Last Minute Christmas Gifts

For the first time, I finished all my handmade Christmas gifts on time! The last ones to be finished were a knitted hat and a crocheted collar.

The collar is a super-easy pattern whose result depends heavily on the yarn used. This is why I chose Rowan’s Fine Silk in cream, a fingering weight, single-ply silk/ wool/ viscose yarn with a light halo. The yarn was easy to crochet and the result is just stunning. A lightweight (12g), yet warming collar you can wear over almost any top or pullover. I will definitely crochet another one for myself!

The hat is, as announced previously, a Double Crossed hat. The pattern is easy to follow and not difficult at all as long as you are not afraid of cabling. I used 53 g of some leftover Rowan Kid Classic in smoke. As usually when I use this yarn, I am very happy with the result. To obtain a tam shape, I have blocked the hat using a huge dinner plate. Sadly, I did not have time to take a proper picture of the finished hat, but it turned out beautifully.

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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!

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.

Crocheted Leis

I am not entirely sure how it happened, but my boyfriend and me were invited to a Hawaii themed party and accepted the invitation. Of course, we would wear black as we usually do, but how to incorporate those horrible fake plastic leis the host would hang around our necks upon our arrival?

As I felt the urgent need to avoid this, I decided to bring our own leis in acceptable colours. With less than one week preparation time, the idea to crochet 80 flowers and make them into two leis seemed ambitious but feasible. In the end, I succeeded and am very happy with the result!

The yarn used is Schachenmayr Bravo, a 100% acrylic yarn that excels only by its low price. I followed Corina’s tutorial on how to crochet a Hawaiian lei. The tutorial is well written and easy to follow. Nonetheless, it takes a lot of time to crochet so many flowers. Each one took me a minimum of 8 minutes. And please do not ask why I know…

The accidental WGT cocoon cardigan

I finally have knit an item I had planned for a really long time. The cardigan was published back in 2009 and was part of my knitting queue ever since. Shame on me. The yarn used is the wonderful Garnstudio DROPS Brushed Alpaca Silk I had bought last year. It was knit on 6mm needles and used up all 10 balls of yarn. As you just knit a rectangle which is then sewn together, this was a rather quick and very easy knit.

Now to the result: this stunning, huge cardigan is super soft, keeps me warm and weighs only 250g! As I had finished it just before this year’s Wave Gotik Treffen (WGT), I put it as the very last item into my suitcase because there was just enough space left, I had not yet worn it  and I did not want to take my winter jacket with me. I ended up wearing it every day. Temperature at Leipzig dropped the second day already and I would have been freezing without it every night. And the best about it: this cardigan fit into the small backpack I was carrying with me. So I could dress up for the almost warm afternoons without the need to carry a jacket with me visibly or freezing to death as the day went by! In conclusion, when you’re in need of a cosy, stylish cardigan you can hide in your handbag, this is your choice! Love it!

By the way, I was also wearing my new lace top on the picture.

Black Avantgarde

Sort of dressed

I urgently needed a new party top. This reminded me of the cheap lace I had bought last year. This is my first sewing project with lace fabric and to make it even more interesting, the fabric is elastic in every direction. Of course, I have also tried a free longsleeve t-shirt pattern. So all in all, everything concerning this project was new to me.

And what shall I conclude? This is my best sewing project for clothes so far! It turned out just perfect! I used a wonderful pattern from Nap Time Creations and did not need to correct anything! Size S just fits perfectly, even on my trained shoulders and arms. As intended, I am only sort of dressed wearing it. But, to be honest, as a party top, being naked decorated with a lace pattern is just fine. You may imagine me wearing it or meet me at a goth party. There is a good chance to see it live.

The only sad thing about it is, I should have invested more in the fabric. It does not seem to be very durable.