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Friday, 6 May 2016

My Lollipop Cushion: Tadah!

The weather here in Northern Germany is brilliant! We have lots of sun, a little wind and nice temperatures. I even got a little sun burn on my forearms while I was happily crocheting on the terrace yesterday. But I wanted to finish my Lollipop Cushion by all means and it was late in the evening when I sewed on the last button. But now it is done!

And I LOVE it!
 
 I already showed you the beginning of this little project that I started quite impulsively when I looked at all my little yarn scraps that were lying in a yarny bowl.
I really loved playing with all the colours I had left, always wondering if the remaining rest of a colour would be sufficient for a solid granny square. 
Very quickly I knew how the front of my cushion should look like and in no time at all I had all the solid grannies I needed. If you look for a good pattern to make them, just have a look at the lovely blog of Heather from little tin bird.  Her explanations are very good.

After joining all these colourful grannies, I immediately knew that this cushion would need some extraordinary edging. I thought about so many different patterns but no one really caught my eye. Then I remembered this pompom edging and after a good search on pinterest (I am a Pinterestian, I really am), I found a good explanation of this stitch on the wonderful blog of Robin from once upon a pink moon. The only thing that I change was the number of chains. I wanted the pompoms to stand a little upright, so I just crocheted two chains instead of three.

But then the question of how to do the back occurred again. I had this problem already when I made my first cushion here.

And I really hate that question. Most crocheters write that they just take some fabric they have in their stash and they sew a back with a zipper in a breath. 

I am not able to do this! It takes me ages to sew a cushion and when I think about a zipper I sweat blood. So again, I decided to crochet the back. I had enough yarn for more solid granny squares, but I made them differently. Just one more row and I changed colours after the first row.
This is how it turned out in the end and it is such a little colourful piece of joy that I immediately knew how I would call it:

 My Lollipop Cushion!

This cushion matches perfectly my handmade blankets. It looks like it just has to sit in front of the Villa Villekulla blanket, doesn't it?
This is the front:
 And this is the back:

 Which side do you like more? I just can't decide, I like both sides!

 The only thing that jarred on my nerves was the sewing.  It was a nightmare to sew the back to the front. I had an equal number of stitches on both sides of the cushion but when I had finished almost half of the sewing of one side I always recognised that one side was longer than the other. I don't no how many times I had to undo the stitches, in the end I didn't count anymore I just tried to get the squares even. But finally it worked out.
My Dutch readers will probably recognise the buttons I have used, I bought them at HEMA, a Dutch chain of stores that sell wonderful bits and pieces. I just love these colourful buttons and they are perfect for my Lollipop Cushion! 

And here is one last photo I want to show you. In April I had won a give-away hosted by the lovely Franca from righedafavola.
 This cute little bag is really sweet and I love the cheerful pink. Thanks a lot, dear Franca, best wishes to Italy!

Have a nice and sunny weekend,
Viola

Monday, 25 April 2016

My Villa Villekulla Blanket: Tadah!

It's me again...

Are you as astonished as I am? Yes, this is my second blogpost in one day. But I forgot to write about the blanket I made during the winter and which I took with me to Denmark to take some nice pictures at the beach. 
After I had finished my "Tiny Granny Blanket(you can find pictures of it here) I had so much leftover yarn that I decided to do another blanket. I was not feeling well that time, around autumn last year, and I was looking for a simple pattern that I could just 'hook away'. 
 
I chose the granny stripe pattern, just simple granny clusters in all the Stylecraft Special DK colours I had in my stash. 
And here it is hanging over the railing of our holiday house in Denmark: 
 My wonderful blanket that gave me so much joy when I made it!

  Every time I started hooking these rows I forgot about my worries and my poor health. Hooking is a kind of meditation when the pattern is easy, isn't it? Working on this blanket was really therapeutic. I didn't really care for the colour sequence, I just wanted to use up all that was left from my other blanket. So it was very easy to work on this blanket, no pondering about neither the pattern nor the colours.

I am in love with this colourful blanket, and it is doing very well on the beach, as well.




  The border is a simple one, as well. One round of granny clusters in Sherbert, 2 rounds of double crochets (US dc) in Aster and Meadow, 2 rounds of single crochets (US sc) in Lipstick and Cloud Blue and the crab stitch (also Cloud Blue) as the finishing round

It is a big blanket, as all my blankets are that I have made so far. We are all tall in our family and it is important for all of us to have warm feet when snuggling under a cosy blanket.  It is 2,02 x 1,35 m and I used the following 18 colours: 

Pomegranate, Plum, Fondant, Lavender, Spring Green, Aster, Turquoise, Lipstick, Shrimp, Saffron, Meadow, Green, Magenta, Sherbert, Cloud Blue, Claret, Wisteria and Clematis. 

This blanket is frequently used by all of us but my son likes it best. He always tries to get this blanket when he is snuggling on the sofa. It makes me very happy seeing the kids using what I have made. 
 There are already three handmade blankets in our household. I still can't believe that I have the patience and the perseverance to finish a blanket. And there are even more ideas for blanket in my head. I think that the blanket fever got me. However this is an illness I like to have!

Take care,
Viola

  
 

Holidays in Denmark

Today has been a typical April weather. There is a country lore that says:
'April, April, er macht, was er will' 
(April is doing what he likes)

 And this morning it looked like this:
It was snowing heavily and everything got white in a few minutes. My poor little plants, lettuce, spinach and parsley were covered with snow. But it didn't last, half an hour later the soil was fuming and the sun came out again.


But I wanted to write about our family holidays in Denmark. We rented a house in Veijers that was situated only 100 m away from the beach (the North Sea again).
This was our house, a cosy place to be. There are a lot of holiday houses in this area, all are situated in the dunes.
 It is great to walk through the dunes passing little houses on the one side and overlooking the ocean on the other side. Pepples loves to walk these little paths!
 And the beach is great, just so great.

One day we went to Billund, LEGOLAND! We have been there already several times when the kids were smaller, I even had been there when I was a kid, almost 35 years ago! Going there evokes so many lovely memories for us that we couldn't resist going there again. 

The children of course loved the different rides and events, we spent several hours taking a ride with the Viking River Splash or the X-treme Racer. But afterwards we took a look at the the heart of the Legoland, the Miniland. There you can see famous buildings and places from all over the world built out of more than 20 million LEGO bricks.


 Unfortunately I got a bad cold the other day so I had to stay indoors. But it didn't really matter too much, I was able to read and crochet and my family went swimming and enjoyed themselves. 

I got better soon and we were able to go to the beach again. It was such a pleasure for us being there. One sunny day when we were strolling at the beach, the boys playing football, my girl and I collecting beautiful stones and shells, there was fog approaching the beach very fast. 
 
 
 The sky looked amazing and it changed almost every minute.
 

I could show you a gazillion number of photos, I was so fascinated by the surroundings that I took many, many pictures.

 I am a true ocean girl, if I could I would move to the coastline and watch the sky and the horizon every day. I would listen to the whisperings of the sea and the sand and the crying of the seagulls for the whole day. 
 And the sunsets, of course, There is no better place in the world to watch a sunset than a beach - in my opinion at least. All your worries and thoughts and anxieties just fade away - together with the sun - while watching a beautiful sunset. I always calm down, my mind gets empty and I can forget about everything.

 It has been my birthday in Denmark, as well. It was such a lovely day. My family even baked a cake called "Donauwelle" with cherries, pudding cream and chocolate, hmm yummie!
And my daughter coloured several of the stones we had found at the beach to write me a "Happy Birthday", isn't this cute?

The weather was not so good that day so we decided to go to Esbjerg, a larger town nearby. And there was a Sostrene Grene shop where you can find wonderful things to decorate your home and - yarn. Especially soft cotton yarn that is not expensive at all and it comes in wonderful colours. And it was my birthday, hey, what do you thing I did? I helped myself with another birthday present ...
Yarn in six yummie ocean colours, I just couldn't help myself, I had to take some of this delicious yarn home. I almost feel the blanket in my hands that I will make of these delicious balls of joy!

  Goodbye for now!

See you soon and take care,
Viola















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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Spring holidays in the Netherlands

 At the beginning of our Easter holidays we went to the Netherlands for one week. We are so lucky that my parents have a holiday house there, just a few hundred metres away from the North Sea. I just love it there! The house is situated in Ouddorp, a small village in the Dutch province Zuid-Holland, approximately 40 km south of Rotterdam.

It was just me and the kids, J couldn't get the week off, he had to work. But the children had asked their best friends to accompany us, so it was me and four kids and our dog Pepples, of course. We had never tried this before and I wondered if everything would be fine. But it was not only fine, no, it was a great week. The children were really excited to show their friends around. The weather was wonderful and we were outside almost all the time. 

 The dune landscape is so pretty. There is a long cycleway on top of the dunes, you can walk or cycle for kilometres always overlooking the Sea.
 We went to the beach to fly the kites. Kitebuggies are always there when the wind is blowing.
 The lighthouse "Westhoofd" in Ouddorp. It is still in operation. 
 I started a new granny shawl for my sister. Her birthday has already been in March but I hope that she won't mind to get it a little later. 
  At home Pepples doesn't like to run after the stick anymore but at the beach she felt young again!
 One day was so warm that the children decided to go swimming! The water temperature was just 9 degrees. Crazy kids!

 Log walks at the beach were fun for all!
 The girls were really fast on their inline skates, Pepples and I had difficulties to follow them. We made beautiful tours! 
The boys explored the vicinity with their longboards but they preferred being on their own. 

And at the end of the day, just once or twice, we went to Paal 10 to have a last drink. These beach restaurants are a great place to be, I love to sit on the terrace drinking a hot tea when it's cold or a glass of wine on a wonderful summer evening.

It has been a wonderful week. I read two books (!), crocheted a lot and most of the time I was the first in bed! We will definitely do this again, the kids had so much fun with their friends and I had lots of space for myself.

This post is long enough I think. I hope that I will be able to write about our holiday week in Denmark  tomorrow. 
See you then,

Viola