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.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Finished: Ribbed Lace Bolero

Pattern: Ribbed Lace Bolero by Kelly Maher
Yarn: Filosoft by Wolle Rödel, 52 % merino, 48 % cotton, handwash at 30 °C, recommended needle size 4 -5 mm, recommended gauge 22 st x 28 rows = 10 cm
Color: white
Price: €3.75? per ball
Amount: 2.5
Needles: 3.5 mm for the ribbing, 4.5 mm for the body
"Switch to size 8 needles now"

I think I did this a row earlier, so that the stitches that were going to be cabled would be on the needles with a size 8, just like the stitches that had been undergoing ssk and k2tog on the other side had been sitting on needles size 8.

I'm convinced shrugs look like very clever constructions (you have a circle/rectangle and sew it here and here and voilà, a finished garment. How easy and clever is that?), but the fit is weird. There are three interconnected issues: collar, back, arms (armhole). Either the collar is too big or you have this bulk in the back or your armholes are too small. I think you will always only get a fit that is ok, but not great. Or maybe it's just my body. Ok, I might also rearrange the back material a bit by turning the collar in a bit more, then it might be acceptable. From the front it looks nice.

Love the yarn. I've already used it in another color, red, but it didn't feel as nice as in white.

Oh my, the combination of bad posture and ill fitting clothes...
Ribbed Lace Bolero Ribbed Lace Bolero

I think I like pictures taken without flash better. It's weird how different I look in the picture with and without flash.
Ribbed Lace Bolero Ribbed Lace Bolero

I like kitty, but kitty doesn't like me. Hmpf. Supposedly it's a very affectionate cat, but while I was talking to it, its tail was swinging nervously back and forth, as if it was sweeping the street.Ribbed Lace Bolero Kitty

Finished: Orangina in pink

Pattern: Orangina by Stefanie Japel (it's actually cheaper when you buy the PDF from Ravelry:
Yarn: "Seidenglanz" by Schachenmayr nomotta, 100 % cotton, 125 m/ 50 g26 st x 36 r = 10 cm x 10 cm, recommended needle size: 2.5 - 3.5 mm; one of my friends said that the yarn is now called "Catania". I can't remember exactly how "Catania" looks like, but I think it does look similar. Each ball had a couple of knots.
Color: 158
Price: €1.25, reduced from €1.75
Amount: 4 balls
Needles: 3.25 mm for the body and 2.5 mm for the ribbing. I would have preferred 2.75 mm needles, but didn't have circulars in the right length.
Gauge: 18 stitches (2 pattern repeates) in 9 cm
Dimensions: 9 pattern repeats each for front and back
Made it smaller. I was afraid it would emphasize my shoulders too much if it was too wide. The ribbing is also lower, but that's just because I assumed that with blocking the body would shrink lengthwise, so I knit a couple rows more. It didn't really shrink and I was just too lazy to rip back again and I thought that this piece was already full with mistakes anyway. And also, it looks ok that way. If I hadn't liked the look of it I probably would have ripped back.
I knit the top in the round after the armholes. If you knit in the round, you can reduce some stitches, but be aware - you can not just line the pattern repeats one after another. It will not work where the beginning and the end of the row meet. At the sides you need to keep some of the edge stitches. Trust me, I've repeated this over and over again until I finally understood that my knitting was correct and it just did not work out, no matter what I believed.

After joining to knit in the round and after like 10 cm I tried it on and realized that the armholes are too big. - I just don't know why they were too big! AAAAHHHH! I had measured it! At this point and after ripping back so much I decided to make the armholes smaller by sewing the side seams together.

The yarn doesn't seem to be a great quality. Usually I don't block garments inbetween, but in this case I wanted to check the length of the lace part (I turned out to be longer then expected, but just couldn't bother anymore), so I soaked it in water, meaning, I did not wash it with any detergent, just soaked in water and then blocked it. After drying, checking the length, etc, I continued working on the ribbing, and guess what, there is a color difference. You can even see it in the picture.
The edge around the neck curls. The swatch was ok, but here the edge curls. I just blocked it again, but still, it seems like the curled edge is going to stay.
I think I like it, despite the armholes and the curling edge.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Finished: Saturday In The Park Perfect Dress

Pattern: Saturday In The Park Perfect Dress from Fitted Knits by Stefanie JapelKnits
Yarn: Filosoft by Wolle Rödel, 52 % merino, 48 % cotton, handwash at 30 °C, recommended needle size 4 -5 mm, recommended gauge 22 st x 28 rows = 10 cm
Color: red (1205)
Price: €3,75 per 50 g ball?
Amount: 12 (one was needed for swatching)
Needles: 3.5 mm
Gauge: 24 st x 32 rows = 10 cm in stockinette and mock lace cable pattern. On the label the recommended gauge is 22 st x 28 rows, but I was afraid that the dress would sag at the bottom if it was knit too loosely and I tend to like my knitting to be a bit tighter than what is usually recommended on the label.
Dimensions: I measured myself and calculated the amount of stitches that was necessary to make the dress fit. The dress has negative ease (a couple of cm).

Cast on 242 stitches. I’m doing it top up. This top down raglan thing according to my calculations is not working out for me.

After the hem pattern decreased by 2 stitches = 240.

Divided them into sections of 20 stitches. Alternating sections with stockinette stitch with mock cable pattern.

After 18 rows: decrease 2 stitches in each stockinette sections: k5, k2tog, k6, ssk, k5
6 x 2 stitches => 228 stitches

After 24 rows: decrease 2 stitches in each stockinette sections: k5, k2tog, k4, ssk, k5
6 x 2 stitches => 216 stitches

After 24 rows: decrease in the mock cable sections:
p1, cable, p2tog, cable, p2, cable, p2tog, cable, p1
6 x 2 stitches => 204 stitches

After 12 rows: decrease in the mock cable sections:
p1, cable, p1, cable, p2tog, cable, p1, cable, p1
6 x 1 stitch => 198 stitches

From hip to waist: 20 cm = 64 rows

After 12 rows: - 18 st: => 180 st

* Two decreases in each of the stockinette sections: 6 x 2 st decreases = -12 st
* 3 x 1 purl st dec in the mock cable section = - 6 st

I wanted the stitches to be a multiple of 5, because of the pattern.

I now repeated the hem pattern for the hip section. I got the idea from Monikita:

After 9 rows: - 10 st => 170 st
Decreases are worked on the sides. That creates the least disruption of the pattern. And I guess, that’s just what you do? From now on, decreases and increases are worked on the side

After 9 rows: - 10 st => 160 st
After 8 rows: - 10 st => 150 st
After 9 rows: - 4 st => 146 st
* On the side: ssk, k3, k2tog
150 st /2 = 75 st. This means my center on both sides was not between two stitches, but on a stitch.

I think it should have been between two stitches, but anyway, trying to distribute the decreases nicely was tricky enough.

After 9 rows: - 4 st => 142 st
After 9 rows: - 4 st => 138 st

After the hip section I added a central cable section (30 st wide).

Now I started increasing.
9 times every 7th row 4 increases => 174 st

On row 49 I added short rows. There supposed to start like 1-2 inches from the armhole and end 1 inch from the bust point. So, I made 4 short rows, 3 stitches apart. Starting 5 stitches from center stitch on the side. Ending 11 stitches from the center cable section. I find the short rows look a bit weird, ending above my bust point?

Armhole shaping:
I now had to separate into back and front and decided that the center stitches on the side would be added to the front.

Decreases for the back and front: 3-2-2-

At the same time, after 4 rows (counting from where I separated the sleeves) I bound off the central cable section.

Cast on 70 st. Added cables. Increased 2 st. => 72 st Knit two rows. Decrease 3-2-2 on both sides.

Connecting sleeves and body part:
Use two circular needles, one for the front and halves of the sleeves. The other one for the back and the other halves of the sleeves. Knit 4 rows. Decrease in front and back. Two stitches between the decreases.

Picked up 3 stitches for every 4 stitches in the front and back and 3 stitches for every 5 rows. Neckline is a bit different. I didn’t turn at the purl line and instead just let it curl. It’s nicer and stretchier that way. Folding at the hem was good, but at the neckline it looked ugly. Did the same for the sleeves. I think the raglan sleeves do make my shoulders look a bit bigger.

I'm happy with the dress.

Saturday In The Park Perfect Dress Saturday In The Park Perfect Dress Saturday In The Park Perfect Dress Saturday In The Park Perfect Dress Saturday In The Park Perfect Dress Saturday In The Park Perfect DressSaturday In The Park Perfect Dress

By the way, I just hate that my blog looks so messed up. And it's so much work customizing a new template.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

2009 - International Year of Natural Fibres

FAO resolution
International Year of Natural Fibres


Recalling that, following consideration by the Joint Meeting of the Thirty-third Session of the Intergovernmental Group on Hard Fibres and the Thirty-fifth Session of the Intergovernmental Group on Jute, Kenaf and Allied Fibres, and by the Sixty-fifth Session of the Committee on Commodity Problems, the Hundred and Twenty-eighth Session of the FAO Council in June 2005 had endorsed the proposal for an International Year of Natural Fibres;

Noting that natural fibres play an important part in clothing the world's population as well as having traditional and promising new industrial uses;

Recalling that much of the world's natural fibre was produced as a source of cash income by small farmers in low-income and developing countries;

Desiring to focus world attention on the role that income derived from the sale and export of natural fibres plays in contributing to food security and poverty alleviation of the population;

Believing that while the production and consumption of natural fibres offer significant environmental benefits, concerted efforts should be made to ensure that these benefits are not compromised by unsound practices;

Recognizing that there were important potential partnerships among participants in the various natural fibre industries;

Affirming the need to heighten public awareness of the economic and environmental attributes of natural fibres:

1. Requests the Director-General to transmit this Resolution to the Secretary-General of the United Nations with a view to having the United Nations declare the Year 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres;
2. Further requests the Director-General to inform future sessions of Conference and the Secretary-General of the United Nations of progress in making arrangements, including in securing funding, for the International Year of Natural Fibres and, subsequently, of the results of the Year once concluded.

25 November 2005


Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Last month A really long while ago, I was in London. I was excited, because it was my first time to tread British soil beside the times when I was transfering to another flight at Heathrow airport. It's kind of funny that it took me so long to ever get there.

LondonGetting around using public transportation:
Here's the website that will tell you how to get from A to B. You can use the tube or buses within London, but I only used the bus twice. Once from my friend's house to get to Camden Market - I had a nice view sitting on the upper deck - and then to get back to the airport.

That day I didn't have One Day Travel Card, so I used an Oyster Card. It's a card that you can recharge online or at automats. They want to encourage the use of paperless tickets, so if you use an Oyster Card you get cheaper fares.

If you want to travel outside of London with the train you can get an extension for your Oyster Card. There is also something called Oyster Card Travelcard.

I feel like a complete failure and loser for not being able to figure out the real difference between Oyster Card and One Day Travelcard. *sniff* (Screw them, really... I researched it on the internet, but I don't get it and nobody I asked seems to understand it either.) . Anyway, I think if you want information about Oyster Card and Travelcard it seems the Wikipedia page still explains it best. Too bad that I didn't see it before I went on vacation.

I arrived in the afternoon and as my friend doesn't live in London, but in a small village a bit outside - a deadly boring place according to her - I wanted to see a bit of London first before going to her place. The first question was then, where couldI leave my bag? I don't know why I assumed that all tube stations would have lockers, but I learned I was wrong. The lady who sat next to me in the plane told me that they had lockers at Victoria station and she doubted they had them elsewhere. Anyway, if you arrive from Heathrow, Victora Station, a tube and railway station, is probably the next place where you can leave your luggage. They don't have lockers, but they have a service where you can leave your luggage. It costs a shocking 8 pounds. *gulp* It's a 24 hour service, but if you only want to leave your stuff for a couple of hours you still have to pay 8 pounds.

If you walk out of Victoria Station you then have the choice between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. I decided that it was a bit late already and that I would leave Buckingham Palace for another day (that never came...). On my way to Westminster Abbey I noticed that a) a lot of Londoners are dressed in suit and b) they all walk quite fast. Someone I know complains about the Gemütlichkeit of people here, now I know what he means. In general, I find people in London to dress better than here. And a lot of cute guys are running around. :D And a lot of Spanish people. And a lot of the people in suits are foreigners. I've noticed that in other countries like the States and now Great Britain foreigners seem to be better integrated into society and are less confined to low paid jobs. One of my friends, who is British, said that in England people are more open and willing to give you a chance to prove yourself, while in Germany without the right degree you don't get far.

London London On my way I saw this church. And this house. It looked so old-
fashioned and cute among all the modern buildings.

LondonOn the left hand side is a picture of Westminster Abbey. Surprisingly unspectacular to me. Not sure what I was expecting. On the other side of the street is this huge building with a flag on top of the tower. I saw a lot of people who looked touristy to me walk inside and come out. I asked one of the official looking people at the entrance what it was and if you could get a tour. She said it was the House of Parliaments and that there was no guided tour, but that you could still walk inside and have a look at the debates inside. I didn't really have any plans, so I walked inside.

London London
LondonThat's the entrance hall inside the House of Parliaments. It's *huge*. Look at the ceiling. I listened to a debate in the House of Commons that was about the dangers of cannabis. A member of the government was arguing that the danger of cannabis was overrated and not more harmful than other legal drugs like alcohol or cigarettes. I noticed that the members of the House of Commons looked like tourists, they all showed up for the vote. At first I was wondering why there were so many tourists as the age range was amazing - really young men and really old women, the grandma type - and also because some of them had the bad dress taste of Robinson Club tourists. Totally not what I expected after I had gotten the impression that half of London was running around in business suits. They also didn't sit down, but were just walking buy. Later one of the guards told me that they were voting in two different rooms. One room was for the "Ayes" and the other one for the "Noes." The noes had it in the end, so I guess, the government guy didn't really convince anybody. The debate in the House of Lords was quite boring, more civilized. The hall here had a richer decoration. The two Houses are also distinguished colorwise. The House of Commons is decorated in green and the House of Lords is mostly red.

First and foremost, I must admit - I was not able to buy any yarn at all! This totally pains me, *booohoooo*. :( The last day, Saturday, came and I had decided that this was going to be the day where I would not oblige myself to be a good tourist, who would visit all these cultural institutions. Instead I wanted to indulge in shopping. I find shopping in general extremely boring, because I usually go shopping when I need something and usually I don't find it. Plus oxygenfree shops, big crowds of people and long lines in front of the changing rooms - soo bad... Anyway, shopping for yarn can be more fun. It's just I first went to Staple-something Market (??) (which I confused with Camden Market). There I managed to meet up with my friend, who came with her boyfriend and who had also arranged to meet with another friend of hers. From there we went to Camden Market. My friend, being Spanish, started speaking Spanish with her Spanish friend and her British boyfriend, knowing some Spanish, but not enough to follow the stream of words that Spanish people produce when they talk, understood only a bit of it. I think he felt a bit frustrated for not being able to join in the conversation. I tried to entertain him a bit, but I think he was also thoroughly bored with the market. It's more a girls thing, I think.

So, after Camden Market we went to this little yarn shop, I knit. It's a nice shop with a lot of Malabrigo and handpainted yarn. Despite the low value of the British pound though, I found the prices for the handpainted stuff to be quite shocking. Even if they had been in Euro, I would have found them expensive. Luckily, handpainted yarn is not a must on my list. Other interesting stuff was yarn from Habu Textiles, like stainless steel yarn, and this blend of merino and possum fur in DK weight - really soft (hm, after reading more about possum fur here, I'm not so sure anymore if I really want to use it. I'm also slightly confused about the use of the term "fur" when you're talking about yarn = just hair, when it's coming from an animal.). I'm just not really the kind of person who buys expensive exotic yarn without having any kind of project in mind. There are questions like, what do you want to knit? How much do you need? Returning leftovers is not easy when you buy the yarn a couple of hundreds kilometeres away from home. And with two guys who were not overly interested in yarn my mind was just not free enough to reach any conclusion... :/ The end of the story is that I didn't buy anything from this shop. By the way, the shop doesn't carry any Rowan. I had assumed that every British yarn shop would carry Rowan yarn.

Afterwards I suggested that we go to a Pub first seeing how bored the guys looked instead of going straight ahead to the John Lewis Department Store on Oxford Street as my friend suggested (I thought after Camden Market and the other yarn shop they needed a break). She was concerned that it would close soon (it was around 6 pm). I said, "Well, that's a big department store, on Oxford Street, and today is Saturday. It's very very unlikely that they will close earlier." Yeah, RIGHT! 7.15 pm we were standing in front of a closed department store and in the window I was able to see balls of Rowan yarn! *sob* (One of my friends later explained to me that the John Lewis Department Store has this social conscience in their business concept included where you treat your staff nicely, meaning nice opening hours, fair salaries, etc. I also read in the newspaper that despite the financial crisis and some minor cuts they had still paid high bonuses to their employees.) And of course, no other department store around Oxford has a haberdashery section... That's how I managed to go to London and come back empty-handed. *sob, sob* I guess, that means I have to go back there again. And there are surely not going to be any bored non-knitters coming with me! :D

LondonOn my list of things to do in London was also going to a knitting group. It so happened that, although the three groups I had discovered had irregular meetings, all three of them had a meeting the Thursday I was in town. Serendipity strikes again! :) I decided to check out the Stitch & Bitch group. They seem to be a quite active group that do fun stuff like knit graffiti. On the left hand side is a picture of a knit graffiti I discovered in London. I confused the addresses though and in the end went to another group. They were nice, but less enthusiastic about knitting than my friends from my Sunday group are.

London London

They have a "controlled drinking zone"! :D

Ok, I need to go to bed now, but I really want to finish this post. The short version: British Museum is really nice, lots and lots of culture - go there. Didn't see the Natural History Museum, which I regretted, because I got told that there is a huge dinosaur skeleton in the entry hall - go there. Victora and Albert Museum is also interesting - go there. Nice sections about fashion, jewelry, etc. (I just found out they have a knitting section on their website with patterns!)My guidebook said that the museum would close at 5 pm, I think. That's just the half-truth though. At five certain sections close, but many of the interesting sections, the silver jewelry section, for example, continue to be opened. One more thing about this museum: the gift shop is great. I found it somewhat irresistible.
London London London London

Guess what that is. It's an antique comic! Click on the picture to see a larger version.
London London London London London London London

A moai, a stone statue from the Easter Island. He's just awesome. I like big statues.

That one reminds me of one of the ghosts in Chihiros Reise ins Zauberland (Spirited Away)
London London

I like the frescos.
London London London

The Stone of Rosetta. With the aid of this stone, it was possible for Champollion to decipher the hieroglyphs. I remember this guy's name so well, because when I was an intern in Egypt, there was a street named after him and in this street there was a shop where you could get really good kushari.

A tapestry in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

View from the south bank of the river Thames.


The Tate Modern Gallery is located here. I find the installation in the Turbine Hall to be really great. I really loved that one. You can join free tours. I joined one that was called vortex and something. I like to get explanations to the pictures, although sometimes afterwards I still don't understand what makes them so great. Sometimes the explanation is as weird as the picture.

I didn't see the big dinosaur skeleton in the Natural History Museum, but I found a really cute smaller one here.
London London London London

I'd say London is worth a visit - go there! :)


Italian knitting group on Ravelry

French knitting group on Ravelry

Mystery Stole 3 KAL

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