Global warming & a scarf

Whether this scarf is wearable or not – that’s something to argue about. The scarf itself is a statement though.

Four rows form one stripe; one stripe stands for one year. And while the stripes were blue around 1880 (that’s one end of the shawl), they are now red (that’s the other end). Dark red!

The world is getting warmer. Whether this happens because of human activity or natural unpredictability – all around the world temperature has risen steadily over the last 139 years. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975. Even if a man in Northern America claims that this is not true.

Climate change is the biggest threat we face!

The German energy consultant Dr. Eva Stegen translated climate change data into a scarf. She refers to it as the “climate scarf.” When she presented her idea of a scarf on twitter she was stunned by people’s immediate reaction.

So far, her findings, as well as all information about the project and the (free) pattern are only available in German. However, it will be translated soon. Hence, you’re well advised to keep an eye on You might as well read some more about the Tempestry Project. Same subject, different approach. Which ever one you choose – the world needs more of these scarfs!

I have knitted mine with Schachenmayr’s Merino ExtraFine Its colour palette is incredible and the finished scarf is soft and warm.

And if you think it is too colorful and therefore not wearable, I recommend searching the net for pictures of Ed Hawkins’ warming stripes. You can certainly “translate” those stripes into a stripey scarf as well and a blue-red-white climate scarf would be just as unmistakable in its statement as a colorful one.

There are plenty of occasions to wear it. For example next Friday.

The third global climate strike of #Fridays4future is taking place worldwide. In about 2,000 cities in 129 states millions of people of all ages will take to the streets again and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels as well as climate justice for everyone.

Demonstrations have been announced in almost 300 German cities. The most important demand is to get to the 1.5°C target; it is about EU coal phase out, about the increase of greenhouse gases and global subsidies for fossil fuels. More than 200 organizations from various fields, such as environmental organizations, churches and trade unions, are involved. In short: EVERYONE, because it affects all of us!

The climate is changing – but are you?

Even if you feel that the issue of climate change is just too vast for individual actions to really make a difference – not true! You don’t have to join a protest march – flying less, eating less meat, less plastic in your life and less heating would be a good start.

And then hopefully things will slowly start to change for the better!

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Yoga socks

It is cold in Berlin. Way too old for summer and for me. Cold enough for wool and knitting though. Hence, before I forget until fall, here comes the pattern for the yoga socks I knit (and gave away) earlier this year. (See ravelry for details on yarn and needle size).

Knitting toe-up, cast on 60 stitches and knit about 4 inches (probably 30 rows) in k2 / p1. As the heel needs to be bare when doing yoga, bind-off 30 stitches, only to cast on another 30 in the next row.

Knit in rounds for another 20 rows. Then double each purl stitch (kfb);  k2 / p2 until the ball of yarn is almost finished. Bind off loosely.

The finished yoga socks fit tightly at foot and ankle, with more of a loose fit around the leg. Very comfortable. I think they are pretty perfect, but I don’t do yoga.

Therefore, constructive criticism is very welcome.

This is no (!) pattern. Hence, I am neither willing nor able to calculate different sizes, to give precise information on circumference and length of these socks or to name gauge. Please take it as it is (inspiration at its best) and forgive me …

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Moomin love

Once upon a time – long before I moved to Berlin, before I met the man and had the son – I lived in an apartment in Germany’s former capital. Back then, I would rent out a room to female students of the Goethe-Institute. Every two months a young woman moved out and another moved in with me. They all wanted to learn German, were away from home for the first time, were homesick sooner or later and (almost) all of them fell in love.

One of them was from Finland. When she returned home after two months, she left John (an Irishman from Dublin) and a green Moomin mug behind. John didn’t get along all that well with the French student who rented the room afterwards. He stayed nonetheless (in my living room) for a while but finally moved out.

I still have the Moomin mug.

Many years later the (at that time still very young) son discovered his love for audio books. He loved three in particular and heard them again and again: Peter and the Wolf (spoken by Loriot), Noah’s Ark (by Stanley Weiner) and “The story of the little animal that is always so scared” – at least that was the title the son had given to the story. However, we had bought it as ‘Moomin’s Long Journey’ and a small, anxious animal had actually part of the plot.

We still have that CD too. (However, we don’t listen to it anymore).

Third time’s a charm: Now, Moomins came into my life again. This time with yarn. And what can I say? Again, they have enchanted me. Anyone who follows me on Instagram has seen it already.

Novita, the family owned company, that was founded in Finland in 1928 and (according to their homepage) is proud to be the largest hand-knitting yarn spinner in the Nordic countries, has included Moomin yarns in their program: Muumilaakso, Muumitalo and Muumit. Three different yarns, the colors inspired by Tove Jansson’s Moomin books. All three come with beautiful patterns for socks, hats and scarves.

Novita, whom I have met at h+h Cologne, sent me some yarn balls after the fair for testing purposes. And because I like to “test meaningfully” (i.e. knit things that go beyond gauge), I knitted a child’s sweater using Muumitalo. Of course, with a big Moomin on its front.

Being a sock yarn devotee, I enjoyed working with Muumitalo. Yes, it does have 25% polyamide (as most sock yarns do), but that didn’t matter to me. The finished sweater can be washed in the washing machine, it keeps its shape, is somehow robust and hopefully it will live a long time. Plus, stitch definition and colors are very nice – even though it is hard (harder than I thought it would be) to take a decent picture of the pink.

The yardage is fine too: The three balls I had were plenty enough for a sweater in US-size 7-8.

There is no pattern for the raglan sweater. I made it up as I went. The Moomin is a Novita design (it’s on a scarf in the above booklet). I used intarsia for the Moomin body and embroidered details like mouth, eye and hand afterwards. It worked out perfectly.

The Muumit yarn, made of 55% merino and 45% cotton, is still sitting here. I would like to use it for something baby, but have not decided yet what to make out of it. Whatever it will be in the end – pictures to follow. Here and on Instagram. And – eventually – when temperature goes down, I might take some more pictures of the Moomin sweater worn by its new owner  💙.

By the way, retailers for Novita yarns are here and here – in case, you’d like to knit moomins made of Moomin yarn yourself …

Tomten jacket

This is not going to be a long blogpost but pure delight about a pattern that pleases me every time I work with it.

The Tomten jacket, designed by Elizabeth Zimmermann and released in 1980, is an easy knit, easy to customize and simply beautiful. Children look like little gnomes in it.

I knitted the first one in 2016, (unfortunately) using cheap yarn. A test, not meant for eternity, but happens to be worn to this day … However, no longer by the little goddaughter – it’s way too small for her now.

In 2017, when the goddaughter’s little sister started walking around the house on her own, I knitted those two colorful Tomten jackets for the sisters, made of (doubled) sock yarn. So cute, when they wore them both, even though they were more of a coat for the little one.

Since 2018, there is N°3, the baby sister, who is no longer a baby but already one year old. Three jackets are waiting for her, to be worn in fall.

Lately I have knit another Tomten jacket. Made from a skein of hand dyed yarn in the colors of the sea, it is much smaller than the others and a little bit more elegant. It wasn’t made for someone in particular – only to make use of the beautiful skein.

And finally – after the Tomten jacket is before the Tomten jacket – I cast on another one last night. It is supposed to be a sock yarn stash buster in a toddler size and I am looking forward to see it turn out colorful. As it is meant to be a “mindless knitting take along” there is no time pressure. Once it’s done, I will show pictures.

You may want to knit one yourself! Why don’t you?

It’s been a while since I have sewn in a zipper. The picture is long overdue …

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