Dec 28, 2012

New knitted hat for the little one

Here in the Netherlands most kids go to school at age 4. My son has started school on Dec 17, went for 4 days until the holiday break and over the course of these 4 days has lost two hats...
To replace them I found this lovely pattern on Ravelry: I Heart Cables provided for free by Justyna Lorkowska.
Unfortunately Jakob doesn't like the pompom so I had to omit it but knit a tiny little point instead.

Since there were many comments that the pattern runs very large I figured I can try knitting it in DK weight yarn instead of worsted. In terms of width this worked well but the hat turned out way too short. So I tore back to the ribbing and added two of the first cable repeat sections. Now it's a tiny bit high but he loves it and I think he looks very cute - but of course I am his mom :-)
For the point I decreased to 6 sts (vs 12 in the original pattern) and knitted about 6 rows, then pulled the yarn through the sts and wove in the end.
I used selvedge sts on the ear flaps to give them a finished look.

 And with his new hat he didn't even mind the bicycling helmet too much.
Ravelry notes here.

Dec 23, 2012

Homemade Lip Balm

I wanted to give family and friends a tiny something for Christmas and remembered a tutorial that iMake has generously posted a while back on her awesome crafting blog at

She made lip balm and filled it in beautiful little tins, decorated with round labels. The blog post provides detailed instruction, and makes the process very easy. I searched for the supplies in the Netherlands, and found all the ingredients I needed at Unfortunately they only had small plastic containers - I would have preferred the tins. And I didn't have the time to make or order round labels, and cut square ones, but all in all I like the result:

I chose peppermint as the main flavor and just a few drops of orange to spice it up.

Dec 19, 2012

Very Sheepy Lazy Kate

My brother-in-law made the cutest Lazy Kates!
I got one and, of course, my sister has one, but he enjoyed himself so much making these that there are 3 more available for purchase.

Dimensions: length 37cm from nose to tail, width 15cm clearance between the sides, height 26cm
Accommodates bobbins up to 15cm long and 15cm diameter.
This one is made of untreated wood.
There is a little bag with the stuff needed to tension the bobbins.

Price €35 plus shipping (6,75 within the Netherlands, please ask me for other countries, can also be shipped within Germany)

There are two more, one is treated with oil and one with beeswax. I will post or send pictures of these upon request. These are €40.

If you are interested you can email me at usch at uschengelmann dot com.Or go to my Etsy shop.

Dec 18, 2012

Another Reversible Moebius Cowl

I love cowls and I love Moebius!
This time I tried knitting the Reversible Cable Moebius Cowl in a DK yarn to see what the fit would be if I followed the pattern without modifications .
I chose some lovely Malabrigo Silky Merino I had in my stash, and here is the result:

The cowl hugs my neck a little closer than the Aran/worsted weight version - just what I wanted. Using this exceptionally soft yarn was the perfect choice.
Since my 42" needle cable is used in a different project I tried a 47" cable. I was quite wary whether this would work, adding a Magic Loop into the double circle Moebius mix, but it turned out to work just fine!

Now I am wondering whether I can knit a much smaller Moebius using magic Loop. I will keep you posted.

Nov 29, 2012

Pekaboo - Ladybug

And here is the second one...
Peekaboo project bag - Ladybug

Available here.

Nov 28, 2012

Peekaboo project bag with transparent window

Have you ever left the house in a rush and grabbed the wrong project bag for the trip?
Like the complicated cabled glove project instead of the vanilla socks?

Well, I have... So my scatterbrain led to a new sewing project - a project bag with a window!

Now I can quickly grab the appropriate project for the where I am going to. A vanilla sock for the movies, something in a light color for our evening SnB group, something a little more complicated if I go somewhere alone. Perfect!

I had so much fun sewing this bag, that I sewed more. And now I am listing them as a new item in my Etsy shop.
The first one is: 
Peekaboo project bag - Blue circles

 All bags are made of 100% cotton fabric on the outside and a 100% cotton lining in natural color. The drawstrings serve as handles, and the bags have a rectangular flat bottom.

I will continue to list other fabrics options, but you can always check currently available fabrics in the current Etsy listing (third picture) and send me a message.

Nov 19, 2012

Grafting cheat sheet

For quite some time I have been interested in learning how to graft purl stitches or a combination of knit and purl stitches, for example, in ribbing.
Then recently, a knitting friend gave me an interesting article to read that explained the entire topic in detail and also provided step by step instructions and charts.
However, since I understand the concept, but can't remember the different steps for different combinations of knit and purl stitches I wanted a small chart that I can put in my tool kit. So I created a cheat sheet.

Since the topic came up at the last Rotterdam Stitch'nBitch, and others were interested in my cheat sheet, here it is (the sheet and the instructions assume that you know the basics of grafting):

V = knit stich
- = purl stitch
I used 'V' for the knit stitch because it resembles what a knit stitch looks like, and '-' for the purl stitch for the same reason.

The fields marked in blue are the first two stitches on the front needle to be grafted.

Check the first two stitches on your front needle and find a match in one of the blue fields.
Then look at the chart above the blue field to see in which direction you will need to insert the grafting needle.

If you are working a 2 x 2 rib (2 knit stitches, 2 purl stitches) and your first two stitches on the front needle are two knit stitches:
use chart A,

Front needle: 
insert the grafting needle into the first stitch as if to knit (and drop the stitch), then insert the grafting needle into the second stitch as if to purl:

Back needle:
insert the grafting needle into the first stitch as if to purl (and drop the stitch), then insert the grafting needle into the second stitch as if to knit:
Continuing the 2 x 2 rib, your next stitch combination would be a knit and then a purl stitch; so use chart B next.

You are welcome to print the chart if you feel it might be useful to you. I printed and laminated it and keep it in my tool kit.

Happy grafting.

Edit: There was a typo in the original chart - which I corrected and updated Nov 20. My apologies!!

Jun 4, 2012

First Bloom II on its way to the USA

iMake has randomly chosen a winner from all the entries in her blog post about the May giveaway.

Thank you all so much for the wonderful, kind and encouraging comments!

The winner chose First Bloom II, which is already packaged to leave for its journey to the US.

It is a lovely blend of Merino and silk, the fiber was dyed by Squoosh Fiberarts.
I spun it into a light fingering weight yarn that would make a beautiful shawlette. I am excited to see what it will grow up to be!

May 30, 2012

Last day of May Giveaway Offer

Remember to enter the iMake May giveaway for which I am offering up one skein of the handspun yarn listed in my Etsy shop.
For instructions on entering please read this blog post, but also listen to the podcast   - it's well worth it!

May 24, 2012

From weaving leftovers to knitting pattern

I have had this beautiful yarn sitting in my stash for more than 4 years: the blue colorway of Blue Sky Alpacas, Alpaca/Silk.It was leftover from a weaving project I did for a small show in Tacoma, WA.
The piece is called Walk on the Beach and includes shells, dried algae and drift wood from a beach on San Juan Island. These items were woven into the piece with the help of supplemental warp threads made of a stainless steel/silk thread.

I had 4 skeins of the blue yarn left over and finally found the perfect knitting project for it: a light shrug that drapes beautifully and features armholes so it doesn't slip off my shoulders.


It can be worn with the front panels hanging down loosely or pinned across the bust with a nice shawl pin.

Since some of my friends would also like to knit this shrug, I wrote up the pattern which is currently up for testing on Ravelry in the Free Pattern Testers group. It will be published when the test knit is compelted.

May 21, 2012

Textured Stitches - a book review

A Playful Day is a wonderful podcast and blog that I listen to / read regularly. According to the host it "attracts fellow crafters, yarnies and small dogs. It's playful because that's what life should be." A statement I heartily agree with!

Following a recent donation incentive offer by A Playful Day I won - a knitting book! Like many of us I LOVE knitting books, have 3 shelves full already and a ton more titles listed on a wishlist. However, I am often a little dissappointed when I actually get new (to me) books, usually because of my personal preferences and not due to any major problems with the books themselves.

The book I received from A Playful Day has been on my wanted list for quite some time: Textured Stitches by Connie Chang Chinchio.
This book is absolutely wonderful!
There are 11 tops/sweaters/cardigans and 8 smaller projects including gloves, hats, a shawl and a headband (women patterns only).
Most of the designs are based on larger areas of simple stockinette stitch but they include wonderful textured details created with cables, traveling stitches, ribs etc.- rather simple means to achieve great results.

What I particularly love about the designs is that most are knit from fingering or DK weight yarn - even the sweaters and cardigans. This means lots of mindless knitting interrupted by areas where you need to pay attention - a great mix in my opinion - but even beter it makes for elegant, drapey pieces.
The finishing of the garnments looks very sophisticated, clean and professional.

The layout of the book is well done: the items are modeled in full in a way that clearly shows the construction, and there is a close-up of each textured stitch pattern.The charts are large enough for comfortable reading and schematics make it simple to modify certain areas of a garnment.

The author lists errata for three of the patterns on a book errata page

I recommend this book to anyone who doesn't mind lots of stockinette knitting and loves tailored fits.

May 13, 2012

May Giveaway - 1 skein of handspun

One of my favourite podcasts is iMake. The host, Martine, not only shares her knitting adventures but many other crafts including papercrafts, sewing, jewellery making, photography, amongst others. And she provides the listeners with a little insight into Guernsey culture, a place I have never been to but now desperately want to visit!

Every month iMake offers a giveaway to listeners - and this month I am sponsoring the giveaway by offering up one skein of the handspun yarn listed in my Etsy shop.
For instructions on entering please read this blog post, but also listen to the podcast   - it's well worth it!

Apr 27, 2012

Hernia is bad for spinning

After 4 months, I am finally spinning again, jipieh!
I suffered from a ruptured disk in mid December, and unfortunately sitting was and still is more painful than any other position. I was able to knit lying on the couch, and I did spin on my spindle walking around the house, but my beautiful Rose sat neglected in a corner of the living room.
But finally, the pain is bearable and being able to spin again makes up for it.

This is what I produced over the past 2 weeks:

Spun from a Merino/silk batt handcarded by All the Pretty Fibers.
 Spun from a Merino batt handcarded by Lady's Turn.
 Spun from a Shetland/Silk batt handcarded by Enchanted Knoll Farm

Spun from a Merino/Tencel/Silk batt handcarded by Enchanted Knoll Farm

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