Meet Louise and Spin City

Hi, today I would like to kick off my series of blog posts on the fabulous people I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London last week. I actually met Louise for the first time at Unravel in Brighton last summer but before that I was a client of her Etsy shop (and still am).

Louise has a degree in Knitwear design and she not only runs her Etsy shop but she also teaches spinning, weaving, knitting and crochet from her studio. Louise also has a blog which you can read and follow here And then there is her Etsy shop which is full of gorgeous fibres and hand spun yarns as well as some kits for natural yarn dyeing. Just click here for some gorgeousness.

Louise is such a fun and loving person and that shows through in her booth. Her set up is so inviting and the colours so enticing that it is impossible not to be touched or want to just buy all you can carry of her stuff!

Here are some pictures from last weeks show

Spin City on www.knittinginfrance.com Spin City on www.knittinginfrance.com Spin City on www.knittinginfrance.com The pictures do not do her fibres justice as there was a lot of sunlight that “spoiled” my pictures. On the last picture you can see Louise in her blue dress on the left.  The fact that she brings actual furniture to her shows gives her booth such an inviting feeling and once your inside, the fibres call out to you “please touch me! Feel how soft I am! Buy me! You need me! ” well, you get the picture:)

So of course I bought some roving to spin and began spinning one of the two when I got home on Sunday.

Spin City roving on www.knittinginfrance.com I love the combination of bright, vibrant colours along with white silk and some black wool. It really gives a gorgeous, colourful barber pole yarn once spun. As you can maybe see, I have begun spinning the pink one at the top and will show you some pictures when I’m done.

I have purchased from her a number of times both spinning fibre and resin hand spindles and if you like spinning or want to give drop spindling a try, I recommend you visit Louise’s shop and try out some of her quality supplies.

Thats all for today. I hope you enjoyed this mini introduction to Louise and her shop Spin City.

Until next time, take care 🙂

I’m back from London

Hi there, I’m back from doing the I Knit Fandango show in London. When I think about the show I admit that I have some mixed emotions although most are good ones.

Let me just get the bad ones out of the way: So unfortunately the organisers of the I Knit Fandango did not advertise the show ANYWHERE! So to even know that there was a show, you’d have to be either a friend or family member of one of the vendors or be a client or follow them on social media. So even though there was a queue outside both mornings, there just wasn’t enough visitors to make this a successful show for anyone! This was very disappointing to me and all the other vendors at the show. Most of the vendors came from the UK but others did come from far away such as myself and another lady who also came from France (Polo & co) and then at least 1 vendor came from Germany. This means that all of us vendors had to sell for X amount of £ to break even and cover all costs involved with participating in the show and unfortunately, due to the lack of visitors not all were able to do so and those who did probably just broke even so profit is not a word that comes to mind when thinking of this show.

This was so super disappointing because the selection of vendors was really top notch. The vendors all had gorgeous products to offer and if I had been able to sell more I would have bought a LOT more from my fellow vendors than I actually did. All the vendors I spoke to had the same story so I know it was not “just me” or me items but that this was a general problem at the show what ever the vendor was offering, whatever his price range, big name or small. So even though I did just manage to break even I can’t shake the feeling of missed opportunities and deception.

OK! That’s out of the way! I’m sorry but I just had to do a little venting:)

Now on to the more pleasant topics. So these shows are never only about the money of course and what I loved was meeting all these people. Some I had met at Unraveled in Brighton last summer and some I was just meeting there. Doing a show is always so nice because I love meeting new people and see what other indie dyers are doing. I love getting inspiration, I love hearing people tell me that my yarn is lovely or that they had a pleasant experience buying from me. I love meeting knitwear designers that I’ve heard of on Ravelry, in person. So on a personal level these shows are always very enriching and this one was no exception there of.

When I walked around I would see something I wanted to buy absolutely everywhere! There was so much beautiful yarn and spinning fibre. Also there were gorgeous knitting patterns that I liked and knitting/fibre related jewelry. I did make a few purchases of course, not possible to do 2 days in such a place and go home without any goodies!

I also met a few people who had made purchases from me online and hopefully I will have made a few future clients as well 🙂

I also met someone with whom I’m going to collaborate with later in the year, but I’m not telling just yet who or what that is all about.

One morning I took the time to go photograph some of the most interesting booths (in my opinion) and I also collected business cards to be able to further explore once I was back home. I’m going to be doing post on these different indie dyers/designers on the blog because I really want to tell you about what they are doing and introduce them to you if you do not know them yet.

So I’m excited about that because I’m sure you’re going to really enjoy “meeting” these creative people as much as I did.

But that’s it for today as I now must return to my suitcases and unpack them and more importantly list all the unsold items on Etsy for you to enjoy:)

But before I leave, here are a few pictures of my booth and others at the show to give you an idea of what’s to come on the blog.

IMG_3254 IMG_3216  IMG_3219 IMG_3224  IMG_3227   IMG_3235 IMG_3238  IMG_3244  IMG_3250IMG_3249

The I Knit Fandango show in London

Hi there, today I’m leaving for London, UK for the I Knit Fandango show. Later today I’ll meet a friend who’s coming from Iceland to help me at the show and once we’ve settled in our hotel room, we’ll be going to the venue to set up my boot and meet and greet the other vendors and organisers.

This is the first time I do a show in London and the second time I do a show in the UK. Last summer I did a show in Brighton which was a great success. I found that doing a show in England was quite different from a show in France. The British knitters are more passionate maybe, more open to new brands and indie designers and they are aware of prices and willing to pay for the work behind a gorgeous yarn. Also I met a lot of clients of my online shop and introduced myself to future ones and I of course met lots of very interesting people that are part of the fibre crafts world. Here are some pictures from that show

IMG_1922 IMG_1921 photo 5 (27) IMG_1920 IMG_1919

This time my set up will probably be similar. I have 2 tables and I will be offering my hand dyed yarns, hand dyed sock blanks, sets of handspun yarns, knitting and crochet shawl kits (a project bag, yarn, pattern, accessories) and lots of accessories. The accessories will be mostly handmade by myself but also some commercial ones such as pattern tamers from Atomic Knitting, sock and mitten blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations, The Sock Ruler – the new must have tool for all sock knitters, needle gauges and wpi tools from Sukkaplokki to mention a few. So I think I have chosen a good mix of yarn, spinning fibre, kits and accessories that will please the visitors and attract buyers to my booth.

So if you happen to be in London or close by during May 15th and 16th this week, please do come by! The show has lots of wonderful vendors and I can guarantee that you will have the time of your life browsing all the wonderful supplies. Plus you will meet loads of great, like minded people which is always such a pleasure.

So if you haven’t already bought your ticket to the show of if you haven’t checked out the list of vendors, just click on the following link and hopefully you’ll join the fun and come say hi to me in my booth. Here’s the link

I won’t be blogging this weekend (I think) but I’ll be sure to tell you all about the show and share pictures after the weekend. So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

More on Sock Blanks

What is a sock blank? Some of you are sure to be familiar with those and others maybe not so much.

A sock blank is a machine knit “blank” or a piece that looks like a short, wide scarf. A sock blank can be knit single or double and it is important to know which type you are buying because this will determine how you can use the blank for your knitting.

A hand dyed sparkle sock blank by www.knittinginfrance.com

A single knit blank will be twice as long, more or less, than a double knit blank. But the most important difference is that a single knit blank means that you only have 1 thread to work with which is fine if you are knitting one sock at a time or one mitten at a time or something like that. However if you were planning on doing a TAAT sock project or something similar you will want a double knit blank where you unravel 2 threads at a time and can thus knit 2 separate pieces.

Sock blanks by www.knittinginfrance.com

Dyeing sock blanks is a challenge I feel. You can do different things and maybe more with some regards versus dyeing a hank of yarn. However you should keep in mind that the pattern on your blank is not going to be reproduced exactly in your pair of socks for example. If you have a striped design, your socks will be striped but the final patterning will be different as everything depends on your needle size, the amount of stitches used and of course your pattern. Also if you design has dots or geometric designs for example, these will translate into a more sort of varigated design in your socks or other small circumference knit.

hand dyed sock blanks by Knitting in France

Here’s a picture of a pair of simple socks that I’m currently knitting using a blank that I dyed a while back. This was one of the first blanks I did and I first dyed each half in a different colour. Then I decided to overdye by doing a sort of dot design on top of the main colour. And on the picture below you can see the blank and its design and how the pattern then translates into the actual socks that I’m knitting. These will be simple afterthought heel socks and the front is 3×2 ribbing.

www.knittinginfrance.com You can see the dots in the blanket and how this gives a varigated end result. This is a double knit blanket which enables me to knit 2 socks at a time.

I will be selling some of my hand dyed sock blanks at the show in London this weekend and if you are coming I hope you will come by my booth for a chat and maybe even purchase something you like 🙂

Take care

General Hogbuffer

Does that name sound at all familiar? If not, then I’m so happy to be able to introduce you to this fantastic sock designer! A while back I was browsing Ravelry for some Sock patterns and I found this amazing designer that has a lot of gorgeous sock patterns and they are all FREE!

You can check out his Ravelry page here and he also has a blog on crafting which you might enjoy reading and for a peak just click here

I really admire his work and he does both colourwork and patterned/cabled designs and also has a few socks with innovative or unusual construction. So far I have not had the pleasure of knitting one of his socks but since I’m looking for a new sock to knit (yes I know, What a surprise!), I’m going to choose one of his designs. Actually, I think I’ll choose 2 because I have my latest Knitcircus Gradient Yarn Sock Club yarn waiting and then there is the upcoming show in London and I really can’t be seen there knitting with a yarn that is not mine 🙂 So as for the socks using my own yarn, I’m thinking of using a sock blank that I have dyed.

A hand dyed sparkle sock blank by www.knittinginfrance.com This is a sparkle sock blank, 75% super wash merino, 20% nylon and 5% silver stellina. This is a yarn that I adore! I love the sparkle and it is just so super soft and wonderfully comfortable for next to skin wear be it for socks or any other accessory. I just recently got theses sparkle sock blanks so this will be my first time knitting with one of those although I’m very familiar with the yarn itself. I dyed this with a new method of kettle dyeing where I left parts of the blank in the simmering dye pot for different lengths of time which in turn gives me a blank with different tones of fuchsia which I quite like. I did dye a few of these and will be selling them at the I Knit Fandango Show this week (May 15th and 16th) in London.

Now as for the pattern I chose, it’s called Maudie by General Hogbuffer of course and here is a link to the pattern on Ravelry

And here’s a picture of the sock Maudie sock pattern by General Hogbuffer I love the “braid/cable” design on the side.

As this particular blank is knit in single, it means that I will not be able to do a TAAT knit but as I have chosen a detailed pattern that is maybe for the better.

Anyway, I’m going to have to cast on today so that I have some rows worked before leaving for the show and I’ll be showing you some pictures next week. I may not have made much progress between casting on and then but that will just be a good thing as that would mean I was way to busy selling stuff in my booth to do any knitting:)

That’s it for today, take care and have a wonderful day

Its almost SHOWTIME

Hi there, like I said it’s almost Show Time! Yes, the I Knit Fandango in London is just around the corner – May 15th and 16th. My weekend was spent reviewing my stock for the show. What to bring and how much and then fitting it all into 2 big suitcases! Now I just need to find a way to get from the airport (Southend) to my hotel without too much hassle. So if you are familiar with London and maybe shuttle services I would much appreciate any advice or tips for this:)

So I’m bringing lots of hand dyed yarns, knitting and crochet shawl kits, sock knitting kit, plenty of accessories both handmade by myself as from some select companies that I appreciate. Also one of the things I’m excited about introducing to you is this yarn that I’ve been keeping for the show. It’s called Silverspun and it is made by the Feel Good Company. This is a blend of cotton and sterling silver! Yes you read that right – 11% silver! And the yarn is not only soft but in addition silver is renowned for its healing powers. This is the only yarn on the market today that includes silver. You can read all about the company and this unique yarn on their website here

Silverspun cotton and silver yarn - www.knittinginfrance.com

Now I’m also going to find some “travel knitting”. I know I’m not going to have much time to actually knit, but if you are anything like me, you know that travel WITHOUT knitting, is just not possible. So, I’m knitting a baby blanket and getting well on the way with that but it’s too big for a travel knit so I may need to cast on for some socks.

baby blanket in progress www.knittinginfrance.com Looking pretty good don’t you think?

Now as for the travel knit/socks I need to find some nice sock yarn or possibly a sock blanket. I really want to do a 2 in 1 pair again so just simple knitting that I can lay down and pick up easily. Anyway I really look forward to the show and if you are in London or close by I really hope you will come by and check out the show which promises to be super exciting with a large number of wonderful vendors. You can check out the list of vendors here

On another subject, I just wanted to mention, again, that I’m super proud and excited that I just did my very first guest post on blog other than my own! Remember the guest blog Sarah Inskeep did on my blog a few days ago? Well, she offered me to do the same and write a post on her blog. My post was published this weekend and I’m super happy and grateful for the opportunity to write for a new audience and I hope you will check out the post and her blog. I wrote about my beginnings as a professional in the knitting business and share some pictures of my knits from way back when. You can read the post and enjoy Sarah’s blog here

 

That’s all for today. I’m off to work. Take care and enjoy your crafting

ps- wish me luck for the show:)

 

A Big Welcome to Guest Blogger Borghildur!

I had the chance to participate as a guest blogger on Sarah Inskeep’s blog this week and so wanted to share her blog and my post with you all. A big thank you to Sarah for allowing me the opportunity to write on her blog and introduce myself to her readers.

sarah inskeep designs

Today I’m super excited to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers: Borghildur (Bogga) of knittinginfrance.com! I’ve been following her lovely blog for quite a while now, and I always find her posts interesting and inspiring! She writes about her life in France, her passion for the fiber arts (knitting and hand-dyeing yarns and wools in particular) and crafting by hand in general. Something I love about the way Bogga writes is how she shares her life and love of fiber arts in such a real and down to earth manner. She gives a glimpse into the normal and the everyday of a fellow fiber artist, and it’s a wonderful breath of fresh air!

Something else I truly admire about Bogga is the way she has turned her passion for knitting, handcrafting, and the fiber arts into her own small business – a way to support herself, doing what…

View original post 1,240 more words

Today I made a pledge on Kickstarter

Hi there, today I made a pledge on Kickstarter for the very first time. I saw a post on FB from Jaala Spiro and Amy Dentjen of Knitcircus about their secret being revealed and that it was a new dye studio and retail space. They are opening this great new workplace where they will have bigger and better dye studio, class rooms and a retail space. That is just wonderful and like taken out of one of my dreams! I’d love to be able to do something like this too one day!

Anyways, like you may have noticed I’m a fan of the Knitcircus gradient yarns and so I immediately wanted to participate and help them make this dream come true. If you too like Knitcircus and want to lend a helping hand I encourage you to check out their pledge on Kickstarter here You can choose to pledge 5USD or much more and the rewards are varied going from a thank you note to classes, one on one tutorials, knitting patterns, yarns, tours of the new space etc. I chose to pledge an amount that awards me 2 100gr gradient yarn skeins with 1 digital shawl pattern (the Grand Canyon Shawl by Jaala). Considering the amount pledged (91USD in my case) this is a great deal as I not only support a cause I believe in but I also get 2 skeins of a yarn that I love and a shawl pattern. You can pledge less and get 1 skein or pledge and get a set of her matching gradient stripe sock yarn (I totally love that – great if you decide to try out the 2 in 1 sock method).

They made a fun video showing the new space and introducing the people involved in the business that you can watch https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/255405994/knitcircus-studio-gradient-yarns-and-craft-communi/widget/video.html” target=”_blank”>here

Here are some pictures of their yarn to show you and maybe some of you will join me in this project and at the same time get some great hand dyed yarns:)

huge yarn cake from Knitcircus - www.knittinginfrance.com

the come what may shawl - www.knittinginfrance.com

My progress so far on the Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson

Knitcircus gradient yarn - www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com

That’s all for today folks. Take care and enjoy your weekend:)

An interesting series of shawl patterns

Today i’d like to share with you an interesting series of shawl patterns I just discovered, its called 54 rue du chateau and is sold on Ravelry. This is a collaborative, progressive shawl project by 6 designers: Mary-Heather Browne, Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Amy Christoffers, Bristol Ivy, Leila Raabe and Michelle Wang.

What is so special about this collection is that each and every one of the 6 shawls is a collaboration between the 6 designers. They used yarns from A Verb for Keeping Warm and each one of them started a shawl and knit 20 rows of their own design. Then they passed the shawl on to the next designer who in turned knit the following 20 rows in her own design building on what the previous designer had done and so forth. So each shawl was knit and designed by all 6 designers. The project took 10 months and the shawls travelled all over the US.  They also took care that no designer preceded or followed the same person twice. When all 6 designers had contributed with their 20 rows, the shaw was returned to the designer who started the shawl and she then finished it off.

Don’t you think this is a great and at the same time, brave idea? I think it is simply brilliant and I really love the outcome. At the top of this post there is a link to the pattern on Ravelry if you want to buy them – you can either buy the collection or just individual designs which is also a great option. Here are pictures of the 6 designs:

Tanguy shawl   - www.knittinginfrance.Com

The Tanguy shawl

Reverdy shawl  - www.knittinginfrance.com

The Reverdy shawl

Prevert shawl   - www.knittinginfrance.Com

The Prevert shawl

Peret shawl  - www.knittinginfrance.com

The Peret Shawl

Duchamp shawl  - www.knittinginfrance.com

Duchamp shawl

Breton shawl -www.knittinginfrance.com

Breton

I hope you enjoyed todays post and the shawl designs I introduced you to. Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂

Works in progress

Hi there, If you follow my blog you know that this week has been a super happy mail week and that I recently received my order of gradient yarns from Knitcircus Yarns. I of course got super excited and despite my good intentions of actually finishing some of my works in progress BEFORE casting on for yet another project I was unable to resist. I chose to use the Sand Castle Yarn and do the Come What May Shawl by Susan B Anderson

huge yarn cake from Knitcircus - www.knittinginfrance.com  Come What may shawl by Susan B Anderson - www.knittinginfrance.com   And here is my progress so far

the come what may shawl - www.knittinginfrance.com

My progress so far on the Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson

Looks pretty good so far I think. And the pattern is a joy to knit, simple but not too simple and as it’s knit on size 4 mm/US6 needles it progresses super quick I feel and that is always a good perk.

I’ve not forgotten about my baby blanket although it’s been on the back burner these past 2 days, but I really love how the pattern works out, I love the colour which I hope the parents will also like and feel is unisex. I just hope I dyed enough yarn….As I never write anything down but dye “to feeling” (if that is a thing). What do you think? I do need to be careful to count my stitches because sometimes I stop and realize that I’ve crossed the stitches at the wrong place and I need to unravel a few stitches down a few rows. But so far so good, now I just need to be serious and continue so it will be finished in time for my little niece or nephew.

progress on my baby blanket - www.knittinginfrance.Com

My baby blanket so far

I’ve also been doing some work for the I Knit Fandango show which is coming up in just a few days!!! Can you believe that!! I’m so excited and I look forward to perhaps meet some of you and to share with you here the pictures of my booth and so forth. So i’ve been doing stitch markers and fibre crafts themed earrings. Do you like these?

Fibre craft inspired earrings for next weeks show - www.knittinginfrance.com

Some fibre craft inspired earrings for the I Knit Fandango show in London next week

Well thats all for today, take care and enjoy your day:)