Friday, July 22, 2005

Away for a while!

I'll be away the coming week to Italy! I'm nervous as I should be ready by now but I'm not so I have to hurry. I packed a lot of knitting, a lot of books and SunBlock, so it should be nice! I'll report all about it when I get back!

Take care all, and happy knitting!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Why to avoid knifes

There is a reason why a knitter should really avoid using a knife. A knitter should have smooth hands, with no tiny little interuptions anywhere as that would cause the used yarn to stick and it would really stagger quick and smooth knitting.

Yesterday I was cutting flowers - I get fresh flowers like once every 2 weeks if I can at the early Sunday market - and of course I slipped and cut my thumb really badly. Well, not that badly, but I did cut the finger and the nail! Last night while knitting I was faces with the huge annoyance of a cut in a finger when knitting. The yarn kept sticking to the cut in the finger and the nail. It didn't only annoy me as for knitting, it also really hurt me every time I pulled the piece of meat from my finger. Yickes.

So basically in my opinion a knitter should avoid a knife if s/he can! Ask a gentle roommate/family member/patner to do the cutting or wear good protection. Or take the risk if you think you are a really good cutter and go ahead, do it yourself!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Todays dyeing

I dyed some yarn today, and here's the result :

I like the colours and I'm sure they'll spin up nicely, but I really want to dye some more solid rovings, without all the white spots, and darker colours. I'll have to try again, though any tips would be welcome.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

At last, an update!

Ok, I know, it has taken me way to long to update, but I had pictures to show but I was to lazy to get my camera so I never really wanted to update.

Lets see, I had a really dissapointing evening of spinning at the beginning of the week. It all went wrong and I was ready to throw everything out of the window. But I didn't. I started over the next day and actually did some super spinning! I didn't take pictures of the actual spinning, but I did take pictures of the yarn drying!

Ok, I know, there isn't much to see, but I just wanted to show off my first batch of handspun hanging on the balcony to dry. The one in front in the first pic is actually the left over of the first nights horrible spinning. It's red/black roving I bought ages ago at Ebay. Then the one in front in the second picture is the same roving but spun up nicely in a fat thick and thin 2 ply. I'm going to use the first single to make a mini felted thingie like I tried before, I think this yarn will felt perfectly. The 2-ply has no destination yet. The yarn in the back on the second picture is the one I spun ages before. I washed and set it now. Yeah, I didn't do that before. Anyway, it's green/blue/black, bought from the same person at Ebay. This one is probably going to be socks though I still have to figure out how to know I'll have enough yarn. I know I need about 100grams and I think this skein is, though I'm not sure.

Here's a close up of the red/black yarn (it's really more burgundy-red in reality) and in the back you can see the green/blue/black.

Yesterday I was spinning on this roving, which is from the fleece I got (by the way, I got a second one today and it'll keep me busy all through Winter I think). I washed it but am not to happy with the greace that's still in it. I'll try more washing. Then I died it, and carded it.

I spun up the bright pink/purple and it spun quite nice. But, unfortunately, while trying to do a navajo-ply (my first) my wheel broke down! At first I was stunned, didn't know how to react. Then I freaked! Then I picked up the phone and called the lady I got the carder from as she sells parts for the Louët spinning wheels. I could go over in the evening and her husband repaired my wheel. Of course I cut the string on the navajo plying and just put the yarn aside. No clue yet what to do with it. I might spin more singles in different colours and then use them for fairisle socks or so.

Today I had another great episode of spinning, look :

First pic is the single I spun. Then I put it all on a center pull ball and then from that ball I plied it. This is some of the handpainted german wool roving I did last week (I post pictures here). While plying it I really regretted doing that as the single was looking so nice. But I'm always afriad the single won't be strong enough when knitted. Well, I have some merino in the same colours and that'll stay singles. :D This is about 100grams and it'll be socks.

Beneath the yarn after washing, and a close up :

Yeah, lots of pinks and purples, but it's really nice and really my colour!

When at the lady to get my spinning wheel fixed I bought more merino and german wool roving! She's so cheap! I can't wait to start dyeing more. I hope my wheel won't brake down again 'cause she's away for a month. I saw that lovely Louët S45 again and I really can't wait till I have saved up to buy one! I desperately want such a great wheel! Mine is really slacking and might have another problem, but I'm going to ask our handyman - not my boyfriend! - to take a look at it, hope he can fix it.

I'm going to card the alpaca and the mohair soon too, so I can start spinning on the yarn for my friend Elise. It's taken me way to long. Plus I'm washing more of the fleece. And I want to dye the mohair I got unwashed. After that it's up to the lovely roving I got from Hello Yarn which will spin up perfectly I'm sure! I'm getting the hang of this, I can spin fine singles which is perfect for the socks I plan on knitting with them! Oh, almost forgot, but I got some black Shetland wool from the lady as well, it's already carded so I'll spin that up for more fairisle stuff (mittens, hats, socks).

I am knitting, though I forgot to take pictures. I'm working on fairisle socks and the squares for the blanket. Well, squares, only one done so far. Hopefully I'll get a lot of knitting done on our trip to Italy. I want to learn how to use my drop spindle so I can sping a little over there as well. I might be crazy. Oh well, the lady from the wheels takes a wheel with her, till last year a huge one but this year she's taking the S45 which is of course perfect for traveling. She is going in a mobile home though, so that makes the difference. I don't think my sisters would like the company of a spinning wheel on the backseat of the car!

I might be getting a new job, it's all kind of strange. If you want to read more, please visit my journal, as I've written it all down there and I don't want to repeat it again! Yeah, sorry, I know, I'm lazy. But it's mighty hot over here and I'm just mostly all about sleeping. I get very active in the evening but boyfriend doesn't like that to much. To bad.

Ok, off now to write a letter and knit some!

Friday, July 08, 2005

First of all, my deepest sympathy for those in London being affected of this cruel attacs. I'm thinking of you. It's scary, as they actually mentionned the possible scare again for our little country. If they do something it'll be most likely at the big Southern station in Brussels, where I am daily when on my way to and from work. Or the metro under it. I can only hope it won't happen, not here and not anywhere. I don't see the use of these attacs, I don't see where these people hope they are getting to.

Another note : I'm greatly dissapointed. I wanted to order some Koigu online but the shop I chose does ship to Belgium but isn't willing to change the value of the package. Of course I totally understand their reasons, but I just can't afford having to pay half of the value again when it's in customs over here. Anyone knows any online stores that sell Koigu? I think I remember one in the UK, but I don't remember which one it was ... .

Of to bed now, I'm sooooo tired!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Finally, a proper update! Lets start by the weekend. On Sunday morning I was woken by my boyfriend bringing me breakfast while in bed. Lovely! He has never done that before! Of course he didn't have a birthday-present for me, but well, I had a nice morning. After waking up slowly we went to pick up my sisters and drove to the coast with the dog. We went to The Netherlands 'cause in Belgium dogs aren't allowed on the beach during the Summer season. We had hoped to let her run free but that wasn't allowed before 6pm. Well, she had a nice time at the beach, look :

Not so good picture, but well, she didn't really want to sit still. Boyfriend took her in the water but she really didn't like that. She has never liked water, which is ok as we have some dirty streams around the property and it's nicer if she stays out!

I did knit quite a bit during the ride. I finished my sisters socks, the anklets in yarn from Hello Yarn. Of course my sister didn't want to model them, but my other sister didn't mind. Well, the pictures are quite bad as I took them in the car on the way home (my sister took the socks home) :

(In the second picture you can see boyfriend in the back :D)

I also re-started boyfriends socks but didn't get much done. I was quite tired by then and took a nap in the car.

Monday I drove to that lady who rents carders. She also sells lovely yarn and sold me some beautifull merino really cheap. Coming home I started washing some stuff :

(Mohair before washing)

Washed stuff, mohair on the left and wool on the right.

The wool is from the fleece I got from someone, I don't even know what kind of sheep it's from. But I already asked my boyfriend to call if I can get one or 2 more of those 'cause the wool is gorgious! I need to wash a lot more, but I already carded some and it's coming out so nicely, I think I'll try spinning it today to see how it feels. But the hairs are quite long and feel rather soft, so I guess it's nice wool. It's cheap, that's for sure!

I also had a first try at making stitch markers :

Top row are going to my SP, the lower row are for me. I need to make more! Sorry for the bad pictures, they were taking late at night.

Now another bad picture of a little lacy bad done out of sock yarn, it's holding the above stitch markers for my SP and will be mailed today :

(I really couldn't get a better picture :( looks way better in real)

And then, yesterday was a late birthday! In the morning I recieved the huge box from Hello Yarn containing all the lovely rovings I ordered from her and a ball winder! I was so excited! I tried the ball winder last night, look :

Can you tell I'm excited about this? From let to right (on the last picture) : handdyed wool, sock yarn, LL Lambs&Pride for the Clapotis I really need to finish.

Then later that afternoon I came home to find a package from Amazon waiting for me!!! Oh my, just to much for one day! It had the "Socks, socks, socks" book, "Knitting on the road", the book from The Yarn Harlot, and one book about art. I hadn't expected it so quickly at all, as the order said it could arrive as late as the 20th of this month! So wauw, now I feel like ordering more!

Well, today I plan on spinning some, washing more wool, knitting, doing some art, getting some packages ready to mail out. Tomorrow I'm hoping to go to Ikea to get some stuff for my knitting room. I need a table for my sewing machine.

Oh, before I forget, if I the money my father owes me in September I'll be buying this wheel. It's the Louet S45. I tried it when I got the carder and I'm in love with it! It's super small, you hardly have to tradle and you can spin super fine yarns! It's so nice and perfect! I really, really want one! :D Hopefully I'll have the money soon!

Ok, off now to get more done!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Time is flying!

First day of my holiday. It's hard to believe I have a month off. I know I'm planning way to much so I'm making sure I'm getting everything done as soon as possible. I mean, I don't want to say "I'll do that next Monday" 'cause I'm sure I'll get to busy and won't have time for things.

Today I drove over to this lady who rents out carders. I rended one, and bought some yarn. Not much, though her merino was extremely cheap! I know she'll have more though so I'm not going to buy to much at once. As soon as it's all spun I'll get more.

That being said I started washing some of the fleece I'm having. It's turning out to be lovely wool, I'm really curious how it'll turn out after spinning. I washed a bit, and will card it tomorrow (hopefully, I have so much planned tomorrow). I also got some mohair as I'm to impatient to wait for the yarn I ordered from HelloYarn! I washed it and it's drying as well. I painted some of the wool and some of the merino I got today. I can't wait to start spinning with it.

Here's a list with things I want to get started on very soon :

- a pair of lacy socks
- the cotton top/ballet wrap thingie
- I want to knit 20x20 cm peices in wool with all the patterns from the new book I got, and then I want to sew them together for a blanket! Will be superwash wool though
- start on some lace with the mohair I have
- crochet something
- knit a bag to felt - but with good yarn to felt
- SPIN!!! :D
- card and dye more yarn and roving

Hmm, that's it, oh, and make stitchmarkers. :D That I might do now, though I'm amazed that it's already 9pm. But I did take a huge nap this afternoon. I had promissed myself to relax so I will.

Tomorrow a lot of stuff with the horses, but I'll try to take some pictures of the stuff I'm working on!

Saturday, July 02, 2005


I'm super happy as my Internet is fixed and I'm online again! The man from the company had a little time yesterday and came over. Turned out my modem was fried. I have a new one and I got back online yesterday but didn't have much time to post. So here is an update, with a few pictures! :D

Before & After :

This is a cute little bag I made out of puur wool I died myself. I loved how the yarn was looking before and I'm planning on dyeing a lot more to make the Hot Lava Cardigan , hopefully soon! I'll be using more purple/black kind of colours I think. But hmm, love it!

Oh, and of course, this bag is lovely too! I still need to take out the straps and put yarn in there. This one will be going to my SP I think, unless I manage to make a few more over the weekend (somehow I love this to much to let it go ... :D Silly me).

I think I mentionned finishing the Chutes and Ladders socks last week. Well, here's a picture :

My mom already has them. I had a real hard time handing them over to her. I'm not good in knitting socks for others and all the coming pairs - after finishing 2 pairs that aren't for me either - will be for me!

Currently I'm a good way through the second ancle sock for my sister. They are huge! And I don't mind handing them over as they are simple. I hope to finish the second sock this weekend. The other pair was ripped last night. I've been struggling with a short heel turn on a sock for my boyfriend (in self striping yarn, pictures posted ages ago) but I couldn't do a good one. I'm not sure, I didn't like the needles I was knitting with. The decision to rip was easily made with the bad needles and with the fact that I had ladders! I haven't had ladders in socks before, but this yarn feels strange. I'll start over with the lovely Addi's I got from my SP.

Which introduces the next picture :

She sent me this for my birthday!!! That's so sweet! 2 skeins of Rowan in the same colour, though one skein is a wool/cotton blend and the other is a pure merino. I love them both, to bad I have only one of each 'cause these would make lovely socks! The Addi's are bamboo! Really, I owe my first pair of bamboo needles, and it are turbos! Wauw! Will be in use for my next sock for the boyfriend!

I wanted to go and rent a carder today but turned out the store/person I was going to wasn't around today! I phoned though and I can go over on Monday to get one! I'm so excited! I'm sad I won't have it on my birthday but boyfriend finally mentionned he hasn't forgotten my BD so we'll be doing something together. Nothing much though. But I do want to spin a bit more today.

I have quite a few plans for knitting, spinning and dyeing. I'm so happy having time off. But I'll have to catch up on sleep first. I'm so tired it's getting annoying.

I went shopping today and bought one of those things to make i-cords! Don't know they are called in English. I used to have one at my moms and I'm sure she's still having it somewhere, but as it was only 3.30€ I couldn't leave it behind. I also bought one for the little girl of the riding school, I hope she'll like it. Is there a minimun age for this? At the same store I also bought a bunch of plastic containers. I bought one ages ago and love them but didn't find them in the store. This store (it's a Hema, for anyone in Belgium or The Netherlands) is new here and had them! They aren't expensive and perfect to use. More storage for yarn! :D I also bought some super bed sheets. They have such lovely sheets, I want to go back and buy more! My bedroom is the only room in this house I like having colours in. Well, the sheets are pinkish and I seem to have a new love for pink, beside my never ending super love for puple/egg plant. I saw some nice ones in egg plant as well and some more with vintage kind of prints, so I'm sure I'll buy more soon! They are in the washer now, will be on the bed hopefully by tonight!

Going to take a nap now, and then spin some or knit! I want to spin but I first want to have the carder to make the blends I want to make. Oh well, plenty of knitting to do!