Mostly Chatting

Herewith the blog post to accompany my most recent podcast episode.
If you would like to watch the podcast you can find it here.
I do apologise for the poor picture quality but the light just disappeared on me 🙁

To begin with, I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned this or not but you may have noticed that I moved to Germany. I definitely did mention that before, but I haven’t spoken about where exactly in Germany I am.
So, we live in Lower Saxony in a little town called Hahnenklee. When I say little, I’m not kidding. There are just over 1000 inhabitants in Hahnenklee and we don’t even have a gas station or proper grocer store here.
The upside is that we are living in a bikepark, with beautiful views. It’s also very quiet here, well, between 18:00 and 9:00 when there aren’t any visitors 😉
If you would like some insight into my personal life you’re more than welcome to follow my private profile on Instagram but please send me a Ravelry message first, so that I know who you are because I don’t accept people I don’t know on my private profile. I post quite a few photos of my daughter on there, and I don’t want random strangers to see them.

I’ve decided to change the podcast format a little. So far I’ve managed to film one episode a month, wich is what I’ve decided to stich to for now. I’m too busy with other things to film once a week… I teach English to senior citizens (50+) twice a week. I found a knitting group! Which I would like to attend regularly, so that takes Wednesdays out of the picture, and on Tuesday and Friday mornings I would like to spend some time riding my bicycle. As you can see this doesn’t leave much room for much else on a week morning, which is the only time I can do these things since Eliana is at kindergarten.

If you would like to keep up with me more regularly please follow me on Instagram or Facebook and join the Ravelry group to chat and ask questions.
I’m most active on Instagram and Facebook but if you all become more active in the Ravelry group I will definitely join in on the fun there 😉

But now on to what I’ve been up to over the past month…
As the name suggests, this is a crochet blog, the same with my podcast. However I do knit and knitting to me is my relax time. I usually knit from a pattern and I have no desire to become a knitwear designer but I do really enjoy it and will continue  sharing my knitting with you. The focus will still remain on my crochet though and you will get to see mainly original designs from me, since that is what I do: I design crochet patterns.

So, lets get a bit of the knitting out of the way and then move onto the crochet.
I don’t have any finished objects at all at the moment.
Well, my first knit project WAS a finished object but I unraveled it back to the heel because it didn’t fit nicely on my leg.

They may look pretty but were not comfortable up the leg… so, rip, rip, rip and start the leg again I did 😉

I like quite a high sock, as you can see from the photo, and I just didn’t increase correctly the first time. I’ve now got it all figured out, in terms of stitch count etc, and will use the same numbers for any other pair I make.

And onto the leg a second time.

The yarn I used is from Hartlam, who is a South African Indie dyer with an incredible sense of colour. This is her Tulbagh sock yarn, a 80% superwash merino, 10% nylon, 10% cashmere blend in the colourway Fire in the Sky. I’m using 2.5mm Addi lace needles, which I adore, and I’m knitting them toe up and two at a time. The pattern is Nutkin and I used the Fleegle Heel from the Time Traveller sock pattern.

My second knit project is also in Hartlam yarn, but this time in the Street Racer colourway on the Darling Lace base which is a 70% alpaca, 20% silk, 10% cashmere blend. It is so soft and squishy!

Isn’t this a gorgeous cake of yarn?

This is the yarn I spoke about on the first podcast episode. I knew I would knit this because the colour changes are too close together and I didn’t want to end up with a muddy mess in crochet.
Some colourways are just better for knitting.

I’m making a very simple semicircular shawl using 3.5mm Addi Premium needles. I don’t like these as much as the lace needles as the tip is much blunter. They definitely don’t work well for lace!


I want to use as much of the cake as possible but it is 800m of yarn, so I’ll see. It is going to be a really lovely and light shawl though.

Now onto crochet!

I am still working on my Cathedral Window Throw and my GREG (no longer a) mystery CAL blanket but they have been neglected a bit.
Luckily Sally (Wooldiaries) is hosting another round of #blanketmadness this week on Instagram, so I’ll be catching up a bit on those.

I did start a new design recently, in fact it’s pretty much finished now, just needs to be properly blocked now.

It’s a Tunisian and ‘regular’ crochet semicircular shawl.

I did block sections of it as I was designing it but it needs a final wash and block.

The yarn is Adelé’s Mohair, another South African brand. The reason I used this yarn is, quite simply, because I met Adelé at the H&H Cologne before Easter when I helped her run her stand at the expo.

Here’s what the Adelé’s Mohair stand looked like.

The H&H is a huge hobby and craft expo, but not for hobbyists. It’s a major expo for suppliers to show off their products to stores. So, if you have a hobby shop, whether it be for yarn or fabric, this is the expo for you to find new products.
I enjoyed the expo but it was also quite draining. There were so many people and having to engage with them for four days straight, not getting much sleep at night and being on your feet most of the time is a bit hard.
I would definitely do it again though.

Adelé’s speciality is, as the name suggests, mohair. Most of it is hand spun and all of it is hand dyed. She has 96 colours in her range, which is quite a feat for a hand dye business.

For the shawl I didn’t use one of her mohair yarns though. I used her 100% superwash merino skinny wool. It’s a beautiful soft single which is perfect for lace shawls, as you can see.

I’ve been wanting to design a Tunisian/crochet shawl for a while now.
I love Tunisian crochet and wish more people would use it but I think the majority are put off because it seems so complex.
Which is why I decided to use short rows in this shawl. That way you can use a normal crochet hook, as long as it has a long straight shaft. No need to buy an extra long, uncomfortable Tunisian hook. I used my KnitPro Symfonie Tunisian hook, it works like an interchangeable knitting needle, with a cable that is screwed onto the end of the hook.

This shawl just flew off the hook. It cam so easily and naturally and I just adore how it looks!

Now… I need your help!

I need a name for this shawl and there’s a prize in it for you.

I will open up a thread in the Ravelry group where you can enter your name suggestions. I want something a bit etherial and light, if that makes sense? The name should also not have the word Tunisian in it.

The prize will be a skein of yarn. I will give further details on the prize in the Ravelry thread for the competition, so please head on over to the group and join in on the fun!

Lastly, I have some acquisitions and two books I would like to chat about.

My first purchase is this lovely project bag, made by my friend Regina of the HerbstblattRegina podcast.


You can find her project bags, and hand dyed yarn (SOON!) in her Etsy store.
This bag is a cotton canvas bag. It’s not lined but extremely sturdy and very well made.
When Regina announced that she was starting to dye yarn too I sent her a message to tell her that she would probably bankrupt me soon, since all her creations are so beautiful!

The next thing I purchased was  this beautiful skein of Rohrspatz & Wollmeise yarn in DK.
I bought a skein for Sally and she bought me some South African yarn but I just could not resist getting a skein of this for myself!
It’s exactly my colours… pinks, greys and blacks.

I’m also doing a swap with another friend in South Africa, for whom I bought the most beautiful DK yarn from Drachenwolle.
Obviously I won’t show you that skein but I bought three more skeins of sock yarn for myself because their yarn makes excellent socks. It is sturdy and the colours are amazing!

 

Supernova

This will become a pair of socks for Conrad because he loves these colours!

Sturmschwinge

Gluthauch

I need to still find the perfect pattern for these two skeins (and finish my Nutkin socks- again!) but I can’t wait to cast these on!

My last purchase was a big one but it was one I couldn’t not make!

In case you didn’t know, the new Scheepjes Wol CAL started last Wednesday. It is called Last Dance on the Beech and is a commemorative CAL for Marinke, who lost her battle with depression last year on 26th June.


I knew I would buy the Luxe kit because I am a yarn snob and don’t like working with acrylic and also because I wanted to make the CAL as special as possible.
I chose a Dancing in the Rain kit because the other two colour options had some greens and yellows in them which I didn’t like at all.


I ended up bying my kit from Caro’s Atelier, a Dutch company, because the company I had initially wanted to buy from didn’t have their act together on the morning when the kits were made available (sorry for them!).
I’m glad I bought from Caro’s Atelier though, the service was fantastic and there was no shipping fee BONUS!
AND I received a little gift from them as well. They included a glas tea mug, two bags of tea (earl grey and rooibos), as well as four small chocolates.
Thank you for the awesome service! I can highly recommend this store, for those of you who are living in the EU!

Thank you too, to Nerissa, who sent me to them! I met Nerissa at the H&H and follow her on Instagram too.


She also has a blog and designed one of the squares for the Last Dance on the Beach CAL.

Lastly I want to chat about two books.
The first is my go-to crochet bible: Robyn Chachula’s Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia.


This book  teaches you everything you need to know about crochet, from simple stitches to cable, lace and colour work patterns.
There’s also a section about short row lace patterns, such as Bruges lace; Solomon’s knots; Tunisian stitch patterns and lastly granny squares, hexagons, flowers and snow flakes.
There is also a section on joins for squares and edging stitches, as well as a comprehensive stitch diagram guide and stitch glossary. Each stitch pattern comes with written and charted instructions, as well as a photo of the crocheted pattern.

If this is the only book you buy you’ll have made a good choice 😉

The second book is Marinke Slump and Anita Mundt’s Crochet Mandalas.


This book is beautiful. Unfortunately it was published after Marinke’s death so she never saw it but she would have been so very proud!
The layout is totally unique and the patterns range from barefoot sandals, brooches and rings, to mandals, rugs and shrugs.
What makes it even more special, and bitter sweet, is the fact that Marinke’s sister, Tink, was the model.

So, if you want to spoil yourself with a feast for the eyes do go and buy this book and have fun making the gorgeous designs.

Take care and happy crocheting, knitting, spinning or what ever other crafty things you do <3

 

 

 

26. April 2016 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: The Podcast | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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