Archive for February, 2009

OT

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

This is a lace shawl I finished last weekend. It’s been on the first pair of needles I ever bought (bamboo, 4mm, March 2007) since this August, and I’m glad I can finally admire its beauty blocked. It grew a lot after blocking and of course the lace pattern opened up as it was supposed to, which was very fulfilling. It made this project and the endless pinning down of each of the 500 or so picots, worthwhile. It is now approximately the size of a mattress. (!)

The yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze, kid mohair and silk, and it’s so soft and shiny. It feels as if your wearing something out of a store where you’d never step inside, not only because every item there costs more than your monthly paycheck, but also because the saleswoman will immediately tell by your clothes that you don’t have the green to shop in her shop, and will give you a stare that sends you running with your tail between your legs. That kind of store, I kid you not. Check it out.

Muir

Muir

You’ll have to imagine the shine yourself.

This pattern is from Knitty, it’s called Muir and the designer is Rosemary Hill. I did the borders a little differently, with slightly thicker yarn I had left from my Hannah sweater, Kidsilk Aura. Same fibre content, different result.

I love this shawl, I feel so rich. I’m even dressing for summer when I’m at home so I can wear this and not be hot.

Tonight I finished curtains that will serve as ‘doors’ for our doorless cupboard. And while I was at it I sewed a little bird out of the curtain fabric, but because the camera I was borrowing was stolen, I have no evidence of this. I did though.

Senseo mystery

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Yesterday all senseo coffee machines were much slower than normal!

This may not be a scientifically acceptable conclusion, because I only made coffee with two of them yesterday, but the difference was so striking that it had to be the truth. But just to check: who else noticed that their senseo was much, much slower in heating the water than normal yesterday?

I know you have to be out there, because it is just not something you miss easily. Not if you, like me, drink a lot of coffee and have made enough cups with this type of machine to know, or better yet, feel exactly when your machine should be finished heating up the water and ready to squirt brown deliciousness in your favourite cup.

What is a senseo you ask? I would have written this in Dutch had I not expected some people abroad to also know this contraption manufactured by famous Dutch coffee brand Douwe Egberts together with perhaps the most famous Dutch company, also responsible for neat inventions like the CD, Philips. It is a coffee maker that uses coffee ‘pods’ (that’s what you call them in English, we call them pads) instead of just ground coffee in a filter. To prepare yourself a nice cuppa coffee, here’s what you do: grab a pod (pad) and toss it into the machine while the water is heating up in the reservoir. When it’s done making noises, press the button for one or two cups (depending on how many pods (pads) you tossed in there) and like a regular espresso machine, the coffee comes out enthusiastically and under high pressure. Here is some more information, a review of this ‘gadget’ as the writers call it.

I know that they hyped this invention for the high-end market in America, whereas over here just about every person with a toilet also has a senseo machine. I think the tide is turning a little but now however, because ‘true coffee lovers’ have started to come up and declare that senseo coffee is a sad excuse for coffee and that people who drink it have no taste. So I can imagine the situation here is quite different from that in the US, where you can even buy single pods (of course wrapped in plastic) for a dollar a pop.

Anyway, high-end accessory or standard inventory, tell me please if you have also noticed this mysterious difference yesterday, and maybe we can find out what’s behind it.

Cracked lips

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
Dutch traditional medicine, Purol

Resembling the great supercontinent that sat on our Earth millions (billions?) of years ago, the surface of my lips has started to form deep cracks, and is breaking up into large pieces. These newly created islands are drifting apart slowly but steadily, no matter how hard I try to smudge them back together with lip-ointment. When all has been calm for a couple of hours, and I imagine that inhabitants of this special Earth are finding their ways back to their damaged homes after another big landslide, I accidentally smile and everything cracks up again. Its a human tragedy.

Finished knitwear with cables and bobbles

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

The sweater! I finished it. I wore it, it fits. I blocked it, let it dry for four days. I’m wearing it now, it fits even better.

Pictures:

Demi sweater

The reward for using your mom’s EOS camera:
detail and realistic colours, these cables and bobbles deserve no less!

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Demi sweater
Who needs red, yellow and blue? Mondriaan, go home!

This is a sweater (pattern is called Demi) from the book “Rowan Vintage Style”  which was named “Vintage Knits” in the second edition, and the designer is Kim Hargreaves. I used Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran in Lewis Gray, an all wool yarn that’s rugged and chunky and quite scratchy. But as with lots of yarns, after washing, it feels a lot softer. That’s like a special treat you get for taking the time to pay some extra attention to finishing details like washing and blocking properly.

I had two entire 100g balls of this yarn left! When a pattern says I need 7 balls, I buy 7 seven balls. A bit strange that I’m now left with 200g of leftovers… As if I didn’t have enough leftovers already. But I guess this is enough for a hat, and I know I like the ways this knits up in cables and bobbles, so guess what I have planned for these two balls to become?

Modifications: I knit this in the round (of course, who need seams when they can be avoided), and I didn’t use a cable needle but cabled without one (see this tutorial). Imagine having to insert and work a cable needle every 4 or 5 stitches for one whole sweater… I don’t think I would have enjoyed knitting this sweater as much.

This sweater shows the bobbles I told you about earlier, I love them now, and they will definitely be in the design I’m writing down and hope to publish sometime in the coming months. I also love the button fastening on the right (for the viewer, left for the wearer) shoulder. Choosing buttons is always an ordeal for me, because a beautiful button can be totally wrong for a sweater, and most of the time I find this hard to swallow. Clenching on to the beautiful buttons, I have to force myself to put them back and place the interest of a sweater looking right over the joy of using those beautiful buttons I picked out ages ago… And these buttons are actually quite beautiful, and they’re also right.

I hope it stays ‘cold’ for a while, this sweater is too great not to wear.