Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Taking a break

My blog is just over 1 year old now, and as much as I like to read other blogs I feel less compelled to blog myself lately. So, I decided to take a little break.
Some of you continue to check my blog now and then but nothing is happening here LOL !
I will be reading and commenting on your blogs though and if you want to see what I'm up too, you can always check Ravelry and maybe leave me a comment there if you like, I'm blackbun over there.

Now I won't leave you without some pictures now !
I spun some beautiful soft grey merino/alpaca/silk roving into this fingering weight 2-ply yarn.
The picture does NOT do this justice because it has silver sparkles in it which don't show here.
It's almost like the yarn Nancy describes in this post on her blog !
I love it ! I also started to knit something with it, my first selfmade yarn knit up, that's so cool !
It's a simple lace pattern for a little scarf, only just started so I can't make much of it yet.
The roving was from Enchanted Knoll, 3 oz and 377 yards.

Here is another handspun project, I'm making a cowl (since everyone seems to make one nowadays) of roving bought from Allspunup. Not finished yet either. Seems like a case of startitis here.

And yet some more handspun, now it get's boring doesn't it ?

This is from 80/20 merino/tussah silk which was buttery soft . I have no idea how much yardage I have here, I lost count when I was winding it on the niddy-noddy. Yeah counting can hard sometimes.

So for now I will leave you with this. I have had such a good time with you and want to thank you for al the kind comments you have left here. It's greatly appreciated !

Wishing you all the best,

and keep on knitting !!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

I have been drawn

To my wheel lately. It is like if an invisible magical thread has been spun between my and my wheel. If I start spinning I can't seem to stop, I don't even allow myself to drink or eat something while spinning. What do you think, can I call this another addiction ?

I have been knitting too, something for my sister's birthday. It's a scarf made from 1 skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk in the color "Mermaid". It has a silvery sheen on the purples and blues, which indeed could resemble a Mermaid's tail. Just the colors she loves.
I made it in about 1 week and finished the day of her birthday. Phew, that was close !
I don't have more pictures because it was wrapped in a hurry, but I can tell you she was VERY pleased with it.

The Vertical Drop Stitch Scarf

It's very simple to make, I'll give you the pattern here:
With 3 mm needles (or US 3) cast on 44 stitches.

Setup row, right side: K1, *p2, k1, yo, k1, p2, k2 ; rep from *, end with p2, k1.
Rows 1, 3 and 5, wrong side : P1, * k2, p2, k2, p3: rep from *, end with k2, p1.
Row 2 and 4, right side: K1, * p2, k3, p2, k2: rep from *, end with p2, k1.
Row 6: k1, * p2, k1, drop next st. off the needle and unravel down to the yo six rows below, k1, p2, k1, yo, k1 : rep from *, end with p2, k1.
Rows 7, 9 and 11 : p1, * k2, p3, k2, p2 ;, rep from *, end with k2, p1
Rows 8 and 10 : k1, * p2, k2, p2, k3; rep from *, end with p2, k1
Row 12 : k1,* p2, k1, yo, k1, p2, k1, drop next st. off needle as before, k1 ; rep from *, end with p2, k1.

Cast off : work row 6 or row 12 omitting the yo's, then cast off.

This is what I have been spinning lately: above is appr. 207 yards of a 2-ply (DK weight) made of 4.0z merino roving I bought from FrecklFaceFibers at Etsy. I made it so that it will knit up in stripes. I hope.

Below is a thick and thin spun singles from a batt bought at Loop also an Etsy store. It has lots of colors in it with all kinds of little scraps of fabric and glittery stuff. I had so much fun making this ! At first I was afraid to touch the batt, it was so pretty and I was afraid to mess it up, but then decided not be such a chicken and just DO it. I am rather pleased with it, I have absolutely no idea what to make with it, but it is fun to look at it and touch it now and then. I also have no idea how many yards there are in this because I didn't have a niddy noddy when I wound it.

This is a single ply lace to fingering weight yarn, made from 4 oz of Australian superwash merino roving called Choco Raspberry. It's from Zen Yarn Garden . It has reds, pinks and brown in it and I am hoping it will enough to make this . Mimknits has not released the Persephone pattern yet, but it seems a perfect match to me.

Then I promised a long time ago to Sereknitty to post 7 random facts about me. Well here we go:

* I was born 46 years ago in Gouda, so yes you could say I am a "cheesehead" or a "kaaskop" as we say in Dutch.

* We lived on the banks of the Hollandsche IJssel, and when I was a little girl I used to swim across it. Imagine, a tidal river with a strong currant and big boats. I never ever allowed my children to swim in it.

* My father was a roadworker and used to take me with him on Sataurday mornings when he had to a job. So if you need someone who can pave your garden, just call me !

*I am very fond at all kinds of animals with 1 big exception. Spppppiders, brrr..... They give me the creeps. I have nightmares about them, really, just ask my DH.

* Addicted to chocolate, that's what I am. Can't live a day without it !

* As a real Dutch girl I ought to love herring, raw with onions. But... I don't, I find it really disgusting. If I see a herringcart I am not tempted to stop there as my DH does, just the thought of it, yuck..... As a matter of fact I don't like fish in general.

* Besides a yarn addicition I also have a shoe addiction. If I see a shoestore I just have to visit it, which often results shoes.

So to top it off I think it is time for another blackbun picture. Isn't she cute with her head in my hand ? She just loves to sit like this and lick my hand from time to time.

Monday, March 31, 2008

That sure took me long enough !

Finally I have returned to blogland !
I'm sorry it took me so long but I just didn't have the energy to put up a post. It has been a long time since I felt like this, with a total lack of energy to do anything at all. It started after I had the flu and I just didn't seem to get over it. On top of that my father got ill and had to have some tests in hospital. Thanks to those who showed their concern for me, it was greatly appreciated. But today the sun is shining so who could ask for more !

The Gust scarf from Knitspot is ready, can you see the first plum tree blossoms behind her ? The yarn is from Smatterings, it's the lovely Arequipa in the Atlantic colorway.

And to prove that spring is really here , a daffodil.

Even the goats are happy to be outside today.

I have done some serious spring cleaning in my projects. I have frogged everything that was not to my liking, including the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I already had some doubts about the size, I was afraid it would be too big. So I took it of the needles to measure it and it was just as I had feared, it was about TWO sizes too big. So of to the frogpond it went. As well as some other projects that I didn't like anymore.

Instead I started with a new project that I loved the instant I saw it about 6 months ago. It 's "Smoulder" from Kaffe Fassett from Rowan Magazine 31. It took me ages to finally get all the colors that I needed because some of them are discontinued and it was very hard to find them on the internet. But a couple of weeks ago the last of them came in and I could start it. The back, 2 fronts and half a sleeve are already done. I love it ! Maybe not so anymore after I have to weave in all the ends, there must me about a million of them. But untill now I do, and most important I think it might actually fit.

This is the back, with all the ends tucked under it ( to not discourage me )

Finally I want to show you the Navajo plied yarn I spun and dyed myself. It's just a little skein, I have no idea how much yardage it has but I'm sute I can make something small from it.

Oh and Sereknitty I havent't forgotten about the random facts, I will post about that next time, promise.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Rose is a rose is a rose.........

Next week is my birthday and I already got my present ! A Majacraft Rose spinning wheel. I'm so happy with her, she is spinning like a dream. I'm not yet, but with a lot of patience and practice I'm sure I will learn to make some nice yarns on her.

Don't let the picture fool you, it seems even but in reality it is not. There are parts in it when you pull it of the bobbin the yarn just falls apart. I need to put more twist in it so it seems, but everything is still very new for me. Next saturday is my next lesson and I'm sure I will learn a lot more then.

Not a lot of knitting has taken place the last few weeks, first I got the flu which left me with a very bad cough. I had several sleepless nights because of that, so I felt extremely tired and it somehow had a very bad effect on my back too. I couldn't stand up straight for several days. I looked like an old rasping woman . Really, I was so glad I finally felt better, but then...I fell of the stairs. Now don't laugh, it really did hurt ! A lot... Lots of bruises, a sore arm and a eh bum (which came in close contact with every step) But i'm fine now .

See, I even knit some more on the sock. The pattern is called something like "coffeebean" it's very simple but I can't handle anything complicated on a first sock.

Eldest daughter asked if I could make her boyfriend a scarf. Preferably black and something with a cable. The Reversible Cable Scarf was the most appealing pattern to me, because it has a pattern on both sides as the name already suggests. Very handy if you're male and don't care to take a look if the right side is on front.
I used Rowan Pure Wool Aran in black, on 5 mm needles.
The yarn knits up nice but the color was kind of depressing. The weather was also grey and dark and I wasn't feeling too well so I was really glad to have it finished. Just in time for him to wear with the spring weather we had over here the last couple of days haha. Well he can wear it next winter I guess and maybe winter will return for a few more days.

Can you see that there are 2 cables on one side and 3 on the other ?

I made myself a promise that only after I finished it I could cast on for Gust, Anne's new scarf pattern. The yarn is from Smatterings, a lovely alpaca/silk in the color "Atlantic". I also ordered another color, "The Blues". This is just what I needed to cheer me up !

And to cheer myself up even more I ordered something at The Woolen Rabbit too. Opulence merino/silk in "Moroccan Spice" and some yummy roving in "Tupelo Honey". Mmmm, georgeous.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Because I have started my first sock ever !
It's not much of a sock yet, but I still consider this as Fearless Knitting. As this is the year of fearless knitting in blogland I decided to join the ranks. It seems awfully small to me though, I'm afraid it will never fit my rather shapely calves. I am using Regia Uni, mainly because this is the yarn what is used in the pattern. I am still fiddling a lot with the yarn and 5 dpn's. I know a lot of people use 4 dpn's to make socks, but this pattern also uses 5, it's from the sockmaking book I bought a while ago. It just needs some time to get used to it I guess.

And another fearless thing for me to do was to learn how to spin. Last Saturday was my first spinning class and it was such fun to do ! There were four of us, with me the only one who had never done this before. The class started with a lesson about different sorts of wool, silk and cotton. Then we learned how to wash and comb raw fleece, we also got a bag of unwashed fleece to take home with us so we can prepare and spin this at home. Since I don't own a spinning wheel I had to rent one so I can practice and make enough to ply in the next lesson in which we will also dye it. I used a Majacraft Rose there but took a Majacraft Suzie home, it makes quite a difference to me. I still have a lot of trouble not to overtwist it on this one. I keep adjusting the wheel but it not quite to my liking yet, I guess you could say I prefer the Rose over this one. Maybe, just maybe I can ask one for my birthday next month !

On the knitting front I started a Melon Scarf from VLT in a bright dark pink. I really needed a bright color to knit with because the days are gray and depressing here lateley with rain and hard winds most of the time. With unusual high temperatures it almost seems like fall. I am using Nature's Palette fingering weight in the color Indian Paintbrush, lovely yarn to work with.

The pattern is really easy, I don't even need a chart with it. So it's also suitable for TV knitting. I really like the overall effect this pattern creates.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Juno is ready

And I am really happy with her !

Pattern: Juno Regina
Yarn: Silk/merino laceweight yarn from the Plucky Knitter in color "Platinum"
Needles: US 4, 3,5 mm.

This was such an enjoyable project ! The yarn was a delight to knit with, the pattern was easy to follow and the result was everything I hoped for. The yarn really had a lot to do with the pleasure, Sarah really knows how to dye a yarn !
It's as light as air but still quite warm because of the merino while the silk gives it a subtle sheen. It also looks good on my red coat which isn't really as red as in the picture BTW.
I asked my DH to take some pictures of me wearing the shawl but they all came out blurry. I wasn't wearing the coat then in case you were wandering, so he couldn't have been blinded by it !
Wearing this coat makes me happy on days like these, it has been a really gray and rainy day here. And it looks like the coming days are not going to be much better.

Here is another picture of it with some more detail.

This one also came of the needles recently, it's one of the scarfs from the book Scarf Style , Misty Garden. The yarn is from Habu : Mohair Tam in aqua blue. I can't remember where I bought it, but it's VERY soft and warm. I used 4 balls for it, I just kept knitting untill I ran out of yarn.
The picture above is the most accurate in color I think.

I'm glad everything is back to normal now, everyone is either back at work or at school. And from what I have read on other blogs I'm not the only one who was glad the holidays were over .

Anyway, exciting things are about to happen. I am going to take my first spinning lessons ever next week ! I can hardly wait ! Last November there was a knitting and needlework fair where someone was demonstrating a Majacraft spinning wheel. I asked if they also gave spinning lessons and they wrote down my name and said they would contact me when they would start a new group. Last night they called and asked if I was still interested, silly question offcourse ! So saturday the 19th I will have my first lesson. If you would have asked me a year ago if I wanted to spin, I probably would have said no. I always thought it was kind of oldfashioned and not something I was interested in at all. But after reading all kinds of blogs where lovely things were created with handspun yarn I changed my mind. I really want to give this a try, maybe I won't like it, maybe I'm not good at it all, but at least I tried. And maybe one dayI will knit a shawl with my own handspun yarn !

Now Juno is ready I can continue with this: Simurgh from Anne. I started this a few weeks before Christmas, but then all the Christmas knitting had to be finished so I only did a few repeats so far. The yarn is Wollmeise laceweight yarn in Veilchen, a dark blue/purple color, very hard to capture in the right color.

I blocked it out a bit so you can see the shape of the feathers here. The yarn is slightly thinner than the pattern asked for but I am going to make the biggest size so it will still be big enough.