Rip it, Rip it as if it that were all I know how to do! ARG

Arg, sometimes there just are those horrible “rip it” days,  Yesterday was such a day for me! It was as if I was just unable to knit normally!

I had some leftover yarn from my Knitcircus gradient yarn club and I think I have enough for a pair of socks for my youngest. I decided I’d make up a pattern, just looked up the number of stitches to cast on. I tried doing them 2 in 1, cast on, knit a few rounds and then… ripped it all out! Why? I discovered I had made a mistake a few rounds ago – just one tiny mistake but that meant that my socks were now siamese twins and not 2 separate individuals. So off the needles it went. Frustrated I decided to do it differently the second time around so I cast on for just 1 sock at a time. I knit a few inches and then… ripped it all out…again! This time because it felt “boring”. I was doing a simple 2×2 ribbing and although the yarn is beautiful it just felt unexciting so off the needles it went too. And then I cast on AGAIN, still using the same yarn and the same needle, still knitting socks for my daughter and this time I’m doing TAAT, top down in 3 x 2 ribbing. Ok yes it does resemble the former 2×2 ribbing I ripped out but…guess the inspiration had abandoned me whereas my stubbornness had not 🙂  So here I am now:

my TAAT socks in progress www.knittinginfrance.com I’m taking it “zen”  so slowly but surely and this time NO RIPPING 🙂

And remember my post about knitting a pair of mitts from Shannon Okey’s newest book Aurora Borealis mitts? Well, as you may remember I started those and then ripped them out as I felt they were too big and also I felt that the colours did not work well in that configuration. Well, I ripped those out an additional 2 more times! Not all yesterday no but I ripped out once more for some reason I don’t remember and then the 3rd time because now instead of being too big I felt the mitten would be too small! This was just too much for me so I set out to cast on for the fourth (and hopefully last) time, using the same yarns as always, same needle as always, same book as before BUT I changed the pattern! So I cast on this time for a pair called Freydis and so far so good! I think I got the size right and this time the colours work well- neon pink in MC and gray in CC. I also changed the cuff and this time around I’m doing a picot edge cuff. I’m not far along but this time I’m confident I’ve got it right.

This is the front of the hand    Freydis front side of mitten www.knittinginfrance.com

and this is the back  Freydis mitt, back side of mitten www.knittinginfrance.com what do you think? I rather like it so far:)

So no more ripping! I’ve done more than my share this week so from now on it shall be success from the get go:) Lucky for me that I really enjoy knitting so once over the original frustration of not getting things right, I’m ok – after all what I enjoy most is the actual knitting:)

And before I say good buy this evening, let me share a picture with you. As you know I’m now preparing for the I Knit Fandango show that is coming up in May. Here’s a picture of the sock yarns that I have dyed for my Philosopher’s Walk sock kits for that show. Do you like the colours? The pattern is in two colours so each kit will include 2 full skeins of yarn and the knitter can then choose which to use as MC and which to use as CC.

The yarns all rewound into skeins and labelled. Just waiting for the rest of the kits to be preparedyarn for future sock kits www.knittinginfrance.com

And a picture of a finished sock from this pattern just in case you were not familiar with this pattern. The Philosophers Walk socks knit by www.knittinginfrance.com

Thats all for today folks. Thank you for stopping by. Take care and enjoy your fibre crafts this week as always and I hope there is not much ripping in the air for you 🙂

Happy Mail Day

I just received yet another package from Knitcircus Yarns as I’m a member of their Gradient Sock Yarn Club. This month the yarn is a gorgeous pink/fig color called Fig and Prosciutto. I find the name is a great match to the colours and this feels so like spring. Have a looksy

Gradient yarn club from Knitcircus yarns  IMG_3059

Gorgeous don’t you think? Now I just have to find the perfect pattern to do this yarn justice. The yarn comes accompanied with suggestions for both toe-up sock patterns and top-down patterns. Here are those they suggested and maybe you can help me choose:

Toe-Up

Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy D. Johnson  – free on Ravelry

Hoar Frost by Louise Tilbrook – 3£ on Ravelry

Melisandre by Purrlescent – free on Ravelry

Les Chaussettes de la Schtroumpfette by Elise Dupont – free on Ravelry

And Top-down

Zora by Regina Satta – free on Ravelry

Bjork Socks by Cookie A – 6,50$ on Ravelry

Nutkin by Beth La Pensee – free on Ravelry

Spring Forward by Linda Welch – free on Ravelry and knitty.com

Hedgerow Socks by Jane Cochran – free on Ravelry

Talk about a difficult choice! Looking at these patterns I actually want to make a number of them so to choose just one will be difficult. After a simple browse my top patterns would be Melisandre and Bjork Socks but I’m not decided yet. What do you think? Have you knit any of these patterns yourself and if so what did you think of it? Do you maybe even have a picture of the socks that you would like to share with us?

That’s all for today, I’m counting on you to help me make a choice here:) So until next time take care and enjoy your crafting

Sock knitting kits in the making

I’m currently dyeing like crazy for the show in London (I Knit Fandango) and now I’m working on sock kits. These will be for the Philosophers Walk Socks by Pleximo who has graciously given my authorisation to include her pattern with my yarn.

I’ve almost finished a pair of these myself and I find the pattern both amusing to knit and a beauty to look at. It is great for two colour knitting and I think that stark contrast colours work great for this. I’ve already done kits like this before for my Etsy shop. There is one kit left there – for the shop the kits included 2x 50gr skeins of the main colour and 1 x 50gr skein of the contast colour. This time I will be doing 2 x 100 gr skeins, one of each colour so you can decide yourself which will be the MC and which will be the CC. You could even do one set up for the first sock and then do the opposite for the second sock. Either way the choice will be yours 🙂 The yarn I’m using is 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon which is just perfect for socks.

Here are is picture of my first sock – I really love the look and I’m quite proud of the work I did there even though on close inspection I did notice some errors on the sole side but hey, that just makes them more unique 🙂

The Philosophers Walk socks knit by www.knittinginfrance.com

I really love the way purple and yellow come together so I decided to do more of those and here you can see my first batch of yarn for these kits

hand dyed yarn for future sock kits www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarns for my sock kits www.knittinginfrance.com So there will be: purple and yellow, blue and orange and today I’m doing some pink and grey and maybe some coral and light blue/green sort of colour. The kits will be in their own coton project bag and will include some hand made stitch markers as well. I think those will be quite nice and hopefully a success at the show.

Well, thats all for today, I have some more yarn dyeing to do not to mention all the reskeining and tagging etc so I better get to work. I wish you all a wonderful weekend with some quality crafting time 🙂

Guest posting – would you like to contribute to my blog?

Hi there, I was just listening to my favorite podcast aimed at yarn industry entrepreneurs and they were talking about “guest posting” on blogs and I thought that might be something interesting to explore. It could be fun for someone to get a featured post on a different blog and that both the blog owner and the guest poster would enjoy a larger exposure and so forth, so a sort of a win-win situation. What do you think? You don’t have to be a blogger just want to write an interesting piece knitting related and want to share it with others. I have a few ideas here for possible post topics for you:

1) How you came to be a knitter – when and how did you learn, what do you knit most, do you have a preferred knitting needle (circular, spn, dpn), where do you find your patterns, pictures of a finished item…

2) Have you ever knit an exceptional piece – a special shawl, your first large garment, something for a charity, share pictures and story around that particular project

3) A fun story around your life as a knitter

4) Your favorite how to books, knitting books or magazines, knitting pattern websites or websites/blogs which have great resources for knitters be it beginners or confirmed knitters, something you would like to share with the rest of us

5) Tell us about knitting in your country of origin or residence, is knitting a big cultural thing, do most people there knit from a young age, use a special technique, knit a particular traditional piece, or is knitting looked at as something only old ladies do, do you participate in any social events for knitters in your area etc

6) A knitting vacation – have you ever been on one if so tell us all about it, where and when, what you did, what you thought of it, what you learned, the people you met, will you be doing this again, any ideas for a future knitting vacation

7) Knitting to heal and stay sane – have you experienced the healing powers of knitting be it for a physical illness or a mental one? Explain and share your experience, did you do a knitting therapy, did you knit during chemo therapy, have you taught knitting to someone that is ill, have you seen the healing powers in someone close to you, do you know of charities or knitting groups particularly aimed at this aspect of knitting etc

8) Are you a ______ knitter – tell us why you mostly/only knit shawls/socks/baby items/charity knits etc, tell us about your favorite pattern/s, your favorite material/wool, favorite designer, favorite technique etc

9) Do you maybe have an original idea for a blog post? Something dear to your heart you would like to share?

I’m sure you have lots of more ideas, these are just the ones that come to my mind as I’m writing this morning. I think it could be lots of fun to have people share their stories here on my blog and that would enrich my blog and our experience as a blog reader for all of us.

If you would like to contribute a post to my blog, please send me an email to: knittinginfrance@gmail.com

Please include your details:

1) name and country of residence

2) if you are a beginner knitter or a more advanced one

3) what you would like to write about

4) if you have a blog then include a link to your blog or if you have contributed to other blogs

We will then discuss your post in more detail and how to submit and when. Depending on your reactions this could become a regular feature or just a pleasant addition to the blog from time to time. Either way it will be a blast:)

But before saying goodbye, here are two more photos of the latest rovings I did – yesterday I told you about and showed you pictures of the rovings I just dyed for the I Knit Fandango – and here are the two that I dyed gradient style

Hand dyed roving by www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed roving by www.knittinginfrance.com Nice don’t you think?

More on my preparations for the I Knit Fandango in London this May

Hi girls, how are you today? Fine I hope, I’m doing fine myself. The weather here is really reminding us that summer is just around the corner and that seems to bring more energy and optimism. That is always a good thing I think, gives me hope and increased energy to continue my work on the shop in spite of everything. So, with the good weather and brighter spirits, I did some dyeing last Sunday in the garden. Now the rovings have dried and are ready for me to prepare for sale. I did those by painting on the colours rather than kettle dyeing. I like painting because I can play around with lots of different colours and I hope these will please my visitors at the I Knit Fandango. Here are the pictures

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.comwww.knittinginfrance.com

What do you think? You can spin these as is or you can play around and maybe split in half lengthwise and then ply for a 2 ply yarn or you can split in 3 and make a 3 ply yarn. You can also split per colour if you want to have longer color repeats in your yarn and either split each color 2 or 3 times for a 2/3 ply yarn or you could just spin everything on a single bobbin and then Navajo ply. I love Navajo plying when I spin a multi coloured yarn as it keeps the colours well separated in most cases – except of course if you purposely go for the barber pole style. The 2 last rovings above are mini braids that I did in neon yellow and neon pink, but the colours don’t show so well in the picture I think, at least not on my monitor.

I also did 2 more rovings last night and pictured them while still wet. I’ll show you pictures of them later when dry so you can see the final look. These I did using a gradient method which I think will give a really cool yarn that can be either spun lengthwise or you can split at each colour/shade change  for longer colour repeats. Either way I’m happy with the results. This is what they look like all wet www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com The first one is in a plum gradient and the second one is a sort of turquoise gradient.

Like you know I’m a bit stressed about what to bring to the show and worried if I have enough yarn or way too much. So I went ahead and placed an order from my supplier of undyed yarns and that just arrived today so I will be able to continue my dyeing now. This is what 14kg of undyed yarn looks like when delivered by the mailman www.knittinginfrance.com Yebb! Scary big or exciting big, depends on your mood of the day 🙂

Now for something that has nothing to do with knitting or fibre. I have told you about my work for a local charity for children with cancer. They will be doing a sale beginning of June to raise money for the organisation and my handmade jewelry has been a hit for them so they asked me if I would be willing to do some more for them. Of course I am, I love making jewelry and I love being able to help such a worthy cause. Here are some pictures of what I’ve done so far

www.knittinginfrance.com  These are rings with caviar beads that move around inside a glass dome, super nice

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com I love making earrings and hope these will please potential buyers  www.knittinginfrance.com And then I did a few key rings just for fun with these like small wine bottles, after all we are in France 🙂

Do you dabble in handmade jewelry yourself? Do you buy handmade jewelry? I sometimes wonder if I should add this to my online Etsy shop as they seem to sell well for the charity and also my family and friends love what I make them – but of course family and friends are biased so…

Well that’s all for today my friends. I hope the weather is good where you are and that you enjoy your day and remember, the weekend is ALMOST here 🙂

 

Back at home

Hi there, my week in Iceland just flew by and now I’m back at home with hubby and children:)

And speaking of time that flies by, the I Knit Fandango show is in just over a month! I had better get the turbo started! It is always a difficult task to assess the amount of stock to bring to a show and when that show is abroad the task takes on a new dimension as luggage restrictions apply! So I’ve done a fair bit of dyeing yarn and yesterday I did some roving as I want to carry something for spinners as well. I also placed a last minute order with my supplier of undyed yarns because I want to do some kits for the show. I’m planning on 2 shawl kits – 1 knit and 1 crochet, 1 baby kit (knit), and 1 sock kit (knit). And so I purchased the yarn for those and hope I can dive into dyeing those as of the coming weekend. I also purchased some sparkling sock blanks that I look forward to dyeing as that will be the first time I have those with Stellina for added glam’.

Yesterday the weather was gorgeous here in Normandy, France and so I did my dyeing outside in the garden. That is definitely something I’m going to do more of. Not only is it enjoyable for me but I also have more table space AND no one to complain about the “smell” – FYI I have NEVER felt any “smell” of my wet/cooking wool and yarns, but I’m told that is because I’m biased:)

Some pictures for you

www.knittinginfrance.com

My set up on the garden table

www.knittinginfrance.com

One side of my dryer rack filled with just dyed roving

www.knittinginfrance.com

and the other side of the dryer rack also filled with just dyed roving

While in Iceland I finished my second pair of 2 in 1 socks and I also decided that I would do more of those and even try to make my own pattern in order to make some with a bit of lace instead of just plain stockinet. But before launching into that I decided a change was needed so I cast on for a new pair of socks (yes I did say “change” but not “major change”), this time I’m doing them TAAT using the magic loop method. I’m using a yarn that I hand dyed myself and this yarn has long colour changes which explains why one sock is blue and the other reddish on the following picture. I chose the Zigzagular pattern that I found on Ravelry and have heard of online and seen lots of pictures of finished socks. I decided this would be a good fit for a return to magic looping. Here’s what I’ve knit so far

www.knittinginfrance.com

My progress so far on the ZigZagular socks knit TAAT with my own hand dyed yarn

Upon my return from Iceland I also had a pleasant surprise, my order from Crazy Monkey Creations had finally arrived! For some reason my package went to Israel and spent quite some time there so I had been waiting for over a month for this to arrive. I’m super happy it finally made it and I really look forward to presenting the items to you at the I Knit Fandango show in May. I ordered some blockers for mittens and socks in different sizes and with different motifs and I also ordered some of their electronic knitting counters that can be worn around a finger like a ring. I must try those and I’ll let you know what I think later on. Pics are here:

www.knittinginfrance.com

Mitten blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations. These are hand made and gorgeous

www.knittinginfrance.com

Sock blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations, handmade gorgeousness

www.knittinginfrance.com

And another type of sock blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations. These are all handmade

That’s about all for today. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed reading this post and looking at my pictures. I wish you all a wonderful and creative new week. Until next time, Take Care 🙂

It’s almost Easter!

hi there, how are you? It’s weekend time and in addition Easter weekend which for Europe means a long weekend- and I think we all love those:)

So, tomorrow is my last day in Iceland this time around, I’ll be back soon, just don’t know when. Last time I told you about Easter eggs and here in Iceland they are a big tradition and when you go grocery shopping you have entire isles filled with different kinds of eggs of all sizes. I actually took some pictures for you the other day. I tried to be discreet about it so the quality of the pictures is not great but you’ll get the picture.

Ready?

   

 

Yummie! And YES I’m going to have an egg or two myself:) temptation is just too big for any resistance to be successful.

Now on to more serious matters. Socks. I just finished my second pair of 2 in 1 socks. And I loved it so much that I actually thought about casting on for a third pair immediately. However I decided that a change would be good so I cast on for the Zigzagular socks ( free pattern on Ravelry). I’m doing them TAAT cuff down using one of my own hand dyed yarns. I haven’t pictured them yet as I just cast in this afternoon so I’ve only done a few rows but tomorrow I should get some knitting done so you should get a glimps of them soon.

Now for the pair that I just finished, I used a gradient yarn from Knitcircus and I still have plenty left so I think I’ll knit a pair of child sized socks with the rest. I gave this pair to my sisters’s son and he LOVED them!

   

 

The yarn is beautiful and the socks match up perfectly.

Now the other day when I went grocery shopping I was unable to ignore the yarn department. Even if I have a very comfortable personal stash and do lots of dyeing, I still have trouble ignoring yarn when I come across some. So, I bought a ball of sock yarn, just one as I’m a serious person:) I chose a ball of multicolored sock yarn in 75% wool, 25% nylon. And the silliest thing is that once I finished my pair of 2 in 1 socks this afternoon and cast on for a new pair, I didn’t even use this new yarn! I had brought a skein of my own hand dyed yarn just in case I needed to cast on for a new project and that’s what I used! But, no worries, I will knit socks with this new ball of yarn very shortly. Promise! Want to see?

   

 

I think this will make for a very nice pair of socks.

That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by. I wish you all a wonderful Easter weekend and hope you will have lots of time for crafting and lots of chocolate to thoroughly celebrate Easter:) 

Knitting in Iceland

Hi there, yes this week I could call the blog Knitting in Iceland for a change as I’m in Iceland for a few days for family reasons. I came yesterday (Monday) and I leave early morning this Sunday. Just a quick stop to visit with my mom who is ill at the moment.

Last week in France spring seemed to be on its way in France, some sun and just a little warmer with some spring flowers peeking through in the garden. Here in Iceland winter is still King. Today the weather was beautiful but cold and as you will see in my pictures there still is some snow.

   

  

These are taken from my parents apartment.

Just before leaving I cast on for my travel/Iceland project which unsurprisingly turned out to be a new pair of socks! BUT I’m doing them with the 2 in 1 method again:) I’m using my latest gradient yarn from the Knitcircus sock yarn club I’m in and using a long circular needle rather than dpns. So this time around I actually try two new things. 1) using the same color yarn 2) knitting on a circular rather than on double pointed needles. And guess what, I’m progressing rather quickly. Once you get past the cuff, knitting like this seems to go super fast.

Check out these pictures I took this morning

 Here you only see the outer sock which is purled(as inside out)  

Above you see both socks and can appreciate the yarn I’m using.

I was supposed to work afternoon/evening shift but due to a technical problem I was not able to so I did some more knitting and thes evening I’ve actually turned the heel so tomorrow I will begin the gusset decreases. Take a look

 

  

 On the picture just above I tried to “discover” both socks for you to see. This looks awkward but you get the picture of where I’m at and how my yarn progresses.

That’s all for today. The plan for this week is just to be around for my mom, work some, knit some and enjoy Easter in Iceland for the first time in years. Icelandic Easter eggs are THE BEST. I will not be able to actually share them with you but I will take some pictures to show you:)

So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)