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!

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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!

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!

Yarn Shopping and an Entrelac Sock

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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?

Drops super sale

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As my stash already fills a complete drawer cabinet, I actually did not plan to buy more yarn. Any knitter will know, things usually turn out differently. This year’s Drops super sale is still running until June 15th and I am actually a bit surprised, that I did not order sooner.

However, here’s what I bought at Lanade:

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This is 10 balls of Brushed Alpaca Silk to knit an exact copy of my cocoon cardigan, 20 balls of Nepal to knit a coat and 3 balls of Merino Extra Fine to save the shipping cost.

Best part: I do not regret it. The cardigan was ordered by a very special person to be worn this autumn and the coat has been in my queue for years as the yarn was always too expensive before.

What about you, did you take advantage of the Drops super sale as well?

Amsterdam and a finished pair of socks

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When a close friend of mine asked me to accompany her on a daytrip to Amsterdam including the chance to visit Stephen and Penelope, I did not hesitate a second.

The shop is just gorgeous. You fall into a universe of colours right after the doorstep. To enhance this effect, most yarns are displayed hanging in hanks at the walls.

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Apart from the exquisite selection of yarns, including brands like Malabrigo, Baa Ram Ewe, Jamieson & Smith, Hedgehog Fibres, Madelinetosh and Quince & Co., you will find a lot of pattern and yarn related books in every little corner. Most of them are showcased with a touchable example of their content.

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On your way to the first floor you pass a white wall full of colourful Stephen West shawls:

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Now to the fun part, my shopping there. You might have discovered yet, I like black. Black, greys, black, dark reddish purples, black and sometimes very dark reds. So what actually would I buy there? Beautiful Malabrigo? Jamieson & Smith for their sheepiness? Hedgehog Fibres to celebrate my yarn snobism? No,I bought two hanks of Baa Ram Ewe Titus in Coal. This fingering weight yarn has a light halo which I instantly fell in love with:

baa ram ewe titus

I’m pretty sure I will use it for winter accessories, so it will get a nice little space in my wool closet for the moment.

During the drive to Amsterdam, I finished the charity socks! They’re made of some cheap Aldi sock yarn but turned out quite nice. They’re size EU 43 and weigh 75 g.

charity socks

Today I might block my Waiting for Rain shawl.

Yarn and fabric shopping

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While I’m currently knitting several items at once, I’m already planning my next projects. The Code: Armonica Cowl as well as an urban cardigan have been in my queue for quite a while now. So when Lanade started their Drops Alpaca Party, I bought five balls of  Nepal for the cowl and ten balls of Brushed Alpaca Silk for the cardigan. Yes, all of the new yarn is black, but as this is my favourite colour by far, I will have to accept knitting without actually seeing a single stitch.

My next sewing project will be a pair of casual trousers for my boyfriend. I hope he shares my sense of humour in what concerns the print of the cotton jersey:

skull cotton jersey

I plan to alter a free simplicity pattern for pyjama pants. Wish me luck.