Victoria Poncho

A couple of months ago Antje, (Wool the World), and I were having one of our woolly yarny conversations when the word Poncho was first mentioned. Antje said how much she loves wearing Poncho’s and how much she would like one made using her #frauenberlins yarn. “Ok I said, I design you one I said!”

A few days later a parcel full of Yarn was sent from Berlin to me in Wales and I began playing around with some ideas. Like all the different shades of the #frauenberlins yarn, we decided that the Poncho should have a nod to Berlin. A number of swatches and sketches later, chatting through ideas and more swatches, the Victoria Poncho was born and it is with great pleasure that I can introduce it to you today.

The Frauen Berlins yarns not only tell stories about individually well-known women from Berlin, to me they also represent colours of Berlin in many different ways. From the turbulent and colourful 1920’s, through troubled & divided times after the 2nd World War and finally re-unification & unity in 1990, Berlin has always been a melting pot of historic events.

The Victoria Poncho design was inspired by Berlin and the merging of cultures and events through history. Named after Victoria, the Roman goddess of Victory, who stands in her chariot on top of the Brandenburg Gate and is a symbol of unity by merging the former East and West Berlin’s together, the Poncho shows unity by merging two yarns together.
Draco, a 100% Merino Wool and Virgo, a fine 72% Kid Mohair/28% Silk Yarn, together these two yarns stand for luxurious warmth, giving you the feeling of being enveloped in the softest hug.

Refined and easy to wear, ponchos are an ideal garment for all seasons. They have been worn by the Native American peoples of the Andes since pre-Hispanic time and are now considered typical South American garments.

Victoria Poncho is a striking design that lends itself to unique colour combinations, drapes the body and is easily achieved by beginners, while offering enough interest for the more seasoned knitters alike.

Be bold and colourful or classically understated, the choice is yours!

Antje has put together some beautiful kits which include the pattern, or you can let your imagination run freely and choose your own. This is the way to her online store: Wool the World

Stay safe and take good care in these uncertain times xx

Last day’s of Autumn

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”

Emily Bronte

The weather is still unseasonably mild here in North Wales and so far we have not had any frost. The leaves are turning and when I look out from the window in my studio, all I see is an abundance of colour. This is my favourite time of year.

The days are getting shorter and many of us will light our first fires of the year. This is a perfect time to just walk and enjoy some fresh air, wrap up in your favourite knitwear and stride out. It is also the season to start comfort eating: Bake a cake, make a hot drink and get settled curling up on the sofa with your knitting or a good book.

Tidying my studio the other day I came across a few started sock projects, and as it is #socktober I decided to make every effort and finish some. They will come in handy as Christmas presents for some special people in my life.

In my view, any excuse for cosiness should be grabbed and the sound of rain on the windows and wind in the trees make for the perfect time enjoying some extra sensory moments to tune in and focus on the world around you instead of hurrying around on autopilot.

Sit yourself down…take a deep breath…and relax!

Take care and stay safe! xo

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.

Lazy Summer

Almost two months of no writing…how did that happen?

It’s not because I haven’t done anything or made anything or generally had nothing to say, the last few weeks have just gone by so quickly.

I finally finished my toe-up socks…

…and even though I loved the yarn (Hedgerow Yarns), I didn’t really enjoy the experience of knitting from the toe up.

Sock knitting has always been my go-to relaxing project – when I am in between projects and not sure what to start next, or when I just want to chill in front of the TV. Socks also make the best in-car knitting projects…ever! Toe-up didn’t really do this for me as I constantly needed to look at the pattern. I know I could memorise this over time, but I just don’t want to spend time doing this and even though I really love the way the socks have turned out…

…it’s back to my trusted Oma’s Socks 🙂

I have already started a new pair!

This is a pattern by my sister (Buntes Schaf) and it is available in both German and English via Ravelry and Lovecrafts. Ellen (my little sis) gifted me the yarn from Germany and I am already loving the gentle rhythm of the pattern.

In other news – I have recently been to the French Alps with one of my best friends. Just as soon as we were allowed, we booked a shuttle ticket and drove across. We were sooooo ready for a change of scenery after the long lockdown period. The weather was fabulous, we hiked every day, had boat rides on Lake Geneva and spent lazy evenings chilling with a glass or two and our knitting.

I hope your summer is full of loveliness too and you are keeping well!

Until soon…I am off for some more chillin’! xx