Ssquisshy ssilk under glass

Some yarn is just so pretty, you want to look at it all day. I could not resist…

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This extraordinarily beautiful yarn is Diva Sock Silk in colourway Early Rise from Dutch Wool Diva, an online shop selling yarn dyed by the Diva herself, among other things. She also offers dyed felting and spinning wool and a range of other knitting, crocheting and spinning necessities.

Agnès runs a monthly prize drawing in her Ravelry group, where group members can submit a picture relating to a specified theme. Agnès selects her favourite picture and dyes one of her yarns to match. Isn’t it gorgeous? I just want to look at it all the time.

Today I remembered the glass cake stand I inherited from my oma. Like some others in our family (I’m not naming names but yours truly is included), my maternal grandmother was a bit of a… well… a pack rat. Having lived through WWII in what was then the Dutch East Indies and the subsequent period leading up to Indonesian independence from the Netherlands, she knew what it was to have nothing. Pretty much all they had left after the war and nationalist camps was a box of photos that had survived in an uncle’s garden shed and some jewellery she had managed to hide in an empty powder box. There are many more tales to tell about my grandmother because she was an extraordinary woman. Today, however, I wanted to tell you about the cake stand she gave me. It is mismatched and has no real value, I suppose, except for the emotional value it has to me.

So I love the cake stand but never really knew what to do with it. Looking at that lovely sun-and-sky-coloured skein with its pretty glaze, I just could not bear the thought of it sitting on my desk gathering dust. Enter the cake stand! With the wool inside, it creates a pretty picture on my desk. Just perfect! Now all I have to do is think of something I really, really want to knit with this. I am thinking a lovely lace wrap or scarf that shows off the vivid orange splashes. Suggestions, anyone?

In conclusion, I hope Agnès and Abessijn at the Dutch Wool Diva’s Ravelry Group won’t mind if I share the beautiful photograph that inspired the Early Rise colourway with you.

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Early Rise colourway inspiration © Dutch Wool Diva and Abessijn, who submitted the beautiful photograph for the November competition.

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FO: A head-warming victory

This is the last you’ll hear of the Tuke hat (promise!) but I had to let you know I finished it, didn’t I? I solved the ‘few stitches on circular needles’ problem by figuring out how magic loop works (lots more fiddling but I’m pretty sure it beats double-pointed needles). I’m afraid I did not use the official method, since I was unable to get the working yarn on the back needle as the tutorials say. But it worked out anyway. See?

ImageFrom there I was just a few decreasing rows away from the finish. Tuke taught me (the beginnings of) round-knitting and magic loop knitting and is just about the best thing I have ever had on my head. When I picked up my five-year old from school wearing my pioneering feat of home-crafting, she liked it but felt it wasn’t a ‘proper’ hat because it did not have a pom pom. So we decided to add a small one using Eskimimi’s nifty pom pom fork technology. Check it out here.

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My new hat is soft and cushy, lovely and warm and I might not want to take it off for the rest of the day. I think my significant other would protest if I attempted to wear it to bed tonight, otherwise I just might have!

Both my daughters have already ‘ordered’ a smaller version of Tuke so I’ll cast on the next one using Opal Hundertwasser sock yarn and see if that scales down the pattern sufficiently to fit my eldest daughter.

Wartende Häuser by Friedensreich Hundertwasser

This extraordinary collection of sock yarn is based on several works by Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser (1928-2000). I knitted a rib stitch scarf for my daughter from the Wartende Häuser colourway (and I’ll never ever do that again, I can tell you, since I thought I was going to be a doddering old biddy before I finished it!).

It is funny how something as ‘grandmotherly’ as knitting can open a window to the rest of the world. I had never heard of Hundertwasser before I bought the sock yarn but now I am going to find out a lot more about him and share it with you in a future post. It turns out he is one of my favourite kind of people: an artist, visionary and eco warrior avant la lettre wholly determined to walk his own path. Wouldn’t you just love to live here?

Hundertwasser’s Waldspirale or ‘Forest Spiral’ in Darmstadt, Germany