With a little help…

When we started to think about a paper planner for knitters, we immediately knew we needed support from the knitting community: dyers who had become friends, yarn companies that we like to work with, people who we like and and admire and whose products and projects we love. When I showed our first drafts of a planner that is designed to help knitters find more time for their hobby, many liked it and wanted to be a part of it. Now a number of wonderful dyers, yarn shop owners, accessory producers, retreat organizers, yarn companies, artists and yarn importers are supporting Strickplaner by having ads in the weekly spreads, banner ads or full-color ads in the back of the book, although some of them said they usually do not sponsor anything because they are fully booked or sold out most of the time anyway. But they thought Strickplaner was a project worth supporting, and now here we are! Now I feel that Strickplaner is not just a new product, but a joint project of the knitting community, by people who feel connected through their love of yarn and knitting. We do think that’s pretty cool!

For you as a knitter and user of Strickplaner this means that in a couple of weekly spreads, the knitting inspiration will be from a sponsor, e. g. pointing towards knitting events, handdyed yarns and knitting accessories (which you might be delighted to hear about if you haven’t yet!). In the other weekly spreads, you will find inspirational quotes and our “My 3” prompts that will ask you to think about which knitting projects you like best, who you love to knit for and who your favorite designers are. We think it’s an awesome mix and we hope you will find that, too!

We thank all the lovely sponsors who have helped Strickplaner come to life!

Amanoyarns.com
Alpaca Yarns from Peru

Acknitwear.co.uk
Knitting Patterns, Books & Kits

Aschaffenburgerwolltraeume.blogspot.de
Small Fiber Festival in Southern Germany

Craftcruises.com
Knitting & Crafting Cruises

Das-mondschaf.de
Handdyed Yarn

Dyeforyarn.com
Handdyed Yarn

Edinyarnfest.com
Fiber Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland

Gemachtmitliebe.de
Blog + Online Store

Ggh-garn.de
Yarn from Hamburg, Germany

Herr-u.de
Yarn Shops in Berlin, Germany

Handherzseele.de
Creative Retreats

Missbabs.com
Handdyed Yarn

Naturesluxury.com
Handdyed Yarn

Rosygreenwool.de
Certified Organic Merino Yarns

Schmeichelgarne.de
Beautiful Yarn from all over the world

Schoppel-wolle.de
Colorful Yarn made in Germany

Stolenstitches.com
Patterns and Yarn by Carol Feller

symposipress.etsy.com
Knitting Stickers Julie Levesque

Succaplokki.fi
Knitting Accessories

Zauberwiese.com
Handdyed Yarn

Our new Organic Project Bags

You probably know that I lived through my puberty in the 80s which made me an eco-conscious hippie in disguise. And (this is more obvious) I love pink. Plus (less obvious) I try to keep a tidy house (ahem), starting with myself by putting my knitting away when I am not working on it, and that’s where a project bag comes in handy which will hold my yarn, needles, pattern and stitch markers. So – you guessed it – I really needed a pink project bag made of organic cotton, big enough to hold my own patterns printed on A5 leaflets.

So I asked the lovely gals at Manomama in southern Germany if they could make project bags like these for me. At Manomama, people who have difficulties finding a job otherwise will find employment and fair pay. It was great working with them, and the bags turned out just the way I imagined. I am really happy that we were able to send them out to our Strickmich! Club members as gifts, and also that we are offering them now to everyone in Strickmich! Shop.

Our project bag is 24 cm (9.5 inches) wide, 26 cm (10.4 inches) long and has a diameter of 15 cm (6 inches). It’s perfect to hold your current project and accessories and closes with a double loop of cord. 4-color Strickmich! label in the side seam, 100% organic cotton, sewn in Germany by Manomana in Augsburg.

Available in Strickmich! Shop (shipping worldwide).

Toranja

Something soft and sugary will surely sweeten up any season for you: “Toranja” is Portuguese for grapefruit, and that was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this yarn. And I love pink grapefruits! I think they are not only the prettiest of fruits, but they also make a yummy drink if you mix them with (alcohol-free) beer or aloe vera juice (add vodka if you fancy). And they are a good source for vitamin C, which never hurts – especially during winter!

Toranja starts with a provisional cast-on, is knit on the bias and has those cute little stockinette squares that make the sweet colors pool just a little bit. Interesting to knit, but not really complicated – and it is guaranteed to make your friends wonder how on earth you did it! 120 grams of colorful yarn make a generously sized cowl. If you have more yarn, you can make a wider loop, or cast on more stitches to make it longer.

Find the pattern printed and downloadable in Strickmich! Shop. We also carry a limited number of kits with the exclusive club color. And, as always, the pattern is available on Ravelry.

Summer Mojo

Sometimes, I just sit on the couch, while my current knitting project sits on the coffee table next to me. There it is, the beautiful yarn, the nice sharp needles and the pretty shawl that I am really looking forward to wearing. And nevertheless, I prefer to let it sit there. My hands want a break. My brain wants to talk to my husband or read some fun stuff on Twitter. That probably passes very quickly, and the next night me and my knitting are happily re-joined. However, a couple of weeks ago – it almost pains me to write this – I did not feel like knitting for a couple of days in a row. My knitting mojo had disappeared. There was nothing that could tempt me: No colorful socks, no intricate shawls, no comfy sweaters (although I have been planning to knit one for a long time). I started to worry. But then I remembered that this had happened before: During my second pregnancy I felt sick at the pure thought of long strings of wool. And there was the time when I would rather try to sew leather bags than knit. Or search for spinning wheels and learn how to spin.

And suddenly it occurred to me what would bring my knitting mojo back: I just had to let myself be creative in other ways, maybe learn something new, get inspired. It does not really matter what I do, as long as it challenges my brain in other ways than knitting does. When your knitting mojo disappears, you can try to learn a few words in Spanish by listening to a podcast, make plans for your flower beds, decorate a cake for your friend’s birthday or learn some new chords on the guitar. Meet a couple of old friends, have some ice-cream with your grandmother or go for a swim with your little niece – summer offers endless possibilities. And then, out of the blue, you will see that color combination that you will want to knit into a shawl immediately, that sock yarn that has been sitting in your shelf will suddenly know what kind of socks they want to become, and in an old knitting magazine you will find the perfect sweater for fall. This is what happened to me. I picked up some yarn I had in my shelf for quite some time, and suddenly I knew what I wanted to knit with it. Hello, knitting mojo, old friend – here you are. What a pleasant surprise!

What does help you to get your knitting mojo back?

P. S.: The project bag in the pic is available in Strickmich! Shop.

Wolkig

Please find my new pattern “Wolkig” in Knitty Magazine!

… and the lovely yarn “Manos del Uruguay Fino” in Strickmich! Shop.

Green Light Shawl

Green and light – that means green lights for everyone who would like to knit their very first lace project! It starts with simple garter stitch on the bias, the lace border is knit on last. The result is a classically elegant cres- cent shaped symmetric shawl, light as a feather and warm and comfy at the same time, in a fascinating exotic yarn. The shape is achieved by stacking two geometric shapes onto one another, all in garter stitch to keep it simple. The attractive lace edging is attached perpendicularly as the final step.

A nice project to start at home and take on vacation: Work on the mindless and relaxing garter stitch part while still at home and working, and save the slight- ly more complicated lace part for when you have arrived at your destination, are relaxed and have lots of time to knit the lace border in your deck chair.
Less than one skein of an ultralight blend of yak and silk results in a shawl that will fit women of all sizes. If you would like to make it even bigger, go ahead and use up your entire skein (instructions on how to do that are given in the pattern).

Shawl in the pictures:
Length: 230 cm (92 inches)
Depth: 33 cm (13 inches)
57 grams of yarn used
Colorway: Apfel

The pattern and the yarn for this project is available in Strickmich! Shop, the pattern can also be found on Ravelry.