The end of an adventure and one last enabling post before we all commit to stash appreciation

Hi there, writing this post has been a long time coming. I have thought about this for a very very very long time and I think I really need to get it together and just take the plunge! The plunge in question is… closing my Etsy shop! Now I’ve said it!

I would like to take the opportunity to share with you the story of this shop adventure that is coming to an end.

In 2010 I was very unhappy with the work I was doing and I longed for a job that I would actually enjoy doing. I was already heavily into knitting and the idea of opening a shop started to take shape. At first I wanted to create a niche shop and concentrate on knitting needles. At the time, in France, knitting needles were very limited and most knitters only knit on long single pointed needles. I wanted to introduce circular needles to them. In my home country of Iceland we knit everything on circulars and I think they are fabulous. I started looking around at what was available and what I could sell. On the 1st of March 2011 I opened my shop, Knitting in France. I had my very own website and I offered a variety of knitting needles. I can safely say that I was a pioneer in France and even in Europe when it came to selling knitting needles because I introduced a number of knitting needles brands that were otherwise unobtainable in France and often in Europe at large.

I had Signature Needle Arts and was the only distributor for those in France and one of very few in Europe if not the only one. I also introduced Kollage square needles and I still have a few of those left. I was the first to sell these in France and one of very few in Europe. I also had Swallow casein needles from Australia and again the only one in France selling those. I had Indian Lake Artisans hexagonal, handmade wooden needles and still have some left in stock. Those are works of art and a joy to work with. I also believe I was their first stockist in France.

I was also the very first stockist of  Hiya Hiya in France and I’m proud of being the one to introduce French knitters to that brand and even European knitters because at the time very few shops sold these in Europe. And Chiaogoo, also the first stockist in France to offer those.

Today all the important yarn shops in France carry some of these brands that I took a chance on in 2011.

I also offered handmade knitting and crochet accessories and I took in a few commercial yarns such as Rooster yarns. I did also offer Dream in Color yarns and again I believe I was the only stockist in France at the time.

The product I took the biggest chance on was an amazing yarn, Qiviut from Arctic Qiviut company. Qiviut, if you are not familiar with that fibre, comes from the underdown of musk ox. It is a rare fibre and very labour intensive in production. It is the warmest wool you can have and Arctic Qiviut had both natural color yarn and hand dyed ones and they also offered luxurious blends with qiviut, cashmere,angora etc. A skein of this luxurious yarn costs a fortune but I did manage to buy a few for the shop and I did sell most of them though it took some time as the price was not for the faint of heart. I was of course the first to sell this yarn in France and I helped them organise a tour in England and France to introduce their yarns to other shops and today a few shops in England carry their yarns.

Later on I wanted to start dyeing my own yarn and totally fell down a rabbit hole. For a while my shop did well and I really enjoyed feeling like I was doing well. I took part in yarn shows in France and in the UK.

In 2013 we moved to Normandy and at that time I took the worst decision ever with regards to my business. I decided to close my independent website/shop and to concentrate on selling on Etsy.

Etsy is a tough platform to be on, the competition is fierce and even if you begin in one shop you can easily find yourself in another shop without noticing it. The indie dyed yarn business has exploded over the last few years and every day new dyers open shop. I think we have arrived at a crossroads where the offer way surpasses the demand. Today if you are not a podcast star as well as an indie dyer or a friend of a podcast star, it is very hard to get the word out there and sell your yarns. This is just my humble opinion and I may be totally wrong and maybe I’m just saying this out of deception. Who knows.

Anyway, I at least have come to a crossroad and I need to decide which way to go. I absolutely love my little shop, I love sourcing quality yarns, I love dyeing small batches and I love seeing pictures of what my clients then make with my yarn. But the hard fact is that I’m not selling enough for this to be a sustainable business. Unfortunately I don’t have the time needed to revamp and re-vitalise the shop. I work full time and I have three children. I also don’t have the finances to fund a big purchase of base yarn to be able to offer sweater quantities of different colors etc.  And let’s face it, maybe I just don’t have the talent!

So I have decided, with a heavy heart, that I need to close this chapter of my life. I need to just concentrate on my own knitting and this blog which I so enjoy writing. However to limit the financial loss and to make some space at the house, I need to sell as much as I possibly can of my current stock. And so I’m having a Going out of business sale! As of now and until November 1st I’m offering -30% off everything in the shop and I hope you will take the time to take a peek and maybe buy a skein or two. My base yarns are high quality and used by  a number of well known indie dyers in Europe and I have dyed them up in small batches with lots of love and care. I will include free stitch markers with every order, the more yarn you buy, the more markers you will receive:)

I know that this goes against my announced plan of Stash Appreciation that will start on November 1st but hey, if you are joining me in that, you do still have till November 1st to buy yarns no questions asked! And you would be supporting a very small home business at the same time:)

So, I’m sorry if this comes across as if I’m pleading for help. I did want to share the story of my yarn shop adventure with you and I did want to tell you about the discount just in case you were interested. Please feel free to share the info with all of your knitting buddies. There is no code needed, the prices are already discounted in the shop. I of course do worldwide shipping at reasonable prices. You can check out my sale by clicking here 

That’s all for today. Have a  wonderful weekend and enjoy your crafting:)

Current and future knitting

Hi there how are you this week? It has been super hot here in Normandy over the last week or so and all of a sudden the temperature plummeted today and along came the rain. I’m not complaining though as the heat was getting to me. I don’t enjoy working when it is super hot and I spend all my day at my desk perspiring like crazy. And my hands feel clammy making knitting less enjoyable. So a cooler weather is just fine with me.

I have knit quite a bit since last time but I don’t have much to show as most of what I have been working on are test knits I’m not allowed to share just yet. Out of the 3 test knits 2 are almost done and that’s such a relief. Mostly because I have so many things I want to cast on…

The pair of socks is almost at the toe so should be finished by the end of this week. Cardigan 1 I did actually finish yesterday. I wove in the ends, washed and blocked it. But… I had knit longer than usual sleeves and after washing my cardigan grew. I know super wash yarns tend to grow when washed and that’s why I prefer to knit garments with non super wash yarns but sometimes I just don’t have any and the yarn I REALLY want to use is super wash. Anyway, I used my own hand dyed yarn for this, on my SOX base and I absolutely love the color and feel of it but I did knit the sleeves too long. So when I tried the cardigan on last night as it was close to being dry, there was no denying that the sleeves were just way too long. I did check with my daughter to see what she thought because I didn’t want to rip back and re knit part of the sleeves. My daughter told me that long sleeves were “in” so I should leave it as was. Phew. But still I was not quite sure so I reached out to a cousin of mine who is also a knitter and showed her some pictures and she agreed with me, the sleeves had to be fixed. Maybe that decision is what made me have a very restless night! Being unhappy about my sleeves! Anyway, this morning I ripped back a few inches on both sleeves and re knit the cuff. I have finished one sleeve and am working on the second and hopefully I’ll have that done tomorrow.

Even if this was not a major issue, it still had me upset. And maybe even more so because I received some gorgeous new yarn in the mail yesterday and all I wanted was to cast on something new!

The yarn I received was a gift from a wonderful fellow knitter/dyer in Australia! Her name is Andrea and you can follow her on Instagram as @yarnsalad.

She gifted me 6 skeins of a 2 ply silk/lambswool yarn that was originally spun for fashion house Missoni! How amazing is that? I don’t know how or where but she buys yarns that were spun for luxury fashion houses but are no longer needed and then dyes them using natural dyes in her home.

I think that wound up the variegated yarn looks even more amazing (on the right side on the second picture). So now I have to find a pattern for this gorgeous yarn. It’s a thin two ply so between a lace and a light fingering weight. My very first thought when I saw the yarn was RAVELLO! But I already have two so knitting a third one might be too much! And then I remembered another pattern from the same designer, Isabelle Kramaer, called A Hint of Summer and I actually own that. It’s a pattern written for this type of yarn so I’m 99% certain that’s what I’m going to go for.

Here’s a picture of that pattern taken from the Ravelry project page

a hint of summer

My version would not be striped like this but I’d rather do a color block or a few larger stripes with the grey sparkle yarn. I think this could work out very nicely. What do you think? Have you maybe knit this pattern yourself already? I’d love to hear your opinion.

I’m also getting ready for the two big Mystery Kals about to start. I purchased both the Knitting Expat Road to Rhinebeck Mkal pattern and Andrea Mowry’s What the Fade Mkal. Both are shawls and both start tomorrow. This may be too much but hey, these will be fun and I do wish I was going to Rhinebeck 🙂

So the Road to Rhinebeck calls for a DK weight yarn and I’m knitting that with my own DK yarn. I have already wound my yarn and got a project bag ready as you can see here

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I really love these colors together and the project bag… How amazing is that?! It’s a mumin bag from Knitgizmomakes.

The Andrea Mowry What the Fade shawl is a huge one, I think-, as it calls for 6 skeins of fingering weight yarn. I’m not supposed to be buying yarn at the moment but..I accidentally went on Etsy and happened upon a shop update from Trysten of Dragon Hoard Yarns Co. And she had a kit. For the What the Fade kal. So what was I to do? I have never knit with her yarn, I want to try it, I had bought the pattern, I needed yarn for the project, she had a kit, it was in stock… Well one thing lead to another and I bought the kit PLUS an extra skein for some added sock knitting pleasure. I purchased this last week and so I was prepared to maybe not get to cast on at the start as the yarn might take a while to arrive. Well my yarn arrived TODAY! And it’s amazing! As soon as I finish talking to you, I’m going to start winding the yarn into cakes and finding a project bag and just get all the last details ready to cast on tomorrow.  And here is my yarn

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What do you think? These are not the colors I’m usually drawn to but when I saw her listing I just sort of fell in love and had to get this. These have such an autumn feel to them and just look like they will knit into something incredibly cozy.

Are you joining in these kals? I’d love to see your yarns if you are:)

The only actual knitting I can share with you today is a sock I’m knitting. So as I’m not supposed to be buying yarn; I of course am constantly looking at yarn shops and being tempted and so I went ahead and placed my very first order with Lolo did it! And the yarn arrived very quickly and the shipping was not ridiculous which was a pleasant surprise. And so of course I had to cast on the same day my yarn arrived and decided on doing a pair of shorty socks for myself thinking this way I’ll be able to get two pairs out of the skein. And I went hunting for a yarn that could go with Lolo’s yarn  and I found it. I had a partial skein in this lovely purple on my SPARKLES base and it just goes perfectly with the main yarn.  As for the pattern, I’m adapting the Yorkville pattern by the Knitting Expat. This is a pattern from her current New York sock club and I just changed it to be a short version and I love it. The lace pattern is super simple and easily memorized and just works up so nicely in this yarn. I’m on the toe now and hope to cast of sock one tonight!

That’s all for today I think. Next week I hope I will be able to share more actual knitting with you. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and I look forward to checking in with  you again very soon 🙂

Happy knitting!

I’m all about garment knitting now

Hi there, I hope you are doing good and that you have had a great week and will have an even better weekend! I’m looking forward to some relaxing this weekend along with some desk chair shopping which will be a little less fun but oh so necessary for my back!

So like the title says, I suddenly feel super interested in knitting sweaters and cardigans. Lately I have found myself buying loads of patterns on Ravelry and dream of knitting a ton to use all year round. So when I came home from hospital I immediately went to my wip pile and got our a sweater that has been languishing in the wip pile for months! I’m ashamed to say so but I really don’t know what happened.

The sweater is called Kitsune and is by Amanita knits. This is actually a pattern I won on Instagram. I dyed up some Cash’DK yarn myself and cast on. I knit the body and began sleeve number 1 and then…..for some reason I wanted to knit everything but this project. Well when I got back home I picked it up and I whipped up the two sleeves and now it is DONE! And I love it! I just need to update my project page on Ravelry and I’ll be all good. I also should probably wash and block it; so I have it out in my room ready for blocking but knowing me, that might take a few months….

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I really love the outcome, both the sweater and the yarn/color. I love the large boatneck collar and the easy feel. I’m sure I’ll get lots of use from this come winter. What do you think?

So after first finishing the Risen cardigan by Melanie Berg I told you about in my last post, and now finishing the Kitsune, I picked up another sweater project that has been languishing for almost as long in the wip pile.  That is a sweater for my older daughter and it is a Drops pattern. I only have one sleeve to knit and then sew everything together (which is a drag…). I just realised I forgot to take pictures of it so I guess I’ll just be showing you the sweater once it is done. I’m hoping that will be in a week or two.

I have yet another languishing project; that is the Brynja Cardigan by Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. I suspect I will frog that one and start again. I’m up to the yoke or so. I have joined the sleeves to the rest of the body but it just doesn’t feel right. I have a problem with the pattern and also it just looks so small. So I’m seriously thinking about frogging that one and starting all over again and hopefully next time around, I won’t leave it in a corner for months but just knit it in one go or so.

I have started a new cardigan. I’m using a new yarn base that I’m trying out in my shop. Its a merino light singles base which reminds me of Madelinetosh tosh merino light. I dyed it in a very subtle brown/beige color and I think it will go with a lot of things.

I’m knitting the Audrey cardigan by Jane Richmond. I’m just at the beginning but I’m really liking it. The pattern is super simple so hopefully this will be finished in a breeze.

audrey cardigan yarn

This is the yarn I’m using.

audrey cardigan 30 aug

And here is where I’m at, at the moment. And do you see the gorgeous project bag I’m using for this project? Yes!! It’s a mrs Browns bags project bag! I not only managed to buy sock blanks from Andre Sue this August, I also managed to buy a Mrs Browns Bag!!!! Talk about happy shopping!

Well, that’s all for now. Next time I have some more news on kals, wips, new yarns in the shop and so on. Have a great weekend and enjoy your crafting 🙂

I’m back at last! Acquisitions, fos and more

Hi there, how are you? I hope you are doing well and  enjoying the last days of summer/winter (depending on where you are in the world).

Here in Normandy, France, summer is coming to an end although the weather could have us think otherwise. We have had a big heat wave which has calmed down now thankfully! So now the weather is just perfect. Sunny and a nice temperature of around 22-24°C. Which for an Icelander such as myself is just the best temperature, not too hot and not too cold.

I have been back from hospital now for just over a week. It was great to get back home to my family and friends. What was a little less nice; was having to go back to work straight away but hey, we all have to work to make a living so no complaining!

The stay at the hospital was really beneficial for me. I learned a lot about the back in general and how to use my back and body to best preserve my health. There are a million things we do everyday that affect the health of our back and sometimes we just need to be a little more careful about how we do things to make a big difference.

Being active is also a big thing when it comes to having a healthy back. People like myself that have health issues are not good with staying in the same position for hours be it standing up, sitting at a desk or lying in bed. As soon as I got back to working 8h a day at my desk, my back pain came running back! I have changed the position of my desk a little so that the computer is now higher up so I don’t need to look down at the screen. I’m also going to look for a very good ergonomic chair. The one I have is not good enough for such long hours. Getting a new chair will certainly make a difference for me.

I’m also going to have to get organised so that I can exercise. Since I came home, I have been going for walks and that is very good. But just walking is not enough. I need to do something more like swimming which I really like. So I’m going to look up the opening hours of the swimming pools near my home to see if I can go once a week and swim. And while I was at the hospital I did a little badminton and I thought that was quite fun so I might look into doing badminton as well. That is a good sport because it makes use of the entire body so all the muscles get some exercise. My problem is going to be the hours! Because I work 3 nights a week and most sports for adults are in the evening here, finding something that can work will be a challenge. Where as swimming; I can do alone, I just need to find the pool with the opening hours that allow me to go there.

Well that is enough and maybe way more health and sport update than you bargained for! Sorry about that:) So let’s get on with the knitting and fibre side of life. Since it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted I have a ton of things to share but I feel that would amount to an epic sized post that would just be too long for anyone to read so I’m going to tell you about some of the things today and the rest later in the week.

So first of, when I was in hospital I told you about knitting shorty socks for my son. Well I finished them while I was there. I really love how they turned out, mostly because of the yarn. I used my own SOX base hand dyed yarn and the way it was dyed gives it a fun patterning when knit up. Here they are all done:

shorties matteo

I also did a little bit of spinning. I had imagined doing way more spinning than I finally ended up doing. But hey, life happens. So I finished this fibre that I had begun spinning a very, very long time ago and I then plied the yarn too. The spindle is from my friend Louise of Spin City UK. She makes gorgeous hand spindles using resin for the whorl and she uses flowers and candy sprinkles and lots of fun stuff to make her spindles totally unique. Just looking at her spindles makes me smile.

The yarn is 2 ply and somewhere between fingering and DK in weight. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. I need to wash it to set the twist and I really should measure the yardage as well. I just need to work up the courage and find the time and voila:)

And one more item that I finished during my hospital stay was the Risen

Qcardigan by Melanie Berg. I did the biggest size and I admit I was quite worried in the end that I would not have enough yarn to finish the sleeves and since I dyed the yarn especially for this cardigan I knew I did not have any extra! So I ended up playing a game of extreme yarn chicken and thankfully for me, I won! But by mere centimeters!

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I’m happy with the outcome and I have used it once and it fits nicely and it is warm without being heavy so I think I will get a lot of use out of this. And how much yarn did I have left once I bound off? Well,

risen 5 Yebb! That’s all I had left!

I also worked on my Pinwheel blanket and while I was away I got a package with minis. I signed up for a swapless swap on Ravelry and got 10 40 yard skeins from Mint Rain Yarns. I haven’t knit any of them up yet but I’m sure they will all look great in my blanket when I get to knitting them up.

mint rain yarn minis

Another gorgeous new acquisition is a purchase I made from Andre Sue Knits! The Andre Sue of the Andre Sue podcast I’m sure you all know and I’m guessing you are also familiar with her amazing hand painted sock blanks. It’s been a while since I started stalking her shop but her work is in such high demand that the only time you have a minimal chance of purchasing anything from her is if you set your alarm for her shop update and then choose and item and check out ASAP and then go back again if you want a second blank! Well, that is just what I did! I set my alarm for just before 1am and then I stayed on Etsy and refreshed the page until I saw her update. I managed to get 2 sock blanks and they arrived in just a week which is quite quick for an order from the US.

I was not disappointed! The sock blanks are so amazingly well done. I really do not comprehend how she does it! How she manages to paint so precisely on the sock blank. When I showed the blanks to my kids; my daughter said: “you shouldn’t unravel them and knit, you should just keep them like this” and I admit I’m tempted. BUT I did buy them to knit them into socks so… At the moment I haven’t started; I’m enjoying looking at them as they are currently. But I did purchase Mina’s Beyond Vanilla Socks Part 2 patterns and I think I’ll knit her patterns using the blanks. So here they are in all their glory:

andre sue sock blanks Talk about gorgeous! These will be sure to knit into some amazing socks I’m sure.

Well that’s all for now. I don’t want to take up all your day/night so thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me. I wish you a wonderful week and hope you will have lots of time for knitting or whatever fibery craft it is you enjoy the most.

Until next time, take care 🙂

 

A FO, a HO and a WIP

Hi there and welcome back. I hope you are doing good and enjoying your month of August. I’m still in the hospital/physical rehabilitation center but not for much longer! One more week and I’ll be home at last! 4 weeks is a long time to be away and I’m really getting a bit homesick and dreaming of being with my family and friends and eating yummy meals! Soon, very soon 🙂

But enough about that. Lets talk knitting, as you can gather from the title, I’ve made some knitting progress.

First the FO, I finished the pair of Jelly Roll socks for my youngest. I really like how they turned out, I especially like the double cuff and how it rolls.

jelly rolls for InesThe yarn is my own hand dyed on my SPARKLES base. The yellow is actually highlighter yellow, it doesn’t show that good in the picture. And even though the yellow is super bright it is not scary strange as the grey really tones things down and just works really well with the yellow I think.

And the HO, is the pair of shorty socks that I’m knitting for my son. I’m not using any particular pattern but rather using my regular sock recipe in short version. I have one sock done and I’m well passed the heel now- I have made some progress since this picture was taken

shorties for Matteo

I hope they will fit. He has much bigger feet than I do and I haven’t been able to have him try them on. Just in case they are not long enough, I have decided not to weave in the end at the toe so I can easily undo it and knit them a little longer. I really like the yarn and how it knits up, its on my SOX base.

And for the WIP, it’s my Risen cardigan by Melanie Berg. I’ve made some good progress there. I’m only 8 rows from cast off for the body and the its on to the sleeves. I was hoping to make them longer but that is something I thought of AFTER dyeing my yarn so I will not have enough yarn for full length sleeves. Actually, I’m scared I might not even have enough for 3/4 length sleeves either! So once I have cast off the body, I’m going to rewind the rest of my yarn so that I can knit both sleeves simultaneously. It is going to be one stressful game of yarn chicken! This will serve as a lesson to me to ALWAYS allow for at least 10% more yardage than the pattern calls for and TO MAKE A GAUGE SWATCH! I’m ashamed to say so but….I actually did not make a swatch. I was going to but… something happened I guess…no nothing happened. This is just me being rebellious and over confident! That will teach me a lesson!

Anyway, here are some pictures – not great ones as it is quite difficult to photograph oneself in a mirror…

It feels good on me and I’m already thinking of making a second one!

This last week here in Granville, Normandy, I’m going to finish the shorty for my son, finish the body of my Risen and get going on the sleeves and possibly pick up my sock from my last qualifying round of Sock Madness! That is the most difficult and most beautiful sock I have knit so far and it has been in hibernation for a while now. I need to finish it and I think picking it up here where I’m alone in my room at night and can fully concentrate would be a good idea. You probably don’t know which sock this is so here’s a picture to refresh your memory. The pattern is called Coffee Cantata.

sock madness round 6And this is where I’m still at today, just passed the cuff on sock nr 2. I might not get to the sock but I’m going to try.

Anyway that’s about it for my knitting except that I’m occasionally working on my Pinwheel blanket by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat Podcast. I have finished square 4 and just began square 5 yesterday.

square 5That’s it for today. I hope you have a great week and lots of crafting time. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog next week as I might be busy the first days after coming home not to mention that I return to work as of Monday! But I will be posting when I get the chance and share my progress with you plus some amazing acquisitions that I made this week and will hopefully arrive very soon in my mailbox.  I’m super excited about those:)

But before I go, here a few pictures from yesterday- the beach and the  book market that was held here yesterday.

Until next time, take care 🙂

granville plage 14auggranville plage 14 aug -1marche du livremarche du livre 1

What a week!

Hi there, it’s been a while since my last post real post. With me about to leave for 4 weeks I have a ton of things to take care of, most of which have not gotten any further than the pages of my planner yet! And that is because I’ve had quite a crazy week so far.

I have been working hard on a big custom order that I’m very excited about. I’m not at liberty yet to tell you what it is exactly nor can I show you any pictures of the yarn yet but I will be posting about this in detail probably in September.

Any way, this is an order I got a while back and I was so hugely happy and excited that I of course said yes! I knew I would be going to hospital at one time this year but had no idea if that would be in August or not until December. So I could either put my life on hold just in case I got called in or I could carry on as if all was normal and just deal with it when I got called in and that is what I did. So when I got the call and new I would be going in from July 24th to August 22nd I had already committed to this order which is my biggest custom order to date and I was not going to go back on my word and cancel the order. So rather than having 4 weeks to work on this alongside other projects I knew I’d only have 1 week. So I hurriedly ordered my yarn and got working on my colors.

This week I have been dyeing for about 6 hours a day and then I have taken a break for 2-3 hours to go knit at the beach with my kids and in the evening I would reskein my yarn. I have just finished the dyeing today and now have a huge pile of yarn left to reskein and label but I made it and I’ll be able to ship my order this Saturday morning so Yeah me:)

This just goes to prove that when we want something bad enough, we can do anything we set our heart to. I’m super happy and I really like the yarn I have created and now I just need to sent it away and wait for feedback first from my client and then from whoever finally gets this yarn to knit with:) I’m super excited!

 

If you follow me on social media you will have seen me posting beach pictures every day. I’m lucky to live in a great place here in Normandy with gorgeous beaches all around and with the good weather lately I have been going to the beach every afternoon for some sun soaking and knitting. Here are some pictures of my beach trips and knitting.

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Knitting at the beach is the best!

Now on to my future hospital stay. No need to worry it’s not really a hospital but rather a centre for physical therapy and physical rehabilitation. I’m going because I have a very bad back with a degenerative condition and this is meant to help me deal with pain and possibly even avoid surgery or at least push it back further. I will have a very full program from 9 to 5 every weekday so I’ll probably be quite tired in the evening but even so I’m afraid I may not take enough projects with me. I want to bring loads of books and loads of knitting projects. I haven’t begun packing yet except in my head, and some days I think I’ll take a ton of projects and others I think I have to be reasonable and that I won’t actually get to knit THAT much.

A while ago I cleaned up some in my stash and   pile of wips and I also prepared some project bags with yarn, needles and patterns – all patterns I must knit very soon. Here’s what that looks like.

pile of wips and new cast ons

It does not look like much on the picture but there actually is a ton of project bags here, some holding wips others new not yet cast on projects. I think I may be taking:

2 socks – not yet cast on

1 sock in progress. The last pattern I did in Sock Madness. I have only done one sock and the cuff for sock 2 and I need some quiet time to finish the second one as it is a complex pattern.

1 cardigan – I have chosen the pattern and dyed the yarn. It’s Risen by Melanie Berg and here’s the yarn I dyed red for raisen

I made a huge skein of 1400 yards I believe it was 1280 meters and dyed it in one go. I have since caked this up in 2 huge yarn cakes.

I’ll be bringing some minis to knit on my Pinwheel blanket by Mina Philipp and just this morning I signed up for a new shawl challenge called 5 shawls in 5 days so I’ll need yarn for that and I’m taking a skein of lace yarn to play with making a design of my own.  So here’s a part of what I’ll be bringing with me.

projects for grainville

I’ll be blogging while I’m away and I’ll share progress on my varies knitting projects and pictures from the town where I’ll be staying and so forth.

That’s all for today. I have to get back to my reskeining so I’ll be done in time and then there’s my packing and then theres….a million and one thing to do:)

I hope you are doing well and having a wonderful summer with lots of crafting time and why not, some beach knitting:)

Super Yarn Sale this weekend only

Hi there, today I’m coming to you with a short announcement. I don’t know if I have told you about having a bad back but if not here goes. So I have a bad back and I have just been called into a hospital for  a 4 week stay to work on my back. This will include massages, exercise, thalasso therapy etc and the objective is to come out of this more aware of my body and how to move and do things to minimize any pain in my back and hopefully avoid having to have a surgery. So I’ll be going there in a week. As I’ll be away for so long I’m going to have to close my Etsy shop while I’m there. And so I decided it would be a good idea to do a HUGE YARN SALE! And here goes!

I’m offering 40% off all my yarns in my shop as of now and until Monday July 18th. The coupon code for the discount is YARN40.

I ship worldwide at a reasonable price. All orders will be shipped 1-2 days post purchase. You can visit my shop by clicking here or by searching for Knitting in France on Etsy. Here are some pictures to get your appetite going:)

Happy shopping and have a great weekend:)

 

Wips and Fos

Hi there, I said I’d be back soon and so here I am:)

I’m currently on vacation from my “real” job but we are not going anywhere this year but rather just relaxing at home and visiting sites near our home. So far we have had a few good days with beautiful weather and have been able to go to the beach which I always enjoy but today and yesterday the weather was not very good and the forecast for this week is not brilliant so I’m not sure what we’ll do….

So as for FOs, I have finished 2 shawls and both were part of kals that I’m taking part in on Ravelry. The first one is the Summer Nancy Kal that I’m hosting in my Ravelry group. This is a very relaxed kal going until the end of August where we knit patterns by designer Nancy Whitman.

I chose to knit a shawl called Ganz which is a DK weight shawl with some gansey inspired patterning. I hand dyed my own yarn for this project in a summery watermelon color.

I really like how this turned out and I think I’ll use this a lot come autumn and winter.

The second FO is also a shawl. That one is called Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli. This is a new shawl she released a very short while ago. I saw some podcasters working on this shawl and just had to buy the pattern and cast on. I also decided to join in the Grocery Girls Joji along on Ravelry for some added fun.

I knit the large size and I also used yarns that I hand dyed myself. The main color is a new base I tested; a yak, merino, nylon base which is a total pleasure to knit with and is super soft to the touch. The contrast color for the stripes is a Donegal nep yarn which I always feel give a bit of a rustic feel. And then the second contrast color used for the bind off is in my SPARKLES base in neon yellow.

I really like the outcome. Now I just need to build up some courage to block the shawl:)

As for my wips, I have a gazillion socks going, 2 sweaters, 1 cardigan and a new scrap yarn blanket and of course a shawl!

The shawl is again part of my Summer Nancy kal that I’m hosting on Ravelry. The pattern is called Tappan Zee by Nancy Whitman and the yarn is my own hand dyed. This time I’m trying a new base yarn in 100% superwash merino singles. And the contrast color I have just begun using is Madelinetosh merino light which is actually the same base yarn as what I dyed myself. I love the texture and feel of this yarn and it knits up beautifully. This is where I’m at for now.

Tappan zee close up

Next time I’ll share more wips, possibly some FOs and new acquisitions:) Until next time, have a wonderful week. I hope the weather is nice where you are and that you have plenty of crafting time to enjoy:)

Yes I’m still here…

Hi there, how are you doing these days? I’m sorry for not checking in on you before today but I have been very busy with work and the end of the school year for my kids and my parents visiting from Iceland.

Today will be a very short hello but I will be back very soon with lots of news and pictures of my latest FOs and wips.

Today I wanted to share with you a blog post that was published a while back and I haven’t had the time to share with you yet. It’s about my yarns!

A few months ago I saw a post on Facebook by Juliet Bernard, former editor of The Knitter magazine. She was looking for indie dyed sock yarns to review on her blog and I jumped on the chance to have such a personality test my sock yarn and so I contacted her and told her about my shop and fortunately for me she was actually interested. So she chose a base yarn from my shop to test, my SPARKLES base, and I sent her a skein to try out.

When I then read her Sock Yarn Review I was so hugely happy and proud to read that of the yarns she tried, mine was her FAVORITE!!! How amazing is that????

So of course I have to share the good news with you:)

juliet bernard the big sock review

My yarn/sock is the blue one – third from the left

So if you are interested in reading her review of fingering weight sock yarns please click here and enjoy. And if you want to test my yarn for yourself, you can browse my shop by clicking here

 

That’s all for today.I’ll be back soon with news of my latest knits which include Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli, Ganz by Nancy Whitman and loads of socks in progress 🙂

FOs, wips and future cast ons

Hi there, I think it is about time I show you some of my FOs. I have been doing a lot of sock knitting but not really sharing the pictures here with you so today I’m finally going to do so.

So as you may know I’m currently doing the Coffee with CC kal that Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast is hosting in her Ravelry group. So far I have finished 3 pairs.

The last pair on the left is the latest finished pair and the pattern is called Peppermint Mocha socks. It is a really fun pattern that plays with the use of yarn overs and slipped stitches. I used one of my own yarns and it is a merino/bamboo blend which is slightly on the heavier side for a fingering weight yarn and oh so soft!

I also just joined Mina’s of the Knitting Expat podcast kal. That is a kal for her newly released sock collection. The collection has 4 pairs of socks and is called Beyond Vanilla part 1 as she is currently working on part 2 of that collection. The patterns are easy and fun variations on vanilla socks. So great for the beginner sock knitter and also a welcome change for the habitual sock knitter that loves mindless sock knitting but is tired of plain vanilla socks. So I’m currently working on a pattern called Driftwood socks and I have one sock done – and I have to wait for a few days before returning back to sock number two.

On the close up you can see the pattern which uses yarn overs in a clever way. The yarn is my own on my cashmerino base which is a dream to knit with.

And then there is the year long Knit from Stash 2016 kal being held in the Facebook group Addicted to Sock Knitting. There we get one pattern a month by designer Heatherly Walker. Her patterns are gorgeous and I love getting a new pattern every month. I’m currently working on Mays pattern and have 1 1/2 sock done but again that will have to wait a few days as I will explain in a bit.

This is a beautiful overall pattern using twisted stitches. The pattern is called Rhytidome and the yarn is hand dyed by myself on my SOX base and I feel this colorway goes perfectly with the pattern which reminds me on flowers.

And last but not the least, the reason why all my socks are currently on time out, the SOCK MADNESS! The sock knitting competition that I’m doing for the very first time! I’m now in the semi finals. Only 10 knitters in each team made it this far and I’m super proud to be one of them. This round only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals so only THE fastest knitter on each team. I don’t think I will make it that far as I have a full time job that gets in the way of my knitting but I’m going to try anyway 🙂

This round the pattern is a heavily charted sock using mini cables and twisted stitches. When I saw the pattern I thought, ouff no one will knit this in one go so I just might stand a chance. Well guess what? One knitter, and she is on THE fastest team (and probably going to be this years winner) actually finished a pair in around 24h! I think she must have knit non stop only taking bathroom brakes. Wow!

Well here are some pictures to show you what I’m talking about:

Can you believe this pattern? The picture on the pattern is of one amazing sock! I’m using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in Princess Donna and I might be playing it dangerously here because this is a very  yardage greedy pattern and I just remembered now that I have actually turned the heel and started on the gusset!!!!! that I WAS going to knit heel and toes in a contrast yarn! Well I don’t have the time to rip bag and redo so I will just do the toe in this case and cross my fingers. So at this time I’m further along than the picture on the right shows and I aim to finish sock nr 1 by tonight.

On the pattern picture can you see the little mini me?

Well it was Mother’s Day here in France this past Sunday and my oldest daughter made this zipper pull out of polymer clay. It’s a mini me!

mothers day gifts

And the beautiful rose is from my son. Lucky me hah?

Wow, that is a lot of knitting! But before I say goodbye for today I do have one more thing to share with you, my summer Nancy kal! The first ever kal that I host in my Knitting in France Ravelry Group.

This kal kicks off tomorrow June 1st and runs until August 31st. The idea is for us to enjoy some relaxed summer knitting together. The rules are simple:

no wips allowed and only patterns by Nancy Whitman and there will be some exciting patterns at the end such as patterns, yarn and accessories.

I think I might actually try to knit 2 of her patterns this summer but I’m beginning with a shawl called Ganz. And I think maybe not being able to decide on a yarn/color when planning ahead of time may be a professional risk where dyers are concerned because I have had a lot of trouble finding THE yarn. I have actually dyed up 3 different sets of yarns for this shawl! And the last one I dyed up yesterday and I think the third and last is the charm and I will cake it up tomorrow before casting on. The yarn is still wet today so I will have to wait to the last minute to get it caked up. So here are some pictures of my yarns for this particular shawl.

The first is an alpaca/wool blend, the second a cashmerino and the third a 100%superwash merino. Here is a picture of the pattern I chose, Ganz

ganz

Isn’t it gorgeous?

So if you want to join in the fun, please visit my Ravelry group and sign up there. There is an information thread and a chatter thread there and the FO thread will be set up later.

Thats all for today. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week.