FOs, wips and future cast ons

Hi there, I think it is about time I show you some of my FOs. I have been doing a lot of sock knitting but not really sharing the pictures here with you so today I’m finally going to do so.

So as you may know I’m currently doing the Coffee with CC kal that Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast is hosting in her Ravelry group. So far I have finished 3 pairs.

The last pair on the left is the latest finished pair and the pattern is called Peppermint Mocha socks. It is a really fun pattern that plays with the use of yarn overs and slipped stitches. I used one of my own yarns and it is a merino/bamboo blend which is slightly on the heavier side for a fingering weight yarn and oh so soft!

I also just joined Mina’s of the Knitting Expat podcast kal. That is a kal for her newly released sock collection. The collection has 4 pairs of socks and is called Beyond Vanilla part 1 as she is currently working on part 2 of that collection. The patterns are easy and fun variations on vanilla socks. So great for the beginner sock knitter and also a welcome change for the habitual sock knitter that loves mindless sock knitting but is tired of plain vanilla socks. So I’m currently working on a pattern called Driftwood socks and I have one sock done – and I have to wait for a few days before returning back to sock number two.

On the close up you can see the pattern which uses yarn overs in a clever way. The yarn is my own on my cashmerino base which is a dream to knit with.

And then there is the year long Knit from Stash 2016 kal being held in the Facebook group Addicted to Sock Knitting. There we get one pattern a month by designer Heatherly Walker. Her patterns are gorgeous and I love getting a new pattern every month. I’m currently working on Mays pattern and have 1 1/2 sock done but again that will have to wait a few days as I will explain in a bit.

This is a beautiful overall pattern using twisted stitches. The pattern is called Rhytidome and the yarn is hand dyed by myself on my SOX base and I feel this colorway goes perfectly with the pattern which reminds me on flowers.

And last but not the least, the reason why all my socks are currently on time out, the SOCK MADNESS! The sock knitting competition that I’m doing for the very first time! I’m now in the semi finals. Only 10 knitters in each team made it this far and I’m super proud to be one of them. This round only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals so only THE fastest knitter on each team. I don’t think I will make it that far as I have a full time job that gets in the way of my knitting but I’m going to try anyway ūüôā

This round the pattern is a heavily charted sock using mini cables and twisted stitches. When I saw the pattern I thought, ouff no one will knit this in one go so I just might stand a chance. Well guess what? One knitter, and she is on THE fastest team (and probably going to be this years winner) actually finished a pair in around 24h! I think she must have knit non stop only taking bathroom brakes. Wow!

Well here are some pictures to show you what I’m talking about:

Can you believe this pattern? The picture on the pattern is of one amazing sock! I’m using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in Princess Donna and I might be playing it dangerously here because this is a very ¬†yardage greedy pattern and I just remembered now that I have actually turned the heel and started on the gusset!!!!! that I WAS going to knit heel and toes in a contrast yarn! Well I don’t have the time to rip bag and redo so I will just do the toe in this case and cross my fingers. So at this time I’m further along than the picture on the right shows and I aim to finish sock nr 1 by tonight.

On the pattern picture can you see the little mini me?

Well it was Mother’s Day here in France this past Sunday and my oldest daughter made this zipper pull out of polymer clay. It’s a mini me!

mothers day gifts

And the beautiful rose is from my son. Lucky me hah?

Wow, that is a lot of knitting! But before I say goodbye for today I do have one more thing to share with you, my summer Nancy kal! The first ever kal that I host in my Knitting in France Ravelry Group.

This kal kicks off tomorrow June 1st and runs until August 31st. The idea is for us to enjoy some relaxed summer knitting together. The rules are simple:

no wips allowed and only patterns by Nancy Whitman and there will be some exciting patterns at the end such as patterns, yarn and accessories.

I think I might actually try to knit 2 of her patterns this summer but I’m beginning with a shawl called Ganz. And I think maybe not being able to decide on a yarn/color when planning ahead of time may be a professional risk where dyers are concerned because I have had a lot of trouble finding THE yarn. I have actually dyed up 3 different sets of yarns for this shawl! And the last one I dyed up yesterday and I think the third and last is the charm and I will cake it up tomorrow before casting on. The yarn is still wet today so I will have to wait to the last minute to get it caked up. So here are some pictures of my yarns for this particular shawl.

The first is an alpaca/wool blend, the second a cashmerino and the third a 100%superwash merino. Here is a picture of the pattern I chose, Ganz

ganz

Isn’t it gorgeous?

So if you want to join in the fun, please visit my Ravelry group and sign up there. There is an information thread and a chatter thread there and the FO thread will be set up later.

Thats all for today. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week.

 

My first ever fandom project

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing great. It’s Friday today and the weather her in Normandy is beautiful, warm and sunny. According to the weather man that is not going to last and the weekend and even all of next week is supposed to be gloomy and grey! But lets not think about that and just enjoy the sun while its here:)

Today I want to tell you about my secret custom dye project that I have alluded to before.

So this is a very fun project that I’m working on with two friends that I met two years ago now at a show in London. The three of us are collaborating on a gorgeous knitting kit that will be released early July. The theme, as you may have guessed from the title of todays’s post, is fandom related. To be precise, its Gilmore Girls fandom related. So if you are a Gilmore Girls fan or if you just like nice things, you are going to be interested in this kit. It’s going to be quite exclusive as only 30 kits will be sold so when they’re gone, they’re gone for good. The pattern itself will probably be published later on but I don’t think there will be a repeat for the project bag and as for the yarn, well it is such huge work I’m not sure I’ll repeat it either except if we get a huge response in which case we might have to reconsider the exclusivity. But that’s a “problem” for later.

So as you may have gathered already the kit will include:

a Gilmore Girls themed sock pattern by CC of Java Purl Designs

a project bag by Sam of KnitRunDig

and hand dyed yarn by yours truly

and some little goodies for surprise

The yarn is a 10 colour self striping yarn. One stripe/colour per character in the Gilmore Girls.

It has been and still is a lot of fun to prepare this kit and it’s the first time I ever participate in such a collaboration and I’m very happy and proud to be a part of this because I’m a huge fan of CC’s designs and I own a number of project bags by Sam and I use them all the time. So I know that this kit will be high quality all around.

Dyeing the yarn is very time consuming. I’m not used to do a lot of self striping and I don’t think that’s something I’m going to develop simply because of the time involved and because I’m such a small dyer that I think it’s not really worth it for me. So that makes this particular yarn even more special.

Here are some pictures of the preparations

So this kit will go on pre-order on the Java Purl Designs website as of June 12th and CC has added the exact times for a large number of time zones so you can check that out as of now to be sure to sign up when pre-orders open up.

I do hope you will sign up for this kit and maybe we’ll organise a kal around this too, I have to check with my friends and I’ll let you know but that might be fun.

And on the subject of kals, don’t forget that I’m hosting my first ever kal this summer. Kick off is June 1st and it will run to August 31st. I’m calling it the Knitting in France and Nancy kal because it’s hosted by me (Knitting in France) and it is for any of Nancy Whitmans patterns.

I have finally decided on which of her patterns I’m going to knit (first – I think I might do two during this kal). I have dyed up some yarn and I’ll be sharing that with you very soon. I will be sharing info on the kal here on the blog but the kal will live in my group on Ravelry and that is where you should sign up. I have created an information thread and a chatter thread already. Later there will be an FO thread of course. And there will be prizes at the end to make things even more fun! The prizes will include patterns, yarns, stitch markers and a project bag! These are the prizes I know of so far but who knows, there might be even more depending on how many participate. So check it out and I hope you will join in.

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to talking to you later:)

The Nancy Whitman and Knitting in France Summer Kal

Today I’m going to share with you my plans for this summer and my first ever kal, that is the first ever kal that I personally host.

It is super exciting to be hosting a kal and I hope I will be up to the task and that others will join in the fun. The idea behind the kal is to work on something beautiful and have enough time so as not having any stress related to the knitting. A pure pleasure interlude during our summer.

The kal starts on June 1st and finishes on August 31st. I have created 2 threads in my Ravelry group one to share the information about the kal and a chatter thread. I will be opening an FO thread later on. Here is a link to my group on Ravelry for you to join if you so wish.

There will of course be prizes. I love prizes and even though I very rarely win anything I still have hope:) So depending on the number of participants we will have X number of prizes. The designer herself, Nancy Whitman, has agreed to donate some patterns and I will be donating yarn and hand made accessories and if you would like to donate a prize that would of course be wonderful.

The rules for this kal are very simple:

  1. no wips allowed
  2. only patterns by Nancy Whitman can be included in this kal

Nancy Whitman has a number of gorgeous designs, shawls, cowls and socks.I have shared some of them here before and if you missed my interview with Nancy just click here and read it now before joining in the kal.

These are some of her shawls.

Personally I’m going to knit a shawl and I own a number of those by Nancy including the three shown above. I currently have two contenders which are

  1. Ganz  ganz nancy whitman

2.  Tappan Zee

tappan zee nancy whitman

Both shawls are gorgeous and it’s not going to be easy to choose and I think I might possibly just knit both so I don’t have to choose. We’ll see if I have the time or not. At the moment I leaning slightly more towards Ganz but not sure yet. Ganz is knit with a sport weight yarn but I could probably use fingering also and Tappan Zee is in fingering. I have a ton of fingering yarn in my stash but not so much in sport weight so should I go with the Ganz I’ll have to do some dyeing which will be fun.

So what do you say? Do you want to join in this kal with me? I will be sharing info here on the blog but mostly the kal will live on Ravelry so if you want to join you should join my  group there.

I have created a special coupon/discount code for those who want to join the kal and want to buy some of my yarn to knit their project with (of course you are welcome to use the code even if you are NOT joining in the kal). So this code is valid as of now and until June 15th and will give you 15% off your purchases. The code should be used upon checkout and is: THENANCYKAL

 

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will join me in this summer kal for some relaxed knitting and sharing.

Is life all about handknit socks?

Well I guess I have to agree with you, that is a strange question BUT if you know me and especially if you have been around me or follow me on social media you will have noticed that the last few days have been ALL about knitting socks!

If you follow me on social media or regularly read my blog you will know that I joined Sock Madness this year for the first time. This is actually the 10th year they run Sock Madness and if you are not familiar with this, it is a sort of sock speed knitting contest. I believe this year we were almost 700 participants and around 50 per team. Each round we get an email announcing the start of the round and the pattern we are to knit. Even though each pattern usually comes in 3 sizes the minimum requirement is a 9″ sock so at least a medium size. Each time the pattern will present a challenge. It can be an unusual cast on or cast off, an unusual construction, a new heel design, ¬†textured stitches, cables, beads, colorwork etc.

Learning new things is what makes this such a fun event to part take in. I have learned a lot and I have a number of new gorgeous hand knit socks:)

But there is a stress factor. Although each round runs for 2 weeks, you need to finish ASAP. Every round less and less people make it to the following round. Now round 5 is about to finish and all in all there are 7 rounds. I know I’m not going to win because there are some serious speed knitters competing and even though I’m in the third fastest knitters team (yes I had to share that little fact because I’m super proud of that), I’m still far from fast compared to the express knitters in THE ¬†fastest team. So this round for some reason, even though I know I’m never going to win, it was SUPER important I make it to the semi finals, round 6. I didn’t get to start on the day we got the pattern until late that day and since then I’ve had a lot on my plate between work and a big custom dye job and so not as much knitting time as I had hoped for. The last day and a half I was super stressed out. I kept looking at the spread sheet and seeing less and less spots left in my team and I was knitting late at night in bed and during breakfast in the morning and all the hard work paid off! I’m so super happy and proud to say that I did make the cut! I was actually 7th out of 10 knitters in my team. So this round we went from 20 to only 10 that make it to round 6 and at the end of round 6 only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals. So round 6 will be a super short round, at least for the fastest knitters.

I really wanted to challenge myself and prove to myself that I could do this and I must admit that I’ve seen some yummie prizes that I’d love to win although I don’t know how or who will win those. Maybe just the finalists….

But anyway, I’m super happy I made it in time and I even got a compliment from one of the organisers who said that my socks were the most beautiful she had seen yet!!!! How’s that for a compliment:) Here’s some pictures of my socks:

So to celebrate I decided to launch a giveaway on Instagram. And you should definitely join in and try to win my little sock themed prize. So the prize is: a set of Two at a time socks (75/25 merino, nylon) hand dyed just for the occasion, a set of polymer clay stitch markers and a hand crafted needle gauge and kitchener stitch memo by Burning Impressions II on Etsy.

instagram giveawa

Here ‘s a picture which incidentally happens to be the picture you need to share on Instagram to join in the giveaway. So the rules are:

  1. you need to follow me on Instagram – @knittinginfrance
  2. you need to repost my photo/post
  3. you need to tag 2 or more of your friends

I will draw a random winner this Saturday May 21st.

 

I hope you will join and I wish you the best of luck. The winner will be announced on Instagram and not here on the blog as this is an Instagram only giveaway -my first ever so we’ll see how that works out.

So until next time, take care and have a wonderful day. I’ll be back soon with some more news on my knitting and more info on the Summer Kal, which will be the first ever KAL I host on Ravelry.

The Zen Variations

One of my favorite designer has just launched her second knitwear collection and I absolutely wanted to share that with you. This is the blog post she posted on her blog today to celebrate and introduce her new collection. Enjoy

EastLondonKnit Shows & Tells

My second ever collection of knitting patterns has been released!

The Zen Variations are live!

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-42Yama Cardigan

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-33Enzo Sweater

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-9Takumi Cardigan

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-4Buji Tunic

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-16Intoku Sweater

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-28Kaizen Cardigan

The sweaters are available individually for download for £5 each or you can buy the entire collection of six for £15:

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan

I will be writing about the inspirations and individual patterns over the next few days, but I just wanted you to know that the patterns have been published and I would be so grateful if you would give them a bit of love on Ravelry by clicking the names of the patterns, and favouriting and commenting on the designs you like!

Happy knitting!

Rx
All photos are courtesy of Tommy Martin for The Fibre Company.

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Knitting video podcasts and giveaways

Hi there, thank you for stopping by. As I’m writing this it is Friday evening here and I’m just beginning my long weekend! Monday is a public holiday here in France so I’m going to be able to get some more dyeing done than on a regular weekend.

I have been dotting down all the subjects and things that I want to share with  you and  there is a ton! I will have to be serious and organized and get to work!

But before that I thought I’d share something with you because there is a fun giveaway going on and you just might want to join in the fun.

So in an effort to get the word out there about my little shop and my hand dyed yarns and hand made stitch markers, I have been sending some freebies to some of my favorite knitting podcasters both for them to try out and for them to giveaways as prizes on their podcasts.

One such review/giveaway is currently running so you still have time to join in and maybe win some of my yarn and stitch markers.

Just watch Maria’s ¬†latest episode of her podcast Stitched in Sweden and you will see the yarns I sent her and then join the giveaway. Just click here for her episode.

I both watch and listen to a lot of podcasts and Maria’s is one of my favorites. Her style is a little different and I really love her color work knitting.

If you are interested in seeing what video podcasts I follow here is my top 10 and in no particular order:

Geeky Girls Knit

The Knitting Expat

The Knitting Broomstick

Little Bobbins

Inside number 23

Sticks and Twine

YarnGasm

Susan B Anderson

Grocery Girls

AndreSue Knits

 

This is not an exhaustive list of video podcasts that I follow but a list of those I watch every time a new episode comes out. There are a number of others I’m trying out and watch from time to time.

With regards to audio podcasts these are my favorite ones:

Curious Handmade

Shiny Bees

Pom Pom Podcast

Yarn Thing

Power Purls

Also not an exhaustive list but just some of the must listen to.

I hope I have introduced you to something new and help you discover a new podcast. What podcasts do you follow if any? I’d love to hear from you what your favorite shows are.

I’m not sharing any knitting this time although I have been knitting like crazy as you know if you follow me on Instagram – where I’m @knittinginfrance.

I’ll be back later with pictures of my latest FOs and my current WIPs. I’m also working on organising a new sock themed giveaway so stay tuned for that AND there is the summer kal to think about- June 1st to Sep 1st where we would be knitting together on one of Nancy Whitman’s patterns. Do let me know if you want to join in the kal.

And just before I go, do join in Maria’s giveaway if you have the time. Have a wonderful (long) weekend and I’ll be back soon:)

 

 

 

I thought I’d share this article with you

I was recently contacted by one of my blog readers. She had some kind words to say about my blog and she even shared my blog with her own readers. This lovely reader has her own knitting blog and she just posted an article where she shares information on her favorite knitting blogs and my blog is now one of them! That makes me super happy.

So of course I went to check out her blog which by the way is a joy to read and I really enjoyed her post on the blogs that she follows. Some of them I had never heard of and as I browsed through these new to me blogs I subscribed to a few. So I think that you too may enjoy discovering these knitting blogs which might also be new to you so I invite you to click here and enjoy some quality reading/browsing.

More from me very soon, I promise. I have a ton to share with you but not enough time I will make time because there’s just so much I need to tell you:)

Until then, take care and enjoy your crafting

Join in a Shiny bees podcast

I just wanted to share with the latest episode of The Shiny Bees podcast of which I am a fan. Jo is running a kal now which ends on June 26 so you still have plenty of time to join and I’m donating one of the kal prizes so check out her episode and sign up for the podcast if you haven’t already. Just click here 

That’s all for tonight. Sweet dreams 

Youpi! I’m in for round 5

Hi there, I hope you are doing good and enjoying a day off from work – that is if May 5th is a public holiday where you live. It is a public holiday both in Iceland and France so I’m enjoying a day off from my “real” job but I have a very heavy schedule for my shop and dyeing. I have two custom dye jobs in the works for two different knitwear designers but I can’t tell you about those just yet. Just know that something very exciting is happening behind the scenes:)

Now yesterday I cast off my socks for the Sock Madness competition round 4. It was a pattern with lots of charts for lace and beads. When I first discovered the pattern I got worried that I would probably not be able to finish in time to qualify for the next round. But luckily I was wrong. The pattern was a joy to knit and in spite of all the charts, it actually knit up quite quickly. I can really see myself making a second and even third pair from this pattern. Here are some pictures of my socks.

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I really love the heel on these socks. What was new and unusual for me was the cast on and the heel/gusset construction. If you like knitting socks, you should definitely check out this pattern on Ravelry, just click here.

I knit monogamously on this pair of socks because I was so afraid I wasn’t going to make it to the next round. All in all there are 7 rounds. Next round, round 5, only half of each team will make it to round 6. This time around 20 out of 30 knitters in each team made it to round5. And next time only 10 of those 20 will make it to round 6. That is probably where I’ll have to leave the competition. In round 6 only 1 out of 10 members per team will make it to round 7 which is the last round and will count only 1 knitter per team. I know I can’t win because there are knitters that seem to knit at atomic speed and I can never do that – too much life in the way for me. But I’m very happy to have made it this far and IF I were to make it to round 6 that would be a real victory to me.

Are you participating in this year’s Sock Madness? Or have you ever participated? I’d love to hear if you have and what you thought of the experience and how far ¬†you got. Do share:)

So once this pair was done, rather than pick up my wips, I of course cast on for another pair of socks! This time for the Coffee with CC kal that Vegan Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick is hosting.

I’m knitting all the sock patterns in the book as they appear and then I’ll end with the Coffee Date Shawl. So now it was time to cast on for the Espresso Macchiato Socks

This pattern calls for a self striping sock yarn. I had chosen 2 different yarns and showed them in my video review of CC’s book. I began casting on with the yarn I had hand dyed and it didn’t feel right so I ripped that out. Unfortunately I did not take a picture before I ripped it out so I can’t show you. Then I chose to cast on with the handspun yarn.

coffee with cc pattern 2 - 1

The yarn is lovely but the color changes are not regular enough I felt – after all this is handspun so I have no idea how the rest of the skein will knit up. And so I decided that this was not it. I did not rip it out though and I still have this on the needles and I just might finish this anyway or just rip back to the end of the toe and do something else.

Then I decided to choose a different yarn. I picked up a yarn by Turtle Purl, a beautiful yarn with stripes but…

coffee with cc pattern 2 - 2

There is much more grey than the other colors so I’m thinking that the pattern would not look like in the book if I only do the patterning on the red stripe. There would not be a lot of patterned rows. So again, I decided that this was not it. I did not rip this out either but left to the side and I have yet to decide if I’ll knit this anyway or just rip out to the end of toe section and do something else like I did with the handspun trial.

And then last night I cast on for yet another try. This time I chose a yarn custom dyed for Jo Milmine of the Shiny Bees podcast. It’s a self striping red, yellow/white. And I think this time I’ll call it good. I quite like how this is knitting up and because the stripes are quite large, I’m doing the patterning once per stripe and I think it looks quite nice.

coffee with cc pattern 2 - 3

What do you think? Are you joining in the Kal?

And on the topic of Kals, would you like to join in a summer kal? I was thinking we could knit one of Nancy Whitman’s patterns which you can find here and the kal would run from June 1st to August 31st and on September 1st I would draw a winner from an FO thread. I would prepare a ¬†nice prize bundle and maybe someone would like to donate something as a prize to make it even more fun. Let me know what you think.

Well, that’s all for today. Have a lovely day and a wonderful weekend ahead. Speak to you soon:)