24 November 2010

My swap package has arrived!

Yay! Yay! Yayyayyayyay! After a loooooong wait (partly because she sent it out later because she wanted to add something really cool which I really didn't mind, partly because it took 2 weeks to get from Scotland to Holland, which I wasn't expecting at all) my package finally arrived yesterday!

(apologies for the box, I couldn't wait to get it open, and then I couldn't get it open..)
All neatly wrapped in blue tissue paper, with a lovely little card stuck in the middle, which I opened first of course. Then the tissue paper came off so quick I forgot to snap pictures, then I ooo'd and aaaa'd and cuddled and laughed and had a happy smile on my face as I ran out the door because I was horribly late for work.

Thankfully I had some more time this morning. Here's the whole bunch!
Chocolate, more chocolate (I had a hard time keeping the BF off that bar of Cadbury chocolate), gorgeous yarn (the purple one is merino, the blue and yellow a wool/angora mix. soooooo... sooooooft.... caaaaan't... stooopp... cudddddling.....), some stitch markers which are equally awesome, but not as Awesome as the doll to the far right. I have named him Angus, for he looks like an Angus, and is awesome, therefore he is Awesome Angus.

He rocks.

Some close-ups of the loot:
Gorgeous stitch markers! I don't know how you did it, Shirley, because I have been musing over making my own or buying some stitch markers sometime soon for a little while now, but I don't think I ever posted about that!

Gorgeous yarn! All those little colourchanges and specs of blue and purple and pink.. Love it! No idea what I am going to make with it, but it's soooo sooooft, and soooo pretty, it needs to be turned into something really cool.

And look! More gorgeous yarn! I got two blue balls (teehee) and one yellow skein, and I think the blue yarn is going to be a hat or beret or something to keep my ears warm this winter, because it is so soft and cuddly and mostly wool so really warm too! The yellow one will join the purple yarn in my 'this is so pretty, it needs to be kept for a special project' pile. Which consists of the purple yarn, the yellow yarn, and 2 balls of sock yarn I once bought and still haven't decided on what they should be used for.

And there he is. Awesome Angus! I think he had his arm twisted a bit while travelling from Scotland to Holland so he is currently enjoying some recovery time in the living room, but he will be getting a really good spot in the study, where he shall be cheering me up all day long. It's a heavy task, but I think he's up for it.

Yeah. He'll manage.

Thank you so much for the wonderful goodies, Shirley!

18 November 2010

The blue monster returns

Remember this one?

The thing that wouldn't stop looking like a piece of underwear?

I grew tired of it. It was living in a plastic ziploc baggie in my project bag (the giant mesh-marketbag that's hanging from my doorknob, the one with all the needles and yarn sticking out of it because it's overloaded), it got in the way, it was not happy and neither was I. See, every time I took it out of its plastic habitat, I looked at it, and lost all interest. It was wobbly, wouldn't lie flat no matter how I pulled and pushed, and it felt like I had been working on it for AAAAAGES and it still wasn't big enough from tip to tip to be wrapped comfortably around my neck, while the bottom tip was already hanging down my tummy in the front. It was stupid. Looked like a meshy bib. (see what I did there?)


No, don't worry, I haven't ripped it yet. I'm working my way up to that, but I want to see where the balls of blue cotton I still have will take me. This is seven rows into the Elise shawl (rav pattern). The pattern itself calls for sock-weight yarn and a 5.5 mm hook, but I'm stubborn and use my 3 mm hook on.. eh.. thin yarn (is this sock-weight? I don't know!) because it want it to be less open.

So far, I quite like it. It's a pretty and pretty easy pattern, and basically consists of a 2 row repeat, so hard to mess up. (but, well, you know, not for me, obviously, since I already had to rip out a row because I got started on the wrong row. 50% chance of messing up, trust me to pick the wrong option.)

I'm curious how this one turns out when it's larger than 7 rows, so I'll keep you posted.

11 November 2010

Cold weather makes me do things

Bad things. Evil things. Things that may very well destroy me.
Like making fingerless gloves and starting on a hat, even though I told myself not to do it.

It's the cold, I tell you. It makes me do things. And makes me think of bad things. I was walking to the shops today, on my way to get groceries, and I suddenly just found myself inside this little kitchenware shop, staring at Le Creuset oven dishes and 75 euro garlic presses. All of a sudden, all grocery shopping forgotten, I was daydreaming of a kitchen filled with Le Creuset pans and pots and dishes and... Then I realised that the small bowl I was holding was a 25 euro bowl that could fit in my palm and that I in no way was paying that much for that little, and I hurried out the door and got on with shopping. (without the bowl in my hand, of course. Thought I'd just point that out.)

I'm going to make a giant lasagna now, that'll help me get warm again. But not without leaving you with this picture of what our parking lot looked like last week. Not anymore, with those heavy winds. Good thing we still have the pictures.

4 November 2010

Just some random bits of blogging

My wrist has gone AUCHPOPAUCH again. How, I don't know. Why, beats me. All I know is that I can't make any sudden movements, such as not move my fingers at all and keep my hand perfectly still. Or something. Any way, this means I'm bored out of my mind because I can't give in to urges such as use my purty new yarn to crochet fingerless mitts or hats (no, not fingerless hats, just hats. which basically, if you really think about it, are also fingerless.).

So I'll keep you guys entertained with something I've been working on for at least two weeks now. Two whole weeks. Keep that in mind.

It's impressive, let me tell you that.


Oh yes. I've been knitting again. One needle full of impressive, difficult... stockinette stitch. See that bit of blue in the bottom corner? Two rows below that is the edge. I kid you not. It took me about two weeks (I'll admit, not two weeks of non-stop knitting of course) to get this far in.

Conclusion: knitting is so slooooow compared to crochet! Unbelievable! It's such a shame that crochet fabrics don't look as neat as knitted fabrics do (the reason I'm learning myself to knit) because it takes AAAAGES!

If I ever finish this, though, it'll be a little purse or pen case or needle case or something. It needs to be big enough to hold all my crochet needles and normal needles and measuring tape, so thankfully, not too big at all.

(also, I might be lying about the not knowing why my wrist went *pop* again. It might just be because of the knitting.)

Crochet-wise, I've been making a tiny, little, but useful, thing for a swap on the We Love Lucy-group on Ravelry but as far as I know, the package hasn't arrived at its new owner yet so I won't spoil the surprise yet.

Grandma loved the pillow, by the way. And with 'loved' I mean 'adored it and apparently showed it to every single person in the house that came to visit for her birthday and stalked me on the phone for a week because she wanted to thank me again because she was so impressed'. And no, I don't mean stalked in a bad way, it's my grandma! We just kept missing each other's phone calls for a week.

I did end up getting her on the phone though, and we talked about crafts for a good 10 minutes. One of her more memorable quotes: "I never thought you'd be one to pick up crafts like crochet or knitting! You never were interested in it when you were younger!" which gave me a good chuckle since she did try to teach all of us to knit, but we never were very interested. (probably because it's so SLOW)


In other news, autumn came peeking round the corner and decided to hang out for a while. It's getting colder (another reason I resent the fact that I can't make those fingerless mitts) and you all know what that means!

Purty leaves all over the place!


Also, I've picked up this book, The Small Hand by Susan Hill, yesterday and I got to tell you, it's really nice! I almost just bought it for the amazingly gorgeous cover, but the story, an old-fashioned ghost story set in a reasonably recent time (it's not really specified as far as I'm aware) and I love a good ghost story.


Meanwhile, I've been listening to a lot of Dutch singers lately (don't know why, they're just really really good!) and I've got some Spotify-links to share with you. Listen. Love. Really.

- Lisa Lois - Smoke
- Caro Emerald - Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor
- Laura Jansen - Bells
- (I think this one is more interesting for Dutch readers, since they sing Dutch lyrics. Still, it's a good cd, if you like 'kleinkunst'!) Jurk - Avondjurk

And really, if you don't have Spotify, go get it, it's awesome. AWESOME I say.


There. Enough random bits and ends. I'll go and make a cup of tea now.

1 November 2010


I tried something new today. I put a pot of water on the stove, dumped in three bouillon-cubes, a bunch of broccoli and a handful of other veggies..

You can tell where this is going right?

To this!

But then I did this... *

And I got...


Oh, wait. I know what happened. Because then..

This happened.

And I hope a lot more of that will be happening tonight at dinner. That is, if I can stop myself from wandering in the kitchen every now and then and sticking my face in the pot and drinking all of this right up.

*: (okay, not really. I stuck my immersion blender in the pot and made lots of nasty squishy splurtsy noises.)

Broccoli soup

-one head of broccoli
- about 1.2 liters of water
-other veggies to taste (I used a handful of veggies from a veggie mix, with carrots, onions, bell peppers, leeks and something that looked a hell of a lot like more broccoli)
-2 or 3 vegetable bouillon-cubes (depends on your taste, I like mine a bit salty)
- bacon cubes or strips of bacon, cut into small bits
- mushrooms, sliced.

Chop the florets off the broccoli and put them in a large pot. Chop the stems into smallish bits (or leave them out, up to you). Throw in the other veggies, all chopped into small bits (if they're not chopped already). Pop in the cubes and pour the water into the pot. Bring the whole thing to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are nice and soft.

Now comes the fun part. Take your immersion blender, stick it into the pot and WRRRIEEEEEEEEEENGGGGGGGGG it all together until smooth. Or, if you don't have an immersion blender or fear the possibility of green stains all over your kitchen because you are like me and will try to lift the immersion blender out too high so you can make a fountain with your soup (sorry), pour it into a blender and blend until smooth. You'll probably want to do this in batches, though.

Once all your soup is back in the pot (unless it's on your ceiling, then I wouldn't put that back in), taste and add salt and pepper.

Keep it warm while you fry up the bacon bits/cubes and the mushrooms (I'd do it separately, but I guess you can just throw both in a big frying pan and stirfry).

To serve, either add the bacon and mushrooms to the soup beforehand, or keep them in a separate bowl like toppings. Serve with cheesy bread, breadsticks or cheesy breadsticks (see the general idea here?)

I saw people also liked to put in a bit of heavy cream or sour cream, which might also be a nice addition.