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The most luxurious yarn I have knit so far

… is Buffalo Wool Company Lux, a laceweight yarn I bought at a festival booth years ago at a bargain price. It consists of 45% Bison, 20% Silk, 20% Cashmere and 15% Tencel, which makes it both extremely soft and durable.

I actually had planned to knit my two skeins into some accessory for myself, but my mum had asked me for a pair of durable gloves. So I sacrificed my two skeins of charcoal luxury to knit a gift for my mum.

The pattern is called Wood Elves Gloves,a pretty well written free pattern I found on Ravelry. The explanations for the finger section may be a bit confusing depending on your glove knitting experience, though. I have used 55g of yarn held double. The yarn knits up perfectly, with fantastic stitch definition and a very own sort of softness I have not felt before. I absolutely recommend this yarn, but I have to admit that it is discontinued. The company still offers a sport weight version, so maybe you want to try that one.

Sadly, due to the color and thanks to my impatience that day, I was not able to take good pictures of the finished gloves. At least, there is one where you can see some more details:

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What are the most luxurious yarns you have knit so far? Which ones do I absolutely have to try?

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A Fall of Mysteries

Last Friday, the timing for this year’s Westknits Mystery Shawl, Building Blocks, was published. The first clue will be released October 7, which is only a week after the Boo Knits MKAL. I actually did not want to participate as I had bought the yarn for Taboo already and did not want to buy any more new yarn this month. Apart from that, both MKALs will run in parallel for two weeks at least.

But why knit a westknits pattern exactly as it is intended to? Stephen West is well known for playing with colour and very different yarn bases at once. Furthermore, a shawl pattern focusing on colour should be adaptable to a different yarn weight. Diving deep into my stash of colourful sock yarns, I have found four very colourful skeins that still might look good together. So I have a very good reason to participate: stashbusting!

I will use (from left to right) a nameless OOAK colourway of Drachenwolle sock yarn which is radiant pink in combination with a blueish purple, a OOAK “wild” colourway of Tausendschön sock yarn, a “dotty” colourway of Wolle Kunterbunt sock yarn as well as a ball of Strauss Innovation sock yarn in cream printed with different shades of grey.

Are you going to participate as well? What are your yarn choices?

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Taboo, the Boo Knits MKAL 2016

To begin with I am rather picky when it comes to knitting patterns. Which is why I usually do not participate in any mystery knit-alongs (MKALs), particularly not in ones I have to pay for in advance.

But do you know Boo Knits? She is a British designer whose work consists mostly of delicate lace shawls. I have stored the vast majority of her designs in my Ravelry favourites or queue although I have not knit any of them by now. Taking a closer look at Boo’s former MKALs, what could possibly go wrong? All of them are gorgeous!

Now, what makes an MKAL so special? In fact, you are buying a pig in a poke. Here, you know you will knit a Shakespeare-inspired, crescent shaped, beaded lace shawl and get a yarn suggestion from the designer. It may be a point to be one of the first people to knit a newly published pattern. Another point might be the discussion of your personal progress with many other participants. My personal motivation, however, is to finally start knitting one of Boo’s designs. As Kathi Knits will participate as well, I am pretty sure we will battle our way through the unknown successfully together.

Back to choosing a suitable yarn. In this special case, the yarn suggestion sounds very tempting. We are talking about Miss Babs Wild Silk, which was sold in yarn kits for the Taboo MKAL. Well, the picky I am with knitting patterns, the picky I am with colours, so the colourful yarn kits in Miss Babs’ online shop were not an option. Not to mention the price of the yarn as such plus shipping to Germany plus taxes. However, I have made my choice. I will knit the shawl from BC Garn Jaipur Silk Fino, which I bought at one of my favourite local yarn shops, Maschenkunst in Cologne. It is a pure silk yarn as is the designer’s suggestion, although it has a different yardage. I have chosen black as main colour and grey as contrasting colour and am confident to get a beautiful result. I am not sure about the beads yet, but fortunately, there is still time to think about that problem.

The Taboo MKAL will start October 1, so you can still sign up and choose your yarn. Will you participate? Share your plans with me!

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Baby Stuff

I recently have knitted some baby garments again, namely a cardigan and a pair of tiny mittens.

The mittens are made from 16g Zauberwiese Glitter Sock, the pattern is a loose adaption of a Drops Pattern. I love knitting with this yarn and it adds just a hint of glitter to the result. Lovely!

The cardigan is the one I had planned only a month ago. The Rowan yarn knits up perfectly, whereas I am not completely satisfied with the GGH yarn. But this may be a concern due to my incompatibility with fluffy Merino yarns. The pattern is great and gives a stunning result. Sadly, it took me days and many attempts to puzzle the pieces together. I definitely need to practise sewing sweaters together. Perhaps, I should fully switch to seamless sweaters, but it would be the end of colourwork. Hrm.

However, this is the result:

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I really like it. And it looks all beautiful on the little girl I have gifted it to.

Coldwave Sweater

Holey Purple

This sweater has quite a history. When I first stumbled over the Coldwave Sweater pattern on Ravelry back in 2014, I wanted to make one instantly. Sadly, I did not know how to crochet that time, so I postponed the project and decided to learn how to crochet first.

I have to admit, that until I actually started crocheting my Coldwave Sweater this March, I did not find any crochet pattern I wanted to use as practice. This was a very bad idea. The pattern is rather complicated and poorly explained at once. Nonetheless, I succeeded thanks to a lot of help from another Raveler. I am sure I would have despaired of it otherwise. This was learning how to crochet the hard way.

However, I have finished it and I love it! My first intention was to wear it at this year’s WGT or at least the Amphi Festival indeed, but I had too many problems understanding the pattern. Did I mention already that I love that sweater? Although it is not black? Well, I will always wear black underneath, so this actually is no point. The big holes make it a great finger trap when you (try to) put it on, by the way.

I have used a really cheap DK weight cotton yarn I found deep down in my stash. My finished sweater, crocheted in the smallest size, weighs 342g . As this pattern has only 15 projects since 2014, of which only 6 are finished, be adventurous and crochet it! Once you get the hang of it, it will turn out a quick project. In case you succeed, you will get a wonderful layering piece you can wear both to goth events and in public.

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Yarn Shopping and an Entrelac Sock

I went to my beloved LYS Strickstück today as I needed yarn for another baby garment. So many of my friends are becoming or already are young parents and I love to knit baby stuff you do not find in children’s clothes shops. This time, I plan to knit a Gingersnap cardigan (free pattern, yay!) and I bought 2 balls of Rowan’s Pure Wool DK in avocado and 2 balls of GGH’s Maxima one in black and one in grey. They were all on sale, so it did not hurt that much.

I also have destashed some sock yarn in form of one finished Entrelac Sock and I’m wondering if I should follow the designer’s idea of a lonely sock club. This would mean to knit two different socks from the rest of the yarn and end up with three socks to mix and match. What do you think?

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DIY Toothpaste!

Now that I haven’t changed this recipe for half a year, I think it is ready for publishing. Sadly, my toothpaste is not a real beauty, but it works perfectly. And you can make it free of mint, which is the very best part in my opinion.

You need:

50g sodium bicarbonate

1 tsp xylitol

1 tsp fine sea salt

liquid coconut oil

15-20 drops essential oil of your choice

Mix the dry ingredients together and add just enough coconut oil (about 2 tbsp) to make a smooth paste. Flavour with essential oil and use! Store in a mason jar or a sealable container of your choice.

It tends to be quite liquid in summer, but it works anyway. You may want to experiment with different flavours. I’ve tried mandarin, cinnamon and a mix of blood orange and lemongrass already and could not tell which of them I like most. Enjoy!