Tag: sweater

Finished garments

A while ago I have showed you a cabled red sweater and a red corset handsewn after an Alabama Chanin pattern. I’ve finished and worn both but never got around photographing it. So here they are:

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The Alyn sweater is very comfortable to wear and I guess I will have to make a second for me (that’s the third Alyn then if you include the one I knit for my dearest)

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I just loved to sew this by hand. I can use my sewing machine and for larger projects with straight lines I prefer to use it, but sewing by hand is my favorite. Especially with stretchy velvet I would have had problems using my sewing machine, but by hand – no problem. I will definetly try one of the bigger projects like a fitted dress, too, someday.

The corset is quite short in the front and a little bit longer in the back. I would make it 2cm longer in the front and back next time because I’m not comfortable with a hem ending right at my belt. It just feels like my belly shows all the time, even if it doesn’t. The longer back is very comfortable especially if you don’t like the gap between pants and top when you sit down.

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The neckline and armholes  are embellished and fixated with a chain stitch variety. The stitching flattens the “bulk” of the bias tape which would otherwise tend to look more like a pipe with elastic fabric like jersey or velvet.

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The baby knit kit

The last week my knitting was all baby knits. A friend of mine is expecting and it’s her first baby so she will need some baby knits, right?

It started so harmless with the Wills sweater from Rowan Classic Babies, Book 4. I knitted this exact same sweater for my boy when he was 6 months or so and I loved the construction of the yoke and wanted to make this again.

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Then I looked for a hat pattern and found the Garter Ear Flap Hat by the Purl Bee. It’s such a clever and easy design because the ear flaps are not attached afterwards, but knitted on the go with shortrows. I like earflap hats for babies because on tiny heads, hats tend to slip over the forehead too much when you want to cover the ears.

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Then I got lost on the Purl Bee website and made the infant mittens and the baby moccasins, too. I’m still in love with the elfin hats, but did not get around making them yet.

Together with the baby quilt I made them for their wedding, I think that’s a good start for handmade baby stuff. Tiny things like these are done so fast, it’s a joy to knit them after huge projects like two adult sweaters in a row. Even the garments for my kids take so long now, because the grow much too fast. It’s not that I don’t enjoy knitting for them, too, but it’s wonderful to knit up tiny baby things in 2 hours, sometimes.

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Joining in with Nicole.

the seacoast sweater finished

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I finally got around taking a picture of my seacost sweater. It’s lovely, light (only 300g/3×3.53ounces) and warm. The red of the Coburger Fuchs wool is subtly shining through.

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I like the slipped stitch pattern of the yoke. The sweater design is so subtle and creates a very comfy garment – I really recommend knitting this. Maybe I’ll make a second one.

welcoming new family members

May I present you Mo the kitten. She is occupying my seacoast sweater at the moment – turns out she likes natural sheep wool. With Mo the extremely curious and sweet Mi moved into our home.

They moved in on Friday and it already feels like they were here all our lives. Mi and Mo are 4 month old and both have an issue with their right eye when they got infected with cat flu right after they were born by their wild cat mother. The very patient and sweet Woman who found and took care of Mi, Mo and their two other siblings (who had no issues with their eyes) called me back after I called an animal shelter in Berlin if they have kittens in our region.

We visited her and instantly fell in love with Mi and Mo. They can do everything despite the infected eye and were so trustful and cuddly from the very first minute. I have had contact with many cats in my life and we had one when I lived in Japan, but never have I ever found such trusting souls like these two.

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So, knitting! I knit a lot at the moment. The seacoast sweater was finished. I tried it on. Realized that I managed to make one sleeve larger than the other and the larger one fitted me better (5 stitches made the difference). So I unravelled the first sleeve, which was worked in the amount of stitches written in the pattern and added 5 extra stitches on the underarm-cast-on. Luckily sleeves on top-down sweaters are not much work because most of the work is already done when you have reached the underarms.

Over all this sweater is really nice to knit up. The stitch patterns are very easy to remember, there is always something to count, but not too much to drive one crazy. In the picture you can see my ingenious way to mak the increase round for me to remember that I should increase some time soon. I put bobby pins into the increased stitch. It’s not that you need it for counting, but it’s a subtle reminder, that you should increase soon. I tend to forget this when knitting in stockinette for rounds and rounds. When the space between pin and needle grows I’m more cautious and count through the previous rounds if I need to increase again.

Some people may remember what number of round they are knitting in stockinette – I never do. It’s like the continuous knit stitches suck out every bit of memory space out of my mind. Maybe I should buy a row-counter tool, but guess what I would forget to click it and then count the rows nevertheless being unsure if I have clicked every row.

Joining in with KCCO.

natural wool

I stumbled across the wonderful podcast Woolful by Ashley who is also going to built up a wool mill. There are some great people she speaks to designers – knitters – wool shearers – wool mill owners. It’s a beautifully composted kaleidoskope of interesting people. Take a look and see for yourself!

Her podcast reminded me of one goal I once set for myself – to work with natural fibers only. I have eliminated acrylics from my yarn list (except for some impulse bought sock yarns) because I simply don’t like the touch of them. After making the Takoma out of woolen tweed from Ireland, I realized how the quality of pure and less processed wool improves with each time you wear it. It becomes softer, dirt does not stick, it smells slightly sheepish and it’s so much warmer than any other fiber without making you sweat.

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Ashley from Woolful brought up another important aspect – to scource the wool locally. This is a trend going on in many places right now, but wool very often gets processed elsewhere than the country of origin. There are some companies I know who source and produce their yarn in the US only, but being from Germany I want yarn from here and not ship it around the globe.

After some wild planning what it would need to make my own wool mill here on the property (yeah, that’s some crazy drive to get the kids from school), I looked up if there are already some places where I could buy locally processed german wool or process my own wool – if I found a sheperd from the area.

I have made the same search some years ago with disappointing results. There was so little out there it was a shame. Turns out things have changed! I suppose it’s the growing interest in local things and the support of our ever growing fiber community that made it possible for small businesses to arise in the fiber processing area.

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So back to my search for finished wool: I found an estamblished sheep farm which is run by a small community of enthusiastic craftsman people.The Finkhof. The website is completely in german.

They run the farm since the 70s and it’s great to see a long term farm functioning this way. They focus on processing their own sheep (machine spun) which is a rare german breed called the “coburger fuchs”. Coburg is a town in Germany and fuchs means fox. The wool has small red fiber in it and has an overall slightly redish look – it’s so beautiful!

The demand for their wool products has increased so much in the past years, that they scource organic wool from other local farms, too, but mark which of their wool is from their own farm so nothing gets mixed up. I could resist and bought 400g of sport weight, 200g of the thick “coburger fuchs”and 100g thin sock yarn in grey. They have dyed yarn, too, and some other wools, but I was more interested in the “fuchs”.

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On tuesday the wool arrived and at first I must say I was a little bit off because the wool is not super soft like alpaca or fine merino. But! Now that I’m knitting it, it get’s softer every time its moved around. Some scratchiness will remain, I’m sure of that, but you get used to that. My woolen Takoma has softened over time so much, I can wear it on my bare skin now.

So what am I actually knitting with this stuff? It’s the Seacoast sweater by Joji Locatelli published in Wool People 7 by Brooklyn Tweed. I’m very excited because my yarn is only slightly thinner than Brooklyn Tweeds yarn Shelter and it matches with my own gauge which is all that matters.

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Selfish knitting

Sometimes knitting should be selfish, right? I cannot possibly explain why on earth I knitted 2 warm sweaters in the middle of summer and also TWO sweaters in a row just for me. Usually it’s work with a little hint of family knitting. I went overboard buying tons of yarn at Lanade, my favorite supplier of DROPS yarns (which I adore, they have absolutely every yarn weight and fiber combination at a resonable price). So next sweater is the first sweater I knit for my hubby. It’s a raglan, too, knit with DROPS Lima in dark petrol/blue 65% wool, 35% alpaca. I took the measurements from a very well fitting jacket he has and I hope it will fit well.

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Half Brioche Raglan in Drops Loves You 3 50% wool, 50% alpaca. Incredibly soft and light.
The patterns is selfmade following the instructions on top down raglan from here: http://www.raglanvonoben.de (german)
For Brioche stitch look at my tutorial here.

 

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This is the Reverb by the wonderful Tanis Lavallee. The knitting process and the fit is a delight! I used 6 or 7 skeins of Drops alpaca.