queenfilo knits and knits

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

I live in Amsterdam and just finished my masters degree in comparative literature. I love reading (figures) and knitting which I have been doing for over two years. This blog will be about my knitting and about me.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I've moved!

I've moved my blog over to Wordpress. You can find it here
or if the link doesn't work: http://queenfilo.wordpress.com

See you there!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

Yes!...I can post

Last week I couldn't acces my blogger account from work, but now I can. Which means that I can alleviate boredom by posting, especially now that SecretPal9 has started! This weekend was very relaxing making the boring hell of work even more unpleasant. Fall has set in and I've had a very nice weekend indoors with lots of cooking, baking, knitting, reading and film/tv watching. Knitting wise I felt a sudden urge to knit a beret and decided on Pascale from Rowan 2004 winter book. It has beads and I did not know until saturday how annoying it is to knit with beads (It took me 4 hours to string the beads onto the yarn). If it starts to look like anything I will post a picture (need to upload those at home). For now I will answer the Secret Pal questionnaire. I felt quite sick on friday (stress, flu or food poisoning) so I left work early and found a sweet e-mail from my secret pal (Hi secret Pal!) that made me feel a little better. So for your information, here goes:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I am a self professed yarn snob. The times I have found acrilycs that looked nice I couldn't bring myself to buiyng them, I especially dislike the feel. I do love blends (especially siilk blends). One of my favorite yarns is Rowan Kid Classic because it's soft and fuzzy and comes in lovely colours. I also love the RYC classic range especially the cashsoft.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
One part of my needles resides in a wooden box, the circs are in a round box and some are in a sort of pitcher. I want to make a needle roll but haven't come around to it yet (I also don't own a sewing machine)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting for two years now. In this period I have been at times very active and sometimes inactive for several months. I love to learn new things and tackle challenges. I've tried a lot of different things and techniques sometimes just for learning purposes. I would say I am at an intermediate level. I can do a lot and learn fast, but I really need a lot more experience to become advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I love spicy, heavy scents like amber, bergamot and patchouli. My favourite perfumes are Shalimar, Obsession and Coco that should tell you something. I really dislike sweer scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I am more addicted to savoury foods then to sweet I do love dark licorice and my all-time favorite combo: dark chocolate with peppermint.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Knitting is my absolute one and only craft. I would love to learn hwo to spin, but don't have the time and no one to instruct me.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have a very eclectic taste. It runs from "weird japanese pop music" (Happy End/ Pizzicato Five) to "woman with guiter"(Martha Wainwright/ Aimee Mann) form "Nostalgia" (Mary Poppins/ The sound of music/ duran duran/ Dolly Parton!) to gay bar (Scissor sisters/ Weather Girls/ anything disco) mixed with a lot of Air some Chet Baker and John Coltrane, Madonna, Snoop Dogg. I also love classical music especially the Russians and americans (as I do in Literature) Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Gershwin and Bernstein.
So what do I dislike? Anything dance, house, without a sense of humour, prefab pop and most of all anything by Andrew Loydd Webber(or any musical except South Park the movie/musical)

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love natural colours. I especially like slightly muted, tweedy colours. I tend to veer to pink (ish), green and purplish. I have a red period right now feeling very attracted to red. I also like gray although it doesn't look very good on me. Blue is also good. Anything too bright or unnatural I don't like.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my lovely boyfriend Giovanni, my sweet but difficult cat Lola and some of Giovanni's beautiful paintings in a 17th century appartment in the centre of Amsterdam.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes! I love them all, I also have to start knitting one of these for myself one of these days.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
My favorite and at the same time less favorite are sweaters and cardigans. I love these for the end result. Something you can wear out and about in the colour style and fit you like. At the same time there's is a lot that can go wrong with the colour, style and fit, besides after the initial excitement it can sometimes take too long to finish.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Pascale, a beret from Rowan winter 2004, an Under the Hoodie for my boyfriend a clapotis for my mom and a top down raglan for me.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Who doesn't!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I prefer circs (I also hate seaming!). As for the material I love bamboo and would love to try some other natural materials someday, like ebony or rosewood. That said I love Addi turbo's for anything.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Unfortunately, no.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 8 months. It's Veronik Avery's Veste Evereste from Fall IK 2005. Half a back panel done. I started doubting the measurments so I might frog it (It's lovely chocolate brown Rowan Felted Tweed)

18. What is your favorite holiday?
A Classic, Christmas!!!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Except yarn? (just kidding). Not really...

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't have any subscriptions. There are not that much knitting magazines available in Holland and the Dutch ones are all terrible. I buy Rowan Magazine ocassionally (I don't have fall/winter 2006, yet). Vogue Knitting I buy sporadically, only if they have some really nice patterns otherwise I don't buy it. Interweave Knits I always buy even if the patterns are not good the articles have proven to be very helpful. I buy a lot of books anyway and I always manage to slip in some knitting books as well so there's not a lot that I don't have yet. As for online patterns I would love Glampyre's simple bodice pattern and Eunny Jang's Argyle vest pattern

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Steeks? I'd love to try Eunny's argyle vest

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I do own sock yarn, needles but no hand made socks so I think something went wrong there (look in the yarnbasket....find three socks I started). I have a size 40 shoe that's european (dutch) sizing)

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
17th April

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I am not lost....I am on hold

Hi, i am still here...I've been working to pay the rent and looking for a serious job in the meantime. I haven't been posting much but I am planning to show some of the things I did in the meantime (dyeing with food colouring, yay!). I am posting this short message since I know who my secret pal is as of today. So if my secret pal is viewing my blog, hi! I am very excited. I'll post longe, bigger and better this weekend (wiith pictures)

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Bag lining
Originally uploaded by queenfilo.
Here is a close-up of the lining.


Originally uploaded by queenfilo.
I started and finished this little bag today, I will christen her Cherie because she is very cute and obviously (raspberry red, polkadots!) very French. I swatched with the French wool yarn, but I came to the conclusion that wool does not make a very convincing looking bag. Instead I used Rowan's Summer Tweed in this lovely raspberry red colour. I found in my previous bag that this type of yarn makes a very nice sturdy fabric. She is actually rather small (witness the pillow in the background) but I was able to fit a book inside her. The fun of making these bags is not so much in the knitting as in the making up. I lined her with a chartreuse velvet fabric to make her sturdy and lined the top with black and wite polkadot fabric I recycled from an old scarf. I've sewed on wooden arched handles and threaded a velvet ribbon between the velvet and polkadot lining. As for the knitting part: she's basically a very large beanie, the top and decreases on the bottom are stockinette and the body is seed stitch which is a little bit more delicate then the stitch I used on the other bag. The beanie shape gives her a nice round shape. i'm probablly going to test drive her tomorrow when I start my new temporary job (!). My procrastinating days are over......Pictures of marilyn later (she's not dry yet...)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Look who's blocking

Originally uploaded by queenfilo.
I finished Marilyn yesterday she's blocking right now, I didn't take any progress pictures since the knitting went so fast. I've been renting a lot of DVDs which made the knitting even quicker. My DVD rental place has this deal that if you rent something between 14:00 and 18:00 you can rent two DVDs for the price of one. So what did I watch while knitting Marilyn:
Tuesday: Reality Bites. This was one of my favorite movies when I was 15 years old thinking back it was really odd that I identified with it so much since it's about twentysomethings trying to find their way in life. Seeing it again I noticed the rather thin story, I still like it even though I don't identify with it anymore (while now is the time I should)
Annie Hall I always love Woody Allen, any Woody Allen, but Annie Hall is one of the best (maybe THE best). Even though I've seen it many times it remains funny and good with classic Allen dialogue's like "You are using this conspiracy theory (on the assasination of JFK) to avoid having sex with me" and " Don't say anything bad about masturbation, it's sex with someone I love".
Wednesday:.Transamerica I actually really liked this movie about a transgender played by Felicity Huffman who while waiting for the final operation that will turn her from man into woman discovers she has a son. This leads to a cross country roadtrip that is funny and moving. What I really loved about this movie was that it was never corny or sentimental and not reverting to happy end mode at the end of the movie.
Syriana. I had really high hopes for this one, but I actually found it all quite difficult to follow all the story lines. Even though it was at times gripping and about things that play a big role in the world today (the influence of oil on world economy and politics) it took too long to get into the story and really grip me.
Thursday: Yesterday morning whcih I had designated as big knitting day in which to finish Marilyn I started with Twin Peaks the first season. This is actually the first time I saw it because I generally don't like David Lynch. I actually did like all of this madness. As for knitting I think I might ddesign some Audrey inspired sweater (she is the only one who wears very cute 50s inspired knitwear as opposed to the rest who all wear very 80s inspired knitwear)
In the evening it was time for Walk the Line. I really love Johhny Cash even before the movie was ever made so this movie was a must see especially since it stars the lovely Reese Witherspoom who I love in every movie she does (but especially in Legally Blond!)Good music, good acting.
Saving the best for last Broken Flowers. If you haven't seen this you must immediately make sure yoou do see it. This is one of those movies in which everything is perfect, the story, the actors and the music. This is Bill Murray at his very best it is about a guy (Don Johnston) played by Murray who gets an anonymous letter telling him he has a twenty year old son. This leads his next door neighbour (very well played by Jeffrey Wright, you know the guy who played Basquiat) to send Don on a road trip revisiting some ex-girlfriends who might be the anonymous letter writer. I won't say anything else about except that you should SEE IT.

Back to the sweater, all this movie watching did lead to avery nice sweater. The pattern was very clear, I tried her on yesterday and she fit perfectly. I knit the smallest size since I didn't want a baggy sweater (with me being busty and all) I will post some pictures of me modelling it when she's dry (might take a few days).
Next project, I think another bag. Remember the red yarn I bought last week? I bought some handels and lining fabric yesterday, today I'll swatch...more later.

Monday, August 28, 2006

What came in the mail today

Originally uploaded by queenfilo.
Yesterday I almost finished the back of Marilyn I'll post some pictures later. Not much knitting today, the weather sucks it keeps raining (not just raining, but almost biblical rainfalls every hour or so). Today I am preparing to look for a job since I am (hopefully) done with my MA in literature. I have to find a temporary job to pay the rent and from there start looking for a "real" job. Fortunately, the mail cheered me up with a copy of Vintage Style by Rowan and The Time Travelller's Wife which is next month's book over at Knit the Classics . I joined Knit the Classics last week and I am really looking forward to the reading and knitting.