Sunday, 25 August 2013

(almost) a year of crochet!

You know how, when you think you get the hang of something, you lose it? Right. That's where I got with blogging. Consistancy, I'm working on it, really

In the mean time I kept on working some crochet projects. I decided to use my instagram to share some real time progress, so if interested, see you there! Although not everything I try actually turns out as pretty and beautiful as in my mind. Thanks to my not so advanced crochet skills (working on that too). Thankfully, other projects do. Like these yummy looking cupcakes.

They both need some improvement though, so I hope to come up with a pattern some time later. 
It's crazy to think that I learned crochet less than a year ago! I finished my very first crochet project ever 19th of September to be precise!

I thought it would be fun to share what I've finished along the way (as much as possible). 

It all started with, the black hole cowl pattern of Elletrain knits. Although I made it with chuncky brown and white yarn and left out the button hole (way too advanced at that point). 

It was scarf mania after that

This was my own 'design' using the Easy shell stitch I had just learned then via New stitch a day (great website for the very basics of knitting and crochet!). I added a picot stitch crochet trim pattern by My two butterflies.  (scroll halfway the page for the written pattern).

Next, the Elise Shawl designed by Evan Plevinski (via ravelry) I'd been eying on Pinterest a while, by now I dared to give it a go.
Although my thread was a little thinner and my blocking did not work so well ( I tried!), Still one of my favorites.

Next another big scarf. The idea was to work on this project on a 24+ hour bus trip to Rome. But I finished it just a few days before leaving. So, this baby kept  me warm in Italy and celebrated new year with me! I'm working on another one right now (as a commission). It's the  Chevron lave wrap pattern by Mooglyblog. Although, I substracted by 20 stitches. It's a favorite, nice and warm for the cold Winters.

Next up, my very first Amigurumi project I wrote about earlier! The cutie was a birthday gift for my little niece (on the other side of the world, so this babe made a long trip). 

She was in the very good company of five different amigurumi's. 

Then there's the bag I also wrote about earlier
Made a second one now, slightly different, for my aunt.

The little bunny I also posted about.

And I made two cuties (another rabbit, and a cRoly Poly cat by Nina Shimizu via Ravelry) for my little nieces who came for a sleep over. Of course it took too long to make according to the girls. But what a joy to see them running around with their new friends!

For just the evening hours and some weekends, that's quite a lot I think...

Leaving you with a link to song that's makes me smile everytime it shows up on shuffle playlist.
Seeing Stars a free download by La Honda. A band with lead vocal by the great British artist Rumer. La Honda was the first band she was in Rumer writes on her facebook. Their CD will be released soon.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

How rain turned into a sunny day filled with yummy food

Summer stays strong. Last week we had some thunder and rain comming over. Which was very welcome. Although, it almost ruined my day with friends in Zeeland. The place where I spent many many years of family vacations aat the beach and the little towns. After a rainy start we were off for a sunny kind of food tour. And a pretty good one if I may say so myself.

We went to Saint John (Sint Jan Straat 40, 4331 KD Middelburg, mo-sa 8:30-18:00). A brown café, a cosy little home feel cafe in Middelburg for Lunch. We had a great tosti St. John special, including Dutch bacon: Zeeuws spek. Served with brown fresh (I think) baked bread and a little salad (which could have done with a little less dressing) it was a good starter. But the winner of the day was the yoghurt Ice cream. Absolute big hit. Light but oh so creamy. We went back at the end of the day for a second one, finding the café closed (of course we didn't check the time table). Which means I have a very good reason to come back there. 

Still raving about the ice cream we went walking though the city a bit. Then my friend took us on a car ride along the former island of Walcheren. It isn't an island anymore thanks to poldering and a dam connecting it to the main land. 

Driving though the small towns, that look so lively in the Summer season and passing many mini-campings, B&Bs and small hotels and vacation homes. We took a little break at Veere. It's such a pretty old city (earning city rights from 1355!). It's quite a tourist draw especially for the small harbour and a lake (Veerse meer) near by. But we didn't mind everybody was in summer mood and we took a little tour to walk in the lake water. Swimming was not an option since we didn't bring our swim wear (it looked too cloudy to be true in the moring). 
The best kind of hidden spot was a covered old tunnel that was used back in the days to defend the city. 

We enjoyed some fish snacks: kibbeling (fried crispy fish) and Zeeuwse Oysters. Both were nice fresh a little silty. The only down side was the sauce from a readymade pot. 

Most part of Zeeland is below sea level plus the province is a big river delta including the Rhine, Maas and Scheldt. The worst flooding was the North Sea Flooding of 1953. My grandmother who lives in the coastal province of Zuid-Holland, still has a small picture where the family's home is almost completely under water. Only rooftops are visible. The Delta Works were developed after the event to protect the land. We saw some of it in the distance when we took a short beach walk. 

After another little car ride we went to the beach of Dishoek for dinner. Dishoek, had the most beautiful beaches along the Dutch shore line. Or at least, that's me thinking. Childhood memories and sleeping in once of the beach cottages a few times give me a little sweet spot here. One of the best memories I have here, is walking along the shore line around midnight by full moon with my father. He pointed out the green glittering at the shore: salt lighting up in the moon light. It really is one of the most magical (but real) things I have ever seen.

Beach pavilion Kaapduin was our dinner place. It was very hot and the outside terrace was filled. So we sat inside and enjoyed the generous food portions. I had cooked Zeeuwse Mussels and my friends baked mussels and a fish trio. We had a good time feeding oursselves. 
On the almost 3 hour train ride home, I reminded myself to enjoy my own country more. Because this day was such a great, and taste full day. The best things sometimes are in your own back yard, remember.