Tuesday, March 31, 2015

enjoying the simple things

So the last few days we've had stormy weather, with gusts of wind... today it was sunny, so i decided to pick up the oldest from school, walk to the river and then..... have fun with plastic bags with a piece of ribbon attached!

On the way to school we saw that a tree was blown down in our street,

so happy with her dandelion!


The wind was very strong, but we had fun!! And so easy and it doens't cost a thing. We made quite a long walk, even got a bit wet by splashing waves...


When we walked home, this was all that was left from that big tree.


Clearly the tree wasn't healthy, when we went to have a look we saw parts that were soft and rotting, you can see the black fungus (the black lines) growing.. strange immediately spalted wood spindles came to mind.


The girls decided the branches were perfect for their hut, they are building one in the backyard.
They picked some nice big ones and carried them home, but then they begged to get more, so off we went again.
They brought back some real big ones. And i couldn't help myself and brought home some small pieces.

On the creative part, i haven't got much to show you... i'm busy knitting a shawl, i spun the yarn myself last tour de fleece, it's a wool bamboo blend in a grey red gradient. 100 grams and 650 meters navajo plied.

At the dutch wool diva group on ravelry we're having a Knit ALong, the goal is knitting a summershawl from a yarn from the dutch wool diva, or knit one of her shawl designs. I'm knitting a simple shawl with a lace border, i thought the gradient would show the most.... but as you can see i'm not very far.

Oh and today i started with an expermint, kntting a pattern with 4 colors at the same time, it's a bit frustrating at times, and tangles and such but i do like the result.

And i have a lot of colors to play with

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

knitting event

It's a grey rainy day overhere, my oldest is at a birthday party and the youngest is playing with her playmobil. So i little time to write a new blog.

Offcourse i want to tell you about De Brei en Haakdagen, the knitting event i visited last saturday. I left home quite early had the train to myself, or well this little part anyhow!

I got there easy, the venue was familiar, when i was younger i was into dollhouses and minerals we went to  shows there. It's very large, but everything is dark, the walls the floor, and very bright lights.

Soon i saw familiar faces, a ravelry friend who was busy choosing colors shetland yarn for a new project with colorfull sheep.
Soon after that my sister and niece arrived also. At 10 am was the opening, we put down our bags at the coffee corner where already some ravelry friends were knitting.

It wasn't very crowded so we walking around looking at all the booths.


A few weeks earlier there was another creative event, so some vendors didn't have enough stock to go this event to. I really missed some familiar faces. At first i didn't buy anything, so we went to the coffee corner, so much fun seeing so many ravelry friends!! And i had some swaps with people, oh i got such lovely things!


This are my swaps, exept the fiberbraid, that one i bought from a destash, it's a merinomsilk blend dyed by passe partout on ravelry. And the white yarn is a glitter lace i got from my sister as a birthday present!

A special alcoholic beverage from Ameland a handmade project bag made by PaarseTulp at ravelry. A skein of posh sock yarn, 2 skeins of cascade fingering, 5 skeins of shilasdair luxery blend, and panda sockyarn dyed by luluyarns a shop on etsy that seems to be closed now.

Later that day we walked around again, i bought some glow in the dark fiber at bart and francis, to go with my glow in the dark spindle from turtlemade on etsy.
Oh and some spinning fiber, i thougt it was merino, in pastel colours.


and i bought some more...


2 more skeins of cascade 220 fingering, 10 x 10 grams of shetland wool, cute little cakes :)

I had a lovely day, just relaxing, enjoying a day without the children, surrounded by spinning and knitting and yarn... and seeing so many ravelry friends again.

My search for the perfect ochre yarn failed.... i did search, but i couldn't find it. Maybe i have to collect my onion peels again i try to dye it myself...

I already started spinning this braid is a thin single, that's going to be navajo plied..... bit i'm very very tempted to start knitting a shawl with the cascade.... oooh choices....

Last but not least some close ups of what i got and bought...

Oh and the credits off the pictures go to Esselin, a friend on ravelry who is much more skilled in taking pictures.. thanks again!!

Friday, March 20, 2015


Only one more night..... and then... well i'm feeling like a little child.
For some time now i'm looking forward to that day. On that day i wake up very early, get dressed, make coffee, put it in my flask. Get my previously stuffed bag and wish my husband and girls a lovely day and get on my bike to cycle to the trainstation....

Once a year i go to a knitting event, translated the knit and crochet days, and it's tommorow!
I'm looking forward seeing lots of ravelry friends again, looking at all the yarns, and offcourse buy some. Just have a wonderfull day filled with knitting and spinning and of course chatting about knitting and spinning. The fact you're reading my blog, is that you probably also like knitting/ spinning. So you'll probably understand!

About the buying yarn, my funds are limited this time, so i'm really going to be picky, or actually i want to have a purpose for the yarn i buy. So no... oooh i like this colors, let'a buy a skein of that!
I will continue my search for the perfect ochre colored yarn!

Actually i went trough my stash, and found some things that can go to new homes. Also some knitted items, that don't fit, or i don't wear. On ravelry i found some people to swap with.
I'm glad they will use stuff that is lying around here waiting for frogging or....

And about non fitting knitted items, i knitted a few cardigans last year, top down, and somehow they always turned out way to big! I know i'm a big person, but not that big. Especially the shoulder part turned out way to big.
For a while i wanted to try again, cause somehow i find it very frustrating that my cardigans don't fitt.
Remember the vintage yarn i got a few weeks ago very cheap, perfect for a cardigan!!

So i read some free topdown raglan cardigan patterns, finally casted on with 2,75mm. I was aiming for a short cardigan with short sleeves to wear with my fifties inspired dresses.
And someday i will knit a fifties inspired cardigan, i bought some really old dutch woman magazines with loads off patterns in there. I will show you another time.

Back to to cardigan, not a great picutre, but what's a blog without pictures ;)

And it fits! So i tried it several times during knitting, and late last night i casted off! This morning i gave it a soak, i used a sample of Wrapture soap with a jasmin scent.

The yarn is vintage and has a bit off a  stuffy smell, and this morning when it was soaking in the Jasmin scented bath. Those 2 smells combined, and in my head there was a picture of an elderly lady with a jasmin perfume in an old room full of little things and embellishments, drinking  tea and offcourse loads of cats..
I'm not sure i really liked this smell...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

a little bit of everything

We had the most amazing warm weather last sunday, we decided to go on a picnic. Again we went to Schoonhoven to spend the afternoon at a little ''beach'' at the river ''Lek".


The girls had an amazing time,  finding little treasures, building dams. Watching the boats passing by. The oldest collected pieces of glass, they aren't as nice as seaglass, but the pieces don't have sharp edges anymore.  I only have to think about a creative way to use them!


I spend a lovely time knitting my second sock on that little beach,

the pattern is so easy to memorize, and i almost finished them. But i needed other needles for the toes.
I also brought spindles and fiber, actually.... i brought a bag full of spindles and fiber ;)  this great bag was custom made for me by a ravelry friend Anijs, it's long enough for my russians and sturdy enough to keep my spindles safe.  And quite big so i can stuff it with fiber.

That afternoon i started on a beautifull merino silk blend. Dyed by Passe-partout on ravelry. It has all kinds of greens, blues and golden yellow.
A bit like a spring feeling translated in fiber. i'm spinning it on my favorite spindle, i love this clear glass tip, when the light falls at a right angle you'll see sparkles in there. The shaft is made of cherry.


Later in the evening i finished my sock, another pair done.


I already strated with pther socks, with the Arne and Carlos yarn.

I tried a new methode of cast on, it's this one from youtube.

i actually had some trouble with it, watching the movie and try to do it at the same time. My fingers felt a bit tangled....
So after a few tries i quited and tried to cast on with out the movie. And somehow it clicked... although i'm not sure what i did was the same.. but it did gave a me stretchy cast on!

And i wanted to show the result of the black bean dyeing. The first fiber turned out very pale blueish grey with green spots. I have no idea how that green happend.
I hoped for a bit darker blue, next time i will use more beans! The colors are actually a bit darker then in the picture.

I had some more mortanded fiber, so put that in. Not sure what to expect. Well they turned out a bit darker more grey purple color...
I do like these soft colors.

Tomorrow my knitting friends are coming, i'm really looking forward to it. Oh and the 21th i'm going to the knit and crochet days. I'm sooo looking forward to that! Spending a day with a bunch off people from ravelry, chatting, knitting, buying yarn...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

black beans and a new shawl

Spring is in the air.... and somehow i always want to dye something when that happens...
Last week i was cleaning the cupboards and i found a bag of black beans, and they are wonderfull to dye with. You can get blues, greys, or purples with them.
So i got a big glas vase, filled it with the black beans and let them soak for two days...

Looks a bit weird doens't it.

I thought i still had some alum in the shed, but it was nowhere to be found. So finally i went to a shop in the city and they sold small bags of alum. The lady in the store told she also had big jars of them. It turned out to be much cheapier to buy a big jar. So i guess i have to do some more natural dyeing this season!

Yesterday i mortanted the some fiber (not sure what breed of sheep it's from) with the alum.

and spooned the reddish brown soaking water from the beans and put it in my dyeing pan, warning, bean dyeing doens't involve heating!
Normally i would have put it in a big glass jar, but last autumn a broke the jar, so now everything has to go in my dyeing pan.

This was late in the afternoon.

And just left it there, this morning it looked quite good!

I will leave it for another day...

A while ago i showed you the skein of madeline tosh i got from my knittingfriend who visited the USA, she bought it in a yarn shop in Washington. It's tosh sock in the colorway modern fair isle.
A long time ago i was gifted a pattern from ravelry, Forest Beauty. It could work with my yardage, the pattern is well written and easy to follow. After 5 repeats of the body part i used 35 grams, so i decided to add another repeat. When i got to the decreasing part i was a bit unsure if i had enough yarn left. 

It was a very close call, and i did finish with only a few centimers left!!

After blocking it turned out a very lovely shawl, nice and soft!!

And i got a great model for the shawl!

I really enjoyed this knit, the yarn is sooo soft, and has a nice shine.

Right now i'm working on a pair of socks, with an old pattern called coffee bean.
It's quite easy, and looks fun!

The pattern is only for rows and easy to memorise
Row 1 : knit 2 purl 2
Row 2 : knit 1 yoke knit 1 purl 2
Row 3: knit 3 purl 2
Row 4: slip one stitch knit 2 pass the slipped stitch over, purl 2

And you just keep repeating those 4 rows.

i have no idea what yarn it is... i found it labelless in my stash.

You probably already know Arne and Carlos designed a sockyarn for Regia. Based on fair isle patterns. I've read about it a couple of weeks ago, and there would be limited available. And boy it sold out fast!! I looked at a lot of webshops here in the Netherlands. But it was sold out everywhere. And then there was a message on facebook from one of my friends, she bought some at a shop. It turned out that lady only had 50 grams balls available, but she did had the colorway i wanted and she was willing to send them to me. So finally i can try this yarn, i'm really looking forward to it...

have a wonderfull day!!