Wolbeest Knitters’ party last weekend: succes

It was a delight! At studio Het Wolbeest in Swalmen. This is the indy dyer with the ice cream parlour. No ice cream this time, it is Winter, so there was a wood stove running, home made cake and soup and chocolates and lots of knitting and friendliness:

Stroopwafels! And lots of cat bags and cat yarn. I usually don’t put pictures of people on the blog so please imagine around 12 knitters sitting around this table, just chatting and knitting away, having a lovely time 🙂

I brought both my cat yarn hats to show. Look how different the same yarn knits when knitted in the round or in a pooling technique:

I wore my “Cat mischief” shirt and the fir cowl neck warmer made with purple glitter yarn, dyed by Het Wolbeest.

These stitch markers I use the most and the lady that made them for me a few years back was also coming to the knitters’ party:

They are all glass beads and the loop at the top sits comfortable on my needles. I love glass, especially vintage beads. So I asked her if she could make me some more and offered to swap her some high quality yarn and a Woolly Dodo stitch marker for it. She agreed 🙂

I asked her to make all different ones but she’s too organized for that, they HAVE to come in sets. This is as far as she managed to go out of her comfort zone and make each set a set of siblings, heehee:

I also brought my new FiberRachel bird house bag. This is a hippogriff! One who loves cats:
 there’s one like this left at FiberRachel’s etsy shop

My other cat bag fits right in it and that’s funny because just that morning I drew this:

In honor of the black cat Het Wolbeest has, Floki.

When it was time to go I left a cat behind. This tortie cat:

This is Wolbeest’ daughter and when her mother showed her my pooling cat hat she fell in love with it. She asked her mother to make one for her and then Wolbeest asked me about the pattern and the pooling and I knew how much work it was going to be and how fiddly it is to get your gauge right every row and how would she ever manage to duplicate my hat when it was this particular hat the teenager loves so much? Long story short: this hat belongs to this girl.
🙂  🙂  🙂

On the train ride back Wolbeest send me a picture of a very happy teenager. That evening she informed me the hat was worn for the rest of the day. The next day she mailed that the hat was never taken off and was even worn that night, to bed! She them send a lovely Sunday morning photo of this lovely girl, all snuggle and cosy, with her hat and I’m happy as can be 🙂


Pooling cat hat: tortie princess keeps me on my toes.

I back engineered the stitch pattern from the pooling shawl by Leikna that I like so much and casted on 60 stitches:

There’s some stacking but the black centre part is slowly shifting to the left.

At the Pooled Knits group I learned that the trick is to count your stitches: how many do I make with black, how many with orange? So I started to keep track:

I tracked everything. The amount of stitches per colour, how many orange stitches before turning the work, the amount of stitches in a Right Side row compared to a Wrong side row. In the end I noticed some consistencies.

One of them being I made 70 stitches on a WS and 64 on a RS. Don’t ask me to explain, WS does not have more stitches than RS.

Loes, the tortie princess who lend her name to this colourway, is not having it and does ask me to explain:
 pic by Anneke
My humble apologies Loes. It probably has to do with how many stitches I make in one particular colour: I make more stitches out of one colour when working on a WS than on a RS. Conclusion: my tension on the back is tighter than on the front. Solution: knit all WS with a needle one size up. Thank you Loes.

I adjusted total stitch count (to 64 st) and then I took the middle of a black part of the yarn and started knitting with it in the middle stitch of a row. I now do the RS’s with a 2 mm needle and the WS’s with a 2,25 mm.

And whaddayaknow, colours are stacking!
I marked the change row with my needle:

Wrong Side for better colour identification:

I’m still swatching and counting:

The skein has two black parts and one is little bit shorter than the other. But numbers are consistent: black is always either around 11 stitches or around 22 stitches. Maybe I can make it so that I get the shorter part (11 stitches) on a WS… Oh, it already is! Good.

The other thing is that the stitchpattern has yarn overs (YO) and this makes my hat full of holes. I’m a loose knitter after all. I tried a few rows increasing in other ways but it throws off the whole tension thing and I would have to start a whole new swatch with a different number of cast on. I’m not up for that. I hate swatching and setting up a pooled knit depends on the swatch. So holey hat it is.

I’ll keep tracking numbers a little while longer:

I’m neeeearly there, nearly at The Magic Number as it’s called amongst pooling knitters and crocheters. I now keep track of the middle stitch of my fabric. The middle of the black part should always hit it: identical amount of black stitches to the left and right of it.

It’s not totally there, things are veering off a little bit. I think I need to add one stitch on the left side to get it there. Which is what I will swatch now. I just continue knitting on this swatch. Eventually it will be the real project and when finished I can choose to cut of the lower part or fold it inside for a double fabric brim of my hat.

Bonus picture of Loes as a kitten:
 pic by Anneke
Oww, that face! Those toes!


Things are working out!

I pin a stitch marker through the middle of the black colour repeat and try to make it hit the middle stitch of the knitting. It’s may be off by one or maybe two stitches and then I adjust the tension in the following row. An entertaining knit, it sure keeps me on my toes.

But now I want to change the stitch pattern! I don’t get the beautiful fern-like/ fox face lines that Leika’s shawl has:

Or is the beauty mainly because all knit stitches are twisted? I’ll have to investigate. But then my tension will change! And the pooling. And the size of my knitted piece…

That’s “tortitude knitting” for you.

Tortie Cat Yarn arrived!

Third installment of the Wolbeest Cat Sock Yarn Month:

Again such a luxury! This time it’s about tortie cats, they are such characters.

Alexandra chose to dye the yarn in a rusty orange brown instead of a more muted sand brown that a lot of tortie cats have. But she offers us the option to change this skein for a more muted one if we want to. How’s that for customer service!
I’m not changing, I think this rusty orange works well with the mottles black.

The goodies again are awesome: a cat pen, a post card (made by me), an explanation card and a play mouse for our cats:

I’ve already balled up the skein and done some research, I’m diving into pooling!

Offering a goodie to my cat, who has been intimidated by torties her whole life:

Offer accepted and appropriately allocated to boost self esteem:

Oh, this is a t-shirt I bought on the fair and photographed on Sunday:
cat t-shirt dweezilsfriend birman poezeboot fair trade lillepoes

“kattenkwaad” means “cat mischief” which is of a good natured kind. The kind kids do when playing in the neighbourhood.

(Do kids still do that, play outside? Or have they unlearned that because of helicopter parents, virtual entertainment and ridiculous heavy activity schedules?)

(I also hear that “helicopter parent” is sooo last decade. Nowadays it’s “bowling parents”, who prevent their kids from every running into a difficulty or dealing with a minor frustration. Or boredom.)

(also “neighbourhood”, what a weird word is that? Is that the distance determined where you can hear the horse from next door neighing?)

(also, when I’m rambling on like this, I’m usually procrastinating.)

(I am sooo procrastinating right now.) (it

cat yarn post is here!

Turned out the post service was swept away by the storm last week and things got delayed. Here is the second installment of the Wolbeest cat yarn club!

A sock blank,stamped with iconic cats, some black, some grey so the knitted fabric will vary. In the accompanying card Wolbeest explains that all blanks have been individually dyed, with the various recipients in mind. That’s why mine is more purple than most 😻😻😻. Raveler Wannabekat has one that will knit up less variegated.

There’s dpn holder pouch and cat liquorice with iconic black cats. A silver marker. Hot chocolate drink. A personal card with explanation of the dyeing. My card. All wrapped in cute catty bags and stickers.

What a wonderful second installment of Het Wolbeest January Cat Sock Month!






Oh oh….

Wolbeest is doing a similar club next month, with theme Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s art:

finished: tuxedo cat hat!

Amazing pattern! For all weights and gauges.

I used 60 grams of sock yarn and, because I like a double brim over my ears, knitted until part 1 of the pattern was very long.

The hat is far more sophisticated than I can show you here, on these “charming cabin” pictures. Even my husband said it’s a chique city hat.

Now I want to use the same technique for a pair of matching self striping wrist warmers. Quickly, before the next installment comes from Wolbeest January Cat Sock Yarn Club.

Cat Yarn Box is here!


Hee hee, this colourway is named “Floki’s collar”:

Floki is Wolbeest’ house panther, with gorgeous eyes:

He’s very much a cat. Loves to play and to be near you and look at you but don’t cuddle him if he doesn’t want to. He talks with his paws and easily scratches you. That being said: last week I forgot and he indicated he wanted us to touch noses and I did and I was this close to his nose -we actually touched- and also very very close to that fiercesome claws of his. But nothing happened, we just shared a friendly hello.

Later on he did scratch me as I was lingering too long too close near him with my hand. Ah, cats. They just expect us to catch on sooner. To read their minds.

Inspection by Poekie:


cat nibbles for humans:

Licorice herring (could there be anything more “North Sea People” than that?) and tea.

Some handdrawn cat scribble on a postcard:

Wait, what? I know that name….

That’s right, I made this card. And it’s printed, professionally. And part of this yarn box. And normal people, real people!, have it at home now. And now I am famous and professional and totally not hiding under the covers because I fooled everybody.

Looky here, the bestest goodie to accompany the yarn: a Cat WIP bag!

 pic by FiberRachel
Another original design by FiberRachel. Look at those ears!

The yarn is so good!
Het Wolbeest already has a prototype on the needles, this yarn knits up selfstriping in a gorgeous way:

I started too, using the self striping and the beautiful bag:

I have plans for a hat. Knit sideways, with red cat ears, like the bag.

Later on I took the bag for a ride. To the fish restaurant:

Visch in Den Bosch

We had sashimi:

Someone was purring…

ready for Wolbeest Cat Sock Month!

These are all the catty WIPbags I’ll be using the coming month:

This is a nifty little needle holder, it will hold your needles while your knitting’s still on it:
Works both for dpns and circulars.

It was a gift from Sinterklaas, via Lieneke from Wolop. She thought I’d might like to make little ensembles of the Cat Sock Yarn Club I’m joining next month. And boy was she right!

She put the idea in my head and now I’m really looking forward to having everything neatly together and knitting with the four exclusive colourways that Wolbeest has invented to celebrate four cats. A new yarn every week! Plus minis! Plus goodies!

The roll, with the cats on it, is to hold my Inktense pencils and is also a gift from Lieneke and Sinterklaas:

Another thoughtful gift! Because I’ve been drawing cats the whole month of december. I can only show you the black and white doodles I did:

The colourful ones are still a secret because they are some of the goodies part of the Cat Yarn Club studio Wolbeest is running. There are still a few spots and international shipping is offered, if you want to.


x-mas colours and other colours

Wolop’s plant dyed Advent fingering yarns all together:

Wolbeest semi-solid Advent fingering yarns in my tree:

This picture gives you a better idea of the first half of the box:
 pic by DorineZ
The second half had purples and pinks and reds and greys and silver.

I didn’t finish my green Week Before X-mas hat:

It’s getting too big (although you never know for sure with a tube, tubes always end up tighter). And the fabric is kind of stiff. And now I’ve discovered a hole. All in all it’s just not a pleasurable WIP for me and it made me procrastinate a lot.

By knitting this:

A loose fit sweater from Tour de Fleece sparkly bouclé yarn I made in 2014, just one day after I hosted a nice TdF finish party when I made a purple bouclé, what a nice TdF that was! with my first Nunoco batt too with an amazingly thoughtfull swap. Combined with the undyed Irish aran yarn that I love so much. (Donegal Yarns Irish Heather)

I’m winging the pattern. Just provisional cast on for the yoke and increase 8 stitches every other row. When I ran out of green yarn I attached the white and knitted on until I thought it was long enough.

Then I divided for the sleeves and body. The body is finished now, I added some waist decreases and increases. I fitted it yesterday and it’s not so boxy… apparently I’m afraid to run out of white yarn and have made it rather snug below the bust. Oh well, true to me I’ll be.

It’s sparkly green again…

Sparkly green is such a x-mas colour! It’s the best companion for red which fits this time of year so well. It signifies living mainly indoors, shorter days, making things warm inside. It’s why I am wearing my red dress today:

Deer & Doe handmade dress from 2 years ago.

Red is very nice for today but I already feel something else stirring: the colours of Frau Holle time:

Frau Holle Time is the time between x-mas and half of January. (February perhaps even).

It’s a time of introvertness but you can already feel things are about to be shaken up. Women do their spinning. The spinning of yarn and the spinning of the threads of time and life. We are preparing for a new year, a new life. Still cradling the old life, the old year, but already things are brightening up and new life is stirring beneath our feet and we are no longer bound to the ground nor to the time of clocks. We are flying through the skies, overseeing land and life.

Oops, I get carried away each year like this… sorry. Here’s a post from 2013 and here from last year if you want to see more colours for this time of year and Holle. I may redo my x-mas tree after x-mas… there’s still a big box of white and silvery ornaments in a corner of the room.

This is the Frau Holle statue at the Frau Holle lake near the mountains in Germany:

Frau Holle is a goddess from before vikings or celts. She’s the patron of spinners and loves cats. She’s a year-round goddess associated with all seasons and with farming and husbandry and plants and fertility. She’s also knows as Hulda and was later incorporated into goddesses such as Frygge and Perchta, when male/warrior values started to dominate European culture and religion, as they still do today.