Monthly Archives: July 2014

Things 206 & 207

Today is the deadline for the Sporty Summer Sewathon over at Did You Make That. Remember the Thurlow shorts I was working on? I hope not, because I never made them. Maybe after the summer? I just haven’t got the mental energy to face the learning curve. So many pieces, so many ways to get it wrong…

However, I still wanted to join the sewathon. I just needed to find a pattern that was both sporty and non-panic-inducing.

Esther bought two lengths of jersey print at the Haagse Markt the last time we were there. One is covered in photos of cats and the other in wild animals. They’re a super soft cotton with some lycra and a dreamy drape. She has her own plans for most of it but asked if I could also make a shirt from each of the prints.

It’s Renfrew time!

Esther had a particular design in mind: animals front and back with solid coloured sleeves and trim. I had some purple and blue cotton knit in my stash to fit the bill.




The print fabric is a great quality and a pleasure to work with. The cheap knit? Not so much. The purple neckline drooped, so I folded it over to the inside and hand-stitched it down. The blue sleeves got all stretched out and wonky when I tried to top stitch them. I had to cut off the cuff and start again. The knit doesn’t have great recovery either, so the sleeves and waistband on both shirts are a bit saggy.

However, droop and sag notwithstanding, my animal-loving girl is thrilled.

Which is great and all, but how are these sporty, you ask? Oh, I can spin this…


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Jungle badminton



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Snorkelling on the wild side



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Kitty dreams: Pigeon hunting


That’s how.

See? Totally sporty.


Cost of these Things: €3 (Since this is Esther’s fabric I only am counting the cost of the amount I used for these shirts. The rest of the fabric will go back into her stash.)

Cost of all Things to date: €277.74


Thing 205

When I cut out the pieces for Esther’s blouse from the delicious Liberty lawn I was able to eke out a Hollyburn skirt as well.

This is my fourth Hollyburn and I’ve got this pattern down. I don’t bother with the zipper anymore. In fact, I only did the zipper on the very first one I made, the pink Hollyburn for Martina. I like it with the zipper but elastic is easier. The Path of Least Resistance for the win!

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I used two inch elastic and the same method I used for Martina’s blue Hollyburn. It’s the method I learned when I attached the cuffs on Esther’s Minoru jacket. Basically it involves sewing the waistband into a loop, folding it in half and inserting a loop of elastic, and then attaching the whole thing to the skirt. This allows for a clean, neat finish and avoids a chunky back seam.

An invisible hem was the final touch and this skirt is ready to go. Unfortunately, Esther doesn’t have anything to wear it with — all her tops are loud prints or the wrong colour — so I may have to whip up a quick t-shirt this week. I think I have just enough blue jersey left.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €274.74


Thing 204



Exactly. Thank you, Pinterest. You understand me.

But since this strategy is obviously not working, I decided to forgo real cupcakes and make this instead:


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The free pattern is from I crocheted the cupcake with acrylic and a 2.5mm hook and added pink sprinkles and a cotton cherry on top.

It’s a quick make. Despite frequently jumping up and losing my place I was able to crochet most of the cupcake during the Netherlands-Costa Rica game last night. I finished it off today, once my nerves had calmed down. (The games get more and more stressful.)


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This sweet, low-cal cupcake is part of a gift I’m putting together, more to be revealed over the next weeks. Summer vacation is fast approaching and the panic is setting in. So much to make before then!


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €274.74


Thing 203

The last time I was in London I found this sewing book in a little discount bookstore near the hotel. It featured several patterns I wanted to try, so at just five pounds it seemed a worthwhile investment.


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Martina chose some lightweight cotton print from the Haagse Markt for a camisole and shorts set. I got the bolt remainder of 2.7 metres (enough for a couple of projects) for five euros, along with a metre of solid purple cotton for two euros. Then, a couple of weeks ago, my beading friend, Hester, brought along a purple silk shirt for my stash. It had an irreparable tear on the front, but the rest was beautiful, usable silk. It wasn’t enough for the camisole/shorts set but it was exactly right for the contrast fabric on the Sweet Dreams Nightdress.


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It’s an easy project with a few nice details like a keyhole opening at the neck, hidden by a wide grey satin ribbon (also from Hester).


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I love the final product: sweet and light, just right for summer vacation. The silk adds a luxurious touch.


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However, Martina wasn’t too thrilled. She finds it a bit too frou-frou for her taste. We gave it to her friend, Jessica, who loves it — so this Thing is off to a good home. I’ve already started on the camisole/shorts set for Martina.


Cost of this Thing: €11.30 (€6.30 for the book, €5 for the cotton print, with plenty left over)
Cost of all Things to date: €274.74


Thing 202

Happy Independence Day, America! Today’s Thing is for you.


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His name is Genghis. His head and body are acrylic, the beak and feet are cotton, all crocheted with a 2.5mm hook. I attached the feet a bit too far back so he looks extra patriotic in his stance, with his chest puffed out and his shoulders back.


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“May these gates never be closed.”

For non-West Coasters, that is the inscription on the Peace Arch at the main Canada-U.S. border crossing near Vancouver, now represented symbolically by my crochet projects. I must be feeling homesick this week.

And since I live in Holland, let’s go even more multi-cultural…


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Oh, say can you see…


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €263.44


Thing 201

My beading buddy, Cheryl, brought me some more beads last night in her ongoing efforts to clear her stash and prevent me from clearing out mine. I had no other plan in mind so I decided to use them up right away.

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They’re glass beads but they have the honey-warmth of amber. I used silver, green and cream-coloured seed beads as well as random bead cap leftovers to fill out the pattern and give it some depth. I finished the necklace off with a little toggle clasp. I have a baggie of these clasps and I have no idea where they came from but I was glad to find them. My clasp supply was running low. The end result wasn’t a particularly exciting or original necklace but I still like it. It could be a low-key addition to to an everyday, casual outfit.  I’m putting it in the gift/sale pile.

Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €263.44


Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Crocheted Christmas Light Bulbs

I grew up with the old-style Christmas light bulbs and while I love the convenience and price of modern LED strands they don’t have the same warmth and Christmas Vacation feel of the vintage bulbs.

So when I saw this pattern I had to make it. (Photo from Ravelry)


For my own strand of lights I also chose just the vintage colours of the actual lights we had: red, blue, yellow, green and clear/white. Did we also have orange? I can’t remember.

Crocheting with Catania cotton and a 2mm hook I enthusiastically got busy. The coloured bulb part takes about half an hour and before long I had an assortment of yellow, red, white and blue bulbs. Then, after a crocheting hiatus, I started on the green. Either I was using a smaller hook or a tighter stitch, but the green bulb was noticeably smaller and I promptly lost all my Christmas bulb motivation. That was about a year ago.

So this is what I have:


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Probably the size difference doesn’t matter and I should just carry on. In fact, looking at the picture I can’t even see that big a difference. If I make one more green one, and then finish off the black cord and bulb bottoms, I would have a sweet little strand of 10 (or 12 if I also do orange).

Christmas 2014? Maybe. No promises.

Thing 200

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


Today’s milestone Thing is not a particularly big or impressive project but it is dear to me.
I’ve lived away from Canada for fifteen years and while I love my adopted homeland
I remain Canadian, in heart and passport.

So in honour of Canada Day, I crocheted a maple leaf.

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I used cotton, a 2mm hook and this free pattern from

Martina got all photo-creative, pairing the leaf with the Flying Dutchman

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… a World Cup hamster…

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… some sheet music to make our hearts sing…

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… and a sloth of bears, a blue elephant and an owl that resembles an ear of corn…

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Such a versatile leaf, the maple leaf. I think I’ll attach it to a toque this fall.
And in the meantime, I could really go for a box of Timbits…


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €263.44