take a deep breath

I finished the strip to widen the mushroom dyed vest that I knit too narrow. But the strip is too narrow to sew first and steek second.

So I steeked it without securing the stitches!

Too small to fit the sewing machine:

I rubbed the 2ply Shetland type yarn a bit before cutting, to make the stitches grab onto each other. And then I cut!

Not moving the cut fabric too much I then put it under the sewing machine to secure the edge:

I started with a straight stitch, as you would normally do for a steek, but after a few centimeters/inches I decided to go with a zig zag, which can be used instead of a locking machine in sewing. It secures fraying edges:

After the zig zag I added a straight stitch:

Back side. Almost all strands are caught. Now I can handle this knitted fabric a bit without worrying it will fall apart.

I added a proper steek in the middle of my strip, sewing first, cutting second. With this I made my one wide strip into two strips, one for each side seam. Now it’s time to attach them to the sideseams of my vest (which were also steeked):

Attaching with a straight stitch:

Making sure all the strands are caught by the stitch. There are still a few loose ones:

After that a zigzag to lock the fraying edge. And done:

Not particular beautiful but acceptable and functional:

And so much better then before:

Now I can wear this vest and breathe.

Now add neckband and sleeve band and lower band before Thursday.


making stitch markers

ooh shiny!
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:


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.

Weird Wool Wednesday: my head is spinning

It’s the last day of February and I have done so much spinning here, over the past three months:
Unfortunately it’s been mostly in my head, the spinning.

Now the months are changing and my eye for colour is already veering away from solely in-between-time whites. There’s light green seeping in. But I haven’t finished my spinning!

The washed Saxon Merino is all flicked and ready to spin. A delight! I only need to go sit and enjoy. There’s a box of organic sheep ready for flicking. Another joy! Just go sit.

More Saxon Merino, not yet washed. I was going to wash this, at the start of December:

I did set the twist in the few skeins that I did spun, somewhere before February:

They say that you do not need to produce art to be an artist, you can be an artist in your head. I wish this to be true for a yarn spinner too.
If only those boxes of fleece would conveniently be out of sight to facilitate this illusion…

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:

Weird Wool Wednesday: knitting has my back and then some.

So I’ve been knitting on my February Sun on Snow pullover, to celebrate the crisp light of this time of the year. The pattern is crazy stripes tee by Alfa Knits, a top down pattern. I’ve been increasing for the fronts, back and sleeve like forever because it’s knit in fingering weight on needles 2,25 mm. Rows are currently 430 stitches and rising.

I have another 28 rows to go before the stitch count of the front matches that of the back and I can close the front and start the colour stripes. I need the length too, the yoke is nowhere near long enough to close for the sleeves yet.

Just for funsies I put it on a spare needle and compared it to a comfortable wide fitting shirt:

Aargh! Way too wide! Checking the pattern: I should have 270 stitches plus some for my altered gauge. Probably around 320.


I’m not ripping back. Not with 400+ stitches in each row.

I found this out late yesterday evening and I’ve had a sleep on it and asked some people for advice. If I knit on but stop increasing in the back I will get an awkward vertical part in the armhole.

So I’m thinking to stop increases at the marker points but spread them more evenly, like a round yoke. Just abandon those neat lines. Knit on for the length, increasing at the fronts and sleeves, but at variable places. Then when it’s time to separate for the sleeves just redistribute the stitches.

Or will that be weird? Will I end up with a line on my sleeves? Knitting stretches, right?

I’ll take the rest of the day to think about this. I still have another project to knit on in the mean time:

Curse all this Goldilocks knitting.

Wolbeest Knitters’ party last weekend: succes

It was a delight! At studio Het Wolbeest in Swalmen. This is the indy dyer with the ice cream parlour. No ice cream this time, it is Winter, so there was a wood stove running, home made cake and soup and chocolates and lots of knitting and friendliness:

Stroopwafels! And lots of cat bags and cat yarn. I usually don’t put pictures of people on the blog so please imagine around 12 knitters sitting around this table, just chatting and knitting away, having a lovely time 🙂

I brought both my cat yarn hats to show. Look how different the same yarn knits when knitted in the round or in a pooling technique:

I wore my “Cat mischief” shirt and the fir cowl neck warmer made with purple glitter yarn, dyed by Het Wolbeest.

These stitch markers I use the most and the lady that made them for me a few years back was also coming to the knitters’ party:

They are all glass beads and the loop at the top sits comfortable on my needles. I love glass, especially vintage beads. So I asked her if she could make me some more and offered to swap her some high quality yarn and a Woolly Dodo stitch marker for it. She agreed 🙂

I asked her to make all different ones but she’s too organized for that, they HAVE to come in sets. This is as far as she managed to go out of her comfort zone and make each set a set of siblings, heehee:

I also brought my new FiberRachel bird house bag. This is a hippogriff! One who loves cats:
 there’s one like this left at FiberRachel’s etsy shop

My other cat bag fits right in it and that’s funny because just that morning I drew this:

In honor of the black cat Het Wolbeest has, Floki.

When it was time to go I left a cat behind. This tortie cat:

This is Wolbeest’ daughter and when her mother showed her my pooling cat hat she fell in love with it. She asked her mother to make one for her and then Wolbeest asked me about the pattern and the pooling and I knew how much work it was going to be and how fiddly it is to get your gauge right every row and how would she ever manage to duplicate my hat when it was this particular hat the teenager loves so much? Long story short: this hat belongs to this girl.
🙂  🙂  🙂

On the train ride back Wolbeest send me a picture of a very happy teenager. That evening she informed me the hat was worn for the rest of the day. The next day she mailed that the hat was never taken off and was even worn that night, to bed! She them send a lovely Sunday morning photo of this lovely girl, all snuggle and cosy, with her hat and I’m happy as can be 🙂

finished: pooling cat hat

using just 40 grams of that delicious sock yarn in colourway Loesje, handdyed by Het Wolbeest.

Blocked vigourisly. Sewes the sides together and it fit my head.

Sewed the tops closed after I put in some fleece and hey presto, cat ears.

I’ll get some better photos on Saturday, as I will be taking both my cat yarn hats to a knitters’ party at Het Wolbeest.

Weird Wool Wednesday: fancy shoes

The other day I decided to wear something more fancy than my sneakers and I dug up a pair of nice shoes from the closet:

All leather, rubber sole, comfortable heel. A bit of a Harry Potter feel.

Only problem is: these shoes are my size.

Hence no room for handknit socks.

I had to wear commercial, thin socks.

Cold feet all day.

But look fancy:


finished: Ravenclaw knee socks!

Everything from the one Wolop skein! 100 grams of self striping yarn and a 20 grams mini for toes, heels and cuffs. There’s about 9 grams left of the mini. Done on needles 2 mm.

On the left shin you see where I casted on with Tillybuddy’s cast on. I knit the sock downwards and then picked up stitches to knit upwards. It’s not very neat. Lesson learned. Better have a real provisional cast on if you work with smooth, round plied yarn such as this quality sock yarn.

On the right sock I undid the cuff of the regular length sock I had knit, basically I knitted upwards from live stitches. Much prettier.

This was a delight to knit. And I say this as someone who does not like to knit stripes nor knit with blue yarn! This is such nice yarn and balled up in such a pleasant way:

with a colour change for every direction.

Wolop is into all kinds of Harry Potter! She just released installment two of her monthly Harry Potter sock club.

This will be next month:

I you feel brave you can send her an email at info@wolop.nl

badger badger badger badger

I finished a little purse that I started back in 2011. For some reason I was too ill to finish it back then.


Yo, party people!

The pattern is Badger purse by Kirsti Hallamaa and it’s free.

I had used the pattern before and made a sheep, using my own, very first handspun for it:

I even clipped the sheep myself! It was very special yarn.

And then I gave it away in a swap. Because back then I was not worthy of nice things. Such a shame. One should keep ones first handspun.

This purse is meant to be a spinners’ help. You hang it on your wheel and it keeps pieces of string (for tying skeins or an extra leader), a little flask of oil, some sweets, a little vile of salt. Anything you may need for spinning.

Today’s badger will live in my new Bird House WIP bag and is filled with liquorice. Fairy tale liquorice!

badger badger badger badger

badger badger badger badger

Yo! Yo! Lillepoes! whatuppp?!”

badger badger badger badger

badger badger badger badger

(do you know what follows?)


I’m working hard to finish the stranded vest (“spencer”) to show at the new workshop Dyeing with Mushrooms that I’m attending at the beginning of March. It’s the same as last year, I wanted to participate again.

“badger badger mushroom” is a meme, one of the first of the internet. It’s a 1 minute gif with a song and it’s from 2003 and bound together so many users. Here’s its own Wiki-page. I remember it well 🙂