Winter impressions

This weekend, we took a short drive into the Black Forest, to go walking in the snow. Below a certain point, we just haven’t had much snow to call it a proper winter this year. My neighbours’ buttercups are blooming! At around 1100m above sea-level, it was cold enough for me to try putting my fingerless gloves OVER my gloves. That worked a treat.

Sometimes it gets so cold, foggy, and windy that any cabin serving hot coffee, cocoa and cake (bottom letft) is a treat. No matter how run down!

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Scifi and Avantgarde fashion

Comme des Garcons ss2018
Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons SS2018

Looking at the work of Avantgarde Designers like Rei Kawakubo is a little bit like reading a science fiction book in one gulp. It’s not the same Thing as looking up what trend forecasters are saying or projecting for the next Season (or several Seasons in advance) – although that can be fun too.

My Book Club is looking at science fiction novels, and I had the distinct pleasure of reading prolific author Ray Bradbury’s ‘There will come Soft Rains‘ from “The Martian Chronicles” at our Christmas Party. It’s amazing how stories published in 1950s are still relevant and gripping today.

This month, we’re moving on from “Blade Runner” to Cixin Liu’s “The Three Body Problem.” It’s a challenge, to choose books for people who know nothing about science fiction and claim not to be interested in anything ‘Star Warsy’ (even though Star Wars is turning out to be more space opera/space fantasy than scifi, and that’s ok too).

Just as in science fiction, avantgarde fashion asks us ‘What if?’ In her Spring Summer Pret à Porter collection, I think Kawakubo is posing the question of what it would look like if we were to seriously recycle what we have, now that we are at peak stuff? Through the lense of clothes? One answer may very well be a profuse collage of textiles, colours and prints.

Which leads me to ask myself: what would it look like through the lense of knitting?

Hurricane knitting

ICE Train in station
Waiting for the Train / Source: Pexel stock photos

 

When instead of having your Train arrive, what you’re looking at is

 

Because trains and planes have been cancelled all over Europe because of Hurricane Friederike, knitting or crocheting can help pass the time and ease the pain.

Photo source: Ravelry

Friederike Shawl by Monika Eckert and Longing for Spring Socks by Friederike Erbslein and Frederique by Elsebeth Lavold

 

Safe travels, my friends.

Colour Dilemma: Ultraviolet

redheart_ultraviolet
source: blog.redheart.com

The colour of the year 2018 has been released for a while now, and I’ve been looking at it and looking at it for a good while now. Why?

I’ve been wondering what to make of it, and more precisely what to make out of it. And even if I should make anything at all. It’s a bit of a shock that I can’t decide at all.

On the one hand, I see my knits as having a journaling function. I love taking a handknit in my hands, and recalling not just the lovely memories I had wearing it, but also what was going on while I was making it. A lot of memories can attach itself to a knit (or a crocheted) Piece.

So, what will Ultraviolet be saying to me about 2018? I think I’ll have to wait a bit to know for sure.

On the other hand, it’s a much more wearable colour than Greenery, because it has more blue mixed into it.

The real dilemma is: make a garment or an accent piece? With a colour as Vibrant as Ultraviolet, the garment is the accent.

Luckily, this colour isn’t in the shops yet, so I have a moment or two to make up my mind.

Knit to entertain

image

Happy New Year!

I’ve been away from the keyboard for a minute. And it got me thinking: most non-knitters think that we knit to entertain ourselves. But that isn’t even often the main reason we knit (for meditation, to calm, to create, to name a few).

I know quite a few people who get upset if a person knits in their presence. They believe that we aren’t paying Attention, some are even insulted by it. I can totally play board games and knit at the same time!

During the Holiday Season, I’ve been spending time with the Kids on Holiday, and thinking about blog goals for the New Year: more of everything, and consistency really. Same as every year, James.*

*From the classic “Dinner for One” comedy sketch that runs  every year in Germany on New Year’s Eve at least 15 times on various TV channels.

 

via Daily Prompt: Entertain

Christmas knitting procrastination

cozy_lalaberlin_lanagrossaI have a natural proclivity to think things over and over, which looks a lot like procrastination. And I honestly cannot say that it isn’t.

Every year, I knit a hat for my extremely knitworthy sister-in-law. Every year, I follow a pattern. This year, I decided to design one myself. It took me ages to decide how I wanted the hat to look: I even went to a Christmas Market, hung around sipping Mulled Wine (= Glühwein) and had a look at people’s heads, to get inspiration.

By the time I got it cast on and knit the band, I realized that I had cast on too many stitches. I had to rip it out and start again. And then I realized that I had to keep it simple because I had so little time to get to it, in-between shopping, menu-planning, and prepping to have the house full of relatives for the Holidays.

The Yarn: Lana Grossa Cosy by Lala Berlin. A soft fuzzy alpaca-wool blend. With just a smidgen of Nylon.

Very cozy and cuddly bulky yarn with a nice hand. And a gorgeous halo, which means that this yarn does not love too much frogging, but on the positive side, the easiest yarn splice ( I prefer not to splice with spit. I use water) I’ve ever done.

I’ll get into my new design once I’ve got it all written down. Suffice it to say, I finished it on Boxing Day while we were all watching Paddington. And it’s now winging ist way to Japan where my sister-in-law is on Holiday.

 

Link: How to spit splice (also called a felted join)

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Proclivity

Fashion as Design: heroes

What does my hero wear?

nnedi okorafor binti oomza uni
What does my hero wear? Image source: Polyvore.com

In the second week of the course, we have been looking at society’s heroes: Military, pop and cultural heroes. And of course, how these have influenced Fashion, from Bruce Lee’s tracksuit, to the trenchcoat, hoodies and MoonBoots. We were also asked to reflect on our own heroes. And what they would wear.

My hero of the Moment is Binti, from nigerian-american sci-fi and fantasy author Nnedi Okorafor. Binti is a young math prodigy from a future Earth, who leaves her home and Family to be the first to go to University off-world. She’s a member of the southern African Himba People, who cover their Skin and hair with a red clay mix called Ojitze.

In the novel, even though they are skilled craftsmen of futuristic Technologies, they maintain a crucial link through their clothes to their roots.  Okorafor describes Binti as being the only one from her ethnic group going to University, so she pretty much stands out (as she does in the general science-fiction/ fantasy landscape) with dark skin, different clothes and hair braided with her family codes and coated with ojitze.

Her clothes and the accessories she takes from home with her basically help her become heroic, and broker a peace between warring civilizations. The collage above, is my visualization of Binti’s ‘running away’ outfit, which is at once a mix of traditional and futuristic: A silky red skirt, a functional orange softshell jacket, anklets to protect against snakes in the grass, her high-tech astrolabe on a chain and mysterious edan (reimagined as a box clutch). 

What would your hero wear?

 

 

 

 

 

#MakeSmthng: Knitters Assemble!

 

If China’s going to be taking less of our waste on, then we have to start to seriously look at how to produce less waste. In all aspects of our lives. This is some serious world-changing, so I am on tenterhooks. What will happen next? Will we make the Change we want to see happen? Will it take?

All the same, these things tend to do well when we start one step at a time.

As makers, we’re in a unique position to do something practical. This week, December 2-10 is Make Something Week, to turn our thoughts away from necessarily buying something in gift-giving season, but towards how we can take time to consider our own wardrobe needs, or the people we want to give a gift.

Even a small step is a start, and as German poet Herman Hesse wrote:

In every new beginning lives a special magic,
protecting us and helping us to live…

‘Steps’ by Herman Hesse

The rest of the poem is here.

Links from the #Makesmthng blog:
How making can make us consume less
The value of a handmade gift

From this blog:
Loved Things last longer
Clothes that last longer are loved

 

What are you making this week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Tenterhooks

Case solved: Boot match found

Sometimes it takes a while to find the right match. Yes, I did carry the boot around in my handbag, just in case I found a snippet of time to stop in at my local yarn shop.

IMG_1792When I finally did, I didn’t have the boot, but I did have a colour sample taken using the ColorMate App. I brought home another skein of that lovely Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran, and two 50g balls of Cool Wool from Lana Grossa.
The Cool Wool was a closer match. So, the case has been solved.

Now all I need to settle with my knitting-bestie, is which boot sock we’re going to knit together.