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:


at the cabin

My husband send me to the cabin, with the cat, to try and get me out of Fight or Flight modus.

We’re trying hard, but the trick is to stop trying.

The light is beautiful! The green so intense. My onion dyed socks complement the garden.

Lillepoes helping:

Internalizing the scenery:

A better armhole and nice things on the walls.

This is the new armhole:

Much better!

It may still look a bit large but in my experience it shapes up when you pick up stitches (3 for every 4 rows) and start the sleeve. Tubes always feel more narrow.

I kept the increases at the neckline the same because I will attach a shawl collar to it. It feels a bit weird, having fronts that do not close and a neckline that even runs over the apex of the bust. But my Grey Pumpkin Ale has the same neckline and wears very nicely with its shawl collar. (And this yarn is soft enough to wear next to the skin.)

Oooh, what’s that behind me, in the hallway? Is that an embroidered cat?

It is!
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
This is a vintage embroidery I found at the thrift store many years ago. Somebody put lots of love and effort in this! It came with the frame too.
I often stand before it and have a little pause, appreciating it.

It hangs over my birthday calendar, right between the front door and the hooks where we keep our keys. Under it hangs a small ceramic cat hanger, bought at the x-mas market in Muenster. There used to be some glass x-mas baubles there too, all year round. A happy little hippo and a cat, but they broke in the course of time.

The first few years we had the cabin I’d go to the church thrift store in the village here. This was before thrifting gained a main interest. It was just old farmers bringing their stuff and trying to raise some money for (the roof of) the church. It was an empty building with local ladies volunteering and a table with a coffeepot and a tin with cookies for people to have a sit and chat.

I’d look for old handmades with a friendly vibe to put on the wall of the cabin. My foot treadle sewing machine is from there too. And my kitchen scales. Most of the crockery. Some hand tools.

In later years having friendly decorations became more important as I had fallen ill by then and was staying at the cabin permanently. I’d lie on the couch most of the day, not able to move or think, and it was vital to have friendly things in sight, wherever my gaze fell. This is the wall opposite my couch:
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
The embroidered cats came from the thrift store, the rest are gifts from Ravelers (=people from Ravelry). All from people who understood I had to be approached softly but not tepidly. Most of them I hadn’t met in real life when they send me things. There are hummingbirds under the lamp 🙂

Over the years family and ravelers send cards and handmades and I stuck them on my walls and they encouraged me when I felt down:
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
The birdy paperclips were a birthday present.

Above my sewing machine these two hang:
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
That pincushion is a handmade taking hours of love, also a present from a Raveler 🙂 Someone I’ve met maybe twice in the past 8 years! Talked to her online four times total. You don’t need to be an active presence in my life to contribute significantly to my wellbeing 🙂

The wren I painted myself, sometime in the last century. The frame is all oak, from the church thrift store.

And this is the window sill next to my sewing machine, right over the chair Lillepoes loves to sleep on. It’s also opposite my couch so I’ve seen these cards every day all day long for the last 8 years 🙂
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
Cards from Ravelers, handmade pincushions, cats and fairytales. These are the four subjects my happiness revolved around for all the time I’ve been ill 🙂 I’d simply enjoy the colours and the sentiments if I was very brainfogged. I’d explore compositions and alternative storylines if I had two braincells to rub together.

I no longer live at the cabin. I’m a city girl now.
Times have changed here too. The thrift store has moved into a real store and is now a professional venue. They still have coffee but it’s a machine now: drink up while you shop.
The old farmers have all gone and their (grand)children have sold all their stuff online, cashing in on “vintage”.

We visit the cabin for short stays now. A weekend here, a midweek there. I slide right back into the old habits of friendliness and peace. But it is not sustaining me anymore if I stay here for longer periods. If I stay here longer than 5 days by myself, I get antsy and sad. I feel society’s progress closing in. There’s always more traffic, more people, more stuff being build around here. Time is running through my fingers.

It’s still a safe haven but it’s edges are defined now.
I wonder where the next decade will see us. Me and the cabin.

By the way, I recognize this antsy-ness, the feeling of being restrained. It’s the sign of one door closing and not yet seeing which window opened. It’s the sign of new opportunities. Ones you can forge yourself, should you desire to.

It’s an uneasiness I know from points in my careers, studies, relationships, internet groups, society as a whole, you name it. So I’m not unsettled by the uneasiness itself. After all, it’s the breeding ground that brings forth the most innovative things.

It’s the possibility to determine and forge a new direction that hinders me. It feels like an obligation. Be smart. Act.

But I’m not ready to bring the cabin to a new era. I’m still very much attached to old ways, old nature and old embroidered cats on the walls.

Or other beasts:
cabin kitchen wall decoration embroidery bird gaai
(that’s the wall above my stove:)
cabin kitchen wall decoration embroidery bird gaai

TdF day 9: greens and another WIP bag

Today I did some real spinning! I sat under the beech at the cabin and spun the rolls I made last weekend at studio Spinspul:

I spun up all the rolls, all 100 grams of it. Tomorrow I hope to card the other 100 grams into rolls and spin them too. I already see a vest knitted with this! With a band of lace across the (upper) chest.

It was a lovely day of spinning in nature. A friend came by:

And after my husband and Poekie went home I watched the Tour de France while spinning:

They were climbing up Mont Du Chat, “cat mountain” 🙂

Over here Cat Mountain is better known under it’s street name, Mount Snore:

Lillepoes is very happy to be here! We, just the two of us, are staying on for another two nights so I will be showered in many cuddles I’m sure 🙂

Right before the Tour got really excited I managed to make a Stylish Yellow Jersey WIP bag:

It’s a pyramid bag and it will be a price in the Dutch Karma Swap Group Tour de Fleece Tombola.

I’ve had a wonderful Sunday 🙂

being a Knitter on a Winter’s Day

knitter in the snow2
We made a little tour through the woods. I wore my Rikke hat, my Wolop Advent shawl, my handsewn owl skirt, my handspun legwarmers and my cardi-with-the-uneven-hem, Wintertrui 2014.

The handspun Birch hat has a brim now, in factory yarn, to offset the handspun:

But it’s not finished yet. I want to add additional shaping, to have it be a non-slouchy hat. The handspun is beautiful snowy:

I’m plying two of Iboy’s Bombyx silk spheres into these wintery yarns:

There’s a cake in progress:
Banana, ginger, lemon peel and kardemom seeds.

There’s furniture full of mordanted Shetland:
mordanted yarn
There’s cat-help:

And there are weird ME symptoms that still crop up now and then. Today: difficulty keeping balance.
knitter in the snow4

Weekend at the cabin

I left all the thinking and all the projects in the city and came to the cabin for a leisurely weekend without a plan.

It’s going well. I’m “leisuring” through the day pleasantly.

When the sun is out I settle in a low chair in the grass and knit on a sock I started:

With cream puffed whatyamacallits, my purple iPadcase and a lovely Spring WIPbag. And tea. And LOUD birds all around me. Spring is here!!

The yarn is a beauty that I’ve admired in the skein for years. It was so beautiful in the skein that I hesitated greatly to knit with it. It would never be this beautiful again:

On the last woolfair I visited, the one in Tilburg, the indy dyer from whom I bought the skein a few years back, had a stall. Wol met Verve. Together we chose a semisolid to combine it with.

After that I dared to destroy the skein and cake it up and I started a SlipStripeSpiral sock in the car.

I don’t know what I think of it yet. The skein is gone, that’s for sure. The colours are very different in the knitting. Not as special. But it has a beauty of its own and if I just relax and let it be I’ll be able to see it.

Either way these will be socks I’ll wear often and gladly. I don’t have many socks in dark colours and quality yarn. They complement an outfit.

When the sun isn’t out I’m spinning. For the first time in months:

It’s these lovely batts with lots of silk and soft merino:

It’s the price I got from last year’s Tour de Fleece. They were handed to me at that lovely knitters’ party at the petting zoo, the same day I got the Noro from which the legwarmers are knit that I’m also wearing today.

These batts are akin to another set, with green, which I spun up and knitted into that vest that I love so much:

The purple white batts I’m spinning into a fairly thin single which I will then ply with a solid white (solid silk perhaps) to knit (or weave!) a lovely drapey garment with. Either a vest or a shawl:

There are plans forming in my head for a new direction of my wardrobe and a rich silky purplish whitish fabric is just the ticket…

Cats are happy to be here too:


Hope you have a fine weekend too. With lots of wool and lots of comfort.

Speaking of comfort: I bought a second pair of the best house “slofs” ever to keep at the cabin:

They are Haflinger Torben Slippers.

I have a green pair that I use all the time.
Felt top. Rubbery sole.

I particular chose brown coloured soles instead of the black ones because reviews say the black ones can leave markings on your floor.

I also chose one size up from my foot size so I can wear handknit socks in them, my Hiking Socks which are two strands of fingering yarn held together. Thusly sportsweight or 6-ply.

This pair will stay here and the pair I already have, the green ones, stay in the city. No more dragging them with me to and from the cabin. But I’ll probably continue walking out of the front door on them only realizing a few paces away that I’m not wearing proper shoes and should go back and change. That’s how comfortable they are.

Have a good weekend!

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.


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.