The twelve days of Christmas and the 2016 birthday game

Hi there, how are you doing today? I hope you are doing great. Before I dive into today’s subjects I just wanted to remind you of my Yarn Valet review and the giveaway. You can read about it here and to participate just leave a comment below the blog post. I will draw the winner tomorrow Thursday 17th of December.

And then there is the 2016 Birthday game. I blogged about this a while ago and some of you decided to join in the fun so I sent out emails with questionnaires to help us get to know each other better and so on. I have only received replies from a few of the participants so I would like to ask that if you are one of those that expressed interest in participating, that you check your email to see if you got my email and questionnaire and that you fill it out and send to me as soon as you can. If for some reason you did not get my email, please let me know by sending me an email to: knittinginfrance@gmail.com so I can send you the missing questionnaire.

I’d like to be able to put the finishing touches on the preparations for the game before the Holidays.

Now, THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. You may have seen this hashtag on social media and I believe at least 2 great companies are spoiling us in the last few days up to Christmas and just in case you are not aware of that, I thought I’d share the info with you here.

First there is Kettle Yarn Co – Linda of Kettle Yarn Co in the UK is offering one promotional item each day leading up to Christmas. She announces her offer of the day on Instagram so you should follow her there to get some of her gorgeous hand dyed yarns, project bags or patterns at a bargain price.

And then there is Tin Can Knits – I’m a fan of Tin Can Knits designs and I own a number of their patterns and at least 2 books. I just heard that they are doing a “12 days of Christmas” giveaway via their blog and Ravelry. Every day the giveaway a free accessory pattern! How’s that for great news? So how does this work? Well you just go to their blog here and every day there will be a new pattern. On the blog you will see pictures and be able to read about the pattern. If you then click on the “buy now” button, you will be taken to Ravelry where the pattern is still marked full prize but when you go to check out the number magically becomes 0! And you just download your new pattern! I think this is a great idea of course and I hope that if you were not aware of this, then you’ll be able to go check out their blog and join the fun and get some gorgeous patterns for free:)

That’s all for today. Take care and I’ll be back tomorrow to announce the winner of the Yarn Valet give-a-way (so don’t forget to participate).

 

My first ever sock design 90% done and a great response to my HUGE discount on Etsy

Hi there, two great news today that I’d like to share with you! First off, my first ever very own sock design is 90% done! I’ve knit both socks and the written pattern + chart is almost done. I just need to take some good pictures and include in the written pattern and then I’ll be ready to send it off to a couple of test knitters. I’ve shared pictures of the design both here and on my other social media and I’ve had an incredibly positive feedback so I’m actually feeling super happy and optimistic about this new pattern of mine. This will be a free pattern that will be released here on the blog end of August beginning of September I hope. Coinciding with the “NEW” shop opening.

I called upon your help a few days ago regarding this pattern because I didn’t have a name for it. I did get a few suggestions here and one on Facebook but I was already in love with the first one. So the suggested names were: Coral Reef, Waterfall, Soft Waves and Can Can. Thank you to all of you who took the time to give this a thought and come up with a suggestion.

And I’ve decided to go with Coral Reef! I just love the name, it flows well and somehow just fits perfectly so a huge thank you to my blog reader Maggienesium who came up with this name:)

I would also like to thank everyone for the success of my huge discount in my Etsy shop now. Like I shared with you in my last post I’m working on a complete “renewal” of my Etsy shop this autumn but to be able to do that I need some help in the form of orders! I need to sell off as much of my current stock as possible to be able to make room for the new stock and I also need some money to buy new base yarns and to launch an independent e-commerce website so that I won’t be so dependent on Etsy anymore. So far I’ve had a great response to the offer. People are buying knitting needles and yarns at -40% off and I’m so excited that this benefits us all: I get more room in my stock space and some much needed funds to carry on and you/the shoppers get a great deal on all the supplies I carry so basically this is a win win situation!

So I hope this coming week will continue to be a success sale wise and if you are part of a knitting/crochet group online or “in the real world” do share the news with your fellow crafters:)

So just in case you didn’t read my latest post, the coupon code to get the 40% off your order ( valid for all orders of 10€ and more) is: RENEWAL

Happy shopping 🙂

ps- here in Normandy it is the perfect online shopping weather today. It’s raining like there’s no tomorrow! Also the perfect weather for some serious tv knitting and I think I may just get started on sock design nr2 🙂

Take care and enjoy your Sunday:)

I need a NAME!!

Hi there, I’m working hard on my very first sock pattern. I’ve knit the first sock and am well on my way on the second sock. I’ve written the pattern  down in 2 sizes and included both written instructions for the lace panel and charted instructions with a key for the symbols etc. I think it looks ok. I’m wondering if I should try and do one more size – currently the socks are graded in M (60 stitches) and L (68 stitches) and I’m wondering if I should do a 54 stitch version as well. What do you think? What size do you usually knit or what is your sock size?

I shared pictures of my pattern in progress and I’ve had incredible feedback from people. Lots of positive things being said so I’m feeling super proud and optimistic about this first sock design. I’m hoping that if I’m able to offer/design sock patterns using my yarns that will help sales and encourage people to try them out.

This first pattern will be a free pattern. I’ve had 2 people offering to do a test knit and once that is done I will be publishing the pattern so hopefully sometime before the 1st of September. I will be offering the pattern here on the blog and then later I might upload it to Ravelry also.

So yes I’m super excited about this and I’ve got my head full of ideas of stitch patterns and ideas for future projects I could make with my yarns. All the positive feedback and likes on social media have really given me wings and I’m currently just feeling totally capable of MAKING IT BIG! So I’m going to hold on to that feeling and hopefully, little by little, I will make some progress:)

However I do need some help from you guys! My sock pattern needs a name (the yarn color as well actually). For the time being, I’m saving the pattern on my computer under the name “newborn” (you know, the first sock pattern I’ve ever given life to kind of thing) but I’d really like for it to have a “real” name but I’m feeling ….empty…uninspired name wise. So I thought maybe you could help! So here are some pictures of my design and hopefully these will inspire you and you will be able to suggest some names to me!!!!

www.knittinginfrance.com The finished sock

www.knittinginfrance.com A close up of the lace panel

www.knittinginfrance.com The Swirl Toe and lace detail

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com A close up of the sole side of the Balbriggan heel and then a close up of the heel and heel flap (sorry the picture is up side down).

So what do you think? Do you like my first design? Do you have any ideas for a good name for this design? Any ideas would be super welcome:)

That’s all for tonight. Do come back tomorrow as I’m going to be announcing some serious discount and future changes in the shop. But until then, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

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

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

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

First off are the FOs

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

I also finished a pair of “regular” socks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Where do you look for inspiration for your next project?

Yesterday I shared with you my thoughts and progress on trying to create my own design for a cowl and today I’d like to follow up and think about where we go to look for ideas for our next project.

Do you find inspiration in shops or on the street and then go see if you can find something similar on Ravelry or another pattern website? Or do you browse Ravelry/Patternfish/Craftsy etc for a new pattern? Or do you go to Pinterest?

I used to always turn to Ravelry but more and more I go to Pinterest. I find an incredible amount of gorgeous patterns there and the pin usually links to the website where the pattern is either free or for sale. I have added a large number of both free and for sale patterns like this to my Ravelry library.

I started using Pinterest not that long ago only to find that it is incredibly addictive. I follow a number of knitting, crochet, spinning and DIY boards and inspiration is EVERYWHERE. I can spend hours on end just browsing Pinterest. I’ve of course created my own Pinterest account with a number of boards and my followers have been steadily growing and today I actually have 2.423 followers. Isn’t that amazing? I’m super happy to have such a following and I love seeing the number just go up every time I look. My most popular boards are the Crochet, Knitting inspiration and Hand dyed yarn boards.

Rather than doing separate boards for say: shawls/socks/ how to/ particular technique etc. I include everything knitting related in my Knitting Inspiration board for example. I feel it is easier for me when pinning and repinning and I think others enjoy that because I keep getting new followers/subscribers. If you want to take a look at my Pinterest profile and boards and maybe even follow some of them, you can click here I’d love to see you there:)

Do you use Pinterest for inspiration like I do? Would you like to share your Pinterest profile by leaving a comment below with a link to your Pinterest profile for us to check out and maybe follow you? Do you maybe have a tip or a great Pinner or board that you’d like to share with us? I’d love to hear from you on the subject. After all, we all love (I assume) looking at pictures of beautiful projects and growing our to knit/to crochet list:)

I wish you all a wonderful weekend with lots of crafting time for even more fun:)

Trying to do something original

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing great, I’m soooo happy today is Friday! I’m more than ready for the weekend to arrive and get a break from work!

Last night I was thinking about inspiration and knitting. At the moment I’m working on my Beetlebum shawl, my second Skandium sock and the baby cardigan with the incomprehensible yoke. And that of course just is not enough! So! I thought about casting on for a pair of socks because I have one on my todo list (the outlander inspired socks by CC Almond) and I’m going to do those once my Skandium are done, but I didn’t feel ready for that yet. And so what to do?

Well you know, a few days ago I told you about a custom dye I did for a client, well I used some left over dye and dyed a set of 3 skeins for myself using the cashmerino base yarn and yesterday I just really wanted to knit something with that but rather than find a pattern I decided to just make one up myself.

I decided it would be a cowl because I love cowls in winter and this yarn is just super soft so ideal for that kind of project. I went through a stitch library book and found one that looks very nice and cast on. Unfortunately I ended up ripping everything out because I found it BORING! Yes, I like large cowls that you can wrap around your neck and so there are a lot of stitches and after about 2-3 inches I just couldn’t face having to go on for X inches more and I thought that if I myself didn’t feel like continuing then most likely no one else would. So back to stage zero. I cast on a second time and this time I used the stitch I had originally thought of when thinking about this project – but didn’t go with in the beginning because I was afraid it wouldn’t be interesting enough.

So I’m actually doing a slipped stitch pattern, like a partridge stitch I think it is called where you alternate slipped stitch rows with knit rows. This produces a sort of uneven fabric which I find quite nice but again I’m not sure if it will keep the knitters interest to the end. The positive thing with this is that it will be the perfect tv and travel knit because you can just relax and knit on and only have to be careful that your slipped stitches are not stacking up and creating a ribbing. So a very relaxing knit. www.knittinginfrance.com Here is my yarn

www.knittinginfrance.com Knitting away

www.knittinginfrance.com Here is a close up of the pattern- can you see that it is sort of uneven ? Doesn’t quite look like regular stockinette?

I think it looks nice BUT do you? I’m really wondering if I should continue and make the whole cowl in this pattern OR if I should use a number of different stitch patterns and make this a sort of “sampler cowl” OR rip it out and do something completely different? And as I’m writing this I just got this crazy (or not so crazy) idea: what if I knit a brioche stitch cowl in 2 colours using the inside and outside of my yarn cake?  That might be sort of cool? Wow, now I’m even more confused!!! The idea does appeal to me….Any suggestions? I’d actually like to make up a sort of pattern and then sell as a kit for example or just offer for free when people buy this type of yarn in the shop.

Well, that’s all for today. I have to take a long, hard think about the future of this project. So have a wonderful Friday and an even better Weekend:)

ps- don’t forget to join in my little game to have a chance of winning a Sock Ruler or if you are doing a scrap yarn project but are getting bored with your own scraps maye you’d like to join in the scrap yarn swap

Baby blankets – I need to make 2!

Hi there, I see in my very near future some change in knitting habits. I will have to change from knitting socks on end and now turn to some baby knitting as 2 precious little ones are soon to show up in my family and friends circle.  And knowing that I NEVER knit just 1 thing I better start in time so that everything is done for the babies births.

Now, one will be a girl (99% certain) the other most likely a boy ( the grandmother dreamt it) so I’m thinking  at least one has to be a “unisex” blanket.

In fact I actually already have a baby blanket on my needles, in my pile of WIP! This is  a blanket I knit using my own yarn and my own design – I decided to knit a fair isle blanket in the round and then steek. I browsed through pattern books and chose a few patterns I liked and off I went. I’m not far from finishing actually so this one should be finished quite soon. Here are some pictures

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the front of my blanket

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the back side and if you look closely you can see the stitches that will later be steeked

www.knittinginfrance.com And here you can see the inside of the blanket which will eventually be the wrong side

So what do you think of the design? This is the first time I do my own baby blanket and I’m rather happy about the outcome. I love working in the round so I absolutely wanted to try doing a blanket this way. My only worry is for the reverse side once finished, will that bother people? But then, when you browse online for blanket patterns not many are fully reversible so I’m guessing this will be just fine. Also the colours are bright and fun so I also feel that this could go both for a girl or  a boy.

But then I also have to find a second pattern, or even a third and a fourth! Yes one of the babies has 2 sisters and I’m thinking they would LOVE to get a blanket of their own just like their little sibling. So I might end up doing 4 total:) If you have a favorite blanket pattern or you have something exquisite on your todo list do share as I’m looking for inspiration at the moment. I’m not fixed on yarn thickness or colours so far so any and all suggestions are welcome 🙂

Here are some ideas I found on Ravelry

yarnspirations pink baby blanketThis is called “A Pink Baby Blanket” and can be found on Ravelry and the Yarnspirations website – free pattern- just click here

There is another pattern from Yarnspirations that I also like a lot and coincidentally it is called Little Boy Blue Blanket

little baby blue blanket – it is also a free download on their website and you can find a link to it on Ravelry or just click here

Then there is the Chevron blanket from Espace Tricot which is also a free pattern on Ravelry

chevron baby blanket from espace tricot You can download this here

 

And on the subject of chevron, I also found this blanket called Lace Chevron Blanket which I find rather nice

lace chevron blanket This pattern can be found here

Then there are two wood inspired blankets, the first is called Babes in The Wood

woods baby blanket and can be found here

And the second one is called Pine Forest Blanket

pine forest blanket and can be found here

And then there is the Owl blanket, when I first saw this on Ravelry I immediately went ahead and bought the pattern. I haven’t knit it yet but maybe now’s the time

owl blanket 1 owl blanket 2 This is a gorgeous pattern and I could do it in 4 colours or more or just in 2, the pattern is here

Then there are 3 a little different blankets, the first one is round and is called a Pinwheel Blanket. I’ve already made a few of those and they are fun and easy to make and you can do so much with such a simple pattern, you can use a solid colour yarn, you can do gradient yarn, you can do stripes etc to give a different outcome. I rather like this version

pinwheel blanket This can be found here

Then there is the Entrelac Baby Blanket – this is an original idea for a baby blanket I think and I believe it could be a great idea. I could use a number of colours and do a rainbow version or I can choose muted, pastel colours or I can do just 2-3 colours and get a striped effect

entrelac baby blanket The pattern is here

And then there is the giant mitred square blanket called Colour Your Own Story, there are lots of baby blankets knit using mitred squares but this is the only one, I found, where the blanket is just one giant mitred square and I find the idea amusing

COLOUR YOUR OWN STORY This pattern is also free on Ravelry and you can click here

If I come clean, I actually have a second blanket on my needles in my WIP pile, but that one is not a baby blanket. It’s a blanket I’m knitting for my older daughter using my hand spun yarn in lots of colours. No actual pattern but mostly moss and seed stitch. Sometimes I forget what I’m doing so it is a rather unconventional blanket but as the yarn is thick it doesn’t show that much. My daughter keeps asking when I’m going to finish it and lately it’s been more “when are you going to work on it again”. I got a little tired of it and then fell into the sock knitting mania but now I really have to get serious and do something about this as she will not be happy seeing me knit all those blankets if hers just stays in the “to continue later” pile. Here are some pictures of that blanket at different stages

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com

Wow, that’s a lot of blankets! And there’s even more out there so the choice will not be easy but then again if I embark on knitting 4 then it’s just as well I have a lot to choose from as I would not like to make the same all over again and again.

Now which one do you like best? Have you maybe knit one of those and have a picture to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts:)

Thats all for today, take care and happy knitting

Happy Mail Day

I just received yet another package from Knitcircus Yarns as I’m a member of their Gradient Sock Yarn Club. This month the yarn is a gorgeous pink/fig color called Fig and Prosciutto. I find the name is a great match to the colours and this feels so like spring. Have a looksy

Gradient yarn club from Knitcircus yarns  IMG_3059

Gorgeous don’t you think? Now I just have to find the perfect pattern to do this yarn justice. The yarn comes accompanied with suggestions for both toe-up sock patterns and top-down patterns. Here are those they suggested and maybe you can help me choose:

Toe-Up

Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy D. Johnson  – free on Ravelry

Hoar Frost by Louise Tilbrook – 3£ on Ravelry

Melisandre by Purrlescent – free on Ravelry

Les Chaussettes de la Schtroumpfette by Elise Dupont – free on Ravelry

And Top-down

Zora by Regina Satta – free on Ravelry

Bjork Socks by Cookie A – 6,50$ on Ravelry

Nutkin by Beth La Pensee – free on Ravelry

Spring Forward by Linda Welch – free on Ravelry and knitty.com

Hedgerow Socks by Jane Cochran – free on Ravelry

Talk about a difficult choice! Looking at these patterns I actually want to make a number of them so to choose just one will be difficult. After a simple browse my top patterns would be Melisandre and Bjork Socks but I’m not decided yet. What do you think? Have you knit any of these patterns yourself and if so what did you think of it? Do you maybe even have a picture of the socks that you would like to share with us?

That’s all for today, I’m counting on you to help me make a choice here:) So until next time take care and enjoy your crafting