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.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Wow, is it Christmas already? My husband’s first question is always: “Do we have a Christmas tree?”, although we never actually get one. We have an artificial hand-me-down from my husband’s grandparents that we sometimes set up, sometimes not. This year we decided not to, because we are spending our Christmas at the in-laws. My mother-in-law decorates everything so nicely every year that it really gets me in the spirit. Otherwise I might have missed out on Christmas entirely, I think.

Usually I would write something here about a new pattern, or my progress on projects but since all my Christmas presents are done and wrapped (finished the last pair of socks last night), all that’s left is to say:

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting Indie designers like me this year. Thank you for all the new friends I made (you know who you are!). Thank you for the great experiences at Manchester and Rhinebeck. Thank you for a great 2016 and I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year.

If you want to return the sentiment, consider leaving a comment at your favourite (knitting) blog once in a while. I am sure anyone would be delighted to know they have readers. ;)

moley cast #3: The one with all the WIPs

FOs Vanilla sock out of Manos Alegria (thank you, Lisa!), Gap socks, Fightin words mitts

WIPs Design out of Plucky Feet & Quince Piper in Pampa, Long-languished sweater, Aoibhinn mittens by Ysolda, Fantastic socks out of Opal 20 Jahre in Luftschlangen (paper streamer, apparently)

Stuff I got Opal sock yarn Schafpate(multi-coloured) & 20 Jahre (denim blue), HerbstblattRegina Hazel Soft Sock, Genuine Irish wool (now sold out) and the Knitted Cable Sourcebook

Behind the scenes: Runlet

I still cannot believe it, my first sweater pattern is finally released!!1(insert all the exclamation marks here)! It feels like it was yesterday when Tabetha contacted me and said that they were interested in publishing it in the Fall with SweetGeorgia, Vol. 2 collection. Runlet was actually inspired by their great call for submissions, where they asked for a mix of yarn weights, specifically mohair lace weight yarn mixed in with heavier weight yarns. And this is what I came up with:

Photo © SweetGeorgia Yarns, Tabetha Hedrick
Photo © SweetGeorgia Yarns, Tabetha Hedrick

A boxy, light-weight sweater with mohair inserts in the shoulder section. Personally, I love highlighting the upper part of a sweater, it will get people’s attention and the scoop neck in this design also helps a bit with drawing the eyes up.

The use of their Superwash Sport in mix with mohair-blend Silk Mist makes it a wonderfully versatile sweater. Working with the Superwash Sport was very delightful as well, it has just the right amount of twist and give to make it great to knit with.

As for the construction, this one is a bottom-up, completely seamless garment. The shoulders are closed with a three needle bind off and for the underarm construction I was inspired by a sewn, boxy garment that I own, so there are no seams in sight. After the body is finished, you are going to pick up stitches for the sleeves and knit down. That means you can customize the length of the sleeves to your liking.
To lower the back hem a little bit and to shape the shoulders, I used my favourite short row method, Shadow Wrap short rows. If you haven’t tried them before, you can find a tutorial here.

This is the point where I show you some of my sketches from the original submission.


Click one to enlarge.









As you can see, my original idea had a pattern down the front of the sweater, that is where the design got its name. The other place where I diverted is the depth of the ribbing on the sleeves and perhaps the overall fit. To achieve a fit as in my drawing, you might want to choose a size up from what you would usually knit.

My favourite picture from the pattern photo shoot (photo © SweetGeorgia Yarns, Tabetha Hedrick)

So, for the giveaway part!

SweetGeorgia Yarns kindly offered to give one of you the opportunity to win a pattern of your choosing from the collection!

To enter, check out the whole collection and leave a comment on this post with the pattern you would like to win. Make sure to leave a valid email address and your Ravelry username, so we know how to contact you. The giveaway closes on October 9th, 2016 at noon (GMT+2) and I will announce the winner on my Instagram feed.

Giveaway is now closed, thank you for participating!

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?
Read more

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.

Fabulous FOs: Yubinashi

While there are more projects added weekly to the Perpendicular pattern page (I love seeing every single one of them), I published a new pattern, the Yubinashi mitts. You can also find it in the sidebar to the right. →

This time around, I had it thoroughly tested before releasing the pattern. Not only did I get 12 fabulous test knitters but one of them is a tech editor as well, so I had a perfect pattern in no time.

What I didn’t expect was that my testers (sometimes) chose diverse and different yarns and weights from what I did. But that surprise made these beautiful photos happen. See for yourself! Read more

Catching Up

It’s been a while, I know. But there was quite a bit going on here at the Moley headquarters (or hatquarters, as my husband likes to say). And I didn’t really feel like posting a new post, to be honest. My holiday season was quite stressful because I kept on finishing Christmas presents for the whole family. I gifted five pairs of socks (one stranded knitting pair and one pair in size EU 48/US 14!) and a hat. Perhaps I should try the gift-buying thing next year, it might bring some peace to the pre-holiday season.

Ever since 2016 started (and my mind still hasn’t caught up with that fact!) I have been having regrets about 2015. About not finishing enough things. About not doing enough stuff. About life in general I suppose. But this is a knitting blog, so I try to keep it on topic.
I guess up until now I measured my “knitting progress” in amount of finished garments per year. The reason must be that my initiative for knitting in the first place was custom fit sweaters. In 2014 I knitted 6 garments for myself, 3 of which were so successful that I wore them every time it was cold enough to do so (or even if it wasn’t).

So thinking about 2015, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished a single thing. I hadn’t finished six garments, not even four. I knit two sweaters, a semi-successful cardigan and a vest, and I fixed up one from the “reject pile” of 2014, so I could wear it. So not very much to wear in my wardrobe. Imagine my surprise when I rounded up my handknits of 2015 for the photo below and realized that I had started 22 projects of which I finished 18, frogged two and the other are still WIPs.


And there are 11 shawls in that pile, of the 13 I knit last year (more like shawl-like neck-thingies but most of them actually shawls). That means I knit more than one shawl a month, which is quite a feat where I’m concerned. Apparently, when I mentioned to my friend M. sometime last summer that I was “on a shawl-kick” I didn’t realize how right I was.

What makes me most happy about this pile, however, is that there are four of my own designs in there. I know, none of them have actually been released yet. And M. keeps reminding me of that, too. I need to change that ASAP but I am too much of a perfectionist to release just some written up pages. I want a proper style sheet with good pictures of my designs, so it will look like an actual pattern to me. I will get to it, it just takes a bit for me. It is more of a process than I realized when I started out and I am teaching it all to myself.
One more hiccup is that back in 2014 I changed to a unix-based system, away from the Windows PC I had been using since my childhood and finding decent software for layouting and, finally, being able to use it are two different shoes.
Anyway, I am not here to whine about computer problems. I am actually quite happy with my progress in 2015 and very much look forward to what 2016 has in store for me.

It already brought me two finished pairs of socks (yes, really!) and I started knitting with this beautiful yarn:
Shibori Islington
It is Kettle Yarn Co. Islington Fingering, a delicious BFL/silk blend that was dyed in the shibori technique using real indigo. It was a one-off colourway and I was able to snatch up two skeins when I saw her post on Instagram. Unfortunately it makes the tips of my fingers very blue while knitting but I really like its smell somehow. It is a really special experience to knit with it and I am trying to do it justice with a new design.

Hopefully, your 2016 was off to a wonderful start as well and you enjoyed your holiday season! I leave you on the ominous note that there are some great news coming up next week that I have been waiting to share for aaaages.