Finished: handspun Rikke hat + pompom

pattern:Rikke Hat by Sarah Young. Fractal spun BFL with silk.

needles : US 2 – 2.75 mm for the brim, US 3 – 3.25 mm for the rest.

cast on 100 stitches

The hat itself weighs 70 gram. Add to that the pompom at at least 10 grams. That’s one fat, dense pompom.

Spin a yarn, have a treat.

204 meters out of 100 grams.

It’s the BFL hand dyed by Passe-Partout that I received in the Elementary, My Dear swap:

It’s Fractal Spun:

The person who gave me this great roving is coming here today, for a lazy afternoon of knitting and sweets. No worries, just hanging out:

Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 09.35.15
I have the sweets, you bring your knitting.

I, being the perfect host, am having breakfast at the moment by sampling the pears with custard:


(The pears were cooked with ginger and kardemom, in addition to the cinneamon (and two clovers if I had been able to find them). It adds a delicious flavour to it. The pears themselves are organic, they have more flavour than regular ones.
The custard I made myself: unwhipped cream, egg yokes, vanilla, salt and pepper. YUM!)

Another sock on the wheel

I started another sock fibre on the wheel. This one is a combination of BFL (long fibres) and sparkly Nylon (strength).

It’s a roving from Kleurvol and it’s wonderfully soft. And such vibrant colours! I love spinning it in the sun, after so many soft and harmonious colours the past few weeks.

I’ve divided the roving in two lengthwise so I’ll have two socks with the same colour sequence.
Each part is is divided in two again because I’m making a 2 ply sock yarn. I spin from one end of the colours to the other. Orange to teal.

Usually I go for a 3 ply (rounder yarn, more sturdy) but for that you need four bobbins and I only have 3 for my wheel. Navajo-plying, the other way of making a 3ply that only requires two bobbins, is not a favourite technique of mine. All that waving around, getting your fingers knotted up in singles. Just not relaxed spinning.

My singles have much twist and so does the plying so I’ll get a roundish yarn that’s quite sturdy because each fibre is wrapped around others a few times. You see this in most of my worsted spun yarns, I like yarns that look like a string of pearls.

I found someone on Ravelry who spun a 2 ply from this very fibre mix, also dyed by Kleurvol, and her socks look great and wear well.
I’m already planning to knit them toe up, with toes, heels and cuff knitted from the other end of the ball, in contrasting colours.
Orange toes or teal ones? I’m thinking orange…

Here’s one sock on the bobbin:

Finished: Willow Trace Cowl

It’s not extra long…

but it’s extra luscious!

It’s the Willow Trace that I mentioned earlier.
I used up all the handspun Pimmie spun, in lovely BFL. 319 m on needles 3 mm.

It’s both a cowl and a wimple. The two items I wear the most because I’m often cold. No scratch that, I’m often cool. Chill. That’s me. The cool need cowls.

Willow Trees Cowl

I’ve got a new WIP on the needles, Willow Trace cowl:

It’s a free pattern by Puk Vossen, named Trees, which is a Dutch women’s name derived from Therèse and I like how the written word refers to trees. In Dutch, Trees is pronounced like the English “trace”.

Trees by Puk Vossen

It’s originally meant for lace weight yarn and it’s a long narrow tube that you can drape in various ways. As a cowl, a shawl, a hat. Or a wimple. I love wimples. They are long cowls that you can pull up until they cover your head.

I’m knitting it in handspun fingering weight in that lovely BFL that Pimmie gave me last year and that I’ve been wearing as is around my neck:

sorry for the tired look, I feel better today

I’m combining the construction of pattern Trees with a lace pattern from another cowl pattern: Willow Cowl by Amelia Lyon:

 pic by Amelia Lyon

This gives the ridges. As a design Willow Cowl starts fairly wide at the bottom and narrows to the top but it doesn’t sit high up the neck like Trees does, so I’m not doing that, I’m just knitting straight ahead.

This is my current project for when I want my hands to be busy but my mind absented. All the other WIPs require some degree of thinking or decision making at the moment so Willow Trees is very welcome.

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Today is a day for rest. I’m making soup. And I’m going to design the feature for my Deco Cardigan.

But somehow all kinds of other wool things happen today. Unplanned wool things.

It started with two skeins Wollmeise that came up for adoption yesterday and I willingly took home with me. They make such a great combination!

They are Wollmeise Twin Spinaci and Twin Zarte Knopse. Pictures are from the Wollmeise website because these colours are non-fotographable.
(If I had to describe them I’d say it in -rude- Dutch: “doodgekookte diepvriesspinazie” en “aspergepis” 😉 ) A marvellous combination!

Last evening, last night and this morning was spend looking at multicoloured shawls and thinking up elements I certainly want in mine.

Here are the shawls that each have an element I want to incorporate:

Catkin Shawl by Carina Spencer, with those great catkins, is the main inspiration. Have a (link) look at how they are used in this sweater by Pattepoilue!

Cindy Garland did all kinds of clever design things in her Summer Travels shawl. There’s the shape of the slipped stitches and how they travel into the solid coloured areas. The use of solid coloured areas. With beads. Ooh and Aah! Well done. If I didn’t insisted on some sort of “buds” or “leave” shape in my shawl I would have knitted Summer Travels. Oh, and I want a cowl or high neck of some sort, for warmth. But otherwise I would have knitted this pattern.

Cypri by Amanda Scheuzger also has traveling stitches and uses solid coloured blocks with striped sections. And shawl Family Tree by Fiddle Knits sits high in the neck and uses colour blocks and different directions. And has a fun stitch to enliven a coloured stripe.

Then there’s Corrina Ferguson who does something great with stripes and elongated stitches in her blue and green shawl Belliese. (I call this stitch butterflies but that’s not the right name)

The cable goodness from Golden Dreams Scarf by Katya Wilsher has been a favourite of mine for a long time now. Perhaps combined with corrugated ribbing? Such as shown in Nightshade in Amber shawl by Lynette Meek. Or it could be brioche! There’s still Frost on Leaves, by Midori Hirose on my mind…

and then Sprig sweater by Alana Dakos, the sweater I’m currently spinning the green eco-sheep for but which sideswept leaf-detail would be marvellous in stripes and slipped stitches.

So there we are. Me pouring over shawls, petting yarn. Not designing that thing for Deco Cardigan. Mainly because I cannot find checkered paper in this house, you see.

I also unexpectedly spun 50 grams of this freshly coloured BFL and would love to spin the other half too. Preferably now so that I can ply it right after and soak it in the hot water that will be left from cooling the chicken soup later this evening (but I might just wash some socks in it. Spinning and plying takes hours):

And then, when I had my noon rest on the couch, I found myself weaving in ends. We’re all shocked!

A year after finishing the Karma blanket it seemed like a good time to do so. The blanket has “matured” enough, I say.

Or maybe not:

Well. I’ll go and have a second look for checkered paper.

wool in layers

I’m doing a thousand things today! Many have to do with smartly layering stuff.

There’s layering the car for the trip to the Spinners’ Weekend:


This here is cartons full of spinning fluff I’m swapping with people. There’s my suitcase. A spinning wheel I’m transporting for a friend. And in the boxes there’s fibre stash I’m going to try and sell.
It’s been living in my wool room for too long, hopefully somebody else will have the time to enjoy it.

There will be a layer of things added to this because my sleeping stuff is not here yet, including my Faraday cage (the venue has a mean strong wifi signal and in previous years I was bouncing off the walls). My Faraday’s cage is just silver lined tule on a light frame:

Currently the frame is holding my mosquito net over my bed (not pictured). So I cannot pack until tomorrow.

The other things that are not in the car yet is the BFL fibre I dyed and hope to sell and the shawl spelds I made. And a whole box of other things I promised people in swaps. There’s two whole boxes and a bag.
I’ll probably have to stack the car to the ceiling…

My wheel! My wheel needs to be in the car too!
err…. where am I going to put it?
I haven’t even decided yet which wheel to take and what to spin!

I can put a wheel on the passenger’s seat. There’s only one small problem: on my return trip I promised to transport yet another wheel, a Louët S10, which I will bring to Lochem next week. I’m planning to sit that S10 on the passenger’s seat.

I better sell some wool, I need the space!


The mint blue fluff was so voluminious it didn’t fit in the biggest box I have. So I taped its sides up to make it reache higher.
This fleece is organic sheep, dyed with Landscape Dyes (Kingfisher) and I put it through the woolpicker. It’s like a glacier cloud!

Another layer-y thing I did today was invent Apple+ pie. Just let the apple wedges sit up straight. Dust with cinnamon and lemon. Pour some liquid batter over it. Bake. (1 hour, 160 degrees)


For me, apple pie is all about the apple. The batter is purely there to keep it together (and add the flavour of butter and buttered oats, yum)
Stacking the apples like this allowed for one whole extra apple to be put in. The big ones I bought on Sunday.
Oh, it is good!

These are the BFL rovings I dyed. They have to be stacked in layers carefully. They are so fluffy, wouldn’t want them to get squashed!

I dyed them so that they can all be combined. Together there’s enough for a sweater. But just two will make a lovely two toned shawl.
The round ones I dyed with a colour gradiënt, fitting for a shawl that’s knit top down. Either circular or triangle shape.
These are so soft! But the braided rovings are the sturdiest, so they will be placed at the bottom of the box. The round ones and the “butterflies” will sit on top, all fluffy and airy.

Again, this is my own stash. I don’t mind if they don’t sell, just handling these made me want to eat spin them right here and now.

As I was rummaging through the mountain of clothes (I lack a clothes dresser, it’s all in piles) for the dress to wear under the green lace tunic, I came across that half felted fleece from last year. The one I tried to felt on literally the last good day of 2013.

I didn’t succeed, I had to bring it to the city with me and it stunk up the whole house?

Anyway, I found it in the clothes room. And by now I now know how to work the washing machine for felting…

Tadaah! Finished rug. A nice companion for the Schoonebeeker rug.

But also here: be smart with the layers. I put in a layer of silk hankies. And I was skimpy with the Bergschaf. That last thing really is a problem because the organic sheep doesn’t felt by itself and it needs the Bergschaf to hold on to.
It can’t get to the Bergschaf because there’s silk in the way…

Oh well. Lesson learned. “Be generous with layers of Bergschaf and if you want your rug to have a more solid backing add that layer (be it silk or open weave cotton) on the very bottom.”

Then the last problem with layers I have today: the handspun socks.

The colours stack nicely. But the sock I’m working on right now still has a lot of purple to go through before it will reach the olive and the red. This might well become a sock reaching over my knee…

I don’t want that.
I’m not sure what to do yet.

I could rip out a bit, cut the yarn, and have the purple start at the same height as the finished sock does. Then cut the purple early so the colour transition to the olive starts soon.

I don’t like cutting handspun.

Or I could frog this sock, reball the yarn and knit this sock from the centre of the ball. Getting a sock with red toes, olive foot and purple leg and cuff. A sibling sock.

That’ll look weird.

Which isn’t something that has stopped me yet.

Look who else is predictable in her unstoppability:

not knitting in the city

I’m in the city and I have a new cowl:

This is handspun BFL in lovely colours. It was spun by Pimmie who is the one I know that spins fleece for money on a regular basis. Other people do sell their handspun but spinning for money is actually Pimmie’s job.
For fun, she spun this buttery soft BFL, in colours that make me happy and that fit the colours of my face.
I traded it for a rainbow of Jacquard acid dyes. (some DIY required to get that rainbow)

Today I’ve been wearing my cowl like this all day. Also out of the house! I’ve been to the doctors’ like this. I’ve walked around the city, visiting shops, like this. And I’ve walked like this in front of all the people sitting at terrace cafées, enjoying the first sunny day of the May holidays.
I’m also wearing two different socks:

I have another pair like this at the cabin. I keep exchanging them, never bringing a matching pair together…

Yes, I’m a knitter living dangerously!
(also: I’m tired. You can tell from the picture. I had a very busy day yesterday with train rides and attending a singing performance and meeting friends and family I hadn’t seen in decades. So today is a slow day, a day of recouperation. That means sipping tea on the couch and twirling a spindle.
And walking around town in the sunshine, wearing a yarn cowl and two different socks.

Tomorrow I’ll drive to another friends house and she will have spindles to play with. Initially I was to visit her today but her neighbours decided to do some noisy DIY today.
My friend is smart and caring and she told me to stay away and come tomorrow instead.
You can tell by the ear mufflers that I’m not particular good with noise today.

I prefer my DIY to be quiet, with yarn!

This is not Brioche!

I want to knit Brioche in green very VERY much.
Or in handspun of another colour.
I want to knit brioche very VERY much.

Which is why this is a mystery:

It is a Shapeshifter, by Lee Meredith:

in the BFL singles I once spun and then fulled:

I knitted it into a reverse cable cowl, showing its colours in the dropped stitches:

But I never wore it. It’s not a scarf and it’s not a shawl. It’s not a cowl either.

So now I’m taking it and making it into a shapeshifter, a kind of garment that suits my uses very well I think.
And I like the internet presence of Lee Meredith very much!

The only problem is:

  • it’s not green
  • it’s not brioche
  • this stockinette stitch is hurting my shoulder
  • this does not nibble away at the yarn stash at all
  • this is handspun that would be perfect for brioche
  • this is not brioche!

I really have no answers for this.

Now my shoulder hurts.
And I still want to knit green brioche.

And/or the shawl that I’m designing with those two worsted yarns.
And/or a little dress I queued for another handspun.

Yes a little dress, what do you think?

in this?

using the well wearing 3ply for the skirt and the more pilling prone longdraw for the top. The pattern is Romantic Cable and Lace Vest by SweaterBabe

It features lots of stockinette stitch… shoulder…
Perhaps I could do the lace bit first?
Stop it.
It may be green and it may be handspun