A love for concrete

I’m in love with Kiev. With only two short visits to the city I think we should talk about love at first sight. It is a city that is marked by time. And it is still marked by tensions, developments and protests. It is also a city with passion. The love for her facets, from old cable cars to metro stations that can almost be turned into a museum. But above all it is a city of unparalleled beauty. Every corner you turn gives you a new surprise. This blog is not about architecture, nor about travel tips. But about how cities can inspire your crochet work. At least with me – but you can do something with that too.

Until about 1955, the new construction in Eastern European cities was dominated by gray blocks. It was a unique situation. Due to the bombing during the war, many urban areas had to be completely rebuilt. As a result, there was the possibility to coordinate the buildings. But attention to individuality was therefore hard to find.

This changes after 1955. More is being experimented with forms and there is more room for the individual. Although (gray) concrete is still used a lot, the shapes are freer. There will be more curved lines and, for example, braid made of reinforced concrete. This architecture, often found in cities in Poland, Moldova and Belarus, is not necessarily recognized. Socialist modernism is still seen as Soviet and residents clearly prefer later architecture.

But unknown makes unloved. As far as I am concerned in this case, particularly unjustified. So I put on the tough shoes and went to work with wicker. The result is “the Polish turtleneck“. Perfect if you want to see the architecture in the East in the rough days of the year. In any case, I heartily recommend it.

Dear pansies, thank you for your colours

“Roses are red, violets are blue. I love you. ”This is probably and the most used rhyming phrase ever. I dare to bet quite some money on that. Yet on Valentine’s Day the roses are five times as expensive and you are very likely to be rejected when you arrive with a bowl of violets. At least normally. My father would make you particularly happy with such a bowl. And maybe even more than with a bunch of roses, me too. Since I don’t have a great relationship with plants, they probably survive longer than those roses – which I don’t get either. And on top of that, violets can be found in many more and more beautiful color combinations. All the more reason to write a blog about it.

By the way, first to come back to the beginning, violets are by no means the symbol of love for everyone. In fact, Shakespeare, whom I would almost dare call the king of love, saw them as a symbol of death. That is, if they were mentioned in the plays then it was usually just before or after a character had found a tragic death. Although the latter may not be very difficult if you are a bit familiar with Shakespeare’s pieces.

But although we always talk about “violets” in a general sense, there is a wide variety. Of course we know the long rows of planters at the garden center filled with practically every conceivable color combination. But did you know that in many cases these are actually just a few of the many (read, 400+!) types of violets that exist? The multitude of colors is because a lot has been crossed within the species, resulting in natural and spontaneous discolorations. The growers gratefully make use of this, resulting in an amazing combination of colors in our garden. Whether they are large or you have just found a place for the smaller forest violets, the colors attract attention anyway.

And that is especially the nice thing about violets, they are colorful almost all year round. That is, as long as it does not freeze, the flower continues to bloom. So even though the plant can cheer up your garden for only 1 season, it is a long season. And as far as I’m concerned there is nothing more fun and cheerful than to see a collection of violets in every possible color combination. A cup of tea and some sun and for the time being I am sweet.

With only a small balcony at my disposal – which I also have no view of from the couch – the colorful fields are not an option for me. And because even my embroidery of pansies on the windowsill does not completely cover the desire, I design a plant pot with pansies. So not only do I have a fun crochet project, but now I also have a little extra color at home.

Do you also want to get started? The pattern can be found via the link below and to celebrate spring on sale until the end of May.

All rabbits unite!

That I am a huge fan of rabbits should no longer be a surprise if you know our wonderful office manager. And so Easter must be on the top of my list as a bank holiday. Yes it certainly does. But mainly because I also like croissants which almost has become a tradition during the Easter breakfast. In the meantime, there is no Easter branch in the room anymore and the Easter breakfast is just like any other breakfast consisting of yoghurt with muesli. But crocheting for Easter to decorate my house is still a great excuse. So here is a blog about how the hares go about Easter and whether the egg or the chicken came first.

First, let’s talk about Easter. Such as several holidays during our year with an origin in religion where we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ. Yet we do not see any cakes and sandwiches in the shape of thorn wreaths. The Easter bunny comes surprisingly from a completely different background. The Germanic goddess Eostre was responsible for the weather and, according to mythology, sent the different seasons into the world on time. Nowadays, she seems to have changed her working hours, it seems, but even then she overslept. As a result, spring came too late for a small bird that hoped over the earth with lame wings. But Eostre was always in for creative solutions and turned the bird into a hare so that it could live a nice life. And once a year it can now lay eggs, just like the distant ancestors.

And speaking of eggs, they come from the Christian festival. Easter announces the end of Lent. During this period, meat, eggs and butter and the like are traditionally not eaten. The story goes that the chickens kept laying eggs during this period. The first day after the fasting period was therefore a good opportunity to use the large supply of eggs. At the same time, eggs are also seen as a symbol of fertility. Whether that applies to the country or to the people, I would not dare say – I have not done research into grain yields and the busyness of midwives in the post-Easter period.

So, the best preparation for Easter apart from cholesterol-lowering drugs is by using needle and thread. If you do not have a bouncing four-legged friend, crochet then this hare is your potential new house mate from Ravelry. Lovely to crochet and I can say from experience that it is even better to dive on the couch or to cuddle in bed. And in the classic and indispensable category, Snuf Konijn from Stip & Haak cannot be missed either. Then I know for sure that it will be a happy Easter. Do you want to be there when the chickens are there? Consider an egg apron to conveniently carry all your eggs to and from the kitchen. Whether they come from the chicken coop or from the shopping bag. I can, however, recommend that you do not put them in raw. At least if you are as clumsy as me. Do you prefer to go for the safer option? Then simply crochet these egg warmers in the shape of hare. Safe, cheerful and really something for spring.

About Crocheticipation

It is almost a year since Crocheticipation was officially founded. A milestone, perhaps, but at the same time there is so much going on, that all the years that are going to come should be even better. Still, it seems like a good time to reflect on who we are and what we do.

First the facts. I am Lara: 26 happy young years. Debate trainer, (over) enthusiastic hobby cook, creative with tea bags, wool and fabrics, and, if I have time left, a good book. In the summer of 2018 I quit my job to follow my heart and do nice things. That is besides being a debate trainer and a speaker coach, especially includes crocheting and designing, the idea of ​​Crocheticipation has been in my head for a long time and now suddenly there was time.

A few years ago I did an internship in Bolivia on the edge of the Andes. Before I started my actual assignment, I did volunteer work for a month on a farm. Just because I could, but mainly because I had to get used to the altitude (I have been to 4000 meters above sea level) and to the culture of the country. At the farm I was mainly engaged in horse therapy for handicapped children. The family used the income from the regular lessons to pay for the therapy to a large extent. Due to the lack of care for these children, many parents are forced to stay at home, also because the children often can not or only to a limited extent attend school. Crochet is (I also did not know) very popular and well known in Bolivia as well. The idea arose to give the women there material that would then by them be made into products that could be sold again. From the income the families could do just that extra what was needed. The idea has always remained in my mind, and so I finally came up with the idea to start ‘Crocheticipation’.

I know, the name is a hell to pronounce. But I think it is exactly the essence of what we want to achieve over time. Namely use crochet for a participatory society (participation), or actually simply put to help people. If they can use their time and skills to help themselves. Why should not I be able to do that too?

The foundation now has the foundation. The first patterns are online and the mission and vision are on the shelf for the final adjustments. So it’s time to do a lot of good things. Do you know small-scale, local organizations that are in for adventurous ways to raise publicity and perhaps some money? Then I would like to get in touch with them! Have them send a message to crocheticipation@gmail.com.

Behind the CoCo Col

The patterns of Crocheticipation are not just patterns. The designs have a story and a background. In this series we look at the story behind the patterns. Where do they come from and why should not the pattern and therefore the product made be missing in your collection? Today the first in the series: the CoCo Col. A wonderfully tight pattern made with 1 ball of yarn.

I am a Virgo, or Virgo is my constellation. Not that I’m actively shouting that out everywhere, except that I wear a small image of it around my neck. And I do not do horoscopes at all – maybe that’s why I have not met my other half and I should give it a try. But that is for another time. Anyway, sometimes you read, hear or learn more about the features of constellations. So Virgo’s seem to be rather perfectionistic. Well, there is nothing to get in the way of that.

I crochet tight and neat. I can not stand it if something is sloppy or does not go straight. For example, I reluctantly finished a pillow this afternoon, while it was actually half sloping. And in the coming days, I will almost disassemble another one to tie it neatly together again. If it does not want to be neat, then it doesn’t need to be at all. My preference is therefore always for patterns that are a bit tight. Then you can also really crochet them and there is hardly any difference between the first and last stitch.

With a ball received from Pera & Pasha on the KreaDoe last spring on the lap, I flipped through the crochet bible. On the eve of a trip to Southern Africa, I sat with my parents at the kitchen table and that’s how I got the idea for the pattern. Nice and tight and to my surprise it quickly disappears. The only problem was that I hardly had time and peace of mind to work on it, something that hardly happens to me.

That brought up a problem anyway, because of course I could not go home with an unfinished project. So the hours on the plane, the journey was long enough, were to be granted to this project. That did treat me to weird looks from the cabin crew. I had just found my crocheting turbo and the steward was looking around so surprised at how my fingers were working hard. “It must be finished today?” He asked. Yes, I said. And a little less than four hours later, with another five hours of waiting time until the next flight and the entertainment, it was finished. For me that is an important condition of projects that go with me on my travels, you do not have to think too much about the pattern. And oh yes, it is inevitable that you should at least do a few rows again because it was actually too late or you were doing too many other things during crocheting. And even being a woman, I have to acknowledge my limits from time to time.

Better sooner than later, because after the next flight it turned out that in London it was 30 degrees colder than in Victoria Falls where we came from. Then the col turned out to be small but nice. The acrylic feels practically like cotton and is therefore wonderfully airy but also warm when needed. And it turned out that it also fit perfectly with the shirt that I was wearing. Well, there’s a first for everything.

Download the pattern in January 2019 for free in the webshop.

In the beginning

Writing has never really been my cup of tea. Anyway, I once said that about crochet. And see this. I come from a family where we always did something creative. My mother always sat with her embroidery on the couch in the evening. In the house there is really no decent place left to find more to hang a big work. But on Sunday it was always a party. Then came the 3D sheets, boxes with scissors, punches, sand, you can not think of it so crazy. Together with my mother and my sister we prepared the stationary of my mother to proportional size. Even CDs and tea bags were not safe. Ah, there are definitely worse hobbies to think of.

One of my weaknesses

Even after I left home, studying is after all an unavoidable evil, the virus has not been resolved. Within no time, I had bought four big boxes of tea bags via Marktplaats in Arnhem to make cards. Evenings and weekends I sat on the floor in the living room between mountains of tea bags to search and sort everything. A true pleasure. All of that was not so bad, until I came across a crochet package once in a shop.

My first crochet project

My mother promised me that she would teach me during a weekend away in Leiden. We ended up at a special location on a houseboat where I awkwardly tried on the couch to fiddle a wire through a loop with a foolish hook. We laughed until we fell down, but I should and would finish that pillow. So I did, at Christmas that year, almost 7 months after the start. Then there followed a hippo, and an elephant and potholders and so much more. I made the bedspread in front of the bed with my parents while reading the articles for my graduation research.

Now the roles are reversed. My mother calls or apps me with questions about patterns and last year we went to a creative fair for the first time. And I even got her doing amigurumi. In the meantime my little apartment bulges with all kinds of yarns and my Pinterest account is flooded with photos of ideas that have to be worked out again.

I actually get my inspiration from everywhere. But I find it particularly interesting to combine exciting colors, calculating a new shape or using new and different types of yarn. Because hooks should be fun, but I think, if you buy a new pattern, a bit interesting. You must continue to learn. Because secretly, I always remain an academic with an insatiable curiosity.

Good intentions

When the new year has started, we automatically have good intentions. One stops drinking, the other stops smoking, we want to lose this much weight and that one thing should be done better than last year. I make good intentions throughout the year, but it seemed appropriate to me, with the start of Crocheticipation, to make some more good intentions with regard to crochet. So here my 3 main intentions for next year.

More beautiful crochet meetings

I do not remember why I started writing blogs. Probably on a whim, as I often have of those things, which later gets out of hand. But what I do know for sure is why I continue writing. Because I met so many incredibly great people in the past year, with even more beautiful stories that have to be told. And in the coming year, I hope not only to meet even more beautiful people, but especially to share the stories with even more people. Because I think that crocheting is something that connects, people who would never meet. I look forward incredibly to doing this, and the more reason to fulfill this good intention.

Everything is better when you are together

Finish the Persian Tiles blanket

Occasionally I come across such a pattern that I know I have to make. Just because it still lurks around in my head for weeks afterwards, I just do not get the picture out of my mind. Similarly with the blanket of the Persian Tiles. So last year I bought the yarn. I’ve already made quite some progress and at the end of the year I really want to have it on my bed. Fortunately, I also have a few series ready to bingewatch and outside it is still too cold and too gray to do nice things. I say, the key to success!

Finish the pattern for my new cardigan

I am in love, just with the colors to start with

One of the things that gives me the most energy is to work out those nice ideas that are once in your head. Unfortunately, that takes so much time. It is great to see how something follows after each tour. But from there you just have to know how the next round turns out. And unfortunately, my designs have not really been things that you can make in 1 day – a small exception left there. So it takes a while to work out everything. So you will not miss this year that I am quite a horse girl. But even more important, with the beautiful yarn of Linie 164 Java I am making one of the most beautiful things I have ever thought of – or so I think. With this beautiful shiny cotton I am making a nice cardigan with different structures. A real eye-catcher and I can not wait until it is finished and I can share it with you.In short, I already see it happening. That will be locked up for weeks at home and crocheting and writing everything.

So: crochet hook at the ready? Crochet on!