The City of Crochet

Crocheting...an escape from everyday life in Europe as I face the perils of yarn shopping in a foreign country and dealing with all of the crazy looks I get for crocheting & knitting on the public transportation system.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

A wee little contest.....

Do you remember this purse:


I went into the shop today while waiting for the bf to finish smoking his cigarette when we arrived at the apartment building.

Upon a closer look, the purse is merely a lattice frame with the thingies placed all over them. The handle is a belt type handle, and the interior is lined with cheap cotton.

The price?

Let the guessing start....just remember that this is the same shop that sells simple acrylic garter knit scarves for $75 and beaded flip-flops for $150......

I will run a little contest to see who can guess the closest to the price in USD with my converting at todays spot rate of 1.36 (ie. 1€ is worth $1.36)

The winner will receive a gifty of my choice....perhaps a gift certificate, some yarn, chocolate, I really don't know at this point in time!

This contest will end on May Day....the First of May

Lookie what I got!!!

Here are the pictures of the kitchen swap goodies that I received from Mimi....Are they not wonderful??







A wonderful Crazy Cloth (it is perfect Mimi!), a Tunisian Dish Cloth (great work- congratulations on your first attempt at Tunisian!!) Two lovely coasters (I love the edging on them....how did you do it?), some Anchor and Cannon cotton (check out Mimi's web site if you would like to order some!), a cute magnent, veggies and a little french package with flowers inside.

Mimi - thank you once again so very much - I have enjoyed swapping with you! I hope that you like what I have sent in my package to you! *hugs*

Friday, April 27, 2007

FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thats right folks. Its Friday lets hear a "Hip hip hoo-rah" from the peanut gallery!

Today is starting off excellent!

Not only is it once again around 70, sunny and blue skies, but I received my Swap Package from Mimi!!!

I am thrilled to pieces with what she sent me! I can not wait to show it all off to you, but I need to get home so I can arrange and properly photograph everything! it is all going to go to great use and I am amazed at the talent that Mimi has - thank you so very much for your generosity and kindness Mimi!

Pictures to come.....

This Friday is also my last day of work for, get this, FOUR whole days! I actually get to take the public holiday off for a change! I'm not sure yet what I am going to accomplish for the weekend, for taking a look at my WIP listing on my sidebar, I sure as heck had better finish a few things!

Okay, I need to get to work and get a few things done today so I can leave for my 4 day break with a clear conscience - I hate having things left unfinished!

Mimi - Thank you again! I will be getting your package out Priority Air-Mail to you tomorrow! I hope that you will be pleased with what I am sending.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Destination.......Shanghai!

I think I left you all hanging on where my big vacation is.....Sorry!

I am going to China for 10 days to visit my friend Zori! She has moved there for 6 months to work. I am so very excited! We are talking about possibly going to Beijing and Tokyo Japan as well......exciting times.

Anyone know of yarn shops in any of these locations? =) I'm going to try to take very little with me - its only for 10 days, so hopefully I can have room to buy souvenirs.

Here is a conversation I had with my 6 year old nephew Andrew.

Me: Guess where I'm going on vacation!
A: I don't know.
Me: I'm going to China!
A: CHINA!!!!!!!!
Me: Yup
A: That is sooooooo cool Aunt Kim
Me: Ummm...why is that cool?
A: Because they have lots of toys in China! You can bring me some when you come to visit in the summer.

lol - how he equated China right away with all of the toys that are made in China, i don't know, but connect the dots he did!

The dragon and the kitty purse were big hits with my co-workers children. ALthough the girl said right away "I want a green one too" lol I guess thats yet another Dragon on my to-do list of things to make.....I think I have 5 now to make - 2 green, 1 orange, 1 pink and 1 "Pink with a Red tail"

Monday, April 23, 2007

Meow.....meow......

For the past 2 weeks I've been watching my friend Lauras cat. He is a crazy guy....when they came to pick him up for the first time in two weeks he decided to hide.....First behind my closet doors, and when he was found out, he hid under the couch. When my friend's husband pulled him out, the cat dug his claws into the floor in a futile attempt to stay under the couch and in my apartment - it was too cute.

Anywho in honor of the Cat, I decided to find a cat pattern to make. Here is what I found to make: http://naidascrochet.tripod.com/patterns/hellokitty.html

And my finished project:


It worked up very quickly (about an hour, excluding the face details). Instead of using felt for the eyes and nose (no clue where I would buy it!), I used yarn as well and embroidered them on.

This is going to one of my co-workers little girl, Elise, as her twin brother has come down with viral meningitis - not good! They are 3 years old, and its hard for her to understand why her partner in crime is not able to play with her. For her brother, I am giving him my nephew's Charzon Dragon - I'll make my nephew a new one before I go to visit in July. They say that it is going to take Roman 6-8 weeks to recover...poor little guy!

I am off to take the bf to work. We went to my favorite Lebanese restaurant to eat dinner.....I had to be rolled out the door I ate so much!

Have a great week!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Trains, taxis and metros

I took a whirldwind trip to my favorite city in Europe, leaving at 7:30 am and getting home at 11pm to give training to several co-workers. In the title are those places where I had the pleasure of crocheting yesterday. Did not finish anything, but made progress on seveal items. It is only an hour and 20 minutes on the train, so not a whole lot of time.

Here are a few pics I snapped with my cell phone - I did not bring my camera as I was not sure if I would have time to actually visit the city (the office is about an hour south-west of the actually city - mainly due to traffic congestion which is HORRIBLE!). but I was able to find 2 hours to do a quick walkthrough of my favorite buildings.

In real life this was a cool snap shot, but the cell phone darkened the sign too much, c'est la vie.



The Walls of a museum near the Eifle Tower (I forgot the name of it - apologies) - a faux front covered with plants - very cool in real life!


It does not matter how many pictures I take of it, I always take more..something magestic about it rising out of the sky ilne like it does.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Kimberly Kimberly bo Bimberly

Banana fana fo Fimberly.......
Mee mi mo Mimberly.....
KIMBERLY!

Introducing my take on the Name Game! I've seen this on several blogs recently.....Sara, Netter, Sue......

Here is my version!

Your Name: Kimberly
Famous Artist/Musician/Band: Kelly Clarkson
3 letter word: Kip
Street name: Kimberly Drive (My Aunt and Uncle live on it)
Color: Khaki
Vehicle: Ka (Ford)
TV Show: Knight Rider
State/City: Kansas City, Kansas
Boy Name: Kyle
Girl Name: Kimberly…..okay, Kristen
Alcoholic Drink: Kamikaze
Occupation: Knight
Flower: Kansas Feather (not really sure what this is…..googled plant names….I cheated!)
Celebrity: Katie Couric
Famous Leader: King Arthur
Toy: Kite
Animal: Kitten
Food: Kippers
Something found in a kitchen: Knife
Reason for Being Late: Killer traffic
Something You Throw Away: Kleenex (used of course)
Cartoon Character: Kanga (Winnie the Pooh)
Type of desert: Key Lime Pie (yummmmmmmmmmy)

When I woke up this morning.....

You were on my mind, you were on my mind. I've got troubles oooooh oooooh........

I do so hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend! Mine involved spending an obscene amount at the Grocery store, doing another 10 loads of laundry (still have another 10 to go.....honestly!), a little bit of shopping (books and clothes and 1 crochet hook) and a whole lot of nothing!

Crocheting and knitting you ask? Well I did work a fair amount on my cross stitch project - I have 2 of the 4 characters outlined, I need to finish Tigger and Eeyore along with a few embellishments on Piglet that I've not done yet.

I've also been working on the items for the kitchen swap with Mimi.....heres a snap shot of one of the items.....notice the dreaded ends? Lets just say that I am not even half way done with them being tied in.....tonight hopefully!

I also made Mimi a hot pad that is my own design....I saw a similar one on a blog and it stuck in my head haunting me so I sat down and figured out how to do something similar.....its not the same as the one I saw, but along those lines.
As for the Cro-tatting, it is coming along - I've actually managed to finish a few of the loops on my first project. I'll have to stick at it - I might try switching hook sizes with the yarn I'm using - perhaps that would make things easier for me. I found a few different Cro-Tat pattern books in my collection, so I have a few patterns that I can try out.
I did buy some cream colored thread this weekend. I have a runner pattern that is worked in motifs that I've been thinking about doing for over 2 years now......I figure that now is as good a time as any to start it, and hopefully it will be done before Christmas!
Have a wonderful week everyone!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 1"th Foddie Friday

*gasp*

She actually remembers to post a Foodie Friday? It can not be! *grin*

Here it comes...

Spaghetti & Meatballs

1 1/2 pound of ground beef 3/4 C fine dried bread crumbs
1/2 C milk 1/2 C Parmesan cheese
2 beaten eggs 1 Tbsp. minced parsley
1 1/2 tsp. Salt 1/8 tsp. pepper
Dash of garlic salt

Combine all ingredients and make into meatballs.

Pan fry til brown in about 3 or 4 Tbsp. olive oil.

Remove when browned.

When all meatballs are browned add 1 C minced onions and cook til tender for 3-4 mins.

Add 2 Tbsp. flour to oil to thicken it up. Stir.

Replace meatballs in pan, add following and simmer 1 hour:

1 large can tomatoe juice 1 tsp. worchestershire salt
2 small cans tomatoe sauce 1/4 tsp. pepper
6 Tbsp. minced parsley 3 tsp. sugar
6Tbsp. fresh chopped green peppers 2 small bay leaves (crumbled)
2 1/2 tsp. salt

Cook pasta, serve with garlic bread and enjoy!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cro-Tatting Anyone?

I bought a while back a Cro-Tat set - a few hooks, instructions booklet. I think its all written in Greek though as I can understand nothing!

Yeah, I know, I really should NOT be starting any more projects, but I was trying to find an awesome pattern to use to make something for my partner (Mimi) in the Fiber Freaks Kitchen swap.

I figured Cro-Tatting would be something unique, and how hard can it be, right? I have instructions, a fairly well functioning brain and a fair to good knowledge of crochet.

Ugh!

I got stuck on the very beginning of the pattern when you start to do the Cro-Tatting special stitches.

I don't have the pattern here, but it went something like this:

Chain 6, form circle, 12 sc in circle, attach with a sl st to first sc. (so far, so good)

So far, so good, I think I can handle it so far. Then the one that is confusing me:

Reverse sl st

Huh? I gotta do what? The instruction on this stitch say: "working left to right, insert hook in next st to the right, yo, pull lp through st and lp on hook." Left to right? I put it in the previous stitch? Perhaps I'm just not thinking, perhaps my hands don't work this way, but every time I try to do it it seems like I am doing something wrong as I just can not coordinate.

I do wish that there were better picture tutorials out there.....the first stitch of a "new technique" for me and I can not get it right.

Back to the drawing board to find a different pattern that does NOT include the Reverse sl st!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Roaring and ready to go!

I've shaken off the last of the cold and I am now fit as a fiddle!

Before I forget - does anyone have a MySpace account? I don't use mine much, but my friends from back home have been pestering me about it, so I am trying to get better about accessing it and visiting others pages. Here is mine: http://www.myspace.com/kaml2000

Oh ugh! Last night I passed the shop that is located in the ground floor of my building and had a WTF moment. This is what was in the window:

I really care not to think about how much money they are asking for it. Its literally a bag with pieces of shinny raffia (I think thats the word) cut up and plastered all over the bag. Not my cup of tea......I really wonder how long it will be until someone buys it. Perhaps on Saturday I'll venture in to see what the price tag is. For comparison, they were selling a piece of ribbon to tie back your hair for $50 and a simple stockinette scarf in acrylic for $75. Some flip-flops with seed beads were going for $125

Okay, its now been 9 months since I met the BF...where is the time going? Here is a picture of the two of us that I snapped with my cell phone this weekend. Apologies for my windblown hair look - we had just arrived to a bar to watch the soccer matches and had walked the 5 miles from my apartment in rather windy conditions.


Ooooohhhhhh! I was in HEAVEN last night! I had Dominos Pizza - yumm!! There are 4 shops here in Brussels, and I finally passed one of them the other day. None would deliver to my apartment, so it was necessary to go pick it up, but I could never find them. Needless to say, now that I know where it is, I will be going back for more! Even the bf agreed with me that it was better than the Pizza Hut here!

Nothing new on the Crafty Front.....will see if I can actually get something else comlpeted this week. The pattern on the scarf has been hand written - now to just type it up and get it posted!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Random thoughts for the day.....

My Aunt sent these to me, so I thought to share with all of you!

1. A day without sunshine is like night.
2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
4. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.
9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.
10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.
14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?
15. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don*t get sucked into jet engines
19. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?
20. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, "What the heck happened?"
22. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.
23. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
24. Life isn't like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your rear tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day today!

Monday, April 02, 2007

On the road to recovery....

Many thanks to all of you for the get well wishes - they really meant a lot to me to read! I am starting to get better - I am now left with a plugged nose and a hacking cough.

My fever peaked at about 102°, which is for me the equivalent of 103° - my normal body temperature is not the 98.6 that we all have pounded into our heads, but right around 97.4 - 97.6 I'm a cold blooded type of girl I guess!

I did get my submission in on time on Friday, which meant that I had the WHOLE weekend off - no work, no e-mails, no text messages checking on progress......nada! The weather was nice, so I bundled up and went for several long walks with the boyfriend from my apartment into the center of Brussels. A nice walk, and the fresh air and exercise is helping me regain some equilibrium after working so much and then getting sick and still working.

On the Craft front, not a whole lot accomplished. This having a boyfriend does seem to limit the time that I can craft...for some odd reason he wants my attention to be on him and not my yarn.....go figure!

So to recap my list from almost 2 weeks ago that I wanted to get some items knocked off plus the addition of my other WIPs that I can think of:

Peach Doily *** No updates
Triangle Potholder * No updates
Monkey (1 of 2) ** No updates
Hat *** No updates
Sideways B-lace Scarf * Finished - need to get the pattern posted
Crazy Stitch Potholder ** 10 of 15 rounds
Cabbage Patch Bathing Suit * Finished!!!!!!!!
Baby Slippers * No updates
Doll Sweater *** No updates
Baby Blanket *** No updates
Blue Jean Bag *** No updates
Cross Stitch Wall Hanging ** No updates

* = small time required ** = moderate time required *** = large time required

I hope that having to keep re-typing this list will give me some incentive to start working on them.....soon