2018 Recap and a First Glimpse at 2019

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What a year. There were so many ideas but way too little time to follow all of them. Nonetheless, I have learned from any project I carried out this year.

The first project I want to mention here is the bullet journal I started in February. I have tried to involve monthly and weekly calendars, but changed to monthly and weekly to do’s as I tend to feel stressed by rigid deadlines. I also included mood and habit trackers which I gradually adapted to my needs. In late summer, I quit the concept of an analogue bullet journal and changed to an android app for mood and habit tracking as well as online notes I can share with others for my to do lists. This was the best decision as I did not like to always carry an A5 notebook with me and do not like to illustrate the pages, either. However, the notebook as such now serves as my DIY knitting planner and poetry notebook perfectly.

In March, I joined a WIP bingo which I followed loosely over the year. My lesson learned is, that any pressure does not help me to finish anything. When I am in a bad mood I will rather cry over the project I am forcing myself to finish than actually finish it. Nonetheless, I have finished 7/9 projects, another one requires only finishing and the last one is currently in progress. Not too bad, in my opinion.

I have participated in Fibreshare twice among other, smaller swaps. I was not aware I liked the idea that much, but it makes me happy to surprise other people. I will probably stick with this new approach.

The Inside Schoeller event was an overall highlight. I totally enjoyed the deep insight into the Schoeller company as well as the opportunity to test some of their yarns. I also was completely stunned, when Novita sent me a pattern booklet and some yarn samples for free after I had asked how to get a specific pattern. I meanwhile have ordered and stashed the rest of the yarns needed for the pattern. I actually wanted to knit the sweater as a KAL together with my friend Alice aka Brezelbutter, but this did not happen for several reasons. I hope we will start again in January.

Another development I am totally happy about is that I finally have freed myself from knitting patterns. Of course, I will always buy and knit patterns I like, but with projects like my Black Metal Hoodie and the cropped linen sweater which I have both designed myself, I see myself able to follow more my own ideas of fashion now. Maybe, I finally will publish some of the patterns. Be scared. 😉

Designing my own knits goes hand in hand with sewing my own garments. I have sewn myself an all black Linden Sweatshirt which I will show you in January as well as some party garments and have prepared some pure Merino cloth I am going to turn into a pair of pants, soon. I am dreaming of a 100% handmade wardrobe, but I am not sure how long this will take.

A project I have been working on for years now is my ever-growing stash. I currently hoard about 34 kg of yarn. About 7 kg of it are yarns I have acquired only last year and not used up. At least, I have knit almost 2.4 kg of yarn equivalenting 7670 m. That makes my average yarn weight in 2018 a sport weight. I hope to reduce my yarn stash in 2019, but we will see.

In contrast to my yarn hoarding problem, you will definitely see me at several meet-ups this year, which does not mean I might not show up at others:

29.-31.03.19 H+H Cologne

13./14.04.19 Leipziger Wollefest und Stoffmesse

17./18.08.19 Wollfestival Düsseldorf

September 2019 Berlin Knits

19./20.10.19 German Raveler Meeting Leipzig

02./03.11.19 Yarncamp Frankfurt

Enough for now as the first fireworks start to illuminate Leipzig’s evening sky. Have a fantastic New Year’s Eve and an even better start in 2019! Thank you for following me!

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!

Leipzig Wollefest

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Now that I live in Leipzig, I finally have made it to the annual Leipzig Wollefest! I was pretty surprised how big and beautiful this festival is.

Of course, you can find some of the famous indie brands there, e.g. Wollmeise, DyeForYarn, dibadu, Zauberwiese, or das Mondschaf, but I am sure you already know about their beautiful yarns. So let me show you some smaller booths that have caught my attention.

I was super happy to meet Claudia Eisenkolb aka Himawari knits! at her designer booth. She had brought a lot of samples, even an unpublished design. It was so good to see all those gorgeous little details live. You miss a lot of them when you just quickly browse them on Ravelry. The samples also show how nicely the yarns and her patterns play together. She focuses on shape and texture, which I, myself, have been experimenting a lot with, recently. Apart from that, I always enjoy our talks a lot.

Another designer I was happy to meet in person is Nicola Susen. I like her idea of a sweater pattern as a detailed guide to how and where to adapt your knitting to your body measurements. In addition, she has a cool way to play with lines and colour. I already have knitted her Longitudinal socks, a fantastic sideways socks pattern. You definitely may want to take a look at her designs!

As you already know, I have a weakness for unusual, ethically sourced yarns. So I was pretty happy to see Seidenhase at the festival.

They keep angora rabbits for the love of the animals, collect their hair without hurting them and sell it as knitting yarns, batts or ready-made items. They have a small manufacture in Germany and are my number one choice for future angora acquisitions. Definitely worth supporting!

My most surprising find was a woodworker. Rainer Mewes has a range of classic wood products, but he also produces writing instruments, spindles and spinning wheels. I do not spin, but how cool would it be to have a handmade spinning wheel according to your requirements? I love the idea!

There also were a lot of places to sit and knit at the exhibition hall. My favourite one was the catering area on the balcony-like first floor.

It was a wonderful weekend. I have met so many nice people and had a lot of good conversations, on knitting as well as on life as such. So, see you next year, Leipzig Wollefest!

Wollfestival 2017

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Of course, I had to attend a yarn festival so close to the place I live! I went there last Sunday with my friend Rebekka who even had organised our tickets (thank you so much, again!). Apparently, Sunday was a lot more enjoyable than Saturday as you could breathe, rest a moment and even take a relaxed look at the yarn stands.

As I am still trying to destash, I had strictly planned possible yarn acquisitions. I needed black and white fingering Merino Singles to combine them with a hank of Tosh Merino Light in Tart for a Black Lodge Shawl. When the pattern was published, I instantly fell in love with it. It combines so many things I like, Inspiration from the Twin Peaks TV series, darkness and an edgy, very talented designer. Just take a look at Lisa Mutch‘s other designs if you haven’t done already and you’ll understand why I like her style so much. A lot of her designs are in my favourites and my queue just waiting for me to find yarn for them. By the way, Lisa much also dyes her own yarns and carries wonderful, dark colourways.

However, I chose a hank of Dibadu Funnies Simply Merino in Mondlicht and a hank of Das Mondschaf Aurora in Black Hole. Dibadu as well as Das Mondschaf are both German Indie Dyers with stunning colourways but different focuses. You will find a large selection of speckled and shaded yarns even for the darker taste on luxurious, but quite common yarn bases at Das Mondschaf, whereas Dibadu is not overly dark, but carries a lot of stunning colourways on a huge variety of common as well as less common yarn bases. I definitely need to try their Curly Silk one day, to name only one of their gems.

I had allowed myself to buy yarn for another project as long as it inspired me to knit something specific. To be honest, the Wolle Willich booth inspired me as a whole. They carry traditional British yarns and similar yarn constructions from elsewhere only, so I could have bought everything if they just sold more blacks and darks. After a long and pleasant conversation with the shop owner, I chose a Blacker Yarns Mohair Blend in purple to knit a Lestat shawl.

And here’s a picture of the beauties I bought:


In fact, I spent most of my time at Wollfestival not shopping but in the company of wonderful people. There was a lot of space to hang around in groups and have a cup of coffee together:

So we were chatting and discussing knitting ideas a lot. Thank you, RebekkaDaniela and all the other lovely people I met for a perfect Sunday knitting afternoon! See you next year!