Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer equals socks

I love summer because there is always another pair of socks that is just waiting to be created. This year I am way ahead into the sock season. My thoughts are playing around with the pair number 3. It will be a tried and true vintage hound’s tooth design. I first thought of it when I found the yarn 'on sale'. Its Cascade Heritage sock yarn. The base color if dark green with a multi-shaded beige as the alternate color. During a session of lunch at my desk, at work, I put the various sizes of hound tooth design onto an excel spreadsheet. Last week I spent some of the evenings knitting the swatch. Now it is decision time.

Which one should I make? The 6 stitch pattern, the 4 stitch repeat, or the 8 stitch pattern.
I like them all equally!
Before I can start though, I had one more chore to finish. My previous sock pattern had to be 'published'. I called it Bricks'n Braid and FINALLY published it yesterday afternoon. It is free to download on my page, oberpfalzerin

Here are a few photos from the pattern. It was so easy to knit the socks and they do feel soft on slouchy on my feet. The instructions are written for women’s size medium and large. the small braid is only on the outside of the socks and supposed to make the socks more feminine.

Free sock pattern anyone?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I have been exploring new territory

Knitting Territory, that is....

I have always wondered about 'felting'. When I was younger it happened BY MISTAKE, but now that I am grown-up (supposed to be, anyway) felting has become a must have in a knitter's repertoire.
In April I have taken on the project of felting a purse. It actually started as a KAL (knit-a-long) from the German-American knitters group on We suggested patterns, voted for the top 2 designs and started the project bags in April.
Here, as in every step of my life, life happened. My mother got sick with inflamed wounds on here feet, related to her diabetes. She tried suffering through it but finally my brothers and sisters in Germany intervened and she was admitted to a hospital. It took almost three weeks of hospital care before she was able to go home again. And that, going home again, was actually up in the air until that day. It was not clear if she actually could go home again. Us children had to figure out if she would be better cared for in an assisted living situation. The doctor's decided she could be trusted and care for herself with a little assistance of a daily nurse visit and more attention form my sister Monika. She lives within walking distance. My other sister Inge, who is a nurse, would also step up to the plate and visit more often. She lives in the next town over and is taking the bus to mother's place almost every Friday afternoon. My brother and I and Inge have settled my mother's financial 'mess' and things are now under control. I hope.

All throughout April's emotional discoveries I worked on my 'felting project'. I started out with a plan. I was doing purse 2. The wollybully bag. After I had purchased the wool for the project I changed my mind, because my mind has a mind of its own. I could not stop thinking about using the wool for a Messenger Bag and the rose pattern that my friend Rita showed me on skype one day put itself right on the bag.

So I began sketching

then I prepared a swatch and felted it 2 times

The swatch was measured before the washing, after the first wash and after the second wash. the difference in size was carefully calculated and my discoveries were then translated so my finished messenger bag would be the right size that could hold a laptop.
What I discovered was that the row height shrinks 30% but the stitch width only shrinks 7%. After all that calculating and in between worrying about my mother, I began knitting. The bag was started from the front flap to the back - down the back to the first section of roses - then the bottom - up the front to the inside edge.
Decisions I had to make along the way:

the red edge was knitted right along with the body from two strands of red, one on either side.

the rose design on the back had to be knitted up-side-down and mirror image to look right on the finished bag. Front and back appear now like one cohesive strip around the bag.

to offset the rose design I added a couple of stockinette rows before and after the roses

And finally I did decide to use the red wool to create the bag's sides and handle. It just made the bag more feminine in my eyes.

After washing it 2 times in very HOT water and with baby soft detergent I posed with it and the resulting bag looks astonishing, don't you think?

I did have to make sure the laptop fits and it does comfortably.

Another decision along the way:
The swatch I had made in the beginning was sewn onto the back inside wall as a pocket

For the finishing touch I had to find the perfect latch closures. I had tried a few I purchased, but 'as life so happens' the right ones were on an old sweater I had in my closet. The sweater had 8 sets of these. So now I have three more sets for future projects.

 Well, it is June 1. today. My mother is at home and still healing but happy not be shipped out into a strange Nursing home. She loves her chair, her bed, and her home.
I have gone on to my normal 'summer knitts' which are socks. This time, my first time, I am designing my own. If you are following this blog and also knit, please check back because this sock pattern will be a freebie and available here soon.
The pattern for my Messenger auf Bayrisch bag is being typed up, when I am not blogging or knitting, or running.
I will update this blog when the pattern can be purchased on my yarn-stube store on and
We are now live on
yarn-stube designs by Renate