It’s all about the knitting

Hi there, how are you? I hope you have read the interview I did with Caitlin of Goosey Fibres and that you enjoyed that. If you haven’t read that yet you should click here and then join in the giveaway:)

I have been doing a lot of knitting lately. It is helping me stay sane and not lose myself as I go through some difficult personal times. So today I will be showing all my finished objects and some of my current works in progress.

First off a pair of Christmas socks I’m knitting for myself. I’m making the pattern up but I’m not sure I can call this a design as it is such a simple pattern. It is fun to make and I think this is perfect for self striping yarns that have even stripes. My socks are knit in Gingerbread colorway from the Cozy Knitter. A splurge I made for myself.

I’m getting close to the heel on sock two. I’m knitting those toe up and they are somewhere between shorty socks and a regular sock. I didn’t want to lose any yarn so I had to knit to a certain point where I could pick up from for the beginning of sock two.

I’m enjoying this knit and I look forward to having them all done.

I have also finished sock one of my current sock test knit and I have cast on for sock two. This is a very nice pattern that I’m enjoying working and the result is beautiful. I’m using my new blend, 50/50 merino/cotton to knit those . The yarn is very soft and because of the merino content it does have some give. I’m interested in seeing how the socks will hold up to wear. They are super soft and comfortable to the touch.

kbj testkbj test 2kbj test 3

I’m really thrilled about the colorway I dyed up too:)

And  then there are my hats. I have finished two winter hats. The first is a new pattern from my friend Madeleine of Kingfisher knits. It’s called Vendemmia. I knit this using my 100% baby alpaca yarn in chunky weight. I did have to break into skein two which was a bummer but I think the next time I will not knit it as long because it is a little big/long on me and if I do that, one skein will be sufficient. I also had this great pompom I had bought in Iceland a while back and it goes perfectly with this hat.

Now I just need to wait till it’s cold enough to wear this:)

My second hat is a free pattern on Ravelry from the girls of  Espace Tricot in Canada. It is called Pull the Wool Over and I love it! It is a super simple pattern and it is knit using an aran weight yarn held with a mohair yarn so it has some fuzziness to it. I did put a pompom on it but it’s too small so I have ordered more pompoms and will put a bigger one on this hat.

The last picture shows the two yarns held together in the skein. I got my youngest to model and as you can see she did have some fun:)

I’m currently working on the first pattern from Knitvent 2017. If you are not familiar with Knitvent, this is a pattern collection that Helen of Curious Handmade puts out every year leading up to Christmas. And every week over I think 6 weeks you get a pattern for an accessory. The first pattern this year is for a multi colored cowl that she designed to use with the famous Advent Calendars that so many indie dyers are selling these days. Of course you can substitute that for your own leftovers or ever just knit using one or two colors. There are endless possibilities for this project yarn/color wise. I put together 24 minis and left overs and so I’m knitting as the pattern says, one color per section and as I finish one section I take the yarn out of my bag to be sure I don’t accidentally use it again. This is super fun even though the pattern itself is quite simple. The fact that you change colors/yarn every 8 rows and that there usually is also a change in stitch pattern keeps one interested and wanting to knit just one more section!

land of sweets cowl

This pattern is called Land of Sweets. I try to keep the colors close but not too close and I use the highly variegated for the stockinette sections rather than the lace ones. I’m having lots of fun with this one and I’m currently just past 65% done. And no I’m not a math genius, Helen gives us the percentage every so often in her pattern which is super nice.

And then there is the child cardigan that I’m test knitting and not finishing as quickly as I had hoped for. So I’m knitting this in size 14 years old and I’m using yarn from Rooster that I had in my stash (I used to sell this yarn in my shop). The pattern is fairly simple BUT clearly at the beginning I misunderstood the increase instructions and I kept going when I should not have! This means that my cardigan is bigger/wider in the front than it should but more importantly the neckline is not as it should be!

child cardi test knit

I think the width will not be a problem and as you can see I’m close to being done. I’m on the cuff of sleeve 2 and then I need to do the neckband and the button bands.

child cardi neck

So the cardigan should have a sort of square shaped neckline and so I should just knit the neck band and then pick up and knit the button bands. But because of my mistake, I now find myself with a V-neck cardigan and I’m not sure how I can go about making this work. Here’s what I’m thinking and maybe you can help here

  1. should I start at the bottom of the V neck and just cast on 1 stitch and then gradually increase every row until I have filled the gap and the button band can be knit in a straight line?
  2. should I try to knit a cuff/neck band all the way around the V neck? From beginning to end? And then knit the button band separately? Or maybe first knit the button band, then pick up the cast off stitches at the top and begin the neckband from there?
  3. or should I attempt making a sort of shawl collar/neckband? Knitting everything in one piece from the bottom of one side to the other?

What do you think? I’m planning on finishing the sleeve tonight and then start testing my neck options but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this matter.

These are all my finished objects and most worked on wips. I’m planning on casting on for two more big projects; both are test knits, one cardigan and one pullover. I’m also thinking about some more sock designs that I would like to work on and I even have an idea for a shawl. So many ideas and so little time!

I  hope you are doing good and that you are having a great start to your week. I will be back at the end of the week when I draw the winner for the yarn from Goosey Fibres. Next week I will be away some so I’m not sure if or when I’ll be able to post. Also I think I will close my Etsy shop in a few days. Might even be at the end of this week as next week I will be away most of the time. So just in case you are interested, everything is 25% off, no code needed and you can check out the shop by clicking here

That’s all for now. Take care and happy knitting

The Maker of the Month – Goosey Fibres

Hi there, as promised here comes November’s Maker of the Month interview that I did with the lovely Caitlin behind Goosey Fibres.

I’m not sure where I first heard of her yarns, probably on a knitting podcast, but I went looking for her shop and when I found it on Etsy, there was no turning back! I had to buy yarn!

She has some beautiful color ways and I love the fact that she offers all or almost all in 50 gr skeins. Now that I’m all about the shorty socks, I love this option.

So I of course asked if I could do a little interview with her for the blog to introduce you all to her work and lucky for me, she accepted!

So far I have only knit one pair of shorty socks with her yarn but they are beautiful and I have many more planned.

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Here I used 2 50 gr skeins and I love the colors. The yarn was a joy to work with and the socks fit nicely and are comfortable. I will definitely be knitting more socks from all the yarn I bought from her.

So here goes my interview with her which I hope you will enjoy and of course there will be a giveaway!

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goosey fibres

Tell me a little about yourself, where do you come from and where do you live and work today?

Hi, I’m Caitlin (Cait), I’m a yarn-dyer / stay-at-home-mum.

I live in the States, south of Boston, but not quite the Cape. I’m from Oakland, California, but we moved here 3 years ago, right before my son was born. I’m so happy to be somewhere that I’m tucked away in the woods, in a quiet little town. I loved California, but started feeling burnt out from being constantly surrounded by people and noise. I’m basically a home-body, surrounded by toys and yarn.


Are you a knitter/crocheter/spinner/ weaver ? And if you do all, which craft is your most favorite?

I knit and crochet, but I definitely consider myself a knitter first and foremost. I would love to try spinning and weaving, but don’t feel like I have the time right now to sit down and learn.


When did you learn to knit/crochet/spin/weave ? Do you remember who taught you?

I learned to knit when I was 8. I was home sick and curled up in my parents’ bed, and my mum gave me a couple straight needles and some worsted weight yarn and taught me the knit stitch. I didn’t really make anything, but loved the click click click of the needles. I FULLY became a knitter when I was much older, at 28. Both my sisters-in-law were big knitters and made it look so tempting, so I made my then-boyfriend (now-husband) a hat. I used Youtube videos, mostly, to learn new stitches.

I am teaching myself crochet only recently, in the past few months. I’m making a sampler blanket with my waste-yarn. It’s HIDEOUS, but I LOVE it. It’s got bobbles and waves and every other crochet stitch under the sun.


Do you have a favorite type of project that you regularly turn to? Like socks or shawls etc.

Sweaters and socks, there’s always at least one of each on my needles. I’m a sweater fanatic and work on those at home, and carry socks around with me to work if I’m in the car or…anywhere, really.

goosey fibres cardigan

Would you say that fibre crafts have become a lifestyle for you ?

100% It’s a hobby, a passion, a business, a therapy, a constant thought in my mind.


How did you come to dye yarn and how long have you been dyeing yarn ?

I started dying one winter a few years ago on cheap yarn that I only bought a few skeins of, mostly to see if I liked it and if it could potentially be a more affordable way of getting yarn I wanted. It was NOT cheaper, but I loved doing it.  I started dying, also, because I had spent too much on yarn one month and my husband got nervous about my yarn-spending. He jokes that I started yarn-dying out of spite, because I hate to be told not to do anything.


When did you decide to go professional and open a yarn shop ?

I opened my shop for a couple reasons. 1. Because I thought my colors were pretty and I felt confident that I could reproduce them. But largely 2. Because we had bought a house and I had left my job to stay at home with my son, who needed speech therapy and OT, and we were feeling BROKE. Money was really tight and there was a real fear that we weren’t going to be able to keep making ends meet, so I thought maybe I could sell a skein or two and at least help pay with heat. Instead, it took off, and I’ve been able to help pay most of the bills. It was really a huge boon, opening my shop.

goosey fibres yarn 3

What is the inspiration behind your shop and your yarns?

My initial (and constant) inspiration is my son, August. We call him Goosey, so I named my shop after him. As for my yarn names, I’m inspired mostly by language and turns of phrase, or books. Sometimes, a sentence or couple words will just stick in my mind, and I start seeing colors that I think represent those words. I think I have Synesthesia, so words have colors in my mind. I try to show that in my yarns.


When reading your about page on Etsy, you mention that the shop name comes from a family discussion. Could you tell us a little about that, how you came up with the name ?

I think I touched on this a little. I wanted it to represent how much I love Goosey, something that shows him as he gets older how much he inspired me and changed my life.


What would you say inspires you most in your work as an indie dyer?

It seems to depend on the season. I have a constant line of Harry Potter yarns, because I feel like those are my people. But the weather also inspires me, as well as my surroundings. I love New England and it’s wacky weather. I’m also inspired by movies and pop culture.

goosey fibres yarn 1

When you dye yarn, do you decide on a theme or do you dye “on the fly” so to speak?

A bit of both. Often, there will be a word or thought stuck in my head, and I want to show what that looks like, as far as color. But other times, I just wonder what a couple colors would look like together and will start experimenting.


What are your most popular colorways?

Always and Wizarding Wheezes have been the most popular, but with Winter on its way and weather getting chillier, people are going more for blues and greys. So lately Polar Express is picking up steam, as is Hagrid’s Hut.


You are one of few dyers to offer fingering weight yarns in 50 gr skeins and as a sock knitter I really appreciate that. I think it is great when doing contrasting heels/toes and cuffs or just when knitting for small feets. Is there a reason why you decided to offer this option in your shop? And what has the experiment been like for you, are people buying more 50 gr skeins than the typical 100 gr ones in fingering weight?

I thought the 50g skeins were going to be a limited option, but they have been wildly popular! I love them for making my son socks and for heels/toes/cuffs. They’re the perfect size for those things! I’m a complete convert and will be keeping them in the shop indefinitely. 50g skeins are the best!

goosey fibres sock blank cheat day

You also dye sock blanks, is that a new addition to the shop?

Sock blanks are actually one of the first things I tried to release in the shop, but my early versions were so ugly. I had no idea how to get clean lines or anything. It’s been a long experimental process with blanks, and I’m still thinking of new techniques to try.


Do you have a preferred method of dyeing or material to work with? Like do you enjoy hand painting sock blanks more than dyeing yarn in the skein?

It depends on my mood. If I’m a little cranky or just feeling really quiet, I prefer to work on blanks. Then, I can just sit and paint and listen to podcasts or music. Generally, though, I love working with skeined yarn. There are so many dying techniques, that I find skeined yarn very energizing to work with.

goosey fibres sock blank 1

What do you have coming up for the shop til the end of this year? Any special deals/events/kals ?

I have a deal starting 11/20 running till December 10th. I am also thinking of starting KALs for whatever main project I’m working on. For instance, I’m currently knitting the Slade cardigan by Michelle Wong, so I am going to list kits for that and offer a discount for as long as I’m knitting it. That way it’s kind of like a KAL, because we can all work on it together. So, there will always be some kind of kit offered at a discount, depending on whatever project I’m working on.


Where do you see your business in say 5 years from now ?

I hope it’s still going strong! There’s a real fear that it might fail or…just the uncertainty of the future. But I hope to only go up. I’d like to move out of my home studio and expand to a more commercial setting. I’d love to start doing trunk shows and be carried in more shops, as well.

 

A lot of dyers also podcast or do a blog. Do you do either of those?

I DO have a podcast on youtube, though am not great about my regularity. I get quite camera shy. If you wanted to watch it, it’s Goosey Fibers on YouTube.


Do you  have a group on Ravelry for your yarn and customers? Are you active there? Do you regularly organise kals and other events via your Ravelry group?

This is another area I need to improve on. I have a group on Ravelry, called Goosey Fans, but it’s fairly stagnant. In the near future, I will start doing KALs and fun giveaways, but life has been so busy this year I haven’t quite had the time. New Year’s resolution!


For those that want to follow you and your shop, what would you say is the best venue for that ?

The best way to get insider news and deals is to sign up for my newsletter on gooseyfibers.com! In the future I hope to leave Etsy entirely and work only on gooseyfibers.com, and the newsletter is the best way to stay on top of any news!

Thank you so much for the interview! This was fun; it’s a lovely thing, to look back on beginnings and to see how far it’s come. You’ve also helped me set some goals for myself!

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Well a big thank you to you Caitlin! I did love reading your answers and if my questions helped you in a small way that is just wonderful!
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Caitlin and if you too want a chance to win some of her amazing yarn, please join in the giveaway!
How to join? Just go over to her shop and browse and drool and then come back here and leave a comment with the name of your favorite colorway from her shop.
When will we draw the winner? We will draw the winner next Friday, December 1st here on the blog.
What can you win? This amazing set of yarns. A full skein of Tesseract on the Goosey Sock base and a 50 gr skein in Decoy Detonator on her Gosling base
goosey fibres giveaway
Good luck to you all:)

Knitting through sorrow

Hi there, how are you doing this week? I hope you are doing good and enjoying your week so far.

As you will know if you follow my blog or on my social media, last week was a difficult week for me and my family. The loss of a loved one is always a life changing event I think for those of us left behind. It stirs up so many feelings, brings so many questions.

As I work through my loss and my subsequent feelings and questions, I have found solace in knitting. Knitting has helped me to stay focused. It has helped me to sort through my feelings. I can knit and think, I can cry and knit. I can console myself and knit. And frankly, without knitting, I don’t know how I would have coped.

I felt a need for knitting. Not to have idle hands at any time. And yet, I did not want to work on anything that required brain power, no complicated designs, no big projects. Of course this could only lead to a lot of sock knitting! And I will be sharing pictures of my socks here in a bit.

I knit so many socks that it has become like second nature for me. I don’t need a pattern and yet I still buy tons of sock patterns – just for the stitch patterns that are used. I always do my own heel and toe and cast on and cast off. But i’m totally unable to resist a beautiful sock pattern and this past week, as I have been knitting on socks I have also bought a few new patterns!

I’m now quite quick to finish a pair of socks so that adds to the pleasure of knitting a pair as I have a finished object within days. I do still have one cardigan in the wip pile for myself and a cardigan for my  youngest and that one I’m working on these days. A little at a time. But for comfort I have really been drawn to sock knitting and here’s what I have to show for it!

These are the #MarieCurieQuestforSocks. I’m helping knitting a pair of socks for every patient staying in a Marie Curie Hospice at Christmas in the UK. The main yarn, the patterned one, is  a special yarn dyed by West Yorkshire Spinners for this charity. I’m almost done with pair 4. And for this last pair I knit them two at a time magic loop and I did them as tube socks so now I just have to pop in the heels. I should be able to send all 4 pairs off before the end of this week.

It has been a joy to participate in this project and I have dedicated my participation to a friend that passed away last week from a rare disease. I had intended on knitting a 5th pair but when a close family member died just two days after my friend, I just broke down and I think I have to just take things slowly and only work on what I can, no stress involved. And so I’m going to be proud of these 4 pairs. That’s probably more than the average donation so no need to be sorry for not knitting 5 pairs. As you can hear, I’m trying to convince myself that this is ok:) And it is! I know it is!

But I have not just been doing charity knitting. I have also finished a pair of shorty socks for myself and those I knit out of my first ever skein of Wolmeise yarn. This skein was gifted to me by a friend about 5 years ago or so and it has been sitting in my stash since. So this pair of socks counts towards my Stash Appreciation Project – where the aim is to knit using beautiful yarns from stash.

The yarn is a dark navy blue so not easy to see the pattern. It is a sort of open work patterning that I adapted from some other pattern I had purchased. I really like the look. The yarn itself feels very nice and the socks are very comfortable. Also I’m very much into shorty socks these days. They are both comfortable to wear and quick to knit so win win!

As I prepare for a Maker of the Month feature for January 2018, I’m knitting my first pair of socks with yarn from Biscotte Yarns. A Canadian yarn dyer well known for their self striping yarns. This pair of shorties is for my youngest. I don’t know the colorway name as this came from a 200 gr bundle of self striping yarns. My new favorite! You buy either 100 or 200 gr of self striping yarns, mill ends, so what you get and how much of each is a surprise. This particular yarn came in a 62 gr skein so I have enough for a shorty pair for my daughter and there will be some left over.

So the yarn feels very nice and I love working with it. But more on that later!

biscottes yarn shorty sock

And last but not least, I designed a sock pattern! I did say before that I was in a place where I needed simple, comfort knitting. Nothing that required brain power. Well before getting all the bad news, I had actually started working on a design and I would knit on this a little bit each day. Not a lot at a time but sufficient for it to grow and now I have a finished pair!

I really like the pattern. Now I just need to grade it, make sure the stitch pattern works in all the sizes I would like to have. Then I have to re knit a pair in my own yarn and of course write up the pattern.

The idea here is to start selling kits including my patterns and my yarns. Maybe that would be a good idea to help me keep my business alive in the new year.

Anyway, I’d love to hear what you think of this attempt. I used a very sparkly yarn from Yarn Lab UK. A very nice dyer that sells on Etsy. I believe this colorway is called Poirot’s Christmas.

I found a stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary and adapted that to my stitch count and I think it looks nice.

new sock design 12nov

The stitch pattern will show up better in a solid or semi solid colorway and that is how the next pair will be knit.

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My test knit sock has grown since this picture but not enough. I am now past the heel and about half done with the foot so hopefully I will have at least sock one done by the end of this week and can start on sock two this weekend. I really enjoy using this new yarn base, 50/50 merino/cotton. It feels nice and the stitch definition is very nice.

So that’s about all for this week. I just need to finish the heels on my last Marie Curie socks, finish my second Biscotte yarn shorty sock, finish the test knitting sock I’m still working on AND start knitting some Christmas socks! I have never been so excited about knitting Christmas socks! I have splurged on some beautiful self striping colorways from different dyers so I have plenty to work with. Hopefully next week I will be able to share something there.

Thank you for all the kind thoughts and messages you have sent my way lately. I’m not very present on social media these days as I’m just not feeling very social. I know you understand. They say time heals all wounds and time will help me to carry on and be the best I can be.

Just one more thing before I leave today. I will be publishing this month’s Maker of the Month interview this coming Friday, November 24th so don’t miss that!

Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

The Knitting in France Birthday Game/Swap

Hi there, today I’m writing to tell you about the knitting game/swap I’m organising for 2018. This will be the third year running that I organise this Birthday Game/swap and it is a lot of fun. We are a small group of participants which means this is a rather laid back swap. What makes this extra fun is that it is linked to our birthdays so come your big day you will be getting  a few knitting related birthday gifts and we often enjoy those the most right?

As my followers are from all over, everyone participating has to be willing  to do international shipping. This year I think half the participants were in the US so sometimes you are shipping locally but not exclusively.

I send out a questionnaire to each participant asking about different things like their favorite colors, what the enjoy knitting the most, if they are into fandom of any kind etc. Once I get everyone’s questionnaires back, I prepare a document that I then send out to everyone. We use the answers to prepare the gifts for the other participants and this helps us choose what to send. The value of the gift is somewhere around 20-25USD I think. It really depends and you can gift yarn from your stash rather than buy a new skein just as long as the skein has not been used and still looks nice. You can gift yarn or anything else you have made yourself.

For 2018 I have launched the idea of maybe having a theme. I don’t know if that will be accepted yet but my idea was to have an accessories theme where we would each gift each other a pattern for an accessory as part of the Birthday gift and the yarn to make the item from the pattern. This could be fun as a change to the last two Birthday Games we have done. If you are joining I’d love to hear what you think of this idea and/or if you have another idea.

I have created a thread in my Ravelry group for this so if you are interested in joining us, please comment here

 

That’s all for today. Have a great rest of your day and I’ll see you soon:)

The Sale goes on

Hi there and thank you for all the kind messages. I’m slowly getting back to normal. Losing a close family member suddenly feels totally unreal and completely unjust. A lot of crying has been done and that will be going on for the foreseeable future. They say time heals all wounds so I now just need to give it time.

In spite of everything, life must go on and part of that for me is reopening the shop. I still need to sell as much of my current stock as possible to be able to continue on with my modest plan for 2018. So I have re opened the shop. It will be open from now and until December 4th or so. Then it will probably be closed for good unless… unless I still have lots of yarn left in which case I would reopen for a week or 10 days at the end of December.

So if you like my yarn, if you have yet to try it or if you just want to show a small business owner some support head on over to my shop and enjoy the discount:)

That’s all for now. I’ll be back next week with pictures of my knitting from this week. I have been doing some healing knitting as I contemplate and think of everything.

Have a wonderful and crafty weekend:)

A little announcement 

Hi there, I’m writing again this evening to follow up on my earlier post where I say I’m having a sale in the shop. 

I’m afraid I have just put the shop into vacation mode for a little while. I lost a close family member today and I’m not able to take care of or ship any orders for the time being.

When I feel well enough to open again I will of course let you know here and the sale will be valid to the end of this year or so.

I have had kind messages from some of you on social media after I announced the temporary closing and I want to say thank you for the kind thoughts.

I will probably blog next week though, writing helps me clear my mind and I have a feeling I will need that in the coming days.

Until next time, take care and have a wonderful week. Give your loved ones a hug and take care of yourself! Hugs:)

Knitting in France 2018 – version française en bas

If you have been reading my blog for a while and follow me on social media, you will know that I’m currently debating whether I should continue with the shop or not.

I think the end result will be that I will close the Etsy shop and only sell via my blog. I’m planning on making kits including knitting patterns and my yarn and I’m in discussions with a few designers about this. I’m also going to give designing a try myself and hopefully I’ll be able to offer kits that are all mine in the future.

This will inevitably mean a drastic decrease in offer but it seems like the right way to go right now.

I have decided not to go ahead with the crowd funding campaign. I have put a lot of work into preparing that but along the way it has made me realise that I’m just not very comfortable with asking for money. I know that crowdfunding is not as if I were asking strangers to give me money for nothing. That if someone donates to a crowd funding campaign they will get rewards depending on the investment they make in addition the the satisfaction of supporting someone they believe in. I have done this once myself. But still, it is hard to do and I’m not comfortable doing this at this time.

I’m going to close my Etsy shop some time before Christmas. Until then there will always be a sale of some sort going on as I need to sell as much of my stock as possible. Currently I’m offering -25% off everything. No code needed and I hope you are able to take advantage of the offer if you would like to support/help me at the same time.

In 2018 I will be offering small batches of my hand dyed yarns as well as kits for sale via this blog. Depending on how that goes I will continue or not. Basically I’m sort of cutting the pear in half. Not closing everything down but diminishing and giving things a little more time in the new year to either pick up or bite the bullet.

I’m taking this decision after a lot of thinking. I still feel that the indie yarn business is saturated and only a very few big names are able to make a living from their business. A lot of companies are doing the same thing, producing yarns that resemble those of their competitors. It is hard to stand out even if my yarns are high quality and even if I have a lot of 5 star reviews on Etsy. I’m just one in a million.

I do still enjoy working with and dyeing yarn and my style is a little different from most and so I’m going to continue a little longer only on a smaller scale and via my blog.

I want to thank everyone that have shown me support over the past weeks. Thank you for your kind messages that have warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face. Thank yo for believing in me  and I hope I can continue to count on your support and kindness in the new year.

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Si vous avez suivi mon blog depuis un moment et/ou si vous me suivez sur les autres médias sociaux vous savez sûrement que je contemple la possibilité de fermer ma boutique a la fin de l’année.

Quand j’ai annoncé que j’allais surement fermer, j’ai été surprise par le nombre de messages d’encouragement que j’ai reçu. Beaucoup de personnes m’ont contacté avec des messages de gentillesse et d’encouragement. Me racontant comment moi et ma boutique avons joué un rôle dans leur vie. J’ai été très touché et si vous êtes une de ses personnes/ merci beaucoup!

Tous ces messages m’ont donné envie de me battre et l’idée de lancer une campagne de financement participatif est née. J’ai passé beaucoup de temps à travailler dessus. A me renseigner et imaginer cette campagne pour finalement décider de ne pas la faire.

Même si une campagne de financement participatif est faite pour aider un entrepreneur comme moi même, les donateurs y retrouvent leur compte également. Malgré cela, j’ai du mal a demander de l’argent. Je préfère finalement ne pas le faire.

Je vais fermer ma boutique sur Etsy d’ici Noël. Je n’ai pas de date précise pour le moment, cela dépendra des ventes. D’ici la il y aura toujours une promo d’une sorte ou une autre. Actuellement par exemple, tout est a -25% – pas besoin d’un code. J’essaie de vendre un maximum de mon stock d’ici la fermeture. J’espère que vous pourrez vous faire plaisir tout en me soutenant.

En 2018 je vais vendre uniquement via mon blog, ici. Cela veut dire une diminution drastique de l’offre. Je vais me concentrer sur la vente de kits comprenant un model + ma laine ainsi que des petites quantités de laines teinté mains par mes soins. Je vais laisser le temps au temps un  peu et voir comment cela va fonctionner.

Peut être que ce sera un succès et peut être pas auquel cas je finirais bien par arrêter la vente de laine. Je suis de l’avis que le marché de la laine artisanale est surchargé et que seuls quelques grands noms arrivent a en vivre. Nombreux sont les indie dyers qui font cela plus pour leur propre plaisir que pour en vivre et c’est très bien. Moi mon but était de créer mon propre emploie et pour le moment cela n’est pas possible.

Le blog va continuer et je vais essayer de l’écrire en français aussi et non pas seulement en Anglais.  J’aimerais m’essayer a la création de modèles aussi et je vous les présenterais bien sur ici via le blog si j’y arrive.

Voila, je tenais a vous tenir au courant de la situation. Je vous remercie pour votre soutien et compréhension et j’espère que nous resterons en contact par la suite.

All my current wips

Hi there how  are you? I’m fine. This past weekend we had truly miserable weather here in Normandy so I did get to spend a nice amount of time knitting in front of the tv. However as I have a million things going, I don’t seem to have made much progress on anything.

I did manage to finish one of my current test knits. That was a two color cowl and I cast that off last night so now I just need to give it a little wash and  block. I’m not able to share pictures with you just yet though as this pattern will be part of a new knitwear collection to be published before the end of this year and the designer wants to keep everything a secret until the release. But that was good to at least get that one done.

I have made a little progress on a new sock test knit that I’m doing. This is the first test knit I do for this particular designer and I really like her pattern. I’m knitting the socks using a new base from my shop, the 50/50 merino and cotton base and it’s working up really nicely so far.

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This designer is KBJKNITS   from Australia and she has a number of designs on Ravelry.

The children’s cardigan I’m also test knitting (for a different designer) is now well on it’s way. I’m at the bottom edge for the body and hope to finish that tonight so then I will have to do the sleeves, collar and button bands. Still plenty of work.

And with all this test knitting I’m thinking, maybe I too could design something? I have one pair of finished socks that I designed a while back but never wrote up the pattern, I have a baby dress and a blanket in the same situation. And last night I started on a second pair of socks. This time I’m trying my hand at designing shorty socks.

new sock design 12nov

So far so good. I’m thinking in the future I could sell kits with my own pattern and hand dyed yarns. What do you think?

I also cast on for two new projects this past weekend. Both are from newly purchased patterns and the yarns are from my stash so totally in the theme of my Stash Appreciation Project!

The first is a hat. I saw the pattern on Instagram and immediately went over to Ravelry to buy it. I knew I had just the right yarn and the fur pompom! So the pattern is called Vendemmia and is by the talented Madeleine of Kingfisher Knits. I wasn’t able to knit a lot on this over the weekend because I wanted to knit on ALL my wips so I allocated a small time to each project but at least I got it going and so far so good:)

vendemmia 1

I’m using my chunky alpaca yarn for this and a pompom I purchased the last time I was in Iceland. Everything feels so squishy and luscious! I can’t wait to be able to wear this hat!

My second new project is a cowl called The Land of Sweets by Helen of Curious Handmade. This is the first pattern in this year’s Knitvent. The pattern is designed using an advent calendar from an indie designer so using 24 mini skeins in different colors. I don’t have an advent calendar of minis but I do have lots of minis and rests of yarns from projects I have knit over the years. So I found myself a christmas project bag

christmas project bag

And then went rummaging through my stash to find compatible minis. I wound them up into mini yarn balls and threw them into the bag.

land of sweets minis

The idea is to just pick a mini at random for each section of the cowl and once I have knit with one yarn/mini I take it out of the bag to be sure I won’t use it a second time.

I think this is going to be a fun knit. The idea behind all those minis is great and I think it is what will make this more fun than if it were knit in only one or two colors.

So far I have only just begun so nothing much to show you but here’s where I’m currently at.

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I’m also continuing knitting on the Marie Curie Quest for socks charity knitting. I’m so close to finishing pair number 3. I can feel myself losing momentum here after knitting almost 3 vanilla pairs in the same yarn but I’m going to try and stay focused and knit 4 pairs as I planned on doing.

I think this is about all for now on my knitting. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today. I hope you have enjoyed reading up on my knitting and seeing the pictures. I’ll be back later this week with some more info and hope to see you then:)

The potato experiment

What?! If you have not heard of my experiment you are probably thinking I must have lost my mind! Why would I want to talk to you about potatoes on a knitting blog? Well, no wonder you ask.

So it all began with some grocery shopping before Halloween. Our grocery shop had some Vitelotte potatoes and they had packaged them in a Halloween package and branding somewhat like Halloween potatoes. I had never tasted Vitelotte potatoes and it was Halloween so I thought this was just perfect timing and bought a kilo!

When I finally cooked these, just peeling them before cooking stained my hands purple and so I thought maybe, just maybe, I could use the peels to dye yarn. These potatoes have such a beautiful purple color. I could just imagine seeing some gorgeous yarn in a beautiful purple.

I looked online and found nothing about using potato peels for dyeing yarn. Maybe not strange! But I decided to do it anyway. So I put the peels to the side and let them dry.

vitelotte potatoes See why I was imagining purple yarn?

When it was dry I cooked the peels. I put them into a small mesh bag and cooked them for hours and boy did they stain! or give color! Not sure how to word that.

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It looked beautiful.

I chose to use some of my organic merino yarn as this was natural dyeing. I read up on mordanting and I had some Alun for mordanting and so off I went. I followed the instructions on how to mordant my yarn BEFORE dyeing. And then I plunged it in.

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I had such high hopes! But something strange happened! The yarn did NOT take the color or almost nothing! I put three skeins in and even after over an hour in the dye stock, there was still lots of color in the water.

I let it sit longer and checked from time to time until I decided it wasn’t working and I took the yarn out. The leftover water was still pink!

I am a beginner at natural dyeing and maybe I did something wrong. Or maybe potato peels are not meant to be used as dye stuff.  Anyway I did it and here are a couple of pictures of my yarns next to the same yarn undyed. If I had not put an undyed skein next to them you would not see these were actually dyed. It’s that subtle.

So the middle skein is undyed. The others have a sort of very light beige color.  I’m not sure if I’m going to use them as is or if I will overdye them with something else. I’m still debating that.

Anyway it was a fun experiment and a lot of people were interested in the results so I hope you have enjoyed stopping by today and seeing my pictures.

Until next time; Have a great weekend and I’ll speak to you soon:)

Test knits and knitting needle testing

Hi there, how are you today? Did you get much knitting done this past week? I did some, not a lot. I feel like I’m making such limited progress these days. I just don’t have the time or maybe I’m working on too many projects at once, if that’s a thing. I’m not sure.

I do know that I have a lot of things going. I think I have 5 pairs of socks on the needles that I’m actually knitting on (way more in my mountain of wips), I have one wrap and one child size cardigan and one cowl. So I do have a lot to choose from. The cowl and the child cardigan are both test knits and I need to finish those in November. I can show you the cardigan but not the cowl just yet.

So the cardigan will be part of a book that I think will be published next year. I was going to use my own yarn but I didn’t have  just the right thickness so I went with something from my stash. its called Rooster Almerino baby – the yarn that is. The pattern can be knit as either a pullover or a cardigan and I chose to do the cardigan and I’m knitting it for my youngest. I don’t have enough for a single color cardigan so I’m going to use 2 or even 3 colors and I think that will be fun. I’m very close to finishing the body. Then I have the sleeves, collar and button bands to do.

cowtown test knit child cardi

This is not where I’m at now, I have made good progress since I took this picture actually. I like the stitch pattern and it keeps the knitting interesting. The color is a very light green and it looks very nice. My daughter loves it.

For the socks, I haven’t really made any significant progress so no pictures today. I have though started on pair number 3 for Marie Curie and this time I’m using a blue tweed contrasting yarn for the cuff, heels and toes and it’s funny how it changes the main yarn. It really brings out the blue in the Marie Curie yarn so I feel like I’m knitting on something totally different and that is good because knitting 4 pairs of vanilla socks in a row using the same yarn can get boring. I’m thinking I might do the last pair, pair number 4, with some white – their yarn/colors are yellow, blue and green. (I’ll show a picture a bit further down in this post of the sock so you can see how it is knitting up with the blue cuff). I don’t have any more of the yellow contrast yarn I used in the first two pairs and I only have a little bit of this blue tweed yarn… I think. I might need to go stash diving though just to be sure because it does look good. AND it’s Stash Appreciation time! So I should go stash diving and use some of my “old” yarns.

I have created a thread in my Ravelry group for the Stash Appreciation project that is running as of now and until January 31st so if you are interested in joining please do. I’d love to hear what you might knit and see a picture of your yarn. I’m going to knit a sweater using some older hand spun yarn but I haven’t started yet. I feel like I need to finish the test knit cowl before I can start anything that big. i also want to knit some Christmas socks from one of my special Christmas yarns and again I think I need to finish at least pair 3 for Marie Curie before casting that on. I’m afraid if I cast on for new things now, I might not finish what I need to finish, in time.

On to other things. I have tested a few new things lately and I need to share that with you. First, the knitting needles.

I bought some new knitting needles after hearing about them on social media. The first pair was a fixed circular from LYKKE. Everyone is talking about those and I really wanted to try them out. This is a Norwegian brand but the needles are manufactured India from driftwood. I was expecting them to feel somewhat like wooden needles, a feel similar to Indian Lake Artisans needles for example but they feel super slick and sort of “plasticky” and I’m pretty sure that is not a word.

I bought two pairs, a 2.25mm and 3.50mm and I”m currently knitting a sock with the 2.25mm ones – the sock you see on the picture to the right. So back to the needles. They don’t feel like wooden needles so that was a surprise to me. They are however very nice to use. The yarn glides beautifully and they feel good in my hands so I can understand how popular they are. They are not however a game changer for me, I mean that I’m not going to go overboard and buy their entire collection to only use theirs. But they are nice so if you have been wanting to give them a go I’d say go ahead. I’m pretty sure you will like them.

The other set of needles I bought were meant for sock and sleeve knitting. I saw those somewhere and thought they looked so exotic and I just had to give them a go. These are the Addi CrasyTrio needles. As the name indicates, they come in sets of 3 needles.

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First I need to say that when I knit socks, I  use circulars 90% of the time. I either do magic loop or a 9″ circular. These needles are more directed towards the knitters that prefer knitting socks with two shorter circulars at a time. They actually look very much like the Neko needles except the Addi needles have  a tiny cord between the needle tips whereas the Neko needles are all plastic (no cord at all). This does make the Addi’s easier to manipulate I think. And they are definitely sturdier. I have only knit two pairs with the Neko needles and they come in sets of 4 needles – you only knit with three but they give one extra. And I broke two needles out of 4 without even noticing and I lost a bunch of stitches so that put me off those for a while. Although I must say the customer service was excellent and they sent me replacement needles.

addi and marie curie

This is pair 3 of my Marie Curie socks on the Addi CrasyTrio

But back to Addi. I have knit one sock and am on the second one (although not from the same pair) and I must say that the beginning was not fun. The needles come with an instructional booklet and a sock recipe. I followed the instructions for casting on over two needles and then taking one out so you have half of the stitches on each. Well that was just impossible to do! I struggled until everything was off and then cast on again over just one needle and then transferred half the stitches over to needle two. The very first row was fiddly but after that it was fine. If you usually use two circulars rather than magic loop or a 9″ I’m sure you would like these. I however like the flow of knitting on q 9″ and so so stopping and turning my work around seems tedious to me now. Also when knitting the needle points click on each other making noise so this is not an option for me if watching the tv with my family:)

I’m going to finish my two pairs I started with on these but I’m not convinced they will be used much. I do want to try them on a sleeve though and maybe I will like that better. Who knows. Anyway it was very interesting to try out.

You may know, or not, that when I began my online knitting shop I specialised in knitting needles. I sold all kinds of knitting needles, different styles and materials. I was the first to ever sell Hiya Hiya, Kollage, Indian Lake Artisans, Knit Stix, Swallow, Signature Needle Arts and more brands here in France and in some cases even in Europe.

Would you be interested in me doing a series of post about knitting needles? If anyone is interested I could maybe put something together and share my thoughts on different styles and brands etc. Leave me a comment below and let me know.

One more thing before I leave today. I don’t know why I have waited to the very last minute to do this properly, but I have just got my first really good looking yarn ball bands! Now my yarns can look really professional I think.

IMG_0479 I love my new label. With the future of the shop so uncertain I don’t know if I will get to use them but at least they will be a nice souvenir and I can still use them on my own personal yarn and when I dye yarn for friends and family.

I’ll be back later this week with an update on my potato peel dye experiment. Also there will be an update on the shop on the Future of Knitting in France pages- both the English and French one very soon. Not the news I was hoping to share this week but well.

Until next time, I hope you have a great rest of your week. Enjoy your crafting and thank you for stopping  by:)