Archive for August, 2008


Sunday, August 31st, 2008

So I’m а little unemployed… So I have no real clue what the year is going to look like, and how I’m going to manage being accepted into art school next time. I don’t feel bad at all.

The job ended with a bang, the busiest week since I started working there. We had Russian Couchsurfers over at the same time, and the weekend was a camping party with games (which my team won). I had no problem with being so busy, all my activities were worthwhile and the Russians became friends overnight*. To top it all this weekend turned into a warm and sunny one, and I had some time left to knit on our rooftop terras while the sun went to fulfill it’s duties on the other hemisphere slowly, leaving twilight and heat, my favourite when I’m knitting and looking out over the roofs of downtown Haarlem.

Muir at dusk

*Спасибо Ира и Андрей! Было так приятно вас хостить. Вы нормальные ребята 😉 , можно это так сказать? Я надеюсь что мы скоро поедем в Питер!

White roses and black lace

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

The roses I got on a goodbye-dinner with my soon to be former colleagues, I also got a fat gift certificate for one of the best yarn shops in The Netherlands, ribbels in Leiden, and with that my colleagues of course made me very happy. I also got to chat a little with some Russian attendees of the course I organized that week and for which the dinner was also the closing night. One of the attendees had brought her husband who didn’t speak anything but Russian and he was overjoyed when I sat down next to him greeting him in his native language, “Здравствуйте.” Like most Russians I met he suddenly opened up, started smiling and he was friendly like we had know each other for a long time.

When I got home somewhere around midnight our neighbour was having a party which she invited us for. And to make a long story short (because telling about parties never does justice to being at parties) we hit the sack at 5 o’clock. So all in all I had a pretty good night.

Black Lace IThe black lace is my latest KIP (knit in progress). I was pretty scared that the yarn would be impossible to work with, because it is so ridiculously thin and hairy, and that the result would be scratchy and totally irregular and puckery, just plain ugly. Or that I would have too little of an attention span to even complete one correct row of the very difficult pattern. But the yarn and I surprised myself greatly and in a positive way. I can work a row correctly, sure I make mistakes but those can be corrected, not like I was expecting after reading reviews of the yarn that said that the yarn is the most unforgiving you can find. And the resulting fabric isn’t scratchy AT ALL, in fact it is so soft I am fondling it more than I am actually knitting it.

I hope you understand that I want to continue knitting, it is a great joy and I would be crazy to withhold it from myself. I am not a masochist. So here’s one more picture and that’s it.

Black Lace II


Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Yes, I’m still knitting, but this weekend I’m also doing other crafts, mainly sewing. How can you not when you have these fabrics at your disposal, from Carol Cox in Utrecht. Her fabrics are quite expensive, inspiration is free.



And for someone with very little experience in sewing, I think this hem turned out pretty neat:


Normally I’m not a very accurate worker, but yesterday I discovered what a delight tidiness and accuracy can be, and how it can make the results so much prettier. It was really worth staying up so late until every seam was totally perfect.

Thermal, wearing it right now.

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

I finished my first real project of 2008 (apart from the Norwegian Stockings which turned out too precious to wear), a sweater called Thermal, by Laura Chau.

Thermal, check

This baby has been on the needles since our great escape through India, China, Mongolia and Russia. I ran out of projects in the second month already, having been much more prolific than expected, and so I needed a new project and, more important: new yarn. This yarn I found in Tunxi, China, the nearest town to Huang Shan, a very beautiful but touristic mountain range we climbed. This town had a yarn shop, to my delight, and without me speaking much Mandarin, and the shopkeeper any English, we figured out how much of a certain yarn I needed to make a sweater. I had Thermal in mind, but I hade no clue of the needle size or gauge I was going to need. I decided the needle size through educated guessing (“okay, if the yarn is this thin, I probably need these ultra-skinny needles over here”), and, praise me for my carpenter’s eyes, the gauge came together impeccably for the pattern.

Thermal, check

I cast on in the train from Tunxi to Nanjing and already I felt that this would be something I would tell my hypothetical grandchildren about when I would be giving them the sweater. The Chinese women in the train came over to show me how to knit correctly, meanwhile knitting way to tight for my project so that I would smile while they showed me, and, as soon as they left, I would rip the part they had done. Then I would start from where I had left before they started to lovingly correct me.

Thermal, checkI loved knitting this pattern even though it was so painstakingly slow. The best part about it is that it took hardly any seaming. The bodice is knitted in the round, so no seaming there, and so are the sleeves. I had forgotten that setting in sleeves was this simple, so I went from worryingly starting the setting in to being overjoyed with my new sweater, in a matter of minutes.

That’s why I’m happy today. I also bought beautiful fabric a couple of days ago but this deserves it’s own post. So here is one more picture of my latest FO with my smiling face complementing it.

Thermal, check