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!

Cropped Cotton Sweater

Allgemein, knitting, recycling, vintage

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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.

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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!

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Charcoal Flaum Cardigan: A Late Christmas Present

Allgemein, knitting

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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.

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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).

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

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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€

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.

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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…

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

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

 

Slow Fashion October: Long Worn

Allgemein, inspiration, knitting, recycling, sewing, vintage

This weeks theme of Slow Fashion October is Long Worn, and how we can make most of the clothes we own, store bought or handmade. I like mending and I love altering clothes that I don’t like anymore and for this post I collected some ideas on how to give the stuff we own another life.

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This skirt is SO ready for its new life!

Dye it!

This is maybe one of my favorites and to be honest I am not even getting very creative here. I always dye clothes black in the washing machine (there is a goth hiding inside me…). The faded out black basic t-shirts and pants get some fresh color and some pants in a weird blue get wearable and fit in my wardrobe. The only tricky part with this is that most store-bought clothing has seams made of polyester thread which doesn’t take the dye, so be aware of that when you dye something bright.

Mend it!

I wrote about mending socks with giant holes, but I also mend tiny holes, ripped seams, moth holes in sweaters and all sorts of other damages.

Refashion it!

I admit: All shorts I own were long jeans once. It is not perfect, as most pants are a bit too tight around the legs, but they will do. I actually have a jeans waiting right now in my to-do-basket to be cut into shorts!

Refashioning vintage skirts into tops is another favorite of mine. If you happen to catch a sales day at your local thrift store you can get fabric for a summer top for one euro! On top of it you have the endless choice of excellent vintage prints.

Too short or ill-fitting t-shirts make great underwear, by the way.

Unravel it!

Last winter I unraveled a sweater I bought on the flea market, it’s a very slow but satisfying process. I still didn’t figure out what to do with the yarn, but inspiration will come. I tend to be quite radical with things I knit as well: If they don’t fit me, I prefer to unravel weeks and weeks of work than leaving a sweater in the corner because it is too short. I love knitting for the fact that you can make and remake something over and over again, until you find the perfect garment. The material is minimally cut and can take all sorts of new shapes. Making is not only about the finished product in the end.

My First Socks

Allgemein, knitting

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Yesterday I finished my first pair of socks using the hand dyed yarn that I made earlier this summer. I am quite proud! I used the Seamed Socks pattern by Purl Soho, it’s available for free and really easy to knit and understand – perfect for sock knitting beginners. It is nice to be able to work the socks flat, as I am not a big fan of knitting in the round with tiny needles. I am super happy how the color of the yarn turned out, it is perfectly speckled. I will definitely dye more yarn this way!

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Project summary:

Pattern (Purl Soho): free
Yarn (Drops): 4,50€
Dye: 2€

Total: 6,50€

 

Slow Fashion October: Introductions

Allgemein, inspiration, knitting, sewing

Last year I read and followed the articles and publications surrounding Slow Fashion October and this year I will participate! I plan on following Karen Templer’s outline and have some things planned for each week. This is also a little commitment for me to get back to writing after a long summer break and a move, and also a commitment to write and post more. So here we go! This weeks theme is „introductions“, so I will start right away introducing myself. I never really did that here and just recently updated my about page, so it’s time.

I am a general DIY enthusiast and all crafts related to fiber interest me a lot. I am mainly sewing and knitting and started to do so more than ten years ago. In the „day job“ part of my life i am writing my master thesis in Gender Studies and working at Humboldt University here in Berlin. I make time for sewing and knitting here and there, and as making things is very important to me this works quite well.

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I moved to a new shared flat some weeks ago and my new room is finally big enough for a designated sewing corner! These are my sewing machines, a brother serger and an elna, plus a tiny part of my tools and some partly finished knitting projects.

As you can read in my post about my first sweater, what brought me to making my own clothes (and what is still my main motivation), is a passion for making and the challenge to make something that I couldn’t afford otherwise. Especially being a student with a part-time job, this is a very important point for me. This also means that I can’t afford nice fabrics from Japan, beautiful French yarn or all the nice project bags and notions out there. The consequence for me is working with what I’ve got: Buying affordable (but not necessarily traceable or ethically produced) fabric and yarn from natural materials most of the times and sometimes getting something fancy. I think it over and over before I buy a sewing or knitting pattern, and if I am sure I will use it over and over, I buy one. With patterns, I prefer indie ones over Burda, so there is the added bonus of supporting small (mostly) women-owned and run businesses. For the last week of SFO, I have a list of my favorite stores and resources planned.

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Slow fashion means for me being able to control at least one part of the clothes production process: the sewing or knitting. But it also means to me not having to rely on trends and what is deemed fashionable for the season. Another VERY important part for me is that when I make my own clothes I also don’t have to follow the norms of the fashion industry on feminine clothing or clothes for women. Before I made my first Archer shirt for example, I was wearing ill-fitting men’s shirts, because women’s shirts always have some silly ruffles or extra darts or are simply too short to be warm enough.

My most important points or goals with regards to slow fashion, conscious clothing or an ethical wardrobe are the following:

  • Make as many clothes for myself as I can.
  • Buy second hand clothing.
  • Repair as much as I can.
  • Refashion things that I don’t want anymore or refashion second hand clothes.
  • Give away things that I don’t wear anymore.
  • Accept clothes from people, if they don’t want them anymore.
  • Buy ethically when possible and if not, buy something exciting!

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