A bit of this and that

Hi there, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got some quality crafting time. I didn’t get much knitting done but I did do some dyeing and a little spinning.

First off, I have this custom order for gradient yarns. I did the test dyeing last week and then my buyer came back with her choice and this weekend I did the real dyeing of her yarn bases. I think it went quite nice and I hope she will be happy with the results. I dyed a batch for myself at the same time because I so love the colors and I think I may even have found what I’m going to knit with it.

Here are the yarns drying in my garden

www.knittinginfrance.com I hope my client will like her yarn. Now that it is dry I need to reskein and maybe wind into a ball – at least for the 2 fingering weight skeins because gradient yarns look so much better wound into a yarn cake than just in a skein where you really cannot see the real beauty of this type of dyeing. The DK weight yarn I’m not sure because she needs 3 skeins for her project so I tied 3 skeins together so that the colors will flow as if it was just one huge skein. So either I leave it as a huge skein or I wind into yarn cakes and then she has to be careful to knit them up in the correct order and always from the inside. Need to think about that. That’s all the dyeing I got done this weekend I think – I did do some pima cotton on Friday I believe so I’ll need to share the pictures of that with you later.

On to spinning. So I navajo plied a bobbin of colorful merino yarn and then wound into a skein. Now I must wash and finish the yarn. It too a huge amount of time to ply and wind into a skein so I’m pretty sure I have a large amount of yardage here. Need to think about what I’ll knit with this. It is a sock weight type yarn with distinct color changes so this could actually produce some self striping.

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I also tested a new gadget that I need to tell you more about in a future post. Today I feel like telling you about a lot of stuff without getting into all the details. I promise I’ll give you more info later:)

So if you are a spinner like I am, you know that wheel bobbins can be very expensive and you also know that you need a fair amount of those or spinning will just not be any fun. So browsing the internet a while ago I ran into something I thought would be a brilliant and economic solution to the storage bobbin thing. These are inexpensive storage bobbins! You wind onto them from your wheel bobbin using a power drill or power screwdriver. Simply brilliant! I’ll tell you more about those in a future post if you are interested.

www.knittinginfrance.comwww.knittinginfrance.com Maybe I’ll do a little video to show you how this works.

That’s all for spinning. Onto knitting. So last week I finished my first sock in the Skandium pattern by General Hogbuffer and I cast on for the second one. I’m at the beginning of the pattern on the second one. I used a neon yellow sparkling yarn as my main color and a serious grey for the patterning and foot. This way I won’t look too crazy when wearing them (I hope).

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Looks pretty nice don’t you think?

I’m also working on a baby cardigan for a future baby girl. I’m doing the Maile Sweater from the book What To Knit When You’re Expecting. The pattern is free on www.whattoknitwhen.com So I’ve done the body up to the armholes and I’ve finished both sleeves and now I have done the joining of all the pieces and am working the yoke. But I just don’t understand how the yoke decreases and patterning work. There must be something missing in the pattern on the website because I’ve read through it a number of times, knit how I think I should only to rip it out and begin again. So rather than just rip the entire cardigan out, I’ve decided to do a stockinette yoke rather than the lace pattern. Have any of you knit this pattern? If so, did you also have problems with the yoke? If any of you have the book I’d love for you to share with me just the few lines regarding the yoke decreases and lace patterning – I think that should be ok as the pattern is free on the designer’s website. Here’s where I’m at now www.knittinginfrance.com So I didn’t get much done on this over the weekend as I had such a hard time with the pattern.

Yesterday I went to the beach with my husband and youngest daughter. We went late afternoon and while they played ball I sat and knit. I really enjoy knitting on the beach. I’m not much of a warm weather person, maybe due to my origins, so I really enjoy just medium warm weather and going to the beach late afternoon and just walk or sit and knit. I didn’t want to take my Beetlebum shawl as that is an intricate knit and the Skandium sock is a “knit at work” project and the cardigan was just too frustrating so I went for a hexapuff.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com

Last week I suggested we do a scrap yarn swap for those of us who are working on either hexapuffs or other scap yarn projects, could be a log cabin blanket, a 10 stitch blanket, granny squares of anything else. I discussed this in a post which you can read here and so far there’s just me and 1 reader which is fine but I would love it if more people joined in the fun so please leave a comment on the post if you want to join.

And just one horror picture before I leave you today! I while ago I represented a yarn company called Arctic Qiviut and as such I was gifted a few skeins of their gorgeous, out of this world soft yarn. This is one such skein from the top of the line (my opinion) Arctic beauty line. I love the color and the yarn is indescribably soft! This is a blend of qiviut, angora and silk. And so, I was going to knit something with this but when winding into a ball WITHOUT a swift and ball winder (don’t ask me why) something horrible happened!www.knittinginfrance.com Yes! This! A huge mess of tangled yarn. If this were any other yarn I would probably have thrown it into the bin by now but that is out of the question. So, I had begun saving my yarn and winding into a ball. Of course the yarn broke! and my spirits too, so I left it in a little bag in a knitting basket and almost forgot about it. This weekend I actually went through the items in the basket and came across this yarn. I really want to knit something gorgeous with this so I’ve decided to finally wind the whole thing into a ball. I’ve spent hours and hours and I’m still not done but I’m hoping sometime this week I’ll be able to shout VICTORY!

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful Monday:)

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On and Off my needles

Hi there and first off I’m sorry for posting so late today, it’s almost evening here in my part of the world. I guess today just kind of flew by without notice!

Today I’d like to share with you what I have just cast off and what I have going on my needles.

First off, I finished my first pair of tube socks. I thought it would be fun to try and I used my speckled yarn for this so that was double the fun. The socks were a quick knit, no surprise there, and I really like how the yarn knits up. I think that speckled yarn really looks good in a simple knit, it could be fine in a lace project maybe but not a textured knit I think (I haven’t actually tested that myself, it’s just a “feeling”). So I’m definitely going to do more simple socks with this yarn. So this first pair is for my youngest. I haven’t had the time to try them on her and picture to see how this type of socks actually fit but I’m happy with the outcome and she likes the yarn so hopefully the fit will be great:)

www.knittinginfrance.com

I also cast off for the first part of a simple pair of afterthought heel socks. I knit those using a hand dyed sock blank. I painted half the blank with a light colour and dark dots and the other half dark colour and light dots. I used up almost all the light portion of the blank for the socks so the heels are going to be in a contrasting darker colour. It’s fun to see how the dots translate once knitted up because instead of being dots, these are just like short lines of colour. I’m quite happy with the outcome and now I just need to do the heels to see how the finally come out.

knitting from a sock blank www.knittinginfrance.com  Here you see me at the very beginning and you see how the blank was dyed  www.knittinginfrance.com And here are the socks. One is showing the front (ribbing) and the other the blank with the foot in stockinette stitch and the pink like for picking up the heel stitches. So do you see how the dyed blank knits up totally different from the handpainted blank? That’s fun I think.

And on the subject of socks, I cast on for a new pair yesterday. I’m doing Skandium by General Hogbuffer and I’m using my hand dyed yarns of course.

www.knittinginfrance.com  The dark part of the sock in the pattern picture will be neon yellow on mine and the light grey will be light grey. So I’m looking forward to getting to the patterned portion of the sock to see how my colors will play together.

I’m continuing to work on my Beetlebum shawl by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. I believe I’m on my 5th pattern repeat of the first 11, so slowly but surely. This is going to be a gorgeous shawl and I really enjoy seeing the pattern grow and I think the design is quite fun, having one pattern for the outside/wings and another pattern for the center. I’m using my hand dyed lace yarn and it is 50% extra fine merino and 50% suri alpaca I believe. I love the color!

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And I cast on for yet another project this weekend! I just found out that one of the babies scheduled to be born in October, will be a girl. I’ve finished her blanket in turquoise so I decided I had to do something pink! So I cast on for the Maile Sweater from What to Knit When You’re Expecting. The yarn is Rooster Almerino Baby which is a blend of merino and alpaca, 50/50. Soft and great stitch definition. I’m almost up to the armholes, just a few more rows and then I’ll put the body on hold and do the two sleeves and then sleeves and upper body/yoke will be knitted in one piece.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is my sweater and if you have forgotten the blanket…. www.knittinginfrance.comhere it is:)

So lots of knitting to do as always! And I have to picture one more thing for later this week because baby 1 of 4 new arrivals, has arrived! It’s a beautiful baby girl. I did not have the time to knit her a blanket, but I’m giving her a dress/tunic and I bought a pair of panties and long sleeved body to go with it and I have to picture the ensemble and show you soon!

Thats all for today, take care and I’ll be back tomorrow at a more “normal” time:)