Monday, August 22, 2005

Substituting yarn?

I could use some advise here. I want to knit a cardigan for my grandfather for Christmas. It's the Man's Cardigan from A close-knit Family by Melissa Leapman (I found this book at a great deal at a local bookstore). For the Cardigan I need Tahki Import's Donegal Tweed. I found the yarn online without any problems, but the big problem is the yarn can't be washed in the machine. Yeah, that's a big problem as my grandmother will not take the time to wash something by hand, she'll just throw everything in the machine and wash it together. I don't want to take that risk and so am looking for a superwash yarn I can use instead. I'm usually quite easygoing as for substituting yarn, but this is the first cardigan I'll be knitting (so far only socks, scarfs and mittens :D). I'm not worried about the knitting, I just want to make sure I take a proper yarn for my first big project! :D

So please, throw suggestions my way! Oh, and the yarn should be available in darker tones, not the bright ones. As far as I know my grandfather only wears greys, blues and dark greens. And I don't want to give him something he'll never wear.

Thanks all!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Almost forgot

Speaking about finished socks, I finished my stashbuster spirals last Friday! They are great though I should start taking better notes on the toes and all, 'cause the toe of the last sock feels a bit smaller then the one of the first sock, though it's not that obvious.

And I've been listening to the podcasts of KnitCast on my iPod, I really love it! If anyone knows anything else to listen to that's interesting, let me know! I would also like to know of those who listen to AudioBooks. Where do you get them? Do you get them for free? Any suggestions as for good books? I'm a fan of childrens literature, detectives, thrillers (to some extend), some fantasy and some romantic stuff. Oh well, just let me know, k?


I got so much done today! Though no knitting. :( But well, having done all this I'm sure I'll get quite some knitting done the coming weeks! :D

Yesterday I got started on putting together the stuff I got from Ikea for my yarn room. That room was a total mess! It's also going to be my sewing room, by the way. Anyhow, I got a table for my sewing machine, my ball winder, my carder and all the other stuff (oh yeah, I decided on buying the carder I had rented. I phoned the woman yesterday and I just get to keep it as it was a brand new one when I got it. I just need to transfer the money to her account which I'll do on Monday. I figured it was a waste to take the carder back as I haven't done half of the stuff I wanted to do and I would buy one soon anyhow. So that's easy). I also got a shelf unit to organize my boxes of yarn. I cleaned out the "closet" (build in) in the room as well, putting all the stuff that was in there in other places. There's only one shelf in that closet, but I got to pil up all my stuff nicely.

I would show pictures but my sister has my camera and I haven't figured out yet how to use the video camera I have (it takes pictures as well, but I don't know how to transfer stuff to my computer). Anyway, everything is semi-organized now. I still need to figure out a way to make sure what yarn is in what box (I think I know how I'll do that) and I need to organize my big ordners with free patterns, but I think I'll do that at work this week (*grin* at least I'll look busy and it won't be to obvious I'm not doing work related stuff). The room is lovely now, I need some stuff to hang on the walls to make it more nice. Unfortunately the room is painted green, not my fave colour, but I still need to paint the whole house so that room surely isn't a priority.

Oh, and I got boyfriend to hang up some stuff for me, which is a great accomplishment 'cause I've been asking him for almost a year now! :D

I also started on the cleanup of my bedroom which will continue this week and when we actually get the new bed (we have the frame, now we still need the bottom and the mattresses).

Last but not least I managed to clean up my art-area! The mess was keeping me from doing art really. So now both my desk and my art-desk are clean, so I should be able to write letters and do art again! I'm excited and inspired even, though I don't have the time tonight (we have to go and watch a big spectacle/theater - free tickets! :D). Well, this is great. I just need to figure out how to organize all my paper stuff for the art 'cause that's still a mess really. Hmm, need to do some thinking. Maybe some kind of filing system?

So, as said, no realy knitting. There are a few things I need to do urgently but I will do that soon. Probably tomorrow. I have the last package to mail out to my SP5. It's going to be huge! I need to wash all the socks I've knitted so far. Hmm, a ton of stuff to do really. But I'll get there! :D

Off now, to wake up boyfriend to get ready for some diner and then the theater thing!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I'm still sick. The throat infection is still slightly there, but it has also evolved to my nose, giving me a heck of a running nose. The last 3 days I had no voice which usually never happens to me (the max for me without a voice has been 1 day so far). It's not all that bad but I don't like being sick anymore. It sucks the energy from your body and I just can't take that anymore. I just want to sleep all the time. I'm sure I would heal better if I did but I have so many obligations I just can't go and say I'm sick, 'cause I'm not really that sick.

I've done a little knitting here and there, but really nothing interesting to report right now. Except for the lovely sock yarn I recieved last Saturday! The box was huge, and filled with a ton of yarn I ordered at Ebay, from this seller. Look ...

This is the box when you look at it from the top. The box was really big, and quite heavy! There was a bunch of paper on top and a pack of DPNs which came with one auction I won.

Of course, I sat down and slowly emptied the whole box, and put it all on the couch. There's Opal, Online and Hotsocks. I forgot to order Trekking, but she didn't have many nice colours. And I didn't want any Fortissima for now as so far I don't really like it.

And, I bought the whole series of the new Opal Rainforest collection! I just couldn't resist!

Now I took the whole bunch of yarn with me to let me sister choose for a pair of socks (I already knitted a pair for my mother and my other sister), and she chose the Opal Flamingo which I really wanted for myself. I couldn't say she couldn't have it though. Maybe in the enar future I can order a shein for myself.

I've now decided I will no longer participate in contests online. I've participated in a few just recently, but of course never "won" one. I'm not a horrible person or so, I'm just really dissapointed as I never seem to get lucky. This feeling is made stronger by the fact that like most of my orders aren't arriving and this is making me so anxious. I might not be ordering online for a while, it's to dissapointing and I have enough yarn for a lifetime anyway.

So, enough of the whining, I'm off to bed to rest and maybe knit a little (if I don't fall asleep!).

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I'm quite pissed with the PO today. Well, since yesterday to be honest. Why you ask? I'm tired of paying a bunch of money to send stuff/get stuff send to me, while the PO doesn't seem to bother at all. I mean, what do I pay them for then? Aren't they supposed to handle my stuff? And they keep complaining they are underpaid. Why the heck would we want to pay more if the service sucks? By the way, I think I already pay enough for my packages and letters to be sent around the world. No matter people are preferring Internet. If I could order yarn and have it send to me through my cable I would do it. I'm a big lover of the old fashion letters and mail. I love the quickness of the Internet, but there's something about getting a package on your doorstep or a letter in your mailbox (a letter that isn't a bill! :D). But the system is getting more and more unreliable while you would think it would get better. And I hate people that are dishonest. Please don't tell me a fucking package the size of a shoebox can get lost! It's not like it can fall between the cupboard and the wall!

Why my frustration? I had a package sent to me from Canada - yes, yarn - over a month ago and still no sign. I mailed out a big box of goodies 3 weeks ago (priority mail, paid a lot of shitty bucks!) and no sign of it in the US. There are several more packages out there either on their way to me or on their way to someone else. And I'm slowly loosing all my faith in the mail system. I should learn from all this and back off from ordering online, but there is so much beautifull stuff out there I want to have!!!

Ok, yeah, there isn't much more to tell. I went back to work today though I'm still not feeling 100%. I'm knitting away on my socks, I'm going to start some footlets today. We might - but it's a very slight chance - go to the movies tonight as we have free tickets that expire tomorrow, and I want an easy knit to have during the movie. I have my stashbuster spirals, but I don't seem myself managing 3 balls of yarn in a dark movie theater, I need to start a second sock of my Friday Harbor sock to start but I can't even start that pattern when watching tele. I have to rip the fairisle sock :( and start on the Amber sock from the 6socksKAL. I just don't have yarn for that. I died a lot of stuff yesterday including some sock yarn. I was hoping to get some blue/purple yarn, a light shade of it, for these Amber socks, but instead of a solid I got a variegated yarn! When I want a solid I don't get it, when I surely don't want solid I get it. What the ***?? So I either do them in something from my stash or try to find some yarn nearby. The local store that now sells Regia has solids but only greyish, and that's not really what I want. Maybe I need to try some other more local stores? Not sure yet.

Ok, off now, need some to do something, pictures over the weekend.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sick part II

I stayed home from work today and went to the doctor. I have a general inflamation of the throat, which isn't so bad. I had to beg for more then today off, luckily she gave me tomorrow as well. Walking out there I doubted if I would take that extra day as we have a team meeting tomorrow, but knowing how lousy our team meetings are I'm just going to stay at home and catch up on some sleep.

I hate being ill though as I don't get to do much. I wanted to go to Ikea today, but of course that didn't happen. And except for watching tv and sleeping I didn't do much more. Oh well, I'll heal.

I didn't get to go to the PO today so the packages just have to wait one more day. I'll try to go tomorrow though. I did get one package myself though, my order from Kangaroo, a business I like a lot as they ship promptly and all. To bad they only have a small collection of yarn.

One question : I bought some Noro Silk on clearance. Has anyone used that for felting? It's either that or a small Clapotis in the future!

Off to watch some more tv now, my throat is starting to hurt again. :(

Monday, August 08, 2005


I'm to sick to write much right now. I'm just going to type this quickly and then I'm off to bed. I started getting a sore throat and now it's so bad I can't swallow, and I think I'm running a fever. A few quick things though.

First of all, Secret Pal, you made my day!!! I'm so happy with what you sent me, I can't wait to start knitting with it! Thank you! Pictures will follow, hopefully soon.

Sandra, Your package will go out tomorrow (if I don't get any sicker then this, 'cause if I don't go to work I won't make it to the PO either ...), I couldn't find your address this morning. But it's all ready to be mailed now! And I don't want anything in return, I'm trying to get rid of stuff here! :D I just want you to make nice stuff with it!

Those who offered me to recieve stuff from KnitPicks (Amanda and Rebecca) thank you for the offer, I'll be ordering 2 times, I figured out what I want and I can easily split it in 2! Saves on the shipping for you both. If I feel up to it I'll place the order tonight, if not tomorrow.

Pff, ok, off to bed now, really!

Sunday, August 07, 2005


So, the promissed pictures, of the yarn purchases and some other stuff!

First up, the yarn I got in Italy!

From the top left :

- 100% wool, handwash so probably great for felting! The blue stuff is going to my SP5. I have 2 balls of each colour.

- 100% merino superwash, actually for baby stuff but will be used for socks

- 100% cashmere, 2 balls, perfect for a scarf I think!

- 40% cashmere, 30% silk, 30% wool, super laceweight, scarfs in the future!

And of course it's all Made in Italy! I was in love with the stuff this yarn shop was having, to bad I couldn't buy more. but it was already way over 100€ and boyfriend payed for me, so I should shut up and enjoy it!

This week, well Friday actually, I stopped by at this shop which sells all kinds of stuff for mostly sewing/beading/clothes stuff (well, I mean, like buttons and all)/socks. They sell yarn as well, but up till now I only saw acrylic stuff there. And I mean, 100% acrylic! But aparently they are going to more wool blends now! Most still have some acrylics in it, but with a high amount of natural wool of some kind. Plus they are having Regia Sock yarn! At really low prices. Look at what I got :

Again, from left top to bottom :

- Regia 4Ply color, the woman at the store kept saying it would stipe but I looked it up online and it pools, no stripes. But it's ok, I like the colours. Want to try some fingerless gloves

- Regia 4Ply solids. No project for the white, but there are actually 2 of the blue and they will turn into the new 6socksKAL.

- 100% merino superwash, to bad they didn't have more colours I like, probably also for socks

- 100% wool, supposed to be handwash, hope it felts!!

So I think this is really nice, I'll be for sure buying more of the white Regia to dye myself. I like dyeing sock yarn! :D

Next up, the 2 socks I finished.

These are my stashbuster stripes socks! Well, one that is! :D I'm enjoying this pattern so much! I casted on for the second sock and will have a blast. As you can see I casted on to many stitches, 80. I decreased before the ancle and got at a total of 68. They are on 2.0mm needles, with Arnell sock yarn (local yarn, easy and cheap to get). I like me heels and toes in the same colour. I used black, pink and egg plant/burgundary. It's amazing how nice they fit. I put all my balls in center pull balls which makes it a lot easier. Then I put them in the same order in front of me every time I knit and I just move the balls as I use the colour, which avoids tangling. Really neat, more socks like this planned (I like striped socks! :D).

This is the first sock of the Friday Harbor socks from the Knitting on the Road book. I finished that one in the car on our way back from Italy, but I didn't cast on for the second one yet. Will do shortly. Used 2.5mm socks, Sockotta sock yarn (should look for the lable). I'm finding out I don't really like Fortissima that much, but they are looking okay. Might have done better going for another colour, but still, I like them and I didn't have any solids or so with me at the trip.

Now I forgot to take pictures of the finished socks of boyfriend. Finished them while in Italy and they turned out really nice. Picture and more detailes soon.

And then, please all keep a moment of silence, cause the following sock will be frogged, to my great sadness :

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this sock and how it turned out, but it's just to small. And I don't see myself wearing socks to small. It was my first try-out with FairIsle, and turns out I'll need to cast on more stitches in the future. I will start them over with the same pattern though, just adding 8 more stitches.

And I make some stitch markers for my secret pal of the Stitch Marker Swap. They should have gone out Friday, I'll just send them by priority, shouldn't take them to long. They look ok, though I can do better I guess. Hope my pal will like them. I'm adding one more just for the lateness.

And then, for Sandra, a little sneek peak of the package that will be going out tomorrow! It's all acrylic, some is new, just bought it on Friday. I hope you'll like everything!

There's also a package going out to my Secret Pal. I now found out I just bought to much stuff for her! I'll put some of it up for swapping/selling over here, as I don't like it for myself! Soon, not now though.

Off to do some knitting!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Totally upset

Today I got a letter from the company that offered me a job, that they aren't taking me. It's super upsetting as I really had hoped to get job and to leave the horrible job I am doing now. But no luck. :(

Then I decide to order yarn. That makes me feel good. There's a bunch of lovely sock yarn I want to order at various sites so I went along and started. I already put my order down at Wolhalla yesterday and I got the invoice. As I had to pay through my bank account I took all the info and set off, only to arrive at the bank and see the offices are already closed (it's 4:30pm at that time). I'll go back tomorrow but of course that means one more day of having to wait till my yarn gets shipped.

Coming home I decide I want to order some merino sock yarn to paint myself at KnitPicks . So I go to the website, thinking to order 5 skeins of the merino, 2 skiens of some other sock yarn and those little bags to hold your balls of yarn while knitting. I proceed the whole thing but then I see I can't enter a shipping address outside the US/Canada. I read the information about it and turns out you can pay from over here but they won't ship the stuff over here. What???? I'm close to tears.

So I switch to The Knitting Zone as I know they have some nice Koigu in and they also have the lovely Fixation I want to try (even though sweet Clothesknit is getting me some I just can't wait to order some more). When I change the amounts to 2 balls of each colour of the Fixation the shopping card tells me they are out of those!!!!! Oh my, I'm crying now. I wanted those 2 colours and no others, and I won't just order the Koigu as that would be to expensive for mailing.

And of course my Lorna's Laces and such hasn't arrived yet either. It can take a while, I know, so I'm not giving up. But it's all so dissapointing.

I'm going to order some extra Addi Turbo needles I guess. I wanted to start the new pattern for the SixSocksKnitalong but as I only have one circ of each size in my Addis and they are all in use I can't start them yet. So I need more needles, it's very simple. I'm sure they'll arrive either by the end of this week or early next week, so that's nice.

And I'm going to order some sock yarn at GetKnitted which is a UK based shop. They are pretty expensive but this yarn I can't get somewhere else over here so that's ok.

I'm also in the process of ordering a bunch of Opal and Regia and such at a shop in Germany. It's not easy as the lady running it doesn't understand much English and I don't speak German, but I'm sure it'll be fine.

Ok, off now, to make some stitch markers to send to my SP from the Stitch marker swap!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Back from the trip to hell (hum)

So, we returned from Italy yesterday and I really can’t express how happy I am to be back at home. Were to start?

Well, we left a week ago, little after midnight, so very early Saturday the 23rd. After picking up my sisters and dropping off the dog we drove to Italy. It was a smooth and easy drive and though we did have some problems in Italy – Italians seem to have problems being consistent in putting up signs, you might see a town announced but there is nothing that assures you you’ll see the name again the next crossing – we arrived there after a total of 15 hours of driving. That to me is quite ok. It was very hot already, though cloudy. The town we drove into seemed quite weird, and as soon as we saw the “bungalow” we would be staying in we were all pretty depressed. It wasn’t any bigger then the stable my horse is in (ok, he has a big stable, but still) so I guess it was about 5x10 meters or so. The whole thing was dirty, the bathroom, and especially the shower, were a total disaster and the bunkbed my sisters had to sleep in was less then safe. We tried to make the best out of it, but after being treated like shit by Italians a couple of times that week I’m quite sick of Italy. It’s the third time we went there and till now it was never nice at all. I’ll spare you all the other stories, it’s just to silly to remember everything.

Now I was so happy we could leave on Saturday. We got up fairly early, in my case because I wanted to get home soon, but officially it was to avoid the unbearable heat (our car is old and doesn’t have a/c). After driving – not as fast and smooth as we wanted – through Italy we were finally in Austria. I had taken the wheel for a while and bang, we hear a loud noice and immidiately the little light of the battery flashes. So I get off at the first gas station I see and we take a look at the car. Conclusion : serious problems. We call the insurance and get towed away quite quickly, but that’s were the good stuff ends. We don’t hear from the insurance anymore, the garage we are at is in total chaos as there are a ton of tourists brought there with a wide range of car problems and we simply sit there and don’t know what will happen. Eventually, after freaking because we were sitting there for over 3 hours and still didn’t know what was going to happen I started to call to the insurance company. 2 hours and a million phone calls later we have to pay for a rented car but at least we can go again and start our journey home. We stop for the night and then finally, on Sunday bit for 11am I’m back home. Don’t ask me what’s going to happen with our car or so, it’s all huge chaos really, but my FIL – the actual owner of the car – is going to figure everything out today as he pays more then his chare on insurance so this is total bullshit.

So, in short, the holiday was a total disaster and I’m so sick of it all. We decided we won’t be going on a trip next year, or it should be within Belgium and we have to be able to take the dog with us. I’m so sick and tired of everything right now. I didn’t really want to go on a holiday in the first place and this experience has learned me I shouldn’t do something I really don’t feel like.

Now there was knitting and stash enhancement during this trip! :D I didn’t knit half as much as I had hoped I would, but I did finish boyfriends socks (I’m happy because I was getting tired of them) and they are looking quite well. The yarn – Fortissima – was a bit dissapointing, but it might have to do with the fact that I ripped the sock 3 times. Then I also started the Stashbuster stripe socks and i love knitting them but I didn’t get as much done as I wanted due to the fact that I had to take 3 balls of yarn with me. I was smart enough to make center pull balls out of this yarn so that makes it quite easy! I did cast on way to much stitches but I’m now making some kind of calf shaping so the socks should look nice. I just really need to figure out how the determine the amount of stitches with my 2mm needles. I did do a swatch and I can measure from this sock as well as it’s plain stockinette stitch! :D One of the things I really should do soon ... . Oh, and I started a sock from the “Knitting on the road” book and finished the first one yesterday in the car. When the second one is done it needs some serious blocking before I can take pictures, but it’s a great sock! I’ll put down the pattern when I have the book with me. I also knitted a little on my Clapotis but only in the car because it was really to hot in Italy to knit it! It was even to hot to knit it in Belgium before I left. I do want to finish it soon though as it’s great to wear when the weather is a bit less.

As for stash enhancement, we went to Venetia one day and I have to agree with many : a real yarn addict is pulled towards the LYS! I mean, how many yarn stores do you reckon down town Venice has? And I did find a small one! Yeah, it wasn’t big but it had some great yarns! All pure Italian, and of course mostly natural wools. I’ll take detail pictures and show them off soon. Oh, and I also bought a bunch – though not enough I guess :( - of Venetian glass beads, mostly to make stitch markers! :D

Ok, you might wonder, but I’m currently at work typing this and I will post it to my blog when I get back home. Though I spent the day reading blogs here I don’t take the risk of updating my own blog from here as they can track down all the webpages you visit over here and I just won’t take the risk. I hate being back to work and it’s just as boring as it was before. This morning I was a little motivated, but now it’s just back to the old feeling of not wanting to be here at all! Oh well, I’ll try to get some work down ,to find some sence in this all and I’ll keep my eyes open for a new job. You never know what’s around the corner. I’m still hoping on that job near me, I’ll phone them either today or tomorrow to express how much I would like the job, in the hope that it’s not taken just yet!

That being sad, I’m sick of Summer. I really am. Did I ever mention I’m not a Summer person? I can usually handle Summer till just after my holidays, and then I’m totally ready for Fall and Winter. I long for nice days inside my house. My house seems big and not cosy at all during Summer, while it’s quite a bit nicer during Winter. The weather is still ok though not warm at all, but after the heat of Italy I’m really happy with this weather. We can still leave the windows open which is ok to get fresh air in the house but you do need to wear a sweather. Ok, I need to wear one, half of the people around me are still only wearing t-shirst, but I would just die from cold then!

There was one other realisation I got during my holiday – other then I really need to do something about my relationship ‘cause this is really killing me slowly, but that’s a story for another time – and that’s how much I miss drawing, painting and crafting. I was watching the nice buildings in the small old town and the only thing I could think off was “how would it be to draw up those? It must be so nice to just sit dawn with a block of paper and some pencils!”. It always reminds me of my creativity. And I realized I should work harder on finding a decent balance in all my passions. Knitting is my newest passion right now and 90% of my time goes into it, but at the same time I really miss other stuff. Like writing letters, doing paper art, drawing and even cross stitch. And reading. And more really. There should be a way to find a balance into all this. The question remains how of course. I’m going to work on it the coming weeks, in the hopes to find a better balance and do more stuff I like. The key word will be spending less time at the riding school. I’m spending way to much time there and it’s that what’s making me so tired, both physically and mentally. Though I have a few friends there they aren’t close friends and they aren’t the people I would want as close friends. I love horses and horse riding but I don’t really like the attitude that comes with it. This kind of social contact is also draining me. I have a social phobia and to be honest, I do want friends but so far I haven’t found any that really share or appreciate my passions for art and knitting and letter writing. Most people – even my family – consider me crazy. Maybe I am. I don’t really know. But I like the person I am and I like being crazy! Who cares really? I will be horse riding of course but I’ll be limiting my time there as much as I can. They don’t appreciate what you do anyway so I can better spend my time inside the house. Plus my penpals and Internet friends are still the best friends I’m having.

I’m always a bit envious of the nice knitting groups I hear off in the US. It would be so nice to be able to meet with a group of likeminded people, even if it was only once a month. I know there’s a similar thing in Brussels but somehow I think Belgians lack the attitude to form a nice group of knitters. Oh well, I’ll just live with my Internet communities then!
Ok, I think I’ve rambled enough, though I will write more soon. :D And pictures of course!