Back from Sicily

Hi there, just a quick note to let you know that I’m back from a wonderful family vacation in Sicily! I’ll have to tell you all about that when I have a little more time. I feel I have a billion things to share with you only the return after being away from work, shop and home for 2 weeks is super hectic!

It was extremely hot and humid in Sicily so knitting was not always easy but I did knit! I had brought a hand spindle and some roving for spinning but it was just too hot for me to actually do spinning so unfortunately I did not do any spinning.

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen pictures every now and then of me and my knitting at the beach! Such as these

www.knittinginfrance.com  Here I’m working on a new sock pattern. I’ll be sharing some more pictures with you later of that

www.knittinginfrance.com and here I’m knitting on my Mara Light shawl

I’ll need to free up some writing time this week to tell you about my vacation and my knits on the needles as well as some exciting news about the shop and future pattern support for my yarns:) Yeah! I’m super excited about all that:)

Also,  my HUGE DISCOUNT offer is still going for a few more days! So if you would like to try out some of my hand dyed and or hand spun yarns NOW is the time! I also have lots of stitch markers, knitting needle holders as well as knitting needles and crochet hooks. And the best part is that you can have them all at a 40% OFF! So just place an order before the end of August 22nd for 10€ and more and use the discount code: RENEWAL upon check out! I hope you have or will be able to enjoy this offer, do share with your fellow crafters and on social media. The more sales I get, the better I’ll be able to make my “new” shop! After August 22nd I’ll be closing the shop for about 2 weeks as I reorganize and set everything up. I’m super excited about this renewed shop so I cross my fingers and hope for the best:) So for the shopping, this is where the magic happens- just click here . My shop is on Etsy under the name Knitting in France or www.knittinginfrance.etsy.com

That’s all for today. Take care and enjoy your crafting until next time

 

What would you like to buy at I Knit Fandango this May?

Hi there, as you probably all know I’m preparing for the I Knit Fandango craft show that is being held in London 15-16th of May. It is tough to decide what to pack and how much of each especially when like this time, I have to travel by air and then take a taxi to the hotel ALL ALONE! So I have to pack wisely as there is just so much I can carry by myself. But then I also do not want to spend my money and time on doing a show if my booth is half empty from the beginning as missing out on sales is NOT an objective. Going home with tons of stuff is not an objective either so the balance between too much, not enough and just right is a tough one to find.

This is why I thought maybe you could help me out. If you are planning on attending the show what would you like to see/try/buy? And even if you are not coming, when you do attend shows, what do you tend to look for? Are you more on the look out for yarn? A particular yarn type? Knitting accessories? All inclusive kits?

And as I mentioned yarn, what are your favorite colours at the moment or colours you’d like to knit this summer?

I’m done, I think, almost, with the dyeing. This weekend I did dye for a crochet shawl kit that is going to be very nice. This kit uses 778 m of yarn and rather than doing 2 skeins of 400m each I decided to do  1 huge skein of 800m. This ensures that the colour is consistent throughout the project and that you only have to ball 1 skein instead of 2 – even though it is huge).

And as I found this was a rather brilliant idea (if I say so myself) I decided to do a few more and sell individually as this is a good size for many shawl designs. What do you think? Do you knit shawls yourself? If so you knit mostly with fingering weight or do you use lace weight?

I also did some sock blank dyeing, both kettle dyed and hand painted and here are some pictures. At the bottom of the drying rack you can see some balls of yarns, this is yarn that came in a wound ball and I dyed as was for a sort of varigated effect. The only problem is once it’s been dyed I need to undo the ball and wind into a skein for it to dry properly and that is not much fun):

hand dyed sock blanks and balls of yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand painted sock blanks www.knittinginfrance.com

Well thats it for now. If you feel like sharing and helping me decide what to bring or not to bring, what to dye or not to dye, all constructive advice is appreciated 🙂

Take care and enjoy your crafting

Rip it, Rip it as if it that were all I know how to do! ARG

Arg, sometimes there just are those horrible “rip it” days,  Yesterday was such a day for me! It was as if I was just unable to knit normally!

I had some leftover yarn from my Knitcircus gradient yarn club and I think I have enough for a pair of socks for my youngest. I decided I’d make up a pattern, just looked up the number of stitches to cast on. I tried doing them 2 in 1, cast on, knit a few rounds and then… ripped it all out! Why? I discovered I had made a mistake a few rounds ago – just one tiny mistake but that meant that my socks were now siamese twins and not 2 separate individuals. So off the needles it went. Frustrated I decided to do it differently the second time around so I cast on for just 1 sock at a time. I knit a few inches and then… ripped it all out…again! This time because it felt “boring”. I was doing a simple 2×2 ribbing and although the yarn is beautiful it just felt unexciting so off the needles it went too. And then I cast on AGAIN, still using the same yarn and the same needle, still knitting socks for my daughter and this time I’m doing TAAT, top down in 3 x 2 ribbing. Ok yes it does resemble the former 2×2 ribbing I ripped out but…guess the inspiration had abandoned me whereas my stubbornness had not 🙂  So here I am now:

my TAAT socks in progress www.knittinginfrance.com I’m taking it “zen”  so slowly but surely and this time NO RIPPING 🙂

And remember my post about knitting a pair of mitts from Shannon Okey’s newest book Aurora Borealis mitts? Well, as you may remember I started those and then ripped them out as I felt they were too big and also I felt that the colours did not work well in that configuration. Well, I ripped those out an additional 2 more times! Not all yesterday no but I ripped out once more for some reason I don’t remember and then the 3rd time because now instead of being too big I felt the mitten would be too small! This was just too much for me so I set out to cast on for the fourth (and hopefully last) time, using the same yarns as always, same needle as always, same book as before BUT I changed the pattern! So I cast on this time for a pair called Freydis and so far so good! I think I got the size right and this time the colours work well- neon pink in MC and gray in CC. I also changed the cuff and this time around I’m doing a picot edge cuff. I’m not far along but this time I’m confident I’ve got it right.

This is the front of the hand    Freydis front side of mitten www.knittinginfrance.com

and this is the back  Freydis mitt, back side of mitten www.knittinginfrance.com what do you think? I rather like it so far:)

So no more ripping! I’ve done more than my share this week so from now on it shall be success from the get go:) Lucky for me that I really enjoy knitting so once over the original frustration of not getting things right, I’m ok – after all what I enjoy most is the actual knitting:)

And before I say good buy this evening, let me share a picture with you. As you know I’m now preparing for the I Knit Fandango show that is coming up in May. Here’s a picture of the sock yarns that I have dyed for my Philosopher’s Walk sock kits for that show. Do you like the colours? The pattern is in two colours so each kit will include 2 full skeins of yarn and the knitter can then choose which to use as MC and which to use as CC.

The yarns all rewound into skeins and labelled. Just waiting for the rest of the kits to be preparedyarn for future sock kits www.knittinginfrance.com

And a picture of a finished sock from this pattern just in case you were not familiar with this pattern. The Philosophers Walk socks knit by www.knittinginfrance.com

Thats all for today folks. Thank you for stopping by. Take care and enjoy your fibre crafts this week as always and I hope there is not much ripping in the air for you 🙂

More on my preparations for the I Knit Fandango in London this May

Hi girls, how are you today? Fine I hope, I’m doing fine myself. The weather here is really reminding us that summer is just around the corner and that seems to bring more energy and optimism. That is always a good thing I think, gives me hope and increased energy to continue my work on the shop in spite of everything. So, with the good weather and brighter spirits, I did some dyeing last Sunday in the garden. Now the rovings have dried and are ready for me to prepare for sale. I did those by painting on the colours rather than kettle dyeing. I like painting because I can play around with lots of different colours and I hope these will please my visitors at the I Knit Fandango. Here are the pictures

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

What do you think? You can spin these as is or you can play around and maybe split in half lengthwise and then ply for a 2 ply yarn or you can split in 3 and make a 3 ply yarn. You can also split per colour if you want to have longer color repeats in your yarn and either split each color 2 or 3 times for a 2/3 ply yarn or you could just spin everything on a single bobbin and then Navajo ply. I love Navajo plying when I spin a multi coloured yarn as it keeps the colours well separated in most cases – except of course if you purposely go for the barber pole style. The 2 last rovings above are mini braids that I did in neon yellow and neon pink, but the colours don’t show so well in the picture I think, at least not on my monitor.

I also did 2 more rovings last night and pictured them while still wet. I’ll show you pictures of them later when dry so you can see the final look. These I did using a gradient method which I think will give a really cool yarn that can be either spun lengthwise or you can split at each colour/shade change  for longer colour repeats. Either way I’m happy with the results. This is what they look like all wet www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com The first one is in a plum gradient and the second one is a sort of turquoise gradient.

Like you know I’m a bit stressed about what to bring to the show and worried if I have enough yarn or way too much. So I went ahead and placed an order from my supplier of undyed yarns and that just arrived today so I will be able to continue my dyeing now. This is what 14kg of undyed yarn looks like when delivered by the mailman www.knittinginfrance.com Yebb! Scary big or exciting big, depends on your mood of the day 🙂

Now for something that has nothing to do with knitting or fibre. I have told you about my work for a local charity for children with cancer. They will be doing a sale beginning of June to raise money for the organisation and my handmade jewelry has been a hit for them so they asked me if I would be willing to do some more for them. Of course I am, I love making jewelry and I love being able to help such a worthy cause. Here are some pictures of what I’ve done so far

www.knittinginfrance.com  These are rings with caviar beads that move around inside a glass dome, super nice

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com I love making earrings and hope these will please potential buyers  www.knittinginfrance.com And then I did a few key rings just for fun with these like small wine bottles, after all we are in France 🙂

Do you dabble in handmade jewelry yourself? Do you buy handmade jewelry? I sometimes wonder if I should add this to my online Etsy shop as they seem to sell well for the charity and also my family and friends love what I make them – but of course family and friends are biased so…

Well that’s all for today my friends. I hope the weather is good where you are and that you enjoy your day and remember, the weekend is ALMOST here 🙂

 

Back at home

Hi there, my week in Iceland just flew by and now I’m back at home with hubby and children:)

And speaking of time that flies by, the I Knit Fandango show is in just over a month! I had better get the turbo started! It is always a difficult task to assess the amount of stock to bring to a show and when that show is abroad the task takes on a new dimension as luggage restrictions apply! So I’ve done a fair bit of dyeing yarn and yesterday I did some roving as I want to carry something for spinners as well. I also placed a last minute order with my supplier of undyed yarns because I want to do some kits for the show. I’m planning on 2 shawl kits – 1 knit and 1 crochet, 1 baby kit (knit), and 1 sock kit (knit). And so I purchased the yarn for those and hope I can dive into dyeing those as of the coming weekend. I also purchased some sparkling sock blanks that I look forward to dyeing as that will be the first time I have those with Stellina for added glam’.

Yesterday the weather was gorgeous here in Normandy, France and so I did my dyeing outside in the garden. That is definitely something I’m going to do more of. Not only is it enjoyable for me but I also have more table space AND no one to complain about the “smell” – FYI I have NEVER felt any “smell” of my wet/cooking wool and yarns, but I’m told that is because I’m biased:)

Some pictures for you

www.knittinginfrance.com

My set up on the garden table

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One side of my dryer rack filled with just dyed roving

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and the other side of the dryer rack also filled with just dyed roving

While in Iceland I finished my second pair of 2 in 1 socks and I also decided that I would do more of those and even try to make my own pattern in order to make some with a bit of lace instead of just plain stockinet. But before launching into that I decided a change was needed so I cast on for a new pair of socks (yes I did say “change” but not “major change”), this time I’m doing them TAAT using the magic loop method. I’m using a yarn that I hand dyed myself and this yarn has long colour changes which explains why one sock is blue and the other reddish on the following picture. I chose the Zigzagular pattern that I found on Ravelry and have heard of online and seen lots of pictures of finished socks. I decided this would be a good fit for a return to magic looping. Here’s what I’ve knit so far

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My progress so far on the ZigZagular socks knit TAAT with my own hand dyed yarn

Upon my return from Iceland I also had a pleasant surprise, my order from Crazy Monkey Creations had finally arrived! For some reason my package went to Israel and spent quite some time there so I had been waiting for over a month for this to arrive. I’m super happy it finally made it and I really look forward to presenting the items to you at the I Knit Fandango show in May. I ordered some blockers for mittens and socks in different sizes and with different motifs and I also ordered some of their electronic knitting counters that can be worn around a finger like a ring. I must try those and I’ll let you know what I think later on. Pics are here:

www.knittinginfrance.com

Mitten blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations. These are hand made and gorgeous

www.knittinginfrance.com

Sock blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations, handmade gorgeousness

www.knittinginfrance.com

And another type of sock blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations. These are all handmade

That’s about all for today. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed reading this post and looking at my pictures. I wish you all a wonderful and creative new week. Until next time, Take Care 🙂

My new yarn/knitting bags

Hi there, I just recently purchased 2 gorgeous bags from a shop I’ve been admiring and drooling over on Etsy for months. Now that I have my bags “for real” I have to share them with you. These are not actually made especially for knitting or yarn but they are perfect non the less. I bought 2 but only have pictures of one. The shop is called Papatotoro and they can be found on Etsy here

If you like my bags, you should definitely go and take a look at their shop. I’d like to buy tons more of these. I dream of having a real knitting studio where I’d have lots of these for my yarns and works in progress. Now here’s what I’m drooling over

www.knittinginfrance. www.knittinginfrance.com gorgeous don’t you think? These are small, sort of handbag sized so you can keep them all over your house, they don’t take up much space:)

And another thing I wanted to share with you. Remember from last time, I talked about being some what of a sock maniac and that my preferred method, at least for the moment, is the tube sock with an afterthought heel? Well, One of the pairs I did, rather than just knit plain stockinette, I did some 3 + 1 ribbing. That was fine but when it was time for me to pick up the stitches for the heel, I ran into trouble. Picking up the knit stitches was a breeze but the same can not be said for the purl stitches. I don’t know if it was just because they were purled or if the yarn had something to do with it also. Anyway I actually managed to DROP almost each and EVERY single one of the purled stitches! Yikes! But as I sat at my desk and made this discovery, I looked to the side and onto my little stash of stitch markers and BLING! I can use my locking stitch markers to keep my dropped stitches safe and just pick them up and knit as I come to them during the first round:) That sounds way better than risking taking my needle out and picking ALL the stitches up again one by one. And so I gave it a try and it worked like a dream.  Here are some pictures and no this is not meant to be a publicity for my handmade markers, it’s just that I did drop way too many stitches picking up the heel stitches:)

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com This does make one smile (me at least) but its also a life saver so I made it through my two afterthought heels in no time and with no stress. So if you run into the same or similar problem when picking up stitches, using locking markers will save your life!

And here are the finished socks

www.knittinginfrance.com

Thats all for now. Take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂

I’m in heaven, I’m in Fibre Heaven

Hi there, I just had to share my joy with you all today! I just received my order from Woolgatherings after waiting for it for almost a month (yes the package was stuck in customs for almost 3 weeks). But now it is here and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my fibre and can’t wait to start spinning them.

Some day soon, these beauties will be hand spun yarn treasures that will embellish my personal yarn stash – or yours if you want me to spin some up for you or if you are a spinner like myself and take a look at her shop I know you will be tempted to do as I did. BUY!

Woolgatherings is a family run business and Kate, the dyer, does a wonderful job. I’ve ordered from them before and just loved my yarn so that is why I placed this new order. This time I went for mostly BFL + Tussah silk and Organic Polwarth + silk blends. The silk will add strength and sheen to my finished yarns. I chose bright colours, which I love and are a staple of Kate. All the rovings are super soft and the colours are gorgeous. You will soon be seing these spun into yarn here.

If you decide to take a look at the Woolgatherings shop, and I certainly encourage you to do so, be aware that you will be mesmerized and may not be able to leave the shop with an empty cart:)

So here are my beauties:   Hand dyed roving from Woolgatherings on Etsy     Hand dyed roving from Woolgatherings on EtsyDo you get why I’m so happy???

I have another favorite dyer on Etsy and I also purchased some of her work last week and will be sure to share her work with you as soon as I receive my order.

 

Until then, I’m off to my spinning wheel for an afternoon of happy spinning. Have a great  and creative day yourself 🙂

News on the 1,000 sale and more

Hi there, a while back I told you about my celebrating my 1,000th sale on Etsy and that there would be 2 lucky customers. N°1 the client that actually purchased the 1,000 item and another one drawn out at random. So I have passed the 1,000 sales limit and informed my lucky customers and shipped their winnings so now I’m going to share those with you.

The client that actually purchased the 1,000th item lives in the USA and she won a skein of yarn and had a choice of either hand spun or hand dyed yarn as well as a choice of colours. She chose hand dyed yarn in purples so off I went and thought about what to do. I chose a fingering weight yarn and then I thought about how to dye the yarn. She said she liked solids, semi-solids and varigated yarn and so I went with varigated. I rewound my skein into a large one approx. 10 m/9 yards and dyed it with 6 different colours in the purple range. She still has not received her yarn but I really look forward to hearing from her and I certainly hope she loves what I did. I’ll keep you informed when I hear from her 🙂

So here for some pictures:

IMG_2798 Here you can see the skein after dyeing/washing/drying. I loosely put it on the warp board before cutting off the ties and rewinding into a skein. You can see the different colours well here.

IMG_2799 IMG_2801 Here you have the skein all wound up. The colour difference has to do with lighting I think – incredible how that can change our perception of colour! The second photo is actually closer to the actual colour of the yarn and I’m rather happy with the outcome.

I only did 1 skein so this is a truly unique skein, no one will have the same so I hope she will make something unique for herself and enjoy the privilege of knitting with a one of a kind yarn hand dyed just for herself 🙂

If you would like to purchase a skein hand dyed just for you, that is always possible. You would just have to contact me and give me your type of yarn, weight, colours and variety (solid, semi-solid, varigated or striping) and I’ll get back to you with a price. Once the dyeing is done, I send a picture for approval before issuing the invoice. So why not? Could also be a great gift for a knitter friend or a special occasion don’t you think ?

Now the second lucky client that was this time drawn out at random won a set of stitch markers and a knitting needle holder. This lucky client lives in the UK and she had a choice for the type of markers – knitting only or locking ones that can be used for knitting and crochet. She chose knitting only and requested ring markers with a glass bead for décoration. I put the markers and knitting needle holder in a cute metal box for easy transport in her knitting bag. And just in case you do not know what a knitting needle holder is: it is a gadget you put on the ends of your needles (spns or circulars) to prevent your stitches from falling off when not working. Here is an example:

A lampwork needle stopper

A lampwork needle stopper

Now as for her actually winning here it is: IMG_2796 Nice don’t you think ?

If you too are interested in stitch markers, knitting needle holders, yarns or other supplies for your knitting and crochet or spinning you can check out my 2 shops here:

Etsy and my own e-commerce shop

Now for some more exciting news from the shop front. I was just contacted by the editor of Knitsy – a digital interactif knitting magazine- and they want to feature some of my hand spun yarns! Yey! I’m super happy my yarns caught their eyes and hopefully this little feature in their future issue will bring some attention to my work and my shop. They specifically asked for pictures of my multi coloured hand spun yarns so I’m thinking pictures such as these:

photo 1 (70)

Hand spun

Hand spun

photo 2 (23)

And to finish for today, I’d like to remind you that I will be participating in the I Knit Fandango show in London this May 15th – 16th. This will be a beautiful show with small but recognised yarn companies, mostly hand dyed yarns and the closer we get to the event the more companies are confirming their presence and I feel I will have to save up some serious money to make my own stash enhancement during the show 🙂 If you are in London during these 2 days I hope you will have the chance to come and see us. You can find information about the show and buy tickets in advance on the I Knit website here

And just before I go, I almost forgot to show you my latest knitting! Shame on me 🙂

So here goes, I have 2 1/2 pairs done IMG_2794 The red/brown ones are Jitterbug yarn from Colinette and the multicoloured ones are hand dyed by myself and I will be writing a post about the process here shortly.

sock gris 2 sock gris I have finished 1 sock and started the second one in this pair. This is part of a Knit From Your Stash KAL I participate in on FB. The yarn is hand dyed by myself.

And then there is one paire I’m doing for my youngest daughter and she asked for a mix of multicoloured and a solid grey. The grey is from a Cascade heritage yarn and the multi coloured is the same as in the socks above. I’m doing a broken seed stitch on the front of the leg and regular jersey/knit stitch on the back/sole. Look at the pictures to see how the stitch pattern changes the perception/look of the socks. On the front the colours are muted by the broken seed stitch where as on the sole the multi coloured yarn really pops. Which look do you prefer?

Thats all for now folks. Thank you for stopping by and sharing my thoughts for a few moments. I wish you all a wonderful and creative week. Until next time,

Take care 🙂