The Mara Sweater

Hi there, how are you ? All melted away with the recent heatwave maybe? I hope not!

We had a few days of seriously hot weather here in Normandy which is not my favorite as I really don’t enjoy much heat. Also knitting in 30C+ is not the best, think clammy hands and sweat! Not a nice picture;

Luckily the weather has cooled down some and so I’m feeling better and knitting like crazy.

But before I can show you what I’m currently knitting on I have to show you my latest secret test knit.

This was a pattern by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. This was a top down sweater with what looks like an all over colorwork but is in fact a slipped stitch pattern and so very easy to do and no tension issues as there sometimes are with fair isle/stranded knitting.

The pattern calls for a slightly cropped sweater with 3/4 sleeves but you can easily knit to your liking and have a full length sweater and either full length or even short sleeves.

As you decrease on the sleeves you end up not being able to keep the patterning all around

I so loved this particular pattern that I actually knit two sweaters! And I finished both before the deadline for the test knit. Though I admit I still have not weaved in the ends of the second version just yet. But it is all ready for me to finish for good.

So I chose to use a wonderful UK yarn which I have used before as I took part in other test knits for other designers. I chose yarn from Cambrian Wool in the UK. I chose their 4 ply yarn and chose too very contrasting colors, Arian and Welsh red – that is a very pale grey and a rust red.

The prototype uses a main color and a gradient set as contrast colors but I felt like just using solid colors and limiting them to just two.

The stitch pattern is very addictive and I feel the sweater was easy to knit and the pattern well written.

The only issue or point where you have to be careful is where you split for the sleeves. As there are short rows on the neck, if you miscalculate your sweater will look wonky.

I admit that I made a mistake on my primary sweater and so once I had finished it, I ripped back the neck ribbing and short rows and reknit them.

I chose to knit 3/4 sleeves on this version and I quite like that.

Here are more pictures of me wearing the sweater

Then there was the second version. For that one I wanted to see how the garment would look if I only did the slipped stitch pattern on the yoke. I also chose a different combination of yarns. I chose Holst Garn Tides which is a wool and silk blend and I knit this held double with a thread of a lace weight sequinned mohair. I then used Nateby yarn from Eden Cottage yarn for the colorwork as contrast color.

See how the sequins sparkle?

This version turned out very different from the other. Because of the completely different yarns, this version turned out looser, less form fitting on the body. Also the sleeves are wider though I secretly suspect I may have made some mistake there and maybe knit on too many stitches. But it’s ok, it is still wearable.

I also chose to do 3/4 sleeves as this version is also quite warm so full length sleeves might be too much.

So I yet have to finish weaving in the ends and have pictures taken of me wearing the sweater. I will do later this summer.

You can check out my pattern page on Ravelry here https://www.ravelry.com/projects/bogga/miara-sweater

If you feel like knitting a garment and you like the colorwork look then this just might be the project for you 🙂

That’s all for today. I hope you are doing good and enjoying your summer so far. I will be back later to show you my latest socks, Olive Leaf cardigan and summer tee not to mention my next cast on which will be the Navelli by Kaitlyn Hunter.

So until next time, Happy Knitting!

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More sock knitting

Hi there, how are you? Once again I have let life get in the way of my blogging! I don’t know why I find blogging on a regular basis is a challenge these days. I need to work on that some.

So since I last posted I have been working mostly on socks. I made it to round 4 of Sock Madness as I believe I told you last time. And I have now finished that round and qualified for round 5. Things are getting really serious now as only 10 of the quickest knitters in each team qualified for this upcoming round and if I want to make it to round 6 I have to be among the quickest 5 to finish! As we are getting closer to the end of the competition, only the quickest knitters are left so I have some serious doubts about making it on to round 6. I’m hoping the pattern will arrive on a weekday; early morning or beginning of the afternoon. I get most of my knitting done during the work week as we stay home at night and so where as on weekends I loose time doing chores and grocery shopping, homework supervision etc and so often end up having less time than I would like to knit on weekends.

Of the 5 knitters that will make it to round 6 only 1 yes that’s right ONE will qualify for round 7. For some stroke of miracle I was one of those knitters 4 years ago but I don’t think I am this year. I think I will be fine if I’m disqualified this round even though the competitor in me really wants to make it to round 6.

Now the pattern for this last round was a fun one including cables and lace knitting and it was a fairly easy one after a while. I did have some comprehension issues to begin with but there is a questions thread on Ravelry with moderators, the designer herself and of course other knitters so each time I was able to find answers rather quickly. And once in the rhythm of things the pattern became intuitive.

This time around I made them in my younger daughter’s size but she is a 36/37 EU. And I used a new to me commercial sock yarn from HOBBII.

The Cannon socks from Sock Madness 13 round 4

I really like the toe not being all stockinette but having a little sort of ribbing to it. The lace pattern moves around the leg so it is not easy to work using stitch markers and I think, virtually impossible to knit taat.

Now on to the yarn. This is a wool and nylon blend, 75/25 in fingering weight and comes in 50 gr balls. I used one ball per sock as I did not want to join yarns part way through sock 2. But when I had finished my pair, I had a total of 33 gr left over which is quite a lot.

The yarn itself is soft to the touch and nice to knit with and I look forward to seeing how it will evolve with use. So far so good. And the best part is the price point. This yarn is very cheap! I purchased this directly from their website where they offer all sorts of yarns https://hobbii.com/

This is their Happy Feet yarn which I used for the first time. I have knit a pair using their Happy Feet XL before and they are nice though they have felted slightly with wear.

I’m not sure what yarn I will use for next round. It might be a one colour pattern but it might also be colourwork using two colours so I’ll just have to see when the pattern arrives. I have a bag of possible options all ready for cast on.

I also had a sock test knit for a publication but for the first time I really did not enjoy the pattern and so asked to quit the test as I was just not feeling it and having the hardest time to pick it up. Once I told them I was not going to finish; I immediately ripped back the almost finished sock one! That felt good though I am somewhat perplexed about this situation.

Another sock pattern I test knit has now been published on Ravelry and that was a fun pattern I enjoyed. I only had to knit one sock to finish the test so I still have to knit the second sock and will do so once I have finished Sock Madness.

That sock pattern is by Jo of KBG Designs and is called the Hidden Diamonds socks. The stitch pattern is easily memorised and fun to knit. This time I knit size small as these will be a gift. I chose to knit using my own hand dyed sock yarn in a fun orange colour. I think this pattern works best with a somewhat solid colour to really show off the stitch pattern. My yarn was not solid but not too crazy either and so I feel the pattern worked well here.

Hidden Diamonds sock

As for other knitting, I’m coming close to finishing my second Modernist by Renee of East London Knits.

This one is for a friend of my older daughter and she wants the exact same as the one I test knit and my daughter kept. So I’m knitting the same size using the same exact yarn, colour and all!

As I was looking for pictures to share I realise that I actually did not blog about this project before! So here goes.

I test knit this oversized cardigan for Renee a while ago. It is a fingering weight design and the shape is a little unusual at least for me as it is a cropped and oversized cardigan.

The construction is also unusual making the knitting all the more fun. I chose to use Holst Garn Supersoft in Marine blue, dark blue and I really like the outcome. There is an option for adding button holes but in both my versions I chose not to have buttons. My daughter wears her’s all the time and I’m hoping her friend will like hers as much too.

At the moment I am just 20 rounds of cuff from finishing the garment so I’m hoping that will be done tomorrow and then I have the weekend for finishing and blocking so she can have her cardigan next Monday.

And speaking of Renee Callahan of East London Knits, I have just started a new secret test knit for her. That is a top down sweater with some colourwork and I am having some issues finding the correct yarns for my version so I think I might actually end up knitting two versions. I have done part of the yoke in one combo and yesterday I started the yoke in another yarn combo. Im planning on knitting a bit to see how the pattern looks in each combo and then decide what I do. The deadline is short so I might finish just one in time for that and then knit the second one later. Who knows.

Well that’s it for today folks. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to follow my knitting as always. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week ahead of you with plenty of knitting and good, summery weather on top.

Happy knitting

Knitting Fair Isle

Hi there, thank you for coming back and sharing some of your time with me this weekend. Today I wanted to share with you two projects that I’m currently working on and those are both colourwork projects.

The first one is an Aran weight cowl called the Boreal Forest cowl by designer RenĂ©e Callahan of East London Knits. This pattern is part of the Knitvent collection by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. Helen releases a collection of accessories every year leading up to Christmas where subscribers get one pattern a week for 6 weeks and this year for the first time she has invited a second designer to participate in her collection. I’m a fan of RenĂ©e’s work and so when I saw the pattern I knew I had to find the yarn and cast on.

I’m of course using my own Aran weight yarn. I had these all dyed up so that was good. I did hesitate to use hand spun for one of the colours but finally decided against it because I didn’t have the exact same thickness on hand.

This pattern uses the fair isle technique, two colours per round and it is a great pattern to work fair isle for the first time. I finished this in no time.

boreal-forest

This pattern uses 3 colours and because of the thickness of the yarn this knits up quite quickly. I’m working on my fair isle technique and trying to knit this with one yarn in each hand and I feel I’m getting better at that, slowly but surely. I think that if you are not used to colour work but want to try it, this would be a good pattern to start out with. The pattern is fairly simple and because it’s knit in Aran weight it knits up quicker than if it were fingering for example.

The other colour work pattern I’m working on are the O.W.L  mittens, a Harry Potter inspired pattern that I’m knitting for my older daughter. This is a much more complicated pattern because the pattern is more complex and cannot be memorised (I think). Also it’s knit in fingering weight so progress is slow. Again I’m using my own yarn in colours my daughter chose. This project requires concentration and at the moment I feel that each round takes a lot of time. Maybe because I’m so worried that I’m holding the yarn too tight and that the fabric will pucker. So I’m stopping frequently to pull on the knit and make sure that my floats are just right. I’ve almost been 

finished one mitten.

The back of the hand has an all over owls on a branch pattern and the palm side has spells written out. I’ve just put the thumb stitches on hold.

This project leads me to tell you about one of the podcasts that I follow and enjoy immensely. It’s a podcast called Fruity Knitting and you can find it on YouTube. If you are not familiar with this podcast I recommend it wholeheartedly. It is hosted by a lovely Australian couple living in Frankfurt, Germany. Andrea, the wife, is an expert knitter with a passion for fair isle and intarsia. Andrew, the husband, is a new knitter who is consistently expanding his skills. It is very fun to see sort of the two extremes in the same podcast. It is fun to see how Andrew progresses and his view of things as a new knitter and Andrea is just an amazing inspiration. She knits such intricate things. Their podcast is unlike any other that I follow and I think theirs is the most educational one. So if you are not yet a subscriber to their show, I highly recommend you check them out.

In their latest episode, Andrea does a tutorial on fair isle knitting in the flat and how she works with one yarn in each hand and how she catches her floats was a revelation to me. I just watched it once and I’m going to watch it again because her technique is awesome and she makes it look super simple. If I’m able to replicate her way of knitting fair isle my two fair isle projects will not only look better but be even more enjoyable to knit I think. If you are thinking of doing a fair isle project and like me, are not an expert, you can definitely benefit from watching Andrea’s tutorial so here is a link

 https://youtu.be/k1eo0VjO_Ik?t=20m14s

Do you knit fair isle or intarsia? I have knit fair isle before but I have never done intarsia and that still intimidates me. Andrea does make it look easy but I’m not yet convinced. If you have any colour work projects you’d like to share with me, I’d love to see a picture in a comment below:)

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your knitting 🙂

 

Some progress, a new pattern and a GIVEAWAY

Hi there, I hope you are doing fine and looking forward to your week. I’m super happy because I just received a great email announcing that I had WON a knitting pattern! I never win anything so this is a wonderful surprise and just goes to show that even though, like me, you usually never win anything, well you just might! So keep that in mind when you read about this weeks giveaway later in my post 🙂

So on  progress, well I finished one pair of socks for the #knitfromstash 2016 kal that I’m doing with the Addicted to Sock Knitting group on Facebook. I knit a pair of socks for a cousin of mine so this time I made LARGE socks. Luckily the pattern was fun to knit and went quicker than I thought.

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The yarn I used was Opal 4ply and the pattern is called Pineaux and is by Heatherly Walker. My socks are shown on the pattern page which is super nice:)

I’m also working on my Mkal socks. One is done, that is all the clues have been published and I just finished sock nr 1 for that last night. I’m not a huge fan but since I went this far, I’m going to cast on for the second one.

A230DDA8-F45E-4F48-AEFC-E14C2640DE5FHere is a link to the pattern which is now for sale as the kal is over. Its a mix of texture with knits and purls. The yarn is mine. I did have problems carrying the yarn between sections so in some places there are ugly floats along the side. I’ll try and do better on the second sock. I knit these using my Neko needles in 2,50 mm. I only changed the toe and used my own “regular” toe.

The other sock kal from Through the Loops will finish this week. I need to start on clue ” and 4 before clue 5 is published this Friday. I’ve made no progress on these since last week so no pics here.

I also cast on for a new pattern this week. It’s the Brioche Twister by RenĂ©e Callahan of East London Knits using my hand dyed Cashmerino DK.

The pictures were taken at different times as you can see – one  shows more progress than the other. You can see how different the scarf looks depending on which side you are looking at.

The Cashmerino DK is just super soft and will make this a yummie scarf and the pattern is fun. It is my first ever two color brioche and I admit that I did frog this about 3 times in the beginning but now I’ve got the hang of things and it will progress quickly I think. Just need some time to work on it:)

And since I just won a new pattern well I’ll be casting on for a new sweater very soon! I joined in a little contest I found on Instagram and I was the lucky winner! The pattern is called KITSUNE and the designer is Amanita Agata Mackiewicz.  This is a bottom up, seamless, aran weight sweater. I just got some undyed aran weight yarn last week so now I just need to dye some yarn for myself and I’ll be ready to go.

kitsuneThis is a picture taken from the pattern page. Looks gorgeous don’t you think?

So lots of fun in sight for me here:) A big big thank you to Amanita for her pattern!

And now it is time for the giveaway! It’s more than time. I have a few giveaways ready and I was planning on doing one in January but somehow time just ran away from me so maybe I’ll end up doing 2 in February in stead. I’ll see. Anyway today is a big one!

The sponsor for this week’s giveaway is a company called BURNING IMPRESSIONS II and they have a shop on Etsy that you can visit here

Burning Impressions II is a husband and wife enterprise and they produce hand made, wood carved, laser burned knitting accessories such as mitten and sock blockers, soxyzz ( for sizing your socks), needle gauges etc.

Since last December, this is their full time gig and only source of income and I highly recommend you take a look at their shop and the beautiful items they produce.

I recently purchased some of their items and as we were chatting online following that purchase the idea for this giveaway was born. Megan and Dan very generously gave me a number of items to giveaway and this week I’ll be giving away 2-3 prices depending on participation and the rest will be for a later game/giveaway.

The prizes for this week are:

The 1st prize is a Soxyzz  and here is their description from their Etsy shop:

This handy gadget idea was born from constantly having to look for shoe sizing charts every time I wanted to make socks for someone else! With the Soxyzz, all you have to do is get your person to stand on the ruler, and voila! You have their size!! Or, if they’re not right there handy, you can easily look up their shoe size on the Soxyzz and get the correct measurements.

This Soxyzz has CM measurements on one side and IN on the other. It is super handy when knitting socks as you can easily measure your progress and what I find genious also is that if you are knitting for someone else, you can measure their foot by having them simply stand on the Soxyzz and  that way you will easily be able to knit a perfectly fitting sock for them. So this is a wonderful prize to win.

knitting in france burning impressions kit

The 2nd and possibly 3rd prizes are a set of  this super handy combo which works as a needle gauge, a wraps per inch (for your yarns and yarn substitutions) and a reminder/tutorial for kitchener stitch. So a super useful set to keep in your knitting bag at all times. And to make this extra special, Megan added my shops name to it!!! I just loved that special attention! Thank you soooo much Megan.

Now that you have seen the prizes you are probably eager to learn how to join in and have a chance of winning one of these gorgeous prizes. It’s very simple:

You have until Friday 12th of February to participate and the winners will be announced on Saturday February 13th.

To join you have to go to the Burning Impressions II Etsy shop by clicking here and have a look at what they make. Then come back here and leave a comment to let me know what it is that you like most about their shop and/or what item you could see yourself buying from them. That’s all! Super simple and fun and remember, I just won a sweater pattern today so EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! You just have to participate.

That’s it for today. Best of luck and I’ll be back soon:)

Not much happening these days

Hi there, how are you doing today? I’m feeling a little unmotivated these days. Like I don’t have the energy to continue and yet I have baskets full of recently dyed yarn that I should be putting up in the shop. I also have loads of stitch markers just waiting to be matched up and packaged. Strange how one sometimes just looses one’s “mojo” and even if you (or should I say “I”) just find yourself procrastinating – looking at all the different things that need to be done and yet be unable to actually DO something!

GRR that is sooooo annoying! But this is how I’m feeling these days and yet I have a head full of ideas for the shop! Cross my fingers and toes and hope I’ll get myself out of this state of “inactivity” ASAP.

Enough about me and my lack of energy! I have actually done some knitting:

I finished my Yowza Weight It shawl by Susan B Anderson. I used my Yowza yarn from Miss Babs. The yarn was very enjoyable to knit; it is soft to the touch and I really love the colours. As for the pattern, it is a super easy pattern – a very relaxing knit. I admit that it was so relaxing that I actually made a mistake! And that is an achievement in itself seeing as how this pattern is ultra simple. One is supposed to knit until you have 85 gr left and then you begin a sort of frill and then knit on until only 26 gr are left. Well I actually knit right on and when I went ahead to weigh my yarn I only had 25 gr left! Oups! I didn’t feel like ripping back so I decided to knit a few more rows and then I cast of using an icord. And I’m very happy with the results, I’m actually wearing the shawl as I’m writing this.

 

This is a crescent shaped shawl  and super soft and warm.

Today in the mail I received a new book which I think will be most interesting. It’s called Exploring Shawl Shapes – 27 mini shawls to knit by Elizabeth Lovick.

If you are not familiar with this book it is like a compendium on shawl knitting. It explores different shapes and traditions in shawl knitting and for each one there is a miniature version for one to knit. Knitting mini shawls I think will be both fun and enlightening and might even inspire me to make up a shawl pattern of my own. I’m going to read this book carefully and knit a few samples. I keep thinking that knitting a mini shawl in lace weight yarn will be soooo cute!

On another subject, I just joined my friend RenĂ©e Callahan’s newsletter. RenĂ©e is the designer behind East London Knits. I first met RenĂ©e at the Unwind Brighton show and then again in 2014 at the I Knit Fandango in London and I’m a fan of her designs. She just launched a newsletter in relation with her blog and design work and at the moment she is offering subscribers to her newsletter a free pattern. This pattern is a two coloured brioche scarf called Brioche Twister.

Brioche_twister_hero_web_small2

 

Gorgeous don’t you think ? (both RenĂ©e and her scarf). So I of course needed to dye up some yarn to knit this and I really like how her scarf looks so I was inspired by her colour choice.  And so I dyed up some of my Cash’Merino DK; one in dark grey and another one in red and I think these will be just perfect.

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Here the yarns are in the dye pot but still you can see the colours together. So I look forward to knitting this soon.

I also started on my February #Knitfromstash2016. This is a year long sock kal with designer Heatherly Walker. This month she has treated us to 2 sock patterns and I’m going to knit both. The one I cast on first will be for a cousin of mine and the second will be for his mother, my aunt.

I have finished the first sock for my cousin and I think I’ll finish his pair before casting on for her pair. Even if he has big feet the sock went quite quickly so that is good. The patterning is easily memorisable. I had chosen a lovely self patterning variegated yarn I bought in Iceland. It is a black and grey yarn but as soon as  I cast on, I saw that the yarn was not suitable because it was too fuzzy, too hairy. So I changed and cast on using Opal 4ply sock yarn in a dark blue colour.

I’m also continuing knitting on my 2 other pairs of MKal socks and the MKal mittens although that one has now published all 5 clues and after seeing the final design I admit that I’m no crazy about the design so I’m actually pondering wether or not I will finish the mittens or just stop where I’m now.

I’m also knitting on 2 shawls, 1 pullover, 1 cardigan and I have a third shawl that just needs a bind off- a Russian beaded bind off but still just a bind off!

I need to get serious now and make some progress on all those before I cast on for my brioche scarf.

Well, that’s all for now. Thank you for stopping by and sharing a moment with me. Next time I’ll introduce you to a small company that produces knitting accessories and there will be some absolutely gorgeous prices to win!

Until then, take care and enjoy your week.

New projects and SEWING as in actually using a sewing machine

Hi there, today I have two new projects to share with you, that is two new knitting projects plus one SEWING project. Yes sewing. I don’t know how you feel about that but it seems to me that sewing might be on its way to become the new “black” in knitting. It’s as if every knitting podcaster out there was also a seamstress and sewing away like crazy. So this prompted me to want to give that a try too.

I did learn sewing in school when I was a child but I never got the hang of it. I remember lots of frustration and anger battling with a sewing machine and just not ever understanding or enjoying it. But hey that was like 35 years ago! (Gosh! that makes me sound super old).

So anyway, I went online and searched for sewing classes in my neighbourhood and low and behold, there is this lady in my own town who does classes. And so I signed up for 2 classes, just to try. Those are individual classes so I get her attention all the time. I really wanted to understand more about sewing and what goes into it and to use a machine again. I chose a project and bought some fabric.

And last Saturday was my very first lesson and I chose to make a project bag -of course! So I showed her some of mine and we then made up our own pattern (I actually designed a project bag pattern!!!!!!). She explained a lot about fabric and pattern making and so forth and then she showed me how to work a modern, electronic sewing machine which is actually lightyears away from the sewing machines of my youth! Thank goodness! And in this first lesson I then designed my pattern, cut out the fabric pieces and sewed on the zipper! Next Saturday is my second lesson and then I will finish my project bag! I’m super excited about that. The fabric I chose is a Christmas fabric so I’ll be using the bag immediately and it is sure to put me in the Holiday spirit.

Here’s a picture of my project bag – here it is open flat with the zipper in the middle

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I don’t know if I’ll become hooked on sewing but it was fun and it definitely makes me dream about sewing up a gazillion project bags and maybe even selling them.

Now on to knitting. So I’ve cast on for yet another new project.  My older daughter asked for a chunky, oversized sweater and so I let her browse Ravelry and she found a pattern she liked from Dropsdesign. The model is just called Drops 60-21 and it is a simple oversized sweater in broken fishermans rib. It is knit in pieces, that is back, front, sleeves and then everything has to be sewn together in the end. It’s been super long since I knit something like that so it’s a nice change for me. I bought the exact yarn the pattern was written for, Drops Lima which is a merino and alpaca blend at an incredibly low price which makes the sweater only cost 25Euros which is amazing.

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Here you can see a closeup of the patterning. I’m not very far yet but I think it will be nice.

I also cast on for a new shawl. I recently bought the KLEE Collection by RenĂ©e Callahan of East London Knits and just discovered that she is doing a KAL and there will be prizes and even thought  I never win anything it does make me dream so I decided to join in the fun. I’m going to knit the Angelus Novus shawl which is knit using a DK weight yarn, so quite a heavy shawl, perfect for winter. I’m using hand dyed yarn by myself, it’s a roving style alpaca yarn so lots of lovely halo and some fuzziness and  mostly just super warm and soft to the touch. I’m not very far into it because I’m trying to be serious and finish my Christmas gifts first but every now and then I sneak in a few rows.

I met Renée first when I participated in the Unwind Brighton yarn show and I really love her designs and then she is just such a nice person. I like to think that buying her patterns and sharing her work might just help her a little bit on her way to knitting stardom. So I do encourage you to check out her blog (link above) and her Ravelry pattern store for some inspiration.

That’s all for today. Take care and enjoy your knitting until next time 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On and off the needles and some organisational thoughts

Hi there, today is a very rainy morning here in Normandy, France. Feels like autumn is only just around the corner. This summer has been a strange summer with more clouded and rainy days than real summer days which was quite disappointing. Now September is just a few days away, School will start in just over a week and things will rapidly be going back to the usual routine. Summer vacation with the kids at home 24/7 for 2 months when I work full time just like my husband and only get 2 weeks off, well it is partly stressing because working from home with kids in the house is not always easy and then partly cool because I can sleep a little later in the day (yes I do like sleep in a little bit). When school starts I will be getting up early and I know I will more done!

I’ve shared with you before that I was planning on big changes in the shop and as of yesterday I’ve put the shop in “vacation mode”. So currently it is not possible to place any orders. I don’t know exactly for how long it will remain closed, it depends on how much work I can get done each day and also, I have a work trip coming up late September so maybe I will wait until that is over and done with to open rather than open for a few days and the either close or  just not ship anything for 10 days. Not sure just yet but I’ll keep you posted on how things go.

I’ve ordered a planner! My very first planner! I’m anxiously waiting for it to arrive and I have high hopes that it will help me organise myself better and get more things done. Writing down what needs to be done, planning a certain number of tasks that must be done in a certain time frame will help me keep focused and the pleasure of then actually crossing that task off in my planner will be a high! There are a number of planners out there and they all look good and most of them super cute as well. I chose the one called Passion Planner because I felt it would be the best for me. They have a free version of the weekly planner layout in pdf form that you can download if you want to give it a go before committing to buying one.

So although the thought of autumn weather and more rain and cold is not very exciting I am really looking forward to having more time to myself ( with the kids at school) and getting ORGANIZED. And mostly rethinking my shop and giving it all that I’ve got and more in a last ditch effort to actually make it financially viable. So fingers crossed and willing to take on lots of work and challenges, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!!!

Now, enough of non knitting related babble! On the more serious and entertaining subject of knitting!

So like I told you last week, I did manage to knit in Sicily albeit the high temperatures! And it just made me love beach knitting even more. Here in Normandy I love knitting at the beach, usually it is not super hot and even if I have to wear a fleece pullover that’s fine with me. If the sky is blue, the sun is shining and I’m in the sand facing the ocean with some knitting in hand, that works for me! Of course in winter I don’t do any knitting at the beach as the weather is not appealing for outdoors knitting but I do all the more inside:)

So in Sicily I had 2 projects that I had already cast on for the trip and  I brought an extra ball of yarn just in case I finished an object and I did so good thinking there!

The first project was a pair of tube socks for a little friend of mine. I used some of my hand dyed sparkle sock yarn and as I did not have her at hand for testing and measuring I decided the only way to go was tube socks. I also decided that I would knit these using the 2 in 1 method that I’ve come to like so much. And that got me thinking. I’d love to write the pattern for these socks using the 2 in 1 method and even try my hand at making some YouTube videos to show how I do it because this is a method that is unlike any other sock knitting method and I believe it is important for knitters to see how it is done and read the instructions and most of all to actually knit a pair of test socks. So hopefully I will actually put this project on my future Passion Planner and get it done! The socks worked out perfectly and the little girl loved her socks so that was a very successful knit.

www.knittinginfrance.com

The second project I had planned for was the Mara Light shawl by Amy Hendrix using Madelinetosh light yarn. I actually bought this as a kit on Craftsy. The kit came with 2 skeins but the pattern actually calls for 1 1/2 – at least that is what it took for me to knit to the size called for in the pattern so I have 1/2 a skein left of this gorgeous yarn. I didn’t finish in Sicily but just after getting back home. I still need to wash and block. The pattern is ĂĽber simple, just garter stitch and 2×2 ribbing. This makes for some good airplane knitting, tv knitting or beach knitting. In the end, I did look forward to casting off as there is not much going on but I think that is just because it is a big project which doesn’t require much thought and I’m usually doing smaller things so maybe my attention span has been spoiled:)

www.knittinginfrance.com It doesn’t look like much like this but once washed and blocked it will be gorgeous. It is the perfect size to use as a wrap around this winter and I think I will gift this to someone in my family for Christmas.

Then there was my SOS ball of yarn! It was a ball of Lorna’s Laces Shepherds socks but believe it or not, I’ve lost the ball band so I don’t have the name of the colorway. It is beautiful though as all Lorna’s Laces yarns. Its soft blues, purples, tans and a tiny pink maybe. So first I was going to knit a second pair of tube socks, I cast on, knit a few inches and then discovered I had done THE mistake, that is mixed up my yarns and my socks were no longer 2 individual socks but siamese twins! That got me upset and I frogged what I had done and decided I’d do something else and as I had just recently purchased a book called Custom Socks by Kate Atherly I decided to make my own pattern. After all my very first sock pattern worked out quite nice so I thought a second one would be great fun! And off I went. I planned out my pattern, chose a stitch pattern and cast on.

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

I really love the way they look and although I have not been through all the sock patterns you can find on Ravelry I’m confident they have something unique. So I’m now going to write up the pattern and knit a second pair using my own yarn. I also need to think of a name for the pattern and that is something I don’t find easy so if you have any ideas, do share them with me.

I’m planning on doing a test knit of my two sock patterns in September so if you want to do a test knit, leave me a comment below. I’ve never organised a test knit but I’ve read up on the matter and I here’s how I think I’ll organise this. Each test knitter would get a copy of the pattern and is then free to choose a yarn to knit with as long as she gets gauge. If the test knitter wants to knit using my yarn they would be offered -20% off retail price. You would get 4 weeks to complete the pair. I would open a thread on Ravelry for the test knits for all involved to post progress pictures and ask questions or post remarks. Once the test knit phase is over and the pattern has been corrected if needed and polished up, each test knitter would then receive a pdf copy of the final pattern.

And if you don’t remember what my first sock pattern looked like, here’s a picture

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Coral Reef socks

So those are all OFF the needles. So ON the needles I’m mostly working on 2 projects. One is a pair of worsted weight socks, my pattern and my yarn, for my sister. This is super simple but I still might just write the pattern up and offer for free with any yarn purchase in the same weight category. I’ll see about that. And I’m doing a second shawl, this one also bought as a kit from Craftsy. It is Drachenfels by Melanie Berg and I’m almost up to the striped portion

www.knittinginfrance.com So far it looks nice and I’m sure the finished shaw will be very nice. I’ve already decided I’m going to gift this to someone in my family for Christmas. The yarn is from the Brown Sheep Company.

And just before I leave for today, I’m not sure I showed you a picture yet but I finished my Beetlebum shawl by RenĂ©e Callahan of East London Knits a while back now and I’m ashamed to say that I have yet to wash and block it! But here’s a picture just as proof that it is done although sadly it’s beauty is not really shown in the unblocked shawl.

www.knittinginfrance.com Even though unblocked you get the picture of the pattern and how it is worked and you can just imagine how gorgeous it will look once blocked. The yarn is my own, lace weight and super soft. This is a real stunner!

 

That’s all for today. I’d love to hear and see what you are working on now or what you have cast off this summer. Do share pictures or the names of patterns you are working on so I can take a look and maybe even add to my Ravelry queue:)

Take care and enjoy your crafting until next time:)

 

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 RenĂ©e 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:)