Maker of the Month – Part two

Hi there, I hope you are doing good since yesterday. Being Thursday today I sort of feel like the week is coming to an end as always on Thursdays. I sort of start counting down to Friday night when I can finally relax some and enjoy more knitting time.

I hope you enjoyed yesterdays post and interview with my friend CC of JavaPurl Designs. Today is the second half of my feature on her and her work and today is all about her new book which will be officially launched tomorrow March 10th at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

This second book of CCs is co-authored with her daughter Dami and includes 7 patterns, 5 socks, 1 wrap and fingerless mitts. The book is available both as a physical book and as an ebook. You can purchase her physical book at EYF if you are one of the lucky attendees or you can go to her website . The ebook can be purchased on Ravelry and the individual patterns from the book will be released on March 12th – for those who only want to buy one or two patterns.

This second book is called Coffee with CC (and Dami too) and has 7 coffee inspired patterns. Five of those are designed by CC herself and 2 by her daughter Dami who is not yet 18! So impressive! I would never have been able to design let alone publish a pattern at that age.

coffee with cc and dami too

If you read yesterday’s post you will have gathered that I’m a fan of CC and her patterns and you will have gotten some insight into the person behind these amazing creations. And if for some reason you have not read the post and her interview, I recommend you stop for a few minutes, read the post, and then come back here for the book review.

As always CC’s patterns are very clearly written out leaving no room for hesitations or errors. All the sock patterns are written both cuff down and toe up which I find amazing. That is two times the work for the designer for double the pleasure for us knitters. Whatever our preference when it comes to knitting socks, we are sure to find the pattern and instructions we need.

The patterns are graded by difficulty level which are indicated by the number of coffee cups. One cup is light, two is medium and three is strong. This will help you gauge each pattern better and if you are a new or newer knitter you can work your way through the book from the easiest to the most difficult one and come out a hero:)  Just saying 🙂

CC has also teamed up with indie dyers for this book and so each pattern features a gorgeous hand dye yarn making the pattern pictures that much yummier.  The photography is beautiful and the overall feeling when browsing the book is one of well being. That may sound strange given that I’m reviewing a book but what I mean is that it’s a friendly, relaxed book that makes you want to knit every single pattern and not only that, but it makes you feel you can!

Clearly I cannot say enough good things about this book and I do want to knit every single pattern in there. I felt the same way about her first book and I did start to knit the patterns from that one but have not finished yet as I tend to be constantly distracted but I will knit them all and the same goes for this one and I’m planning to start after Sock Madness. Would you be interested in doing a yearlong kal? Something very relaxing, just knit at our own speed as we knit all the patterns in either this or last years book? Or better yet, a mix of both? No need to commit to knitting 14 patterns but if you want to knit a few let me know in the thread on Ravelry that I have created in my group.

And now onto the individual patterns.

CC Babyccino_Main_small2 These are the Babyccino Socks designed by Dami. I love the stitch pattern she chose and the fact that you could knit a pair for every member of your family as they come sized from baby to adult!

CC Chai_Latte_Main_small2 These are the Chai Latte socks. Again a fun stitch pattern and it works perfectly with a self striping yarn. I love self striping yarns but most of the time I only do plain vanilla socks when using a self striping yarn. Having the option of a fun patterned sock that is tailored to a self striping pattern is amazing and I think it will make the knitting only that much more fun.

CC Espresso_Con_Panna_main_small2 The Espresso Con Panna socks. Again CC has used a textured pattern and I think this will work especially well with variegated yarns and I do have a ton of those in my stash! I also love how this one looks in this tonal yarn. I’d love to make these and I can see myself doing this pattern in all kinds of yarns because I think the end result will be so different depending on the type of yarn I choose (crazy variegated, subtle tonal or solid).

CC Hot_Chocolate_Main_small2 The Hot Chocolate with pink marshmallows speaks to me louder than the others because unlike CC I’m not a coffee drinker! I know, I know! But I do love a good hot chocolate 🙂 The pattern has a beautiful X and O pattern and I think it is best shown off when knit in a tonal or solid yarn and that’s what I plan on doing.

CC Instant_Coffee_Main_small2 The Instant Coffee socks. Again a very fun stitch pattern that works beautifully with a tonal or solid yarn. It looks super  yummy and textural. They say it is as easy as making instant coffee so this might become a new substitute for vanilla socks in the future.

CC Fingerless_Mitts_main_small2 1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots fingerless mitts. How fun are these ? You have three designs in one as you can choose how far up your arm the mitts go and I love the cable design.

CC Flat_White_Main_small2 The Flat White Wrap. This is a beautiful  lace design shown here as a wrap but CC does explain that this can be modified to become a skinnier wrap, a scarf or even a cowl. That is a very versatile pattern and I think I might make the cowl version myself as I’m not a fan of scarf knitting and I think a wrap would be trying on my patience and I might put it aside to cast on some socks and then have a hard time picking it up again. So yes I’ll do the cowl.

Those are the beautiful patterns in CC and Dami’s new book being released tomorrow. I highly recommend you buy this book. The ebook is 19.20USD on Ravelry and that is good value for 7 designs I think.

A big  thank you to CC and Dami for gifting me their book and allowing me to review it before the official launch.

They have also generously offered to give one of you a copy of their ebook! How amazing is that? So in order to enter and be eligible to win a copy of the ebook, please leave a comment below with your Ravelry id and tell me which of these 7 patterns you love the most. I will draw for a winner Friday 17th of March. Best of luck to you and I’ll be back after the weekend. Until then, have a great weekend and enjoy your knitting.

 

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.

 

Knitting video podcasts and giveaways

Hi there, thank you for stopping by. As I’m writing this it is Friday evening here and I’m just beginning my long weekend! Monday is a public holiday here in France so I’m going to be able to get some more dyeing done than on a regular weekend.

I have been dotting down all the subjects and things that I want to share with  you and  there is a ton! I will have to be serious and organized and get to work!

But before that I thought I’d share something with you because there is a fun giveaway going on and you just might want to join in the fun.

So in an effort to get the word out there about my little shop and my hand dyed yarns and hand made stitch markers, I have been sending some freebies to some of my favorite knitting podcasters both for them to try out and for them to giveaways as prizes on their podcasts.

One such review/giveaway is currently running so you still have time to join in and maybe win some of my yarn and stitch markers.

Just watch Maria’s  latest episode of her podcast Stitched in Sweden and you will see the yarns I sent her and then join the giveaway. Just click here for her episode.

I both watch and listen to a lot of podcasts and Maria’s is one of my favorites. Her style is a little different and I really love her color work knitting.

If you are interested in seeing what video podcasts I follow here is my top 10 and in no particular order:

Geeky Girls Knit

The Knitting Expat

The Knitting Broomstick

Little Bobbins

Inside number 23

Sticks and Twine

YarnGasm

Susan B Anderson

Grocery Girls

AndreSue Knits

 

This is not an exhaustive list of video podcasts that I follow but a list of those I watch every time a new episode comes out. There are a number of others I’m trying out and watch from time to time.

With regards to audio podcasts these are my favorite ones:

Curious Handmade

Shiny Bees

Pom Pom Podcast

Yarn Thing

Power Purls

Also not an exhaustive list but just some of the must listen to.

I hope I have introduced you to something new and help you discover a new podcast. What podcasts do you follow if any? I’d love to hear from you what your favorite shows are.

I’m not sharing any knitting this time although I have been knitting like crazy as you know if you follow me on Instagram – where I’m @knittinginfrance.

I’ll be back later with pictures of my latest FOs and my current WIPs. I’m also working on organising a new sock themed giveaway so stay tuned for that AND there is the summer kal to think about- June 1st to Sep 1st where we would be knitting together on one of Nancy Whitman’s patterns. Do let me know if you want to join in the kal.

And just before I go, do join in Maria’s giveaway if you have the time. Have a wonderful (long) weekend and I’ll be back soon:)

 

 

 

In progress

Hi there, This week I have been working on a few ideas and projects.

First I made up sample “goodie bags” as a test for a future “goodie bag club” in my shop. I’m thinking this would be a fun alternative to the classic yarn  club. The idea would be to sign up and get a goodie bag every month or two. I’m thinking of something around 10€ and the test bags I made up include: 2 mini skeins (25m each – hand dyed sock yarn), 1 envelope of Soak (mini soak for washing your hand knits and try out before maybe committing to a whole bottle), some handmade stitch markers (we never have enough of those), a handmade needle stopper (same thing as with the stitch markers, we can always add a cute needle stopper to our project bag) and a pattern tamer from Atomic Knitting. This is a rough idea, I might change before committing to this. Of course each month the goodie bag would be different although there would always be 1-2 mini skeins (could be hand dyed or hand spun), a set of hand-made stitch markers and a knitting needle stopper . The rest of the items would change, there might be a needle gage or a cable needle or a stitch holder or some beads etc. You get the picture. Something yummie, something handmade, always fun and at a reasonable price.

Here’s a picture of the test goodie bags I made and will soon be sending out to lucky testers:) www.knittinginfrance.com

I’m also proud to announce that I’m participating, in a small capacity, (but participating nonetheless) in a knitting retreat that will be held in Edinburgh this autumn. The retreat is called GEEKY PUFFIN KNIT PALOOZA which is being held for the very first time. The retreat is organised by CC Almond of JavaPurls and her daughter Demeris (they also do a podcast together that I highly recommend you check out: Geeky girls knit) and their friend Sam Bogia of KnitRunDig – you can find Sam’s shop here and her blog by clicking on her name (KnitRunDig). Sam has a project bag shop on Etsy and she also has a podcast you should check out by clicking through on the links above.

So these three amazing ladies have concocted an amazing weekend for you in Edinburgh, Scotland from October 29th to November 1st. I think there may still be a few places left if you would like to sign up. Also note that they will be selling a few spots for individual classes and that the vendor market will be open part time for non-retreat visitors. So if you are in Edinburgh or close by during those dates you should definitely take a look. I’ve personally met CC and Sam and they are both wonderful fun and I’m sure the retreat will be a blast all around and I would have loved to actually attend myself. But…. not possible this time around, maybe next time? But I did say I was participating though and here’s how. The attendees will be getting goodie bags (how I envy them) and I have made two of the items in there (I’m not saying what as that is going to be a surprise for the attendees) and I’m super proud of the opportunity to participate like this and I’m super excited about getting to introduce myself and my work to the attendees of the retreat. I’ll show you pictures later on but probably not until after the retreat so as not to spoil the excitement of the future lucky attendees! Anyway, that’s exciting:)

Now on the subject of spinning. It’s been a while since I shared my spinning with you. I think I told you a while back that I bought a bump of Kauni pencil roving in their Rainbow colorway and that I wanted to try to spin that up. I love Kauni effect yarn and I wanted to see if I could make some. This is also the first time I ever spin from pencil roving and it was quite fun. Now I have not only spun the pencil roving but plied it as well. I did a two ply and I have a gazillion meters I think. I have yet to wash and finish the yarn so I haven’t measured it out yet. I love the outcome, as all Kauni yarns, it’s not soft but I’m going to wash it with a little hair conditioner and hopefully that will soften it a bit. I’m thinking I’ll make socks and mittens with this.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see the pencil roving next to my wheel. You can appreciate the gorgeous colors and how fine the pencil roving is.

www.knittinginfrance.com And here is my skein of handspun Kauni yarn. Personally I love it!!!

 

Last weekend I also did a little bit of test dyeing. I dyed 2 skeins of sock yarn using a fun technique I secretly call “candy dyeing” because I think it is such a fun way to dye and that the resulting yarn is almost as yummie as candy (yes I have a sweet tooth). So I did 2 skeins, using different main color for each and then using the same accent colors but organising the differently on each yarn. The yarn is still drying so I’m not able to show you what it looks like once reskeined yet but here are some in progress pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com So you see, about 3/4 of the skein is dyed in one color and then approx 1/4 is dyed in small sections with accent colors.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here I have wound the hanks into skeins but the yarn was still humid so the skeins don’t look as yummie as they could be. They will be all dry and ready for reskeining pretty soon and I’ll be able to share with you those pictures so you can see the final result. I’ve also decided that I’m going to use one of these skeins as my travel sock yarn and I’m currently looking for a good and simple sock pattern that will show off the colorway. I don’t want cables or lace as I see these yarns as being something fun for simple vanilla type socks.

That’s all for today. I’m thinking it’s almost time to do a little giveaway! I have finally reached the milestone of 100 subscribers to my blog and I’d like to celebrate by doing a giveaway. I’m thinking something super nice like a skein of sock yarn with a set of markers and a needle holder. Maybe one main price and 2 small ones… I’m going to sleep on this and think about how, when and what and I’ll be launching this beginning of October I think as I don’t have the time now before going to the US so once I’m back it should be fine.  So stay tuned and join the fun.

Thank you for taking the time to share my thoughts and wips I know you are super busy so I’m honored you allow me to take up some of your precious time.

Take care and until next time, happy knitting/spinning/crochet

KnitRunDig and JavaPurl

Next in my series of talents that I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London is the lovely Sam of KnitRunDig.  I met sam for the first time at the show where she shared a booth with CC Almond of JavaPurl.

Sam sews amazing project bags which she sells in her Etsy shop as well as at craft fairs/shows such as that one. When I went to look at her booth I saw a number of bags that I wanted to snatch up but being the serious person I am (hm hm) I decided that it would not be reasonable to spend all that I earned at the show to buy from other vendors or at least not until the end of the show:) So when I came back one of the bags I really wanted was gone ( it had super cute foxes) but lucky for me the other must have bag was still there!

Knit Run Dig and Java Purl This is the booth shared by Sam of Knit Run Dig and CC of Java Purl

Here’s a picture of the bag I got from Sam project bag knitrundig along with a current project. It’s a japanese tissue and just gorgeous! It has a ‘handle” which you can see on the right side of the picture and this allows you to carry the bag on your wrist for example if knitting on the go. It is large enough to accommodate a mediums sized knitting project. At the moment I have my ball of yarn, my pattern, a notions pouch and my shawl in progress and it’s perfect!

You can visit Sam’s Etsy shop here  Currently she does not have a lot of models in the shop but I know that she can do custom orders so if you are looking for a fun and yet practical project bag you should definitely contact her with your idea and I’m sure she can do the trick for  you:) Sam also blogs and has a video podcast which you can check out here.

Sam is friends with the fun loving CC Almond which you may know as Java Purl and together they are organising a knitting retreat in Scotland later this year and I’ll tell you more about that later.

Now on to CC – she’s an American living in Edinburgh, Scotland and she is an avid sock knitter and sock designer. You may know her as JavaPurl or have heard of her Doctor Who socks. CC has her own blog which you can visit here and together with her daughter Damaris she does a video podcast under the name Geeky Girls Knit. The podcast has lots of interesting features and CC being CC, it is also loads of fun to watch and you can take a look at her podcast here if you are not yet familiar with it.

In their latest episode they talk about the I Knit Fandango show in London and share the goodies that she brought back home with her – some of which come from my shop! On this note, I agreed to produce something for the goodie bags each participant in her and Sam’s knitting retreat will get this autumn. That is super exciting and good exposure for me. Also she loved my yarns and bought one for herself:) Can’t wait to see what she’ll do with it. I also gave her a skein of sock yarn – she chose the colour herself- for her to design a pair of socks with. That is the first time I ever pair up with a designer to use my yarn in a design. Yarn support to designers is very exciting and I’m sure this will give me good exposure once the future pattern will be released (not until later this year).

Like I said above, CC is a designer and you can visit her pattern shop on Ravelry here She is probably best known for her sock designs, especially the series of Doctor Who inspired socks. After seeing her socks at the show I fell in love with one pattern which is also film inspired. The pattern is called The Lady of Lallybroch and is inspired by the Outlander.

Lady of Lallybroch by Java Purl  These are the socks on display at the show and they are gorgeous. Lady of Lallybroch by Java Purl This is a picture I found of someone’s version of those on Ravelry and I feel that the solid color shows the cables better on the picture. You have this intricate celtic cable design going from cuff to toe on the front of the sock. So these are on my todo list and I have already chosen my yarn and so they should be cast on shortly. Here’s my future version of this pattern The Lady of Lallybroch Socks and yarn The yarn is a gradient yarn from Knitcircus and I think it will show the cables beautifully.

Now on to Sam’s and CC’s knitting retreat. The retreat is called Geeky Puffin Knit Palooza and is scheduled for the weekend of 29th of Oct – 1st of Nov 2015. It will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can sign up for residential or non-residential places. In addition to taking classes, participants will take part in a yarn crawl and will have early access to the on site marketplace – before the marketplace opens up to the general public. Also participants will all receive a goodie bag (and those are going to be fantastic) and there will be gorgeous door prizes too. This is looking to be a wonderful retreat so if you are in Europe or going to Scotland, I suggest you check out their website and sign up if you can. All the info can be found here

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed meeting these two lovely ladies and hearing about their work. There will be at least one more post this week on yet another inspiring artist I met at the show so I hope you are enjoying my series.

Take care

More of the I Knit Fandango show

Hi there, I was going to write a post on yet another fantastic person/persons I met at the show but I find myself running out of time to do what I need to do so today I’m just going to share with you the latest episode of my friends video podcast. So at the show I met the wonderful CC otherwise known as Javapurls and she hosts a video podcast with her daughter Damaris.

I’m going to do a post on CC hopefully this weekend or next week at the latest but so as not to leave you for a full day without any news, here’s a link to her latest episode. You will hear all about her impressions of the show and more importantly you will see all the gorgeous stuff she got at the show – some of which is actually from ME:)

So just click here and ENJOY 🙂