sock trouble on king’s day

Today I’m doubting the socks…

I gave Lentesokken some nice leafs to end the lace part. A princess heel and foot are on the way:

But the two leafs on the front look ugly. And there’s some tension problems there.

I cannot continue. I won’t enjoy wearing these. They don’t sit well. The leafs are really ugly. And I don’t enjoy knitting this. So I must rip. But I don’t want to. So I took this pictures and stuffed them in a drawer.

Safe Harbour Socks look nice with Prickly Pear stitches:

Love the colour and stitch definition! I was really putting in an effort to knit neatly.

Here too a leaf appeared to transition lace into regular knitting:

Ah yes, a leaf on the heel flap. The part that needs to withstand rigorous handling because I slip into my sneakers without loosening the laces. Also I walk vigorously, nearly springing off the ground with each step.

That’s when I realized that this yarn only has 10% Nylon/ polyamide.
80 % wool, 10% Cashmere and 10% Nylon. Only 10%? It won’t withstand my use of socks! And the cashmere will make it loose the clear stitch definition!

Should I knit it anyways? I’ll wear through the heel in barely six months! Can’t reinforce the heel because I don’t have reinforcing thread. Use them as fancy socks instead? Not dor vigorous walking? I don’t know what to do!
Better park the stitches onto a life line. Stuff sock into drawer.

And now I have “nothing” to knit.

Chance socks still look good but the tiny cabling is tiring my eyes a bit:

One of these charms will be knit into the cuff:

Inspected by Lillepoes

She has a misformed foot, called a “clog-foot” in this country. Or “hurray! toes”.
It’s because she was bred by an irresponsible breeder.

Talk about hurray… today is King’s day in the Netherlands. We are celebrating the King’s birthday, his name is William-Alexander, Prince of Orange. That’s why orange is our patriotic colour.

Some Dutch SockMadness racers are knitting orange Safe Harbour socks and I drew this for them:



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.

Weird Wool Wednesday 2: Orange Kings’ Day

Today it’s the birthday of the King of the Netherlands. His familyname is “From Orange”.
Orange is a small principality in the south of France and the first Dutch Prince of Orange started procedures to free our country from foreign rule which is why we see him as the Father of the Fatherland. (He led a complicated political life and school children all over the country still struggle to make sense of it. Adults don’t understand it either but they’ve stopped trying.)

“From Orange” makes for easy fandom. The whole country is orange today. People, banners, clothes, pastry.

kings day

Our royals are the same royals used to name Orange County, NY, USA. In 1683 the province of New York was divided into 12 counties which were named after British royalty. The third Prince William of Orange was one of them.

I presume orange trees grew easily in the principality in France?

The weird thing is: an orange is called a “sinaasappel” in Dutch which translates as “China’s apple”. It’s pronounced the same way too. Lot’s of countries call it that. Or “Appelsin” which is “Apple de China”

Was this reference to China an early marketing ploy, to suggest oranges are wild and exotic? Or did they indeed come from the far East??
I’m too lazy to do more internetlearning on this, my day off. You do it. And can I then borrow your notes on the political value of William I of Orange please?

The current king is also named William: Willem-Alexander. He’s no longer Prince of Orange though, now that’s he’s king.
He married a smart girl from Argentinia and they have three daughters: Amalia, Alexia and Ariane. Amalia is now the Princess of Orange.

 pic by Remko de Waal

On King’s Day tradition is that they, as a family, visit a city or two in the country and observe folk games and songs and the local children doing crafts.

It’s a holiday. The whole country is going nuts with festivities everywhere. Lots of music. Everything and everyone’s orange.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 12.56.34

Even for us, home staying people, orange creeps in:

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 13.49.48

Another sock on the wheel

I started another sock fibre on the wheel. This one is a combination of BFL (long fibres) and sparkly Nylon (strength).

It’s a roving from Kleurvol and it’s wonderfully soft. And such vibrant colours! I love spinning it in the sun, after so many soft and harmonious colours the past few weeks.

I’ve divided the roving in two lengthwise so I’ll have two socks with the same colour sequence.
Each part is is divided in two again because I’m making a 2 ply sock yarn. I spin from one end of the colours to the other. Orange to teal.

Usually I go for a 3 ply (rounder yarn, more sturdy) but for that you need four bobbins and I only have 3 for my wheel. Navajo-plying, the other way of making a 3ply that only requires two bobbins, is not a favourite technique of mine. All that waving around, getting your fingers knotted up in singles. Just not relaxed spinning.

My singles have much twist and so does the plying so I’ll get a roundish yarn that’s quite sturdy because each fibre is wrapped around others a few times. You see this in most of my worsted spun yarns, I like yarns that look like a string of pearls.

I found someone on Ravelry who spun a 2 ply from this very fibre mix, also dyed by Kleurvol, and her socks look great and wear well.
I’m already planning to knit them toe up, with toes, heels and cuff knitted from the other end of the ball, in contrasting colours.
Orange toes or teal ones? I’m thinking orange…

Here’s one sock on the bobbin:

finding some orange socks

I was rooting through the sock yarn stash, matching yarns for new Skew socks.
I found lovely combinations!

I casted on for one more Skew immediately, the third one on the needles right now. It’s the combination from the first picture.

In the sock yarn stash there was also a bunch of tangled up yarns that made me cringe. It was as big as a basketball! (or looked that big anyway). Lots of yarns from years and years ago. Bits and pieces I’ve been saving because they might come in handy one day. And beautiful left over yarn I do not dare to throw away even though it’s alpaca and makes me itchy.
Today I was not playing ball. Instead of spending hours untangling these yarns that do not even bring me pleasure I just took some scissors, cut it loose from the rest of the balls and put it in the bin.
I’m master of the yarns!

Zipper playing

The third thing I found in the sock yarn stash were…. socks. Socks on needles. WIPs.
Three pair of orange socks that only needed some cuffs. All knitted in 2009, when I was a new knitter and wanted all my socks to be orange.
Because orange is fun to knit and orange socks are fun to wear. Back then I needed serious “lift me up” from my socks as I was severely bed bound and the only thing I saw all day was the ceiling and, if I managed to sit up a bit, my socks.
Happy orange socks for the win!

This is the very first pair I ever knitted. December 2008.
This is the pair where the magic of “turning the heel” happened for me. That’s as important as your first handspun. Or realizing one can think in a sequence of spaces instead of masses (if you’re an architect). Or deciphering squiggly lines into separate letters and learning to read.

I still have these socks and I still wear them. Even though I don’t need many orange socks these days. These days my socks need to fit my dress. So muted colours and misty greens are more my thing.
Still, finding socks that only need a cuff? Finish them!

This is one pair in the sock yarn stash. It’s knitted a bit loosely because back then I didn’t know I needed smaller needles. “Everybody knits at 2,5 mm.”
I’m giving them a cuff right now. In garter stitch because I still don’t care much for ribbing.

The other pair is made with leftover of the yarn from my very first sock, the Phildar Hobby:

They were started in 2009 and I noted:
“Stashbusting and not bothering to make matching socks. freedom 🙂
using a ball of yarn from a frogged sock which was double knitting. So now I have to make two socks on one circular at the same time. Trust me to insert stripes and different coloured heels and toes and causing the socks not to progress at the same rate while the ball gives its two strands simultaneously. great fun.”

I have no idea what I’m writing here. But I seem to feel the duty to knit two matching socks. That was all the rage back then. I felt a bit rebellious not conforming.
17 July 2009 I started this project. Today I finished them:

Yarn is Phildar Hobby, on the colour Piment. Discontinued by now. I’ll weave in the ends now.

I found another project from way back then. Another one where I didn’t want to knit the ribbed cuff:

I so loved this yarn. It’s one of the first “expensive” yarns that I bought. And by that I mean: decent yarn. Just a decent sock yarn that will result in good socks with good wearability. I remember buying it. On sale, because I was stupid. It’s a Trekking that I overdyed to be more orange and warm. So happy with it, back in 2009:

This is what I wrote back then:
“Such lovely colors to work with! First toe-up sock for me. Still figuring out size.

summer ‘09: these have been finished for months, apart from the cuffs…. and I do not like knitting ribbing. Don’t scream now, but I will frog these.
Good yarn to get back 🙂 ”

Whatever possessed me to get rid of socks that run so high up the calf?? I must have thought them not worthy of this expensive yarn.
It explains that in 2015 this is what I found:

A sock and a half.

It’ll do.
These won’t even need a cuff. A rolled hem is the most sturdy edge there is. Just bind them off and start expressing my inner Pippi:

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.

gone off orange?

We returned to the cabin and we spend the first day cleaning up. I vacuumed and my husband beat the dust out of the fleeces on the couch.
Then he redressed the couch the wrong his way, draping my grandmothers woolen blanket on it instead of folding it so I can put it around me.


I like it.
I like it a lot!

It took a couple of hours for me to clue up on what was different in the room that felt so good. But once I saw it I SAW IT.

The colours of the blanket fit so nice with the free hand cushions I knitted once.
It ties together with the walls and the dark oak ornaments. It really is an inviting couch now. A comforting little nook.

Also: I am wearing an ocre/turmeric coloured vest. When I lie down now for my daily rest I go invisible. And it’s all wool! It is so soothing.

Now I want more.
I’m planning to spin or felt more cushion covers in these colours. Change the curtains. Wear more rusty browns and dark browns and turmeric!

I like it so much better than the bright pink/red/orange fleece that’s supposed to drape the couch. It’s official, I’m off orange.

Did some knitting! finished legwarmers

I knitted yesterday. 40 minutes here. 30 minutes there.
Today I have legwarmers!
projectpage here

I had so much fun spinning this yarn.
It knits up more yellow and muted than I thought. A lot of the bright orange, greens and pink have melted into greys. But that’s ok. I love them, I’ve been wearing them all day today.

on needles 5,5 mm and with only2 m of yarn left.
I redid them and put in more wearing ease.
Now just tread a little bit of elastic through the top.