Monday 31 December 2018

New Zealand

Two days ago we arrived home after a fantastic holiday in New Zealand. Here are a few pics of some highlights: an early morning run in Auckland (above).
A visit to Hobbiton:

Walking in an ancient forest:

Sightseeing in Napier, a city full of art deco buildings and street art - what more could you wish for? (they also have jacarandas!)

And last but not least, spending a few days near majestic Mount Ruapehu, hiking and moutainbiking in Tongariro National Park:

I brought my Happy Whirl shawl and got quite a few rows done. This project is nearing its end!

We also did two parkruns in New Zealand, which brought my total this year to 30, and overall to 40!

With only two hours to go here in Queensland until the start of 2019, I would like to wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

Sunday 16 December 2018


Last weekend I was in Melbourne, where my youngest son and his partner competed at the Australian Dancesport Championship. They did very well and came home with two trophies and lots of medals. A great end of their first year of dancing together!

On my way to parkrun in Albert Park on Saturday morning I spotted some brilliant street art in Yarra Place (more pics on the photo blog):

At the park the view over the lake with the city in the background was beautiful:

I brought the Happy Whirl project with me to Melbourne and even managed to crochet a few rows. The purple is starting to appear now:

Back at home I've also been working on the Sea Breeze Cover Up:

School holidays have started here in Queensland, and on Wednesday we are flying to New Zealand for a holiday on the North Island. Very exciting! There will be one more post on the blog before the end of the year, so stay tuned...

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Another Whirl

When I heard that my local yarn shop, Teekays Yarns, now stocks Scheepjes Whirls, I had to pay them a visit of course... (they also sell them online!) I came home with my third Whirl - this one is called Turkish Delight. I immediately knew what I was going to make with it: the Sea Breeze Cover Up, a pattern from ByKaterina. I'm about halfway through:

Meanwhile I'm also still working on my other Whirl project, the Happy Whirl shawl:

I love Whirls! (no, I'm not sponsored by Scheepjes - sadly!)

Wednesday 14 November 2018


Last week I had to make a quick trip to the seaside town of Scheveningen in the Netherlands, where a family member was admitted to hospital. Sadly he won't be going home again, so I had to clean out his apartment and organise lots of things.
Needless to say it was a stressful week, although thankfully some good friends came to help and it was lovely to see them again, even under these sad circumstances.
I brought my current crochet project (the Happy Whirl shawl) but didn't crochet a single stitch - during the day I was too busy and at night too tired (jet lag...)
I did go for an early morning run three times (not difficult since I was awake at 5am most days). It was cold (around 4 degrees centigrade), colder than it ever gets in Queensland, but invigorating! (and so good for my mental health)

I had to stop a few times to take photos of the gorgeous sunrises and the stunning sky:

(more pics on the photo blog)

Of course I bought some Dutch delicacies to take home to my boys (liquorice, spiced cookies, Saint Nicholas treats, syrup waffles). I also got some crochet books and bookazines:

The top right book, Haken met Joep (Crochet with Joep), is written by a 17-year-old boy called Joep who learned to crochet when he was six and now sells handmade beanies in his online shop. How cool is that! (I showed it to my boys, but sadly it hasn't inspired them to take up crochet).
The amigurumi book was a belated birthday gift from my sister-in-law. It's written by Dendennis, a Dutch guy who designs very original amigurumi.
And I'm sure the Scheepjes Yarn bookazines need no introduction, they are just chock-full of gorgeous projects.

Now I'm home again, exhausted and once more suffering from jet lag... I still haven't picked up my crochet hook but will do that soon - have to finish my middle son's amiguruME doll!

Monday 22 October 2018

Jacaranda time

October is jacaranda time in Queensland. There aren't as many jacarandas on the Gold Coast as in Brisbane, but that only makes them stand out more. Here are a few pics of my favourite jacarandas in our area.

Meanwhile my Happy Whirl shawl is slowly growing:

The second colour change has happened! Can't wait for the purple to appear.

I have also made a start on my fourth amiguruME doll. Stay tuned for a reveal soon!

Wednesday 3 October 2018

New Whirl project

A while ago I treated myself to another Scheepjes Whirl (I bought my first one last year in the Netherlands and used it to make a Lacy Pineapple Shawl). This time I chose the Brambleberry, a gorgeous blue and purple colourway.

After finishing the third amiguruME doll (and before I start on the fourth) I wanted a simple project, something that doesn't require too much thinking or counting. I decided on the Happy Whirl Shawl designed by Atty van Norel. So far I'm really enjoying it. The first colour change has just happened - always an exciting moment!

Remember the sun visor I made a while ago, from a pattern in issue 71 of Simpy Crochet? Today a kind lady on Instagram let me know that it is featured in the current issue - and as it will take a while before it's in the shops here in Australia she sent a few pictures as well. Thanks Lisa!

Can't wait to get my hands on this issue! (not that we will need mittens or jumpers here anytime soon... It's warming up quickly and summer will be here before you know it)

Saturday 29 September 2018

Let's dance!

She's finished! My third amiguruME doll: my yougest son's dance partner.

Her hair is supposed to be in a bun, but as a mum of three boys I have no idea how to make a bun ;-)

So I just tied her hair back...

Next up is my middle son... and his guitar!

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Weekend in Sydney

Last weekend youngest son and I travelled to Sydney, where he and his partner competed in the Luna Park Ballroom Dancing Championships. They did very well and took home two silver medals and one bronze!

You can watch them dance the waltz and the quickstep here:

We stayed with our Dutch friends in Sydney. They have two Cocker Spaniel puppies, so I crocheted a bone for each of them:

Happy to say that they loved their presents!

On Sunday morning we visited the Organic Markets in Marrickville where I bought this hemp twine:

Perfect for another market bag!

Monday 3 September 2018

Look who's here!

My second amiguruME doll - my youngest son Robert, the ballroom dancer!

He loves it! Here we are together:

Now I have to make his dance partner too, of course...

Saturday 25 August 2018

Hi, it's me!

May I present... myself! Okay, my legs aren't as skinny IRL, but apart from that surely the likeness is striking?

Well, maybe not, but I'm still very happy with my running alter ego. Or, as someone called it, my personal action figure!
To make it I used this brilliant book:

It's not a standard pattern book - it has chapters showing you how to make heads and faces, upper and lower bodies, feet and shoes, hair, and accessories.

And most importantly, how to customise them so they look like the person you want them to look like.

I loved making this doll, and especially enjoyed adding the finishing touches, like my Garmin running watch:

... and my aqua running shoes!

If my kids had still been little I would definitely have started by making little versions of them instead of myself, but I thought my (almost-) teenagers wouldn't be interested. Imagine my surprise when they all said they loved mini-me, and could I please make dolls for them as well?

... Of course! ;-)

PS Yes, I still have to add my glasses, but so far I haven't been able to find the right material. So let's just assume for now that mini-me is wearing contacts...