A tiny camera pouch

It’s summer holidays now, so I have the time to get this blog up to date. This means a few more posts than usual 😉 Our daughter is at her school now, where during the summer months she can go play in the afternoon, supervised by young adults who also do a lot of activities with the children. It keeps her from getting bored while we do stuff around the house, or catch up with blogging…

I’ve made the most of this afternoon already. I’m making a picture book from our trip to South Africa last year and did 3 days of the trip (I try to do 3 days each day, because I have a 20% discount that ends on July 31st, so it needs to be finished by then). I’ve also did a bit of personal administration, and now I’m doing a blogpost before I get some crochet done and go pick her up.

I’m working on 4 projects at the moment: a poncho for myself, an amigurumi crab for a friend, a secret project (it’s a gift, so can’t tell anything about it) and I’m about to start a Snuffie (from Nijntje) for an old schoolfriend of mine. Well actually, for her son. The yarn just arrived today. I’m getting a bit frustrated about the crab legs – I’ve done 4 (out of 6 that are the same) and they all look different. Sigh! I hope it turns out good in the end… We’ll see!

Today I’m blogging about a quick project I did for a friend of my mother in law. She has a tiny photocamera and wanted a pouch for it, so she could carry it in her handbag without damaging it with her keys or something else. The colour didn’t matter, so I was able to use up some leftover yarn I had lying around. I used a colour chaning variety of Catania, 100% cotton yarn that I love to work with.

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If you would want to make something similar like this (could be bigger, could even be a purse), it’s actually quite easy. You measure the height of the front – in this case this was 4 cm. Multiply it by 2 (for front and back). You also want a little overlap on the front, so divide the front in half and add that to the equasion. You also need the width, in this case 2 cm, which you have to multiply by two again (top and bottom). The case was 10 cm wide.

This gives you a rectangle, in my case 10 cm wide and 4 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 2 cm high = 14 cm high. You crochet this rectangle. I did it all in sc’s, because I find for pouches that the stitch needs to be tight enough. When I was at 13 cm height, I added 3 chain stitches in the middle of the row and skipped 3 sc’s of the previous row, to create a gap for the button. In your next row you’ll just continue placing an sc in each stitch, also in the chains you made. The width of your button can vary, so check if it can pass through, and if needed, add some more chains to make the gap bigger.

Afer you’ve made the rectangle, you can fold it and use pins to keep the shape in place. Now you need to create to more rectangles for the sides, and sew them in.
In my case I needed them to be 2cm wide and 4cm  high.

All in all this little project only took me an hour to make and sew up. If you decide to make something similar, please let me know! I would love to see your pictures!

Have a great afternoon. I’m off to make to more crab paws…

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A frustrating cowl

Sometimes when you crochet, not all goes according to plan. A while ago I decided to make a crochet cowl in the colours of my favourite football team: blue and white. You see, I attend several games each winter having cold. Because football scarfs are not really designed to keep you warm, you know… So I wanted to make my own, and I had my eye on this lovely (free) pattern: the herringbone infinity scarf.

I had two types of yarn lying around in the matching colours… But two types of yarn tend to work up differently, and that’s where my frustrations began 😉

On the left you see how far I had gotten when I realised the cowl got too tight. The white yarn stretched out more than the blue did… and there was no way that I could wrap the scarf around my neck twice. Leave it at once and it was too wide, meaning it wouldn’t be warm enough. Yes, you’ve guessed it: I had to ripp it all out again and start over…

I asked a fellow crochet addict who made a few cowls before how wide hers were, and started over with that.

Even then, the blue shrunk the cowl quite heavily, but it was just about right to wrap it around my neck twice when it got finished. It’s sometimes very frustrating when you have to start over – but then again, if I had left it the way it was, the whole project would’ve been useless.

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This is the finished cowl. In the middle of summer now, so I won’t be needing this anytime soon – but I’m looking forward to wearing it.

Have you ever had a project that you almost completely had to redo? Would love to hear about it!

In the mean time, enjoy those summer evenings… it’s one of my favourite times of year to crochet: long natural light, and I’m full of energy in the summer months!

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This is probably one of the projects that took me the longest. Not because it’s hard to do, but because I made it during the crochet class at school. When you are helping out others with their patterns and stitches, there’s not a lot of time left to do your own crochet. It was only at the end of the schoolyear, when there was only one or two students left who came in, that I was able to finish the project.

I have mentioned it before, but to those new to the blog, the mascotte of our school is an owl. My line of work often involves giving out a tissue or two, so I wanted to spike the tissue box up a bit.

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If you want to make a box like this of your own, it’s actually quite simple. I made this one out of hdc, but you can use any stitch you like.
First you create a rectangle. You make a chain of stitches as wide as your tissue box is, and add rows untill you reach the opening for the tissues. There you start making half rows, just up untill the opening. You do the same on the other side, and then connect the two loose sides with a chain of stitches. In the next row you continue your stitches in full rows again. Do this untill you’ve reached the desired height to function as the top of your box. Now crochet all around that rectangle (I used a different colour for that), adding two or three stitches in the corners, but not enlarging anywhere else. After one round, keep going in the round (not multiplying anywhere, not even in the corners now!), untill you have the desired height again.

It’s as simple as that! I decorated it with two giant owl eyes, embroidered a little beak and added a cute flower to finish it off.

To me, it looks so much nicer than a normal tissuebox, and I hope it brings a smile to a few of the students that might not feel so good when they come it…

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Make your own lamp

Now here’s a project I’m really proud of. I follow the blog of Dutch blogger Crea Chick and she pimped some lamps in her kitchen a while ago. That made me think of the idea to design and make my own lamp.

I didn’t just want to crochet around an existing lamp, so I started thinking about how to do it. In the end, IKEA came to my rescue on all things lamp related 😉

First, I used one of their flowerpots to shape the desing I was making (top left picture). I wanted the pattern to have some holes in it, so the light would shine through when the lamp was turned on.

Second fase, middle picture on the left, was stiffening the lampshade. I used a mixture of fabric glue and water, just like when I made my snow crystals. I made a small patch of yarn to go around a smaller flower pot, just to test first if this worked out. I ‘dressed’ the flowerpot with sealing foil, so the glue mixture wouldn’t glue my lampshade to the flowerpot. This worked out perfectly!

Some googling learned me that I needed some different parts to make the lamp work: an electrical cord, a lightbulb and a fitting to put the lamp in. All these parts are sold seperately and at a very reasonable price at your local IKEA, so don’t bother buying them online. Youtube can show you how to do it, but it was all very easy to do (if I can, you can as well).

When the lamp was all together, I made a top, to be sewed around the chord, keeping the whole thing up. I didn’t stiffen that. On the last picture (to the right) you can see everything being sewed together.

And this is how it looks in our hallway!

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I used about one ball of catania yarn to make it, so the total cost of this lamp is about €10. I made sure to use a led lightbulb, that doesn’t warm up, so it’s safe to use. The bulb doesn’t touch the cotton anywhere as well, and even if you leave it on for a couple of hours, you can still touch the bulb with your bare hands – quite fireproof I’d say.

In retrospect I might use thicker yarn and less holes next time, because as you can see, the shade is quite transparent when turned on. Still very happy with the way it turned out! What do you think?

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Heart of roses

In january 2016 my mum died unexpectedly. I’m writing this blogpost a year and a half later and I still can’t really grasp the fact that she’ll never be around anymore. It’s heavy, losing a parent. Sometimes I think I’m passed the worst part of grief, but that’s only when I don’t think about it. When I start thinking about it, I know I’m actually not there yet. Not at all.

Anyway, I wanted to make something to put on mums grave. Flowers are pretty on a grave, but unless you actually go there on a daily base, there’s not much use putting them there. I wanted something that would last a while.

So I decided to decorate something she once gave to me, a ceramic white heart. I think it’s supposed to be for snacks, but it’s so thin we didn’t really use it. But it’s a beautiful heart, so I decided it would be perfect to give it back to her, in a way.

As you know, I’m a Pinterest addict, so my rose pattern came from there as well. You can find it yourself, it’s a free pattern to use. I made roses in four types of colours, and in the end decided to make just a couple of leaves as well.

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I then glued each rose to the ceramic using hot glue. Unfortunately, the hot glue didn’t last long. The roses do remain in the heart shape, but they are loose. I keep saying to myself that I should take it back home again and try fixing them again – but I have no idea which type of glue would work well. After all, when it rains, water will stay in the bowl…

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Here’s how it looks on my mothers grave. I put it there last February and the colours have withered a bit since then, but overall it still looks great. I’m happy with the result. Just wished this wasn’t something I’d have to make for her…

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The latest for our nativity scene

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while now, know that in 2015 I made the first part of our nativity scene. We even made the shed ourselves with material we had lying around the house. It was big fun, and it looked a little bit like this:

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Because the whole scene was a bit much to crochet all at once, I decided I’d add something to it each year. So this year, I started making the donkey.

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The patterns I use are from a book by Christel Krukkert (only available in Dutch), and ofcourse paid patterns – so the link to these I can’t share with you. It takes a while to make each figure, as always with amigurumi – but I’ve fallen in love with that part of crochet a long time ago and I will probably always enjoy making that the most…

Donkey looked great when looking into the shed 😉 On the left you can see him before I trimmed his manes…

This year I’ll normally add the ox. Next year maybe a sheep and a shepherd.  I’ve also been thinking about adding a start on top of the shed as well… We’ll see!

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Chair cozies

You know, those little round things you put underneath your chairs, so they don’t make that scrapy noise across your floor (or damage it, if you don’t have a stone one?). These things I mean:

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Well, we had them. And they kept coming loose after a while. So I figured I would make chair cozies. I used some grey Catania Grande I had lying around (I’m in the fase where I want to use all my yarn stock so in the future I don’t have that much yarn lying around… yeah, I know, I’m still thinking that’ll actually work out, somehow).

Our chairs in our living room are white, and our couch is grey, so I figured it would match out. I started out by crocheting a simple set of rows, to create the rectangle that my chair legs have at the bottom.

Then I made a round of sc all the way around the rectangle, also on the sides, and continued to crochet sc in the round just up untill the right height. It wasn’t a lot of work, and it looked really good on the chairs.

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I did notice in the first week I was using them, that when the chair was lifted instead of pulled back, the cozies would slip off. So I used some glue to glue them onto the chair legs. After all, those irritating round things I mentioned earlier are glued on as well. We are now 6 months down the road, and they still look great. Even though these chairs are used a lot (3 times each day for meals, and often in between when Febe is doing homework, or we are blogging or working from home), they still haven’t been torn or anything. So for me, this is a project that was well worth it. And if they ever do break down, I’ll just make some new ones…

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Enlarging my first pattern

A friend of my niece was pregnant this winter. As a gift she asked me to make a musical toy for the baby. You can find great music boxes to put into your crochet work online (like here for instance, sometimes even washable and all). She wanted it to be a cat, and so I picked this cute pattern on Pinterest.

However, the pattern turned out to be smaller than I thought. And there was no way I could fit the music box inside it…

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So I started to enlarge the pattern, by writing it down and enlarging each row step by step. This was harder than I would have thought at first. See the top right picture above – the top of the head didn’t look at all that symmetric as it should’ve been.

So I did it all over again. Lot’s and lot’s of thinking and googling stuff online, I came up with a pattern that actually worked out. I had A LOT of help by reading this blogpost:
http://myskillsguide.blogspot.be/2012/07/how-to-enlarge-amigurumi-technique.html . Be sure to check it out if you ever want to enlarge an amigurumi!

Ofcourse you can use a larger hook and tread as well – but I really wanted to have the look of using catania and a 3 mm hook. In the end it was worth it, but all the numbers nearly made me go crazy. What do you think of the final result? Let me know in the comments!

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Reindeer rattler

I’ve always been a big fan of Christmas, and a big fan of reindeer. One of my all time travel highlights was seeing these amazing animals in the wild in Finland. So as far as crochet work for Christmas goes… I had to make some reindeer rattlers, right?

Stip & Haak is an amazing Dutch crochet website. They’ve got a ton of FREE patterns, that you can consult here. For all my English readers slightly panicking now – the patterns are also available in English 😉

I made them in two colours and it’s hard to tell which one is my favourite 🙂 They both have something going for them, don’t you think?

As for the rattling part –  I don’t know about you guys, but instead of using bells (like I did in the beginning), I now use “rammelschijfjes” (which would translate as rattle disks). I always buy them from Echtstudio, one of my favourite crochet stores online. You can take a look at them here. I find they rattle far more than bells do…

This is all for now! A new post will follow soon… gotta get this up to date!

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