My turkish kelim carpet

turkishkelim, kelim

The top part of my Turkish kelim carpet. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2019

The other day somebody spotted my Turkish kelim carpet in the background of one of my Instagram posts.

Turkish kelim

It is an interesting carpet. I bought in Turkey in 2003 after some discussions about the price. It is 305 cms long and 77 cms wide, but rather thin. I managed to squeeze it into my suitcase for the transportation home. It has lots of pictures of animals and flowers on it and some of the patterns are probably symbolic for one thing or another. Not that I know… I also do not know its age.

Pictures of the carpet

Shot some pictures of it from top to bottom (the way you look at it and follow the pattern) the other day. The bottom part of it near to the door to the patio is a bit sun-faded, but the rest is OK. I’ve had it cleaned (by professionals) twice. I love its colors.

I love this carpet and I too enjoy looking at its patterns. It lives in my livingroom and I pass it every day several times when I pass from the livingroom into or out of the bedroom.

turkishkelim, kelim, carpet

The second part of the carpet. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2019

Every part of the carpet has a different picture in the middle of it. Five in all.

turkishkelim, kelim, carpet

The third part of the carpet. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2019

turkishkelim, kelim, carpet

The 4th part of the carpet. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2019

turkishkelim, kelim, carpet

The 5th part of the carpet. Photo: ©nini,tjader.2019

The 5th part of the carpet is the one faded by the sun. It is not TOO bad though. The bottom righthand corner always rolls up from the floor and I have not been able to fix that. I bought it like that. Presently I stick that corner under the round floor-pillow.

turkishkelim, kelim, carpet

A glimpse of the underside of the carpet. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2019

Under the carpet I have this grey security carpet so you won’t fly away with the carpet if you come in a hurry. It prevents it from sliding.

The backside/underside of the carpet is interesting as well and very well made. Handmade, yes.

Posted by nini in carpets, handicraft, Interior Design, livingroom, 0 comments

A crocheted pillowcase/cushioncase


The new pillowcase. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2016

cushioncase, pillowcase

The old cushion/pillow. Photo ©nini.tjader.2016

I have this old cushion/pillow from Ikea since a couple of years back. It is meant for outside use, summertime. The cushioncase is very colorful and totally wrong for the inside (though it has been used in the chaiselongue occassionally). Took it off to investigate the pillow inside (and to put it in the laundry).

cushion, pillow

The cushion without a cover. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2016

The pillow itself is OK. Quite big. Round. Soft.

cushion, pillow, crochet, pillowcase

Crocheted pillowcase. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2016

So I decided to use a jeans-blue cotton yarn I recently re-covered from a former sweater and to crochet a new cover for the pillow. It is easy chrocheting. You just go around and around in circles until you reach the desired size.

pillowcase, crocheting

Crocheted pillowcase. Photo:©nini.tjader.2016

You start on one side with a few stitches. Then go around and add stitches at intervals as needed to each row to keep the crocheting round and flat.

pillowcase, crocheted

Crocheted pillowcase. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2016

When half of the pillowcase is crocheted, I left an opening wide enough to be able to insert the pillow into its cover and then continued with the same amount of stitches on the next row around.

This particular pillow has a straight edge of about 10 cms where I therefore stopped adding stitches for the number of rows needed, made the opening in the middle of the straight part, and then, when reaching the end of the straight edge, started reducing the number of stitches as needed to keep the other side of the pillowcase flat.

pillowcase, crocheting

The opening of the pillowcase. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2016

When the entire pillowcase was ready, I crocheted an additional row in the opening, plus one row with simple stitches to make the buttonholes. I then bought as many buttons as I had buttonholes in an appropriate size and sewed them to the other side of the opening of the pillowcase. Odd thing was that I actually had to buy buttons… I have a fairly large button-collection which I inherited from my mother and have kept adding to over the years. But this time there wasn’t any buttons in the right size in my collection.

pillowcase, crocheting

Crocheted pillowcase. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2016

I then inserted the pillow into its new pillowcase.

pillowcase, crocheting

Crocheted pillowcase. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2016

And closed it with the buttons.

pillowcase, crocheting

Crocheted pillowcase. Photo:©nini.tjader.2016

Done. So where did I put it?

pillowcase, crocheting

The new crocheted pillowcase. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2016

I put it on top of the pouff in the livingroom. It might not be its definite place, but the size of the IKEA pillow happened to be of the same size as the top of the IKEA pouff.

Unfortunately the light conditions had gone from bad to worse before I could shoot this picture. It was, and still is very dark presently and hard to get decent light conditions to take pictures in natural light. That explains the very grainy pictures above and below.

The new crocheted pillowcase. Photo: ©ninit.tjader.2016

The new crocheted pillowcase. Photo: ©ninit.tjader.2016

Posted by nini in decoration, Design, DIY, handicraft, Interior Design, livingroom, 0 comments

Damast linen cloths

Some time ago I wrote about and showed my inherited hand-embroidered linen cloths. I mentioned then that apart from those, I also have quite a few damast linen cloths – which I also never use. They just sit there in the cupboard. It is a pity really because I think they are beautiful when I look at them. These are the ones:

Click on an image to see a larger version and to switch to regular slideshow.

The three white ones come with piles of napkins with the same pattern. The pink one I remember my mother used when she invited people for coffee and cake. The flimsy, shiny, silky, golden one was always used with a felt-cloth under it to keep it in place. My favorite is the one with the oak-leaves pattern.

I still wonder: Is there a second hand market for old linen cloths? Damast or embroidered.

Posted by nini in handicraft, textile, 0 comments

Embroidered linen cloths

I have those embroidered linen cloths in my cupboard that I’ve inherited from home. I wrote about them on my swedish blog recently, wondering what on earth I should do with them. As it is I never use them. They just sit there in the cupboard and I occasionally take them and look at them because I think they are beautiful, but not my style. Most of them are approximately 140 cm x 140 cm i size and they have lace around the sides. Cannot say if the lace is handmade or not but it might be. Is there are market for these things if I should decide to sell them?

They were done by my grandmother and my father around 1930 or there about. Here are some pictures of them. Click on an image to see a larger version and to get a regular slideshow.

I also have a bunch of damast linen cloths. But I’ll show those another time.

Posted by nini in handicraft, 0 comments

From Russia with Love…


11 babushka dolls that all go inside each other. Wooden. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2014

From Russia with Love… or what I brought home from the trip to the Soviet Union that J. and I did in 1985. Gorbachov was the new leader then and the Soviet union was getting somewhat friendlier. That did not mean we were not supervised and checked during our trip through the the Soviet Union. The supervising was at times felt. Our tour leader almost got thrown into jail because he was drunk after a dinner we had and said stupid things. In russian… They had at the time a no tolerance law against public drunkenness.


Russian souvenirs. Photo:©nini.tjader.2014

We were doing the Transiberian Railway trip. Flew from Stockholm to Moscow. Were in Moscow a couple of days. It was summer. Moscow was – to my surprise – beautiful. And my more interesting than I hade expected. Yes, we were at the Red Square. No, we did not visit the mausoleum of Lenin. Moscow and surrounding (when being transported around with the tour bus) was the only place were you could buy some souvenirs. That has probably changed a lot since.


Souvenir from Tashkent. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2014

Then we went onto the Transiberian Railway from Moscow to Irkutsk where we went off the train for a busride to the Bajkal Lake. From Irkutsk we continued by plane to Tashkent. Interesting town. And big. We walked and walked and walked on those straight wide streets they built after an earth quake that destroyed a lot of the town. I remember that we got the above embroidered thing in a theater we visited to watch local folk dances. From Tashkent we flew via Alma Ata (just transit) on to Samarkand.


Samarkand 1985. Photo: ©nini.tjader

Samarkand was fantastic. Really interesting. We had three days there. That was during the time when the Russians were leaving Afghanistan. They passed through Samarkand in their way out.


Russian souvenir. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2014

When we came to Samarkand there were vegetable salads at the hotel for the first time during the entire trip. We all ate salads. We all got stomach problems just about the time we were to fly back to Moscow (on the most rackety plane I’ve ever been… everything was loose on it…). That is, all but me. I didn’t get it until back in Moscow. And very mildly too. J. wasn’t all that affected either. In fact, we were the only ones standing on our legs the next day. Tours were cancelled and we had the day to ourselves. So we went on the underground inte central Moscow all by ourselves. Now and then there was need for a WC. And yes, I’ve visited the ones in the wall around the Red Square… Very clean.

After we came home, we were home for about five days. Made laundry, got well and then went off again to the former Yugoslavia and to Ulçinj in Montenegro. We felt we needed some sun and warmths that summer too. That was the year of visits to countries that no longer exist in the names they had then. Much has happened since.


Russian souvenirs. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2014

I love the things the Soviets did and sold as souvenirs. They are all handmade. Above two painted colored and lacquered wooden boxes for small things, two silver chains, one with a hand painted flower decoration on glass, one with a flower-patterned charm that you can open and put a picture inside, one pill-box with glass mosaic in the lid and a wooden brosch, hand-painted.

If you are interested in our trip with the Transiberian Railway, there are photos on my old website here. Mind though that the site is undergoing re-build and that I will be exchanging the photos for bigger versions when I do. It was done for much smaller screens and really out-dated techniques so the images are very small. Some of the navigation also doesn’t work as supposed to.

Posted by nini in handicraft, Thoughts, Travel, Various, 0 comments

Made by women

These are made by women. In these cases women in Greece. I admire their handicraft.


Handicraft by women in Greece. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2014

Upper left is a bag that when I bought it was filled with handpicked oregano. I bought it because of the oregano. It comes from the island of Karpathos in Greece and the village of Olympos, which has a long tradition of matriarch rule. (More about Olympos at Karpathos here).

The upper righthand one is also from somewhere in Greece, I don’t remember where.

The two bottom ones comes from a monastery and are made by nuns who sell them to tourists for their income. They are extremely well made.

Neither of them are my style really. I am not one of those who put little cloths under everything in my home. But I admire the handicraft and sometimes cannot resist buying things like these when abroad. I really have nowhere to put them. They don’t fit in my home. So they are kept in a cupboard with the bigger table cloths that I also never use…

Posted by nini in handicraft, Thoughts, Various, 0 comments

Folkloristic weaves

weaves, wall carpet, tunisia

Tunisian Wall Carpet Photo:@nini.tjader.2014

This wall carpet was bought in Matmata in the Tunisian desert in 1979 for my fathers birthday. It is genuine handiwork done in the berber desert caves at Matmata (see below) by the women who live/d there. When my father passed way in 1984, I took care of the wall carpet. It is wool. I always regretted that I didn’t buy at least one more of these… It has kept its colors over the years. It is done on a loom that stands upright on the floor. Similar to the looms used in Turkey for kelim carpets.

Tunisian proof of origin

Tunisian proof of origin

What often strikes me is the similarity of folkloristic weaves from different places around the world. To some extent this is probably because of the similar techniques used when doing the weaves, and the often natural pigments used to dye the yarns. They are always in wool and the weave bottom in cotton.

Greek weaves

Greek weaves, photo: ©nini.tjader.2014

The above weaves are all from Greece and pretty small. Bought in a small village on Crete several years ago. At the time, greek women did those weaves at home. Today they are impossible to find. Copies with those patterns are made by machines and are far from genuine. That’s a pity.

I love those folkloristic weaves, no matter which country they come from.


By the way, Matmata in Tunisia was an interesting village in the desert, dug down into the sand dunes, in cover for the heat and the sandstorms. It is still there, and some of the caves are used as hotels (were already then). I guess much has changed over the years with all the tourists visiting. Much of the genuine atmosphere there has probably been lost over the years and the village has become a town totally dependent on tourism.

There is a YouTube video about it (about 11 minutes long). Soundtrack is pretty bad but… One of the StarWars films was filmed there. There are more videos about Matmata, Tunisia on YouTube if you are interested. Not all in English though. Like this one in French. That one has a short sequence at the end about the carpets and otherwise tells about the life in the caves.

matmata, tunisia

Matmata, Tunisa Photo: Nini Tjäder 1979

matmata, tunisia

Matmata, Tunisia Photo: Nini Tjäder 1979



Posted by nini in Design, Furniture and Decoration, handicraft, 0 comments