2018-08-27

Reversible scarves

Lately I have become a bit obsessed with reversible scarves, meaning scarves that look the same on both sides. Not only should they look good on both sides, they should look exactly the same. 
Easy ways to achieve that look are ribbed scarves, for example, or garter stitch, which I love, by the way. But well, does anybody really need a pattern for a garter stitch scarf? There must be other ways!

Reversible scarves - both sides look the same


I have been playing around with knit-purl-textures for a while now. In one of my previous blog posts I wrote about another scarf  which I really enjoyed knitting. For anyone interested, the pattern has now been released. You can find it here on Ravelry.

Autumno - a reversible scarf

My new idea (shown in the first picture) is a very simple one. But I love the look of it! Basically it is a moss stitch variation, knitted in a heavenly soft fingering weight alpaca yarn. Just what you need when times are hectic.

2018-08-17

Eternal love

I found this impressing tree on my latest hike. It must have been an impressing tree 44 years ago already. Young lovers often feel the need to confirm their love and put a visual sign somewhere, like love locks on bridges. The world needs to know, and more than that, finding someone who bears with you is the most wonderful feeling. 

Eternal love


Back in 1974, every boy and every young man had a pocketknife, those all purpose knives that could do a lot more things than simply cut things into pieces. A romantic picnic in the forest and that darn bottle of wine does not open? Good to have a young man with a pocketknife by your side! I guess you get the necessity of such important tools.
Those knives could also be used to cut names into trees, often with a heart around and the year. I don't see them so often nowadays, it seems to be a tradition of the past.
However, I hope those young people of almost half a century ago are still together, aged in love for each other. In my imagination they are, and that's a heartwarming thought.

2018-08-10

An easy crochet cowl

I am always so far behind with taking pictures of all that I have knitted or crocheted. This one has been finished for quite some time already. I made one of these cowls before in dark blue yarn. Actually I like the turquoise better. 

DREI - an easy crochet cowl pattern




The pattern has been up for a while, it is called Drei. That's the German word for "three". If you can count to three, you can crochet this cowl. It is a very easy pattern, but also very enjoyable. Guess why I wanted to make another one of these.


Written for the use of fingering weight yarn, it can easily be adapted to any yarn that you have on your hands. I even made a beach bag using the same stitch patterns.

Beach bag
 

2018-08-03

Too hot for knitting

It is hot! Knitting is very slow going. When you feel like you are melting away, you also get this tendency to throw your knitting somewhere into a corner and not look at it. Really slow going, I told you.
My newest knitting project is another shawl. I'm using this wonderful yarn again (see here, they still don't pay me). This is a bottom up construction with the intention to use up all of my yarn. Lots of little cables there!

Colorful Alize yarn shawl with cables

Now I just hope that it will soon cool down again. 

2018-07-20

Fisherman's Rib

One of my favorite stitch patterns in knitting is Fisherman's Rib (or Shaker Rib). 



It is a simple brioche pattern, easy although a bit more challenging than a simple knit/purl rib, and creates a very soft reversible fabric. I used it for a shawl that I recently completed.

Brioche shawl with crochet border  using the Fisherman's Rib stitch pattern

 But how is it done? Very simple!

Fisherman's Rib or Shaker Rib tutorial
 
Work row 1 in knit 1/purl 1 ribbing. In all following rows work the knit stitches in the stitch below as shown in the pictures above.

  1. Insert right hand needle in stitch below the following stitch on left hand needle.
  2. Knit the stitch, dropping the stitch off left hand needle.
  3. This is what it looks like when you have knitted it.

That's it, easy-peasy.

For anyone interested: The tutorial is taken from my Alize Wrap pattern.
 

2018-07-16

Home

Home is a feeling. Home is the place where you belong. It can be your house and garden, it can be a region, it can be friends and family, it can be sounds and scents. 

The spruce tree - home is a feeling

For me home is located in the national territory of Austria, but has nothing to do with national borders. Home is swarms of swallows arriving in spring and leaving in late summer, home is forests and rivers and mountains, lakes, woodpeckers, deer, squirrels. Home is the place where I got my first kiss, which - to be honest - was an awful experience. Briefly speaking it is the place where I have my roots. 
I did spend time abroad - there are a lot of other beautiful places in the world - but here is where I intend to stay for the rest of my life. 
Besides having a place that I call home, I always felt European. And beyond that, I always felt cosmopolitan. There is no such thing as Austria first, Germany first, America first or Great Britain first. Planet first maybe. 
There are some tendencies nowadays that don't go well with my beliefs. Important men and women (more men than women, but that may be coincidence), elected or not elected, telling us that outside our national borders there is apparent danger in the form of illegals. Illegals meaning people who have lost their roots. This is not an Austrian phenomenon, although happening here as well. It is a phenomenon that is going on in those countries that never get tired to praise their own values, whatever these may be, implying that people who have lost their roots don't have values. The wording is perfidious and has nothing to do with my values. It may even be vice versa, they lost their roots because of our values. Borders that had disappeared for decades are being reinstalled in less than no time under the pretext that our values are in danger. 
Going back to the beginning, home has nothing to do with borders. Please stop telling me that protecting borders and fighting against illegals will protect my home. Closing borders only makes home a narrow place. Fighting against climate change would protect my home. My home is not my castle, my home is the place where I want to have room to breathe. 

(If you are wondering about the picture: It shows a spruce branch. Spruce trees are currently endangered by bark beetles.)
 

2018-07-13

Genova

Another pattern was released just a few days ago, the Genova hat.

The Genova hat - a hat knitting pattern in stranded colorwork

This knitting pattern is available in child and adult sizes. The hat is worked in stranded colorwork. The inspiration for the pattern was a journey to Italy.

There are more ways to knit stranded colorwork than I can count. Personally I am a continental knitter and have both strands of yarn run over my left forefinger. I have not seen anyone else knitting stranded like that, but that's not saying much. 

However, here's a flower for you:

Can you see the bee?

  Can you see the bee?
 

2018-07-10

Believe it or not

There are other things in life than knitting. Sometimes they reward you with strawberries. The real ones, you know, those that taste like strawberries.

A walk in the woods, take a deep breath and enjoy some strawberries.
 

2018-07-06

For the love of garter stitch

This new knitting pattern is meant to be for beginner knitters, although I can strongly recommend it for advanced knitters as well - for those who simply want to relax while watching TV. This is so easy, you can knit it in your sleep. 
I always loved the look of garter stitch. I know it is nothing special. You won't win a prize with a garter stitch shawl, and it is really nothing that requires attention. But beautiful yarns look even more beautiful in garter stitch.

I called the pattern "Beginner Shawl", because that's what it is. Read more about it here on Ravelry

Beginner shawl knitting pattern now on Ravelry - a relaxing knit for everyone
 

2018-06-29

Love this stuff

Love this yarn - what beautiful colors!


I so love the colors of this yarn! This is Alize Bamboo Fine Batik Design (they don't pay me to mention them), 100% rayon from bamboo. 

A scarf in the colors of the sunset


Update August 2018: The pattern is up on Ravelry now.

2018-06-22

My favorite shawl knitting pattern - free for a limited time

If you ask me which of my shawl patterns is my favorite, the answer is clear. It is the Not Another Drop Stitch Shawl pattern. It does not look like much - no intricate lace, no special stitches, nothing that would make you win a prize in the contest about the most complicated shawl. But I love it! It is the one that I would pick for my best friend. 
It is cuddly and soft, it is wearable, and it is so much fun t knit! You can knit it in any yarn, you can knit it to any size and just stop whenever you think it is enough. 

Get it for free now! Use coupon code summer at checkout  and get your free copy. This offer will end when I've got my next blog post up. Happy knitting!

Free for a limited time - shawl knitting pattern

2018-05-22

The Poppy Scarf

I have been away for a while. Well, I have always been here, but not here on the blog. Too much to take care of in analog life. However, if you are interested in what I have been up to besides private life, here we go.

With a huge thank you to the wonderful ladies who tested the pattern, the Poppy Scarf has been published. I have to say that this is one of my favorites. It reminds me of my mother who introduced this stitch pattern to me when I was a little girl. She passed away while I was working on this pattern. The whole process from writing it up to getting it published has been hurtful because of memories sneaking in. If nothing else, this is dedicated to her.

A romantic and feminine lace scarf knitting pattern

The pattern is fully written and charted. I'd say it is suitable for intermediate knitters. It is not a difficult pattern if you have knitted lace before.

2018-04-04

Knitting in times of mourning

Life has been busy again, unfortunately filled with unpleasant happenings. We had a funeral last week, and the person who we buried was someone very close to my heart. It did not come unexpected, but still it was a shock.
Knitting and even more pattern writing has been on a hold for the most part. What I found a huge relief was knitting plain and simple things - garter stitch, very simple hats.  

What to knit when times are difficult

One of these hats takes 3 hours to knit. And below you can see a garter stitch shawl which is done with short rows.

Another one that I knitted was the Lacy Diamonds Hat.  This is one of my all time fravorites. I think I could knit them by heart in the meantime because I made so many of them already. 

Lace hat knitting pattern "Lacy Diamonds Hat"

Whatever happens in life, knitting helps.
For more insights on the power of knitting you may want to read this blog post.

2018-03-20

Has anybody seen...

...my turquoise yarn? I need it for the border!

Using a hand painted laceweight for a crochet shawl

Just when I thought I was done. 

(From the diary of a yarn hoarder)

2018-03-06

Shawl pattern "Faro"

My new shawl knitting pattern "Faro" has been released yesterday. 


Lace shawl "Faro" - a beautiful knitting pattern


I'm offering a 20% discount on all my shawl patterns until March 11th. Just enter coupon code "spring" at checkout. 

All shawl patterns are 20"% discounted until March 11th, 2018.
 

2018-03-01

The temperatures in February

For the records. The temperature scarf project has continued.


Knit two rows every day according to the temperature in your part of the world.


It has been a mild winter. Only the last few days have been extremely cold. 
See what the colors stand for over here.


2018-02-28

Why do you knit?

When I look back in time and how it all started, I remember a very early passion for all kinds of crafts. It was my grandmother who taught me to crochet at the age of 3 or 4 (I can't remember exactly), and my mother taught me to knit one year later. 
I have to say that it came easy to me. There was no Internet at that time, no YouTube. All I know now came from my mother and grandmother. Of course sometimes you learn a new stitch or find a new way how to do things, but the basics were settled at a very early age. I remember reading charts before I read books. They made total sense to me, as they pictured what the knitted piece should look like.
What we had were craft magazines. A pattern usually was half a page of written instructions, charts and possibly schematics if it was a garment. Besides I was eager to create things of my own.
This passion for crafts has been with me for as long as I can think. There have been breaks of course, there have been times in my life when crafting wasn't as important. When I made my steps into adult life, there were a lot of things that I considered more important than yarn. But somehow I always returned to it. A life without crafts would be a life where there is something missing for me. 

Why do you knit?


I know I'm not the only one. There are others out there who share my passion. You do. The way it came to you may have been different. What you want to achieve with it may be different. But the passion is the same. And there are reasons why we do it. I'll tell you mine.
  •  I love to see something grow in my hands. I am creating something pretty or useful or both. Knitting and crocheting makes me feel content, because I get something accomplished.
  • It is relaxing. When I knit, I am in peace with myself. Whatever happens out there, knitting helps. It does not make ugly things go away, but it gives me peace of mind. Some people say it is a kind of meditation.
  • I get compliments. Yeah, I love getting compliments!
The most important factor is probably the one when it comes to relaxing. 
I could grow tomatoes for example. That would be pretty and useful too. I could watch them grow and feel accomplished. But, well, that's not me, and it is not relaxing when the hailstorm hits.
There are other ways to get compliments. Go ask your mother. But, well, they are not relaxing.
Certainly there are other ways to find peace as well. But, well, knitting, that's me.

(Picture taken from the Have a Seat Please shawl pattern)

2018-02-25

The red poppy hat is done - and I need something new to do

Hard to believe that another week has gone by already. It seems like I got nothing at all done. But looking at the pictures, there is some visible progress.

The red hat to match the scarf and cuffs set is finished, and I have to say that I love it.

Red hat with flowers

My new WIP (work in progress) is a blanket. I'm crocheting a lot of different squares which will later be joined.

A blanket in the making
There will be several of the simple afghan blocks that I showed you in my last post, but also some new blocks which I hope to write patterns for. My main problem is that I never finished a blanket before. But one can try!

2018-02-19

The very simple afghan block

I've got this silly idea. I want to crochet an afghan. Lots of little squares, and when I'm done, I've got a huge blanket. I need one :-)
So yesterday I sat down and crocheted my first afghan block.

Very simple afghan block



It is a very basic one, the next ones will be more complicated. The second square is work in progress already.
But I would like to share my joy with you. Here's the pattern:

Free crochet pattern easy afghan block


This afghan block is worked in fingering weight yarn. Of course you can use other yarn weights as well, but keeo in mind that a different yarn weight will have influence on the size.
The pattern is written using American crochet terms. 

Difficulty level: easy (slip stitch, chain and double crochet)
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit (80% wool, 20 % nylon; 210m/50g; 225yds/1.76oz), 1 ball. Sample used 46m (50yds).
Hook: 3.5mm/US E
Notions: yarn needle
Gauge: 24 stitches/15 rows in dc = 10cm/4in.
Size: 15 x 15cm (6 x 6in)

Abbreviations and stitches:
sl st: slip stitch
ch: chain
dc: double crochet
rnd/rnds: round/rounds
rep: repeat

The block is worked in rounds. Ch 3 at the beginning of each round counts as 1st dc. 

Instructions:
Rnd 1: ch 4, 7 dc in 4th chain from hook, sl st into top of starting chain. (8 dc including the ch 3 from the beginning).
Rnd 2: ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), (dc, ch 2, dc) in next dc, *dc in next dc, (dc, ch 2, dc) in next dc; rep from * to end of rnd, join to top of starting ch 3 with a sl st.
Rnd 3: ch 3, dc in next dc, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space, *dc in each dc before next space, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space; rep from * to last corner space, dc in next dc, sl st in top of starting ch 3.
Rnds 4 - 6: ch 3, *dc in each dc before ch 2 space, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space; rep from * to last corner space, dc in each dc before starting ch 3, join with a sl st.
Rnd 7: ch 4, (skip 1 dc, dc in next dc, ch 1) 4 times, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space, *ch 1, (skip 1 dc, dc in next dc, ch 1) 9 times, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space; rep from * to last corner space, ch 1, (skip 1 dc, dc in next dc, ch 1) 4 times, join to top of starting ch 3 with a sl st.
Rnd 8: ch 3, dc in ch 1 space, (dc in next dc, dc in ch 1 space) 4 times, dc in next 2 dc, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space, *dc in next 2 dc, dc in ch 1 space, (dc in next dc, dc in ch 1 space) 9 times, dc in next 2 dc, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space; rep from * to last corner space, dc in next 2 dc, dc in ch 1 space, (dc in next dc, dc in ch 1 space) 4 times, join with a sl st.
Rnds 9 and 10: ch 3, *dc in each dc before ch 2 space, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space; rep from * to last corner space, dc in each dc before starting ch 3, join with a sl st.



Finishing:
Cut yarn and thread through loop. Weave in ends.

That's it. Have fun with it!
In case you would prefer the pattern as an easier to print PDF file, you can find it over here.

Update February 28th: You can find the PDF in German on the Crazypatterns site now. 


2018-02-18

Poppy scarf and cuffs

A few days ago I showed you the red scarf with the lacy flower pattern. It is finished! And I love it! 

Red alpaca scarf, hand knitted with flower stitch pattern

There was still some yarn left after finishing, so I decided to knit a matching pair of cuffs.

Knitted lace cuffs with flower pattern

Unfortunately there is still some yarn left :-) It will be turned into a matching hat. 
I plan to write patterns for all three of them and release them as an ebook. Here's another pattern detail:

Red scarf with flower pattern

P.S.: Update May 2018 - The Poppy Scarf pattern has now been published. You can find it here on Ravelry.

2018-02-17

How to write knitting patterns in English when you are not a native speaker

You may have guessed it, my native language is not English. It is German. I'd say my knowledge of English is above average in my country, but it is far from perfect. My main problems are prepositions: on, at, by, in etc. On the side, at the side, by the side, what the heck, how would one know! Punctuation marks as well, oh my! And probably you will find other issues that I don't even notice.
However, I write my knitting patterns in English. Sometimes I translate them to German later on, but the first version is always in English.  First of all, I trust in English speaking people that they will understand what I want to say, but there are some things that you can do to provide a pattern in good English even if your English is not good.
Sometimes the question comes up in German forums that I read: Is it worth it? Does it make a difference? This is a question that everybody has to answer for themselves. You may have a strong following in your own language, be it German, Italian, French or whatever, and may not see any need for providing your patterns in another language. If that's the case, you can stop reading now, this blog post will not give you any useful information.

Writing knitting patterns when English is not your first language


When I first started writing up my patterns, it was beyond question for me to write them in English. Why? First of all, obviously you reach a larger audience. Probably you could do that in Chinese or Russian as well. Maybe Spanish would be a good starting point. My problem with these languages is: neither do I speak Russian, nor Chinese or even Spanish, but I have a basic knowledge of English. Otherwise I would consider writing Russian, Chinese and Spanish patterns.
My second reason is that I find it much easier to write them in English. There is such a huge vocabulary of knitting and crochet terms in English. There is a word for every stitch you make and for every technique that you use. English is a very exact and detailed language when it comes to knitting. While German is a language of nuances, English is exact and to the point. Compare an English list of knitting abbreviations to a German list of abbreviations. You will notice that the English list is 5 times as long. The reason is that German does not have words for many of those stitches, thus no abbreviations for words that do not exist. Usually my problems start when I want to translate my patterns to German. There simply aren't any words for all those wonderful English knitting terms.
Which leads to my third reason: When writing in English (needs not be about knitting), my brain works in a different way. Thinking in German often is poetic and excessive and very wordy. Thinking in English comes straight to the point. Which may of course be conditioned by my limited vocabulary. However, when I write in English, I also think in (faulty) English. This opens a whole new world to me.

But back to the knitting patterns, which in my first draft version often are not perfect. They usually are fine concerning stitch counts and instructions - not always - but my English! Phew! 
I have most of my patterns tested by native speakers. I really appreciate my pattern testers for the reassurance, for providing valuable information about yardage and measurements, for catching errors, and for generally being lovely people. Nowadays those tests take place in the Knitting Sofa group on Ravelry.  If you are just starting out and don't have an own Ravelry group, there are several testing groups where you can run your tests. The Testing Pool, Free Pattern Testers or Open for Testing come to my mind.
And finally the other thing to do: Let your patterns check by someone who is a native speaker. I am lucky, because I found someone who I trust and the chemistry is right. You can find her under the name "CablingKaren" on Ravelry. Her services are especially aimed at people who are not native speakers. You certainly know that example: you search for an English word in the dictionary, the dictionary tells you 4 different words for what you want to say, and of course you pick the wrong one. It is not totally wrong, but it does not sound quite right for a native speaker. She eliminates those words from my patterns. She also checks my grammar, my punctuation marks and those pesky prepositions. Those flaws disappear before a pattern gets published. Plus she is good at checking the math. As you may know, writing knitting patterns is a science of its own.

If you have read this far, I assume that you know the basics of English. You can read a text that is written in English and you have a decent vocabulary. It is the subtleties of language that scare you and prevent you from offering your patterns in English. Go for it! Have your patterns tested and find someone who is a native speaker.

If you have only skimmed this blog post and in reality don't know English at all, don't go for it. You should be able to communicate with your customers when they have questions.

2018-02-11

Super bulky crochet scarf Faux Fur

I've got a new pattern!

Scarf crochet pattern in super bulky yarn


Make yourself a super warm crochet scarf in super bulky yarn! This is a surprisingly easy pattern. If you have not seen the stitches before, no reason to fear. They are explained in a photo tutorial.


Super warm and super bulky scarf crochet pattern

Any bulky or super bulky yarn will work for the pattern.

2018-02-05

Poppy

My current knitting project (besides the temperature scarf) is another scarf. I think I saw this stitch pattern for the first time when I was a child. Sure it is much older. But oh so pretty!

a flowery knitting pattern



The yarn is a heavenly soft fingering alpaca yarn. 

2018-02-02

Valentines Day is just around the corner

We are in February already. Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? It is a somewhat "newish" day here. I don't think my parents' generation celebrated it. But it is one of the newish days that I actually like. Celebrating love can't be wrong.
For all those knitters out there who are looking for something special to gift on this special day - here is an idea for you:


Bag with hearts knitting pattern, gift idea for Valentine's Day



See the pattern over here. It is so much fun to knit!

2018-02-01

What's new: new patterns and a Ravelry group

It has been a while. A lot has changed, and life has kept me busy. However, I am still knitting. I spent the last two years preparing for a new life, a life without a day job. My dream came true a few months ago.
You may notice, I won't write in two languages anymore. Please use the translate button on the right side.
A lot of new patterns got added to my pattern store over the last two years. See them here if interested. My friend Karen (who is a wonderful knitter and a great designer) and I also started a Ravelry group, the Knitting Sofa. We've got some KALs going on, and members always get informed about discounts and free patterns first. We'd be happy to see you there!
One KAL that is real fun is the Temperature Scarf KAL. We knit two rows every day in a color that represents the temperature of that day. You will notice, it has been a very warm January here.

temperature scarf kal free pattern
  

But my greatest pleasure over the last months was and still is nature. This is the one source of power and peace that always works when everything else fails. The mountains, the forest, the river, each and every small flower and my friends the squirrels of course. 

squirrel sitting by the tree with a nut

(Lousy picture, I know)
I hope to keep you updated more often now!