Spiderman glittens

The dragon era at the Abfabulies house has passed. I no longer have a full-time knight in the house, he started working part-time. And the time that was freed up, is now filled with Spiderman.

I honestly don’t know where this new love comes from. Here at home, we’ve never watched Spiderman. Still, our little boy does know him. And admires him.

When it turned out that the dragon paws I made last winter had become too small, I didn’t have to look far to find some new inspiration. Spiderman glittens. Based on my own favourite: the hop-on-hop-off mittens.

spiderman glittens

I used red yarn for both glittens. This time, I went for fingerless all the way. The dragon paws had separate fingers, but that only made it harder to get them on, so this time, no fingers. I sewed the black lines on afterwards.

spiderman glittens

And each cap got a Spiderman eye.

spiderman glittens

That way, our little boy can change into his alter ego whenever he feels like it.

spiderman glittens

Since preschoolers have quite a talent of losing anything that keeps them warm during winter and I’ve spent plenty of time walking about school in search of a scarf and/or hat, I also made a cord, so they can hang in his jacket.

spiderman glittens

I really should make one of those for myself too, it would make it so much easier.

How do you keep your hands warm? Classic gloves, cozy mittens, or groovy glittens?

2016: New Year resolutions and a sweater or 3

2015 has closed its door behind us for more than a week now, and, to be honest, I don’t miss it one bit. Not that 2015 didn’t bring any fun, on the contrary, but still. Just when I thought I would boost my own – and hoping I’d boost some of yours as well – positivity, both hubby and myself saw slightly more of the hospital than we would have wanted to. So, less blog posts here during that time, I wasn’t really in a writing mood. I did knit a lot during that time, as some of you may have noticed on Instagram.

Knitting

So 2015 did end on a positive note, and I managed to finish not 1, not 2, but 3 sweaters in all!

gebreide truien

The first one was the dino sweater, and I mentioned that one already in my previous post.

Dinotrui

I finished my own Christmas sweater 2 days before the deadline.

christmas sweater

And I finished hubby’s sweater (that had been cast aside for a few weeks so I could focus on my own sweater – selfish knitting!) just before 2015 ended. Yay!

gebreide mannentrui

As of now, we tend to have a self-knitted-sweater day now and again with the whole family. Who’s with us?

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Anyway, the 2015 door has been sealed forever, and everyone in this house is once again healthy. 2016’s door is wide open. And does it have any resolutions on its door step? Well yes. Small ones. Things I would like to do, and not so much things I want to force myself to do, if you get what I mean.

So, what do I want to do then?

  • Eat less sugar. Really. And if I fail to do so one day, I’ll just start again the next day.
  • Take up running again. I’ve been trying to do so for 2 years now, and I just don’t seem to get past the lesson 21 – lesson 24 infinite loop of start to run. This year, I really should. I’ll feel better for it.
  • Take more time for myself. I’ll start working 80% as of February. We’ll see what that does for me.
  • Live now, and stop focussing on everything I still have to do.

I’m not sure yet what effect this will have on the blog. Last year I started with the resolution to write every week, but in the end, it brought some stress with it. So I’ll just see what 2016 brings. I hope you won’t mind.

How about you? Big resolutions? Small resolutions? No resolutions?

gebreide truien

Our own Jurassic World – The dino sweater

Knitting is something I do in frenzies. Sometimes I don’t touch the needles for months, sometimes it takes me months before I can put them down again. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of the latter. In an attempt to get through the ever-growing stash I dug up some yarn. Then I tried to match a pattern to that yarn. A children’s sweater. One with some fair isle work.

Dinotrui

I left the orginal chart for what it was, and replaced it with dinosaurs that I drew myself. It’s amazing what you can achieve with some checkered paper and google images. Although next time I should make sure to use an A4 notebook, instead of messing around with A5.

Dinotrui

Dinosaurs. Brachiosaurus for the front and back, stegosaurus for one sleeve, and a triceratops for the other sleeve.

Dinotrui

In case it’s not clear yet: dinosaurs are part of the daily routine here. If it was up to our little boy, there would also be a T-rex and a pterodactyl on this sweater, but I was lacking the space. Grow, little man (not too fast, though!).

The sweater pattern is rather simple. It’s a straight body, and there’s hardly any shaping that needs to be done for the sleeves. The result: a very high eighties vibe.

Dinotrui

I made size 4, but in hindsight, size 6 would have been a better choice. The sweater is rather short. Doable, but our boy will have to wear a longer shirt underneath it. Guess that adds a high seventies vibe as well.

Dinotrui

According to the pattern, both shoulder seams needed to be finished with buttons for this size. Now, I know that babies and toddlers have rather big heads, but that big that they would need the full width of both shoulder seams to get their heads through, that seems a bit much. So I only used buttons on one side, and I sewed the seams on the other side. Snowman buttons, since I didn’t have (the patience to go and buy) any dinosaur buttons.

Dinotrui

I’m pretty satisfied with the result. Sure, a larger size would have been better. And yes, it is very obvious this is a self-made sweater. But that just adds to the nostalgic feeling.

How about you? Do you only knit during the autumn and winter months, or do you knit the whole year through? Or do you only use knitting needles to scratch your back?

Ekkergemaakt XL – Or how we want to get our men going

Last week, the first edition of Ekkergemaakt for this fall took place. And during that session, we threw all throws from Radio Crochet on the same heap.

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11 throws in total, one more colourful than the other.

Ekkergemaakt dekentjes

The throws will now be shipped to Congo, and the Ekkergemaakt ladies are ready for new projects. So what did this September edition result in?

  • Sweaters, both for adults as for kids, both on the knitting needles, as under the sewing machine.
  • A table cloth that was being decorated vigorously.
  • A super soft cover for a tissue box

For those who couldn’t make it, we have an extra XL edition coming up this October. And this time, we challenge the men. Sewing on buttons, sewing up holes in pockets, darning socks, and – for those who are up for it – learning how to knit a scarf.

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Challenge… Accepted!

Ekkergemaakt makes blankets

Last Thursday, the May edition of Ekkergemaakt was following up on Radio Crochet. Two big bags full of knitting, all made for the yarn bombing, and given to us afterwards.

We measured them, and puzzled them all together. The aim? To make blankets for an orphanage in Congo.

Ekkergemaakt maakt dekentjes

Through facebook someone asked me whether we weren’t being too naïve. Blankets, is that really what they are waiting for in Congo? Wouldn’t it be better if we sold those blankets, and use the proceeds to buy vaccines?

Ekkergemaakt maakt dekentjes

I understand this reasoning. It does sound rather colonial, making blankets for Congo.

Ekkergemaakt maakt dekentjes

But as it turns out, there are mothers that give birth to their babies in the orphanage, and quite often they have close to nothing. And at that point, they are very grateful to get a blanket to wrap their newborns in. On top of that, blankets are not the only objects that are shipped to Congo.

The orphanage in Congo is led by a Belgian nun who used to live in our neighbourhood. She gets help from her family, and from fellow nuns here in Belgium. There’s no official organisation running it all, it’s just friends and family who keep on giving the best of themselves. Twice a year, a container is shipped off to Congo, holding not only blankets, but also all kinds of material that can be of help. And that can be anything. For example: materials were sent to build a school close to the orphanage, so that the children there did not have to walk for hours to get an education.

Ekkergemaakt maakt dekentjes

Personally, I think this initiative is very pure and selfless. Especially when you know that 2 out of 5 of the people who make the blankets, are over 90 years old. I really hope I’ll have the same drive and energy as they have when I grow that old.

Ekkergemaakt maakt dekentjes

One night of puzzling resulted in 6 blankets that are in the making. They are not finished yet, but we’ll just continue during our next edition of Ekkergemaakt on 25 June. And who knows, me may still get a 7th blanket out of the leftovers.

Ekkergemaakt maakt dekentjes

Radio Crochet – The aptoheosis

If you happened to pass by the Kouter square in Ghent last week, you could not miss it. Radio Crochet was coming, and everyone would know about it.

Wrapped trees.

Breiguerrilla

A cuddly bike.

Breiguerrilla

And a very soft piano, being abused by our very own music maestro.

Breiguerrilla

On Saturday, it was finally time for Radio Crochet. And we were lucky: it stopped raining, and the sun came out.

Breiguerrilla

And where was that flag line I’ve been going on about? Right at the center of the stage!

Radio Crochet

Great atmosphere, and an enthousiastic crowd.

Radio Crochet

Our own musician decided to stick to the kazoo and some freestyle dancing.

Radio Crochet

And the knitted pieces? They’ll be present at the next Ekkergemaakt, ready to get sewn together into blankets.

Radio Crochet

The manly art of knitting

During the holidays, I accidentally came across The manly art of knitting on Plague.

The manly art of knitting

Intrigued, that’s the least I could say. The thing kept popping up in my mind, and a couple of amazon clicks (and a few days of waiting) later, it was mine.

The book is very simple, both in design as in explanation. It explains the basic stitches without much pooha. This is the stitch, this is how you knit it, and here you have a drawing of it. Short and to the point.

The manly art of knitting

The patterns are fairly simple as well. Big yarn, big needles. A hat is made by knitting a square, and then folding it together in a certain way. Same for a vest. I really should try it.

The manly art of knitting

Of course this book wouldn’t be complete without a sadle slip for your horse. Too bad I don’t have a horse.

The manly art of knitting

I”m going to leave this book lying around for a couple of days. I wonder whether someone will pick up my knitting needles.

Dragon cowl

You can’t have dragon paws, without a matching scarf, right?

Drakensjaal

I chose to make a cowl. To make it extra warm, I used double-knitting. Green on the outside, orange on the inside. In theory, it’s reversible, but in practice, the dragon spikes – exactly the same as for the glittens – make that impossible.

Drakensjaal

Because a cowl is knit in the round, and because double knitting is knit on one side and purled on the other, you have a different tension on each side. Purled stitches are always looser than knit stitches. When knitting in the round, that means the purled inside may be slightly larger than the outside. Because of that, the orange can be more visible at times.

Drakensjaal

In theory, you pull a cowl over your head and it fits snugly around your neck. If you get cold, you can pull the thing over your mouth and nose. For that sake, I tried to get a dragon face on there as well, as I did some years ago for my Incatnito cowl. But dragon faces? Not that easy. So I dropped the idea.

And maybe that was for the best, since our little guy loves to wear his cowl on top of his head. Something that makes it look as if he has a lamp shade on his head. Oh well, at least it keeps his hair in check.

Drakensjaal

Bygones, I guess…

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Dragon paws

Toddler hands like to grab all things great and small. As such, toddler hands don’t like to get caught in toddler mittens. Getting our little man to wear a pair of mittens tends to end in a happy toddler and a grumpy mom, or a big fight ending in a happy mother and a grumpy toddler. Depends on how cold it is outside.

Since I’m a big fan of my own pair of glittens, I wondered whether they would be just the solution for those little toddler hands. Maximum grabbing power, warm hands. Win-win.

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I used green fluorescent yarn. Helps with visibility during these dark winter days. Since our little man is a big fan of dragons lately, I also decided to add dragon spikes. In fluorescent orange. Even more visibility.

Drakenpootjes

Googly eyes were a must, of course.

Drakenpootjes

And an even greater must for all toddler mittens: an i-cord to keep them together.

Drakenpootjes

Our little man’s enthousiasm is two-fold. Some days he’s completely mad about them and is playing with them as if they were hand puppets.

On other days, for instance when the weather’s nice and it’s the best time to go out and take pictures, he seems to find them very dull indeed. Especially when you ask him to show them. Pay attention to the facial expression.

Drakenpootjes

I’m pretty happy about the result myself. What I forgot to take into account, however, is that little toddler fingers don’t always know which finger hole to go to. I guess now I know why toddler mittens are such a big hit. Something to keep in mind for the next version.

Drakenpootjes

Knitting update

It’s been really busy lately, and I simply haven’t gotten round to blogging something. Plenty of inspiration, not enough time. But since my last knitting update, my needles haven’t been lying still at all. And eventhough we no longer need our scarves, glittens and hats, here’s a little update:

Finished

  • Sheepy time cardigan. For real. Every loose end has been fixed. Phew. I even found some sheep-shaped buttons. Comments on the pattern: next to blue, black and white, this pattern also demands a brown skein of yarn. A bit silly, actually, since you need the brown for one little sheep only. So if you’re planning in knitting this, use some leftover yarn, or skip the brown sheep all together. Not worth it buying a whole skein.

Sheepy time

  • Glittens
    Proved their use already. I even lost one already, out in the street. But lucky me found it back 3 weeks later. Soaked, but in mint condition. Of course, I’d knit a new one already. So now I have 3.
  • Slouchy beret
    hat that matches my glittens. This beret knits like a train. It took me 3 days, but that’s because I didn’t pay enough attention when reading the instructions, leading to me having to frog several rows and start over.
  • Cowl
    I used the same yarn as the one I used for the glittens and the hat. I also used the same cable pattern as for the slouchy beret. I knit for about 1 meter, and then I grafted the ends together.

Slouchy beret and cowl

On the needles

  • Lattice
    A shirt from Debbie Stoller’s Super star knitting book. Small-sized needles, big project, and a cable pattern. This will take me a while…

Lattice

And then there’s my head, full of plans. I just don’t seem to be able to find the time to actually carry them out. How do you manage all that?