My knitting mojo is still somewhere in hiding (definitely fed up from all the awful weather), but at least I got my act together to work a bit on all the pattern I plan to re-release this year. These once are the Valar Socks, published first in Knitscene Spring 2015.
The socks are knit from the cuff down, and their main feature is a lace pattern reminiscent of blossoms. Knit in a happy yellow - what better way is there to chase away the weather blues?
Let's kick off the new year as the old one ended - with a new sock pattern: Picnic.
Picnic is also an addition to my (No longer virtual) Friends collection and the pattern came to life because of my visit to the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY, in 2016. Not only was it a fantastic show, but it also gave me the opportunity to meet with long-time Ravelry friends for the first time. Meeting point: Around noon in the picnic area.
How about a new sock pattern before the year is over? Acorns is another addition to my (No longer virtual) Friends collection, these ones designed for Stacy who I had the pleasure to meet last year in Rhinebeck.
When travelling to that small town in New York, our route led us through long stretches of autumn forest. Maples, birches, oaks and several other kinds of trees formed the most beautiful scenery. No wonder, I picked a stitch pattern that reminded me of acorns for Stacy’s socks.
Let's chat some more about the socks it all began with, shall we? As I told you when I introduced the Irish at Heart collection the other day, it all started with self-striping sock yarn in - at least for me - Irish colours. Now, as much as I love self-striping yarn when it's in the skein, I find it kind of boring to knit plain Vanilla socks, so most often I try to manipulate the sripes somehow. In this case, working a slipped stitch here and there, the stripes turned into hearts and the idea for Irish at Heart was born.
In the picture above you can see at the toe the plain stripes the yarn forms without any manipulation. To turn it into a pattern like the all-over heart pattern, the yarn needs to have a certain stripe squence and in addition the width of the sock needs to be chosen according to the yarn.
In my sample the yardage of the small stripes is sufficient for two rounds plain Stockinette on socks with 64 stititches, which I was able to turn into three rounds in slipped stitches on socks with 60 sts. Of course it needs a bit of calculation, trial and error and you shouldn't be too persnickety about always working full rounds (I did start the new heart stripe whenever the yarn changed), but it is a fun experiment to try.
No matter where you are in Ireland you’ll come across one of the island’s most popular symbols: the Shamrock. According to legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain about the Trinity when he was trying to convert the Irish to Christianity. Nowadays many companies use it as part of their emblem and you find it on many Irish souvenirs. It is not a symbol for luck as such– as is a four leaf clover – but wearing a shamrock on St Patrick’s Day is believed to bring good luck and blessings!
The socks are knitted cuff down with heel flap and gusset. They feature an all-over textured pattern in which knit and purl stitches form shamrocks. This pattern looks best in a solid or semi-solid yarn.
When you visit Dingle, a town on the Dingle peninsula in county Kerry, you will definitely hear about the town’s famous ‘inhabitant’: Fungie, also known as the Dingle Dolphin. Fungie is a bottle nose dolphin who, according to the locals, was first seen in Dingle’s harbour in 1983 and who has stayed in the Dingle Bay ever since. There are boat tours to watch Fungie and the townspeople even built a statue in his honor.
The socks are knitted cuff down with a heel flap and gusset. On the leg, there is a dophin motif in stranded knitting and to accommodate the tighter fit of stranded knitting there are stitches increased before that section, which get decreased again when the section is finished. The remaining sock is knitted in a textured pattern, reminiscent of waves.
I’ve visited Ireland several times and I’ve learnt that the prejudice that it always rains in Ireland is not true – but it does indeed rain a lot. There is a reason why the Irish use so many words to describe the different types of rain: it spits, drizzles, teems, buckets down and there are a lot more expressions. Even on the sunniest of days the rain is only ‘hiding’ and never far away – just like in these socks.
The socks are knitted toe up. They feature a raindrop pattern in illusion knitting technique: the socks are knitted in stripes, with one colour at the time, and the position of the knit and purl stitches and the shadows the raised stitches cast, create a pattern. So depending on the angle you look at the sock, sometimes the raindrops are visible and sometimes they are not. If you've never tried illusion kintting, it really is worth it. It's an interesting technique, easy to learn and with a stunning result.
I enjoy cheerful and lively traditional Irish music and it is always a treat to watch Irish dancers in their colourful costumes dancing jigs and reels.This sock pattern was inspired by the so-called ‘Poodle Socks’ worn by Irish dancers.
The socks are knitted cuff down with a short-row heel. They are worked with a ribbed section around the foot, just as traditional dancing socks. The toe is worked as a spiral toe. The lace pattern worked on the leg is embellished with beads (optional, placed with a crochet hook while knitting).
In almost any small town in Ireland you still find independent shops. There are small hardware stores where you can buy the exact number of nails or screws you need and are not obliged to buy the whole bulk pack. In Germany, most independent small town businesses are long gone and were replaced by chain stores, so visiting this kind of shop in Ireland feels like a journey into childhood.
The socks feature a textured pattern with small stripes with different motifs, just as the 'bits and pieces' you can buy at O'Leary's. They are knitted cuff down with heel flap and gusset. The textured pattern is continued onto the gusset; the heel flap is worked with slipped stitches.
Sláinte (pronounced ˈslaːntʃə‘) is the Irish word for ‘health‘ and it is the thing to say before you take the first sip of your drink. There are literally thousands of pubs in Ireland, with cosy décor and always friendly guests to chat with, so it’s one of the Irish words almost everyone learns when visiting Ireland.
The socks are knitted cuff down and this is with its intricate cable patterns probably the pair which goes best with what is considered Irish knitting tradition. I chose a special heel for this pair: heel flap and gusset are integrated into the leg and are knitted in the round which leads to the particular look as shown below.
The N17 is a national road in western Ireland that runs from Galway through Mayo to Sligo. When travelling along that road for the first time, I realized that the scenery indeed looks like in the song ‘N17’ by my favourite Irish band The Saw Doctors: Stone walls and the grass is green…
The socks are knit in an easy to memorise textured pattern with elongated slipped stitches to represent the many stone walls along the N17. They are worked curff down with heel flap and gusset. The pattern works pretty well with variegated yarns.
Something that makes me smile every time we visit Ireland is the way many houses are painted in bright and cheerful colours – what a happy sight, even on days when the weather is dreary. Dingle, a town on the Dingle Peninsula in county Kerry, has lots and lots of coloured houses and for me it's one of the most cheerful places I've ever seen.
The socks are knitted in with rows of houses in stranded knitting; cuff down with a heel flap and gusset. The gusset decreases are done in pattern at the sole. To accommodate the tighter fit of stranded knitting, these parts are worked on larger needles. I recommend the use as a very colourful yarn with a long colour run as the contrast colour.
This pattern in the Irish at Heart collection came to life because Ireland has such a rich culture of storytelling and is famous for its fairy-lore. You can take tours to visit fairy forts, buy a fairy door to invite a fairy to your home and the fairies sometimes even get blamed for any mishaps. When visiting Ireland you are surrounded by fairy tales all the time and it might happen you are away with the fairies…
The stitch pattern I've chosen, is an overall lace and cable pattern which goes in my opinion very well with cute fairy socks and is interesting to knit. The socks are worked cuff down with heel flap and gusset.
The centrepiece of the collection I talked about yesterday are naturally the socks I shown on the title: the pattern everything started with. However, I came to realize rather quickly, that it might be not the best idea to ask people to use a self-striping yarn and then just try whether the pattern works or not. So I came up with this version, which is easy to make and can be customized to your liking.
On a solid background, the heart motifs in slipped stitches are worked using small amounts of contrast coloured yarn. In my sample with three colours, approximately 10 g of each colour are needed. But the choice is all yours: Use as many different colours as you like (and maybe use up those odds and ends we all have from previous projects), work the heart stripes at different intervals, the possibilities to make this pattern your own are endless. By the way, the pattern is done in mosaic knitting with slipped stitches, so you only work with one colour at the time.
Ich kann es wirklich kaum glauben, dass es sooo lange gedauert hat, bis ich nun endlich diesen Post schreibe: aber heute ist der große Tag und ich kann eines meiner Lieblingsprojekte mit Euch teilen. Es ist eine Sammlung von 10 Sockenmustern, die alle nur entstanden sind, weil meine Freundin Laurel Wolle gefärbt hat, um genau zu sein eine neue Farbefür ihre Twisted Sisters. Dies Garnsets für gestreifte Socken, bestehen aus zwei 50 Gram Knäuel und das Besondere ist, das die Farben in den Knäuel vertauscht sind. Und als ich diese Farbe sah, war es sofort um mich geschehen: O'Malley.
Denkt Ihr dabei nicht sofort an Irland? Mir, die ich natürlich auch eine Schwäche für Irland habe, ging es sofot so und natürlich musste ich die Wolle kaufen und begann sofort zu stricken, als sie in meinem Briefkasten gelandet war. Und die Farben brachten mich auf so viele Ideen - so viele, dass heute eine ganze Kollektion neuer Sockenmuster erschienen ist: Irish at Heart.
I can't believe it took me this long to finally write this post, but today is the day: one of my pet projects is ready for everyone to enjoy. It is a collection of 10 sock patterns and it started with some yarn my friend Laurel dyed a couple of years ago for her Twisted Sisters range. These yarn sets consist of two 50 g skeins of fingering weight yarn, self-striping and with reversed colours and this particular colourway 'spoke' to me right away: O'Malley.
Doesn't it make you think of Ireland right away? Well, it sure did make me think - no wonder being a huge fan of Ireland - and of course I had to get a set for myself and I started to knit it up the moment it arrived. And it gave me ideas - so many, that today a new collection of sock patterns is available from my Ravelry store: Irish at Heart.
The weather we currently have definitely calls for warm socks, so no wonder I looked at the pile of socks from past publications,sitting in a box in my office, warming themselves. Why, you ask? Because I store them there until I get round to re-release the pattern. So it's a happy day today, because not only one, but two pairs of socks made there way into our sock drawers, with just one pattern new in my store: Classy Squares.
The socks, knitted from the cuff down, feature a colourwork pattern at leg and foot, which changes the main colour back and forth. The cuff and the toe are worked in one colour, while the leg and the instep are worked in the second colour.
While I told you about the socks I designed for Knitcrate, I haven't showed you the pictures yet I took before I had to send my sample. And believe me, it was hard to let them go, because I so loved the yarn I used by Chasing Rabbits Fiber Co. Even though Fern comes with a nylon content, which I personally like for socks because it adds durability, the yarn is oh-so-soft and wonderful to work with. Not to mention its great stitch definition. I think the 'pairing' of the design with this great yarn worked just fine.
The next pictures shows the heel details of the Thunderbolt Socks. I've become really addicted to integrated heels lately. The fit is just as great as it is with socks with heel flap and gusset, so this heel version is perfect for me. And it is so versatile, so many possibilities to work it. For Thunderbolt I split it into four increase section which blend perfectly into the pattern.
Slowly, very slowly making my way through all the patterns with rights returned to me, after they were published in magazins. It sure takes its time, even though it's mostly reformatting and changes in wording to make the patterns even more clear. But well, today I've made a bit of progress: Pillars of the Earth is now available from my Ravelry store, here.
The main feature of these cuff down socks is a classy, yet elegant stitch pattern that resembles a cable pattern, but the effect is easily created with decreases and increases. The wide panels are worked on the front and the back of the socks and are reminiscent of stable pillars used for centuries in many architectural styles.
I know how many people love to receive surprise yarn packages, so I was tickled when the folks from Knitcrate contacted me and asked whether I'd design a sock pattern for them. I did, and this month it is finally reveal time: Thunderbolt Socks.
The pattern is only available in the current kit from this site, here, but in case you love the crate including the yarn by Chasing Rabbits
Fiber Co (in the limited edition colourway Forager's Harvest shown in the picture), I’ve got a small gift for you:
With the coupon code MONEMADE20 you’ll get your crate at 20% off.
I've got to admit, that this time coming back from holidays the 'weather blues' hit me really hard... From sunny and warm to day after day with depressing grey and cool temperatures is so not what I like. Not a big surprise, I haven't been up to much since we returned, so I decided it was high time I worked on a happy coloured me-project.
Since I worked on my sample for the Bargello Sock pattern, published in Love of Knitting Spring 2017, I've always wanted to reknit the pattern in a colourful yarn and I fell in love with this combination right from the start. It was a very addictive project, since I was all the time like 'just one more stripe' or 'just one more colour change', so no wonder these got done rather quickly. And I love how they turned out!
Another of my patterns previously released in Knit Now is finally available as an individual download: Morning Dew Socks.
These lacy socks are perfect to showcase solid or semi-solid yarns: Twining leaves run down the front and the back of the socks, embellished with small 'dew drops' from tiny bobbles. These beauties not only keep your feet warm, but are a stunning fashion accessory when worn in open shoes.
Nope, I am not losing it and know it is a tad too early to wish you a merry Christmas, but a new and christmassy pattern of mine was released in the newest Knit Picks collection Merry Knitmas.
The collection offers a variety of patterns to beautify your home for the holidays such as ornaments, stockings or home decor items. My contribution to the collection are Tiny Hearts.
So there I was, planning to knit a gift and as always I had all the time in the world... because October is soooo far away when it is only January and you buy the yarn for the gift... So eventually I had to do some speed knitting, but ta-dah I finished in time. My Blue of the Heavens Shawl is done, blocked and will go straight into my suitcase. Better pics will have to wait until we are in our holiday destination and I can't wait for my friend to arrive next week to see whether she likes her gift. 'Gift giving anxiety', as always...
So happy to tell you that the Deep Fall issue of Knitty is now live and includes a brand-new sock pattern of mine: High Voltage!
As most of you know, I love to try out different knitting techniques and I found it quite amazing how easy vertical stranding is to work, but what a unique look can be created with it. With vertical stranding, it is easy to create an eye-catching feature for colorful background yarns that tend to overrule complicated stitch patterns and so look best in plain stockinette stitch.
The latest issues of Knitting Traditions 2017 is now available and as always it is a travel back in time. This issue takes you to the Great Exhibition of 1851, an event that inspired World’s Fairs for more than a century. If you'd like to know more about the Great Exhibition, there's tons of information on the internet, for example here, on Wikipedia.
The magazine contains 18 projects, split into three themes 'The World's Fair' story with articles and projects inspired by the Great Exhibition, 'Curiosities' based on the wonders of ancient Egypt and other exotic places and 'Knight on the Town' with medieval-inspired knits.
When I read the call for submission a while back, what came to my mind first was the impressive building set up to house the Great Exhibition, the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London. It was one of the monuments of 19th century architecture. Built from iron girders and glass, pre-fabricated and then assembled onsite, the building had a never seen before open and airy appearance, which was copied for many buildings to come.
My contribution to the magazine, the Crystal Palace Shawl is a semi-circle shaped shawl knit from the top down. Stripes in twisted Stockinette stitch to symbolize the iron-cast girders alternate with wider stripes in a Shetland lace pattern to symbolize the huge window panes. The shape was chosen to resemble the entrance halls ceiling.
Nope, not getting all philosophic, but it's just the name of my brand-new sock pattern: The Way it Goes. It is the next pattern in my (No longer virtual) Friends collection designed for a very special friend in the US.
For these socks I used a yarn I bought when I met the recipient in person last year. It is a White Birch Fiber Arts 80/20 SW merino, nylon sock set and oh my, it is the most beautiful gradient yarn I've ever used for socks! I only wish I had bought some more sets when I had the opportunity. Sigh. Anyway, here's a progress shot that show the beautful yarn
The socks were designed for my long-time Ravelry friend Patti. Over the years we’ve known each other, there were quite some incidents and changes in her life and I wanted to use a stitch pattern
to reflect this and to symbolize that it is hard to predict what happens next in life. So I chose an all-over pattern, which zig-zags from left to right, but which on the heel flap and the
instep leads smoothly into diagonal, yet straight forward lines, since there’s always hope life’s journey will follow a calmer path in the future.
Yep, I am lame... at least when it comes to self-publish patterns that were previously published in a magazine. But well, there are only so many hours in a day and somehow... sigh. Anyway, as of today, the Crossers Socks, first published in Knit Now Magazine in June 2016, are now available as an individual download.
I really love the pattern because it is so interesting to knit. The all-over stitch pattern combines different knitting techniques: textured diamonds. bordered by eyelets for a lacy look, which are embedded in stripes in Stockinette stitch which form crosses thanks to small cables. A sock pattern which crosses the ‘borders’ between different techniques, hence the name: Crossers.
Most of the time, when I start with a design, I have the idea for a pattern and then I rummage through my stash to see what yarn to try it with. Sometimes, though, I see a beautiful yarn that gives me an idea for a pattern, so I purchase the yarn with a pattern idea in mind. This time though, I agreed to design a sock pattern with the yarn chosen by someone else. So you can imagine that I was quite curious what would be in the package when the yarn arrived. And it was this
Flying Goats Farm Corriedale Socks in a beautiful mix of browns and blues in a colourway called Cowboy. I loved the colours the moment I saw them but then, it was easy to tell that it is a busy yarn and that the stitch pattern had to be carefully chosen. I took it with me on holidays and swatched... and swatched some more... and some more. And finally I came up with this
My favourite summer flowers are by far sunflowers. For me they are just a happy sight, even though they symbolize that summer is almost over when they are in full bloom.
So why not knit their happy look on a pair of socks to wear when the weather is grey and dull?
The socks were designed to resemble a sunflower. They are knitted cuff down with heel flap and gusset. The cuff, heel flap and toe are done in contrast coloured yarn, to resemble the seeds, while the petals are worked into the main coloured body of the socks. The petals care formed with small 1/1 cables, slipped stitches, moss and seed stitch.
I told you last week about the Guernsey Shawl pattern in Love of Knitting, Fall 2017, but in fact there's more to tell. The second pattern of mine that was released in the same issue, is the Chequers Brioche Scarf.
Two-colour brioche forms squares of colour and texture. Easy to knit, but such an interesting look.
My Guernsey Shawl pattern got released in the latest issue of Love of Knitting, Fall 2017. A really big shawl in aran weight yarn
- perfect to keep you warm on the coldest of days. So my type of shawl!
Smiling while I type this, because for once we have the weather the season calls for in Germany, so I don't really want to think about cold days. But one has to get
prepared, don't you think?
For many years we've spent our holidays in October on the Canaries and just like us, there are many people from all over the world regulars we've met again and again. And we made friends. So much so, that when we went to Ireland a few years ago we were invited to visit them. And boy, what a great time we had! Geraldine and Richard not only welcomed us to their home, but they went out of their way to show us the town (including several pubs in town) and they even organized for me to meet their local indie dyer, Caroline from Life in the Long Grass. Well, of course I wanted to give Geraldine a nice 'thank you' and this is how the idea for this pattern started...
I played around with Shetland lace patterns, lots of beads, and a bit of maths... and a shawl came to life. The picture shows my prototype, knitted in Life in the Long Grass Silk Merino Sock, a lovely fingering weight yarn, modeled by the recipient, Geraldine, hereself. As you can see, there are a few flaws, but she was happy nevertheless. Now, I worked on the pattern and I am happy to announce that as of today, the Geraldine Shawl is available in the brandnew Knit Picks Luxurious Lace Collection.
So I convinced Ulli that it's high time for a sock photo shoot to get nice pictures of my Connect Sock, since the only ones I had were taken when we had typical grey and dull winter weather. Today's pics are much better and do the beautiful yarn, Sun Valley Fibers MCN Fingering justice. Such a wonderful colour and the yarn is oh-so-soft and wonderful to work with!
The pattern is the one I showed you a couple of days ago, Connect Socks, available in the current issue of Knit Now, but what a difference it makes when it's a semi-solid yarn instead of a multi-coulered one. It's of course a matter of taste, but I admit that I like it better this way, not the least because the yarn enhances the pattern rather than 'overwhelming' it. So, what do you think, which version do you prefer?
So, last week I told you about my Cat Love Cowl, but what I haven't yet told you is that I had another pattern in said issue of Knit Now: Connect Socks.
I called them Connect because for me they are a symbol for the ginormous amount of information available to everyone thanks to the nowadays common use of the internet.Bits of information, symbolized by columns in twisted stitches, get bundled to streams. They connect in a regular pattern with streams coming from the opposite direction and resemble a network.
As I already told you on Sunday, a new pattern of mine was released today in the brand-new issue 74 of Knit Now: The Cat Love Cowl
The cowl is knitted in in double knitting technique with a cute cat motif. It is knitted in the round, the number of stitches cast on determines the circumference of the cowl. Since there is no shaping, the project is a great project for knitters who try double knitting for the first time.
Ever since I worked as a holiday rep on the Canary Islands ages ago, it has been my favourite holiday destination and Ulli and I go there as often as possible. Not only because it's a beautiful place with fantastic weather, but over the years we've made friends and jokingly call Gran Canaria our home away from home.
One of the fab people we've met and came to like over there is Kevin. He's not only a friend, but also musician at Mulligans, the Irish Pub you shouldn't miss out on should you visit the island. I really cannot count how often we danced the night away in this place and Kevin has entertained us time and again. If you wanna know how entertaining he is, check out this video from New Year's Eve 2016 (taken by Mario Freespirit Photography), Kev and Jose keeping the folks happy a few minutes before midnight...
Best idea ever to put the annoying party horns to good use - we were there and had a blast! And I still start to smile and pretend to blow a party horn when I hear Ring of Fire...
Anyway, quite a while ago I promised to knit him socks and well, it turned out pretty difficult. Not because it takes me so long to knit socks, but you know, they were supposed to be special. So I pondered on zillions of ideas (and some of them are still floating around in my head and I hope to find the time to get back to one or the other one day), swatched, cast away the idea, started anew... you get the picture. Until finally I had THE idea: Musical socks for a musician! And as most of my knitting ideas it started with graph paper (in this case quite a lot of graph paper), a pencil and the most important item, an eraser...
I really enjoyed working on these, because I like the slightly different construction. The slanted cuff, which results from the way decreases and increases are worked to form the diagonal ribbing, give them a quite unique look.
The all-over pattern in slipped stitches looks like woven, hence the name basketwork. The stitch pattern is worked on the heel flap as well. These socks are knit toe-up and feature a heel flap and gusset for good fit, because due to the nature of the stitch pattern, the socks have a little less elasticity than knitted in different stitch patterns. Foot length and leg length are easy to adjust.
Happy day today because the lastest Knit Picks collection Artful Arches with 12 stunning sock patterns was released today. And I've got not just one, but two patterns in the collection. :)
First, there are my Basketwork Socks, one of my rare toe-up patterns. They are knit with heel flap and gusset and work very well with variegated yarns.
For quite a while there were no new socks to knit for (no longer only virtual) friends, but then, last year in October, we made another trip to the USA and Canada and I had the pleasure to meet a couple of my Ravelry friends. It has been a busy time since then, so the sock knitting and pattern writing is going slow, but one pattern is ready and was already released with the collection: the one for my dear friend Laurel.
If you've followed me here in the past few weeks, you'll already know that Laurel is a very talented indie dyer, who worked with me to dye yarns especially for the patterns I designed. You can find all the yarns in her shop on Etsy, here: SpinningFates.
It was so fantastic to finally meet the person I've been friends with for years in the Ravelry community and as Ulli said 'you clicked right away'. And yes, it was like that and I so enjoyed the time spent with her and her family! If only we could have that more often...
Anyway, I had planned to knit socks for her and asked her to name the pattern, but well... she shouldn't have taken us out for lunch, lol. The lunch at the local diner was great, but what was a new experience for me was the place next door...
... a beer drive thru. What? You just drive through and get the booze stored in your trunk? Unheard of in my neck of the woods. And what cracked me up most was the shabby chic of the place. :D
So, sorry, dear Laurel, but your sock pattern had to remind of this place and is of course called: Drive Thru
Even the longest holiday comes to an end and during our terrific trip through the States and Canada in 2014, our last stop to meet a Ravelry friend was in Vancouver. Once again all I can say is that Vancouver is a place you should visit, if you ever get the chance to do so. We loved it!
My friend Kelly gave us a tour of the city, took us to Grainville Island, showed me the yarn shops, had us taste strange ice cream (really? Is there anyone who wants ice cream with curry or garlic flavour?) and eventually we relaxed with a drink. Perfect day!
My gift for Kelly was a pair of socks with a geometric and straight forward stitch pattern, which - after meeting her in person -I hoped would be to Kelly's liking.
Which she did and she wanted to name the pattern after the pub we visited together in Vancouver. And in this case her wish was my command: Burgoo.
In Canmore, Kanada, hatte Evey und ich die Freude, gleich zwei einheimische Ravelry Freunde zu treffen, Lauren and Eryn. Nach einem ausgedehnten Frühstück, bei dem es wohl mehr Gequatsche und Gelächter gab als zu essen, haben wir gemeinsam den Ort und die Gegend erkundet und glaubt mal, Canmore, eine Kleinstadt in den Kanadischen Rocky Mountains inst wirklich total schön gelegen. Kein Wunder also, dass meine Sockenmuster für die Mädels, die ich dort getroffen habe, von meinen Eindrücken dort bestimmt wurden.
Laurels Socken heißen Railroad Ties (Bahnschwellen)
und man muss wissen, wo wir gewohnt haben, um den Namen zu verstehen. Quer durch Canmore führt eine Eisenbahnlinie und unser Hotel (das wirklich klasse war) lag nur eine Straßenbreite von den Schienen entfernt. Hin und wieder fuhr dann einer der irre langen, impostanten Züge langsam durch den Ort und das Geräusch ist mir noch im Ohr. Der Soundtrack zu unserem Besuch in Canmore. :)
In Canmore, Canada, Evey and I had the pleasure to meet two local Ravelry friends, Lauren and Eryn. After an extensive breakfast with more chatter and fun than food, we spent the day together exploring the town and the region. And believe me, Canmore, nesteled in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is for sure a beautiful spot! So no wonder that the sock patterns I designed for the two local ladies, are about things I remember from our visit there.
Lauren's socks are called Railroad Ties
and you need to know where we stayed to understand why. Canmore is divided into two parts by railroad tracks and our hotel (which was fantastic!) was just across the street from the tracks. Ever so often a train would make its way through Canmore, a truly impressive sight. And the sound of a train slowly going through town always reminds me of the fab visit we had.
From Spokane our trip took us straight up north, to Canamore in Alberta, Canada and there we had indeed a small Ravelry meeting planned. Not only lives my friend Lauren from Canmore, but Eryn, who now lives further up north, is from Canmore and promised to come down for the weekend. But the biggest surprise was my dear friend Evey, who lives in Toronto - and who, when she heard we'd be in Canmore, spontaneously booked a flight and made her way from one end of Canada to the other to meet.
Boy, what fun we had! Okay, it was a bit of a problem to find a place where we could enjoy the evening (since Alberta really is not a fun place to go if you smoke - you aren't even allowed on the patio in bars), but we were creative and here's us, the very first time we wever met.
A happy moment, as you can probably tell. :)
Evey loves autumn colours, so when I picked yarn to knit a pair of socks for her, I came across this terrific skein Mountain Colors Barefoot in colourway Gold Rush.
After a wonderful trip along the Pacific Coast Highway we took a turn inland to visit Alix in Spokane, Washington. I was amazed how diverse the state is! There's lots of beaches, but huge areas are covered with forests, there are really high mountains and when travel to the east of the state you even go through a real dry desert like stretch of land.
Again, we were so grateful for the hospitality we experienced by Alix and her family! Sponkane, where she lives, is a really pretty town and I was impressed by the Spokane Falls within the city limits. So my sock pattern for Alix came to life, thinking about the place where we met: Spokane Falls
The picture above shows the socks that Alix received as my gift, and on the right, the beautiful yarn LAurel, SpinningFates, dyed for this pattern. And since it's such an easy to knit pattern, which I really enjoyed,I knit a second pair for my pattern page in a slightly different yarn.
As I told you the other day, it took until Christmas 2014 before the first pair of my 'friendship socks' made it to the recipient, and by then I already knew that there would be more patterns. Our summer holidays in 2014 took us to the United States and to Canada, and we didn't only see wonderful places during our journey along the Pacific Coast Highway, but we also met some of my Ravelry friends.
We took the tour from San Diego northbound and right at the start of our trip we met Shelley in California. We spent a wonderful day at the beach with her and her husband, had barbeque and drinks and as always when you enjoy yourself, the time we could stay was over too soon. In addition to inviting us to her home, Shelley gifted me some yarn and one was a set of Twisted Sisters on Toula, a yarn dyed by SpinningFates. Well, and that gave me the idea to make a pair of socks for Shelley using a yarn by another Ravelry friend... so my pattern for Shelley was this
made in the wonderful Twisted Sisters colourway 'Kissing Frog'. So I guess it's easy to find out what inspired Shelley to name the pattern Twisted Kiss.
As it is my habit I had to do my best to manipulate the stripes and it looks just as fab in other colourways. For my pattern pictures I used the yarn Shelley had giften me, the Twisted Sisters in 'Finish Winter'. Yep, these sure are colours to brigthen even the dullest winter day, don't you think?
Spending a wonderful time on holidays in a much warmer place than Germany. :) One of the best parts for me is to sit on the terrasse with my coffee in the morning, happily knitting away. I've worked on the next pair for my (No longer virtual) Friends pattern collection, but so far I'm still in the 'trial and error' stage and there's nothing worth sharing yet. So how about I tell you a bit more about the patterns that are released already?
It all started with a pair of socks I made for Yola from the UK years ago. In 2013 Ulli and I spent our summer holidays travelling through the norther parts of England and Scotland and for the first time ever I had a 'blind date' with one of my friends from the Ravelry community. We had a fab dinner with Yola and her husband, with lots of chatter and fun, and the next day we went to Fibre-East together. What a fantastic day, at a great show for fibre enthusiast, talking yarn and stuff with a knitting buddy.
Well, it was over way to soon and I was all sentimental when Yola told me a year later she would be going to Fibre-East - without me, sob. So I asked her to buy a skein of yarn for me, to her liking and out of my 'colour comfort zone'... she sure did well...
... and got me a skein of Sparkleduck Socka in colourway 'Wildflower'. Not only pastel-coloured, but in addition variegated. Kind of two of my dislikes in one skein, lol.
Now what to make out of it? I knew right from the start that it had to be socks for Yola, but it took me a while to come up with the pattern. Yola got her socks for Christmas in 2014.
Today's the day! Finally, after talking about this forever, after a lot of knitting, writing patterns, having them test knitted and and and... I got my act together and this collection of sock patterns is now available in my Ravelry store: [No longer virtual) Friends. And I am so happy about it, because it is so special to me.
Since I joined Ravelry some years ago, I’ve made friends with people from all over the world and with some of them I’ve had more interaction than with many people in my real life. Their support, their generosity, their friendship have really made a difference in my life. Friends, really good friends, though virtual ones…
Now, over the past few years I had the chance to meet some of my best virtual buddies in person during my travels and it was such a wonderful experience to finally put faces to names, to exchange real hugs instead of virtual ones, to discover how much we have in common. I was invited to their homes, met their families, I was shown around and often I even received yarny gifts in addition. I feel so lucky and so spoilt to be part of such a fantastic group of people.
I tried to find a way to show how thankful I am, so I did what I do best: I knitted socks. This collection includes patterns for all the socks my no longer virtual friends have received in the past few years.
No idea what's the weather like in your neck of the woods, but over here spring is hardly in sight. For the past few days we've had really nasty wind, so definitely still a good idea to wear a hat when spending some time outdoors. And if you haven't got one, here's a quick yet stylish new hat pattern of mine, released in issue 71 of Knit Now: Speckle Hat.
The hat is knitted in the round from the brim up, mainly in a simple yet beautiful knit and purl pattern. The main feature is a wide cable, which gets smaller and disappears towards the top.
Almost all knitters know the dilemma: at a yarn store, fair or wherever you fall in love with that one special skein of yarn, purchase it - and then contemplate forever what to turn it into. It is so special, that is has to be 'saved' for the perfect project...
A while ago Knit Picks asked for design submission for one skein projects to make best use of that one special skein in every knitter's stash and now the collection, fittingly named Little Luxuries Collection, is available. It is a wonderful collection of 23 beautiful accessories such as shawls and shawlettes, cowls, hats, mitts and mittens and even a clutch, and all of the patterns require no more than 100 g of yarn.
The collection is availabe as a printed book, as eBook for instant download, but all of the patterns are also availabe for individual download.
I am happy that one of my designs made it into this awesome collection: Meandering Lace Shawlette.
Thanks to not being well for so long, I had completely forgotten that the spring issue of Love of Knitting magazine was due to be released any day now. So it came as a pleasant surprise when I realized today there are new patterns on my Ravelry designer page.
I've got two patterns in this issue, one in the 'Little Knits' theme, a small collection with 6 adorable multi-coloured projects for children. My contribution, the Pearls Hat, was designed to work in a variety of yarns or to use leftover yarns from different projects and also to give the knitter a lot of design choices. The main feature of this basic shaped hat are strings of 'yarn pearls', which seem to swirl around the hat. The look changes completley with the yarns used, for example could it be a variegated background colour with one solid colour as 'pearls', or it could be a solid background with each ' string of pearls' in a different colour, possibilities are endless. The look can also be changed with the number of 'strings' worked and where they are placed. A cute pattern which gives knitters the option to make their hat truly unique.
The sample was knitted in HiKoo® by skacel Simplicity Solids & Tonals, using colorway lavendar as main colour and red hat purple and white for the 'strings of pearls'. The yarn, a merino, acrylic and nylon blend, is a pleasure to work with and perfect for items that get a lot of wear and need to be easy to care for.
My second pattern is Bargello Socks, another pattern that would look great in a variety of colorways. The socks are knitted in stranded knitting, with the main colour forming zigzagging stripes of different width.
I was so distracted this week, that I completely forgot that the first new pattern in 2017 was scheduled to be released: Happy Hearts Socks, pattern in the current issue 69 of Knit Now.
Aren't they just the cutest socks to make for your loved one for Valentine's Day?
Pillars of the Earth is a new sock pattern of mine, published in the current issue, no 68, of the Knit Now Magazine.
The main feature is a wide cable, the ‘pillar’ which runs down the front and the back of the leg. Easy to knit but interesting enough to not get boring while knitting it, the pattern is suitable for men and women alike.
My sample was knit in Basic Merino Socks by Fleece Artist. The first time I knit with this yarn and I really enjoyed it. Now I hope the recpient of the socks, who will received them today in her advent calendar, will like them and, most important, that they'll fit her!
Years ago I had the pleasure to visit Knit Nation in London and to attend Cookie A.’s class “Sock Innovation: Top Down Sock Design” . Well, I had created my own patterns for ages, but never written them down. Thanks to the very inspiring and instructive class I was determined to change that. During class I not only started a pair of socks but also took notes to turn them into a pattern. Hm, pretty embarassing to say that even five years later the pattern was not released - because I seem to get distracted by other things all the time...
But the socks turned out really nice and were actually finished back in 2011. DH claimed them for himself right away and I was happy for him to have them. Until a few days ago, when he showed me this...
Remember the socks I started a while ago using the Sock Wonder needles? Well, the socks got finished...
...but I admit that I gave up on the needles when I was only a couple of centimetres into the leg pattern. Yes, it is nice not having to change needles, but I found it very fiddly to work a lace pattern and when I reached the first bobble in the pattern I was done with it. So much quicker with DPNs, at least for me. They might be great for vanilla socks or maybe with an easy knit and purl pattern, but for this kind of pattern, it's the Morning Dew Sock pattern I told you about when it was released, didn't work for me. And I didn't even get as far as to figure out how to manage with a heel wit heel flap and gusset... I think I'll give them another try with one of the self-patterning yarns in my stash.
... and what you get from waiting for taking pictures until it's autumn.
Thanks to DH not really being able to move all summer because of his hip surgery, the pile of socks I had to photograph was ginormous. So the other day we made best use of the sunny weather and spent an entire afternoon taking pictures. Many of them turned out really nice, I think.
... really is limited to designing them. They are such fun and quick projects and I enjoy to play with colours and textures in this small scale project. But I have to admit that I never ever wear hats. Which is the reason why it turns into such a problem to take pictures for my self-published patterns.
My mum refuses to do the job, DH would do but how would he look like with a hat with lace pattern?, a friend I asked the other day felt really uncomfortable with the idea to have her pic on my pattern pdfs, so... yep, I gave it a try. And now see for yourself that there are for sure better hat models than I am, lol.
Thanks to the wonderful holidays we had, it completely slipped my mind that some patterns of mine were due for publication. Knit Picks released two new collection a short while back and I'm happy to tell you that I've got patterns in both of them. Woohoo!!!
A shawl, knit entirely in garter stitch and in one piece. So there's no pickung up stitches and no joining yarn more often thann necessary and you've got only the few ends to weave in, you always have when working with three different colours.
The other day I told you about my latest design for SweetGeorgia Yarns, Penna, the triangular shawl in a material mix, but I haven't showed you my 'prototype' yet. When I started to work on this idea, I concentrated on different textures more than on different yarn weights, so I chose a smooth fingering weight merino yarn to go with a curly silk, mohair and nylon blend. The latter is a sport weight, but because of its structure it feels thicker than that.
I like the mix of smooth stripes and fuzzy ones as well as the fact that the Curly Silk is a variegated yarn with one of the greens in the colourway an exact match of the solid colourway.
Sometimes, when all my crafty stuff is knitting swatches for new pattern ideas or work on some long-time WiPs, there's not much to tell about. But it was different last week. It seems I was as busy as a beaver a while back, since two more patterns got released last week. The latest issue of Knit Now Magazine, issue 65, which is available in the UK right now and as digital download here, contains the Dove Holes Cowl
a quick cowl in worsted weight yarn with a fancy pattern that forms larges holes.
And also in this issue are my Classy Square Socks
Spain is home of some of the earliest examples of European knitting and especially lace knitting has a long tradition. Some historians even believe that the well-know Shetland lace was brought to the Shetland Islands by the Spanish. Spanish mantillas (chapel veils) are draped over a woman's head when attending Mass. They are usually black or white, but why not spice up the traditional design with some colour?
My Mantilla Stole was knit in Bijou Spun by Bijou Basin Ranch Seraphim, a gorgeous lacweight yarn of 95% angora fibre blended with a touch of viscose for added strength. It is available in 9 beautiful saturated colourways, my sample is made in colourway Pomegranate.
When I work on projects with more than one yarn, I tend to stick to the same yarn weight and often enough even the same brand to get the result I want. So when SweetGeorgia Yarns asked for patterns that use yarns of a different weight, I was hesitant at first, but intrigued by the idea. So it was time for swatching... and here is what I came up with:
It's always exciting when a new pattern of mine gets released, not the least because usually a lot of time has passed since I wrote the pattern and knit the sample. Sometimes I really have this 'ah, yes. you've knit this back when...' feeling. Looking at my pictures of the Morning Dew Socks, which are in the current issue of Knit Now Magazine, I get kind of sad. The pics were taken in spring with the warm season still before us while now everything starts to look like autumn again and in Germany this usually means lots of rain and grey and dull days. Sigh. Maybe a pair of happy yellow socks is the way to fight the 'bad weather blues'?
The socks main feature is a leaf-like pattern running down the front and the back of the socks. There are some tiny bobbles added and it's a fun project to try knitting backwards to avoid having to turn for the few stitches to be worked for the bobbles.
Issue 64 of Knit Now Magazine is on sale in the UK right now and can be purchased digitally here.
Today I received my copy of No Place Like Home and that made me realize that I told you about the pattern, but that I haven't shown you my WIP basket yet. Here it is.
I worked the biggest size with an external diameter of 13" and it's roomy enough for even a sweater project in thicker yarn.
I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Navy for the outer basket and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Opal Heather for the inner basket. I also added interfacing between the two baskets, because with the bigger sizes the baskets might be not stable enough without some kind of stabilizer.
Knit Picks latest collection called No Place Like Home is now available, filled with 15 beautiful projects for the home. There are pillows and afghans, a table runner and place mats and I'm pleased to tell you that I've got a pattern in it, too: WIP Basket.
The basket is not only is it a nice decoration for your home, but useful in addition. Keep your yarns and project neat and tidy in a knitted container. The basket comes in three different sizes and each consists of an outer basket with cables and an inner basket worked in Stockinette stitch in finer yarn, which are attached to each other at the top.
A second pattern of mine was released in Knit Now 62: Rockpool Mitts.
The magazine is now available on the newstands and can also be ordered here.
The main feature of these cute mitts is the beautiful cable and lace pattern on the back of the hand. They are knit in only a couple of hours - a great project for that special skein of fingering weight yarn in your stash.
Knit Now 62 is now available on the newstands and can also be ordered here. I'm please to tell you that I've once again got a sock pattern in this issue: Crossers Socks.
The cuff down socks feature an all-over pattern that combines lace, cables and textures. Even though the pattern is repeated several times, the stitch combination makes it an intersting knit.
The latest issue of Love of Knitting, Fall 2016, is available now and I'm happy to announce that I've got a pattern of mine in it: Byzantine Tiles Socks. The magazine is available at the Interweave Store, here.
The easy slip-stitch patterning adds color, and texture to these beautiful cuff down socks. The one-coloured squares without patterning are worked at random, a wonderful way to work a unique pair of socks.
A few days ago the latest issue of Interweave Knits, Summer 2016, was released and I am thrilled a pattern of mine is included: the Anacapa Wrap.
Anacapa is a big lace shawl with five lace segments in two different stitch patterns which are surrounded by cables, and with an eye-catching finishing touch—a sideways knitted lace and cable edging. The yarn used in the sample is The Fibre Company Meadow, an amazing blend of merino wool, baby llama, silk and linen fibres.
We've had a couple of sunny days, does that mean that spring is finally ready to make an appearance? I really do hope so, the sun after so much grey and rain really does lift the spirits, doesn't it? Well, it's still very cold, so plenty of time to spend knitting on spring accessories. How about a lace shawl?
My latest pattern, Taevas shawl, is part of the SweetGeorgia Yarns Spring Collection, which you can learn more about here. It's knit from one hank of oh-so-soft Merino Silk Lace, available in lots of beautiful colours. If I ever find the time I think I'll have to reknit Taevas in one of the stunning blues.
Oh my, it has been a while, but as so often times are really busy over here. I’ve worked on a bigger project that gave me a bit trouble, because I calculated and recalculated and was really
worried I might run out of yarn. In the end I didn’t take time for much else but finish it. Which I did yesterday and it was a close call with less than 1 gram of yarn to spare. So happy it’s
done, but unfortunately I can’t share pics yet.
Well, not all my knitting time was spent with said project, but a few other things got finished too. Socks for Ulli – and I admit these were hard work too, for the simple reason that I had to knit a pattern I had already knit twice before, my Paul the Penguin Socks. And that’s not very high on my list of things I like. I mean, there are so many other patterns, why repeat one? But Ulli mentioned more than once how much he loved the socks I gave away for Christmas, so he got his own pair…
and my 'reward' was that he modeled them in the penguin’s ‘habitat’. :) A small price to pay for new socks, don’t you think?
I also finished the second sleeve for one of my long term WIPs, which leaves me with the hardest part to attach them. Hm… we’ll see when I tackle that.
Oh, and for reasons unknown, since I am always complaining about my lack of knitting time, I started another big project: Persian Dreams. A beautiful blanket made up of hexagons in stranded knitting and the goal in our Ravelry group is to knit one hexagon per month. Sounds easy enough, but I was late right from the start and knit my January square only last week.
... can’t remember when I heard that expression for the last time, but that's what describes the first days of 2016 best: they seemed to have had even less hours than normal and were over in a glance thanks to friends visiting, work that had to be done immediately and a sick cat. Klecks has got a nasty ear inflammation and all of you who have pets know, how much it makes you suffer to see your pet suffer. So it has been a week full of visits to the vet, cleaning his ears, giving him his medication and hours of cuddling to make him feel better. And I tell you, in the beginning the real challenge was the cuddling, because boy, that pus in his ears has quite the smell… no wonder that Klecks’ nicknames these days is Stinky Cat ;-) Which he, btw, doesn’t mind at all because it’s the tone of voice that counts and the fact that he gets pampered.
Anyhow, you can imagine there wasn’t much time for knitting or any other crafts. But I can share a new design with you and actually the design brought the expression ‘at a rate of knots’ to my mind. It’s a sock pattern that is included in the latest Knit Now magazine and the pattern name is Knots. Cables run down the front and the back of the leg and they seem to meet and form knots, so the name was easily found.
My prototype was knit in Knit Picks Stroll Tweed and I really enjoyed working with this yarn. And as you can see, the recipient is enjoying the fact that he finally got the socks I knit last April already.
In the latest Knit Now Magazine, available from today, a quick and easy cowl pattern of mine got published: the Maida Vale cowl. It is knit in the round and features an all-over cable pattern and needs less than 100 g of DK weight yarn – perfect for all who are still busy with their Christmas gift knitting. The pattern was named for a London Tube station, which opened in 1915 and was the first station to be staffed entirely by women.
When I started with the pattern, I picked a yellow DK weight from my stash – Easyknits.co.uk Deeply Wicked DK – and the colour reminded me of the colour that represents the Circle Line in the London Tube maps. The Tube is a great way to get around in London and its map looks like an intricate pattern, so I wanted a stitch pattern to represent it, which in my opinion the overall cable pattern does very well.
Issue 54 of the Knit Now magazine is available at the newsstands today and I am happy to share my pattern in this issue with you: my penguin socks.
This pattern was in my mind ever since I got a Christmas gift year ago – mind you, I can hardly recall what the gift was, but it was wrapped in pretty paper with a print that looked like stranded knitting. One of the motifs was a penguin… so cute that I knew right away I had to create a motif like that for socks. During the design process I always called the project my ‘Paulie socks’, although I have no idea why in my mind penguins are always called ‘Paul’… Anyway, say hello to ‘Paul the Penguin’.
Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2015 was released last week and as always it is an issue filled with lots of beautiful projects inspired by Jane Austen’s novels and the Regency era. The Colonel Brandon Sweater looks like an interesting project I might tackle this winter and I particularly like the look of the Garden Walls Wrap that makes the cover, although knitting endless rows of stockinette is most likely to stop me from knitting it.
The patterns are divided into themes – country, town, garden and manor – and I’ve contributed three patterns to different section. My country pattern is the Gentlemen Hunting Socks, since hunting was a popular sport during the Regency era. The bicoloured socks in shades of field and forest, knit in mosaic technique, were designed with masculine hunting parties in mind.
When I thought about a pattern for the garden theme, what came to my mind first were the rose gardens of that era. At that time roses were more of bushes, with some of them several feet tall and shrubby in nature. Their flowering season was a short summer flowering with the entire bush covered in hundreds of blooms. The Rose Garden Mitts with their delicate lace and rose colourwork pattern enable you to carry your rose garden with you at all times.
Early last year, when I saw the call for pattern submissions by one of my favourite series of knitting books – the One-Skein Wonders® series from Storey Publishing, I knew right away that I wanted to submit an idea for a quick to knit gift for babies.
I imagined there are more people like me, knitters with an endless queue and big plans what to knit for a friend’s baby – and who then get surprised when the due date arrives kind of a sudden. So I worked on a pattern for one of the baby items I love to give as a gift, a wee sleeping sack. And I was more than thrilled when I learnt that my pattern got accepted for publication.
The Little Sweetheart Sleeping Sack is knit up in only a couple of hours. The pattern is for Malabrigo Yarn Worsted, an oh-so-soft merino yarn, and if you use a gender neutral colourway you can knit your gift before even knowing the gender of the new babay. Makes the sleeping sack the perfect item to always have finished in your ‘gift drawer’, just in case you get ‘surprised’ by the arrival of a new baby again. ;-)
Babies enjoy the snuggliness of sleeping sacks and it is a great way for parents to carry their baby around without having to struggle with a warming blanket. I went for a heart motif as the main feature — aren’t all babies little sweethearts?
Obviously working on Ulli's mitts turned the weekend into one for 'speed knitting', because I whipped up another project I had meant to knit forever. A wee baby hat for Laurel's Octavius who is due in a few weeks and which is supposed to go with my 'Little Sweetheart Sleeping Sack'.
The pattern for the sleep sack was released in One-Skein Wonders for Babies the other day - such a terrific book with lots of great patterns for wee ones. I'll tell you more about it next week, when it is my turn in the 'blog tour' - for now I'm thrilled that I was interviewed for 'Meet the Designers' on Storey's blog yesterday. :)
Times have been busy at work and I've had a lot of travelling to do, so I decided to make the Pepita pattern by Martina Behm, a romper suit I've worked on for my friend Laurel's baby my travelling project. You know, easy to follow instructions, lots of stockinette in the round, so the perfect project 'on the go' one should think. And guess what? I haven't got much knitting done in all those hours travelling, because plain stockinette is sooo boring and makes me sooo sleepy... Well, it's good that wee Octavius isn't due before mid of October, lol.
Don't get this wrong: It's a wonderful pattern for babies and I'm sure it'll look great finished. The instructions are clear and well written - it's just that stockinette and I aren't the closest friends. I always wonder when people tell me they knit 'vanilla' socks to relax... for me it's hard work. I'm much quicker and a lot more motivated to continue knitting when there's a stitch pattern to follow, no matter how easy it is.
Well, to avoid that I fall asleep on the sofa as well as soon as I pick up my 'night time' knitting, I went through my long-time WiPs in my knitting basket. Why I had stopped working on my Criss Cross Cowl when I only had to bind it off I really don't know, but it came in handy after a long day at work. And since I had enough yarn left, I whipped up a pair of fingerless mitts to go with the cowl - and looking at the German weather it was high time I finished...
So there I was the other day, a bit unhappy that I couldn’t blog about anything I’ve knit recently – and didn’t realise that I could have shown you one of last year’s projects, since Sockupied Fall 2015 was released last week! And along with an article on the rich sock-knitting history in the Baltic states and a special on the featured designer, Debbie O’Neill, there are six brand-new beautiful sock patterns, one of them mine: Checkers Socks!
I worked on these during our holidays in the USA last year, and actually this pattern started off with the yarn. My Ravelry friend Shelley, who I had the pleasure to meet last year in person, recommended to me a yarn store in Santa Barbara, Loop and Leaf, and there’s where I came across some Ella Rae Lace Merino, a yarn I hadn’t worked with before. And I fell in love with the colour combination ‘Deep Purple’ and ‘Mustard Green’ right away, so without hesitation I bought the skeins and wound them right away in the shop.
And I was sure they had to be used together. So while travelling along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway I pondered on pattern ideas and happily swatched away. And frogged. And tried anew and eventually (and I can’t deny that I might have been influenced by the look of a fast food chain) came up with the idea for Checkers.
Fortunately not yet, the summer is back in Germany, but last week it certainly felt like autumn already. Grey, rain, and even when there was sun it was rather cool (come on, 16°C at the end of July? Brrrr) – so the prototype I’ve knit for my latest pattern came in handy.
My vest was knit in Wool of the Andes Sport in ‘Cobblestone Heather’ – which I chose because I had planned to give the vest away, but it turned out a bit big – and I admit I like the colourway used in the sample for the book much better: Claret Heather. I might have to make another one for myself.
So I've tried to stand by my own promise to not cast on new projects all the time, but tackle some of my WIPs instead. Coincidentally I finished a pair of socks yesterday - the same day the pattern was released in Knit Now, issue 50. It is a unisex sock pattern, with different knit and purl patterns that swirl down the leg.
I've started my prototype quite a while ago and as it is with prototypes - the moment I know the pattern works just fine and I start to knit the sample in the required yarn, I abandon them... Well, in this case I really wanted to knit up the yarn, because it was one of my 'souvenirs' from last year's holidays in the United States, so a couple of days ago I picked this WIP up again and even though I am not a fan of pink, I really like these.
Yes, I know, it’s still a while till Midsummer day – time enough to knit a pair of socks. For example my Titania Socks, published in the current issue 48 of Knit Now.
When I think of Midsummer I immediately think of fairies, probably because as kid I had a story book about flower fairies in which they had a ball at Midsummer’s night. I just loved the illustrations of the fairies in their colourful, lustrous clothes and these socks were designed with his book in mind. I imagine the fairies would like to wear these socks, knit in Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn in ‘Misty Woods’, a BFL yarn with added silk for a nice sheen.
My prototype was knit in Fleece Artist Sea Wool, a blend from merino and seacell, and even though I know that this yarn isn’t perfect for socks, I couldn’t resist to use it. In my opinion the silverish colour and the sheen were the perfect match for the stitch pattern that made me think of fairy wings.
Why is it that there are never enough hours in a day to do all the things I’d love to do? Sigh. Am I suffering from springtime lethargy or is there just so much to do this time of the year? However, here’s another news I haven’t told you yet about: Last week Knitscene, Accessories 2015 was launched and you can get your digital copy or pre-order your paper copy here. Now, why is that important you ask? Because I was a lucky duck and one of my sock patterns was accepted for publication.
Woohoo! Once again the magazine is filled to the brim with great patterns. And along with a feature about designer Megi Burcl including some stunning shawl patterns, a fancy ‘Little Black Dress’ story with really exceptional projects and some fun home decor projects, one of the themes in this year’s magazine is ‘Capitol Couture’, so patterns inspired by the Hunger Games. There are ten projects representing not only the Capitol but the Districts too and my Nocked Socks are one of them.
The first thing that came to my mind when I thought about the Hunger Games was Katniss’ weapon of choice in the arena: Bow and arrow and this is what inspired my design. The short-rows that are used to shape the cuff resemble the nock of an arrow, while the twisted stitches on the leg form the fletching and those on the instep form the arrowhead. The yarn used is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in colourway ‘Filigree’, which knits up like a dream and has the perfect stitch definition for this design.
At the beginning of the year there was a design contest in the Malabrigo Junkies group on Ravelry. A design contest for my all-time favourite yarn? Who was I to resist? The contest asked for designs that use no more than two skeins of yarn, no matter which of the currently available bases by Malabrigo Yarn and the hardest choice was to decide which yarn to use…
In the end I went with Malabrigo Arroyo (the Spanish word for ‘stream’) in the colourway ‘Aguas’ (Spanish for ‘waters’) – and the moment I had picked my yarn I not only knew the stitch pattern for my design but also the name for it. So here’s ‘Flowing’
And guess what happened? My design made third place in the contest. Woo Hoo! So happy! Really excited that my design was chosen and also, there’s a prize that makes me drool: My choice of 450g of wonderful Malabrigo yarn, what a treat!! It was so hard to pick from all the terrific bases and colourways – but I couldn’t be happier with what I chose and received in today’s mail:
... my copy of the current Knit Now magazine arrived and reminded me of some news I’m really excited about that I want to share. Two of my patterns are featured in issue 47! Whoopee! One is the Twist and Turn Hat
A project for the magazine’s designer challenge, in which three designers are asked to design something with one ball of yarn. In the current issue the yarn is Hayfield Double Knitting, a popular and rather inexpensive acrylic and wool blend that can be used for all kind of projects. It has a lovely stitch definition and really showcases the lace and cable pattern I chose for this design.
The second pattern really is a pet project of mine: the Romboid Cowl.
My, I can hardly believe that April is almost over, but I guess that's what happens when bringing a stupid cold home from holidays. For weeks this was how I felt
even with caffeine. But the mug cheered me up no end when I received it as a b-day treat from my Canadian friend Evey. How do you know that I'm not really my normal self before I had my coffee, Evey?
Anyhow, I was hardly ever online, actually so seldom that I haven't even told you about another one of my patterns that was released in Knit Now Issue 46: Evening Breeze Set.
For my liking it is still too often dull and grey in my part of the world - so adding a bit of colour to my knitting seems to be the right 'cure'. And the pattern book that arrived in today's mail has just the perfect cheerful projects. The Knit Picks Spring Accessories Collection is filled to the brim with bold hues and graphic patterns for 26 accessories, from socks and hats to shawls and scarves. There are so many I'd love to cast on right away.
Aaaaannnnd - one of my patterns is part of the collections: Structure Mitts. The pattern features an easy but beautiful allover knit and purl pattern and is a great pattern for a first mittens project. One ball of Knit Picks Palette, which is availabe in 150 beautiful colours, and a couple of hours time is all you need - how about fighting the 'winter blues' with a pair of new springlike mitts?
When we went on our summer holidays to the US last year, Sockupied had just released a call for submissions for sock patterns. Well, you all know that I love to knit socks and design sock patterns, don't you? So I was kind of sad that I'd be on holidays - but then, with all that travelling we had planned, there surely had to be some time to knit? And the category that tickled my fancy was 'one sock, two ways': one sock pattern that looks just as good in variegated yarn as it does in a solid or semi-solid colourway. I rarely knit with variegated yarn, because I find that it often spoils the pattern, so to come up with one that showcases the yarn's beauty but doesn't 'get lost' in all the colours was what I wanted to do.
So I bought beautiful variegated yarn in one of the many yarn stores in Portland, (really? I felt dizzy when I just saw the number of stores Knitmap found for me... A yarn crawl in and around Portland would certainly make my 'yarn piggy bank' suffer), wound it right away and got started. I knit (and sometimes frogged) on our way further north and in the end it was all the bridges we saw that inspired me.
And this is what my 'prototype' looked like:
So the new Knit Now Magazine, Issue 44 hit the store shelves yesterday and - woo hoo! - the winners of the 'best patterns in 2014' were announced. The 'wow' gives you a hint, doesn't it? Yes!!! My Maganolia Lace socks were voted best Knit Now sock pattern, I'm thrilled! Thank you all so much who voted for them. You made my day.
Today the latest issue of Knit Now arrived at the newsstands and I'm thrilled that one of my patterns is in it: my "Heart Slippers" The magazine features a 'Designer's challenge', in which three designers are asked to design something with one ball of yarn. In the current issue the yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK, a durable and machine washable wool and nylon blend available in more than 20 colourway. Well, when I saw it I knew that the perfect project for it is... slippers.
Knit cuff down, partly in rounds and partly in rows, the slippers feature a cute heart motif on the instep and are knit in only a couple of hours. What a perfect treat to keep your feet warm - for yourself or your loved ones on Valentine's Day.