Tag Archives: Art

Wink’s Summer Hearts Mandala

If you only follow one new blog this year, you must make sure it is A Creative Being.  Everything about Wink’s blog is beautiful.  The projects, the colours, the photography, everything.  It’s just one amazing package of crochet goodness. I have a few of her patterns, including the Design Wars shortlisted entry Dancing Hearts Wrap and most recently, the Summer Hearts Mandala which is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I wanted to create the mandala in line with the Crochet Collective’s Mandala Crochet Along, but I’m just useless at sticking with timelines, my life is just too busy, plus I really wanted to make this mandala as my first, and it wasn’t on their schedule (but there are some extraordinary ones, so check it out). So, I decided to sit down one night and smash it out.  And smash it out I did.  It’s a seriously fast pattern to work up, and it looks amazing.  I had the yarn and colours that Wink used (or close enough to) on hand and I couldn’t imagine using anything else. The finished mandala with the tension being too tight But I had a problem.  It’s difficult to see above, but instead of lying flat, the mandala has curled edges.  See what I mean? Mandala, tension too tight on missneriss.comSo I decided to leave it for the night as it was late and I was tired, and I wanted to fix it in the morning when I was feeling fresh again. The problem I have is that although I was using the exact same yarn, and the exact same hook as the pattern, my tension is far tighter than Winks, so the edges curled up on me.  This is a result of all the amigurumi projects I’ve been focusing on – you have to crochet tight so as to keep the stitches close together (I usually use at least one hook size down than what the yarn calls for). Here’s how I hold my yarn, how do you hold yours?  See how tightly wrapped around my little finger it is? Here's how I hold my yarn, super tight tension after so many amigurumi projects.But instead of frogging the entire project, I decided to just rip out the last couple of rows, to where it started to curl. The offending rowThis is the row that was causing the problem, before that I was progressing beautifully. I decided that because it’s difficult for me to loosen my tension (old habits die hard, right?), I would go up half a hook size and try my best. Changing from a 4mm to a 4.5mm hook to complete the projectI love my Clover hooks, they are the single best crochet related purchase I’ve made so far. And here we go!  The finished mandala! Summer Hearts Mandala by A Creative Being on missneriss.comSee how beautifully flat it lies now? It has a slight curve, a bit like a saucer, but I think that’s the intention, and I love it. See how it lies flat?  Perfect Summer Hearts Mandala on missneriss.comThe Summer Hearts Mandala was a beautiful project to make, I’m definitely going to be making more, and will experiment with different colours. Would you like me to make you one? By all means feel free to get in contact, I’d be honoured. Have you made any mandalas?  Which pattern is your favourite? There are so many to choose from and they’re all beautiful.

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New Design: King’s Day Bunting Necklace

Holland’s biggest party for the last 100 or so years – Queen’s Day – has been given a revamp.  You see, last year Beloved Queen Beatrix decided to retire, and her son, Prince Willem Alexander became the first King of the Netherlands in more than 100 years.

Not only do we have a new word to learn – Koningsdag instead of Koniniginnendag (try saying that three times fast), we have a new day to celebrate – 26 April instead of 30 April.  Well, I don’t know if this is the permanent date, or just the first date.  You see, King Willem Alexander’s birthday falls on 27 April, which this year is a Sunday and he’s decided we can all celebrate on the Saturday instead.

Still with me?

So, to celebrate the first King’s Day, I’ve created a new design!

King's Day Bunting necklace, available on missneriss.com #koningsdag #koninginnendag

Want to get your hands on one?  Well, you can!  I’m making these for the lead up to King’s Day and they’re available to buy from my Etsy Store!

The necklace is €15 euros (plus shipping if you need it) and is made from a nickel-free silver plated chain and delicate cotton yarn.

Oooh the pretties – Breidag 2014

Late last year I visited the KreaDoe exhibition in Utrecht, and it was one of the worst days of my life.  It’s the biggest handcraft exhibition in the Netherlands, and all those horrible personality traits that people living in cramped quarters are famous for were out in force.  Elbows, shoving, crowding, breathing down your neck in the hopes you’ll move out of the way, the list goes on.  Needless to say, I really struggled and even came close to tears at one point.  Not the best way to spend a Saturday.

So, when I heard about Breidag in Amersfoort I was apprehensive.  But I was desperate to get my hands on some of the glorious yarns that I can only usually ever find online.  I started thinking about projects that I needed supplies for, and counted the days…

When my girlfriends and I arrived, we were all like four year old kids, almost bouncing off the walls with excitement.  We were really early, just after opening time, as experience had told us all to get there before the crowds go nuts.

The fabulous Breidag location in Amersfoort.

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And oh wow!  The colours were amazing, and I hadn’t even touched anything yet.  The first place we stopped was a small fibre stall, where the ladies were demonstrating different techniques for spinning, either using a spindle or a wheel.  They also showed us the carding process to create wool bats by hand so that the fibres are all aligned, ready to be spun and become yarn.

I started to feel homesick by then.  My Grandma taught me to spin when I was very small, and my family all have (or had) home spun, home knitted sweaters.  My Grandma is still a wonderful knitter at 81 years of age, and has made some beautiful clothes for my daughter.

What I hadn’t expected to come across was the amount of local producers and dyers. I was honestly expecting it to be a hall filled with imported big name yarns, but was so happy to talk to the lovely woman from Textielwek Wol en Zo about her dying process and her passion for the art was obvious.  Then there was the husband and wife team from Zeven Katten who import some of the most luxurious (and expensive) yarns I’ve ever seen and also produce their own beautiful yarns.

#yarnporn from #Breidag today in Amersfoort. Too many choices, must learn to knit. Want all the pretties!

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It was also wonderful to meet a fellow Australian, Fiona from Harlequin Yarns, who specialises in hard-to-find-in-Holland yarns and her selection was incredible.  My friend Tammy found almost everything she needs for her list of projects; it was like a one stop shop!

Then around the corner was the one spectacular skein of yarn that was 73 euros and another kit to make a shawl that cost even more.  I was very quick to realise that this was a day for real yarn aficionados.  I had hoped to be able to pick up yarn for projects around the 30 euro mark, but there was no way I could come home to my husband with the news that I’d spent 90 euros on one scarf.  He’d freak.  Then file for divorce.

However, I do absolutely see the worth in the yarn, especially when you watch the the artisans at work creating it.  You can see how much time and effort and skill is involved and you happily reach into your pocket to support independent designers and craftswomen (and men).

The big highlight for me was watching WoolWench Suzy spinning her beautiful art yarn. She presented me with a couple of different bats, so I was able to choose the colour she should work with.  I also loved meeting her as she’s a Kiwi, and has worked with wool and in shearing sheds just like I have, and living here I don’t come across many others who have.

Creating beautiful #artyarn at Breidag yesterday. It was great to see the #woolwench in action!

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In the end I came away having ordered some beautiful blue yarn to be hand dyed by Textielwerk Wol en Zo to make myself this top for summer:

Convergence top - pattern on Ravelry

I had the most wonderful day, it restored my faith in exhibitions.  When is the next one..?  Any tips for me?

Ravelry Giveaway, just in time for Christmas!

I’m giving away 20 copies of my Merry Mini Christmas hat for free on Ravelry to help everyone get into the Christmas spirit! Just enter MERRYMINIXMAS when checking out!

Free pattern with coupon code MERRYMINIXMAS for the first 20 customers!http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mini-santa-christmas-hat

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May the force be with you

May the force be with you

This was a special request from a woman in my mothers’ group. Her husband is mad about Star Wars, so as a fun surprise, she asked me to make this hat as a tribute to everyone’s favourite green man, Yoda.

The design is a half double crochet hat with single crochet ear flaps and braids. The Yoda ears are two flaps I made by experimenting with shapes.

It all came together very well, I’m extremely happy with the result. I have the pattern ready to be turned into something legible, so watch this space!

Want one? Just send me a message or leave a comment for more info.

And so it begins

I have finally created the blog to show off all my projects and share my inspiration, I can’t wait to get started!

Here’s a taste of some of the projects I’ve been working on recently:

Owly charm

Owly mobile phone charm

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty hat

Crochet and gem pendant

Crochet and gem pendant in collaboration with my friend Stephanie