Advent fun starts here!

The first of December is here! Cats and yarn unite!

Wolbeest Advent Calendar inspection:

Both Wolbeest and Wolop Advent Surprise Calendars under the tree early this morning:

My tree is bare because first we celebrate Sinterklaas on the 5th of December. It’s a traditional feast in the Netherlands where the Catholic bishop Saint Nicholas from 16th century Spain will ride on the roof tops of all the Dutch houses, on his white horse Amerigo, accompanied by his Moorish staff. Together they send presents down the chimneys.

Sinterklaas 2010 Den Haag

Adults exchange gifts accompagnied by silly rhymes which poke friendly fun at the recipient. All writen by Saint Nicholas or Moorish Pete of course.

What do you think of my x-mas tree hack? Prevents condensation on my wooden furniture:

When in doubt: pizza.

Wolop’s Advent Box is a treat!
Every day has a separately wrapped present. So much attention has gone into this!

I went out and got some real fir branches and festive sparkles and made a Wolop Advent Guirlande:

A present for each day.

There was cat supervision:

Here is the first installment of Wolop Advent Box:

What a gorgeous colour! How is that possible with plant dyes? The metal, cellery coloured tree hanger is a wonderful companion. (This is a night time photo, I’ll make sure to take day time pictures from now on.)

And the first day of Wolbeest:

Also a great colour! For now I’ll put them in the tree.

Looking forward to tomorrow. There’s still the Tea Advent Box to open and I was planning to do all the spinning this advent. The advent stars need to be put up before Sunday.

And….

tomorrow….

is….

SINTERSUSHI!

santa sushi pic by pinguino k
I’ll explain later.

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getting in the mood: Advent Calendars!

Yesterday’s calendar shows that I’m getting in the mood for Advent Calendars. This year I’ve bought TWO handdyed yarn surprise boxes!


Wolop offers one with glitter yarn and one with hand dyed yarns. I bought the plant dyed one! Both will give about 10 grams each day in a soft fingering yarn with nylon. Wolop ships internationally!
Last year I had one with a different colour theme and made this stranded cowl with it:

So this year I bought the plant dyed one. Those colours will combine and harmonize with each other in an amazing way! I’m thinking stranded socks and wristwarmers or mittens. Or ànd socks ànd mitts ànd mittens. Or perhaps weaving…

The other box I bought is from Het Wolbeest, you know, the wool studio in the ceramic village in the South with the ice parlour attached.
   
Het Wolbeest also has two advent calendars, one Over The Top with glitter and nepps and dyed with speckles and multies. And one Soft and Mellow, with (semi)solids. Both contain 10 grams of soft sock yarn each day and this one has some little gifts in it. She’s been teasing us with sneak previews in all greytones!
I bought the Soft and Mellow one. For stranded knitting. Perhaps socks. And mitts. And mittens! Or weaving?

So much choice and opportunities!
If you too are looking for ideas what to do with 24 x 10 grams of handdyed yarn, I have a bundle with ideas on Ravelry:
adventkalender ideeen

Not that listing options makes choosing between them any easier.
Yes, the first of December is going to be very festive and chaotic and colourful woolly in my house.

To heighten the anticipation I have my wooden calendar with the stitch markers.
And this:

It’s an advent tea box from Sonnetor, bought at the market stall from knitter and spinning friend Meta from Thee-en-Kruid.
At the bottom of the tree there’s a little door and one bag of tea slides out every day during Advent. As December approaches I will put more and more things on display to mark the change of season.

Thusly I try and structure the months to come. It is a conscious effort because I am submerged in a few things that need some counter-stress-measures and I also dread the shortening of the days.

These are things that give me stress:
By the end of this month, October, I have to submit a paper to the court against the manure plant they’re still planning right next to the cabin. Over the years I have regained my abilities to concentrate, as I healed from my illness, and this is reflected in how I was able to address the court. First drafts were terrible. This year I’m finally in full swing and I’m playing with the big dogs, who now also take me seriously and sling some serious judicial mud my way. I am working at my maximum capacity and it gives a bit of dread, knowing this is it, that this is all I’ve got to give.

Of course there’s the added stress that his case involves my personal living conditions at the cabin. The cabin is under threat and things will be different there, not for the best. My adversaries are merely seated behind their work desks and pushing numbers and stamps around. They get to go home at the end of the day, to a manure free, risk free living space.
Beware _ Manure happensDanger! Manure!
Changing my frame of mind and looking at this strategically instead of personally/emotionally takes a lot of effort each time. Each time I do succeed and then I enjoy the strategic game, played within the boundaries of the law.

But then I return to the cabin and am overwhelmed again with losing the peace, the nature and the memories from the last ten years that I lived there, in harmony, healing. I find it difficult to go with the times, to accept time flowing forwards and growing populations.

That’s one court case. By the end of the year there’s a hearing in the second court case pending, about the same plant, and this one involves about 15 families in the neighbourhood of the cabin. For which I am the spokesperson and the one writing and submitting the papers. (Mind you, I have no training in this field. I’m just an urban engineer.) This case involves a lot of contact with my neighbours which I haven’t even met all personally, yet. We communicate through email and they are very nice, even though they do not understand the judicial games. I also shield them from the mud that is thrown our way. Because that judicial game… it’s not a pretty one.

In this social thing too I am coming into my own this year, having been a hermit for years, hidden in the cabin. This process however goes more abruptly, with me being bold and sociable one day and crying in my pillow fort the next. Introverts, ha! Such a fun bunch.

My neighbours accept my introvertness though and they are really nice and supportive. They gave me the flowers and the wine last week 🙂

As a third process this Fall I’m sewing my own clothes. A city wardrobe, following my own colour palette. I now have sewing lessons every week and I have that new sewing machine and things are going well. Still takes a lot of time and thinking and concentrating. Luckily no matter how “funny” or “idiosyncratic” I make something, my teacher always shows me ways to fix it. It’s a lot like spinning yarn in that regard, you can always build on top of what you have and fix it that way. (This is not the case with knitting. Knitting you have to frog and build anew).

skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewinghand sewn bottle green linen skirt fishtail pockets sewinggreen wriggle dress stretch cotton sewing
I hope to finish all the garments I need this year. Smoothly transferring into next year when I can just grab any thing from my closet and always look smart and coordinated.
If I dress nice I feel nice. If I don’t have to question myself in front of the wardrobe I have a good start of the day. That’s what the palette is for.

When I get all my sewing done this year it will become a hobby next year. For when I have time and inspiration or meet a nice piece of cloth. (Or weave a nice piece of cloth!)
That will leave a slot open next year for something nice. Something creative. Something productive. Something economically visible. Yes I hope, when the days begin to lengthen again, that I will have the calm, the health and the mental capabilities to feel truly alive again.

So I have a lot riding on a friendly unfolding of the last three months of this year. I’ve put some measures into place to achieve this.
I hope and expect the new year to be the start of new, fine thing!
It will also be 10 years, in February, that I became terribly ill from one day to the next. (I have ME/CFS/SEID, Addison’s, DNA faults, mitochondria faults, ridiculous sensitive brain chemistry, EMDR, digestive disorder, lifelong insomnia). But I seem to have fixed this.
I’m still cautious but I’m making plans to celebrate my recovery in 2018.

So now we sit and behave until the good times start:

Wall calendar by illustrator Fiep Westendorp

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.

Preparing for Advent

This year I’m going to enjoy the month of December in the city. By now my health is well enough that I can make an effort and keep my home tidy and pleasant on a daily (ok, ok, weekly) basis.
advent
This December I’m really going to keep it up and enjoy my home life.

I want to mark every day. With yarn. Enter the Wolop Advent Calendar!
It is a mystery box with 24 miniskeins of soft, fingering yarn in unknown colours.
Wolop Adventsbox Adventskalender 2016 breiwolWolop Adventsbox Adventskalender 2016 breiwol
The colours are a surprise! Every day is a secret. I don’t do well with surprises at all but I’ve decided to enjoy this. I want to knit with a new skein every day although I won’t know what colour I’ll get.

So I’ve been looking for ideas to use yarn every day, regardless of the colours you get:
tinekepin1
These are just a few ideas from the many on this pinterest board, all gathered by Tineke from Atelier The Green Sheep.
I made a bundle on Ravelry with pattern ideas.

This week Wolop started her own group on Ravelry and it too has a bundle with patterns for the adventsbox.

I’m looking for a daily thing to knit, crochet, weave.
Specifically things to weave intrigue me. I love this shawl by Dreamersplace!

Absolutely love it. There are accent wefts, in the colour of the warp. And she divides mini skeins so she can use that colour again a second time.

This cloth was woven last year, using the Opal Advents box (which had 20 gram skeins):

How about making a little square each day on potholder looms?

Here too, I’d reserve parts of the daily skein and use it on a later day, to bring coherence in the end product.
A project like this would really show off the colours Wolop chose… which I don’t know… which is driving me bonkers… because I really like to be in control when it comes to colours! 😀

Making a little finished item each day is also very nice. I looked for items that only take 10 grams (40 m) of fingering yarn:

These patterns can be found in the Wolop Adventsbundle, I put them there.
But I don’t think I need 24 little cats or elephants. I’m too hung up on usefulness. It’s ingrained into me. I’m culturally and historically burdened! Calvinism! “Thou shalt be useful.” Calvinism everywhere! Without a playful tiger paws from Hobbe….

…oooh….

I only now see what Bill Watterson did. That clever man!

“Calvin and Hobbes follows the humorous antics of Calvin, a precocious, mischievous, and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed tiger. The pair is named after John Calvin, a 16th-century French Reformation theologian, and Thomas Hobbes, a 17th-century English political philosopher.” wikipedia

Love it. I already admire him for his art work (that brush virtuosity!) and compositions. Now this. Clever man.

Ah. Well. Not trying to fight my ingrained tendencies I’ve also been looking at combining unknown colours and usefulness.

Which logically leads to stranded knitting:


That last one is Lorix5’s Favourite Things shawl.

The pattern is ‘My Favourite Things’ Infinity Scarf by Jill McGee and it is free. It basically says: “cast on 72 stitches, choose a motif each day that makes you happy, continue knitting until reaching desired length, kitchener together.”

Yes please!

This enhances what I want for December: live and mark each day individually. Each day I’ll open one of the mystery packs from the Wolop Advent Calendar, see what colour it is, get inspired towards a certain subject or motive and knit that. Perhaps even make a little drawing to accompany the occasion. Salute mr. Waterson 😉

I won’t fret about colours not being to my taste. This shawl will not be about my colour palette, it will be about the experience of December 2016. Marking each day and, hopefully, being a testament to a month in which I again leap forward in health and mental robustness. Or have a fun month regardless.

I can save a bit of the colour du jour to use it later, as an accent or to bring more coherence into the shawl. I’ll also can knit a bit of “bland” stockinette stitch and go back to it later and duplicate stitch onto it with a colour that is released later in the calendar.

I’ll cast on 211 stitches (or something). The 72 mentioned above is for bulky yarn.

And I’ll have a few basic colours standby from the start so I can knit stranded from day one. I have a bit of white, grey and blue so I’ll have enough options to knit in desired contrasts.

Yes, really looking forward to December and I’m already preparing the house.
The first few days are about this guy:
advent
Sinterklaas, which we celebrate on the 5th.

Around the 16th of December I’ll assist at Winterwol fair again, with Wolop, in the very north of the country.

21st is the shortest day which marks the start of the lengthening of the day.

24th is Christmas, which for me is the start of the “12 days of x-mas” which is the “time outside time”. From 24 until 6th of January (or perhaps 12th) I’ll be spinning. Together with Frau Holle, or Hulda, the pre-celtic goddess of nature, farming, spinning and cats. I mentioned this winter = spinning = weird time a few years ago. I’m glad to give it some attention in my life again.

But that’s all for later. Today I’m putting together the DIY Advent star:
advent

It’s an antique design, by religious group the Hernhutters. Just carton and split pins (cotter pins). The Hernhutters are do-gooders from 18th century Germany, they are also known as Moravians. I have no affiliation with them but grew up near their settlement in the Netherlands and their goodwill towards people permeated the whole town.advent adventsster hernhutters

having fun with Swedish Advent knitting

I’m having real fun with the mystery stranded socks on the Swedish blog Jultalamod:

I don’t speak Swedish but I learned Norwegian, this year exactly 10 years ago, and that helps a bit. Not very much because it also causes confusion because the two language are quite different!

For example, the first clue read “sticka 2 r till og so-and-so” and my Norwegian brain read: “knit until you reach the two knit stitches and then do so-and-so”. Because “till” = “untill” Google translate thought the same.
But I couldn’t make it work with the sticks and yarn. Something was weird.

I posted my query online, in my own circle because I don’t want to bother the Swedish knitters over at Jultalamod, you know, be that foreigner who needs much hand holding. A friend explained: “till” is short for “Tillsammans” = “together”. Ahh…
Suddenly there appeared faux cables and a lovely cuff!

My Swedish is improving fast. I even managed to comment on the blog, in Swedish, to let them know how much I enjoy it. Well, I say Swedish but it’s probably a mash up of Dutch, Norwegian and Google.
Swedunorgle!

The green yarn wasn’t working out for me, I think I don’t like the brand. It’s Lanagrosse Meilenweit and it’s a bit thin and hairy.
Neither working were the gauge and the needle sizes, so I started over, in white, DROPS Fabel, a lovely round sock yarn, and this is where I am today:

Two fraternal socks.
They look quite white at the moment but green will become their overall colour. I’m still using the Meilenweit but only for stranding, not for cuff, heel or toes. It’s not the first time I noticed that I don’t like to knit with this brand so this time I’m taking note. Not buying it anymore.

Each day a new clue comes out and it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to knit it. Of which I make a little party for one. Have a cup of tea, put something on to listen too and enjoy the colours and thoughts of Sweden.

This morning I happened to listen/look to a video blog by one of the three podcasters I follow: Knit Nottingham. She’s such a delight! I can’t help but smile back at my screen whenever she’s on it.

At about 13 minutes in she’s talking about stranded knitting. What a coincidence! She describes exactly how I knit: one hand English picking, one hand (reverse) continental. I was looking at my hands while she talked and was happily surprised. So this is normal? I thought it was something I fudged together because it works for me.

Eleanor talks a bit about things like tension and which colour will pop out and which one will recede to the back, if you’re interested in such a thing. I keep my important colour on the right because my English picking style is very relaxed (if I want it to be). Back ground colour goes to the left because I easily hold firmer tension with my continental technique.
It’s such a delight to do your skilled thing and then have someone else talking about the exact same thing. Like I’m not in a bubble of my own but make actually some sense to other folk.
That’s nice.

You know what else is nice? Having your WIP organized in an encouraging way. All the wool for these socks are in a little carton suitcase:

advent knitting jultalamod

With my owl centimeter, a pair of art deco styled scissors I love and a piece of handmade soap that smells of lavender. Made by Wolop, with real lavender, and meant for washing wool or for felting.
I take my suitcase from the front room to the sitting room or wherever I want to do my leisurely knitting. And when I’m done I close the suitcase and put it out of the way, much to the delight of my spouse who sometimes feels adrift in the wooly flotsam bits and bobs that seem to sprout around me when I stay too long in one place.

The little suitcase itself:
advent knitting jultalamod
A bit too much. Owls with hats and x-mas baubles and a snow man and bells…
But “a bit too much” makes me laugh most of the time so I’m enjoying this.

Advent Voorpret

Yay!

I’m just zooming by to share that the fun in the Swedish Advent Mystery Knit has begun.

It’s over on Swedish blog “Jul med Tålamodspåsen” from Eva-Lotta Staffas. The knitting designer/teacher who focusses on traditional knitting from Europe, I talked about her Mystery Advent Knit from last year here.

One of her designs:

Pattern for last year’s advent mystery found here.

This year is still a mystery. But today she’s fired up the blog and she’s saying we should gather sock yarns in various fun colours:

Hmmm…. (semi)solids in striking colours. What a delicious clue!

Sock yarn = sock???

I’m so looking forward to this!
Usually I hate Mystery Knits. I’m so often critical of and disappointed by the design. But for this one I’m looking forward to knit just a little bit each day, to enjoy the togetherness and hopefully get exposed to some of those traditional knitting techniques.

Project 2014 certainly had those:

I may even combine the two and knit last years mitts alongside this year’s project…

But first: colour selection!
What luck that we’re at the cabin for the weekend, this is where the sock yarn lives. The skeins that aren’t entered into my Ravelry stash. Because sock yarn doesn’t count as stash, dontchaknow?
Word! It’s been the law since 2007:

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 16.41.41

I’m filled with glee. (Is that the right word or has it been tainted by media productions? I’m not singing, if that helps.)

In Dutch we have a word particular to joyfull anticipation: “voorpret”. Literally “pre-fun” with the empasize on the “fun”part.

I think the English language should have a word like that. “Anticipation” doesn’t cut it. It lacks the thrill that sings inside the chest, the rubbing of hands, the mental preparing to dive into the colours of the stash:

 

December Bliss

Today is a day full of December bliss for me. The little cabin is lovely with a tree and lights and very nice lettre paper I got (myself) for Saint Nicholas. I hope to write two lettres to dear people today.

9

There is food, no need to cook. Just reheat the organic chickensoup I made earlier from scratch. There’s rice pudding, there are tangarines. Great flavours and colours.

Yesterday I met up with my spinning group, Vluchtgedrag in Zevenaar, and it was lovely. I usually have to take a day of rest the day after so I had nothing planned for today.

Tomorrow my husband will come with our other cat for a two weeks stay. I love them. But I very much like the place to myself and Lillepoes today.

So. Eat, write, knit. That’s the plan.

the yoked sweater is past the arms now and awaits a few hours of some mindless knitting (i.e. especially good for watching films or travelling)

the Advent Shawl is up to yesterdays date:

the socks are…..somewhere.

and I finished this lovely hood and wristwarmers. They’re called Winterberry to the name of the batts I spun the yarn from.

I am wearing them right now! (it’s often a little chilly in the cabin)

I am wearing the felted skirt all the time, it’s warm and the pongé silk has lovely sheen.

 

Day 4 of Advent Shawl and Socks that mock me

Today the Advent shawl came along without doubts or frustration. It is really starting to feel like a shawl. The yarn is nice and soft too!

you can see the mistake that remained from yesterdays disaster……I’ll name it ‘Billy’ and use it as a reminder of days when I manage to pull myself together after getting scrambled all over the place. There’s no shame in that. The initial mistake was far far worse. It would have thrown the whole symmetry. Billy is just a little piggy running after that stampede.

Now these are to become my x-mas socks. very neat and with a nice design that fits the time of year, I feel. I always get a bit ‘art deco’ around this time of year.

the pattern is “falling tears” (I do not approve of this name) and here’s my projectpage with all my notes.

You’ll notice I’m doing two socks at once, using the Magic Loop method in which I keep the circular needle with two ‘mouse ears’ at the side, sliding the socks along. With this method you can keep knitting in the round even though your project is much smaller than the needle is long.

It’s abbreviation is TAAT (Two At A Time)

it is the only thing that works against SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) where you have finished one sock and really do not feel like starting the second one. I have severe SSS and it has lead me to embrace my Inner Pippi. Pippi doesn’t wear the same socks!

I’ve gone to using the same yarn for both socks but knitting them in different patterns, just to keep things interesting. Now, when people tell me I’m wearing two different socks I can at least say: what? they’re both orange striped!

12

It makes the ladies at my wool spinning group laugh because they get to notice my socks each month.

But sometimes a lady has to have a matching pair of socks. Because, you know, you want other things to get the attention. Previous I’ve bought pairs of socks from ravelers. But it’s hard to find someone who knits in the way that I like: firm and fitting for my high instep small ankle foot. I have found someone who knits like that and my two pairs of Lady Socks came from her.

But now I’m making these for me. Because I really like this pattern!

after a bit of trial and error I’m on my way, I’ll be wearing these babies for x-mas!

that is….if they stop mocking me.

can you spot the error?

I cannot continue to knit untill I fix this and that has nothing to do with giving a mistake a name and embracing it. It’s physically impossible to wear these socks if I continue knitting like this.

aw…. each day brainfog gets me in the end!

(that’s ok, I have some excellent chocolates here and handknitted socks and a cat that loves me. Brainfog is just one of those things that I sigh at and then leave behind me)

Day 3 of Adventshawl

today I could not concentrate and have spend hours on the little piece of lace that is to become an Advent Shawl. Only 20 rows of barely 60 stitches were my little mission today! I knitted them, I knitted it wrong, I tinked, I reknitted, knitted wrong again, didn’t notice untill 5 rows further, dropped stitches to make repairs. Repaired wrong. Lost ability to count count. Lost ability to read a pattern. Played with the cat.

In my defense, this morning I was hauled out of deep sleep and my bed and summoned to speak coherently on the phone to professionals with calendars. All this before I even had my morning tea or my medicines. (my medicines are of the pedal-to-the-medal variety and if not taken I seem to crawl backwards in time. My head will just bob in mid air and smile. It’s no use at all).

I managed to make a new appointment (on a day and a time that do not suit me at all, now that I think about it). And just when I settled with a cup of tea and this knitting a snowstorm started outside. This made me nervous (why? I love snow)

Than the doorbell rang and I had to be pleasantly coherent at the door too, especially since it was a delivery of wool! Now I was conflicted between tea, wool and knitting. Did I mention that without my medicine I am not able to make choices? I’d be the donkey starving between piles of hay…

Still I was surprised that after that start I never got into the knitting groove properly… so I started knitting the Poinsettia Lace Advent Shawl which had shown me yesterday that one does need to pay attention to the pattern. Bobbing head or not.

So here are six loose strands: they used to be six rows with about 15 stitches, knitted all wrong:

https://i0.wp.com/images4cf.ravelrycache.com/uploads/snorrepot/133212017/document_upload23559-0_medium2.jpg

One hour later and I have reconstructed them in a better way and to the best of my ability. It’s not entirely how the pattern states but at least I’ll be able to build upon them in a way the pattern prescribes:

https://i1.wp.com/images4cf.ravelrycache.com/uploads/snorrepot/133212050/document_upload23576-0_medium2.jpg

With a few breakes -cat wants food; cats want to play; cat wants something Very Important but I fail to understand; cat sulks and I need to plead for forgiveness- I knitted 20 rows.

This is the result at the end of the day, hence picture in evening lamp light and cat ready for bed:

https://i1.wp.com/images4cf.ravelrycache.com/uploads/snorrepot/133267608/2_medium.jpg

Just was I was knitting the row before last and congratulated myself with managing the job I found another glaring mistake and had to spend another half hour ‘frutselen’ to make it right.

but I got there! And as long as nobody can see a mistake from one meter distance, I’m alright with not knitting perfectly to the pattern.

 

ps. if you want to know where the mistake is: at the top, just right from the center, I had to knit 3 st together instead of 2 because when I corrected the six-row-deep-mistake I managed to make an extra stitch and misplace a hole in that nice ‘ladder’ of holes going from the middle to the right side up, just right from the absolute middle.

it doesn’t matter. It would have been too difficult to replace the hole and the stitchcount now is what it should be.

 

 

 

 

knitting an Advent Shawl

On Dec first a Knit Along (KAL) started. Each day until Dec 24 a little part of the design is published and each day I and other knitters knit this part and share our progress. We will all have a beautiful lace shawl by x-mas!

I am knitting the Lace Poinsettia by Susann Hajjar, also known as Unikatissima.

Here’s a small impression of the shawl it will become:

https://i1.wp.com/www.unikatissima.de/uploads/unikatissima%20Lace%20Knitters%20Advent%20Calendar%202012.jpg I really like that we get a glimpse, just enough to get a feel for the sort of style. Here we see that this is not a frilly, leafy design. That’s good to know (although I particurlarly love leafy designs! Unikatissima designed one for last years Advent shawl, the Lace Holly, and I plan to make that one too. One day. Soon.)

There are other Advent Shawls out there and people are knitting them gladly. A major one is the Advent Calender Scarf, which in previous years always consisted of pattern blocks divided by a few rows. The blocks stand alone, they have no relation to one another. It seems it will be the same this year. I do not particularly like that, I like my patterns to evolve and grow and meander. To be a unity.

The Lace Pointsettia is such a shawl, as I could see from the teaser. So of I went. Each morning I get my tea and my needles and I open the file with the patternpart of that day and I start knitting away.

Day 1:
1

It just takes half an hour to an hour, just long enough to get into it and want more without gettign too tired.

The beautiful projectbag is hand made using handdyed cotton by Hannah who blogs at hannahsknits.wordpress.com (in Dutch). It’s a little gem of a bag! But I have yet to photograph its colours decent…. I feel quite the princess having this bag laying on the table, waiting for me, with purple, soft yarn and a delicate lace shawl in it. Like a little present every day.

Day 2:
2

As I said, this is a pattern by Unikatissima, a wonderful designer who specializes in lace designs that flow from one row into the next one in a logical and intuitive way. She even designed a computerprogramme to aid this! I must investigate it… I play with design myself and I really like to understand the principle of things and then bend the rules. Be smart and playfull.

I very much like intelligent design!

  • pattern: Lace Poinsettia by Unikatissima
  • my projectpage on Ravelry: Advent Poinsettia from there you can find the pattern on Ravelry and also all the other people who participate and Unikatissima’s group.
  • Yarn: Lana Grossa Lace, given to me by a lovely frog in a swap
  • Needles: 3,75 mm metal circulars. I always have to go down because I’m a loose knitter. Should have gone to 3,5mm but couldn’t find one quickly enough wanted sharp points and the Addi Turbo’s didn’t cut it. These are Knitpicks but I prefer Hiyahiya Red Lace.

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other works in progress:

  1. Kelmscott cardigan. Started the left front.
  2. x-mas socks in burgundy. Civil socks for me, not the usual orange loud fun socks.
  3. Pucker from the Pettefletter. Loud fun socks. Using mosaic-technique. First time.
  4. designing the Banana Jumper, Icelandic top down, in the colour combination I showed in the previous post
  5. (that little red cardi in Wollmeise that’s about one third done)
  6. (need to finish a few spinning projects: long draw yak; long draw camel; sock yarn)