cat yarn post is here!

Turned out the post service was swept away by the storm last week and things got delayed. Here is the second installment of the Wolbeest cat yarn club!

A sock blank,stamped with iconic cats, some black, some grey so the knitted fabric will vary. In the accompanying card Wolbeest explains that all blanks have been individually dyed, with the various recipients in mind. That’s why mine is more purple than most 😻😻😻. Raveler Wannabekat has one that will knit up less variegated.

There’s dpn holder pouch and cat liquorice with iconic black cats. A silver marker. Hot chocolate drink. A personal card with explanation of the dyeing. My card. All wrapped in cute catty bags and stickers.

What a wonderful second installment of Het Wolbeest January Cat Sock Month!






Oh oh….

Wolbeest is doing a similar club next month, with theme Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s art:


other cat things today

The post did not deliver my Wolbeest cat yarn parcel yesterday 🙀

Luckily I’ve got other cat things today, let me show you:

I bought this cat ears bag from FiberRachel on Etsy!

That graphic fabric is fantastic! It’s canvas, my favourite fabric for usable things such as bags and skirts. I saw this fabric the previous weekend, well loved by Suus, Spectre120’s cat:

Today my new bag holds my Harry Potter knee socks and will accompany me to the Feel Good Market in Eindhoven.

There’s a cat loving t-shirt printer there, Dweezilsfriend

who donates profits to the Canal Boat Cat Shelter in Amsterdam:
pic by Terretta
 pic by The Catboat
pic by The Catboat
The famous Poezeboot, The Catboat, a no-kill centre on the canals of Amsterdam.

A year and a half ago I bought one of her shirts at Mermaidy in Utrecht, which is next to the LYS Sticks and Cups.

It’s made of bamboo and organic cotton, it’s produced in Turkey and bought under Fair Trade agreements. It is printed in Amsterdam. I love that shirt. But I’m not wearing it today, it’s too cold.

The last cat thing I want to show you is the postcard that I made for the Wolbeest January Cat Sock Month installment that other people got yesterday:

Hee hee, a shedding princess on a pea!

Ravelry knitters will recognize the pullovers she’s sitting on:
That’s February Lady Sweater

crazy stripes tee
Paper Dolls

Hee hee! I had much fun painting this. purrrr 😸

finished: tuxedo cat hat!

Amazing pattern! For all weights and gauges.

I used 60 grams of sock yarn and, because I like a double brim over my ears, knitted until part 1 of the pattern was very long.

The hat is far more sophisticated than I can show you here, on these “charming cabin” pictures. Even my husband said it’s a chique city hat.

Now I want to use the same technique for a pair of matching self striping wrist warmers. Quickly, before the next installment comes from Wolbeest January Cat Sock Yarn Club.

Weird Wool Wednesday: knitter cat lady lap

This my lap today:

That hat is coming along great! I don’t understand the magic shaping that’s involved but the pattern is so well written and the self striping yarn looks great:

It’s hat Langfield by Martina Behm and yarn Het Wolbeest January Cat Sock Month colourway Otto and Floki’s Collar. I’m having a blast! Great pattern, great yarn, great company:

sorry your highness.

Cat Yarn Box is here!


Hee hee, this colourway is named “Floki’s collar”:

Floki is Wolbeest’ house panther, with gorgeous eyes:

He’s very much a cat. Loves to play and to be near you and look at you but don’t cuddle him if he doesn’t want to. He talks with his paws and easily scratches you. That being said: last week I forgot and he indicated he wanted us to touch noses and I did and I was this close to his nose -we actually touched- and also very very close to that fiercesome claws of his. But nothing happened, we just shared a friendly hello.

Later on he did scratch me as I was lingering too long too close near him with my hand. Ah, cats. They just expect us to catch on sooner. To read their minds.

Inspection by Poekie:


cat nibbles for humans:

Licorice herring (could there be anything more “North Sea People” than that?) and tea.

Some handdrawn cat scribble on a postcard:

Wait, what? I know that name….

That’s right, I made this card. And it’s printed, professionally. And part of this yarn box. And normal people, real people!, have it at home now. And now I am famous and professional and totally not hiding under the covers because I fooled everybody.

Looky here, the bestest goodie to accompany the yarn: a Cat WIP bag!

 pic by FiberRachel
Another original design by FiberRachel. Look at those ears!

The yarn is so good!
Het Wolbeest already has a prototype on the needles, this yarn knits up selfstriping in a gorgeous way:

I started too, using the self striping and the beautiful bag:

I have plans for a hat. Knit sideways, with red cat ears, like the bag.

Later on I took the bag for a ride. To the fish restaurant:

Visch in Den Bosch

We had sashimi:

Someone was purring…

Finished: bouclé yoke sweater

A nice sweater!

Warm, not too heavy. Only weighs 400 grams. Sympathetic yarn, both the Irish Donegal yarn and the handspun bouclé, with the nice memories of the Tour de Fleece and the Dutch Wool Diva batts that I used.

And it wears so comfortable!

But when I’m reaaaaaally comfortabel….. strange things start to happen:

This is me, in my sweat pants. I don’t think I’ve had sweatpants before…. this is my first time wearing them this century anyway, I’m sure.
Man they are comfortable!

The sweater is comfortable too.
Only strange things happen here too. It rides up.  And when that happens….the handspun yoke…. it bulges.

I look ridiculous. Comfortable and ridiculous. And sparkly.
Please don’t ring my doorbell, I won’t be coming to the door like this.

Comfortable and sparkly! Snug too. Me and the cat, in our knitting chair. Cup of tea. Batch of brownies (still can’t make them properly. First they were too cakey, now they are too eggy. Third time a charm?)

It’s a good thing this project is finished. Now I am ready for the Wolbeest cat sock yarn that is due to arrive tomorrow! And I got to do some drawing:

“I sparkle on the inside!”

(in this sketch I was exploring the inking style of illustrator Scottie Young. Amazing artist.)

Loving Vincent.

The Van Gogh sockyarn came, handdyed by Wolop:

And today I went to the exhibition that accompanies the movie Loving Vincent. In the exhibition the original paintings that were used in the movie can be seen.

It was a wonderful experience, seeing in paint how the contemporary artists communicated with the original artist, Van Gogh, about and through style, colours and composition.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

My handmade dress was appropriately coloured:

Lovely thick layers where used. The 3D of the paintings is a thing in Van Gogh’s art. Happy to see it in the movie-paintings too:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van GoghLoving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

I particularly liked this next modern painting, because of the colours:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

The big planes of yellow and blue (choosing thàt particular yellow against thàt particular blue), the vertical greenblueish stroke at her upperlip, the horizontal colours on the right side (purple, yellow, greens).

This next one I liked very much too, again because of the chosen colours. Thàt red with thàt green. Also the slight pink/rose in the left side of her dress, echoing with the red of the carpet on the right. A red carpet that has dashes of green in it:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I also love the composition. This one is about colour blocks.

At the end they showed the new works next to the original works that inspired them:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
The original on the right is far less about the composition and more about the character of the dress and the person(ality) of the woman. Seen next to each other the 21st century art is a nice piece of art. The 19th century piece however is magnificent art, in my opinion.

The yellow on the wall is less contrary (and therefor less at ease) to the colours of the dress. The carpet seems more brown, this is not red agains green talking, this is warm against cool but in such slight handed ways.

And who cares about the composition of horizontals and verticals? Is that our De Stijl architectural experiences that are all grained into us? Van Gogh knew the inspirations for it as he had studied Japanese prints. He knew about orthogonality. Yet he never chose to make it a thing in his paintings.

In this painting we have to talk about her silhouet, against that of the piano, in that negative space between its side and her front. The paino with it’s broken top line. And that whimsical chair leg. Outrageous.

I ended up spending a long time at the wall with the new works next to their inspirations. It’s where my opinion grew strong: Van Gogh is much about free hand while the movie is not.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I think the modern artists got hindered -or rather I suppose it was a conscious decision- by their skill in proportions of the human figure. Van Gogh abandoned those, and in the process ended up saying specific things about the individual he was painting.
The modern artists painted real people but they are interchangable for other, real people.

For example, I know at least 3 actors who can play the man on the left:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
The modern artists painted real people and real boats. There’s a real brown boat on the foreground of the left painting. In the right one there’s something brown that interacts with the water… it may carry a person but it also may dissolve in the movements of the river. Enter at own risk.

What do you think: on the left perhaps someone who is too habitually skilled in perspective?
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
While on the right someone trying to convey something in dabs of colour? Using strong lines to talk about masses and texture (an interesting choice because usually texture is shown with small scale things like shading, grading, stippling).

Look at the roof in the bottom paintings, Van Gogh’s roof looks heavy and wet. The repair man will need to mold it, like clay, it seems. Put against that ridiculous light coloured sky above it! Things are happening in that sky, I wouldn’t be surprised it some birds have just tumbled out of sight.
The modern painted roof is made of reet. Sunkissed reet. If the wind is strong ome reet plumes may fly away today. Luckily the sky does not suggest wind.

Aye! Lots of opinions of me, indeed. But I am so strongly interested in colour interactions and how artists use them that this is what bubbles up in me. As a viewer of paintings these topics start a conversation in my head whenever I spend time with a piece of art.

So let me say here that my opinions are not criticism. They are things I want to talk about with the makers of the movie and the paintings, because they got to talk to Van Gogh, trough intense study of his work.

They had a marvelous time. Look how this beard is all blue! Not a speck of white, not even in the eyes:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

I do have some criticism but I doubt it’s interesting to read. For example,I’d probably should see the film to be more friendly about the next pairing:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
As shown here Van Gogh talks about the sky and the fields and the movements. The film still does not, it talks about the man in the cart, even more so if he gets smaller and smaller and rides to the horizon. I would have put it in reverse: start with the clouds and the fields, end up with the man (but not as big as this).
Perhaps they did in the film.

As I have not seen the movie I luckily did not see any of these paintings move. That is a whole new kettle of fish to discuss. Van Gogh very much tried to talk about movement in a non-moving medium.

If you are going to make a movie, how to decide how the stills will move?Why make people move naturally when he didn’t paint them naturally? But an unnatural movement would probably make the viewing of the movie difficult for the public. We are used to natural movement.

What sky movement would Van Gogh want to show? What raven’s wing clap? Not the ones of natural raven, right?
A very interesting question.

The differences between Van Gogh and Loving Vincent irk me. Yet I could not have stand a clear copy of the originals works either. The makers of the movie got to insert their own opinion, vision, signature into the movie and that’s a good thing.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I would have done it differently. Every artist would probably have. I’d have LOVED to dive into these works for so long and take them as a departure to tell the passionate story of the movie, using the medium of oil paintings. A very nice project and a very nice exhibition.


Decided to knit on

The bouclé yoked sweater is not going great. The body is too tight, the armhole starts too low and the first sleeve is too tight. The second sleeve is not too wide but I can rip out just a few rows and start decreasing:

Ugly fold at the back:

When will I learn that I have a sway back, a very sway back?

But the yarn knits so easy! It’s that good old Irish Aran yarn, Donegal Heather, from a sympathetic source: Springwools in Dublin Ireland. So I knit on and on and told myself it’ll be alright. Probably.

Today I knew the day had come. Look at it honestly. Seriously consider ripping it all back and starting something new. Because this knit does not feel 100% right. And it should.

I even did a search in the database of Ravelry for sweaters with the gauge I get with rhis aran yarn: 16 stitches per 10 cm (= per 4″):

But I had a good look in the mirror. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Somehow, in the city, before my little mirror, it looked worse. Here, at the cabin, I can see myself wearing this. Even if the yoke runs too low and the armholes are not 100% comfortable.
The tightness of the body is not that uncomfortable.

If I pull the yoke up, so the sleeves are higher at the underarm, the body is too short. And too tight at the wrong places:

Well, don’t pull the yoke up high then. Wear it lower. With a little discomfort at the underarms yes. But not too much. Very wearable.

So, contrary to my own inclination and resolve to only knit 100% enjoyable knits, I am going to finish this knit. It is not perfect but the yarn knits very friendly. And I’ve been wanting a white-green sweater since forever.
(I can always rip it next year.)

By the way, someone should use that spinning wheel, the Nordic Slanty. It’s such a delight!

Aaaaand I happen to know there’s some shortstapled yak in one of those boxes. Throw it at some carders, make into rolags and spin with delight!

Alright alright, as soon as I’m done flicking and spinning the Merino. And washing the second batch of Merino and flicking and spinning that, AND finish spinning the browngrey organic fleece AND flicking and spinning the black and white organic fleece that’s currently about 1 cubic metre. Then I’ll get right on it.