A new rainy week

Hi there, how are you today? I hope the weather is better in your part of the world than it is here in Normandy. Last year at the same time we were already enjoying summer weather but this year its nothing but rain! Doesn’t feel like summer at all!

Nothing much has happened since I last spoke to you. Lots of work and not so much knitting. I haven’t even managed to finish my second pair in the Tour de Sock. The deadline for stage two is today and I’m only just past the cuff on sock 2. When I saw that I was not going to make the deadline I sort of lost my sock knitting mojo and put the sock on the side….I have to finish though and I’m sure I will. I have a total of 3 socks on my needles currently and strangely non of them have been getting any love at all lately. This is a picture of the Tour de Sock stage two sock I’m (supposed to be) working on

tour de sock second stage

It is a very beautiful pattern and the solid color does the patterning justice but there is just something that prevents me from knitting on as usual. Hopefully I’ll get my sock knitting mojo back very soon.

So rather than knit on socks, I have been knitting on my Ganz shawl as part of my summer kal that I’m running in my Ravelry group. I’m making slow but steady progress there.

ganz

I have done the gansey strip and picked up stitches and now I’m working on the stockinette section. It is now a very easy and relaxing knit that I can work on without thinking.

I really should just concentrate on getting that done and/or pick up my 3 sweaters that have been left dormant in project bags in my room for the last months….but….of course I did not and I just cast on for a new project! Not really a surprise there but hey. So what happened is that I was doing a test dye using possible new yarn bases. The company I was test dyeing for only needs a small amount of each yarn to knit a swatch before they choose which base they like so I found myself with some very nice, freshly dyed yarns and as I looked at them I thought of another skein of yarn that I had balled up and waiting on me. I put the side by side

party on my needles all wound upAnd all of a sudden it clicked! I need to cast on for a shawl and not just any shawl, no I need to cast on for Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli. The Grocery Girls Tracy and Jodie are doing a #jojialong in their group on Ravelry and I thought it would be fun to join and so I cast on.

The yarns are all different, the burgundy one on the left is a new base of sw merino/yak/nylon. It is super soft and gives a lovely stitch definition. The yarn is a natural light brown that I overdyed with red and that gave this beautiful sort of burgundy color.

The second yarn is a Donegal nep yarn that I have dyed and sold before. That yarn is also a darker yarn that comes in a sort of natural light grey with specks of brown and black. I space dyed that to match somewhat the burgundy one.

The third and last one is on my SPARKLES base and that was dyed in a neon yellow. The pattern calls for a high contrast bind off color and I thought this would be very fun.

At the moment I’m on the first section of the shawl where it is just garter stitch and I have not yet decided if I’ll do a small or a large version. Joji shows the small version in her pattern and it looks quite big or big enough so I’m not sure. I can knit one or two lace repeats before deciding which way I go so that will give me some time to decide.

This is where I’m at now

party on my needles shawl

Funny how the yarn looks almost pink in this picture. It really isn’t, its a burgundy/brown red shad in reality.

So that’s about all I’ve been knitting on lately.

Shop/business wise I’m still working on the Gilmore Girls sock kit.  We have had a very positive reaction to our kit and in just a week we have almost sold out. Last time I knew, only one kit was left so if you are interested you had better click the link above and grab the very last kit. There will be no others!

Dyeing self striping yarn is a huge undertaking, it is so time consuming. I’m almost done so now I’m really looking forward to shipping off all the yarn and for everything to be sent out to our buyers and then to actually cast on and knit my very own pair of Gilmore Girls socks using my very own 10 colour self striping yarn:)

That’s it for today. Thank you for coming by and spending some time with me and my knitting. I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of quality crafty time. Speak to you soon 🙂

Stash enhancements and works in progress

Hey there how are you doing? I hope you are doing good and enjoying life and crafting. I’ve been doing a lot of knitting but not really making any significant progress because, I think, I’m working on so many projects at the same time! I currently have 4 socks on the needles that I’m working on and my Ganz shawl which I’m doing as part of my summer kal. And of course I have 3 partially knit sweaters that are languishing in project bags in my room. I really need to finish my socks and then get back to knitting the sweaters finishing one after the other. Because I’m already well into each one so I don’t really have a lot left. But somehow my startitis is just way to strong and  I keep casting on for new socks and adding new shawls to my Ravelry library. I don’t know if you have the same “problem” but if you do, I’d love how you manage your startitis to actually finish what needs to be finished or if like me, you just give into urgent cast on urges.

So lets begin with some show and tell of socks

knit from stash may

I finished my #knitfromstash2016 May socks. This is a yearlong kal I’m doing as part of a sock knitters group on Facebook called Addicted to sock knitting. We get one pattern per month by designer Heatherly Walker and this was the May pattern. It’s called Rhytidome and I really like how they turned out and I feel my yarn really is perfect with this pattern.

Then there is my round 6 pair from Sock Madness that has not been getting any love lately but I’m going to get to it when I have a little less socks going because that is a pattern that needs to be knit pretty monogamously because it is quite complicated.

sock madness round 6I’m knitting these with a Lornas Laces yarn and I’m playing yarn chicken because this pattern is a real yarn eater so I knit the toe in some plain white yarn. If by some miracle I have enough yarn then I’ll rip back the toe and redo in the same yarn but that is highly unlikely.

I’m also participating in the #BeyondVanillaKal1 with Mina of the Knitting Expat Podcast. I bought her new sock pattern collection and I’m knitting them as part of the kal. I have one pair done and now I’m working on paire number 2. I’m using some fun yarn I dyed last week. I was testing a new method of dyeing and I dyed 4  50gr skeins of SOX base yarn. I’m knitting the Pebbles pattern in medium but I’m doing a short leg because I want to use just one 50gr skein. These will be for my youngest.

Here are some pictures of the socks and the yarn. I’ve done one sock and I’m at the heel for the second now.

The yarn I’m using is skein number two from the right

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And then there is the Tour de Sock which like Sock Madness is a sock knitting competition but this time it also serves as a fund raiser for Doctors without frontiers. Also in this competition everyone can do all the rounds. You get points for each pair you finish depending on how quickly you finish etc and those points will determine the winner. I’m feeling a lot less competitive this time and going quite slowly, maybe too slowly even but then this round the pattern is quite complicated with lots of charts so I can’t knit on this at work. I really need to pay attention and follow the pattern. I’m at the heel turn on sock one now and I have 6 more days to finish my pair.

So I’m definitely not going to win anything but at least I’m supporting a good cause and I get to knit gorgeous socks. So this is round 2 and here are pictures from round one and two

The pictures above are the round one pair

The pictures above are from round 2 the cabled side is the front and the knit and purl side is the back. This pattern has a very interesting heel construction. I’m using WYS Signature 4 ply. This pattern really calls for a solid yarn to really appreciate the patterning.

And then there is my summer kal which you can still join if you wish to. We are knitting patterns by designer Nancy Whitman and the kal goes to August 31st with some lovely prizes that will be drawn at random once the kal is over. I’m knitting a gansey inspired shawl called Ganz. I’m using my own hand dyed yarn, a 100%DK in a sort of watermelon red color. First one knits like a gansey inspired strip and I’ve done that and now I’m on to some short row shaping. I still haven’t understood how I go from the current shape to the final shape so this is a bit of a mystery knit for me so far. Here is where I’m at now

 

ganz 14jun

That’s all of my knitting for now. And inspite of my intention of NOT buying more yarn, well, I’m just not able to resist. So here is what I’ve gotten lately.

First, I’m doing The Golden Skein for the first time ever. I’m doing the biggest club (of course) so every  3 months I get 3 skeins of yarn and I just got the summer shipment.

the golden skein summer green

Beautiful green yarns. Now I just need to find patterns to go with these yarns. What is fun is that I have never knit with any of these yarns and that is the very fun part of the Golden Skein subscriptions for me, I’m discovering lots of interesting dyers for the very first time.

And then there was that time I lost my head on Etsy, as happens to the best of us:)

tamiwicolors yarnFirst I bought these 4 gorgeous skeins from I think, a new indie dyer in Germany. I love the colors. The yarn is 75/25 merino/nylon but feels a bit rustic, like my BASIK base so these will become socks. This dyer is totally underpriced which may explain why I got 4 skeins at once! The shop is called Tamiwicolors  and she is on Etsy. Just click on the name and you’ll find yourself in her shop. Definitely go take a look, her color combinations are lovely.

I also fell for another Etsy shop, this time for a better known dyer that I have been drooling over for a long time but not bought from until now. This is a dyer in Finland called Lanitium Ex Machina and I love their variegated colorways and I chose 3 skeins on their stellina base. The  colors are gorgeous but the yarn is not soft. Maybe it will soften with knitting and washing but now it feels rustic to the touch and the glittery thread/stellina is quite “hard” to the touch. Nothing like my stellina base which is super soft and can be used for next to skin items like shawls or cowls in addition to socks. This yarn will make gorgeous socks but definitely nothing next to the skin for me.

lanitium ex machina

So I have lots of new gorgeous yarn for loads of future socks:)

And speaking of socks, just before letting you go, I thought I’d mention again the very limited edition sock knitting kit that I’m doing with JavaPurlDesigns and KnitRunDig. It’s the Gilmore Girls sock kit which includes a pattern by JavaPurlDesigns, a project bag by KnitRunDig, a 10 color self striping yarn hand dyed by myself and a selection of little goodies for some additional fun. This kit went up for pre-order last Sunday June 12th after noon and in just 48H we have sold 80% of the kits! We are super happy about the interest for this super cool kit. And if you, like me, love knitting socks and enjoy self striping yarns, project bags and surprise goodies you need to go over to the JavaPurl website and get a kit while we still have some left.

With that, I wish you a wonderful and crafty week:) Speak to you soon

gilmore girls

Self striping sock yarn and the Gilmore Girls

Hi there, do you enjoy knitting socks? Do you like self striping sock yarns? Do you enjoy colours? Do you watch the Gilmore Girls show?

If your answer is YES to any of these questions then you might be interested in an upcoming sock knitting kit.

I’m so happy and proud of this first collective collaboration that I’m doing with CC Almon of JavaPurlDesigns and Sam Boggia of KnitRunDig.

The three of us are working on this sock knitting kit that will be up for pre-order this coming Sunday June 12th. This is a very limited edition, only 30 kits will be made so once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!

Each kit will include a sock pattern by CC, a project bag by Sam, hand dyed yarn by Yours Truly and lots of little goodies. And everything is tied to the Gilmore Girls show.

I got to see a picture of the finished prototype sock last week and it is gorgeous! I was so happy and proud to see this new pattern all knit up in my self striping yarn. I can’t wait to get to knit a pair myself!

So all my dyeing efforts are currently concentrated on this project. I’m dyeing a 10 color self striping yarn and let me tell you, self striping is work and 10 color self striping is a LOT of work!

Here are a few pictures I have taken to share some of the preparations for this kit on my side.

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l’m showing the finished ball of yarn all grey because I don’t want to spoil anything and we have not yet shown the actual yarn and pattern but I imagine that will be done in the future, unless we decide it would be more fun for you to discover the yarn as you open your package 🙂

So if you want to join in this fun and knit a pair of beautiful socks using a limited edition self striping yarn then you need to sign up for the preorder on the Java Purl Designs website here as of June 12th.

gilmore girls

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful rest of the week:)

The summer kal, my new sock adventure and more

Hi there, I hope you are doing well this week and that the weather is good in your part of the world. After a lot of rain the sun has finally decided to show up and that is a welcome change here in Normandy.

I have been doing a lot of knitting lately. I’m not sure if I told you but I did not make it to round 7 of Sock Madness. I didn’t think I would but I was still disappointed. I’m going to finish my pair of round 6 socks because that is one gorgeous pattern but it has been on hold for a while now because as soon as I knew I didn’t make it I dove into a new sock adventure! I guess I have not had enough of speed knitting socks! So I decided to join the Tour de Sock for the first time ever. I did join late but I was lucky they still accepted entries. This is a speed knitting contest but it also serves as a charity as the money paid to participate goes to Doctors without borders.

Again we get a sock pattern that we are then to knit as quickly as we can and in this contest as long as you finish your pair you are good to continue all the way to the end. You get an X number of points per finished pair depending on how quickly you finish and the points then serve to calculate the winner in the end. And there are a number of fabulous prizes which is something that always makes me dream:)

So like I said, I did join a little late so the first pattern had already been sent out and some had already finished their pair but that’s not a problem. I’ll just finish this one asap and for the following patterns I’ll be there from the start.

This first pattern is a lace pattern which is not only beautiful but easy to memorise as well. I decided to use one of my own hand dyed yarns of course and I found this beautiful silver colored stellina base yarn and once I had done quite a bit of knitting, I realised that I had not chosen a fingering weight yarn but a lace weight!!!! Silly me! But it actually works out fine. This particular lace yarn which in my shop is called Lace Sparkle, is on the heavier side of lace and it is super soft as it is a mix of merino and silk with a little bit of silvery stellina. And I’m thinking I just might make more socks using this base. Here is the sock

I really like it and I’m passed the heel on the second sock so I’m hoping I’ll finish by tonight. That way I will be able to go back to some of my other pairs of socks that are waiting to be finished.

Then there is the #SummerNancyKal which started on June 1st. I’m hosting this kal in my Ravelry group and we are knitting patterns by designer Nancy Whitman. The kal runs till August 31st and there will be some lovely prizes for a few lucky participants.

I’m knitting a gansey inspired shawl called Ganz and I’m using my hand dyed yarn in 100% merino yarn, DK weight. I haven’t gotten a lot of work yet but I think this will be a wonderful shawl and if I work hard I’m thinking I’ll be able to knit 2 of Nancy’s shawls during the kal. This is where I’m at now

 

The color reminds me of a watermelon:) This is knit as a strip of gansey patterns and then I will pick up stitches along one side to knit the rest of the shawl. If you want to join in the kal, please do. You still have plenty of time to join and knit one of Nancy’s patterns.  Just come join my Ravelry group here.

Before I leave you for today, I wanted to share with you that I have “revamped” my little online shop and yesterday I did a huge shop update with lots of new yarns – and some first time ever cotton yarn for the summer. I do hope you will take a look and let me know what you think of my shop if you have the time. Do you like my yarns? The colours I choose? Anything missing or something that could be done better? Constructive criticism is always a good thing. The new address for my shop is www.knittinginfranceshop.com and you can also still find me on Etsy at www.knittinginfrance.etsy.com

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful and crafty week.