It’s been a while but I’m back :)

Hi there, it’s been quite a while since my last post. I’ve been super busy and still am but I’ve decided I absolutely needed to post today and show you what I have been up to lately.

First off I casted on for the second Enchanted Mesa by Stephen West, this time for my daughter.  She wanted similar colours to mine but when I went online to order the yarn I found myself buying mostly blues. Three colours are the same as in my sweater and the rest are not. I did not want her to have an identical sweater. This time I also changed the pattern by changing the placement of the second sleeve. In the first one I followed the pattern to a t and at the same time thinking it would be nice to tweak it and have the sleeves placed more or less at the same level. This time around I did just that and so far so good. Of course I will not be able to judge until the sweater is finished but I’m confident it will look nice even like this. Here are some progress photos for you to see:

photo 2 (34) photo 1 (36) It looks really funny half finished but the short rows are a great design element when using colour work and I just hope the tweaking of sleeve placement will work in the end 🙂

I also cast on for a new cardi for myself. I chose “Peasy” by Heidi Kirrmaier which you can buy on Ravelry  I’m knitting it with Tough sock by The Uncommon Thread, colourway “Cumulus”. I’m not far along but I like it so far. The pattern calls for a DK yarn but the one I chose is fingering so I’m using it double. I bought this yarn when I bought the yarn for my daughters Enchanted Mesa and I bought it because I loved the colour and wanted to try out a yarn by The Uncommon Thread but I did not have any project in mind. When looking for a new knitting project and browsing Ravelry I came upon Peasy which I had bought a while ago and still not knit. And it just felt perfect… except my yarn was fingering and not DK. Not willing to find another pattern nor change the yarn or look for a new one, I decided to knit it double. I think doubled fingering should be approximately DK weight so I’m hoping the final result will be just perfect 🙂 Here are photos of my work so far:

photo 3 (28) photo 4 (22) The second picture shows a close up of the lace pattern on the front. This cardigan is worked from the top down with raglan sleeves and so NOW SEWING.

One one of my browsing sessions on Ravelry I discovered this incredible japanese/english online webzine which is not only great but free – you only pay for the patterns you wish to buy. The magazine is called Amirisu and can be consulted here I feel the patterns are refreshing and a little different from what we mostly see. Take a look and judge by yourself 🙂

I have also been working on building my stock for Unwind Brighton for the last two days I’ve been preparing stitch markers and needle stoppers and yesterday I also made a few buttons using ceramic “dots” which I find beautiful. These will of course be delicate buttons so if you put them on an item you should handwash and maybe have the item inside out for further protection.  I’m also going to use the ceramic dots to make some stitch markers. I bought a ton of those and I just love the colours and feel these will make original products. I’m also working on magnets. I’m intrigued by the use of magnets in crafting and am working on making some pattern tamers and stuff. I bought different formats and am now thinking about different uses and ways to use them. I try different things and hopefully I will end up with something original, fun and useful at the same time.

And I almost forgot, I did some plying also last week, here are the pictures:

photo 1 (34) photo 3 (29) photo 3 (26) photo 2 (32)

Well that’s all for now. Lots of crafty time and fun until next time 🙂

And a new week begins

Hello everyone, I hope you had a nice and crafty weekend. I did not have as much time as I would have liked to knit and spin this weekend but that’s life, all about concessions.

Now I did have the time to start some plying as I was totally out of bobbins and so it was ply or just not spin until I did find the time/need for plying. I made two full bobbins of a single which is a mix of merino, shetland, firestar and bamboo in a beautiful blue colour and now I’m plying it into a two ply, so this will end up being two skeins – what is complicated is knowing when to stop and begin a new skein. I would like to have two skeins of approximately the same weight/length but I may end up with a large skein and a mini skein in which case I will have to sell them together as a set. The resulting yarn is looking very nice and the firestar give a little glimmer which I find super nice. This is probably somewhere between fingering and DK weight and I can see this as a sock yarn or for some sort of accessories. I’m planning on selling it at Unwind Brighton – that is if I am able to separate myself from it. Not always easy when one is as touched by the fibre bug as I am 🙂

Here’s a photo of my bobbin of plied yarn so far: photo 1 (33) On the photo I feel the yarn looks a bit darker than it really is but you get the picture. Nice don’t you think ?

I also made a little progress on the sleeves I’m knitting for my sisters birthday, I’ve only got about 10 in left of stockinette and then back to the slip stitch pattern for the second cuff and then I will be almost done:)

I also bought some more yarn and have cast on for a second Enchanted Mesa, this time for my daughter and I chose more blue tones this times and less browns. I went a little overboard and bought some very luscious yarn with cashmere and silk; incredibly yummie and beautiful. I will post some photos later on.

And I redid a little dyeing. Only 5 skeins but then that is mostly the case anyway, I only do small dyebaths as I do not have the space or time at the moment to go into larger baths/production. I’m feeling a bit rebellious these days and I think that is showing in my dyeing. I’m attracted to yellows, oranges and reds these days. This time I also used my favorite fingering yarn (sw merino, nylon and silver stellina) and here are three of the skeins I made. Now I’m thinking of keeping those for Unwind Brighton in stead of putting them up for sale on Etsy and I hope the colours  appeal to other knitters and not just to me 🙂 What do you think? Do you like these?

photo 2 (31) photo 3 (25) photo 4 (19) photo 5 (13)

The colours are very blended and each skein has some white in it; I used a kettle dye technique so the dye sets unevenly but that is something I like. I’m fond of semi solids and multicoloured yarns. So sometimes the colours flow into each other and sometimes you have white with some colour here and there and the colours are not uniform. Sometimes the red is muted and sometimes it is saturated. I don’t know if this sounds as good as it actually looks but I hope you get the picture.

I’m so looking forward to throwing myself into dyeing again. Since we moved last summer, I have so little space to develop my shop and no actual space for my dyeing and now we are looking for a new house to buy and I keep my fingers crossed and hope we will be able to find one with enough space for me. I would love to have 2 spaces for myself (yes that’s a lot and I probably never will but it’s always nice to dream). I would like one office for my day job but I work from home and need a small office space, a small room I can close the door to so as not to be disturbed during my working hours. And a STUDIO for my creative work. I can see a room, a craft room filled with shelves. Shelves filled with my knitting, dyeing, spinning, crocheting etc books as well as shelves filled with boxes filled with craft supplies. A large table to work on. Another table for my packaging and shipping. A space for spinning and weaving and equipment. And a space for dyeing with a large sink, a microwave and a small stove. A space to stock my finished products waiting to be sold and shipped out to my Etsy buyers. A heaven on earth sort of space 🙂 This brings me to Pinterest, I don’t know if you Pin but I got into that a few months back and I find loads of inspiration there for my future/dream craft space. I could just get lost in those pictures of gorgeous craftrooms:) And I really hope one day, sooner rather than later I will be able to have one of my own.

But since I talked about Pinterest maybe you would like to check out my pins and profile

I love browsing Pinterest and I find loads and loads of inspiration and my “to do knitting” list just keeps getting longer and longer. I pin lots of free patterns and ideas for yarn, for new stitch patterns, tutorials etc and if you are not yet pinning or browsing Pinterest I highly recommend you do because as a crafter you are bound to find a treasure trove of inspiration and beautiful things.

Now as I’ve told you before I will have a stand at the upcoming Unwind Brighton festival this July and so I’m busy preparing, making stock, finding ideas to explore and develop for the festival and so. One of the ideas is a pattern marker, a magnetic one to help keep your place in a pattern. You place one magnet on the page you are using and the other one on the other side of the page to keep it in place. I’ve done a few so far and am looking for a bit of feedback before I do some more, I would love to hear your take on this product, is it interesting or not for you as a crafter? Here’s a photo: photo (17) As you can see the finishing has not been done but you get the idea I hope.

I’m also working on an idea for a “stitch marker bar” – this would mean a bowl/box full of all sorts of stitch markers and buyers would get to choose/make up their own stitch marker sets. Price would either be per marker or per a set of 4 or 6 for example. And maybe I would do the same for the knitting needle stoppers, I don’t know. What do you think? Would you be tempted by the idea of choosing your own individual markers or would you rather just buy a set that is ready and packaged?  Here’s a photo of my “bar” markers so far to give you an idea and I would really enjoy some feedback on your part regarding this idea:

photo (18)

That’s all for now so until next time, have a great week with lots of fun crafting 🙂

Youpi Youpi Brighton here I come :)

Hello everyone, today I’m going to share my great news! This Sunday I received and email saying that my application to participate in the upcoming Unwind Brighton festival had been approved! Youpi, I’m going to be one of the vendors in the marketplace and I’m so incredibly excited about that. As soon as I got the news I got started making things! After all I only have 5 months to build up my stock for the festival.

This is the very first edition of this festival and it is going to be a big treat to knitters and fibre lovers. This is going to be a weekend of indulgence with nothing but temptations and great encounters. So please mark your calendar: 12 and 13th of July 2014.  And what can you do at this festival? Well, you have a very large selection of courses on a number of passionate subjects and I think the classes are filling up rather quickly so you mighty want to check out the program and enter ASAP, here is the program of classes and talks and please note that the first classes take place on Friday the 11th of July although the festival does not officially open until the 12th of July

So you can listen to well known personalities in the knitting world, you can take classes with the best of the best and last but not least you can indulge in some quality shopping 🙂 And that’s where I come in 🙂

I will offer you my hand dyed yarns, my hand spun yarns, hand made stitch markers and needle stoppers, emergency crochet hooks and maybe some knitting needles and other accessories. My brain is in overdrive these days and I’m sure I will come up with some new products to make an sell exclusively at the show.

This is a weekend that could be a great get away for girlfriends, knitting clubs, mothers and daughters, sisters, co workers. A weekend to enjoy your passion for knitting and wool, to learn new things, to meet new people, to buy beautiful supplies and enjoy a summer weekend in the beautiful town of Brighton. I hope to see many of you and I really hope knitters will flock to Brighton and enjoy all this festival has to offer.

On another subject, Valentines day is just around the corner. If you DH is looking for a Valentines present for you, why not suggest some cuties from my shop such as:

photo 5 (10) Red glam’ yarn for you to knit something LOVEly

IMG_2010 A set of stitch markers and matching earrings (these are sold by email via my blog at the moment)

A lifesaving device

   A lifesaving device 

A needle stopper to keep your stitches from falling off

These are just a few ideas that come to mind, you will find lots more in my shop here

That’s all for now. Have a great day and until next time, take care 🙂

Photos and more

Hi girls, today is saturday and I hope you will have some crafting time this weekend. I’ve done most of my housework chores today and hope to have time tomorrow to indulge in some knitting. Now I finally took some photos of my latest sweaters because it’s always nice to see the sweater actually worn and not just flat on a bed so here goes:

photo 5 (12) photo 1 (31) photo 2 (30) This is the cardigan I made for my daughter. I love the shaping on the front and sides – you can see the details in the photos. I’m thinking of making one for myself as well.

photo 3 (23) photo 4 (17) photo 5 (11) And the Enchanted Mesa by Stephen West, I love the outcome and the colours work nicely together I feel. My daughter has asked for one for her too but she would like me to tweek the pattern and have both sleeves begin at the same place and I think that might be a good idea.

I also finished plying some yarn photo 2 (26)

And then this week I did some dyeing. It’s been months since I last did some dyeing, with our moving houses and all I have not had the possibility of dyeing my yarn as before and this week I just HAD TO do some dyeing, it was an uncontrollable urge and so I did. I had read on a blog how someone had done dyeing with kool aid and ice cubes and thought that could be fun to try and so I did. Well yes it is fun but I’m not convinced of that as a method.

photo 3 (17) photo 4 (12) I chose my colours and made some ice cubes and while they were in the freezer I soaked my yarn in water and vinegar. Then I put my yarn into these buckets and placed the ice cubes all around and waited for them to dissolve. Regularly I would take a peak and move the yarn and ice cubes around to get colour everywhere.

photo 5 (8) photo (13) This moving the yarn around resulted in me having beautifully RED fingers for a while 🙂

But in the end I found that the ice cubes had not coloured the yarn as I had hoped for so I decided to finish the yarn with a regular immersion dyeing method. And as you can see below I had two dye baths, one red and the other sort of yellow/orange peachy type of colour

photo 3 (19)

After a while the yarn had completely soaked up the dye photo (15) and here you can see he yarn and the water around it is clear.

photo 2 (24) Here the yarn is drying.

And here you can see the results:photo 1 (30) photo 1 (29)

And more clearly perhaps:

photo 5 (9) photo 4 (15) photo 3 (21) photo 4 (16) photo 2 (29)All in all I dyed 5 skeins. This is a fingering weight yarn: 75% superwash merino, 20% nylon and 5% silver stellina. Each skein weighs 100 gr for 400 meters. And all skeins are now available for sale in my shop here

Thats all for now ladies. I hope you have a nice weekend with lots of time for your favorite craft 🙂

On and off the needles

Hi guys, how are you doing these days? I’m doing fine, working full time, knitting and doing some stitch markers, looking for a new house with more space for me to grow my little shop… So my days are pretty much full:)

I have been in the mood for finishing stuff lately and that is a good thing because as a startitis sufferer, I have a certain number of projects going at the same time and so have little UFO bags just about everywhere in the house – a fact I’m not so proud of… but hey, at least now I’m doing some finishing!

So first off, I finished my Enchanted Mesa sweater by Stephen West. That was a very fun knit, very fast also for a sweater I think and I loved choosing my own colours and combinations and mixing different types of yarns in the same project. I have tried it on and it not only fits but actually looks good on me:) Now I just have to either get someone to take my picture in it to show you or have my daughter model it for me to take her picture, after all she has not stopped telling me (every time she saw me working on it) how beautiful it is, how soft the yarn, how she likes the colours and so on. All subtle hints to me that if I feel like it, she would love to keep the sweater herself:) Well that is very pleasing to hear but I’m not sure I’m willing to give it to her, this time I think I might actually keep my handknit for myself and maybe do another one for her where she would choose her own colours. Why not? But hey, I said photo, so here comes:

photo 1 (24) Yes it looks super funny like this but amazingly it fits great. I’m thinking though that I might do another one where I would have both sleeves start at the same place (like the left sleeve here) but the I would probably have to do a “normal”  yoke, not one with short rows like here but I would like to keep the short row shaping for the body as I think that looks really cool. But that is a bit more than just tweeking the pattern and I’m not sure I have the mathematical skills to recalculate the whole thing…

Now I also finally block the cardigan I finished recently for my daughter. Now blocking is a bit like swatching for me, something I skip if I possibly can but this time blocking was inevitable 🙂 The difference in colour between the upper and lower part of the cardigan is just due to wetness, I hung the sweater on a hanger for a while before blocking:

photo 1 (25) Here I used Almerino Aran Baby yarn which is 50% merino and 50% alpaca so very soft and drapes nicely. I love the shaping on the front panels.

 

Now in just a few days it’s my sisters birthday and a long, long while ago she saw me knitting some scandinavian slippers – twined knitting – from the book Scandinavian Slippers by Laura Ferguson. And she immediately asked if I’d give them to her so of course I will. Since then I’m sure she has long forgotten. What happened is that I put them away for a while, then we moved this summer and before putting my book in a box I photocopied the pattern to be able to finish only I did not photocopy ALL the relevant information! So 2 days ago when I came across the slippers and decided it was now or never I discovered there was important information missing so I’m not sure I will actually be able to finish them! If you yourself have this book I would greatly appreciate your help. What I need are the instructions for filling up the gap before continuing on to knit the cuff. Here are the slippers and as you can see, there really is not much left to knit:

photo (14) I’m using two short circulars from Chiaogoo,one bamboo and one Knit Red. The yarn is Sock-a-licious from Kollage

 

I have also been working on my lapghan (lap=afghan) with my hand spun yarn and linen stitch. I think linen stitch is a very slow knit, much slower than I thought and so I feel this is taking forever. I keep this next to my desk and do a few rows every day. Here’s a photo so you can see my progress since last time:

photo 2 (25) The yarn is thick and super soft and as the fabric is really thick this is going to be an extremely warm blanket and as I’m not going to make it very large I’m leaning towards a lap blanket (for when you’re working but are a bit chilly or for knitting in front of the tv on a cold day/night or a baby blanket for the pram for example. What do you think?

But in all this finishing I HAVE to do at least one starting so I launched into some sleeves also for my sisters birthday. She is often chilly and I think this is a great knit as you can wear it as an extra layer for warmth. I’m knitting “Verdant” a pattern I found on Ravelry. I’m using Baby Rooster yarn which is 100% superwash merino yarn and I’m knitting this on my Indian Lake Artisans single pointed needles. Mine are from Cherry wood and I’m using the yarn double so I have needles in size 6.50 mm.  Just for info, ILA are hand made in the USA from quality wood and they are HEXAGONAL yes you read correctly. This unusual shape is ergonomic and helps ease hand stress and gives very even results. I happen to sell those on Etsy so if you want some more info you can find it here:

Now for the photo:

photo 3 (18) photo 1 (26) I love the pattern on the “cuffs” which the designer calls “rich man’s garter stitch”.

Well, that’s all for now. Next time I’m going to be talking about…..

photo (13) Yes, you got it right: HAND DYEING – I finally got some done after a looooooong time without any dyeing.

My sets of stitch markers and earrings

Hi there, it’s Sunday and I’m feeling a bit lazy and not wanting to do any housework but just enjoy crafting and so I made three sets of stitch markers with matching earrings. I told you about this idea in an earlier post and I’d love to hear your feedback on those.  So here, goes. I used enamel charms and nickel free earrings.

IMG_2007 for needles up to size 6.00 mm IMG_2008  for needles up to 3.50 mm IMG_2009 for knitting and

crocheting

And the earrings

IMG_2013 IMG_2018 IMG_2012

And the actual kits which include 5 stitch markers and 1 pair of earrings.

IMG_2017 IMG_2015 IMG_2010

 

I have set up a little shop page here on the blog to sell these sets, so if interested please go to this page

And the winner is….

Hello and happy weekend to you all:) I hope you will enjoy those two days off from work (if you’re lucky enough not to work on weekends that is) and that you will have plenty of time to catch up on your knitting or any other crafty projects you’ve got going.

Todays post is a very short one, just to announce the winner of my game, remember the game where I asked you share my new blog on your own blog or social media site to participate in a draw. Well, I was hoping for a few participants but…ah no sobbing, at least there was one who did a great job and who is already a customer of my shop so THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to LAZY BENE! Thank you for sharing my blog and for your nice review of my yarn. Now I just need your address to send you your copy of SIMPLY KNITTING magazine along with a few surprises. No photos at the moment, I want the surprise to BE a surprise but I promise to show you in a few days:)

Have a great weekend and talk to you soon 🙂