Friday, December 31, 2010

Craft inspiration December 2010

Here's a preview of the craft projects that have caught my attention in December. Click here to see the pin board, and then click on the images to see their original sources.

I wish you all a very happy New Year, with lots of fun crafty projects!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Knitted leaf & lace squares

The holidays are a perfect time to learn something new, and I really wanted to learn how to knit lace & leaf squares. I first came across this pattern when I bought a Thérèse de Dillmont DMC Knitting album:

Die Strickarbeit, 1er Serie, for bibliographical data, see image. I couldn't find a publication date in the album.

Each of these designs is beautiful, but I really love the one in the left corner below! I'm glad I found a Dutch translation of this design in this book:

De techniek van het kunstbreien. Kanten en patronen. H. Van der Klift-Tellegen, 1984, Cantecleer, De Bilt.

You can also find something similar in this book in English.

This is my first attempt, knitted with 4,5 mm needles in Laluca Cotton. I'm halfway now, so the final square will be around 40*40 cm. I would love to knit a throw like this in soft light army green :-) Actually, I thought I had bought green, but I should have known shop lights can be deceiving...

ps: The reason I'm writing about it now, is that I was reminded of this pattern when I saw pictures of similar designs made by the Dutch company Molitli. Take a look at their beautiful work here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter comfort

Today, it was very cold, but also very beautiful. The sun was shining and the world was covered in a thick layer of snow. A perfect day for a bowl of hot chocolate and a slice of homemade chocolate-vanilla cake. Although I have to confess that after eating and drinking what's in the picture, I did feel a little shaky. The combination of hot chocolate+chocolate cake might be a little bit too much ... Next time, I'll combine the cake with tea instead :-)

Here's the recipe (I combined several, this was what seemed to work for my oven).

200g sugar

200g butter
200g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
3 sachets of vanilla sugar

for the chocolate dough: mix 4 tablespoons cacao powder and 4 tablespoons sugar with a little boiling water

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then add the milk, the baking powder, the vanilla sugar and the flour. Pour half of the dough in a buttered cake tin. Mix the cacao/sugar mixture with th rest of the dough and pour this in the cake tin.

Put in the oven for about 60 minutes at 175o C.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Werner's "Nomenclature of Colours", 1814

Image from Werner's Nomenclature of Colours (1814), via Saatchi Gallery

It's the darkest time of the year, but in a few days, the light will slowly come back, the days will be a little longer, and at the end of January, we will have one more hour of daylight :-) Even though the snow was beautiful today, I'm really much more of a spring/summer person. To celebrate the "return of the light", I'm posting a beautiful color chart from Werner's Nomenclature of Colours . He made up beautiful, poetic names for each color, such as "yellow parts of a large dragonfly", or "wild primrose". (Click on the image to enlarge and read). I really love these shades, and the way they're combined in the chart.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Work in progress

Taking pictures of my crocheted throw is becoming a bit of a creative challenge: How many different pictures of a blanket can I possibly take? Enter my "new" vintage enamelware bread bin :-) I've also discovered another setting on my camera, that's why the color tones in this picture are slightly different, again.

By the way, this will be my motto during the Christmas Holidays: "Keep calm and carry yarn".
And if you'd like to give granny squares a try, do take a look at the Purl Bee basic tutorial here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A midwinter color palette

For me, these are midwinter colors: light blue, soft gray and the shades of brown paper and whithered leafs and flowers. I experimented with my camera's color tone settings, so that's why the blue in the images is a little crisper than the blue in real life.

Th painting of the woman taking a bath is by Alfred Stevens, and the image of the table with the glass of water is from ATLITW studio, published in Ariadne at Home magazine.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A paper hearts garland

This morning, we unwrapped our Sinterklaas presents. I really liked some of the wrapping paper: a classic brown envelop and gold paper used to wrap up rose scented bath oil (one of the gifts I received :-). That's why I decided to use it to make this paper hearts garland.

Ps: one of my New Year's resolutions will be to re-use pretty wrapping paper :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Aran sweater finished

In September, I started with an aran sweater for my daughter, and I finished it just in time! It's cold here now, with a lot of snow :-) I took the pattern from Ariadne Baby & Peuter, issue 1, 1991, and changed the cables a little. It's a Dutch size 86 (i.e. for a child of about 86 cm tall). The yarn is Botter IJsselmuiden/Oslo.