It’s looking a lot like Christmas…

Yes you read that right! As I’m sitting here at my desk and writing, I’m watching the snowfall outside. This is the first snow we have had here in Normandy this winter and it’s coming down quite heavily. We are not used to snow and even a little bit can cause serious disruption in transportation so even if it looks nice to look at, it is not really welcome. I for one do not enjoy driving in the snow. I’m way out of practice as it’s been so many years since I moved from Iceland to France.

snow blainville

So hopefully by tomorrow morning this will just be a nice memory and all the snow will have gone!

It does however create a nice knitting atmosphere, I cannot deny that:)

So this past weekend I did a lot of knitting but on a lot of different projects so nothing really made changed dramatically.

I cast on for the first pair of socks out of Mina Philip second sock club (yes I bought both! so now I get a pattern a month from her until the end of this year). The pattern is called Warm and Snug socks. This pattern is made for self striping yarns and lucky for me, I had this set of Snow White self striping yarn with sparkles from Turtle Purl that I have been wanting to knit for a while. So that just was perfect. I found some leftover yarn from my stash for cuffs,heels and toes to maintain the striping.

This pattern is rather simple, like a variation on a vanilla sock as the patterning is on the front leg only. And this is a stitch pattern I have never used before and so very fun to try out.

I have just finished sock one and I immediately cast on for sock two in an effort to avoid second sock syndrome. And so I have finished the cuff of sock two and will get going on the leg tomorrow.

It is not easy to show the texture but if you look closely you will see that certain rounds are “shorter” meaning instead of seeing 4 rounds of one color it’s as if there is just one. That is the result of this new textured stitch she has included in this pattern.

Here are a better pictures taken with a side view to show you the difference on the front and the back of the leg.

You see how certain stripes on the front are raised and only a thin line? Clever hah?

Being the sock knitting maniac that I am, I not only signed up for both of Mina’s (The Knitting Expat) sock clubs but I also signed up for Helen Stewart’s (Curious Handmade). So every other month I will have one new sock pattern and the other month I will have two! Like in February. The patterns do not come out on the same day luckily so Helen’s pattern was just published on the 5th of Feb and I immediately cast on! Thinking maybe I should knit one sock of each pattern and then go back for the second sock. Not sure. maybe I should just finish one pair and only then get going on the second!

Anyway the first pattern in Helen’s club is called Winter Rose Sock and I’m knitting it with a yarn from Lolo Did It called Hippo for Thanksgiving. It’s a light grey color with some wintery speckles in red, orange, green and yellow. I’m only a few rounds into the cuff so too early to show off here.

This weekend I also knit a little bit on my brioche wrap from Madeleine Windsor of Kingfisher Knits. This is a recent pattern of hers called Midnight Sherbet and is knit in DK yarn. I’m knitting mine with my organic merino DK yarn and it feels and works up beautifully. I’m about 20% done so far so not much but I’m enjoying it.

If you look closely on the pink side picture, you can see a cable on the right side. That was a little challenging but now I fully understand so I’m ready to tackle all the future cables. I think this will be such a great piece. Warm and cozy.

I also worked on my cardigan and sweater. The cardigan is my first ever colorwork garment and my first steek project. I’m also knitting it with HOLST garn and it is the first time I’m using that yarn. I’m maybe 40% done, I think I’m getting close to where the ribbing begins on the bottom of the body. Still a few centimeters/inches from that but should be done soon. I’m really enjoying this project a lot and this yarn is nice to work with and I’m super excited to see how it will looked once the garment has been washed as I’ve heard this yarn “blooms”.

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This pattern is called Damejakka Loppa or Flea Cardigan on Ravelry and is by Pinneguri.

I have also started a new test knit. It’s a cropped sweater by Japanese designer Eri called Akane.  I’m using yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings and the pattern is fun to knit. I’m knitting a bit longer than the pattern calls for.

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That’s about all the knitting I’m working on actively these days.

hat madeleine

I did launch my first ever yarn sale here on the blog this past weekend. I have created a new page here called Boutique where I intend to sell yarn on a regular basis. Currently you will find the Hindiber hat kit that i launched in collaboration with Madeleine Windsor of Kingfisher Knits. Each kit includes a download link for her pattern which comes in 3 sizes and a skein of my DK merino yarn. You have a number of colorways to choose from, some are superwash and others are my organic non superwash DK base.

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The price of the kit is 25€ + shipping (7€).

hat madeleine

I hope you will go take a look at the kit. I’d also love to hear what you think of the set up for the yarn sale. It is not like a regular e-shop but more like a blog post. When clicking the buy button you are taken to Paypal where you can pay with your Paypal account or a credit card so even if it looks different it is a serious set up.

That’s it for today. Have a wonderful week ahead with hopefully lots of knitting and yarn cuddling:)

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

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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:)

The February Plan

Hi there, It’s me again! Sorry if you think this a bit too much for one week but like I said at the beginning of the week I had soo much to share!

So today is or should just be  a short post but a necessary one because we are at the beginning of February and I have this big plan for what I’m going to knit this month and I thought maybe some of you would like to knit along with me.

So I’ll be knitting 2 shawls and 3 socks – that I know of for the time being – and a cowl

Here is a picture of all the yarns except the Snowmelt shawl which I had not dyed when I took the picture.

all-the-february-yarns

Row 1 (bottom) Yarns for the socks Row 2 (middle) my 3 color cashmere cowl Row 3 my Snowday shawl

First the shawls. So there is the Snowday shawl by Knitting Expat Designs. This pattern was published in January and I immediately bought it. I loved the colors Mina chose for hers and I just knew I had to knit this. I’m using my own yarn of course. Mina wrote the pattern for a sport weight yarn but I don’t have any so I’m using a DK yarn. This is a new base that I’ll introduce in the shop next week. It is a non superwash organic wool from South America and I really look forward to knitting with it and seeing how it knits up. I loved the colours Mina chose and so I decided to stay with the same theme/colours.

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Mina is hosting a year long kal in her Ravelry group for all her patterns so this shawl can be entered into that.

 

The second shawl is a mystery knit along and it is the Snowmelt mkal being held by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. This is a 5 clue, 3 color shawl and the mkal launched yesterday on the 2nd of February. I have chosen another new yarn base for this shawl. This yarn is a 100% non superwash merino in fingering weight. it dyes up beautifully and it is very soft and I look forward to knitting with it for the first time. Just looking at the yarn and the ply I’m sure it will be gorgeous and give a beautiful stitch definition. I dyed up 3 skeins in complimentary colors for this and again the theme is blues.

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I’ve heard Helen say that color A is the one that has the most lace and she recommends using the lightest color for that. I don’t want to use the speckled yarn for the lace so I’m thinking then the light blue on the right side. I was going to have the darkest one as color A but I should probably follow Helen’s advice. So I look forward to knitting on this.

And then there are the socks and they all come with a kal. I’m very kal these days it seems and yet I rarely participate in the chatter.

So first it is the Lovealong kal – this kal is being hosted by Dani of the Little Bobbins; Amy of the Periscoping sisters (the designer of the sock pattern) and Christy of Yarn Café Creations who dyed the yarn Amy used in her design. This means you can actually enter your socks into at least 2 threads to win a prize and if you knit the socks with Christy’s yarn then you can enter in her group too. So as I have some of her yarns, that’s what I’m doing!

Then there is the January Challenge in Louise Tilbrook Designs group on Instagram and Facebook. You are supposed to knit a pair of socks and somehow challenge yourself. I’m cheating a bit because I want to knit one of Louise’s patterns and I chose one that is not necessarily very challenging but hey I’m the boss of me so! I’ve chosen the Bleaberry Tarn socks, a paid for pattern on Ravelry and I’m going to knit it in one of my new colorways that I’ve called Baby Pink Sparkles.

The third sock is for a kal being held by designer Rachel Gibbs. I’ve never knit one of her patterns before and I follow her on IG. I saw a post about her kal that actually began in January but I believe runs till the end of February so I decided to join and knit one of her patterns. Rachel designs lots of textured/patterned socks and the patterns are really gorgeous. I chose the Time Stream Socks and I’ve chosen another one of my Sparkles yarns in a turquoise colorway I had in my stock.

The last of the planned knits for the time being is a cowl. I’ve had this pattern in my Ravelry Library for a long time and never gotten to knit it so it is time. I have chosen an amazing yarn. This is a new base that I was trying out and want to later offer in the shop. It is a pricy one because it is a 50/50 merino and silk yarn. It is incredibly soft and knits up like a dream. I already have a cowl knit in this yarn and I love it. So the pattern I’ve chosen is the Three Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli and I think this is the only planned knitting this month that is not part of a kal.

So I dyed two skeins of my merino/silk yarn and then I had one skein of a 100% silk yarn in natural, undyed state.  I think this will be heavenly and I really look forward to getting started on that one too.

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Have you planned what you want to work on in February? Are you maybe joining in some of the kals that I’m doing? I’d love to hear what you have got planned so don’t be shy and leave a comment below.

That’s it for now. I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead with lots of quality knitting time. Thank you for sharing your time today with me. And until next time, happy knitting 🙂

Knitting and audio books

Hi there, how are you? I hope you are doing good and enjoying your week. I’m doing fine. Christmas is getting closer and last weekend I did some cookie baking with my kids and that really put us in the Christmas spirit:) Soon we’ll be putting up our decorations and purchasing gifts. In Iceland, or at least in my family, we put up our tree on the 23rd of December and we take it down on January 6 which is the end of Christmas in Iceland. Here in France people put their decorations up earlier and I think we’ll be decorating our home this coming weekend. How about you? Do you celebrate Christmas and if yes, have you already put up your tree and decorations?

Last week we had an internet outage for two days. No internet is a total catastrophe! Not only does it mean that I cannot work as my regular job depends on an internet connexion but it also means no home phone, no tv and of course no watching YouTube or anything else! So what is a knitter to do? Well, lucky for me I have an Audible account. I have bought a few books but haven’t listened to a lot of them. As I was unable to work for two days I did get some time to knit and knitting in silence is not my thing, at least not for a long time. And so I was so happy to have my Audible account and I took the opportunity to finish one book I had been listening to and to start a new one and I really got into them. I find that I equally enjoy knitting while listening to a good book as I do while watching a podcast or tv series.

Do you listen to audio books? I like mystery and police thrillers but for audio books I see that I also like fiction. So far I have listened to the following books/

Precious Victims by Don W. Weber – this is based on a true criminal case I believe and was quite captivating.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova – this is a fiction book about a young woman that suffers from Alzheimers. This was a really poignant story and I felt really touched as my grandmother suffers from age related dementia and in some aspects that resembles Alzheimers and so this book really touched me.

The amazing Mrs Polifax by Dorothy Gilman – this is a mystery that in some aspects makes me think of an Agatha Christie mystery in the fact that the hero is Mrs Polifax, an elderly sleuth and her adventures.

And the book I started last week and am still listening to is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty –  this is a fiction with some crime mystery also. The author is Australian and the actor who reads is also Australian and I really love the exotic accent. This is a wonderful book that talks about a few women who’s lives intertwine at a critical moment in their lives. I have about 3h left and I’m really enjoying this.

If you enjoy audio books maybe you will enjoy one those books too. Also if you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear about the books that you most enjoy.

On to knitting. So last week I shared with you a color work cowl that I knit. It was the Boreal Forest cowl by Renée Callahan and it was part of this years Knitvent from Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade podcast. Last week we got the fourth pattern of Knitvent and it was the hat to go with the cowl so of course I cast on for that and I have finished, twice really because after knitting the hat once, I wasn’t happy with the results so I ripped most of it out and knit it again. Unfortunately I’m still not satisfied. For some reason the hat is too small, too shallow actually. It’s written in one size with a change of needle size to knit either the child or adult version. I did use the correct needle size for the adult version and my tension was good and yet it still is super small. I like my hats to cover my ears and this one only covers the top of the ears. I think I will grow a little with some aggressive blocking. Or at least I hope so. Here’s a picture:

boreal-forest-hatIt’s somewhat blown out but you get the picture I hope.

I’m still working on the color work mittens, the Owl ones and I hope to finish them this week. My daughter is super excited about those and can’t wait to use them.

And then there is the Project Peace. This is a free pattern on Ravelry meant for us to knit while reflecting on world peace. Thousands of people have joined and I decided to do so as well. This is a slipped stitched patterned cowl and the 4 round pattern is repeated 21 times so the idea is to knit one pattern repeat a day. Sometimes I don’t have the time and then I knit two repeats the following day and currently I’m on time. The yarn I’m using is one I got in my Knitting in France Birthday Game swap this year. It’s a new to me yarn and a very luscious blend at that. It’s from Expression Fiber Arts and the colorway is called June Alexandrite. Its a superwash merino and silk in a singles base. It feels super soft and the colour is really intense. Here are some pictures.

Last week I told you about a sock I was test knitting for designer Dana Gervais. Well she published the pattern on Ravelry yesterday so now I can share that with you. It is a very simple slipped stitch color work pattern. The sock looks super complicated but it’s actually deceptively simple to do. I really enjoyed knitting this and I highly recommend this pattern for anyone wanting to try some fun color work.

The pattern is called Beach Ball Socks and you can find this on Ravelry. I knit this using my bronze sparkle yarn and I really love the outcome. I have only finished one sock… I got caught up in all the other knitting projects… but I have cast on for sock number two and hope to finish it soon. Here are some pictures:

The newest project I’m working on this week is a hat, the Maryam hat by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. I’m knitting it in my non superwash BFL Aran weight yarn. I just cast on last night so I’m not far yet but here’s a little picture of my progress so far:

maryam-hatThis is a fun pattern with some cables and as it’s Aran weight I think it will be done quickly.

This is about all I think I wanted to share with you this week. I do have plans to cast on for a pair of Aran weight mittens, maybe the Bella mittens – a free pattern on Ravelry. I think I might do some Christmas gift knitting after all….

I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of knitting time because that is just the best! Until next time, take care 🙂

Pattern bonanza or the Indie Designer Gift-a-long 2015

Hi there, last time I posted about the Indie Designer Gift-a-long 2015 on Ravelry which I was excited about participating in for the first time this year. Well the Indie GAL was launched last night. I had already taken a peek at the 325 designers participating this year and added a number of patterns to my cart. Some of the patterns, I realized, I had only just purchased which was a bit of a bummer as I could have waited a few days for the discount but hey… that’s what I get for being impatient! Especially when I know that I’m buying because I MUST have the pattern and not because I’m CASTING ON immediately.

Anyway, I’ve totally indulged myself these last 2-3 days because I’ve not only participated in the Indie designer GAL but I’ve also joined Curious Handmade Knitvent 2015.

And before I tell you all about my GAL patterns let me just touch on the the KNITVENT. I think this is the second year that Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade launches a Christmas collection called Knitwent where she publishes one pattern per week for 6 weeks and of course there is a KAL going on etc. Here is how Helen describes the Knitvent on Ravelry:

“The 2015 Knitvent collection is inspired by the special radiance of winter. As the days grow shorter, light becomes something precious. Imagine the dazzle of sunlight on snow and the gleam of firelight through the frosted windows of a log cabin. Think fairy lights twinkling behind a row of icicles, and the glow of candles on the dinner table. I’ve tried to capture all that glimmering brightness and warmth in this year’s designs.

Knitvent is the Curious Handmade community’s beloved holiday tradition. Together we enjoy the sweet suspense of an advent calendar and conjure up the community spirit of a mystery knit along, with a new design to discover and knit each week. All of the patterns are ideal for gifting, but chances are you’ll cast on at least one for yourself (you deserve it!)

  • The collection will feature six beautiful accessory patterns.
  • The first design will arrive on the 5th of November, and you’ll be sent updates each Thursday as each pattern is released.

There will be chatter, fun, support, and prizes in the Ravelry group. It’s really exciting, and a brilliant way to bring an extra bit of magic to your holiday knitting”

So far 3 patterns have been published, all gorgeous, and I’m going to try to knit at least one of the 6 patterns during the KAL to actually be able to say that I did join in the fun. Are any of you participating in her Knitvent this year? If so, are you already knitting on one of the patterns and would you like to share a picture with us here? That would be super nice 🙂

And now on to the Indie Designer Gift-a-long 2015. I don’t know how many designers participated last year but this year they are 325 and I find that super impressive. You have a mix of both well known and established designers as well as totally unknown (to me at least) designers. You can choose from both knit and crochet patterns and they span all possible projects imaginable. So if you are dreaming of a new pattern or looking for something special to knit this is definitely the time to check out and join this GAL. I’m going to knit some of the patterns I just bought now so I can join in the KALs and be eligible for a prize because there are a number of incredible prizes to be won and those will be drawn at random from FOs from participants in the KALs.

Now what did I buy? Hm, actually quite a lot… more than my wallet had accepted but….what’s done is done so I’m not going to scold myself and just enjoy all these gorgeous new patterns!

I bought 1 sock pattern – 5 hat patterns – 2 shawls – 1 mitten pattern – 1 pullover pattern or a total of 10 patterns.

Some of these I’m going to knit asap to gift for Christmas and at the same time join in the KALs.  I’m going to knit at least 2 hats and 1 pair of mittens before Christmas and maybe some more but not sure because I have recently bought so many incredible patterns that I’ve already got lined up and am anxious to cast on for.

I’m just going to list the names of the patterns and designers I bought from and then later as I knit them I’ll share pictures with you.

Jump to the left socks by Fiona Hamilton-Maclaren

Riparian shawl

Nougat pullover

Sand bank hat   –  all three by Justyna Lorkowska

Loop shawl by Casapinka

Fernie hat

Kicking Horse Mittens by Kate Bostwick

Tempano hat

Coriander hat both by Carol Feller

And then one last hat which was actually not part of the GAL but I bought it anyway because I want to knit it for my grandmother for Christmas

Flavia tam by Beth Kling

That’s all 10 just from today! Wow! I think I have outdone myself in pattern purchases this month! So what about you? Please tell me you too have gone overboard buying patterns this month or that you are just about to. I’d love to hear if you are joining the GAL and what patterns you have purchased or are thinking of buying. So please do share 🙂

 

That’s all for today. Just one more thing before saying goodbye, the Birthday gift-a-long I’m organising, I’m going to work on preparing the questionnaires for the participants this weekend hopefully so if someone wants to join in it’s still time.

That’s all for today. Happy Friday to you! Enjoy your weekend, if you are knitting on the Doodler like I am then happy knitting clue nr 3.

Take care:)

 

Something done and something new

Hi there, I hope you had a great weekend. I went to visit a friend and a colleague which was great. When working from home on the computer and over the phone, work can get lonely even though I’m in touch with my colleagues every day I still take my lunch break alone and I don’t actually see anyone so getting to meet up was a treat and the best part was that it was on a weekend so no work and all fun !

She lives over an hour by train away from me so I got a little bit of knitting done on the train. I was working on my 2 in 1 socks using my new Lornas Laces Rainbow colorway yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com I love the yarn and how my socks are working out. One thing though about knitting socks with this method. Once you have the hang of it, it goes rather smoothly but you do need to be vigilant. I occasionally make a mistake where I don’t switch my yarns around as I should and that means that your socks are actually joined together like siamese twins! Not the way they are supposed to work!!! And sadly, just this evening, I discovered such a mistake! At least 2″ below my working row (10 cm) I had mis crossed my yarns and my socks were joined together on 1 single stitch! Only as both socks are being worked at the same time, it is fiddly to undo and start again and in this case I had actually knitted on for AGES! So I had to rip out a good chunk and start again so in spite of today’s knitting, I’m at much the same place now as I was Saturday. So annoying!!!!! But, rather than cut the yarn and fix with a knot and so forth I chose to rip it out and do over for a perfect look! The ripping out is now done and I’m knitting on and being very careful NOT to make the same mistake again! So mark my words: if/when you knit your socks this way, ALWAYS be careful about your yarn placement!

On to more happier things. Last week I actually finished a project and a big one at that. I finished my Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. I knit the shawl using DK weight instead of the heavy laceweight or fingering the pattern called for so my shawl is probably quite bigger than the pattern meant for it to be BUT I love it! I can wear it as a shawl or I can wear it all wrapped up like a shawl and a scarf in one. The yarn is a cash’merino so super soft and warm.

I had intended for it to be a gradient grey with the last section being bright pink but I ran out of yarn! Fortunately I had some more on stock and so was able to finish the shawl using the same yarn although in a different grey color. But I think it really did work out nicely. Theoretically I should now wash and block but I’m feeling ….lazy…un-encouraged….un-inspired…. so I think I’ll actually just wear it as is!

www.knittinginfrance.com What do you think?

And before I leave you, I’m thinking that I really need to develop some patterns using my yarns. That pattern support would be really helpful and encourage sales. I’ve already got a designer working on a sock pattern that will be released in a few months probably and I’m going to see if I can find other designers to work with my yarns as well.

Yesterday, as I was looking at a pile of dyed yarn that is just waiting for me to reskein, photograph and list online, I thought ” well, why don’t I try to do some designing as well???”

And since I love knitting socks and seem to be constantly drawn to fingering weight yarn and bright colors, I naturally chose to do socks! I cast on yesterday and I’ve been working on the today as well and I’m passed the heel on the first so and so far they look nice! I’m thinking I’ll knit the first sock as I write the pattern. Then I’ll put the pattern on paper and knit the second sock by following my pattern and if all works out and the socks look wearable, I’m going to put it up online. This will probably be a free pattern as it’s my very first sock pattern. But I’m really excited about the outcome and just thinking that I could do more and that pattern support could actually help my little yarn business.

Here are some pictures and I’d really love to hear your thoughts on what’s done so far.

www.knittinginfrance.com    Here is a close up, I’ve finished the cuff and done 1 repeat of my lace panel

www.knittinginfrance.com  Here is a sideways view of the sock, there is a lace panel on the center front and back

www.knittinginfrance.com  Here you can better see the lace panel

Any thoughts on my work so far? Be honest!

Well that’s all you guys. I hope you are all doing great and enjoying your summer so far. I’m not writing as regularly as before but I hope you forgive me for that. Thanks for stopping by and until next time, take care 🙂

My Pebble Beach Shawl and more

Hi there,

Lately I’ve been mostly working on my shawls. I’m almost done with the Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. Her pattern for this shawl is in an original format, a bit like an excel sheet where you have the pattern written out in rows and each row is numbered from 1 and up and every so many rows you see the percentage of completion of the project. I find that quite fun for this project. Of course seeing the size I can imagine that I’m close to finishing but seeing the actual percentage of what I’ve done so far is a great new feature to a knitting pattern I think.

Here I was approximately at 70% done

www.knittinginfrance.com My yarn was gradient dyed in grey so you have light grey, darker grey and then really dark and to finish a bright fluo pink.

Unfortunately I did not have enough pink to finish my shawl so at 80% done I had to add a third color. So I had 60% grey, 20% pink and then I needed to find a new color for the last 20%. I had the same yarn but dyed in 2 different colors and I really was not quite sure which one was the right one so I went to my followers and friends on Instagram and Facebook and asked them to help me choose

www.knittinginfrance.com Their answers were almost unanimous: LIGHT GREY! So I listened and quickly wound the grey yarn into a ball and continued and I think that was the right choice. I’ve knit a few rows of the new light grey yarn now and I think its looking rather nice even though I was not originally planning on using this new color but hey, things happen:-)

www.knittinginfrance.com What do you think? Do you think these colors will work? I sure do! I’m at 85% now so hopefully I’ll finish in 2-3 days. At this stage in the pattern, the rows are super long so the last few rows take forever to finish.

I’m also working on my Beetlebum shawl by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. I haven’t been sufficiently consistent working on this so it is going slowly but surely never the less. I really love how the pattern works up, I like the wings on each side and  I feel this gives the shawl an original look. I’m super happy also with the yarn I chose. Its my hand dyed lace yarn, 50% xtra fine merino, 50% suri alpaca. It’s super soft and squishy. I’m really looking forward to finishing this and I can see myself wearing my Beetlebum shawl this summer in the evening.

www.knittinginfrance.com

And just before I say goodby for today, I couldn’t resist all my new Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock yarns so I ended up casting on for a pair of socks. I’m doing a 2 in 1 socks using the Lornas Laces in Rainbow colorway. So far it’s looking very good. I really love all the bright colors and how they are divided up on the skein and hand painted. The  socks will either be for me or for my daughter. We’ll see later on.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see the socks and I have “opened them up” so you can see both socks. Looking good don’t you think?

Well, that’s all for now. Take care and enjoy your summer and hopefully you have some quality time to enjoy your crafting every day:)

Summer knitting and more

Hi there, I hope you are all doing well. First off, if you got a notification yesterday that a new post had been published and then went to the blog to discover there was none, my apologies. Yesterday I decided that I need to stop procrastinating and that I need to push myself harder and get moving on my project of opening up my own ecommerce website. I decided to try Shopify again and yesterday I posted a test post where I intended to include a product for sale. The item was supposed to show up in my blog post with a “buy” button and all the relative information but after reading the instructions over and over again I still failed to understand how to do this correctly. So the post I published had a picture but no link to actually buy the product so I ended up taking the post off the blog. I have to study this thing more closely.

Opening up a second shop is soooooo time consuming! I have a ton of yarn and stitch markers to put online but it takes a lot of time to photograph everything and then set up online and I’m having a hard time finding the time to do so and also, I admit, I’m feeling a bit under excited – if that is understandable. What I mean is that summer time is typically a slow time for any yarn/fibre related business as the hot weather means that many prefer to not knit/crochet/spin and take time out and this inevitably means less sales. I know this is a fact and that my shop is not the only one to slow down but…..when trying to run a small business the slow times can be difficult to live. But hey, I’ve set myself the objective of either MAKING IT or CLOSING DOWN by the end of this year so if I really want this to work out for me I better stop wallowing and procrastinating and GET MOVING!

Enough about that, lets change the subject:)

So I’ve been doing some knitting and here are some progress pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is my Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. According to the pattern I’m 30% done. I’m knitting the large size and enjoying it. This is a super easy knit so you can definitely take this to the beach or knit in the car or in front of the tv. I’m not using lace yarn as the pattern calls for but a DK cash’merino yarn I dyed and I think this will look quite nice. This will definitely be a great shawl/scarf for winter as it is thick and soft and super warm. So I’m happy and I’m knitting this at work, in between phone calls as this is a sort of “brainless” knitting so I can put it down easily and pick up where I left off. So perfect for an “at work” knitting project (shh not sure if I should actually reveal this to the world online..)

www.knittinginfrance.com This is my Lady of Lallibroch sock by CC Almond also known as JavaPurl. This is the first sock and I’m using Cascade Heritage yarn. I really feel that the solid color yarn does the pattern justice. A varigated yarn would have taken the attention from the cable or at least made it less spectacular, I feel, so I’m really happy with my choice of yarn. This is an easy pattern also. The cable is a 16 row repeat and it really flows easily. So I’m coming along quite nicely. This is not a “knit at work” pattern but I do knit in front of the tv.

And then I decided to give the “Helix” color knitting method a try. I told you about this in my last post I believe. This prevents the infamous “jog” when knitting stripes. I’m knitting a sock from top down and this will either be a tube sock or an afterthought heel sock for my daughter. So far so good. I’m using some of my hand dyed mini skeins.

www.knittinginfrance.com When I’m further along I’ll show you better pictures of front and back so you can see that the stripes flow without any jogs.

I’ve also done some spinning. I recently purchased a rainbow color pencil roving from yarn company Kauni. I was already working on something else but took a break as soon as I got the roving and started spinning that. I’ve never before spun a pencil roving but wanted to try. Also I’m a fan of Kauni’s rainbow color yarn and I’ve knit things with their yarn in laceweight and this time I’m actually using the pre spun wool in that colorway and spinning it myself. I’m coming up with a heavy laceweight or maybe even fingering once I ply. I’m not sure if I’ll do a 2 ply or a 3 ply. But so far this is coming along nicely and I actually have some more of their pencil roving in my stash that I just might spin up like this too. And I also have some Icelandic unspun pencil roving also that was meant for a sweater but you never know, maybe I’ll spin that as well. But here’s a picture

www.knittinginfrance.com Don’t you just love the colors?

And before I say goodbye for today, let me show you a picture that I’m pretty sure will have you drooling. I had another  happy mail day this week! I recently placed an order online in a Germany online shop that I found when browsing the internet. They carry Lornas laces yarns and it’s been a while since I knit with any of her yarns so I went…a little … crazy!

www.knittinginfrance.com Yebb! I bought 6 skeins!! Of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn! I love it! They dye beautiful yarns. So now I have this beautiful addition to my stash and a head full of sock patterns I can use these for. I’ll share some of the ideas with you later this week. I really should not be buying yarn online when I already have a healthy stash in addition to all my own hand dyed yarns but…. But then again, looking at what others are doing is inspirational and informative so really this is a job related purchase to better myself and improve possibly my yarn dyeing etc. Hm, yes I think that’s it, no need to feel guilty about buying 6 skeins of this gorgeous (not cheap) yarn! I needed this for my business!

Well that’s all for now. I hope you are enjoying your summer and finding time to do some crafting in spite of the warm weather. Thank you for coming by to follow up on my thoughts and works.

Take care:)

Works in progress and FOs as well as a just discovered technique for color knitting

Hi there, I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Sunday. Yesterday the weather was really nice and I went to the beach for a couple of hours late afternoon but as I went with non knitting friends, I didn’t get any knitting done:) Today is a different story as the weather is not very nice and I’m alone with just 2 kids so this afternoon I’m planning on a relaxing afternoon full of knitting and spinning:) Not to mention some podcast watching because I’m 2 episodes behind on the Geeky Girls Knit podcast so a fun afternoon coming up for me:)

But first I decided to give you some news and share some pictures and ideas with you.

First off are the FOs

www.knittinginfrance.com I finished 3 pairs of tube socks and I really like this way of sock knitting for kids. Also when you like color, it’s a great stash busting technique and you can do like I did, make magic balls from your scraps or mini skeins of hand dyed yarns and voila:)

I also finished a pair of “regular” socks

www.knittinginfrance.com The pattern is Melisandre by Purrlescent and this is a free pattern on Ravelry. The yarn I used is Knitcircus gradient yarn in “Fig & Prosciutto”. And I’m blocking them on my Crazy Monkey Creations sock blockers. And you can see the 2 balls of yarn I’ve got left over. I knit for a size 41 (european shoe size) and I still have all this yarn left which is great for my hexapuf project and my future tube socks or other scrap projects I’m sure I’ll come up with.

As soon as I finished my Melisandre socks I cast on for a new project and I decided upon the Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of CuriousHandmade. The pattern comes in 3 sizes and I’m doing the Large. I’m not using the yarn called for – this should be knit either with lace weight yarn or with fingering but I chose a DK weight. It’s my own hand dyed yarn in Cash’merino DK. And so far so good, I hope it will work out ok even though I’m not following instructions with regards to the yarn weight.

www.knittinginfrance.com As you can see I’m not far along, approx. 11- 12% (the pattern gives you the percentage knitted every X rows)

My next cast on should be the Outlander socks by CC Almond but….. This morning browsing the internet I came upon this new technique called Helix knitting and now all I can think of is to knit something using that technique and I already know what and I have the yarn ready and all!

So for those of you that are not familiar with Helix knitting, it’s a technique for knitting stripes without ever having to deal with a jog in your colors. In fact you’re not really knitting “straight” stripes but they actually “spiral” around. So this is a technique that only works when knitting in the round and I think this can be fabulous for knitting socks and hats and maybe mitts as well.

You can knit using 2 or more colors and the number of stitches you cast on has to be divisible by the number of colors you are going to use. As I’m thinking of doing another pair of either tube or after thought socks I’m thinking of casting on 60 stitches which brings me to either 3 colors (20 stitches each) or 5 colors (6 stitches each). I’m thinking that changing colors every 6 stitches might be tiresome but at the same time, 5 color stripes must be so much more fun than 3 don’t you think? I have to take a look at my mini skeins and give this a good thinking.

I found a video on Youtube where this technique is shown and explained in a very good way – there are other videos of course but I found this one to be the clearest in my opinion. So if you too want to learn a new color knitting technique then you should definitely take a look at this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMvRafcvTvM

That’s all for today. I’ll be back next week with lots of more fun stuff to share. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and an even better week ahead of you:)