Stranded colorwork, steeks and a giveaway

Hi there how are you today? I do hope you have had a pleasant weekend with lots of time to craft to your hearts content.

I was able to make some progress. Not as much as I had imagined I  could but then when is that ever the case!

But hey for once, I’m not going to share about my current knits but rather share an older project with you AND there will be a giveaway too as promised!

A few months ago I decided it was time for me to make not only my first all over colorwork garment but to do my first ever steek too.

And I decided I would try the Holst Garn yarn as I had heard of that often in stranded knitting and it is a very affordable yarn too so off I went and ordered some balls of different coloured Holst Tides which is a wool and silk blend.

As for the pattern I decided on the Damejakka Loppa or Flea Cardigan by  Pinneguri.

This was a really fun pattern and it uses a number of different colours and one can totally loose one self when browsing the different versions that people have made and shared on Ravelry.

From the start I decided it would be for myself. I have since decided I have to make a second one in different colours for my mother and I hope to get to that later this year.

IMG_0841IMG_0825IMG_0842Here you see the beginning of my cardigan and the colorwork which is mostly in the yoke. After the yoke, the body has the typical Norwegian “flea” pattern which I did do as the pattern calls for. When I knit the second one which will be for my mother I will do a solid body as she asked me not to include the flea pattern on the body.

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The colours in the body are rather subtle and the pink main color is somewhat heathered which does not show in the pictures.

You can see my steek on the above picture. It looks like  a column of stitches on the front. I think there were just 5 steek stitches so it really does not add much to your knitting to do a steek but boy does it speed up the process of cardigan knitting. Not having to purl back but just knit  round and round makes for such a speedier process.

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Soon my body was done and then the sleeves went quickly. I think it was with this particular cardigan that I started knitting sleeves on 9″ circulars. I now cannot imagine doing sleeves any other way. I find that sleeve knitting on 9″ circulars is such a joy and way less fiddly than when knitting a sock as it is just round and round and  a few decreases. At least in my case; the sleeves go way quicker this way.

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Next step was to knit the button bands on either side of my steek. So I picked up and knitted stitches along the steek. And one thing I have to say, the idea of steeking and cutting my knitting has always scared me. I have imagined horror scenarios where the entire piece unravels once the steek has been cut. Or that I cut in the wrong place or just any other unlikely scenario might occur.

However I slowly overcame my fear as I knit on this garment because of the yarn. The Holst garn is not thick nor is it especially sturdy but it is a little rustic and so I was pretty sure the yarn would “stick” to itself and nothing would unravel. And of course that did turn out to be the case.

flea ready for steeking So once the button bands were done I crochet a chaine on either side of the middle stitch in my steek portion to secure the stitches before cutting between the crochet chains.

damejakka open

And tada! Here it is open just after I cut the steek. And NOTHING is unravelling.

Unfortunately I forgot to take another picture to show it after tucking back the steek sides. I did not sew a ribbon over the cutting but I think I might next time I knit this. But for this first steeked garment it was very simple. I left the crochet chains in place and just folded back/inside the part of the steek on each side and sewed it loosely down. As the yarn is  a little rustic, it just clings together and even if I did not put a ribbon on top it still looks quite good.

And then I washed and blocked my cardigan…

damejakka blocking

and promptly put it aside!

And so it languished for a few weeks, 99% done. Just missing the buttons. Why do I so dislike sewing on buttons?

As I was knitting on this cardigan I saw a shoutout from a French ceramist asking for people willing to test her products and give honest feedback. I jumped on the occasion and contacted her and was lucky enough that she accepted my proposition.

And so this first ever all over colorwork, steeked cardigan has super special hand made buttons.

camelir boutons

Are these amazing of what? These are just gorgeous. They are handmade from ceramic. They are not coated or glazed so feel “raw” to the touch. I love the little butterfly imprint and the colouring.

The creator behind these amazing buttons is a French lady called Cecile.

She creates ceramic buttons which are just amazing and really add value I feel to a garment that you have invested both time and money in making. These buttons are not fragile and you can handwash  your garment  without any worries.

Cecile has  a large selection of buttons on offer of different sizes and forms as well as in different colours so chances are that you will be able to find just the right set of buttons for yourself if you decide to go ahead and treat yourself.

Cecile also works with leather and has some handmade items out of leather on offer too.

She has a shop on Etsy as well as her own blog which you can find here 

Here is  a close up of the buttons sewn onto my cardigan.

damejakke finished with buttonscamelir close up of buttons

Beautiful right?

Now Cecile was generous enough to give me/you a set of her handmade ceramic buttons. This is not a  set like the one I used for my cardigan but rather a selection of different buttons to show you what she can make. These will look beautiful on any project that either does not require more than 1-2 buttons or one that is a little whimsical and you can allow yourself to show them all off in one fun garment.

camelir prize buttons

These come in a little linen (I think) bag, hand printed by Cecile. You will also get her business card and care instructions for the buttons. They will be well protected to travel in total security from my home to yours.

So this is the first giveaway to celebrate my blog now having reached 300 subscribers.

If you like these beautiful, hand made ceramic buttons and would like to have these to test out yourself, you can join in the giveaway by going to her shop and taking a look at what she has to offer. Then come back here and leave me a comment telling me what you liked most in her shop or if you won, what would you use these buttons for (do you have a project waiting for these or maybe these will be perfect for something you are dying to knit).

As there are more giveaways coming (yes you are lucky) this will be a short one. If you can comment to join sooner rather than later, I will draw the winner this Thursday June 22nd afternoon. I don’t know when I will get to the drawing so up until I do, you can still enter.

The second giveaway will then be launched over the coming weekend so do stay tuned for some more fun.

That’s it for today. I do hope you have enjoyed stopping buy and seeing my Damejakka Loppa and its beautiful handmade ceramic buttons. Join the giveaway and try your luck. I will ship worldwide so don’t be shy.

Happy knitting and best of luck 🙂

More goodies for you my dears:)

Hi there, so I not only love knitting and spinning and dyeing and almost everything else to do with fibre crafts. I also love SHOPPING for anything and everything related to my passion! So a few days ago I shared with you my latest find in the project bag division- Fridajo on Etsy and I published an interview with her on the blog and she also generously offered to give my followers a special discount in her shop on all purchases over 25Eur as long as you order before June 30th! I do hope you did take the time to go and take a look at her shop and better yet, that you found something you were able to purchase and take advantage of the special offer.

Now I went ahead and contacted another company at the same time as I did Fridajo, only they took their time to come back to me. But now they have! The company in question is Slipped Stitch Studios. You may know them from Etsy where they still have a small shop but they are gradually moving all their business to their new website www.slippedstitchstudios.com

I actually heard about them when watching my new favorite video podcast, the Geeky Girls Knit podcast with CC and her daughter. They were showing off the needle nooks and project bags that CC has from Slipped Stitched Studios. And I had never seen a needle nook before nor had I ever hear of this company so off I went and took a look at their shop. Needless to say, I LOVED what they had to offer! And so I placed a first order via their Etsy site and sent them a little message. Not hearing from them again, I thought “oh well, they must be too big for a small blogger such as myself. That’s ok, I did try and that’s what counts”.

When I received my order, I was in love and immediately went back online and this time placed an even bigger order on their new website. That order has now been delivered and I’m very happy with my items! And just now, Laura – the owner and seamstress, just sent me a message to say YES she’d love to offer my followers a discount in her shop! Isn’t that great? I’m so happy that I can offer you this chance to get some of her products at a discounted price! I’m super happy that other companies agree to work with me and offer my followers special deals and I’m feeling super happy. So if you have a company you adore, let me know and maybe, just maybe, I could get us a special deal from them too! Who knows? Worst case scenario, they say no, but at least we will have given it a go:)

So now more on Slipped Stitch Studios. Laura sells the famous needle nooks which are a way to carry your dpns and wip in a secure and super cute fashion. The little nook also has a zipped pocket where you can keep your stitch markers safely and maybe even a small tape measure as well.  The nooks are bolstered so no worries, your dpns will be secure and not risk anything. On their website there is a link to see how you can use the nook for circulars as well for those who mostly use those. I’m a lover of circulars but I have tons of dpns and when I saw the nooks I just knew that I had to do some socks on dpns and use these! So here I am, 4 needle nooks later!

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

Laura also does project bags in different sizes, pattern wallets, spindle bags, swift bags, notions bags as well as accessories such as stitch markers and travel lanyards. The travel lanyards are a fun thing so of course I had to have one too! So you buy the lanyard and then choose your accessories. I bought the led light and the foldable mini scissors and then I added my own stitch marker holder and markers of course. Super cute!

www.knittinginfrance.com

I also bought a spindle bag. I had been looking for a spindle bag as I’m determined to take my spindles on vacation with me this summer. I had been looking for one but didn’t see anything that appealed to me. The bags were not sufficiently cute and did not seem quite functional with enough space for a spindle or two, my supported spindle bowl and some fibres and also the bags seemed really thin so I was afraid of damage. But Slipped Stitch Studios has a great version of the spindle bag which is a good size and allows you to securely carry your spindle as well as fibre when on the go and it is padded so no worries about breaking your beautiful spindle for example.

dwarf spindle tote www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.comwww.knittinginfrance.com  The dwarf bag I just ordered last night 🙂

And speaking of last night, I also was tempted to buy a studio tot which is a small bag that can hold my fibre or my notions or something else, I’m sure I’ll find good use for it.

studio tots dwarf

So, all in all a great shop with a large selection of items and lovely patterns. The workmanship is top notch and my items arrived in a timely manner. I’m very happy and confident when introducing them to you (if you are not familiar with this company already). I’m sure you will enjoy their items as much as I do.

So if  you are looking for a spindle bag or a needle nook this is definitely the place. You, my dear, as a faithful Knitting in France follower are fortunate enough to enjoy -15% off your next purchase from www.slippedstitchstudios.com as long as you place your order before June 25th. Happy shopping to you:)

If you do decide to take advantage of the special offers either from Fridajo or Slipped Stitch Studios, I’d love it if you shared that with us here by leaving a comment and maybe even a link or a picture of the item you chose. That way we can all enjoy the beautiful things and get a chance to show off our new goodies!

So until next time, have a great day:)

ps- rather than leave a comment I’ll just share here what I ordered from Fridajo last night:) Yes!!! Maybe that is enough project bags for this month!!! I have to restrain myself now or my husband will take my credit cards away!

furoshiki bag bambi bag fridajo Aren’t these super cute?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My new yarn/knitting bags

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

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

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

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

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

And here are the finished socks

www.knittinginfrance.com

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

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

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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.

 

Progress and some neon yarns

Hi there and thanks for stopping by:)

Since last time I’ve made some good progress on my first real pair of 2 in 1 socks. I’m now passed the heel turn and working on the gusset decreases. Youpi! This sounds like a homerun! Once the heel is all done with the rest usually follows quickly I think. Here are some pictures for you

www.knittinginfrance.com

my progress on the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge

progress on 2 in 1 sock www.knittinginfrance.com

see I’m onto the gusset stitches now

I’m knitting these on my Signature Needle Arts dpn’s that I LOVE! Looking good so far I think.

Now for the dyeing. I told you that this weekend I did some dyeing, mostly Sunday as that was the Day of Women here in France and I thought I deserved some quality time with my yarn and dyes. And as I just got this new neon dye stuff, I of course had to experiment with different methods of dyeing using those. So I did 5 skeins of sock weight yarn and 2 blanks. But I’m also going to show you some pictures of other yarns I dyed recently as well. These have still not been set up for sale in the shop on Etsy – I admit I’m still debating how much of my current dye work should go online and how much should just be set aside for the show in London this coming May. But anyways, some pictures:

hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com These are my 5 sock weight skeins and here you can see how I placed the dyes – I chose to leave lots of white here on most of them

hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com This is what they look like once I’ve wound them into skeins – I just would them as they were which explains why you can see large “blotches” of colour.

my first time dyeing sock yarn with neon colours www.knittinginfrance.com

My neon coloured sock yarns

here are the same skeins but reskeined. Can you see the difference? They almost don’t look like the same set of skeins don’t you think?

I’m rather satisfied with the results myself and I hope you like what you see too.

 

Here are some more dyes

all new hand dyed yarns by www.knittinginfrance.com

My latest hand dyed yarns

At the top here, you see 2 skeins of Polwarth wool in sock weight that I dyed in stripes – in the middle you have the skeins I dyed for the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge (see below) only here they have been reskeined – and at the bottom you have 3 skeins of a cashmere blend sock yarn I dyed using a similar technique to the neon dyes and these have also been reskeined.

hand dyed glitter yarn sock weight www.knittinginfrance.com

hand dyed silver stellina yarn in soft vieux rose

hand dyed silver stellina sock yarn by www.knittinginfrance.com

gradient vieux rose hand dyed stellina silver sock yarn

And here you see the yarn that I dyed for the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge last week

And here you see the cashmere base sock yarn I did last week or the week before that (you see this yarn reskeined in the picture above) and look how amazing the magic of dyeing can be. I love seeing the transformation from the just dyed skeins to the reskeined skeins to the actual knitted socks. I’m also loving the way this yarn knits up which is why I used a similar technique yesterday to dye my neon yarns.

multi colored sock weight cashmere based yarn www.knittinginfrance.com

multi colored yarn

multi colored sock weight cashmere based yarn www.knittinginfrance.com

reskeined multi coloured yarn

multi coloured yarn knit up into socks by www.knittinginfrance.com

my multi coloured yarn knit into socks

 

 

Thats all for today, I must go back to work now. But before I leave you here are some pictures I took from my afternoon at the beach yesterday (yes I know I’m lucky to live in Normandy, France)

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Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂