Knitting journals and tracking of your knitting projects

Hi there how are you today? Yet again we are coming to the weekend and Christmas is now just behind the corner so to speak.

I’m not doing much of Christmas gift knitting this year but somehow I seem to have managed to concentrate all the gift knitting to the very last few days and in spite of my significant knitting commitments (that is test knits) I’m still being tempted by new patterns on a daily bases and I have to admit that I have cast on for yet another new project just today!

It is a bulky cowl by Laura Aylor called Midwinter. I don’t have a picture of it yet as I just started and only have a few rows done at this time. I’m knitting this with my 100% baby alpaca chunky yarn and I’m using a mix of hand dyed and undyed yarn –  the main colour is just undyed yarn and I think it will look and feel amazing.

So if you are anything like me, you will have a gazillion knitting projects on the go at any time and sometimes you may wish you actually kept track on those projects. I know I do.

I do try to set up Ravelry project pages when I finish an item and for the most part I am successful but sometimes, when I’m finally done I don’t remember all the details and sometimes I have even thrown away the paper pattern where I have written down amendments or other while I was knitting.

This situation has led me to want to keep a knitting journal:

I have seen lots of knitting journals on IG and on knitting podcasts and I think they are all so fun and wonderful. I think that keeping a knitting journal over a few years must be so rewarding and so fun to later go back and look over what we have accomplished.

And over the time I have purchased special knitting journals at different price points, always full of enthusiasm and good intentions only to end up not using them at all.

The last journal I purchased was the Strickeplaner by Martina Behm. The name is German but all the text inside the journal is in English.

This is a small, hard backed journal that is not only like a calendar but also has lots of bits of random knitting related wisdom. You can plan out over a whole month, over a trimester and of course per week. There are also special “project” pages intended to fill out all the important details for each of our projects (though there are not enough pages like that for a prolific knitter  that really takes down the details for all their projects ).

Here is an example of a week overview. So you see that you can dot down maybe goals or special planning for the week asa whole and then you have boxes for each day.

For the little while that I actually used my journal, I would  use the first section to prioritise what I needed  to work on, sort of like goal setting. For the day sections, I would mostly not used those to be honest except to note down when I started a project. Then I would note the name of the pattern, the yarn used and needle size. Later when the project was finished I would use one of the “project” pages to fill out all the details including cast on and off dates.

I do regret not having been more serious about this and keeping with it through out the year. And now that 2019 is just a few days away I am more determined than ever to start and actually stay with a knitting journal for the entire year!

You heard it here first! Would you like to join me?

So I already have 2 journals ready to go. I’m not sure if I will use them simultaneously (maybe too ambitious) or one after the other. They are not quite the same which is why the idea of using both at the same time came to me. But I think I need to be realistic and just do one.

But which one to start with?

Knitting journals for 2019

The grey journal on the left is one I purchased from the Wool Barn.

This journal is similar to the one I had from Martina Behm. It includes some common knitting abbreviations and instructions for those and there is also a needle size conversion chart which is always useful. And there is an index at the front with little numbered boxes from 1 to 20 where one can add the name of each pattern.

This journal is indeed made for 20 projects.

You have 2 pages for each project. On the left page you can fill out all the details like the pattern name, designer, yarn, needle  etc and on the right page you have an empty page where you can include a little picture of your project, maybe a little bit of the yarn, sketches and what ever else you can think of.

I really like this set up and the journal. The price is of course much lower than the Martina Behm one because the material used is less costly and the journal itself much simpler. But I think this will work better for me as it is more to the point and is more “project” based versus it being more of a “journal”.

The second journal I have on had at the moment is the illustrated one on the right.

This is not really a knitting journal per se but rather a notebook with some fun lama images.

How cute is that ?  I also have a nice collection of fun knitting themed stickers I could use to decorate my pages and make this a more fun journal.

So what is the plan then? Well, I think I will start with the Wool Barn journal as it is more structured and if that works well, then I will move over to this more simpler journal for my 21st project and onwards. Maybe I will keep the set up from the Wool Barn journal to always include the same type of info for each project.

I’m actually getting a little excited about this as I sit here and write this. I think this can be a fun and rewarding activity and I really hope I will stick with it.

Do you keep a knitting journal? If you do I would love to hear from you how you organise your journal, if you have any tips or tricks, what brand of journal you use etc.

And if you would like to join me on this knitting journal adventure in 2019 do let me know. I could open a thread in my Ravelry group where we could exchange pictures of our journals and just generally chatter and get inspired by each other.

This is all for today folks. Thank you for stopping by and taking time out of your busy schedule to spend some time with me.  I wish you a relaxing weekend with lots of knitting time and look forward to being back with something new to share with you next week.

Christmas themed knitting

Hello there, how are you this beginning of a new week?

I hope you had a  lovely and relaxing weekend. Here in France there are a lot of riots so we mostly just stay home and do our Christmas shopping online. This meant that I got a little more knitting time this past weekend.

I have been hard at work working on my two big test knits and I’m happy to say that one of those is finally getting a little bit closer to being finished. I probably still have about 2 weeks worth of knitting left but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

This means I hardly have any knitting to actually show off. Just one sock project that I’m creating as I go along.

I’m knitting a pair of socks using my own pattern and maybe one day I will finally write a pattern down to share with the world!

I actually started knitting something completely different, that is another sock pattern, but I somehow either misunderstood the pattern or just wasn’t using the right yarn. It just didn’t feel or look right so I ripped back to the end of the cuff and did my own thing and I really like the outcome. I have no idea if there is already a pattern out there that is the same. This honestly is just from a spur of the moment inspiration.

It is a super simple two row repeat lace pattern that I have done only on the front of the sock. The idea is for me to finish in time to gift this to someone for Christmas and I really hope I will be able to do so.

These socks tie in with today’s subject which is Christmas Sock Pattern. I have been buying way too many of those lately and I was just trying to knit one of those when I got frustrated and ripped back and decided to do my own thing.

So as we get closer to the holiday season a lot of Christmas themed patterns appear on Ravelry and as a sock knitter I find myself naturally drawn to those.

Even though I have knit enough pairs of socks to not really need a pattern, I still compulsively buy sock patterns. I think I mostly buy them for the stitch patterns used and sometimes when I think it uses a technique I may not be familiar with.

So far here are the patterns I have purchased and plan to knit in the future/

The first is called Reindeer Hooves by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This is a top down pattern with an all over pattern on the leg and then the front of the foot. This is the pattern I had difficulties with. It just did not look right with my yarn but I do intend to give this pattern a second chance.

The second pattern is part of a sock pattern club by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. This pattern came as a bonus I believe for those purchasing her latest sock club (The Seasons Club) but it can also be purchased as a stand alone pattern. The pattern is called Candy Cane Socks. This looks like a fairly simple pattern that could look good in a solid or slightly variegated yarn so I will have to knit this one soon. Doesn’t have to be a Christmas sock. If this is knit in a non-Christmas yarn it will be a yearlong sock. The pattern itself is not especially christmasy I think.

Then there is another pattern by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This time the pattern is called Santa Baby Socks.

These look really nice I think. Less patterning than on the first pattern I shared and I can really see myself knitting these.

And the last pattern I have purchased is one by Louise Tilbrook Designs. Her pattern is called Yulelight Socks. These look just lovely. The patterning is subtle but efficient and the pattern picture really screams Christmas I think.

So that is a lot of patterns that now need knitting! And as if that  wasn’t enough, I just heard of something called #Sockvent. This is a Christmas Sock Pattern advent calendar of sorts and will run from December 12th to the 24th. If you follow the hashtag on IG, each day there will be a designer offering their sock pattern with a 40% discount! Now is that tempting or what?!

Knowing myself I’m pretty sure I will not be able to refrain for buying even more sock patterns!

Are you knitting any holiday themed projects these days? I’d love to hear from you if you are and maybe you could share the pattern name with us so we too can go take a look and get inspired:)

I will be back later this week with some more knitting related chatter. Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.

Happy knitting:)

Amma Mus in Reykjavik and my yarn haul

Hi there, how are you? 

I am writing this on a Friday afternoon just at the end of my work week and outside it is raining and gloomy. I’m so happy to be done with work for the week. Unfortunately weekends never last long enough. There is always so much to do and time just flies by.

I wish all weekends were 3 day weekends, that way we could use two days for all the weekly chores like shopping, cleaning, washing, homework etc and still have one entire day to just relax and knit! What a dream that would be!

But there is not much you or I can do about that so we make do!

This weekend will be busy as always and on top of the usual chores there will be some Christmas shopping. I really do not much enjoy Christmas shopping as the shops are all crowded and busy and I end up being tired and annoyed so I often do as much online gift shopping as I can  on top of whatever gifts I make myself.

But I will have to do a little bit of actual shopping:)

But I am still planning of making sure I get a few hours Saturday and again Sunday to just relax and knit. I do have two test knits that need some serious working on on top of last minute gift knitting I suddenly decided had to be done!

But the idea behind posting today was not to just rant but to actually share with you my latest yarn haul from Iceland as well as introduce you to the yarn shop I chose so if/when you go to Iceland, you know where to go.

So I went to Iceland for a little while in November for personal and professional reasons. I of course could not refrain from a minimum of yarn shopping and I was able to visit 2 shops and I ended up buying way more yarn that I had planned on.

The first yarn shop I went to is in a village called Hafnarfjordur which is close to Reykjavik. This is not really a yarn shop as such but rather a gift shop where they sell all sorts of indie created items such as hand made gift cards, candles, leather bags and a little bit of yarn.

I will tell you more about that shop later. Today I want to tell you about the second shop I visited as that is where most of the “damage” was done.

As the title of this blog says, the shop is called Amma Mùs which in English means Granny Mouse. This shop is in Reykjavik in a rather central location with plenty of parking space.

I have been there once before but never got around to blogging about my visit.

This is a rather big shop that sells lots of yarns of course as well as knitting needles and crochet hooks, haberdashery , books and embroidery kits.

I feel like this shop specialises in nordic yarns, that is they have a very good selection of yarns from Denmark and Norway mostly. And as I’m slowly being drawn more towards more rustic yarns this is a big attraction for me.

I arrived on a Saturday afternoon shortly before closing  so I was not able to spend as much time there as I would have liked but then that is maybe just as well.

This shop has a Facebook page and they organise knitting cafes and hopefully I will one day be able to participate in one of those.

Some yarn and kits
Most of this wall of yarn is from Isager, a Danish yarn company and to the left you can see a little bit of their book shelves which are filled with beautiful knitting and crochet books
And even more yarn
Here you can see some of the embroidery supplies and kits in addition to yarns
And they have a nice selection of knitting needles, crochet hooks and accessories

So as you can see from the pictures, there is plenty for any knitter to indulge themselves.

But what did I buy???

Well…

First let me show you the nice reusable tote bag they gave me to hold all my skeins of yarn! That was a nice gesture and much appreciated.

Have you ever seen these? I had not. I went to the shop’s FB page before going and I saw a post with these and of course had to get a set. So these mini flexible needles are to be used either as cable needles or to hold stitches say for a thumb if you are knitting mittens or underarm stitches if you are knitting a garment. I thought this was just brilliant. I haven’t used them yet but I will be sure to let you know what I think once I do.

Rauma Finull

Rauma Finull Garn. If you like Norwegian patterns and follow Ellie of Skeindeer knits on YouTube, you will be familiar with this yarn brand. So I have heard Ellie say a lot of good things about this yarn and her garments and mittens all look so lovely so I had to try for myself.

I only bought 2 skeins thinking I will knit a couple of pairs of mittens and if I like it as much as Ellie, I might buy a sweater’s quantity next time.

The Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering

The shop has a small selection of yarns from the Fibre Company in the UK. I have also heard a lot about this yarn but never had a skein myself. I decided to pick up one skein of the fingering weight Cumbria. I have not decided what I will knit with this but possibly a cowl or use it in a shawl.

And then there was Isager! As I said before, this shop has a lot of Isager yarn and the yarn is beautiful! There are a number of different bases and this time I went all out on one single base called Isager Spinni Tweed.

This is a very fine almost lace weight yarn, single ply and with a somewhat rustic feel.

I bought these 3 thinking I would knit either a shawl or a cardigan. Each skein has a lot of yardage so maybe this would be enough for a 3/4 sleeved cardi. I just fell for the muted colours.

Now this is for a shawl. Before going to the shop, I had been on Ravelry and Ankestrick had just released a new amazing shawl pattern that I purchased and so I absolutely wanted to get some yarn for that shawl. The pattern does not call for this particular yarn but I’m sure it will be gorgeous anyway. The pattern is called Long Shadows and you can see it on Ravelry here

So not bad for one visit right?

Anyway if you are going to Iceland any time soon I really recommend you check out Amma Mus in Reykjavik for inspiration and quality yarns.

This is all for today folks. I wish you a relaxing weekend with plenty of knitting time (I hope). Next time I will show you some of my knitting progress and tell you about my new sock pattern buying obsession! I’m buying all the Christmas Sock patterns!

Take care for now:)

A ton of test knitting happening here

HI there how are you? I hope you are doing good and have had a nice past few weeks.

It’s been a while since I last posted here on the blog. I was a little overwhelmed with work and then I went to Iceland for work and to visit my family for a while. I had thought I would have enough time to post while there but no! Time just got away from me in the blink of an eye it seems.

I have been doing some knitting of course over those past weeks but one of the biggest projects is a secret test knit so I’m not able to share any pictures with you on that for the time being.

It is an oversized cardigan and as such is taking a lot of time to knit up. I’m already big and usually knit XL for myself and I don’t think I have ever knit such an oversized garment before. And now I know why! It literally takes for ever!

I’m using Tuku Wool fingering yarn for the first time for this project and I absolutely love it. To the touch I feel Tuku wool feels rustic but once knit up it truly feels lovely. I really love the knit fabric and the feel and I’m sure I will use this garment a lot when I manage to finish it 🙂

This is a no superwash yarn so I’m split splicing the skeins together so that when I’m done knitting I will practically be all done.

I can truly see myself knitting a second garment with this yarn although it is pricey but I’m guessing it will really be worth it.

I am test knitting a second garment at the same time and this one is not a secret. This is a sweater that has an unusual and new to me construction. The beginning of this test knit has been laborious but I’m finally on track I feel and I’m hoping to quickly catch up with the rest of the test knitters.

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I’m using this beautiful yarn from Cosmic Strings. This color is totally out of my comfort zone. I don’t have a single piece of clothing or accessories in such a colour but somehow I find myself really drawn towards golds, bronze and caramel colours lately.

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So this is the yoke part of the sweater and I really love this lace panel around the yoke. I need to finish by December 20th so maybe this pattern will be released before the end of the year. I’ll keep you posted.

All the while as I was test knitting these I also test knit two accessories for an Australian designer friend, Jo of KBJ DESIGNS.

I first test knit her Embossed fingerless mittens

This was a fun, quick knit and I used colorway Film Noir from Hedgehog Fibres in a fingering weight yarn. My pair used only 49 grammes so you can make two pairs from a single skein. They also knit up real quick.

I then test knit her Embossed hat pattern. For this test I used fingering weight yarn from Cosmic Strings but I don’t remember the colourway name.

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I really wanted to test this for Jo but I knew I had little time so I did the smallest size thinking it would fit my 12 year old…. but it doesn’t. But I’m sure I can gift this to one of my cousins in Iceland for Christmas.

Again this was a super fun and quick knit. Size small only used 34 grammes so you can even knit one using leftover yarns. These patterns have not yet been published but I will be sure to let you know when they will be.

When I was packing for my trip to Iceland I decided I had to take one of my half finished socks with me. My mountain of wips really needs some working on!

So I took my Abundance socks by Dana Gervais. I finished one sock during the test knit and the second one seems to have been forgotten.

Yet this is a wonderful pattern that is easy to follow and fun to knit. And I knit them using my own hand dyed yarn in a gorgeous RED! No idea why I left it for so long to finally knit the second sock.

But so I did and I gifted the pair to my mother while I was there.

 

Another thing I gifted my mom as I was in Iceland was the Damejakka loppa cardigan I have been knitting. I finished just before I left and I’m so happy that the size was perfect and she is absolutely thrilled with the outcome and immediately put the cardigan on.

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This is such a brilliant pattern and I just love to knit this in Holst Garn Supersoft. Now that I have knit 2 I find myself already planning a third! If you want to try your hand at some colourwork and steeking, I can definitely recommend this pattern.

But most importantly of all – my mom loved her cardigan! It is such a joy to gift hand knit garments to knit-worthy people in our lives.

So lots of knitting has been happening as you can see. This week I have to keep up the pace and work on my two garment test knits. I also want to finish a pair of DK mittens that I started in November and want to gift for Christmas.

Then there is a pair of Christmas socks that I started on my trip to Iceland. One sock is done but I have yet to cast on for the second! I’ll share pictures of that next time.

I have also purchased a few/ton of new knitting patterns for socks and shawls! And I did some serious yarn shopping while in Iceland too! Bought way more than I had planned for and I will share that with you next time along with some pictures from the yarn shop.

In the run up to Christmas I’m planning on posting more often and to share some about knitting for Christmas and about knitting traditions in Iceland and France. One of my readers is also going to write a guest post and I really look forward to that. If you too would like to write a guest post and share something about knitting traditions where you live or a story about knitting and the holidays please do contact me here or by email at knittinginfrance@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you. I’m not able to blog every day in December as some who vlog daily but I do want to make this month a little special and I hope you will enjoy what I come up with.

That’s all for today. I wish you all the best and look forward to being back soon:)

 

Happy knitting