Reusable Cotton Wool Pads

I actually had planned to abandon store-bought, single-use cotton pads for a while, but I just could not find the motivation to finally start making my own washable ones from cotton leftovers. However, sorting my stash recently made me aware of the huge amount of cotton leftovers waiting to be made into something. You can find quite a few (free) patterns for this crocheted version on Ravelry which are actually pretty similar. I chose one from 2013, DIY: Reusable Cotton Wool Pads by Lyndsey Haskell. The pattern is easy to follow and the pads are fast and fun to make. My first bunch comprises 15 ones which used up 58g of DK weight cotton yarn in sum. I have not tested them yet as I need about 50 of them to start the using/washing cycle in a relaxed way. So, there will be more of them, soon.

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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!

Summer Knitting/ WIPs

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I am a winter person. I love the cold and long nights. I truly suffer when the temperature rises above 30°C, which has been the case since weeks. As German summers usually are a lot cooler than this year, I tend to just knit finer wollen yarns in summer. This year, I do not feel like even touching any wollen yarn, so I had to change my project schedule heavily.

The good news is, I have almost finished a lacy, silken top I had been working on since 2016 as the pattern is full of mistakes. I also have started with embroidery, something I had been keen on trying out recently. Deep down in my yarn stash, I found some aqua (!) Lana Grossa Mare, a linen/cotton/rayon tape yarn. As it should be easy to overdye it with black, I have started a Sugarcoated cardigan with it.

I also have ordered some black Raffia yarn to DIY myself an oversized sun hat.

Now to the bad news, postponed projects due to the hot weather. I am eager to try out my Schoeller yarn samples, but all of them are wollen. I wanted to surprise two friends with handmade accessories later this August, but I am not sure if this will happen. My dad has asked me to knit him an argyle sweater for this fall and I haven’t even started. I also wanted to knit two baby cardigans to give them to two friends in September, apart from a mohair sweater for myself that is almost finished.

I am fully aware, these are first world problems. People in other countries have been facing extreme summer weather since years. Nonetheless, it is a different experience being exposed to it for the first time in Central Europe.

Inside Schoeller

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So, I’m invited to Inside Schoeller, a German blogger meeting organised and hosted by Schoeller Süssen. I’m really looking forward to get a little more insight into their production and corporate philosophy. Hopefully, I’ll meet Rebekka, Alice, Miki, Janine, Steffi and get to know some more fellow knitters in person.

I already have received a box full of yarn samples to play with:


I am not overly happy with the colours as you can imagine, but I already see two hats, a shawl and a scarf (possibly two new designs!). Are you as excited about the results as I am?

Thanks a lot to Schoeller for everything so far!

Intarsia

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I recently have been interested in intarsia knits, particularly the complex ones featuring a lot of colours or even landscape views. As this technique was quite popular in the 1980s, I am currently looking for some old pattern books to get a deeper understanding of what others already have done. My research so far has led me to Kaffe Fassett (of course), Patricia Roberts and Sweaterscapes. Do you have any other good suggestions?

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.

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!