Sock knitting mania

Hi there and happy Sunday:) Boy the weekend just flies away in a second, especially when you have to do overtime at work. I did lots of overtime Friday night and yesterday so today I’m RELAXING. Well, I do have the house and my 3 kids and 2 cats to take care of on my own since hubby is away on business but other than that, today is all about enjoying a stress free day.

And then I thought, hey I think it may be time to do some blog posting. During the week I don’t always have the time as my schedule is rather hectic so here’s one for today:)

And today I’m going to talk about socks and sock knitting. As you may have gathered from my blog already, I LOVE knitting socks. And as I was preparing for this post, I realized just how MUCH I actually enjoy knitting socks and mittens too (which some wise woman once told me were actually socks but for the hands). And this year that’s all I’ve been knitting. And knitting all these socks I think I have actually found my go-to sock template, you know this sort of pattern that is not really a pattern, but since you knit socks so often you already know the measurements so you can just freely adapt and make up your own patterns as you go. I think I can describe mine as: tube socks with an afterthought heel. Boy they are just so easy and stress relieving. I can do them TAAT doing magic loop and just enjoy either super simple knit stitch or make up a variation  and the result is always perfect – well to my eyes at least.

I knit a lot and I cannot think of spending a day without knitting. And when people say to me “oh, I wish I could knit like you. But I just don’t have the time” – that really irritates me. If you want to, you can! After all, I knit between phone calls at work, I knit in front of the tv, in the car when not driving, when waiting for the doctor etc. One can always find just a few minutes here and there if one wants to. And I do 🙂 I also find knitting very soothing and it helps me relax and stay sane in a very busy and sometimes stressful life

What about you? Do you feel that knitting helps you feel good? Do you have a certain type of projects that you keep on hand for knitting on the go or for when you need to knit but cannt muster the concentration to do something complicated? Do share with us.

Here are some pictures of my knitting so far

www.knittinginfrance.com

These are child sized socks I knit for my 8 year old. I blended a solid and multi coloured yarn – both hand dyed by myself- and rather like the outcome

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These too are for my 8 year old. This time I did ankle socks and the yarn I chose was from my “2 at a time” hand dyed sock yarn collection

www.knittinginfrance.com

These are my only pair of hand spun socks so far

www.knittinginfrance.com

These I knit with a gradient yarn from Knitcircus and just love the outcome. The dyer Jala Spiro did a wonderful job

www.knittinginfrance.com

These socks have a lace pattern panel on the front and back and I knit these as part of a KAL on FB – knit socks from your stash. The yarn was of course hand dyed by myself

www.knittinginfrance.com

I just finished this pair this week and I really love the outcome. These are knit using my new yarn (yes I have to put it up for sale in the shop for you) where I leave large parts of the skein undyed

www.knittinginfrance.com

This is the type of yarn I used to knit the socks above – only mine had an additional color – it had purple as well. I dyed 2 batches this one you see here and then another one with some purple also, which I used for the socks

 

www.knittinginfrance.com

These I knit using my multi coloured varigated yarn. And for the child sized socks in the first picture (where I used 1 solid and 1 varigated yarn) well the varigated yarn is the one used here alone

www.knittinginfrance.com

These I knit for a cousin (that reminds me I really have to send them to her before winter is totally over). This time the yarn is not mine but from Colinette yarns, Jitterbug collection (I’m a fan)

www.knittinginfrance.com

And once more, my 2 in 1 socks getting there slowly but surely

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You see, I’m not far from the beginning of the toes! It goes so much faster now that I hold yarn 1 in my left hand for continental purling and yarn 2 in my right hand for throwing when knitting sock 2. I’m sure these will be all done and ready for me to show off in no time now

Ouff, that’s a lot of socks! But now that I’m down to only 2 socks in the works, my 2 in 1 socks and 1 pair that I keep downstairs for tv knitting (I’ve finished one sock and begun the other), I decided it was ok to start a new project and even though I should have started my sock of the month for my FB KAL, I actually started knitting my Sindri mittens from the Aurora Borealis Mitts by Shannon Okey. Remember I told you about her book and that this was the pattern I was going to do first. I also decided to try out my new neon dyes for the yarn for this pair of mittens and I’m really liking the outcome.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sindri This is a picture of the mitts from the book and below you can see the yarns I dyed and the beginning of the cuff

www.knittinginfrance.com

The cuff for my Sindri mittens by Shannon Okey

 

Thats all folks for today, time for me to do some serious Sunday afternoon knitting. I hope you are enjoying your day and wish you a wonderful and creative new week.

Spring is in the air

Hi there, as I’m working and looking out the window, I feel like just getting up and going for a walk on the beach! It may not be hot outside but it is sunny and the sky is blue. I just love the promise of spring and summer. I’m not much of a hot weather fan, 25°C is perfect for me, but I do enjoy this transitional period in the year and I think it lifts the spirits which is always a good thing:)

It does not change what I knit and I think I knit just as much in summer as I do in winter and at the moment I’m working on my 4 socks! As I’m working on 4 at a time they come along very slowly which is kind of irritating but that is just my fault! I should know to just knit 1 – 2 project simultaneously:)

My 2 in 1 socks are coming along and today I just thought of a new way of knitting them that just might get me knitting faster and more importantly be less annoying to me. I admit that even though I enjoy testing this new sock knitting method, I find that having to move the yarn before and after each stitch slows my down too much and just adds hand fatigue too.

So this morning I thought to myself: what if I hold the yarn for Y1 in my left hand as I always do when purling (continental style) and then throw Y2 for knitting the inside sock? And guess what? Of course that is a way better way of knitting this way! I wish I had thought of this sooner! But hey, better late than never as they say so I’m on a roll now and hopefully I’ll be able to brag and show off my new socks next week:) Here are some pictures I took of my progress and me knitting this morning. I wanted to show you how I knit and hold the yarns but knitting and taking a picture at the same time just is not that easy so I’m not happy with the results but here they are anyway

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Arg, I’m not sure these are understandable AT ALL!

But less frustrating, here are some pictures of the socks so far

Here you can see the inner sock which is knit in a darker shade of green and also has some subtle striping

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Here you see the inner sock that is hidden during knitting and the outer sock is all bundled up

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And here you can clearly see the gusset and heel shaping

Well, that’s all for me today. I hope you are doing great and that the weather in your part of the world is being nice to you. I’d love to hear from you about what you are working on currently and if you feel like sharing a picture or a link to your blog for us to visit, please feel free 🙂

Until next time, take care and enjoy your creativity

An upcoming fibre crafts show in London this May

IKL Fandango poster A2 copy

 

I love fibre craft shows. I love doing them, I love meeting new people, I love the direct contact with my customers, I love getting compliments on my work, I like showing off my yarns and other hand made things. And I also love meeting other shop owners, dyers, designers and so forth that are also vendors at these events.

Last year I did my first show abroad, in Brighton in the UK. That was the very first time I ever did a show outside of France and it was great. English knitters are more connaisseurs than the French ones I feel. English knitters are more used to indie craft artists and more willing to pay for and use unique supplies and that is what makes a show there even more fun than in France. Here are some pictures from the show in Brighton last summer

IMG_1922 IMG_1921 photo 3 (74)

I sold hand dyed yarns, handspun yarns, rolags for spinning as well as handmade stitch markers, needle stoppers and of course some commercial supplies as well. I had lots of people coming to my booth and I think the greatest success for me was my “stitch marker bar”. I thought that up as a candy bar/counter where you choose your own sweats and pay by weight? Only this time there was no candy only handmade stitch markers:) And the knitters and crocheters LOVED IT! So that is one thing I’m definitely going to do again. That was so much fun. I even had small plastic bags (like for candy) so people could put their markers there and so on. Lots of fun.

A show takes a long time to prepare for and lots of organisation. This show is for May 15th – 16th so it is time to get started seriously! I’ve been doing some dyeing as you know and haven’t gotten around to put them up on Etsy so now I’m wondering if I should or if I should just put them aside for the show. Not quite sure at the moment. Of course I still have time to do lots of dyeing before the show so…

This was also my very first time to the UK. I very much liked Brighton which is a much bigger town/city than I expected but I had lots of fun and my family as well. We turned this into a family vacation and so spent 2 weeks in the UK after the show and that was lots of fun.

photo 3 (76) brighton 1 brighton 2

This time the show is in London and it is being curated by Iknit  hence the name : I Knit Fandango. The theme is indie suppliers so I think this is going to be a fabulous show. Lots of gorgeous handmade supplies that you don’t find everywhere. This is going to be a great opportunity to meet other indie dyers and yarn producers and of course clients and future clients.

Here’s a copy of the info taken from the organisers web page:

IKF

a fantastic festival of fabulous fibre

15-16 May 2015 Royal Horticultural Halls, Lindley Hall, Westmister, London

I Knit Fandango is a huge market bursting with tons of gorgeous yarns and fabulous exhibitions

IKF

 

entry is £8 per day in advance

£10 on the door

a limited number of weekend tickets, costing £14 will be available from 23 February

buy tickets here>>

10am – 5pm

vendors include

Belinda Harris Reid Blacker Yarns Coopknits Debonnaire
Easy Knits I Knit or Dye Ingrid Wagner Rug & Art Creation
Java Purl Design Kettle Yarn Co Knit Run Dig Knitting 4 Fun
Knitting In France Knitwitches Max’s World
Midwinter Yarns Namolio Polo & Co PomPom Magazine
Porpoise Fur Purl Alpaca Designs Sparkleduck Spin City
Tall Yarns Textile Garden Tilly Flop Designs Toft Alpaca
Triskelion Yarn Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop Whimzy Willow Knits
Whistlebare Wollmeise Yarn garden

Now does that not make you want to come????

They are also organising a fun event:

knitting/crochet group map

I Knit London want to make a massive knitted blanket and we need your help!

Are you a member of a knitting/crochet group?

Yes?

Well, we would love you to make a six inch square and send it to us so we can sew it into our MAP of the knitting and crochet groups of the Great Briton and beyond.

The blanket will go on display at I Knit Fandango to showcase the amazing tradition that we love so much; knitting and crochet. The blanket will then go on to various festivals around the UK to inspire and encourage non knitters to join us.

The squares may be any design, colour or fibre. Please keep to six inch square, though, just so they fit together easily.

So if you would like to participate in the Knitting/Crochet group map of the UK you just have to get in contact with the I Knit Fandango organisers.

If you are going to be in London on these dates I hope you will have the chance to come and visit the show as I always enjoy meeting the knitters/crocheters that I interact with online- in real life 🙂 So if you do come, don’t be shy and say hi:)

Now, that’s all for now. I’m actually working this evening (yes it is late evening here in France at this time) and I must return to the job. So until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting, crocheting, spinning, dyeing and any other craft you enjoy doing.

 

Progress and some neon yarns

Hi there and thanks for stopping by:)

Since last time I’ve made some good progress on my first real pair of 2 in 1 socks. I’m now passed the heel turn and working on the gusset decreases. Youpi! This sounds like a homerun! Once the heel is all done with the rest usually follows quickly I think. Here are some pictures for you

www.knittinginfrance.com

my progress on the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge

progress on 2 in 1 sock www.knittinginfrance.com

see I’m onto the gusset stitches now

I’m knitting these on my Signature Needle Arts dpn’s that I LOVE! Looking good so far I think.

Now for the dyeing. I told you that this weekend I did some dyeing, mostly Sunday as that was the Day of Women here in France and I thought I deserved some quality time with my yarn and dyes. And as I just got this new neon dye stuff, I of course had to experiment with different methods of dyeing using those. So I did 5 skeins of sock weight yarn and 2 blanks. But I’m also going to show you some pictures of other yarns I dyed recently as well. These have still not been set up for sale in the shop on Etsy – I admit I’m still debating how much of my current dye work should go online and how much should just be set aside for the show in London this coming May. But anyways, some pictures:

hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com These are my 5 sock weight skeins and here you can see how I placed the dyes – I chose to leave lots of white here on most of them

hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com This is what they look like once I’ve wound them into skeins – I just would them as they were which explains why you can see large “blotches” of colour.

my first time dyeing sock yarn with neon colours www.knittinginfrance.com

My neon coloured sock yarns

here are the same skeins but reskeined. Can you see the difference? They almost don’t look like the same set of skeins don’t you think?

I’m rather satisfied with the results myself and I hope you like what you see too.

 

Here are some more dyes

all new hand dyed yarns by www.knittinginfrance.com

My latest hand dyed yarns

At the top here, you see 2 skeins of Polwarth wool in sock weight that I dyed in stripes – in the middle you have the skeins I dyed for the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge (see below) only here they have been reskeined – and at the bottom you have 3 skeins of a cashmere blend sock yarn I dyed using a similar technique to the neon dyes and these have also been reskeined.

hand dyed glitter yarn sock weight www.knittinginfrance.com

hand dyed silver stellina yarn in soft vieux rose

hand dyed silver stellina sock yarn by www.knittinginfrance.com

gradient vieux rose hand dyed stellina silver sock yarn

And here you see the yarn that I dyed for the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge last week

And here you see the cashmere base sock yarn I did last week or the week before that (you see this yarn reskeined in the picture above) and look how amazing the magic of dyeing can be. I love seeing the transformation from the just dyed skeins to the reskeined skeins to the actual knitted socks. I’m also loving the way this yarn knits up which is why I used a similar technique yesterday to dye my neon yarns.

multi colored sock weight cashmere based yarn www.knittinginfrance.com

multi colored yarn

multi colored sock weight cashmere based yarn www.knittinginfrance.com

reskeined multi coloured yarn

multi coloured yarn knit up into socks by www.knittinginfrance.com

my multi coloured yarn knit into socks

 

 

Thats all for today, I must go back to work now. But before I leave you here are some pictures I took from my afternoon at the beach yesterday (yes I know I’m lucky to live in Normandy, France)

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Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

More neons

hi there, today is a gorgeous Sunday here in Normandy, France. Today is also Women’s Day and so I decided that a morning dyeing yarn would be perfect. 

As I just got my new neon dyes this week I went with that. 

I dyed 2 sock blanks that will give you a pair of identical striped socks. I also dyed a few skeins of sock weight yarn leaving large portions undyed and then dyeing stripes in neon and petrol blue. I also dyed yarn for my future pair of Sindri mittens by Shannon Okey.

This afternoon I’m heading for the beach with family and friends and my needles. Not sure if I’ll be able to actually knit but I’ll take some picks and share later. 

Now for the pictures from this morning’s dye session.





The yarn with the neon stripes will later look similar to this









I really love how this works up. I’m knitting a pair of socks now using this yarn and will show you pictures after the weekend..

That’s all for now, I’m off to the beach:)

Take care and have a great Sunday



Neons and mittens

Hi there, today Shannon Okey just released her latest book called Aurora Borealis Mittens. I had seen some pictures of the mittens in the book on Facebook and could not resist and so pre-ordered a copy on Ravelry and today it got the actual e-book. And boy is it GORGEOUS! I think I love knitting mittens as much as I love knitting socks.

Now this book has a number of beautiful colour work mittens and most are inspired from an Icelandic pattern book and thus have Icelandic names – which I find kind of nostalgic, me being an Icelandic knitter living far away from home 🙂

I have looked at all the patterns and though I may need to actually knit each and every one of them I’m going to begin with the pattern called Sindri (I love that name by the way). Here’s a picture sindri by shannon okey from blog www.knittinginfrance.com   Don’t you just love them? And if you are wondering, you don’t have to buy the entire book, if you wish you can just purchase an individual pattern. Now for the yarn, I just received some new dyes so now I know exactly how I’m going to dye my yarn. I’m thinking dark grey for the main colour and fuchsia (neon pink) for the contrast colour. I’ve never dyed anything that bright and flashy but these mittens seem to lend themselves well to a flashy colour so that’s it for me.  Do you have a favorite colour combination for colour work such as this? Do you like knitting mittens like me?  So this weekend I have to take some time to choose my base yarn and do the dyeing. I’ll be sure to show you the yarn once it’s dyed and ready:)

That’s all for today so take care until next time 🙂

 

The results in the 2 in 1 sock challenge and a fun and useful sock knitting tool

Hi there, I’m sure you’re all getting impatient for the announcement! Am I right? Well, the announcement is almost here but first…

I’m working on my own first pair of real socks and coming along nicely. I know that our tension is not the same whether we knit or purl and so I take great care to try and knit consistently to avoid too much difference in tension as I’m not keen on ending up with one normal sock and one giant sock 🙂 So far this seems to work just fine.  I think the only thing that bothers me about this technique or method is the constant moving around of the yarn – this is super important or you’re just going to end up with a double sock (they are going to be interconnected). I wonder if I should take Kate Atherley’s online course just to see if she gives tips on how to manage this better.  Here are some pictures taken of my progress today

2 in 1 sock knitting challenge on www.knittinginfrance.com   This is how the sock looks to me, the side towards me is all purls

2 in 1 sock knitting challenge on www.knittinginfrance.com   You can see I’ve made some progress since picture n°1 and here I open up the socks and you see the difference between sock 1 and sock 2. The colour is the same but dyed differently and with a different intensity making this knitting easier and yet producing a harmonious pair

2 in 1 sock knitting challenge on www.knittinginfrance.com  Here I just pulled the inner sock out to better appreciate the progress I’ve made so far. So here both wrong sides are towards me and I can clearly see that the inner sock has some striping to it. It is actually possible to knit like this if you are feeling discouraged (I did for a while because unlike knitting TAAT using magic loop, here progress is more difficult to see as the second sock is “hidden” inside the first one).

So what do you think? Are you going to give this method a try do you think?

Now before I go ahead with the draw, I wanted to tell you about a recent addition to the sock knitters must haves. This is a tool called… THE SOCK RULER! This is basically a plastic ruler shaped a bit like a sock and it has inch measurements on it. This makes measuring the different parts of your sock super easy. In fact since I discovered this tool, I hardly follow patterns any more. I’m more into just sort of templates really. I just need my needles, yarn and the SOCK RULER. This is a fantastic tool for all sock knitters and I think for knitting mittens as well though I haven’t tried this yet but mitts are sort of like socks… just for hands 🙂 At the moment this only exists in adult size but soon (no release date yet) there will be a child version and also a version with metrics measurements (cm – a much appreciated addition I think for those of us who are more used to cm than inches). Now what does this magical device look like?

The sock ruler www.knittinginfrance.com  You see how one end is sort of toe shaped? That is the “beginning” of the ruler.

The Sock Ruler www.knittinginfrance..com Here you can see how I’ve put the ruler inside my sock to measure my cuff and leg to see if I was ready for the heel

Don’t you think this is just brilliant in its simplicity? I carry these in my shop and as soon as I can get my hands on the child and metric versions I will offer those too. If you would like to check out the Sock Ruler, you can find it in my shop here

Now it’s time for the drum roll! So first of, thanks to all that participated and left a comment on the blog post. A big thank you also to the bloggers that shared my blog post.

I had 9 commenters so I gave each of you a number in the order you left your comment so LazyBene is n°1 and Littleblackdogsa is n°9 – now that is established I go to www.random.org  and choose their sequence generator where I can enter the participating numbers and then their generator does the rest. So before I hit the “go” button, I wish you all the best of luck:)

And the winner is….

Here is your sequence:

5 1 7 2 9 4 3 6 8

The Number 5 is the first in the sequence and so the winner of this first giveaway is my commenter number 5 or MJ 🙂
Congratulations to MJ and thank you to all the others. There will be other giveaways on the blog later and I hope you will continue to follow the blog and participate in my giveaways in the future.

Now as for the lucky winner, MJ, she has won a set of hand dyed yarn cakes; This yarn is 75% super wash merino, 20% nylon and 5% silver stellina. The yarns are dyed in the same original colour but using different methods to produce a slightly different yarn as using this technique requires you to have 2 different coloured yarns – at least to begin with. MJ has a choice between 2 colour ways, so MJ please send me an email to: knittinginfrance@gmail.com with your personal details for shipping and your colour preference.

 hand dyed by Knitting in France for 2 in 1 sock challenge    www.knittinginfrance.com

This win does come with a small requirement. I would like MJ to share with us as well as on her blog or social media, her thoughts on knitting socks using this method and show us pictures and so forth so that we can all enjoy and share in the winning sort of.

Thats all for today. Thank you all for stopping by and congrats to the winner of the day MJ.

Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂

Only a few hours left for your to join in the 2 in 1 sock challenge

Hi, there you still have a few hours to join in the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge using Kate Atherley’s pattern knitting 1 sock inside another sock.  You will find more info on the challenge in my posts from last week.

You could win some hand dyed sock yarn and then join and knit your own pair of socks using this very special sock knitting technique. I’m still working on my pair using the same yarn that I’m giving away for the challenge. However it is going slowly as I haven’t had much time to knit and maybe this technique is slower than others. I’m not sure but as I’m knitting 2 socks at the same time even though I can only see a few inches done, I’ve actually done twice the amount so I’m not going to make any statements about that just yet I think. Here’s a picture of the progress so far

my progress so far www.knittinginfrance.com

I’ve continued to dye some yarns again last weekend and yesterday and I’ll be sharing the photos with you later I think.

But that’s really all for tonight. I thank you for following the blog and more so for taking part in the challenge. Tomorrow we will be drawing a random winner from the comments and I look forward to that. Until then, take care 🙂

More on the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge

Hi there, I hope you all had a great weekend and that you did get some quality crafting time. I did not do much knitting actually but I did progress a little on my first REAL pair of socks using the 2 in 1 method. And so far so good, I’m almost done with the cuffs, here see:

www.knittinginfrance.com      www.knittinginfrance.com   The outer yarn which for me is Y1 is lighter than the inner yarn or Y2

 

I’m really enjoying this technique except having to move my yarn/threads all the time. I really have to come up with something to make that more fun or less time consuming. Maybe I just need to take Kate Atherley’s online course to get some first hand advice from the expert before I complain 🙂

So what about you, have you done any test socks yet?

I also did some dyeing as I thought maybe some of you would like to buy my “missy matchy” sock yarn to do your own knitting whether you use this technique or not. And also for the lucky winner to be able to choose from 2 colour ways. Ain’t I nice ? 🙂

So, I haven’t had the time to wind those up into yarn cakes yet but here are the pictures for you to get an idea of this colour way

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com   As before this is my glitter yarn with silver stellina for added fun and glam’ look. So the 2 middle skeins are really 3 coloured – hm how to explain. Well you have one part that is hardly dyed/coloured at all, one part that is light/pastel and the last part which is actually dark/saturated. And then the 2 outer skeins have been dyed entirely although they do also have some variegation, but they do not have any undyed spaces and are more semi solid versus the 2 middle ones which are more like gradient/stripey.

So don’t forget you have until tomorrow evening to leave a comment on the “2 in 1 sock knitting…” post and be part of the draw and maybe win some hand dyed yarn by myself to knit your own pair of 2 in 1 socks – provided you accept to let us share your experience and write about it on your blog as well as let me link to your post from here. So do join in, don’t be shy 🙂

And on the topic of socks, just one progress photo before I leave you for today. As always I’m working on a number of projects at any given time and now I have 3 socks on my needles. You’ve seen the 2 in 1 socks and I forgot to take a picture of my “tv watching” socks but here are my “at work” socks (shhhh don’t tell but when I can, I do some knitting between phone calls). These are toe up socks with an afterthought heel knit with my own hand dyed yarn of course. No particular pattern, just my imagination really for socks knit with 2 contrast coloured yarns.www.knittinginfrance.com

 

And if you too  want to do a pair of socks like these here, you can buy the yarn from my shop where I’ve set up sets just for 2 coloured socks, just click here

Thats all for today, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to participate in the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge if you have not already.

Until next time, take care and have a wonderful and creative week 🙂