Norwool Blanket

Crochet, geometric patterns, and a challenge….. what’s not to like?

When the lovely CraftKitchen people asked us, the blogging team, whether we thought it would be possible to crochet with Norwool sock yarn as well, my creative brain started rattling instantly.

I immediately knew I wanted a graphic pattern, and a quick search for “geometric crochet” and “houndstooth crochet” on Pinterest, gave a wealth of possibilities. I particularly loved the rather big sized pied-de-poule in this Red Heart pattern, and used that as a reference.
Color swatches were quickly made, and so was my decision to go with the bolder combination. As you can probably see, the blanket is crocheted following the “tapestry technique” – nothing to be scared off, really. In my Norwool Blanket-pattern I’ve included some links to helpful videos, as well as my own tips. One important hint is how to carefully (and easily) “manage” your working and non-working yarn.

And boy-oh-boy, I so liked everything about this project and its journey: the pattern, the colors (black is a color, right?), the softness of the blanket, the rather repetitive and thus mindful making, plus – now that it’s finished – its warmth and comfort whilst I’m working on my next CraftKitchen-project.
The mindful Norwool Blanket-making took place over the holidays, and I’m so happy I can finally share it with all of you!
You can find the – free – pattern in Dutch here, and the one in English here (or via the pattern section of my blog).
It’s already gotten heaps of love on the CraftKitchen Facebook-page, and how about this post on Instagram: @captainhook3105 started her Norwool Blanket right away, awesome!

And you know what? This coming week/weekend you can see my Norwool Blanket, and lots-and-lots of other CraftKitchen projects “live” at the “Handwerkbeurs” in Zwolle!
Two (and on Saturday even three) of The CraftKitchen bloggers will be there each day throughout the event (Feb 9 – Feb 12), and we’re all looking forward to seeing you in our creative kitchen, showing our latest projects, giving tips, etc. I’ll be there on Friday and Saturday (working on my second Norwool Blanket), please come by and say “hi”!

Love,
Marianne xx

Crochet Parties!

Energized and happy, is how I’m kicking off this new week.
It’s grey and wet outside, but definitely not in my work space, I can assure you!
Lots of wonderful yarn in delightful colors on my desk – the best way to continue this weekend’s high, a weekend filled to the brim with crochet, friends, glorious projects, and ……yarn.

Last Saturday a group of fellow bloggers/Instagrammers and I were invited by my sweet friend Lisanne for a crochet party. The location alone is swoon-worthy – “Knotten”, in beautiful historic Delft – and the yarn we were tasting this time around equally so: gorgeous “Lang Yarns”. When you see and feel their yarn, you immediately understand why Lang Yarns cannot be found in the lower price segment: all yarns not only look wonderful, but as soon as you touch them, you cannot help but go “ahhhhhh…….”; they’re extremely soft&nice. We were all given our goodie bags at the start of the afternoon, to enjoy working with the yarns we were to take home right away.
To tell you the truth: I’m not good at that….. I need the quiet of my studio to think of a nice pattern to start a new project, so my afternoon was spent catching up with crochet friends, enjoying the lovely food (thank you Lust), Francis’ hospitality, browsing her grand “Knotten” store,  and go home a very happy woman.
Oh, and I think I’ve picked just the right pattern in the meantime for this so-pretty Lang Yarns Norma; I’ll keep you posted.

A few weeks ago I attended Wolplein’s ‘New Year’s Party’, held in their “Inspiratie Centrum” in Zaltbommel.
Always a tremendous pleasure to visit, and they could not have picked a more apt name: so much yarny goodness all in one spot …. inspiration-galore! Wolplein did not let us go home empty-handed either: is it just me, or does the sight of these lovely skeins alone make you happy as well?
By the way: Wolplein’s “Koffie&Wol” captured the lively event nicely in this video.

But wait ….. there’s more!
At the beginning of last December I was at another yarn party (I know, lucky-lucky me). This one was held at new-to-me store “Trollenwol” in Driebergen (a must visit, really), and was all about also new-to-me yarns “Fonty” (French) and “Borgo de Pazzi” (Italian), both natural/eco and locally producing companies. They carry an amazing variety of lovely yarn in lots of colors, weight/ply, absolutely fantastic.
After this fun party (proof of that here) a wonderful idea was born. Almost all attendees designed and made projects – crocheted as well as knitted ones – using the Borgo-yarns. The patterns are written (English and Dutch), photos are taken, and we’re in the process of gathering them all up in a soon to be published Borgo Magazine, that will be available internationally through Borgo de Pazzi retailers. Since all makers are donating their designs, we’ve been allowed to allocate part of the proceeds to charity, which gives this venture even more shine.
                    (above a  little preview of my Borgo-contribution, a knitted blanket)

This Sunday almost all of us came together again at Miriam‘s place to hand our projects over for a last photo shoot, and of course to oh-and-ah over each other’s makings (I honestly loved everything, and I’m sure you will too!).
We’ll be able to show you more very soon – so keep your eyes peeled (and have a look at this hashtag for more sneak peeks…..).

One thought keeps popping up: simply being in the company of creative people is always, always such a joy, and a guarantee for having a fabulous time; makes you wonder…… wouldn’t the world be a nicer place with more people crocheting, knitting, being creative?

Wishing you a marvelous, creative week!

Love,
Marianne xx

Giveaway: “Haakspiratie”

Among last year’s highlights were definitely all the fabulous crochet and yarn parties that I attended, as I’m sure every creative person and yarn lover will understand.

I’m happy to report 2016 saw a lot of these wonderful gatherings of like-minded people, that strangely enough always feel a strong connection right away.
I’ve already blogged about two of these fun events (here and here), and this post is the first of my reporting on the last two, and how they were just a bit extra special.
You see, back in August my dear friend and talented colleague Janneke released her first book “Haakspiratie”, and boy…. is it beautiful!
The celebratory launch party was held in a new-to-me great yarn store: “Het Wolhuis”. If you’re ever in the eastern part of The Netherlands, make sure to pay them a visit, you’ll not be disappointed.I feel proud to have been part of Janneke’s team of testers; even before the book was out I knew how gorgeous it was going to be, having laid – quite literally – my hands on many a design. In this post you can see some of the projects I’ve made during the testing process.
How about that cute pincushion, made using an old cup found at the thrift store? One of Janneke’s great ideas! And the coaster, doily, the grey shawl, and its pretty border, the flowery cushion cover? Aren’t they all lovely?
What makes Janneke’s book rather unique, is the combination of crochet and sewing projects, and the two techniques are sometimes even used in one idea.
“Haakspiratie” is written in Dutch, but has very clear diagrams, charts and plenty of (very pretty) photos, so I’m pretty sure you non-Dutch will not have a problem either.

This is good news, because …… *insert drumroll * …… I’m giving away one copy of this fantastic book, whoop-whoop!
Simply follow this blog, leave a comment here and make sure I can get in touch with you via email.
As usual, the “random number generator” will draw a winner, this Sunday January 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm my time (=GMT+1), and I will notify him or her soon thereafter.

Good luck to all of you!

Love,
Marianne xx

PS: one more thing to show you here: the little zippered hook case I made for Janneke.
I recreated her logo with felt, and hand stitched all pieces to the front; made with love of course …….

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

CraftKitchen

One of the things that’s been high on my catch up list is CraftKitchen.
As you might know, I’m one of the 5 bloggers that design for them, and it’s a job very close to my heart, for many reasons……
First of all because of the people I get to work with: my dear maker-friends and colleagues Janneke, Lidy, Lisanne and Liza; I’m sure you’ve all seen their gorgeous and inspiring work on social media. It’s just wonderful to be part of such a group of talented, lovely, and fun ladies.
Secondly, because of the creative adventures it gets me into. When the 5 of us decided to step on board of the CraftKitchen-wagon early last year, we liked the idea of all of us trying our hands at different kinds of crafts: crocheting, sewing, knitting, diy, anything.
So even though we’re all experts in one or two areas, we committed ourselves to come up with projects in all other disciplines as well.
As we hoped, taking these crafty turns adds to the enjoyment: we all love to be challenged like this!
It’s great to step out of your comfort zone, and learn something new. Besides, there’s always 4 lovely colleagues (and the internet) to help you out when you run into a problem.

Since my last half of 2016 was all about writing my book, little time was left for anything else….. Luckily I did manage to make 5 CK-projects, but unfortunately there was no time to translate them in English, that is…. up to today! Hurray!
You’ll find the link to all Dutch versions here, and in English by clicking the links you’ll find here for my Mandala/Dream catcher, Pip-stool cover, Pip-slippers, felt Fall/Halloween bunting and fun knitted children’s scarf, fair isle style.
Of course they’re also listed in the pattern sections of my blog (here and here).

Now Janneke, Lidy, Lisanne and Liza have been very busy too, creating many fabulous CraftKitchen-projects. I know you’ll be doing yourselves a favor checking them out. Even though they’re all described in Dutch, many of them have lots of photos, and/or charts/diagrams, so I think you’ll be okay even if Dutch is abracadabra for you. And there’s always google translate……
One thing’s for sure: perusing the CraftKitchen-site will leave you inspired, and sometimes that’s all we need to spark our creative side again!
Happy – and crafty – times!

Love,

Marianne xx

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!

“Miriam Shawl”

Ah….. it feels good to be blogging again!
Last Friday I shipped all the projects that were crocheted for my book to the publisher, and shared the final electronic version of every pattern, chart, photo, etc. with them as well.

Quite the milestone, I’m telling you, leaving me with a mix of feelings: a bit scary and anxious (“this is it, no more major changes”, “gosh, will people like the things I’ve put my heart – and all my time – in for the past six months”), a little relieved (“time to do other things”), but mainly proud, happy, excited, and looking forward to the next steps in this truly amazing book making journey (“YAY”)!

“Time to do other things” also means there’s time for blogging again (sic), and boy-oh-boy, do I have a list of things that I need to catch up on here! Over the past months there have been several fun crochet parties, a dear friend launching her first book, lots of CraftKitchen projects (more free patterns, hurray), meeting fab international creative friends, and a lot more that I’m looking forward to sharing with you all.
How about a free pattern for a lovely shawl for starters? Miriam’s beautiful shawl, as you see above?
One of this year’s crochet parties was all about “Phildar”, and we got to try out heaps of their lovely yarn. My sweet ig-friend Miriam Catshoek treated us all to the pattern of this pretty shawl, that she had designed with the Phildar-party and yarn in mind. The shawl was an instant hit, as you can see here, and she has kindly allowed me to translate the pattern in English, for everyone to enjoy! How’s that for an early Xmas-present?
The pattern gives you plenty of options to play with color, which was exactly what I had in mind when I started crocheting mine. However, I liked the touch of the Borgo de Pazzi “Fresco” so much, I stuck with it for all of my border. I love the wintry & chic look that my “Miriam Shawl” has, and I liked crocheting this pattern so much, I just know there will be a colorful one in the near future too……

You’ll find the link to the English pattern here (or under “Crochet Patterns” in my header). The Dutch pattern can be found here – both are free patterns.Next on my catch-up list: a fun amigurumi project, book review, and fab giveaway all in one, so stay tuned 😉

Love,
Marianne xx

Exciting news!

2016-10-15-14-55-25-1Hello, you lovely people, long time no see – I sincerely hope you’re all doing well!

I can’t believe it’s been three whole months since I last wrote a blog post; I’ve honestly missed blogging, and it sure feels great to be back here.
It must not have gone unnoticed that my summer break turned out to be a rather lengthy one. The funny thing is, it was all but a “break”: I honestly don’t think I’ve ever crocheted as much as I did in these past months.marrose-ccc-dolly-dotty-cushion-02

You see…… I’ve been asked to write a crochet book, and that’s all that has been on my mind and desk this summer!
Late May I was contacted by a publisher whether I’d be interested to make a crochet book with them. Needing hardly any time to think about the fab opportunity they offered, soon enough I was on my way designing and crocheting to my heart’s content, all projects for my own book. A book that will have an isbn connected to my name: wow, how awesome is that?
marrose-colorful-crochet-granny-squares-01The book will have a nice mix of projects for the home, as well as pretties to wear, and will be released internationally (in English) next Spring.
Almost all designs are ready: crocheted, their patterns written, charts drawn, and photos taken. Right now it’s all about testing, re-testing, crocheting projects in different colors and yarn, in short: adding the ever so important finishing touches.
Even though I’m close to the finish line, I still need to pinch myself regularly to realize, that, yes, it’s true: next Spring will see the publication of my very first crochet book!
All kinds of exciting, really!

marrose-ccc-dreamcatcher-40This – of course – is the main reason why I’ve been extremely silent here and on other social media, and I’m delighted I can finally share my happy news with you.
Unfortunately I still can’t show a whole lot – a sneak peek here and there will be all, I’m afraid. But at least there’s an explanation for my absence (thank you, you sweet peeps for checking in to see whether I was okay), and the ongoing recycling of old work on my Instagram and Facebook.

Within the next couple of weeks I’ll start my “Treasury Tuesday”-posts again, and I’ll share the projects that I’ve made for CraftKitchen during the past couple of months (including the English translation of those patterns/diy’s), for instance the dream catcher you see in this post (↑), the cute knitted slippers (↓), and my latest, a felt Fall/Halloween-garland (↓marrose-craftkitchen-slofjes-17

marrose-ccc-craftkitchen-vlaggenlijn-herfst-halloween-22As I said, I’ve missed my blog (and YOU, my lovely readers) and I’m looking forward to spending time here again!
See you soon,

love,
Marianne xx

Follow-up Friday – “The Beach Bag”

maRRose - CCC --- recycled jeans bag-55My Fridays always have that little extra ‘pezaz’, when I have a finished project to share with you, and they’re even better when I can give you the pattern/diy of that project at the same time.

This Friday is all about the “Beach Bag”, my latest CraftKitchen-diy, simply made using an old pair of jeans, and some fun things to embellish it with.

You might remember the very first jeans bag I made last year – the “Flower Power Jeans Bag”.
maRRose - CCC - Flower Power Jeans BagThe funniest thing happened right after I completed this one: I received an email from a sweet Italian lady, telling me she saw the bag on my blog, she loved it, and would I – please – be willing to sell it to her?
I don’t think there’s a better way to feel appreciated in the things you create! I was absolutely thrilled she liked it this much, and so totally unplanned and rather soon the “Flower Power Jeans Bag” moved to Italy!

maRRose - CCC --- recycled jeans bag-49Making another one, a bit differently shaped, was high on my wish list, and the big shopper-sized kind of jeans bag I had in mind seemed the perfect summer project for CraftKitchen: hello “Beach Bag”!

You can find the tutorial in Dutch on the CraftKitchen-site (link here, click on “werkbeschrijving”), and the English version is in the DIY/Tutorial-section of my blog (click here to get there).

maRRose - CCC --- recycled jeans bag-43I really hope I’ll be using my bag to go to the beach (or “Tuin11” for that matter) a lot!
All it needs to carry is my yarn&hook and the occasional book: perfect ingredients for the nice, long summer break that I plan to take!
maRRose - CCC --- recycled jeans bag-44I might pop in here every once in a while to show and share my monthly CraftKitchen-projects, but normal services will be resumed again at the beginning of September 😉

Wishing you all a wonderful, relaxed, happy and sunny summer,
love,
Marianne xx

Treasury Tuesday

maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday - Crochet in Pinks-03I’m sure this will not come as a too big of a surprise: I love pink!
As far as I’m concerned, pink makes everything a bit better 😉

That’s why this week’s “Treasury Tuesday” has nothing but lovely, wonderful, pretty crochet in one of my favoritest colors.
And since I love crocheted shawls as well, these two are on top of my list this time around:

This one reminds me of Alia’s wonderful pattern – the “Monsoon Stole”, that I made last year (more on that here):
maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday - Crochet in Pinks-01I really love the touch of grey on this triangular shawl:maRRose - CCC --- Treasury Tuesday - Crochet in Pinks-02Have a wonderful new week – I’m looking forward to sharing my up-cycled jeans bag tutorial with you here on Friday!

Love,
Marianne xx

Hurray for Crochet Parties!

maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-31Starting a new week isn’t half as bad, when you have memories of a great weekend to help you get through it, and when the weekend involves a fa-bu-lous crochet party, oh-la-la …..maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-11Last Saturday lovely Lisanne and Miriam made it all happen at one of my favorite yarn stores, “Echtstudio”. Thanks to them, and the wonderful people at “Phildar” we – a group of 25 privileged bloggers and instagrammers – were able to get our hands on Phildar’s new winter collection.maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-27

And I mean “get our hands on” quite literally, since the festive and very stylishly decorated tables we were all sitting at, were loaded with the most gorgeous yarn….. that we were allowed to touch, fondle, and – best of all – work with during the party.maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-24

Miriam provided us all with a pattern for a very pretty shawl, as shown above (photo courtesy of Miriam); she designed it especially for this occasion. Soon enough the room was quiet, as we were all working on Miriam’s pattern.
The link to the (free) pattern can be found here.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s so much fun to be with like-minded people! People that you share a passion with, that go nuts over a certain yarn, a particular color….. just like you!

Apart from the yummy yarn and fantastic company, there was a lot of yummy food as well….. ah…..sigh….. what more can a crafty girl ask for?maRRose - CCC --- Oreo Cupcakes-04maRRose - CCC --- Oreo Cupcakes-05

I brought my infamous “Death by Oreo”-cupcakes (link to the recipe here), plus two little handmade gifts for our splendid hosts – all well received 🙂maRRose CCC - zippered pouches-26maRRose CCC - zippered pouches-20 maRRose CCC - zippered pouches-27When it was time to go home, we were all surprised with a Phildar-shopper filled to the brim with…. yes, the yarn we’d been oohing and aahing over all afternoon: lucky-lucky-lucky us!maRRose - CCC --- Draad en Praat Crochet Party-30

Love,
Marianne xx

PS: for all photos of this “Phildar Crochet Party” posted on Instagram, just click here …..