New Knitting Pattern: Magnified

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I have been playing around with textures a lot recently, so when Wolle Willich asked me to design a one-skein project with their stunning June Cashmere Fingering yarn, it was clear I would incorporate some of that research. The yarn is pure cashmere, so it is extraordinarily soft and will keep you warm when it is cold without making you sweat at higher temperatures. In my opinion, this is the ideal fibre for a luxury cowl you can wear in any season.

The design as such features i-cord edgings, a slip stitch texture and little cords sticking out here and there to emphasise the three-dimensional effect. Apart from the i-cord edgings, there are no advanced techniques used, so it makes a quick knit to try out some new textures. One 50g skein of June Cashmere Fingering is enough to make this little beauty. If you have not used this yarn yet, I recommend to try it out if you can afford it. Although it defininitely is a luxury yarn, it is a dream to work with and to wear. As a bonus, it is ethically sourced and supports Kyrgyz shepherds directly.

You can buy the English pattern in my Ravelry Store, but I also have written a German version which is available exclusively at Wolle Willich with the purchase of June Cashmere yarn. I am looking forward to see your projects!

New Knitting Pattern: Opulence

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When I was given some Rowan Island Blend samples at last year’s Rowan Roadshow, I instantly knew I would turn them into a very special hat. I had experimented on an unusual shape before and was sure that this soft and drapey yarn was the perfect choice for my idea.

I wanted a hat that can be worn either as a beanie or as a tam. There also was this idea of three-dimensional segments that add dramatic volume. Voilà, Opulence was born. The hat looks extra spectacular when worked in different colours, but due to its unusual shape, it also looks stunning in one single colourway without the colourwork. Opulence is worked bottom-up in one piece using intarsia in-the-round if you opt for the multi-coloured version. A folded hem contrasts the opulent crown.

My sample uses Rowan Island Blend (70% Falkland merino wool, 15% baby alpaca, 15% silk; 137 yd / 125 m per 50 g) in Empire as main colour and Jet as contrasting colour. The DK weight yarn is very soft and drapey, light enough to wear the hat in spring, yet warm enough to also wear it in winter. However, if you prefer another DK weight yarn, just make sure you meet gauge and surprise me with your interpretation! The pattern comes in six sizes to fit to fit 14 (16, 18, 20, 22, 24)″ / 35.5 (40.5, 45.5, 50.5, 56, 61) cm head circumference. As usually, you can buy the pattern in my Ravelry store. I am looking forward to all your colourful Opulence hats!

A Scrap Yarn Sweater, Luxury Edition

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First, I have to admit I finished this one about a year ago, wore it all winter and forgot to blog about it. Today, I have started to wear it again so I better tell you about it right now.

I decided to knit this sweater as an experiment on how to use up several black sock yarn leftovers from different brands at once. Of course, there were some differences in colour and texture, so I held them together with a neon blue Kidsilk yarn from my stash which I never would have used on its own. The result just looks stunning with the marled effect of the two yarn types together. As a plus, you only feel the softness of the Kidsilk yarn on your skin, there is no itchyness of the sock yarn involved.

The pattern used is Top-Down Top by Anna & Heidi Pickles, a cleverly constructed, batwing sleeved sweater. It is super easy to follow and quick to knit on 5.5 mm needles. It is knit top-down in one piece with minimal finishing. The batwing sleeves end around the elbows and the waistline, respectively, followed by tight ribbing to make it a long-sleeved, hip-length sweater. This makes it very comfortable to wear as you can still fit into a regular coat. Perfect!

The blue yarn, by the way, is Kid Seta by Madil Yarns. In my opinion, the quality of this yarn is outstanding with long fibre lengths and extreme softness. It is a pleasure to knit and wear. I am really sad this yarn is discontinued.

However, this sweater already has become a winter wardrobe favourite. It is lightweight, yet warm and can be styled in a million ways from casual to glamorous. Maybe I should mix up leftover and unloved yarns more often.

A DIY Tulle Circle Skirt, Maxi Length

Have you ever wondered why maxi length, DIY tulle circle skirt tutorials are really hard to find? I’m going to explain. But first, you should take a look at any DIY tulle circle skirt tutorial (just google it, there are loads of good tutorials!) to get an overall idea of what I did.

My idea was to get a ridiculously full skirt. I wanted to achieve this by layering 10 tulle donuts and add a visible, elastic waistband. The first problem was the tulle as such. For a knee-length circle skirt, standard-width fabric works fine. To achieve maxi length, you either have to sew together two half-donuts per layer (best idea with fine, soft tulle 😜) or find extra wide tulle fabric. As you can imagine, it took me a while to find something suitable. In the end, my aunt got me some (25 m) 2.8 m wide tulle from Paris.

I cut out quarter donuts from folded fabric, but I had to secure the folds with fabric clips to make sure the layers could not shift while cutting them. In consequence, it took me a while to cut out all ten donuts.

Next, I wanted to preassemble the donuts before sewing them together. This means, I first had to find a large enough space on the floor to lay out a circle of 2.3 m in diameter.

As the tulle layers shift easily on top of each other, I had to pin them together layer by layer, fabric clip per fabric clip. I may have taken a break after this step.

When I thought the worst part was over, I put the preassembled ten layers on the sewing machine. Sadly, even soft tulle puffs up enormously, so I could not see the foot and needle of my sewing machine anymore.

I ended up watching from the side and was sewing at an incredibly low speed to make sure I sew a straight seam catching all layers.

Adding the elastic waistband afterwards was almost a pleasure compared to any of the steps before.

However, I love this skirt and still would not change any part of it. Of course, four layers of tulle would have puffed up enough to make this an impressive skirt. You also may complain about the (intentionally!) missing layer of lining as you can still see my legs through ten layers of tulle, but I am totally fine with it. It is a bit hard to make sure the tulle does not get caught somewhere when wearing it, but it is well worth the effort. Now I am just lacking a bodice to make this my go-to evening gown. I might have something in mind already, stay tuned!