Newsstands: Knitting Magazines in Germany

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This survey in no way claims to be a comprehensive list of all knitting magazines published in Germany. It is however a list based on what you would find in any well-stocked local supermarket or yarn shop.

Publications by Yarn Companies – like the one above, the yarn companies are now putting out their catalogues, which look more like Fashion magazines. Filati from Lana Grossa, and Made by Me – Handknitting from Rico. Depending on which yarns the LYS carries, you’ll find a variety of these magazines in yarn shops, but also on the magazine racks in supermarkets, bookstores and even railway stations.

 

brigitte

Publications in women’s magazines – like Brigitte. Although Brigitte has recently branched off into the yarn market. They have launched a wool line, in cooperation with Lana Grossa, they publish a yearly knit-issue, and have launched a Special Edition Brigitte Creative magazine, with patterns and kits for sale. Another notable magazine venturing into patterns and yarn and kits is Landlust, which started out as a magazine celebrating living the good life in the countryside. Their patterns turned out to be so successful, that it seems only natural that they now offer the yarns (lovely tweedy yarns).

 

verena

Publications by craft companies – for some strange reason (probably post-war Mad Men era publishers and ad-men deciding what housewives wanted) most of the craft-focused magazines have girly names like Ana, Diana, Verena, and Sabrina. There’s also Häkeln for you (for crocheters) and a Stricktrends (Knittrends).

A solid exception is Burda, well-known for years in sewist circles, they started out with Burda Stricken, and has recently responded to the growing market for more creative crafty magazines by putting out a Burda Creative with a wider mix of interesting craft projects.

Following this upsurge, we also saw the introduction of Mollie Makes in German, and of course, The Knitter, more or less recycling years-old material for German knitters.

One final note: International knitting publications from the US  (like Interweave) and the UK (like the english version of The Knitter), are available mostly in railway stations or in the larger chain bookstores. Vogue Knitting is called Designer Knitting outside the US.

Where do you prefer to get your knitting magazines?

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Made in Germany 3

There are now a few brave independent yarn dyers doing amazing things with wool and various fibre blends. Here are a few that I know about:

 

Yarn Dyers

Wollmeise

wollmeise_sock_flaschenpost (2)

Sock weight in Flaschenpost/ Message in a bottle.

Wollmeise is the nickname of Claudia Höll-Wellman (her husband is the Rohrspatz, and it’s a bit of a play on bird names plus their hobbies – she likes wool and he likes metallworking and Rohr is German for a metal tube or pipe), who just seems to have not only a hand for  making lovely colours, but also very inventive colour names as well.   She got started in 2002, when she couldn’t seem to find the colours she wanted to knit with. She has grown a very large and devoted following, and quite frankly has put her small town of Pfaffenhofen in Bavaria on the knitter’s world map.

She’s recently opened a brick and mortar shop and occasionally holds open days and sales, that have people all over Germany stopping off in Pfaffenhofen. If you can’t get there in person just yet, you can have a browse around her very modern and efficient web shop (in German and English) and look at the shop on her Panorama Viewer. Gorgeous!

 

Dye for Yarn & Dye for Wool

foto source: DyeforWool Etsy shop

I love the story of how two scientists, met at work and discovered their shared love for shawl knitting. Cordula Surmann-Schmitt and Nicole Eitzinger also couldn’t find the laceweight yarns they wanted on the German market, so they decided to try their hand at importing and dyeing them themselves. Their Etsy shop DyeforYarn started in early 2010, while their second shop DyeforWool was started in October of the same year. They also opened an In Real Life shop in Fürth near Nürnberg (Nueremberg).

They have a quirky sense of humour, which comes out in their yarn names which often have to do with death, decay and things that may not sound so appetizing (Splitted Lime and Naughty Piglet above are good examples), but when translated to yarn are just lovely, show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. They do fairly small batches in lace-, fingering- and DK weights, so it’s crucial to get a sufficient quantity of yarn all at once.

It’s quite a treat to browse through their Etsy shop, especially their Cabinet of Wonders and their Cabinet of Horrors, special sections with skeins they think are particulary beautiful, and not quite successful respectively. They also do a lovely Advents calendar in the runup to Christmas, which is also worth checking out.

 

HeyMamaWolf

Jule Kebelman is a textile designer and teacher who lives just outside Berlin. She also produces small batches of organic plant-dyed regional wools. HeyMamaWolf is small but is definitely worth watching, as Kebelman is working with and sourcing her wool regionally (ie in Germany), although many yarn companies prefer to source outside Germany as the wool isn’t considered fine enough. Plus she gets some amazing colours using plant dyes.

heymamawolf.jpg

fotosource: http://www.heymamawolf.de

If you know of any more intrepid independent yarn dyers in Germany, or wider Europe or wherever you are, please drop me a line and let me know.

 

 

Knit Autumn’s Trends 2

Power dressing

Although I tend to associate knits with softness, snuggly warmth and hygge, knits can also make a powerful Statements.

What do we mean? Strong shoulders mainly…

Fotosources: Ravelry, New York Times

 

Like Karen Templar’s Sloper recipe. Or like Lene Holme Samsoe’s Viola vest.

Fotosource: “Edle Maschen” by Lene Holme Samsoe; Ravelry

 

It doesn’t have to be a vest, it could also be something dramatic and memorable:

Fotosource: Ravelry

from left: Metropolis, Oporto and Times Square by Nora Gaughan.

Knit Autumn’s Trends 1

Red

 

Catwalk Fotosource: RyanRoche.com

It’s lovely to knit something, inspired by the current popular trends. On the one hand, we have something that is like a remembrance of this season and on the other hand, we have something chic and knitted (or crocheted, if that is your cup of tea) to add to our wardrobes.

I’ll be the first to admit, that I don’t want to wait til I’ve knit a full jumper, to be able to wear something red. So let’s start smaller:

A cowl 

redochreleaves_cowl

Fotosource: Ravelry

Red Ochre Leaves by Loch Ness Knitting. It’s free for the month of October (2017), by the way. Made up in a bulky yarn, it looks like a quick knit.

Jewelry

Volare Collar

Fotosource: Ravelry

Volare Necklace by Laura Nelkin. Not as warming to the neck as a cowl, but still enough to give that Pop of colour.

Honorable mention: Serial Necklace by Alyssa Graybeal; Cable Braided necklace by Olga Buraya-Kefelian.

Belts

 

Fotosource: Ravelry

from left: Ume Blossom by Elizabeth Sullivan and Norobi by Veronica O’Neil

Well yes, one could wear an i-cord in red as a belt, but why bother when we have Elizabeth’s Haramaki- or Veronica’s Obi-inspired belts to choose from?

Other Accessories: Headbands, bags and such…

fotosource: Ravelry

from left: Hot Mess Headband by Heather Walpole; The Loop Bag by Cindy Pilon; Talila mini-collection by Linda Marveng.

I didn’t think I would find a practical knit bag for autumn, but Cindy’s Loop bag is felted and so entirely workable for this season. Linda’s mini-collection just feels like the answer to the question we didn’t know we were asking.

What would you knit in red?

 

Please note, that although I restricted myself to photos with pieces knit with red yarn, we could knit just about anything by substituting a bright cheery red.

 

 

 

London: Fashion Crescendo

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It’s taken me a while to connect all the dots from my visit to London.

Busy city. Fashion metropole. Jam-packed city centre streets even on a drizzly sunday afternoon. The bustle. Of tourists on a monday. Constant.

 

Rising in crescendo in the Top Shop. Latest styles hot off the runways. Teen girls trying piles of clothes for the right thing. Twens popping in for a new blouse after work. Shoes piled high in the discount bin. Costume jewelry, handbags, all the things. But made where? And by whom?

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via Daily Prompt: Crescendo

Holiday impressions 2

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Evening Dress / Balenciaga 1963/ V&A museum

 

Still thinking about structure and control, which brings me to the Victoria &Albert Museum’s  Exhibition Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. It refers rather cleverly to the fact that Balenciaga was a designer who has had a lot of influence on other fashion designers (a designer’s designer, especially to those who are trying to be innovative within the field). It also refers to the fact that if you want to create 3-d shapes (ie garments) out of 2-d material, you jolly well need something to hold it up.

  1. You need structure. And Balenciaga was a master tailor and couturier, who knew how to manipulate the fabric toaccomplish the most remarkable things with fabric.

“This evening dress – displayed inside out – shows the attention to detail in constructing a couture gown. The net bodice, structured with steel boning… Fabric edges are bound with silk tulle and hard fastenings covered in velvet for comfort…”

-Victoria & Albert Museum

 

In short, a fascinating exhibition with garments not just by Cristóbal Balenciaga, but also from several designers who came after him, and cited him as mentor or Inspiration.

It’s amusing to see that the flared sleeves and pleats that are among this year’s hottest trends, look as if they’re borrowed straight from his sketchbook.

 

Top row: Tulip dress, Wool tweed Skirt suit by Balenciaga

Bottom row: Evening dress by Balenciaga, Ballons Dress by Sybilla (Spain), Cocktail dress by Roksanda Ilincic

Holiday impressions

Texture, stucture and pattern fascinate me 

 

Back from our family holiday in South England. I’m still ruminating on what I’ve seen and experienced over the last two weeks.

I visited the Balenciaga exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum (more on that later), had a look at quite a few touristy things, ate a lot of Full English Breakfasts, visited botanical gardens, great houses, drank an impressive amount of tea (with and without scones) and noticed things.

Living out of a suitcase is more or less test-driving a capsule wardrobe.

Women in the UK wear more skirts and dresses (in general) than women in Germany.

Fast fashion means picking up a new blouse or three is as easy as picking up a pack of precut vegetables ready to be made into a soup, on the way home from work in a large metropole.

British food is loads better than it’s reputation on the Continent.

How were your holidays?