sokjes, dyeing and manon

I finished the socks for my niece. They turned out as anklets, but I think they are cute. I hope she likes them. They are the Rushing Rivulet socks from New Pathways for Sock knitters. (Ravelry details)

Last week Anabel and I had a mini dyeing party. She wanted to dye some curtains and I had some undyed Panda Cotton and Henry's Attic Soie Naturelle that I wanted to dye and some Henry's Attic Riviera that I wanted to overdye because the hanks were two different shades and I didn't like the color. Here are before pictures, notice my very cool homemade PVC niddy noddy!

PVC niddy noddybefore

And here are after pictures. The very dark purple is the Riviera and the orangey-red is the Soie Naturelle. The two two-tone hanks are Panda Cotton.

hand dyed silk, oxbloodoverdyed cotton, imperial purplehand dyed panda cotton

These aren't real after pictures because the yarn is still. Not. DRY! Right now they are spread out on a drying rack with a fan underneath and they are progressing much more quickly towards being dry. I like the purple of the Riviera (sorry, Cookie) but I'm a bit disappointed in the silk and the Panda Cotton. Both have lightened significantly as they've dried. Ah well, it's my first try. Maybe I'll get better, if I get up the nerve to try it again. The rinsing was endless.

In other news, I started a new sweater project. On Thursday evening I was talking to Anabel about my failed sweater projects. Well, failed as in I don't wear them: Tomato and Ribbi Pulli. She encouraged me to think about the projects that I've made that I do like and wear, in other words: Rogue. She asked me what it was about Rogue that I liked so much. I've decided that two of the biggest selling points about Rogue for me are that it's All Seasons Cotton, which I love knitting with, and it's a cardigan, which I find easier to wear. So after talking to her I went home and started a new cardigan in All Seasons Cotton, Norah Gaughan's Manon. So far, I love it. I hope my love continues. I think it will, I also really love this color and how the yarn looks with the cables and texture.

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an outing to de afstap

I decided that since we had a long day yesterday that I would take today to go by myself to Amsterdam. Erik agreed and off I went. I went to the train station in Haarlem, bought myself a ticket and set off. I thought it was a good sign that my yarn expedition began with a sighting of Dutch sheep, even though I wouldn't be buying any yarn made from them. Also, as you can see, I kind of have a thing about wind turbines. They fascinate me for some reason. Some of these ones were really close to the train track too.

sheep!wind turbineswind turbine

I had written down directions to de Asftap, a yarn store that I had heard was fairly Rowan-centric, and then from de Afstap to de Kinderboekwinkel, a children's bookstore to buy books for a friend as well as for Stefan and Niels. I was afraid that I'd need to whip out the map I brought regularly but it was surprisingly straightforward to get there. I felt like less of a tourist than most of the people I saw! Although I did stop to take some rather touristy pictures.

herengrachtde westerkerk

On my way there I saw a sign that said, "homomonument." I felt a bit like Beavis and Butthead thinking, "heh, they said homo." Then, of course, I found it and it's a lovely peaceful monument to the gays and lesbians killed during World War II.  Shame on me for being so childish! The tip of the triangle in the water, which is the point of a larger triangle made of three – I only got pictures of two of them – points at the Anne Frank house.

homomonumenthomomonumenthomomonument

I had gotten it into my head that de Afstap was this huge Rowan mecca. It did have a lot of Rowan but it wasn't all that big. What I ended up buying will be no surprise to anyone who knows my knitting habits. (Hey, it was about 30% off of the full US price!)

de afstapall seasons cotton

I was walking toward the bookstore when I passed an adorable little shop called The Egg Mercantile. The stuff in their window enticed me, so I went in. They had a lot of lovely stuff, including some melamine dishes on sale that I'm now wishing I had gotten. I did get a gift which they wrapped up in typical Dutch fashion. I love how the Dutch stores wrap gifts. I was surprised to find that the had a small selection of yarn in the back, Manos. Too bad I can't knit with it because that stuff is beautiful. They also have a very cute sheep mobile that I almost bought until I saw that it came from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It seemed silly to pay European prices for something made in the US. It was cute, though!

manos in the egg mercantilesheep!i love the way dutch stores wrap things for you

My last shopping stop was de Kinderboekwinkel where I got several books that a friend of mine asked me to find for her son as well as a few lovely books for Stefan and Niels. I was feeling guilty about spending to much on all those books but then Erik's other offered to pay for them as a gift for the boys. Yay for Oma! I don't have a picture of the pile of books, just of the store.

The last stop was to get lunch, a spinach, cheese, bacon and tomato pancake from a cafe on Rozengracht. Yum! It was nice to walk around alone and have some downtime. Yarn and new books are always fun too!

Here I am enjoying my time to myself. Please excuse the messy hair.

me


Oh, and since this post was pretty light on the knitting content, here is a picture of my most recent work in progress: another pair of Woven Ridges socks, this time for my nephew Sven. I decided to use the same pattern he saw me knitting when he was so fascinated by my sock knitting. This time I'm knitting them two at a time so I can hopefully finish them up by Saturday when we are going to see him again, I think for the last time this trip? Wish me luck!

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road trip knitting

We drove up to Portland this week to visit family. That's 10 hours of Erik driving for me to knit! Well, I drove for a few hours on the way up, but I did get a lot of knitting done. On the way up, I finished my Mingus socks, knit a couple of fish tawashis for the boys and knit part of a dishcloth that ended up being ripped out. On the way back, I made a lot of progress on my Chocolate Tomato.

long drives are good for knittingfinished socks!fishie tawashi

In other news, the views on the way were amazing. I continue to be astonished by the California landscape.

Then when were in Portland we drove out to see Multnomah Falls and I learned just how gorgeous Oregon's scenery is as well.


The kids brought their umbrellas and were hoping to get splashed by the falls.

niels got a ride downstefan and his "brella"

There are also gorgeous views to be had of the Columbia River Gorge. Of course, the photographs don't do it justice.

Then there was the drive home, which involved snow and below freezing temperatures! Talk about crazy.

snow on our bumperit was 27 F up there

Nuts!

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not knitting, but finishing!

It's not that I have been knitting, I have. I'm working on Mingus, by Cookie, but I'm doing them toe up. Just since this is a knitting blog, I'll give you a quick peek at them. It's not terribly exciting. Actually, they're much farther along than this now, I just haven't taken any more photos.

They're panda cotton on size 1s. I just ordered some of the smaller size 1s (2.25 mm?) to try with this yarn. I wonder if it will be better, it's a pretty thin yarn.

Okay, so the knitting is out of the way, now I can talk about what I made today: an Amy Butler Frenchy Bag.

I think it turned out super cute. It's not perfect, but that's life, as Niels' kindergarten teacher has taught him to say when he can't get what he wants. I didn't use Amy Butler fabrics. These are some other "name" fabrics, but I can't remember which. I got the fabrics and the pattern at Bobbins Nest Studio and the interfacing and magnetic snap cam from Eddies. I made the handbag size but put on a not-quite-shoulder bag length strap (I didn't have enough fabric for a full shoulder length strap due to a cutting mistake). It's the perfect length, though, it fits over my shoulder nicely.

I think if I make another (and I might, in the shoulder bag size) I would use the decorator fabrics and sew down the middle of at least one of the pockets to give a smaller pocket option and also to keep them from flopping open quite so much.

Those lining dots could give you a seizure, eh? God thi

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so, knitting, right?

Knitting… my hobby, right? I have been doing it, but not as much as usual because I keep falling asleep putting Stefan to bed and some nights I just stay in bed. I think more sleep keeps me more sane than more knitting. That sentence may test my theory, however.

In any case, there has been knitting. I started my grandmother's Hannukah present. It's the Menorah Pillow from Handknit Holidays. I got the front all knitted in a couple of days. After almost throwing my back out patting myself on the back for finishing it so quickly with only one mistake that I think you can't even see, I noticed a bigger one. Now that is all I can see. Horror of horrors, a miscrossed cable! I was considering trying the Yarn Harlot's duplicate stitch for fixing miscrossed cables, but I don't think it would work well in this yarn (All Seasons Cotton) so, instead I'm going to follow January One's tutorial and snip the yarn above and below. Not tonight, though.

I also finished a pair of socks. (Foxgloves, from New Pathways for Sock Knitters.) They're a touch big, I'm hoping washing helps that.

And started another pair. (Jeweled Steps, from the same.)

Oh, and I think I'm going to knit this guy for Niels for Christmas, but without the built-in sweater so I can knit more than one outfit for him. Niels asked for a "big boy doll" (as opposed to a baby doll) and I think he fits the bill nicely.

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tantalizing socks and the husband hybrid

I cast on for Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks from New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One by Cat Bordhi. I think these socks have the best name ever. I am making the smallest size in the pattern which looks like it will fit Stefan. I realized last night at BobaKnit that right before the heel turn, it would make a nice dress for Barbie, so she got to try it on when I got home. This is my old-school 80s Barbie and it was still a touch big. I think today's Barbie has a smaller bust, so keep that in mind if you decide to use this pattern to knit Barbie a tube dress.

bartholomew's tantalizing sockbarbie models the sock

In other tube news, I knit a swatch for making a seamless hybrid for Erik.Kristi and I are actually going to have a mini knitalong. I am going to use my military green All Seasons Cotton and some of the leftover from my Rogue to make the inside of the cuffs and hems. (Like Brooklyn Tweed's.) I really like the way it looks, but it was hard to capture in a photo.

Edited to add: Since so many people seem confused by this I thought I should explain a little bit better. I am going to knit this sweater in the round, I had to swatch in the round. I also wanted to test out colors for the contrast on the cuffs and hem, so I knit those into the swatch. I titled it "husband hybrid" because I'm knitting a seamless hybrid for my husband. Makes sense, no?

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the heelless footie

Here's the heelless footie picture, thanks to Jill! Um, the picture is thanks to Jill, it was certainly not her fault that I was foolish enough to do the i-cord bind off before actually knitting the heel. Actually, she was the one who opened the bottle of Pinot Noir that I drank, so maybe it is her fault, in a weird way.

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the footies are finally finished!

I finished my footie socks tonight. There was a brief hiccup earlier today at Cindy's birthday party when I realized that I hadn't knit a heel, about 90% of the way through the i-cord bind off. Oops! Jill got a picture of it, since I didn't have my camera, with the cause of my problem: wine! I actually think her photo was with a bottle of port, but that's close enough. Friends certainly don't let friends knit drunk!

I am pleased that I managed to get two socks for myself out of one ball of Panda Cotton. It took a few tries, though. I'm not sure I'd do it again. I think they'd look better with a bit of a cuff and a turned rather than short row heel. Live and learn!

Now that my sock needles are free: Cat Bordhi patterns, here I come!

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cat bordhi

I dropped by Purlescence today and picked up a copy of Cat Bordhi's new book. The only reason I am not knitting one of the tiny test socks right now is that the needles I need all seem to be in other projects. I really like the way this book is laid out, with notes in yellow boxes so they are easy to find. I also like that she gives you a couple of patterns following the same "sockitecture," as she calls it, but then gives you the master pattern as well so you can easily modify them to your liking. I am looking forward to the other books in this series (I believe there will be three) and I haven't even knit anything from this one yet! I may be displacing my desire to buy yarn into a desire to buy knitting books.

Anyway, I have at least three socks picked out that I want to make once the needles are available, as well as a jar full of sock yarn that needs some attention.

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a parade of wips

Anouk is almost done, which is good because my friend's baby is due like next week. I have all the pieces knit, I just need to sew them together and weave in a few ends. I mostly used the weave in ends as you go idea but with a cotton yarn, it doesn't hold that tightly. I'm considering taking some sewing thread and sewing the very end to the back of the dress since I want my friend to be able to machine wash it without the ends coming out.

7/3/07anouk almost done

I also picked up my Bombshell again. I was hoping to finish it before I go to Chicago, in two weeks. I'm not sure if that's doable or not. I'm just past the part where you divide for the body and sleeves. I took a picture before joining the body in the round last night. The back seems very long but I think part of that is because I had it on the needle instead of on a string and the weight of the needle pulled it back. I will also be adding some short row bust shaping. I just have to do it backwards from the instructions in the book. I think I have it figured out. At least, I sat down with a piece of paper and measuring tape and calculated what I need to do. Wish me luck!

bombshell back7/5/07

I also keep forgetting to post about my footie socks. Sock, really. I finished the first one while we were in Carlsbad. I ripped back the ribbing and stole  borrowed Brenda Dayne's i-cord cast off idea. I think it worked. I need to sew the ends of the i-cord together, but that's about it. I weighed the sock and my fairly imprecise scale says that it weighs 20 g and the remaining yarn weights 25 g, so I should have enough left for the second. Of course, the ball originally weighed 50 g, but I won't wonder where the last 5 g went.

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