Nude Knitting

Allgemein, feminism, inspiration, knitting

Currently I am supposed to be busy busy busy writing my master thesis, but even that can’t keep me from researching knitting patterns and looking at what all the knitters out there are creating! Here are two examples that I found especially funny lately:

The „Sexy Socks“ by fiber artist Ýr Jóhannsdóttir from Iceland

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I love how these socks are mocking beauty norms. The description how to make them can be found on Ravelry.

The „Nudekinis“ from dutch knitting artist duo Club Geluk

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Club Geluk is knitting everything from ham to horse sweaters and offer workshops, books and knitting patterns.

With these knits you can be dressed and still look naked, protest freedom for nipples even when it’s still cold. The possibilities are endless!

A New Thing: Kantan Embroidery

Allgemein, inspiration, sewing

I recently rediscovered embroidery after having forgotten about it for some time. A few years ago, when I first discovered Jenny Hart’s work at Sublime Stitching, I experimented a bit with embroidery, but I never really knew what to make out of it. The random embroidered fabric pieces went in a box and got forgotten over time.

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In the last weeks I started noticing embroidery again, thanks to embroidery artists Tessa Perlow  and Sofia Salazar, whose modern and artistic designs tempted me so much, that I bought my own Kantan embroidery needle to try out a new (and faster) embroidery method. I like the chain stitch it produces, but I still have to figure out how to best use the needle. A embroidery hoop that can be fixed to a table might be helpful, as you actually need both hands to work.

I made my first trial piece in one sitting, without noticing how the time went past, totally captured by the work. It’s definitely better suited for continuous lines than single letters.

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That’s a wordplay on the french word for lesbian – gouine!

My next plan is to create a shirt inspired by this t-shirt:

Hand-Chain-stitch-Swirl-Rainbow tee #grooveisintheheart

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I am using vintage embroidery thread that I had in my stash and some simple unbleached cotton.

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Patchwork Weekend

Allgemein, feminism, inspiration, recycling, sewing, vintage

This weekend I got into a serious patchwork frenzy. I recently organized my fabric stash and leftovers, and this made me want to play with all these tiny pieces that are useless on their own, but that I couldn’t bare to throw away. I started out with some little patchwork pieces that later became little drawstring bags, and then went on to make a bigger piece for a pillow case. I made use of even the tiniest piece of fabric! I also used up some leftover sleeves from vintage shirts, and it is incredible how much fabric comes out of a shirt sleeve when you cut it open! Cutting and arranging the pieces, sewing everything together was a lot of fun and actually felt more like a creative practice than anything else I have made in the last months. Maybe that’s why I can’t stop!

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small patchwork bags that just need strings now…

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Patchwork pillow in good company

While doing that I binge-listened to all the Have Company Podcasts, instead of watching/listening to random TV-shows as I usually do. In the podcast episodes Marlee of Have Company interviews resident artists and friends about their art, practices, how it is to be a small business owner and other things. It’s great! At the end she always asks people what they are excited about and I just wanted to write what I am excited about at the moment: A few days ago I received a little package from Little Red Tarot, including the Herbal Homestead Journal, a queer Tarot book called She Is Sitting in the Night and the beautiful Moon Angel Cards by Rebekah Erev. I am so excited about all these little things! The Herbal Homestead Journal includes simple and accessible ways of working with plants for every month and I am already looking forward of going back to this book over the course of this year.

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The first card that I drew from the Moon Angel Cards is Nr. 5 Go!

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I am also excited about this Coldcream from Weleda that I bought because I have these red dry spots in my face from the cold and it smells so good (and helps)!

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Beach tee made from leftover cotton and linen

I also made two patchwork t-shirts in my Patchwork Weekend, and reused some shirt sleeves, random leftovers from other projects and small pieces of fabric from my collection. I was inspired by this woven Geodesic Top and these Wabi Sabi tees, and again, just piecing the squares together was so satisfying. I cut 30×30 cm squares from the fabric, pieced it together and then cut out the neckline, easy! I will probably make more for summer (that will come at some point… we just have to stay optimistic).

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Patchwork tee made from all recycled silk

A Weekend in Paris

Allgemein, feminism, inspiration, knitting, sewing, vintage

Last weekend I was so lucky as to spend a few days in Paris with my girlfriend and besides enjoying the time together and stuffing us with viennois chocolat and brioche I got the chance to dive in the magical world of Paris fabric shops and find some new treasures and supplies.

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The first stop was La Bien Aimée, a tiny wool shop that sells hand-dyed yarn and an exquisite choice of magazines. I couldn’t resist buying the Stitching Up Paris guidebook of sewing and knitting stores in Paris, it’s a really great and updated overview and very tempting.

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The area around the Marché St. Pierre is definitely my favorite! It is situated on the quiet side of the Sacre Coeur and there is a beautiful café in the old market hall.

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I got a flashy blue Field Bag at La Bien Aimée! I currently hosts my almost finished No Frills Sweater. I found some beautiful leather pieces at Sacrés Coupons, some lingerie elastic at Tissus Reine and fabric at Dreyfuss. I can’t wait to sew some mini pouches and finally make a Watson Bra. The shops are all in Montmartre, it’s really nice! You can’t miss anything…

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Beautiful vintage buttons from La Bien Aimée.

And last but not least… The feminist bookshop! I went to the queer feminist bookshop ChickLit in Vienna and since then I am constantly on the hunt for more of these amazing places. Berlin doesn’t have a feminist or queer bookshop (shocking! I know! I should open one…), so every time I am in another city I try to find one. Violette and Co is a great little shop with an exhaustive french-international selection of books (no English books sadly…) on all things feminism. I got a great book on lesbian separatist communes in the US (so hard to find books on that in Germany!), two issues of revue WellWellWell, an excellent and entirely volunteer-run lesbian magazine and two issues of the Barbi(e)turix fanzine. On Saturday evening we went to the Wet For Me (organized by the Barbi(e)turix team), and that was hands-down the best lesbian party I have ever been to. What a successful weekend!

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Hello 2017!

Allgemein, inspiration

I know I am a litte bit late for New Years resolutions… But still! I like resolutions, the idea of a fresh start and setting intentions for the time to come. It’s also a nice record of ideas to come back to, reflect on what I actually accomplished and what I have forgotten about.

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This year I tried to make as little resolutions as possible, because I have one very big and urgent project that I have been carrying around for a long time now… My master thesis. As much as I want to do all the things, I have to channel my creative energy into this work in the first few months of this year (hopefully the first quarter!). I have been struggling a bit with motivation over the last time, so I hope to resolve this by working steadily on the thesis and getting things done.

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This is not the only resolution for 2017 of course! There have to be nice things as well, and one of these is to learn more about Tarot. I have enjoyed doing readings for myself or with others and reading about it, but this year I want to go deeper. I signed up for The Alternative Tarot Course by Beth Maiden of The Little Red Tarot and I am excited to start it as soon as I have some more time. Beth posted a really nice little open thread where people post their resolutions in the comments and then draw a Tarot card for someone else. Such a nice idea! This inspired me to sign up for the class and use my cards more.

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My last and very diffuse and open resolution is to dig deeper into my creativity, learn new crafts, challenge myself creatively, designing more things myself and sticking to my creative practice. I want to do more research in the new craft books I got and hopefully take a class or two! Easy! Now i just have to find the time for all this… But the thing about New Years resolutions is to be optimistic and positive, right?!

Bye 2016…

Allgemein, feminism, inspiration

The year is over, it’s the time to look back but also forward, to pause and to think a bit. 2016 has been a crazy year, being in Budapest, arriving back in Berlin, starting my first „real“ job, searching for a flat, not finding one but another room in a shared flat instead, unraveling a home and arriving in a new one, losing friends over it but also meeting new ones. I have been to great places, Vienna, Ile d’Oleron, Estonia, hiking in the Harz mountains… I made many things that I also wrote about here! I started thinking about this blog about this time a year ago and I am quite proud that I kept doing it, more or less regularly. I am happy to have a little record of what I have been making. I would have never really thought anyone besides my girlfriend and maybe some close friends would read this and be interested! And then actually more than 1000 people read my post about the DIY period panties so far. 1000! That’s a lot!

There is a lot to write about 2016, and many people will do it better than me. I just want to close with some photos of one of my favorite moments of this past year. It included making t-shirts and banners with friends, dyke march, sunny weather, being creative together, community and amazing women.

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creative chaos

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dyke march Berlin, 2016

Inspiration: Knitwear Designer Laerke Bagger

Allgemein, inspiration, knitting

The other day, while procrastinating on Instagram, I discovered the colorful work of Danish knitwear designer Laerke Bagger. Especially when the weather is getting more and more grey here in Berlin, the multicolored and multitextured sweaters and cardigans make me want to start knitting with pearls and leftover yarn right away. I might start with a fuzzy pillow or a pearly hat. But I am definitely also considering a pearly sweater for fancy winter events. But see for yourself!

Maybe this Wild Mohair Cardigan pattern could be a start…

🍭 #laerkebagger #knitwear

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Loving that #raglan sleeve #knitwear #laerkebagger

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@nemesisbabe getting ready for Fall in the wolly multi crop #laerkebagger #knitwear

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Sampling for #knittedfur #laerkebagger #knitwear

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DONE @iksiks #derstårperlerudaførenepåmig #knit #laerkebagger

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Finally it's fur season again #handknit #laerkebagger

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Fabric and Yarn Resources: My Favourites

Allgemein, inspiration, knitting, sewing

As noted in my previous post, for the last week of Slow Fashion October, I want to gather my favorite fabric and yarn stores. As already mentioned in my introduction, I am making clothes on a tight student budget, so I can’t always afford what I want and I especially can’t afford overseas shipping. So I want to show you my favorite places to shop! All these shops are physically and mostly online available in Germany (and neighboring countries):

Berlin, Germany

Siebenblau Organic Fabrics

This online shop with a small physical store in the heart of Berlin offers a wide arrange of eco-certified, fair-trade and recycled fabrics, as far as I know it is by far the best address for ecological fabrics in Germany, at a fair price.

Stoff und Stil

Stoff und Stil is a danish chain of giant fabric stores in Scandinavia and Germany. I really like the very affordable and large choice that this store offers. On their website they say their fabric is produced in Denmark, but I am really not sure about it. The carry a line of ecologically certified fabrics as well as their own line of sewing patterns. I buy most of my fabric there, as they offer the nicest design and color choice.

Volksfaden

This store offers a great choice of beautiful cotton and linen designer prints. They carry Atelier Brunette fabrics and a selection of Japanese prints.

Knopf Paul

This is probably the last shop in Berlin specialized in buttons of all sorts. This fascinating shop is run by an original Berliner, Paul, who is great at finding the perfect button for your jacket, but you should bring some time, the button choice is a serious business! There is no online store.

Vienna, Austria

Guate Stoffe

Guate Stoffe (good fabric) offers a unique choice of fair trade and hand woven fabrics from Guatemala, as well as hammocks and other homewares.

Komolka

Komolka fabrics is the must-see for fabric lovers in Vienna. This fabric store is the (self-proclaimed) biggest in Europe and offers an amazing choice from designer fabric to traditional Austrian fabrics. The customer come from all over Europe and rich Austrians buy the fabric for their fancy ballgowns there.

Tübingen, Germany

Der Webstuhl

This tiny yarn store is from another time, it doesn’t have a website and I couldn’t find any photos of it online… It has, however a great selection of local and plant-dyed yarns. It is definitely worth a visit if you happen to find yourself in Tübingen, in the south of Germany.

 

 

 

Travels: an Estonian Wool Mill

Allgemein, inspiration, knitting, vintage

dsc03057Last summer I was so lucky as to travel with my Estonian friend Liis around her home island, Hiiumaa. Hiiumaa is the second largest island of Estonia and a beautiful place to visit. There is not much Tourism going on, and the general atmosphere is quiet and relaxed. Fishermen’s villages, Lighthouses, a Baltic German manor house and the yearly weekend of open cafés are the main attractions here. It is easy to visit in two days, and one of the most interesting (at least for knitters!) is the wool mill Hiiu Vill. The family run company is running since the late 19th century, and the original polish machines are still running.

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The wool is from robust local sheep that are running everywhere on the island and the wool is not quite soft, but sturdy. Visitors can enter the mill and watch the process, there is a small shop where the wool and some sweaters and socks are sold. Sadly as we arrived in August, most of the hand knit sweaters and socks were already sold out to summer tourists. I bought socks and yarn to make some slippers, like the Simple House Slippers by Temple of Knit. I am happy to report, that this is the first clothing project where I will have seen the entire process, from the sheep to my feet!

Quite well fitting for Slow Fashion October and the topic for the fourth and last week: Known Origins. Most of the DIY blogs that I follow are from the US, and for this reason most of the locally produced yarn that I read about is from the US also, obviously. Even if I could afford these wonderful yarns that everyone seems to knit with, there is always shipping and taxes to add, and the whole idea of knitting your sweater with locally produced, low impact yarn is kind of lost. For this reason, I will try to round up a list of european yarn and fabric suppliers that I know of for later this week. But first: some more impressions from Hiiu Vill and Estonia!

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Homemade: The Perfect Travel Sweater

Allgemein, inspiration

I made this super simple sweater earlier this year, but never found the time to write about it, but it seems to fit so well with the ideas that came up during this week of Slow Fashion October. I really like the idea of using the term „homemade“ instead of „handmade“, it’s a nice way of reclaiming the word that carries connotations of clothes that are not deemed chic or stylish enough. Also, because all my clothes are homemade – I sadly don’t have a nice studio or even a corner in the living room to make my stuff. Living in a shared flat means everything happens in my room (at least I have a sewing table now!).

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seems like a butterfly sneaked into the picture! right on my elbow…

I bought the beautiful rust colored fabric for this sweater on a trip to Vienna, at Komolka, which is really worth a visit if you happen to be there. I just bought one meter, so that meant I had to be creative, if I wanted to make a sweater out of it. The pattern is my own design, and I am really happy how it turned out! It is slightly cropped and boxy, just perfect for layering more clothes underneath which makes it perfect for traveling. It is light enough to be stuffed in my backpack when I don’t need it and warm enough if it gets fresh. The center seam in the front made it possible to make this sweater out of just one meter of fabric, but I really like it as a little detail.

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another one just because the fall view of Harz mountains was so beautiful…

The sweater served me really well with my travels this year, and seems to coordinate really well with the landscapes…

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this time the sweater is serving me very well in Tallinn