summer activities

This is my third post this month.. what happened? πŸ˜› I’m usually such an active blogger but I must say I’ve had to wait for this summer for a long time and I’m enjoying every bit of sun I can get. Thankfully someone sent a major heat-wave our way and our cold and windy little country has become a tropical paradise πŸ™‚

But there’s more to tell than just how great the weather has been. There’s some major stuff going on πŸ™‚ First of all I’ve washed all my fleece and it’s dried and ready for some heavy carding action. Unfortunately as it’s still very hot I’m in no mood to start working on warm alpaca fleece right now, so the pretty clean fleeces are just going to have to wait.

The other thing on my mind right now, like most other people in the world, is the World Cup. I love soccer πŸ™‚ I was raised with a soccer fanatic father who used to play himself, so soccer was a big thing when I grew up. It still makes me happy to think that every four years the whole world is united for a few weeks because of their love for soccer (well… winning the world cup hehe).

Anyway, there’s not much time knitting while watching soccer, and no knitting means no blogging πŸ™‚ I’ve also already talked about my spinning wheel and my 5,5:1 ratio… this, unfortunately for me, means that I can’t spin while watching the game either.. so I just sit there and watch the game as my hands do nothing but relax πŸ™‚ (I do get the feeling my hands are enjoying the well-deserved rest too!).

Obviously it doesn’t mean I don’t knit anmymore at all! I’ve been working on some things, but the progress is very slow. Beside all of the above reasons for me not to knit there’s one other… I’ve already mentioned it here, but I guess I can say something more about it πŸ™‚ I just handled my first workshop and I’m really excited to do some more πŸ™‚ This blog is all about me stepping out of my comfort zone and trying to organize my life, and right now I’m doing exacty that.

On my internships I found out I value my personal time much more than I used to think I did. I thought I wouldn’t mind working full days, and I still don’t think I’d mind, but I will have to enjoy every moment of it. I don’t want to end up waking up feeling like working is a waste of my day, and starting to wish my days away so it can be weekend. I don’t want to waste my time and I don’t want to wish my life away like that. So now that I’m still a student and don’t have anything to lose this will be my first priority. I need to think about these things now before I end up being stuck in routine…. πŸ˜›

Sorry people the rant ends here…. πŸ˜› From this point on it’s about showing you the progress of the past few weeks πŸ™‚

sewing

Guess what.. I got a birthday present from my parents πŸ™‚ I noticed I tend not to knit in the summer (because it’s hot) and sewing skirts and dresses seems like the way to go. But tho I tried my best, the edgings never came out really professional.. and now I know why πŸ™‚ Lockmachines are the shit! πŸ˜€

sewing

So obviously I bought the latest burda style and tried to make this pretty dress… So far it turned out to be a little more tricky than I anticipated, but I think I can handle it πŸ™‚

sewing

Since I just got the machine and don’t fully understand it yet I tried it on some fabric I had lying around. My grandmother gave me this blue fabric with the large pink flowers on it. I really like it tho it’s a bit much πŸ™‚

lace capelet wip

Before this ridiculous heat-wave it was rather rainy and cold, so I felt like knitting again.. unfortunately for me I did the cast-on a bit too tight so I need to restart this one, but I really like the pattern. It’s the lace capelet in malarbigo lace oceanos.

Dandelion n-ply

When I reached half of the 300 grams I got really bored and decided to n-ply the spun singles on the bobbin. So far I’m not even halfway I think but I’m happy with the way the colors are blending. I’m still not sure what it’ll become but I’m sure it’ll be fine πŸ™‚

Dandelion n-ply

The singles weren’t all that even at some points but the plying evened it out so I’m pretty happy with the way this is working out. I must say that my ratio is really really annoying when it comes to plying. Spinning the singles is becoming a pain but the plying just downright sucks…. The end of the singles on the bobbin (where I started out plying) didn’t have enough twist at certain points because my hands would start to work faster than my feet.. even tho my feet were treadling pretty darn fast they still couldn’t keep it up. So I ended with a nice cramp in my foot and undertwisted singles……..

Tomorrow I’ll see if I can do something about it πŸ˜›

updates…

well.. you know how real life catches up with you and demands your attention by sitting on you with the weight of a fat sumo wrestler? I’ve spent some time working on schoolstuff and washing fleece besides hanging it out to dry in the sun.

It was my first time washing fleece and I must say I felt pretty overwhelmed by the smell… another thing that took me by surprise was the amount of washes and rinses needed to get the stink (and the goo) out.. I’ll have to re-wash the brown wensleydale but other than that it looks fine enough to me.
So today my cards came in the mail and I thought I’d give it a shot. The (HD; *drooooollll*) pics were made with my new phone (samsung wave; it’s totally awesome). Sorry for the short blog but there’s not much to show due to the slowness on my side.
BFL dandelion in progress
no matter how much I spin it seems like I don’t get any farther πŸ˜›

ashford cards

my cards ‘in action’, it’s not an action shot really I just wanted some fleece there πŸ˜›

strawberries

Two years ago I planted some strawberry plant seeds and they grew into a cute plant which gave strawberries, but before they turned a real reddish color the birds snatched them away (awww cuute… ). So the whole time the plant gave pretty fruits the birds were very happy (but we had no strawberries). It appears that now that we have cats the birds are scared to come close (they should… and I’ll show you why πŸ˜‰ ) so we might taste some of these πŸ™‚

evillll

See what happened? Our cats, like apparently many other cats, love to catch flies or.. well any living insect… one jump is all it took.. our poor pretty ikea lamp.. thank goodness they’re cheap πŸ˜€

evillll

see the guilty face….. I KNOW it was you…. (I can’t prove it tho… I was just in time to see them both run… :P)

Birthdays are getting cooler :)

Today I’m celebrating my 26th birthday (w00h00!) and there’s a few goals I’m hoping to reach. I hope, if everything works out, to finish my masters this year (not calender year), and I hope to learn to spin a lot of yarn really well (and fast hihi).
I hope to have a lot of fun with my new job on the side (I give workshops to groups of (2-8) women (men are allowed too ;)) on skincare and wellness. I’m trying to update the page so I’m hoping to be able to link to that page for more information. But if you’re living in the Netherlands (uhm… radius of 30km to Rotterdam :P) and you’d like to hear more you can always leave a comment and I’ll contact you πŸ˜‰
(sorry for the sameless advertising on my own blog…. hehehe)

ahem… but back to the story about spinning… so today it’s my birthday and I’d like to say some appreciative things about The Man.

Later this month we’ll be celebrating our 7th anniversary and I’d like to tell you about why The Man’s so awesome.

– Even tho he gets up early in the morning to go to work he always makes me a coffee ^.^ (yes even when he’s late.. I hope his boss doesn’t read my blog… lol)
– He gives me space to be creative and doesn’t complain when I’m knitting/ sewing/ spinning (even tho it makes a lot of noise (not the knitting) and is overall very messy (not the spinning part).
– He’s okay with me being a dork πŸ™‚ which sais a lot.
– He likes my equally dorky brother (sorry shiwi you know I love you ;))
– He’s really funny πŸ™‚ (most of the times)
– He’s great at surprises (srsly great…. :|)
– He bought me a huge pile of fleece for my birthday… :|:|:| I still can’t get over it πŸ˜€ *droooolll*

The list is actually a lot shorter here because I didn’t want to make you all jealous,Β bore you to death so here’s the interesting part for a blog: the epic pictures of a birthday present πŸ˜€

staaashhhhh

So how did this happen? Well I was browsing a (Dutch) topic on Rav, looking for places to buy fleece. So far I’ve only spun commercial roving and I was (still am) very curious to raw fleece and the whole process of ‘from-sheep-to-sweater’. So the only thing I haven’t experienced now is the shearing part, which is ok by me πŸ™‚

So while looking at this thread I notice a lot of farms obviously where they sell fleece so I ask him: where’s Schijndel. And tell him about it. This was over a month ago… and guess what, he remembered hihi πŸ˜€ The whole package is from De Weidonk. Let me show you what was in it πŸ˜€

staaashhhhh

About 200 +/- grams of creamy alpaca

staaashhhhh

About 200 +/- grams of warm brown alpaca

staaashhhhh

About 400 grams of BFL

staaashhhhh

About 500 grams of brown Wensleydale

staaashhhhh

And a huge sack of (my scale only goes up to 500 grams LOL) there’s a note that sais cross between Wensleydale and Gotland, an this a whole sheep I think.. πŸ™‚

For the fast and experienced spinners this might not be that much (I don’t know?) but let me show you how far I am with the 300 grams of Dandelion:

BFL: Dandelion

I’m nearly done with half of it…. I did a little calculating and one turn of the wheel gives me 5,5 turns of the whorl (?), but as you can see I only have one size. The wheel resembles a Louet S10 and I’ve come to the understanding that a 5,5:1 ratio is rather slow, so I’m hoping to be able to buy some other bobbins with different sized whorls… at the moment I’m trying to spin singles for a light fingering wheight yarn so my leg is getting rather annoyed by the low ratio… πŸ˜›

I came to this conclusion while working on this side quest: what is the difference between cottonwool and cotton? The cottonwool you buy in the stores I mean. It sais 100% cotton so it should be natural right? so the question is: can I spin it?

experiment: spinning cottonwool

I know spinning cottong is very difficult and I know now that a ratio of 5,5:1 will not make it any easier, but I had to try, you understand right? πŸ™‚

I tried some of the cheapest stuff I could find: this stuff costs about a euro per 100 grams so why not right? Unfortunately this version is completely made up in layers and it doesn’t really spin very nice, but it does actually work:

experiment: spinning cottonwool

I suck.. I know… πŸ™‚ I’ll get better πŸ˜‰