Be Inspired

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I was in Edinburgh visiting my parents last week. They live a short walk away from Be Inspired Fibres. Last year I bought a skein of Fyberspates Vivacious 4-ply there and made an Ishbel. I shared it here where I explained exactly why I had avoided Ishbel up to then and how Mei explained just why this pattern would work well (and she was right!) I really hoped there would be some more of the yarn in blue or green to make another Ishbel.

I turned up at Be Inspired Fibres and Mei remembered that I live in Cologne. (She may have been helped by the fact that she’s sweet enough to read this blog!) We chatted while she showed me yarn I might like. While Mei served other customers I browsed through all her lovely yarn. She has an online shop but it is lovely to see and touch the yarn for real.

Then the parcel delivery man arrived with a box full of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. Mei actually opened it up while I was there and started pulling out skein after skein of beautiful yarn. The colours are fantastic. I can see now why people are so keen on this yarn. I faced a bit of a dilemma. I would have liked to have taken most of the box home with me. However, I whittled it down to two colours.

Norway Spruce

Norway Spruce

Well Water

Well Water

They lay on the table side-by-side and we were both immediately struck by how good they looked together! Mei disappeared downstairs to her classroom to bring up a two-colour shawl she’s working on: Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur because I couldn’t picture it just from the name.

It’s obvious what comes next isn’t it? Yes, I bought both!

If you’re in Edinburgh, and it’s a city well-worth a visit, call in to Be Inspired Fibres. You can find shop details on Ravelry, on Facebook and Mei’s online shop is here. You can also follow Mei’s Be Inspired Fibres blog here on WordPress.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A PAID ENDORSEMENT BUT A PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION.

FO Friday – another fling

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Sometimes you can’t get enough of a good thing. This little bag was made for Elder Daughter’s birthday. She lives in Munich (575 km away from Cologne) so I was pleased to have something light to add to a parcel.

Summer fling ED

It’s a Summer Fling. The pattern is by espace tricot and you can find it on espace tricot’s wonderful website here and on Ravelry here.

Marvellous Monday

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Mr Soknitsome left a fortnight ago yesterday and it no longer feels like just-another-business-trip but more like this-is-the-new-reality-for-the-next-few-weeks.

Fortunately, yesterday was one of those Mondays that are especially nice. Stitch ‘n’ Bitch met in the morning. Schools have broken up for the summer and many people are away so it was a fairly small group but we did welcome a new member to our group. The highlight of the morning was a longstanding member who only ever knits at Stitch ‘n’ Bitch finally finishing her Baktus-style scarf, earning her a round of applause!

I started a sample square/tension swatch for a little cardigan I want to make. Nice and easy knitting which leaves my brain free for all the lovely chat! I also made the most of having other knitters around to get measured. I needed the measurement across my back from shoulder-blade to shoulder-blade. Impossible to do by yourself but necessary to determine which size to knit because of the top-down contiguous construction of Ankestrick’s Same Same but different cardigan. This cardigan is knitted in 4-ply/fingering wool but at a looser gauge than when knitting socks.

swatch

After spending the morning with some of my favourite people, which in itself makes the day marvellous, I then spent the evening out with more lovely friends. There’s a part of Cologne just to the south of me where a disproportionally high number of AIWCC members live. Many get together once a month for dinner. Last night we sat outdoors overlooking the Rhine. Marvellous.

cologne

WIP Wednesday – getting back on track

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Wolken

At the beginning of the year I decided to join in with a very relaxed knitalong: KnittingSarah‘s KAL, “Socks with Sarah, a KAL for 2014“. Knit a bit of a sock every day for a year. Sounds easy? Yes. I could work on other projects at the same time so I always had something simple for chatty social knitting as well as a more challenging project on my needles.

Socks make wonderful projects when you’re traveling. Whether you’re crossing oceans by plane, the country by train or just the city by bus, knitting socks works well in a small space.

Because they are such portable projects I keep the sock and the wool in a little pouch ready to pack into other bags for travel. So of course at home this sock is not waving at me, nor jumping around begging to be knitted. It’s sitting there quietly waiting to go on a journey. Out of sight, out of mind? Kind of. We’re halfway through the year already and I’m determined to finish it as I began: knitting a bit of a sock every day.

It’s summertime. Have a fling!

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Summer Fling3So at the end of Week One of Something New, I’m finally sharing a project I finished recently. Those of you who kindly voted on your favourite colour combinations may well have wondered whether I’d taken any notice of your choices. This lovely little bag doesn’t actually take long to make. It’s a very straightforward project.

My first step, when I  embark on a new project, is to see whether there are any helpful comments on Ravelry. I was rather surprised at the number of remarks (you could almost say complaints) concerning the size of the bag. The pattern is FREE so you can check it out before committing in any way to the project. The dimensions are all listed on the first page. I did actually make this bag ever so slightly wider and taller but I had no intention of lining it and assumed that a larger bag would just lead to heavier items being carried around and ultimately the bag stretching.

As mentioned before, Mr Soknitsome and I had a couple of weekends away in the run up to him leaving Cologne. I made this Summer Fling bag for my Very Good Friend in Ludwigsburg.

   Summer Fling2              Summer Fling1

It was perfect for her phone, keys and sunglasses as we enjoyed a few hours among the classic cars on display at the city’s Baroque palace.

There are lots of photos of classic cars here but the website is only in German

 

 

 

 

Not my kind of Monday at all

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Yesterday marked the start of Something New in the Soknitsome household.

I was still getting accustomed to the idea but now that Mr Soknitsome has jetted off across the globe it is well and truly real. Mr Soknitsome has a new job. In Sydney, Australia. I’m still in Cologne. Our younger daughter graduates from university this autumn and I would like to be here for the festivities. In the meantime I carry on working, organise our shipments, tie up loose ends, and more.

Consequently, it’s been a bit mad around here recently. We’ve had action-packed weekends both north (to family in Varel in Friesland) and south (to friends in Ludwigsburg, a city we previously lived in) as well as a lovely day on a boat with local friends. In-between we’ve written and revised numerous lists!

Regrettably, my back was less enamoured with this travel itinerary and so the many hours of car-knitting I’d looked forward to were almost non-existent. I was just pleased to arrive in one piece and in a relatively friendly frame of mind.

Normal knitting will resume shortly…

Another lovely Monday morning

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Today was one of those Mondays that I particularly like. Members of the American International Women’s Club of Cologne met for Stitch ‘n’ Bitch.

It was a smaller group this time, made up of five knitters knitting, one stitcher stitching, and a child-free mum browsing pattern books.

When we meet, we admire each other’s handiwork, drink coffee and put the world to rights while we knit, crochet and sew.

Today, members worked on a counted (!) cross-stitch sampler; a jumper, now cast on for the fourth time; a scarf that only gets knitted at Stitch ‘n’ Bitch; baby booties; a baby cardigan; and a Top Secret Project.

The Top Secret Project was supposed to turn into a Finished Object but chatty knitters and written instructions for Kitchener stitch don’t mix well.

Sadly, I can count the number of Stitch ‘n’ Bitch get-togethers I’ll still attend on the fingers of one hand. But that’s another story…

The stripes get me every time

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Penny Candy3I seem to have a thing about stripes. I was taken with Jenjoyce Design’s Penny Candy Tee from the moment I first saw it. The clean regular stripes are nicely juxtaposed with the softness of the lace edgings. This pretty top is modelled by the designer Jenjay‘s lovely nieces and I did briefly think it might be best worn by young women in their teens or twenties… Still it was tempting… I wondered about using just two colours for a slightly less playful look… And then I knew – cream lace and a gently contrasting stripe would make quite a classy tee! Penny Candy2Penny Candy1Here are the knitterly details. This pattern is well written. I’d never done an i-cord cast on before but the pattern includes clear instructions for this as well as the matching i-cord cast off. I don’t appreciate having to go to the internet for links to any unfamiliar techniques. if I’m sitting down with my knitting, I’d like to knit! The pattern also indicates where to include additional stripes or knit fewer to adjust the length. I did in fact knit the extra stripes suggested for a longer body. This top is knit from 4-ply/fingering weight yarn on slightly larger needles, which makes for a lightweight spring and summer garment.

 

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Colour conundrum – the solution(s)

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summer_fling

Summer Fling by Espace Tricot and shared with the permission of Espace Tricot

A big thank you to everyone who indicated their favourite colour combinations for the Summer Fling bag featured in my previous post.

 

 

 

There were a total of 48 votes: number 1 is the raspberry and beige combination (11 votes) followed by  olive and beige (10 votes).
Raspberry and olive and lime and beige tie close 
behind in third position (9 votes each).

1Cotton4    1Cotton3

 

 

1Cotton2  1Cotton5

 

 

I also shared the post on my personal Facebook page and many people commented on their colour preferences: raspberry and olive and raspberry and lime were the two favourite combinations. Raspberry and beige was less popular as was lime and beige.

1Cotton2  1Cotton6

 

 

1Cotton4  1Cotton5

 

 

So which colour combination am I knitting?

Well, I’ve started with olive…

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Colour conundrum – please help!

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I’m going to make (at least) one of these lovely bags. It’s called Summer Fling and you can find it here on the Espace Tricot blog.

summer_fling

Summer Fling by Espace Tricot. Shared with the permission of Espace Tricot

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have these lovely colours:

1Cotton6

Raspberry and lime

1Cotton5

Lime and beige

1Cotton1

Lime and olive

1Cotton4

Raspberry and beige

1Cotton3

Olive and beige

1Cotton2

Raspberry and olive

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