PP: Altocumulus

I completely forgot to post this on the blog! I’ve neglected my blog for a few days because of the Queen/Kingsday preparations (yes I dress in orange), and the overall excitement being in Iran the next two weeks. I need to pack, I need to take my work stuff, I need to finish some things before I go.. the list is almost endless..

Now that you’ve heard my lame excuses, let me (finally) present my second online pattern:

titlepage

You’ve seen Altocumulus come by a number of times, but now you can download the pattern in English and in Dutch on the patterns page. The Farsi translation is in the works, so I’ll keep you posted.

A short post today, because I’ve already said a lot about this pattern, and it’s free so you can just go ahead and download it ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you like it ๐Ÿ™‚

Socks!

I’ve been knitting them! I keep forgetting how much I love knitting socks. They are great because they are very portable, lightweight, mostly mindless and most of all: very fun to knit! I mostly use socks as in-between knitting, or when I have to wait.

Back to sock knitting!
The pattern is “By the River Seine” and I think the pattern is very cute. I usually CO 60 for socks, but this time I CO 72. It might be a little big, but I’m willing to thoroughly enjoy the process of reknitting this very addictive pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to sock knitting!
This is the backside of the work. I love how the striping in the yarn behaves ๐Ÿ™‚ What makes the work just a tiny bit slow is knitting through the back loop. I know why it’s important, and I know it makes for very pretty stitches, but it’s still a slower process.

Something not knitting related. Spring has finally arrived and I’ve been in a very cheery mood the past few days/ weeks. It’s been sunny and nice out (albeit rather windy), and I’ve been spending some time on the balcony with the cats.

Cats
This is my cat Noodles being unimpressed by the 4 story height, and (I guess now I know why they call it a ‘catwalk’) strutting around like she owns the place. She can’t escape, so all she does is walk around and try to peek at the neighbors.

Cats
I really like the silhouette in this picture. Kitties are so graceful ๐Ÿ™‚

My 2 year old nephew visited me a while ago and now I have the most awesome art hanging on my wall ๐Ÿ™‚

Sami Art
Now I’m off clearing out my basement, I need to make room for.. YARN! (what else..?)

Pattern publication: Erasmus

If you follow me on anything other than the blog you’ve probably already noticed that I’ve ‘officially’ published my first pattern; Erasmus.

thumbnail_erasmus

The pattern is available in English, and will soon also be available in Dutch and Farsi (I need to have it proofread to make sure there are no strange errors in them).

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As you may have noticed I added a new page for patterns. Here you’ll find the downloadable patterns of my designs. I hope you enjoy them, and please feel free to contact me if you have questions/ found an error/ just want to drop a line ๐Ÿ™‚

Hairpin lace, final part

In the end I decided that three parts is definitely enough for now. I ended up making a narrow scarf because I really don’t have that much yarn left. I really like the technique and the things that you can do with it. It’s a great method for stashbusting, but be warned: it’s highly addictive! (what isn’t..)

hairpin lace edge example
I made a four strip wide band (116 loops long). I just wanted something small to try the technique on, and I’m happy with the way it’s turning out. I’m usually not a big fan of explosive colors at all, but this scarf is really growing on me, crazy colors or not!

Now that the ribbons crocheted together, there’s only the one question left: “what do I do with all those loops?!”

hairpin lace edge example
I guess that depends on what kind of edging you’d like. This is what I did:

hairpin lace edge example
The first step is to yarn over and to stick the hook through three of the loops.

hairpin lace edge example
Grab the yarn with your hook and pull the yarn through the three loops. Finish the double crochet stitch, and repeat four more times. Chain two and move on to the next three loops.

hairpin lace edge example
Continue in this fashion until you’re happy with the edging ๐Ÿ™‚

Hairpin lace, part 2

So this hairpin lace post might get more parts than originally intended. When I started typing for the previous post I didn’t intend to add a whole tutorial. There are many tutorials out there and most of them are probably better than mine would be. I also didn’t feel comfortable enough to make a tutorial, because I’m only just learning about this technique. So before you keep reading I’d like to stress that this is/ was not intended to be a tutorial (even though it really looks like one…).

Hairpin lace
First things first. Beginning a hairpin lace ribbon is probably the most difficult about the whole process, mostly because the loom is rather awkward to hold when there’s no fabric attached. So this would be the first step. Your yarn should be behind the fork.

Hairpin lace
The second step would be to tie a knot in the center of the loom. There should be a loop around the right bar, and the knot should be between the two bars.

Hairpin lace
Now turn the loom. The whole idea of hairpin lace is turning the loom around to get the loops. The only thing that’s really important is that you keep turning the same way. If you’re left-handed you can just mirror these steps, and make the loop on the left bar.

Hairpin lace
Insert the hook through the front side of the loop and single crochet, twice. Turn your work and repeat.

Hairpin lace
If you keep it up, you’ll end up with a long ribbon. Now I will show you what you can do with two of those ribbons.

Hairpin lace
Every ribbon will have one crochet center and loops sticking out on the sides. The most simple way to connect these ribbons is by crocheting the loops together like this.

Hairpin lace
It almost feels and looks like a zipper. You can also choose to crochet multiple loops together instead of just one.

Hairpin lace
Now go ahead and imagine what a blanket would look like, while I work on the next few ribbons ๐Ÿ™‚

Hairpin lace, part 1

Today, I’m going to blog a little bit about hairpin lace. To be very honest, before the knitting fair (brei- en haakdagen) I had never heard of it before, so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I decided to buy a kit. Big mistake. I’m addicted and I don’t even know how it hit me…

So what is hairpin lace? In Dutch it’s called guimpehaken, and if you live in the Netherlands you can go to Draadpracht to buy yourself a kit. A kit consists of a loom (netvork), a crochet double sided crochet hook, ย a manual and two balls of yarn.

Hairpin lace
The loom consists of two needles and two cross bars with holes. Another thing you’ll need (well, not really need, but it would make the job easier), is a two sided crochet hook. The whole point of hairpin lace is to turn the work around. You crochet twice, turn and repeat. The holes in the cross bars allow you to change sizes. The smaller sizes are for finer yarns, while the bigger size allows for chunkier/ artyarns. I have to say that artyarns and hairpin lace are a great combination imho.

Hairpin lace
Starting up is very simple (but there is more than 1 way to do it). You can tie your yarn around both needles and just start. You crochet single crochet twice, and then you turn your work around. Or you could make a slip knot, hold your crochet hook in front, and your yarn behind the loom and single crochet in the center between the two needles. From there you work your way up.

Hairpin lace
I have to admit that it’s a bit awkward at first. The loom is constantly between your crochet hook and hand, so it takes a bit of practice to hold both the loom and your yarn in a comfortable manner. After a while though, there’s a certainย rhythmย to it ๐Ÿ™‚

Hairpin lace
After a while it looks a bit like the picture above (yes that’s a different yarn). The more loops you have on the loom, the easier the work gets (to a certain point of course). The loom will be easier to hold because of all the loops.

Hairpin lace
I’ve only been practicing so far, so I don’t have much to show just yet. I think I’ll have to buy some pretty, shiny yarns so I can make something nice ๐Ÿ™‚

When you have the desiredย length, you can bind off and take the ribbon off the loom.

Hairpin lace
Right now it looks a little sad, but in the second post I’ll show you what you can do with the ribbons you’ve just made. If you’re interested you can google some images of hairpin lace patterns. Some of them are simply stunning. It’s a very fast process and you’re done before you know it. I also think that it’s a great way to use the leftovers in your stash.

Stash review and second thoughts..

I’m not really a ‘stash’ person. Don’t worry, it’s not that I don’t like yarn, I just don’t have enough room to keep it in my house ๐Ÿ˜› I also have cats, and the combination between cats and yarn is not always a good one.

I love my cats, but really kiwi..?
During last years Tour de Fleece I spun some castlemilk moorit on my russian spindle, but never finished the entire batch. I wasn’t too bothered and decided to keep it for the next TdF. I did have a lot on my mind with the moving and all, and decided that knitting alone was enough for a while. I kept the yarns and stash together in some nice ikea boxes and forgot about them. That is, until I found this little hank all torn up to shreds (that’s what it looked like!) on the bedroom floor. Cats and yarn don’t mix.

one of the cats attacked the castlemilk moorit handspun :(
She actually managed to chew off some yarn and now there’s broken bits everywhere. I don’t have any pictures of what it looked like when I found it, because I honestly don’t want to document something like that. I was more than a little bit bummed, ย you can say.

IST Crafts russian spindle
So while I was reviewing what was left of the yarn, and how many rolags I had left, I decided to see what else I could spin this year.

dyed bfl
I found some dyed BFL in rather vibrant colors. Not really my colours to be honest, but I do like them a lot. I might spin this realy thin and ply it with some chunkier white bfl I have.

dyed bfl
While reviewing the stash I also found some chiengora I was gifted and some leftover gray wensleydale from older projects.

chiengora
leftover wensleydale
I’m not sure what to do with them, but right now thinking of blending them with some other fliber.

rolags
I also found some of these. The picture above shows rolags I made with white wensleydale x gotland mixed with BFL in oatmeal. I used these to spin a (true) 4-ply yarn for an adult tomten vest. I hadn’t forgotten about it, but in my mind it looked somewhat different.

handspun tomten
When I look at it now I’m not sure if I like it that much. It’s really not about the spinning, because I can still manage to spin the rest of the yarn this summer. I’m just not really happy with the way it looks for some reason.

closeup handspun tomten
I don’t know how I feel about it now. I love the texture, but is it wearable or does it just look a little shabby? I can’t really decide if I like it or not ๐Ÿ™

Spin stash
These colorful bags belong to one sheep. I spun a bit of it, and it’s on the spinning wheel in the basement right now, so no pictures. The fiber is coarse and I don’t think its something to wear on the skin, but it might still be very nice for other things ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like the way the colors turned out, and I’m thinking of a nice rainbow-ish, chain-plied yarn. It’s not nearly time for the Tour yet but I feel like summer can’t come too soon! This crazy winter/ spring is really testing my patience. And I’m saying that as a knitter…