Sunday, 30 December 2007

The mittens and one UFO finished


No more gifts came free yet, half of the yarn is used. I am making up my mind what to knit with the rest of the yarn, jumping between a headband, wrist warmers, a hat, baby booties...

And I finally finished one of my hibernating projects, a skirt for Dory, made of hand spun wool, dyed with natural dyed. I like how it turned out.

Incoming and outgoing parcels

Yesterday a beautiful PIF parcel of Darcy arrived. As I should actually pay her, there was absolutely no need to do this, but she chose me as one of her spoilees. And look what we got! Yes, it is 'we' again, because Dory confiscated immediately a few of these items.


A Christmas table cloth, a Christmas handbag...




Christmas ornaments, immediately hung in the tree ;-)




Coffee, yummy...




Little Britches, so very cute!




I bought the balls of cotton myself, they were also in the package. The colours are very pretty!



The rabbit in the snow is Dory's favourite.


This is the outgoing parcel, tomorrow it will be send to a very sweet lady.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

O-Wool

Yesterday I received an email of the manager of O-Wool concerning the organic merino in this post. I commented about the quality of this wool.
The merino of O-Wool has a good quality, but there were some problems early this year. I'm offered a partial replacement of the wool. The yarn I got turns out to be 'second quality', though this was not stated when I bought it in that coop.
Below a detailed explanation of the veggie problem. I have permission to quote O-Wool. I want to make clear this is NO LONGER a problem and that any veggie yarn they have in stock will clearly be sold to their shops as “seconds” (lesser quality yarn).



“Early this year (2007), we received shipments of O-Wool Classic with unacceptable amounts of vegetable matter (VM). Producing products with certified organic wool varies greatly from making products using conventional methods. One area where this is vastly different is how to work around this VM that gets caught in sheep’s wool between shearing cycles. VM includes many different substances including twigs, burrs, grass, and various seed matter.



In conventional wool processing the VM is removed by using carbonization. Carbonizing involves passing the wool through sulfuric acid bowls and ovens, before rollers crush the brittle VM that remains. This process eliminates virtually all the VM and is why most wool products on the market do not contain VM.



At the Vermont Organic Fiber Co (VTOF), we have helped establish and follow the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Processing Standards. These standards were established to ensure organic certification could be followed through the whole production process. Under these standards carbonization is not allowed. This means we have to use alternative measures to remove the VM and from time to time VM will end up in the final product. We as a company are willing to accept minimal amounts of VM as a natural variation in the products that mimics nature and is part of the organic process. But this particular batch of yarn far exceeded an acceptable level, and therefore we could not, in good conscience, continue to sell this yarn at regular price. We still have much of this yarn in stock and have begun to sell it as “seconds”.



We have since added an organic combing process that eliminates most if not all of the VM. We have already processed and sold two lots of this combed fiber, and the yarn is beautiful and free of VM.



VTOF has been producing 100% certified organic wool yarns for the past eight years. We have learned a great deal about the benefits and challenges of upholding organic fiber processing standards. We strive to produce the best certified organic wool products for the textile market. Our goals as a company are to improve on production processes, support organic agriculture, clean up manufacturing processes, to make the world a better place and to focus on making our company and products more sustainable. We hope that you continue to believe in the integrity of our product, and we look forward to a long-lasting relationship.”

Knitted Vintage Socks


These are for my downstream partner in the Knitting Vintage Socks Swap. It was a nice pattern to knit, the Fancy Silk Socks. This was the first time I blocked socks, the sock blockers are made out of placemats by myself, very easy to do and cheap (sometimes I like to be cheap :)). I've also gathered some other nice goodies to send with the socks. Before the box goes overseas, I'll snap a photo of it.



And yesterday I started with the Magic Watermelon ball. I will knit a pair of mittens out of this, I am a bit concerned the yarn is not strong enough for a pair of socks. It easily snaps. In fact I don't wear gloves or mittens very often, but it has been cold here the last few weeks. Maybe we will have another cold period this winter and they might be very useful.

Can you see the cute sheep marker?

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

A magic Christmas gift

Must be a magic ball! And yes, I got another one, whoohoo! Darcy sent me this gorgeous ball for Christmas

Hand dyed 'self striping watermelon' wool from Frehisle Fibers. As you can see one sheepy stitch marker is visible, put in as teaser ;)



As well some special blend tea and the book of Stephanie Pearl McPhee aka Yarn Harlot. Inside the book a special surprise



Dory was very pleased with the presents she got from Alora

Stickers, a bracelet, a cute crocheted fish and some sweets and biscuits.

Darcy, thanks so much for this precious gift! I'm looking forward to knit the wool, but I have to finish the Vintage Socks for the exchange first, only a few days to the deadline left...

Sunday, 23 December 2007

My stash!

Darcy challenged me to take my personal stash out of all the bags and boxes and expose it to the world. I take it this is about whole hanks/ balls of yarn which supposed to knit into an item and not about leftover/ scrap yarn (although it will be fun to wind that into little balls and show it as well... something for later).
I took it out and here it is

I've a lot of Patons Sahara Cotton I found in our local charity shop. 10 balls of salmon, 4 balls white... not an idea what to knit with it yet. A bunch of dish clothes? Also pretty much hemp yarn, 10 balls in different colours and still no ideas what to do with it.
The organic O-Wool (merino) (on the left) was never meant to be in my personal stash though, but there is so much of a meadow in it, I dare not to sell that to my customers.

Edit: in the meantime I received an email from O-Wool about this merino. Let's make it clear this problem with the yarn no longer exists and I hope this post won't keep anyone away from the lovely Organic Merino of O-Wool. Please have also a look at this post for a detailed explanation of the veggie matter in the wool.
Any ideas what to do with 8 hanks grassy merino? 100 grams each...


And of course, as should be, there is some yarn here that I'll never knit into anything.

A ball of rare sock yarn. I don't like the split threads. Of the Wensleydale's there's 2 balls, I don't like the wool itself. The Opal frog was in real not the colour I'd expected (on the website I bought it from, it showed up purple), but now I've seen some pictures of this colourway knitted up, I must say I don't like it. And then there is the organic merino. I fear it will also sit in the box for ages.
Any takers?

So, who is next to expose her stash?

Saturday, 22 December 2007

We have a winner!

And believe me, this is NOT deliberately! She is randomly chosen by a 3.5 year old little girl. Those of you who read my blog in the past, might remember this post.
Well, this name was taken out of the bag:

Congratulations to Sarah!


And what to do after the drawing?

Friday, 14 December 2007

101 About 100

SmileyCentral.com

It is not a big deal to publish 100 posts. So let's keep it simple. If there is someone out there who likes to visit this blog every now and then, please shout! I'll give this a week from now, then my daughter will pick one of your names. I will put a package together for that particular visitor, so I can't say anything about it now. If you'd like to be surprised, please play this game!

100! Magic Ball: the conclusion

Huge rave for Annemarie! She did a wonderful job putting this ball together, I love(d) every part of it. I am still in awe with the colours of this Jitterbug and it is really a pleasure to knit.

My two socks, knitted in that amazing Babyrib. One pouch. And the gifts I found in the secon part of the ball. More chocolate :), mocca beans and a card with beautiful buttons of Storm in the Attic

Some more pictures of the crafty work

I also knitted a little cardigan for this pink teddy

Almost all the yarn is used, about one meter left. Thanks so much Annemarie, you are the best!



This angel has nothing to do with this Magic ball, but with another. Since it is revealed, I'd like to share it with you.


I think this Magic Ball deserves its own post. Next post will be about 100

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

99 or Grateful Dead

This is the 99th post on this blog. I started this blog about a year ago, not sure at the time if I'd be a regularly blogger.
So the next post will be hundred. I think I already know the subject of that post... the final episode of the Magic Ball. The socks are done, also a small teddy jacket. One present is still in the last bit of the wool, so I am considering a magic pouch like Serena did with her magic ball leftover.

So the next post will be a kind of blogaversary. I don't know what I will do yet, but it will be something fun I hope.

And what has this to do with Grateful Dead? Absolutely nothing. Only that I realized I never blogged about this finished project and I actually was planning to blog about that. So here some pictures of GD longies!




And then... a Pippi Doll!

What a surprise for our Pippi Longstocking lover! Darcy, Tom, Alora and Athena sent her a Pippi Doll! It is a Christmas present, but she could have it now. And she is so very pleased with it.

It is a cutie. If she is not playing with it, it is in the sheep bag, between the golden (chocolate) coins. Suitable, isn't it?

A sheep for a sheep

My girl loves to play sheep. She is walking on hands and feet trough the house and if you ask her something, you can have some baaing as answer. So it is no surprise that she is completely in love with sheep. Tessa knows this and those who read her blog might remember this post. Well, the bag came in last week, together with a lot of other gorgeous presents! Dory won't separate with this bag anymore.

There was a problem with the other gifts, besides of the grabbing-all-the-toys girl, the batteries of the camera died. Unexpected? Oh yes. Those long-lasting batteries were only in use for two days. I managed to take this photo as well

Lovely hand spun wool, a stripy kitten and a coffee cup dish cloth! The kitty is Dorrit's. She lost it the next day while shopping. Lucky for her and me, a little boy found that precious toy and put it on top of a microwave (well, it was in the Food Court of Cheshire Oaks...).
I've bought some new batteries (a real brand!) and took some photo's the day after

I was not allowed to put every toy on the picture, some had to stay in the sheep bag. Like a 'Little Pony' and a transparent ball with a horsie in it. And the coins, still in the sheep. The chocolate lollipops are gone in her belly :).

And she did not forget me. Apart from that lovely hand spun and the fabulous dish cloth, there was a package of coffee pods; a oil burner and some flagrant oils and chocolate. The other sweets were already eaten (two teens in the house).
Dear Tessa, thanks you so much!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Magic Ball continued

This Jitterbug is a real pleasure to knit! And thanks to yvonnep I have the perfect pattern to knit a nice looking pair of socks. One of them is finished, the second is almost at the heel.

Annemarie did put this ball together with a lot of care. In the notecard she said it is a ball with a theme... after a few coffee-related presents I guess the theme is coffee. What I've got so far: 'Sinterklaas koffie'; a bar of Latte Macchiato (great for that 'coffee with...'); an hazelnut-coffee scented candle, and a needlecase. This one is for circular needles and already in use.


Here the 2 cases I got in one weekend. They are both fabulous! I feel truly spoiled already!

Artwork

She is not allowed to do her arty work on the floor and she knows that. But sometimes it is too tempting for her. I simply had to snap a photo before wiping it clean.


After that she hand painted the hand spun Corriedale I got from Sarah. She choose the colours: hot fuchsia, blue and violet and had a lot of fun dyeing the wool. Aren't the pink gloves pretty?


She did a very fine job! We're not quite sure what to knit with the wool, but Dory is leaning towards a bag. She loves bags.

Monday, 3 December 2007

PIF package received!

The magic ball was not the only parcel I received Saturday, a few hours later a pink parcel came in. Yes, lovely colour :-). That was kind of a surprise, I did not expect a PIF package this early. Wanna know what was in the package? Well, some very pretty things. Maybe I better should not publish the pictures here, as I don't want to make you envious...

Isn't this lovely? I saw the counter bracelet on Lies' blog and was immediately in love with it. Now I have my very own (when D. does not have it... we are still struggling who likes the bracelet the most).




The whole lot. Also a beautiful needle case for my dpn's. Before Sunday they were all somewhere hiding in the house, now most of them are in this case. Funny coincidence is that I have another needle case since Sunday, but I'll blog about that one later... has something to do with the magic ball...




Oh, there was another surprise. This one for Dory. A lovely flowery bag and a magic drawing set. She loves it!

Dear Judith, thanks so much! xx. I cannot believe you did find time to do this while you are so busy with your house move!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Magic ball arrived!

Oh yes, the package that was re-delivered today, was the magic ball! Off course that box had to be opened immediately and this is what we saw.


No doubt, that cute fluffy teddy became Dory's friend immediately. In the package was, apart from the colouring sheet of Kika, also a pattern for a hat, a scarf and a poncho for this bear. Very useful, with all those leftovers in this house, it will be fun to knit some clothes for this bear with them.


Here a picture of all the contents.


And this is THE BALL. Loaded with treats if you ask me. Look at the colours of the wool, aren't they lovely?! So very well chosen and so me!


I have to make my mind up yet what to knit with this Colinette Jitterbug. Don't worry, it won't take to long as I want to start so badly. On the overleaf of the label is a simple sock pattern. Maybe I should do that.