It is no secret that I love the fresh approach of Xandy Peters‘ knitting patterns. So when a dear friend asked me to knit her something between a scarf and a shawl, I initially thought of Oscillating Almond. This design uses a simple form of stacked stitches to create an almond shaped shawl and can be used to practise the technique. It is intended to be knit in at least one main colour plus one contrasting colour, but will also look good in a lot more colours. I have used two balls of the discontinued Colinette Jitterbug in Lichen as main colour and one ball of some sparkling high twist yarn of unknown origin as well as some Kathienchen High Twist in Peony as contrasting colours.
My version is a lot larger than the pattern version as I wanted to use up my main colour. This approach resulted in a shawl with five full pattern repeats plus eight rows more. It weighs about 380g and has almost blanket size.
Well aware of the large size, I did a beaded picot bind-off over 940 stitches which took me an entire Sunday afternoon and evening, but was totally worth the effort. I really like the slight reflections of the beads at the edge.
Oscillating Almond was a pleasure to knit. The pattern is well-written and easy to follow and my yarn choice was perfect. Maybe I’ll knit another version of it one day in black with scrappy colour pops.
Last weekend, I attended the 12th edition of the annual Leipzig Wollefest. I love this event as the location, the exhibition centre’s glass hall, and the vendor’s list are both pretty extraordinary. As usually, I will introduce you to my latest discoveries as you probably already know the well-established exhibitors.
The very first booth that caught my eye was Kathienchen, a German hand dyer from Dresden.
She offers complex colourways on a variety of mostly Merino based yarn bases. She also sells high-quality kid silk lace yarns with a very high fibre length.
I have found the perfect match for two other yarns there that needed a third colour to become a shawl for a friend. I could not be happier with my High Twist in Peony!
Mominoki, a Berlin based hand dyer, showed semi-solid colourways on rustic yarns.
This is exactly what I had been looking for for quite a while now, and they even have two different bases, a fingering weight Finnish wool and a DK weight German Merino. Both are available undyed and plant dyed, the Finnwool also has acid dyed colourways.
Apart from those perfect-for-me bases, Mominoki offers some more yarns, an optionally plant dyed, drapey ramie silk, plied Merinos, singly-ply Merino and sock yarns. You definitely might want to give them a try.
They sell rustic, DK weight Baltic yarns in hanks of about 200g in a large variety of colours, but also ready-made stranded hats. The yarns are collected from the area around the Baltic spinnery, so they are entirely locally produced.
All of their natural products are manufactured using traditional methods and processes as well as natural dyes where possible. I am very happy for every company that dares to follow such a consistent approach in today’s volatile times and hope there are enough customers to support them even in the long run.
This Berlin based online shop offers natural cloths only along with their own sewing patterns. I am particularly delighted to hear they plan to open a brick and mortar shop in the near future in Berlin.
This means that the silk worms are allowed to complete their metamorphosis and live, which results economically in a much longer process with shorter silk threads. This does not lead to a lower silk quality, it is just more difficult to produce. It is even possible to weave superfine cloths with a classik silken touch.
Seidentraum offer quite a large range of silk cloths, silk yarns and many more silk products. This is definitely a company worth supporting!
They mainly use local and organic raw materials which are plant-dyed only. The idea is to preserve craft and culture in Ladakh, Assam and Himachal Pradesh by valueing their handmade textiles. I greatly appreciate this approach!
There were quite some local alpaca breeders showing their products. One of them was Starker Alpakas from the Dresden region, who sold handmade soaps, yarns, socks and other products.
Another breeder was Sachsen Alpakas, who sold yarns, spinning fibre, garments and cloths.
What I particularly liked was their faux fur, woven with alpaca fibre. It is super soft and warm and has a fantastic look and feel.
I am looking forward to the next Wollefest in 2020! It is always a pleasure to be there!