Wednesday 30 December 2020

The last post of the year

2020 is almost over, and like everyone else I am glad to see the end of this year. Although the Covid situation here in Queensland, Australia, isn't nearly as bad as in many other places around the world, the pandemic has still had a large impact on our lives. The worst thing for me personally was that I couldn't travel to the Netherlands when a loved one got sick and died back in July.

Crochet, along with reading and running, has been a good way for me to deal with everything 2020 threw at me. I finished 12 projects this year - big ones, like my Up North Cardigan and the Lotus & Blossom Mandala, and small ones like the four colourful dishcloths (the fourth one was finished yesterday!):

I didn't do any sewing, quilting or knitting in 2020. I did discover a new craft: embroidery. I made two pieces and I really like both of them, but I don't think I'll be making any more anytime soon.
The best thing for us in 2020 was that after almost 14 years in Australia we finally bought our own house!
We moved in a month ago and are very much enjoying making it ours. The mandala has found a spot in the living room:

While unpacking boxes I came across this quilt that I made many years ago. I put it up on the wall over the dining table - everyone loves it!

Wooyung, Thinking of Holland and My Calendar are in the hallway:

Cycle of Life is also in the living room:

And my whole amigurumi family is on display on top of the bookcase!

There are some other quilts that still need to be put up on the walls, and of course it's too hot at the moment to have quilts on the beds.
Meanwhile some new balls of yarn have arrived for my next crochet project...
I hope you will visit this blog again in 2021 to find out what I am going to make with these!
Having said that, thanks for visiting this year, I appreciate it. And I would like to wish all my readers a happy, creative, and especially healthy 2021 - here's hoping that life will become a bit more normal soon.

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Lotus & Blossom Mandala

Yesterday I finished this project - it's the Lotus & Blossom Mandala, designed by Mark Rooseboom. I used a Scheepjes Whirl in the Blackberry Mint Chip colourway to make it. I very much enjoyed making it - it looks complicated but really isn't very difficult, and the pattern is well written. I had a lot of time to crochet after I rolled my ankle on a trail run a few weeks ago and had to put my foot up for a few days...

Thursday 22 October 2020

Small projects

It's been almost two months since I last posted here! I haven't been very creative in that time (I have been reading a lot though, and also keeping up with my running) - I'm still trying to decide what to embroider next, but decided in the meantime to do some small crochet projects. The pumpkin was a free pattern found here, a quick and easy make.

I also made another dishcloth. I have three now (and have started a fourth one), and really like them. I've used the other two since the start of the year and they hold up very well. I'm planning to make a few more and replace all my store-bought dishcloths with these handmade ones.

Using things you have made yourself in daily life is just such a satisfying feeling!

Thursday 27 August 2020

Kombi Van in a hoop

Here's my second embroidery project! Regular readers of this blog won't be surprised that it's a Kombi Van (in my favourite colour), as I am very fond of Kombi Vans and have made quite a few other items inspired by them - most notably the Kombi Van Sewing Machine Cover that I designed for Down Under Quilts in 2014.

To make this piece I used a photo I took in 2016, which is part of my Shutterstock portfolio:

I'm very happy with how it turned out, and can't wait to start on my next embroidery project. I'm not sure what it will be yet - I have so many ideas!

Tuesday 11 August 2020

Mondrian's Lone Star in a hoop

It's finished! My first embroidery project, Mondrian's Lone Star 3 (you can see no.1 here and no. 2 here).

There's definitely room for improvement, but I'm still very happy with it. 

It's hanging on the bookcase in our bedroom. I love looking at it!

Here it is together with its big brother; Mondrian's Lone Star 2:

I have lots of ideas for more embroidery projects and can't wait to start on the next one. But there's also a crochet project that I need to finish.. Stay tuned!

Saturday 25 July 2020


Wednesday 22 July 2020


Last week I read A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier, one of my favourite authors. It's about the life of a single woman (one of the so-called surplus women) in the 1930s in England. Embroidery and bellringing are important themes. It's beautifully written, and very thought-provoking. I highly recommend it.

I had just finished the cardigan I showed in the previous posting, and was trying to decide what to crochet next. But after reading the book I decided I really wanted to give embroidery a go. In my craft stash I found some muslin fabric and embroidery hoops (from when I used to sell screenprinted fabric stretched in hoops in my Etsy shop Blue Jacaranda). I bought some embroidery floss and was ready to start.

I knew what I wanted to embroider: a Lone Star. Even though I don't make quilts anymore, my house is still full of them, and quite a few of them are Lone Star quilts. My Classic Lone Star Quilt is on our bed, and my Lone Star Mini Quilt is hanging on the bookcase in the bedroom. I look at it every morning when I do the exercises for my Achilles tendon!

And when I look to the other side I see Mondrian's Lone Star Quilt, hanging on the wall in the hallway:

And that is the one I want to reproduce in embroidery. I really like the colours and the fact that it is so asymmetrical.

I started last Friday and this is where I'm at today. I'm enjoying the process very much - except threading the needle! And I've got lots of ideas for other embroidery projects, so stay tuned...

(there's also the crocheted Lone Star Blanket that I still have to finish...)

Thursday 16 July 2020

Up North Cardigan

Finally something to show here again! Today I finished the Up North Cardigan - a pattern by Jess Coppom that can be found here.
I asked my yougest son to make some photos - he told me to 'strike a pose' and this was the result. I see a rosy future for him as a fashion photographer!

I used Eco Cotton from Anette Erikson to crochet this cardigan. It was very pleasant to work with.

Really happy with this project!

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Corona Virus Stress Ball

When I saw this crocheted corona virus I just had to make it! (it's a free pattern on Ravelry)

I'll put it to good use as a stress ball - at the moment I worry a lot about a family member in the Netherlands who has been infected with the virus. When I am worried I tend to pick at my nail beds until they bleed, so it's good to have something to keep my fingers busy. Like a stress ball - or another crochet project. I've started two new projects already, so stay tuned!

Saturday 25 April 2020

Bertie Baby Blanket

It's finished!

Really enjoyed crocheting this lovely blanket.

The recipient, a little girl, was born last week. I hope we can go and meet her very soon, and give her the blanket and the koala :-)

Tuesday 31 March 2020

New project

Like most people these days I find myself with a lot of time on my hands, so I've started a new project. It's the Bertie Baby Blanket, a lovely pattern from Little Doolally.
I'm using white cotton 8ply from Bendigo Woollen Mills and lots of seagreen, blue and purple cotton or cotton/acrylic yarn from my stash.

It will be another present for the baby that our friends are expecting within the next few weeks. All their family is overseas, and it must be difficult knowing there is no chance of seeing any of them anytime soon. So hopefully this will provide a little bit of joy and let them know there are people here who care about them.

Take care,

Wednesday 25 March 2020


Staying at home most of the time because of the Covid-19 crisis means having a lot of time to crochet. Yesterday I finished this cute little guy - a present for friends who have recently moved to Australia from overseas, and are expecting their first baby in April.

It's not really meant to be a toy for the baby (given the presence of buttons and safety eyes), but rather a decorative item for his or her room. I'm planning to make a baby-safe toy as well - possibly an octopus.

The pattern for this koala can be found here. I added the smile, and left out the tail - koalas don't have tails!

Friday 13 March 2020

Daisy shawl

Yesterday I finished the Daisy shawl that I started in December. Very happy with it!

The pattern is called the Painted Daisies wrap, designed by Daisy Boo Creations. It's available for sale on Ravelry. I used most of a Turkish Delight Whirl to make it.

If you are thinking that I seem to be crocheting a lot all of a sudden, you are correct. I broke my big toe on February 9th, so have had a lot of time sitting down with my foot up! (you can read more about the toe saga on my running blog)

I really enjoyed crocheting this shawl and may make another one in the future. The pattern is simple but very effective. It also benefits dramatically from blocking!

And here's another project that I haven't shown yet: my second dishcloth:

Like the first one, it's based on a pattern from Yarn Blossom Boutique, and made with cotton 8 ply from Bendigo Woollen Mills. This one is done in the Sedge Stitch.

I've found these dishcloths to be very good for general use in the kitchen and will definitely make some more.