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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Baby sandals on: September 14, 2016 12:08:19 AM
Last year, a dear friend and ex-teacher of mine, fathered a second daughter. I really wanted to make something for her, but it had to be small since it had to be mailed. My sister gave me this book: Super cute crochet for Litte Feet', by Vita Apala and I was hoping for an occassion to crochet some baby shoes. They baby was due in August, so the choice was easy and I went with a pair of sandals.

They looked cute and I still kind of like them, but they had so many flaws that I was sort of ashamed to send them out. They look fine, I admit that, but I had to frog them so often that I lost track. I really really struggled with the back of the sandals. I couldn't get help, because I made them while we were travelling in Ireland (best holiday EVER!), so maybe now is my time... The back is made in 'simple' dcs (UK pattern). Gradually, as you can see, you start dcing together to make it a smaller. While I followed the instructions to the letter (I do believe...), the sandals managed to get smaller and smaller until I had no dcs left with to crochet in. This is not a new problem for me. I tried a simple kitten pattern before (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kitten-8) in which I had to do the exact same thing, and I simply can't. My stitches seem to melt before my eyes.

If someone knows a decent tutorial, or you just know what I'm doing wrong, I would be so grateful!!
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Strandkorb advice on: September 13, 2016 02:06:25 AM
Years ago, for my mother's birthday, my father decided he wanted to give her a typical German Strandkorb.

This is me, left side, and a dear friend, in said Strandkorb. It might look familiar from old pictures and all that, but in Germany, they are still very popular, not just on beaches. Technically, they are quite expensive as well. It is not unusual to pay over 1000 for them. You find cheaper ones, just like ours, in a DIY, or flat pack. Let me tell you, the assembly wasn't easy Tongue. The cushions all came pre-upholstered (sp?) so that was easy. Plus, what makes it really handy, every cushion has its own zipper, so if you need to do some washing, that should be possible.

We have never tried this, as we are very clean people *ahum* and we take all the cushions outside the Strandkorb before winter and store them inside. We really love it, and despite its cheap look and flaws, it works. The Strandkorb is now well over 4 years old and we are currently encountering a problem for which I need some advice. The biggest cushion, that we sit on, it getting thin. It's up to the point where you cannot sit on the same spot for too long, before sort of sinking in the foam and ending up on the wooden bench underneath.

Everything else is still in great shape, it's just that one bum cushion Wink. Now, I'd love to refill the cushion, maybe with some beter quality foam (or something else, let me know!) to make it work again. As I've said, there is a zipper at the back (no picture there, sorry), but I've never taken the foam out. So I take it I must opt for soft foam still, to get it back into the fabric?
This is new ground for me, and I wanted your advice first before heading out to whatever DIY store with the cushion under me arm.
What do you guys think would be the best material to use? Is it even doable at all?
3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / My blankie for Lasse on: August 10, 2016 02:45:38 AM
The end of 2015 was a cruel year for my family. In May 2015, with two weeks apart, two of my cousins shared the happy news with the rest of the family that they were pregnant. For one of my cousins, it was a long awaited dream, as she had already lost a baby due to an ectopic pregnancy (that nearly killed her as well). Because her due date came first and I had a closer bond with that family, I decided to get my needles out and make one other gigantic *ahum* baby blanket.

You must know that I had not made another blankie since this one: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=426010.msg5072947#msg5072947

All was going well, we had two beautiful pregnant ladies in the family and my grandmother, who was going to be a greatgrandmother for the first time, was so proud.
And that's when the drama happened. My cousin's mum (my auntie) had a heart attack after a long night at school (we are all teachers). She was at home when it happened, and her daughter (a midwife and nurse) performed CPR. She was taken to hospital, after the ambulance people had to perform CPR for half an hour. We were all hoping and praying that after the initial shock she would wake up. Her heart was okay, they said. But one week became two weeks, and so on. We (our little family) went on holidat for a week, hoping we would soon hear some good news. It never came. My cousin gave birth to a little baby boy, Lasse, three weeks after her mother's heart attack. How life and death can be so close together...

It was a shock for our entire family, as my aunt was so lively, so vocal, so present. It is one thing to wait for this person to come round after such a severe attack, it is another to see that person, still alive, but unresponsive. Because that is the situation right now. I do not know the correct English terms for her condition, but she is still with us, in a care house, broken beyond repair. She feels pain and sometimes 'speaks' but she cannot communicate. We do not know if she's locked-in, or if she's just 'gone'.

All this time, I kept crocheting. And actually, this is the first time I have talked about it, apart from my direct family. The pain is still too real...  I'm sorry it became such a long post, once again, for just that blankie. Shall I turn back to that?

I used this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/childs-pinwheel-squares-afghan
It took me a while to find the pattern that I really liked. I had one in my books, but when I wanted to get started, the pattern in the book was incorrect. My cousin was already quite a while pregnant while I got to work. It is a super pleasant pattern, easy, quick and I really liked the joining method. With the other blankie, the joining of all those separate pieces made me go insane, this time I joined the squares in the last round. I loved seeing my progress like that and it motivated me. As always, my sister chose the colours and I just love them.

And now, some pictures!

Thank you, Craftster, for letting me rant...
4  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Better search words? on: May 18, 2016 01:31:46 PM
Hi everyone, it's been ages! I was hoping if some of you could help me out.

I just (literally just) finished a baby blanket for my cousin and I'm sort of done with making big things for other people. I love crochet and all that, but so far, it's always been for someone else and not just for me. So, I want to make something for myself. But, and here we go, I want it to be easy.
Easy meaning, preferably one piece (I have done way too many baby blankies with squares), maybe rectangle and I'd love it if the pattern is already made in one colour.

I've been browsing Ravelry for a couple of months now, and while I did find some interesting throws and bed spreads (I tend to gravitate towards the Irish ones, because they are often shown in just plain white), nothing ticks all my boxes. Mostly, the one piece rule tends to be a problem. And that's just the one rule I don't want to break.

Now, there is no need to start searching for me (if you really really want to, feel free Wink), I was just hoping if you could help me out with certain terms I could use on Ravelry and maybe even Google? I am willing to spend a little bit of money on it as well, even if its a magazine with the 'ideal' pattern.

Thanks a lot!
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Any lapman users? Or thoughts? on: September 25, 2014 04:22:37 AM

I have been looking at this particular way of embroidering for over a year now, and while I love it to pieces and would love to try it, I'm still to buy it. It a fair amount of money for something that I'd want to use for intense use. What if it turns out to be completely useless to me...

Are there any lapman user on Craftster? I would love to hear your thoughts! Or are you familiar with this and do you have something to share? Please do, enlighten me!

Am I correct (so far I've only done my stitching using a wooden hoop and while that's still okay, it can be a strain on the wrist sometimes) that I can only do embroidery of a certain size on that device? Or are there ways to work around that?

Can't wait to hear what y'all have to say!
6  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Phone numbers on: December 29, 2013 10:32:16 AM
Two weeks ago, I sent a package to the USA and discovered something new on the address form that I have to fill in. I HAD to include the phone numbers of both myself (sender) and the receiver. It was printed in red, and therefore difficult to miss. I did not have the phone number and the lady working in our local post office said that the rule was new, but she chose not to fill in either numbers, and the packages still arrived.

I gave my phone number kind of reluctantly (I always try to follow the rules, but this one kind of scared me), but was unable to give the USA number. I did not like it at all, and it sort of frightens me. If they really make this a general rule, and refuse packages without both phone numbers, swapping will become extra difficult. Giving out my address is one thing, but a phone number?

Is this really new for Belgium, or is our little counrtry following general rules? And how would you feel about this?
7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Haley's blankie on: December 29, 2013 10:04:18 AM
On another forum, one of the girls had a second girl. For the first, we did not know the sex of the baby, so I had to make do. I made a greenish blankie, with a huge mistake *ahum*. Only to discover, once the baby was born, that both mum and daughter (later on) adored pink. Green, not such a good idea...
So, with number two, I wanted to do a better job. Luckily, she was so kind this time to provide the sex of the baby. Earlier on, when they were still trying to get pregnant, she already hinted at hot pink for a girl, and turquoise for a boy. I remembered, found yarn that I liked, and this is the result. I was able to give the blankie yesterday, and mum seemed happy.

For one reason, I was unable to capture the colour well, it is much more vibrant in person. I could not keep trying at the time, because I made this pictures only one month after breaking my elbow.

On to the next project, because two more members are trying to get pregnant, and I still have to finish a toy.

EDIT: forgat to add the pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/doily-baby-blanket / http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/doily-baby-blanket
8  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Making a snood on: October 18, 2013 12:59:06 PM
I have just finished a baby blanket and I'm finishing up a stacking toy.

No more friends pregnant (yes, one, but she doesn't want anything crocheted), so it's about time I make something for myself. I have been drooling on snoods for a while now, and I found this great pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snood-tastic
I cannot wait to start making one for myself.

But, I cannot help but wondering... Will the yarn make a difference? I mean, I normally take cotton for children's toys and blankets, or yarn that its washable at a slightly higher temperature. When talkings about snoods, I think about static electricty. It's something that I'd like to avoid in something that I'll put on my head. Or is it just unavoidable?

I have some yarn that I bought last year (clearance, yay!) and I think it's a synthetic cotton mix. I just don't want firebolts in my hair  Tongue.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Inspiration and advice please? on: August 17, 2013 02:11:06 AM
I've been away for too long, but for those who forgot who I am, I'm Irish dancer from Belgium. We have our own dance troupe, and it's going great. Tonight we have a big gig, on live music. Exciting!

Since founding Taradance (www.taradance.be and https://www.facebook.com/taradancebelgium?bookmark_t=page) we've been trying to find ways to gain more funds. Recently, we made 'promo boxes'.  These boxes are meant to go to every performance, and afterwards we sell some Taradance stuff. Currently, we sell t-shirts, tops and DVDs that we recorderd during our Aithne show. All good stuff, and people seem to like it, but we have to use a company to get our t-shirts made, so we make little profit.

I noticed that many folk bands also sell jewelry after their performances. Celtic inspired jewelery, very simple, using knotwork and the obvious celtic symbols (harp, triskel,...). I made the remark that I would be interesting if Taradance could do the same, and bang, they made me the jewelry designer in charge.

Now, before I can start, I have to make some designs on paper, using links to the beads I want to use and stuff like that. This is proving tricky. I found a bunch of tibetan silver harps, but they seem to have been sold. Only normal, but it irritates my sister, because she wants to see result. Yeah well...

So, I turn to Craftster, to find some inspiration and maybe guidance.
I'm still looking for websites that sell celtic inspired charms.
I'm still looking for slightly cheaper Irish dance related charms. I cannot pay over $20 for one charm...
I'm a bit lost as to what I need. I already have some of the necessary tools (pliers and stuff like that), but I'm sure there is more. I'm a bit lost when I use Google, there is just so much info...

These are some things I have been thinking about. I also appreciate your opinion as to whether this could be sold or not...

To turn into either rings (maybe for kids) or necklaces. I would use our swan logo, or make pictures of our dance shoes, and put those behind the plastic. The sis is not sure about this...

Also with the logo. The sis wants an embroidered shamrock in this one, but I fear it will be too much work. Plus, I cannot design embroidery patterns, and that is quite necessary...

For bracelets, and maybe use them with a tibetan silver charm underneath in earrings.

I would be so happy if you could help me, with whatever that comes to mind. Even if you fear for doing this, please share your thoughts.
10  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Twirling Pinwheels - for Savannah on: July 30, 2013 02:15:56 AM
I've been absent from Craftster far too long, and I'd love to return to the loving Craftster arms. I'm doing this by showing some crochet work that I did over the months. I love crochet, and everytime I hear of a new pregnancy, I just get my needles out and get going.

This is my masterpiece so far, and I won't be making any blankie like this anytime soon. The separate pieces were not too bad, although I struggles with the gauge big time. My first rounds were so small compared to the last ones... It's a good thing my sister asked me to ditch one row, so I had extras Tongue.
So, the pattern came from a book, 'Our best Baby afghans' from Leisure Arts. I first saw this blankie here, bought the book, and waited for the perfect baby. It became Savannah, the dear friend's daughter. But, because it was so much work, I was only able to give the blankie when the girl was almost a year old  Embarrassed. I now know to start EARLY  Tongue.

The colours are my sister's doing, as usual. She has an eye for it. The inspiration came from the friend herself. She made a cradle for her future children when she was in primary school. Her grandfather helped with the wood, and she tie-dyed fabric to cover the cradle. This tie-dye included all shades of blue and a bit of green. I just let my sister see the cradle, and she derived the colours from there.

I love it, and I think the result is great, but oh boy, the work!! Not to mention all the ends I had to tuck in. *shiver*

The edging curled up just a little bit, and I did not have enough time to block it.

And the necessary cat shot  Tongue
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