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!

Katinka Mitts (my first complex pattern)

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These mitts have quite a long story and started with a request from my aunt. She had asked me to knit her a pair of super tight, super short mitts with a large cable on the back of the hand.

I accepted the challenge and added some extra spice, namely a cabled, sideways knit cuff, morphing into a cabled cable on the back of the hand and ending as a cable around the middle finger. It took me several prototypes to develop a pattern, but I finally have succeeded.

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The latest version is knit from 24g of Maschenkunst Belana, a beautiful light fingering weight shetland yarn, in Asparagus. It gives detailed stitch definition which is important for the cable structure. Apart from that, my weakness for shetland yarns should not be a secret anymore.

My previous prototypes were knit using Tausendschön Merino Extrafein in Bougainville (stunning colour on a wonderfully soft yarn base) and using DyeForWool Merino Silk in Dove Being No More (check out their Etsy shop!) which both give good stitch definition as well and add more softness.

You can buy the pattern on Ravelry. I would love to see your projects!

Taboo, the Boo Knits MKAL 2016

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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!

Babies need Hoodies!

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Hoodies give extra warmth and cosiness. Perfect for little humans, at least in my opinion, which is why I like knitting them as birth gifts. Here’s the latest one, a Little Spring Hoodie, designed by Suvi Simola. I actually planned to knit it in Filatura di Crosa’s Zara in turquoise, but I ran out of yarn. Diving into my stash brought to light leftovers in lilac (Zara as well) and some grey Katia Merino 100%, all of them bought at Cologne’s awesome LYS Maschenkunst.

Although the colour scheme is extremely improvised, I really like it. I hope the young parents do as well.

Little Spring Hoodie

Gradient socks (and a pair of super cute baby booties!)

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Socks once again, but I somehow have to destash my huge amount of sock yarn.

gradient socks

I have used 60 grams of Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic Degradé in Rooster to knit a pair of Stripe Tease, designed by one of my favourite sock designers, General Hogbuffer. His patterns are always well written and designed. This is my third pair of Hogbuffer socks and I love it quite as much as Pucker and Bovary, its predecessors. Just take a look at his designs and you will know why I will definitely knit more of them in the future.

Now back to my knitting. The socks fit perfectly although their construction is quite unusual. Sadly, I have shortened the leg section, so if you should knit them yourself, just stick to the pattern. The yarn looks great, although the light parts of the gradient are too long in my opinion. As with most single-ply yarns, it does not forgive any mistakes which makes another purchase of this quality pretty unlikely.

gradient socks_side view

With 40 grams of the yarn left and a close friend of mine having a baby, I decided to knit a pair of Elvish Baby Booties. I needed 21 grams of the gradient yarn as well as 5 grams of Maschenkunst‘s Belana in Asparagus to complete a pair in size M. The result is just stunning although the two booties have completely different colours. The Belana yarn knits up greatly, I am really looking forward to work up the rest of it. To conclude, I hope the new parents and the baby like them, too.

elvish baby booties

A Star Wars Hat!

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I have finished another project, a star wars hat for my boyfriend. This really was a fast project, it took me just three days although it included stranded knitting. The pattern is charted and well written. I have changed the colours to make black the dominant colour and am super happy with the result (my boyfriend, too)!

Star Wars Hat

The yarn used is Katia Merino 100% in black, grey and white, which I bought at Maschenkunst in Cologne.

Nice side effect: I accidentally had a perfect timing for the cinema release of “The Force Awakens”.

Custom Fit Sweater

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I have finished a sweater! It is by far not the first one I have started, but the first one I have finished. Sadly, I haven’t knit it for myself as the result is just stunning. It is soft, oversized, warm, airy – everything you might wish a sweater to be like.

The idea was to adapt a pattern, Gypsy by Martin Storey, to the concept of the recipient’s perfect winter sweater. In the end, I did not need to change that much as the pattern is fantastic already. My version is just a bit shorter, even more oversized, with longer sleeves and an extraordinarily long turtle/ cowl neck.

gypsy_2

I could not be happier to have chosen Rowan’s Kid Classic to knit with. It was a pleasure to knit 500g of it into that sweater and it has definitely become one of my favourite yarns over this project. I bought it in Cologne at Maschenkunst, a wonderful yarn shop with a large variety of standard and rare yarns, always worth a visit.

Of course, I am already working on other projects. I’ll keep you updated soon.