A new week

Hi there, how are you? Been knitting a lot? I have been knitting consistently but I’m not able to show you everything because one of the projects  I have been knitting a lot on is a secret test knit.

I have been trying to finish certain things lately and so I have limited myself to a small number of projects to work on because I really want them to be done before I cast on for new projects.

So this past week I have worked on 3 things: a shawl, a cardigan and a sweater.

The shawl is the A Girl’s Best Friend by Isabelle Kraemer. I really love this pattern. I had seen a lot of knitting podcasters knit this and I really wanted to get this on the needles and I’m finding it to be such a joy to knit. I’m also super happy with the three yarns I chose, two single ply yarns one of which is my own hand dyed and then one 4 ply yarn from Madeleinetosh. I really love how the yarns knit up and how the colors go together. I’m pretty sure I will get a lot of wear out of this shawl when it’s done.

girls best friend

I’m almost done. I’m on the last section which is a sort of ribbing and I’m knitting that part in the Madelinetosh yarn. The grey is my yarn and the pink is Woolberry Fibre Co. So I have about 2 1/2″ of knitting to go on this but the rows are super long so this will take a few hours to finish.

I should finish this week and when I do, I’m going to cast on for the Baubles shawl by Andrea Mowry. I dyed some luscious yarn for this already in an alpaca/silk/linen blend so I’m excited to get that on the needles but I’m being serious so not casting on till my other shawl is done!

Then I have been working on my test knit as I said. It is a top down, seamless sweater with a lace yoke. I’m knitting it using Holst Garn Tides which is a wool and silk blend. I’m totally head over heels with Holst garn now. It is such a joy to work with and the price is just amazing! It is so much less expensive than many commercially produced yarns and they have so many colors to choose from. When I go to their website I just want to buy 10 balls of every single shade they have!

And then I have done one good/serious thing this past week. I actually picked up a wip from my pile of wips/shame! I can hardly believe it myself! And oh I’m so happy I did!

So I picked up my Veronika Cardigan by Shannon Cook. This is an oversized cardigan/wrap knit on an aran weight yarn. It is knit almost all in one piece and it is so simple! I think I’m about half way done now and I’m hoping I will be able to finish in the next two weeks. This is not really the appropriate garment for the upcoming season but I will get  a lot of use from this come autumn and next winter.

The yarn I’m using is Waltham from Kettle Yarn Co. I had bought this yarn for something else, a cardigan by another designer but I had some issues with the pattern and as I was about halfway done I ripped the whole thing out and decided to keep the yarn for something else. And I’m so happy I did because it is perfect for this Veronika cardigan.

I have other sweaters in my pile of wips that really need working on so once Veronika is done I’m hoping I will pick up another one and get that done but I have a little creeping doubt that might not happen immediately. Why? Well, because I’m about to cast on for another sweater test knit – that is as soon as I finish my second sleeve on the current one. And then I want to cast on for a second Flea cardigan- this time for my mum. And I just bought and received a kit for a sweater.

I usually do not buy indie dyed kits because they are usually out of my budget but for some reason I was unable to resist this time. The sweater is the Alyeska by Caitlin  Hunter. I already had the pattern and when I saw this kit from Olann I just went ahead and purchased it!

I have never had yarn from Olann before so this is exciting too. The kit is a mix of singles and one skein of mohair yarn. I’m really looking forward to knitting this and I’m trying to convince myself I need to wait and maybe have this as my summer vacation knit. That would be fun AND in the meantime I would work on something else from my pile of wips.

alyeska kit

This is the kit. How beautiful is this! I bought the biggest kit even if I do not need to knit the biggest size but I was just worried otherwise I might not have enough yarn or something.

So that was a big splurge!

This week I’m going to finish (hopefully) my shawl so I can cast on for the Baubles next week. I also have to finish my current sweater test knit and I’m about 40% done with sleeve two now so that will not be an issue and then I’ll go on to the new test knit. So then I will have one shawl and one sweater on the needles plus my Veronika cardigan. I think I should work on my sock club socks along with those projects so I get both pairs done by the end of the month. That would be a good idea, rather than cast on for a new garment but I know resisting will be tough.

And one more thing before I leave you today. I have not forgotten my Spring Challenge. I’m going slowly, slower than I had expected. I have created a page here on the blog for this where you can read about what I’m doing and comment and share what you are doing too.  I’m currently thinking about the type of supplies I will need to start working on the re-organization. Boxes I think for the yarn and I’m currently trying to find something for the knitting needle organization so if you have a good idea, do share. I have created a board on my Pinterest page for storage solutions so if you are interested do take a look.

I think this is all for today. Thank you for stopping  by. Have a great rest of the week and happy knitting 🙂

In a bit of a stand still

Hi there, how are you feeling today? I hope you are feeling good and having a nice start to your week. I’m feeling a bit…not really under the weather but just not in a great place for some reason.

Knitting wise I have been concentrating on a few projects. One is a sweater test knit that is top secret. I’m knitting it out of Holst Garn Tides which is a wool/silk blend. So far so good. I think I will finish the body today and then get on to the sleeves.

Then there is Sock Madness round 2! And this is a clear sign I’m not quite myself but I think I’m going to quit. Yes, that’s right! What happened?

Well, so I got the pattern just after it was released and cast on immediately. This time the pattern is a mix of brioche and stocking stitch. This combination makes for a very loose fitting/elastic fabric so as I went on it just felt too big. And I’m sorry to say I did not like the pattern/outcome much.

And then I made a mistake! In the gusset section and discovered my mistake just after finishing the heel turn. So not long after but it did mean I had to rip back to the end of my flap and continue a few rows only ripping back a heel that is partly in brioche…well that did not sound so enticing. And I just wasn’t “feeling it” for some reason.

So before going to bed that night, I ripped out THE ENTIRE SOCK! And I haven’t cast on again. This is not like me but I think I’m just not in the right frame of mind at the moment and adding stress to my life is not a good idea right now. So I decided to just stop and only knit on things I truly enjoy working on.

I do have 2 pairs of socks on the go but haven’t worked on them this past week. I have just been working on my sweater and a new shawl.

I don’t wear a lot of shawls, I have a few favorite ones that I use a lot and the others just linger in my wardrobe. But I have a feeling this one may become a new favorite. It is the Girl’s Best Friend shawl by Isabelle Kraemer. I’m sure you have seen it lots of time. A lot of knitting bloggers/podcasters have made some. For extra pleasure I’m knitting mine with mostly new yarns, two out of three that is AND they are from my stash so good for me!

I still have plenty of knitting to do and I really enjoy working on this and I’m really happy with the yarn/colors. The grey is a singles I dyed. The pink is a singles too I got from a destash on Ravelry but don’t remember the yarn brand. The brown contrast color is a Madeleine Tosh Sock yarn. So pure luxury for this shawl.

Once this one is done I’m hoping I will finish my Across the Pond shawl by the Knitting Expat before I cast on for the Baubles shawl by Andrea Mowry.

So that’s all I have for you knitting wise. I am getting ready for a new Maker of the Month feature. I also am thinking about doing a giveaway when I reach 300 subscribers to my blog which should be soon. Amazing I know ! Who would have guessed that I would be able to maintain a blog for over 2 years now and grow a following of people that actually enjoy reading my blog! I’m so grateful for all those that follow and support my blogging adventures. I’m planning something nice, a giveaway that you will hopefully enjoy.

And one other thing. In February I talked about starting a Spring Challenge this April to organize my yarn and other crafting supplies and some of you expressed interest in joining me. The more the merrier and frankly if you are anything like I am, the support of others will be a big bonus.

So I haven’t forgotten. Life has just gotten in the way. I have family from Iceland visiting at the moment so I won’t be able to really get started till this weekend. I’m going to open a new page here on this website just for the challenge so that we can share ideas and progress. I’m thinking I should keep the challenge somewhat separate as not everyone may be interested in that and I want to continue blogging as usual and discuss other topics. I did think about opening a Ravelry thread in my group for this but after some consideration m I think I will keep everything here. What do you think?

I have started working on this and have a Pinterest board where I pin storage ideas to share with you for example. I so desperately need to organize not only my stash but also my many wips so I really look forward to getting started for real and if you are joining too, I hope you are gearing up as well.

That’s it for today I think. Thank you again for stopping by today for a chat. I wish you a great rest of the week and Happy Knitting

The US stash enhancement

Hi there, so as promised here is my haul report!

When I went to California I knew I would not be able to resist yarn buying. I knew I would have to buy something if only to save on shipping! But I also did not want to buy just anything. I wanted to buy things I might have a hard time finding in France or Europe. In the end I bought way more than I should have and I now feel somewhat guilty of having used this much money on yarn and knitting stuff. But hey, I’m not in the US on a regular basis so I’m just going to enjoy and try to resist yarn buying for a while…

My very first purchase was a silly one because I bought two skeins of Regia Pairfect and this is a yarn that can be found in Europe and frankly I found it rather expensive in the US but for some reason I was unable to resist.

So I have already knit a pair for my son with one of the balls. The one on the right is for myself. I really like the patterning on this one.

knit picks felici

I also knew that I had to try some Knit Picks Felici self striping sock yarn. I see a lot of pictures of Felici yarn and socks and this yarn is not sold in France and I believe it is hard to come by in Europe. it’s also not expensive so I had to try. I bought a set of 4 balls which is enough for 2 pairs – you need two 50 gr balls per pair.

I also fell for a couple of skeins from the Legacy Fibre Artz on Etsy, Chelsea and Sue. I saw one of their podcast episodes while in the US and really liked the yarn they showed and decided to take a look if they had some in their shop. They did.

legacy fibres  And I love the sheep enamel pin – a sheep in socks how cute is that?

Then I heard that my friend and designer Nancy Whitman was having a “going out of business” sale and I had to take a look. I ended up making two orders from her and I got a lot of beautiful yarn at an amazing price.

So from left to right: Claudia hand painted and I have started a sock as you can see, Araucania and Malabrigo – both are sock yarns, Madeleinetosh Sock, Madeleinetosh Tosh Light

I rarely buy Madeleinetosh because of the high price point but on the sale I got some at 30% off and the rest 40%. Too good to passe up on.

The Madeleinetosh yarns I’m going to use for shawls mostly I think. I’m thinking of doing the A girl’s best friend shawl by  Isabelle Kramer. That uses 3 yarns I believe and then I’m looking into other three color shawls for the rest.

And then there are the project bags! So I watch a lot of podcasts and I’m always drooling over yarns and project bags and I finally let myself be totally enabled and I bought a few!

These two bags are from By the Bay Yarn on Etsy. These are sturdy canvas bags that somewhat resemble the famous Fringe Supply bags. They are beautifully made drawstring bags with a handle and two inside pockets. The pink one is a medium size and I have my Midnight Sherbet wrap in that. It is big enough for a sweater project though. And the purple one is the large size and that one is really huge. Would be great for a sweater or a blanket project.  I’m super happy with these two bags and the price is great too, so is the service and fast shipping. I truly recommend these if you are looking for quality project bags.

I was also enabled by the famous Andrea Mowry but I subscribe to her newsletter and in one of those she was promoting Madder Root bags and so I totally fell for those too.

madder root

I got a small and a medium. The pattern is like knit stitches. These are sturdy bags and take a lot of yarn. What I especially like about these is the clip on the top. You can clip them shut and so hang them from your wrist or as I did while travelling, hang them from your hand bag/carry on. Brilliant!

The last bag purchase I made was actually from Norway and I got that when I came home but as it is part of this recent haul I think it deserves to be mentioned. This is a Norwegian company and I was totally enabled by Skeindeer Knits on one of her episodes. She showed this bag and I just had to have the same! I even chose the same red color!

plystre bag

This is a canvas bag with a leather strap and I think this can be used as a regular handbag as well, not just a project bag. I like the front pocket which is quite big and can keep your wallet and phone or knitting notions. The interior has various pockets including one with 3 eyelets for knitting stranded colorwork without getting your yarns in a total mess. The company that makes these is called Plystre. They have just come out with a bigger bag that is a backpack and I really like that one too.

And to finish of, I was also gifted some yarn! I was able to meet up with a dear friend who is also a celebrity but he works with Cat Bordhi and organises knitting retreats with her all over the world. Cat and Jim have used my hand dyed yarns when they do retreats in Iceland and this was the first time we actually met in person.

Jim used to own his own yarn company that was called Frog Tree Yarns. He still has some yarn left and he gifted me two skeins of sport weight yarns and I think I will make socks with those, or mittens or hats.

frog tree

And a pack of 10 skeins of fingering weight de haired llama yarn! Ultra soft and amazing yarn! I think I will knit a stole or something special with that.

So as you can see, I have made quite a lot of purchases. So this means even more yarn and notions to organise as I embark on my Spring Cleaning Challenge! More on that soon!

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my purchases.

Happy knitting!