Knitting plans

Hey there, I hope you had a nice weekend and a good beginning of a new week. Christmas is happening next week! Wow how time flies! Soon we will be in 2019! 

It will soon be time to reflect on this past year and make plans for the new one, be they knitting related or not. 

The beginning of a new year can be exciting in terms of new beginnings and exciting things ahead.

Where I’m concerned I have decided to sort of make a few commitments/objectives related to my knitting and my blog.

I haven’t really thought this all through or ordered by order of importance but here are the things I need to work on for 2019:

For the blog I want: 

I want to be more consistent, to absolutely post once a week and sometimes more but to really have a fixed schedule both for me to work on and for you to count on.

I want to maybe organise something with you like maybe a knit-a-long or a game of some sort.

I want to continue interviewing interesting makers and try to offer an interview once a month.

I want to maybe find ways of making my blog better, maybe more interactive, maybe for it to reach more readers.

I would like to finally start writing down patterns I come up with and possibly offer them here on the blog for sale and some as free perks for my readers.

For my knitting I want:

I want to make a dent in my mountain of wips, a dent that can actually be seen by the naked eye!

I want to work more on my creative side and write up patterns.

I want to learn new techniques, I want to learn about different breeds of fibre animals and the yarn available to us.

I want to be more organised – don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to become a monogamous knitter but just try to control the number of wips at any given time and most importantly keep track of them via a knitting journal and this is a project I will share here on my blog too.

I’m thinking also about maybe doing less test knits, at least garment test knits as those take up a lot of time and yarn.

For my knitting related purchases I want:

Now this is a difficult objective and I know I have to be vague here or at least open for changes. I would love to refrain from any yarn buying for a year and only knit from stash but I know that is one objective I will never be able to reach.

So the idea is to come up with a yarn budget, some sort of a reasonable amount a month and IF I don’t use the amount one month I can save up and have double the amount the next month allowing me to maybe buy more yarn for a bigger project (or just buy more yarn). I have not decided on what this amount should be but I will.

I also need to stop buying so many knitting patterns. I have a gazillion knitting patterns in my Ravelry library and I am constantly buying more knowing full well that I will not be knitting them any time soon! I need to come up with some sort of a system. Maybe create a queue or a favorite’s bundle where I can add all the patterns that have me salivating and then when I actually know I have the time and yarn to make that project I can go ahead and buy the pattern.

I might also look over some of my pattern stash and pick maybe 10 patterns (that I already own) and decide to knit all those in 2019. That could be a fun thing to do and an interesting objective.

What about you? Do you take the time to look over your past projects or plan for the future knitting wise? If so I would love to hear how you go about things. Do you maybe set yourself some sort of objective like knit X pairs of socks? Or earmark a certain number of patterns you absolutely want to knit in the new year? Do share 🙂

Now my knitting these days. What’s new? Well, I have finished one test knit out of two. And this might be the reason behind me thinking of taking on fewer garment test knits.

So I just finished test knitting an oversized cardigan. Such projects require a lot of time and money (a lot of yarn) and sometimes I don’t honestly know if the finished item is something I will love to wear.

So I have just finished this big project and it looks a lot different from the designers prototype. I think that is in part due to the yarn (I chose Tuku wool fingering) and also because I may have chosen to big of a size. 

When the body was done I tried it on and it felt cozy and big. Now that the sleeves have been added, they feel awkward, as if they are not quite right. I can’t imagine ripping back to the sleeve placement and start over again so I’m actually contemplating ripping back period! Can you imagine?! 

I’m just lost at this time. I have sent pictures to the designer and I’m just waiting to hear back from her and also to seeing what the other test knitters have but at the moment I am the only one to have finished.

I’m putting this on time out and not weaving in the ends nor blocking. Maybe I will see things clearer in a few days.

But it is very frustrating and disappointing after such a long time and big effort to not be absolutely in love with the finished object.

My other test knit is coming along slowly but surely. This one also has an issue, this time with the neck line and most of the test knitters have had this issue and so the designer is going to rewrite the upper yoke part. In the mean time I continue with the body and when that is done I will do the sleeves. Only when all is done will I come back and redo the upper yoke.

I do really like the design and the colour of my yarn so far.

This colour is way out of my comfort zone but I really look forward to wearing this sweater when it’s done.

Now that I have “finished” one big project I of course have to cast on for new ones. So I cast on for a colourwork cowl in chunky yarn.

The pattern is called Midwinter Cowl and I told you about this last week. I’m knitting this out of my 100% baby alpaca. The yarn is super soft and fluffy and after knitting I am just covered in alpaca fluff!

This will be a Christmas gift I hope and I’m close to being done.

Midwinter cowl

The challenge with this pattern is that it calls for knitting with 3 colours/yarns at a time for most of the patterning. I am not used to working with 3 yarns at a time so that is slowing me down.

I chose two colours that are very close in shade, one is dark blue and the other black and so on the picture above you most likely won’t be able to distinguish between the two. I did wonder about changing one out for a stark contrast but then couldn’t be bothered…

So I have one block of colourwork left and then I will be on the bottom ribbing and cast off.

And last night I cast on for a beanie! I had knit a hat for my dad last year but it has grown in size and so he doesn’t wear it any more so I decided I had to make a new one in a different yarn and I found this pattern for free on Ravelry.

It is a super simple 2 by 2 rib all the way to the crown decreases. And one can decide on the length depending on whether we want a fold up brim or not. I’m going for the fold up. I have a week to finish and I’m hoping that will work.

When those two are done I will return to my red sock that I’m designing on the go. I have one sock done and need to cast on for the other.

And of course I have bought a few more sock patterns since last time with #Sockvent18 and all…so I might cast on for a pair or two during the holidays.

This is all for today. Thank you so much for stopping by today. I will be back later this week and then there might be a break for a week as I will be off work for a few days to enjoy Christmas with my family.

If you don’t have the chance to stop by later this week let me just wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays (which ever you celebrate). 

Hugs

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Christmas themed knitting

Hello there, how are you this beginning of a new week?

I hope you had a  lovely and relaxing weekend. Here in France there are a lot of riots so we mostly just stay home and do our Christmas shopping online. This meant that I got a little more knitting time this past weekend.

I have been hard at work working on my two big test knits and I’m happy to say that one of those is finally getting a little bit closer to being finished. I probably still have about 2 weeks worth of knitting left but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

This means I hardly have any knitting to actually show off. Just one sock project that I’m creating as I go along.

I’m knitting a pair of socks using my own pattern and maybe one day I will finally write a pattern down to share with the world!

I actually started knitting something completely different, that is another sock pattern, but I somehow either misunderstood the pattern or just wasn’t using the right yarn. It just didn’t feel or look right so I ripped back to the end of the cuff and did my own thing and I really like the outcome. I have no idea if there is already a pattern out there that is the same. This honestly is just from a spur of the moment inspiration.

It is a super simple two row repeat lace pattern that I have done only on the front of the sock. The idea is for me to finish in time to gift this to someone for Christmas and I really hope I will be able to do so.

These socks tie in with today’s subject which is Christmas Sock Pattern. I have been buying way too many of those lately and I was just trying to knit one of those when I got frustrated and ripped back and decided to do my own thing.

So as we get closer to the holiday season a lot of Christmas themed patterns appear on Ravelry and as a sock knitter I find myself naturally drawn to those.

Even though I have knit enough pairs of socks to not really need a pattern, I still compulsively buy sock patterns. I think I mostly buy them for the stitch patterns used and sometimes when I think it uses a technique I may not be familiar with.

So far here are the patterns I have purchased and plan to knit in the future/

The first is called Reindeer Hooves by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This is a top down pattern with an all over pattern on the leg and then the front of the foot. This is the pattern I had difficulties with. It just did not look right with my yarn but I do intend to give this pattern a second chance.

The second pattern is part of a sock pattern club by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. This pattern came as a bonus I believe for those purchasing her latest sock club (The Seasons Club) but it can also be purchased as a stand alone pattern. The pattern is called Candy Cane Socks. This looks like a fairly simple pattern that could look good in a solid or slightly variegated yarn so I will have to knit this one soon. Doesn’t have to be a Christmas sock. If this is knit in a non-Christmas yarn it will be a yearlong sock. The pattern itself is not especially christmasy I think.

Then there is another pattern by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This time the pattern is called Santa Baby Socks.

These look really nice I think. Less patterning than on the first pattern I shared and I can really see myself knitting these.

And the last pattern I have purchased is one by Louise Tilbrook Designs. Her pattern is called Yulelight Socks. These look just lovely. The patterning is subtle but efficient and the pattern picture really screams Christmas I think.

So that is a lot of patterns that now need knitting! And as if that  wasn’t enough, I just heard of something called #Sockvent. This is a Christmas Sock Pattern advent calendar of sorts and will run from December 12th to the 24th. If you follow the hashtag on IG, each day there will be a designer offering their sock pattern with a 40% discount! Now is that tempting or what?!

Knowing myself I’m pretty sure I will not be able to refrain for buying even more sock patterns!

Are you knitting any holiday themed projects these days? I’d love to hear from you if you are and maybe you could share the pattern name with us so we too can go take a look and get inspired:)

I will be back later this week with some more knitting related chatter. Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.

Happy knitting:)

Hi there, how are you this week? I hope last week was a good week for you and that you enjoyed Halloween. At my house we had an endless stream of trick or treaters. We did decorate more than last year and I’m thinking that may have drawn extra attention to our house.

It was fun and even though we gave away a lot of sweets my youngest also managed to gain a lot too so we now have a sizeable amount of unhealthy goods in the house. Not great for a sweet tooth such as myself!

Anyway I have done some progress on my knitting and even though I only have 2 finished objects this week I still feel I achieved a lot.

First FO is the most important one! Remember the Marie Curie Quest for Socks charity knitting? Well, last year I knit and donated 4 pairs of socks and decided that this year I would do better and knit and donate 6 pairs. Using the same yarn for knitting so many socks in a row did get me down a little in the end BUT I MADE MY TARGET!

I’m so happy that I have managed to knit 6 pairs of socks! I cast off the last sock this afternoon and now I just have to weave in all the ends and package them nicely. I’m also knitting a single mini sock that I will put on a miniature wooden sock blocker key chain to gift to the amazing Sarah Holmes who is behind this charity. I have cast on for that and should be all done tomorrow with that so I’m hoping that next week I will be able to send all the socks her way. I will take pictures when everything is ready and share with you later.

I do hope Sarah reaches this years goal of knitted socks and I’m happy and proud to have taken part again.

The second finished object is a cowl.

I suddenly found myself very drawn to mustardy yarns and so I dyed some up including 2 skeins of DK yarn and I found a cowl pattern called Vignette Cowl by Suvi Simola on Ravelry.

This is a very nice pattern and easy to execute and I really love the finished item.

 

I have also been working on my Flea cardigan and I’m almost done with the knitting, I only have half a button band to knit. When that is done I need to secure the steek and then cut! Weave in ends and voila! I really look forward to this being done and I need to have this done by the end of next week as this will be a birthday present for someone special so no pictures till after the giftee has received her cardigan just in case she decided to check out the blog.

The FLOP of the month or even the year might be my Texture Time kal by Stephen West!

I was so excited about this one and love the yarns I chose. I did find the first clue intriguing and not necessarily to my liking but ok I did continue. However after clue 3 came out I started to seriously doubt if I would like the finished object and I stopped knitting!

I actually sort of put it in time out and waited for  clue 4 and then the bonus clue 5 to be published. And you know what? I know I might be going against the current here but… I really don’t like the shawl. I actually don’t want to finish…

The worst thing is that I chose beautiful and somewhat expensive hand dyed yarns for this project and I know that if I rip back I will not be able to salvage everything. In the end I am most likely going to loose close to half the yardage for some of the skeins.

But which is worse? Stop here, rip back and salvage what I can? or finish the pattern and then never wear it?

As the kal is over I can show you my version. So currently it is at a standstill as the first picture on the left shows.

I love the yarns and the colors but the finished shawl shape is just not doing it for me.

Am I crazy ? Or are there maybe others battling the same dilemma? I guess I will have to face up and make a decision soon.

On to more happy knitting now.

I started two new projects this past week.

One is a test knit for a fingerless mitten. The pattern is called Embossed Mitts and is by KBJ Designs. I have finished one of the mittens and cast on for the second one yesterday.

This is a fun textured pattern and knits up relatively quickly. I’m using Hedgehog Sock in Film Noir.

 

This will be a fun pattern for you to try out when it’s been published.

My second project is going to be a long term project/goal.

A while ago, not sure when exactly, I came across this beautiful handknit advent calendar and I just thought I had to knit one and so I got the pattern and sort of forgot about it.

Now as we are going towards Christmas yet again, I re thought about this pattern and went ahead and printed out all the charts and the pattern.

This pattern is called Mitten Advent Calendar by Katy Lewinsky of Not Crafty Enough and the pattern is available as a single pdf file for purchase on Ravelry or as a multi part download for free on her website www.justcraftyenough.com

So there are 24 small mittens to knit and they are all beautiful fair isle designs. I decided to purchase a little rustic yarn for this as that is usually best for fair isle knitting so I purchased yarn from Snaeldan, a Faroese knitting company. This yarn is like a sport weight I think as the recommended needle size is 2.5-3.00 mm and I find that anything smaller than 3 mm is too small – at least for me and this particular project.

So far I have knit one mitten minus the thumb but I’m hoping I will get to that soon. If you click the website link above you will see pictures of this pattern and understand why I fell in love.

IMG_1932

I’m not entirely happy with this first mitten. I think I need to work on my gauge and maybe even go up to size 3.25 mm needle and maybe do magic loop rather than dpns. But I still think this could be a beautiful advent calendar one day.

Have you maybe knit this pattern? If so I would love to hear how long it took you and if you made any changes and the yarn you chose to use etc.

So my knitting plans for the next few days:

  • Finish my second test knit mitten
  • Finish the thumb on my first advent mitten
  • Start a new secret cardigan test knit
  • Finish the Flea cardigan completely
  • Continue my two other sweater/cardigans that I am working on
  • possibly cast on for 2 hats and a pair of sock but that is not quite decided yet 🙂

I think this is all for this weeks blog. I have to get going and wind up my yarn for the secret cardigan test knit and then there are those every day life chores that come with being an adult!

All the best to you and your family. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Enjoy your knitting and I’ll be back soon 🙂

Happy new knitting year

Hi there! First off I would like to apologize for the long silence. I can imagine you may have wondered if I had stopped blogging all together! It’s probably been close to a month since I last posted here and I have not been very active on social media either. Not to mention that I closed my Etsy shop. So I guess I have given you all the reasons to think I was just going off the grid.

Well, I’m still here and I hope to keep blogging and growing my blog in this new year. The past month or so has been very busy to say the least. Both on a personal level as well as on a professional level. I’m hoping I will be able to get back into my rhythm of blogging once a week. I might, if I can, blog more to begin with because I have so much to share with you. Things have just been piling up!

Now I wish you and your family and friends all the very best in this new year. I would like to thank you for the past year we have spent together. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to follow my blog and my knitting adventures. Thank you for sharing your story and for commenting here on the blog. Thank you for supporting my yarn dyeing business if you are one of my clients. I hope 2018 will be a good year for you, one of happyness and good things. I hope you will be able to indulge yourself in knitting and anything else fibre related that you may enjoy. I hope you will be able to build on your skills and and learn new things. And I hope you will keep on following me on my journey as before.

I honestly don’t know where to begin. I have so much to share but I don’t have much time and I’m assuming the same goes for you so I cannot write an epic blog post. I will have to portion down all the things and share over time.

Maybe I should start where we left off, with Christmas knitting. I think I will do that.

So last time I blogged, I was knitting a lot of socks. I did not knit much for Christmas gifts. I had been intelligent enough to have set aside a few things during the year that I was able to gift for Christmas but basically I did not gift much knitwear this past Christmas. I mostly knit for myself! And mostly socks.

So here goes, and I may have shared the first two pairs with you already but I guess that’s ok as it was such a long time ago.

I made up this simple pattern to use with self striping yarn and I think it worked out great with this beautiful yarn from the Cozy Knitter called Gingerbread House. The pattern is a very simple lace pattern that is worked on the first row of each new color. I did write down the pattern and I’m hoping I will be able to write it up in a formal fashion and maybe even put up on Ravelry this year. Who knows, 2018 might become the year of knitting designs for me…

Then there was another pair of self striping socks in a Christmas colorway. This time a pair of shorty socks.

Again I made up a super simple pattern and used as I came to a new color. This one I also wrote down just in case. The yarn is Vintage Christmas from the Yarn Jar. I had some brown yarn I had dyed myself in my box of minis/left overs and used that for heels and toes.

And now on to the pairs I think I have not before shared here with you.

This pattern is called Sugarplum Fairy and is by Knitterarium. This pattern is for sale on Ravelry. I knit those with yarn from Lolo Did It called Hippo for Christmas. I absolutely LOVED knitting these socks! The yarn is nice and the pattern a total joy to work. I can definitely see myself knitting more of those. I love how high up they are, I love the lace detail on the top and all the twisted stitches just look so nice. I had begun knitting this before I left for Iceland but I finished the pair there.

Next up is a pair that I cast on on Christmas Eve or should I say the yarn is one I used to cast on on Christmas Eve. I was going to knit ‘Twas the night before Christmas by Little Bobbins Knits and after knitting the cuff and the first pattern repeat I had to surrender to reality and change pattern. This yarn was way too busy for such a delicate pattern. So I ripped everything out and lucky for me, as a patron of the Bakery Bears podcast I had received a pattern for Christmas from Kay called  And All Was Calm (I think) and I swiftly cast that on. I’m not entirely satisfied with the results. I think I should have just knit a plain vanilla sock with this yarn but I didn’t have anything else as I had tried to limit my yarn on this trip and I had to cast something on so. I did like the pattern and I think I have to knit it again in a less crazy yarn or maybe even a solid yarn. This is a patron only pattern so not available on Ravelry.

Here you see a part of the sock blank which was just amazing. I got that from Joyance Fibre. She is based in Holland and she paints the most amazing sock blanks. The very busy parts on the legs are where there was a Santa Claus on the sock blank. The sock blank was beautiful, the yarn was enjoyable to work with but it just wasn’t the right yarn for this particular pattern.

IMG_0778

Here you can better see the socks and the lace pattern which is somewhat obscured by the yarn.

I had started this pair just before leaving I believe and it was the first pair I finished in Iceland. The main yarn is from Lolo Did It but I don’t remember the colorway. The contrasting yarn is from Goosey Fibres. The pattern is Caramel Apple Socks by Vanillawool. I absolutely ADORE this pattern. I love the lace pattern that knits up into a delicate sock. Such fun to work. The pattern comes in one size only, 64 stitches but can easily be adapted to a bigger size and that is what I did as I usually knit 72 stitch socks on 2.25mm needles. This pattern was really fun to knit and the lace pattern soon because memorized and I just really got into a rhythm when knitting them. I’m planning on knitting these again and I could definitely see me knit those as shorty socks for summer.

Then there is another pattern I made up myself and cast on while in Iceland. I had bought my very first skein of yarn from Molly of The Homespun House. It was one of her Christmas colorways and I really wanted to knit something with that while on holiday. I was still on a twisted rib high after my Sugarplum Fairy socks and so I went for a twisted rib sock. I did twisted rib on the front of the leg and foot only and all the way to the cast off. And I’m really pleased with the results. Just what I had in mind when I cast on.

This was on a tweed base so there are some black nepps and then lots of colored speckles on top of a light green base. I really like those.

The last pair I cast on while in Iceland was the pattern I had planned on knitting on Christmas Eve; the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Little Bobbins. As the yarn I had planned for that pattern did not work out, I had gone to a LYS (and I’ll share all about that in a future post) but unfortunately I wasn’t able to buy any sock yarn suitable for that there. But lucky me, my cousin came for a knit afternoon on December 30th and she so generously gifted me a skein of yarn! A beautiful skein of yarn from a new to me Icelandic dyer! The dyer is called Dottir Dyeworks and her yarn was beautiful. I have yet to visit her shop and discover more about her and her yarns but the one I got was perfect. Of course I had to cast on for a new pair of socks and this was the perfect yarn for Little Bobbins pattern.

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern and the yarn went perfectly with it. I finished this pair shortly after getting back home.

While in Iceland I did also work on my 2nd Avenue Wrap by Amy Miller. That wrap is huge and it is taking me FOREVER to finish.

IMG_0757

While in Iceland I knit from the little blue marker to the top. Not a huge deal but then I was all about the socks! I have since knit a little bit more on this and am now in the next section which is knit in the black sparkle yarn. I did change the stitch pattern. I was supposed to be like in the grey section at the top; a mix of stockinette and garter stitch. I chose to knit like a seed stitch or something similar just to maintain some interest as this is somewhat boring to knit. I’m knitting this entirely out of singles yarns that I have dyed myself EXCEPT for the pink yarn which is a singles I purchased from another dyer. The pink is also the only yarn that does not have sparkle. I think this will be such a great piece once it’s done. I can really see myself wearing this and wrapping up both inside and out. But it is looooooong to knit….

Since I came home I have been knitting mostly on socks! A shocker I know! But I also have started a shawl and two sweaters.

I think this will be all for today. I hope you have enjoyed coming back and spending some time with me today. Next time I will share my knitting objectives for 2018 so stay tuned.

Hugs and happy knitting:)

Christmas Socks and a Murder Mystery

Hi how are you today? I hope you are doing good. Maybe you are busy getting ready for Christmas. Maybe you are feverishly knitting on all the Christmas gifts you have planned. I had not planned on doing many handmade gifts this year. I did last year. This year I only have one handknit gift and I finished that a while ago. I might add some socks to certain gifts and just take those from my box of socks. I have been putting some of my socks aside rather than directly in my sock drawer so I have a few I could gift.

And speaking of Christmas and socks, I’m currently knitting on THREE Christmas themed socks!  That is the yarn is Christmas themed.

First up is a sock that I’m making up myself, it’s almost a vanilla sock. There is just this tiny detail on each side of the foot to break up the monotony of the stockinette stitch.

christmas sock one

This yarn is called Vintage Christmas and is from a US dyer called The Yarn Jar. A beautiful yarn and I love the colors she chose here. These will be for me:) And they are shorty socks by the way.

Next pair is most likely going to be a gift for a friend. Again this is yarn from The Yarn Jar. And I’m just doing a plain vanilla shorty sock.

christmas sock two

I really love the colors in this one and I’m hoping I will have enough yarn for a second pair of shorty socks that I would knit with contrasting heels and toes.

And the third pair is knit in Hippo for Christmas colorway from Lolo did it. The pattern is called Sugarplum Fairy by Knitterarium. This is a fun pattern with a lace panel at the top of the leg and the rest is in twisted rib.

sugarplum fairies

I’m at the heel here and look forward to continuing on this one.

I’m also working a little bit from time to time on the Second Avenue Wrap by Amy Miller. I’m knitting it out of singles yarns. All but one are my own hand dyed singles WITH sparkle! Talk about fun! It is a big project and I’m not usually a scarf/wrap knitter so it is somewhat on my back burner but it is such a beautiful pattern and the yarns I have chosen, I love, so I’m looking forward to having it done. Even if that may be a long time to get done.

second avenue des17

The bottom is a sort of wavy thing and at the moment it is rolling up on itself. I hope I will be able to block this correctly once the wrap is done. The sparkle is not showing in this picture but there is silver stellina in all the yarns except for the pink yarn that is the main part of what I have knit so far.

I’m also working on the test knit sweater and that is taking a lot of time. It is an over sized sweater knit in pieces and I think it is going to be somewhat slow going. It is fun though and I’m looking forward to wearing the finished garment. However it is top secret so no pictures yet:)

Now something I wanted to tell you about and maybe introduce you too is a book and an author I just discovered. This past weekend I finished a book that I thought was a fun read. It is a murder mystery with some yarn and knitting involved. Two of the things I enjoy the most!

This is a murder enquiry that takes place at a stitch show where everything is all about yarn and knitting designs.  This book is called Malice in Wonderland and the author’s name is Hilary Latimer. At the end of the book there is some bio on the author and turns out she is not just a writer but also a pattern designer! And she sells patterns on Ravelry and she also has some books out that can be bought on Amazon! How amazing is that?

Hilary has a group on Ravelry called Criminal knits …for the serial knitter in all of us. She has kals and seems like the group is a fun one to join.  So if you, like me, enjoy reading a nice, not too violent murder mystery with the added bonus of yarn then you should definitely check out this book and maybe even join her group on Ravelry.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a wonderful and creative week. I hope you are taking the time to enjoy your knitting as we get ready for the holidays. And if you have any knitting related books you think we might want to put on our list for Santa, I’d love to hear about them!

Happy knitting:)

Merry Christmas to you and happy knitting

Hi there, how are you today? It’s been way too long since my last post and I apologize for that. I have been busy at work and at home with the kids on vacation and all the Christmas preparations. Not to mention all the Christmas gift knitting I have been doing.

And now it’s Christmas! It’s December 24th which for and Icelander such as myself means THE day. Christmas in Iceland is celebrated over a number of days. Christmas begins on December 24th at 6pm and ends on January 6th. The biggest celebration is on the evening of December 24th, the 25th and the 26th.

In Iceland we have 13 santa clauses who live in a mountain just outside of Reykjavik called Esja. They live there with their parents and cat. These are not your typical santa clauses because these are actually naughty and spend their time tricking people and stealing from them. 13 days before Christmas they come to town; one at a time and the last one arrived today December 24th. And the first one leaves tomorrow December 25th and so on until the end of Christmas, January 6th.

When the Santas come to town, children leave a shoe on their windowsill and if they have been nice the santa will leave a small gift in their shoe – a candy or something small. If they have not been good, they will get a potato. In the old days, children would receive a fruit such as an orange or a clementine when they were good and a piece of coal if they were not.

On December 24th the parents come to town and they are one scary couple. They are followed by their cat who eats, yes that’s right, who eats children that were not good and did not receive a gift of new clothing for Christmas. In Iceland there is a tradition of gifting children a new pyjama every Christmas that I think is linked somehow to the legend of the 13 santas.

I found this little video on YOUTUBE that shows drawings of the santas along with their names in Icelandic so have a look if you are interested by clicking here

This evening we celebrate Christmas just on our own; the five of us and tomorrow we will go to my husbands family and spend the day with them. That will be lots of fun. We will be eating and drinking good wine and opening lots of nice gifts.

I hope you will have a wonderful Christmas too if you celebrate Christmas and if you feel like sharing how you celebrate Christmas by leaving a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.

Now on to knitting as this is after all a knitting blog and so you may be here only for the knitting content. As you may know, if you follow my blog, I decided sort of last minute to knit Christmas gifts. Not one or two; but a lot! And I made it! I cast of the last one last night. I shared my progress with you in my last post and so here is the rest of my gift knitting:

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This is a cowl I knit using my hand dyed super wash merino DK. I didn’t use a pattern for this. I did a few rows of 2X2 ribbing and then I did linen stitch for the main body.

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This hat pattern is called Lake Reed and it is a free pattern on Ravelry. This was a really fun and quick knit and the end result is beautiful.

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This cowl is a modified version of the Ciao cowl which is a paid for pattern on Ravelry. It should be much longer/higher but I knit this for a young teen who is not very tall so I thought it would be better if it was not as tall as the pattern called for. Again I knit this with my hand dyed DK yarn and I really like the result. I think I might make another one for myself and then I would follow the pattern exactly for the length.

I then knit another cowl which was just from my head, no pattern. I knit it using my hand dyed Aran weight yarn on 4.5mm needles and it is just a simple ribbed pattern that flares out some at the end to go slightly over the base of the neck/shoulders.

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There is one gift that I knit a while ago and I think I haven’t shared it with you yet. It’s a cowl pattern that was designed using my Cash’merino DK yarn and it is now a paid for pattern on Ravelry, called the Infestation cowl.

I knit this when the pattern came out as a mystery knit and I’m gifting it to someone special this Christmas. Here it is:

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This is a nice lace pattern and the yarn is an absolute dream to knit with. So I think this concludes my Christmas knitting 2016! Did you knit gifts for Christmas?

I have been working on other things as well such as the test knit socks for designer Dana Gervais and I’m about 75% done with the pair and then I have to finish sock number 2 of the test knit before that which I also did for her. Here are some pictures of the first sock.

 

It is a fun cable and lace pattern. Not complicated at all and as the patterning is only on the front it goes quite quickly. The yarn I’m using is from one of my favorite indie dyers called Knit Cosmic Strings and I’ll be telling you more about them in the beginning of 2017.

And just one more thing before I leave you today. If you watch knitting podcasts you are most likely aware of the Christmas Eve cast on that is hosted by Dani of Little Bobbins and joined this year by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. It is a tradition where you cast on for a pair of socks on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure if that means tonight, Dec 24th or tomorrow Dec 25th but as I celebrate Christmas tonight I’m going for a cast on tonight. I dyed up some yarn just for this, a little crazy variegated yarn and the pattern well I’m still debating. It might be Igneous which is a free pattern on Ravelry or the Simple Skyp sock which is also free on Ravelry. I think both patterns work well with variegated yarns. Will be joining in on the #Christmasevecaston ?

That’s all for today. I hope to be back next week to share some knitting news for 2017 because I already have plans and yarn wound up and ready to go, part of it at least. And some are kals that you might like to join in too.

That’s if for today. Thank you so much for spending your precious time with me today. I hope you enjoyed reading and looking at my pictures. I know I enjoyed sharing them with you. I wish you a very happy holiday with family and friends and most of all with your knitting 🙂

It’s all about socks

Hi there, how have you been? It’s been over 2 weeks since I last posted and it feel like forever. I had my mother and one of my nephews over from Iceland for a visit and that was such fun. I did work most of the time they were here but I still got some time with them every day of course so that was fun.

They were very lucky with the weather while they were here, we had sun and it actually even was a  little hot, around 17°C which is super warm for this time of year. Since they left however it has become abundantly clear that winter has come and is here to stay. We have had a lot of rain and chill in the air. But that’s ok, it’s winter after all.

Now I have been doing a lot of knitting and I have actually finished a lot of projects since the last time I posted, mostly socks. And I have also cast on a number of things. I always say that’s it, I’m not casting on anything new. I’m going to work through my pile of wips….but then I never do. I always see or hear of this new pattern and I can’t resist. I’m just hopeless so I guess what I should take from this is that I should never say “I’m not casting on anything new”! I’ll try to remember that.

Now on to show off my latest FOs. So some of those were already on the needles last time but are now finished.

First off are the Dragon’s Egg socks that I knit for my oldest. These are Harry Potter themed socks that were written for men so they are actually quite big even though I knit the smallest size. I also ended up playing a game of yarn chicken which I luckily won! But the thing was that the leg of the sock was so much longer than what I usually knit and I couldn’t really shorten it because of all the patterning. I think when I cast off, I had less than a meter left of yarn! Phew, that was a close call! Luckily my daughter loves her socks and that’s one more project off my Harry Potter knits.

The yarn is not my own and I have discussed that in earlier posts so if you are interested in that you can browse my latests posts for info on that.

I had also cast on for a pair of Halloween socks for my youngest using one of my own hand dyed yarns in a colorway that I dyed up specially for Halloween. I finished those in time for Halloween so that was fun. I knit them toe up, no special pattern just a regular vanilla sock.

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And then I cast on for a pair of socks for myself. I used yarn that I had gotten in this years Knitting in France Birthday Game. It was a DK weight yarn from Sirdar called Sirdar Snuggly baby bamboo. The content was 80% bamboo and 20% wool. I very rarely knit socks using DK yarn but this was fun as they were a quick knit. I had two 50gr balls, each had 95 meters/104 yards. As I’m not used to knitting socks in such a heavy yarn I was unsure if I’d have enough so I knit them toe up as that way I could just stop the cuff when I was about to be out of yarn and that worked out really nicely. Again no pattern really just from experience. I did knit a rib pattern on the leg, knit 3, purl 1 just for some added interest.

 

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Then I made a pair of fingerless mittens and clearly this was knit with Christmas in mind. I had dyed up some of my Merino Light yarn, that’s a 100% merino single ply yarn that is super soft and a joy to knit with. However as it’s single ply and no nylon content, it would not be a good choice for socks so I decided a pair of mittens would be ideal. I found a pattern for mittens online and then adapted that to what I wanted and here they are:

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And next to them you can see a mini mitten ornament. I actually stitched that first I think, or was it the other way around? I’m not sure any more but either way, one influenced the other. I think the mittens are fun and the mini mitten ornament as well. I’m thinking I’ll use it as a Christmas tree decoration.

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I bought a few of these mini wooden ornaments to stitch and I’m thinking I’ll make them into Christmas decorations.

The last project I’m going to share with you today is another pair of socks. Of course! But it’s not just ANY pair of socks! No, these are super special because they are knit using my own hand dyed yarn in a self striping color way! I dyed the yarn a while back and I only did 3 sets. Each set was made up of 2 50gr skeins so you could knit them two at a time. I kept one for myself, I gave one away in a giveaway and I think I sold the third. Anyway it had been sitting in my stash for a while and all of a sudden I thought I really should knit a pair of socks using that yarn and see how it would knit up. This yarn was a dyeing challenge for a number of reasons. First because I dyed two skeins rather than just one regular skein. This meant that I had to make sure that both skeins were exactly the same. Second because it was a self striping yarn and that means a lot more work than when dyeing any other kind of yarn. And I did not do all the stripes of the same length and I also had a number of colours rather than just to stripes of 2 or 3 colours. So a real challenge for me as a dyer.

I then decided to knit them using Susan B Andersons new sock pattern called the Smooth Operator Sock pattern which is especially designed for self striping yarns. It is basically a pattern for vanilla socks with an afterthought heel. Well, let me tell you that it worked out perfectly and I have been boasting about my success all over my social media! If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you are bound to have seen the pictures. But if you haven’t here they are and look how PERFECTLY my two socks match! I’m so proud of my dyeing!!!!

I really love the colorway and wish I had written down how I did this so I could repeat it. Unfortunately I did not so this truly is a one of a kind colorway. I still have enough left, I think, for a pair of shorty socks for my youngest. These by the way are for her also. I knit 60 stitches on 2.25mm needle.

The success on this colorway has inspired me to work with lots of colours and I want to try my hand at more self striping colorways for the shop and I have already begun dyeing some up and I have plans for more but I’ll tell you all about that in a later post as this is beginning to be on the longer side I feel.

So I think I’ll say goodbye for now. Thank you so much for stopping  by and spending some of your time with me and my knits. I hope you have enjoyed reading and looking at my pictures and that you will come back for more later on.

I wish you all a wonderful new week and I hope you have lots of time to work on your own knits. Take care 🙂

Happy Saturday :)

Hi, there today is Saturday and I hope you have the day off. I usually don’t work on weekends so my Saturdays are usually spent shopping for the week and doing house chores. I have finally finished all that boring stuff and finally got to sit down and RELAX! Ouff, that is good! So hopefully you are relaxing too.

Now, I have sent out the prizes to the two winners of my giveaway and I hope they will like my yarn. I have also sent the other participants in the giveaway their special discount code either via Revelry or by email so you should all have yours.

This week I got to think about Christmas presents and as this holiday season money might be tight, I decided I’d do some knitted gifts. I only knit for a small group of family and close friends that I know will enjoy and appreciate my hand knits. And so I’m thinking of doing hats and mittens for them.

I have cast on for the hat I’m going to give my father. I’m using a handspun yarn that I spun a while ago, in fact not long after I had begun spinning so it is not even but somewhat thick and thin but the color is masculin so I’m sure he’ll like that. Its a mix of black, brown and dark green and the yarn is super warm. I might even have enough to knit the mittens with the same yarn. It’s mostly a DK thickness so I’m knitting on size 4mm needles. The pattern I’m using is called the Boyfriend Set by Stephanie Boomsma. It is a free pattern on Revelry for a hat and a scarf but I think I’m not going to do the scarf.

I need to find nice patterns for feminine hats and mittens and I’m going to use some of my hand spun yarns for those as well. What about you? Are you planning on knitting a few gifts for Christmas? Is this something you do every Christmas or ?

It’s not always easy to knit for others, I feel mostly it is a size issue as they can’t try the item on while I’m working and so I’m always nervous about the fit. For example I’m knitting the Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig and I’m going to give that to my sister either for her Christmas or for her birthday in the new year. I’m almost done with the body (I’m on the ribbing) and I hope I’ve chosen the right size and that even though I made it longer than the pattern said, it will be ok. The pattern calls for a sort card but I want it to be longer but I was’t sure how much longer so I just added a few inches and hopefully that will be fine:)

Another thing I’ve been wondering about is doing a Christmas swap/giftalong. You know where a number of us would participate and each one would be assigned one giftee and so we would all buy one gift and send to someone and in return we would each receive one super fun knitting related Christmas gift. What do you think? Would you be interested in joining? I could organise and assign each one with one giftee and I could maybe prepare a little questionnaire where we explain what type of knitting we mostly do, what type of yarns we like and our favorite colors etc to help us choose the perfect gift for each other. I’d love to do this so if you are interested, please leave a comment below. I’d work on the idea some more if there is any interest and share on social media some more and then maybe beginning of November we would assign giftees and do the questionnaires and then send out the gifts beginning of December so they arrive before Christmas. Let me know what you think:)

Well that’s all for today. I’m feeling kind of tired so I’m going to do some knitting and watch something fun on my computer. Take care and have a wonderful weekend.