Video drama

Hi there, I’m so sorry that the video review I promised for yesterday is still not up. I did keep my word and record a video review, 26 minutes long! And since yesterday afternoon I’ve been trying to get it up on the blog but in order for you to be able to watch this comfortably on the blog I first need to upload the video to YouTube and that is proving to be way more difficult than I ever expected! I guess my dreams of launching a podcast are not going to come true any day soon!

So my video is all done and nice (I think) but my internet connexion must be horrible because it is taking FOREVER AND A WEEK to upload this video. I’m hoping it will upload this weekend so I can share it with you Monday at the very latest. My apologies for the delay and if you are a video savvy YouTuber, any advice on getting this done in a “normal” timeframe would be GREATLY appreciated.

Take care and enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to check out my sale in the Etsy shop if you are looking for some handmade supplies at a good price. Just click here and enjoy your shopping:)

 

 

 

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Hand dyed yarns and a sneak peak into my “dye studio”

Hi there, today I’m going to show you my latest hand dyed yarns. These were born out of an idea I had one morning and decided to try out. Maybe this is a technique that other hand dyers use I don’t know but for me this is  a first but definitely not the last! I’m not going to reveal how I did this (shh professional secret) but I’m so in love with the results that I have to share some pictures with you.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com All four pictures are of the same skein of Cash’Sock yarn. This is the first ever skein I dyed this way and I used 12 colors! Yes that’s right 12 colours! And it was love at first sight! And now I have to cast on…. probably a pair of socks…I was wondering about a slouchy hat like the Sock Head hat….not sure. I really want to show off this yarn so maybe a hat would  be a better choice, what do you think?

And so once I saw the results I had to dye some more so the next day I dyed up 3 more skeins and this time I used my SOX base which is 75/25 superwash merino and nylon.

www.knittinginfrance.com The first skein on the left is the Cash’Sock skein I showed you above and the others are the 3 I dyed the following day. So skein number 2 I’m calling the colour “Goth” because when I looked at it all done that’s the first thing that came to mind. The colors are a blend of black, mauve, burgundy and browns. The picture does not do it justice, it really is a fun colour. Skein nr 3 I’m calling “Butterflies”, the colours are purples, blues, turquoise and mauve. A gorgeous combination I think. And skein nr 4 is a rainbow sort of skein. I only used 6 colours so it is less “crazy” than the first one. So all 4 skeins are super nice I think and hopefully I’m not the only one to feel that way. I have not had the time yet to put them up in the shop but if you are interested in buying one, you can always leave me a message here or send and email in the meantime.

Also, I will be featured as an indie dyer in ASK winter edition – if you are not familiar with ASK it stands for Addicted to Sock Knitting and they have a huge group on Facebook which is highly addictive and Debra who runs the group also publishes a digital magazine on sock knitting which I highly recommend if you enjoy knitting socks and using indie dyed yarns. You can find her website for the magazine here and I have the privilege of being featured in the next issue. So there will be an interview with me and some pictures of my yarns and some of me working in my “dye studio”. I say “dye studio” because it is not really a studio but it is actually my washing room. It’s not big but I do have the space to stock all my undyed yarns and fibres and also do my dyeing. I usually don’t like being pictured but I had to send in a few pictures of myself so I thought I might include some here for you to see.

knitting in france dyeing 2 www.knittinginfrance.com So you see I have a small counter space with a sink where I wash and prepare my yarns and in the background you can see one of my dye pots. On the second picture you see me working on one of the skeins I showed you above. When I hand paint yarns I work on top of my washing machine and dream of having a real studio –  a small garden house ONLY for me and my hand dyeing business. Maybe one day…..

And my youngest, Ines, who is 9 loves to participate and dye with me. Here is a picture of her from last weekend

www.knittinginfrance.com Who knows, maybe she will follow in my footsteps…..

And since I’m sharing my work place with you I’d like to share my shop with you if you want to take a peak

on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/KnittinginFrance?ref=hdr_shop_menu and my new independent shop is

www.knittinginfrance.net

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and sharing my passion. Take care and enjoy your crafting until next time 🙂

A little bit of this and that, some self pity an FO and some WIP

Hi there how are you today? I’m doing fine, really looking forward to the weekend! I feel I have a million things to do and never the time to do them so as my husband will be away this weekend I’m thinking I’ll be able to organise my time as I wish (mostly) and hopefully I’ll get a number of things off my to do list!

I’ve been doing some dyeing this week and sharing my pictures on Instagram and I’ve had quite a nice feedback from my followers but in spite of that I came within an inch of chucking everything!

It’s not always easy to hang onto a dream, especially when that dreams comes with a hefty price tag and is loooooooong on giving anything back financially speaking. And not having the support necessary to continue can push one over the brink! So or 2 days I thought about just giving it up, closing the shop and just maintain my knitting blog and just enjoy knitting and dyeing for myself. Ok I do have some leftover stock from the shop: yarns, needles and accessories that I would not know what to do with (well maybe I would just use them myself but I admit I do have way too many stitch markers and other small accessories to just use on my own) but maybe that would just be the solution. Just stop everything, take my losses and make the best of it. At least I tried, for 4 years!

But after 2 days of self pity and worry, I decided NO! This summer I decided that I was going to try until the end of 2015 and only then would I take a decision of whether or not I would continue. And so I’m going to stick with that decision and give it my EVERYTHING and more until December 31st 2015 and only then will I make up my mind!

Having taken that decision, I went ahead and ordered some more yarn to dye. I was hesitant to put out that much money but I’ve dyed up almost all the yarn I had left so if I really want to try I had to reinvest again/one last time!

This weekend I’m going to reskein and label the yarns I’ve prepped and I’m also going to take pictures and hopefully I’ll even get around to listing them for the reopening of the shop. I was going to launch my own independent ecommerce shop but finally I think I will put that on the back burner and only if I make it past December 31st will I make that investment. This means that my relaunch of the shop will not be as “big” as I had planned on but hopefully my clients will still like what they will see then!

Enough of wallowing! No more sad thoughts and self pity! On to something more fun.

Like I said above I’ve been doing some dyeing and here are some pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com   This is DK yarn in some bright and fun colors I think

www.knittinginfrance.com  My lace in the sparkle base yarn www.knittinginfrance.com Fingering weight in merino/nylon and I’m calling them Something about Scarlet and Something about Jade

www.knittinginfrance.com  This is fingering with stellina sparkle and I’m calling the pink one Something about CC (in honor of the fab CC Almon of JavaPurls and Geeky Girls Knit) and the other is Something about Teal.www.knittinginfrance.com Now this one I LOVE! I’m so happy how these two turned out! This is a sparkle base but this time with BRONZE stellina and a higher percentage, 10% bronze stellina. I’m calling the orange one Pumpkin Spice and the brown will be Pine. My daughter does not like them but I totally love the outcome so I’m keeping one of each and I’ve actually cast on and i’m swatching for a future cowl design. It will be a fall theme and fair isle. I’ll show you pictures when my swatch is done.

So that’s it for the moment yarn wise. Now on to my works in progress:

I just finished my first ever pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks that I knit in my merino/nylon base yarn

www.knittinginfrance.com These were actually a quick knit and I think they look nice. I love the super bright yellow which makes me think of summer.

www.knittinginfrance.com I’m continuing on my Irma mittens, it’s slow because I don’t have much time to do them. These I need some quiet and concentration to knit so I don’t bring this with me when watching tv at night. But you can now see the horse:)

www.knittinginfrance.com And this is the back side with some lovely flowers

www.knittinginfrance.com And I’m working on a hat design. I used the ribbing from the Irma mitten for the ribbing on the hat and I found a lace pattern in a stitch dictionary for the hat itself and now I need to do some math to figure out how best to organise the decreasing for the crown. I’m using a fingering weight hand dyed yarn by myself of couse. I’m really loving this designing now and I can see myself doing more of that in the future. Now I just really need some quiet time to actually write up the patterns and then have them test knitted.

I think I’m ready for a SWEATER!

Wow! That is an unusual statement coming from me! But I really think I am. It’s been a while since I last knit a sweater. My last sweater was the Mesa by Stephen West. I had a bit of a sweater mojo in the winter 2013-2014 and actually knit 3 or 4 sweaters. Unfortunately I don’t remember which patterns I knit for the first 2 and I apologise for that but maybe the pictures will help you recognise the patterns. They all come from Ravelry and I believe all were paid for patterns.

So here is the first one, all are modelled by my beautiful daughter Anais.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com this was a rather simple sweater but with lovely neckline details

Then came the asymmetrical cardi. The middle picture shows a nice design/construction detail

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

And then I did the Mesa by Stephen West and I actually did 2 of those one for me and one for Anais. The above sweaters were both for Anais. So the Mesa was a really quick knit and Anais liked mine so much that I went ahead and made a second one for her but as I’m writing this I can’t seem to find the pictures of her Mesa so I’ll have to share those with you later but here comes mine, modelled as before by Anais.

First the yarns which are different types of yarns and from different yarn companies as well.

www.knittinginfrance.com

And the sweater

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com  I’m bigger than Anais so it looks quite big on her but you get the picture:)

And like I said at the beginning I’m feeling the sweater mojo coming back. I’ve taken out 2 sweaters worth of yarns from my stash. Yarns that I bought as kits with Craftsy classes and now I just need to cast on and take the classes as I knit. But I’m not feeling those at the moment so I’ll share them later when I do feel like getting them going. No, now I feel like doing

Snowflake by Tin Can Knits This is a paid for pattern on Ravelry and I’ve seen lots of pictures of finished Snowflakes and they all look gorgeous. The only question I have is, should I make the button placket or not? I’ve seen both versions and both look good. Leaving the buttons out means knitting in the round from the beginning and that is appealing. Also, I don’t have any buttons in mind and this really does call for some nice and color coordinated buttons. So I need to think on that.

Here is a link to the project page of one of my virtual knitter friends, LazyBene and I really love her version and colors of the Snowflake.

If you are not familiar with this pattern, here’s a picture.www.knittinginfrance.com

I love the fact that the pattern exists in a large number of sizes from 0-6 months up to 4XL so no matter what size you are looking to do, it’s there! I also love the fact that you can do a 2 color knit. Of course you can do this in one color only but the 2 color version really looks good I think. And you can play with that idea and either do 2 tones of the same color or do 2 contrasting colors.

This is knit in a DK yarn so I’m thinking maybe I’ll do my DK sparkling yarn for the yoke and then my Cash’merino DK for the rest of the body. Both are gorgeous and squishy yarns. Of course, I do NOT have any yarn in my stash so I’m going to dye some for this project. So I need to find some nice color combinations. I’m thinking maybe doing greys or grey with pink or grey with turquoise.

Have you knit this pattern? Would you like to share a picture of your knit Snowflake and tell us about your experience knitting that? Or would you maybe like to knit along with me? Maybe we could do a KAL out of this and either use whatever yarns we like OR I could dye up some yarns for you – if you just give me your colors, that could be arrainged. What do you think?

And if not, if you are just too busy or simply not interested, do you have ideas for good color combinations or maybe have a picture of a finished Snowflake you particularly like colorwise? that might help me make my choice before I dive into the dyeing. Knowing myself, I’m not going to be able to wait very long and as the weekend is just around the corner, I’m guessing I’ll be doing some dyeing this weekend:)

Well that’s all for today. Thank’s for stopping by:) I wish you all a wonderful weekend and look forward to hearing from those of you who wish to share something with me and my readers on this subject:) Take care and knit on!

Trying to do something original

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing great, I’m soooo happy today is Friday! I’m more than ready for the weekend to arrive and get a break from work!

Last night I was thinking about inspiration and knitting. At the moment I’m working on my Beetlebum shawl, my second Skandium sock and the baby cardigan with the incomprehensible yoke. And that of course just is not enough! So! I thought about casting on for a pair of socks because I have one on my todo list (the outlander inspired socks by CC Almond) and I’m going to do those once my Skandium are done, but I didn’t feel ready for that yet. And so what to do?

Well you know, a few days ago I told you about a custom dye I did for a client, well I used some left over dye and dyed a set of 3 skeins for myself using the cashmerino base yarn and yesterday I just really wanted to knit something with that but rather than find a pattern I decided to just make one up myself.

I decided it would be a cowl because I love cowls in winter and this yarn is just super soft so ideal for that kind of project. I went through a stitch library book and found one that looks very nice and cast on. Unfortunately I ended up ripping everything out because I found it BORING! Yes, I like large cowls that you can wrap around your neck and so there are a lot of stitches and after about 2-3 inches I just couldn’t face having to go on for X inches more and I thought that if I myself didn’t feel like continuing then most likely no one else would. So back to stage zero. I cast on a second time and this time I used the stitch I had originally thought of when thinking about this project – but didn’t go with in the beginning because I was afraid it wouldn’t be interesting enough.

So I’m actually doing a slipped stitch pattern, like a partridge stitch I think it is called where you alternate slipped stitch rows with knit rows. This produces a sort of uneven fabric which I find quite nice but again I’m not sure if it will keep the knitters interest to the end. The positive thing with this is that it will be the perfect tv and travel knit because you can just relax and knit on and only have to be careful that your slipped stitches are not stacking up and creating a ribbing. So a very relaxing knit. www.knittinginfrance.com Here is my yarn

www.knittinginfrance.com Knitting away

www.knittinginfrance.com Here is a close up of the pattern- can you see that it is sort of uneven ? Doesn’t quite look like regular stockinette?

I think it looks nice BUT do you? I’m really wondering if I should continue and make the whole cowl in this pattern OR if I should use a number of different stitch patterns and make this a sort of “sampler cowl” OR rip it out and do something completely different? And as I’m writing this I just got this crazy (or not so crazy) idea: what if I knit a brioche stitch cowl in 2 colours using the inside and outside of my yarn cake?  That might be sort of cool? Wow, now I’m even more confused!!! The idea does appeal to me….Any suggestions? I’d actually like to make up a sort of pattern and then sell as a kit for example or just offer for free when people buy this type of yarn in the shop.

Well, that’s all for today. I have to take a long, hard think about the future of this project. So have a wonderful Friday and an even better Weekend:)

ps- don’t forget to join in my little game to have a chance of winning a Sock Ruler or if you are doing a scrap yarn project but are getting bored with your own scraps maye you’d like to join in the scrap yarn swap

Etsy versus Dawanda? Ideas?

Today I’m looking for ideas and thoughts on selling platforms and thinking that maybe you will be able to help me make the right decision:)

So when I launched Knitting in France in 2011 I had my very own e-commerce website and it did quite well. When I moved to Normandy in 2013 I closed the website and moved everything to the Etsy platform where I have been ever since. I actually had opened a shop there a long time ago selling my own handmades but it had never taken off and so the shop was partly set up and it seemed like an easy solution to just go there at the time. The idea behind the move was to lower cost and I thought that maybe I could reach a broader audience also.

I’m ok on Etsy although my shop is still a small shop and I’m not making a living selling my yarns and stitch markers. I think Etsy has changed a lot lately and the competition is fierce as there are a million other hand dyers and makers there competing for the same audience so it is difficult to stand out. And lately I’ve also noticed that a number of shops I like are moving off Etsy and opening their own e-commerce website so I’m thinking that I probably went about this in the wrong way.

There is another large platform out there called Dawanda and this year they have contacted me 3 times to incite me to open a shop on their platform and now I’m wondering if I should. Only I’m not very familiar with Dawanda, I have never tried selling there and I have never even purchased anything from there. Setting up a second shop, even if it is on a platform such as Dawanda, is a lot of work. It is time consuming in the beginning to set everything up and list all the items but of course I could just open with 10-20 skeins of yarn to begin with and then add more stuff gradually. But it also means that I’ll have to run 2 shops and 2 inventories because I cannot list the same item in both shops (what if I sell the item on Etsy and before I have the time to take down the listing on Dawanda someone else buys it there? That would be a hassle and not a good experience for the buyer). Also I’d need more time and maybe money for publicity and social media sharing etc.

So is it worth the effort? Do you shop on Dawanda? Do you know anyone who has a shop on Dawanda and know if they are happy there?

Or maybe I should just open up my own e-commerce website again? I own a domain I’m not using for that currently….What are your thoughts?

I sometimes (mostly all the time) feel like the snake that bites its tail (don’t know if that expression exists in English but it does in Icelandic so here goes). I want so very much for my enterprise to succeed, I dream of doing this full time and I have a gazillion ideas for how to make this happen and what I’d like to do but I just don’t have the time as I’m working full time and I have a family of 5 (3 kids). I need more time to expand but I don’t have any time to do so. So I sometimes feel like I’m setting myself up for failure because of that. But maybe a second shop would increase my sales and visibility and bring me more money which in turn would help me to go from a 100% job to a 80% job or something like that. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? 🙂

The other day I was reading up on crowdfunding and I just started to daydream. Wow, if I had the money I’d leave my current job, buy/rent a studio space where I’d have a dye kitchen with space for drying and reskeining, a small office space for accounting, blogging and just general computer work like updating the shop and putting up new listings, a room where I could stock/expose my yarns and have a table for preparing shipping of orders and a couch and chairs and so on to be able to maybe open up 2 days a week or something for people to come and buy in person and to organise meet-ups where people could meet and spend a couple of hours chatting and making friends while knitting/crocheting or spinning and maybe I could even do classes – I could see one where you come and dye your own yarn for a project you want to make. Wouldn’t that be great for someone who is not looking to dye professionally and just wants to try it out once but not on her/his own ? Ohh so many dreams! Well, it’s ok to daydream:)

Back to reality! So basically I’m wondering if trying to launch a shop on Dawanda or not. Maybe I should just go for it, go small to begin with (although I feel that a shop with very few listing does not look enticing nor professional). Do you have any thoughts on the matter? I’d love to hear from you:)

Today I made a pledge on Kickstarter

Hi there, today I made a pledge on Kickstarter for the very first time. I saw a post on FB from Jaala Spiro and Amy Dentjen of Knitcircus about their secret being revealed and that it was a new dye studio and retail space. They are opening this great new workplace where they will have bigger and better dye studio, class rooms and a retail space. That is just wonderful and like taken out of one of my dreams! I’d love to be able to do something like this too one day!

Anyways, like you may have noticed I’m a fan of the Knitcircus gradient yarns and so I immediately wanted to participate and help them make this dream come true. If you too like Knitcircus and want to lend a helping hand I encourage you to check out their pledge on Kickstarter here You can choose to pledge 5USD or much more and the rewards are varied going from a thank you note to classes, one on one tutorials, knitting patterns, yarns, tours of the new space etc. I chose to pledge an amount that awards me 2 100gr gradient yarn skeins with 1 digital shawl pattern (the Grand Canyon Shawl by Jaala). Considering the amount pledged (91USD in my case) this is a great deal as I not only support a cause I believe in but I also get 2 skeins of a yarn that I love and a shawl pattern. You can pledge less and get 1 skein or pledge and get a set of her matching gradient stripe sock yarn (I totally love that – great if you decide to try out the 2 in 1 sock method).

They made a fun video showing the new space and introducing the people involved in the business that you can watch https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/255405994/knitcircus-studio-gradient-yarns-and-craft-communi/widget/video.html” target=”_blank”>here

Here are some pictures of their yarn to show you and maybe some of you will join me in this project and at the same time get some great hand dyed yarns:)

huge yarn cake from Knitcircus - www.knittinginfrance.com

the come what may shawl - www.knittinginfrance.com

My progress so far on the Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson

Knitcircus gradient yarn - www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com

That’s all for today folks. Take care and enjoy your weekend:)

An upcoming fibre crafts show in London this May

IKL Fandango poster A2 copy

 

I love fibre craft shows. I love doing them, I love meeting new people, I love the direct contact with my customers, I love getting compliments on my work, I like showing off my yarns and other hand made things. And I also love meeting other shop owners, dyers, designers and so forth that are also vendors at these events.

Last year I did my first show abroad, in Brighton in the UK. That was the very first time I ever did a show outside of France and it was great. English knitters are more connaisseurs than the French ones I feel. English knitters are more used to indie craft artists and more willing to pay for and use unique supplies and that is what makes a show there even more fun than in France. Here are some pictures from the show in Brighton last summer

IMG_1922 IMG_1921 photo 3 (74)

I sold hand dyed yarns, handspun yarns, rolags for spinning as well as handmade stitch markers, needle stoppers and of course some commercial supplies as well. I had lots of people coming to my booth and I think the greatest success for me was my “stitch marker bar”. I thought that up as a candy bar/counter where you choose your own sweats and pay by weight? Only this time there was no candy only handmade stitch markers:) And the knitters and crocheters LOVED IT! So that is one thing I’m definitely going to do again. That was so much fun. I even had small plastic bags (like for candy) so people could put their markers there and so on. Lots of fun.

A show takes a long time to prepare for and lots of organisation. This show is for May 15th – 16th so it is time to get started seriously! I’ve been doing some dyeing as you know and haven’t gotten around to put them up on Etsy so now I’m wondering if I should or if I should just put them aside for the show. Not quite sure at the moment. Of course I still have time to do lots of dyeing before the show so…

This was also my very first time to the UK. I very much liked Brighton which is a much bigger town/city than I expected but I had lots of fun and my family as well. We turned this into a family vacation and so spent 2 weeks in the UK after the show and that was lots of fun.

photo 3 (76) brighton 1 brighton 2

This time the show is in London and it is being curated by Iknit  hence the name : I Knit Fandango. The theme is indie suppliers so I think this is going to be a fabulous show. Lots of gorgeous handmade supplies that you don’t find everywhere. This is going to be a great opportunity to meet other indie dyers and yarn producers and of course clients and future clients.

Here’s a copy of the info taken from the organisers web page:

IKF

a fantastic festival of fabulous fibre

15-16 May 2015 Royal Horticultural Halls, Lindley Hall, Westmister, London

I Knit Fandango is a huge market bursting with tons of gorgeous yarns and fabulous exhibitions

IKF

 

entry is £8 per day in advance

£10 on the door

a limited number of weekend tickets, costing £14 will be available from 23 February

buy tickets here>>

10am – 5pm

vendors include

Belinda Harris Reid Blacker Yarns Coopknits Debonnaire
Easy Knits I Knit or Dye Ingrid Wagner Rug & Art Creation
Java Purl Design Kettle Yarn Co Knit Run Dig Knitting 4 Fun
Knitting In France Knitwitches Max’s World
Midwinter Yarns Namolio Polo & Co PomPom Magazine
Porpoise Fur Purl Alpaca Designs Sparkleduck Spin City
Tall Yarns Textile Garden Tilly Flop Designs Toft Alpaca
Triskelion Yarn Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop Whimzy Willow Knits
Whistlebare Wollmeise Yarn garden

Now does that not make you want to come????

They are also organising a fun event:

knitting/crochet group map

I Knit London want to make a massive knitted blanket and we need your help!

Are you a member of a knitting/crochet group?

Yes?

Well, we would love you to make a six inch square and send it to us so we can sew it into our MAP of the knitting and crochet groups of the Great Briton and beyond.

The blanket will go on display at I Knit Fandango to showcase the amazing tradition that we love so much; knitting and crochet. The blanket will then go on to various festivals around the UK to inspire and encourage non knitters to join us.

The squares may be any design, colour or fibre. Please keep to six inch square, though, just so they fit together easily.

So if you would like to participate in the Knitting/Crochet group map of the UK you just have to get in contact with the I Knit Fandango organisers.

If you are going to be in London on these dates I hope you will have the chance to come and visit the show as I always enjoy meeting the knitters/crocheters that I interact with online- in real life 🙂 So if you do come, don’t be shy and say hi:)

Now, that’s all for now. I’m actually working this evening (yes it is late evening here in France at this time) and I must return to the job. So until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting, crocheting, spinning, dyeing and any other craft you enjoy doing.