Knitting, spinning and exercise

That’s the program for the next 4 weeks for me. If you follow my blog you will know that I have a bad back and that I’m currently in hospital for a 4 week program for my back. So I arrived Sunday July 24th and I’ll stay until Saturday August 20th. Today was the first “real” day with lots of workout, more than I have done in years and years. I think I’ll probably fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow this evening. This program is to help us better understand our body and especially our back. To learn how to move and do things to best preserve our spine, to possibly find new drugs that work better than what I’m currently taking, to talk to others in the same situation and just generally to feel understood and not alone. Having a bad back is an invisible decease and while one may feel good and be able to do everything one day, that does not exclude us from having a horrible day the following day and not being able to accomplish half of what we normally do. And its not because we are lazy, its because we suffer even if it does not show on the outside.

It really feels good to be able to talk to people who have similar problems and feel understood and I have high hopes for all the exercise and just basically everything that I will do here for the next 4 weeks. But this is not a “bad back” blog and you may not be interested in the least in my troubles so lets talk some knitting:)

On my drive here, I finished a pair of socks that had been on my needles for quite a while. It was a pair of Cobblestone Socks by Mina Philipp- part of her Beyond Vanilla socks 1 collection. I knit those using yarn from a German indie dyer I found on Etsy some while ago. I really like the colours but the yarn is quite coarse to the touch but that should be ok and probably means sturdier socks. It’s just not quite as enjoyable to knit with. So here are some pictures.

The second picture shows you a close up of the patterning. It’s a simple knit and purl patterning that is only done on the front of the socks. It’s easy to memorise and I like the results so I’ll probably use this pattern in the future for some more socks.

I’m continuing my work on the Pinwheel blanket which is also by Mina Philipp. That is a very simple pattern for a scrap yarn blanket. I rather like this pattern because each square is quite big so I imagine that the blanket will feel like a quicker knit compared to the Cozy Memories blanket where you have to knit a gazillion mitred squares. It will take quite some time to complete of course but I like it. So I’m knitting a little bit on this from time to time. Here is a picture from square 3 which I’m currently working on.

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I’m also knitting my second test knit for a designer and this time it is also for a pair of socks. I’m not at liberty to show you a picture yet but I can tell you that this is a colourful pattern and it has an unusual construction based almost entirely on short rows. At the moment I’m ready to start the heel on sock 1. I’m planning to work a little on this every day. I have until August 19th to finish and I’m pretty sure I’ll be done way ahead of that deadline.

I also cast on and began knitting my Risen cardigan by Melanie Berg. I dyed the yarn for that myself and I was determined to do a swatch and block and everything like any serious knitter does……but…..somehow I never got around to it before leaving for the hospital and yesterday I could have done a swatch and just washed and laid it out flat to dry somewhere but…. again I’m not a serious knitter so rather than do the intelligent thing, I just cast on for the neckband and voila! Last night I finished the first part of the neckband and this evening I’ll get started on the neckline.

I love the look of this cardi. A bit like the Featherweight Cardi I think and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of this all year round. Here’s a picture of the beginning of the neckband.

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And my last knitting project at the moment is a mini knitting challenge with Françoise of Aroha Knits and it’s the #5shawls5days challenge. Every day for 5 days she sends an email with a pattern for a mini shawl. This is to help us familiarise us with different shawl constructions and maybe one day actually be confident enough to make our very own shawl pattern.  Yesterday was day one and that was a triangular shawl and I knit that using some of my hand dyed SOX yarn and it turned out nicely I think.

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That’s about it I think for my knitting. I did bring some fibre and spindles with me too. I was stressed out about having time on my hands on the evenings and weekend and not enough projects to work on so I took a ton! At the moment I’m spinning a braid from Sweet Georgia Fibres and I’m using my latest spindle purchase which is a type of supported spindle which allows you to use both hands for spinning/drafting where a traditional supported spindle only lets you use one hand. I find using this spindle very enjoyable and easy and so I’m making good progress.

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Thats it for today. Thank you for stopping by and sorry if my health update bothered you. Before I leave I want to include a little slide show to show you the beautiful surroundings where I am now. It’s a town called Granville and apparently Christian Dior lived here part of his life and his house and garden are now a museum that I’ll definitely visit while here. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. I wish you a wonderful week, enjoy your summer and your knitting until next time 🙂

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What a week!

Hi there, it’s been a while since my last post real post. With me about to leave for 4 weeks I have a ton of things to take care of, most of which have not gotten any further than the pages of my planner yet! And that is because I’ve had quite a crazy week so far.

I have been working hard on a big custom order that I’m very excited about. I’m not at liberty yet to tell you what it is exactly nor can I show you any pictures of the yarn yet but I will be posting about this in detail probably in September.

Any way, this is an order I got a while back and I was so hugely happy and excited that I of course said yes! I knew I would be going to hospital at one time this year but had no idea if that would be in August or not until December. So I could either put my life on hold just in case I got called in or I could carry on as if all was normal and just deal with it when I got called in and that is what I did. So when I got the call and new I would be going in from July 24th to August 22nd I had already committed to this order which is my biggest custom order to date and I was not going to go back on my word and cancel the order. So rather than having 4 weeks to work on this alongside other projects I knew I’d only have 1 week. So I hurriedly ordered my yarn and got working on my colors.

This week I have been dyeing for about 6 hours a day and then I have taken a break for 2-3 hours to go knit at the beach with my kids and in the evening I would reskein my yarn. I have just finished the dyeing today and now have a huge pile of yarn left to reskein and label but I made it and I’ll be able to ship my order this Saturday morning so Yeah me:)

This just goes to prove that when we want something bad enough, we can do anything we set our heart to. I’m super happy and I really like the yarn I have created and now I just need to sent it away and wait for feedback first from my client and then from whoever finally gets this yarn to knit with:) I’m super excited!

 

If you follow me on social media you will have seen me posting beach pictures every day. I’m lucky to live in a great place here in Normandy with gorgeous beaches all around and with the good weather lately I have been going to the beach every afternoon for some sun soaking and knitting. Here are some pictures of my beach trips and knitting.

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Knitting at the beach is the best!

Now on to my future hospital stay. No need to worry it’s not really a hospital but rather a centre for physical therapy and physical rehabilitation. I’m going because I have a very bad back with a degenerative condition and this is meant to help me deal with pain and possibly even avoid surgery or at least push it back further. I will have a very full program from 9 to 5 every weekday so I’ll probably be quite tired in the evening but even so I’m afraid I may not take enough projects with me. I want to bring loads of books and loads of knitting projects. I haven’t begun packing yet except in my head, and some days I think I’ll take a ton of projects and others I think I have to be reasonable and that I won’t actually get to knit THAT much.

A while ago I cleaned up some in my stash and   pile of wips and I also prepared some project bags with yarn, needles and patterns – all patterns I must knit very soon. Here’s what that looks like.

pile of wips and new cast ons

It does not look like much on the picture but there actually is a ton of project bags here, some holding wips others new not yet cast on projects. I think I may be taking:

2 socks – not yet cast on

1 sock in progress. The last pattern I did in Sock Madness. I have only done one sock and the cuff for sock 2 and I need some quiet time to finish the second one as it is a complex pattern.

1 cardigan – I have chosen the pattern and dyed the yarn. It’s Risen by Melanie Berg and here’s the yarn I dyed red for raisen

I made a huge skein of 1400 yards I believe it was 1280 meters and dyed it in one go. I have since caked this up in 2 huge yarn cakes.

I’ll be bringing some minis to knit on my Pinwheel blanket by Mina Philipp and just this morning I signed up for a new shawl challenge called 5 shawls in 5 days so I’ll need yarn for that and I’m taking a skein of lace yarn to play with making a design of my own.  So here’s a part of what I’ll be bringing with me.

projects for grainville

I’ll be blogging while I’m away and I’ll share progress on my varies knitting projects and pictures from the town where I’ll be staying and so forth.

That’s all for today. I have to get back to my reskeining so I’ll be done in time and then there’s my packing and then theres….a million and one thing to do:)

I hope you are doing well and having a wonderful summer with lots of crafting time and why not, some beach knitting:)

Super Yarn Sale this weekend only

Hi there, today I’m coming to you with a short announcement. I don’t know if I have told you about having a bad back but if not here goes. So I have a bad back and I have just been called into a hospital for  a 4 week stay to work on my back. This will include massages, exercise, thalasso therapy etc and the objective is to come out of this more aware of my body and how to move and do things to minimize any pain in my back and hopefully avoid having to have a surgery. So I’ll be going there in a week. As I’ll be away for so long I’m going to have to close my Etsy shop while I’m there. And so I decided it would be a good idea to do a HUGE YARN SALE! And here goes!

I’m offering 40% off all my yarns in my shop as of now and until Monday July 18th. The coupon code for the discount is YARN40.

I ship worldwide at a reasonable price. All orders will be shipped 1-2 days post purchase. You can visit my shop by clicking here or by searching for Knitting in France on Etsy. Here are some pictures to get your appetite going:)

Happy shopping and have a great weekend:)

 

Wips and Fos

Hi there, I said I’d be back soon and so here I am:)

I’m currently on vacation from my “real” job but we are not going anywhere this year but rather just relaxing at home and visiting sites near our home. So far we have had a few good days with beautiful weather and have been able to go to the beach which I always enjoy but today and yesterday the weather was not very good and the forecast for this week is not brilliant so I’m not sure what we’ll do….

So as for FOs, I have finished 2 shawls and both were part of kals that I’m taking part in on Ravelry. The first one is the Summer Nancy Kal that I’m hosting in my Ravelry group. This is a very relaxed kal going until the end of August where we knit patterns by designer Nancy Whitman.

I chose to knit a shawl called Ganz which is a DK weight shawl with some gansey inspired patterning. I hand dyed my own yarn for this project in a summery watermelon color.

I really like how this turned out and I think I’ll use this a lot come autumn and winter.

The second FO is also a shawl. That one is called Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli. This is a new shawl she released a very short while ago. I saw some podcasters working on this shawl and just had to buy the pattern and cast on. I also decided to join in the Grocery Girls Joji along on Ravelry for some added fun.

I knit the large size and I also used yarns that I hand dyed myself. The main color is a new base I tested; a yak, merino, nylon base which is a total pleasure to knit with and is super soft to the touch. The contrast color for the stripes is a Donegal nep yarn which I always feel give a bit of a rustic feel. And then the second contrast color used for the bind off is in my SPARKLES base in neon yellow.

I really like the outcome. Now I just need to build up some courage to block the shawl:)

As for my wips, I have a gazillion socks going, 2 sweaters, 1 cardigan and a new scrap yarn blanket and of course a shawl!

The shawl is again part of my Summer Nancy kal that I’m hosting on Ravelry. The pattern is called Tappan Zee by Nancy Whitman and the yarn is my own hand dyed. This time I’m trying a new base yarn in 100% superwash merino singles. And the contrast color I have just begun using is Madelinetosh merino light which is actually the same base yarn as what I dyed myself. I love the texture and feel of this yarn and it knits up beautifully. This is where I’m at for now.

Tappan zee close up

Next time I’ll share more wips, possibly some FOs and new acquisitions:) Until next time, have a wonderful week. I hope the weather is nice where you are and that you have plenty of crafting time to enjoy:)

Yes I’m still here…

Hi there, how are you doing these days? I’m sorry for not checking in on you before today but I have been very busy with work and the end of the school year for my kids and my parents visiting from Iceland.

Today will be a very short hello but I will be back very soon with lots of news and pictures of my latest FOs and wips.

Today I wanted to share with you a blog post that was published a while back and I haven’t had the time to share with you yet. It’s about my yarns!

A few months ago I saw a post on Facebook by Juliet Bernard, former editor of The Knitter magazine. She was looking for indie dyed sock yarns to review on her blog and I jumped on the chance to have such a personality test my sock yarn and so I contacted her and told her about my shop and fortunately for me she was actually interested. So she chose a base yarn from my shop to test, my SPARKLES base, and I sent her a skein to try out.

When I then read her Sock Yarn Review I was so hugely happy and proud to read that of the yarns she tried, mine was her FAVORITE!!! How amazing is that????

So of course I have to share the good news with you:)

juliet bernard the big sock review

My yarn/sock is the blue one – third from the left

So if you are interested in reading her review of fingering weight sock yarns please click here and enjoy. And if you want to test my yarn for yourself, you can browse my shop by clicking here

 

That’s all for today.I’ll be back soon with news of my latest knits which include Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli, Ganz by Nancy Whitman and loads of socks in progress 🙂