Suppressing startitis..

I’m not sure if it’s a healthy thing to do, but I’m really giving it my best shot. Since I’m “officially back” my mind has been flooded by a lot of ideas about knitting and patterns. I’m really excited about having time to knit and spin again and apparently my brain got the memo this time.

drops fabel and lace
One of the first signs of startitis is the preparation part where I order large amounts of yarn. I love sock knitting and I recently discovered the new drops fabel colors, and of course I had to order some. As you know, winter is coming and as a knitter I have to prepare the right way. Knitting socks for my family is part of my duties as a knitter (lol, I was born in the wrong century you know…).

I love me some expensive, unique and hand-dyed sock yarn, but drops fabel is a very nice quality yarn for a very good price. It’s exactly what you need for guilt free socks. I wear my handknit socks a LOT. I mean I wear them constantly and I don’t want to feel bad about wearing them (out). Because I will wear them until they’re beyond repair. I’ll repair them if I can (if I catch it in time), but I’ll wear them out in the end anyway. The good thing about drops fabel is that it’s a very cheap yarn, but it can take quite a beating. (which is exactly what I’m looking for in a sock yarn that’s actually going to be used for sock knitting).

drops fabel and lace

I order my Drops/Garnstudio yarns from Finlandia Import. I really like them because they’re very quick and very friendly. Also, they work at 23:15… (or at least they reply your emails at that time of night).

drops fabel and lace next to misti alpacas yarn

As you may be able to see I also ordered two hanks of drops lace. A while ago I bought three hanks of Misti Alpaca lace yarn (pictured above), but I needed something to combine it with. The drops yarn is the exact same weight and (I also believe) material so it should be a great match. The misti alpaca yarn is very nice, but it’s a bit much, so I needed a neutral color to tone it down a bit.

I’m really excited about the muted fabel colors and I really can’t wait to try them out! One of the patterns I’m going to knit first is Gaius by Dutchwooldiva. I had joined the summer KAL that started on July 1st, but this is about as far as I got:

Gaius sock

The picture shows a DWD glitter yarn in purple’s and teal, but I had originally bought this yarn to knit something else and my heart really wasn’t in it. I wanted something a bit more muted, but I didn’t have anything, so that’s how I decided to buy me some neutral sock yarn in the first place.

I’m going to cast on soon, but first I need to finish some other wips:

clown vomit socks

Here’s my clown vomit socks. I had originally bought this yarn because I thought I could make a pattern, but I honestly think it looks beter on vanilla socks. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern for the heel and I don’t think I’ll ever use another heel again. This heel makes total sense and it’s so super easy! You can use this pattern for both top down and toe up socks, so I’m happy to say I’m now also able to knit toe-up socks that actually fit me (perfectly I might add!).
handspun It took me a while but I’m finally done spinning the nunoco fiber (colorway bayou) for my son’s blanket. It became a (very) light fingering weight, chain plied yarn and I couldn’t be happier. It’s 300 grams but I haven’t measured the lenght yet. I think I’ll measure the weight of 10 meters and calculate an average because I really couldn’t be bothered to count 😛 Handspun ten stitch blanket

I cast on for a ten stitch blanket (using 20 stitches and 3mm needles) and I’m really liking the way it’s turning out. Sorry for the phone quality of some of these pictures, I don’t have the time (yet) to make sure all the pictures are taken with the camera. Sometimes I need to take a few quick snaps using my phone or not take any pictures at all.

I find the pattern clearly written and easy to follow, but I chose to use my own favorite short row method instead. So my blanket might look a bit different than the one you’ll get when you follow the pattern. It’s something I can live with though, because I’m so used to my own short-row method, I don’t think I can use another method in my brainless state of mind.



In other news, you may remember this yarn I spun on my russian style spindles a while ago, using the minibatts by DWD. My friend was so kind to offer to knit a shawl for me using my handspun. I really love how it turned out, and I think she’s super awesome for knitting me this shawl! At first I wasn’t sure what to do with those minibatts, but now that I’m seeing them in shawl form I’m really excited about them! 

Collaborative project

Happy knitting!



The amount of times I’ve written this post in my head (or even on my laptop) is staggering. I’ve been writing and rewriting this thing for two months now and it’s got to stop.

I’m posting this today and I don’t care if it’s good or not. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to bear with me.

Sleep deprivation, I can live with, but honestly, I never knew I needed knitting and spinning this badly. I now know that I need these things to keep my sanity. So here I am. Back again after 9 whole weeks. So let me tell you about what happened after the post of the 25 of June.


I’ve written this story in my instagram post, but here’s a short recap. Two days before my due date I noticed my hands were itching. Itching and scratching is not that strange during pregnancy, but this was ridiculous. By 0:30 on saturday night I was scratching my palms with my teeth when I decided to give my midwife a call. Long story short, I was sent to the hospital and was diagnosed with pregnancy cholestasis, which basically means your liver i
sn’t doing a great job. It’s not harmful for the mother, but it can be harmful for the unborn child. If you’re not so far along you’ll be given medication, but in my case I would be induced.

Two days later, on monday the 29th I was induced at 7.30 – 8 and at 16.00 little Ma’iq Mason was born weighing 3715 grams and 55cm tall.

My pregnancy was a dream, but due to certain events in my private life I was too afraid to fully enjoy the proces. Looking back, I can say that I was too afraid that something bad would happen, subconsciously I was convinced that I wasn’t going to end up with a happy and healthy baby (if that even makes any sense). I only went baby shopping in week 36 because my mother forced me to go with her, but at the time I really couldn’t see it and my mother didn’t understand why I was being ‘difficult’ and ‘uninterested in this baby’.



It’s very personal, but I’m writing about it because I think it shouldn’t be a taboo. Depression is an ugly monster and it can show up at any time. It’s important to acknowledge it and deal with it, but not to allow it to take over your life.

The moment Ma’iq was born I felt all the things I was too scared to feel for 9 months. It was love at first sight. He was the prettiest thing I had ever seen in my whole life and I still can’t believe I ‘made’ him. My best FO.


It’s been (almost) nine weeks since he’s born and I’m only now starting to readjust. It’s been hard because I haven’t been sleeping all too well. The last month of my pregnancy I could only sleep for 4 hours a night, so I started this thing already sleep deprived. When he was only two days old we had a nice little heat wave, which apparently is even worse for little babies than for grown @$$ adults.

When I told people that we were expecting a baby all they said was: “HAHA you’ll never sleep again!! And even though they were right in a way, it would’ve been more helpful if they had mentioned some books to read. In case you’re interested: there are two books that I found extremely useful: “The happiest baby on the block” – by Dr Karp and “Baby in droomritme” – by Stephanie Lampe.

The first book is very useful in general because it explains a lot about the first three months. This book will help you understand why newborns behave the way they do and how to calm them down when they’re upset. I don’t mean just crying, but really upset.

The second book is (I’m sure you can find an English version somewhere) about how to get your baby to sleep without letting him/ her cry it out. I’m personally of the opinion that babies don’t need to cry. There’s crying and then there’s crying, but letting a baby cry it out in bed until he falls asleep is not something I can get behind. This book will help you teach your baby to sleep in his/ her own bed without any tears. I’m absolutely in love with both books and they helped me a lot! Another book I’d like to recommend is (again in Dutch, sorry!) “Borstvoeding” – by Stefan Kleintjes. It’s a very good book if you’re intending to breastfeed your baby.


Ma’iq and I have come a long way in these past few weeks. The nights are amazing, as he sleeps during the night and only wakes up once (and sporadically twice) a night. Daytime varies between awesome and not-so-awesome, but it’s getting better and better. The evidence is that I’m actually finishing up this post and he’s still asleep!

Now that we’re getting readjusted I can finally reincorporate knitting and spinning into my daily life, and I’ve really missed it. I’ve also really missed this blog. It’s been very hard not to be able to spin/knit/ blog, because this is how I stay zen. I really need these things in my life or I’ll lose my mind 😛

Hopefully I’ll be able to post more regularly from now on. I’m not making any promises until he’s at least 3 months old, but I believe we’re moving in the right direction :)

Happy knitting my friends :)

yay! FO’s!

O hello there!

You probably thought I’d completely forgotten about this blog. Well, not to worry. I haven’t forgotten. It’s been eating at me since the last post and I’ve been trying out a few things that haven’t been working for me. I’ve actually written up two posts between this one and the last one, but I never got around to post them, because I never took any pictures.

You see, the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting less and less sleep during the night, so I’m forced to take a lot of naps during the day. This doesn’t really work out the way I hoped because I’m really  not good at taking naps. I either don’t take naps (and as a result I’m a zombie during the day), or I fall asleep and I wake up about 6 hours later. The days and nights have become blended, and the days have become a bit hazy. To keep my sanity, I decided to just go with the flow and take every day as it comes. This basically means I haven’t been posting and/ or blogging much, but I have been knitting. I haven’t been spinning at all, because apparently I can’t keep my focus up long enough. I need to be entertained while my hands work, so knitting and netflix have become my best friends at the moment.

Anyways, this rant is not meant to be a rant, but it’s an acknowledgement of my current state of mind 😛 I miss blogging, I miss being active and I really miss being out of the house. I miss driving, oh MAN I miss driving! But most of all, I miss sleeping on my stomach and not bumping into anything and everything haha. I’m NOT being ungrateful, I really appreciate everything that comes with it, but after 40 weeks, I’m also really looking forward just rolling over in bed.


I’m sure you’re here for some knitting content, so let OP deliver 😉 As you can see I have a new layout and at the moment I’m working on getting the pages right. I’ve made a portfolio page for the patterns I designed, and I’m working on getting the FO’s per year pages up. I always thought I’d never do this, but I’m thinking about removing/ restructuring some of my old posts. Maybe even archiving them. At some point I used a flickr app to insert pictures in the posts, but I’ve stopped using it because the program inserted certain code into my posts which added a lot tags I did not want my blog to be associated with. Unfortunately, all the images I added now need to be relinked because the program used the flickr id numbers instead of the image urls, which is why the images before October 2012 don’t work.

This is one of the things I’ve been working on. I like to have an organized blog, and at the moment it’s still a bit of a mess.

Let’s move onto the knitting content!

Finished objects: I have them! I started these socks in October 2014, and I don’t believe it has ever taken me this long to produce a pair of socks. I absolutely love the yarn (Dutch Wool Diva’s colorway of the month “Oldfashioned Tasty”), and I wanted to make stockings. So I got myself two hanks of these and started knitting them toe up. I have never really finished a fitting pair of toe-up socks in my life, so I don’t know what I was thinking. The reason behind the toe-up idea was to be able to use all of the yarn. I also didn’t want to have to knit the foot or toe with another yarn so I decided that toe-up was the way to go.


Now here’s the interesting part. It actually fit, but I wasn’t really happy with it. I love the slip stitch heel I always knit when working cuff down, and I just didn’t really like the feel I guess. But it did fit. (soft off).

Please excuse the potato quality, I only have instagram pictures of these phases. As you can see the yarn still produces lovely stripes, so I was insanely pleased! Then I got to the decreasing part and I didn’t really know what to do. I’ve never knit stockings and my brain was still not working, so I decided to wait for a ‘better time’. My brain just got worse and worse, and I really wanted to finish these socks now, so in the end I decided to frog it and just go with a toe-up, two at the same time, magic loop approach

Some knitting friends of mine knit both socks at the same time and they convinced me to try the fish lips kiss heel pattern. I must say I’m really impressed! The pattern is really well written and the math is very math-y. The good thing is (if you don’t like knitting math) that you don’t have to look at the math. Just accept that you have to do what the pattern says and you will be just fine.

As you can see the socks turned out fine, even though I had to say goodbye to my beloved slip stitch heel. I usually knit those out of habit anyway, and because I felt like I’d need extra fabric at the heel. To be honest though, my socks have never worn out at the heel, they always wear out at the ball of my foot, so maybe I should consider doing a slip stitch bottom instead of a slip stitch heel anyway…

But wait! There’s more! I finished another pair of socks! This one started out with somewhat of a story as well (I think I’m spotting a theme here).

You see I wanted to thank my cousin for being awesome and seriously helping me out with a lot of the baby related things. So I decided to knit her 3 pairs of socks.

I knit here this pair first:

It’s a vanilla sock pattern knit in drops fabel print in colorway 310p. I personally like drops fabel for socks because they’re cheerful, cheap and are of good quality. I love to knit socks, but I don’t always have to work with crazy expensive yarns. Drops fabel print is especially awesome for vanilla socks.

The second pair of socks was a maelstrom in Hedgehog fibers yarn. I absolutely love this yarn and I felt the combination between the greens and the rust brown was amazing!


I really love the difference in pooling between the left and right sock. I still have two hanks of this yarn left and I really can’t wait to cast on for something. I just don’t know what yet.. I’m sure it will tell me what it wants to become at some point though.

For the last sock I wasn’t sure which pattern to choose. I started out with Scheherazade’s slippers because they’re so princess-y, but I wasn’t sure about the yarn/ pattern combination.


I love the yarn and I love the pattern, but they didn’t really work out the way I had hoped. I decided to move on to lines3x instead. It’s another pattern I’ve knit before and I really like the effect.

While finishing the other projects I also found the time to start a new pair of socks. Harlequino is one of the coolest sock patterns I’ve seen in a while. I personally found it very easy and the pattern very clearly written, I would still like to point out that you should not attempt this sock unless you’re a very confident knitter. As long as you follow the instructions, you should be fine :)


The sock is built out of diamonds. You start with one and pick up stitches to add more diamonds. All of the stitches are cast on using the crochet cast on, so you’ll end up with live stitches and NO seams at all. The designer is a genius for sure!

I really like this sock pattern and I’m very happy to now own a pair of Harlequino socks in Fierljeppen by Dutchwooldiva. It’s not a sock I’d be knitting every time, because, though entertaining, it is a bit of a hassle to constantly cast on and pick up stitches. Still, these socks are very much worth it!

There’s still a lot of things I’d like to show you, but this post has become a bit picture heavy, and very much sock oriented. In the spirit of keeping things organized, I’m going to keep the topics separated :)

Happy knitting!


almost done!

I’m not sure why this happens, and I’m also pretty sure I’m not the only one with this problem, but sometimes, some projects get left behind. Some of those wips become neverending wips. At the moment I have two projects I started in 2012 and one that I started in November 2013.

It’s odd because it’s not like I’ve ‘forgotten’ about them, I just can’t make the time to finish them (for some reason). There’s always something else that’s more important, and that will get finished (or not).

My granny square, stashbusting project is one of those projects. I started this project on May 2, 2012 and I’m still not done. Now I must be fair and say that this has never been a high-priority project, but 3 years is a really long time for such a (rather small) blanket. If you compare this to the huge afhgans blankets some people crochet, this one is really small in comparison.

I had already sewn a number of squares together, but I had done so with a lightweight yarn and with a tapestry needle. In the end, I didn’t like the way it turned out and now I’m redoing it in crochet and sock (cheap) brown sockyarn. I like this a lot better, so I’m glad I chose to do so, but it does take a lot more time to finish up.

There’s not much left, so I’m happy with how it’s going right now. When this step is complete I’ll only have to weave in the ends and crochet a nice edge for the blanket.

In the mean time a few things have arrived:

I had ordered two sample series by LowLandsLegacy. I saw it on Dutchwooldiva’s knitting podcast and I knew I had to buy them. They have an awesome contest for which you have to use their wool and make something out of it by the end of this year. It seemed like both a nice challenge and a nice opportunity to learn more about fibers I haven’t spun yet.

So ofcourse I also ordered a new IST Crafts Russian style spindle:


Sorry for the phone quality of these pictures by the way, I’m working from home right now and my camera charger is at the studio. I keep forgetting to take it with me, but I didn’t want to postpone this post, so this will have to do for now. (at least phones camera quality is getting much better than it used to be).

I ordered one with a brass tip and I’m not disappointed! I’ve just been playing with it so far, but I’m already loving it!

Here’s a bit of a close-up. I love the texture on this one! It’s both smooth and grainy at the same time! I can’t wait to start spinning :)

I’ve also ordered a jumbo freedom flyer kit for the ashford joy 2. I love how the bobbins are big and you can pack a lot of yarn on there, but I’d like to ply all the yarn in one go. Not that I actually think that this will work, but at least it’s worth a shot. This bobbin is actually a lot bigger than the original. I’ve put them side by side for you to compare.

I haven’t been spinning a lot (since I’ve been working on the blanket so much), but once the blanket is finished I’m going to finish spinning this project. I’m 34 weeks right now so I’m going to have to hurry.. (I guess I’m a bit more relaxed because he’ll already have 3 or 4 blankets by the time he’ll make his entry into this world, but there’s so much more babyknitting to be done!

I haven’t been knitting much, because I’ve been distracted by gardening for a while. I planted a lot of things (which haven’t sprouted yet so no pictures), and I’ve reorganized my plants a bit. I’ll have pictures when there’s something to see!

finishing up..


(edit: there’s going to  be a lot of ranting in the beginning, but there’s also knitting. If you’re not really into the talking you can just go a head and skip to the knitting part 😀 )

This may not be common knowledge but I’m a gemini. I don’t follow my daily or weekly horoscope if that’s what you were just wondering, but I do believe that there are certain things about my character that totally fit the gemini discription. Here’s what the internet says about gemini’s

  • A passion for novelty
  • A curious disposition
  • Socially outgoing
  • Witty in speech and prone to banter
  • Creative and quick to task
  • Emotionally unreachable and difficult to pin down

Well I don’t know about the last one, but the other things are totally true for me (in all the good and the bad ways).

A passion for novelty is a kinder way of saying ‘gets bored of things very quickly’. I like new things and I like to explore new options, that much is true, but I also tend do skip from one project to another and never finish what I started. I’m a generalist, not a specialist and I don’t really care. Finishing things is very difficult for me because I tend to skip the process and want to move onto the next thing. I find the daily tasks dull and as such have to really push myself to do them and finish my chores. Yuck!

I also label ‘a curious disposition’ under the aforementioned ‘gets bored easily’ group. I’m curious about all things new, because I find the existing things so boring. I hate walking down the beaten path and I always want to re-invent the wheel. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but at least it’s never boring.

Then there’s the socially outgoing and the witty in speech and prone to banter. I’m not sure if I’m witty in speech, that’s for others to decide, but I know for a fact that I can talk your ears off about just about any subject. I’m indeed socially outgoing, I can talk to any one and any type of person. I’m good at small talk in the elevators (for example) and I know how to make another person comfortable during a conversation. (I really think this is a gemini thing and not some ‘talent’ of mine, so please don’t take this the wrong way.. I’m not boasting or anything). The downside to this, is that I always feel the need to communicate with people. I think this is also what explains this blog. I can talk to you while sitting in my living room and you can decide what you’ll read (or not). For me it doesn’t change anything really because I’ve already written down what I wanted to write. It’s a one way highway in my situation. I just need a topic (and with knititng and such I have found an endless supply LOL).

So why am I writing all of this down?

I believe that at a certain point a person should look into him/herself and take an objective look. There are a number of things that are holding me back and they have an influence on all the things that I do. It’s not just about cleaning out my house and/ or organizing my life. Now that I’m really working on things I can see that it’s much easier to  be organized ALL THE TIME, instead of just every few years. Why not have an actual schedule and stick with it. Why not be able to blog at least once a week instead of once a month (or two).

I’ve been taking a lot of steps to become a better person and not find excuses for myself. A few years ago I wrote a post about being 29 and all the things I would’ve said to my 19 year old self. Now I’m going to make a post about being 30 and what I want to be the next 10 years.

So far being 30 has been an interesting ride. I like being 30, more than I liked being in my 20s. I’m a lot more appreciative towards all things around me and I’m not constantly looking for something I can’t name. I’ve also thrown out a lot of physical and emotional baggage, and I’m starting to like this new me to  be honest. I also feel like there’s a lot less clutter around me.

So why the whole star sign thing? Because the element of the gemini is ‘air’. It can be a breeze or a storm, but it’s always airy and light and unfortunately also fleeting. Getting and staying organized can be very easy for you perhaps, but for me it’s an immense task. I like being creative and go with the flow, and chores are too ‘earthy’ for me. They bring me down. But now that I’m 30 I want to be better for myself and for those around me. Mostly for myself, because I believe it has to come from me for me. I can’t pretend to be somebody I’m not, but I CAN be better for myself, and as such, become a better person for the ones around me.

The air brings chaos. The chaos feeds the creativity and the creativity feeds the need to start new things or else I get bored.

Since this is the last month of me being 30 I’m going to work on looking at it from another angle.

The air brings creativity. Creativity brings joy. Joy brings the need to enjoy both the process and the project. No more chaos. No more boredom.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but maybe it’s not. I’ve already kept to my schedule, and the house is spotless. The next project will be to clean out my clothing (but I’ll do that once the baby is born and I can remove the maternity clothing). Now I’m going to allow the organization to bleed into the rest of my life.


Starting with the finishing of old WIPs. Meet the bf’s fingertipless gloves for pc work :)

A quick project, but it took me a week to weave in the ends and steam them. Now that they are finished I feel like I could have done that when I finished knitting them. But I got bored with them and started another project. I’m really happy that they’re done and I can focus on the other projects now.

While the gloves were hibernating, I cast on for my chocomel stockings. Now this is not really a new project, but rather me revisiting an old project that wouldn’t work out the way I wanted it to. I  originally cast on for these in november 2014, wanting to knit myself stockings (100 gram per foot instead of 50). I’ve never knit 100 gram per sock before so I wasn’t sure where I would end up. I normally knit socks cuff-down and I really didn’t want to waste any of this pretty yarn. In the end I decided to knit toe-up, failed miserably and started cuff down, and at some point I just let it be for a while.

My knitting friends knit both pairs at the same time and even though I had tried it once very early on in my sock knitting career, I never felt the need to revisit this method. My friends also knit socks t0e-up like pros and I still never dared to try it. That is until one of said friends pointed me towards this pattern. It’s a very cheap and very amazing pattern, and it helped me to knit a fitting toe-up sock for the first time. I’m really pleased with the results!

I’m normally a huge fan of the top-down, slip 1, k1, style heel flap, because it makes for a very wear&tear proof heel flap. The only problem is that it’s always a bit bulky and usually sticks out a little (when I wear my shoes). It’s also always a bit loose. Another problem is that the socks I knit never wear at the heel, there’s wear at the toes and under the foot, but never at the heel. Not even a little bit. So I wonder if its’ really important to make a heavy duty heel, rather than a heavy duty bottom. What would happen if you’d knit the whole bottom the way you knit the heel? Or at least at the spots where the sock usually wears out…

Then there’s the part where you always have to pick up the stitches along the way and decrease. Now I don’t have a problem with the process, I’ve become very good at it and I can knit a sock in 2 days (which I find acceptable :P), but this method is a lot easier to follow and a lot easier to execute. I could knit the whole sock blind, except for the heel. Now I can knit that part blindly as well!

There’s also no need to keep knitting all of my socks toe-up or two pairs at the same time. I can still use this technique while working on dpn’s, so I’m very happy indeed!

Please go and check the pattern! It will definitely be worth it! I promise!!

Well I’ll be using this method for all the socks I’ll knit from this moment on, but these princess socks will still have to be finished using the ‘old’ heel.

While we’re talking about FO’s (the gloves), it might not be a bad idea to mention the spinning. Here’s the novemberlight yarn I finished a while ago. I hadn’t washed it and I hadn’t measured it, so it wasn’t finished in my book. I ended up with 424 meters (100 grams).

This one was even a bit older. It’s a 3 ply and I ended up with 188 meters (50 grams).

My latest spinning FO is the skein with the minibatts. It’s been spun on two russian style spindles and plied on the ashford joy2. I ended up with 505 meters, 3 ply, but I don’t know how much it weighs. I think it’s about 100 grams but I’m not really sure.

In other news, the bunnies only want to be outside. For now I don’t mind because they’re nice and furry and I’m reassured that they won’t be cold. But I have to trim them next week and then they won’t be able to go outside for a bit (unless it gets warmer).

I’ll leave you with the picture I just took (when the bunnies returned). This picture was taken right before the storm hit and it embodies what I love about spring. The almost neon glow of the green leaves against the dark sky. <3

Happy knitting :)


I still can’t brain..

I’m not going to say that I have the stupid, but it sure feels that way! I can’t seem to hold a single thought in my head for a few seconds, and I keep forgetting words and things. I know that this is all normal and it will pass, so I’m trying to enjoy myself and just go with it. The past few weeks we’ve been organizing our lives and we’ve been throwing out a LOT of stuff. Isn’t it amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in a few years? There’s so much stuff to throw out/ give to charity! Thankfully, most of the work is now behind us and we can focus on the fun stuff! Buying cute baby things. Did I mention I haven’t bought a single thing yet? I’m very blessed to have a large family, and we’ve been lucky to receive a lot of baby things already. So we don’t have to buy a lot, but there’s things you really need to buy yourself. Like that ubercute little onesie, or those cute booties. (or you can just knit/ crochet them yourself.. which I also haven’t even done yet).

So here’s the thing. I cancelled everything in my schedule to immerse myself into baby mode. Because I’ve been so busy I haven’t even begun dipping my big toe in it.. The past few weeks have been hectic so I decided that it would be best if I just kept to spinning. I took my spindles with me wherever I went, and spent a lot of time just relaxing and spinning on my supported spindles.

When I realized that spinning worked (and knitting did not), I decided to order some extra fiber just to be sure. Because, honestly, you can never have enough fiber to spin!

So this was my last order with Dutch Wool Diva. I’ve been spinning her mini batts for a while and I really like the quick changes in color. You’re not spinning 100 grams of the same fiber/ colorway, instead there’s a bit of each color and you keep alternating. It’s also very pretty on your spindle because of the different colors. I noticed that I get bored very easily at the moment, and these mini batts really work!

It’s really funny because the knitting wip bag I ordered was supposed to be my second (and my BIG) wip bag, but a few days after receiving it I was gifted the floral wip bag on the right, by my friends :) I am now the proud owner of 3 awesome wip bags and I’m very happy with all of them :) It’s one of those things that I never thought I’d miss before I had them, but now that I have them I can’t imagine living without them.. I should really sew me some more!

Before I start talking about the spinning I’d like to mention something first. Last time I already said something about not completely getting the pattern and wanting to try again. It’s been a few weeks and I’ve managed to talk to some of my friends who have also attempted to knit this pattern. Unfortunately, it’s not just me not getting the pattern. I’ve been reworking the pattern because it was driving me insane (because you end up with extra stitches or too few to finish a repeat). Now that I’ve re-adjusted all the increases and decreases I understand why the pattern is written the way it is. I just wish there would’ve been a little explanation. Anyway. I’m currently blaming it on my pregnancy brain and I’m going to just follow the pattern blindly until the end. It will either work (or not), but I’m not going to care. I’m going to stop thinking about it. In all honesty: I just want to have these mittens so I can gift them to my cousin. It was supposed to be her birthday present (november 2014….).

You know, I had actually forgotten how awesome spindles are! A while ago I had bought the book (digital) “Respect the spindle” via Interweave. I had already read it, but I re-read the book because I had re-discovered it while organizing my computer stuff. It amazes me how much spinning you can do while ‘on-the-go’. The past few weeks were rather busy and I didn’t have the time (or the space and/ or the patience) to bring out the wheel. I have been spinning on my spindles though and I’ve been enjoying every moment. I now have three different spindles and different spinning projects to choose from. When my new IST Crafts Russian style spindle arrives I’ll have one more spindle to play with. I used to think that spinning a lot of fine yarn was best on a wheel, now I know that this is not necessarily true. Like with all things, it’s the amount of time that is the key ingredient. The better you get, the faster you can spin. I don’t want to say that my spindle spinning is faster than my wheel spinning per se, but there has been a lot more spindle spinning than wheel spinning, so guess which one ended up with more meters of single :)

Another thing I noticed is the following. It’s really important to have the right tools and equipment. Though I really love my first IST Crafts spindle, it’s not the fastest spindle I own. It spins nicely, but there’s just a little too much friction, so you end up straining your hand/ fingers more and more to get the same amount of twist. The one with the glass tip has a lot less friction, so you can spin for much longer periods of time.


Because.. well I don’t know.. here’s a picture of me spinning. Actually I’m not spinning here, I’m wrapping the freshly spun singles on my hand in a figure 8, so I can wind it back on the spindle. Let’s all ignore the hair though..

In the mean time I’ve been ‘gardening’. Now that the weather is cooperating I can put my plants outside of the greenhouse (I’m standing in it, can you see?), so they can get used to the weather a bit. In the evenings I put them back inside and close the zippers on the door. Our apartment may be a bit (ahem) ‘cozy’, the balcony makes up for everything. There’s sun between 12.00 and 20.00, and there’s hardly any wind (in spring/ summer). So even though it’s colder out in the open, it’s always sunny and warm on our balcony. This means that everything grows nicely :)

You can actually see the difference between inside the greenhouse and outside by looking at the grape vines. The one that remains outside is only just sprouting tiny little buds and leaves. This is a grape that is used to the colder climates (himrod), the other one however (pictured below) is a syrah, a grapevine that is used to much warmer and dryer climates than we have in NL.

I bought this one last year (may 1st 2014) and I’m very happy to say that it’s already so much farther along than the other grapevine. I only bring it out on sunny (warmer) days, and keep in in the greenhouse during the colder days. I measure the warmth in there, so if it gets really hot I’ll be sure to open up a ‘window’ to keep the temperature somewhat regulated. Last year, I had a bit of a bug infestation, so this year I’m really paying close attention to the plants. I still don’t want to buy any chemical and agressive, so I’m going to experiment with some anti-bug recipes I found on the internet.

In other news: the website where I buy most of my plants from (Bakker-Hillegom) had something new: the TomTato, which is exactly what it sounds like. A tomato plant and a potato  plant combined into one single plant. So here’s the thing, you’re supposed to plant it in a 40L pot and you’ll have a whole season of cute and pretty cherry tomatoes. In the early fall you cut off the top part and a few weeks later you dig out your potatoes. No garden needed! So this was exactly what I needed because I absolutely love tomatoes (and cherry tomatoes are even better), but I also love potatoes. It’s so bad I can eat potato all day, every day. I’m weird like that, I know.

I haven’t repotted them yet, so as soon as I’ve found some nice pots I’ll be sure to plant them and I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the whole thing.

I’ve given strawberries another shot. Now that I have a greenhouse, I don’t have to worry about them blowing away in the wind, or freezing off. These straberries are more fragile than the ones you can buy in the stores it seems (because they are shipped at a much earlier stage). But I really love planting my own stuff and buying them fully grown seems like cheating to me :(

Because I rally like fruit plants/ trees I bought these raspberry plants. Two of them are yellow raspberries and the other two are red (one is not pictured). They’re not going to give any fruit just yet (and that’s okay because the environment isn’t really nice anyway), but I like to grow them already. You never know what the future holds, there might be a garden in there for me yet :) A girl can dream right 😉

These past few weeks have been about finishing up and organizing my life (how many times are you going to hear that….. :P). I’ve felt lost and confused in my own home and I haven’t been able to keep a thought in my brain for more than 10 seconds. But I’m getting better again and with that comes knitting. These are the modded knotty gloves I’m knitting for the BF. By now I’ve already finished one and I’m working on the second one. I’ll be sure to post them next time.

One of the things I’ve been organizing was my tax folder and my VAT stuff. April is always fun like that. I now have a system so I don’t have to do it all at once, I can actually keep everything neatly in place and just enter the numbers whenever I need to do my taxes. Which is a huge improvement :) Hope you’re not tired of me talking about reorganizing stuff for the thousanth time This too shall pass 😉


Pregnancy brain

Oh yeah.. it’s happening to me. I can’t keep a single thought in my head and I even forget to write things down so I won’t forget them. I’ve heard its temporary and I’m just going with it, but it can be a bit of a pain. I feel so incredibly disorganized and chaotic. In the mean time I also started using the new ‘camera roll’ function in Flickr and I uploaded about 17.000 pictures. Now all I have to do is sort through all of them (by now more than 20.000 relevant pictures of the past 12 years of my life), organize them, label them, album them, tag them and whatnot.

I may have mentioned it already (but I can’t remember, see what I mean..) but I bought a ‘glasshouse’ for my balcony. It’s not that huge but it’s big enough for a lot of plants that need that extra bit of warmth and protection in our cold climate. I’ve also ordered some cotton seeds to plant, so I can give cotton planting another go.


In the mean time I’ve been spinning on my wheel. By now I’ve already started working on the teal so this picture is already a bit old. I’m spinning on the fastest ratio and lowered the tension as much as possible. So the yarn will sometimes twist back onto itself, but that’s ok.

I rediscovered this sock and I’m going to finish it as soon as possible. I still have to knit the other one, but since I love both the yarn and the pattern, that’s not going to be an issue at all :)

I’ve filled one spindle and I’m working on the second. I’ve ordered another IST Crafts spindle, but this time with a brass tip. I was hoping the lady who made the glindle was still in business, but alas. No more glindles for me. I’m hoping that at some point she’ll pick it up again (or somebody else will), but at least I have this pretty spindle in case she doesn’t.

The fiber is from these minibatts by Dutch Wool Diva:

I’ve spun 6 and I’m currently working on the seventh. I thought I had 2 more but I had completely forgotten about the green minibatt I’d been spinning using my roodborstje turkish spindle.

The yarn is actually turning out the same weight the singles spun on the supported spindles, so I’m very happy :)

In the mean time I’ve been spending some time in my new ‘glasshouse’ and having a lot of fun with my new plants. I bought a fruit tree (which can grow to be max 3 meters tall) that produces ‘doughnut peaches’. This plant has the loveliest pink blossoms and I love sitting next to it while spinning.

Another tree I bought is a sour cherry tree. One of my biggest nostalgic moments is eating sour cherries in Iran when I was only 2 or 3 years old. There are such vivid memories connected to this tree and fruit that I knew I had to buy it the moment I laid eyes on it in the lidl (of all places…). The sour cherry needs a warmer climate that we have in the Netherlands, so I’m hoping that it might give me some cherries if I keep it in the glasshouse during the colder moments (and at nights). So far there’s cute little blossoms so I’m already very happy!

This is a picture of my mini lemon tree. It’s supposed to give very nice smelling blossoms, so I can’t wait to see what happens. I don’t think it’s visible in this picture, but there’s very tiny sprouts coming from the stems. It also grew a little brother:

In all honesty, I have no idea what this thing is, but it looks like it could be sprouting from the roots of the lemon tree. The leaves look different for now, but I’ve seen many leaves that change shapes once they’re fully grown, so I’m not pulling it out just yet! If it turns out to be a weed I might have to pull it, but for now it can live there :)

I usually buy my plants from Bakker-Hillegom. If you don’t know them, they are the official dealer for the Keukenhof. Bakker-Hillegom is a huge (and old) company with a lot of gardening stuff. When you order something, you usually get a little present as well. This time my present was 9 strawberry plants. I was in a bit of a rush and I didn’t plant them right, so I’ll have to move them again, but I decided to wait until they were a little bit bigger. I think I’ll move them around this week because they’ll need their space soon enough. It’s a hanging strawberry plant and it’s supposed to give a lot of fruits. Since I have a net around my balcony (so my cats can’t get out) there’s no way any birds or other animals can get it. So no fruit thieves here!

Hope you’re having a great day :)

Where to begin?!

Before I start I’d like to wish you al a wonderful Nowrooz! I think I mention this each year, but I think it’s worth mentioning, so just scroll past this part if you’re getting bored 😉 Nowrooz is the Iranian new year in which we celebrate the arrival of spring. Nowrooz is the exact time of the spring equinox, which according to the wikipedia article means that the poles of the earth are not tilted away or towards the sun. So you could say that every part of the earth is getting an equal amount of sun. If you’re interested in reading about it you can do so here on this wikipedia page.

Nowrooz means New Day, and we celebrate the spring and everything it brings. Of course Nowrooz is not only celebrated in Iran, but in many countries in the region. We celebrate for 12 days (and visit family) and on the 13th day we go out and make sure we’re not in the house. We usually go for a picknick, no matter what kind of weather we’re having, but we don’t stay in the house :)

So you can imagine I’ve had my hands full with the preparations and the cleaning that comes with it. I’m still busy because we have a lot of family to visit :)

To keep my sanity I’ve been knitting and spinning a bit :)

At the handwerkbeurs I bought this cute little batt from Dutch Wool Diva. It’s 100% Falkland, and I absolutely love the colors. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but I didn’t want to make a gradient. So I decided to spin one long single and make a 2ply out of it. This way you’d get a barberpole, but the colors would come together in the middle.

I decided to to separate the colors and spin them in a gradient so I would end up with a barberpoled 2 ply.

From there on I made faux lags and spun them up one by one. I started out with the yellow and ended up with the dark greys/ black.

I don’t mind having some dramatic effects in yarns, but this time I wanted something cheerful, and I believe I got it. Overall it’s a muted yarn, but it has a lot of happiness and I’m very happy with the results. I haven’t had the time to wash it or to even measure it, so I have no idea how much yarn I have here, but it’s ok. I can wait :)

I also spun and finished these rolags. I also haven’t washed and measured that yarn, so I can’t write down the specifics, but I can tell you that it was great to spin this yarn. It became a chain plied yarn, and I’ve put it away so that it can be washed.

These projects helped me to get used to the new wheel and to see what I can and can’t to with it. So far I haven’t noticed any ‘can’t do’s’ so I’m very happy. At some point I’ll have to buy the huge bobbin and flyer set, because I seriously dislike cutting my handspun yarns.

I noticed that there’s definitely a learning curve when you switch to double treadle wheels. This is my first double treadle wheel and at first I constantly felt as though I was going way too fast and I wasn’t getting enough spin for the speed I was going for. Then I realized that I was taking the rhythm I usually spun on and I was cutting it by half. I usually ‘count’ the times my right foot goes up and down, and now I was counting double.

So this yarn was rather underspun and at some points underplied. I decided to let it rest for a while, but I might give it a little extra spin if I see it needs it. I learned that it’s okay to feel as though you’re spinning twice as fast, because you’re really not 😛

I almost forgot! I gave Bam and Zuzu their bi-montly haircuts. Isn’t it amazing how a ‘big’ bunny turns into a ‘tiny’ bunny after a haircut.. it seems like they shrink to half their size after a haircut. I usually put them on the ironing board, but they had too much space to move around, and it wasn’t very comfortable for my back. This new position is much better. Obviously I can’t be hanging over them anymore for the good hour and half it sometimes takes to trim their hair. This little bunny weighs less than 1,5 kg and can be a huge pain in the butt, but this time it seemed like she was okay with getting it over with :)

So here’s the thing. I’ve had cats for a while and I know that temperature is very important. When it’s very hot outside they lie down and generally stop being active, but my cats’ fur doesn’t grow. These bunnies can go from very hyperactive to not doing anything all day because they’re hot. But because it happens gradually over a period of 2-3 months you won’t notice right away. Once’ they’ve had their haircuts though, it’s like you have new pets altogether. Zuzu is incredibly naughty. Bam isn’t at all. He’ll try to chew on something that is not a toy and you’ll reprimand him and he’ll go play with something else. But Zuzu is a different story. Tell me I’m crazy but she KNOWS she’s not allowed to do something, and she’ll do it when you’re not looking. Then she’ll gnaw on something very slowly so you won’t hear her. But the couch is the biggest issue. She’s already mauled the couch and she’s no longer allowed near it. But every time she thinks you’re not looking, she’ll sneak underneath there and wait until she gets kicked out again. Which happens a lot 😛

She has a lot of other things to play with and a lot of other places to hide under, but she gnaws on the couch and we find pink pieces of textile everywhere…

Whenever that happens I put her back in her house and she’ll go upstairs to munch on some sticks. Usually I just keep the door closed for a few minutes and open it up again, but sometimes she doesn’t come down anymore. They really like their new home :)

I’ve spun silk hankies before, but I’ve never just pulled them apart and knit with them, so I was going to try this out. I had found a beautiful handwarmer pattern for my cousin Sara (because I had promised her a pair for her birthday in November………), so I started knitting.

At first it was a bit wonky and uneven, but after a while I got the hang of it and was actually very happy with the results. Unfortunately I frogged the project because of one reason. The pattern I was following isn’t really great. I usually look at my own work for mistakes, so when I found out that the pattern wasn’t adding up, I thought I misread the pattern and restarted. Twice. After the third time I went searching on ravelry. The pattern gets a 5 star rating, surely it had to be my fault. Well no.. almost everybody mentions that the math is completely wrong and they all redid it. Some of those didn’t work out for me and I decided to give it a little break. I still don’t understand why such a pattern gets a 5 star rating.. I’m not going to link to the pattern, because I don’t want to give it a bad name, and I might still have misunderstood something. But seriously??

It’s a free pattern, and I’m very happy to have found it, because it’s absolutely gorgeous, but I’m going to email the designer with some questions (this is why I’m not linking to the pattern yet). Once I’ve resolved the issue I’ll post my work and I’ll link to the pattern :) I don’t want to spread negativity and/ or hate :)

The good news is that I really liked knitting with silk hankies, and I’m going to do this more often!

Even though I’m nearly 7 months pregnant, I haven’t been paying much attention to the fact that I’m nearly 7 months pregnant.. dear God.. what am I going to do.. In 3-4 months I’m going to have a baby and THERE’S NOT ENOUGH KNITTING…. *pant pant*

You may remember the baby blanket I knit for my little niece Yara last year. I bought 300 grams of nunoco fiber and spun it into a fine 2ply. Then I knit this into a garter stitch blanket, that was done when she was about 3-4 months old..

I bought two batts in apple blossom and one in hazelnut. This is a merino silk blend with silk nepps and it was an absolute joy to spin.

I tried to keep the colors together for a little gradient fading in and out of green. In this picture you can also see the effect of the light pink nepps in the green areas. It made for a very textured yarn.

In the end it became a big, but very lightweight blanket for an adorable little baby. The blocks underneath are about 60cm wide, so the blanket was about 1,20 x 1,40 meters.

At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it, but halfway through February I decided to place an order at Nunoco. They had an amazing batt named Bayou, which is a merino firestar mix. I fell in love immediately. I didn’t want any soft pastels, so I chose some bold blue, teal, green and olive. I ordered 300 grams and they custom made 2 extra batts for me and shipped it within a day or two. Unfortunately the poor parcel got lost and a month later I sent them an email. I got a reply immediately and they shipped another parcel the next day, which thankfully arrived a few days later. I feel so sad for the lost parcel, I hope it turns up eventually, so I can ship it back to Nunoco HQ.

I made litte faux lags to keep the colors together and started spinning. Because this yarn doesn’t have any nepps I can probably make a much finer yarn. I’m going for a chain plied, light fingering weight yarn to keep all the colors together. I’m trying to make one huge, lacey blanket without a separate edge and I want a nice gradient for this blanket.

So one end will be olive, the other will be blue.

I don’t mind if the yarn isn’t completely even or if the colors do blend a little. As you can see there’s some specks of lighter green and teal in there as well. I’m going to chain ply it so it doesn’t matter, it’ll probably add to the effect.

By now I’m almost done with the olive part, but I had to take a little break as I had forgotten one little faux lag at my moms’ in Utrecht. So I’m going to pick it up and finish the spinning. I’m afraid I’ll have to buy a bulky ply set before I get to the plying part, because something tells me this is going to be a LOT of yarn…

I’m pretty sure I won’t make it before he is born, but I don’t really mind. My due date is June 28th, so I honestly don’t think it’ll matter if he’ll have a wool blanket by then. I’m hoping to having it finished by September or October, when it gets a little chilly. I’m also working on the other projects I’m trying to finish. Obviously I need to get some work related things in order, and then I’m going to work on some baby knitting. The good thing is that baby knitting is easy to finish, the only problem is that you’ll actually have to knit to finish them :)

While organizing some stuff I also decided to frog a few projects. I worked on this project, but in the end it’s been hibernating since november, and I’m not crazy about it.

I also decided to frog this project. I absolutely love the yarn, but I think there’s better things to do with it. I love the low-contrast project, but other thoughts are growing in my head.

I’d like to leave you with a question. I know cats like yarn, but does yours eat yarn as well? My cat Noodles (Kiwi doesn’t do this) loves to munch on yarn. She’ll just swallow it like she’s in lady and the tramp and my yarn is the spaghetti… I usually end up pulling large amounts of yarn out of my cat.. this time though she had left me a little present on the treadle of my spinning wheel. Nice..

Happy knitting!



New spinning wheel

I bought a new spinning wheel! I am SO excited about it! You’ve probably seen my Bliss show up on this blog a lot and I’ve done some spinning (and loving) on that wheel. So what’s wrong with it..? Well, nothing. There is nothing wrong with the Bliss. There’s something wrong with the amount of space I have and the addition to our family.

I love my bliss because it taught me a lot about spinning. Just like the wheel I had a lot of fun spinning on it and going to my happy place. While the first wheel taught me how to spin yarn altogether, the bliss taught me how to control the process of spinning. I can make thin yarns and thick yarns (or thick and thin) and it will have been my choice, not an accident. I’ve mainly focussed on the thinner side of the spectrum, but after the TdF14 I also focussed on some thicker spinning. I usually spin like the way I use my bicycle: superspeedy. I enjoy spinning fine yarns, so I treadle a LOT, and one thing I’ve noticed is that I get pains in my ankles because the Bliss treadles a bit heavier on the fastest ratio.

No problem if you only spin for an hour a day, but when I spin, I spin for entire days, several days in a row. So I tend to get a lot of pain in my ankles and sometimes in my knees. I think this may be a physical issue with my body, because I also know that my wrists are very weak and I’m very likely to get carpal tunnel within the next 20 years. My entire family has had it (also surgery). So I’m extra careful when it comes to my weird joints and body connections.

Anyways, my lovely little bliss is up for sale, and I’ve already bought a replacement wheel to play with :) I can’t have any current wips on the bliss if I’m going to look for a better home for it now can I 😉

I feel like it’s some kind of lame excuse, but I also feel like I really need to defend my bliss. Truth be told: I loved it and I still do. The design is awesome, the way you can have 5 bobbins on your lazy kate is fantastic and the whole thing is very easy and pleasant to use. In a way, I’m sad to see it go, and I’d much rather just keep it for myself, but that brings us to the whole point of why I’m forced to sell it. I don’t have any space in this house.

I bought an Ashford Joy 2 from these people. I ordered it on (I think) a thursday night and on saturday morning it was sitting in my home (while I was at my moms in Utrecht). I had to wait for two whole days before I could play with it! Can you imagine…

As you may (or may not) know, the Joy is a foldable wheel. Which is the most important reason for me to buy a new wheel. I have angora bunnies and cats, and soon I’ll have a baby running around in this house. A spinning wheel is an (expensive) piece of equipment and I’d rather not leave it lying around anywhere in the house. It needs to be protected against kitty claws and bunny teeth. It also needs to be protected against babies, mostly because babies can hurt themselves with it (spinning parts etc.).

This is the closest I could come to an unboxing (because I had used it a little bit before taking pictures), but this is what it looks like all folded up. It’s really not that heavy (only about 6 kgs, which is 2 more than the bliss), but the bag and the folding makes it totally worth it.

As you can see the flyer and bobbin can be unscrewed and stored vertically, and the treadles can be folded up. This way it can be lifted by the ‘handle’ (see the shape?) and it can be lifted either in or out of the bag.

All you have to do in order to use it is to screw the flyer in place and open up the treadles. Now it looks like a ‘normal’ spinning wheel. What I love about it is that it’s so incredibly compact! I usually spin using a longdraw technique, so I don’t mind at all that it’s a tiny spinning wheel. I’m usually sitting straight and holding my hand sideways anyway, so my hand and the orifice hardly ever meet.

From the side it looks like this. Imagine the flyer and treadles folded up and you can see how small it actually is. I have to say that I’m really impressed with the whole double treadle business. This is my first time using a double treadle wheel and it’s much easier than I had imagined it to be. I don’t feel it in my ankles at all (maybe because I sit differently..?)

Also: the freedom flyer is really awesome! It takes some getting used to because I’ve really only worked with hooks, but it’s awesome to see that you can fill the bobbin more evenly than you can with hooks.

I hope to do some serious spinning on this wheel, and as a bonus: take it with me anywhere I go!

In the mean time I’ve been working on a secret project..

I’ll show you some more (and tell) in the next post :)