Another big girl crochet cardi, this time with flower

This is the last result of my big-autumn-kids-cardigan-crocheting era.

When I found this tutorial on Vicarno’s Mama, I knew instantly that this is going to be a cardigan made for my daughter, and also one made for my niece. You can see the first result, my daughter’s striped, colourful cardigan here.

As for my niece, who just turned 3 years last month, I decided to modify the original pattern to start with 50 chains, and using dcs again, instead of hdcs. I decided to go with different colours, divided a bit differently, and also, for a more feminine look I made a shell-edging alongside the neck, bottom and front openings, plus, I added a crochet rose to the chest.

What do you think? 🙂

Big girl crochet cardi with flower

 

I am actually very happy with the result. I am thinking about going back to my daughter’s cardi, and finish the edges with shells there too, because it gives a little bit more straight, finished look to the cardigan.

Look at the details 🙂 I love how the two different kind of yarns, the merino wool and the alpaca-mohair blanding work together.

Details with flower

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The big girl crochet cardigan

Autumn, winter and soft, warm, home-made cardigans go hand in hand. Don’t they?

I found this fantastic tutorial at Vicarno’s Mama on a beautiful crocheted baby vest, and I instantly knew that I am going to make one for my daughter, and one for my niece.

The tutorial is very easy to follow and straightforward. The only thing I had to use my brain was that the pattern is for a 1-year-old baby, and my daughter is almost 5, my niece is 3. So I had to make adjustments. It was a process of trials and fails, I had to restart it a few times before I found the proper size-adjustments.

Here is what I came up with for my daughter:

Instead of 44 chains, I started with 66 chains, that means ch2+64 hdcs in the first row. From the second row on I used dcs instead of hdcs, and distributed my stitches proportionally among the different parts of the pattern. I changed colours every second row. Apart from these changes, I followed the pattern completely.

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Probably I could have started with a little less chains as well, as the cardigan didn’t turn out to be a slim-fit one, but I actually like that it is not that tight on my daughter and she has a lot of space to move around and to grow.

The yarn I used was partly the same easy care merino wool I used for a baby jacket, partly alpaca-mohair blanding. I am very happy about the colours, I think they give a nice impression together, and the vest has the advantage of matching most of Cherry’s other clothes this way.  Plus, Cherry made sure to tell me every time she saw me working on her cardigan, that “it is going to be sooo pretty with all these colours, Mummy” 🙂

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Fall Time Is Crochet Time

It is funny, how I set aside crocheting this summer, and favoured sewing instead. Probably the sunshine and warm weather calls for other activities than cuddling up on the couch, surrounded by yarn.

But autumn is back, and I have started different crochet-projects again.

The first one is the most important one, and also the most exciting of all: Have I told you that I’m going to be an auntie again??? Well, I am 🙂 According to the plan, my husband’s sister is giving birth to her second, a baby boy, in exactly 4 weeks. Well, we know that the business of birth rarely goes according to any plans, so let’s just say, it can happen anytime. We are all very excited about the growing belly and looking forward to meet the new addition to our family. This baby, just like my now 3-year-old niece, is going to be a winter baby. Winter babies need lots of cardigans! 

I went to my favourite local yarn shop, resisted the urge to buy everything I saw, and after a lot of hesitation and yarn touching, I chose a few balls of super soft, easy care merino wool baby yarn in different colours. You see, I am about to crochet a lot of cardigans and vests, not only for my upcoming nephew and my niece, but also for my own children. 

For the newborn cardigan, after days and days of research on my pinterest board, I chose this pattern: the simple method of making two granny hexagons, and join them. You can find a lot of tutorials on this, I chose to follow this one of Trash to Treasure. I made two identical hexagons, each of 8 rows. However, I didn’t make a hood for the cardigan, as it is going to be mainly used inside, and not as an outside jacket. For the closing I opted for a pair strings instead of buttons. 

And here it is:

Hexagon Baby Cardigan

 

What you cannot see on the picture is that is just so lovely and soft! You just want to rub your face in it 🙂 I hope the baby will appreciate it too 🙂

Details in grey and baby blue

Apple Season

Yes, yes. Early autumn can only mean one thing: Mother nature spoils us with all her treasures in the form of different fruits, berries and nuts.

When you ask me (if you ask me) what is the best thing about us moving out to the country side, to a house with an amazing garden is, I would answer: the apple trees we have in our garden.  And the freedom, and the fresh air, and the local community, etc… But for this post let us stick to the above mentioned apple trees.

Last year, unfortunately some disease attacked all the apple trees in the neighbourhood, we couldn’t really use the vast amount of apples our 3 huge trees give us. But this year, they are perfect 🙂 I don’t know much about different types of apples, but we got to know, that one of our trees gives apples you can eat directly from the tree, and the other two are cooking/baking apples.

And the season came, so it was time to harvest the apples 🙂 Perfect family activity for sunny, warm autumn weekends. A few weeks ago we started with the eating apples, as we got tired of picking them up one by one every day, because they started to ripen and fall of by themselves.

The apple tree

Being new to the situation, we were not sure what method to follow, how is it going to be the most effective way of harvesting our apples. So we kind of had to figure it out during the process 🙂 We started by handpicking the loveliest apples from the tree, but realised, that this way we would never get to the end, as the tree had hundreds of apples. So we went little wild, and started to shake them off. At one point my husband climbed up to the tree, and shook it as hard as he could. He was shouting a little while doing so, and as a result, Cherry started to laugh at him, saying “Daddy is a gorilla!” – Well, he really resembled a gorilla at that point 🙂

Once all the apples were on the ground, we collected them into hills, and sorted them. We put the nice ones into boxes, and the bad ones into trash bags, and those were driven to recycling. Kids were very helpful at sorting.

apple picking nr 1

We repeated the same this weekend, as the first night frost already bit the cooking apples, and that is when they are considered ready. This tree was a bit harder to harvest, as it is very high, impossible to climb up to, and is surrounded by a rose bush. So we climbed up on our ladder, and shook the brenches with the help of long sticks. this was very exciting, especially when Paddington climbed up the ladder behing his Dad, and started to shake it so hard, that they almost ended up in the rose bush. Luckily I have a very good reaction time, and caught the ladder before they fell off…

apple picking nr 2

These apples are yellow, and much more sour than the other ones, but perfect for winter storage and freezing.

Apples for the winter

Sunday I made some apple rolls, with the help of Cherry. It is based on the recipe of cinammon rolls, but I also added apples andcaramell sauce to it. They were yummie 🙂

apple rolls

Now, there is nothing left to do, but to keep the nicest apples for winter, and cut the others into small pieces, and freeze them. My husband said, he is looking forward to eating apple pies every Sunday this winter. Well, honey, if you bake them yourself, sure, why not 🙂

Grenaa

Have I told you about Grenaa? Guess not…

Well, Grenaa is a little town in Denmark, where my husband’s parents live, where he went to high school, this is where we got married, and where we got our daughter baptised (not our son, since the church was not available for the date – he was baptised somewhere else). To conclude: we love Grenaa 🙂

Since we don’t live that close to any of our parents, brothers, sisters, etc. so that we could see them any time we want to, we try to make it up by travelling a lot, receiving a lot of guests, and be together with our family very intensely those days. In the case of my husband’s parents, we usually visit them once a month, and we spend a whole weekend there.

Just like we did this weekend 🙂

It is really relaxing, especially for me, because the weight of household chores is just lifted off of my shoulders these days 🙂 Obviously, I help out my mother-in-law in the kitchen, and I clean up after the kids, but it’s still not the same as at home, where I have to plan the meals, got the washing machine on the run basically all the time, trash can is waiting to be emptied, so on. Grenaa is just pure relaxation 🙂 We are pampered, my mother-in-law is an amazing cook (meaning very high standards and expectations from my husband’s side, when it comes to dinner…), and probably even a better baker.

We tried something new this weekend. Apple porridge. I mean, it was new to me. My husband used to have apple porridge very often as a kid, but through the years of our relationship, I never had the chance to try this Danish specialty. Until now. To be honest, I was a little bit skeptical to begin with. Apple porridge in itself sounds just fine, but the Danish way, that they simply pour cold milk over it and spoon it into their mouth… well, let me just tell you a little story: when my parents were visiting us in Denmark a few summer ago, and we freshly handpicked some strawberries on the way to visit my in-laws, my husband’s Mum put the strawberries on the table, with some milk and cream. My parents and I looked at each other: what was that supposed to mean? In Hungary we sprinkle some powdered sugar on the strawberries, or top them with whipped cream, what’s the deal with the milk? My own Mum even said, she was not gonna try this combination, because (citation follows) “I don’t feel like spending the whole afternoon on the loo”. Yes, the concept was new to us, but my Dad and I tried it (my Mum did not, see above), and constantly fell in love with the milky strawberries. So this time I was not that surprised by the apple porridge bathed in milk. But I just couldn’t get rid of the mental picture of me spending the rest of the afternoon on the loo 🙂 While I was picturing this, my husband dug in, and expressed his happiness, by saying things like “Oh, this is very good” and “I just got a flashback from my childhood”, and in the meantime our daughter was licking the milk out of her bowl, and meowed occasionally…

Ok, it cannot be that bad -I thought, and tasted the apple porridge with milk. And it was good. Not as good as the strawberries with milk, in my honest opinion, but good 🙂

There was also a very cute episode this weekend. My husband took a few family photos that can be found all over the house, then showed them to Cherry. Cherry is a clever little girl, and she can name everyone on the photos. But genetics played a trick on her this time, when she mixed up my father-in-law’s picture from his time in the military service with my husband, and when she looked at my personal favourite picture, that shows my husband and her big sister when they were very small kids, sitting under a pine tree, holding a pair of cats. She said that it is her and Paddington on the picture 🙂 I remember when I first saw this photo, and thought how sweet and cute my husband was as a baby, and we were surely gonna have some cute kids together. And it turns out we did! Actually we produced the mini copies of my sister-in-law and my husband 🙂

Happy All Saints… or Halloween!

We are a bicultural family, raising bilingual children. We celebrate Christmas and Easter combining traditions from two country, and we also celebrate things that are only familiar to one of the parents.

Halloween is not part of either the Danish or Hungarian tradition. In Hungary we celebrate All Saints on 1st November, and the Day of the Dead the following day. Both days are spiritual and kind of gloomy. They are not the time for fun, they are time for remembering the lost ones. It is a tradition to go to the cemetery these days, putting some flowers on the graves, lighting some candles. It is a sad thing, sitting there, and remembering the people we loved so much and cannot see anymore.

Halloween is not a genuine part of the Danish fests either, Halloween is, as we all know, of Anglo-Saxon origin. But nowadays it is widely spread all over the world, also in Denmark. Yes, people carve pumpkins, put them outside their doors, buy the cute little decorations they can find in any supermarkets, some may even hold parties, with costumes and everything. Well, not in Hungary, I can tell you that… We, Hungarians, are a strange nation. There is this collective attitude in the air, criticizing everything that is different, new. Some people say, that Halloween, and for instance Valentine’s Day are stupid American holidays (well, not), therefore we should despise them, and stick to our old, gloomy ways. They even say, that Valentine’s Day is a joke, because you cannot celebrate your love only one day per year, you have to celebrate it every day! Sounds good, but the problem is, that usually they don’t celebrate it any day, at all 🙂 Yes, probably there were times when I was thinking the same. But a lot of things happened to me, and suddenly I found myself far away from home, with a new family – speaking a different language, having different holidays, different traditions, habits, food, mood, etc., still, welcoming me with open arms and a lot of warmth. I learned a lot in the past few years, and I am very keen on creating a colourful, multicultural childhood for my children. I want them to welcome everything with an open heart and mind. I want them to remember and cherish the moments of holidays and traditions of our home. I don’t want them to reject the possibility for a little bit of fun, and different moments then the everydays. It is ok to be gloomy, but I want them to celebrate as well, any time they can:) And Halloween is a good time for that 🙂

We are going to light candles tomorrow for the loved and deeply missed ones.

But I also did my best, to grab the atmosphere of Halloween, and smuggle a little bit of festivity into this average Wednesday evening.

We started by picking a handsome pumpkin in the supermarket (I know, I know, shame on us, buying a pumpkin in a supermarket, instead of growing it in our own garden 🙂 ), and then I read a lot about pumpkin carving on different forums, because I have never done anything like this before, and gave it a try. It was surprisingly easy to carve the pumpkin, I might even do it again next year 🙂

From all the flesh that I took out of the pumpkin, I decided to cook some pumpkin soup. I loooove pumpkin soup 🙂 I don’t have a very accurate recipe for it. I just throw the pumpkin, one or two diced potatoes and some diced carrots in a pot, pour so much water (or leftover chicken broth) so that it covers the vegetables, add some salt, and cook them nice and soft. Once they are done, I give them a go with my food processor, add a bit of cream, and put the soup back on the gas for a few more minutes. It turns out so lovely and thick and comfoting, and perfect with some fresh, warm garlic bread… (great, now I’m hungry again)

Once the sun started to go down, we put our carved, little, heart-eyed pumpkin outside, and lit some lights. (Check out or welcome-frog! 🙂 )

And we also lit some candles inside. On the second picture, you can see the results of my kids decorating skills, they had this concept of grabbing everything and misplace it. I tried to save the picture, though 🙂

Those funny little pumpkin-lookalike berries grow on a bush in our garden. They are absolutely cute and pretty, so I decided to use them as decoration. Does anyone know what they are?

 

 

 

A Perfect Sunday

Perfect Sundays are something we all dream of. Perfect Sundays however happen to be quite rare. But yesterday happened to be a Sunday and happened to be perfect.

We woke up to a beautiful, sunny day, frost covering everything in the garden. I felt like a super mum, and made omelets for breakfast. I don’t know about others, but my kids can eat sooo much for breakfast, that it would feed a smaller army. After munching a few biscuits, finishing up their first portion of cornflakes, and the second portion, and the third portion, and some fruits, they jumped upon the eggs and the rye bread as hungry hyenas… A little bit later I discovered, that the clock on the kitchen wall shows a different time that the one on my phone, and we realised with my husband, that we actually missed to set back our watches to daylight saving time… One hour gained of the day, quite unexpectedly 🙂

Now, that it was quite early, and very sunny, we decided to go for a nice walk in the woods nearby. We packed up the kids and the dog, and set out for a route that covered my usual running path. It is a very beautiful route, leading through some fields, among old farms, with modern windmills as a background in the distance. It takes about a kilometer or two to arrive to the forest. We have only been living here since July, but I can tell you, this forest is simply gorgeous in the summer and in the autumn. I assume it is gonna be marvelous in the spring as well, however, I don’t have high hopes regarding the grey, boring winter… Laika, our pup, really enjoyed the tour, she actually was so excited, and kept up such a powerful pace, that my husband decided, to tie her to the stroller, and utilize her help provided to pull the wagon 🙂

Once in the forest, we decided to take a little detour, and follow a very narrow path, leading up the hill, that I have never taken during my runs.

The path was almost intact, and led us to an opening with the most beautiful view! We ended up sitting on the top of a hill, staring at the fields, woods and a sparkly little lake under us. We truly regretted, that we hadn’t anticipated to stumble upon such a nice spot, and hadn’t packed some lunch and warm cocoa. But we quickly decided, that next time we will hold a little picnic at this spot 🙂

After sitting there for about half an hour, and watching some hunters getting into formation around a little woody area, most likely aiming for ducks, and when the children started to be restless, we decided to get back on track, and go home. According to my running statistics, we covered about 4-5 kilometers that day. The distance, the fresh air and the bright sunshine drained all the energy out of Cherry, Paddington and Laika, so after we got home and had something to eat, the two kids and the dog simply fell asleep, on three different points of the house 🙂 Sweet silence and peace 🙂

I decided to seize the possibility, and quickly made some chocolate chip cookies, that were happily consumed by my husband, and the children, once they woke up. We ended the day with watching cartoons and having some nice and autumnal comfort food for dinner (sheperd’s pie).

It really was the Perfect Sunday.