Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas sock, scandi style

On the amazing blog Lutter Idyl I spotted this fantastic Christmas sock. It looked fantastic.  I was not surprised. I am a huge fan of Jeanettes work, it is always new and very inspiring. Often with a choice of interesting colors. I love that blog.  Variations of Christmas stockings I had seen before, we're limited to knitted or sewn ones. This one all made up of 16 crocheted hexagons was a must do.

My first attempt was for my daughter,  who absolutely loves Christmas and everything it entails. Needless to say we have already been listening to Christmas music for more than a week now!
She is also of the belief that Christmas has to de done in traditional colors. Not sure where that comes from,  as I would love to decorate with alternative colors. But never the less traditional colors it is.

Jeannette from Lutter Idyl have made a great tutorial for this, that was very accessible. If you followed instructions you would be fine. As usual I am not good with reading manuals, directions you name it, so I had a few u-turns. In the end after a weekend of spending all my free time crocheting hexagons, this is the result, which I was actually quite pleased with.

My next project is a stocking for my son. When I asked him if he would like one like this, his answer came promptly: "yes mom but could you add som HO HO HO's?" 

So that has keept me awake for the past couple of nights, (only kidding) and now I think I have an idea how to do it, without having to look at two totally different stockings hanging from the mantel.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Another visit to another fiber event! Stitches East - also called the Knitting Convention had reached Connecticut last weekend. Off course I had to check it out. It didn't feature as many vendors, as I remember seeing last year, but we did find some interesting yarn. One of them I would like to introduce you to here. It is from a little company called Habu textiles. Originally Japanese I believe, but they also have a store in New York. They sell beautiful yarns and textiles, that isn't "necessarily practical" as they state but beautiful and it is the aim  for the artist to be inspired by the yarn and create something beautiful.  They have the finest mohair, line paper warped in nylon string, jute in an alternative form and the list goes on. Check out the website, as stylish and simple as the yarn they sell

This yarn doesn't look like much, but it is in fact warped silk. I just had to buy it and see how it would look made into "fabric".

As there isn't more than 78 meters in this little skein I decided to do a little coin purse.

The finished fabric comes out a little stiff, but I was still afraid that I wasn't able to make it stay within the purse frame, so I stitched a thread of jeweler string around the top edges, to make sure I would be able to push it into the frame. 

And here is the finished result.

And a close up of the stitch. It actually looks really cool.

Reading blogs this week;  I also admired the kit that have been created by Susanne a danish design student. She is also behind the blog Rumfang. Susanne has created the kit as an assignment for her design study. Check out her blog and read about the story behind the pattern and the trends in design this fall 2013.  Susanne has decided to give one kit away as a December Give-Away, so that is another reason to visit.
Here is the beautiful cushion. I love the simplicity and great colors too.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Chunky wool experience.

I attended New England Fiber Festival last weekend and it was as always a lot of fun. It is off course all about fibers and there was plenty of that. In all shapes and forms from "still on the lama or sheep" to the most amazing yarns you could think of. 
I have for a long time wanted to try to make something out of the very chunky yarn that I have seen on blogs and websites.

I visited Silver Oak Farms booth and found this. 

 Unfortunately the picture doesn't give the wool credit it looks very brown here, but it is actually a very nice shade of grey.
My initial idea was to make a soft and durable rug, but even though I had about 90 yards, it would only make me a very little rug, so I decided on a basket for my ongoing knitting and crochet projects.
Started out while I was preparing dinner last night and finished less than 11/2 later. 

It works up very quickly as you can see. I used a 20 mm crochet hook.

 And here is the finished project after I steamed it last night.

Wish I had enough for a chunky afghan. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My deal with the squirrels

I have been collecting acorn caps over the past few weeks. As they were very rare to find last year, I have secured a big pile to make sure we get through the winter. Normally I make felted acorns of raw wool. This year I decided to try and crochet the little nuts.

Not hard at all, this is how I did it.

- Start out with a magic loop and a 3.5 mm crochet hook. 
- make 5 single crochet into the loop and pull it together into a circle.
- next row is simply 2 single crotchets into each of the chains from the previous round 
- continue to crochet single crotchets into each of the 10 chains that is now forming the   
    base of the acorn. 
- depending of the size of the acorn cap, do between 5-7 rows of single crochet stitches.

As the top of the crocheted nut will be covered by the cap I just filled the hollow nut with fiberfill. To secure the filling inside, simply just crochet into every second chain from the previous row and keep going till the nut is closed up.  I used hot glue to secure the nuts under the caps.

During the summer we went to Denmark. On my to do list while we were there was to go and check out the yarn store yarnfreak in Århus .  I have followed Camilla's blog for a while and was very inspired by some of her postings. To my husbands horror, there was quite a lot of yarn in the store, I couldn't live without. Even though it meant bringing it all on a plane to the US! 
The yarn I have used for these acorns are 100% mercerized cotton called Rio from the Dutch yarn company Lammy which Yarn Freak stocks in all kinds of colors. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Scarf for the pumpkin season.

Another Christmas present to an older member of the family. This shorter version of a scarf was fun to make, as I tried out a new, to me, technique: The foundation stitch. Basically you make the foundation chain along with the first row, in one go. The pattern used was  this one from Purlbee.

There is a tutorial on how to make the foundation single crochet stitch. I had a go with the tutorial on a friday evening and after several attempts I gave up.  I think it was described in way too many details. I found an easier photo tutorial on you tube. 

In order for the scarf not to be too bulky, and be able to look a little more conservative, I added the little snippet on the back as a "lock" for the scarf. That makes it drape really beautiful.

Crochet has a ring of old fashioned to it, maybe because we tend to  associate it with our grandmothers. I still remember how my grandmother made chair covers for the armrests on her upholstered lounge chairs.  Probably not something we would spend too much time on today. The simple stitch here doesn't look one bit old fashioned, in my opinion, so maybe with all the fantastic new crochet designers out there, it will be possible to change the image of crochet. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Package to Denmark

I have frantically been working on Christmas presents for the past month or so. Decided that many of my gifts this year should be homemade.  It still seems that Christmas is far away, but when you have the opportunity to get your shipment to friends and family in Denmark without the help of US Postal Services,  I really need to take it. That means all packages have to be ready to send of in two weeks.  Still a way to go, but here is a little sneak peek at one of the little presents.

  The inner part of the cushion is made of one skein of the fabulous."Knit Collage". This particular one is the "Raindance".

The back and the rim of the cushion is crochet in a 100 % thick merino wool.  It was a lot of fun making this. Only challenge was to get the little sparkle items, that originally was part of  the Saries that this yarn is recycled from, to end up on the front of the cushion!

As the entire cushion is made in single crochet stitches (Double crochet (UK) and Fastmasker (DK), into the back stitch of the previous round of stitches, it was very easy to sew together at the end.  The two sides almost blend together.

Knit Collage can be bought all around the world. Vendors can be found on their website:  I found my first skein in a little fun Art Store in the tiny town of Chester, CT ( normally don't sell yarn, but who could resist this?) and when I needed more for my Christmas presents I just found a stockiest locally.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chair Cushion

Maybe you remember the funky looking yarn I bought a couple of weeks ago? The intention was, that it was meant to be for chair cushions for all of my dining chairs. After I finished this one, I decided that it was too busy for that purpose, but that it would fit perfectly in this chair.

                                    And this is how the cushion looks up close. 

You can find the pattern on the Norwegian website Pickles and the pattern right here.

It is a very simple pattern and you can whip this up in an hour or so.  I added an extra row of stitches, as I used a 15 mm crochet hook instead of the suggested 20 mm. 

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Technical challenges

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Found out today the bloglovin widget doesnt work.  Hopefully it will after this.

What the squirrels left me!

  When the oak trees start casting off acorn around this time of year, I walk with my nose to the ground in pursuit of these beautiful home accessories.  Or to be more correct the acorn caps. The squirrels and I have an agreement, They take the nuts I take the caps, which is all I need for my yearly fall crafting project. Last year I found out that I can't count on the supply as the trees only shed the caps every second year.  I was in dire need last year as demand was far bigger than supply. Luckily that is not the case this year. It is like a candy store out there these days.
This is what the squirrels shared with me today.

In a couple of days I will show you what I use them for.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On this first day of October.

We have had a brilliant Indian summer here and apparently it is continuing.

Today I just wanted to share a few pictures.
The one here, is of one of my favorite houses here in my neighborhood. Just because it looks so pretty. The little pumpkins above the door is a nice little fall touch. To live in, I prefer a more modern style house, like I am used to from back home, but it doesn't change the fact, that there is something very cozy about a house like this. 

 Stayed tuned for when they decorate for Christmas. It is out of a fairytale.


And then I couldn't pass this beautiful flower without taking a picture of it. 

 Happy  1st. of October.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Yarn splurge,

With the excuse of  the upcoming demand for Christmas presents, my friend and I went to what, among keen knitters, weavers and crocheters, must be called yarn heaven.  I think I could have spend days there, but unfortunately...... And off course we didn't leave empty handed.
A friend in Denmark saw me experience with a skein of the very unusual "yarn collage" that I had found in a little gallery in Chester, CT. When she heard that the intention was to turn it into a pillow cover, she put one on her wish list for Christmas.

 Therefore my extravaganza in the yarn store yesterday. 

Here is what I returned home with 

My excuse for the next lot of yarn is seat covers, for my ancient Danish dining chairs that needs an update.

 I have already started out, simply couldn't resist, so pictures will follow soon!



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall projects

I tend to get a little bored if the projects I am working one is a little repetitive. Therefor I found that having the opportunity to switch between projects could work for me. Currently I am working on a men's cowl. It is based on  a pattern designed by Jeanette from the fantastic danish blog: Lutter Idyl. So far it has teached me to crochet the basket weave pattern which is beautiful, looks a lot like knit and purl blocks.

I have been searching the Internet for cool and contemporary crochet projects that doesn't look too much like something that was designed back in the 60'ies. That is really hard to find.  So when I was looking through my blog list on Friday night i stumbled upon a great blog post from PurlBee for another cowl.  What caught my attention was the way the blog post started out mentioning that crocheters all over the world has felt like Cinderella at the needlecraft ball. Where "Belle Knit" dances the night away and Crochet-erella" stays home and search for a modern design so she can be a part of all the festivities. It hit home, just what I have been thinking.  ...and on top of the the cowl looked amazing.  Along with this project was also the opportunity to try out another new crochet feature, that I have read about but never tried,  the foundation stitch, where you combine the foundation chain with the first row of stitches.
I spend the rest of Friday evening trying out this foundation stitch.  Purl Bee has a tutorial, and I tried to use it, but did not have any luck.  Googled foundation stick and found this website, Crochet Spot  that in my opinion described it a little easier.  It makes the edge of your project more even.

Last but not least I am working on a pair of fingerless gloves from Ros Badgers book, that I have mentioned before. The pattern is super easy so I wanted to try it out with a left over stash of soft red alpaca and merino, that I had in my basket.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

3 months till Christmas!

Today is, as hard as it is to believe, wednesday the 25th of September.  That means that there is exactly 3 months till Christmas and a little less than 3 months if you live in our family where we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve as it is tradition in our home country.

So why not get in the spirit a little early and make another Christmas Tree?

The next little tree here is a bit more colorful, than the pure black and white version shown the other day.

You start out with a single dry cleaners hanger and  bend it into the trunk of the tree with a good solid base. Wrap  pipe cleaners around the hanger and build up the amount of branches you like the tree to have.

Cut up a lot of scrap tissue paper in strips. Lesson learned. Don't  use purple tissue paper if you want to end up with a white tree!. It requires  way to much white paint to cover it up. You can either use a mix of e.g. Elmer's school glue and water in 1:2 or you can make up a paste of flour and water. I used Elmer's glue and it worked well.

In my case. Several layers of white acrylic paint was poured over the tree. It dries really quickly, so you will see quick results. 

The final "tree" with the many colors of hearts, to celebrate the holidays in a colorful way. In one of my next posts I will show you how to make the felted hearts.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

First weekend of Fall

It is hard to believe, but the First weekend of Fall is here. I love the seasons so the quarterly change  of scenery is wonderful in my opinion. Each season brings something new, outdoors  as well as indoors. I love to watch the foliage change and I think I have 500 pictures of fall leaves and trees alone.

As much as I like summer and the sun, lighting the first candles inside and curl up on the coach under a blanket with a book or my current project, is very nice.


I hope you get a chance to enjoy this first weekend of fall!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pom pom hat

I am a little obsessed with Ros Badgers book. I am now on my second project and are ready to start the third as soon as this one is done.
It is still considered summer here, one more day to go! So maybe it is a little too early for a winter pom pom hat.  I just can't help it. I love to crochet, it gives me such peace to just sit there and see project after project grow in my hands. :) and this one was quick and easy. Started out while watching my son practice soccer and finished it the next morning.

I think she looks adorable, but she claims that this is too tight a design for her, she prefers a long poffy one. Maybe we will be working on that next.

I tried out the trim in a bright red color.  Did not work well. So ended up with a more traditional white trim and pom pom.

I still think that the little pom pom making "machines" from Clover is absolutely amazing. It takes no time to make a pom pom and they very conveniently become exactly identical every time.  So much easier than the cardboard version.

...and the final result.  I think; maybe a christmas present? Not sure for who though, yet.  Showed it to my nephew and told him that it would be for him for Christmas and his only comment was, that he was so glad that he isn't going to spend Christmas with me and have to fake to be happy for this lovely little hat. Ok maybe he is right. This doesn't scream cool 21 year old.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Christmas in September.

It sounds crazy but the holiday season is approaching quickly.  I have spend some time over the summer to think about what to do in order to get my little craft business started up properly.  That initiated a discussion with my husband about how to create a christmas tree of "something" metal as I had this idea of creating different trees to show off different color combinations, of some of the christmas ornaments that I make.  After an interesting trip to my hubby's favorite store Home Depot we started out with this:

The base was made of two metal rings on top of each other with a 12 inch large nail in the middle. My husband "glued" it together with some epoxy putty. Not my favorite, but the Home Depot specialist insisted that this was the only thing that would work.  After some drying time, Hubby started to assemble the nails with some metal wire.

Then it was my turn to have a go and we ended up with this little tree.

A bunch of ornaments in white and black

...and this is the final result.

I am working on a paper mache version made of recycled hangers from the dry cleaner, pipe cleaners and some tissue paper. Will be right back with that one :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Basket for my ongoing project

I received one of my favorite packages In the mail on wednesday! It contained a long awaited book i had ordered from the UK as it hasn't been published here yet. It is "hook, yarn AND crochet" by Ross Badger.I have ordered several crochet books over the past couple of months and this is truly my favorite. There is 20 projects all together in the book and I imidiately was drawn to more than half of them.

Here is my attempt of making one of them. A small basket made in Zpagetti yarn. The intention was to just add a contrasting top in the same yarn, but I had recently bought the wonderful collage yarn and wanted to try that out as the trimming on the rim. I think it came out very nice.

 ...and the final result.  I think the collage yarn adds a nice sparkle to the basket.