Cropped Linen

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I made this sweater to measure on a request by my aunt. She asked for a white, cropped, oversized, long sleeved, 100% linen sweater to wear in summer. Here it is, a ridiculously wide rectangle with sleeves. I am sure she is going to love it as if it was black, I just would keep it.

The pattern is my own, I have used 414g of Schoppel El Linio, a chain-plied 100% linen yarn. It combines the classic linen structure and feel with a bit of elasticity due to its construction. It really is a pleasure to work with this yarn. Well done, Schoppel!

This sweater also was an item on my WIP Bingo sheet, the linen sweater. One more done!

H+H Cologne 2018, Part 2

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Colour

The most stunning colourwork sweater this year, imho, was shown at Novita, a Finnish yarn company. This honestly inspires me to try multicoloured intarsia:

Schoppel, as expected, has beautiful new designs for their fantastic yarns. They always follow their unique style with lots of new ideas every year. This is truly impressive.

At Pascuali, I have found some colour inspiration packs. They consist of three to four balls of one yarn quality in matching colours. There is no pattern included so they are just intended to get your creative juices flowing. Nice idea!

Over at Rowan, I found an interesting knitted sample. It is only stripes and slipped stitches, but the effect is fantastic:

Now to the last section of my summary:

Fun

Prym has developed some new gadgets. There are, e.g., tassel makers, flexible cable needles, stencils for animal pom poms, or a special pom pom maker for teeny tiny pom poms with a diameter of 3cm only. All of them were demonstrated live by @daniela_maschenkunst and @realmenknitpink:

Chiagoo now offers a set of interchangeable mini needles, going down to 1.5mm and with super short cables. How cool is that, please? Gorgeous engineering, by the way!

I also stumbled upon a wall of knitted trophies, but I forgot to note the company. Sorry!

What makes H+H Cologne so special, apart from seeing the latest trends first, is meeting up with the knitting community. Although I had very little time this year, I met so many nice people, among them @queenofwhatever, @knitting_miki, @brezelbutter, @himawari_knits, @wollnation, @_humbol_, @jetztkochtsieauchnoch, @feinmotorik.blogspot, @feierabendfrickeleien, @carosfummeley and @strickteasefrankfurt, to name only a few. I have linked their Instagram profiles because they all are quite active there and you may want to check them out. You can also find me on Instagram as @pinkzombiecrafts.

Thank you H+H Cologne for inviting me! It was a blast! See you next year!

H+H Cologne 2018, Part 1

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Like last year, I was allowed to visit H+H Cologne as a blogger. Sadly, I could spend only one day there due to other appointments I had that weekend. This was definitely too little time although I had planned my visit in advance. However, I nonetheless have found a lot of inspiration.

Textures

I was happy to see so many designers play with textures. At Habu Textiles, e.g., I found this subtle texture:

At Lana Grossa, I unexpectedly stumbled upon this beauty:

At Novita, I instantly fell in love with this coat, a stunning combination of lace, cables and bobbles:

Bobbles seem to be quite popular at the moment, another example from Katia,…

…from Nako,

…or in a pom pom interpretation from Lana Grossa:

Schoppel once again surprised with very unusual textures:

Another great find was The Fibre Co.‘s latest collection using their new yarn base Lore. A small excerpt (thank you, Daphne!):

To finish this section, I just have to show you Katia’s texture samples. They were too beautiful:

Yarns

I am always looking for interesting yarns. But as I am not that much into colours, I tend to fall for structure instead. I am not surprised to have spent quite a lot of time at Blue Sky Fibers. Their range of yarns is stunning, particularly because of their composition as well as their construction. The sport weight Metalico, half baby alpaca, half silk, comes in natural shades only, which, together with the single-ply structure, underline its natural shine. Next to it, you can see the sport weight Baby Alpaca, which comes in a large range of colours. It has a plied structure, but is beautifully soft.

Another fantastic yarn is their worsted Organic Cotton. It is unusually thick and soft for a 100% cotton and I am looking forward to try it out in a project soon. It even is available in different shades of grey and has a great stitch definition.

As I was invited to The Fibre Co.‘s blogger and designer event, I was further introduced to their exquisite range of yarns and was able to take a look at Lore, their latest addition:

It is made of 100% Kent lambswool and has a yardage of 250m per 100g. I almost can’t wait to try out the greys and the dark purple!

But there are also other really interesting yarns, e.g., Terra, an aran weight alpaca, merino and silk blend, …

… Knightsbridge, a light worsted weight baby llama, merino and silk blend, …

… or Meadow, a merino, baby llama, silk and linen blend you probably already know.

At Pascuali, everybody was invited to try out their luxurious yarns:

One of their new products is Soffio, an aran weight blend of 90% cashmere and 10% silk. It is extremely fluffy and soft, perfect for winter garments:

Pascuali also have an extraordinary new pure cotton yarn, Suave. It is lightweight, fluffy and pretty far from anything you might expect from pure cotton with 162m per 25g. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of it. Maybe I was too busy admiring it.

My next stop was at Habu Textiles‘ booth. Well, I just do not know where to start, so I’ll start with a picture:

This is paper yarn and maybe I’m a bit in love.

Another interesting find is this 100% silk yarn …

… or these textures…

…or these tiny pom poms on thread:

When I arrived at Baa Ram Ewe, I was surprised not to see the colourful Dovestone range which was introduced only last year. But it has a worthy successor, Winterburn. The only difference to Dovestone is that they have exchanged the Wensleydale fibre for Masham, which makes Winterburn a bit softer than Dovestone. I am looking forward to combine the Winterburn sample I have received with my remaining Dovestone bits to compare them directly. Dovestone, by the way, is still available undyed and at baa ram ewe directly.

I want to finish this section with two new yarns by Lana Grossa. There will be a sparkly aran weight yarn in the Lala Berlin range and a fingering weight merino and linen blend. They both look pretty interesting:

I will stop for now as this post already is quite long and will tell you more about H+H Cologne tomorrow.

H+H Cologne 2017, part 1

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

The Stripey Baby Hoodie

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It is a miracle I have finished this one although it has turned out to be probably the most beautiful baby garment I have knit so far. But back to its beginning, this cardigan has quite a story to tell.

I wanted to knit another baby hoodie for a friend, restricting myself to use stashed yarn and not to buy a pattern. There was an almost neon variegated skein of Tausendschön extrafine Merino I wanted to use, but I was unsure if 100g of fingering weight yarn would be enough for a little hoodie. As my stash did not offer any matching semi-solid yarn, I bought a skein of dark grey Schoppel Admiral Melange at Maschenkunst to make a striped cardigan. The colors are a perfect match, even if I had to buy the grey one. Both yarns knit up well, although the Tausendschön one is plied a bit loosely, probably to emphasise the softness of the fibre. Nonetheless, I like both of them a lot.

After searching Ravelry for a suitable pattern, I found Hættetrøje, a free Danish pattern. I do not speak any Danish, but this is by far not the first baby hoodie I have knit and with Google Translate on my smartphone, I was not afraid at all to use this pattern. The language in fact was not a problem, but the pattern as such was. I cannot recommend to knit the suggested armhole shaping. In the unlikely case I should knit that pattern again, I would definitely change to a drop-shoulder construction. The described armhole shaping just did not work out at all, so that I decided to loosely follow Knit Purl’s Alpha B Basic Baby Cardigan pattern concerning armhole and sleeve shaping (and measurements). I also have added a bit of neck shaping which I took from a Drops pattern. Surprisingly, the sleeves fitted perfectly into the armholes at the first try. The buttons are from La Droguerie in Lille, but they are so tiny, I needed eight buttons to be able to close the cardigan instead of five bigger ones as suggested in the pattern. However, the cardigan looks gorgeous and thus was worth all the effort.