Sock decisions on a Sunday morning.

I made up my mind about the cashmere sock blend: it should not be socks with textured stitches. This is not sock yarn. It should never have been in the bag of sock yarn. I will frog. But first I looked to see whether they might be wrist warmers:

Love the leaf but no. Those holes of the lace stitch are too big, I like my wristwarmers to warm my wrists.

While I was making up my mind I had started the cuff of the second sock, from the inside of the ball, and of course the ball went all tantrum on me:

Yarn barf at both ends!

But here’s where we are now: the ball is balled up again, hiding all it’s little drama inside. Looking a bit unkept on the outside, just like Lillepoes. I will soak the yarn and reskein.

Lillepoes will get a brushing and will wash herself.

Right. Next sock. Chance sock.

I had a whole datyto knit on it yesterday and I finished one sock and started the toe of the second. At home I realized I forgot to put in the little cat marker. And that the cuff was too tight and that the leg is not quite long enough. So I frogged the cuff and now I can lengthen the leg, put in the marker ànd give it a better cuff.

As soon as I finish the second sock which got a toe yesterday afternoon.

Let’s talk Lentesokken. I ripped out the ugly leaf tips and gave the second sock a heel flap:

As I was knitting better tips on the leafs I realized I am knitting these socks out of sense of duty rather than out of joy. I hate knitting the reverse stockinette stitch on this sock. Which is weird because I don’t mind purling much at all, because I knit Continental Combined which makes purling a breeze. I think only Portugese style knitting gives a faster purl technique.
There’s just something about knitting it on a sock…

For a while I knitted this sock inside out but that didn’t give me joy either.

Then I thought about putting in only a small band of reverse rather than a whole heel and half a foot and do the rest in plain st. st. Originally I wanted so much rev. st. st. because I had designed some leafs on the foot, growing towards the leg. They would look better in a back ground of rev. st. st. Which I do not enjoy knitting…

Going round in circles I though about abandoning leaf and lace all together and frogging the sock back to the cuff. Put in Prickly Pear (which I really want to knit right naow miaow!) but these Spring cuffs really look better with leafs and around I went again.

As I am writing all this my wrist got cold. Turns out I am only wearing one wrist warmer today. I don’t know where the other went, I think I started out this morning with two but somehow one got away? By now my wrist got REALLY cold and the cat is on my lap so I cannot go grab another one from the closet. If only I had some knitting lying around me… wait, I do:

Hey! That’s a good idea! I can make these socks into wrist warmers!

No need for much reverse stockinette stitch. Just rip out the heel flaps and attach a bottom. Hey! Yay!

I can use the rest of the skein to make some Prickly Pear socks…. this yarn has good stitch definitions and fantastic wear! (It’s Wolop Basis Sok plantaardig plant dyed fingering yarn)

So many wholesome decisions early this morning, things are looking up for sock knitting in my life 😀

And I got this!

It’s a Wolop Sock Shake Blank Eco printed. Beautiful! 425 m of fine merino with 25% nylon.

A friend was making socks from it, as a surprise, for me! It was taking too long to her liking and she thought I might enjoy the blank myself – she must have caught my greedy looks when she was knitting with it –  and offered me the project to finish. Yes please!

I love looking at this blank. Pretty soon I’ll love knitting from it.


PS oh duh. I took off my second wristwarmer when I took the picture with the dark green cashmere yarn. I was sitting on it.

Well a good thing it happened, I wouldn’t have thought of putting on the Lentesok as a wristwarmer otherwise.


finished: Ravenclaw knee socks!

Everything from the one Wolop skein! 100 grams of self striping yarn and a 20 grams mini for toes, heels and cuffs. There’s about 9 grams left of the mini. Done on needles 2 mm.

On the left shin you see where I casted on with Tillybuddy’s cast on. I knit the sock downwards and then picked up stitches to knit upwards. It’s not very neat. Lesson learned. Better have a real provisional cast on if you work with smooth, round plied yarn such as this quality sock yarn.

On the right sock I undid the cuff of the regular length sock I had knit, basically I knitted upwards from live stitches. Much prettier.

This was a delight to knit. And I say this as someone who does not like to knit stripes nor knit with blue yarn! This is such nice yarn and balled up in such a pleasant way:

with a colour change for every direction.

Wolop is into all kinds of Harry Potter! She just released installment two of her monthly Harry Potter sock club.

This will be next month:

I you feel brave you can send her an email at

Finished: glitter cuffs

Handdyed soft fingering yarn with silver angelina. Each pair takes about 20 grams of yarn.

The colour is magnificent! Handdyed by Wolop and given to me for Sinterklaas. They were x-mas baubles. They’ve hung in the Wolop Advent Garland and now I’ve knitted them into cuffs.

This time of year the sun regains its strength and the air can be so crisp and clear. No longer appropriate are the dark greens and reds and golds of December. This is the time of clear skies and sun glittering on snow. I also think of mountains and quarts and I wear my rings to celebrate:

These feelings are combined with the wish to celebrate wintergreen trees. So my x-mas tree is still up, converted to the colours of quarts and snow and mountain streams. I’m spinning white under it whenever I can. It smells so nice! Celebrating wood creatures too.

ALERT: life philosophy ahead!
Not particular funny either but perhaps of interest? It’s something that is part of my daily life at the moment.

(I do feel burdened because while I celebrate trees I’m watching this tree dying in my house. It’s such a ridiculous industry anyway, the x-mas tree industry. So wasteful, so phoney. Also, woodland creatures are quickly disappearing in my country due to overpopulation with humans and their narrow minded ideas of economic progress.

I counter these feelings by living in the moment. By noticing and celebrating the small things. By resigning myself to what life actually is and by resigning myself to the era I’ve been born in, with its characteristics that I cannot alter. We are in the process of overpopulation and we can see how our future living environment will look like by looking at dense populated areas in Asia. These people live, these people laugh. It’s not a drama.

Yes, things will disappear from our lives. Things, habits, knowledge, experience, animals. It has always been happening. Who now knows the once common knowledge and skills of making fire with the tinder box? How part of common life it was to travel by moon light? How everybody knew the classics like Greek drama’s and opera’s and they were the memes and cultural vessels of the day? All these things have gone. The only difference is that now we are with many, many humans and we are devouring our surroundings. But it’s not that different, really.
The loss will happen slowly. It is a shame. But it is not a drama. I should not perceive it as a drama. Perception is faulty anyway. Always biased.

Besides, I can live in my head. I can travel to the mountains, wade through the snow, be a mountain spirit, in my mind. A little thing like a ring or glittery cuffs is a reminder of this freedom.)

Loving Vincent.

The Van Gogh sockyarn came, handdyed by Wolop:

And today I went to the exhibition that accompanies the movie Loving Vincent. In the exhibition the original paintings that were used in the movie can be seen.

It was a wonderful experience, seeing in paint how the contemporary artists communicated with the original artist, Van Gogh, about and through style, colours and composition.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

My handmade dress was appropriately coloured:

Lovely thick layers where used. The 3D of the paintings is a thing in Van Gogh’s art. Happy to see it in the movie-paintings too:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van GoghLoving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

I particularly liked this next modern painting, because of the colours:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

The big planes of yellow and blue (choosing thàt particular yellow against thàt particular blue), the vertical greenblueish stroke at her upperlip, the horizontal colours on the right side (purple, yellow, greens).

This next one I liked very much too, again because of the chosen colours. Thàt red with thàt green. Also the slight pink/rose in the left side of her dress, echoing with the red of the carpet on the right. A red carpet that has dashes of green in it:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I also love the composition. This one is about colour blocks.

At the end they showed the new works next to the original works that inspired them:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
The original on the right is far less about the composition and more about the character of the dress and the person(ality) of the woman. Seen next to each other the 21st century art is a nice piece of art. The 19th century piece however is magnificent art, in my opinion.

The yellow on the wall is less contrary (and therefor less at ease) to the colours of the dress. The carpet seems more brown, this is not red agains green talking, this is warm against cool but in such slight handed ways.

And who cares about the composition of horizontals and verticals? Is that our De Stijl architectural experiences that are all grained into us? Van Gogh knew the inspirations for it as he had studied Japanese prints. He knew about orthogonality. Yet he never chose to make it a thing in his paintings.

In this painting we have to talk about her silhouet, against that of the piano, in that negative space between its side and her front. The paino with it’s broken top line. And that whimsical chair leg. Outrageous.

I ended up spending a long time at the wall with the new works next to their inspirations. It’s where my opinion grew strong: Van Gogh is much about free hand while the movie is not.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I think the modern artists got hindered -or rather I suppose it was a conscious decision- by their skill in proportions of the human figure. Van Gogh abandoned those, and in the process ended up saying specific things about the individual he was painting.
The modern artists painted real people but they are interchangable for other, real people.

For example, I know at least 3 actors who can play the man on the left:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
The modern artists painted real people and real boats. There’s a real brown boat on the foreground of the left painting. In the right one there’s something brown that interacts with the water… it may carry a person but it also may dissolve in the movements of the river. Enter at own risk.

What do you think: on the left perhaps someone who is too habitually skilled in perspective?
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
While on the right someone trying to convey something in dabs of colour? Using strong lines to talk about masses and texture (an interesting choice because usually texture is shown with small scale things like shading, grading, stippling).

Look at the roof in the bottom paintings, Van Gogh’s roof looks heavy and wet. The repair man will need to mold it, like clay, it seems. Put against that ridiculous light coloured sky above it! Things are happening in that sky, I wouldn’t be surprised it some birds have just tumbled out of sight.
The modern painted roof is made of reet. Sunkissed reet. If the wind is strong ome reet plumes may fly away today. Luckily the sky does not suggest wind.

Aye! Lots of opinions of me, indeed. But I am so strongly interested in colour interactions and how artists use them that this is what bubbles up in me. As a viewer of paintings these topics start a conversation in my head whenever I spend time with a piece of art.

So let me say here that my opinions are not criticism. They are things I want to talk about with the makers of the movie and the paintings, because they got to talk to Van Gogh, trough intense study of his work.

They had a marvelous time. Look how this beard is all blue! Not a speck of white, not even in the eyes:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

I do have some criticism but I doubt it’s interesting to read. For example,I’d probably should see the film to be more friendly about the next pairing:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
As shown here Van Gogh talks about the sky and the fields and the movements. The film still does not, it talks about the man in the cart, even more so if he gets smaller and smaller and rides to the horizon. I would have put it in reverse: start with the clouds and the fields, end up with the man (but not as big as this).
Perhaps they did in the film.

As I have not seen the movie I luckily did not see any of these paintings move. That is a whole new kettle of fish to discuss. Van Gogh very much tried to talk about movement in a non-moving medium.

If you are going to make a movie, how to decide how the stills will move?Why make people move naturally when he didn’t paint them naturally? But an unnatural movement would probably make the viewing of the movie difficult for the public. We are used to natural movement.

What sky movement would Van Gogh want to show? What raven’s wing clap? Not the ones of natural raven, right?
A very interesting question.

The differences between Van Gogh and Loving Vincent irk me. Yet I could not have stand a clear copy of the originals works either. The makers of the movie got to insert their own opinion, vision, signature into the movie and that’s a good thing.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I would have done it differently. Every artist would probably have. I’d have LOVED to dive into these works for so long and take them as a departure to tell the passionate story of the movie, using the medium of oil paintings. A very nice project and a very nice exhibition.


Accio Potter Soccus!

My Ravenclaw sock is my travel WIP. It’s selfstriping yarn with a mini for heel, toe and cuff. All handdyed and skeined into a ball that changes colour with each direction by Wolop.

That ball is fun to knit with!

I want to utilize as much of the striping yarn as possible. So for my second sock I’ve done a provisional cast on and when the foot is finished I’ll go back and knit as high a leg as possible. Half a leg, because I want to use the rest of the yarn on the first sock.

I really like it, being in Potter-world again. I always reread a book or watch one of the films around this time. This year I also read a curious fan-dom fiction about a Harry Potter who grew up in the Muggle world as the son of smart parents. He’s very smart himself, very rational too. To the point where I’m convinced he’s a sociopath, or at least his writer is.

It’ a great read but to enjoy it you’d probably have to be a Ravenclaw or Slytherin yourself. There’s a lot of thinking and scheming going on, not much loyalty and friendship.

Anyway. Pottersocks! They’re fun to knit!

Now see here what Wolop announced:

The Wolop Harry Potter Sock Club!

She’s starting a sock yarn club in 2018 with a Harry Potter colour way every month! 120 gram! Plus goodies! For 25 euros!


This is the announcement for the January installment:

Owl post. The first installment is called Owl Post!

One skein of 100 grams plus a mini of 20 grams (that’s a big mini!). And goodies. If you want to participate, email Wolop at

Unghhhh, this one is hard to resist. But resist I must! Because there’s a second monthly yarn club she’s going to be running and I have already put my name down for: The Wolop Artist Fingering Yarn Club!

Again 120 gram of specifically dyed yarn! Plus goodies! For 25 euros including domestic shipping! Inspired by one specific artist! If you need to know more you can email to

The January artist is:

I love Van Gogh.
He’s all about the colours. And the expression of feelings.

Which Hogwarts House would have suited him?

…. I’m thinking …

Because although he was ambitious, courageous and thought a lot about the true nature of things, his main trait is the connection he felt for the people he painted which were also the people in his life. The love radiates from the canvas. The pain too, like when he paints the hard working farmers.

Loyalty to human kind as a whole is very palpable in the works. It must have lived in the man too.

 art The Dark Starry Knight by James Hance

Weird Wool Wednesday: planning for a dreaded meet

Today I face the manure plant people in the town hall, in a meeting lead by that dreadful mediator.

Plan for car ride:

Round and round and round and round. In lovely Ravenclaw colourway, self dripping yarn from Wolop.

Plan for meeting:

That’s a chocolate Sinterklaas! I’ll be keeping him in my purse, scrunching bits of it inconspicuously. Rustle rustle nom nom nom.

It’s done. Meeting is over. Not too much damage I think. We were manipulated… and have to fix that at a later time. But it’s doable.
Now the car ride back. Can I start a toe in the dark?
I’m with Pippi:

workshop Sammich Stitchin’/ Broodje Breien

Yesterday I was at the workshop Broodje Breien (=”Sammich Stitchin'”) at Wolop in Gouda. It’s a monthly inspirational course of 2 hours, accompanied with a lunch.

It teaches to find inspiration and translate it into knitting. Sources of inspiration differ every month and this month it was Nature. Previous months were “Van Gogh” and “Escher”. The concept was developed by Loret Karman and a baker in Amsterdam.

Translation of the inspiration into knitting varies too. The focus can be towards colours, textures, shapes, garments, stitches, yarn characteristics, anything!
It’s very fun to do.

This was my work halfway:

I took this picture as an inspiration and although I identified many things that could be translated into “wool” such as a haloed yarn based on the animal contrasted with a more bumpy yarn based on the wood, I chose to explore its colours.

Wolop provided a mountain of colours and with my picture in hand I picked out 25 of the colours I discovered and took 1,5 m (2 yards) of each of them.

There were many more colours in the picture than I saw at first glance. I started to look at them, truely look at them, and study how they influenced each other.

This is an approach that is thoroughly done in the Sammich Stitchin’s / Broode Breien about Van Gogh -and indeed all Karman’s courses on the painter- but when it comes to colour interactions I personally prefer the work of Bridget Riley.

Most people know Riley because she excelled in Pop Art in the 1960’s. But her colour work is equally groundbreaking. She’s a methodical artist researcher and I think she takes Van Gogh’s end point of colour studies and takes it to a whole new level.
Example of Riley’s work:
Tate Modern -7 Nataraja by Riley, 1993. Pic by Allan Harris.

The trick to view these massive canvases is to look at them how you would look upon a pond in a park. Just let your eye glance over and let the colour blocks shimmer as if it was light reflecting of the pond. Than something happens in your head. Different paintings of Riley result in different effects. Just by her changing the colour palette and sometimes the shapes.

It’s amazing that she can create that effect and that sentiment in the viewer with the colours and the shapes she chooses. She does extensive research in her lab, with many assistents colouring in the shapes. She actively accounts for eye movements and peripheral sight. Oh how I wish to visit one of her exhibitions.
Or own one of her paintings… to have a shimmering “pond” indoors to visit at any time!

Yesterday I wasn’t thinking of Riley.
I had a collection of subtle colours, in little pieces of string, and was trying to combine them to show myself their interaction. The aim was to make a little note of these studies, a knitted note.
One way to collect the colours permanently is in a square of 5 x 5 colours, as is done in the Van Gogh workshops. Each colour just 5 stitches long and 7 rows high. But that was very slow knitting.
So I ripped and tried stripes because that’s quicker. This was me at the end of the 2 hours:

Broad stripes of 28 st long and 4 of 5 rows high.

But I don’t like stripes much. And these show even less the interaction between the colours than the 5×5 blocks would have done.
So 15 minutes later, seated on the train back I had this:

All stripes ripped out and ready to try something new.
Small stripes, “knitting the picture sideways”?

When I had to change trains I was making progress:

(Also making tangles.)

Later that evening I finished the piece, with only a few strands of the most contrast yarns left because honestly, they had no place in this piece:

I didn’t change colour every row, some are 2 or even 3 rows high. Sometimes I ran out of yarn midrow and then just tied a new colour. But I purposefully did not try to recreate the picture. I did not make a dark blob in the left upper corner. No expressive gestures either. In short: no saori-weaving, I dislike that about as much as I dislike neat stripes:
Climate Change Action Banner pic by saoriweaver, it’s a banner on climate change.
A stunning piece if you do like saori, check out the link.
It’s a spectrum, I admit. I did use the picture as a guideline, knitting my way from right to left, looking at colours and contrast.

This is the end result this morning, blocked and the yarn bloomed and colour corrected:

A nice exercise! Just playing with colours and stripes, talking to myself in yarn, about colour interaction and contrast and colour families. I really like the middle and the right, where the contrast is more subtle. Colour in Fair Isle was also on my mind a lot.

Yesterday, after taking the first picture I stood over it and looked at the colours some more. Then I noticed something:

Heeheehee, it’s a good week for misty, nature-y greens!

Writing this now I feel I like to think some more about stripes. Families of colour stripes. Not the two toned stripes I see in most knitted garments. Small stripes. Interacting stripes. Not too extrovert contrasts.

Just now, when I looked at the Creative Common section of Flickr for online share-able pictures of Riley’s work, I see she does stripes too. (of course she does!)

Praise I - Bridget Riley Praise 1 by Riley, pic by Brett Jordan

This painting is clearly talking about contrast (not too much, there’s no white/black) and about warmth of colours (warm yellows and red with cool blues). About repetition without repeats, although sometimes a colour gets sandwiched -heyo!- between two similar colours.

And it talks about vertical-ness very much too. The vertical stripes do something to my eyes… (don’t try to focus! You’re not supposed to focus.)

They make me consider that humans are very vertical orientated beings themselves and have a natural connection to vertical lined things. Trees, cathedrals, other humans, ostriches, giraffes, alien silhouettes in a misty scene.

I think boulders, corgis and piramids enchant us because they are very not-vertical-lines.
pic by fuzzyard

In 1999 Riley got some recognition for the giant that she is, British Post made a stamp:
Bridget Riley stamp pic by cuthbert25
Inadvertably showing that cropping a work that’s meant to be viewed as a whole communicates very different things. Here we do not get the chance to let the colours shimmer. Because their width is now significant in relation to their height we now see them as regular stripes. They now mainly talk about the colours close to them.

This could be a knitted pullover, viewed from the side. As a matter of fact I think I saw this in a shop last Summer? On a mannequin wearing a coral floppy hat and sunglasses, with a white beach bag besides her.

Quick! Let’s get back to shimmering stripes and making connections between all kinds of outlandish inspirations!

I’m starting to like stripes.

Bunny fun: The Random Knitter Podcast Anniversary Party

Gwen is The Random Knitter and a friend of mine. She’s Spaceinvaders on Ravelry.
Yesterday she celebrated the one year anniversary from her podcast and she invited some of her friends around to help celebrate. Gwen loves knitting, Bram, black and bunnies.

She made a wonderful party with excellent homebaked goods and teas:
randomknitter yarn party bunniesrandomknitter yarn party bunnies
Bunnies were there too, meet Axl and Ozzy:
BeFunky Collage
Axl has a paprika and a personal playground blanket on the floos, Ozzy is too smart to be let out of the cage when there’s a knitters’ party. Ozzy got paprika too.

There were lots of WIP bags present!
Gwen has hers on permanent display:
wip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeest

We brought our own. Several:
wip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestwip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeest
You, of course, recognise a few Bird House Bags by FiberRachel and a hand felted bag by Wolbeest.

I brought a bag too, as a present for Gwen. While traveling it was a glamorous Sorting Hat:
randomknitter yarn party bunnies
But the end result was more…. poo emoji:
wip bags project bag bird house bag FiberRachel projecttasjes Wolbeestrandomknitter yarn party bunnies
She laughed 😂😂😂

Gwen is a bad ass knitter:
randomknitter yarn party bunnies

Gwen is also famous! Here she is in the current edition of Handwerken zonder Grenzen, a magazine about handcrafts:
randomknitter yarn party bunnies
A celebrity! I know a celebrity!
She hasn’t changed one bit since she became famous.

There was an other celebrity present. “Somebody” was sampling one of her beautiful handprinted sock blanks! An eco printed one!
randomknitter yarn party bunnies
Such great colours. And the way it knits up!  Yes, it’s a sneak preview of what’s to come from Wolop.

All in all we had a lovely party and RandomGwen made a new podcast to celebrate one year of vlogging about knitting and yarn. Go check it out here:

Shibori dyeing as a birthday gift :)

shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
For my birthday, Lieneke from Wolop offered to come make me an indigo dye vat. I’ve never dyed with indigo before! (I tried, once.)

Today she traversed the width of our country, from the far West to the furthest East, as a mobile one woman indigo dye show. She brought everything with her on the train: a dye pot, all the chemicals, scales, gloves, the indigo. I have a little stove for outdoor dyeing and there are sticks in the woods here for lifting the cloth out of the pot. And off we went!

We dyed on the veranda of the cabin. It rained most of the day. The smell was terrible! But holy moly, what magic! Lieneke knows what she’s doing and I’m in awe: indigo is a diva! The temperature needs to be juuuust right. The pot cannot have chips and cannot be iron. The indigo cannot be old. You cannot stir, you cannot swish. You have to move slow. But have to replace the lid fast. You can’t let your cloth drip in the bath. You have to show the fresh dyed cloth a lot of fresh air, fast. A million little things need to be done just right…

….and then you get the absolute right thing:
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
The results are spectacular!!! Colour by Lieneke, patterns by me.

I had never done shibori before, where you manipulate the fabric before you dye it. You fold it, you scrunch it, you tie it with string. There are many words for the different techniques. I surfed the web and found I have a preference for long, stripey patterns. So folding, pleating, stitching and clamping were the techniques I tried when I prepared the cloth in the last week.

Here are the pieces I prepared. Folding, pressing, twisting, tying, all in different sequence.
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
At the bottom is the last bit of stitching still in progress this afternoon: wood grain shibori/ mokume shibori.

Tightening the wood grain shibori:
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats

wood grain shibori mokume indigo dyeing
Mokume shibori.

I had purchased 4 meters of bleached linen. Washed it twice at 90 degrees (as hot as the washing machine goes). I cut it in pieces of 50 x 70 cm because that’s a good size for clothing pieces such as a skirt panel or the left front panel of a top. I plan to sew with it. Garments. Little project bags. Left overs in a quilt. (a what now?! sshh. Let’s pretend I didn’t write that.) I’ve kept one piece behind, still white, it will combine nicely.

This is the result of the carefully pleated, ironed cloth with all the little multi coloured clasps:
itajimi shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
Itajimi shibori.

This is the result of the neatly pleated folds that were wound around a little piece of wood (a bamboo crochet hook). I had put a little bit of cling wrap around and tightened it with elastic band. This kept the main parts white and only the edges of the pleats received dye:
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop
Suji shibori.

What is this magic of indigo anyway? It’s pale green in the pot and then you bring it out and it starts to breathe, in blue:
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleatsshibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats Amazing. And smelly.
How and why you need to charm indigo before it will act as a dye is nicely explained on the vlog of Dünkelgrun which is hosted by Anna who has an PhD in chemistry.

By the way, I’m a bit of a travelling one woman show myself. I arrived early at the train station this morning and got a bit more stitching done. Just started the “wood grain” stitch: Mokume shibori
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats

As a first entry into the world of Shibori I found this tutorial from the smart women of Beyond Canvas superb: Beyond Canvas on shibori  

So both pleating and stitching shibori give results I love best. Randomness within a grid.

Stitching is called Nui. Stitching next to a fold is called Orinui:
orinui shibori indigo dyeing Wolop

Itajimi is folding and clamping. I used some pieces of cardbord as a resist and just tied it with thin string, I didn’t have clamps that could grip it. Here you see how the top part printed, with the shape of the carton and the string:
itajimi shibori indigo dyeing Wolop

Suji is pleating. And wood grain is mokume shibori.

There’s one other technique that I love but lacked the tools for today: pole wrapping. This is called Ashari Shibori.

I’m putting all the jargon in here so I can refer back to it next year, when I dye with indigo again. Because I surely will! This was such fun and the results are so beautiful! (I will have sewn this into garments before next year yeah? Yes. Definitely.) And then I’ll dye again. But not on my own. I prefer the guidance of an expert.

This is a wonderful birthday gift. With some highly original wrapping and a very sympathetic entertainer! 🙂

Weird Wool Wednesday: Expecto better from myself.

You know that I don’t like stripes much.
Neither knitting nor wearing them.

Ravenclaw logo
Stripes with precise measure
are a knitter’s great treasure.

I recently found out I’m sorted into Ravenclaw house at Hogwarts. It’s for smart, witty people who love to learn. I celebrated by buying some beautiful Harry Potter self striping yarn from Wolop:

And I’m reading Harry Potter in Frisian, which anyone with a knack for Old English can read a bit:

Understandably I cast on for nicely striped socks and was enjoying knitting stripes.

Until I found out my stripes were too tight:


Enchanted by Ravenclaw stripes I started a marvelous hat. My own design: one part with these stripes, another part with smaller stripes and two wedges of cabled semi solid grey in between. It was going to be so precise and nice! Witty and smart too.

But yesterday I saw my stripes were uneven because when you knit to and fro your stitch count needs to be just right for the selfstriping yarn:

One stripe is 3 rows high at one end and 5 on the other. This does not do the yarn justice. Nor the pattern I was thinking up.

Aww, there goes my beautiful idea for a striped hat 😦

(Rowena Ravenclaw’s chocolate frog card)

Today is Wednesday, Weird Wool Wednesday. I don’t like stripes. I don’t care for turquoise. I don’t like knitting with blue. I do like grey. I have a lot of WIPs on the needles. I should be spinning.

This is what I’m knitting today:

A new Ravenclaw sock. On bigger needles, with more stitches.

You knów this one will be too big…
Because besides Ravenclaw I’m also a persistent Goldilocks:

Please come and save me from myself. I’m not smart at all. I don’t belong in Ravenclaw. Ravelclaw more like…