Christmas Socks and a Murder Mystery

Hi how are you today? I hope you are doing good. Maybe you are busy getting ready for Christmas. Maybe you are feverishly knitting on all the Christmas gifts you have planned. I had not planned on doing many handmade gifts this year. I did last year. This year I only have one handknit gift and I finished that a while ago. I might add some socks to certain gifts and just take those from my box of socks. I have been putting some of my socks aside rather than directly in my sock drawer so I have a few I could gift.

And speaking of Christmas and socks, I’m currently knitting on THREE Christmas themed socks!  That is the yarn is Christmas themed.

First up is a sock that I’m making up myself, it’s almost a vanilla sock. There is just this tiny detail on each side of the foot to break up the monotony of the stockinette stitch.

christmas sock one

This yarn is called Vintage Christmas and is from a US dyer called The Yarn Jar. A beautiful yarn and I love the colors she chose here. These will be for me:) And they are shorty socks by the way.

Next pair is most likely going to be a gift for a friend. Again this is yarn from The Yarn Jar. And I’m just doing a plain vanilla shorty sock.

christmas sock two

I really love the colors in this one and I’m hoping I will have enough yarn for a second pair of shorty socks that I would knit with contrasting heels and toes.

And the third pair is knit in Hippo for Christmas colorway from Lolo did it. The pattern is called Sugarplum Fairy by Knitterarium. This is a fun pattern with a lace panel at the top of the leg and the rest is in twisted rib.

sugarplum fairies

I’m at the heel here and look forward to continuing on this one.

I’m also working a little bit from time to time on the Second Avenue Wrap by Amy Miller. I’m knitting it out of singles yarns. All but one are my own hand dyed singles WITH sparkle! Talk about fun! It is a big project and I’m not usually a scarf/wrap knitter so it is somewhat on my back burner but it is such a beautiful pattern and the yarns I have chosen, I love, so I’m looking forward to having it done. Even if that may be a long time to get done.

second avenue des17

The bottom is a sort of wavy thing and at the moment it is rolling up on itself. I hope I will be able to block this correctly once the wrap is done. The sparkle is not showing in this picture but there is silver stellina in all the yarns except for the pink yarn that is the main part of what I have knit so far.

I’m also working on the test knit sweater and that is taking a lot of time. It is an over sized sweater knit in pieces and I think it is going to be somewhat slow going. It is fun though and I’m looking forward to wearing the finished garment. However it is top secret so no pictures yet:)

Now something I wanted to tell you about and maybe introduce you too is a book and an author I just discovered. This past weekend I finished a book that I thought was a fun read. It is a murder mystery with some yarn and knitting involved. Two of the things I enjoy the most!

This is a murder enquiry that takes place at a stitch show where everything is all about yarn and knitting designs.  This book is called Malice in Wonderland and the author’s name is Hilary Latimer. At the end of the book there is some bio on the author and turns out she is not just a writer but also a pattern designer! And she sells patterns on Ravelry and she also has some books out that can be bought on Amazon! How amazing is that?

Hilary has a group on Ravelry called Criminal knits …for the serial knitter in all of us. She has kals and seems like the group is a fun one to join.  So if you, like me, enjoy reading a nice, not too violent murder mystery with the added bonus of yarn then you should definitely check out this book and maybe even join her group on Ravelry.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a wonderful and creative week. I hope you are taking the time to enjoy your knitting as we get ready for the holidays. And if you have any knitting related books you think we might want to put on our list for Santa, I’d love to hear about them!

Happy knitting:)

Back after a little vacation

Hi there, how are you? It’s been at least two weeks since my last post and I hope you have had a great time during that interval and are enjoying spring/early summer. Here in Normandy the weather has been beautiful although not warm but it is supposed to change as of tomorrow and turn all grey and rainy!

After being away for two weeks and having travelled and knit a lot, I of course have a ton of things to share with you but rather than write an epic post that would take most of your day to read, I’m going to break it up into a number of posts and maybe post every other day or so until I’m back on schedule.

So if you have followed me for at least a little while you will know that I went away for a week with my kids for spring break. We went to Iceland and then I took a couple of days to go to Glasgow, Scotland with my son.  This meant that I only got  2 1/2 days in Iceland, then I went for 2 days to Scotland and then again 2 1/2 days in Iceland or so.

That was a very short break in Iceland but I did get to see my family and one friend so that was great. Being “home” always feels so good. Just being in the country where I grew up and everything is so familiar and feels so right even though I have been away for a very long time and now also consider France to be my home. Spending time with my parents, grandmother, sister, aunt, uncle and nephews and nieces… it just fills my heart with joy and charges the batteries.

I didn’t do any travelling in Iceland it was really all about family time, a little work and of course some essential shopping (that is food and sweets to bring to France and yarn of course). I visited one yarn shop and of course a supermarket that sells yarn too and I’ll be sharing pictures and info about both in a future post.

Glasgow was a fun short trip. We stayed in the center of town and we did a lot of walking! So much so that I came home with huge blisters on my feet! The weather was not the best but it did not stop us from sight seeing, shopping and just generally making the most of our short stay. I even checked out the two yarn shops that had been recommended to me! You will of course learn all about those and what I came away with after visiting:)

But since it’s been awhile since my last post I thought I might kick off by sharing my latest finished objects. I think I have 4 socks, one cowl and one cardigan so let’s get going.

First the socks. These are not necessarily in the order I finished them because I don’t actually remember which was finished when. Probably because I’m knitting on so many socks at a time constantly so let’s just pick one at random.

The first one is a test knit that I did for my friend, the designer Dana Gervais. The pattern has not been released yet but should be soon I think. Her sizes are not S,M, L but rather they go by the width of your foot so narrow, medium, wide and extra wide. I did the wide version but it turned out to be too big for me so should you knit this pattern you might want to consider doing a size smaller than usual or go down a needle size. I used yarn I purchased in Glasgow for these, Lang wool.

The pattern is very easy to remember and the heel construction is different from “usual”. However, once the test was done, I ripped back and I’m going to reknit these in a size smaller because I really enjoyed the knitting and the finished sock looks really nice.

Next up is a simple vanilla sock that I knit on 9″ circulars using yarn from one of my most favorite indie dyers ever, Knit Cosmic Strings. I didn’t use any pattern, just knit from memory, my standard vanilla sock toe up.

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Then there are the Incantation socks by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears Podcast. I’m a fan of her patterns which tend to be simple and yet fun to knit and this one is no exception and I can see myself knitting many of these in the future. For this particular pair, I used a yarn that I splurged on from La Bien Aimée. Everyone is talking about the Bien Aimée yarns all the time so I thought I should try out for myself and see what all the fuss was about. And so I indulged myself and purchased one sock set and one regular skein of sock yarn as well as a magazine and a Fringe bag!!! Anyway I used the sock set for this sock and I still have plenty of yarn left so I think I’ll knit a pair of shorty socks with the rest. The colorway is fabulous, I love both the main color and the contrast mini for heels and toes. The yarn is a BFL superwash and it is not soft to the touch but still nice to work with. The quality is just regular as could be expected from any yarn dyer – I think a lot of dyers have the same suppliers depending on where in the world they are so usually the same base/type of wool can be found in any number of indie shops. But this is not meant to be a review on their yarn so let’s just go to the picture so you can see.

 

I really love the speckled main color and the mustardy contrast. The pattern is a simple 4 round repeat I think and produces a neat textured pattern.

Then there is another pair of plain vanilla socks in a self striping yarn. The colors are super bright and fun and to keep the striping I did a contrast heel and toe. I used my own yarn for that, a SPARKLES neon yellow. The main yarn, the self striping one, is from a new to me dyer that I discovered on Etsy. She is Swedish and calls herself the Asfaltflikkan I believe. She only does self striping yarns and I purchased two skeins from her shop.

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Again this was just my own formula. I knit these from the cuff down and I did a short row heel.

And then there is the cowl. I have had this pattern in my Ravelry library for a long time. I knew I had to use some special yarn for this and I decided I would use a merino and silk blend that I had purchased to test the base. It is a rather costly blend/base yarn so I haven’t purchased any so far for the shop but it is a dream to work with. So I dyed up two shades of light blue/turquoise and then I had one skein of 100% silk undyed and used that as was. The cowl was a very quick knit even though it is a big/long cowl and maybe the yarn had something to do with that. I think I would like to knit more of this in different colours and maybe some would become Christmas gifts for later this year.

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This is the 3 Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli.

And to finish today I have the secret test knit cardigan. The pattern has now been released and I do highly recommend it. This was a fun knit and ended up being quite quick considering I was doing the biggest size and it’s a fingering weight cardigan. For the biggest size I used up about 3 1/2 skeins of my SPARKLES yarn. It fits nicely and I have been using it regularly since I finished. The pattern is called Lucille and is by the designer Amanita. This is the second pattern of hers that I knit. The first was a sweater but I won her pattern in an IG game and loved it. And currently I’m working on another test knit for her; this time for a shawl and it is also a secret knit until the pattern has been published so no sharing at the moment but here comes the cardigan.

 

It is mostly stockinette but there is a little garter cuff on the sleeves and some textured stitches on the bottom of the cardigan. If you are looking for a great cardigan that is easy but not too easy to knit, I would definitely recommend this pattern.

I think that’s about all for my FOs. I have a ton of works in progress and I’ll be sharing those later.

Thank you so much for coming back and spending some of your precious time with me. I really appreciate that. I hope you enjoy seeing my work and that you’ll be back for more later this week. Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

My works in progress and a redraw for a winner

Hi there, how are you? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that your week is shaping up to be a good one.

I have been making good progress on my knitting projects and getting ready for others and I’d like to share those with you today.

So first I have two finished objects that I think I have not shared with you yet. Both are socks. Surprise surprise:)

The first is the Lovealong Socks. A pattern by Amy Meeks of the Periscoping sisters. I knit these socks as part of a kal that is being hosted by Amy in the Periscoping sisters Ravelry group, by Dani of Little Bobbins Knits Ravelry Group and Christy of the Yarn Cafe Creations Ravelry Group – only if you knit with her yarn which I did. So I entered my pair into all three FO threads and now I just need to cross my fingers and wait and see if I win anything!

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This was a fun pattern to knit. The pattern only gives one size, and it’s not my sock size, so these will be for one of my girls. The yarn is the Banana Split colorway from Yarn Cafe Creations and it is super soft and squishy. It may be a bit on the busier side where the pattern is concerned. I mean the patterning would show up more if I had used a tonal or a less speckled/variegated yarn. But I still love them. They were actually quite a quick knit too.

I also finished another pair that was/is part of another kal. Those are the Prairie Socks by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears Podcast. I’m a huge fan of Dan and Kay’s podcast and when I saw the socks on their podcast I really wanted to knit them asap. I found a single skein of a mystery yarn base and I dyed it up specially for this project. The inspiration behind the color was just thinking of grass and colorful flowers and I really love the outcome. Both of the socks and the yarn. I have of course entered this pair into their kal/giveaway thread and cross my fingers.

The yarn is less saturated in the second half of my skein somehow and so you see that one of the socks is greener than the other. But that’s ok. I still love them.

And then on to works in progress. Of course I have numerous pairs of socks on the go as always. I’m only going to share one which is a pair that I’m test knitting for my friend Dana of Dana Gervais Designs. This pattern was actually designed using one of my hand dyed yarns! Which I’m so excited about. And of course I had to test knit this, no question about that. I did choose to you a different yarn for this than she used in the design, but it’s still one of my own. I chose the POP base, which is a  tweed base with colorful nepps in that make such a fun addition to the yarn. This yarn knits up so nicely. It’s the second time I use this base for one of Dana’s designs.

So this pattern is currently being tested and it has mirroring patterning. I’m currently working on the left sock. The picture on the left is of the front of the sock/leg and the one one the right is of the back of the leg. I’m just at the heel here. I think these will be gorgeous and I really look forward to having them finished.

I’m also working on three shawls at the moment. There’s the Snowmelt kal, a shawl pattern by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. I’ve finished clue 3. Here’s a picture I took after clue 2. I’m sorry but I don’t have a picture of it as it is now, ready for clue 4. I’m using a new base that I call Back to Basics. It’s a fingering weight 100% non superwash merino yarn and it is such a joy to knit with.

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This is a fun knit and I’m happy with the colors I dyed up for this.

Then I’m also knitting the Snow Day shawl by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat Designs. That shawl is designed for a sport weight yarn but I’m knitting it using a new base in my shop that is DK weight. It’s a 100% organic merino yarn and the color palette is similar to the one in my Snowmelt shawl.

I’m getting close to finishing this shawl and really love all about it; both the pattern and the yarn and colors I chose.

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This is a fun asymmetrical garter and slipped stitches shawl and I think it will be super cute and cozy to wear:

The last shawl I’m working on is one that I cast on in January for the Brioche challenge being held by Louise Tilbrook. Clearly I did not finish it in time! But I’m getting there, slowly but surely. I’m doing the Briochealicious shawl by Andrea Mowry. Some of the yarns are my own some are either store bought or from another indie dyer. This shawl is huge! It’s not a complicated knit, it has a lot of garter in it. I think it’s just the size, the number of stitches that make this such a slow going project. Well and then of course I’m not a monogamous knitter so I haven’t been focusing on it much lately. But now I really want to get it done. Because I have found two other shawls that I want to cast on! More about those later. I don’t have a picture of my shawl to share today. it’s such a big shawl and I’m only using a 40″/100 cm cable so it’s all scrunched up so I feel I wouldn’t be able to take a good picture of it. You’ll just have to wait and see when it’s all done and gorgeous:)

So that’s about it for knitting this week.  This coming week I’ll work on my shawls and my test knit socks and continue working on some socks that are in need of love in my pile of wip. Oh which brings me to my challenge of last week! The cleaning up/reorganising of my mountain of wips! Gosh, I was so excited to share all these works in progress I totally forgot about that until just now! But this is becoming quite a long post so I think I will keep that till next time. And I’ll also have to tell you all about the upcoming sock knitting challenge that I’m joining in on as of March 1st! Lots of things to share still! Hope you will stick around and come back for more:)

But before I leave you today, I have a winner to announce! You may remember a giveaway I did in January in conjunction with my Maker of the Month feature which for January was Knit Cosmic Strings. I did draw a winner for the giveaway only the lucky winner never contacted me! I did remind everyone of this in a post this February but still no sign of the winner so I’m considering that as a forfeit of the prize. So I have just drawn again from the comments for the giveaway and this time around I do hope the lucky winner will see this and contact me so I can send the gorgeous yarn out! And as a reminder here’s the yarn

knitcosmicstrings-giveaway

So drum rolls please. And the winner is….Aylin A who wrote:

The colors are all gorgeous, but if I had to decide on a favorite it would definitely be Peony!

So if you are the lucky Aylin A, please either send me an email at knittinginfrance@gmail.com or send me a private message on Instagram where I’m @knittinginfrance so I can get your details and ship the yarn out to you asap!

I’m also still waiting to hear from this month’s Maker of the Month winner so if you participated in that one, please check out the winner announcement and contact me if you are the lucky one.

I want the prizes to go out to readers of my blog, people that follow my blog and enjoy spending time with me here so I’m not looking people up. I think that when you participate in a giveaway, you should follow up and see if you won or not and so if a prize is not claimed within a month, I’m going to re-draw for a winner. I hope you understand and agree with me on that. At least this is how I’m thinking/processing for the time being.

And there will be another giveaway beginning of March for that month’s Maker of the month so you still have a chance of winning something:)

That’s all for today. Promise! Take care and have a great week:)

Is life all about handknit socks?

Well I guess I have to agree with you, that is a strange question BUT if you know me and especially if you have been around me or follow me on social media you will have noticed that the last few days have been ALL about knitting socks!

If you follow me on social media or regularly read my blog you will know that I joined Sock Madness this year for the first time. This is actually the 10th year they run Sock Madness and if you are not familiar with this, it is a sort of sock speed knitting contest. I believe this year we were almost 700 participants and around 50 per team. Each round we get an email announcing the start of the round and the pattern we are to knit. Even though each pattern usually comes in 3 sizes the minimum requirement is a 9″ sock so at least a medium size. Each time the pattern will present a challenge. It can be an unusual cast on or cast off, an unusual construction, a new heel design,  textured stitches, cables, beads, colorwork etc.

Learning new things is what makes this such a fun event to part take in. I have learned a lot and I have a number of new gorgeous hand knit socks:)

But there is a stress factor. Although each round runs for 2 weeks, you need to finish ASAP. Every round less and less people make it to the following round. Now round 5 is about to finish and all in all there are 7 rounds. I know I’m not going to win because there are some serious speed knitters competing and even though I’m in the third fastest knitters team (yes I had to share that little fact because I’m super proud of that), I’m still far from fast compared to the express knitters in THE  fastest team. So this round for some reason, even though I know I’m never going to win, it was SUPER important I make it to the semi finals, round 6. I didn’t get to start on the day we got the pattern until late that day and since then I’ve had a lot on my plate between work and a big custom dye job and so not as much knitting time as I had hoped for. The last day and a half I was super stressed out. I kept looking at the spread sheet and seeing less and less spots left in my team and I was knitting late at night in bed and during breakfast in the morning and all the hard work paid off! I’m so super happy and proud to say that I did make the cut! I was actually 7th out of 10 knitters in my team. So this round we went from 20 to only 10 that make it to round 6 and at the end of round 6 only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals. So round 6 will be a super short round, at least for the fastest knitters.

I really wanted to challenge myself and prove to myself that I could do this and I must admit that I’ve seen some yummie prizes that I’d love to win although I don’t know how or who will win those. Maybe just the finalists….

But anyway, I’m super happy I made it in time and I even got a compliment from one of the organisers who said that my socks were the most beautiful she had seen yet!!!! How’s that for a compliment:) Here’s some pictures of my socks:

So to celebrate I decided to launch a giveaway on Instagram. And you should definitely join in and try to win my little sock themed prize. So the prize is: a set of Two at a time socks (75/25 merino, nylon) hand dyed just for the occasion, a set of polymer clay stitch markers and a hand crafted needle gauge and kitchener stitch memo by Burning Impressions II on Etsy.

instagram giveawa

Here ‘s a picture which incidentally happens to be the picture you need to share on Instagram to join in the giveaway. So the rules are:

  1. you need to follow me on Instagram – @knittinginfrance
  2. you need to repost my photo/post
  3. you need to tag 2 or more of your friends

I will draw a random winner this Saturday May 21st.

 

I hope you will join and I wish you the best of luck. The winner will be announced on Instagram and not here on the blog as this is an Instagram only giveaway -my first ever so we’ll see how that works out.

So until next time, take care and have a wonderful day. I’ll be back soon with some more news on my knitting and more info on the Summer Kal, which will be the first ever KAL I host on Ravelry.

FOs and WIPs

Hi there, it feels like it’s been ages since my last post and thus I have a gazillion things I want to share with you but I won’t be able to fit everything into just one post so hopefully I’ll have some more time this week so I’ll be able to blog more and share all my stuff with you. It’s difficult to have a lot of ideas and things to share and not have the time to actually do so. Just as frustrating as having the time but not much to share! But hey, I’m not going to complain about actually having loads of stuff to share with you so here goes:)

First FOs and this week I have two so far, both socks. So the first pair has actually been ages in the making. Not because it is particularly difficult or anything I just got side tracked and cast on a number of things between sock one and sock two. So now that I’m done, I’m super happy about my pair and I’m going to gift them to someone special (not saying who just in case the recipient actually read this post). The pattern is called The Lady of Lallibroch and is by CC Almon or JavaPurl on Revelry and this is an Outlander inspired pattern. I used Cascade Heritage Sock yarn and I think the solid color really compliments the pattern. I feel that for the cable to shine, you really need to use a solid, semi solid or very lightly variegated yarn just so the cable really shines.

www.knittinginfrance.com The design focus is this gorgeous cable that works its way from toe to cuff. Super gorgeous and as there is “just” one cable and every other row is “knit as stitches present themselves” the pattern is not too complicated or time consuming although you may want to knit the first cable repeats away from any distraction. I really love the outcome.

The second FO is also a pair of socks and this is just plain vanilla, nothing fancy. I knit them toe up with a  short row heel and they went real quick. The yarn is Holly Jolly by the Cozy Knitter and I really love the yarn. This is one skein and I started both socks at the same place in the color repeat pattern and I got identical socks which is just great, plus the colorway just screams CHRISTMAS.

www.knittinginfrance.com Don’t you just love this colorway? I got a second set of yarn from her and I’m going to cast on for a new pair of socks soon, also in the holiday spirit.

So two socks done and I’ve cast on for a new pair using my own hand dyed christmassy yarn which is a muted, variegated yarn. I’m doing tube socks for my youngest. I just cast on so I’m not showing them here but as soon as I make some real progress I’ll show you.

I’m also working on my Meristem mitts and I’ve got one done (minus the thumb) and I’ve started the second (I’m just past the thumb placement) so hopefully by the same time next week those will be done.

And, then there is the Stephen West mystery knit-a-long called the Doodler. I’m sure you’ve heard about that, if not from social media then from Revelry or just on my blog. So I decided to join and the first clue came out last Friday November 6th. I wasn’t able to cast on immediately but I did this weekend of course and now I’ve only just begun wedge 10. In this first clue there are 17 wedges and I hope I’ll be able to finish those before the next clue comes out this coming Friday. A bit of pressure here to stay on target as I don’t want to fall behind or I’m afraid I’ll never finish. So far I really love how the yarns are knitting up and I’m very happy with the colour choices I made. I’ve seen lots of pictures on Instagram from others and so far I think mine is perfect.

www.knittinginfrance.com This looks a lot like a butterfly wing at the moment. The only thing that bothers me, is that every X row I have to add and then cut off yarn B so I have a lot of loose ends as you can see. Otherwise, so far so good.

Are any of you also knitting this KAL? I’d love to see your progress. I really should make a project page on Revelry. I don’t know why I’m so lazy about actually putting pictures of my FOs on Revelry to share, especially knowing that showing off my hand dyed yarns all knit up would be a plus for my business…Maybe one day I’ll muster the courage and energy to set up a number of project pages to show my works. Do you use Ravelry a lot? Do you maybe even use it to keep track of your stash and so forth? I’d be curious to hear how you use Ravelry and if you think it impacts your knitting life.

Well, that’s all for today. I’ll be back soon with some more because like I said at the beginning I have loads of stuff to tell you about.

So “see” you soon 🙂

My latest WIPs and hand dyed yarns

Hi there, how are you doing today? I’m doing pretty good. Today is Friday and I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’d love to be able to just isolate myself and just work on my shop and my knitting but when one has a family of 5, well isolation is not really an option 🙂

So first off, I’m suffering greatly from a case of Startitis these days! I’ve got a gazillion things on my needles and rather than actually concentrating on and finishing one project after another I just keep casting on for new projects! Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but this is where I’m at now. I actually counted my projects and here is my list:

3 pairs of socks + 2 pairs of mittens + 2 shawls + 1 stole + 1 sweater + 1 blanket

I think that’s all ….. Some of these have been patiently waiting for me for more or less time but here are those I’m currently, actually working on:

Hermione’s Everyday socks – My objective now is to knit as much as I can using my hand dyed yarns and then add my yarns to Ravelry so others can create their project pages with my yarns. Also to upload pictures of projects I knit with my yarns so others can see how they knit up and maybe even tempt a few knitters to try out my yarns.

www.knittinginfrance.com The yarn is my merino/nylon blend and I’m knitting this on my Signature dpns in 2,25mm. The pattern is quite simple and going rather quickly. I’ve finished one sock and I’m just a few rows from the heel flap on the second sock.

Irma mittens – This is a pattern I purchased last week after discovering this amazing designer on Ravelry. I told you all about her 2 posts ago I think. So I chose to cast on for the Irma mittens first as those are destined to be a christmas gift for someone close to me and I thought I’d better get started to be sure I finish in time. I did have some difficulties when I came to the fair isle pattern and I sent the designer a message on Ravelry and she promptly answered back and after considering her answer and taking a really good look at the pattern again, I was finally able to UNDERSTAND and now I’m enjoying the knit. I’m using my hand dyed yarns of course. The main color is undyed and the pattern color is a bluish/black in my Sparkles base (the white one is a merino/nylon yarn).

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the picture from Ravelry and here’s where I’m at

www.knittinginfrance.com    This is the back side     www.knittinginfrance.com This is the front – you can see the horseshoe and the top of the ears

I think these will look wonderful once finished.

 

Snowflake sweater by Tincanknits – I bought this pattern a while back after seeing some gorgeous pictures on Ravelry and Facebook. I’m using my CMN base in DK weight. The lace part and cuff are grey and the main part of the sweater is BRIGHT pink. I’m currently working on the lace yoke. This is my second time around. I had almost finished when I noticed a mistake that I just could not live with and so decided to rip it back and begin again. This time around I’m using loads of stitch markers. This way I mark the beginning and end of each repeat and this way I can quickly see if I’m doing something wrong. I’m less than 10 rows from getting started on the main part of the sweater in the bright pink. I’m hoping the super bright pink won’t be too bright. I’m thinking it will look nice with a jean and the yoke being grey I won’t look too bad.

snowflake by tin can knits   This is the pattern picture.  www.knittinginfrance.com And here is my yoke. This was taken just after ripping back and getting all my markers in place. Since the picture I’ve knit most of the yoke, I think I’m about 5 rows from finishing the yoke/lace part. So far so good:)

 

And my latest project that I cast on just yesterday. It’s going to be a slouchy beanie using a sock weight yarn. The yarn is 100% superwash high twist BFL hand dyed in a nice blue/white color. I just had this vision of a slouchy hat and immediately cast on. I’m using a fun cuff pattern and a nice lacy cable pattern for the main part. And yesterday I got some gorgeous project bags (I’ll be telling you all about those in a later post) so that makes knitting it even more fun.

www.knittinginfrance.com

What about you? What are you working on these days? Do you also work on a gazillion projects at the same time? Any great patterns you’d like to share with me? I’m always open to casting on new projects:)

Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting. Have a great weekend:)

 

 

A colorwork designer you MUST check out

Hi there, today is yet another rainy day here in Normandy. There is no longer any doubt possible, summer is officially over! Way too soon I think as we are still in August but hey, nothing we can do about that I guess!

Yesterday I was browsing Facebook and I came across a picture from someone who was knitting an absolutely gorgeous butterfly sock and in the comments below people were saying they loved her designs so I went straight to Ravelry and found her pattern store. And oh boy!!!! I just had to share this with you right away!

If you like colorwork/fair isle or want to give it a try but have been waiting for the right pattern to come along. Wait no more! I absolutely love her designs! I like them so much that I actually bought 6 of her patterns just now! I’m going to knit some for myself, some for my older daughter and some for my sister.

So who is this incredible designer? Well, here’s what I know. Here designer name on Ravelry is JennyPenny but her pseudo is JennyPenny74 and she lives in Sweden. And her shop has 45 designs. Mostly mittens and socks and some of the designs are available as both socks and mittens. There are also a few shawls there too although I fell in love mostly with the socks and mitts.

Here are the patterns I just purchased and plan to knit with my hand dyed yarns:

www.knittinginfrance.com     Garden Fairy Socks

www.knittinginfrance.com Lova (love owl) socks

www.knittinginfrance.com Irma horse mittens

www.knittinginfrance.com Lova Owl mittens

www.knittinginfrance.com Calaveras mittens

www.knittinginfrance.com Garden Fairies mittens

So if you like colorwork, you should definitely go over to Ravelry and check out her designs!

Thats all for today! Hope you are having a good day with better weather than I am:) Until next time, happy knitting/crochet/spinning etc

Tube socks on the go go

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are fine and I hope you are enjoying beautiful weather as we are here in Normandy, France.

As you can guess from my title, I’ve fallen down a very deep rabbit hole called “Tube Socks”. Ever heard of that? Maybe you’ve even fallen down there yourself? Or maybe you are about to:)

So, as you may know, I love knitting socks and I just recently discovered tube socks and knit a pair for my daughter. I was a bit sceptic at first, you know, a sock without heels, how could that possibly work? But it actually does! And very well at that. So now I think that tube socks are the perfect socks when knitting for kids, especially when they are not at hand for testing because you can just make them long and that way you can be sure that they will fit and also the fact that there is no heel, you can be sure that if you make them long, they will be able to wear them much longer than traditionally shaped socks. So what’s not to love?

So I’ve just finished my first pair of tube socks and now I’m working on 2 pairs, yes at the same time:) And, I’ve already decided on how I’m going to do the 3rd pair. I’m into colors so I have 3 variations so far and the next pair will be yet another one. This is the first pair of tube socks I ever knit

www.knittinginfrance.com Here I used my speckled hand dyed yarn

This is one of the 2 pairs I’m currently working on. These will be for a boy and I began with a ball of gradient yarn which is why the colors are not the same on both socks. Now I have run out of that yarn and have found 2 different mini yarn cakes in similar colors that I’m using and I’m going to need to find a 3rd source of yarn to finish them. So these will be colorful yet serious as no flashy colors.

www.knittinginfrance.com

And the 2nd pair I’m working on and is very colorful. I wanted to make them identical and use lots of colors. These are for my niece. So what I did is I went to my basement and went through my mini-skeins of hand dyed sock yarn and I chose the yarns that I liked.

www.knittinginfrance.com What do you think about the colors? Now as I’m getting close to the end, I think I may not actually be able to use all the colors as the sock is getting quite long so I may actually have to finish with a ribbing in the turquoise color and not use the green on the end. I’ll have to take some more measurements and have my daughter model to see if that is the way to go or if I can continue and use up all the yarn I intended to use.

Next, I wound all the yarn into a magic ball. That is something I discovered on Youtube after having read about the concept somewhere. A magic ball, I think is the invention of Kaffe Fasset, you make up a ball of yarn using a number of different coloured yarns and you tie them together in a specific manner which gives you a very sturdy knot so no risk of the thing unravelling when being worn and it allows you to make up your own ball of “self striping” yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com Now, I made one ball from a single color and one magic ball. The small, single color was ment to be for the toe and cuff but seeing the length of my sock now, I probably will have to leave out the last color (green) and do the ribbing in turquoise rather than ending with the same yarn I began with. But this was the idea, toe and cuff same color and the rest rainbow.

www.knittinginfrance.com My sock an hour ago – now I have actually finished the purple and I’m half way through the pale blue yarn. Looking at my sock now reminds me of Pippi Langstromp, the Swedish character by Astrid Lindgren. You know, the funny girl with red hair and braids and she used to have colorful socks in different lengths? Voila:)

But I really like the outcome. I’m knitting these one at a time and I hope my little niece will love them.

For the next pair, I will also be doing colors but with shorter lengths, here I used 25 m for some and 50 m for other colors and in the future pair I will do 15 m for each color I think. I will redo the magic ball thing which I find ingenious unless I actually just dye up a new set of yarn specifically for my pair of socks. I’m thinking maybe I could do sets of hand dyed yarns and market especially for those wanting to do colorful tube socks. What do you think?

Oh time is running out for me tonight. Promise, promise, next time I’ll tell you all about the ingenious free program you can use to create your own fair isle patterns.

Until then, take care and enjoy your crafting.

Sock and sock patterns

Hi there, I’m writing late in the day today. I was too busy at work to take a break and in addition it’s pretty hot out here today so I’m sort of melting inside at my computer and I think my brain took a hit! Working in slow motion and not having many ideas for a blog post today…sniff sniff. But hey, I’m used to write a post per day and I’m guessing (hoping) you enjoy coming by every day to read me:) So here I am. By the way, do you enjoy a post a day? Am I maybe overdoing things? I don’t know. I know that some bloggers only blog once a week and others maybe 2-3 times per week. Sometimes I feel so inspired and full of ideas that I could post 2-3 times a day and so I write down ideas or make drafts for later and I kind of got used to writing everyday and I feel that’s cool. So I hope you enjoy that, and if not I’m sure you just don’t come by if you are doing something else:)

Now, what could I share with you today? Well, yesterday I told you about the generous offer from Slipped Stitch Studios and she makes the needle nooks which are so cool when knitting socks on dpns so I thought I’d talk about socks. Not long ago I was browsing Ravelry and I came across this German designer who has lots of beautiful and free sock patterns. I had never heard of her so maybe you haven’t either.

Her name is Gudrun Neumann Mack and her username on Ravelry is Calpurnia1408.  You can check out her designs by clicking here

She does not only do socks, she also has a couple of shawls in there. Her socks are mostly textured or lace patterns and I saved all of them to my Ravelry library thinking I have knit some of them up.

Here are my favorites

Dragontail free sock pattern on Ravelry

Dragontail  – I love how the patterning stands out here

Elfriede free sock pattern on Ravelry

Elfriede – I like how the pattern is constructed in an unusual way, sort of like sideways

highlander free pattern on Ravelry

Highlander – this is a simple and yet intricate pattern

sister of Leoni free pattern on Ravelry sister of Leoni free pattern on Ravelry

Sister of Leoni – I really like the cables here and the details on the side of the leg. I think I may cast on for these real soon

That’s all for today my friends. I’ll be more creative tomorrow I’m sure. Just thinking about the weekend makes me smile and think of all the things I could be doing:)

Some progress on my projects and future cast ons

Hi there, all this week I have been sharing with you the wonderful people that I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London last week and I hope you have enjoyed reading about and discovering these artists. I’m not done yet, I have a few more to introduce to you next week but I thought I’d change the subject today and share some of my knitting with you.

So lately I have been doing quite some knitting and have actually finished 2 projects and almost finished the 3rd and 4th so lots to share.

First off, I have finished my first in a series of baby blankets. There are a few new babies expected to join my circle of family and friends this year and I thought it would be nice to give them a hand knit blanket. So I have finished the first one. I did not really use a pattern for this but it was more a stitch pattern really that I found on a blog. It is called the Heirloom Diamond Baby Blanket and I knit it on size 4 mm/US 6 size circulars and used a merino/nylon/cashmere blend that I had hand dyed myself. Not knowing if this particular baby will be a boy or a girl, I chose a bright turquoise colour which I hope will appeal to the parents as much as the baby. (Yes I decided that this particular pattern would be for this particular baby). The website where I found the pattern has a few other free patterns and is called Dragon Knits. You can click here to visit the blog. Just scroll down the landing page to see the blanket pattern.

So here are my pictures

www.knittinginfrance.com     www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see a close up of the diamond pattern. This was actually not that long to knit. The blanket has a “frame” in moss stitch and then diamond pattern all over the rest. I really love the outcome and I think that this pattern works especially well with one colour yarn or semi solids and a lush blend like this with cashmere makes it super soft to the touch. The yarn was hand dyed by myself of course. So happy with this.

Then I also just finished a pair of socks. Now this is a pair that I began a while back and I had finished the first sock and more than half the second one and then I just let it wait, and wait…. Well now I have finally finished knitting them and the pair is super nice. I love the yarn (which I dyed myself by the way) and I think the stitch pattern goes really well with the yarn. The pattern is called Regency Socks by Heatherly Walker  the pattern is for sale on Ravelry here

And then the picture

My Regency socks are done www.knittinginfrance.com

And on to my almost finished project. This is a shawl that I began as soon as I received my order from Knitcircus a while ago. I actually knitted the shawl in 2 days and then had to put it on the side as I waited for the beads to arrive. Once the beads were here, I was too busy preparing for the show in London to have the time to finish so now that I’m back, I intend to finish this for real next week. I do need to watch some tutorials on Youtube because it calls for a beaded russian bind off that I’m not familiar with.

The pattern is called Come What May by Susan B Anderson and is for sale on Ravelry here

The Come What May shawl on www.knittinginfrance.com  I put the beads there too to show you. I ordered some clear beads and some aqua beads and I like those better. So Almost done here!

Now on to my work in progress:

First I’m doing my first pair of socks by General Hogbuffer. I chose Maudie and I’m using a sparkling sock blank that I dyed myself. The pattern is quite fun and the cable pattern easy to learn although you do need to follow what you’re doing or you will (like me) do some cabling mistakes one time or another. Also the construction of the heel is quite unique to accommodate the cable pattern down the heel. So a fun pattern there. I’ve done one sock and since I took the picture this morning I’ve done a few inches of the leg on the second one.

Maudie socks by General Hogbuffer on www.knittinginfrance.com

And then there is a sort of stole/scarf/cowl thing that I’m knitting with my handspun yarn. I actually have 3 skeins of this same yarn and I wanted to retry some entrelac. I had done some a long time ago but never finished my project. Then I started this one a while ago and it too has found itself on the sidelines. But it does look nice and I do want to use my handspun yarn so now I just need some discipline to keep going and FINISHING. There is no pattern here, I’m just trying to learn and get better at doing entrelac.

Handspun yarn and an entrelec stole  Hand spun yarn on www.knittinginfrance.com The yarn is a blend of fibres with angelina for a little sparkle:)

And my latest cast on which actually only dates from this morning ! This is a shawl that a young and talented knitwear designer gifted me but as I’m going to tell you all about her next week, I’m going to keep the suspense and you’ll have to wait until after the weekend to know who this is and what I’m knitting 🙂

Then I already have a new project lined up for casting on! I actually have 2 but just pictures of this one – I’ll tell you all about the other next week because that also involves a young and talented designer I just met:) But I can tell you that both projects are socks.

So, I’m going to be knitting my second pattern by General Hogbuffer and this time a colourwork pattern. I chose Skandium and 2 highly contrasting yarns that I have hand dyed.

Skandium by General Hogbuffer What is dark blue on the picture will be neon yellow and what is light grey will be medium grey. What do you think? I know the neon yellow is NEON but I have a feeling this will work super nice. So I’m excited about casting on for this pair. Now I just need to first finish my Maudie socks and cast of my Come What May shawl and then I can go ahead and cast on! I hope I’ll have some time for knitting this weekend.

Well this is all for now. I hope you enjoyed looking at these pictures and reading about my little adventures:) Next week I’ll continue to introduce you to more wonderful folks that I met in London and share with you the project I cast on for this morning and the one I’m going to cast on soon. I wish you all a wonderful and creative weekend.

Take care:)