Knitting and life in general

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a nice weekend and that this week has begun well. I had a nice weekend. Some of my husbands friends came and spent the night at our house and that was nice. We hadn’t seen them for ages. In addition they were very lucky with the weather and on Saturday morning we went to Ouistreham which is a beach town just a few minutes from our home and we walked along the beach and then had lunch in a restaurant on the beach. It almost felt like summer again:)

Then Sunday came around and boy, it felt nothing like summer! Sunday was a very grey and rainy day here in Normandy. And today, Tuesday it is cold and humid so no we are definitely in winter now.

Now with regards to knitting, I feel like I’m a bit out of it, not really feeling the mojo for some reason. I think maybe my pile of wips and to knit may be intimidating me. I have been knitting of course but I just feel like I’m not enjoying it as much as I should.

I have one finished object, I knit a little onesie for a future niece that will be arriving in December. I had the hardest time to find a pattern that motivated me to knit and yet I really wanted to knit her something. I found this lovely pattern for a onesie on Ravelry and I have now finished that, ends are woven in and buttons in place. The only thing left is blocking.

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This is a very nice pattern and once you get going, it is quite intuitive. The pattern is called Tiriltunge Newborn Onesie and this is a paid for pattern on Ravelry. I used yarn from my stash for this, Cascade Heritage Silk which is a merino and Mulberry silk blend. This is a lovely turquoise blue color which I think goes with both boys and girls. I do have a pair of little tube socks in pink and chocolate that I’m going to give her as well. But when I had this done, I felt like I should knit something else to go with it. I was thinking a hat or maybe some leggings and I have found patterns on Ravelry but not the motivation to actually cast on. So maybe I will just leave it at this, a onesie and a pair of socks. We’ll see.

I have also been working on the Harry Potter themed socks for my oldest. My choice of yarn is all wrong though and that bothers me. I chose a stellina yarn from Lanitium ex Machina and the yarn is just so harsh and just not enjoyable to knit with. I think that for socks its ok and that my daughter will not be bothered when she wears the socks (I hope) but to knit with, it’s just not enjoyable and so I’m only knitting on this  a little each time.

Also I’m thinking I should have gone with a solid color yarn because this variegated yarn hides the stitch pattern somewhat. I do like the colour but maybe it was not the right choice for this particular pattern. Anyway I have finished one sock and I’m working on the second so there will be no ripping back:)

 

 

What do you think?

I also have two new knits. One is a pair of Halloween socks for my youngest. I’m using a set of yarns that I dyed up for the shop. I called this color Candy Corn (yellow and orange) and I’m using a dark green for contrasting heel,toes and cuff.

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I’m not using a pattern but rather knitting from memory. I’m knitting them toe up and I did a short row heel. As you can see I have finished one sock and I’m already working on the second so hopefully this pair will be done in time for Halloween.

I also started the Simee Dimeh shawl by Romi Hill. Months ago I indulged myself and purchased a kit for this shawl from Miss Babs yarns. I chose the kit called Favorite Boots Sierras. This is a mosaic pattern so uses slipped stitches and I think it will be gorgeous. The yarn is really beautiful and I love the colors. I’m at the very beginning now so not much to show you but here are some pictures anyway

The first picture shows you the colours and the little I have done so far. The second picture shows you the stitch pattern for the first part of the shawl. I think the rest of the shawl is a garter stitch mosaic although I admit I have not actually read through the entire pattern.

So this week I will be working on the shawl and the Halloween socks as well as on the Harry Potter socks. Once I will have finished one of the socks, I’ll be looking for a new project and hopefully I’ll pick something up from my pile of wips rather than casting on something entirely new.

This week is winter holiday for the kids so they are home most of the time. The youngest did want to go to  what we call “point jeunes” which is a place where 10+ older kids meet up and they do all sorts of activities under adult supervision of course. This is the first time she goes and yesterday was the first day. That went really well so hopefully she will have a wonderful week. I’m not on holiday myself so that is why I let her go to the point jeunes. Working from home when all three kids are at home is not always easy and my youngest gets easily bored so this is a much better solution for her. I did put in for 2 x half day off so this Thursday and Friday I’ll get off work at 2 pm and that is great! Especially this week as my mother and one of my cousins are coming for a visit from Iceland. They will be spending 10 days here so maybe I won’t have the time to blog next week as I’ll be busy between work and my guests.

I hope the weather will be nice; or at least that it won’t rain much so that they can enjoy being outside and go places. I look forward to seeing my mum again and getting a little shipment of comfort food from home:)

I think this is all for today. I hope you have enjoyed stopping by today and I thank you for taking the time to read my post. Have a wonderful week and I’ll speak to you soon:)

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My knitting, a shop update and life in general

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was just fine, mostly the same as always except that on Saturday evening I went out to dinner with my husband celebrating 23 years together! That’s actually more than half my life!

We went to a restaurant over in the next village which is very nice and we had a wonderful dinner. Every time we go out to dinner, we say we need to do so more often. But we never manage to. Life between work and family just doesn’t leave much time for restaurants or maybe it’s us and we don’t TAKE the time. Anyway, it was a welcomed change and the food was delicious.

Saturday I also took the time to do a much needed shop update. I have been dyeing a little here and there but not putting anything up in the shop. So Saturday I finally took all the pictures and labelled my yarns and the uploaded them to Etsy just yesterday, Monday. The shop has not been getting a lot of love from me lately and that has shown in less and less sales. I hope that the new yarns I put up for sale will bring a customer or two. I did a bunch of my new base, Merino Light, which is a singles yarn that is super soft and a joy to knit with. Julia of the Happy Knitting Podcast raved about this yarn in her last 2 episodes and she is about to release a new shawl design using this yarn with another fingering weight yarn. That is why I decided it might be a good time to add some more to the shop if someone wanted to knit her shawl using the same yarn.

Anyway, if you are interested in seeing my latest yarns and my shop you can click here and the link will take you to my Etsy shop.

And now on to the knitting. I feel like I have not made much progress from last week. I still haven’t finished my Dexter cardigan although I’m soooo close. And I think I can honestly say that I will finish the knitting TODAY! After all I only have a few rounds of ribbing left on my second sleeve and voila!

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See? I’m almost there! And then I’ll need to weave in the ends and choose my buttons. This has really been an enjoyable knit and maybe that’s why I’m taking my time to finish. I don’t want to stop knitting on this. Plus the yarn is sooooo soft! I have even been thinking of casting on for a second one. But that might not be reasonable given that I have a gazillion cardigan patterns in my Ravelry library that also need knitting.

Here you can have a better look at my almost finished Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer.

I really like the outcome. I think that using a solid and a variegated yarn together gives a fun result and I think this will go well with jeans. The lace yarns I used are not cobweb fine so holding two together gives me the correct gauge even though the pattern was written for a fingering weight yarn. I used 2 different variegated skeins, one for the body and another one for the sleeves. The one in the sleeves was very pastel coloured and muted so when looking at pictures you can hardly see anything but  grey. When looking at the cardigan up close the sleeves look like a muted version of the body so that is just perfect. So if you are looking for a simple and yet fun cardigan to knit, I can definitely recommend this pattern.

I have also been knitting on another Harry Potter knit for my daughter. I’m knitting a pair of socks and the pattern is called Dragon’s Egg. It’s actually designed for men so I’m knitting the smallest size and yet it looks quite big. I’m turning the heel now and once that’s done, I’m going to have her try them on to see if she wants me to continue or if this is just way too big for her.

This is a highly patterned knit so I need some quiet to concentrate and follow the pattern. I chose a yarn that I purchased a while ago and haven’t had the chance to use up until now. I saw this yarn on Etsy and just had to buy it but once I got it, my excitement dwindled quite quickly. It’s a stellina yarn but the stellina is actually harsh. It’s strange. My stellina bases are super soft and you can’t tell by touching if you are touching the merino or the stellina and I honestly thought that was how all stellina yarns were. Until I got this one… And because the yarn is hash and not enjoyable to the touch, I haven’t been making the progress I was hoping to. I don’t really enjoy knitting with this yarn and so I have to make myself pick this up to continue. And it’s a shame. Even worse, I purchased 3 skeins total in this base. All gorgeous colours but….This yarn can only be used for socks because way to harsh for a shawl and even mittens I think. The yarn company is called Lanitium ex Machina and they are on Etsy. Of course, I have only tried this one base from them so I can’t speak about any of their other yarns, but this one is definitely not for the sensitive knitter.

Anyway here are some pictures of where I’m at now and you will agree, I think, that the yarn is beautiful….to look at 🙂

 

I also cast on for something new. I have this new niece that is to be born in December and I really want to knit her something but I have been having like a “knitters block”. I have been browsing the web looking for cute baby patterns and I have found some of course and then I cast on, only to rip everything out after a few rounds. Just not feeling it. That is, util I saw a post on Instagram. I follow a few Scandinavian knitwear designers and I think their really look different and feel so fresh and just generally speak to me. And so I saw this post with pictures of a onesie by a designer I have never heard of. I liked it so much I immediately clicked through to Ravelry and bought the pattern.

Its called Trilitunge Newborn Onesie and it is gorgeous! I found a beautiful yarn in my stash from Cascade, Cascade Heritage which is a merino and mulberry silk blend. The colour is a beautiful turquoise which I feel can work for both boys and girls. I’m going to put in pink buttons and I think that will be just perfect.

I have of course cast on and I’m just past the underarms. The construction was a little confusing to begin with but now that I’m this far it’s actually easy to understand and the stitch pattern is easily memorised. So far I’m really enjoying this knit. I’m knitting the second size, 1-3 months. I think I’ll then knit a pair of socks and maybe a hat and voila! I have taken some pictures of this but because of the construction, the front being open, it’s not easy to picture at this stage but I hope you get the picture.

 

The second picture shows the back. So you see you have these cables on each side and a lace pattern for the front and back. I think this is really beautiful and I wish this was written in more sizes but the I guess one could maybe just go up a needle size or two for a somewhat bigger onesie.

That’s about it for my knitting. I haven’t yet decided what I’ll knit one once my Dexter is done! I have a gazillion single socks that need mates, another gazillion just started or half done socks. Not to mention a close to finished sweater and a cardi that needs to either be done with or ripped out! Somehow I’m not being inspired by all these and I’m thinking maybe I’ll just cast on something completely new. Like a shawl design by Romi Hill for which I actually bought a kit from Miss Babs yarns!

The shawl is called Simee Dimeh and its a gorgeous mosaic knitting shawl design. I’ve never done mosaic knitting and the idea of diving into something new to me with lots of gorgeous colours sounds so enticing. Just sitting here and writing about this, I’m getting more and more excited about this so most likely you’ll be seing that shawl next time I blog:)

Here’s a picture from Romi’s pattern page on Ravelry

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Doesn’t this look gorgeous! These are actually the colours that I chose for my kit. Have you knit this pattern by any chance? Or have you maybe done some mosaic knitting? I’d love to hear from you on that and see pictures if you have made this shawl or something similar.

Well, that’s about all for today I think. I need to finish my Dexter and wind up some new yarns before work! Oh and on the subject of work! If you have been following me here for a while, you will know that I have a full time job in addition to my Etsy shop. I like the company I work for, I like the industry I work in but the actual job itself…I feel I’ve sort of done it all, seen it all and I really want to change but it’s not easy. I’ve been doing this for so long that even imagining doing something else is difficult. It’s as if doing this same job for X years had somehow stripped me of any and all other capacities and I can’t even think  what I might be good at or what type of job I should apply for. Has this happened to you? Maybe I’m going through some midlife crisis here but I really feel I need to challenge myself and take on something new and exciting. I’m sure there are a million things I can do and as many if not more that I can learn to do. I know that. But actually putting those thoughts/things on paper and find this new and exciting job opportunity seems out of my reach at the moment. I need to motivate myself, reassure myself and throw myself out there for all recruiters to see! So if you have knowledge of an exciting job I could apply for and do from my home in Normandy, I’m all ears!

Sorry if today’s post was too personal or too much rambling for your opinion. Usually my posts are really knitting focused so this is not a typical post. I apologise if this bothered your.

Thank you for stopping by my little blog today and for sharing some of your precious time with me. I really appreciate that. I have gotten some heartwarming messages from readers saying how much they love my blog and encouraging me to continue and I really appreciate that.

So until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting 🙂

Does a new project equal new yarn for you?

Hi there, I hope you had a great weekend. I did – this weekend was spent with family that came to stay with us for the weekend so not much knitting got done. However last night I learned of yet another baby due this year in our circle of family and friends, bringing the total of new babies to 3. This means I most definitely need to get going on some baby gift knitting. So I’m thinking of doing a blanket with a softie per baby. I shared some of the blanket patterns I like with you the other day. I’ve also found another pattern that I quite like and think I’m going to use for at least one blanket. That pattern is called Heirloom Diamond Baby Blanket by Colleen Dragon Knits and here’s a picture of that www.knittinginfrance.com

Of course I had to look in my somewhat consistent stash for a compatible yarn and despite a rather large stash I of course did NOT find the ideal yarn! Isn’t that just typical? So what to do? Should I go online and buy some? Or should I dive into my stock of undyed yarn and dye some myself? Well I went for the second solution and as I’m writing this I’m dyeing a merino/nylon/cashmere blend yarn in turquoise. I think turquoise is such a beautiful and happy colour and that it can be used both for girls and boys. Do you agree or do you think turquoise is definitely a “boy colour”? Once the yarn is ready I’ll show you the pictures before actually casting on for the blanket.

And then there is the softies that I want to make. A few years ago, I crocheted and sold softies in a baby shop in Iceland. I used mercerised  cotton for those and they were really nice I thought. But this time I was thinking of something really soft to cuddle up to so for the first softie I chose a merino/alpaca blend. This was not in my personal stash but rather in my stock of yarn for my shop. I used to sell commercial yarns and that is where this yarn came from (Rooster Almerino DK). The idea is to crochet or knit a blanket square and then sew on an animal head for a cute cuddly toy. I started doing my typical crochet square – I’m not an advanced crocheter and it’s been a while since I last crocheted anything, so I’m using dc (double crochet) for the square. Then for the head, I actually bought a pattern. For the next softie, I’m planning on using the entire pattern I purchased instead of doing my own square for the base of the blanket. The pattern is called Sleepy the Owl and is sold on Ravelry. Here’s a picture of that  www.knittinginfrance.com Isn’t that super cute?

So far I’m not quite finished with the crochet square but I hope to finish that today. This is what I have done so far www.knittinginfrance.com

So tell me, when you take on a new project, do you 1) invariably go online to buy new yarn because you already know that you don’t have exactly what you want in your stash?

2) Take a serious look at your stash and choose yarn that fits your pattern, maybe compromising on colours just to be able to use what you already have?

I’d love to be a serious crafter, using what I have before investing in any new supplies or even better, look through my stash and THEN choose a pattern according to whatever I have in my stash and feel like using. Even though I have a large stash and access to even greater supply of undyed yarns, I still have this urge to BUY yarn just for this particular pattern. And even if that is how I function when taking on new patterns I still continue to buy yarn just because I love it, even if I don’t have any pattern in mind for that yarn. So this is sort of a vicious circle for me and I don’t see myself getting out of that pattern any day soon.

Do share how you function. Do you only buy yarn when you have a particular project you want to cast on for? Do you buy yarns just because and then when you find a pattern, maybe buy even more because none of those you already have fit? Have you ever done a “yarn diet”? Did it work? Did you have a plan for that?

I’d love to hear from you on this. So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)