will continue to practise and enjoy their crochet the way I do.

On another note: when I keep quiet on the blog like I have this week, it’s a good idea to check out the Crochetnanigans Facebook page. On there, I share little updates that just aren’t big enough to make a blogpost about. You can find the link on the right side of your screen ^_~

Time to get back to crocheting, enjoy your Sunday!
Cheers, Lydia