Handicraft lesson

Today, after I was able to finish “designing” and correcting the fonts to the right size, was all about finishing the cropping and starting to laminate the tags. What should I say? Not the most exciting thing, so sadly there is not a lot that I can tell you.

I’ll definitely need to continue cutting the laminated tags. It is important to finish these as fast as possible because they are supposed to be presented in San Francisco on the Vogue Knitting Live Show. My desks looks like a mess right now 😮


Wow, the show is already so close. Can’t believe time is passing that fast 🙁 Thinking that the days in San Francisco will be my last weekend in the US is kind of tough. I will miss all my coworkers but I will always appreciate this awesome experience.

I have seen so many great things but the most impressive picture in my mind will always be the Seattle Skyline. I would consider myself as a small-town girl, especially if I have to tell people that Frankfurt is the biggest city close to my hometown. In fact, it’s about an two hour drive for me to get there, so its not even that close, but its the biggest city around that everybody knows. As I said, Frankfurt is kind of the biggest city around and it even has its own skyline. Therefor, I’m already impressed if I go there and see the skyline which is small compared to the Seattle skyline. I’m used getting goosebumps driving towards downtown, driving towards this impressive skyline!


Lets call it a progress

Finishing the design of the fonts yesterday, this day was all about preparing everything and cutting the tags. At this point, I had to stop this task for the day as I needed to prepare some things for the blog, like taking pictures, organizing everything so the drafts are ready to be published and much more. That took me a while. That does not make the day very spectacular in a way it would be stunning to tell you about.

It has been way more interesting that I baked my very first pretzels this evening! Katie’s birthday is on Wednesday and she is not really into sweet things, so I decided to make her some pretzels instead of baking her a cake. It might be funny that the German intern bakes some pretzels for bringing them to work. As I am kind of occupied on Wednesday evening, there has been no other solution then baking them today and hoping they stay fresh and do not get dry over the next day(s).

They may not be a piece of art but they are definitely made with love.

Dear Katie,

I hope you like your little birthday surprise, brought to you by the one and only German intern 😉

I am very curious how they are gonna taste. Yes, I know that I should try them before I give them to other people but there are only 6 of them and I don’t want to cut something off 🙁 We might all be surprised by the taste, maybe in a good way, maybe in a bad way. But they smell great! I am very optimistic that if they smell as good as they do right now, they are gonna taste great!

Katie here! I just wanted to let everyone know the pretzels turned out GREAT! Lara is now in high-demand to make these for all her friends and family once she returns home. What a nice surprise treat for my birthday – thank you, Lara!

This day is called: Adobe Monday 

Today started off with browsing for pretty fonts. Why? Because Makers’ plans to produce a needle holder that includes little tags with the particular sizes of the needles. And for these tags I was supposed to search for some pretty fonts. 

IMG_0441The challenge connected to the task has been organizing the tags in Adobe Illustrator, so they get printed in the right size, then be laminated and put into the needle holder. I have not worked with Adobe Illustrator before, at least a serious task instead of playing around and testing some parts of the program. So I kind of made my way through it by “trial and error”, as well as googling in some way or other. It may have taken me a longer time than a professional, but I learned a lot about the program and was able to finish the task! 

For tomorrow there is only the task to print all of the tags, laminate and cut them. Except that, I most likely did a lot of work for the blog, so that you are able to continuously read the news about my internship and what’s going on!

I hope that all of you curious readers happily continue following this blog. I will keep you updated!

Friday, or what I call it: the twist and twirl day

The day started off with some more buttons, that wanted to be string on a ring. Still, I was not able to finish all of the buttons because we don’t have enough rings at the moment. So I sat in the conference room, listening to my music, sorting these buttons and putting them on the rings during the morning.

After this I started a race. Not a real race but I might have collected some miles on this task: There were a lot of boxes filled with plastic tubes, which had buttons on their lids. My task was to remove the buttons from the lids as the tubs are not needed anymore. Therefor, I untwisted each wire so that I could take off the buttons and bring them into the bottom room in the correct storage. There are two button rooms next to each other and I switched between them for the rest of the day. As this was not the most awesome task, I wanted to finish it on that day. And so I did. Of course internships are supposed to teach you things, but there are also tasks that just need to be done by someone and I’m always happy if I can help my coworkers by doing some time consuming tasks for them. Good thing I wore my comfortable sneakers this day!

Fridays with Franklin: The Edge of Crazy

fwf-logo-columnsizeFor an introduction to what goes on in this column, click here.

For the first part of this project, click here.

It’s not often that I wish a project were larger. This one has been an exception. Every stage has been more fun than I anticipated–and the result makes me smile.

This is a small piece. I thought it would be a swatch.

I’ve carried it with me during the busiest teaching travel season I’ve ever had. It has been worked on in eleven states; in big cities and in the middle of nowhere; on land, on sea, and in the air; in view of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; next to one Great Lake, two small lakes, and a medium-sized pond with a frog in it.

It’s seven inches wide and nine inches long.

When last we met, I was working on the decorative embroidery between the patches.

In addition to the buttonhole stitch (open and closed) and the feather stitch, I went cuckoo and added French knots with little tails in a few places where it seemed additional frivolity would be welcome.

It was fun.

At no point did this project require me to be serious or restrained. At no point did I have to ask myself whether more embellishment would be too much, or whether I ought to tread within the bounds of good taste. This project is crazy. It says so right there in the name.

When I had finished the lion’s share of the embroidery I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want to leave the swatch a swatch. I didn’t have the time (or yarn) to do an entire blanket. But I had enough to make it up into a tiny, unserious cushion cover.

Since it was an unserious cushion cover, I kept dicking around with stuff I had been told never to do. For example, a very serious knitter once warned me that in cushion covers, one must always be sure the grain of the front fabric matched the grain of the fabric. In other words, you must always arrange the panels thus:


and never thus:


If one broke this rule, she insisted, one’s cushion would…I don’t know what. Explode? I mean, the horizontal grain (rows) and the vertical grain (columns) of any knitted fabric do stretch at different rates; but why would this be a catastrophe in a cover over a stable (if squishy) center?

Anyway, she’s dead now, and she was mean while she was alive. So I decided to stick my tongue out at her, posthumously, and mix the grains up like a madman with nothing left to lose:

I striped the back panel at random with every color from the front except the purple, because for about a week I couldn’t find it.

I put one-row buttonholes into the upper back panel.


Wait. That sort of looks like a superhero mask, doesn’t it?

Garter Woman! Na na NA nana na NAAAAA!

This was, of course, an excuse to play with more buttons from Skacel buttons; so I lost a pleasant hour wandering among the hundreds on offer and settled on the Fancy Iridescent Glass Buttons because I was feeling both fancy and iridescent.

Fancy Iridescent Glass Buttons from Skacel Buttons

I sewed the panels together with mattress stitch, and found that the joins were fine–clean, straight, unobtrusive–but altogether too sober. Insufficiently bonkers. So I pulled out my vintage needlework books in search of a mildly bonkers edging.

A pattern collection from 1905 turned up just the very thing, a picot edge, which looks like this:

and is worked like this (I quote the original verbatim–if I can make sense of it, so can you):

Make a chain of the length required, work Sg. C [single crochet] or DC [double crochet] on this, then fasten yarn with a Sg. C in the top of a stitch; chain 3, insert the hook through the top of the first chain stitch, throw yarn over the hook and draw through both loops; fasten with a Sg. C in top of next stitch, or skip one stitch and fasten whichever way makes the picot lie flat.

I wanted to crochet the edging directly to the cushion cover; so rather than make a chain, I worked slip stitches all the way around the seam line between the front and back panels and worked the rest of the edging stitches into that.

You may notice that I found the purple HiKoo Sueño Worsted that had gone missing. I used an addi Olive Wood crochet hook in size US D/3.25 mm because it seemed like it would do and it was near the chair I was sitting in.

The result was a very unserious ruffled edge–ruffled because instead of obeying the instructions about making the edge lie flat, I crammed the picots in. Jamming lots and lots of fabric into a smallish space gives you ruffles. Annoying when you don’t want them, delightful when you do.

It’s kinda like the edge of the petticoats on a cancan dancer. O, là-là! La plume da ma crayon! Défense de fumer!

Then on went the buttons, one-two-three-four. In four different colors. Because in crazy patchwork, more is more.

I have heard more than one knitter say that button placement makes him nervous. This is all I do–put the upper band over the lower and insert locking stitch markers through the buttonholes to mark the place each button needs to go. Boom.

Neat little buttons, all in a row. A pretty sight.


In case you’re wondering where I got a pillow form of the correct size (7 inches by 9 inches), I didn’t. I cut up an old cotton sheet that was in the rag bag and sewed one, stuffing it neatly with some clean, hand-dyed wool roving that I bought ages ago at a fiber fair, and have never been able to understand why I bought it, because the colors are hideous. No, I am not going to show it to you; and no, I’m not going to tell you who dyed it.

I’m not that crazy.

Now I have this hilarious little pillow…


…and I don’t know what it’s for, though I am absolutely going to use it as a sample for a new class on knitting and embroidering crazy quilt squares. If I can’t stop the madness, I might as well spread it around.

Epilogue in HiKoo Sueño

This is was my first encounter with HiKoo Sueño Worsted and I can’t say enough good things about it.

It’s so crisp and smooth, and the colors show off brilliantly. There’s been no sign of pilling, even though the balls of yarn and the knitting itself has been dragged around the country.

Even after the cushion cover was finished I didn’t want to stop knitting the stuff, so I whipped up an impromptu cowl for Rosamund without a pattern.

She likes it. She likes to have clothes on, especially as the weather in Chicago turns nippy. The only thing I think I might do is line it with woven fabric to keep the floats on the inside from catching on her collar. But that’s for another column.

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

HiKoo Sueño Worsted (80% Merino Wool, 20% Viscose. 182 yards per 100 gram hank.)
HiKoo Sueño (80% Merino Wool 20% Viscose; 255 Yards per 100g hank.)
Fancy Iridescent Glass Buttons (18mm) by Skacel Buttons
addi Olive Wood Crochet Hook
Clover Small Locking Stitch Markers

About Franklin

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His newest book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book was brought out by Soho Publishing in May 2016 and is in its second printing.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Squam Arts Workshops, the Taos Wool Festival, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue KnittingYarn Market News, Interweave KnitsInterweave CrochetPieceWorkTwist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Mason-Dixon Knitting, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection/Makers’ Mercantile. Many of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.

He is the longtime proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet (presently on hiatus).

Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, four looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.

Follow Franklin online via Twitter (@franklinhabit), Instagram (@franklin.habit), his Web site (franklinhabit.com) or his Facebook page.

Thursday, or Rather a Rest-Day?

Honestly, I am very tired this morning as the baseball game last night took very long and I have been home quite late. But do not worry, I can handle this! Even if I do not drink coffee, black tea is my best friend this morning…

Afterwards we, that means my boss Karin and me, headed to the Makers’ shop to prepare everything for the Vogue Knitting live show on September 21st until September 23rd. We are training on how to build up the booth so that it doesn’t take us too long to build it up on the event itself. Building up the booth has been quite funny as it was something practical, doing some hands on stuff for the whole afternoon.

I am so excited to go to San Francisco for the weekend! How cool is that? I even have the possibility to explore the city, at least a little bit. That is just great!

Wednesday, Halftime!

Can’t believe that half of my internship is already over! Wow. Time passes quickly 🙁

This day, again, is based on some Lynda learning and I continued checking the list of participating shops at the 10,000 New Knitters project on the website with the list of retailers that we have here at Skacel. I was surprised how many shops actually take part in this project. So, this is great!

This whole project is supposed to teach “newbies”, beginners or even people that don’t knit (just like me) how to knit. The retail stores will be delivered with free knitting kits, so that everyone who wants to take part can easily take part on this special knitting event on November 10th. Sadly I won’t be in the us anymore when the event takes place, otherwise I probably would have started a newbie in the #10000NewKnitters project as well!

I saw a baseball game of the Seattle Mariners this evening, so this has been very exciting as I saw the football game of the Seattle Seahawks last week. I must say that I prefer watching a football game rather than a baseball game. I just prefer the quicker sports, having more action, as I used to play handball for a long time.

photo-2018-09-17-10-06-34.jpgNot to forget that there was the event called “Bark at the Park”, where everyone is allowed to bring their dogs to the stadium. Long story short: So many cute puppies!

You may or may not recognize Rylie. She has been on some other pictures in this blog and you may know her from her bakery she used to have at Makers’. She is Karin’s daughter and we have a lot of fun together, especially when I get to try some of her home baked sweets! Oh and of course her dog, Barkley, belongs to this picture, too!

Please Remind Me that this is a Tuesday!

Once there has been a long weekend, also known as Labor Day weekend…

I really enjoyed having a long weekend including Labor Day and that is in fact why my 16th day is on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. I have been scared for a short moment because I thought I would have forgotten to write a blog post for Monday, but then my calendar reminded me about Labor Day…

The day basically was structured by a lot of Lynda learning, writing on this blog and then even more Lynda learning. It was not the busiest day so I tried to get some knowledge about creating an infographic with the usual programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I still might not know the techniques behind using these programs for creating an infographic, but at least I know now the theoretical part behind it: How it has to be structured to provide a good understanding and why infographics are helpful in general.


My highlight this weekend has definitely been Sunday, when Karin, her husband and I went to Alki beach for dinner. We had fish and chips which were really good! But the stop we made at one of the observation deck has been even better! I already told you that I love photography, so I got very excited standing on the deck while taking lots of pictures, not only at the deck but also at Alki beach itself…