the art of gemütlichkeit

#www.madewithloops.co.uk

Recently we have seen an influx of publications cashing in on the term of “hygge”. From cooking and baking to decorating the home, and now even in the knitting & crochet world, the band wagon is getting longer by the day. But why the sudden infatuation with a word that roughly translated means nothing more than “cosy”, “clyd” (in Welsh) or “Gemütlichkeit” (in German).

In essence, hygge means creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life. The warm glow of candlelight, spending time with friends and family, eating and drinking – preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life.

Originally Norwegian, hygge meaning ‘well-being”, first appeared in the Danish language at the end of the 18th century and has been embraced by the Danes ever since. Winter seems the perfect time for a large helping of “Gemütlichkeit” in our lives as days are short and long dark evenings lend themselves to lots of cosy time spend in front of the fire.

To me it also means spending some relaxing time with beautiful yarn knitting simply for pleasure! No deadlines, very little time spent in front of the computer, but rather diving into my stash, picking up my needles and enjoying the peace and quiet, working my own thoughts into every stitch I make.

No matter if we call it “hygge”, “clyd” or “Gemütlichkeit”, we can all create our very own by making the ordinary special and meaningful. Everyday activities can become special simply by putting technology to one side and embracing simple practices such as lighting candles, purchasing flowers or brewing real tea in china cups.

Photo taken from Mollie Makes Calendar

I wonder what you first think of when hearing the word “hygge”?, whatever it is, embrace it and enjoy!

X.

searching for my blogging mojo

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So it has hit me like a ton of bricks and I have to admit it to myself, as hard as it may be…

“I have lost my blogging Mojo”

I actually dread turning my computer on to write a new blog post as I know I will be staring at the blank screen with the cursor blinking and no words flowing from my brain to my fingertips! Having thought about it at length for the past couple of weeks, I think I have at least figured out what the main issues are:

1. I seem to have no new blog post ideas – This is quite a biggie as ideas are the staple for blogging and if I had fresh and new ones I could bang out posts in no time. However, I find myself rejecting most new thoughts as they feel stale, almost like I have written about it before, or I see others write about the same old things over too.

2. Concentration seems to be lacking and even mundane, and usually hated things like housework seem to look more appealing than blogging.

3. I don’t seem to be able to complete any posts, as self doubt is ruling and nothing feels good enough to publish.

4. Spending endless hours doing research looking for ideas and even swatching crochet and knitting seem to be a waste of time.

I am not at all closer to an answer and wondering if I am alone in this? What are your tips for getting your blogging mojo back? Any advise is greatly welcome and appreciated!

Maybe a summer break? Or maybe it’s time to re-vamp my online site completely?

Right now I am stuck and looking for an answer feels like looking for a needle in a hay stack.

Usually known for having a happy,sunny and positive disposition, for the first time I feel a little lost…and I don’t like it!

X.

pin cushion mini mandala

#pincushion #mandala #madewithloops

Hello friends, how have you been? It’s been a busy old time here at Made with Loops with preparations in full swing for our upcoming Knitting Retreat starting on the 8 May. We still have two places open, why not join us for a fabulous week of yarny fun in beautiful Wales. Find a link to all the details in the right column of this blog.

#knitting retreat #wales #madewithloops

Not long now and we will be starting our Crochet Along. We are thrilled that so many of you have already signed up for this, but just in case you have missed what the excitement is all about, you can find all the details here.

#crochetalong #turkishdelight #madewithloops

To get you into the crochet mood and to practice your FPDtr (Front Post Double Treble), here is a wee free pattern for a

Pin Cushion Mini Mandala

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You will need some leftover yarn, 4ply mercerised is best (I used By Claire No 1)

3.5mm Crochet Hook, a darning needle and some toy stuffing.

UK Terms used

Start: Ch5, ss to form a ring

Rnd 1: Ch3 (counts as tr), 15tr into ring, ss to join (16tr) – change colour

Rnd 2: Ch3 (counts as tr), 2tr in each st around (32tr) – change colour

Rnd 3: Ch1 (counts as dc), FPdtr into tr from rnd 1 directly below, 1dc behind FPdtr just made, 1dc in each of next 2 sts, *skip 1tr from rnd 1, FPdtr in next tr from rnd 1, 1dc behind FPdtr just made, 1dc in each of next 3 sts; rep from * around, ss to join. (8 FPdtr made) – change colour

Rnd 4: Ch1 (counts as dc), 1dc in same space, 1 dc in next st, *2dc in next st, 1dc in next st; rep from * around, ss to join.

Make another the same.

Finishing: With wrong sides together, dc crochet together leaving small gap. Fill using toy stuffing and then close the gap.

These make great little gifts or just spoil yourself.

Enjoy! X.

it’s all in the stars – spread some paperluck

#good luck charms #lucky stars #www.madewithloops.co.uk

Humans have been superstitious for about as long as we have had the capability of higher thinking. It takes a fair amount of brainpower to think you can harness soul-crushing randomness of life, however futile a feat that may be. Many people have lucky objects that mean a lot to them personally, but throughout different cultures and times there have always been objects almost universally believed to bring good luck.

One of the most widely used charms believed to bring good fortune is the four leaf clover. Horseshoe, evil eye and hand of Fatima are other widely used objects, and most of us believe in lucky stars.

#www.madewithloops.co.uk

The Japanese have long had a fascination with lucky stars and it seems that we are beginning to adopt this fascination in equal measures too. A great idea to spread some good fortune is to give a jar of origami good luck stars to a well deserving person as a gift.

These small, origami stars are originally from Japan. The legend goes that once upon a night, a small girl saw falling stars disappearing from the sky. As less and less stars remained in the sky, she folded tiny paper stars from scrap paper she had on hand and placed them in a wishing jar. Each time she folded a star, a falling star was saved and appeared again into the night sky. Hence, they were called lucky stars. The stars are told to bring luck to the receiver of such a jar!

#www.madewithloops.co.uk #good luck stars #paperluck

My friend Kirsten of Paperluck is the maker of all kinds of lucky stars. The stars (and DIY kits) you see there are handmade from high quality paper and put together with care. You’ll find instructions on how to fold the stars included. The lucky stars are not only adorable to place inside a jar or vase, but are also wonderful as a babyshower or good luck gift, and can be used in buntings, cake toppings, or whatever a creative mind can come up with. I can think of a million perfect occasions for spreading a little luck about. How about you?

Have a wonderful week!

X.

 

amsterdam travel diary – day two

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And  so my last day in Amsterdam began! Marianne and I had organised to meet Michelle (www.scaapi.com) at Echtstudio, another beautifully decorated and very inspiring yarn shop, a short drive on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

A couple of hours of yarny chat and another delicious lunch and it was time to say farewell to Marianne and Amsterdam.

A new day and a new adventure. The next two days will be spend at Scheepjes HQ meeting all my fellow blogger friends and learning new exciting things.

Hopefully there will be yarn involved!

X.

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