Weird Wool Wednesday: Poppy Toes All Around.

My secret name for Poekie is “Poppy toes”:
poppy toes poppy deed pudding pie far breton maanzaad flan taart

All toes hidden, wearing that concerned torty look that dissipates fast when petted:

poppy toes poppy deed pudding pie far breton maanzaad flan taartpoppy toes poppy deed pudding pie far breton maanzaad flan taart

I made a far breton with poppy seeds:
poppy toes poppy deed pudding pie far breton maanzaad flan taart

and I’m knitting bed socks, from happily dyed yarn from 2010:

They are tubular socks, with thread held double. Tubular socks do not have a sole or an instep. They do have increases and a wider tube where my heel will be. But it won’t matter how I wear them, they are always the right way up.

We got a 300+ page document from the lawyer of the manure plant today. Home work for the court case of next week. On top of all the documents from the past year and a half that I should study!
We put in a formal complaint, no big new documents ought to have been submitted since last Monday. But I have a nagging feeling it’s part of their strategy, that they are manipulating me and that I am doing their bidding. But to what purpose? Did they want me to put in that complaint? Do they want the hearing to be postphoned? Or do they just want to bury me in documents so I won’t be properly prepared? It’s a weird strategic game, this business.

I’ve taken up yoga. To deal with the hip bursitis and get some stress relief. Yoga…who’da tunk… Me and my nagging A personality on a yogamat, measuring me against other people and needing to be better. Me, an absolute yoga beginner! It’s laughable if it wasn’t so annoying.

Well, I’m trying to ignore that competitive side. It now seems I have another side buried inside me. A sweet, loveable side. One that doesn’t need to win. I like that side. I know it from when I was just turning the corner during my illness. I could lie on the couch in the cabin, and I didn’t need to do anything. Be anyone. I could just lie there, look outside to nature, and just enjoy the view, the sunlight, the time.

I like that side. I want to spend more time with it. I’ve given it Bikram yoga which is a hot, slow yoga where you cannot do anything else but be there and enjoy the time. It’s nice. It’s like tubular socks: it doesn’t matter which side is up, it’s all good.

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Weird Wool Wednesday: the little things (aka Girl Fortification Floofs)

I did it! I baked a far breton that was edible:
far bretonfar breton
I put it on one of my nice, vintage cake platters. Just to please myself 🙂

Lillepoes was very pleased with herself today. She managed to express her wish to me to go on safari in the little shed. And I complied! A story in pictures:
cat gets human to do her bidding. Birmancat gets human to do her bidding. Birmancat gets human to do her bidding. Birmancat gets human to do her bidding. Birmancat gets human to do her bidding. Birman

cat gets human to do her bidding. Birmancat gets human to do her bidding. Birman

I closed the door and left her there for about ten minutes. In the dark. She likes to explore and climb on top of things in the dark. But today there were not enough mystery boxes and high things. Just a couple of cushions. When I opened the door again I got complaints:
cat gets human to do her bidding. Birmancat gets human to do her bidding. Birmancat gets human to do her bidding. Birman
cat gets human to do her bidding. Birmancat gets human to do her bidding. Birman

We end the story with a cleanly finished off bowl full of Fancy Old Cat Fortification Food and a back paw stretch that predicts a wash and a nice long nap:
cat gets human to do her bidding. Birman

While Lillepoes snored on the couch I did a little more sewing. This is my sewing corner in the cabin. It’s surrounded by friendliness and loveliness:
naaien naaihoekje naaimachine Janomenaaien naaihoekje naaimachine Janome
This is where I put my waste threads and such:
naaien naaihoekje naaimachine Janome
It’s a sheepy magnet.

I wore these pins today, just to make myself giggle:
cat gets human to do her bidding. Birman

And these handspun socks:
cat gets human to do her bidding. Birman
Fancy Old Girl Fortification Floofs.

In the afternoon we were to drive back to the city. Before that I had a little walk around the property. Just say hello/goodbye to all the trees and animals. In the back, in the little patch of forest, I filled the little pond with some extra water. It has been extraordinarily dry the past couple of weeks and the water level was getting too low for all the tadpoles that live there:
natuur weide hommel zweefvlieg Achterhoeknatuur tadpoles kikkervisjes Achterhoek

A little walk in our meadow. No horseflies, no mosquitoes.
natuur weide hommel zweefvlieg Achterhoeknatuur weide hommel zweefvlieg Achterhoeknatuur weide hommel zweefvlieg Achterhoeknatuur hommel weide akkerrand koolwitje Achterhoek bramen braamnatuur hommel weide akkerrand koolwitje Achterhoek bramen braam

Now I’m back in the city. Lillepoes complained all the way here.
Now she’s sleeping on my husbands lap (he’s always so warm, the cats love him).

I just had a little bike ride into the centre and got some buttons for my monkey blouse:
naaien naaihoekje naaimachine Janome

Now I’ll go set up my sewing corner here and maybe do a little sewing. I’ll see about arranging some nice and lovely things around my sewing spot here too. At the cabin it was more important to me than I had imagined so I’d like some here too.

Weird Wool Wednesday: “Why grandmother, how tired you look!”

I haven’t touched my knitting since I came back from the cabin on Sunday. And I will be going back tomorrow, with the same bunch of knitting. Untouched.

In the mean time I’ve been sewing a bit (the block for my dress shirt is neeeeearly perfect now) and sleeping a lot. Apparently I need to, I’m really really tired. I finished the big legal report last week and I had another deep tissue massage yesterday and whenever I take my rest during the day I just fall asleep for an hour.

I’ve also not been sleeping well. Due to the stress and the warm weather and working men starting work outside my house at half past seven in the morning and me with my usual insomnia from 3 to 6 AM.

And I’ve been drawing Little Red Riding Hood. Now that the legal writing is done I want to get back to drawing. I’ve set myself the task to draw LRRH every week day of July. And just like with every home work you get assigned, I have a healthy reluctance to start… even though I enjoy drawing so very very much.

So instead of starting my drawing of today I’ve been writing this blog post to you, using much more words than necessary for a Weird Wool Wednesday post. I also just went out and got myself an Italian ice cream and the girl gave me smaller scoops than everybody before me. I didn’t dare to say anything so I nervously jabbered on about how the last time there was a big air pocket under the ice cream. “Ah but this time I pressed it all down!” she said. So I smiled and left. But as I unlocked my bicycle I discovered this ice cream too had an air pocket near the bottom and even less ice cream then it appeared to have. So I went back in, all nervous and apologetic. She wasn’t pleased but she gave me another half scoop. And now I can never go back again and get an ice cream.

At home I discovered at the bottom there’s only syrup, no ice cream. Ugly sweet syrup (mango citrus. The ice cream itself is yoghurt. It’s delicious! In the right combination.) I put the remainder in the fridge but the happiness has gone out of my treat.

I don’t know why it got to me so much, must have been all the stresses from last weeks, but tears welled in my eyes. Did you know Tour de Fleece starts this weekend? I can’t spin with my hip bursitis so I am extra extra to be pitied. And there’s also a western jackdaw outside our house that misses a foot. But still has a family and doesn’t seem to mind so why am I crying?

My husband held me for a bit. And now I’m writing this. And now I will show you my drawings and they will cheer me up and then I will start today’s drawing. Cheers!

Weird Wool Wednesday: bursitis and wipitis

The bursitis is nearly solved! The cause is tensed up muscles in upper leg and buttocks. They squish the bursea against the hip bone, getting them irritated and inflamed.

My muscles tensed up because I’ve gotten “swole” in February:

I didn’t get particular muscular but I lost the bloating in my belly and as a result I stand, sit and walk with my muscles actively engaged. So much proud!
Coto on the rock Coto the tiger. Pic by Tambako The Jaguar

I lost the bloating by eating FODMAP and Low Residue. Both for medical reasons: I now sleep 6 hours instead of 4,5! This is amazing. My whole life I’ve woken every night in a jolt after 4,5 hours. Yes, really. I’m 46 now and I’ve probably have not slept through the night more than two hundred times in my life. It’s why my adrenals broke.

Anyhoo. Hoo knoo? Bursitis without a clear cause can be because your muscles got too tense. Apparantly you’ve got to relax your muscles every day? Did you knoo? And not by exercising but by taking a bath, by going to the sauna, by doing yoga or by having someone massage them. I did not knoo!

I learned this all last week, when I had my first Deep Tissue massage to loosen up those tense muscles. That’s not a relaxing massage by the way… that’s a massage that makes you squirm and try to hobble of the table.
High Fivepic by Ashley Buttle
But it works wonders!

I’ve only had one massage and already the pain is gone. I did have a massive reaction though, from all the waste products getting loose from the muscles and floating around my body before I could pee them out. Head ache, nausea. Drink liters of water. Next week I have my next massage and then one more and then the bursitis is probably gone!

As long as I make Muscle Relaxing a part of my days.
Monday Baths pic by Danny Barron

Because I can only do one sensible thing per week I’ve started another vest with the yarn I got at Wolbeest last Saturday, with a provisional cast on at the back, working my way up to the neck line and shoulder straps:

Totally ignoring that my upper back is an ice cone swimmer triangle.

Weird Wool Wednesday: clay, smoke, wool and cats.

I made a yarn bowl!
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
It’s ceramics, Raku pottery.

I had given myself a course in Raku pottery as a reward for all the work I do for the court case against the manure plant near the cabin. Turns out we have an excellent pottery facility nearby, the same venue with the black smith where we forged our knives (our previous reward for the same reasons). I was knitting Raku socks then:

Yesterday was kiln day. Raku kilns get over 1000 degrees hot. So we were using leather gloves and were instructed to wear long sleeves and legs and garments without meltable plastics in it.
What better protection than wool?
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

Out of the kiln into the reduction chamber. The piece is so hot it sets the saw dust alight:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery  raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

Freshly scrubbed yarn bowl, with white glaze and green glaze:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

This little bowl has the same green glaze as my yarn bowl but turned out bright copper red. Raku is magic!
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
It has to do with the reduction of oxygen and/or possibly me losing track of time and leaving it in the reduction chamber for far longer than the 10 minutes it was supposed to be.

Scrub section:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
Who knew you have to work hard after firing? After it gets out of the reduction chamber it’s covered in sooth which has to be scrubbed away. With water and sand and elbow grease.

We did the firing at the home of the teacher, the lovely and very capable Carla Teer. She has a studio near her house and makes pottery and animals in various techniques:

One of her other joys is gardening and we were in her amazing garden, filled with my favourites such as geranium, akelei, ranoncles. The way she positiones them, with lots of interesting leaf shapes, getting bigger with distance, is a delight.
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
Because of my hip bursitis I can only stand or lie down. So I had a few lie downs in the garden and it was great. With big trees overhead and birds picking up grubs for their young. There were pimpelmezen nestling near the studio shed and they kept popping in and out, checking us out.

There were chickens too!
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

We had a lovely pot luck lunch:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

In the big oak I heard sparrows which are growing rare in the Netherlands now that unkept pieces of grass are groomed away by city workers and farmers only farm corn and no grains. Corn that feeds the very manure plants I fight against. It bypasses the cow and is put directly into the plant to aid the fermenting (anaerobic digestion) because manure does not ferment easily by itself.

Anyhow. Dealing with this kind of inconsistencies (“kuch kuch stupidities!“) is what earned me my raku session. Raku and cats!

I made some cats to rest my brushes on:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery
My friends said they look like little old bones. I don’t have friends.
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

I took the colouring from Lillepoes: off white back, black tail and legs and white toes.
lillepoes

Look at that beautiful cracquelee (and Lillepoes butt):
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

Carla has cats too including this one who lives to a very old age despite the fact he never gets food:
raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery  raku stoken veghel heesch first time pottery

Aww… so sad 😉

I had a wonderful day yesterday! Today I wanted to finish scrubbing the Raku but I also just received a call about some new manure plant stupidity so my Wednesday is looking like break is over and I need to fire up.

Weird Wool Wednesday: throw cookies at dragons when they misbehave.

I met a dragon yesterday!
dragon castle Heeswijk the Netherlands

I was on a solo outing to enjoy the Summer weather. I had some tea and cookies at Castle Heeswijk:
kasteel Heeswijk paaltjekasteel Heeswijk paaltje

I also met a bit of timber:
kasteel Heeswijk paaltje
kasteel Heeswijk paaltjekasteel Heeswijk paaltje
Aiie!
The drivers door got jammed, I had to crawl in through the passenger’s door. Have I mentioned I have bursitis in both hips? These antics are not welcome.

At home the dragon on my sock got all huffy and messed up its stitch count. Lillepoes roared in disapproval.

And then lead by example: always ignore tantrum dragons.


(Does anybody else’s cat show affection and communication by stretching a hind leg? Lillepoes does.)

Today I brought the car to a garage run by and for women. It was a pleasant experience.
damesgarage ladies car shop vrouwengarage de dames van hurkmans den bosch dedamesvanhurkmans
My cat fabric WIP bag matched the decor. There was tea and cookies! They fixed the door and the paint while I waited for a very reasonable price. Vakgarage The Ladies of Hurkmans

I haven’t looked at the sock today. But I did sew a shirt at sewing lessons in cat fabric with a fish shaped pocket:
cat help catfabric fabric sewingcat help catfabric fabric sewing
Ofcourse. Cat-help needed when taking pictures.

A fun pocket on my cat shirt:
cat help catfabric fabric sewing

I also thought of sewing a little fish and attach it to the sleeve. A little snack/ companion:
cat help catfabric fabric sewing I will redo it in handsewing, this is not neat enough.

cat help catfabric fabric sewingcat help catfabric fabric sewing
Yes, thank you. Buzz off.

Omg, where there’s one there’s bound to be another:
cat help catfabric fabric sewing

More inspection needed ofcourse. Sigh.
cat help catfabric fabric sewing
They don’t like each other much, can you tell? Lillepoes is intimidated by Poekie and Poekie is annoyed because Lillepoes does not speak proper cat. And tortitude, obviously.

Well that’s all the time I have for photo’s today.  There’s half an hour left in the day before bed, I’ll go wrangle that sock dragon. I’m ready to frog 6 rounds and I have something to sweeten that pain:
cat help catfabric fabric sewing

For purling sake!
cat help catfabric fabric sewing

LATER:

Well, this is where we ended up this last half hour of Weird Wool Wednesday. Shedding on my fabric, making my hips hurt, not knitting a dragon. But what a sweet face she has:
lillepoeslillepoes
So happy. 🙂 We hadn’t seen each other properly all day. And now we have .

Sleep well!

Weird Wool Wednesday: Pavlov’s knitter blocks her shawl

When a knitter soaks her item before blocking and the colour runs through, she reaches for the bottle of vinegar, to fixate the colour.

A few years back I did just that. This shawl made the water blue when soaking before blocking:

It’s Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen. Knit in 2010, when this story takes place. I changed the shape of the shawl, the design originally is a triangle.

It has a beautiful lace stitch in it:

And I put beads in. Special beads! They were real shells. Tiny white curly ones, like pearls, with a beautiful shine.

Which they promptly lost when the vinegar hit them.

Because vinegar is an acid.

And acid eats calcium.

Like shell.

I realized my mistake fairly quickly, before my “beads” dissolved altogether. Rinse! Rinse! Rinse!

Shawl salvaged, beads and all. They lost their shine but nothing more. Lesson learned. Didn’t drool.