Dyed yarn for two cardi’s.

This kilo of sportsweight:

is now 5 skeins of steel blue:

and five skeins of happy Spring lilacs:

Wollmeise Mauseschwanzchen for comparison.

With the steelblue I want to reknit this cardigan:

Me, three years ago. Knitted in ordinary sock yarn that now has started to pill.

The pattern is Old Town cardigan by Carol Sunday. It has an interesting construction:

The pink purply one will become an adaption of Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti:

I do not own this pattern and I want a different shaped cardigan but love the atmosphere of this cardi. This is the pattern I’ll be using for my backpanel, The Little Flower Doily by Andrea Jurgrau:

A free pattern that I’ve used it before, in this hat in 2010:

I’ll need to figure out how to get to a rectangle or an oblong shape from this round starlike flower.

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Spring spinning clean up.

End of Winter, new things are developing:
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This is how I like snowdrops the most, with their neat little bells.

Today I’m spinning some of the Iboy Wintersilk and the colours of the Great Tit came by:
Koolmeespic by Harmen de Vries
We call it “koolmees” in Dutch, “coal-bird”, because of it’s black face.
“Mees” being the same word/bird as the German “Meise” in Wollmeise:

Shhh, it’s all connected. Wool is everywhere in the world!

Tell that to the squirrel whose nest blew out of the tree tops yesterday. He lost all the merino that he stole over the past year from my fleece rug FIP (felting in progress):
Last Autumn the squirrel stole my merino from the Fleece I was felting into a rug. Then lost it from its nest in one of the Spring storms.UntitledUntitled
What a nice cosy winternest he had made with it!
Just now, I put all this back under the car port, where he can find it again.

I myself am also riding a new wind (is that a polite expression in English? Not sure.) and changing living arrangements involving wool because I have decided to sell my spinning wheel!
This one:
Mirabelle handmade spinningwheel based on MajacraftMirabelle handmade spinningwheel based on Majacraft
The all-round, multi-purpose, hand made copy of Majacraft’s best: the Mirabelle.

It’s an excellent wheel, specifically made for someone with joint pains: no trembling, adjustable heights and angles. It carries big Louet S10 bobbins and can spin the whole range from art yarns to Long Draw. And it is collapsable for easy transport. Sturdy oak.

I cannot really rationalize why I’m ready to part with this wheel…
I don’t do art yarns much (which is why the Countryspinner is being sold too, gasp). For Long Draw I have my antique Finnish wheel which is made for just that.
My default spinning weight is thicker than most people spin on these supple modern wheels and I love to do that on the vintage Louet S70 (of which I have two, ahum) so why should I keep a wheel that’s equipped for so much more?

Modern wheels, like this Mirabelle, allow you to always spin in your most comfortable way and adjust the wheel to get different weights or yarns.
Turns out that I’m in the minority that instead likes to adjust my technique to the wheel. I love to spin everything on the S70 and just change my speed of treadling, the way I hold my hands or how much I have to “fight” the wheel in order to produce different kind of yarns. Since I don’t spin much thin yarns I don’t need a supple, advanced wheel. Besides, with a stable of seven wheels selling two sounds reasonable 🙂

So it’s for sale. And I’m all right with that. I think.
I’m in conversation with a German lady who got the scoop on my intention and is first in line. I’m waiting to hear back from her, she has not replied for several days now but she does have the flu so I’m waiting a bit longer.

handspun

In the mean time I cleaned out the bobbins and made a photoshoot of the wheel. Man, this is a good wheel! So much attention has been given to the technical details…
There are about ten of these Mirabelles in existence. I doubt there’ll be any more. The maker is a wood worker and metal worker and his wife spins and has joint pains so the concept of these wheels was well studied and executed.
If you want to, here’s the photo-album on Flickr with lots of pictures and explanations.

This is the only Mirabelle that carries big bobbins, apart from the one his wife has. I feel like a fool parting with it… big bobbins that can spin stable Long Draw, that’s like the unicorn of spinning wheels! I must be a fool for thinking about selling. What’s in this Spring air??

greattitunicorn

Weird Wool Wednesday 3: just regular tea.

It didn’t work, the existing LEDs are too much incorporated into the kettle. With solid solid glue. So it’ll be just regular tea for us. From a water kettle with regular old blue LEDs.

Also, my husband says I’m one to talk online about his kitchen hacks.
He just caught me making chicken stock (gelatine) using our garden scissors:
kippepoten knippen
What? If it works it ain’t stupid.

Weird Wool Wednesday 2: no tea.

A knitter was coming to tea but she had to cancel and now my husband seizes the chance to take apart the watercooker/kettle to change out the blue LEDs for multicolours that change colour over time…

waterkoker

Is this where young whippersnappers use the online term “FML”? I feel it is.
waterkoker
Those are my tea tins. The big one holds peppermint leaves, which are still visible in my tea mug that overtly supports my husband. No Grim seen today.

He says he knows what he’s doing…
waterkoker
But I notice he’s not wearing one item of handknit clothing so I’m not sure that I trust him.
I’m going into town, to buy chocolates. BRB

Weird Wool Wednesday: changing direction

So I thought my Podcaster cowl looked a bit busy in fingering yarn, knit sideways:

So I bound off with an i-cord of three stitches and now I have an unblocked neckwarmer:

A neckwarmer that I’ve been wearing for two days now:

It’s so soft!

A neckwarmer that used up 40 grams of that Zitron Feinheit yarn. I would love to own more of it! Perhaps I do need to own more of it? Because now I have 60 grams of this ball left and I already have a neckwarmer so what’s there left to knit with it? A Hat? Would that be enough?

I think I need more of it. And a thicker version too, to knit that Podcaster sideways. I like this pattern, with its raised bumps. It’s a slow pattern though, in fingering weight. But that problem was solved the moment I changed directions.

 

Finished: Cool Wool Serra Cardigan

Finally, a handknit cardigan to suit my natural grace:
handknit cardigan
I’m so bad at having my picture taken… I keep talking while posing.
Turns out I’m not a very gracious talker. (What word requires me to stick out my tongue??)

Anyway. Cardi done! 450 grams of sportsweight Lana Grossa Cool Wool, knitted on 2,75 mm needles (3 for the sleeves). 14420 meters. The blocking evened out the stitches nicely. I wonder how the collar will keep, it’s meant to roll a bit.

I’m glad with it. It was a fast knit, six weeks from start to finish! Not much thinking required, just follow the pattern. Ish.
handknit cardigan

When I knitted the collar I decreased in the neck and at the corners with the shoulders, so it would sit a bit more snug in the back of my neck:

At the upper half of the collar I did some shortrows so I have a bit more collar around my neck than I have at the midfronts:

The pattern starts with the shoulders and then stitches are picked up to knit the cardigan top down. The ends and beginnings of that picking up is not very beautiful:

Oh. Shh! Neighbours are watching. Better act as if I belong here. Fake your status woman! There, that’s better:
handknit cardigan

Alright, that lasted all of two seconds:
handknit cardigan
Can’t fool the neighbours I guess. We lost their respect anyway, the moment we painted that door red.

Cardigan-wise I’m not entirely happy with the back. It could have had more shaping and thusly flattering the small of my back:
handknit cardigan
Critiques the woman on felted flipflops and hacked off socks for leg warmers with a chopped up pullover for a cowl,  standing outside of her outrageously red front door in an otherwise respectable street.

Yeah. A more flattering back shaping would have certainly brought more glamour to my life.

 

Peabody Sweater is now a cowl and wristlets.

This sweater from 2014 has been too tight from the beginning:

Not a very pleasurable wear.

So this week, 3 years later and as many wears, I washed it on 60 degrees so now it’s as small as it feels:

(I remember that it took ages to knit this!

First I fooled around way too long with the lace pattern because, of course, I knew better than the designer <insert roll-eyes>

And then I knit the thing too tight. And the sleeves had to be redone. And I didn’t know how to bring sleeves and body together nor do I understand the three needle shoulder bind off. And it illustrated my time as a very sick person (ME). The sleeves didn’t fit a second time around either so in the end I inserted a gusset at the underarm:

Probably a second reason why I do not enjoy wearing this pullover. All the memories of frustration. A third reason is that it pills quite badly.)

That’s all moot now. Because I semi-felted it and then took my scissors to it and now I have a cowl and wristlets:

The body is the cowl, one sleeve gave me two wristlets.

The yarn is Studio Donegal Soft Donegal, a 100% Merino, and it’s soft. Lovely to wear now that the Winter is making a second appearance. Or maybe that just me being bit coldish after our Germany trip. I’m still very tired from that. I went outside today for the first time since we came back but I still have to rest a lot.

Resting indoors in a 100% Merino cowl that covers half your head is not bad 🙂

Casting On.

Is only possible if I put on a cat-video for Lillepoes:

cat watching video for cats. Birman

She was meowing and in my face for an hour before I resorted to this.

The pattern is Podcaster by Susan Ashcroft and I’m knitting it sideways, into a tube.

 pic by Susan Ashcroft

The pattern gives gauge for different sizes and different yarn weights.

The yarn is that soft soft souvenir-yarn from Lüneburg, Zitron Feinheit. 16 micron! Babies and (other) bald headed people will not object to this.

 Is this grey? Is this blue? Purple even?

It’s also well plied so there’s no pilling yet and I don’t stick my needle into the yarn too often while knitting. I like this yarn so much that I endure continious purl and knit sequences (such as ribbing), something that I do not do voluntarily often because it slows me down and I have to look at my hands most the time.

So it’s ok for the cat to hog the computer, I can’t read or watch anything while knitting this. If you’re wondering, this is the video Lillepoes enjoys.

cat watching video for cats. Birmancat watching video for cats. Birmancat watching video for cats. Birmancat watching video for cats. Birman

Look how far I’ve come thanks to High Resolution screens and some person who thought up the idea of making a long video of squirrels and birds being fed, so that cats could watch, so that people could knit in peace:

This is not what we envisioned when we thought about the future in the ’70s. Flying cars and high rise jungle and zoo’s. But not this.

Lüneburg in Germany and back to Holland

Lüneburg is filled with characterful houses:
Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkLüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkLüneburgLüneburgLüneburgLüneburg

This is the street we were staying at:
Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk

In that bit of shrubbery on the right a family of sparrows lives. They are chirping all day. To their neighbours, the family of sparrows, that live in the bit of shrubbery on the left. Those chirp back. It was so cheerful 🙂

We had a guided tour of one of the wedding guests of the St Michael’s church in Lüneburg. It’s an amazing place!
It’s old, filled with history and weird bits of information.
Bach was a student there, he studied music with the monks. Because of the salt trade the columns are crooked and the church might actually collapse. There’s a whole second church in the basement, by design.
Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk

Yes, there’s a whole second church underneath the large church. The monks built it so they had a proper place of worship while they took their time to build the large church with attention. Rightly so, it took them 40 years to build the big place, back around 1400.
All the while they used the “basement-church” for their daily prayers and sermons:
Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkLüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkLüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk
The under-church is still in use, in Winter, when it’s cosier and warmer there then in the big church.

There are ceiling-seals meant as resting points for the faithful gaze. They all depict an animal that have a special meaning.

Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk
Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkLüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk

The church upstairs is beautiful too. But less cosy.
It’s large columns are crooked. 60 centimenters from the straight vertical!
There’s a string hanging from the top of the colomn, with a weight. It’s straight but it veers away from the column:
Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk
Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk
The only thing straight in the upper church is the organ.

Back-up dinner:
Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk

We had a stroll along the beautiful landscape surrounding Lüneburg. They made a tower there, just to have a view. And then we found a throne, in the woods.
LüneburgLüneburgLüneburgLüneburgLüneburg

More chocolate! This is a Lüneburger heath bonbon:
LüneburgLüneburg

The Lüneburger salt-sow (in the background there’s a Dutchman holding groceries (a.k.a.chocolate!) in a shopping bag):
Lüneburg
The story of the salt-sow is marvelous! It’s a 1000 years old.

It truely is that old. Once upon a time hunters saw a mythical sow with a white belly. Upon investigation they found where the sow had been sleeping, it was in a large salt pan. The salt had crusted her belly white.

That’s how the humans found out about the large salt deposits beneath the town of Lüneburg. They started to exploit the salt and it made them very wealthy, all through the Middle Ages. They brought up 20.000 tons per year in the 1400’s! That’s why the houses are so richly decorated. That’s why Lüneburg has been an important Hanze stad. They transported it to the town of Lübeck, which is now known for its Marzipan, and from there it travelled all over Europe. Especially to Bergen, Norway.

Salt has been a valuable commodity for centuries. Roman soldiers were payed their wages in salt.  Another illustration is the saying “The salt of the earth”.

Lüneburg had a blooming salt industry for centuries. They flushed the salt deposit underneaht the city with water, brought up the sludge and cooked to evaporate the water. Until stupidly smart people in the West started drying sea water and getting cheaper salt that way. The German industry dwindled and the factory closed in 1980, after having been in business for a 1000 years. A thousand years!

Now you see sows depicted all over Lüneburg. And all the houses -both old and new- swing and sway because the city now stands on unstable ground. Nobody knows where the caves have all been eroded away by the salt practices. This is why the St Michaelis church is so off kilter.

This morning we packed the car and travelled back, seeing some beautiful German landscapes. With strange phenomenons…the ground seems to reach for the heavens.., what’s this? These “hills”.
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Bit of a quarrel with my phone, I’m knitting while being driven:
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After a few hours we entered safe, flat grounds. Dutch landscape:
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More wrestling with my phone. Unmeant screen shot of my screen saver.
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Oooooh I miss the kitty! Looking so forward to get home and be showered with cuddles!

But when we came back home, my cat was lying on the lap of my brother, all cosy in a woolen blanket. She had been there for hours and was not interested in leaving nor saying hello to us.
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They’ve had a wonderful few days, filled with cuddles and naps and treats, our cats and family.

We kicked my brother out and after a while Lillepoes came to sit on my lap and everyone settled down for some recuperation time.

This is what 5 hours of travel knitting looks like, just two fingers width of collar/button band.

Someone picked up some bad habits 😉
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This is not for you, you never liked butter! It’s way too salty for you anyway.

All the loot from my trip 🙂
Lüneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk