Friday, April 30, 2010

Queen's Day

After buying 3 double-album records, both seasons of The Lakes on video, the 3 Indiana Jones movies on video, 13 Diddl magazines, 6 children's books, one R2D2, one Spiderman, one soft Dory and 4 mini Spongebobs, we called it a day and went home. And to be honest, we only scratched the surface of stalls with kids and adults trying to sell all the stuff that had been filling up their attics for years. Unfortunately nobody was stash busting in Leeuwarden, so no yarn for me... Shame! (Or all the yarn sellers were in those streets and squares we never got to, haha...)
So instead of fondling new yarn, I had to find something else to do when we got home. We decided to make the kids' rooms spring ready (finally), do some serious dusting and hoovering, and while we were upstairs and the beds were being changed, I decided to put Gail out for blocking, which I bound off last night.
Yes, that is my daughter in the background, and next to her is 'Schaduw van de wind' by Carlos Ruis Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind), the book I'm reading at the moment (2 pages at a time, haha).
This shawl was made by me from scratch. Well... I spun the yarn several moons ago, as you can see here, and then got started on Gail nearly straight away... to leave it a few days later when I realized that I had lots of baby knitting to do, and the shawl could wait. And wait. And wait...
Last week, after finishing Lapwing, I decided it had waited long enough. And it was quite amazing how quickly I managed to finish it once I got back to it!
It's a great little pattern, quite easy once you get the hang of it. I found the instructions for the edging to be a bit confusing... After fiddling with it for a while, and then consulting the forums on Ravelry, I realized I just had to knit the first few rows as usual, but without the double yarn-over. And then it was easy-peasy and I could bind off last night during the leadership debate.
I didn't overly block it, as I didn't really have the heart to pull at that carefully spun yarn too much, but it's flat, it's slightly pointy and it's nice and soft and warm.
Can't wait to wear it! (I do now realize I need a new coat to go with it... haha.)
Next project up is another WIP, my Saskia... Another one that has been lying at the bottom of my knitting basket for way too long!

And now for something completely different, as we did more yesterday than knit and watch politicians go blablabla on telly... We lured my mom to the townhall to receive a royal honour. She is now officially a 'lid in de orde van Oranje-Nassau', an honour she really deserved after decades of voluntary work and enormous service to society! Here's my mom getting her honour from the mayor!
Here are the other two 'winners' with their partners, and me and my sis goofing in the background (it was picture number 25,301, and we were starting to joke around a bit). Afterwards, we had a lovely lunch and my mom said that even though she hard started suspecting something this weekend, she never expected this. Little did she know how much trouble we had keeping all this a secret for the last three months...


Monday, April 26, 2010

And only now....

do I realize that a lapwing is actually a bird, and a very special one at that. One that we hold very dear here in Friesland: the 'kievit'! Every spring, when the birds are laying their eggs, there are thousands of people who go egg hunting, or 'aai sykjen' as we call it in Frisian. Only a few thousand eggs can be taking out of their nests, and only by people who have a permit to do so, to keep the population numbers up, and every egg collected has to be registered.
When we were on the allotment this weekend, we heard them singing up in the sky, dancing about against the clouds, and giving away a great show for us mere earthbound mortals... It's nearly time for a next generation of lapwings to be born!

Pas nu realiseer ik me dat 'lapwing' eigenlijk gewoon kievit betekent! En de kievit, tja, die kennen we hier natuurlijk enorm goed. Dit weekend hebben we op de volkstuin weer kunnen genieten van een prachtige luchtshow van de kieviten die hun nestje in de weilanden aan de andere kant van de sloot hebben. Nu is het wachten op de volgende generatie prachtige kieviten!

Video (in Dutch) on these great birds!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lapwing


Crazy Lapwing girl showing off her new sweater. It's still a bit big for her now, but she does look super cute in it.


I'm sure her arms will grow out of those sleeves some day ;) And even though she sometimes has some trouble smiling, she absolutely loves it!

Pattern: Lapwing by Sarah Hatton from The Rowan Story Book of Little Knits
Needles: 4, lace and sleeves single-thread, bodice double-thread, crocheted straps
Yarn: Mystery Yarn by Ballee
Adjustments: a great patterns, but one to READ. I did adjust the decreases of the two front pieces, as I ended with too many stitches. My gauge was slightly wide, which also explains why it's a bit wide on the back ;) Added crochet border to make it a bit neater.

Monday, April 12, 2010

If you can't see it

That doesn't mean that it's not there...


Our potatoes have been planted. Now we wait...

In the meantime, there's plenty  more to do, both here in the allotment (yes, that 'stuff' in the foreground, which techically doesn't belong to us...), in the garden back home and business-wise. Another deadline is looming; I'm procrastiblogging at the moment... ;) Lapwing is getting on nicely, I'm knitting the sleeves, so hopefully by the weekend a picture of daughter wearing her new sweater. But in the meantime, she's wearing this:


She won third prize in a gymnastics tournament this weekend, and I'm a super proud mommy! She got a new outfit, as it had become slightly too small... We also treated her to lunch, and she was allowed to get cake. So while we were munching on a (low WW points) sandwich, she was digging into strawberry cake. :D


Sunday, April 4, 2010

The road to Aragorn

Was long. Quite long! I started Aragorn, when it was still called Sokkenpad, back in November, and now we're April! These socks were a case of 'I know I'm going to get into trouble but I'll continue anyway', as I knit them in gorgeous biological cotton from Storm op Zolder, gifted by her, and me and cotton don't really get along when it comes to socks. I love the feel, but they sag a lot quicker - mostly because I'm blessed with a pro-cyclist's calves, a high instep and narrow ankles - which is a killer combo for yarn that doesn't cling. And maybe the design worked against me too a bit. After finishing them and trying them on, I desided to operate on the heels, frog a few rows from the short-row heel and rekitchener the stitches.

But enough about the negatives! The design is gorgeous, the yarn is gorgeous - it's just me that's just a bit oddly shaped ;) So the blame squarely lies with me!
I started out with a new cast-on technique, then cabled like a fury with twisted stitches and then knit the instep on the front of the foot, which made it possible to split the cabled pattern and let it fall sideways to the ankles. Beautiful! And the combo with the yarn was great too, as cotton gives great stitch definition.
Thanks for the great design, Janneke. Looking forward to the next one of your socks I'll be knitting already. These will be for the big man, in darkgreen Trekking Hand-Art, so I'm thinking about Lau, a nice manly pattern. What do you think?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter knitting

Easter is a time to reflect, to take some time out and think about life and things. For me it beats Xmas by miles, because however great it is to celebrate the birth of Christ, his death and what that means to us as people, is way more impressive and important! It is also a time to remember those who are no longer with us, and who we miss so much. We have decided to take things easy a bit this weekend, so after a lazy morning watch Star Wars, we cycled out to the playground to have some fun, and spent some time decorating eggs. Even though I actually loathe how beautiful Christian traditions have been 'commercialized', I do decorate the house for Xmas and we have a nice Easter brunch - with home-baked breads and decorated eggs.

As this Sunday we will be enjoying a brunch made FOR us, the egg decorating has also been put forward a bit and was done today, to eat up tomorrow. As I have quite a bit of yarn dye in my stash, I decided to use it for the eggs. If egg dye can be used to dye yarn, yarn dye can be used to dye eggs, right?

And the results are super cool! The colours came out really lovely, and with some stamps and stickers, we ended up with a bunch of lovely decorated eggs, which will be gobbled up tomorrow morning on our Silent Saturday breakfast.
To make the table even more festive, I've been knitting little egg cosy's, based on a lovely Ravelry pattern with pictures under the previous link and the pattern here. There's a few more patterns in the group, so I will be spending tonight making more of these little gems!