Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

At last

I was writing a post about all the things I had been doing over the last few months, and how I still had no pictures to show. Well, my camera and I have talked things over, with some counselling from Peter, and we have made peace, so here they are:

This is the "Child's french sock" from "knitting vintage socks" by Nancy Bush. I got this book last year, and it's been getting good use. This particular sock has a twin brother/sister and they were a present for my mother who loves to wear them in bed because they are nice and warm. I loved knitting these; they are a bit quirky, not too hard to knit and it was nice seeing the texture appear while working on them.

These were knit in november/december and were a present for Peter: the "Gentleman's sock" from the same book. The picture doesn't do them justice; I love these socks. I didn't like the pattern when I started knitting, but once I got into the groove I really did. The yarn is Lang Jawoll superwash in a semi solid grey. I quite like this yarn, although it's a bit thin to my taste and it tends to curl up. It's not too expensive though, and it's nice and warm and quite soft. The socks for my mother were knit with the same yarn in a jeans blue colour.

And then there were the "Child's first socks", yes you guessed it, from the same book again. I had been wondering what this pattern would be like to knit, so now I know. I love the socks, but am not too crazy about knitting them. The pattern bored me somehow. The yarn is Opal Uni in a lovely purply/pink colour. This yarn was part of Peter's birthday present to me. I went to the "handwerkbeurs" (needlecraft fair) in Zwolle a few days before my birthday, and Peter gave me some money to go and have a good time, which I did. Nothing too crazy, just nice:

This project I'm still working on. It's a spencer I'm knitting to my own sizes, so I'm just hoping it'll fit, especially since I'm knitting it on size 3mm needles. This is a first for me: the first project knit mainly in the round (addi needles which I like a lot), my first "design", first project on such small needles. It's going to have a low neck with a lace border (I hope). I got the yarn at the same fair. Well, ordered it, and they sent it to me, no postage paid! It's Dropps Alpaca and I love this yarn. It's light and really, really soft and it comes in wonderfull colours. I had to restrain myself not to buy any more.

But I did anyway: these are the "Wine and roses mitts" from the winter issue of Interweave Knits. The same lovely yarn, perfect for this project, in a brighter pink (and I'm not going to wear them with the sweater in the picture, obviously). I knit these in about a week, which is very fast for me. I'm a slow knitter with a horrible technique, but I loved knitting these, and I love wearing them, even though we hardly had any winter at all.
Next up is another fast project:

The "Brea bag", a free pattern from the Berocco site (, still can't get my links to work). The yarn is a tweed (can't find the correct name)from "Klazien's creaties", who was at the very same fair. I bought the yarn with this project in mind, but found out that the pattern says to use two hundred grams in stead of the hundred I bought. It all worked out fine though, I knit the bag at record speed, and now just have to add a lining (already cut and sewn) and a handle and a button of some kind. I loved to knit the front and back of this bag, but the side pannel was BOOOOOORING so I don't think I'll knit it again.

And yes, the sock I'm working on at the moment (started it last friday) is the "Gentleman's fancy sock" from the very same book as all the other socks in this post. I'm not a fan of knitting ribbing, but I somehow quite like knitting these. I'm not sure what they'll look like on an actual foot though; I'm afraid they'll be a bit boring, but we'll see. They are a gift for my father in law, and I'm planning to give them to him on father's day. A reasonable deadline I should think! The yarn was also purchased at the fair and is a very dark brown Regia sock wool. Nice yarn at a good price.

Another first for me: Noro yarn, a gift from my mother when we were in Hasselt (Belgium) on my birthday to visit the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the fashion museum (great, should go and see it if you get a chance!). We came across a yarn shop where they sold this stuff, and my mother said I could pick something for my birthday! The only hard thing was choosing the colour. I chose a red/pink/puple and blue one. I got five (!) balls, so I'll be able to make a shawl of some kind. The hardest thing now is to choose a pattern that will do justice to this wonderful yarn. I haven't figured it out yet, and I'll take my time to make a final decision.

And last but not least, a lovely reference book, full of stitches, knitting as well as crochet. Not that I do crochet, but I might in the future, and one should allways be prepared, shouldn't one? I bought this book with the alpaca spencer and the noro yarn in mind. I'm sure this book will get good use in future projects.
These were all the pictures I had. From now on I'll have to keep it up; a post like this is a lot of work!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Long time no see

After the last post I wrote, I thougt I'd be blogging more regularly, but obviously I did'nt. It has been wonderful not having to think about school all the time. Most of the extra time I've got on my hands now has been spent on knitting and reading about knitting, on blogs and otherwise. Reading other people's blogs has made me feel a bit guilty though. I kept thinking I should really post on my own blog again. Maybe sometimes you just need to take a bit of a time-out, and I suppose this was mine. I hope I'll be able to make a fresh start.
I took on something new: I joined Summer of Socks (sorry, link doesn't work), a sock KAL. Part of the reason for doing this is that I hope it will inspire me to blog on a more regular basis. The most important reason is that I just like to knit socks of course.
I'm quite excited about it; I've seen that lots of bloggers have already signed up, so it should be fun.
There were things I wanted to show you as well, but my camera and I are not on speaking terms, so I'm afraid that will have to wait. I've been knitting a bag, socks of course, a pullover (my first design, first knit in the round project) and some mitts. I also went to a fair in Zwolle and had my birthday in february, so there is quite a bit of yarn to show as well.
I suppose my camera and I will have to kiss and make up, so definately some pictures in the next post.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm there!

I think I mentioned the fact that I'm a student and that I had to finish one last course in order to graduate. Well....I did. It was very, very hard. Not so much the work I had to do, but getting myself to do it. I think it had something to do with it being the last hurdle, and getting into unknown territory once I would pass. I never expected myself to make such a big deal of this, but apparently I did, and I'm so glad and releaved it is all over. I did'nt even do a bad job; only three papers were graded higher than mine.
I tended to read blogs and knit rather than work on this paper, hiding my head in the sand. I did'nt permit myself to blog or spin though, so that explains my long absence. Actually, I got some socks done. First I knitted the "gentleman's socks" with lozenge pattern from "Knitting vintage socks" by Nancy Bush for Peter, and after that, I started on some socks for my mother, the "Child's french sock" from the same book. I finished those a few days ago. I really enjoyed knitting these socks; I had only done plain stockinette socks and some ribbed legwarmers before.
The book is wonderful, I will certainly use more patterns from it. But first I'd like to start on a bigger project again. I'm waiting for my first Interweave Knits to arrive, so I may choose a project from that (the equestrian jacket perhaps?), and I will be attending the "handwerkbeurs" (needleworkfair?) in Zwolle next week. There will be some great shops there, selling some of my favorite brands, so that may be an inspiration source as well. Can't wait!
Unfortunately, my computer will not load any of the pictures I took, so this first blog in a long time will have to remain a pictureless one.

Anyway, I'm glad I'm back.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

dank u sinterklaasje!

He's back! The man we all love so much: Sinterklaas. He actually lives in Spain for most of the year, but once a year, in November, he comes to Holland and gives presents to all the Dutch children. He doesn't do that on his own off course, he's quite old (about 1735 years). He always takes his helpers with him, the "Zwarte Pieten", lots of black men in colourfull clothes with feathers on their hats. The Zwarte Pieten help Sinterklaas when he rides his white horse across the roofs of our houses to throw the presents down our chimneys ( he may just be related to Santa Claus). Oh, and they arrive in a big steamboat, the "pakjesboot".

The girls have been waiting for him to arrive for weeks, so we are all glad that he's finally here... When he's in Holland the children will put their shoe in front of the fireplace/radiator/door with a little something for the horse in it, like a carrot and some hay and of course a drawing and a wishlist for Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet, and then, magically, they will find some goodies in their shoe when they wake up in the morning. The real party doesn't begin until the fifth of December, when it's Sinterklaas' birthday. That's when the big presents arrive. They are usually left at the front door of the house after some very loud knocking on the door and windows. You understand that our children are nervous wrecks after december 5th, so the parents are even happier when he (misteriously) leaves again than when he arrived.

Even though he's really here for the children, look what he brought me:

Actually, I got it myself, after a bit of a misunderstanding with Peter, because I was supposed to wait until my birthday. I think we're okay now and I am very happy with it. It's a Louet S51, similar to the one I borrowed from my friend. I bought it second hand so it was a good buy, it looks really new. Last night I spent some time with it. I'm trying to get two decent singles done, because I can hardly wait to start plying so I can finally see if what I've been doing was right.

I'm sorry my pictures are so lousy, I hope we'll be able to buy a decent camera some day.

And then there are the socks I knit for Maud a few weeks ago. I promised I would post some pictures, so here they are, with and without shoes:

It's really cold and whet today, so I'm going to drink my "anijsmelk" ( hot milk with sugarlumps which have aniseed in them) and have some speculaas with that, perfect for this time of the year.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I was so excited that I could borrow our friend's wheel and so very dissappointed that I couldn't get it to actually spin any yarn. I really thought spinning would be my next big hobby. So I read about spinning in books and on the internet, read some spinner's blogs, read tutorials and started to understand more about the spinning process. Then I decided to try again and stick with it this time. I also ordered a kilo (!) of Romney roving from wolboerderij "Blij Bezuiden".

I thought that combed wool might be easier to spin than the rough, unwashed wool I got from my friend.

Well, it worked (that, and the fact that I found out that the leather strap on the wheel had been screwed down too tightly (by myself, ahem)) and I am now officially a spinner. I finally got the hang of it saturday after a busy day out. I sat down at the wheel and didn't get up again until a few hours later. It really is as addictive as everyone claims it is and I really really love it. The children do too. Maud pulls up a chair when she cathes me spinning. She's totally fascinated.
As I said the wool I ordered is Romney wool, it has the most wonderful woolly smell and it is so fluffy and soft. I am keeping the leftover pieces of wool in a bag because I think I may use them as stuffing for little dolls or pincushions some day. A kilo of wool is a lot and I think I will also dye some of it. I've been meaning to try that for a while as well.
I would have loved to try and spin some Merino, but I heard that it is not very suitable for beginning spinners. Perhaps next time. I'd really like to get my own wheel first. I've seen wheels for sale on the internet, so I might try that.
And then there was some knitting as well. I finally finished the legwarmers for Renee that I started some time ago.

I actually had to knit three, as the first one turned out to be too tight. And as I'm not a big fan of ribbing (huge understatement) it was a bit of an ordeal, but they are done, the client is happy and so am I.

On to the next project!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bad blogger

It has been nearly three weeks since my last post and I feel very bad about it. I probably started blogging at a bad time; I've been studying for the last four years and took my final exams just before the summer vacation, but due to illnes last year, I have to do one last course. In these four years I've had very little time for myself; most of my time was taken up by taking care of my children, housekeeping chores and study. Oh, and I squeezed in some time with my husband, Peter, so we could keep our marriage afloat. Basically, my focus was on study for these past years. Then the summer vacation came, and I actually had time to do things again, it felt so good! I've been incredibly lazy and totally lost track of time.

In the early months of this year I discovered the knitbloggin community on the internet, and since then have spent most of my free time reading blogs and getting inspired by them. An gradually, the thought of having my own blog and becoming part of this community grew in my mind. So I did, regardless of the fact that I still haven't finished this last course, and will have to invest a considerable amount of time if I want to finish it successfully. I've been worrying about that for the last few weeks and stalling. I feel like a horse that is afraid to jump a fence, but have decided to finally start actually doing it and finish this thing so I can get my degree I've worked so hard for.

I will try to blog in between hours of study though. I just like it too much.
I will end with a few things that I've been doing for the last few weeks;
first of all, we visited the "dolfinarium" two weeks ago, when our daughters had their autumn vacation. We had a great time there. Look at the extremely relaxed walruss; if he could whistle he would:

We went to visit friends in the east of our country a week ago. They live in the most amazing place, and have the same hobbies we do, so the men got to go fishing and the women and children got to do some crafts. Look what I did:

I got so curious after reading lots of blogs about spinning, I decided I wanted to try it myself. I thought I would take to spinning like a fish to water, but I'm afraid it didn't quite turn out that way... I don't think I ever swore so much in my life. But luckily I got to take the wheel home so I can practice and swear some more in private. I also got half a sheep to practice with!

The girls also went riding on the pony. Renee loves horses and would like to start horseriding when she has finished her swimming lessons, so this was a big thing for her.

And Maud is terribly scared of horses (of anything bigger than a cat really) so it was a big thing for her too.

And then there was some knitting as well: I started, and nearly finished the second sock for Maud, our five year old. She chose the yarn herself and I think she did very well. They'll go very nicely with her high shoes. I'll post a picture of her wearing them when they're done.