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51  Filet crochet: Finally a success! in Crochet: Completed Projects by Lilibet on: August 09, 2010 02:46:19 AM
Ever since I started crocheting, I wanted to try filet. Using all sorts of cotton that I took from my grandmother's old statsh, I tried my best. I used a white sort of cotton, that I had used for Christmas angels. I always failed... Mum told me to crochet IN the chains, and that was a major mistake.
So, after one of my trainee-teacher jobs, I bought two crochet books. One with flowers, the other one filled with filet patterns. Again, no success, with whatever yarn.
Until I found the perfect cotton in Germany. White, firm and just perfect for filet. Back home, I realised that it was that exact kind of cotton I had been looking for, to make this wonderful blanket of which I found the pattern in a German/Dutch magazine. Schachenmayer, Catania. I went back later, to gather all my supplies, but they didn't have the exact kind of green I needed (550 g, which is a LOT). Either way, mum and I agreed that it was perfect for filet, so I bought more white, and some flashy colours. This heart pattern was the very first thing I made. Not yet blocked, but I was still on holiday after all  Tongue. Later I crocheted the name of the farmer's wife too, in bright blue, but that picture is not yet uploaded.
I know it's nothing special, but I'm pretty proud and want to tackle more complicated filet patterns now!

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52  Celtic knots & Irish dance dresses *lots of Qs!* in Needlework: Discussion and Questions by Lilibet on: June 27, 2010 10:33:47 AM
Right, prepare for a long thread, filled with a lot of questions.

Two years ago, my sister left her current Irish dance troop, because they were horrible. Nothing was official and the main purpose of the troop's leader was to get as much money as possible. After looking to all our options, we (our family) decided to start our 'own' troop. We are a smaller troop under an official school here in Belgium, called Taradance. Many of our dancers are training for their grades too.
After almost two years of dancing together and trying to get ourselves organised, things are starting to look up. We did a pancake afternoon and earned a lot of money from that, plus, we have another jig in August. Things are going great, so great even, that we are thinking about proper dresses. We have plain black dresses, and we just spiced them up with some colour for jigs. But we want something that is truly ours...

So... Recently, exams over and waiting for the summer holiday to start, my sister took up some sewing, and she has made some great drafts for dresses. With an old sheet she was even able to make a decent example. The idea is simple... It would be a bodice, very corset-like, that can be laced in the back, just to make it tighter. Plus a skirt underneath. One of my father's colleague's is a seamstress, but nevertheless, I want to ask your opinion too... So, unto question 1, what would be the best fabric? The idea of the bodice and the skirt seperately is for the washing up. Washing just the bodice would be easier... *my mum's job :p* The fabric of the bodice has to match the sleeves... Now, the sleeves are a bit special. My sister wants something see-through, nice flowing. Not attached to the shoulders, but to the armpits of the bodice... *does that make sense? I'll look for pictures later!*
So, the fabric has to match the special sleeves, it has to be washable and it has to be pleasant for the skin. After all, we dance in it for quite some time...

Next part... We would make something vest-like for our boys. Very simple. To spice it up, and to make it match out outfits (despite the obvious colour-latch of course) my sister wants some celtic inspired embroidery. On both the dresses and the clothes of the boys. I can see why, and it would be really pretty. But expensive too, no? To be honest, I haven't got a clue... The kind of embroidery we would need (that I personally love) and that would present the best is the satin stitch embroidery. I have never stitched anything like that, but just by the look of it, I'm guessing this is extremely time consuming. I mean, our troop is still growing, and there are up to 15 dancers just now. This all leads to an awful lot of questions... Here I go...
1) How can I best practice this satin stitch? Are there small packages out there, or do I just buy yarn and fabric (what kind of fabric?)? This would be just for me, maybe for smaller embroidery, if ever needed! For example, on our black dresses, but that's some kind of stretch fabric.
2) I know this kind of embroidery can be done with a machine. Does it have to be a special sewing machine? Or can you just use a regular one too?
3) I can imagine we cannot do this ourselves. How expensive will professional embroidery be? Anyobody out there who does it? Or maybe you have done it already?

I think I have forgotten half of the questions I wanted to ask, but I'll be back soon. I'll try to make a picture of the bodice that my sister has already produced. Ow, I do have a picture of other crafty work with did before.

I'm on the right :p. We made the sashes and the hairbands. This isn't the colour scheme we want to stick with...

Other brilliant idea. Blue stockings (over the flesh coloured ones, ieuw) and a blue shrug!

Peeps, I would to hear c&c, we need it so much!!
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53  Love my nan, but... in Crochet: Discussion and Questions by Lilibet on: June 15, 2010 02:21:32 PM
My gandmother used to have a craft supply store. She had literally everything. When I was smaller, I always played there, though it was slightly not done. I mean, customers could see us, and they would walk in on us. Either way, we loved it, and no one could stop us. She had to close a couple of years ago, right before I got really into all the craft stuff. So when my love for embroidery was well on its way, she had already sold her huge collected of DMC yarn. Utterly frustrating. Lots and lots of yarn still remains, and is now badly stored in the old building where there used to be laundry works. Uhu, if I dig deep, I can still see the machinery there, here the noises and smell the soap. The building remains to this day, but it is quite open. As you can imagine, some yarn has gotten quite moldy (is that correct?) over the years. It just smells like the building... Some yarn cannot be used anymore, because it breaks. Other yarn has decoloured badly.

Good, what an introduction... Almost there. So when I started to crochet again, I had a decent supply of yarn. Though my father has got 5 brothers and a sister, no one is really interested in all that yarn, or the needles (hell yeah, got a full set needles, for free :p) or the books. Nan wants me to use it, and supplies me with whatever she (re-)finds. I especially love the pure cotton yarn I dug up. Btw, did you know that yellow is an awful colour for whatever kind of yarn. Almost all yellow yarns that I have picked up, will break during the actual crafting.

Friday, I had to help nan with some sewing. She is an amazing seamstress, but her eyesight is pretty bad. She still does it, don't get me wrong (and she works miracles), she just sews whilst using her memory. She needs someone to pull the thread through the needle on the machine. Whilst talking, I started looking around, and oh yes, I found another treasure. Eight perfect skeins of blue wool/nylon, a bit soft and perfectly preserved (wrapped in plastic). I just couldn't resist. My fingers are aching to start something with it, but my mind is blank... Can't think of anything... It is quite thin. Meant for a 3mm needle. Don't know what that is in American size needles  Embarrassed.
Unbelievable, when typing this, I just wanted to check if this kind of yarn still existed. Yes it does, and I present you an up-to-date picture. Makes it so much easier :p.

Right... Now... What would you do? I'm not a very talented crocheter. Have no yet managed to crochet a ball by evenly multiplying your stitches every round. Other than that, I did manage to crochet one of the craftalong squares and I'm currently working on a second one. I'm in for a challenge too, if you want to be my guide Wink

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54  Re: Big Project stitch-along 2010 in Needlework: Stitchalongs by Lilibet on: March 16, 2010 07:27:10 AM
Technically, I started this huge project in 2009, but I will only be able to finish it this year. Hopefully... I decided to embroider a table cloth for my mum for Christmas. I fell in love with a pattern from a German/Dutch magazine. It took me ages to find a decent cloth, and even now I'm embroidering on a colour that is slightly off from the needed fabric. The threads were no problem, but the gold and silver threads were damn expensive for a poor student like me.
Anyway... I have a very blurry pic from the magazine, because I wasn't able to scan it. I was afraid mum would find out.

I soon found out, once I got started, that the cloth was huuuuuge. And it turned out to be nearly impossible to work with my one embroidery hoop. Man, I hurt my back big time from bending over the work.

This was the chart I worked with. Copied it four times, for every quarter. Bit tricky, now that I have finally finished one quarter. The back isn't showable, I must admit...

This was one of the last pictures I made before Christmas. I gave mum the cloth already, promising I would finish it, begging dad to go digging in the attic for his tapestry window. You must know, my grandmother had a craft supply store for years. My grandfather loved to do tapestry, and he made several chairs. He had a huge window for it, and even taught his sons. My dad had that window, stored somewhere, with a work of his own still attached to it. I was able to find it, and dad allowed me to use it. A bit emotional, to be honest...

So, here it is, in all its glory. With my little visitor, and one of the cats :p. I will make a more close-up picture as soon as a I can, because I have now started the second quarter! Not yet including the hearts of the flowers. I dread working with those special threads...

Wish me luck, I need it!
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55  Re: Little Visitor 11 Winter Galleries !!! in The Swap Gallery by Lilibet on: February 24, 2010 01:32:13 AM
Mmm, farmer's markets are so typical for somewhere over the ocean :p. I can honestly say there is not a farmer's market anywhere in sight here. I live in a rural area, but so no rural as in other countries. Belgium is filled with houses and flats. Plus, I'm a bit paranoid with sending food. What if they open it? Extra costs for my partner... I'm trying lots of chocolate now...

Just for fun, I have looked up some symbols that are associated with Belgium... Oh boy...

*nods* Yep, one of our symbols indeed. Manneke Pis.

What flag to buy? I am more Flemish that Belgian...


You can find very few Belgian flags on my side of the country, but everything with a Flemish flag on it is considered to be extremist. Which it is not, but oh well...

I will try to send on Friday, but will add a more Belgian like souvenir, apart from chocolate... It will be hard, let me tell you!
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56  Re: Little Visitor 11 Winter Galleries !!! in The Swap Gallery by Lilibet on: February 15, 2010 06:34:33 AM
I have received from Heffer! As I already guessed, my package from England when I was in England myself. Hehe... I was in London with a bunch of teenagers. The duties of a trainee-teacher.
Heffer sent me a sweet package, along with my dear Elly and some gifts. I love it! First swap, and I am soooo hooked! Here are the pics!

A big box, alllll mine!

*scraaaaatch* On the left, the picture book. Alas, during transport the flower fell off. Nothing that cannot be repared, so it's not that bad. On the right, shoesss! Oh no, gifts :p.

A letter, and a sneak peek into the goodie box. Poor little man Heffer! I have psoriasis myself, so I know how horrible skin problems are...

A first gift. Woohoo! I spent days to find nice Christmas crackers for my family. They are so British and since we first had them in 2008, I wanted some again. Elly brought some with her! Soooo cute. Now I'll have to restrain myself and wait till Christmas this year.

Elly brought a friend along!I like cows too, so Heffer did a great job there. What do you think? He looks like a Timmy to me... Elly is sitting right next to the box.

Postcards from Heffer's home town and area. Now the Cotswolds is used in an introducation in one of my old English books. It's great to see it 'for real' too. Would love to spend my holidays there!

Woot! A second friend! This one is such a cutie! Alfie Junior :p. I'm not sure yet, but I love him/her so! Handmade?

I'm not much of a chef myself, but my mum really loved this booklet. I think we have similar thoughts milady, because you can expect the same Wink

I swear, you can read minds... I really really really need a haircut. And I love English magazines, so yes! English magazines are so expensive here in Belgium too. Now, to choose...

And last but not least... Chocolate!!! Yum! I still haven't touched any of it, but it won't be long. Now, this has reassured me to send some extra chocolate. Customs does not keep it Wink

And to end this photo shoot, a group shot!

Thank you so much Heffer! You've been a great swapper, and I hope I can please you with my gifts. Give some extra time and I'll be there!
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57  Can I avoid this? [yarn twisting as you work] in Crochet: Discussion and Questions by Lilibet on: February 08, 2010 05:15:55 AM
I've been fascinated by filet crochet ever since I started crocheting. My mum loved it, and my cousin made a birth cloth for my brother, in filet. I'm slowly getting used to the process, but the yarn just doesn't want to co-operate. In the beginning, everything works out fine. But the more yarn I pull from my ball, the curlier it gets. Until it is all twisted, and I have to unwind (funny faces on the train and all that). Even with the unwinding, it makes my work sometimes ugly, because it's twisted. I'm crocheting something for a swap (can't tell you exactly what) and it keeps happening. It annoyes the hell out of me, to the point where I refuse to continue. I made a picture, to make it clear. I just hope someone knows a little crochet trick...

--> You can see the yarn and the twisted part. This is only the beginning. If I do not unwind at that point, it gets messy.

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58  Re: Show me your Christmas tree! in Winter Holidays by Lilibet on: January 10, 2010 04:02:13 AM
Clearly afwully late, but it took ages to get my brother to upload the pics I had taken during decorating our tree. I think we're one of few that still have a real tree. But we always make sure that we have a tree with the roots still attached, so we put them back in our garden. Some trees have florished there, for sure.
On top of that, we collect nativity scenes, so I'll add some extra pictures of our Christmas house (while it is snowing in Belgium, again). For two years now, I have been trying to add some selfmade red Christmas stras in the tree, that I have crocheted over time. I've lost my ten stars so far, plus the pattern. *head bang*

The general colour scheme is red and green. When we grew up, mum (kindergarten teacher) decided to make our tree more childfriendly. All the decorations are made out of wood. We have some Playmobil Christmas decoration too.

Four boxes, filled to the very top, with just Christmas stuff, mainly nativity scenes (+75 this year)

And even more *blush*

First window. Scenes from Germany, Ecuador, Israel (olive wood) and Paraguya (Might be some other country)

CD rack... Scenes from Germany, a very kitsh (sp?) from Belgium, Bolivia and Sicily. Oh, and the one with the pink-mile stable is from France, and it was my parents' first scene.

Window two. That wooden tower nativity scene is typically from Germany. You put candles underneath the wings and when you burn them, it slowly (or should) turn around. The scene with the blue background is the Playmobil scene :p.

Cupboard... Scenes from Germany, Congo, Nigeria (we think), Sri Lanka and even Vietnam.

Last cupboard... Still unfinished, as you might see. Scenes from Spain, Venice, France, Mexico and Egypt.

Because this is a craft forum after all... My own made scene! Technically, my dad's :p. I was about four when we made it, hence the blue sheperds and green sheep.
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59  Re: 2009 12" Squares- December! in Crochetalongs by Lilibet on: December 20, 2009 01:01:35 PM
I'm so far behind, but I wanted to show my square before 2009 ends. It's the Esther's Square and I loved the pattern so much. Once I got the hang of it, it was super easy too. It's still tricky to translate my patterns, but now I know I can. I still haven't crocheted the last round, because I'm pretty sure I'll never reacht the right amount of inches... So, dubio there...

Anyway, here you go!

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60  Re: Little Visitor 11 Winter Galleries !!! in The Swap Gallery by Lilibet on: October 21, 2009 10:47:20 AM
Finally! After battling Swine flu, a brother who didn't want to upload the pictures and a Photobucket bulk uploader that refuses to get startes, Alfie pictures! These are just a few!

--> The very first day in Belgium! Alfie is warming up on our stove, right in front of (my mum's favourite) the oven. He totally loved the heat from the stones.

--> Alfie eats pancakes. This is the little man on our dinner table, right in front of a huuuuge pile of Belgian pancakes. I specifically say 'Belgian' because the recipe is different. And better *runs*. These were pancakes for 10 adults and 2 kids.

--> It was Halloween, of course, and these pumpkins came together with Alfie from Germany. They are a bit scary, but Alfie had so much fun with them!

 This is Tina, our eldest cat. She and Alfie had a moment, but because of her age (12 years old), she got grumpy and left Alfie alone on the floor after taking this picture.

 And this Tsjoep, cat number two, three years old. Tinas daughter, and a total doll. She really is my cat and she had a great time with Alfie. Too bad I couldnt film it, because she started bathing him, as if he was her own kitten. So adorable!

 And the last cat, Cesar, Tsjoeps son. He is one Uhm yes, one, and he is huge! Alfie was a bit scared, as was Cesar, but they had a great moment. Cesar isnt the cat for playing around, but he seemed to like Alfie.

 First day (actually evening) in Germany! We went out for dinner in a typical (mjummie!) German restaurant. I was still ill, so sis helped me, hence the arm. Alfie really liked the saying!

 A bit of a teaser. This is Dinkelsbhl, a beautiful village in Germany. One of my favourites, I must say, next to Rothenburg. I will soon show off some pictures of the houses, but this is just a general overview.

 Alfie in contemplation. This picture was taken in a church in Dinkelsbhl. Im not a Christian, nor is Alfie, but I have a soft spot for churches. Alfie and I sat there in silence for a while, and we felt great.

 Yep, a wooden statue, carved out of one single piece of wood. Alfie was seriously impressed and wanted to show this piece of art off. And see, two handsome boys in one picture.

 Ever wondered where the rainbow begins? Right in front of our eyes, on a rainy day Almost floating on the lake, a rainbow appeared. This pictures was taking from the balcony of our little house. Alfie and I were impressed and we still dont have words for this little miracle.
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