Sunday, 28 July 2019


My middle son asked if I could make an owl for him.

Of course!

He loves the owl and has called it Witje (that's Dutch - it means 'little white one').

The pattern is from this book that I found in the local library:

Thinking of buying a copy, as there are are quite a few animals in it that I would like to make - isn't that elephant cute? And there's also a snake in it that I love, and a flamingo...

Monday, 1 July 2019

Parkrun capes

You may remember that I made a red '50' milestone cape for my local parkrun a while ago. I've now finished all milestone capes (10 for the juniors, 25 for volunteers, and 50, 100 and 250 for runners/walkers), and on Saturday, when I was volunteering as photographer, five participants were happy to model the capes for me. It was my 22nd time volunteering, so not long now until I get to wear the purple cape!

I took this photo of my eldest son, who was the first finisher on Saturday. On Sunday he and I will run our first half marathon here on the Gold Coast, while my husband will do his first full marathon. Very exciting! (more about this on my running blog)

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Dragon Scale Gloves

Another small project done. I love things that can be whipped up quickly and done while watching tv or listening to an audiobook or podcast.
On one of my crochet groups on Facebook, someone showed a pair of dragon scale gloves they had made. I liked the look of them and searched on Ravelry for a pattern. Found one by The Yarnivore UK here, grabbed a Caron Cotton Cake from my stash, and got going!

So here they are. I love how they look, but have found that they are not very practical - I can't do computer work wearing them, as they are too bulky. So they have been donated to my youngest son who likes them, and I will continue to wear the 'crazy, beautiful mittens' I knitted two years ago.

Monday, 3 June 2019


Winter has arrived in Australia, and even here in South-East Queensland it can be a bit nippy at night and in the early morning, so I've made a beanie for my husband who doesn't have a lot of hair to keep his head warm ;-)

I used this pattern - it's extremely simple, just half double crochets going round and round until the beanie is big enough. The yarn (Lionbrand Heartland) was also used to make the Dalek gloves for my youngest son and the bone for Barney.

This is the start of another new project. I will show more soon!

Wednesday, 29 May 2019


Here is my fifth amiguruME doll: my oldest son Hugo, the gymnast!

He's wearing his Queensland State Team uniform, in which he competed last year at the National Championships. Sadly he injured his knee there, so he hasn't been able to do gymnastics in the last 12 months (you can read the whole story here). He did start running at the end of last year though, and will run the half marathon with me in July!

Here I am with my boys:

Now it's my husband's turn to be made into an amigurumi doll!

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Finally sewing again!

Today I started up my sewing machine for the first time since January 2018 (when I made the chair covers I showed here). Yes, it really has been more than 15 months!
I was happy to discover that I still knew how to thread the machine, and that it was still functioning well (I must admit it was a bit dusty).
So what did I sew?

Last month we spent a weekend in Warwick, and of course did the parkrun there. It happened to be my husband's 50th parkrun; a milestone that means you are eligible for a free, red '50' t-shirt. Here's mine - I did my 50th parkrun in February:

In Warwick they had milestone capes. My husband got to run in the red '50' cape, while someone else ran his 100th parkrun in a black cape (because the '100' t-shirt is black).

I thought that was a great idea, and asked at our home parkrun, Surfers Paradise, if they would like me to make some capes. They did, so I bought some fabric and today I made the '50' cape!

Very happy with how it turned out. And the fabrics for the other milestone capes (Junior 10; Volunteer 25; 100; 250) are washed and ironed, ready to be sewn!

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

New projects

Last week I whipped up this basket, made from a cheap and colourful ball of yarn that I found at the dollar shop. It was a good project to work on during a long car trip, to a house in rural Northern New South Wales, where we stayed with friends during the Easter weekend. I'm using the basket to keep all my chargers and cords (for mobile phone, iPad, camera, wireless headphones etc) in one place.

At the house, with no wifi or mobile phone reception, I finally started on another amiguruME doll. This is going to be my eldest son ;-)

It was a lovely long weekend, in the middle of nowhere. This was the view from the backyard:

A lot of chatting, eating and drinking, walking with the dogs, playing games and reading was done, and a little bit of running.

I've decided to start a new blog for my running adventures: Run, Read, Create.
Besides the running stuff, there will also be book reviews and the occasional crafty show and tell (which will also appear here). Do come and have a look!

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Panda Glasses Holder

A while ago I spotted some funny crocheted Muppet and Smurf eyeglasses holders. I decided to make one, but going through my yarn stash the only suitable yarn I could find was some chunky black and white. I didn't want to buy more yarn, so had to think of something that is black and white and has a round head...

A panda!

The holder would be even better if the ears were placed a bit lower, but hey, panda ears are situated at the top of the head, not the side...
Anyway, it works and I like it!

Sunday, 24 March 2019


It's been very quiet here on the blog, because I didn't really have anything to share. But last week the quarterly magazine of the Dutch Quilters' Guild arrived, and it was a nice surprise to see two of my Lone Star quilts featured in an article about traditional blocks used in modern ways.

I made some more diamonds for my Lone Star Blanket, and also started a new crochet project that I hope to share here soon!

And other than that I have been working, reading a lot (you can see the books I read in My Bookshelf in the side bar), and running of course. Together with my eldest son and a friend I did the International Women's Day Fun Run 10km in Brisbane on March 3rd:

I also ran my 50th parkrun in February (in a tutu! See pic in sidebar) and brought my 5 km PB down by 2 seconds to 31:43. It's still very hot and humid here in Queensland, so I hope to bring it down further when it finally gets a bit cooler.

I have started training for my first half marathon (21.1 km) in July and am up to 14 km now! If you had told me three years ago that I would ever run that far, I would not have believed you...

Saty tuned for more crafty stuff soon!

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Lone Star Blanket Revisited

After more than seven months I have finally picked up the Lone Star Blanket again and started making more diamonds.
This is what the blanket looked like the last time I worked on it, in July 2018:

I've crocheted 22 diamonds in the last two weeks, so only 138 more to go!

And then a lot of sewing them together... Not my favourite part of the job.

But it will look so good when it's finished!

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Café Wall Illusion Cushion - free crochet pattern

A few years ago, I made a series of optical illusions quilts. One optical illusion I always wanted to turn into a quilt is the Café Wall Illusion. In this one all the horizontal lines are parallel, even though they appear to be sloped. There's a building in Melbourne featuring this illusion - I discovered it during my sixth visit to Melbourne in May 2017 and took this photo from the SkyBus:

When we were in Canberra in December 2017, we also saw the illusion: it was, very appropriately, on the wall in the café of Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre:

The quilt never got made by me (other quilters did make it - here is an example), but after another trip to Melbourne in May last year I decided to try and crochet a Café Wall Illusion Cushion. And voilà!

I crocheted the front panel of the cushion in the Café Wall pattern (read on for the instructions), then crocheted a plain red back, and sewed them together:

To create a crochet pattern in multiple colours, I used a technique that was new to me: tapestry crochet. It isn't difficult, as you only use one crochet stitch throughout: the single crochet (sc) in US terms (double crochet (dc) in UK terms).When changing colours in a row, you carry the first colour along and 'hide' it in the stiches of the new colour.  If you're new to tapestry crochet too, I recommend having a look at a this step-by-step photo tutorial by Lilla Bjorn Crochet.

Tapestry crochet is often done in the round, but can be done back and forth in rows as well, as I have done here. I have written out the instructions for every row, but looking at the graph will help you understand the pattern. It's pretty simple!

I cut the red yarn after each red row, and the black and white yarn after each block of black and white squares, but you could also carry them over to the next row/block.

Café Wall Illusion Cushion
Finished size: 41 cm / 16 in square

Yarn: I used Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 8 ply (DK) in red, black and white. This yarn comes in 200 g (484 metres / 529 yards) balls - I used about 100 g of each colour.
Hook: 4mm (G)
16 inch / 41 cm pillow insert
Tapestry needle

Gauge: 22 stitches and 20 rows = 10 cm

Abbreviations used
ch = chain
sc = single crochet (UK dc)
st = stitch

Directions for front panel - see graph below.
With red, ch 91.
R1: sc in the second ch from hook and in each st across, ch 1, turn. (90)
R2: *change to black, sc 9. Change to white, sc 9. Repeat from * until end of round. Ch 1, turn. (90)
R3: *sc 9 in white, sc 9 in black. Repeat from * until end of round. Ch 1, turn. (90)
R4: repeat R2
R5: repeat R3
R6: repeat R2
R7: repeat R3
R8: repeat R2
R9: repeat R3
R10: repeat R2
R11: change to red, sc in each st across, ch 1, turn. (90)
R12: change to white, sc 4. *Change to black, sc 9. Change to white, sc 9. Repeat from * 3 times. Change to black, sc 9. Change to white, sc 5, ch 1, turn. (90)
R13: sc 5 in white, *sc 9 in black, sc 9 in white. Repeat from * 3 times. Sc in 9 in black, sc 4 in white, ch 1, turn. (90)
R14: repeat R12
R15: repeat R13
R16: repeat R12
R17: repeat R13
R18: repeat R12
R19: repeat R13
R20: repeat R12
R21-80: repeat R1-20 4 times
R81: change to red, sc in each st across. Fasten off and weave in ends.

(many thanks to Meghan from Meghan Makes Do for the tutorial on how to create these charts!)

Directions for back panel
With red, ch 91.
R1: sc in the second ch from hook and in each st across, ch 1, turn. (90)
R2-80: sc in each st across, ch 1, turn. (90)
R81: sc in each st across. Fasten off and leave a long tail to sew front and back panels together.

Place the front and back panel wrong sides together and sew 3 sides together. Place the pillow insert inside and sew the remaining side closed.

Sit back and admire your Café Wall Illusion Cushion!

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Guitar boy

May I present my fourth amiguruME doll: my middle son Ernst with his beloved guitar.

Like the other three dolls, this one is based on the patterns in the book AmiguruME by Alison Hoffman.

Here we are together. His doll is larger than mine, but IRL I am still 0.5 cm taller! (not much longer, I know)

And here I am with two of my boys. A Hugo doll will be next, of course...

Here are Ernst and his doll side by side. Well, there is a bit of a likeness, isn't there?

Anyway, he's happy with it and so am I!