zondag 30 september 2012

Two Exhibitions and14 Skeins of Yarn

So what have I been up to, lately? Yesterday, I visited the preview of the ‘Het ambacht van Jan Taminiau’ exhibition in the Audax Textielmuseum in Tilburg. Jan Taminiau is a Dutch fashion designer, who has done a lot of experimenting with unusual ways of weaving garments, and with using unusual yarns such as reflective yarns and glow in the dark yarns. It was also possible to take workshops in specialized embroidery, which I didn’t end up doing, but I think it’s a great initiative to offer such workshops.

Then today I visited the Kunstfort Vijfhuizen, to attend the opening of the ‘Front to Back’ exhibition with work by Dutch textile artist Fransje Killaars. She likes to make colorful work, and as many of you may know, I love a bit of color myself.

In fact, I recently bought a lot of skeins of Cascade 220, in 12 different colors. I will use the yarn (well, part of it) to knit myself a scarf. I’m using a new pattern that I have been working on lately. I tried it out in acrylic yarn first, until I was satisfied with the result. And now I want to try it out ‘for real’, using my Cascade 220 yarn.
There will be both a rectangular version of the scarf and a spiral version, but I’ll do the rectangular version first. I’m hoping to be able to show you this first rectangular scarf soon.
By the way, I bought the Cascade 220 at Penelope Craft in Amsterdam. It’s a nice little shop that’s certainly worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood.

dinsdag 18 september 2012


It’s been about 2 weeks since we came back from a wonderful summer holiday in Germany. We stayed in a beautiful old town, Cochem, along the river Mosel. When we are on vacation I always like to stay in a place that has a garden or a balcony (preferably both!). This time we stayed in an apartment that had a nice balcony, with (among many other nice objects to look at) a view on the castle on the other side of the river.
We enjoyed walking about in the old town center of Cochem, and on the hills around the town. In the old center you’d see a lot of tourists, but as soon as you went for a walk in the hills, you’d almost never see another person there.

I think my favorite walk was the one where we ended up visiting the Winneburg, which is the ruin of an old castle that was destroyed by the French in 1689. The Winneburg ruin is only accessible by foot (at least for the last part of the way), so not a lot of people come to visit it. When we were there, we were all by ourselves, so we spent at least an hour exploring the ruin, individually, sometimes running into each other. It was so much fun, and I just kept thinking of Catherine Morland (the heroine of Jane Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’), she definitely would have loved this!

Of course I also went to look for a yarn shop in Cochem, and I soon found out that they do indeed have one (Kappes, ‘Zeit für Handabeit!’). I bought a skein of sock yarn there, so that I can knit myself a pair of Cochem socks. I also bought a kit for a table cloth embroidery project, and I started working on it right away, on that wonderful apartment balcony of ours.

The other project that I worked on in Cochem was a sweater for myself, made out of greenish Lang Estio. It’s a cotton/acrylic blend, so perfect for a summer sweater. I only had 9 skeins, so I made a sweater with ¾ length sleeves, and it was finished by the end of our 2-week vacation. Once the sweater was finished, I started designing another shawlette pattern (but more about that some other time).

I also enjoyed reading the 2 ‘local’ crime novels that I bought in Cochem’s bookshop. One of the crime novels is situated in Cochem, the other one (a ‘Wein Krimi’) is situated along the river Mosel in general. They are quite different from ‘Northanger Abbey’ but also fun to read!

donderdag 6 september 2012

Peppy's Simple Shawlette Pattern

 PEPPY'S SIMPLE SHAWLETTE [ Ravelry: Peppy's Simple Shawlette ]

This is a shawlette pattern that I designed a couple of months ago. I wanted to design a shawlette that would be fun to knit but that wouldn’t require much attention, so I created this very simple garter stitch pattern. There are no short rows involved, all the shaping is done by just decreasing or increasing stitches.
Being a continental knitter, I prefer to have all my stitches fit onto a straight needle. That’s why I designed this shawlette to be knit ‘lengthwise’. Another advantage of this construction is that in this way you know exactly at which point you have knit up half of your yarn, so you can make that your turning point in the shawlette, and start decreasing stitches again instead of increasing further.
The pattern is generic, so you can use any type (or thickness) of yarn that you like for this pattern: the resulting dimensions/size of the shawlette will always be more or less the same. As you can see on the pictures, I’ve tried the pattern out myself with 3 different types of yarn, varying in gauge.
You can customize your shawlette by using two colours instead of just one to add stripes or blocks of colour (I did this in different ways in all three versions of the shawlette). Also, you can make the edges less pointy by casting on more than 3 stitches in the beginning (I did this in the super bulky version of the shawlette). And of course, if you like, you can add a knitted or crocheted border of your choice to the shawlette.
You can make your shawlette as big or small as you want to. My versions of the shawlette have the following dimensions (approximately):

You can use any type or thickness of yarn that you like. I used the following material:
For the super bulky weight version (gauge: 12 sts/24 rows = 4 inches garter stitch):
  • Schachenmayr/SMC Boston [70% acrylic, 30% wool; 55 m per 50 g skein]; color: Sisal; 2 skeins
  • Lana Grossa Mille II [50% acrylic, 50% wool; 55 m per 50 g skein]; color: 046; 2 skeins
  • 1 set 7 mm straight needles
For the sport weight version (gauge: 24 sts/48 rows = 4 inches garter stitch):
  • Noro Silk Garden Sock [40% wool. 25% silk, 25% nylon, 10% mohair; 300 m per 100 g skein]; color: 308; 1 skein
  • Noro Silk Garden Sock [40% wool. 25% silk, 25% nylon, 10% mohair; 300 m per 100 g skein]; color: 289; 1 skein
  • 1 set US #4/ 3.5 mm straight needles  
For the fingering weight version (gauge: 30 sts/60 rows = 4 inches garter stitch):
  • Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball 75% wool, 25% nylon; 420 m per 100 g skein]; color: 1153 1701; 1 skein 
  • Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Llight [100% wool; 384 m per 100 g skein]; color: winter wheat; 1 skein
  • 1 set US #1.5/2.5 mm straight needles
Set-up: Cast on 3 stitches (or more, if you prefer a less pointy edge)
Increase section:
Row 1–5: Knit.
Row 6: Slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over, knit to last stitch, knit last stitch, knit same stitch again into back look, knit same stitch yet again into front loop.
Repeat rows 1-6 until you’ve reached the length and width that you like.
Middle section:
Knit 4 rows (or a larger - even - number of rows if you prefer the middle section to be less pointy).
Decrease section:
Row 1: Decrease 2 stitches as follows: knit 2, pass first knit stitch over second knit stitch, knit 1 more stitch, pass previous stitch over knit stitch. Knit until last stitch, knit into front and back of stitch.
Row 2-6: Knit.
Repeat rows 1-6 until you’ve knit rows 2-6 with the same number of stitches that you cast on.
Cast off and weave in ends.

Terms of use: This is a free pattern. You are welcome to copy, distribute or alter this pattern, as long as you credit my name and list my website. You may sell products made using this pattern, but the pattern itself should remain free. Thanks!