The Mad About Socks Swap: received

The Dutch Karma Swap Group has a secret mail swap going on, Mad about Socks. Emphasize on Mad:

It runs coincidentally with the SockMadness but any madness is good: Mad Head Socks (aka hats), Mad Hans Socks (aka mittens).

Over the past few weeks we had some fun in the thread, answering silly questions. And now the parcels are reaching their destinations!

When I came home from the Women’s March on Saturday my swap was waiting for me:

That’s Dutch Wool Diva Sock Star in the colour Grey Hare!

The same colour I bought for myself last year, when Dutch Wool Diva opened her brick and mortar store. I then testknitted her design, Bines socks, from it:

I wear these socks a lot. Alot! (please pet you’re alot whenever you pass it)

The pattern ia Bines by Dutch Wool Diva, knitted on 2,25 mm, used 70 grams. The remainder of the skein I used in the Wolop Advent shawl.

Now I have a second skein! A wonderful choice by my swap partner, Yarncontaminated. I’d said that silvery greys are my favourite at the moment and she had a look at my inspirational board:

Wonderful colour.

Ahh, to think what to knit with it. I’m leaning towards another pair of socks, seeing as this is the Mad about Socks swap and I love wearing my existing pair in this colourway and stitches show up very nice in this yarn and pretty soon we’ll be getting the new pattern for the Sock Madness.

I do need to finish the qualification pair first though. Deadline is Thursday night (=3AM in America). I’m knitting like mad!

Knitting near Germany

This is pattern Bines by Dutch Wool Diva, a pattern designer and independent yarn dyer:

Dutch Wool Diva is located in in Zevenaar which is close to the cabin. I’m only a bit more closer to Germany than she is. She recently opened a brick and mortar store and I was there and I saw this pattern in her shop. I adored the way the stitches travel along the sides of the shells and diamonds.

It also looks really good in her handdyed yarn and I bought some and then she started a test knit for this particular pattern and I jumped right in!

At first I had a hard time concentrating on when to knit a shell and when a diamond. It’s not hard at all, I was just suffering from a bout of “colander-brain”:

But I got the hang of it and now my stitches travel the way they ought to:

Such a good match of yarn, colourway and pattern!

The yarn is Dutch Wool Diva Sock Star, a nice round plied yarn, excellent for showing stitch definition.
The colourway is Grey Hare which is a double succes: the grey and the hare. I’m very into grey and silver at the moment. And we love hares!
Lots of hares happen to hop around the cabin here. Only last night my husband was out at dusk and counted 8 playing around in just one field!

Yes the yarn and the colour do the pattern justice.
I hope when I block it the stitches will even out and will look as neat as Dutch Wool Diva’s example.

At the moment we are at the cabin, we only drove past Zevenaar, getting here, yesterday. We didn’t stop at the shop though. Today I’m knitting on the second sock. This morning we popped over the border into Germany to visit a large supermarket in search of a special ginger jam we love and bought when we came back from Münster.

The jam is by Den Gamble Fabrik from Denmark:

 Two jars of the same jam.

They didn’t have it at the shop we went to… might have to order it online now.

They did have something else at the supermarket:
tante Clara's cheesecake

Regia sock yarn! Next to the apples and the dish washer detergents like it’s a normal thing! I love it. Regia, and most renown sock yarn brands, is a German brand and of course it should be stocked at shops.

I didn’t buy any since I have a sock on the needles right now (and none of the colourways appealed to me)(and I’ve been spoiled rotten by using higher end sock yarns such as the handdyed yarns of Dutch Wool Diva).

We came home with one of Tante Clara’s Käsekuchen:
tante Clara's cheesecake
“Auntie Clara’s Cheesecake” 😀

I’ve never had a cheesecake. I had some pieces of quark-cake and yoghurt-pie in my life but never cheesecake.

5 minutes later:
I’ve now tasted it -a.k.a. inhaled a quarter of the pie- and I get the appeal of cheesecake!

I now know why Americans wake up in the middle of the night and eat cheese cake and keep eating it. Wow, it’s nice! Dairy-y with hint of lemon and a crunchy and sweet base. Very nice!

A good cake for knitting.

Nurmilintu shawl in Dutch Wool Diva yarn

At the Knit & Knot fair in Tilburg I was offered a luxury yarn as part of a swap in the Dutch Karma Swap Group on Ravelry and I chose this one:
Diva Sock Donegal Nepps by Dutch Wool Diva. In colourway Statue. 400 m, 100 grams.

The Diva herself was also at the fair, with her yarns and spinning fibres. She was wearing a shawl in this yarn, in this colourway, and it looked gorgeous! I had previously seen it on her Dutch video/vlog/podcast and but virtual reality couldn’t hold a candle to tactile reality.

The Diva handed over her shawl for me to feel it, she know knitters love to “look” with their hands:

I went bold and chose that yarn and that pattern, then and there. My inner critic had already fired up for a nice round of “debating the fun out of life” but I ignored him, grabbed the yarn and ran. My inner critic doesn’t know how to live life.

The pattern is a free pattern: Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander:

And I already have my own around my shoulders today!

Mikkemus has knitted it for me, from my own yarn, as part of another swap in the same Dutch Karma Swap Group. I’m so glad she did! My knitting is all over the place at the moment, I’m not finishing anything (apart from cuffs) and I really want to wear this shawl this Summer as it fits my colour scheme so beautiful. Your knitting time/skills is a luxury gift to give someone.

Here’s my Nurmilintu shawl in DWD Donegal neps, colourway Statue:

Nurmilintu shawl Dutch Wool Diva yarn

Mikkemus made a modification and knitted the “trees” in stockinette stitch instead of garter:
Nurmilintu shawl Dutch Wool Diva uarn

I love my shawl. It wears lovely: soft and good colour and with the long ends it wraps around the neck well. Yet it still has some dept so it isn’t a scarf. And it’s done. Finished. Currently in use. No (t much) time wasted pondering and scheming and worrying and doubting. It’s here and it’s good!

For the photo it’s hanging on my fig tree. Such an exotic tree to have in the middle of a farmer’s field in a North Sea country…
I got the tree for my birthday last year and we managed to nurse it through the Winter. I might have figs this year!

Nurmilintu shawl Dutch Wool Diva uarn

It’s good to be at the cabin again this weekend. Nature has exploded in abundance:
Nurmilintu shawl Dutch Wool Diva uarn

My inner critic is hoarse from rattling of a list at high speed and high pitch of all the things that need to be weeded, pruned, chopped, tidied, composted in our patch of woodland.
But frankly: we’ve already lost the battle. As we do each year. So why worry?

My inner critic would do well to chill out and listen to the resident Mindfulness Master:

Are you coming inside or what?
Nurmilintu shawl Dutch Wool Diva uarn
We must go sleep on the sofa.

I went to town! (and the Knit&Knot fair)

buit wol Knit en Knot beurs Tilburg

This I bought during the first half of the day. Then it grew really crowded and I sat with my friends at the long tables and knitted and talked and ate my brownie and tried to cast on for my vest:
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Then the crowds went home and it grew lovely and quiet and there was time to stand at a booth and talk to the indie dyer and I realized I had missed so much wonderful products the first time I walked around. So this happened:
buit wol Knit en Knot beurs Tilburg

Very happy 🙂

Finished: DWD handspun socks

Last year I won a prize in the Tour de Fleece:

A wonderful mix for socks, handdyed by Dutch Wool Diva
42% Wool – Corriedale
42% bfl
15% Manufactured Fibers – Nylon

All fibres are blended together. I spun it into a 3 ply in August 2014, sitting outside. Explaining how you can lace up a vintage Louet (like an S10) to spin really thin.

320 m sockyarn:

A nice round yarn. Soft, well plied. I’m happy with the spinning, it turned out just as I wanted.

September 2014 came around and I started Water Cycle socks straight away, a pattern by Tami Sheiffer. Today I cast off:

There are patterns for waves, vapour and raindrops in the socks.
I’ve put these into hibernation in October, when all I had to do was think up a cuff that represents clouds. I also wanted to knit them until I ran out of yarn, making the socks knee high.
These two ambitions were enough to make me fold when I ran out of steam and had only willpower to go on.
I was also pained by my shoulder which has come a long way now that I keep a better posture and a looser gauge.

Today I picked them up again and didn’t remember the ambitions. I wanted the needle they’re on. And I wanted to wear these socks.
So I put in the border I like so much:
1) *p3, k1*
2) *p3, sl1*
and bind off.

used 240 m on needles 2,5 mm. Toe up.

Look how nice the border fits the pattern:

Fractal spun Passe-Partout pullover

Once upon a time, in 2011 to be exact, I ordered a custom dye job from Passe-Partout to make a little jumper from. I asked for fibres and colours that would suit me. Talk about a difficult prompt!
This is what she send:

It’s non-superwash BFL. BFL for its long soft fibres, non-SW because I don’t need that chemical treatment of my yarns (except for sockyarn).

The colours are happy and not basic (crayon-colours). The two skeins are not the same but the colours sure are related.

Her idea was to have one single with long colour repeats and one with lots of coloured specks that would liven up the thread.
This was my introduction to fractal spinning.

I spun one roving from begin to end, creating long colour blocks. The other one I tore into thin strips that each barely needed drafting, only a little twist. To preserve more intense colouring.

Combined the two singles looked like this. A ball of yarn knitted up in a front and a back panel:

The resulting jumper blocked:

I knitted this in 2012 and that’s when I learned that 200 grams is not enough for a jumper (what was I thinking? I still found it difficult to spend money on quality for myself back then)
To give it more width I added side seam panels:

It’s another handspun from a roving handdyed by Dutch Wool Diva called Comfort:

It too has multiple colours that work together well. But it’s not fractal spun.

The two yarns work together very well, the jumper really is a favourite!

Unfortunately I knit it back when I thought wearing ease was for crocheters. Because knitting stretches!
Yeah… it does. But wearing something that’s tight all the time is no fun. It’s not too tight. It’s just not comfortable.

This jumper is such a succes in other ways. The spinning, the knitting, the colours, the combination with the other yarn, the way I managed to keep the colours running even though I had to separate for the shoulders. And how I decided to not work in the round so the long colour repeats would end up in thicker stripes. When I found out I had miscalculated gauge and could not fit into the jumper I thought of the DWD wool and invented the side strips.
Yes, a very succesful jumper in every way. Except for the wearing part.

I’ve had the jumper laying around for admiration. Another legitimate use of knitwear!
For the last half year it’s been in my drawer of remembrance. But lately it’s been laying about the place again. Because I’m going to frog it.
And then reknit it. On larger needles. It was knitted on 3,5 mm but this can easily be done on 5 mm. Or on 3,5 mm with my new looser gauge.

(I could just add a wider strip at the sides, I still have a bit of DWD Comfort left. I’ll have a look about that. The tighter gauge at which this soft BFL is knitted does prevent pilling…)

One hour after I wrote this post:

Weird Wool Wednesday: funky style spinning baby!

I found pictures of a green glowing sea sheep

pic by Lynn Wu

It’s a sea slug that eats so much algae it glows.

And I spun the Dutch Wool Diva Fibre kisses which glow as much as the sea slug sheep does:

The colours remind me of Dutch ’80s band Doe Maar:

They were such a rage! The Netherlands collectively overheated.

I’ve named the skein 4us, which is pronounced: “virus”. 57 metres from 20 grams.

Then things came together:

By the way, the singles didn’t get a name, not even back in the ’80s.

a Sock and Spinzilla Saturday Night

This is the sock I’m knitting from that Summer Dutch Wool Diva sock roving that I spun really thin on my Louet:

Pattern: Water Cycle Socks by Tami Sheiffer
On needles 2.75 mm, working with 52 stitches in the round before gusset increases. It’s toe up.

this is the pattern picture:

It is inspired by the cycle of rain and water in nature.

It’s Saturday night, I’m spinning Spinzilla and I’m about to start with the last batts and they are the last colour of the lot. Orange!

The spun skeins are on the table. A very nice palet. Very October.

guestpost by Divaatje

This is a guestpost by Divaatje, the knitted mascotte from the Dutch Wool Diva group on Ravelry. We went to the annual meeting of the Dutch Spinners Association.

First Anna drove us to the meet in her funny car. She had a shark in her car! It told her where to go.

That lady is nuts. I stared it down.
Until he got shy and shut up.

The official annual meeting of the Dutch National Spinners Association will now come to order!
And to orange!

After everybody got their coffee and settled with their wheel or spindle there was the official bit. But they always try to go through this in under 30 minutes so that was ok. And everybody keeps spinning while the meeting takes place!
We had to listen and also vote.

I didn’t vote, I just votobombed:

After the official part we all sat together in groups and spun and chatted and had some lunch.
It was all very laid back and relaxed. You could just pull up a chair and join a group. Everybody is friendly and in for a chat.

Hahahaaaah! Photobombed the Phpinners!

Later on there was to be a spinners’ market, I got a sneak peak before the spinners stampeded in:

While the spinners dug for treasure at the market stalls I waited in the main hall. My throne was this chicken.
It lays golden silken eggs.
With twigs in it.