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

img_3126-_small2

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

nudekini20beentjes_def

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!

Stretching for Knitters

Allgemein, how to..., knitting

A few weeks ago I started knitting a cotton top, and simultaneously started to have pain and numb feelings in my hands and fingers – something that probably a lot of knitters, crocheters and other crafters can relate to. Maybe my hands got tired after a long season of intense knitting, maybe the texture of the cotton yarn challenged my hands in new ways… Anyway, the pain is gone now, but it left me thinking and reflecting on how I, as a knitter, can take better care of my most important tools – my hands.

I think it all starts with acknowledging the importance of my hands as my main instruments, and at the same time, accepting that they have their limitations, as do body and mind in general. I learned through many mistakes when I need to stop making (when I am getting too angry at the fabric for example…). And now I need to learn how to see the limits of power of my hands (and arms, shoulders, back…) to make sure they will enable me to make things in the future.

The most important thing for me is to change projects every now and then. From bamboo needles to metal ones, big yarn to thin yarn, from knitting to crochet to embroidery or sewing. Or even taking a break from fiber stuff sometimes and make a drawing or take photos. This gives my hands the needed change of movements to prevent them from hurting. Other things include giving myself a hand massage and using a nice hand cream.

From my days doing actual sports I still remember my favorite stretching exercises for the hands, and I took pictures to share with fellow crafters. Take a moment before or after a knitting session and stretch:

Foto am 21.03.17 um 14.12 #5

Let’s start with the easiest: curl one hand into a fist and put light pressure on it with your other hand (repeat for both hands).

Foto am 21.03.17 um 14.12 #6 #2

Same principle as above: make your palms touch each other and apply pressure.

Foto am 21.03.17 um 14.11 #2

Slightly more complicated: turn your right palm to the right side, and hug the right hand with your left hand. Your left thumb touches your right pinky finger. Apply pressure with your left thumb and at the same time pull your right thumb to the left – this creates a rotating motion. Additionally, pull your hands down. Repeat for the other side.

Foto am 21.03.17 um 14.11 #4

Again, turn your right palm to the right side and hug it with your left. Move your elbows downward and at the same time pull your hands to your chest. Repeat for the other side.

Foto am 21.03.17 um 14.12 #2

Turn your right palm to face forward and grab it with your left hand as if to shake your own hands. Rotate your left hand inwards (by applying pressure on your right pinky finger area) and move both hands upwards in a round motion. Repeat for the other side.

I hope this helps!

Cropped Cotton Sweater

Allgemein, knitting, recycling, vintage

dsc03540

I started making this improvised cropped sweater last April, and it was supposed to be done for last summer… I stopped at some point when I realized I wouldn’t finish it in time for summer, and there it sat in my unfinished projects box until I finished  it last week! Also, I have to admit that even though I really like the linen/cotton mix, I didn’t really enjoy knitting with it as it is a bit hard on the needles and to the touch.

dsc03541

I initially wanted to a cabled pattern, but in the end I decided to stick to plain stockinette, as it brings out the lovely texture of the yarn beautifully. I am wearing it on the photo with a quickly refashioned linen shirt that I picked up at my parents on Christmas. It has these great side pockets but had huge sleeves that I just cut off. Bam, new shirt! Maybe this will be my next favorite summer outfit!

dsc03542

No Frills Sweater

Allgemein, knitting

dsc03535

As soon as I discovered the No Frills Sweater on Instagram, I knew I had to try this pattern designed by Mette Wendeboe Okkels of PetiteKnit. It’s the perfect pattern for a first top-down experience and some easy and straightforward knitting. After spending time on complicated and elaborate patterns at the end of last year I really wanted something simple to enjoy. The pattern gives much room to experiment in colors and I have already several other color combinations in my mind.

dsc03530

I held a light beige brushed alpaca silk and brown alpaca yarn together and I really like the result, even though I will chose more contrasting yarns for the next versions. I love the oversized shape with the fitted ribbing, perfect! It’s freezing right now here in Berlin, so this is the perfect sweater for now.

I have been wearing this sweater for one week straight and I can’t make myself take it off! I think this is the most cozy sweater I ever made…

dsc03538

Project Summary:

Pattern: 5€
Yarn: 31,50€ (on sale!)

 

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.

dsc03504

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.

dsc03510

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.

dsc03508

dsc03500

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…

dsc03501

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!

dsc03506

Charcoal Flaum Cardigan: A Late Christmas Present

Allgemein, knitting

dsc03458

Today I blocked the last handmade Christmas present of this year, a charcoal alpaca Flaum Cardigan for my mother. It’s the last project I will finish this year, and I am really glad I managed! This cardigan was the first top-down garment I made and it cost me some thinking… But at the end it is quite nice not having to close seams at all.

dsc03459

The pattern is really well thought through and easy to follow, and I did only some minor changes to it. I stopped doing short rows at the pockets to have a more straight hem and I started the decrease rows in the sleeves after the elbows to leave some extra room. The yarn I used is Drops Puna, a really nice charcoal grey natural alpaca wool. I held it double, which makes the cardigan really warm, but also a little bit heavy… The size is L, which fits quite nicely (my mom).

dsc03445

modeled by me as mothers tend to be camera-shy…

dsc03446

I am just not so good with the timer…

I will probably make one for myself at some point!

Project summary:

Pattern: Flaum by Justyna Lorkowska 6,50€
Wool: Drops Puna, 22 skeins (on sale for 2,20€!) 48,40€

Total: 55€

Marbled Cline Sweater

Allgemein, knitting

Back in spring I made a quite successful experiment with yarn dyeing. In the second round, I made myself a grey/off-white ombré sweater set. I dyed the Garnstudio Nepal with Batik dye, which worked out super good. Strangely, the 100% natural fiber took the dye less good than my mixed sock wool… You can read all about my dyeing experiences in the post about it. Just one little remark, if you are planning to do something similar: I ended up having too little dyed yarn to finish my sweater, so I really recommend calculating your material large! Better having some yarn leftover for a little hat, then running out on the last few centimeters.

dsc03422

From my gradient sweater kit I made Julie Hoover’s Cline Sweater, which is a beautiful, slightly 80s style batwing sleeve sweater. I made the smallest size, and the only modification that I made is doubling the length of the neckband for a small turtleneck, as per request of the (future) owner of the sweater. This is my first handmade christmas present this year!

dsc03424

dsc03440

dsc03442

dsc03439

Another Fuzzy Cardigan

Allgemein, knitting

Early this year I finished a big and cozy royal blue mohair cardigan, but – same as my red 80s cardigan – I never came around to write about it. However, the season of cozy cardigans is back, so I decided to share this project on the blog after all.

dsc02093_medium2

I didn’t use a pattern for this cardigan, but used a simple improvised pattern, similar to the one I used for my alpaca bouclé cardigan. It was a super fast knit! I held two strands of royal blue mohair and one strand of navy blue alpaca together, I really like how this adds some depth to the color, and used 8mm circular needles. The wool is from Wolle Rödel.

It is probably the warmest cardigan I own! The only downside of knitting and wearing  mohair is that you will find blue hairs everywhere…

dsc02105_medium2

You can see the age of the photos in how short my hair is! And the Budapest apartment in the background…

dsc02108_medium2

dsc02103_medium2

dsc02094_medium2

dsc01986_medium2

dsc01903_medium2

Project summary:

Pattern: improvised
Yarn: 5 skeins of Wolle Rödel Baby Alpaka, 5 skeins of Wolle Rödel Kid Mohair
44€
Buttons: 6€
Needles: 8€

Total: 58€

 

A Cherry Fuzzy 80s Sweater

Allgemein, knitting, vintage

dsc03376

I already finished this cardigan early this year, but never came around to write about it (or attach buttons…). I love vintage knitting and sewing patterns and clearly have a soft spot for 80s fashion and this cardigan combines both. I found the pattern browsing in the Drops Garnstudio Pattern catalog, it is in one of the earliest collections from the late 80s. I highly recommend having a look at the patterns! They are all for free and available in many languages. There are some great 80s and Norwegian sweater designs…

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

A post shared by Lærke Bagger (@laerkebagger) on

Loving that #raglan sleeve #knitwear #laerkebagger

A post shared by Lærke Bagger (@laerkebagger) on

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

A post shared by Lærke Bagger (@laerkebagger) on

Sampling for #knittedfur #laerkebagger #knitwear

A post shared by Lærke Bagger (@laerkebagger) on

DONE @iksiks #derstårperlerudaførenepåmig #knit #laerkebagger

A post shared by Lærke Bagger (@laerkebagger) on

Finally it's fur season again #handknit #laerkebagger

A post shared by Lærke Bagger (@laerkebagger) on