today’s WIPs

in between court-y things and house hold chores I’m doing this:

The socks celebrating 10 years of Dutch Sock Knitting Group.

I found my circular one size bigger than the one I knit the body on. I could knit the sleeves now:

And these are ready for plying:


Weird Wool Wednesday: Late for Summer

skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing

Summer’s gone and I finished my skirt from Wolop indigo dyed shibori linen today!
skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewingskirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing

It has godets for walking ease and the yoke made of that nice piece of Wokume Shibori (wood grain):
skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing
Nice pockets too:
skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing
I’m wearing it today, Summer linen in the rain, with knee high knitted tights. And a woolen jumper.

This one I finished yesterday:

So conveniently!

I drafted the pattern myself. Somewhere in May…
Perhaps I can tweak it to a thicker Winter fabric for a nice Winter dress?
Which will likely be finished somewhere next Spring…

Which is when my Lilac Summer Cardi will have its two sleeves finished:

The same for my Buttercup Summer top:

I’m not late, I’m planning early. Summer 2018 is looking good.

more WIPs

The new Sock Madness pattern dropped and it’s Symphony Socks by Elisabeth White:

Beads! Twisted stitches! Lots of little cables!

It’s a lovely pattern but pretty much from the start I knew I’d better be sensible and stop racing. Allow myself to become a cheerleader in the Sock Madness competition. A sock like this, with little cables and a deadline, would ignite my RSI. The same thing that knocked me out in the first round of the competition last year.

It’s not too bad to bow out. I had so many things I wanted to knit on instead. The startitus was raging and now I got to do something about it.



This flew off the needles.
It’s my continuous version of Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor. Provisional cast on at the back, only need to cut yarn once before the body is cast off.

This part took 150 grams of handspun, about 340 metres on needle 3,75 mm. Getting pattern gauge which is 19 st /10 cm
The ribbing on the neckline and arm holes is done on needles 3,25 mm. Which means my 3,75 mm needles are free to cast on another Continuous Debbie vest in the green yarn I bought at Midwinterwol for a Spring vest.

I’ve also started on my mushroom dyed stranded project:
It will be a wristwarmer. So much more sensible than trying out for a vest.

This way I can try out the pattern I made on Stitchfidle and find out the gauge. I was tempted to cast on for a steeked vest but that’s really too ambitious if you don’t know your gauge, if you don’t know how much yarn the stranded parts take, if you aren’t sure about the design you made anyway and if you have never steeked before.
Also: next week there’s a woolfest in Nieuwpoort, organized by De Schapekop, and I promised to show my stranded mushroom thingie there. Knitting a stranded vest in fingering weight in the coming 7 days is ludicrous.

The yarn knits very nice and the pattern makes me want to do one more round, one more round, just one more round 🙂
I’m knitting on 2,25 mm and my gauge seems to be 26 stitches in 10 cm. The colour work is done over 60 stitches, the ribbing over 54 st.

In between I’m knitting away on my magic ball:

Here’s me this morning, having a bit of quality time by myself 🙂

The yarn is indigo dyed sock yarn from Wolop and I’m making it into Blattwerk pattern socks top down. The magic ball unravels while I knit and reveals little presents. This one was made by Lieneke from Wolop.
I’ve nearly finished one leg and the first little present is in sight!

On my plate i a Dutch pastry called a Bokkepootje. This one is huge! Usually they are about the size of a finger:
 pic by cliokchia
It consists of two almond merengues, glued together with buttercream and both ends are dipped in chocolate. With almonds sprinkled on top. Here’s a recipe.

The name means something like “Billygoat-feetsie” and originates from a baker in the very old dike-hamlet of Tuitjenhorn. In this God loving community there was an annual gathering to commemorate all the local people who had died. Eating pastry was part of that event. Eating little devil-feet shows wished victory over evil influences in the hereafter.
(I did not know. Eating “bokkepootjes” no longer has this connotation but it does explain where the name comes from.)

Two vests, a sock and a stranded cuff can be added to the WIPs I’m already working on.

some WIPs in more detail

Thursday evening I started the Wolop self striping Harry Potter sock because I wanted some easy stockinette stitch:

I couldn’t find the little grey mini that goes along with this skein for cuffs, heels and toes. So I just casted on with the main yarn, directly for the leg, and will attach the cuff later.

I got some mindless knitting done while my husband celebrated my being downstairs again by watching his bloody series together. Not swearing, we watched bloody series. There was Elementary and Lucifer and this new series we tried out with a mr. Wednesday who used to run a brothel saloon in Broken Wood but now is followed by a filmmaker who is enamoured with the series Hannibal but does not have the same restraints and finesse. We’re not sure what we think of it yet.

After 3 x 45 minutes of visual murder I was tired and went to bed. But knitted I had.

Remember snowdrift cardigan? The one I was going to attach onto this lovely handspun collar portrayed here? The cabled collar I so expertly knit on car trip?

Yeah, I frogged that and am using the yarn for this, the plan I always had for it: a gorgeous vest to wear over all my handsewn dress shirts.

The pattern is Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor, it’s free and sensible. I modified it a bit to be able to start with a provisional cast on at the mid back and then work upwards, into the first one shoulderstrap. I love it! I love the pattern, I love the yarn, I love the gauge (needle 4,5 mm).

This is how I want vest patterns to be: top down, without raglans and with as less “breaking yarn” as possible.
Which is why I’ll steaming right ahead to the two other vests I have wanted to make ever since I got hold of their yarns. The green Welsh yarn and the orange handspun.

I also picked up the lilac cardigan, with just the lace flower backpanel, inspired by Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti:

This was my panel on Friday:

and this is my panel now:

It’s The Little Flower Doily by Andrea Jurgrau and I managed to make a square out of a circle! I’m pretty proud of that. I know in order to get a flat surface, when knitting from the centre, you have to increase 4 stitches every row. Doesn’t matter which needle or which yarn you use. For a circle you place those 4 stitches ad random. For a square you place them in four corners. For easy knitting most people increase 8 stitches every other row, which comes down to the same.

With the doily I examined the chart and identified which YO was paired to which /, \ or ^ decrease. That told me which YO was surplus in which row: the increases. These I took and placed at four corners.

Soooo are all my WIPs ongoing, planned or ignored?

No, I transferred one WIP into an FO.
This one:

The lovely wintery Birch handspun that became a stupid hat back in January. The shaping idea I had for it didn’t work out and it sat stupidly on my head and I didn’t know what to do with it.
Eventually I just started wearing it without shaping it any further.. With the unwoven ends stuck under. I asked a few people and apparently it doesn’t look so stupid on me when I wear it like this, just plain, without folds.

So this is a finished WIP without any effort. I changed its status to “finished” on the project page and took this photo’s.  Then it’s official and true. This hat is finished! (Haven’t sewn in the ends of the hat yet, though.)

(I’m not better yet and I’m stupid cold, I’m wearing my handspun snow sweater from 2013)
So these are the current WIPs, the sock, the vest an the cardigan. Better knit on because the new Sock Madness pattern is about to drop any moment. (I forgot all my beads at the cabin!) Oh and I designed some more on the stranded mushroom vest. Slow going though. I’m never going to make it before the deadline of 19 May. Might bring the swatch with me for show and tell.

Knitter in Duplo… which WIP to knit?

These are the WIPs I so desperately wanted to start last Wednesday:
yarn works in progress
That’s three vests, one sock (slightly knitted since yesterday) and a crocheted hat. Laying them out here make me desperate again. So much startitus!

Yesterday, at the end of the day, I was well enough to get out of bed and have a little supper and do a little knitting. I needed mindless knitting so I started a new sock in blue-grey self striping yarn. It’s Wolop selfstriping Harry Potter yarn in the colour Ravelclaw. It’s very nice yarn! Beautifully plied and round and soft. The silver almost gleams. Very soothing to knit with.

I can’t wait to cast on of the other projects but I really shouldn’t start any at all. Not while these are the WIPs I’m currently actively working on:
yarn works in progress
That’s a vest, a cardigan and two pairs of socks.

There’s also this spinning project. Jeansblue Shetland, started about a week ago:

It already speaks to me, of an easy wearing pullover with a large cowl. This fleece is so soft…

I love sitting in front of the doors to the garden. It catches light in the second half of the day, as the cat will tell you. This is about half the fleece, carded in batts:

Hello. This is where the sun shines. Always.

Then there are these WIPs which all live near my knitting chair because I cannot wait to get back to them:
yarn works in progressyarn works in progressyarn works in progress
That’s three cardigans. Spring wearables.

For each one I just need to reread my notes or do some re-assessing before I can dive back in. But jus now, touching these, laying them out here, makes me want to knit themmmm! Because I want to wear themmmm! Spring will be here soon, maybe even next week! Especially the grey one and the rose one I’d love to wear next week. Better get knitting!

Oh and I also want to work on this project very very much:
yarn works in progressyarn works in progress
This is my view every morning when I get out of bed and it almost hurts.

Yes, I want to work on all of these! Any! Now! But which one first?

I’m so in Duplo…

Ak. New models. All cartoonesque. With easily projected personalities.
Is this the way forward? Should I put googley eyes on my projects and stash and see which one has the highest PR properties?

(Lets not mention the other WIPs, the ones in the closet. With the way things are going I’m afraid if I take them out to photograph them I fall in love with them all over again too and want to knit them instead.)
(Let also conveniently deny any knowledge of sewing. There’s just not enough time in the day.)

Weird Wool Wednesday: I have more than the average number of feet.

These are my handknit socks:
handknit socks
These are about half the pair I own. These are The Fancy Ones. The others are at the cabin, the are The Funny Ones.

This is one shelf in my big book case. It’s in the front room, next to the coats and bags and shoes. These are a lot of socks. I have way more socks than I have shoes.

So please tell me why I am waiting impatiently for the new Sock Madness sock pattern to drop? It can be published any moment today! I’m checking my mail every minute.

And then please tell me why I have cast on two socks in the mean time?

One is Music Maker by Vera Thoben, a nice slip stitch colour sock with a heel inspired by the qualification sock for SM 11:
 pic by V. Thoben
This is an excellent pattern for using variegated yarn. It is very very fast compared to the Twisted Madness pattern. And it’s free.

my project in evening lamp light:

The other one is the Mystery Sock for April for the Dutch sock knitting group on Ravely:

Streepje anders by Heleen Kok. The pattern is in English, the title means “A different kind of little stripe”. It’s excellent for variegated, selfstriping or a gradient yarn.

My take on it with two semi-solids:

(I’m doing a modified version, with a shorter leg.) I knit this this morning. This too is a colour pattern with slipped stitches. The rows fly by!

And there’s still the mustard and grey striped pair on which I’m working:

This one is finished, a plain striped mate is already on the needles. Good for car knitting.

And the finished Dropped Madness socks are lingering beside my knitting chair, they are getting a shorter heel and a rounder toe. Half of them are done. Besides them is my ball of plant dyed Wolop yarn filled with presents with a cuff already on the needles. And on top of the little desk lies the striped Harry Potter yarn I’m really want to get started on.

Please tell me once more how many feet do I have?

(But please don’t tell me about how many cardigans I have on the needles at the moment!)

No time to think.

My Pumpkin Ale Cardigan is coming along fast. Back panel done, sidepanels done, one sleeve on its way:

Only I’m not sure about the sleeve set in. I’ve reduced it a lot at the underarm. And I don’t think it suits the pattern… my decreases do not look nice.

I’ve got to have a good think about it and then make up my mind.

But I don’t want to think. I want to knit!

So I started another cardigan. Here’s the little flower for the Little Flower Cardigan:

Now I must think about how to make this into a rectangle and then into a nice back panel.

This thinking thing again? Ugh. I’d rather cast on another cardigan:

Old Town Cardigan and I’m already shaping the shoulder!
There’s half a back panel here and half a collar but the pattern is so ingenious that I don’t know which is which and the picture being upside down is fitting.

Just following the pattern, no thinking required. Which is good because my mind is mulling over colour combinations and stranded knitting:

Wolop dyed four skeins to go with the four big purple balls of DK yarn. That will make a great stranded top! A cardigan.
All it needs is a little bit of thinking and deciding.

Haven’t got time for thinking. Gotta bake cookies.

Tomorrow a few cat loving knitters come to visit:
cat cookies
Ginger orange pepper cookies 🙂

Things are taking shape.

Resting up from the workshop I’m knitting a lot on Cool Wool Serra Cardigan. It’s mindless knitting in the round round round and a good project for laying back and recuperating.

I had reknit the bodice from the arms down, and this weekend I just finished the sleeves. Now I can knit the bodice down all the way to the bottom. Besides good for resting this is also a good car ride project. On Thursday we leave for Germany for a few days, it’s going to be a 5 to 6 hour trip. So having a mindless knitting project is good planning.

The shaping looks good. I’m at the hip increases now but I’m doing only the ones in the front. I’ve got nothing in the trunk that needs additional cloth.

Before the workshop last Friday I finished sewing that top with the scalloped edge. Learned a lot!

topje patroontekenen schulprand French bustdarttopje patroontekenen schulprand French bustdart

Concerning shaping I now definitely know I’ve got to  stay away from shirts that hang down from the breasts. I look like I have a big belly.

Shirts like this go over the head, without an opening, and therefor they have little additional waist shaping. It now looks like my body fills out the shirt right from the tip of my breast to the bottom of the shirt. You know about the pencil-trick? Well, I could do 250 grams of yarn tricks in tops with this shape.

I learned about sewing scallops though. And about neck facings and about gathered sleeves. Those are easy! Even with my foot treadle. Just loosen up the tension on one side and you get an excellent gathering stitch. I want more gathering in my sewing.

For pattern drafting I narrowed in on good wearing ease and a better arm hole for my basic shirt pattern.

Here, this is where I was coming from:

A failed shirt with not enough wearing ease, a too narrow arm hole and too extreme shaping for two poor princess seams to handle. Not finishing this, no way. Never wearing this.

Still, even this failed shirt is teaching me valuable things.

And! There’s a concealed zipper at the centre front, that’s good. It’s lapped and neat and now I don’t have to make button holes nor sew on buttons. It made it into my basic pattern for a Tailored Ladies’ Dress Shirt.

Now I have to “unvent” something about that waist shaping and those princess seams though. Probably need more panels.

For knitted garments I’ve got the shaping pretty down, by now. Cardigans. Vests. I can do those.

Next cardigan will be Pumpkin Ale. The yarn I dyed for that is caked and all ready to go and will come with to Germany. But it’s not mindless knitting, this is a gotta-keep-looking-at-my-hands-kinda-project. Especially the start since the back is a cabled panel. Looking forward to it though.

The mushroom yarn is ready to go too! It will become a stranded vest with good shaping. I looked at Art Nouveau visuals. I chose the lighter colours I dyed. Now I’ve looked the free vest patterns I have in my library such as Ivy League Vest by Eunny Jang and Twelve Months of Christmas vest by Helen Burros andGreat Horn-Rimmed by Mary Scott Huff:

 pic by the three designers named.

I’m going to steek, y’all! Exiting as I won’t be able to try on the vests and check the shaping once I reach the arm holes. I’ve never steeked before.

I hope to develop a basic stranded vest pattern in this yarn weight for my body shape and then crank out stranded vest after stranded vest. Just picking colours from my stash and making charts with Stitch Fiddle.

One more puzzle to solve before I can begin is to incorporate the waist shaping and the bust dart into the stranded patterns… A nice puzzle. With rewarding outcome.

Looking at the thee vestpatterns above I’ve learned I should probably cast on about 207 stitches for the bottom ribbing. That’s fine, I can start that in the white and it will be a few hours of mindless knitting, no stranding required yet. I won’t be doing corrugated ribbing even though all these patterns have that. I want a calmer look for my vest. Calm, light, pastel. A Februari look.

This is my desk top this month:


I can start my stranded “shroom” vest as soon as I skeined up the two balls of commercial Shetland yarn that I bought at De Schapekop to go with my dyed yarn. The white and the blue one. They need to be skeined up because I need to wash out the spinning oil! I’ve got gloves to handle the skeining. Not getting that spinning oil on my hands and in my eyes again, I want to sleep at night.

After skeining I need to wash them HOT. Then they need to dry and be reskeined. All before Thursday so skeining and washing is on the calendar for today. I want to bring the white one with me to Germany. As my back up mindless-knitting-car-ride-project. In case I finish the Cool Wool Serra Cardigan.

I should probably bring a sock too. Even though I’m going to Germany, The Land Of The Sock Yarn and we’ll even visit the Lüneburg yarn shop called Stricxs which looks marvelous! They even sell Wollmeise. And I’m going there with the intention of buying souvenir yarn.

note to self: pack needles in various sizes. For when the unexpected knitting strikes.

So that’s the plans! I feel confident.

Weird Wool Wednesday: it’s a stupid hobby anyway.

Grrrr! All my WIPs are misbehaving!

Take for example my Snow Birch Hat. I had this idea of creating a fold so it would be more of a cloche hat, my favourite shape of city hat.

Birch hat won’t play. Fabric too bulky. This is not sophisticated at all.

I should lose the brim, perhaps make it into a Rikke hat. But I spend hours and hours on that ribbed brim! It’s double knit too. Hours I say!

I wanted it to offset the rustic character of the handspun and also use the commercial colour to show how much nuances the white handspun has. That works really well. I don’t want to loose the brim. But I also don’t want to wear this hat….

Talk about Rikke hat, this one made from Passe-Partout Silk Merino handspun has been finished for days now…. but I haven’t cut the yarn yet. Because I don’t like the overall colour much. Actually…. I think the heathered look is just ugly:

What to do, what to do… Frog it and use it for weaving? I’m not going to wear this hat, not in the city anyway.

Then why don’t I do something that I know is going to work? Like knit the thumbs on these mittens:

I was so stoked to knit these mittens from my Frau Holle handspun! All they need is a little pair of thumbs. Brainless knit. Just one hour work I estimate.
Why don’t I just finish the thumbs then? I’ve got no clue! I’ve been carrying them around with me for weeks. Have even lost the needle by now.

The contigious top down cardigan in the blue Irish wool has received a nice sleeve detail a few weeks ago. Designing that was the thing that prevented me from knitting on it for a year but I designed it in december and I knitted it and it looks nice:

This was all I needed to get me into motion again on this cardi and I thought I’d have it finished in a matter of days.

But alas. As soon as I made some serious progress on the second sleeve every round started to chant that I won’t have enough yarn left to knit the body. And it’s true that that ball in the picture is all that’s left. But my other cardigan from this yarn is also 500 grams of the wool and is long enough, Deco Cardi. This cardigan should be fine. Except it isn’t. Is it the cables that eat up all the yarn? Is it a tighter gauge? Or perhaps there will be enough yarn??

In the end I just couldn’t stand the suspicion so I stopped knitting on it altogether. Which is ridiculous because
A. it won’t solve the riddle whether there is enough yarn or not.
B. I’m cold. I need this cardi!

One possible solution is to shorten the sleeves. But I hesitate to frogging the one I finished. I’ll loose the detail and may not be able to reproduce it…

(Mind, by now it’s been several weeks since I knit the detail. I’ve already forgotten mostly how to do it and I’m at the point in the second sleeve that I need to start it anyway. Hopefully I can read my knitting.)

Another solution is to buy more yarn. But the price has gone up and I have plenty of other yarn left and if I buy this again I’d buy another kilo and I don’t need four cardigans in this colour and there’s going to be a difference in colour.

There is one knit that delights me and that I wear, it’s this hat:

I didn’t knit it myself but it is my yarn. A friend knitted it for me as part of a swap 🙂

The pattern is mont-royal by tshep, just like my hat from Zazu yarns. The blue yarn is Dutch Wool Diva Sock Twist in colourway Twilight:

On my request my friend didn’t block it (so I could get it asap), I was going to block it myself. Which I haven’t done yet:

Shoulda coulda woulda. Why don’t I do this yet?? The stitches will even out and it will look even more gorgeous than it does already.

Instead I’ve been wearing the hat as is and started a set of matching wristwarmers with the remainder of the skein:

And then I abandoned those because I thought I should wear this gorgeous colour near my face. This yarn should become a cowl!

So I started pattern Ahomansikat Cowl by Pirio Brax:

It only takes 230 m of fingering weight (sock yarn weight). Top down pattern. Free!

And then I left it unknitted because I grew doubts over the lace part. Surely this yarn looks better in a stockinette stitch, with small details in the knitting itself such as eyelets or purl stitches? Besides, a cowl with the fabric held double will be much better for me then a cowl with just a single layer, I should do the top part in a double layer and the lace part single.

Thinking I know essential improvements to the pattern and consequently already worrying about running out if yarn I’ve now not knitted on this project for several days.

Instead I’m knitting on my sportsweight Serra cardigan. I got really far after weeks and weeks of knitting on it:

before discovering I’d been doing all kinds of stupid:

Way way too wide and ugly ruffle.

To make it even more bitter: there was reasoning behind the stupid.
“I need an FBA, a Full Bust Adjustment. Let’s cast on a lot more stitches at the underarm. And put in some increases at the sideseam. Don’t be shy. My gauge is different from the pattern anyway so I better put in some more. Ah yes, some bust darts too.”

Yeah… sigh.
The thing is I cannot continue on Serra and fix it later on because now I won’t have enough yarn for a normal length cardigan and long sleeves.

All these WIPs I knit into trainwrecks…. I need an intervention. Or a simpler hobby.

Well, there’s always the sewing I’ve planned for today:
How hard can it be?

13 dec: winter knits, more owls and The Wrong White #2.

Today’s Wolop Advent colour is a midgrey. And the colour of the other day is x-mas green:

But alas, the white skein has not arrived, so I’m not progressing on my shawl. This is as far as I got:

The reindeer (more moose, like) and some small bands bringing back some colours. In the pink are little orange things and in my mind they are the tops of purple crowns. To celebrate a knitter friend who’s daughter performed for our Queen Maxima last weekend. She sang the solo in a performance with her class mates. Very proud.

All my Wolop Advent skeins and the shawl travel in a little suitcase:

In just a day or two I’ll be travelling for four days and this suitcase will come with.

This is how I looked yesterday, at my pattern drafting class:
sparkly ring wristwarmerssparkly ring wristwarmers
Very wintery palette. That’s the cheapest ring I ever had, something like 2 euro’s at the Kruidvat. It has little pearls and a silver butterfly and I love it! I’ve had it for years. It’s my magic winter ring.

Wearing my glittery Wolbeest wristwarmers. And mum, this is the bolero-thingie you gave me for my birthday. It’s perfect over my warm grey blue longsleeve and it sits high enough to show the bow on my red handmade dress.

If you’ve got a distinctive curve in the small part of your back, you’ve gotta emphasize it. The tighter things fit there, the looser things can be at the front, where I keep my fat rolls and ma belly. Smart waistless people, unite!

Talking about waists: the stranded owl vest and I…. we’re just not working together. Not sure of you can see it here but the two whites are pretty obvious in real life.

I’m going to relieve myself from this. I’m going to frog back to the owl part and cast off there. Perhaps I can use it as is.

Perhaps it’s time for stranded kidneywarmers to be in fashion again? I’ll see if it does anything for the small of my back. Or my belly.

In the same vein I realized that knitting up the very stripey sockyarn doesn’t give me pleasure. Perhaps the pleasure was in purchasing the skein.

I’ve marked this as “frogged” on Ravelry.

Instead I casted on with the indigo dyed sock yarn. Another leafy sock! The same pattern as the onion dyed and the woad dyed socks, but this time I’m doing cuff down.

pattern Blattwerk by Stephanie van der Linden. Not the best paid-for pattern out there. But lovely leafs!

I’ll be pretty relaxed with the leaf patterns, just winging it. Not trying to make the identical pattern. On needles 2 mm.

Remember this one?

I’m actually crocheting a border around this today!
I’d love to bring it with me to Midwinterwol, which starts the day after tomorrow for me, with a long drive up north.

It’s such a lovely and cosy piece of knitwear.
Others think so too: