Some FOs and some in progress and a WINNER

Hi there, today is Friday and I hope you are all doing good and looking forward to your weekend. I hope the weather is better in your part of the world than it is in mine. Today it is rather cold and raining non stop! Not very spring like here today.

So last time I shared with you a video review of a new knitting book called Coffee with CC which was recently published by a friend of mine called CC Almon. I hope you enjoyed watching the review and if you have yet to see it you can click here

So I have now finished my first pattern of the book. I’m going to knit the sock patterns in the order they appear in the book and then I’m going to end with the Coffee Date Shawl. So I have just finished the first pair of socks, the French Vanilla Socks. The pattern is super simple and really an ideal pattern for a first time sock knitter so if you have been thinking about jumping in at the deep end and cast on for a pair of socks, you should definitely cast on for this pattern.

french vanilla socks by cc

I used yarn from a UK dyer called Truly Hooked. This is a cashmere, merino, nylon base which is a heavenly base to knit with. I bought this yarn because it was so incredibly bright and looking at the skein I thought this would be a crazy variegated yarn but no. This is actually a self striping yarn. I’m truly in aw of the dyers talent. I really love how this yarn knit up and I look forward to wearing my new socks.

I also recently finished another pair of socks, the Geek socks (a free pattern on Knitty). I had actually finished most of the socks, I only had the afterthought heels to do and finally got to do those. The pattern is a very simple one too and a really fun pattern to use with self striping yarns. It’s the closest thing to a vanilla pattern and yet it looks more complex.

geek socks done

This week I took the yarns I had chosen for my Coffee with CC kal and wound them all up so the’ll be ready when I am and I took a little picture to show you

yarn for coffee with cc

There are more balls than sock patterns left because I have a doubt about my next pattern which is written for a self striping yarn.  This is a yearlong kal and that is great because I still  have a ton of wips and I’m also doing the Sock Madness competition and on that subject, I just received the round 4 pattern so I had better get my stuff ready and cast on. I’ve been to the Ravelry tread and some people are already well on their way! I got the pattern by email last night but I was already asleep so…

This time around it is a beaded lace sock with a lot of charts so I’m thinking this will be a complex knit and it just might be the one that eliminates me from the competition. I don’t think this one will be something I can work on while doing other things. This pattern seems to demand full attention.

You can take a peak at the pattern on Ravelry, it is called Sweet Nuttins

Well it’s time for me to say good by and cast on if I want a chance to go on to round 5 so I better announce the winner of last weeks giveaway!

So the winner will receive a digital copy of the book Coffee with CC and I hope the winner will enjoy the book as much as I do and maybe she will even join us in the yearlong kal with Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast.

So drumroll please!!!!! And the winner is:  Salenamom23

Congratulations to you Salenamom23, please send a message to CC aka JavaPurl on Ravelry and she will in turn send you a copy of her new book.

Thank you to all those that participated in the giveaway.

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back soon.

 

Three finished objects and more in the works

Hi there, today is November first and it is beautiful outside. The sun is shining and it is almost hot outside which is rather unusual for this time of year here in Normandy, France. I’m not going to complain about good weather but I do admit that grey skies and rain would not have bothered me today as I’m a little tired after last nights Halloween party and just spending my day knitting would be perfect but with weather like this I feel I have to go outside. Well, we’ll see. I know i’ll be knitting today the question is just how much:)

So like the title says I have three finished objects to show you today. One big and one small.

Let’s begin with the big one which is my Snowflake sweater by Tin Can Knits. I knit this using my DK Cash’merino yarn in Grey and Something about CC (bright pink). It took a while to finish even though this is a fast knit. This sounds very contradictory but in fact I finished the body quite quickly and then I put it aside and it took me a while to come back to it but when I finally did I finished the sleeves in no time.

The pattern is easy so if you have never knit a sweater or are afraid it might take too much time, this could be the right pattern for you. The only difficulty was the lace yoke but once I put in my stitch markers (which I should have done from the beginning) it was fine. So I’ve finished all the knitting and I’ve woven in my ends so now I just need to find the right buttons and sew them in and I’ll be able to wear it!

www.knittinginfrance.com I’m super happy about the outcome and even though the pink is  super bright the fact that the yoke is grey makes this easy to wear. When my youngest saw the sweater done she asked me to make one for her in the same colours. I think I might just change the colors and do her yoke in pink and the rest of the sweater in grey. We’ll think about it but I might not get to begin hers until after Christmas because I have so much to knit before Christmas.

I don’t usually give handknit gifts for Christmas but this year I want to and like I’ve already told you I’m doing hats and mittens for everyone. So this week I finished another hat so that makes a total of 4 hats done and 4 more to go.

www.knittinginfrance.com This pattern by Lioness Arts uses 2×2 ribbing, garter stitch and moss stitch and is quite simple and quick to knit in DK weight yarn. This is what I’m knitting for all the kids.

And last but not least, I finished my Strawberries and Cream Frappé socks by CC Almon/JavaPurl. The first ever pattern to be written using my hand dyed yarn! I’m so incredibly proud of this collaboration and now I can actually wear these socks myself. I of course knit them using the yarn I dyed especially for this pattern and that I call Strawberry Frappuccino.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Aren’t these nice? Also I think the color of the yarn is just perfect for this pattern – but then I might be biased….

The pattern is not complicated so even a beginner knitter could do this I think. The pattern is based on knits and purls and there is a little “cable” but you can do that without a cable needle. The pattern is for toe up socks and a short row heel. I love it and I hope to make a few more using my yarns.

And now onto the works in progress. I still have to finish my Lady of Lallibroch socks by CC Almonwww.knittinginfrance.com This is an old picture but I haven’t knit much on them since then. I’m a few rows from the heel shaping so hopefully I’ll finish them this coming week.

And I’m working on a pair of mittens using the same yarn as for the socks above. And both the socks and the mittens will be gifted to the same person at Christmas. The mittens I’m knitting are called Meristem Botanical Mittens by Maria Montzka

I saw these mittens on the designers podcast and immediately went to Ravelry to buy the pattern. I’m planning on doing 3 of these, 2 for Christmas gifts and one pair for myself.

ww.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com I love the pattern. The pattern is only on the back and the palm is plain stockinette so these are not too complicated and I really love this pattern. This will make for a delicate pair of mittens. The yarn is Cascade Heritage Sock.

I also cast on for a pair of socks as soon as I cast off my Strawberries and Cream Frappé socks. I fell for some Christmassy yarn by an indie dyer on Etsy called The Cozy Knitter.

christmas yarn from the cozy knitter The one on the left is called Holly Jolly and the one in two balls is You’ve been Elfed I think. So I cast on using the Holly Jolly yarn yesterday and I really love the result. This is a self striping yarn and my favorite colour is the gold color and I wonder how she was able to achieve that. I’ll have to do some investigating and testing myself because I find that color super interesting.

But like I said i just cast on yesterday so I don’t have much to show you but you’ll get the picture here

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Gorgeous right?

This coming week I’ll also continue to knit my Christmas gift hats and maybe a pair of mittens in a kids size.

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful Sunday and an even better week.

Happy crafting 🙂

Works in progress, FOs and a happy mail day

Hi there and happy Monday:) I’m not sure if you are a Monday kind of person, I know I’m not a particular fan of Mondays but… let’s try to stay on the positive side:) So Yesterday the time changed here in France and we are officially in Winter! This means that my work hours have also changed so I begin earlier in the day and finish earlier in the evening and even if I have less time in the morning i’m super happy about finishing earlier in the evening. Especially when I’m on the evening shift! So yeah to that 🙂

Now today was as happy mail day for me! I recently discovered this new podcast on Youtube called Fawn Knits and she has an Etsy shop called TheFawnandthefox where she sells project bags. She was showing some of her bags on one of the podcast episodes and so I went over to the shop and although I have recently purchased way more project bags than can be called reasonable, I fell for her bags and bought…..3.

www.knittinginfrance.com Aren’t they nice?

www.knittinginfrance.com I think this one is my favorite. It was made to order and it is a sturdy, large bag. The tissue is heavier than in the small bag and the bag is large enough for a big shawl and I think even a fingering weight sweater project. I bought it as I thought it was a little Halloweeny without being too Halloween for me to not use it all year round. And I’m very happy with my purchase.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the small bag and I think she calls this one ghosts – its like dresses floating around the woods. Kind of spooky but oh so  cute. This will be perfect for sock projects, mittens and hats.

www.knittinginfrance.com The day I went online she had a special offer so I could get a notions pouch for free with my order and I chose this one which is a happy yellow color. It is big enough to accommodate all the essentials you need to have on hand.

So yeah! Super happy with my new project bags. So now I just have to cast on for some new projects to fill them up:)

And speaking of projects. At the moment I’m still in my “finishing stuff” mode which is a nice change from being in “startitis” mode. So, since last time I have finished a few items and here are the pictures to prove that.

www.knittinginfrance.com First off my Featherweight cardigan. I knit this using my SPARKLE lace yarn and it took less than 1 skein for a size small. It does not look like much unblocked, also it looks smaller than I had expected but I think I really need to block it before passing judgement. If it actually is too small for the intended recipient, that will not be a problem I already know of someone else that could use it, just in case. So the yarn is gorgeous, super soft and the color is a semi solid silver with very slight traces of blues and purples, impossible to show in a picture. So very nice.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com And I think I told you last time that I’m doing hats and mittens as gifts this Christmas. Here are the first too. The one on the left I knit from my hand spun yarn.

handspun mittens And currently I’m working on a pair of mittens and I will be making a hat using the same yarn. This is for a young niece and the yarn is handspun by myself. It is a 3 ply with 3 different pastel colours (blue, pink and yellow). It’s super cute and soft.

I’ve also picked up my Snowflake sweater by Tin Can Knits which I had almost finished and then left in its bag for a shameful amount of time. So now one sleeve is done and I’m half way through the second sleeve so not much left there. I hope I’ll be able to show you a picture of the finished sweater in a few days!

Also my two socks in progress, I really need to finish my two CC Almon socks so I can cast on some more! I dyed up a Christmas yarn and want to knit a pair of vanilla socks with that to show you and I also fell for 2 Christmas dyed yarns by an indie dyer on Etsy the other day…. Once I get the yarn I’ll be showing you here.

Well that’s all for today. I’ll be back soon telling you about an exciting Mkal I’m going to participate in and maybe you are too:)

So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

My current WIPs and one FO

Hi there, how are you today? I’m happy today is Tuesday, I really don’t like Mondays because they mean I have to go back to work (non knitting related job) and that I have a whole week of that in front of me. Tuesday I’m one down and 4 to go, so that’s better:) I so envie people who work in something they thoroughly enjoy, people who actually enjoy waking up and going to work. Maybe that is why i’m so stubborn about my little business adventure even though it does not work financially it just brings me a little escape and so much fun and personal enjoyment. I’d love to feel the same way about my full time job… But enough complaining! That is not why you came to my blog! So on to knitting.

Like the title says, I have a few works in progress to share with you and one finished object. The finished object is a pair of socks. Last week I finished a total of 4 pairs of socks and I think I shared all but one so here is that picture.

www.knittinginfrance.com These are knit using one of my hand dyed speckled yarns. I called this yarn Crazy Sock because the colours and pattern look a little wild to me. So super simple socks because I feel that with a yarn like this it is all about the yarn and so the pattern has to be simple.

And the current works in progress, I have one hat, one cardigan and then two pairs of socks both patterns by my friend and fab sock designer CC Almon.

My first pair is one that I begun a while back I’m ashamed to say. I finished the first sock quite quickly and then I went on to a gazillion other projects and kind of left this one behind but now I’m determined to finish it ASAP. The pattern in question is her Outlander sock pattern called The Lady of Lallybroch and it is available on Ravelry. I’m knitting this using Cascade Heritage Sock that I found in my stash.  I absolutely wanted to knit those in a solid yarn so that the wonderful cable would shine.

www.knittinginfrance.com Aren’t those beautiful? I’m not far on the second sock but I’m getting there 🙂

And the second sock pattern is of course the Strawberries and Cream Socks also available on Ravelry. I’m especially in love with this pattern because CC designed it using my yarn:) and this is the first time a designer takes my yarn and designs something!!! So happy and proud!! And of course I dyed a yarn to match which I call Strawberry Frappuccino and it is available both in the SPARKLE and non sparkly versions in my Etsy shop.

www.knittinginfrance.com So one done and I’m just beginning the second.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is a close up of the main pattern of the sock.

To help me finish both socks quickly I’ve decided to follow someones idea (a video podcaster I recently discovered, her podcast is called Fawn Knits and you can find her on YouTube). And she uses “a buddy system” so she has two socks going and when she has worked on sock nr 1 for X rounds, she goes to sock nr 2 and works the same amount of rounds and this way she progresses consistently on both pairs. So as one sock has a pattern repeat of 8 rounds and the other of 16 rounds, I work 2 repeats on one and 1 repeat on the other and I’m hoping I can do that almost every day and that way I’ll finish in no time. It’s not that I’m not interested in them but rather that I have soon many things I want to finish and others to cast on that I’m having problems staying focused.

And now on to the Featherweight cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I heard about this one watching some of my favorite podcasts, Ahomespunhouse and Voolenvine. So I decided I too must make one and I decided to do the lace weight version first. The pattern gives you the choice of knitting either with lace weight yarn or fingering. I also decided that I’d knit two of these and so the first one will be a gift for my sister and I dyed a wonderful sparkly lace yarn for her. It’s a blend of merino, silk and stolen. Out of this world soft and the silvery colour I dyed it works so beautifully with the silver stellina in it.

www.knittinginfrance.com I’m almost there! One sleeve and the front and back collar left. It went quite quickly because this is mostly stockinette stitch. And to avoid purling I often knit backwards. That was a nice change. I’m a little worried about the size. I chose the second size which I figure is Small and this is a short cardigan with 3/4 sleeves but easily modifiable to a longer cardi and longer sleeves if one wishes. So I made it a little longer and the sleeve as well. It still looks quite small but the yarn feels stretchy and it is supposed to be close to the body so I think I’m worrying for nothing. Also the advantage of doing this in lace weight, is that lace yarns come with huge yardage so I think I’ll only need one skein. So even if the yarn is pricier than regular fingering weight, it ends up being economical because you only need 1-2 skeins depending on the size you knit. If you’d like to take a look at the type of yarn I used here, you can see them in my shop by clicking here

And the last project I’m working on is a hat that I’m knitting using handspan yarn and this is a hat I’m going to give to my father for Christmas. The yarn is quite dark in color, a mix of dark brown, black and bronze so it’s not easy to picture the pattern.

www.knittinginfrance.com I’m using a pattern called The Boyfriend set I’m doing the hat but not the scarf. And I think I’ll have enough yarn to make a pair of mittens as well. This is a thick DK/worsted yarn that I spun a while ago when I was a beginner spinner and so it is thick and thin but it doesn’t show in the hat and oh boy is it warm! I’m sure he’ll love this and enjoy his walks this winter with a super warm hand knit hat on his head!

And like I said last time, I’m going to do a lot of knitting (or try to at least) for Christmas this year and I’m planning on doing sets of hats and mittens so I really need to finish my WIPs so I can get cracking on the Christmas gifts.

Well, that’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending a little while with me. I wish you a great week and lots of knitting, crocheting and spinning.  I’ll talk to you soon 🙂

And the winners are………..

Hi there, at last I’m able to draw the winners and announce the lucky winners!

So first off, thank you to all for participating in the giveaway and for leaving a comment. I will contact the two lucky winners as of this evening and for the rest of you, I will be sending you your discount code via Ravelry tomorrow, October 15th.

So, the two lucky winners win the latest sock pattern by CC Almon called Strawberries and Cream which was designed using my yarn and 1 skein of yarn dyed specially for that pattern – a colorway I call Strawberry Frappuccino.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is a picture from the pattern page on Ravelry

www.knittinginfrance.com This is a picture of my sock in progress in the Strawberry Frappuccino Sparkle yarn

The winners can choose to either have the sparkly version or non sparkly of the yarn. Both versions can be found in my Etsy shop here

Now, I guess it is time to reveal the lucky winners. As always I chose the winners using a random number generator that picked 2 winners between the numbers 3-11 ( the first 2 comments didn’t count as one was from CC and the other from me).

And so the lucky winners of the pattern and yarn are:

NicoleS who left a comment saying: I’d love to win because this yarn would be perfect to knit a pair of socks for a specific friend.

And

Alexand knit who left a comment saying: I would love to win because a) who doesn’t need more yarn, especially as beautiful as that? and b) I’ve just started making socks!

So congratulations girls! I’ll be sending you the pattern via Ravelry this evening and I’ll be in touch for your postal address and choice of yarn base! Wow! That was fun!

Now don’t be sad if you did not win this time around, there will be other giveaways plus you will be getting a special discount code of 10% if you want to buy something from my Etsy shop.

That’s all for tonight! Enjoy your evening and enjoy your crafting until next time 🙂

Exciting announcements

Hi there, I’m back in France after a wonderful trip to the USA. I’ll have to write a post about my trip and share some pictures of the wonderful sights I saw there. But today will be a rather short post as I’m totally jet lagged and super tired from the long hours of travel back home and the 9 hours of time difference.

First I absolutely wanted to let you know that I have reopened my shop as of yesterday evening. You will discover a lot of new hand dyed yarns  and 2 clubs. For the first time I’m doing one Goody Bag club for knitters and one Fibre club for spinners. To begin with each club will be a 3 month subscription and if they go well I’m going to launch a new edition before the end of this year for a year long club where you will receive a package every two months. So stay tuned:) Now to check out the shop and my new yarns, just click here

Second, I’m super excited to announce the publishing of the first ever sock pattern designed specifically for my hand dyed yarns! The pattern is called Strawberries and Cream Frappé Socks and is by CC Almon or JavaPurl on Ravelry.

You can find the pattern here and this is what it looks like

www.knittinginfrance.com Gorgeous don’t you think? Of course I’m going to cast on ASAP, never mind the gazillion projects I have going already 🙂 And here you can find the yarn I dyed specifically for this pattern, there is a version in the SPARKLES base which is what the designer used in her pattern and you can find that here

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the SPARKLE Strawberry Frappuccino

And the regular, SOX base yarn is called Speckled Frappuccino and can be found here

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the SOX base yarn

And to add some more excitement, I’m happy to announce that JavaPurl is celebrating her birthday today October 4th (HAPPY BIRTHDAY CC) and she is offering us all -38% off the regular price of her pattern! So head on over to Revelry and buy the pattern using the coupon code CCSBDAY. The discount is valid until October 11th.

Now it’s time for me to cast on for this very special pattern and I’ll share the pictures later this week:)

So have a wonderful Sunday and a great new week. Until next time, take care

In progress

Hi there, This week I have been working on a few ideas and projects.

First I made up sample “goodie bags” as a test for a future “goodie bag club” in my shop. I’m thinking this would be a fun alternative to the classic yarn  club. The idea would be to sign up and get a goodie bag every month or two. I’m thinking of something around 10€ and the test bags I made up include: 2 mini skeins (25m each – hand dyed sock yarn), 1 envelope of Soak (mini soak for washing your hand knits and try out before maybe committing to a whole bottle), some handmade stitch markers (we never have enough of those), a handmade needle stopper (same thing as with the stitch markers, we can always add a cute needle stopper to our project bag) and a pattern tamer from Atomic Knitting. This is a rough idea, I might change before committing to this. Of course each month the goodie bag would be different although there would always be 1-2 mini skeins (could be hand dyed or hand spun), a set of hand-made stitch markers and a knitting needle stopper . The rest of the items would change, there might be a needle gage or a cable needle or a stitch holder or some beads etc. You get the picture. Something yummie, something handmade, always fun and at a reasonable price.

Here’s a picture of the test goodie bags I made and will soon be sending out to lucky testers:) www.knittinginfrance.com

I’m also proud to announce that I’m participating, in a small capacity, (but participating nonetheless) in a knitting retreat that will be held in Edinburgh this autumn. The retreat is called GEEKY PUFFIN KNIT PALOOZA which is being held for the very first time. The retreat is organised by CC Almond of JavaPurls and her daughter Demeris (they also do a podcast together that I highly recommend you check out: Geeky girls knit) and their friend Sam Bogia of KnitRunDig – you can find Sam’s shop here and her blog by clicking on her name (KnitRunDig). Sam has a project bag shop on Etsy and she also has a podcast you should check out by clicking through on the links above.

So these three amazing ladies have concocted an amazing weekend for you in Edinburgh, Scotland from October 29th to November 1st. I think there may still be a few places left if you would like to sign up. Also note that they will be selling a few spots for individual classes and that the vendor market will be open part time for non-retreat visitors. So if you are in Edinburgh or close by during those dates you should definitely take a look. I’ve personally met CC and Sam and they are both wonderful fun and I’m sure the retreat will be a blast all around and I would have loved to actually attend myself. But…. not possible this time around, maybe next time? But I did say I was participating though and here’s how. The attendees will be getting goodie bags (how I envy them) and I have made two of the items in there (I’m not saying what as that is going to be a surprise for the attendees) and I’m super proud of the opportunity to participate like this and I’m super excited about getting to introduce myself and my work to the attendees of the retreat. I’ll show you pictures later on but probably not until after the retreat so as not to spoil the excitement of the future lucky attendees! Anyway, that’s exciting:)

Now on the subject of spinning. It’s been a while since I shared my spinning with you. I think I told you a while back that I bought a bump of Kauni pencil roving in their Rainbow colorway and that I wanted to try to spin that up. I love Kauni effect yarn and I wanted to see if I could make some. This is also the first time I ever spin from pencil roving and it was quite fun. Now I have not only spun the pencil roving but plied it as well. I did a two ply and I have a gazillion meters I think. I have yet to wash and finish the yarn so I haven’t measured it out yet. I love the outcome, as all Kauni yarns, it’s not soft but I’m going to wash it with a little hair conditioner and hopefully that will soften it a bit. I’m thinking I’ll make socks and mittens with this.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see the pencil roving next to my wheel. You can appreciate the gorgeous colors and how fine the pencil roving is.

www.knittinginfrance.com And here is my skein of handspun Kauni yarn. Personally I love it!!!

 

Last weekend I also did a little bit of test dyeing. I dyed 2 skeins of sock yarn using a fun technique I secretly call “candy dyeing” because I think it is such a fun way to dye and that the resulting yarn is almost as yummie as candy (yes I have a sweet tooth). So I did 2 skeins, using different main color for each and then using the same accent colors but organising the differently on each yarn. The yarn is still drying so I’m not able to show you what it looks like once reskeined yet but here are some in progress pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com So you see, about 3/4 of the skein is dyed in one color and then approx 1/4 is dyed in small sections with accent colors.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here I have wound the hanks into skeins but the yarn was still humid so the skeins don’t look as yummie as they could be. They will be all dry and ready for reskeining pretty soon and I’ll be able to share with you those pictures so you can see the final result. I’ve also decided that I’m going to use one of these skeins as my travel sock yarn and I’m currently looking for a good and simple sock pattern that will show off the colorway. I don’t want cables or lace as I see these yarns as being something fun for simple vanilla type socks.

That’s all for today. I’m thinking it’s almost time to do a little giveaway! I have finally reached the milestone of 100 subscribers to my blog and I’d like to celebrate by doing a giveaway. I’m thinking something super nice like a skein of sock yarn with a set of markers and a needle holder. Maybe one main price and 2 small ones… I’m going to sleep on this and think about how, when and what and I’ll be launching this beginning of October I think as I don’t have the time now before going to the US so once I’m back it should be fine.  So stay tuned and join the fun.

Thank you for taking the time to share my thoughts and wips I know you are super busy so I’m honored you allow me to take up some of your precious time.

Take care and until next time, happy knitting/spinning/crochet

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:)

KnitRunDig and JavaPurl

Next in my series of talents that I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London is the lovely Sam of KnitRunDig.  I met sam for the first time at the show where she shared a booth with CC Almond of JavaPurl.

Sam sews amazing project bags which she sells in her Etsy shop as well as at craft fairs/shows such as that one. When I went to look at her booth I saw a number of bags that I wanted to snatch up but being the serious person I am (hm hm) I decided that it would not be reasonable to spend all that I earned at the show to buy from other vendors or at least not until the end of the show:) So when I came back one of the bags I really wanted was gone ( it had super cute foxes) but lucky for me the other must have bag was still there!

Knit Run Dig and Java Purl This is the booth shared by Sam of Knit Run Dig and CC of Java Purl

Here’s a picture of the bag I got from Sam project bag knitrundig along with a current project. It’s a japanese tissue and just gorgeous! It has a ‘handle” which you can see on the right side of the picture and this allows you to carry the bag on your wrist for example if knitting on the go. It is large enough to accommodate a mediums sized knitting project. At the moment I have my ball of yarn, my pattern, a notions pouch and my shawl in progress and it’s perfect!

You can visit Sam’s Etsy shop here  Currently she does not have a lot of models in the shop but I know that she can do custom orders so if you are looking for a fun and yet practical project bag you should definitely contact her with your idea and I’m sure she can do the trick for  you:) Sam also blogs and has a video podcast which you can check out here.

Sam is friends with the fun loving CC Almond which you may know as Java Purl and together they are organising a knitting retreat in Scotland later this year and I’ll tell you more about that later.

Now on to CC – she’s an American living in Edinburgh, Scotland and she is an avid sock knitter and sock designer. You may know her as JavaPurl or have heard of her Doctor Who socks. CC has her own blog which you can visit here and together with her daughter Damaris she does a video podcast under the name Geeky Girls Knit. The podcast has lots of interesting features and CC being CC, it is also loads of fun to watch and you can take a look at her podcast here if you are not yet familiar with it.

In their latest episode they talk about the I Knit Fandango show in London and share the goodies that she brought back home with her – some of which come from my shop! On this note, I agreed to produce something for the goodie bags each participant in her and Sam’s knitting retreat will get this autumn. That is super exciting and good exposure for me. Also she loved my yarns and bought one for herself:) Can’t wait to see what she’ll do with it. I also gave her a skein of sock yarn – she chose the colour herself- for her to design a pair of socks with. That is the first time I ever pair up with a designer to use my yarn in a design. Yarn support to designers is very exciting and I’m sure this will give me good exposure once the future pattern will be released (not until later this year).

Like I said above, CC is a designer and you can visit her pattern shop on Ravelry here She is probably best known for her sock designs, especially the series of Doctor Who inspired socks. After seeing her socks at the show I fell in love with one pattern which is also film inspired. The pattern is called The Lady of Lallybroch and is inspired by the Outlander.

Lady of Lallybroch by Java Purl  These are the socks on display at the show and they are gorgeous. Lady of Lallybroch by Java Purl This is a picture I found of someone’s version of those on Ravelry and I feel that the solid color shows the cables better on the picture. You have this intricate celtic cable design going from cuff to toe on the front of the sock. So these are on my todo list and I have already chosen my yarn and so they should be cast on shortly. Here’s my future version of this pattern The Lady of Lallybroch Socks and yarn The yarn is a gradient yarn from Knitcircus and I think it will show the cables beautifully.

Now on to Sam’s and CC’s knitting retreat. The retreat is called Geeky Puffin Knit Palooza and is scheduled for the weekend of 29th of Oct – 1st of Nov 2015. It will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can sign up for residential or non-residential places. In addition to taking classes, participants will take part in a yarn crawl and will have early access to the on site marketplace – before the marketplace opens up to the general public. Also participants will all receive a goodie bag (and those are going to be fantastic) and there will be gorgeous door prizes too. This is looking to be a wonderful retreat so if you are in Europe or going to Scotland, I suggest you check out their website and sign up if you can. All the info can be found here

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed meeting these two lovely ladies and hearing about their work. There will be at least one more post this week on yet another inspiring artist I met at the show so I hope you are enjoying my series.

Take care