FOs, wips and future cast ons

Hi there, I think it is about time I show you some of my FOs. I have been doing a lot of sock knitting but not really sharing the pictures here with you so today I’m finally going to do so.

So as you may know I’m currently doing the Coffee with CC kal that Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast is hosting in her Ravelry group. So far I have finished 3 pairs.

The last pair on the left is the latest finished pair and the pattern is called Peppermint Mocha socks. It is a really fun pattern that plays with the use of yarn overs and slipped stitches. I used one of my own yarns and it is a merino/bamboo blend which is slightly on the heavier side for a fingering weight yarn and oh so soft!

I also just joined Mina’s of the Knitting Expat podcast kal. That is a kal for her newly released sock collection. The collection has 4 pairs of socks and is called Beyond Vanilla part 1 as she is currently working on part 2 of that collection. The patterns are easy and fun variations on vanilla socks. So great for the beginner sock knitter and also a welcome change for the habitual sock knitter that loves mindless sock knitting but is tired of plain vanilla socks. So I’m currently working on a pattern called Driftwood socks and I have one sock done – and I have to wait for a few days before returning back to sock number two.

On the close up you can see the pattern which uses yarn overs in a clever way. The yarn is my own on my cashmerino base which is a dream to knit with.

And then there is the year long Knit from Stash 2016 kal being held in the Facebook group Addicted to Sock Knitting. There we get one pattern a month by designer Heatherly Walker. Her patterns are gorgeous and I love getting a new pattern every month. I’m currently working on Mays pattern and have 1 1/2 sock done but again that will have to wait a few days as I will explain in a bit.

This is a beautiful overall pattern using twisted stitches. The pattern is called Rhytidome and the yarn is hand dyed by myself on my SOX base and I feel this colorway goes perfectly with the pattern which reminds me on flowers.

And last but not the least, the reason why all my socks are currently on time out, the SOCK MADNESS! The sock knitting competition that I’m doing for the very first time! I’m now in the semi finals. Only 10 knitters in each team made it this far and I’m super proud to be one of them. This round only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals so only THE fastest knitter on each team. I don’t think I will make it that far as I have a full time job that gets in the way of my knitting but I’m going to try anyway ūüôā

This round the pattern is a heavily charted sock using mini cables and twisted stitches. When I saw the pattern I thought, ouff no one will knit this in one go so I just might stand a chance. Well guess what? One knitter, and she is on THE fastest team (and probably going to be this years winner) actually finished a pair in around 24h! I think she must have knit non stop only taking bathroom brakes. Wow!

Well here are some pictures to show you what I’m talking about:

Can you believe this pattern? The picture on the pattern is of one amazing sock! I’m using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in Princess Donna and I might be playing it dangerously here because this is a very ¬†yardage greedy pattern and I just remembered now that I have actually turned the heel and started on the gusset!!!!! that I WAS going to knit heel and toes in a contrast yarn! Well I don’t have the time to rip bag and redo so I will just do the toe in this case and cross my fingers. So at this time I’m further along than the picture on the right shows and I aim to finish sock nr 1 by tonight.

On the pattern picture can you see the little mini me?

Well it was Mother’s Day here in France this past Sunday and my oldest daughter made this zipper pull out of polymer clay. It’s a mini me!

mothers day gifts

And the beautiful rose is from my son. Lucky me hah?

Wow, that is a lot of knitting! But before I say goodbye for today I do have one more thing to share with you, my summer Nancy kal! The first ever kal that I host in my Knitting in France Ravelry Group.

This kal kicks off tomorrow June 1st and runs until August 31st. The idea is for us to enjoy some relaxed summer knitting together. The rules are simple:

no wips allowed and only patterns by Nancy Whitman and there will be some exciting patterns at the end such as patterns, yarn and accessories.

I think I might actually try to knit 2 of her patterns this summer but I’m beginning with a shawl called Ganz. And I think maybe not being able to decide on a yarn/color when planning ahead of time may be a professional risk where dyers are concerned because I have had a lot of trouble finding THE yarn. I have actually dyed up 3 different sets of yarns for this shawl! And the last one I dyed up yesterday and I think the third and last is the charm and I will cake it up tomorrow before casting on. The yarn is still wet today so I will have to wait to the last minute to get it caked up. So here are some pictures of my yarns for this particular shawl.

The first is an alpaca/wool blend, the second a cashmerino and the third a 100%superwash merino. Here is a picture of the pattern I chose, Ganz

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Isn’t it gorgeous?

So if you want to join in the fun, please visit my Ravelry group and sign up there. There is an information thread and a chatter thread there and the FO thread will be set up later.

Thats all for today. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week.

 

A new week with an FO and a second drawing for the giveaway

Hi there, I hope you are doing fine. I’ve been busy lately and so I haven’t had the time to post as much as I would have liked to but I’m sure you know what that feels like. Having a gazillion things to do and not enough time!

Enough complaining! I have an FO to share with you and some progress on my wips.

First the FO. I used one of my hand dyed SPARKLES base yarns and made up the pattern as I went along. I basically did a p3,ktbl and it produced a nice end result. I also like how it continues all the way to the end of the sock, I think it looks nice this way than if I had stopped the patterning and done a simple stockinette stitch toe.

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These will either be for my daughter or an aunt.

It seems I’m unable to “live” without having socks on my needles so a couple of days after finishing these and in spite of the wips I’m supposed to finish, I cast on for a new pair. This time I used one of my hand spun yarns and I really like how the yarn is knitting up. This was a multicolored roving and once spun up I Navajo plyed ti to get clear color stripes. I’m knitting these on a 2.5 mm needle and doing a K4,p1 ribbing.

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I love seeing the stripes form and just knowing that I made this yarn with my own two hands is so inspiring. I look forward to seeing these done.

When I cast these on, I didn’t have any other socks going but I did know that would change soon. And it has. Yesterday I got the March sock pattern for the #KnitFromStash2016 Kal that I’m doing with the Addicted to Knit Socks on FB and Heatherly Walker the designer. So last night I cast on for those. I chose a solid color yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners, Signature 4ply. There is no colorway name on the ball band but I feel it looks like a Kingfisher blue. The pattern is totally gorgeous and I’m already half done with the leg on sock nr 1.

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This is basically just a knit and purl pattern but it looks so nice and the finished socks will be gorgeous. This pair will probably be for my daughter but I’m almost certain I’ll cast on for a second pair for myself as soon as this one is done.

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On the above picture you can see a picture of the finished sock design. The pattern is called Calathea by Heatherly Walker and is for sale on Ravelry.

Also, I told you I was joining a kal called Sock Madness for the first time. This is a sort of sock knitting contest that is supposed to start today March 1st so I’m super excited for that to start and I have prepared everything. Here’s a picture of the yarns I chose for this challenge. Sometimes you have 2 or 3 yarns together and that is when a pattern calls for multiple colors.

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I posted this picture on social media to show my choice of yarns and some people thought I had tried to spell something out with my yarns and spent a long time trying to decipher my message! I thought that was a little funny because I just positioned the yarns randomly on my bed and didn’t even realise that someone might think I was writing something with them:)

So as you can see there will be lots of sock knitting for me in the coming weeks.

As for my wips, well I’m almost done with the Love of Spiders shawl. I’ve finished the patterned portion and I’m on the border. I need to do 8 more rows (of 500+ stitches) and then cast off! So I should finally be able to finished that this week and be able to share it with you next week. I’ve also made progress on the sweater I’m doing for my daughter. I’ve done front and back as well as one sleeve and plan on casting on for the second sleeve today so hopefully I will be able to finish that too by the end of this week. That would be great because then I just have 1 shawl to bind off, a second shawl to knit – I’ve only done a few pattern repeats so basically I have the whole shawl to do and then my cardigan.

I did a little dyeing last week on my bronze SPARKLES base. Even if I say so myself I do really love the outcome and can see myself keeping a skein of each but I know that would not be reasonable so we’ll see.

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I still need to put these up in the shop but hopefully I’ll get to that soon. ¬†I really like the Bronze sparkles – most dyers only use silver or gold sparkles and I think bronze ¬†works really well with certain colors. The orange/bronze color is intriguing on black and compliments green and brown for example. I even found names for these yarns without any effort which is not common for me. I usually have a hard time finding names for my yarns. So these will be called: Forest, Moss, Midnight , Mauve

 

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I also dyed up a new yarn base and knit a small swatch. This Aran weight yarn is 80% super wash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. This is a true dream to knit with. It is super soft to the touch and the stitch definition is good and it takes dye beautifully. A while back I won a sweater pattern in a giveaway on Instagram and I’m thinking I’m going to use this yarn base for that. I just need to find the right color and then dye up a sweaters quantity. The pattern I won is called Kitsune by Amanita.

Wow this is turning out to be quite a long post – as usual. I don’t have the time to post as often as I’d like to and so when I do I usually have long posts. I hope you do not mind too much:)

But before I leave you today, I want to make a second draw for the BurningImpressionsII giveaway that I did last month. Only one of the two winners claimed her prize so I’m thinking that either the other one is not interested in her prize or ….. So I’m doing a second draw from the participants using a random number generator as before. The prize in question is the sock tool – needle gauge, wpi, kitchener stitch memo hand made by Burning Impressions II on Etsy.

knitting in france burning impressions kit

And the winner is……C.C. Almond!! Congratulations C.C. Please send me an email (I think you already have my contact details) and I’ll be sending you your prize asap.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a wonderful week and that you will get lots of time to enjoy your knitting, spinning and just general crafting. Take care and see you soon:)

Not much happening these days

Hi there, how are you doing today? I’m feeling a little unmotivated these days. Like I don’t have the energy to continue and yet I have baskets full of recently dyed yarn that I should be putting up in the shop. I also have loads of stitch markers just waiting to be matched up and packaged. Strange how one sometimes just looses one’s “mojo” and even if you (or should I say “I”) just find yourself procrastinating – looking at all the different things that need to be done and yet be unable to actually DO something!

GRR that is sooooo annoying! But this is how I’m feeling these days and yet I have a head full of ideas for the shop! Cross my fingers and toes and hope I’ll get myself out of this state of “inactivity” ASAP.

Enough about me and my lack of energy! I have actually done some knitting:

I finished my Yowza Weight It shawl by Susan B Anderson. I used my Yowza yarn from Miss Babs. The yarn was very enjoyable to knit; it is soft to the touch and I really love the colours. As for the pattern, it is a super easy pattern – a very relaxing knit. I admit that it was so relaxing that I actually made a mistake! And that is an achievement in itself seeing as how this pattern is ultra simple. One is supposed to knit until you have 85 gr left and then you begin a sort of frill and then knit on until only 26 gr are left. Well I actually knit right on and when I went ahead to weigh my yarn I only had 25 gr left! Oups! I didn’t feel like ripping back so I decided to knit a few more rows and then I cast of using an icord. And I’m very happy with the results, I’m actually wearing the shawl as I’m writing this.

 

This is a crescent shaped shawl  and super soft and warm.

Today in the mail I received a new book which I think will be most interesting. It’s called Exploring Shawl Shapes – 27 mini shawls to knit by Elizabeth Lovick.

If you are not familiar with this book it is like a compendium on shawl knitting. It explores different shapes and traditions in shawl knitting and for each one there is a miniature version for one to knit. Knitting mini shawls I think will be both fun and enlightening and might even inspire me to make up a shawl pattern of my own. I’m going to read this book carefully and knit a few samples. I keep thinking that knitting a mini shawl in lace weight yarn will be soooo cute!

On another subject, I just joined my friend Ren√©e Callahan’s newsletter. Ren√©e is the designer behind East London Knits. I first met Ren√©e at the Unwind Brighton show and then again in 2014 at the I Knit Fandango in London and I’m a fan of her designs. She just launched a newsletter in relation with her blog and design work and at the moment she is offering subscribers to her newsletter a free pattern. This pattern is a two coloured brioche scarf called Brioche Twister.

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Gorgeous don’t you think ? (both Ren√©e and her scarf). So I of course needed to dye up some yarn to knit this and I really like how her scarf looks so I was inspired by her colour choice. ¬†And so I dyed up some of my Cash’Merino DK; one in dark grey and another one in red and I think these will be just perfect.

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Here the yarns are in the dye pot but still you can see the colours together. So I look forward to knitting this soon.

I also started on my February #Knitfromstash2016. This is a year long sock kal with designer Heatherly Walker. This month she has treated us to 2 sock patterns and I’m going to knit both. The one I cast on first will be for a cousin of mine and the second will be for his mother, my aunt.

I have finished the first sock for my cousin and I think I’ll finish his pair before casting on for her pair. Even if he has big feet the sock went quite quickly so that is good. The patterning is easily memorisable. I had chosen a lovely self patterning variegated yarn I bought in Iceland. It is a black and grey yarn but as soon as ¬†I cast on, I saw that the yarn was not suitable because it was too fuzzy, too hairy. So I changed and cast on using Opal 4ply sock yarn in a dark blue colour.

I’m also continuing knitting on my 2 other pairs of MKal socks and the MKal mittens although that one has now published all 5 clues and after seeing the final design I admit that I’m no crazy about the design so I’m actually pondering wether or not I will finish the mittens or just stop where I’m now.

I’m also knitting on 2 shawls, 1 pullover, 1 cardigan and I have a third shawl that just needs a bind off- a Russian beaded bind off but still just a bind off!

I need to get serious now and make some progress on all those before I cast on for my brioche scarf.

Well, that’s all for now. Thank you for stopping by and sharing a moment with me. Next time I’ll introduce you to a small company that produces knitting accessories and there will be some absolutely gorgeous prices to win!

Until then, take care and enjoy your week.

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 ūüôā

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:)