Forty days without meat (36 & 37), plus some crochet

Let’s start with the crochet. I taught myself to crochet last summer. Before that the holding of yarn & hook and the movements never clicked. It might have helped that I also taught myself to knit holding the yarn on the left hand instead of on the right (although the latter is still my preferred method). Since today I didn’t have class (yay!) after studying some in the morning I decided to pay a visit to my dear Knit Flanders. I’ve missed them terribly! I finished the sleeve on my cardigan, but I couldn’t cast off because I forgot to bring a bigger needle (silly me). So I moved onto practicing some crochet. And the results are these:

My first flower motif. It doesn’t look too bad.

My first granny hexi. It was actually supposed to be a square (right on the picture) but I failed miserably at counting to four and ended doing six repeats… Oh well!

On to the menu:


  • Orange juice
  • Musli with milk


  • Baguette with brie, tomato & rocket from Exki (36)
  • Sammiches with Delhaize veggie salads, cheese & nutella (37)


  • Salad :(ettuce, carrot, tomato, cucumber, mozzarella cheese, hardboiled egg, olives, yogurt dressing (36)
  • Whatever falls in the pot dinner: pasta, peas, mushrooms, tomato pieces, minced quorn, white wine, smoked paprika (37)


  • Banana
  • Drink yogurt
  • Cookie
  • Coffee
  • Iced tea
  • Piece of chocolate


So, first of January and all that. You say “Happy New Year!” (Happy New Year!), you kiss and hug, you smile, and then you make an unreasonable list of new years resolutions like going to the gym five times a week, eating seven servings of fruit & veggies and clean the house from top to bottom every month.

I am not going to make resolutions. Because we all know that most resolutions are not kept anyway. But I do want to put here things I’d like to do this year. In no order of importance, small or big, doesn’t matter. I’m not even going to call them goals, like other bloggers are doing this year. Because having a goal (or a resolution) will most likely set me up for failure. So this is just a list of things I want do do!

Here we go:

  • Getting my bachelor’s! Yes, halleluja. Moving to Belgium and finishing my studies here was the smartest move ever I think. Right now I am one exam period and one semester (with its own exam period) away from this. I still can’t believe it!
  • Sewing more, and drafting some more patterns. I want to try a t-shirt and some trousers.
  • Knit more. I am enjoying knitting my first cardigan, so I might jump in and make a second.
  • Crochet more. I’m still taking toddler (not any more baby, I’d say) steps in crocheting. I prefer knitting, but there are some things that are more suited to being crocheted.
  • Keep reading. Brain candy! Something to let my brain rest after studying in Dutch.
  • Cooking. I want to try new recipes, adapt some Belgian classics so they’re vegetarian.
  • Blog more. I wrote a whopping 5 posts last year :(
  • Getting acquainted with our Nikon D7000. Maybe even read the manual gasp
  • Be happy!

And there is probably more to it. But that covers the basics. Enjoy the year, and don’t be hard on yourself. Who’s going to love you if you don’t?

Surprise: A Hat!

And this hat has quite the story.

Meret Number Two
  • Pattern: Meret
  • Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool DK, 125 m per 50 gr ball. Color 010 (a lovely blue). Used about 1.5 balls. This yarn was a gift from a penpal.
  • Needles: 4.5 mm Addi Lace (120 cm), magic-looped all the way
  • Gauge: 22 st = 10 cm
  • Size: Fits my head.
  • Modifications: Added two repeats around since my gauge was small and my head seems to be big, and made it super slouchy: started on row 7 of the lace chart, finished that repeat, did 4 whole repeats, and ended on row two as instructed, then did the crown shaping lace chart.

I’m alive, and I still knit.

And I have a finished project to show it!

  • Pattern: Saroyan (Sorry, ravelry link only)
  • Yarn: Adriafil Sierra Andina, 100% Extra Fine Alpaca, 50 grams / 133 m. A bit under three skeins, in color 098, a lovely deep green. Bought on offer 3×2, total price 6,24€.
  • Needles: 3.25 mm Addi Lace (80 cm)
  • Gauge: 25 st / 30 rows = 10 cm
  • Size: 165 cm long, 30 cm at its widest (center).

Mandatory Monthly Update

It seems like lately I don’t feel like updating much or often. It might be because right now I have nothing to update on. Life is mostly boring and routinely for me. I’m not in classes or have a work (yet, I’m looking…). I actually was supposed to be working now, trial period, but got called that they were going to hire someone that had previously worked at the place and wanted to work full time, instead of lacking experience me that wanted to work part time cause I’ll be in classes hopefully soon.

Last week I went to Knit Flanders. And I forgot my camera so I didn’t take any pictures. Mostly we knitted, had some drinks, and some people had cake too. It was fun. I had to leave early because I wanted to go to UCT and ask about enrolling in the intensive Dutch courses. I have to go again this week after I filled some paperwork so I can enroll and take a placement test.

I also won the Free Fabric Friday over at Sew, Mama, Sew‘s blog. Which means I got a yard of the fabric of my choice. And I chose a lovely Japanese Floral Blue Full Blossom:

Japanese Floral Blue Full Blossom
Picture Credits: Sew, Mama, Sew.
Click on the picture to go to the store and buy this fabric.

I still don’t know what I will do with the 44″ wide yard (110 x 90 cm approximately) . Options that come to mind: easy peasy A-line skirt, some sort of top, bag of some kind, or just thought of decorating a bulleting board with it to hang in the studio.

Maybe next week I have more news, maybe not. Stay tunned!

Long Time No See?

I know I haven’t posted in a month and a half. Life hasn’t been so hectic as to put it as an excuse not to post, to be honest. I just haven’t been in the mood to post, and didn’t really have that much to talk about either. I still miss Macchiatto dearly, our little cavy, it makes me sad thinking about all that we could have done and didn’t know to do in time.

What has been going on since then? Not much, I have been getting used to living in Ghent with Jan, me mostly been at home doing stuff, as it was pointless finding a job for two months, then come back to Madrid for another month, then finding another job when I get back to our home at the end of the month. Officially, I’ve been marked as house-wife, never mind I’m not a wife! And that’s actually what I’ve been doing most: grocery shopping (thanks given that we have two shops within easy walking distance), cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, and so on and so forth.

I’ve also been preparing more paperwork to enroll at UGent. I need to fill in a lengthy application form and give them ton of information from my previous University. I’m hoping they’ll accept me and also transfer my credits. It’d be a great help if I only have 1 to 1.5 years left to get my Bachelors, and then another 2 for my Masters. The end is near, way closer than at my previous University, which is sad. I’m also going to enroll at UCT for either the preparatory year of Dutch, or only the levels I still need to take (3rd to 6th) preferably.

On the cooking and baking front, I haven’t innovated much or made up any recipes worth posting. I’ve kept to my staples with the savory, and not done much baking either. I made curry, and stir fries, some baked casseroles and the usual. I baked some muffins and was planning on cookies but forgot to buy cookie sheets!

I did get three balcony rectangular planters, and filled them with dirt, put some seeds in, and patiently waited for them to grow. I have Lettuce, Rainbow Chillies, Rocket, Leaf Beet (or Perpetual Spinach), Land Cress, Basil, Rosemary, Marjoram, Chives… All ready to pick when I need some. Nothing better than a sandwich with lettuce right off the plant. Or a pesto with such fresh basil (crossing fingers it grows enough that I have enough to make pesto soon).

Craft wise, I finished a beret (no pic), that still needs the ends sewn in. And I started on a lace shawlette using the Luna Moth Shawl free pattern from Elann, and a fingering weight yarn that’s a bamboo / silk / cotton blend, in creamy white. Since a post without pictures is boring, I’ll put one here of the shawl:

Luna Moth Shawl In Progress

I also got a set of funny giraffe rubber stamps. I made some thank you notes and gift tags that I plan on putting up for sale. I sewed a beach dress for me, using my brand new sewing machine that I plan on use a lot (Promise!). I’m right now waiting on an eBay auction to finish, and hopefully I’ll be the owner of 3.5m of MacKenzie Seaforth tartan to make a high waisted skirt.

I think that’s about it. Hopefully next time it will be sooner than with this post.


St. Paddy’s Day

Drink beer, wear drink1, have a shamrock, and good luck!

St Patrick's Day Shamrock St Patrick's Day Lucky Clover
  • Pattern: Knitted & Bejewelled Shamrocks by Vickie Howell
  • Yarn: Opal something or other in greens, leftovers from a pair of socks.
  • Needles: 2.5mm DPN’s
  • Gauge: Didn’t bother counting.
  • Size: 5.5cm across for the clover, and 8cm including the stem.

Made in a whopping hour! And with four leaves. Because one makes one’s luck!

  1. Green, not drink. I hadn’t even drunk any alcoholic beverage before writing this

Tag, I’m it!

Marr from Smelly Chick’s Online, a soapmakers’ resources website, tagged me for this six things about you me-me.

Da rulez:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you (see above).
  2. Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading).
  3. Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
  4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them (This is only a game)
  5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Six Things About Me (that you couldn’t care less about)

  1. I’m a Scorpio, and it does show, sometimes, when I’m pissed.
  2. I love Linux. I loathe Windows.
  3. I’m dabbing in too many hobbies at the moment, but loving it.
  4. Paracetamol gives me trippy dreams.
  5. I lurve chocolate.
  6. I only started liking plush toys (teddies, stuffed animals and so) in my laaaate teens.

There, that’s it, Six random things about me, that you most likely don’t care about. Know me better? I doubt it :p

Da taggin’

Uhm, yes, I’m supposed to tag six people who haven’t done this lately. Lets see…Smartash, CJ, Zanne, Asa, KnittingKitty and Purlpower.

And for those who are wondering, I’m not dead or falleth off the internet, I’m just very busy. Last weekend (8th-10th August) we were on a city break to London. This week (11th-14th August), we’ll be renovating the bathroom. First stage done (everything removed and ready to tile and paint), more to come. And next weekend (15th-17th August) we’re on another city trip, this time to Düsseldorf. We have booked a weekend special at Relexa Rattingen City (10 minutes away from Düsseldorf), with a candle-light dinner, use of spa, breakfast buffet, and more things for a nice price. So yeah, I’m not much online at the moment. More about the London and Düsseldorf trips when I have time to write all the stuff down!

On knitting news, I “joined” the Ravelympics (Ravelry inside link, if you want to read you have to be a member. I joined cause they made me join). I’m knitting the Anastasia Socks, in Opal Neon 1934.

I Won!

Nope, not a contest, or a raffle, or a give-away. I never win on those. But I had this hank of Seacell Lace yarn from HipKnits, that is actually more of a cobweb weight. You tell me at 1600 yards (1463 meters) per 100 grams. Anyway, I want to use it to knit Seascape from Knitty. The hank looks pretty for selling, but unless you have a lot of patience, not good to knit for. So I had to wind the beast of a hank into a ball. OK, in hank form it didn’t look that big. But the yarn is just thicker than a sewing thread!

Now, I don’t have a ballwinder, because most yarn sold here comes in balls or any other wound shape that requires no work to start knitting from it. So I took out my skein winder (that is different than an umbrella swift). I attached the skein winder to our salon table. In front of the couch. So I could watch tv while winding. And then placed the skein on the skein winder. Untied the skein, found the ends, tucked the bottom one and started winding away. Three hours later (half the time before dinner and the other half afterwards) I got a nice cute ball of yarn. It is not a center pull ball, but I do not care. I’ll just put it in a ziplock and knit from the outside of the ball. Look:

Ball of yarn

It’s so cute on it’s pedestal made of a mokka cup.

I met more family!

And I have survived.

Today we went to the nunnery in Dendermonde, where two aunts of my mother in law live. We had cake (did I mention they do load the whipped cream with sugar in the bakeries here? My tea tasted sour after eating it), we talked, we had sandwiches, and talked some more. I knitted a bit on Jan’s scarf, and I guess that was the thing that broke the ice in the end, cause by the end of the evening, they gave me a cute present:


Doily Doily

This doily was hand knitted by one of the nuns in the cloister. It looks like it’s made out of cotton thread, on about 2mm needles, and it’s perfectly starched. I will treasure it, since they offered me a gift, even knowing me for so little.

Edit: Do you happen to know of a pattern that is very similar or exactly the same as the doily on the pics? Please let me know!