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.

CIMG0011 smCircles 7702

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.

20140521_073213_medium2 IMG_8722

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:

2014-01-17 14.18.58

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Washcloth Wednesday #7


It is Wednesday again, so time for another washcloth. Again crochet; somehow I seem to like this technique more for these washcloths than I do knitting (don’t worry, I will make more knitted washcloths!).


I’ve use a mercerized cotton this time, and it gives a very smooth, silky texture. Looks quite luxurious.


Start with a multiple of 8ch + 1

Round1: sc into second st from hook, * skip 3 st, 9dc into next st, skip 3 st, sc into next st *, repeat * * until end, turn

Round 2:  ch3 (= 1st dc), dc into first st, * ch5, skip 9dc-group, [1dc, ch1, 1dc] into next sc *, repeat * *, end with ch5, skip 9dc-group, 2dc into last st, turn

Round 3: ch3 (= 1st dc), 4dc into first st, * sc into 5th dc of 9dc-group 2 rounds below (enclosing the ch5), 9dc into ch1-space *, repeat * *, end with sc into 5th dc of 9dc-group, 5dc into last st, turn

Round 4: ch3, skip 5dc-group, * [1dc, ch1, 1dc] into next sc, ch5, skip 9dc-group *, repeat * * , [1dc, ch1, 1dc] into last sc, ch3, slst into last dc, turn

Round 5: ch1, sc into first st, * 9dc into ch1-space, sc into 5th dc of 9dc-group 2 rounds below (enclosing ch5) *, repeat * *, end with sc into last st, turn


Repeat rounds 2-5 until desired height. End with a round on the wrong side: instead of ch5: [ch2, sc into middle of 9dc-group, ch2]


Groetjes, Dorien

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Magical and enchanting

Hello, how nice of you to come and visit. I’m back! It has been an awesome week, and I’m afraid I’m going to share a lot of pictures with you. So grab a cup of tea, a couple of cookies and have a seat.


Although the temperature was quite perfect for a trip, there were a lot of clouds which made this view not as perfect as I would have hoped, but I think you can see enough to guess where I’ve been…..

Right, I was in Istanbul. And what a wonderful and amazing place this is.

Above you can see a view on the Golden Horn, with in the background Galata Bridge.

Of course we went to see all the highlights, which were very conveniently all on walking distance from our hotel.

Blue Mosque


Hagia Sophia



Topkapi Palace




All these buildings showed such wealth, such extravagance, that it sometimes (in my opinion) just was too much. But it is amazing to see how everything is put together, the architecture of these ancient buildings, the magnificence and grandeur.

Of course, going to a place like Istanbul you have to see all these things, but what I liked much more, was to see Istanbul how it nowadays is.

A little bit of both, ancient and contemporary are the bazaars with so many fragrances and colours, all the little streets, the noise, the liveliness.






It was breathtaking to walk here; the prices they ask were quite high, and you have to bargain. But I’m awful at haggling and higgling, so I didn’t actually buy anything.

The last day we were in town, we went for a long walk, across  the quarter of Sultanahmet, over the Galata Bridge, to Beyoğlu, right up to Taksim Square, and back through the small alleys. In retrospect, this was my favorite day.








It is hard to believe we’ve only seen a very small part of the European part of Istanbul. The Asian part, we haven’t been to at all. So, despite of this overload of pictures, it only represents a small part of this enchanting city.

Groetjes, Dorien

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Washcloth Wednesday #6

Hello, welcome to a new Washcloth Wednesday. This time I have a 2-colour pattern for you. At least, I made it with 2 colours, but you can make it with as many colours you like; because of the texture of the pattern, even a solid cloth would be great.


Round 1: dc into 4th stitch from hook, dc into next st, *skip 2 stitches, ch2, dc into next 2 stitches* , repeat * * until end

Round 2 and all even rounds: ch2 (= 1st hdc), hdc into same stitch, * skip 2 stitches, ch2, dc into both skipped stitches 2 rounds below *, repeat * * until end, ch2, hdc into last st


Round 3 and all odd rounds:  (new colour), ch2, * dc into both skipped stitches 2 rounds below, ch2, skip 2 stitches *, repeat * * until end, dc into last skipped stitches, hdc into last stitch.

Repeat round 2 and 3 until desired height.


Final round:  ch2(= 1st hdc), hdc into same stitch, * hdc into both dc, dc into both skipped stitches 2 rounds below*, repeat * * until end, hdc into last 3 stitches.


Next week I will skip Washcloth Wednesday, because I’m going away for a few days on a trip to a wonderful city. It is a very photogenic place, so I’m planning on making lots of pictures to show and tell.

Groetjes, Dorien

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A huge surprise and an important question

A little while ago I received a question for using one of the photographs of my Happy Colours Blanket. The person asking was making a series of chapters  about designing with color. Every chapter is published separately, and is also available in an audio format. Of course I said she could use the picture(s). And in our correspondence I mentioned I was already an admirer of her work; her yarns look really amazing.

Now you’re wondering about who I’m talking. Her shop is called colorshiftyarn, and the very kind Erica Heftmann is the owner. Her self dyed yarns look absolutely yummie. Her trademark is yarns in gradated colours, inviting the knitter to create the most wonderful items.

As a thank you, she promised me to send me some yarn, and this weekend her package arrived.


This isn’t at all what I expected; so many colours, looking already beautiful in this package.


Wonderful Autumn colours, browns, oranges, yellows and greens; such a great palette. I already know what to make with them: a new scarf with leaves and flowers in Autumn colours, maybe some acorns and pumpkins too. I did make such a scarf before, but I want to try and make more different shapes and some actual Fall flowers. Before using this soft, gorgeous yarn, I’ll try and figure out some patterns with scraps and leftovers.


Finally, I have a question for you. The Happy Colours Blanket is a huge succes and the tutorial has been used by lots of people to make a huge variety of projects. I would love to make a kind of collage of these projects. So if you have made a blanket, a pillow, a bag or anything else, using the tutorials for the Happy Colours Blanket, I would love it if you could send me a picture of your finished project. If you have a blog it would be great if you mention the URL, because then I can link to you. If you don’t have a blog, that’s perfectly fine too; then I will just mention your (first) name. On the right side bar of this blog, you can find a button “EMAIL”, please use this to send me your pictures. I’m really looking forward to seeing them.

Groetjes, Dorien

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Washcloth Wednesday #5

It’s Wednesday again, so here I have a new pattern for a washcloth for you. And today it is a knitting pattern.

It is a very easy pattern, with a nicely textured fabric as a result.
Start with a multiple of 4 st + 3 st.
Row 1: k all stitches
Row 2:
k all stitches
Row 3 + 5:
* k3, sl 1 st as if you would purl *, repeat * *, end with k3
Row 4:
* p3, sl 1 st as if you would purl *, repeat * *, end with p3
Row 6:
k all stitches
Row 7 + 9:
k1, sl 1 st as if you would purl, * k3, sl 1 st as if you would purl * , repeat * *, sl 1 st as if you would purl, k1

Now you repeat rows 2-9.

In a chart it looks like this:(row 2-9)

   І    І
   І    І
   І    І
   •    •    •    •    •    •    •
   •    •    •    •    •    •    •
• = k
І = sl 1 st as if you would purl, your yarn is always on the back of your work.
Row 3-5 you repeat the first 4 stitches and end with the last 3.
Row 7-9 the repeat is stitches 3-6.
Groetjes, Dorien

PS: I'm very sorry about the layout of this post; It just isn't working out today how I would like it to be.