the WIPs benefit from Italian icecream

One mitt for Francis finished!

I got all doubt-y because the yarn is not soft but a bit scratchy and I wouldn’t want to wear these all day. But I send her a message and she replied that she’s fine with natural wool texture so I started the next one.

In the mean time I knitted a few crazy stripes:

Each stripe takes hours and hours. That’s great! I do have to mind my tension though.

Concrete Cardi is here:

But the cold weather has gone and with it the urgency to finish it. Also I knitted this while watching an interesting and intense detective series that ended like a collapsed soufflé. (it was Mosaic, with Sharon Stone).
I’m not sure I can knit it to anything else now. It needs some sort of transition association. Is that weird?

Fee Dragee socks, the qualifying sock for Sock Madness, are my mindless knitting project. I knit it in the car, while walking or when waiting somewhere. I changed the design and am adding a plain stockinette stitch foot to it. Looking forward to putting in a pink toe:

My other sock is going slowly:

Chance Socks in cat sock month yarn. Not doing too much on it now because of the other WIPs.

I’m also still busy designing the stranded Art Nouveau vest. I balled up the skeins and it was very inspirational colourwise and contrast wise:

I’ve divided the mushroom-yarn I want to use  dark and light colours because contrast is very important.

I now love to look at them every day. It really helps to contemplate designs based on typical Dutch imagery.

But I had to put them in protecting bags because of a certain furry yarn snob in the house:

While thinking about the vest I needed to knit something stranded SO BADLY that I started a sweet little stranded pullover:

It’s a go on the fly thing, I’m making it up as I go, based on this shirt of Miffy:

But in green. And top-down.

It’s a very Dutch imagery, don’t you agree? I’ll write about the knitting some other time.

Also last weekend it was very VERY cold. VERY COLD. Minus 10 degrees. I still had an Italian citrus yoghurt cone because I had been looking forward to it for the four days while we were at the cabin, working on the court case. And Spring was about to begin.

This weekend it’s much warmer. Spring is here. Today the city was buzzing with people enjoying themselves. Having drinks on terrasses.

Again we’ve been working hard on the court case. So this afternoon I went out and had another ice cream. And then the Italian gentleman recognized my voice and called from the kitchen: “You’re back again?!”

(I may have been there a couple of times during the week too. You know, because Spring was here and is that the 20th or the 21st? Well, celebrate both I say. And I worked hard. I love the handmade citrus yoghurt ice cream, it’s with full cream and no added sugars.)

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sparkly snow stitch markers

I just worked until I ran out of beads and thread. Now I have 38 markers and won’t need any more of these till I’m 120 years of age!

Some unused earrings were sacrificed for these, hee hee. So smart. Moonstone, vintage Chech glass.

These are simple, beginner stitchmarkers. I was taught how to make them by pattern designer and beading artist Marleen from Dutch Knitting Design. She works in a professional league when it comes to markers:




all these pictures are by DutchKnittingDesign

making stitch markers

ooh shiny!
inspiration:
my first stitch marker finished:

my second one. It’s more functional than the first one:

A good dog, called Santenay:

Equally good dog, by the name of Cava:

plans:

I like real glass beads and semi-precious stones. The leaf beads are from Chechoslowakia. The clear leaf in my first markers is a vintage pressed glass bead from Prague, they were used in elaborate chandeliers.

At the cabin with Lillepoes

I’ve been at the cabin all week, with Lillepoes. She has been utterly delighted to be here, I’ve never received so much cuddles, head butts and chirping.

I have not done much knitting. I expected that to go differently and I brought a ton of knitting along but it’s all still here, ready to go home with me tomorrow:

All week I’ve been outside, chopping wood. A few trees had come down with the storm a month ago. The weather has been fabulous, sunny with crisp clear skies.

In between chopping wood I’ve been going inside, making notes for the upcoming court cases against the manure plant they are planning in this adjacent field:

The management of the plant have upped the pressure on me over the past few weeks, to get me to drop the court cases, and it’s not been easy. But we manage: I reset my “easy there now honey” button many times a day, invoking the Relaxation Response that gets the Central Nervous System out of Fight or Flight and into Rest & Digest.
Lovely nature helps:

Today is our last day here. Tomorrow Lillepoes and I go back to the city. I’m planning to return here soon though, it’s lovely just being out and about.

A while ago I finished the new foot on these socks :

I’ll be wearing them a lot I suspect, there’s a bout of cold temperatures coming to Europe.

I have knitted some more on the Sun on February Snow cardigan and I’m ready to fit it this Sunday morning, to see where we are for length of yoke and separating of sleeves:

I’d love to insert stripes with this colourway and I like how my stitchmarker matches this anticipation:

Yesterday we visited the organic farm I get my eggs and fleeces from, Laan van Wisch. Farmer Francis was wearing the wrist warmers I knit from her own flock:

They were well worn! She uses them every day, she says, and is ever so careful with them. But I could see there were getting smaller and thinner. A little end at the thumb had come loose and she was worried. I fixed it then and there, it was just a woven end that had come undone. But she really needs to get new ones!

Secretly I resolved to knit her new ones and in the mean time I gave her the ones I happened to have with me:

I love this mitts! Handspun from happy colours dyed by knitting tea and herbes merchant Tibbe:

It’s soft merino with sparkly nylon.

They were a replacement for another set of happy coloured mitts that I wore until they fall apart:

Susie’s Reading Mitts (Archived) by Dancing Ewe Yarns.

Knitted in 2010, in two days if my project page is to be believed: 29th and 30th of March, 2010. Back then I was very ill and very cold. I wore these indoors and the happy colours lifted my mood 🙂

They were spun from this roving, in 2009, and that’s probably one of the first rovings I spun:

The replacement mitts from Tibbe-roving have made me happy, both spinning them and knitting them. I remember loving the roving 🙂 Ha! These mitts were also knit in two days! July 4 and 5, 2013. Started the day I finished spinning the yarn. I was probably willing the yarn to dry. Probably hung it outside, in a bush, right here at the cabin.

These mitts I’ve never worn. Their thumbs were knitted too tight in 2013 and apparently I waited a full year before giving them new thumbs. By then I’d pretty much stopped wearing mitts with thumbs, I now prefer cuffs or full sized mittens and gloves. I’ve also stopped wearing bright colours so these mitts have not seen much use at all.

Now they will make Francis happy!
I hope she wears them vigorously and that they are full of holes by the time I see her next and hand her new mittens from her own spun fleece:

Hela Hola!

Today I’m frogging projects that nag me. It’s part of tradition in the Dutch Karma Swap Group on Ravelry where we encourage each other to free ourselves:

Rockefeller shawl went from this:

to this:

because I cannot figure out a nice way to knit the two “wings” without it becoming a very nautical blue white striped thing. Which I wasn’t going to wear.

Now it will become a sweater. Because that’s half a yoke right there! Add another half to it, pick up stitches at the icord and start knitting downwards. Before you know it you’re separateing for the sleeves!

Luckily I knit the blue part of the back all in one thread, without breaking the yarn. All I have to do is soak the yarn and I have a brand new skein to knit with.

Summer cardigan Emma Arlene lost her empire lace part:

I had chosen a tedious stitch for that part and it has kept me from knitting on it for xx years now. Time to frog! (it was Echo Flower Stitch, a beautiful stitch).

I’m going to reknit the lace part in an easier stitch.This is Wollmeise Lace yarn and should knit up easy. Do have to soak the yarn first to get the crinkles out.

And I frogged the Wolbeest Cat Sock Blank, to de-crinkle the yarn, so I can knit with it. Here’s the blank front and back:

which explains why the yarn looks speckled like this:

The black dye didn’t soak through the thread in places which will result in varying dark contrast in the knitted fabric. It makes me think that this yarn will look very good in a sock pattern with a stitch pattern in it. Looking forward to start.

So that’s a third skein of yarn that needs to be soaked. I also have some skeins from the spinning wheel from the past two months that need soaking. And knitting! As soon as I feel like it I will have a soak and centrifuge session in the basement.

Lastly I cleaned up some more in my ravelry project page. Changed statussen to “frogged” or “finished” for projects I know I’ll never use, not even their yarn, or will frog at a later date.

Ravelry automatically reverts meterage of yarn back to your stash when you frog a project. Omg I have so much yarn now…. let’s just see if Ravelry also tallies the totals.

The total meters in my stash are:

125777,3 meter!!!

125 kilometers 78 miles of yarn!

Ding! Ding! Ding!
Typical Dutch Street Organ pic by Marielle Plomp
Better start knitting.

Pooling cat hat: tortie princess keeps me on my toes.

I back engineered the stitch pattern from the pooling shawl by Leikna that I like so much and casted on 60 stitches:

There’s some stacking but the black centre part is slowly shifting to the left.

At the Pooled Knits group I learned that the trick is to count your stitches: how many do I make with black, how many with orange? So I started to keep track:

I tracked everything. The amount of stitches per colour, how many orange stitches before turning the work, the amount of stitches in a Right Side row compared to a Wrong side row. In the end I noticed some consistencies.

One of them being I made 70 stitches on a WS and 64 on a RS. Don’t ask me to explain, WS does not have more stitches than RS.

Loes, the tortie princess who lend her name to this colourway, is not having it and does ask me to explain:
 pic by Anneke
My humble apologies Loes. It probably has to do with how many stitches I make in one particular colour: I make more stitches out of one colour when working on a WS than on a RS. Conclusion: my tension on the back is tighter than on the front. Solution: knit all WS with a needle one size up. Thank you Loes.

I adjusted total stitch count (to 64 st) and then I took the middle of a black part of the yarn and started knitting with it in the middle stitch of a row. I now do the RS’s with a 2 mm needle and the WS’s with a 2,25 mm.

And whaddayaknow, colours are stacking!
I marked the change row with my needle:

Wrong Side for better colour identification:

I’m still swatching and counting:

The skein has two black parts and one is little bit shorter than the other. But numbers are consistent: black is always either around 11 stitches or around 22 stitches. Maybe I can make it so that I get the shorter part (11 stitches) on a WS… Oh, it already is! Good.

The other thing is that the stitchpattern has yarn overs (YO) and this makes my hat full of holes. I’m a loose knitter after all. I tried a few rows increasing in other ways but it throws off the whole tension thing and I would have to start a whole new swatch with a different number of cast on. I’m not up for that. I hate swatching and setting up a pooled knit depends on the swatch. So holey hat it is.

I’ll keep tracking numbers a little while longer:

I’m neeeearly there, nearly at The Magic Number as it’s called amongst pooling knitters and crocheters. I now keep track of the middle stitch of my fabric. The middle of the black part should always hit it: identical amount of black stitches to the left and right of it.

It’s not totally there, things are veering off a little bit. I think I need to add one stitch on the left side to get it there. Which is what I will swatch now. I just continue knitting on this swatch. Eventually it will be the real project and when finished I can choose to cut of the lower part or fold it inside for a double fabric brim of my hat.

Bonus picture of Loes as a kitten:
 pic by Anneke
Oww, that face! Those toes!

UPDATE:

Things are working out!

I pin a stitch marker through the middle of the black colour repeat and try to make it hit the middle stitch of the knitting. It’s may be off by one or maybe two stitches and then I adjust the tension in the following row. An entertaining knit, it sure keeps me on my toes.

But now I want to change the stitch pattern! I don’t get the beautiful fern-like/ fox face lines that Leika’s shawl has:

Or is the beauty mainly because all knit stitches are twisted? I’ll have to investigate. But then my tension will change! And the pooling. And the size of my knitted piece…

That’s “tortitude knitting” for you.

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.

Accio Potter Soccus!

My Ravenclaw sock is my travel WIP. It’s selfstriping yarn with a mini for heel, toe and cuff. All handdyed and skeined into a ball that changes colour with each direction by Wolop.

That ball is fun to knit with!

I want to utilize as much of the striping yarn as possible. So for my second sock I’ve done a provisional cast on and when the foot is finished I’ll go back and knit as high a leg as possible. Half a leg, because I want to use the rest of the yarn on the first sock.

I really like it, being in Potter-world again. I always reread a book or watch one of the films around this time. This year I also read a curious fan-dom fiction about a Harry Potter who grew up in the Muggle world as the son of smart parents. He’s very smart himself, very rational too. To the point where I’m convinced he’s a sociopath, or at least his writer is.

It’ a great read but to enjoy it you’d probably have to be a Ravenclaw or Slytherin yourself. There’s a lot of thinking and scheming going on, not much loyalty and friendship.

Anyway. Pottersocks! They’re fun to knit!

Now see here what Wolop announced:

The Wolop Harry Potter Sock Club!

She’s starting a sock yarn club in 2018 with a Harry Potter colour way every month! 120 gram! Plus goodies! For 25 euros!

Mannnnnn……

This is the announcement for the January installment:

Owl post. The first installment is called Owl Post!

One skein of 100 grams plus a mini of 20 grams (that’s a big mini!). And goodies. If you want to participate, email Wolop at info@wolop.nl

Unghhhh, this one is hard to resist. But resist I must! Because there’s a second monthly yarn club she’s going to be running and I have already put my name down for: The Wolop Artist Fingering Yarn Club!

Again 120 gram of specifically dyed yarn! Plus goodies! For 25 euros including domestic shipping! Inspired by one specific artist! If you need to know more you can email to info@wolop.nl

The January artist is:

I love Van Gogh.
He’s all about the colours. And the expression of feelings.

Which Hogwarts House would have suited him?

…. I’m thinking …
Hufflepuf.

Because although he was ambitious, courageous and thought a lot about the true nature of things, his main trait is the connection he felt for the people he painted which were also the people in his life. The love radiates from the canvas. The pain too, like when he paints the hard working farmers.

Loyalty to human kind as a whole is very palpable in the works. It must have lived in the man too.

 art The Dark Starry Knight by James Hance

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: