Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Noro slipover and a turning yarn holder/Noro-Pullunder und ein kugelgelagerter Wollknäuelhalter ...

My first Noro slipover is ready!

I worked front and back the same, so I can have the choice which side to wear in front.

I didn't really have any pattern, just worked the mitered diamonds (go visit Fibermania!) and took the measures from an old sweater. I do enjoy this 'domino knitting', which makes it possible to knit the whole garments with just two double pointed sock knitting needles.

For this vest, I used the more blurred and darker colours - the bright ones will be knitted with the entrelac vest project, which is also proceeding as rapidly as that slightly more complicated pattern allows ...

While knitting with my fantastic Noro yarns, I felt that I would very much like to have the yarn being unrolled from the outer side, so I can see the colours coming up next and sometimes even do a bit of planning - normally, I take the yarn from inside, to prevent it from rolling around.

When visiting me last summer, Sara had a very useful tool, a turning yarn holder, which had a ball bearing and moved very smoothly, following the knitting movements without snatching.

Unfortunately, she couldn't quite remember where she had bought it - somewhere on-line - so after having searched the net without success, I decided to make one myself.

First I just wanted to use a plain kitchen roll holder and cut off a bit of the stick - but then I stumbled into a cheap normal wooden yarn holder and bought that instead. The next step was to find a ball bearing - I started asking around - until my teenage son had one of his (rare) cleaning-up-the-mess moods and got rid of a pencil organizer which, to my great content, had a ball bearing hidden inside!

As the bottom size of this organizer happened to be almost the same as for the yarn holder, the only thing I had to do was to put the organizer apart, drill a center hole big enough for the stick casing and screw the ball bearing part to the wooden bottom of the yarn holder.

Et voilà! A turning yarn holder with almost no effort at all!

(German summary: So, mein erster Noro-Pullunder ist fertig - ich habe ihn in den gedeckteren Farben gestrickt, und zwar so, daß ich ihn beidseitig tragen kann - mit den kleinen Quadraten, die sich wie Dominosteine aneinander fügen. Außerdem habe ich mir einen kugelgelagerten Wollknäuelständer gebastelt, weil ich den Farbverlauf der bunten Noro-Wolle gerne rechtzeitig erkennen möchte.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!/Frohe Ostern!

I'm back from a very interesting visit to Sara and her daughter Sophie in Alicante - and as this is holiday time, I just want to wish you a Happy Easter and a very nice Spring week-end!

I made this fast Easter bunny above with a pattern I found at Allison's blog - here is her free pdf-download in English and German.

Although my bunny looks like if it was knitted in form, it's actually sewn out of an originally knitted and then felted knitting sample.

(German summary: Ich bin zurück aus Spanien und wünsche euch allen Frohe Ostern und ein schönes Frühlingswochenende! In Allison's blog gibt's das schnelle Hasenmuster auf deutsch und englisch!)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fusing plastic/Plastik schmelzen

What I've been experimenting with lately is: fusing plastic.

Basically, what you need are plastic bags, a pair of scissors, an ironing board, an iron and some parchment paper.

Place your ironing board where you have a good ventilation (there could be fumes), cut the bags into flat sheets (cut off handles, bottom and one of the side seams), sandwich three layers of plastic between parchment paper (to protect iron and ironing board), put your iron on a medium heat and keep the iron moving on the sandwiched layers for about two minutes - turn the 'sandwich' and repeat from the other side as well.

Different kind of plastic bags behave differently, so you will have to experiment a bit with the heat and the time you keep ironing. What you want to achieve is that the surface of the bags is melting to the point of being fused - without shrinking too much or producing holes in the plastic - adjust the heat accordingly.

Let your fused sheet cool down, tear off the upper parchment paper gently and decide whether to add strips of new plastic here and there for hiding holes or wrinkles, for reinforcing or just for design reasons.

About 3-6 layers of plastic are to recommend - the thickness depends on what you want to use it for.

I decided to sew a fancy wallet, or money-bag, out of my fused plastic, using a ebook-pattern I bought from 'ki-ba-doo' at DaWanda (similar to Etsy) a while ago.

The fused plastic is very durable - still you can sew it like a fabric, using velcro strips or snap fasteners for closure. I think it's quite a cool material to work with ;-) and there are certainly a lot of projects I can think of using this ...!

(German summary: In der letzten Zeit habe ich mit dem Schmelzen von Plastiksackerln experimentiert - ein cooles Material, das sich wie Stoff weiterverarbeiten läßt und gleichzeitig sehr strapazierfähig ist! Wichtig: gute Belüftung und unbedingt das Plastik zwischen Backpapier legen, um Bügeleisen und Bügelbrett zu schützen!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Matrioshka brooch/Matrioschka-Brosche

Did you see the little Matrioshka in the middle of the Noro yarn in my previous posting?

It's a small brooch I made, just for fun.

Some time ago I bought a cotton fabric which had printed Matrioshkas on it - I cut out one of them and worked some satin stitches on it in the corresponding colours, added a couple of beads and sew it to a piece of wool felt done with the embellisher - and ready was my Matrioshka brooch!

I'm still knitting on my sleeveless Noro-sweaters - one is almost done! - and I'm a little excited: next week I'm going to Alicante in Spain to visit Sara! She has invited me to stay with her for a week and I'm sure we will have a great time together!

(German summary: Die kleine Brosche, die im vorigen Posting mitten in der Noro-Wolle zu sehen war, ist eigentlich ein Stoffdruck, den ich mit Perlen und Garn bestickt habe. Ich stricke noch fleißig an meinen Pullundern - und nächste Woche fliege ich nach Alicante, um Sara zu besuchen!)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Japanese love affair/Eine japanische Liebesgeschichte

I'm having a Japanese love affair ... with Noro.

No, unfortunately not with Mr Eisaku Noro himself, but with the yarn, above all the Silk Garden Sock Yarn.

When I visited Sweden in February, my very favourite yarn shop, Litet Nystan in Stockholm, tempted me with a big pile of freshly delivered Noro Sock Yarns - and of course I couldn't resist.

During my stay, I started a large shawl in blue-green-grey-beige-rust and continued with a moebius in raspberry-strawberry-green-golden-brown when I got home ...

Right now I'm working on two sleeveless sweaters, one with mitered diamonds in brownish/blueish/greyish yarn with some colour highlights, the other one in entrelac with all those crazy red-pink-rosé-salmon-lavender-green-brown-turquoise-black shades ...

I don't use any patterns for it, just knitting as if in a trance, enjoying ...

I love this yarn so much, because it is constantly surprising me with the most unexpected colour combinations - weird, but always beautiful in its mosaic brilliance - and also because of the unevenness, the silky bumps and the handspun touch, keeping the knitting adventurous and exciting ...

Yes, it's expensive, and it's hard to get hold of - but I don't know any other yarn which comes near this one - it makes my heart sing!

(German summary: Ein absolut unbeherrschtes, begeistertes Loblied auf die Noro Seiden-Sockenwolle - ich kann nicht anders und ich steh' dazu!)