Category Archives: Monday

Book Review: Colorful Crochet by Marianne Dekkers-Roos

I’m just thrilled to be able to talk to you about this book by my friend Marianne! I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for the book to be released so that I could get my hands on a copy and finally I have!

Colorful Crochet, by Marianne Dekkers-Roos

Marianne is a friend whom I met via Instagram.  I’m sure you already know her yourself, she’s insta famous with about 66K followers!  I can’t exactly remember how we “met”, but she’s one of those lovely people who’s actually become part of my offline.  We only live about 30 minutes apart, but of course we don’t see each other anywhere near as often as we should.

But, the book!  I love all of the projects in here.  They’re all exactly as advertised: colourful.  I’ve had a hard time choosing which to make first, but have settled on the Ribbed Tartan Cushion.

Colorful Crochet, by Marianne Dekkers-Roos

I love that this is fast (you know I love fast projects) and simple and so beautiful. The surface crochet is so effective and this cushion will look great on my couch in a few days when it’s finished.

Colorful Crochet, by Marianne Dekkers-Roos

This is my favourite picture in the book, everything about it is so Marianne.  This is in her little house on the canal in Amsterdam, it’s just so beautiful and that wallpaper!

Colorful Crochet, by Marianne Dekkers-Roos

Well, this is actually my favourite picture.  What’s not to love about that smile.  You just know there’s a lot of mischief going on there, right?

The book is filled with lovely projects for all skill levels.  If you’re a beginner, then this is definitely a great book for you.  There are projects to help you build your confidence, and then even more to challenge yourself to go to the next level and there are also more advanced projects for those of us who really want to have to concentrate.

There is also a Dutch and Turkish version of the book, so you can get hold of the language that suits you best.

Plus, at the back you’ll find a very useful section on some techniques that Marianne uses. Some really great instructions for ways to join motifs, make standing stitches, magic ring and more.

Overall, this book is a great all-rounder that you should add to your collection of crochet books.

If you’re in the Netherlands, you can order a copy from bol.com in English, or Echtstudio stocks it in Dutch (Eindeloos Haken).  Internationally the Book Depository has it available for pre-order, so get amongst it!

Incidentally, I’ll be giving away a copy of Colorful Crochet on my Instagram this week.  The giveaway will be open worldwide, and easy to enter.  So pop on over to take a look.

I wish Marianne all the success in the world with this book, I’m already anticipating the follow-up!

*Just a note: this post contains a couple of affiliate links which if you choose to use when feeding your yarn habit will earn me a small commission.  This helps me keep up the freebies and doesn’t cost you a thing. Thank you!

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Furls Odyssey Crochet Hook – A Review

So, I was sitting here, happily getting started on this week’s GREG Mystery CAL and thought that perhaps I could try using my new Furls Odyssey crochet hook which has been waiting patiently in my hook case.

I ordered the hook ages ago, and it had to be made and shipped. So it took quite a while in the end, and is it worth the wait? Let’s see, shall we?

When I first unpacked the hook I thought: wow! It’s beautiful and shiny and heavy

   

I ordered the 4mm, or G hook, but in the time I was waiting I had forgotten which size I had ordered. Strangely, there’s no stamp on my hook to tell me which size I have, so luckily it was in the packing list.

The hook is still taking me a bit of getting used to. It feels a-mazing in my hand, but the round tip is a bit different to my trusty Clover Amour’s tapered top. It makes getting into back loop stitches a bit more of a challenge, but that’s only because it’s what I’m used to.

  

I worked up two squares today for instalment three of GREG, the first with my Clover and the second with the Odyssey. The tension was pretty much exactly the same. 

   

You can see, the square I crocheted with the Odyssey just peeking out from behind.

I would say that my Clover square is a bit tidier though, but I’m putting that down to practice and getting used to the rounded tip.

   
  

Here’s the Odyssey next to my Clover. Quite a size difference!

Over all, I’m very happy with the Furls Odyssey. I’ve wanted a Furls hook for a long time, but the price tag has put them firmly out of reach, especially with shipping, and then customs charges on top. (Dutch customs love to charge VAT then “administration costs” which are usually double the VAT value.) The Odyssey is the perfect compromise. A great hook, affordable, and beautiful!

If you want one, they’re available from Furls directly for $24.95 USD (plus shipping of course).

Do you have an Odyssey? What do you think?

How to Use IFTTT to Share an Instagram Photo to Your Facebook Page

We all have our little tricks to make our social media life easier, and this one is my absolute favourite.  If you haven’t heard of IFTTT (if this then that) then you need to get onto it straight away.  You can connect pretty much any channel thanks to the wonderful world of APIs.

One of the most common themes that came up over the weekend I’ve just had with an amazing group of bloggers (more about that later), is “How do I share my crochet photos from my Instagram to my Facebook page, rather than my own private Facebook?” Instagram only allows you to choose either your timeline OR your Page, and if you’re like me you don’t always want to choose.  I don’t want to bombard my friends with crochet photos – they see enough!  Just like my crochet family isn’t that excited about toddler pics.

So, what you need is an IFTTT recipe.  And lucky for you, I have set one up that works perfectly.

Hashtagged Instagram to Facebook Page album Notes: Change the hashtag and specify the album.

 

https://ifttt.com/recipes/299465-if-instagram-crochet-then-facebook-page

Basically what you need to do is click that image above (thanks for providing it ifttt.com), create an account within a few quick steps, and activate your Instagram and Facebook pages there as channels.  I won’t tell you how to do this because IFTTT is so intuitive you don’t need my help.

All you have to do is check that recipe, double check the hashtag you want to use, and activate it.  I have set #crochet as my hashtag, so whenever I post an Instagram and tag it on the image itself or in the comments, it will automatically upload to my MissNeriss Facebook page.

Here’s an example:

I posted the below photo on Instagram while on holiday, and because I thought those people who follow me on Facebook but are not on Instagram might like it, I tagged it #crochet.

Using IFTTT to upload your instagram to your Facebook page

And here you see it, also on Facebook, with the same caption and a link to the original Instagram.Using IFTTT to upload your instagram to your Facebook pageNow, I know that it’s possible to choose your Facebook page as your connected Facebook account rather than your timeline, but this tool allows you to have both your timeline and your page linked and you don’t have to do anything.  You don’t have to click the little Facebook button on the image editor in Instagram, you don’t have to rely on a good enough wifi connection for the image to upload to both locations (like I was on holiday).  IFTTT is a background rules engine, and will take care of everything for you.

Consider this little how-to an introduction to the engine, because once you dive in, you’ll be hooked.  Trust me. Want to save your Instagrams to your Dropbox?  Want to congratulate yourself when you meet your Fitbit goal? Want a message if it’s going to rain tomorrow?  IFTTT does it all.

Scheepjes Bloom Green Gate Inspired Poncho

I’ve had this beautiful selection of Scheepjes Bloom for a couple of months now, but haven’t had any ideas as to what I should do with it.  The colours are so vibrant, and there are so many, I honestly felt a little overwhelmed.  I mean, look at this colour selection:

Scheepjes Bloom Colour Selection

It wasn’t until this week that I was doing a bit of Facebook browsing of an evening when I saw this gorgeous poncho WIP by Meet Me At Mikes and realised that I had found the perfect project for my Bloom.  The only problem was, I didn’t have enough of one colour to be able to recreate this one exactly and nor did I have the patience to wait for yarn to arrive if I was to order it, so I thought I would do a bit of browsing for something similar and came across this fabulous poncho design by Sewchet.  And even better, it had a free tutorial!

It’s a really cool design, and although I didn’t follow the pattern to the letter, the idea is essentially the same.

Green Gate inspired poncho made with Scheepjes BloomAnd then of course I had to block it, which while absolutely necessary, is the most tortuous stage of any project.  The waiting, and waiting and waiting drives me bonkers!

But the wait was totally worth it.  My daughter is seriously irresistible in her new poncho.

Green Gate inspired poncho made with Scheepjes Bloom Green Gate inspired poncho made with Scheepjes Bloom Green Gate inspired poncho made with Scheepjes Bloom

I’m still lusting after the vibrant colours of Meet Me At Mike’s poncho, and I reckon if I dig through my stash I’ll be able to find the yarn.  But first I need to finish about six other projects. As usual!

What’s on your hook?

My Week, and Paris!

It has been a quiet week for me on the crochet front.  I finished a major secret project last week after weeks of work, so this week I’ve been taking it easy.  I am working on a very cool project – a faux taxidermy rhino head for a custom order and I do love the way it’s all coming together.  Hopefully I’ll finish that over the weekend and be able to show you the result next week!

Otherwise, my family and I spent the weekend in Paris!  I’ve been to Paris a few times now, and it really is one of the more beautiful cities in the world.  Not the most beautiful; it’s tough to beat Edinburgh or Rome in my opinion, but it is spectacular, there’s no denying it.

We visited the Eiffel Tower (of course) and did a bit of crowd watching.  Those queues are incredible.  There’s no attraction on earth that you need to book in advance for more than The Eiffel Tower.  At just after 10am the queues were already hours long, so we decided not to climb.  Well, there was no decision really.  If we wanted to see anything else aside from the person in the queue in front’s backpack for the day, then waiting and waiting to climb wasn’t an option!

Paris baby!!!

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We also visited Versaille.  And man.  Every tourist on earth was there at the same time.  The interior of the palace was probably the most stressful and unpleasant tourist experiences of my entire life.  Now, I’ve been to quite a few of the big touristy places on this planet, and this was just g0d-awful.  Apparently there was a bedroom or two, and somehow I managed to miss the room where they signed the Treaty of Versaille.  The gardens were an entirely different matter altogether.   Massive, sprawling and not crowded at all.  There were obviously thousands upon thousands of people there, but it was easy to find a quiet nook and pretend you were alone on earth.  And the tourist/audioguide/tourgroup bubble.  Seriously people!  You can visit places without being an arsehole while you’re there.

So that evening we had well and truly earned our fabulous cheese and wine.  I couldn’t tell you what they were any more, but there was a cheddar that I could have sworn was an aged gouda from North Holland!  My friend Emma is the expert, so I left the choosing to her and I just gobbled it all up as quick as I could!

Picnic in Paris.

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Then further on the food front, I put in an order with my friend Lori from Southern Charm Cupcakes for some of her amazing caramels and chocolates.

Lori’s specialty has fast become Fleur de Sel caramels and she makes the best fleur de sel caramel chocolate you have ever seen in your entire life.  If you put a block of Godiva and a block of Lori’s chocolate in front of me, I’d go for Lori’s every.single.time.  So if you live in the Netherlands, Lori ships!!!!!  I’ve had to freeze the caramels to make sure I don’t gobble them all up at once.

And then there’s crochet.  I posted a tutorial for the granny square I designed on holidays, which is really simple and works up within ten minutes.

This weekend I’m hoping to finish a pattern I’ve been working on, and also the rhino.  Other than that, I’m going to take time for myself to work on strategies I’m going to implement for the Unstoppable program that kicked off this week!

How’s your week?

How a Granny Became a Hexie

A couple of months ago Simply Crochet magazine launched a brand new Granny Square app which I discovered via creJJtion on Instagram and although I don’t often make Grannies – as you know, I hate weaving in ends and changing colours on each round creates a tonne of ends – I loved the pics people were sharing using the #GrannySquareMonday and #SimplyCrochetApp hashtags that I wanted to join the fun!

Of course, it all went wrong right from the start! I decided to begin with Granny Audrey as she was the prettiest so far and off I went, following the chart. Or so I thought! Towards the end I started scratching my head wondering why it wasn’t looking like the picture until it hit me – I can’t count! Instead of creating a Granny Audrey, Hexie Audrey was born instead!

I decided that I may as well run with it and added a border round so I at least had something to show for the effort before going back to the chart and actually reading the instructions and counting my stitches instead of acting like the proverbial bull in a china shop.
Granny and Hexie Audrey on missneriss.com - free chart
But at the end of the day, I have to say that I like Hexie Audrey better than Granny!

So just because I love the end result so much, I’ve created a chart of the pattern for you. Bear with me, chart making is NOT my forte, and I don’t have any fancy software to do it (yet), so my hand drawn version will just have to do.

Chart for the Granny Hexie on missneriss.com

Don’t forget to check out Granny Audrey on the Simply Crochet Granny app and download the free weekly squares. And then you must share them on Instagram! You can follow me here

Project Monday

This is what I’m up to this week.  Can you guess what it’s going to be?

Crochet Teething Bead Necklace

When asked to make a teething necklace by a friend, I couldn’t get to my my local craft quick enough. I was on my bike before the request was even in.

Here’s what I came out with:

Yarn and beads to make the teething necklace

The idea behind the teething necklace is to give a baby a safe and interesting distraction while breastfeeding.  The baby can play with the balls and feel the different textures instead of digging their sharp little fingernails into already sensitive and tender skin.  I wish I’d thought of it when I was breastfeeding.

I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do, and how I was going to do it, but I decided to wing it and see what evolved.  And here’s what did:

Crochet teething necklace on missneriss.com #baby #crochet #teething

Crochet teething necklace on missneriss.com #baby #crochet #teethingI made it as simple as I possibly could, and also so that the beads could be taken off and rearranged into what ever style or colour combo that takes your fancy.  I love it.  The next one will be a rainbow coloured one.  Just need more beads!

Minion 2.0

My love for minions never ends.  A couple of weeks ago I shared with you a new minion in progress here, and now he’s finished and has relocated to his new Gru!

Minion Madness, found on missneriss.com

I’m so happy with the way he turned out, I think he’s even better than the first one I made.  The next phase is to write a pattern for him so I can share the minion goodness with everyone!

Hello Minion! Found on missneriss.com

 

He’s much bigger than other minions I’ve made, and quite a bit fatter.  He’s the perfect size for a toddler to play with, and sturdy enough that he doesn’t have to sit on a shelf out of reach.  He’s a real toy.

I used Drops Paris in yellow and denim and some scrap in white, grey and black for the detailing.  I used felt for the mouth and a 10mm safety eye.

 

You can also see more pics, and follow me, on Instagram:

Finished another minion, one eye instead of two, a bit shorter and fatter, perhaps even a bit cuter. #minion #amigurumi

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Crochet Cake Pops

Cake pops…. I love cake pops.

My friend Anel has a business where she gets to make beautiful, delicious cake pops all day long and I’m not jealous at all.  Not one little bit.  There’s no way I’d be able to let that deliciousness out of my sight, I’d gobble it all up.  All of it.  But when Anel asked me to make her some crochet cake pops I jumped at the chance!  I could have the best of both worlds, the cuteness without the sugar come down.

The brief was broad: no theme, just whatever you want.  I love and hate these challenges.  I always spend half a day staring at my hands, inspiration-less.  But I’m doing some preparation for the first King’s Day in more than 100 years, so making something Dutchie was pretty much a given.

Happy Dutch Spring crochet cake pop collection on missneriss.com

Tulips are so perfectly Dutch, that it was obvious that I included one.  Perhaps I’ll even make a collection for myself.

Tulip crochet cake pop on missneriss.com

Spring has really kicked into gear here in Holland, and flowers are peeking out from every patch of grass and garden, it’s probably the most beautiful time of the year here.

Spring Bloom crochet cake pop on missneriss.com

Pharell has taken the world by storm, simply by being Happy.  Can’t be a bad thing, right?

The original smiley face crochet cake pop on missneriss.com

Miffy (or Nijntje as we call her), is one of my favourite kid’s characters, and my daughter loves her.  It’s going to be a fight to get this one out of the house.

Miffy crochet cake pop on missneriss.com

With King’s Day and the World Cup fast approaching, national pride is about to go completely mental here in Holland.  Flags, Orange, and the Conga line all feature very heavily in times of celebration, so I have to be ready!

Dutch Flag crochet cake pop on missneriss.com

I loved making these for Anel, but just looking at the photos makes me want one of the real things.  Do pop over and visit Little Cakes, the creations are amazing and delicious. Don’t believe me, look at some of these, you’ll change your mind!

Rabbit Tail #cakepops ready for #easter! 😉 #cakepops #easter #egghunt #sweettreats #cakellolies

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I BEElieve I love you! 😉😂 Bumble Bee & Flower Pot #cakepops #cakellolies #spring #love #

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It's a Girl Cake Pop for a Sweet Pink Baby Shower 🙂 #cakepops #pink #baby #babyshower #cakellolies #sweettreats

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Told you so.