Brioche on the Beach

Hi there, today as I start my summer vacation I’m pleased to be able to share this appropriately named pattern.

Brioche on the Beach by Renée Callahan or East London Knits is one of my latest secret test knits. This is, as the name indicates, a brioche pattern. And I actually think this could be a great pattern for the beginner to intermediate brioche knitter because you get a lot of easy brioche and then towards the end when you are completely confident in your brioche skills, you get to tackle a brioche wave pattern.

This is a two color brioche and so using two contrasting colors is a good idea for maximum effect. I used fingering weight yarns; the pink color is in the colorway Sprinkles by Knit Cosmic Strings and the charcoal one is my own hand dyed in a merino and mohair blend. The colors are highly contrasting and so the result is really crisp I think.

This wrap is huge! And I could have actually made it even bigger by just knitting on for longer before starting the wave pattern but I admit I was getting impatient for something new and exciting.

This is a super squishy wrap due to the brioche texture and super soft as the yarns I chose. I used almost 2 skeins of each color so close to 4 skeins total. You can get away with less if you knit your wrap less wide.

I knit mine as per the pattern because I like large and squishy shawls/wraps.

Renée has a special offer on this wrap. If you sign up for her newsletter before August 27th you will get a 20% discount code for this pattern and so I highly recommend you do sign up. You will not get spammed but just notified when she has a new podcast out, a new pattern or if she is teaching or present at a knitting event.

And for even more discounts, when you purchase this pattern you will get a discount code for Retrosaria Mondim yarn good until August 16th – the yarn Renée used in her design.

So really you have a lot of reasons to be tempted.

Now on to the fashion/photo show. Enjoy:)

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In need of some serious genes to stay focused

How are you today? A new week has begun and summer is more or less here. This past weekend I got to knit a little bit in the garden which was very nice.

I’m struggling somewhat with my knitting because I have so many things that I want to work on and not enough time. It’s difficult to prioritise even.
Of course my test knits are the most important and get worked on the most and then the other wips get a little love from time to time.

This week I have one finished object to show off and I’m super happy about it. It’ s my summer tee shirt called Notice (spring) by Ankestrick. I knit this using Holst Garn Coast which is a wool and cotton blend. It is a joy to knit with and once washed it blooms and feels really soft.

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Here I only had the sleeves to do.

IMG_1370Again but with a front view.

And on the blocking matt. The sleeves were almost done actually. When the body is done you just pick up the sleeve stitches, cast on a few more and on to the ribbing.

I really like the colors and the end result. I really want to cast on for a new summer/spring project using this yarn. I’m thinking of short sleeved tee shirt called Coctail (jumper) by Maison Rililie. That pattern calls for an all wool yarn but as it is short sleeved I think I would only use it in spring/summer so a wool/cotton blend would be better suited for me.

I’m trying to hold off from casting this on until one of my two test knits is done. Both need to be finished in June so … soon:)

Talking of test knits, the firs and older project is still a secret but here is a sneak peak I took when knitting in the garden this weekend.

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A beautiful brioche thingy:) I think I’m about 70% done so I’m getting close.

My second test knit is a cardigan and it is not a secret! It is a pattern by Finnish designer Suvi Simola and I’m knitting the cardigan with Holst Garn supersoft which is a 100% wool yarn. It is a little rustic but once washed will be perfect. I chose a beautiful red color which I think will look good with almost anything.

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The only “complaint” I have is that it is knit in rows and so it is taking longer to knit than if it were knit in the round and then steeked. I’m not a huge fan of purling though it does not generally bother me. But for such a big project I really see how this slows me down and if I knit a second cardigan like this I will definitely knit it in the round with a steek.

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But so far so good. I think this will be a beautiful piece once all knit up and I look forward to having it in my wardrobe.

I have fallen out of sock mojo! I used to knit a ton of socks but now it has been a while since I actually finished a pair. I have a billion socks on the go of course but I’m picking them up less frequently than normal.

Not sure why, maybe this is just a result of having lots of work and not enough time to knit. Or maybe I’m just too much into garment knitting at the moment.

I have though started yet another sock. This is the Huggle socks from one of Mina Philips (Knitting Expat) sock clubs. It’s the June socks and when I saw the simple and yet stunning  pattern I new I had to cast on immediately and I also knew what yarn to use.

I had been spinning a special sock blend that I have had in my fibre stash for a while. It is a cheviot, silk and nylon blend. The fibre feels rustic to the touch so it feels like a good and sturdy sock blend. I was going to do a two ply but then was too lazy to actually prepare to do a two ply and just went with my regular Navajo ply ( 3 ply). The resulting yarn is somewhere between fingering and sport weight and I have a 120 gr so should be plenty for an adult pair of socks.

Still to stay on the safe side, I decided to use a contrasting yarn for cuff, heels and toes. I had just recently purchased Tuku Sock yarn for the first time and that looked and felt very similar to my hand spun yarn and so that felt like a match.

My hand spun yarn is all sorts of shades of green from a sort of mustardy light green to a deeper brown green and anything in between and when knit up it is actually making a sort of striping pattern.

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I love seeing the color variations in the hand spun.

 

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I’m past the heel and getting close to the toe. I hope to finish sock one this week and plan on casting on for sock two immediately after. This is going to be a pair of very woolly socks for winter. I haven’t yet decided if they will be for me or a gift.

I really like the simple pattern, just this nice cable on one side that keeps the pattern from becoming boring to knit and yet allows for a simple, relaxing knit.

This coming week as I just said I hope to make good progress on my Huggle sock. I also hope to make good progress on my two test knits because I’m feeling itchy and wanting to cast on a lot of new things.

I’m trying to be strong and remind myself that I do have a lot of languishing wips that desperately need knitting on. I don’t know why casting on seems more attractive than actually picking up a wip and finishing an item! After all ticking off a knitting project as done is always a thrill so why on earth am I not finishing wips like a crazy person?

My oldest, my 21 year old daughter just left for Iceland yesterday where she will spend the summer working. It feels so strange to be just 4 home now. It was hard saying good bye and I know I will be calling her all the time. And now that she is gone, I’m thinking of the knitting projects I have languishing for her! I have a sweater that is 90% done! I have a few inches of the second sleeve to knit and then I need to sew it together as it is knit in pieces. And I have a huge blanket that I’m knitting using my early, chunky hand spun. It is a sort of a scrap blanket as I’m using all sorts of yarns and colors and I’m knitting it in linen stitch. How amazing would it be if I could present her with these two projects finished and ready for her to enjoy when she comes back home at the end of summer? That would be amazing! I really need to get myself motivated and start working towards that goal. Don’t even know why I put these two things in time out nor what is making picking them up again so difficult.

I guess a knitters mind is a real mystery:)

That is about all for today I think. Thank you for stopping  by as always. I hope you have enjoyed spending some time with me today. I so enjoy sharing my knitting with you. And guess what, I almost forgot, I’m almost at 300 subscribers!!!!!! When I hit 300 I’m going to do something fun like a little game or a prize draw to celebrate so stay tuned.

All the best and speak to you soon. Happy knitting 🙂

Hi there how are you today? It’s Monday as I write this and I admit I’m still a bit tired. Weekends go by sooooo fast! I never have enough time to do everything I want to do. I really need one extra day to just relax and knit and not think of or do anything else.

I did get some knitting done though of course. I actually got a severe case of startitis! Must be my “attack all the old wips” challenge that is coming soon that spurred this. I seem to be all about colorwork and so I kept working on my Flea cardigan that I need to write an entire blog post on later.

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But then I cast on for two more things.

First was a brioche wrap. The pattern is called Midnight Sherbet by Madeleine Windsor. As soon as I saw her posts on Instagram I knew there was no way around this. I HAD to knit one. And so I set about dyeing yarn for this and chose my non superwash organic merino DK and this weekend I balled up my yarns and cast on!

midnight sherbert frontmidnight sherbert back

The top picture shows the “front” and the second the “back”. I use ” ” because I think there is no real front/back on brioche wraps. Both sides are beautiful. It’s just a question of which color you like best or which side goes best with your outfit that day.

As you see I’m not far along but I hope to work a little bit on this every day.

My second cast on was for the Ninilchik swancho by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland knitworks. I bought the pattern ages ago and have been wanting to cast on for a while. I went ahead and purchased some Drops yarn for this project and yesterday, Sunday, I cast on.

I am having second thoughts about my color choices as well as my color assignments (I mean which is color 1 etc). I thought I had chosen colors that were contrasting enough to work but once knit up, they fade into each other too much.

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The first picture shows this especially well as one can hardly make out the pattern. I do like my colors but I’m not sure they work. I’m wondering if I should switch one of them out for a white for example? I’m keeping the grey as the main color so maybe the contrasting three could be : white, plum and blue? And just leave out the brown all together. What do you think? It sucks to rip back all the way to the collar but this is a big garment and I can’t keep knitting on this if I’m not 100% sure I actually like it. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with me that the colors are too similar to work nicely here? Have you knit this pattern yourself?

Strangely enough I did NOT knit on any socks this weekend! Shocker! But I am planning on choosing my first languishing wip to work on today. So it will be all ready to go come February 1st. I’m thinking as a motivation, I should choose a pair of socks where sock 2 is already started. I’ll keep you posted on that next week.

I will be back later this week with an exciting announcement for you so I hope you will stop by again.

Thank you for taking the time today to stop by and check on my knitting. I hope you have a great week ahead of you. Take care and see you soon:)

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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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:)

More socks

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are fine. On my side all is well. This morning was the first really winter cold morning. I even had to scrape the ice off the windshield of my car this morning! We felt the change coming yesterday and last night sitting at my desk working I felt really cold and put on my thrummed slippers:) Today I’m wearing hand knit socks and a warm sweater so I should be ok for tonights shift at work:)

I have done a lot of knitting this last week I feel and I have a ton of things to share but I’m afraid I may end up with a post that is way too long and will just put you off from the get go… So I’m going to try and prioritise and share the rest with you later..if I’m able to control myself that is:)

So on to the knitting right away! I’m in a big sock knitting phase at the moment as you may have noticed. Last week I finished a pair of socks that I was test knitting for Dana Gervais who is a designer on Ravelry and she has a lot of wonderful sock patterns. I’m actually working on another test knit for socks for her now so all in all that makes 3 socks that I have test knit for her. The pattern for the socks I finished around last week has now been released on Ravelry so I can share the pictures with you here.

The pattern is called Robin’s Egg and I knit it on 2.25mm needles and I used my SOX base in the Strawberry Frappuccino colourway. The socks have a cabled pattern on the front and a ribbed pattern on the back of the leg. The pattern repeat is quite intuitive and so soon memorised which means they sort of fly off the needles. I really enjoyed knitting these socks and I think I might knit a second pair in the future. Here are some pictures of my finished socks.

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The socks I’m test knitting now have not yet been released so I can only show you the back side of those. I’m also using my own yarn and this time I’m using my bronze sparkle base in very autumnal colours. This pattern is also a very fun and intuitive one. The stitch pattern is much bigger (more rows) but it feels very natural or should I say logical so they too are rather quick to knit.

img_6276These colours just scream autumn I think. I really like how they work together and the finished pair will be gorgeous I’m sure. I have finished one sock and I’m on the cuff for the second at the moment.

I also cast on for a new pair of socks this week. That was due to a purchase I made on Etsy and as soon as I got the yarn, I just HAD TO CAST ON! There was no way around it! A little bit of history here first. I follow a lot of knitting podcasts both audio and video and I had seen an episode of The Periscoping sisters and one of them ( I never know which is Amy and which is Debbie) was releasing a new sock pattern and she had a collaboration with an indie dyer called Yarn Café Creations. I absolutely adored the colourway. In the kit there was one skein for the main body of the sock and a small contrasting one for heels/cuffs and toes. I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy a kit but I absolutely needed the yarn – the one for the main body I mean. And so I went online and lucky for me, there were 2 skeins of this exact yarn in stock and so I bought both! The colourway is called Ocean Mist and it is gorgeous! I wanted to knit a pair of socks of course and I needed a simple yet interesting pattern that would let the yarn shine and then I remembered The Simple Skyp socks by Adrienne Ku. I had seen those knit by Tracy of the Grocery Girls. And thats what I did. I’ve finished sock one and I’m past the heel on sock two so I think I might finish this evening.

This is such a fun pattern, a two row repeat and I really love the  look of it. The yarn like I said is gorgeous and it is also super soft. It’s a merino/nylon blend but it is a bit more “plump” than most fingering weight yarns and just a joy to knit with.

Last week I showed you the progress I was making on a cowl. A cowl I was knitting as I was trying out this new base yarn which is 50/50 merino and silk. The yarn is of course outrageously soft and a total dream to knit with. Due to the high silk content it is pricier than regular merino/nylon fingering weight yarns of course but I really think that for a special project it is totally worth it so I might look into getting some of that for the shop. I knit the cowl in simple brioche stitch and I really love the outcome. It is so soft and warm next to my neck and the patterning created by the yarn was the cherry on the cake. I dyed the skein mostly in grey but did a small portion in gold. I didn’t know how that would knit up specially as I was doing brioche but I thought maybe it would create like a block of colour on the bias. In fact it created an overall pattern and I think that is really fun.

 

I think I will call it a day here. I don’t want to take up all of your free time today:) After all, you do have knitting to do!

I’ll be back later this week with the rest of my knitting because like I said above, I have a ton to tell you about! So until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting!