Translating Knitting Patterns with Kirsten Schreiweis

Translating Knitting Patterns with Kirsten Schreiweis

The Story of German/English Speaking Kirsten Schreiweis

img_1881-225x300Kirsten Schreiweis and I became friends very recently. And what a lovely and talented friend. Having published my first free guide, ‘How to Design, Write and Convert your own Knitting Patterns’, I was approached by Kirsten with a view to translating knitting patterns and the guide into her native tongue of German. The 6500 word guide has now been translated and is already available to the German market! Kirsten is not only talented, but speedy as well.

It turns out that Kirsten and I have an awful lot in common, one thing being that we are both devoted to our knitting machines! Our skills are different, but compliment each others, and we are now looking at ways to move forward together in joint projects which is very exciting. I wanted to share with you a little about Kirsten Schreiweis and her work.

Kirsten is 46, married with two beautiful daughters of 18 and 21; was born, raised, and still lives in the southern area of Germany. Although having never visited Britain, her fluency in English came about from her working for a British company. Kirsten is an accountant by day, an avid creative by night. She says: “Maybe that’s why I am creative and love to handcraft; it is a balance to those dry numbers and charts in my job.” Kirsten is a lover of good food, a good glass of wine, and says: “I’m a positive type of person, always optimistic and trying to make the best of every situation.” She is my kinda gal!

Having been taught to hand knit and crochet as a child, Kirsten’s enthusiasm for machine knitting developed around 10 years ago purely by accident. She rescued a Passap DM80 and became fascinated by the technical and mechanical side of knitting. She says: “My techie heart was touched.” Kirsten is totally self taught, and after a couple of years of working with her Passap, decided to give a Brother machine a go. She found that there was a lot more information out there about Brothers and groups that she could attend. Kirsten now owns seven knitting machines of which three of them are used daily – her Passap DM80, Brother KH970 and KH260, all with ribbers. Kirsten also has a crush on vintage and unusual knitting machines. A true techie heart.

This is one of Kirsten’s skirt designs; knitted with left over yarns, the back being an upcycled corduroy skirt.

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A couple of years ago Kirsten started a blog as she wanted to express the fun she was having with her knitting machines. Having revamped her blog this year, with a new logo, she now posts regular articles relating to the countless possibilities of machine knitting. She loves to write about different techniques and unusual projects, the garments that she creates and the yarn that she uses. She says: “I wanted to let people know that knitting machines are still alive! I want to show that it’s not that mysterious; to let other knitters know that machine knitters aren’t too dumb or lazy to knit by hand, but maybe more open minded and interested in the technical/mechanical side of handcrafting. I wanted to encourage people to get their machines out of the attic or the cellar and use them as they are worth it and deserve it.”

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As a visual counterpart to her blog, Kirsten has also released a series of great videos on YouTube. Starting with a request on a Facebook group to show setups and techniques on the machines, she produced a series of short videos. These have now developed to longer, more detailed videos in both German and English. She says: “The German speaking knitters don’t have that many groups, websites or YouTube videos in their own lingo. Not everyone learned English in school, and even if one speaks English, the special expressions of knitting machine English are one of a kind.”

Kirsten has also designed and written some of her own knitting patterns in both German and English for the same reason: a lack of patterns for non-English speakers. She plans to do much more of this in the future. Her patterns are for accessories such as mittens, hats and socks. Here we see Kirsten’s very first design for mittens, the pattern of which is still for sale in German and English in her Etsy shop. They are made on a single bed, double layered and almost seamless (sew-as-you-go-technique). She had test knitters from all over the world to test knit this pattern to ensure that the instructions could be followed!

She loves to knit practical things and says: “They are knittable for beginners too which may lead them to their first success. My intention is for you to use your knitting machine: that’s what it was made for. Don’t be afraid of ribbers, fair isle or short rows.”

Kirsten creates her patterns and records her videos in her spare time after working in her day job as an accountant. She says: “In the future I would love to see my patterns and videos as a kind of reference for German and English speaking machine knitters; a kind of base that they could start from and work with. I would love to write a complete book of patterns for both Japanese and European machines!”

I am looking forward to working on some great projects with Kirsten in the near future. She has already begun the process of translating knitting patterns from my collection, a few of which will be out soon. Kirsten’s German translation and the English versions of my Guide…How to Design, Write and Convert your own Knitting Patterns  can be downloaded from the following links…Just click on the book covers…

Follow this link to one of Kirsten’s favourite videos…

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