BreiRijk is Open!!!

BreiRijk Local Yarn Store in De Pinte at Baron de Gieylaan 9

BreiRijk opende op 27 september haar deuren met een Tricot Thee – party. We dronken koffie en cava en we genoten van gebakjes van bakkerij Hanssens, één van mijn favoriete bakkers in De Pinte. Het was heel gezellig om tijd door te brengen met al onze vrienden die we maar weinig gezien hebben sinds de zomervakantie begon. Alles bij elkaar leek iedereen in zijn sas met onze nieuwe winkelruimte en de collectie garens die we aanbieden. Net op tijd voor “terug breien” nu het weer koud aan het worden is en lange winternachten net om de hoek zijn.

Openingsuren

Dinsdag                 9.30 – 12.30 u                      14.00 – 18.00 u

Woensdag             9.30 – 12.30 u                      14.00 – 18.00 u

Donderdag                                                         14:00 – 21.00 u

Vrijdag                    9.30 – 12.30 u                      14.00 – 18.00 u

Zaterdag                9.30 – 17.30 u                           doorlopend

BreiRijk September 27 with a Tricot Thee party.   We drank coffee, cava and had pastries from one of my favorite De Pinte bakeries, Hanssen’s. We had a great time visiting with all of our friends that we haven’t seen much of since the summer vacation began.  Overall, everyone seemed pleased with our new shop space and the collection of yarns we offer.  Just in time for “back to knitting” with the weather turning cold and long winter nights lurking around the corner.

BREISTER VAN DE MAAND

Elke maand brengen we U een “Breister van de Maand” van onze Tricot Thee breigroep. Deze maand heb ik Christine Steijaert gekozen, die al lang deelneemt aan onze Tricot Thee en ook aan de Knit Flanders breiclub van Gent. Na een korte consultatie met mij, de eigenaar van BreiRijk, ging Christine aan de slag met twee garens, Grignasco Kid Seta en een Fijnknit zijde bouclé, in één draad gebreid, en een patroon van het boek “Lace Style” dat ze hier gekocht had. De naam van het patroon is “Katherine Hepburn Cardigan”. Het is zeer mooi uitgevoerd, met een verrukkelijk lichte textuur, chique genoeg voor een party en tegelijk “casual” genoeg om je jeans beter te laten uitkomen. Kom gerust binnen in onze winkel om Christine’s mooie werk te bewonderen en bestel dit prachtige nieuwe boek, Lace Style, geredigeerd door Pam Allen en Ann Budd. Lace Style bevat een collectie van zowel traditionele als innovatieve ontwerpen van beroemde Amerikaanse ontwerpers.

KNITTER OF THE MONTH

Every month we will feature a “Knitter of the Month” from our Tricot Thee knitting group.   I have chosen a knitter of the month, Christine Steijaert who has been a long time member of our Tricot Thee and the Knit Flanders breiclub from Gent.   After a short consultation with me, the owner of BreiRijk, Christine used two yarns knit together as one thread, Grignasco Kid Seta and a Fijnknit Silk boucle. and a pattern from the book, Lace Style, that she purchased from Breirijk.  The name of the pattern is Katherine Hepburn Cardigan.   It is beautifully executed with a lovely light texture, dressy enough to wear to a party or casual enough to dress up a pair of jeans.   Come into the shop to see Christine’s lovely work and order a copy of this wonderful new book, Lace Style, edited by Pam Allen and Budd.  Lace Style contains a collection of traditional to innovative designs by famous American designers.

TRICOT THEE 

ELKE DONDERDAG-Drop In

14u tot 21u

Kom langs voor thee, koffie, gebak en goede conversatie met medebreisters. Breng je boeken, je patronen, projecten en goede ideeën om te delen met andere brei- en haakenthousiasten. Blijf zolang als je zin hebt, vertrek wanneer je wil. We vragen één euro voor koffie, thee of bruiswater en €2,50
voor koffie, thee, water met een gebakje, maar verder kost een plek aan de tafel om met vrienden te babbelen niets.

EVERY THURSDAY 2 PM -9 PM

DROP-IN for tea, coffee, pastries and great conversation with fellow knitters.   Bring your books, patterns, projects and good ideas to share with other knitting or crochet enthusiasts.   Stay as long as you like, leave when you want. We charge €1 for coffee, tea, or bubbly water and €2.50 for coffee, tea, water and pastry.   But otherwise a place to sit at a table to sit and chat with friends is free.

WORKSHOPS

Iedereen vraagt naar brei-en haak lessen. In de komende dagen ga ik een nieuwe serie workshops op de website zetten, op de workshop pagina. We proberen vast te stellen wat de noden van onze klanten zijn, en de beste tijden om de workshops te houden. De eerste workshop, Breien – Vilten, is verspreid over drie maandagen,  en begint op maandag 15 oktober, van 14:30 uur tot 17:00 uur. Zie Workshops voor details.

Everybody is asking for knitting and crochet lessons.   I will be posting a new series of workshops on the workshop page in the coming days.  We are trying to determine the needs of our clientele and good times to offer the workshops. The first workshop, Breien-Vilten, begins on October 15 at 2:30 – 5 pm for 3 weeks.   See Workshops for more details.

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BreiRijk Opens September 27 2012

BREIRIJK is a full service local yarn store

We’ll be opening Thursday Sept 27 at 2:30 pm with a ‘Tricot-Thee’.

Tricot-thee is a time for women to gather with their knitting and crochet projects, books and experience, and  share and learn from each other and enjoy each other’s company.

 We provide coffee and tea and a beautiful, well lit atelier space

 Drop in any time between 2:30 and 9 pm.  

10% DISCOUNT ON ALL YARNS OPENING DAY!!!!

We are located in the cozy village of De Pinte on the main street, just 2 blocks from the train station. 

 BreiRijk is een ‘full service’ breiwinkel.

 We openen op donderdag, 27 september om 14:30 uur met een ‘tricot-thee’.

Tricot-thee is een tijd voor vrouwen om samen te komen met hun brei- en haakprojecten, hun boeken en hun ervaring, om te delen en te leren van elkaar en gezellig bijeen te zijn.

Wij voorzien koffie en thee en een mooie, goed verlichte atelierruimte.

Kom langs wanneer je wil, tussen 14:30 uur en 21:00 uur. 

10% KORTING OP ALLE GARENS OP OPENINGSDAG!!!!

 

 

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ATELIER fijnKNIT NATURAL DYE AND FIBER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE– SUMMER 2012

INTRODUCTION TO SHIBORI & NATURAL DYE COLORS:   PURE COLORS, THEIR SIGNIFICANCE, AND USE IN FIBER ARTS

In this workshop, you will discover the range of  pure, deep colors  in the color spectrum offered by natural dyes on cotton/linen and wool and silk fibers.   While you learn the technical aspects of natural dye coloring, we will study the significance of color and effects on your physical body, emotions, and spirit.   You will learn how to prepare the fiber for perfect and consistent results and colorfastness.   We use only the highest quality natural dyes that promise pure, deep colors and the best possibility of colorfastness that natural dyes have to offer.

We will be combing the use of natural colors with an introduction to Shibori:

INTRODUCTION TO SHIBORI

Stitched, clamped, and folded shibori on silk with natural dyes

Shibori is a shaped, resist -dyeing technique that is so much more than the tie-dye that became well known in the 60’s.   Shibori is a dye-resist technique that is used to create simple and complex, seemingly printed, patterns on fabric and which also can be used to create texture and more dimension to fabric.  The resistance to the dye on fabric is achieved by using string or thread to stitch or tie fabric or by clamping or folding the fabric.  These techniques have been used for centuries all over the world and exemplify many textile traditions in East, Mideast, Africa and South America.  Shibori designs add mystery and beauty to cloth unequaled by any other surface design technique.

This class is broken up into two sections:    The class must be divided into 2 sessions per week because of the 2-step process required, and each shibori technique is followed by the dye bath lesson.  Participants will have the chance to take sample work home and bring their extra samples to dye on Sunday.  It is not an option to participate on Sundays only.

Saturday & Sunday, July 28, 29, 2012,    9:30-17:00

Saturday & Sunday:  August 7, 8, 2012,      9:30-17-00 

Natural Dye & Fiberworks Atelier at Salviapark 38, De Pinte

Beginning level, taught by Catherine van Laake, textile designer

Instruction fee: €310   Includes sample materials, dyes, and handouts.  Payment in advance by July 25th.   Maximum 10 participants.

Spacious studio space with outdoor patio workspace and perfect light conditions.   Bring your own lunch, but tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

If you would like to attend this Shibori workshop or would like more information, please fill out the form below.

 

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Spring, Building the Nest… and Women’s HERstory Month

It’s Spring and light, fresh air, and change comes quickly to our feminine souls, doesn’t it?

For the past two months I have been busy building my nest for the new knit/natural dye/ textile supplies shop that I will be opening this fall.  The name of my shop will be Atelier fijnKNIT and it will be located in De Pinte, on the main street, Baron de Gieylaan in De Pinte.  We will be offering a weekly Tricot-Thee on Tuesday afternoons and evenings, children’s knitting lessons on Wednesday afternoons, adult knitting lessons, and special workshops on topics such as natural dyeing, shibori, felting, and more as requested by students.  Of course, we will have a full selection of yarns for knitting, crochet, and weaving, high quality natural dyes and mordants,  needles, books, and supplies for knitting, crochet and felting.   Please stay tuned for the workshop schedule which I hope to publish in the next few days.

Today, I want to tell my story about how my journey through the world of textiles has led to this dream of sharing textiles with other women in such an overt fashion.

I left the United States 4 1/2 years ago partly drawn by some ancient textile history hidden deep within my psyche which landed me in Belgium and which has taken me these last several years to grasp.  I also left the United States with deep grief about the state of my motherland and my countrymen/women that seemed to be on the wrong path in a never-ending push for war and dominance around the world that I simply could not bear to be part of any longer.   I believe the reason that I had such strong feelings against this war-mongering, was that my life of studying textiles has brought me so close the beauty of other cultures that I couldn’t bear the thought of all those cultures and peoples that created such magnificent works of textile art could be worthy of such destruction for any ideology, no matter how righteous the cause, let alone for the lies that were at the heart of these destructive forces.  I came to Belgium with a heavy heart, longing to see the US get back on a track to peace and the idealism that I grew up with in the 60’s.    I also came to Belgium with my passion for weaving, natural dyeing, and knitting with the hope of sharing that passion and rich experience with other women in the US who taught me how to weave, dye, and knit.

Nature speaks to me.  Through textiles I see the invitation that nature offers us.  It is the invitation to feel gratitude for the abundance and magnitude of diversity that nature gives us freely, without question, without judgment, without selfishness.  We are invited to feel gratitude for the fibers from the flax and cotton plants, sheep, goats, and alpacas, silk worms that once naturally roamed the earth and who willingly gave us their gifts.   We are invited to feel the softness, warmth, shine, color, and texture of these fibers.   We are invited to discover the science of chemistry in plants by extracting their color essences and dipping our fibers into liquid pools of color and minerals that causes us to play.   We are again invited to feel gratitude for the playfulness and joy that natural fibers and natural color give us.  We are invited to learn and see the origins of mathematics and architecture in weaving and knitting, and thus invited to experience the transformation of science into art as we begin to understand what design is.   We create functional fiber sculpture (our clothing, interior decorations) from the mathematics of weaving and formulas that make a sweater fit.   Isn’t this process grand?  And finally, we transform art into love.  We love nature for her abundant gifts, and that love is transformed into showing each other our love by the giving of gifts of color, sculpture, warmth and protection.

We create a circle of appreciation and trust with each other when we share the art and science of making textiles together.   That is why I have formed the knitting/textile arts group now at my house/studio and soon to be at the new location, my shop, Atelier fijnKNIT.  I want to again invite all my spring-chick women friends, and those who would like to be friends to join us the first and third Tuesday of every month, starting at 2 pm at Salviapark 38, De Pinte.

And speaking of gratitude, I want to thank my friends, especially Kathy Hattori, proprietor of Botantical Colors, for her inspiration, help, patience and trust in believing my vision, and Annie and Christine and the women in the fijnKNIT Brei-Circle for their unconditional support of my “Spring Chick” project (the new shop) in spite of its imperfect and incomplete status.

Many times I hear women say that they are hesitant to come to the group because they are beginners or because they don’t think they knit good.  This is precisely why we want you to join us.  Nature doesn’t demand perfection and neither do we.  Imperfection and vulnerability are the birthplace of creativity, learning, sharing, and belonging and we have nothing to be ashamed of.     Of course, there are fundamental techniques, the art and science, that require practice and understanding to achieve a desired outcome.  There is an abundance of expertise in the group to help others along.  I believe that this sharing of textile techniques is a sacred ritual that connects women through the ages, through cultures, and gives us one avenue to be seen for who we are.   We gather together to celebrate each individual approach to our practice.  Listening to and seeing the brilliance, the sacred and the mundane in each other, creates the magic that is reflected in the beautiful and functional creations that we make for ourselves and our loved ones.

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Creative New Year!

fijnKNIT Brei-Salon Update, JANUARY 2012

New Meeting Hours Beginning February 7, 2012

nieuwe uren

elke 1ste & 3e dinsdag van de maand

Open BreiAtelier vanaf 14:00u in de avond tot 22 u

breng je eigen wol en je eigen ideëen

of kom gratis leren

5€  per persoon, omvat drankjes & hapjes

luxe brei garens en natuurlijke kleurstoffen te koop

 salviapark 38, 9840 de pinte     09 330 6190  Catherine van laake    fijnknit@telenet.be

Annie and Christine who expertly follow their patterns while chatting

A small group of women have continued throughout the winter to gather every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 2 pm to share knitting ideas, resources, and of course, our experience at fijnKNIT Atelier.  The conversation is mostly in Dutch, and I (proprietor of fijnKNIT) try to follow as much as possible with a little help from my friends.  Our translation is not limited to conversation, however.   We share knitting books and resources that are written in Dutch, English, French, Japanese and German and all of us seem to have diversified skills such that we compliment each other and provide a wide diversity of talent to enjoy.

Kimono as Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota; Fijnknit yarn with natural dyes on the side. Christine brought this beautiful book for us to enjoy.

Marie-Paule is our expert lace knitter, displaying her latest in fine cashmere

We invite everyone from beginners to experts, young and old, Flemish speaking and non-Flemish speaking.  We enjoy coffee, tea, homemade goodies, wine and cheese while we sit around a well-lit table.  I ask a small donation of 5 € to cover the cost of the goodies and beverages.  I provide a tool table with a skein winder, ball winder, and other various and sundry tools that one might need while working with textiles.  The open atelier gathering lasts into the evening and everyone is free to come anytime after 2 and leave anytime before 9 pm.  I have a beautiful selection of luxury and naturally dyed yarns, and a fabulous selection of the highest quality natural dyes available for sale.  We have a lot of fun together…

Sometimes, accidents happen, and we all have a good laugh.

All knitters know that sometimes accidents can turn out quite pretty, so Marie-Paule signed hers.

And we have another eager friend, always willing to keep you company, my darling Jasmine….

Our little mascot who is not always so calm. She loves everybody and wants to be with the girls.

Between trims, she looks more like an alpaca than a dog, and everyone asks me if I spin her hair.   The answer is no, never.  I don’t spin dog hair, no matter how cute they are.  I’m hooked on lambswool, thank you very much.

So, if your interested in sharing slow fiber and knitting of all sorts, learning no matter who you are or what you know, and enjoying the good company of women, please feel free to join us.

Atelier fijnKNIT

EVERY 1ST & 3RD TUESDAY

5:30  PM ‘TIL WHENEVER

SALVIAPARK 38

DE PINTE

09 330 6190 OR EMAIL ME, Catherine van Laake:     fijnknit@telenet.be

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OCCUPY YOURSELF & CREATIVE NEW YEAR!

Himalayan Rhubarb, Pomegranate, Saxon Blue, Spaced-dyed Cochinea, overdyed with Saxon Blue

Amazing New Colors from Vegetable and Insect Extracts: Himalayan Rhubarb, Pomegranate, Saxon Blue, Spaced-dyed Cochinea, over-dyed with Botanical Colors Saxon Blue

With the lengthening of the daylight I’m back from my winter hibernation sabbatical.     November is the time of the year when the wool between my fingers and the knitting designs in my head just seem to merge, and I found myself eagerly pulling out the new natural dyes that I was too busy to try out a few months before.  Until this spring when I went to a natural dye conference in France, I wore rose colored glasses (i.e., mostly fascinated with reds and purples) when it came to natural dye colors.   The conference made me see the beauty of the colors in the yellow range.   Since I now have this fantastic and easy to use indigo (herein called Saxon Blue from Botanical Colors) that doesn’t require a vat, I have been harboring an urge to mix up a whole slew of new colors mixed with blue to use in Fair Isle designs.

Genista tinctoria on silk, over-dyed with Saxon Blue

Pomegranate on silk, over-dyed with Saxon Blue

Himalayan Rhubarb, over-dyed with Saxon Blue

So, busy I have been with dyeing, researching and inputting Fair Isle designs into DesignAKnit, and learning how to electronically knit Fair Isle with naturally dyed yarn.

Gauge sample, merino, silk, cashmere, natural dyes, machine knit

Naturally dyed yarn does present some problems with the knitting machine because either the mordant or the dyes that sits atop the yarn creates more friction for the knitting machine and I have had lots of tension problems that make my machine drop stitches (usually on the last several rows of the project, of course!).

Ski Hat, Merino, Silk, Cashmere, indoor light

Finding a good day to photograph in the winter in Flanders seems almost next to impossible.  Even today with the sky clear as a bell, the sun is so low in the sky that shadows are cast even with a flat piece of fabric.   Photographing naturally dyed yarns in artificial light seems like an oxymoron, but my halogen lights in the dining room seem to do alright.  As you can see, I’m not a pro at photography.

Ski Hat, merino, silk, cashmere, natural dyes, machine knit, felted, outdoor light, full sun

In this piece, I used a spaced dyed yarn as the main yarn and it gives the effect of changing yarns every couple of rows behind the design.  Felting wool dyed in natural dyes is very easy and the results, as you can see are quite lovely.   My method of a controlled felting is to place two separate pans of water side by side, one as hot as you can stand it, and the other cold.  Then swish the finished project (before sewing it together) in hot, then cold, several times until you see the felting begin to occur.

Ski Hat, merino, silk, cashmere, natural dyes, machine knit, felted

I like to felt the Fair Isle a little bit to set the floats on the back into the fabric.  Wring it out well or soak up extra water between towels.   Then pop it into the dryer and set the timer for 5-10 minutes.   These pieces were in the dryer for approximately 20 minutes, but I checked it about every 5-7 minutes until I got the effect and size I wanted.

Next on the agenda is to make matching hats and leg warmers before the winter ends.  And a Fair Isle sweater fully shaped on the knitting machine.

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Little Darling, Everthing is Alright…. and that’s the truth

Machine knit merino, silk boucle, crochet silk border, brasiletto natural dye, subtle shibori

Today, it is said, is the last day of the current Mayan calender, and the beginning of a new age.   To honor this monumental event this week, I got sick with the flu which required that I spend the week in bed, keeping myself busy with my first avocation, working with silk threads to crochet and finish the neckline of my newly knitted and shiboried sweater, reading three novels, and thirdly, seeking inspiration from philosophical writers.  Today being the 28th of October, it was fitting that I came across the following quote by Micheal Brown (The Presence Portal) that pierced my heart and leads me to write today’s post and dedicate it to my mother.

When we hold onto the past, those that would free us, appear as devils.  When we open our hearts, the very same transmissions become hymns deliberately sung to awaken our souls from a long, cold, and lonely winter.

And the hymn tells us, ‘Little Darling, everything is alright'”

On the eve of my dear daughter’s wedding, I promised her that I would write the long, longed-for letter of forgiveness to my mother that I was seeking to find in my heart as soon as I returned home.  Since that time, I have been searching for words that expressed the truth about the gifts mom had given me and not words of recrimination or perceived victimization.  Finally, stumbling upon the above quote, both mine and my daughter’s wishes came true and I found a way through this emotional block and burden that I have been carrying so long.   There is a foreshadowing of the story and letter I am about to tell in the first sentence, when I stated that I kept myself happily occupied for 4 days in bed with crocheting, reading and studying philosophy.   You see, these were the gifts that my mother gave me, how she interpreted the soul of a young girl and they way she tried to nourish a curious and lively spirit of a girl that she was terrified would become a woman some day, and hence, face the trials and tribulations of what it historically and traditionally meant to be female.  It was precisely because my mother was forced into a premature marriage at the age of 16, that my sister and I became fierce defenders of the women’s liberation movement of the 60’s and obsessively independent to boot.

Mom, don’t take this personally, but if Susie and I could have hit each other over the head with the “not the mama!” pan, we would have.  Never in this lifetime, could we have dreamed of living through the hardship that you endured, having had 4 children by the age of 21, and having your innocence stolen from you at such a young age.  But in spite of having been ripped out of high school, from your friends and your future as a college grad like your brothers, you began giving me the chance you never had, even if furtively, by bringing me home books every week to read, so that by the age of 13, I was reading Tolstoy, or at least tried….do you remember?

Detail of silk crochet border

I think I was about 8 years old when you taught me how to knit a Barbie Doll skirt with very fine thread and needles.  You taught me how to sew my first dress at the age of 10, and it came out perfect my first attempt at sewing.  How proud I was of that accomplishment.   For years, I told my women friends, how my mother had this amazing, hands-off approach to teaching me how to sew…the way you said, “now read this pattern very carefully, and if you have any questions, just ask.”  You proceeded to show me the basics, like how to sew a straight line, thread the machine, put in the zipper and inset the sleeves, but that was all.   Your trust that I could figure it out on my own, gave me so much confidence.  Confidence that lead me to mostly independently learn how to use the spinning wheel, the loom, the knitting machine, natural dyeing, ceramics, and all the arts that I have pursued for so many years.

Did you ever know how in awe of you I was when I saw you reading all those hefty philosophy books, like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Mann, studying the Dead Sea Scrolls and the bible like it was an anthropology project?   Knowing that you didn’t even finish high school. And my sitting in your bedroom in my pre-pubescence, having those philosophical talks….did my precociousness scare you?   Were you afraid that it would be unappreciated the way yours was?   Oh, how I cherished those pre-bedtime talks that suddenly ended on the dawn of my womanhood.  To this day, I still don’t understand the depth of your fear that you had to reject me because I was becoming an independent woman, and I focused all these years on your fear demons, rather than the on the hymn of deep and abiding compassion that they were trying to awaken in me.  But one thing I know for sure.  That is, that it is the search all these years for the promise of a friendship with you that has lead me to pursue my textiles and friendships with other women, and understand the true value of these moments together.  Liberated or not, women sharing textiles is a rite of passage, is a way of being together, and a way to honor each other.

Brei-salon, 18 October, 2011

Latest announcements regarding Brei-& Haaksalon:

Dinsdag (Tuesday), 1 November is een feestdag (holiday), dus geen salon. 

15 November is er een breisalon.

brei-& haak salon

elke eerste & derde dinsdag van de maand

vanaf oktober 2011

14:00u tot ??

kom langs op om het even welk ogenblik

breng je eigen garen of projecten;

of kom gratis leren

luxe breigarens

natuurlijke kleurstoffen

te koop

salviapark 38, 9840 de pinte                   09 330 6190

Catherine van laake                                  fijnknit@telenet.be

 

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