As a fiber artist I am always drawn to the materials I work with. I love wool, linnen and cotton, fabric, prints, texture and tools. But most of all I love yarn. I like to feel it, with my hands and with my face. I like to smell it. I adore the smell of sheep! And I like to look at it. Especially when the yarn is arranged and styled in an attractive way. For me that means simplicity and use of natural colors. I absolutely love the choices that were made in the above pictures.
From left to right and top to bottom: my crochet heroine Magda at @rawrustic, yarn heaven Quince &Co at @quinceandco, other yarn heaven Kokon Yarn at @kokonyarn and my other crochet guru Maaike at @crejjtion. I have included the links so you can easily check out their feeds.
Hope you feel just as inspired as I do.
The highlight of last week was a get together in my hometown Amsterdam with Marianne Dekker-Roos's tester team, aka the Terrific Testers. That's the name Marianne gave us when we were testing patterns for her new book Colorful Crochet/Eindeloos Haken. And it's an honor!
We met at Petit Gateaux on the Haarlemmerstraat and started the day with lots of tea and two little cakes each. Absolutely delicious! It's a lovely place to sample a few of the delicate flavors right above the bakery. Very inspiring.
After tea and cakes, we walked to the end of the street where you can find one of the better yarn shops of Amsterdam, Weldraad. They have a nice selection of Fonty and BC Garn, to name just a few of my favorite yarns. There are a lot of knitted examples hanging on the walls. As a crocheter, I wouldn't mind to see more crocheted items. But it seems there are more knitters in the world than hookers!
Here, we're getting more info about learning how to knit. The owner of the store is telling us about a knitting week on the island of Texel, which sounds divine, or even a custom made workshop she can organise just for us. It all sounds quite lovely (not sure if we can all be persuaded to trade our hook for a pair of needles!).
More variations of color and texture. I wish I could bring it all home.
Then we went to Stephen & Penelope in de Nieuwe Hoogstraat on the other side of the city center. Another yarn heaven. I always call it the yarn jewelry store. I am in love with Madeline Tosh yarn, but I didn't buy anything because I still have some lying around. There is a great sale of Cascade Yarn going on, but I didn't have a specific pattern in mind, so I also passed on that one.
I also discovered Undercover Otter, an Amsterdam based indie dyer. Next time I find a pattern I will definitely buy a skein or two.
From left to right: me, Lotte from Lotte Haakt, Marianne from Marrose Colorful Craft & Crochet, Ingrid from Studio 92 Designs en Heleen from Vol van Wol.
After yarn shopping we were so hungry and tired, we went for a nice lunch at Dauphine. Of course our date wasn't complete without some crocheting. We had a great time sharing stories. It was almost 7 pm before we went home.
I am already looking forward to the next time we see each other!
If you haven't come across Marianne's new crochet book Colorful Crochet on social media yet, you must have been living under a rock or have nothing with crochet! For all of us crochet lovers, this is the book of the year. Why? Because it is chock full of color with lots of variations on every pattern.
I am extremely happy to have been asked to take part in the international blog tour to promote the book. As you can see here, I am in very good company! Crochet experts around the world have received a copy of the book and are all making their own signature version of Marianne's exquisite patterns.
But above all, I am still over the moon having taken part in testing some of the patterns when they were still being designed in utmost secrecy. I feel very privileged being part of Marianne's "Terrific Testers". It has been most fun to team up with fellow crochet aficionados and share our love for yarn and crochet. You can find out more about us here.
The book launch of Colorful Crochet (Eindeloos Haken) took place at an amazing yarn store in Alphen aan de Rijn: Echtstudio. Marianne created this beautiful display of all her work. Today (Saturday June 17) she is signing her book at Wolplein in Zaltbommel. Everyone is welcome from 10:30 till 13:00 o'clock.
This is me on the left, next to the always lovely and super talented Marianne, and my co-testers Heleen, Ingrid and Lotte. Marianne named each blanket we tested after us. She kept this a surprise until we saw the book for the first time! I have to admit, I teared up a little.
Luckily Marianne and her publisher Tuva have provided me with one extra copy of the English version of Colorful Crochet to give away. So if you'd like to win this copy, leave a comment here, or on Instagram or Facebook with your nationality (I'd love to know where you're from!).
On the first day of Summer (Wednesday June 21st) I will pick a winner and then this gorgeous book will be on its way!
Looking forward to hearing from you!