9.18.2014

wow, life has been busy lately!! there are so much things going on, i never get around taking pictures of my wip's anymore... even commenting on your blogs is getting harder and harder these days. but anyway, those of you following me on instagram will have already noticed:  i've been a crafty busy bee lately! so here's a major update! with lots of pics too, to make up for the lack of updates. ;)
i finished my vanilla latte socks! did these turn out gorgeous or what?!
i love everything about them, the self striping yarn, the colours, the pattern, the fact that the stripes line up without even trying (!)...
(feet off the table!)
 
 
 i also learned some new techniques...
like the star toe...
... and the eye of partridge heelflap! (definitely a winner!)


i also knit some piggies for my mom, as goodbye-gifts for her co-workers.  
(she works as an accountant for a pig-breeding-company... sounds really weird but it explains the pigs ;)) she did most of the knitting and i put them together! we made ten of these and they turned out rather cute, she put a label around their neck with a little personal message, really nice. :)
 oink oink!  look at my little curly tail!
i also love how my mom got her knitting mojo back, right now she's knitting a new scarf for my dad with some of my stash yarn. comes in handy, when someone is stashbusting for you. ;)
what have you been up to? i'd love to know!!

7.30.2014

earlier this month, we went on a camping trip to France. (at Lac de Pannecière in Corancy. which is, to be precise, part of the Morvan Regional Natural Parc. so gorgeous!)
it's becoming a little tradition of mine to cast on a pair of socks before we leave on vacation. (socks are the perfect knitting project to take with you on vacation; small, portable and quick!)

so some days before we left, i cast on a pair of vanilla latte socks with fortissima mexiko yarn from my stash. it's been a while since i knit socks with selfstriping yarn, and i thought this yarn was perfect for the pattern.

also, my boyfriend likes to fish, so when we can, we go to a place where there's a lake. evenings are best for fishing so we spent many evenings at the lake, fishing/knitting until dark, drinking a beer and enjoying the view in the meantime.
 

we also went to visit a little town called V√©zelay, mostly to go and see the abbey (which is pretty amazing), and in one of the tiny, uphill streets, we discovered this yarn shop from "la Ferme du Val Dampierre"... ♥
the shop was full of sweaters, gloves, afghans, gloves, hats, mittens,... all hand knit with yarn from their own farm! they also sold yarn, and i had the hardest time picking something to take home... i was in (yarn) heaven!! (i know that's breaking my not-buying-new-yarn rule. but i couldn't leave without buying something.)
(also in the shop: a cute little dog, shy at first but so sweet. not for sale though.)

i purchased two balls of alpaca yarn (sock weight). ooohhh these colours... this is without a doubt the prettiest, deepest burgundy colour i've ever seen! i paired it with a pretty teal colour. i love how they look together. this yarn is also ridiculously soft... i'm thinking about gloves...(combining the two with some colourwork, maybe?)

so... after a week of relaxing,  we're back to work and once again full of energy!
 don't you love vacation? how did you spend yours?

7.07.2014

ahh, today is the first day of my vacation and although the weather is sunny, i felt like sharing a blogpost first. :) featuring the first baby knits of the year! (maybe there are more to come, i don't know. depends on our baby-making friends and family i guess ;))

for the first couple that was expecting a baby boy, i made an aviatrix hat and some booties. i used the brightest blue i could find (i really LOVE this colour) and finished with a white button. i really enjoyed knitting the aviatrix hat, it was a bit challenging (first time knitting short rows) and it turns out SO cute. the booties were knit using this pattern, but i made them with a p1,k1 ribbing to match the hat.
 
 
 i also couldn't resist crocheting a tractor, perfect for boys, no? 
it's not as perfect as i want it to be, but i think it's cute nonetheless.

and for a sweet baby girl i made the same set, but in grey.
to make it a bit more baby-like, i combined the grey with a soft yellow button. 
(ooh boy, do i love that button!)

 hmmm, i think baby things are my favorite things to make (next to socks, maybe!).
small items (which means: quick finish!), colourful, and so, so tiny and cute!

6.15.2014

ahh, i finally found some time to take some pictures of my wip's!
it's like my hook was on fire, the hexagon blanket is now more than double the size since this blogpost! i'm not sure about which size i want it to be, so i'm making a square first and then i'll see what size it should be. :)
 
 also: an update on the picnic blanket! 
i finished the first "scarf", and started the second one last week... i'm not loving this color combination so far, but it looked good on the sketch so i'll just continue like this! this is the most relaxing knit EVER, just garter stitch and not even thinking about colors... whoever said knitting is the new yoga is SO right!

i also completed adding my stash on ravelry. i discovered i have enough yarn for 20 pairs of socks... and i rrrrreaally want to cast on a new pair. :) and i matched some of my favorite patterns to yarn i already have! so when i finally finish these blankets, i'll know what to do! :) what is currently on your needles/hooks? big plans for new projects?



oh, i almost forgot: i'm on instagram now too!
 click here and follow me!!

5.30.2014

after my last post i've been really motivated to really do something about my "bad" habits! i finished knitting all the baby stuff and started crocheting like crazy on my hexagon blanket!

i did this while enjoying the lovely weather the last weekends... :) life as it should be! ;)

our chickens were enjoying the sunshine too. aren't they the cutest? 

i also reorganised my stash and put it all on ravelry, which was a suggestion from Britney from bapsicrafts. this way i can match yardages/weights to my ravelry faves and knit/crochet away! it's also good to see what i have, which is obviously a lot more difficult when it's all stuffed in a box in the basement. :) turns out i have enough yarn for 9 pairs of socks, at least two or three baby sweaters and wristwarmers or gloves. and this is only the first box of three... oh-ooow!
 
oh and here's a sneak preview of one of the baby knits... so, so adorable. but more about that later!


5.03.2014

some time ago, when i was buying new yarn for a new knitting project, i didn't even realize that i made 2 crafty new years resolutions in the beginning of the year. my boyfriend kindly reminded me of my resolutions when i was bragging about the new yarn i got and how well it suits my new projects... it got me thinking and i had to share:

resolution #1: 
finish all WIP's before starting ANYTHING new.
this one started out good, really good actually. after i finished Paulie, i finished my pair of monstersocks and started crocheting like crazy on my hexagon blankets. so far so good. but then some friends were expecting babies and how am i supposed to NOT knit baby stuff? on the bright side: i did manage to finish all baby knits without knitting or crocheting anything new in between. except for that tiny house keychain i made last week, but hey, i needed that!

on to resolution #2:
do NOT buy new yarn.
 i checked my stash some months ago and i have so many yarn... it's ridiculous. i can easily knit two years with yarn from my stash only... the problem with my stashed yarn is that i didn't buy it with a particular project in mind. so, when i want to start a new project (like baby stuff), i can't find *exactly* the yarn i'm looking for. and i HAVE to go and get some new yarn. i did decide for myself that IF i buy new yarn, i can only buy it with a specific project in mind and i have to finish the project as soon as possible.

now, to try and remind myself of resolution #1, i'm going to make a list in the side bar with my current WIPS. it might help if i visualize it...  and i'm also sharing some photos of the biggest WIP's i have to finish... i started these hexagon blankets in 2011 (!!) and 2013...

the biggest problem with the first is that i never get around to putting all the hexagons together...
 
i started this crazy hexagon blanket somewhere in 2013, i think. progress on this one is faster (join as you go!!) and it's also crocheted with a bigger hook so that helps too.
 

do you have knitting/crocheting resolutions or rules you stick by? please do share! :)

4.13.2014

so, last week i lost my bike keys. i thought i lost them on the train (which resulted in taking the train back to work, when i was almost home - i NEED those keys), but it turned out they fell out of my purse when locking my other bike. (yep, two bikes, because home and work are 60km apart and i go by bike, train and bike again) lucky for me, a colleague went to look for them in the bike racks of the train station and she found them! happy - and lucky- me!! (sarah: if you're reading: honourable mention on the blog, especially for you)

i have a special talent for forgetting, losing or misplacing my stuff. i don't know how it happens and why, and i really do try to pay extra attention when i put things in one place or leave the train, but still, it happens quite frequently. i'm gonna try to force myself to check my purse when i leave: wallet: check, phone: check, keys: check! and i decided my keys need a bigger keychain!
so i made this tiny knitted house today. i'm really happy with it! it could use some perfectioning, like the duplicate stitches i tried (the door is a bit wonky but the window looks pretty good i think - i might try this technique again to embellish some of my knitting work or to fake intricate colourwork), but i just made the pattern up and i think it turned out pretty well. :) yay!
  
wallet: check! phone: check: instant gratification project, check!

3.31.2014

well... they're finally finished! 
and i LOVE them.
i call them my "hippie socks"!
 i made these with 13 different leftover yarns. i grabbed the yarn from a bag to make them look as "random" as possible... i did make sure all the different colours were divided equally!
  this is definitely my most colourful pair yet... and now i feel like knitting socks only until i have enough scraps for another pair! i'm in the "monstersocks"-group on ravelry and i have my eye on some great sock patterns already... (don't you love planning out new projects, even if it's just in your head and you know you can't actually start because you have a ton of other projects to finish first?)

3.22.2014

here i am again with an "old" project!
 
i made these wristwarmers last september or october, i think. i remember that it was getting chillier in the mornings, but not yet cold enough for wearing gloves. so i made these cute wristwarmers on my daily trainrides to work. you can find the pattern here!
  


i also wear these alot at home. my hands can get really cold when i'm working on the computer, so i always have these lying around somewhere close to the computer. ;) my boyfriend thinks i look like a beggar wearing these but i like them anyway. they keep my hands warm AND they have a bow, so what's not to like?

2.16.2014

today the weather is is feeling like spring and so am i!
i am longing for a good, thorough spring clean-up but i lack the time. however, i DID clean up our computer and discovered some photos of projects i hadn't yet blogged about, so i will be sharing these in the following posts!

first up is a pair of socks i finished in march 2013. the reason i didn't blog this pair is simple: i don't like them. there's nothing wrong with them, i just don't like the look of the yarn. they were knitted with Opal Sock yarn and it turns out, i am just not an Opal fan. ;)
(also: notice how the yarn pools a little bit on the right sock leg - for those who don't know what pooling means, let me share my knitters geek wisdom with you: pooling is when colours knit up in "blotches", creating "pools" of colour. this was my first "pooling experience" and EUGH, i do not like it.)
 
let's also share a (small) project that i do like: yesterday i made a crocheted bookmark for my moms birthday (for the record: we had a bigger gift too, i just like giving something hand-made even if it's tiny like this)
 i'm definitely making one for myself too, because this is way more stylish than a supermarket receipt, right? (and i have to admit, i love the tassel)
 (more details and a pattern link on ravelry)

2.09.2014

last week-end i really finished paulie! i blocked the finished garment (using the wet-blocking technique), sewed on the buttons and weaved in the ends. so paulie was ready to wear! and here i am with some photos, of course!
 it's amazing what blocking can do to a garment! blocking changed the drape of the fabric and it just looks and feels better than it did pre-blocking.
 adding buttons also changed the look! a month before finishing i bought two sets of buttons: grey and yellow shell buttons. after days of being in doubt i decided (with a little help from my boyfriend, mom, aunt and grandma) to go with the grey buttons, because the yellow ones (although they were the perfect kind of yellow) were distracting the attention from the yellow stripes.
 
 
looking back, if i were to knit paulie again, i would change a couple of things. i love the colour combination, but it's a little hard to combine with my other clothes. i might go for an "easier" colour combo next time, like black and white, or dark-blue and grey. also, as much as i love the garter stitched sleeves, i would make them a little more snug.

overall, i'm still really happy with my paulie. i love the weight of the cardigan and the fit is great. and the whole knitting experience was just great, the perfect first-cardigan pattern. definitely a winner!

1.26.2014

just a quick blogpost to share my joy: i finally finished Paulie! :)
i'm definitely experiencing a "knitters high", i couldn't be more thrilled about this. my very first knit garment!! it's far from flawless but it fits and i can't wait to have it ready and start wearing it!

Paulie taught me so much: the construction of a (seamless)cardigan, picking up stitches, i-cord bind-off (genious!!), making button holes... Paulie definitely brought my knitting skills to the whole next level, and made me more confident as a knitter! if i can knit Paulie, why wouldn't i be able to knit Miette or Benedetta, or finally try stranded knitting with Dot The I!


but: i'm not finished yet!
to do next: some more tedious tasks (for me, at least, i always find it hard to actually FINISH things when the knitting-part is over): weaving in the ends, blocking and sewing on the buttons.
any advice on how to handle this? how do you block your hand knit garments? what to do or not to do? i'm gonna read some blogposts about blocking anyway, but i could sure use some advice! :) 

1.03.2014

i can't imagine a better way to start the new blog-year with a review of my crafty year 2013. i love seeing all your review posts coming up, so inspiring!!
in 2013 i made 3,5 pair of socks, 1 cowl, 1 shawl, 1 hat, 1 baby cardigan, 25 tiny hats, 2 birth presents, 1 pair of handwarmers, a cutlery roll and a lot of hexagons. i was obsessed by scraps (scrap socks, scrap blanket, magic ball blanket, hexagon blanket) and knitting. i knit my first baby and adult cardigan (paulie!!), and made my first knit hat ever. i received a bunch of free yarn and taught a crochet workshop at the last Maakdag.

and i'm totally ready for another handmade year!