Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Another wet weekend...

Already my stay in Rotterdam seems a distant dream.

England has been fighting the rising waters and I found no better idea than to go camping for a few days near Worthing, where my parents were experiencing their first tent stay. Fingers crossed along the way, and frantic knitting to try (and fail) to finish the wrap for Mum...I bound off the second sleeve just as we pulled into the camp site, but the wrapping part is yet to complete.

It was muddy, wet, grey and very windy...we could not even push the bikes on the way back from Shoreham as the constant blow along the beach killed our efforts.

The 2 days with my parents did however prove rewarding from the stash point, as I found (well actually spotted by Mum) 12 balls of a cotton mix in a charity shop (£5) and 3 balls of Emu (£1). But the best buy of all was in Shoreham, as I was about to walk out empty-handed from the Rowan-filled yarn shop... from the corner of my eye I spotted a soft turquoise cake in a basket on the floor...lace weight and gorgeous, I looked up, ready to face a pricey tag...50p (for 50g) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Best part was that I did find another one...so I may have enough for a shawl! (yeay for my first *proper* lace project).

BF even gave me the money for it, attempting to reason ("have you got a project for it?" "no, but I will...anyway, you don't un-der-stand...it's SOOOO pretty!")

A day in gay Brighton, which ended under a rainy sky decided us to go home a day early... and good decision that was as Sunday in London was bright and blueberry-filled! Balcony BBQ and home-made crumble...what a way to end the weekend!

Cohabitation is going well..in parts (the ones that are not yarny and fur-ry) and I am hoping we will soon look at new surroundings!

I miss the Tuesday knitting in Rotterdam, and I am trying to revive the knitting spirit here, but it's not the same...and my urge this morning to call for a Stitch and Pitch (of the camping type, not the baseball type) will probably remain unanswered. AND I don't get to see Y. (almost) finished scarf..bah, humbug!

The camera is not yet unpacked, but my head is full of pics to be taken... I will be back...soon!

Friday, 13 July 2007

Chic knits

Yeah for the New York Times talking about designer knitwear and knitwear designers!

Knitting with Style

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Ready, steady, pack!

Well, I have not started yet, and somehow I know I am leaving on purpose to the last minute.

Truth is...I don't want to leave Rotterdam. I love the town, the food, the people, the knitters....especially the knitters (and the crocheters and the dyers and the spinners, of course!).

Hopefully it's only Au Revoir and I will come back soon to knit as one of the Rotterdam SnB members on a Tuesday night.

On my glass table in the flat, a pretty printed paperbag full of leaving gifts from Sas and from Ajour ... some pretty handmade stitch markers to adorn my needles and a life-time (that should last until Sunday) supply of Stroopwaffels.

Yes, I will check the spelling, yes there will be pictures... soon...

So I find myself dreaming of a different future where I can stay...

I will miss you girls, I hope we stay in touch and that we see each other soon!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Turns out...I do NOT have a stash problem!

...well, at least not compared to some!

Someone with REAL stash issues

and when you are done, go learn how to make grass that is just too cute for words!

free grass pattern in MochiMochiLand

But since grass won't keep you warm (well, i guess it depends how big YOUR stash is!!), and let's face it summer is not quite here...why not make Odessa or Dashing for your Darling

And they both so little yarn...what are you waiting for ?

Cherry Pie: the pattern

So it's my last few days in the Netherlands and soon I will have to wave goodbye to Rotterdam.
Last night was my last visit to the SnB and I was proud to present Sas with a hat for Sprout...
The stalk is removable and the leaf side hides a little loop to attach a dummy. it is all chew and drool-proof...

And because it is my own design I decided to share it! So here goes:

Cherry Pie hat (Newborn to 3 months...probably!)
* If you have any concern about the safety of the stalk for a young baby, please ensure that you make the leaf detachable from the stalk and/or stuff the stalk or that you do not leave the baby to play unattended with the stalk *

Yarn: acrylic (here Special N1) in cherry red (more burgundy than red), dark brown and dark leaf green, that knits with needles 3.5/4mm, about 20g of each, maybe less (I will be making something else with the rest of the balls)
Needles: 4mm circ or DPNs
Hook: 4 mm (optional)

Hat: with red yarn, cast on 64 st, work in the round in 1x1 rib for 1cm then switch to stockinette until hat is tall enough (about 10cm), then begin decreases:
(k2tog, k6) to end.
K next row
(k2tog, k5) to end
K next row

Continue dec until 16st remain
(k2tog) to end
switch to brown (leaving a 5 inch tail), work even for 1 inch, thread yarn through st and pull tight. Use the yarn at the bottom of the stem to embed the stalk in the 'cherry' by stitching to the red st about 2 rows below beginning of stalk (to mimic the depressed top of a real fruit).

With brown, cast on 10st. Work flat in stockinette st until the piece measures 25 cm, ending with a WS row.
(KFB) to last st, K1.
Work even for 1 inches.
Bind off, leaving a long tail that is then used to seam the stalk in mattress stitch. (it should fit snugly over the 'tip' of the hat.
with a separate strand of brown yarn make either a crochet chain or knit a narrow band (cast on/bind off on return row) about 7 cm long and attach as a loop to the inside of the stalk -or to the leaf if worried about the stalk wrapping-, roughly where the increase for the top of the stalk were worked.
Alternatively, make a 4st-icord long enough to fit inside the thin part of the stalk. Secure: voila! non curling stalk! (why did I not think of that earlier?)

with green, cast on 4 st.
work even in stockinette for 1 cm ending with a WS row.
k1, place marker, k2, pm, k1
k to marker, M1, slip marker, k2, SM, M1, k to end
p (all even rows)

increase in that fashion until having 32 st total.

Work even for 2 inches, ending with a WS row.

decrease by working k to 2 st from marker, ssk, SM, k2, SM, k2tog, k to end (purl next row) until 4st remain. k2tog twice, purl the next row, then k2tog. Thread yarn through last st, leaving a very long tail if you wish to crochet an edge to the leaf.

Attach cast on edge of leaf to the top (wider) part of the stalk using velcro with the soft part on the leaf so the stalk can be removed for safe chewing of the leaf if necessary.


Monday, 9 July 2007

Knitted Shreddies


Could that be the clue that I should REALLY try and a job with Nestle?

Evil enabler and new knitter...

So there I was, happily planning my Saturday shopping in my head (including 'ooh, I must go to Daisy's before I go, and also get cashmere + from Lydia) when my colleague and fellow knitter stormed into my office: 'you have infected me' she lets out (cue very puzzled looks from my colleagues)...'I started knitting again'...ah..RE-LIEF and the others go back to their task.

If only that had stopped there. She then proceeded to tell me about the yarn barn in Leiden. Barn you said? Surely you mean 'shop'. No no: BARN.

After some chatting, beer and bitterballens I manage to convince my non-knitting-but-could-be-convinced-to-try colleague to come along to check out the place. In return for taxi driving I will teach her to knit...fair enough I think!

Got there about 2PM on Saturday and as R pointed out a large warehouse we decided it could be the place. As we saw emerging 2 ladies with yarn there was no possible doubt...the large building was indeed the place. I cursed my lack of cash for the day (no ATM in the middle of residential Leiden) and hoped the yarn was either very dear or very very cheap...or possibly non interesting.


Tis the warehouse for Wendy, King Cole, and the Italian brand with the Panda on it that makes it looks like WWF yarn.... floor to ceiling... About 10 x 8m long shelves... cotton, acrylic, mixed wool, mixed alpaca, all in price range between 1 and 2.5 euros/ball (100g) unless you go for the big fat balls.

And near the till Addi needles on their familiar black background for about 3.5euros.

I only bought 10 balls of alpaca mix yarn and 1 circ 4mm...all for just over 22 euro. It will be a jumper in the softest brown colour.

R settled on 2 balls of yarn to make hand warmers and a 5mm circ.

The rest of the afternoon was spent covering the basis of K, P, K2TOG, M1, KFB, cast on, bind off, rib and EVEN circ knitting...not without copious amount of ice tea and apple cake.

I gave her the Encyclopedia of Knitting in Dutch that came from De Slegte and got her started on the arm warmers, hoping that they would not be stuffed in a drawer as soon as she got home.

My evening and my Sunday were filled with a little shopping and some knitting for my friends who are leaving work when I get back to the UK. I am on target, but it still makes me sad that I am knitting for people to take away...well at least with the current weather i am guessing the mittens will be well received!

When I came into work today, after cursing profusely at my enabler-colleague who had directed me to the big yarn WAREHOUSE on the LAST weekend i am in the Netherlands for DESPITE knowing of my knitting habit I found out that R had been making progress on the hand warmer.

Curious, I went to see...
The hand warmer is finished!
The bright pink 2 x 2 rib that I suggested (as for project) has been knitted and stitched on the side, and instead of the simple gap for the thumb I had suggested to not overcomplicated, she had used the Magic Loop (as I had shown her Saturday) to pick up -very neatly, especially for a 1st timer- and knit a thumb for the fingerless glove.

It's official: a new knitter is born!

I will try and bribe her to send me a pic of the completed pair!

As the hail fell all morning on the balcony next to my desk i believe she will use them soon.

And the warehouse i hear you ask impatiently? It can be found on Rijndijk, next to the bus bridge in Leiden. Red-ish brick and building materials on the other side.

Don't rush though...it's only opened Wednesdays and Saturdays, until 2.30 in the summer...bring cash...LOTS of it!!!!!!!!!!!