Just a little idea for Christmas

Hi there, I’m back from summer vacation and getting ready to post a real blog post with lots of knitting updates but I have been carrying around this little idea and I just have to get it out there before it is too late.

This time of year, a lot of indie dyers are announcing the popular Christmas yarn calendars. I have not yet been lucky enough to purchase such a treat which unfortunately is a bit out of my financial reach.

So I was thinking that probably I am not the only one in this case and that maybe you would like to do a Christmas calendar swap with me.

So the idea I have now is that those interested make themselves known by commenting below and give me their Ravelry id. I will then open a thread on Ravelry with the rest of the information and later we will each be able to post pictures there of our gifts.

So I’m thinking we would agree on either 24 or 25 gifts. Thinking maybe 24 mini skeins and 1 full skein for the 25th of December. Also we could include a little extra like a stitch marker, chocolate, tea etc as an added treat on certain days.

I could prepare a questionnaire that I could post in the Ravelry thread and then each participant copy pastes it into a reply and enters their personal preferences. Most easy I think would be to stay with only fingering weight minis. We could enter our color choices and if we do absolutely NOT want a particular color or no variegated or no speckles etc.

What do you think? I would then pair us up so that each participant sends out 1 calendar and receives one in return. I think we should aim to send them out mid October to be sure they arrive before December 1st. This would be an international swap so you do have to be willing to pay for shipping. Also very important not to sign up if you are hesitant or decide not to join at the last minute when your mate has sent out your calendar to you.

I think this could be lots of fun. The times I have organised a birthday swap it has always been a success and lots of fun. I personally always drool over the pictures of beautiful Christmas calendars and wish I could purchase one myself one day but currently the prices are just out of my reach. I’m sure you, like I, have a nice stash of beautiful left over yarns or minis that someone would love to have or try out.

If you are limited financially just let me know that you would prefer to be partnered with someone from your own country to limit the postage and I would do my best to comply.

I’m getting all excited just writing about this. Do let me know what you think and I can then set up the swap thread on Ravelry.

If for some reason only one person is interested I would still like to do the swap even if only on a one on one scale:)

All the best and I’ll be back soon with lots of knitting news

The Mara Sweater

Hi there, how are you ? All melted away with the recent heatwave maybe? I hope not!

We had a few days of seriously hot weather here in Normandy which is not my favorite as I really don’t enjoy much heat. Also knitting in 30C+ is not the best, think clammy hands and sweat! Not a nice picture;

Luckily the weather has cooled down some and so I’m feeling better and knitting like crazy.

But before I can show you what I’m currently knitting on I have to show you my latest secret test knit.

This was a pattern by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. This was a top down sweater with what looks like an all over colorwork but is in fact a slipped stitch pattern and so very easy to do and no tension issues as there sometimes are with fair isle/stranded knitting.

The pattern calls for a slightly cropped sweater with 3/4 sleeves but you can easily knit to your liking and have a full length sweater and either full length or even short sleeves.

As you decrease on the sleeves you end up not being able to keep the patterning all around

I so loved this particular pattern that I actually knit two sweaters! And I finished both before the deadline for the test knit. Though I admit I still have not weaved in the ends of the second version just yet. But it is all ready for me to finish for good.

So I chose to use a wonderful UK yarn which I have used before as I took part in other test knits for other designers. I chose yarn from Cambrian Wool in the UK. I chose their 4 ply yarn and chose too very contrasting colors, Arian and Welsh red – that is a very pale grey and a rust red.

The prototype uses a main color and a gradient set as contrast colors but I felt like just using solid colors and limiting them to just two.

The stitch pattern is very addictive and I feel the sweater was easy to knit and the pattern well written.

The only issue or point where you have to be careful is where you split for the sleeves. As there are short rows on the neck, if you miscalculate your sweater will look wonky.

I admit that I made a mistake on my primary sweater and so once I had finished it, I ripped back the neck ribbing and short rows and reknit them.

I chose to knit 3/4 sleeves on this version and I quite like that.

Here are more pictures of me wearing the sweater

Then there was the second version. For that one I wanted to see how the garment would look if I only did the slipped stitch pattern on the yoke. I also chose a different combination of yarns. I chose Holst Garn Tides which is a wool and silk blend and I knit this held double with a thread of a lace weight sequinned mohair. I then used Nateby yarn from Eden Cottage yarn for the colorwork as contrast color.

See how the sequins sparkle?

This version turned out very different from the other. Because of the completely different yarns, this version turned out looser, less form fitting on the body. Also the sleeves are wider though I secretly suspect I may have made some mistake there and maybe knit on too many stitches. But it’s ok, it is still wearable.

I also chose to do 3/4 sleeves as this version is also quite warm so full length sleeves might be too much.

So I yet have to finish weaving in the ends and have pictures taken of me wearing the sweater. I will do later this summer.

You can check out my pattern page on Ravelry here https://www.ravelry.com/projects/bogga/miara-sweater

If you feel like knitting a garment and you like the colorwork look then this just might be the project for you 🙂

That’s all for today. I hope you are doing good and enjoying your summer so far. I will be back later to show you my latest socks, Olive Leaf cardigan and summer tee not to mention my next cast on which will be the Navelli by Kaitlyn Hunter.

So until next time, Happy Knitting!