My works in progress

Hi there, how are you? It’s Easter weekend here now and I hope you are having some time off from work and just enjoying some nice relaxing time with your family and friends, lots of chocolate at hand as well as your knitting.

Last time I blogged I did not have the time to show you all of my current wips or the post would just have been way too long and I don’t want to abuse your precious time so I decided to share those with you now.

First up, I’m test knitting a sock for KBJ Designs, an Australian designer. This is the fourth time I test knit for her I think and the third sock pattern.

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This pattern is really beautiful and keeps your interest all the time. It is a pattern that you need to follow so maybe not one you can work on in front of a complicated film or at an animated knit night. But oh so enjoyable.

I’m using yarn from Lolo Did It called Hippo for Thanksgiving and I really like how that is knitting up. I was afraid the speckles might obscure the stitch pattern but I think it’s ok.

Then there is my Midnight Sherbet by Kingfisher Knits. I’m knitting this one using my own organic merino DK yarn that I dyed specially for this pattern. I’m about 80% done so really looking forward to coming to the end of this one. There is like a lozenge pattern in the middle of the wrap but I chose not to include that and just knit straight on and then continue the cable that goes all through the length of the wrap. This is a two color brioche wrap so if you want to practice brioche knitting this is a  pattern I would highly recommend.

The pink side is the front and the blue is the back but really this is totally  reversible so both can be fronts. The cable is showing up better on the pink side as the yarn is lighter.

I also started a new shawl while I was in California, I chose the Across the Pond by Mina Philip of the Knitting Expat. I have had this pattern in my Ravelry library for a long time and I knew I wanted to knit this. I dyed up some of my Back to Basics fingering weight yarns especially and cast on while in the US.

I’m not very far on and the stitches are all scrunched up on my needles but you at least see the color and the patterning. I still have a lot of repeats to do of this main section and then there is a lace border and I dyed up a light silver color for that. I think this will look really nice once it’s done.

And then there is my first colorwork, steeked cardigan. I had almost finished in February before leaving for the US. When I came home I knit the button bands and prepared the steek. Here are a couple of pictures but I feel this cardigan deserves a whole post on its own so I will be sharing more on this work later.

On the left you see the cardigan with the button bands in place and on the right I have made the crochet reinforcement and the only thing left is to just cut the steek and fasten the buttons! I have even woven in all the ends!

I’m of course working on more socks and a new test knit cardigan and will share pictures of those when I have made some progress.

That’s it for today. I will be sharing my stash enhancements next time and some of the patterns I intend to knit up with those.

Thank you for taking the time to check on me today. I wish you a wonderful weekend and happy crafting!

I’m back!

Hi there, how are you and how have you been these past few weeks? It’s been way too long since my last real post and as you may know that is because I have just come back from a 3 week stay in California:

I had a wonderful time with my brother. It was a quiet visit as both of us were working and I was there to help out with his two girls so there was a lot of family time which was just very cozy and nice.

I did get to meet lots of new people and see places I had yet to visit but mostly it was just family and work.

I did buy some stuff…way more yarn and project bags than planned for… but I really felt like taking this opportunity to save on shipping! AND a friend of mine was having a going out of business sale that was just too good not to take advantage of.

I will be sharing my stash enhancements in a later post as not everyone may be interested in  seeing and hearing about that and since it’s been such a long time since I last checked in I thought I would stick to knitting today.

So this month of March has been very productive knitting wise. I have so far knit 5 pairs of socks and one cardigan. I’m currently working on a wrap, a shawl, 2 socks, about to steek and finish a cardigan and cast on for a new test knit sweater.

So lots of things to share with you today.

First of let’s do socks!

So as you may remember I’m doing no less than three sock clubs this year, both of Mina’s Knitting Expat clubs and the Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade one. This means that I receive one or two patterns a month depending as Helen’s club is a bi monthly one. So March was a 2 pattern month and I have finished both patterns.

First there is the Winter Rose socks from Helen Stewart. I knit those using Opal sock yarn and I think they look really nice. For some reason they were slow to knit and not just because of the all over lace pattern. For some reason I just had a hard time finishing them but now I’m done I really like them. These are for my older daughter.

 

Then there is the pattern from Mina’s Wanderlust club called the Dérive socks. I knit those using a small skein from Goosey Fibres for the main color and my Back to Basics yarn for the contrasting toe.

This pattern was simple to memorise and knit up relatively fast. These are for my younger daughter.

 

As I had knit a pair for each of my daughters I had to knit one for my son too. I used one of my stash enhancements for his pair. I actually purchased two balls of Regia PairFect yarns by Arne and Carlos and one of those was for my son. He has bigger feet than I do so the socks look too big on my blockers. I used up all the yarn or almost. I think only a few grammes were left in the end so they are rather high on the leg and I do hope he will like them. Spring is around the corner so not really the right time of the year for sock gifting but hey.

regia pairfect matteo I really like the autumnal colors and pattern in this yarn. I just did my regular vanilla sock here.

And then there is Sock Madness! You may know that I decided to join for the third time. This time I was careful not to finish too quickly because I wanted to avoid ending up in the fastest team as before so I took my time although that is relatif because I ended up knitting my pair in 4 days! And to show you how crazy fast knitters there are, finishing up in 4 days got me in the 5th fastest team. I took longer than necessary because I know that I have a lot of things to do in my daily life and cannot put everything aside for SM when a new round starts so I thought this strategy would put me in a team of knitters that have similar lives/imperatives as I do and so I might be able to stay in the game longer.

So the qualifying round had just started the day before I left so I had cast on at home and then knit on my trip over and so forth. The qualifying round pattern was a nice two color pattern using slipped stitches and a broken rib. The broken rib on most of the sock was what slowed things down. I used my own hand dyed SOX yarn for this pair as the main color and a very pale green yarn from the Wool Barn for the contrasting color.

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Round 1 is about to finish in less than 72 hours so round 2 is just around the corner. The round 1 pattern was a tricky one because it had beading, knotting and duplicate stitches. Once I understood how to make the stitch where the beads were to be threaded onto and how to then knot it, I was on a roll. The rest of the sock was just simple stockinette. The difficult part was once the socks were done, one had a lot of duplicate stitching to do and I have never really done duplicate stitching so it took a while. Especially on the first sock. I was worried for a while that I might be disqualified due to my bad stitching skills but in the end my socks turned out ok and I actually like them. Lucky for me I had brought yarn for those as well as beads just in case this pattern was the first one.

It is always good to challenge oneself and try new techniques and I can definitely do with some more duplicate stitching but I have to admit I did not enjoy that so much…

Now I’m just trying to get other things done before the next round starts.

I also knit a cardigan. This is a test knit I did for Making Stories, the European knitting publication by Verena Cohrs and Hanna Lisa Haferkamp. So far they have only published one book/magazine called WOODS but the second issue BREEZE is about to be published and this test knit is for the third issue that will be published this autumn I believe.

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This design is secret for the time being so not much I can share about that but here is what I can say. This is a buttonless cardigan with 3/4 sleeves knit top down in one piece. The yarn is an italian rustic yarn that has been hand dyed. There were not a lot of color choices I felt so I picked a dark grey color. This yarn was not a total joy to knit with I must confess. It was very very loosely plied and so I had to be careful to knit all the plies and not just one strand (that did happen a few times) and also the color rubbed off on my hands so after each knitting session my hands would be all grey which I did not much like.

When I came home I washed and blocked the cardigan and surprisingly the yarn did not bleed as I thought it would.  I had also had an issue with the hem curling up on it self but once I washed it, it just fell right into place.

This is a very nice cardigan for autumn and early winter I feel. Because it does not have full sleeves and is somewhat short it is not a cozy winter garment but rather a nice layer when the weather starts to cool down I think.

This is starting to get a little long so I think I will leave my works in progress for later. Thank you so much for coming back and for your patience waiting for me as I was away and not blogging.

I hope you are doing great and happy knitting till next time!

Yarn enabling

Just a very short message today with hopefully a full post this coming week.

My friend and designer Nancy Whitman is closing her online yarn shop and so is hosting a “Going out of business ” sale offering-40% off everything! She has beautiful yarns such as Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, Claudia, Rowan and many more. I have actually made 2 separate orders myself for way more yarn than I should have so I thought I should share the info with all of you! This is a gré opportunity to get some quality yarns at a great price and at the same time to support a small business owner by minimizing her losses. Do check out her shop here http://www.whitknits.com/index.php

Happy yarn shopping:)

HI there, how are you? It’s been a while, way too long actually. I got busy at work and then getting ready for a long trip. As I’m writing this I’m actually in sunny California where I will be staying for a little while. I’m working as usual and after work I’m helping my brother with his girls. It’s been a long time since I saw them so spending some time with them is a treat.

Before leaving home, I was super busy finishing important knitting projects. Two of which were test knits.

The first one was a shawl that has not yet been published. It will be called the Temperance shawl and is by KBJ Designs. It is a single color shawl and uses 160 grammes so almost two skeins of fingering weight yarn. I knit mine with my merino/mohair/nylon yarn. It is an amazing blend and has a little bit of halo from the mohair content.

The pattern repeat is simple and it has a lovely lace border. It is also huge!

My second test knit was for a cropped sweater and that pattern has now been released. It is called Akane and the designer is called Eri.

I knit mine using a fingering weight yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings in the colorway Raspberry Ripples and I really love the outcome. I did not even need to blend skeins. As I’m not much of a fan of cropped tops, not necessarily flattering on my body type, I amended the pattern a little bit. I knit both the body and the sleeves longer than the pattern called for and I really like how that worked out.

I also managed to almost finish my colorwork cardigan, the Flea cardigan by Pinneguri. When I get back home I just need to knit the button bands and STEEK! That will be very exciting and I’m already thinking of my next colorwork cardigan.

I knit this using Holst Garn in a wool/silk blend and really enjoyed working with this yarn.

So these three projects were my main focus before leaving for the US. Everything else was put on hold.

Now I’m working on another test knit, a cardigan again in a DK yarn. This is an exciting project for Making Stories. I’m not allowed to show any revealing pictures but it I’m using a special Italian yarn and I chose a grey color. I’m just at the separation for the sleeves. The construction is interesting and as this is Knit on 4 mm needles it grows nicely.

I’m also doing Sock Madness again. This is my third year. The first year I was put in the fastest team and made it to the last round although I did not win. Last year I was in the second fastest team I think but was disqualified after 5 rounds out of 7 I believe because I misunderstood a colorwork pattern. That was a huge disappointment. I actually knit the socks twice because at one time I realized it was not correct. The second time I was sure everything was correct but unfortunately I misread the charts and so my pattern did not come out right. I was so sad I thought maybe I would never join again. But the competitive spirit got the better of me and I joined again.

The qualifying round is on now. I did manage to make a mistake on my second sock and had to rip back about half a sock but that’s ok. I had decided I would take my time with the first pair so that I would end up in a less speedy team and so maybe have a better chance of staying in the game longer. So I cast on March 1st and I finished last night or March 6th. This was a fun pattern and I can see myself tweaking it a bit and knitting a second pair. The qualifying round is running to March 14th I believe and after that all the participants that finished a pair will be divided into teams, depending on speed and from then on we will compete against our team mates each round. Each round will get shorter and less people will qualify for the following round and so forth until the end. It is a little crazy but also a lot of fun.

This means that the first real competition round will start while I’m away from home. Before leaving we had received the list of materials for each pattern but I could not take everything with me so I took all the tools and 4-5 yarns so now I just hope the pattern will arrive BEFORE my flight home so I can make good use of all those flight hours.

But enough of chatting, here are my socks for the qualifying round

I used my own hand dyed SOX yarn for the main color and a pale green from Baerenwolle for the contrast.

That’s all for now I think. This week I will concentrate on my test knit cardigan and also work on my February socks from Helen Stewart’s Sock Society and the March socks from Mina Phillips sock club.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed seeing my work. I hope to be back next week with more knitting. Until then have a great week and happy knitting:)