News from America

Hi there, I’m writing to you from sunny California. It is quite refreshing to be here and enjoy 27°C at the end of September. What is difficult is the time difference and the jet lag. My trip actually took 25 hours “door to door”. I took a train, a bus and 3 flights. Believe me, when I finally arrived at my destination I was totally DONE!

I had made a few purchases online before going and those were waiting for me when I arrived here. I’m travelling light which is great when travelling but inconvenient when it comes to shopping as I just don’t have any space for new purchases. This is a good thing for my wallet but frustrating for the knitter in me.

Now here are my goodies:

www.knittinginfrance.com You have 2 pairs of Addi Turbo Sock Rockets that I look forward to trying. One Circa row counter which actually has 3 counters in one, a book called Sequence Knitting by Cecelia Campochiaro. I have read about this book online and I understood that this was a special book that I HAD to have, unfortunately I did not realise how big this book is, it’s a hardcover book and it is super heavy! Its full of wonderful new patterns that can be worn inside out for example. This is a treasury of innovative patterns that I look forward to dive into and I’d love to design something using this as a start point for something and I’m actually thinking of using one of the yarns you see on the picture for that.

And speaking of yarns, I have 2 from Mrs Crosby. I’ve heard of this yarn and seen it online but this is the first time I actually have some. I chose yarns from the Mrs Crosby Loves to Play line and this yarn has 55% super wash merino, 15% nylon and 30% outlast. I’ve never worked with Outlast yarn so I’m quite excited about that.

The colours I chose are Toucan (the variegated/speckled one) and Spangled Cotinga (the turquoise one). I’m going to cast on for a pair of socks with the Toucan one and the Spangled Cotinga I think I might do  a pair of mitts or maybe design a cowl using the Sequence Knitting book as inspiration.

I also got one skein of the Regia Pairfect yarn. This yarn will produce a pair of socks that should be identical.You have a yellow thread at the beginning and in the middle so you can start each sock at exactly the same place and thus the striping pattern for the leg will be identical. So I look forward to trying that out.

I also got 2 books as a birthday gift: Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant and The Knitters Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes.

So you can imagine that I’m going to have lots of fun with all these goodies!

Now as for the trip over here which was super long, I did knit quite a bit. I cast on for a pair of socks as I was on the train to Paris.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you can see the beginning, I had just completed the toe increases. I used my gradient yarn from KnitCircus and my project bag from KnitRunDig. The pattern I’m doing is called Toe Up Socks with a Difference by Wendy D. Johnson.

www.knittinginfrance.com As you can see I’ve finished one sock. When I arrived in San Francisco I was on the cuff! And I finished the cuff and cast off the next day. This pattern is unusual due to its heel construction as the gusset is actually on the sole and not on the side of the heel. Its fun to try a new way of doing things and this is sufficiently simple to do while travelling. As for the cast off, on the picture you can see that the cast off has created like a crochet chain that you can see distinctly. I used Judy’s surprisingly stretchy bind off for the first time. I also did the cuff in k1tbl,p1 which was not what the pattern called for so a little change there on my side. I really like the outcome and the yarn. However, I have quite a bit left of the first ball of yarn and so I did not get to use all the colours which is a little disappointing.  I would have loved to have all the colours in my sock but for that I would have to either knit bigger socks or socks with a textured pattern that uses more yarn. But on the positive side, I have some yarn left for some hexapufs for example.

I also knit on my shawl, In the Moment by Joji Locatelli.

www.knittinginfrance.com I took this picture shortly before reaching Portland. Since then the shawl has grown but I’m still on the striping section. I only have a few repeats of the striping section left to do but I think I may have to do additional repeats as I feel my shawl is too small when compared to the pictures in the pattern. It says that gauge is not critical so of course I did NOT knit a swatch! Maybe that is proving to be a bad idea…. Anyway I’m not going to rip everything out  but rather continue and if I feel it’s too small then I’ll just add on some repeats before going to the border section. What I do love so far is the colour combination. The Pumpkin Spice (orange) colour is a beautiful orange, not too bright, not to flashy but rather a smooth, calming, gorgeous orange and it goes perfectly with the brown Pine yarn.

I’m going to continue working on my shawl this week and I’m on the leg of my second sock so I think I’ll be able to cast on for a second pair while I’m here in the US or at least as I travel back home.

That’s all for today. I’ll be sharing some pictures with you later from San Francisco and Portland.

Until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting/crocheting/spinning 🙂

 

Ok it’s official! I’ve lost my mind to….sweaters and cardigans!

Hi there, how are you today? I’m fine, actually more than fine and I’d rather say SUPER EXCITED! Tomorrow I’m going to the US. First to visit with my little brother and his family and then to spend 3 days in Portland, Oregon where I will be visiting lots of places! Super excited. My bags are packed, I’m just doing hand luggage because between 1 train, 1 bus and 3 flights, I don’t want to push my luck and end up with a lost luggage!

So I’ve tried to pack sensibly and minimalistically. Of course the essentials are there: knitting, a computer and my ipad! Would not survive without those:)

So I’m doing a pair of socks and a shawl during my trip. I also placed 2 orders for the very first time with Jimmy Beans Wool! And those will be waiting for me at my brother’s when I arrive! I ordered 3 skeins of yarns, 2 sets of Addi sock rockets and 1 amazing book that is not available in Europe! I look forward to getting those and I’ll share pictures and so on with you later.

Also with regards to the shop, I’ve done a lot of dyeing lately and I’ve pictured all my new yarns. I’ve begun updating the shop and hopefully I’ll finish the rest of the update in a day or two. I’m planning on opening on October 4th which is when I return from the US. I really look forward to seeing how that goes. I’ve had lots of positive feedback on my yarns lately so hopefully I’ll see some traffic and sales when I open. I was going to launch my own private ecommerce website as well but that will have to wait a bit unfortunately. I’m going to concentrate on this new way of doing things and my new yarns and give it my best and take it from there! So stay tuned and when I do open up, please take a peek and let me know what you think. Constructive feedback is always welcome!

Now on to the subject line! Yes, I think I have to admit that I’ve gone totally MAD!

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night ( a bad back does that to you). And as I couldn’t fall asleep immediately I reached for my iphone (not always a good idea to have that on your nightstand) and online I went! I did some Instagram and then Pinterest…. oh Pinterest is just ….. impossible to leave! I love Pinterest! And there I came across this picture of a gorgeous sweater pattern on Ravelry. I of course clicked through and that was it! My self control was lost!

The designer I discovered is called Suvi Simola and boy does she have gorgeous patterns! I bought………….(shhhhhh …..8…) don’t tell!

Hm, yes so I liked what I saw and I bought a pattern or two. So now I really have to finish my numerous WIP and go seriously into my sweater and cardigan knitting. This also made me realise that if I’m crazy about sweaters and cardigans, maybe others are too, maybe just not to the same extent, but still 🙂 And that I should maybe do more of DK yarns and also do bigger dyelots so people can buy enough yarn for an entire sweater at a time. So that is something I have to think about and save up some money to place a serious order with my undyed yarn supplier so I can have sweater quantitieS (yes with an s) of all of my yarns.

So just to feel better, let me ask you, do you also like knitting sweaters and cardigans? Do you have a favorite “weight” like to you prefer those knit in fingering or are you more into DK or even Aran and Bulky knits?

I’m more into fingering and DK I’ve discovered lately. So let me share some of the patterns I just aquired to day.

First there’s this one I find gorgeous, it’s called Baby cables and big ones too

www.knittinginfrance.comI love the cables and garter stitches.

Then there is Golden Hour

www.knittinginfrance.com

And Light trails which reminds me a bit of the first sweater due to the cables

www.knittinginfrance.com

They all look super nice. I bought 8 total like I said but I don’t have the time to share and discuss all of them now. I’ll write back soon and share the rest.

I wish you a wonderful rest of your week 🙂

Have I become sweater/cardigan crazed????

Well, the answer to that question just might be “YES! my dear yes you have!!”

I don’t know if it is the happiness of having cast off the body of my Snowflake sweater or what but I find myself completely drawn to patterns of sweaters and cardigans and I imagine myself wrapping myself up in some gorgeous hand made sweaters and cardis! Might be the onset of winter and need to feel warm and cozy. Are you by any chance experiencing the same thing?

I usually “only” knit socks, mittens, shawls and cowls so this is a new sensation for me. And I’ve been buying A LOT of patterns on Ravelry in the last week! So I hope my sweater/cardigan phase will last for a while as I really need to knit them all up.

The thing about such big projects is that you need at least 5 or more skeins and all my stash is built up for my other knitting passion, that is just 1-2 skeins of the same thing. This means that I either have to buy new yarn or dye some up myself. I’ve decided to dye myself and that way I’ll be able to share on Ravelry and maybe, just maybe, someone out there will like the look of my yarn and want to buy some! So this could actually be a smart business solution (and not just a crazy knitter who doesn’t know what to do with her money). See, I knew I was not loosing my mind but being business savvy:)

Now, on to sharing. Let me introduce to you the patterns that I’ve chosen (so far…)

The first cardigan pattern I bought is Cloud Bay by Lete’s Knits

www.knittinginfrance.com I think this is a beautiful and yet simple cardigan that can be worn with almost anything and I see myself using this a lot in the winter and even all year round as I love to wear a tshirt and a cardi over that. So I’m going to knit this one for myself.

And then there are all the patterns I bought from Joji Locatelli on Ravelry ( all the patterns were bought on Ravelry).

The first two patterns are not sweaters or cardigans but a cowl and a shawl.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the Three Color Cashmere cowl I’m going to dye my own yarn for this and I’m going to use the same colors as shown here because I think they are super nice.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the In The Moment shawl and I’ve actually cast on for this as this is going to be one of my travel knits next week.

www.knittinginfrance.com  These are the colors I’m usingwww.knittinginfrance.com and this is how far I’ve gotten – I’m not going to knit more on this until I actually leave.

And now on to the sweater and cardigans.

First is the Bello Sweater

www.knittinginfrance.com Simply gorgeous I think

Then we have The Traveller Tunic

www.knittinginfrance.com I’ve seen pictures of this a bit longer where it’s almost a dress. I think I’ll make mine a bit longer and wear it with a pair of leggings.

And then there is the Gather Together cardigan

www.knittinginfrance.com I really love the yoke on this one. I also see myself wearing this a lot

And the last one I bought from Joji is the Looking Back sweater

www.knittinginfrance.com This sweater is buttoned up all the back and I’m not sure if I’ll do that or if I’ll improvise and do a full back.

And last but not least, I noticed that some of my favorite podcasters were talking about this “featherweight cardigan” and I actually thought it was just any cardigan only knit in fingering or lace yarn, but it turns out it is an actual pattern called Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. After seeing this cardi on their podcasts and on Ravelry I of course was not able to resist and bought the pattern.

www.knittinginfrance.com I’ve seen different versions of this on Ravelry where people have made it longer than the pattern calls for and I think i just might do that too. This is actually the pattern I’m going to start with and I’m going to make 2! I think! I’m going to start with one for my sisters Christmas gift. The pattern can be knit in either lace weight or fingering and for my sister I’m doing lace weight. I’m dyeing the yarn as I’m writing this. I chose my merino, silk, stellina base which is not only gorgeously soft but super beautiful too. I’m dyeing her yarn in a gray/mauve color. A mix of colors I came up with and think looks super cool (not sure I’ll be able to replicate but I’ll try). And once her’s is done I hope I’ll cast on one for myself too. It really looks nice.

And before I say good-bye, are you into KAL’s? Would you be interested in a little fun and informal knit a long for one of these sweater/cardigan patterns? Maybe we could organise something like that and share our pictures and progress and help each other out if needed, either here on the blog or I could create a thread on Ravelry. Let me know what you think of that.

Well, that’s all for today. Enjoy your weekend and I hope you get lots of time to resource yourself and knit and crochet and spin some.

Until next time, take care:)

Finished and half finished objects

Hi there, at last (seems like I’ve been waiting for days) it’s almost WEEKEND! Hope you too are off from work and will be able to enjoy some downtime to relax and knit. I won’t have much downtime but I hope I’ll get some knitting done anyway.

Let me share with you some major achievements (well not necessarily major but rather some happy cast offs)

First, I finished the body of my Snowflake sweater by TinCanKnits! Wow that was a super quick knit. I’d forgotten how much quicker it is to knit with DK yarn compared to fingering! The pattern is fun and easy. I did have some challenges at the beginning for the lace yoke and actually ripped it out twice. The third time was a charm even though I did make one small mistake but I was too far along and just to…annoyed to bother to rip everything out once more so I left it in and I think it’s ok, it’s not something that screams at you and probably non knitters won’t even notice:)

After that it was smooth sailing. If you are planning on knitting this sweater, I highly recommend the use of stitch markers for the lace yoke. I’d even go as far as to say that it is ESSENTIAL. I don’t know why I did not use them from the get go as I usually do! But  hey, I got through it and now I only have the sleeves to do and the button bands for the yoke.

www.knittinginfrance.com   Not the best picture but I was alone so I’m using the mirror.   www.knittinginfrance.com What do you think about the bright pink?

So I cast off the body part of Snowflake Wednesday 16th of September and the same day I also cast off and even wove in the ends of my Drachenfels shawl by Melanie Berg! Talk about efficiency!

I’m very happy with the shawl and it is going to be a birthday gift for my mother.

www.knittinginfrance.com I really like the colors. I bought the pattern as a kit with the yarn on Craftsy. The yarn is from Brown Sheep Company.

Also I played around with dyeing sock yarn. I dyed just 2 skeins as a test and shared on social media. The feedback was so good that I actually sold one of the two skeins! Which is great! So now I have one to test and I’m going to knit a pair of simple vanilla socks with that yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com The yarn I sold is the grey one and I’ll be knitting with the blue one.

That’s all for today. If you have finished anything lately you’d like to share with me, please do. I’d love to see what you’re working on.

Take care:)

In progress

Hi there, This week I have been working on a few ideas and projects.

First I made up sample “goodie bags” as a test for a future “goodie bag club” in my shop. I’m thinking this would be a fun alternative to the classic yarn  club. The idea would be to sign up and get a goodie bag every month or two. I’m thinking of something around 10€ and the test bags I made up include: 2 mini skeins (25m each – hand dyed sock yarn), 1 envelope of Soak (mini soak for washing your hand knits and try out before maybe committing to a whole bottle), some handmade stitch markers (we never have enough of those), a handmade needle stopper (same thing as with the stitch markers, we can always add a cute needle stopper to our project bag) and a pattern tamer from Atomic Knitting. This is a rough idea, I might change before committing to this. Of course each month the goodie bag would be different although there would always be 1-2 mini skeins (could be hand dyed or hand spun), a set of hand-made stitch markers and a knitting needle stopper . The rest of the items would change, there might be a needle gage or a cable needle or a stitch holder or some beads etc. You get the picture. Something yummie, something handmade, always fun and at a reasonable price.

Here’s a picture of the test goodie bags I made and will soon be sending out to lucky testers:) www.knittinginfrance.com

I’m also proud to announce that I’m participating, in a small capacity, (but participating nonetheless) in a knitting retreat that will be held in Edinburgh this autumn. The retreat is called GEEKY PUFFIN KNIT PALOOZA which is being held for the very first time. The retreat is organised by CC Almond of JavaPurls and her daughter Demeris (they also do a podcast together that I highly recommend you check out: Geeky girls knit) and their friend Sam Bogia of KnitRunDig – you can find Sam’s shop here and her blog by clicking on her name (KnitRunDig). Sam has a project bag shop on Etsy and she also has a podcast you should check out by clicking through on the links above.

So these three amazing ladies have concocted an amazing weekend for you in Edinburgh, Scotland from October 29th to November 1st. I think there may still be a few places left if you would like to sign up. Also note that they will be selling a few spots for individual classes and that the vendor market will be open part time for non-retreat visitors. So if you are in Edinburgh or close by during those dates you should definitely take a look. I’ve personally met CC and Sam and they are both wonderful fun and I’m sure the retreat will be a blast all around and I would have loved to actually attend myself. But…. not possible this time around, maybe next time? But I did say I was participating though and here’s how. The attendees will be getting goodie bags (how I envy them) and I have made two of the items in there (I’m not saying what as that is going to be a surprise for the attendees) and I’m super proud of the opportunity to participate like this and I’m super excited about getting to introduce myself and my work to the attendees of the retreat. I’ll show you pictures later on but probably not until after the retreat so as not to spoil the excitement of the future lucky attendees! Anyway, that’s exciting:)

Now on the subject of spinning. It’s been a while since I shared my spinning with you. I think I told you a while back that I bought a bump of Kauni pencil roving in their Rainbow colorway and that I wanted to try to spin that up. I love Kauni effect yarn and I wanted to see if I could make some. This is also the first time I ever spin from pencil roving and it was quite fun. Now I have not only spun the pencil roving but plied it as well. I did a two ply and I have a gazillion meters I think. I have yet to wash and finish the yarn so I haven’t measured it out yet. I love the outcome, as all Kauni yarns, it’s not soft but I’m going to wash it with a little hair conditioner and hopefully that will soften it a bit. I’m thinking I’ll make socks and mittens with this.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see the pencil roving next to my wheel. You can appreciate the gorgeous colors and how fine the pencil roving is.

www.knittinginfrance.com And here is my skein of handspun Kauni yarn. Personally I love it!!!

 

Last weekend I also did a little bit of test dyeing. I dyed 2 skeins of sock yarn using a fun technique I secretly call “candy dyeing” because I think it is such a fun way to dye and that the resulting yarn is almost as yummie as candy (yes I have a sweet tooth). So I did 2 skeins, using different main color for each and then using the same accent colors but organising the differently on each yarn. The yarn is still drying so I’m not able to show you what it looks like once reskeined yet but here are some in progress pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com So you see, about 3/4 of the skein is dyed in one color and then approx 1/4 is dyed in small sections with accent colors.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here I have wound the hanks into skeins but the yarn was still humid so the skeins don’t look as yummie as they could be. They will be all dry and ready for reskeining pretty soon and I’ll be able to share with you those pictures so you can see the final result. I’ve also decided that I’m going to use one of these skeins as my travel sock yarn and I’m currently looking for a good and simple sock pattern that will show off the colorway. I don’t want cables or lace as I see these yarns as being something fun for simple vanilla type socks.

That’s all for today. I’m thinking it’s almost time to do a little giveaway! I have finally reached the milestone of 100 subscribers to my blog and I’d like to celebrate by doing a giveaway. I’m thinking something super nice like a skein of sock yarn with a set of markers and a needle holder. Maybe one main price and 2 small ones… I’m going to sleep on this and think about how, when and what and I’ll be launching this beginning of October I think as I don’t have the time now before going to the US so once I’m back it should be fine.  So stay tuned and join the fun.

Thank you for taking the time to share my thoughts and wips I know you are super busy so I’m honored you allow me to take up some of your precious time.

Take care and until next time, happy knitting/spinning/crochet

Some progress and some new stuff

Hi there, I hope you had a great weekend. I actually got quite a lot of things done even though I did not get to do everything I had on my “to do” list but hey, I didn’t really expect I would so that’s ok.

First off, I went through my PERSONAL STASH! Oh my! I think it’s been years since I last dug this far into my stash! I unearthed some gorgeous yarns that have now moved closer to the surface and will hopefully be used sooner rather than later, but I also got the confirmation that I have become a die hard YARN SNOB! I knew so but seeing it like this, up close and in person really made that fact real!

So I posted an ad on Facebook offering to give someone a big chunk of my stash – all the yarns that I know I will never actually use. Most of these are full skeins, labelled and everything. Some are leftovers but just a small part. I actually must have close to 10 kg of yarn to give away! I also put in some knitting needles to go with this. I asked if an association would like this to knit for charity or something and I discovered that I’m not the only yarn snob in Normandy! Because actually NO ONE was interested! Someone did point out an association that might be interested so I have to find their contact info and check with them. I was a bit sad that all this yarn was just sitting in big bags in my garage and no one wanted it! I do hope I will end up finding someone to make good use of all this. Some of the yarn is “fantasy” yarn but it could be fun as an embellishment for example or to knit a pillow or something. Most of the yarns are wool/nylon blends, some I bought when I was knitting for premie charities. Most of the yarns are from Bérgère de France and Phildar. So if you by any chance live in Normandy and are part of a charity knitting group, do get in touch with me and I’ll gladly donate all this yarn and knitting needles for you to make good use of!

So this was my good deed and big “off the list” project of the  weekend, I had been dreading it for a while but finally I got it done and that is a good thing.

I also did some knitting. I almost finished my first Irma mitten. Now I just need to weave in the ends, sew the cuff and knit the thumb. But seeing the pattern all knit up is a huge pleasure.

www.knittinginfrance.com   I’m quite    sure  the person this is intended for  will love the mitts. Seeing as this someone is big into horses. I’m not saying who the recipient is just in case this person accidentally came across this post:) But yes I’m really happy with the outcome and I’ve already cast on for the second one and hope it will go well too.

I also took a decision about my travel knitting and I decided that I would do the Leftover shawl only it would not be my travel knitting. I’ve found all the leftovers I want to use and put them in a little basket next to my favorite chair in the living room and it will be my new tv knitting project.

www.knittinginfrance.com    This is the actual pattern picture

www.knittinginfrance.com And this is what I’ve knit so far

 

I have decided that I’ll be taking 2 projects with me on my travel (in addition to the two gorgeous sock yarn skeins that will await me in SFO) and I will knit 1 shawl and 1 pair of socks.

So last night I went online and I had recently been  going through all of Joji’s Ravelry store and I really love her designs and yesterday, believe it or not, I actually bought 6!!!!! patterns!!!!

I’m crazy! 1 shawl, 1 cowl and 4 yes 4 cardigans/sweaters. I don’t have enough time to share them all with you right now but I will soon. So anyway, I’m going to knit the shawl I bought and it is called In the moment and is by Joji Locatelli and I’m going to use two of my newly dyed yarns, the ones with the bronze stellina in autumn shades.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the yarn I’m using

www.knittinginfrance.com Here I am getting ready: my yarn all wound up, my new project bag, I’ve printed out the pattern and just put on Midsummer Murders ( I love Barnaby).

And here’s how far I’ve gotten and this is how it will stay until I actually leave: www.knittinginfrance.com

 

That’s all for today. I hope you have a wonderful week with plenty of time to devote to your favorite craft. Next time I’ll tell you more about my latest dye works and all the new patterns I just bought!

 

More travels and some travel knitting decisions

Yes, I’ll soon be travelling again. I have a work related trip coming up in 2 weeks or so. I’m going to Portland, Oregon and since my brother lives in California I’m taking a few days off work to go see him and his family which I haven’t seen for way too long. It’s not easy living in different continents and so we rarely get to see each other so I’m crazy happy about that and i’m counting the days until I can give him a huge hug and his lovely and pregnant wife and their 2 wonderful daughters!  Can’ wait , can’t wait!!!!!!

So this means I’ll be travelling halfway around the globe (more or less) and I will have LOTS of knitting time. As I live in Normandy this means that I first have to take a 2h train to Paris. Then I have to take a bus from Paris out to the airport and that’s about 1 hour. Then I’ll fly to Iceland (approx.3 hours) and then take another flight to Portland, Oregon and that is 8 hours and then I’ll take a third and last flight to San Francisco and that will be 2 hours! Ouff!! That will be LOOOONG day but what a beautiful end it will have:)

So in order for me to survive such a long trip not to mention the return which is also super long, I need some knitting with me. I should admit that I went ahead and placed an order with WEBS and ordered 2 skeins of Mrs Crosby hand dyed yarn and 2 sets of Addi Sock Rocket knitting needles. I’ve never tried either one before so that is exciting and I’m thinking then that will be good for the during the stay and flight back but I need something for the outbound flights. I don’t want anything too big or bulky so i’m not going to take the snowflake sweater with me.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is where I’m at today with my Snowflake. It’s a quick knit once one is past the lace yoke. The pink is super bold but I like how it looks next to my jeans and the gray yoke will make it look nice next to my skin so I’m confident so far.

So no sweater. I could do the Bagatelle cowl by Purpoise fur

www.knittinginfrance.com I’ve already caked up the yarn. I’m just worried I might finish BEFORE I arrive in SFO and that is a scary thought 🙂 so if I take this then I’ll need a back up project which might be a good idea anyway so I can switch between projects as a gazillion hours of just one project are sure to bore me.

I also thought of the Leftover Cowl www.knittinginfrance.com by Wendy D Johnson. I actually own both the digital version and the Vogue Knitting edition where I first saw this. It is gorgeous and would be fun to knit and use a ton of mini skeins and scrap yarns maybe. I’ve already picked out the mini skeins I have on hand to do this but before I got into balling them up I had a doubt! Would this be too bulky? Will all the little balls of yarn just take too much space in my handluggage (and bear in mind I’m only going to have carry on)? I think this could be a super fun knit and that it could actually last me both ways and I would not be bored as there are so many different patterns to make so I just have to decide if I have the space to bring this with me. I guess there is no way around actually balling everything up and then pack in a knitting bag and take a decision once I see it all.

Do you maybe have other ideas for some good travel knitting? Do you maybe have a particular type of knitting you usually do when travelling? (I admit I usually do socks).

i’d love to hear from you:)

That’s all for today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and get lots of time to enjoy your crafting.

Until next time, take care:)

A little bit of this and that, some self pity an FO and some WIP

Hi there how are you today? I’m doing fine, really looking forward to the weekend! I feel I have a million things to do and never the time to do them so as my husband will be away this weekend I’m thinking I’ll be able to organise my time as I wish (mostly) and hopefully I’ll get a number of things off my to do list!

I’ve been doing some dyeing this week and sharing my pictures on Instagram and I’ve had quite a nice feedback from my followers but in spite of that I came within an inch of chucking everything!

It’s not always easy to hang onto a dream, especially when that dreams comes with a hefty price tag and is loooooooong on giving anything back financially speaking. And not having the support necessary to continue can push one over the brink! So or 2 days I thought about just giving it up, closing the shop and just maintain my knitting blog and just enjoy knitting and dyeing for myself. Ok I do have some leftover stock from the shop: yarns, needles and accessories that I would not know what to do with (well maybe I would just use them myself but I admit I do have way too many stitch markers and other small accessories to just use on my own) but maybe that would just be the solution. Just stop everything, take my losses and make the best of it. At least I tried, for 4 years!

But after 2 days of self pity and worry, I decided NO! This summer I decided that I was going to try until the end of 2015 and only then would I take a decision of whether or not I would continue. And so I’m going to stick with that decision and give it my EVERYTHING and more until December 31st 2015 and only then will I make up my mind!

Having taken that decision, I went ahead and ordered some more yarn to dye. I was hesitant to put out that much money but I’ve dyed up almost all the yarn I had left so if I really want to try I had to reinvest again/one last time!

This weekend I’m going to reskein and label the yarns I’ve prepped and I’m also going to take pictures and hopefully I’ll even get around to listing them for the reopening of the shop. I was going to launch my own independent ecommerce shop but finally I think I will put that on the back burner and only if I make it past December 31st will I make that investment. This means that my relaunch of the shop will not be as “big” as I had planned on but hopefully my clients will still like what they will see then!

Enough of wallowing! No more sad thoughts and self pity! On to something more fun.

Like I said above I’ve been doing some dyeing and here are some pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com   This is DK yarn in some bright and fun colors I think

www.knittinginfrance.com  My lace in the sparkle base yarn www.knittinginfrance.com Fingering weight in merino/nylon and I’m calling them Something about Scarlet and Something about Jade

www.knittinginfrance.com  This is fingering with stellina sparkle and I’m calling the pink one Something about CC (in honor of the fab CC Almon of JavaPurls and Geeky Girls Knit) and the other is Something about Teal.www.knittinginfrance.com Now this one I LOVE! I’m so happy how these two turned out! This is a sparkle base but this time with BRONZE stellina and a higher percentage, 10% bronze stellina. I’m calling the orange one Pumpkin Spice and the brown will be Pine. My daughter does not like them but I totally love the outcome so I’m keeping one of each and I’ve actually cast on and i’m swatching for a future cowl design. It will be a fall theme and fair isle. I’ll show you pictures when my swatch is done.

So that’s it for the moment yarn wise. Now on to my works in progress:

I just finished my first ever pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks that I knit in my merino/nylon base yarn

www.knittinginfrance.com These were actually a quick knit and I think they look nice. I love the super bright yellow which makes me think of summer.

www.knittinginfrance.com I’m continuing on my Irma mittens, it’s slow because I don’t have much time to do them. These I need some quiet and concentration to knit so I don’t bring this with me when watching tv at night. But you can now see the horse:)

www.knittinginfrance.com And this is the back side with some lovely flowers

www.knittinginfrance.com And I’m working on a hat design. I used the ribbing from the Irma mitten for the ribbing on the hat and I found a lace pattern in a stitch dictionary for the hat itself and now I need to do some math to figure out how best to organise the decreasing for the crown. I’m using a fingering weight hand dyed yarn by myself of couse. I’m really loving this designing now and I can see myself doing more of that in the future. Now I just really need some quiet time to actually write up the patterns and then have them test knitted.

My new hand dyed yarns

I’ve been working on dyeing some new yarns. As I’m closed for business now, I’m re-evaluating my shop and the items I offer. I’m going to narrow down my range of yarns and colors. I’ve been told that offering too many choices gives the buyer angst and they are more likely to leave the shop and go elsewhere because they are not able to make up their mind. So I don’t want that to happen any more! So I’m working on a range of “basic” colors. Something kind of standard that I’d have on offer all the time, repeatable colorways, which is new to me. I also want to have maybe seasonal offers with colorways that I’d offer only for a limited time for example or some one-offs for those that like unique yarns.

As for the weight or yarn types I’ll be doing: lace, fingering/4 ply and DK. I think these are the most commonly used yarn types as you can knit pretty much everything using these 3 types of yarns.

I’m also working on ideas for yarn clubs, I’m thinking : one sock yarn club with fingering weight yarn and 1 lace club with lace only yarns. They would be like a bi-monthly thing so 6 skeins over 12 months or 3 skeins over 6 months. I’m also toying with the idea of a “Goodies” club which would be a bi-monthly thing also and that one would include knitting accessories and mini skeins. What do you think of those ideas? Are you maybe a part of a yarn club already? Which one and do you enjoy it? Or is there a reason why you would NOT join a club? Would you prefer a “pay up front” thing or a “pay as you go” thing?

Any ideas and thoughts on the yarn and goodies clubs would be much appreciated. I really want to work on those and come up with something exciting that knitters ABSOLUTELY want to join in on. And you can help me do just that 🙂

Now some pictures! I’ve begun working on my new future colorways and I’ve come up with my “basic” colors and at least 2 “seasonal/special” colorways.  So here are some pictures to show you what I’ve done so far

www.knittinginfrance.com   These are mini skeins I dyed to work on my future basic colors and these will be dyed on my merino/nylon base yarn. I’m calling this range of sock weight yarns SHADES.

www.knittinginfrance.com   Here you have Shades of Magenta   www.knittinginfrance.com  And Shades of Blue

www.knittinginfrance.com And here mixed together you have Shades of Scarlet (red) and Shades of Jade (green)

 

And I’ve just begun thinking about doing some self striping yarns also and I’ve done 1 test so far of possible contenders. This would be on a 100% superwash merino base yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com I actually quite like the colors and how they play together so the next step is to decide on the pattern. How long/short each color repeat should be so I will be doing some more testing and knitting before I can decide on the final version.

And then there is the lace. I will have 2 or maybe 3 base yarns. So far I’ve worked mostly 1 which is the merino, silk, stellina base. It is super soft and the 5% stellina gives it a little touch of glam and just overall light that brightens up the yarn I think. I don’t know about you but I’m definitely a stellina fan and I will be offering stellina yarns in all 3 weights!

www.knittinginfrance.com These are all rather soft colors that I think can work with delicate lace work. I have to work on their names as I haven’t decided on those yet but I do like the colors.

And then the “seasonal/special” colorways. Here is one that I’m doing in a stellina base fingering yarn and it is called Strawberry Frappuccino. This yarn is inspired by a sock pattern written specifically for my yarn by CC Almon of JavaPurl. This new pattern will be published this autumn, I don’t have an exact date yet but I’m really looking forward to that as it will be the very first pattern ever written specifically for MY yarn!

www.knittinginfrance.com I really like the outcome! I’ll be knitting my own pair of the socks as soon as the pattern gets published and I can buy a copy:)

What I have yet to work on is the DK weight. This I imagine will be used mostly for sweaters and hats and scarves/cowls maybe. I think this will be mostly solid or semi solid colorways. Not much varigation or stripes, at least not in the base line even though I might dye up a few “fun” ones as “seasonal/special” yarns.

Is there a color you LOVE and would like to see me dye? I know Teal is a big thing this autumn and I’ve come up with a great blend for teal and so I’m going to be doing that in all 3 yarn weights, maybe not the same exact color in all 3 weights but some variations of it at least. Other color ideas?

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful Sunday and hopefully you’ll have some time to knit and enjoy your crafting today. I wish you a great week for the new week just around the corner and I’ll be back with you soon:)

 

My latest WIPs and hand dyed yarns

Hi there, how are you doing today? I’m doing pretty good. Today is Friday and I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’d love to be able to just isolate myself and just work on my shop and my knitting but when one has a family of 5, well isolation is not really an option 🙂

So first off, I’m suffering greatly from a case of Startitis these days! I’ve got a gazillion things on my needles and rather than actually concentrating on and finishing one project after another I just keep casting on for new projects! Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but this is where I’m at now. I actually counted my projects and here is my list:

3 pairs of socks + 2 pairs of mittens + 2 shawls + 1 stole + 1 sweater + 1 blanket

I think that’s all ….. Some of these have been patiently waiting for me for more or less time but here are those I’m currently, actually working on:

Hermione’s Everyday socks – My objective now is to knit as much as I can using my hand dyed yarns and then add my yarns to Ravelry so others can create their project pages with my yarns. Also to upload pictures of projects I knit with my yarns so others can see how they knit up and maybe even tempt a few knitters to try out my yarns.

www.knittinginfrance.com The yarn is my merino/nylon blend and I’m knitting this on my Signature dpns in 2,25mm. The pattern is quite simple and going rather quickly. I’ve finished one sock and I’m just a few rows from the heel flap on the second sock.

Irma mittens – This is a pattern I purchased last week after discovering this amazing designer on Ravelry. I told you all about her 2 posts ago I think. So I chose to cast on for the Irma mittens first as those are destined to be a christmas gift for someone close to me and I thought I’d better get started to be sure I finish in time. I did have some difficulties when I came to the fair isle pattern and I sent the designer a message on Ravelry and she promptly answered back and after considering her answer and taking a really good look at the pattern again, I was finally able to UNDERSTAND and now I’m enjoying the knit. I’m using my hand dyed yarns of course. The main color is undyed and the pattern color is a bluish/black in my Sparkles base (the white one is a merino/nylon yarn).

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the picture from Ravelry and here’s where I’m at

www.knittinginfrance.com    This is the back side     www.knittinginfrance.com This is the front – you can see the horseshoe and the top of the ears

I think these will look wonderful once finished.

 

Snowflake sweater by Tincanknits – I bought this pattern a while back after seeing some gorgeous pictures on Ravelry and Facebook. I’m using my CMN base in DK weight. The lace part and cuff are grey and the main part of the sweater is BRIGHT pink. I’m currently working on the lace yoke. This is my second time around. I had almost finished when I noticed a mistake that I just could not live with and so decided to rip it back and begin again. This time around I’m using loads of stitch markers. This way I mark the beginning and end of each repeat and this way I can quickly see if I’m doing something wrong. I’m less than 10 rows from getting started on the main part of the sweater in the bright pink. I’m hoping the super bright pink won’t be too bright. I’m thinking it will look nice with a jean and the yoke being grey I won’t look too bad.

snowflake by tin can knits   This is the pattern picture.  www.knittinginfrance.com And here is my yoke. This was taken just after ripping back and getting all my markers in place. Since the picture I’ve knit most of the yoke, I think I’m about 5 rows from finishing the yoke/lace part. So far so good:)

 

And my latest project that I cast on just yesterday. It’s going to be a slouchy beanie using a sock weight yarn. The yarn is 100% superwash high twist BFL hand dyed in a nice blue/white color. I just had this vision of a slouchy hat and immediately cast on. I’m using a fun cuff pattern and a nice lacy cable pattern for the main part. And yesterday I got some gorgeous project bags (I’ll be telling you all about those in a later post) so that makes knitting it even more fun.

www.knittinginfrance.com

What about you? What are you working on these days? Do you also work on a gazillion projects at the same time? Any great patterns you’d like to share with me? I’m always open to casting on new projects:)

Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting. Have a great weekend:)