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.

img_20170401_115406.jpgimg_20170401_115159.jpgimg_20170401_115304.jpg

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.

img_20170401_124219.jpgimg_20170401_124243.jpgimg_20170401_124029.jpgimg_20170401_124012.jpg

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!

img_20170401_154104.jpgimg_20170401_154034.jpgimg_20170401_154133.jpg

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.

img_20170401_140802.jpgimg_20170401_140857.jpgimg_20170401_140918.jpgimg_20170401_140658.jpgimg_20170401_140948.jpgimg_20170401_141002.jpg

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.

img_20170401_141735.jpgimg_20170401_141744.jpgimg_20170401_141756.jpgimg_20170401_141810.jpg

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:

img_20170401_113634.jpg

Knitted art at Kartopu

img_20170401_161908.jpgimg_20170401_162128.jpg

…and Katia:

img_20170401_160054.jpgimg_20170401_160107.jpg

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.

IMG_20170401_125449img_20170401_125542.jpg

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!

 

 

H+H Cologne 2017, part 1

After some years of absence, I finally managed to attend this year’s H+H Cologne again. What shall I say, the weekend exceeded my already high expectations. I spent quite a lot of time with Sabine Berlipp who I got to now accidentally only a few days before. That seems to have been sort of karma as we had a really great time discussing ideas, fashion and music. I really hope we will realise some of our ideas soon.

As Rebekka was working at the trade fair, there was only time for a quick hello and an improvised selfie together (thank you, Rebekka!). As you can see, we were in an excellent mood.

Of course, I did not try to spot any trends. As usually, I focused on interesting yarns and colours as well as artsy things.

I’ll start with the Pascuali booth. They sell luxury, high-quality yarns, in the unlikely case you have not heard of them, yet.

img_20170402_151303.jpg

One of my favourite Pascuali yarns so far is Cairo 4, a 100% camel DK weight yarn which is available undyed (second from left) as well as in a nice range of colours. It is all soft, warming yet lightweight and supposed to be very durable. I surely will give it a try, soon.

img_20170402_151247.jpg

Another yarn that caught my eye and turned out to be some sort of love at first sight is Nepal. It is a sport weight yarn consisting of 60% cotton, 28% linen and 12% nettle. The structure is visibly plied, which gives it a slightly raw touch when knitted. It is unexpectedly very soft and urges to be knit into some goth summer top or dress. As a first appetizer, Paul Pascuali gifted me a dark green skein to try it out. Thanks a lot, I will swatch it very soon!

img_20170402_150845.jpgIMG_20170405_082021

 

My next stop was the Schoppel booth. Famous for their long colour repeats and gradients, e.g. in Zauberball, as well as for interesting yarn structures (Cashmere QueenReggae) and innovative knitting patterns, they just never disappoint.

img_20170401_143838.jpgimg_20170401_165855.jpgimg_20170401_165921.jpgimg_20170401_165939.jpg

As I happened to knit a garment for their upcoming collection, I received a skein of their beautiful 6 Karat laceweight merino and silk yarn which is going to become a new shawl design. Thank you so much!

IMG_20170405_082005

 

I was very happy to see Blacker Yarns at H+H. I saw an almost full range of their yarns for the first time on a trip to Edinburgh 18 months ago, but they have introduced two stunning new yarns since then. Tamar, introduced last spring, is a worsted spun lustre blend of Cornish Mule, Wensleydale, Teeswater, Cotswold and Black Leicester Longwool. The colours come out all vibrant and shiny, in fingering weight as well as in DK weight.

img_20170401_130436.jpgimg_20170401_130446.jpg

This spring’s addition to the Blacker range is a silk blend, Samite. It is a woolen spun (!) light fingering weight yarn that consists of 30% Blue-faced Leicester wool, 40% Shetland wool, 20% Ahimsa silk, and 10% Gotland wool. It has an extraordinary colour depth, beautiful shine and drape and a silky yet woolen soft touch. I am looking forward to test this beauty, especially as I have been gifted a sample. I am so happy with it, thank you!

img_20170401_130406.jpgimg_20170401_130351.jpgIMG_20170405_082120

 

I’ll stick with the British for a while, as I was happy to meet each one of them and discuss their yarn ranges, which have all some sort of signature style far from classic and popular Merino yarns.

My next stop led me to Baa Ram Ewe, whose Titus, a 50% Wensleydale Longwool, 20% Bluefaced Leicester and 30% Alpaca blend, I already know and like a lot. Its shades are deep and underline its natural halo.

img_20170401_163001.jpgimg_20170401_163021.jpgThey also showcased their sister yarns Dovestone DK and Dovestone Natural Aran, both blends of 50% Bluefaced Leicester, 25% Masham and 25% Wensleydale. The worsted spinning adds a heathered look to the wonderful shades of the DK weight, whereas the Aran shades are undyed natural sheep colours. I am all happy to have been gifted two samples of Dovestone DK, whose structure I like a lot. I am looking forward to play with it, thank you!

 

The third British yarn manufacturer I visited was West Yorkshire Spinners. Apart from their single breed yarns (the Fleece range) and their prize-winning Signature sock yarn, two jewels caught my eye, namely the Wensleydale Gems DK collection and the Exquisite lace yarn. The first one is a pure Wensleydale yarn, the 20 colours showcasing the natural lustre and sheen of the fibre. What a rare beauty! But, WYS can do even better. Exquisite does full justice to its name. It consists of 80% Falkland wool and 20% Mulberry silk. It glows even without spotlight on it and seems like a perfect choice for intricate lace projects. I am looking forward to try their yarns, they feel and look just gorgeous!

img_20170401_155453.jpgimg_20170401_155510.jpgimg_20170401_155440.jpgimg_20170401_155637.jpg

 

I will leave you with the first part for now, but I am sure you will like the second part as well. Be prepared for Northern yarns and some eye candy!

Summer Fling Bag

The next destash project this year is a linen bag. The pattern is Summer Fling, an easy to follow pattern intended for fingering weight yarn. I have used 136g leftovers of DK weight linen yarns from La Droguerie and Yllet. I did not make any changes, nonetheless​ the bag is pretty small. However, I like the result although it does not qualify as an everyday handbag. It is just too small.

More Socks

2017 is the year of fighting my sock yarn stash, it seems. I have finished two pairs in a row, one for me, one for my boyfriend. My entrelac socks were quite an effort to knit and consumed 85g of Lana Grossa Meilenweit for a pair in EU size 39/40. I have read, a lot of people had problems understanding the heel construction. I followed the instructions exactly and a well-shaped heel was the result. However, these socks are worth the effort although I had to force myself to knit one row of entrelacs each day to see any progress.

My boyfriend received a shiny new pair of plain vanilla socks, knit in Drachenwolle sock yarn, colourway Inversnebeltiger. Surprisingly, the pair weighs only 86g in EU size 45. I really like the stripes of different shades of grey paired with jet black and am looking forward to knit the colourway Inversnebeltiger into socks for myself later this year.

img_20170301_192607_869.jpg

Enough socks for now, I urgently need a different project type. Probably a linen handbag. Apart from that, WGT 2017 is approaching and I definetely want to wear something handknit again this year! I’ll tell you about my next projects soon.

Intarsia in the Round

This is a technique I wanted to try for quite a while. As I still am in destashing mode, I chose two balls of sock yarn leftovers to knit a pair of split socks. One half in green stripes, the other one in a pinkish variegated colourway. My version is knit toe-up using Judy’s Magic Cast On, has a short-row heel and is bound off in JSSBO.

There are several techniques to knit intarsia in the round. I have followed pumora’s tutorial, which joins the two colour sections by twisting the yarn strands at one transition and by a wrap and turn at the other one. This technique suits my knitting preferences well, so I will probably stick to it. Once you’ve got the hang of it, it is really not difficult.

My ankle socks have used 26g of fingering weight yarn per colour.

Scrappy Mittens

The destashing continues, this time with a pair of mittens for a dear friend. I have chosen the Kinos pattern as I liked the idea of showcasing a short row construction with stripes.

The pattern is well written and great fun to knit. I have used 65g of DK weight Merino scraps for a medium men’s size. You definitely should give this pattern a try!

Slippery Slope Socks

This is all Rebekka‘s fault. If she had not asked me a few questions about the pattern, I probably would not have knit them. At least not now. But as my sock yarn stash is huge and requires urgently to shrink a bit, I found a perfect colour match to knit a pair.

The pattern is Slippery Slope Socks by General Hogbuffer, whose designs I like a lot so far. They are well written and easy to follow, even if the construction sometimes is unusual. I have used 38g of turquoise Lana Grossa Meilenweit Merino as main colour and 29g of variegated cheap sock yarn as contrasting colour for an EU size 39/40. I like Meilenweit Merino in general. It is quite soft although it acts like a true German workhorse sock yarn. I prefer it a lot from its sister, Lana Grossa Meilenweit Uni, which is just as scratchy as the standard Regia 4-ply. However, I love how the socks turned out. Particularly, as they were planned and knit as a selfish little treat.