Dienstag, 31. Oktober 2006
Zur Freude meines Mannes und meiner Kollegen habe ich gestern die Rührschüsseln hervorgeholt und heraus kam ein obergruseliger aber seeeeeeehr leckerer Halloween-Kuchen.
Yesterday I grabbed a few baking bowls and procured a funky looking but veerrrrry tasty halloween cake - to my husband's and my colleagues' utter delight.
Sonntag, 29. Oktober 2006
I did manage to knit quite a bit during this month sockwise. And I really enjoyed the interviews and tutorials Lolly provided in her blog.
Although I'm a longtime sock knitter I still like to learn new techniques and I try most things - to a certain extend - at least once before making up my mind about them. So this Soktoberfest I took as a possibiblity to get more familiar with the idea of knitting socks on a circular needle. It was a bit awkward at first but I definitely see the uses of this particular technique. In combination with knitting socks toe-up it's particularily helpful if you are not sure wether your yarn will be enough to finish a pair of socks.
Trekking XXL Socks
During our stay in London I finished my first pair of socks out of Trekking XXL yarn. I like the soft stripes although the yarn itself was a bit different from the other sock yarns I've worked with so far. It's softer somehow, fuzzier in a way. I used a simple 3/1 rib pattern that's broken up by purl stitches forming slanting lines. I like the outcome and am looking forward to knit up some of the other Trekking XXL yarn I've got in my stash.
Looking at some pictures in the blogoshere I'm even pondering about trying socks in a stranded pattern using one solid yarn and one skein Trekking XXL. A wonderful, most adorable example can be seen at Fadenallerlei.
Retro Rib Socks
Other than the Trekking XXL socks I just finished one Retro Rib Sock from an older IK issue out of Regia Loop Color yarn. I just cast on for the second sock. I got the yarn on sale a while back although I didn't really care for the strangely looping stripes. I actually just thought the colors would make nice socks for dearest "I-usually-only-wear-black-socks" husband. But seeing the yarn evolve into a sock I have to take back my first impression. They look kinda cool, don't ya think?
Pattern: by Evelyn Clark in Interweave Knitting, Winter 2004
Yarn: Regia Loop Color, Color #5773 (black/grey)
Needles: 2.5 mm Holz+Stein Circulars
Challenge: Using circulars and the magic loop method
Lacy Africa Color Socks
And right now on my needles is another pair of socks for the Christmas basket. It's a simple lacy pattern on a purled ground done in Regia Africa Color yarn and I'm really fond of how the stripes come out on the reverse stockinette ground. The stripes loose their distinct definition and change-over more softly.
Pattern: my own
Needles: Don't those bright blue 2.5 mm DPNs look just adorable? I picked them up for next to nothing at one of those 1Euro-a-piece shop. They are anodized aluminium I think and not of the highest quality but the tips are nice and the stitches slide smoothly.
Challenge: Knitting a sock in reverse stockinette
Sonntag, 22. Oktober 2006
Schon letzten Mittwoch sind wir gegen Mitternacht wieder aus London daheim gewesen. Leider hatte mich gleich eine miese Erkältung im Griff und dann waren wir noch zwei Tage bei meinen Eltern zu Besuch. Daher hatte ich keine Gelegenheit zum Bloggen.
We have been back from London last Wednesday but first a nasty cold struck me down and then we've been again on the road to my parents. Therefore I didn't have a chance to blog before.
Wir hatten in London eine großartige Zeit. Wir sind viel zu Fuß unterwegs gewesen, haben Museen besucht, haben das wunderbare Wetter im Regent's Park genossen oder den Blick über London von Greewich aus. Im Victoria&Albert Museum habe ich auch in diesem Jahr wieder versucht, mir die Textilabteilung anzuschauen. Allerdings war dieser Versuch nicht von Erfolg gekrönt. Die Textilabteilung befindet sich immer noch im Umbau und wird erst im November wieder eröffnet. Dafür gab es in der Tate Britain eine sehr gut gemachte Ausstellung zu Holbeins Werk und Schaffen in England. Sie hatten einige atemberaubenden Ausstellungsstücke zusammengestellt.
Our feet were aching from walking around town, visiting various museums and enjoying the fabulous weather in Regent's Park or admiring the view over London from Greenwich's hills - but we had a fantastic time in London. At Victoria&Albert museum I tried - again unsuccessfully - to visit the textile department. Unfortunately they were still under reconstruction. Tate Britain on the other hand showed a fantastic exhibition on Holbein and his ouevre in England.
Die Knitting & Stitching Show war fantastisch. So viele verschiedene Anbieter unter einem Dach zusammen zu haben, die exotischen Materialien mal in der Hand haben zu können und so viele Handarbeitsbegeisterte auf einem Haufen zu erleben war toll. Es gab natürlich auch jede Menge Schrott, Nippes und Kitsch zu bewundern. Aber einmal am Stand von Cherry Tree Hill Yarn zu stehen und das wunderbare handgefärbte Garn in der Realität zu bestaunen ist schon etwas besonderes. Entsprechend habe ich mir trotz der irren Preise mal ein Knäuel Supersock Garn gegönnt. Über die Preise hüllen wir besser den Mantel des Schweigens.
I loved visiting the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. Seeing so many different vendors all under one roof and being able to touch some of the more exotic things definitely an experience. Beforehand I just could not imagine how meeting up with all those fiber and needlwork addicts and sharing a common interest would be like. Of course not everything on display was of high quality but standing in the Cherry Tree Hill Yarn booth and getting your fingers on the wonderful hand-painted stuff sure was exciting. I HAD to purchase at least one skein of the famous Supersock yarn no matter the cost.
Meine persönliche Entdeckung war Touch Yarns, eine Firma aus Neuseeland mit sehr schönen handgefärbten Garnen. Einem Strang traumhaft weichem 2ply Merino/Mohair-Garn in tiefen Blau- und Violetttönen konnte ich nicht widerstehen. Es ruft förmlich danach ein Shawl zu werden.
My personal discovery was a small company from New Zealand - Touch Yarns - which produces high quality hand-dyed merino and mohair yarns. I couldn't a resist a tempting variegeted 2-ply merino/mohair yarn in rich blues and violets that definitely wants to become a shawl.
Ansonsten habe ich auf der Messe selbst nicht so irrsinning viel Geld ausgegeben. Ein Strang Sockengarn von Colinette ist noch im Körbchen gelandet ebenso wie zwei Stränge Catalina-Garn. Das Garn von Catalina ist eine sehr interessante Kombination aus Baby-Alpaka und Pima-Cotton. Ein lustiger Häkelhaken in quietschgrün musste auch noch mit.
Other than that I didn't spend all that much on the show. One skein Colinette sock yarn and two skeins of an interesting fiber blend - baby alpaka and pima cotton - from Catalina as well a funny green crochet hook came back home with me.
Ganz verrückt war ein kleines spontanes Treffen mit einer deutschen Bloggerin auf der Messe. Ich habe Susan von knit two, purl two und Ihre beiden Begleiterinnen persönlich kennengelernt. Virtuelle Grüße von hier aus an Euch! :-)
On the show a fellow blogger from Germany and me met up rather spontanously and I got to know Susan from knit two, purl two and her two companions in person. It was nice to meet you girls! :-)
Dienstag, 10. Oktober 2006
Morgen früh geht es auf nach London. Eine Woche heiß ersehnter Urlaub wartet und wegen exzellenter Planung geht es am Donnerstag auch gleich zur Knitting and Stitching Show jubel Bis nächste Woche, Ihr Lieben!
Tomorrow morning dearest husband and me are off to London for a one-week trip. And thanks to my excellent planning I will be able to attend Knitting and Stitching Show *yay*. See you all next week!
Montag, 9. Oktober 2006
Well, I'm off to a good start into the wonderful Socktoberfest. Today I indulged and bought FOUR skeins of the much praised Trekking XXL sock yarn. The whole bloggosphere has been buzzing with it and I've seen it in the local shops but never really gave it much tought. Now Socktoberfest gave me THE perfect excuse to spend some money on it.
As far as socks go, I finally finished one pair that has been my travelling project for what seems like forever. The colours are fun and pretty much exactly like in the photograph. They are a bit small on my feet but they are intended for a friend anyway.
Material: Regia Cotton Surf Color No. 5412 (41% wool, 34% cotton, 25% polyamide)
Needles: 2.5 mm circular Holz&Stein, ebony
Size: 64 stitches, should fit sizes 39-41
Technique: toe-up using the figure-eight-cast-on, short-row-heels and the magic-loop-method - which is completely against my usual way of doing socks, I might add
Sonntag, 8. Oktober 2006
Lolly from Lolly Knitting Around initiated this fun experience and since I've got quite a few socks coming up for the holiday season I thought it would be fun to join the Socktoberfest.
And off we go into the fun with the Socktoberfest meme:
When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
My grandma has been knitting socks as long as I can remember. One time I asked her about how she does it and she taught me to turn the heel, to pick up gusset stitches and to do the toe. That has been years ago when I still was a teenager. All the other flashy techniques like short row heels, toe-up-socks or socks on circular needles I learned from the internet. I enjoy varying the techniques I use depending on pattern, yarn or situation but I'm still doing most of my socks the way my grandma taught me - heel flap and nordic heel.
What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
As sad as it sounds, but I cannot remember. It has been so long since I've startet sock knitting. I seem to recall some cheap acrylic yarn in an apricot colour, but I might be mistaken.
My first pair out of real sock yarn I knit while I was in college. They where out of Regia 4-ply in a variegated camel colour. The socks did hold up admirably and I've worn them for years before even thinking about throwing them out.
What would you have done differently?
Being more careful with picking up the gusset stitches. It took some time to get the hang of that.
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Most of the socks I've knit over the years were made out of variegated Regia yarn. It's the yarn most readily available around here and you can get it on discount quite often. I've used Opal yarn too and some skeins I liked, some skeins not such much. I'm not quite decided about the colours Opal yarn comes in. Some of their colour combinations are freaky. It makes you wonder about potential colour blindness in the designer. Lana Grossa sock yarn is nice too. They've got some cool stripe patterns. Oh, I've got one pair of socks out of Lorna's Laces Shepard sock yarn. Love the feel and hand of the yarn but it's definitely way too expensive compared to the wonderful Regia and Opal and Lana Grossa yarn that's available in the local stores.
I also like to work with cotton sock yarn from time to time.
Still on my list to try out one day are Trekking XXL, Koigu and the handdyed yarn from Wollmeise.
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
Since I'm a clumpsy chrocheter I refrain from doing it all that often let alone crochet socks. I'm most comfortable with 5 dpns, size 2.25 to 2.5 mm. Lately I've discovered the magic loop method which I like for the projects I take on travel or public transport - no having to worry about needles to fall out is a real relief.
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
For myself I still prefer grandma's nordic heel with a flap and the little short row cap. I still think it's best fitting heel. I do a short-row heel from time to time especially with toe-up-socks.
How many pairs have you made?
Too many to count. I've been knitting socks for at least 10 years now and each family member gets at least one per year, be it for Christmas or their birthday. This adds up to quite a few pairs over the years.
The following picture was taken in 2002 showing some of the socks I did over the year:
Mittwoch, 4. Oktober 2006
Im Moment gibt es gerade nichts Fertiges zu zeigen, allerdings befinden sich einige Sachen in verschiedenen Stadien des Angefangenseins, Betonung auf Angefangen. Hier mal ein kleiner Einblick:
Right now there is nothing finished to show but a few things in different stages of finishing. Here is a little On-the-needles-show:
Icarus Shawl in Evilla Lace Garn auf 4,5 mm Nadeln
Eine ganze Weile steckte ich in der 4. Wiederholung des Musterrapports in Chart 1 fest und hatte keine rechte Lust weiterzumachen. Nun bin ich über den etwas eintönigen Teil einweg und bin bereits einige Reihen in Chart 2 unterwegs. Die Farben des Garns mag ich sehr, allerdings ist es sehr kratzig. Ich bin mal gespannt wie es sich nach dem Waschen entwickelt. Es sollte laut meiner Maschenprobe sehr aufblühen und ein wenig flauschiger werden.
I have been stuck in the 5th repeat of chart 1 for a while but now I'm well on my way into chart 2 and enjoying knitting on Icarus again. I really like the colours but the yarn is quite scratchy and not very nice to the hands. I'm a bit anxious about how the yarn will turn out after washing. According to my gauge swatch it should bloom quite a bit and get softer. I'll have to knit and see.
Kara by Elsebeth Lavold, Knitter's Winter 2003
Seit ewigen Zeiten klebte an diesem Modell ein gelber Post-It-Zettel, mich stets erinnernd, dass dort eine Anleitung war, die auf jeden Fall irgendwann nachgearbeitet werden wollte. Vor wenigen Wochen fand sich das perfekte Garn im Angebot - wunderbares anthrazifarbenes Gedifra English Tweed (70 % Merinowolle, 20 % Polyacryl, 10 % Angora; 50g / ca 117m) für nur 2,50 Euro! Mittlerweile stricke ich am zweiten Vorderteil und dann geht es an die Zopfmusterborte. Das Garn fusselt vor dem Waschen ziemlich - ich tippe auf das Angora - aber es strickt sich wunderbar und sieht ganz großartig aus. Man siehe ich nur dieses Detail an.
Ever since the mag arrived in my mailbox this yellow post-it-note stuck to the Kara pattern which was pratically shouting to be knitted. Incidentally some weeks ago the perfect yarn for this project fell into my hands - wonderful anthracite Gedifra English Tweed (70 % Merino, 20 % Polyacryl, 10 % Angora; 50g / ca 117m) for 2.50 Euro per skein only! By now I'm well into the second front which leaves the cabled bands to complete the garment. The yarn sheds some during knitting - I suspect the Angora - but it feels lovely and looks fantastic. Just have a look at this detail shot.
Und weil ich sonst noch nicht genug auf den Nadeln habe gibt es da auch noch die Cablenet Socken aus der aktuellen Knitty - angeschlagen in Louet Gems Pearl (100% Merinowolle superwash) auf 2,25 mm Nadeln. Das Garn bringt das Muster schön zur Geltung allerdings fallen mir nach drei, vier Reihen die Finger ab. Die Zöpfe aus nur jeweils einer Masche verlangen in jeder Reihe nach Verkreuzungen und das ist ganz schön anstrenged. Wenn ich diese Socken tatsächlich zu Ende stricken sollte, werde ich das Muster wahrscheinlich nicht über die Ferse und den Fuß arbeiten. In Schuhen finde ich das einfach nicht sehr bequem.
And last but not least - and because I'm OBVIOUSLY in desperate need for another project on the needles - cable net socks from the newest issue of Knitty - cast-on in Louet Gems Pearl on 2.25 mm needles. The pattern shows beautifully in the pearl yarn but after working on it for a couple of rows my fingers are ready to cramp. The teeny tiny cables are worked over one stitch only which means you have to work cables on every single row - no rest for the wicked, as they say. Should I really be daft enough to complete those socks I would probably not continue the pattern across the heel and the foot. First of all, because the cabling is driving me nuts and secondly even tiny cables are not as comfy in shoes as a catalogue photo might want to make us believe, imho.
Ohne Bilder bleiben ein Paar einfache Socken die mir als U-Bahn-Projekt dienen, ein Geschenk-Westover und der zu meiner großen Schande immer noch nicht fertiggestellte Rogue. Aber der wird diesen Winter noch, versprochen, bestimmt, ehrlich. Insgesamt finde ich das noch recht überschaubar.
Sans picture remain a simple pair of socks serving as my knitting on public transport project, a vest intended as a gift and to my utter red-faced shame the infamous but still unfished Rogue. I will get it done folks, sometime this winter, promise, really. Oh well, there arn't that many UFOs in my house, so I'm not complaining.
Montag, 2. Oktober 2006
Ich konnte nicht umhin über dieses Quizergebnis zu grinsen. Mein Mann wüsste Geschichten zu erzählen ;-) | I couldn't help grinning at this quiz' result. Dearest husband could tell you stories ;-)
instigated by the wonderful and funny Grumperina
1. Wearable And Not So Wearable Things
Until a short time ago one out of two garments I knit usually ended up completely unwearable. It didn't matter whether I followed a commerical pattern or how religiously I swatched. It's gotten better with time, though. That's the reason why I often revert to knitting socks, shawls, gloves and such things. There will always be somebody who can wear them.
2. Too Short
I can't stand knitting socks on short DPNs. Obviously my hands are too large to handle them because I keep poking my palms on their rear end. For the fingers on gloves on the other hand I like them just fine. Go figure.
3. Sock Knitters Anonymus
I love knitting socks. I will never stop knitting socks, ever. There are times when there is hardly any room for large or more complex projects. But there will always be the time to knit a few rows on a colourful, stripy, plain stockinette stitch sock.
4. Of Holes And Other Practical Applications of Math
Knitting lace came to me easily and without even knowing what it was called. My grandma showed me the Feather and Fan pattern - which was all the rage in the late 80s and early 90s - and and explained about the increases and decreases and how the have to balance each other after your pattern rows are done. Patterns with yarn over and de-/increases have never been a mystery from then on. It's all in the math.
Despite being a proficient long time knitter I have never done any large stranded knitting project. I am really planning to start something this fall though.
6. Beware Intarsia Knitting.
As much as I love lace and textured knitting as much do I abhor intarsia. The technique isn't to blame. It's me, I am sure. But no matter what I try it drives me around the bend. Stranded knitting I can understand. It appeals to me on a certain level but Intarsia with all those ittle, bittle, fickle pieces of yarn, a humongous amount of ends to weave in and the obligation to knit flat - *grrrr*. I like to go with Elizabeth Zimmerman's advice here "If you don't like it, don't do it".
7. Getting People Started
For years I've been asking myself why is it that scarves are regarded as perfect beginner projects. I started out with a scarf once, too. I taught my sister to knit with a scarf project. But me, I don't like knitting scarves. They are way too boring, take to long to complete. For a beginner I would now advice to choose something smaller. How about some pulse warmers? You can choose some fancy yarn, knit them flat in garter stitch or stockinette or rib and sew them up afterwards in any direction you like, maybe even leave a hole for the thumb. Perfect beginner project, if you ask me. And if you have an adventurous beginner you could even get them started with knitting in the round on 5 DPNS (YES *five*, not four).
8. Imperial Nonsense
Why is it that the imperial measuring system is so insistent on staying alive? I hate it, I really truely hate it. It's not logical and way too inaccurate. How the hell am I supposed to remeber that 12 inches are 1 foot? And how can you get your garments to fit if your smallest unit is one inch (which equals 25.4 whole mm)? And I hate the fact that some knitting magazines and publications - I'll refrain from telling any names here - still refuse to acknowledge that most of the world and therefore a good part of their audience deals in metric dimensions by now.
9. Of Right And Wrong
Yes, I am an opinionated knitter but I will never tell anybody that they are knitting/doing this or that wrong. I might point out the problems they might encounter while doing so, though.
Take this girl from my spinning and knitting group. She is a really enthusiastic self-taught knitter. Her stockinette fabric looked okay but while trying her hands on a lace knitting pattern she got stuck. Her decreases just did not work out. Well, the more experienced of you can probably guess what happened. She did her purl stitches with the yarn going UNDER the needle. As long as you uncross the stitches in the knitting row you won't know the difference. But if you try to follow the standard instructions for your common decrease, it will leave you with strangely twisted stitches. After explaining this dilemma to her she was able compensate, either through purling the standard way or by working the decreases differently. See Annie Modesitt's page for more about what she calls Combination Knitting.
10. It's Not Rocket Science
That's what I keep telling people all the time. I'm preaching to the choir here but is has to be said - All it takes is two sticks and a piece of string. And someone to show you the ropes can't hurt either.
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