Blanket love (part 1)

From the very first moment my sore eyes lay their sight on Catherine’s amazing flower-blanket, I knew: one day, when I will have grown up, I will make one myself…

This moment had finally arrived some 900 days later. I have started a couple of months back and made quite rapid progress until I decided to do some other work and set it aside. It is now back on my hook because I cannot really start any bigger new project now since we are moving soon to Europe and I am limited to taking only essential things with me (define “essential”, right?). I am burning to make Tournicote’s Gédéon whom you are seeing on the cover of her second book, but he would take too much space in my suitcase and I couldn’t leave him behind in Mauritius!

Catherine’s flower blanket on her blog is crocheted with cotton yarn, but on her Instagram account, you can see it made with alpaca yarn from La Droguerie. The original design is by Solveig Grimstad and is poetically called “Flowers in the Snow”. You can find the free pattern on Solveig’s ravelry page and more details and beautiful pictures on Catherine’s ravely page. (For those who don’t know ravelry: it is a knitting / crocheting community and you can find plenty of tutorials and get inspired from Earth to the Moon and back. You need to open a free account though.)

I hesitated for nearly three years to start this project because the yarn is quite expensive. I bought 12 colours à 40 g and about 250 g of écru, so in total 730 g of La Droguerie’s Alpaga, which cost me about 100 euros. I do not regret to have spent this amount of money though: alpaca is an expensive yarn anyway but in addition, La Droguerie’s Alpaga is of a very high quality and comes in such a beautiful array of colours. I am quite optimistic that this blanket can last more than one generation!


Hopefully, I will be able to show you part 2 of Blanket Love soon! (=^.^=)

My first pattern to come soon

Thank you very much for your warm welcome of my shop opening this week. What I found particulary amazing was your encouragement to publish my patterns. Several of you even talked about a book they would be interested in! Wow! ♥ ♥ ♥

Your word in my ears: my first pattern, the Lily Bunny pillow, has officially entered its test phase. I will obviously keep you posted on the progress. Hopefully, it will be available (in French first) in early September. You will find the explanations for both the bow and the crown models. And if you like it, I shall be happy to continue publishing patterns. There are several more on hold and I have new ideas in my head.

E-shop will open tomorrow!

Tomorrow, my little e-shop will open its doors (8pm London time, 9pm Paris time). You’ll find some crochet Lily Bunny pillows as well as a variety of crochet fruits: Liberty apples, Liberty pears, and also Pastel apples and pears. To get there, just click on the tab in my blog meny bar or click here. I hope you’ll like it!

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❤️❤️❤️

 

Recent (crochet) moments part 2

Without much ado, here are some recent crochet moments. Plenty of Lily bunny pillows and Liberty fruits as well as a green smoothie with papaya. I am preparing a small sales event in my shop this week. I will confirm the date for those interested. 

Kira and her baby ♥

Sometimes, I am asked how I started to crochet amigurumis. I had crocheted and knitted as a child. When I was 14, I knitted my first jumper. I used about a kg of yarn! It was extremely warm and, in fact, still exists (but has assumed a second life in one of my parents wardrobes when I started living under the sun…). I have always been rather into knitting, until… we left Europe and I realised that there was no real point knitting jumpers whilst living in Mauritius! Feeling restless when my hands are not busy though, I needed a new hobby… I started crocheting cardigans for my baby, but then, fortunately, discovered some beautiful blogs. I found Kira the kangaroo made by Tournicote, Fibi the fox made by Sophie, and Guimauve (hihihii! It’s still Kira, right?) made by Aurélie. I knew: this will be my new thing…

This was my first Lalylala doll. Back then, I was visiting my parents and fortunately, my mum always has a big box with leftover yarn in the basement. I found what I was looking for and went to work. Until today, Kira is one of my favourite models. The little baby in her pouch… awwww!!!

And in fact, a few years later I am still crocheting, crocheting, crocheting… We will be moving back to the Northern hemisphere soon. Facing the need for some warm cardigans and jumpers for this winter, I was clever and outsourced this task to Oma. ^.^

Red fruit cupcakes

I have been baking forever, but it is only last week that I have discovered the ultimate secret to perfect cake! I was baking vanilla cupcakes and mixed the butter unusually long since I was busy doing other stuff, then I added the sugar, and again, mixed the butter and sugar unusually long (for about 7 minutes). By then, the mixture was so fluffy and white, as it had never been before!

Encouraged by that, I proceeded as usual. The result was great: fluffy, light cupcakes! I then tried it again next time when I prepared these cupcakes with red fruits. Here is the recipe: beat 250g warm butter, nearly melted, for 5 minutes. When very fluffy and white, add 200g sugar and beat for another 7 minutes. Then, add 4 eggs, one by one, always beating 1 minute before adding the next egg. Add 250g flour mixed with 2 teaspoons baking powder in two times, adding a tablespoon or 2 of milk in between. Prepare 18 cupcake tins.  Place one tablespoon of batter in each of the cupcake tins. Then, gently put a teaspoon of mixed red fruits in the middle of each cupcake (I took frozen ones, defrosted, but fresh should be even better, since there will be no excess juice so that the cupcakes will keep better their airiness), cover with another tablespoon of batter. Put in the preheated oven (180 degrees) for 20 minutes. Leave in the oven to cool. Enjoy!


Pilou, Liberty and Bunny

Bunnies are cute and even more so if they are fluffy and pink. For some time, I wanted to start a new project with another their type of yarn than DMC Natura which I ususually use. I found a skein of Phildar Pilou in a warm pink shade and immediately visualized a cuddly, soft bunny. My new obsession is to associate wool and Liberty of London fabrics so when I found the Japan Liberty I have received from a friend, I went to work.

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I have used a hook size 4.5 for the Phildar Pilou and embroidered the nose and claws with some black thread. I usually use DMC Fil Ecossais 30. The eyes are safety eyes and clipped from the inside.  I cut an oval piece of Liberty fabric to sew on the tummy and 4 oblong shaped ovals for the ears (2 per ear). I didn’t fill the ears because I wanted them as floppy as possible. I then used a small triangle piece of Liberty to sew a carrot and added the “green” using some wool. I finally prepared a small basket with a colour that matches this Liberty’s theme.

I think of this bunny as a kind of first draft: the holes in the tummy part are too visible (I’ll use a smaller hook size next time), it reminds me of a bald grandpa somehow and as you will see on the pics below I couldn’t decide on the eyes…

imageimageimageimageI finally went for open eyes. Was it the right choice? I don’t know! Anyway, I hope more bunnies will follow soon. I probably shouldn’t worry too much: I am being told that they multiply quite quickly! ❤️

Jumpsuit for a mouse? Yes, please!

Lately, I have been more and more associating crochet with Liberty of London fabrics. Next to the Liberty-fruits I love crocheting, the use of Liberty fabric was rather accessory until now. So when I was asked to crochet a friend for this princess here and to dress said friend in pink Liberty d’Anjo, the result was this:

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I decided to dress Mimisouris in a summery, flowery, short jumpsuit.

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I gathered the fabric at the top to make it more ladylike and crossed the straps at the back. I added a belt for the final touch of elegance. As usually, I worked with a crochet size 2.5 and DMC cotton Natura yarn. For the cheeks, I used a red aquarel crayon.

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And here she is, all packed with her cheese to join her friend in NYC!

 
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Aime comme Marie (+ hazelnut cake recipe)

It is no secret that I am an admirer and confessing lover of Liberty of London fabrics. The quality is amazing and there cannot be more beautiful flowery fabrics. I am also a fan of the French brand Aime comme Marie which sells sewing patterns. Unfortunately, I am rather inexperienced in sewing (which is why I enjoy so much strolling and scrolling on the websites of Cendrine (Fée des Pom’en Sucre) and Aurélie (Une Poule à Petits Pas).

One of my favourite patterns from Marie is the Aime comme Marche à Suivre, a pair of trousers which looks amazing in Liberty. Just check out the hashtag #aimecommemarcheasuivre on Instagram. It took me an eternity (literally, I think I started in January 2015 or so…), but it was worth it.

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The instructions are in fact very clear, it was just my lack of sewing experience that explains the… delay. The pattern comes with helpful illustrations. In fact, these trousers are a good first project since there are no particular difficulties (for instance, there is no zip). I am now thinking of sewing another one.

And, yes, let me also share with you this yummy recipe for a hazelnut cake: preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Mix 200g butter until soft. Add 160g sugar and mix until white and fluffy. Add, one by one, three eggs, mixing for a minute in between each egg. Add 200g of flour with two teaspoons of baking powder, add 100ml milk and mix for another couple of minutes. Add 150g ground hazelnuts and 50g ground almonds. Transfer into the baking tin and bake for about 55 minutes. Enjoy!

 

What was first: the chicken or the egg?

Well, in my case I will have to say the chicken. Fortunately! Why? Because every single year, I forget that the winter time in Mauritius can be a little bit chilly, at least in the center region where I am living. So every single year, all of a sudden I realize that the kids will be cold! Well, this year, I was cleverer than that and was able to make a warm and cuddly knitted jumper appear (literally since it had been stored in a box for a couple of years…).

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The pattern is from one of La Droguerie’s knitting books for babies. La Droguerie is a French brand for crafting, they do not only sell books, but also the material you need for crafting. This jumper is originally made with their alpaca wool. I had not used it back then when I was knitting this cute jumper but am using it now to make a baby blanket. You can see some pictures of my work in progress here and here. For this knitting project I used Ideal by Bergère de France. It contains 40% of wool and is therefore warm, but also hassle free and comes in a great variety of colours which makes it perfect for any knitting project. I knitted the jumper for a 6 months old baby and used 2 skeins of red wool and some rests of orange, eggshell and grey wool for the chicken, using a needle size 3 and a black pearl for the eye.

Before this model, I was not really used to intarsia knitting and I must admit that it challenged my patience somewhat, but next to the fact that the result is really cute, another advantage is that the jumper will keep really warm since several strands of yarn are running at the back of the jumper.

There is a big change coming at Eleonore and Maurice soon and I can already say that I need to get my knitting needles ready because really cold weather is awaiting me in the nearer future!