Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A simple Shrug, a glimpse of Vordenstein, a Trip to Lier and Knitting Inspiration

Hello, my crochet friends, how are you all?

Finally I can tell you about my weekend when my family came to visit from Germany! I took so many photos, so I've been trying to edit them for you which took a while.

My family arrived late on Friday afternoon, and first my mum stayed with me, whilst my brother and his wife went on a quick dash into Antwerp! We sat on the balcony, the sun was shining and we had all 3 cats keeping us company which was nice! It was lovely to catch up and very relaxing to spend the time this way! I did a bit of knitting as well. Later we all went out for a wonderful evening meal together.

On Saturday the weather was absolutely glorious, beautiful sunshine and blue sky! It must have been more than 25 degrees, just like a summer day but this was in early October!

To make it easier for my mother to cope with walking, it was decided to go on a gentle walk visiting Vordenstein near Schoten. I was very thrilled about this idea, because we had been there once before fairly recently, and that time I didn't have a camera with me, something I remembered this time!

This is the sign outside the park at Vordenstein, which explains that the park has both French elements (straight lined paths) as well as English ones (more natural looking places). Amazingly anyone can visit this park for free!

Welcome to Vordenstein!
First we walked along these giant but gentle creatures...
Cows grazing in a field along the path
admiring the trees... most of them still showing green leaves...
Gorgeous blue sky
First Autumn colours
Then we came to the Park entrance, the gate was open...
The gated entrance to the park
As soon as we were inside there was this great feeling of space and calm (must have been the English influence the sign mentioned, I am convinced!)

Wide open spaces and beautiful trees
We followed the path and saw the walls which were surrounding the gardens (you might see it in the photo below towards the centre right in the distance)
Turning right towards the Gardens
Another tall tree...

I admit: I was naughty and strayed from the beautiful (and French!) paths and approached the walls from the side, I was eager to catch a first glimpse inside!

Catching a glimpse of the Gardens at Vordenstein
What was lying behind those gates? That is for another post! (Sorry to tease you here, but there was so much to see, it would have made this post impossibly long!) Please check back soon!

After our little walk around Vordenstein, we drove to another town, called Lier.
It is really pictoresque. Read more info about Lier

The houses opposite the Town Hall and the wide open space in front of it

Town Hall and Belltower, Lier
Zimmer Tower in Lier featuring 12 special clocks
More about the Zimmer Tower here (Interesting Wikipedia link)

On Sunday my family had to return to Germany, but we were so glad that we managed to spend so much time together and also that the weather had been extremely warm on both Friday and Saturday. The warm spell broke on Saturday evening whilst we were going out for a nice meal, it started to pour with rain!

And now a bit more about my current projects!

My Shrug is finished!
I knitted up the 6 balls of chunky yarn from Rico and this is what it looked like at the end: a rectangle measuring approx 70cm x 105cm.

Finished knitting! (06.10.14)

After adding 2 crochet seams
My new shrug (07.10.14)
From the back
(I know there seem to be a lot of stripes going on in these pictures, I only realized that afterwards!)
one more time!
As you can see, it is very light, yet stretchy and very warm! Apart from wearing it as a shrug, it could also double up as a scarf wound around the neck or as an extremely bulky cowl! Not to mention as an emergency blanket!!!

I'm totally loving the colours and the stripes and I'm happy that I had changed my mind midway and started afresh! It was worth it! I've been wearing it constantly since it's been finished!

Harlequin Blanket

I believe this photo was taken on Friday morning, it is the first photo I took where you can see the entire width of the blanket properly. The ruler measures 1m, so the blanket will be slightly over 2m wide!!!

Blanket laid out - Ruler measures 1m
Here some further progress the last 2 days (more crochet and less knitting, I guess!)
Harlequin Blanket 07.10.14
I'm currently enjoying pastel ice cream colours (Vanilla, Strawberry and Mint) after the 2 rows below which reminded me of blue mountain tops with snowcapped tops, underneath you can 'read' my Autumn colours (which I bought at the Hobbybeurs). Every row/ccolour sequence will remind me of the exact time when I crocheted it!

Adding Pale Mint Green
Here another sideway view close up.
Harlequin Blanket 08.10.14
Today I was busy with lots of household things, and this afternoon I got stuck in with trying to re-organize my craft magazines... I emptied out my cupboard, and started to get all my magazines together to put them onto the bookshelf instead of having them in various locations and boxes. This will make it easier, if I want to look up a pattern or at least that is the idea! They are looking good on the shelf now.

Meanwhile I had taken out half the contents of my cupboard, as well as 'finding' things here and there, so there were bits and pieces all over the floor. Finally I wanted to tidy up the rest and this is what I saw:

Cleo in the craft cupboard
Cleo must have thought, this is too mad, all this stuff in the way, and decided to lie in the cupboard instead! Or maybe she thought I had done it especially for her?!!! She was utterly at home in there! (I quickly grabbed the camera and snapped this photo before I had to 'evict' her!)

Last - not least, let me share with you some knitting patterns, at least in photos! My mum brought me the latest Brigitte magazines from Germany, upon my special request, since it contained a Knitting Special Feature with lots of Patterns.

Photos of the finished  Brigitte Knitting patterns - there are 84 photos!!!!

You can see them here in this photo, together with the original magazine and another little feature booklet which I found inside entitled 'Masche' (which translates as stitch) - showing even more wonderful things to knit - released by 'Initiative fuer Handarbeit'. Their website is here! It is a treasure trove of ideas and every one of these pattern featured in Masche is shown on their website with links to download the pattern/s for FREE!!! (Sorry, my English speaking readers - you would need to understand German to benefit from the actual patterns, but nevertheless take a look, I find the images themselves are so inspiring!)

Here is the Masche booklet in .pdf format, so you can browse through it yourselves!
Masche - Stricken macht gluecklich (Knitting makes you happy)

Sometimes it is amazing how many (good) free patterns there are about! I am subscribed to various online wool shops and very often their emails contain links to free patterns (usually available to those who are subscribed only), so it might be worthwhile to sign up, if you haven't done so already! (Of course, if your inbox is too full already this might not be a great idea!)

Let me just briefly mention that I noticed that a new Knit along (KAL) has started on the Rowan website - here, plus blogger Wink is featuring a Crochet along (CAL) here.

Many thanks for your lovely comments, I loved reading them. And yes, you guessed right, please feel free to leave a comment below, looking forward to read what you thought!


  1. Your shrug is amazing!! i love it. Glad you saw your relatives!!

    1. Thanks, Kathy! I wanted something really simple and let the yarn speak for itself! xx

  2. Maybe I need to learn how to knit properly! And I love your shrug so much :) Maybe I can do something similar in crochet...

    1. Hi Michelle! If you can knit simple 'knit' stitches (on every row), then you can make this, too!
      The important thing is to use a chunky yarn (mine was half pure wool and half acrylic) and to use even larger needles than advised (I used a 9mm instead of 6-7mm).
      That way the stitches are big and loose, trapping the warmth inbetween!

      Alternatively I have seen a crocheted shrug since then, here: - basically the same idea: make a rectangular piece. This one had an assymetric cuff which I wasn't so keen on, but then you could make 2 cuffs instead!

      Again my advice would be to use big open stitches to make it light and airy, you don't want it to be too dense, unless you like that. Mine sits like a cloud on my shoulders, I hardly feel it, yet it is so warm!

      Hope this helps, why not give it a go! ;) xx

  3. Love your harlequin blanket!!! Groetjes Lisanne

    1. Thanks, Lisanne! I think I have made a third of the blanket now, so still more to do!!! ;) xx

  4. Hi there.
    Reading your blog post is like talking to an old friend :)
    So nice of you to find time to spend with your family, mine is 1300km away, so I know what I am talking about. Lovely walks and lots of photos. Can't wait to see the inside of the garden.

    Your big blanket will warm generations, love the colors.
    The shrug loook so nice, I bet you secretly sleep with it on aswell ;o)

    I do agree with you, so many nice patterns are free on line.
    Poor designers, that don't get paid for their hard work.
    I am working on two patterns right now, the Rowan hat you loved and some Riding mittens. It takes so much time.

    Now I am off to do some housework, laundry, baking bread, vacuming.... 4 kids and 3 dogs make a mess. The reward afterwards is my craft.
    Today I will be making jewellery.
    Have a nice day

    1. Hi Monica, your comments make me smile!!! :D

      No, I'm not sleeping on my shrug, but it would make a great travel companion whilst sleeping on a plane or in the car, I'm sure!

      Gosh, your family is a long way from you, hope you do get to see them from time to time! How old are your kids? (My four range from nearly 19 to 24, so basically grown up!)

      I know you work hard on your patterns and I think it is great that you got the gift to do it, not everybody can write a pattern. I try to keep a note of things I made and how I made them, but sometimes I am not very good of keeping track of every row or step! Not sure another person would be able to follow them easily...

      I don't know that designers don't get paid for their patterns, I think for some of the big yarn companies, such as Rowan, they commission their contributing designers to write patterns for them, the majority of which the customer has to pay for (and they are beautifully presented in books as well as online), but they also offer free patterns (by the same designers) to interest people in buying the yarn, something to tempt them to get started! I have bought plenty of nice knitting and crochet books with patterns, because I do appreciate the work that has gone into them and I also love the photography. I will never have the time to make all of them!!!! (help!)

      I bought this book a while ago: - do you know it? I absolutely love the patterns, but I'm not sure I could make something exactly out of the book, it would take me YEARS! So intricate, but beautiful!!!

      Your way of embracing homelife with making things sounds like the way to go, I'm basically doing the same! We all need an outlet for creativity! :)

      Enjoy your jewellery making, will you share some photos later on your blog mabye? (I love making textile jewellery using crochet and knitting and I haven't even mentioned about it here..) xx

  5. Your harlequin blanket is so lovely and colourful. Hehe looks at cleo in there looks very cosy :)

    1. Thanks!!! Our cats never cease to amaze me! :) xx

  6. What an amazing walk, some beautiful photos and lovely to share it with your family, making wonderful memories. The shrug is stunning, love the colours and the stripes. Have a great weekend.

    1. Yes, the time together was precious! Thanks for the compliments! Enjoy yours, too! xx

  7. Ingrid what a lovely visit you had with your family. Lier looks beautiful. Your shrug is just so gorgeous-what a talent with colour you have, the blanket too. I love Cleo-she knows just where the best spot is to settle down! Don't cats always get just in the place we want to be then look so shocked when you move them!
    Alison xx

    1. Hi Alison, absolutely, Lier is a gem of a town. (There is also a part that is UNESCO World Heritage protected).

      I think you are right about me being drawn to colour, I love playing with them. I also believe many people don't realize the extent that colour can affect people...

      Well, Cleo sat in her cozy spot for quite a while when I was busy moving things about, I only noticed her at the end when I had to clear the floor again! :D xx

  8. Haha, die kat ligt daar lekker in het kastje! Die van ons doet dat ook geregeld als ik flink aan het opruimen ben. :) je shrug is mooi geworden. Blijft ie goed hangen of gaat ie van je schouders afzakken? Daar ben ik wel nieuwsgierig naar. En dat park... Dat ziet er echt prachtig uit! Fijn dat je zulk mooi weer had bij het bezoek van jr familie. Groetjes

    1. Hi Lizette! Dankje! :) Het zit er goed op mijn schouders, geen problem. En de achterkant van mijn nek blijvt lekker warm! :) Ja, we hadden geluk gehad met her weer! Nu regent het meer! xx

  9. I am truely amazed how fast you work! Whenever I read one of your posts, you finished something new... The Shrug looks great! I will show it to one of my work ladies who likes to knit. :-)

    Take care

    1. Thank you, Anne! Hope your colleague likes it! Did you see the links to the German patterns in Brigitte and about Masche? (on their website are 2 crochet patterns - check: - feeling inspired?)
      Did you see my comment to Michelle above - you could easily make a crochet shrug... ;) xx

  10. Well done on your shrug, love the Autumnal colours, bet is feels luxurious.
    Fabby pics, so nice to get a glimpse of your world.
    Cleo a proper cutey.
    Enjoy your week Ingrid.

    1. Thanks, Helen! It's definitely keeping me warm, especially after my recent hair cut (much shorter at the back!) :) Hope you have a good weekend! xx

  11. Love your shrug - I'm sure it is lovely and warm. I used a similar contruction ot make myself 2 small shrugs for the summer - just enough to cover my shoulders. Wish I had more time to knit and crochet.

    1. Brilliant idea - I still need one for the summer! ;) What kind of yarn you use? I'm sure you will find more time again, now the evenings are getting darker outside. Hope your garden is doing ok, do you still need to harvest more?

  12. By the way - love all your crochet and your new profile picture. It is new, isn't it???

    1. Thanks!!! Well done for spotting it! I picked one of the photos taken at Vordenstein on Saturday, it shows better what I look like right now... Have a nice weekend ahead!!! xx

  13. It sounds like you had a really nice time with your mother. That looks like a beautiful place for a walk together. Your shrug and other projects are really beautiful. The shrug looks lovely on you and fits so well.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer, for all your compliments! :)

  14. Your shrug is lovely, I couldn't quite work out what size it was, but it is just the right size for what you wanted and it looks so good on you! I look forward to seeing more of the gardens, it looks as though they are very pretty. Glad that you had such a great visit! xx

    1. Hi Amy! Well, the shrug is a kind of 'One size fits all'! The gardens were stunning, I will post more photos soon! Happy weekend! xx

  15. Hello Ingrid How lovely that you spent time with your mother, Lier looks like a beautiful town and so interesting to visit. Love your shrug, such gorgeous colours, and your blanket too!
    Happy weekend!
    Helen xox

    1. Thanks, Helen! Hope you are enjoying the weekend! xx

  16. So glad you had a lovely visit with your family and that the weather cooperated so you could be outside. Love the shrug!!!!! Oh my it is beautiful and you look just perfect wearing it. All your projects are inspiring.

    1. Hi Meredith! Yes, it has already come in handy for this weather now, the days are getting cooler and I've been wearing it on a daily basis whenever I'm feeling the chill.

      Thanks for the compliment, I'm just really happy to share my makes with other people, it's so nice to hear what everyone has to say.

      And I also get inspired by so many things I read in everyone's blogs, seeing how family life provides an antidote to so many pressures we face!
      Have a good weekend!
      Hugs! xx

  17. So beautiful shrug!
    Harlequin blanket is a fantasy of colors!!!
    Cleo <3 ! :)
    Happy weekend.:*

    1. Thanks for your compliments - I have used 24 colours by today, and I still got more to come, then I will repeat them, but in new combinations! I find it very exciting, because I don't plan too far ahead!
      Have a lovely weekend!!! xx

  18. Lovely photos! Your shurg is so pretty, the colours are amazing :)

    1. Thanks Elisabeth! Pleased that you managed to find my blog! :))
      I will go and check out yours in return! xx