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

8 december: prpl!

Glitter Fir Cowl finished!

Can be worn with either side out. Just need to weave in the ends. Earlier this week, Sinterklaas evening to be precise, I was working on it while wearing the cuffs made of the same purple glitter yarn 🙂

Love this colour! Well done, Wool Atelier Het Wolbeest. They are the ones with the ice cream parlour at the front and the yarn at the back. And where I felted sheep bags, both of them.

My Fir Cowl is knit on needles 2,25 mm with fingering weight yarn, using 80 grams in total.

The Wolop Advent box this morning:

Wolop Advent shawl this evening:

Birds in prpl and a little decorative stripe using the lilac leftovers from my Sock Blank. Are these birds? I made up a pattern. They’ll probably look better once blocked.

Purple anti-gobble art object:

cat food bowl helpcat food bowl helpcat food bowl help
“I object to this art.”

Everybody is an art critic…

7 december: just Wednesday

The wheat cookies and the chocolate from the past few days caught up with me. Last night I hardly slept and today I’m having an off day. Spend the morning making a fair isle pattern in StitchFiddle.com, spend the afternoon in bed watching cat-videos.

Literally: we were watching videos for the cat. Ever since High Definition screens Lillepoes wants to watch tv.

Today’s advent colour is a friendly orange. The grey from yesterday is a gorgeous light blueish grey. They look wonderful together, enhanced by the brown from the day before before.

I tried to capture that fair isle pattern from the Japanese book I love but I had to redesign it for my stitch count and colours. It’s not that easy, you have to think in odd numbers, in rhythm and contrast. I hardly was able to today but that’s ok, perfectionism has no place in this shawl.

PS I embroidered eyes on the polar bears. The white blobs DID turn into polar bears.

6 december: Sinterklaas and rebellious tree buying

Sinterklaas was a succes. This was the silly Sinterklaas wrapped gift:
krokodil kussen crocodile plush
A handsewn crocodile for Lieneke. Very soft! It has taken me weeks to make it, with the faux fur jamming up my antique foot treadle machine. But it’s a success! She likes it!
krokodil kussen crocodile plushUntitled
There were also pancakes and an owl mask with a poem attached to it and cookies. Crocodile cookies!

With all the crocodiles and Sinterklaas yesterday I didn’t get to knit with the purple Advent skein and the supporting grey I had chosen. That turned out to be a good thing because because today there’s a grey in my Wolop Advent box!

These are all the colours I have now, (supporting colours on the right), and I’m trying out things on StitchFiddle to see how things look. Not actually knitting them though :s
Maybe tomorrow 🙂

Today I did buy a x-mas tree and a …. “top-ornament”? We call it “piek”, a “peak”. Tree and piek = business completed right?
It’s a bit of a rebellious tree buying really. We bought a plastic tree three years ago because it was easier and less mess and my husband doesn’t care for decorating anyway. Although he does like the lights. But I miss the real tree-ness. Right from the start I missed the real thing. I was miserable that first plastic x-mas. The next year I brought hedge clippings from the cabin. Last year I bought a small foot high tree which I put next to the tv. And this year I bought a real sizes tree. I did. Only me. By myself. Without talking it over. A choice I made and then executed. Just because I wanted it, a tree.

Then I had the health to actually do it. In stead of having to rest all day I went out. Walked the kilometre to the car, drove to the store, chose a tree, had it wrapped, chose a piek I wanted instead of something cheaper (this one has a star on it!), I loaded the tree in the trunk, drove home, carried it into the room, drank the cold tea you see in the picture (made it before I went out but forgot it), parked the car and walked the kilometre back. Yay!

Btw, this is the yarn holder I’m using when I ball up the little Wolop Advent skeins:
It’s an oldie that a friend once gave to me. I like old things. This one is better than the new ones, it’s designed to hold skeins of different size and can handle these small ones well.

This is how far Glitter Fir Cowl now is:

I like the way neat little ridges frame the triangles. I found a way to pick up stitches first instead of attaching every row to the purple part as you go. Now I don’t get so many holes at the join (caused because I’m a loose knitter). And the purple parts have a nice ridge now too.

This is what I knit today. Hopefully finished in a day or two.

4 dec: Sunday funnies

My Wolop Advent Box colour of today is:

very similar to the brown I used yesterday! It’s stopping me right in my tracks. I start thinking about frogging yesterday’s part but I don’t want the frogging and reknitting to become a habit. It’s time to let things just be.

So I’m not knitting on this today. I leave it pinned to the couch for a chuckle and wait for tomorrows’ colour to get me going again.

There’s plenty to do in the mean time! My nephew has his birthday party today (his actual birthday is tomorrow) and we’re visiting for the first time in years (health prevented me). We have the Starwars LEGO Advent Box for a present, that should score some points with a ten year old. And I’m going to brush paint a card for him, he’s still talking about the card I made him last year:

So sweet of him because I felt very insecure when I finished this. So many things were wrong. Colours, lines, wobbly perspective, so much ugh. But still, a heavily critiqued card is better then no card so I sent it and what do you know, he loved it and still talks about it!

Another area for me to learn to let things just be. And listen to other people when they point out where things I made or did are nice and beautiful and let that overwhelm the faulty parts I see.

This year I’m thinking baby snow leopard, holding a LEGO box:

It’s fluffy tail and the ribbons of the box will be on the front of the card, leading him to the illustration on the inside. (note to self: attach long ribbons to actual present so there’s an association between the parcel and the card.)

There’s something funny about snow leopards and their tails. Start your education here 😉

Tomorrow is Saint Nicholas and I still have to finish the …. (thing I can’t tell you because Lieneke may read this). And there’s all the wrapping to be done and poems to be written.

And of course there’s plenty of knitting. This weekend I’m working actively on the Glitter Fir Cowl, on the stranded owl mittens and for the car ride and party I have the vanilla sock in bright dragon colours.

I’ve finished one mitten (minus thumb) and am halfway the second:

(At the bottom the too-small-mitten.)