Dracofication of a Ravatar

The new pattern in the competition dropped! Each team has 5 runners and only 1 will proceed.

The pattern is Elica Diamantifera by Natalia Vasilieva, a pattern with slip stitch and an interesting heel construction:

It is an HG heel which is a free pattern by Olga Shkuta

When the specifications for the competition sock where released it was mentioned that the pattern would drop within 6 hours instead of the usual 48. So I drew this:

The pattern dropped an hour later!

This drawing is a “dragonfication” of the ravatar of Haastjerepje, the very active sock knitting moderator in both the Dutch sock knitters group and the international Sock Madness group.

You remember the ravatar I drew for her in last year’s competition? She fielded the many many (unneccessary) questions with such grace and ease. All the while testknitting competition socks:

She also test knitted the current pattern and look how fun two gradiënts are:

I don’t care much for stripes or slipped stitches but I DO like this gradiënt fun. I want to cast on and use up some of my stash, cheered on by the fun and momentum that is Sock Madness. But first I have to draw a dragon for this round…. and it’s such a short round! Oh oh oh, no time! No time! No time to say hello, goodbye!

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a bit of Summer peace

My days are spend standing up, at the computer, working on legal stuff. Or laying down, resting my hips, and knitting a bit and looking at the roses in my garden. And looking at Lillepoes’ white feet.

Not much to tell you.

Oh! I did buy another wonderful Merino fleece, that Dutch Saxon Merino that I learned to wash last year and spun into that wonderful hat with the ears that I wear a lot. (Never mind that one has to sit down to spin. It may take years for me to prep the fleece, I’m sure the bursitis will be gone by then.)

SM round Pearls on a String finished early

Pearls is done, all teams filled up already?!

I just started on my second cuff:

The specifications and the new pattern will probably be released this weekend. But I’m having a day off, I didn’t bring extra yarn with me to the cabin anyway. Today I’m having a leisurely day, standing at the cloths drawer/cupboard because I still can’t sit with these hips:

I have a lovely view and there are birds singing everywhere. On my left is another window, with a screen before it so it can be open but the mosquitoes can’t come in. I hope to do some drawing here today.

This one I made already, Little Red Riding Hood en the Wolf dressing up as each other:

knitting with cat and bursitis

I can’t have Lillepoes lying on my upper legs, with my hip bursitis.

We’ve been battling for the past 20 minutes. She wants to be close to my face. Or at least keep eye contact. I now have found a solution.

also Giro d’Italia, hardest climb of the tour. My concession to my husband.

And the new pattern in Sock Madness!

Pearls-on-a-String Socks by Anita Grahn:

With faux cables and a fleegle heel.

Weird Wool Wednesday: clay, smoke, wool and cats.

I made a yarn bowl!
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
It’s ceramics, Raku pottery.

I had given myself a course in Raku pottery as a reward for all the work I do for the court case against the manure plant near the cabin. Turns out we have an excellent pottery facility nearby, the same venue with the black smith where we forged our knives (our previous reward for the same reasons). I was knitting Raku socks then:

Yesterday was kiln day. Raku kilns get over 1000 degrees hot. So we were using leather gloves and were instructed to wear long sleeves and legs and garments without meltable plastics in it.
What better protection than wool?
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

Out of the kiln into the reduction chamber. The piece is so hot it sets the saw dust alight:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery  raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

Freshly scrubbed yarn bowl, with white glaze and green glaze:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

This little bowl has the same green glaze as my yarn bowl but turned out bright copper red. Raku is magic!
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
It has to do with the reduction of oxygen and/or possibly me losing track of time and leaving it in the reduction chamber for far longer than the 10 minutes it was supposed to be.

Scrub section:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
Who knew you have to work hard after firing? After it gets out of the reduction chamber it’s covered in sooth which has to be scrubbed away. With water and sand and elbow grease.

We did the firing at the home of the teacher, the lovely and very capable Carla Teer. She has a studio near her house and makes pottery and animals in various techniques:

One of her other joys is gardening and we were in her amazing garden, filled with my favourites such as geranium, akelei, ranoncles. The way she positiones them, with lots of interesting leaf shapes, getting bigger with distance, is a delight.
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
Because of my hip bursitis I can only stand or lie down. So I had a few lie downs in the garden and it was great. With big trees overhead and birds picking up grubs for their young. There were pimpelmezen nestling near the studio shed and they kept popping in and out, checking us out.

There were chickens too!
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

We had a lovely pot luck lunch:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

In the big oak I heard sparrows which are growing rare in the Netherlands now that unkept pieces of grass are groomed away by city workers and farmers only farm corn and no grains. Corn that feeds the very manure plants I fight against. It bypasses the cow and is put directly into the plant to aid the fermenting (anaerobic digestion) because manure does not ferment easily by itself.

Anyhow. Dealing with this kind of inconsistencies (“kuch kuch stupidities!“) is what earned me my raku session. Raku and cats!

I made some cats to rest my brushes on:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
My friends said they look like little old bones. I don’t have friends.
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

I took the colouring from Lillepoes: off white back, black tail and legs and white toes.
lillepoes

Look at that beautiful cracquelee (and Lillepoes butt):
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

Carla has cats too including this one who lives to a very old age despite the fact he never gets food:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery  raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

Aww… so sad 😉

I had a wonderful day yesterday! Today I wanted to finish scrubbing the Raku but I also just received a call about some new manure plant stupidity so my Wednesday is looking like break is over and I need to fire up.

Nurmilintootoo!

I wanted a simple project, next to all the projects I have to think about. And I’ve been wearing my Nurmilintu shawl a lot and thinking how it should be a tad bit longer. So I started one for me. It’s Nurmilintu shawl, a pattern by Heidi Alander:

The yarn is Moonwise handdyed Gem which I have been guarding since 2011 and now, finally, feel bold enough to use. It knits up beautifully:

I’m in a bit of a stress period at the moment and need some simple knitting relief so I started a second one:

in my handspun Hilltop Cloud Gradient Pack

Which gave me so much joy when I spun it in Tour de Fleece two years ago. Again a yarn that I have been too careful with to dare to use for anything. I always found an excuse. “Not enough meterage!”. “Will take too much wear if knit in that project!”. “The pattern makes no sufficient use of the gradient!”.

Stop it. Just knit with it. It will be fine.
And fast.

Everybody knows handspun knits up faster than commercial yarn. I’ll have two shawls soon and plenty of time to knit all the socks and cardigans that are on the needles right now. Yes I will.