Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Finding your inner diva

Every woman likes to pretend she is a diva. I'm a disco diva. I transferred from puberty to 'womanhood' at the end of the eighties, and when I was 16, (the) disco was my life. Me and my mate Christina spent many a Saturday Night feverishly looking for boys (well, be honest, 'men'...) to seduce and then leave stranded. We were taken, you see, both totally in love with our foreign boyfriends. We would smile, flutter our eyelashes, drink their Bacardi/beer/Martini and then vamoosh. Those were the days... ;)
My disco days are now behind me (saggy bum, saggy boobs, saggy bags under my eyes), but now and again I dare to squeeze my legs in fishnet stockings, paint my nails (fingers and toes) bright red and sing yelp along with INXS.
When I got a huge bag of Gratia de Luxe last year, the disco diva in me awoke again. And a while ago I started knitting a discotastic glittery sweater, which is now finished:
I know that some people would already start itching on seeing the yarn, and some certainly did shudder when they touched it. With the metal content, it does have a bit of 'rub' when wearing, and however much mohair you put in it, that does not take that away.
The pattern I knitted was the Off-the-shoulder pullover from Vogue Knitting (free pattern). I did notice that there's a difference in how it turns out between when you're a size 0 or a size 12 (let's be generous), but I guess that's true for every garment. What looks lovely on the plastic mannequin in the shop looks different on a woman with real curves (although some are diminishing...). Luckily, I only had to make one alteration with the L size I knitted. After knitting on the cuffs, they were just too loose, so I ripped them out and redid them on 2/3 of the stitches given. Better!
So, from now on, whenever I feel that disco fever rising, I'm just going to slip this one on (I also just have to get some proper leggings (and legs) and a belt, oh, and let's not forget the giant earrings! to go with it...), accept the scratching of metal as 'gentle exfoliation' and dance the night away!

Oh, and some more news: from next week our house will be on the market... Exciting!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Temptation Central...

As dear husband had a business appointment in Joure this morning, and I am his personal chauffeur, I was looking for a nice place to go in the meantime. And when you say Joure, you say Ajoure! A lovely store filled to the brim with yarn! I had never been before, but had heard raving reviews from fellow knitters from the area. And it still managed to exceed my expectations! As I was on a 'budget' - with the Breidagen in a few weeks' time - I only got enough yarn for my new mittens and a skein of sock yarn.
With the Cashmerino, I'll be knitting these lovelies... And now I'm home I realize I should have probably bought a second ball of white. Ach well... I'll just start them and if I run out, I can get a ball at the Breidagen :D
The Tausendschon is the same type of yarn I knit my Hat Heel socks with. I just loved that yarn, so I got a different colour combo to knit up some more lovely warm socks. Despite it nearly being Spring, it is still cold enough to need socks!
Oh, and what do you guys think of the new blog design? I love it!
Now, a quick bit of work while the kids are having fun with stamps, paper and pencils, and then it's back to my sewing machine, as I have to get started on my new Spring coat!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dusting off the sewing machine

After creating my own little crafting space in the attic, it was inevitable that I was going to start using it. Last Summer, we bought some nice fabric at IKEA to use for new cushion covers, and, as I was too busy with work and knitting, the fabric disappeared in a box... Until last week! It then took a few more nights of stewing over ideas and designs, and then I realized what I was supposed to make with it: a new cover for our Pello chair. We rescued the chair from a charity shop a few months ago, and the cover was, well, faded and included some interesting 'design elements'. I had washed it a few times, but it just never regained its former glory.
But would the fabric we had not be a bit too loud?
So, first, I decided to sew up a smaller project, to see how the fabric worked. I made a small crochet needle roll from a similar fabric, with a larger print, and some pink.
With my confidence in myself and trust in my Husky restored, I got to work. Measuring, cutting, more measuring, more cutting, thinking, sweating, cursing, sticking needles in fabric and the odd finger, and then ended up with this. Tadaaaaa!
I can't express how happy I am with the result. It looks even nicer in the daytime...


Today, Mermaid was so impressed with the chair she wanted to do some sewing herself. So, here she is, in action! After a crash-course in how the machine worked, we got to work. She loved trying all the different stitches and 'driving' the machine...

And after some practising, we made this!
A quick and easy project, and working together was fun. Our next project will be a pencil case with a zipper. And she also wants me to sew her a summer dress from that light-blue fabric. My diary will be full up with crafting!

* Today started with me complaining about and cursing to an overflowing dishwasher, but after seeing the utter devastation the earthquake and tsunami is causing in Japan and the Pacific region, I am feeling thoroughly blessed and a bit ashamed of my ranting. I have a (hard) working dishwasher, which only got blocked because I was too lazy to clear the gunk of my plates. The problem got solved after I got my hands dirty to unblock it again. If only the problems in Japan and the rest of the world were solved that easily... (see previous post, there's a theme developing here...)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

If knitting could change the world...




'Laat ze breien' by Annie M.G. Schmidt from 'Ja Zuster Nee Zuster'

Insteken, omslaan, doorhalen, af laten gaan
Insteken, omslaan, doorhalen, af laten gaan

Als de mannen tussenbeien, eens gezellig gingen breien
Met een knotje van die blauwe gemeleerde wol
Dan was 't uit met die ellende, dan was 't nergens meer een bende
En 't was eindelijk eens vrede op de wereldbol
O, ze moesten toch eens weten dat je alles kunt vergeten
Als je lekker zit te breien aan een babywant
'k Moet het zelf maar eens gaan zeggen, en persoonlijk uit gaan leggen
Aan die UNO secretaris, die meneer Oe Thant

Dan zeg ik

Oe, moet je horen, Oe
Laat ze breien, Oe
't Is zonodig, Oe
Laat ze breien, Oe
Elk staatshoofd in ieder land
Laat ze breien, alsjeblieft, Oe Thant
Anders komt er nooit een eind aan 't bakkeleien
Laat ze breien, Oe
Laat ze breien, Oe
Laat ze breien, Oe Thant

Insteken, omslaan, doorhalen, af laten gaan

Als De Gaulle er aan kon wennen, op niet al te dikke pennen
Dan mocht Engeland vandaag nog in de EEG
Alle mannen moeten breien, ook in Cuba en Turkije
O, als Nasser nou maar gauw een wollen truitje bree
Om nog maar niet eens te praten, van die verre Aziaten
Als Ho Minh eens ging beginnen aan een kabelsteek
En als Johnson uit wou scheien, en een trappelzak ging breien
Was het uit met die misere, nog dezelfde week

O, lieve Oe
Moet je horen, Oe
Laat ze breien, Oe
't Is zo nodig, Oe
Laat ze breien, Oe
Elk staatshoofd in ieder land
Laat ze breien, alsjeblieft, Oe Thant
Anders komt er nooit een eind aan 't bakkeleien
Laat ze breien, Oe
Laat ze breien, Oe
Recht breien, Oe Thant

Insteken, omslaan, Johnson, af laten gaan...

English*:
Insert, yarn over, pull through, drop, insert, yarn over, pull through, drop...

If all those important men would just do it
If they would sit down with us and knit
With a skein of blue variegated wool blend
Then there would not be so much fuss
Not so much trouble to discuss
And we would finally have peace in every land
Oh, they would learn that you just forget all your fits and grits
When you sit there knitting baby mitts
I just have to go over and tell them
And personally explain to all of them
To the UN secretary, that Mr. Oe Thant

Then I'd say
Oe, listen here, Oe
Get them knitting, Oe
You just have to, Oe
Get them knitting, Oe
Each head of state in every land
Get them knitting, please, Oe Thant
Otherwise there's no end to all that fitting
Get them knitting, Oe
Get them knitting, Oe
Get them knitting, Oe Thant

Insert, yarn over, pull through, drop, insert, yarn over, pull through, drop...

If De Gaulle would get the hang of it
And with some shiny new needles would start to knit
Then Britain would get in to the EEC today
All men have to get knitting real perky
Even in Cuba and Turkey
Oh, if Nassar would know that a woollen sweater blows your problems away
Not to mention other people who live in fear
All those Asians far from here
If Ho Minh started on a simple cable stitch
And if Johnson would finally stop fitting
And just start knitting
Then all that trouble would be gone in a twitch

Oe, listen here, Oe
Get them knitting, Oe
You just have, Oe
Get them knitting, Oe
Each head of state in every land
Get them knitting, please, Oe Thant
Otherwise there's no end to all that fitting
Get them knitting, Oe
Get them knitting, Oe
Stockinette knitting, Oe Thant

Insert, yarn over, pull through, drop, insert, yarn over, pull through, drop...

(* Feel free to use the translation, I quickly cooked this one up myself...)

If we just change Oe Thant in Ban Kee Moon, Nasser in Ghadaffi, Asia in North Africa and replace some more names, what would we be able to achieve?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Leeuwarden was knitmobbed!

It was sooooo much fun! Even though we nearly got arrested, it got dark way too quickly and we should have brought about a gazillion times more flowers... :D Still smiling!
An impression of our evening....
Where we met up. See those two women, girl and baby? Secret knit mobbers! All in all there were about 20 of us, plus the film/photo crew of the Leeuwarder Courant, the newspaper who approached us with the idea and who will be doing a feature on it in Saturday's paper. A link to/with the article will be up then!
At exactly 6PM all of us stopped what we were doing and started knitting. The camera man pulled out his camera and the photographer was shooting away. We knitted for about 5 minutes and then went to leave for coffee. Of course, I wanted to leave our poster, but while I was sticking up the second one, was approached by the Railway police, who showed me his ID and nicely summoned us to leave or else. The camera man was also frowned upon. So, I picked up the posters again and off we went, giggling and laughing at this close shave with the 'law'...
After a cup of coffee, the first group went outside to plant their flowers in the park. Then we set off to release ours. We hung them on railings, bridges, fences and signposts. It was great to see flowers sprouting up here and there...

It was cold outdoors! Inside, we got chatting and got loads of cool ideas about our fifth anniversary, which will be in September! The journalist who is going to write the article, stayed on for a bit and was chatting to many of the knitters.
I'm very curious about how the article is going to turn out! Hopefully it will get us even more knitters, so that we can fill out the terrace this Summer!

Yarn bombing day!