I’m back at last! Acquisitions, fos and more

Hi there, how are you? I hope you are doing well and  enjoying the last days of summer/winter (depending on where you are in the world).

Here in Normandy, France, summer is coming to an end although the weather could have us think otherwise. We have had a big heat wave which has calmed down now thankfully! So now the weather is just perfect. Sunny and a nice temperature of around 22-24°C. Which for an Icelander such as myself is just the best temperature, not too hot and not too cold.

I have been back from hospital now for just over a week. It was great to get back home to my family and friends. What was a little less nice; was having to go back to work straight away but hey, we all have to work to make a living so no complaining!

The stay at the hospital was really beneficial for me. I learned a lot about the back in general and how to use my back and body to best preserve my health. There are a million things we do everyday that affect the health of our back and sometimes we just need to be a little more careful about how we do things to make a big difference.

Being active is also a big thing when it comes to having a healthy back. People like myself that have health issues are not good with staying in the same position for hours be it standing up, sitting at a desk or lying in bed. As soon as I got back to working 8h a day at my desk, my back pain came running back! I have changed the position of my desk a little so that the computer is now higher up so I don’t need to look down at the screen. I’m also going to look for a very good ergonomic chair. The one I have is not good enough for such long hours. Getting a new chair will certainly make a difference for me.

I’m also going to have to get organised so that I can exercise. Since I came home, I have been going for walks and that is very good. But just walking is not enough. I need to do something more like swimming which I really like. So I’m going to look up the opening hours of the swimming pools near my home to see if I can go once a week and swim. And while I was at the hospital I did a little badminton and I thought that was quite fun so I might look into doing badminton as well. That is a good sport because it makes use of the entire body so all the muscles get some exercise. My problem is going to be the hours! Because I work 3 nights a week and most sports for adults are in the evening here, finding something that can work will be a challenge. Where as swimming; I can do alone, I just need to find the pool with the opening hours that allow me to go there.

Well that is enough and maybe way more health and sport update than you bargained for! Sorry about that:) So let’s get on with the knitting and fibre side of life. Since it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted I have a ton of things to share but I feel that would amount to an epic sized post that would just be too long for anyone to read so I’m going to tell you about some of the things today and the rest later in the week.

So first of, when I was in hospital I told you about knitting shorty socks for my son. Well I finished them while I was there. I really love how they turned out, mostly because of the yarn. I used my own SOX base hand dyed yarn and the way it was dyed gives it a fun patterning when knit up. Here they are all done:

shorties matteo

I also did a little bit of spinning. I had imagined doing way more spinning than I finally ended up doing. But hey, life happens. So I finished this fibre that I had begun spinning a very, very long time ago and I then plied the yarn too. The spindle is from my friend Louise of Spin City UK. She makes gorgeous hand spindles using resin for the whorl and she uses flowers and candy sprinkles and lots of fun stuff to make her spindles totally unique. Just looking at her spindles makes me smile.

The yarn is 2 ply and somewhere between fingering and DK in weight. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. I need to wash it to set the twist and I really should measure the yardage as well. I just need to work up the courage and find the time and voila:)

And one more item that I finished during my hospital stay was the Risen

Qcardigan by Melanie Berg. I did the biggest size and I admit I was quite worried in the end that I would not have enough yarn to finish the sleeves and since I dyed the yarn especially for this cardigan I knew I did not have any extra! So I ended up playing a game of extreme yarn chicken and thankfully for me, I won! But by mere centimeters!

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I’m happy with the outcome and I have used it once and it fits nicely and it is warm without being heavy so I think I will get a lot of use out of this. And how much yarn did I have left once I bound off? Well,

risen 5 Yebb! That’s all I had left!

I also worked on my Pinwheel blanket and while I was away I got a package with minis. I signed up for a swapless swap on Ravelry and got 10 40 yard skeins from Mint Rain Yarns. I haven’t knit any of them up yet but I’m sure they will all look great in my blanket when I get to knitting them up.

mint rain yarn minis

Another gorgeous new acquisition is a purchase I made from Andre Sue Knits! The Andre Sue of the Andre Sue podcast I’m sure you all know and I’m guessing you are also familiar with her amazing hand painted sock blanks. It’s been a while since I started stalking her shop but her work is in such high demand that the only time you have a minimal chance of purchasing anything from her is if you set your alarm for her shop update and then choose and item and check out ASAP and then go back again if you want a second blank! Well, that is just what I did! I set my alarm for just before 1am and then I stayed on Etsy and refreshed the page until I saw her update. I managed to get 2 sock blanks and they arrived in just a week which is quite quick for an order from the US.

I was not disappointed! The sock blanks are so amazingly well done. I really do not comprehend how she does it! How she manages to paint so precisely on the sock blank. When I showed the blanks to my kids; my daughter said: “you shouldn’t unravel them and knit, you should just keep them like this” and I admit I’m tempted. BUT I did buy them to knit them into socks so… At the moment I haven’t started; I’m enjoying looking at them as they are currently. But I did purchase Mina’s Beyond Vanilla Socks Part 2 patterns and I think I’ll knit her patterns using the blanks. So here they are in all their glory:

andre sue sock blanks Talk about gorgeous! These will be sure to knit into some amazing socks I’m sure.

Well that’s all for now. I don’t want to take up all your day/night so thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me. I wish you a wonderful week and hope you will have lots of time for knitting or whatever fibery craft it is you enjoy the most.

Until next time, take care 🙂

 

A FO, a HO and a WIP

Hi there and welcome back. I hope you are doing good and enjoying your month of August. I’m still in the hospital/physical rehabilitation center but not for much longer! One more week and I’ll be home at last! 4 weeks is a long time to be away and I’m really getting a bit homesick and dreaming of being with my family and friends and eating yummy meals! Soon, very soon 🙂

But enough about that. Lets talk knitting, as you can gather from the title, I’ve made some knitting progress.

First the FO, I finished the pair of Jelly Roll socks for my youngest. I really like how they turned out, I especially like the double cuff and how it rolls.

jelly rolls for InesThe yarn is my own hand dyed on my SPARKLES base. The yellow is actually highlighter yellow, it doesn’t show that good in the picture. And even though the yellow is super bright it is not scary strange as the grey really tones things down and just works really well with the yellow I think.

And the HO, is the pair of shorty socks that I’m knitting for my son. I’m not using any particular pattern but rather using my regular sock recipe in short version. I have one sock done and I’m well passed the heel now- I have made some progress since this picture was taken

shorties for Matteo

I hope they will fit. He has much bigger feet than I do and I haven’t been able to have him try them on. Just in case they are not long enough, I have decided not to weave in the end at the toe so I can easily undo it and knit them a little longer. I really like the yarn and how it knits up, its on my SOX base.

And for the WIP, it’s my Risen cardigan by Melanie Berg. I’ve made some good progress there. I’m only 8 rows from cast off for the body and the its on to the sleeves. I was hoping to make them longer but that is something I thought of AFTER dyeing my yarn so I will not have enough yarn for full length sleeves. Actually, I’m scared I might not even have enough for 3/4 length sleeves either! So once I have cast off the body, I’m going to rewind the rest of my yarn so that I can knit both sleeves simultaneously. It is going to be one stressful game of yarn chicken! This will serve as a lesson to me to ALWAYS allow for at least 10% more yardage than the pattern calls for and TO MAKE A GAUGE SWATCH! I’m ashamed to say so but….I actually did not make a swatch. I was going to but… something happened I guess…no nothing happened. This is just me being rebellious and over confident! That will teach me a lesson!

Anyway, here are some pictures – not great ones as it is quite difficult to photograph oneself in a mirror…

It feels good on me and I’m already thinking of making a second one!

This last week here in Granville, Normandy, I’m going to finish the shorty for my son, finish the body of my Risen and get going on the sleeves and possibly pick up my sock from my last qualifying round of Sock Madness! That is the most difficult and most beautiful sock I have knit so far and it has been in hibernation for a while now. I need to finish it and I think picking it up here where I’m alone in my room at night and can fully concentrate would be a good idea. You probably don’t know which sock this is so here’s a picture to refresh your memory. The pattern is called Coffee Cantata.

sock madness round 6And this is where I’m still at today, just passed the cuff on sock nr 2. I might not get to the sock but I’m going to try.

Anyway that’s about it for my knitting except that I’m occasionally working on my Pinwheel blanket by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat Podcast. I have finished square 4 and just began square 5 yesterday.

square 5That’s it for today. I hope you have a great week and lots of crafting time. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog next week as I might be busy the first days after coming home not to mention that I return to work as of Monday! But I will be posting when I get the chance and share my progress with you plus some amazing acquisitions that I made this week and will hopefully arrive very soon in my mailbox.  I’m super excited about those:)

But before I go, here a few pictures from yesterday- the beach and the  book market that was held here yesterday.

Until next time, take care 🙂

granville plage 14auggranville plage 14 aug -1marche du livremarche du livre 1

Progress on my Risen and two new cast ons

Hi there, how are you doing? I’m doing fine and making the best of my stay here in Granville. I’m half done with my treatment/stay which is good because it’s beginning to feel like a long time without my kids.

Before coming here, I packed a ton of knitting stuff but finally I don’t have that much time to knit. What happens is that during lunch break more often than not I’m so tired that I fall asleep and so I only have about 1 hour to knit in the afternoon and then again I have my evening.

I finished the socks that I was test knitting and I was going to cast on for another pattern by Nancy Whitman for the kal I’m doing in my Ravelry group but….I guess this is somewhat due to homesickness, I cast on for socks for my kids:) I finished a pair coming here and that will be for my oldest so this weekend I cast on for shorties for my son and my youngest daughter.

For my son I’m not using any pattern really but just knitting “from experience”. I’m using a yarn I dyed myself in my SOX base and I really like how this yarn is knitting up so far.

shorty matteo 9 augIt knits up with a sort of striping effect. My son has big feet so these will not be finished in a jiffy! Even if they are shorties:)

And for my youngest I cast on for a pair of Jelly Rolls by the same designer as the Rose City Rollers. I had almost finished one sock when my kids came to visit last Sunday and my daughter tried the sock and unfortunately I had to rip about half of it back. The pattern gives an option for a ribbing on the arch or not and I had chosen the first option which is for a slipped stitch pattern which looks quite nice but was not able to keep the gauge loose and so when she tried the sock on, it was painfully obvious that the arch pattern was way too tight.

jelly roll 1Maybe if I had gone up a needle size or two it would have been perfect. So ripped back and began again. I really liked mixing the yellow in with the grey so I did not feel like doing a plain grey sock to the toe so I decided on stripes.

I like how that turned out. Now I just need to cast on for sock number 2.

I’m also making good progress on my Risen cardigan by Melanie Berg.

The pattern is easy to execute and knits up quite nicely. I really like the stitch pattern on the neck band. I’m a few inches from the cabled hem. My objective is to finish the body this weekend at the latest and then begin the sleeves next week. I don’t think I’ll be able to finish the cardigan before going home on August 20th but I’d love to be close to finishing.

My family brought me a book this weekend. I had purchased a new book with sock patterns and a skein of hand dyed yarn a while ago and it just arrived. I told them to leave the yarn at home as I already have way to much yarn with me here but I did want to see the book.

sock book by truly hookedThis is the first book by designer and yarn dyer Verity Casteldine. She sells her yarn under the name Truly Hooked on Etsy. The book is very nice and I really like the patterns that are not too complicated. Most of the patterns, I feel, are for women. What I noticed and think is a little funny, is that she only uses solid yarns for her patterns/socks in this new book.  I love crazy variegated yarns with lots of bright and contrasting colours that can only really be used for socks and I use those for simple vanilla socks. However, for socks with lace and / or cables I really prefer solid or semisolid yarns. I feel that way the pattern is not “hidden” by the yarn. I can see myself knit all the patterns in this book so it will soon find its place on my nightstand while I finish my wips and find the perfect yarn to start casting on.

This past weekend, there was a little celebration/festival here in Granville. It’s called “la nuit des soudeurs” or the night of the metal workers or something like that in English. I did not check out the fun at night but I did walk around and take pictures during the day. It was fun to see the creativity and the things people were making and I have included a few pictures here for you to see if you are tempted. Nothing to do with knitting of course but I thought you might like to see the pictures anyway.

Thats all for now. I hope you are well and enjoying your summer and your knitting.

Pattern purchase crazyness

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer/winter (depending on where you are in the world). Here in Normandy the weather has not been very summery these last few days but this afternoon there is a glimpse of sun so maybe, just maybe we will get some nice summer days this weekend. That would be very nice.

I’d like to thank those of you who have sent me kind words and well wishes both here on the blog and on other social media. I’m almost half done with my 4 week treatment and I’m doing good. This is an intensive therapy for the back so my days are full of treatments and sports. It is difficult for someone who is used to being every sedentary like myself but I see progress already so that’s positive and everyone is very attentive to how we are doing and exercises are adapted on a need be basis. So all good news on the health front:)

So before coming here, I packed a certain number of knitting projects but finally I’m not knitting as much as I thought I would be. I don’t have so much free time and in the evenings I admit I’m quite tired so I usually don’t last very long. At the moment I’m working on the same 3 projects as last week.

I’m on square number 4 on my Pinwheel blanket

square 4 pinwheel blanket

I’m still working on my sock pattern test. I finished sock number 1 and I’m about to start the heel on sock number 2. I’m not yet at liberty to show you pictures but here is one of the yarns I’m using.

colors in sock knitting testThe main color is the blue/grey one (top right), the cuff/heel/toe is the bright yellow. Both these yarns are on my SPARKLES base. The little yarn balls are Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails in different colours for the color patterning.

The result is a pair of very colourful and fun socks. I did run into trouble with the heel and toe so I used my “normal” toe on sock 1 and the heel is a mix of the pattern instructions and my own “normal” heel. It is a bit wonky but I was too lazy to rip it out and begin again. After all, I think I knit and ripped out the heel at least 4 times before just going with what I understood! So for sock number 2 I’m not complicating matters and I’m just going with my “normal” heel and toe. The look is very similar so it should not be a problem and should not be super apparent when wearing the socks.

And then there is the cardigan, Risen by Melanie Berg. I’ve separated for the sleeves and am now knitting the body. So far I really like the pattern. The collar/neckline has a very nice stitch pattern and I think this could become a piece of clothing that I will use a lot. I’m already thinking this could be great to have in different colours.

risen cardigan 3augThis picture was taken just before I put the sleeves on hold so I’m a bit further along now. I’m not going to cast on anything new until I have finished my sock test knitting and then I’m going to cast on for the Gilmore Girls socks.

 

I did a kit with CC Almon of the Geeky Girls Knit podcast/JavaPurl Designs and I dyed a skein of yarn for myself.  CC and VeganJilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast are hosting a Gilmore Girls kal which started August 1st and runs until September 31st I believe. You do not have to knit using this particular yarn or pattern but IF you knit CC’s pattern  I believe you get extra points for the kal. Both groups on Ravelry have threads, the chatter thread is in the Knitting Broomstick group and the FO thread is in the Geeky Girls Knit group. So if  you like the Gilmore Girls show you should definitely join in. The pattern by CC can be found on Ravelry and is called Where you lead I will follow and here are a couple of pictures of the socks knit up in my yarn.

Now on the my latest acquisitions. As the title of this blog post indicates there has been some pattern purchase craziness going on! I don’t know if it is being away from everyone and having more time to browse the internet than usual or what but….I have bought loads of patterns lately! My last purchases were done on August 1st and although I did go slightly mad, to my defence, I did make use of coupon 7, patterns from Joji and amazingly they are all for cardigans! I guess I’m feeling very much like knitting up a wardrobe which is unusual as I mostly knit shawls and socks. But who can resist Joji’s patterns and her cardigans are all gorgeous. I already own a ton of her patterns; most of which I have yet to knit (can one talk about having a “pattern stash”?)

pattern purchases

Joji is having a special sale on all her independently published patterns until August 5 so you still have a few hours to make good use of her offer. You get -20% off her patterns using coupon code: jojifallkal

And then there is Andrea Mowry  which like I said before is a new to me designer. She has a number of very nice patterns that I can see myself knitting and wearing and she too is having a sale. I bought 5 of her patterns. 1 slipper socks, 2 shawls, 1 cowl and 1 hat. All very exciting patterns that I hope to knit up this coming winter. Andrea’s sale runs until August 7th and she offers -33% off her patterns using coupon code: bday33

I highly recommend you check out both Ravelry stores as I’m pretty sure you will find at least one pattern, if not 10, that you would like to make and getting them at a discounted price just makes the purchase even more exciting:)

That’s about all I have for you today. The weekend is coming up so I will have some more free time to knit and continue spinning also. I hope to finish my test sock this weekend so I can cast on for the Gilmore Girls socks. I’m donating a prize for the kal and you can find info on that by watching either or even better, both, podcasts: Geeky Girls Knit and The Knitting Broomstick. Do let me know if you are joining in and tell me what pattern and yarn you have chosen.

And before I leave you, here are a few pictures of some sights from my surroundings. The pink house is the family home of Mr Christian DIOR!