Dancing and Smiling

There’s a happy song in Dutch which basically goes ‘start your day with a little dancing, start your day with a smile, because if you’re happy in the morning, you’ll be smiling all day long’. Great advice!

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Icelandic knitting

In my quest to better myself as a knitter, I attended two workshops by the awesome Ragga Eíriksdottír, organized by my favorite local yarn store. On Fridaynight I learned all sorts of techniques to make the perfect mitten (not yet finished, so no pictures for you there), and all Sunday I spent making a little hooded cardigan in the traditional Icelandic way.

Knited mini hoodie

And knitting the traditional Icelandic way means: knitting in the round and then cutting your garment. Yes. CUTTING. Also known as steeking. Very, very scary indeed, but awesome once done succesfully!

Knitted mini hoodieI’m a very happy girl now: I learned so much, challenged myself, and am dying to learn even more. Now I’ve made this cute little mini hoodie (which just fits one of The Little One’s stuffed toys), I want to make a grownup version so I can actually wear it myself!

 

Spinning Wool

As a fan of good old craftsmanship, learning to spin wool had been on my wishlist for a long time. A spinning wheel in the house, however, was not (lack of space, lack of energy to dive into that world and figure out what to get and how it works, etcetera). So I was thrilled when someone told me about the drop spindle, and a good place nearby to learn how to spin wool with it!

Last Saturday I spent a whole afternoon in Karin’s garden and she taught me the basics of woolspinning with a drop spindle. I learned things about sheep, types of yarn, grease, fibers, and did a whole lot of practicing. She gave me a big bunch of wool (white wool mixed with some dyed yarn) to take home, which was so nice! Now I’ve spun all that wool I can’t wait to knit something with it. I think that’s truly the most amazing thing ever, to get the wool straight from a sheep (dirty and all, so you have to clean and wash it yourself too), spin it yourself, and then knit something you can wear with pride. I’m hooked!

Discovering Gouache

During a workshop at Urlaub I had a brief encouter with gouache. I decided to treat myself to a little starterkit (containing yellow, blue, magenta and black and white) and experiment a bit more.

Lemon marmalade by Rivka de Jonge

I can see why so many illustrators work with this stuff. It’s versatile, and the matte finish on which you can draw with a pencil is wonderful. I love the soft vibe it gives an illustration. Now I’m really sure I’m going to explore this even more!

 

Inspiration Friday: DIY Jam*

I had some rhubarb but no clue how to turn that into something nice to eat. Enter ‘Zelf Ingemaakt‘! At my weekly organic fruit and veggie pick-up point, I bought this book on making your own preserved foods. Not only did I manage to turn fruit into my own homemade jam and marmalade, and even homemade limoncello, I was also very inspired by the design of the book. I like the style of illustrations, nice and simple, but it makes the book so much more than just your average cookbook. I’ve had it for a little over a week and I’ve flipped the pages tons of times just to look at pictures, smile, and be happy. I just want to make jam every day now!

* and other preserved foods and drinks