Catching up 2 (Knitting review 2016)

So, it’s been a while — again. Unfortunately for me, I have been sick for all of January. It started on the 2nd and then there were two weeks following where I couldn’t think or do anything at all.

It’s only the last few days that I started feeling better, that’s why last year’s knitting review is so late. 2016 was literally my year of socks. My friend M. kept complaining that it was all I was knitting and she was absolutely right. In total, I knit 19 pairs of socks but 12 of them were for me, two pairs of which turned out not to fit and were given away as well. 10 new pairs of socks for my sock drawer! With all the sock knitalongs going on last year, who can blame me?

Other than that, there were one toy, one pair of mitts, one cardigan, one sweater (sample), two cowls, three hats, five shawls for a total of about 10 kilometers of yarn knit up last year. Quite the impressive number come to think of it.

To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed knitting all these socks. They are portable, quick knits that you can take anywhere with you. Plus, I learned to knit in movie theaters, so basically in the dark thanks to all the socks.
But it’s a shame that I did not knit more “big” projects. I only started one sweater last year that I did not finish yet and there is still one unfinished sweater from 2015 that I mean to finish… someday.

Hopefully your 2017 was off to a good start? I already knit two more pairs of socks, because I couldn’t concentrate on more. Simple stockinette in the round was all I could do! Hopefully it will be better soon.

And don’t forget, if you sign up for my newsletter, you will get a coupon for 30% off a pattern of your choice.

Wollfaktor Ateliertag

So apparently it takes me a while to record the next episode and I at least wanted to give you an update about my short time in Cologne last weekend.

I’ve known about Wollfaktor for a few years already. Moreover, I knew about her “Ateliertag” as well, it’s like an open studio where you can touch her samples and fondle yarn. Lots of yarn!

Pictured on right: Qualities Luna (BFL/silk blend) and Luna XL (600g skeins of Luna)

I’d been meaning to go since I first heard of it, especially since Cologne is so close! Last weekend, we had an unexpected free afternoon, so I decided a short trip was in order. Unfortunately for me, I brought my husband when everybody else came by themselves. Michaela, the dyer and hostess, offered coffee and tea for everyone and people were sitting around knitting. It all had a really charming and cozy atmosphere. Possibly all the yarn contributed as well?

Pictured on shelf, top to bottom: Liebelei (single ply Merino), Nana and Nola (superwash BFL, Fingering and DK weight respectively). Also: yak yarns in the basket

I managed to quiz Michaela a bit about her dyeing process and her Estonian wool winder, both juicy information to me. ;) But I also felt a bit like intruding because I didn’t bring my knitting (sorry, you guys!). Next time, I will leave the husband at home and bring something to knit on. This was the last Ateliertag for 2016 but I am looking forward to next year!

Michaela lured us to Cologne with new undyed yak bases (Link only in German), which I had to try, and Luna that I had been coveting for several months. So here’s what came home with me:

Left to right: Luna in an almost-white, Merino sport weight mini-skein and Bogart, DK weight 60/20/20 Merino, yak and silk blend ♥

The green yarn is already spoken for but only time will tell what I am going to do with the others. If all this piqued your interest, Michaela’s online shop can be found on DaWanda. And if you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter.

In case you missed it: Episode 02

Things I talk about:

FOs Vanilla socks out of Opal sock yarn

WIPs More socks out of Manos Alegria | Willa socks out of Regia 4ply in 2742 and Stranded Dyeworks Oasis Sock in Crackle
Secret project out of The Plucky Knitter Feet in Pollen and Quince&Co. Piper in Avocet

Stuff I got O-Wool Local in Wissahickon | Briar Rose Fibers Joyful (currently not available) | Foxhill Farms Cormo X | Purl Soho Linen Quill (only shown briefly)

Beautiful scenery provided by Mother Nature! :)

There is now a podcast!

I’ve been talking about this for quite some time but after being at the podcaster meet up at Rhinebeck Saturday before last I thought I should actually get around and just do it. So here it is, the moley cast. Episode number 1 is all about Rhinebeck (of course).


Things I mention in the episode:

WIPs My Rhinebeck sweater that never made it to Rhinebeck | Vanilla socks out of Opal sock yarn

FOs Shawl out of WalkCollection Cozy Merino | Newly finished Vanilla socks out of Gale’s Art sock blank

Stuff I got Long Ridge Farm Fingering |  Miss Babs Yarns | Fringe Supply Co. Field Bag

Shadow wrap short rows

Shadow wrap short rows are my favourite way to knit short rows. They are easy to remember and to work in my opinion. I prefer them because you do not have to do anything special when you resolve your short rows, i.e. continue working in full rows or rounds again. You simply knit or purl them, depending on which side you are working on. Another plus side is that they are fairly unnoticeable in the final fabric. But that’s just me, perhaps you want to try them yourselves first?

The other thing I want to mention before we start is that if you have successfully completed a Fish Lips Kiss heel (a highly popular short row heel for socks), then you already know how to work shadow wrap short rows. You can totally skip this tutorial. ;)

For this type of short row, you produce so-called twin stitches, where two loops originate from one stitch in the row below. They help connecting the row you just worked with the row above.
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Uh, wow!

It’s the dog days of summer over here (finally!) which means it is close to two months since my last post! Seriously? But it also means autumn is right around the corner with sweater weather and all that comes along with it. Right? Right.

What have I been up to all this time you ask?
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Collaboration with Schibot Garne

Hello everyone,

it’s been a while since I wrote an entry. Somehow I just didn’t find the time to properly sit down and write something! It shouldn’t be so hard, I know but there were a few projects that really kept me busy.

One of those was my collaboration with Nadine who is the dyer behind Schibot Garne. We both worked very hard to bring you Kyudo. This whole design was a long time coming. Actually, I knit my prototype back in June 2015 as part of Stash Dash. I wanted to do something with these exciting, new-to-me yarns that I got in Hamburg around Christmas the year before.

So I made something that had garter stitch (still a favourite!), short rows and a touch of lace. When I tried to think of a title for my project, all I could think about was archery (who knows why, I’ve never done it), because it takes a little concentration at first, but you get lost in stitches pretty soon. That is the point when you let go, to have that arrow hit its goal…

Kyudo close-up

…and have a beautiful shawl in the end!
Now it is almost ready to release! Kits for this will go live on Thursday, July 7 at 6pm (UTC+2) in the Schibot Garne shop. Nadine has created four great colour combinations for this! You can choose from the following:
soft socks colours
Pictured are top to bottom, left to right: Midnight Hour & Samba, Blueberry & Fruit Salad, Magical & Deep deep down, Nightlife & Out of Control

For the sample I chose the combination of Magical and Deep deep down because they spoke to me somehow. Normally I would have gone with Midnight Hour in combination with Samba but I don’t have many blue shawls so this will make an unusual and welcome addition to the shawl drawer. Personally, I think the design will look awesome in any of her colour kits!

Additionally, I also have a Ravelry group now! Come join me over there as well! I will try to post a bit more over there, keep you up-to-date with current designs and possibly more collaborations to come in the future.

Until then, happy knitting!

Behind the scenes: Serene shawl

This is old news already but I just realised that I never published this post! Say hello to the Serene shawl, which was published in April in Knit Now Issue 59.

My original Serene, back then it was called Touhen.

This is probably the first thing I ever thought up, with special help of a friend and my trusted Japanese stitch dictionary. Originally, the whole shawl was just a recipe. The owner of my favourite LYS, B. proposed that this shawl shape was, “Really easy, you just need to do X, Y and Z!” I tried it using a sport weight yarn and thick needles and it resulted in a wonderfully lightweight and all-season shawl. It still is one of my favourites and I wear it often (although I have many shawls to chose from!).
There is just something about a shawl that you can scrunch up when you are cold but also drape across the shoulders when you just need a little coverage.

My original sketch

The sample shawl is knit up in a thicker weight, Ravelry’s yarn database lists it as DK but for me it knit up as more of a worsted weight. That is why I had to chose pretty large needles to get the drape I wanted. The pattern is ideal if you have a highly variegated yarn and a coordinating or even contrasting skein of yarn. I think in the summer you could even knit it up in chainette or linen yarns. Now that I think about it, I might have to try that!

Thanks to Kate and the Knit Now team for putting faith in newbie designers like me and publishing me again!

#TTTKAL 2016

Seriously, what is wrong with me? Ever since last week, when the sun first came out in this corner of the earth and the temperatures reached the 12° mark (roughly 53°F), there has been nothing but summer on my mind. I even went in sandals to work today, and nobody even flinched. These are the same sandals I wear when it is scorching hot and most people only go in shorts and no sleeve-tops out the door. As soon as it is warmer than 15°C (or 59°F) outside, I make a point of wearing warm weather shoes. Not only do I look like a madwoman when I go outside but I think it contributes to a healthy immune system.

So what’s a girl to do? Today of all days, Shannon over at Very Shannon (she is an ingenious designer of knitwear and sewing patterns!) announced her timeline for the TTTKAL 2016, which if you spell it out means “Tops, Tanks & Tees knit along”. Last year I adored all the WIPs and FOs everybody posted and the glorious roundup of course and I wanted to participate so badly! For me, the biggest advantage of participating would be that I have a handmade summer top to wear when the warm weather is actually here.

Still, I do not know whether I will find the time to do so but instead of wallowing in self-pity I went on Pinterest and looked at a few Spring Ready To Wear (RTW) collections. (If you are interested, this was my search.) Some glorious collections popped up!

One thing I was particularly fascinated by is the top underneath this jumpsuit:

(Click to enlarge)

It is part of the TSE Spring 2016 RTW collection and totally up my alley. There is a long sleeved sweater similar to this in one of the other shots, where you can see all the details. It has a lot more lace and interesting faux shaping in the form of eyelets stacked upon each other.

The other thing I noticed was the overwhelming amount of glitter and sequins and general sparkliness. I can’t escape it lately, sparkles are just my thing. Perhaps that is my form of 90s nostalgia. The Gucci Collection showed interesting use of glitter fabric. They created not-so-faux frills like these:

(Click to enlarge)

Some of them printed on and other sewn on elements, a brilliant mix (haha). I’m sure some of you have seen similar things before but to me this was a totally new idea.

What I take from all this visual input will turn into a sketch that has to wait until tomorrow. I know exactly what I want my new summer top to look like, now if I have the time to realize it is to be seen. The KAL starts next Monday already and I probably won’t have even time to swatch.

But this dress? I would totally buy it if it was my size.