Thursday, August 9, 2018

Posh produce bags

Back in January I told you about the little produce bags I made to use for vegetables, fruits, nuts and so on. You can find this post here. They are great to use, and ever since I didn’t use any plastic bags anymore.

But, I don’t have to buy all my veggies myself, since my neighbour started a little kitchen garden and especially in the summer she comes over with her hands full of the most wonderfull vegetables. Of course I thank her every time, but now I wanted to make her something special. So I thought of the little produce bags (she has to do some shopping in the winter, doesn’t she?).  But not the plain bags as I use them.

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I made three bags with a blackwork embroidery. This because the fabric is very light and doesn’t hold a heavier design, but also to keep the weight of the bags as little as possible.

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Every bag has its own design: ‘homegrown vegetables’, tomatoes and carrots.

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My neighbour was very happy with the bags; she even didn’t want to use them because they might get dirty!

Because I liked the bags so much, I decided to make more of them. A couple for myself, and a set for the shop. In the next couple of days I’ll make more of them and list them as soon as they are finished.

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The bags measure 25 x 31 cm (10 x 12 inch) and have emboidery designs of tomatoes, bell pepper and lettuce.

Groetjes, Dorien



Friday, July 20, 2018

It’s a wrap!

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Not exactly the most unique title, I know, but I couldn’t resist.

Although everyone is talking about a heat wave and extreme drought for this part of the world, I finally finished this warm, cozy shawl. I started it about two years ago with only 3 stitches on the needle. The final needles counted around 1000 stitches!

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The pattern is a combination of 2 patterns by Christel Seyfarth: Caledonia Jakke and Lily Shawl. I also added a few leftover yarns from my Bird Jacket.

Again, this pattern was with a steek, which had to be cut open. Not as nerve wrekking as the first time, but still a bit scary to do.

First I stitched a zigzag on both sides of the steek, then I cut it open:

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At this point the top of the border was already knitted.

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On the right side of the shawl I used fading blues and on the wrong side of the border I used shades of red.

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Now, I long for some cold weather to wrap myself in this warm and soft shawl. (and not only because it is finally finished!).

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Groetjes, Dorien


Friday, June 22, 2018

A Washing Line

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Nice little washing line, isn’t it? It was time to make a new laundry bag. The one I had was torn and was beyond repair. That is, the bag itself; the wooden frame however was not perfect anymore, but still good to use. So I made a new laundry bag, and because just a simple, plain bag was not much fun, I decided to make a washing line on it.

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First I drew some clothes and sketched  an outline of what I had in mind. The clothes are already on scale. Then I traced them on to some fusible web, ironed this on some fabric scraps and cut them out with a little bit extra around the final cutting line.

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The next step was washing and ironing the main fabric ( shrinkage!) and then arranging the ‘clothes’ on a line. After I was happy I cut out the pieces on the final line and ironed them onto the main fabric. I sew around the pieces with a nice large stitch, and embellished a few with a ribbon and some beads. The line itself is just a simple piece of cotton which was sewn on with a small zigzag-stitch.

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Then all that was needed to be done was make the bag itself, put the buttons on and that’s it.

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Groetjes, Dorien


Thursday, June 14, 2018

A new workspace

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Hello to my new studio. I think I may call it that. Up to now I used the dining table in the living room as my work space, but that wasn’t ideal. Luckily we have a table in the kitchen to use for daily meals, but still all my mess in the living room wasn’t a very nice sight.

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Because one of the boys moved out some time ago, we have more space , and it was possible to clear one room just for me. And the last couple of weeks we have been moving around a lot of cabinets and boxes. I had my stuff stored in almost all the rooms of the house, and it appeared  that I had quite some materials and tools twice. Now everyting is in the same room and near at hand.

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The table was found at a thrift store and measures a massive  2.2  by 1 meter. It was a bit of a hassle to get it upstairs because of its size and weight, but the men of the family managed it and I’m so happy with it.

If you look at the first picture, you might see that the only ironing board in the room is quite small. Perfect for small patchwork, but for larger pieces not really appropriate. So again I went to the thrift store where I found this beautiful old wooden ironing board.

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Perfect, but it did need some work.

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So I took everything off; cleaned it and made a new cover.

First I put on some underlay from the carpet store (!)

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Guess I’m all set now.

Groetjes, Dorien


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Messing around

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Although I usually don’t make new year’s resolutions, I really wanted to blog more this year; so here is my second post!!

Ahum. What happened? I don’t know. I guess life happened. It’s not as if I haven’t done anything with yarn or fabric, but it wasn’t really much to show or tell about. Is there now then?  No, there isn’t. So this little post is just to say I’m happily messing around.

The picture above shows crocheted strips which I’ve woven into a piece. The idea was to see what happens in different layouts of the strips. Of course I forgot to make pictures of all the pieces.

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This morning I came down and this is what my table looked like:

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Most of the things you see are connected with the knitting in the left corner. I’m trying to mix a lot of different kind of knitting-patterns together, and this takes a lot of thinking, trying, math, and writing down. The pile of books are knitting books, which I use for examples, and more specifically for knitting terms and ways of making a pattern readable.

On the right there is a shirt of my son, who wants me to sew on a few more patches. As a scout he should do it himself, I know, but as a mom using needles and thread every day, it is a small favor to do it.

In between you can see a book called ‘Zoet, zuur & zout’, which is Dutch for Sweet, sour & salt. It is a book I received only a few days ago, which is about how to preserve food. I never learned about the techniques used to do this, and it does interest me so maybe this will help.

On top of the table, you can see a piece of fabric, which is probably going to  be made into a pair of pyjama pants.

Groetjes, Dorien



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Going to make an effort

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At the last moment I find time to make a post in the first month of this year. So much for New Year’s resolutions! Usually I don’t really make them, and this year is no different, except for one thing. I’ve been thinking about this a long time, and kept putting off inquiring about it, but now really was the time to do something. What I’m talking about? Trying to be a lot more conscious about waste. Looking at all the garbage produced by our household is quite shocking. So the intention is to reduce this. We won’t go ‘zero-waste’, at least not now because I don’t think that is realistic for now. But the first step is trying to avoid all plastic (and even paper) bags used for produce and bread.

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So I started with making these 4 drawstring bags with sheer fabric. In the first picture you can see them after my first visit with them to the shop. Which was quite strange, because there was nobody else, using their own bags, and at first it was a bit awkward to use them.  But I’m sure this will get better, the more I do it.

These bags are just fine for produce not weighing too much, but the onions already were too heavy. So I had to think of something else.

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A piece of cotton I cut off some curtains a while ago was just perfect. It still is thin and light, but a lot stronger than the sheer fabric. So I used every inch of it to make bags in different sizes. The large one is perfect for bread (10.5 x 16 inch), and the smallest measure 7.5 x 9 inch.

And making these bags, I realised that one kind of food I’m really fond of, is cheese. So I looked around and found these wonderful beeswax cloth tutorials on the web.

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A piece of cotton and some beeswax are all that is needed. After grating the wax and sprinkle it around the fabric, it was put in the oven (fabric folded).

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After just a few minutes, the wax melted and holding the fabric to cool down, it became sturdy and ready to use.

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I wonder how this is all going to work in reality, and I know there are a lot more possible, but for now this is the first step.

Groetjes, Dorien








Thursday, December 28, 2017

Something new and something (too) old

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A pair of new mittens! Very much needed because it feels so cold when walking with Fleur, and the nice thing about this pattern is that these mittens are quite long. So my wrist is covered too.

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I’m very happy to have managed to match the colors in the yarn on both mittens.

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The pattern is Circle Dance , the yarn is Drops Fabel (black) and Drops Delight, colorway 12.

And then something very old. I guess we all have had that pair of jeans which we wore every day if possible. Just the perfect jeans and then just too soon this happens.

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And although it seems to be fashionable, and young boys and girls pay extra for new jeans like this, I’m not too happy about a rip like this. But because I didn’t want to say goodbye just yet, I tried to repair it.

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Two scrap pieces of blue fabric and strong quilting thread.

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One piece is sewn onto the back to the tear, two pieces are patched onto the front. The stitching isn’t too neat, because I didn’t think that would be the right thing to do on such old jeans.  Hopefully they last a couple of weeks longer now.

Groetjes, Dorien