Tag Archives: chunky yarn

Crochet Induced Insomnia

Last night I couldn’t sleep.  I’ve never been a great sleeper, but since my daughter was born two and a half years ago, my old friend insomnia hasn’t been around much.  Physical exhaustion has won the day mostly.  But last night I couldn’t switch off.  All I could think about were the mounting crochet projects that I have on the go, plus a mass of life business.

I’m in the process of applying for permanent residency here in the Netherlands, and I have to find the time to fit in a trip to Amsterdam to have my photo taken and to be fingerprinted (that’s new).  Plus a host of my actual career projects that have to be done all at once and some semblance of a social life that I need to keep going – If I don’t, I’ll be out of friends!  There’s only so long you can say “I’m so sorry, I’m just too busy!” before people stop believing you.

So needless to say, last night I was awake with my brain racing and trying to process everything that’s going on in my life while I was frantically adding items to my Must Do list.  In and in an attempt to distract myself, I did what any social media freak would do, I checked Facebook, Instagram and then Pinterest.  I had quite a few Pinterest alerts to check and was gobsmacked when I saw that one of my pins had been repinned 999 times!

I’ve talked about this pin before, back when it had around 200 repins and I was amazed at that number, but now this morning it has cracked 1000 repins, and just won’t stop!

I have a few pins that I see getting a lot of (P)interest daily, including

and

Incidentally, I’ve never made this monkey.  I just pinned it because I thought it was so cute.

The Dickie Birds are also doing well:

Ok, now I’ll shut up about Pinterest, sign off and go start work for the day.  That To Do list won’t do itself!

Oh, and PS.  If you want to pin the Elephant Snuggle yourself, you can:

 

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Project Pile | Is that another Candace Scarf?

Why, yes it is!

Candace Scarf in Lettuce - Malabrigo Worsted

This is a scarf I made for a family friend, and it flew off to Australia with my brother when he went home last week.

This time I used Malabrigo Worsted in Lettuce that I picked up from wolwereld.nl and I also decided to add a border which worked very well too.

Candace Scarf borderInstead of using a particular stitch count, what I did was line my stitches up with the middle of the bows and the mid-point of the space between.

5DC in the same stitch, SC in the mid-stitch between the bows, then 5DC in the middle stitch of the bow.  This ensured that I didn’t have any left over stitches from mis-counting (which can easily happen when you have a long project to border) and it looks great.

I also used the wonderful hack that I found on Mamachee, so I saved a lot of yarn by not having to do a SC round first.  More on that hack in a post coming soon!

Want the pattern? Grab it here:  The Candace Scarf.

Candace Scarf Pattern

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I shared the Candace Scarf that I made for my mum?  Well, in that post I promised a pattern, but of course I completely forgot to follow up until I was reminded at the weekend.  Thanks for that Anke!

You can find the pattern in the description of this pin:

I also promised to tell you how I hacked the pattern as it just didn’t seem to be correct, and I also made it more fluid, so you don’t have to cut and join, which I hate doing!

Below is how the beginning rows of the scarf look:

The beginning rows of the Candace ScarfWhen it comes to joining, the pattern asks you to complete the trim, fasten off, and join at the other side.  I decided to leave the trim out entirely, but you can keep it in if you like.  I just found it unnecessary for my tastes. (I think initially I had run out of yarn, so that was the decider for me.)

So, in the pattern, row four instructs you to make the bows, but instead I completely skipped that row and went on to the next set, because I planned to make the bows using my joining row at the end.  Here’s the last row, waiting to be joined:

The last rows before joiningInstead of sewing the ends together as the pattern instructed me, holding both ends of the scarf together and working through four loops at once (both stitches), I single crocheted in the first three stitches (of both ends), chained 5, single crocheted around the three chains, from the beginning end of the scarf to make a bow, then chained 5 again, single crocheting in the next three stitches (all loops, joining both ends of the scarf).  I repeated this to the end, fastened off and was done.

Candace Scarf on missneriss.com #malabrigo

For me, it just made for a tidier join and also means less ends to weave in!  We all hate weaving in ends, right?

If you want to retain the trim, you can use this method still, by doing the trim down one side, joining across, then going down the other side. Still no need to fasten off and join to continue, so you should be able to make the scarf in one long piece (except when you run out of yarn and have to rejoin).

I made my latest Candace Scarf using Malabrigo Silky Merino, which I picked up from houseofyarn.nl here in the Netherlands.  It is such a gorgeous yarn, I promptly bought half a dozen more skeins.  I have an order to make a black version, and am now on a mission to find the “perfect black”.

Any tips for a simply gorgeous yarn that is hand dyed to show variation and is merino based? (I’m dedicated to merino, having grown up on a merino sheep farm.)

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.

Spring Scarf – Pattern

I’ve been working on this scarf for months. I found the yarn in my local store ‘t Spoeltje, here in Almere Haven (it’s Parrot, by Hjertegarn) and I love it because I’m such a magpie in that I LOVE bright colours and love variegated yarns. But it sat there for ages, not becoming anything. I do that. I buy yarn because it’s pretty, but have no project in mind. Eventually I decided to try making a triangle shawl. I stumbled across a pattern somewhere on the internet, but couldn’t follow it properly, so kind of just tried my best and made it up a bit as I went along. Then the pattern disappeared, and I have no idea where to find it again. Luckily it was very simple to figure out from what I’d already done.

It went on for a while. I’d work on a few rows, then put it back in the cupboard. For about six months. But this week I decided to finish it off. I was coming to the end of the ball of yarn, so decided to create a trim for it. Man. What a task. Because I had no pattern, I had no idea how it should be finished off. I had no stitch count, and I honestly couldn’t be bothered trying to figure out some fancy trim. And googling “crochet trim” is a disaster. There are way too many options, my head just exploded.

So in the end, I decided to just leave it. I quite liked the plain effect as the shawl is so colourful anyway I didn’t think it would be missed.
Spring Scarf - free pattern on missneriss.com

But then, I decided I didn’t like it that much. My husband didn’t like it either. So what was I going to do with it? Well, first I had to block it. I had never blocked anything before, because I tend to make amigurumis and normal scarves, nothing that needs the extra effort to block. But, I had some Eucalan Wrapture wool wash as a sample from a previous yarn order, so I washed it and pinned it out to dry.

Then I had to wait. And wait. For a day! I decided when I looked down at the blocked piece that I really liked it after all. The colours worked out beautifully, and it is perfect for Spring. Plus the yarn was going to be deliciously soft with the Angora blend.
Spring Scarf blocking - free pattern available on missneriss.com

This morning it was dry, so I unpinned it and promptly started wearing it. I may never take it off, actually.
Spring Scarf - free pattern on missneriss.com

Now I’m being asked for the pattern. It’s far too complicated to write out, so I’ve smashed out a chart.
Spring Scarf chart pattern on missneriss.com

Just keep crocheting until you either 1. get to the size you want, or 2. run out of yarn like I did!

For other projects I’ve also used Malabrigo yarn, which can be picked up at Wool Warehouse* (with global shipping).

Enjoy.

Want to see more? Come join me on Facebook and on Instagram, where I spend the vast majority of my time…
http://instagram.com/miss__nerisshttps://www.facebook.com/madebyMissNeriss

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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.

A post shared by Nerissa | Crochet | Haken 🇦🇺🇳🇱 (@miss__neriss) on

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!

A post shared by Nerissa | Crochet | Haken 🇦🇺🇳🇱 (@miss__neriss) on

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!

A post shared by Nerissa | Crochet | Haken 🇦🇺🇳🇱 (@miss__neriss) on

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?

St Patrick’s Day Baby Leprechaun Hat Pattern now Available

It has taken months and months and MONTHS to get there, but I finally have my St Patrick’s Day Leprechaun hat pattern ready to go.

Well, I have it in the newborn size for now.  I’m still working on the toddler size and will post the adult size as soon as I can.

The pattern is available in all of my stores, Etsy, Craftsy, and of course, Ravelry!

Here’s how it looks:

Baby Leprechaun - St Patrick's Day, pattern now available!

To celebrate, I’m giving away two copies of the pattern for free!  All you have to do to win is comment on this original post (on missneriss.com), and I will draw a random winner on Wednesday 12 March!  I will announce the lucky winners here and they will also be contacted by email.

Good luck, and thanks so much for your ongoing support!

Updated 13 March 2014

And the winners are:

Suzy and Patricia!  Congratulations, the pattern is on its way to you!

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Happy New Year, Crochet a Mood Blanket!

Beste Wensen!

That’s me wishing you best wishes for the new year.  Usually I would be expected to do a lap of the office kissing my colleagues giving them my best wishes, but as I now work from home, consider this my virtual smooch.

2014 is already off to a great start.  I look out the window and it is glorious.  The sun is shining and the temperatures haven’t properly dropped yet, so I’ve never been in such a good mood for the middle of winter, ever!

I’m not usually one for resolutions, as I never keep them, but I decided to have a crack at a few this year.  But instead of starting them on the first of January, I kicked off early.  I started running before Christmas.  Actually, I’ve been going to the gym with a group twice a week and we were on holidays over the Christmas period, so I had to do something to keep active.  Not ever being a runner, I surprised myself by getting out there and doing it.  My husband has been coming with me and although he’s a natural athlete and is nearly walking beside me, he’s amazing.

I’ve also decided to look for more things to be grateful in my life.  I’m a pessimist by nature, so it’s easy for me to find negatives everywhere, especially during the colder months, but that’s not the person I want to be any more so I’m making a change!  Each day I’m going to share something with the world (via FB, Twitter or Instagram) that I’m grateful for.  Perhaps I’ll do a weekly round up here, but we’ll have to see how my motivation and time goes!

In the Crochet world, it’s as busy as ever!  I have orders in the queue for Owl hats, a lion doggie sweater, a pippi longstocking doll, plus slippers that I’ve designed:

I used Sheepjeswol Roma big, and they’re lovely and snuggly. Not only that, because they’re so chunky, the stitches act like a masseur. So massaged, warm feet. What more could a girl ask for?!

Aside from the orders, I’ve picked up a project for myself this year, it’s the #crochetmoodblanket2014 crochet along that I discovered on New Year’s Eve on Instagram. There are more than 1000 people taking part, it’s amazing. I’ve been looking for a community to join that is filled with like-minded souls, and I’ve found it!

This is my mood palette:

#crochetmoodblanket2014 palette. Colour matching is not my strong point, so let's see how it goes…

A post shared by Nerissa | Crochet | Haken 🇦🇺🇳🇱 (@miss__neriss) on

And here is my progress for the first couple of days:

And day two:

I’m making a hexagon blanket inspired by my grandmother who makes the most beautiful hexagon quilts. Here’s one she made for my daughter, it’s one of her favourite things:

I found the pattern via Baby Love Brand, it’s a paid pattern, but well worth the (very small) investment. I’m using Drops Cotton Light to make it, and the colours are a mix of my favourites.

What’s inspiring you on these first few days of 2014? If you’re looking for a wonderful project, the crochet a mood blanket group is open to all comers, experts and newbies alike!
 

 

Wow! MissNeriss Featured on Hookin On Hump Day

Moogly

Imagine my surprise and delight upon waking this morning to discover that my Beautifully Stashed post from last Wednesday has been featured on Hookin On Hump Day by Moogly and My Merry Messy Life.

featured on hookin on hump day

Be sure to check out the other links:

Thanks so much for sharing the love ladies!

Now to think about what I should submit today….

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Beautifully Stashed

Beautifully Stashed

Beautiful basket, made from Zpagetti t-shirt yarn. Whips up within an hour or so and looks fantastic, don’t you think?

I’m quite new to using chunky yarn, but am fast becoming a fan. I’m in the middle of making a cover for a particularly ugly footstool, but have run out of yarn! As if I need an excuse to buy more….

I found the pattern at Crochet in Colour (click the image for the pattern), where I find a lot of my favourite projects.

I’ve added this project to Hookin On Hump Day over at Moogly, which is one of the greatest crochet blogs around!

Moogly