Tuesday, 18 July 2017


More than a year without blogging - a year full of shock, tears and disbelieve. Since I wrote my last post one thing has happened that changed my life, my feelings towards life and left me utterly devastated. My beloved father died from a heart attack on Whitmonday last year while spending a short holiday together with my Mum in the Netherlands. He was just 64 years old, a tall, strong and good looking man with zillions of ideas what to do the next coming years. He had retired just a couple of months before he died and his joy and delight about this new period in his life was entirely infectious.

I remember that I talked to him on the phone just a few days before he died. About this and that, nothing special, we just exchanged snippets of our daily routine. I told him that I had just cleaned and oiled our old wooden garden table and that we probably needed a new table soon. He was so enthusiastic and full of energy that he suggested to build a new table for us. He told me about a construction manual for a table he had seen in a magazine. He had so many plans ...
The months following the funeral were very difficult for our family. We had always relied on the strength and the power of my father, he had been the one who organised everything, he was the back-up of my mother, my sibs and me. I was shocked and dumb for many months. I couldn't find the words expressing my feelings towards what had happened. The big problem for me was that the world didn't stop turning, not for one day. We took a few days off from work and the children out of school but then life went on as if nothing had happened. 
We were left to step back into the world, where everything looked the same but for us, every movement and every breath felt weighted down by this stifling cloud of sadness.  How were we supposed to function?

There is really nothing good that comes out of the death of someone you love, but the past months I have learned that the intensity and groundlessness of the pain you feel is a testament to the love you shared. And while I know that I will never arrive at a point in my life where I’m alright with the fact that my father has gone so early, I know that I am immensely lucky to have loved and been loved that much by anyone.  

More than a year has past now, we have managed all the difficult days, his birthday, Christmas, Whitmonday and the day of his death.And slowly, very slowly I feel that I want to step back into the world. I started again to sing in the choir and I decided to start blogging again.

I didn't stop crocheting during the past year, oh no, not at all. My crochet projects helped me a lot to stay afloat. I needed my yarn and my hook even more than before. Hooking time helped me to relieve my sorrows and pain, to calm down and find some peace of mind.

I had a basket full of yarn oddments that my grandmother had left me when she died more than 9 years ago.
At that time I didn't know what to do with the yarn, I didn't do any needlework but I couldn't throw it away because my grandmother had loved knitting so much. So I kept the yarn for no real purpose. Quite a couple of years ago I started to crochet some granny squares, having a blanket in mind, but my squares looked all wonky. I stopped again.

Last year, after my father's death, I felt an urge to do something with that neglected yarn of my grandmother. I wanted to crochet a blanket that would absorb all my sorrow, a blanket full of reminiscence that would keep us warm. As you can see in the pictures the colours are all different kinds of blues, greys, ecrus and some green. I unpicked all the squares I had already crocheted. I realised that I had made some mistakes right at the beginning and started anew. It was such a comforting project, every day I was looking forward to the evening when I could just sit on the sofa and delve into my yarny comfort.
 I was so happy that I unpicked all the old squares, the difference between the old squares and a new one is evident, isn't it?
It was such a wonderful project for me at that time, a very simple pattern, using yarn that was 'family' and made me feel connected to all the ones that I had lost. I made rapid progress, though it was a little tricky to use all the yarn because it was so different in thickness an quality. Sometimes I had to use two strands of yarn and sometimes I just changed a hook size.
To connect the squares I had to buy some balls of yarn and I chose a light grey for it. 
The blanket looks like an old school blanket from the seventies, doesn't it? I really love, love, love it. It is old-fashioned and oh, so cosy. The blankets I made before were all made from Stylecraft Special DK and this is the first blanket made from wool/acrylic mixes. The feel is so much nicer, much softer and warmer that I decided not to buy any new purely acrylic yarn anymore. 

This blanket is much used here in our house, especially the male part of my family prefers this blanket in more muted colours.

 Oh, I am so glad to have written a blog post again and I hope that you haven't forgotten me. I wanted to write much earlier but I just didn't know how. It was a very difficult post for me, the next one will be much easier I guess. I am happy to be back again, I will show you more things I have done during the past months soon.

All the best for you and the ones you love,

Friday, 6 May 2016

My Lollipop Cushion: Tadah!

The weather here in Northern Germany is brilliant! We have lots of sun, a little wind and nice temperatures. I even got a little sun burn on my forearms while I was happily crocheting on the terrace yesterday. But I wanted to finish my Lollipop Cushion by all means and it was late in the evening when I sewed on the last button. But now it is done!

And I LOVE it!

 I already showed you the beginning of this little project that I started quite impulsively when I looked at all my little yarn scraps that were lying in a yarny bowl.

I really loved playing with all the colours I had left, always wondering if the remaining rest of a colour would be sufficient for a solid granny square. 

Very quickly I knew how the front of my cushion should look like and in no time at all I had all the solid grannies I needed. If you look for a good pattern to make them, just have a look at the lovely blog of Heather from little tin bird.  Her explanations are very good.

After joining all these colourful grannies, I immediately knew that this cushion would need some extraordinary edging. I thought about so many different patterns but no one really caught my eye. Then I remembered this pompom edging and after a good search on pinterest (I am a Pinterestian, I really am), I found a good explanation of this stitch on the wonderful blog of Robin from once upon a pink moon. The only thing that I change was the number of chains. I wanted the pompoms to stand a little upright, so I just crocheted two chains instead of three.

But then the question of how to do the back occurred again. I had this problem already when I made my first cushion here.

And I really hate that question. Most crocheters write that they just take some fabric they have in their stash and they sew a back with a zipper in a breath. 

I am not able to do this! It takes me ages to sew a cushion and when I think about a zipper I sweat blood. So again, I decided to crochet the back. I had enough yarn for more solid granny squares, but I made them differently. Just one more row and I changed colours after the first row.
This is how it turned out in the end and it is such a little colourful piece of joy that I immediately knew how I would call it:

 My Lollipop Cushion!

This cushion matches perfectly my handmade blankets. It looks like it just has to sit in front of the Villa Villekulla blanket, doesn't it?
This is the front:

 And this is the back:

 Which side do you like more? I just can't decide, I like both sides!

 The only thing that jarred on my nerves was the sewing.  It was a nightmare to sew the back to the front. I had an equal number of stitches on both sides of the cushion but when I had finished almost half of the sewing of one side I always recognised that one side was longer than the other. I don't no how many times I had to undo the stitches, in the end I didn't count anymore I just tried to get the squares even. But finally it worked out.
My Dutch readers will probably recognise the buttons I have used, I bought them at HEMA, a Dutch chain of stores that sell wonderful bits and pieces. I just love these colourful buttons and they are perfect for my Lollipop Cushion! 

And here is one last photo I want to show you. In April I had won a give-away hosted by the lovely Franca from righedafavola.
 This cute little bag is really sweet and I love the cheerful pink. Thanks a lot, dear Franca, best wishes to Italy!

Have a nice and sunny weekend,

Monday, 25 April 2016

My Villa Villekulla Blanket: Tadah!

It's me again...

Are you as astonished as I am? Yes, this is my second blogpost in one day. But I forgot to write about the blanket I made during the winter and which I took with me to Denmark to take some nice pictures at the beach. 
After I had finished my "Tiny Granny Blanket(you can find pictures of it here) I had so much leftover yarn that I decided to do another blanket. I was not feeling well that time, around autumn last year, and I was looking for a simple pattern that I could just 'hook away'. 
I chose the granny stripe pattern, just simple granny clusters in all the Stylecraft Special DK colours I had in my stash. 
And here it is hanging over the railing of our holiday house in Denmark: 
 My wonderful blanket that gave me so much joy when I made it!

  Every time I started hooking these rows I forgot about my worries and my poor health. Hooking is a kind of meditation when the pattern is easy, isn't it? Working on this blanket was really therapeutic. I didn't really care for the colour sequence, I just wanted to use up all that was left from my other blanket. So it was very easy to work on this blanket, no pondering about neither the pattern nor the colours.

I am in love with this colourful blanket, and it is doing very well on the beach, as well.

  The border is a simple one, as well. One round of granny clusters in Sherbert, 2 rounds of double crochets (US dc) in Aster and Meadow, 2 rounds of single crochets (US sc) in Lipstick and Cloud Blue and the crab stitch (also Cloud Blue) as the finishing round

It is a big blanket, as all my blankets are that I have made so far. We are all tall in our family and it is important for all of us to have warm feet when snuggling under a cosy blanket.  It is 2,02 x 1,35 m and I used the following 18 colours: 

Pomegranate, Plum, Fondant, Lavender, Spring Green, Aster, Turquoise, Lipstick, Shrimp, Saffron, Meadow, Green, Magenta, Sherbert, Cloud Blue, Claret, Wisteria and Clematis. 

This blanket is frequently used by all of us but my son likes it best. He always tries to get this blanket when he is snuggling on the sofa. It makes me very happy seeing the kids using what I have made. 
 There are already three handmade blankets in our household. I still can't believe that I have the patience and the perseverance to finish a blanket. And there are even more ideas for blanket in my head. I think that the blanket fever got me. However this is an illness I like to have!

Take care,


Holidays in Denmark

Today has been a typical April weather. There is a country lore that says:
'April, April, er macht, was er will' 
(April is doing what he likes)

 And this morning it looked like this:
It was snowing heavily and everything got white in a few minutes. My poor little plants, lettuce, spinach and parsley were covered with snow. But it didn't last, half an hour later the soil was fuming and the sun came out again.

But I wanted to write about our family holidays in Denmark. We rented a house in Veijers that was situated only 100 m away from the beach (the North Sea again).
This was our house, a cosy place to be. There are a lot of holiday houses in this area, all are situated in the dunes.
 It is great to walk through the dunes passing little houses on the one side and overlooking the ocean on the other side. Pepples loves to walk these little paths!
 And the beach is great, just so great.

One day we went to Billund, LEGOLAND! We have been there already several times when the kids were smaller, I even had been there when I was a kid, almost 35 years ago! Going there evokes so many lovely memories for us that we couldn't resist going there again. 

The children of course loved the different rides and events, we spent several hours taking a ride with the Viking River Splash or the X-treme Racer. But afterwards we took a look at the the heart of the Legoland, the Miniland. There you can see famous buildings and places from all over the world built out of more than 20 million LEGO bricks.

 Unfortunately I got a bad cold the other day so I had to stay indoors. But it didn't really matter too much, I was able to read and crochet and my family went swimming and enjoyed themselves. 

I got better soon and we were able to go to the beach again. It was such a pleasure for us being there. One sunny day when we were strolling at the beach, the boys playing football, my girl and I collecting beautiful stones and shells, there was fog approaching the beach very fast. 
 The sky looked amazing and it changed almost every minute.

I could show you a gazillion number of photos, I was so fascinated by the surroundings that I took many, many pictures.

 I am a true ocean girl, if I could I would move to the coastline and watch the sky and the horizon every day. I would listen to the whisperings of the sea and the sand and the crying of the seagulls for the whole day. 
 And the sunsets, of course, There is no better place in the world to watch a sunset than a beach - in my opinion at least. All your worries and thoughts and anxieties just fade away - together with the sun - while watching a beautiful sunset. I always calm down, my mind gets empty and I can forget about everything.

 It has been my birthday in Denmark, as well. It was such a lovely day. My family even baked a cake called "Donauwelle" with cherries, pudding cream and chocolate, hmm yummie!
And my daughter coloured several of the stones we had found at the beach to write me a "Happy Birthday", isn't this cute?

The weather was not so good that day so we decided to go to Esbjerg, a larger town nearby. And there was a Sostrene Grene shop where you can find wonderful things to decorate your home and - yarn. Especially soft cotton yarn that is not expensive at all and it comes in wonderful colours. And it was my birthday, hey, what do you thing I did? I helped myself with another birthday present ...
Yarn in six yummie ocean colours, I just couldn't help myself, I had to take some of this delicious yarn home. I almost feel the blanket in my hands that I will make of these delicious balls of joy!

  Goodbye for now!

See you soon and take care,