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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Knitted art at Kartopu

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…and Katia:

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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.

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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!

 

 

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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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A New Hat for Fall

Since its publication in November 2015, I wanted to knit a Father Cables Hat. I knew from the start, I would knit it from my leftovers from the Custom Fit Sweater, Rowan Kid Classic. Obviously, knitting a cabled hat with mohair yarn would give the design a completely new interpretation. Well, maybe this was my intention.

What I had not considered was how the yarn would react to being forced into cables. It showed a lot of resistance. Nonetheless, I won and am overly happy with the result. I love the Mohair halo on the cable pattern and I guess I do not need to explain how cosy it feels on my head.

I needed 52g of yarn on 4.5 mm needels (3.5mm for the ribbing) for an S/M slouch version, which actually fits my head like a perfect beanie. As usually, I did not knit any gauge in advance, so I do not complain. It fits my large head perfectly and my karma apparently wanted me to knit a beanie. Unintentionally, I still have a bit more than one ball of this yarn remaining. I am sure I will find something suitable as Kidsilk Classic still is one of my favourite yarns.

 

Baby Stuff

I recently have knitted some baby garments again, namely a cardigan and a pair of tiny mittens.

The mittens are made from 16g Zauberwiese Glitter Sock, the pattern is a loose adaption of a Drops Pattern. I love knitting with this yarn and it adds just a hint of glitter to the result. Lovely!

The cardigan is the one I had planned only a month ago. The Rowan yarn knits up perfectly, whereas I am not completely satisfied with the GGH yarn. But this may be a concern due to my incompatibility with fluffy Merino yarns. The pattern is great and gives a stunning result. Sadly, it took me days and many attempts to puzzle the pieces together. I definitely need to practise sewing sweaters together. Perhaps, I should fully switch to seamless sweaters, but it would be the end of colourwork. Hrm.

However, this is the result:

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I really like it. And it looks all beautiful on the little girl I have gifted it to.

Yarn Shopping and an Entrelac Sock

I went to my beloved LYS Strickstück today as I needed yarn for another baby garment. So many of my friends are becoming or already are young parents and I love to knit baby stuff you do not find in children’s clothes shops. This time, I plan to knit a Gingersnap cardigan (free pattern, yay!) and I bought 2 balls of Rowan’s Pure Wool DK in avocado and 2 balls of GGH’s Maxima one in black and one in grey. They were all on sale, so it did not hurt that much.

I also have destashed some sock yarn in form of one finished Entrelac Sock and I’m wondering if I should follow the designer’s idea of a lonely sock club. This would mean to knit two different socks from the rest of the yarn and end up with three socks to mix and match. What do you think?

Warm Hands

I recently stumbled over the Valentine Mittens pattern on Ravelry and decided to knit them instantly. I definitely needed yarn for them as I hoard mainly fingering weight yarns. I went to a new yarn shop in Aachen, Strickstück, located in Harscampstr. 81. The shop owner is very friendly and competent, so I spent there quite a while looking for the perfect yarns.

I bought some grey Rowan Tweed Aran and a ball of Noro Kureyon. They seemed to have a pretty similar weight, but in the end, the Rowan yarn was a bit thicker. However, I am really happy with the result, although the Rowan yarn broke three times when I pulled it a bit tighter than usual.

As I needed a lot less yarn than I had estimated, I tried to use it up by knitting a pair of striped mitts, but there still is a bit remaining. Yarn amount for the mittens is 68g of Rowan and 25g of Noro, for the mitts 35g of Rowan and 15g of Noro.

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Custom Fit Sweater

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.

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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.