Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Bamboo Socks - Finished!

My mother asked for a pair of socks this Christmas, but not just any old socks. No, they had to be suitable for wearing with flip flops! Well, "gesagt, getan", as we say in German, and there I was, knitting this pair with two different coloured balls of yarn.
I have written the pattern down and will publish it at a later date once it has been tested. The hardest part about all this is really sewing in all the ends. Because I knitted stripes, there are two ends for each stripe that have to be woven into the fabric in the end. Not much fun, I can tell you that! Of course you can knit these socks in just one colour if you want to save yourself the trouble. In the end you'll have a lovely warm pair of socks and it's all worth it.
The toe section is quite simple once you have determined how you want to divide the stitches. I am very pleased with how it turned out. The colours remind me a bit of bamboo, hence the name. As you can see in the photos, I ran out of yarn towards the end, resulting in toes of a different colour! They were meant to be green, not brown. Oops.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Next Project: Kyna Shawl

At long last I have finished knitting the socks I started in September, so it's time to plan my next project. And I've already found it!
(Image source: Lucy Hague)

As soon as I saw the Kyna shawl pattern, I knew I wanted to knit it for myself. I just love the cables and also the fact that it is knitted sideways - a nice change from the usual top-down or bottom-up shawls. But the best thing is that I have just the right yarn in my stash too.

The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn, so I'll be using my squishy skein of Colinette Jitterbug in the colourway Copperbeech. 
(Image source: Colinette)

The photo on the Colinette website does not do it justice; Copperbeech has a wonderful sheen and it is very squishy like all of the range's yarn. I did not some time to get used to the colour, but I do love it now because of the many little spots of colour among the rich brown. It will be fantastic to knit with, I'm sure. Originally, I couldn't find a nice shawl pattern for this yarn's yardage, so I'm really glad I came across Kyna at last.

Now I just hope my tension is right and I don't run out of yarn before the end! What are you planning to do next?

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Books: Tausendschön - Das Lilane

Quite a while back I won the purple sock pattern book from Tausendschön in a giveaway and it has finally arrived!
It is a booklet containing six sock patterns that mainly seem easy to knit, as far as I can tell at first glance. (Here you can see a list of them. I especially like the Rapunzel socks.) I must say I am glad the instructions include charts because German knitting instructions just confuse me.

Regina Satta, the designer, is very popular among German knitters and I had heard of her booklets so often that I was keen to get my hands on one of them at some point. I have previously knit one of her patterns, Boxi, which I think is typical of her designs in its look and also in the ease with which you can knit her socks. You don't need to be an expert sock knitter, the patterns are simple to knit even though some may look daunting with the amount of cabling that's involved. To me, Satta is a designer of comfortable, easy knits. Sometimes they different designs are a bit too repetitive for me, though. If, however, easy, reliable patterns sound like your cup of tea, I recommend checking out her designs.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Guest Post: Why you should learn to crochet

Please welcome June, who has agreed to guest blog here on Abso-knitting-lutely today. Read about her take on the advantages of crochet, including many health benefits. Enjoy!

Crocheting allows even relative beginners to produce articles that are attractive and that serve a purpose. There are so many amazing and easy crochet patterns on the internet. Having others admire something that we have created with our own hands fulfils the need for self-expression that is inherent in all human beings. Those of us who are not a Picasso or Chopin in the making have no lesser need to be artistically expressive and crochet is a wonderful medium for accomplishing this. That is not to say that crochet work cannot find its way into an art museum. As detailed on Wikipedia, HildurBjarnadóttir of Iceland has magnificent examples of the art on permanent display at the Reykjavik Art Museum. It seems then that this is a craft that can take you as far as you wish to go.

Who Benefits Most From Learning to Crochet



http://www.flickr.com/photos/29694534@N03/
by Crafty Kitten

As a therapeutic tool, crochet can relieve the effects of stress and tension that most people experience in the normal course of modern-day living. Lengthy travel on a crowded bus or tube can be made more bearable if you are able to escape your circumstances by becoming immersed in the process of creating something of beauty. The same can be applied to most daily stresses and so to most people.

The value of the act of creating is discussed by Kathryn on a blog entitled, Crochet in Therapy vs Crochet as Therapy. She gives a few examples of the role crocheting can play in providing neutral ground as a much-needed, temporary respite for a group who suffer similar medical conditions. She also provides interviews with a few well-known personalities from the crafts world and others who admit to having found great relief from diverse psychological problems, including severe depression, in the act of crocheting.

Why Crocheting?



http://www.flickr.com/photos/easymakesmehappy/
by Easymakesmehappy

The type of therapeutic value found in crocheting is not unique to this craft, but the ease with which it can be learned adds to its attraction. Young children are quickly able to grasp the basics and begin to use this medium as a form of self-expression. There are a few incidences found online that describe the benefits of crocheting for persons suffering from self-esteem issues. These have included substance abusers and it seems logical that replacing destructive behaviour with a positive, creative act would produce a positive result.

People have always tended to associate art with drawing or painting, which is why so many persons profess to have no artistic talent whatsoever. It follows that those with self-esteem issues would discover surprising new aspects of their identity by actually producing an attractive and useful crocheted article. A first taste of admiration from others could motivate a desire to master this craft. It is also quite possible that this unexpected realisation could be the key to unlocking a hidden and quite unique talent regarding other art forms.

Conclusion

Of the many benefits to be found in learning to crochet, one is the fact that if you cannot find the exact item of clothing that you want, you can make it yourself. This could evolve into quite a lucrative small business if others begin to admire your unique creations. Crocheting can be a confidence builder that breaks the mental barriers constructed by low self-esteem and allows the creative mind to roam unrestricted through an infinite treasure trove of possibilities. Just a hook and some yarn are all that is needed to create a fresh mind-set and an exciting new beginning.

---This article was written by June, she loves finding new patterns online. Her favorite person to knit for is her daughter. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Branching Out: DaWanda

Given that I am German and therefore have the ability to naturally expand my German market, it makes sense for me to open a shop on DaWanda. So I did it! Have a look and check out the look and feel of the place if you haven't been there before.

This shop is not yet fully stocked, as you can see, but you can still go to my shop on Etsy. I look forward to meeting new customers, especially German ones! But don't worry: you will still have the choice between shopping with me on Etsy or DaWanda, whichever you feel most comfortable with, as both will stay available, .

While international customers will see my DaWanda shop in English, German customers will see it in German. Neat, eh? I look forward to engaging with the community there and meeting new people.

Have you bought something from DaWanda or other platform? What do you think  of those venues?

Friday, 11 October 2013

Interview: Abso-knitting-lutely on Art of Crafts

Alison from Art of Crafts has published her interview with me on her website, so go have a look and check out the other artists who have been featured previously. If you are an avid follower of the craft scene, you might recognise some of the faces there.

In the interview you will find out how I got started, what I do on an average day, and what my other hobbies are.

Also, have a look at my new banner and profile picture in my shop. The banner doesn't make quite as much of an impact as the old one, but I like how it is cleaner and fresher. Oh, and there's a new blog banner as well!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Tutorial: Christmas Bauble



You will need:

·      2.5 mm DPNs
·      Leftover sock yarn in 2 colours
·      Polyester fibre 

Note: Fill the bauble with polyester fibre as you go.


Abbreviations:


CO: cast on
BO: bind off
sts: stitches
k: knit
kfb: knit front and back
ssk: Slip the next two stitches and then insert the left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches and knit them together.
k2tog: knit 2 stitches together

Make the bauble:

CO 12 sts on DPNs

Knit in the round according to chart, repeating the pattern on each needle. Increases are made on first and last stitches by knitting into front and back of the stitch. Knit decreases as follows: ssk first stiches and k2tog last stiches.

 Click to enlarge:


Once the chart is knitted, k2tog till there are 6 sts left.


Loop:

Knit icord: k all stitches in the round till it is 6 cm long. BO with Kitchener stitch. Fold the loop and sew it into place at the bottom of the loop. Done!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Threads of Doom

The one thing I don't like about knitting is weaving in the ends. So what possessed me to knit socks in alternating colours? Now I have a bazillion ends to weave into the finished sock. Each sock! Grrr.

I've written the pattern down so I can share it with you once it's been tested. I'll also be sharing the joy of the Threads of Doom! Muahahaha!