Hollands handwerkgeluk, a unique yarnbox

WANTED

Zoals sommige misschien al gezien hebben, heb ik gister een pakketje ontvangen waar ik al een tijdje op zat te wachten. Siets van Siets aan de maak is het initiatief Hollands handwerkgeluk begonnen en waar ik normaal nee zeg tegen project boxen of haak boxen zei ik tegen deze JA! Even voor de duidelijkheid, deze box heb ik zelf aangeschaft. Waarom heb ik deze dan wel aangeschaft en die andere niet? Dat is voor mij heel simpel, hier zit geen patroon bij en wordt er stil gestaan bij Nederlandse indie dyers.

Hollands handwerkgeluk

Kleine strengen van bekende en minder bekende indie dyers in je brievenbus. Dit moest ik proberen. De strengen die ik op beurzen of in winkels zie zijn altijd prachtig, maar net wat te groot voor mij. Voor een knuffel heb je namelijk niet zoveel garen nodig en zo een streng heeft vaak nogal wat meters…

De inhoud van Hollands handwerkgeluk

De verpakking is nog erg groot en de inhoud viel zeker niet tegen. In deze box van oktober zitten 7 strengen gemaakt door Crealien Design, een cadeautje van studio woord en draad en een leuke creatieve kaart waarop de passie voor handwerken mooi wordt weergegeven van the purple lady. Natuurlijk heb ik foto’s gemaakt om de inhoud met jullie te delen!

Hollands handwerkgeluk

Elke streng in het pakket heeft een andere kleur en twee hebben er glitters! Dit pakketje geeft een mooi beeld van de indie dyer, in dit geval Crealien Design en wat voor een opties je in hun webshop kunt vinden. Vraag je je nu af wat een indie dyer is, dat zijn creatievelingen die garen verven met bepaalde effecten of kleuren, vaak in kleine oplages en elke streng is uniek.

Ideetjes

Maar de grote vraag is natuurlijk, wat doe je met deze kleine strengen? Allereerst kun je ze gewoon ergens neerleggen of ophangen en ernaar kijken. Maar het is natuurlijk leuker om er iets mee te maken. Denk aan een mok warmer, een klein cadeautje, een kleine decoratie of sleutelhanger.

Ik heb in ieder geval weer genoeg inspiratie en ga vlug een patroontje verzinnen voor deze strengen. Hopelijk kan ik het eindresultaat snel met jullie delen. Heb je nog een leuk idee voor een ontwerp, laat een berichtje achter en misschien zie je jouw idee wel terug!

Groetjes,

Diana

English version

As some might have seen on my Instagram, yesterday I received a parcel of Hollands handwerkgeluk, A Dutch initiative created by Siets. Siets wanted to share more of our Dutch indie dyers and that is how Hollands Handwerkgeluk started 2 months ago. Normally I say no to mystery or project boxes. But to this one I said yes and the main reason for that was, there is no pattern, so your imagination is the only limit to this box. In addition, I also liked to help small business owners, especially in these times. The yarn that I usually see in shops or fairs is incredibly beautiful but usually has a lot of meters. For me it is quite difficult to make such a big project from only one colorway.

Hollands handwerkgeluk
The different colors of the October box

Content of Hollands handwerkgeluk

The outer package already promised something beautiful. This edition contained 7 strains, each had a different color. Two even have sparkles in it. The total color scheme gives a very good idea of what to expect from this indie dyer, which was…. Crealien Design. Larger skeins can be found in the webshop, so click the link if you’re curious. A small present containing 2 stitch markers and a cute little tin can was added by studio woord en draad and The Purple Lady made an amazing drawing, capturing the beauty of handmade and crafts.

Creative ideas

But the big question is of course, what are you going to make from these smaller skeins? Well, you can thing of a mug cozy, a key chain, a small present or something decorative. I am going to add these skeins into my designs, and I hope I am able to share the end result(s) soon with you!

Do you have any suggestions for new designs? Leave them in the comments below.

See you around,

Diana

Crochetted bees and french knitted beehive

Passion for yarn

Personal blog

If you didn’t notice already, I have a HUGE passion for yarn and everything related to it. My to-do list is longer than I want it to be, but I don’t mind, it keeps me busy. Even on days where cheesy TV shows and a cup of hot tea are my best friends.

By day I am a fulltime working employee, by night I am a blanket burrito. Armed with a 3mm crochet hook and some cotton yarn.

I dream about all the things I would love to achieve with my passion someday; Designing patterns, rediscovering French knitting, learning to knit, having my own little shop and teaching children that these old trades aren’t as old-fashioned as many people think. Oh, and most importantly making my hobby a fulltime business of course.

Amigurumi designs in which I expres my passion for yarn

For six years I’m designing my own crochet patterns and sell them here and there. 2020 has become the year in which my dreams are becoming plans and with each step, my business is starting to take shape.

Recently a question was asked by LoveCrafts: ‘how do you express yourself through craft and it got me thinking’.

I have a passion for yarn that I express in worlds made out of fiber. From the single adventure my characters experience to the complete worlds I am creating. My characters will come to life. My work is always very colorful and each design gets its own name and story. Like Ducky here, who found the big treasure of captain Red Thread with some help from his friends. Even smaller projects now will get a bigger role later. I love to proof that you can create anything from a ball of yarn.

Ducky and the pirate chest
Look what we found!
Ducky and bears treasure hunt
The biggest treasure hunt of captain Red Thread!

These worlds will be made out using different techniques, characters and details. I hope they will inspire children and grown-ups to create their own stories and adventures. Currently, I am in the process of creating my first ever story using yarn. To give an example, I made a tiny world about bees that love nothing more than flowers.

Crochetted bees and french knitted beehive. The stories I hope to tell through my passion for yarn

Imagination is a superpower a lot of people forget when they grow older. I believe imagination and a fluffy friend is quite important. Especially when you are little. It comforts you, puts a smile on your face and with your favorite pall you can do anything. Making your own fluffy friends gives them that little bit of extra magic.

I love it when people get inspired by my designs. The smiles and ooh’s and ah’s when people see my dolls are proof for me to keep on creating. One by one I am putting more creativity in everyone’s life and that has been my goal from the start with Vaemkes.

So now I am curious. What is your passion in life and how do you express yourself through craft?

Cheers,

Diana

AmiguruMAY 2020 has ended

Event

Hope everyone is safe and well. A couple of days ago AmiguruMAY 2020 ended and it was an amazing experience. Started by the very talented airali design, all people that love amigurumi dolls share pictures for 31 days in a row. Each day having another theme.

Maybe some of you didn’t follow the Instagram hashtag or maybe don’t have Instagram. That is why I am sharing some of the highlights here so everyone can join the fun.

But what is it exactly?

AmiguruMAY 2020 is an Instagram challenge in which designers, makers and amigurumi lovers share their makes. In the picture below the themes are listed for each day. On the website from airali design you can find the definitions (I did not read them until the end of the challenge, so some pictures look a bit off topic maybe).

It is a month in which you can share your makes and make some fun pictures and to challenge yourself in creating some pretty content for your Instagram feed. Some days will be easy, others a bit more difficult. But in the end, you will discover new talented people with a shared interest in Amigurumi and maybe make some new friends.

My personal favorites

Some pictures where more fun to make than others, and some where even funnier. I will share some background story with the pictures, information that can’t be found on Instagram!

So, let’s go.

Day 16 Sunflower power
sunflower crochet pattern AmiguruMAY

I’m very proud of this picture as it was one of the first patterns I have ever made and it was the first pattern for me to have been published in a Dutch magazine. Whenever I see my sunflower power cushions, I feel happy. The pattern is now available in my Ravelry, Love Crochet and soon in my Etsy shop.

Day 8 Ducky the duckling
Ducky crochet pattern amiguruMAY

I am currently working my butt off to do a big update in my online shops. This Duckling will be introduced soon. Isn’t he cute? When making these pictures I really struggled to put my hand in such a way that you could see Ducky. He tumbled a lot while making this picture.

Day 12 spaghetti
Spaghetti

On day 12 we had to make a picture that was food related. However, in my whole Crochet career I came to the conclusion that I don’t have any food related patterns yet. So that has to change. In order to make a fun picture I got an idea of making spaghetti yarn. Two things I love are spaghetti and yarn and if I could, I would have eaten this delicious spaghetti. I even used some small red leftovers to create the sauce.

Day 20, It’s a pirate life for me

Day 20 theme was what’s behind. To focus on the back of all those cute amigurumi’s. To make it a bit more interresting than just showing an amigurumi butt, I let Ducky and Bears go on an adventure and I had never thought they would find the lost treasure of Threaddy Red Beard! Instead of gold, Threaddy collected yarn of course…

And like Ducky, the bears are a new pattern too and will be available soon!

Day 18 Polly the Parrot
Polly the parrot pattern AmiguruMAY

The last one, on day 18 we had to share a close up and I do love a good close up, so it was time to introduce this cute little bird. Polly the Parrot. The pattern is almost finished and will also be in the shop soon. Like I said, there is going to be a huge update in the shops and after that a small celebration. Because, why not!

These pictures where my absolute favorites, but I am curious to know what is your favorite picture? You can choose the ones from the blog or one from my Instagram feed, I made a story of the AmiguruMAY 2020 challenge, so you don’t have to figure out which pictures belongs to the challenge and which one doesn’t. I can’t wait for AmiguruMAY 2021.

Cheers,

Diana

The perfect handmade crochet hook

Uncategorized, WANTED

Every crocheter searches the internet for the perfect crochet hook. It’s beauty, the shape, perfectly sized for your hand, not too expensive and as a bonus especially made for you.

Crochet hooks

A personalized crochet hook.

Just admit it. We all thought about it, the perfect crochet hook that makes your crocheted work stand out, is easy to work with and lies perfectly in your hand! Oh, and it needs to be a beauty of course. The eyes want something too.

A few months ago, I visited Henk in the Netherlands and let me tell you this. That perfect crochet hook might be just a click away!

His hobby is to create something beautiful out of wood, where we like to create something pretty from yarn. The point is, we, creative people, love to create. We have a passion for it and we just can’t help it.

In the end the perfect crochet hook is a tool that helps you to be better or to crochet a little longer and I don’t know which hook is going to be perfect for you. But the crochet hooks, made by Henk are definitely unique.

The perfect crochet hook

In my opinion the perfect crochet hook are several ones. First you will have your cheap one dollar (or maybe 2 dollar) crochet hook. The one that teaches you the basics and shows you to love your new hobby. I prefer metal tips, because it slides easier over the yarn. But there is nothing wrong with a wooden or plastic crochet tip. Then the second hook you will buy, okay I’ll be honest, it will probably be a set… and not the most expensive one for most people. Because all those projects need all kinds of different crochet hook sizes.

Furthermore, the third hook you will buy is one to get as a present to yourself or from somebody else. In the meantime, we collect all kinds of weird, free, expensive, luxurious crochet hooks, but we usually keep going back to number 1, 2 or 3.

Until now. The crochet hooks made by Henk are custom made, and completely adapt to your hand. I tried some when I was there and I believe I found my new crochet hook.

Crochet hook
Some of the crochet hooks I could try. They are even prettier in real life!

The process

Henk makes his crochet hooks from different types of wood, starting with a small piece of wood which is than crafted into the basic of a crochet hook. After that a tip can be added or the tip is made out of the wooden neck. But if you like a personalized crochet hook, before Henk can start you need to measure your hand. Below, I will show you the process. Henk also explains it on his website.

Measurements

Every hand is different, that’s what Henk explained to me and this means that not one single crochet hook should be same. It starts with the way you hold your hook (like a knife or like a pen). So that’s step 1.

Onto step 2: Measure how think the handle of the hook needs to be. Wrap some yarn over a stick until it feels natural. Write down these measurements. Everything is also explained on the website from Henk, including pictures for the non Dutchies over here.

Step 3 (optional): If you’re in the Netherlands you might want to visit Henk and weigh the different types of wood. I didn’t think it would matter as much and was mostly focused on colors (I love the pear color most, or the red). In the end olive felt the most natural in my hand. It won’t make a big difference so if you really, really want that color, go for it. But if you want a personalized crochet hook, try the wood first. It might surprise you.

Step 5 is to measure the length of the neck. Some crocheters like a short neck, others like it a bit longer. Every size can be personalized to your specific needs.

Step 4: Now Henk needs to get all this information in an email so he can start creating the crochet hook. Smaller tips are added in metal, bigger hook sizes (3.0mm and higher) are created from the wood.

Woodwork on Crochet hook
Three phases of making a crochet hook from a piece of wood.

Want that hook?

Before buying all the crochet hooks. Just read a bit further please. Henk invented something new and something we dreamed of for a long time. One hook to rule them all, if you’d ask me. A hook that can switch sizes! One size handle fits all tips. I was amazed by the genius but simple techy techy behind it.

This new hook is available from January!

Crochet hooks
The new crochet hook

Crochet longer

Be warned, I am not a doctor. But a personalized crochet hook may help you when your hands hurt and it becomes more difficult to crochet.  A hook should support your hand and relieve any stress or tension on the muscle. if you know someone that stopped, due to pain, you might want to try this one of a kind crochet hook. It might help you and if so, it means that more people can create, make and enjoy crocheted items and that sounds amazing, if you ask me and if you need some inspiration, just look around here.

Now I’m off to buying some new hooks and trying to decide which one I like the most. See you around!

Diana

Looking back at 2019

Uncategorized

Hello 2020, what kind of year will you be? In 365 days from now, we will be a year older and wiser. Things have changed. But how and what are still unclear on this second day of the new year. That’s why I will be looking back at 2019.

Therefor, I decided to look at how 2019 changed me. What are some highs and lows and what did I learn, so I won’t make the same mistakes twice or to actually do the same thing twice, if it was really good. So, let’s recapture last year.I truly believed 2019, with some hard work, would be THE year. Now, when I look back, I’m not sure what makes a year THE year. So, I adjusted my expectations for 2020 a bit. So it will feel more as THE year, I guess?

Blogging and social media

Blogging is still a little problem. Even this year it will be one of my main challenges. But now that my website changed for the better, I hope to improve and really bring some quality pieces. I also realized that having a blog every week, isn’t always good for the quality. So, I will blog once a month, with an update, about my personal life, how I feel, how crocheting is going and what kind of awesomeness is going on. I will also blog once every month about my absolute favorites (WANTED posts) as I love them and love to share other talented folks and stuff you need to put on your Wishlist.

Social media is also a point where I can develop. I don’t like to share much really as I don’t like attention. Do I make sens to you? I know I need to spread my designs and get more followers, but I find it very hard to say; Hello, look at me, look at what I’m making. I’m not that kind of person, but I need to become one.

Looking back at 2019

personal highs and lows

Work. Looking back at 2019 let me realise that if I don’t take my health serious, work isn’t going to help. No burn out, thankfully, but a wake-up call and a point I will be working on in 2020. I already improved a lot but I need to keep on reminding myself; work you sometimes have to do, but just living and enjoying yourself is always more important. Planning fun things will be on my 2020 to do list! Yeey.

One of the greatest things that happened in 2019 was designing and blogging for a Dutch magazine. I will keep on designing and blogging for them in 2020. Super busy with my latest design. I will show you as soon as it is available in stores!

Oh and how could I forget, I made the most amazing road trip with a good friend in 2019 and I would love to travel some more in 2020. But that’s just a bonus for this year!

One thing I know for sure, I can’t wait for the Olympics this year and as always, I have big dreams and I hope to realize some of them in 2020.

See you soon!

Diana

Crafting during Christmas

Other, Uncategorized

It’s almost time to decorate the house here. How about yours? everything ready to go? The Holidays are always very stressful and for me, it feels like December is the fastest month in the year. Whereas January feels like the longest ever to me. The Holidays are perfect for visiting family but usually not really for your hobbies. Below you will find four tips about crafting during Christmas time.

One: Prepping

I believe prepping is key to success in life. If you prep things and be prepared, usually there is plenty of time left to get some crocheting or knitting done. Can you prepare some of the Christmas dinner the day before? Divide the work and tadaa, another hour for you

Two: Going somewhere?

If you are the lucky one to visit the family, you can try to get some creative time in the car, bus, train, airplane. Before you are too busy entertaining your nieces, nephews or someone else, you can have some extra craft time.

Gingerbread doll
Have a jolly Christmas! If you’re looking for a fun and easy crochet pattern.
This gingerbread pattern can be found on Ravelry and LoveCrochet

Three: Get up early

When everyone is still asleep you can get some precious you-time. With a hot cup of coffee or tea and if you’re lucky you see the fresh snow before anyone walks on it. For me, untouched snow equals a little bit of magic.

Four: Emergency plan

If you can’t really do all the above options. There is an emergency plan, but ONLY use it in case of an emergency. Else they will know it for next year. Hide the cheese, or something else, which is really important for the dish you’re creating. Tell everyone you are going to the store to get some! FAST of course, you are panicking a bit (practice some online acting lessons). You get your bag and the so called not-in-the-house-cheese and drive to another street. Park the car and craft away for 45 minutes (or more, if that is more realistic). When you come back, tell everyone how busy it was and why it took so long (acting again of course). Voila, you got yourself an extra hour or so of crafts.

I hope you will be crafting during Christmas. These tips may at least help you to find some time for yourself and if you need pattern inspiration, take a look around the blog.

Have a lovely Holiday and see you in 2020,

Diana

Textiel museum TIlburg

Exploring the textile museum in Tilburg

Event

Like I said before, this blog is not only about crochet. Although that is the main part for now as it’s the one technique I know the best. But I am exploring the Horizon and boy how divers threads can be used. This time I was very busy exploring the textile museum in Tilburg.

Two weeks ago, I visited the textile museum . A museum about all kinds of crafts.

Textiel museum Tilburg, weefgetouwen
The history of textile, before the factories people worked on smaller machines to weave fabric. The whole family worked together to create this.

Tilburg

The history of Tilburg and textile are closely related. Now Tilburg is a modern city where mostly students study and non-students can shop. Before that, Tilburg was a very important city in creating all sorts of textile and in the beginning, people worked from their homes to create beautiful textiles. later on, big factories where build and when the steam engine was invented the factories became even bigger. Nowadays only the textile museum holds the history of this amazing city and shows the relationship between Tilburg and textile.

What to expect

For me, it was the first time Textile museum and I really thought it was bigger. So, if you want to go, combine it with a day in Tilburg or plan something extra. You need around 2 hours to see everything and you will have plenty of time to do something everything.

When you go exploring the the Textile museum in Tilburg, check the website first to see what kind of special displays they have. Maybe you would like to see a specific designer or artist or you don’t like the designs or artists that are currently displayed. Plan your trip so you will see something that is interesting to you.

Textielmuseum Tilburg
Yarn and so many different colors

What to do

So, you also wonder what you can do at the textile museum. You can see some of the machines working and making new designs for famous or less famous artists and designers. The history of yarn can be seen. They have a massive library.

For kids there are some fun things to do too. They can make their own Pom Pom’s or do some French knitting.

If you’re not living nearby there is a possibility to eat and drink something (and it is really tasty).

There are two shops, one located in the museum the other one just outside of the museum. In the shops you can buy some cool stuff to take with you but the shop outside of the museum is only open at certain times and days, so check those too, if you’d like to see it.

Textielmuseum Tilburg
I want all the blankies!

Exploring the textile museum in Tilburg was a fun experience and in the future I will be back someday. I’ve had lot’s of fun and went home with a lot of new inspiration, new color ideas and structures to use in the future.

Let me know if you went to (a) Textile museum before and what you experienced. I’d love to here it. Want some more inspiration? Look around a bit more aroung on my website.

Cheers, Diana

Crochet and make a child happy

Uncategorized

This year, the Knit & Knot event and Aan de Haak (both Dutch crochet related stuff, which I will definitely talk more about in the future), have joint forces to create a crocheted Christmas tree for the Child hospital in Amsterdam. Crochet an ornament and make a child happy.

I always like it when handicraft can be used for a good cause and this is no exception. The one rule: crochet anything that fits in a tree.

The cause

Make a child happy

Because I am a blogger for Aan de Haak, I got a message if I wanted to use my personal channels, to share this cause and spread the word. Being able to make some happy with yarn is my personal life goal, so I absolutely love this and will support. How? Well by designing of course. In my project page but also below this blogpost, you will find a free pattern of a heart. Make sure to have all the hearts finished and send before the 20th of October or bring them to the Knit and Knot in Tilburg!

I chose to design a heart with some glitter on it as Love and Family is the most important in life. Mine is a bit girly but if you make it green or blue and add some other glitter colors, I think all kids will find a favorite.

If I didn’t convince you yet, then here is another reason to participate: Make all the hearts from your left overs (this project is perfect for it), send them to the below address, ask new yarn for Christmas! I think that’s a win-win for everyone!

Aan de Haak, t.a.v. Christmas give away tree
Maanlander 14H
3824 MP Amersfoort

Spread some love, free heart crochet pattern
Spread some love and cheer a kid up with this heart shaped amigurumi

Do you want more information? check it here.
Let’s amaze these kids with some gorgeous crocheted ornaments this year (or knitted, if you can’t crochet) and make a child happy.

Heart pattern (FREE)

Click here to go to the pattern!

Cheers, Diana

A world of fluff

Uncategorized

Hello you, now that I have your attention. This is my first blog about stuff that has something to do with fluff.

Several generation in my family have knitted or crossed stitched in the past and only a couple of years ago, I learned myself how to crochet something. After a while I realized that people still think it’s old fashioned and find it boring.

But the opposite is true and if you trust me, I will proof it by creating a world where anything can be created using fibers and amaze you from time to time.

Now back to the drawing boards to create the first posts and projects

See you soon, Diana