Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stitching...

Following the theme of 'RecyKLEREN' which is doing the rounds on Dutch and Belgian blogs, I've started to do some deconstruction and reconstruction work. Two of my garments faced the chop. My warm, red wintercoat, which has served its purpose for me and had more rips in the lining and pilling on the outside than I wanted, and a summery top, which is too big. The red coat was going to be turned into a red coat - for Mermaid. So after some cutting, drawing out patterns and cutting paper, I had a pile of fabric and a pile of paper... And the two did not match. The horror... There just wasn't enough fabric to make a coat out of it. And even the pattern for a coat for Batman required more fabric than I have :( The plan now is to turn it into a nice woollen skirt for the little lady.
The coat before...
And now: a pile of wool fabric, lining, buttons and labels
The top actually fared better, but then, that was much easier! I only had to take in the sides a bit, turn the cap sleeves into straps and voila...
The top before...
And after!
One very happy customer with a new summery dress!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

5 years Stitch 'n Bitch Fryslan

Yesterday, we celebrated the 5th anniversary of our local Stitch 'n Bitch group. The preparations started a few months ago with an inventory of ideas, and the organizing committee got to work with all that input, planning the big surprise for all of us.
We were first invited to knit, crochet or otherwise craft cool head gear. No party without hats!
This is our Frisian geisha Marijke, who unfortunately did not win the prize for best head dress. That went to blogless Gretha with a beautiful summery hat with butterflies on it. I have no good pictures, hopefully I can put up a link to better ones soon!
We started the party with some Prosecco, of course in suitable glasses...
There were pictures to look at (and take home) of our yarnbombing event earlier this year...
And then after depositing our swap yarn for later on that evening in the big box, and writing down our estimates for the 'Guess the weight' competition, we got stuck into the food. Café Wouters had put up a great spread of salads, hot food and fresh crunchy bread, yum yum! Then the first prize was announced, and guess what: I won!
I was 1 gram out... ;) So this jar with 85 grams of luscious sock yarn went home with me. Of course, the other party-goers also got a yarn with a small skein of sock yarn, as a consolation prize...
It didn't stop there... After filling our bellies, we had a quiz. A few weeks ago we all filled in a questionnaire and we had to guess who had written down which statement that was read out. It was quite difficult! I almost had my own statement wrong too ;) And guess what, I won again (and no, I was not on the organizing committee...)! A lovely skein of handspun merino by Annita Wilschut, and a pattern for a cuddly mouse to make from the yarn. Thanks Annita (blog currently offline, unfortunately)! The runners-up also got some great prizes.
And it didn't end there... After catching our breath, we were all handed a cool pink Phildar bag to put our goodies in.  And a bag with knitting magazines and a few more balls of yarn. We felt so spoilt!
It was time to go back downstairs and start our workshops. Me and Monique were doing two workshops; she did a lace-knitting workshop and I tought a group of hard-working knitters how to knit socks toe-up. It was great fun! And the chocolates we got as a thank-you were very much appreciated. Yum!
And Oprah just kept on handing out presents... Another big bag was handed out, filled to the brim with yarn, notions, soap, Frisian milk and more and more magazines. Amazing how generous the yarn companies and other businesses were!
When it was time to get a good glass of wine, we had our yarn lottery swap. I ended up with a lovely skein of Meilenweit sock yarn and roving for spinning. Spoilt, I tell you!
This morning, I decided to put out all the gifts and photograph them. It took two photos...
One for the yarn:
From the left bottom to the right top...:
Lana Grossa Meilenweit Wave
Online Supersocke
Scheepjes Invicta Coloris
Fortissima Socka Teddy
Markoma Yasmina (3x)
Mini-ball Zpaghetti
Mini-ball Fortissima Socka Mexiko Color
Mini-ball Opal
100% merino homespun by Annita Wilschut
Feather yarn
't Ryahuis Feltro
Austermann Tweed
Unknown brown yarn from Knitted Knots
Katia Paper
Roving Wollfabrik
85 grams various sock yarn
Soap and Frisian (coffee) milk

And one for the magazines:
Do you see that selection of vouchers? There will be some serious shopping going on soon... ;)

All in all, we had a GREAT evening. Getting everything home on the bike was quite a challenge, haha... A big thank you to:
- Our own Oprah, Herma
- Our sock knitter extraordinaire and yarnbombing guerrilla leader, Aal
- Our boho queen of the red cable sweaters (don't ask), Marieke

We will remember this evening for a long time! Every stitch I knit with the yarn I got and reading all those magazines will be a great memory!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Holebay

Yes, the final day of the Summer holiday has arrived! We've thoroughly enjoyed it this year, even though the weather was abysmal at times! We spent a week on the Dutch west coast in the forest, close to the beach (which we didn't see at all, due to a massive sand storm when we went, rain and low temperatures which meant we did mostly city-related day trips) and a week in the east of the country, on a great campsite which we are definitely going to again.
I did some knitting, but I read a lot. I really missed doing that at home, so it was great to be able to just sit down, let the children run wild and just read... Read...
The knitting isn't finished yet (socks, of course, the perfect bring-along for camping knitting), but I do have to show you some other stuff. During the holidays, I also did some sniffing on eBay, and because I am such a bad loser, I bid hard (not too hard, by the way...) and won two lots from Colourmart.
The first one was three cones of DK 2/6 merino in an eye-popping fuchsia colour.
I've started knitting Alwar, and after swatching and a few false starts, decided to start with a 3mm needle and the small size. As the gauge is a bit off, I expect this to end up as an M. I hope. ;)

The other lot I bought was a bit of a gamble, as the colour was a bit hard to see on the screen. But when the cones arrived, I just jumped with joy. This is a beautiful colour! It is green and it isn't green. If you know what I mean...
This is a more lace-weight yarn, and it will probably be turned into a gorgeous shawl some day. For now, it's just to look at...
One thing I did finish knitting on holiday, were my Aardbeientompoezen. There are currently in the wash basket, so hopefully I will have them ready for a modelling session this weekend, along with the multicolours I'm knitting on now, but here's a sneak peak...
A perfect pattern, yet again, by Janneke Maat. Thanks! If you purchase this pattern, the proceeds go to charity, so please go and buy! The yarn is from Easyknits, so soft and super comfy to wear.
Talking about soft (and cuddly): our latest addition to the family, a wee bunny called Flappie!
If it's up to Batman, he would walk about holding her all day!
And one last piece of news. I have finally given in and signed up to sewing classes. I'm quite a good seamstress, but  want to become an even better one. As I'm totally self-taught, I'd thought it would be a good idea to have a teacher go through a few projects with me, to see where I'm going right, going wrong and could do better. This is going to be my first project. Yes, stretchy jersey, I'm mad... and obviously in about 100 sizes bigger than the model (well, 4, but hey...).
I already had the fabric for this for about a year (and maybe I've blogged about this before...), but I actually went out today to buy the extra bits and bobs I needed, so I can get started on Monday! Totally excited!