Cross & Woods – giveaway

Not too long ago I blogged (here) about the wonderful cooperation that culminated in the “Let’s Get Chunky” magazine.Given the fact that all contributors worked with the beautiful Borgo de Pazzi-yarn, very quickly we – the lively bunch of crafty friends participating in this fun adventure – were referred to as “The Borgo Babes”.
At first, this made us all giggle, but I think right now most of us see this as an honorary title, that we carry with pride.

You see, we all donated our time and patterns for the magazine, knowing that part of its proceeds would go to the “Samen Breien Clubs” (“Knitting Together Clubs”) / the “Ouderenfonds” (a Dutch foundation that facilitates elderly to craft in groups, thus striving to make them less lonely).
                                           (photo credit ↑ Liset / Tante Setje)
We were thrilled to learn the magazine is a hit among knitters and crocheters, and last month we were able to realize a first and really fab donation (thank you, Borgo de Pazzi & Bert Noorderijk/BN Agenturen) during a festive meeting (cake and all) with some of the “Borgo Babes”, Bert, and the “Ouderenfonds” at their headquarters: happy (& proud) times for all of us!

One of the many Dutch shops carrying Borgo de Pazzi-yarn, and selling the “Let’s Get Chunky”-magazine, is “Cross & Woods” in The Hague.
Its owners, Pauline and Eloise, liked the magazine’s content, and decided to invite all “Borgo Babes” for an inspiring yarn-tasting party in their absolutely beautiful “crafting parlour”. Needless to say, we gladly obliged!

“Cross & Woods” is one of those gems that is so well worth a special visit.
As for me, it ticks all my crafty boxes: the shop is spacious, has a beautiful interior design, jaw dropping-gorgeous specialty yarns (“Hedgehog Fibres”, “Isager”, “Madelinetosh”, “Manos del Uruguay“, “Moeke Yarns”, “Nurturing Fibres”, just to name a few) and tools of the trade (“Merchant & Mills”, “KnitPro”), super pretty fabrics, books&magazines, you just name it: it’s there! And a true “crafting parlour” it is as well: many a workshop is being given at “Cross & Woods”.

Pauline and Eloise had us “taste” (work with) a lot of their specialty yarns, and provided us with all their background information – that went into such detail as the kind of sheep the particular yarn was harvested from, very interesting.

And…..being generous women, they gave me TWO skeins of amazingly soft&stunning “The Fibre Co.” yarn to give away here on my blog!

It’s a blend of 65% alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere, which explains the fabulous softness. Each skein has: 145 m / 159 yds (needles: 3.25-3.5 / 3-4 US / 10 UK).In order to have a chance to win this lo-ve-ly duo, all you need to do is leave a comment beneath this post (and preferably tell me what project/pattern you have in mind to use them with).
The giveaway is open worldwide and will close Sunday August 6th, 2017 (22:00 my time, which is GMT+1hr).

Good luck to all!
Love,

Marianne xx

PS: please, make sure I can reach you by email – if I do not hear from the initial winner within 7 days after my notification email has been sent, a new winner will be drawn.

EDIT: this giveaway is now closed – the winner has been notified by email

“Colorful Crochet” – “Eindeloos Haken”

With the “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken” blog tour well underway, I thought it would be fun to share the posts and projects from the first 20 participants that have ‘blog toured’ so far.
From left to right, top to bottom:
1. Susan’s Cobblestone/Striped Babyblanket washclothes;
2. Clare’s Stroller Blanket Wendi;
3. Natalie’s Hexagon Shawl Ursula;
4. Mandy’s Flowers in a Field motifs.

Sure, I might be a bit biased ;-), but I find it greatly inspiring to see my projects crocheted with different yarn and in different colors. Honestly, it makes me want to pick up my hook, and start crocheting my own patterns again doing the same thing, choosing other yarn and colors!
1. Shelley’s Boho Cushion;
2. Nerissa’s Ribbed Tartan Cushion;
3. Tanya’s Lenize squares;
4. Lisanne’s Flowers in a Field squares.

I also feel extremely happy and grateful that my crochet peers love the book as much as they do. You see, it’s one thing to put your heart and soul into 20+ projects, and work on them with lots of dedication for almost a year. It’s another thing to stay objective……

1. Kathryn’s Circle Wall Hanging/Doily;
2. Ingrid’s Striped Babyblanket Ingrid;
3. Emily’s Flowers in a Field Shawl/Blanket;
4. Alia’s Circle Wall Hanging.

During the book making process, I grew increasingly fond of all my projects in an unconditional kind of way, I started to love them as if they were my children. Seeing them gathered up in my book, made me overjoyed, but also – as I said – …. less objective.
There were times when I thought “what’s not to love about such-and-so project”, but as the publication date neared, that changed into “what if my projects are not loved”?

1. Sarah’s Geometric Triangle Blanket;
2. Holly’s Hexagon Blanket Inez;
3. Frederika’s Hexagon Blanket Inez;
4. Sharna’s Flowers in a Field Garland.

So big sigh of relief and lots of happy dances finding out, that yes, other people love my projects too! And don’t we all adore it when other people like our children as well?
I’m so proud, humbled, and thankful for all the praise the book has received so far, whether it’s from people who crochet as a hobby, or from the crochet pro’s: it’s just all fantastic!
1. Carmen’s Hexagon Shawl Ursula;
2. Sandra’s Circle Wall Hanging;
3. Funda’s Merry-Go-Round granny squares;
4. Sandra’s Puff Scarf/Cowl Wendi.

To have you share in all this happiness, sweet Joyce / Mez11 – the lovely leather-label-savvy and generous woman who donated all the beautiful labels for the projects in the book – is allowing me to giveaway THIS ↓ fabulous set of labels!

All you need to do is leave a comment under this blog post, and make sure I can reach you via email in case you win. This giveaway is open internationally, and ends Sunday June 18th, 2017 – 23:00 my time (GMT+1), after which a winner will be drawn and notified. Good luck to all of you!

Love,
Marianne xx

EDIT: this giveaway is now closed – a winner has been drawn and notified

PS: If you have an opportunity to join me this coming Saturday, June 17th for another festive “Eindeloos Haken”-party at Wolplein, I would LOVE to see you there (more info here), and here ↓

“Eindeloos Haken” Book Launch

It’s hard to believe it has been way over a week since the official launch of “Eindeloos Haken” took place …
Usually I’m quick and eager to share the fun of crochet parties I’ve been to with all y’all here on the blog. Of course a lack of being eager was not the issue for not writing up a blog post about and right after my very own crochet party: I just couldn’t find the right words.
In fact, I’m afraid I still can’t, so many days after the big day! I’m still glowing, happy, grateful, humbled, positively overwhelmed, impressed, extremely thankful (and I could easily go on for some time) by all festiveness that took place: it was absolutely fantastic!
I’m going to give it a try anyhow …. so here it is: my account of May 27th, accompanied by a great deal of – mostly pink (what else, haha) and happy – photos.

Having been part of the crochet-scene for quite some time, I know how kind, friendly, caring, and loving a community this is. Being at the center of it was a whole new experience for me.
                                      Miriam and I on the big party preparation day!

For starters there were many people offering their help getting the party prepped! Just to name a few: G. Brouwer & Zn, beautiful “Echtstudio” and its lovely staff, and of course my sweet friend Miriam: I couldn’t have done this without her excellent help, she’s the very best!
Then there’s the ladies who helped during the workshops on the day of the party, thank you, darling Borgo-babes!
My dear husband Lex, our two fabulous kids, Quinn & Carter, my brothers Lex and Marcel….. and I’m sure I’m forgetting people, please forgive me.

Lovely Kim of “Echtstudio” doing me the honor of handing me the first copy of “Eindeloos Haken”.
Right before the party started, Sharina interviewed me about “Eindeloos Haken”, and the process of making the book (you can find the Dutch article here; for another interview with me – in English – you can go here).

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Dutch climate, but we don’t get a lot of warm, sunny days, not even in Summer. So when the weather forecast for May 27th, 2017 says: tropical temperatures, you can be nothing but very, very, EXTRA thankful for people braving the heat and coming to celebrate an ever so special moment with you: the launch of your first book!
(As it turned out May 27, 2017 was the hottest May 27th ever in Holland, with temps reaching a whopping 33.4 Celsius).

                                      Lots-and-lots of smiles, and happy people!
You can imagine I was extra delighted they did, because it was just wonderful being surrounded by so many people I love spending time with: family, dear friends, and oodles of dear crafty friends….. ah….. glorious times!
Both my parents being present (83 and 86 years old) was very special – I so loved that they were there.
Realizing I have fans was exhilarating as well: I feel honored that they too took the time to come to the book launch, no matter the heat, patiently standing in line to have their copy of “Eindeloos Haken” signed (by me, how surreal is that?!). Above you see lovely Laura, aka @cosyup on Instagram (photo credit: Laura’s boyfriend).

Apart from being spoiled with so much love and personal attention, I was showered with gifts! Incredibly sweet! Pretty flowers, yummy treats (homemade jam, chocolate, champagne to name a few), lovely bath products, a very special pepper&salt shaker set from South Africa (gifted by dear friends who know I collect salt&pepper shakers), pretty notebooks, gift cards, and a whole lot of the most beauteous handmade gifts….. utterly-utterly marvelous! And overwhelming, hence my little ‘writer’s block’…….

Look at these fabulous leather labels my sweet friend Joyce / Mez11 made!
Aren’t they awesome?
I’m in love with the beautiful present Anique / Kleinmaarfijn made for me…
and with the one Lidy / Lidy Nooij made…
as well as the one created by Chantel / De Haakfabriek

plus this gorgeous pouch for my knitting needles, made by Janneke / JipbyJan
Too many thoughtful gifts to put in the spotlight here….. *sigh* ……

The Sunday following the party my mother in law sent me such a touching snapshot of what she calls “the family book shelf”. My crochet book is positioned on this honorary shelf in her bookcase, right next to the two books my father in law wrote, and among books either written by or about other family members. Very special indeed!
                                               Yay! The “Terrific Tester Team”

To top this all off, so far, the book has been received very well – I can’t tell you how much that pleases me. To see people enjoy the projects in the book, and crochet the most beautiful versions of my patterns is extremely gratifying.
Equally wonderful is the feedback I’m getting from my crochet peers, who are participating in the “Colorful Crochet” / “Eindeloos Haken”-blog tour; I couldn’t be happier about all this!
If you’re keen on winning a copy of the book, it’s good advice to follow the blog tour: there’ll be many more chances for you to enter book-giveaways!

Love,
Marianne xx

PS:  “Alles is Haken” author Saskia Laan stating in her latest vlog my book is a “must have” was a nice way to get my week started!

“Colorful Crochet” – “Eindeloos Haken”

When it comes to crochet, or any other craft for that matter, I’m easily pleased and quickly excited. I’m sure you’ve noticed… 😉
However, I don’t think I’ve ever been THIS excited!
My book is ready, printed, on its way to (online) shops around the world (can someone pinch me, please), ready for you to pre-order (English edition on Amazon and Bol; Dutch book via Echtstudio, just to name a few), and some people actually already have a hard copy in their hands!They are the wonderful women that are part of the blog hop I told you about in this post. Yep, that’s right: “Colorful Crochet” and “Eindeloos Haken” are going on tour for the next 40 days, and we’re taking you literally on a trip around the globe. From Australia to The Netherlands, from South-Africa to the UK and the USA, then back to Europe, the books will be hopping from one continent to another.

I feel very privileged and joyful that so many talented and lovely creative friends wanted to be part of the happy happening that this blog/social media tour is going to be, and I’m honered to introduce everyone here to you, all 40 fabulous participants!

01. Lisanne Multem – Draad & Praat;
02. Ingrid Danvers – Studio 92 Designs;
03. Sandra Paul – Cherry Heart Blog;
04. Tanya Eberhardt – Little Things Blogged;
05. Clare Newton – @frankielovescrochet;
06. Sarah Shrimpton – Annaboo’s House;
07. Kathryn Vercillo – Crochet Concupiscence;
08. Heleen Scharstuhl – Vol van Wol;
09. Nerissa Muijs – Miss Neriss;
10. Sandra Eng – Mobiusgirl Design;
11. Emily Littlefair – The Loopy Stitch;
12. Holly George – Holly Pips;
13. Shelley Husband – Spincushions;
14. Susan Carlson – The Felted Button;
15. Sharna Moore – Sweet Sharna;
16. Carmen Heffernan – @anniedesigncrochet;
17. Frederika van der Galien – Frederika Creates;
18. Alia Bland – The Little Bee;
19. Natalie Schwarz – Little Cosy Things and Craft As Therapy;
20. Makenzie Pearson – BQueen Collection;
21. Mandy O’Sullivan – Red Agape;
22. Heike Gittins – Made with Loops;
23. Funda Kaya – Kikalite;
24. Wendy Koutlis – @crochetcrazygirl;
25. Mariana Abadie – @winterbeachbymab;
26. Lotte van Dinteren – Lotte Haakt;
27. Janneke Assink – Jip by Jan;
28. Inez de Goede – Goed id Handwerk;
29. Lidy Nooij – Lidy Nooij;
30. Miriam Catshoek – @miriamcatshoek;
31. Hattie Risdale – The Petal Shed;
32. Annemarie Huijser – @studiohipenstip;
33. Rachele Carmona – Cypress Textiles;
34. Liza Veenendaal – Confetti Lab;
35. Emily Carter – @carter_and_brown;
36. Agnieszka Strycharska – Niebieska chata;
37. Susan Regalia – @suregal27;
38. Robyn Hicks – @crochetgirl99 and @yummyyarnandco;
39. Emma Friedlander-Collins – Steel and Stitch;
40. Mabel Gaiser – Hip met Kleur.

Having just typed up this list of fan-tas-tic creative colleagues makes my heart skip a beat: what an awesome group of makers, don’t you agree?
I know some of them have already started a project from my book, and I simply cannot wait to see!
As of tomorrow through June 30th, 2017 you’ll find sneak peeks of the book and its projects, plus chances to win a copy of the book when visiting almost all of the following websites/blog/instagram and facebook accounts on a daily basis – in short: we’re going to have a fun social media relay, starting here today.I’m kicking the tour off with a give-away of two of my books, an English and a Dutch version. All you need to do is leave a comment under this post, tell me what version you’d like to win (English or Dutch) and make sure I have your email address to notify you in case you won – easy as that!
My giveaway closes on Sunday May 21st, 8:00 pm, after which I’ll notify the winners.
By that time you will already have been able to enter the next giveway on the tour’s following participant’s blog/ig/fb, and so on and so forth: cool, right?

Oh, and just in case you’ve missed this: Saturday May 27th will be the book’s big launch party at Echtstudio – I’m SO much looking forward to that! If you have a chance, I’d love to see you there!
We’re busy prepping the party – it’s going to be loads of fun!
Just in case May 27th is not a good date for you, we’re partying again at Wolplein, on June 17th (10:30 – 13:00).

Have a super weekend!

Love,
Marianne xx

PS: make sure to visit Lisanne/Draad&Praat tomorrow – she’s your next stop on our tour

EDIT: two winners have been drawn and notified, and the giveaway is now closed.
Thank you ALL so much for your lovely comments (loved reading them) & for participating! xx

“Supersize Crochet” Blog Hop

It is hard to believe it has only been two years since the lovely&talented
Sarah’s (Annaboo’s House-blog) first book came out (“Beginner’s Guide to Crochet”).
This was kicked off with a fun blog hop, and I loved being part of it (you can read that blog post here).
In the meantime her second book (“Extreme Crochet”) was released later that same year, and this month we’re celebrating the launch of what’s already her third book, yay!
And even more “yay”, because there’s another blog hop taking place due to the latest book’s release, “Supersize Crochet”, and the “yay-est” of it all: I’m part of it again ;).

I’ve loved Sarah’s work from the moment I found her IG-account, which must have been right after I joined IG (early 2013).
I salute her craftsmanship, and the fact that there are no boundaries to what she designs: blankets, baskets, shawls, flowers, cushions, amigurumi, you just name it – she does it, and she does it very well.

I don’t know whether you remember, but I’ve made her Astrid doll twice before (more here, and here), and it’s one of my favorite doll patterns to date……

When I come to think of it: I like it that Sarah explores all possibilities that we crocheters have. She has no problem designing whatever she puts her mind to – no matter the crochet technique. This time around it is all about projects made with a big fat hook and super chunky yarn, how fun is that!

She can be very proud of herself, because she has made a great book once more! It has a wonderful variety of projects, and I love the overall crisp look of the book.

It wasn’t exactly easy to pick just one project, but (like most women): I love bags, and so went for the “Ombre Circles Tote Bag”. I used my beloved DMC Natura XL for my version (chunky, but not super chunky), lined it with a cute fabric I got here, and so like how it turned out!
As soon as I can lay my hands on the super chunky yarn needed for the pet bed, that will be the next project I’m going to make from Sarah’s book, it’s so cool!
One of the best characteristics of bulky yarn might be the project being finished very quickly, which can be quite nice for a change, don’t you agree?

I’ve saved what’s maybe the very best for last……. You see, I’m allowed to give away 1 pdf-copy of Sarah’s book! Just let me know in the comments whether you’d like to enter for a chance to win this super-cool book. I’ll draw a winner Sunday, May 14th, 2017, 8:00 pm my time (GMT+1), and notify him/her soon thereafter. Good luck to all of you!
Make sure to check out all participants in this delightful blog hop; up next: Frank & Olive
(May 14th): enjoy!

Love,
Marianne xx

Edit: a winner has been drawn and notified – thank you all for participating!

Let’s Get Chunky

As I already told you in this blog post, a truly wonderful cooperation emerged from one of the fun crochet parties recently organized here in The Netherlands.

After the “Borgo de Pazzi”-party at “Trollenwol” the talented bloggers and instagrammers that attended immediately started crocheting, knitting, and even weaving with the beautiful Borgo-yarns. Bert Noorderijk, Borgo’s agent in The Netherlands, seeing the many projects we came up with on social media, suggested we all write down the patterns, and collect them in …… a magazine!
A very special magazine; you see, we – the 17 Borgo-babes, lol – have all donated our patterns, and in return Borgo de Pazzi is donating part of the proceeds of the magazine’s sales to a charity of our choice. Knowing how much we, the-not-so-elderly-yet, enjoy and benefit from crafting together, we quickly and unanimously picked the Dutch foundation for the elderly, Het Ouderenfonds (English: here), and more specifically the “Let’s Knit Together”/“Samen Breien”-groups, that help the elderly connect and be less lonely by getting them together in craft groups.
Since we all worked with rather robust and chunky yarns, it was not hard to – again: fast and unified – choose a name for the magazine: “Let’s get Chunky” seemed very apt right away.
There are times when you know and feel everything about a certain project is right, and this is definitely one of them! I love our awesome group of makers, our mutual passion, the fun times we had, the a-ma-zing projects that everyone came up with, the fact that so many of us invested a lot of extra time (think: coordinating/overseeing the whole project, translating patterns in English, styling and photographing the projects created, designing the layout and putting the magazine together, etc). Also, we proved everybody wrong saying women can’t work together: there was nothing but a marvelous sense of care, love, wanting to help one another, as well as humor in this group of 17 women.
I feel very, very proud to have been part of all this, and want to extend a big, warm, squishy “thank you” to my fellow “Let’s Get Chunky”-makers (whom you can all get to know better via the links under this post)!
I’m also proud of the project I made for the magazine, my “Al Paco”-blanket!
I have had my eyes on knitted mitered squares like ….. forever, and I so wanted to give them a try. To be honest, it was a bit of a challenge for me at times (I’m not a very experienced knitter), but I’m happy I persevered: the blanket turned out just the way I had envisioned and hoped. And if I can do this, anyone can!

Cat-approved ……;)
“Let’s Get Chunky” will be on the shelves at the beginning of April (through Borgo de Pazzi-retailers, check here for a store close to you). You can also order it online (shipping internationally, e.g. here). It has 37 (that’s correct: thirty-seven!!) crochet and knitting patterns, in a wide variety ranging from home-decor items to shawls/hats, all written in Dutch & English.

And guess what? All 17 contributors are running an extremely cool giveaway; we’re allowed to give away TWO magazines each: it pays to keep a close eye on everyone’s social media.
Today is my turn to give away TWO “Let’s get Chunky”-magazines!
So…. if you want a chance to win: leave a comment here, on my Facebook– and/or Instagram (sharing/reposting is always nice, but not necessary).
The give-away is open for all, I will ship your “Let’s Get Chunky”-magazine no matter where you live, that is: if you win. So, hurry up and get those comments going on all my social media channels ;)! The winners will be notified Thursday, March 30.
Good luck to all!

Love,
Marianne xx

Meet the Makers: Anique, Miriam, Lotte, Nandi, Lidy, Heleen, Joyce, Manon, Lisette, Doreen, Marlies, Katelijne, Kimberley, Caroline, Jacqueline, Frederika

edit: giveaway is closed – the winners have been notified

Edwards Crochet Imaginarium – Giveaway

Happy New Year!
I hope this new year will bring you everything you’re hoping for, and the words love, friendship, good health – plus of course lots-and-lots of creativity – are the ones that I surely hope will play a prominent role in 2017.

I’m still in major “catch up modus” – definitely where blogging is concerned, and I hope you won’t mind my slowly, but surely working through all things that (I think) need catching up on.
First one is a real good one: a rather fabulous giveaway! Sounds good, right?

Just as I was putting the finishing touches on things concerning my own book, the wonderful people at Toft sent me their latest book, “Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium”, by Kerry Lord, along with some of the lovely Toft yarns.
I had seen Kerry’s previous books going around on social media, and always thought of them as fun, but never got my hands on one of them, so I was thrilled to receive this issue.

My enthusiasm quickly grew when I opened the book and browsed through.
Not only because the designs are one-of-a-kind and witty, but the set-up of the book is really unique as well, and I so like that. I can’t help myself, I just think the whole book is awesome.
Do you remember the interactive children’s flip books? Well, the core of this book is exactly that: with 1 standard form, you compose your very own project, by picking from designs for 23 heads, 23 arms, 23 legs, and 5 tails, enabling you to make over one million different monster creations, how cool is that?
This hashtag will give you a good impression of the endless possibilities working from “Ed’s Flip Book”. 

The instructions in “Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium” are very clear, and I had a great time making “Morris Monster”! I’m a sucker for anything cute, so that’s what I went for in my first project. I crocheted the body with DMC Natura Medium and hook 4.0 mm, and I used the yarn that came in the tote bag for a tiny little fair isle scarf for Morris, based on this image/pattern I found on Pinterest.
I just love how my little Morris fella turned out ……

And the very best part? Toft has graciously allowed me to give one copy of “Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium” away, together with the tote and 3 skeins of their yarn.
All you have to do is leave a comment and an email address here and/or on my Facebook-page before Sunday January 8, 2017 – I’ll draw a winner at 8:00 pm my time (=GMT+1), and will notify him or her immediately thereafter.
Good luck to all of you!

Love,
Marianne xx

PS: yes, that’s correct ….. you can enter twice: here and on Facebook 🙂

EDIT: this giveaway is now closed; a winner has been drawn and notified via email – thank you all for participating!