Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas knitting

Hope you all had a great Xmas. It was all nice and cosy here, and I got lots of knitting done in between coffee, cake, dinner and wine. Here some pictures of my progress over the holidays.
First, I decided to finally use up those balls of wool which Lucie sent me for the last magic ball exchange and which had been calling to me from my yarn drawer. A lovely handspun (and hand-dyed?) yarn with charcoal, green and blue, which within a few hours became this (tea light for size reference):
Our littlest one now has 'grown-up' socks as well! I think they look ever so cute. Whenever he is wearing them, he walks very carefully, because mama-knit does feel a bit different on your footsies than socks from the shop. Here they are in action, took me quite a few attempts to get a few good shots of socks on feet in shoes (and don't worry, no kids were harmed in the making of this photo, I had him on my lap, with his feet on the table, took a picture and upside-downed it...):

I also finished knitting my socks for the NB Vintage Sock Swap. They are knit from a lovely Jitterbug, which I at first thought was a bit too thick, but it knit up so nice and quick and I ended up with lovely stretchy socks, warm despite the pattern with quite a few holes. I hope Ruth (yeah, it was me, but I guess you already knew that after receiving emails from a 'mystery' address which daftly puts your real name in it too, GRRRR) will like them. They will be posted with some gifts tomorrow. I have no sock blockers, so this picture will have to make do...
But just look at how yummy this yarn looks and feels:

And then, my Jeanie! I'm at 2.5 repeats now, about 20 cms, and I have to alternate between socks and this to keep my brain active. It's a lovely knit, the yarn is great (Malabrigo lace weight, Azul Profundo, from Wolhemel), but it is so - bo - ring. Once you get how it works, you don't need the pattern anymore and you can just knit and knit and knit. I do half a repeat, knit a sock, another half repeat etc. Just to keep myself on my toes ;) Next week I'll be in the TV studio, trying to win a lot of money, which means lots of waiting and hanging about, so I'll have this with me to keep me occupied.
But, anyway, I'll not moan anymore (despite it being a repetitive knit, I did manage to make some booboos), but just show you where I'm at:
And a bit more up close to see how nice and shiny this yarn is. I'm already a big fan of Malabrigo and can't wait until the sock yarn will be making the journey from South America to the Netherlands. O, by the way, Wolhemel will be officially opening its doors on January 18 in Groningen. Check their site for more details!

Santa also brought me my mittens from America! Yeah!!! Thank you Meg for knitting these Fetchings for me! I've decided these are my car mittens, cause their ideal for driving in these parts of the world at the moment! I also love the little mitts you made for wee S. Wee H was very jealous, so I'm now making her some socks and then will cast on some mittens as well, haha... The soap looks so nice, I hardly dare touch it... It's still on show now, out of reach of dirty little baby hands... Thanks again!

And to finish off a picture of our dessert yesterday. Chocolate fondue. Yum. Heaven. A great ending to a great day...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Weigh-off

What does a knitter say when she puts the first sock on the scales = 59 grams. And then puts the remainder of the yarn on the scales = 52 grams?

Well, let's say it doesn't rhyme with Christmas. Although a few words from the Pogues' song might apply.

:S

Frogged back up past the heel, minus 1 repeat on the leg and onwards we go with the Vintage Sock... I've got the pattern in my head now, so the socks should be finished this weekend...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Snow makes the post go faster

Wow, that was fast! Just when we were finishing up dinner, a nice lady rang the doorbell. No, no collection box for this or that charity, but a package! For me! With socks! Wow, thanks Becky!

This is what I got from my Nancy Bush Sock Exchange pal:



Don't they look great? And they fit nice too, look: Apart from my socks, in the Shell pattern, a nice warm pink, I also got lovely Dove chocolates with caramel (hmmm, bag is nearly empty), some Lubriderm skin cream with shea and cocoa butter (yum, but not for eating) and three Brittany cable needles. Now I have to find an outfit to go with my new socks tomorrow...

Thanks again, Becky!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pink Wars

What do you do when you've knit your daughter a bolero from the leftovers of your sweater, so that you have matching outfits, she totally thinks it's cool, and then when she tries it on, she doesn't like it, because:

A - It's not pink
B - It doesn't have any frilly bits
C - It's not pink

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

You make her wear it for 2 minutes and take a picture for posterity, then promise her to go to the Zeeman (to get the cheap-ass pink frilly yarn she likes) and knit her a bolero that does comply with her standards. Girls...

On the other knitting front(s): swatched 3 types of yarn for Jeannie, totally confused, will try one more and then block and compare. Have to get on with the socks for the Nancy Bush exchange, or I'm in danger of a whipping. My socks are already in the post (snow forbidding), so I'd better 'get my socks on'...


The Austermann (left) and the Malabrigo lace weigth (right)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lost sweater done!

Well, I didn't lose it, but I did finish it! Last night at SnB I started weaving in the ends and I was finished at about 1-ish. Result: we overslept this morning and had to rush the kids to school and kindergarten ;)
I'm very pleased with the result. I did have to jiggy the pattern a bit, I started with L and needles 7, ended up knitting it as an M with needles 6. See, I ain't fat! I also made the body a bit shorting, just coming over my hips now, as I'm only a tiny midget compared to the lovely model on the Garnstudio site. ;0
Excuse the flash-o effect on my tits, they have that effect on men (one of whom took the photograph).

Onwards and upwards! The rest of the yarn will be used for titbits, haha, no really, for a bolero, but not for me, for Dear Daughter. Also from Garnstudio, and I think I've figured out how to knit it. If I have some left after that, I might knit wee S some socks...

And the scarf, here it is, being used and loved, as intended. It's nice and cuddly, according to wee H, and nice and long, so I can either wrap it round a few times, over her head to cover the ears and round her neck, or just have a very long lead to keep her closeby in the stores (just kidding):

And just because they're cute. How come kids never sit still when you want to take a picture, apart from when you go to a very expensive photographer? One of life's big questions...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

MBM

And then she was discovered, the sender of the lovely yarn I got in the Magic Ball Exchange. It was her! I really wanted to find out my MBM this time round, so went to work like a proper Sherlock, making a list, ticking off all the people it couldn't be, reading all the 'clues' on the group and then today: I saw it! Yes! Last time I had no idea and only found out months after the event ;)
Petrouchka, thanks again! Good luck with the moving and painting!

On the knitting front: green sweater is nearly done. I'm knitting the collar at the moment, will finish that tonight at SnB I guess. Then it's seaming time! I know, bad, I block AFTER the whole thing is done, as this is a drapy fabric, I don't think it's a problem... And then, find yarn for Jeanie! I'm still hopelessly searching, haven't even got a colour in mind, although a nice dark purple might be nice...

O, o, o, and my mittens are on their way! Can't wait. Sorry postman, I'll try not to jump you every time you come round to deliver our mail...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Booties

Now my Vrienzinnen-friend has received her package, I can show you the booties I made for her soon to be born baby. They're based on Saartjes pattern, guaranteed success. So cute!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mittens are FO!

Yes, my mittens are done! I only needed to adjust the flap, but here they are! I have to say, my MBM has surpassed herself and really worked hard for me. Thank you! I loved the pressies and the mittens I made out of they yarn ended up great! They have already been 'christened' on their first bike ride and apart from a button, they are totally finished. Success!
A picture of my 'loot'. I got some gorgeous stuff, and I'm going to try out the teas tomorrow! Yum!
Dear MBM, can you divulge what yarn it was? I'm guessing Trekking, but I can't seem to place the colour scheme... Please let me know!!!

Peyton Manning rulez

Wow! My mitten pal received her package, a lot quicker than I expected. Enjoy, Delana!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Nearly...

And when I had seamed it all up and cut all the loose threads, I noticed the flap was too long. And I used the inside stitches for the flap i.o. the outide stitches...
;)
Note to self: when going out to CHAT, bring SWATCHING ONLY....

Error 1 will be corrected tonight, error 2 I'll have to live with. Ach well... They're very comfy!
Oh, I also unraveled the rest of the ball, and found soap, tea, more choccies and lovely beads. Thank you!!! Still no idea who it was, I'll do a bit of deducing later this week... Piccies of the finished mittens will follow soon!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Flapper time!

Yep, time for the flap on mitten number 2! Tonight they will definitely be finished, so expect some piccies tomorrow. Bit of a busy week this week. I'm on the Games and Play committe in our local area and we had a council meeting and a conference for all the inhabitants of our area. Pffew... But I also got to knit. Me and her decided an extra SnB night was in order, but as no-one else was available, I got myself, my yarn and something yummy to her place and we had a great evening chatting, knitting, fondling some of her new stash for Wolhemel (me wants!!!) and watching telly. When I got home, I saw that I had made an incredible mistake in my mittens (as you do...) and spent an hour getting that right again... Haha... But it was a great evening! (Even though it was way later than it usually is...) And we didn't even annoy her hubby ;) I was a bit disappointed though that he wasn't knitting... (sorry J...)
Regular SnB resumes in two weeks' time, as next Wednesday is Sinterklaas and lots of people (at least those who are not celebrating it this weekend) will be throwing gifts at each other over a table ful of candy and hot coco... I love this time of year. And so does my waistline ;)

Some of my favorites:
Banketletter (puff pastry with almond filling) and hot chocolate

Gevulde speculaas (spicy cookie dough with almond filling)

And to nosh on in the car ;): Taaitaai puppets and chocolate letter

Monday, November 26, 2007

First mitten done

Unbelievable, what a few presents, hidden in a ball of wool can do to your determination to finish something. The first mitten is done! I'm quite proud of it, and after a few fiddles here and there it fits like a glove ;) This picture is with the flap...
...and without. I still have to find some cool buttons, preferably safari ones, maybe little giraffes (?) to secure the flap to my wrist whenever not in use. The second mitten has already been started!
I got a question from someone what a nut baby was. Hmm, just what I called this. It's a small dangle for my phone or keyring consisting of a 'nut' with a 'baby' in it. No other way to describe it really, but really cute... ;)
Here's another one I whipped up yesterday, a cover for an MP3 player. I thought it was the one we bought for my BIL for Sinterklaas, but it turned out to my big S's old one. Haha... So, tonight I'll knit another one. Quick and easy, 20 stitches in the round, 2K2P, making a bit of a zigzag with a flap and a button. Easy peasy.
And my frame of mind last night (glass of wine, brie, candles...), all quiet on the Western front, despite two teething alarms (darn molars) in the evening and again during the night (yawn...). Off to the swimming pool now!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Magic Ball

Yeah, it arrived! My Magic Ball! It was a whole lodda Autumn goodness. Just the colour I wanted, thank you! When I unwrapped the package, two little dino's (sorry, already confiscated by the child-police, so not in the picture, a note book and a self-made bag (made out of table plastic, I sooo still have a cool project in mind for that stuff, comparable to Kitsch Kitchen, like their bike saddle cover) fell out. I started knitting right after dinner and made a start with the flap mittens I had promised myself.

I had already printed out the pattern from the Wolhalla site and after some calculations it was knit, knit, knit. Despite some destractions from poking little fingers, I'm now at this stage. I also found a little light, some face lotion and shower gel and a little purse with a nut baby in it. Plus chocolates, but these died a soft, warm death IN MY BELLY (Scottish Austin Powers accent please). Wee H made a few knots in the yarn while trying to poke even more out, so I had to rewind a bit, but we're on schedule again, now. Girl and boy to bed, so time for mommy to upload some piccies and this funny video and then back to knitting!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lost

Look, okay, I KNOW I was knitting on my LOST sweater last night. But it's not MY fault they lost. All of them...

HOLLAND
ENGLAND
NORTHERN IRELAND

At least Holland is through to the European Cup, the same cannot be said for the other teams... But it does mean there's no mixed loyalties next Summer! And am I so happy that I'm not Steve McLaren! I would have resigned in the interval, it was g-aweful. No wonder big S downed the entire bottle of red wine before the match was over. David Beckham did try to salvage something from the wreckage, but even his miraculous legs couldn't restore the team. Crap.

On a happier note, the front of my Lost sweater is done, yeah! Will block and take pictures today...

And have yous seen that lovely Bear cardigan on Knitting Daily? Sweeeeeeet...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

:)

And one of my pictures on Ravelry has been chosen to 'represent' a lovely shade of yarn, Austermann Smaragd Classic Color. *proud*

And sorry, the other nice *pink* template was seriously &^Q"$)(**&%)-ing me off by never aligning pictures properly...

Presents bought, back to knitting

Yoohoo, I got all my Sinterklaas presents in da house! This means no more worrying about what to buy for whom, just a few small items to knit and some poems to write, but the pressies have all been wrapped up and hidden, so time to go back to knitting! I also got the knitting needles size 6 which I needed, so tonight, after some ironing, it's back to the Lost sweater...

Here a first picture of my progress! O yeah, and tonight I've also taken some pictures of the Golden Oldies I mentioned yesterday. My mom seems to have an endless stash of magazines, hidden away in dark cupboards which she is now clearing out to hide Sinterklaas and X-mas presents in... ;)

It's an ancient 'Annie Blatt' and my mom knit several sweaters out of this magazine, some for the Handwerkhuis she knit for and some for us, like this one in white, for me:


And here a few little 'folk' gems, of which the Nordic one is definitely added to my wish list:


This last sweater was a labour of love and after having worn it for years at school and then once again a few years ago for a play, it was gratefully passed on to a good cause:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Teaser

As promised:


Nah, I know, that's mean... Here's a better picture:



;) Still looking for a box to put it in, but this collection of ???? should be on its way next weekend...

Rip rip.... rip

The same problem she had with her pinwheel, I have with my green sweater. It's o so cuddly, but waaaaaaay too big. So, back to the drawing board. I decided to rip while knitting it up again with a needle a size smaller, changing the positive ease into a bit of negative easy, I hope, to show off my gorgeous svelte figure ;)
But guess what: I don't have size 6 needles! Drama... Only dpns (yep, big ugly, white plastic ones...) and I have to say, knitting a sweater with dpns is not a good idea ;) My armpits and the stitches started complaining after only a few rows. So, to tide me over, I knit Saartjes booties as a surprise gift for someone pregnant, started on my socks for the Vintage Sock Exchange, finished my mittens for the mitten exchange (yep, teaser to come as soon as I can find batteries for my camera, grrr), did some more scrapbooking and finished watching Lost season 2. Season 3 is already lying next to the tv, so as soon as I get proper size 6 needles, I can start on the green sweater all over again...
I also got some cool old magazines from my mom this weekend. Will photograph/scan them later this week to show you some 'golden oldies' we knit in the eighties/early nineties (be prepared to be horrified).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Proud mummy

Today it was my turn to take wee H to the pool. First because wee H had a birthday party after swimming, which was cancelled, because of an ill birthday girl (awwwhhhh), and then because big S was too sick (poor bloke) to cycle through wind and sleet to get her there. But I was glad I went. H has now progressed to stage 3, which means she is in the DEEP pool. And by deep, I mean big human tummy depth, but for a little 4, nearly 5-year-old, it's mighty deep indeed!
She was a bit awe-struck when the group ran straight for the deep end (she missed last week's class, so wasn't prepared as well) with their floaters. But a few gulps and a kiss and hug from mummy later, she happily jumped in as if she'd never done anything else. There I was, sitting upstairs, glued to the window, waving like a lunatic and giving her the thumbs-up. She did great, I'm so proud! After X-mas, she'll be going to stage 4, if all goes to plan.

On a knitting note, I've contacted my upstream and downstream pals for the Vintage Sock Exchange now, and I'm brimming with ideas... Someone is going to get some local seasonal specialties in her package... All I need is the go-ahead on the yarn and I can start knitting.

In a bit I'm going back downstairs to my Lost sweater, which for tonight only is renamed Heroes sweater. I've a few episodes to catch up, and big S is out (still coughing like mad, but able to cycle) to see a friend, so Heroes it is...

Oops, no piccies again. Will do better in the next post. I had complaints from my mitten exchange pal that I was teasing her by posting the project on Ravelry without pictures (hahaha), so tomorrow I'll give a little teaser...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Peace returning

We're only two days into our new arrangements, and I am having some trouble 'letting go', but I'm thoroughly enjoying the stricter regime. It seems that the kids are happier too. Mondays and Tuesdays, I'm downstairs in the mornings and upstairs in the afternoon. The mornings I now use to play with Sam (100% attention, as it is supposed to be) and to do housework. I now all of a sudden have 'time' to clean the cooker, dust off the telly and restock the fridge ;) On Mondays we also go swimming, which takes up most of the mornings, and this morning we took a walk out to the shops (while it was still dry) to post my Magic Sock Ball (drum roll somewhere in the Netherlands, even though mine is not going to be as luxurious as the one that was unwrapped today on the Yahoo group, me jealous!!!) and get some diapers.
Working uninterrupted I have to get used to again. I do a lot of blog reading and moving about, but today I noticed it was already better than yesterday, so we're on the up.
Big S is now downstairs with wee H and S play-doh-ing and will cook dinner. Nice. Which means I still have over an hour of uninterrupted work time. Better make use of it ;)
Tonight I'm back on the green sweater, or Lost Sweater as I want to call it, halfway the back now. It's knitting up like a dream. I'm defo going to knit a sweater for wee S out of Fabel! Cheap and super! I've got some basic patterns, so it shouldn't be difficult to get him a nice new garment for Sinterklaas... Maybe I'll knit wee H one too...

Okay, WORK!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Finally gave in

Yesterday I finally decided something needed to change. As some people had already noticed lately, all I was doing was knit, scrap, crochet and read knitting-related blogs, and that not a lot of 'work' was being done. Along with some other things, I was starting to show signs of burn-out. To totally prevent that happening, me and big S had a chat and decided that he will have to take over a bit more of the child-care and that I am moving my 'office' from the kitchen table to the attic. Today he has moved a little desk and chair up there and rearranged an entire set of shelves to make room for my stuff. I hope to now finally find the peace and quiet I need to concentrate on work instead of having to pull wee S out of drawers, from chairs and sofas and out of the curtains all the time. As I am the main breadwinner, something had to be done to keep me from losing my sanity and us from losing our house (slightly overreacted, but the first one was close to happening).

On a happier note, my green sweater is getting along great. I'm only allowed to knit on it when we're watching Lost (we got season 2 on loan), and after 12 episodes I had finished the front of the sweater (it is quite long). I decided not to bind off any stitches, but to put them all on waste yarn, so I can kitchener the two bits together and then later do some magic with the sleeves as well. As usual, I already have the project finished in my head ;)

As big S is out today, no Lost, so I'm going to try and do some work on my mittens for the exchange, which have been lying in my bag until I got some inspiration to finish them. I did make some nice stitch markers for my pal, hope she likes them. I made some for the recipient of my Magic Sock Ball as well, and it's all wrapped up and ready to be sent off tomorrow.

Oh, totally forgot! Yesterday, we all went to the Hobbybeurs (Craft Fair) in Leeuwarden and it was great! I hadn't expected a lot, but it had dramatically improved compaired to two years ago when I went. As I now had a mission ;), it was a lot easier to also enjoy the stands I wanted to visit. A great wee stand was Scrapitz (new shop in Drachten with, you guessed it, scrap things). I bought loads of backgrounds there. I also got buttons from Grootmoeders Knopendoos, and beads from several stands to make stitch markers out of. It was my first attempt at them, and I have to say: addictive! Yep, I needed another hobby (not)...

This morning I finished the second page of wee S's scrap album. I took some pictures, but with the lighting and all not being too brilliant, I have to admit they can look a lot better. I'll try again tomorrow during the daytime, but because I'm a bit text heavy, here they come!


The ultrasounds at 20 weeks, when we found out our wee Kermit was going to be a boy!


And some of the last pictures pre-birth, with a cut-out from the card my sister sent me to wish me good luck. Yep, that's me with my laptop on the maternity bed in the baby room... and wee H pulling weird faces, as usual ;)

You can click on them for close-ups!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Nostalgia

Yesterday, when my mom picked my up to go see 'As it is in heaven' (Så som i himmelen), she brought some stuff from way back when. She is one of those people who hoard patterns, yarn, books etc., and then come out with them to surprise you at the most unexpected moments. As I was experiencing a bit of a dip yesterday, these patterns (and the movie...) really cheered me up.
She got these great Mickey, Jan Jans en de Kinderen and Jip en Janneke patterns (the last two are very Dutch) for sweaters and other embroidery. Wee H fell in love with Minnie straight away, as she would, and as we're going to a craft fair this afternoon, I'm bringing the pattern to see if I can get some nice cotton to make a sweater for her and the other little monster.

My mom also brought a booklet of standard sweater patterns (always great to have), where I noticed the pattern for a sweater I wore when I was small, haha... I'll see if I can track down a picture) and embroidery letters with little clowns, super cool for personalising towels or swaddling cloths etc.

But where she really got me, was when she pulled out embroidered 'paintings' I made when I was younger. I made LOADS, and I really mean LOADS, probably about 20 (I really liked embroidery and most of it still adorns the walls at my mom's house), and these two were taking out of their frames and stored away.
And I can remember this one too, both pictures were quite hard as there were so many shades of white and cream... We're definitely going to get some frames for them and put them in our hallway, which is nearly ready for decorating.

And the movie? Wow. If you haven't seen it (like me, despite a 10 month run here in Leeuwarden), GO AND SEE IT NOW. It's a film house movie, but should also be available in video stores.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Flunked

Failed, miserably... My sideways sock
is
too
BIG!
It is so big, that it's even too big for big S. And he's a size 11 (45-46).
I'm going to do recalculations after I finish my green sweater ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New challenge

Stash will arrive tomorrow ;)

Molar challenge

I can't remember wee H having so much trouble with her molars, but maybe I've repressed it. Wee S is an absolute terror. He screams, cries, throws his toys around the room and is, generally, very angry. At me. At his dad. At his sister. At the chair. At his food. At his mouth. At his bum because it hurts so much because of his teeth. At the potty. At everything. So now, he is back in bed for a morning nap with bungella on his gums and a kiss from mommy. And all is well.
As I was thrown off course workwise as a result, I decided to make a few pictures of what I have been working on since Saturday, the sideways sock, designed by Yvon. Or, as she said it, a product of her warped brain ;) Here a piccie of all of us intently listening to Yvon and making our measurements and calculations.


I wish I had hair like her, apparently it weighs 3 kilos. Sigh.

Luckily my brain is as warped as hers, so I took on the challenge to finish them as soon as I could. I'm now halfway and it looks a bit on the big side, but we'll see how it turns out when it is done. Alterations can always be made, frogging is part of life...


A bit dark, but this is the bottom of the sock. As it is knit sideways, you continuously knit U-shape rows from cuff to cuff over the toe. In the meantime, the toe is increased and the heel decreased. From this point on, the toe will be decreased again and the heel left alone.


The toe, nice and round.


And the sock doubled over to show the decreases in the heel. It took a swatch and quite a few calculations to get to this point. I told you, a warped brain ;)

No pictures of my purchases at the SnB day yet, because I decided to use one in the Magic Sock Ball Swap and the other one may get a special purpose as well... I do however want to share some of my 'brilliant' photographs with you, to prove I was really there. My camera has a very annoying delay, so most are of the backs of peoples heads and lots of arms and waists, but hey...


The great Debbie Stoller, who was presenting her latest book: Son of a Stitch 'n' Bitch (wanna wanna wanna!!!)

Tijm, wearing her prize-winning hat, posing with Jean Moss (photo:Angelique)


On the way back home. Yes, you can knit standing up ;)(photo:Angelique)