FOs and new acquisitions

Hi and thank you for stopping by today. I haven’t had a lot of time lately to knit so much, I think. But I still have 3 finished objects that I can share with you today.

So the first one is a hat that is part of a Christmas gift. The yarn is a DK weight 100% merino that I hand dyed in black.

www.knittinginfrance.com     www.knittinginfrance.com  Here you can see front and side view. The stitch pattern is not easy to photograph as the yarn is black but this is a sort of broken rib pattern. It is slightly slouchy but one could also fold the brim to have it snug. I’m quite happy with the outcome. Now I just have to make matching mittens.

The second finished object is also a hat. I also knit it using my hand dyed yarn in a worsted weight. The yarn is a blend of merino, alpaca and silk so it is super soft and slightly fuzzy.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see a collage of different views of the hat. The pattern is called Fairy Snowcap and is by Romi Hill. This is a for sale pattern on Ravelry and it really is super nice and a quick knit. The pattern calls for a pompom but I’m leaving it as is without a pompom as this too is a Christmas gift and I’m not sure the recipient would like a pompom.

 

And the third and last finished object for today is a pair of mittens, the Meristem mittens by M Montzka on Ravelry. The pattern is easy to knit and beautiful but I do feel the sizing is small. I knit the larger size and I think I’ll have to gift it to another person than I originally planned on because it’s just too small. That was disappointing but I’m going to try and do a second pair and make it bigger by adding stitches on either side of the lace panel on the back of the hand as well as on the palm side and I’m also going to make it longer.

www.knittinginfrance.com They are almost too small to put on my mitten blockers…. The pattern is gorgeous though so it will be ok.

As for my WIPs, I’m working on 2 pairs of Christmas themed socks for my youngest daughter and a pair of mittens that I have just cast on but might frog back because I’m not sure the pattern is right for me. What I want to share with you is my progress on the Doodler kal – the Westknits mystery kal that is going on now and maybe you are part of too. So I’m a few rows from finishing clue nr 1 – hopefully I’ll do that today and then I’ll go right ahead and do clue nr 2. I don’t want to end up way behind in the kal so I’m going to get some more knitting done on this one.

www.knittinginfrance.com So far so good. I really like the yarns I chose and the construction is interesting. I think I should start weaving in all those ends as I go or else I’ll find myself with an entire shawl and a gazillion ends to weave in which does not sound very enticing.

And then on to new acquisitions. I’m so terrible when it comes to buying patterns and yarn. I just want it ALL! And I know I have enough yarn to last me a few years and I know I have enough patterns to last my entire lifetime but….I keep buying more! This weekend I totally went overboard and bought some hugely exciting stuff but I’m going to hold off from telling you about those until I actually receive them. So today what I can share is a project bag and some yarn.

The project bag is from A Homespun House from Molly who runs an online shop and a podcast by the same name. I enjoy watching her podcast and I’ve loved seeing her bags online and heard about people rave about her bags so I decided to go ahead and buy one for myself. I also actually purchased 2 of her patterns at the same time to be honest:) She has two patterns on her website, a pair of mittens called Foraging and a shawl called Whispering pines and I bought both and those were instant download. And then I purchased one of her project bags. I must admit that I thought, from watching her podcast, that she had a huge selection of bags but when I went online there were only a few models available and all were her sweater size bags. This is the one I got

www.knittinginfrance.com It is very nice BUT not as nice I had imagined it to be. Now this may be not very nice to say but if I’m reviewing a product I have to be honest. So the sewing is very nicely done and the bag is cute but it is not as amazing as I had imagined after seeing her podcast and seeing and reading other blogs and podcasts rave about her products. It is nice and it is medium big but I do think the price was a bit stiff. I have so many gorgeous project bags that are just as nice or even nicer and bigger and their price was less hefty.  Of course, I only just got this bag so I don’t know how it will work in the long run, it might outlive all my other project bags and end up being my absolute favorite but at the moment I’m a tiny bit disappointed but that might be just my fault for imagining this to be something other than it really is. Anyway it is cute and I’m glad I did make the purchase:)

My other acquisition that arrived a few days ago is yarn from Knit Circus Yarns. Earlier this year they launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new studio space and brick and mortar shop and I backed them up and now I have finally received my rewards!

I got a shawl pattern by Jaala Spiro called the Grand Canyon shawl

www.knittinginfrance.com and then I got two skeins of gradient yarns

www.knittinginfrance.com Not sure which one I’ll use to make the shawl with just yet.

I also recently got a package from a company called Yarn Valet and I’ll soon be sharing their items with you AND there will be a giveaway with that so stay tuned!

That’s all for today, thank you again for taking the time to share my knitting and ramblings. I’ll be back soon but until then, enjoy your crafting 🙂

 

 

 

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News from America

Hi there, I’m writing to you from sunny California. It is quite refreshing to be here and enjoy 27°C at the end of September. What is difficult is the time difference and the jet lag. My trip actually took 25 hours “door to door”. I took a train, a bus and 3 flights. Believe me, when I finally arrived at my destination I was totally DONE!

I had made a few purchases online before going and those were waiting for me when I arrived here. I’m travelling light which is great when travelling but inconvenient when it comes to shopping as I just don’t have any space for new purchases. This is a good thing for my wallet but frustrating for the knitter in me.

Now here are my goodies:

www.knittinginfrance.com You have 2 pairs of Addi Turbo Sock Rockets that I look forward to trying. One Circa row counter which actually has 3 counters in one, a book called Sequence Knitting by Cecelia Campochiaro. I have read about this book online and I understood that this was a special book that I HAD to have, unfortunately I did not realise how big this book is, it’s a hardcover book and it is super heavy! Its full of wonderful new patterns that can be worn inside out for example. This is a treasury of innovative patterns that I look forward to dive into and I’d love to design something using this as a start point for something and I’m actually thinking of using one of the yarns you see on the picture for that.

And speaking of yarns, I have 2 from Mrs Crosby. I’ve heard of this yarn and seen it online but this is the first time I actually have some. I chose yarns from the Mrs Crosby Loves to Play line and this yarn has 55% super wash merino, 15% nylon and 30% outlast. I’ve never worked with Outlast yarn so I’m quite excited about that.

The colours I chose are Toucan (the variegated/speckled one) and Spangled Cotinga (the turquoise one). I’m going to cast on for a pair of socks with the Toucan one and the Spangled Cotinga I think I might do  a pair of mitts or maybe design a cowl using the Sequence Knitting book as inspiration.

I also got one skein of the Regia Pairfect yarn. This yarn will produce a pair of socks that should be identical.You have a yellow thread at the beginning and in the middle so you can start each sock at exactly the same place and thus the striping pattern for the leg will be identical. So I look forward to trying that out.

I also got 2 books as a birthday gift: Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant and The Knitters Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes.

So you can imagine that I’m going to have lots of fun with all these goodies!

Now as for the trip over here which was super long, I did knit quite a bit. I cast on for a pair of socks as I was on the train to Paris.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you can see the beginning, I had just completed the toe increases. I used my gradient yarn from KnitCircus and my project bag from KnitRunDig. The pattern I’m doing is called Toe Up Socks with a Difference by Wendy D. Johnson.

www.knittinginfrance.com As you can see I’ve finished one sock. When I arrived in San Francisco I was on the cuff! And I finished the cuff and cast off the next day. This pattern is unusual due to its heel construction as the gusset is actually on the sole and not on the side of the heel. Its fun to try a new way of doing things and this is sufficiently simple to do while travelling. As for the cast off, on the picture you can see that the cast off has created like a crochet chain that you can see distinctly. I used Judy’s surprisingly stretchy bind off for the first time. I also did the cuff in k1tbl,p1 which was not what the pattern called for so a little change there on my side. I really like the outcome and the yarn. However, I have quite a bit left of the first ball of yarn and so I did not get to use all the colours which is a little disappointing.  I would have loved to have all the colours in my sock but for that I would have to either knit bigger socks or socks with a textured pattern that uses more yarn. But on the positive side, I have some yarn left for some hexapufs for example.

I also knit on my shawl, In the Moment by Joji Locatelli.

www.knittinginfrance.com I took this picture shortly before reaching Portland. Since then the shawl has grown but I’m still on the striping section. I only have a few repeats of the striping section left to do but I think I may have to do additional repeats as I feel my shawl is too small when compared to the pictures in the pattern. It says that gauge is not critical so of course I did NOT knit a swatch! Maybe that is proving to be a bad idea…. Anyway I’m not going to rip everything out  but rather continue and if I feel it’s too small then I’ll just add on some repeats before going to the border section. What I do love so far is the colour combination. The Pumpkin Spice (orange) colour is a beautiful orange, not too bright, not to flashy but rather a smooth, calming, gorgeous orange and it goes perfectly with the brown Pine yarn.

I’m going to continue working on my shawl this week and I’m on the leg of my second sock so I think I’ll be able to cast on for a second pair while I’m here in the US or at least as I travel back home.

That’s all for today. I’ll be sharing some pictures with you later from San Francisco and Portland.

Until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting/crocheting/spinning 🙂

 

More dyeing

Hi there, if you have been reading my blog lately you will know that these days I’m doing lots of experiments with my dyeing and this weekend I did some gradient dyeing. The difference between striping yarn and gradient yarns (my definition) is that a striping yarn has 2 or more colors and usually each color will run X meters and knit up into a few rows/rounds of colour that either repeat themselves or not if you are doing a sort of rainbow stripes.

Gradient yarn/dyeing will have longer color sections that will then blend into each other. This can be done using colors that are similar and the transition from one color to the next is sort of natural, the color seems to change organically. Or you could do this using bright and contrasting colors where you will notice the end of one section and the beginning of the next, more than when using more muted or similar colors.

This also requires a new technique which is very different from dyeing striping yarn and is quite time consuming and I think that is why there is not a huge selection of hand dyed gradient yarn on the market and why that kind of yarn is higher priced.

I’ve long wanted to give this a try and as I had a client contact me requesting a custom dye order for gradient yarns, I jumped right in and said YES! Of course I can and will do this for you!

But before dyeing her chosen yarn base, I decided to do some test dyeing first. Both for me to work on my colors and combinations and also for her to see some examples and then choose her colorway. I did 2 sessions and I really like the outcome, especially for the second one. I made some mini skeins where each colour would run between 10-20 meters and used 4 or 5 colors per mini skein. It is not possible to dye gradient yarn in one skein so after dyeing I had to rewind my yarn into a skein for it to dry and then once dry I wound it into small yarn cakes. Yarn cakes don’t look as good when they are super small as they do when regularly sized but you will get the picture of what it looks like.

My first test:

gradient dyeing www.knittinginfrance.com Here I played around with mostly blues and greens in different tones and depths as well as some yellow as you can see. The cake at the top is the biggest I made and here I used 20 m per color where the rest is only 10 m per colour. My favorite is the big one at the top because I feel the colours really flow together and the second favorite is the middle one on the bottom, the blue one. The only “problem” with this one is that the blues are maybe too close in color to one another and so at times 2 different colors really flow as one so, I’ll have to rework that.

After this test I had some dye left and so I quickly dyed a full skein of sock yarn using up the leftover dye and I think it came out beautifully.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com

My second test:

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you have my yarns just out of the pot being rinsed www.knittinginfrance.com And here I have skeined the yarn and laid it out to dry. You can already get a good idea of how the colors are

www.knittinginfrance.com  Here the mini skeins are dry and I tried to lay them out in such a way as to show all the colors in each. So I did 4 skeins, 2 with 4 colors and 2 with 5 colors.www.knittinginfrance.com Here they are wound into mini yarn cakes. Now I just need my client to make up her mind and then i’ll be ready to dye her chosen yarn base!

I’m really happy with the outcome and out of my 2 test session I can really see 5 colorways that I’d like to develop and repeat and I can see me doing those both for yarn and fibre for spinning. In this test my favorites are yarn cake nr 2 and 4 from the left. What do you think?

And today I embarked on a new test, not gradient but cotton! I’m not used to dyeing cotton. That requires a different kind of dyes and a different method. My supplier of undyed yarns just added some Pima Cotton to his offer and I decided to give that a try. Pima cotton is high quality cotton and the yarn can look and feel wonderful and as summer is here, I decide to give that a go. At this time my yarn is being dyed – it takes a long time- and I’ll soon be able to share more about that dye experiment and show you some pictures.

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed reading the post. Before I leave let me just tell you that in addition to the ongoing offer for a discount on FridaJo project bags there will soon be a super fun giveaway here on the blog so stay tuned:)

I think I may have a problem…with online shopping…..too much…..or….

Hi there, yesterday was a happy mail day but today is an even HAPPIER mail day! I’m so happy and excited about what the mailman brought today that I started getting a bad conscience! Could it be that I spend too much time and money shopping online? After all I do have my very OWN online knitting shop with quite an extensive stock at home. So why do I still need to buy from others???? Good question! I think the answer to that question is: You can NEVER have too much yarn! (or related tools, fibre, books, accessories…. you get the picture!)

So now its show off time! And maybe one of you will get inspired to do a little shopping online as well (hi hi…this is the shopping fairy thats speaking here)

First of, like I told you yesterday I recently enrolled in a spindling class on Craftsy and after watching a few classes I went online and bought some supported spindles. I bought 2 tibetan and 2 russian style spindles. One of each from 2 different shops. So I got one set delivered yesterday along with a lap bowl www.knittinginfrance.com

And today I got the other two! The first set is sort of classic elegance I feel and this second set is more fun and full of colour. This second set comes from the USA, a shop called Woodturnerva and his work is gorgeous and the spindles are BEAUTIFUL!

supported spindles from Woodturnerva on Etsy - www.knittinginfrance.com

Supported spindles from Woodturnerva on Etsy

The Russian spindle is the multi colored one and the Tibetan spindle is the pink and black. Beautiful work don’t you think? Now I just need to find some serious alone time to work on my skills as I plan to take my spindles with me on holiday this summer. Do you spindle? If so any and all tips and tricks are more than welcome 🙂

So this was the first happy package of the day. Now on to the second! So a few days ago I was browsing Facebook and came across a post from Jaala Spiro of Knitcircus. She was having a SALE the next day. I did think: hm, better NOT check that out tomorrow as I really don’t need any more yarn and plus I have this huge to knit list and promised myself I’d get it done before casting on for any more socks etc. But hey, who can stay serious and strong in front of a Knitcircus sale? Unfortunately, or not, I’m not one of those folks. So came the big day and off I went browsing! At the end of my daydreaming, shopping session I found myself with 3 items in my cart! And now they have arrived!

huge yarn cake from Knitcircus - www.knittinginfrance.com

Sand Castle gradient yarn by Knitcircus

Knitcircus gradient yarn - www.knittinginfrance.com

Eat, Pray, Knit and Watermelon gradient yarns from Knitcircus

So do you like?????? The first picture of the big brown and blue yarn cake is 150gr  so lots of yardage there ( 600yds), the colourway is Sand Castle. I’m thinking this one needs to be a shawl. The other two are  regular size 100gr cakes with 400yds. The one on the left is Eat, Pray, Knit and the one on the right is Watermelon. I love watermelon socks so I might knit this yarn first. I’m thinking for the Watermelon, a simple pattern to let the colours really be the centerpiece of the socks. However, as this is just one regular size yarn cake, I wont be able to knit them 2 in 1 or if I do, one sock will be mostly green and the other mostly red but then I guess, even if I knit them one at a time that’s how they will be anyway. Do you think maybe I should use this for something other than socks? To let the gradient dyeing show? I hadn’t thought of this. In her yarn club I receive 2 yarn cakes and that is why I’m able to do 2 identical gradient socks. Hm, guess I need to think this a little bit.

But for the shawl thing, do you have any suggestions?  Maybe the Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson that she designed specifically for Knitcircus gradient yarn. Here’s a picture of that

Come What may shawl by Susan B Anderson - www.knittinginfrance.com

Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson especially designed for Knitcircus gradient yarns

They say that 430 yards are needed which means that the smaller cakes are out of the picture and if I use the large one, I will have some left overs for a small pair of socks maybe unless I’m able to make the shawl bigger. This could be an idea I think. You can buy a kit from Knitcircus (pattern+yarn+beads/or no beads) or the pattern alone on Ravelry.

Now on to the last happy mail day item! This is a magazine that is published for people in the yarn industry and it is super interesting as i can read interviews with interesting people, get information about the industry, get inspiration and so for so definitely a good read for me.

my favorite magazine - www.knittinginfrance.com I love this issue’s front picture.

Well that’s about all for today. I’m off to work on my guest post for Sarah Inskeeps blog and to browse Ravelry for inspiration for my new yarn. Youpi:)

Until next time, take care