New Knitting Pattern: Jewels

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When I first started to experiment with stacked stitches, a technique Xandy Peters is quite famous for, I was fascinated by the endless possibilites that opened up to me. One of them was using stacked increases for shaping, so I created an unusual edging for an otherwise pretty classic, cap-sleeved, slightly cropped tee. This included contrasting bobbles to add that little extra something. Jewels was born and already is my favourite top to wear this fall.

If you have never worked stacked stitches before, the technique may seem a bit intimidating, but I found it quite easy to learn. It allows to create wavy structures without any short rows or a gazillion of individually attached pieces. Nonetheless, I recommend to take a test run with some scrap yarn to get used to it.

Jewels is part of The Fibre Co.‘s yarn support programme and uses their wonderful Road to China Light, a luxury blend of 65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel and 10% cashmere. The sport weight yarn is very soft, warm yet light and gives extraordinary drape. Jewels is worked top-down in one piece with set-in sleeves. It is slightly cropped and intended to end at the top edge of a medium-waist pair of jeans. Jewels comes in 17 sizes from 28” – 60” bust circumference. You can buy the pattern on Ravelry. I am looking forward to your interpretations!

Please contact me in case you need a larger size, I am sure we can work it out.

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New Knitting Pattern: Nightshade

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The idea behind Nightshade dates back quite a while to when my aunt asked me to knit her a cropped summer sweater. It should be ridiculously wide and boxy but at the same really short to just cover the breasts. The sleeves were intended to look like long sleeves, but in fact should just reach from the wrists to the elbows and be super tight. Sounds like a challenge? Well, here is the solution!

Nightshade is a lightweight, drapey, cropped sweater. This perfect layering piece for chilly summer evenings ends above your waist so you can wear it 90s-style to a pair of low-rise pants or in a more contemporary fashion to a high-waist bottom. The body is worked flat, the sleeves are worked in the round. All pieces are knit bottom-up and then sewn together. You can easily adapt the body to knitting in-the-round, but I recommend to stick to the pattern as the side seams add structure.

The shape of this sweater is very bold, so I have added minimalist, rolled edges to keep the focus on the shape. The yarn used is The Fibre Co. Meadow, a luxurious, fingering weight blend of 40% Merino wool, 25% baby llama, 20% silk and 15% linen. The yarn is drapey, soft and rustic at the same time with a beautiful semisolid colour effect due to the different fibre types. The surprisingly good meterage of the yarn makes my size M (36-38” bust circumference) sample weigh only 214g!

As Nightshade is my first graded pattern and I had problems finding test knitters, the sizes currently range from 28-30” to 52-54” bust circumference. If you need a larger size, please contact me and let me know which size you are interested in. I am sure we can work it out together. Please also contact me when you like my style and are interested in test knitting future patterns. I have a lot of ideas waiting to become new patterns!

You can buy the Nightshade pattern on Ravelry, as always. Go, show it a little love! Happy knitting!

How to Sew Yourself a Bra

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I am wearing a non-standard bra size which is not available in Germany in case I insist on a modern/ lacy/ not-you-grandma style within a limited budget. I usually order my bras from the UK where sizes for full-breasted women are a lot easier to find. But when it comes to stylish soft bras, things get a lot more complicated.

As this year’s WGT is approaching and I plan to wear some tops with extra large armholes, I need something nice to wear underneath. While browsing sewing patterns, I stumbled upon Emerald Erin’s Jordy Bralette which is a pretty simple design that showcases your cloth perfectly. I turned a non-stretch, olive cotton sateen into a stunning result that sadly is unwearable.

The two cups are attached to an elastic band which is closed with hooks and eyes on the back. In my opinion, this construction makes the pattern not suitable for larger breasts as it lacks the support needed. The straps cannot compensate this. Another weakness of the pattern is that you can of course try on the cups before attaching them to the underbust elastic and straps, but you will not know if this bralette works for you until you have finished it. What a pity!

Before I could work myself up into frustration, I decided to try out Madalynne’s Barrett Bralette pattern. Before starting, I had done a little research if it was suitable for larger breasts and had found some projects that looked quite good. First, I cut and sewed the cups only from leftover scuba cloth. The largest size had a good fit, but the scuba did not give enough support for a 34F bra size. Next, I sewed the cups in a glittery, black cotton sateen containing 5% spandex. This cloth is totally not intended for lingerie, but was the perfect solution to my problem. As the barrett pattern is designed as a pull-on bra without back closure, I had to improvise a back closure due to an intended lack of elasticity. This meant finding the right back band length for my hook and eye closure (the 3XL back band was way too long!) and reshaping the back band to fit the side cup seams on the one side and my closure on the other. In fact, I just drew a line and cut away a triangle for a fast and easy solution. And here it is, my custom-sized, dark disco bralette.

I know that there are a lot of visible mistakes. I also could have added a lining as the pattern suggests, but this version will do for the moment. There still is room for improvement, but I have enough fabric left to sew myself another one. This, by the way, leads to my conclusion on how to sew a bra: just start and iterate the fit until you like it. And please, start with leftover fabric as the first try might not necessarily lead to a wearable result. 🙂

New Knitting Pattern: Sleeves

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I like the idea of shrugs to add sleeves to a sleeveless top on chilly summer evenings. The problem I have with them is that the connection between the sleeves covers the back of the top underneath. As it always looks ridiculous when you pair a shrug with a dramatic top, I decided to find a solution to my problem.

What I wanted was a pair of dramatic sleeves held together in a minimalist way. When I was still figuring out the details, I was given three balls of GGH Bambu for free at Yarncamp 2018 which turned out to be the perfect yarn with its wonderful drape. It was clear that I needed more yarn, so I bought seven more balls.

gathered sleeve

The result is a pair of extremely oversized balloon sleeves, held together by a steel chain at the neck and two i-cords to adjust the fit at your lower back:

© ggh-garn.de
© ggh-garn.de

You can buy the pattern on Ravelry. I am looking forward to see your interpretations!

The sample used almost ten balls of GGH Bambu in colourway 012 anthracite. Thanks a lot for providing the photos, ggh-garn.de!

skull cord ends

Wollfestival Düsseldorf 2018

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After several years in Cologne, this was the first Wollfestival to take place at Rheinterrassen in Düsseldorf and I prefer this location a lot from the old one! The market place was located in one large hall instead of three smaller rooms before. The charity events were on a small stage, the designer booths perfectly visible in the corridor in front of the hall and there was an array of different spinning wheels to try out in the basement.

The Saturday opening queue was pretty long, as usually, but I got inside the building in less than 20 minutes, which I find very appropriate. The overall colour concept was bright pink, which I dislike a lot, but the concept was implemented very subtly, with small yarn samples hanging at the handrails, e.g.

As shortly after the opening the market place was so crowded that I could not make it to any booth, I decided to take the opportunity to knit a while and wait for the afternoon. There were a lot of lovely places to sit and knit, inside the building as well as outside in particular. Apart from using the restaurant terrace behind the building, you could sit on the quai wall and knit overlooking the ships sailing the Rhine.

Now to my personal selection of sellers, that I would like to introduce you to. First of all, I was more than happy to see Wolle Willich once again. They are one of my favourite German yarn shops and specialise in Shetland yarns and rarities. They even have started their own range of locally grown natural yarns recently.

Sadly, I did not have the time to visit the Atelyeah brick and mortar shop in Mönchengladbach before I moved to Leipzig last year, so it was a perfect incident they were showing a selection of their product range in Düsseldorf. Very lovely booth!

Another interesting seller was Alice im Wunderladen. They carry a lot of high quality and rare yarns from the US, UK and Scandinavia, The Fibre Co., Fyberspates and BC Garn, e.g., to name some of my favourites. They even have a seller from Leipzig! 😎

Lanaphilia also had a booth and it was a pleasure to see the beautiful colours of Zen Yarn Garden and Olann. They also had brought some String Theory Caper Sock, a yarn I particularly like for its softness and stitch definition at the same time.

It was a pleasure to meet Bodolina in person and to have a look at her handcrafted knitting needle organisers. They come in a large variety of colours and sizes, so have a look at them if you still have not found your perfect storage solution.

The biggest surprise was Mohairdesign, actually a breeder of angora goats, who sells yarn from her own goats. I particularly liked the bouclé yarn, but everything there was stunning.

Of course, I have bought some yarn. I needed two Madelintosh unicorn tails to contrast some leftovers in Victorian Gothic, so I bought one in Silver Fox and one in Duchess. My purchase of two skeins of black Lanamania Pearl fingering was completely unplanned, but I just could not resist. As currently I get more and more disappointed by my KnitPro needles, I bought a pair of interchangeable Chiaogoo Red Lace circulars to try out their system. I already like their fixed circulars, so hopefully, the interchangeable ones are just as good.

I spent most of my Sunday visit at Kölner Herzkissen knitting a charity hat. I do not exactly remember why I cast on an intarsia in the round hat, but at least, the result is pretty unusual.

My next public knitting event this year will be YarnCamp in Frankfurt. Do you have your tickets, yet? If not, the last ticket opportunity will be September 12th, 19:30 on their website. Good luck and see you there!

A Linden Sweater

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The idea for this sweater dates back to last year, when I found some black on black printed leo jersey fabric in my favourite Aachen fabric store. I initially wanted it to become a sweater for a dear friend of mine, so I also bought some pink jersey for the cuffs. Then I waited for the perfect sewing pattern to cross my way. It did not for quite a while.

Now, that I recently tried to organise my fabric stash and stumbled upon the jersey again, I just wanted to sew it right away. My pattern of choice was the Linden Sweater by Grainline Studio as I particularly like the unusual neckline for an otherwise classic sweater. Although I only had my friend’s bra size to calculate her measurements, the sweater fits perfectly. Apart from that, I love the detailed sewing instructions. Well done, Grainline Studio! I am pretty sure there will be more sweaters based on this sewing pattern, the next one probably for me.

Sewing for WGT 2018

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This was my first Wave-Gotik-Treffen since I have moved to Leipzig and I have to admit, it also was the first one I survived without a vast lack of sleep. I even did not need to sew the last bits of my outfits during Wednesday night!

As my style is more or less futuristic/ minimal, I can always mix and match store-bought fashion items, sports wear and handmade garments. With the cropped linen sweater still in mind, I improvised a rectangular top from some black viscose jersey. It needs the viscose for drape and the jersey structure for weight. I copied the neckline from one of my favourite store-bought t-shirts. I wore it with a pair of sports leggings with mesh inserts.

My favourite garment this year was definitely the plastic half-skirt. I made it from a seat belt, a heavy buckle, eyelets, snap hooks and an ugly, cheap plastic tablecloth cut in stripes. It is super heavy, but nonetheless I styled it with my YRU Qozmo Hi 2 platform boots to make walking even more a workout. 😉 As the half-skirt is more an accessory than an actual garment, I wore black sports leggings underneath and a black laser cut sports body on top.

I try to see a lot of concerts during WGT, so I do not socialise too much over day which is why pictures of me taken by someone else are pretty rare. However, I have enjoyed the majority of concerts I saw. My top 3 concerts were Beinhaus, whose show is definitely a must-see with lots of scrap metal on stage, three people drumming on it and one of them screaming German lyrics over it, Jo Quail, an electric cellist and composer who plays intricate soundscapes that make my mind dive into it, and the solo concert of Einar Selvik from Wardruna where he also explained a lot about his approach to ancient Norse music and the historical instruments he uses.

Other remarkable concerts in my opinion were Boy Harsher, Mr. Kitty, Wardruna and Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld. As always, there was not enough time to see everything I would have liked to. At least, I am happy with my selection. And now it is time to think about the 2019 outfits.