Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thinking about socks

On almost every blog that I read I see socks. Beautiful socks in wonderful colors and textures. Socks everywhere I look. And everybody is talking about much fun they are to knit and how they are so easy to take with you while travelling and how warm and comfortable they are, and...........
So why not knit one too ?
I have a confession to make : I vowed never to knit a sock in my lifetime anymore !
But after a few months of seeing socks eveywhere I kind of changed my mind.
I think I am ready to knit A SOCK !!

Now to understand my "socktrauma" I will take you back in time.
As a child I was on a VERY oldfashioned school. I learned how to write with pen and ink in a slanting handwriting for example. Boys and girls were always separated when playing outside and in handcrafts too. The boys had to carve wood and the girls had to do needlework.
They clearly never heard of emancipation.
We had a very nasty teacher, she was the headmistress of our school. Not a kind woman to say at least. We were taught how to knit, to darn and to embroider. Amongst all things we had to knit babysocks. We had to buy our own yarn for this special project so my mom and I went out to buy some. It was an acrylic yarn ( still remember the color: mintgreen) and we had to knit with metal dpn's. Well the agony of knitting that sock that came out HUGE ( it fit me at the age of 11 ) made me vow never to knit a sock again. And with acrylic yarns as a matter of fact. The sound that the yarn made when I was knitting with my sweaty hands, headmistress with her mean face looking at me, is till sending shivers down my spine.

Now all of you made me change my mind ! You can all be proud of yourselves !

But where to start ? I do own some dpn's, metal ones brrr.... Inherited from my mother and grandmother, but somehow I don't think I will be using these, hehe.
I already have some sockyarn, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in a ( don't laugh) lightgreen.
But I don't have a tutorial, I really don't remember after all these years ( almost 35 ) how to knit them anymore. I also don't want to start right from a pattern, I need something with clearly written instructions.
What is the easiest way to knit , with dpn's or with two circulars ?
There are many books about sockknitting, but what is the best if you have to get started ?
So there are a lot of questions and now I have to go figure out the answers. Wish me luck !

Finally there is something I would like to show .

Yesterday our dwarfgoat Ingrid gave birth to twins. It's a boy and a girl, aren't they CUTE ?
Here they are about 30 minutes after they were born, already standing !

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tulips, a bunny and a view .

Real Dutch tulips in the spring, aren't they lovely ?

They are so cheap over here that I have several bouquets in the house, every time I buy some new. There are so many colors to choose from ! Yellow, red, orange, purple, pink and you also have the striped ones with the pointy petals. Do you see the one below, it has a double flower on the stem !

Spring has really returned over here, with temperatures way beyond averge in March. So everyone is enjoying the sun ! Look at this sleepy bunny with red ears from the heat. I tried to get a picture of her when she was fast asleep, baking in the sun, but she is so alert I alsmost never get one. When the nights are getting warmer I will put her in her own mansion outside, but that will have to wait for a while. I also enjoy her company very much and when she is outside I wont't get to spend that much time with her. Hmmm, that sounds a bit selfish..

This is the view from upstairs. Well nothing strange about that you might think, but this view really makes me sad !

Just 2 years ago my view was totally different than this one. There were green meadows with cows and horses grazing as far as I could see. Now the city of Rotterdam where we live close to has decided that they needed to build more house, and this is just what they have been doing for the last couple of years. This is what I will see in the future, nothing but houses ! There used to be a lot of birds of prey circling above the meadows and some owls too. They are gone..... With over 6000 houses that are going to be built over here there is nothing here for them anymore, so they moved to a better place I hope. There are still a couple of pheasants that live in the meadow next to my house, they often come on my terrace to eat from the food I put there for the birds. But also these birds might have to move, because we have to move too !

Our own village also wants to build new house where we are located! They plan to build 600 new houses over here as well.

I know there is a shortage of houses in our country, with over 16 million inhabitants in such a small country it is unavoidable. But why over here ? I really love my house, the greenhouse, my garden and the freedom we still have here. I know that compared to some of you there is not a lot of nature around my house left but to most of the people that live in the Netherlands this is something they can only dream of.. Especially in this part of the country where we are living: the western part. It is getting real crowded over here. Then why not move to a another place ? Well, it's not that simple, we can't take the greenhouse with us, and that is our living. Besides we can't sell unless it is to the village we live in. They have put a decree on it, so nobody can sell their properties. This is to make sure that nothing is sold to developers.

But it may take up to five years untill they start, so untill then we keep on going. And when the time comes to move, we will start somewhere else, where we have room for our ponies and dwarfgoats to graze. But it still makes me sad though.

On the knitting front, not much news, expect for the fact that I decided to frog the Scottisch Thistle shawl. I didn't like it enough to continue with it. The Japanese Feather Scarf is growing steadily.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Some yarn to show you...

First some Art Yarns Cashmere 3 , "color 123" with lovely shades of greens and blues. The yarn exists out of 3 separate strands which makes it a bit difficult to knit with. You have to take care that you catch all of the yarn and don't poke your needle between the strands. I have bought this at KnitPurl on-line so didn't see it before I bought it. If I had known this before I probably wouldn't have bought it, how lovely the colors are or how soft it is . But hey this is what can happen if you buy on the internet unless you saw it in real before.. or did some more research.

Another problem showed up when I knitted a swatch out of it. Because it has very even divided sections of color, it effects the color divide in your knitting. Do you know what I mean ? I will try to explain as good as a can ( sometimes it can be frustrating to explain things in a foreign language !) One side of the knitted item will show up with only greens and 1 side with only blues.
( I found out ! This is what they call pooling !) That is when I am knitting something straight ! So the best thing to do with this is probably knit something diagonal or a-symmetric with it. I will have to figure out what to make of it. Any ideas ?

Next is this wonderful yarn: Terra in Dark Indigo from The Fibre Co. In real it is much darker than on the picture, the color is like a very dark blue jeans, with some lighter blues in it. It is 60% Merino/ 20% Baby Alpaca/20 % silk with 100 yards per skein for size US 9 needles. I bought 6 skeins of it so it will make a nice scarf, most likely to be Hypoteneuse right now. But things can change..

Next time I will show another lovely yarn I bought at The Woolen Rabbit but the battery of my camera is empty right now and someone forgot to charge the spare one. So maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The rhythm of knitting lace

This scarf really does have a rhythm. I find it very relaxing to just sit and knit row after row after row.
Everything seems to match, the combination of the wonderful yarn, the wooden needles and a good pattern. I listen to the sound that the needles make when I knit SSK's and K2tog, a soothing and relaxing sound to me. The longer I knit , the more relaxed I become. I like to work on it when it is quiet in the house, no TV or Radio on, just the sound of needles working... the sound of something thats is being created. I like that sound !

Just in case if you are wondering where I found the pattern for the Japanese Feather Scarf, it is in Barbara Walkers A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns or it can also be found at

Stretched out for a good look at the pattern.

This is made last Sunday when it hailed over here. No Spring anymore for the next week or so I'm afraid.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring is in the air !!

Over here the temperatures during daytime are rising to 14 degrees Celsius ( 57 degrees Fahrenheit). So the weather is fine..

And so is Clapotis, I have finished it even if I haven't knitted much the last couple of days. It is far to lovely outside to stay in. But the evenings are still cold, so then is the perfect time to knit. It has grown to 70 "long ( 175 cm ) and 6"wide ( 15 cm). I could have made it a bit longer because I haven't run out of yarn yet, but I thought this was long enough for me. I'm not that tall, so this is perfect. The color reminds me of Fall though, the colors of pumpkins...

This however, is all like summer to me...

It reminds me of our holiday last summer in Greece, at Corfu.

That's us in our hired sailing boat....

It makes me want to go back to that wonderful clear blue sea!

Anyway, this is the Japanese Feather Scarf that I cast on for instead of Palette. I think it looks much better this way. The scarf has wavy sides, also a reminder to the sea, just like the wonderful blue color. I have knit this far with one skein so I have finished about 1/3 of it, it will make a 150 cm I guess, without blocking. So it will no doubt grow even longer after that.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

No Palette anymore.....

Yesterday I was knitting along "happily"on Palette for a few hours. I was stretching it out after a while to look how the pattern came out when this HUGE hole appeared ! Sigh... It was in the first section of the scarf where I must have slipped a stitch, maybe with the pass stich overs.
Well there was only one thing left to do, rip the thing out ! There was no way I could ever get it back on the needles right, because this has a pattern on EVERY row with yo and knit togethers.
I already had a couple of false starts with it so I decided to choose another pattern, one with WS rows without a pattern for sure. I don't like it when you have a pattern on every row, I have to take a break every now and then.
Haven't decided what yet.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Palette and Clapotis

When the yarn arrived this week that I had ordered at Judy's from Smatterings and I then saw this pattern at the Knitty Spring 2007 I knew right away what to make of it .
It is called Palette, here is the link Even though the yarn that I have is not like the yarn in the pattern I thought it would work for it. What do you think of it ? Shall I continue ?

I have only done a few rows so far, but you can already see all the lovely shades of blue in it.It is merino/silk and slightly heavier than laceweight, this color is called "Aegan". I am knitting on size 8, 5 mm. straights. I also bought 3 skeins of another color, called Peony. Alreay wound into balls !

And here is another project going along : Clapotis, the mini version of it. Started last week with Lanas Puras Melosa in Fingering Weight, color Sunset. The yarn is thinner than called for in the pattern but with a few more additions in the increase section it is not too small. This will not be very thick or wide scarf, and that is just what I wanted it to be. I want to make a full sized one after this, because it is such an easy knit. I can watch TV and knit, so I will save this one for the evenings. Other patterns which require more attention I will mostly knit in the daytime, upstairs in my spare room, with only the rabbit hopping around...

Here is a picture of Clapotis with in the foreground one or our Phalaenopsis Orchids which we grow for a living. So these are paying for my yarn I guess.

This one is standing in my livingroom and its flowers are almost 5 inches wide ( 12 cm ) In total it has 25 flowers and a couple of bulbs that are not open yet. Georgeous !!!

And look what I got in the mail today ! 3 hanks of lovely colored variegated Prism Lace Wool, colors from left to right are: Antique, Sierra and Fog.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

More work in progress

Here is one more project I am working on. When I see all these I didn't realize that I am knitting on so many different things at one time. ( I didn't take pictures of some of them yet, so there is more to come). I just feel a little overwhelmed when I see them listed out here.

After years of non knitting I saw an ad in the newspaper about a SNB meeting in Rotterdam. When I saw that I felt the urge to pick up the needles again. I had saved all of my knitting needles and received the ones of my mother and grandmother when they had passed away.
I began searching the net and found out that there were all these wonderful things that people all over the world were knitting. And what about all these wonderful yarns ! Available worldwide, even for me in this little country where knitting is not overly popular.
Now with so many yarn available and all these wonderful patterns my head just overflows with ideas and I just keep putting new things on. I'll just have to finish a couple of these before I start something new..
And destashing where everyone is talking about is not an option for me. I didn't have a stash at all, but it is growing VERY fast ! Trust me, the postman has his daily stop here at the moment
My DH is starting to mutter about it, so are my children. "Mom, here is the postman with a package for you, AGAIN ......!!!"

This a project I only started a few days ago, The Scotch Thistle Lace Stole. I am using a Alpaca/Silk laceweight yarn from Blackbunnyfibers, although this a laceweight yarn it still has a lot of body so I made a swatch on 4 mm. needles and it came out just right. The yarn has shades of blue and slate. In the close-up you can take a better look.

Not too busy, what do you think ? The pattern shows a much darker yarn with more variegation in color, so I thought this would work out OK. I am still not quite convinced, although the yarn is lovely to work with. It is really soft and doesn't split. With all these 3 purled together stitches that is worth something.

And last I just wanted to show a picture of my black bunny. She is almost 2 years old now and we have had her from that she was 4 weeks old. She was my daughters first and she named her Lieffie.(pronounced as something like Leafy in English) It means "sweetheart" or "honey" in Dutch. And so she is ! After my daughter went to College I was the one to take care of her, and the she became sick. She had a severe head-tilt, which means she suffered from vertigo and couldn't walk. She kept falling and her head was tilted sideways, it was so sad to see her like this. I had to give her medicines a couple of times a day and also I had to feed her. I spend hours sitting at her cage and stroking her and telling her not to give up. She was only 4 months old then.
Luckily she has recovered and only has a minor tilt in her head left, one of her ears is drooping to the side. She looks cute this way. I became very attached to her in this period. During the day she wonders around in one of our spare rooms in the house, she is litter trained and never drops anything on the floor. She just hops inside in her cage to do "her thing". At nights she stays inside her cage with her stuffed toy to keep her company. I often sit on the floor on a pillow and knit with her for a while. When she gets bored of me knitting and wants to be pet, she starts to knibble at he points of my needles or starts digging in my yarn. Not that nice of you Lieffie....

Lieffie, I dedicated this site to you !!!!!

and knitting ofcourse.........

Saturday, March 3, 2007

I've won a prize !!

I won third prize in a contest on I feel so lucky I won because normally I NEVER win something when I enter a contest. the prize is a 15% discount on my next order, so now I will have to think hard and long what to choos
I ordered some lovely yarn from them :Lanas Puras Melosa in laceweight and fingeringweight
It is a 100% merino wool from Uruguay and is really very soft. The two skeins in the back are fingeringweight , color Sunset. In the front left is laceweight Truffle and the one on the right is Rose Sand. It is very hard to catch the colors but the laceweights have very subtle shades of colorchanges.

I finished my FIRST lace shawl last week, the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl, from . It took about two weeks from start to finish , but I didn't block it untill I had some blocking wires. I had never blocked something before so this was quite a challenge for me. I think it turned out quite nice if I have to say so myself. Please judge yourself......

It was fluttering in the wind, so it was hard to take a picture but this was the best way to get the color right.
The yarn I used is Sea Silk, color Amethyst. It took a little less than I skein to knit this, I added
two more repeats to the original pattern, maybe I could have added one more but was afraid to run out of yarn. Detail of the edging.

Friday, March 2, 2007


Several projects are on the needles. I am working on Ene's scarf from Scarf Style, this is knit in Lisa Souza's merino fingering weight yarn in Vert de Gris on 4 mm circs.

Next on the needles is Midwest Moonlight, another project from Scarf Style. This one is knitted in cashmere from Colourmart UK, fingering weight. It is light blue with little speckles of darker blue in it. This yarn will bloom after washing and will be VERY soft...

A new knittingblog is born

Well, I don't know if anybody out there is waiting for this, but here it is. My own new blog !
It will be about what I am knitting or will be knitting .
Hope you will like it.