Tour de Fleece prize received

This week I received my prize for participating in the Tour de Fleece event of the Dutch Karma Swap Group.
In TdF we share our spinning projects for 3 weeks and in the end we all donate a prize and then we all get to choose a prize, in an order that’s determined by a random generator. It’s a really fun and friendly event and it doesn’t matter how much you spun or how often you post.

I chose “Batts made in the colour of your liking” and I liked  the colour “birch”.

This was a bit of a challenge for my friend from the NKS who adores colour-colours but she welcomed the challenge and made me some birch:

It’s BFL (white and oatmeal) and some grey Merino, black wool with silk, white silk, green wool and sparkly Angelina.
90 grams in total.

This will be a nice spinning project in any time of the year! Especially if the day is calm and tranquil. Perhaps a silent Winter day?

For project I’m thinking this could be a yarn with some kind of structure which can be an accent in a woven fabric of solid, light colour. Becoming the front of a cushion.


Tour de Fleece Day 21: Finish Photo

Tour de Fleeve 2016

One Wolop (vest), two gradients, one Passe-partout (hat?), two Iboy Mulberries, half a purple (green) vest with silk and these icy colours from Passe-Partout that still need to be plied:

Today I finished the last of the ice colours, they now have to rest for a day before plying.
In the mean time I spun some more silk singles to ply with the purple(green) singles for the vest. It’s still on the wheel and I plan to continue tomorrow:

Tour de Fleeve 2016

The wheel has a new drive band, one of 3 mm thick. Instead of the thick one of 5mm I put on on Day 2 of Tour de Fleece. It spins well now.

I spend the rest of the day sewing a skirt. It’s about half done now:

Tour de Fleeve 2016

Linen fabric, cut on the bias, with a chiffon lining. A pocket in one side seam, a zipper in the other:

Tour de Fleeve 2016

The satin band on the top will fold down on the inside. It hides the raw edges and reinforces the waist. Biased fabric will stretch terribly otherwise. I used this satin band instead of a sturdy waistband because this is less work and is enough for a Summer skirt (I was hoping).

The skirt has to hang for at least a night for the fabric to relax a bit before I can hem it at an even length.

That’s quite a bit of things I want to do tomorrow! Spinning and plying and sewing and hemming, on top of the other things Monday brings.
Luckily I won the most important medal today:

“Do things on your own time and as they inspire you. A non-stressed spinner is a winner!”

(the purring a cat does is called “spinning” in Dutch. It’s the same verb used for spinning wool.
Plien is the surname of the spinning friend who advocates to only spin when you enjoy it and not pressure yourself in any way.)
Plien is a wise woman!

Tour de Fleece day 20: ice colours

I plied the turqoise mulberry:

and then I spun hours and hours of ice colours of these Passe-Partout Winter whisper mist colours:

Merino with mulberry silk. Got it at the Knitter’s party with chickens last Summer. There’ll be a new party again this year! Looking forward to it.

This roving is so beautiful, with true Mulberry silk, it gleams and glistens in the light. It’s like spinning spider’s silk, from a happy spider.

It contained the colour of my new skirt (sewn by me, finished this morning, a light Summer linen with a silk chiffon lining):

We were spinning at the new studio of Wolop and I bought this beautiful soft ice blue BFL from her:

to go with the grey sheep I spun earlier this Tour that needs an additional colour to make a vest for me.

And I bought this green sock mix:

as an alternative for the blue Leicester above, as a companion for the vest. I’ve had my eye on this green one since the Midwinterwol Fair but Lieneke from Wolop knew to keep it from me because it contains mohair and I didn’t enjoy spinning mohair the first time I tried it.

Today I bought it because the colours keep making me happy. If the mohair still proves to be tricky I could chose to just ply the two other breeds and leave the mohair out of it. The mohair has a beautiful colour and gleam though!

I’m looking forward to what I will make with today’s yarns and rovings. They fit my palet wonderfully.

With the skirt I made I now have a workable basic pattern. Tomorrow I’ll cut the first real skirt from it, using one of the linens I bought in the right colours:

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 16: sitting outside celebrating the day.

Spinning the second half of the gradient pack. It’s a beautiful day in the Netherlands. Tomorrow it will be nearly tropical and the same on Wednesday. 30 degrees Celsius and more.

During the day I’m sitting inside with the curtains and shutters closed. I come outside early in the morning and late in the afternoon, just after all the commuting traffic has passed. It’s lovely.

Lovely the second: I’m baking a lot of pancakes!

Pancakes are celebratory food in my family. When I lived in Norway I was baking pancakes and at the same time my brother was baking pancakes, while studying in Spain. Together we spanned the European continent, with my parents somewhere in the middle.
Pancakes also featured in my wedding celebration, ten years ago.

I haven’t had pancakes in a couple of years because it was thought I couldn’t handle gluten but it turns out it’s bran that’s the problem.

Can’t have bran and nuts and corn and seeds and raw vegetables and broccoli and kale and any sulphur rich vegetable and cheese and mascarpone and ham and bacon and alcohol and yeast and fried vegetable oils and garlic and onions. I think that’s about it? And artificial vanilla flavouring.

That leaves me eating pancakes!
This week I learned to make them in a regular pan, not one with the anti-sticky bottom. A real pan needs more fat (I use coconut) and needs to be really hot before you pour the batter.
Then it sticks like mad but if I leave it alone for a while it unsticks itself. The taste is amazing! You are invited to come visit and I’ll bake you a pancake and we can both worry whether it will come loose from the pan or not and then you can taste for yourself!

I eat them with jam/jelly.

(‘jelly’ is American for jam, the Brits use ‘jelly’ for ‘jello’. Don’t try to make a PBJ sandwich with British jelly.)

So I eat pancakes or white bread with full fat butter and a fruity jam once or twice a day.

My third meal is protein rich, to get all the repair-proteins for bodily maintenance and regular operating procedures such as cell division on board.
It can be four runny egg yokes on white bread. Drumsticks, steak, homemade curries, chicken soup, fish. Liver.

Proteins are quite hard for me to digest, what with the weird bodily makeup I have.
First my stomach acid is not acid enough due to low cortisol. But if I supplement cortisol and I overdo it just the tiniest bit digestion is suspended because my body thinks we are in Fight or Flight.
Secondly my duodenum is twisted in an irregular way. The human body isn’t build too smartly anyway in the area where the exit of the stomach is. Organs are stacked on top of each other, with tubes running every which way trying to deliver digestive enzymes and bile. On top of all the colon comes for a visit, twisting its way from the back to the front and then to the back again, just curling forward to keep the exit of the stomach in a choke hold it seems. At least mine does.
Thirdly my liver isn’t willing to produce bile at the moment.
I have to coax and aid all of these factors. No wonder I have to lie down after this meal, when the stomach is ready to release its content.

Then fourthly, if proteins do manage to get absorbed into my bloodstream, I do not have enough blood pressure to push them into my cells.
Fiftly my cells cannot handle proteins very well because of DNA unfortunalities in the mitochondria. I aid this with activated vitamin B12 (methyl-B12 and methyl-folate). For years I couldn’t do this because mB12 is like pouring rocket fuel into your cells: you boost the processes big time. If there are heavy metals or other toxins or not enough minerals and cofactors in the cell the process will burn and crash spectacular, making the person crash too.

It took me a few years to get rid of all the heavy metals, to bring minerals into balance, to boost my blood pressure to minimum working levels and to calm down the various organs and nervous system.

Now I’m at the stage that I can take mB12 and mFolate on a regular basis without burning or crashing. So now I can eat protein and hopefully use it for needed repairs and adequate hormone levels.

And that is how I recovered from ME/CFS. I have a bunch of other problems still to deal with such as Adrenal Insufficiency, messed up neurotransmitters due to MAO A and MOA B being too slow and a traverse colon that won’t work (sending me into Fight or Flight every night).
But I’m not complaining. At least I’m no longer in my bed, very ill. I can sit outside again and spin a bit.

Which calls for celebratory pancakes!

Tour de Fleece Day 15: half a gradient pack on the bobbin.

Going from green to yellow you can’t see where one colour ends and the other begins. Much like you can’t define the colour chartreuse.

There was a magnificent squabble about just that on Ravelry, 5 years ago, in the highly competitive group called Sock Knitters Anonymous. It’s part of Ravelry’s collective history.

This group has a competition each month and they are (were?) very strict on the rules. In September 2011 the colour of the month was chartreuse, the green variety. But what is chartreuse?

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 20.33.15

It started off all nice and pleasant. People posting picture of their yarns, saying it’s chartreuse. Some defined it as ‘high lighter green’.

A mod responded:

“Now for the record, chartreuse ISN’T ‘highlighter’ green, it’s an ‘slightly olive-y, acidic green’ has a large component of yellow to it.

I have to say that while I’m seeing lots of NEON greens, I’m NOT seeing so much true chartreuse!”

People got insecure and posted more of their yarns, asking it it’s chartreuse enough. They got told:


Then the discussion started to incorporate the tone mods were using because people were feeling scolded by the use of CAPLOCKS (which indeed represents shouting on the the internet). On top of feeling rejected in their efforts to just join in the knitting fun.

Mods tried to explain they use caps lock because the group is so large and people skim over the pages for their posts. But you can’t change an internet convention.

Then people bought the special yarns that dyers were offering on Etsy, dyed just for this September competition, but once they posted them online they got told it wasn’t chartreuse at all but lime, neon, sage or any other colour green you can think of.

People got shy and tired and frustrated. And we never figured out what chartreuse is.

Yes, the first few pages of this thread are part of Ravelry’s notable history. And chartreuse still makes Ravelers a bit shifty eyes.

Tour de Fleece Day 14: 5 minute delight prompt.


Today I arrived at the cabin and brought the Hilltop Cloud Gradient Pack -you can see it in the back ground on the right- and the purple (green) single I’m plying with the silk that’s need to be spun -it’s on the Louet S70-.

There was not much time today but I managed to spin for a few minutes on my Scandic slanty. Such a great experience.

Spinning on this wheel is such a delight. It’s all wood, rope and leather and it was made decades ago, following a design that’s been around for centuries. Designed for and used in these exact circumstances: a woman in her wooden house, turning a sheep’s fleece into a usable item, in Summer. An independent woman, living her life. Someone familiar with nature and its rhythms.

I will be staying in the cabin for a few days now. Recharging. Catching my breath.

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!