Potholders

I do not like crocheted potholders. Most of them look extremely old-fashioned to me and I surely did not plan to crochet any. Then a dear friend of mine asked me for handmade potholders.

As I did not want to decline his request, I started to look for inspiration on Ravelry. I found some projects that actually used a tiny version of the Wool Eater Blanket as potholders. With quite a lot of leftovers of Tahki’s Cotton Classic in my stash, I decided to give it a try. And here they are, still some sort of retro potholders, but not overly ugly. I could even think of using a black based version in my own kitchen.

The pattern is easy and comes with a lot of photos. I appreciate this a lot as I do not crochet very often. It is written in UK terms, so think of it when you have to work the dtr’s (of course, I did not). The yarn is wonderful to work with, slightly glossy, yet still cottony. Well done, Tahki! So maybe, these were not my last crocheted potholders. There still remain some Cotton Classic leftovers.

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Sideways Socks

I am still trying to use up notable amounts of multicoloured sock yarns from my stash. Sadly, I am getting tired of knitting socks, so I had to try out a different approach: sock knitting with unusual constructions. In this case, I have tried out Longitudinal by Nicola Susen/ Nicolor, a free pattern which was published in Knitty. It actually calls for striped yarns with long pattern repeats to show off their colour changes, but I am happy already not to see the usual Tausendschön pooling once again.

The pattern is well written and easy to follow. Grafting together almost 200 stitches in the last row was a challenge, nonetheless. I am just not the most patient person when it comes to boring, repetitive activities. Apart from that, I am very happy with the result. As usually, it was a pleasure to knit Tausendschön sock yarn, I really like their yarn bases. I especially like that I have used up 93g of sock yarn for a pair of EU size 40 socks! This pattern really is a yarn eater!

I have already cast on the next unusual sock construction, so stay tuned.

Wollfestival 2017

Of course, I had to attend a yarn festival so close to the place I live! I went there last Sunday with my friend Rebekka who even had organised our tickets (thank you so much, again!). Apparently, Sunday was a lot more enjoyable than Saturday as you could breathe, rest a moment and even take a relaxed look at the yarn stands.

As I am still trying to destash, I had strictly planned possible yarn acquisitions. I needed black and white fingering Merino Singles to combine them with a hank of Tosh Merino Light in Tart for a Black Lodge Shawl. When the pattern was published, I instantly fell in love with it. It combines so many things I like, Inspiration from the Twin Peaks TV series, darkness and an edgy, very talented designer. Just take a look at Lisa Mutch‘s other designs if you haven’t done already and you’ll understand why I like her style so much. A lot of her designs are in my favourites and my queue just waiting for me to find yarn for them. By the way, Lisa much also dyes her own yarns and carries wonderful, dark colourways.

However, I chose a hank of Dibadu Funnies Simply Merino in Mondlicht and a hank of Das Mondschaf Aurora in Black Hole. Dibadu as well as Das Mondschaf are both German Indie Dyers with stunning colourways but different focuses. You will find a large selection of speckled and shaded yarns even for the darker taste on luxurious, but quite common yarn bases at Das Mondschaf, whereas Dibadu is not overly dark, but carries a lot of stunning colourways on a huge variety of common as well as less common yarn bases. I definitely need to try their Curly Silk one day, to name only one of their gems.

I had allowed myself to buy yarn for another project as long as it inspired me to knit something specific. To be honest, the Wolle Willich booth inspired me as a whole. They carry traditional British yarns and similar yarn constructions from elsewhere only, so I could have bought everything if they just sold more blacks and darks. After a long and pleasant conversation with the shop owner, I chose a Blacker Yarns Mohair Blend in purple to knit a Lestat shawl.

And here’s a picture of the beauties I bought:


In fact, I spent most of my time at Wollfestival not shopping but in the company of wonderful people. There was a lot of space to hang around in groups and have a cup of coffee together:

So we were chatting and discussing knitting ideas a lot. Thank you, RebekkaDaniela and all the other lovely people I met for a perfect Sunday knitting afternoon! See you next year!

Blue Socks

I am still trying to destash my vast amount of colourful sock yarns by knitting colourful socks. The latest finished pair is a gift for a dear friend of mine who kindly asked me for a pair of blue socks. Here they are, 72g of Wolle Kunterbunt sock yarn in softline blue, knit up to a pair of plain vanilla socks in EU size 40. As far as I know, the yarn is dyed on Zitron, a classic German sock yarn. I really like how the different intensities of blue arrange in stripes although nowadays, I would rather buy such a colourway based on dark greys, dark reds or dark purples.

The Daisy Shawl

Actually, I never wanted to knit this. I accidentally started it when Rebekka asked me to find a way to increase invisibly in daisy stitch. I just took a ball of yarn I could not think of a project for and started knitting. After the first 10cm, I was way too lazy to frog and continued to knit a triangular shawl in daisy stitch. Then, suddenly, I had knit up the full two balls of yarn! But what to do with a striped shawl in muddy grey scales? I decided to add a purple i-cord from scraps which definitely makes the project more appealing. Nonetheless, I have gifted it to a friend as I never would have worn it. I am sure, she will love it a lot more than I would.

The shawl is knit from two balls of Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine 285 Lace, a standard Merino lace yarn in an exceptionally ugly colourway, and 11g of Wollmeise Lace in Lavendel WD for the i-cord. I will not buy any of the used yarns again. The Schachenmayr yarn is good but nothing special, and Wollmeise and me are never going to be friends. When I use wollen yarns, I want them to feel at least a bit sheepy and not completely like softly spun cotton. But this is my opinion and I am totally okay with you when you love that brand. It’s just not my style.

H+H Cologne 2017, part 2

As announced before, here is the second and last part of my H+H Cologne 2017 report.

I stumbled upon a Canadian hand dyer, Zen Yarn Garden, who stood out by offering yarn shades in colour families. This means there are different colours intended to be combined, e.g. a speckled and a semisolid shade. How cool is that, please? Furthermore, the colours are rich and vibrant, all dyed on luxurious yarn bases. I really should try them out.

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BC Garn, a Danish yarn manufacturer, well know for its natural, high-quality and often organic yarns has presented a remarkable addition to its GOTS certified palette: Bio Shetland, a light fingering weight pure shetland yarn which comes in a wide range of colours. I truly appreciate their policy of providing luxurious yet natural yarns. I salute BC Garn for this consistency and hope Bio Shetland will be available in my LYS soon! Until then, I already have a project in mind for their beautiful Lino.

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Another Nordic yarn manufacturer I was happy to see was Novita, a Finnish yarn company, namely the largest hand-knitting yarn spinner in the Nordic region. They also collaborate with WYS, who I had presented in H+H Cologne 2017, part 1. The great news is, Novita yarns will be available in Germany, soon! This means a new supplier of durable Nordic wool for me! They offer a lot of natural yarns, sometimes blended with a little Nylon for even more increased durability, in a wide range of colours. So, welcome to Germany, Novita, I am looking forward to your arrival!

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I accidentally found Merchant and Mills, a British sewing supplier with a very unique style. Their booth was pure eye candy yet! They offer working style patterns to sew a capsule wardrobe, high-quality cloths, trims, sewing kits (I LOVE the oilskin bag kit!), tools, books, stationery. But have a look at the pictures. They deserve a full blog post, soon.

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I am so glad to have met the wonderful Madame Tricot in person! This year, she brought an assortment of knit cheeses, presented adequately. As I admire her work a lot, I have set her exhibition as featured image of this blog post. Please support her art by buying her book, it is stunning.

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I will not write too much about about the large yarn manufacturers, there are other bloggers who have more insight and will write detailed posts about theses companies. Nonetheless, some of their new products have caught my eye.

Lana Grossa, e.g., has shown their large new collection for A/W 2017/18. My favourites are Silkhair 2.0, a Kid Mohair and silk blend with a slightly darker core, and Fluffy Tweed, a soft tweed yarn with a beautiful halo, from their Lala Berlin collection.

My favourite latest addition to the Rowan collection is called Sultano, a luxurious ribbon yarn made of 38% silk, 38% mohair und 24% cashmere. Definetely worth a try!

Some Madelinetosh eye candy (new colours!):

A beautiful way to show off the different qualities of Blue Sky Fibers:

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Knitted art at Kartopu

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…and Katia:

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Now to something completely different. Have you heard of Earebel yet? I had, but as an audiophile, I did not expect too much from their product. They offer bluetooth headphones to be knit into hats or headbands. They are available as kits or individually for your own ideas. I have to admit, they are pretty good with respect to their low price. The high frequencies are a bit flat, but the lows are pretty okay. In sum, they are a cool novelty item.

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I have spent two fantastic days at H+H Cologne 2017 and hope you have enjoyed my report about it. I have met wonderful people, had great conversations and have learned a lot. Thanks to everyone I have met!