Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas in Copenhagen

Hi everyone!

Today I want to share with you the beauty of Copenhagen during Christmas time! Holiday decorations have been in the shops for weeks now; the center of the city has been decorated for the upcoming celebrations, with the renowned Stroget (the shopping street) displaying hearts and beautiful shopping windows; Tivoli park has opened for the winter season; Nisser (the little gnomes with red pointed hats) are everywhere in shops and snow has been falling for some days during the beginning of the month. It is extremely difficult to chose which experience has shown me the best of the city during this last month, but for sure I have some I would recommend to anyone visiting Copenhagen in December (and I have pictures to prove it :-) ).

First of all, the most famous activity: visiting the charming Christmas market in Tivoli. For the occasion, the park is open and decorated. A small village is built with every house containing a little shop where you can find decorations, candies, wool clothes and much more; the entire park is filled with trees, sparkling lights, lovely hearts and white snowflakes and you can even see Santa’s sleigh, next to real reindeers! It is like being in a dream and your 5-years-old-inner-child would never let you leave (personal experience :-) )!

Visiting the center of the city, with its beautiful decorations and elegant shopping windows is also an invaluable experience. Doing it during a snowstorm can prove a bit challenging, but extremely rewarding :-) (personal experience, again!).


One less obvious but unforgettable walk is the one through Frederiksberg have. This beautiful and large park is a bit away from the center , but when snow is falling, it is one of the most relaxing and deeply beautiful places I have ever visited during my stay in Denmark. It might be just because I love nature, but the soft, sleek, white snow on the ground and trees, the iced lakes, small rivers and incredible silence made it definitely look amazing!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Love Snow wreath

Hi everyone!

I made this decorative wreath for Christmas, but I think I might keep it around also for January, because I really love it (and I hope you will too! :-) ). 

I bought the wooden wreath and heart separately (the first at Søstrene Grenes and the second at Føtex, but I think they can be found anywhere around Christmas), then I added the cream ribbon, by weaving it through the branches with a large-eye needle.

I made the crocheted roses, snowflakes and other flowers with cotton yarn of different types (some tutorials to make crocheted flowers here, on crochet snowflakes here, and more information about yarns here) and then I attached everything to the wreath using brown wire and adding the jingle bells and the two brown felted roses. 

Enjoy the pictures! And links to more tutorials on crocheted flowers soon!

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Featured creations

Big thanks to the lovely wesites and blogs that have featured my creations!

Strung Out: Ocean
Treasures winner profile
Cozy Little House:
Tweak It Tuesday #70
The Charm of Home: Home
Sweet Home #148

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Small crochet flowers

Hi everyone!

Finally, the first post on crocheted flowers :-) !! 

I love these little beauties for how fast you can make them and for their versatility. You can basically do anything: you can attach them to a pin,  scarf, hat, sweater,  box, basket, Christmas decoration…anything!

I will soon post some examples of creations I made with them, but right now, let’s learn how to crochet them! Here are the 4 best small and quick flower tutorials I found on youtube, together with some comments and pictures about my experience with different yarns. In order to not make a too long post, I will refer to different types of yarns with the names and numbers I assigned them in the PREVIOUS POST. All flowers are made with a 2.5mm hook, unless otherwise indicated...enjoy!

1- SMALL DAISY: this flower is so cute, and takes very little time and expertise to make. Even if you are quite a beginner, you can finish it in approximately 5 minutes. I really like the look of cotton. On the right, the brown flower is made with a medium cotton (number 3), the cream one with an acrylic yarn (number 1) and number 3 with the mercerized very thin cotton (number 5). You can adjust the size of the hole in the center by pulling the tail passing through it. You can also weave it through in many rounds in order to make a small bump, which will make the center look more 3-dimensional.

2- SMALL FIVE PETALS: this also takes about 5 minutes to make and looks so nice once finished! I recommend to chain 5 instead of 3 in the first round, as it will make it easier to go on to the second round, and you will always be able to pull the tail and close the center. The tutorial presents 2 ways of making the flower: the regular, with 2 chains at the second round, and the rounded petals, with only one chain. In the picture on the right, the 2 brown flowers are made with the rounded petals method and using a medium cotton (number 3) for the lighter and a thick cotton (number 2) for the darker one. In the last case, a size 4mm hook was used. The pink flower uses instead the regular flower pattern and a mercerized very thin cotton (number 5).

3- VIOLET: I love, love, love this one! It also takes only 5 minutes to make, and I can just imagine how beautiful a bouquet made of different colors would look. The examples on the right were done with a thin cotton (number 4) and a mercerized very thin cotton (number 5) respectively. I really like both of them. You could also add some small beads to the center in order to give a more complete look or make them in different sizes and textures and then compose them in layers.

4- MEDIUM FLOWER: what I really enjoy about this pattern is its versatility. You can make different sizes and looks by changing few elements. It takes a bit longer than others to finish (5 to 15 minutes, depending on the number of petals and other choices). The light brown in the picture, for instance, was done chaining only 5 per petal in the second round and chaining 2 instead of 3 before and after the double crochets in the third round. In general, you can reduce the size of the holes in the petals, by reducing the number of chains in the second round; you can give petals a more rounded shape by chaining 2 in the third round; you can make fuller petals by making more than 3 double crochet in the third round; you can change the number of petals and you can pull the tail going through the center in order to close it. On the right, the dark brown flower was made with a thick  cotton (number 2), using a size 4mm hook; the lighter one used a medium cotton (number 3) and the pink a mercerized very thin cotton (number 5).

You can play with different colors, sizes and textures and, even better, you can layer the
flowers to create an infinite number of combinations. Attach them where you want and give more color and joy to your life!

Happy crochet!

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Saturday, December 1, 2012


Hi everyone! 

Here you can find the list of all the themes among which posts are divided. There is one per each month of the year and some might seem really strange, but just click on the link and have fun seeing how complicated my thoughts about seasons can get!
Have fun and come back soon!

January like White-snow&snowflakes 

March like Spring-flowers&butterflies 

October like Fall-leaves&pumpkins

November like Warmth-berries&candles


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Crochet yarn

Hi everyone!

I know I promised a post on flowers…and this doesn’t look like it…sorry! Before getting to the fun things, I just want to point out some little issues, mainly concerning thread. Ok, this is getting boring, I know…but I will try to keep it short. Maybe you can just skip the post, but personally, I found that figuring out these things really helped me a lot.

First of all, I had an issue with the way I was holding the thread: after crocheting for a while, my left hand was a bit sore (ok, I’ll admit, I basically couldn’t open it). It might be because my hands are tiny, but keeping the right tension of the yarn was incredibly difficult. I found out that there are at least a dozen different ways and videos on how to hold the thread and to improve tension (so maybe it wasn’t just me!!). The following one shows the way that works for me (but you can just look for “crochet holding yarn” on youtube and find the best for you!)

Ok, now that holding yearn is easier (or at least, I hope it is), let’s talk about the yarn itself: you can find it in any color, material, thickness…there are so many possibilities, that it gets very difficult to choose (yes, I would buy all of them too, but no, you have to choose!). 

I tried different types, and here I will tell you about my experiences. On the right, you can see the different threads I used and…I am sure you are wondering what a bobby pin is doing there…don’t worry, I’m not totally blind or crazy, I didn’t mistake it for yarn!...I just thought it would be useful to understand the thickness of the different types…sooo...let’s start!

1- Acrylic yarn: (peach color, the first one from the left). Even though most videos for beginners would advise to use this, I wasn’t extremely happy of its performance. It is a 3-ply (meaning it is made of 3 threads twisted together) quite thin yarn (to crochet with a 2 or 3mm hook). It is a bit hairy and fluffy, almost like wool, so once you make a stitch, it is very, very difficult to go back in it (for instance in order to slip stitch in the previous row) because you do not clearly see where the center is. Also, I was not very pleased with the final result: flowers are hairy and not very soft…I would really not advise to use this type of yarn.

2- Thick cotton: (brown). It is very easy to work with. It is a 4-ply cotton yarn. I used a 4mm crochet hook. The down side is that, being so thick, you cannot really make tiny flowers, but in order to start, it is a great choice.

3- Medium cotton: (pink). This cotton is quite strange: it is a 6-ply cotton. I use a 3mm hook to crochet it. Even if, at first sight it might seem easy to work with, it actually is not! The  6 threads are very thin and not twisted together well. What happens is that when you insert the hook into a previous stitch to add a row, the yarn splits, and it is very difficult to pick up all the threads it is made of. I like the effect once the work is finished, mostly for flowers. It is not a shiny cotton, and you cannot clearly see the stitches, so the attention falls more on the overall shape of the flower than on the single loops. Basically, the final effect is good, but working with it is a nightmare.

4- Thin cotton: (cream). This is the perfect cotton! I love, love, love it! It is a 4-ply, soft, nice yarn. I use a size 2.5mm crochet hook with it. And it is so, so nice: it does not split, because the fibers are twisted very well together; it makes nice fluffy flowers, without showing the stitches too much; and it is opaque..the perfect docile little yarn!

5- Very thin cotton: (violet). It is very thin (a 2.5mm hook works perfectly), 4-ply mercerized cotton…mercer…WHAT?...don’t worry this only means that it was treated in order to give it a shiny, pearly look and also make it a bit stronger. It is very comfortable to work with, but I do not like the shiny effect on all the flowers. Being so pearly, stitches show a lot, so I use it for flat flowers (like violets) and I love the effect it gives to coasters and doilies, but for 3-dimensional flowers such as roses or dahlias, I prefer to use a more opaque one.

So, summing up this post (which was supposed to be a short one, I know, I’m terrible!):
  • Find the way that works best to hold your thread as you crochet
  •  I find cotton to be the best fiber to use in crochet
  •  Look if the threads are twisted well together, as twisted threads make it much easier to work on previous rows
  • Use pearly-looking (mercerized) cotton for flat flowers and opaque one for 3-dimensional one
…these are, of course, only my opinions, and I remind you, I am only a beginner. So I would love to hear yours: please, comment and let me know what you think, which are your favorite yarns, if you have questions…

Happy crochet!
…to be continued
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Start crochet!

Hi everyone!

Today I will talk about crochet! Well, I started crocheting only a few weeks ago, so I am a total beginner, but I really want to tell you about my crochet journey up to now and to keep you updated on my progress, so that if you want to start too, you can have the encouragement that took me years to find!

Yes, years! The only person I ever saw crocheting until some weeks ago was my aunt. She works very, very, very fast: I could see her yarn and hook moving at the speed of sound in a totally mysterious and apparently random way. What was coming out was beautiful, but it looked ridiculously complicated to make!! I asked her to teach me, and I tried, but what came out looked more like yarn with which a cat had been playing for a couple of hours. This was probably also due to the fact that I am left-handed, and she is not, so reflecting every single move was not easy. Well, when that happened I was 15, but that was enough to push me away from crocheting for many years, until….

a couple of weeks ago! I was at the supermarket with one of my friends and she was looking for yarn. I asked her what she needed it for and she said…guess what?...right, crochet!! I was surprised and very curious, so I asked how she learned and she simply answered “youtube”. Seriously? That easy?...ok, That was it! If someone else with no experience could learn, on youtube, I could learn too…so I went to the craft store, bought 2 hooks (different sizes) 2 different types of yarn…then I got home and started!

Yes, I actually started right away!!! It took only half an hour to figure out how to make a basic flower followed by half an hour of bumping my head against the wall (not really…but that gives the idea of how stupid I felt) for not having tried before…that’s how easy it is!

First, you need a couple of good videos teaching the basics. Here are the ones I used (as I said, I am left-handed, but I followed the advice given in the video and tried with my right hand. This makes perfect sense, as all the tutorials showing how to make projects are so much easier to follow if you are working as the person in the video!)

 Then you can start with something easy, like flowers (I love flowers!)

…but wait!!!...I can’t tell you everything today!!

…flowers in the next post!!

Happy crochet!
…to be continued

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Monday, November 19, 2012

November like Warmth-berries&candles

Outside the cold has arrived: trees lost their leaves, the sky is grey, rain and fog keep us company almost every day, ...but even November has its little moments!

Yes! When we open the door and are suddenly surrounded by the warmth of our home, we just breathe, close our eyes and enjoy that perfect moment. We can light a candle; sit on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket and look outside through the window at the rain falling, while holding a hot chocolate in our hands. We can bake an apple pie and enjoy the sweet smell that fills the house (ehm…ok, I just pour apple-cinnamon fragrance in the diffuser on top of the candle
:-) …lazy me!).

But this is November: candles, pie, fireplace, blanket, hot chocolate, berries…and, yes, cold, grey, fog and rain…but don’t be so mad at them, they are just making those warm moments special!

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