A little bit of this and that, some self pity an FO and some WIP

Hi there how are you today? I’m doing fine, really looking forward to the weekend! I feel I have a million things to do and never the time to do them so as my husband will be away this weekend I’m thinking I’ll be able to organise my time as I wish (mostly) and hopefully I’ll get a number of things off my to do list!

I’ve been doing some dyeing this week and sharing my pictures on Instagram and I’ve had quite a nice feedback from my followers but in spite of that I came within an inch of chucking everything!

It’s not always easy to hang onto a dream, especially when that dreams comes with a hefty price tag and is loooooooong on giving anything back financially speaking. And not having the support necessary to continue can push one over the brink! So or 2 days I thought about just giving it up, closing the shop and just maintain my knitting blog and just enjoy knitting and dyeing for myself. Ok I do have some leftover stock from the shop: yarns, needles and accessories that I would not know what to do with (well maybe I would just use them myself but I admit I do have way too many stitch markers and other small accessories to just use on my own) but maybe that would just be the solution. Just stop everything, take my losses and make the best of it. At least I tried, for 4 years!

But after 2 days of self pity and worry, I decided NO! This summer I decided that I was going to try until the end of 2015 and only then would I take a decision of whether or not I would continue. And so I’m going to stick with that decision and give it my EVERYTHING and more until December 31st 2015 and only then will I make up my mind!

Having taken that decision, I went ahead and ordered some more yarn to dye. I was hesitant to put out that much money but I’ve dyed up almost all the yarn I had left so if I really want to try I had to reinvest again/one last time!

This weekend I’m going to reskein and label the yarns I’ve prepped and I’m also going to take pictures and hopefully I’ll even get around to listing them for the reopening of the shop. I was going to launch my own independent ecommerce shop but finally I think I will put that on the back burner and only if I make it past December 31st will I make that investment. This means that my relaunch of the shop will not be as “big” as I had planned on but hopefully my clients will still like what they will see then!

Enough of wallowing! No more sad thoughts and self pity! On to something more fun.

Like I said above I’ve been doing some dyeing and here are some pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com   This is DK yarn in some bright and fun colors I think

www.knittinginfrance.com  My lace in the sparkle base yarn www.knittinginfrance.com Fingering weight in merino/nylon and I’m calling them Something about Scarlet and Something about Jade

www.knittinginfrance.com  This is fingering with stellina sparkle and I’m calling the pink one Something about CC (in honor of the fab CC Almon of JavaPurls and Geeky Girls Knit) and the other is Something about Teal.www.knittinginfrance.com Now this one I LOVE! I’m so happy how these two turned out! This is a sparkle base but this time with BRONZE stellina and a higher percentage, 10% bronze stellina. I’m calling the orange one Pumpkin Spice and the brown will be Pine. My daughter does not like them but I totally love the outcome so I’m keeping one of each and I’ve actually cast on and i’m swatching for a future cowl design. It will be a fall theme and fair isle. I’ll show you pictures when my swatch is done.

So that’s it for the moment yarn wise. Now on to my works in progress:

I just finished my first ever pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks that I knit in my merino/nylon base yarn

www.knittinginfrance.com These were actually a quick knit and I think they look nice. I love the super bright yellow which makes me think of summer.

www.knittinginfrance.com I’m continuing on my Irma mittens, it’s slow because I don’t have much time to do them. These I need some quiet and concentration to knit so I don’t bring this with me when watching tv at night. But you can now see the horse:)

www.knittinginfrance.com And this is the back side with some lovely flowers

www.knittinginfrance.com And I’m working on a hat design. I used the ribbing from the Irma mitten for the ribbing on the hat and I found a lace pattern in a stitch dictionary for the hat itself and now I need to do some math to figure out how best to organise the decreasing for the crown. I’m using a fingering weight hand dyed yarn by myself of couse. I’m really loving this designing now and I can see myself doing more of that in the future. Now I just really need some quiet time to actually write up the patterns and then have them test knitted.

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My Pebble Beach Shawl and more

Hi there,

Lately I’ve been mostly working on my shawls. I’m almost done with the Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. Her pattern for this shawl is in an original format, a bit like an excel sheet where you have the pattern written out in rows and each row is numbered from 1 and up and every so many rows you see the percentage of completion of the project. I find that quite fun for this project. Of course seeing the size I can imagine that I’m close to finishing but seeing the actual percentage of what I’ve done so far is a great new feature to a knitting pattern I think.

Here I was approximately at 70% done

www.knittinginfrance.com My yarn was gradient dyed in grey so you have light grey, darker grey and then really dark and to finish a bright fluo pink.

Unfortunately I did not have enough pink to finish my shawl so at 80% done I had to add a third color. So I had 60% grey, 20% pink and then I needed to find a new color for the last 20%. I had the same yarn but dyed in 2 different colors and I really was not quite sure which one was the right one so I went to my followers and friends on Instagram and Facebook and asked them to help me choose

www.knittinginfrance.com Their answers were almost unanimous: LIGHT GREY! So I listened and quickly wound the grey yarn into a ball and continued and I think that was the right choice. I’ve knit a few rows of the new light grey yarn now and I think its looking rather nice even though I was not originally planning on using this new color but hey, things happen:-)

www.knittinginfrance.com What do you think? Do you think these colors will work? I sure do! I’m at 85% now so hopefully I’ll finish in 2-3 days. At this stage in the pattern, the rows are super long so the last few rows take forever to finish.

I’m also working on my Beetlebum shawl by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. I haven’t been sufficiently consistent working on this so it is going slowly but surely never the less. I really love how the pattern works up, I like the wings on each side and  I feel this gives the shawl an original look. I’m super happy also with the yarn I chose. Its my hand dyed lace yarn, 50% xtra fine merino, 50% suri alpaca. It’s super soft and squishy. I’m really looking forward to finishing this and I can see myself wearing my Beetlebum shawl this summer in the evening.

www.knittinginfrance.com

And just before I say goodby for today, I couldn’t resist all my new Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock yarns so I ended up casting on for a pair of socks. I’m doing a 2 in 1 socks using the Lornas Laces in Rainbow colorway. So far it’s looking very good. I really love all the bright colors and how they are divided up on the skein and hand painted. The  socks will either be for me or for my daughter. We’ll see later on.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see the socks and I have “opened them up” so you can see both socks. Looking good don’t you think?

Well, that’s all for now. Take care and enjoy your summer and hopefully you have some quality time to enjoy your crafting every day:)

Works in progress and FOs as well as a just discovered technique for color knitting

Hi there, I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Sunday. Yesterday the weather was really nice and I went to the beach for a couple of hours late afternoon but as I went with non knitting friends, I didn’t get any knitting done:) Today is a different story as the weather is not very nice and I’m alone with just 2 kids so this afternoon I’m planning on a relaxing afternoon full of knitting and spinning:) Not to mention some podcast watching because I’m 2 episodes behind on the Geeky Girls Knit podcast so a fun afternoon coming up for me:)

But first I decided to give you some news and share some pictures and ideas with you.

First off are the FOs

www.knittinginfrance.com I finished 3 pairs of tube socks and I really like this way of sock knitting for kids. Also when you like color, it’s a great stash busting technique and you can do like I did, make magic balls from your scraps or mini skeins of hand dyed yarns and voila:)

I also finished a pair of “regular” socks

www.knittinginfrance.com The pattern is Melisandre by Purrlescent and this is a free pattern on Ravelry. The yarn I used is Knitcircus gradient yarn in “Fig & Prosciutto”. And I’m blocking them on my Crazy Monkey Creations sock blockers. And you can see the 2 balls of yarn I’ve got left over. I knit for a size 41 (european shoe size) and I still have all this yarn left which is great for my hexapuf project and my future tube socks or other scrap projects I’m sure I’ll come up with.

As soon as I finished my Melisandre socks I cast on for a new project and I decided upon the Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of CuriousHandmade. The pattern comes in 3 sizes and I’m doing the Large. I’m not using the yarn called for – this should be knit either with lace weight yarn or with fingering but I chose a DK weight. It’s my own hand dyed yarn in Cash’merino DK. And so far so good, I hope it will work out ok even though I’m not following instructions with regards to the yarn weight.

www.knittinginfrance.com As you can see I’m not far along, approx. 11- 12% (the pattern gives you the percentage knitted every X rows)

My next cast on should be the Outlander socks by CC Almond but….. This morning browsing the internet I came upon this new technique called Helix knitting and now all I can think of is to knit something using that technique and I already know what and I have the yarn ready and all!

So for those of you that are not familiar with Helix knitting, it’s a technique for knitting stripes without ever having to deal with a jog in your colors. In fact you’re not really knitting “straight” stripes but they actually “spiral” around. So this is a technique that only works when knitting in the round and I think this can be fabulous for knitting socks and hats and maybe mitts as well.

You can knit using 2 or more colors and the number of stitches you cast on has to be divisible by the number of colors you are going to use. As I’m thinking of doing another pair of either tube or after thought socks I’m thinking of casting on 60 stitches which brings me to either 3 colors (20 stitches each) or 5 colors (6 stitches each). I’m thinking that changing colors every 6 stitches might be tiresome but at the same time, 5 color stripes must be so much more fun than 3 don’t you think? I have to take a look at my mini skeins and give this a good thinking.

I found a video on Youtube where this technique is shown and explained in a very good way – there are other videos of course but I found this one to be the clearest in my opinion. So if you too want to learn a new color knitting technique then you should definitely take a look at this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMvRafcvTvM

That’s all for today. I’ll be back next week with lots of more fun stuff to share. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and an even better week ahead of you:)

 

 

The place to “go” if you like knitting with color

Hi there, it’s been a few days since my last post. Working full time, caring for a family of 5 while entertaining guests staying for 2 weeks seems to be taking up all of my time! So not necessarily much time for writing or knitting these days although I do have a head full of ideas and future projects I want to make.

A while ago I promised I’d tell you about this new thing I discovered while reading online. I’ve been very into colorful knits lately and I’m currently working on a pair of tube socks that were originally meant for my niece and have now been claimed by my daughter. And I’ve prepared 2 sets of mini skeins that I’d like to also knit up into some colorful socks.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here are my tube socks in progress

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Here are my future color work sets. Not sure how, when or what I’ll make but I’m already looking forward to getting started.

Next time I’d like to knit some patterning – maybe make up my own fair isle pattern and I’ve found just the right place to create my pattern. I was reading a knitting magazine on my ipad and I came across this article about color patterns. I believe it was in a Vogue Knitting magazine.

The article talked about a knitter who invented a program to make color charts for knitting. I found the idea brilliant and immediately saw myself knitting tons of fair isle socks, mittens and hats. Of course I haven’t cast on for any, just yet, but I’m going to for sure! So I’m sure some of you are interested in this as well.

The name behind the website/program is The Tricksy Knitter and that is Megan Goodacre and Charles Jaimet who helps with the tech stuff. The website where you can find charts made by Megan herself, others who have used the chart maker and most importantly where you can create your own charts is: Tricksy Knitter

You can choose from a number of colors and add your own or change the existing ones. This allows you to visualize a pattern for  a future design of yours and you can choose to either make this a private chart or a chart that you share with other members of the website. To use the chartmaker you need to sign up for the website which is free by the way.

I think this is something we should all bookmark for future use because knitting with color is so fun and if the pattern/chart is ours, then it is even more fun!

That’s all for today folks. Next time, I’ll be showing you what I found when I did a bit of stash diving in the basement and share with you ideas for future projects to come.

Until then, have a wonderful week filled with lots of quality crafting time:)