Nowrooz

Happy Nowrooz to all who celebrate it! Nowrooz is the Persian new year and it means “new day”. We celebrate the coming of Spring and the life it brings 🙂

Nowrooz

Here’s a picture of me and Ma’iq posing next to the “Haft Seen” I added a wikipedia link but I can explain (in short) what it is. The Haft Seen is a ceremonial arrangement of seven symbolic items, or the seven (haft) c’s (seen). The wikipedia link gives a clear explanation of what these items represent 🙂

Nowrooz

The Persian Nowrooz is celebrated on the Spring Equinox and is celebrated for 13 days. This is a time when families visit and children get a lot of presents. It’s a festive time of family, food, poetry and sweets, not necessarily in that order.

Nowrooz

Did I mention sweets? Cookies, so many cookies. 

cookies!

Moar cookies!
cookies!

And then some… So today we spent time with family, drank coffee, ate food and now I’m sitting at home with the hugest bowl of different cookies and some tea. I promised myself that I’m not eating sugar until Ma’iqs first birthday (though I might make a little exception for my own birthday..) so right now I’m stuffing myself. Shamelessly. 

 

crochet blanket

So while stuffing my face, I’ve also managed to crochet a bunch of granny squares. I’m still working on the beige ball of yarn, then I’ll move onto the two purples and the dark green. I’ll sew them all together with the white ball because I don’t want any white squares. It’s a kitty blanket after all..

crochet blanket

I’m really happy with the little squares. I wonder how many I’ll end up with 🙂
Ma'iq

I really wanted to share these two pictures with you. First: don’t worry, I’m not letting him sit in that thing for too long, but he’s reaaaally active and 5 – 10 minutes won’t do any harm, but give him a great deal of joy 🙂

Ma'iq

Yep, that’s a toothbrush! He’s still teething (and there’s still nothing in sight.. just a thickened, reddish patch and LOTS of drooling), but he absolutely loves his little toothbrush. He spends a lot of time playing with it, it’s so adorable 🙂 I hope he’ll always love his toothbrush because I used to hate mine and it didn’t do my teeth much good…

Happy knitting <3

Hello world :)

Hello world! It’s taken a few days but I’m finally back in the game. My resting bitch face lasted for 4 whole days and after that I had to clean up the mess that had accumulated over those four days. Babies make a lot of mess apparently, so there’s (still) a lot of laundry to be done. The teething is still an ongoing process but at least there are no night time poops.. so there’s that. Thanks for the kind comments, I’m sorry I haven’t replied, I usually reply but I’ve really been out of it this past week. I’ll be sure to reply next time 😀

crochet

In the mean time I’ve been working on a new project.. Shocker.. I know 😛 For some reason I keep starting new projects, but at least I can feel guilty about them now haha. I noticed that my kitty Noodles keeps sleeping on my lopi vest, and I suddenly remembered that she’s always been a fan of knitwear beds.

Untitled

This is an older picture of Noodles sleeping on the Lopi pullover I made for my BIL, she’d actually go looking for it..

there you are!

Before I knit with lopi yarn she also liked cascade 220, but ever since lopi entered this house, nothing has been deemed good enough…

So Now I’m working on a simple granny square blanket for her. I’m going to make granny squares of all my lopi yarns I have left and then I’ll sew them together. I’m hoping I can get 2 or maybe even 3 little blankets for her, so I can place them all over the house 🙂

Finally! The last ball!

The last few days I’ve been so excited about this project I can’t seem to be able to put it down. I’ve finally attached the final ball and I’m making good progress on it! The yarn at the end of the third ball was a bit heavier than the rest of the yarns and I feared the third ball would be even thicker as well, but apparently it was only just a little bit and the third ball is the same weight as the rest of the blanket. I’m actually very pleased with the yarn. This is the first big project I’ve spun in a while and also the first big project I’ve spun on my new wheel. I’m really pleased with the evenness of the yarn. I know there’s always room for progress, but I think I’m comfortable enough now to actually spin a sweaters worth of handspun now! I’m already thinking of this years’ Tour de Fleece and I seriously can not wait! The summer of 2015 went completely past me as I was preoccupied with Ma’iq, but this year! He’ll be 1 year old and there will be a lot of playing (on his side) and spinning (on my side) in the new garden <3

InstagramCapture_d362aea4-f2c1-4cee-bd9a-1fc9f9abdc7a.jpg
In the mean time I managed to finish the first mitten and immediately cast on for the second. I’ve finished the ribbing and I’m going to start the chart now. I might actually make it and finish it this month! But if I don’t, it’s not going to take much longer 🙂

peach tree blossom

While being completely busy with all the baby related things, I keep forgetting that it’s almost spring and I reaaally need to get this garden fixed. Some things need to be replanted and some things need to be removed.. Most of the plants are ready for spring so I’ll really need to hurry now. 

raspberry

Last year the raspberry plant wasn’t all too happy with the tiny pot it had. I’ll need to repot it so it can grow big and strong!

saffron crocus

I’m not sure exactly when I bought these but I think it was somewhere in september or late august. These are saffron crocusses (?) and are supposed to grow in the fall.. This is how I just dug them out of the dark. I still need to plant them, even though I’m afraid I’m a bit too late lol. 

blueberry

Here’s a picture of the blueberry bush I thought had died. Lucky break! It’s still alive (and also in need of a bigger pot!) Just like the sour cherry tree below! I’m actually very lucky with the gentle winter we’ve had, because this plant needs warmer weather than we usually have 🙂 I’m just glad it survived the winter <3

sour cherry

The roses are doing great! I have two climbing roses and these things are really having fun! Look at this little guy go! For reference, this is the one that wouldn’t grow at first…

climbing rose

climbing rose

In other completely unrelated news: Juandissimo is back! Well.. I mean to say that we received a new one because they couldn’t repair the old one. I’m so happy! My feet are happy! No vacuuming the kitchen anymore is so awesome <3 I really really really love this thing. So much time spent knitting/ crocheting because I don’t have to vacuum <3 Happy knitting everybody! 

vacuum robot

resting bitch face..

I have an extreme case of it this week. I’m normally a very happy and smiley person, but this week it’s all about the resting bitch face syndrome. So I went to the dentist on Tuesday and my dental hygienist had a little too much fun on my teeth. It hurt a bit at the time, but I sucked it up and moved along, but as the day progressed the pain got worse. So what happened..? It’s not the teeth, it’s the muscles around the jaw, when I’m stressed out I tend to strain the muscles around my jaws and end up with a lot of pain for a few days. I know it’s not the teeth (because I had my dentist check and re-check). Apparently it’s something mostly women are afflicted with.. I don’t grind my teeth, but I do tense up the muscles and then this happens. So this happened while I was at the dental hygienist and I was dying the past two days. Today it’s a LOT better, and I haven’t taken any paracetamol. Normally I’d simply take an advil and the pain would just go away, but I can’t since I’m breastfeeding so I’m stuck with paracetamol and this stuff doesn’t work like advil does 🙁

Next time I’m taking the rotten advil and I’ll give Ma’iq a bottle instead rather than deal with this for three days, but I guess you have to learn the hard way sometimes. I really thought It’d get better, and then it didn’t 😛

Because of this I’ve mainly been working on the ten stitch blanket, because I seriously couldn’t do anything else. Another thing I noticed is that, apparently, when you’re used to smiling a lot, not smiling can actually make you grumpy. I was in a very nasty mood the last few days, and now that my face is going back to its happy self, maybe I’ll go back to my happy self as well!

How cold is it mittens

Even though it’s actually a very small project, this thing seems to be going on and on forever. It’s actually not though, it just appears that way because I haven’t really been working on it that much.

Ten stitch blanket

What has been growing is this blanket. It’s nice to have a total brainless knit and if it means this blanket is getting finished instead of the mittens than I’m actually going to be very happy indeed. I love how the second ball is shrinking compared to the third (and last) ball. I love how the colors are moving along and how the olive green still comes back sometimes. I love how it’s working out the way I hoped it would. I love how I can find nice things to say about this project as well, even though in reality the past few days everything about it has been bothering me immensely.

For a moment there I hated the corners so much I wanted to frog the thing… I’m glad I didn’t, and only because I was too cranky to wind the balls again hahaha. I can’t believe how bad this week started out.. man.

Romeo wip

So, my to do list says I need to have this finished by the end of this month. Not a problem, except.. what am I going to do about the top part (and sleeves). A round yoke..? and how am I going to do the sleeves? Or maybe simple sleeves and saddle shoulders? Or maybe I should go for 2×2 ribbing on the sleeves? So many choices…

I just know for a fact that it’s going to be steeked, but other than that.. so many options. For now I’m going to get myself a cup of coffee and continue my love affair with the potty mouth mittens.. <3

Happy knitting 🙂 I hope your days have been filled with smiles rather than bitch faces 😛

FO: Gaucho

It’s done! I haven’t washed it yet, but it’s already been worn twice, and I’m loving it! It’s so incredibly warm and cozy with the (detachable) cowl. When I bought the ball of yarn I wasn’t really sure about the colors, but crochet really brings out the best in variegated yarns imho.

FO: Gaucho

In the end I needed a chunk of my moms ball as well, but since she didn’t have any big plans it’s ok I guess. Once it’s washed I’ll take some pictures, but I didn’t have the time to be honest.

Handspinning

I hadn’t had the time to work on this project for a while, but yesterday I was under the impression that I had finished the first mini-batt, when this morning I discovered that, in fact, I had not. There’s a little bit left, so I’ll spin this up today so I can move on to the next minibatt 🙂

Cold a f*ck

In the mean time I’ve been working on my mittens a bit, and I’m happy with the way the yarns are working together. The zauberball is a soft gradient and I think it works really well in these mittens. The contrast will become softer on the tip of this left hand mitten. I’m not sure if I’ll mind if they don’t completely match, but I’ll try to get the thumb in the same color so it doesn’t have too great a contrast with the rest of the mittens.

Cold as F*ck

I knit the thumb ‘hole’ with waste yarn, so I can pick up the stitches and knit the thumb when I’ve finished the mitten. 
second and third ball

I’ve also been knitting on the ten stitch blanket a lot, but you can’t really tell by looking at the blanket. I just compare the two balls to see how much I have left. I can’t believe there’s actual progress on this beast. I love knitting it now, because there’s a lot more knitting between each corner, so I’m not constantly working short-rows. The colors are also changing constantly and I really can’t wait to see this project all finished up.

In other knitting news I’ve frogged the “roll the bones” socks because I wasn’t really feeling them. I don’t know why, but seeing the Sock Madness socks come by I decided to wait until the SM patterns are released. I’m still going to knit these socks at one point, just not right now. There’s too much focus needed for these socks at the moment, and I’d rather be knitting brainless things so I can actually relax a bit.

In other news: I’ve been working on a lot of designs, but in the last few weeks I’ve come to realize that I’m never going to be able to do all the work by myself. I have so many ideas for new designs, but I feel like I can’t start working on them now because I need to finish the other projects first. So at the moment I’m looking for people who are interested in test knitting my projects. I will supply (or pay for) the yarn, and I will pay you for your work, and at the end I’ll need the finished product. If you’re interested, send me an email at info @ lilirious.com and I’ll get back to you 🙂

happy knitting! <3

Hello March!

Goodbye February! You were short and sweet, and even though I didn’t manage all of my goals (I missed the last week’s 2 posts), I did manage a lot of other things! Now let’s take a look at the goals I set at the beginning of February.

I did manage to finish 3 wips, and got a good start on some other projects. Halfway through I tried to get two stranded knitting projects finished as well, but it didn’t really work out. I did manage to knit some, so I guess it’s not all too bad.

I blogged 6 times instead of 8 times because I missed the last week. How so you ask? Well by baby is teething and he’s been waking between 5 and 6 am every morning. He usually (sort of) sleeps until 7 am so it may not sound like it’s a lot earlier, but believe me.. it is. He still gets two feedings a night and since he’s teething he’s been very restless at night. So even when I go to bed at 9.30 PM I’m still a bit sleep deprived when he wakes in the morning. Also.. midnight poops.. maaann.. he’ll be totally awake at 2AM because he’s pooped and wants to be changed, then I’ll change him and he’ll go down at 3.30-4 am, and then he still wakes between 5 and 6. I gave myself a week off because: a: there was hardly any knitting, b: I was too braindead to actually accomplish something, c: the house was a total mess, and d: a cranky, teething baby wants to be held and hugged all day (while drooling all over himself and you in the process, so there’s twice as much laundry.. yay).

The last three goals were successful (somewhat). The closet is done, but I found some other clothes that were still boxed up so I’m sorting those at the moment. Timing my work is going really well, not counting last week, I’ve been able to work between 30 and 35 hours a week, which is really nice. Losing 1kg is an interesting one, when I don’t sleep, I snack like crazy so I’m not sure if I actually lost anything, I know I didn’t gain any weight.. so I guess that’s worth something too haha 😛

So now the goals for March:

  1. Finish the “how cold is it mittens”
  2. Finish the “roll the bones socks”
  3. Finish Gaucho (which will be done quickly I think)
  4. Finish Romeo
  5. Patterns

These projects need to get finished because spring is coming and I’m not going to be knitting those winter projects in spring, so there you have it. The socks are not winter projects per se, but since I’m not joining Sock Madness 10, I’m going to knit these for fun 🙂

About the patterns: I have a number of designs ready, I’m working on the writing part and then they can go for tech editing. The problem at the moment is that I’m too busy doing other things to get the writing and calculating part done, but on the other hand, I can’t make new designs until I’ve finished writing these up, and right now I’m making sketches of all my new ideas and these patterns are blocking everything.. so first we write them out, then they go for tech editing and then they go for testing. I made the mistake of publishing a pattern that was not tested and I’m never going to do that again (though in my defense it was my first pattern and I really thought nobody would ever buy it, so spending money on it before publishing it seemed a bit pointless.. lesson learned the hard way).

So, now I’ll move on to the knitting part, yay! As I mentioned Ma’iq is having a hard time so I’ve been in need of some simple patterns.

finished spinning these rolags

One of the things I worked on was spinning these rolags on the wheel. I started out on a spindle during my pregnancy, but I wasn’t able to finish because of the baby and the move. I found the rolags all bundled up and I feared the worst.

finished spinning these rolags

Thankfully they were still intact and there was no felting, so I spun them into a (very) light fingering weight, chain plied yarn. I wasn’t sure if I was going for a two ply or a three ply, but I really wanted to preserve the colors, so in the end I went for a chain plied yarn.

Finished yarn

I absolutely loved the rolags, and I really like the way the yarn turned out <3 It’s not washed and measured yet, so I have no idea what I have. I just know it’s 50 grams of delicious dark chocolate <3

gaucho

In the mean time I’m almost done with Gaucho. I’m loving it and I just need to finish the collar and the fringes and I’m good to go. It’s a great pattern and I love the yarn. I can’t wait to wear this thing.

my sonnensegel is growing

I’ve been procrastiknitting a lot because I couldn’t spend any time with the knits that needed to get finished. I don’t know why it works that way, I just know that it works that way. I plan on finishing two tiny projects and all of the sudden, a lot of progress can be seen in a lot of other projects… I guess that alone is worth having goals, even if you don’t achieve the goals you set, you’re achieving goals your knitting has set for you.

The second ball is shrinking!

This is one of the projects I worked on. At first it seemed like it would never end, but now that I’m using this as my procrastiknitting project, it’s growing a lot faster. You can see how much smaller the second ball has become while working on this. I really like how these colors are working out.

love the colors in this blanket

Maybe it’s because I wound the yarn into balls instead of a cake, but I can’t imagine the other colors anymore, Every row (around the blanket, not every 20 stitches). I know there’s going to be dark blue in the end, and I’m really looking forward to this blanket being finished.

the blanket and the gifted project bag

In all honesty, at first, I didn’t enjoy working on this blanket. I loved the yarn and the way the yarn was changing colors. I also appreciate how much better I’ve gotten at spinning compared to the first baby blanket I made. Though, to be fair, I was going for an uneven look because of the nepps.

my new officie space

On tuesday I had a “day off”, which basically means DH took DS to see MIL and FIL, so I had a day without a baby. Let me start by saying that this was the first day in 8 months time that I had been alone for more than 3 hours. It was glorious, but I also had moments when I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing. One of the things I did was borrow Ma’iqs room because he’s not really using it yet, and I need a place to work. I separated the creative space from the “this-is-where-I-do-my-taxes” space and now I feel a lot better.

Ma'iq <3

Hello, everybody! This is how I vampire! <3

Ma'iq <3

Ok just kidding 🙂

Procrastination crochet..

One of the things I love most about deadline knitting is the procrastination knitting it brings on. I honestly don’t understand the how and why of it, I just know that it works that way. So I have one week left to finish the two stranded knitting projects I have left and all of the sudden I’ve never felt a greater urge to crochet myself a large poncho. I mean a BIG poncho.. I bought a ball of Katia “big to knit” as you may have seen in the previous post, and I made a knitting swatch. I love the yarn and the feel of it, but the knitting didn’t do it justice I felt. This was going to be a nice crochet project so I went searching for some patterns I liked.

In the end I settled on this pattern. It’s Gaucho from Garnstudio and I absolutely love every bit of detail in this thing. The pattern calls for a 5.5mm hook, but my yarn is much heavier than the yarn that’s used in the pattern, so I’m using 9mm and I adapted the pattern for a custom fit. The design is the same, it’s just a larger. I have 500 grams/ 700m of yarn, but my mom has a ball of this stuff as well, so if I run out I’ll have some backup and I won’t have to spend another 30 euros for an extra ball if I need just one or two more rows haha.

The project seems simple enough, the only catch is that you have to be able to use your brain, and that’s where it went wrong here people.

crochet Gaucho wip

It started out fine (or so I thought). I read (sort of) the pattern, and cast on. I really loved the way crochet and this yarn go together so I was very happy and just worked on. After a while I thought the project was eating a LOT of yarn for how big it was getting and decided to actually think about what I was doing. See this is why you shouldn’t cast on at night when you should actually be sleeping..

crochet Gaucho wip fail

This is what I was doing. I’m not sure if you’ve ever made a standard crochet poncho, but there are only two increase corners (mid front and mid back). It’s not supposed to be a square. Obviously I had taken the time to take this picture before knitting halfway through the ball of yarn.. I can’t believe I didn’t see what I was doing back then.. The stupid is strong in me I guess haha.

when frog needs to happen

So I obviously end up frogging the thing. Did I mention the yarn doesn’t like to be frogged a lot? So I cast on again and started happily crocheting away. Until I noticed that somewhere along the way (some 5-ish rows back) I had forgotten to increase and I’d been crocheting along for the last 5 rows. So I had to rip those rows out again because such is the nature of crochet. Knitting can be fixed, but crochet, sadly, cannot. I didn’t take any pictures of that part..

third attempt

I restarted and now everything is fine. Surprisingly, it only took 1 day to get as far as I am again, so it’s really a very quick project for ‘in between’. Which is what I don’t understand about myself and deadline knitting. I want to have those two projects finished first, but something in me screams “procrastinate!!” At least it’s a quick project, so once this one is done, I’ll get back to the sock and mittens 🙂

In 

Under Dutch Skies fiber

In other news: a new webshop has opened for lovers of fiber and spinning: Underdutchskies. Last Sunday was the grand opening and because of it there was a 10% discount. I’m still on a yarn diet so obviously I jumped in head first.. I’m the worst. So much for discipline right? Anyway, it’s not as bad as it sounds, because these two lovelies where a present from my mom <3 THANKS MOM!

hairpin lace loom

I also ordered another hairpin lace loom. I had ordered one a while back, but I wasn’t able to find it, and I also felt that it was a bit small. The loom I had was perfect for finer works, but I want to be able to make artsy, BIG looped stuff with it, so I ordered another one from Draadpracht. I had bought the first loom at the breidagen a few years ago, so I remembered where to go for my online purchase 🙂

Ma'iqs blanket wip

I’m still knitting on Ma’iqs ten stitch blanket, and there’s some actual progress. I love how the colors blend and how we’re moving onto the turquoise and the ball is visibly shrinking! I hope this won’t take as long as the first ball because I’m really impatient to see all the colors combined in this blanket!

Progress is slow..

It’s there! but it’s a bit slow at the moment. This post was supposed to be published two days ago, but that’s when my kitty Noodles disappeared and didn’t come back home. Maybe your kitty does this too, but it’s very out of character for our little Noodlekitty. She always checks in for some pettings and food, and then she’ll go off to play with her new kitty buddies. But this time was different. I let her out an hour earlier than I usually do (which is when most people go out for work), and most people have their cars parked on the backside of the homes, so they don’t go through the front door, but rather through the backyard. So it’s very easy for a curious little kitty to slip inside unnoticed. But then she was trapped and couldn’t come back.

Obviously we now know what happened, but we were worried sick, and we walked around the entire neighborhood and spent a lot of time searching. The next day we printed posters, asking neighbors if they would see if she’s hiding in their homes, put them in our neighbors’ mailboxes, and what do you know.. We hear a car park, and 10 minutes later Noodles walks back in and starts munching 😛 It was freezing out, but she was nice and warm (so obviously she hadn’t been staying outside. We don’t know where she’s been yet, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough haha.

So she returned yesterday evening and two days of stress is not good for your knitting mojo.. or anything else mojo. I feel like I need a brain massage 😛

We ordered two trackers, so if she goes missing again at least we’ll be able to track her down. It’s really sad because we get stressed out, but her little sister Kiwi gets stressed out as well. Last time (a few years ago she slipped past when we were coming home and we didn’t notice), she was lost for a night in the staircase of our appartement block. She couldn’t get out, but Kiwi got so stressed out she started peeing out of fear of abandonment. It’s really sad and it’s something that permanently changed the way she behaves. We can no longer leave her alone in our bedroom because she’ll smell our stuff and she’ll pee on it so “we’ll find our way back to her”. Poor kitty. She never pees anywhere, and no she doesn’t have a bladder infection. It ONLY happens on our bed. We have a new bed (and sheets and everything), but I’m honestly not willing to find out if she’s over it already.

</rant>

Anyway, that’s why progress has been a bit slow. A lost kitty and a clingy baby will make short work of my knitting time 🙂

dream silk and invicta

So let’s move onto the knitting 🙂 A while ago I was reading Jeanets blog and fell in love with these yarns for the Sonnensegel. I’m making Jeanets version which is a bit different, but really works with these yarns.

I wasn’t sure how it would work out at first, so I followed the pattern to see what it would look like. The Traumseide is 800m and invicta is 420m, so it’d mean I’d have to buy another ball of invicta. In the end I felt the other version would be better and frogged and restarted. I’m now knitting on the project below and I’m liking it a lot more. The gradients works much better this way imho.

Sonnensegel
This is one of those amazingly brainless projects that’s also very enjoyable. I’m really needing my brainless knitting at the moment, so I’m really not too bummed about starting another project before finishing the ones I was supposed to finish.
Roll the bones socks wip

I’ve been knitting on these socks as well! I messed up a tiny bit, but you can’t see it, and I’m honesty not that bothered by it. It gives them a bit more character haha. I’m supposed to finish these by the end of this month, so I’d best hurry.. I heard my brother likes longer socks, but at least his feet aren’t that big.. I guess a normal 41-42-ish. If he’d been a 45 he’d be knitting is own socks 😛

Roll the bones socks wip

 

I know I can’t be the only one who thoroughly enjoys the backside of stranded knitting projects. I sometimes enjoy this side even more than the other side. I love how the floats look so peaceful and even-ish.

Roll the bones socks wip

The backside of the front side (lol does this even make any sense?) is also very nice. This side looks messier because I didn’t want very long floats here, so I had to twist my yarns to keep everything snug.

How cold is it mittens v2

These mittens are growing as well. I still need to hurry, but this is a very quick knit compared to those socks. I’ve knit these at least twice, and they’re smaller than the socks I’m knitting.

How cold is it mittens v2

Ahh. This makes me very happy. I hate and love knitting on 2.25mm needles. I usually knit socks (and everything else on 2,5mm, but the first time I knit these they turned out waaay too big, I’ve now learned to knit all my mittens on 2,25 because apparently I have tiny hands).

This new to me yarn I discovered

While working on all sorts of very tiny gauged projects, I felt the need to make something big. Like 9mm or 10mm needles/ hooks big. I didn’t know of this yarn, but it’s really nice and I’m really happy I found it. Did I mention our dry cleaners? Yes. there’s more yarn than other things out there, and I love it <3 I’m going to make a big poncho-ish thing for winter/ spring/ fall.. and probably for summer as well hahaha…

I bought this rather huge ball of yarn because I was depressed about my kitty and needed something to take my mind off. Buying yarn works amazingly in that sense. The monster weighs 500grams and contains 700m of yarn. On 9/10mm that’s going to be a very big poncho me thinks 🙂

New age spinning

In other news: DH got me a present for Valentine’s! Or actually, I asked for it and he said “Sure go for it!”, which basically translates to the him giving me a Valentine’s present whaha.

New age spinning

This little cutie pie is from New Age Spinning on Etsy, who sells 3D printed spindles and stitch markers. I love how you can see that the spindle is really made with a 3D printer. The box was wrapped with a ribbon, but I was too impatient to take pictures when it arrived so by the time it was picture time I had already opened the box haha oops.

New age spinning

Not only was the box cutely wrapped, so was the invoice. The envelope was also cute and color themed. The owner has a lot of attention for detail, that’s for sure!

New age spinning

As you can see (on the closeup of the spindle) I’ve already spun a bit and plied it on the fly. What I can say is that this spindle, though it’s very tiny, it’s extremely comfortable and it’s really well balanced. One of the problems that plague light weight spindles is that they’re so light they tend to spin backwards very quickly. This spindle, however, spins on for quite a long time!

I’m going to go ahead and take today off from ‘deadline’ knitting and work on a nice poncho with my 9mm hook. Tomorrow is a new day 🙂

FO’s and tutorials

vanilla socks

I have finished objects to show you and I’m very happy about that! I’m on a serious finishing spree and I’m really enjoying the feeling. Though I’ve had a few instances where I caught startitis and started casting on for 20 projects at the same time, I’m not so sure I’ve had finishitis that many times before.

vanilla socks

It really helps to focus on one project at the same time and not to be distracted by all other things that seem nice. I guess after a while you get bored with a certain project (if you don’t work on it, it won’t get finished and it’ll seem like you’ve been working on it for ages, while in fact it’s been lying around for ages). I really like how these socks turned out and they fit me perfectly. And there’s the problem, they were supposed to be for DH. You may remember this post, so you’ll know I have enough yarn to knit a few pairs of socks, so he’ll get the next pair 🙂 I believe it was about time I knit a pair of socks for myself anyway.

mittens :)
Another FO I’m going to talk about are these mittens. I usually don’t take orders and I don’t do any commercial knitting. The first reason being that I’m not fast enough and the yarn can’t be cheap enough to make it worth it. My own time, obviously, is not cheap either because I do not work for minimum wage. For these mittens I was willing to make an exception. I was contacted through FB to make a pair of mittens for a little girl, the left mitten had to be a bit smaller than the right. Since it was such a tiny project, I went ahead and knit the pair and shipped it. Unfortunately, they turned out a bit too small, and by that time it was Christmas and then I wanted to try a few different things with the mittens, and in the end it all worked out and I sent them out yesterday. I’m still not sure if they fit, they may be a bit big, but that’s usually not such a bad thing. The yarn is Finlandia Shetland and is really warm.

IMG_1558
In other knitting news I’ve restarted my “how cold is it” mittens. I readjusted my goals for this month because all the knitting projects I had were already done and it was the 5th of February, so I extended the list by two more projects. One of those projects were these mittens. I already had one of the mittens 3/4 done, but in the end I decided to restart. One of the reasons (this is also the reason it’s been hibernating for so long), is that there are a few (tiny) mistakes in there. These mistakes bug me. Maybe they shouldn’t, because you can’t really tell that they’re there, but they bug me enough not to want to knit on it. So I guess that settles it.

How cold is it mittens
Another reason is the corrugated ribbing. I learned this very quickly, but in all honesty I don’t think it’s very functional because it doesn’t really stretch. I like the look and I find it very decorative, but mittens are functional things and I like them to be tighter and stretchier around my wrist, rather than have them be pretty but floppy (and let all the cold air in brr).

So that’s the first thing I decided to skip (as you can see in the picture I used 1×1 normal ribbing). I also felt the colors were a bit too light/ bright. I like moody and muted colors, and though I loved the pink at first, at the moment I’m not really much of a fan 🙁 The yarns I chose for the new version are (left) Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball in colorway “bombeere” and Tosh Merino Light in colorway “Mary Ringwald”. I really loved the color effect of my handspun ‘deep in the forest’ mittens, and the Zauberball would give me some of that effect.

IMG_1560

In the mean time I’ve been working on my Baa-ble spinning project I talked about in the previous post. I’m using the ply-on-the-fly technique, and somebody on Instagram mentioned that they would love to learn how to do it. So I decided to do a short photo tutorial on the ply on the fly technique, because there might be others out there who’d be interested.

dropspindle fun

This is what the spindle looked like yesterday (I’m got a bit more spinning in but I’m focussing on my mittens right now so there’s not much progress anyway).

The big difference between spinning a normal single and plying on the fly is that you ply immediately after spinning and then you wind the yarn onto the cop.

tutorial: ply on the fly

Before you begin you’ll need to be able to spin comfortable (it’s easiest if you can produce a yarn that doesn’t break), and you need to know how to make a navajo/ chain plied yarn. The ply on the fly method means that you chain ply your yarn before you wind it on the cop.

I always attach the single to the bottom of the shaft, below the cross, and I also use it to anchor my first navajo loop. The first loop is always a bit tricky, but after that it’s easy. If you’ve done it right you’ll have two loops on the bottom of your shaft below the cross, and you’re holding the singles in your other hand.

Note: you can also just divide the single in 3 layers and make a knot on the bottom side and slide this over either the cross or the shaftt.

Tie a slip knot on the top of the shaft (like in the picture) and -this is important– turn you spindle the opposite direction. We’re plying after all, but it’s an easy mistake to make. I usually add a bit more twist in the first one because the twist will have to travel down to the the part below the slip knot as well. Now remove the slip knot and wind the fresh plied yarn onto your cop, and let the loop stick out like in the picture above.

tutorial: ply on the fly
tutorial: ply on the fly
Spin like you normally would and butterfly the yarn onto your left (fiber) hand. Now you would normally do this with your free hand, but I had to do this with the same hand. Open the loop and pull the new single through

tutorial: ply on the fly

Continue pulling the yarn until the loop is just below the fiber you’re holding in your hand.
tutorial: ply on the fly

Hold the strands together, tie a slipknot and ply the yarn like before.

tutorial: ply on the fly
Try not to lose the loop because you’ll need it 🙂 This method has a huge benefit: when you’re out of fiber, you can immediately start knitting. I would recommend either washing it first or letting it rest before knitting though. In my case this is the perfect method because I’ll be able to keep my yarns separate but in neat little packages and measure them all before washing and knitting.

spring time
In other news, I’m not sure how the weather is where you live, but in Holland we skipped winter and moved straight to spring. 

spring time

Excuse the poor quality, I haven’t washed the windows yet and I was too lazy to step outside. I’ll be sure to take some better pictures next time, but at the moment I just feel bad because I haven’t had the time to fix the garden yet…

Big plans!

Before I start I’d like to say I just finished my vanilla socks, so even though I didn’t manage to finish them on Monday (as I planned), I did finish them this week, w00t! I also managed to finish another side project (for the second time) as well, but I’ll talk about those two project on the next post. I just wanted to put it out there haha.

So you may (or may not) have heard of the Baa-ble hat, it was/ is the official pattern for Shetland wool week 2015 and is free to download via the website (also on Ravelry I believe, just click on the linky). I think it’s one of the coolest hat designs out here, especially with a huge pompom <3. I’m not entirely sure how, (I think it was a featured project on Ravelry) but I stumbled upon this glorious version and an idea was born. I’m making my baby a Baa-ble hat too! But what fiber to use.. I was almost thinking about ransacking my fiber stash and taking matching colored chunks out of braids I have lying around when all of the sudden, like it was meant to be, Dutch Wool Diva posted pictures of these beauties on her Instagram.

(This image is “borrowed” from Dutch Wool Diva’s Instagram feed)

I believe it was on a Saturday evening when I decided that I wasn’t going to wait because these mini batts are perfection and they were exactly what I needed for my babies custom, handspun Baa-ble hat! So a little back and forth over Facebook resulted in me getting not only these gorgeous minibatts on tuesday, but I also got a little minibatt in black for the sheeps heads and legs, because she’s just that awesome <3 (I’m such a groupie lol).

Anyway, I’d only seen them on that picture, but I feel like they’re even better in real life. I took some pictures, but I can’t to them any justice, and capture the soft shades in the mini batts themselves.

my new minibatts!
I took this picture under my daylight lamp, but it might’ve been a bit too much haha. I love this idea of gradients, as it’s hard to keep the colors clear when spin from a braid. This way you have complete artistic freedom when it comes to working with the colors.
Love this gradient :)

In total it’s 100 grams, so it’s about 10 grams per minibatt, and there’s two minibatts of each color (except the black of course, which is not part of this gradient). Since I’m going to spin a baby hat, I’m going to use only one set of gradients to see how far I’ll get. The pattern calls for aran weight yarn and is knit using 4 and 4,5mm needles, which I think is a bit bulky for a 7 month old baby. Since I’m going for a soft gradient I’m going to spin the yarns into light fingering weight and hold them double while knitting on (probably) 3,5mm needles. This way I can achieve a nicer gradient by alternating between colors.
not so small after all
Even though 10 grams doesn’t sound like much, it’s a lot more than it seems when you open up the minibatt. 

Jumped right in and prepped some fiber
One of the things I always do before spinning is fiber prep. In my opinion, your yarn and your spinning is as good as your fiber prep, if you don’t spend enough time preparing your fiber before you start spinning, you’ll end up prepping your fiber while you’re spinning in the end. You’ll have to stop more often, you’ll have to draft a lot more and the process of spinning is overall a lot less enjoyable and less consistent. What’s also a lot less consistent is the yarn you’ll end up with. So prep your fiber before spinning people! I usually separate the batt into strips and then pre draft my strips into little balls. When I’m going to spin one, I’ll wind them around my wrist and spin away. This way I can spin one color in one go.

busting the kolibrie out again
Even though I love my wheel, some things are best done on a spindle. A spindle is by no means in inferior tool, mind! You might enjoy the book “Respect the spindle” by Abby Franquemont if you do haha. It’s a very good book! Anyway, I feel like I have more control over my yarns when I spin them on a spindle. One of the reasons being that I have only 10 grams of color to work with at one time. This way it’s so much easier to just spin on a tiny spindle, rather than to take out the big equipment. I also noticed that I spin a lot more on a spindle because I can squeeze a lot of spinning in between other chores. The wheel is more suited for longer spinning sessions (imho).

I really love working on this spindle. The balance is amazing and I noticed that it’s the perfect weight for the kind of yarn I’m going for. This project is spun using the ply on the fly method, in which you (as the title suggests), ply, while you’re spinning. This technique seems a bit slow at first, but when you’re out of fiber you’re done spinning and end up with a finished yarn you can use immediately. I personally love using this method with my dropspindles because I feel like I get results faster. I’m very careful obsessive about winding my cop and I feel like I get prettier cops and better results when I use the ply on the fly method. 

I also feel like I have more control over the final yarn. If I ply and I end up with a chunkier yarn than I intended I can still un-ply that piece of yarn and adjust the weight a bit until I’m happy with it.

In other news, this is what my “roll the bones” socks look like at the moment. I’ve been focussing on finishing my vanilla socks and I haven’t touched them yet, but I’m very happy with the way they’re turning out. I actually wanted to get a few rows in, but I forgot my dice at my moms place, so there will be no knitting for me haha. I really love the idea of having dice and a very interesting (and constantly new) pattern to work on. I thought it’d be a fun pattern, but it’s a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I may need to knit myself and DH a pair as well..

I’m going to blog about this (now finished) vanilla sock as well, but I noticed that I didn’t have any real progress pictures on the blog and I should have at least two pictures before I can post an FO. Otherwise it’s almost as if this project never even existed at all haha. I have to say I’m very happy with vanilla socks, even though I love a good, complicated sock pattern, a nice, brainless vanilla sock is all I need at the moment (since I’m seriously brainless lol). 

In non-knitting news my baby learned to sit on his own (when I place him in a sitting position that is, he can’t get up by himself yet), and apparently that’s all the excitement he’s willing to handle at the moment.

By baby can sit <3

He loves sitting and being able to play without being held upright all the time (because he hated lying down haha), but at the same time it’s all very scary and exciting and he needs to make sure mommy still exists in this sitting world. I can’t move away or he’ll panic, the poor cute thing. It’s really adorable, but it also means that I’ve had quite some difficulty knitting (or getting anything else done for that matter, my kitchen has exploded). I was planning on blogging last Monday, for instance but I spent most of Monday hugging Ma’iq (how horrible hahaha).

I feel it’s time well spent, because I know it’s just a phase and there’ll come a time when he’s going to be too busy exploring to cuddle with me, so I’m enjoying it as much as I can for now <3