A new week and some sock madness

Hi there, I hope you are doing good. Today the weather in Normandy is very nice and it feels a little bit like spring is not far away which seems to lift my spirit:)

Now I have done some knitting since last time. I finished a pair of socks, a cast on for a new pair and I finally picked back up one of my shawls that’s been abandoned for a few weeks. I know I wasn’t supposed to cast on anything new until I made a real dent in my wips but…. You know me, I can’t resist especially where socks are concerned. I just really need a small project to pick up and knit somewhat mindlessly on.

So first here are the pictures of my finished pair of socks. They are part of the #Knitfromstash2016 kal that I’m doing with the Addicted to Sock Knitting group ( a group of sock knitters on Facebook and Ravelry). The patterns are by Heatherly Walker and each month we get one or two patterns. The idea is for us to knit at least 12 pairs during the year using her patterns and yarn from our stash. Of course I do have some problems keeping to using my stash but I am dedicated to do all 12 patterns this year. Last year I probably only did 2-3 although I did knit a  lot of socks but for some reason I wasn’t really doing this kal.

So here is the pair and the pattern is called Curly Willow

I knit these in the smallest size and gave them to my youngest. The lace pattern is easily memorisable and enjoyable to knit so these were a quick knit.

A couple of days after finishing these I cast on for a new pair because I had NO socks on my needles! This time I’m using my hand dyed yarn on the SPARKLES base and I don’t really have a pattern, I just make it up as I go. I cast on 60 stitches and I’m using twisted stitches – a pattern of p3, K1tbl and it’s looking nice I think. I could have been more adventurous and actually done something with the twisted stitches, like have them travel around, make a pattern or a cable but… I guess I just needed something super simple that I can knit on even at work and just put down and pick up all the time without that being a problem.

new sock 22feb

The picture doesn’t really do them justice but you get the idea. So I cast on yesterday and I’m knitting them magic loop stile, one at a time. I’m already half way to the toe now so I think I’ll finish the first sock today even.

And then there is the shawl, the Love of Spiders shawl by Melanie Berg that I actually cast on end of December and then abandoned sometime beginning of January! Why? I don’t know. What I do know now is that it was a very bad idea! So I had just begun what is called “section 2” on the shawl which is a patterned section and I had done a few repeats and thought it looked nice. When I picked the shawl up again and read the pattern, somehow I understood the directions totally differently and thus the result was …well nothing like what I had done before.

love of spider mistake

Look at the last few rows (top of picture) and you will see the drastic difference in pattern. So I ripped back all the way to “section 1” and began again, this time my pattern was also very different and I was not able to have the stitches follow the written pattern and so I ripped back a second time. I then knit the section for the third time and yet again I was not happy so I ripped back AGAIN.

Now that was going to be my very final round because I couldn’t take any more ripping back. So I carefully counted my stitches (3 times) and reread all the instructions and off I went! This time, the stitch count matches, I’m pretty sure I’m following the pattern correctly but the result is totally different from my first attempt. So I have come to the conclusion that the first time around I was totally misunderstanding the instructions and just basically inventing my own stitch pattern. So I’m just going to forget about that and continue what I’m doing. So here is what this section looks like now.

love of spider  okl hope it is correct. I can’t bear to think it might not be. So I’m just going to continue on and finish as soon as I possibly can to then go on to my  Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson shawl that has been waiting now for months and the only thing left there is the Russian beaded bind off! And once these two shawls are done I’ll return to my Angelus Novus shawl by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. That one is more recent and in its early stages. And then of course there’s my sweater and cardigan that are both around 55% done. Ouff!

And yet, as I lay awake in my bed last night, in the middle of the night and not able to fall back asleep. I picked up my mobile and went on Facebook. There I read something about a Kal called Sock Madness so I went to Ravelry to find out more and I actually ended up signing up for this. Are you doing the Sock Madness challenge/competition or have you ever done it?

So from what I gather this is a sock knitting competition. It begins March 1st and if you want to join you still have time. They close registration on February 29th I believe. And so at least the first time you get 2 weeks to knit a pair of socks. After that the make teams, depending on how fast one knits and as the competition continues, less and less knitters will be competing in each team until there is only one knitter per team. There will be 10 socks to knit and they have already published the list of materials needed for each one. The patterns are released as they are to be knit so always a surprise.

The challenge goes on I think until May 1st or so, so this is a true competition and challenge and I did hesitate about signing up and wondered if I would be able to make it. But then I thought, hey I knit socks all the time so why not?! And now I’m in! Next step will be to print out the list of materials and get everything ready to go by March 1st. I’ll keep you posted on how this works out for me of course.

That’s all for today. I need to get going so I can knit a bit on my shawl before I have to be at work. So enjoy your week and if the second winner of the last giveaway does not contact me this week, I will be making a second drawing next week from the entries so stay tuned as you just might be a belated winner:)

Making a dent in my WIPs pile

Hi there; how are you doing today? I’m doing fine; looking forward to the weekend and then to my kids going back to school to have more quiet time to work.

I have managed to make a little dent in my pile of wips – it is still significant in size, don’t get me wrong, but I’m quite happy to see it slowly diminishing. So I thought I’d share this with you:)

First off I finished my Brioche Twister by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. This was my first two color brioche project and I really loved knitting this. I was a little afraid to begin with that because it’s a scarf I might lose interest halfway there but brioche is quite addictive so not only did I not lose interest but I actually loved knitting it and so I finished in no time.

brioche twister finished

This picture is not the best but you do see how the colors work together and the lovely brioche cable pattern and how different the red side is from the grey one. If you are wanting  to join the brioche craze and have maybe never knit brioche or never done two color brioche; then I highly recommend this pattern. And if you like my yarn – I hand dyed a batch of these two colors on my Cashmerino DK base; then I’ll be listing them in the shop any day now so you could even knit your Brioche Twister using the same yarn as I did:)

 

Next I finished my Through The Loops Mystery Sock kal. Now I did join 2 mystery sock kals and I don’t think I’ll do that again. I thought it would be fun but I discovered that I prefer to “know” beforehand what I’m knitting. When I went on Ravelry to see the pictures from my  fellow knitters, I discovered that I had misunderstood part of the pattern – the actual stitch pattern for most of the sock!!! Not such a problem because I actually like my version of the sock better but also there is a little lace like pattern on the instep and toe and I think I totally misunderstood that because those sections don’t look like much. So I have mixed emotions about this pair of socks. I used Opal 4 ply sock yarn and that was ok to work with. The final socks still look nice; I really like the lace pattern that goes from cuff all the way down the heel. That’s a nice touch.

ttl sock mystery kal 2016

I’m giving these to my older daughter.

As for the second mystery kal socks; I’m still pondering if I will knit the second sock or not. I don’t much care for the pattern but the sock fits nicely and I did put some time and effort into knitting it so putting it in the bin would be a shame. If you forgot what it looked like here’s a picture

A230DDA8-F45E-4F48-AEFC-E14C2640DE5FBasically this is a striped pattern with a textured pattern in the pink portions. I knit these using my Neko needles so the gauge is looser than usual. So yes, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I still have my project bag on my wips table ready to continue…we’ll see.

And I started on the second pair of my Knit from stash 2016 kal and I’ve finished one sock and am close to the heel on the second one. This pair will be for my younger daughter. I’m using my first ever ball of yarn from the West Yorkshire Spinners company. So good so far but I do have this little tiny doubt about how they will hold up to wear. I feel the yarn is not very tightly spun so I’m afraid it will get fuzzy real quick. We’ll see.

Here’s a picture of the first sock I took yesterday before I finally finished it

curly willow socks 18feb

The pattern is called Curly Willow by Heatherly Walker and I think it is knitting up very nice. It’s a 20 round pattern repeat that is easily memorised so these are going quicker than expected.

So what’s left on my wips table?

3 shawls / 1 sock/ 1 cardigan and 1 pull over. It feels so good to make a dent in the wips that I think I actually might finish some more before I give in and cast on for another pair of socks or shawl or something – there are soooo many gorgeous patterns on Ravelry that are just screaming out my name these days.

And before I leave you, I just wanted to say that I have shipped out the first prize from last week’s giveaway. However the second winner; Lisa Nixon, has yet to contact me to claim her prize. Should she not do that in the next few days, I’m going to draw for another winner.

That’s all for today. Hopefully next week I’ll have some more FOs and an even bigger dent in my wips:) So until then, have a wonderful end of week and I’ll be back soon.

 

A little bit of knitting, a little bit of dyeing and spinning AND the giveaway prizes!!!

Hi there, nice to have you back on my blog. If you participated in this week’s giveaway I’m sure you are impatient to see the results..but you’ll have to wait a little longer 🙂

So, this week I did not get a lot of knitting time. My kids are on winter vacation so I’m busier than usual. I’m getting close to finishing my Brioche Twister scarf and hopefully it will be all done next time I post. I’ve also worked some more on my Mkal socks and pair 1 of 2 should also be done next week.

This week’s only finished object is a pair of socks for my youngest. I decided to try knitting thick socks and use a DK yarn rather than fingering and so I chose the Rye socks by Tin Can Knits and I used one of my hand dyed DK Cashmerino DK yarns.

cashmerino dk pink

This yarn is super soft and knits up like a dream. I’m definitely going to knit a second pair and this time for myself. The pattern itself was super easy so if you have never knit socks I would recommend you try this one out for your first attempt. Knitting with DK yarn also makes the process that much quicker.

I really like how the yarn knit up.

I finished plying a skein of multi colored merino this week and I gave it a wash. I’m not sure what I’m going to knit with it but quite possibly a pair of socks. I love colorful yarn for socks.

 

I did a little bit of dyeing also and this week I was feeling purple/mauve so I did some on my SPARKLE base.

handspun and dyed feb16

The two skeins on the left are my handspuns – the multi colored one I showed you above and then another one which is all pink/purple/mauve/silver and sparkle. Then you have 4 skeins of mauve and purple.

And now on to the GIVEAWAY!!! So a little confession first, I was hoping for better participation but… As there were less than 10 participants I’m going to maintain my 2 scheduled prizes and the rest will be kept for a future giveaway. I used a random number generator to draw the winners.

So the prizes are:

knitting in france burning impressions centimeter soxyzz

1st prize is the Soxyzz from BurningImpressionsII on Etsy. This is the ultimate tool for sock knitters. Handmade in wood with burned inscriptions that will not fade. Measurements in inches and centimeters making knitting socks for everyone and anyone a breeze.

And the winner of this prize is………..Atangledyarn84. So congratulations to you! Please send me an email at knittinginfrance@gmail.com with your full name and postal address so I can send you the Soxyzz.

 

And then on to prize nr 2 which is a handy tool also for sock knitters and also by BurningImpressions on Etsy

knitting in france burning impressions kit

This is a needle gauge; a wraps per inch gauge for your hand spun yarn or if you are substituting yarn and a tuto for kitchener stitch.

The winner of this prize is…….Lisa Nixon! Congratulations to you too! Please email me your details to knittinginfrance@gmail.com so I can send you the prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to give everyone a prize but not to worry, there are more giveaways planned for the coming weeks!

That’s all for now. I hope you will have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to “chatting” to you again next time.

Some progress, a new pattern and a GIVEAWAY

Hi there, I hope you are doing fine and looking forward to your week. I’m super happy because I just received a great email announcing that I had WON a knitting pattern! I never win anything so this is a wonderful surprise and just goes to show that even though, like me, you usually never win anything, well you just might! So keep that in mind when you read about this weeks giveaway later in my post 🙂

So on  progress, well I finished one pair of socks for the #knitfromstash 2016 kal that I’m doing with the Addicted to Sock Knitting group on Facebook. I knit a pair of socks for a cousin of mine so this time I made LARGE socks. Luckily the pattern was fun to knit and went quicker than I thought.

IMG_4683

The yarn I used was Opal 4ply and the pattern is called Pineaux and is by Heatherly Walker. My socks are shown on the pattern page which is super nice:)

I’m also working on my Mkal socks. One is done, that is all the clues have been published and I just finished sock nr 1 for that last night. I’m not a huge fan but since I went this far, I’m going to cast on for the second one.

A230DDA8-F45E-4F48-AEFC-E14C2640DE5FHere is a link to the pattern which is now for sale as the kal is over. Its a mix of texture with knits and purls. The yarn is mine. I did have problems carrying the yarn between sections so in some places there are ugly floats along the side. I’ll try and do better on the second sock. I knit these using my Neko needles in 2,50 mm. I only changed the toe and used my own “regular” toe.

The other sock kal from Through the Loops will finish this week. I need to start on clue ” and 4 before clue 5 is published this Friday. I’ve made no progress on these since last week so no pics here.

I also cast on for a new pattern this week. It’s the Brioche Twister by Renée Callahan of East London Knits using my hand dyed Cashmerino DK.

The pictures were taken at different times as you can see – one  shows more progress than the other. You can see how different the scarf looks depending on which side you are looking at.

The Cashmerino DK is just super soft and will make this a yummie scarf and the pattern is fun. It is my first ever two color brioche and I admit that I did frog this about 3 times in the beginning but now I’ve got the hang of things and it will progress quickly I think. Just need some time to work on it:)

And since I just won a new pattern well I’ll be casting on for a new sweater very soon! I joined in a little contest I found on Instagram and I was the lucky winner! The pattern is called KITSUNE and the designer is Amanita Agata Mackiewicz.  This is a bottom up, seamless, aran weight sweater. I just got some undyed aran weight yarn last week so now I just need to dye some yarn for myself and I’ll be ready to go.

kitsuneThis is a picture taken from the pattern page. Looks gorgeous don’t you think?

So lots of fun in sight for me here:) A big big thank you to Amanita for her pattern!

And now it is time for the giveaway! It’s more than time. I have a few giveaways ready and I was planning on doing one in January but somehow time just ran away from me so maybe I’ll end up doing 2 in February in stead. I’ll see. Anyway today is a big one!

The sponsor for this week’s giveaway is a company called BURNING IMPRESSIONS II and they have a shop on Etsy that you can visit here

Burning Impressions II is a husband and wife enterprise and they produce hand made, wood carved, laser burned knitting accessories such as mitten and sock blockers, soxyzz ( for sizing your socks), needle gauges etc.

Since last December, this is their full time gig and only source of income and I highly recommend you take a look at their shop and the beautiful items they produce.

I recently purchased some of their items and as we were chatting online following that purchase the idea for this giveaway was born. Megan and Dan very generously gave me a number of items to giveaway and this week I’ll be giving away 2-3 prices depending on participation and the rest will be for a later game/giveaway.

The prizes for this week are:

The 1st prize is a Soxyzz  and here is their description from their Etsy shop:

This handy gadget idea was born from constantly having to look for shoe sizing charts every time I wanted to make socks for someone else! With the Soxyzz, all you have to do is get your person to stand on the ruler, and voila! You have their size!! Or, if they’re not right there handy, you can easily look up their shoe size on the Soxyzz and get the correct measurements.

This Soxyzz has CM measurements on one side and IN on the other. It is super handy when knitting socks as you can easily measure your progress and what I find genious also is that if you are knitting for someone else, you can measure their foot by having them simply stand on the Soxyzz and  that way you will easily be able to knit a perfectly fitting sock for them. So this is a wonderful prize to win.

knitting in france burning impressions kit

The 2nd and possibly 3rd prizes are a set of  this super handy combo which works as a needle gauge, a wraps per inch (for your yarns and yarn substitutions) and a reminder/tutorial for kitchener stitch. So a super useful set to keep in your knitting bag at all times. And to make this extra special, Megan added my shops name to it!!! I just loved that special attention! Thank you soooo much Megan.

Now that you have seen the prizes you are probably eager to learn how to join in and have a chance of winning one of these gorgeous prizes. It’s very simple:

You have until Friday 12th of February to participate and the winners will be announced on Saturday February 13th.

To join you have to go to the Burning Impressions II Etsy shop by clicking here and have a look at what they make. Then come back here and leave a comment to let me know what it is that you like most about their shop and/or what item you could see yourself buying from them. That’s all! Super simple and fun and remember, I just won a sweater pattern today so EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! You just have to participate.

That’s it for today. Best of luck and I’ll be back soon:)

Not much happening these days

Hi there, how are you doing today? I’m feeling a little unmotivated these days. Like I don’t have the energy to continue and yet I have baskets full of recently dyed yarn that I should be putting up in the shop. I also have loads of stitch markers just waiting to be matched up and packaged. Strange how one sometimes just looses one’s “mojo” and even if you (or should I say “I”) just find yourself procrastinating – looking at all the different things that need to be done and yet be unable to actually DO something!

GRR that is sooooo annoying! But this is how I’m feeling these days and yet I have a head full of ideas for the shop! Cross my fingers and toes and hope I’ll get myself out of this state of “inactivity” ASAP.

Enough about me and my lack of energy! I have actually done some knitting:

I finished my Yowza Weight It shawl by Susan B Anderson. I used my Yowza yarn from Miss Babs. The yarn was very enjoyable to knit; it is soft to the touch and I really love the colours. As for the pattern, it is a super easy pattern – a very relaxing knit. I admit that it was so relaxing that I actually made a mistake! And that is an achievement in itself seeing as how this pattern is ultra simple. One is supposed to knit until you have 85 gr left and then you begin a sort of frill and then knit on until only 26 gr are left. Well I actually knit right on and when I went ahead to weigh my yarn I only had 25 gr left! Oups! I didn’t feel like ripping back so I decided to knit a few more rows and then I cast of using an icord. And I’m very happy with the results, I’m actually wearing the shawl as I’m writing this.

 

This is a crescent shaped shawl  and super soft and warm.

Today in the mail I received a new book which I think will be most interesting. It’s called Exploring Shawl Shapes – 27 mini shawls to knit by Elizabeth Lovick.

If you are not familiar with this book it is like a compendium on shawl knitting. It explores different shapes and traditions in shawl knitting and for each one there is a miniature version for one to knit. Knitting mini shawls I think will be both fun and enlightening and might even inspire me to make up a shawl pattern of my own. I’m going to read this book carefully and knit a few samples. I keep thinking that knitting a mini shawl in lace weight yarn will be soooo cute!

On another subject, I just joined my friend Renée Callahan’s newsletter. Renée is the designer behind East London Knits. I first met Renée at the Unwind Brighton show and then again in 2014 at the I Knit Fandango in London and I’m a fan of her designs. She just launched a newsletter in relation with her blog and design work and at the moment she is offering subscribers to her newsletter a free pattern. This pattern is a two coloured brioche scarf called Brioche Twister.

Brioche_twister_hero_web_small2

 

Gorgeous don’t you think ? (both Renée and her scarf). So I of course needed to dye up some yarn to knit this and I really like how her scarf looks so I was inspired by her colour choice.  And so I dyed up some of my Cash’Merino DK; one in dark grey and another one in red and I think these will be just perfect.

IMG_4583

Here the yarns are in the dye pot but still you can see the colours together. So I look forward to knitting this soon.

I also started on my February #Knitfromstash2016. This is a year long sock kal with designer Heatherly Walker. This month she has treated us to 2 sock patterns and I’m going to knit both. The one I cast on first will be for a cousin of mine and the second will be for his mother, my aunt.

I have finished the first sock for my cousin and I think I’ll finish his pair before casting on for her pair. Even if he has big feet the sock went quite quickly so that is good. The patterning is easily memorisable. I had chosen a lovely self patterning variegated yarn I bought in Iceland. It is a black and grey yarn but as soon as  I cast on, I saw that the yarn was not suitable because it was too fuzzy, too hairy. So I changed and cast on using Opal 4ply sock yarn in a dark blue colour.

I’m also continuing knitting on my 2 other pairs of MKal socks and the MKal mittens although that one has now published all 5 clues and after seeing the final design I admit that I’m no crazy about the design so I’m actually pondering wether or not I will finish the mittens or just stop where I’m now.

I’m also knitting on 2 shawls, 1 pullover, 1 cardigan and I have a third shawl that just needs a bind off- a Russian beaded bind off but still just a bind off!

I need to get serious now and make some progress on all those before I cast on for my brioche scarf.

Well, that’s all for now. Thank you for stopping by and sharing a moment with me. Next time I’ll introduce you to a small company that produces knitting accessories and there will be some absolutely gorgeous prices to win!

Until then, take care and enjoy your week.