Finished socks and a visit to Pip.


Yarn held double, needles 3 mm. In a colourway that looks like old fashioned bricks.

I knit on them yesterday, when I visited Pip/Zorro in yet another lustrious Dutch city: Utrecht. A city with a long history of academia a lots of red brick buildings and canals and bikes:

They have this one tower they really love… the Dom.

I came well prepared. In my bag I had my felted clogs, a lace wimple, bag of cat food and a WIPbag with black cats on it.

I also brought this:

Two felted cat toys and a sock needle protection case. All hand made by Wolop.

Pip aka Zorro didn’t display much emotions when I came through the door. He didn’t seem to recognize me, he was more interested in whether I was able to make food appear in his bowl.

Later on he did give me a cuddle and touched my nose with his like he used to do. But soon he went to pester his room mate, Pancha, whom he adores. He clearly doesn’t pine for me, life has moved on. That’s ok, that’ll make it easier for me.

Even the cats have to put up with the ever present Dom!

When I left the city I made sure my bag was well stocked again:

Chocolate bonbons and marzipan!

On the way back home the landscape was very Dutch: flat and green with high waters. And again the train had not enough seats and I had to stand again! Dutch train service is terrible in that respect.

I did manage to knit some more on my bed sock, standing in the train.
I’d love to show you but I can’t:

(the chocolate bonbons are already nearly gone… I bought too many flavoured with cardemom….nomnomnom)


On with the knitting!

I’ve finished my two blouses. I’m ready to wear some vests over it!

I’ve been wearing my black and white vest over them. The vest in the first organic sheep from Laan van Wisch I ever spun. Lovely vest, I wear it often.

But I’m ready for my handspun green one. I’ve figured out how to work it further, how to work upwards and make the second shoulder strap. Pick up stitches from the i-cord that I attached. (I-cord is in a different handspun that will also be used to make up sidepanels).

Knitting this is next on the list as soon as I decide to sit down to knit and only knit. Like on a lovely Sunday morning.

But before it got to today it was Thursday and we were to travel to the cabin the next day. I needed a knitting project to work on in the car. No counting, no looking, no trying on for fit.
So the night before the trip I casted on a toe for bed socks. Bed socks are on my list of things that I need this winter. Bed socks are just tube socks (no heel) and I wanted to knit these out of some lovely sock yarns I have. Yarn held double:

It was too lovely!
The colours, the lovely mindless knitting.
That Thursday evening the toe became a foot and then I was worried I still had to count for the increasements so I knit those too. Than suddenly one foot was all done and I had run out of the two variegated yarns for one sock:

In search for another colour to combine with the blue semi solid I found a sock half finished and had a car project after all.
Hiking boot socks with yarn held double:

The yarn is handdyed by Chasing Clouds in a colour I named “City in Dust”.
Our traditional cities are build with red clay baked stones, bricks, from all the iron rich clay that aligns our rivers. It’s a rich piece of industrial history that has shaped our landscapes, our cities, our houses and our surnames. This yarn colourway talks to me about that.

 Brick plant in Delfzijl, still producing.

Friday rolled around and I didn’t need my car knitting because Robert had fallen ill and preferred to stay in the city where we have a bath and a comfortable chair and fast internet.

We’ve just come out of a couple of months of stress and whenever that happens and we hit the smooth patch again, Robert gets ill. It’s quite sweet really, because during the stress he’s holding up and being all supportive and caring for me and offering cups of tea. Then as soon as the stress is done with and he sees that I’m (going to be) fine he crumbles.
But only for a few days, luckily.

Though, if he doesn’t attend to it, he’ll get ill for weeks, because he carries the Epstein-Barr virus which always lurks in the body. Last time he even got a lung infection.
This time he was worried it would come to that again and he was already preparing for lung problems when all he had was a cold and a soar throat. He didn’t even go to bed.

So when I went to the local liquorice store to get him some sweets I may have mentioned “man flu” …
Sweer shop De Bossche Suikeroom, in a historical handformed red brick building:

pic by Tante Loe

The owner is very friendly! And she knows how to value funny remarks from knitters who in truth are a bit worried about their spouses.

This is the second weekend we’re not going to the cabin…
By now I’ve run into a little stash trouble. The coming week we’re supposed to ship out a swap I’m participating in. There’s one more thingy I wanted to knit for my swappee and the yarn is in the cabin.
So I made the most of my unplanned city dwelling and took a train to Eindhoven to visit yarn shop Bij Tante Betsy. (“At Aunty Betsy”)
I met up with some of my knitter friends and we had a lovely afternoon! And I totally forgot to take pictures until I was at the train station heading back home:

Eindhoven station… not a single red clay brick in sight.

This is how a Dutch train looks like:

Eindhoven is the city of Philips, the technical manufacturer. Technical stuff is big in this city, both in education (Technical University, The Design Academy) and in industry (Philips, the High Tech Campus, Brainport).

Last year the Financial Times ranked Eindhoven 3rd city of the future, after London and Helsinki.

This is how I looked, waiting at the station, wearing the bag I once felted myself, at a workshop with Het Wolbeest whom I dearly recommend.

I can’t show you everything I bought at the LYS because the swap is a secret one. But I did buy this lovely muted sock yarn. For mindless knitting.
And that’s my monster phone case, crocheted by a lovely British woman, one of the first knitting friends I made on Ravelry and we tried to shower each other with little handmade attentions. Unfortunately we’re no longer in contact, somehow online friendships dance to a different beat than real life ones do.

The train was very overcrowded. I had my head in the armpits of two different people who were trying to keep upright but had nothing to grap hold of except the wall above me.

This is the intercity running the length of the country, from the south to Schiphol Airport! The train service is way too skimpy with the number of carriages they provide.

The guys standing next to me were looking at my knitting (I knitted a bit on the secret thing) and I think they were a bit drunk. Nonetheless they were impressed by circular needles which they first assumed were attached so I wouldn’t lose them. I told them about some of the innovations in both needles and yarns (having Eindhoven Tech on my mind) and then one of the guys made a “check” movement in the air. He said he had just checked the box “interested”.

Then we arrived at Den Bosch which has a modern station:

Where Eindhoven banks on high tech, Den Bosch is more fairy tales and art. Jeronimus Bosch was born here after all and there’s an art academy.

This city was much less bombed during the Second World War than Eindhoven. Old brick buildings survived, with their frilly fronts.

The dragon that lived in the swamps around here when the city was founded:

That concluded my Saturday afternoon.

Now it’s Sunday morning, I’m looking forward to do some knitting. Just sit down and knit. As soon as I post this blog post.

And do some cat-extraction:

ah, I notice I’m doing product placement for Sanature, a female hygiene product with cotton instead of plastics (which all the Always products use). Well, it wasn’t planned but I do endorse this product very much. These are thin ultra pads, just like all the Always and similar products. But made with cotton. Cotton makes the body feel much more relaxed than all those plastic products do. And the same functionality. Try it, you’ll see. Buy in the Netherlands at Etos, DA or Dhio or ask me and I’ll give you one.

Weird Wool Wednesday 3: socks in reverse

It’s 3 o ‘clock. The socks have been in time out for a while:

By now I have started the day: made some lunch, did some wool picking (carding), send an email. I’ve put on other socks, feet are cosy now I’m glad to report.

I gave up on the socks when this happened:

They’re too tight. Because I had decreased too soon and too fast:
Not comfortable.

One down, one to go:

I left them lying on the couch. In a handy nest with their yarns untangled, so I could sit right back down again and restart knitting any time.

Luckily someone made sure they’re kept safe and warm:

Weird Wool Wednesday 2: socks at noon?

Today has somehow become all about finishing the socks.

I haven’t showered yet, I haven’t done anything useful. (No wait, I did put out the bins)(and shared some mackerel with the cat)(and cleaned up cat vomit 20 minutes later)

I’m just sitting here knitting socks. I’ve got a bit of the sniffles, I think Autumn has started, it is cold in house. Also the old brain chemistry/hormones are a bit out of balance due to things I ate/drank/did yesterday. I know bodily movement would normalize this the quickest… but that would require getting up and starting to move, perhaps even go outside. What a weird idea. It’s cold outside.
Instead I’m obsessing over these socks.

To entertain my noodle I’m watching BBC documentairies about Vienna in 1908, Paris in 1928 and New York in 1951. “Bright Lights, Bright Minds”:

Only the Vienna one really mesmerished me. Perhaps because it’s about novel urban architecture. I like it when a whole new approach is forged.
Or because I’m really fascinated by the transition of the Victorian era into the modern world.

In each episode the narrator, dr. James Fox, makes me huff a bit, every time he gives his opinion about a piece of art. It’s so personal and he presents it as truth. Hmpf!

Also: I’ve still got bare feet. Now tucked away under me, wrapped in my grannies wool blanket. It’s handy having bare feet when knitting socks. You can try them on for size.

Noon came. I’m decreasing for the toes. Nearly there!

Then this happened:


Luckily I have friend who send me little pieces of yarn in great colours. This was send to me by an Abyssinian cat, to see if Wollmeise Twin Fuchsia would be a contender for the colour combinations I was trying out for Rockefeller Shawl.
A perfect colour for these happy socks!

Once I finish them, I can put them on and then I can go put on my hiking boots and then I can go take a walk outside and then I can normalize my neurotransmitterleves and then I can feel good about life, the universe and everything.
That’s why I’m obsessing about finishing these socks. And that’s why I cannot start my day before they’re finished.
It’s 13.11 hour now.

Weird Wool Wednesday: socks by morning

I honestly thought that I’d have finished socks in the morning when I took this knitting with me upstairs last night:

I don’t know why. I didn’t knit one stitch and I never knit in bed anyway…

They are my standard “Hiking Socks”, for wearing in my hiking boots and clogs. Knit with double yarn and on needles 3,25mm. (I knit regular fingering weight on 1,75mm since I’m such a loose knitter.

I was so confident I’d knit them, I didn’t even bring back up socks. This is me this morning:

(I feel I need to explain a little bit about this picture. The untidy white sheet, next to the mosquito net, is actually a hypo-allergenic cover which holds the mattress. Only it’s way too big for the mattress, that’s why it’s so untidy and foldy. There’s a regular, fitting, bedsheet on top of it but it’s cropped out of the picture.

The orange rope is securing the bed “floor” (“lattenbodem” in Dutch) to the sides. We fell through once…

And I’m wearing tights with the feet cut off. Nearly all my tights look like this. (are these “tights”? or are the “maillots”. They are thick and warm, with a percentage wool in them.) I cut them so I can wear handknit socks without things getting too bulky to wear my regular shoes.

About the second picture: Lillepoes has made many holes in the top bed sheet, when kneeding it with her nails out. I tried to cover the holes with stealthily placement of knitted socks and what not in the second picture. I see I missed one…

Oooh, and look how worn the sheet is! I swear I said to myself when I put it on last Monday that this was the last time I was using me, that I would bin it aend of the week. Please believe me.

And in the roof, in the top picture,… you see a… white “worm” sticking out? That’s a piece of toiletpaper, blocking a hole in the wood, you know, from where a branch once grew. (“Kwast” in Dutch.)
I had a bit of a mosquito problem the past 10 days and I thought they might be getting in this way.

Ooooh….rope and toiletpaper house fixes, worn sheets and scizzored tights, getting out of bed at half past nine … I fear I am showing you much more of real life than internet necessitates!

Wait, did I just poem?

Rope and toiletpaper house fixes,
worn sheets and scizzored tights,
getting out of bed at half past nine,
please recognize your life in mine!

Now if you’ll excuse me, my ankles are getting cold. It’s 10.25 in the morning and I haven’t had breakfast yet.)

Spring legwarmers and colourfull socks

Here’s how that happy skein of Spring that I spun is knitting up.

Two legwarmers at a time, so that increases are on the same row. I’m knitting flat because with few stitches (say less than 50) I get tired of working magic loop. Just when you’re into the groove you have to stop and pull through the cable “ear”.

For the photo I pinned them together (with yellow glass bead pins) bottom to bottom so they would lie flat.

A close up of how this 2ply knits up. Usually you end up with a needle size which causes each stitch to have one colour dominating. But here I had to go up up up in needle sizes and now each stitch shows two colours. It’s one of those things a spinner can take into consideration when choosing weight and twist. This spinner did not, this spinner was just spinning colours.

I’m messing about with gauge again, forgetting that I tend to knit tighter in the round. That’s why this third attempt is flat.
In between I forgot that I tend to asses my gauge swatches very optimistic…

Here’s another example of knitting with two colours and looking at which colour ands up in the stitch.
My purple hiking socks are knit with two sockyarns held together. I typically like 50 gram balls for this, one solid and one selfstriping.

The combination of yarn weight and needle size makes each stitch have one dominating colour. The fact that the two yarns are not twined adds to this.

For example in the yellow stripe you see either yellow or purple stitches. Barely a few have both.

I love these kind of socks. Both knitting them and wearing them. I’ve got them in a myriad of colours:

I like it when my socks have accented toes and heels.

But I could do with a few more colours, don’t you agree?
Yes, indeed.
Yellow. Green. Skyblue. Burgundy. Nightblue. Fuchsia.
I need them all.
I should go buy little balls of variegating sock yarn.
Yes I should. To celebrate Spring.

These socks only have a cast on of 36 stitches! (increase to 40 after the ribbing). On needles 3mm. Knit a sock in a (long) day!

They do require knitting in the round though…
And there’s still the delicate issue of my shoulder not wanting to knit stockinette stitch.
And none of the pairs above are worn out so I don’t really need new ones. Even though I wear them out on the porch and in my clogs and around the house. Drops Fabel really wears well. And you can toss them in the washer without a problem.
Oh, how I’d love a Spring green pair!

hmmm, Guacemole!

Fabel print colour 151 with solid 112.

or something with 111 Mustard!

Yum! Yum!

I’ve got yarn, I’ve got yarn, I’ve got yarn!

My wool room, let me show it:

There’s yarn there. Sock yarn. Solid and variegated.
More yarn then I can hope to knit for years to come!

Only they don’t match so nice, colour wise…. so I should buy yarn yeah? After all, it’s only one little ball of 50 grams. Or two if I can’t find something that matches what I have already.