Fibreshare

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I finally have participated in a fibreshare round! In case you never heard of it, it is an organised, Instagram based, international fibre arts swap with one swap every few months. The short sign-up period of one week is announced on Instagram, so you have to check the fibreshare account on a regular basis to make sure you do not miss it.

The procedure is easy. You pay an 8$ sign-up fee, fill in a short questionnaire, and wait for an email with your fibreshare partner details. The questionnaire not only asks the usual colour preferences and allergies, but also your craft preference (knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, punch-needling, macrame, felting), your skill level, your fibre preference (natural yarn, vegan, sustainable/ reclaimed, any yarn) and whether you like to ship a domestic or an international package. You then get matched with two partners, one you are receiving from and one you are sending to. This means, you can and shall contact both of them as fibreshare puts an emphasis on building a community. There are two shipping deadlines, one for domestic and one for international packages to have a limited period of time for all packages to arrive.

The only restriction for the package you have to send is that it must contain at least 200g of yarn. You can send some of your stash, some specifically ordered or both. Fibreshare also teams up with a group of indie dyers where you can order discounted yarns for a short period of time. The rest is totally up to you! Find a nice card, sweet treats, crafty accessories, handmade items or whatever you think your fibreshare partner might like. If in doubt, check your partner’s Instagram account or just ask. I did ask and I was asked, both conversations were a win!

However, this is the wonderful package I received from Norway:

300g of gorgeous, untreated Norwegian yarn in colours I adore, tea, accessories, vegan chocolates and a lovely note. I can only recommend Fibreshare! Although it might be stressful to put together the perfect package on time, most people try to make their partners happy. Apart from that, you’ll meet a lot of nice people via Instagram. It was a blast!

Fun fact: I had a lot of problems to take proper pictures of my package as my cat instantly claimed the yarn, laid itself on top of it and started to defend it against me. He obviously shares my yarn preferences.

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My Finished Botani-KAL

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This went a lot quicker than expected! Although the plain stockinette part of the Wrapped in Leaves shawl bored me a lot, the leafy edging was really fun to knit.

The pattern is well-written and used 143g of Austermann Alpaca Star, which I was offered for free by the yarn manufacturer. The yarn, in my opinion, suits the pattern perfectly. Its halo gives the shawl a super comfy feel while the tiny sequins add some elegance at the same time. I have heard other testers complain about the size of the sequins as they only measure about 2mm in diameter, but I particularly like this size. It makes the shawl sparkle only when light hits the sequins directly, so they catch your eye only at second glance.

The yarn is available from July 2018 and is ultra versatile for any fall and winter knits. Just imagine a fluffy, oversized sweater sparkling in the spotlight only. It knits up quite fast with a recommended needle size of 4-5 mm and a meterage of 150 m per 50g. The fibre content is 36% baby alpaca, 35% nylon, 15% silk and 14% cotton, so it is lightweight, yet warm. Although I usually complain about any synthetic fibre, it did not bother me this time. Good job, Austermann!

Botani-KAL

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A while ago, Alice and Miki came up with the idea to knit the Wrapped in Leaves shawl by Alana Dakos from the beautiful book Botanical Knits together. Soon, Rebekka and me joined. The main part is knit in stockinette stitch, but I already have finished 60% of the increases. I am really looking forward to the leafy border!

I am super happy with my yarn choice, Alpaka Star by Austermann. I received it for free to play with it before it hits the market in July, so thanks a lot! It consists of 36% baby alpaca, 35% nylon, 15% silk and 14% cotton. The structure is plied, but fluffy with little sequins in it. The meterage is 150m per 50g, perfect for 4.5mm needles.

I hope to finish the main part, soon, to proceed to the leaves as stockinette stitch keeps boring me. Take a look at Alice’s, Miki’s and Rebekka’s projects as well, we are using very different yarns! Of course, you can also find us on Instagram, using the hashtag #botaniKAL. If you like the shawl and want to join our knitalong, feel free to do so! More fun for all of us!

Cropped Linen

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I made this sweater to measure on a request by my aunt. She asked for a white, cropped, oversized, long sleeved, 100% linen sweater to wear in summer. Here it is, a ridiculously wide rectangle with sleeves. I am sure she is going to love it as if it was black, I just would keep it.

The pattern is my own, I have used 414g of Schoppel El Linio, a chain-plied 100% linen yarn. It combines the classic linen structure and feel with a bit of elasticity due to its construction. It really is a pleasure to work with this yarn. Well done, Schoppel!

This sweater also was an item on my WIP Bingo sheet, the linen sweater. One more done!

A Pencil Pouch / WIP Bingo

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So I have sewn myself a pencil pouch. It is just a zippered, lined, boxy pouch, but I urgently needed something to put my Tombow Dual Pens in. I used some leftover cotton fabric, white polka dots on grey and purple, reinforced with Vlieseline H250. You can find a lot of good tutorials for this type of bag on YouTube, so it was quite easy to sew.

I recently realised, I actually never posted a status from my WIP bingo. This is a pity as I truly like the concept. I currently have finished four items. The first one was a pair of scrappy ankle socks:

Next was the Black Metal Hoodie:

Last week I finished a linen sweater I had no time to photograph yet, and now the pencil pouch. The body of the batwing pullover is waiting for added sleeves and the lyrics for my next album only lack the last details. Maybe I will stick to this concept of a visualised to-do list, it seems to keep me a bit more focused.

The Black Metal Hoodie

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When I stumbled upon Pascuali‘s Nepal yarn last year, I knew I had to find an extraordinary project for it. I wanted something lightweight to wear directly on my skin, which would also showcase the yarn’s beautiful drape and texture. Sadly, I could not find a suitable pattern, so I designed my own. The idea was to knit an airy, sleeveless summer top to wear on goth and metal festivals. Combining some classic styles, the black metal hoodie was born. With its oversized hood, extra large armholes and a racerback, it is my perfect garment for this summer.

The yarn composition is 60% cotton, 28% linen and 12% nettle with a meterage of 180m per 50g. It is a soft, fingering weight yarn that knits up easily. I definitely recommend you to try it out, it feels very comfortable on the skin. It is perfect for summer garments and accessories.

The hoodie weighs only 321g, more than half of the weight is used in the hood. I’m really looking forward for this year’s festival season!

H+H Cologne 2018, Part 2

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Colour

The most stunning colourwork sweater this year, imho, was shown at Novita, a Finnish yarn company. This honestly inspires me to try multicoloured intarsia:

Schoppel, as expected, has beautiful new designs for their fantastic yarns. They always follow their unique style with lots of new ideas every year. This is truly impressive.

At Pascuali, I have found some colour inspiration packs. They consist of three to four balls of one yarn quality in matching colours. There is no pattern included so they are just intended to get your creative juices flowing. Nice idea!

Over at Rowan, I found an interesting knitted sample. It is only stripes and slipped stitches, but the effect is fantastic:

Now to the last section of my summary:

Fun

Prym has developed some new gadgets. There are, e.g., tassel makers, flexible cable needles, stencils for animal pom poms, or a special pom pom maker for teeny tiny pom poms with a diameter of 3cm only. All of them were demonstrated live by @daniela_maschenkunst and @realmenknitpink:

Chiagoo now offers a set of interchangeable mini needles, going down to 1.5mm and with super short cables. How cool is that, please? Gorgeous engineering, by the way!

I also stumbled upon a wall of knitted trophies, but I forgot to note the company. Sorry!

What makes H+H Cologne so special, apart from seeing the latest trends first, is meeting up with the knitting community. Although I had very little time this year, I met so many nice people, among them @queenofwhatever, @knitting_miki, @brezelbutter, @himawari_knits, @wollnation, @_humbol_, @jetztkochtsieauchnoch, @feinmotorik.blogspot, @feierabendfrickeleien, @carosfummeley and @strickteasefrankfurt, to name only a few. I have linked their Instagram profiles because they all are quite active there and you may want to check them out. You can also find me on Instagram as @pinkzombiecrafts.

Thank you H+H Cologne for inviting me! It was a blast! See you next year!