Knitting, spinning and exercise

That’s the program for the next 4 weeks for me. If you follow my blog you will know that I have a bad back and that I’m currently in hospital for a 4 week program for my back. So I arrived Sunday July 24th and I’ll stay until Saturday August 20th. Today was the first “real” day with lots of workout, more than I have done in years and years. I think I’ll probably fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow this evening. This program is to help us better understand our body and especially our back. To learn how to move and do things to best preserve our spine, to possibly find new drugs that work better than what I’m currently taking, to talk to others in the same situation and just generally to feel understood and not alone. Having a bad back is an invisible decease and while one may feel good and be able to do everything one day, that does not exclude us from having a horrible day the following day and not being able to accomplish half of what we normally do. And its not because we are lazy, its because we suffer even if it does not show on the outside.

It really feels good to be able to talk to people who have similar problems and feel understood and I have high hopes for all the exercise and just basically everything that I will do here for the next 4 weeks. But this is not a “bad back” blog and you may not be interested in the least in my troubles so lets talk some knitting:)

On my drive here, I finished a pair of socks that had been on my needles for quite a while. It was a pair of Cobblestone Socks by Mina Philipp- part of her Beyond Vanilla socks 1 collection. I knit those using yarn from a German indie dyer I found on Etsy some while ago. I really like the colours but the yarn is quite coarse to the touch but that should be ok and probably means sturdier socks. It’s just not quite as enjoyable to knit with. So here are some pictures.

The second picture shows you a close up of the patterning. It’s a simple knit and purl patterning that is only done on the front of the socks. It’s easy to memorise and I like the results so I’ll probably use this pattern in the future for some more socks.

I’m continuing my work on the Pinwheel blanket which is also by Mina Philipp. That is a very simple pattern for a scrap yarn blanket. I rather like this pattern because each square is quite big so I imagine that the blanket will feel like a quicker knit compared to the Cozy Memories blanket where you have to knit a gazillion mitred squares. It will take quite some time to complete of course but I like it. So I’m knitting a little bit on this from time to time. Here is a picture from square 3 which I’m currently working on.

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I’m also knitting my second test knit for a designer and this time it is also for a pair of socks. I’m not at liberty to show you a picture yet but I can tell you that this is a colourful pattern and it has an unusual construction based almost entirely on short rows. At the moment I’m ready to start the heel on sock 1. I’m planning to work a little on this every day. I have until August 19th to finish and I’m pretty sure I’ll be done way ahead of that deadline.

I also cast on and began knitting my Risen cardigan by Melanie Berg. I dyed the yarn for that myself and I was determined to do a swatch and block and everything like any serious knitter does……but…..somehow I never got around to it before leaving for the hospital and yesterday I could have done a swatch and just washed and laid it out flat to dry somewhere but…. again I’m not a serious knitter so rather than do the intelligent thing, I just cast on for the neckband and voila! Last night I finished the first part of the neckband and this evening I’ll get started on the neckline.

I love the look of this cardi. A bit like the Featherweight Cardi I think and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of this all year round. Here’s a picture of the beginning of the neckband.

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And my last knitting project at the moment is a mini knitting challenge with Françoise of Aroha Knits and it’s the #5shawls5days challenge. Every day for 5 days she sends an email with a pattern for a mini shawl. This is to help us familiarise us with different shawl constructions and maybe one day actually be confident enough to make our very own shawl pattern.  Yesterday was day one and that was a triangular shawl and I knit that using some of my hand dyed SOX yarn and it turned out nicely I think.

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That’s about it I think for my knitting. I did bring some fibre and spindles with me too. I was stressed out about having time on my hands on the evenings and weekend and not enough projects to work on so I took a ton! At the moment I’m spinning a braid from Sweet Georgia Fibres and I’m using my latest spindle purchase which is a type of supported spindle which allows you to use both hands for spinning/drafting where a traditional supported spindle only lets you use one hand. I find using this spindle very enjoyable and easy and so I’m making good progress.

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Thats it for today. Thank you for stopping by and sorry if my health update bothered you. Before I leave I want to include a little slide show to show you the beautiful surroundings where I am now. It’s a town called Granville and apparently Christian Dior lived here part of his life and his house and garden are now a museum that I’ll definitely visit while here. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. I wish you a wonderful week, enjoy your summer and your knitting until next time 🙂

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Back at home

Hi there, my week in Iceland just flew by and now I’m back at home with hubby and children:)

And speaking of time that flies by, the I Knit Fandango show is in just over a month! I had better get the turbo started! It is always a difficult task to assess the amount of stock to bring to a show and when that show is abroad the task takes on a new dimension as luggage restrictions apply! So I’ve done a fair bit of dyeing yarn and yesterday I did some roving as I want to carry something for spinners as well. I also placed a last minute order with my supplier of undyed yarns because I want to do some kits for the show. I’m planning on 2 shawl kits – 1 knit and 1 crochet, 1 baby kit (knit), and 1 sock kit (knit). And so I purchased the yarn for those and hope I can dive into dyeing those as of the coming weekend. I also purchased some sparkling sock blanks that I look forward to dyeing as that will be the first time I have those with Stellina for added glam’.

Yesterday the weather was gorgeous here in Normandy, France and so I did my dyeing outside in the garden. That is definitely something I’m going to do more of. Not only is it enjoyable for me but I also have more table space AND no one to complain about the “smell” – FYI I have NEVER felt any “smell” of my wet/cooking wool and yarns, but I’m told that is because I’m biased:)

Some pictures for you

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My set up on the garden table

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One side of my dryer rack filled with just dyed roving

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and the other side of the dryer rack also filled with just dyed roving

While in Iceland I finished my second pair of 2 in 1 socks and I also decided that I would do more of those and even try to make my own pattern in order to make some with a bit of lace instead of just plain stockinet. But before launching into that I decided a change was needed so I cast on for a new pair of socks (yes I did say “change” but not “major change”), this time I’m doing them TAAT using the magic loop method. I’m using a yarn that I hand dyed myself and this yarn has long colour changes which explains why one sock is blue and the other reddish on the following picture. I chose the Zigzagular pattern that I found on Ravelry and have heard of online and seen lots of pictures of finished socks. I decided this would be a good fit for a return to magic looping. Here’s what I’ve knit so far

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My progress so far on the ZigZagular socks knit TAAT with my own hand dyed yarn

Upon my return from Iceland I also had a pleasant surprise, my order from Crazy Monkey Creations had finally arrived! For some reason my package went to Israel and spent quite some time there so I had been waiting for over a month for this to arrive. I’m super happy it finally made it and I really look forward to presenting the items to you at the I Knit Fandango show in May. I ordered some blockers for mittens and socks in different sizes and with different motifs and I also ordered some of their electronic knitting counters that can be worn around a finger like a ring. I must try those and I’ll let you know what I think later on. Pics are here:

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Mitten blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations. These are hand made and gorgeous

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Sock blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations, handmade gorgeousness

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And another type of sock blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations. These are all handmade

That’s about all for today. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed reading this post and looking at my pictures. I wish you all a wonderful and creative new week. Until next time, Take Care 🙂

I’m in heaven, I’m in Fibre Heaven

Hi there, I just had to share my joy with you all today! I just received my order from Woolgatherings after waiting for it for almost a month (yes the package was stuck in customs for almost 3 weeks). But now it is here and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my fibre and can’t wait to start spinning them.

Some day soon, these beauties will be hand spun yarn treasures that will embellish my personal yarn stash – or yours if you want me to spin some up for you or if you are a spinner like myself and take a look at her shop I know you will be tempted to do as I did. BUY!

Woolgatherings is a family run business and Kate, the dyer, does a wonderful job. I’ve ordered from them before and just loved my yarn so that is why I placed this new order. This time I went for mostly BFL + Tussah silk and Organic Polwarth + silk blends. The silk will add strength and sheen to my finished yarns. I chose bright colours, which I love and are a staple of Kate. All the rovings are super soft and the colours are gorgeous. You will soon be seing these spun into yarn here.

If you decide to take a look at the Woolgatherings shop, and I certainly encourage you to do so, be aware that you will be mesmerized and may not be able to leave the shop with an empty cart:)

So here are my beauties:   Hand dyed roving from Woolgatherings on Etsy     Hand dyed roving from Woolgatherings on EtsyDo you get why I’m so happy???

I have another favorite dyer on Etsy and I also purchased some of her work last week and will be sure to share her work with you as soon as I receive my order.

 

Until then, I’m off to my spinning wheel for an afternoon of happy spinning. Have a great  and creative day yourself 🙂