Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Adding to the knitting and sewing stash

There's no shortage of yarn here in Germany. There are of course stores that sell yarn, but yarn is also sold in the department stores and sometimes even in the discount grocery. Many of the yarns I like and bought in the states are from Germany: Regia, Austermann, Opal, Schoppel, Schoeller+Stahl... to name a few. There are also small, independent dyers and spinners to supply knitters with unique yarns. So even though I wasn't able to go to Stitches this year, I am more than able to add to my stash.

I recently went to a Wollfest (wool festival) in Backnang, Germany. It was tiny compared to the Stitches mega-yarnfest. But I had a great time exploring it with some new knitting friends. We shopped, we lunched, we knit, we chatted. All good!

This is what came home with me:

In addition to shopping locally, I also shop for souvenir yarn, as well as sewing magazines and fabric, when I travel. Last weekend we were in Brussels. Its close proximity to the Netherlands and France enabled me to purchase a Knipmode magazine, which I don't find in the newstands in Germany, a special Idees Couture magazine/book combo, and an interesting "yarn" from the Netherlands.

The "yarn" from the Netherlands is actually strips of 50% cotton/50% polyester fabric. I don't think it would make a very good knitted garment, since I think it would be heavy and stiff, so I intend to knit a basket of some sort. I also think I might use some for trim on a top.
The Idees Couture magazine/book combo looked interesting but it turned out to be a little disappointing. The combo was encased in plastic so I couldn't look through it before I bought it. I was hoping for some simple yet structurally interesting garments but it turns out that everything is really just simple. It doesn't help that many of the garments are much too large for the models in the pictures or the fabric looks too stiff - or both. For example:

I might actually use the first dress pattern, without the sleeves, as a nightgown. The second dress has an interesting detail of stitching that is not showcased at all in the photograph. There are some other possibilities among the 35 patterns included between the book and magazine, but they must be traced off from the usual confusion of overlapping patterns on a large sheet of paper. Oh, and the instructions are in French. :-)

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