Friday, August 25, 2017

Babyblanket Chalice

Babyblanket Chalice

Babies, babies, babies... All around us people are pregnant. Reason enough for me to knit presents for all of them. There is not many cuter things than babyknits. Also, homemade gifts are always the best and as all of those babes need to be clothed, knitting babystuff are the small and quick knits I cram in between my bigger projects.

The blanket before blocking
Babyblankets are very welcome gifts for new parents. One of the charms of them is, that they don't only fit a short amount of time. As the babygirl in question will be born around the end of November I decided to use very bulky yarn. It is called Rico Baby and much thicker than the yarn recommended for baby blanket Chalice, the pattern I chose.

It is an ajour pattern which reminds a bit of leafs. After a while you get the knack of it, I couldn't knit the pattern by heart however, my little notes were always at my side. As the yarn is so much thicker, the beauty of the pattern was not very obvious during the process. I was worried that the yarn was too bulky for the pattern. But after washing and blocking I am happy with the result and surprised with how soft the blanket is.

Chalice was my main project during our almot three weeks of holiday, so I got most of it done during, although I didn't manage to find nearly enough time for knitting in my opinion, but that is another story. After a while I understood most of the pattern, but I never knew it by heart, so I always had the little drawing I had made right by my side. It's no pattern you can knit while watching a new episode of Game of Thrones (at least not for me), so you always need a little bit of concentration, but at least after a while I could feel when something was off and I had made a mistake in the pattern.

Now, the blanket is sitting on the antique leather chair in our living room, waiting for the baby to arrive in November.

The blanket taking a bath

After the bath I gently rolled it into a towel
I used our old carpet to stretch and block the blanket, waiting for it to dry. 

I blocked it with needles
Ready for take-off

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Knittting Fever

I am hooked again, the needles have me back. Although, as I already wrote before, 2017 hasn't seen the drop in my knitting summer usually brings. Maybe the weather has just been too bad for not thinking about fall and warm sweaters.

Right now, after having finished the baby blanket Chalice for my friend Franzi (turned out that after blocking, the pattern looks pretty nice, even with the warm wool) I am finally knitting my second sock with the Norwegian pattern. I think I finished the first one already about a year ago. Shame on me! But reading blogs of other knitters the Second-Sock-Fatigue seems to be a thing. And I seem to be less infected thatn some, at least it is only that one pattern that I only did one sock of. Anyhow, it is coming along nicely and I am pretty fast, at least sitting at home, with the book on my knees. I intended to finish the sock on the way to work, on the train, but it is too complex to knit it by heart. Let alone with a book balancing on my knees while I am on the train.... I am looking forward to finishing this project, not only to have it done, once and for all, but also to wear the socks with skirts and stockings.

I have been pretty naughty as well and just ordered a bunch of new yarn. We do not have any space, but I want to knit a nice cable-filled sweater for winter and I found this free pattern on Ravelry. The Beatnik. Being a big fan of Beat-culture, not only the pattern, but also it's name spoke to me.

So I ordered some marineblue Drops Nepal for this adventure. Let's see how it goes. It will definitely be one of the more difficult items I have ever knit.
The first one...


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bergen Jacket - My first Norwegian Kofte

It is summer in Germany, but you cannot really feel it. The weather is highly unreliable and I already feel a bit of autumn-motivation in me. Do you know this feeling? The hunger for warm soup, the good feeling of selfknit socks on your feet and some needles in your hands.

In the beginning there was only yarn...

Summer often is a time of little knitting as you don't feel like wearing woolen clothes, or not even like holding them in your hands for making them. But I have been a busy bee and finally finished my Bergen Jacket.

You can find the free pattern on Ravelry. It is pretty easy to follow, but I mainly used it for the measurements. For the flowers in the colourful part I decided on an old pattern from Norgestrikk, a book I really love, mainly for all the history behind it and all the pictures. My wardrobe is not crazy with colour, so most of the patterns I would recreate with different colours than the vibrant Nordic ones.

I will not lie, it took me a while to finish the Kofte and it still has one or two flaws that I will hopefully improve in the next one I might be knitting in winter. I used Drops Nepal yarn, which is pretty warm, so unlike my fellow Norwegian knitters, I won't be able to wear my Kofte until winter. The Nepal yarn is easy to knit, feels nice and is not too itchy on the skin (almost every yarn feels itchy on my skin, I am a real sissy here.)

What took me longest, was, as always, adding the buttons and sewing the threads. Are you also as lazy when it comes to that last step? The button border turned out to be quite a challenge. After steeking (cutting the knit as a tube cardigan into a cardigan) one might assume that both halves would be the same length, sounds logical, doesn't it? However, when I wanted to add the button border they weren't. It was pretty weird. Now the added border wrinkles a bit, but I am ok with that. If it doesn't happen with a second one!

The shoulder part is a little bit tight and I was too impatient to add long sleeves. Having extra long arms I should have added some centimeters to the arms of the pattern, but no, by the time I was adding the arms I really wanted to be done, so now I always have to wear something underneath that has real long arms.

For all the flaws, I still love my Bergen Jacket and the way it turned out. It was a little adventure, especially with the steeking, but I am looking forward to more Kofte knitting and I am grateful for all the inspiration I get on facebook and instagram by all the Kofte-communities.

Now I am happy to finish the baby blanket Chalice and the socks I still have on my needles.

Securing the Steek 

Steeking, cutting into the cardigan

Monday, August 7, 2017

Newborn and Baby Knitting - Klompelompe

A few months ago a friend of mine who also enjoys knitting asked me whether I had recommendations for knitting books about baby clothes. I didn’t, as I have never bought a book for baby clothes only. Loving to buy knitting books I took the request as an invitation to search for the cutest pattern books for kids. It’s shocking how gendered most children outfits are. Buying gender-neutral clothes is almost impossible and I am not a great fan of all the pink-kitchy stuff. As most of the time, Scandinavian knitting patterns did the trick. The duo from the blog Klompelompe (if anyone knows what that means, please tell me) offer their most popular patterns in a book. As young moms they were motivated to create their own patterns, as they found there were not many nice patterns out there, especially not for boys.
The colours, shapes and texture of their patterns are mostly unisex and so beautiful, I would wear most of the stuff myself if it was my size.

So I started knitting. Kid’s stuff is always finished so fast, it’s great fun. First, for my friend’s baby, who will be half a year old when the cold and sometimes brutal Berlin winter hits. I decided to go for the pattern “Fritz” and made a whole outfit with cardigan, pants, socks and hat. (When those friends had their first baby three years ago I also knit something for them, looking back at those things I am so ashamed at the quality of them. The socks didn’t even look like socks at all, it was horrible! And yet, I was so proud J ) Anyhow, the new outfit for the little one turned out cute and the pattern gives the fabric a nice, thick texture while being amazingly easy to knit at the same time.

The whole Fratz- outfit
The Fratz Jacket
The Fratz Hat and Socks (colour is actually a dark burgundy)

The hat "Oline"

Reusing the "Water for the Elephants"-pattern for a cardigan

The first Bonnet I ever knit

Pompoms are so adorable!

Another Oline-Hat.
After the outfit for the toddler I was hooked and when the friend who had asked me for baby patterns sent me an ultrasound of her baby girl who will be born in the last weeks of November, I was totally motivated to knit as much newborn-stuff from Klompelompe as I could till we went on holiday. The newborn-hat patterns in the book are so adorable, you will love them. I ordered a pompom-maker on amazon and am quite happy with the results. The hats look so cute with them!

If you need a gift for new parents or want to get a great book as a gift to a new mom or dad who knit, Klompelompe is my recommendation!

Finished cardigan for the little newborn
Happy knitting folks!