Wool beast Wool feast: knitters’ party at Het Wolbeest in Swalmen.

Today I visited Het Wolbeest to celebrate her birthday. Previous I’ve been to her studio, for felting bags, and the ice cream parlour. Today we sat in her living room. On the wall is the art that’s featured in her ravatar:
wolbeest wolfeestje

There was also art on the table:
wolbeest wolfeestje

We sat and knitted and enjoyed ourselves 🙂

The Woolbeast has some fantastic Wool Beast Wool Feast Beasts:
wolbeest wolfeestje Molly. wolbeest wolfeestje Floki. wolbeest wolfeestje Benny.

 

This was my gift to Het Wolbeest, who loves cosy Autumn forest creatures and tea and wool:
wolbeest wolfeestjewolbeest wolfeestje
wolbeest wolfeestje
Together with some “apple pie tea” from Thee en Kruid (it’s called “notendroom” in the shop but I swear it’s apple pie tea).

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Bunny fun: The Random Knitter Podcast Anniversary Party

Gwen is The Random Knitter and a friend of mine. She’s Spaceinvaders on Ravelry.
Yesterday she celebrated the one year anniversary from her podcast and she invited some of her friends around to help celebrate. Gwen loves knitting, Bram, black and bunnies.

She made a wonderful party with excellent homebaked goods and teas:
randomknitter yarn party bunniesrandomknitter yarn party bunnies
Bunnies were there too, meet Axl and Ozzy:
BeFunky Collage
Axl has a paprika and a personal playground blanket on the floos, Ozzy is too smart to be let out of the cage when there’s a knitters’ party. Ozzy got paprika too.

There were lots of WIP bags present!
Gwen has hers on permanent display:
wip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeest

We brought our own. Several:
wip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeest
You, of course, recognise a few Bird House Bags by FiberRachel and a hand felted bag by Wolbeest.

I brought a bag too, as a present for Gwen. While traveling it was a glamorous Sorting Hat:
randomknitter yarn party bunnies
But the end result was more…. poo emoji:
wip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestrandomknitter yarn party bunnies
💩💩💩!
She laughed 😂😂😂

Gwen is a bad ass knitter:
randomknitter yarn party bunnies

Gwen is also famous! Here she is in the current edition of Handwerken zonder Grenzen, a magazine about handcrafts:
randomknitter yarn party bunnies
Handwerken-zonder-grenzen-aug-2017
A celebrity! I know a celebrity!
She hasn’t changed one bit since she became famous.

There was an other celebrity present. “Somebody” was sampling one of her beautiful handprinted sock blanks! An eco printed one!
randomknitter yarn party bunnies
Such great colours. And the way it knits up!  Yes, it’s a sneak preview of what’s to come from Wolop.

All in all we had a lovely party and RandomGwen made a new podcast to celebrate one year of vlogging about knitting and yarn. Go check it out here:

Cake and another WIP bag

Today I had a wonderful birthday visit with a knitter. Her friend had made her an awesome cake! With these knitting sheep cake topper:
sheep cake topper
The cake was amazing! Tasted fantastic too.

As a travel project I had brought my Ravenclaw socks, made from self striping yarn with grey for accents, handdyed by Wolop. But after two pieces of cake I had to admit I was making them too tight with 58 stitches and needles 2,0 mm:

I would not enjoy this sock, either putting it on or wearing it. So I brought it back to its inspiring state:

Now I’m thinking to use them for a hat by designer Lee Meredith.

But before the frogging….. uhm… this happened:
birdhouse WIP bag FiberRachel project bag knitter
birdhouse WIP bag FiberRachel project bag knitter
I bought another birdhouse project bag by FiberRachel!

This one is a size smaller than the two bags I already have. This is size “sock”, ideal for a little sock project. Or a nice hat using sock yarn 😍

Now I’m home. Perhaps there’s some time left for spinning…

TdF day 8: I watched someone spinning

My claims to Tour de Fleece are getting ridiculous by now.
Today I only SAW someone spinning and I’m using it as an excuse to make a TdF collage:

I myself embroidered a cat on this WIP bag:

A thing I’ve been planning for … ahum … ten months now.

A friend from the Dutch Karma Swap Group organised a crafty afternoon especially for this and I made it, fuelled by fresh mint tea and home made cake, in two hours flat.

She was quilting her first quilt, by hand, and it’s large and looks amazing:
wolfeestje borduren

My other friend was spinning, from a wonderful tin that matches her dress:
wolfeestje borduren

It was a lovely and inspiring afternoon and I’m going to finish the WIPbag asap now. We talked about dresses and sewing and I’m all fired up now to do some sewing.

Sheepshearing festival in Lichtenvoorde

schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
Sheepshearing festival today and it was a lovely day and there were so many friendly people. 350 sheep were ready, it’s the flock of shepherd Roelof Kuiper and Tessa Engelhard. Here’s the site of the foundation that supports the flock.

Tessa had organized a route for children to discover the whole process from sheep to sweater.
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

We were number 6: the spinners.
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
(I always talk when my picture is taken..)

My spinning friend is Meta, who loves colours and once dyed this wonderful sock roving. She sells tea and herbs at the local market and online.

I brought some stuff to decorate the stand with. Felted and knitted garments, my carding machine, picked fleece, some giant yarn I want to handweave with. It interested a lot of people which was nice.
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoekschaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

Meta explaining spindle spinning to an eager girl. She was smart and really attentive 🙂
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

Our neighbours were selling jars with everything you need to bake a cake:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

Their neighbours were lovely Syrian ladies who had the most appetising treats! Both savour and sweet:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

Tessa brought a handmade woolpicker you can sit on!
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoekschaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

Bluegrass band the Cowpokes walked around and they stopped and serenaded us! I love blues and funky country and skilled musicians. Their first song was without lyrics and their guitar picking was something to behold. It had excellent spinning rhythm too.
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

They walked on, but only after three full numbers! The rhythm and energy really got to me. So I mentioned to Meta that if I had a second life I would’ve learned slap-bass guitar. A nearby visitor stopped dead in his tracks and turned around, smiling and beaming. He plays the guitar and hearing some odd spinner passionately mentioning slap bass made his day 😀

We talked for a bit, I tried to remember the name of funky slap bass guitarist Davi504 but failed. We had a lovely talk nonetheless and he convinced me there’s still time to play the bass in this life. So when I hit 60 or 65 I’m going to learn it and then we’ll perform at sheep festivals. Me being the funk slap bass granny and him doing the guitar solo’s. He also told me that you can combine bass guitar with singing, as long as you can do one of them blind and without thinking about it. (I can sing already)
Look who cannot shut up when a picture is taken:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
Oh look, I can shut something when a picture is taken. My eyes:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

Musical entertainment: “two strenge men”
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoekschaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
Very “strenge” indeed. That’s their leg. Pull it.

Lots of humour on site:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
I really can’t translate. This is farmers’ country. This is farmers’ humour. You get the idea.

The whole day Meta and me were partners in crime, making metres and explaining to the public:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
It was interesting the things people wanted to know. “How can you make a thread from fluff?” “How does the yarn wind onto the wheel?” “Where did Sleeping Beauty prick herself?”

Also interesting is that Meta spins on a Rose, the Rolls Royce amongst wheels. And she treats it like it’s an object to be used. Put it in the grass. Spin with your shoes on. Have the dog nuzzle it. Put it in your car without protecting blankets. Just use it!.

The Rose is made with soft woods but Meta’s not spending her days worrying about scratches or dents. She’s using this wheel and enjoying every moment of it. Yeah!
She got it as a birthday present for her 50th birthday and it was the best present ever.

Here’s Roelof the shepherd looking very shepherd-y with his wild locks and working pants. He was selling some hides:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

And here he is interested in ice cream at our other neighbour:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

A neighbour well worth knowing. Meta treated us to icecream:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
Vanilla ice “steeked” from the innards of a self made bicycle.
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

Someone finding shade under our booth:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

At the end of the day, all sheep shorn:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

Nine huge bales of fleece:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

And a tired goat enjoying some dinner:
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek
schaapscheerdersfeest Lichtenvoorde Hemelvaart 2017 schaapskudde Oost-Achterhoek

It was a lovely day and I got to spin a lot of my Shetland batts. Not enough but a nice start. And lots of motivation to spin more! Maybe tomorrow 🙂 Although I also have some spaghetti to steek.

knitters’ party at Wolbeest (the ice cream parlour LYS)

Yesterday there was a knitters’ party at Het Wolbeest, the LYS plus ice cream parlour I’ve told you about before:

Wool studio Het Wolbeest and Italian handmade ice cream parlour Da Giovanni in Swalmen. Such a splendid combination!

In the back there’s a big wool studio for (felting) workshops and outside there’s a rest area where we sat knitting and eating cake:

Sock madness in the wild:

That Fabel sock at the bottom is a Symphony Socks competing for the last two spots on its team. Knit knit knit!

Het Wolbeest dyes some spectacular self striping yarn and makes a mean “arretjescake“, a typical Dutch, no-bake chocolate cake:

Another one of her self striping yarns, with a solid mini for cuffs, heels and toes. This one is called Cheshire cat:

I chose a non-striping yarn in colours that made me drool for ice cream with cherries and forest berries:

Wolbeest’ amazing felted teapot cosy!

It was a lovely day and my skein is already on the skein holder to become a Shelly Cloche by Devon Finney:


Yes, a lovely day. The ice cream was delicious! I ate it with such attention that I forgot to take a picture for you. Will have to return and try again.

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 🙂

How sock knitters party.

The knitters’ party last Saturday was a blast!
Sorry to say that I only took these three pictures:

More people love the bird house bags from FiberRachel!

A lot of us were knitting on the Sockmadness qualification sock: Twisted Madness by Gina Meyer.

It’s a pattern with a specific stitch, a 1×1 cable Ktbl that makes for a twisting fabric:

It’s a slow stitch. I will definitely need the full two weeks that are given for this sock. One row takes me about three and half minutes and that’s fast compared to a lot of other knitters. Lots of people get aching fingers, hands, elbows and shoulders and a few people have quit. I too can feel it and must take breaks and knit on other things.

But it’s still Sockmadness. Stroopwafels are involved!
lillepoes
Stroopwafels (sirup-waffles) are the secret doping of Dutch knitters. Well, not so secret anymore since everybody in the Sock Madness Group seems to know about them now.

On the morning of the party I cast on for the Twisted Madness socks, while watching a special video with Lillepoes:

We are watching a sock knitter! This is Plien. (pronounced “Pleen” and may be short for Pauline).

Plien is famous in the Dutch Karma Swap Group and has brought about a new word to the knitting vocabulary: Plienspinning or Plienknitting. It’s when you craft solely for pleasure and refuse to be bothered by deadlines or the nagging of should-have-demons.

Plien has recently started living on an antique Dutch ship, with husband and cats. Here she’s being interviewed by the local TV and talks about knitting, in the local dialect: West-Fries.

Did you know Frisian is the second official language of the Netherlands, besides Dutch? It’s akin to Old English and the Scandinavian languages. West-Fries is different from Frisian but not very much.

It’s a delight to watch. The man wears wooden clogs. The cat is moping because the door doesn’t open and/or nobody feeds it. And there’s knitting!
Plien talks about the Sock Madness and the man just can’t believe it, so many people all over the globe going nuts for socks. Plien has some examples and kindly shows that it’s not “just socks”, it’s higher level socks.

Enjoying and dyeing colour in Winter.

Hello!
colour winter 2016 2017

Last week I watched two friends dye colourful yarn:
colour winter 2016 2017

Both are knitters who particularly use colours to enjoy themselves and to enhance life.

Their x-mas trees illustrate this beautifully 🙂
One friend always has seven peaks in her tree. And glass robots:
colour winter 2016 2017colour winter 2016 2017colour winter 2016 2017
The tree of the other friend, The Random Knitter, has miniskeins in it, the Wolop Advent Calendar:
colour winter 2016 2017

They both wanted a yarn that knits up a certain way: a basic colour with little bursts of multicolour. If you knit those multicolours purl wise you get something like this:

The Lemonade Shop Sparkle Sock (Stormy Day; no DL)

Yarn dyed by independent dyer Lemonade Shop yarn on etsy, colour Stormy Day.

Here are the results of our dyeing day, still wet:

dyeing Yarn party

And dry with better lighting:

 pic by Spectre120

They really knew what they were doing!

I’m going to just post the photos and let those do the talking.
I was just sitting there anyway, spinning and eating all the sweets and pastry. I’d brought some Bossche Bollen and I had two! At one time I needed a little lie down (possible bol-related) and the lovely old genteman cat Guus spotted the opportunity immediately.
Colour, knitters, pastries and cat cuddles? Perfect day.
dyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn party
dyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn party

dyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partyUntitleddyeing Yarn party
dyeing Yarn party
dyeing Yarn partyUntitleddyeing Yarn party

And a hike in the woods yesterday, wearing my red Bleuet dress and Wolop Advent shawl. This too was with a knitter and there was beautiful sunlight and we did knitting and pastry afterwards 🙂

colour winter 2016 2017

Brick & mortar store by Dutch Wool Diva

dutchwooldiva

Today Dutch Wool Diva opened a LYS in Zevenaar!

Rows and rows of handdyed skeins, with knitted examples above it (shawls, scarfs, cowls, mitts, socks). A separate room for workshops. Lots of handspun, lots of fibre. Two wheels, one loom.

In the back there’s an office and a dyer’s kitchen. All in a historic building (modernly outfitted), just behind the church of Zevenaar, near the train station.

Two lovely skeins of fingering weight nestling in my bag:
Dutch Wool Diva winkel opening Zevenaar wolwinkel breien

It’s Sock Star in Grey Hare and Diva Twist in colourway Twilight. Both for cuffs! And then grey hare socks and something in beautiful mysterious blue near my face, with excellent stitch definition.