Wolop Adventshawl pictures and charts

chart 1: https://www.stitchfiddle.com/c/sj4l72-8ly3pm/quickview
chart 2: https://www.stitchfiddle.com/c/sj4itg-6t4lyt/quickview

All charts made in free online tool StitchFiddle. A friendly site for intuitive chart making for knitting and crochet and cross-stitch. Both colour charts and symbol charts. You can also upload a picture and it’s automatically converted to a chart for stranded knitting. I played with that a year ago, for the Elementary My Dear Swap:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 16.50.52

This year was all about patterns in small strips with the colour I was given that day of the Wolop Advent Box. Here’s my shawl this morning, after a month of wearing:

I’m not that relaxed when posing for pictures:

Then Robert says: “Smile for the cat!” and things get better:

I’m wearing my Peabody pullover in Soft Donegal, a 100% Merino in a ply with nubbs. I don’t wear it often. I knitted the pullover in 2013/2014 and knitted it too short, I’m always pulling it down. The yarn pills a lot (I’m a loose knitter and it’s merino) and the pattern is not high enough in the back of my neck causing me a chill.

Really, I should chuck this sweater out, it takes up too much space for the one time a year I wear it. But it was soooo much effort to knit it. Two years it took. With many brainfogged struggles.

But I think I’ll wear it another day today. It looks great with the Advent Shawl.


finished: Wolop Advent Shawl!

It’s blocking and drying:

Here are some of the final motives:

Cats with Paw Peerie by Sandra Jäger and also hedgehogs from her. I didn’t have enough brown/mauve for the final row but they still look like hedgehogs to me.

My golden embroidery scissors.

The purple shirts I never sew.

A ribbon of flowing water; hedgehogs; mushrooms; something that may or may not be square eggs or daisies in the only multicolour I put in the shawl.

Cat paw prints; “Advent 2016”; new stars to replace the ones from December first and December nineteenth ; some geometric design in which I ran out of dark purple and finally: some fish (using different shades of the pastel greys. The purple one, the blue one and the lilac I dyed myself. Ran out of that one at the final fish and inserted some white.)

Kitchener stitched everything together, with the fish right underneath the polar bears:

The geometric design is a prelude to next year’s project. I want to do another one of these Adventsboxes!

Next time I’d love an overall design flowing through the whole cowl, with only the colours changing, following the wisdom of Fair Isle knitting when it comes to colours, colour families and contrast.

For the pattern I’m leaning towards Art Nouveau. Leaves. Curls. Smoke rings. A pattern which I’ll probably design myself, using StitchFiddle, the free online charting tool.

Advent shawl 2016 was made entirely on Stitchfiddle. It took two charts of 200 rows high each. I’ll clean them up and share them publicly. In a post with pictures of me wearing the cowl. Right now it’s still wet.

24 dec: chunk of knitting and a friendly reminder

The last colour of the Wolop Advent box is a beautiful icy blue:

I used it for a secret kind of bird house/WIP bag that I will receive next week. The bag is greenish with ice blue top/roof. Can’t say much more about it 🙂

Underneath I knitted the purple anti gobble food bowl. Our cats have one too now. It works really well.

Underneath that is a ribbon of sea gulls. They are always near, making strange noises over the harbour.

These birds are from a chart by Sandra Jäger. It’s free. I love how there’s a darker blue middle section. Lots of Fair Isle patterns have that. I should play more with that.

This is what I knitted yesterday. I wanted to do a large chunk:

Do you like those fox faces? I designed them myself, on Stitchfiddle.com. I wanted to incorporate foxes in my shawl because Wolop Lieneke loves foxes and this particular colour of yarn is beautiful for foxes and next week I will also receive a bag with foxes on it ….*eyebrow wiggle*

The next few days I’m trying to knit as much as possible so that the shawl can go around my neck twice. I want it finished before the new year begins.

I’ll end this post with the x-mas card our cats received:

A personal card, from the vet!

It had an PS.
“Remember that it’s about time to renew your vaccinations.”

Have a nice x-mas evening.

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.

22 dec: gnomes in StitchFiddle and rebellious hotdogs in nativity play.

Today’s Wolop Advent colour for me is some sort of coral:

I’m going to knit it into gnome’s faces:

knitting chart gnome

These three I sketched in Stitchfiddle. I really like this program. By now I’ve added all the particular colours of my box to the palet:

stitchfiddle.com It works really neat. If I change the shade of one colour in this palet, for example because I didn’t value it well enough next to a new colour I receive, than the colour in the chart changes with it.

The program is filled with all these neat things. I read about some of them in the Ravelry group but most of them I discovered myself, StitchFiddle’s desingers are really big on intuitive usage of the site.
If I ever do have a question the programmer, Sander, is very fast to answer in the Rav group.

I’m ready for some gnomes now:

I put in some abstract version of “herring”, as I didn’t manage to design a nice fish. I like the blue and white, it talks to me of Holland and Delft and of Delft pottery. I studied architecture in Delft and did some ceramics there 🙂

On top of it is a band of what was supposed to be mistletoe but as I changed the back ground colour from grey to this purple, nearly Wollmeise Fliederbusch purple, it now reminds me of the Elderberry and of Frau Holle.

A knitter friend of mine, Tineke from Atelier Het Groene Schaep, is also thinking of Frau Holle today. She’s performing as a hot dog in a x-mas play as we speak.

The play is a Frau Holle story for children and I think Tineke is a hot dog that doesn’t want to leave the oven because the girl is not doing her best. Although I’m not sure if these kind of moral messages are still advocated to children nowadays. Tineke might just be a rebel hotdog in its own right. She’s a rebel in real life, a proper wool rebel.

 Fritz Kunz

I’m gearing up for Frau Holle too. Soon I’ll be spinning.

21 dec: “Stop inhaling pickled herring.”

My husband suggested that I stop inhaling pickled herring salad.
Bietensalade van Marja pic and recipe by SoulSoup

It’s my end of year food and it’s a traditional Dutch dish, what with us being North Sea folk and herring mad.
But I couldn’t wait for the end of the year so I made some. Chopped up pickled herring, red beets, creme fraiche, vinegar, little pickles, little onions, salt and pepper. Usually I can’t have vinegar or onions but now that I have fixed my daily uptake of vit B12 and folate (by taking pre-methylated forms called mB12 and Metafolate) I can have a little bit now and then.

Unfortunately, “a little bit” is not in my herring eating vocabulary.
I gulf it down (“wolf it down”?) and food goes down the wrong pipe and I get a terrible coughing fit and tears are running down my cheeks and Robert is banging on my back and we’re all sure I’m going to die, stinking of herring.
Lillepoes comes running, worried.

This happens every year. Every time I have pickled herring salad. This time my husband noticed the pattern and said I should I eat my pickled herring salad more slowly. Stop inhaling it. “I can’t.” I said. “It’s too good.”

Lieneke, from Wolop, heard about this and had a suggestion:
 An anti-gobble food bowl like Luna’s, Hello Luna 🙂

Today’s Wolop Advent Box colour is blue:

I think I’ll chart some herring into my shawl:
And I charted Poekie, with her green lamp like eyes.

She was worried too. But only that I was eating something good without sharing.

Sinterklaas hats done and a necklace of little bits of beet:

20 december: little weaving boats in the sunfilled harbour

Last weekend I bought a weaving thing at Midwinterwol. In Dutch it’s called “a little weaving ship”. A “weefschuitje”. (as you know by now you can just glue “je” or “tje” right after any noun and it instantly becomes an endearing little version of itself. “Beertje” (bear-tje), “autootje” (car-tje), “breistertje” (knitter-tje).)

Our bedroom was filled with sunlight, overlooking the harbour, and I wove for quite some time:

I love that this is called a weaving boat and outside are the big boats:

In other news: today’s Wolop Advent colour is a nice pink:

And making x-mas cards was unsuccessful.
I’ve now released myself of the obligation.
These are the sketches. I was thinking a cat under a handknit hat, all cosy. Cat feet! Little cat toes!
But it didn’t work. The ease wasn’t there. The chuckle while thinking of cat feet just wasn’t coming. Perhaps scared away because of my plans to paint 16 cards:

I gave up and just doodled a bit:
That was fun! Chances are I will doodle for a bit some time this week, just for my own fun, and then a nice thing is the result and I can share it.

A late Sinterklaas gift I gave myself:
Purry chop stick holders hold pencils gladly!

I hope tomorrow is another sunny day.

19 dec: petting the goodies.

Here are some of the goodies I petted today. Like these 4 balls of Mulberry silk, 20 grams each, by Iboy’s Mohair:

I call this colourway Midwinterwol. I want to start spinning this starting Midwinter. Eeps! That’s in two days!

Earlier this year I bought this yarn at Sticks ‘n Cups in Utrecht. It’s by Zazu yarns, an indipendent dyer also from Utrecht:

Raveler Nifelster knitted it into a beautiful hat and send me it in a swap:

That card!

And how about that hat? It’s wonderful! I’ve been wearing it a lot already. It’s the first real slouchy hat I’ve ever had. I’ve been uncertain about that shape for years but now I think it may suit me after all:
 The pattern is mont-royal by tshep (free) and Nifelster used 50 grams on needles 2,5 and 3 mm.

At midwinterwol a nice lady reached over the stand and gave me some free wool and tea. This is how I met Alita Kramer from Atelier Aolt. She’s from former island Urk. What a nice way to introduce yourself!

Today’s Wolop Advent’s colour is sunny yellow:

I’m thinking Sinterklaas hats, together with the red and the sand colour from this weekend:

But first I took out the very first colour I knitted on the shawl, the white with pink snow flakes, to reknit it with the thinner white. But things are not looking good:

Because of the way I stranded the previous row(s) the horizontal piece with 5 pink stitches doesn’t look good. It skews the whole flake.

The original is so much better:

It has to do with when and where I catch the pink thread in the previous row. I haven’t got a clue and I’m lacking brain cells at the moment to try and figure it out.

I just took out the needle and inserted them on top, knitting Sinterklaas hats now.

This isn’t even all the goodies yet! There’s a weaving thingy. And I also wanted to dream with the Östergötlands Ullspinneri Visjögarn that I bought from Lida Holm at Midwinterwol. Put it next to the colours I already have in stash and peruse the stranded cardi’s I have in my favourites. But I’m too tired now. Besides I have a cat on my lap.

Lillepoes really missed me 🙂

This morning I was her favourite x-mas present all over again. I got cuddled and head butted and softly bitten. I’m not allowed to leave ever again. 🙂
cat love    cat love

18 dec: trip through Holland, visiting Bourtange

We drove back from the very north east of the Netherlands to the city of cheese and candles in the south west, Gouda.

In between we made a short stop in Bourtange, the historic fort, which hosted a x-mas market. The fortified town has a superb shape and I will knit it into my shawl later.

The Wolop Advent colour of today is a sandy brown and I used yesterdays teal to knit some LEGO blocks. In memory of the LEGO I gave my nephew on his birthday earlier this month and Lieneke from Wolop who is a real LEGO expert when it comes to advising on presents for 10 year olds. I chose the teal in a background of the multicolour. It doesn’t show very well but neither do LEGO bits on the corridor floors at dawn.

When I left Gouda after I had brought Lieneke and all the wool back to her studio I saw a large cow made of massive LEGO blocks and I had a good chuckle.

Bourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotelBourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotelBourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotelBourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotelBourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotelBourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotel

x-mas maatjes herring haha!

Bourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotelBourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotelBourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotelBourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotel

Local Santa baking “poffertjes”:

Bourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotel

Handmade insect hotels and wooden bat houses:Bourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotelBourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotel

LEGO cow in Gouda:

Bourtange kerstmarkt 2016 vleermuishotel

LEGO in my shawl:

Those elf socks in the purple band, I saw those in real life for the past two days:

14 dec: Succesfull living at 60%

Today I’m up to date with the revealing of my Wolop Advent colours again 🙂 For the next few days the little bags go into my owl suitcase and will travel with me to Midwinterwol, the wool fair in the north of the Netherlands.

I’ll be assisting Lieneke from Wolop in her booth. Surely there’ll be some time to knit?

I can knit on it again because the white yarn is here! Send with a lovely x-mas card and the new issue of Ashford’s magazine the Wheel. Thank you, Textielwerk Wol En Zo!

My next pattern will be the x-mas trees! I’ve been looking forward to them since day 2 of this Advent adventure.
knitting chart x-mas tree stitchfiddle.com
This is the chart I eventually made. You can copy it freely, if you like. I think it’s publicly shared over at StitchFiddle.com, with this link.

Not sure when I will get to knitting the trees, I’m travelling to Midwinterwol tomorrow with Wolop and there may not be any time for knitting until late at night. And I’m not good with charts when I’m tired…

I baked myself some cookies for encouragement:
And to play out stories. The little deer is called Bambo. He’s all sweet now and looking for a new friend, preferably a rabbit. But he’ll grow up to be a famous boxer and actor.
The squirrel isn’t buying it.

To make the transition from the soft contrasts of the past week the the distinctive white and x-massy green I inserted a line with “harsh” blue diamonds with white centres:

For this I had to do 3 colour knitting!
There’s also a row like this in the orange crown chart, which you can see better now.

3 colour knitting goes like this:
1. have a cat insist on sitting in the way
2. have one colour on the left and knit it continental. Have one colour on the right and knit it English style (flicking). Have one colour on the right and knit it Dutch style (throwing).
3. have a cookie.

Then I finished two things today!
The stranded owls have indeed become a kidneywarmer:

The bottom border flips…. there’s nothing I can do about that. I’ll see how much it annoys me when using this. Besides it still needs blocking, that might bring some good no?
At the top I did 5 rows of 2×2 ribbing and cast off with JSSBO, Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

And the handspun Blue Texel/ Shetland thing is finished!

Ooh, how I wanted this shawl/ blanket to be stylish. To be city like. Sophisticated. To go with my fancy clothes and fancy jewellery and fancy bag.
But all this time I was very worried I wouldn’t have enough yarn for a nice border. And I had no idea how to ration the uptake of stitches to the diagonal knitting. You know that when you’re picking up stitches on a right angle, the ratio is 3 stitches for every 4 rows. But what is it for diagonals? That and the not-enough-yarn was enough hindrance to stop me in my tracks. For months. And that’s a pity. Such a pity.

This week I once again reminded myself that at 60% life is easy. Or maybe not easy but certainly life at 60% is doable. Living life at 60% makes you not sweat the small stuff. And even though you may not be proud of the things you do, you can do a lot in a day when you perform at 60%.

In terms of result, 60% is all right too. 60% results is not bad, not bad at all. You can work with 60% results. It’s better than 50% and way better than zero.

So I took my Blue Texel Shetland yesterday and I just crocheted a border around it. Any border. Just double crochets on hook 5 mm and that’s it.
Job done, shawl usable (it already was in use, just not outside of the house) and now not looking too shabby.

Alright, it does look shabby… with the loose ends dangling and the borders flipping and I probably could have crocheted a better number of stitches and also in another size hook and a wider border because I have pleeeeeenty yarn left. A knitted border would use even less yarn and with some kind of ribbing I could counteract the flipping.
Aaaaaaand… that’s thinking at 85% and that will ruin my day.

I’m glad it’s finished. I get to use it officially now! Once again I’ve felt how utterly comfortable this piece is, it really is a joy to touch. Way more sympathetic than my acrylic blanket, I must say.

Lillepoes certainly knows it. She knows when living at 60% is a gateway to 100% satisfaction:
cat under knittingcat under knittingcat under knittingcat under knitting

cat under knittingcat under knitting