Freitag, 22. Mai 2020

Tulpenzwiebeln Scarf

A while ago, I became quite obsessed with two-colour brioche – so obsessed that I even ventured far out of my colour comfort zone. This scarf is a fun and colorful two-colour brioche project – and once you get into the rhythm, the pattern is easy to remember.
You start with a few stitches and increase until the scarf has the width you like. That's why it can easily be used with other yarn weights as well.
As to the name, "Tulpenzwiebeln" is the German word for tulip bulbs.

The pattern PDF is available for purchase

It is 9 pages long and contains:
  • row-by-row pattern instructions
  • photo tutorial for the following brioche stitches: 
    • brk2inc
    • brk6inc
    • working a brk6inc in the next row 
    • brk6Ldec
    • brk2Ldec (on top of a brk6Ldec) 
  • a schematic of the construction and the increase/decrease stitches

To knit this pattern you need the following knitting skills:
  • basic two-colour brioche

The following materials are necessary to knit this scarf:
  • 150 to 200 grams of fingering weight yarn (in at least two colors) –  the pattern is written in a way, that you can use it for other yarn weights as well
  • 3.25 mm knitting needles – straight with double points or circulars
  • a tapestry needle for weaving in ends

The scarf I knitted is (blocked) 210 cm long and 19 to 21 cm wide. It is constructed in a way that you start with a few stitches only – and you gradually increase until your scarf is as wide as you want it to be.

Montag, 18. Mai 2020

Two Patchwork Cardigans

Recently, I bought an overlocker. It was threaded in four colors (blue, gree, red, yellow). Of course I tried it out with these threads because I was too lazy to change them (it's probably less complicated then it looks in the manual, but still ... ). I really liked the color effect on my grey test piece, so I thought seams like that might make a nice feature on the outside of a garment.
That thought matured quite some time in my head, and this weekend I thought I'd give it a try and started to construct a cardigan. I used different grey(ish) jersey fabrics - leftovers and recycled old t-shirts. I didn't use a pattern but eyeballed the pieces when cutting and assembling them (with my measurements in the back of my head).
Unexpectedly, it actually worked and I had a finished jacket on Saturday evening. The piece fits me well - even though the seams are not what you'd call neat and tidy ;-)

So, I decided to make a second one on Sunday - using two old XL sized t-shirts - also in the "seams on the outside"-look.  Unfortunately, the two of the thread bobbins were empty, so I had to learn how to thread the machine (and it wasn't that difficult - except for the fine motor skills that you need to thread the needles :)

This second one (in light green and teal) is less successful in terms of fitting, but it's still basically a wearable jacket.

There are several things that I learned when making these two jackets:

  • threading an overlocker is easier than it first seems
  • when using an overlocker I use up much more thread than I ever expected
  • thread tension is important
  • two XL t-shirts (especially if they are old and a bit distorted) are not quite enough to make a jacket for me
  • when cutting pieces, better err on the generous side :)

Samstag, 9. Mai 2020

Green Summer Top

I am always proud to finish tops or sweaters. I mostly knit accessories (scarfs, fingerless gloves) that don't need swatching, you just start and it will work because sizing is not an issue. But a bigger project - where size actually matters - is something special for me.
So I was quite pleased when I finished this nice summer top in green cotton. I bought the yarn about three years ago and had already made two other attempts to knit a top with it - but it just didn't work the way I planned (you can see photos of my failed attempts on the Ravelry project page).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

When I restarted this in April, I settled for a simple top-down raglan construction - with seed stitch on arms and shoulders, stockinette stitch on front and back, and seed stitch instead of a ribbing. I am quite pleased with it and I like how the seed stitch feels.

Here's a rough description of what I did:
  • First of all, I knitted a swatch (yes, for sweaters this is a useful step, even though I don't like swatching) and calculating the stitches to start with and the increases (if you don't want to calculate yourself, there are raglan calculators available on the internet, e.g. one by or one by From TheHartle).
  • Since I wanted visible raglan increases I distributed the stitches for the back of the neckline and the arms in a way, that I would reach the arm circumference and the planned width of the back or front at the same time. (Example: I wanted an arm circumference of 40 cm and 50 cm as width of the back or front part. So when I started, the neck part of my raglan part was 10 cm wider than either of the arm parts.)
  • So I distributed my CO into 5 parts: left front (very small), left arm, back, right arm, right front - and started knitting flat (RS and WS).
  • For the raglan increases I simply did yarn-overs.
  • The V-neck shape was created by a simple kfb/kbf at the beginning/end of each RS row. 
  • Once the stitch count on the two front bits added up to be as high as the stitch count of the back piece, I joined it at the front and started knitting in the round.
  • I started with seed stitch on the arms and on the back. After seperating the arm stitches, I continued in the round in stockinette stitch (also on the back).  
  • This is a boxy top. so I didn't do any shaping around the waist and hips (as opposed to other summer tops I've knitted, e.g. this one). 
  • I finished the lower hem in seed stitch again, first in the round - and then I separated the piece into front and back.
  • The arms were finished in seed stitch in the round, too.
Looking forward to wearing this in summer.

Lying flat - the pattern for the little knitted hearts is available here.

Samstag, 2. Mai 2020

A Different Kind of Openwork - E-Book

An interesting knitting pattern can consist of added features, but also of features that are missing. For the scarfs of this e-book, I took the second route. The scarfs feature square holes to decorate the knitted fabric. These holes are knitted without cutting your yarn, i.e. you get the effect without having to weave in a multitude of yarn ends. 

I've already published two knitting patterns using this technique (Negative Spaces Scarf  and Escalera Scarf) and have even held a class about it - using the patterns and additional materials explaining the general idea. So I thought it might be a interesting to create an e-book with all this material. And here it is.

It is also available via Gumroad:
Buy my product

Once you get the hang of the technique, these scarfs make good TV-knitting - the main part of each is done in plain garter stitch. Besides garter stitch you need to know how to do a backwards loop CO and how to knit a k2togtbl.

This e-book includes
  • a description of the technique to knit square holes without cutting yarn - together with a pattern for a small swatch with 6x6-sized holes and an explanation how to knit holes of a different size
  • two patterns using this technique: 
    • Negative Spaces Scarf - a plain rectangular scarf decorated with square holes at the edges and 
    • Escalera Scarf - a triangular(-ish) scarf knitted sideways with steps and square holes at the lower edge