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:

februari-mood-board

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:
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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:

Bits and bobs: wardrobe and wips

Looking fancy:
Grey handmade outfit winter
This is what I’ve been aiming for. That I can just pick random stuff from my wardrobe and it all fits together. A dress shirt, a handknit vest, a canvas lined skirt, some nice socks (and often leg warmers).
This was my outfit last week when I visited another city and had fancy cake with a knitter friend. Wearing clothes like this makes me me feel all fancy and cultural.
Now with cardigan and felted bag for outside wear:
Grey handmade outfit winter
Just add shoes.

Ready to knit the Wolop handspun sock in 1, 2, 3:

Tying some knots into the yarn to remind myself in which sequence to use these balls. On the right is the true 3ply sock yarn, with all three breeds, for the feet of the socks. The middle ball is a 3 ply with 2 breeds, good for legs and cuffs. The right one is the leftover 2 ply, 1 breed, good for a lacy cuff.

The indigo experiment is a dud. The writer of the book, Eco-verf, answered me personally to insure that I had done things right and that if the solution does not turn green when adding the CaOH than there’s no indigo in the leafs.

To get some sort of satisfaction with eco-dye I tried the recipe on p. 239 for ecoprinting leaves on concrete. This will also work for unglazed ceramics and eggshell:
ecoprinting on ceramics, recipe from Anja Schrik
I’ll make a separate post of it.

I started Concrete Cardigan:

It’s not as neat as the pattern example in the bulky millspun yarn. But I’m soldiering on, doing three rows of purl-rows instead of two, for added contrast.

I hope it will fit in with the wardrobe Grab ‘n Match idea I described at the top.

And I knitted on the Moonwise Gems sock:

the WIPs and the paradox of gaining some spare time.

My days are full with non-wool things. I only craft at night, when I join my husband for some TV. It’s still the same crochet so it’s not that interesting to show you:

Soon I need to lay out all the squares again, see what’s what. Think some more about the assembling composition.

The stranded owl vest with the wrong shade of white is now stuffed into the back of the closet. Don’t know what to do about it at this time.

I have started another white vest in that lovely handspun:

A vest without raglans: Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor.
But then I frogged it again because my similar handspun Hilja vest pills a bit (the yarn is a bit too soft for a garment) and Wolop Grey vest taught me I have more meterage than needed for a vest and I’d love to use every inch of my handspun.

So why not use the handspun for a luscious collar that doesn’t have to stand much wear?
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“Inspired to knit” is the first knitting book I ever bought. I’ve never knit from it because … reasons (mostly that things aren’t knit in the round). But I always wanted a collar to tuck away in, like shown on the front. So last weekend I cast on for it. It’s Snowdrift Cardigan by Michele Rose Orne.

It was a good car ride project last Sunday:

But at home I started to doubt my knitting again. Isn’t it too wide, too many stitches? Isn’t it too variegated a colour and with what yarn will I ever combine it to make the body then?
So I’ve left it in its WIPbag since then and have been crocheting flowers instead.

Tangled Vines Cardigan is still out of the closet though. There’s only one sleeve left to do and the button bands. I’ve brought my box with buttons to the city and I just need to sit down and make a choice:
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I’ll get to that as soon as I’ve finished crocheting…

Somewhere in the previous weeks I did start on the sock blank! I have half a foot and it sits beautifully in the yarn bowl:
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Artwork by Meilindis and yes, that is a portrait of Lillepoes!

I hardly knit on my sock though. Because it feels like a special knit for sophisticated moments, like there should be a candle in a silver holders nearby and there should be bonbons on little handmade plates and artistic thoughts in my head.
These days I only craft when I’m doing something else too. Watching videos at night or browsing imgur during my day rests. No sophistication at all.

Yeah, my days are full. A lot of time is spend on coaxing my body to not relapse into a chronic fatigue state. I feel like I’ve been handed a precious gem or little kitten and I don’t want to lose it. It needs time and dedication and love to prosper but I have one hand tied behind my back and an eyepatch made out of mohair and someone is whispering math problems in the back ground, demanding answers.

So there’s a lot of distraction and I absolutely want to do this right because I’d like 45 more years of good life, please. Hmm, this may be a long winded apology that this is no longer a blog with regular knitting progress reports.
Was it ever though?

Blogging takes time too and I find I want to use that time for other things. You wouldn’t say it with the elaborate posts I’ve been making the past few weeks but in my mind I have cut back on blogging. Reality may disagree as these posts each take two hours to write, at least. But my mindset has shifted. “I knit less and therefor blog less.” That’s as true as cows. (That’s a Dutch expression)
My posts may change in the future. Perhaps more pictures, less words.
Or it may progress like it does right now: more words, less wool 😉

There’s just not much time left in the day to do the things I love. I get maybe one hour twice a day? But they are spend in health now and they never were before.
When there are no interruptions such as day trips or having to buy mattresses or going in for blood tests I spend most of my precious free and health-full time sewing. I sewed a winter skirt last month:

Sturdy canvas again: curtain fabric from IKEA. Sturdy seams, pockets, lining. And godets at the side seams to give room for striding and urban power posing.

It goes wonderful with my Wolop Grey Handspun Vest as you can see. The other day I wore a ladies’ dress shirt under it and I looked smashing! That will be my Autumn and Winter garderobe: skirt, shirt, vest, cardigan (hat, wristwarmers).

This fortnight I’m sewing trousers. They are linen trousers, for Summer. This Summer. Yes, Summer 2016…
Never mind that I’m writing this wearing a hat and woolen socks. At least I’m also learning to work with loosely woven cloth, which comes in handy for when I’m going to sew with my handwovens.
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Which I have planned for the end of Summer.
Summer 2016.
Which is when I will have finished weaving what I set up on my new loom.
Or will have started weaving it even.
Argh. I need more hours. I hear coffee does good things for the amount of hours in a day?

There’s still more sewing to do, with the fabrics I already have. Dress shirts. Pinafores. A jacket next month. I’m also interested in art again. I was a full time art student and also an artist before I fell ill in 2008? It’s rekindling. I’ve bought a little sketchbook for daily use… but hussshh about that because that’s another fragile kitten that needs peace and calm to grow big and playful.

Yeah I don’t have much spare time these days. All caused precisely because I have gotten a bit of spare time. I’m savouring every crumb of it. I’ll continue showing you but it may not be much interesting wool stuff for a while.

UPDATE I was meant to surf how to sew a jeans zipper, not write this blogpost!

Knitting in the rain.

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This wool vacation is different that I had planned. It rained all of this week and I couldn’t go outside and do all the carding and fleece washing and felting and dyeing that I came here to do. Oh my, and the gardening! The garden has run wild and I’ll never reel it back in again! I don’t want to talk about it.

I mostly stayed indoors and grumbled and my needle had broken and I went too fast on the car knitting project because its colours make me happy and I didn’t want to think too much:

But you can’t just knit away on your car knitting project. These kind of mindless socks need to be timed smartly so there’s some easy knitting for driving. The leg and the foot are such mindless knitting and need to be savoured for such needy times.

This week I finished one sock and knit the leg of the other, while ignoring the rain and the garden. But now that I’ve turned the heel I have to leave them alone because otherwise I won’t have any suitable car knitting. And I need a car project because tomorrow we’re going for a drive.

To Münster, Germany:munster germany

Look, it’s only about a cm from where I am in the Netherlands!

We love to go to Münster for a day, every year. It’s our one day together. Until now it was usually a day in November, to visit the x-mas market. But we haven’t been for the last two years because of my health. Tomorrow we’re cashing in that rain cheque! Münster is so nice. Old and cute and with little shops and nice cafés. And a botanical garden that we’re going to visit tomorrow. A good opportunity for some mindless knitting, while walking.

So I need both car knitting and walking knitting for tomorrow. I’m bringing that green Zauberball sock but I’m afraid I’ll finish it on the way over. So I’ve just cast on for the next sock:

The socks on the right are by fellow raveler Nasti, a Finnish knitting wonder who is excellent with both stripes and colours, here’s her blog.
I love her socks! And I’m shamelessly copying them.

These are two 50 gram balls and because I don’t know how far the grey will get me I did a provisional cast on off the leg and will work my way down to the heelflap. co 56 st on needle 2,25 mm. I’m doing 2 yellow stripes and 5 grey ones. Nasti did 2 and 3.

This week I did do some of the things I planned for this wool vacation. I spun some more silk for the purple(green) single and I set the twist on the spun silk and on the Passe-Partout 3 ply:

The last one will become a Rikke hat, which is easy knitting and is coming with me in the car tomorrow.

Yesterday I cast on for the second cashmere neckwarmer I’ve been wanting to knit for months now:

The pattern is Pudorosa neckwarmer by Lia Moya. Only I replaced the cables in the neck part for a mock cable (herring rib).

The yarn is a 100% Cashmere DK. The same as the pink one, which I wear all the time. Where the rose one is a neckwarmer with round shapes, the lavender one will be more pointy:

 pic by Leo

With the rain I thought it’d be a good plan to crack on with my sewing projects. But somehow I find it difficult to concentrate on them here. It’s easier in the city, where everything and everyone is productive and efficient and fuelled by coffee and urban culture.

In the cabin there’s more of a friendly vibe. “Relax, recuperate, enjoy the view.” Then I got this lovely container full of friendly sewing vibes and things clicked:
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It prompted me to do some of the hand sewing that the skirts need. Lovely!

I got something else too. A new tea mug:
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Stoneware, big (500 ml!), with big blobs of glaze on the outside and with a light interior on the inside. Handmade by Claire Benoit in the UK and bought via her shop on Etsy.

I’ve yet to test it but it meets a lot of my requirements for a Knitter’s Tea Mug. With the light interior it’s better than my dark cat-mug because I can never see if I need to take the tea egg out because its inside is black. (this is a tea egg. I love it in weird shapes.)

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So that’s me finally settled for the rain I think. I’ve now got my head around it and I can do some sewing and knitting now that I’ve got the good vibes, a new tea mug and a new needle 4mm.

Let’s see how I feel the day after tomorrow and how the weather will be.

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Miscellaneous

I finished the cat wristwarmers for my friend and gave them to her!

Her birthday was back in May but I just couldn’t make myself finish the embroidering of the eyes and whiskers because I was so certain they were too small. Once I resolved to give them anyway, (“perhaps she can use them as decoration”), I finished them:


She got them last Saturday and seemed to like them!

For mindless knitting I’ve started a new sock:

It’s a Zauberball yarn. You wind off the ball until you’ve got 2 x 50 grams and then you alternate and make stripes. Explained in Magic Zauberball Stripe Socks by Tofutrulla
This is Zauberball Crazy, a 2 ply, in colourway 2170. Probably my favourite colourway 🙂

The regular WIPs are progressing as usual. I’m working on Rockefeller and on the socks with the froggy beads. The other WIPs are in the closet, dreaming.

After the first mitten I did not knit any more of the 12 Days of Christmas Mitten Garland KAL by Kat Lewinski. There have been two mittens since, the third one is being released today:

They are lovely designs! And it’s a lovely Ravelry group to read so I’ll be following their progress and look at the new designs. The reason I did not progress is that mitten 2 and 3 do not have that graphic style that mitten 1 had me raving about.

That’s the well documented graphic style called “wood block printy bold shapes what’s meant to be the back ground colour anyway?”

Done in storytelling prints by artists Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel and Hilke MacIntyre:

Done with blocks of colour by Milton Avery and Tomoko Suzuki:

In monochrome prints by El Gato Gomez and Isabel Cosin:

Bold shapes owning the canvas, by Pierre Bonnard and Chun Eun Sil:

Playing with negative space, Daryl Hochi and Noma Bar:

Storytelling, bold shapes and use of negative space, that’s what I love about the first mitten design:

And now for my final miscellaneous trick, here’s a picture of me spinning last Saturday:

Anna-spinnend-bij-Wolop Photo by Meilindis

getting my WIPs in order

I’ve been coming around to working on my WIPs again. They’ve been dormant for months.
As a start I’ve decluttered the wool cabinet and taken out anything I didn’t love. What a fine way to organize things. It’s such a clear answerable question: do I love this?

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Yes, I love this:
On the top shelf my tea china and spinning treasures.

Second shelf: the WIPs!

The third shelf holds my tools and some yarns I want to knit with a.s.a.p.

The bags at the bottom is the sock yarn stash and some odd balls I like to keep close.

The bags with sock yarn I took out yesterday and spread out all around my on the floor:
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Initially because I wanted to look for x-massy mitten colours. But then I found a few of those few half projects and odd bits of yarn that have been lying about for years. Being nuisances, really. If I’m honest about it.
You know the ones, the you-shoulda-coulda-oughta-have-done-a-better-job-gnashers. The things I was going to work on, one day, and do better.
With the “do I love this?” compass still fresh on my mind I realized how much of a burden these nasty woolies are.

There were two legs I started that didn’t work out and are never going to work out. Some tube in a stupid colour. Two things in infuriating inferior yarn. And two bits of yarn with bad memories attached to it. Why was I holding on to these? Guilt mostly. Guilt and the delusion that I can change the past.
I didn’t match all the sock yarn stash to my “Do I love this?” compass but the four or five pieces that really bug me I took and threw away!
It’s not much but it sure feels good.

It gave room for a fresh look at the sock yarn that’s been here for years and years and then I saw this:
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Half a knitted foot in a treasured yarn.

It’s Skinny Bugga! yarn by The Sanguine Gryphon. Given to me by a wonderful American Raveler back in 2010, when I was very ill and was in bed all day, barely able to think.
She send me this yarn and plenty more when a swap package of mine was not acknowledged by its receiver and she never send me anything. The group as a whole stepped in and send a replacement package. So heartwarming. It was the Handmade Pincushion Swap Group on Ravelry. A group that now has stopped existing but was a haven of lovely crafters around 2009-2013. This yarn has been dear to my heart from the very beginning.

I’ve started knitting with it many times… so many times that by now I’ve changed colour preferences and don’t even like orange anymore.

It’s such a wonderful yarn! Round spun, good handle, excellent stitch definition and great colouring. Also produced by a very sympathetic indy dyer team, which went on to other adventures a few years back. They felt so real and genuine, even when they dissolved the business.

Once upon a time I started these socks, my first toe ups I think. The pattern is Sacre du Printemps by Caoua Coffee:

A free pattern too!

I knitted, with my brainfogged head and all the concentration I could muster to make myself a glorious pair of socks in this high end quality yarn.

But they turned out too wide and I stopped knitting on them, quite defeated. I couldn’t make myself rip them out. All these fine cables. For years and years I’ve kept this half foot.

And now it will no longer be a foot!

It will be a phone cosy. I’ve ordered a new phone and while I wait for the protector to come from an exotic country far far away I’ll use this half sock as my pouch. Just knit a flap onto it and some sort of fastening and I’m golden.

Having found a new WIP to work on and some yarn for the x-mas decoration  *giggle, in June!*  I put the sock yarn stash away.

I’d now like to give an overview of the WIPs that are still active, in my mind anyway. They are in the wool cabinet and I will work on one of them any day now.
The funny thing is I don’t feel bad about them at all. Nor about the time I’ve neglected them. Nor about the fact that I’ve started new socks this week and will start a mitten next week. No guilt.

There’s one project though that I do feel a bit bad about. I need to formally put it to bed: the Sock Madness:


I started so enthousiastically back on March the 1st. But the patterns were all out of my reach. Twisted stitches, cables. Not one of them was a simple knit and purl combination.
I understand because this was a 10 year anniversary and they tried to make this fun for the experienced mad knitters. But for me there was not one pattern I could participate in after the first knit. It doesn’t feel very nice, not contributing to the fun. But that’s what happened.
I read along merrily. But haven’t posted. Feels weird.

Here are all 14 patterns from Sock Madness 10.

Caoua Coffee made one of the final designs: Coffee Cantata

Again: free!

Just to remind you and me, these are the current WIPs in my wool cabinet.
Tangled Cardi and Donegal cardi:
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The Shetland Blue Texel throw that still only needs its border (I have been using it all winter though)
Next to it is Akelei Temptress that needs the final rows with beads and a non-frilly bind off; behind it the dark colours is Arlene cardi in Wollmeise Lace and in front is the white and green stranded little owl vest:
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The sock yarn at the back is the Wolbeest yarn, from the ice cream parlour. It has one toe. But then I got distracted by Miyuki Bead Frogs and Blattwerk socks that needed reknitting.

So that’s where things stand. These are the knitting projects that are still active, be it only in my mind.

I have a feeling I will pick one of these up to work on any day now. I’m looking forward to it.