Birdhouse project bags are on sale!

FiberRachel’s sewing machine broke today and now she’s having a sale to pay for repairs. 25% off!

I couldn’t help myself, I bought a Buckbeak Birdhouse WIP bag!

He’s got a little patch of pumpkin patch 😆

Oh, the silver glitter fun fur. It’s all mountain and charcoal and water and sophisticated city knitter! Or that’s what I tell myself. It sure fits my colour palette and my need to pet weird furry things. And I need to keep my yarn somewhere. And my phone and stuff.

She’s got plenty more weird bags. Game of Thrones, Highlander, x-mas, Pokemon, HP houses, cats, dogs, winter, and birds in bird houses. Go here to have a look.


Planned Pooling

Back in the magic year of 2011 I crocheted this bag:

(I was still into rainbows back then. I needed to celebrate life with bold colours.)

It’s made from a skein that is dyed in the round. Only by working this yarn in the round will you get pooling. By crocheting a few stitches more or less each round I got the pooling to wave like this. I sewed a fabric covered beer coaster on the bottom.

The Tortie Cat Yarn from Het Wolbeest is dyed differently, not in the round but mirror like:

If this yarn is worked in the round colours can be stacked, in different ways. They can also be made into an argyle pattern. And, thirdly, it can be worked to and fro and then the colours can be stacked too and end up pretty much as show in the skein above. (I like the one with the black in the middle).

I’ll be doing the latter option, the to and fro, probably with black in the middle. The result will be a rectangular shape.

I can chose the technique in which to work to and fro, it can be knitting, crocheting or weaving.

I have measured the skein. It’s 140 cm in total and when folded double like shown above it’s 70 cm from side to side. I am going to try to make each row use 70 cm of yarn. I have no idea which will be the correct number of stitches, I’ll have to find out. I do know that my gauge in garter stitch is 29 stitches per 10 cm (= 4″) when worked on needles 2 mm.

My aim is a hat made of a rectangle folded double. (Hopefully this will give me some cat ears!)

I found this awesome pattern, free and with good explanations about pooling and how to get the right number of stitches: The shallow end of the pool by Rowan Martindale
 pics by Jimiknits

I have rejoined the Ravelrygroup Pooled Knits  I was a member in 2011 too. Looking at their projects is so inspiring.

So a hat… in what technique and what stitch?

My weaving loom is occupied. And I don’t want to spend time mounting the other loom nor working with a non-elastic fabric for a hat. So no weaving this time and no crochet either. Knitting it is!

Don’t feel like garter stitch, even though it knits easily away… Or do I? Because the colours stack I don’t have to get annoyed by the purl bumps in different colours.

Hmm, I was already thinking towards an elegant stitch pattern, such as this one:
 pic by Leikna

but as I write this I realize that a stitch pattern like this requires a certain amount of attention and may yield a hat that’s not as warm as garter stitch would be. I’ll have to think about it some more.

Now I want to show you this amazing pooling hat:
 pics by spacedebra
It’s Exploding Tardis by fellow raveler Spacedebra and she used Perfectly Pooled Hat by DrawFour Designs which is a free pattern, especially written for this colour way.

The pattern doesn’t go into pooling and how to get this with other yarns, it just assumes you get a great gauge and magic happens automatically. Judging by the projects they’re not wrong.

Oh! A fourth awesome thing you can do with pooling colours is change your stitch according to colour. Look at this crochet mastery:
 pic by Vashtirama
It’s vashtirama’s Florida Peaches Handbag and she teaches Color Stacking classes in Florida.

Here’s an example of the argyle pattern that can come into existence with pooling knits:

Free Knitty pattern from 2009 on Ravelry

Well, those are the four pooling or colour stacking techniques I know:

  1. stacked in the round;
  2. stacked to and fro;
  3. stacked to and fro resulting in argyle and
  4. doing something different when you encounter a certain colour repeat.

I’ll be doing stacked to and fro, no argyle. For a hat. By now I’ve decided it’s going to be an elegant stitch. And that I probably line the hat so it will be extra warm.

other cat things today

The post did not deliver my Wolbeest cat yarn parcel yesterday 🙀

Luckily I’ve got other cat things today, let me show you:

I bought this cat ears bag from FiberRachel on Etsy!

That graphic fabric is fantastic! It’s canvas, my favourite fabric for usable things such as bags and skirts. I saw this fabric the previous weekend, well loved by Suus, Spectre120’s cat:

Today my new bag holds my Harry Potter knee socks and will accompany me to the Feel Good Market in Eindhoven.

There’s a cat loving t-shirt printer there, Dweezilsfriend

who donates profits to the Canal Boat Cat Shelter in Amsterdam:
pic by Terretta
 pic by The Catboat
pic by The Catboat
The famous Poezeboot, The Catboat, a no-kill centre on the canals of Amsterdam.

A year and a half ago I bought one of her shirts at Mermaidy in Utrecht, which is next to the LYS Sticks and Cups.

It’s made of bamboo and organic cotton, it’s produced in Turkey and bought under Fair Trade agreements. It is printed in Amsterdam. I love that shirt. But I’m not wearing it today, it’s too cold.

The last cat thing I want to show you is the postcard that I made for the Wolbeest January Cat Sock Month installment that other people got yesterday:

Hee hee, a shedding princess on a pea!

Ravelry knitters will recognize the pullovers she’s sitting on:
That’s February Lady Sweater

crazy stripes tee
Paper Dolls

Hee hee! I had much fun painting this. purrrr 😸

Weird Wool Wednesday: 5 years to make a WIP bag and still the cat acts up.

In the Summer you saw me embroidering a cat onto the bag that I had been sewing for a while now. Featuring an owl kitchen towel I bought in Dublin on my last real vacation, back in 2013:

Since the Summer I’ve started sewing lessons and my teacher can fix anything and she taught me how to make the handles and the strip and rescue this bag. She also has a fancy machine and I did this with it:
handmade bag purse embroidered cat ceramic button
Fancy stitching to fasten the strip to the bag, exactly in the middle, and a big button hole. It’s my first button hole ever and it’s the biggest the machine can make:
handmade bag purse embroidered cat ceramic button
Yay me for not ripping through the stitching when I opened it up!

Now I can finally use my fanciest button, also from the same trip to Dublin, that I’ve been petting for five years now. It’s a ceramic handpainted and handmade button by Maria.quinn (facebookpage). Bought in a sweet yarn shop in the centre of Dublin, with a cafĂŠ right outside where I had very good porridge. Such a nice memory.

The button will be perfect on a cat lady bag filled with good memories of nice people and lovely moments.
handmade bag purse embroidered cat ceramic button

Sewing it on I used two Miyuki beads for eyes, because otherwise it would be weird, having a horizontal stripe of thread running from one eye socket of the cat to the other. It though myself very clever of finding this solution and I even used green beads with dark purple centres. Very catlike!
handmade bag purse embroidered cat ceramic button
I’m so chuffed. Finally FINALLY this WIP bag is finished. From an idea and special materials from 5 years ago to things coming together last Summer over a lovely visit with a fellow cat lover on to meeting my sewing teacher who radiates courage and then last week putting in the last effort and even sewing in all threads and making everything neat.

So clever:
handmade bag purse embroidered cat ceramic button

So dumb….
handmade bag purse embroidered cat ceramic button
The beads make the button too big for the button hole. Typical cat behaviour.

Cake and another WIP bag

Today I had a wonderful birthday visit with a knitter. Her friend had made her an awesome cake! With these knitting sheep cake topper:
sheep cake topper
The cake was amazing! Tasted fantastic too.

As a travel project I had brought my Ravenclaw socks, made from self striping yarn with grey for accents, handdyed by Wolop. But after two pieces of cake I had to admit I was making them too tight with 58 stitches and needles 2,0 mm:

I would not enjoy this sock, either putting it on or wearing it. So I brought it back to its inspiring state:

Now I’m thinking to use them for a hat by designer Lee Meredith.

But before the frogging….. uhm… this happened:
birdhouse WIP bag FiberRachel project bag knitter
birdhouse WIP bag FiberRachel project bag knitter
I bought another birdhouse project bag by FiberRachel!

This one is a size smaller than the two bags I already have. This is size “sock”, ideal for a little sock project. Or a nice hat using sock yarn 😍

Now I’m home. Perhaps there’s some time left for spinning…

TdF day 10: Fiber prep and another WIP bag

Today I carded the other green Merino into rolls. With angelina for sparkle:

I enjoy making rolls on the drum carder. Mine are not very tight. Best for spinning on a wheel, I think, not so much for precision instruments such as supported spindles.

For the Angelina there’s a bit of a trick to it, to ensure nice spinning later on. First you lay down a layer of wool. Then you add the sparklies but you give them a little blanket of wool at the same time. This prevents the sparklies flying around and being grabbed by the smaller carding roll:

I was so glad to have the drum carder out -I had installed it on the porch- that I took on that other carding job that I’ve been meaning to do. The Swifter into batts. Last year I tried to dye part of it sap green, which I failed at.

Enough time has passed and I’m ready to take this into a different direction. I had picked the wool earlier this year. Today I carded the white with the lightest colours, for just a little hint of color throughout the garment.

I was thinking vest (=200 grams) but I was carding away happily and now I have this:

450 grams. That’s an adult sweater/ pullover/ cardigan.

I did a little test spinning and there’s a problem there. It’s not a nice 2 ply:

The wool doesn’t draft to my liking. Too much kringle; too much nepps and bits and there’s also a little too much lanoline in it. I won’t enjoy spinning a sweater’s worth of this.

I do love to hold the batts. They are so lofty and smell so nice. So now I’m looking to see whether Swifter can be felted. First google seems to indicate so.

Now I have to think about that… what it would become then. My head is still at “garment”. Light coloured, winter warm, snow princess….

Annnnd this morning this happened:

I made another pyramid WIP bag! This one’s for me. Made from darling cat fabric and matching zipper that I got for my birthday last year:

Isn’t that a great gift for a crafty person?
It has been inspiring me the whole year and today I knew I had the skills to do the fabric and zipper justice.

TdF day 9: greens and another WIP bag

Today I did some real spinning! I sat under the beech at the cabin and spun the rolls I made last weekend at studio Spinspul:

I spun up all the rolls, all 100 grams of it. Tomorrow I hope to card the other 100 grams into rolls and spin them too. I already see a vest knitted with this! With a band of lace across the (upper) chest.

It was a lovely day of spinning in nature. A friend came by:

And after my husband and Poekie went home I watched the Tour de France while spinning:

They were climbing up Mont Du Chat, “cat mountain” 🙂

Over here Cat Mountain is better known under it’s street name, Mount Snore:

Lillepoes is very happy to be here! We, just the two of us, are staying on for another two nights so I will be showered in many cuddles I’m sure 🙂

Right before the Tour got really excited I managed to make a Stylish Yellow Jersey WIP bag:

It’s a pyramid bag and it will be a price in the Dutch Karma Swap Group Tour de Fleece Tombola.

I’ve had a wonderful Sunday 🙂

Some new WIP bags

This is my new bag:
birdhouse WIPbag design and made by FiberRachel on Etsy, knitting bag pursebirdhouse WIPbag design and made by FiberRachel on Etsy, knitting bag purse

It’s a birdhouse bag, an original design by FiberRachel, especially for knitters. She sells them in her Etsy shop called FiberRachel.


pics by FiberRachel

They are ideal for walking and knitting. The yarn goes through the hole and because the hole can open at the top you can free the project any time.  She makes them in various fabrics, all fully lined and well made. They are very spatious.

Mine fits the fabric of my skirt very well:

birdhouse WIPbag design and made by FiberRachel on Etsy, knitting bag purse

I’ve got two! The blue one is a prototype but other than changing the dimension of the hole a bit she had it all figured out right from the start. That’s some impressive engineering, creating a neat and fully functioning prototype.

birdhouse WIPbag design and made by FiberRachel on Etsy, knitting bag purse

They have excellent dimensions and I use them as my regular bag.

I was always stuffing my wallet and keys and pills into my little WIP bags and they were bursting at the seams or so heavy that their handles were cutting into my wrist when walking and knitting.

Now it’s the other way around: this is my bag and it also holds easily my knitting and I can knit whenever I want to and the bag is still secure.

I also got another new bag which I fancy walking around town with. This one is from Etsy ShopByLinda:

wip bag fox Anijswip bag fox Anijs
This is more a bag for regular use but I can easily see what kind of skirt I need to sew to take this one out for a stylish stroll.

Savouring WIPbags and old apple breeds

This is my new WIP bag, a creation by professional seamstress Dolle Griet, via her Etsyshop. In it is Bines Sock which only needs a cuff.

pic by Dolle Griet

wip bags for knitting

I’m savouring the cuff for the car ride home to the city. Knitting is planning!

I also tried to sew a WIP bag myself. A different model. An easier model! It features owls from a towel from the Ulster Weavers, a UK family business based in Hollywood, Northern Ireland. We bought a towel from them on the last holiday we were on, to Ireland in 2013. I’ve been hacking up the towel into a bag for my hot water-bottle and now this WIP bag.

For the closure I needed a button and I remembered I had the perfect one un the cabin:
wip bags for knitting

It’s a cat on a handpainted ceramic button by Maria.quinn (facebookpage). Also bought on the same trip to Ireland in 2013, in a yarn shop in the centre of Dublin.

Now I will bring it all with me to the city. I plan to embroider an owl in the white space between the owls. Or perhaps a cat in an owl-disguise!
wip bags for knitting

But first we have a weekend at the cabin. Mr Marvel is outside, mowing the meadow (all young trees are sprouting with this beautiful weather). Ew! I’ve just been informed he mowed through an deceased toad… eww. (He’s very considerate of living toads and frogs, scaring them away before firing up the strimmer.)

I will go outside shortly too. There’s a load of washing to be put onto the washing lines we strung between the trees here. And then there’s felting to be done on the Gottland feet warmer.

Tomorrow we’re visiting the annual Apple Day in a small hamlet to the east of us. This time I won’t go dressed like a knitting fool like I did in 2014:

That’s me, not picking up on subtle hints. Sigh.

I’m looking forward to the apple fun tomorrow. The apples on our own trees are not ready yet. Except for the Lemoen of which we had ONE this year. The first one after we planted the trees 10 years ago. It needs a while to grow.

 Lemoen apple, pic from

Lemoen (no spelling error) is a variety akin to Rode van Boskoop or Goudrenet. It’s another breed a famous notary from the province of Gelderland invented back in the ninetheeth century. Notary Van den Ham really was an apple-man! He advocated the theory that new apple breeds should be grown from seeds, not merely oculating existing root systems. (Don’t know the proper terms in English, it’s ‘enten’ and ‘oculeren’ in Dutch).(eta: “grafting” is the English word for “enten”.)

He also founded the first imker-society of the Netherlands. But really his boyhood dream was to sail the seven seas. His first voyage gave him a hero’s welcome at home. His second voyage made him step ashore for good and study for notary and follow his interests in fruit. Four of his apple breeds are now famous: Lemoen; Notarisappel (I bet you can read this); Luntersche Pippeling and Oranjeappel. (More info on this man, in Dutch)

Notarisappel, Goudrenet

I think Lemoen superior to Goudrenet which is why we planted the trees. It’s an early apple which only lasts the month of September. You can hardly get it anywhere but organic farm ‘t Aailand (“the Petting land”?) sells some each year at the organic farmers market in Den Bosch on Friday mornings. Which is where I tasted it the first time and where I still buy them each year. I brought some with me to the cabin, for warmed apple chunks and to put on pancakes.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking my new WIP bag from Dolle Griet to the Apple Day, the bag hangs so well from the wrist and has the perfect colours. Only what project to put into it? Can’t do the Bines cuff yet. Will it hold the Grey Flinders vest I brought with me? Oh. I can put apples in it of course! I wonder what breeds they have tomorrow.