Friday, June 29, 2007

Mystery stole started


Last Tuesday, I went to Utrecht with a friend. I had bought several beads in Leuven, but either those were too big, or too small. In Utrecht I found just the right size of beads (although it was completely guesswork from my side, the lady in the shop had no idea). On the bottom, you see the Leuven beads. They look (and feel) very heavy. The Utrecht beads are on top - look just like dewdrops on the fabric, don't you think ? I have to be very carefull with the crochet hook to NOT split the yarn. It feels awkward, but I hope that will change.

Eindelijk heb ik de juiste kralen gevonden voor mijn verrassingsstola, en in Utrecht dan nog wel. Je ziet ze op het bovenste patroon van mijn proeflapje. Ik vind dat deze een effect van dauwdruppeltjes geven, heel subtiel. De onderste kralen zijn veel te lomp. In Utrecht heb ik de kralen gekocht in een winkeltje vol met 'do-it-yourself'' juwelenpakketjes. Dit was één van de fijnste kralen die ze daar hadden, voor de rest veel mega-grote houten en aardewerk kralen. Leuk, maar ik ga niet aan nog een hobby beginnen.

First clue of the mystery stole 3 is up on the yahoogroup. These are the first 25 rows. It looks like this stole is knitted on the diagonal, with very subtle beading. I love it !

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mystery stole 3 countdown

The mystery stole knit-along starts Friday june 29th (my daughters birthday!), and I have been knitting smaller objects to keep my hands busy. Well, not too much really, my shoulder has been acting up. It seems that all my joints and tendons take a turn in feeling achy. My guess : old age and the weather. I had a pair of socks that came out short, cut the toe, frogged what I had, used the left-overs to knit the foot longer, and used another solid yarn to knit a new toe. The yarn used in the original sock was a tad heavier then sock yarn, so I used sock yarn doubled for the toe.

De verrassingsstola meebrei-groep start vrijdag 29 juni. Ondertussen heb ik me wat bezig gehouden met oude sokken een nieuw leven te geven. Veel breien kon ik niet, want mijn schouder gaf problemen. Het lijkt wel of alle gewrichten en pezen om beurt eens overbelast geraken (nu is mijn knie aan de beurt, maar dat geeft geen probleem met breien gelukkig).

In the meanwhile I received some sock yarn from my SP10. A very nice green/blue/brown color, from a distance a nice teal. I don't know who she is yet, but she told me she is also on the MS3 list, and she will be sending something that I can use for that project ! Maybe I should wait till that package arrives, before deciding on which yarn to use ?

Ook nog een pakje in de post van geheim vriendje10. Geen idee wie ze is (behalve dat ze in Duitsland woont), maar ze gaat me ook nog wat voor de verrassingsstola sturen. Ik ben erg nieuwsgierig om dat pakje te zien !

And another swap : the no-sheep-one-skein-swap. I received this furry acrylic from Laura in France. I am not into this kind of yarn, but I do like the colors !

Ik doe ook nog mee aan de absoluut-geen-wol-bolletjesruil. Ik kreeg dit bolletje acrylic in de brievenbus. Niet echt mijn ding qua garen, maar wel leuke kleuren. Zal waarschijnlijk als cadeau-inpaklint gebruikt worden

Sunday, June 17, 2007

yarn shopping in Leuven

Yesterday I went yarn shopping with a Finnish and an American knitter in my home town, Leuven, Belgium. I found Heli from Finland through SP10. I was surfing through the list of participants, and I read on her blog she would be visiting Belgium. So, I proposed to show her around. And Cheryl, contacted me. She found me through Google. (I tried it, when you enter 'yarn stores Brussels' you will find a comment I made on Polly's blog ). I love yarn shopping with fellow fiber addicts !

I live in Leuven, a city of about 100.000 inhabitants. It's 23 minutes by train from Brussels (direction Liège-Luik).

First we hit 'hexagoon', not a yarn shop, but a shop filled with beads, buttons, ribbons, cards and other craft supplies. I was looking to shop for beads for my MS3. Hexagoon is a tiny shop in a backyard street, if you don't know it, you won't stumble upon it. Apparently, lots of people knowabout it, it's always busy. I love it that they really take the time for you, help you find that single button that really finishes of your knit project. But, that also means they take the time for other people, and sometimes you have to wait. Sorry, no pictures, forget to take one !
I bought some beads for my mystery stole 3, but in retrospect they probably are too big.

Hexagoon - Ravenstraat 81 - 3000 Leuven

Then we hit the Bergère de France shop. Their yarns are mostly blends, and not very expensive. They carry BdF, and some novelty yarns by On-line. I love it that they have a (free) catalogue with yarn samples . The new catalogue has arrived, and there are some interesting new yarns (I noticed a wool /alpaca blend, and an organic cotton). Cheryl bought some On-line ladder yarn to 'weave' a necklace, something that the LYSO was demonstrating to her. Heli bought the wool/alpaca to knit some gloves (it can get very cold in Finland!). And I was happy to find the tiniest crochet hook for my mystery stole3, and bought the new pattern book.

Bergère de France - Louis Melsensstraat 1 - 3000 Leuven

We walked into another craft shop, where I bought some more beads. In retrospect, these are too small. I wasn't allowed to take them out the container to try with my new crochet hook.

De Banier creatief - Jan Pieter Minckelersstraat 29 -3000 Leuven

We walked into Veritas, a shop that is part of a chain - they carry a limited yarn selection of Italian yarns (Adriafil), and sock yarns. Their selection changes with the season, they don't have much wool on offer now, it's all about summer yarns. And they have a lot of haberdashery, and lingerie. They had beads, and for the first time I found some indication of size (I am new to beads).

Veritas- Diestsestraat 101 - 3000 Leuven

It was time for some coffee now - we had one in the reading café of the public library. There was a book sale going on, and on each table there was a book. On our table the book title was 'wayward women and wicked ladies' ....

openbare bibliotheek - Rijschoolstraat 101 - 3000 Leuven

After admiring the 500 year old city hall, we went to my favorite yarn shop : 't Wolwinkeltje. They carry everything, from very affordable to very luxurious fibers. Brands are : Scheepjeswol, Anny Blatt, Schachenmayer, Lang, Katia, Lana Grossa, Gedifra, Grignasco, Noro, Rowan ... I love their collection of sock yarns. There are always some sale bins outside. For cross stitch or patchwork crafters, they also have a nice selection. It's a small shop, but it's crammed with good stuff.

For the first time somebody knew what I meant by 'size 8 beads'. So I bought some more . Fortunately, you can get a lot of beads for not much money. And I bought some more yarn to finish of my Lizard ridge afghan. Heli bought sock yarn, and Cheryl found the right size circulars for her felted bag.

't Wolwinkeltje - Parijsstraat 25 - 3000 Leuven

I had a great time, and I think my guests liked it too. So do you want to see some bead shopping?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

mystery stole 3 - swatches

I have swatched with 2 yarns for my Mystery Stole. The instructions state you need 1200yards of lace weight yarn. Now, lace weight is very hard to get here locallly. So, whenever I have the opportunity abroad, I buy some lace weight yarn as a souvenir. I bought this red Ostergotland lace weight yarn in Stockholm, september 2006. Only one hank though, just 600 yards. But, I will be in Stockholm again this summer. Can I take the risk, will it still be available ? I swatched, because I loved it so much in the skein. Guess what ? I don't like knitting with it, not for lace anyway. It's a bit scratchy (feels like a bad mohair/shetland combination). It softens alot when washed, but it also fluffes up, and the hairy nature makes the lace difficult to read. On top of that, it has a limited stretch factor.

The other yarn (rheuma wolle) is a 100% superwash. I bought it in my local yarn store, so there is plenty available. It glides over my needles, and blocks beautifully. What's not to like ? (besides the name ?). And the instructions state that a white or natural is the most suitable for this stole(or black, but I won't go that road).
Now to find some beads ! I go shopping with a Finnish and an American knitter today. Both are visiting Belgium, and I offered to show them around.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

mystery stole 3

I have joined the Mystery Stole 3 knitalong ! I am so excited - selected a nice yarn to knit it 'Thermal Rheuma wolle' in cream. My local yarn store has absolutely no lace yarn, and this was the only thing that qualified. It is used to knit thermal underwear, but really is a nice yarn. The only thing that worries me slightly is that this Mystery Stole will involve bead knitting. The knitalong will start at the end of June, so this will be a nice summer project.

In the meantime I started a pair of socks, with some yarn from my secret pal 9. The pattern was a gift from Jane in Texas, and is called 'travelling companion', by Mary Dominski, a nice combination of broken rib and cables. This sock yarn is really superfine, so I am knitting it on 2mm bamboo needles. The picture is a bit darker then in real life, the yarn is a semisolid of hues of dark burgundy.

Unfinished objects : the lizard ridge afghan, and Hanne Falkenberg's 'Ballerina'. Both will probably get finished eventually, but most likely after summer.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

more socks - but these are mine !

In between the mindless sock knitting for DS, I knitted some socks for me. The pattern is 'Roza's Socks', by Grumperina.
The pattern was in Interweave knits, spring 2007 issue. They were an easy knit, once you get the pattern in your head, and are used to the different manoeuvres of creating yarn-overs and knitting those togehter with other stitches. I am not good at explaining this, the patern does a better job at that ! These were knitted in Cherry tree hill supersock merino, color 'African Grey'.
It's the first time I knit socks in a 100% wool yarn. It has a tigth twist, so I hope they will hold up well. They sure feel very nice on my feet !

I also started the 'spiral boot socks' (IK summer 2007 issue), and I had a problem in the beginning. First you start by knitting a lace cuff. That went ok. Then you need to start the spiral pattern The pattern tells you to keep the same stitch count on each needle, and knit whole pattern repeats on a needle. But, the stitch total is 80 stitches, and the pattern repeat is 7 stitches. The stitches are divided as follows : 16 stitches on ndl 1 and 3, 24 stitches on ndl 2 and 4. The stitch pattern consist of 3 different patterns - a calf pattern, a leg pattern, and an ankle pattern, each divided by a decrease round. What happened was that I knitted the lace cuff, and then started the leg pattern.
To me, the lay-out of the pattern in the magazine was a bit confusing. I started with the charted cuff pattern on p 117, and then went back to the stitch guide on p116. My mind must have decided that I could skip the upper part of that stitch guide, because I had already done 'the first part'. Bad assumption !
I was really struck on the pattern, and could not figure out what went wrong. Luckily, there is a yahoogroup (the knitlist), where I could ask the question. Lori Gayle, a designer that regularly published in IK, helped me out. Thanks again Lori, the socks are on their way now. Yarn used : 'Annel extra' again, this time in a slightly heathered silver grey.