Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finished: Fair isle hat

Pattern: Fair Isle Hat by Sheila Joynes (Vogue Knitting, Fall 2010)
Yarn: Lana Grossa Merino Superfein
Colorway: dark blue, dark green, beige, dark red, light blue, dark camel (where are the labels???)
Price: ?
Amount: less than one ball of each color, I actually think there is enough left to make a pair of mittens
Needles: 3 mm
Gauge: Swatching for small projects is kind of a waste of time, i.e. I was lazy and didn't swatch. It might not have been the worst idea though, because the hat is a tiny bit too big.
Dimensions: It fits my head, but it could be a bit smaller, but still, it's ok.
Modifications: I changed the colors. The original hat is dominated by blue and cool colors and I wanted something with warmer colors. The crown section got shortened.

160 stitches
Crown shaping:
row 1: *k2tog, k5, ssk, k1. Repeat from *.
row 2: k

Repeat rows 1-2 1 more time.

4 rows: *k1 dark blue, k1 light blue. Repeat from *.
5th row: *ssk and k1 dark blue, ssk and k1 light blue. Repeat from *.
6th row: *ssk dark blue, ssk light blue. Repeat from *.

Comments: It's probably one of the most beautiful things I've ever made. :) Creating new color combinations can be so tough, at least for me. What I have noticed is that if you combine two colors together, it might be a good idea that they have distinctive values, otherwise you can't see the pattern well.

More information about color theory be found here:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Yarn shopping in Madrid

Went yarn shopping today. Before that, I looked for information in the Ravelry Madrid group and got some replies. There's one Spanish brand, Katia, but it seems they don't produce yarn that is worth it to get obsessed about. There are some small yarn shops, but one was too far for me, the other one mostly sold Katia and the third one sold yarn by the weight (that sounds bad...), so I decided to go to El Corte Inglés which is THE department store in Spain (or at least where I have been so far). Their products are usually of high quality and they have Rowan (you can't really go wrong with Rowan, although I'd say the singles they sell is probably just going to felt like any other yarn. Have you also noticed how lately singles have become a trend? Some ideas sucks and this is one of them. In case you have noticed, the yarn that is sold for felting, is also a one-ply. I think the worst idea was the sock yarn from Schöppel that was single.)

I got me some Felted Tweed in a really nice dark blue. Of the green I originally wanted, unfortunately, only one ball was left. I've used this yarn once for the Gretel beret by Ysolde Teague. I think if you're not careful it felts, but it should be ok. It might also be a good yarn to use for the Deep V Argyle Vest that I made. It's definitely softer than the other one.

The Corte Inglés has a nice selection of Rowan yarns. Prices are similar to here, if not the same. Now, the thing that sucks in Spain if you knit (at least for me) is - they use mainly straight needles. There were short circular needles (40 cm) in bambú by Prym for nearly 9 €?! And some metal ones, 80 cm long (cheaper, but I seldom use metall ones in that length). And of course they did not have all the sizes that I would have needed. The yarn I finally picked was the result of some kind of compromise between color, weight, and availability of needle size and length. I think if I had known that, I would have brought some of my unfinished projects with me or some needles.

Next week I might check out the Madrid knitting group.

Some other random thoughts about Madrid:
- I went to a little supermarket today and they had organic soy milk! And wholemeal toast! Not what I would have expected.
- I get lost all the freaking time. Somehow I lost the ability to read maps and remember where I have to go. Yesterday it took me more half an hour to find the bus stop and when I finally found it, it was so late that no buses were running anymore. And today I managed to take the right train, but in the other direction. Instead of riding the metro for six stations, I got the whole roundtour.
- Why are there no complete lists of all the places where the bus stops at the bus stops? Sometimes I'm standing at the there and wonder if I'm at the right stop or not or if it's indeed going where I want to go.
- People in the metro kind of looked down. I wonder if it's because of the financial crisis? Apart from that, they say hello way more often than here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Finished: Dianna shawl

Pattern: Dianna by MaweLucky/Jane Araujo (free pattern!)
Yarn: My own handspun
Fiber: Fine Shetland
Colorway: PeachesNCream
Amount: Till I ran out of yarn
Needles: 4 mm
Gauge: -
Dimensions: ?
Modifications: Made a border
The instructions are not for normal knitting, but it’s assumed that you will knit the WS rows backwards. Purling a WS row actually means purling backwards = knitting the WS row. Took me a while to figure that out…
I think the pattern doesn’t have a border or I didn’t like it, so I had to come up with my own design. Unfortunately, I didn’t have yarn left and since it was my own handspun I couldn’t get more. After giving it some thought I decided to use the leftover yarn I had used for the ”One-skein shawl with picot edge”. I had used it doubled as a 4-ply, but since my handspun was laceweight, I split it into half and used it as a 2-ply. I decided to do ruffles. I had already picked up the stitches for the borders and started knitting the ruffles, when I found some leftovers from my handspun (yeah, I did have some leftovers, but I had forgotten about it since there was a long break between finishing the leaves part and starting the border). I wondered if I could finish the leftovers and came up with the idea of knitting some rows of reversed stockinette with the handspun and doing the ruffles with the other yarn.

Honestly, knitting the border was a bit gruesome, because I had to rip back a couple of times. I finally settled on picking up two stitches for each border stitch with the handspun. Then I made the rufffles with the other yarn.

I’m quite pleased with this project. The yarn could be a bit softer, but it’s still a very nice airy shawl with nice color changes. I find the colors a bit too muted for myself (they look a bit more intense in the photos than in reality), but my mom likes these colors, so it’s ok.

The pattern is great and I love how nice the pattern brings out the colors of the handspun yarn. Once I figured out the aforementioned problem it was actually easy to knit. By the way, that was my first entrelac project!

I finished the project last year, but  hadn't managed to blog about it. I'd say, picture #9 is truest to the colors. If you want to see the images in a bigger resolution, you will have to go to my flickr page. Flickrs seems to have changed their rules about posting pictures yesterday and I don't have the original ones here to upload them on Blogger. By the way, I'm in Spain the next two months - must check out yarn shops!

Foto Foto
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finished: Deep V Argyle Vest

Pattern: Deep V Argyle Vest by Eunny Yang
Yarn: "Filcolana Gotlandsk Pelsuld"
Colorway: purple and gold (215 and 164), the other colors are also great
Price: nearly 10 € for 100 g
Amount: 1 skein (100 g) of each color
Needles: 2.5 mm (for the tubular cast-on), 3 mm for the rest of the ribbing, 3.75 mm for the fair isle pattern (I think I should have gone up with the needle size though, the knitting is fairly tight)
Gauge: I was lazy and didn't swatch... (I know! I know who is reading this blog and I know what you want to say! :p) I think sometimes I do completely irrational things just to defy whatever higher entity is out there. And when I'm lucky, I feel special and think I have control over this chaotic process called life. When I'm not lucky, it becomes another unfinished project...
Dimensions: My size.
Modifications: I was really lazy with one, so I didn't really modify a lot and just hoped that it would turn out fine. Picked up 3 out of 4 stitches for the arm and neckline. 96 stitches total for each arm. The ribbing is in a different color, because there wasn’t much of the other one left and I didn’t want to start a new skein. I actually like that.
I started this project twice before. Once with red and black yarn, then with white and blue yarn. The latter didn't have gauge, but I'm not sure, I also didn't really like the color combination when it was knit. My personal feeling is, you need colors with a high contrast, then it looks good. If the colors are too similar, the pattern blurs.

Eunny only explains in the instructions how to decrease, but not to increase. You can find the explanation on her blog though:

Tubular cast-on, 2x2 rib. Did k2, p, k2 instead of k4, p, k4. I used 2 mm needles for the four setup rows and then switched to 3 mm needles.

Techknitter’s method for joining in the round looks interesting, but it was too complicated with the tubular cast-on, so I just slipped the first stitch and knit it together with the last one, but still, I might use her method for other projects:
I held the gold color in the left hand and purple in the right. I think when the pattern color is much darker than the main color and the pattern is actually really dominating, then I should nevertheless switch the colors and hold the main color in the left hand and the pattern color in the right hand. The stitches I do with my right hand are much tighter than the stitches I get when continental knitting.

The pre-cut state:
Deep V Argyle Vest Deep V Argyle Vest

Every time I read about people cutting steeks the first time, I feel bored with the descriptions of the angst and anxiety that these women go through. Since so many people have cut steeks before them, it shouldn't be such a great deal, right? Since cutting a steek didn't look like it would provide me with enough excitement and thrill, I decided to take it up a notch. Instead of cutting through the middle stitches and have 4.5 stitches left for the edge, I thought I should try to reduce the bulk and leave only 2.5 stitches for the edge. Being a smartass sometimes can be wonderful, but in this case, it was a bad idea. Things started to unravel and I had to come up with fancy knots and surprising ties to prevent my vest from becoming another unfinished project. Since I'm not totally stupid, I had tried this experiment on the backside of the neck where you only cut a couple of stitches which helped to keep the problem below catastrophy level. As you can see in the following pictures, the stitches at the neck are a bit loose, but well, I think the damage is under control.
Deep V Argyle Vest Deep V Argyle Vest Deep V Argyle Vest

2.5 was a bit low, but well, I thought 3.5 would be ok. So, for the rest of the neck and the armholes, I stuck to 3.5 stitches for the edge. I used some alpaca leftovers for crocheting the edge.
Deep V Argyle Vest Deep V Argyle Vest

Deep V Argyle Vest Deep V Argyle Vest Deep V Argyle Vest Deep V Argyle Vest Deep V Argyle Vest
Deep V Argyle Vest Deep V Argyle Vest

I think the vest fits better if you have a long torso, otherwise it’s a bit too long. The armholes also strike me as a bit too big. The width is ok above the waist, but below it’s a bit too tight. The steeks are a bit bulky. The pattern is pretty easy and it's a fast knit. If you have never done fair isle before then this would be a good first project.

Looks ok overall, but could use some improvement in some points. The yarn is a bit scratchy.

Finished: Leafprints Shawlette

Pattern:Leafprints Shawlette by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Some lace yarn from
Colorway: Wild Daisies
Price: don't know, but probably a couple of dollars
Amount: less than 850 g
Needles: 3 mm
Gauge: You should know by now that I rarely swatch when knitting shawls
Dimensions: big

  • made the lace part symmetrical
  • start at row 25 of lace chart until row 32, then do row 1 to row 32.
  • 149 stitches (garter stitch) on each side, increase 38 stitches: 187 stitches on each side 36 x K4, yo, k5, yo
Easy pattern. The yarn is not supersoft, but not that scratchy as I had assumed. It's not cashmere, but probably soft enough to wrap it around your neck. The color is gorgeous. It's really really nice. I have some yarn left, so maybe I will make a small shawl for myself.

The picture of the shawl were taken with a Canon Ixus 130. Honestly, I don't think I am that thrilled with the camera... The first picture was taken with a Nikon Coolpix and while I always thought that this camera wasn't great, I still find the colors of the pictures were better. Leafprints Shawlette Leafprints Shawlette Leafprints Shawlette Leafprints Shawlette Leafprints Shawlette
Leafprints Shawlette Leafprints Shawlette

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Finished: Handspun yarn "Coleus"

Fiber: Corriedale
Color: Coleus
Seller: TheFiberDenn at Etsy

Comment: It's the same yarn as here and here. This one if navajo plied unlike the very first mini skein (2-plied) I made.

Handspun yarn Handspun yarn Handspun yarn Handspun yarn

Monday, August 17, 2009

Finished: Sewn skirt with ruffles

Pattern: Oops, I can't really remember... I remember using Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics It's a nice book which teaches you let your creative juices flow and design your own skirt.

Comments: I like the fabric a lot. The skirt is not too bad either. When I made it I was thinking about something à la Provence. I don't know how old this skirt is. I tried it on a couple of weeks ago and thought it didn't look so bad and I realized that it only needed a zipper. Me, giving up on things that are only inches, nah, milimeters, away from being finished? Ne-ver...

There's a zipper in the back. Instead of using some elastic for the waist I used a long bow/tie/ribbon? (I'm also struggling right now with the right word for it in German... ahem... Schleife? Band?). It's superlong, so I can wrap it around me and tie into a bow.

Colorwise the first picture is probably closest to the true color, although I like how bright and nice the blue is in the third picture. And I really like the ruffles. :)

I have some fabric left to make pouches or bags for my knitting. Awesome! :)

Skirt Skirt Skirt

You may have noticed that I fixed my template. The guy who created the first template must have deleted the images, hence, all the error messages. I got a similar template somewhere else at and spent Sunday afternoon tweaking it here and there. Now most issues have been fixed. The template has been adapted for Blogger and is based on "Integral" from The template is based on "Integral" from and was adapted for Blogger. Hm, I think, I should go and save all the images before they disappear again.


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