Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Beauty of Stars, Nordic Fairisle Cowl, Postcards from Brussels and Luik, and the Harlequin Blanket

My dear Friends,

If anybody had told me a year ago that I would spend this morning ironing stars, I would have not believed them! If anybody had told me a week ago that I would spend some time perched pecariously on a high ladder, taking photographs for my blog, I would have said: Of course! Anything for my dear readers!!! ;)

Some stars I ironed this morning
Postcards from Brussels

But first, let's go back in time to last week. I had to travel to Brussels and this is what I saw:

The Escher-like Escalator steps in the Shopping Centre City 2
How big is your pumpkin?
...Mine's bigger!
Auf Wiedersehen Nordsee! Bonjour Happy Fish!
The endless escalators, 2 huge pumpkins and finding the Happy Fish restaurant all caught my eye!

To explain: In Germany we have a chain of Fish Restaurant called 'Nordsee' (a bit like Harry Ramsden's in England). I had managed to find the only branch of Nordsee in Belgium and it just happened to be situated in the very City 2 shopping centre that I was passing through! And they serve the same menu as in Germany, yay! Missing England, I had to try their Fish and Chips, complete with German Remouladensauce, and it was very tasty!!!

The other thing that benefitted from my travelling was the Nordic Fairisle Cowl - it was finished in exactly 3 days (on Friday evening). Here it is:

Nordic Fairisle Cowl - Ta-dah!!!
Three Cowls I made recently (1 Crochet, 2 Knitted ones)

Here is just a brief Postcard from Antwerp - there are quite a number of roadworks going on, including in Antwerpen Zuid, and recently the Brederode Straat (Wide Red Street) has undergone a facelift with new road and pavement surfaces, including this fancy red sign, which I want to share with you! (I was walking from Madam Woll to my tram stop).

Brede Rode Straat, Antwerpen

Postcards from Luik

On the weekend we visited Luik (or Liège in French). Here are some quick impressions. The city has 2 rivers, Meuse and Ourthe which makes it look quite unique. We also passed by the old Cathedral.

Luik Cathedral
River Meuse (looking left)
River Meuse (looking right)
...and again, but standing further in on the brigde than in previous photo
Slightly overdressed on a hot day in October!
We had a lovely day, and even managed to spend some time sitting outside in a cafe in the afternoon! As you can see from the previous photos, the sun was shining brightly and it must have been above 25 degrees! (I had dressed for autumn, with long sleeves and wearing a coat, which I soon had to take off!

Wiki page Luik  
Liege Cathedral Wiki page

Star Garland

It began with this blog post. Which linked on to this blog with complete tutorial. All sorts of bells were going off in my head as soon as I had seen the pictures - because I suddenly remembered that I actually had bought the book some months back -I was sold because of the Star Garland on the cover! Doh!!!

Hook, Yarn and Crochet by Ros Badger
So, late on Sunday night I got out my book and followed the instructions, making 3 fancy crochet stars in my favourite Scheepjeswol Stonewashed yarn which I knew would look good for something like this.

On Monday I managed to make some more stars (great for taking bits of my yarn and hook along on the bus) and by Tuesday lunchtime I had come up with 16 stars, one of each colour of the yarn. (Yes, I know! I don't do things by halves!!!)

Off I went to the Knitting Cafe in Hoboken where I sewed up all ends, and attached the stars to a crochet chain. The finished garland is just under 3m long! Ta-dah!!!

Crochet Star Garland

This morning I proceeded to iron my precious stars, like you do. (I hate ironing, but needs must!)

Spot the difference - before and after ironing!
We are all made of Stars!
And then I climbed onto aforementioned ladder to attach them to the wall above our balcony windows/door. Luckily I managed to climb down safely, after taking several photos for you all!

My Crochet Star Garland

 And last, not least, here is what I am currently working on:

Harlequin Blanket (WIP)

Harlequin Blanket 22.10.14
More rows added!

Knitted Chunky Cowl (WIP) - started Tuesday evening (21.10.14)

Began this cowl with the same chunky yarn I recently used for my Shrug, but in another colourway which is amazing! I'm halfway through the first ball of yarn! I love an easy going project like this one! Also good for travelling, the blanket is getting pretty heavy and needs it's own bag!!!!

Chunky Knitted Cowl WIP

And here is a little music to go along with the Stars! :D

So, thanks for sticking with me and reading yet another bumper edition this time, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did putting it all together for you all. Also thanks for your lovely comments, you are spurning me on to more and greater things all the time. I get so inspired by what you have to say, and what I read on your blogs in return. It is amazing to think how many of us are all busy doing something creative, maybe even now in this very moment, and it isn't purely that we have to, but that we choose to do this!

I hope I can help to inspire you, and I would like to tempt you to check out the tutorial for the crochet stars and give it a try, and if you do, please leave me a comment below. Happy crocheting!

I promise it is quite easy! These would make lovely Christmas ornaments - or use it to personalize a Card?!

One last thing: I am very proud and pleased that I managed to make use of my Ravelry account and actually added the Star Garland in all it's technicolour glory to my projects (well, it is my only project on there so far - you can find it on this page!!!) If you are also on there, feel free to 'befriend' me, and I can find your favourites!

Have a wonderful week and weekend! Comments are open now: ;)


  1. Wow wow wow, i finished reading your blogpost! You make such long ones... I can hardly come up with a reaction for i forgot what i was reading above. :s But for sure thats a really nice garland! Thank you for sharing the patternlink. And you look beautiful in your autumn-dress with nice necklace! But i know it was a bit hot this saterday... :) greetings!

    1. Thank you, Lizette! I know, it turned out very long. It's just when I am busy, I have no time to blog, and then the next time I blog, I don't want to leave anything out that I made in the meantime!!!
      Thanks for the compliment! ;) PS: Yesterday I managed to 'score' some more Fenna, yay!!! Have a good week!!! xx

    2. Oh, more fenna! Thats nice! I am making a circulair vest right now from fenna purple/brown. :)

    3. Yay!!! Enjoy crocheting your vest! It will be great, I'm sure.
      Oh, I just had to start on another South Bay Shawlette - in Fenna Rainbow colours!!! It makes me happy just adding stitches and see the colours change, it is hard to stop!!! (But I have to because I need to go to my Dutch lessons soon for this evening!) xx

  2. Thanks for sharing your stars on Ravelry!
    Steeds leuk om je blog te lezen! Misschien moet ik er ook eens ééntje beginnen! ;-)

    1. Hi Christine! Met plezier gedaan!!
      Mischien moet je wel beginnen, maar dan heb je nooit tijd om meer te breien, hehehe! ;) xx

  3. Hello Ingrid,
    Your stars are incredibly sweet, both in pattern and colour choice, a wonderful garland that has the benefit of being seasonal with different colour choices to suit. Ha Ha the lengths we bloggers go to in order to get a good picture-garlands are ridiculously hard to photo!
    A really lovely make.
    Phew you had a busy week, so glad you had a treat with the fish and chips (did they serve chips?).
    Best wishes

    1. Thanks, Helen! I knew someone would understand, hehe!
      Yes, it was chips though not quite like English chips, but hey, it was good! ;) xx

  4. Beautiful cowls,fantastic stars garland!!!

    1. Thank you for your compliments, Ljubinka!!! xx

  5. The garland is stunning. I love to see the photos of your travels, some great trips. So pleased for you that you managed to get fish and chips from the restaurant you favour.

    1. Thanks, Lorraine, glad you enjoyed the photos! I try to remember taking the camera with me more often! Yes, finding that one Happy Fish in the whole of Belgium was a bit uncanny!!! xx

  6. Wow, your projects are amazing, I love the colours!


    1. Hi Helen, Thanks for finding my blog and your kind comments! :)
      Yes, I am definitely drawn to colour/s!!! Hope you might find a little bit of inspiration here! xx

  7. I love your cowls and star garland. Be careful climbing on ladders!

  8. I have the same necklare! How funny is that? ��

    Great stars! ��

    Take care Anne

    1. Hello Anne! Thanks! :) Really??? Mine is from Leju and is made from Vegetable Ivory, I got several things from them. This necklace is not in their current catalogue, but this one is a bit similar:
      I met the owners of the company at a trade fair and was impressed by their commitment to design and sell ethical jewellery with a unique flair! - Where did you get yours from? xx

    2. I got mine from Contigo ( when I still lived in Oldenburg. Unfortunatly there is no Contigo Shop in Dortmund.
      The necklare was made out of the tagua nut and is fairtrade too :-) I also own the matching earrings and another necklare. They are sooo lovely aren't they?

    3. Ahhh!!! Well, seems they are almost identical! Mine are made from Tagua, too! This means - we are necklace sisters, heheh! :D xx

  9. You are so well-traveled, Ingrid. There's always something interesting to see here. I really love those pumpkins, they're so big! I enjoy fish and chips so I think I'd like to eat at Happy Fish too. Your work is beautiful, that is such a pretty garland. Hope you're having a good week!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer, for your kind comments! The thing about living in Belgium is that it is a quite small country within Europe, so within an hour we could reach the Dutch border or 2 hrs and we reach the German border. I realize that not everybody knows much about Belgium as such, so I try to include little snippets that I believe might be interesting to my readers whenever I get the chance. (Likewise I find it fascinating about things going on where you live!)
      My week seems to be flying by, today I started on another shawl.... ;) Have a nice weekend! xx

    2. Thank you for the travel pictures, I love seeing new places and although I have been to Holland, I didn't get a chance to see either Belgium or Germany even though they are so close.
      One day, maybe! If I can't see them in person, I appreciate getting a taste through your blog.

  10. Your star garland is very pretty! Your cowls are lovely too, the fair isle knitting is so nice <3 Thank you for the tour around Brussels :D

    1. Hello Elisabeth! Thanks for your lovely comments! Well, it wasn't a proper tour around Brussels, just inside one shopping centre... I took some photos outdoors, too, but it was such a grey day! xx

  11. your garland is really pretty ! here too it's a warm weather I'm in the south of France now and it's really warm ! You're very productive ... i'm impressed ! So have a creative day !

    1. Thanks, Geraldine! Here it has gone colder now, more windy and rain showers! I love making stuff, I have so many ideas and often feel there just isn't enough time. So I tend to use 'lost time' such as waiting and sitting on the bus with crochet or knitting. It's amazing how productive that can be! xx

  12. Hallo Ingrid, ik zag je in de bib, nadien vond ik de mooi gekleurde Fenna wol in Wibra Turnhoutsebaan Borgerhout, ze hebben er nog. Bedankt voir de tip! Greet

    1. Hallo Greet! Het was echt leuk je te zien vandag! :) Super, dat je nog de wol had kunnen vinden! Wat gaa je maken? Fijne weekend nog!!! xx

  13. I love being on your travels with you, you take us to such amazing places. Love, love , love the stars and the harlequin blanket. I swear it would make the most beautiful cowl.
    Hugs to you my friend and I almost forgot you look fantastic in that picture.

    1. Hi Meredith!! Thanks for all your sweet compliments! Shame you live so far away, we could have a lovely time sitting together, crocheting and chatting!!! Have a lovely weekend! Hugs! xx

  14. What a gorgeous and full of colors star garland, Ingrid!! I love it. Thank you very much for visiting my blog :-) Have a nice week!