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: changing direction

So I thought my Podcaster cowl looked a bit busy in fingering yarn, knit sideways:

So I bound off with an i-cord of three stitches and now I have an unblocked neckwarmer:

A neckwarmer that I’ve been wearing for two days now:

It’s so soft!

A neckwarmer that used up 40 grams of that Zitron Feinheit yarn. I would love to own more of it! Perhaps I do need to own more of it? Because now I have 60 grams of this ball left and I already have a neckwarmer so what’s there left to knit with it? A Hat? Would that be enough?

I think I need more of it. And a thicker version too, to knit that Podcaster sideways. I like this pattern, with its raised bumps. It’s a slow pattern though, in fingering weight. But that problem was solved the moment I changed directions.


Peabody Sweater is now a cowl and wristlets.

This sweater from 2014 has been too tight from the beginning:

Not a very pleasurable wear.

So this week, 3 years later and as many wears, I washed it on 60 degrees so now it’s as small as it feels:

(I remember that it took ages to knit this!

First I fooled around way too long with the lace pattern because, of course, I knew better than the designer <insert roll-eyes>

And then I knit the thing too tight. And the sleeves had to be redone. And I didn’t know how to bring sleeves and body together nor do I understand the three needle shoulder bind off. And it illustrated my time as a very sick person (ME). The sleeves didn’t fit a second time around either so in the end I inserted a gusset at the underarm:

Probably a second reason why I do not enjoy wearing this pullover. All the memories of frustration. A third reason is that it pills quite badly.)

That’s all moot now. Because I semi-felted it and then took my scissors to it and now I have a cowl and wristlets:

The body is the cowl, one sleeve gave me two wristlets.

The yarn is Studio Donegal Soft Donegal, a 100% Merino, and it’s soft. Lovely to wear now that the Winter is making a second appearance. Or maybe that just me being bit coldish after our Germany trip. I’m still very tired from that. I went outside today for the first time since we came back but I still have to rest a lot.

Resting indoors in a 100% Merino cowl that covers half your head is not bad 🙂

Casting On.

Is only possible if I put on a cat-video for Lillepoes:

cat watching video for cats. Birman

She was meowing and in my face for an hour before I resorted to this.

The pattern is Podcaster by Susan Ashcroft and I’m knitting it sideways, into a tube.

 pic by Susan Ashcroft

The pattern gives gauge for different sizes and different yarn weights.

The yarn is that soft soft souvenir-yarn from Lüneburg, Zitron Feinheit. 16 micron! Babies and (other) bald headed people will not object to this.

 Is this grey? Is this blue? Purple even?

It’s also well plied so there’s no pilling yet and I don’t stick my needle into the yarn too often while knitting. I like this yarn so much that I endure continious purl and knit sequences (such as ribbing), something that I do not do voluntarily often because it slows me down and I have to look at my hands most the time.

So it’s ok for the cat to hog the computer, I can’t read or watch anything while knitting this. If you’re wondering, this is the video Lillepoes enjoys.

cat watching video for cats. Birmancat watching video for cats. Birmancat watching video for cats. Birmancat watching video for cats. Birman

Look how far I’ve come thanks to High Resolution screens and some person who thought up the idea of making a long video of squirrels and birds being fed, so that cats could watch, so that people could knit in peace:

This is not what we envisioned when we thought about the future in the ’70s. Flying cars and high rise jungle and zoo’s. But not this.

23 dec: digging it.

Once upon a time I had a great afternoon:

And today my new x-mas cookie cutter arrived:
digger cookie cutter
Ahh, it’s the season to be joyous!

X-mas cookies and bombyx x-mas balls:
digger cookie cutter

Me in the digger was about ten years ago, when we had just bought the cabin. We were clearing the rich top soil of the meadow next to it. In the poorer under-soil native herbs have more of a chance to grow. The rich soil got shoveled into man-high ridges, on top of which we planted apple trees.

In between the ridges there are now sheltered micro climates and the amount of dragon flies is absurd. Lots of herbs too, with lots of different bees and bumble bees on them.

Diggers made it into my Advent shawl:

And I learned that in plain rows I should knit a little tighter because ruffles.

Today’s colour is a green blue:

It’s in a small band above the diggers.

11 dec: the need for order & control

So today’s Advent colour is actually tomorrow’s colour. And the colour of two days later. The missing white is really making me stressed and I solved it by peeking at the days to come and finding two very light colours I can use to bring some light contrast into the shawl.

Yes, it’s cheating.
No, I don’t mind one bit.

This Advent Shawl is a game of pleasure and I want to enjoy my knitting.
I really like knitting stranded every day for a bit, thinking up patterns, trying them out in StitchFiddle, enjoying the flow of the quality yarn through my fingers.

And although I do like working within a pre-set frame of rules -it invites you to be creative- I’m not going to let one of the rules hamper my knitting pleasure.

Besides, I’m pretty stressed these days, feeling overwhelmed and incompetent with all the things on the to-do list that I’m not getting done. I don’t need the extra aggrevation of colour contrast troubles.

As an illustration of my need for order & control today I knitted little pink squares:

The next part are reindeer. Today’s the Swedish Julemarket in Groningen, a 3 hour train ride from here. I would have loved to have gone so much! But really I can’t.
So reindeer 🙂

Hopefully tuesday the white skein comes. I was contacted by the webshop owner late last night that she had read my mail and she would send the skein monday asap!
Until then she’s at the Swedish Julemarket, lucky her.

For the rest of my stress I’m telling myself: “Calm down already!”
Which is a useless phrase to throw at someone who’s stressed.

Useless, unless they’ve been handed the tools to calm down. Which I have. So here I go, calming down:

1. I’m safe, warm and nurtured. If I connect to my body and ask if we have any reason to be stressed it will respond: “noooo?”.
If I connect to my body I can enjoy some time with it and experience how happy it is, being safe, warm and nurtured. This will lower my stress levels fast.

This is what Mindfullness or a hot bath or Reverse Therapy or sitting in the garden with a cup of tea all do. Very important life skills to have.

If you do them a couple of times a day, let’s say two times a day, the calming down becomes a habit and you can enter that state with just one breath, anytime. No more “Fight or Flight”.

I myself was amused to discover there’s a whole other way time can pass. Not in seconds. Different.
I suspect this is what cats and cows experience when they’re peacefully resting.
just relax pic by Christian Pichler

2. Soooo….all stress I perceive today is mental stress, every subject brought on by myself, chosen to deem important.
That means I can pick and choose from this list. Ban some of them to the back of my mind, or even just ignore them. My husband proposes the need for making and sending x-mas cards as the first item to scrap. I’m not there yet, I want to create things.
Another one is not subjecting myself to the way news is reported. It’s all so manipulative and fear mongering and enticing. This one has been pushed out long ago. I follow investigative journalism and documentaries instead.
Subjecting yourself to the emotional format a Disney film follows is another one. I don’t need an orchestrated cry 45 minutes into a movie.

Other to-do items I can lump together and allow a time slot: “Tomorrow morning, 20 minutes, to do some of those administrative things that have been looming.”

3. Thirdly I chose two things each day to put on top of my to-do list. A useful, grown up thing such as reviewing the painters’ offers or health assurance reassessment. And a thing that makes me happy, such as sewing or taking a bath. There’s not much time for anything else really, with the time it takes to maintain my body and my household. So if (any of) these two things get done I’m glad and accomplished for the day.

And that’s how I handle stress.
In theory.
In reality I don’t do the “sit still for five minutes and notice how your body is safe and happy”, not even once a day. But I will today. Sit still. Except for hands, let them move, holding yarn.

Yeah, that’s what I’m doing today. Sit in my living room and knit for a bit, enjoy the advent things on display, the tree, the moose, the snoring cats. Have a cup of tea. Five minutes of not having to do anything in particular. Just breathing and noticing my body is safe, warm and nurtured.

internet meme from comic Gunshow by artist K.C. Green

Finished: Cashmere cowl, Rikke hat and handspun.

pattern Pudorosa neckwarmer by Lia Moya
I used 24 grams of the 100% cashmere. Needles 3,75mm

So stylish! This will be very welcome in the Fall in the city. The colour is excellent.

Rikke hat is finished and blocked too:

pattern Rikke Hat by Sarah Young. I used up all the handspun I had: 70 grams in the hat and 5 grams in the pompom.

It’s rather big but I’ve been assured this is hip. So I’m expecting compliments from random dudes with manicured beards and fixed gear bicycles soon. Or is that not hipster, complimenting strangers in the street? We’ll find out this Fall, stay tuned.

The handspun for the vest is also finished and the twist is set:

It’s so bouncy! 682 m of sportsweight going on DK. Handspun always needs a bigger needle than commercial yarn of the same weight.

I put in a marker at the end of the skein that’s more variegated than the other. A reminder that I want to start a top down vest from the other end of the skein and have the more heathered fabric at the hem of the vest.

The coloured single was plied with a merino/bombyx silk single which is not a cool bright white but more of a warm toned off-white. The whole skein now has a warmish tone to it. Not something I favour at this moment but come Winter I’ll probably be glad with it.

I’ve already chosen a pattern: Flinders Sweater Vest :

Top down, a round neck, seamless, with raglans to shape the neck opening. I started this pattern with the sibling handspun of this skein, the green(purple), last November. But I tried to be smarter than the pattern and it went all wrong:

I frogged it and made Hilja vest  with the green(purple) instead:

after I rewrote Hilja into a top down approach. Which I find too fiddly for this time so top down Flinders it will be! As soon as I’m done staring the handspun dry.

This was all photographed in the last minute of sunshine. After this it turned dark and rain clouds gathered. It’s expected to last the rest of the week but we’ll see.

Finished: Trees Shawl and: Who I am.

Trees Shawl is finished:

The handspun ridges bulge out nicely. The white ones, which are a tiny bit scratchy, stand away from my sensitive neck skin, just as planned.
The gorgeous grey-green-blue colour is more prominent near my face, working well with my colouring. The lady who did my colour analysis approves.

Dimensions unblocked are 23 x 73 cm.
It weighs 100 grams exactly.

93 m of the white handspun
125 m of that lovely handspun Mountain Queen
273 m of the BC Garn Semilla Fino. It’s a Danish brand.

I ended with a lace border:
1) k, yo, k, k ,ssk, p, k2tog, k, k, yo
2) k all

This is how I’ll mostly wear it, because I get so cold around my head. And, somehow, covered ears make me feel safe and secure. Probably a treat I share with persons on the spectrum.

I can also wear it as a shawl, with a shawl pin.

Oops, should have cropped the picture better. Ends were not woven in.

I so love the grey-green handspun!
I remember fondly spinning that “Mountain Queen” during the winter. It resonated so much with me. The colours, the fibres, the spindle, the ring:

It reminds me of Norway and of the sense of snow in the air. Of fairy castles inside mountains and of skilled handling of natural materials. Of having breathing room and of being alive, larger than the mere urban human who lives by the clock.

Today I have the Summer variant of the same sentiment as a favourite colour board and substance board on my Ravelry profile page:

This is who I am.

TdF day 2 & progress Trees cowl

I made three yarns today and am working on a fourth.

a two ply in bluegreen silk, only 28 m out of 5 grams but it can be a nice line of interest in a project.

a skein of beautiful fairylike greens and lilacs. 187 metres, 70 grams, sportsweight.

25 grams into 112 m of Long Draw Hampshire Down. I’ve been spinning this for a year now…. I’ve got 718 metres now. Not quite enough yet.

I actually watched this etappe of the Tour. It was fun to see typical Dutch landscapes being filmed. Spectators along every mile of the road, many had come by bike because that’s how we Dutch roll.

Here’s my Trees cowl in progress:

The free pattern Trees by Puk Vossen:

Mine is about 70 cm lang and 25 cm wide (50 cm circumference).
It’s a nice wimple, it can be worn covering both my neck and head.

The strips of (white) handspun bulge outward nicely, they will not touch my neck and itch.
I alternate the blue and white in a rhythm so that I have more blue at the top than white. The blue handspun is soft enough to wear next to sensitive skin.

Today along the road near Haastrecht:

Finished: Willow Trace Cowl

It’s not extra long…

but it’s extra luscious!

It’s the Willow Trace that I mentioned earlier.
I used up all the handspun Pimmie spun, in lovely BFL. 319 m on needles 3 mm.

It’s both a cowl and a wimple. The two items I wear the most because I’m often cold. No scratch that, I’m often cool. Chill. That’s me. The cool need cowls.