Crochet baby cardigan

Yes again, another crochet baby cardigan.

…..Because handmade is fairmade

…..Because this pattern calls for endless colourful variations

…..Because babygirls are born all around us ( boys, where are you?) and these cardigans make such a sweet little gift

…And just….well……because…………..

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You can find other variations of this pattern here, and here, and here….

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baby blanket: crochet ripple

Last January my niece was born. And don’t you think  every baby ought to have a soft, warm crochet blanket?

I think I started working on this blanket shortly after my sister told me she was expecting a baby. I crocheted a few rows at a time, thus keeping myself busy until shortly before my little niece was born. Very, very therapeutic business for aunties who can hardly wait to meet their little nieces and nephews……

 

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I made the pattern up as I went along. It wasn’t my first ripple blanket, and I learned the trick by watching tutorials on Youtube, like this one. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can make up your on variations quite easily.

The yarn I used is Scheepjeswol Stone washed: a mixture of cotton and acrylics: very, very soft!

 

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Christmas decorations

It’s that time of the year again; time to bring out the Christmas decorations!

Not the most fashionable ones perhaps, just the ones that make us happy, and that make our home a comfy colourful welcoming place.

 

thrifted christmas angels

Our Christmas decorations are thrifted:

thrifted plate

Fairtrade:

fair trade christmas decorations.jpg

Made by the kids, throughout the years:

kid craft decorations.jpg

And handmade by me:

handmade christmas

 

That Christmas tree is hard to photograph, but you get the idea I  guess: branches collected in the woods, dried, and tied together, hung on the wall and decorated.

 

…and it ain’t Christmas ’till I’ve had time to crochet some stars!

Some more crochet and a pattern

Yesterday I completed the crochet shawl for the #swapwithamessage I wrote about earlier, and sent it along in the mail, I also added some tea and a few little gifts to spoil oneself. I hope it will all find a good destination!

Anyway, I really enjoyed working on this shawl, and was pretty pleased with the pattern I used. I made it up along the way, and I’ll try to share it here with you.

swap with a message

For the shawl, I used 2 skeins of Scheepjeswol softfun batik, and a 4,5 mm crochet hook.

But the pattern is open to variation. Just remember to start with a chain of a multiple of 4 +1, and you can use any yarn you like, and make your shawl as wide and long as you please.

So, here we go:

Start with a chain of a multiple of 4+1, you will need a chain with a length of about 30 cm to make a comfortable shawl.

Row 1:  chain 3, skip 1, and crochet a cluster of  1 double crochet, one single crochet and one double crochet in the next stitch. Skip one, and crochet one double crochet in the next stitch. Repeat until the end of your row.

Row 2: chain 3, skip the first double crochet and in the first cluster, crochet a cluster of  one double crochet, one single crochet and one double crochet. Crochet on the double crochet in the next stitch, working around the back of the double crochet in the previous row, as shown in A.

Row 3: chain 3, skip the first double crochet and in the first cluster, crochet a cluster of  one double crochet, one single crochet and one double crochet. Crochet on the double crochet in the next stitch, working around the front of the double crochet in the previous row, as shown in B.

PS: a clear instruction on how to crochet around the front or the back of a double crochet, to create a rib stitch, can be found in this youtube tutorial.

crochet shawl tutorial

Now, continue repeating row A and row B until your shawl has reached the desired length. Work away any loose threads, and sew the edges together to create a cowl, as I did, or just keep it like this and perhaps add some fringes

Good luck!

Don’t forget to show the result of your shawl when using this pattern! You can tag me on instagram using@marieke_thisgreenadventure, or just leave a message below.

Use what you have crafts #5

Using what you have, not running to the store for again, new yarn, makes creative and leads to surprisingly colourful combinations. It’s a challenge to get started sometimes, to make it work with what I’ve got, I will admit, but the result this time has made me very very happy.

crochet cardigan 2

A crochet bolero, made for my daughter’s 7th birthday. She wore it on her birthday and on many, many of the following days. The pattern was an improvisation on the pattern I used for this baby cardigan, the yarn 100% cotton, the hook 3 mm.

I completely forgot to blog about it once it was finished. I stumbled upon the pictures I took on my camera, and decided to share them anyway. Better late than never so to speak!

Stuff I’ve been up to in October

So, if you thought October couldn’t get any better after ‘3 Oktober‘, you’re wrong.

October so far has been good, very busy but very good. Too busy to blog apparently so here’s a little catching up on what I’ve been up to lately.

One of the biggest events this month was the annual ‘Afstudeerfeest’ organised by The Foundation for Refugee Students UAF.  On this day we celebrate the graduation of all our students who graduated over the past year. As always, a great and inspiring event. I organised the children’s part of the program, and that kept me busy on October 10th and in de days and weeks preceding this celebration! But it was a joy, and particularly so because my friend Marije once again decorated the kids with beautiful paintings on their faces and arms.

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Furthermore, yes October is Vegan challenge month in The Netherlands, and I signed up!  I will be honest with you…the occasionall bite of milk chocolate or a tiny bit of cheese did happen yes. Especially when eating out I find it hard to be strictly vegan, though I try. It’s a process I guess and as this month is progressing I feel better and better about the whole ‘vegan thing’. Definitely something to continue after October! The daily mails and facebook posts and the  extensive recipes on the Vegan challenge website bring on a lot of motivation and inspiration by the way.

I’ve been focussing on including more and more vegetables in my meals, and have been eating lots of soup this month.

I was also very happy to find kale leafs at our local organic supermarket. You know, the Dutch must be the number 1 kale eaters in the world. We’ve been eating kale since long before it became fashionable, and we all grew up with ‘stampot boerenkool’; which basically consists of a mixture of chopped up kale and mashed potatoes. (which is also just about the only recipe for kale in the entire Dutch cuisine!).  So, the only kale you can buy is chopped up and put in a plastic bag. Convenience.is.everything.

Anyway, I stopped counting how many times I ate kale this month, but it was a lot. Imagine the things one can do with those green leaves: kale smoothies, kale pizzas, kalechips, macaroni’n kale…… shall I go on?

vegetables

Meanwhile the kids are enjoying their fall break, and I will also be taking  a few days of. We’ve already had a sleep over at the grandparents, a visit to Naturalis Biodiversity centre, and an autumwalk looking for chestnuts in the golden sunshine. And there’s more to come. Hurray for holidays!

fall

And finally I am trying to get my crochet-groove back. Crochet is always such a good way of escaping the busy day to day events, but it’s also something that ends up as the last thing on my list all too soon. But now I’ve started on a new crochet scarve for a good cause:

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Following a call from @vintageretrokitch on Instagram, I decided to participate in her #swapwithamessage. An initiative to send parcels to the mothers staying in a large refugeecamp in Nijmegen; women who have to look after their children in overcrowded places with little privacy, thousands of kilometers away from what’s left of their homes, and facing an uncertain future. There’s no ‘me time’ for these women, and I fully support the initiative to send them caring welcoming packages!

Now, let’s see what the last week of October will bring!