Weird Wool Wednesday: crazy eyed knitting.

Waiting at the optometrist.
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Luckily I can knit blind, by just feeling my way through the next stitch.

Because eyedrops:
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Holland: socks, pie and the sky

This is as far as I got on the Madness sock before I admitted that the cuff is too tight to put the sock on easily. I would avoid this sock just because it’s a bit of a hassle to put it on.

I ripped it out on Saturday evening and started a new toe. And what a nice toe this is!

The star shaped toe from SlipStripeSpiral socks by Mylene Pijpers.
It’s basically Cat Bordhi’s toe from Personal Footprints. Here’s a video where Cat shows it:

It’s so elegant! No long tail to cast on with, fast increases by using a double yarn and a beautiful knitted centre. I’m going to use this for circular projects too. No more “co 6 st, join in the round and wrestle that porcupine”.

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Easter Sunday we build a blanket fort in the cabin and piled on cats and chocolate. We spend all day watching series and it was lovely.

I knit the foot of the sock. I’m just following Janneke’s Maat Sok Basis* pattern and throwing in a leaf here and there from Blattwerk socks.

The day after Easter we drove back to the city while a storm swept over the country. I knitted in the car.
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The sock saw some action on the road: a burned out BMW causing back ups all the way to Germany. The burned out vehicle is on a trailer in the middle of the picture, amongst the trees.
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Even on a grey and stormy day Holland is all about the skies:
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The sky gives us a place to look at and feel free without the need to move one step.

Holland is basically a flat green pancake with enormous skies above it. Church towers point to heaven and provide orientation when travelling around the pancake.

This is so typically Dutch it could be anywhere in the Netherlands:Untitled
Except in the south of the Netherlands. There they have strange things called hills… To cope with them they invented a most magnificent pie called “vlaai“:

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It’s pronounced ‘fly’ with a v. It rhymes with ‘pie’.” says Siv from A World in My Oven. She also has recipes.

This is my favourite flavour of vlaai: rice pudding vlaai with whipped cream on top. It’s the real deal too! Actually from the south, from a real bakery. Approved by sock knitters.

Hey, the weather is getting better:
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Bits of blue poking through. But on the horizon to the right still rains. On the left an interesting dark bit with clear skies behind it.

We’re nearing the city and the sky is getting truly magnificent!
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That dark belt in front is lying right across our historical city, it was like big skeins of Wollmeise 47 Ag were draped from church tower to cathedral tower.
By then I’d dropped my phone under my seat and couldn’t take a picture but it was magnificent! The sky was purple and green and lilac amongst the warm greys and it was so heavy and nearby you felt you hade to lower your head between your shoulders for protection.

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I snapped this picture when we parked the car but the real magic had blown over.

At home we settled in. Lillepoes was trying to pierce my mind:
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There’s a beast lying on my spot, on my blanket. Do something!

In the evening we watched some more gruesome murdery series and at the end of the day I had finished one sock.
Pictures this morning and another mind piercing attempt:

Human, open this door. I require a survey of the back territory.
under her breath: “you are so pathetic

So whatcha doin’?

Well….. I’m knitting a sock waiting at the doctor’s office:

A new pair of SlipStripeSpiral socks by Mylene Pijpers. I want something to complement that gorgeous blue green purple ball. And I’m all into greyish purples at the moment so I expect great things from this 50 gram ball of Regia.

The doctor is running late:

Apparently it takes me one hour to knit a toe.
How I pitied the other people waiting! They have nothing else to do but delve into their phones or leaf through germ ridden magazines filled with soul-eroding advertisements.

The dr. appointment went well. I got the OK to officially self manage my adrenal insufficiency from now on and he will tell his successor so.
The way he said that last part was: “Are you on my list of difficult patients?”
I am now.

Then we talked about DNA and Methylation and he concluded our visit with: “Every time you’re sitting here I think: what will you teach me today?”
That got me all flustered. I don’t feel like an expert at all, more like stumbling and good at choosing which pits to avoid.

I walked home and had a little cry. It has been so scary to go up against a mysterious illness that no doctor can explain and had me near death in my bed. Then tweak things a bit and get a foot hold here and there and eventually recover a bit and develop a working theory that makes sense but I cannot comprehend in its totality. My GP agrees on my theory and supports the drugs and tests I want to take. But now I take these dangerous hormones and I have to be smart and cautious at the same time and I’m scared all over again. Scared because now I have a chance at health but now I also know there’s so much (medicine/biology) that I don’t know and there’s so much in a body that can go faulty. That I can actively cause to go faulty. I know we all have to die of something in the end but I’m actively stirring the pot of options.

Brrrr!
After my little cry and a big hug from Robert, Lillepoes and some chocolate, we packed up and travelled to the cabin. Estimated travel time: one toe.

Seeing the two yarn together I decided I didn’t like the colour combination. The bluegreen is such a happy and vibrant and smooth yarn (Trekking) while the grey purple is muted and kinda fuzzy (Regia). No, neither colourway profits from this combination. So I put the one toe aside and cast on a second toe in the greypurple colour, from the inside of the ball:

It was done by the time we got to the cabin. Now I have to wait the long weekend before I return to the city to chose a better sock yarn to go with these toes and another yarn to go with that green blue yarn.
I’ll confess that I’m looking for options to buy some 50 grams balls of yarn tomorrow. Because I don’t have good colours in the stash, I already know.

This is the other project I forgot to take with me:

That’s right, it’s the mitten design that I’m making into a vest and I finished the stranded part yesterday! Now follows a bit of plain knitting, starting with the decreases for the waist. An excellent knit for a car ride. If I had thought to bring it with me…

But I didn’t forget everything. I brought the Rose and Thorn Sock Madness sock that now goes under the new name Purple Sock. That’s good for mindless knitting. And I brought some lace shawls. I’ll tell you about two of them in a next post, right now I want to show you the one that I finished knitting:

It’s the I Believe shawl. For World Wide Autism Awareness Day come April 2nd.

The cabin has a centrifuge, a top loader, excellent for wool projects. So now the I Believe shawl is blocking, upstairs on the spare bed in the little attic.

It’s so pretty! It’s already night time now but I have a torch.

My trusted critic:

I used a semisolid yarn to bring out the Holding Hands lace motif:

Battery in the flash light died:

Hopefully it’s dry tomorrow and I can take daylight pictures. I’m also very curious to see whether the edge will roll, because it’s all stockinette stitch. But it’s 100% silk so I may get lucky. An interesting experiment.

I used exactly 100 grams of yarn for the shawl, both yarns together. But I thought people wouldn’t trust that round number so I put 99 grams into the Ravelry database.

A bit like when Mount Everest was measured and it came to exactly 29,000 feet (8,839 m) in height. The story is they added 2 feet [0.6 m] to make it look more believable.

Can’t fudge 2 feet in a Dutch landscape though. Holland is flat:


Like a green pancake.

Sock Madness sock 2

The second pattern for the Sock Madness competition is out:

Rose & Thorn Socks by Ronni Smith

Beads! Cables!

Obviously this pattern looks best in a solid colour. Of which I happen to have bought two at the fair last Friday:

On the left a sock yarn from Wol met Verve: Ultra Merino Sock with a nice round ply. On the right Spinspul Merino with bamboo and glitter. Two quality yarns which both have me eager to knit with. All the things I bought on the fair have me eager.

As a way of choosing I’m imagining the socks in the sea foam colour…. they’ll look nice. But I’d rather knit this yarn with another pattern. Something with smaller “frunnikjes”, smaller details, smaller repeats. Prickly Pear socks perhaps (again)?

Now I’m imagining the socks in the dark bamboo purple…. they’ll look nice too. But in the dark colour I’m a bit concerned that my white skin will become quite a feature with the holes in the lace pattern… There’s a lot of contrast between this colour and my skin…

So there I was, having a reason not to knit this pattern with either yarn. And I had nicely cornered myself with the knowledge that the pattern looks best in a solid colourway.

Ha! No corner will hold me! (there may spiders here anyway)

*Dash!*:

Woohoo! Caston with beads on purple! This is another Wol met Verve Ultra Merino Sockyarn that I bought and I see it made into socks the most urgent of the three yarns I showed in the top picture.This Is The Yarn I Want To Knit With Now and as long as the colourway doesn’t overwhelm the pattern completely I’m very happily knitting. Such gorgeous colours.

The cast on for Rose & Thorn Socks is a bit fiddly, with Judy’s Magic Cast On and beads. But the designer has provided an excellente video and by just copying what she’s doing I got me a cast on in no time.

Closing and knitting in the round for the cuff:

Awww… such lovely colours. The cast on is with two circulars. One is just hanging there, keeping the beads in check. After knitting the cuff and giving it a picot edge you double back to the row with the beads and knit it together with the life stitches.

That’s the cuff done! Picot edge and beads, this will look so pretty on a leg:

Having a closer look….

Are you kitten me?!

Signature dropped stitch in plain stockinette! After all the “octopus wrestling” of the cast on with beads and two circular needles and tying the two things together I dropped a stitch in the easiest part of the project. So typical.

Well, I’m repairing it right away. I’m threading a piece of yarn through that dropped stitch and copying its neighbour stitches with the ends of that piece of yarn. No ripping. Just securing that stitch in place.

There, all done:

And already one of the roses in bloom above the beaded row. Ahh…such lovely yarn. I’m loving every stitch I knit with this yarn. It has taken me many years to learn to buy good yarn, good fibre. I still stumble and go for a cheap deal and end up with wool that gives me no pleasure. Heaps of it in fact. I ought to throw things out I guess. Create some breathing space. Or I could just go on knitting with the luxurious yarn in hand.

This is my progress on the SockMadness sock after two days:

One cuff and a quarter of the leg.

I’m out of the competition by now. Several of my team members have already finished their socks. A whole pair of socks in two days!

I’m in team Myngytken Mimosa. “Myngytken” means “ten” in one of the Inuit languages. Teams range from starting with letter A to letter P. Paaikuyuw Pansies are the fastest knitter around. One of them finished their pair of socks before I was done choosing yarns!

piratepippismmimosa_xlarge my temporarily ravatar. Mimosa flower.

So, thinking A to P, team Myngytken Mimosa is one of the faster teams. Way too fast for me but fun to be in.

But: my shoulder is hurting again…. I have to seriously pace cables and stressful knitting.

It happened last Wednesday, when I had that stressfull day with the court decision. On top of that I had a lengthy appointment with my GP which was also stressful. We’re finally making sense of the three pronged puzzle that’s my illness and it’s complicated and overwhelming but he’s now up to speed to Methylation (on of the few people in the Netherlands, if not the only one) and now we’re applying it to my DNA profile but he’s stopping his practise in a few months so we’re in a bit of a rush. (He will continue as a molecular nutritionist, specializing in methylation cycle problems. But my insurance won’t cover.)

Thirdly, on that same dreaded Wednesday, I started my introduction to weight bearing exercises and made a mistake. I’m 40+ and in no condition, it’s time to strengthen my physique. (this is not the mistake I made)

The first machine I worked on hurt my shoulder. But I was too amped up because of the dr. appointment from which I had come running because it had also run late, the court’s decision, the two butter brownies and the extra dose of hydrocortisone I had taken to counter the stress of it all. I just didn’t think and made one wrong move and hurt my shoulder. And then I repeated that wrong move about ten times with ten kilos because it was all new and I was so happy to finally use my body again and the guy was egging me on. I just didn’t think. It’s the one ball I dropped that day and I shouldn’t blame myself.

For a few days I hoped it was just muscle fatigue or something. But no. This is Shoulder Impingement again. And I need to take that as a given and work from here. Before I have to stop knitting the fun things I have on the needles right now for a whole year again and have to invent Brioche projects and drop spindle projects again.

So this is as much roses as my socks are going to get:

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I just cannot muster enough grip to make twisted stitches or cables. Three roses on the leg and just knit plain stockinette for the rest of the sock will be fine. The yarn will make the sock beautiful anyway. But I will pace myself to perhaps 20 rows per day because knitting at sock gauge is also RSI taxing.

Health first. Luxury yarns second.

Weird Wool Wednesday: two yarns, no milk please.

Robert: “Would you like a cup of tea?”
me:        “Yes please. But the thingy needs new yarn.”
Robert: “What?”
me:        “Errr… the tea egg needs new tea.”
Robert: “I actually knew what you meant the first time…”

And just when I want to show you my tea, my Robert and my knitting:
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Lillepoes channeling her inner tea cosy.

I went to town! (and the Knit&Knot fair)

buit wol Knit en Knot beurs Tilburg

This I bought during the first half of the day. Then it grew really crowded and I sat with my friends at the long tables and knitted and talked and ate my brownie and tried to cast on for my vest:
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Then the crowds went home and it grew lovely and quiet and there was time to stand at a booth and talk to the indie dyer and I realized I had missed so much wonderful products the first time I walked around. So this happened:
buit wol Knit en Knot beurs Tilburg

Very happy 🙂

The day in between.

Today is the day in between.
Yesterday I was all busy handling my stress that the court made its decision.
Tomorrow I’ll be all busy at a big knitters and crocheters fair in a city quite near here: Knit & Knot in Tilburg:

It’s a new fair and it’s held in the South of the Netherlands. I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks.
But not so much today. Because today is the day in between. It’s the day I need to leave behind the stres of yesterday asap and recharge for tomorrow.

I’m not doing that too well. It was unexpected that the court would announce this week and now I’m not handling the stress very well. The consequences of the court’s decision beginning to sink in. Besides dealing with a big manure plant next to the cabin I have lots of feelings of defeat and of being misunderstood. I had such valid points and the courts hasn’t even addressed them. And there’s no appeal possible. Very frustrating.

I can’t seem to calm down my nervous system. It’s the typical Wired & Tired sensations that people with ME/CFS/SEID have. Over the past few years I’ve learned to counter these by keeping my body free from burdens and by doing Reverse Therapy which is a tool, just like Mindfulness, to calm down the body. But I’m not very good at it.
(It’s also PMS week … And at the doctor’s yesterday I learned I have an overactive liver enzym that’s been robbing me of soothing Progesteron hormones all my life. Cursed be CYP2C19*17! It caused my lifelong oestrogen dominance and the need to learn about bust darts.)

The inability to calm down today causes me to be nervous for tomorrow and run through all kinds of disaster scenarios (which in itself is a symptom of not handling your stress very well. I’m letting my mind scare my body.)
I’m afraid I’m setting myself up for another crash just like the one at the Spinner’s day at the old farm Rood|Noot in Utrecht… that crash scared me pretty good because it had been months if not a year since my last crash.

This all makes me so annoyed (at myself) today. Which takes me even further from the zen zone. By now I can’t even buy a bus ticket to the zen zone, I’m that far away from it.

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I’ve spend the day watching video’s and knitting on my silk tencel Temptress shawl. I had parked it for a while because a few weeks back I discovered I had knitted way more rows than I should have and it had taken many hours and it involved beads and it all had to come out because I need to follow the pattern otherwise I’ll run out of yarn or beads before cast off.
It was nice to pick it up again today. Such luxurious yarn and such lovely beads. We (= me and the two cats) were all perched on my cow hide sofa/chaise longue and some of us were under the Shetland blanket I bought at Midwinterwol and some of us were watching videos. (reruns of Scrubs)

All other wool projects are on hold at the moment. They all need some attention to charts before I can go on (the two AHUM three cardigans) and I’m still miffed at those Wollmeise cuffs and the Shetland Blue Texel throw/shawl I’m just using daily without a proper border. I even used it outside the house and I love it and I don’t care who sees it in its unfinished state.
I took it to the Hieronymus Bosch exhibition! Didn’t batt an eye and felt lovely and comfortable. “It’s art, dontyaknow.”

The I Believe shawl is knitted right up to the lace part which I prefer to do in a semisolid. So it’s on the table to come with me to the fair tomorrow so I can pick a colour.
Did I show you the nifty knitter’s tool for when knitting from a center pull ball? Especially good with slipper yarn such as silk.
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It’s a sleeve that comes with garlic or somesuch. The Temptress shawl has a similar sleeve around its yarn.

There’s a lot on the table to come with me to the fair tomorrow:

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Some things are to make me feel good (sparkly SSSsocks, a nice purse, a nice measuring tape); some things are to give to others (a bag full of Wollmeise, some nice books about felting); some things are to keep me going (salty licorice, my own tea bags, snacks, progesteron cream) and some things are to aid my shopping (I Believe shawl and the various sock yarns that need a parter. I’m going for greyish lilac and mustard yellow!). And a project to knit on ofcourse. It’s the two yarn cakes with the needle stuck in.

With Sock Madness we’re waiting for the next pattern to show up. I didn’t want to cast on for a new sock in the mean time. Mainly because I wanted to give my shoulders a bit of a rest.
But then I had to wait an hour at the doctor’s office and I knit a new toe… but then I didn’t like the contrast yarn I chose for it so I ripped out those two rows and instead am bringing that yarn to the fair to look for a suitable partner. It’s this yarn from which I once made One Colourful Sock:

I dyed the yarn myself, back in 2010. There’s still 30 grams left or something and I’d love to honour it with a deserving colour. Not the blue toe I knit yesterday, that’s just too rainbowy. Now, a muted purple will be perfect and make the bright mint stand out without making the socks all orange and shouty.

But without a sock on the needles what will I knit tomorrow?? A lot of knitter friends will come and there’s a big table with chairs we can sit at and knit. I don’t have a project! I can’t bring my Temptress shawl, it’s too delicate and besides: beads.
So I looked at myself and today I’m wearing my Norsk Hilja Vest and there’s still some yarn left and I’ve been eyeing this stranded green owl pattern for months now:

Grey Eyed by Rebecca Tsai. I even cast on a couple of times, trying out yarns and whether they should be mittens or a cowl. It’s going to be a vest.

Yes, that’s what I’ll be casting on. I’ve got my projectnotes from my previous Hiljavest so I know what number to cast on. Just rework the chart a bit and off I go. My yarn is wound and will travel in this great WIPbag, made by DirkjeK:
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I won it in the Dutch Sock Knitters Group. It’s great for the Sock Madness and great for tomorrow.
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So big! I need to print out that chart asap and tuck it in there. Another thing I don’t have to think about anymore until I’m in the train tomorrow.

One of the things I do have to think about with a day out like this is food. I need something that sustains me but it mustn’t tire my digestive system. So proteins, nuts, vegetables and gluten are out. Ideally I’d take half a container of salty chicken broth with me and add hot water. Electrolytes go!
Fries with fatty mayonaise are good too. But I don’t think they’ll cater for it. Besides, I had fries for dinner yesterday and as much as they give energy, they don’t give much substance to the body.
So I decided to bring this:
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It’s one of those fat filling creamy pecan brownies I talked about yesterday. I had two of them, back to back, right when I tried to understand the judicial mumbo jumbo. Afterwards I steamrollered through the day just fine, energy wise. One brownie is like half a bar of full fat butter with cacao. That’ll keep me going alright.

Food like this does need a lot of nutrients to process though -as do fries- so I don’t live a whole day on these often. But sometimes you need to. Sometimes you just don’t have the time or the zen to go lie down in the middle of the day and let your body take its sweet time to examine every bit of protein you had for breakfast or lunch and digest it carefully. Sometimes you just want to run on reserve and use all your energy for something else.
So, skimping on digestive energy tomorrow. Breakfast is a big bowl of chicken broth. Get those electrolytes and full fats on board. Rest of the day will be salty tea and around eleven or twelve I’ll need energy, preferably in fatty form. Butter or fries if they have them. Brownie if they don’t. (Remember to bring HCL to acidify stomach fluids in order to digest the fats)

I need to do add a few more bits and bobs to the pile. Those HCL pills. A little flask of diluted lemon juice. A print out of the owl chart.

And then it will al fit in here:

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Will I feel scared tomorrow? Or wired, tired, grumpy? This carrier here will cheer me right up.

Weird Wool Wednesday: poop.

Today the verdict came from the highest court in the country about the big manure plant they have planned in the field next to the cabin. It will be build.

I had send in an engineer’s rapport detailing the gaping holes in specifically the odour aspects of the permit but it got thwarted by politics and judicial mores. They didn’t even read the damn thing, it seems.

The plant will be built and 78 trucks of manure will visit it daily. It will smell pretty bad and, more important, it will be dangerous. But there’s nothing to be done. We’ll have to sit it out and hope it will stop in a year or ten because as a business model it is very poor.

The verdict came online just an hour ago so now I have poo on the mind.
Why is there such a prominent poo-icon on modern phones, anyway?

A lot of people use their modern devices on the loo. Both at home and at work. They surf, they read, they play games.
Do people knit on the toilet?
I’m not inclined to. Something just doesn’t sit right.

You sure can craft a lot of poo with yarn:
ravelry pattern data base search query

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Why would you?

All association I ever made between yarn crafts and poo is this:

The crocheted toilet paper holders from the ’70s and the ’80s…

They look so much better in the ’10s:

Little Owl TP Keeper by Soapy Sue, a free pattern.

— mentally insert a funny bridge to making poo, with poo coloured food —

While we waited for the verdict to come online I went out and got ourselves some chocolaty food. It was to be either festive or comfort food: massive chocolate rich rich with pecan crunchy and butter. Two pieces. Both for me.

It turned out to be comfort brownie and I just remembered to take a picture for you before I ate it all:
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That whole carton was filled with superfat superchocolately brownie! It was delicious.
I must have eaten a whole bar of butter now. That’s ok. Butter is good for me. This and some chicken soup and I’m good for the rest of the day.

This chocolate face sits on the other side of me. Making sure I’m good for today too:
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She picked up on my mood. (Of course she did!)

She often accompanies me to the loo too. Even when I’ve snuck off on my own there’ll be yowling and howling in the house in no time. “WHERE ARE YOU! I’m ALL ALONNNNEEE! ECHOOOOOOO!”
Until I mutter from the loo. “I’m here, I’m here.”
Then there’s a “prrrt?” outside the door.
And I have to open it.
And then everything is good again:

cat-on-loo

Until it’s not:
poop
(Another reason why cat people don’t knit or surf on the toilet.)

Btw, shall we call this a “smelfie”?

There, enough with the poo talk. Let’s end with an artistic night shot from the other day. Inducing Van Goghish sentiments and Dutch canals and chocolate covered cream filled Bossche Bol goodness my city is famous for:
poop
I may need to get me some tonight.

finished: second pair of SlipStripeSpiral socks

(I’m keeping the Ranunculus flowers as long as possible, in various vases depending on their vitality. So beautiful. Delicate flowers, faceted cut glass and chocolate bonbons, those are my city dwelling luxuries)

The socks did knit up kinda similar:

Here’s the first pair again:

It took exactly 50 grams of the green Meilenweit. 70 grams of the purple Opal and about 20 grams of the solid blue Trekking.

The deadline for this pattern is tonight, 12 o’clock USA time.
Then, in about five days, the new round will start. It will again have two weeks competition time but I’ll need to knit faster because I’ll be competing with other people for a limited number of places.

If the new pattern is as entertaining qua techniques and colours as this SlipStripeSpiral pattern I’ll probably knit this fast again. I mean, I knit this two pair in exactly two weeks, that’s so fast!

If the new pattern has cables or twisted stitches I’ll have to pace myself very much, in order to relief my shoulder. I plan to set myself a fixed number of rounds each day. Just thought of it, while writing this paragraph. Good plan.

As far as this pattern goes, I’m going to knit it again. With only 1,5 heelwedges and a small gusset for my high instep (increase 4 stitches on each side). Knitting the heel over 40 stitches. Less ribbing on the cuff, I detest knitting rib.

It’s such a great pattern for a self striping yarn in combination with a solid one. Especially ugly self striping yarn gets a magical make over in this pattern.

Some of the luxuries in my living room:
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No bonbons though. Not for unscheduled photos. Unsurprisingly.

testknit: Autism Awareness Shawl in 100% silk

I’m doing a testknit for designer Carolyn Macpherson.
The design is a shawl called I Believe and here’s her version in the colour that symbolizes autism:
pic by CarolynMac

What an interesting design, with that lace cabling. It caught my eye and reminded me of something:

 pic by Autism Canada.org

When I read the inspiration for this design I contacted Carolyn to ask if I could one of the testknitters please.

In her own words: “I was inspired to create this shawl by Autism Canada’s campaign for Worldwide Autism Awareness Day, April 2nd, 2016. Not a visible disability, the Autistic Spectrum is staggeringly diverse and the number of children and adults affected by ASD is growing yearly.

Both of my children are severely Autistic and we struggle everyday to find help. This shawl symbolizes hope, and the strength of the many to believe and help each individual along the way. While blue is the predominant colour for Autism Awareness (and a symbol for hope), this shawl could easily and equally represent any cause you hold dear.”

The deadline for this testknit is 2 April: worldwide Autism Awareness Day, installed by the United Nations. Here are four autism sites important to the designer:

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Autism is dear to my heart. Many of my Ravelry knitter friends have autistic children or are on the spectrum themselves. For all of them, living with autism includes a daily struggle to get the understanding and connection they need from the people they meet. Regular people like friends and neighbours but also the health, council or education professionals who are involved in their lives. Every one of those knitters has to educate pretty much all of the people they ever meet, about autism. More awareness is very welcome.

One of my friends does both, she fights the personal fight AND she’s a public advocate for autism awareness here in the Netherlands.
And she used to dye yarns.

I’m therefor very happy to knit the I Believe shawl in Dutch Knitting Design’s yarn base Madelief in a one of a kind colourway:

This is how far I am at the moment:

Glorious colours! Great design!

The yarn is so soft and smooth… it’s 100% silk, fingering weight, 400 m to the 100 grams. It’s both cool and warm, whatever you want it to be. A welcome trait for people who enjoy non-intrusive materials.

It’s made up of numerous thin strands. This insures that the yarn will not pill and retain it’s luster once it’s knit:

How many strands are there, 12? I do have a tendency to poke my needle into the yarn and split it when I knit.

There’s a split stitch here, at my fingertip:

I’ve started to drop all the stitches in this column. It’s even a column with one of the cable-details in it! Just working slowly and reading the knitting I’ll drop down, repair the stitch and then work my way up again.

Here it is after the repair:

Pointing to where the split stitch was.

O my, those colours!

I chose the combination of a 100% silk yarn and the stockinette stitch variation of the I Believe shawl. Stockinette will curl but since silk doesn’t have the elastic memory that wool has I’m curious to see whether it will lay flat after blocking.

Dutch Knitting Design stopped dyeing and selling yarns a few years ago. She’s now a knitting pattern designer and she makes crocheted jewellery:

Still using high quality silk in gorgeous colours. Devoting more time then ever to educating the council and education professionals about autism.

These are the Dutch Autism sites. They’ve chosen to focus on sports for Autism Awareness day, April the second, and the whole week that surrounds it:

All colours welcome.