Monday, April 30, 2007

Belated update!

Yes, I know, it has been forever since I updated. Sorry for that. The reason? Let me show you ...


See this little mess? Up till Friday I was daily dealing with this! And though I loved it it took up so much of my time it was almost driving me crazy! All the cleaning and taking care. Well, mostly the cleaning. It took me about 1 1/2 hour every morning before work and every evening after to get everything done. As soon as I entered the Winter room this is what basically happened (well, I was sitting down here so they just piled up on my lap!).

I took these pictures on Thursday, only a few hours before the first of the bunch left :

Little Girl Flo

Little Flo went to her new forever home then and is doing great as far as I heard on Friday! She's listening to her name and sitting down on command, and is already starting to become house broken. Well, she was the brightest of the litter I guess.

2 more little ones left on Friday. I'll miss them, but I do love having to clean a lot less. There are 2 little ones left, Aife who'll be living with us for the rest of her life, and little Gismo who's new family is on a holiday till May 15th. Though I still have to clean I can manage it in less 20 minutes! Our little Aife is getting close to starting the training to go outside (she now knows the meaning of the newspapers), Gismo is having a harder time. Oh well, it's fine with me. Up till now I didn't have the energy, nor the time to get it going. They do want to spend a lot more time with us now that there group is so much smaller!

Anyway, enough with the rambling, more about the actual subject of this blog : knitting and spinning! I uploaded all the pictures on Friday, thinking to write the post then, but somehow I didn't get to it. So I'm doing it now. I took more pictures over the weekend but I won't be able to post them till tomorrow as they are still on the camera (back at home! :D).

Tomorrow, by the way, is a holiday over here and as many schools are making a "bridge", having today also as a holiday, we are having a slow day at work today.

Well, at least I have 2 FOs to show :

Handspun blue

100gr of handspun from roving from Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club (don't remember the month by heart, need to check it at home). It's about fingering weight, but quite experimental. I'm really experimenting with my style of spinning and all. But it'll do! It was supposed to be for the previous round of Project spectrum but as you can see I didn't make it. I did however finish this quite some time ago.

Potomamus Socks - finished

Pomatomus Socks :

Yarn : Lorna's Laces Sheperd Sport in Bittersweet
Needles : 2.75mm inox circ, magic looping!
Started/finished : April 9th, 2007 till April 21, 2007

I really liked knitting these! They took me longer then expected, but it was still nice. And my sister - modeling them - is really happy with them!

Of course it's not weather for socks over here. The whole month has been the warmest and driest so far, and with temperatures of 27°C one doesn't wear Sport weight socks, right?

I'm quite a bit behind on the 52pair plunge as well, but I'll try to catch up soon. I just can't commit to socks only!

More soon!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A blog to take a look at!

I'm getting tired of being ill all the time (I'm down with a throat infection again) !
But I did find this lovely blog of this woman who knits really miniature things! Wauw, that I would like to be able to do!!! :D
Check her out :

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Stash addition

At the beginning of the year I decided to keep an eye on the stash and my yarn-buying. I didn't want to join a stash-along as I wouldn't make it through a week, but I've been pretty good at reducing my additions. I have no room left in the yarn room, it's filled up, so it's a good thing I'm not buying as much. I'm still buying though.

Most of the stuff I buy is at my LYS. She often has great yarn in but always at limited stock. She grabs what she can gets before it gets sold to big couturiers at Paris, but when that's gone there is no more. So basically I buy when I can.

But I've been a good girl. The nice thing is Summer is coming along and my LYS lady isn't one who likes cotton, so she has very little coming in. That's ok with me!

Here is what I got beside my LYS-buys.

A few weeks ago, at the beginning of March, I went to a craft fair in Antwerpen. It was a dissapointment, but I mainly went to pick up yarn from Klazien's Kreatie. I love her yarn!

Yarn 08/03/07 - 01

From Left to right, top to bottom :
- Shetland Wolle in white, Purple and eggplant, I have enough from all for a sweater!
- Silkwool (I have to skeins) in lavander
- Lana Grossa Cotton stretch in black and blue, a new yarn that's really nice.

I also got some Regia solids, but I now regret buying the 2 lowest skeins :

Yarn 08/03/07 - 02

I have plenty of the light blue and pink (exact same shades) in some discontinued Pinguen Yarn. I don't know what I was thinking at the fair. If you are interested in swapping, let me know! Each ball is 100gr and as you know Regia is great quality sock yarn!

2 weeks ago my sister went to Barcelona on a school trip. I had just read on Mari's blog about her trip to Barcelona and her visit to a yarn store! I thought it would be nice if my sister was able to look for that store and buy me some yarn! So she visited Persones Llanes for me! I asked her to bring back some Malabrigo Lace and LL Sheperd Sock, and this is what she brought home :

Barcelone Yarn

From left to right :
- Lorna's Laces Sheperd Sport in Periwinkle
- Malabrigo Worsted
- Lorna's Laces Sheperd Sport in Bittersweet

Pretty close for a non-knitter, ha? The Bittersweet is for her and I'm knitting Pomatomus socks out of them! They should be ready by tomorrow, but I'm still on the first sock. I keep trying though!

As you can see I'm really doing quite ok in the yarn aquirement department. I'll try to destash a few yarns again in the near future, but well, I'm addicted, so what? Better that than alcohol or drugs, right? :D


Friday, April 13, 2007

The perfect Red

Remember the yarn I was dyeing 2 days ago? My LYS-lady asked for a nice bright red to make felted bags out of. She buys the basic worsted yarn on cones and then I dye it for her. I had dyed basic red before, but that was cherry red (which is the primary red in the Jacquard dyes). She wanted some more "red-red". Hard to describe. I know colours, but I can't put names on them.

So anyway, there were 2 challenges. Getting the colour she wanted and dyeing my yarn evenly (a problem for me till now). So I processed my yarn in a different way and went with my instinct as for the colour. And look what I got :

red yarn

See, there's yarn growing in my plants! :D Yep, Summer is early this year! (we are having temperatures up in the 20's - and that's Celcius - which is extremely high for the time of the year!).

Anyway, turns out I mixed the colours just right and I got a way better technique for dyeing solid yarns! Not that I didn't like my nearly solids, but for this purpose it's better I have a true solid yarn!

Being at it I also overdyed some green sock yarn. It was a slightly variegated green, but not deep enough for the purpose (fair-isle with the yellow/pink yarn). So I tried making it more green :

green handdyed sock 01

Oh yeah, more yarn growing!

It's still variegated, or nearly solid, but a lot deeper then the original. It's not as bright in the picture as in reality, I just couldn't get the colour right (there's another picture, but still no right colour). But it's a lot better for the fair-isle! Can't wait to get started on that!

While outside yesterday I had a little photo-shoot with the pups. At the request of the future owners of the male pup. I got some nice pictures though it's really hard to capture them, as they are mostly either running or like this :

Groep 01

And then, all of a sudden, they are like this :

Groep 03

Yes, that are 4 pups piled up! (the 5th was begging to get in my lap). I move them inside when this happens! :D

Some individual pictures though :

Boy 07

This is - I think - the male pup. I love this picture, it's the best I got!

girl A 01 Girl B 01

These are 2 female pups, the ones we were discussing keeping (the one on the right is normal looking, she's just acting weird on the picture!!!)

The one on the left is the one we finally agreed on keeping. I really wanted the one on the right, which is the little one I saved. She's extremely active (well, compared with the other pups) but super sweet and I have a strong bond with her. I gave in though, my heart did almost brake. But I hope to find a nice home for her. The one on the left is the biggest of the females (she's easily as big as the male) and she's also super sweet. She already knows how to rule the house! This morning she was still in her nest while all the others were out, and as soon as I closed the door she came towards me. She spent the next 20min sleeping on my lap and cuddling.

I have a very strong bond with 3 of the pups. It's hard on me to see them go. This afternoon 2 of the pups have to go to the vet for a small operation. My sister is taking them and I'm so sad I can't go (I'm at work).

Well, off to get some stuff done now.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Long time, lots to tell!

It's late and I should be in bed (I'm getting a headache already) but I'm having 3 pots of yarn on the stove to dye. Yes, I'm crazy, but I don't have work tomorrow and I promissed these yarns to my LYS-lady, so I should do them now. Doesn't matter if they aren't dry yet, but they have to be dyed. So as soon as the pots cook I'm turning of the fire and leaving them till the morning.

Anyway, there is so much to tell I hardly know what to tell. Let me first start with the reason - or at least one of the reasons - of my great absence :

Pups 03/07 Puppy 05/04/07

They are super cute and very drawn to us! It's hard on me as I know I have to let go of 4 of them and I know I'm bonding to much. But I can't help it. They are also super active and slowly destroying the house, and driving me crazy. We still haven't found a new home for one of the girls, so please keep your fingers crossed that we soonish find a nice family for her to go to. They are leaving here in 2 weeks.

Anyway, first something that should be part of my future! :D

Table loom

I table loom! It's an old one from the attic of my LYS, (I should actually call it FYS, because it's not that local for me) but it has never been used. It's not in perfect condition so I'm now on the lookout for someone who can help me out to fix it and get me started. I read an article about a local guy who's a retired weaver. I'm planning on contacting him. One can only try (but I first need to gather my confidence! :D).

Anyway, I really would love to learn how to weave. Whish there was a way I could learn it myself. Maybe if I had a new loom that functionned perfectly, but that's out of my budget right now!

Before I go to the FOs, First the stuff I dyed up for the new Project Spectrum months. I never finished something in the previous months. :( Not so good. I do plan on finishing the socks I started. One day that'll be ...

Fiber Project Spectrum Handdyed sock yarn

The fiber : on the left Tencel/merino blend, on the right Mohair/merino blend. Both 150gr, died together. I'm curious how different they'll look. I'm aiming to spin a fingering weight yarn out of both of them.

The yarn : On the left 90%merino/10%nylon in yellow, pink and green (a bit to little pink like with the fiber, but hey that's not that bad, I have to learn to like yellow!), on the right KnitPicks Merino, suppusedly only on yellow and pink (but with green specks ) to be combined with green (I'm overdyeing that yarn right now to try to make it a bit darker, fair isle socks are in the plans).

Hopefully I'll get more spectrum stuff done. Oh, and I'm working on one thing in spectrum colours right now :

Glee process

Glee! Well, the colour is something between purple and pink, but I'll count it as pink! :D I finished the body and am now working - very slowly - on the sleeves. Not much progress though, I'm working on other things right now.

What are those things you are asking? Well, I joined the 52 pair plunge, so SOCKS! :D I'm enjoying it, I love knitting socks and I can use more of them for sure! It's going ok so far, but I know my love for knee socks and multitasking will kill me in the end. But one can only try! The thought alone that some in the KAL already finished 5 or 6 pairs! But I do plan on staying true to my principles: I don't like socks out of heavy yarns, so no quick socks for me. Maybe anklets and baby socks, but no DK weight socks. I would never wear them anyway.

But here are the FOs :

Sockret pal socks

Sockret Pal socks! (my pal by the way was Eva from Luxembourg! She already has the socks! :D)
Yarn : Satakieli
Pattern : Ellens stockings from Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush
Needles : 2mm addi turbo circ
Started/finished : somewhere in January till April 31st 2007

Monkey socks

Monkey socks by Cookie
Yarn : Sock Club yarn by Boogie (lost the lable though)
Needles : 2.25mm inox circ
Started/finished : March 24th till April 9th 2007

I love the yarn of these socks! I think I have plenty left for a pair of anklets for me! :D The pattern is very nice too! And I finished this pair quite quickly! I mainly knitted them last week when the KAL was already going on.

Right now I'm focussing on Pomatomus from Cookie in Lorna's Laces Sheperd Sport (in Bittersweet) for my sister. I hope I'll make it by the end of the week.

Another FO is a shawl that went to my LYS :

Lace scarf

It's knit out of a 100% mohair yarn in dusky purple, by a pattern in a Dutch magazine, and it has beads on it. It's quite long (little over 2m) and lovely. Nice knit too.

Handspun BFL

Handspun yarn! :D
Fiber : Hello yarn custom dyed BFL
Yarn : 2 ply, sport weight (14WPI I believe)

Like it, but I want fingering weight! I keep practicing!

Well, this is it for now! I hope to have more soon. Oh wait, I will have more soon as I have quite a bit of yarn I recently bought and want to show off. Oh well, that will make another post!

Keep your fingers crossed for the pup please!

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