And Nothing went to plan

Hi there, I hope you are doing good today and that you had an enjoyable long weekend for Easter. As a working mom of 3 I had been looking forward to this long weekend for …. weeks! Especially because I was going to have 2 whole days alone in the house with the husband and work and the kids at school. So I had high hopes and big dreams of all that free time and how I was going to use it. I was going to work on some custom dye orders, knit, prepare our upcoming vacation, do a little housework etc. Boy, did that NOT turn out how I had hoped for!

I started getting sick on Tuesday night and from Wednesday morning I was out of it! I haven’t been this sick since I was a kid I think. Fever, a hugely sour throat and I lost my voice which is now slowly coming back! So NOTHING of what I was going to do actually did get done! I was even going to do a video review of a new knitwear book as part of a future giveaway but without my voice… well, that was just not possible. And my voice is still that bad that an unexpected phone call from me might give you a fright (I sound like a monster my little one says). So no video review today either unfortunately. So as you can see last week was everything but for me.

I’m hoping I’ll soon be back to normal because this is just so annoying.

Now knitting wise, I did have an emergency last week because I was knitting on my round 2 socks of the Sock Madness competition and I didn’t want to drop out right in the beginning. With each round there are 10 less spaces per team so only the fastest X knitters are able to continue on to the next round. Being sick I lost a lot of knitting time but I did manage to finish and make it to round number 3 that begins next week. Off, that was a little close. Now my problem is, and I do realise that this is not a problem to complain about, that I’m going away for a few days and I have no idea which pattern is coming up for round 3 and thus no idea what yarn/s I need. The plan was to travel light but in order for me to stay in the competition I’m going to have to bring a few pairs of needles and at least 3 different yarns with me. I have a list of materials needed for each pattern so I know that some patterns only require one skein of yarn where as others are multi coloured and need as many as 3 different colours. So I have to be prepared just in case.

Now, this week I’m mostly working on 2 things, a pair of socks using a free pattern from Knitty called Geek Socks and the yarn I’m using is self striping yarn I got from the Golden Skein.

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This is a very simple fun pattern knit top down with an afterthought heel and the patterning is created using slipped stitches as every colour change. So I only have the heel left of sock 1 and I’m not quite at the heel placement for sock 2. Also, I’m thinking of giving these to a family member and he has bigger feet than I do and I was a little worried I might not have enough of the self striping yarn so I decided to use another yarn for toe and heels and I found a perfect match! I bet you can hardly see that the toe yarn is not the same grey as in the self striping. So that worked out perfectly.

I’m also working on my Kitsune sweater, a pattern I won through a little game on Instagram. I won’t be able to finish before going on vacation and this is too voluminous for me to bring along for travel knitting so this weeks objective is to finish the body. I have done the back and now I’m working on the front. The sweater is worked in the round up to the arms and then you work the back and the from separately and so that is where I’m at now. I hope to finish that and so when I get back from vacation I’ll just go straight to knitting the sleeves. After being burned recently from leaving a project for weeks and then picking it up and getting everything wrong, I’m a bit weary and I really do not want that to happen here so I need to get myself to a place where I can easily pick things up from without making a mess of things.

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I really enjoy knitting this sweater and even though this is a big piece it’s going quite quickly I think. I do admit that I have left my other sweater (for my oldest) and my Brynja cardigan on the sidelines and those will definitely have to be finished as soon as my Kitsune is off the needles.

That’s about all I have going now. I need to think about what I’m to take with me for travel knitting. I have a long flight to fill plus hours in the car and so forth. I know I’ll be casting on my round 3 socks for the Sock Madness whilst on vacation so I will be doing a pair of socks so should I cast on for another pair of some simple vanilla socks? Or should I look into doing a shawl? Hm, that was one of the things I had planned to work on during my two days of being home alone….No such luxury now so I’ll have to crunch in some thinking time, look at some patterns and yarns and make a quick decision.

So this being sick nonsense has put me behind schedule on my review/giveaway and I probably will not have the time to do what I want to this week so I probably will need to put this on the back burner for 2 weeks but I’ll definitely do this before the end of April.

That’s all for now. Take care of yourself, do what ever you can to stay away from any cold bugs and flues. Happy knitting/crafting

The launch of a Mystery Kal using my DK yarn

Hi there, I while back I told you about a new design being launched as a  mystery kal using one of my yarns. Today the first clue was released and I’m casting on using one of my Cashmerino DK yarns. Are any of you participating in the kal?

The pattern is called Infestation cowl by designer Devious Rose. Here is the picture she is using for the mkal

Infestation_MKAL_teaser_small2

It can be knit in rows on straight needles or in the round on a circular and that is the version I’m doing. Here’s a picture of my yarn which I’m just now winding into a ball.

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I think it will knit up quite nicely.

And another big info! I just cast off sock nr 2 in the Sock Madness 10 competition and that qualifies me for round 3! Super excited and a little scared because I also just discovered that I’m in the third fastest team so I might end up being eliminated soon as the competition gets tougher with each round . Here are the socks on my feet

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That’s all for now. I have to finish winding my ball of yarn and cast on for the Infestation cowl.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend:)

More knitting and some yarn aquisitions

Hi there, I hope your week is going well so far. I’ve managed to get some sort of a sore throat thing so  when I cough it hurts and I’ve lost my voice. Lucky for me that I get a few days off now for Easter!

So lately I have mostly been knitting on my Kitsune sweater and some socks of course. geek socks 23mar

This pattern is a free pattern on Knitty and is called Geek socks I think. This is especially designed for self striping yarns and the waves are worked with slipped stitches. The yarn is from Scrumptious Purl and it is one she dyed especially for the Golden Skein yarn club.  I’m really enjoying the yarn and the pattern and I think I’ll be knitting more of those with some of my recently aquired striped yarns:)

Now Round 2 of Sock Madness 10 began this week so of course I’m working on that. I cast on Monday and today Wednesday I have finished one sock and I’m a few inches into the second sock. I’m hoping to finish the second sock by tomorrow. I do have 2 weeks to finish the pair but as of now this has turned into a competition and only the quickest 40 in each team will get to go on to the next round and I definitely want to be one of those. Even though I’m a little afraid that I might not make it further than round 3 just because it starts while I’m away on holiday so 1) I don’t know in advance which pattern is next and so I could find myself on holiday WITHOUT something indispensable for the pattern and 2) because I might not have enough time to finish. But I’ll do my best and we’ll see how it goes.

So this round 2 sock has a very tough beginning. It requires a beaded cast on and boy, that was a tough one! I probably cast on and ripped out the cast on 10 times on sock 1 before getting it right. On sock 2 I only did 3 attempts so making progress there! Once you get past the cuff it is smooth sailing. The pattern is on Ravelry and it is called  Rose and Thorn by Ronni Smith. The pattern is not for sale yet but you can check out the pictures. Here are some pictures of my first sock

The pictures are not very good I’m so sorry. So the difficulty of this pattern is casting on using 2-4 needles depending on the method chosen and use BEADS. My row of beads on the cuff is not as nice and even as some of my fellow competitors have managed to make but still, I think it’s ok. I’m using West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply yarn which is a nice sock yarn, not very soft but I’m thinking that might be a good thing, maybe it will be a hard wearing sock/yarn.

So yes, I’m basically absorbed with this sock until it is done and I can work on other projects.

This week was a very happy mail week because I ordered some very special yarn that I finally got delivered yesterday.

First off, I got my special Shiny Bees Podcast yarn! If you are not familiar with Jo and her Shiny Bees audio podcast you should definitely check her out. I absolutely love her podcast. Jo is also the person behind the Golden Skein – a yarn club that sells hand dyed yarns from  different indie dyers. So Jo had the dyer behind BerryColorful Yarnings dye some yarn for her and this was up for preorders a while back. I ordered two and they came with a little project bag. Total gorgeousness!

shiny bees yarn

Both skeins are sock weight so they will most likely end up as socks:)

This is also the first time I get yarn from  Berry Colourful Yarnings so I look forward to trying her yarns.

And the same day, I got another order and that one I had purchased just a week or so earlier and I was not expecting to get that yarn so soon so that was a great surprise.

So I ordered some yarn from Turtle Purl yarns on Etsy. I have been stalking her shop for ages and I want to buy almost every single colorway she offers but I have been trying to be strong and serious and use the yarn I already have. Well we all know that is not a realistic goal to have so……I placed an order! And I got 4 self striping yarns. They are all totally gorgeous and I can’t wait to have the time to cast on.

turtle purl yarns

Just total bliss! Love those!

I have been doing some dyeing myself lately, mostly test dyes for custom orders. One of which is a collaboration with a renowned knitwear designer. I’m not at liberty to say who just yet but I am super excited about this and I hope it will become a reality soon. So here are some pictures, these are “test colors” so I don’t know yet if she likes them or which one she will choose to use but I actually quite like these myself.

cashmerino aran test dye

This is on a new Aran base – and it is a cashmere/merino/nylon base. Totally soft and squishy.

bfl aran test dye

And this is on a BFL aran base. Not as soft as the cashmerino blend but a very nice yarn all the same.

I also dyed just for me/the shop a few skeins of self striping. I had some 50 gr skeins that I dyed 2 by 2 to get as much similarity/consistency between socks as possible and then I wound the yarn double into a yarn cake so the yarn is ready for someone to knit their socks 2 at a time. This will produce a pair of fraternal twins rather than identical twins – when winding the yarn cake I saw a slight difference between color sequences.

selfstriping fraternal

I tied the 2 threads/yarns together in a butterfly knot and added a stitch marker. I think this looks kind of cute. What do you think?

Well, that’s all for today. I’ll be back soon and probably with a new video review and a giveaway for you:)

Take care and enjoy your crafting until next time

This weeks FOs and the winners of the Nancy Whitman giveaway

Hi there, how are you today? Fine I hope. I’m so happy it’s Friday and I’m going to have 2 days off from work. I’m not doing anything in particular this weekend but I will do a bit of dyeing as I have a request for a custom order for some gorgeous yarn so this weekend I’ll experiment with color and see if I can get the colour the client is hoping for. Also I hope I’ll get a bit of quiet time to knit some.

This week has been quite productive in fact as I finished 3 pairs of socks and I finally finished the Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson that had been waiting for WEEKS for me to just do a beaded cast off. The pattern calls it a Russian Beaded Bind Off and I think the name just scared me, I thought it was going to be complicated and I had to watch some tutos on YouTube etc. But in fact it was super simple! Well, I’m really happy with the outcome. I have even blocked the shawl and it looks real nice.

come what may

The yarn is a gradient from Knitcircus yarns. I think the colorway is called Tidepool or something like that. When I look at the shawl like this, it makes me think of the beach. The top, beige part reminds me of the sand and then the color changes are like that place where the sea just rolls over the sand and then it ends with nothing but sea/water. I might be overly poetic here but basically I really love how the yarn knit up in this shawl.

come what may detail

I used nr 6 glass beads for the bind off and I think they give a really nice finish to the shawl and add a little bit of weight which I think makes the shawl sit beautifully on the shoulders. Any way it was great to just get this done and off my wip table.

I also finished knitting 2 pairs of socks with my handspun yarn. They all ended up being fraternal socks. The yarn is self striping but some parts were mostly yellow/orange and others mostly red/purple. But that’s ok, I don’t mind and neither does my daughter. And I’m just so happy to have knit them with yarn that I made myself! There is something extra special to knitting with one’s own handspun yarn I feel.

So once the two pairs were done I cast on for a pair of tube socks for a kid – either my youngest or some of her friends (depends if I manage to knit 4 pairs by April 1st). And here’s a picture these last 3 pairs

socks march 18

I used an Almerino Rooster Aran yarn for the tube socks.

So this brings my total of pairs of socks this month to 5! I’m waiting for round 2 of Sock Madness to be launched and so I was trying hard to hold myself back and NOT cast on yet another pair as I know that round 2 is just around the corner and I’ll need to concentrate on that once the pattern is released but…. I was only able to hold back until today! I cast on just now for a new pair and I’m using yarn I bought through the Golden Skein. It’s a self striping yarn from Scrumptious Purl.

scrumpious purl

As you can see I only just cast on but I’m already liking the outcome.

Another thing I cast on this week was the KITSUNE sweater by Amanita – a pattern I won in an Instagram game. I dyed up some yarn (and I hope I dyed up enough because I did not write anything down so I’ll never be able to replicate if I need more yarn). I chose a new base which is a DK weight 100% superwash merino with a high twist. The yarn is super soft and a true joy to knit with and the stitch definition is just perfect! I’ll need to dye up some more of that for the shop so you too can give it a try.

kitsune 17mar

I’m not far along but I can already see that this will be a great sweater. I love the color of the yarn and I enjoy the pattern. I did make a mistake right after the ribbing and kept on doing ribbing instead of doing the 1) k1, p1 *2) k1,p1* 3) p1,k1*4)p1, k1 and you can see that if you look closely. I was too lazy/excited so I just could not get myself to rip back and fix but rather let it be and I’m calling it my little “customisation” 🙂

I already had 1 sweater and 1 cardi on my needles but that’s not going to stop me from casting on a new sweater obviously:)

Now on to you ! First I’d like to say thank you to everyone that participated in the Nancy Whitman giveaway last Friday. I’m super happy to see so many comments and this is the most popular giveaway I’ve done so far! So thank you to all!

Before I announce the lucky winners, I was wondering if any of you would be interested in doing a Nancy Whitman kal? Not right now because there are so many kals going on at the moment (and I’m too busy to participate/organise just now) but rather this summer. I’m thinking about doing a summer kal running from June 1st to August 31. Also I’m thinking of a rather open kal, what I mean is that instead of everyone knitting on the same pattern, the requirement would be to knit any one of her patterns. That way we can all choose the one we want to knit. What do you think of that? I might also do a special discount for the participants in the kal if anyone wanted to buy some supplies and or yarn for the kal in my shop. If there is interest, I’ll look into that and announce later.

I would open threads in my Ravelry group, one for chatter and pictures of progress and one for FOs and I’m thinking we could do a drawing for a prize at the end of the kal. That could be fun don’t you think? I could donate some yarn, handmade accessories, discount code to the shop for example and maybe I can get someone else to donate something too. I think the number of prizes will depend on the participation and once we decide if we go ahead with the kal I’ll be able to take a serious look at prizes and announce them before the kal begins as an added incentive for you to join in the fun:) Let me know what you think, is this something you would be interested in doing with me?

And now the moment of truth, the moment you have all been waiting for, the announcement of the 2 lucky winners which will each win their pattern of choice (the one mentioned in their comment) from Nancy Whitman’s Ravelry store. I used random.org to draw the winners and, drumroll please, here goes:

Winner number 1 is Lisa Hackman or Betheyarn on Ravelry and she has won the Ganz pattern. A great choice! So congratulations Lisa and thank you for participating. I’ll be letting Nancy know and she will gift you the pattern as soon as she can.

And winner number 2 is Tari or Captnswife on Ravelry and she has won the New Slant pattern from Nancy. Again congratulations Tari and thank you for participating. I’ll be letting Nancy know and she’ll gift you the pattern shortly.

 

To all the others, I’m sorry I could not give you all a prize but not to worry. I have more giveaways coming and the next in line is also pattern related but more on that later. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by today:)

A mystery kal using Knitting in France yarn

Hi there and first of all thank you all so much for the wonderful participation in the Nancy Whitman giveaway announced last night. I’m so happy to see how many people enjoyed the interview and have left comments for a chance to win one of her gorgeous patterns. If you haven’t read the post yet just click here

And today just had to share with you some wonderful and exciting news – the launch of a new mystery knit along by designer Devious Rose using one of my DK yarns. If you would like to participate and/or get the pattern for free you have until March 17th to purchase a skein of any of my DK weight yarns and you will get the pattern for FREE.

Below is a copy of the text the designer put on the project page and I have taken the liberty of copying that for you to read and if it sounds like something you like, just hop over  to my shop for a skein or check out the pattern on Ravelry.

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From now until March 17, get this pattern free with purchase of any 1 skein of Knitting in France DK weight! Scroll to the bottom for details!

Pattern will be $1.00 until the start of the MKAL. Once it begins, it will go up to $3.00 for the remainder of the MKAL. Sign-up page:http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/deviousrose/topics/3393369. Watch this space and/or my social media for discounts and temporary freebie codes for this MKAL.

Description:
Infestation is an advanced lace cowl designed for one skein of Knitting in France DK weight. The lace pattern is my own, inspired by nature and not a stitch dictionary. It is inspired by the calla lily, my favourite flower, and thistles, as well having read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett too often. I have not seeing either of these plants much since I’ve lived in the desert, and this pattern calls out to these beautiful structures and to the scenery I imagine whenever I read The Secret Garden. Given this, Infestation is of course a springtime cowl, with very open lace, suited for cool or even slightly warm weather as a couture accessory, able to be dressed up or down. The pattern is both fully charted and fully written, and includes instructions for working flat and in the round as well as custom sizing.

This yarn has shading that adds depth and dimension to the lace pattern, and blocks beautifully. I frogged it often, and did not pill or fuzz despite being merino, and has weathered being shunted around everywhere at the bottom of my backpack while stuffed in a project bag.

Schedule:
Pattern is currently in testing, so the MKAL will begin once that is over, anywhere from March 21-March 27. Infestation is very much a springtime accessory not meant for cold weather, so don’t fret! Once schedule is determined “Week x” will be replaced with actual dates. In the mean time, the MKAL sign-up thread is: TBD

  • Week 1- Clue 1: Scattering the Seeds (in which we set up our pattern)
  • Week 2- Clue 2: Renewal (in which we work a lace inspired by thistles and wild lilies)
  • Week 3- Clue 3: In the Garden (in which we section off our wild plants, whose presence we have in our garden)

Skill Level: Thorny! Knitting several stitches into 1, changing stitch count, centered double decrease, sl1k2tog psso (or ssk), sl1k1 psso or ssk, k2tog, yo, and ability to follow charts OR written instructions. And of course, knit and purl.

Materials:

  • 1 skein Knitting in France DK weight, 231-246 yds/100 grams. 2 skeins for a larger cowl. As written, pattern used ~210-225 yards. If substituting yarn, make sure to pick something with good stitch definition, bonus points if slightly shiny. This is a lace pattern that can get easily lost in yarns that are a bit fuzzy.
  • 4.5 mm/US 7 needles
  • 2.25-3.0 mm crochet hook for crochet cast on, or do the knitted cast on
  • 5 0.5 in/1.5 cm buttons if working flat, none for cowl worked in the round. Each repeat of Clue 2 adds 2 more buttons.
  • yarn needle

Other:
if you’re on Instagram or Twitter, use #InfestationMKAL when sharing your project photo.

To get MKAL free with yarn purchase:
Simply show me a screenshot of your receipt (you may want to blur any personal emails or addresses) through Ravelry pm. Receipt must have a timestamp that indicates the yarn was purchased on or prior to March 17, 2016. An Etsy cart is not a receipt. Your receipt should look something likehttps://www.dropbox.com/s/p9n2x3gmf66zeul/receipt_example…

 
Have a great weekend:)

An interview with a talented designer and a giveaway

Hi there, I hope you are all well and getting ready to start your weekend. I just finished my dayjob and am looking forward to this weekend and hopefully I’ll get some quiet time to work on my knits. I’d love to cast off my Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson which has be waiting for that to happen for weeks! Shame on me!!!

Now, today’s post is a little bit different from usually as I’m going to present a very talented designer to you. And this talented designer has generously offered to give 2 of you one of her independently published patterns! Lucky you:) And I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.

The designer I want you to meet is called Nancy Whitman and I discovered her not so long ago. I think I first saw one of her designs on Pinterest and I clicked through to Ravelry where I fell in love! I have since then bought 5 of her patterns and have a few others just waiting to be put in my cart.

Nancy designs a lot of accessories and I particularly love her shawl designs – which is why I have bought 5 of them. She does also design socks and cowls and I just might add some of those to my library of patterns.

Before I introduce my interview with her I’d just like to show you the patterns that I have purchased from her so far. Just to give you a little idea about her work and get you drooling just a little bit:)

First there is Ganz which is a textured shawl

ganz I love the cables and gansey style patterning here. This is a shawl that lends itself perfectly for some squishy solid colored yarn.

Then there is Tappan Zee and I totally love the border detail which is inspired by beautiful bridges and a stitch pattern by Barbara Walker. I really look forward to knitting this sooner rather than later.

tappan zee

Next in line is actually the first pattern of hers I ever bought – the Piet on Point shawl – this stunning shawl was inspired by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and I’m sure you will all understand why I had to get that one.

piet on point Don’t you just love how this shawl is set up? The colors and modularity? Endless possibilities with regards to color combos of course.

Then there is the High Street Shawl but this is also a modular garter stitch shawl and it kind of makes me think of the Sweet Memories blanket everyone is knitting these days because of the row of different coloured squares. Also endless possibilities in color.

high street shawl

And last but not the least, there is the Eden Prairie shawl which is inspired by a stained glass design. This one, once again gives you the chance to play with color and come up with a unique shawl.

Gorgeous don’t you think?

So have I got your full attention now? I’m sure I do so here comes:)

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First things first. How did you come to knitting? Tell us about how and when you first learned to knit.
I learned to knit and crochet by my paternal grandmother at age 7 or 8. She had little to no education but was amazing with knitting, sewing and crochet. She relied on those skills to help support her family after she came to the US in her early 20s. I am fortunate to have many samples of her crochet work plus a ski sweater she knit for my dad in the 1950s.

Do you also crochet and maybe spin and weave too?
I know how to crochet, but prefer to knit. I don’t spin or weave. There just isn’t enough time to do all the things I would like to do!

When knitting, did you used to tweak the patterns you knit or did you scrupulously follow instructions as a new knitter?
I have scrupulously followed a pattern when I absolutely loved it, but that was not the norm. As a beginning knitter, I relied heavily on patterns until I developed the skills to go rogue.

When did you begin designing and what was the first ever design you published?
My first published design, Green Goddess Socks, was released in 2008, but I can’t say for sure when I knit my first design. I can tell you that publishing patterns was a whole other world from knitting your own designs. I tend to design on the needles with little advance planning. Sometimes I would have to fudge to get what I wanted. You can’t write a pattern that way so you have to knit and reknit to get the precise method to achieve your design. Then you have to write it in a way others can understand it. Publishing brought a new discipline to how I knit and how I kept track of what I knit. Unfortunately, the old ways creep in every now and then.

When browsing your Ravelry pattern shop, I see that you are into accessories, shawls, cowls and socks mostly. Is there a particular type of garment you especially enjoy designing?
I have been leaning toward accessories because it’s a smaller commitment than a sweater. Right now, I really love doing shawls, but that could change at any point.

What is the name of your most popular design and why do you think that particular pattern has such a success?
The shawl Eden Prairie is my most popular pattern. I have a few theories as to why that’s the case. The pattern benefitted from the general popularity of shawls over the past few years. The pattern appeals to people who like modular designs. Also, Eden Prairie is based on a piece of Prairie style stained glass and captures both the feel of stained glass and the Prairie color scheme. A different color palette changes the look so it can appeal to folks who want to knit a piece of stained glass.

What do you personally, as a knitter, enjoy knitting the most?
It changes over time. Right now I love knitting shawls and have more ideas than time to knit. When I first started publishing patterns, I was really into socks. Before that, I almost exclusively made sweaters. I think it’s important to be flexible and knit what you are inspired to knit.

Do you have a favorite yarn weight and/or blend that you especially enjoy working with?
I have always been a wool person. It wears well and has great shape retention. When mixed with other fibers that don’t do as well on their own, they become more stable. I am happy to knit with silk, cotton and linen, but only when blended with wool.

As far as my favorite weight yarn, right now it would be sport-weight yarn or lighter. Since I am knitting so many shawls, I tend to use fingering a lot now and I love tosh merino light.

Is knitwear design your primary occupation?
No it is not. I also have an online yarn shop called Whitknits.com. I stock a lot of madelinetosh yarn so that is why I use a lot of it.

How do you see your future as a knitwear designer?
To continue to self publish my designs and to expand where those designs are available. My designs sell in LYS through Ravelry’s in-store pattern sales program. They are also available as downloads and kits on other sites, as well as printed and kitted at fiber shows.

Where can we follow you on social media? Blog?
Probably the best place to follow me is on facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Whitknits/?ref=hl

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Thank you very much Nancy for sharing with us. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you and I’m so happy that you accepted my interview and super grateful for your generosity as you have gracefully accepted to donate 2 of your patterns to my readers.

So like I said, Nancy will be gifting 2 patterns and to share the joy I have decided to draw for 2 winners, so one pattern each rather than  just have one winner that gets 2 patterns. If you would like to join in the giveaway for a chance to win a pattern of your choice from Nancy Whitman’s Ravelry shop then this is how to join:

Go on Ravelry to check out Nancy’s pattern shop – you can click here

Browse her patterns and then come back here and leave a comment with your Ravelry name and the name of the pattern you would like to win. You have until Friday 18th of March to participate and leave your comment and I will draw 2 lucky winners using Random.org on Saturday March 19th. Nancy will then gift each winner the pattern of their choice. Please note that you can choose any of her self published patterns (that means excluding ebooks or patterns published by a third party).

Enjoy the browsing and good luck to you all:)

 

Knitting with Sock Blanks & Giveaway

I’m so pleased to share the following post with you. I really love how Sarah’s socks knit up. I love seeing my hand dyed yarn all knit up into something gorgeous.

sarah inskeep designs

The main reason for my experimental foray into the world of knitting with sock blanks was to find out what it is like and to share that experience and some helpful resources with you. I discovered that sock blanks are some of the most gorgeous and unique sock yarns available. I particularly love the hand-painted ones by Bogga of Knitting in France. You can check them out in her online shop here. I also discovered that sock blanks are versatile, easy to work with, very portable, and, most importantly, produce gorgeous socks (among other things – the possibilities are potentially endless) and I am now the happy owner of a pair of lovely pink ombre specimens! It was a great experience and I can say with confidence that I foresee many more beautiful sock blanks making their way into my future!

This experiment was undertaken as a joint…

View original post 1,814 more words

A new week and a WIP is now an FO

Hi there, I hope you had a great week and a wonderful weekend. What made my week was that I finally finished one of my shawls that was on my WIP table.

It’s a shawl I begun on December 27th and I finished last Friday 4th of March. I actually left it on my table for a few weeks not doing any work at all on it and then decided it was time to finish some of these lingering projects.

I did share with you that leaving a colour work project for a few weeks was not a good idea because I totally did not manage to continue the pattern I had back then. I seem to have understood the directions in one way in Dec/Jan and then I understood them in a totally different way in Feb! Go figure! So I ended up knitting and ripping out the colour work section at least 3 times.

The final result is very nice although I have conflicting feelings about the end colour work pattern. I almost feel that my “misunderstood” pattern looked better. But that’s another story.

The pattern is called The Love of Spiders by Melanie Berg.

So I finally did finish the shawl and blocked it lightly before gifting it to a friend. Here are some pictures

It’s quite a big shawl and the yarn which is from Sunshine Yarns is super nice and squishy. I’m really happy to have this off my needles. Next in line I’d love to cast of my Come What May shawl – I literally only have the bind off left so that should not take too much time. And then I have the sweater for my daughter and my cardigan to finish but those will need a bit more time especially my cardigan.

I’ve also begun my Sock Madness challenge and I’m knitting pair number 1. Now there were some surprises like I thought I’d get an email to tell me that the game was on and that I had a pattern waiting but no. So I was waiting on March 1st for that to happen and by the late afternoon I decided to go on Ravelry and check out the thread in the Sock Madness group and that’s when I discovered that there is no email! One has to follow the thread and that is where we get alerts about the patterns etc. A second surprise was that the first pattern was not the one I expected. So before the Sock Madness began, we got  a list of what is needed for each pattern, what kinds of yarn, yardage and accessories and the patterns were named after the alphabet: A, B, C etc so when I prepared my yarns I thought that pattern A would be the first and so I did not prepare all the way to pattern E which is the last one. Lucky for me, I had prepared the yarn for the actual first pattern so once I found the pattern I was able to cast on.

This first pattern is called SlipStripeSpiral and the designer is Mylène Pipers. This is a very nice pattern and I especially appreciate that I’m learning new things. First they are knit toe up and the toe is not the regular toe up but a round toe which is a very nice touch. Second the heel is a mix of Cat Bordhi’s sweet tomato heel and Japanese short row shaping. I do admit that the heel is a bit complicated and it did give me some trouble on the first sock. Now I’m on sock number two and hopefully this second heel will be easier to do. I must admit that the pattern does include links to YouTube videos that show the techniques use but….I was to busy/stupid to actually watch those but I just might take a look before doing the second heel. That way I can truly say I have learned a new trick:)

So I have until March 14th to finish this first pair and I think that will not be a problem. Here are some pictures

I really like the slipped stitch pattern and how it creates vertical stripes. I could see myself doing a variation of this pattern by doing both vertical and horizontal stripes, that could be quite cool I think.

So due to the nature of Sock Madness, I have to be quite monogamous while doing that  but I must not forget the Knit From Stash 2016 Kal either. I’m still on sock number one of the March sock but I hope to finish it this week and cast on for the second one. There is less pressure there as I have until the end of the month to finish my pair. The pattern is gorgeous and the West Yorkshire Spinners 4ply yarn is working up nicely and showing off the textured pattern.

calathea sock 6mars This is how far I’ve got on the first sock. The pattern is called Calathea by Heatherly Walker.

And before I leave you today I wanted to show you my latest fibre related “toy”. One night I was browsing the internet and thinking about spinning and I came upon this website for an artist that invented something called a “spindolyn”. I checked out her website and watched a few YouTube videos and naturally I had to have one! And so I gave in and placed an order. And boy am I happy I did! The spindolyn is every spinners dream (I think) for spinning on the go – or even just spinning around the house. It works like a supported spindle only it allows you to control your spinning/fibre with BOTH hands. I mostly spin on a wheel but I have a nice collection of all sorts of spindles and I admit I desperately want to get prolific at spindle spinning but it’s taking me a lot of time and so I thought maybe the spindolyn would help me work on my spindle skills. It is a true joy to work with and I can spin in front of the tv with my family – which I cannot do with my wheel because the “hissing” sound the wheel makes disturbs them. Also, I will have to go to a rehabilitation center for a month soon (for my back problems) and I cannot see myself spending a month somewhere and not be able to spin and so I will definitely be taking my spindolyn with me.

This is what it looks like

spindolyn Here it is lying on my thighs but when working I place the stand between my thighs. It is also possible to buy a floor extension which I think is quite brilliant. I probably should make a little demo video to show you how I spin on this but in the mean time you can check out the website and there you will have access to her videos as well. And she also sells other spinning accessories that are very unique too. The website is called Spindolyn

I think this will be all for today. I have a lot of things to share this week I feel so I probably will be doing some more posting this week so stay tuned.

Thank you for stopping by and take care:)

A new week with an FO and a second drawing for the giveaway

Hi there, I hope you are doing fine. I’ve been busy lately and so I haven’t had the time to post as much as I would have liked to but I’m sure you know what that feels like. Having a gazillion things to do and not enough time!

Enough complaining! I have an FO to share with you and some progress on my wips.

First the FO. I used one of my hand dyed SPARKLES base yarns and made up the pattern as I went along. I basically did a p3,ktbl and it produced a nice end result. I also like how it continues all the way to the end of the sock, I think it looks nice this way than if I had stopped the patterning and done a simple stockinette stitch toe.

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These will either be for my daughter or an aunt.

It seems I’m unable to “live” without having socks on my needles so a couple of days after finishing these and in spite of the wips I’m supposed to finish, I cast on for a new pair. This time I used one of my hand spun yarns and I really like how the yarn is knitting up. This was a multicolored roving and once spun up I Navajo plyed ti to get clear color stripes. I’m knitting these on a 2.5 mm needle and doing a K4,p1 ribbing.

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I love seeing the stripes form and just knowing that I made this yarn with my own two hands is so inspiring. I look forward to seeing these done.

When I cast these on, I didn’t have any other socks going but I did know that would change soon. And it has. Yesterday I got the March sock pattern for the #KnitFromStash2016 Kal that I’m doing with the Addicted to Knit Socks on FB and Heatherly Walker the designer. So last night I cast on for those. I chose a solid color yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners, Signature 4ply. There is no colorway name on the ball band but I feel it looks like a Kingfisher blue. The pattern is totally gorgeous and I’m already half done with the leg on sock nr 1.

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This is basically just a knit and purl pattern but it looks so nice and the finished socks will be gorgeous. This pair will probably be for my daughter but I’m almost certain I’ll cast on for a second pair for myself as soon as this one is done.

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On the above picture you can see a picture of the finished sock design. The pattern is called Calathea by Heatherly Walker and is for sale on Ravelry.

Also, I told you I was joining a kal called Sock Madness for the first time. This is a sort of sock knitting contest that is supposed to start today March 1st so I’m super excited for that to start and I have prepared everything. Here’s a picture of the yarns I chose for this challenge. Sometimes you have 2 or 3 yarns together and that is when a pattern calls for multiple colors.

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I posted this picture on social media to show my choice of yarns and some people thought I had tried to spell something out with my yarns and spent a long time trying to decipher my message! I thought that was a little funny because I just positioned the yarns randomly on my bed and didn’t even realise that someone might think I was writing something with them:)

So as you can see there will be lots of sock knitting for me in the coming weeks.

As for my wips, well I’m almost done with the Love of Spiders shawl. I’ve finished the patterned portion and I’m on the border. I need to do 8 more rows (of 500+ stitches) and then cast off! So I should finally be able to finished that this week and be able to share it with you next week. I’ve also made progress on the sweater I’m doing for my daughter. I’ve done front and back as well as one sleeve and plan on casting on for the second sleeve today so hopefully I will be able to finish that too by the end of this week. That would be great because then I just have 1 shawl to bind off, a second shawl to knit – I’ve only done a few pattern repeats so basically I have the whole shawl to do and then my cardigan.

I did a little dyeing last week on my bronze SPARKLES base. Even if I say so myself I do really love the outcome and can see myself keeping a skein of each but I know that would not be reasonable so we’ll see.

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I still need to put these up in the shop but hopefully I’ll get to that soon.  I really like the Bronze sparkles – most dyers only use silver or gold sparkles and I think bronze  works really well with certain colors. The orange/bronze color is intriguing on black and compliments green and brown for example. I even found names for these yarns without any effort which is not common for me. I usually have a hard time finding names for my yarns. So these will be called: Forest, Moss, Midnight , Mauve

 

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I also dyed up a new yarn base and knit a small swatch. This Aran weight yarn is 80% super wash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. This is a true dream to knit with. It is super soft to the touch and the stitch definition is good and it takes dye beautifully. A while back I won a sweater pattern in a giveaway on Instagram and I’m thinking I’m going to use this yarn base for that. I just need to find the right color and then dye up a sweaters quantity. The pattern I won is called Kitsune by Amanita.

Wow this is turning out to be quite a long post – as usual. I don’t have the time to post as often as I’d like to and so when I do I usually have long posts. I hope you do not mind too much:)

But before I leave you today, I want to make a second draw for the BurningImpressionsII giveaway that I did last month. Only one of the two winners claimed her prize so I’m thinking that either the other one is not interested in her prize or ….. So I’m doing a second draw from the participants using a random number generator as before. The prize in question is the sock tool – needle gauge, wpi, kitchener stitch memo hand made by Burning Impressions II on Etsy.

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And the winner is……C.C. Almond!! Congratulations C.C. Please send me an email (I think you already have my contact details) and I’ll be sending you your prize asap.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a wonderful week and that you will get lots of time to enjoy your knitting, spinning and just general crafting. Take care and see you soon:)