Weird Wool Wednesday: thrums

Today I celebrate my birthday and the lovely Sokkenmuis gave me this pattern as a birthday gift:

It’s I Heart Earmuffs by Faye Kennington. You’ve heard me talking about it before, enamoured as I am by the beautiful increasing and the idea of covered ears (= safety and security. Dutch word “geborgenheid” which associates to being held, physically, in a safe enclosure. “Borg” = “burcht” = castle.)

It is first time thrums for me. I may have gotten too enthousiastic about thrums…

More so at the second ear muff:

Knitting with thrums is a bit of a challenge but the pattern explains it well:

 

The yarn is the handspun that I made a Rikke hat from which was too tight and then I was deflated or at least my motivation was deflated. But getting this lovely pattern from Sokkenmuis made me rip out the hat right then and there and re use the yarn right away. On needles 2,75 mm.

Hmmm, knitting with handspun. HMMMM, CAKE!

Love thrums all:

Finished: TdF glitter rolls vest

Using Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor as a template. I’ve rewritten the pattern to be knit continuously, without cutting yarn too much. By now it’s a basic pattern I can use and re-use with any aran weight. Handspun is ideal! And it only takes 200 grams max.

This one too 185 grams of the green rolls I made and spun this Tour de Fleece.

Ahh, what a nice project. From the visit to wool studio Spinspul on the first day of de Tour to making more rolls at the cabin to spinning it while watching Tour de France.

Knit in just one week, handspun does knit faster!

Here are some pictures from fitting the vest. There’s a bit too much fabric at the back, I’ll need to decrease there even before I reach the underarms, on a next vest.

A next vest will certainly come. I’ve got about six finished now and two more on the needles. It’s just ideal to wear over one of the many dress shirts I surely will be sewing this year.

Just 200 grams is all I need. 430 meters. Needles 3,5 mm, gauge 19 st per 10 cm.

I’ve found some new treats to keep me going:

Shortbread! The best version of sprits-boterkoek-koekje that I can think of.

During Tour de Fleece we got a recipe (in Dutch, on Ravelry) for shortbread from Cjadam, a wonderful spinner from Amsterdam, and maker of the cardemom (!) shortbread and wonderful batts, of which I’ll soon talk more.

Before I found the shortbread this gave me a head ache:

Licorice chocolate. And whiny cat.

Both delicious but preferably enjoyed in little bits at a time. Which is impossible. With either.

Finished Indigo socks. And it was a snowman!

I changed the direction of the leaves in the cuff:

There’s a neat little leaf in the cuff, adding to the decreases there:

It’s my own addition. Just like how I changed the heel flap:

I used 85 grams of Wolop Basis Sok plantaardig, handdyed indigo sock yarn. Mock cable. Only twisted stitches on the cuff because they are hard on my rsi. I’d prefer the look of twisted stitches on the leg but I prefer painfree shoulders more.

And these are the gifts that were hidden in the ball of yarn. I LOVE knitting up a magic yarn ball!
magic yarn ball knitter gifts
Buttons and stitch markers and a seam ripping tool for sewing (much appreciated) and a cat shaped pinch thingy annnnnd indeed a snowman! Thank you Lieneke!! 😘 You have given me Sinterklaas in the middle of Summer!

magic yarn ball knitter gifts
The packaging was neat too. Little bags with polkadots and owl tape 🙂

Look at the owls! They have opinions, I think:
magic yarn ball knitter gifts
And that mushroom stitchmarker haha! I gave these mushroom beads to Lieneke for our first Sinterklaas because she loves mushroom (just not for dinner thanks). And she has the skills to make these amazing stitchmarkers (that won’t snag on your knitting for example) but I didn’t know she had and now I have one!

I freed up the owl marker before the mushroom and it’s already been in use:

On my Old Town cardigan. Yes I am dutifully knitting on my WIPs now that SockMadness is over! Nice place holders make it all the more enjoyable 🙂

Finished: grey Pumpkin Ale cardigan

It’s finished but it’s not: the pockets need to be cut out and sewn in. But the knitting is done!

Pattern Pumpkin Ale by Ysolda Teague

Cabled back panel from free pattern 123-9 Lady Love by DROPS design

The yarn is Chester Wool Superwash merino 300m/100gr and I used 4,35 balls. That’s about 1300 meters.
It’s wonderfully soft and very suited to wear against my skin. Like the collar in my neck.
I look forward to finding out how well it wears. I expect pilling with this softness.

Knit on needles 2,25 mm getting a gauge of a-smidge-under-20-stitches-in-10-centimetres. Except on the sleeves where I knitted with a gauge of 26 stitches per 10 centimetres. That is why I write in bold on all my project notes: knit sleeves on bigger needles!
If only I learned to read and follow instructions…

The back panel is so beautiful!

Finished socks “Streepje anders” after yarn party yesterday.



Pattern Streepje anders by Heleen Kok with modifications.

Today I finished one toe and a whole foot (plus its toe) as I took the whole day for resting and knitting after a wonderful yarn party yesterday.

At the party there was yarn and knitting and spinning and weaving and cake and bonbons and pie and quiche and taco’s and cats and “Bossche Bollen” and cat tea mugs and lots of handknit socks!
wolfeestje yarnparty

One girl brought these stitchmarkers that she makes professionally. She made these especially for the birthday girl:
wolfeestje yarnpartywolfeestje yarnparty
Those are chocolate, a cookie and Bossche Bollen. With a bite out of them! The birthday girl LOVES Bossche Bollen, usually when I go visit her I have to bring some, so this was a perfect gift.
These are very well made too. It will be a happy day when the maker decides to open her online shop 🙂

Another girl, Meilindis, brought her loom! That’s a new one for me, someone chatting and weaving at a party. Go check out the wonderful patterns she can make on a rigid heddle on her site Meilindis.nl (it’s in English).
wolfeestje yarnparty
It was great seeing her work and she explained a lot. If you have extra heddles you can do all kinds of patterns on a rigid heddle, just as if it was a loom with “schachten” (don’t know the English word. What people consider to be “a real loom”.)

She dazzled me with her colour handling and I learned a bit how a weaver can manipulate colours. Soothe them, ease them, shift them. Meilindis has a special knack for this!

(I do not. I somehow lack the imagination or the courage for it, to combine “strange” colours. It was funny to discover this “handicap” of mine. It made it much more marvellous to see Meilindis combine an try out colours with such ease and wit! But I think I may have confounded her a bit with my squeals and boggling eyes and compliments 😉 )

The birthday girl is just as fond of big cat mugs as I am:
wolfeestje yarnpartywolfeestje yarnparty
The one on the right is my present to her!

Here are better pictures by the maker:

It’s an handmade mug from Budapest artist Brigitta Bondar who has an Etsyshop ARTushkashop as well as a brick & mortar shop in the centre of Budapest. Near the trainstation or centre square I believe. She’s also on Facebook, in English.
Brigitta is a wonderful artist and was very fast en precise in communicating with me and then shipping fast and securely.

ARTushka also has this sheep mug in her Etsy shop:
pic by ARTushka
and more sheep in the Budapest shop:
pic by ARTushka

The birthday girl is not allowed to keep sheep in her house so she settles for cats. This is wonderful Suus, a fairly young rescue who is so friendly and curious:
wolfeestje yarnpartywolfeestje yarnpartywolfeestje yarnparty
There were a lot of cat ladies at the party and Suus was adored!

Equally adored was cat Sproet who came down from the bedroom for a visit. Sproet is old and blind but made the rounds and found his way, using his whiskers.

An afternoon with yarnwomen, tea cats, real cats, cake and chocolate, made for a wonderful party 🙂

Finished: SM Spring socks and Spring yarn

Pattern Lambs and Chickens and Bunnies, Oh My! by Ros Clarke.

I made fraternal socks, I didn’t have enough of the Gouda green left after the first sock. Then I decided to mix all the colours up a bit. Except for the bunnies, I liked them to be the same popping Moonwise purple.

You will notice that, even though I mixed up the colours, the colours in the rolled cast on are the same (albeit in a different sequence). That’s because I made a mistake in the first sock.

We were supposed to cast on with colours A, B and C. Which in the pattern refer to: “A = light green; B = undyed/white; C = yellow” which are the background of the bunnies, the colour of the sheep and the colour of the chicks:

Colour F is the background of the chicks and is called “grass green” in the legenda.

Now then, my stupid tired brain last Saturday evening insisted that the bunnies are sitting in a field of grass (while the chicks are in… some forest?) therefor their background colour must be called “grass green” and since that is colour F in the legenda I cast on with F, B and C: yellow, white and brown.  That’s the left sock:

I corrected for the left sock which is casted on with colours A, B and C: background bunnies = white; colour sheep = yellow and colour chickens = dark brown. The same colours as the first sock but the correct route taken to get there. And a different sequence which explains why they the curly top doesn’t look exactly the same on both socks.

Luckily most honest mistakes that do not butcher the intent of the designer are allowed. I assume this is the case here too but I will have to get official recognition before I can say I’m in the clear.

For the competition the sock needs to be at least 9 inches from toe to heel:

There are other rules too, which can vary per pattern. Here there had to be at least 50 rows between the turn of the heel and the row where the sheep on the foot start.

The leg had to be at least 6 inches high. It’s nice that my size is the usual size Sock Madness knits for so I can be sure the, when following the rules, the socks will fit me.

It was fast knitting. I’m glad they’re done. I love them and am wearing them right now. So pleased with the colours! But I’m glad they’re done, I’m a bit done with sock knitting now. Especially with stranded knitting.

Luckily there’s room for something else now, for example I made 309 meters of this lovely yarn:

out of the raspberry rolls from Schaap & Draak at the Knit & Knot fair in Tilburg:

I think it will turn out to be a worsted or DK weight, what with handspun getting all fluffy after setting the twist.

I’m hoping to make this lovely cloche out of it:

It’s the crocheted The Shelly Cloche by Devon Finney. A nice Spring and Summer hat I think. Can be made in one afternoon! How’s that for fast gratification.

Finished: Mod Madness socks

One sock blocked, one sock unblocked:

What a difference:

Once I get the confirmation email that these were knitted to the specifications (which they are) then I will do some modding of my own. The cuff of the first sock is too tight. I’ll hack it off and reknit it, bottom up.

Both toes are too roomy and the way the decreases sit at the side, amidst three stitches (twice) of stranded knitting, isn’t too nice. I’ll unravel them and redo them in a different stranded pattern, with less than 6 stitches between the decreases.

Overall I feel very good about them. They are stylish, functional Winter socks and I’m not afraid anymore of making socks with an overal stranded pattern. Cast on 72 stitches, knit them on 2,25 needles, choose between round plied yarns or fuzzy and any pattern is mine now!

The first sock weighs 45 grams, the second weighs 47. (probably the looser cuff and never touching the 2 mm needle on the second sock.)

Finished: cowl in Autumn colours

200 grams of Lang Yarns Mille Colori
on needle 4,5 mm

a self made pattern, based on this scarf that I saw in the yarn shop in Lüneburg, Germany:

I ended up inserting 5 rows of stockinette stitch in between each part of K 4, P 4 and this resulted in lovely waves bulging up from the base:

It’s a cowl for my dear neighbour, I hope she likes it.

It was a nice knit. The acrylic gives a lovely sheen and colour. I used up all 200 grams of the skein and have 16 x 4 stitches in a row. It gives nice colour stripes but the tube is just a bit too short to wear comfortably around the neck. I assume it will stretch.

Weird Wool Wednesday: “What are you doing!?”

This was bellowed out by my husband on Sunday, just as I was about to learn to do my first afterthought heel ever. “What are you doing?!
He scared me!
(In Dutch we say: “I frightened myself a little hat!”. This mental image is my gift to you today.)

From the corner of his eye he saw me taking some scissors to knitwear and he shouted out in disbelief.

It’s just an afterthought heel, dear.

My first afterthought heel ever was an adventure:

An adventure made bigger because the ball of yarn was still being used for the leg. I had the luminescence idea of turning the balls inside out in order to work from the other end of the yarn:


Easy peasy.
I did get quite a tangle but soon the yarns will be cut and the ends kitchenered in.


Now just turn the balls the right side out again.
Hm. 50% succes rate:

Still well enough to knit with and not long after this heel I finished the Dropping Madness Socks!

Now I needed to take the official pictures. One from the top, one from the side, one with the measuring tape beside it:






My turn to bellow: “What are you doing?!”

These loved ones I live with…. I may think they spend their days sleeping and snoozing but they do keep tabs on my knitting!

The socks are very comfortable. The afterthought heel makes the gradient in the stripes progress nicely AND is designed to have a striped heel. That’s some good designing right there:

Now if you’ll excuse me? I have a feeling my hairy room mate is in for a little play time.

Finished: Sock Madnes Qualification Sock

With only a few hours until the deadline:

We have to present the sock in a certain way, so the moderators of the competition can see you did enough rows and did the heel gusset a certain way and that the foot is at least 8″ long:

I wore them and find them very warm. But they also twist around the foot. They may be better suited as bed socks. We’ll see 🙂

I’ve send an email to the moderators with the link to my project page. They had a look and approved my socks. They replied and now I will be placed on a team. In a few days the teams are formed and we’ll each have a thread in the SockMadness group on Ravelry.
Soon after that the new pattern will “drop” and the first round of competition will begin.

For now I relax. I’m knitting on my grey Pumpkin Ale cardigan. Tomorrow there’s the Knit & Knot fair in Tilburg.
There may be some yarn there that wants to come live with me in the baskets in the IKEA TV-thingamajig.