Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sock Wash and Sort Out


Perhaps the best thing to do to ease back into everyday life after being ill for over a week is to give your knitted socks a wash. Even though I am not fond of washing my socks by hand, it is something that needs to be done - and I will forever be grateful for the existence of no-rinse wool wash. Please tell me I am not the only one who doesn't look forward to this! Anyway, I've finally washed all the socks that have been waiting for over two weeks so now my collection is complete again and ready to be worn. 

Having had a look at my big bag of socks, there are quite a few that are no longer in the best shape and some don't fit anymore. It's probably time to unravel them and knit new ones. I am finding it hard to do that, though, because a lot of work went into each pair. But then why hold on to a pair that doesn't fit and will only lie about in the bag, never to be worn again?

Some of the yarns are too nice to just be thrown away. I am also very fond of some patterns and might reknit those despite never knitting the same thing twice. It's a shame that some of my favourites  especially have shrunk a bit in the wash!

What do you do with old knitted socks? Do they end up in the bin or do you try to salvage the yarn? How frequently do you have a sort out?

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Wool Tribe 2017 Is Here


If you are one of the lucky ones going to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival  (EYF) on the 10th and 11th March this year, I envy you! It was a great event last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This year I won't be able to make it - due to my upcoming wedding, I need to save up as much holiday as I can. So a few days in Edinburgh are not on the cards this time, but I am sure I will go again one day.

Like last year, there is a new Wool Tribe companion magazine for EYF, full of specially selected patterns and other information about Edinburgh, woolly crafts, and the festival itself. At the back of the issue you'll find a floor plan and list of vendors, which is extremely helpful if, like me, you like to plan which stalls to hit first. My motto: Efficiency is key! AKA: Just be German.

I have to say that I prefer the first issue of Wool Tribe: Both the aesthetic as well as the patterns were far more appealling to me and the articles in it were more up my alley than this year. I am a little disappointed, but I wanted this magazine nonetheless because it is a part of EYF and I enjoyed it so much before. This year, by the way, there is even a crochet pattern in Wool Tribe, but as I don't like crochet, it isn't for me either.

The magazine contains patterns from Donna Smith, Renee Callahan, Francesca Hughes, Clare Devine, Jane Crowfoot, and Amanda B Collins. As knitters you will have come across at least some of them so you can be sure the patterns are well written and you may be familiar with their styles.


My favourite pattern is the Belsyde Shawl pictured above. I am not convinced by the zigzag along the body, but still. The colour choice is great and I very much like the YO pattern along the short edge as well. Besides, you can never really go wrong with a shawl, can you?

In Wool Tribe you will also find another trail guiding you through a part of Edinburgh. Last year's craft, coffee and cake trail was a great success, but this year's trail will lead you to new areas, encompassing  Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat. This trail was chosen to offer you a wonderful view of the area and its landmarks. At the end you will be rewarded with a visit to Scotland's oldest pub, the 14th century Sheep Heid Inn


This year there are articles again that I look forward to reading in a quiet moment. However, there is one about machine knitting that I am not (yet) in the mood to read because I really don't like the idea of machine knitting. I apologise for not being able to give you any details about the articles, but I haven't yet managed to bring myself to read the articles yet. This shows you just how different my overall impression of this year's issue is, actually. Last year I couldn't wait to get stuck in and read it from cover to cover. This time it's taking a while for me to be drawn in.

That's not to say that it isn't up to scratch. This issue simply doesn't contain things I like and this was bound to happen at some point. We all like different things and not everything can be featured in a single magazine. So don't let me put you off! If you like the patterns, go for it. If you are a fan of EYF as I am, definitely get your hands on a copy if you can. I for my part am really looking forward to the third issue in 2018 and I will absolutely buy it again.

The magazine comes with a Ravelry download code so you can add it to your library and have the patterns handy and ready to print whenever you need them. You can buy the latest issue of Wool Tribe right here on the EYF website where you can also see all the featured patterns.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

PussyHats Galore


Please excuse my silence over the past week. With so many crazy things happening in the world right now, I was not in the mood for blogging even though I do have things to tell you about. I am a little late now in showing you my tiny bit of craftivism, but I am sure it will still be needed in the future.

I am sure you heard about the Women's March on Washington that took place the day after the US president's inauguration. I hear it was the largest march of its kind in history and it did not confine itself to Washington or even the US. There were marches all over the world, even here in the UK. The closest one to me was in London. While I didn't march personally, I knew this was big and important. So I decided to show my solidarity with these women (and men) who marched that day, picked pink yarn from my stash and started knitting my own PussyHat as they marched and I followed them on Twitter and the news.


PussyHats are a symbol of resistance, of rights for women. They are a reaction to Trump's policies and his disgusting claim that if you're famous, you can "grab them by the pussy" and they'll let you, "you can do anything." You will have seen images of the march and the sea of pink PussyHats. It was truly a sight to behold.

So on that day I knitted from late morning till evening, but had to stop shortly before I could finish the final bit of ribbing. When I finally sewed the seams and wove in the ends, it was too late for the march, of course, but that didn't stop me from wearing the hat at work the following week. 

It was a great success with colleagues who are  involved in politics and follow current developments both at home and abroad. My Spanish colleague took this photo of me to share with her friends.

Interestingly, this hat pattern has now been adapted for a different cause altogether, though one closer to home. Some crafty EU-nationals living in the UK are preparing to protest against the treatment of us as bargaining chips in this Brexit... fiasco, for lack of a better word. They plan to wear a blue hat with yellow stars that reflects the EU flag. I think that is a great idea! (You can also find a classic beanie knitting pattern to go with the cause here.)

If you are an EU-national in the UK, by the way, and want to stay up-to-date with developments as they pertain to our status here post-Brexit, feel free to join the3million on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. We cannot rely on politicians doing the right thing. We must make sure we are heard.

And this is probably as political a post as I am ever going to write on this blog. At least I hope there won't be a need for any more.