A little hiya and wips before disappearing for round 2 of Sock Madness

Hi there, how are you today? I’m a day later than usual to post but I just wasn’t feeling very inspired yesterday so thought I’d rather hold off and write today:)

I’m doing fine these days and the weather here is slowly changing to spring. Today it is super nice outside, sunny and warm and they are even predicting up to 23°C for this Sunday! The nice weather makes working a little harder than usual, even if I’m not much of a sun bather. It just makes me want to take my knitting to the beach or out in the garden with an audiobook and a cool drink…. Oh if only…

But now onto more serious things! As you can see from the title, I’m getting ready for round 2 of Sock Madness. If you are wondering (or participating yourself) I’m in team Amaranth Zebu (don’t ask me what those words mean) which is the fastest team in the competition. This team has some seriously fast knitters and people who do not hesitate to do an all nighter in order to get their socks done at lightning speed. Somewhat worrying for those of us who have a full time job and 3 kids! But I’m still hoping to be able to make it to round 7 like last year although I do, deep down, realize that might not be realistic. A few hours ago we got a notification about the yarn and needles for the upcoming round. It will be a stranded pattern on size 2 mm needles! Yep, not an easy one but then Sock Madness is not for the faint of heart. We’ll see. After talking to you, I’ll be getting my project bag all ready to go. I have already chosen all my yarns (we get a list of all the materials needed for all the rounds) but I’m thinking I will split each cake of yarn into two so that I can do my socks concurrently, maybe that is a good idea. Don’t know… So once the pattern is out (within the next 36 hours or so) I will most likely disappear from social media until I’m all done!

Now onto what I have been working on since finishing round 1 of Sock Madness. I have of course been working on more socks.

I purchased some self striping sock yarn from a new to me, Swedish indie dyer that goes by the name Asfaltflikan (I think) on Etsy and I cast on for those this past weekend.

IMG_7602

I love all the bright colors and as always, self striping socks always seem to knit up way faster than when using any other kind of yarn.

I also purchased Kay Jones’s latest pattern, the Incantation socks, and cast on for those using my first ever La Bien Aimée yarns. I splurged on a sock set in gorgeous colors. Its an 80/20 BFL/nylon yarn. It feels sturdy and woolly but I’m sure it will soften up once washed. I’m not far on sock one and I think I will let it wait and knit on it while I’m on vacation in Iceland next week.

IMG_7599

The stitch pattern is a 4 round repeat and easily memorizable. I think these will be lovely once done.

I have finished my secret test knit cardigan and I LOVE IT! The pattern should be released soon so I should be able to share the pictures with you later this month.

I’m currently working on two larger projects. One shawl and one cardigan. The shawl is the Ramble shawl by Andrea Mowry. This, like the Briochealicious shawl, is part garter stitch and part brioche. I have finished the garter portion and am now working on the brioche pattern. For some reason my gauge is way looser than my garter stitch and I’m wondering if the end result will be ok. I think I may need to knit a bit further before deciding if I need to rip back and maybe go down a needle size or just try to knit at a tighter gauge. Not quite sure. This is a two color shawl and I’m using yarn from Dream in Color and as a contrast yarn, I’m using my own handspun gradient yarn in pinks. I really like how the two yarns work up together and using handspun is always very rewarding. Here are some pictures both from afar and close up, front and back.

IMG_7611IMG_7609IMG_7612IMG_7610

What do you think?

And then there is my big handspun, sweater spin project. I joined André Sue and Sue of Legazy Fibre Arts for a sweater spin and I have spun up a 50/50 blend of merino and silk. Gorgeous fibre that I then dyed a light grey. This is my biggest handspun project so far and i’m really enjoying knitting my cardigan and I think I will be so very proud once it’s done because I will really have done it from start to finish. My yarn is of course not perfectly even like commercially spun yarns are but because the pattern is textured all over, the uneven parts are hidden and really don’t show (I think). I’m not very far in but so far I’m really enjoying it. I’m debating if I should take it with me to Iceland or if I should leave it at home. I would have to bring a few skeins of yarn if I intend to knit on it there so I don’t know just yet what I will do. But here are some pictures to show you my progress so far. Oh and before I forget, I’m knitting the Sammal  cardigan by Joji Locatelli.IMG_7581

IMG_7582

My swatch

IMG_7614IMG_7615IMG_7616

this will be a very warm cardigan and a pleasure to wear in winter I’m sure. Have you knit a garment with your handspun yarn? I’d love to hear and see pictures:)

That’s it for today I think. I need to prep my project bag for Round 2 and I also need to think about what knits to bring on my trip to Iceland. I’ll be sure to take pictures and share my adventures when I’m back. So next week I might not blog, not sure yet as I’ll be away from home. So until next time, have a wonderful time and happy knitting:)

Hi there, how are you? It’s been two weeks since my last post. I’m sorry I didn’t write anything last week and I’m sure you wondered what that was all about. Well it was all about Sock Madness!

After knitting the qualifying pair of socks, I ended up in THE fastest team! I immediately got a lump in my stomach and regretted having been so ultra competitive. I should have taken more time to finish but hey! So I’m in a team called Amaranth Zebu – don’t ask me what that means, I have no idea 🙂

So the pattern for round 1 came last Monday and I was sure, for some reason, it wouldn’t arrive until later that week so I spent Monday morning knitting on other things. At noon I discovered the pattern was there and I panicked! I immediately cast on and there was no stopping me! I knit like crazy and finished my pair in 4 days! The round is open for 14 days but just knowing that I’m with some crazy speedy knitters made me worried and I could not imagine dropping out after only one round! And so I made it to round 2!

Now only “problem” there is that I’m going to Iceland with my kids beginning of April and I’m crossing fingers and toes and hoping that the second pattern will arrive BEFORE I leave so I can work on them there. If it doesn’t, it means it will arrive while I’m away from home and if I want to stay in the game, I will have to bring a ton of yarn with me because you never know which pattern is coming next! Before the start of the competition we get a list of materials needed for each pattern so we can prepare and have everything ready to go. But if I’m not home when the pattern comes, well that’s complicated!

So I’m stressing about that now. Hopefully it will arrive before I leave and all will be good! But here’s my finished pair for round 1

The pattern repeat is easily memorizable. It is knit using two contrasting colored yarns. I chose two different bases also, the burgundy one is on my Sox base and the yellow one is on the same base as my POP only it has black nepps instead of the colored ones. I think these go together really well.

The stitch pattern is quite stretchy. Also the heel construction was totally new to me and I think it makes for a “bigger” heel, that is more rows so when I finished the socks ended up being a little big for me. But the colours aren’t “manly” enough for me to give them to my son so I’m going to keep them anyway.

These were knit toe up with an afterthought heel, but not the typical afterthought heel but a version with a small heel flap. A new to me way of knitting a heel.

So once the socks were off my needles I went back to knitting on my secret test knit cardigan. I’m only 6 rows from casting off the body now and I hope to do that today and start on sleeve one. I’m supposed to finish early next week and I’ll do my best to keep the deadline although I think I may need a few more extra days. Also I’m not able to just knit on one thing so of course I cast on for a shawl! I’m doing the Ramble shawl by Andrea Mowry. It’s half garter and half brioche. At the moment I’m on the garter portion. It’s knit using two yarns and I’m using a gradient yarn I handspun and then a hand dyed yarn. I originally chose Chai Latte from Knit Cosmic Strings which is a beige and brown yarn but it ended up being too close in color to the lightest color of my gradient so the two color stripes in the garter section didn’t show up. It was all just sort of one color so I ripped back and chose another yarn I had wound up and works really nice. It’s Smooshy from Dream in Color in the Beach Fog colorway and this time the two yarns really contrast each other. I haven’t knit much so far so no picture of my progress yet but here is my handspun yarn and a picture of the pattern with the two yarns I originally chose.

I really love the brioche portion of this shawl and look forward to getting there in my knitting.

Another project I’m preparing is the Sammal cardigan by Joji Locatelli. I’m going to knit it with my handspun yarn that I spun as part of the sweater spin organized by Andre Sue Knits and Sue of Legazy Fibre Arts. It’s been awhile since I finished the yarn and I was holding of dyeing it. It felt a bit overwhelming because the yarn was so special. I’d spent so much time making it and I had chosen a gorgeous pattern and so the dyeing had to be just so. Also I didn’t know what color to dye and then this weekend I finally took a decision. It would be grey! And so I dyed my yarn in a light grey color and luckily the weather here in Normandy was glorious this past weekend so the yarn dried up nicely in my garden and last night I wound one of the skeins into a  ball to swatch.

Now swatching is not an everyday occurrence for me. I rarely swatch for anything. But as I’m using handspun yarn which is not 100% even like commercially spun yarn, I felt swatching was a must. Not to mention the fact that knitting an intricate cardigan in handspun yarn only to find out it doesn’t fit…well that was just not an option.

So I knit up a swatch last night and washed it before going to bed so today I’m going to check the gauge and if it doesn’t fit then redo my swatch. I didn’t cut the yarn because I don’t know how many swatches I may need to do and I’m afraid I might run out of yarn which would be a catastrophe!

So this is going to be my next cast on, after I finish my test knit cardigan. I’m planning on taking this with me on Easter vacation to Iceland and knit on this and the future Sock Madness socks while I’m there.

That’s about all I think for now. The weather here is beautiful today and it is supposed to be gorgeous all the time until the weekend of course! But then bad weather on weekends is never all bad for us knitters as it’s just ideal for cozy knitting inside:)

I wish you a wonderful and productive week. I hope you will have nice weather and lots of quality knitting time. I’ll be back next week for more news on my knitting and soon ( in April) there will be another Maker of the Month feature and April’s maker is a yarn dyer so lots to look forward to!

My big March plans

Hi there how are you today? it’s raining cats and dogs here in Normandy this morning. It almost feels like winter is coming back and they have predicted this kind of weather for the rest of the week I think. Funny how gloomy weather can sometimes affect your mood at least on weekdays. Because yesterday, Sunday, it was the same and I wasn’t bothered at all! In fact I spent almost the entire day knitting! Maybe a little too much time to be quite honest because my hands felt a bit sore by the time I went to bed.

But March is a very heavily busy month knitwise. It hadn’t started  out as such but as we got closer to the end of February, beginning of March the projects just piled on.

But before I share those with you let me show you my two Fos.

First off is a pair of socks that I was test knitting for my friend and designer Dana Gervais. The pattern is called Good Karma and will be a for sale pattern on Ravelry in the near future.

The pattern is fun to knit and quite intuitive. It’s a mirrored pattern which means that the pattern is placed differently on each sock so that they mirror each other. I managed to knit them quite quickly as I had big plans coming up and absolutely wanted and needed to get them done in time.

I used one of my newer bases which I call POP. It’s a merino/donegal nepp tweed yarn. And what is especially fun with this tweed yarn is that the nepps are multi colored instead of just plain black as usually. I have knit socks out of this yarn before and I really love both knitting with it and the finished project. So here are some pictures of my finished socks.

 

They look really nice even if I say so myself! I’m taking a break from test knitting socks this month due to my heavy workload but I really look forward to doing it again.

My second finished object is a shawl that I started on January 1st 2017. This was part of the brioche challenge hosted by Louise Tilbrook Designs. I did choose a pattern that was not all brioche thinking it would go quicker although just from looking at the pattern pictures, I could see that it is quite big. Well, I got sidetracked needless to say and I only just finished last week. I knit this using two of my yarns in my SOX base and two other yarns. And it is huge! I haven’t blocked the shawl yet and frankly I don’t know if I will. Maybe I’ll just lightly steam block it before giving it away because yes I’m going to gift it to someone special. Shh not saying just in case she reads my blog.

The shawl I’m babbling about is the Briochealicious shawl by Andrea Mowry. It is a mix of brioche and garter stitch so quite a relaxing knit and I really did enjoy knitting on it. I can even see myself knitting a second one that I would keep. But here’s a picture – although you can’t see it in its entirety because of the size.

Yes that’s me modelling the shawl 🙂

And now onto current works in progress. I can show you two but one is a secret test knit. I was contacted by a relatively new designer that I love. I have knit one of her sweaters, the Kitsune sweater. And I already have a cardigan of hers on the needles although I’m still at the very beginning there. Well so she contacted me and asked I was willing to test knit a new cardigan and once I saw the picture there was no turning back! So of course I said yes please! It is gorgeous! However she has asked us test knitters not to share any pictures until the pattern has been released so I won’t be able to show you anything for the moment. I’m knitting it on my SPARKLES base in a teal colorway and I think it will be amazing. I have one month to finish so that is part of the reason why I say March is a heavily busy knit month.

The first wip I can share, is the Snowmelt shawl by Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade. This is a mystery kal and the last clue came out last Thursday. I have begun knitting on that clue but I won’t be able to continue until I finish my all consuming wip that I’ll tell you all about in a moment. So I’m knitting this shawl out of a new base of mine that I call Back to Basics. It’s a non superwash merino fingering yarn and it is gorgeous. I was hesitant to order non superwash fingering but I do not regret it. In fact I want to order much more. I love the fact that non superwash items do not grow so I think it will be perfect for garment knitting and I have a ton of sweaters and cardigans I want to knit using this base. But back to the shawl. I had heard Helen’s recommendations on the yarn before hand and so I dyed up 3 skeins just for this project and I’m really happy with the outcome and how they work together. This is a half pi shawl and I think it is the first time I knit one of those or if I have before, then it was ages ago because I don’t remember it. Here’s a picture of where I’m at now – I do want to finish soon so I can enter it into the FO thread in her Ravelry group for a giveaway.

snowmelt-shawl-beginning-of-clue4

Snowmelt shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade knit in Back to Basics by Knitting in France

I’m really happy with my choice of colors and I look forward to finishing the shawl.

And now onto the all consuming wip! I told you last time, I think, that I was participating in the Sock Madness competition for the second time this year. Well it has just began. The first pattern was released late Thursday night so I only got to cast on and do one cuff on that very first day but I have been knitting on this non stop since then. The first round is a qualifying round and we have 14 days to finish the pair. The faster you finish the better of course and that will also determine in which team you end up. The teams are composed of knitters that knit at similar speeds so although there are hundreds of knitters partaking in the competition you are only every competing against the members of your team so people of similar speed. That is great because it gives everyone a chance to participate. Last year I ended up in the second to fastest team I think which was quite stressful and makes me think maybe I should not try so hard to finish asap this time around but I can’t help myself. I really want to finish them at lightning speed and also when I browse the chatter and FO threads I realise that there are so many knitters that either are way speedier knitters than I am or have way more time because I’m not the fastes. Of course I’m not way behind either.

This first pattern, Twisted Madness, is not a complicated one but it is very time consuming and hard on the hands because it is basically an all over cable pattern. That makes progress slow and it just eats up yarn. There are minimum requirements so each time I have to knit the socks to my size or for my oldest to meet those and for this first pair one skein of fingering yarn is not enough. After knitting to the heel on the first sock I was seriously worried so one of the moderators told me to cast on for the second one and knit to the same place and then make a decision on if I had enough to finish or if I should change yarns. And so I did, I knit the second sock to the heel turn and then decided to turn the heel on both socks in my current yarn. After that I only had 40 gr left and I’m pretty sure I would not have had enough to finish and as we are not allowed to do contrasting heels, toes and cuffs I could not knit to the toe and then change yarns so I thought after the heel would be good spot to change.

I hesitated between yarns. My yarn was a turquoise with some yellow and I had another skein in only turquoise but of course not the exact same shade and I also had a skein of yellow also not the same shade. Finally I went with the yellow and I think my socks will look just fine when they are done.

This is where I’m at now:

 

This stitch pattern is basically a left leaning cable over 2 stitches and produces this nice pattern that you can  see close up on the picture on the right. What do you think about my choice of second color for the socks? I think they will be ok. When worn, people will see a yellow sock with a turquoise and yellow heel so I’m sure it will be ok.

So after I had turned the heel on both socks I decided to knit them taat magic loop. I’ll be knitting on them this afternoon but I’m taking a little break this morning and going to knit on my Snowmelt shawl and spin a little just to give my hands a little time off from the pattern. I chose to knit them on a long circular needle from the get go because just seeing the stitch pattern I realised that knitting them on a 9″ circular would be too hard on my hands.

So I need to finish these asap to qualify of course but also so that I have more time in between rounds so that I can finish my Snowmelt and make good progress on my test knit cardigan. Once the two weeks of the qualifying round are up, the organizers need a few days to set up the teams and so I have some time to finish other things. Each round thereafter is also 14 days but the objective is to always finish way before the time limit. So quite a busy month ahead. Are you also participating in Sock Madness this year? I’d love to know if you are so I can follow your progress on social media.

So planning wise the month of March is 90% Sock Madness and then my test knit cardigan. But I did fall for the Stephen West Mkal temptation and sign up for the Marled Magic Mystery Kal The first clue came out last Friday and I haven’t had the time to start and  realistically I may not be able to until the kal is actually over but anyway. I fell for this because he recommended that one use mohair yarn – this is a shawl knit holding two fingering weight yarns together and either use one constant color and only change on of the yarns throughout or to change both all the time. I had a few skeins of mohair/silk yarn in my stash of undyed yarns and I really don’t like the fuzziness of mohair and haven’t dyed or sold much of this yarn and when I saw the pattern and yarn recommendations I thought “it’s now or never”. Either I do this or these skeins will stay in my stash forever. And so I dyed all the skeins, 8 of them I think in a very pale mint green and then I went looking in my stash and my shop yarns for colors that could work with it and I’ve come up with a surprising palette. Actually very different from the colors I’m usually drawn to so I don’t even know if I’ll actually wear the shawl once it’s done. I might give it to someone or maybe I’ll find myself in love with all those new colors. Who knows!

marled-mystery-kal-yarns

Only one of these yarns is not mine and I might just change it out for one of my own to make this a 100% Knitting in France shawl. Are you doing the mkal? I’d love to see your yarn choices and see your progress as I wait to be able to start mine.

Well, that’s all for now I think. I’ll be back this Thursday with a Maker of the Month feature and a giveaway so stay tuned for that. Until then, have a wonderful week and happy knitting 🙂

My works in progress and a redraw for a winner

Hi there, how are you? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that your week is shaping up to be a good one.

I have been making good progress on my knitting projects and getting ready for others and I’d like to share those with you today.

So first I have two finished objects that I think I have not shared with you yet. Both are socks. Surprise surprise:)

The first is the Lovealong Socks. A pattern by Amy Meeks of the Periscoping sisters. I knit these socks as part of a kal that is being hosted by Amy in the Periscoping sisters Ravelry group, by Dani of Little Bobbins Knits Ravelry Group and Christy of the Yarn Cafe Creations Ravelry Group – only if you knit with her yarn which I did. So I entered my pair into all three FO threads and now I just need to cross my fingers and wait and see if I win anything!

img_7406

This was a fun pattern to knit. The pattern only gives one size, and it’s not my sock size, so these will be for one of my girls. The yarn is the Banana Split colorway from Yarn Cafe Creations and it is super soft and squishy. It may be a bit on the busier side where the pattern is concerned. I mean the patterning would show up more if I had used a tonal or a less speckled/variegated yarn. But I still love them. They were actually quite a quick knit too.

I also finished another pair that was/is part of another kal. Those are the Prairie Socks by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears Podcast. I’m a huge fan of Dan and Kay’s podcast and when I saw the socks on their podcast I really wanted to knit them asap. I found a single skein of a mystery yarn base and I dyed it up specially for this project. The inspiration behind the color was just thinking of grass and colorful flowers and I really love the outcome. Both of the socks and the yarn. I have of course entered this pair into their kal/giveaway thread and cross my fingers.

The yarn is less saturated in the second half of my skein somehow and so you see that one of the socks is greener than the other. But that’s ok. I still love them.

And then on to works in progress. Of course I have numerous pairs of socks on the go as always. I’m only going to share one which is a pair that I’m test knitting for my friend Dana of Dana Gervais Designs. This pattern was actually designed using one of my hand dyed yarns! Which I’m so excited about. And of course I had to test knit this, no question about that. I did choose to you a different yarn for this than she used in the design, but it’s still one of my own. I chose the POP base, which is a  tweed base with colorful nepps in that make such a fun addition to the yarn. This yarn knits up so nicely. It’s the second time I use this base for one of Dana’s designs.

So this pattern is currently being tested and it has mirroring patterning. I’m currently working on the left sock. The picture on the left is of the front of the sock/leg and the one one the right is of the back of the leg. I’m just at the heel here. I think these will be gorgeous and I really look forward to having them finished.

I’m also working on three shawls at the moment. There’s the Snowmelt kal, a shawl pattern by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. I’ve finished clue 3. Here’s a picture I took after clue 2. I’m sorry but I don’t have a picture of it as it is now, ready for clue 4. I’m using a new base that I call Back to Basics. It’s a fingering weight 100% non superwash merino yarn and it is such a joy to knit with.

img_7404

This is a fun knit and I’m happy with the colors I dyed up for this.

Then I’m also knitting the Snow Day shawl by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat Designs. That shawl is designed for a sport weight yarn but I’m knitting it using a new base in my shop that is DK weight. It’s a 100% organic merino yarn and the color palette is similar to the one in my Snowmelt shawl.

I’m getting close to finishing this shawl and really love all about it; both the pattern and the yarn and colors I chose.

img_7420

This is a fun asymmetrical garter and slipped stitches shawl and I think it will be super cute and cozy to wear:

The last shawl I’m working on is one that I cast on in January for the Brioche challenge being held by Louise Tilbrook. Clearly I did not finish it in time! But I’m getting there, slowly but surely. I’m doing the Briochealicious shawl by Andrea Mowry. Some of the yarns are my own some are either store bought or from another indie dyer. This shawl is huge! It’s not a complicated knit, it has a lot of garter in it. I think it’s just the size, the number of stitches that make this such a slow going project. Well and then of course I’m not a monogamous knitter so I haven’t been focusing on it much lately. But now I really want to get it done. Because I have found two other shawls that I want to cast on! More about those later. I don’t have a picture of my shawl to share today. it’s such a big shawl and I’m only using a 40″/100 cm cable so it’s all scrunched up so I feel I wouldn’t be able to take a good picture of it. You’ll just have to wait and see when it’s all done and gorgeous:)

So that’s about it for knitting this week.  This coming week I’ll work on my shawls and my test knit socks and continue working on some socks that are in need of love in my pile of wip. Oh which brings me to my challenge of last week! The cleaning up/reorganising of my mountain of wips! Gosh, I was so excited to share all these works in progress I totally forgot about that until just now! But this is becoming quite a long post so I think I will keep that till next time. And I’ll also have to tell you all about the upcoming sock knitting challenge that I’m joining in on as of March 1st! Lots of things to share still! Hope you will stick around and come back for more:)

But before I leave you today, I have a winner to announce! You may remember a giveaway I did in January in conjunction with my Maker of the Month feature which for January was Knit Cosmic Strings. I did draw a winner for the giveaway only the lucky winner never contacted me! I did remind everyone of this in a post this February but still no sign of the winner so I’m considering that as a forfeit of the prize. So I have just drawn again from the comments for the giveaway and this time around I do hope the lucky winner will see this and contact me so I can send the gorgeous yarn out! And as a reminder here’s the yarn

knitcosmicstrings-giveaway

So drum rolls please. And the winner is….Aylin A who wrote:

The colors are all gorgeous, but if I had to decide on a favorite it would definitely be Peony!

So if you are the lucky Aylin A, please either send me an email at knittinginfrance@gmail.com or send me a private message on Instagram where I’m @knittinginfrance so I can get your details and ship the yarn out to you asap!

I’m also still waiting to hear from this month’s Maker of the Month winner so if you participated in that one, please check out the winner announcement and contact me if you are the lucky one.

I want the prizes to go out to readers of my blog, people that follow my blog and enjoy spending time with me here so I’m not looking people up. I think that when you participate in a giveaway, you should follow up and see if you won or not and so if a prize is not claimed within a month, I’m going to re-draw for a winner. I hope you understand and agree with me on that. At least this is how I’m thinking/processing for the time being.

And there will be another giveaway beginning of March for that month’s Maker of the month so you still have a chance of winning something:)

That’s all for today. Promise! Take care and have a great week:)

What’s on my needles? A LOT

Hi there, how are you ? I hope you are doing fine. I am just good and enjoying my knitting. I think I have rarely had so many projects going at the same time. It does feel ever so slightly overwhelming but… I’m just totally unable to resist the cast-on-itis. As soon as I get my hands on a new yarn I immediately need to cast on for something, no matter how many other projects I’ve got going at that time!

I hope you are like that too, it would make me feel less of a crazy person:)

So what exactly am I knitting on these days? So two shawls and a ton of socks. Shawl number one is the Cozy Shlanket by Mina Philipp and this is a mystery knit-a-long with clues being released each Sunday. I’m currently on clue 3 but clue 4 which is the last clue, just came out. I’m knitting the Aran version as I wanted a really huge shlanket and I imagine myself having this on my shoulders as I work my evening shifts. The yarn is my own of course and I dyed it specially for this project. I did go out of my comfort zone color wise but I think it will be fine. Here’s where I’m at now

img_6598

The rows are slowly getting bigger and bigger. This will be super cozy once done.

Then there is shawl number two which is also part of a kal and an Instagram challenge. This is the Brioche challenge launched by Louise Tilbrook designs and it encourages us to knit brioche during the month of January. Lots of people have joined and are knitting brioche of various levels of difficulty. I chose a pattern that I’ve had in my stash for a while. It is not all brioche but rather has sections of brioche and sections of garter stitch. It’s called Briochealicious and is a for sale pattern on Ravelry by Andrea Mowry. The pattern calls for 4 yarns/colors and I’m using two of mine and two store bought. Here is where I am now

img_6597

You can see that at the beginning of the second brioche section I messed up! But I decided not to tink back but leave it. Not sure that was the right decision but I’m too far into this now to tink back so I’m just going to convince myself that no one will notice 🙂

And then there are the socks! All the socks! I think I have become a sock knitting crazy lady. I have so many socks in my pile of wips that need their second sock done and then there are all the socks I’m currently working on.

Let’s begin this with three pairs of FINISHED socks! First of is a pair I knit for my daughter. The yarn is my own. I was playing with dyeing and unfortunately I did not write down the method so I won’t be able to replicate which is super silly because I really love how the yarn knits up. The stitch pattern is something I found on Ravelry and I adapted that to my own sock formula.

 

Then there is my pair of Christmas Eve Cast On socks. I joined the movement led by Dani of The Little Bobbins podcast and I cast on a pair of socks on Christmas Eve. I used the Simple Skyp pattern which is a free pattern on Ravelry and I dyed a skein of yarn just for this. I wanted a yarn that reminded me of fairy lights and I think I succeeded.

 

And then I finished a pair called London Skies. This is a twisted rib pattern and it took me forever to finish. I think it was a combination of the twisted stitches and the yarn that was a little wooly. I used West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply yarn. Boy was I happy when I cast off the second sock!

 

And then there are my socks in progress. Mostly they are knit using my own hand dyed yarns and  they are at various stages of completion. I have promised myself to finish them all asap and as soon as I finish one sock to cast on for the second to avoid the second sock syndrome.

img_6595

This is a one of a kind colorway I dyed and the pattern I’m using is the same as on the finished brown pair above.

img_6594

These will be for my youngest. This is also a one of a kind colorway I dyed and I’m again doing a Simple Skyp Sock. I love how it is working up.

 

 

This is a HO. This is a test knit that I’m doing for my friend and designer Dana Gervais. I have finished one sock and just begun the ribbing of sock number two. This is knit using two yarns and I thought I had chosen contrasting yarns. One green and one pink. Well it turns out that the mostly green yarn has some yellow and the mostly pink has some green so they actually mix and look a lot like it was just one yarn. Only when you look at the heels and toes can you really see the difference. Fortunately the stitch pattern on the front still stands out so it worked out good in the end. These are fun to knit and the pattern quickly becomes intuitive.

And speaking of Dana, I have just begun a new test knit for her. When this picture was taken I had only done one pattern repeat but I’m further along now. It’s a gorgeous cable pattern and the yarn is a new yarn base I just got. When I saw her picture of the socks on Instagram I just new I had to get in on this test knit and that I had to knit it in this particular yarn so I dyed a skein and wound it up and then waiting until she was ready to post a call for testers. Lucky for me I got to test for her again.

img_6601

You can’t see much but the yarn is a tweed yarn with colorful neps that add an extra pop of fun to the yarn.

And the last pair of socks is one I’m knitting using yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings. It’s the Shoreditch colorway that is gorgeous. I’m again doing a Simple Skyp sock (which seems to have become my go to pattern these days).

 

I also signed up for a kal with designer Rachel Gibbs and I’m going to knit a sock of course. Her pattern is called Time Stream Socks. My yarn is all caked up and ready, I just need to find a moment to cast on. I believe the kal is to the end of February so I think I’ll make it. In addition I think I only need to finish one sock to qualify:) Will you be joining?

That’s it for today. As you can see I have a lot of work ahead of me with all the knitting projects I’ve taken on. I’d love to hear from you, what you are working on and if you feel like sharing a picture that would be awesome.

Until next time, take care and have a wonderful week:)

A Sweater, a scarf and a pair of socks

The title is not a wish list or even a want to knit list. Not the title is actually a list of WHATS OFF MY NEEDLES! Can you believe that?

Oups, I’m so excited that I actually forgot to say hi! So, lets begin again.

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you are doing good and that you had a wonderful weekend and that your week is looking to be a good one too.

Here in Normandy we had a sunny weekend and so far it continues to be sunny but the air has cooled down considerably. A bright and sunny day no longer equals  stifling hot weather. Especially in the morning, it feels quite cool so I’m going to have to reorganise my closet and put the tshirts to the back and the sweaters and cardigans to the front. Lucky for me I have lots of hand knit woollen things:)

So back to business! Since I last posted, just over a week ago I have actually finished 3 big projects! Let me share those with you in the order of accomplishment.

So first I finished the pair of socks. The pattern is called Falling Leaves and is by Nancy Whitman and is for sale on Ravelry. I used one of my own hand dyed  yarns in a merino and bamboo base.

I enjoyed knitting this pattern and it is a fairly simple one as the patterning is only on the cuff. The rest of the sock is in 1 x 2 twisted rib. The twisted knit stitches may not be for everyones liking. Mostly twisted stitches are used in cuffs and even then I hear people complain about not liking them so if that is the case for you, you may not enjoy knitting this particular pattern as the entire sock has twisted knit stitches. If like me, you don’t mind then go ahead. The socks look really nice.

img_6076

These will either be for me or my mum. I haven’t decided just yet.

And then there was the scarf and I must admit, I still need to block it and I think I’ll steam block it rather than wash and lay out as it is really super long. I have woven in the ends and added the fringes and all and I’m quite pleased with the results and so is the recipient; my daughter. So here again, I used my own hand dyed yarn. I chose an Aran weight MCN base and I blended the colours with the help of my daughter. It was quite tricky to get the right sort of burgundy colour but I think that in the end I really did nail it! Only this was a one off, so I didn’t write down what I did so no way will I ever be able to repeat this!

Anyway, I had originally hoped she wanted a textured scarf, maybe brioche or something to make the knitting a little more interesting for me but no, she only wanted a plain stockinette scarf. It took a while to knit but not too long as the yarn is Aran weight and I knit on needles 5.50 mm or US size 9 so it did knit up quickly when I sat down to knit.

img_6071

Now that the scarf is done, I need to decide what to knit next from her list of Harry Potter inspired knitwear. On here list there are still 2 pairs of socks, 2 mittens and 2 cardigans! I will need to have her go through my stash and choose the yarn for the socks and mittens. I will then dye up for the cardigans as I know I don’t have enough of any particular yarn/colour to do them. I did not use a pattern for the scarf. I just browsed on Ravelry to see what others had done and then cast on. After all, this is a super simple project.

And then the last project to fly off my needles, and I just cast that off last night! That is the Spin Raglan sweater by Andrea Mowry. I cast that on, on September 23rd and I finished like I said last night October 3rd so super quick for an adult sized sweater I think. Of course the fact that this is an Aran weight sweater did help:)

I dyed up the yarn myself using an Aran weight base in 100% BFL, non super wash. I dyed this up in a super soft light blue/almost light grey colour. And I did a SWATCH! Amazing! Still being unsure of myself, I dyed up more yarn than I expected to need and I now have 3 full skeins left over. One has already been wound into a cake so I will use that one for a hat or mittens maybe. The other two just might find their way into the shop.

I have woven in all the ends, I just need to block it and the sweater is ready for me to wear and I’m sure I will be using it  a lot. This will be just perfect with a pair of jeans.

img_6075 I love the garter stitch shoulders detail.

I feel like I have achieved quite a lot knitting wise these past few days. I still have a ton of wips and I need to go choose one or two from the pile to give some love now. At the moment, I’m working on my daughters sweater from Drops/Garnstudio that I haven’t shown you yet. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to do. I just need to finish about half a sleeve and I’ll be ready to assemble the pieces and then knit the neck line. So that is in a project bag next to my desk just waiting to be picked up.

I also have my Brynja cardigan by the lovely Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. I think I have done something wrong so I may have to rip back and start again but that ‘s not sure so I just need to pluck up the courage to open the infamous project bag and look at what I have done so far and compare to the pattern. It is a gorgeous, aran weight winter cardigan that I know I will love and as autumn is here, I really should  pick it up and just finish once and for all.

And also in my pile of wips are a number of half done socks, just begun socks and a ton of to be knit socks and shawls. The to be knit projects are projects I definitely want to make and so I have prepared a project bag for each with the right size needles, a print out of the pattern and the yarn. All ready to go. Maybe I should not have done this because now it makes my “pile of wips” look like a mountain that I’m having a hard time climbing. So next item I take out of the mountain will have to be a half done one, not a to be knit one.

But I also have a project going that I started sometime last week I believe. It’s the Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer. It is written for fingering weight yarn but I chose to use two lace weight yarns held together. I dyed one yarn a solid grey and the other is a variegated yarn in a multitude of colours. Both yarn bases are merino and silk so super soft and the one I used for the variegation also has some stellina. I really love how the cardigan is knitting up and it is fun to see how far I can knit with just one skein of lace weight yarn. I actually dyed 3 of each yarn base, knowing I would not actually need three, but probably one and a half or so. At the moment I’ve made good progress on the body and I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough with the first skeins to finish the body. And that has brought on a new question. Should I change my plans and only do the body in the grey/variegated combo and then do neckline, button band and sleeves in solid grey? Or should I continue as I had planned and do the entire cardigan in the grey/variegated combo? What do you think?

Here’s a picture of where I’ m at now

img_6073  The colours look a bit washed out on this picture I’m sorry. Let me know what you think.

Well, I think that’s about all I have for you today. My hands felt a little tired yesterday so I think I may need to slow down a bit on my knitting as I don’t want to overdo it and not be able to knit for a few days or worse, longer than that. So I might try to just knit less each day.

Anyway I hope you have enjoyed stopping by today and seeing my projects. I do love sharing my knitting with you as where I live I don’t know any other knitters so a part from my blog and my social media, knitting wise I’m a bit alone!

I hope you have a wonderful and productive week and I look forward to posting again next week. Take care 🙂

Lots of knitting

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing great and that you had a wonderful weekend.

When I look back at the week that just passed, I see that I have done loads of knitting. It’s been a while since I’ve had this much to share with you. So let’s get started:

First off, I finished my Audrey cardigan or at least the knitting part. I still have to weave in the ends and sew on the buttons. I really enjoyed knitting this cardigan and I want to knit a second one.

I was unsure about which size to knit and being the not serious knitter I am, I did not make a swatch. As my cardigan grew I realised that I should have knit one size down because the pattern is written for  negative ease and my cardigan has positive ease. For the body of the cardigan that’s fine but for the sleeves it was really too much and so I knit those one size down. I also like the yarn I chose for this project, my merino singles yarn that I dyed in a subtle brown/beige color. It is super soft and the color will work with everything I think. Next time around, I’ll use my SOX base (merino/nylon) and I’ll knit the correct size that will give me the fit the pattern calls for.

But overall I’m really happy with the outcome. I just need to decide on the buttons and finish up.

The second pictures shows the three different buttons I have to choose from. The first option, the top button is the one I’m leaning towards.

Then there is my Harry Potter inspired scarf that I’m knitting for my older daughter. I’m using my own hand dyed yarn of course, that I dyed especially for this project and I’m using a wonderful base yarn. It’s Aran weight and its a merino/cashmere/nylon blend. So just perfect!

I did knit quite a bit on this last week. I’m getting close to the end. I think I need to knit to the next section of stripes and then knit on the what would be the placement for another stripe section and that’s when I’ll cast off. So maybe 10″ more or so. I might be adding fringes,not sure yet.

img_6049    It’s looking good so far and my daughter likes it so that’s the only important thing. It’s still quite warm here so she won’t be needing the scarf for a few more weeks I think so I take my time finishing this.

And then there is my pair of socks. I’m usually a big sock knitter and I do have a large number of socks currently on my needles only I’m not working on them. I think the fact that I suddenly found myself with a gazillion works in progress and not much time made all my wips look like a huge mountain to climb and I just got overwhelmed. My pile of wips is in my bedroom so I look at it everyday but I try not to worry about it and as I cast on for new projects I promise myself that I will also pick up a wip and get that done and out of the pile. The socks I’m working on were in my pile of wips/to be cast on. I had cast on for the cuff of sock one in August and then nothing happened. Once I picked them up, I really got going and to avoid having second sock syndrome, I immediately cast on for sock 2 as I finished sock 1. Now I’m close to finishing sock 2, I just need maybe an inch or so and then I’ll be at the toe. Once this pair is done, I’ll pick up another sock wip from my pile and get working on that. Here’s a picture of my pair so far.

falling-leaves-socks-26sep

The yarn is hand dyed by myself on a base I don’t carry at the moment but really like. Its 80/20 merino, bamboo. It’s super soft and yet sturdy. The pattern is Falling Leaves by Nancy Whitknits and is for sale on Ravelry. The cuff has a nice leave motif and the rest of the sock is worked in a twisted rib stitch.

Last week I also cast on for a new sweater. I had one of those nights a little time back, where I was browsing Ravelry and came upon a certain number of patterns I just HAD to have and I ended up buying probably close to 10 patterns! Way more than I intended to. And one of these patterns is called Spin Raglan by Andrea Mowry. It’s a top down, seamless sweater knit in Aran weight yarn. I dyed up the yarn especially for this project. I chose a 100% non super wash BFL yarn and dyed it in a sort of denim-y colour. Somewhere between light blue and grey. It turned out super nice I think.

img_6033 And believe it or not, this time around I DID do a swatch! I decided that after seeing my Audrey cardigan being bigger than intended, it would be a good idea to swatch and knit the correct size.

As this is knit in Aran weight yarn, it goes super quickly and I’ve made good progress. I knit a lot on this yesterday as I was being lazy in front of the television.

spin-raglan This is a simple pattern and I’m really enjoying it so far. I think this will be a really quick knit but might still take me some time as I’m also working on my scarf my pair of socks and so forth.

 

I also just cast on for the Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer. Remember I told you about that a week or two ago and I dyed up two types of lace weight yarns that I’m using for that project. I’m only a couple of inches into the cardigan so nothing interesting to show you just yet but so far I like how the yarns are knitting up together and I’ll be able to share my progress on this one with you next week I’m sure.

That’s about it for today. I hope this week will also be prolific knitting wise. I plan to finish my pair of socks and the Harry Potter scarf and make significant progress on the Spin Raglan sweater so hopefully those will all be FOs by the time I post next. Which would mean I’d also be able to share some new cast ons with you:) How exciting!

I wish you all a wonderful week and hope you will have lots of fun knitting time. So until next time, take care and happy knitting:)

 

Pattern purchase crazyness

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer/winter (depending on where you are in the world). Here in Normandy the weather has not been very summery these last few days but this afternoon there is a glimpse of sun so maybe, just maybe we will get some nice summer days this weekend. That would be very nice.

I’d like to thank those of you who have sent me kind words and well wishes both here on the blog and on other social media. I’m almost half done with my 4 week treatment and I’m doing good. This is an intensive therapy for the back so my days are full of treatments and sports. It is difficult for someone who is used to being every sedentary like myself but I see progress already so that’s positive and everyone is very attentive to how we are doing and exercises are adapted on a need be basis. So all good news on the health front:)

So before coming here, I packed a certain number of knitting projects but finally I’m not knitting as much as I thought I would be. I don’t have so much free time and in the evenings I admit I’m quite tired so I usually don’t last very long. At the moment I’m working on the same 3 projects as last week.

I’m on square number 4 on my Pinwheel blanket

square 4 pinwheel blanket

I’m still working on my sock pattern test. I finished sock number 1 and I’m about to start the heel on sock number 2. I’m not yet at liberty to show you pictures but here is one of the yarns I’m using.

colors in sock knitting testThe main color is the blue/grey one (top right), the cuff/heel/toe is the bright yellow. Both these yarns are on my SPARKLES base. The little yarn balls are Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails in different colours for the color patterning.

The result is a pair of very colourful and fun socks. I did run into trouble with the heel and toe so I used my “normal” toe on sock 1 and the heel is a mix of the pattern instructions and my own “normal” heel. It is a bit wonky but I was too lazy to rip it out and begin again. After all, I think I knit and ripped out the heel at least 4 times before just going with what I understood! So for sock number 2 I’m not complicating matters and I’m just going with my “normal” heel and toe. The look is very similar so it should not be a problem and should not be super apparent when wearing the socks.

And then there is the cardigan, Risen by Melanie Berg. I’ve separated for the sleeves and am now knitting the body. So far I really like the pattern. The collar/neckline has a very nice stitch pattern and I think this could become a piece of clothing that I will use a lot. I’m already thinking this could be great to have in different colours.

risen cardigan 3augThis picture was taken just before I put the sleeves on hold so I’m a bit further along now. I’m not going to cast on anything new until I have finished my sock test knitting and then I’m going to cast on for the Gilmore Girls socks.

 

I did a kit with CC Almon of the Geeky Girls Knit podcast/JavaPurl Designs and I dyed a skein of yarn for myself.  CC and VeganJilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast are hosting a Gilmore Girls kal which started August 1st and runs until September 31st I believe. You do not have to knit using this particular yarn or pattern but IF you knit CC’s pattern  I believe you get extra points for the kal. Both groups on Ravelry have threads, the chatter thread is in the Knitting Broomstick group and the FO thread is in the Geeky Girls Knit group. So if  you like the Gilmore Girls show you should definitely join in. The pattern by CC can be found on Ravelry and is called Where you lead I will follow and here are a couple of pictures of the socks knit up in my yarn.

Now on the my latest acquisitions. As the title of this blog post indicates there has been some pattern purchase craziness going on! I don’t know if it is being away from everyone and having more time to browse the internet than usual or what but….I have bought loads of patterns lately! My last purchases were done on August 1st and although I did go slightly mad, to my defence, I did make use of coupon 7, patterns from Joji and amazingly they are all for cardigans! I guess I’m feeling very much like knitting up a wardrobe which is unusual as I mostly knit shawls and socks. But who can resist Joji’s patterns and her cardigans are all gorgeous. I already own a ton of her patterns; most of which I have yet to knit (can one talk about having a “pattern stash”?)

pattern purchases

Joji is having a special sale on all her independently published patterns until August 5 so you still have a few hours to make good use of her offer. You get -20% off her patterns using coupon code: jojifallkal

And then there is Andrea Mowry  which like I said before is a new to me designer. She has a number of very nice patterns that I can see myself knitting and wearing and she too is having a sale. I bought 5 of her patterns. 1 slipper socks, 2 shawls, 1 cowl and 1 hat. All very exciting patterns that I hope to knit up this coming winter. Andrea’s sale runs until August 7th and she offers -33% off her patterns using coupon code: bday33

I highly recommend you check out both Ravelry stores as I’m pretty sure you will find at least one pattern, if not 10, that you would like to make and getting them at a discounted price just makes the purchase even more exciting:)

That’s about all I have for you today. The weekend is coming up so I will have some more free time to knit and continue spinning also. I hope to finish my test sock this weekend so I can cast on for the Gilmore Girls socks. I’m donating a prize for the kal and you can find info on that by watching either or even better, both, podcasts: Geeky Girls Knit and The Knitting Broomstick. Do let me know if you are joining in and tell me what pattern and yarn you have chosen.

And before I leave you, here are a few pictures of some sights from my surroundings. The pink house is the family home of Mr Christian DIOR!