Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Easter!/Frohe Ostern!/Glad påsk!

So this is the Moebius-scarf I told you about in my last posting - I just managed to get it ready in time for our Easter holiday trip to Sweden!

And I've also managed to get the Kauni lace shawl for my mother ready - here it is, all in earthy colours:

Much of the credit must be given to these wonderful yarns, which I found lately: the four bright coloured ones to the left and in the middle are Schoppel yarns ('Zauberball'), then you see a Japanese 'Noro' and to the right a Danish 'Kauni' wool. They are not so easy to find at the normal yarn shops, but there are of course several online-sellers.

They are all mostly or entirely wool and are wonderful to knit with!

I wish you all a very nice and happy Easter, with lots of eggs (and wool :-))!

(German version: So, jetzt habe ich meine Osterschals fertig - mit diesen dollen Knäueln aus Deutschland, Dänemark und Japan - und wünsche Euch allen ein schönes und frohes Osterfest - mit vielen Eiern und auch recht viel Wolle :-))

Monday, March 22, 2010

Knitting a moebius and crocheting flowers/Ein gestrickter Möbius und gehäkelte Blumen

Trying to ignore the fact that it's raining cats and dogs and that I've got a silly bad cold, I'm keeping the fireplace burning, knitting a moebius in an explosion of colours to keep spirits high ...

(Unfortunately, the colours just don't come out here as vividly as they do in reality - but maybe you'll get the idea anyway.)

It's a moebius scarf - a twisted circular knitted scarf - where you need to do a special cast-on, shown for instance on this youtube tutorial.

As I had tried a couple of moebius versions before, which I wasn't quite happy with, I decided to buy a real nice moebius pattern online at Zauberglöckchen. It's a bit complicated, but turns out beautiful!

I hope being able to finish it within the next few days, as I'll be leaving for an Easter trip to Sweden at the end of the week - and it's going to be a present!

I've also done some flower necklaces for the Easter eggs:

(German version: Ich stricke gerade einen Möbius von Zauberglöckchen - nicht ganz einfach, aber der Mühe wert! Eine selbsterdachte Blumenhäkelkette wird auch den Weg in ein Osterei finden ...)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Country Lace Shawl/Ein Bauernspitzenschal

Have you experienced this too: You're learning a new technique, practising and working a lot on it, until you reach a certain level of skill - and then there is no forthcoming anymore. Frustrating!

So you put it aside, you do something else, maybe for quite some time - and when you finally return to this earlier project, all of a sudden you discover that your skills have improved all by themselves while you were busy doing other things! Funny, isn't it?

Last year, I tought myself to card and spin and spent a lot of time with it - still, my yarn always turned out worsted, no matter what I tried to change in order to get it soft and delicate instead.

Anyway, at the end of November I stopped spinning, as there were a lot of Christmas preparations to do - I had decided to knit a whole bunch of scarves for Christmas presents for example - so last week was the first time I felt the urge to get back to my spinning wheel again.

I had an idea in mind to spin a very soft and gentle wool for a lace triangle scarf, or wrap - a warming and comforting something out of natural white Norwegian sheep wool and light-brown baby camel wool which I had carded together - using a very basic and plain lace pattern. A kind of rustic country lace shawl, simple and yet delicate.

And it worked! It is just as soft as I wanted it to be, thin but not too thin, some soft bumps and irregularities here and there for the natural look - and lovely to knit with! I'm not an expert, but I think the main difference is that I now tread more slowly and allow the yarn to go faster into the orifice than before, the whorl set to a medium speed.

I found the simple pattern I'd been looking for in 'Victorian Lace Today' by Jane Sowerby - a wonderful lace pattern book covering it all from the very simplest to the quite complicated ones and illustrated with beautiful photos:

The charts make it easy to find your way through the pattern:

I haven't decided on the final size yet, but I think I would like this shawl to be quite big - and I'm planning to work a special border around it afterwards, probably out of one of Nicky Epstein's gorgeous edge-and border knitting books, which I've discovered lately ... but this will deserve a posting for its own!

(German summary:

Ich habe nicht geahnt, daß man auch beim Spinnen Lernstufen/Lernplateaus haben kann - aber nachdem ich eine mehrmonatige Spinnpause gemacht habe, geht's jetzt sogar viel besser als vorher: statt dem üblichen festen, dicht verzwirbeltem Garn bekomme ich jetzt endlich diese luftig-leichte Wolle, die ich mir für meinen Bauernspitzenschal gewünscht habe ...! Und das Buch ist wirklich Klasse, mit leicht verständlichen Charts zum Nacharbeiten!)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Crocheted necklaces/Gehäkelte Halsketten

While Sara and I were knitting and chatting in my living room, she told me about a necklace she had seen in a boutique in Wales while visiting her daughter. It sounded fun, so we decided to try our own version with the variegated wool we had at hand.

Sara crocheted hers in black and pastel colours, I chose my favourite winter colours, black and red:

We both made them long enough to reach three or four times around the neck, and as it is a woolen yarn, it even warms the neck almost like a scarf.

I tried some other versions as well - these are flat stars which I punched lightly with the embellisher afterwards in order to get a smoother backside:

The next one was crocheted with linen and cotton yarns - starfish and small pebbles wrapped in
chain, double and treble crochet - a bit more of a summer necklace, this is:

And finally, another kind of flowery necklace, more like a collar:

These are really uncomplicated necklaces, perfect to wear with a sweater or with a straight linen dress f.e. I think the variegated sock wool ;-) is marvellous for this purpose, but a thin cotton or even silk yarn would of course be a nice option as well ...

There is no firm pattern to follow, just play around with your hook and your wool and crochet along!

(German summary:

Diese unkomplizierten Halsketten sind vorwiegend mit bunter Sockenwolle gehäkelt - die Sternvariante noch zusätzlich leicht gepuncht; bei der Seesternkette sind noch kleine Steinchen mit eingehäkelt.)