On and off the needles and some organisational thoughts

Hi there, today is a very rainy morning here in Normandy, France. Feels like autumn is only just around the corner. This summer has been a strange summer with more clouded and rainy days than real summer days which was quite disappointing. Now September is just a few days away, School will start in just over a week and things will rapidly be going back to the usual routine. Summer vacation with the kids at home 24/7 for 2 months when I work full time just like my husband and only get 2 weeks off, well it is partly stressing because working from home with kids in the house is not always easy and then partly cool because I can sleep a little later in the day (yes I do like sleep in a little bit). When school starts I will be getting up early and I know I will more done!

I’ve shared with you before that I was planning on big changes in the shop and as of yesterday I’ve put the shop in “vacation mode”. So currently it is not possible to place any orders. I don’t know exactly for how long it will remain closed, it depends on how much work I can get done each day and also, I have a work trip coming up late September so maybe I will wait until that is over and done with to open rather than open for a few days and the either close or  just not ship anything for 10 days. Not sure just yet but I’ll keep you posted on how things go.

I’ve ordered a planner! My very first planner! I’m anxiously waiting for it to arrive and I have high hopes that it will help me organise myself better and get more things done. Writing down what needs to be done, planning a certain number of tasks that must be done in a certain time frame will help me keep focused and the pleasure of then actually crossing that task off in my planner will be a high! There are a number of planners out there and they all look good and most of them super cute as well. I chose the one called Passion Planner because I felt it would be the best for me. They have a free version of the weekly planner layout in pdf form that you can download if you want to give it a go before committing to buying one.

So although the thought of autumn weather and more rain and cold is not very exciting I am really looking forward to having more time to myself ( with the kids at school) and getting ORGANIZED. And mostly rethinking my shop and giving it all that I’ve got and more in a last ditch effort to actually make it financially viable. So fingers crossed and willing to take on lots of work and challenges, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!!!

Now, enough of non knitting related babble! On the more serious and entertaining subject of knitting!

So like I told you last week, I did manage to knit in Sicily albeit the high temperatures! And it just made me love beach knitting even more. Here in Normandy I love knitting at the beach, usually it is not super hot and even if I have to wear a fleece pullover that’s fine with me. If the sky is blue, the sun is shining and I’m in the sand facing the ocean with some knitting in hand, that works for me! Of course in winter I don’t do any knitting at the beach as the weather is not appealing for outdoors knitting but I do all the more inside:)

So in Sicily I had 2 projects that I had already cast on for the trip and  I brought an extra ball of yarn just in case I finished an object and I did so good thinking there!

The first project was a pair of tube socks for a little friend of mine. I used some of my hand dyed sparkle sock yarn and as I did not have her at hand for testing and measuring I decided the only way to go was tube socks. I also decided that I would knit these using the 2 in 1 method that I’ve come to like so much. And that got me thinking. I’d love to write the pattern for these socks using the 2 in 1 method and even try my hand at making some YouTube videos to show how I do it because this is a method that is unlike any other sock knitting method and I believe it is important for knitters to see how it is done and read the instructions and most of all to actually knit a pair of test socks. So hopefully I will actually put this project on my future Passion Planner and get it done! The socks worked out perfectly and the little girl loved her socks so that was a very successful knit.

www.knittinginfrance.com

The second project I had planned for was the Mara Light shawl by Amy Hendrix using Madelinetosh light yarn. I actually bought this as a kit on Craftsy. The kit came with 2 skeins but the pattern actually calls for 1 1/2 – at least that is what it took for me to knit to the size called for in the pattern so I have 1/2 a skein left of this gorgeous yarn. I didn’t finish in Sicily but just after getting back home. I still need to wash and block. The pattern is über simple, just garter stitch and 2×2 ribbing. This makes for some good airplane knitting, tv knitting or beach knitting. In the end, I did look forward to casting off as there is not much going on but I think that is just because it is a big project which doesn’t require much thought and I’m usually doing smaller things so maybe my attention span has been spoiled:)

www.knittinginfrance.com It doesn’t look like much like this but once washed and blocked it will be gorgeous. It is the perfect size to use as a wrap around this winter and I think I will gift this to someone in my family for Christmas.

Then there was my SOS ball of yarn! It was a ball of Lorna’s Laces Shepherds socks but believe it or not, I’ve lost the ball band so I don’t have the name of the colorway. It is beautiful though as all Lorna’s Laces yarns. Its soft blues, purples, tans and a tiny pink maybe. So first I was going to knit a second pair of tube socks, I cast on, knit a few inches and then discovered I had done THE mistake, that is mixed up my yarns and my socks were no longer 2 individual socks but siamese twins! That got me upset and I frogged what I had done and decided I’d do something else and as I had just recently purchased a book called Custom Socks by Kate Atherly I decided to make my own pattern. After all my very first sock pattern worked out quite nice so I thought a second one would be great fun! And off I went. I planned out my pattern, chose a stitch pattern and cast on.

www.knittinginfrance.com  www.knittinginfrance.com  This is a close up of the pattern.

I really love the way they look and although I have not been through all the sock patterns you can find on Ravelry I’m confident they have something unique. So I’m now going to write up the pattern and knit a second pair using my own yarn. I also need to think of a name for the pattern and that is something I don’t find easy so if you have any ideas, do share them with me.

I’m planning on doing a test knit of my two sock patterns in September so if you want to do a test knit, leave me a comment below. I’ve never organised a test knit but I’ve read up on the matter and I here’s how I think I’ll organise this. Each test knitter would get a copy of the pattern and is then free to choose a yarn to knit with as long as she gets gauge. If the test knitter wants to knit using my yarn they would be offered -20% off retail price. You would get 4 weeks to complete the pair. I would open a thread on Ravelry for the test knits for all involved to post progress pictures and ask questions or post remarks. Once the test knit phase is over and the pattern has been corrected if needed and polished up, each test knitter would then receive a pdf copy of the final pattern.

And if you don’t remember what my first sock pattern looked like, here’s a picture

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Coral Reef socks

So those are all OFF the needles. So ON the needles I’m mostly working on 2 projects. One is a pair of worsted weight socks, my pattern and my yarn, for my sister. This is super simple but I still might just write the pattern up and offer for free with any yarn purchase in the same weight category. I’ll see about that. And I’m doing a second shawl, this one also bought as a kit from Craftsy. It is Drachenfels by Melanie Berg and I’m almost up to the striped portion

www.knittinginfrance.com So far it looks nice and I’m sure the finished shaw will be very nice. I’ve already decided I’m going to gift this to someone in my family for Christmas. The yarn is from the Brown Sheep Company.

And just before I leave for today, I’m not sure I showed you a picture yet but I finished my Beetlebum shawl by Renée Callahan of East London Knits a while back now and I’m ashamed to say that I have yet to wash and block it! But here’s a picture just as proof that it is done although sadly it’s beauty is not really shown in the unblocked shawl.

www.knittinginfrance.com Even though unblocked you get the picture of the pattern and how it is worked and you can just imagine how gorgeous it will look once blocked. The yarn is my own, lace weight and super soft. This is a real stunner!

 

That’s all for today. I’d love to hear and see what you are working on now or what you have cast off this summer. Do share pictures or the names of patterns you are working on so I can take a look and maybe even add to my Ravelry queue:)

Take care and enjoy your crafting until next time:)

 

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