Wonder Woman II

I can’t help but notice that I tend to repeat patterns that I like: five times Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Tomten jacket, six Alida hats, published in the KlompeLompe book and at least the same number of Purl Soho’s Garter Ear Flap Hat. Three versions of Lisa Hannes’ beautiful Fallen Cloud wrap and three attempts to knit a Down To The River scarf that I really want to keep for myself (so far, I haven’t been successful).

Now, I have made a second Wonder Woman Wrap. Knit in Katia Merino 100%, it turned out squishy and nice – maybe even nicer than the first wrap, I made back in 2017. This time, the yellow is darker, it has more of curry color to it and reminds me of gold.

However, the color combination is special – true. So what? After all I now, neither Wonder Woman nur SuperMan could be bothered. Hence, I am fine with it too.

Back in 2017, I loved the Wonder Woman movie and I still do. I am eager to see it again. On a huge screen!

And again, I am thrilled to bits by the clever construction of Carissa Browning’s wrap. We all know that knitting is nothing more than knit and purl, decrease and increase. But every now and then, that very thought blows my mind. The wonder woman wrap is knit in long (very long) rows. Some increasing, some decreasing, nothing fancy, and – BAMM – almost all by itself you’ll have a W! Brilliant!

I wouldn’t be surprised, if I cast on another sometime soon 😬. For now, I will bathe and block this one.

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Baker’s Twine in my bathroom

I really like numbers. And I like mathematics. Most of the time – clearly not when it comes to  doing my tax return. Hence, on an annual basis, I visit the world’s best CPA. She doesn’t only like numbers, she loves paper and turns the stack I bring into a proper file with an equally adequate and orderly filled in form.

No one would ever mistake me for her or vice versa. Why? Well, I don’t think spending time with yarn (to the extend I do it) ever came to her mind – nor have I ever had any ambitions to live in her world of tax legislation.

However, last summer when reading a journal, she came across the pattern of a bathmat she really liked. Hence, she bought yarn and needles to get started.

She told me the story when I saw her last: “But then … that pattern … it was like a foreign language! Can you imagine?!” (Yes, I can). “Nobody understands a language like that!” (Well, uhm … yes, knitters do). “Seriously, a square – it can’t be that hard, can it?!” (No, it’s not). What had to happen, happened: she had long since given away the magazine, the yarn and the needles. Too bad! It would have been my pleasure to “translate” it for her and help her through the pattern.

Now, there I was, not knowing any details about the bathmat she had seen, but ready to defend a knitter’s reputation. And to start a new project!

Because her story – finally! – had me knit the bathmat I had been wanting to knit for a long time: the famous Baker’s Twine, made of Schachenmayr’s Cotton Jersey.

For those of you, who aren’t familiar with Baker’s Twine (no way?!): It is the name of the most wonderful potholders, invented and written down by Ducathi, that literally everyone knit earlier this year. Truly everyone and everywhere on social media.

If it works for potholders, it might as well work for a bathmat, I figured.

And it does! Trust me, Cotton Jersey was made for this. It is a voluminous, round tape yarn, constructed from a cotton net filled with polyamide. Due to its construction, it is lighter than other cotton tape yarns, features a slightly stretchy quality, it is washable and comes in beautiful colors.

Granted, this is not an easy knit – the whole thing gets heavier with every row and the needles are big – but the stitch definition is perfect and the finished mat is as firm but squishy as I wanted it to be. Did you see the icord edging? Isn’t that a neat finish?!

And – of course – that loop. The potholder’s distinctive feature, its trademark. Adding one to the bathmat was a must! If only to hang the mat up when needed (or to trip over it, I know).

The finished bathmat weighs 600 gr., it is about 65 cm wide and 45 cm long. I have used 6 balls of Cotton Jersey in nature and a little bit of pink. Finally, it took about a week to dry after washing (which is not true, it just felt like it).

Now it is blocked and neat and ready to go. About time, I call my CPA, don’t you think?

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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 www.klimaschal.com. 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!

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 …

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