my overdyed gloves

I overdyed a beautiful pair of gloves I own. They are purple now:

overdyed handknit gloves purpleoverdyed handknit gloves purple

The pattern is Glacier by Julia Mueller.

They were knit by the same friend who send me the TdF prize “Birch Batts” last week. It’s a pattern with lots of traveling stitches at a fairly tight gauge. Two aspects of knitting I can not accomplish myself anymore because of the RSI (shoulder impingement) that still troubles me.

The original colour was Kent by Zitron Trekking Hand Art, a warm red yellow colour:

pic by Lauramate who’s willing to sell this skein (USA)

I’m more of a purple girl myself and dyed them last Sunday with acid dyes (food colouring plus Ashford Dyes):


I got these gloves as part of a wonderful KARMA day we built together in January 2014 in the Dutch Karma Swap Group.

That particular day most of the group members were at a meet to celebrate one of the members. But a few of us could not attend, mostly because of health or family.

One of these members spontaneously proposed we could do a one day online swap for handmade things. Right there in the group. It grew into a wonderful online community hug, where everybody wanted to pamper the others. It was special!

The new colour turned out beautiful and it feels like I have a whole new pair of gloves again, with the sentiments of that KARMAday still in them:

overdyed handknit gloves purple

Sitting comfortably on fibre stories.

This is the chair I sit on when I make art:
It’s a vintage stool from my youth. Sturdy, wood and a bit hard on the buttocks. At the moment my childhood blanky is on there, haha, because I only just got back to doing art a month ago and I needed something to sit on right then and there.
This stool needs a soft cushion and I am thinking wool.

I have another stool, my spinning stool, which has the same problem. Its cushion I made many years ago and it’s no longer comfortabel, it’s grown too flat:

I really like this little cushion, I embellished it with some sort of free style knitting, following instructions from a book by knitting artist Mary Walker Phillips:
link to amazon
Her pattern on Ravelry Fantasy Yarn Over only has my projects as projects :s
I long to knit more of this pattern of her every year🙂 but sadly I never do, because I cannot think of a usable end project.

Back in 2011 I used it to embellish this round cushion and two rectangular ones. Snoring critics inform me that the square ones are still comfy:

I’d like to upgrade my spinning stool cushion. Not replace it. So I ripped open the seam: wow, the stuffing is all flat and felted. It’s some fleece I didn’t want to proces or spin of felt at the time but didn’t want to throw out either because it was organic fleece and of a special colour:
Made in 2011 my project notes say! Been in use ever since.
I’m going to add stuffing and keep on using it.

Now for my crafting stool…
If I can find some sort of felt cover and stuff it with old fleece I’ll have a cushion that works. I could even add some of the freestyle knitting.

Looking around the cabin for a sturdy piece of felt I found my felted sheep bag, the one I made in 2012:

In 2016 it’s not so beautiful anymore as it was in this picture. It’s worn down. Withered. Bald in places. The locks have matted in other. This is no longer a nice bag.
But I find it hard to throw away something that’s handmade, something that reminds me of that awesome day of workshop we had at Wolbeest. Something wooly.

Now I can reuse it. It will become a cushion. I ripped the seams that held the straps:

Then I plucked off the little sheeps head. This will get a special place in my house.
Then I turned the bag inside out, the sturdy felted side now sits on the outside:

I’m stuffing it with the green Clun Forest that was left over from a handspun dress in 2013:

That’s the Clun Forest Lillepoes has shown some love in every step of the processing back in 2013: dyeing, carding, spinning.

I love her little face🙂 I cannot look at this fleece and not see that happy face inside the paper bag. It was one of the hottest days of that year and there she was, my little cat, stealthily snuck into a bag of wool while I was carding it into rollags, happy as punch.

The spun yarn was scratchy though and I seldom wear the finished garment. I certainly didn’t feel like processing and spinning the rest of the fleece. But I couldn’t throw it away either. Apart from it being good, functional fleece and the happy Lillepoes’ face it also was a gift from a couple who own a small fibre dye business, as a thank you for me being me and being enthousiastic even when I was very ill and inviting them to get a booth at the Country Fair. I can’t throw away wool with that kind of heritage. There are stories in these fibres!

So I used all the remaining Clun Forest to stuff the bag and my spin stool cushion:
The bag is now a cushion for my crafting stool.

The spinning cushion needs to be sewn shut but I’ll do that next time because right now my sewing chair is in use:

Now I long again to “play with knitting” and do that free style sort of thing Mary Walker Phillips promotes!

If I can just think of a usable item that can handle a plain of freestyle knitting…
MWP “only” made wall hangings and I have no need for those.
There’s cushions but it’s not really practical because the embellishment needs to be handsewn to the cover, preferably all over, to remain in place and resist knitting needles and cat claws.
There’s this cardigan that could be an example:

It’s Middlemarch by Miranda Davies, free from Knitty. But I have many other cardigans I want to knit first.
I tried a hat and a scarf once but it wasn’t a happy match with the yarn:

And I did another cushion cover, with a halo-yarn. Which I hate to knit. What was I thinking.

I cannot think of something useful to make and I’m not the kind of person who just sits down to tinker with yarn, without a useful endproject in mind. I think I’ll end up sitting on this one for another year. Or do you perhaps have ideas?

Autumn at the cabin.

Hedgehog in the Netherlands, october 2016. Indigo dye plants on the right.

This little fellow just came strolling by. Huffing and puffing.🙂
On the right you see my indigo plants in flower.

Inside I’m crocheting away on my blanket squares. It’s a nice autumn project. The squares are stored in a nice autumn-y box:

There are 75 large squares now and I’m looking at how many of the smaller ones I need.

These are the four sizes of the squares (bad colour picture):

5 large ones just about equal 6 medium ones equal 7 small ones equal 9 XS ones.

I filled a page with equations and math to see which combinations will go together. This wasn’t straight forward because 5 : 6 : 7 : 9 is not a very logical combination. 2 : 4 : 8 : 12 would have been so much easier! But I did find some combinations that will work.

However, when I laid things out on the floor and played around I found that not all squares within the same category are the same size. Not all L have the same dimensions. Therefor the combinations I found will not work all the time. Nor most of the time.

Individual fittings and tailormade solutions are needed. I’m going to have to lay out portions of the blanket, crochet them together and then hope the next portion will kind of fit.

I have no idea if this is going to work… but I keep crocheting squares. Even if this means I’ll have to buy yet more balls of acrylic to get enough squares.

By now I’m too invested to stop this project. A smart person would say: “Stop. Work with what you have. Finish some kind of throw and enjoy the colours. Use the experience to plan a better throw: in thick wool, with workable sized squares, which you will use a lot.”

A fellow yarnie however might understand?
“You just keep huffing and puffing, dear. It’s October. Different shapes and textures are to be enjoyed!”
Hedgehog autumn folliage

Tour de Fleece prize received

This week I received my prize for participating in the Tour de Fleece event of the Dutch Karma Swap Group.
In TdF we share our spinning projects for 3 weeks and in the end we all donate a prize and then we all get to choose a prize, in an order that’s determined by a random generator. It’s a really fun and friendly event and it doesn’t matter how much you spun or how often you post.

I chose “Batts made in the colour of your liking” and I liked  the colour “birch”.

This was a bit of a challenge for my friend from the NKS who adores colour-colours but she welcomed the challenge and made me some birch:

It’s BFL (white and oatmeal) and some grey Merino, black wool with silk, white silk, green wool and sparkly Angelina.
90 grams in total.

This will be a nice spinning project in any time of the year! Especially if the day is calm and tranquil. Perhaps a silent Winter day?

For project I’m thinking this could be a yarn with some kind of structure which can be an accent in a woven fabric of solid, light colour. Becoming the front of a cushion.

Weird Wool Wednesday: car knitting like a boss

When we arrived in the city:

While driving: a very Dutch landscape:

Lakenvelder cattle even, the cows with a white belt across their body:

Having everything nearby:

Cable 6 over 5, without a needle:

Just drop the stitches, rearrange them in the right sequence and then knit. Like a boss.

Have homemade pancake with ginger jam:


Bonus: back seat driver:


the WIPs and the paradox of gaining some spare time.

My days are full with non-wool things. I only craft at night, when I join my husband for some TV. It’s still the same crochet so it’s not that interesting to show you:

Soon I need to lay out all the squares again, see what’s what. Think some more about the assembling composition.

The stranded owl vest with the wrong shade of white is now stuffed into the back of the closet. Don’t know what to do about it at this time.

I have started another white vest in that lovely handspun:

A vest without raglans: Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor.
But then I frogged it again because my similar handspun Hilja vest pills a bit (the yarn is a bit too soft for a garment) and Wolop Grey vest taught me I have more meterage than needed for a vest and I’d love to use every inch of my handspun.

So why not use the handspun for a luscious collar that doesn’t have to stand much wear?
“Inspired to knit” is the first knitting book I ever bought. I’ve never knit from it because … reasons (mostly that things aren’t knit in the round). But I always wanted a collar to tuck away in, like shown on the front. So last weekend I cast on for it. It’s Snowdrift Cardigan by Michele Rose Orne.

It was a good car ride project last Sunday:

But at home I started to doubt my knitting again. Isn’t it too wide, too many stitches? Isn’t it too variegated a colour and with what yarn will I ever combine it to make the body then?
So I’ve left it in its WIPbag since then and have been crocheting flowers instead.

Tangled Vines Cardigan is still out of the closet though. There’s only one sleeve left to do and the button bands. I’ve brought my box with buttons to the city and I just need to sit down and make a choice:
I’ll get to that as soon as I’ve finished crocheting…

Somewhere in the previous weeks I did start on the sock blank! I have half a foot and it sits beautifully in the yarn bowl:
Artwork by Meilindis and yes, that is a portrait of Lillepoes!

I hardly knit on my sock though. Because it feels like a special knit for sophisticated moments, like there should be a candle in a silver holders nearby and there should be bonbons on little handmade plates and artistic thoughts in my head.
These days I only craft when I’m doing something else too. Watching videos at night or browsing imgur during my day rests. No sophistication at all.

Yeah, my days are full. A lot of time is spend on coaxing my body to not relapse into a chronic fatigue state. I feel like I’ve been handed a precious gem or little kitten and I don’t want to lose it. It needs time and dedication and love to prosper but I have one hand tied behind my back and an eyepatch made out of mohair and someone is whispering math problems in the back ground, demanding answers.

So there’s a lot of distraction and I absolutely want to do this right because I’d like 45 more years of good life, please. Hmm, this may be a long winded apology that this is no longer a blog with regular knitting progress reports.
Was it ever though?

Blogging takes time too and I find I want to use that time for other things. You wouldn’t say it with the elaborate posts I’ve been making the past few weeks but in my mind I have cut back on blogging. Reality may disagree as these posts each take two hours to write, at least. But my mindset has shifted. “I knit less and therefor blog less.” That’s as true as cows. (That’s a Dutch expression)
My posts may change in the future. Perhaps more pictures, less words.
Or it may progress like it does right now: more words, less wool😉

There’s just not much time left in the day to do the things I love. I get maybe one hour twice a day? But they are spend in health now and they never were before.
When there are no interruptions such as day trips or having to buy mattresses or going in for blood tests I spend most of my precious free and health-full time sewing. I sewed a winter skirt last month:

Sturdy canvas again: curtain fabric from IKEA. Sturdy seams, pockets, lining. And godets at the side seams to give room for striding and urban power posing.

It goes wonderful with my Wolop Grey Handspun Vest as you can see. The other day I wore a ladies’ dress shirt under it and I looked smashing! That will be my Autumn and Winter garderobe: skirt, shirt, vest, cardigan (hat, wristwarmers).

This fortnight I’m sewing trousers. They are linen trousers, for Summer. This Summer. Yes, Summer 2016…
Never mind that I’m writing this wearing a hat and woolen socks. At least I’m also learning to work with loosely woven cloth, which comes in handy for when I’m going to sew with my handwovens.
Which I have planned for the end of Summer.
Summer 2016.
Which is when I will have finished weaving what I set up on my new loom.
Or will have started weaving it even.
Argh. I need more hours. I hear coffee does good things for the amount of hours in a day?

There’s still more sewing to do, with the fabrics I already have. Dress shirts. Pinafores. A jacket next month. I’m also interested in art again. I was a full time art student and also an artist before I fell ill in 2008? It’s rekindling. I’ve bought a little sketchbook for daily use… but hussshh about that because that’s another fragile kitten that needs peace and calm to grow big and playful.

Yeah I don’t have much spare time these days. All caused precisely because I have gotten a bit of spare time. I’m savouring every crumb of it. I’ll continue showing you but it may not be much interesting wool stuff for a while.

UPDATE I was meant to surf how to sew a jeans zipper, not write this blogpost!

The wrong white…


The last ball of the vintage Norwegian yarn is a different white. It’s a different brand too. I knew this. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Yet it does.

How to proceed with my stranded Owl vest now?
I can alternate balls I guess… I’d have to frog all the rows from the previous weeks. Nothing says progress in knitting like frogging. *sigh* The difference in clour will still show, the vest would definitely have a different coloured top.

I could try and buy a matching yarn. Nothing says stash busting and finishing WIPs as buying more yarn.*sigh*

Here’s a reminder of this fun vest I have on the needles:

vest pattern is Hilja by Niina Hakkarainen

owl pattern is Grey Eyed by Rebecca Tsai

Pfff. I’ll have a think about it.
In the mean time I’m eyeing Tangled Vines cardigan and also probably casting on a new vest, from that purplewhite handspun.
And crocheting flowers of course. Lots and lots of them. Quick, before I grow tired of it.

Weird Wool Wednesday: cat approved foot warmer.

I tried out my gotland felted foot warmer today:
I invited Lillepoes to try it with me.

“Ok, I’ll give it a try!”

“No, on second though I’d rather not.”

“On second second though, ok, yes.”

“No, I was right the first time.”

“On second second second thought and your insistence…I’ll lie down here.”

“Nahhhhh, I think I’d rather lie here.”
“In your face.”

“So cosy! I wuv you.”

“On my final second thought….”

“I love touching sheep while I sleep.”

“Hmm, an invitation you say?”

“Yessss…I approve.”

“Even better alone….zzzzz…”

“What that? Something edible?”


“What that?!”

“Hm. Pf. Smells like cat. Sheep cat. Not edible.”

“I’ll sleep here. With my face in the radiator.”

“That’s fine. I sleep here. With my face in sheep.”

Spun a Sockyarn in One Weekend!

Finish Photo! Ran out of yarn right on the 7 o’clock finish line:

Here are my finished skeins: the sockyarn, my meager turtle silk and some random stuff I found lingering on my bobbin.

This was this morning, around half past five:

Yawn…. Let’s do this!

At half past six I was well on my way. I had tea, I was spinning in my pjama’s and was watching Along The Lanes knitter’s podcast. My life choices were still audibly questioned:

On 5 minutes to 7 my first strand ran out. The rest will be 2ply.

I marked the transition with a bit of pink thread. When knitting I’ll change needle size here. Or start a lace pattern or something. Now I had 5 minutes left until the deadline and I started peddling like mad. 2ply does take more twist than a 3 ply.

Earlier on I had marked another transition, it was when I ran out of Wensleydale and used a second strand of Hollands Sheep instead in the 3 ply:

There was Holland Sheep on the Wensleydale bobbin because on Sunday I had tried to transfer the Hollands Sheep entirely to another bobbin because I needed its original bobbin for the plying. I only have three bobbins that fit this wheel, you see.

So the vintage Louet S70 was brought downstairs and I started transferring the Hollands Sheep to it. But I hadn’t put in enough twist I guess because it kept breaking. It made for a very frustrating hour on Sunday Afternoon! Until I decided to transfer the Wensleydale instead. I just continued on the same bobbin and left the Holland Sheep as is:

The lack of twist in the Holland Sheep came back to bite me again in the end because after 7 o’clock I thought I’d chain-ply the rest of the single and use up all the singles I’d made. It wouldn’t play. Breakage. Frustration:

So at 7:02 I called it quits.

End result:

Here’s a picture of Sunday when I plied what little silk I had spun:

I put it right on top of one of my sock yarn singles since they are spun in the other direction than the silk singles. Before plying I took off the silk and counted its metres.

And I also plied some green single that was lingering on my bobbin into chainply.

Overall I made 275 m of sockyarn and have spun 1128 competition metres in total. A little more actually because I have not counted the few metres left of Hollands Sheep. But who cares. Pimmie, the organizing spinner, has spun over 6000 metres and made over 2000 metres of yarn this weekend! And she has 3 children! Including twins!

She used the long draw technique which yields a lot of metres fast. It’s the ultimate woolen spinning technique and my favourite, together with the ultimate worsted which requires smooth, well prepared fibres suchs as Mulberry silk. Long Draw also requires well prepared fibres: hand carded rolags. Pimmie spend a lot of time making those, prior to the competition:

Ohoooo, when I see this I want to card rolags by the box full too!

Longdraw is such a fun way of spinning. It gives bouncy, light, warm yarn. My Sprig pullover is spun longdraw (even though I used batts instead of rolags, shh, don’t tell). It was Longdraw on a vintage Louet wheel even!

I’m sure I’ll spin Longdraw again soon. In the mean time I’m looking forward to knit some socks with this: