x-mas colours and other colours

Wolop’s plant dyed Advent fingering yarns all together:

Wolbeest semi-solid Advent fingering yarns in my tree:

This picture gives you a better idea of the first half of the box:
 pic by DorineZ
The second half had purples and pinks and reds and greys and silver.

I didn’t finish my green Week Before X-mas hat:

It’s getting too big (although you never know for sure with a tube, tubes always end up tighter). And the fabric is kind of stiff. And now I’ve discovered a hole. All in all it’s just not a pleasurable WIP for me and it made me procrastinate a lot.

By knitting this:

A loose fit sweater from Tour de Fleece sparkly bouclé yarn I made in 2014, just one day after I hosted a nice TdF finish party when I made a purple bouclé, what a nice TdF that was! with my first Nunoco batt too with an amazingly thoughtfull swap. Combined with the undyed Irish aran yarn that I love so much. (Donegal Yarns Irish Heather)

I’m winging the pattern. Just provisional cast on for the yoke and increase 8 stitches every other row. When I ran out of green yarn I attached the white and knitted on until I thought it was long enough.

Then I divided for the sleeves and body. The body is finished now, I added some waist decreases and increases. I fitted it yesterday and it’s not so boxy… apparently I’m afraid to run out of white yarn and have made it rather snug below the bust. Oh well, true to me I’ll be.

It’s sparkly green again…

Sparkly green is such a x-mas colour! It’s the best companion for red which fits this time of year so well. It signifies living mainly indoors, shorter days, making things warm inside. It’s why I am wearing my red dress today:

Deer & Doe handmade dress from 2 years ago.

Red is very nice for today but I already feel something else stirring: the colours of Frau Holle time:

Frau Holle Time is the time between x-mas and half of January. (February perhaps even).

It’s a time of introvertness but you can already feel things are about to be shaken up. Women do their spinning. The spinning of yarn and the spinning of the threads of time and life. We are preparing for a new year, a new life. Still cradling the old life, the old year, but already things are brightening up and new life is stirring beneath our feet and we are no longer bound to the ground nor to the time of clocks. We are flying through the skies, overseeing land and life.

Oops, I get carried away each year like this… sorry. Here’s a post from 2013 and here from last year if you want to see more colours for this time of year and Holle. I may redo my x-mas tree after x-mas… there’s still a big box of white and silvery ornaments in a corner of the room.

This is the Frau Holle statue at the Frau Holle lake near the mountains in Germany:

Frau Holle is a goddess from before vikings or celts. She’s the patron of spinners and loves cats. She’s a year-round goddess associated with all seasons and with farming and husbandry and plants and fertility. She’s also knows as Hulda and was later incorporated into goddesses such as Frygge and Perchta, when male/warrior values started to dominate European culture and religion, as they still do today.


the Advent Calendar yarns so far: Wolop and Wolbeest


How does she manage to get these colours from plants?!?!

Het Wolbeest:

(orange and tan I hung at the back)

There’s still more gifts to unwrap:

PS that’s my new pincushion
pincushion felted pebble rock
Handfelted pebble by Wolop
she teaches this.

Advent Wool Bliss

This is how my daily 30 minutes of Advent spinning looks like:
advent spinningwheel spinning wool merino cat
Prepping and spinning beautiful Saxon Merino for example. I’ve spun two skeins now:


First snow on the roofs today!

Remember how I always call our new car the red bauble? Oh, I’m not sure you know actually…. Well my husband got himself a new car a couple of years back. A NEW one, instead of the used ones we usually have. It’s shiny, it’s red and he still smiles every time he drives it.
insert vol 116 mazda 3 pic by Insert Magazine
(Also he hacked it. Inserted a camera in the back and adjusted the dashboard graphics and swapped the CDplayer for a USB thingie and got a 3Dprinted front for it.)
Anyway, I call it the x-mas bauble.

For Sinterklaas I got a bauble of my own:
advent spinningwheel spinning wool merino cat

I don’t have the energy to decorate the tree this year. But it decorates itself! Wolbeest Advent Calendar and gifts from Wolop:
advent spinningwheel spinning wool merino cat

Under the tree, next to my knitting chair, is my little table for tea and knitting. On it: Wolop’s Plant Dyed Advent Calendar!

Such gorgeous shades.

Look who are getting a bit older these days:
advent spinningwheel spinning wool merino cat

Both still cuddly:
advent spinningwheel spinning wool merino cat

Advent fun starts here!

The first of December is here! Cats and yarn unite!

Wolbeest Advent Calendar inspection:

Both Wolbeest and Wolop Advent Surprise Calendars under the tree early this morning:

My tree is bare because first we celebrate Sinterklaas on the 5th of December. It’s a traditional feast in the Netherlands where the Catholic bishop Saint Nicholas from 16th century Spain will ride on the roof tops of all the Dutch houses, on his white horse Amerigo, accompanied by his Moorish staff. Together they send presents down the chimneys.

Sinterklaas 2010 Den Haag

Adults exchange gifts accompagnied by silly rhymes which poke friendly fun at the recipient. All writen by Saint Nicholas or Moorish Pete of course.

What do you think of my x-mas tree hack? Prevents condensation on my wooden furniture:

When in doubt: pizza.

Wolop’s Advent Box is a treat!
Every day has a separately wrapped present. So much attention has gone into this!

I went out and got some real fir branches and festive sparkles and made a Wolop Advent Guirlande:

A present for each day.

There was cat supervision:

Here is the first installment of Wolop Advent Box:

What a gorgeous colour! How is that possible with plant dyes? The metal, cellery coloured tree hanger is a wonderful companion. (This is a night time photo, I’ll make sure to take day time pictures from now on.)

And the first day of Wolbeest:

Also a great colour! For now I’ll put them in the tree.

Looking forward to tomorrow. There’s still the Tea Advent Box to open and I was planning to do all the spinning this advent. The advent stars need to be put up before Sunday.





santa sushi pic by pinguino k
I’ll explain later.

Wolop Adventshawl pictures and charts

chart 1: https://www.stitchfiddle.com/c/sj4l72-8ly3pm/quickview
chart 2: https://www.stitchfiddle.com/c/sj4itg-6t4lyt/quickview

All charts made in free online tool StitchFiddle. A friendly site for intuitive chart making for knitting and crochet and cross-stitch. Both colour charts and symbol charts. You can also upload a picture and it’s automatically converted to a chart for stranded knitting. I played with that a year ago, for the Elementary My Dear Swap:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 16.50.52

This year was all about patterns in small strips with the colour I was given that day of the Wolop Advent Box. Here’s my shawl this morning, after a month of wearing:

I’m not that relaxed when posing for pictures:

Then Robert says: “Smile for the cat!” and things get better:

I’m wearing my Peabody pullover in Soft Donegal, a 100% Merino in a ply with nubbs. I don’t wear it often. I knitted the pullover in 2013/2014 and knitted it too short, I’m always pulling it down. The yarn pills a lot (I’m a loose knitter and it’s merino) and the pattern is not high enough in the back of my neck causing me a chill.

Really, I should chuck this sweater out, it takes up too much space for the one time a year I wear it. But it was soooo much effort to knit it. Two years it took. With many brainfogged struggles.

But I think I’ll wear it another day today. It looks great with the Advent Shawl.

Enjoying and dyeing colour in Winter.

colour winter 2016 2017

Last week I watched two friends dye colourful yarn:
colour winter 2016 2017

Both are knitters who particularly use colours to enjoy themselves and to enhance life.

Their x-mas trees illustrate this beautifully 🙂
One friend always has seven peaks in her tree. And glass robots:
colour winter 2016 2017colour winter 2016 2017colour winter 2016 2017
The tree of the other friend, The Random Knitter, has miniskeins in it, the Wolop Advent Calendar:
colour winter 2016 2017

They both wanted a yarn that knits up a certain way: a basic colour with little bursts of multicolour. If you knit those multicolours purl wise you get something like this:

The Lemonade Shop Sparkle Sock (Stormy Day; no DL)

Yarn dyed by independent dyer Lemonade Shop yarn on etsy, colour Stormy Day.

Here are the results of our dyeing day, still wet:

dyeing Yarn party

And dry with better lighting:

 pic by Spectre120

They really knew what they were doing!

I’m going to just post the photos and let those do the talking.
I was just sitting there anyway, spinning and eating all the sweets and pastry. I’d brought some Bossche Bollen and I had two! At one time I needed a little lie down (possible bol-related) and the lovely old genteman cat Guus spotted the opportunity immediately.
Colour, knitters, pastries and cat cuddles? Perfect day.
dyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn party
dyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn party

dyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partyUntitleddyeing Yarn party
dyeing Yarn party
dyeing Yarn partyUntitleddyeing Yarn party

And a hike in the woods yesterday, wearing my red Bleuet dress and Wolop Advent shawl. This too was with a knitter and there was beautiful sunlight and we did knitting and pastry afterwards 🙂

colour winter 2016 2017

finished: Wolop Advent Shawl!

It’s blocking and drying:

Here are some of the final motives:

Cats with Paw Peerie by Sandra Jäger and also hedgehogs from her. I didn’t have enough brown/mauve for the final row but they still look like hedgehogs to me.

My golden embroidery scissors.

The purple shirts I never sew.

A ribbon of flowing water; hedgehogs; mushrooms; something that may or may not be square eggs or daisies in the only multicolour I put in the shawl.

Cat paw prints; “Advent 2016”; new stars to replace the ones from December first and December nineteenth ; some geometric design in which I ran out of dark purple and finally: some fish (using different shades of the pastel greys. The purple one, the blue one and the lilac I dyed myself. Ran out of that one at the final fish and inserted some white.)

Kitchener stitched everything together, with the fish right underneath the polar bears:

The geometric design is a prelude to next year’s project. I want to do another one of these Adventsboxes!

Next time I’d love an overall design flowing through the whole cowl, with only the colours changing, following the wisdom of Fair Isle knitting when it comes to colours, colour families and contrast.

For the pattern I’m leaning towards Art Nouveau. Leaves. Curls. Smoke rings. A pattern which I’ll probably design myself, using StitchFiddle, the free online charting tool.

Advent shawl 2016 was made entirely on Stitchfiddle. It took two charts of 200 rows high each. I’ll clean them up and share them publicly. In a post with pictures of me wearing the cowl. Right now it’s still wet.

24 dec: chunk of knitting and a friendly reminder

The last colour of the Wolop Advent box is a beautiful icy blue:

I used it for a secret kind of bird house/WIP bag that I will receive next week. The bag is greenish with ice blue top/roof. Can’t say much more about it 🙂

Underneath I knitted the purple anti gobble food bowl. Our cats have one too now. It works really well.

Underneath that is a ribbon of sea gulls. They are always near, making strange noises over the harbour.

These birds are from a chart by Sandra Jäger. It’s free. I love how there’s a darker blue middle section. Lots of Fair Isle patterns have that. I should play more with that.

This is what I knitted yesterday. I wanted to do a large chunk:

Do you like those fox faces? I designed them myself, on Stitchfiddle.com. I wanted to incorporate foxes in my shawl because Wolop Lieneke loves foxes and this particular colour of yarn is beautiful for foxes and next week I will also receive a bag with foxes on it ….*eyebrow wiggle*

The next few days I’m trying to knit as much as possible so that the shawl can go around my neck twice. I want it finished before the new year begins.

I’ll end this post with the x-mas card our cats received:

A personal card, from the vet!

It had an PS.
“Remember that it’s about time to renew your vaccinations.”

Have a nice x-mas evening.

21 dec: “Stop inhaling pickled herring.”

My husband suggested that I stop inhaling pickled herring salad.
Bietensalade van Marja pic and recipe by SoulSoup

It’s my end of year food and it’s a traditional Dutch dish, what with us being North Sea folk and herring mad.
But I couldn’t wait for the end of the year so I made some. Chopped up pickled herring, red beets, creme fraiche, vinegar, little pickles, little onions, salt and pepper. Usually I can’t have vinegar or onions but now that I have fixed my daily uptake of vit B12 and folate (by taking pre-methylated forms called mB12 and Metafolate) I can have a little bit now and then.

Unfortunately, “a little bit” is not in my herring eating vocabulary.
I gulf it down (“wolf it down”?) and food goes down the wrong pipe and I get a terrible coughing fit and tears are running down my cheeks and Robert is banging on my back and we’re all sure I’m going to die, stinking of herring.
Lillepoes comes running, worried.

This happens every year. Every time I have pickled herring salad. This time my husband noticed the pattern and said I should I eat my pickled herring salad more slowly. Stop inhaling it. “I can’t.” I said. “It’s too good.”

Lieneke, from Wolop, heard about this and had a suggestion:
 An anti-gobble food bowl like Luna’s, Hello Luna 🙂

Today’s Wolop Advent Box colour is blue:

I think I’ll chart some herring into my shawl:
And I charted Poekie, with her green lamp like eyes.

She was worried too. But only that I was eating something good without sharing.

Sinterklaas hats done and a necklace of little bits of beet:

10 december: the wrong white

The white I’m using as a supporting colour is thicker than the main yarns, it got all ruffled around the x-mas balls:

It looks awful. The difference in thickness also shows at the bottom of the shawl:

An undesired hour glass figure.
I thought it was my gauge, but it’s this white yarn. It has 360 m per 100 grams and the Wolop yarn is 425 m per 100 grams.

I frogged the top part and am reknitting things. Today’s colour is a rich rusty orange:

I used it to catch the x-mas balls and it looks beautiful! Now I’m knitting the Norwegian Rose in yesterday’s royal blue on the teal from day ..

But things are getting a bit too colourful for my taste. I really want light colours in there too. Soothing white accents.

So now I’m frantically searching for an undyed sockyarn with the right meterage, 400 to 425 m per 100 gram, that’s soft enough to wear against the skin. I have some of the 2ply yarn left from Fir Cowl, that I will try for small specks of white. The problem with that particular yarn is that is fuzzes quite easily (because I’m a loose knitter). I noticed this on my purple stranded cuffs, they are 6 months old and already ratty.

I’ve found a webshop that sells BFL-Nylon yarn in the right meterage, undyed, but of course their webshop form crashed. So I’ll have to wait until someone comes into the shop on Monday. If they do…

There’s other wrong white around the house too. These daisies haven’t bloomed all year and chose mid December to be in flower:
white flowers bike
Weird white.

Let me show you THE RIGHT WHITE:
Rossling handknit socks
Rossling handknit socksRossling handknit socks
A gift from Nieslief, who knit these socks as part of Sock Madness 2016 and they were too small for her. They are a small 38. Which is just ok for me.
They are beautiful!
Such intricate knitting… Very lovely, very soothing. Something I really really appreciate today. Thank you, dear Nieslief.

Pattern Rossling by Leslie Comstock