Hi there, how are you these days? I’m sorry it has been so long since I last posted but life has just gotten in the way somehow. I also feel I haven’t knit that much and so have less to share with you.

These past two weeks I have mostly worked on two projects. I should have finished my 6th pair of socks for Marie Curie but I’m still one sock away from that objective! I have finished 5 1/2 pairs and I have knit the cuff of the very last sock so I really just need to get my act together and finish asap! I would like to send my socks over to the UK beginning of November.

The two projects I have been working on lately are my Flea cardigan and the new Stephen West mystery knit a long:

My Flea cardigan is a joy to knit and so is the Holst Supersoft yarn. It is just such a fun pattern and the yarn is very nice so this project almost seems to knit itself.

This time I am not doing the “flea” patterning on the body because the giftee asked me not to. And I think it is just as nice without the patterning on the body.

Since those pictures were taken I have finished sleeve one and I just started on sleeve two this afternoon. So I am close to being done. Just a sleeve, the steek and the button bands. I should be done well before my mums birthday end of November.

The other project I’m working on as I said before is the new mystery shawl pattern by Stephen West. Each time he comes up with a mystery kal, thousands of knitters join in. I have joined before but have not always finished as sometimes part through the knit I find I don’t really like the item enough to finish.

Because of that I did hesitate about joining this time. But when I saw the yarn kits that had been put together for the shawl I felt they looked a little more sophisticated than usual and so I thought this one might not be as “out there” as some of his designs and so I went and bought the pattern.

Clue 4 will be published tomorrow and I am well behind schedule. I’m not even half done with Clue 3. I feel that the clues are either a little complex (like clue 2) or involve a lot of knitting (like clue 3) and so if one is not a monogamous knitter or does not have a lot of knitting time, it is easy to fall behind. But maybe that is just me looking for an excuse:)

I’m hoping I will be close to half done with clue 3 tonight. I really don’t want to fall too much behind or I’m afraid I might not make it to the finish line.

The construction for this shawl is very unconventional and unexpected. So far it is difficult to imagine the end result but I really like the yarns/colours I chose so I think I will like it anyway.

stephen west mkal

For once I was serious and got yarn from my stash and just dyed up the two mohair skeins. I feel these yarns go well together. There is not a lot of contrast between the different yarns but that does not bother me. I think they look nice.

I have decided not to show a picture of my progress here as there are knitters who want the shawl to be a true mystery and avoid seeing any spoiler pictures and so I don’t want to accidentally ruin their suspense. If you follow me on Instagram  you will able to see pictures as I do share there ( I just put in a picture of the yarn first and warn that picture two is a spoiler).

Are you also doing the mkal? What do you think so far?

I am planning a new cardigan to knit for maybe December now. I came across this new amazing brioche cardigan pattern by Lesley Anne Robinson of Knit Graffiti called La Brioheme. As soon as I saw the pictures I knew I had to knit this. It is a challenging pattern I think as there is some patterned brioche but I feel like taking on a challenge and knitting something special.

I immediately went and dyed up the yarn for this. I chose a non superwash BFL in Aran weight.

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This is not a great picture but you can see I chose a mustard yellow for my main colour and a light silvery grey for my contrast.

I can’t wait to get started on this one!

Now before I leave you for today, I have been thinking about doing something special for the blog this December as we count down the days till Christmas. A lot of dyers have Advent Calendars that are amazing but not everyone can afford to buy such calendars. So I was wondering if we could do something fun together that doesn’t cost anything but brings us all joy.

I personally love learning about knitting, knitting history and traditions and how knitters in other countries live. I was wondering if some of you, my dear readers, would be willing to join me and take an active part in the blog this December and share a little bit of your lives with us.

I could start off with an article on knitting and knitting traditions in Iceland and France and then maybe, hopefully, someone else will share some stories from their country. You could tell us if your country has a long knitting tradition and what that is, you can tell us about your favourite yarn shop, about how knitters in your country learn to knit etc. Anything that brings knitting and life in your country together. You can share pictures of you and your knitting, pictures from your hometown or LYS etc.

I think this could be such fun and depending on how many people want to join, we could have these new stories every few days on the blog in December.

I hope some of you are willing to join me. We don’t have to have 30 people join, even if just a few want to share I still think that would be fun.

If you are interested please send me an email at knittinginfrance@gmail.com and we can discuss further if you like.

That’s all for today. I need to get back to my mystery shawl knitting if I want to come somewhere close to half done with my clue by tonight.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing you time with me. All the best and happy knitting until next time:)

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Some FOs and new cast ons

Hi there, I’m sorry I didn’t blog last week. I just felt somewhat “empty”.  I had a lot of work and just felt like I had not had much time to knit and so didn’t have enough to show and share with you. Sometimes I hit a low spot and just can’t get myself to blog and share and I feel that if my spirits are down, I’m just going to drag you down with me and that would not be a nice thing to no now would it ? So better to way and blog when my heart and head are in the right place:)

So I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. Here in Normandy the weather gods are not quite sure if it’s winter or not yet so we go from sun and summery temperatures to rain and cold and back to sun again. A little confusing but winter is definitely getting close though.

I have been feeling the cast on-itis seriously lately and I have cast on for 3 new projects! Kind of crazy when one has as many languishing wips as I do but then knitting is all about fun and making oneself feel good so I’m not going to bash myself about that.

But first lets talk about FOs.

I am so happy to finally get to show you my finished Zweig sweater! I finished it a while ago but for some reason did not get around to taking a finished picture. Well now I have..not of me in it unfortunately but you will get the general idea. I really like how it turned out. It fits perfectly and I’m very happy about my choice of yarn.

zweig done

I look forward to winter really coming so I can start wearing this one.

And then there is my ongoing charity sock knitting for Marie Curie. Last year I knit 4 pairs and this year I decided I would knit 6.  I have now finished 4 1/2 pairs! I really look forward to being done with this 5th pair and actually start on pair number 6. I’m not sure when I started knitting those but I think I have knit them rather quickly. And even though the main colour is the same for all, just changing the contrasting colour and the stitch I use for each pair has made this a fun project and I am not having any issues motivating myself to continue. I’m planning to have all 6 pairs finished by the end of this month so I can mail them to the UK beginning of November so they will be there plenty in time.

four and a half pair marie curie

I still have most of my ends to weave in! So the first 3 pairs are maybe more masculine as I used blue as contrast colour and because I made them a little bigger. Now I’m working on the yellow contrast colour and I’m knitting them a little smaller even though I know terminally ill patients often have retention issues and swollen ankles so I do not make any 56 stitch socks but still somewhat smaller than the first 3 pairs.

This 5th pair is a simple vanilla and I need to find something nice for the last pair. I would love a simple yet feminine pattern that can work well with this variegated yarn. If you have any ideas, please do share the pattern name or even link in a comment below!

Now on to works in progress. So on top of my Marie Curie socks, I’m still working on my Chevron Boxy only it has not seen much love lately so no picture here. It’s in a project bag next to my bed and I’m hoping I will pick it back up and just work on it like crazy to get it done soon! We’ll see…

And I also finished a shawl that I was test knitting for KBJ Designs, an Australian knitwear designer that I have test knit for on a few occasions.

Her shawl was knit in one single solid colour but I had just finished plying a beautiful gradient hand spun yarn. My yarn went from dark marine blue to a beige sandy colour. Sort of like from the beach to deep sea and I really wanted to use that for something special asap! Lucky for me the designer was ok with me using not only a gradient but a hand spun at that so off I went.

handwound ball

You can’t see all the colours here but you do get a little picture of the different hues.

This shawl pattern has not been released yet but I will let you know when it is and what it is called. I’m not going to share the name just yet just in case she had a change of mind:)

This was a beautiful design and a joy to knit and I finished way ahead of the deadline.

crimson dawn shawl beginnning

It was not easy to choose whether to begin with the darkest or the lightest colour. Finally I settled on the darkest because I really like blue and I felt it would look nice on my skin.

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I’m really happy with the finished item and knitting with my own hand spun yarn is such a thrill!

And now on to my 3 new cast ons in the order in which they were cast on!

First there is my second Damejakkalopa cardigan or a colourwork cardigan by Pinneguri. I’m knitting a second version of this one for my mum and hope to have it finished in time for Christmas.

My mom chose the colours a while ago and she asked me to omit the “lice” pattern on the body (the little dots/stitches in a contrasting colour). I’m done with the yoke so until I reach the bottom of the body it is just simple knitting in the round.

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I really like the colours here. The main colour is indigo blue which you can see on the yoke in the part just below the very light blue/grey section. I’m using yarn from the same company as when I knit mine only a different line. I used the wool/silk blend for mine but this time around I’m working with the 100% wool blend and loving it. It is the Supersoft by Holst Garn.

My second cast on was somewhat of a surprise. This weekend we had some friends over to celebrate our birthdays and I was wearing my Cactus over a tee shirt.

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One of my friends made a few not so subtle comments about why I wouldn’t knit her a cardigan too and so the next day I decided I would and cast on! Now, I don’t knit for a lot of people usually. I choose my knitwear recipients carefully because I only want to spend time and money knitting something if I am fairly certain the recipient will actually appreciate my effort and wear/use the item. This particular friend is knit worthy and I have already gifted her a shawl and two pairs of socks. So anyway, I have cast on for a second Cactus. I again used Holst Garn but in their wool/cotton blend so it does not scratch at all! I chose a very neutral colour called Dove. I literally just cast on yesterday so I don’t have much to show but here goes.

cactus two

I think this will look nice and be easy to wear with all sorts of colours.

And last but not least, I decided to join in for the new Stephen West Mystery knitalong! This started last Friday but I didn’t get the time to cast on till Sunday. The first few rows are a little confusing but I think it will be nice in the end.

As Stephens designs are often very colourful and a little “out there” I decided this time I would be very down to earth and choose subtle, neutral tones and I’m so happy with the combination of yarns I came up with.

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All are special yarns that I have purchased recently except for the mohair blend which I hand dyed myself.

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As you can see I have literally just started so not much to show. And I do have a doubt about whether or not all is correct. Also I find the mohair yarn knit on its own looks a little awkward as it is so much thinner than the other fingering weight yarns. But I’m going to keep going with this clue until it starts shaping up so I can better judge. Of course if when looking at my picture you see a huge error screaming back at you, DO let me know!

That’s it for today. I hope you have enjoyed your time here on the blog and seeing my knitting. I have enjoyed sharing everything with you. Next time I will be sharing pictures and information on a secret test knit I did this past summer and the pattern that will be published in a beautiful knitting magazine this November. I also hope to be on my last pair for Marie Curie and who knows what else!

So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

Stranded colorwork, steeks and a giveaway

Hi there how are you today? I do hope you have had a pleasant weekend with lots of time to craft to your hearts content.

I was able to make some progress. Not as much as I had imagined I  could but then when is that ever the case!

But hey for once, I’m not going to share about my current knits but rather share an older project with you AND there will be a giveaway too as promised!

A few months ago I decided it was time for me to make not only my first all over colorwork garment but to do my first ever steek too.

And I decided I would try the Holst Garn yarn as I had heard of that often in stranded knitting and it is a very affordable yarn too so off I went and ordered some balls of different coloured Holst Tides which is a wool and silk blend.

As for the pattern I decided on the Damejakka Loppa or Flea Cardigan by  Pinneguri.

This was a really fun pattern and it uses a number of different colours and one can totally loose one self when browsing the different versions that people have made and shared on Ravelry.

From the start I decided it would be for myself. I have since decided I have to make a second one in different colours for my mother and I hope to get to that later this year.

IMG_0841IMG_0825IMG_0842Here you see the beginning of my cardigan and the colorwork which is mostly in the yoke. After the yoke, the body has the typical Norwegian “flea” pattern which I did do as the pattern calls for. When I knit the second one which will be for my mother I will do a solid body as she asked me not to include the flea pattern on the body.

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The colours in the body are rather subtle and the pink main color is somewhat heathered which does not show in the pictures.

You can see my steek on the above picture. It looks like  a column of stitches on the front. I think there were just 5 steek stitches so it really does not add much to your knitting to do a steek but boy does it speed up the process of cardigan knitting. Not having to purl back but just knit  round and round makes for such a speedier process.

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Soon my body was done and then the sleeves went quickly. I think it was with this particular cardigan that I started knitting sleeves on 9″ circulars. I now cannot imagine doing sleeves any other way. I find that sleeve knitting on 9″ circulars is such a joy and way less fiddly than when knitting a sock as it is just round and round and  a few decreases. At least in my case; the sleeves go way quicker this way.

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Next step was to knit the button bands on either side of my steek. So I picked up and knitted stitches along the steek. And one thing I have to say, the idea of steeking and cutting my knitting has always scared me. I have imagined horror scenarios where the entire piece unravels once the steek has been cut. Or that I cut in the wrong place or just any other unlikely scenario might occur.

However I slowly overcame my fear as I knit on this garment because of the yarn. The Holst garn is not thick nor is it especially sturdy but it is a little rustic and so I was pretty sure the yarn would “stick” to itself and nothing would unravel. And of course that did turn out to be the case.

flea ready for steeking So once the button bands were done I crochet a chaine on either side of the middle stitch in my steek portion to secure the stitches before cutting between the crochet chains.

damejakka open

And tada! Here it is open just after I cut the steek. And NOTHING is unravelling.

Unfortunately I forgot to take another picture to show it after tucking back the steek sides. I did not sew a ribbon over the cutting but I think I might next time I knit this. But for this first steeked garment it was very simple. I left the crochet chains in place and just folded back/inside the part of the steek on each side and sewed it loosely down. As the yarn is  a little rustic, it just clings together and even if I did not put a ribbon on top it still looks quite good.

And then I washed and blocked my cardigan…

damejakka blocking

and promptly put it aside!

And so it languished for a few weeks, 99% done. Just missing the buttons. Why do I so dislike sewing on buttons?

As I was knitting on this cardigan I saw a shoutout from a French ceramist asking for people willing to test her products and give honest feedback. I jumped on the occasion and contacted her and was lucky enough that she accepted my proposition.

And so this first ever all over colorwork, steeked cardigan has super special hand made buttons.

camelir boutons

Are these amazing of what? These are just gorgeous. They are handmade from ceramic. They are not coated or glazed so feel “raw” to the touch. I love the little butterfly imprint and the colouring.

The creator behind these amazing buttons is a French lady called Cecile.

She creates ceramic buttons which are just amazing and really add value I feel to a garment that you have invested both time and money in making. These buttons are not fragile and you can handwash  your garment  without any worries.

Cecile has  a large selection of buttons on offer of different sizes and forms as well as in different colours so chances are that you will be able to find just the right set of buttons for yourself if you decide to go ahead and treat yourself.

Cecile also works with leather and has some handmade items out of leather on offer too.

She has a shop on Etsy as well as her own blog which you can find here 

Here is  a close up of the buttons sewn onto my cardigan.

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Beautiful right?

Now Cecile was generous enough to give me/you a set of her handmade ceramic buttons. This is not a  set like the one I used for my cardigan but rather a selection of different buttons to show you what she can make. These will look beautiful on any project that either does not require more than 1-2 buttons or one that is a little whimsical and you can allow yourself to show them all off in one fun garment.

camelir prize buttons

These come in a little linen (I think) bag, hand printed by Cecile. You will also get her business card and care instructions for the buttons. They will be well protected to travel in total security from my home to yours.

So this is the first giveaway to celebrate my blog now having reached 300 subscribers.

If you like these beautiful, hand made ceramic buttons and would like to have these to test out yourself, you can join in the giveaway by going to her shop and taking a look at what she has to offer. Then come back here and leave me a comment telling me what you liked most in her shop or if you won, what would you use these buttons for (do you have a project waiting for these or maybe these will be perfect for something you are dying to knit).

As there are more giveaways coming (yes you are lucky) this will be a short one. If you can comment to join sooner rather than later, I will draw the winner this Thursday June 22nd afternoon. I don’t know when I will get to the drawing so up until I do, you can still enter.

The second giveaway will then be launched over the coming weekend so do stay tuned for some more fun.

That’s it for today. I do hope you have enjoyed stopping buy and seeing my Damejakka Loppa and its beautiful handmade ceramic buttons. Join the giveaway and try your luck. I will ship worldwide so don’t be shy.

Happy knitting and best of luck 🙂

Hi there how are you today? It’s Monday as I write this and I admit I’m still a bit tired. Weekends go by sooooo fast! I never have enough time to do everything I want to do. I really need one extra day to just relax and knit and not think of or do anything else.

I did get some knitting done though of course. I actually got a severe case of startitis! Must be my “attack all the old wips” challenge that is coming soon that spurred this. I seem to be all about colorwork and so I kept working on my Flea cardigan that I need to write an entire blog post on later.

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But then I cast on for two more things.

First was a brioche wrap. The pattern is called Midnight Sherbet by Madeleine Windsor. As soon as I saw her posts on Instagram I knew there was no way around this. I HAD to knit one. And so I set about dyeing yarn for this and chose my non superwash organic merino DK and this weekend I balled up my yarns and cast on!

midnight sherbert frontmidnight sherbert back

The top picture shows the “front” and the second the “back”. I use ” ” because I think there is no real front/back on brioche wraps. Both sides are beautiful. It’s just a question of which color you like best or which side goes best with your outfit that day.

As you see I’m not far along but I hope to work a little bit on this every day.

My second cast on was for the Ninilchik swancho by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland knitworks. I bought the pattern ages ago and have been wanting to cast on for a while. I went ahead and purchased some Drops yarn for this project and yesterday, Sunday, I cast on.

I am having second thoughts about my color choices as well as my color assignments (I mean which is color 1 etc). I thought I had chosen colors that were contrasting enough to work but once knit up, they fade into each other too much.

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The first picture shows this especially well as one can hardly make out the pattern. I do like my colors but I’m not sure they work. I’m wondering if I should switch one of them out for a white for example? I’m keeping the grey as the main color so maybe the contrasting three could be : white, plum and blue? And just leave out the brown all together. What do you think? It sucks to rip back all the way to the collar but this is a big garment and I can’t keep knitting on this if I’m not 100% sure I actually like it. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with me that the colors are too similar to work nicely here? Have you knit this pattern yourself?

Strangely enough I did NOT knit on any socks this weekend! Shocker! But I am planning on choosing my first languishing wip to work on today. So it will be all ready to go come February 1st. I’m thinking as a motivation, I should choose a pair of socks where sock 2 is already started. I’ll keep you posted on that next week.

I will be back later this week with an exciting announcement for you so I hope you will stop by again.

Thank you for taking the time today to stop by and check on my knitting. I hope you have a great week ahead of you. Take care and see you soon:)