Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another sleeveless vest!/Noch einen Pullunder!

Yes, I enjoy this way of knitting very much - this time, I tried doing a more graphic pattern in a colour scheme which I have never chosen before.

As I'm just knitting strips with quite few stitches at the time, I prefer using (wooden) double-pointed sock needles. The finishing rows at neck and arms are crocheted, and for the waistband I then needed a circular knitting needle, of course.

This vest is actually a de-stasher, as most of the yarn was either found in my stash or reclaimed from another garment - I only bought one single ball of sockwool yarn to get a bit of glowing turquoise into it!

A clever thing about knitting strips is that you don't have to worry about gauge and measurements until you've been knitting for quite a while - then there's still time to layer it onto one of your favourite sweaters and compare sizes.

Another advantage of this piece-work is that you can knit it almost entirely on sock needles - even knitting two strips parallel, if you want. The striping itself helps you count the rows easily when comparing lengths and sewing it all together.

And furthermore, the strips make it possible to re-arrange the design and the order of colours till the very end - you can even turn them upside down before mounting!

(German summary: Mir gefällt diese Art, Streifen zu stricken, sehr gut, da man wirklich bis zuletzt die einzelnen Teile neu arrangieren und ergänzen kann. Die Strumpfstricknadeln machen die Arbeit sehr handlich, und auch das Kombinieren verschiedener Wollreste- und stärken ist hier kein Problem!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bottlecap recycling/Flaschenverschlüsse recyceln

I guess you know me by now - and that I have a faible for recycling things, especially if they come in some form of textile context.

Finding recycling possibilities for beverage cartons/tetrapaks or PET-bottles isn't even that hard - but for quite some time now I've been looking for a good solution on what to do with those bottlecaps.

And finally I've found one - it's provided by Jen Segrest, alias 'verybigjen', who turns them into sweet, tiny pincushions of all sorts - here is the link to her very clear tutorial on flickr.

So below you can see the ones I made - don't you think they would make a nice, small gift for X-mas? Really easy to do and you can use the tiniest of scrap supplies! And - they really come in more handy than you might think: I'm using mine all the time now!

(German summary: Schon lange habe ich überlegt, was man mit den vielen Flaschenverschlüssen machen könnte, die sich so ansammeln. Bei
'verybigjen' auf flickr gibt es eine einfache Anleitung, wie man daraus winzige Nadelkissen machen kann - genial! Vielleicht als ein nettes, kleines Geschenk?)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Deep down the dustbin .../Fasermonster-Familie

... there once lived a fiber monster - although I never knew.

One day, it popped out of the bin and layed down under the needle foot of my embellisher.

Then it had a full service beauty surgery and became a bookmark.

Nice, huh?

(German summary: Wer hätte denn gedacht, daß sich ein Lesezeichen-Monster im Papierkorb versteckt? Ein bißchen 'Schönheitschirurgie' am Embellisher, und schon war's geschehen!)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reclaimed wool: Indoor boots/Haussocken aus Recyclingwolle

Another good idea for using your reclaimed wool (or leftovers), is making house boots - a crocheted mixture of socks and slippers, which my daughter and I are using constantly. They are warm, soft and don't get lost under the table - and you can even drop them in the washing-machine from time to time.

For this latest pair of boots I used a reclaimed worsted wool yarn for the base and topped it with some fancy leftovers of fringe yarn - I even decorated them with a dear head which I cut out from a piece of brown felt.

End of summer, I crocheted these two pairs the same way - reclaimed yarn and leftovers again, however in some acrylic wool blends.

As usual, I didn't really have a pattern, but if you zoom up on the pictures, I think you get the idea:

Starting circular at the toes, crocheting a flat round for a couple of rows (put a marker at the beginning, so you can see where a new row starts).

At about 5 cm diam. increase less frequently, thus allowing the flat piece to curl up to a 'bowl' - when the 'bowl' covers your toes nicely (about 32 sts), stop increasing and proceed crocheting in rounds until you reach your ankle (about 13 cm medium female size).

Now leave a gap of about 12 cm in the front and work front and back rows, turning at the gap.

Continue until you've reached your heel (about 12 cm medium female size), split the back by working a couple of short rows to produce a rounded heel. Leave a long tail of your yarn to close up the heel with a few stitches from the inside of the boot.

If you like an open shoe, you could stop here, just crocheting a last row around - but I must say I do prefer crocheting a shaft, making it more like a boot - it looks 'younger' and less Granny-like - and I find it fits better on the foot as well!

So just go on crocheting for about 6 or more rows, skipping the corner stitches on both sides in each round. In the last row, crochet 15 chain sts for a loop at the back - this is great for hanging the boots, for putting them on - and it looks cool, too!

I used a 6 mm crochet hook and either worsted weight yarn or 2-3 strands of thinner yarn - but you take whatever you have and don't feel afraid to try it out!

A good idea would be, however, to divide your yarn into two similar heaps (you can put it on a scale) before you start, and to work both boots more or less simultanously - when you work without a pattern, this is to ensure that both boots will look the same in the end :-)!

(German summary: Noch eine nette und nützliche Art, seine Rest- oder Recyclingwolle zu verwenden, ist Haussocken- oder -stiefel zu häkeln. Das geht sehr einfach: ein Käppchen für die Zehen, dann gerade aus in Runden bis zur Fessel, aufgezogene Sohle in Hin- und Rückrunden bis zur Ferse, Arbeit teilen und ein paar verkürzte Runden häkeln, zusammennähen, Öffnung umhäkeln, bis ein Schaft entstanden ist, kleinen Henkel hinten mittig arbeiten.

Ein guter Tip ist aber, wenn man frei häkelt, daß man anfänglich die Wolle in zwei gleiche Teile aufteilt und die beiden Stiefel mehr oder weniger gleichzeitig arbeitet - damit sie am Ende auch wirklich gleich werden :-)!)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reclaimed wool: Sleeveless vest/Pullunder aus Recyclingwolle

I like yarns. And I like repurposing things. So the idea of reclaiming yarn from non-fitting garments laid close at hand.

When I was given two bags full of hand-knitted garments which I didn't want to wear as they were, I decided to unravel them and use the wool for some new projects.

Out of an unravelled shoulder cape, I knitted this sleeveless vest -

I didn't really use a pattern, just knitted strips and sew them together, taking measure from one of my old vests.

I like knitting the front and the back the same - so I can wear it both ways.

When you've unravelled an old garment, it's important that you wind it to a skein, soak it in lukewarm water (I used a bit of soap too), rinse it thorougly and then dry it, eventually with a weight, in order to straighten out the 'curls' of the former knitting. If you don't, your new knitting will get uneven and ugly.

Shake the skeins several times while they are drying, and you will get an airy and fluffy yarn, good as new!

(German summary: Da mir sowohl Wolle als auch Recyling am Herzen liegt, ribbele ich gerne nicht mehr getragene Stricksachen auf und stricke daraus etwas Neues. Wichtig ist, daß man das aufgeribbelte Garn zu Strängen wickelt, und es dann im lauwarmen Wasser - auch mit Seife - badet, dann spült, trocknen läßt - evtl. mit einem Gewicht - damit sich die 'Wellen' glätten und die Wolle wieder ein schönes Maschenbild ergibt. Mehrmals ausschütteln, ausschlagen - und das Garn ist wie neu!)