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

Radio Crochet – Continued

Our flag line forRadio Crochet for Radio Crochet will be continued. Nicely. Due to a happy coincidence, all pieces that were made to decorate the Kouter square in Ghent, will afterwards be used to make blankets for an orphanage in Congo. How cool is that?

The story behind that? The lady in charge of the parish room we use to organise Ekkergemaakt, the local crafting get-together, told us about some very nice ladies in this neighbourhood who use their knitting needles to knit squares. They then sew these squares together, to turn them into blankets. These blankets are then donated to the Sisters of Maria, who send these blankets to one of their Sisters in Congo. And these Sisters then donate these blankets to an orphanage, so they can use them for newborns and their mothers.

Vlaggenlijn Radio Crochet

The link was clear: Radio Crochet had squares, our neighourhood had a good cause to use these squares for. The Handelsbeurs, initiators of Radio Crochet, were enthousiastic, and agreed immediately. And as such, our flags and everything else that other crafters made will be used for Radio Crochet, and then get a second life as a blanket in Congo. Win-win!

Vlaggenlijn Radio Crochet

Our flagline is nearly finished, I only need to weave in the loose ends. If you’re in the neighbourhood and you want to donate something, you still can!

  • Up until 13 May: at the Handelsbeurs in Ghent
  • On 13 May: help to decorate as of 11 am. Place to be: Kouter, Ghent
  • From 14 till 16 May: come to the Kouter and attach your squares yourself
  • 16 May: crafting session as of 11 am, singalong as of 3 pm.

I’ll be ready!

Radio crochet

On Wednesday 13 May, the Kouter, one of the squares here in Ghent, will be overrun by a real knitting guerrilla. Initiated by Ha’fest, the whole square will get covered in colour. All that to be ready for Radio Crochet, which will take place on Saturday 16 May, and which consists of a sing-along meetup for young and old.

No knitting guerrilla or Radio Crochet without colourful swatches, of course. Time to dive into that leftover yarn. And if you don’t have enough leftover yarn, you can get some yarn at the Handelsbeurs as well. How nice is that?

Apart from that, I also started Ekkergemaakt in our neighbourhood last month. The aim? Get together with neighbours of all ages, to sew together, knit together and crochet together. To learn from each other, and of course, to get to know each other better. No better sound to chat to than the sound of ticking knitting needles or a purring sewing machine. And all that just around the corner, how easy can it be?

The math was simple. Ekkergemaakt + Radio Crochet, that should add up to a very nice knitted/crochet flag line. I already started some flags, and I’m hoping my fellow Ekkergemaakt participants will join in as well. I wonder where we’ll end!

Vlaggenlijn

Who else is participating?

Used materials

 

The Little Yellow Duck Project

During our holiday in Scotland, I gained a friend.

Little Yellow Duck Project

It was just sitting there, minding his own business, enjoying the view.

Ballatar

And I was allowed to take him home with me.

My new friend is called Lloyd, and he’s belongs to The little yellow duck project. This project uses small, adorable ducks to draw attention to all kinds of donations: blood, plasma, tissue, organs. Anything that can save a life.

To be honest, it’s been years since I last went to donate blood. And that while I can actually do it at work, twice a year. This little duck made it clear to me that maybe next time, I should make some time for it.

I liked the idea of the little ducks. Make one and hide it somewhere. And maybe in doing so, inspire someone to donate some blood. There are no rules about who can make a duck. If you want to, just do it. You can knit it, crochet it, or sew it. Whatever you want, as long as the result is a duck. Made with love, of course. (Note to self: get some practice in embroidering eyes).

Little Yellow Duck Project

I went to hide mine this morning. I wonder who will find them (although I’ll never know).

How about you? Do you give blood? And if so, do you do it often? And what about those ducks? Will you make one too?

Monkeying around

We’ve been renovating for such a long time now that our moving boxes needed a make over. Unpacking everything is not really possible yet, but instead I started sorting some stuff that has been in boxes for 3 years now. And what did I find? 3 boxes of clothes to mend (seriously, from broken zippers to loose hems past missing buttons, I should kick myself more often), and my very first crochet project: a (fairly failed) monkey.

Monkey see monkey do

A very successful monkey, though.

Apenstreken

I couldn’t help but think that I could do better now that I’m better at crochet, and pattern reading.

Apenstreken

Not that I should have.

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After all, monkeys like monkeys.

Apenstreken

Apenstreken

Knitting season

A couple of weeks ago, Ikea announced that the sofa season was back. Did you see the campaign? I’m so jealous of the stash that girl has…

Ikea - sofaseizoenI guess the sofa is always greener on the other side.

It’s been pretty quiet here, on the knitting and crochet front. I didn’t have to take the train that often anymore, and when I was at home, I was sewing more. So quite some UFO’s were kept lying around, waiting for the knitting frenzy to start again. And so it did. Current status of that all? See below.

Finished

  • Owl socksBreiseizoen / Knitting seasonIf you look carefully, you can really see owls in that pattern.Breiseizoen / Knitting seasonREALLY. (Just settling a domestic dispute here) If you look even closer, you can even see an owl with a lopsided ear.The pattern also says to add beads for eyes. But beads on socks, and then those socks into shoes? No thank you.
  • Kiddie cadet. Pretty sturdy.Breiseizoen / Knitting seasonTo show everyone who’s boss.Breiseizoen / Knitting season

Still on the needles

  • Sheepy time cardigan. Nearly finished.
    Breiseizoen / Knitting seasonBut just not yet.Breiseizoen / Knitting season It’s still a bit large anyway.
  • Slippers. In my head, they looked way cooler, though.Breiseizoen / Knitting seasonBut they do have an antiskid layer.
    Breiseizoen / Knitting seasonI still need to add some elastics, though, since now they fall off.
  • Glittens. For myself.Breiseizoen / Knitting seasonPriority number 1, since it’s getting pretty cold when riding a bike.
  • Saucy convertible. Nearly finished, but the yoke is too large,the shirt is too short, and I’m not ready yet to flog it all and make it work. Retro top Saucy convertible
    It’s been hibernating for quite some time, and it probably will for a while longer.

Bought

A complete set of bamboo dpnsBreiseizoen / Knitting season

My hubby thinks that by now, I must have all existing material at hand.

Breiseizoen / Knitting season

NO. NEVER.

To the needles!

Finished!

It’s been a while since I started this blanket, and it went in ups and downs, but now it’s finished: my Weekend in Stockholm throw. And I like it. Future heirloom.

Weekend in Stockholm throw
I lost count of the amount of series I saw while working on this. A lot. Conclusion: crocheting blankets are the best couch potato excuse. Time to start a new one 😉
Weekend in Stockholm throw
Downside? The number of ends that needed to be woven in. And I really don’t like weaving in ends. But I persevered. And I kept all the ends. I can still use them to stuff some animals.
Weekend in Stockholm throw
So, it’s finally summer, and it appears that I’m already ready for winter 🙂

Granny on

Remember these? I started them last summer, during our holiday in Normandy.
Granny on
Meanwhile, I’ve seen 4 seasons of Southland, the miniseries Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth!) and a couple of episodes of Homeland and The walking dead. Converted to granny squares, that’s 44 done. Only 12 more to go.
Granny on
I love that I have a reason to be a couch potato 🙂
Granny on
As does the cat.
Granny on