Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two crocheted scarves/Zwei gehäkelte Schals

So, I'm done with my crocheted scarves, which I made with that 'famous' variegated sock wool!

They are 20-25 cm x 120 cm (you cast on 30-35 chain stitches and work one double crochet stitch in each chain, turning with 4 chainstitches, continuing with double crochet stitches between the previous ones) - and while crocheting, I got the idea to add a button in the corner - a 'Bockfilz button', as you can see! - which can be buttoned up through any of the holes to secure the scarf as tight or as loose as you like it!

The lighter one (with more pink and yellow in it) found a new owner as a birthday present today already - the one with orange and turquoise is mine to keep! And I guess I have to let my wrists calm off a bit now - they're not used to knit and crochet around the clock anymore!

(German summary: Meine beiden gehäkelten Schals sind fertig und meine Handgelenke glühen förmlich! Sie sind beide aus Sockenwolle gehäkelt, 30-35 lm anschlagen und dann mit Doppelstäbchen zu gewünschter Länge - bei mir waren es 120 cm - weiterarbeiten, 4 lm zum Wenden. Mit einem Knopf im Eck - der irgendwo durchgeknöpft werden kann - wird der Schal so festgehalten, wie man ihn braucht.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Multicoloured shawl, knitted with variegated sock wool/ Bunter Schal, gestrickt mit Sockenwolle

My shawl is finished!

(Now I can face the chilly autumn evenings soon to come ...)

The squares in detail:

And a little glimpse :-) of my next project with the variegated sock wool - a crocheted version:

(German summary: So, mein bunter Schal aus Sockenwolle ist fertig! Und da mich diese Wolle fasziniert, habe ich gleich ein neues Projekt in Angriff genommen, diesmal gehäkelt ...)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A small craft session for confused knitters/Ein Bastelprojekt für Strickerinnen

With the risk of being called a copycat, I want to show you one of the very useful gadgets I discovered at Sara's last week: it looks like a fancy bracelet (and you can of course wear it as such), but it's actually a stitch and row counter, based on the Abacus-system - a must-have for confused knitters like me.

Sara had bought hers on Etsy quite some time ago, and as she couldn't remember exactly where, I took a dive into my stash today and made one myself:

There are several sellers on Etsy, if you want one too - or you can just treat yourself to a little craft session :-).

(German summary: Das ist ein geniales kleines Ding, um Maschen und Reihen beim Stricken zu zählen - meines ist selbstgemacht, bei Etsy gibt's mehrere Anbieter.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Colourful sock wool/Bunte Sockenwolle

What do girls do when they want to have fun? Right! They go shopping!

(And they visit an Irish pub and watch movies, they spin and knit and talk a lot, exchange ideas, they try out new patterns and techniques ... all that sort of stuff, which we also did when I visited Sara last week!)

Anyway, we finally fell into the local yarn shop and I guess we almost emptied it - this time we were aiming for variegated sock wool -

this was my harvest:

The big advantage of using variegated sock wool is that you can knit or crochet in a patterned and colourful way without having to change the yarn all the time. But I find it very useful for plying with handspun yarns as well - or even to embroider with it, on wool!

Upon my arrival at Sara's, I laid my eyes on a beautiful multi-coloured shawl Sara had knitted for her daughter - and as I just had to have one like that too, I began knitting and still am ...

I made some variations in colour and pattern - hers was entirely done in garter stitch - but the credit of this model goes to Sara, of course!

Returning home, I also found a crocheted bracelet on Etsy, which I thought would look great with my variegated wool - you can buy the original from "Stjärnkraft" - and here is the version I made to wear myself:

Besides knitting on the coloured shawl, I'm also working on a little bag à la Hundertwasser, as the wool corresponds very well with his typical colour scheme ... Hope being able to show you the result before long!

(German summary: Ich war letzte Woche bei Sara und habe mich von ihrer Begeisterung für bunte Sockenwolle anstecken lassen: Der große Vorteil ist, daß sich die Farben und die Musterung von alleine ergeben, auch bei anderen Strickteilen als nur Socken! Und für ein locker gestricktes Stück kann man ruhig auch etwas dickere Nadeln als angegeben verwenden.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Some experiments with the flower loom/Experimente mit dem Blumenwebgerät

Do you remember the cotton threads I showed you in an earlier posting? And that I tried them out as a sample on a flower loom?

As I'm very captivated by the idea of recycling and re-using, I decided to try to do some kind of garment out of it; I like the kind of sloppy and casual retro-look of these flowers and think they would be great as a loosely hanging slipover over a T-shirt for example.

(If you google on it, there are several links for buying or crafting a flower loom yourself.)

Another possibility to use the flower loom is to make some woolen flowers and then to combine them with the embellisher and felt them into the background - here I did some free machine embroidery with variegated thread on the leaves afterwards:

For this bag, I crocheted the carrying straps with handspun wool (the same as for the bag itself) and then again punched them with the embellisher to get them more sturdy and less flexible.

(German summary: Ein paar Experimente mit dem Blumenwebgerät - einmal mit den grauen Recyclingfäden für einen lockeren Pullunder, einmal mit handgesponnener Wolle für eine gepunchte Tasche.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wheel of Life - Mahatma Gandhi

"The music of the wheel will be as balm to your soul. I believe that the yarn we spin is capable of mending the broken warp and woof of our life. The Charkha (=spinning wheel) is the symbol of non-violence on which all life, if it is to be real life, must be based."

Mahatma Gandhi

As I've been spinning a lot on my spinning wheel lately - and found this to be very comforting and meditative - I was quite touched by this poetic quotation by Mahatma Gandhi and wanted to share it with you.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blending camel and bamboo ...

Did I tell you I ordered and received a drum carder - it's a Louet Junior - recently?

Hand carders are fine for carding and blending small amounts of fiber, but I've realized you really need a drum carder when working with a bit more of material.

Although wool is still my favourite fiber, I wanted to try out other ones as well - especially as wool is quite "hot" working with in the heat of the summer days ...

Today I blended camel with bamboo, which is a great soft and lightweight combination of the matt and short-stapled camel and the shiny, long-stapled bamboo fibers, easy to spin in all thicknesses.

As I've spun my yarn quite thin at a higher ratio, it is rather energized - and so I guess I will make a 2-ply out of the single - or maybe ply it with an old, slightly golden thread I found in a thrift store ... we'll see.

(German summary: Ich habe mir endlich eine Trommelkarde gekauft - und bin gerade dabei, eine Mischung aus Kamel- und Bambusfasern zu verspinnen. Die Kombination dieser einmal kurz-, einmal langfaserigen Materialen ist sehr angenehm zu verspinnen und auch optisch recht gelungen.)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Still crazy ... doing malfatto

I found this wonderful unplugged version of "Still crazy" with an aged but still irresistable Paul Simon on YouTube and I think I have to share it with you:

Doing this and that, just playing, having fun ... Maybe I have to realize that those imperfect things are mine.

I've made two booklets to send to my cyber friends, Paula and Elizabeth - go check their blogs, they're both very good at what they're doing and have grown to be very dear and special to me!

(The booklets are punched with wool, yarn, fabrics on wool fabric, using the embellisher.)

I've found out there is a word for those imperfect, self-crafted things: "malfatto" - actually, it's Italian for "badly made", but it doesn't necessarily mean it has to be bad or ugly - just a bit rough, often made out of recycling materials and with a bit of vintage charm.

(By the way, I've discovered a very nice Finnish book with lots of pictures and ideas regarding stylish recycling of old things, written by Liisa Hellemaa-Hautamäki and Marjo Koivumäki. The German title is: "Aus alten Sachen Schönes machen" - unfortunately, I don't think it's been translated to English yet.)

It's not so easy to find or figure out minor projects which can be realized with a small amount of (handspun) yarn, but these are two bags - the left one is actually a cover protecting my GPS, the right a normal one - which I've crocheted lately:

(German summary: Die beiden Notizbücher sind mit dem Embellisher gepuncht, Wolle/Fasern/Stoff auf Wollstoff, die kleinen Taschen aus handgesponnener Wolle gehäkelt. Das Buch von den beiden Finninen kann ich wirklich sehr empfehlen - und natürlich auch die Blogs meiner Freundinnen!)