Monday, September 1, 2014

A Day at the Museum

Gezicht op het Mauritshuis te Den Haag

Isn’t this a beautiful painting of a beautiful building? The painting is made by Bartolomeus van Hove, and can be seen at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

But this post isn’t about the Rijksmuseum, but about the museum in the building on the painting; Het Mauritshuis

Although originally build as a palace for Dutch Prince John Maurits, it is now an art museum with the emphasis on Dutch and Flemish paintings from 15th/17th century.  The building still looks quite the same, and, completely renovated this year,  inside it is like a beautiful candy box.

One of the first paintings which caught my eye was this intriguing portrait of and old woman and a boy, by Peter Paul Rubens. The tenderness in her face is so wonderful to see.

Something completely different:


This cute fellow is the star in an amazingly detailed work by Paulus Potter: the Bull.

It was so amazing to actually see all these paintings. The images were all known; as all Dutch kids did, I grew up with pictures of all of these famous works, but in a picture in a book, you can never see how big a painting really is, you don’t see the texture, the actual colours, etc..

Of course there were a lot of paintings by other famous painters like Frans Hals and of course Rembrandt. But also:


Vermeer’s little girl; she actually follows you with her eyes when you move through the room.

A painting not as much interesting for the image, but much more for its frame:

A Portrait of Michiel de Ruyter by Ferdinand Bol. If you look at the frame (the original!) you can see all kinds of attributes which belonged to this Dutch Admiral, or which refer to him or his career. They were attached to a frame and coloured with a golden colour.

And finally, one of the smaller paintings but since it was used in a book last year, a very famous painting: Carel Fabritius’ Goldfinch.

Unfortunately, I can’t show you all the beautiful, paintings of this wonderful museum, I can only hope that you’ve enjoyed this little tour, and maybe you’ll go and have a look if you might be in the neighborhood.

Groetjes, Dorien 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Washcloth Wednesday

Like all crafters, I have boxes filled with leftovers; scraps of fabric or yarn. Lots of them. And like a lot of people, I don’t really like to add to the huge amounts of waste. So all those disposable towels, wipes and washcloths are not making me too happy.

Why not combine these two, and start making my own washcloths with leftovers. Making them is a great way of learning and trying new stitches, they don’t need too much yarn and the leftovers are going to be used well. And, the cloths will be reusable!

So here is the idea; every week, I’m going to make a new washcloth. Or a dishcloth. Or a you-name- it-cloth….
Each week a different stitch. Sometimes knitted, sometimes crocheted. Sometimes very easy, sometimes (a bit more) complicated. And every week I’ll show and tell on Wednesday. So from now on, Wednesday will be Washcloth Wednesday!


This week I start with a stitch I found years ago in an old book, and I wrote it down, but didn’t mention a name and by coincidence, last week Drops had an instruction video on Facebook for this stitch (they call it basket weave). It gives a nice ‘woven’ look to the cloth.


For these stitches you need an odd number of stitches on your needle:

Row1: * insert in back loop of 2nd stitch on the left-hand needle, knit this stitch but keep the stitch on your needle, knit the 1st stitch on the left-hand needle and let both stitches fall of the left-hand needle *, repeat this until end, knit the last stitch.

Row2: * purl the 2nd stitch on your left-hand needle (don’t let fall off!), purl 1st stitch, and let them both slide of together *, repeat until end, purl the last stitch.


This is how the back will look.

Of course you can add borders. This time I started with a few rows in garter-stitch, and all rows of the pattern were started and ended with 3 stitches in garter-stitch. Because of this, I had to increase in the last row of the bottom-border 1 stitch every 9 (and decrease this in the first row of the top-border), and I’ve made 3 short rows on both sides.


Groetjes, Dorien

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Februari in August Cardigan

The last post was all about colour; how much I love using it and playing with it. This post is just in 1 colour.

It has been such a long time since I finished an actual garment for myself. But now I have. Last week I already showed a little bit of what I was working on.


Knitting top-down, so started  at the collar, in garter stitch. Every other row increasing stitches for the shoulder/sleeve to make a beautiful raglan-sleeve.


The last 4 rows of the yoke are already in the lace pattern, and then the stitches for the sleeves are put on a piece of scrap-yarn.

The lace pattern is knitted over 4 rows.


Both sleeves and body of the cardigan are finished with 1.5 inch in garter stitch.


I made the sleeves about 3/4 of the length of my arm, just under my elbow. I don’t like sleeves on my underarm; they always bother me.


Pattern: Februari Lady Sweater
Yarn: Drops Alaska colour 12 (navy blue)
Needle: 5.00 mm / US 8

This pattern is very easy, it knits up quite quickly and the result is very nice. I will wear it a few times, before I’ll decide, but I’m almost sure I will knit this pattern again.

Groetjes, Dorien

Sunday, August 17, 2014

There’s a blog hop going round!


Welcome to the Around the World Creative Blog Hop!!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by the lovely Teje from Nero’s Post and Patch to join this wonderful Blog Hop going round in Blogland.
I’m almost sure you’ve heard about her blog and read it yourself; if not, please go over there and have a look. She is such a talented lady, and never afraid of taking on something new. If you read her posts about her Fantasy Forest Quilt, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

Now it’s my turn to answer 4 questions.

1 What am I working on?

This is a the right question at the wrong time. At the moment I’m not really working on any new ideas. After surgery a couple of months ago, focus has been on different things, and as for crafting, I’ve only worked on some projects which were already started.


A cardigan by Christel Seyfarth; growing very slowly. It’s beautiful, but it really needs attention and concentration.


Playing with South-American motives and colours.



Books! Books filled with colours, designs, techniques and the most wonderful creations. I can spend hours browsing and reading, learning about costume history, about which special demands costumes for ballet or circus have, about traditional techniques and colours from all over the world. Fabric and yarn, textiles…. it is just the most wonderful world around.

Hopefully I will get back at actually making things very soon, and then I will have so many new ideas that I’ll probably haven’t time for all of them.


2 How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Usually I say it’s playing with colours what I do. Literally. I try to use/make simple designs where the colours can shine.
In this picture I used the colour circle as a basic grid, and I tried to explore the use of larger/smaller pieces of colour.


In this blanket every circle is made with different shade of 1 colour; very simple idea, but great effect.


And another sample of using the colour circle.

When it comes to knitting; I work the other way around; quite intricate designs with a simple use of colour. Very often I use selfstriping yarns to obtain wonderful colours.



The easiest way of playing with colours is to sew strips together, every time just 1 shade different from the previous.

Again, using the colour circle, and going round and round, in the end this results in a very easy, but nice dog pillow:


These are some examples of how my work is made; in what way it really differs from others is hard to tell. I’m sure lots of it is influenced by all the beautiful things I see on all those wonderful blogs, and of course on Pinterest.

3 Why do I write/create what I do?

It is the reason why I live; this is what I breathe and what I’m made of and for. No other reason than this. I’m sure a lot of people joining this blog hop have already stated this, and I’m no exception.

The downside of this is also that always when I see something in a magazine or a shop, I am confident that I can make it myself. Usually for a much smaller budget, with better finishing an with a few personal details added.

Squint of London can make the most beautiful furniture, way out of my reach, but with a simple chair of IKEA, and samples of upholstery fabric, you can make your own chair.


But this goes for clothes too; in the catalogue of Odd Molly I found this lovely cardigan, and that was for me the reason I started crochet again.

And many times, I create something because I want to give a special gift to someone; personalized or made for an occasion.


A cover for my husbands new Ebook.


4 How does my writing/creative process work?

There is not just one way this works. Sometimes I have a very clear and detailed idea about what I’m going to make, and then I look for the materials needed.

011 001

This became my own new toiletbag:

032 016

Another time, I’m getting my ideas from a special fabric or yarn, or a theme like Autumn.

Picture 038

The theme inspired me to make different blocks; applique, machine embroidery and simple patchwork. Only after making these blocks, I had the idea to make a bag like this.

A few years back I wanted to learn a new knitting technique: Fair-Isle. So I bought Alice Starmore’s beautiful book and a few skeins of wool and started a sample. This became eventually my most beloved cowl.


Well, this was certainly an exercise in self restraint. It’s easy to go on and on about telling and showing. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, and I would love to introduce 3 ladies who I admire, and who will be continuing the blog hop:

Lone from Flowermouse Design : this lady totally understands colour, and her designs, both in knitting as in polymer clay are eye candy.

Christelle (Stel) from Haak en Stekie : she is wonderful with crochet, and her stories and pictures about her country are wonderful to read and see.

Esther from Ipatchandquilt : a very versatile lady, who shares her adventures in quilting. Her (paperpiece) designs are wonderful, and she talks about her work with great passion.

You can read their stories next week August 25.

Groetjes, Dorien

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Getting back to normal life……I guess

Slowly, step by step a new rhythm is starting to find its way in my life. After a couple of months sitting, and since 2 weeks starting to learn how to walk again, I’m finally able to walk without crutches again. So, even though it is going terribly slow, I can go out for a walk with Fleur, which is such a joy. I just can’t tell you how much I missed this.

So, you would think that 3 months of sitting, would give me the opportunity to make lots and lots of thinks, but well, I hardly did anything but read. More than 20 novels have found their way to my bookcase. Some by authors I already knew (Gioconda Belli, Evely Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Gabriel Garcia Marquez) , but also quite a few new discoveries (James Salter, Siri Hustvedt and Romain Puertolas).

mosaic Colorful Crochet Book

Because I was asked to show someone the things I made with crochet , I made this mosaic, and I think it pretty much shows what I’m about with crochet, doesn’t it?

Something which is going to change, is that I probably will spend less time on crafting, because I’m going back to school. Well,…., sort of. I’ve enlisted for a study in Cultural Sciences at university. It’s something I’ve always wanted, and in fact already started over 20 years ago, but unfortunately had to quit. New chance.

So at the moment, I’m looking and trying to find a new way of spending my time, to find a new balance between all activities. Guess it will take some time.

Last but not least a little preview of what is going to be my new cardigan.


It’s the first time I’m knitting top-down, and it really is a nice technique. When it’s finished I’ll give more details about yarn and pattern.

Groetjes, Dorien

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A bunting for ….

The last step to make was to sew the ‘bunting’ onto…


Can you see it when it’s slowly unfolding?


Indeed, the parasol! It was a plain, boring parasol and it became just a little more ‘me’ with this border to it.


Now all I hope for is nice sunny weather the next few days.


Groetjes, Dorien

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Triangles, a lot of them



A couple of years ago I won a large bag with 14 skeins of nice yarn, half acrylic and half cotton.  Never really knew what to do with it, until I was sitting in the garden a couple of weeks ago.

So I started to play with the yarn; my goal was to make a triangle, and this is what I came up with.


I made some more, and after some math I knew I had to make a total of 48 triangles.

Then it was time to crochet them together.


I did this by making 3 rounds of ‘3dc-granny’ stitches.


Looks like a giant bunting, almost 9 meters long. Just 1 final step to go…….

Groetjes, Dorien