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

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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

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

Maggie the African flower owl – finished!

Some of you may have followed the work in progress on FaceBook and now, I’m proud to present the finished item!

This was a big project. It didn’t take up as much time as I thought it would and didn’t come out as big as I wanted, but it still was a lot of work! And in the end, it was definitely worth it.

The entire owl is built up out of 34 ‘african flowers’, two circles for the eyes, and one cone for the beak. Making all the parts isn’t that hard, once you get the hang of working on the flowers. It’s putting it all together that got to me. I usually shy away from projects with loads of parts, but this one just had a way of captivating me. It seemed like I just couldn’t stop working on it ^_^”

So, after a lot of crocheting parts together, I got this result:

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Inside out after attaching all the flowers together

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And finally, almost an entire bag of stuffing and some finishing touches later, the completed project!

I’m still on the fence on whether to keep this one myself, or combine it with another upcoming project: the baby gift for my brothers friend.

I have got plenty of yarn left over to work on another one. I ended up only using a little over half a grey skein, less than half a white skein and just over one blue skein. So maybe I will try making a bigger one by doubling the tread and using a bigger needle. But first I will make some hats for The Big Knit and a friend of mine asked me to help him out by doing a little commission for him.
So I know I won’t get bored any time soon 🙂

Have a great weekend and don’t forget that starting tomorrow, you can vote for my Dr. Bearnard and nurse Octopus design in the AmigurumiPatterns.net design contest! (The prices are awesome and if I win something, I just need to do a giveaway ^_~)

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