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 🙂

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

Holiday knitting plans

Hi there, I hope like me you will get a few days off work over the upcoming holidays.

Time off means more time to knit and to make the most of the free time I feel like I have to plan ahead.

This is what I have come up with.

Finish my test knit. I have finished the body and started on sleeve one. When both sleeves will be done I will redo the neck/upper yoke again.

I really like the colour of the yarn and I think this will be a beautiful sweater once done.

And then there are the socks. I have three partially done pairs, one of which is a very old wip.

If we start from the left:

The red sock is my own design, one sock is done and now I need to finish the pair. Then there is the Thomasina socks by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears. I’m close to being done with sock one. Next there is a self striping yarn from Turtle Purl Yarns in their Mistletoe colorway. This is what I plan to use for Christmas Eve cast on. These will be simple vanilla socks. And then there is THE wip!

This is a pair I knit as part of the final round in Sock Madness a couple of years ago. This is by far the most complicated sock pattern I have ever worked. For lack of time I knit a size that does not fit me so I will have to gift the pair when it’s done! The pattern is called Coffee Cantata

So that means 4 pairs of socks + finish a sweater. And then there is one new project I have only just cast on for. It’s a shawl design by Isabel Kraemer called Euclid.

Not much to show yet but this is a beautiful design and I’m using my hand-spun yarn, this is a camel and silk blend so truly luxurious. And the fibre has not been dyed so this is a beautiful natural colour with some sheen from the silk. I think this will be a gorgeous, big and cozy shawl once done.

This is probably very ambitious and I may not actually finish as much as I dream I will but if I do, that would be amazing.

I will of course be taking my new knitting journal with me to document my progress as of January 1st 2019.

How about you? Have you made any special plans for some holiday knitting? Are you going to take part in the Christmas Eve sock cast on? Have you chosen your yarn and pattern? I would love to hear what you have planned.

That’s all I have for now. Have a wonderful weekend and an even better holiday week up a head. I might not blog next week, depends on the time I have available between the family and festivities.

Wish you all the best! Happy knitting

Knitting plans

Hey there, I hope you had a nice weekend and a good beginning of a new week. Christmas is happening next week! Wow how time flies! Soon we will be in 2019! 

It will soon be time to reflect on this past year and make plans for the new one, be they knitting related or not. 

The beginning of a new year can be exciting in terms of new beginnings and exciting things ahead.

Where I’m concerned I have decided to sort of make a few commitments/objectives related to my knitting and my blog.

I haven’t really thought this all through or ordered by order of importance but here are the things I need to work on for 2019:

For the blog I want: 

I want to be more consistent, to absolutely post once a week and sometimes more but to really have a fixed schedule both for me to work on and for you to count on.

I want to maybe organise something with you like maybe a knit-a-long or a game of some sort.

I want to continue interviewing interesting makers and try to offer an interview once a month.

I want to maybe find ways of making my blog better, maybe more interactive, maybe for it to reach more readers.

I would like to finally start writing down patterns I come up with and possibly offer them here on the blog for sale and some as free perks for my readers.

For my knitting I want:

I want to make a dent in my mountain of wips, a dent that can actually be seen by the naked eye!

I want to work more on my creative side and write up patterns.

I want to learn new techniques, I want to learn about different breeds of fibre animals and the yarn available to us.

I want to be more organised – don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to become a monogamous knitter but just try to control the number of wips at any given time and most importantly keep track of them via a knitting journal and this is a project I will share here on my blog too.

I’m thinking also about maybe doing less test knits, at least garment test knits as those take up a lot of time and yarn.

For my knitting related purchases I want:

Now this is a difficult objective and I know I have to be vague here or at least open for changes. I would love to refrain from any yarn buying for a year and only knit from stash but I know that is one objective I will never be able to reach.

So the idea is to come up with a yarn budget, some sort of a reasonable amount a month and IF I don’t use the amount one month I can save up and have double the amount the next month allowing me to maybe buy more yarn for a bigger project (or just buy more yarn). I have not decided on what this amount should be but I will.

I also need to stop buying so many knitting patterns. I have a gazillion knitting patterns in my Ravelry library and I am constantly buying more knowing full well that I will not be knitting them any time soon! I need to come up with some sort of a system. Maybe create a queue or a favorite’s bundle where I can add all the patterns that have me salivating and then when I actually know I have the time and yarn to make that project I can go ahead and buy the pattern.

I might also look over some of my pattern stash and pick maybe 10 patterns (that I already own) and decide to knit all those in 2019. That could be a fun thing to do and an interesting objective.

What about you? Do you take the time to look over your past projects or plan for the future knitting wise? If so I would love to hear how you go about things. Do you maybe set yourself some sort of objective like knit X pairs of socks? Or earmark a certain number of patterns you absolutely want to knit in the new year? Do share 🙂

Now my knitting these days. What’s new? Well, I have finished one test knit out of two. And this might be the reason behind me thinking of taking on fewer garment test knits.

So I just finished test knitting an oversized cardigan. Such projects require a lot of time and money (a lot of yarn) and sometimes I don’t honestly know if the finished item is something I will love to wear.

So I have just finished this big project and it looks a lot different from the designers prototype. I think that is in part due to the yarn (I chose Tuku wool fingering) and also because I may have chosen to big of a size. 

When the body was done I tried it on and it felt cozy and big. Now that the sleeves have been added, they feel awkward, as if they are not quite right. I can’t imagine ripping back to the sleeve placement and start over again so I’m actually contemplating ripping back period! Can you imagine?! 

I’m just lost at this time. I have sent pictures to the designer and I’m just waiting to hear back from her and also to seeing what the other test knitters have but at the moment I am the only one to have finished.

I’m putting this on time out and not weaving in the ends nor blocking. Maybe I will see things clearer in a few days.

But it is very frustrating and disappointing after such a long time and big effort to not be absolutely in love with the finished object.

My other test knit is coming along slowly but surely. This one also has an issue, this time with the neck line and most of the test knitters have had this issue and so the designer is going to rewrite the upper yoke part. In the mean time I continue with the body and when that is done I will do the sleeves. Only when all is done will I come back and redo the upper yoke.

I do really like the design and the colour of my yarn so far.

This colour is way out of my comfort zone but I really look forward to wearing this sweater when it’s done.

Now that I have “finished” one big project I of course have to cast on for new ones. So I cast on for a colourwork cowl in chunky yarn.

The pattern is called Midwinter Cowl and I told you about this last week. I’m knitting this out of my 100% baby alpaca. The yarn is super soft and fluffy and after knitting I am just covered in alpaca fluff!

This will be a Christmas gift I hope and I’m close to being done.

Midwinter cowl

The challenge with this pattern is that it calls for knitting with 3 colours/yarns at a time for most of the patterning. I am not used to working with 3 yarns at a time so that is slowing me down.

I chose two colours that are very close in shade, one is dark blue and the other black and so on the picture above you most likely won’t be able to distinguish between the two. I did wonder about changing one out for a stark contrast but then couldn’t be bothered…

So I have one block of colourwork left and then I will be on the bottom ribbing and cast off.

And last night I cast on for a beanie! I had knit a hat for my dad last year but it has grown in size and so he doesn’t wear it any more so I decided I had to make a new one in a different yarn and I found this pattern for free on Ravelry.

It is a super simple 2 by 2 rib all the way to the crown decreases. And one can decide on the length depending on whether we want a fold up brim or not. I’m going for the fold up. I have a week to finish and I’m hoping that will work.

When those two are done I will return to my red sock that I’m designing on the go. I have one sock done and need to cast on for the other.

And of course I have bought a few more sock patterns since last time with #Sockvent18 and all…so I might cast on for a pair or two during the holidays.

This is all for today. Thank you so much for stopping by today. I will be back later this week and then there might be a break for a week as I will be off work for a few days to enjoy Christmas with my family.

If you don’t have the chance to stop by later this week let me just wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays (which ever you celebrate). 

Hugs

The embossed hat

Hello there. Today I wanted to share with you one of my test knit patterns.

This pattern has now been released and is for sale on Ravelry. It is a hat and on this particular occasion I did not knit for myself. I really wanted to test knit this pattern but I was worried about the time I had to do so and so I decided to knit size small. Turns out it is too small for my 12 year old so I don’t have a proper picture to show you the hat on an actual head but I hope to gift this to a little niece soon and will then be able to update my Ravelry project page with better pictures.

So the designer is Jo Anne Klim and she is an Australian designer I regularly test knit for.

She has come up with an entire collection using the same stitch pattern so you have the Embossed hat, the Embossed mittens and the Embossed socks.

I knit the fingerless mitts and the hat.

A close up of the pattern on the Embossed fingerless mitts


I knit size L
There is ribbing on the palm side too

And then there is the hat.

Embossed hat

What a fun little design. Most of this is ribbing but then there is this block of patterning. This literally flies of your needles so if you are looking for a quick last minute gift knit I can highly recommend this hat pattern. I’m going to knit a bigger version for myself in the new year.

That’s all for today. Do take a look at these patterns on Ravelry and send some love to designer Jo Anne 🙂

Happy knitting

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:)