Durable Yarn Party

Usually I’m the kind of person who plans things pretty meticulously, my blogging included. Not today, and not this blog post however! I’m still so stoked about yesterday’s Durable Yarn Party, I just want to share some of that with you right now.Durable Yarn is actually an old brand stemming from the early 1970’s that very recently got a fab make-over. A big crowd of Dutch bloggers and instagrammers was invited to see, feel, and work with all Durable yarns during a fun and very well organized party yesterday afternoon.
                                                  (photo credits: “Anna Haen”)

Held at a lovely and very picturesque venue – “Anna Haen” in Abcoude – we were not only treated to a delightful goody bag (with lots of Durable yarns in the color scheme of our choice – pinks for me of course 😉 – and some neat crafty tools), but to a delicious high tea as well. Long tables, elegantly set with vintage plates and cups, really beautiful flowers, a glass of bubbly on arrival: very seldom have I felt so welcome.
Add to that about 40 amiable people who are all as passionate about yarn and creating as yourself, and there you have it: the fantastic and festive afternoon that I’m still a bit high on to tell you the truth.
Lidy prepared a cool project for us to work on, involving one of the neat crafty tools we were gifted: a hairpin lace loom (more info here), “guimpe haak vork” in Dutch (tutorial here). I love how she has found a new, hip&trendy way to work with this rather old fashioned tool and technique.
The cushions you see here are all made with Durable Yarns, and designed by two other CraftKitchen-colleagues. The ones you see above are Liza’s/ConfettiLab designs (free pattern of one of them here) and made with Durable Cosy Fine. The gorgeous one below is Janneke’s/JipbyJan design, made with Durable Coral (free pattern here).
                                              (photo credit: Janneke Assink)

When I’m with so many crafty friends, there’s two things that kind of go wrong (not really): I simply cannot sit, concentrate and work with the materials there and then….. All I want to do is catch up and talk to preferably everyone attending, and there you have the second issue that I do not take care off well enough: I forget to take loads and loads of pictures, to reminiscence over later at home, and share with you here on the blog.
You’ve gotta love social media and hashtags though, because just by clicking these hashtags (here and here) you’ll get to see all photos taken and can feast your eyes on the loveliness of this awesome party!

Love,
Marianne 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!

“Colorful Crochet”

                                 (to read this blog post in Dutch, please click here)

And then, what feels like “all of a sudden”, my book is almost ready, and I’m able to show you its cover (and some sneak peeks), woo-hoo!
All three editions (English, Dutch & Turkish) are being printed as I type this post!
Such a glorious, happy, feeling!
Apart from very happy and proud, I’m feeling just a bit anxious too – I so hope you all will like the book……

Looking at today’s date, I realize we’ve almost come full circle time-wise. You see, this whole marvelous bookmaking adventure started with an email message from my wonderful publisher Tuva on May 18, 2016. Reading the email the thought “this is spam or a joke” went through my mind for a split second (please forgive me, Tuva), but I quickly found out “this was very serious”.
Before I knew it I was on my way designing beautiful and fun projects for the book-to-be, crocheting at the speed of light.
Next up was assembling my fabulous team of testers, writing and adjusting patterns and diagrams as they did their admirable testing jobs. On went the patterns and charts all through the hands (well, eyes actually) of a crochet-savvy tech editor. And after that proof reading first, second, third-and-many-more-to-come proof sheets, translating the book into Dutch, and doing the proof reading of the first, second, third-and-many-more-to-come proof sheets of this Dutch edition as well……
A whole lot of hard work, quite frankly, and then – finally – last week a Skype message from Tuva: all three editions – English, Dutch and Turkish – have gone into print!
It’s a good thing I’m busy organizing some pretty cool festivities to celebrate the launch of the book, otherwise I think I’d be sitting on a chair next to my mailbox all day – crocheting, of course 😉 – waiting for the hard copies to arrive here all the way from Turkey. It can’t be long now……
Festivities? Yes, yes, YES! There will be an amazing blog tour around the globe, starting here on May 20th. I’m so pleased and honored that a top-notch selection of the Dutch and international crochet community will be part of this blog hop. Previews and projects from the book will be shared and……there’ll be many a chance for you to win a copy of the book: I can’t wait to kick things off!

The official book launch party, the “Eindeloos Haken” Haakfeest, will be held at one of my favorite Dutch yarn stores, “Echtstudio” on Saturday May 27th, 2017 (from 14:00 – 16:00) in Alphen a/d Rijn, and I’m enormously excited about that.
Needless to say I’ll be there to sign copies of the book. Of course I’ll also be bringing all the projects that you’ll find in the book, so you can see (and touch) them.
There will be a “yarn tasting”, allowing you to try the beautiful DMC Natura and Woolly yarn that I used for the projects in my book. At the moment I’m working on a lovely, free little pattern that you can crochet during the fun workshops we’ll have set up for you at the party.
Drinks and some tasty bites will definitely not be forgotten…….
No party without lots and lots of fabulous people to celebrate with, so I’m hoping you’ll all be able to partake!
Is May 27th is not a good date for you? No worries! The delightful “Wolplein”-people have invited me over to celebrate the book launch all over again – book signing & projects, yarn tasting, free pattern, little workshops, the works – in their “Inspiratiecentrum” in Zaltbommel on Saturday June 17th, 2017 (10:30 – 13:00). “Wolplein” being my favorite yarn store in the southern part of The Netherlands, I’m equally excited about that, and sure hope to see a big crowd there too!

When and where will the books be available?

Dutch Book:
“Eindeloos Haken” – The Netherlands/Belgium (mid May, 2017) in craft stores and online via this link

English Book:
“Colorful Crochet” – UK/Europe (end of May, 2017), via Amazon.com UK and Bol.com
“Colorful Crochet” – USA and the rest of the world (end of June, 2017) via Amazon.com USA and Bol.com

Turkish Book:
“Renkli Tig Isleri” – Turkey (mid May, 2017), e.g. via this link

To tell you the truth, I can hardly contain myself….. my book is about to set foot in the real world! Surreal and exhilarating….. I’m off to crochet myself calm again!

Love,
Marianne xx

PS: look what arrived in my inbox yesterday afternoon: “Eindeloos Haken” back from the printshop and on its way to The Netherlands! #soridiculouslyhappy

Sunday Shawl

I think I have found a solution to the “Treasury Tuesday”-issue (soon more) – but in the meantime I’ve decided to start a series of proper shout-out posts here on the blog of people whose work I admire.

There are many very talented crochet designers out there, and one of my favorites is the lovely & colorful Alia of “The Little Bee“.
As you can see instantly when visiting Alia’s Etsy shop, we share a love of color: just looking at her projects listed there makes me happy, and smile from ear to ear!
I have crocheted her “Monsoon Stole” two times already, and loved doing so; the one in blue&pink lives with my mother in law, the black stole was my mom’s x-mas present last year.
Alia’s “Sunday Shawl” has been a huge hit with crocheters ever since its release, and that is not hard to understand at all. Apart from being gorgeous, the design allows you to play with color any way you want (and you know how I love to do that).
For inspiration purposes, as well as to simply feast your eyes on a lot of beautifully made “Sunday Shawls” you can check this hashtag on Instagram.
My most cherished season of all – Spring – must have subconsciously influenced me picking the mostly pastel colors I used in mine, and I couldn’t be more contented with the way it turned out. Almost all of the yarn I used is the beautiful Lang Yarns I was lucky enough to receive during a crochet party at “Knotten”.
The body of the shawl is crocheted with “Norma” (color no. 959.0030), and for the border I used “Asia” (color no. 912.0060), “Merino 130 Extrafine” (color no. 957.0027 and 957.0030), as well as Schachenmayr’s “Merino Extrafine 120” (color no. 132).
My first – and most certainly not my last – “Sunday Shawl” is comfy, cosy, and “springy”, and truly a joy to crochet: happy me!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
love,

Marianne xx

Treasury Tuesday

Now that my life is slowly getting back to normal, I thought it would be great fun to restart my weekly “Treasury Tuesdays”. In fact, I have been looking forward to doing this for a long time (my last TT here on the blog dates back to July 5, 2016).
So, picture this: me, all geared up to bring my (and your) beloved “Treasury Tuesday” back to life, only to find out Etsy decided to remove this feature! Gosh, what a let-down……
Apparently they already announced this last year September (totally missed that); as of October 2016 there was no longer the possibility to curate other people’s work through Etsy treasuries.
I feel a bit silly finding this out now, but it goes to show there has not been much else going on at “maRRose Headquarters” other than book related things, haha.
Apart from silly, I also feel a bit sad about not being able to publish my “Treasury Tuesdays” anymore: I truly loved sharing other people’s work, and the way their creativity inspires us all. I’ll have to come up with a different way to do this …….
I thought it would be appropriate to go out with a bang by showing some of my and your favorite “Treasury Tuesday”-collages, from the very first TT (here) to the very last one (here), and all those 91 blogged about in between.
The first photo at the top of this blog post is a screenshot of the 9 most liked treasuries on Instagram.
If you want you can still look them up on the blog (via this link), or go to the TT-overview through the “maRRose – Treasury Tuesday”-board on Pinterest; the latter is not complete, but has the last 67 TT’s.
Be inspired & happy crocheting!
Love,
Marianne xx

A bit of this, and a bit of that ……

Do you sometimes find yourself bursting with ideas, eager to start new things, but at the same time having the feeling you’re not getting a whole lot done? Well….. I guess that’s me at the moment. I’m sure it has to do with the fact that the major part of the work I needed to do on my book is finally ready; everything is in the safe and capable hands of my publisher now.
Exciting times – did you know there will not only be an English version, but a Turkish AND Dutch one as well? They are all three expected to launch at the same time: the big count down has started!

Now that my book-tasks are nearly over, there comes an end to months and months of working almost 24/7 on what turned out to be a wonderful, but huge project: it’s a good thing I love crochet as much as I do……
Oh, and ……I’m so eager to show you what I’ve been working on!

Until then, let me fill you in on my current projects (some of which I cannot show you either, how hilarious is that…..:)
Alia‘s gorgeous “Sunday Shawl” has been on my wish list for a long time, and I’m happy to report I’ve finally crocheted it (I will blog about that soon).
This past week I’ve also been working on two new CraftKitchen-projects (big CraftKitchen Catch Up-blog post on past projects coming up as well).

Besides that, I’m still knitting my Ice Yarns Shawl (progress on that one is slow, very slow), ánd I’ve knitted and mailed two “pussyhats” for Stephen’s/Yarnbomber’s upcoming yarnbomb (still time for you to join!); I can’t wait to see what he’ll be making with them. I just know it’s going to be great – I love all his projects: yarn and art, what’s not to like?A new crochet shawl has been started as well.
The pattern is by a designer – Bernadette Ambergen – whose work I’ve admired for a long time.
When I found out through Atty’s thoughtful and sweet blog post (that you can read here), Bernadette is facing a difficult time in her life, and needs our support, I could not think of a better moment to buy this pattern (via Etsy or Ravelry). The incredibly beautiful and soft “Hannah” by Borgo de Pazzi is a perfect match!

And then I’d like to tell you about “Creative Life” I attended last weekend. A brand new fair on basically anything creative, and my goodness, how I loved it: the old, beautifully restored industrial venue with lovely light streaming in, the styling, the fabulously picked and all so very inspirational participants & lecturers, and even cool food trucks offering tasty food & drinks – it was amazing, and I had a blast, not in the least because my delightful companion for the day was my friend Janneke (JipbyJan).
There was such an inspiring, creative, and happy vibe, I cannot help but smile when I think of how much I enjoyed “Creative Life”. I’m already looking forward to next year’s edition (March 23/24/25, 2018).

A poignant “Creative Life” quote: “being creative is not a hobby, it’s a way of life”; I couldn’t agree more, how about you?

Love,
Marianne xx

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

Orchidea Cross Stitch Bag

This project sure was a trip down memory lane, and a lovely one for that matter.
You see, when I was a little girl, I made a couple of these ↑ cross stitch cushions – they’ve adorned my parents’ couches for a long time. I think I was only 9 or 10 years old, and still vividly remember how I loved doing this.

I’ve been meaning to stitch another one of these for a long, long time, but give it a whole different twist this time around: use the cross stitch part to make a bag!
Now that I’ve finished my “Orchidea Bag” I can “cross” this off my creative list 😉
It goes without saying that the cross stitch part is pretty straightforward; no counting is necessary, your only worry is that your stitches all face the same direction.

This is exactly why this a very “mindful” project. Even though I really like any kind of creative challenge, for balancing’s sake it’s equally nice to work on a project that gets you in a carefree-just-do-flow, don’t you agree? Well, this is the one!

The only thing I dreaded, was machine sewing the cross stitch front to the fabric, but this turned out to be surprisingly easy, and was done in minutes.

The “Orchidea Bag” is my latest design for CraftKitchen, and you can find the tutorial on how to make your own here (Dutch), and here (English), or via the DIY/Tutorials-page on the blog.
Enjoy!

Love,
Marianne xx

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