An almost monogamous knitter for once

Hi there how are things? I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. I was kept busy between work and school holidays here in France. Now the kids are back at school and things are back to the regular routine.

Since I last posted I have been concentrating mostly on my current garment test knit. I’m almost done now and really like the fit and look of my new sweater.

I am somewhat off gauge wise though as my sweater is longer/bigger than it should be according to the pattern so I have had to modify the final decrease rounds. But it still worked out nicely.

Unfortunately the sweater is taking more yarn than I had expected and so I dyed up some yarn this morning and I’m crossing my fingers hoping I was able to get very close to the previous yarns. I only have the sleeves to knit now. If the colour is not quite there I will go with a contrasting coloured sleeves. As I write this the yarn is drying in the sun so I still don’t know yet if I was successful in recreating the beautiful yellow of my sweater.

This is an oversized, raglan sweater and the sleeves are mostly ribbing as the raglan arrives at the elbow.

It is quite a heavy sweater and it made me realise that I really prefer fingering weight garments. But this sweater really is nice and I look forward to finishing it.

Other than this sweater, I also finished my warm up socks for Sock Madness. I believe the contest/challenge will start in a few days, beginning of March, so it was important I finished this pair in time.

I’m also planning on finishing my test knit sweater before then too so that I can start the challenge without any other stressful deadline.

So my warm up socks also double as my contribution to the #knitterspayitforward2019.

The 13 memories socks

I was not totally convinced at first when I saw the pattern. I was worried that the lace pattern would be obscured by the yarn. That is why I chose rather subdued colours, nothing wildly variegated. I’m very happy with the results. I still have to weave in the ends of one of the socks and then I will put together a nice little package to my lovely recipient who lives in Denmark.

If you are not aware of this #knitterspayitforward2019 this is a “thing” launched by dr Holmes, the same person as the one who organises the Marie Curie sock challenge for Christmas. This time around, the idea is to offer to knit something for another person, whether we know them or not.

In my case I posted on Instagram and said I wanted to join this fun project and knit a pair of socks for someone and asked those interested in receiving a pair of scrappy, hand knit socks to comment on my post. I only got 2 comments and the “winner” was my new Danish friend.

If you are interested in joining you definitely should and remember to use the tag so the rest of us can follow along.

In this new week my main focus will be on finishing my sweater as I have said above. I do have 2 cardigans going, one has been on hold for months and I just picked it up again today. I have 1 1/2 sleeve to finish so not much left and I’m hoping I will also be able to finish that this week.

The other cardigan is at it’s beginning so lots of work there still but it will be good to pick it up again and make some progress.

Then of course there will soon be Sock Madness, a truly mad sock knitting challenge so as soon as the first pattern arrives I will be concentrating on that.

On a more personal note, I have just started walking! I used to be active as a young woman but I have let myself go lately. I work from home so most of my time is spent sitting in front of a computer so I have very limited physical activity. I was inspired by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears who has started going for walks. I’m going for 30-40 minute walks and it really feels good. I listen to audio books and podcasts and just enjoy the incredibly beautiful weather and getting some alone time with myself and a good book. I’m really happy I started moving a little and just hope I will keep up the good work:)

That’s it for today. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my knitting progress and hope you will have a great week ahead with plenty of fun knitting.

New techniques

Hi there how’s it going? I hope this past week was a good one for you and that you got plenty of time to enjoy your knitting.

I feel like I have not been getting a whole lot done myself but that is mainly because I’m still struggling with my last test knit, the cardigan one. I am now only a sleeve away from finally being done and I am quite eager to be done with this one!

But on the topic of today’s title, new techniques. If you have been following my blog for a while you already know that I am an advanced knitter. I have been knitting for a lot of years and I do all kinds of projects.

But knitting is such an amazing art form. There are so many stitches to learn and so many different ways to just simply knit. Some of these techniques are linked to different cultures or linked to where you live and learn to knit.

One such technique is called Portuguese knitting. This in some way resembles Peruvian knitting and I do intend to learn more on that subject later.

I have known about this technique for a long time and I even purchased classes on Craftsy (now Blueprint) a while ago but then never actually watched them.

The classes I purchased are by Andrea Wong which I believe to be the best known authority on Portuguese knitting. Andrea has also written a book on the subject which is available on Amazon among other places.

When I possibly can, I knit for as many hours a day as I can possibly squeeze in. This sometimes means that my fingers get tired or that I find myself with like a deep welt in my forefinger after tensioning my yarn.

So a while back I started thinking about how I could go about knitting for longer periods of time and still avoid such discomfort.

I usually always knit continental style but I do know how to throw and I have sometimes used both techniques to give my hands a rest and so be able to knit for an extended period at a time if I’m in a stretch and need to finish something asap.

But I felt like I wanted to try something all together different from that and that is where I remembered Portuguese knitting.

I started out by reading the book by Andrea Wong- called Portuguese Style of Knitting, History, traditions and techniques.

The book has good photo tutorials that clearly show how you hold the yarn and the needles. This really helped me to visualise how this is done. I then watched my classes on Craftsy (Blueprint). And then of course I had to make a few purchases.

There is such a thing as Portuguese knitting needles but you do not need to have those. You can knit Portuguese stye using your regular knitting needles. I just was really curious about those and wanted to try them for myself.

Portuguese knitting needles have a hook on one end (dpns) or both ends (circulars). They look like crochet hooks almost.

I have a sock on my Portuguese dpns

I was able to find my supplies online in a Portuguese shop that is quite well known, Retrorosaria. There I purchased one set of dpns, one circular and my very first Portuguese knitting pin.

My baby Main Coon Odin is very interested in my Portuguese circulars

Here you can see that Portuguese circulars have hooks on both ends

A Portuguese knitting pin is used to tension the yarn but you can go without and just tension the yarn around your neck if you wish. However basic knitting pins are just over 1 EUR so very affordable. You will also be able to find fancier ones for a little more money and I did make a later purchase to try out a fancier version.

My two fancy knitting pins

And then I went to work.

This post is not meant as a tutorial in Portuguese knitting but rather just information about how I went about to learn this new style of knitting and how it basically works.

So as you can see from the picture above, I am using one of my fancy knitting pins and have attached it to my left shoulder to tension the yarn. I then weave the tail (the yarn going to/from my ball of yarn) around the fingers on my right hand. I’m not sure if there is a correct way of doing this, I think this may be as with any other knitting style where we each tension our yarns in our unique way.

Using this style of knitting, I use my right thumb a lot to help with the stitches.

I have heard statements about this being a method to knit quicker but I don’t feel I knit faster like this but then again that could be just because I am knew to Portuguese knitting.

I enjoy knitting like this both for the knit and the purl stitch. I have used this method quite a lot since I started learning and I’m very happy to have looked into this new way of knitting and having this added to my skills. I am not going to convert entirely to Portuguese knitting but I do feel it is an asset to have the ability to use it.

I think that for knitters such as myself, who often knit for more hours than some might consider healthy, being able to switch methods and so relieve hour hands is a great option.

As for gauge, once I got how to knit this way may gauge was back to normal and I now will switch between continental and Portuguese knitting within the same project and I don’t feel there is any difference in gauge or texture to be seen.

Learning a new technique has been a lot of fun and if you are interested in trying something new, I highly recommend you try Portuguese style knitting.

I recorded a little video of myself knitting this way. It is about 3 minutes which may be way more than you are willing to watch, but if you are curious it should be fun to observe how this works in real life:) I just want to emphasise that the video is not meant as a tutorial but as a glimpse at how knit when knitting Portuguese style.

With that I wish you a great week ahead and who knows, maybe this week you will start knitting Portuguese style 🙂

A month of sock knitting

Hi there how are you? I’m sorry for not blogging last week. I meant to write and then somehow time just worked against me. I hope you had a nice week and that you were able to enjoy some quality knitting time.

As January came to a close I took stock of my projects for that month and I realised that all my FOs for January were socks and so were my HOs 🙂

Now this is not really a big surprise you may say but I still found it amusing.

I have been very busy working on my garment test knits and I did manage to finish one ahead of time. Now I just need to weave in the ends there and block but I won’t be able to share any pictures until the pattern is released and I’m not quite sure when that will be.

My other garment test knit is still going. I’m getting a little “over” this one as this is not only a big piece but one I’m knitting for the second time so I admit I look forward to this one being done. The deadline is looming so I’m trying to be serious and knit as much on this each day as possible.

But for sanity reasons, I do allow myself some distraction knitting too 🙂 Sanity is important after all.

Now on to socks, so I finished 4 full pairs and two half pairs. Out of all of those two were patterned and the rest were vanilla or vanilla-is socks.

I shared two of those finished socks and one half done with you in my last post but just to remind everyone here come pictures of them all.

Simple vanilla socks using a new to me sock yarn from Germany
Vanilla-ish pair using ribbing and again this was knit using a new to me German sock yarn
These were knit using Regia Pairfect sock yarn and those came out real nice. I do have a soft spot for Regia Pairfect. These are large adult size and I hardly had any yarn left in the end.
I knit these using the Rye Light pattern from Tin Can Knits – free pattern on Ravelry. And again I was using a new German sock yarn which worked up very nicely.

And then on to my HO.

This is sock one of my test knit -pattern will be called Arcadia socks. I really enjoy this pattern and think this can be called a vanilla-ish pattern. I really like the yarn too though I say so myself but I did dye this one myself 🙂

And on February 1st I managed to finish another pair of socks. Now those were what I think is called bed socks or slipper socks because the yarn is thicker than regular sock yarn – somewhere between sport and DK. In Iceland; where I’m from, and other nordic countries this is the most used sock yarn weight I think because it is just that cold. Here in Normandy, France, it does not get super cold except on rare occasions but my daughter enjoys using those around the house and to sleep in and she could very well wear them in her winter boots outside too if she wanted to.

My first pair using yarn from Hobbii yarns and this is their Happy Feet XL yarn line

So this is the first pair of socks I ever knit using yarn from Hobbii yarns which is a brand I discovered on Instagram. This is a Danish company and they sell lots of different types of yarns at really low prices and so I decided to go ahead and try them out.

So far I have only knit this one pair but I have more planned in other sock yarn bases from Hobbii and I will be sure to share with you what I think of those.

This yarn feels nice and was enjoyable to knit with. It comes in 50 gr balls and I had some left over of each ball but you do have to buy 2 balls when making a pair of adult socks.

I chose this particular colorway for just that – all the colours. But I actually thought once knit up they would be sort of striping but not at all. Actually each colour section is very small, maybe only 2-3 centimetres or about an inch in length so it is impossible for this yarn to stripe. I knit these using a needle size 4 mm/ US 6 and I cast on 40 stitches.

Other things I have been knitting on are my Northeasterly blanket. It got put in time out for a while as I was busy test knitting. Now I have more time so I have taken it out again.

I have 9 columns so far and I’m thinking that I want this blanket to be 12 or 14 columns width wise. When I have gotten the right width I will pick up on the first column and start to work myself upwards. I haven’t decided yet how long I want it to be so I don’t know if I will just knit each column until the right length or if I will continue to work this a little length at a time.

I’m really enjoying this more than I had expected and I am determined to keep at it so I will keep the momentum going. I’m picking minis at random, there is no rhyme or reason to the yarn/colours I use. I have a large tote bag for this project. In addition to the blanket I have two other bags in there. One is full of little balls of yarn. Those are either left overs from other projects or mini skeins that I have balled up. I’m using these as a priority. Then there is a second bag who is filled with actual mini skeins. I may not end up having to use any of those as I have so many already balled up but just in case, they are there ready to go.

Skeinanigans who wrote this pattern has published a second version called Southeasterly which I have not purchased. In my cas I prefer, I think, to just keep all in garter stitch. I think the issue with the Southeasterly, and this can be seen in project pictures on Ravelry, is that the gauge changes when you change stitch patterns and so the width of each column changes and I personally feel that not very pleasing to the eye. So sticking to garter stitch to the very end 🙂

I did cast on for a new project this weekend. I had not planned on casting on anything new but then….

On Instagram (as so often) I saw this post by Justyna Lorkowska. She has just released a beautiful cowl pattern that totally spoke to me. Both the design and the colour she chose for hers.

The pattern is called Heart Warmer and is for sale on Ravelry . Justyna knit hers with a luscious blend of merino, yak and silk in a single ply. It just so happens that I have a few skeins of this same or similar blend only in a 4ply yarn. This yarn is brown due to the yak content and so I had put it aside not sure how or what to use it for. Well this was it! I immediately purchased the pattern and dyed up two skeins of yarn – even though one is probably enough.

I wanted a colour similar to hers so something close to mustard/honey/caramel something and I absolutely love my results.

This picture does not do my yarn justice. I will have to take better pictures to show you when I’m further along.

So as you can see I have only just gotten started. But the yarn is a dream to the touch and the pattern is beautiful so I really look forward to making progress on this one.

As for this new week ahead of us I have to continue on my garment test knit. I will continue work on my blanket and cowl.

This is a picture of this new Turkish yarn I mention below. I have cast on with the second ball from the right

I have cast on for a pair of socks using a new to me sock yarn from Turkey which I look forward to sharing with you later. And I do have 2 cardigans and 1 pullover that have been in time out way too long that I’m hoping I will get some work on this week.

I am also preparing to share with you the latest knitting technique I am teaching myself, Portuguese knitting – using both knitting pins and hooked needles:) This is a lot of fun and I’m getting pictures taken and I have made a little video too so you can better see how I knit this way.

I’m hoping to have that all ready by next week. After that I am planning a review on a new/recent type of knitting needles and an interview with their creator.

So there should be some fun stuff on the horizon.

I hope you will have a good week and that you will be able to enjoy lots of quality knitting time. I look forward to blogging again next week.

Thank you for stopping by once again and showing me love and support.

Happy knitting 🙂