Tag Archives: knitting

Sssshhh, December mystery knitting


It is cold outside – the days are never shorter than during the Christmas season! – and it is extremely cosy inside. So how about spicing up the Advent season with a bit of mystery knitting on your super inviting couch? I am not revealing (much) more than in this mystery, we´ll be knitting a shawl. Like the one we made last year, only that it is very different. Ok, this is not very helpful, but it is going to be a mystery-kal, so I am supposed to be secretive about it. I put together a post on ravelry, where our kal will take place, that explains the details I can let you know already. Will you join us? I´d love to see you over on ravelry!

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Lineares Mystery Shawl

Lineares Shawl MysteryStarting on October 8th, we will be knitting a comfy shawl together in my ravelry group Janukke Strickdesign.  It is going to be a mystery-KAL. I am telling you about it now so that you have a few days to organise and get your yarns and needles ready. If you need a little longer than that, it´s not a problem at all. The first clue isn´t elaborate, it will be easy to catch up if you join in a few days late.

The shawl will surprise you with its multi-directional knitting, resulting in a bold-looking construction, along with its interesting fibre study. You‘ll be working with yarns of two different weights. Or, if using the original ITO yarns, namely Wagami, Sensai and Tetsu, you will often work with yarns of two different qualities held together – a truly unique fabric is the result!

For those of you who hear the word “mystery” in the context of knitting for the first time: This means that you won´t know what the finished item will look like when you start knitting and will get the instructions bit by bit in a couple of clues.

To find out more, to join in and to get to know your fellow mystery knitters, pop over to ravelry!

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Now you can already put to use the information of the last post: My new shawl pattern, Verum, invites you to pick three colours that then get distributed over a pattern of stripes and short row segments. Verum makes this easy for you, so long as the three colours go well together, nothing can go wrong in this shawl. It doesn´t matter where you place the accent colour or which palette you go for.

The pattern asks for fingering weight yarn, preferably Frida Fuchs REMMIDEMMI Sock. In my sample I combined Vanilleschote (black), Kieselerde (grey) and Olive (green). Jana from Frida Fuchs put together that combination and I fell in love with it the minute I opened the package that came with the mail. She has a sixth sense for colour, which shows clearly in the palette of her yarns. – By the way, her shop is freshly stocked up, as of 6 pm yesterday, CET.




But back to this colour combination: I like to have two colours that are similar, or fall into one category, and one colour that is the odd one out. So grey and black are the pair in this example, and the green (Olive) is the colour that is creating a vibrant and cheerful accent. As I mentioned, in this shawl any of the three colours could be the accent colour, the pattern is well-balanced enough.

The projects of noone else but Jana from Frida Fuchs herself and my talented test knitters will provide some inspiration for you to get your creative juices flowing:



Jana made a sample in Hanami (speckled creme), Rosmarinheide (rose) and Kieselerde (grey). So the same concept as before works for a muted palette as well. In these colours the unisex shawl is soft and very femine.



Heike chose soft colours also but added in a darker shade for extra depth.



Elisa and Susi went with shades of blue, which is always a safe pick.



Tracy had the same thought but added in a mustard shade for accent. And look at that tassle, isn´t it fantastic?



And Tanya combined a moss green with a warm pink-red and a creme shade to great effect.



This shot was clearly photo-bombed. But we don´t get distracted from Ramona´s perfect choice in colours: Mustard, fir green and steel blue are an unexpectedly great match with a back-to-nature feel to it. Maybe that´s because Ramona hand-dyed the colours herself, using plant pigments.

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Colour your knitting!

How do we see colours? What is interesting about them to us knitters? Those are the things I have been thinking about lately.

Colours don´t stand on their own, they always interact with one another. It doesn´t actually happen in real life that all we see is one colour. And our perception of any particular colour heavily depends on the context we see it in.

For example, the exact same grey can look very different when it is put on a blue versus an orange-brown shade.



Only when you add a grey frame and, from the frame, lines to the two grey squares connecting them with the frame, does it become evident that it is, indeed, the same grey.



And the identical grey looks different if projected on black versus white horizontal stripes, as is illustrated on the left below. The image on the right shows the blocks of grey without overlapping stripes.



The next example illustrates a similar illusion. A solid grey appears to have a gradient if placed on a gradient background. Again, on the right you see the grey block without the gradient background revealing how our eyes have been deceived.



There´s also this mind-boggling effect of the complementary afterglow. Stare at this bright blue for about 60 seconds, and make sure to actually last that long, then on the white image on the right, focusing on the grey squares in the centre each time. You should see an afterglow in the complementary colour, i. e. in yellow. This is something our brain does. Whenever the complementary colour is missing, it is assumed and added by some process in our brain. Researchers are still debating what´s behind this effect. Probably a contributing factor is the fatigue of the colour receptors of the eye. If a receptor for a colour gets tired, the colour it is absorbing, which is always the contrast colour, gets enhanced.




We also tend to subconsciously assume volume in 2-dimensional images. All of the following lines are perfectly parallel. Hard to believe, right?



It´s tempting to use this in a future design, but I kind of get the feeling I might cause some headaches with that. And being a headache sufferer myself, I definitely want to avoid that.

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I´m back

workshop_farben293I am back to blogging after a long hiatus. I had stopped writing here because I was focusing on other aspects of being a knitwear designer. There´s a lot to do and only so much time. But right now the writing mojo is back.

I have been teaching two colour workshops early this month. In both of them we have been thinking about colour theory, about things to consider when choosing colours for our knitting projects and about flattering ways to distribute colours in garments, among other things. The actual knitting part has been themed around stranded knitting for one, and around intarsia for the other workshop.

I immensely enjoy teaching, it is very rewarding to pass on a bit of the knitting knowledge I´ve accumulated throughout the years.

But it is a wee bit frustrating to me that I cannot talk about everything that I want to say in the workshops. There are many more interesting aspects in the wide field of colours than can be squeezed into a two to four hours time-frame, where the focus naturally will be on the knitting technique.

And oh did I try. For the first ever colour workshop I taught I had planned to talk about all techniques that use colours in one way or another. Because there was no way that we could make a swatch in each technique, I prepped swatches so that knitters could knit a row on each of them and swap them around, I guess I was thinking of the circuit training in sport. Needless to say this is a suboptimal way to teach. I learn from my mistakes and we now have lots of time to focus in-depth on the one technique I am teaching. I still wonder how it happened that knitters walked away happy from that first ever colour workshop.

But even after slowing down and all these workshops I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY STILL. So here I am. However, I have decided to write in English only from now on. It just takes up too much time to write every single post in two languages. I apologise to my German readers.

Not all posts here will be strictly knitting-related. But having thought a bit deeper about colours may help when it comes to choosing colours for your next project, so knitting will always be on the back of my mind when I am writing. Stay tuned for my colour chatter!

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There is something special about grey accessories and garments. They need to appeal through texture and construction alone, not being able to add a colour highlight here or there, or to catch the eye by a particularly bold or gorgeous shade. This constraint by design makes them often look very stylish. So I was thrilled when Geilsk agreed to send four balls of their beautiful Bomuld og Uld for me to play with, all in a different shade of grey. And Greydient is what came out of my experiments.

Light slip stitch stripes add a bit of texture and break up the stocking stitch background of stripes in darker shades of grey in this semi-circular shawl. At the same time, eyelets set an accent in the stocking stitch stripes and make the shawl deeper by adding an extra stitch each. You will need less than one of each of the four skeins to make the shawlette. And of course you are not restricted to greys at all! I cannot wait to find out what colour choices knitters worldwide will make. Some gorgeous shawls already came about in the test knit. – And what will your Greydient look like?

(If you sign up for my newsletter, there will be a 20% discount on the pattern!)

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makro Greydient

Graue Accessoires und Kleidungsstücke haben etwas Besonderes. Sie müssen allein durch Textur und Konstruktion wirken, ohne dass sie hier oder da einen Farbakzent setzen oder das Auge durch eine besonders ansprechende Farbe beglücken könnten. Diese prinzipielle Zurückgenommenheit lässt sie oft sehr elegant wirken. Ich war also mehr als glücklich, als Geilsk zugestimmt hat, mir vier Knäuel ihrer wunderschönen Bomuld og Uld in verschiedenen Grauschattierungen zu schicken, um damit zu spielen. Das Ergebnis meiner Nadelexperimente ist Greydient.

Helle Hebemaschenstreifen setzen die glatt rechts gestrickten Streifen im Hintergrund optisch und strukturell gegeneinander ab. Löcher akzentuieren die dunkleren glatt rechten Streifen geben dem Tuch Tiefe, indem mit jedem von ihnen eine Masche zugenommen wird. Für das kleine Tuch braucht man nicht mehr als vier Knäuel Bomuld og Uld bzw. 200 g Sockenwolle. Und natürlich gibt es keine Verpflichtung, in Grau zu arbeiten! Ich bin sehr gespannt auf die bunten Interpretationen der Strickwelt, die durch das Netz so unwahrscheinlich nah rückt. Meine Testerinnen haben schon wunderschöne Tücher ernadelt. – Und wie wird dein Greydient aussehen?

(Wenn du meinen Newsletter abonnierst, gibt es 20 % Rabatt auf das Muster!)

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Decorating for Christmas │ Dekorieren fürs Fest

It has been a wonderful Christmas season over at janukke headquarters, we had a fantastic time with our group Advent calendar. It was jolly and cheerful, reflective and serious, all at once – just as the Advent season should be. I have learned a lot, most of all about baking – the Christmas bread and the Saint Lucia lussebullar are still on the list. If you have missed our calendar, worry not. You can still win a prize today and tomorrow, the 24th. And I strongly suggest you take the time during the holidays to read up on all the creative windows. The ideas and recepies can be downloaded and will still be as good next year.

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Es war ein voller Advent, unser Adventskalender ist sehr gut angenommen worden. Wir hatten eine gute und fröhliche Zeit zusammen, die verschiedensten Themen wurden besprochen. Es war ein Advent genau wie er sein sollte. Ich  habe viel gelernt, vor allem habe ich viel gebacken – das Weihnachts- und Luciabrot habe ich noch vor. Falls ihr den Kalender verpasst habt, rate ich euch dringend, über die Feiertage ein wenig dort zu stöbern. Die Ideen und Rezepte lassen sich herunterladen und im nächsten Jahr noch genau so gut verwenden. Es gab Nachdenkliches, Schönes, Rührendes und viel Leckeres.


Here are my ideas for Christmas decorations from the calendar at one glance (click on the images to get the tutorials). I have already mentioned the mini garland featuring tiny socks on the blog:

Hier sind nochmal meine Deko-Ideen für Weihnachten auf einen Blick: Schon erwähnt habe ich meine Mini-Girlande aus winzigen Söckchen (ein Klick auf´s Bild führt zur Anleitung auf Englisch, hier entlang zur deutschen, bitte):



Also, you might want to make these quick Christmas ornaments from a crochet chain:

Ganz schnell lassen sich diese Häkelherzen herstellen (zur Anleitung):




Then you can use my Eonemone pattern of an amigurumi flower to decorate a wreath with it, that will still look good long after the season, and learn how to make a beautiful Advent wreath from pom-poms.

Dann lässt sich mit Blumen gestrickt nach meinem Äonemonen-Muster ein Türkranz schmücken, der auch nach Weihnachten noch Freude macht (auch wieder hier rüber für die deutsche Anleitung) und auch aus Pom-Poms entsteht ein weihnachtlicher Türkranz (zur deutschen Anleitung).




Have a very merry Christmas, a tranquil and reflective time between the years to recharge your energy and a happy New Year 2016!

Ich wünsche euch allen fröhliche Feiertage, eine besinnliche Zeit zwischen den Jahren und einen ausgesprochen guten Rutsch ins Jahr 2016!

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The Christmas season is the time of expressing your love for the people close to you, the time to surprise them with a special present, and to show your affection by spending time with your loved ones. So what better occasion could there be to cast on this shawl, Kouki-Hearts? (Except for Valentine´s maybe. I might have to do a relaunch of the pattern on Valentine´s Day.)

An subtle pattern of knit and purl stitches embosses the fabric of this special shawl with hearts, while the colourful stripes add more overt visual interest. The narrow triangular shape creates a cosy accessory. Using a yarn with some lustre, like Ito Kouki (ramie and silk), allows the light to showcase the hearts. Ito Kouki does this in a way I haven´t seen before in any other yarn. Treat yourself to something special and make an Ito purchase – you will be sure to enjoy it! – or do what my test knitters did and find other shiny yarns to make this shawl even more unique. I hope knitting this shawl gives you as much joy as it gave me.




Die Weihnachtszeit ist die Zeit, in der wir unsere Zuneigung und Liebe für die Menschen, die uns am nächsten sind ausdrücken – mit einem besonderen Geschenk und der Zeit, die wir mit ihnen verbringen. Was für einen besseren Moment als genau diesen jetzt könnte es also geben, um dies “herzige” Tuch anzuschlagen? (Außer vielleicht den Valentinstag, ich sollte das Muster zu Valentin neu herausbringen.)

Das dreieckige Tuch wird von der Spitze zur längsten Seite hin gearbeitet. Ein subtiles Herzmuster aus rechten und linken Maschen sowie farbige Streifen geben ihm das gewisse Extra. Gestrickt wird mit Ito Kouki, ein Traum aus Ramie, einer Pflanzenfaser, die seidenähnliche Eigenschaften hat, und Spinnenseide. Ein Traum aus glänzenden Fasern, wie ich sie noch nicht erlebt habe! Ein wirkliches Strickerlebnis und ein wunderschönes Tuch für den besonderen Anlass. Viel Spaß beim Stricken von Kouki-Hearts!


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I promised two new pattern releases together with the Advent calendar. So here is the first which also makes for a quick knit of a last-minute Christmas present. The fashionable Dotlets cuffs are designed with no thumb shaping to be as simple and pleasurable to knit as possible. The dotted slip stitch pattern is gorgeous without being complicated to knit, and makes a perfect showcase for that special skein of variegated yarn. Pair it with a solid colour that contrasts strongly, and watch the colours shine!

I have been working with the beautiful Ito Rokku Tennen and Ito Rokku. One cone of each will make two pairs of these cuffs. And the best: You have two chances to win enough of the original yarn to make your own pair, just chat along with us in the calendar thread on ravelry and become the winner of our daily lottery tomorrow – every post has the potential to be drawn – or wait for the second opportunity on another day.

If you are purchasing this pattern, you will support the work of our local knitting and crocheting group here in Luebeck Germany that we do with refugees. We are not only teaching them the crafts, but also the German language, which is so important. I have written down a summery of one of our projects, which you are contributing to with your purchase. If you have any questions, just ask!

That´s it for today. More is coming up soon, so stay tuned for the next pattern!

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Zwei Veröffentlichungen mit dem Adventskalender habe ich versprochen, zwei Veröffentlichungen sollt ihr bekommen. Hier ist schon mal die erste. Die stylischen Pulswärmer im Pünktchenmuster halten die Hände warm und stricken sich einfach und schnell, sind also als Last-Minute-Weihnachtsgeschenk sehr geeignet. Das Hebemaschenmuster der Pünktchen ist unkompliziert und kann auch von Anfängern gemeistert werden.

Als Hauptfarbe bietet sich ein Garn mit Farbverlauf an, das mit einem einfarbigen Garn kombiniert wird. Der Kontrast sollte ausreichend stark sein, damit sich die verspielten Punkte herausbilden.

Gestrickt habe ich mit Ito Rokku Tennen und Ito Rokku. Wenn ihr je eine Kone kauft, könnt ihr davon zwei Paar Pünktchenwärmer gestricken. Und das Beste kommt zum Schluss: Um das Originalgarn für ein eigenes Paar zu gewinnen, plaudert mit uns im Kalendergeflüster. Jeder Post ist ein Los. Morgen wird ausgelost. Und in den nächsten Tagen gibt es noch eine Chance, die Pulswärmerwolle zu gewinnen.

Mit dem Kauf vom Muster unterstützt ihr die Arbeit unserer örtlichen Handarbeitsgruppe “Stricken und Häkeln für und mit Flüchtlingen”. Wir bringen den Flüchtlingen nicht nur Kreatives, sondern auch die deutsche Sprache bei, was ungemein wichtig ist. Eines unserer Projekte wird über dies Strickmuster finanziert. Ich habe euch die Details einmal hier zusammengefasst. Wenn ihr Fragen habt, lasst es mich wissen!

Schaut mal wieder rein, wenn ihr neugierig auf die zweite Veröffentlichung seid. 



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Advent calendar


This December ist going to be very busy at janukke headquarters: We will be knitting a Christmas-sy shawl in a festive check pattern together and enjoy our very own creative Advent calender. There will be many prize drawings! Maybe even one a day, depending on how many contributors there will be. The prizes still keep coming in, so I am not sure.

The shawl has already been cast-on, we started the mystery-KAL last Saturday. But don´t worry about that, if you still would like to join in, you can do that at any time. And if you´d like to be the first to be notified of any janukke Strickdesign news, I invite you to join my ravelry group or sign up for my newsletter.

Back to the shawl. We will be knitting with yarn in three colours somewhere in the range of fingering to sport. In the original shawl I have been working with 2 lace weight Ito fibres held together. If you are in the mood to treat yourself to something special, I can very much recommend the Ito yarn. It makes for a sumptuous piece of knitting, a shawl that will last you for years to come and brighten your day every time you are wearing it.

Of course you now want to know more than that, how much yarn of each colour will you need, how does the whole mystery-KAL-thing work, etc. pp. You will find all that out in the ravelry discussion.

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Diesen Dezember geht es hier im Janukke-Hauptquartier wirklich rund: Wir stricken zusammen ein weihnachtliches Tuch in festlichem Karo und organisieren unseren eigenen kreativen Adventskalender mit vielen Gewinnen.

Das Tuch ist schon angeschlagen, am Samstag ist der erste Hinweis des Mysterys veröffentlicht worden. Aber das braucht euch nicht zu stören, wenn ihr noch einsteigen wollt, könnt ihr das jederzeit tun. Und falls ihr immer die ersten sein wollt, die die Neuigkeiten wie die vom Mystery erfahrt, werdet Mitglied in meiner ravelry-Gruppe oder abonniert meinen Newsletter.

Zurück zum Tuch. Gestrickt wird mit drei Farben in Sockenwollstärke, ob 4- oder 6-fach ist euch überlassen. Im Original habe ich mit Ito-Fasern gearbeitet und jeweils zwei Lacegarne doppelt verstrickt. Wenn ihr euch zu Weihnachten etwas gönnen wollt, kann ich die Originalwolle wirklich extremst empfehlen. Es ergibt ein exquisites Tuch, an dem ihr noch lange eure Freude haben werdet.

Ihr wollt natürlich noch viel mehr wissen, wie viel von jeder Farbe, wie funktioniert der Knit-Along, etc, pp. Das erfahrt ihr alles im entsprechenden Gesprächsfaden auf ravelry.


And this is how the Advent calendar works: Every day unitl the 24th there will be one post, or one window. The 24 windows are a count-down towards Christmas, celebrating and sweetening the wait for the big day, which is the 24th in Germany. In each window there are 3 circles. And behind every circle hides a surprise for you. The first circle leads you right to the creative contribution of the day. Click on the link below the circle and enjoy the recipe, tutorial, poem, or otherwise inspiring pdf! If you are feeling a bit creative and productive yourself, send you own ideas to: janaATjanukkeDOTcom. There are still free slots.

And with the second circle, every day one of my patterns will be offered for a discounted price. Also, there will be two new publications mixed in with the discounted old patterns.

Finally, there are prizes hidden behind circle three: You can win a prize here every few days – maybe every day. The winner will be drawn the following day among the posts of the calendar discussion. All posts since the last lottery are included. So the more you talk, the better are your chances!

I hope you are all in the mood for some Christmas-themed fun and festivity. I have so many things planned that I am almost bursting trying not to say too much. But I am giving you a little peek at what is awaiting you, I am showing you what´s behind circle one today. It´s the pattern for this beautiful Christmas decoration – well the pattern is for tiny socks in general – graciously provided by Gudrun and knitted in Christmas colours by me last year.

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Unser Adventskalender funktioniert so: Jeden Tag verbergen sich hinter dem Türchen drei Kreise. Und mit jedem Kreis gibt es ein kleines Goodie für euch. Der 1. Kreis versteckt einen kreativen Beitrag. Ein Klick führt euch zum PDF, das ihr online lesen und auch herunterladen könnt. Wer mag, reicht einen eigenen Beitrag ein (janaATjanukkeDOTcom), es sind noch Tage frei. Das können Rezepte, Bastelanleitungen, Gedichte und dergleichen mehr sein.

Mit dem 2. Kreis ist jeden Tag eins meiner Muster ermäßigt. Auch wird es zwei Neuveröffentlichungen geben.

Im dritten Kreis schließlich wird es alle paar Tage – vielleicht sogar täglich, je nachdem wieviel ich zusammenbekomme – etwas zu gewinnen geben. Der Gewinner wird am Folgetag unter den Posts der Diskussion zum Kalender gelost. Es nehmen immer alle Beiträge seit der letzten Verlosung teil. Je mehr ihr plaudert, desto besser sind also eure Chancen. Viel Glück euch allen!

Ich hoffe, ihr seid alle dabei. Und um euch schon einmal anzupieksen, zeige ich euch, was sich heute hinter Türchen eins verbirgt. Es ist die Anleitung für winzige Socken, freundlich zur Verfügung gestellt von Gudrun und letztes Jahr von mir in weihnachtlichen Farben gestrickt:

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And with the next lottery tomorrow you can win the beautiful Bomuld og Uld by Geilsk yarns, enough of it to make a Mix It Up! Are you feeling chatty already? 😉 Join us in sharing the excitement about the first day of our calendar here.

Der Gewinn, der gleich morgen verlost wird, ist die wunderschöne Bomuld og Uld von Geilsk, genug für ein Mix It Up! Ich hoffe, ihr seid in Plauderstimmung. 😉 Hier geht´s zum Kalendergeflüster.


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