Sunday, 24 September 2017

First finished crochet project!



I just finished my first crochet project! A simple mesh bag, for shopping, or storing balls of yarn. The free pattern can be found here.



It was fun to do and a quick make - I started it on Thursday and finished it today.



Now I'll get back to the giant granny square shirt and the sea blanket. They're both about halfway done. Stay tuned!

Friday, 15 September 2017

More crochet



When my mother-in-law taught me to crochet in July, when we were in the Netherlands, she didn't mention how addictive it was! My pile of granny squares is growing steadily - I just can't wait to pick up my hook and make another one.



I also have this continuous urge to look up crochet patterns on Ravelry and check out crochet magazines at the newsagent's. The other day I picked up this British mag:



I really liked the Gradient Granny Tee on the cover - so when I got an email from Spotlight about their yarn sale I couldn't resist buying more yarn... (hey, it was on sale!)



I've started on the shirt (hope it will look as good on me as on that flat-chested model...) - it took a bit of getting used to the English (UK) terms (after learning in Dutch) but I adjusted to that pretty quickly. Now all I have to manage are the US terms! Why are they different??



I thought about making a case for my growing collection of hooks, but of course one of my pencil rolls is perfect for the job!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Blue Mountains



Last weekend we visited the Blue Mountains National Park, about 80 km west of Sydney. I had been looking forward to going here, and it didn't disappoint - it's stunningly beautiful.
Below are the Three Sisters - the photo I had in mind of the three bothers looking at the Three Sisters didn't really work out as these days they just stare at the camera with disdain!

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Some more pics of the awe-inspiring scenery:





I'm glad that my eldest son was happy to take this pic as I definitely wasn't up to it!





Here is some street art I spotted in Katoomba:



Katoomba is a delightful place, with lots of art deco buildings:



The Carrington Hotel:



How gorgeous are these windows!



We wished we could have stayed longer, but unfortunately we had to go home at the end of the day. However, together with some friends we have booked a house in Blackheath for Easter 2018 - we're already looking forward to spending four days in the Blue Mountains!



Meanwhile at home I am working hard on my crochet blanket - about one third is done now. The granny squares initially weren't all the same size (getting better at it now), but luckily blocking them helped. I bought some T-pins and pinned them to my ironing board, then lightly sprayed them with water and dried them with a hair dryer:



I've bought a set of colourful hooks and have also already ordered yarn for my next crochet project. It's very satisfying to acquire a new skill at this stage of life!

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Progress



I've made some progress on my first crochet project: I now have a granny square in each colour of my Sea Colours Blanket. I am enjoying making them - they're small and very portable, so can be done whenever you have a bit of a time, wherever you are.

I've also spent some time recently writing out a pattern for a new quilt (one I made at the start of the year, before I started my current full-time job). It will be a project in a magazine later this year, so I can't show it yet, but it was fun to do and makes me want to make another quilt! That will please my youngest son, who is a bit worried that I have stopped making quilts altogether...

Friday, 18 August 2017

Current projects



After being away in Europe for the whole month of July, I finally found time to bring my 2017 Sydney Temperature Scarf somewhat up to date. I made it to July 16th before running out of yellow yarn (for days with a maximum temperature between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius). Now I have to wait until the new yarn that I ordered online arrives...

The scarf is almost one metre long now, with 6.5 months done, so the completed scarf will be almost two metres!



Meanwhile I've also made a start on my crochet baby blanket in sea colours - here are the first two squares!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Straightforward mitts and more



My husband asked if I could make some fingerless gloves for him, so last week I spent most of my free time on this pair, so he could wear them before winter ends here!



I used Scheepjes Stonewashed yarn (cotton/acrylic) that was gifted to me in the Netherlands, and a free Ravelry pattern by Mone Drager: Straightforward Mitts. The pattern is well written, easy to follow, and I love the effect of the twisted rib!



I've also done a bit of crochet, to keep up my newfound skills:



Spotlight had a yarn sale, so I stocked up on cotton in sea colours - I'm planning to make something like this baby blanket (might be a bit ambitious...)



I've also bought a large crochet hook and dug up my t-shirt yarn:



This could become a bathroom mat... I'm enjoying making it, and actually finding it very useful, because the thick yarn makes it easy to see how the stitches are formed.
To be continued!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Holiday impressions from Rome and the Netherlands



We're back in Sydney, after a wonderful holiday in Europe. As promised, here are some photo impressions.
We started with a 4-day city trip to Rome, where we stayed in an apartment very close to the Vatican. It was my third visit to Rome, but the boys' first, so we did all the things you have to do in Rome, like Saint Peter's Basilica (above) and the Colosseum (which they loved of course):



I remembered to look down every now and then and saw some great sewer lids - I wished I'd brought my Shiva paintsticks and some fabric!





I'd looked up places where we could find some street art, but they were far from the city centre and sadly there was no time to go there. However, I did spot a few pieces of street art:





Of course we threw some coins in the Trevi Fountain to make sure we will return to Rome. I'm looking forward to my next visit, when I will just skip all the touristy things and discover other parts of Rome!



More pics from Rome on my photo blog here, here and here!



Back in the Netherlands we stayed for a week in a holiday home near the National Park the Hoge Veluwe, where we visited the Hunting Lodge St Hubert, designed and built by the famous Dutch architect H.P. Berlage in 1914-1920. He intended it to be a gesamtkunstwerk and also designed the interior, the gardens and even the furniture - it was all part of the whole work of art.





I thought it was very impressive! More pics, also of the interior, here.



Living in Australia makes us want to see some really old buildings when we are in Europe, so we visited a few castles - the one above is Castle Doorwerth near Arnhem. Its oldest parts date from the 13th century (more pics here). And the one below is Castle Hackfort (oldest part from the 14th century):



My mother-in-law works as a volunteer in the castle gardens and took us for a walk through the gardens and the surrounding woods (more pics here):







When my husband had gone back to Sydney for work after two weeks, I took the boys to the island of Schiermonnikoog. I have often been there when I was young and really wanted to show them this beautiful part of the Netherlands:



Schiermonnikoog is a small island with only one village, where you can find beautiful old houses:



You can't bring your car to the island, but you can hire bicycles to get around!



We stayed for four days and had a great time - I wish we could have stayed for two weeks!
More pics of Schiermonnikoog here.



When we got back to the mainland I took the boys for a short visit to Appingedam, the small town where I grew up. (More pics of Appingedam here...)



Then we drove on to Groningen!



My favourite city in the whole wide world! We stayed with my BFF Hylkia and her family for a few days. It was so good to be back there!



I discovered an interesting work of street art:







We went shopping and found a yarn shop:



Hylkia took this photo of me there ;-)



And of course we had to go to the market...



We had a wonderful time in Rome and in the Netherlands, and I hope you have enjoyed these photo impressions.
Now back in Sydney I am working hard on my new crochet skills. I'll show you the results soon!