Monday, 28 January 2013

Stockholm Scarf

After exactly seven days of knitting and 4 skeins of Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky,  my Stockholm Scarf is finished and ready to wear. It is 11" wide instead of the required 14" mentioned in the pattern and 32" long unstretched. At some point I may buy another skein and knit a few more rows to get closer to the intended dimensions.
Oddly enough, you can't make out the pattern in the fabric at all. It may change as the scarf stretches with wear, I suppose. However, I do like how the pattern is reversible - it made weaving in the ends very difficult though.
I love how it turned out! It is my first loop scarf and I am surprised how much I disliked the idea of such scarves before knitting my own. Should I ever forget my hat, I can turn the scarf into a hood/scarf combo, which is great too! Today the scarf was very useful and comfy to wear on my way to a cocktail night with a friend.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Etsy: New Stitch Markers for Valentine's Day

It's been a busy few days ordering new materials and making new stitch markers for AbsoKnittingLutely. Here is a sneak peek at what's to come over the next week or two:
The first sets to go online today were these wonderful heart stitch markers made with lampwork glass beads. 
I love them! There are four sets available with 5 markers each. The beads are 1 cm long and the snagfree lightweight silver rings fit needles up to 7 mm. As always the sets come in organza bags, ready for gift giving and safekeeping. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

On the Needles Now: Stockholm Scarf

You see, I have had 3 or 4 skeins of wonderfully soft and shiny Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky in slate for about 2 or 3 years now not knowing what to knit with  it. The yarn is too nice to just knit anything with, I thought, but waiting for that one elusive project was taking forever. First, I tried to knit a bolero that was almost completely done when I realised it just wouldn't sit right when I put it on. Also, I didn't quite like the feeling of the yarn on my skin as a garment like that. I can't explain why, but I suspect it is just the fact that it is a chunky yarn with lots of silk. I have the same yarn as lace, which is wonderful to wear. So that got frogged and a half-finished bolero waited in a zipper bag until just recently.
(Image: knittedblissJC)
Now I have found the right project that is definitely the best thing to make in this winter weather: the Stockholm Scarf. Even though the pattern calls for DK rather than chunky yarn, it doesn't really matter when  it comes to such a large infinity scarf. I am using 6mm circs and have cast on the required number of stitches (in fact, you can omit 2 sts when knitting with circs). 

I hope that I have enough yarn to make the scarf 14" wide as stated in the pattern. If not, I may have to splurge on yet another skein just for the hell of it. I want this scarf to be huge and warm! (Can you tell I am freezing?)

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Strickstöckchen

We interrupt our usual broadcast for a bit of German. Blame Ela!
Wann hast du Stricken gelernt?
In 2007 waehrend ich meine Doktorarbeit schrieb kam mir die Idee, ich koennte mir doch mal selbst das Stricken beibringen. Ich hatte meine Mutter bereits zweimal in der Vergangenheit darum gebeten, es mir beizubringen, aber es klappte nie richtig. Bis heute weiss ich nicht, warum! 

Im Oktober 2007 brauchte ich nun etwas, das mich ablenkte und worueber ich nicht zuviel nachdenken musste. Ausserdem wollte ich etwas ausser einer Tastatur haben, das meine Finger beschaeftigt. Ich suchte also nach englischsprachigen Tutorials und natuerlich fand ich viele. Rechte und linke Maschen habe ich da gleich mal an einer selbstentworfenen/improvisierten Muetze geuebt. Die habe ich immer noch! Danach ging es dann sofort weiter mit Socken samt seltsam verkrueppelter Ferse. Ja, ich mag Herausforderungen! Somit wurde der Grundstein fuer meine Liebe zum Sockenstricken gelegt.

Was fasziniert dich am Stricken?
Ich weiss nicht, ob ich hier von Faszination sprechen kann. Ich arbeite einfach gern mit meinen Haenden, vor allem, wenn es um sehr detailreiche Arbeit geht, die Fingerspitzengefuehl benoetigt. Das Haptische daran zieht mich an - Gestricktes sieht nicht nur schoen aus, sondern es fuehlt sich auch schoen an. Und vor allem fuehlt sich nicht alles gleich an, da es so viele unterschiedliche Materiale gibt. Ich muss ja immer, das was mir gefaellt anfassen, um es richtig wuerdigen zu koennen, finde ich. Das gibt in Museen und Kunstgallerien schon mal Probleme! Mein gestricktes Kunstwerk kann ich dahingegen anfassen, so viel ich will.

Abgesehen davon ist Stricken einfach beruhigend (bis man etwas vermasselt oder eine fehlerhafte Anleitung hat und alles nur noch in die Ecke pfeffern will), vor allem kreativ und am Ende hat man auch noch was schoenes, das man vorzeigen und tragen kann. Fuer jemanden wie mich, der kreativ ist und staendig friert, ist es das ideale Hobby.

In welchen Communities und auf welchen Seiten zum Thema Stricken bist du unterwegs?
Natuerlich auf Ravelry! Ansonsten gibt es ein Team auf Etsy fuer Stricker, da bin ich aber dann eher nur geschaeftlich zu finden, wenn auch selten. Und natuerlich findet man mich bei AbsoKnittingLutely!

Wie viel Ufos nennst du derzeit dein eigen?
Nur drei, was zwar nicht viel ist, aber es sind groessere Projekte:

1. The Beekeeper's Quilt - Ich moechte ihn doppelt so gross machen, wie im Pattern angegeben, also kann das noch dauern. Die einzelnen Hexipuffs sind zwar schnell gemacht, aber mir ist nicht immer danach. Zur Zeit mache ich da eine kleine Pause.
2. Seascape Stole - Da er mit sehr duenner Wolle auf sehr glatten Nadeln gestrickt wird, dauert er sehr lange und bedarf meiner ganzen Konzentration. Das ist mir auf Dauer zu anstrengend, also stricke ich an ihm immer ab und zu mal zwischen Projekten etwas weiter.
3. Kleine Bachforelle - Von mir umbenannt in Grosse Bachforelle, da ich sie doppelt so breit stricke. Die Charts waren so unuebersichtlich, dass mir eine gute Freundin einen einzigen vollstaendigen Chart dazu zusammengebastelt hat. Ich bin allerdings noch nicht sehr weit gekommen, da die Maschenanzahl bei der letzten Reihe so gar nicht stimmt. Da muss ich, wenn ich wieder mehr Musse habe, mal genauer nachschauen und eventuell ribbeln.
Und nun zu guter Letzt reiche ich das Stoeckchen nun weiter an Alke. Leider kenne ich hauptsaechlich Blogger, die bei so etwas nicht mitmachen, daher die sehr kleine Auswahl. Wie wuerdet ihr die Fragen beantworten? Ich bin gespannt und wuensche viel Spass!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Rosebud from Berlin


The rain stopped just in time for some photos today, but even though the sun didn't show we had a small blizzard that turned all of Bath into a winter wonderland. What a backdrop for my new shawl!
It snowed so hard when I went out that the flakes quickly began to cover the shawl. The snow weighed down the branches of the trees, which was a very convenient photo opportunity too
It was early morning and very quiet and empty in town. The wind was strong enough to blind me with snowflakes, but it was lovely! Considering I was the one who loudly objected to snow not too long ago, it's surprising how much I am enjoying this.

The shawl is amazingly light and silky. Although it is unsuitable for the current weather, I will have something nice to put on once it gets warmer again. I can't wait for spring! What are you looking forward to?

Travelling Woodsman: PDF Pattern in Progress

I am currently working the pattern to my Travelling Woodsman fingerless gloves from December. I hope to have a PDF ready as soon as my test knitters are done and can give me feedback. 

This is one of only very times I have actually written down a pattern for others. This one has written instructions and a chart for the design on the back of the glove so there is lots of potential for errors on my part! I hope that whatever may be wrong will be picked up by my test knitters in the process.

I was quite excited to be writing a charted pattern, actually. I like charts. All in all I think the pattern, though not particularly difficult, is best for knitters who have knit gloves before and who are somewhat experienced at least when it comes to reading patterns, simply based on the way I write them. I try to make them as clear as possible, but I sometimes have odd ways of writing things down when it comes to gloves, I think.

We will see how things go.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Rosebud Shawl: Blocking in Progress

The Rosebud shawl is off the needles! Sound the trumpets and spread the word! 
I blocked it over night and it seems to be dry already so I will unpin it in a moment and see how it looks. When the sun comes out again (who knows when in grey old England) I will be able to take more decent photos of the final result. I apologise for the bad quality picture in today's post - it's gloomy over here.

I kept to the original instructions for the pattern, but I did add an additional pattern repeat of chart B because it looked like I had lots of yarn left. In the end I would probably have got away with knitting two additional repeats, so that's good to know for future reference should I ever knit this shawl again. 

Towards the second half of the edging I suddenly had a different stitch count than the chart called for, but I improvised. Since the stitches were the same on both sides of the spine at least it was an even inconsistency. To be honest, you can't tell the difference in the finished shawl, so I'm very happy with it.

You would think I have had enough of shawls for a while, but no: next I intend to knit a shawl of my own design with the skeins of Fyberspates Scrumpious (chunky) that I have had for about three years. They were just too pretty to be used for just anything, but I think I can't possibly have too many shawls. They are keeping me nice and warm this winter.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Etsy: Birds and Strawberries

While I toil away at the Rosebud shawl some more (I am definitely nearing the end now so I hope to post about the finished item in a week or two), here is an update on what has been added to the shop:
More birds, though they are different from the blue birds from the last update, and strawberries. I will be making some new stitch markers again later today and am trying to think of new designs. I will definitely make a new set of muffins - time consuming, but they are very popular.

Recently, I have been looking out for stamps I could use with polymer clay, but I haven't yet found the right thing. Maybe I am just too picky, but I do want something that is pefect for the job after all. I'll keep an eye out, but in the meantime I should really get on with Rosebud.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Etsy: Birds and Bunnies and Valentines

Today's shop update includes a set of bird stitch markers that I have fallen utterly in love with! They turned out so well that I had to make a set just for myself, but a second set is available here now. Also new in the shop are two sets of candy coloured Easter bunnies and a set of hand-stamped Valentine hearts. 

Soon there will also be sets of strawberries and more birds, slightly different from the ones featured today. Keep your eyes peeled!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Etsy: Final Items Listed

Today I've listed all my remaining stock, so it is time to start crafting new things! Now you can also find some items suitable for Valentine's Day at AbsoKnittingLutely such as the heart keychain made from a large shimmering glass bead and a beaded bracelet in white and pale pink tones. 

This week I will be making more stitch markers - yesterday I already made two sets of strawberry markers and I plan to add bunnies, birds, stamped owl markers and more. I look forward to it!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Etsy: Beach Huts, Whales and Yarn Dyeing

After a surprisingly good start to the year at AbsoKnittingLutely, I need to come up with some new stitch marker designs and remake some of my previous ones. There are still quite a few in the shop, but I have no more to list in the near future. Next week will therefore be craft week, I think!

My latest additions are whales and new beach huts for your knitting. It may be winter, but it is the perfect time to dream of the summer. I could certainly use some sunshine right about now and I have been yearning for a beach holiday for ages.That might explain the seaside theme here!
In other news, I have decided to make my yarn dyeing a seasonal thing. Considering how cold my flat is in the winter, that is a very sensible thing. Anything that needs drying just takes far too long, so dyeing isn't really an option. So the yarns you find in the shop are the only ones you will find there until the weather improves and it gets warmer. My hands are itching to play with wool and dyes again, so come on spring!


Thursday, 3 January 2013

First Project of 2013: Rosebud Shawl

The first knitting project in 2013 is Rosebud, a shawl by Tincanknits. I have just the right yarn for it too, a hand-dyed laceweight skein from my friend Ela. Rosebud seemed just the right pattern for the yarn, allowing the subtle colour changes to show in each blossom. 
The pattern itself isn't difficult though you do have to watch out for the repeats. The instructions are charted, but they don't mention explicitly how to repeat sections. If you are familiar with lace charts, it won't be much of a problem. There are three different charts, of which only one is repeated, so I expect it will be a straightforward knit. 

I am not sure yet how many repeats of the main body chart I will knit, though it will be at least the minimum 4 repeats. When I finish those, I will have a look at how much yarn is left and go on from there.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Sushi Cravings

Yesterday I made a pair of sushi earrings - blame my sushi cravings of the past few months - and this morning I couldn't resist and made some for myself too. The first pair is now in my shop, a month after I first sold a sushi necklace there. I really enjoy making sushi from polymer clay even though it takes up a lot of time. The results are worth it though. Just look at those tiny translucent grains of rice! I will be sure to make more.


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Last Project of 2012

Happy New Year, dear readers!

Yes, 2012 has passed and now we will all have to get used to writing 2013. Wanna bet I will forget it as soon as I need to date anything? I usually do.

My last knitting project in 2012 was a pair of fingerless gloves for my boyfriend's birthday. I sewed in the last threads on New Year's Eve and here they are, the Travelling Woodsman Gloves:
This is an improvised pattern you won't find anywhere - at least not to my knowledge. I am considering making it available on Ravelry and my Etsy shop as some point, but first I need to tweak the pattern a little bit and get some test knitters involved. 

You will be able to knit these easily if you can knit cables, increase and decrease stitches, and know how to knit and purl. That's it.

So what do knit now? I haven't yet decided and will have to go through my stash and patterns to see what I could do next. My fingers are already itching for something new to do!