http://www.strickmich.de

Dear Knitter,

it's finally summer! Time to take a break, to put up your feet and have a good time. No matter if you are staying at home or traveling – summer is a great opportunity to take things slow. When I pack for a vacation, a couple of different knitting projects are a must: Something truly mindless for the first few of days, when I really need to wind down. After I while, I feel like I need something more entertaining, like a shawlette with an interesting stitch pattern or some children's socks with a new construction, or maybe even a little lace weight sweater – the big skein of yarn I have reserved for this will surely fit into my suitcase. 

If you are still looking for the perfect summer project, I might have a few suggestions in this newsletter. 

Have a great summer!

Martina

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Mrs Watson

A beautiful alpaca blend, intense but natural colors – it was obvious that I would design something inspired by nature with this! Mrs Watson is worked without purl stitches, and only a few short rows that are very well manageable even for beginners. Wraps are not picked up! The shawl in the picture is knit out of Berroco Ultra Alpaca light (50 percent alpaca, 50 percent wool). The pattern is available in my Ravelry store or directly at  Berroco, where you can also order the yarn I used. Enjoy!

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Multicolor Love! 

Everyone loves those perfect hand dyed skeins, or a beautiful gradient or self-striping yarn… But sometimes it can be quite a challenge to find the right pattern for those beauties. In my class "Multicolor Love" I will help you do just that! We identify different kinds of multicolored yarns and I talk about what stitch patterns and color combinations work well with them. I will teach this class a couple of times in the fall:

26. September, 12-14 hrs at my house in Damsdorf, Germany. After that: Open Studio, coffee & cake and Wollmeise Mini-Shop.  

10. Oktober: Wollrausch Berlin, Germany

28. /29./ 30. Oktober: At the Fall Sale of Rohrspatz & Wollmeise, Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, Germany

… and of course we will continue our cozy Open Studio knitting events in Damsdorf featuring our Rohrspatz & Wollmeise Mini-Shop!

The next dates are:

26. September,12-14 hrs: Class "Multicolor Love", 14-18 hrs Open Studio

17. Oktober, 12-14 hrs: Class (topic tba), 14-18 hrs Open Studio

21. November, 12-14 hrs Class (topic tba), 14-18 hrs Open Studio

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Ask Martina!

Here I will answer any questions you might have about knitting – just send an e-mail to fragmartina@strickmich.de!

Birgit asks: 

What do you use to wash your woolens? I do have a bottle of detergent from the supermarket, but I do not like the scent, and I feel like it leaves a residue in my handknits. Any recommendations?

Dear Birgit,  

I have tried lots of things when washing my woolens – and most of the times I was pleased with the results. No matter whether I used some inexpensive detergent from the drugstore or something organic, my woolens were nice, soft and clean when they came out of the washer (I have a front loader with a special woolens cycle). But as you say, the scent plays a major role – and that's really a matter of taste. That's why I think it's totally fine to open up a bottle of detergent in the supermarket in order to find out whether I like the scent or not. If you prefer light, natural scents, I recommend you check out your local organic foodstore, they often carry organic detergents. Some of them are lavender scented which is nice, because it also deters moths. If you are very sensitive, you might prefer to use a scentless wash. Or, if you can't find anything else, you can use your favorite shampoo – after all, the hair we grow on our heads is not that much different from the wool that sheep grow on their backs.

I put all my handknits in the washer, using the woolens cycle and 30 degrees celsius temperature. I like to use a scented wash for socks, and sometimes I add an antibacterial rinse in the softener compartment. For shawls I prefer an organic detergent based on olive oil. I really like that everything comes out of the washer almost dry and I don't have to wait that long until I can wear my beloved handknits again. I hope this helps!

Martina

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Fractal Danger

I am sure all of you know the wonderful Knitmore Girls and their podcast, right? I love how enthusiastic they are about all things fiber, and I love listening to them chatting away. When Jasmin (the daughter) asked me if I would like to design a Knitmore-themed shawlette, how could I refuse? Especially as the yarn they sent me (by Abstract Fiber) was so stunningly beautiful. The colorway is called “Danger”, and the shawlette consists of self-repeating triangular shapes – the definition of a fractal. They are often found in nature, like in leaves, but they are also a nice little mathematical game.

The pattern is available on Ravelry for you to enjoy!

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Strickmich! Club Logo

News from Strickmich! Club

Just a few weeks and summer break will be over – that's when the third shipment of this year's Strickmich! Club will be on its way to you. The yarn is a premiere for the club, the color a true joy and the design very relaxing to knit. I am really looking forward to our next Cast-On-Event here in Damsdorf on September 12th. We will open our packages together, enjoy the surprise and cast on together!

Mid-September is also the time when current club members will receive their PDF version of our first club pattern  "Thousand Tulips", and by that time it will also be available on Ravelry. 

Until then I wish everyone a good time knitting Lelly – the last pattern from our 2014 Strickmich! Club – which is on Ravelry now.  

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Knitting Improved – Part 9

How to get your Mojo back

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, 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! 

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