A nice comfy sweater
A nice comfy sweater
My plan for larger stripes at the bottom did not work out as well as I thought. I’m also not convinced about the obvious “stripeyness” of this shawl, I prefer the more toned down green one.
Still, I’m wearing it today. It’s nice and soft and just as functional as my green one. I think when worn the colours may blend in with each other, conveying a greyish purply shawl. Definitely less contrast then the green one.
It’s the same size as the shawl Ribbels made:
I used up all the 100 grams and all the 357 m. I think I got 1 m left of the Dutch Wool Diva Sassy.
Today I celebrate my birthday and the lovely Sokkenmuis gave me this pattern as a birthday gift:
It’s I Heart Earmuffs by Faye Kennington. You’ve heard me talking about it before, enamoured as I am by the beautiful increasing and the idea of covered ears (= safety and security. Dutch word “geborgenheid” which associates to being held, physically, in a safe enclosure. “Borg” = “burcht” = castle.)
It is first time thrums for me. I may have gotten too enthousiastic about thrums…
More so at the second ear muff:
Knitting with thrums is a bit of a challenge but the pattern explains it well:
The yarn is the handspun that I made a Rikke hat from which was too tight and then I was deflated or at least my motivation was deflated. But getting this lovely pattern from Sokkenmuis made me rip out the hat right then and there and re use the yarn right away. On needles 2,75 mm.
Hmmm, knitting with handspun. HMMMM, CAKE!
Love thrums all:
Using Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor as a template. I’ve rewritten the pattern to be knit continuously, without cutting yarn too much. By now it’s a basic pattern I can use and re-use with any aran weight. Handspun is ideal! And it only takes 200 grams max.
This one too 185 grams of the green rolls I made and spun this Tour de Fleece.
Ahh, what a nice project. From the visit to wool studio Spinspul on the first day of de Tour to making more rolls at the cabin to spinning it while watching Tour de France.
Knit in just one week, handspun does knit faster!
Here are some pictures from fitting the vest. There’s a bit too much fabric at the back, I’ll need to decrease there even before I reach the underarms, on a next vest.
A next vest will certainly come. I’ve got about six finished now and two more on the needles. It’s just ideal to wear over one of the many dress shirts I surely will be sewing this year.
Just 200 grams is all I need. 430 meters. Needles 3,5 mm, gauge 19 st per 10 cm.
I’ve found some new treats to keep me going:
Shortbread! The best version of sprits-boterkoek-koekje that I can think of.
During Tour de Fleece we got a recipe (in Dutch, on Ravelry) for shortbread from Cjadam, a wonderful spinner from Amsterdam, and maker of the cardemom (!) shortbread and wonderful batts, of which I’ll soon talk more.
Before I found the shortbread this gave me a head ache:
Licorice chocolate. And whiny cat.
Both delicious but preferably enjoyed in little bits at a time. Which is impossible. With either.
I started these yesterday:
Thumb gussets are good. Especially when you have hands in the shape of a meat shovel on a meat twig. They are very good hands, make no mistake.
I’m using handspun that is very dear to me. Spun in the magical winter of 2010-2011, from batts I received in the Folklore and Fairytale Swap februari 2010 from the wonderful Norwegian Ullsmeden (“wool-smith”).
Among the many things she send were five batts that follow the story of King Polarbear:
I spun these in the winternights around Winter Solstice 2010. I was alone, in my cabin in the woods, thick with snow. It was magical.
This batt became a yarn called Winternights:
This batt became a yarn called “Lady of Darkness” and it’s about Frau Holle in Winter.
“In Winter Frau Holle rides in the night, with all the unborns under her cape. She looks for people to let them born with in the New Year. After the 12 holy nights of x-mas she retreats into the Underworld (a joyeus place), keeping the souls safe and happy, until her magic 12 nights return the next Winter
In the Summer she rides again as a dark lady, in black, collecting the spirit of corn and flax while they are being harvested by mankind. Mankind keeps the goods, Frau Holle takes the spirits and keeps them safe until the new year, when new crops will spring into life.
This darkside of Frau Holle is not something to be feared or something to be condemmed. Even if she is called ‘Hel’ in this form. ‘Hel’ means ‘bright’.
It is about that circle: born, love, die, resurrection.
This spinning is about the dying part. Black. Tears. Grief. But also: a glimmer of something…..love? beauty? life.”
The batts are full of sparkle and colour nuances. I spun them as a single which I then fulled.
I am very very happy to have found a project in which these yarns can show their many nuances and sparkle and memories:
So much gets done when you don’t take your crochet with you to the cabin.
I also finished Grey Flinders Vest while I was there:
Top-down vest pattern with raglan at the shoulders:
Before I started the ribbed hem I added a few shortrows at the front because it was considerable higher than the back. Three pairs in total, that’s six extra rows.
pattern: Flinders Sweater Vest by Linda from clickertyclick
yarn: 170 grams of handspun Wolop hollands grijs on needles 4 mm. Ribbing on 3,5 mm. DK weight, 411 m used.
It’s really nice! Now that we’re back in the city I want to make dress shirts asap to wear under it. Like the ones I’ve been planning since last Noveber. But first I have to sew a pair of trousers. Linen Summer trousers. For Summer 2016.
Ofcourse this happened:
a new needle 4 mm arrived, to continue Tangled Vines cardigan with.
still waiting for the purple(green) handspun to dry and start Flinders Vest with it.
casting on Flinders Vest with Wolop Grey on said needle 4 mm:
and I’m already down to the underbust decreases!
The pattern is a tiny bit difficult to follow because it doesn’t explicitly say when to join the back to the fronts and it also increases a bit fast to my taste at the vertical arm hole edges. Thirdly, some increases right at the bind off for the neck edge feel counter intuitive since they happen at one raglan but not the other. I just trusted the pattern and thought that I could always fudge a stitch +/- if I felt it would be needed.
With any stretch of knitting of more than a handful of stitches making one stitch more or less isn’t going to be a problem. Knitting is approximate.
Soon I’ll be breaking the yarn and add the ribbing at the neck and arm holes first, before knitting downwards again to the hem.
There will be a few stripes in blue at the hip line, I expect. That blue Wolop roving has been spun already. It’s Leicester, which is a breed akin to Blue Faced Leicester, and it spun up so fast! Nice long staple and soft. 10/10, will spin again.
The twist hasn’t been set yet. 193 meters, 100 grams, same weight as the Wolop Grey (sport/worsted)
“the twist hasn’t been set”…. I better do that right away, otherwise it may not be dry before I need it.
He was positively fuming and spitting on the steering wheel at times. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a hobby of his.
I took it as an opportunity to practise to leave it all with him. After all, I know he forgets about his anger a mere 500 m further down the road. It’s of no use that I carry all the charged negativity for another two hours.
Seeing all his anger as a mere hobby of agitated song & dance helps me to disregard it for sure!
The landscape just over the border is already foreign and I enjoyed it very much. Hills! Mysterious bits of forest. Little see throughs and exotic cottages. And: not every inch of land is as neatly suffocated as it is in my country.
I didn’t take any good pictures.
Lovely old landscapes that weren’t bombarded during the war:
pics by www.wehrbauten.de and muensterland.de
To me these landscapes refer to the European area where the main fairy tales are from: Germany, Central Europe, Eastern Europe.
We arrived in Münster and started with a coffee and some fortifications. Look how much knitting I got done on the way over:
We got caught in a very heavy shower. I didn’t mind waiting it out under some shelter:
At the end of the day we visited the botanical garden just behind the city castle. It’s one of the best I’ve ever visited!
Yes, they also have indoor green houses with many tropical plants. I showed the hat a chocolate tree in blossom:
Being here in Summer means many plants were in bloom. So many happy bumble bees! Again not everything was neatly groomed, there were many hidden places and nooks where plants and nature just grew free. But the garden is very well organized and this basic structure makes that it’s never chaos or nasty. And every plant has a label. It’s such a photographer’s paradise.
They had 50 kinds of mint… and most of them smelled awful.
Then, on our way out, we discovered a whole section of dyer’s plants!
I have some Lily of the Valley in the wood behind the cabin, I really want to try it out.
We then left Münster and on the way back we stopped at a large supermarket to do some shopping. They had lots of Lindt chocolate! Their 85% chocolate has been my favourite chocolate for years (but not anymore).
Major sugar bomb alert!
(now I know for certain that Swiss Chocolat Stella 75% is my all time favourite)
Sitting in the car with my tooth enamel crackling and my brain rattling in my skull I found a new car knitting hobby… at every traffic light I showed my knitting to the car waiting next to us:
Then I showed what it was meant to be:
I got many laughs and thumbs up. Happy people! Knit in public ambassador! More chocolate!
Robert also found a new driving hobby: racing away from every traffic light as fast as he could and loudly praying that the next one would be green and he’d never have to see these laughing drivers again.
At home we relaxed a bit by watching olympic cycling:
and I discovered sugary chocolate brings out my old frenemy of stockinette knit:
I’ve finished the body of Hilja sweater vest. It’s such a happy knit!
I’ve got stitchmarkers, my favourite ones, that go perfectly with the yarn and now every stitch is a joy to look at:
Sometimes I think that knitting (and spinning) is all about the colours and only about the colours.
That that’s why knitting and spinning fits us, colour crazed beings; in the same wondrous way that cat companionship fits humankind.
Cats identify with their fur, they like it washed, touched, stroked. And we, humans, like to “watch” with our hands. We love to touch things, we have sensitive finger tips, we revel in tactiles/touchables.
Put these two characteristics together in a room and you’ve got two species reinforcing each others’ coincidental happiness.
As humankind is an eye-species as much as it’s a touch-things-species I think that’s why we breed cats in such various shapes and colours, just to please our eyes while we indulge our hands. It’s not something I favour because it does not benefit the cats… but I see how it plays into our eye-addiction.
As far as the knitting goes, my colour indulgence is over, the body is finished. I went on to the ribbing at the neck and arms.
I picked up stitches at the neck and did a 1×1 ribbing (on a smaller needle, 3 mm instead of the 3,75mm):
But I didn’t like how it looked. It’s too…. crude. Too scruffy. Not refined enough to wear amongst city folk.
I thought that a commercial yarn would look better. It would show deliberate contraposition between the handspun and the commercial yarn.
I chose a colour with quite a bit of contrast. I can handle contrast because my darkish hair has quite a bit of contrast with my fair skin and when I mirror this in clothing it makes me look healthy. (Although in 2014 I’ve grown grey from the stress and the contrast in the vest will now be a bit harsher than my own but that’s ok, it may make me look a bit more stern but I’m ok with that. Besides, I don’t have any other good yarn and this is a really nice one, it has some cashmere in it.)
I knitted 2 cm of 2×2 ribbing on the first arm hole and it looks very nice:
And just the contrast in texture with the handspun I was looking for. It seems to say what I want it to say, that its companion, the bodice, is made with a designed yarn. Yarn of a chosen, deliberate texture. Not something a well willing amateur made who couldn’t do any better.
The bind off is Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off done from the wrong side so it gives a nice edge on the right side.
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).
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.