Back at home

Hi there, my week in Iceland just flew by and now I’m back at home with hubby and children:)

And speaking of time that flies by, the I Knit Fandango show is in just over a month! I had better get the turbo started! It is always a difficult task to assess the amount of stock to bring to a show and when that show is abroad the task takes on a new dimension as luggage restrictions apply! So I’ve done a fair bit of dyeing yarn and yesterday I did some roving as I want to carry something for spinners as well. I also placed a last minute order with my supplier of undyed yarns because I want to do some kits for the show. I’m planning on 2 shawl kits – 1 knit and 1 crochet, 1 baby kit (knit), and 1 sock kit (knit). And so I purchased the yarn for those and hope I can dive into dyeing those as of the coming weekend. I also purchased some sparkling sock blanks that I look forward to dyeing as that will be the first time I have those with Stellina for added glam’.

Yesterday the weather was gorgeous here in Normandy, France and so I did my dyeing outside in the garden. That is definitely something I’m going to do more of. Not only is it enjoyable for me but I also have more table space AND no one to complain about the “smell” – FYI I have NEVER felt any “smell” of my wet/cooking wool and yarns, but I’m told that is because I’m biased:)

Some pictures for you

www.knittinginfrance.com

My set up on the garden table

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One side of my dryer rack filled with just dyed roving

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and the other side of the dryer rack also filled with just dyed roving

While in Iceland I finished my second pair of 2 in 1 socks and I also decided that I would do more of those and even try to make my own pattern in order to make some with a bit of lace instead of just plain stockinet. But before launching into that I decided a change was needed so I cast on for a new pair of socks (yes I did say “change” but not “major change”), this time I’m doing them TAAT using the magic loop method. I’m using a yarn that I hand dyed myself and this yarn has long colour changes which explains why one sock is blue and the other reddish on the following picture. I chose the Zigzagular pattern that I found on Ravelry and have heard of online and seen lots of pictures of finished socks. I decided this would be a good fit for a return to magic looping. Here’s what I’ve knit so far

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My progress so far on the ZigZagular socks knit TAAT with my own hand dyed yarn

Upon my return from Iceland I also had a pleasant surprise, my order from Crazy Monkey Creations had finally arrived! For some reason my package went to Israel and spent quite some time there so I had been waiting for over a month for this to arrive. I’m super happy it finally made it and I really look forward to presenting the items to you at the I Knit Fandango show in May. I ordered some blockers for mittens and socks in different sizes and with different motifs and I also ordered some of their electronic knitting counters that can be worn around a finger like a ring. I must try those and I’ll let you know what I think later on. Pics are here:

www.knittinginfrance.com

Mitten blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations. These are hand made and gorgeous

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Sock blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations, handmade gorgeousness

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And another type of sock blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations. These are all handmade

That’s about all for today. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed reading this post and looking at my pictures. I wish you all a wonderful and creative new week. Until next time, Take Care 🙂

Attention everyone! Important information :)

Hi there, I just HAVE to share this with you. Remember my 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge? Well 2 things:

1) I’ve cast on for a new pair

www.knittinginfrance.com And this time I’m using the same yarn- this is actually gradient yarn from the Knitcircus gradient yarn club and as I’m doing the same colour yarn for both I put each ball into a yarn sleeve and not only turned one inside out but also marked them with numbers to be on the safe side!

But I was just wondering if there were more patterns out there for this type of sock knitting and even though I did not find a new pattern I did find a great tutorial and I think I did not share that with you last time so here goes (or if I did, well maybe you didn’t see it last time or if you did you will just have to forgive me for my loss of memory).

There is a tutorial on Knitty, just click here

So do you feel like joining me and making a pair yourself? If not now, maybe we can organise a KAL later on?

Thats all for now, take care and have  a wonderful Friday:)

I did it! I actually FROGGED the whole thing!

Hm, yes unfortunately you did read correctly! Despite my good intentions and your encouragements and advice, I still went ahead and frogged my mitten!

Are you ready? Take a deep breath because it is not pretty

www.knittinginfrance.com   Yikes, the needles are gone!  www.knittinginfrance.com  And here it is, almost totally gone!

So WHAT happened?? Well 2 things actually. 1) I’m stubborn and there just was something that bothered me about the mitten so far. I don’t know exactly what but it just did not feel quite like I wanted it to. And 2) I did actually take the mitten and knit a few more rounds last night and as I was about to call it a night, I tried it on and it felt too big. I’m tall and usually do all my knitting in L but this was too big and I was afraid that if I continued it would not only be too large but too long as well. So I just felt like it was ALL wrong so….I’m sorry for disappointing you but I think the mittens will be all the better for this. I’m convinced that my 2nd try will be THE good one!

I’ll be going to Iceland to visit my mom and family in a few days and the trip from Normandy, France is very long so I’m planning all the knitting I need to take with me both for the actual trip and for the time I’m there. I’m going to do the mittens and hopefully I’ll be able to progress nicely and then I need something that demands less concentration so either socks or the entrelac scarf/stole I showed you the other day. Or maybe all 3! I’m just totally unable to JUST knit 1 thing at a time. I need to have a variety of projects going at the same time and I knit each one in different circumstances. I have the easy peasy for work – when work is slow I can knit between phone calls, I have one medium knit for the tv/evening knits – something interesting without requiring total concentration and then one more intricate knit that I will do when I have the time to just be by myself and knit for a little while and concentrate totally on what I’m doing.

Is this crazy? A sign of my total and utter “obsession” for knitting? My hubby thinks so but I just think this is normal and even vital to my mental health:)

If you share the same “condition” or not, do share with the rest of us by leaving a comment 🙂

More on socks

Hi there, I wanted to show you something.

www.knittinginfrance.Com Do you recognise these???? YES! These are my FINISHED 2 in 1 socks!!! Yeah, I just finished them and they are perfect! And even though I used slightly different coloured yarns to help me distinguish between Y1 and Y2, they actually do not look very different one from the other. And once I finally found my “technique” to knit this way faster, they just flew off the needles. And I have to say that I truly find this method of sock knitting magical. To knit 2 socks on the same dpns and when you separate them in the end, wow that just blew my mind. So even though I said, sometime during the process, that I would probably not be knitting more socks this way, I have changed my mind. I will most definitely be doing more of this! I hope you will give this a try yourself if you enjoy knitting socks. I feel it takes sock knitting to a whole new level and its such fun to learn to master a new method. I really recommend you take the plunge. Here are some more pictures of the finished socks

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com

I also have another pair to show you. If you read my last post you will know that my mother just had a big heart attack and is very sick. I decided that we would prepare an “I love you” package for her. My children are going to draw her pictures and I’m going to give her a pair of hand knitted socks and some sweets – she has a sweet tooth and if she is allowed to eat chocolate and so I’m going to buy something very nice and include that with the package. I’m also going to knit her a stole or large scarf to put around her shoulders for when she is sitting up in bed for example. I haven’t decided on the model/pattern for that but I know I’m going to use one of my handspun yarns for that project.

I thought I had actually finished this pair of socks so I went to photograph them to show you and that’s when I discovered that having been so distraught lately I had messed up. I only did the patterning on 1 side of the leg instead of on both sides! so I had to rip bag the entire leg of the second sock and so thats what I’m trying to finish as quickly as I can now so I can send that to my mom.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com  Can you see how amazing the dying is? The socks are almost a perfect match! Jalaa Spiro of Knit Circus is a true magician dyer.

My new yarn/knitting bags

Hi there, I just recently purchased 2 gorgeous bags from a shop I’ve been admiring and drooling over on Etsy for months. Now that I have my bags “for real” I have to share them with you. These are not actually made especially for knitting or yarn but they are perfect non the less. I bought 2 but only have pictures of one. The shop is called Papatotoro and they can be found on Etsy here

If you like my bags, you should definitely go and take a look at their shop. I’d like to buy tons more of these. I dream of having a real knitting studio where I’d have lots of these for my yarns and works in progress. Now here’s what I’m drooling over

www.knittinginfrance. www.knittinginfrance.com gorgeous don’t you think? These are small, sort of handbag sized so you can keep them all over your house, they don’t take up much space:)

And another thing I wanted to share with you. Remember from last time, I talked about being some what of a sock maniac and that my preferred method, at least for the moment, is the tube sock with an afterthought heel? Well, One of the pairs I did, rather than just knit plain stockinette, I did some 3 + 1 ribbing. That was fine but when it was time for me to pick up the stitches for the heel, I ran into trouble. Picking up the knit stitches was a breeze but the same can not be said for the purl stitches. I don’t know if it was just because they were purled or if the yarn had something to do with it also. Anyway I actually managed to DROP almost each and EVERY single one of the purled stitches! Yikes! But as I sat at my desk and made this discovery, I looked to the side and onto my little stash of stitch markers and BLING! I can use my locking stitch markers to keep my dropped stitches safe and just pick them up and knit as I come to them during the first round:) That sounds way better than risking taking my needle out and picking ALL the stitches up again one by one. And so I gave it a try and it worked like a dream.  Here are some pictures and no this is not meant to be a publicity for my handmade markers, it’s just that I did drop way too many stitches picking up the heel stitches:)

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com This does make one smile (me at least) but its also a life saver so I made it through my two afterthought heels in no time and with no stress. So if you run into the same or similar problem when picking up stitches, using locking markers will save your life!

And here are the finished socks

www.knittinginfrance.com

Thats all for now. Take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂

Spring is in the air

Hi there, as I’m working and looking out the window, I feel like just getting up and going for a walk on the beach! It may not be hot outside but it is sunny and the sky is blue. I just love the promise of spring and summer. I’m not much of a hot weather fan, 25°C is perfect for me, but I do enjoy this transitional period in the year and I think it lifts the spirits which is always a good thing:)

It does not change what I knit and I think I knit just as much in summer as I do in winter and at the moment I’m working on my 4 socks! As I’m working on 4 at a time they come along very slowly which is kind of irritating but that is just my fault! I should know to just knit 1 – 2 project simultaneously:)

My 2 in 1 socks are coming along and today I just thought of a new way of knitting them that just might get me knitting faster and more importantly be less annoying to me. I admit that even though I enjoy testing this new sock knitting method, I find that having to move the yarn before and after each stitch slows my down too much and just adds hand fatigue too.

So this morning I thought to myself: what if I hold the yarn for Y1 in my left hand as I always do when purling (continental style) and then throw Y2 for knitting the inside sock? And guess what? Of course that is a way better way of knitting this way! I wish I had thought of this sooner! But hey, better late than never as they say so I’m on a roll now and hopefully I’ll be able to brag and show off my new socks next week:) Here are some pictures I took of my progress and me knitting this morning. I wanted to show you how I knit and hold the yarns but knitting and taking a picture at the same time just is not that easy so I’m not happy with the results but here they are anyway

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Arg, I’m not sure these are understandable AT ALL!

But less frustrating, here are some pictures of the socks so far

Here you can see the inner sock which is knit in a darker shade of green and also has some subtle striping

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Here you see the inner sock that is hidden during knitting and the outer sock is all bundled up

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And here you can clearly see the gusset and heel shaping

Well, that’s all for me today. I hope you are doing great and that the weather in your part of the world is being nice to you. I’d love to hear from you about what you are working on currently and if you feel like sharing a picture or a link to your blog for us to visit, please feel free 🙂

Until next time, take care and enjoy your creativity

An upcoming fibre crafts show in London this May

IKL Fandango poster A2 copy

 

I love fibre craft shows. I love doing them, I love meeting new people, I love the direct contact with my customers, I love getting compliments on my work, I like showing off my yarns and other hand made things. And I also love meeting other shop owners, dyers, designers and so forth that are also vendors at these events.

Last year I did my first show abroad, in Brighton in the UK. That was the very first time I ever did a show outside of France and it was great. English knitters are more connaisseurs than the French ones I feel. English knitters are more used to indie craft artists and more willing to pay for and use unique supplies and that is what makes a show there even more fun than in France. Here are some pictures from the show in Brighton last summer

IMG_1922 IMG_1921 photo 3 (74)

I sold hand dyed yarns, handspun yarns, rolags for spinning as well as handmade stitch markers, needle stoppers and of course some commercial supplies as well. I had lots of people coming to my booth and I think the greatest success for me was my “stitch marker bar”. I thought that up as a candy bar/counter where you choose your own sweats and pay by weight? Only this time there was no candy only handmade stitch markers:) And the knitters and crocheters LOVED IT! So that is one thing I’m definitely going to do again. That was so much fun. I even had small plastic bags (like for candy) so people could put their markers there and so on. Lots of fun.

A show takes a long time to prepare for and lots of organisation. This show is for May 15th – 16th so it is time to get started seriously! I’ve been doing some dyeing as you know and haven’t gotten around to put them up on Etsy so now I’m wondering if I should or if I should just put them aside for the show. Not quite sure at the moment. Of course I still have time to do lots of dyeing before the show so…

This was also my very first time to the UK. I very much liked Brighton which is a much bigger town/city than I expected but I had lots of fun and my family as well. We turned this into a family vacation and so spent 2 weeks in the UK after the show and that was lots of fun.

photo 3 (76) brighton 1 brighton 2

This time the show is in London and it is being curated by Iknit  hence the name : I Knit Fandango. The theme is indie suppliers so I think this is going to be a fabulous show. Lots of gorgeous handmade supplies that you don’t find everywhere. This is going to be a great opportunity to meet other indie dyers and yarn producers and of course clients and future clients.

Here’s a copy of the info taken from the organisers web page:

IKF

a fantastic festival of fabulous fibre

15-16 May 2015 Royal Horticultural Halls, Lindley Hall, Westmister, London

I Knit Fandango is a huge market bursting with tons of gorgeous yarns and fabulous exhibitions

IKF

 

entry is £8 per day in advance

£10 on the door

a limited number of weekend tickets, costing £14 will be available from 23 February

buy tickets here>>

10am – 5pm

vendors include

Belinda Harris Reid Blacker Yarns Coopknits Debonnaire
Easy Knits I Knit or Dye Ingrid Wagner Rug & Art Creation
Java Purl Design Kettle Yarn Co Knit Run Dig Knitting 4 Fun
Knitting In France Knitwitches Max’s World
Midwinter Yarns Namolio Polo & Co PomPom Magazine
Porpoise Fur Purl Alpaca Designs Sparkleduck Spin City
Tall Yarns Textile Garden Tilly Flop Designs Toft Alpaca
Triskelion Yarn Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop Whimzy Willow Knits
Whistlebare Wollmeise Yarn garden

Now does that not make you want to come????

They are also organising a fun event:

knitting/crochet group map

I Knit London want to make a massive knitted blanket and we need your help!

Are you a member of a knitting/crochet group?

Yes?

Well, we would love you to make a six inch square and send it to us so we can sew it into our MAP of the knitting and crochet groups of the Great Briton and beyond.

The blanket will go on display at I Knit Fandango to showcase the amazing tradition that we love so much; knitting and crochet. The blanket will then go on to various festivals around the UK to inspire and encourage non knitters to join us.

The squares may be any design, colour or fibre. Please keep to six inch square, though, just so they fit together easily.

So if you would like to participate in the Knitting/Crochet group map of the UK you just have to get in contact with the I Knit Fandango organisers.

If you are going to be in London on these dates I hope you will have the chance to come and visit the show as I always enjoy meeting the knitters/crocheters that I interact with online- in real life 🙂 So if you do come, don’t be shy and say hi:)

Now, that’s all for now. I’m actually working this evening (yes it is late evening here in France at this time) and I must return to the job. So until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting, crocheting, spinning, dyeing and any other craft you enjoy doing.

 

Progress and some neon yarns

Hi there and thanks for stopping by:)

Since last time I’ve made some good progress on my first real pair of 2 in 1 socks. I’m now passed the heel turn and working on the gusset decreases. Youpi! This sounds like a homerun! Once the heel is all done with the rest usually follows quickly I think. Here are some pictures for you

www.knittinginfrance.com

my progress on the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge

progress on 2 in 1 sock www.knittinginfrance.com

see I’m onto the gusset stitches now

I’m knitting these on my Signature Needle Arts dpn’s that I LOVE! Looking good so far I think.

Now for the dyeing. I told you that this weekend I did some dyeing, mostly Sunday as that was the Day of Women here in France and I thought I deserved some quality time with my yarn and dyes. And as I just got this new neon dye stuff, I of course had to experiment with different methods of dyeing using those. So I did 5 skeins of sock weight yarn and 2 blanks. But I’m also going to show you some pictures of other yarns I dyed recently as well. These have still not been set up for sale in the shop on Etsy – I admit I’m still debating how much of my current dye work should go online and how much should just be set aside for the show in London this coming May. But anyways, some pictures:

hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com These are my 5 sock weight skeins and here you can see how I placed the dyes – I chose to leave lots of white here on most of them

hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com This is what they look like once I’ve wound them into skeins – I just would them as they were which explains why you can see large “blotches” of colour.

my first time dyeing sock yarn with neon colours www.knittinginfrance.com

My neon coloured sock yarns

here are the same skeins but reskeined. Can you see the difference? They almost don’t look like the same set of skeins don’t you think?

I’m rather satisfied with the results myself and I hope you like what you see too.

 

Here are some more dyes

all new hand dyed yarns by www.knittinginfrance.com

My latest hand dyed yarns

At the top here, you see 2 skeins of Polwarth wool in sock weight that I dyed in stripes – in the middle you have the skeins I dyed for the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge (see below) only here they have been reskeined – and at the bottom you have 3 skeins of a cashmere blend sock yarn I dyed using a similar technique to the neon dyes and these have also been reskeined.

hand dyed glitter yarn sock weight www.knittinginfrance.com

hand dyed silver stellina yarn in soft vieux rose

hand dyed silver stellina sock yarn by www.knittinginfrance.com

gradient vieux rose hand dyed stellina silver sock yarn

And here you see the yarn that I dyed for the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge last week

And here you see the cashmere base sock yarn I did last week or the week before that (you see this yarn reskeined in the picture above) and look how amazing the magic of dyeing can be. I love seeing the transformation from the just dyed skeins to the reskeined skeins to the actual knitted socks. I’m also loving the way this yarn knits up which is why I used a similar technique yesterday to dye my neon yarns.

multi colored sock weight cashmere based yarn www.knittinginfrance.com

multi colored yarn

multi colored sock weight cashmere based yarn www.knittinginfrance.com

reskeined multi coloured yarn

multi coloured yarn knit up into socks by www.knittinginfrance.com

my multi coloured yarn knit into socks

 

 

Thats all for today, I must go back to work now. But before I leave you here are some pictures I took from my afternoon at the beach yesterday (yes I know I’m lucky to live in Normandy, France)

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Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂