“Volksverhuizing…”

I’m really sorry, but there’s only one way I can describe the past two weeks. “Volksverhuizing” means “mass migration”. When a large number of people move to another place to settle. I’m just one person, but I have enough stuff to earn the title. I have proof!

So this (rather dark picture) shows the area. The studio is owned by a painter and I’m renting a part of his space. He’s incredibly talented and I’m really happy to be able to work there (even though I’ve only really worked there for one day). But anyway, back to the story. He is kind enough to let me use one of his huge tables for my sewing so I’m very happy!

Here’s a better picture. The room is incredibly well lit, but during the day it’s absolutely amazing!

The move itself wasn’t that horrible, but the packing before the move was intense. I had a ‘working space’ in the house, but we had placed a lot of other things in front of all my stuff, so I couldn’t reach it. Clearing out that room was really intense. I’m so glad that’s over. I can finally find my stuff again now that it’s completely reorganized. So this is part of how we moved, and I’m very grateful for these shopping carts! Otherwise it would’ve taken forever!

I still don’t understand why Ikea discontinued the Expedit 5×5. In my opinion it’s one of the BEST things they ever made! I can’t believe the amount of stuff I can put in this thing. Building it up was also very easy (probably because it was the second time)

I know, it doesn’t look like much when there’s nothing in it. Just wait for the next picture :)

Tadaahh! And guess what… really need replace those ‘empty’ shelves with boxes. I can still put 5 50L boxes in this thing. I’m not even done yet though… I still have stuff in my basement, but that will have to wait for a while.

I love this table! There’s so much space to work on awesome new projects! I’m REALLY excited about this studio!

I got so excited that I decided I had to start working on something. So I made felted booties. Aren’t they adorable? :) I’m trying out some new patterns and working on some new designs.

I made a furry one as well! This one has a little surprise on the bottom :)

I’m not a big fan of lots of explosive colors used together, but I like how the soles are rainbow-ish and the rest is simple and plain :)

Anyway, I’m really excited and I’m hoping to work there a lot more from now on! All that remains is clearing out the rest of the clutter in the house and make it an actual home again :)

I normally don’t bother, and I’m not sure if this one actually counts or not, but I have a new years resolution! I’m going to do something new with my hair everyday. And so far I have really tried! Well, not something new every single day, because sometimes it’s very hard to find a new hairstyle. But I’ll try to at least do something with it.

So let me say three things about this picture. 1. My hair has become very dry because of the bleaching. I’m working on it and it’s gotten MUCH better over the past few days. 2. I obviously can’t bleach my hair anymore and this is one of the reasons I needed to do something, because it’s starting to look bad if it just hangs around my face… 3. Please don’t mind the mess, these pictures were taken in the middle of the packing and moving.

So anyway, my first attempt didn’t really work out so well. My hair is still a bit too short on top, so I couldn’t get the bun working. I also (seriously) forgot how to braid my own hair. This really took me way too long. I used to braid my hair a lot when I was a kid, but I haven’t done that for at least 15 years. I’m relearning…

Here’s another hairstyle. I wanted a ‘headband braid’, but you can’t really see the braid because half of it is black and the other half is blonde. So it looks very narrow on the top and wider on the bottom. I kind of like it I guess. The bun worked out much better so there’s that! I also noticed that I braid my hair a bit too loose, but I guess that’s not really a big deal.

Third style. I was going for a very loose French braid, but I didn’t divide my hair equally and one of the strands became very thin. Not really a big deal, because I still like it, but this is exactly what I mean with relearning the braiding :P

The same hairstyle from the side. I really like the way the braid is affected by the colors :)

Today’s hairstyle is a Dutch braid rolled up in a bun. I usually braid my hair French style, so it really took me a few attempts to work out the Dutch braid style. I know how to do it, but my hands automatically went for the French style so I kept messing it up. The balance is much better though, so I’m actually really pleased.

I put my hair through some heavy pampering mask sessions and now the tips are much better. In case you’re wondering about my super mask: two eggs + 2 tbls of olive oil. Mix well and put in your (unwashed) hair. Let it sit there for 20 minutes and wash your hair with COLD water! (please use cold water unless you like hair omelette). If your hair is badly damaged like my hair you can repeat this step 2 or 3 and it should feel much nicer :) (also: real mayonaise also works, but I’m a snob)

thank you for reading! :)

Super serial

I’d like this post off by wishing you all a happy new year! I hope you’ll have a wonderful year with lots of love and happiness! The last few months have been a bit hectic in my ‘real’ life and I haven’t been able to post as much as I really wanted to. So here’s a post for catching up :) (Sorry for the lack of pictures!)

1. I’m pregnant!

I didn’t want to write a list, but I’m really bad at saying things in a ‘nice’ way I guess. Yay! We’re so excited! The side effect (unfortunately) is that I haven’t been knitting for the past three months. I haven’t had the energy to do anything craft related to be honest, but I’m getting a bit better and my energy levels are rising a bit. I’m so happy I can finally share the news with every one, it’s such a hard secret to keep :P I just entered my second trimester so I’m hoping what they say about the energy boost is real and I get to become superwoman and knitting projects will come flying off my needles! Of course, I didn’t mean to make my little bun the excuse for not blogging for so long, but in all honesty, he/she is to blame (no we don’t know yet), so there’s that :D

2. I got a working space!

This one was more unexpected than the bun to be honest. I’ve always worked from home and the SO has always worked somewhere else, and now we’re switching it up. I’m getting tired of staying at home all the time, and he’s gotten tired of driving to work all the time. In our case it’s possible to just switch, but it’s not possible to share working space AND living space. Not because we don’t like each other, but because we only have one workspace and I have a LOT of stuff. Also, having a baby means that there’s really not enough space for all of us in this house, so we decided that I should move out my work related stuff and get a working space :) I now get to separate work knitting and hobby knitting again! yay!

3. There’s actually nothing else..

teehee, I felt I couldn’t just write a big one and a two without something to follow up (at least for the looks hehe). The problem with my life is that I have so many things that I want to do, but I can’t get them organized in this house. A house needs to be a home and a working space should be a place where I can make a mess without having to wade through it to get to the kitchen (just an example). I also need a place to work without cats or rabbits.

At the moment I don’t have enough space to set up my sewing machine or serger because the desk in the working room is too narrow and I can’t get the bunnies away from the cables and the pedals. So I resigned to not sewing for a while (which sucks). This also counts for airbrush related things because I need a vented area to be able to use the airbrush (which means I need to work in the living room and can’t because of the cables and the bunnies).

I’m packing my things and hope to be settled by the beginning of next week. This means that I’m probably not going to blog until I have some nice pictures to show :) (I really don’t like picture less posts)

There’s a loooong looong list of patterns I’m working on right now, starting off with the lightweight version of the Khajiit cowl.. remember when I was going to do that last year.. yeah.. well.. I guess I should’ve found a working space a lot sooner than this, but I guess late is still better than never ;)

Thank you for being patient with me! I haven’t been a good blogger really, but I’m trying to better my life :)

 

love :)

Noooo……

You know.. I just spent an 1.5 hours writing a nice post about November and knitting and everything. I click on update and wordpress asks me ‘are you sure’. Well.. yes I’m sure.

Then it ate my post.

argh…. more tomorrow :P

FO: By the river Seine socks!

Yay! I finally have some new finished object to show :) According to my Ravelry page I’ve been working on these socks since June, but I find it a bit hard to believe. It feels like the summer blew away in what feels like days instead of months. Even though I’m no longer in the school/ uni system, I still live my life like the summer vacation is exactly that: a vacation. The entire season is one big ‘break’. I just can’t seem to really get anything done during that time (which, as a knitter, is really not that good). I always start my knitting when it cools down and I’m starting to get cold. Anyway, back to the socks!

I absolutely love this pattern! I used Dutch Wool Diva’s sock in bamboo in colorway “jellyfishing”. I had to redo this pattern a few times because it turned out too big for me. I (almost) always knit socks using 60 stitches on 2.5mm needles and they always fit me. The one exception was the jaywalker pattern, but in it’s defense it already states that the pattern is really tight. So I searched the other projects for helpful notes and found one that worked for me (I linked it on my project page).

I think this pattern and yarn work really well together and make an even nicer sock. I’ve been wearing them for at least two days (and I haven’t washed and/ or blocked them yet..) TMI I guess.. hehe

I’ve also been spinning. Two of the three colors are now done, and the one on the right is nearing the halfway mark. I think the combination of Wensleydale (30%) and Alpaca (70%) is working out pretty well. It’s soft, but also nice and sturdy. I now only have to card the last four batts again for an even better blend and I can finish the spinning :)

So, yesterday I received a parcel while I hadn’t ordered anything. So I was completely surprised. It was a brown box and had a “dutch wool diva” sticker on it. I had ordered something a week earlier and it had come in a box that was about the same size, so my first thought was that it must’ve been by accident. I was already planning to write an email while I was opening the box. On top was a note, and it suddenly became clear. It was a present by a friend who shares my love for Diva’s fibery goodness. My friend had asked Diva to include things she thought I would like and boy did she pick out some nice things!!

Let’s start with two batts (100 grams) in colorway “passions”. Thoughts are flooding my brain. I’m seeing all sorts of possible futures for these two batts. Something in heavier singles and entrelac…

How about this baby. Party at the pool in Diva Luscious Camel! I seriously LOVED spinning the camel blend (and I bought another one last week in Goldfish ehh.. forgot the name, but it was something about a goldfish! I promise!).

I think I’ll need to re-watch a few classes of ‘spinning dyed fiber’ on Craftsy again for this one! I soo don’t want to ruin it!

Then there’s this one! I love rolags! So easy to spin, so perfect. I also absolutely love the colors (and they match my new finished socks, how ’bout that!).

Oh, and to finish it off with a huge colorful bang: 10 mini batts! This is definitely a project for my tiny roodborstje spindle! That would be this little spindle:

I’m not sure what I’m going to do but it’s going to be glorious and very happy :D I haven’t spun much on this spindle yet as I only got it in July this year. I planned to buy it for the TdF, but I spent most of the tour playing with my Bliss wheel. Now I really get to go all out! I love this spindle because it practically floats in the air and I can take it with me anywhere I go. The bigger one (kolibrie) is a bit heavier and is so pleasant to spin on. I can easily wind 50grams on a cop. I think I can fit more yarn on there if I were to wind a bit tighter, but I think I can say I’ve learned my lesson haha.

I’m so grateful and happy to know such awesome people! Thanks again! :)

To finish off this post I’m going to tell you a little bit about my latest sock journey. As you may have read here before (I’m not going to link because I’m still traumatized and I don’t want to jinx this project sorry) I’ve had a difficult relationship with toe-up socks. I’ve tried it a few times, but it didn’t really work out the way I hoped it would. When I saw this yarn I decided that I would very much like some thigh high stockings in this self-striping (Dutch wool diva yarn of course, are we seeing a pattern here…?) yarn of which the colors are inspired by hot choco and whipped cream. (I’ll see if I can find a picture). It’s the ultimate comfort stocking. Keeps me warm and makes me think of hot chocolate and cream!

I have two hanks so I should be able to get very far. If one 400m hank gives me two (nice long) socks with some yarn to spare, I *should* be able to use one whole skein to get thigh-high stockings. Mind I’m only 1.62/ 5’4 standing on bare feet so there’s not much leg to cover anyway. But I’d still like to keep knitting until my yarn runs out.

Also: it’s embarrassing really. I’m not talking about preferences. Sure you can have a certain preference, but not being able to get the right sock at ALL is just silly. Every single time I tried my socks became too small. I mean I start the gusset too soon and I end up with a sock that would fit some one with a foot that’s 3 sizes smaller than mine. I fit 37.5 / 38 EUR and I knit 34.5/ 35 when I knit toe-up. I think you see what I mean. It’s really embarrassing. So now I’m going to redeem myself. I’m going to knit a sock that fits. I’m going to learn to knit toe-up socks and I’m going to like it. I’ve also decided that I’m not going to make a fuss about it. If I knit it too small, I’ll just try again :D

I’ll keep you posted..!

Just checking in.. (edition: 67384576478)

Let me just start off by saying that this isn’t going to be another one of those posts where I (rather sadly I must admit) confess to my blogging sins and try to better my life and such. By now you probably all know I’m a huge procrastinator and generally a chaotic mess. I’ve tried to organize my life once or twice, but this time I’ve actually succeeded. Shocking, I know. It took me a whole month but I’m finally actually getting there.

Let me just say that the first part of this post is rather wordy, so if you like you can just skip this part. Don’t worry, I’m Good Girl Blogger, I’ll let you know where the knitting starts ;)

<rant>

I know it’s probably the hugest cliche in the book, but I noticed my outlook on life has changed quite a bit since July. You read horrific things in the news all day, but somewhere along the way you get desensitized. You read about bombings and war and such, and even though you feel that it’s all very bad, it doesn’t touch you. When something comes close enough to break through that ‘barrier of safety’ (I’m not sure if this is correct, but that’s how it feels), it suddenly becomes real. The truth is that horrible things happen everywhere, it’s just in no way connected to us as people.

I’ve been having a hard time dealing with the fact that this person just no longer exists. I was born in the middle of the second Gulf War. I’ve seen some nasty things, and yet I find it hard to accept that this guy I knew just no longer exists. I guess it’s because I assumed that ‘we’ are ‘safe’ ‘here’, and that all the horrible things happen ‘there’, or just ‘somewhere far away’. I know that rationally this isn’t true, but that’s the emotion that goes with it (for me anyway). Also: the Gulf War was a war. You expect nasty and unpleasant things to happen during a war. You don’t expect these things to happen to you when you are just going on vacation (even though they passed over a war-zone, it was never their choice to do so)

I can’t even tell you how it changed, or when it changed, but suddenly my world feels different and my priorities are all jumbled. I’m going to enjoy every day. Nothing will happen tomorrow. It will happen today. I’m going to blog more often (I know I’ve said that before, but now I’ve actually  blocked time for it in my schedule.. also: I have a schedule. I haven’t had a schedule since high school!)

I opened my etsy shop where I place my handspun yarns and hopefully some other things in the near future (I’m working on them). I’ve organized my life, my photos (about 20.000 of them) and my files. I’m working on four new pattern releases and I’m actually going to finish them (instead of saying that I’m going to do it and then never actually getting to it).

I’m planning to be the best version of me. Not the lazy girl who can’t decide what to do with her life. Not the depressed girl who likes to knit but never gets anywhere in life. Not the girl who’s a little bit on the chubby side but is to lazy to go to the gym (what else am I paying for..) to tone up a bit.

My new year begun a few days/ weeks ago and I wasn’t even aware of it.

Somewhere I have unconsciously accepted that we all die at inconvenient times/ moments, and I might as well make sure I have done everything in my power to be the best that I can be. The new beginning begins at this breath.

</rant>

Ok so here comes the knitting part! w00h00!

Let me start by saying that I love spinning yarn (as you may have noticed). I love the process and the fact that each fiber can be spun into almost anything. You can spin it as very thick singles, or you could make a sturdy 5-ply. It really doesn’t matter. There may be certain fibers that like to be spun in a certain way, but it’s not really impossible to achieve the result you want despite of the fibers’ characteristics. For example it’s hard, but possible to spin cotton in thick singles.

When I go out to buy yarns I’m nearly almost disappointed. I love the color, but I wish I could find this in a heavier weight, or a laceweight. But when I spin, I can choose whatever I want.

The idea behind the etsy shop was  to give non-spinners the chance to work with unique handspun. I take custom orders and I can spin something specifically for you :) (I’m still working on the details and the policies so the shop isn’t exactly finished just yet, but it’s a work in progress).

The great thing about having an etsy shop is that I don’t have to feel guilty about having so much handspun and fleece lying around. I love to spin, but I don’t always get to knit with my own handspun. I find it really hard to do so in fact. When I look at fiber I usually go by what I feel it wants to become, but once it’s all spun up I have a very hard time hearing what it wants to become. Quite deaf in fact :P

So these pictures are some of my favorite spinning projects. I love muted colors, so if nobody wants this one I might end up getting high off my own supply….

Remember this one? it’s the fiber from the previous post all spun up. This was one of the nicest fibers I’ve spun with in a long while. You might not be able to see it in this picture, but I managed to preserve the colors and it turned into a very nice gradient!

At the moment I’m working on a custom order for a cardigan.

I love to work with blends that aren’t really conventional. This, for example, is a blend of 70% alpaca and 30% Wensleydale. The alpaca tends to grow and lose its shape, while the Wensleydale ‘keeps things together’ and adds strength and durability. It’s going to be knit (by the customer) into a mens’ cardigan, so I’m not too worried about scratchiness. (but really it’s not scratchy at all..)

I really love spinning this stuff. It’s just so fluffy it gets everywhere :P

Noodles likes to help me organize. She loooves to check out my our stash. You can’t see it in this picture, but she’s really digging as if her life depended on it. She threw half of the yarns out and tried to bury herself in yarn.

This is the face she gives me when she realizes I’ve been looking at her the whole time and have taken at least 10 pictures to prove her guilt. She’s all like “wut”.

Good thing about getting my life organized: I’m really finishing stuff now. Now that this is done I’m going to work on the patterns. No knitting until I have finished them and sent them out for testing. I still have to graft the armpits together here though (also: steeking and other types of finishing).

Meanwhile I’m also working on some cowl-ish thing. I was at Penelope Crafts the other week and they had just received the new order of Madelinetosh.. I’m such a total sucker for madelinetosh so I caved and bought 2 skeins for myself, and 5 for another project that will have to wait until I’ve finished the pattern writing.

Last night there was an item on tv about the abuse those poor merino sheep have to go through. Mulesing and whatnot. As a kitty and bunny mom it bothers me to no end that these animals have to deal with things like this so that we (the customer) can buy things ‘for cheap’. I’d much rather buy dirty fleece from a local (or any for that matter) alpaca/ sheep farm where I know that the animals are treated correctly and if possible, are even loved :) I think the fiber is a secondary thing. The health and wellbeing of the animals (the living!) should always be more important than the fleece. So in my attempt to support local farmers and ranches I bought 2 kilos of alpaca fleece. Yes I need to clean it, but it’s was very carefully packaged and the lock formation is still intact.

<3 Still deciding what I should do with it….. :)

August in pictures

I’m working on a new project. Summer ended a few weeks ago and I’ve been strangely excited about colder weather.

I finished my cousins baby blanket six months early (for a change)

 

I really like the way it turned out. I nearly ran out of yarn, but I managed to finish it by knitting faster (it really works, trust me).

I bought some more fiber. Seriously I have a shopping addiction when it comes to yarn and fiber..

I may need to send Bam to therapy. He thinks he’s a plant. A cute plant. But still a plant.

I tried to bond with Zuzu a bit by trying to see the world from her perspective. I must look terrifying to her. No wonder she doesn’t like me to pet her (long) haha!

I’m very sensitive to my bunnies needs, and in this case Bam’s masculinity. I feel like labeling him as ‘adorable’ is emasculating, but we can’t help it. We both think it. Sorry Bam.

See.. he’s not amused.

This is Zuzu’s good side I guess :)

Pictures like this one are actually meant for my own documentation. I really get to miss the living green and colorful plants in the winter so I take pictures of them so I can enjoy them when they’re gone.

I made new stitch markers!

I measured/ skeined some yarn :)

I bought two of these pretty batts for spinning :)

The blue yarn is what I used for the baby blanket. It’s dyed by Dutch Wool Diva (the batts as well) and it was pure joy to knit with :)

There’s that. Now the blog has been updated and I have no more reasons to procrastinate :)

haircuts

It’s time for a short, in-between sort of post today! Today I gave my bunnies an early haircut. I usually cut them every 2 months, but due to the summer heat I decided to cut them a bit sooner. They were panting all the time and I felt really bad for them.

I know I’ve probably mentioned this before, and I might have posted pictures before as well, but I feel like nothing I say can convey the actual mess that comes with grooming/ ‘harvesting’ angora hair.

Here’s Bam getting a haircut. First of all, angora hair will get all over everything. It will be everywhere. This is a picture of me just starting out, I don’t have a picture of when I was done, because I was covered in bunny hair head to toes. It was everywhere, but most importantly: it was in my eyes. I’ve gotten so much better at grooming and cutting them, but for some reason you get covered in a thin layer of it and it feels like being covered in a spiders web. Nice..

Well now that the complaining is done, I should also mention that I’m actually getting good at this. It takes me MUCH less time to cut a bunny and they look so much better than the first few times I cut them. It also helps that they’re slowly getting used to being picked up and groomed. When we first got them it was terrible, they would kick and try to escape constantly. Obviously they don’t like to be picked up, so I decided to give them treats immediately after picking them up. I also groom them on my lap, but cut their hair on an ironing board. I can manage grooming them on my lap, but they’ll try to escape if I try to give them a haircut. Also: it wil get all over the house.. I can manage a covered ironing board.

Unfortunately it’s too dark to take any good pictures of the bunnies right now. They spent the entire day running and hopping around. So adorable.

I’ve been spinning a lot lately! This time it’s Fireshadow by Dutch Wool Diva. I’m going to spin another fractal yarn, because it’s my new addiction and I think this fiber and these colors will work. I’ve also been thinking and writing and rewriting something I’d like to say about the shetland/ clun forest fiber I wrote about in my last post. I’m really not a snob and I know that the fiber was very cheap so I shouldn’t complain. When it comes to my own work I can be incredibly picky and I can be very hard on myself. That doesn’t mean that I don’t make any mistakes, because I make tons, but when I make something for another (especially if it’s something I’m going to sell) I’ll try my hardest to make something that’s really worth it. I’d want the customer to enjoy my product, and to come back for more. This product made me want to throw it in the trash and not think about it anymore. Why? (and seriously, I’ve washed fleece before and I’ve spun with my poorly washed fleece as well. There’s a learning curve lol).

When you spin you don’t want your house, your clothes and your spinning wheel to get covered in dirt, sand, vegetable matter and a coat of dust. This stuff was filled with it. I remember spinning with some handwashed alpaca that I hadn’t washed well enough. This felt exactly like that. I hated spinning it because my spinning wheel got dirty and even 10 minutes of spinning left me with dirty hands. If you’re going to sell something that’s (hand) processed, at least make sure it’s clean.

Another problem I encountered was that the shetland/ clun forest blend was not a blend at all. It was quite random. Some colors were shetland (on the rough side) and some parts were clun forest (much softer than the shetland). The clun forest was also very greasy. You can blend fiber if you like, there’s a whole list of nearly endless possibilities of blending fiber, but you can’t make a nice yarn with sections of different fibers. You simply can’t. Some parts of your yarn will have a completely different texture and feel. You can of course if that’s what you’re intending and you’re well aware of this, but you should notify the buyer of this (imho questionable) quality. I spun it anyway and decided to see it as practice, but I’m not sure if the yarn will become usable or not.

Last but not least. The batts were filled with nepps and  overall huge knots of unusable fiber.

Again, I realize the fiber was really really really cheap so I guess I got what I paid for, but I still feel like they could’ve asked more money and taken a bit more care to make a better product. The fiber comes from local sheep and I would’ve loved to support such a business. I’ll stop the ranting here and leave you with a weird sleeping kitty picture :)