the Advent Calendar yarns so far: Wolop and Wolbeest


How does she manage to get these colours from plants?!?!

Het Wolbeest:

(orange and tan I hung at the back)

There’s still more gifts to unwrap:

PS that’s my new pincushion
pincushion felted pebble rock
Handfelted pebble by Wolop
she teaches this.


today’s WIPs

in between court-y things and house hold chores I’m doing this:

The socks celebrating 10 years of Dutch Sock Knitting Group.

I found my circular one size bigger than the one I knit the body on. I could knit the sleeves now:

And these are ready for plying:

getting in the mood: Advent Calendars!

Yesterday’s calendar shows that I’m getting in the mood for Advent Calendars. This year I’ve bought TWO handdyed yarn surprise boxes!

Wolop offers one with glitter yarn and one with hand dyed yarns. I bought the plant dyed one! Both will give about 10 grams each day in a soft fingering yarn with nylon. Wolop ships internationally!
Last year I had one with a different colour theme and made this stranded cowl with it:

So this year I bought the plant dyed one. Those colours will combine and harmonize with each other in an amazing way! I’m thinking stranded socks and wristwarmers or mittens. Or ànd socks ànd mitts ànd mittens. Or perhaps weaving…

The other box I bought is from Het Wolbeest, you know, the wool studio in the ceramic village in the South with the ice parlour attached.
Het Wolbeest also has two advent calendars, one Over The Top with glitter and nepps and dyed with speckles and multies. And one Soft and Mellow, with (semi)solids. Both contain 10 grams of soft sock yarn each day and this one has some little gifts in it. She’s been teasing us with sneak previews in all greytones!
I bought the Soft and Mellow one. For stranded knitting. Perhaps socks. And mitts. And mittens! Or weaving?

So much choice and opportunities!
If you too are looking for ideas what to do with 24 x 10 grams of handdyed yarn, I have a bundle with ideas on Ravelry:
adventkalender ideeen

Not that listing options makes choosing between them any easier.
Yes, the first of December is going to be very festive and chaotic and colourful woolly in my house.

To heighten the anticipation I have my wooden calendar with the stitch markers.
And this:

It’s an advent tea box from Sonnetor, bought at the market stall from knitter and spinning friend Meta from Thee-en-Kruid.
At the bottom of the tree there’s a little door and one bag of tea slides out every day during Advent. As December approaches I will put more and more things on display to mark the change of season.

Thusly I try and structure the months to come. It is a conscious effort because I am submerged in a few things that need some counter-stress-measures and I also dread the shortening of the days.

These are things that give me stress:
By the end of this month, October, I have to submit a paper to the court against the manure plant they’re still planning right next to the cabin. Over the years I have regained my abilities to concentrate, as I healed from my illness, and this is reflected in how I was able to address the court. First drafts were terrible. This year I’m finally in full swing and I’m playing with the big dogs, who now also take me seriously and sling some serious judicial mud my way. I am working at my maximum capacity and it gives a bit of dread, knowing this is it, that this is all I’ve got to give.

Of course there’s the added stress that his case involves my personal living conditions at the cabin. The cabin is under threat and things will be different there, not for the best. My adversaries are merely seated behind their work desks and pushing numbers and stamps around. They get to go home at the end of the day, to a manure free, risk free living space.
Beware _ Manure happensDanger! Manure!
Changing my frame of mind and looking at this strategically instead of personally/emotionally takes a lot of effort each time. Each time I do succeed and then I enjoy the strategic game, played within the boundaries of the law.

But then I return to the cabin and am overwhelmed again with losing the peace, the nature and the memories from the last ten years that I lived there, in harmony, healing. I find it difficult to go with the times, to accept time flowing forwards and growing populations.

That’s one court case. By the end of the year there’s a hearing in the second court case pending, about the same plant, and this one involves about 15 families in the neighbourhood of the cabin. For which I am the spokesperson and the one writing and submitting the papers. (Mind you, I have no training in this field. I’m just an urban engineer.) This case involves a lot of contact with my neighbours which I haven’t even met all personally, yet. We communicate through email and they are very nice, even though they do not understand the judicial games. I also shield them from the mud that is thrown our way. Because that judicial game… it’s not a pretty one.

In this social thing too I am coming into my own this year, having been a hermit for years, hidden in the cabin. This process however goes more abruptly, with me being bold and sociable one day and crying in my pillow fort the next. Introverts, ha! Such a fun bunch.

My neighbours accept my introvertness though and they are really nice and supportive. They gave me the flowers and the wine last week 🙂

As a third process this Fall I’m sewing my own clothes. A city wardrobe, following my own colour palette. I now have sewing lessons every week and I have that new sewing machine and things are going well. Still takes a lot of time and thinking and concentrating. Luckily no matter how “funny” or “idiosyncratic” I make something, my teacher always shows me ways to fix it. It’s a lot like spinning yarn in that regard, you can always build on top of what you have and fix it that way. (This is not the case with knitting. Knitting you have to frog and build anew).

skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewinghand sewn bottle green linen skirt fishtail pockets sewinggreen wriggle dress stretch cotton sewing
I hope to finish all the garments I need this year. Smoothly transferring into next year when I can just grab any thing from my closet and always look smart and coordinated.
If I dress nice I feel nice. If I don’t have to question myself in front of the wardrobe I have a good start of the day. That’s what the palette is for.

When I get all my sewing done this year it will become a hobby next year. For when I have time and inspiration or meet a nice piece of cloth. (Or weave a nice piece of cloth!)
That will leave a slot open next year for something nice. Something creative. Something productive. Something economically visible. Yes I hope, when the days begin to lengthen again, that I will have the calm, the health and the mental capabilities to feel truly alive again.

So I have a lot riding on a friendly unfolding of the last three months of this year. I’ve put some measures into place to achieve this.
I hope and expect the new year to be the start of new, fine thing!
It will also be 10 years, in February, that I became terribly ill from one day to the next. (I have ME/CFS/SEID, Addison’s, DNA faults, mitochondria faults, ridiculous sensitive brain chemistry, EMDR, digestive disorder, lifelong insomnia). But I seem to have fixed this.
I’m still cautious but I’m making plans to celebrate my recovery in 2018.

So now we sit and behave until the good times start:

Wall calendar by illustrator Fiep Westendorp

some WIPs in more detail

Thursday evening I started the Wolop self striping Harry Potter sock because I wanted some easy stockinette stitch:

I couldn’t find the little grey mini that goes along with this skein for cuffs, heels and toes. So I just casted on with the main yarn, directly for the leg, and will attach the cuff later.

I got some mindless knitting done while my husband celebrated my being downstairs again by watching his bloody series together. Not swearing, we watched bloody series. There was Elementary and Lucifer and this new series we tried out with a mr. Wednesday who used to run a brothel saloon in Broken Wood but now is followed by a filmmaker who is enamoured with the series Hannibal but does not have the same restraints and finesse. We’re not sure what we think of it yet.

After 3 x 45 minutes of visual murder I was tired and went to bed. But knitted I had.

Remember snowdrift cardigan? The one I was going to attach onto this lovely handspun collar portrayed here? The cabled collar I so expertly knit on car trip?

Yeah, I frogged that and am using the yarn for this, the plan I always had for it: a gorgeous vest to wear over all my handsewn dress shirts.

The pattern is Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor, it’s free and sensible. I modified it a bit to be able to start with a provisional cast on at the mid back and then work upwards, into the first one shoulderstrap. I love it! I love the pattern, I love the yarn, I love the gauge (needle 4,5 mm).

This is how I want vest patterns to be: top down, without raglans and with as less “breaking yarn” as possible.
Which is why I’ll steaming right ahead to the two other vests I have wanted to make ever since I got hold of their yarns. The green Welsh yarn and the orange handspun.

I also picked up the lilac cardigan, with just the lace flower backpanel, inspired by Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti:

This was my panel on Friday:

and this is my panel now:

It’s The Little Flower Doily by Andrea Jurgrau and I managed to make a square out of a circle! I’m pretty proud of that. I know in order to get a flat surface, when knitting from the centre, you have to increase 4 stitches every row. Doesn’t matter which needle or which yarn you use. For a circle you place those 4 stitches ad random. For a square you place them in four corners. For easy knitting most people increase 8 stitches every other row, which comes down to the same.

With the doily I examined the chart and identified which YO was paired to which /, \ or ^ decrease. That told me which YO was surplus in which row: the increases. These I took and placed at four corners.

Soooo are all my WIPs ongoing, planned or ignored?

No, I transferred one WIP into an FO.
This one:

The lovely wintery Birch handspun that became a stupid hat back in January. The shaping idea I had for it didn’t work out and it sat stupidly on my head and I didn’t know what to do with it.
Eventually I just started wearing it without shaping it any further.. With the unwoven ends stuck under. I asked a few people and apparently it doesn’t look so stupid on me when I wear it like this, just plain, without folds.

So this is a finished WIP without any effort. I changed its status to “finished” on the project page and took this photo’s.  Then it’s official and true. This hat is finished! (Haven’t sewn in the ends of the hat yet, though.)

(I’m not better yet and I’m stupid cold, I’m wearing my handspun snow sweater from 2013)
So these are the current WIPs, the sock, the vest an the cardigan. Better knit on because the new Sock Madness pattern is about to drop any moment. (I forgot all my beads at the cabin!) Oh and I designed some more on the stranded mushroom vest. Slow going though. I’m never going to make it before the deadline of 19 May. Might bring the swatch with me for show and tell.

Knitter in Duplo… which WIP to knit?

These are the WIPs I so desperately wanted to start last Wednesday:
yarn works in progress
That’s three vests, one sock (slightly knitted since yesterday) and a crocheted hat. Laying them out here make me desperate again. So much startitus!

Yesterday, at the end of the day, I was well enough to get out of bed and have a little supper and do a little knitting. I needed mindless knitting so I started a new sock in blue-grey self striping yarn. It’s Wolop selfstriping Harry Potter yarn in the colour Ravelclaw. It’s very nice yarn! Beautifully plied and round and soft. The silver almost gleams. Very soothing to knit with.

I can’t wait to cast on of the other projects but I really shouldn’t start any at all. Not while these are the WIPs I’m currently actively working on:
yarn works in progress
That’s a vest, a cardigan and two pairs of socks.

There’s also this spinning project. Jeansblue Shetland, started about a week ago:

It already speaks to me, of an easy wearing pullover with a large cowl. This fleece is so soft…

I love sitting in front of the doors to the garden. It catches light in the second half of the day, as the cat will tell you. This is about half the fleece, carded in batts:

Hello. This is where the sun shines. Always.

Then there are these WIPs which all live near my knitting chair because I cannot wait to get back to them:
yarn works in progressyarn works in progressyarn works in progress
That’s three cardigans. Spring wearables.

For each one I just need to reread my notes or do some re-assessing before I can dive back in. But jus now, touching these, laying them out here, makes me want to knit themmmm! Because I want to wear themmmm! Spring will be here soon, maybe even next week! Especially the grey one and the rose one I’d love to wear next week. Better get knitting!

Oh and I also want to work on this project very very much:
yarn works in progressyarn works in progress
This is my view every morning when I get out of bed and it almost hurts.

Yes, I want to work on all of these! Any! Now! But which one first?

I’m so in Duplo…

Ak. New models. All cartoonesque. With easily projected personalities.
Is this the way forward? Should I put googley eyes on my projects and stash and see which one has the highest PR properties?

(Lets not mention the other WIPs, the ones in the closet. With the way things are going I’m afraid if I take them out to photograph them I fall in love with them all over again too and want to knit them instead.)
(Let also conveniently deny any knowledge of sewing. There’s just not enough time in the day.)

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.

being a Knitter on a Winter’s Day

knitter in the snow2
We made a little tour through the woods. I wore my Rikke hat, my Wolop Advent shawl, my handsewn owl skirt, my handspun legwarmers and my cardi-with-the-uneven-hem, Wintertrui 2014.

The handspun Birch hat has a brim now, in factory yarn, to offset the handspun:

But it’s not finished yet. I want to add additional shaping, to have it be a non-slouchy hat. The handspun is beautiful snowy:

I’m plying two of Iboy’s Bombyx silk spheres into these wintery yarns:

There’s a cake in progress:
Banana, ginger, lemon peel and kardemom seeds.

There’s furniture full of mordanted Shetland:
mordanted yarn
There’s cat-help:

And there are weird ME symptoms that still crop up now and then. Today: difficulty keeping balance.
knitter in the snow4

13 dec: winter knits, more owls and The Wrong White #2.

Today’s Wolop Advent colour is a midgrey. And the colour of the other day is x-mas green:

But alas, the white skein has not arrived, so I’m not progressing on my shawl. This is as far as I got:

The reindeer (more moose, like) and some small bands bringing back some colours. In the pink are little orange things and in my mind they are the tops of purple crowns. To celebrate a knitter friend who’s daughter performed for our Queen Maxima last weekend. She sang the solo in a performance with her class mates. Very proud.

All my Wolop Advent skeins and the shawl travel in a little suitcase:

In just a day or two I’ll be travelling for four days and this suitcase will come with.

This is how I looked yesterday, at my pattern drafting class:
sparkly ring wristwarmerssparkly ring wristwarmers
Very wintery palette. That’s the cheapest ring I ever had, something like 2 euro’s at the Kruidvat. It has little pearls and a silver butterfly and I love it! I’ve had it for years. It’s my magic winter ring.

Wearing my glittery Wolbeest wristwarmers. And mum, this is the bolero-thingie you gave me for my birthday. It’s perfect over my warm grey blue longsleeve and it sits high enough to show the bow on my red handmade dress.

If you’ve got a distinctive curve in the small part of your back, you’ve gotta emphasize it. The tighter things fit there, the looser things can be at the front, where I keep my fat rolls and ma belly. Smart waistless people, unite!

Talking about waists: the stranded owl vest and I…. we’re just not working together. Not sure of you can see it here but the two whites are pretty obvious in real life.

I’m going to relieve myself from this. I’m going to frog back to the owl part and cast off there. Perhaps I can use it as is.

Perhaps it’s time for stranded kidneywarmers to be in fashion again? I’ll see if it does anything for the small of my back. Or my belly.

In the same vein I realized that knitting up the very stripey sockyarn doesn’t give me pleasure. Perhaps the pleasure was in purchasing the skein.

I’ve marked this as “frogged” on Ravelry.

Instead I casted on with the indigo dyed sock yarn. Another leafy sock! The same pattern as the onion dyed and the woad dyed socks, but this time I’m doing cuff down.

pattern Blattwerk by Stephanie van der Linden. Not the best paid-for pattern out there. But lovely leafs!

I’ll be pretty relaxed with the leaf patterns, just winging it. Not trying to make the identical pattern. On needles 2 mm.

Remember this one?

I’m actually crocheting a border around this today!
I’d love to bring it with me to Midwinterwol, which starts the day after tomorrow for me, with a long drive up north.

It’s such a lovely and cosy piece of knitwear.
Others think so too:

7 december: just Wednesday

The wheat cookies and the chocolate from the past few days caught up with me. Last night I hardly slept and today I’m having an off day. Spend the morning making a fair isle pattern in, spend the afternoon in bed watching cat-videos.

Literally: we were watching videos for the cat. Ever since High Definition screens Lillepoes wants to watch tv.

Today’s advent colour is a friendly orange. The grey from yesterday is a gorgeous light blueish grey. They look wonderful together, enhanced by the brown from the day before before.

I tried to capture that fair isle pattern from the Japanese book I love but I had to redesign it for my stitch count and colours. It’s not that easy, you have to think in odd numbers, in rhythm and contrast. I hardly was able to today but that’s ok, perfectionism has no place in this shawl.

PS I embroidered eyes on the polar bears. The white blobs DID turn into polar bears.