My summer FOs and current works in progress

Hi there how are you today? I hope you are fine and having a nice beginning of the week. I’m back at work after the summer holiday. I had 3 weeks off and just started again yesterday. I have to admit that getting up yesterday morning to work was a little difficult! But hey, we all have to work and after all I did get to enjoy 3 whole weeks. We spent about half that time at home and the other half in a region of France called Brittany (Bretagne) and I’m planning on blogging about my summer in a separate post and share pictures for those interested.

Anyway I’m back at work and the kids will be back to school next week except for the oldest who doesn’t start till the week after that! So life is slowly going back to its usual busy state. Soon there will be homework!

But in the meantime I’m planning on making the most of my time after work to knit, knit and knit some more!

Currently I feel like I could just knit all day long! I have a head full of dream knitting and designing ideas. I want to knit all the sweaters and socks I have been buying patterns for this summer ( a ton!) but at the same time I’m starting to feel a little uncomfortable with my amount of wips (both languishing old wips and current active ones). I seem to maybe have gotten myself into a place where I have more to do than I can actually manage and so I’m thinking I might even have to go through my wips, again, and maybe unravel some that I think are not about to be done any time soon. Just to get to a more manageable place. But I’m not sure yet, I’ll keep you posted:)

So knitting both current and future projects as well as some FOs. Where to start?

First just a word on two secret test knits that I finished a while back. One was a summer tee for Rénee of East London Knit (Nema) and the other a cardigan for Making Stories. Both these patterns have now been published and so I’m planning on sharing those with you soon but I want to do a separate post on just them as I feel I so so so much to share now and don’t want this to become the post with no end:)

As I was on vacation I was able to finish 2 1/2 pairs of socks. I shared one pair with you last time I think, my second pair of Stitch surfer socks. The other two pairs were shorty socks.

First up is a pair that I knit using the stitch pattern from the Drippity Drop pattern by Kay Jones. I used yarns from Eden Cottage Yarns and I really like how these turned out.

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The next pair was just a simple vanilla shorty pair that I knit using a new self striping yarn that I bought from Biscotte Yarns. I saw this particular colorway on the Knotty Knit Wits podcast and as I was watching, actually opened a new browser window and bought one!!!! First time I have ever been that enabled!

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I just loved the colours and all the sparkle. I added a solid black for cuff, heels and toes. My older daughter just commented on how nice they looked and as I have enough yarn left I said I’d knit her a pair too:) I’m hoping those will be knit in time for Halloween as this is a Halloweeny yarn and called The Dark Side!

So these are my only FOs.

Now I’m working on a pair of socks using the pattern 2 Color Socks by Joji Locatelli. I actually bought this pattern because I want to join her autumn knit a long that starts September 1st I think. This would be the first time for me but I was unable to wait that long so I cast on for those on vacation and I’m getting close to finishing. These will either be for one of my daughters or for someones Christmas.

I really like the pattern and the soft colours I chose. The yarn is a new one to me, a commercial sock yarn called Arwetta. I hope to have this pair done in two days maxi!

I currently have 2 sweater projects going. First there is my Zweig which I love! I’m a little worried I might not have enough of my main colour and as I used a hand dyed one of a kind colour I know I won’t be able to get any more. I’m almost at the bottom hem on the body so I’m thinking I will put the body on hold and knit the sleeves and if I see that I will not have much left after the sleeves I might either do 3/4 sleeves or make the bottom hem in 2 colours as I have enough of the contrast colour do do something.

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I’m a little further now than in this picture but haven’t taken a new progress picture. Here it is with my little Chanel 🙂 I’m hoping to get started on the sleeves later this week.

And the second sweater project is a new one that I just cast on about a week ago. This is part of an informal knit a long organized by the Knotty Knit Wit girls. The kal is about knitting any pattern from Susanne Sommer. Their original idea was to knit the Shusui shrug but I was bold and asked if I could still join if I chose to knit another pattern by the same designer and lucky for me they said YES!

I have been looking as the Shusui shrug a lot but I just don’t think I would actually wear it where as the Boxy Chevron sweater I chose instead is something I can really see myself wearing. And if you feel like joining you definitely should.

So for this project I hand dyed some of my Back to Basics yarn which is a 100% non superwash merino yarn for the main colour and I used a Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light for the contrast colour.  This pattern has you start by knitting the sleeves and currently I have one sleeve done and the second very close to being done.

These are not easy to picture due to their shape and the texture (welts of reverse stockinette stitch) here you can at least see the colours. I’m hoping to have the time to finish the second sleeve and start on the body by the end of this  week.

So this week I need to finish my second sock of the 2 Colour Socks, start on the sleeves of my Zweig, finish the second sleeve and start the body on my Boxy Chevron AND knit socks for the Marie Curie Quest of socks!

This is an amazing charity project being run for the second time this year by an amazing doctor and knitter called Sarah Holmes (Sherlockknits on IG). She works as a doctor in a Marie Curie hospice for terminally ill cancer patients in the UK and last year she had the idea of knitting each of her patients a pair of socks to gift them on Christmas Day. She was able to raleigh a number of knitters and together we knit 260 pairs – enough for all the patients staying in a Marie Curie hospice on Christmas Day in the UK. How amazing is that!

West Yorkshire Spinners yarn company made a special yarn for the project and 2 £ of the price of each ball of yarn were donated to Marie Curie. All the socks were knit using this special yarn with an allowance to use complimentary colours for contrasting cuff/heels and toes if wished for.

I was able to knit and donate 4 pairs last year.

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And Sarah has decided to do this again this year and West Yorkshire Spinners have come up with a new colorway for Marie Curie. I’m hoping to knit at least 4 pairs this year with a personal stretch goal of 6 pairs.

All the socks have to be knit in the Marie Curie yarn but we can use other yarns for contrast if we wish. This year we are allowed to knit patterned socks and not just plain vanilla and so I’m planning on knitting a mix of things to keep the project interesting for myself. As the yarn is the same I don’t want to loose steam doing the same thing over and over again.

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The yarn on the right is the Marie Curie special yarn for 2018

I’m currently knitting the first pair and that is a vanilla pair! The only vanilla pair I think. I’m knitting them two at a time to make sure there will be no second sock syndrome.

For the next pair I’m going to knit them cuff to cuff – that is knit one sock at a time the first one cuff to to and the second toe to cuff without cutting the yarn.  I think that will be quicker for me than the traditional two at a time on one long circular and just a nice change. I’m going to look up some easy patterns that can go with a variegated yarn.

marie curie 218 first pair

So this is where I’m at at the moment. I really like how the yarn is knitting up and I also think I chose a great contrasting colour. I chose to do contrasting heels, toes and cuffs on this pair and probably on the others as well as that allows the yarn to stretch longer (meaning I will be able to knit more socks than if they were all one single colour).

So I have to knit 1 1/2 – 2  pairs a month to make my  goal so I’m crossing my fingers I’ll be able to knit that many pairs just for this project.

I’m hoping to do an interview with Sarah soon to share more information on this project and maybe enable you to join and you don’t have to knit tons of pairs. Every single pair makes a difference.

That’s it for today.  This has turned out to be quite a long post today so thank you for taking the time to stop by and read all about my current and future projects.

Next up are posts on my two secret test knits as well as a special French Summer Vacation post as well as two special interviews and soon (I hope) a series of informational posts/tutorials on sock knitting.

Until next time, HAPPY KNITTING 🙂

Summer knitting

Hi there how are you today? I hope you are well and enjoying your summer. I have a few days off work and am enjoying being lazy and generally ignoring household chores. I have also enjoyed my time knitting more than usual.

We did go away for a few days and I think I’m going to write a special summer post later on to share pictures of our travels for those interested in seeing some nice landscape and hearing about France.

Before going away I sent the prize package to the winner of my last giveaway. She lives in Australia so it is going to take some time for the package to arrive so I’m not sharing a picture of the contents just yet as I want that to be a surprise for her when the package arrives.

Now on to knitting. So since my last post I have been rather productive. First up, I finished my secret sweater test knit in time. That was a relief. It was a DK weight sweater knit in pieces and I think that is why I felt like it took forever. All the purling and then in the end sewing everything together.

I rather like the finished results except for the sleeves which in my opinion are way to snug. As we are not allowed to make modification in this test knit I knit as per pattern although I did allow myself to go up a needle size (or I would not have been able to put the sweater on and send an FO picture). I am able to fit into the sleeves but they feel like latex gloves so I think that I really need to undo the seams (arggggg), rip back both sleeves ENTIRELY( more ARGGGGGG) and reknit them using more stitches! Not a fun prospect because when I’m done with a project I just want to move on to the next. But unless my older daughter want’s to keep the sweater I don’t really have a choice.

I will be able to show you pictures later when the design has been published but for the moment it is very hush hush.

I also finished my second pair of Stitch Surfer socks. This was part of a kal with the Knotty Knit Wits podcast and honestly without them I might never have cast these on as I imagined them to be too complicated for me. Totally not true!

This time around I actually understood how to have sock two mirror sock one and I’m super thrilled about that and honestly when I look at my stash of self striping sock yarns, I now feel they all have to become Stitch Surfer socks.

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For this pair I used the same main color grey yarn (my own hand dyed) and the contrasting self striping yarn is from Turtle Purl Yarns. These are for my youngest.

I also accepted a new sock test knit and finished them in a week but then they were shorty socks. I chose yarn that reminded me of summer of the sand on the beach and the colour of the sea and that was the perfect choice as I knit these on the beach.

This pattern has yet to be published so I will be sure to let you know when it is. The design is by KBJ Designs. I have test knit for her on a number of occasions and really love her patterns.

 

The beige yarn is from Eden Cottage yarns and the blue from Cosmic String yarns.

So after finishing my sweater test knit, the second Stitch Surfer sock and the new pair of shorty socks I had to cast on something new. Because that is of course way more fun than reaching into my mountain of wips and finishing something there!

So I now have 3 soon 4 new cast ons.

First up is the Zweig sweater by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. This sweater has been on my “to knit” list for a long time and I actually purchase the yarn for this sweater a while ago. Very summery colours so also ideal for summer knitting.

I chose yarns from Tamiwicolors on Etsy. She is a German indie dyer and her yarns are very nice and not too expensive. I chose  a subtle color combination and as I started the colorwork on the yoke I had some doubts as to whether I  had made the right choice but now as I’m further along I know this was the right move. I really love the outcome.

I am past the sleeve separation and working the body now.

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I then cast on for a pair of shorty socks because I have been buying sock patterns like crazy lately. I chose the Drippity Drop pattern by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears podcast and yarns and turned that into a shorty sock with contrasting cuff, heel and toes.

I’m knitting this with yarns from Eden Cottage yarns and really love how delicate the colors make the sock look so far. The beige is the yarn I used for the test knit socks above.

And finally last night I cast on for the Loro wrap by Knit Graffiti that I purchased especially to knit during my vacation. This was a total splurge because I not only bought the pattern but also the kit from Hue Loco yarns! Like a summer gift to myself! This is the first time ever that I knit with Hue Loco yarns so that is fun and so far so good. The colors are amazing. I chose the kit shown on the pattern page as those just called out to me for some reason.

As I just cast on last night there is not much to show but here goes

loro cast on

This is a 7 color wrap and the tones are all sort of subtle earthy tones so I think this will be a fun knit and something I will be able to wear a lot.

So in the coming days I plan on continuing on my Drippity Drop socks, my Zweig sweater and Loro wrap as well as…. the Boxy Chevron sweater by Susanne Sommer! This has been on my “to knit list” for a long time and now the Knotty Knit Wits are going to do a kal for her designs so I had to join. I’m dyeing the yarn myself today so should be casting on in the next week or so.

I will also be casting on for some socks for an amazing charity project that I will tell you all about very soon as I will be sharing an interview with the organiser soon.

So lots of knitting still on the go. The heatwave seems to be done here in Normandy which is good although I would have preferred a less abrupt change in temperature as I had imagined myself going to the beach and knit everyday… not happening so far!

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your time with me today. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my works in progress and FOs.

So until next time, Happy knitting to you 🙂

Brioche on the Beach

Hi there, today as I start my summer vacation I’m pleased to be able to share this appropriately named pattern.

Brioche on the Beach by Renée Callahan or East London Knits is one of my latest secret test knits. This is, as the name indicates, a brioche pattern. And I actually think this could be a great pattern for the beginner to intermediate brioche knitter because you get a lot of easy brioche and then towards the end when you are completely confident in your brioche skills, you get to tackle a brioche wave pattern.

This is a two color brioche and so using two contrasting colors is a good idea for maximum effect. I used fingering weight yarns; the pink color is in the colorway Sprinkles by Knit Cosmic Strings and the charcoal one is my own hand dyed in a merino and mohair blend. The colors are highly contrasting and so the result is really crisp I think.

This wrap is huge! And I could have actually made it even bigger by just knitting on for longer before starting the wave pattern but I admit I was getting impatient for something new and exciting.

This is a super squishy wrap due to the brioche texture and super soft as the yarns I chose. I used almost 2 skeins of each color so close to 4 skeins total. You can get away with less if you knit your wrap less wide.

I knit mine as per the pattern because I like large and squishy shawls/wraps.

Renée has a special offer on this wrap. If you sign up for her newsletter before August 27th you will get a 20% discount code for this pattern and so I highly recommend you do sign up. You will not get spammed but just notified when she has a new podcast out, a new pattern or if she is teaching or present at a knitting event.

And for even more discounts, when you purchase this pattern you will get a discount code for Retrosaria Mondim yarn good until August 16th – the yarn Renée used in her design.

So really you have a lot of reasons to be tempted.

Now on to the fashion/photo show. Enjoy:)

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