Archive for the 'knitting' Category

Olive Juice

I knitted seven cardigans last year. I think that may be a personal record. They were all little of course, and I must admit I’m a bit addicted to the little cardigan. They’re quick, they’re cute and there’s just something about a little person buttoned into a knitted thing. It says “love”. There was a time very recently that I shed tears for my hand knitted cardigans, and folded them lovingly into vacuum-sealed bags, believing they’d get no wear in Brisbane. I started researching cotton yarns, resigning myself to the limitations of knitting with cotton. Then came one particular morning last week when we all woke up freezing. That’s what I’d forgotten about Australia, the weather might be mild, but it follows you into the house. Out came all the little cardigans. Love.

One of the little cardigans I knitted last year was this one.

So far, it has won me 197 hearts and 16 new friends on Ravelry. I modelled it on something straight from the catalogue of Olive Juice Kids, making up the pattern as I went.

I used Rowan Purelife Organic Wool in Alder Buckthorn. It’s processed entirely without chemicals. I recall finding a prickle in it. It’s lovely stuff.

And what’s on the needles now? Another little cardigan, of course. This time in a wool/cotton blend. Just in time for “winter”.


Three and counting…

One of the great joys of knitting (of which there are many) is knitting for babies, your own babies most of all. As Rose was born in the height of Australia’s summer, I’ve never before had the pleasure of knitting tiny newborn things that would really fulfill what is the true purpose of hand knits; to be very, very warm. Before Theodore had made his grand entrance (ahem), I’d knitted him three sweaters. The first was tiny neutral coloured version of the Newborn Top-Down Baby Cardigan by Nancy Pietraszek.

The second was a Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater by Carole Barenys, knitted in Rowan’s Wool Cotton in a colourway called French Navy.

 The third was a modified version of the Kumfy Schluettli by Meg Layaw. Sadly, he’s now fitting snugly into this, the largest of the three.

Knitting for Theodore has been a special process for me. With mixed feelings about the expectation of a new little one to care for, knitting helped me gradually gain confidence that I’d be able to bond with him and meet his needs. As every knitter knows, knitting is therapy of a most efficacious kind. Just in case you were beginning to experience sibling rivalry on Rose’s behalf, have no fear. This cardigan accompanied us in pieces to England and was intended to be a gift on the occasion of acquiring a brother.

His early arrival thwarted this plan and the cardigan became instead a labour of therapy in his very early weeks. Now that winter is threatening to foreclose, my knitting efforts have reached that frantic level that October demands.

Knit on.

Wild and woolly

This week happens to be Britain’s very first National Wool Week as part of HRH’s Campaign for Wool. Being somewhat of a wool purist (to the point of near fanaticism) I’m sharing with you some of my favourite woolly items on Etsy. Wool is an amazing fibre; it can keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, it can repel moisture and insulate, it’s durable, beautiful and versatile. Best of all, unlike synthetic fibers, it breaks down at the end of its life.

Cloche Hat in Vintage Khaki Tweed with Vintage Buckle

Cloche hat in vintage khaki tweed with vintage button by bonniesknitting


Zigzac arm warmers  Marine

Zigzac arm warmers in marine by deleriumkredens


Hand Knitted Heather Gray and Vintage French Lace Clutch

Hand knitted heather grey and vintage French lace clutch by monamivie


Marilyn... the eternal romantic

Marilyn… the eternal romantic by EmmaLamb


Egg / felted slippers Women's size US 8,5 Euro 39

Felted Slippers by Onstail


Big Felted Rose by AVAoriginal

Big Felted Rose by AVAoriginal


Egg cup and cozy set

Egg cup and cozy set by NorahSmith


Knee High Socks Red Lace with ties

Knee High Socks – red lace with ties by pinkcandystudio


handmade iphone/ipod touch wallet

Handmade iphone/ipodtouch wallet by qtpiworkshop


Soleil Cowl - Oversized Knit Merino Wool and Cashmere Neckwarmer

Soleil Cowl by TickledPinkKnits


Cafetiere Cosy - Moss Green/Burnt Orange

Cafetiere cozy moss green/burnt orange by fieldytweed


Oatmeal and winter white felted nesting bowls by blackbirddesignhouse


Rose Wool Satchel

Rose wool satchel by Woolybison


Owl Pillow --- Grey Wool Tweed body, Mustard Yellow face --- Mid Century Modern

Owl pillow by birdenvy

Green apple by woollyduck



A stitch in time

Remember this wool? A few months later and my German isn’t much better, but I’ve finally finished the cardigan. If only the former were as easy as the latter. The sweet little buttons came from my beloved flea markets, while the pattern was an ebay find. I love knitting in summer; there’s no sense of urgency or the fear that the weather will warm up as soon as you finish something. Sadly, this is one of those tragedies where despite diligent measuring, the child grows faster than the knitting. A bit of careful washing can usually overcome this, but alas (you may remember), I cleverly chose superwash wool which has done its job beautifully and refuses to change its gauge. I’ll dwell no longer on this sorrowful thought, lest I frighten summer away…

UnRaveling Germany


If you’ve never heard of Ravelry, you’re living under a ball of wool. For those of you who are, it’s a veritable Facebook for knitters and crocheters. But instead of posting happy snaps of social gatherings from every possible angle, Ravelers post photos of their knitting projects. Instead of joining groups called “I like finding shapes in clouds”, Ravelers join groups called “Xtreme Fair Isle Knitting” and “Nurses who Knit and Crochet”. It’s intense. The best thing about Ravelry is the access it gives to local kitting circles. After hitting the six-week low point on the curve of expatriation, I decided it was time to take the plunge and go in search of some human interaction (with a little knitting to smooth the way).

My first attempt involved wandering for several minutes around busy Karstadt in search of Stuttgart Purlingurlz. I was in the wrong Karstadt. Second attempt. A forty minute train trip took me to nearby Backnang, home of the the Backnanger Stricktreff. The group meets at the Wollstube Wollin, a knitters’ paradise flanked by walls and walls of delectable yarn. I took my courage in hand and edged towards the group who were brandishing their needles at lightning speed. Fortunately I was met with a friendly welcome and treated to a in-depth tour of the store by the lovely Kadri. The most obvious difference I noticed was the abundance of sock wool (and four-ply wool generally) compared to wool shops back home. Maybe Aussies are too impatient for four-ply. We love our fast growing DK and Aran.

Feeling somewhat bolstered, I went along on Tuesday to the Stuttgarter Stricktreff, this time to the right Karstadt store. Though there were only three of us (most of the group meet on Wednesdays), Rose and I had a wonderful time with Ulli, Kerrie and their children. Amazing how a length of yarn joined by a series of interlinking loops can cut across all barriers. Thankyou Ravelry. I now have three friends and some lovely Merino Superwash.


About Me

A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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