finished: cuffs and tricot shirts and anxiety

36 grams, 156 m, of fingering weight, on needles 2,5 mm.
What a lovely knit. It’s spontaneous row by row and you can’t go wrong (very much).

Seeing that I love to wear these kind of cuffs I casted on for a second pair right away, from the remaining yarn:

A more spring like palette:
 pic Rijksmuseum
This is a plate from 1910, from N.V. Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland, the typical Dutch ceramic heritage from Gouda I talked about before. I think it’s called “Gouda pottery” in English.

They excelled in Art Nouveau/ Jugendstil which is a style I’m looking into for my Snowdrop vest in mushroom dyed yarns. I finished my study-cuff. I cut it open and blocked it to examine the stranded design better:

This would be one half of the front panel, bottom to v-neck.

There is so much to study here. From individual shapes and how many stitches should be next to each other to form a nice snow drop. (should a stem be 2 or more stitches wide or do we get away with 1 stitch?)

How do you get smooth curves in v-shaped stitches? Do I want one panel so densely filled or rather 2 or 3 strands that are more individual? I’ve been playing in Stitch Fiddle for hours. Trying this, trying that.

Delving into the start of Jugendstil and Art Deco more and more, helped by my new tea pot:

Seeing that the pottery is not particularly neatly made they either had old machines (Eastern Europe?) or this tea pot is from earlier than the 1950’s. Then I found these ceramics from 1910 from Germany, with the same flaglike and star/flower ornaments. It’s to celebrate a Silver wedding:

And I found this, from 1890:

But this is secession style, from Vienna 1890. An important group of artists, founding the Jugendstil and also the Art Deco. So I fell into that rabbit hole, gorging on visuals. I felt like an artist again 🙂

I made a new design for snow drop vest and I thought to try it out on the new cuffs in fingering yarn. I spend a whole day tweaking it so it would fit the very few rows of the cuffs, compared to the vest.

And then I thought the better of it because I like knitting the stranded cuffs row by row, improvising. And I look forward to wearing cuffs with small patterns, fair isle style, instead of an overall design.

Say goodbye to three days of work. Felt inadequate. So I did some sewing instead. For a quick feeling of accomplishment!

These two Summer dresses from the viscose I bought last week at Harry’s Stoffen:
tricot sewing shirts viscose dress

And these two cat shirts, from cotton tricot I already had:
tricot sewing shirts viscose dresstricot sewing shirts viscose dress
It’s four times the same pattern. Just cut a little longer or sliced through the middle and sewed together again. Add a fish shaped pocket if you want.

Now that I’ve been here two days on my own I’ve emotionally landed at the cabin. I’m not as anxious any more, the pain of the court case has eased sufficiently. I don’t feel threatened so much any more, I enjoy being here. I enjoy the nature.

Today I went into the field to cut away the seeds from the “bear’s claw” (Heracleum sphondylium, or Cow’s Parsnip) so it won’t spread. Don’t you love our Dutch name for this plant? If you touch the sap it seriously looks like you got swiped with a bear’s claw. My grandmother once had this and I still remember how her arm looked. I wore protection today.

On the flowers there were numerous “pyjama’s bugs”:

Graphosoma lineatum. Ah, English people call it the Striped bug or Minstrel bug. In Dutch it really is called the pyjama-bug:

Oh and I saw the squirrel drinking from the birds’ bath! He’s here every day now. I’m glad we filled up the bath.

Lillepoes is overly happy here 🙂

Time to do something woolly. And/or sew woven cotton.

Those are strips of aluminium foil, to tell the birds this is not a safe way to fly through the forest.

In the foreground are cookies, speculaasjes, which are rather a Winter treat but they are oh so tasty in the one cup of black tea (Lady Grey)(with cream) I’m allowed per day. They are tied in with our colonial heritage and spice trading:



stranded knitting in the morning and other surprises

I was working on my stranded cuffs last night, with the only light coming from the computer screen on which Bake Off The Professionals played. This darkness is because I married a bat man, or possibly a vampire, who cannot stand the light.

Either way: I didn’t notice how bright the purple was:

Might have to frog.

There were other surprises too, especially on my road trip on Thursday, and they were all lovely.

My visit to knitter friend Hanneke came with unexpected birthday cake!

We both had celebrated our birthdays the week before and she put candles on the cake she baked for my visit! I sang a little “happy birthday to us” but only with my inside voice. My inner inside voice.

The visit was so nice! Hanneke is a wool spinner and we talked wheels and spinning techniques and colours. I LOVE to talk spinning. Hanneke is spinning for one year now and is a natural talent but stil exploring and learning. Such fun to talk with.

She also loves ceramics and has a collection of tea pots!
She was showing me her pieces around the room but then we had to take an unexpected break because she had skins of dragon flies on display and my husband is a major dragon fly fan (so he’s probably more of a bat than a vampire?) and I had to photograph them and show them to him via WhatsApp.

A whole, finished beast crawls out of these. An animal ready for hunting in the skies, after a life time of hunting in the pond:

Of course my husband knew all this already. Tss.

THEN! It turned out that Hanneke is AN EXPERT on dragon flies!

She knows all the Latin names and we had to sit down properly and talk dragon flies and have more cake and I now properly dragon fly dazzled my husband with things Hanneke told me.
Dragon flies are dear to my heart. They are so intelligent, and such skilled hunters. Not afraid of humans. There are plenty around the cabin, we made micro climates for them when we bought the place.

The meadow floods every Winter and in Spring you can see my husband going around with a bucket, catching dragon fly young and transport them to the pond behind the cabin.
Last week, in high Summer, he spotted a dragon fly laying eggs around the pond behind the cabin. Succes!

He also photographs them and this is a Beekrombout, a protected species, which comes in handy in the court case I’m involved in at the moment. (Gomphus vulgatissimus, the common clubtail)

Then Hanneke reveals she’s also an expert on hoverflies (Syrphidae)!

Which I like too because they can hang still in front of you, watching you curiously, and then they will sit on your finger after they have tapped it a few times to check it out. I don’t know names apart from the “I Am Wearing Pyjama’s Hover Fly” which is the Dutch name of this guy:

Episyrphus balteatus, called “marmelade hover fly” by the English world. Man, you guys missed an opportunity to name your animals! Or you lacked liquor.
The humans who named the Dutch dragon flies and damsels were pleasantly drunk: The Big Emperor; Horse Gobbler; Glazier; Glass Cutter; Flat Belly; Little Light; Water Sniffle;

It took a while before Hanneke and I could go back to the ceramics and it was such a nice visit that I totally forgot to take pictures.

That day I ran two errands in the town Hanneke lives in. One was to the fabric store FiberRachel had shown me: Harry’s Stoffen. Loot:
road trip enschede harry’s stoffen
That’s two (or four) table clothes for the cabin and some sturdy fabrics for skirts and some smooth gaze for washing Merino. And a jersey on top for a Winter dress.

They wrap your purchases in paper. I asked to take a picture before she taped it shut, so I had a visual record of my fabrics and could think about them while I had a cup of coffee:

Which comes with liqueur in Twente!

I had to sit there for a while because a major rain cloud was coming over (and to allow my body to process the alcohol). So I bought more fabric:

Two viscose tricots, for simple sleeveless dresses. I have one viscose dress like that and it’s the only thing I wore when temperatures where above 30 degrees celcius. Better make some more because people are telling me heat waves will be more frequent in the future.

Before the fabric and the rains this was my breakfast:
road trip enschede harry’s stoffen
Van Der Poel is a famous local ice cream parlour. With the biggest vitrine in Europe.

It was ok. Rather sweet. I’ve had better ice cream. Both at Wolbeest’ Da Giovanni in Swalmen (major ceramic village! Hanneke has been there) and in Den Bosch.

And I picked up a darling tea set that somebody sold online:

This person had lots of things for sale so I was sure it was a dealer of some sort. But it turned out to be a darling old lady who is trying to empty her home so she can move. She’s 87 you know. I asked where she plans to go and she told me about these small apartments in town, just a living room and a bed room. With assistance nearby.

“But there’s also this little cottage outside of town, in the middle of nature. Even though my son does not approve I plan to go there.”

This tea set had belonged to her mother and she had had it in her attic all her life. Barely used it. I will use it, I love the quirky design. It looks ’50s futuristic space age but it must be from the 1920’s or even earlier. There are no markings at the bottom.

Yesterday I send this picture to the seller:

to show her a bit about where her tea set has landed. With another darling old lady, in a cottage in the country. Probably not approved by some people’s sons but I’m trying not to let that bother me.

At the end of the day I drove home, accompanied by an unexpected ’80s music parade on the radio and my trusted Knitted Hammer Shark Navigation Unit:
road trip enschede harry’s stoffen

Back at the cabin Lillepoes was pleased I was back:

I send these pictures to my husband who laughed out loud and then Poekie presented because when you can laugh you can pet and cuddle. And should.

Keramisto 2017 ceramics fair: buying tea accessoires.

This weekend I visited Keramisto again, the yearly ceramics fair in the east of the Netherlands. Last year I went for the first time, eager to get some unique tea mugs. This year I returned for more things. I went with my neighbour who is a ceramist herself, and her mother.

We arrived early and it was cold and wet:
Keramisto 2017

But never mind because within 5 minutes I had bought these two big tea mugs by Ute Böhm from Müritz Ceramics in Germany:
Keramisto 2017 ceramics keramiekKeramisto 2017 ceramics keramiek
I bought two of salt oven tea mugs from her husband Markus Böhm last year:

This year I bought a matching plate:
Keramisto 2017 ceramics keramiek

Then we found a stall showing work from Joop Crompvoets. He’s a man from Swalmen (yes, the small village in Limburg where The Wolbeest has her wool studio and runs the best ice cream shop in the country. This village is magic.) and he is a master potter. He can plan a thing and then make the thing!

He makes tea things in wonderful salt oven techniques:
 pic by Crompvoets

I bought a tea thing!
Keramisto 2017Keramisto 2017 ceramics keramiek
Yes, that’s a real handmade tea pot, at my house now. Mine! Wow!
It’s amazing at the touch, so smooth but with many textures and colours to marvel at.

You can imagine that after that purchase I was giddy and thrilled and satisfied and beaming and exhausted all at the same time. We’d only been at the fair for 15 minutes and already I was done!
We spend the next two hours slowly making our way through the ailes, admiring all the work. There is such variety at Keramisto!

Unfortunately it was very very cold and I was not suitably clothed. I went back to the car for some back up wools I keep there….
Not sure I fitted in with sophisticated ceramic aficionados after that:
Keramisto 2017
But only one person laughed, the rest behaved and let me look at ceramics in peace:
Keramisto 2017
This was at the stand of Thierry et Christiane Dupuy Joly where I bought a small bowl with big glaze:
Keramisto 2017 ceramics keramiek

At the next stand I saw these small porcelain bowls by Sylvie Gorde:
Keramisto 2017 ceramics keramiekKeramisto 2017
These are ideal to hold water when painting. Let’s see me try tipping over these babies!
They are so fine and translucent. It will be a pleasure to dip my brushes in these.

It was still very cold but the sun came through a bit:
Keramisto 2017

What’s that?
Keramisto 2017
Keramisto 2017 Ah yes. Obviously. A meerkat checking his phone.

We spend a lot of time looking at the wonderful work by Lina Bekeriene (facebook link) from Litouwen:
Keramisto 2017
It’s raku fired, meaning in a fire pit outside and then while the work is still piping hot it is placed in a vat with saw dust. That’s when the clay becomes black and that’s when the glaze cracks and the cracks become black.
Now note how the moon in this work is made from typical Raku glaze (=cracked) while the other glazes are non-crackling glazes. That is amazingly use of techniques.

My neighbour explained all this to me and made me marvel.
And then she made me smell the work….
It smells of firewood! It is amazing.

 pic by Keramisto
All Lina Bekeriene’s lidded pots and containers and tea pots have secret glazing stories on the inside. Like in the middle of the container or on the inside of the lid. This is an amazing artist and one day I am going to buy something from her.

The weather got better.
Keramisto 2017

This is the stand of Hubert Eller from Germany, where I bought two little bowls last year which I use every day, sometime even cleaning it out with that fat finger of mine:
Keramisto 2017

This is work by Ewelina Suchanek, who wants to bring the magic and tactile pleasure of nature to urban people:
Keramisto 2017
It’s raku fired and there are lichen growing in it. She also has jewellery like this. And many containers and bowls. I bought this wonderful “stone” which lies in the hand so friendly and confirming that I held it in my hand for the rest of the fair:
Keramisto 2017 (I didn’t put the lid on right here, it fits perfectly.)

This lady makes fine porcelain for sophisticated tea parties:
Keramisto 2017Keramisto 2017
Maranke Thunig

Potter’s fun: throw raw clay at a display of wooden shoes (clomps) and if it sticks or gets into the clomp you get a prize. A freshly turned plant pot. No idea how you’re supposed to bring a wet piece of clay home, let alone fire it in a kiln!
Keramisto 2017

When we were about to leave I ran across the stand of Shrusko Ceramics, whom I had identified previously on the list of participants to pay a visit. You can see why:
Keramisto 2017 ceramics keramiek
Such friendly and fun work! I love the handpainting, the spontanity of the lines.

They have such eye for detail. They wrapped up my purchases in a really nice way:
Keramisto 2017 ceramics keramiek

Then we drove away, through wonderful Dutch landscapes, crossing the river by ferry:
Keramisto 2017
Keramisto 2017Keramisto 2017Keramisto 2017Keramisto 2017Keramisto 2017

And then we had tea at the inlaws of my neighbour and their pets are as lovely as their people:
hond op schoothond op schoothond op schoothond op schoothond op schoot
I’ve never had a dog sit in my lap!

Midwinter hug: Hares running around my head

It’s the Visjö hat in progress.

The pattern is Simply Harika, then a band with a Running Hare chart I designed myself, two Latvian braids and on top the beautiful pattern of hat Selbu Modern.

Selbu Modern  by Kate Gagnon Osborn

The Visjö yarn is such a delight! Sportsweight so more substantial than the Holst Garn Noble (which I haven’t knit with yet…. it was queued for a sophisticated city hat but it seems I’m more at ease with a sportsweight kinda silly sophisticated city hat).

The yarn is so soft. It hasn’t even been washed, I expect it to soften up even more.
The stranded part is soft and warm, excellent to cover my ears.

I have ordered a sweater’s worth of yarn from…. She has a special offer going on at the moment. And I know I will love knitting with this yarn!

A good intention for the new year, knitting a jumper in light green and white, with accents in pink and grey.
It’s a promise of light colours that is very fitting for today, the 21st of December, when light and dark make a pivotal turn in their eternal dance together.

Hares go with light and dark. They are traditionally associated with the moon and they leave their foot prints all over the earth in winter.

Earth’s midwinterdream, by artist Wendy Andrew

ooh, less than 4 euros/ 5 dollars for a card of 15×15 cm (6″ x 6″)?

Shipping included. I’m ordering.

A warm Midwinter hug to you today:
 card by Wendy Andrew

UPDATE: I’ve ordered the book Luna Moon Hare. Wonderful drawings!

I’m very fond of hares. They live in the fields around the cabin and there’s one special individual that lives in the woods right besides us. (S)he knows us and hurries out of sight away slowly when we come near.

I often see him strolling past when I look out the window. I love watching him. When I’m about I see the little dents in the soil where he rests for hours. (S)he’s our cohabitant.

My yellow tea pot features the moon and the hare. It’s yellow like the moon and the little cups (not in picture) have a white inside with a swirl (cloud) and a hare.


I bought it once, a long time ago, at the Little Japanese Shop in Amsterdam. A pity I have it at the cabin now… I’ve got hares on the mind and drinking tea from a moon hare tea pot would be just the thing.

Weird Wool Wednesday: nutty knitter PR

This picture is currently being used for PR for the Farm- and Countryfair in IJzerlo:

countryfair eerste ooit

that’s me!
I’m knitting! I’m wearing hand knits! I’m using an impractical yarn bowl!

The picture was taken on my very first Countryfair, a few years back.
2011 perhaps?
Let’s see, I’m knitting a cap to go with the shawl I’m wearing and it’s not finished and not dyed purple yet. A bit of Ravelry project sleuthing… ah yes, 2011!

The PR people from the Countryfair also use another picture of our knitting table, this one’s from last year:

breitafel 2014

I’m famous! I wear that green pixie hat way too often! I’m reversing in age!

Do come and visit during the fair. It’s great fun and I’ll bring cookies to go with my “yarn bowl”: