Thank you!

 

Thank you to all of those that took the time to leave me a nice message on my post I’m back and so joined in for a chance to win a little something.

I so loved reading your comments and it really made this whole blogging experience even more worthwhile. It is such a nice thing to get positive feedback on something so personal as a blog. I don’t share a lot about my personal life but sharing my knitting story really means a lot to me. I don’t have any knitting friends where I live and so I’m not really able to share in person and enjoy a fun knit night for example.

My knitting is a very personal experience. It is something I do all the time almost everywhere but on my own. That is, I’m almost always the only one knitting but I don’t mind doing so in the presence of others. Most of the people I know are aware that I’m a passionate knitter and understand (I think) that I can listen/talk  and knit at the same time. But even if I knit “in public” the experience stays a personal one all the same.

Being able to share with you virtually, has become an important part of my life and it brings me joy.

I really appreciate it when people not only take the time to read my blog but to even participate and make this a place for “live” interaction by leaving comments.

I have a lot of ideas for my little blog and it’s future. I want this to grow and become a bigger thing. Not going for world domination in the knitting world but I would love to be able to bring more value to the knitting lives of my readers.

I am preparing a chapter on sock knitting for example. I am a sock knitter as you most likely know and so I often get questions relating to sock knitting techniques or patterns and I’m thinking of building up a little ressource for you here on the blog with both advice or how to from me and links to patterns that I think are good for beginners or maybe a fun challenge for the advanced sock knitter.

I once wrote a piece on knitting needles and I’m thinking I might update that text and include in my future/new resource section of the blog.

I’m also intent on actually getting a few of my designs onto paper and to sell for a small fee via the blog or Ravelry.

I want to continue with the Maker of the Month feature even if it can hardly be called Maker of the Month these days but I’m going to strive to do those more regularly. I have one planned for soon. I’m just waiting for the person to send me her responses to the interview questions. This next maker is a Canadian yarn dyer and I’m sure you are going to love to learn more about her.

I’m thinking of offering guest bloggers to do a piece. I have done so before but it was a long time ago so maybe it is time to bring this back. Would you be interested in collaborating and writing an article for my blog? If yes; please do contact me either via the contact form here on the blog or by email to knittinginfrance@gmail.com

Is there anything you would like to see more of here on the blog? Or maybe something that I have not talked about yet? I would love to hear your thoughts on how I can make my blog better for us all.

And now on to more “urgent” matters! Knitting! Well, for once I hardly have any knitting to share with you because I have been knitting on my secret test knit as much as possible. The deadline is coming up and I was worried I might not make it in time. I will be able to start relaxing a little now because the body is almost done. Just the right front to finish on the body and then on to the sleeves.

This is a sweater design knit bottom up in pieces and I’m thinking I will block the  body pieces when both are done and then the sleeves later when those are done. I’m hoping I will be able to finish the front today so I can start on the sleeves tomorrow. The sleeves are knit flat so I’m thinking of doing them two at a time on a long circular needle. A sort of Magic loop thing. I think this may be a better solution as knitting one after the other might be too much…

Again I persist in saying that I feel this sweater is taking way  longer to knit than if it had been designed to be knit in the round. But it will be nice once it’s done:)

The only other thing I have knit on is my second pair of Stitch Surfer Socks. I have finished the first sock and I’m waiting to be into my sleeves before I cast on for the second because I need some brain space to cast on for the second one correctly as I want them to mirror each other.

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Again this was a lot of fun to knit and I’m looking forward to casting on for the second sock.

I will be on vacation in a few days and so I have to make some time to plan and get my knitting ready. I want to cast on a million things during my vacation but some seriousness will have to happen and I need to limit my excitement down to no more than two new projects… I think:)

But before I say goodbye for today, there is the drawing of the winner of my little giveaway!

So 8 people commented on the post I mentioned/linked to above. I used random.org to draw a winner and the number that came up was the number 7 which is the lovely Emma!

Thank you Emma for your nice comment and for following my blog! Please send me your personal details via email as well as your preference regarding yarn weight (fingering/dk/aran) and if there is a color you dislike. I will put together a little gift bundle and send your way. I will of course take a picture and share with everyone here as well.

I wish I could send a package to each and every one of the 8 people that commented but as that is not possible I have to limit myself to only the winner as planned.

Thank you again to you all! I hope to be back next week with some more knitting 🙂

Until then, take care and enjoy your knitting.

 

I’m back

How are you today? It has been way longer than planned since my last blog post. I have been busy at work as always and I also had my parents over for a few days from Iceland and then my son was passing his Baccalaureate test which was quite stressful. I’m happy to say he passed and so now we are just waiting to hear back from university if he gets a space in the department he has applied to study at. Hopefully we will soon know.

It has also been incredibly hot here these past few weeks and that has made knitting a little less appealing as my hands are sweaty and my fingers bloated. But I still do knit each day of course.

So since last time I have been knitting on different projects. I don’t have an FO to share just some progress on the different items.

First up there is my Main Street summer Tee by Pip and Pin. I have had very little time to work on this one lately so I’m still not done though I’m getting there. I haven’t shown a picture of my progress on this in a while so here goes.

main street 17jul

So I have finished (I think) the front and I’m now knitting the back up to where the shoulders will join. Then I will have the neck line/rib to do and the little sleeves. Not much to go so hopefully this will be done by the end of the month.

Then there is my DK weight shawl. The pattern is called Milu and is by Tamy Gore. This too has not been getting its just share of love lately. I really love how this is working up though and the colors I chose:

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I’m hoping I will soon be picking this up to finish.

I have just recently started on a secret test knit again. This is a sweater that is worked in pieces ( at least partly) and I’m knitting this using a new to me yarn called Ulysse by De Rerum Natura. This is a French merino yarn in a DK weight. The yarn is nice to the touch and enjoyable to work with but… what is a little funny is the texture of the yarn. Both just when looking at a strand of this yarn and also looking at my knit fabric, this looks like the yarn has been partially felted. Very strange. I have never knit with such a yarn before so I am a little surprised and look forward to see my finished object and how this yarn will  wear.

Have you knit with this yarn before? What did you think? I’d love to hear. As I’m not allowed to show progress pictures I can only show you the swatch I did.

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I really love this blue color and I think my finished sweater will look really nice once its all done.

And now to finish, the project that has gotten THE most love and attention lately. The project that has had me monopolized to tell the truth. My Stitch Surfer socks by Louise of Biscotte Yarns. I’m knitting these as part of a kal being held this summer by Michelle and Lesley of the Knotty Knit Wits. I had seen this pattern a long time ago but shied away from casting on thinking this would be too complicated for me. So when Michelle decided to do a kal I jumped on board. The discussion on the Ravelry thread has been helpful as the beginning is a little tricky.

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I managed to finish my first so without too many issues. Then it was time to do sock number two.

I wanted them to mirror each other and I do believe the pattern is actually written for that, however I misunderstood something and even though I did change the MC to be CC on the second sock; they don’t really mirror each other as I had hoped.

I also ran into issues for the heel on the second sock. I don’t really know where I went wrong or what I did but once the heel was done, my yarn was not where it should have been. I did manage to continue and the mistake does not show too much.

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Once you get going on these, you quickly become fascinated and caught up in the fun. And as my first pair is not perfect and these are super fun to make and just look at, I have decided that I have to make a second pair, this time for one of my daughters.

For the second pair I’m also going to be more careful with the yarn choice. In my current pair, there are long sections where both yarns are very similar in color and this is confusing.

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On my pictures the colors show up clearly but in real life the long grey/blue section is too much like the grey/blue of the main color which had me confused at times.

That’s it for my knitting at the moment. I’m trying to be serious and finish these projects before casting on for new ones or picking up others from my pile of wîps. And yet I have found myself buying way more new sock patterns than can be considered reasonable. So I find myself with a  nice pile of patterns that need to be made asap.

This week and weekend I hope to finish my Stitch Surfers and cast on for the second pair. Make progress on my shawl, the summer tee and my sweater test knit. I’m trying to be organised and knit on each a little every day or at least every other day.

My summer vacation is coming up not too far away and I will have to organise and plan for my vacation knitting.

I also have to do the third and last giveaway of this summer! I had spoken of this way back and then just did the first two! I do apologize.

So this third and last giveaway is to celebrate this knitting blog and all of you who take the time to stop by and follow my knitting adventures. I would like to give you a little something back and so I’m thinking I will put together a little surprise package for the winner using my own hand dyed yarn or fibre (if the winner is a spinner), some of my hand made stitch markers and other fun accessories. So how should we do this?

Well I’m thinking the following/

Leave a comment below and tell me why you follow my blog. What you enjoy about your experience here and if you have suggestions for topics I could write about please include those. Tell me if you follow other knitting blogs and maybe what it is that makes you want to read a knitting blog. And then tell me if you would like a knitting or spinning prize and tell me if there is a color you absolutely do NOT like. And if you are a knitter, tell me if you would like to win a fingering or a DK or an Aran weight hand dyed yarn.

I’m thinking I will leave this open for 10 days or so and draw a winner from the comments somewhere between July 27th and July 29th. In order not to mess up the prize drawing I will not reply to any comments but depending on what you have to say, I might later blog about the replies I get and possibly announce something new if you give me an idea for something I cannot pass up.

I do hope to be back next week with  a new blog post and then end of July for the prize draw. Until then I hope you have a great week and enjoy your crafting in spite of the heat (if it is hot where you live).

Happy knitting 🙂

Biscotte Yarns and more

Hi there, I hope you are doing good today and enjoying your weekend. I had intended to post yesterday but time just got away from me.

So last week I shared my first ever all over colorwork and steek cardigan and introduced you to Atelier Camelir and her hand made ceramic buttons with a follow up giveaway.

Today I would like to introduce you to a different maker and do another giveaway for the fun of it!

Today I would like to introduce you to an independent yarn company from French Canada called Biscotte Yarn. You may of course already be familiar with their yarns, they are after all quite well know for their high quality yarns. But maybe you have yet to know them and so let me introduce you:)

Biscotte yarns was founded and is still run by two talented and passionate people, Louise and Patrick.

They started dyeing back in the early 2000 and soon realized that they were on to something as people started wanting to buy their hand dyed yarns.

Biscotte Yarns was founded in 2007 and from that time they have mostly concentrated on developing self striping yarns. I think that even today they are most known for their self striping yarns even though they have lately started dyeing different types of yarns and yarn weights.

I believe they are the original or at least one of the very first hand dyers to do self striping yarns and today their catalogue has an astounding 80 self striping colorways!

As a sock knitter I love self striping sock yarn but they are not exclusively made for sock knitting of course. They can make super cute baby garments, cowls or hats and mitts.

Louise, one of the founders of Biscotte Yarns is also a knitwear designer and some of her designs have been published in Knitty for example. I think her most well know pattern must be the Stitch Surfer socks that were published in Knitty and these are perfect for a self striping yarn paired with a complimentary solid yarn. This is a free pattern and so I highly recommend you take a look and why not, try your hand at knitting these fun socks.

I have yet to knit a pair of Stitch Surfers but after seeing Michelle of the Knotty Knit Wits rave about how fun they are, I really have to cast on ASAP.

Louise has also developed an amazing free sock knitting app that you can get on Itunes and Google play and you can learn more about that here

Biscotte Yarns not only offer single skeins for sale but they also have a lot of fun kits that include a pattern and the yarn to knit it.

Not so long ago I placed my first order with Biscotte Yarns and I of course ordered self striping yarns. At the time, they were doing “Josie’s surprise bundles” and I hope they will again. Those were 200 gr bundles of a mix and match of self striping yarns. Basically a surprise package with different colorways in all sorts of quantities. I find those super fun to try out different colors and use as contrast or just a fun addition to a pair of socks.

I used one of those to knit a pair of shorty socks for my youngest.

biscottes yarn 1biscottes yarn 2biscottes yarn shorty sock

How fun are these!

The yarn is soft and a joy to work with so I am not afraid of recommending Biscotte Yarns to you to try out.

As I placed my order I decided to reach out to Louise and ask if I could do a little review here on the blog and if she would be willing to donate a prize and to my great pleasure she accepted.

So now, I’m happy to be able to offer you another giveaway. The prize this time is a full skein of self striping Bis-Sock in the colorway Lilas et moi.

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100 gr, 85 % superwash merino and 15% nylon – 400 meters or 435 yards.

To join and have a chance of winning this amazing skein of self striping yarn, just take a moment or ten to go over to the Biscotte Yarn website and then come back and tell us what colorway or what kit you would love to have.

I will draw a winner on Tuesday June 26th! Have fun and good luck to all.

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.

damejakke finished with buttonscamelir close up of buttons

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 🙂

In a bit of a stand still

Hi there, how are you feeling today? I hope you are feeling good and having a nice start to your week. I’m feeling a bit…not really under the weather but just not in a great place for some reason.

Knitting wise I have been concentrating on a few projects. One is a sweater test knit that is top secret. I’m knitting it out of Holst Garn Tides which is a wool/silk blend. So far so good. I think I will finish the body today and then get on to the sleeves.

Then there is Sock Madness round 2! And this is a clear sign I’m not quite myself but I think I’m going to quit. Yes, that’s right! What happened?

Well, so I got the pattern just after it was released and cast on immediately. This time the pattern is a mix of brioche and stocking stitch. This combination makes for a very loose fitting/elastic fabric so as I went on it just felt too big. And I’m sorry to say I did not like the pattern/outcome much.

And then I made a mistake! In the gusset section and discovered my mistake just after finishing the heel turn. So not long after but it did mean I had to rip back to the end of my flap and continue a few rows only ripping back a heel that is partly in brioche…well that did not sound so enticing. And I just wasn’t “feeling it” for some reason.

So before going to bed that night, I ripped out THE ENTIRE SOCK! And I haven’t cast on again. This is not like me but I think I’m just not in the right frame of mind at the moment and adding stress to my life is not a good idea right now. So I decided to just stop and only knit on things I truly enjoy working on.

I do have 2 pairs of socks on the go but haven’t worked on them this past week. I have just been working on my sweater and a new shawl.

I don’t wear a lot of shawls, I have a few favorite ones that I use a lot and the others just linger in my wardrobe. But I have a feeling this one may become a new favorite. It is the Girl’s Best Friend shawl by Isabelle Kraemer. I’m sure you have seen it lots of time. A lot of knitting bloggers/podcasters have made some. For extra pleasure I’m knitting mine with mostly new yarns, two out of three that is AND they are from my stash so good for me!

I still have plenty of knitting to do and I really enjoy working on this and I’m really happy with the yarn/colors. The grey is a singles I dyed. The pink is a singles too I got from a destash on Ravelry but don’t remember the yarn brand. The brown contrast color is a Madeleine Tosh Sock yarn. So pure luxury for this shawl.

Once this one is done I’m hoping I will finish my Across the Pond shawl by the Knitting Expat before I cast on for the Baubles shawl by Andrea Mowry.

So that’s all I have for you knitting wise. I am getting ready for a new Maker of the Month feature. I also am thinking about doing a giveaway when I reach 300 subscribers to my blog which should be soon. Amazing I know ! Who would have guessed that I would be able to maintain a blog for over 2 years now and grow a following of people that actually enjoy reading my blog! I’m so grateful for all those that follow and support my blogging adventures. I’m planning something nice, a giveaway that you will hopefully enjoy.

And one other thing. In February I talked about starting a Spring Challenge this April to organize my yarn and other crafting supplies and some of you expressed interest in joining me. The more the merrier and frankly if you are anything like I am, the support of others will be a big bonus.

So I haven’t forgotten. Life has just gotten in the way. I have family from Iceland visiting at the moment so I won’t be able to really get started till this weekend. I’m going to open a new page here on this website just for the challenge so that we can share ideas and progress. I’m thinking I should keep the challenge somewhat separate as not everyone may be interested in that and I want to continue blogging as usual and discuss other topics. I did think about opening a Ravelry thread in my group for this but after some consideration m I think I will keep everything here. What do you think?

I have started working on this and have a Pinterest board where I pin storage ideas to share with you for example. I so desperately need to organize not only my stash but also my many wips so I really look forward to getting started for real and if you are joining too, I hope you are gearing up as well.

That’s it for today I think. Thank you again for stopping by today for a chat. I wish you a great rest of the week and Happy Knitting

Is life all about handknit socks?

Well I guess I have to agree with you, that is a strange question BUT if you know me and especially if you have been around me or follow me on social media you will have noticed that the last few days have been ALL about knitting socks!

If you follow me on social media or regularly read my blog you will know that I joined Sock Madness this year for the first time. This is actually the 10th year they run Sock Madness and if you are not familiar with this, it is a sort of sock speed knitting contest. I believe this year we were almost 700 participants and around 50 per team. Each round we get an email announcing the start of the round and the pattern we are to knit. Even though each pattern usually comes in 3 sizes the minimum requirement is a 9″ sock so at least a medium size. Each time the pattern will present a challenge. It can be an unusual cast on or cast off, an unusual construction, a new heel design,  textured stitches, cables, beads, colorwork etc.

Learning new things is what makes this such a fun event to part take in. I have learned a lot and I have a number of new gorgeous hand knit socks:)

But there is a stress factor. Although each round runs for 2 weeks, you need to finish ASAP. Every round less and less people make it to the following round. Now round 5 is about to finish and all in all there are 7 rounds. I know I’m not going to win because there are some serious speed knitters competing and even though I’m in the third fastest knitters team (yes I had to share that little fact because I’m super proud of that), I’m still far from fast compared to the express knitters in THE  fastest team. So this round for some reason, even though I know I’m never going to win, it was SUPER important I make it to the semi finals, round 6. I didn’t get to start on the day we got the pattern until late that day and since then I’ve had a lot on my plate between work and a big custom dye job and so not as much knitting time as I had hoped for. The last day and a half I was super stressed out. I kept looking at the spread sheet and seeing less and less spots left in my team and I was knitting late at night in bed and during breakfast in the morning and all the hard work paid off! I’m so super happy and proud to say that I did make the cut! I was actually 7th out of 10 knitters in my team. So this round we went from 20 to only 10 that make it to round 6 and at the end of round 6 only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals. So round 6 will be a super short round, at least for the fastest knitters.

I really wanted to challenge myself and prove to myself that I could do this and I must admit that I’ve seen some yummie prizes that I’d love to win although I don’t know how or who will win those. Maybe just the finalists….

But anyway, I’m super happy I made it in time and I even got a compliment from one of the organisers who said that my socks were the most beautiful she had seen yet!!!! How’s that for a compliment:) Here’s some pictures of my socks:

So to celebrate I decided to launch a giveaway on Instagram. And you should definitely join in and try to win my little sock themed prize. So the prize is: a set of Two at a time socks (75/25 merino, nylon) hand dyed just for the occasion, a set of polymer clay stitch markers and a hand crafted needle gauge and kitchener stitch memo by Burning Impressions II on Etsy.

instagram giveawa

Here ‘s a picture which incidentally happens to be the picture you need to share on Instagram to join in the giveaway. So the rules are:

  1. you need to follow me on Instagram – @knittinginfrance
  2. you need to repost my photo/post
  3. you need to tag 2 or more of your friends

I will draw a random winner this Saturday May 21st.

 

I hope you will join and I wish you the best of luck. The winner will be announced on Instagram and not here on the blog as this is an Instagram only giveaway -my first ever so we’ll see how that works out.

So until next time, take care and have a wonderful day. I’ll be back soon with some more news on my knitting and more info on the Summer Kal, which will be the first ever KAL I host on Ravelry.

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:)

 

 

 

Some FOs and some in progress and a WINNER

Hi there, today is Friday and I hope you are all doing good and looking forward to your weekend. I hope the weather is better in your part of the world than it is in mine. Today it is rather cold and raining non stop! Not very spring like here today.

So last time I shared with you a video review of a new knitting book called Coffee with CC which was recently published by a friend of mine called CC Almon. I hope you enjoyed watching the review and if you have yet to see it you can click here

So I have now finished my first pattern of the book. I’m going to knit the sock patterns in the order they appear in the book and then I’m going to end with the Coffee Date Shawl. So I have just finished the first pair of socks, the French Vanilla Socks. The pattern is super simple and really an ideal pattern for a first time sock knitter so if you have been thinking about jumping in at the deep end and cast on for a pair of socks, you should definitely cast on for this pattern.

french vanilla socks by cc

I used yarn from a UK dyer called Truly Hooked. This is a cashmere, merino, nylon base which is a heavenly base to knit with. I bought this yarn because it was so incredibly bright and looking at the skein I thought this would be a crazy variegated yarn but no. This is actually a self striping yarn. I’m truly in aw of the dyers talent. I really love how this yarn knit up and I look forward to wearing my new socks.

I also recently finished another pair of socks, the Geek socks (a free pattern on Knitty). I had actually finished most of the socks, I only had the afterthought heels to do and finally got to do those. The pattern is a very simple one too and a really fun pattern to use with self striping yarns. It’s the closest thing to a vanilla pattern and yet it looks more complex.

geek socks done

This week I took the yarns I had chosen for my Coffee with CC kal and wound them all up so the’ll be ready when I am and I took a little picture to show you

yarn for coffee with cc

There are more balls than sock patterns left because I have a doubt about my next pattern which is written for a self striping yarn.  This is a yearlong kal and that is great because I still  have a ton of wips and I’m also doing the Sock Madness competition and on that subject, I just received the round 4 pattern so I had better get my stuff ready and cast on. I’ve been to the Ravelry tread and some people are already well on their way! I got the pattern by email last night but I was already asleep so…

This time around it is a beaded lace sock with a lot of charts so I’m thinking this will be a complex knit and it just might be the one that eliminates me from the competition. I don’t think this one will be something I can work on while doing other things. This pattern seems to demand full attention.

You can take a peak at the pattern on Ravelry, it is called Sweet Nuttins

Well it’s time for me to say good by and cast on if I want a chance to go on to round 5 so I better announce the winner of last weeks giveaway!

So the winner will receive a digital copy of the book Coffee with CC and I hope the winner will enjoy the book as much as I do and maybe she will even join us in the yearlong kal with Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast.

So drumroll please!!!!! And the winner is:  Salenamom23

Congratulations to you Salenamom23, please send a message to CC aka JavaPurl on Ravelry and she will in turn send you a copy of her new book.

Thank you to all those that participated in the giveaway.

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back soon.

 

Today is all about Coffee with CC

Hi there, how are you doing today? I hope you are doing well and enjoying your weekend. I also hope the weather is better in your part of the world than it is here in Normandy today. We’ve had lots of rain and it’s not very nice outside. But I have family visiting so we just might go outside for a little drive or walk in spite of the weather being what it is.

Lately I have been working mostly on my socks. There is a small break in the Sock Madness contest so I’m using that to finish some of my works in progress. There is an optional round going on now but since it is not a round that counts in the competition I’ve decided to not join in but rather continue to work on the stuff that needs finishing.

But on the the important stuff. Today I want to share with you a review of a recently released knitting book. The book is written and self published by a friend of mine whose name is CC Almon but her designer name on Ravelry is JavaPurl.

So CC published her book just around the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and you may have either seen it there or watched reviews on it in video podcasts lately. I purchased the physical book which comes with a download code to download the digital copy to your Ravelry library. I have been planning on sharing my review of this book with you for a while but life got in the way. But now it’s done! At last.

So I decided to do a video review to better show you the book and the yarns I have put aside to knit the patterns in the book. I filmed a review and that was fun. What is not so fun is uploading the video to Youtube. I think I must be doing something wrong because the uploading took hours! and I don’t mean 2-3 hours, no more like 12-15 hours! Is that normal? If you have any experience with uploading videos to Youtube and have a tip or two to share to shorten the upload time, I’m definitely super interested in hearing about that!

So here is my review for you to watch, please come back here after watching because I have some more info to share on the topic.

 

I hope you enjoyed this little video I did. Like I said in the video VeganJilly of The Knitting Broomstick podcast is hosting a yearlong KAL in her Ravelry group for the book and I’m participating and I urge you to do the same if you have purchased CC’s book.

CC has very generously offered to donate a digital copy of her new book to one of my readers!  So it’s time for a little giveaway!!!!

To join and have a chance of winning a copy of this book you should: go visit CC’s Ravelry shop and browse here designs. Then you should come back here and leave me a comment with your Raverly name and the name of the design that you most like from CC’s Ravelry shop. It can be a pattern that is not included in the book.

I will draw a winner from the comments using a random number generator this coming Friday April 30th.

So enjoy your weekend and coming week. Best of luck it you join the fun and participate in the Coffee with CC giveaway.

This weeks FOs and the winners of the Nancy Whitman giveaway

Hi there, how are you today? Fine I hope. I’m so happy it’s Friday and I’m going to have 2 days off from work. I’m not doing anything in particular this weekend but I will do a bit of dyeing as I have a request for a custom order for some gorgeous yarn so this weekend I’ll experiment with color and see if I can get the colour the client is hoping for. Also I hope I’ll get a bit of quiet time to knit some.

This week has been quite productive in fact as I finished 3 pairs of socks and I finally finished the Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson that had been waiting for WEEKS for me to just do a beaded cast off. The pattern calls it a Russian Beaded Bind Off and I think the name just scared me, I thought it was going to be complicated and I had to watch some tutos on YouTube etc. But in fact it was super simple! Well, I’m really happy with the outcome. I have even blocked the shawl and it looks real nice.

come what may

The yarn is a gradient from Knitcircus yarns. I think the colorway is called Tidepool or something like that. When I look at the shawl like this, it makes me think of the beach. The top, beige part reminds me of the sand and then the color changes are like that place where the sea just rolls over the sand and then it ends with nothing but sea/water. I might be overly poetic here but basically I really love how the yarn knit up in this shawl.

come what may detail

I used nr 6 glass beads for the bind off and I think they give a really nice finish to the shawl and add a little bit of weight which I think makes the shawl sit beautifully on the shoulders. Any way it was great to just get this done and off my wip table.

I also finished knitting 2 pairs of socks with my handspun yarn. They all ended up being fraternal socks. The yarn is self striping but some parts were mostly yellow/orange and others mostly red/purple. But that’s ok, I don’t mind and neither does my daughter. And I’m just so happy to have knit them with yarn that I made myself! There is something extra special to knitting with one’s own handspun yarn I feel.

So once the two pairs were done I cast on for a pair of tube socks for a kid – either my youngest or some of her friends (depends if I manage to knit 4 pairs by April 1st). And here’s a picture these last 3 pairs

socks march 18

I used an Almerino Rooster Aran yarn for the tube socks.

So this brings my total of pairs of socks this month to 5! I’m waiting for round 2 of Sock Madness to be launched and so I was trying hard to hold myself back and NOT cast on yet another pair as I know that round 2 is just around the corner and I’ll need to concentrate on that once the pattern is released but…. I was only able to hold back until today! I cast on just now for a new pair and I’m using yarn I bought through the Golden Skein. It’s a self striping yarn from Scrumptious Purl.

scrumpious purl

As you can see I only just cast on but I’m already liking the outcome.

Another thing I cast on this week was the KITSUNE sweater by Amanita – a pattern I won in an Instagram game. I dyed up some yarn (and I hope I dyed up enough because I did not write anything down so I’ll never be able to replicate if I need more yarn). I chose a new base which is a DK weight 100% superwash merino with a high twist. The yarn is super soft and a true joy to knit with and the stitch definition is just perfect! I’ll need to dye up some more of that for the shop so you too can give it a try.

kitsune 17mar

I’m not far along but I can already see that this will be a great sweater. I love the color of the yarn and I enjoy the pattern. I did make a mistake right after the ribbing and kept on doing ribbing instead of doing the 1) k1, p1 *2) k1,p1* 3) p1,k1*4)p1, k1 and you can see that if you look closely. I was too lazy/excited so I just could not get myself to rip back and fix but rather let it be and I’m calling it my little “customisation” 🙂

I already had 1 sweater and 1 cardi on my needles but that’s not going to stop me from casting on a new sweater obviously:)

Now on to you ! First I’d like to say thank you to everyone that participated in the Nancy Whitman giveaway last Friday. I’m super happy to see so many comments and this is the most popular giveaway I’ve done so far! So thank you to all!

Before I announce the lucky winners, I was wondering if any of you would be interested in doing a Nancy Whitman kal? Not right now because there are so many kals going on at the moment (and I’m too busy to participate/organise just now) but rather this summer. I’m thinking about doing a summer kal running from June 1st to August 31. Also I’m thinking of a rather open kal, what I mean is that instead of everyone knitting on the same pattern, the requirement would be to knit any one of her patterns. That way we can all choose the one we want to knit. What do you think of that? I might also do a special discount for the participants in the kal if anyone wanted to buy some supplies and or yarn for the kal in my shop. If there is interest, I’ll look into that and announce later.

I would open threads in my Ravelry group, one for chatter and pictures of progress and one for FOs and I’m thinking we could do a drawing for a prize at the end of the kal. That could be fun don’t you think? I could donate some yarn, handmade accessories, discount code to the shop for example and maybe I can get someone else to donate something too. I think the number of prizes will depend on the participation and once we decide if we go ahead with the kal I’ll be able to take a serious look at prizes and announce them before the kal begins as an added incentive for you to join in the fun:) Let me know what you think, is this something you would be interested in doing with me?

And now the moment of truth, the moment you have all been waiting for, the announcement of the 2 lucky winners which will each win their pattern of choice (the one mentioned in their comment) from Nancy Whitman’s Ravelry store. I used random.org to draw the winners and, drumroll please, here goes:

Winner number 1 is Lisa Hackman or Betheyarn on Ravelry and she has won the Ganz pattern. A great choice! So congratulations Lisa and thank you for participating. I’ll be letting Nancy know and she will gift you the pattern as soon as she can.

And winner number 2 is Tari or Captnswife on Ravelry and she has won the New Slant pattern from Nancy. Again congratulations Tari and thank you for participating. I’ll be letting Nancy know and she’ll gift you the pattern shortly.

 

To all the others, I’m sorry I could not give you all a prize but not to worry. I have more giveaways coming and the next in line is also pattern related but more on that later. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by today:)