Saturday, March 31, 2007

no knitting - knitters treat exchange.

Chris was so nice to send me a skein of Kureyon for my Lizard ridge afghan. This is color 164. I tried knitting a few rows, but had to stop. It looks like there will be no knitting in the near future (or very limited knitting). The side of my hand (at the base of the tumb) hurts like hell every time I try to knit. Writing by hand is painfull too, but fortunately I can still type. I have decided to try rest and ice. Maybe it goes away quickly.

I have gone shopping for my SP10 spoilee. She lives in the Netherlands, so I can write to her in Dutch. She wanted to try some natural summer yarns. And opportunity for me to buy cotton, bamboo and bamboo/cotton blends in lime green and turqoise. (sorry, no picture) I hope she likes everything. Altough we live in different countries, I suspect the brands of yarn she can get are mostly the same. So I hope she hasn't tried these out.

I also joined another exchange, namely Knitters treat exchange. Not only is this a nice way to get surprises in the mail, but also an opportunity to get to know other knitters.
Here are my answers to the knitters treat questionnaire :

1. What's your favourite type of yarn?
I like all natural yarns, but I really like anything with a bit of silk in it. I once made a cashmere/silk scarf for my son, but sadly managed to felt it the week after I knitted it.

2. What's your least favourite type of yarn?
100% manmade fibers, and I am allergic to angora. I do believe there is a use for every yarn.

3. What's the first thing you do when you visit a new yarn shop?
Look around, and look out for the sock yarns ! Sometimes I have an idea for a project (say a Clapotis) and ask about fiber suggestions for that particular project. But if they have a nice display of projects, I might get inspired by those too.

4. What other crafts do you do / would like to do?
Spinning looks interesting, but I don't think I would like to build another stash. I like designing a quilt, but don't like all the cutting and sewing ! I also do a bit of crochet, but it has more limited uses then knitting.

5. What magazines do you currently subscribe to?
Interweave knits. I can buy Vogue knitting locally, and buy an issue if I like it. Other magazines are harder to get. There is no real knitting magazine in Dutch, I do like the general craft magazine 'Handwerken zonder grenzen'.

6. Put this type of magazine in order of preference:
Knitting / Crochet / Other Craft / Food / Home / Fashion / Celebrity Gossip / Garden
I like this order of preference ! I am not into gardening at all, and celebrity/gossip is not my kind of thing either.

7. What items do you like to knit / crochet?
the occassional sweater, afghans, socks and smaller objects. I have tried lace knitting, but am still new to that (and lace weight yarn is hard to get here).

8. Are you allergic to anything?
Angora yarn

9. What do you like to* smell of?
(*This is not a typo. The question is: What do you like to smell of)
Don't know if I understand this correctly, but I like anything citrus-y

10. What's your favourite way to relax?
Knit and have a good glass of wine (but not at the same time!)

11. You're stood in front of a Victorian style sweetshop, an Italian cafe, an old fashioned bakery and a dainty tea room. Where do you go first?
I would chose the bakery

12. What do you come out with?
Fresh baked bread and croissants ? And if they sell dark chocolate, I would thake that too (any bakery here in Belgium sells chocolate)

13. Where do you go next?
to the library to get a good book, and then to the park to eat the chocolate and start the book

14. Any other words of wisdom for your pal?
I trust she (or he) is probably wise enough

Friday, March 23, 2007

sock experiments

The lizard ridge afghan is on hold now, I am waiting for some more Kureyon to arrive. And the Hanne Falkenberg Ballerina is progressing nicely, but becoming a bit too big to take away with me. Time to start some socks !

What do people do with leftover sock yarn ? I try to use it in combining 2 different sock yarns into a new sock.
I can't say it is succesfull all of the time. This is failure number 1. I tried combining some vintage solid grey yarn with a variegated grey in a slip stitch pattern. It didn't work because there wasn't enough contrast in the colors. And slipping all those stitches on tiny needles was tedious. On top of that, the grey yarn must have been attacked by moths, because it was cut on several places in the skein. I got this in a thrift shop, and was happy with my find then (25 eurocents!). Now I worry that I let insects in my stash. (I hope not !). So I threw this away in disgust.

This is my second attempt - variegated Online supersocke and a leftover Stahl socka wool/cotton blend. The colors don't work together, nor does the weight of the yarns. The wool/cotton is thinner. I will probably frog this.

So what can a girl do then just start another pair of socks, now just a simple pattern in a very nice yarn ? This is 'roza's socks', in Cherry hill tree supersock merino. This pattern is in the latest Interweave knits. A much better picture of this sock can be found on Grumperina's blog. This yarn was for some time in my stash, I was a bit hesitant about the 100% wool content for socks. I am a bit worried that they may wear quickly. But for now, they are a joy to knit !

Sunday, March 18, 2007

SP 10 - lizard ridge progess pictures

I am making good progress on my lizard ridge afghan. This is square 1 to 14, but in the meantime I am already knitting square 16. I have another 3 balls of kureyon, I am still waiting for some more in the mail. It looks like I will be 4 to 5 balls short. If anybody wants to trade some Kureyon for something from my stash or LYS, just drop me a comment.

Because I enjoyed SP9 that much, I decided to join Secret Pal 10. I had great upstream and downstream pals, and of course I am hoping for the same this time.
So, here are my answers to the SP10 questionnaire :

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like everyhting - really. I think there is a place for every yarn. A good acrylic can produce a nice baby garment. But of course, I love knitting with the 'better' yarns. I just know that not everybody appreciates real wool. Me, I looove real wool, especially lace-weight yarns (hard to get here). There is one yarn that I sadly am allergic to, and that is angora.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have old plastic tubes that were designed to store needles. They are but-ugly, but serve their purpose. My circular needles are in a carboard box, that I covered with KF fabric. Nice box, if I do say so. It also has a shelf for smaller things (needles, beads, stitch markers ...)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned as a child and hated it then. Picked it back up when my children were born. Untill I discovered the internet and the knitlist, I was a beginner. I think I will qualify as intermediate now. To become advanced, you would need to design your own stuff. I almost always start from an existing pattern.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I like fresh, citrus scents. Nothing to flowery or sweet and heavy.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I love chocolate, but living in a country that has a rich tradition makes me a bit sceptical to foreign brands.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
a little bit of crochet, dyeing, occassionaly cross-stitch, patchwork, cooking. I don't want to take up spinning, I am fearing a new stash might evovlve from that !

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I don't have a real preference, but nothing to heavy. I am not into music really. I usually just listen to the radio.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
If I use it for decoration it can be pretty wild. But for clothing I like more subdued colors. So I will like a burgundy, but not a bright red, a mustard, but not a true yellow, olive but not forest green.... I love all browns and greys ! My blog will maybe give you the wrong idea, because I have posted several Kaffe Fassett sweaters there. I have discovered that I love to knit with color, but I don't wear those garments. That's why I have knitted/crocheted blankets recently. For accesoires it can be a bit wilder. I have hot pink scarves that I wear with black outfits.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have a husband and 2 teenagers (or young adults) - my DH and DD are allergic to pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I don't wear a hat often, only when it's very, very cold. I love mittens, and have one poncho, and one poncho/shawl thingie.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
socks !

13. What are you knitting right now?
I am finishing up a lizard ridge afghan. I started a Hanne Falkenberg sweater (ballerina). I really should start a pair of socks. My DD wants some, and my DS is going through his pairs very quickly.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
that depends - surprise me

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Again, there is a place for everything. I have learned to knit with a needle in my armpit, so if it's possible I preferr long straight needles. But some projects need to be knit on a circular needle. And I knit all my socks on very short bamboo dpn's, because socks are my travel project.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I don't, and I really think it would be a nice addition to this household. But I am the only one to think so.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
I don't think I have one lying around that is older then 3 years, and that one will probably be frogged.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
I am not really a holiday person, but for seasons I like late spring and early autumn best here in my country.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
'only' yarn and knitting books

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I am always interested in new stuff ! I am subscribed to Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I have a Danish kit for a scarf in double knitting, and I haven't mastered that one yet. And I have never tried out entrelac. In the lateste Interweave knits (spring 07) there is a gorgeous pair of long socks in a 'woven' entrelac style.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I knit a lot of socks. I wear an European size 39

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
August 25th

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm knitting again !

Actually, I haven't stopped knitting, but now I am able to blog about it again. I have been packing and unpacking boxes for a whole week, but now everything is back in its place and I can sit in my chair and knit... We had our floors redone (new protective layers), so everything had to go. Gave me the opportunity to do some spring cleaning. I threw away a lot, but no yarn of course ! Actually, I added to my stash. Amber sent me some Kureyon, and I immediately cast on for a lizard ridge afghan square.

Ik ben natuurlijk niet gestopt met breien, maar nu kan ik er weer over bloggen. Ik heb de hele week dozen ingepakt en daarna terug uitgepakt. We hebben nieuwe laklagen op onze kurkvloer laten plaatsen, en dus moest echt alles de kamer uit. Goede timing voor wat lenteschoonmaak. Ik heb veel weggegooid; maar geen wol natuurlijk. De voorraad is zelfs aangegroeid, want Amber heeft me nog wat Kureyon gestuurd. Ik heb onmiddelijk een nieuw vierkantje begonnen voor mijn lizard ridge deken.

This is colorway 52, beautifull blues and bright turquoise.

And this is knitted from leftovers from an unknown colorway. I am gratefull for leftovers. Everything that adds up to finishing this afghan is great.
Deze vierkantjes heb ik gebreid toen alles weer uitgepakt en op zijn plaats stond.

In between the packing/unpacking I knitted along on the Hanne Falkenberg ballerina sweater. Really good inbetween knitting. I finished one front and a sleeve in one week.

Voor op verplaatsing had ik maar één project mee, en dat was de Hanne Falkenberg ballerina. Heel veel breien op dunne naalden (3mm), maar toch een afwisselend patroon dat de aandacht gaande houdt. Perfect dus om me bezig te houden. In één week heb ik een voorkant en een mouw gebreid. Alles wordt aan elkaar gebreid in een stuk.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Found a good home for the jawbreaker cardigan

I am glad that I have found a good home for the cardigan

- I have sent it of to Amber in Scotland. She will send me some Kureyon for
my afghan. Sounds like a perfect trade to me. She gets a warm and cozy
sweater, and I can knit on my afghan.
The generosity of knitters is amazing !

Ik heb een goede thuis gevonden voor mijn Jawbreaker vestje. Ik heb het verzonden naar Amber in Schotland, en zij stuurt me een beetje Kureyon voor mijn deken. Een perfecte ruil : zij krijgt een warme wollen/zijde/mohair trui voor het koude klimaat daar, en ik kan verder werken aan mijn lizard ridge. De vrijgevigheid van breisters is verbazingwekkend.

I also received some Kureyon from Lies - it's color 115, warm reds, browns, hot pink and a bit of bottle green.

Ik heb ondertussen ook wat Kureyon gekregen van Lies, in kleur 115 - warme schakeringen van rood, wat bruin, felroze en flessengroen.

I immediately casted on an knitted a square.Until I receive Kureyon from other sources, the lizard ridge afghan is on hold.

Ik heb er onmiddelijk een vierkantje mee gebreid. Totdat ik nog wat Kureyon ontvang van andere breisters, is de deken nu even niet aan de orde.

That's why I started Hanne Falkenbergs Ballerina. As I already explained in a previous post, I have switched colors from other HF kits. So I am knitting this in 'non-official' Ballerina colors, but still with Hanne Falkenberg yarn.

This blog will be quiet for some time. We have a big redoing of the floors in our livingroom. This weekend I'll have to empty the entire room - lots of work ! We'll have to spend 2 nights in a hotel, so I won't be able to blog. I plan to take the Ballerina coat with me - and hope to be knitting in between moving furniture.

Daarom ben ik maar aan Hanne Falkenberg's 'Ballerina' begonnen. Zoals ik al eerder op deze blog vermeldde, heb ik wol van 2 pakketten verwisseld. Ik brei deze Ballerina dus in 'niet-officiële' kleuren, maar wel nog met Hanne Falkenberg wol.

Het zal even stil zijn op deze blog. In onze woonkamer wordt de kurkvloer opgeschuurd en herlakt (4 lagen). Dit weekend moet de volledige kamer leeggehaald worden. We zullen ook 2 nachten in een hotel verblijven, dus dan kan ik niet bloggen. Ik neem als mijn breiproject de Ballerina mee, en hoop er veel vooruitgang mee te maken. Misschien kan ik zelfs nog wat breien tussen het inpakken door...