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!

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Botani-KAL

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A while ago, Alice and Miki came up with the idea to knit the Wrapped in Leaves shawl by Alana Dakos from the beautiful book Botanical Knits together. Soon, Rebekka and me joined. The main part is knit in stockinette stitch, but I already have finished 60% of the increases. I am really looking forward to the leafy border!

I am super happy with my yarn choice, Alpaka Star by Austermann. I received it for free to play with it before it hits the market in July, so thanks a lot! It consists of 36% baby alpaca, 35% nylon, 15% silk and 14% cotton. The structure is plied, but fluffy with little sequins in it. The meterage is 150m per 50g, perfect for 4.5mm needles.

I hope to finish the main part, soon, to proceed to the leaves as stockinette stitch keeps boring me. Take a look at Alice’s, Miki’s and Rebekka’s projects as well, we are using very different yarns! Of course, you can also find us on Instagram, using the hashtag #botaniKAL. If you like the shawl and want to join our knitalong, feel free to do so! More fun for all of us!

Taboo

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I hate blocking. I postpone it whenever I can as I lack an appropriate space for it. This time, I blocked my Taboo shawl very early in the morning on my bed. Of course, my plan did not succeed, it was still wet in the evening so I had to sleep in my guest bed. However, the result was worth all effort.

The pattern is Taboo by booknits, knit with Jaipur Silk Fino by BC Garn. The pattern is very well written, but you have to count a lot. Placing the beads was time-consuming due to their number, but they add just the right amount of glamour. I have chosen pale lilac, silver lined beads to give my monochrome yarn choice a little twist. The yarn itself is a pleasure to work with, although I am not happy with the way silk usually is produced from an ethical point of view. At least, BC Garn is GOTS certified, so they do care about the sourced of their products in general.

The Daisy Shawl

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Actually, I never wanted to knit this. I accidentally started it when Rebekka asked me to find a way to increase invisibly in daisy stitch. I just took a ball of yarn I could not think of a project for and started knitting. After the first 10cm, I was way too lazy to frog and continued to knit a triangular shawl in daisy stitch. Then, suddenly, I had knit up the full two balls of yarn! But what to do with a striped shawl in muddy grey scales? I decided to add a purple i-cord from scraps which definitely makes the project more appealing. Nonetheless, I have gifted it to a friend as I never would have worn it. I am sure, she will love it a lot more than I would.

The shawl is knit from two balls of Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine 285 Lace, a standard Merino lace yarn in an exceptionally ugly colourway, and 11g of Wollmeise Lace in Lavendel WD for the i-cord. I will not buy any of the used yarns again. The Schachenmayr yarn is good but nothing special, and Wollmeise and me are never going to be friends. When I use wollen yarns, I want them to feel at least a bit sheepy and not completely like softly spun cotton. But this is my opinion and I am totally okay with you when you love that brand. It’s just not my style.

Building Blocks

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First of all, sorry for not posting anything the last weeks, I was really busy.

I have finished my Building Blocks! It took me about three hours to bind off, but it was worth all the effort. The result is rather a shlanket than a shawl, but it was perfect to wear it first on a trip to Leipzig where the temperature was about -2°C.

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I am super happy with my choice of colours, they blend really well together. My large (pretty huge) version is made of sock yarn only, 85g of colour A, 81g of colour B, 47g of colour C and 71g of colour D. It was fun to knit it and watch the colours play with each other up to the end of the brioche section. After that, I got bored. But hey, it is finished and, as mentioned above, the shlanket was completely worth the effort.

Have you finished your Building Blocks yet? And have you seen all those stunning pictures on Instagram?

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!

Waiting for Rain

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Although the title might remind the well-disposed reader of a local weather forecast, I just have finished knitting a huge shawl. I fell in love with the pattern instantly, but it needed the yarnicorns forcing me to a KAL to actually start knitting it. I had a lot of problems with the lace sections, but stitch markers help a lot to keep track of the multiple pattern repeats. The shawl is knit from a stash yarn, Tausendschön Merino Extrafein in bougainville. I used this yarn base for my Care to Dance? shawl as well.

I have blocked the shawl using blocking wires for the first time. It actually does not save time compared to pinning the edges with needles only, but the result is a lot more symmetrical.

To conclude, some eye candy in the form of lace close-ups:

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