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

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I love shopping, especially if it means getting some new stuff for my ever growing crochet collection. Last week was spent spending money ^_^

I bought more yarn to work on Boyfriend’s scarf. Yarn to make the Elephant Snuggle. Yarn I needed for the patterns I have in mind. Yarn for the baskets I want to make. Folders to sort the printed out patterns I have. And a box to store and sort the buttons I bought some time ago. Next to that, I got a big bag of yarn from a friend, I still need to sort it. So yeah, I probably won’t run out of yarn anytime soon ^_^”

Yarn for the scarf

Yarn for the scarf

Yarn for the baskets, with one already done (I couldn't help myself and they're rather quick to work up)

Yarn for the baskets, with one already done (I couldn’t help myself and they’re rather quick to work up)

Yarn for the Elephant Snuggle (I also bought a skein of off-white)

Yarn for the Elephant Snuggle (I also bought a skein of off-white)

Folders! I now have four with various categories of patterns

Folders! I now have four with various categories of patterns

A box with loads of compartments to store the buttons

A box with loads of compartments to store the buttons

Sorted on one side

Sorted on one side

And the other

And the other

BIG bag of yarn ^_^

BIG bag of yarn ^_^

The yarn for the snuggle (Scheepjes Softfun) and the baskets (Lammy Hawai) has a lovely soft feel to it. I really enjoy working with it. It only takes one skein to make a small basket, so I bought two of the grey and blue to try and make some larger ones. Maybe play with the dimensions a little bit ^_^

I wanted to ask if you guys enjoy your shopping trips for your crochet projects, but that’s a rather silly question I think ^_~

Cheers, Lydia

Suzy Sheep

The last project I finished in 2013 was Suzy.
This was a pattern I’d been eyeing for a while before getting my hands on it. I’d already bought the yarn I needed, but decided to put the pattern on my Christmas list. Santa came through and even gave me another set of yarn, so now I can make another one if I want to ^_^ or maybe save the yarn for another project.

wpid-IMAG1087.jpgYou can make her in all kinds of colours, so it’s a great way to bust some of your stash ^_^

wpid-IMAG1088.jpgI love how she’s all cute, soft, and fuzzy, thanks to the use of Phildar Douce. Though it can be hard to work with, I really fell in love with this yarn all over again! I think it’s a bit easier to use than other types of fuzzy yarn (like Brazilia from SMC Schachenmayer), since my hook doesn’t get stuck in the hairs. And as long as you keep track of your rounds and count properly, it’s pretty quick and easy to work up a project. Plus, you don’t really see the stitches, so it looks like it isn’t even crochet at all (which I believe is pretty amazing)

The pattern is from Stip&Haak and can be found here (both links are in Dutch!)

Cheers, Lydia

Back in business

With the hectic holidays behind me, I have finally been able to find some time to really sit down and crochet again. Although I love Christmas and enjoy spending time with my family, it was getting difficult to find some me-time. Especially with work being busier than ever.

But now, I can get back to working on some nice projects ^_^ So here’s a little project-update!

I finished working on my ‘mystery project’ after a lot of frustration with it. I kept running out of yarn ^_^” The pattern called for about one skein of the main colour, I ended up using three >_< And if that wasn’t bad enough, I could only get the yarn from this one stand at the market in the town where I work. Fortunately, they also have a webshop. Unfortunately, you have to indicate the shipping fee yourself. Figuring that one skein is 50grams and fits into an envelope, I picked a shipping fee for envelopes weighing less than 100grams. The first time that went by without problems, but the second time, the lady from the store emailed me saying that the shipping fee is far more than that and that she didn’t understand how I came at that price. So in the end, I had to transfer some more money in order to get my package. It all worked out fine in the end, but I don’t really like the way their webshop is set up. Guess I’ll have to shop at the market from now on!

I haven’t really finished the cowl I made. It still needs a button, but I haven’t been able to find the right one. Today, I was in a little fabric store at our local mall, which turned out to have quite the collection of buttons. Sadly, I hadn’t thought to bring the cowl with me, so I’ll have to return on friday to pick the right one.

Boyfriends’ scarf is on the shelf until I can get my hands on some more of the yarn I used for it. That will be somewhere next year ^_^”

In the meantime, I’m working on this pattern: Suzy Sheep from Stip&Haak (Dutch!) I’m just flying through the pattern, even though it’s made with fuzzy yarn. I love using Phildar Douce, it’s really soft and it hardly shows that it’s crochet. And even though you can’t see the stitches, as long as you keep count and mark your rounds, it’s really easy to work with! I fell in love with this yarn all over again because of this project.
Right now, all I have left to make are the legs and then it’s all done! I think I started working on it on December 26th and I haven’t had much time for it until this weekend. So expect a post with the end result soon-ish ^_^

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Here’s another project I made with Phildar Douce ❤

Another project I finished up, was the winter owl decoration made of felt. It was fun to make something different than amigurumi, but my sewing skills aren’t to write home about. Still, I think he turned out very cute! And even though I have already gotten rid of all Christmas decoration in the house, I kept this one up because I like it so much 🙂DSC05279DSC05281

I get to enjoy one more quiet day and then it’s time for New Years! Everyone have a great night and be careful if you plan to light up some fireworks!

See you all next year.
Cheers, Lydia

How to make my day in 12 easy steps!

A few months ago, I was at a local store with my mom. It’s the kind of store that sells books and other stuff really cheap and they switch their collection regularly. That day, I ran into a handy little book called: “Crochet Notebook”. In it, you can keep track of patterns you’ve made, which hooksize you used, which and how much yarn (brand, colournumber weight), how long the project took you… Pretty much anything you’d like to remember when working on a pattern. But, I didn’t buy it then. It was right before Boyfriend and I were going on vacation and I needed to keep what little money I had, in my pocket.

Yesterday, me and Boyfriend went shopping for Christmas gifts and we went to the same store. I looked around for the book, but couldn’t find it anywhere. So when Boyfriend asked me what I was looking for, I described it to him. We both looked around a bit more, but we couldn’t find it. So we proceeded to look around for gifts. Then suddenly, a lady walked up to us. And she said: ‘I think I heard you talking about this book?’ And lo and behold, she was holding the very book I had been looking for! Apparently, she’d overheard me describing the book to Boyfriend and ran into it in a different section of the store. And she was kind enough to actually take the book with her and come and find us! I was rather surprised and a little overcome by her kindness. It’s pretty amazing how many kind people there still are in this world. So I thanked her a bunch of times and had to restrain myself not to give her a big hug. (It’s never very smart to suddenly hug strangers, no matter how friendly they might be ^_^” )

So, to make a long story short: here’s my new book in which I can write my patterns:

It looks so cute and happy! ^_^/

It looks so cute and happy! ^_^/

And yes, the post title is a lie, there is no easy, 12 step way to brighten my day, but little acts of kindness certainly go a long way!

What can make you smile?

Cheers, Lydia

I have made a huge mistake…

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All the skeins I (believe I) will need for the African Flower Owl

Remember this giant stash of yarn I bought at the crafts fair a few weeks back? I really thought I would need that much yarn to make Maggie the African flower owl. As it turns out, I only need to make about 6 more flowers and I’m still on my first skeins. I’m using three colours: white, grey, and blue and it looks like I will need just one skein of each.

It also looks like it will become a bit smaller than it should be. But I won’t know for sure until I’ve put all the pieces together.

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This will become the front, the white parts are the eyes

Now I need to figure out what to do with the rest of the yarn. Maybe I will make a matching afghan (the one I’ve been meaning to make since summer). On the other hand, if it really turns out smaller than expected, I might make another one with a bigger hook and a double thread.

What do you do when it turns out you have bought way too much yarn for a single project?

In other news: this blog has gotten over 10.000 views! I was hoping it would reach this number before my anniversary (the 4th of December) but I never thought it would go this quick! So now, I’m trying to think of a way to celebrate, but can’t quite decide what to do. A friend of mine suggested a give-away or something like a crochet-along, but I’m still not sure. So any suggestions are very welcome!

Cheers, Lydia

Lovely day for a crafts fair

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Welcome to KreaDoe

Yesterday was my first time ever visiting the ‘KreaDoe’, a huge crafts fair in the Netherlands, together with my friend Doretta (site in Dutch). I had no idea what to expect and I have to say, it really blew me away.

First of all: Saturday is not the best day for visiting this event. It was busy:

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Yes, blurry pictures.. My phone isn’t the best when it comes to busy overview pictures and I didn’t feel like lugging my camera around all the time ^_^” but you get the idea!

Second: it was a lot of the same stuff. I must have seen at least a hundred stands with different kinds of paper for making cards. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but trust me when I say there were many!

Third: it was tons and tons of fun! So much to see and so much inspiration to be drawn from every corner! One thing I picked up was a DIY package for a little felt owl. If I like making it, I might order some more!

Winter Owl Decoration

Winter Owl Decoration
It has all you need to make it, except for pins, scissors, glue and measuring tape ^_^

One of the stands that really stood out to me was that of Fantasy Atelier (site in Dutch!). They make the most amazing, tiny little castles and fairy-trees with mostly natural products. If you’ve ever been to the Efteling (a big themepark in the Netherlands) you can compare what they make with the ‘Droomvlucht’. Aw heck, you guys need a picture to know what I’m talking about:

Castle Globe

Castle Globe

"Beanstalk"

“Beanstalk”

All their products looked so amazing, I fell in love with them. They also sell DIY packages, I think I just need to put at least one of those on my Christmas Wishlist ❤

At the EchtStudio stand, you could have your picture taken with Joke, from AmigurumiPatterns.net, in order to get a 10% discount. The only catch was that you needed to bring a Zoomigurumi with you. I finished my Wasabi the Bunny way before the event, but bought the book last wednesday and couldn’t resist working on the Toucan. I finished work on it friday night, just in time to join me on my trip:

Me with Joke and Zico the Toucan

Me with Joke and Zico the Toucan

And a 10% discount was just what I needed, since I found out how much yarn is needed to make that African Flower Owl I love so much. Which brings me to my purchases of the day:

All the skeins I (believe I) will need for the African Flower Owl

All the skeins I (believe I) will need for the African Flower Owl

Some other stuff I got: present labels, the felt owl, a new crochet hook (4mm), colour changing yarn and some felt-wool (wool-felt? no idea what the stuff is called ^_^")

Other stuff I got: present labels, the felt owl, a new crochet hook (4mm), colour changing yarn and some felt-wool (wool-felt? no idea what the stuff is called ^_^”)

All together!

All together!

After all that shopping, we enjoyed a nice cup of hot cocoa (me) and coffee (Doretta) at a café in Utrecht and then went on our way home. I was exhausted after the trip and was glad to see my trusty couch and later on my bed. A headache attack kept me from going to the birthday party that was on the agenda for the evening, but in the end, I think it’s a good thing I didn’t go, as I might have fallen asleep right in between the other guests…

And what did I spend my sunday on? Finished work on my shy little unicorn for the CAL:

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Isn’t she a cutie? I think I need to make her a big brother to watch over her!

How was your weekend?

Cheers, Lydia

Shopping Spree

Yesterday was Amigurumi Day at Echtstudio. With discounts, Dutch crochet celebrities and goody bags!

Of course, I had to work 😦 But a friend of mine lives near the shop and she went in my place (so awesome!) ^_^ I had a small shopping list of things I’d been meaning to get in the near future and now was as good a time as any.

The stuff I bought:DSC05164

The latest pattern book by Tessa van Riet-Ernst: “Amigurumi & Mini’s” which has loads of patterns for actual tiny amigurumis. Some fluffy yarn and normal white yarn for a pattern I have yet to purchase, but really want to make in the future and some other normal yarn to add to my stash. I was out of black again already, so I figured two skeins would get me through some projects for now and the red is for a project I have yet to figure out.

The best part:

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Free translation: “To Lydia, have loads of crochet-fun with these mini’s, Tess”

My friend got the book signed by the author ^_^

With my purchase, I got a goody bag with loads of fun stuff inside:DSC05167 DSC05168

The goody bag came in the form of a cute and huge knitting bag from Phildar with loads of patterns inside for all kinds of small and cute amigurumi, some cute postcards and a bag of stuffing, which is always a good thing. I go through so much stuffing in one month, every little bit I can get for free helps ^_^” I pretty much immediately fell in love with the pattern for a “Stekelvarkentje” by DenDennis. It’s pretty hard to translate the name, since a porcupine (the actual translation) isn’t really the same. As you might be able to see in the picture, it’s a combination between a piglet and a cactus and it is totally cute, so I can’t wait to get started!

I have got loads of planned projects for the near future, but I don’t really know how I will execute half of them. For now, I will stick with completing the My Little Pony set. Apple Jacks body is complete and now I’m working on Twilight Sparkle’s. I haven’t done the hair yet, I’m kind of keeping that till last, since I’m not entirely sure how I want to make it..

After that, I want to start working on a design of my own to enter into this competition.
Plus, I want to make all the mini-gurumis from my new book ^_^

Don’t worry if you don’t see many posts the coming weeks. I’m pretty much booked for October by my job, which isn’t such a bad thing, since I will make more money to spend on crochet-stuff ^_~

How are you spending your weekend?

Cheers, Lydia

PS: I entered my previous post, with Crocodile Steve, into a BYATWF contest over at Echtstudio. The winner gets free tickets to a craft-fair and a meet and greet with DenDennis, which would be totally awesome! So wish me luck 🙂

Why crocheting in a group is great fun and totally sucks

Disclaimer: Please note that this is a pretty rant-y, negative post. If you prefer to read about happy little crochet projects, please come back another time or browse my older posts ^_~

Last night, I went to my second Hook-In at Echtstudio. The first time I went, I had loads of fun, met new people and was able to talk about different techniques and materials. Yesterday was, well, different. Overall it was fun, I took the big Minion with me and some oohs and aahs were uttered when he came out of his little box. A couple of my friends were there as well, which is always nice. I love seeing familiar faces in a crowd.

Cause that’s what it sure was, a crowd. Echtstudio moved to a new studio since the last time I’ve been there and it’s gotten a lot bigger. Also, I guess a lot of people came especially to see DenDennis, an up and coming pattern designer (I got my picture taken with him, yay!) All in all, it ended up a lot less cozy and personal. At least, that’s what it felt like to me, could have been a completely different experience for anyone else.

I went in the hopes I would be able to buy the yarn for the Afghan I want to make. I pretty much picked out the material I wanted to use: Stylecraft Special DK. The only thing I wasn’t sure about were the colours. The pattern calls for three different colours, one main and two contrast. So I picked out a couple I liked and went to my friends to ask for some feedback. Two of them were sitting at a different table and when I got there, someone else who was sitting there as well asked me what I was going to make with it. So I told her about the pattern and what I wanted to use the blanket for.

And that’s where things went wrong for me. She told me that I absolutely HAD to use a different kind of yarn: Paris Drops. I have worked with this yarn before and I really didn’t like it. It splits, gets stiff and just doesn’t feel right to me. Also, I’ve been seeing a lot of projects made with Stylecraft lately, especially blankets and wanted to try it out. Plus, I would need twice as many skeins to make the thing with Drops. So I told her what I thought. But she kept going on and on about how if I used the Stylecraft I wouldn’t be able to get the cat hair out of it and it would get all dirty and be too warm and the Drops would be so much better. Right.

Then she said something that made more sense to me: calculate the difference in price. So I went and summed up the price for Stylecraft and Drops. Turned out, Stylecraft would be about 10 euros cheaper. Since these kinds of projects cost a lot of money and time either way, I think that pretty much settles it for me. After all, I am going on vacation and should be careful with my spendings for a while. She didn’t see it the same way. Apparently ‘only 10 euros difference’ is another great argument to keep pushing her favorite brand.

Apparently yarns wasn’t her only expertise, when I showed her a picture of the Afghan in colour, I had to change that as well. Since the ones I picked weren’t exactly the same as in the pattern. All I could think of was: I don’t need the exact same colour scheme, I can make it in whatever colour I darn well please!

For those people who are more visual, here’s a picture of the Afghan in question:

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The biggest problem wasn’t her though. It was me and my ever so insecure personality. I started to doubt whether it would be a good idea to make such a big project with a yarn I hadn’t ever worked with. And if maybe Drops wasn’t really better after all, because well, cat hair would definitely get on it. And maybe I just needed to get used to working with the yarn and then it wouldn’t split so quickly anymore. And maybe the colours are a lot brighter and better… And so on and so forth.

So I ended up putting everything back and not buying anything and going home feeling a bit bummed and not even having had a lot of time to work on the penguin I took with me to work on.

In the end, crocheting with a group of people, whether they are your friends or not can be real fun. I think it’s great to be able to share whatever you’re working on with others.

But I really dislike it when people you don’t really know and who don’t know you start giving you unwanted advise and don’t listen to your counter arguments and only want to push you to do what they want you to do. I’m sure she meant well, but to me, it ended up being a pretty bad experience.

I guess I need to learn to stand my ground and not be swayed so quickly by what other people think.

Now that I think about it, I believe she was the same person I had a discussion with last time I went to the Hook-In. About fuzzy yarn and which one is better/easier to work with. I guess some people just can’t see that whatever material they prefer to work with isn’t always the best for someone else.

Oh well, I got some extra time to decide if I really want to make an Afghan or if I will just bring some extra paperbacks with me to Greece 🙂

How do you handle unwanted, but well meant advise and the insecurities that come with it?
And what kind of material or brand of yarn do you prefer to use when making blankets/afghans/whatever (if you’ve ever made one)?

Cheers, Lydia

Monkey business

So, a big project coming up: three monkeys. I guess they are depicting ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’.

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My cousin sent me a picture asking if I could make them for her. A bit of googling later and I had found the pattern for the monkeys. It’s going to be a bit of a challenge, because the pattern is in German. But I think I’ll be alright.

Also, this will be my first time working with plastic granules to weigh the amigurumis down a bit. Hope it will work! Does anyone reading this have any experience with working with granules?

Cheers, Lydia