An FOs, a wip and a future cast on

Hi there, how are you doing today? I hope your weekend was nice. Mine was very relaxed. I got a lot of knitting and spinning done and I’m super happy about that.

But before I dive into the show and tell, I wanted to remind you of my review of the new book Coffee with CC and Dami too that I reviewed last week. You can read the post here if you haven’t already and join in the giveaway and maybe win a copy of the ebook 🙂

Now on to the FOs. The first one is a shawl. I participated in the Snowmelt Mystery kal held by Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade and I finally finished my shawl last week. I have woven in all the ends and just need to block it because currently it is way smaller (I think) than it should be. Also because there is some lace, this shawl really does have to be blocked. No way around that. I’m very lazy when it comes to blocking so there is no telling when I’ll actually get that done but hopefully sooner rather than later:)

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So this is it unblocked. I really love the outcome. I’m very happy with the colors I dyed up for the shawl and I loved, loved the yarn I chose. I love the yarn so much that I’m dreaming of ordering tons of this non superwash fingering yarn for future garment and shawl knitting. It’s what I call Back to Basics and it’s a 100% merino non superwash.

The other FO for this week was one that almost didn’t make it. And if you follow me on IG you will have seen the pictures and probably already know what I’m on about. For the others, here’s what happened. I decided to join in the Sock Madness competition this year for the second time. The very first round began just over a week ago and it is the qualifying round. That means that you have 14 days to finish a pair of socks. If you finish in time you get to participate and depending on when you finished you will be put into a team with other knitters that knit at your speed so you are paired up with knitters of similar speed. Of course you may be a super speedy knitter but with a very busy life but it doesn’t matter. If that is the case then all the better for you if you get paired up with knitters that are in a similar situation because that increases your chances of making it to the very end.

So I was determined to knit a pair in less than a week. Last year I knit really fast and got into the second to fastest team which may have been an error on my part but hey, I made it to the second to last round so yeah! Anyway this year I may have less time so I was trying to hurry  but not too much. But of course the competition spirit got the better of me.

The first pattern was not a complicated one but a very time consuming one and hard on one’s hands. It also ate up yarn at an alarming speed and very quickly I started panicking and thinking I’d not have enough to finish. I know we are not allowed to do contrasting heels and toes unless the pattern calls for that so I would have to change yarns along the way. I asked how and if that was possible and unfortunately for me I totally misunderstood the answer. So what did I do? Well I cast on for the second sock and knit to the heel, turned the heel on both socks AND THEN changed yarns and knit on merrily without a care in this world. On day 4 I updated my Ravelry project page and sent my email. And went to bed happy as could be.

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And then came the following day! Crashing news! I got heaps of messages on Ravelry both from other participants and the moderators explaining that I had totally misunderstood.

In fact yes I can change yarns if I have to BUT first I have to run out of my original yarn and that was not my case! At first I was in shock! Wow was I not going to qualify for Sock Madness? What to do? After some encouragements from fellow competitors I cut open the toes, ripped back to the heel and then put both socks on a long circular to knit them two at a time using the rest of my yarn. Even though my hands were hurting, I was so determined to make it that I finished in just over a day! And guess what? All this stress and mess could have been totally avoided! I did have plenty of yarn. After finishing I weighed the rest and I had 9gr left! Grrrr

But hey, I finished my socks for the second time and sent in my email on day 6. I don’t know if they will put me in a team that finished on day 4 or on day 6, we’ll see soon enough. Here are my finished and qualified socks.

This qualifying round comes to an end this Thursday I think so maybe round two will begin sometime next week. But until then I’m working on two projects.

My first wip is a secret test knit for a cardigan and I’m not allowed to share any pictures of that. I’m trying to get as much done of that as I can while I wait for round two of Sock Madness to start. It’s quite a simple cardigan in fingering weight yarn. I’m past the armholes and just knitting on in stocking stitch now for 6″ before the stitch pattern changes some. So this is a knit that I can easily pick up and work on anywhere anytime.

My second wip is the Grand Central Socks by Mina Philipp and they are part of her New York Sock collection. I have cast on for them using my Zen Garden yarn that I bought last time I was in Iceland. I’m past the heel on sock one and I’m knitting them on my Hiya Hiya Sharp 9″ circulars.

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It is a fun stitch pattern and easily memorized making this a fun and easy knit.

I said I had done lots of spinning this past weekend and I did. I have been doing a sweater spin. I decided to join Sue of Legazy Fibre Arts and Andi of Andre Sue Knits on their sweater spin. It is the first time  I have ever spun for a particular project and the first time ever that I spin so much for a single project. I was not even sure I would make it to be honest.

Ì chose a 50/50 merino  and silk blend that I have spun as is, that is undyed, and now I have 5 skeins of that which together weigh 635 gr for about 1784 meters. That’s about a fingering weight yarn.

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I’m really happy with the outcome. The yarn is quite consistent and looks good. I have washed it now and it is relaxed and the twist is correct so I think it will knit up nicely.

Next stage is to dye the yarn. I haven’t chosen my color yet. Dyeing all this yarn which is also hand spun and has cost me so many hours of work, is a little overwhelming. I have to get it right! So I’m hesitating between grey? Blues? Maybe a petrol/denim blue? Or should I do something subtle with a little bit of speckles? Or should I just leave the yarn undyed? What do you think?

And then I need to find a pattern. I have been thinking of this the entire time I have been spinning. I still have some fibre left so if I need more yardage I can spin some more before going to the dye pot. Here are the patterns I have been and still am, thinking about and maybe you can help me decide.

The Boxy Sweater by Joji Locatelli – This is a simple sweater to knit I think and Sue is knitting this one with her hand spun. This was the very first pattern I thought of but I’m not so sure any more.

Sammal cardigan by Joji Locatelli – this is a brand new pattern and currently is at the top of my list. I like the fact that it is a cardigan as I use cardigans much more than sweaters. I like the fact that it has all over patterning. As my yarn is hand spun it is not as perfectly smooth as mill spun yarn and so maybe an all over stitch pattern is better suited? Also I have enough yardage for my size.

Boathouse by Alicia Plummer. I really love her designs and this  is a simple short sleeved sweater/t shirt. I could of course knit longer sleeves. It has stripes and I could dye one of the skeins in a contrasting color for this.

Japan Sleeves by Joji Locatelli. I have admired this design for a long time and I purchased the pattern a while back. This also would require two colors but that’s fine. I’m a little intimidated by the lace panel on the sleeves but otherwise I think it is not a very complicated knit.

Tau by Melanie Berg. This is a beautiful cardigan with a mix of patterning and stocking stitch. I definitely want to knit this some time. Maybe with this yarn?

Threshold by Melanie Berg. This is a sweater with some patterning on the front. As always it’s a gorgeous design and I’m really tempted.

That’s a lot to choose from and of course there are millions more. I already own all of these patterns and a ton more in my Ravelry library. I feel that I have to choose something really special because this yarn is so special. My first ever hand spun and hand knit adult size garment! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the pattern choices I have mentioned. And if you have knit any of those I’d love to hear your thoughts on the pattern and the finished garment. Or if you have another pattern to suggest? If you have knit a garment with your handspun; do tell and share with us.

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your precious time with me. Do participate in the giveaway for CC’s ebook (I will draw for a winner on Friday) and share your thoughts on my future handspun sweater.

Until next time; take care and enjoy your knitting 🙂

 

The results in the 2 in 1 sock challenge and a fun and useful sock knitting tool

Hi there, I’m sure you’re all getting impatient for the announcement! Am I right? Well, the announcement is almost here but first…

I’m working on my own first pair of real socks and coming along nicely. I know that our tension is not the same whether we knit or purl and so I take great care to try and knit consistently to avoid too much difference in tension as I’m not keen on ending up with one normal sock and one giant sock 🙂 So far this seems to work just fine.  I think the only thing that bothers me about this technique or method is the constant moving around of the yarn – this is super important or you’re just going to end up with a double sock (they are going to be interconnected). I wonder if I should take Kate Atherley’s online course just to see if she gives tips on how to manage this better.  Here are some pictures taken of my progress today

2 in 1 sock knitting challenge on www.knittinginfrance.com   This is how the sock looks to me, the side towards me is all purls

2 in 1 sock knitting challenge on www.knittinginfrance.com   You can see I’ve made some progress since picture n°1 and here I open up the socks and you see the difference between sock 1 and sock 2. The colour is the same but dyed differently and with a different intensity making this knitting easier and yet producing a harmonious pair

2 in 1 sock knitting challenge on www.knittinginfrance.com  Here I just pulled the inner sock out to better appreciate the progress I’ve made so far. So here both wrong sides are towards me and I can clearly see that the inner sock has some striping to it. It is actually possible to knit like this if you are feeling discouraged (I did for a while because unlike knitting TAAT using magic loop, here progress is more difficult to see as the second sock is “hidden” inside the first one).

So what do you think? Are you going to give this method a try do you think?

Now before I go ahead with the draw, I wanted to tell you about a recent addition to the sock knitters must haves. This is a tool called… THE SOCK RULER! This is basically a plastic ruler shaped a bit like a sock and it has inch measurements on it. This makes measuring the different parts of your sock super easy. In fact since I discovered this tool, I hardly follow patterns any more. I’m more into just sort of templates really. I just need my needles, yarn and the SOCK RULER. This is a fantastic tool for all sock knitters and I think for knitting mittens as well though I haven’t tried this yet but mitts are sort of like socks… just for hands 🙂 At the moment this only exists in adult size but soon (no release date yet) there will be a child version and also a version with metrics measurements (cm – a much appreciated addition I think for those of us who are more used to cm than inches). Now what does this magical device look like?

The sock ruler www.knittinginfrance.com  You see how one end is sort of toe shaped? That is the “beginning” of the ruler.

The Sock Ruler www.knittinginfrance..com Here you can see how I’ve put the ruler inside my sock to measure my cuff and leg to see if I was ready for the heel

Don’t you think this is just brilliant in its simplicity? I carry these in my shop and as soon as I can get my hands on the child and metric versions I will offer those too. If you would like to check out the Sock Ruler, you can find it in my shop here

Now it’s time for the drum roll! So first of, thanks to all that participated and left a comment on the blog post. A big thank you also to the bloggers that shared my blog post.

I had 9 commenters so I gave each of you a number in the order you left your comment so LazyBene is n°1 and Littleblackdogsa is n°9 – now that is established I go to www.random.org  and choose their sequence generator where I can enter the participating numbers and then their generator does the rest. So before I hit the “go” button, I wish you all the best of luck:)

And the winner is….

Here is your sequence:

5 1 7 2 9 4 3 6 8

The Number 5 is the first in the sequence and so the winner of this first giveaway is my commenter number 5 or MJ 🙂
Congratulations to MJ and thank you to all the others. There will be other giveaways on the blog later and I hope you will continue to follow the blog and participate in my giveaways in the future.

Now as for the lucky winner, MJ, she has won a set of hand dyed yarn cakes; This yarn is 75% super wash merino, 20% nylon and 5% silver stellina. The yarns are dyed in the same original colour but using different methods to produce a slightly different yarn as using this technique requires you to have 2 different coloured yarns – at least to begin with. MJ has a choice between 2 colour ways, so MJ please send me an email to: knittinginfrance@gmail.com with your personal details for shipping and your colour preference.

 hand dyed by Knitting in France for 2 in 1 sock challenge    www.knittinginfrance.com

This win does come with a small requirement. I would like MJ to share with us as well as on her blog or social media, her thoughts on knitting socks using this method and show us pictures and so forth so that we can all enjoy and share in the winning sort of.

Thats all for today. Thank you all for stopping by and congrats to the winner of the day MJ.

Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂