A parade of finished objects

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are well and enjoying the time leading up to the Christmas holidays. I hope you will get a few days off to enjoy the time with your family. I get a couple of days off around the Christmas weekend so that will be a wonderful and welcome break from work.

We are not going to Iceland for Christmas and New Years this year. Most years we go to Iceland because the holidays are just more magical there and also we have more family there and Christmas is just generally  a bigger celebration there and New Years with all the fireworks is way better than here in France. Sadly this  year we will not be able to go so we will be celebrating with friends and family here in Normandy. We have set up our Christmas tree and decorations and feeling the Christmas spirit coming. This leads to gift shopping of course! I like shopping but I really do not enjoy it at this time of year. All the shops are so crowded, people everywhere. It just takes all the fun out of the shopping I think and so I have been doing my shopping online. Not as much fun but at least it’s less stressful.

But I’m not only doing store bought gifts this year. I wasn’t going to do any Christmas Gift knitting this year and then somehow I just am! No idea how that happened but here I am! So last year I knit the adults in my family hats and mittens and this year I’m doing hats and cowls and I’m knitting for the children as well. I have been knitting like a crazy person this past week and I still have a hat and a half to go plus 4 cowls!  Not to panic though because I plan to go to Iceland at the very beginning of next year and so I will be delivering my gifts in person. That gives me a few extra days which will me much needed.

So here are some pictures of what I have done so far:

img_6367-1This is the Antler hat – a free pattern on Ravelry by Tin Can Knits and I knit this out of my own hand dyed super wash merino DK yarn. It’s a fun pattern and I’m considering buying the mitten pattern that goes with this.

 

The Maryam hat by Mina Philipp – a paid for pattern on Ravlery and I used a 100% non super wash aran weight BFL yarn that I had all dyed up.

 

img_6370The Open skies hat also by Mina Philipp – a paid for pattern on Ravelry

img_6369This hat is knit out of some of my handspun yarn and I really love how the yarn knit up. I did a navajo ply so this is a 3 ply yarn and that explains the striping/colour distinction you see going on. This is about a DK weight I think. The pattern is Latu by Meiju K-P and this is a free pattern on Ravelry.

And then there is the Barley hat by Tin Can Knits- another free pattern on Ravelry

img_6368I again used my DK merino yarn for this hat and really like the outcome.

So just two more to finish! I hope these will be appreciated by the recipients.

Another project that I finished last week and that I’m super proud of are the O.W.L mittens for my daughter. This is  a Harry Potter inspired pattern that can be found in the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine by Interweave Press. I used my own hand dyed fingering weight yarn and I’m super happy with the outcome and so is my daughter. I did apprehend these a little to begin with but I was so lucky that Andrea of the Fruity Knitting Podcast did a fair isle tutorial in her last episode and that was a true revelation for me. It helped me with yarn management and knitting with one yarn in each hand and how to catch your floats impeccably. And so these actually were finished quite quickly once I had seen the tutorial.

The front is the owl and the back or palm has the spells written out.  That was a big “small” project that I’m so happy with having finished successfully.

I think that’s about all for today. This week I’m of course continuing on my gift knitting so hats and cowls for this week. I’m also working on socks, two pairs actually. One is for a new years gift and the other is a test knit that I will share with you next time.

I wish you a wonderful week and hope you have plenty of knitting time to destress before the holidays. So until next time, happy knitting and take care 🙂

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Lots of stripes and a test knit

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a nice weekend and that this new week is shaping up to be a good one. Here in France it’s been raining a lot lately so the temperatures have been quite mild. But rain is just so depressing.Or is it? Well I think that for knitters it’s not so much as we can just get cozy and knit on and enjoy being inside.

Now on to knitting and dyeing. I have been on a self striping high since I knit the pair of blue self striping socks for my daughter – I showed you pictures in my second to last post. And that inspired me to continue working on dye techniques to produce self striping yarns and I have come up with 3 different colour ways so far. One is in the shop and available for purchase, that is the Christmas is Coming colour way. The other two I have not yet listed and I’m thinking maybe I’ll offer those as “dye to order” kind of thing.

Depending on how one winds the yarn before dyeing, different results can be achieved and I have been playing with that. And I have knit 2 1/2 pairs of vanilla self striping socks since then to see how my new yarns knit up. And I love it!

Here you have the yarns. So I did one ball of self striping yarn and one small ball of contrasting yarn for heels, toes and cuffs. Just seeing the yarn like this, all wound up, makes my fingers tickle. I find self striping yarn so appealing.

And here you have the socks all knit up. I’m really pleased with the results and that the stripes are perfectly calibrated so I have been able to knit two 100% matching pairs so far and I’m currently working on the third and last one. What do you think of these colour ways? Do you knit with self striping yarns? I’d love to hear your thoughts on these.

As a general rule, self striping yarns are more expensive than solid or variegated yarns because of the work involved in producing them. But a few select dyers have yet been able to build their career on those and dye exclusively self striping yarns. I’d love for these to be part of my offer but getting the word out there, that I have some, is not easy and maybe people prefer to buy only from the “Big Names”. I don’t know.

Personally, I have always liked self striping yarns but I only use them for vanilla socks. I could see myself use them for mittens though and possibly for a hat, maybe like a Sock Head Hat. I don’t often buy self striping and that’s mostly because of the price + shipping as most of the big name self striping dyers are in the US and shipping from the US to Europe is prohibitive in most cases. Funny how shipping from the US to Europe seems to be so much more expensive than shipping from Europe to the US. Not sure why that is but anyway, now that I know how to dye up a self striping yarn, I can just dye them myself:)

So since last time almost all my knitting time has been consumed by knitting these “test” socks to see how my yarn knits up. But I have also been knitting a pair of socks as a test knitter for a Ravelry designer. I’m almost done with that pair, hopefully I’ll finish today or tomorrow at the latest. I don’t think I’m allowed to show a picture just yet but I will share once she publishes the pattern. I also accepted to test knit another pair for this same designer as soon as I finish the current one so I seem to be only knitting on socks for the time being.

And speaking of test knitting, have you ever been a test knitter? I’m rather new to test knitting. So far I have test knit one cowl, a shawl and 2 pairs of socks. It is quite fun and it also means you get a free pattern which is always a bonus:)

Currently the designer Madeleine Windsor who designs under the name Kingfisher Knits, is looking for test knitters for a cowl and a beret that she has designed using one of my yarns. There are three sizes going from child to adult and this is knit using an Aran weight cash’merino yarn. This particular yarn is not in the shop at the moment but testers who want to do the test knit using my yarn are able to order the yarn directly from me and not only do they get a discount but they also get to choose their colour as I then dye the yarn to order. Once the patterns will be released I’ll be putting the yarn up in the shop for sale.

Here is a picture of the set

fragolina-beret-and-cowl

Nice don’t you think? So if you are interested in testing for her, you can get in touch with her on Ravelry, here is a link to the discussion thread she has set up for this test knit.

Other than this, not much new. I’m just working and knitting socks:) I kind of look forward to my second pair of test socks to be done and then I’ll give socks a little break I think and return to my shawl knitting or something. And oh, I almost forgot. I bought a few skeins of new and exciting new yarn bases to try out. And those are luxury bases such as merino and silk blends or a yak, merino and silk for example. So far I have only dyed one skein and that was in the 50/50 merino and silk base. it’s a fingering weight yarn so 400 meters for 100gr and boy is that a gorgeous yarn! It’s ultra soft and the silk gives the yarn a lovely sheen and I can just see that this will be something luxurious. I’m not sure what I’m going to knit with this first skein. I thought of doing socks but it feels a bit too luxurious for socks. I thought of a shawl but 400 meters is probably not enough as I like shawls to be on the bigger side. Maybe a hat, like a Sock Head Hat? Or a cowl?

What would knit with a yarn like this? If you have suggestions for a fun pattern,  please share:)

I think this is all for today. I hope you have a great week. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today. I look forward to being back and sharing more of my knitting with you next week. Until then, take care and enjoy your knitting:)

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 🙂