Cabaret Shawl – A New Pattern

Today I am super excited to introduce my latest design to you, the Cabaret Shawl.

Cabaret was inspired by the Musical and Film of the same title set in the city of Berlin in 1931. This was a time when political unrest racked the country, the economy had been destroyed, and millions of unemployed roamed the streets. Enter into this chaos an American cabaret dancer, working at the downtown “Kit-Kat club” where anything goes on the stage. Into this young dancer’s life come several characters such as a rich German politician, a young Jewish man struggling with his identity, an Englishman teacher from London, and of course the all-knowing, all-seeing Master of Ceremonies.

The shawl has a relatively shallow, elongated triangular shape. The main design features are the various slip stitch patterns that adorn the shawl, I-cord edging, stripes and much more. To achieve this look the upper body of the shawl is worked from side to side. You start at the right corner, working towards the centre, increasing to shape the shawl. Once the centre is reached, decreases will be worked towards the upper left corner.

When the upper body is complete, stitches are picked up at the lower edge. The lower shawl body is then worked downwards with further shaping achieved by increasing at sides and centre of shawl.

The shawl comes alive through the use of the beautiful Pegasus Yarn. This yarn, exclusively dyed for Wool the World and named after famous women of Berlin, has fabulous drape, is super soft and is available in an array of stunning colours.

Take a look at the many beautiful Kit combinations Antje has put together for you, or choose your own favourites. The Kits comprise of 3 hanks of yarn plus the pattern and are EXCLUSIVELY available via Wool the World online shop until 19th October 2020, there is also a discount available until the 5th October.

Some of the Kit Combinations available

All in all a stunning shawl that is effortlessly elegant, fun and easy to wear, a real hommage to Berlin.

Antje and I are super proud to send this, our first collaboration, into the world today, as today is the 30th Anniversary of German Re-Unification. What better occasion to celebrate the launch of something beautiful!

We hope you like it and fall in love with it as much as we have.

Stay safe and take care xx

Staffin Socks – a new pattern

Hello lovely Peeps, how are you all?

I hope you are enjoying these last days of summer before we will all have to settle into our autumn/winter routines (well, Northern Hemisphere that is).

Why not start the journey into autumn and the colder time of year with a lovely pair of new cosy socks – hand-knitted of course!

Now is a great time to start preparing for cooler times ahead. With evenings drawing in and getting cooler, what better time to start thinking about cosy evenings knitting, either for yourself or gifts for friends.

September 15th – “This is the month of quiet days, crimson creepers and blackberries; of mellow afternoons in the ripening garden; of tea under the acacias instead of the too shady beaches; of wood-fires in the library in the chilly evenings.” (Elizabeth von Arnim 1866-1941 taken from the book Elizabeth and her German Garden first published in 1898 )

With all of this in mind, I have designed my Staffin Socks, a new pattern released this week.

Inspired by the sloping buttresses of the Trotternish escarpment on the Isle of Skye, especially the weirdly shaped rock pinnacles of the Old Man of Storr, the pattern is a mix of simple knit, purl and twisted stitches. The heel, using German short rows, and wedged toe shape with a gathered tip, fit the foot perfectly. Add to this Shilsdair’s beautifully hand-dyed yarn using local plants, the finished item does not disappoint, and you will have a super comfy pair of socks you won’t want to take off.

The pattern is available to purchase via my usual channels – you find links in the menu on the right.

I hope you feel inspired to make a pair and if you do, please tag me on social media @madewithloops or #staffinsocks.

Until soon, stay safe! xo.

September (enjoy a free pattern)

September stands for fresh beginnings and usually gives me a sense of purpose and a zeal for getting things done; this year it’s OK to not know what happens next. Living in the moment has been forced upon us but it’s something we can embrace.

The best thing about late summer is being outdoors whenever I can, but especially at the end of the day. Those unadopted hours as the sun goes down seem to stretch time – practically beckoning me to go for a walk or simply to sit on a bench with my knitting in hand and appreciate the season, accompanied by the dusk chorus.

Were you lucky enough to get some well-deserved cooling off with a few rain showers? At least that was the case in North Wales. Immediately there was this magic that all knitters know: The sky is overcast, rain is pounding on the window and this amazing cosy feeling sets in. The favourite knitting place is calling out loud and would like a new project on the needles. It doesn’t matter whether you are longingly looking towards autumn or would prefer to have summer knitwear on your needles, one can always find a reason to cast on something new.

Enter a yarn parcel from Berlin/Germany…

Antje, yarn enabler and fast becoming good friend, of Wool the World sent a gorgeous little something for me to try as we are planning some beautiful things together for the coming Autumn/Winter season.

Meet Lotte in Draco…

…and Fritzi in Virgo!

Both are part of the Frauen Berlin’s collection of Yarn’s which are exclusively dyed for Wool the World by Sabrina of Das Mondschaf.

Finger’s twitching I lost no time, wound my two beauties into lovely yarn cakes and started knitting.

Et Voila … a cosy little Neck-Poncho to keep the chill off during these early autumn days. What do you think? Would you like to make one too?

Here is how:

Approx. 50g Draco and 20g Virgo (held together throughout)

5.5mm needle – darning needle for sewing up – stitch marker

K – knit

Kf+b – knit first into the front and then into the back of same stitch

Sl1wyif – slip 1 stitch with yarn held in front

RS – right side/ WS – wrong side

St – stitch

Leaving a long tail for sewing up later, cast on 10sts and knit one row.

Row 1 (RS): K1, kf+b, k to last st, sl1wyif

Row 2 (WS): K to last st, sl1wyif

Place a marker to indicate RS.

Repeat these 2 rows until the straight left edge measures 40cm and the continue in garter stitch without increasing for a further 5cm.

Cast off on a RS row and weave in the end.

Seam the cast on edge (A) to the seaming edge (B) and then weave in the tail.

You are all done!

One hank each of Draco and Virgo make two neck-poncho’s, perfect gift for a friend in need of cosiness too.

Happy knitting and enjoy!

Until very soon, take care.

Heike xo.

Turkish Delight Bolster Cushion

Hello friends, I hope you are well.

Maybe you have been able to extract yourself from lockdown in small steps, enjoying some more freedom of movements again. Maybe, like me, you are still not allowed to break free from the constraints and are meant to stay put for some time to come. Whatever the case may be, I hope you are keeping your spirits up enjoying life as best as you can.

In today’s post I would like to introduce you to my colourful crochet Bolster Cushion. Some of you might remember it from a few years ago when it was a crochet along organised by myself and a friend.

I had never really thought about putting it together as a single pattern, until recently that is. In recent weeks I have been asked repeatedly about purchasing the pattern and this got me thinking. So today is the day that I can release this cushion as a single download in both my Ravelry and Lovecrafts stores.

The bolster cushion was inspired by my love of design, architecture and colours found in North Africa and the Middle East. Having extensively travelled in those countries, taking endless photos, my work is often influenced by impressions gathered. This design shows off these influences by incorporating texture and colour in equal measure.

Bolsters are usually firm for back or arm support or for decorative application and have been in use since the 12th century. They are not a standard size or shape and commonly have a button or zip closure. A foam insert is used for additional support. Also referred to as a cushion, in western countries a bolster is usually placed at the head of one’s bed and functions as head or lower back support, or as an arm support on furniture with high rigid sides.

With this bolster cushion you have the opportunity to own a beautiful and useful homeware item inspired by the colours and designs of North Africa and the Middle East.

The cushion incorporates various crochet techniques and by choosing either bold and striking, or more subtle colours you can tailor it to suit your own home.

For my sample I used beautiful Vinnis Colours Nikkim, a soft 100% cotton yarn from South Africa. The yarn is hand-dyed and is available in a huge array of colours. You can of course substitute with any yarn of your choice, however, I recommend that you do not use acrylic yarns.

Wishing you many happy crochet or knitting hours, until soon.

Take care and be safe. xo

Confession of a Sock Knitter

My dear friends, how have you been? I hope you are all keeping well in these uncertain times, finding things to do that you love and having lot’s of ‘Me’ time too.

For me that usually involves knitting socks. I am not totally sure when this love of sock knitting started, but one of my earliest knitting memories is about socks and they are a true love of mine.

I just keep making socks. It’s just so much fun.

Especially during stressful and uncertain times they are my go-to project and I can’t seem to stop, chain-knitting my way from sock to sock, starting a new one just as soon as one is finished.

I just keep going and having a completely shameless Netflix binge helps no end, it’s almost like the sock-making reinforces the binge-watching, and vice versa. It also helps to have a large stash of sock yarn nearby, feeding my curiosity about what will happen with a skein of variegated or self-striping sock yarn.

Socks are super portable and the perfect small project to try out new stitch patterns. A simple sock is pretty straight forward to knit, not too difficult to learn and many have done so in my workshops following my trusted ‘Oma’s Sock’s’ pattern (here).

Family and friends are happy recipients of my cosy socks, with fifteen pairs of my knitted socks in hubby’s sock drawer alone and many more pairs having been gifted over the years.

Having knitted top-down socks only up to now, I wanted to spice things up a little and have started my first pair of toe-up socks. I only started last night but like it so far…

They won’t be done quite as quickly as I have to follow instructions, but with lock-down continuing I have plenty of time. Wish me luck!

Are you using this crazy time to learn something new? Please share, I’d love to know.

Stay safe my friends and remember to laugh, to sit in sunshine and dream, be kind and thoughtful and to be gentle and mindful with yourself.

Heartfelt wishes,

Heike xo