Some FOs and new cast ons

Hi there, I’m sorry I didn’t blog last week. I just felt somewhat “empty”.  I had a lot of work and just felt like I had not had much time to knit and so didn’t have enough to show and share with you. Sometimes I hit a low spot and just can’t get myself to blog and share and I feel that if my spirits are down, I’m just going to drag you down with me and that would not be a nice thing to no now would it ? So better to way and blog when my heart and head are in the right place:)

So I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. Here in Normandy the weather gods are not quite sure if it’s winter or not yet so we go from sun and summery temperatures to rain and cold and back to sun again. A little confusing but winter is definitely getting close though.

I have been feeling the cast on-itis seriously lately and I have cast on for 3 new projects! Kind of crazy when one has as many languishing wips as I do but then knitting is all about fun and making oneself feel good so I’m not going to bash myself about that.

But first lets talk about FOs.

I am so happy to finally get to show you my finished Zweig sweater! I finished it a while ago but for some reason did not get around to taking a finished picture. Well now I have..not of me in it unfortunately but you will get the general idea. I really like how it turned out. It fits perfectly and I’m very happy about my choice of yarn.

zweig done

I look forward to winter really coming so I can start wearing this one.

And then there is my ongoing charity sock knitting for Marie Curie. Last year I knit 4 pairs and this year I decided I would knit 6.  I have now finished 4 1/2 pairs! I really look forward to being done with this 5th pair and actually start on pair number 6. I’m not sure when I started knitting those but I think I have knit them rather quickly. And even though the main colour is the same for all, just changing the contrasting colour and the stitch I use for each pair has made this a fun project and I am not having any issues motivating myself to continue. I’m planning to have all 6 pairs finished by the end of this month so I can mail them to the UK beginning of November so they will be there plenty in time.

four and a half pair marie curie

I still have most of my ends to weave in! So the first 3 pairs are maybe more masculine as I used blue as contrast colour and because I made them a little bigger. Now I’m working on the yellow contrast colour and I’m knitting them a little smaller even though I know terminally ill patients often have retention issues and swollen ankles so I do not make any 56 stitch socks but still somewhat smaller than the first 3 pairs.

This 5th pair is a simple vanilla and I need to find something nice for the last pair. I would love a simple yet feminine pattern that can work well with this variegated yarn. If you have any ideas, please do share the pattern name or even link in a comment below!

Now on to works in progress. So on top of my Marie Curie socks, I’m still working on my Chevron Boxy only it has not seen much love lately so no picture here. It’s in a project bag next to my bed and I’m hoping I will pick it back up and just work on it like crazy to get it done soon! We’ll see…

And I also finished a shawl that I was test knitting for KBJ Designs, an Australian knitwear designer that I have test knit for on a few occasions.

Her shawl was knit in one single solid colour but I had just finished plying a beautiful gradient hand spun yarn. My yarn went from dark marine blue to a beige sandy colour. Sort of like from the beach to deep sea and I really wanted to use that for something special asap! Lucky for me the designer was ok with me using not only a gradient but a hand spun at that so off I went.

handwound ball

You can’t see all the colours here but you do get a little picture of the different hues.

This shawl pattern has not been released yet but I will let you know when it is and what it is called. I’m not going to share the name just yet just in case she had a change of mind:)

This was a beautiful design and a joy to knit and I finished way ahead of the deadline.

crimson dawn shawl beginnning

It was not easy to choose whether to begin with the darkest or the lightest colour. Finally I settled on the darkest because I really like blue and I felt it would look nice on my skin.

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I’m really happy with the finished item and knitting with my own hand spun yarn is such a thrill!

And now on to my 3 new cast ons in the order in which they were cast on!

First there is my second Damejakkalopa cardigan or a colourwork cardigan by Pinneguri. I’m knitting a second version of this one for my mum and hope to have it finished in time for Christmas.

My mom chose the colours a while ago and she asked me to omit the “lice” pattern on the body (the little dots/stitches in a contrasting colour). I’m done with the yoke so until I reach the bottom of the body it is just simple knitting in the round.

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I really like the colours here. The main colour is indigo blue which you can see on the yoke in the part just below the very light blue/grey section. I’m using yarn from the same company as when I knit mine only a different line. I used the wool/silk blend for mine but this time around I’m working with the 100% wool blend and loving it. It is the Supersoft by Holst Garn.

My second cast on was somewhat of a surprise. This weekend we had some friends over to celebrate our birthdays and I was wearing my Cactus over a tee shirt.

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One of my friends made a few not so subtle comments about why I wouldn’t knit her a cardigan too and so the next day I decided I would and cast on! Now, I don’t knit for a lot of people usually. I choose my knitwear recipients carefully because I only want to spend time and money knitting something if I am fairly certain the recipient will actually appreciate my effort and wear/use the item. This particular friend is knit worthy and I have already gifted her a shawl and two pairs of socks. So anyway, I have cast on for a second Cactus. I again used Holst Garn but in their wool/cotton blend so it does not scratch at all! I chose a very neutral colour called Dove. I literally just cast on yesterday so I don’t have much to show but here goes.

cactus two

I think this will look nice and be easy to wear with all sorts of colours.

And last but not least, I decided to join in for the new Stephen West Mystery knitalong! This started last Friday but I didn’t get the time to cast on till Sunday. The first few rows are a little confusing but I think it will be nice in the end.

As Stephens designs are often very colourful and a little “out there” I decided this time I would be very down to earth and choose subtle, neutral tones and I’m so happy with the combination of yarns I came up with.

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All are special yarns that I have purchased recently except for the mohair blend which I hand dyed myself.

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As you can see I have literally just started so not much to show. And I do have a doubt about whether or not all is correct. Also I find the mohair yarn knit on its own looks a little awkward as it is so much thinner than the other fingering weight yarns. But I’m going to keep going with this clue until it starts shaping up so I can better judge. Of course if when looking at my picture you see a huge error screaming back at you, DO let me know!

That’s it for today. I hope you have enjoyed your time here on the blog and seeing my knitting. I have enjoyed sharing everything with you. Next time I will be sharing pictures and information on a secret test knit I did this past summer and the pattern that will be published in a beautiful knitting magazine this November. I also hope to be on my last pair for Marie Curie and who knows what else!

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

A little bit of knitting and some catty cuteness

Hi there how are you today? This past week has been very busy at work and so I feel a little tired and don’t feel like I have a lot to show for my knitting this time.

I can tell you that I have only just bound off pair number 3 for the Marie Curie Sock Quest and have cast on for pair number 4

marie curie sock four beginning

For this and the next 2 pairs I’m thinking I will use this yellow as the contrast colour. I’m feeling quite optimistic about being able to knit 6 pairs this time around which is great I think.

For this new pair I’m thinking I will either do some sort of an all over ribbing pattern or maybe use the Simple Skyp pattern. Now that I’m on pair number 4 I really feel that variety is important to keep the stamina going:)

Other than this sock project, I recently accepted a new test knit for KBJ designs. This is a shawl pattern and it is coming along nicely. The pattern is written for a fingering weight yarn and just before being contacted for the test knit, I had just finished plying a gradient hand spun yarn. And when I decided to do the shawl I just really felt like I had to use this beautiful gradient that goes from sand/beige to dark navy. I decide to start with the navy and I am now just into the second colour. The picture below was taken before I got to colour 2.

I am looking forward to seeing this shawl finished. Knitting with my hand spun is an added bonus for sure.

Other than this not much knitting progress but as promised, I am going to introduce you to my newest family member.

So I am a kitty person. My kids jokingly (I hope) call me the crazy cat lady! I already had a mixed breed female and a pure breed Main Coon male. But those are getting old, 10 and 11 years old and I was just feeling like I really needed a baby in my life. Maybe this is linked to my age but I just turned 47!

Anyway, my birthday was earlier this month and I was just totally decided that I had to get a kitten for my birthday and I was looking online at different ads etc. I then came across this ad from a breeder not far from my home who had Main Coon kittens. I looked at the pictures and immediately fell in love with one of the kittens. (His name being that of a norse god may have helped). His name is Odin.

odinn eleveur

How could anyone resist such a beautiful kitten?

My other Main Coon is brown tabby like this one only he does not have any white. So anyway I contacted the breeder and asked a few questions and in 2 days I decided this had to be my kitten. And on my birthday I drove to get him!

He is the cutest. He is  3 1/2 months old now and he is very well educated. He has not had any accidents or anything since he got here.

To begin with my other two cats were less than impressed and made it more than clear that he was not welcome. Now 10 days later he has been accepted and I’m so happy.

He is beautiful and I love him sooooo much!

Here are a couple of pictures from his first days at home.

odinn 18sep18

I work from home and the first few days he spent like glued to me. Trying to stay in my lap, on my desk, behind the computer screen. How cute is this? I admit concentrating on work was not easy:)

 

 

And because he is a little baby still and very curious and playful, I have to learn to be careful with my yarn and knitting. The others have never been interested but Odinn has gnawed a cable on one of my circulars so badly I had to throw them away. And as you can see from the picture below, he does enjoy yarn as much as I do though in a different way 🙂

odinn and yarn

Cutest yarn lover ever!

That’s about all for today. I hope you didn’t mind the kitty talk. I know I am a little crazy about cats, about as much as I’m crazy about yarn and knitting.

I hope you have a great rest of the week and lots of time to enjoy your crafting. I’ll be back next week with more knitting.

Take care 🙂

My summer FOs and current works in progress

Hi there how are you today? I hope you are fine and having a nice beginning of the week. I’m back at work after the summer holiday. I had 3 weeks off and just started again yesterday. I have to admit that getting up yesterday morning to work was a little difficult! But hey, we all have to work and after all I did get to enjoy 3 whole weeks. We spent about half that time at home and the other half in a region of France called Brittany (Bretagne) and I’m planning on blogging about my summer in a separate post and share pictures for those interested.

Anyway I’m back at work and the kids will be back to school next week except for the oldest who doesn’t start till the week after that! So life is slowly going back to its usual busy state. Soon there will be homework!

But in the meantime I’m planning on making the most of my time after work to knit, knit and knit some more!

Currently I feel like I could just knit all day long! I have a head full of dream knitting and designing ideas. I want to knit all the sweaters and socks I have been buying patterns for this summer ( a ton!) but at the same time I’m starting to feel a little uncomfortable with my amount of wips (both languishing old wips and current active ones). I seem to maybe have gotten myself into a place where I have more to do than I can actually manage and so I’m thinking I might even have to go through my wips, again, and maybe unravel some that I think are not about to be done any time soon. Just to get to a more manageable place. But I’m not sure yet, I’ll keep you posted:)

So knitting both current and future projects as well as some FOs. Where to start?

First just a word on two secret test knits that I finished a while back. One was a summer tee for Rénee of East London Knit (Nema) and the other a cardigan for Making Stories. Both these patterns have now been published and so I’m planning on sharing those with you soon but I want to do a separate post on just them as I feel I so so so much to share now and don’t want this to become the post with no end:)

As I was on vacation I was able to finish 2 1/2 pairs of socks. I shared one pair with you last time I think, my second pair of Stitch surfer socks. The other two pairs were shorty socks.

First up is a pair that I knit using the stitch pattern from the Drippity Drop pattern by Kay Jones. I used yarns from Eden Cottage Yarns and I really like how these turned out.

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The next pair was just a simple vanilla shorty pair that I knit using a new self striping yarn that I bought from Biscotte Yarns. I saw this particular colorway on the Knotty Knit Wits podcast and as I was watching, actually opened a new browser window and bought one!!!! First time I have ever been that enabled!

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I just loved the colours and all the sparkle. I added a solid black for cuff, heels and toes. My older daughter just commented on how nice they looked and as I have enough yarn left I said I’d knit her a pair too:) I’m hoping those will be knit in time for Halloween as this is a Halloweeny yarn and called The Dark Side!

So these are my only FOs.

Now I’m working on a pair of socks using the pattern 2 Color Socks by Joji Locatelli. I actually bought this pattern because I want to join her autumn knit a long that starts September 1st I think. This would be the first time for me but I was unable to wait that long so I cast on for those on vacation and I’m getting close to finishing. These will either be for one of my daughters or for someones Christmas.

I really like the pattern and the soft colours I chose. The yarn is a new one to me, a commercial sock yarn called Arwetta. I hope to have this pair done in two days maxi!

I currently have 2 sweater projects going. First there is my Zweig which I love! I’m a little worried I might not have enough of my main colour and as I used a hand dyed one of a kind colour I know I won’t be able to get any more. I’m almost at the bottom hem on the body so I’m thinking I will put the body on hold and knit the sleeves and if I see that I will not have much left after the sleeves I might either do 3/4 sleeves or make the bottom hem in 2 colours as I have enough of the contrast colour do do something.

zweig and chanel

I’m a little further now than in this picture but haven’t taken a new progress picture. Here it is with my little Chanel 🙂 I’m hoping to get started on the sleeves later this week.

And the second sweater project is a new one that I just cast on about a week ago. This is part of an informal knit a long organized by the Knotty Knit Wit girls. The kal is about knitting any pattern from Susanne Sommer. Their original idea was to knit the Shusui shrug but I was bold and asked if I could still join if I chose to knit another pattern by the same designer and lucky for me they said YES!

I have been looking as the Shusui shrug a lot but I just don’t think I would actually wear it where as the Boxy Chevron sweater I chose instead is something I can really see myself wearing. And if you feel like joining you definitely should.

So for this project I hand dyed some of my Back to Basics yarn which is a 100% non superwash merino yarn for the main colour and I used a Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light for the contrast colour.  This pattern has you start by knitting the sleeves and currently I have one sleeve done and the second very close to being done.

These are not easy to picture due to their shape and the texture (welts of reverse stockinette stitch) here you can at least see the colours. I’m hoping to have the time to finish the second sleeve and start on the body by the end of this  week.

So this week I need to finish my second sock of the 2 Colour Socks, start on the sleeves of my Zweig, finish the second sleeve and start the body on my Boxy Chevron AND knit socks for the Marie Curie Quest of socks!

This is an amazing charity project being run for the second time this year by an amazing doctor and knitter called Sarah Holmes (Sherlockknits on IG). She works as a doctor in a Marie Curie hospice for terminally ill cancer patients in the UK and last year she had the idea of knitting each of her patients a pair of socks to gift them on Christmas Day. She was able to raleigh a number of knitters and together we knit 260 pairs – enough for all the patients staying in a Marie Curie hospice on Christmas Day in the UK. How amazing is that!

West Yorkshire Spinners yarn company made a special yarn for the project and 2 £ of the price of each ball of yarn were donated to Marie Curie. All the socks were knit using this special yarn with an allowance to use complimentary colours for contrasting cuff/heels and toes if wished for.

I was able to knit and donate 4 pairs last year.

marie curie socks 4

And Sarah has decided to do this again this year and West Yorkshire Spinners have come up with a new colorway for Marie Curie. I’m hoping to knit at least 4 pairs this year with a personal stretch goal of 6 pairs.

All the socks have to be knit in the Marie Curie yarn but we can use other yarns for contrast if we wish. This year we are allowed to knit patterned socks and not just plain vanilla and so I’m planning on knitting a mix of things to keep the project interesting for myself. As the yarn is the same I don’t want to loose steam doing the same thing over and over again.

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The yarn on the right is the Marie Curie special yarn for 2018

I’m currently knitting the first pair and that is a vanilla pair! The only vanilla pair I think. I’m knitting them two at a time to make sure there will be no second sock syndrome.

For the next pair I’m going to knit them cuff to cuff – that is knit one sock at a time the first one cuff to to and the second toe to cuff without cutting the yarn.  I think that will be quicker for me than the traditional two at a time on one long circular and just a nice change. I’m going to look up some easy patterns that can go with a variegated yarn.

marie curie 218 first pair

So this is where I’m at at the moment. I really like how the yarn is knitting up and I also think I chose a great contrasting colour. I chose to do contrasting heels, toes and cuffs on this pair and probably on the others as well as that allows the yarn to stretch longer (meaning I will be able to knit more socks than if they were all one single colour).

So I have to knit 1 1/2 – 2  pairs a month to make my  goal so I’m crossing my fingers I’ll be able to knit that many pairs just for this project.

I’m hoping to do an interview with Sarah soon to share more information on this project and maybe enable you to join and you don’t have to knit tons of pairs. Every single pair makes a difference.

That’s it for today.  This has turned out to be quite a long post today so thank you for taking the time to stop by and read all about my current and future projects.

Next up are posts on my two secret test knits as well as a special French Summer Vacation post as well as two special interviews and soon (I hope) a series of informational posts/tutorials on sock knitting.

Until next time, HAPPY KNITTING 🙂

Knitting through sorrow

Hi there, how are you doing this week? I hope you are doing good and enjoying your week so far.

As you will know if you follow my blog or on my social media, last week was a difficult week for me and my family. The loss of a loved one is always a life changing event I think for those of us left behind. It stirs up so many feelings, brings so many questions.

As I work through my loss and my subsequent feelings and questions, I have found solace in knitting. Knitting has helped me to stay focused. It has helped me to sort through my feelings. I can knit and think, I can cry and knit. I can console myself and knit. And frankly, without knitting, I don’t know how I would have coped.

I felt a need for knitting. Not to have idle hands at any time. And yet, I did not want to work on anything that required brain power, no complicated designs, no big projects. Of course this could only lead to a lot of sock knitting! And I will be sharing pictures of my socks here in a bit.

I knit so many socks that it has become like second nature for me. I don’t need a pattern and yet I still buy tons of sock patterns – just for the stitch patterns that are used. I always do my own heel and toe and cast on and cast off. But i’m totally unable to resist a beautiful sock pattern and this past week, as I have been knitting on socks I have also bought a few new patterns!

I’m now quite quick to finish a pair of socks so that adds to the pleasure of knitting a pair as I have a finished object within days. I do still have one cardigan in the wip pile for myself and a cardigan for my  youngest and that one I’m working on these days. A little at a time. But for comfort I have really been drawn to sock knitting and here’s what I have to show for it!

These are the #MarieCurieQuestforSocks. I’m helping knitting a pair of socks for every patient staying in a Marie Curie Hospice at Christmas in the UK. The main yarn, the patterned one, is  a special yarn dyed by West Yorkshire Spinners for this charity. I’m almost done with pair 4. And for this last pair I knit them two at a time magic loop and I did them as tube socks so now I just have to pop in the heels. I should be able to send all 4 pairs off before the end of this week.

It has been a joy to participate in this project and I have dedicated my participation to a friend that passed away last week from a rare disease. I had intended on knitting a 5th pair but when a close family member died just two days after my friend, I just broke down and I think I have to just take things slowly and only work on what I can, no stress involved. And so I’m going to be proud of these 4 pairs. That’s probably more than the average donation so no need to be sorry for not knitting 5 pairs. As you can hear, I’m trying to convince myself that this is ok:) And it is! I know it is!

But I have not just been doing charity knitting. I have also finished a pair of shorty socks for myself and those I knit out of my first ever skein of Wolmeise yarn. This skein was gifted to me by a friend about 5 years ago or so and it has been sitting in my stash since. So this pair of socks counts towards my Stash Appreciation Project – where the aim is to knit using beautiful yarns from stash.

The yarn is a dark navy blue so not easy to see the pattern. It is a sort of open work patterning that I adapted from some other pattern I had purchased. I really like the look. The yarn itself feels very nice and the socks are very comfortable. Also I’m very much into shorty socks these days. They are both comfortable to wear and quick to knit so win win!

As I prepare for a Maker of the Month feature for January 2018, I’m knitting my first pair of socks with yarn from Biscotte Yarns. A Canadian yarn dyer well known for their self striping yarns. This pair of shorties is for my youngest. I don’t know the colorway name as this came from a 200 gr bundle of self striping yarns. My new favorite! You buy either 100 or 200 gr of self striping yarns, mill ends, so what you get and how much of each is a surprise. This particular yarn came in a 62 gr skein so I have enough for a shorty pair for my daughter and there will be some left over.

So the yarn feels very nice and I love working with it. But more on that later!

biscottes yarn shorty sock

And last but not least, I designed a sock pattern! I did say before that I was in a place where I needed simple, comfort knitting. Nothing that required brain power. Well before getting all the bad news, I had actually started working on a design and I would knit on this a little bit each day. Not a lot at a time but sufficient for it to grow and now I have a finished pair!

I really like the pattern. Now I just need to grade it, make sure the stitch pattern works in all the sizes I would like to have. Then I have to re knit a pair in my own yarn and of course write up the pattern.

The idea here is to start selling kits including my patterns and my yarns. Maybe that would be a good idea to help me keep my business alive in the new year.

Anyway, I’d love to hear what you think of this attempt. I used a very sparkly yarn from Yarn Lab UK. A very nice dyer that sells on Etsy. I believe this colorway is called Poirot’s Christmas.

I found a stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary and adapted that to my stitch count and I think it looks nice.

new sock design 12nov

The stitch pattern will show up better in a solid or semi solid colorway and that is how the next pair will be knit.

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My test knit sock has grown since this picture but not enough. I am now past the heel and about half done with the foot so hopefully I will have at least sock one done by the end of this week and can start on sock two this weekend. I really enjoy using this new yarn base, 50/50 merino/cotton. It feels nice and the stitch definition is very nice.

So that’s about all for this week. I just need to finish the heels on my last Marie Curie socks, finish my second Biscotte yarn shorty sock, finish the test knitting sock I’m still working on AND start knitting some Christmas socks! I have never been so excited about knitting Christmas socks! I have splurged on some beautiful self striping colorways from different dyers so I have plenty to work with. Hopefully next week I will be able to share something there.

Thank you for all the kind thoughts and messages you have sent my way lately. I’m not very present on social media these days as I’m just not feeling very social. I know you understand. They say time heals all wounds and time will help me to carry on and be the best I can be.

Just one more thing before I leave today. I will be publishing this month’s Maker of the Month interview this coming Friday, November 24th so don’t miss that!

Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

Test knits and knitting needle testing

Hi there, how are you today? Did you get much knitting done this past week? I did some, not a lot. I feel like I’m making such limited progress these days. I just don’t have the time or maybe I’m working on too many projects at once, if that’s a thing. I’m not sure.

I do know that I have a lot of things going. I think I have 5 pairs of socks on the needles that I’m actually knitting on (way more in my mountain of wips), I have one wrap and one child size cardigan and one cowl. So I do have a lot to choose from. The cowl and the child cardigan are both test knits and I need to finish those in November. I can show you the cardigan but not the cowl just yet.

So the cardigan will be part of a book that I think will be published next year. I was going to use my own yarn but I didn’t have  just the right thickness so I went with something from my stash. its called Rooster Almerino baby – the yarn that is. The pattern can be knit as either a pullover or a cardigan and I chose to do the cardigan and I’m knitting it for my youngest. I don’t have enough for a single color cardigan so I’m going to use 2 or even 3 colors and I think that will be fun. I’m very close to finishing the body. Then I have the sleeves, collar and button bands to do.

cowtown test knit child cardi

This is not where I’m at now, I have made good progress since I took this picture actually. I like the stitch pattern and it keeps the knitting interesting. The color is a very light green and it looks very nice. My daughter loves it.

For the socks, I haven’t really made any significant progress so no pictures today. I have though started on pair number 3 for Marie Curie and this time I’m using a blue tweed contrasting yarn for the cuff, heels and toes and it’s funny how it changes the main yarn. It really brings out the blue in the Marie Curie yarn so I feel like I’m knitting on something totally different and that is good because knitting 4 pairs of vanilla socks in a row using the same yarn can get boring. I’m thinking I might do the last pair, pair number 4, with some white – their yarn/colors are yellow, blue and green. (I’ll show a picture a bit further down in this post of the sock so you can see how it is knitting up with the blue cuff). I don’t have any more of the yellow contrast yarn I used in the first two pairs and I only have a little bit of this blue tweed yarn… I think. I might need to go stash diving though just to be sure because it does look good. AND it’s Stash Appreciation time! So I should go stash diving and use some of my “old” yarns.

I have created a thread in my Ravelry group for the Stash Appreciation project that is running as of now and until January 31st so if you are interested in joining please do. I’d love to hear what you might knit and see a picture of your yarn. I’m going to knit a sweater using some older hand spun yarn but I haven’t started yet. I feel like I need to finish the test knit cowl before I can start anything that big. i also want to knit some Christmas socks from one of my special Christmas yarns and again I think I need to finish at least pair 3 for Marie Curie before casting that on. I’m afraid if I cast on for new things now, I might not finish what I need to finish, in time.

On to other things. I have tested a few new things lately and I need to share that with you. First, the knitting needles.

I bought some new knitting needles after hearing about them on social media. The first pair was a fixed circular from LYKKE. Everyone is talking about those and I really wanted to try them out. This is a Norwegian brand but the needles are manufactured India from driftwood. I was expecting them to feel somewhat like wooden needles, a feel similar to Indian Lake Artisans needles for example but they feel super slick and sort of “plasticky” and I’m pretty sure that is not a word.

I bought two pairs, a 2.25mm and 3.50mm and I”m currently knitting a sock with the 2.25mm ones – the sock you see on the picture to the right. So back to the needles. They don’t feel like wooden needles so that was a surprise to me. They are however very nice to use. The yarn glides beautifully and they feel good in my hands so I can understand how popular they are. They are not however a game changer for me, I mean that I’m not going to go overboard and buy their entire collection to only use theirs. But they are nice so if you have been wanting to give them a go I’d say go ahead. I’m pretty sure you will like them.

The other set of needles I bought were meant for sock and sleeve knitting. I saw those somewhere and thought they looked so exotic and I just had to give them a go. These are the Addi CrasyTrio needles. As the name indicates, they come in sets of 3 needles.

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First I need to say that when I knit socks, I  use circulars 90% of the time. I either do magic loop or a 9″ circular. These needles are more directed towards the knitters that prefer knitting socks with two shorter circulars at a time. They actually look very much like the Neko needles except the Addi needles have  a tiny cord between the needle tips whereas the Neko needles are all plastic (no cord at all). This does make the Addi’s easier to manipulate I think. And they are definitely sturdier. I have only knit two pairs with the Neko needles and they come in sets of 4 needles – you only knit with three but they give one extra. And I broke two needles out of 4 without even noticing and I lost a bunch of stitches so that put me off those for a while. Although I must say the customer service was excellent and they sent me replacement needles.

addi and marie curie

This is pair 3 of my Marie Curie socks on the Addi CrasyTrio

But back to Addi. I have knit one sock and am on the second one (although not from the same pair) and I must say that the beginning was not fun. The needles come with an instructional booklet and a sock recipe. I followed the instructions for casting on over two needles and then taking one out so you have half of the stitches on each. Well that was just impossible to do! I struggled until everything was off and then cast on again over just one needle and then transferred half the stitches over to needle two. The very first row was fiddly but after that it was fine. If you usually use two circulars rather than magic loop or a 9″ I’m sure you would like these. I however like the flow of knitting on q 9″ and so so stopping and turning my work around seems tedious to me now. Also when knitting the needle points click on each other making noise so this is not an option for me if watching the tv with my family:)

I’m going to finish my two pairs I started with on these but I’m not convinced they will be used much. I do want to try them on a sleeve though and maybe I will like that better. Who knows. Anyway it was very interesting to try out.

You may know, or not, that when I began my online knitting shop I specialised in knitting needles. I sold all kinds of knitting needles, different styles and materials. I was the first to ever sell Hiya Hiya, Kollage, Indian Lake Artisans, Knit Stix, Swallow, Signature Needle Arts and more brands here in France and in some cases even in Europe.

Would you be interested in me doing a series of post about knitting needles? If anyone is interested I could maybe put something together and share my thoughts on different styles and brands etc. Leave me a comment below and let me know.

One more thing before I leave today. I don’t know why I have waited to the very last minute to do this properly, but I have just got my first really good looking yarn ball bands! Now my yarns can look really professional I think.

IMG_0479 I love my new label. With the future of the shop so uncertain I don’t know if I will get to use them but at least they will be a nice souvenir and I can still use them on my own personal yarn and when I dye yarn for friends and family.

I’ll be back later this week with an update on my potato peel dye experiment. Also there will be an update on the shop on the Future of Knitting in France pages- both the English and French one very soon. Not the news I was hoping to share this week but well.

Until next time, I hope you have a great rest of your week. Enjoy your crafting and thank you for stopping  by:)

More on charity sock knitting

Hi again, Well I’m so happy to be back again! So far I’m living up to my goal of blogging more frequently than usual in October as part of Blogtober.

So yes October is all about blogging more often, knitting all the socks and doing something related to Breast Cancer Awareness and today is related in some way to all three goals.

I recently blogged about charity sock knitting that I’m taking part in and if you didn’t read that post yet you can click here.

A lovely reader left a comment on that post sharing the project she is working on. I had heard of this project on the Bakery Bears podcast but didn’t know who organised this or how to get involved so when I saw this message I was so happy!

This project is being organised by the wonderful Sara of Sherlock Knits in the UK. Sara is a doctor in a Marie Curie hospice for terminally ill patients and her idea was to knit a pair of socks for each of her patients for Christmas. Her idea soon caught on and other knitters wanted to join and help so now the objective is to knit a pair of socks for all the patients in Marie Curie hospices in the UK for Christmas and that is 229 patients! What a wonderful project.

Sara learned that she was not the only one wanting to support Marie Curie hospices. The Yarn shop City Knits in the UK had joined forces with UK yarn manufacturer West Yorkshire Spinners to create a unique colorway for their shop only in support of Marie Curie. This yarn colorway is ONLY sold at City knits and 2£ of each purchase are donated to  Marie Curie.

Sara has also created and published a pattern for a vanilla sock she calls the Marie Curie Quest Sock and all proceeds from the sale of the pattern is donated to Marie Curie. So to go all out, you can buy the pattern, buy the yarn and then knit a pair of socks or two:)

wys marie curie

You can go on to the City Knits blog and read more about this project here  and then go on to buy a skein of this yarn if you wish.

I know that not all the patients at Marie Curie hospices are suffering from breast cancer but it does tie in with doing something for the cause and I’m thrilled to be able to participate and make a donation. I have placed an order for the main yarn, the variegated one in the picture above and I intend to make two pairs.

I’m told patients often have swollen feet so 72 stitch socks are appreciated.

The main body of the sock should be knit using the special Marie Curie color way but it is ok to knit contrasting heels/toes and cuffs using coordinating colors in other yarn brands.

Are you also participating in this project or would you be interested in joining?

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful rest of the day.

Sock knitting for charity

Hi there, how are you? It’s weekend here now and I hope you have the weekend to yourself with plenty of free time to just knit and enjoy some quality time with your favorite projects.

As you may know, I’m going to concentrate on sock knitting this month. I am suffering from a serious case of cast-on-itis and so am just itching to cast on for at least 3 new sweaters and a billion new socks but I’m going to try to be serious and responsible and FIRST finish the 4 pairs of socks I had already begun working on and when those are finished, only then, will I allow myself to cast on for a new pair of socks and if I’m really serious I will also pick up an old languishing sock wip and get that done too! A girl can dream:)

In my last post I shared my current sock knitting projects but I did not tell you about this particular project. So I’m not as much of a charity knitter as I would like to be for a number of reasons. Reasons include lack of time, I enjoy selfish knitting too much and then as I’m not part of any physical group of knitters I’m not always aware of charity knitting projects going around.  And here in France I think there really are very limited opportunities for charity knitting sadly.

I’m lucky enough to have made a number of good friends via the internet. I’m so happy and appreciative for all the new knitter friends in my life and I really could not imagine my life without you all. I may not know you “in person” but it still feels like we are very close. One of those friends is Andrea. Andrea lives in Australia and she is an amazing person and an impressive artist. Andrea sketches and knits and just makes magic with all things fibre related not to mention her photography which is simply inspirational. You can follow Andrea on Instagram where she has two accounts, one for her drawing art work where she is @zoozoostudio and one for her knitting and fibre related work where she is @yarnsalad.

Via her account as @yarnsalad she has launched a sock knitting charity project that I had to join in even if we live on opposite sides of the world. Andrea is knitting socks for children between 0 and 6 years old that live with their mothers in Australian prisons. I love knitting socks and I also love doing good and gifting my handknits so I immediately wanted to join in her effort.

I’m not sure what the deadline is to send her the socks but if you are interested in joining us and send a pair of socks or more, just either contact me or you can contact Andrea via Instagram. I’m sure she would be delighted if any of my readers wanted to contribute to her project.

Knitting socks for young children is fun and super quick and so I now have 2 1/2 pairs (as I write this). I chose to knit two pairs of tube socks because I think tube socks are super practical because they can fit a large range of sizes and they also maybe wear longer as you can wear them anyway; I mean there is no instep and no sole side so I imagine more wear could be had out of those. They are maybe not as cute but still I really like them. So I have two pairs of tube socks and if I have enough time I will make more of those.

charity socks one

Those are knit with a German sock yarn, I don’t have the ball band anymore but it’s an Opal type yarn so should wear nicely. These are not twins but they do look nice still I think.

charity socks 2

These I knit using my Sparkles yarn. These are much smaller than the first pair so more of a baby size versus a toddler size for the first pair.

charity socks 3

This is the pair I’m currently working on. I’m knitting this one with my Sox base yarn in grey and the yellow stripes and toe are from Berry Colorful Yarnings. I really like this sock. I think it is a sort of 3-4 year old size.

I’m happy to know that I will contribute at least 3 pairs and I hope to be able to get more done in the next 2-3 weeks. It really does not take long to make  a small pair so I don’t have any excuse!

Do you sometimes knit for charity? If so, which ones? I would love to hear about any charity knitting projects you may be participating in and who knows I might decide to join them too 🙂

That’s all for today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of this weekend. Speak to you soon!

Knitting and Charity

Hi there, knitters are generous people and I’m sure many of you have already done some knitting for charity. I have organised knitting for premies

www.knittinginfrance.com and I have also knit in support of breast cancer. I feel that knitting for charity is not only knitting for a good cause but also a bit selfish because it brings such pleasure to know that what I’m knitting is going to be useful for someone in need. I prefer to knit items that are then donated rather than knit something that will be sold to raise funds because I have seen first hand that people are just not ready to pay a reasonable price for hand knit items. People do not realise the price of the yarn let alone the work that goes into making the item. It is just so disheartening when you spend your hard earned money on good yarn and the little free time you have to knit something for a wonderful cause and then your items either just don’t sell or are being sold for a ridiculous price that does not even cover the price of the yarn alone.

I recently got burned doing this late last year and I think and hope that it was the very last time for me! My mother and I knit a number of mittens and socks and small accessories that were to be sold at a christmas market in my town to raise funds for a local charity for children with cancer.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com  As I also enjoy making fantasy jewelry I also made some bookmarks, hair accessories, rings and earrings for them to sell. These cost a lot less to make and take way less time to prepare and yet that is what actually sold and what people were willing to pay for!

IMG_1552 IMG_1416 IMG_1533 IMG_1347 IMG_1319 I was so disappointed about the lack of interest in my handknits that I had put all my heart into making that I vowed to NEVER knit another item to sell! I’ve not given up on knitting for charity though, I will just do it differently and knit items that will then be GIVEN directly to those who need them.  The charity in my town that supports children with cancer and their families is organising another fundraiser and I will be making jewelry for them but NOT any knits.

And speaking of charity knitting where your knitted item is gifted to the recipient who needs it, I just discovered a great charity as I was reading my spring issue of Addicted to Sock Knitting ezine  It is called Knitted Knockers Charities Inc. – click here for the website This is a charity that focuses on knitting prosthetics for women who have suffered a mastectomy. They work in the USA as well as in Europe and women in need can send them an email and request a knitted breast. The website gives you a free pattern and information on the mission of this charity. They are currently requesting prosthetics in cup sizes B, D and DD. So if you feel like doing some charity knitting and help a woman who has suffered a mastectomy then this is definitely a charity I would recommend.

Do you do charity knitting on a regular basis? Do you knit for all types of charities or just one and how do you choose which charity you would like to support? Do you know of a charity that is in need of donations? Please do share with us by leaving a comment after the post.

That’s all for today, until next time take care of yourself because to be able to love and care for the people you love, you must first love and take care of YOURSELF. Happy crafting 🙂