weird wool wednesday: my green thumb

dit my green dumb:

(dat my woolly pincushion)

Dis my green dyed yarn:

Dat my cat saying time for sewing is over:

Time to pet!


finished: cuffs and tricot shirts and anxiety

36 grams, 156 m, of fingering weight, on needles 2,5 mm.
What a lovely knit. It’s spontaneous row by row and you can’t go wrong (very much).

Seeing that I love to wear these kind of cuffs I casted on for a second pair right away, from the remaining yarn:

A more spring like palette:
 pic Rijksmuseum
This is a plate from 1910, from N.V. Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland, the typical Dutch ceramic heritage from Gouda I talked about before. I think it’s called “Gouda pottery” in English.

They excelled in Art Nouveau/ Jugendstil which is a style I’m looking into for my Snowdrop vest in mushroom dyed yarns. I finished my study-cuff. I cut it open and blocked it to examine the stranded design better:

This would be one half of the front panel, bottom to v-neck.

There is so much to study here. From individual shapes and how many stitches should be next to each other to form a nice snow drop. (should a stem be 2 or more stitches wide or do we get away with 1 stitch?)

How do you get smooth curves in v-shaped stitches? Do I want one panel so densely filled or rather 2 or 3 strands that are more individual? I’ve been playing in Stitch Fiddle for hours. Trying this, trying that.

Delving into the start of Jugendstil and Art Deco more and more, helped by my new tea pot:

Seeing that the pottery is not particularly neatly made they either had old machines (Eastern Europe?) or this tea pot is from earlier than the 1950’s. Then I found these ceramics from 1910 from Germany, with the same flaglike and star/flower ornaments. It’s to celebrate a Silver wedding:

And I found this, from 1890:

But this is secession style, from Vienna 1890. An important group of artists, founding the Jugendstil and also the Art Deco. So I fell into that rabbit hole, gorging on visuals. I felt like an artist again 🙂

I made a new design for snow drop vest and I thought to try it out on the new cuffs in fingering yarn. I spend a whole day tweaking it so it would fit the very few rows of the cuffs, compared to the vest.

And then I thought the better of it because I like knitting the stranded cuffs row by row, improvising. And I look forward to wearing cuffs with small patterns, fair isle style, instead of an overall design.

Say goodbye to three days of work. Felt inadequate. So I did some sewing instead. For a quick feeling of accomplishment!

These two Summer dresses from the viscose I bought last week at Harry’s Stoffen:
tricot sewing shirts viscose dress

And these two cat shirts, from cotton tricot I already had:
tricot sewing shirts viscose dresstricot sewing shirts viscose dress
It’s four times the same pattern. Just cut a little longer or sliced through the middle and sewed together again. Add a fish shaped pocket if you want.

Now that I’ve been here two days on my own I’ve emotionally landed at the cabin. I’m not as anxious any more, the pain of the court case has eased sufficiently. I don’t feel threatened so much any more, I enjoy being here. I enjoy the nature.

Today I went into the field to cut away the seeds from the “bear’s claw” (Heracleum sphondylium, or Cow’s Parsnip) so it won’t spread. Don’t you love our Dutch name for this plant? If you touch the sap it seriously looks like you got swiped with a bear’s claw. My grandmother once had this and I still remember how her arm looked. I wore protection today.

On the flowers there were numerous “pyjama’s bugs”:

Graphosoma lineatum. Ah, English people call it the Striped bug or Minstrel bug. In Dutch it really is called the pyjama-bug:

Oh and I saw the squirrel drinking from the birds’ bath! He’s here every day now. I’m glad we filled up the bath.

Lillepoes is overly happy here 🙂

Time to do something woolly. And/or sew woven cotton.

Those are strips of aluminium foil, to tell the birds this is not a safe way to fly through the forest.

In the foreground are cookies, speculaasjes, which are rather a Winter treat but they are oh so tasty in the one cup of black tea (Lady Grey)(with cream) I’m allowed per day. They are tied in with our colonial heritage and spice trading:


stranded knitting in the morning and other surprises

I was working on my stranded cuffs last night, with the only light coming from the computer screen on which Bake Off The Professionals played. This darkness is because I married a bat man, or possibly a vampire, who cannot stand the light.

Either way: I didn’t notice how bright the purple was:

Might have to frog.

There were other surprises too, especially on my road trip on Thursday, and they were all lovely.

My visit to knitter friend Hanneke came with unexpected birthday cake!

We both had celebrated our birthdays the week before and she put candles on the cake she baked for my visit! I sang a little “happy birthday to us” but only with my inside voice. My inner inside voice.

The visit was so nice! Hanneke is a wool spinner and we talked wheels and spinning techniques and colours. I LOVE to talk spinning. Hanneke is spinning for one year now and is a natural talent but stil exploring and learning. Such fun to talk with.

She also loves ceramics and has a collection of tea pots!
She was showing me her pieces around the room but then we had to take an unexpected break because she had skins of dragon flies on display and my husband is a major dragon fly fan (so he’s probably more of a bat than a vampire?) and I had to photograph them and show them to him via WhatsApp.

A whole, finished beast crawls out of these. An animal ready for hunting in the skies, after a life time of hunting in the pond:

Of course my husband knew all this already. Tss.

THEN! It turned out that Hanneke is AN EXPERT on dragon flies!

She knows all the Latin names and we had to sit down properly and talk dragon flies and have more cake and I now properly dragon fly dazzled my husband with things Hanneke told me.
Dragon flies are dear to my heart. They are so intelligent, and such skilled hunters. Not afraid of humans. There are plenty around the cabin, we made micro climates for them when we bought the place.

The meadow floods every Winter and in Spring you can see my husband going around with a bucket, catching dragon fly young and transport them to the pond behind the cabin.
Last week, in high Summer, he spotted a dragon fly laying eggs around the pond behind the cabin. Succes!

He also photographs them and this is a Beekrombout, a protected species, which comes in handy in the court case I’m involved in at the moment. (Gomphus vulgatissimus, the common clubtail)

Then Hanneke reveals she’s also an expert on hoverflies (Syrphidae)!

Which I like too because they can hang still in front of you, watching you curiously, and then they will sit on your finger after they have tapped it a few times to check it out. I don’t know names apart from the “I Am Wearing Pyjama’s Hover Fly” which is the Dutch name of this guy:

Episyrphus balteatus, called “marmelade hover fly” by the English world. Man, you guys missed an opportunity to name your animals! Or you lacked liquor.
The humans who named the Dutch dragon flies and damsels were pleasantly drunk: The Big Emperor; Horse Gobbler; Glazier; Glass Cutter; Flat Belly; Little Light; Water Sniffle;

It took a while before Hanneke and I could go back to the ceramics and it was such a nice visit that I totally forgot to take pictures.

That day I ran two errands in the town Hanneke lives in. One was to the fabric store FiberRachel had shown me: Harry’s Stoffen. Loot:
road trip enschede harry’s stoffen
That’s two (or four) table clothes for the cabin and some sturdy fabrics for skirts and some smooth gaze for washing Merino. And a jersey on top for a Winter dress.

They wrap your purchases in paper. I asked to take a picture before she taped it shut, so I had a visual record of my fabrics and could think about them while I had a cup of coffee:

Which comes with liqueur in Twente!

I had to sit there for a while because a major rain cloud was coming over (and to allow my body to process the alcohol). So I bought more fabric:

Two viscose tricots, for simple sleeveless dresses. I have one viscose dress like that and it’s the only thing I wore when temperatures where above 30 degrees celcius. Better make some more because people are telling me heat waves will be more frequent in the future.

Before the fabric and the rains this was my breakfast:
road trip enschede harry’s stoffen
Van Der Poel is a famous local ice cream parlour. With the biggest vitrine in Europe.

It was ok. Rather sweet. I’ve had better ice cream. Both at Wolbeest’ Da Giovanni in Swalmen (major ceramic village! Hanneke has been there) and in Den Bosch.

And I picked up a darling tea set that somebody sold online:

This person had lots of things for sale so I was sure it was a dealer of some sort. But it turned out to be a darling old lady who is trying to empty her home so she can move. She’s 87 you know. I asked where she plans to go and she told me about these small apartments in town, just a living room and a bed room. With assistance nearby.

“But there’s also this little cottage outside of town, in the middle of nature. Even though my son does not approve I plan to go there.”

This tea set had belonged to her mother and she had had it in her attic all her life. Barely used it. I will use it, I love the quirky design. It looks ’50s futuristic space age but it must be from the 1920’s or even earlier. There are no markings at the bottom.

Yesterday I send this picture to the seller:

to show her a bit about where her tea set has landed. With another darling old lady, in a cottage in the country. Probably not approved by some people’s sons but I’m trying not to let that bother me.

At the end of the day I drove home, accompanied by an unexpected ’80s music parade on the radio and my trusted Knitted Hammer Shark Navigation Unit:
road trip enschede harry’s stoffen

Back at the cabin Lillepoes was pleased I was back:

I send these pictures to my husband who laughed out loud and then Poekie presented because when you can laugh you can pet and cuddle. And should.

Weird Wool Wednesday: yarn spaghetti, a snack on the road

I’m taking a little road trip tomorrow. I’ll visit a knitting friend so I need a project that’s small and nice to work on. It needs a nice travel suitcase too:

In it is the start of some fair Isle cuffs in the Wolbeest Advent Calendar:

You remember these, from January 2016? I wear them all the time in Winter, stranded cuffs are warmer than my single yarn lacy cuffs.

Fair Isle Winter Cuffs
The white yarn in these is a tad too soft. It developed a halo right away and now it pills. I think that Wolbeest Advent Calendar will be plied more tightly.

I’ve just cast on for the border of the second one so I can knit without concentrating tomorrow. Once I finish the border I’lI work them at the same time, making them identical, working one round on the first cuff then the same round on the second cuff. I am knitting from two sides of the same ball and taking the yarn up, without cutting the yarn, because I’ll need the same colour soon again. I’m at three colours for the cuff on the right and at two colours for the cuff on the left.

All these balls tumbling around each other… and collapsing because I work from the inside. It’s already yarn spaghetti….

I know it will annoy me.
Yet still I cast on and work this way.

Someone has seen me do this again and again and is already fed up with the complaining I’ll undoubtedly do:

By the way, you’ll notice this is the couch in the cabin? That’s right, Lillepoes and I travelled to the cabin this afternoon. We plan on staying here for 12 days. Wool vacation!

There are some fleeces here which beg to be washed in the nice August weather (heat wave is gone!). Among which is a new Saxon Merino fleece, which needs to be washed lock by lock. So that will be a time consuming task.

Just in case time runs differently at the cabin and there are 36 hours in a day I brought a little extra projects:
woolcation 2018

Drawing equipment, the mushroom dyed stranded project, a box of fabrics, my sewing machine. Just in case.

Snowdrop Vest swatch

I’ve made a design for my Art Nouveau Snowdrop Vest and now I’m swatching a quarter of the body. Cast on 65 stitches on needles 2,75 mm, that will make a nice cuff. Also in the mushroom dyed Shetland type yarn I’ll use for the vest.

I’m doing a whole repeat of my design, which is 112 rows high. This way I can tweak the pattern a bit before I commence the vest. For example I’m making sure I don’t have more than 8 stitches of the same colour at any time. I’m also looking at the different parts of the design, wether they knit up nice. I tweaked the open snowdrop you see on the picture above, the design is less chunky on the upper right petal.

I love stranded knitting. It’s so peaceful to do yet you can’t stop doing it because you want to do one more row, just one more row, to see how it turns out.

The only downside is your hands are full. Can’t hold a popsicle.

Wolk o’Suffolk at the cabin

Today we made a quick dash to the cabin, to water some plants and frogs.
I brought a bit of Suffolk fleece from a friend and woolpicked it into a nice cloud for her to spin. “Wolk” is Dutch for “cloud”. We pronounce the L before the K, contrary to the English in “walk”. Dutch is a work out for your tongue.
woolpicker wol suffolk handspinning handspun fiber prep wool pickingwoolpicker wol suffolk handspinning handspun fiber prep wool pickingwoolpicker wol suffolk handspinning handspun fiber prep wool pickingwoolpicker wol suffolk handspinning handspun fiber prep wool picking

Piece of unpicked Suffolk and a nice card the neighbours send me and some buzzard feathers we’ve found in our little piece of forest:
woolpicker wol suffolk handspinning handspun fiber prep wool picking
I love to do fiber prep at the cabin in the Summer. Even in this 30 degrees heat it’s nice under the trees. Too hot for mosquitoes too! Excellent.

The plan was for me and Lillepoes to spend two weeks here on our own. But seeing that I’m still upset about the court case it’s better that I stay in the city with plenty of company and distraction.

“Upset” is not the right word though. The right word is “I am above my tea water”. Which is a Dutch expression indicating being anxious and upset but not of the damaging kind. Just a stage you have to go through. Give her a rest and she’ll be alright.

Our piece of nature is so dry…. the blueberries on the left are dead I think:
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek

The pond, here on the right, is very dry too. Just a pile of wet leaves with some struggling tadpoles underneath them. It’s the reason we’re here, to add water to it.
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek

We have an inventive way of bringing water to the pond: put the hose in the gutter which drains into the pond. This way the water gets a chance to warm up a bit and the tadpoles won’t “scare themselves a little hat”, which is another Dutch expression.
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek

The drain at work:
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek

I checked the water level regularly in the hour we had the water running and each time there were animals drinking from the new water. Lots of wasps but also various birds. And a big BIG dragon fly.

Someone made a colourful display of their dinner:
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek
Good to know the squirrels are still here. There’s a bird bath from which they drink and that was dried up. They must have resorted to the pond. Now the pond is full again and the bird bath too.

Another smart contraption:
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek
The hose/faucet connection drips. Water is precious so I collect it and use it to fill my “gieter” every ten minutes or so.

Here’s my gieter next to the shrubbery under which our hare likes to rest:
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek
He’s such s relaxed animal. He/she’s wild but doesn’t run when it sees us. It more or less flops to a safe distance. I didn’t see it today but I did try to keep its favourite bush from dying.

Do the English not have a nice word for “gieter”? Internet tells me “watering can” but that’s boring. “Gieter” literally means “pourer” but it’s a nice word, with a hard GGG at the start and a jumping TTT! in the middle. You get to douche your audience in spittle twice when you use “gieter” in stead of “watering can”.

Aww, do you then also not have a word for “broes”? Which is a nice round thingie with holes that sprays droplets. It’s like a shower head but not a shower head because we call that a shower head also. A broes is used in gardening, bonsai and wet felting. You can attach it to your gieter or to a rubber squeeze ball. Nice word too, “broes”. Pronounced “broos”, with a short s at the end.

Man watering a tree in the forest:
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek

It’s the chestnut tree that got pushed over a bit in the big Winter storm. Two other trees (Douglas pines) were hanging in it. A farm hand has chopped down the two pines and pushed the chestnut back in position, after a bit of pruning. He’s secured it with a metal thread to a sturdy birch. The roots seem to have taken hold again because the trunk is showing all kinds of twigs and leaves but with this extreme weather he deserves a bit of water.
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek
heat wave holland cabin dry forest Achterhoek

Now we ride back to the city. Next week I’ll be back here again, with the cat. I’ll have calmed down and have arranged for some diversion too (a visit to a knitter friend and I’m bringing my sewing machine). But I also look forward to being here again, alone, and play with some fleece. There’s a Saxon Merino here and Jacob’s fleece and when I look at this cloud o’Suffolk I want a short stapled fleece and card rollags.

weird wool wednesday: pooling in Summer

I managed to cast on the exact number of stitches that matches the hand dyeing on this skein of aran yarn:

The garment will look like I spilled forest fruit ice cream down my front. And back.

Which is not unthinkable because I’ve been making popsicles by the handfull.
Yesterday I ran out of forest fruit and filled up the container with regular yoghurt and some pear juice:


Snowdrops in Summer? Stranded 🍄🍄🍄!

This is were I’ve been sitting the past couple of days, designing the stranded Art Nouveau snowdrop vest for my mushroom dyed yarns:

I’ve divided the yarns in lightest and darkest yarns. The vest will have a light background with a vertical design in dark. It will not be like fair isle where you have horizontal stripes and sequences, it will be more Art Nouveau Jugendstil:
 my chart sketch in Stitchfiddle

I’ve been designing both on Stitch, the free charting site for knitting and embroidery, and in Photoshop and on paper:

Here you see some sketches for the vertical design. Under the cat’s chin is a stylised design that will break up the strands of three free flowing guirlandes with snow drop flowers:
 sketch in Photoshop for easy cut, transform and paste.

The stylised collomns will be at Centre Front, Centre Back and the sideseams. At the sideseams I can incorporate the waist and bust shaping.

For the past hour I’ve been casting on 236 stitches, for 2 x 2 ribbing. The body will be knitted over 260 stitches. My gauge will be somewhere between 26 and 30 stitches per 10 cm (=4″), depending on how relaxed I am.

I cast on using German Twisted Cast On. After each 50 stitches casted on I’d like to put in a marker so I don’t have to recount them countless times. Cat inspection is necessary:

I can’t believe this is the only crab hand marker I could find!

All others are in WIPs. I have tons of markers with a ring or loop and now all I want is crab hands and I don’t have any. Except the green nature loving queens’ crown. Typical.

What are all these blue trains doing here?

I am having the blues, from the court case. A very strange feeling to have! The last time I felt like this was in my twenties, after having broken up with a boyfriend. It’s been 25 years!
How does one do this again?

You’re supposed to ride the waves of emotions, right? Just sit them out. Do a little knitting, buy a little yarn, do a little yoga, have a little lots of chocolate.

Buy a little yarn. I gave myself this Advent Calendar:

From Sherry Iris Design on Etsy. Her colours are subtle. Gentle. Based on plants and on literature. Very good for an attentive introvert, I’d say:

The Advent Calendar will have 24 minis handdyed inspired by “the English countryside in Winter. Our birds, flora and fauna, our landscape.”
What a great theme! I’d love a box with a certain colour palette, instead of the whole rainbow array. My box is the version that gives you an extra sock set for Christmas Eve, a 100g skein and 20g mini. It was the very last box in the shop!

The buying was very much as you would expect. I was lying in bed, distracting myself from tear invoking memories of the court case by surfing on Etsy, looking at Advent Calendars. I saw Sherry Iris’ calendar and it just clicked. Her colour ways, her love of nature, British x-mas.

There was only one box left and Etsy made me nervous by telling me 20 people had it in their cart. I did something I never do, I decided I wanted it and I should buy it right now. Not because of stupid Etsy but because of the feeling that it fits me.
Of course I then wavered but I also still wanted it so I jumped out of bed and went downstairs to Robert and my bank card. I explained to both that the feeling was strong but it’s over a 100 euro’s and pure luxury and I don’t need this yarn but having this Calendar would make me happy so I was going to do it unless either of them had a good argument against it. Both Robert and my bank account giggled or rolled their eyes, I couldn’t see well, and said it was a good idea and I should do it. “Do it and enjoy it!”
So I did and so I do.

For the past two days now I’ve been regularly going back to Sherry’s etsy store and looking at her yarns and smiling in anticipation. I found her website and her podcasts. I love how the British celebrate Christmas with the accent on Christmas Eve. And then the 12 days of x-mas start. I look forward to having a clean house then, with lots of white and candle lights. As a matter of fact, this anticipation helps me to clean up my house today. Put away the court papers. Declutter all the stuff that’s been piling up around us for the past few months  while we worked so hard.
Well… I’ve put away some of the papers. I haven’t been doing the rest. I would want to though. I’m just too tired/sad.

I also bought this:
zoku quick pop ice cream maker diy
zoku quick pop ice cream maker diy
A make your own popsicle set. Fruit juice, fruit, cream, yoghurt. It’s a toy, for Summer. I feel guilty for this piece of plastic that’s not meant to last long. I overshout these feelings because I know I cannot do anything right these days. That’s the blues for you.

Doing a little knitting is a little harder than buying things. I pulled some WIPs from the closet, looking for a soothing, easy knit. Nijntje pullover has some serious problems. I’d love to do stranded knitting right now, it is nice and soothing, but Nijntje won’t play:

I separated for the sleeves but there’s too much bulk at the front, upper bust. I thought about putting more stitches to the sleeves but knitting teacher Wolop doubts that will solve the problem. She’d like to explain to me in person what’s happening here before I proceed with any knitting. She suspects I’d want to frog and reknit once she’s shown me.
So that one’s back in the closet.

I picked up February sweater but Robert said the arm hole looks weird and I know a knitter needs to look at that one too before I pour in more hours of knitting. So it’s back in the closet.

Lilac cardigan is getting its straps elongated but I’m still ice cone shaped at the back and the longer straps do not give enough of a base to remedy that.

Into the closet.

Purple blue vest is getting way too tight:

I’ve taken its gauge and casted on for a traditional vest from the bottom up. Cast on 198 stitches. After 2 inches I tried it on. It fits both me and a fat cat, at the same time. So frogged it and cast on fewer stitches.
That’s what I’m knitting now. Or will be once I’ve kit one row and closed the loop.

I’m so tired and blue, despite my efforts to wear light coloured and happy things. Lookitmaface:

It’s really weird to experience the blues, at my age. Which is a few days short of 47.

I’m sad and dispirited one moment.
Insulted the next.
I feel spend and inadequate.

I eat A LOT of chocolate and other fattening things.
Then I feel guilty about eating. I see myself ballooning up. I compare myself to the other girls at school yoga. It’s the whole teenage thing all over again! With the addition of me as my own parent because I know comparing is unhealthy and I worry that the laxatives I take for IBS will make me now prone to anorexia. Blues in your forties is both easier and harder than in your twenties.

I’m so lucky to know all these emotions are superficial, it has nothing to do with my core. As a youth you probably don’t know this and attach way too much meaning to all these feelings and thoughts.

Yet it’s a drag to go through. I’m positively angry that the court case has this effect on me. I blame myself for not snapping out of it. For not using my anger to clean the house.

And I worry. I worry about the dispirited part of this emotional roller coaster. It ties in too easily with the dim views of the world that I have from time to time. Views that lead to a cool-headed analysis of human existence. An analysis that only has one logical conclusion: suicide.

In the last decade I’ve learned that logic is not the right tool to evaluate (human) life with. Our knowledge of cause and effect does not render logic any authority for appraising life. Logic is just a tool for survival. Some specimens use talons to survive, some have whiskers, others have a brain. Probing the meaning of life with any one of these is legitimate. One is not a better tool of assessment than the other. Logic has as many shortcomings for judging life as do talons or whiskers.

One of those shortcomings is that logic uses premisses and those premisses are false for this particular task. Yet they are rarely examined when following a train of thought that leads to a desperate view on life.

Some of these premisses are: “What happens next is important.” “Human life is important.” “Human life is insignificant in the grant scheme of things.” “My life is important.” “My life is not important.” “Time is important.” “The flow of time is important.” “Time dictates something.” “Time waits for no one.” “Things should be different.”

These are all false because they have no place when trying to determine the meaning of life, when trying to attache a value to life. For example they prevent proper validating a gesture of care, of physically holding someone. And I hope we all agree that touching someone, holding someone, has a place when determining the value to human existence.
Another example: time flows different when you hold someone. When you cuddle your cat. When you’re about to fall asleep. When you meditate.

If you do accept any of these premisses and jump aboard that train of logic you’ll inevitably arrive at a dark destination. Not because the journey is wrong but because the depart was not fitting the quest and you shouldn’t bring a train to a daisy fight with kittens.

You should know that the very fact that you are trying to understand and overcome life and the world with your brain is a sign you are trying to regain control over something. It’s a defence against a feeling of powerlessness. That’s the real station of departure.

It is this knowledge that helps me actively step away from these trains of thoughts. I can’t ride them out, I know I can’t win on the logical plane. I should not examine the place of the court system in society. Not analyze the role of women in cultural interactions. Not ponder the way we humans organize our society. Destroy the natural world. Transport cattle and pigs on the roads. Dispose of our waste.

And although I cannot see the falseness of the premisses when I feel this way I have grown to trust that they are. Distraction is the solution I apply until I feel well again.

Oh look, my garden is throwing a nice shadow on the wall:
nice shadow on the wall

In my case I also know my brain will rev up the logical trains when my brain chemistry has a shortage of some molecule or another. Through trial I’ve found I get depressed when I have a shortage of vitamine D or of Zinc. It is also brought on by ingestion of the artificial vanilla flavouring Vanillin or of artificial Estrogens that are in soy products.
This is an awful experience and makes me very angry. It is so much betrayal when you get severely depressed in just a few hours after having vanilla pancakes. Or when a pill of vitamin D lifts up a suicidal depression within 40 minutes. It is all so unnecessary. And an insult to people with clinical depression.

This weekend it is weird to notice the many depressive feelings when I haven’t eaten anything wrong. They are all caused by the court case.

Besides the efforts of not jumping aboard on any of these trains I worry a lot that these blues happen without edible cause. I worry that I worry. What will this mean for the future? This court case is just a minor event in my life, what will happen to my sanity when something major happens? Major things lie ahead, undoubtedly, because no one in my family will live forever.
Also: menopause.

But now is not the time to worry. Now is the time to get through these blues until I feel better again. Distraction distraction and more chocolate! Chocolate popsicle perhaps? I have no hands free to hold a treat, I am weaving while watching Tour de France:

A sky cat WIP bag as a thank you for dragons.

The day before the court case I got a parcel in some awesome wrapping paper:
Russian space cats? I am starry eyed!

In it was this amazing cat WIP bag:

Made by sock designer Skeincharmer, who is a major part of SockMadness each year. She designs one of the socks and she posts a lot and she makes bags as prizes for knitters all around the world. She made this bag especially for me because of my Sockmadness dragon doodles and she send it all the way from Russia.

Wonderful fabric for lining. Some of those rain drops are fishies 😀
This bag all about skies and stratosphere kitties 😀

There are goodies too!
What a treat!

The bag is so very well made. Skeincharmer is a perfectionist and a perfect sewist.

This bag contains many quality details which took a whole lot of extra time and effort to construct. She must do these to please her own standards of quality because no way the recipients of her bags notice these details.

The only reason I see a few of them today is because I took some photo’s for you and then I noticed more details and had to take more photos and come back to this post to add to it. I think I am on round 4 now?

Also I am emotionally hurting today and want to be at home, curled up into myself, shut out the whole world and focus on small details instead. You know, study the way the individual hairs of the cat align. Or the way a great bag was thought out and created. This bag is certainly a treat in that regard!

For example the way the lining is positioned near the zipper: it will never get caught in the zipper yet it is not sewn flat by topstitching. Instead it has a nice roomy air about it:
OMG I think this is handstitched!

Here’s a detail at the bottom of the zipper. It’s not a zipper-stop… What is this? “Just” a nice way to extend the bottom a bit, so it becomes more of a tray than a flat plane? I don’t know but look at the attention it has received:
It complicates things because you have to put in this little piece of fabric between the layers, at the right time. I imagine Skeincharmer juggling outer fabric, fabric interlining, zipper, lining and then this little piece, trying to keep it straight and in perfect position too. She succeeded. She must be part octopus.

A little fold sewn into it to make sure it will not bulge outwards and get caught in the zipper. My mind is boggled. Who thinks of this?

This is a zipper stop and it is a sign of a quality handsewn bag:
It encases the ends of the zipper and is both functional and pretty and it’s makes the proces of putting a bag together way more complicated than you’d give such a small piece of fabric credit for. I did it once, also with a cat WIP bag, and it keeps me from sewing a zippered bag ever again.

I cannot imagine doing it with a cat WIP bag where the fabric already has to have the eyes and face of the cat sewn onto it PLUS folding those ears AND making sure they go next to the zipper stop WHILE you put it all together and oh, by the way, your bag is not square but ROUND so good luck with folding all the parts and sewing neatly. You’re lucky that octopussycats are some of the smartest animals on the planet.

Me, I’d sew the bag first and than make the face, having to sew it through all the layers and having the loose threads visible on the inside of the lining. And then, when I thought I was finished, I’d find the ears lying somewhere on the table…

Thinking about it, now I’m sure these colours are no coincidence either:

So this bag, it’s not just a bag. It is a marvel of planning and execution and I love it. I love examining it and be amazed by the details. And I love admiring it from afar, as a whole. Admitting the shape, the face.

I mean, lookatitsface!
Today I’m very blue from the court case but this certainly puts a smile on my face. I didn’t know precisely why until I wrote you this post and had to make extra pictures again and again.