Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

As some of you following me on Instagram may have noted, I’ve been thoroughly bitten by the Fringe bag bug. It may seem a bit silly really, especially for those that don’t really get the project bag frenzy, but I’m enjoying myself big time :)

One thing I did think about at some point was that sometimes, the bag can be “hard” to carry. Let’s say you’re at a knitting/yarn festival, you have your project in your Fringe bag, and you want to be able to have your hands free to grab yarn. The leather wrist strap / handle on the bag is nice, but it’s not very yarn fondle friendly, is it?

This summer, while I was on a natural yarn dyeing workshop, we went for a walk to collect dyeing materials. Walks can be boring ;) And being with almost all knitters, I was thinking no one would be bothered by me knitting my very boring project while walking. Queue temporary solution for a shoulder strap!

Fringe Field Bag strap

Ever since, I have been thinking of that strap. I really want something prettier, more comfortable, and complementing that pretty bag better. Receiving my 3rd (!) Fringe bag in the post, I impulsively decided to do something about it. Can’t be that hard, right??

I went to a local leather ware shop in downtown Copenhagen (Skindhuset – that place always inspires, makes me want ALL THE THINGS, and really wants me to pursue new hobbies like leather working…). As I suspected (I didn’t really do that much research before I went), they really had everything I needed.

Materials bought:

  • 1 leather strap, 120 cm x 3,5 cm. Cost: DKK 105
  • 2 carabines. Cost: DKK 15 each, DKK 30 in total.
  • 1 simple belt buckle. Cost: DKK 8.
  • studs (and tools to handle them) – I took the studs that are rounded on both sides, to make it all look prettier. Cost: Studs DKK 60.
  • a leather punch tool (what’s the exact English word for that?) – I needed one anyway!

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap supplies

And: TADAAAAAH!

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

So, how did I make it? Yeah, that’s easy and at the same time a bit more complicated, but as I spent some time wrapping my head around it, I thought I’d share. So here we go, a tutorial for you with the above materials:

Step 1Punch two holes next to each other at each end of the strap. Punch a line of overlapping holes at one end – these are for accommodating the buckle. This end will be where we attach the buckle.

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

 

Step 2: To check whether that center line is long enough, and also where to punch additional holes for fixing the strap around the buckle, double the strap around it. Make sure the center pin/thingy of the buckle can move freely. To match the second set of holes to the first, mark in the middle of the existing holes with a pen.

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

And then of course, punch them! Also punch corresponding holes at the other end (using the same method, just folding it around one of the carabines instead).

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Step 3: Punch holes for the buckle! I punched a hole every 3 cm / 1.25 inches along the center of the strap. You can add as many or few as you like, it’s always possible to punch more!

 

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

 

Step 4: Assembly! This is where you need to keep your tongue straight in the mouth, as we like to say in Denmark. This needs to be done in the right order and the right way around.

First, bring the strap through the buckle, the front of the (open!) buckle facing on the right facing side of the strap. On the photo, the end of the strap is to the right in the picture, so the pin on the buckle (buckle folded completely open) is pointing to the right as well.
Second, bring the strap through the carabiner, the clasp facing upward (on the right facing side of the strap).

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Third, double back the end of the strap  and stick it through the buckle again from the left, wrapping it around the part of the buckle where the pin is, and sticking the pin through the opening made for it.

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Step 5: Make sure it sticks! Now add the studs, bringing them through the holes in both layers and fastening them with a hammer. I got a nifty little tool for that, so I didn’t accidentally smash the studs to non-prettiness.

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Fasten the other carabiner to the other end of the strap in the same way.

And voilá! You’ve got a shoulder strap!

On my initial prototype, I didn’t add a thingy that keeps the double straps between buckle and carabiner together (I don’t know the word for that in English at all, bear with me here!). So what I did was add a rubber band around them, which works fine but isn’t as pretty as it could be.

On the second shoulder strap I made, I did have a chance to add it. If you want to add one as well, make sure to do it as part of the Step 4:

1. Bring strap through buckle (step 4, first).
2. Bring strap through together-keeping-thingy.
3. Bring strap through carabiner (step 4, second).
4. Double strap under and bring it back through together-keepin-thingy.
5. Bring strap through buckle (step 4, third).

It’s a bit of extra wrapping-your-head-around, but once you get the picture it’s all easy.

Enjoy!

Fringe Field Bag shoulder strap

Recipe: Pebernødder

Here is my favorite recipe for pebernødder / pepernoten / pfeffernüsse – a Danish / Dutch / German traditional cookie that appears around Christmas time. My recipe is based on several others, perfecting it over many batches. The main thing is that it contains a bit more pepper than usual, as I really like that – they make them a little bit more spicy. I hope you enjoy it too!
(oh, and excuse the pictures with bad lighting – that’s all I can manage when only baking during the evenings when it’s dark outside ;))

Pebernødder

Recipe for Pebernødder
Approximately 3 oven trays (of the Danish kind in size – that’s a bit larger than for instance American baking trays)

Ingredients:
125 grams softened butter
60 grams muscovado/brown sugar
65 grams of white sugar/cane sugar
0,5 dl cream
250 grams wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2,5 teaspoons spice mix (see to the right)
for a less spicy batch, suffice with 1,5 or 2 teaspoons!
Spice mix:
1 part ground ginger
1 part ground cinnamon
1 part ground cardamom
1,5 parts ground black pepper

Whip the butter with the sugar until fluffy and well mixed. Add the cream, stir well.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add them to the butter mixture and knead the dough until everything is mixed well.
Roll the dough to sausages of approximately 1,5 cm / 0.75 inches in diameter. Cut into pieces of around 1 cm / 0.5 inches, and roll each piece into a rough ball.

Place the little balls on a baking tray lined with paper. Make sure to keep them apart a bit, as they will grow!

Pebernødder

Bake for 9-11 mins at 190 degrees Celsius / 370 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on them not getting too dark!

Let cool on a rack. They will be a bit soft when coming right out of the oven, but don’t despair – after a couple of minutes they will harden up!

Pebernødder

Pebernødder

This is how they look in all their yumminess. Beware that they disappear fast – it may be needed to make a double batch straight away!
Luckily they’re relatively quick to make :)

Pebernødder

Pebernødder

New Design: Classic Plaits

Today is a really dreary, rainy day in Copenhagen, Denmark. It makes me want to knit with brightly colored yarns in order to get a bit of brightness in my day – and what is better than a summer sun yellow?

Classic Plaits

Today I published the pattern for Classic Plaits, a simple pair of socks that are worked toe-up, featuring instructions for two types of heel: Short row or afterthought. The detail on these socks is a simple cabled braid along the outside of the foot, making them interesting but still very quiet to look at. I can imagine them quite well in a sophisticated grey, or any other semisolid yarn out there!

Classic Plaits

Find Classic Plaits on Ravelry to see more photos, or go directly to buying the pattern here.

 

New Design: At An Angle / På Kanten

At the end of May, I published a new shawl pattern: At An Angle.

At An Angle shawl

As so often before, my love for garter stitch overcame me, and the different colors of this naturally dyed lambswool from (G)uld beckoned to become something fun.

Worked sideways from tip to tip, increases and decreases shape this triangular shawl. The angled stripe in the middle is placed using short rows, which is easy and almost invisible in the squishy garter stitch.

The color choice makes all the difference here! The simplicity of the shawl makes it easy to work and makes it fit for your casual every-day outfit, but can also accent a more dressed-up you.

At An Angle shawl

The pattern is currently available in English as well as in Danish (the Danish name: “På Kanten”). I used a Danish yarn (the Scottish Lambswool from (G)uld, naturally dyed with indigo and madder), which is available in a number of OOAK shades, depending on what the dyers find in nature.

See more photos and projects from other knitters on Ravelry!

At An Angle on Ravelry

Buy Now

At An Angle shawl

New Design: Roland

I know I’m not very good at keeping the blog updated lately. But I’ve been busy – designing stuff for you guys!

Today I published a sweater/pullover pattern: Roland. This sweater I made for my brother (Roland), and after quite a few false starts it ended up more or less perfect.

Roland

Simple stockinette, followed by a basketweave pattern on the body and sleeves. A fun an interesting knit, as well as soothing and relaxing. It’s great TV-knitting!

Even though it’s originally intended to be a men’s pattern, it can be worn by women as well. I included instructions for waist shaping in the pattern, if you want that – or use it with the straight body as a nice comfy sweater with a bit of ease!

IMG_8414

The truly remarkable part of this pattern is that the sweater is truly reversible. The textured basketweave pattern looks good from both sides, and reverse stockinette stitch instead of ordinary stockinette also looks good. Just make sure to pick up those neck edging stitches carefully, and you’re good to go!

IMG_8482

You can find more information on this pattern on the Ravelry pattern page.
Or if you’ve seen enough already – buy it directly here!

ChiaoGoo knitting needles – how love shifts

Ever since I discovered the KnitPro interchangeable needle series around 6 years ago, I’ve been a KP girl. I tried out a variety of their needles – wood, acrylic, metal, cubics, karbonz. The metal ones always were my favorites, though Karbonz were a close contender. However, the Karbonz did end up annoying me as much as I liked them, with needle tips coming loose and, with my most recent (pretty big!) order, needle tips and cables not always fitting. Over the past 6 months, I have been considering changing to a completely different brand – at least try it out, but perhaps change over for good.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I have enjoyed the KP metal needles immensely for 6 years, so I am by no means trashing them. I have just gotten curious about other brands, and may have found the KP’s wanting on a couple of features. What I still very much like about them is the stiffness of the cable, the sharp tips, and the ease with which you can change between different tips. The metal ones will still be in my tool collection, right until I completely wear them out or if another deserving knitter inherits them.

In the summer of 2014, I bought my first Signature needles. I was absolutely in love! I loved the aluminium that warms up in your hands quickly, the sharpness of the tips, the swivel join, and initially the soft cables. And a separate size cable for each needle size makes the join pretty seamless and comfortable.
Using them more, however, I have also discovered some weaknesses. The cable, mainly. With my tendency to just chuck any project in my bag before I leave the house, the cable gets scrunched up in the bag. It has tons of memory, so getting the project out everything can be a bit hard to work with for the first couple of minutes. Also, it’s not that handy for magic loop working, which I do a lot – with the cable being so soft, it’s not so easy to push through. And then, well… Additional cables costs a lot of money. They’re around 3-4 times the cost of the KP ones, and then you can only use them with one tip size. I have only bought one extra cable, for the 4 mm size needles, but it feels like I could just as well have bought a full fixed circular needle instead.
Still, I LOVE them. The needles themselves are awesome, and for a non-portable project which doesn’t require magic looping, they’re absolutely great.

Recently, my friends and I put in a big order for ChiaoGoo needles. The reason being that we have created our own sock club this year: One pair of socks each month, with yarn from stash. The rule is we just need to cast on, basically – so we were joking a bit that at the end of the year, we’ll each have 12 unfinished pairs of socks, still on the needles. That prompted an urge to buy more needles, of course! ChiaoGoo needles being our latest obsession for sock knitting, we all started wishing for those. A huge order for needles of all sizes was put in, mainly 2,25 mm (US 1), but also the numbers around that. And a couple of us wanted other sizes, just to try!

All the knitting needles in a pile - and sorted by needle size (note that pile #2, that's the 2,25 mm / US 1 ones!)
All the knitting needles in a pile – and sorted by needle size (note that pile #2, that’s the 2,25 mm / US 1 ones!)

Having gotten some money as a present a short while ago, I thought this the perfect opportunity to try out the ChiaoGoo Twist interchangeables. Metal tips, the nice stiff red wire (perfect for magic looping and socks! Just make sure not to whack yourself in the face with them, that happens…), and an opportunity to also buy the ChiaoGoo Spin wires from their interchangeable bamboo range, which have swivel joins.

So I also threw the ChiaoGoo Twist small set in my virtual shopping basket.

ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles

“The small set” basically means it only contains the small sizes: 2,75 – 5 mm / US 2 -8 (3 mm / US 2.5 is missing though, which I found a bit puzzling…). The bigger set consists of sizes 5,5 – 10 mm / US 9-15.
ChiaoGoo has taken the consequence of the wires and joins issue, and divided the small/large set by two cable join sizes. The small set has a small cable join, the big set a bigger one. This makes sense to me – I would need a bigger join for a bigger needle if it needs to work alright with the needle thickness. In the set, 3 wires are included, one of each of the (I guess) most used lengths: 35 cm, 55 cm, and 75 cm (14″, 22″, and 30″). That’s the cable length itself – adding the tips, it adds approximately 13 cm to the length at either end. That makes for a final length of 60 cm, 80 cm, and 100 cm – exactly the wire lengths I use the most of.

I bought 2 each of each wire length, but from the Spin Bamboo range. That’s their interchangeable range with bamboo tips instead of metal tips, which have swivel joins on the cables and softer, see through cables. You can just about glimpse one there in the photo above!

The verdict?

Of course, I LOVE them! But not unconditionally.
I love the stiffness of the Red Twist cables, and I like the sturdy appearance given by the join with the tips. For some reason they seem more sturdy than the KP’s – I wonder if that has something to do with the opposite join (you stick the needle into the join on the cable, while on KP’s you do it the other way around)? Or have they just paid more attention to detail? In any case, I like it. It’s also easier to tighten the join between tip and cable for some reason, even though it happens with a tightening key just like with the KP’s.


The Spin cables however, I’m not sure I’m a fan of. They are a lot softer (they don’t have that metal core), and give a slightly fragile appearance. Despite the swivel join that I like a lot, and which would resist my twisting and turning of hands while I knit, I’m not entirely convinced that they will last super long.
(I have an annoying tendency to twist the needles in my hands while knitting – probably because I’m subconsciously trying to tighten the join all the time. On my convertible KnitPro needles, the join comes undone quite quickly. I discovered this while trying out KP Cubics, which turned out to be very uncomfortable due to that particular habit!)

Another little note: Only 2 cable stoppers were included in the set, and additional cable stoppers need to be purchased separately. The KP cables all have 2 cable stoppers in the package, which is pretty handy – you’ll have stoppers for all your cables! That’s not the case with CG though, so I will need to get a hold of some of those. A ton of cables doesn’t really make sense to me if I can’t just snatch the needles and secure the project before I move on, like I am used to doing.

ChiaoGoo Knitting needles

I will be trying them out more, knit some more projects on these. Meanwhile, I will most likely only be doing one project at the time on a particular size CG needle, due to the lack of cable stoppers. Good thing I still have my KP’s and Sigs handy ;)

New Design: New Start

In September, I released a shawl pattern in collaboration with Rainbow Heirloom: The Road I Took. It is a pattern show casing the Nostalgia Club September colorway – and this month, I’ve been so lucky to get the chance to design something with the January colorway called ‘Auld Lang Syne’. See the blog post on the Rainbow Heirloom blog here!

Emily sent me 3 skeins of yarn: two skeins in the club base, Rainbow Heirloom Lush Light, and one skein in the Sweater base. Being different fiber blends, the colorway came out slightly different on the two bases. I decided to mix the different yarn weights, just to see if I could make it work!

New Start cardigan

The New Start cardigan is worked up in a fun construction. First, the back panel is worked in the worsted weight Sweater yarn, then stitches are picked up for the fronts worked in Lush Light. The collar is worked, and at the end the sleeves, using a raglan construction worked with short rows.

New Start cardigan

New Start cardigan

The process kept me interested all the way through. It was so much fun to see it shape up, add different stitch patterns for the ribbing, and get a final result I love!

New Start cardigan

This cardigan, being cropped, works really well with dresses. Most of my dresses flare from the waist, and I have always been a bit sad about the usual full length cardigans interfering with that cut. This is my solution – and it’s a much used one already! I even made a second version in my own handspun yarn, slightly different, but I’m very happy with it.

You can see the pattern page on Ravelry here.

Buy the pattern directly right here!

Rainbow Heirloom has the colorway in the shop this month, on both the Lush Light and Sweater. Go take a look, the color is so beautiful!
Nostalgia Club on Rainbow Heirloom

Design Process #4: Knitting…

Step 4 of designing in this series is just knitting. Knitting, adjusting my draft pattern, adjusting numbers if necessary. Trying the sweater on now and again to make sure it is all as it should be.

Most of the adjusting and trying on happens when working the yoke. I’m trying it on several times to see if it works. Once I’ve divided for sleeves, the process is smooth sailing from here – the rest of the body is just knitting and knitting, spruced up with some waist shaping and the color changes. I take meticulous notes on the yarn usage for each color, to check if the calculations I made on color use actually work out or not.

In this particular case, it looks like the calculations were on the generous side, which is good. I might need to adjust it a little bit for the final pattern, as the calculations were very generous, but I’m happy that I indeed have enough yarn and did the calculations right so I am sure not to run out. Phew! If it turns out I don’t have enough yarn, it’s a huge turn off and the project risks being thrown in a corner to think about what it has done ;)

Some decisions have to be made at this point as well. And, actually, one of the inklings I had regarding the yarn, which I had ignored for the sake of ease, proves right. I will in no way have enough of the last, dark blue, to make the sleeves the full length I wanted them to be. As the sleeves are around 10 cm longer than the body, I would need double the amount of the darkest yarn for the sleeves to make that length. And I don’t have that, as I worked the required stripe length + the ribbing in that color.

What to do? The project gets to hibernate a little bit while I contemplate whether I should do something fun with the yarn left overs in other colors, or just stop the sleeves after the second to last color and work a ribbing for 3/4 or bracelet length sleeves. Tough decision here.

 

Next up: Step 5: Taking a final decision, blocking, and sending the pattern off for tech editing.