Tour de Fleece day 17: 4 silk singles on one bobbin

I had to stack both turquoise singles onto the same bobbin because the Hill Top Cloud Gradient Pack is on the other two bobbins. I plan to ply those once I’m back in the city which for now leaves me in the cabin for a whole day with just one usable bobbin and a strong desire to spin on my Finnish wheel.

So I spun half of the turquoise silk on the bobbin and then I put a marker colour on. I then spun the other half. When I’m in the city again I’ll unwind the bobbin onto another bobbin until I meet the colour marker. That’s when I can start plying the two singles together.

Here’s the marker, it’s yellow and curly:

The silk is so intensely coloured.

It makes me shake.

I wasn’t done spinning silk on my Scandic Slanty yet so I added two other silk singles on top of the turquoise singles:

And I changed the position of my wheel, to have a different view:

That’s Dutch cyclist Bauke Mollema, he is in second position in this 3 week race!

Oh, how I love to spin these silk balls now that I finally found the wheel to spin them on. They are dyed by Iboy and I want to buy some more later this year.

That one on the right, it looks just like labradorite!

My view for the rest of the purple silk:


Tonight I drive back to the city. I had a wonderful few days here at the cabin. I look forward to return here shortly for a longer vacation.


Tour de Fleece Day 12: breaking the rules

Leader in the Tour is RUNNING instead of cycling!

and I was knitting instead of spinning. I bound of Temptress shawl:

The pattern bind off features a picot which turned out too frilly in my hands. I undid it and did a regular Bind Off, making picots at every tenth stitch and inserting a bead at the very top of it.

I was trying to mimic the pattern picture of Booknits:

This one was done with the picot bindoff but she manages to make it all airy and lean. Mine got way too frilly:

pattern Temptress by Boo Knits. I used 350 meters of a 100% silk yarn which I do not recommend since it gets all fuzzy. Probably is tussah silk. I recommend Bombyx silk. Needles 3,5 mm, outer border done on 4 mm, bindoff on 7 mm.

Froome is the cyclist you see running. He is top leader in the Tour and he was in pursuit of today’s probable winners together with two people who fight him for his overall position. They were cycling up Mont Ventoux where you need people to cycle with you, even if they are your opponents.

The road was small and winding and filled with spectators. Suddenly something happened, we don’t know what yet, and one of the motor cycles that film everything stopped. Too abruptly for the three cyclists to brake.

They smash into the motor. All three fall to the ground. They pick up their bikes and continue but Froomes bike is busted. He proceeds to run with it in his hand. Then he leaves it at the side of the road and continues running, in his cycling shoes, towards the finish line.

Until the car with the reserve bikes can get to him.

It was bizarre!

Finished: teeny tiny x-mas mitten

Today, on a midsummer’s day with tropical temperatures I finished the x-mas ornament:

Shown here hanging in the house plant in our front room that has a permanent x-massy resident. Because I love reindeer and wood and Norway and possibly x-mas.

The mitten has some French knots for berries. Made in 100% silk embroidery thread.

Personalities of the birds differ from front to back. I wonder if that has something to do with the image being mirrored and knit going from either yellow to green or green to yellow. In the first picture the shape of the underbeak is helped by yellow stitches having a ^-shape. Plus tension? I don’t know.  All I know is I’ve got two birds.

100% silk

Measures about 5 cm wide (2″) and 9 cm high (3.5″)

weighs 4 grams

Is more evenly in texture than the two bottom pictures suggest. Top picture is more accurate.

Itty bitty tiny mitty in progress.

Around 2 o’clock in the afternoon:

Nine o’clock at night:

I pretty much knitted on this all day. Such small needles!

The silk is lovely. Bombyx 🙂

The morning was spend with carefully taking some yarn from the still somewhat damp skein:

As you can see there’s still quite a bit of yellow visible where the skein was bound. So I only took enough silk for one mitten ( I hope) and tossed the skein back into the dye pot again.

The result:

Good for the next 11 mittens. If I run out of gold I might use some whitish bombyx silk I have. White and green is also very x-massy to me.

On the first mitten I made some mistakes. The number of mistakes increases now that it’s evening so I’m stopping for the day. Besides, my ring finger is tingling now and my other ring finger is growing some thick skin for where I wrangle the needle with every stitch. So it’s time to stop.

Noticeable mistakes are that I forgot to park the thumb stitches where the pattern told me so. I just kept on knitting and stranding until it was time to decrease for the top of the thumb and then I was: “Eh?”
I decreased and separated then and there but the thumb is pretty much webbed to the body of the mitten.

Other mistakes were knitting the wrong stitch in the wrong colour. I tinked back or dropped the stitch and worked it back up in the right colour. This messes with the tension but not too much (I hope).

I stranded a little pear on the thumb.
Do not recommend, it’s not as pretty as I hoped it would be.

And in the beginning I forgot that front and back are mirrored, not the same image repeated. For that I had to rip out a couple of rows and start the stranding anew.

Oops, trying to get too much grip on the situation:

Finished: Weaving Manos Silk Blend

I finished the silk scarf:

But let me start from the beginning:

I warped the loom with Manos del Uruquay Silk Blend, colour Abalone or Europa. I’ll use one skein for the warp and one for the weft. Each skein has 150 yards on it, it’s a DK weight made of 80% Merino and 20% silk.

My skeins have knots!

It’s ok if it’s in the skein for the weft but in the warp it presents problems. The knot will not go through the heddle and it messes with tension:

Both skeins had knots in them. I’m not impressed at all, this yarn is expensive!

Anyway. All things tight in the appropriate ways to my rigid heddle loom, by Glimakra. Ready for weaving:

I had calculated how wide and how long it could be, given the yardage on the skeins. But reality is always different. In the end I just went with how wide I wanted my scarf to be: not wider than 25 cm. Not smaller than 20 m. And at least a m long.

Weaving now! Oh, it looks so pretty:

I’m trying to “make squares”. My warp/heddle has 4 threads per 1 cm. But when weaving I find I like to beat the threads a bit more closer together. 5 or even 6 threads per cm. I try to refrain from doing so, remembering that the warp here is still under tension. When it’s finished and has had a bath it will look different. It will stack the woven threads more together, I’m guessing.

So there I was, weaving, weaving. Enjoying the colours, the material. Trying not to scratch the tabletop with my loom (put a plastic coaster in between)

Then: “Oh! I’ve woven the whole skein in the weft already! I’m done?”

Haha, no I’m not! I’m being smart: there’s still quite a bit of warp left, why not cut some off and use the leftovers as weft?

Hahah! That’s right, use the luxury yarn baby! Just tie the warp that’s left at the back of the heddle and you’re good to go:

I’m brilliant in theory, once again. In reality not so much: with the warp knotted like this you cannot use the heddle to separate every other thread from its neighbour. Instead I have to guide the weft thread under and over every separate thread. Like weaving with a darning needel.

How smart am I? Well, about as smart as I am patient. “This scarf is long enough as is. I’m not knotting any more threads and certainly not weaving by hand and needle.”

Finishing now with a hem stitch, via tutorial from Purl Soho:

The only difference is that I go three downwards and three to the left instead of four (after I’ve wrapped around four strands). I poke the needle through the third and fourth wrapped warp thread instead of after the fourth and before the first from the new wrap. I like it that way.

Now it’s had a bath. Letting it dry in the sun as I write this:

Woosh! Wind! As shown by some frogged project yarn that’s also had a bath:

Silk scarf now intimately entangled with rose thorns from Austin rose Glamis Castle. Gotta love nature.

The fabric has filled up nicely with the bath and the release from the loom’s tension. It’s a beautiful fabric:

The silk gleams! The weaving has “squared up” nicely.

There is pooling going on and the shawl is way more variegated than the example I saw on Ravelry and love so much. This is in the shade:

But it’s a lovely, luxury item that will go well with all my new colours. I’m sure it has a place in my wardrobe. Wear it with a handmade silver coloured shawl pin…. beautiful!

Heehee! It already goes well with what I’m wearing at the moment: olive coloured linnen trousers and Wollmeise Mauseschwanzen:

Nice to know I can tone down the pooling or the contrast.

Dressed for the occasion

We went out to dinner tonight, with my aunt and uncle who are visiting the Hieronymus Bosch exhibition which ends tomorrow. It has all night opening hours!

For the occasion I wore a dress that I made in 2013 and it’s a nice reminder that I have actually sewn something wearable. (The shirt I’m sewing at the moment is going horrible. Horrible!)

This is the dress in 2013:

It started out as pattern Butterick 6582 but that’s got ridiculous wearing ease and even though I was an absolute beginner I managed to slim it down from a potato sack to a dress.

With it I wore this beautiful silk handknit shawl, the Cocoberry Cowl, pattern by Meilindis, finished in 2014, in 100% silk:

and they go so nice together! The colours are great and the silk gleams while the woven fabric has silver details and it all looks glorious and fun!

I wore beautiful shoes from Paul Green which are elegant yet comfy and I think I’ve had them for…. 10 years? 15? The last time I wore them was on my honeymoon, ten years ago.
I haven’t been much out of the house since then, it feels.

So, this evening I felt stylish and sophisticated and we had a lovely time, sitting outside dining and me being beautiful and elegant yet very comfortable with shoes I can walk in and a dress I can breathe in and silk that’s soft against the skin and either warms or cools, as needed. Quality!

When I came home I took some pictures to show you the quality and how well everything goes together.
First my beautiful shoes:
and the Haflinger Slippers.
Ah yes, that’s a Fabel on the right, it’s already nearly a pair of cuffs. In the plastic bag are Belgian chocolates my aunt brought! Well spotted.

btw, my chocolate-free day yesterday was awful. I’m not sure whether it was withdrawal or something else but *blergh*.
I did sleep through the night though! So I’m saving those Belgian bonbons for a bit longer to see if my insomnia is influenced by chocolate.

Ooohnooo, we should have taken photos outside so you could see the actual colours!


Quick, world wide web evasive manouvres: Cat lady, accessorize!




Thank you Lillepoes, your job here is done. The city is safe.

testknit: Autism Awareness Shawl in 100% silk

I’m doing a testknit for designer Carolyn Macpherson.
The design is a shawl called I Believe and here’s her version in the colour that symbolizes autism:
pic by CarolynMac

What an interesting design, with that lace cabling. It caught my eye and reminded me of something:

 pic by Autism

When I read the inspiration for this design I contacted Carolyn to ask if I could one of the testknitters please.

In her own words: “I was inspired to create this shawl by Autism Canada’s campaign for Worldwide Autism Awareness Day, April 2nd, 2016. Not a visible disability, the Autistic Spectrum is staggeringly diverse and the number of children and adults affected by ASD is growing yearly.

Both of my children are severely Autistic and we struggle everyday to find help. This shawl symbolizes hope, and the strength of the many to believe and help each individual along the way. While blue is the predominant colour for Autism Awareness (and a symbol for hope), this shawl could easily and equally represent any cause you hold dear.”

The deadline for this testknit is 2 April: worldwide Autism Awareness Day, installed by the United Nations. Here are four autism sites important to the designer:

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 21.00.31

Autism is dear to my heart. Many of my Ravelry knitter friends have autistic children or are on the spectrum themselves. For all of them, living with autism includes a daily struggle to get the understanding and connection they need from the people they meet. Regular people like friends and neighbours but also the health, council or education professionals who are involved in their lives. Every one of those knitters has to educate pretty much all of the people they ever meet, about autism. More awareness is very welcome.

One of my friends does both, she fights the personal fight AND she’s a public advocate for autism awareness here in the Netherlands.
And she used to dye yarns.

I’m therefor very happy to knit the I Believe shawl in Dutch Knitting Design’s yarn base Madelief in a one of a kind colourway:

This is how far I am at the moment:

Glorious colours! Great design!

The yarn is so soft and smooth… it’s 100% silk, fingering weight, 400 m to the 100 grams. It’s both cool and warm, whatever you want it to be. A welcome trait for people who enjoy non-intrusive materials.

It’s made up of numerous thin strands. This insures that the yarn will not pill and retain it’s luster once it’s knit:

How many strands are there, 12? I do have a tendency to poke my needle into the yarn and split it when I knit.

There’s a split stitch here, at my fingertip:

I’ve started to drop all the stitches in this column. It’s even a column with one of the cable-details in it! Just working slowly and reading the knitting I’ll drop down, repair the stitch and then work my way up again.

Here it is after the repair:

Pointing to where the split stitch was.

O my, those colours!

I chose the combination of a 100% silk yarn and the stockinette stitch variation of the I Believe shawl. Stockinette will curl but since silk doesn’t have the elastic memory that wool has I’m curious to see whether it will lay flat after blocking.

Dutch Knitting Design stopped dyeing and selling yarns a few years ago. She’s now a knitting pattern designer and she makes crocheted jewellery:

Still using high quality silk in gorgeous colours. Devoting more time then ever to educating the council and education professionals about autism.

These are the Dutch Autism sites. They’ve chosen to focus on sports for Autism Awareness day, April the second, and the whole week that surrounds it:

All colours welcome.

Waking up the turtles.

Yesterday I woke up the handspun turtles and made them into a plying “ball”. That’s when you prewind the two (or three) threads you want to ply unto a nostepinne.
It makes plying much easier then trying to ply directly from loose turtles that will bounce around and divert your attention, as I once discovered:

Plying from the plying ball went easy:

Poor woman’s nostepinne: carton roll from kitchen towels.

Yes, I’m wearing my bright red Deer Bleuet Dress. And my handspun green legwarmers.

During the winding onto the nostepinne one turtle would run out of yarn sooner than the other. But it’s easy to attach the new yarn to the ply:

Now I have 177,5 m of lovely purple lace. In 100% silk. The mulberry kind, my favourite.

Later today we’re travelling back to the city. I’m bringing wool!

Blue Art Deco Cardi is coming. Wollmeise is coming. Green spinning fluff is coming.
The little turkish spindle is coming too, in it’s own darling tin. With some more Mulberry silk. Doesn’t this speak of early Spring?

while turtles sleep…

All the silk is spindle spun into turtles.
Now they need to rest for a while, while the twist sets.

Not one to twiddle my thumbs idly, I delved into a dreamy misty green elfenbatt:

Soft, silken, sparkly.
It’s the prize I won at the last Tour de Fleece. It’s a custom made batt by the fantastic Cjadam:

Spinning it is a delight. It made me hungry for more meters so I grabbed a wheel and had a fantastic evening:

Finished: Cocoberry Cowl in silk

I finished it, it looks splendid!

the pattern is Cocoberry Cowl by Meilindis.
I used 480 m of fingering weight in pure silk, on needles 2,75 mm and I enlarged the pattern, this is a size M or L.

Shoulder detail:

This is a large shawl, it hangs halfway down my back. So somewhere in the middle I stopped increasing and ended the raglans with a nupp-detail.

The back:

with more flowers than the pattern states but I LOVE those flowers, with their nupps.

The front:

It closes with one flap over the other. And then buttons.

I bought buttons for it, while I was in the city. Nice purple lilac pearly accented buttons. But now I can’t find them, grrrr. I’m decluttering the cabin and that always messes up the system.

Silk has more drape and less memory than wool. So this shawl will pretty much hang from my shoulders as it is and not creep back up it, like blocked wool ones tend to do.
The collar however will not stand up on its own. That’s silk for you.

But what a nice colour! And such nice gleam!
It feels delicious. All cool and warm at the same time. And very soft.

I’ll be wearing it, without the buttons, until I find them. Nobody will think this shawl lacks buttons or luxury.

The edge in detail: