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 🙂

 

Works in progress, FOs and a happy mail day

Hi there and happy Monday:) I’m not sure if you are a Monday kind of person, I know I’m not a particular fan of Mondays but… let’s try to stay on the positive side:) So Yesterday the time changed here in France and we are officially in Winter! This means that my work hours have also changed so I begin earlier in the day and finish earlier in the evening and even if I have less time in the morning i’m super happy about finishing earlier in the evening. Especially when I’m on the evening shift! So yeah to that 🙂

Now today was as happy mail day for me! I recently discovered this new podcast on Youtube called Fawn Knits and she has an Etsy shop called TheFawnandthefox where she sells project bags. She was showing some of her bags on one of the podcast episodes and so I went over to the shop and although I have recently purchased way more project bags than can be called reasonable, I fell for her bags and bought…..3.

www.knittinginfrance.com Aren’t they nice?

www.knittinginfrance.com I think this one is my favorite. It was made to order and it is a sturdy, large bag. The tissue is heavier than in the small bag and the bag is large enough for a big shawl and I think even a fingering weight sweater project. I bought it as I thought it was a little Halloweeny without being too Halloween for me to not use it all year round. And I’m very happy with my purchase.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the small bag and I think she calls this one ghosts – its like dresses floating around the woods. Kind of spooky but oh so  cute. This will be perfect for sock projects, mittens and hats.

www.knittinginfrance.com The day I went online she had a special offer so I could get a notions pouch for free with my order and I chose this one which is a happy yellow color. It is big enough to accommodate all the essentials you need to have on hand.

So yeah! Super happy with my new project bags. So now I just have to cast on for some new projects to fill them up:)

And speaking of projects. At the moment I’m still in my “finishing stuff” mode which is a nice change from being in “startitis” mode. So, since last time I have finished a few items and here are the pictures to prove that.

www.knittinginfrance.com First off my Featherweight cardigan. I knit this using my SPARKLE lace yarn and it took less than 1 skein for a size small. It does not look like much unblocked, also it looks smaller than I had expected but I think I really need to block it before passing judgement. If it actually is too small for the intended recipient, that will not be a problem I already know of someone else that could use it, just in case. So the yarn is gorgeous, super soft and the color is a semi solid silver with very slight traces of blues and purples, impossible to show in a picture. So very nice.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com And I think I told you last time that I’m doing hats and mittens as gifts this Christmas. Here are the first too. The one on the left I knit from my hand spun yarn.

handspun mittens And currently I’m working on a pair of mittens and I will be making a hat using the same yarn. This is for a young niece and the yarn is handspun by myself. It is a 3 ply with 3 different pastel colours (blue, pink and yellow). It’s super cute and soft.

I’ve also picked up my Snowflake sweater by Tin Can Knits which I had almost finished and then left in its bag for a shameful amount of time. So now one sleeve is done and I’m half way through the second sleeve so not much left there. I hope I’ll be able to show you a picture of the finished sweater in a few days!

Also my two socks in progress, I really need to finish my two CC Almon socks so I can cast on some more! I dyed up a Christmas yarn and want to knit a pair of vanilla socks with that to show you and I also fell for 2 Christmas dyed yarns by an indie dyer on Etsy the other day…. Once I get the yarn I’ll be showing you here.

Well that’s all for today. I’ll be back soon telling you about an exciting Mkal I’m going to participate in and maybe you are too:)

So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

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

 

#TestMyYarn **** Today is the day***

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Does that make your hands tingle with excitement? Do these make you want to dive in, touch, smell and knit or crochet like crazy? Well I hope so 🙂

Mini skeins are “in” at the moment and so I think this is the perfect format for my #TestMyYarn campaign.  And so as of today Friday January 31st 2015 and until Sunday February 8th 2015 all orders be it in the Etsy shop or my NEW online shop will receive a complimentary mini skein of my yarn, could be hand dyed yarn or could be hand spun yarn. If you have a preference for the yarn you would like to receive, please leave me a message with your order and I will comply to your wishes 🙂 Now isn’t that exciting? I think it is.

And as an added incentive for you, my Etsy shop has now reached 990 sales so once I reach 1,000 sales I will draw out a lucky client. Of course THE 1,000 order will receive a gift (to be disclosed later) but I will also draw a random winner out of orders 991-999 and that lucky client will also receive a gift. I’m so happy to reach this landmark in my shop and I really want to thank everyone who has supported my little entreprise and continue to do so. I hope to one day be able to make a living of my art and passion and to provide an even better shop with more variety and even more gorgeous products.

So I say let the fun begin share the #TestMyYarn campaign with your friends and social media, the more the merrier

Until next time, take care and happy crafting 🙂