My knitting projects and a new challenge for April

Hi there how are you today? It’s Monday and a new work week has begun.  This is the last week before Winter Vacation for my kids so they are all feeling kind of tired and more than ready to be on vacation. I’m lucky enough to get a few days off also but not just yet. But I too really look forward to that.

I will be going to California beginning of March and will stay there for 3 weeks which is exciting. I will be working so it’s not going to be all fun and knitting but it will be plenty fun still.

I’m trying hard to be strong and not go crazy ordering a billion things online that I cannot find here in France. I don’t actually need anything so whatever I buy (because I know I will) will just be for some personal indulgence. And I need to try and keep the urge or the yarn buying monster under control.

But before I go, I do have some big projects that need finishing. First off is my Temperance shawl that I’m test knitting for KJB designs. I did show you my progress last week. I have been knitting on this every day since and I’m about 17 rows from cast off. That does not sound like a lot but it is because I’m well over 400 stitches per row now so each row takes quite some time to finish. I am planning on casting off at the end of this week though.

temperance shawl 19feb

This shawl is HUGE! I’m already well into my second skein of fingering weight yarn. I have begun on the lace edging as you can see. The shawl is way bigger than my needle so it is all scrunched up but you get the size.

temperance shawl lace

Here you can see the lace edge a little better. It is fun to knit and looks really nice I think. I’m knitting this with my own hand dyed yarn in a merino/mohair/nylon blend which is ultra soft and the yarn has a little halo so it really looks as soft as it feels.

My second big test knit that I’m hoping I will finish by the end of this week, maybe Sunday or so, is my Akane sweater by ERI a Japanese designer.

I have finished the body. This is a cropped sweater and I did lengthen the body and for a time was afraid I might have lengthened it too much but after trying it on I see that I definitely did not lengthen too much.

So the body is finished and I finished the collar and sewed the shoulders and I have also cast on for the sleeves. I decided to knit the sleeves concurrently as sleeve knitting can get boring and also because I really want to finish by the end of the week if I possibly can. So I’m knitting one pattern repeat on sleeve A and then one repeat on sleeve B and then back again to A etc. So far I have done 2 repeats on both sleeves.

akane 19feb

When I took this picture I had only done one repeat though so my sleeves are a little longer now.

I really like how this is knitting up and I think it will be very cute over a black long tshirt or maybe even over a white tunic/blouse.

I’m also working a little on two other projects that are not test knits and so do not have an impending deadline. There is the Flea cardigan. I have finished the body at the moment. I will have to come back later and do the button bands and steek but first I need to knit the sleeves. Here I’m only knitting one sleeve at a time because I need two yarns and so knitting both concurrently felt like a bother.

flea cardigan 19feb

And I did pick up my Midnight Sherbet brioche wrap and knit a little last night. I’m getting sort of bored with my two big test knits as I cannot allow myself to knit on anything else really or I will miss the deadline so even just knitting a few rows on this one felt good.

The pink is the front and the blue is the back. If you look closely you will see that I have done the second cable; you can see it better on the pink side. I won’t be able to take this with me when I leave for the US so this wrap is going to be a while in the making. But that’s ok.

And that’s all I have worked on since last time. I have not knit a single stitch on a sock! And it feels strange! When I finish at least one of my two test knits I will take a little break and go back to my socks.

I also need to start thinking of what projects to take with my on my trip. I will have lots of knitting time on the flights but not so much I think during my actual stay. I will be test knitting a cardigan so that will be my big project. I will bring my Winter Rose socks with me – the first pattern from Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade Sock Society. Those were published now in February and I have only done a little bit of knitting on those so I want to take them and finish. I will also knit the next sock pattern from Mina’s Knitting Expat sock club; the one that will be published on March 1st. So that makes 2 socks + I think I will need yarn for at least one vanilla sock. And I want to knit a shawl. I have dyed up some yarn and have even wound it up already. I’m going to cast on for the Across the Pond shawl by Mina Philip of Knitting Expat Designs. So that means that for 3 weeks I will have : 1 cardigan, 1 shawl and 3 socks to knit on. Probably way too much but I can’t risk not having enough!

And on another very exciting subject. A reader of this blog suggested a sort of joint effort/challenge to work on my mountain of wips. A challenge to organize and get on top of our crafting supplies and I immediately knew this had to be done!

So the idea is that in April I- and hopefully others will join in- will work on my organizing my craft supplies and claiming back some of my bedroom space and making things look pretty again.

You may only have yarn and knitting/crochet supplies to work on but  I have a ton of lots of different supplies on top of yarn and fibre. I also have beads, jewelry supplies and tools, polymer clay and everything that goes with that not to mention stash from my almost defunct shop etc.

I need to take a good look at my supplies and think how best to store them in an organized manner. What I want to keep and what I want to donate and what I want to swap!

Yes because when we have worked so hard at getting our craft space all spruced up and organized we should be able to welcome a few new supplies into our home don’t you think?

So I’m thinking I will work on this project behind the scenes somewhat and prepare posts to share with you here on the blog during March as I and maybe you, prepare for the challenge. And then we will have the entire month of April to actually work on this challenge and get things done. And when we are done, most of us will be likely to have a pile of “would like to swap” yarn/needles etc and so I was thinking we could each publish those in my Ravelry group and then do an unofficial swap. If you see something I own and want to swap, I will take a look at your stuff and then we can swap a skein for a skein sort of thing. What do you think?

This is an idea in its infancy and still needs working on but I would love to hear what you think? Would you like to join? Would it not be wonderful to have a clean, newly organised stash and craft space before the summer? It does make me dream:)

I will be creating a thread soon in my Ravelry group where we can discuss this further and I will be launching subjects and then we can all chime in and share ideas and links to good storage solutions etc. I for one am super excited about this challenge because for me this will be a challenge as I’m not the most organized person.

So that’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your precious time with me. Do leave me a comment if you would like to join in the April challenge and help me find a catchy name and hashtag so we can share all over and see what each one is doing when the time comes.

Till next time, take care and happy knitting:)

4 thoughts on “My knitting projects and a new challenge for April

  1. I have been thinking of this challenge since we first started talking. I am taking photos of my cluttered stuff for show and tell. I desperately need to get a handle on organizing EVERYTHING!! I found a tote bag of colorful yarn that a friend gave me from her stash (she only knits in black!). It was in my closet for about a year. I totally forgot about it. Right now the challenge is waiting until April!
    Your knitting is beautiful. Really beautiful. Enjoy your time in California.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I’m so happy you are joining in the challenge. I’m also going to take pictures even if the thought of actually sharing publicly what my corner of wips looks like makes me shudder! But I’m hoping that once the challenge is over the before and after pictures will be just that much more impressive:)

      Liked by 1 person

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