first of all thank you for all your reactions on my last blogpost about destashing. :) 
before i decided on letting go of my stash, i was destashing in another form: knitting (and crocheting) for charity!

somewhere in spring i discovered a knitting group on ravelry, "de breimadammen".
they knit for several charities (blankets for senegal, romania or homeless people,..), but one specific charity caught my attention: babynest. this small organisation collects all kinds of baby stuff (second hand but also handmade) for mothers and young families in need. a perfect charity to knit for, since i love making baby things!

 when i told my mom about this she was really excited as well, the picture above shows what the two of us made last year. most of it is her work to be honest: she made 4 sweaters, 2 scarves and 4 baby hats. i made a granny square blanket, a scarf and a baby bib.

the granny square blanket was so much fun to make, i made big blocks which i joined with white and finished with a light blue border.

i also really liked this baby scarf.
i remember my grandma made similar scarves for my grandpa. :)

and then i also made a baby bib with 100% cotton yarn. although this was fun to knit, to be honest i wouldn't make it again, sewing a baby bib is so much quicker and i think also more practical. 

a couple of weeks ago i met up with Annie (one of the nice ladies who is part of the organisation "de breimadammen") to hand over our bag with handmades (and also part of my yarn stash ;)). we didn't have much time to talk to her but we definitely talked long enough to convince me that these kind of charities are GOLD. i admire her enthousiasm and all the efforts she put into this... so so so inspiring. :)

wishing you happy holidays by the way!

more info:
ravelry group "de breimadammen"
baby nest facebook page
my project page on ravelry (with more photos of everything we made)


for a while now, i wanted to write about having a yarn stash. i don't know about you guys but i had (until quite recently) a HUGE yarn stash. i collected so much yarn over the years. it came from everywhere, from sales, from the fleamarket, donated by other knitters and family, from webshops (because ordering just that one skein is so silly!),...

my big yarn stash has been bothering me for a while now, i already wrote about it in this post about my "crafty resolutions" in january 2014. i was actually doing really good at following my own rules, this year i bought almost no new yarn and what i bought is already processed and in use.

 some time ago, when i was home alone one evening, i started knitting a scarf with some stash yarn and it seemed like i couldn't make anything nice out of it. a case of wrong project, wrong yarn. i showed it to my boyfriend and he simply said "why don't you stop wasting your time and just make some pretty things instead?"

that one sentence got me thinking, because it's so true. i was spending so much time trying to make something nice out of yarn that i didn't really love, just to get it out of my stash and so that i would feel less guilty when i did buy some new yarn. i also learned that no matter how nice the pattern, if you don't like the colour or the yarn anymore, there is no feeling of accomplishment and pride when finishing your project.

so... one evening, we got all of my boxes out of the basement and laid everything on our coffee table. (and next to it and on the couch because it couldn't possibly all fit on the coffee table.) we made 3 piles: "keep", "donate" and "sell".

i kept the really nice or expensive yarns, and all the yarns that i really loved. i donated most of my acrylics to charity (my acrylic-days are over!), and sold the rest online. i was worried that i would never get rid of it all, but only one day later there was a nice lady who wanted it all. woo-hoo! and now my stash fits in one basket. i repeat, ONE basket.
left: box of sold yarn. right: my new stash!
i never thought destashing would feel as liberating as it did. going trough my stash now is about discovering real treasures of yarn and being excited about making something with it.

i'm now planning on doing the same with my fabric stash and also with my clothes.
and, ultimately, with all of our belongings. because why do we need so much stuff?

 now i'm really curious about your thoughts on having a stash.
does having a stash work for you? does it scare you to destash?

you can find some inspiring reads about destashing here:
Fringe Association: Q for you (read the comment section)
No stash girl


woohoo, i finished my gladys socks! i was so thrilled to finally have them off the needles and on my feet, because i think they might be my prettiest pair yet. :) 
 aahh! happy feet! and picture overload!

let me tell you, this pattern is pure genious! i love how the main stitch pattern goes all the way down the heelflap and i also liked how the sock decreases were divided to give a nice, rounded toe. something to remember!
  i couldn't be happier with my choice of yarn, using a neutral, light-coloured yarn really shows off the stitches. (i used Regia 4-ply Uni in light grey)
 the on-my-feet pictures actually don't show how lovely the stitch patterns are, so here are some of my instagram snaps! 

next thing i'm up to... cables! :) 
wishing you all a lovely sunday night!


i already blogged about a good deal of handmade baby stuff this year and i'm afraid it's not over just yet. :) good friends of ours had a beautiful baby girl called toni, which was the perfect reason to get behind my sewing machine and make some handmade presents!
  this was so much fun from beginning to end! i had the best time picking out fabric with my boyfriend and thinking about what to make... i decided to make bunting and a blanket. it all started with the soft hot pink fleece blanket i found in the store (because those are usually a bit cheaper than buying fleece it in the fabric store - and this one was sooo soft!) and we just picked out fabrics that matched. which ended up in a girly but happy and bright colour palette, with polka dots and flamingo's. :)
 the letters on the bunting are a fun detail: toni's father is a graphic designer and was my closest colleague at my previous job, so i knew he'd appreciate it if i used the exact type as used on the birth card he designed. ;)
we also found a cute baby summer top, which was a perfect match with the blanket & bunting, et voila, baby gift done! :) it does look a bit excessively colour-coordinated now i see it together like this, woops! guess i'm obsessive like that. ;)


the last pair of socks i finished were these Simple Trekking socks knit with (hah, surprise) Trekking XXL yarn. this yarn was lying in my stash for quite a while, and i thought it was about time i used it!
i chose the Simple Trekking socks pattern because i wanted something that was simple enough to show off the yarn, easy enough for some mindless knitting and interesting enough to not get really, really bored. ;)

 the pattern is quite straight-forward but features a broken rib detail on the toes and on the cuff. it also has a reinforced heel, which definitely feels quite durable and sturdy and is fun to knit also!

 i must say, i was happy and relieved to finish these, because i'm not too crazy about them! for a while i was thinking about starting again with a different pattern, but then i realised my biggest problem with these is mainly because of the yarn. the colours are quite masculine and not very cheerful.. i'm glad i pushed trough, because they fit great, they  really are super comfy! (hurray for ribbed socks)

so nevertheless, another warm and comfy pair was added to my sock drawer! 

(my apologies for the not-so-great photos, but the weather wasn't that great when i took them... )


we just returned from lovely holidays in Normandy, France! although we didn't have the best weather, we did have a great time and came home well rested and very impressed by the nature and WOII history of the places we visited. 

 but vacation just wouldn't be vacation if it didn't involve a good amount of knitting. ;) i started a new pair of socks again couple of months ago, and took the second sock with me to finish. so now i have again a finished pair to add to my sock drawer!

  the colours went surprisingly well with my new green t-shirt...
 ... but also with the fishing nets in the harbour...
 ... or the nature at Omaha Beach!

  i also took a new project with me, because this pair was almost finished and i printed out a gorgeous pattern weeks ago... :)  so in the last couple of days of our holidays i started knitting on a pair of Gladys socks! something a bit more challenging and with a solid yarn for a change! don't you just love the chevrons?

there's a post about my finished pair of socks coming up real soon.. but first there is some post-holidays washing and ironing to do... :) how did you spend your vacation? was it good? do you also take your crafty projects along? do tell me in the comment section! :) 


those who follow me on instagram might have noticed: there are loads of crafty things going on but rarely something shows up on the blog. some of you know i started combining my full-time job with working as a freelance designer a year ago, and i must say, the past year i really struggled to find the right balance between my job and my free time, which is why it's been so quiet here. all the free time i had was going to relaxing and actually making stuff, and blogging about the process just became too much.

that's when i thought about giving up my blog, but blogging gave me so much opportunities, like giving workshops at the Maakdag, winning great stuff, and designing a book (which you can WIN! click here!) i also learned so much stuff reading blogs and met so many inspiring people (both in real life as online)! i realized i didn't want to stop and blog along, even if it's just once a month.

so anyways, here's what i've been up to lately.. because that's what blogging is about, no? ;)

i made a cute little hat for friends who are expecting their first baby in august. it was a fun change from my usual go-to hat (the aviatrix pattern). this pattern is called "alladin" (excellent name!) and you can find it here on ravelry.

i changed the i-cord straps to a garter stitch strap because i didn't like how my i-cord looked. i also did another kind of increase which is why my hat looks slightly different from the pictures. i used Apilou yarn from Veritas, by the way.

and then i also made this baby blanket! this time i used fleece, piping and a cute Soft Cactus fabric. it was finished in a couple of hours (cutting the fabric was the hardest part, honestly) and it now keeps my niece warm when she is staying with my parents! 

and then i also finished my hexagon blanket by  participating in the Cherry Heart blanket-a-long, but i still didn't take a decent picture of it. it's already been put to good use in the chilly winter/pre-spring days though!


somewhere last year, i somehow got my sewing mojo back! i started simple by making some bibs for babies (and never finished half of them, because i hate biais tape.) but i rediscovered how much i actually like sewing and i made some gifts for my little niece. :)
first of all, i made a hooded towel. i'm all about practical gifts and i like giving someting they can actually use and not grow out of too quickly like clothes. this towel is a bit too big for her now but will last quite some time!
 i picked fabrics to match the knitted blanket... (the colours are more true in the first two pictures) there was no way to photograph the hooded towel properly because i have no baby model, but you can click here  for the cute-baby-picture and also view the tutorial i used (dutch only). ;)
and because i felt like my gift wasn't "finished" yet, i also made colourful, personalized bunting! used some of the fabric i from the towel but also some more colourful fabrics, because bunting should be happy and fun, right? i followed this tutorial (dutch only) to make these!


hi there!
those who follow me on instagram might have noticed i've recently become an auntie for the very first time! my brother and his girlfriend had a beautiful baby girl called Olivia two weeks ago! we were all so excited since the day we knew they were expecting! so, ofcourse, i had to make some stuff for the baby! :)
the first thing i want to share is the one i'm most excited about: i made a soft, light baby blanket in 100% merino wool.  
why a blanket? i personally think (though i never had a baby) they are very useful: they can be used for keeping warm, in the car or in the crib, maybe even as a play mat or for lying on. or maybe just as home decor if you don't use it in any other way. ;) it seems like a sensible, useful gift that lasts long and that they don't outgrow too fast. 
i knew i wanted something in 2 colours (although i also love multi-coloured crochet blankets) and i decided on blue and yellow. the yarn is Woolly by DMC creative, which is 100% merino wool. (and, if we can believe the website, "sourced from Australia and 100% natural and renewable) i thought it was important to choose a yarn that was made of wool because wool gives a lot of warmth and tends to be better for sensitive baby skin. this yarn was also really really soft and gives a very nice drape when knit up. definitely a winner for baby stuff!
 for the pattern i was heavily inspired by this blanket by Lisa Kinoo. i made some swatches and decided on double moss stitch. i made some calculations and cast on a huge number of stitches and just started knitting away! after i knit a big rectangle (i aimed for a size of 140x80cm but it turned out somewhat smaller), i finished with some single crochet rows and finally a scalloped edge. (pattern found in some old thrifted crochet book.)
 i also finally learned how to hold my yarn "the right way". i knit english style and i used to "throw" my yarn, but without holding it over my index finger. knitting this amount of purl and knit stitches was very hard on my wrist, so i went to my mom for advice. she showed me how to hold my yarn this way, which is much better for my wrists!

and finally, some details:
- i started knitting in september and finished in january.
it was my on-the-train-knit until it started getting too big to carry along everyday.
- i used 9 balls of yarn (8 yellow, 1 blue. i loved working with this yarn!)
-  and some things i learned in the process:
1. i will never EVER again start a new ball of yarn in the middle of a row.
2. i should keep better notes about the amount of stitches i cast on.
3. blocking really made this blankie look 4572x times better than when it just came off the needles. :)


hi everyone!
today i want to share a baby gift i made for a little boy named Gus. 
i made a stuffed toy for his big brother more than two years ago, so it made sense that i made a toy for Gus also. i wanted to make a different toy, boy-ish not only in colours but also in design. but it also had to be cute!

after thinking and planning for  some time, i bought some cotton yarn in colours i liked and gave this monster pattern a go. i drew some colour schemes (planning is half the fun!) and went for it!
somewhere between christmas and new years eve, i finished the toy. 
turns out the baby was born right when i was sewing in the ends! :) 
 i love this little monster. i like how he's like a little brother for the other one. :)