Wednesday, January 31, 2007

ugly hat and scarf


I confess, this is not knitted from stash. As if I would have such nasty colored acrylic in my stash ! My DD asked me to knit this for her. Here in Flanders, there is a tradition called 'Chrysostomos'. The lastyear students in highschool dress funny, make fun of teachers and other students, and celebrate that the end of their highschool years is approching. It's also called 'the 100 days'. The theme to dress this year was 'proud to be wrong'. I guess 'wrong' here ment 'wrong colors', and had nothing to do with morality. DD even baked pink and green waffles. Hey, we're Belgian after all.

knitted from Scheepjeswol 'Roma' - hat is knitted with 3 strands of yarn, scarf with 2 strands. It went fast, but still 3 nights of knitting. DD made the pompons. And the yarn was maybe ugly, but rather nice to work with (for an 100% acrylic). I didn't have any 8mm double pointed needles, so I used 'magic loop ' for the first time. I actually learned something from this project !

Dit is niet uit mijn voorraadkast gehaald, en ik heb mijn belofte dus niet gebroken. Alsof ik 100% acrylic in huis zou hebben ! Dit is gebreid om 'Chrysostomos' te vieren. Meer info op wikipedia vind je hier : Bedoeling is om je te verkleden, gek te doen en te vieren dat je nog maar 100 dagen verwijderd bent van het einde van de middelbare school. Het verkleedthema dit jaar was 'proud to be wrong' - dus hoe gekker hoe beter. Mijn dochter heeft de wol gekocht, en de pomponnetjes gemaakt. Bovendien heeft ze roze en groene wafels gebakken om uit te delen. Die zagen er afgrijselijk uit, maar waren best lekker.

Gegevens : Scheepjeswol 'Roma' - muts gebreid met 3dubbele draad, sjaal met dubbele draad.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

looking for artyarns supermerino 113

Wanting to knit a small shoulder shawl I found the 'canopy forest shoulder shawl'. Just the ticket to use up stash - 2 skeins of Artyarns supermerino in color 113 (shades of brown). Unfortunately I ran out of yarn on the bindoff row (sorry, no picture yet).
Does anybody has some leftover yards lying around ? It would help me out tremendously ! (of course I could rip back and make it a bit shorter, but I am afraid this won't work, because this is already a rather short shawl...
Or is there another solution ? Bind of with a different yarn ? I have been going through my stash (and it is a big stash), and I cannot find anything suitable.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

a first try at a lay-out for the Kaffe Fassett quilt

Last saturday I posted about the upcoming Kaffe Fassett patchwork workshop. Nancy commented that the white in the sheet with the big tulips Iwanted to use would be a too big contrast. I have been cutting large blocks this week in the hobby club (every thursday afternoon), and arranged some to see how it looks. Nancy is right.
The tulips won't work for the large blocks. Re-arranging, I wanted to look if they would work for the medium block. This quilt is designed with 3 sizes of blocks, large-medium-small.

I think it might work, if I use fabric around it that has a little bit of white in it.
Or maybe I should reconsider, and not use the tulip sheet at all. Which would be a pity, because I really wanted to build a quilt around the tulips.

Friday, January 26, 2007

about Hanne Falkenberg ...

The first time I saw a Hanne Falkenberg sweater was in Copenhagen in 1998. It was in a shop called 'sommerfuglen' . The shop is still around, and it's worth checking their website ( At that time, I found the garments to be lovely, but a bit scratchy. I have grown up knittingwise since then, and although I would not consider the yarn to be supersoft, I now quite like it. It has that crisp, crunchy shetlandwool feeling.

I had been longing to try out a Hanne Falkenberg sweater since ever since, and I finally bought my first kit (Da Capo) when I was on holiday in Aarhus, Denmark in 2002. The great thing about buying there was that they had all the sweaters on display, and that you could actually try them on. I was in love with Pagode, but decided that it didn't look good on me. I am short and very round, and this is a long coat for tall people. Ballerina and Jazz looked good on me too, but I had to make a choice.

In 2003 I bought a second HF kit on Ebay (Delta). This was not a good decision - I hadn't tried it on, but thought that any HF sweater would be fabulous on me. I had good customer service from the vendor, but nor the colors nor the model worked for me. Of course, I only realised this when I finished knitting it. (it's also the only HF sweater that doesn't get me compliments when I wear it). It's not on her website any longer, but you can still buy it through Sommerfuglen. Mine is in curry, khaki and turquoise.

I kept searching on Ebay for other HF kits I liked and in colorways I liked. In 2004 I bought Ballerina and Jazz'on Ebay. When the Jazz kit arrived, I decided I didn't like the colorway. It was n° 3 Dusk/Cyclamen (dusk is a nice dark blue with purple/pink flecks, but cyclamen is a bit too bright hot pink). And then I heard that a collegue was travelling to Copenhagen, and I asked her to go to 'Sommerfuglen' and bring me another kit LaStrada. So I bought 3 HF kits in 2004 !

I started LaStrada right away, and finished it in 3 months. I knitted colorway 7 - black, rust, grey-mix, curry. That was it in 2004. Apparently I can only knit one HF a year. It's a lot of knitting, and sometimes requires more then average concentration.

In 2005 I decided that I could not let the other 2 HF kits gathering dust on my shelf, and I started Jazz. I resolved the color issue, by swapping the colors from the 2 kits. I bought 'Ballerina' in color 13 - blueberry and black, with accents of pea green and cyclamen. I used the black and blueberry to knit Jazz. Of course, I didn't know if I had enough to knit this kit. But I figured, with Ballerina being a long swing coat, and Jazz a short boxy jacket, I would have enough of the main color (blueberry). And I still had a bit of black leftovers from the previous kit, so maybe that would even out ? HF doesn't list the required amount of yarn in her patterns. The kits are made up to contain enough. Turned out that I didn't had enough black yarn. I decided to order some shetland yarn online ( I carefully compared yardage, and ordered some 'spindrift' yarn. Turned out a perfect match - the same weight, the same feel, and even the same black. They also had a color named 'Dusk' so I ordered that too - seems a perfect match again (but I haven't used it yet). My suspicion is that HF uses Jamieson spindrift in her kits. Jazz took me more then a year to complete (sept 05 to jan 07), but then I have struggled with 'frozen shoulder'.

So that leaves Ballerina to be knit. Of course, now I don't have enough to knit it in the intended colors. I'll have to make up my own colorway. I am thinking of knitting this with 'Dusk' as a main color, but I don't know if I will have enough. And I could use blueberry, cyclamen and pea green as accent colors. I have also found some other colors in my stash of shetland yarn that will work. This will be fun !

One lesson learned though : try the garments on - and decide on the color 'in the flesh', so to speak. It looks like I will be travelling to Scandinavia this summer.
I am looking forward to visiting shops that carry HF designs and try on some of the newer models. I have my eye on Diva, Mermaid and Tivoli. I don't think I will actually buy a kit now, but I can save up for next year !

Monday, January 22, 2007

Not much knitting going on here ...

I have had a very busy last week and weekend, so I really had no time to knit anything that needed my concentration. Also a bit of train travel on the menu for this week, which prompted me to start another sock.
I know that I said 'no black socks' for DS, but this was in my stash, and I made this resolution to knit up stash ... It's charcoal actually, not really black. Lana Grossa Meilenweit Tweed, color 107 to be precisely. Bought in Berlin, february 2006. And I used a purl 3, knit 1 rib on the cuff and foot.

Ik lees altijd de commentaren bij mijn blog, maar heb nu pas gemerkt dat bij mijn vorige 'sokpost' van 25 november '06 Gonny mij het patroon van een simpele sok vroeg. Nu gebruik ik al lang geen patroon meer, wegens 't zit gewoon in mijn hoofd. Dit uitschrijven zou een hele klus worden. En ik ben oorspronkelijk vertrokken van engelstalige patroontjes. Heeft iemand een link naar een goed NL-talig patroon ? Uit de inzendingen wordt een prijs geloot - iets uit mijn voorraadkast, de winnaar zal de keuze krijgen uit verschillende opties ! Links doorsturen kan nog tot einde januari.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

kaffe fasset is coming to Belgium

... to the 'Modemuseum'in Hasselt. And he is teaching a patchwork and a knitting workshop. I signed up for both.
First up : the patchwork class. Now, patchwork is fairly new to me, I have only made one quilt before (also a Kaffe Fassett design).
It was the 'Rice bowls' quilt. More experienced quilters will have a lot to say about the finishing, but for me it's all about working with the colors.
This time we will work on the 'tapestry garden' quilt. Kaffe Fassett wants us to combine big bold flower prints. I have an old sheet with big tulips on it, and was looking in my stash what to combine with it.

I could go for pastels... but it is too sweet, not opulent enough;

... or for golden yellows. Maybe a bit to yellow ?

... but I have chosen this. I have bought some extra fabrics of course. I bought some in my local yarn and fabric store (the owner will be attending the workshop too). I bought the fabric with my store credit, build up in the last year, so I got it practically for free. I felt I needed a bit more orange, and to cut down on costs I bought 2 sheets with big flower prints, for a grand total of 20 euro. So I have a lot of fabric for not too much money. I am not sure about the smaller prints though. Probably not bold enough.

Voor yarnlot - ik vond je e-mail adres niet op je blog. Waar woon jij ergens ? Als je wil kan je me mailen - ik vond jouw japanees haakwerk heel erg geslaagd. En wat een werk om in de Noro wol te knippen tot je de juiste kleurcombinatie hebt gevonden. Well done !

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


.... the irresistible urge to swatch new projects. This 'knit from your stash' really helps me to look for possibilities in my oddball stash. I bought some handspun very fine singles in Stockholm, summer 2005. The name of the store is 'Anntorps Vav', a very nice small shop in the old center (sorry, no picture !). She does custom dyeing too. The yarn has no label, so I really needed to swatch. I was hoping to get a short lace cardigan out of it, but with my size and what I have on hand, that's not going to happen. I will need to frog this, and think of something else. I got the pattern for the 'canopy forest shoulder shawl' as a present, so maybe that's an option.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

first finished object of 2007

I did finish the Jaywalkers socks, and hope to wear them soon. They are drying as I speak. This colorway wasn't too colorfast, my hands and needles came out stained after knitting with it. That's why I decided to give them a good wash first.

I frogged the brown socks. I didn't like the tiny cable in that dark color. And I lost a bunch of stitches when a needle slid out of the wip (work in progress) in my purse. I'll need to find a pattern better suited to this yarn.
I have also been inspecting my stash.

This is the cupboard in my livingroom, filled with oddballs, or special yarns, just enough for small projects. It's next to my TV, so when there's nothing on, I can admire my stash.

To keep my resolution of knitting from stash, I swatched with a variegated cotton paired up with some Rowan kidsilk haze. I bought the cotton in Venice in 2005.

The name of the shop was Lellabella, very nice but expensive. The kidsilk haze is from my local yarnstore, 't Wolwinkeltje in Leuven. (I must write one day about the yarnstores in my home town). The idea was to knit 'Tamarah', but my swatch learns me that that won't work. So now I'll have to think a bit more about what to do with these yarns.

And the jawbreaker cardigan is 'on hold' now. I finished the back, but am having second thoughts about the front. They are cut away, and slant towards the neck opening. I am wondering if this look will work on somebody who is not as flat as the model in the magazine.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

not so mindless socks

I love to knit socks when I am inbetween projects, when I am stuck on a project, and when I am travelling. I use socks as a mindless project, I don't have to think about it, I can just knit and relax. So, when travelling to Torino, naturally I started a pair of socks.
I bought some sock yarns from 'storm op zolder' on the Stitch and Bitch event in Rotterdam.

The blue one is for my Secret Pal 9; the orange one is for my friend Jane in Texas, and the black/olive/sand yarn was destined to become a pair of socks for my son. To my surprise he didn't like the colors (but it has black in it, and olive !).
So I decided to start a pair of socks for me - I settled for the 'jaywalker socks'.

Now usually I knit my socks on 60 stitches, but this pattern calls for 76 stitches to cast on. OK, I thought, maybe this pattern has not much give, so it makes sense to cast on a bit more stitches. But when I had knitted the cuff, it looked soooo big, that I decided to decrease to 68 stitches. Well, let me tell you, this pattern calls for 76 stitches for a reason. And I only realised this when I had knitted the first sock, and tried it on. I could not get the sock over my heel. So frogging the first attempt was in order.
As my need for simple, mindless knitting was not satisfied, I cast on for another sock.

This is 'fancy rib socks', from the 'subscriber only' part of the Interweave knits website, knitted in Knitpicks 'essential'.
My second attempt at the 'jaywalker socks' resulted in another failure, that only got noticed when the decreases for the toe didn't add up. The zigzag pattern is formed by increasing on both ends of the needle, and decreasing in the middle. Somewhere I managed to increase without the corresponding decrease. I knitted a complete foot before this came obvious. So frogging the foot back to the heel flap was in order.
I have knitted this sock for the 3d time now - so I really got lots of knitting time for my money. And for the good order : it is entirely due to me not paying attention. There is nothing wrong with the pattern.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Looking back on my 2006 knitting ...

I can state that this was a good year. One of my New Years resolutions at the start of 2006 was definitely to use up more yarn then to acquire new yarn.
I used up :
- 104 balls of yarn . Making 2 blankets really helped here. They were completely knitted/crocheted from stash.

I bought or received as a gift/swap :
- 66 balls of yarn.
I bought an additional 20 balls of yarn that went out as presents immediately (so technically I didn't add these to my stash).
All in all, the balance is positive. I knitted up 38 balls more then I added to the stash. In 2005 I only slightly knitted up more then I bought (If I remember correctly it was something like : 130 knitted/115 bought).

My resolution for 2007 will be to knit from stash even more. I don't know if I can keep to a strict yarn diet (like Wendy), but I really want to knit more from stash. I have yarn for at least another 20 pairs of socks, numerous bags, scarves, hats, shawls.... enough to keep knitting for a long time. I also have 4 sweater kits (2 Vivian Hoxbro, 1 Hanne Falkenberg, 1 Kureyon). Maybe I can refine my resolution to use the oldest yarns first...
The jawbreaker cardigan I am working on now is a good example. Some of this yarn was in my stash for ages ...

In 2006 I knitted a grand total of 28 items.
(When looking back on the items I have knitted, I see that I knitted 10 items with yarn that I have acquired in 2006. I guess new yarn always is more appealing...
I won't tell you how much I have spent on yarn. Let's just say that it equals buying 2 CD' a month.
I bought yarn in the 2 local yarn stores, but I bought even more yarn abroad (I tend to bring yarn as a souvenir). A resolution could also be to buy more yarn in my local stores (they need to survive too). For instance, I bought sock yarn in Berlin in February, but I can get the same yarn in my local shop. So what's the point ? The yarn I bought in Stockholm on the other hand, is so unique that I could not get it here locally.

My finished objects :
For Dear Son :
- 2 scarves (one in a cashmere/wool blend, one in a camel/wool blend, both not satisfactory to him - not the right color, lenght, width, weight... I guess he just doesn't like scarves)
- 3 pair of socks
For Dear Daughter :
- 1 pair of socks (she doesn't go trough her socks as fast as my son)
For the home :
- 1 crocheted afghan, 1 log-cabin knitted afghan.
For me :
- 2 hats
- 1 pair of socks
- 1 pair of mittens
- 2 lace shawls
- 1 lace stole
- 1 scarf
- 1 Hanne Falkenberg cardigan
For other recipients (gifts):
- 1 pair of armwarmers
- 1 pair of mittens
- 2 purses
- 1 baby hat
- 1 pair of baby pants (technically not an FO, I still need to sew in some elastic)
Dear Husband is missing from this list, he preferrs not to receive a knitted item from me.

Knitting workshops :

- knitting with color - Brandon Mably workshop at Rowan Mills, Holmfirth, UK

- Alice Starmore workshop - 1day workshop in Nieuwpoort (Holland)

- Debbie Stoller and Nancy Merchant lectures in Rotterdam (Holland)

Knitting books :
I bought one book in Swedish on twined knitting. I like books that discuss specific techniques. I don't need another pattern book really. That's where knitting magazines are for. I have a subscription to Interweave knits, and occassionaly I buy Vogue knitting (or others), in the international magazine store in my home town.

Conclusion :
2006 was a good knitting year. Let's hope for the same in 2007. I'll keep you posted on this blog. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment !

Friday, January 05, 2007

Torino yarn store adresses

for anyone interested :
Mary has a review of a Torino weekend trip on her blog :
The store mentioned is :
Filati Effegiesse
C. So G.Cesare 182
10154 Torino
Tel: 011 2462160

I found one in the suburbs :
Emporio della lana
45/bis Via Massaia Guglielmo Cardinale
10147 Torino
Tel: 011 251296

And another one more centrally located :
Filati Effegiesse
Via San Secondo 44
Tel : 011 5611363
This one had a nice window display of Xmassy yarns (red and green and sparkle yarns)

I hope this can be usefull for somebody, and I would love a report if you actually visit these yarn stores

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Back from a short trip to Torino, to my surprise a very elegant baroque city (I always thought about it a being a big industrial city). It really is a city to stroll around, with all those beautifull arcades. Unfortunately, the weather was not so good : cold (sometimes very cold), and misty.
There is a lot to see indoor, so that wasn't really a problem. I liked the Egyptian museum, and the pinacoteca of the Agnelli family in the Lingotto centre.
Due to the foggy weather, I didn't take much photos.I can show you this picture of a candy shop. Torino is filled with these kinds of shops !
I discovered that Torino is considered the chocolate capital of Italy, as in 'warm liquid drinkable chocolate'. Lots of stylish caf├ęs, where you can drink 'bicerin', a mixture of coffee, hot chocolate and cream.
Did I find yarn ? I did check the Italian yellow pages on line. The category to check is 'filati-vendita all dettaglio' (yarn - retailers). What sounded the most interesting is the 'emporio della lana'. Two nice ladies in the tourist office helped me find the location, showed me which bus to take ... I ended up in a suburb, at the window display of a tiny shop. Not really an 'emporium'. The shop was closed, but the yarn looked interesting. Italian shops close for a big chunck at noon (1pm to 5pm). I tend to forget that.
So, I came home without any extra yarn, but with good memories of a very nice city.