5 years of blogging!

Hi there, how are things with you today? I hope you are doing good and enjoying your month of January in spite of it being labelled as the most depressing month of the year.

I’m sorry I did not blog last week. Have been so busy working on my 3 test knits, two of which are big projects that are top secret on top of that! So I just felt like there wasn’t enough knitting to share.

But I’m here today and guess what! Today January 21st 2019 it has been exactly 5 years since I started blogging about my knitting and my then shop. How amazing is that? I’m sort of blown away by this fact and at the same time proud of myself for keeping up with this project and so grateful for you and your support. If I didn’t have wonderful readers this blog would not be celebrating it’s 5th birthday today! So let me send you a big virtual hug! I hope to continue with this blog for many years to come and to grow the blog and make it into the best knitting blog there is!

So lots of hard work in sight. But now unto the fun stuff, the actual knitting.

So as I said I’m working on 3 test knits currently. The secret ones are an oversized fingering weight cardigan and the second is a large wrap/shawl. Both are beautiful designs but require a lot of knitting time.

The third project is not a secret and this is a pair of socks that I’m test knitting for the talented Jo of KBJ designs.

This pattern is called Arcadia socks and I’m testing them using one of my hand dyed yarns. It is a 50/50 merino/cotton blend which feels nice to the touch and I’m sure will be very comfortable to wear. However I’m not sure I actually like this blend for socks. I’m almost finished with sock one now so I’m not ripping back. I will finish the sock with this same yarn which is a beautiful color. It just doesn’t feel like when knitting with a wool/nylon blend. I’ll have to finish and actually wear the socks some before I decide though.

I’m farther along now as I’m almost at the first toe decreases but this gives you an idea. There is a textured pattern on the sides that goes from cuff to beginning of toes. It really looks super nice and I can see myself knitting this again and maybe adapting the pattern to ankle socks.

It seems I have been busy knitting socks along with my test knits and this is not surprising as I have such large projects going that when I change projects in between I really need something small.

Lately my hand knit socks have gotten some attention from my friends and one of them even bought a few pairs from me to gift to her family for Christmas. I don’t usually accept to knit to order because I feel it is impossible to price. If I were to charge not only for the wool but my time too, a pair of socks would just be way too expensive for anyone to buy. But this time I did make an exception. She then asked for an additional pair and another friend asked for one too and so forth so I now have 3 pairs to knit. Currently 2 are done and I’m working on the 3rd and last one.

This time as they are insisting on paying me something I chose not to use indie dyed yarn but some commercial sock yarn. It is beautiful and good quality but at a lesser cost.

For the first two pairs I used a new to me sock yarn. It is called Woll Butt and is a German sock yarn. It is a 75/25 wool/polyamide blend. It feels like Opal sock yarn so I think this will be a good workhorse yarn.

An all over stockinette sock for this pair
I did ribbing for the leg and front of foot on this one

I really like the outcome and I think the yarn has knit up very nicely.

For the 3rd and last pair I’m using Regia Pairfect sock yarn.

I really like this yarn too. I think it is fun to have all the stripes on the leg and then have a “serious”, all blue foot. So this is exactly where I am now on this pair. I’m hoping I will have this finished by the end of this week.

Lately I have been buying some more commercial sock yarn to use when I’m knitting socks for family and friends as well as for my youngest who uses my hand knit socks a lot in winter. There are a lot of nice sock yarns out there and many I have never heard about. So end of December I found this shop on Etsy that sells commercial sock yarn from Turkey and I purchased 4 balls from them that just arrived today.

I really love them all. They knit up to self patterning socks. Those all have stripes but not regular stripes, but some small and some larger. I look forward to trying these out and will be sure to tell you what I think when I get working on them.

Another project that I am working on but has not seen a lot of love lately due to lack of knitting time is my Northeasterly blanket. I had put it aside to concentrate on the test knits and then last night I just had to pick it up and knit some on that. I really love how it looks and I hope I will keep at it and one day finish. But I think it is important that I knit on the blanket every now and then. I cannot let it go into hiatus or it might never be done.

My kitten just had to be in the picture. He is so curious! So last night I finished the column that is on the needles in this picture and started on column 8. So what I’m doing is first adding the width to the blanket so I knit to a certain hight and then put the stitches on waste yarn and start a new column. I’m thinking I will do this until I feel I have the right width. And then I will pick up the stitches on hold and go up and so forth. I have seen blankets where people knit to the right length they want the blanket to be and then start on the next column but that means working a very long strip of garter and I somehow find it more motivating seeing the blanket grow width wise in a relatively short amount of time.

So this week I’m as before working hard on my three test knits and I hope to finish the Regia socks. Hopefully I will be able to do a column or so in the blanket too.

I have a lot of other languishing projects like two cardigans! And I really want to work on those too so maybe I will steal a moment to do so this week. I’m not really planning on any new cast ons until I have finished the Regia socks. When those are done I’m going to cast on for a new pair of socks, probably for my daughter. I’m trying to avoid any big cast ons until the test knits are over.

I do have some fun experiences to share with you regarding new knitting needles and techniques. I’m currently trying those out and I think I have really found a wonderful new technique for knitting which is a wonderful addition to my previous knitting skills and I look forward to share that with you but I feel I need to prepare carefully for that and take lots of pictures and so forth to really do these justice. I do hope to have something ready in a couple of weeks or so and look forward to that.

Otherwise, I think I have covered everything I wanted to share with you today. Thank you again for stopping by and sharing my knitting with me. Thank you for being loyal and supportive. Without you my little knitting blog would not be here today!

I wish you a wonderful rest of the week and hope you will have lots of knitting time to enjoy this week. Take care

The Lorelei sweater

Hi there, how are you? How has the new year treated you so far? Well I hope. I’m doing fine, not really following my big ideas about reduced yarn purchases (more on that later) but other than that rather good. Although I am feeling a little overwhelmed just now because I just made a big investment and ordered a Chromebook… You may know that I work from home so on my desk I have my work computer hooked to two screens and to the side my personal PC. When I write my blog it means that I do so from my desk which sometimes feels like I’m still at work when all I want to do is stand up and move somewhere else. I think this in part has worked against me being a regular blogger and so I thought that in order for me to really stand under my big blogging ideas, I have to have a laptop computer so I can write my posts easily from anywhere in the house. And now I just made that purchase!

I look forward to getting this new laptop and the new possibilities I think it will bring me. And I also hope this will seriously help me refrain from any further yarn purchases until I have paid up the computer in 4 months!

So now you know! And so on to more interesting stuff like knitting:

This past week I feel like I have not had enough knitting time somehow. I worked on finally finishing my test knit sweater and I’m getting ready to cast on for the second time for my secret oversized cardigan test knit (the design did not really work out so after knitting the entire thing almost all of us are now faced with ripping back and starting over again).

I have done a tiny bit of progress on my Northeasterly blanket but nothing to show really at this time.

I did start a new cardigan by Isabelle Kraemer, the Jaycee cardigan which is beautiful.

I’m only just at the beginning so I’m not including a picture today. I’m knitting this using Drops Flora yarn for the very first time and so far so good.

This week I will continue working on that and I will start a new test knit. Again this will be a secret test knit (and yes I agreed to this before making the decision to not do so many test knits in 2019). This time it is a wrap/shawl and I just got the pattern today so this evening I’m planning on knitting a swatch.

Now the most exciting thing I want to share with you this week is my finished Lorelei sweater by the talented Agnes of Amanitaknits!

I have test knit for her on a number of occasions and I am an absolute fan of her designs. They are always so gorgeous and this sweater is no exception.

I’m sorry to say that I was late finishing and the pattern was published last week I believe but I have not updated my pattern page on Ravelry and posted pictures on Instagram.

This is a fingering weight sweater with an unusual construction. I’m not going to go more into details on the construction as this is a paid for pattern but let me just say that I’m pretty sure you have never knit a sweater in this way. I had not.

I chose to use yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings and I chose a sort of caramel colour which is totally out of my comfort zone. And I’m so very happy I did. I think the sweater looks stunning in this colour/yarn.

Can you see the beautifully patterned yoke?

And here is one of the sweater blocking. On this picture it looks like the arms are a mile long each! I was really worried I would have to rip them back some and redo the ribbing once it was dry. Lucky me, it fits perfectly. The arms are long but not too long. Maybe I’m just an unusual shape and didn’t know it 🙂

What do you think? I’m sure you agree that it is a beautiful pattern. I’m sure I will wear this a lot.

This is my main accomplishment and I don’t have much more to share with you this time around. I can however tease you and let you know that I am currently trying out two new knitting needle types. Both of which are unusual and one of them is used for a particular style of knitting which I am so enjoying learning. This is partly why I have so little knitting to share. I have been practicing knitting in this new to me way. I’m going to work on those for a little longer before I share my thoughts with you but that is definitely something to look forward to.

This is all for today. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great rest of the week. Happy knitting 🙂

Happy new year to you

Hello and a very happy new year to you ! I would like to start out by thanking you for your friendship and support in 2018. I have really enjoyed writing this blog and it has enriched my life and held me accountable for my knitting ambitions.

In this brand new year I have a lot of ideas for how to keep you interested and coming back. I have an exciting review coming up for late January beginning of February where I will discover brand new and innovative knitting needles and will share my thoughts on those with you as well as an interview with the creator behind those.

I also have another interview set up for a new to me indie dyer from whom I have just purchased some yarn and fibres and look forward to trying those out before doing a piece on my thoughts and interviewing the maker.

I have started my brand new knitting journals and I will be sharing that with you as I go along and maybe you too are joining me and we can exchange ideas and encourage each other.

Regarding future knitting, as usual I have a very long list of patterns I absolutely want to knit. I will have to take some time and try to prioritize those and come up with a somewhat reasonable plan. Keeping in mind that there will always be unplanned cast ons along the way.

As every year I do intend to make some progress on my mountain of wips and maybe rip back a few projects that have been in the mountain for an unreasonable amount of time and most likely will never be finished. After all I do have some very nice pieces languishing in my mountain and when I actually do pick one up and finish that is so very rewarding.

I plan on committing to fewer test knits and concentrate more on my list of knits to do. I also want to significantly decrease the amount of money I spend on new yarns and patterns. I will admit that during the last days of December I did get tempted and I did order some new yarn and a bunch of patterns…. But no purchase has been made since January 1st 2019! I’ m not going to say NO MORE YARN because that would just lead to some desperate binge buying. But I do intend to try my best to use yarn from stash. My stash does not have the space or respect it needs and so is piled in bins and drawers and so if I don’ t take the time regularly to go through those, I simply forget what I have and end up buying more!

This will not be an easy task but this new year requires me to be frugal in my purchases because we have two driving licences to pay, a kitchen to renovate on top of all the usual cost of living and raising a family of five + 4 animals.

I have had a few days off work for the holidays and I have spent as much time as I have been able to, knitting away. So far I have finished one whole pair of socks – my Christmas Eve Cast on using a self striping Christmas yarn from Turtle Purl Yarns

I then finished two other pairs where one sock was done or almost done. One of those as the Christmas Eve cast on socks, were my own design. There is the lace texture sock that I designed and would like to write up as a pattern this year.

As you can see this pair is not finished, finished. I actually LOST at yarn chicken and ran out of yarn just when it was time to start the toe. And as I was not at home I had to leave it at that. I am eager to get the toe done!

The second pair is the Thomasina patter by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears podcast. This is a very fun pattern and the close up below shows you the texture of this sock which is unusual and fun.

I also picked up an old sock wip that I intend to finish this month. This was the last pattern in Sock Madness a couple of years or so ago. This is a speed knitting contest and the time it took me to knit one sock and the cuff of the second one, someone else managed to finish an entire pair! I lost my courage and put the par away in time out! But this is such an amazing pattern that it simply must be finished.

I published a picture of my new progress on Instagram yesterday an a very astute viewer contacted me to point out a mistake I had made! I think that without her intervention I would probably not have noticed the mistake in cable until the sock was done. I am however not sure if I will rip back and redo or let it be as the mistake is high up the leg and when worn will be hidden by the wearers trousers.

No need to look for the mistake in this picture, I chose to show you the “perfect” side. As you can see, the toe is in a different yarn. That was because during Sock Madness I was worried I might not have enough yarn and so I chose to do a contrast toe. I have since been able to buy a second skein in the sam yarn and so when the second sock is done I will come back and redo the toe on this one.

I am still working on my no secret test knit sweater and I now only have one sleeve left. I will hopefully finish very soon as most of the other test knitters have already finished theirs.

And I started two new projects. First off is a shawl that is written for a lace weight yarn. I am using my own hand dyed lace yarn but I am not far along and so it does not look like much yet. The pattern is called Virevolte and is by the Espace Tricot girls.

And the second new project is a long term project that might never finish. It’ s a scrap yarn blanket. I have often thought about doing one of those but never before actually started (except for the Beekeepers quilt but I have a certain amount of beautiful hexagons languishing in a bag). This time I went ahead and cast on for the Northeasterly blanket by Skeinanigans.

So far so good but I know I have to stay focused and knit on this project as often as possible to avoid loosing steam. When or if finished, this will be for my younger daughter.

So you see I have been keeping busy.

This week I intend to keep working on the blanket, the shawl, finish the second sleeve of the sweater and soon I will be picking back up my secret test knit that needs to be ripped back (a gazillion meters of yarn) and reknit after the pattern being revised by the designer due to a number of issues with the original pattern. So lots of knitting ahead.

And I want to seriously start knitting more socks because I am constantly being told by family and friends how much they love my hand knit socks so I really need to get on top of my game and start saving up on socks so that I can gift socks to them regularly.

It would also justify the hundreds of sock patterns I have accumulated in my Ravelry library…

Well I think this is all for now. Again thank you for stopping by today and thank you for all your kindness and friendship in 2018. I wish you a very happy first week of 2019 with lots of good knitting ahead of you.

Love, Bogga