I almost finished my Summer of Basics Outfit in time, my summer pants and cotton scarf were done on time, but somehow I didn’t quite manage to finish my silk shirt until shortly before christmas. Now that my outfit is done, however, I am even more happy about it! The whole discussion around the Summer of Basics shifted my way of thinking about my new projects. Of course, still a lot of my projects are started for fun, but I am also thinking more and more about filling holes in my wardrobe and prioritizing projects that I need right now (for example a warm cardigan for the rest of winter).
I want to explore more about how queerness and crafts intersect. This time, it’s about queer knitting in a movie! The movie I am going to write about is the only one I have ever seen where knitting played an interesting role in the story development, but we never know! Maybe more will follow! Or maybe you have some great movies to recommend?!
I recently had the chance to see the Japanese movie Close-Knit, written and directed by Naoko Ogigami (2017). As the title suggests, the practice of knitting plays a central role in the film. It tells the story of Tomo, an eleven year old girl, whose mother disappears for a love affair one day and leaves Tomo in the care of her uncle Makio. He lives with his new girlfriend, Rinko, who is a trans woman. Slowly the three get to know each other better and navigate the everyday live in this new family constellation. The film is quiet and full of small gestures. Rinko’s identity is not the focus of the film, but rather the complicated familial relationships between the main characters.
As I said in my post about my plans for 2018, I moved to a new city and I want to meet people! To be precise, queer people and knitters, sewists etc. So in order to make this plan reality, I created a little flyer and a Facebook group for this Queer/Feminist Knitting Club that is about to start here in Nantes. Join!
I started knitting this blanket last year, before The Big Moving, as one part of reducing my wool stash (other parts meant giving yarn to friends and donating to a kids art school). So it looks like I have been really loving those natural brown-beige-grey-black-white natural alpaca colors and was lucky enough to have a lot of leftovers. So I started knitting pieces for a knitted patchwork blanket.
This is the last project of 2017 and the first finished one of 2018. I knitted the No Frills Sweater by PetiteKnit before, so it was a quite straightforward sweater, perfect for Christmas holiday travels and cozy evenings in front of the TV. It’s the (late) Christmas present for my girlfriend, and the only modification she requested is a mock neck with a folded neckband, like I saw on another No Frills Sweater on Ravelry.
I found this sweater some years ago at my parent’s place, when my mother was sorting through clothes to donate or throw away. It’s a nice and simple wool sweater that nobody except moths were ever interested in: It had some bad holes in the shoulder area.
The second part of my Summer of Basics outfit is done! My goal is to create an entire outfit, and now only the third and last part is missing. I am quite sure, I will manage to get the outfit done by the end of the month. My black silk shirt is cut and ready to assemble. So here is my second piece, my summer scarf! I wrote down the pattern, you can find it below or on Ravelry.
It is finally getting hot in Berlin, and very much against the season, I finished my Acorn Sweater, designed by Junko Okamoto. Starting this sweater was quite impulsively – I saw the pattern and immediately wanted to start. I thought it could be a good way to use up leftover yarn from my No Frills Sweater, and to finally use the light grey Drops Puna yarn that I had bought on sale in winter and never used for its intended purpose.
I am starting the Summer of Basics make-along late, but I am ready and challenging myself to make an outfit entirely out of materials that I already own. Not buying new fabrics is hard, especially with the new Atelier Brunette collection around, but I have so much fabric stashed that needs to be used. I will also finally do things that sit in my making queue for too long, so I hope this will be a success all over! Creating an entire outfit is quite the challenge for me, as I usually just make single garments without really planning a wardrobe or matching items together. I always figure, if I like it, it will fit my style… However, this time it will be different!
My plan is to make:
Summer pants with deep pockets from an 80s Burda magazine from a beautiful blue cotton fabric
A black silk shirt, for which I will recycle an old skirt from my mother with beautiful pearl buttons
A summer scarf from rust colored cotton yarn in a cross stich pattern
I already started the scarf and the pants, so I am quite confident I will finish my Summer of Basics-Outfit in time!
I am almost done writing my master thesis, which means I have extra free time for knitting and sewing and new projects! But first, I want to share something that I learned the other day, while buying some wool to finish a sweater. I am currently knitting two projects on 4,5 needles and needed an extra pair. I asked in the shop, but they just had interchangeable needles from a different brand then the ones I already have. I was ready to search for simple cheap needles to finish my project in another shop… But! The friendly shop owner informed me that all interchangeable knitting needles, that use a screwed connection, are all produced by the same manufacturer (at lest in the european market, I guess…).
For me, that was such a revolutionary information! It means that I don’t have to stick to the more expensive KnitPro needle collection, but I can add other, cheaper brands to my set! I can buy exchangeable needles anywhere, and they will all fit together! Knitting can be an expensive hobby, so this is a nice way to show some ways to make it more financially accessible!
Just to compare: the KnitPro needle tips size 4,5 cost 5,99€, the Drops ones 4,50€. And just the colors are a bit different… 1,50€ saved that I can spend on more wool! Maybe this was not new for you, but for me, this is quite a revelation.
Anyway, of course there are other brands and systems out there: Addi needles are the only ones still produced in Germany (for the seventh generation!), and the have beautiful (but pricey) needles made of olive wood. For straight needles and crochet hooks, there are several small producers existing, some of them working with social projects, like these multi colored crochet hooks from Switzerland.