feeding sheep handmade pear sorbet ice

update: rhubarb pie with matching rollags from Wolbeest and garden tea pots

also: happy sheep, naughty sheep

ps ps



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 🙂

Wool beast Wool feast: knitters’ party at Het Wolbeest in Swalmen.

Today I visited Het Wolbeest to celebrate her birthday. Previous I’ve been to her studio, for felting bags, and the ice cream parlour. Today we sat in her living room. On the wall is the art that’s featured in her ravatar:
wolbeest wolfeestje

There was also art on the table:
wolbeest wolfeestje

We sat and knitted and enjoyed ourselves 🙂

The Woolbeast has some fantastic Wool Beast Wool Feast Beasts:
wolbeest wolfeestje Molly. wolbeest wolfeestje Floki. wolbeest wolfeestje Benny.


This was my gift to Het Wolbeest, who loves cosy Autumn forest creatures and tea and wool:
wolbeest wolfeestjewolbeest wolfeestje
wolbeest wolfeestje
Together with some “apple pie tea” from Thee en Kruid (it’s called “notendroom” in the shop but I swear it’s apple pie tea).

knitters’ party at Wolbeest (the ice cream parlour LYS)

Yesterday there was a knitters’ party at Het Wolbeest, the LYS plus ice cream parlour I’ve told you about before:

Wool studio Het Wolbeest and Italian handmade ice cream parlour Da Giovanni in Swalmen. Such a splendid combination!

In the back there’s a big wool studio for (felting) workshops and outside there’s a rest area where we sat knitting and eating cake:

Sock madness in the wild:

That Fabel sock at the bottom is a Symphony Socks competing for the last two spots on its team. Knit knit knit!

Het Wolbeest dyes some spectacular self striping yarn and makes a mean “arretjescake“, a typical Dutch, no-bake chocolate cake:

Another one of her self striping yarns, with a solid mini for cuffs, heels and toes. This one is called Cheshire cat:

I chose a non-striping yarn in colours that made me drool for ice cream with cherries and forest berries:

Wolbeest’ amazing felted teapot cosy!

It was a lovely day and my skein is already on the skein holder to become a Shelly Cloche by Devon Finney:

Yes, a lovely day. The ice cream was delicious! I ate it with such attention that I forgot to take a picture for you. Will have to return and try again.

3 dec: does this look like a polar bear to you?

A little study I made late last night:

This morning I thought it may look like a polar bear, especially with little black dots of embroidery thread added. So I went ahead and knitted white blobs in a sea of blue. Later I’ll add black dots for eyes and noses. I hope the blobs miraculously turn into polar bears.

It turned in quite a broad stripe, as broad as the one from the first day. I wanted to knit more blue and was about to add some more floating icebergs but then remembered I like Capomegranate’s cowl because of the small bands of colours:

And thought it’d be a good idea to just knit a small band for today’s colour:

It’s a blue, but a different blue from the polar bear blue. I knitted little diamonds with it, in a dark contrast colour:

I thought that maybe the dark brown will enhance the noses and eyes of the polar bears (not yet added).

Have a look at my very old tea set:
It’s from the 1930’s I think. Or the ’50s.
The little diamonds I knitted for today’s Advent bit remind me of the motive on the sugar bowl and milk jug. I plan to revisit the knitted diamonds later on, when I get a yellow or light green skein, and add an accent colour to the centre.

The tea set was out today because I hosted a “pepernoten-knitting-afternoon”. A spontaneous idea I had once I knew we’d be spending this weekend in the city. Six of my knitter friends came by and we had tea and traditional Sinterklaas sweets and we knitted and talked about knitting and showed each other our knitwear.
“Pepernoot” is “pepper-nut”, it’s our word for little blobs of gingerbread that are traditionally thrown into the house of well behaved children by Zwarte Piet.

Halfway the afternoon my husband and I had to step out and throw some pepernoten at the windows of one of our neighbours. Their children still believe in Sinterklaas. I also banged on the front door. The pepernoten rained on my head because their living room is on the first floor.
We had “pepernoten” and the speculaas cookies I baked and bits of marzipan “pig” and chocolate money and tangerines and mouses and frogs made of sugar and little merengues shaped like Sinterklaas: all traditional Sinterklaas foods.

It was a lovely afternoon!

Afterwards Lillepoes and I laid on the couch and enjoyed the room with all the left over sweets and the candles still alight.

Some left over cookies:

Cookies in the shapes of goat (“cashmere”), alpaca and sheep for the knitters. Four different shapes of cats for the cat lovers. And the antique steamboat Sinterklaas arrives on, filled with parcels and gifts. And a carrot for the white horse Sinterklaas rides everywhere, including on the rooftops.

At the bottom is my new cake plate. I love (LOVE!) rectangle cake plates. Especially handmade, ceramic, with hand-applied glaze. Both vintage and new. I’m also a sucker for x-massy ceramics and bought this one a few weeks ago from a shop whose owners are going to retire.

The one with the cookies on it is very special. It’s Plateel, from Gouda, and was a birthday gift from Lieneke, from Wolop, who knows pottery and is from Gouda 🙂
cakeschaal cake platter plateel gouda ceramics keramiekcakeschaal cake platter plateel gouda ceramics keramiek

Last Thursday it was amazing how Sinterklaas-minded Gouda is. Burlap sacks with wrapped gifts everywhere. Lights in the shape of the Saint’s staff (a golden shepherds crook). Art and music. Wrapped gifts in every shop window. I even saw some in a little boat on the canal.

this morning I went out to buy some more tea and I wore my hat and took my bag and looked the part again:

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!)

The knitters’ party was a succes.

Knitting In Public, KIP.

“Kip” in Dutch = “chicken”. So obviously:

with sparkles! And “kippen” in real life where there too:

I swapped some beautiful fibres and yarns: Merino/Mulberry Silk by Passe-Partout; big ball of Mulberrysilk; my Tour de Fleece prices!! Batts with silk, in green and lila!! and a ball of fingering weight that will save me at the end of the week if/when I’ve knitted through all my current projects. Yay!

I’m thinking striped legwarmers where the stripes spiral after each other, like a barber’s pole. That way you never have to change yarns and get perfect jogless stripes. Unlike this one:
pic by Dan Wenger

knitters’ party: petting cats and wool

Yesterday I attended a knitters’ party where we were invited to pet Abyssinian cats:

How active this breed is! They want to know everything and they want to cuddle all the time. Lovely!

We had a lot of wool and a lot of chocolate and a lot of laughs:

One of the friends there loves to knit shawls but finds she only has one neck on which to wear them. This one was in need of a new neck and I offered mine. It’s made out of several quality yarns in fingering weight and the colours are amazingly fitting for me.
I’ve been wearing it constantly since the moment I tried it on.


The pattern is Follow your Arrow 2 by Ysolda Teague.

Everybody was wearing such great clothes and knitting with such great colours! It was a delight to sit amongst.


That was a real excellent thing about this knitters’ party I only realized on the way back: everybody had dressed up for this fun meet and everybody celebrated each others efforts. We noticed across the room how well a shawl coordinated with a pullover. We saw how well shaped and constructed a cardigan is. We commented on how a colour suits a knitter. We noticed how happy someone was with her glasses, her tunic or her hair.

It was such a relief not to be judged for bodyshape or fragile health or poor hair or weird fit of a dress you’ve just made. I’m sure these things do get noticed amongst attentive people but it doesn’t seem to linger in the minds of quality people.
Compliments do.
Linger. 🙂

Have a look at this comic: Lunarbaboon on superpowers.
People who compliment others wield superpowers!

Abyssinian cats have superpowers of their own. This one’s a real sweetheart!

Here’s another shawl that I adopted from a friend . This one is handspun Polwarth, a very soft breed of sheep. Great colours! She found she doesn’t wear it and I know I will.
These darker colours suit me so fine. I have contrast in the colours of my face and these bring them out.

Having so much thoughts about contrast and colours yesterday and surrounded by so many quality yarns I may have offered to adopt some other woollies too …

This is a skein of Wollmeise Lace Garn in colour Arlene that went home with me. 1591 m of light fingering weight, enough for a cardigan (with either long sleeves or cabling, not both)

The colour is Arlene. A blueish purple going to dark brown. A bit more contrast than the green handspun shawl but how marvellous will this be in a cardigan with a lighter accent near my face?! (either a shirt or a shawl. It can be in a mid-tone colour or in a pearl light white for maximum contrast. I’ll look so beautiful!)

Contrast near the face:

Let me show you some photo’s of the colour analysis I did two years ago (with knitter friends!).
The first picture shows how hard contrast (black/white) brings out more tones in my face such as bags under my eyes, blotchy cheeks and a green greyish upper lip (?!).

In the second picture I expertly photoshopped in some less contrasting colours and my face looks more evenly coloured. You probably rest your eyes now more on my eyes instead of your eyes darting from my eyes to my nose to my upper lip to my eye brow to my eyes. My cheeks look less blotchy. (However, we still now how I’d look with a moustache…)

This second series shows me again with good contrast in the second picture and too harsh a contrast in the first. Is the same thing happening again? I’m not sure. My eyes pop nicely in the first picture, I thought. But perhaps the right one is more harmonious? I don’t know, I’m now too distracted by the career I could’ve had as a cowboy in a western movie, sporting a droopy moustache.


Anyway. I’ve learned about contrast during that colour analysis and that it does something for me. So this is what I aim for in all my clothes now: some sort of contrast between the big plane and the detail around the face. Not too harsh a contrast. Not too mild either, I’ve seen how dull my face looks in those. One of my friends has less contrast in her face (and eyes and hair) and looks marvellous is subdued contrasts. Except for small gleamy dark buttons. She should wear them because she has a small dark edge in her brown iris and a little speck of dark in her garment makes that edge sparkle.
As I grow older my hair will become more grey and thusly present less contrast. I will probably lessen the contrast in my garments then. However, my grandmother had dark eye brows with grey hair and could still sport good contrast. And my eyes will always be bright blue. We’ll see.
For now I’m a type in between Winter Type and Summer Type. With grey hair I’ll go more to the Summer type.

So a contrast that is the same as the contrast that occurs naturally in my face is best. That means a combination of a dark colour with a bright one. Or a dark colour with a light one. Or an intense colour with a light one.

Which narrows the options I have for the cardigan I’ll be knitting with this colour:

This is Wollmeise Twin in colour Mäuseschwänzchen. 3 skeins of 150 grams each will give 1400 m of fingering yarn. That’s enough for another cardi without long sleeves ànd button band.
But this one will always want a very light accent near my face.

A good reason to knit some lacy shawl in pearly white silk. With beads perhaps?
(A dark or intense shawl on top of this cardigan would reverse the contrast sequence and would make me look slightly odd. It would be: light (cardi), dark (shawl), light (face), dark (hair). You won’t know what’s the reason but I will just look ok-ish. Where I to wear a very light shawl you’d know I look better! It’s because then the cardi and my hair would frame my face (and shawl).)

The last cardigan yarn I took home is some “pimpelpaars”:

3 skeins of Wollmeise DK in colour Fliederbusch.
Again enough for a cardigan, this time with long sleeves and cables and button bands, if I so please.

This is an amazing colour!
I’ve had it before but I didn’t dare to knit with it. It’s so bright!
But this year I feel confident enough that this will suit me. That I’m vibrant enough myself to be happy wearing this.
I’ve already been wetting my appetite by using this colour in my Rockefeller shawl. And we match!

Another addition to the stash:

Malabrigo Sock Yarn in the colour Archangel. Named for a Dutch shop owner of a yarnshop in Groningen called Wolhemel. They’ve retired now but this colour way has always made my heart flutter.
When my friend Meilindis made a lovely shawl out of it the deal was sealed: I needed to get a skein of this myself. Just for collector purposes, you understand.
It proved to be a bit of a search because the dye baths vary very much on this one. Some skeins have bright orange or even bright yellow. But this seller showed the skein online and understood what I wanted and chose the best one to fit my desires. And boy does it!
It’s so soft… and so many colours. The photo’s do not do it justice.

My skein does have some orange and yellow in it. But also lovely fading purple and reds.

The last thing I talked into my bag yesterday is this spinning fibre:

Hedgehog Corriedale fibre in a moody dark colourway.
I don’t particularly like spinning dark wool, just as I don’t like to spin monocoloured wool, but I’ve been wanting to try out Hedgehog fibres for ages now. It’s an Ireland based company and I’ve been too scared to order over the internet because it’s one of those companies where you have to decide quickly and based on photo’s alone. With high end prices. Very much like Posh Yarn and Wollmeise.
I’m no good with that kind of thing. I need to see the fibre or wool myself. See the colours. Touch the wool.

Corriedale is not very soft, for example. I wouldn’t want to wear this around my neck. Which is ok because it’s too dark anyway 😉
But a set of leg warmers, to wear with my new Wollmeise Arlene brownpurple cardigan? yes please 🙂
Or wristwarmers. I can always do with more wristwarmers.

Well. This gives some idea of my wonderful day yesterday. This party was the one thing on my calendar this season that was set in stone and I did well. I haven’t cried from too much impulses, I didn’t need to lie down and my stomach hasn’t ached. I’ve only been happy and content and covered in cat hair.

This Abyssinian cat thinks: “I’m happy and covered in cat hair too!“:

And then he realizes this is just the way things should be and everything is beauty again:


A big thank you to all the lovely ladies and the three cat-gentlemen that were there yesterday.

Wool party yesterday was a ball

We had a lovely wool party!

It was a lovely location, in an old heritage setting. With lots of friendly animals. We only had to retreat once into the coffee shed when rain came. Otherwise it was glorious sunshine and lovely people. We had two tables full of cakes and cookies and berries and watermelon and we stuffed ourselves!

I forgot to take pictures. I’m not a big fan of posting pictures from other people on the internet anyway. I thought about drawing you some impressions but I’ve spend today drinking tea on the couch or surfing the internet while resting on the bed. And eating residual cake. If I’m going to draw anything today it will be cats, not knitters.

Then came these pictures in my mailbox. Sneakily taken by a darling knitter friend who has a great eye and great timing. It won’t show too many other people and it does give you an idea how much fun I had yesterday. It was grand!

31 32 33

Weird Wool Wednesday: this is how we party

Next Saturday there will be another outdoor knitters’ party. A woolly picknick. You’re all invited!

We’ll meet up near the petting zoo in the gardens of Geldrop castle, anywhen between 11 and half past 4. Just bring a chair and something small to eat. And your wool occupation of choice.

I’m bringing my spinning wheel. And cake!

The location is very close to the station, I’m thinking of taking the train.

Might as well insert some hashtags into people’s lives: