A Crafty Kind of Weekend

It’s been a rainy and chilly weekend here in northern NL, so obviously the only thing to do is, of course, crafts!  It all started with finishing my Spina socks Thursday night, and then continued with fabric and sewing and knitting shopping with C. and G. on Friday.  I had the day off work, which added to the perfection of the weekend.

Friday morning I first went running (6 km, but more on that later), then met up with C. and G. at the Bagels and Beans on the corner of Ferdinand Bolstraat and Albert Cuijp.  We headed out to find fabric and notions.  C. is learning how to sew and man is she a fast learner!  After just one afternoon she made a skirt, with a zipper and everything, without even using a pattern.  She was wearing it and it looked great.  G. is seriously into art quilts and makes some really beautiful amazing things.  Me?  I just need to make stuff for a wedding.

We went to several shops on the Albert Cuijp market and bought fabric and tools and do-dads.  I bought fabric to make a test bolero for M.’s wedding (to make as a practice before cutting into the silk fabric for the real thing) and buttons for the dress I’m making to wear to the wedding.  I was really happy to find out that there really is fabric to be had in Amsterdam.  Granted, I didn’t see the variety of fabrics that I saw in Paris, and most of it here in Amsterdam seems to be for home decorating, still there’s enough to keep you in small projects for a long time.  It was a great day out with my my fabulous crafty friends!

Friday night we met again at N.’s birthday party, which was held at a friend of N.’s house near the Vondelpark.  It was such a nice party!  There were about 40 people there, probably half of them knitters, and several others artists of various kinds.  We drank wine and ate lovely food and talked for hours.  I feel so lucky to know these people and to share their celebrations.  N.’s mom and sister and sister-in-law surprised her by flying over here from the U.S. for the party.  Very cool.

Well, now we’re up to Saturday.  Are you still with me?

I had made a pact with Andy last week Sunday that we would both start our lace projects on Saturday the 11th, each in our own homes, but telepathically we’d give each other encouragement.  Boy did I need that encouragement!

I started by casting on for Muir using only the Habu silk and stainless steel yarn that I had.  I knit, or should I say STRUGGLED, through 3 rows.  That was enough.  I gave up.  That stuff is HORRIBLE to work with by itself.  It’s about the thickness of a spider’s web, has NO stretch at all, and since it is half metal, it has a mind of its own.  C. has made a BEAUTIFUL sweater combining the Habu with some Habu silk.  You can see that here.  I thought, well, I’ll also combine mine with other lace weight yarn and see how that goes.

I was just about to go online and buy some silk or wool/silk in the same shade as the burgundy stuff that I had, but then I thought – let’s try it out first with what you DO have and see what you think.  I have some white Zephyr on hand that I had bought to make M. a shawl for her wedding (which I’m not making now), so I thought I’d just throw that in to see how it feels to knit and what the result is like weight-wise.

I knit about 4 rows.

And then I discovered that I LOVE the combination of the white yarn and burgundy steel/silk together!  I never would have considered it.  I thought it would look really weird.  It looks fantastic.  Have I said again how much I love it?  See?

And you know what’s even funnier?  The buttons I bought on Friday to go on my dress match this idea exactly!  Look!

Too cool.  I’m so excited and happy about this project.  The results are so nice and it feels great to knit and drape.

However, this is not a portable project, or a train project.  I still needed a train and SnB project.  So this morning, Sunday, I cast on for socks.  I’m using some KnitPicks cotton/wool/nylon/elastic sock yarn that my mom brought over with her in September last year.  I’ve been meaning to make some summer lace socks with it and now’s my chance (hoping that summer comes back).  It’s kind of an oatmeal color.  I’m making a toe up sock, using my own toe, Yarnissima‘s techniques for the gusset, and a stitch pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks
by Charlene Schurch.

Now, having just finished 2 projects in the last couple of weeks, I’ve cast on 2 more that I’m pretty chuffed (as the Brits say) about.  The sewing?  That will start next weekend…..

5 thoughts on “A Crafty Kind of Weekend

  1. Tobey July 13, 2009 / 04:21

    Oh, I love the burgundy and white together. The burgundy adds a bit of a depth and texture.

    A few simple projects for swaps here, but will be done with them soon and back to socks and spinning (my newest addiction!)

  2. Cassandra July 13, 2009 / 10:29

    Wow, what an interesting combo! It looks so very different from mine. I didn’t think you’d enjoy the Habu on its own, this seems like a great solution. How fun to read about our adventures; it was a super fun day, no?

  3. Cybèle July 13, 2009 / 11:10

    Have you ever been to the fabric market in Utrecht? Not just decorating/furnishing fabrics, but dressmaking fabrics too. I haven’t been for a few years but can’t go there without buying something. It’s on Saturdays from 8 or 9 till 1 pm, and not far from the station (I don’t know the name of the road, I know how to get there from the station!). Well worth a visit.

  4. louise July 13, 2009 / 14:58

    Huge knitting post..which makes me most envious of your knitty talents. I dont have an I-phone but know you do..have you tried Knitbuddy app? Looking forward to seeing sewn items in near future..I cant even sew a button on without drama!!!

  5. spider July 16, 2009 / 01:55

    oh, i love how muir is turning out! got to get me some zephyr yarn!

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