Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a nice long weekend and that this week has begun well for you. I loved getting last Thursday off work. It was absolutely beautiful here, not a cloud in the sky and quite hot so we went to the beach with a few friends and spent hours just enjoying a lazy afternoon and all the kids were super happy swimming in the sea and playing in the sand. Just a great day and even if it was just one day, it totally felt like being on holiday. A day like that really breaks up the monotony of the workweek and gives you added stamina I feel.

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Unfortunately the beautiful weather has not lasted very long and since yesterday it rains! I do hope that will change soon. We have some of my husband’s family coming to visit this weekend. Soon there will be all the festivities and commemorations for the end of World War II here and usually we always have nice weather and hopefully this year will be no different.

Knitting wise I feel I haven’t accomplished much since last time we spoke. Thinking about this, I believe that is not due to lack of time as much as working on too many projects at the same time. Working on a gazillion things a little bit does mean slower progress on each individual thing.

So since last time I only have two finished objects and both are socks. The first one is the test knit that I had begun and shared with you last week. It’s a beautiful lacy pattern that is easily memorized. The heel construction is different from my usual heel and it was fun and easy to do. I do feel it renders a “shallow” heel. Not sure that’s the correct word but basically I think that for someone like myself that has a high instep it would be better to do a regular german short row heel or even a heel flap and gusset. I was knitting the smallest size this time so it’s for my youngest and it fits her fine so all’s well.

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I used my own hand dyed yarns and the heels and toes are in my SPARKLES base. It doesn’t show here but they do sparkle:)

The second finished object is one I cast on last week. And I will be doing more of those. So last Thursday as I was at the beach with my friends, I was knitting on the socks above and one of my friends made a few comments and hints that she would love some of my socks. I have knit her one pair so far plus some other items and she really loves my knitting and since her birthday is coming up in about 3 weeks I decided I should knit her some socks! I haven’t told her and so I’m not sharing pictures on Instagram or Facebook because I don’t want her to see them until I gift them to her.

Since it’s summer and I don’t have a lot of time either, I decided I’d do shorty socks. I recently purchased a lot of commercial sock yarn that I found at a great price online. Most were German brands I had never heard of but they seemed a lot like Regia and Opal and so I went for it and I have knit this first pair with one of those. The yarn feels wooly and so I imagine it is sturdy. It is machine washable which is good since she is not a knitter herself and I don’t think she would enjoy handwashing. The brand of yarn is called Woll Butt and the line – it’s self patterning- is called Badgastein. I think. It is 60% wool, 25% viscose and 15% polyamide. I really like how this knit up.

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And they are almost identical! I just made up the pattern doing my usual thing. I did knit 4, purl 2 for the top of the foot and then a german short row heel and my regular toe (not sure what it is called). These were super fast to make and I have now cast on for a second pair for her and this time I’m using self striping yarn from Mothy and the Squid, a UK based indie dyer. I only cast on last night so not much to show yet.

I’m of course still working on my Sammal using my handspun yarn. I’m getting close to finishing the body. I think I need to do maybe 4″ more and then I can do the ribbing. I need to check the Ravelry thread for this sweater spin for the last day of the kal which is either tomorrow, May 31st or June 30th. They did say that even if one doesn’t finish by the end of the kal, one is still eligible for the prize drawing so I need to get  picture there of where I’m at before the end. Here are some pictures I took of myself wearing the cardi about a week ago. Since these were taken I have made more progress on the body but otherwise it looks much the same.

 

And then I also cast on for a new garment! I was trying to hold off because I do have to finish my Sammal and I’m also knitting a tee shirt using some DK weight cotton yarn that I got in a swap and have yet to show you. Plus I have decided to join in the Faded knit along that Kristy Glass is hosting in her Ravelry group. Plus I have a pile of sweater patterns and yarns all waiting to be cast on! But you know me, no willpower when it comes to NOT casting on! And so of course I cast on for a Ravello sweater. I have had the pattern in my Ravelry library for a long time and I love the shape of the sweater and I have seen so many different versions of it that all look great.

I had also recently dyed up a new yarn base I wanted to test and see if I should sell. it’s 50% alpaca, 25% silk and 25% linen so it is soft, lightweight and yet warm and it has a halo. And I didn’t have any project in mind…until I decided on the Ravello by Isabelle Kraemer. And so I have cast on and I’m now past the armholes so now it’s just plain stockinette all the way to the bottom ribbing. It’s a top down raglan sweater that has some striping but the striping is more or less how you want. I knew I had this mohair and wensleydale blend hand dyed yarn from one of my Golden Skein installments. I only have one skein and I really did not know what to use it for and so I thought this might be the right project as this yarn has a halo like my hand dyed base. And this is fuschia pink and I had dyed my yarn light grey. And so I used this yarn for my stripes but there is something strange about this yarn because it knit up very unevenly. I’m hoping that once blocked it will look better and if not, well my sweater will have texture in addition to stripes 🙂

But because it looked “strange” I only did 3 stripes and I’m not going to stripe the sleeves. I am wondering though if I should knit the sleeve cuffs in this pink yarn alone (maybe it just needs to be knit on its own and not in stripes with another yarn) and maybe do a couple of rows and bind off for the body ribbing in this also. Just to give a pop of colour. I think that might be fun. Here’s a picture of where I’m at now.

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I think you can see that the pink stripes look a lot less even than my grey yarn.

And of course there is the Joji Mystery Wrap that I’m knitting on. Clue three is out and I’m almost at the end of clue 2. I got distracted so I didn’t manage to finish clue 2 before the next one was published. I really need to get a grip this week so as not to fall too far behind. Just in case you are doing the mystery kal too but don’t want to see spoiler pictures I will not share a picture here just yet.

I think this is about all for today. I recently indulged myself with some knitting magazines and I think I should share my thoughts of them in the near future and also… the Maker of the Month. Maybe you are getting impatient for the maker of this month and I want to apologize but I have just gotten so behind and so I think there will be no maker this month; after all there is just one more day left this month but I promise there will be one this June and I’ll try to do it before mid June so you don’t have to wait much longer.

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your precious time with me. Sharing my thoughts and knitting projects with you brings me such happiness and seeing the number of subscribers to the blog rise slowly but surely is so motivating. I’m thinking once I reach 200 subscribers I’ll do a giveaway to celebrate and thank you all! I believe I currently have 183 subscribers so I’m getting there:)

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to speaking to you again soon:)

Yarn Cake in Glasgow, Scotland

Hi there, I hope this post finds you in good health today. I’m doing fine and looking forward to getting my Thursday off work but Thursday is a public holiday here and in Iceland and most likely in many other countries. A short workweek is always fun. I don’t have any special plans for my day off but I believe the weather should be gorgeous so just maybe we’ll go to beach for some fresh sea air. It’s been super nice here weather wise lately and I believe the rest of this week should also be sunny and warm.

Today I’m going to share with you my trip to Yarn Cake in Glasgow, Scotland. I went there last April as you may know and for some reason I have yet to share my visit to this particular yarn shop so here goes:)

So before going to Glasgow, I had done some research online and asked for advice on Ravelry and Yarn Cake was one of two shops recommended to me.

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The shop seen from the upper level

Yarn Cake is a tine yarn shop slash café in a rather affluent part of Glasgow, close to the university. For me as a tourist, I did not find the location convenient and I would never have stumbled upon the shop by accident. It did take some time to get there and back.

As the name indicates, should you go there you can get both yarn and cake. The shop is in a tiny space and when you enter, on your left you have I think 3 little tables where you can sit down and have coffee and cake and on the right side wall you have shelves of yarns, mostly Drops when I was there. Then you can go up a few steps and there you have a kitchen (where they bake and prepare the food and drinks they serve) and some more yarn.

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Kitchen and yarns

I went there with my 16 year old son and so I just looked around and touched some yarn. Sitting down for anything else was not really an option.

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The shop offers mostly commercial yarns like Drops, Lang, Opal and WYS. They did have yarn from one local indie dyer and then also some yarns from Baa Ram Ewe too.

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So what did I think? Well, they do have some lovely yarns and the husband of the owner who was there was quite nice. What I liked less was the location (seen from a tourist standpoint) and also it felt somewhat cramped. If you have any more than 3-4 shoppers at at time, looking at yarn could get complicated.

I of course did not leave empty handed. So I bought a few things like a skein of Titus Aire from Baa Ram Ewe

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I also bought a few balls of Lang sock yarn and what is fun about this yarn is that inside each ball of yarn you have a spool of nylon thread in the same color to knit alongside the yarn when doing heels and toes. This is meant to reinforce those areas that tend to get worn out first.

 

And last but not least, I bought a few balls of Jamieson and Smith Shetland wool in different colors. I don’t have any plans yet for those. They just looked nice and they are local sort of so… I just need to find a fun fair isle pattern for maybe a tam or mittens for these.

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So that concludes my tales of my visit to Scotland and I hope you have enjoyed reading about that.

Before I leave you, I thought I should give you a little update on my current works in progress.

First there is a pair of socks that I’m test knitting for Dana Gervais. I have almost gotten to the toe of sock one. I’m knitting the smallest size this time so they will be for my youngest. I’m knitting out of my own hand dyed yarns, SOX for the main color and SPARKLES for the heel and toe.

 

This is a beautiful pattern with a simple pattern repeat that soon becomes intuitive. The heel construction is rather new to me. I do think I have done this type of heel before but I’m not a 100% sure.

And then I’m working on my Sammal cardigan. This is part of the Sweater Spin kal being held by Sue of Legacy Fibre Artz and Andi of Andre Sue Knits. This is my first big spinning project as I spun all the yarn on my wheel, then dyed it and now I’m knitting the cardigan and loving it!

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The pictures show you the front at different stages of completion. This is an all over patterned cardigan so it does take some time to knit and I think the kal runs to June 1st so I will not finish in time but that’s ok. They inspired me to do my first garment spin and I definitely want to make more and already have a ton of plans for future sweaters and cardigans using my handspun yarn.

That’s all for today. I hope you are doing well and wish you a wonderful week ahead with hopefully lots of crafting time and nice weather. Speak to you soon 🙂

My latest FOs

Hi there, how have you been? Well I hope. It seems that maybe, and I mean just maybe, summer is actually around the corner here in Normandy. We have had warm temperatures for a few days in a row now so it’s starting to feel somewhat summer-y. School will soon come to a close for the kids and so exams are about to start and such.

As for myself, well I have been doing quite a bit of knitting. Surprise surprise! Or not 🙂

So today I wanted to show you my two latest FOs, one you have already  heard of I’m pretty sure and the other is my secret test knit that has now been made official!

So first my Cullum t-shirt by Isabelle Kraemer. I have knit that using some lovely italian linen dyed by a friend of mine in Australia. So this is quite the international project:) The pattern is easy to follow and was actually a very quick knit and I can easily see myself knitting another one just like it. I’m currently washing it and hope to block it later today but I did try it on and if you follow me on IG you may have seen the pictures but for those of you who don’t or haven’t seen the pictures, here are some

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This is the first time I have ever knit with a linen yarn. This one felt very nice on the hands and somewhat shiny and my friend Andrea who dyed and gifted me this yarn says it’s because this is brushed linen. I was expecting this to be somewhat harsh on the hands and to the touch but not at all. It really was a joy to knit with.

I have some linen in my stash that I recently bought and that one must be non brushed linen because it has a totally different handle. Even after knitting a swatch and washing that linen, it still feels somewhat “crisp”. Not sure if it will work for a summer t-shirt or if I should just resign and make something like a grocery bag. We’ll see.

My second FO like I said is the mystery test knit I have mentioned here before. The pattern is by designer Amanita and it is a DK weight shawl. This is a triangular shaped shawl with a patterned border on one side which is knit simultaneously to the rest of the shawl which is mostly garter stitch.

This was an easy pattern to follow and it went quite quickly too. I did misunderstand the instructions for one stitch, a sort of twisted stitch surrounding the patterned section, but I think it doesn’t really show much and I love the finished item. I knit my sample using my own hand dyed DK yarn and I ended up using just over 3 skeins. Actually 3 x 100 gr skeins + 6gr of skein 4. Maybe that was a gauge thing but if you should go ahead and make this shawl and don’t want to start on skein 4 for such a small amount of yardage, I would just recommend you keep a close eye on the amount of yarn you have when you start your last pattern repeat and possibly stop a few rows early so you have enough for the bind off.

The pattern was published on Ravelry yesterday, May 16th and is called Forest Mystery and it is already on the first page for HOT NOW on Ravelry! I can highly recommend this shawl. It is huge and my yarn is so soft and squishy. I can’t wait to actually wear it this coming autumn and winter.

Not being much for modelling, I asked my youngest daughter to model the shawl for me and she gracefully accepted so here are some pictures of her showing off my shawl.

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And speaking of shawls, I have started on my Starting Point mystery wrap by Joji and I’ll be sharing pictures later, if you don’t mind spoilers 🙂

That’s all for now. I NEED to get some knitting done before work. I wish you all a wonderful day and rest of your week. Happy knitting 🙂

It’s all about the socks once again

Hi there, how are you doing today? Fine I hope. For once it is a sunny day here in Normandy. We had begun thinking that spring was not actually going to come this summer but today it’s really sunny and nice so we are crossing our fingers the nice weather is here to stay.

Now I haven’t finished telling you all about my last travel and the yarn shops I visited. There is one shop left on my list, Yarn Cake in Glasgow Scotland and I’ll be telling you all about that one next week if all goes to plan. Today I thought I should tell you about my latest sock knitting as that is mostly what I’m knitting on these days.

A while back I told you that I had joined Sock Madness for the second time and that this time I was way to enthusiastic (fast) knitting on my qualifying socks and so was put into the fastest team! And boy are those ladies fast!

So as of round 2 I got disqualified. Not only because of speed but because I misunderstood the colorwork chart. I finished my socks in time and got the confirmation email that I was qualified for round 3 and then the next day I got a second email saying that I had misunderstood and thus knit the pattern wrong and so I was disqualified. Re-knitting both socks was not an option as my teammates are so quick so I forfeited. What a deception! I was so very sad and just generally angry with myself for being so stupid and actually knitting two whole socks without realizing my error! But what is done is done and colorwork (this year’s theme) is not my forté. So now I’m a cheerleader and as such I’m knitting the patterns along with my teammates but I no longer have the stress of finishing in the blink of an eye. I admit I was so disappointed at first that I thought about just forgetting all about Sock Madness but I got a lot of heartwarming encouragements from fellow knitters and so decided I had to keep going and I’m really happy I did.

So here is a picture of the pair that got me disqualified.

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Instead of the pattern repeat being always the same like I did, it should have been like a mirror image. You may have seen pictures of these knit the correct way and they do look nicer than mine. Another issue I had with these, as these are stranded throughout, even though I used a bigger needle than the pattern called for, they still came out small and rather stiff. I clearly need to work on my tension when doing all over colorwork.

Then there was round 3 and I finished that pair within the 2 week period (most of my teammates finished in 2-4 days I think). I’m very happy with the end result and the colors I had chosen for this pattern. I was very careful this time around about my tension. I did use a bigger needle for the sock and the tension was much better this time.

 

Currently we are on round 4 and this time it’s not a colorwork pattern but a beaded sock. I really love this one and so far I have only done one repeat on sock one but I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish again within the two weeks. As a cheerleader I also have the luxury of not exactly following the pattern and I took advantage of that and instead of using two colors of beads as the pattern calls for, I’m only using one and I really like how that looks.

I’m knitting with my SPARKLES yarn and I really love how it is knitting up.

I have also subscribed to the New York Sock Club that Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat is doing and she issues a pattern a month and so far I have kept up with those. Here is the pair from April, The Grand Central socks and I knit those using sock yarn from Knit Cosmic String in their Chai latte colorway.

I have only just cast on for the May sock, Union Square socks, and I’m knitting those in a self striping yarn from the Yarn Enabler.

I’m also doing a sock test knit for Dana Gervais and I really love this new pattern. I’m knitting it on my SPARKLES base and it is gorgeous even if I say so myself. The pattern has not been released yet but I’ll be sure to post pictures on IG when it is.

I was somewhat naughty and bought a ton of commercial sock yarn some time ago and when it arrived last week I of course had to cast on for a pair immediately. I cast on using a new to me yarn. It’s a cotton sock yarn from Regia and I knit a pair of shorty socks for my youngest. The pattern was just something I came up with and I really love the outcome and as spring and summer is getting closer I have this urge to knit shorty socks so I think you will be seeing more of those here.

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She doesn’t like her socks very short so I knit a longer cuff than I had expected but that’s ok. She has the option of rolling it down as I show on the second sock.

Phew that’s a lot of sock knitting! I was intending on finishing my Ramble shawl by Andrea Mowry before the Starting Point mystery kal by Joji begins this Friday. Only problem was that as I had put the shawl down for a while, once I picked it up again I was just off and yesterday I ended up ripping back the brioche section. I had done just over one repeat so quite a lot but it just didn’t look like it should and I would never have worn it like that so I decided to rip back and begin on the brioche section later. Maybe not until the Starting Point is over but at least then it will be done correctly.

I hope you have enjoyed spending some time with me today and sharing my sock knitting. Are you also avid sock knitters or do you mostly knit something else like garments? Would you be interested in us doing a kal this summer? Maybe something from June 1st to September 1st? With a prize or two in the end? Please let me know by leaving a comment below and also let me know what you would like that kal to be about. I have ideas such as : 1) socks  (of course) 2) a shawl -either we all knit the same or we just each knit our own 3) a garment 4) or we can decide on a designer and just knit any pattern by that particular designer

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Also I almost forgot, My -20% off everything sale is still going until May 15th so if you would like to try out my yarn for the first time or maybe get some more if you already enjoy my yarns, now’s the time! Just use the coupon code MADMAY17 at checkout and you will get a 20% discount on all in stock items. I of course ship worldwide at low prices so I hope you will take advantage of this offer. The shop you can find by clicking here

Until next time I wish you a wonderful week and hopefully lots of quality knitting time. Speak to you soon 🙂

And the winner is….

Hi there and first of all I would like to apologize for being late. I was supposed to draw the winner and announce it yesterday but somehow life got in the way. I do hope you will forgive me. 

So it’s time to announce the winner of the Maker of the Month giveaway and the lucky winner will receive a beautiful skein of Michelle’s self striping yarn.


I used random.org and drew a winner from the 8 comments entered and the winner was comment number 1 or Tiffany GK!!!

So congratulations Tiffany! Please send me an email with your details at knittinginfrance@gmail.com and I will get the skein to you right away. As a winner you have a month to get in touch with me. If I do not hear from you at all I will consider that you have forfeited your prize and we will make another prize drawing.

A big thank you to all of you who participated. The maker of the Month this month is a designer so stay tuned and you might win a pattern next time.

Have a wonderful weekend with lots of knitting (I hope) and I’ll speak to you soon:)

May is a month for DISCOUNTS

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing good and that you have enjoyed my very active blog lately. I have enjoyed sharing so much with you and I still have a list of topics I need to share and more are being added every day. However time can be an issue so I’m probably going to go back to posting once or twice a week as before and hope that will be fine by you 🙂

As you may have guessed by today’s title, this is a blog post about good deals and knitting! So as I was browsing Ravelry this past weekend I came upon something called Mad May. I found this in the Madelinetosh Yarn Ravelry group so I’m guessing they are the instigators. Mad May is a time when indie designers and makers offer special discounts and some go up to 50% off! So just in case you are not aware of this, do click over here to check it out.

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One of these makers is yours truly! I’m offering -20% off all in stock items in my shop, Knitting in France, until May 15th with the coupon code MADMAY17. So if you are interested in trying out some of my yarns now’s the time to do so at a special discount!

I also wanted to mention one of the designers participating in MAD MAY, Elena Nodel. She is currently battling cancer and as a means to try to collect funds for her treatment, she is offering 50% off all her patterns until May 5th. I was aware of her designs although I think I have never knit any of them. I went ahead to her pattern store on Ravelry and purchased 3 of her designs and maybe you would like to take a look and get a great pattern at a big discount while also supporting an indie designer through a tough time. Just click here to go over to her Ravelry page.

I did not only buy patterns from Elena Nodel but also from a few others. I think my Ravelry library has taken on epic proportions in the last couple of years as I’m constantly buying patterns and planning on knitting a million things and then never getting to do everything because I just can’t find the time! If only my job involved a lot of knitting and yarn fondling! Yeah, that does sound like a dream! I will need to do some research 🙂

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One of the patterns I’m planning on knitting this month is the Joji Mystery wrap. I have chosen my yarns (the ones in the picture above). I’m going to use my Back to Basics yarn because I think it is just fabulous for knitting shawls and garments. it’s non superwash so it does not stretch out much and it just feels so soft and has a wonderful stitch definition. I can’t wait for the pattern to come out. But first I do have to finish the shawl that I’m test knitting as well as the Ramble shawl by Andrea Mowry.IMG_7609

This shawl has been on hold for a few weeks now and I really need to get back on it.

I only have one finished object to share today and that is a pair of socks that I test knit for Dana Gervais. This was a fun pattern as always and I used yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings in their Sea Urchin colorway. This pattern has not yet been published on Ravelry but I believe it will be this month.

I loved knitting the asymmetrical cable pattern. It’s an easy pattern repeat and soon becomes memorized more or less. The pattern is called Mitochondrial Socks. As soon as I finished this pair I started another test knit for her. I’m just at the beginning but this time I’m using my own yarn in my SPARKLES base and I really love the pattern. My yarn is also working up beautifully in the stitch pattern. Here’s where I’m at now.

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That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today.  Don’t forget to check out this month’s Maker of the Month and participate in the giveaway.   A winner will be drawn this Friday, May 5th.

Until next time, have a great day and enjoy your crafting 🙂