maandag 25 mei 2015

Follow your arrow

Somewhere in February I found a stunning shawl on Instagram. I searched and found it on Ravelry.
It was a pattern by Ysolda, called Follow your Arrow 2. Each week, for 5 weeks, two options to knit were published and so a lot of different shawls were made. I was a few weeks behind but in this case I didn't mind. I am not so used to reading charts yet that I can visualize them and being behind meant that some were further and posting pictures of their progress which made it easier to choose for me.

I really loved the process, I learned a lot of new stitches and techniques, I love how ready available youtube is and how much you can learn from it!
I am soooo in love with this pattern, it was literally breathtaking the first few times I saw it and I am still very much in love with it.
When you see it on the picture on the right it looks quite bit and it is, but... it is not as big as I thought it would be, so it is more for around your neck than around the shoulders.
I know, I could have made it bigger, but I wanted the peacock feathers at the points so I didn't want to make more of the plain extension, which was an option. So that would mean I have to rip until before the feathers and knit rows extra over there. Somehow I don't feel like that, so I decided to keep this one as it is so I have a reference when knitting other shawls since yes, I am really back into knitting and there will be more!

I used a variegated acrylic yarn, called Champion by Lammy. It knitted very nice, but I don't feel the blocking had much effect and it ended up a bit more stripy than I would like.

I confess I already started another shawl, this time I am trying to wrap all the knowledge I have from the two I knitted until now and combining them to make it my own! For sneak peaks, find me on Instagram (@urbanstylejantine) and when it is done I promise I will show it here too...

zaterdag 9 mei 2015


There's lots of projects to tell you about and I will soon, I promise.  But now I am needed as a computer doctor!

maandag 6 april 2015


My SIL and BIL celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary today. That was the deadline I needed to finish their quilt. When they lived in Africa years ago they brought me loads of real African fabrics. I used them to make a quilt for our car, a quilt for my MIL and I think about 5 years ago I decided I wanted to give them a quilt with their own fabrics too.
Together With my SIL I chose the Bricks and Steppingstones pattern from Bommie's Quiltville page, I bought some Kona's for the 4-patches and off I went. Because there are lots of blues in the African fabrics I bought several blues to determine which would be best. I ended up using all three blues to add some colour.
Last year a friend made a quilt with the same pattern and I kept thinking she made a mistake as hers was different from mine. When I mentioned it, it turned out it was not her but me who had altered the pattern! I think it was a smart alteration on my part as I really like how the cream rows make the quilt somewhat quieter.
To me this quilt looks very different vertical from horizontal, what do you think?

The top has been laying around for 2 years, I only had to make the backing fabric a bit wider and quilt it but somehow that seemed like a mountain to climbe over.
Then I got sick last year and didn't have the energy to even sit behind the machine.
Until this winter we got there 25th wedding anniversary invitation. With a sewing day at a friends house the back was pieced in a morning and I really wondered why I had put it of.

Now for the quilting. I found a beautiful variagated Aurifil with cream, yellow and blue and the whirls just popped to my mind. Machine quilting is still pretty heavy for my body, especially free motion, as I do it on my domestic machine but with only a whirl or two each day I did it.

Yesterday was for binding, label and hanging sleeve, since they didn't know yet whether they want to hang it or use it on a bed.

donderdag 26 maart 2015

Open wide zipper pouch

When you have multiple projects going on, like me, you need a lot of project bags to keep your stuff too. I found Noodleheads website long ago and kept it's address since she made a lot of bags and has fun free patterns on her website.
Lately I came across lots of open wide zipper pouches on Instagram, and every time I loved them, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet.
I did make it myself slightly more difficult with zippers that need to go on top instead of sewn in, which made the sequence of steps quite different and had me break my brain on them, but I did it and I am so pleased with those new pouches. I made the large and the medium size. The large is big enough to keep a few balls of yarn and some needles, the middle is more like a toiletry bag or a bag for your sewing supplies (when you don't need large scissors).
The fabric is a big old handkerchief like the farmers here in the Netherlands used to use, or even wear I think, seeing the size.
You can find the tutorial here and the cutting charts here. The tutorial is very easy to follow with lots of pictures and very quick to sew too! I can totally recommend this pattern!

maandag 16 maart 2015

Strawberry Hat

After learning about the magic loop in knitting, a link to a video you can find here, I just had to try this magic loop. i always love to learn new techniques and trics. I was looking for a project not too small, like mitten fingers would be for a first time, but just right to give it a good try.

I found this little baby hat called Berry Baby Hat on Ravelry and I loved it! I found that the longer the circular needle, the easier it is to make the two needed twists in your needle. I tried to make the spot where to pull the treat out different each round to avoid having the tension in the same spot all the time.
The little hat was really fun to do, I enjoyed using the magic loop, and finished within two weeks with lots of other projects in between. I wish I had a little girl or boy to knit a hat like this for but I think they won't love me anymore if I did now (with them being 17,15 and 11).

I had to adjust the pattern (I used 96 stitches instead of the required 64 and used 12 st instead of 8 per leave) as my yarn (Again Drops Baby Merino) was much thinner than the pattern asked for, but it turned out great and only slightly too big for a new born. (Next time I will try 80 stitches with 10 per leave)

dinsdag 10 maart 2015


Hooray for a deadline (6th of april). That pile of sandwiched quilts just gets bigger and bigger! I will try to quilt a bit every day!

maandag 9 maart 2015

Baby sweater

With several babies due with our families and friends I thought it save to cast on a little baby cardigan. It is called Baby Vertebrae, it is designed by Kelly Brooker and I found the pattern on Ravelry. What I loved about this pattern is that has no front panels so you can easily slip it on when using it in a pram or a sling.
I loved knitting the shoulders and back on my circular needles. I think finding out about using the short threads of the circular needles with the stoppers for keeping the waiting stitches on was one of the aha moments. Those are so much more flexible than a normal straight needles, which is a good thing with having all the stitches for the arms on them while knitting down the rest of the bodice.
In the shop they had said you could do the arms on the circular needles too but I just couldn't figure out how. So I ended up buying sock needles in two sizes and remembered how I don´t like all this fiddling with those needles.
The project got tucked away until about Christmas when I suddenly remembered those babies being due in January. I forced myself to knit on and got it finished around New Years Eve. And believe it or not, just ones I had finished both arms and got to the body edging someone told me about knitting the magic loop. How I wished I had known before ;-).
I wasn't completely happy with the shoulders but I figured that while using it you won't see it. My BIL and SIL loved the little cardigan and I hope it is in good use.
This cardigan is knitted with Drops Baby Merino, which made it beautifully soft and warm.

I really love to knit and read, especially with such an easy project. The good thing of an ereader is you don't have to worry about keeping the book open and prevent from turning pages when you are not ready yet!


Somewhere last autumn I told you about the skoosh wrap I was knitting. You can find the story here.
One of the new things I learned was knitting on circular needles. I have used them ages ago for a collar, but knitting a whole project on those was new.
Second new thing was the start of this shawl, with getting the right amount of stitches on the needles after a few rows of garter stitch, while still trying to grab the right English terms for what I was doing. I figured that with planning on more knitting over the years, (oh, yes, I really love it!) I might as well get familiar with all the English terms since there are so very many patterns in English all over the WWW.
In September I blogged about putting this shawl back on the needles since I found it not big enough. I made three more repeats, which used about half as much yarn as I had already used for the whole shawl and finished it quite soon. Just completely forgot to take another picture and tell you all about it.
I really love it! With the yarn being cotton it has a good weight on your shoulders and it is perfect for those nights you are cold but don't want to go upstairs to grab some warmer cloths.

maandag 23 februari 2015

Cottage ripple blanket

I am so in love with the blankets Lucy from Attic24 makes that I couldn't resist buying the wool for her cottage blanket. I started in January and love every stitch! I jept it in a beautiful bag I made a few years ago and it was made for it, see the matching colours?
Unfortunately the blanket has moved to a bigger bag now as it doesn't fit any more....

maandag 16 februari 2015

Cora purse

As many of you know I love Instagram! Full of inspiring pictures of people with the same hobby's as me ;-). What more do you want? And... it is much quicker than reading through all those blogs I think I need to follow.
I have been doing a lot of knitting and crochet this last year, and the "handy to use stuff" was piling up and I kept searching my bags for the darning needle or the stitch counters...
So... My thoughts went to another bag (Oh yes, always bags) to keep all those stitch counters, cable needles, scissors, darning needles etc. together... and there is was, just that very day, a free tutorial on the clover and violet blog.
I printed it right away and got thinking... I wanted it done quick as I wanted to use it NOW... So why patching all those squares when you have a whole box of left over blocks? So I pulled some left over blocks from my Butterfly garden, had some left over strips and even a half yard of the same fabric series, it just had to be! I went ahead but oh...
Silly me, I misread the instructions and made a 3/4 hole instead of a 3/8 for the zipper, so the zipper didn't fit at all. But those were ready made blocks I didn't want to throw away... So I sewed a fabric behind the hole and pretended it was a whole fabric again. Then I made a new hole in the right size. I used my zipper on the meter to create fun zippers and of I went.
The rest of the bag went pretty smoothly and it was done in no time! How happy I was with this clutch and how satisfactory to use up some more left over blocks and fabrics, it was another scrap project in all its glory!
Scrap project number 8!

zaterdag 14 februari 2015

Purple wrap

My knitting adventure (after about 15 years of not knitting at all) started with a blogpost from Mistea about a reversable wrap she was knitting. It was an easy one, only 3 rectangles sewn together so I thought it was a good project to start with. Of I went to a knitting shop to get yarn and needles. I don't like making swatches but I did! I made at least 3 to decide on the right needle size.
Off I went. It was like I knitted only yesterday and even mastering the English terms took only a bit of Youtube ;-). It was all still there in the back of my brain!
Kntting the first part didn't take long but after that I slacked! I finished the knitting last winter but it took me until now to sew it together. I am still in love with the colour and the pattern! The fun thing about this pattern is that you can wear your wrap two ways, do you see the difference?

It is beautifully warm and soft, it is very comfortable to wear but I do have some second thoughts...

The seams of the arms turn to the front (see first picture, I think it is because of the construction) and it confronts me every time with my sewing skills in knitting and I don't like it.
I knitted it very loose but that makes the garment very sensitive to getting stuck and pulling. I have a huge loop hanging on one of the edges after just one day! More details on my ravelry account
And... last but not least, with some parts being visible on both sides I don't like my weaving in ends, I wish I had found this tutorial on knotting ends together sooner.

So all in all, I love the pattern but not my own knitting. Not sure where it will end, I might frog the whole thing and make the pattern in some knitted fabric with my sewing machine ;-).
I really found my knitting groove back and just love hanging on the couch with a book and my knitting! I plan to share some of the tricks I learned with you soon. so keep your eyes open!

dinsdag 10 februari 2015

Birthday cake

Yesterday was my birthday and I just had to share the cake my DD 17 made me. Actually,  it was 2 cakes. The small one, with the thread and pincushion, was made from the left overs from the big one.
I am so proud of her!

woensdag 28 januari 2015

Project bags

Bijschrift toevoegen
A friend of mine turned 40 a few weeks ago and her sister organised a surprise High Tea. Since she is one of the friends I made through blogging about crafty things and she was completely into knitting I knew instantly I had to make her something handmade. So of I went and pulled my box with left over blocks again and yes, enough left to make two draw string bags! I made those two bags thinking to keep one for me and making one for her.

But... ones those were finished I just couldn't decide which one to give and which one to keep. She would love them both, but which one would she love best? I kept being indecisive until the very last moment and then packed both to give! I will make me another one...

My box of left over blocks is nearly empty so maybe I will make something completely new for me ;-). In the bags went some beautiful glass jars with a saying on the lid and in the jars some self made count stitchers. But oh, I forgot to take a picture.
Needless to say my friend was very happy with all the goodness and had a lovely birthday!

Scrap project 9 and 10.
Sorry, the picture is upside down and I can't get it turned... But you get the idea!

Knitting needle roll

Last October I went to visit a friend in Scotland. We did lots of fun things and oh... the country side was so beautiful with all those autumn colors! I will post some pictures of the beautiful tapestries soon!
While hiking around my friend commented that she expected me to make a quilt with autumn colors. I said I already had, you can find it here ;-). But this comment got my mind going, I had some leftover blocks from this quilt, so I could make something with those...

My friend had gone back to knitting and told me she had needles everywhere in the house and in several bags. So while heading home by plane, I got a plan! I made her a knitting needle roll with almost all the left over blocks and on Instagram she showed a picture of it being in use!

The part with the knitting fabric is the top of the inside, the picture is upside down... I made two rows of pockets with a few wider ones on one side for circular needles etc.

Since it was done completely with left over blocks and fabrics, this counts as scrappy project number 7.

vrijdag 23 januari 2015


Het afgelopen jaar is niet gemakkelijk geweest. Ik werd letterlijk stilgezet door een lichaam dat niet meer wilde. Het was moeilijk, maar het heeft me ook veel gebracht! Rust, durven loslaten van wat je denkt dat anderen van je verwachten, beter naar mijn lichaam luisteren en vooral mijn relatie met God is veel intenser geworden. Wat ik al wist, daar werd ik nog meer van doordrongen: Hij leidt mijn leven, Hij weet wat goed voor me is en als ik mij daaraan overgeef en mijn problemen aan hem geef dan komt er zoveel rust voor terug!
Dit jaar heeft me ook geholpen om te spiegelen, wat wil ik voor mijzelf, wat wil ik voor mijn gezin, wat wil ik in de kerk kunnen betekenen, wat wil ik op mijn werk, wat wil en kan ik op hobby gebied... Langzamerhand ben ik op de weg naar herstel, sinds vorige maand kan ik weer de hele dag voor de klas staan en langzaam stijgt mijn energie pijl.
Last year was a difficult one. My body commanded me to a stand still. Which was difficult at the time, but looking back it gave me a lot! I learned to take much more rest, let go of what I thought others would think of me, listen to my body much better and above all got a much intenser relationship with my Heavenly Father. What I already knew, I learned again: He leads my life, He knows what I need and when I give all to him He gives me such peace!
This year helped me look at my life, what do I want for me, for my family, for my church, my work, my hobby?... Slowly I am on the road of recovery.

Voor 2015 leek het me leuk om een woord te kiezen, dat zag ik veel mensen doen en het inspireerde mij om daarover na te denken. Het woord dat maar terug bleef komen in mijn gedachten is: Vertrouwen. Vertrouwen op Hem, vertrouwen op mijn eigen intuïtie, vertrouwen op mijn lichaam dat de energie terug komt, dat mijn inspiratie weer aangewakkerd wordt....
For 2015 I thought I would choose a word, like I saw lots of people do and this is the word that kept coming back in my thoughts: Trust. Trust in Him, trusting my own intuition as I find it is often right, trust my body for getting back into shape and getting back my energy. Trust my inspiration coming back and having lots of fun sewing hours again.

Ook voor mijn blog heeft dit hele proces consequenties... ik vind het veel gedoe om mijn verhaaltjes in het Nederlands én in het Engels te maken. Daarbij komt dat dat op mobiele apparaten nog lastiger is omdat ik de ene tekst altijd recht doe en de andere cursief, dat wil nogal eens mis gaan mobiel. Dus wil ik ook hierin een keus maken. Nu betekent het vaak dat ik dan maar niets post en dat kan toch niet de bedoeling zijn? Maar tja, wat kies je dan? Ik merk dat ik vaak mijn teksten in mijn hoofd al in het Engels schrijf, ik heb internationale vrienden die meelezen, veel Nederlanders lezen ook Engels terwijl de Engels sprekenden veelal geen Nederlands kennen... je voelt hem al... Ik ga vanaf nu mijn blogjes alleen nog in het Engels. Voor de Nederlanders die niet zo handig zijn met Engels zit er een vertaalknop rechts boven.
I have been thinking about blogging a lot lately. I love doing it but writing in two languages is too much of a hassle. It makes me not blogging at all and that is not what I want. So from now on you will only find my blogposts in English. There will be a translation button on the top right of my blog.