Knitting and audio books

Hi there, how are you? I hope you are doing good and enjoying your week. I’m doing fine. Christmas is getting closer and last weekend I did some cookie baking with my kids and that really put us in the Christmas spirit:) Soon we’ll be putting up our decorations and purchasing gifts. In Iceland, or at least in my family, we put up our tree on the 23rd of December and we take it down on January 6 which is the end of Christmas in Iceland. Here in France people put their decorations up earlier and I think we’ll be decorating our home this coming weekend. How about you? Do you celebrate Christmas and if yes, have you already put up your tree and decorations?

Last week we had an internet outage for two days. No internet is a total catastrophe! Not only does it mean that I cannot work as my regular job depends on an internet connexion but it also means no home phone, no tv and of course no watching YouTube or anything else! So what is a knitter to do? Well, lucky for me I have an Audible account. I have bought a few books but haven’t listened to a lot of them. As I was unable to work for two days I did get some time to knit and knitting in silence is not my thing, at least not for a long time. And so I was so happy to have my Audible account and I took the opportunity to finish one book I had been listening to and to start a new one and I really got into them. I find that I equally enjoy knitting while listening to a good book as I do while watching a podcast or tv series.

Do you listen to audio books? I like mystery and police thrillers but for audio books I see that I also like fiction. So far I have listened to the following books/

Precious Victims by Don W. Weber – this is based on a true criminal case I believe and was quite captivating.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova – this is a fiction book about a young woman that suffers from Alzheimers. This was a really poignant story and I felt really touched as my grandmother suffers from age related dementia and in some aspects that resembles Alzheimers and so this book really touched me.

The amazing Mrs Polifax by Dorothy Gilman – this is a mystery that in some aspects makes me think of an Agatha Christie mystery in the fact that the hero is Mrs Polifax, an elderly sleuth and her adventures.

And the book I started last week and am still listening to is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty –  this is a fiction with some crime mystery also. The author is Australian and the actor who reads is also Australian and I really love the exotic accent. This is a wonderful book that talks about a few women who’s lives intertwine at a critical moment in their lives. I have about 3h left and I’m really enjoying this.

If you enjoy audio books maybe you will enjoy one those books too. Also if you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear about the books that you most enjoy.

On to knitting. So last week I shared with you a color work cowl that I knit. It was the Boreal Forest cowl by Renée Callahan and it was part of this years Knitvent from Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade podcast. Last week we got the fourth pattern of Knitvent and it was the hat to go with the cowl so of course I cast on for that and I have finished, twice really because after knitting the hat once, I wasn’t happy with the results so I ripped most of it out and knit it again. Unfortunately I’m still not satisfied. For some reason the hat is too small, too shallow actually. It’s written in one size with a change of needle size to knit either the child or adult version. I did use the correct needle size for the adult version and my tension was good and yet it still is super small. I like my hats to cover my ears and this one only covers the top of the ears. I think I will grow a little with some aggressive blocking. Or at least I hope so. Here’s a picture:

boreal-forest-hatIt’s somewhat blown out but you get the picture I hope.

I’m still working on the color work mittens, the Owl ones and I hope to finish them this week. My daughter is super excited about those and can’t wait to use them.

And then there is the Project Peace. This is a free pattern on Ravelry meant for us to knit while reflecting on world peace. Thousands of people have joined and I decided to do so as well. This is a slipped stitched patterned cowl and the 4 round pattern is repeated 21 times so the idea is to knit one pattern repeat a day. Sometimes I don’t have the time and then I knit two repeats the following day and currently I’m on time. The yarn I’m using is one I got in my Knitting in France Birthday Game swap this year. It’s a new to me yarn and a very luscious blend at that. It’s from Expression Fiber Arts and the colorway is called June Alexandrite. Its a superwash merino and silk in a singles base. It feels super soft and the colour is really intense. Here are some pictures.

Last week I told you about a sock I was test knitting for designer Dana Gervais. Well she published the pattern on Ravelry yesterday so now I can share that with you. It is a very simple slipped stitch color work pattern. The sock looks super complicated but it’s actually deceptively simple to do. I really enjoyed knitting this and I highly recommend this pattern for anyone wanting to try some fun color work.

The pattern is called Beach Ball Socks and you can find this on Ravelry. I knit this using my bronze sparkle yarn and I really love the outcome. I have only finished one sock… I got caught up in all the other knitting projects… but I have cast on for sock number two and hope to finish it soon. Here are some pictures:

The newest project I’m working on this week is a hat, the Maryam hat by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. I’m knitting it in my non superwash BFL Aran weight yarn. I just cast on last night so I’m not far yet but here’s a little picture of my progress so far:

maryam-hatThis is a fun pattern with some cables and as it’s Aran weight I think it will be done quickly.

This is about all I think I wanted to share with you this week. I do have plans to cast on for a pair of Aran weight mittens, maybe the Bella mittens – a free pattern on Ravelry. I think I might do some Christmas gift knitting after all….

I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of knitting time because that is just the best! Until next time, take care 🙂

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Summer knitting and more

Hi there, I hope you are all doing well. First off, if you got a notification yesterday that a new post had been published and then went to the blog to discover there was none, my apologies. Yesterday I decided that I need to stop procrastinating and that I need to push myself harder and get moving on my project of opening up my own ecommerce website. I decided to try Shopify again and yesterday I posted a test post where I intended to include a product for sale. The item was supposed to show up in my blog post with a “buy” button and all the relative information but after reading the instructions over and over again I still failed to understand how to do this correctly. So the post I published had a picture but no link to actually buy the product so I ended up taking the post off the blog. I have to study this thing more closely.

Opening up a second shop is soooooo time consuming! I have a ton of yarn and stitch markers to put online but it takes a lot of time to photograph everything and then set up online and I’m having a hard time finding the time to do so and also, I admit, I’m feeling a bit under excited – if that is understandable. What I mean is that summer time is typically a slow time for any yarn/fibre related business as the hot weather means that many prefer to not knit/crochet/spin and take time out and this inevitably means less sales. I know this is a fact and that my shop is not the only one to slow down but…..when trying to run a small business the slow times can be difficult to live. But hey, I’ve set myself the objective of either MAKING IT or CLOSING DOWN by the end of this year so if I really want this to work out for me I better stop wallowing and procrastinating and GET MOVING!

Enough about that, lets change the subject:)

So I’ve been doing some knitting and here are some progress pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is my Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. According to the pattern I’m 30% done. I’m knitting the large size and enjoying it. This is a super easy knit so you can definitely take this to the beach or knit in the car or in front of the tv. I’m not using lace yarn as the pattern calls for but a DK cash’merino yarn I dyed and I think this will look quite nice. This will definitely be a great shawl/scarf for winter as it is thick and soft and super warm. So I’m happy and I’m knitting this at work, in between phone calls as this is a sort of “brainless” knitting so I can put it down easily and pick up where I left off. So perfect for an “at work” knitting project (shh not sure if I should actually reveal this to the world online..)

www.knittinginfrance.com This is my Lady of Lallibroch sock by CC Almond also known as JavaPurl. This is the first sock and I’m using Cascade Heritage yarn. I really feel that the solid color yarn does the pattern justice. A varigated yarn would have taken the attention from the cable or at least made it less spectacular, I feel, so I’m really happy with my choice of yarn. This is an easy pattern also. The cable is a 16 row repeat and it really flows easily. So I’m coming along quite nicely. This is not a “knit at work” pattern but I do knit in front of the tv.

And then I decided to give the “Helix” color knitting method a try. I told you about this in my last post I believe. This prevents the infamous “jog” when knitting stripes. I’m knitting a sock from top down and this will either be a tube sock or an afterthought heel sock for my daughter. So far so good. I’m using some of my hand dyed mini skeins.

www.knittinginfrance.com When I’m further along I’ll show you better pictures of front and back so you can see that the stripes flow without any jogs.

I’ve also done some spinning. I recently purchased a rainbow color pencil roving from yarn company Kauni. I was already working on something else but took a break as soon as I got the roving and started spinning that. I’ve never before spun a pencil roving but wanted to try. Also I’m a fan of Kauni’s rainbow color yarn and I’ve knit things with their yarn in laceweight and this time I’m actually using the pre spun wool in that colorway and spinning it myself. I’m coming up with a heavy laceweight or maybe even fingering once I ply. I’m not sure if I’ll do a 2 ply or a 3 ply. But so far this is coming along nicely and I actually have some more of their pencil roving in my stash that I just might spin up like this too. And I also have some Icelandic unspun pencil roving also that was meant for a sweater but you never know, maybe I’ll spin that as well. But here’s a picture

www.knittinginfrance.com Don’t you just love the colors?

And before I say goodbye for today, let me show you a picture that I’m pretty sure will have you drooling. I had another  happy mail day this week! I recently placed an order online in a Germany online shop that I found when browsing the internet. They carry Lornas laces yarns and it’s been a while since I knit with any of her yarns so I went…a little … crazy!

www.knittinginfrance.com Yebb! I bought 6 skeins!! Of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn! I love it! They dye beautiful yarns. So now I have this beautiful addition to my stash and a head full of sock patterns I can use these for. I’ll share some of the ideas with you later this week. I really should not be buying yarn online when I already have a healthy stash in addition to all my own hand dyed yarns but…. But then again, looking at what others are doing is inspirational and informative so really this is a job related purchase to better myself and improve possibly my yarn dyeing etc. Hm, yes I think that’s it, no need to feel guilty about buying 6 skeins of this gorgeous (not cheap) yarn! I needed this for my business!

Well that’s all for now. I hope you are enjoying your summer and finding time to do some crafting in spite of the warm weather. Thank you for coming by to follow up on my thoughts and works.

Take care:)