Friday, December 19, 2014

Gift for Big Boy

Every year it seems the days in December have less hours then the days in any other month. Don’t you agree? So much to do and somehow it all has to be done this month. Including special celebrations and occasions at school or work. And then there are the holidays! So not much time for needles and yarn, but I still have to show you the present I made for my husband.


He had  been asking for a bag like this for years. This kind of fabric, a sturdy bag with enough pockets and matching the size of his laptop. There were 2 problems with this list of demands. First the fabric. You can find a lot of fabric with this logo, but then the stripes are printed onto the fabric and he didn’t like that. They had to be woven into it. But finally this summer I found this fabric. Problem #1 solved. Then the sturdiness. My husband actually wanted the bag to be able to stand on its own when empty. I didn’t have a clue. Then I saw a piece of not too thick, but very sturdy felt. That was the solution. I made a bag with pockets on  both sides, a piping around and lots of zippers and clips.


Then I made a lining, also with a few pockets.

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The lining was made half an inch smaller than the outer bag. I cut pieces from the felt which fitted exactly between the piping, and hand sewed them with a few stitches to keep them in place. Then finally the lining was put in and I sewed it by hand.


What I really love about this bag is of course first of all that it matches all of my husbands wishes, but also the way it turned out. The look of the piping and the brass coloured zippers and closures, give it a robust look.


This was the last gift I made this year for the December month. And I think this is probably the last post on this little blog of mine this year. So I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a wonderful New Year, and I hope to see you again sometime next year.

Groetjes, Dorien

Monday, December 8, 2014

Gift for Son #2

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a wonderful time. On Friday evening we celebrated ‘Sinterklaas’, with lots of laughs and a lot of presents. Everyone has been spoiled with the most wonderful gifts.

The bag for his tripod I showed last Friday, was appreciated very much by my son. For son #2 I made something completely different. He has a kind of daybed in his room, where he spends a lot of time, either gaming or reading, or just lying there, with all his pillows around him. And he doesn’t only like computer games, but also old-fashioned board games. So how about a game of Scrabble?

Lots of tiles and of course a board:

Made into a pillow!


The ‘tiles’ were stitched onto the ‘board’.

Maybe it seems odd that the letter- and word worth tiles are in Dutch, and the words put on the ‘board’ are in English, but that is how we play the game lately; for practicing English vocabulary, it is a great game to play and we both find it very hard to do.


The words used are either describing my son, or encouring words we all need to hear sometimes.

Son was very happy with his pillow, the only thing he would have liked more, was if the tiles weren’t stitched on, so that he could actually play Scrabble!

Groetjes, Dorien

Friday, December 5, 2014

For Boy #1

Tonight is the night! December 5th we always celebrate St. Nicolas’ birthday, and we exchange gifts with each other. And like every year, I’ve made at least one gift per person myself.


I used this fabric because Boy#1 is a sea scout. He loves to sail, and he also loves activities like hiking with a compass.

Recently he started a new hobby; photography. And within just a little bit of time, he collected some equipment to do this like a pro. One of the items is a tripod, and he did get a bag for it. But as usually is the case, it was made of cheap, inferior material, and was actually good for nothing. So this is what I came up with:

The bag has straps, made out of one piece of fabric which was foulded, and the double stitched with twill tape.


The strap was closed to a ring, and then stitched onto the bag making 2 shoulder straps.

As you can see the zipper is on one side, starting from the center of the top.


Hope he likes it!

Groetjes, Dorien

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

About a church, dresses, hairdo’s, veils and a bit of poison.

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on the Cowl from Scraps. It is always nice to read these kind words.

It has been busy these last few days. The last gifts for December have been made; I will show and tell next week. This weekend we have been back to the town I was born and raised because of my fathers birthday. And since we were a bit early, we had time to go into town for just an hour. Not enough to have a  long walk in this beautiful and old city, but enough to go and visit a world famous book shop.

Dominikanen Maastricht

As you can see it was quite crowded, but it still looks awesome, doesn’t it. This church, Dominikaner in Maastricht, was first build in the 13th century, and during its history it has been destroyed and build again, and around 8 years ago it has been changed into this bookshop.

View from 2nd floor

The pile of books we bought was so high, that we realized it is a good thing this shop isn’t around the corner for us.

Then today we had another outing.

The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague is hosting an exhibition of the work of Mark Rothko, and at the same time an exhibition with Fashion from the Romantic period. Rothko alone is really worth going there, and I enjoyed every minute I was in these rooms with those immensly huge and very intensive paintings. I don’t have pictures for 2 reasons. First you can find them all over the web, but secondly and for me most importantly, the impact of these paintings can’t be shown in pictures. It only shows when you stand in front of them. I did hear about this effect,but never really knew what to expect. I can’t explain, but now I understand I can’t just show you some pictures. If you ever have the opportunity to go and see some of his work, I can highly recommend it. You’ll never forget.

The second exhibition wasn’t this intense; it was fun, candy for the eye.


Entering a room like this, brings you back a few centuries. The dresses were grouped using movies and books as a guide. Wuthering Heights (Bronte sisters), Gone with the Wind, La Dame aux Camelias, Pride and Prejudice, and our Dutch protagonist, Eline Vere; they all came by and were the center of room. Because almost everyone has images of these movies and their dresses in mind, I won’t show all these dresses, but some details I was quite amazed by.




This last picture isn’t of an old dress; it is actually a detail of a dress worn by Cora in Downton Abbey!!

The dresses were a lot of fun, but what really caught my eye, were the pages from ladies magazines from the 19th century.



Beautiful dresses; but what do you think of pages about hairdo’s, or about how to wear a veil?



And there was a Horror Room! It appears that the substances used for dyeing, sometimes were toxic, sometimes even lethal. They even once used arsenic to obtain a special shade of green which was very fashionable.


On the chair you can see a dress which was actually worn by someone; now it has been decomposed quite a bit.This was one of the few rooms with a cord preventing the public from getting too close!


Groetjes, Dorien

Thursday, November 27, 2014

How to make something beautiful and warm which costs nothing but a little bit of time……

One of my favorite things to do is to think about leftovers and what to do with them. It is wonderful what you can do with all those little bits and pieces left in the kitchen, and I love the surprises coming out of the oven sometimes.

But also as a crafter; I have lots of  boxes filled with scraps of fabric, but also with tiny little balls of yarn. Especially after knitting something with lots of different colours leaves you with lots of bits and scraps. Sometimes just a few meters, sometimes almost a whole skein.


This is what was left after knitting a Kaffe Fassett cardigan (the short version). They have been waiting in a box for a long time, because the cardigan nowadays is something I only wear at home; it has so many holes in it, it is a miracle it still keeps me warm.

So, these balls of yarn; what to do with them?


First I arranged them into groups per colour. Then I started knitting with 4 strands of yarn of 1 group (sort of).


Keep on knitting, until the first strand ends. Join the next:

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016 018

This way you keep on knitting and joining new colours.  I kept choosing shades from one colour until they ran out, and then started to use the next colours.


This way the colours change very gradually.

When the smallest ball left, has just enough for one more round, it is time to finish and bind off.


And tadaaah!!


A very simple, nice cowl which didn’t cost anything except some time (not even that much since it is knitted on large needles!)

Seed Stitch:
Round 1: *k1, p1*, repeat until end, end with k1
Round 2: *p1, k1*, repeat until end, end with p1

Repeat round 1 and 2.

Cowl is knitted in the round with 199 stitches, needle 8.00 mm (US 11).
Gauge: 11 st = 10 cm (4 Inch)

Final size: appr. 180 x 18 cm (72 x 7 inch)



Groetjes, Dorien

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A quick Hello


Just a little post to say HELLO to you; I haven’t forgotten about blogging, just haven’t had the time and opportunity.’

There is a lot going on, and coming into the living room this morning, and seeing the table I work and study on, it was obvious that the only way to show you was to make a picture of what the table was looking like.

Table to work on

There is a lot to be done every day. In the center of the picture you can see one of my study books. Topic now is 17th and 18th century, politics, religion, social life and of course culture. Very, very interesting, and that is what made me go and visit the Rijksmuseum last weekend. You can see a bookmark from there on the left. (as a souvenir I always buy a bookmark wherever I go).

In the middle you can see Erasmus’ most famous work. This book is a translation into modern Dutch, and it is very easy to read and actually quite hilarious. Looking at what the world looks like now, I think it couldn’t hurt to read the wise words of this man again.

You are problably the most interested in the item on the right, and I have to disappoint you, because that is the one I can’t say anything about. December gifts are being made, and it has to stay a secret for another few weeks.

To end this post, I would like to show you something you might not have known, and which is a bit peculiar.

Back in the 17th and 18th century it became a habit of prominent people to have their portrait painted. Sometimes they wanted it themselves, but it also happened that institutions wanted portraits of their most important men. Nowadays you just would make a picture and have it printed several times. Back then, that wasn’t really an option. But what they did, wasn’t that different.

In the Mauritshuis in The Hague, you can find this picture of Michiel de Ruyter, painted by Ferdinand Bol:

In the Rijksmuseum we found this picture:

File:Bol, Michiel de Ruyter.jpg

You have to look carefully, but then you can see small differences, especially at the curtain and the ships.
Both paintings are made by the same painter, or more precisely, by the workshop of this painter. The master himself ‘designed’ the picture, painted the main parts, and the smaller, less important parts are made by his pupils or co-workers.

Groetjes, Dorien

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Colours Galore

As promised I have collected pictures from the wonderful projects that have been made with the circles-in-squares pattern I made for my Happy Colours Blanket.

Of course there are a few beautiful blankets made:

circles to squares2 970819_10200321383889556_1848317875_n_medium2

Love the randomly chosen colours of both smaller and larger circles, as well as the placement of the circles.


In opposite to the other projects, here was chosen for a limited amount of colours, and some circles ar made with just 1 shade, others with 2, and the larger circles sometimes with 3. Simple but stunning.

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Only small or only large circles: the difference is huge, but I like that in both blankets the colour choices are seem tho be thought through very carefully.

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2 Square blankets, one with a very straight alignment, the other with the circles scattered around. One pale, one bright. And yet, somehow these blankets look as if they belong together.


This blanket too is made with a limited amount of colours, but the look is very bold and bright too. It shows that with only 2 different large circles a blanket can become this beautiful.

And then there are some very special projects:

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How cute is this? A very warm welcome into the world I think.


A smaller project! Just a panel to cover a bag, made with selfstriping yarn. I can imagine a blanket may be a bit daring for a lot of people, but this shows how you can make a wonderful small item, with smart use of yarn and pattern.

Another project which isn’t too big: a cushion! In this case the large circle is in the corner, but it could be anywhere.


The simplest idea I can’t show because the lady whose idea it was, didn’t give me permission to use her photo, but all she did was crochet the circles in different sizes, not make them into squares, but just sew them onto a pillowcover.

And the showstopper can’t  be anything else then Gordana’s beautiful Pouf cover.


She was one of the first ladies who used the pattern, and what an amazing job she did!

I hope you enjoyed this little gallery of happy colours!

Groetjes, Dorien