Sunday, 28 February 2016

Finished Object: Take Heart

Pattern: Take Heart by Fiona Alice
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Quarry
Colours: Sulphur
Needles: 5mm round needles
Start of project: February 17th, 2015
End of project: February 28th, 2016

On Ravelry

I already used this pattern once, my first Take Heart was done last January. Somehow I was never quite convinced of it, the metallic thread in the yarn and the fit just weren't quite right. Which is why I gave away the first version a while ago. But the pattern stayed in my head and when I won four skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Quarry I was curious to see if I could use it for a new version.

The Quarry is unlike any yarn I've used so far. It has a unique texture and I had to be very careful not to break it while knitting. It smells of sheep and of being outdoor and the Sulphur I used has a lot of tiny flecks of colours in it.  The hat felt rather stiff before I soaked it but then it bloomed and now it's comfortable to wear. I wanted a real alpaca pompom for it, I think the fluffyness works very well with the  coarser texture of the yarn.

I am kind of undecided on the Quarry after this hat. It was very intense to knit with and I prefer softer yarns but I am very happy that I had the chance to work with it because it was so different from what I usually knit with.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Finished Object: Wanderers

Pattern: Wanderers by Andrea Mowry
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted
Colours: Marine and Apple Green
Needles: 5mm round needles
Start of project: February 12th, 2015
End of project: February 16th, 2016

On Ravelry

These modern Mukluks have been in my queue for a while. On the one hand it's a bit silly to go back to the concept of "Hüttenfinken" which everybody had to knit and wear in the 70s but on the other hand they looked warm and comfortable and though I don't like normal slippers because they have to be put on and taken off again and again (who needs slippers on the sofa and in bed...) these have the advantage that they can stay on wherever I am and I will always have warm feet.

I had finished my Business Casual Socks in the middle of Knitnight at Strickcafé last Friday and I knew they had Malabrigo Worsted in their store so I decided to choose two colours right there. I wasn't quite sure which way to go, for this intense combination of Marine and Apple Green or for something more subtle. In the end these two won, especially because there were no light neutral colours. They came out a bit loud but most of the mukluks will be hidden beneath my jeans anyway, I hardly ever wear leggins. If I were to knit a second pair, I'd probably try a quieter combination but they are quite ok like this as well.

They are super comfortable to wear, a tiny bit slippery to walk around and very cosy while sitting on the sofa (that's how I always sit while knitting ;-)

I learnt a new technique for these mukluks, the afterthought heel. It wasn't difficult at all but I was so impressed both time how easy it was to open them up and add a whole different part. Knitting is so fascinating sometimes.

I was slightly worried that there wouldn't be enough yarn with only two skeins of the Malabrigo Worsted but I needn't have worried. There are about 18gr. of each colour left, so even with slightly longer feet it would still be enough. I used this yarn for the first time and it works very well for this kind of project, the yarn is really fluffy but strong and it looks good in fair isle. The whole pattern was lovely to knit and with the thick yarn the mukluks grew quickly.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

A year in knitting - year 2

What started on the 15th of 2014, exactly two years ago, is still going strong. In  my second year I knit 39 projects and 16770 meters which is slightly less than I knit in my first year. I was surprised by what I actually knit during the last twelve months, there were less hats and mittens than I expected and my favourite projects seem to be tops these days.

I am really happy that I got to knit a lot of these projects on holidays or simply somewhere nice outside which always seems to be a bit more exciting, somehow the surroundings end up in the fabric and it stays with me whenever I wear it. I knit in Tschiertschen, on the river, on the lake, on Vancouver Island, on the ferry, in Vancouver, back in Tschiertschen, in Brighton and on the Hasliberg.

During my second year I got more confident in my knitting. Quite often I adapted a pattern or combined more than one pattern to get just the result I wanted. I think I prefer slightly more complex patterns, I especially love fair isle and cables. I love to learn new stuff and am always proud when I master something for the first time (in 2016 I already learnt the Turkish Cast On, I steeked and I did an afterthought heel just today).

I am slightly scared that I might run out of ideas soon, somehow I think I've already done so much that I don't really need anything new. But I don't want to stop, so I will have to find a way to knit new things that are still useful.


Five of my tops were gifts for newborn babies. I really love to knit something to welcome a new person and they are all done fairly fast because little people don't need big clothes yet. My favourites are the R&R Hoodie and the Anders which I would love to knit again, they both have so many adorable details. I also knit sweaters for my whole family. Yannick doesn't really wear his Atlas (I should have knit it bigger) but Antonia and Andreas both wear theirs quite often. I love all the long sleeved ones I knit for myself. The Hitofude is great when it's quite warm, it goes together with a simple t-shirt or a dress and always get a lot of attention. I am really happy with how my last big project Ravine is the New Oranje turned out and I would love to use TFA yarns again (I used it for the I Heart Cardigan and for the R&R Hoodie as well). The only things I rarely wear are my tees. Somehow I don't like to wear them that much, I always think I should wash them as often as my T-shirts and that's just too much work.


I knit quite a few pairs of socks, especially recently and I've been wearing a pair of them almost daily. I love the Vanilla Latte Pattern which I first used for the yarn I bought in Vancouver which is also my favourite pair. I am still not quite sure what the perfect stitch count for my feet is but I am getting closer with each pair. The leg warmers are really quite ugly but they were fun to use up a lot of leftovers.


I was convinced that I'd totally overdone it with new hats during the last year and was quite surprised when I realised that I'd only knit a meager three hats for myself. Hats are the garments I wear daily as long as it's not too warm to do so. I guess I can knit a new hat without having to feel wasteful pretty soon ;-). I also knit three hats for other people: one for my mother-in-law, one for Antonia and a miniversion of the Stovetop for Dan.


I didn't knit a lot of mittens this year either. But I love my Heart Mitts, I wear them almost every day and I am so proud of how they turned out. I think my next project might be some new fingerless mittens again.


I don't wear shawls that often, but I like to knit them. They often have really interesting constructions and they can be so variable. In the fall I wore my Bradway shawl a lot but now it's somehow too bulky together with my winter coat and a hat so it is hibernating until the temperatures are ready for t-shirts again which won't be all that long.

Other stuff

1. Zebra

A few toys which were really fun to do, a mini blanket birthday card and a slowly growing maxi blanket and two covers for my gadgets. I love this section because it's all stash yarn that I used to knit something fun.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Finished Object: Business Casual Socks

Pattern: Business Casual by Tanis Lavallee
Yarn: Madelinetosh Socks, Malabrigo Socks
Colours: Smokestack, Silverfox, Tart and Fresco Y Seco
Needles: 2.75mm round needles
Start of project: February 1st, 2015
End of project: February 13th, 2016

On Ravelry

I used up a bit more of my leftover yarn, 228 meters to be exact. I didn't have enough yarn for a pair of socks in one colour so I decided to mix it up a bit: Cuff and toes in Fresco Y seco, the legs in Silverfox, the heel in Tart and the feet in Smokestack. I had fun combining the yarn and I think they look cute, though probably not very business like.

I worked on them yesterday on the train, where I made progress and then I kind of finished them during my first knitnight at Strickcafé. Unfortunately it seems I wasn't able to concentrate enough, when I took some photos today I realised that I'd missed half a pattern repeat on my second sock - ups...

It didn't take long to frog the green toes and a bit of the grey and soon I was back on track and now they are all similar and ready to be worn. And because I was so good at using up old yarn I treated myself to two new skeins - well it's kind of hard to be in a yarn store and not to buy anything.

I got two skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in Marine and Apple Green for a pair of Wanderers which I already cast on, frogged again on the train back because I decided to change the MC and CC colours and cast on again before I was home shortly before midnight.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Finished Object: Ravine is the New Oranje

Pattern: Oranje by Ann Weaver
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Art Purple Label
Colours: Ravine, Charcoal, Natural
Needles: 3.75mm and 4mm round needles
Start of project: December 30th, 2015
End of project: February 7th, 2016

On Ravelry

Wow, that was really an intense project! So many little extra steps which took ages to finish. I think I spent more than 11 hours on it only this weekend and I just had to turn it from a sweater to a cardigan. It has also been the "longest" project in my second year of knitting, I used 1280m of yarn for it. Unfortunately I only finished today when the light was already fading, my hair was wet, the hair drier started to smoke and burn (no joke) and my usually reliable photographer Antonia was in a crappy mood so I am not satisfied with the final photos yet, but I am sure we will find a sunny day soon to change that (in the meantime we went outside without rain and now I am satisfied ;-) So, I am totally happy that it's done and I love it.

So here's what I did this weekend:

Yesterday was Steek Day. I met Denise, our handy craft teacher in her craft room in the morning. None of us had done a steek before, so we had read everything we could about it before and I knit a little extra swatch to try the technique. Denise carefully sewed up and down it twice on both sides and then I cut and hurray it didn't fall apart.

Next she sewed the real sweater three times on each side to be really on the safe side. (I never use a sewing machine and I was too scared to ruin anything, so thankfully she took over). The cutting took some courage to start but wasn't really that hard, especially because we left in the yellow marker line which really helped both while sewing and cutting. The whole process went really well, there was no fraying at all.

After the cut I went shopping for a zipper because we couldn't find the perfect colour at school. The sales lady convinced me to go with a colour very close to the Ravine yarn and I have to say she was right. Back home I started picking up stitches along the edge of the steek stitches. With these stitches I did a 4 stitch iCord along both sides.

Once that was done I started putting in the zipper - a part of the project I really don't enjoy, I just feel so clumsy with a needle and thread and everthing always gets tangled up and it never looks really as neat as I'd like to. I had hoped that the zipper would hide the edge of the steek but with the iCord it wasn't wide enough. So once I'd finished both sides of the zipper today I decided to knit an inside lining along it to definitely hide the steek (I saw this on Frau Mascha's project page). So I knit two long thin strips that I then attached over the zipper and the steek. Again it took ages but now I have to say it looks very secure.

That's it, my SSKAL2015 sweater is finally done. I am glad I did it but now I need something really easy to knit next!!!

Monday, 1 February 2016

Finished Object: Climb

Pattern: Climb by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Lang Yarns Jawoll
Colour: Off White, Light Grey and Red
Needles: 2.75mm round needles
Start of project: January 24th, 2016
End of project: January 31st, 2016

On Ravelry

I fell in love with these socks when I saw Jane Richmond's project photos. Jane Richmond wore hers with these really stylish timberlands and black tights. And I guess I wanted to look just like her - silly how that happens.

These were my first toe up socks. It was interesting (and not too difficult) to learn the Turkish Cast on. I liked that I was always able to try them on. The heel was pretty simple, I am sure there are more complicated versions that start at the toes.

I knit them in a mix of knitting two separately and two at the same time which worked really well for me. I did the toes, the heels and the stripes one at a time and all of the light grey in between I did on only one cable.

All in all, they were quickly done and I really like the texture. After the stripes on my first sock, I cast off and finished away all the yarn ends without trying the sock on and that turned out to be too hasty, because they were too tight. I had to go back to the light grey part and improvise. I added an extra of 8 stitches and I did a different cast off. Only then did they actually fit around my calves.

Now if I only had a pair of these timberlands ;-)