Catching up 2 (Knitting review 2016)

So, it’s been a while — again. Unfortunately for me, I have been sick for all of January. It started on the 2nd and then there were two weeks following where I couldn’t think or do anything at all.

It’s only the last few days that I started feeling better, that’s why last year’s knitting review is so late. 2016 was literally my year of socks. My friend M. kept complaining that it was all I was knitting and she was absolutely right. In total, I knit 19 pairs of socks but 12 of them were for me, two pairs of which turned out not to fit and were given away as well. 10 new pairs of socks for my sock drawer! With all the sock knitalongs going on last year, who can blame me?

Other than that, there were one toy, one pair of mitts, one cardigan, one sweater (sample), two cowls, three hats, five shawls for a total of about 10 kilometers of yarn knit up last year. Quite the impressive number come to think of it.

To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed knitting all these socks. They are portable, quick knits that you can take anywhere with you. Plus, I learned to knit in movie theaters, so basically in the dark thanks to all the socks.
But it’s a shame that I did not knit more “big” projects. I only started one sweater last year that I did not finish yet and there is still one unfinished sweater from 2015 that I mean to finish… someday.

Hopefully your 2017 was off to a good start? I already knit two more pairs of socks, because I couldn’t concentrate on more. Simple stockinette in the round was all I could do! Hopefully it will be better soon.

And don’t forget, if you sign up for my newsletter, you will get a coupon for 30% off a pattern of your choice.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Wow, is it Christmas already? My husband’s first question is always: “Do we have a Christmas tree?”, although we never actually get one. We have an artificial hand-me-down from my husband’s grandparents that we sometimes set up, sometimes not. This year we decided not to, because we are spending our Christmas at the in-laws. My mother-in-law decorates everything so nicely every year that it really gets me in the spirit. Otherwise I might have missed out on Christmas entirely, I think.

Usually I would write something here about a new pattern, or my progress on projects but since all my Christmas presents are done and wrapped (finished the last pair of socks last night), all that’s left is to say:

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting Indie designers like me this year. Thank you for all the new friends I made (you know who you are!). Thank you for the great experiences at Manchester and Rhinebeck. Thank you for a great 2016 and I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year.

If you want to return the sentiment, consider leaving a comment at your favourite (knitting) blog once in a while. I am sure anyone would be delighted to know they have readers. ;)

Wollfaktor Ateliertag

So apparently it takes me a while to record the next episode and I at least wanted to give you an update about my short time in Cologne last weekend.

I’ve known about Wollfaktor for a few years already. Moreover, I knew about her “Ateliertag” as well, it’s like an open studio where you can touch her samples and fondle yarn. Lots of yarn!

Pictured on right: Qualities Luna (BFL/silk blend) and Luna XL (600g skeins of Luna)

I’d been meaning to go since I first heard of it, especially since Cologne is so close! Last weekend, we had an unexpected free afternoon, so I decided a short trip was in order. Unfortunately for me, I brought my husband when everybody else came by themselves. Michaela, the dyer and hostess, offered coffee and tea for everyone and people were sitting around knitting. It all had a really charming and cozy atmosphere. Possibly all the yarn contributed as well?

Pictured on shelf, top to bottom: Liebelei (single ply Merino), Nana and Nola (superwash BFL, Fingering and DK weight respectively). Also: yak yarns in the basket

I managed to quiz Michaela a bit about her dyeing process and her Estonian wool winder, both juicy information to me. ;) But I also felt a bit like intruding because I didn’t bring my knitting (sorry, you guys!). Next time, I will leave the husband at home and bring something to knit on. This was the last Ateliertag for 2016 but I am looking forward to next year!

Michaela lured us to Cologne with new undyed yak bases (Link only in German), which I had to try, and Luna that I had been coveting for several months. So here’s what came home with me:

Left to right: Luna in an almost-white, Merino sport weight mini-skein and Bogart, DK weight 60/20/20 Merino, yak and silk blend ♥

The green yarn is already spoken for but only time will tell what I am going to do with the others. If all this piqued your interest, Michaela’s online shop can be found on DaWanda. And if you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter.

moley cast #3: The one with all the WIPs

FOs Vanilla sock out of Manos Alegria (thank you, Lisa!), Gap socks, Fightin words mitts

WIPs Design out of Plucky Feet & Quince Piper in Pampa, Long-languished sweater, Aoibhinn mittens by Ysolda, Fantastic socks out of Opal 20 Jahre in Luftschlangen (paper streamer, apparently)

Stuff I got Opal sock yarn Schafpate(multi-coloured) & 20 Jahre (denim blue), HerbstblattRegina Hazel Soft Sock, Genuine Irish wool (now sold out) and the Knitted Cable Sourcebook

In case you missed it: Episode 02

Things I talk about:

FOs Vanilla socks out of Opal sock yarn

WIPs More socks out of Manos Alegria | Willa socks out of Regia 4ply in 2742 and Stranded Dyeworks Oasis Sock in Crackle
Secret project out of The Plucky Knitter Feet in Pollen and Quince&Co. Piper in Avocet

Stuff I got O-Wool Local in Wissahickon | Briar Rose Fibers Joyful (currently not available) | Foxhill Farms Cormo X | Purl Soho Linen Quill (only shown briefly)

Beautiful scenery provided by Mother Nature! :)

There is now a podcast!

I’ve been talking about this for quite some time but after being at the podcaster meet up at Rhinebeck Saturday before last I thought I should actually get around and just do it. So here it is, the moley cast. Episode number 1 is all about Rhinebeck (of course).

 

Things I mention in the episode:

WIPs My Rhinebeck sweater that never made it to Rhinebeck | Vanilla socks out of Opal sock yarn

FOs Shawl out of WalkCollection Cozy Merino | Newly finished Vanilla socks out of Gale’s Art sock blank

Stuff I got Long Ridge Farm Fingering |  Miss Babs Yarns | Fringe Supply Co. Field Bag

Behind the scenes: Runlet

I still cannot believe it, my first sweater pattern is finally released!!1(insert all the exclamation marks here)! It feels like it was yesterday when Tabetha contacted me and said that they were interested in publishing it in the Fall with SweetGeorgia, Vol. 2 collection. Runlet was actually inspired by their great call for submissions, where they asked for a mix of yarn weights, specifically mohair lace weight yarn mixed in with heavier weight yarns. And this is what I came up with:

Photo © SweetGeorgia Yarns, Tabetha Hedrick
Photo © SweetGeorgia Yarns, Tabetha Hedrick

A boxy, light-weight sweater with mohair inserts in the shoulder section. Personally, I love highlighting the upper part of a sweater, it will get people’s attention and the scoop neck in this design also helps a bit with drawing the eyes up.

The use of their Superwash Sport in mix with mohair-blend Silk Mist makes it a wonderfully versatile sweater. Working with the Superwash Sport was very delightful as well, it has just the right amount of twist and give to make it great to knit with.

As for the construction, this one is a bottom-up, completely seamless garment. The shoulders are closed with a three needle bind off and for the underarm construction I was inspired by a sewn, boxy garment that I own, so there are no seams in sight. After the body is finished, you are going to pick up stitches for the sleeves and knit down. That means you can customize the length of the sleeves to your liking.
To lower the back hem a little bit and to shape the shoulders, I used my favourite short row method, Shadow Wrap short rows. If you haven’t tried them before, you can find a tutorial here.

This is the point where I show you some of my sketches from the original submission.

actionmole-runlet-03

Click one to enlarge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, my original idea had a pattern down the front of the sweater, that is where the design got its name. The other place where I diverted is the depth of the ribbing on the sleeves and perhaps the overall fit. To achieve a fit as in my drawing, you might want to choose a size up from what you would usually knit.

runlet_actionmole_web09
My favourite picture from the pattern photo shoot (photo © SweetGeorgia Yarns, Tabetha Hedrick)

So, for the giveaway part!

SweetGeorgia Yarns kindly offered to give one of you the opportunity to win a pattern of your choosing from the collection!

To enter, check out the whole collection and leave a comment on this post with the pattern you would like to win. Make sure to leave a valid email address and your Ravelry username, so we know how to contact you. The giveaway closes on October 9th, 2016 at noon (GMT+2) and I will announce the winner on my Instagram feed.

Giveaway is now closed, thank you for participating!

Shadow wrap short rows

Shadow wrap short rows are my favourite way to knit short rows. They are easy to remember and to work in my opinion. I prefer them because you do not have to do anything special when you resolve your short rows, i.e. continue working in full rows or rounds again. You simply knit or purl them, depending on which side you are working on. Another plus side is that they are fairly unnoticeable in the final fabric. But that’s just me, perhaps you want to try them yourselves first?

The other thing I want to mention before we start is that if you have successfully completed a Fish Lips Kiss heel (a highly popular short row heel for socks), then you already know how to work shadow wrap short rows. You can totally skip this tutorial. ;)

For this type of short row, you produce so-called twin stitches, where two loops originate from one stitch in the row below. They help connecting the row you just worked with the row above.
Read more

Uh, wow!

It’s the dog days of summer over here (finally!) which means it is close to two months since my last post! Seriously? But it also means autumn is right around the corner with sweater weather and all that comes along with it. Right? Right.

What have I been up to all this time you ask?
Read more

Collaboration with Schibot Garne

Hello everyone,

it’s been a while since I wrote an entry. Somehow I just didn’t find the time to properly sit down and write something! It shouldn’t be so hard, I know but there were a few projects that really kept me busy.

One of those was my collaboration with Nadine who is the dyer behind Schibot Garne. We both worked very hard to bring you Kyudo. This whole design was a long time coming. Actually, I knit my prototype back in June 2015 as part of Stash Dash. I wanted to do something with these exciting, new-to-me yarns that I got in Hamburg around Christmas the year before.

So I made something that had garter stitch (still a favourite!), short rows and a touch of lace. When I tried to think of a title for my project, all I could think about was archery (who knows why, I’ve never done it), because it takes a little concentration at first, but you get lost in stitches pretty soon. That is the point when you let go, to have that arrow hit its goal…

Kyudo close-up

…and have a beautiful shawl in the end!
Now it is almost ready to release! Kits for this will go live on Thursday, July 7 at 6pm (UTC+2) in the Schibot Garne shop. Nadine has created four great colour combinations for this! You can choose from the following:
soft socks colours
Pictured are top to bottom, left to right: Midnight Hour & Samba, Blueberry & Fruit Salad, Magical & Deep deep down, Nightlife & Out of Control

For the sample I chose the combination of Magical and Deep deep down because they spoke to me somehow. Normally I would have gone with Midnight Hour in combination with Samba but I don’t have many blue shawls so this will make an unusual and welcome addition to the shawl drawer. Personally, I think the design will look awesome in any of her colour kits!

Additionally, I also have a Ravelry group now! Come join me over there as well! I will try to post a bit more over there, keep you up-to-date with current designs and possibly more collaborations to come in the future.

Until then, happy knitting!