More of the I Knit Fandango show

Hi there, I was going to write a post on yet another fantastic person/persons I met at the show but I find myself running out of time to do what I need to do so today I’m just going to share with you the latest episode of my friends video podcast. So at the show I met the wonderful CC otherwise known as Javapurls and she hosts a video podcast with her daughter Damaris.

I’m going to do a post on CC hopefully this weekend or next week at the latest but so as not to leave you for a full day without any news, here’s a link to her latest episode. You will hear all about her impressions of the show and more importantly you will see all the gorgeous stuff she got at the show – some of which is actually from ME:)

So just click here and ENJOY 🙂

Meet Rachel Brown of Porpoise Fur and learn about Yarn in the City Yarn Crawls

Today I’d like to tell you about Rachel Brown from Porpoise Fur. Rachel is American but now lives in the UK. She has been spinning for a number of years and after dabbling in dyeing her own fibre she launched her own online shop selling hand dyed spinning fibre under the name Porpoise Fur. You can visit her shop and blog here

I met Rachel at the I Knit Fandango show in London last week and loved her colourful wool tops for spinning

Rachel Brown of Porpoise Fur on www.knittinginfrance.com

 

But Rachel is also a knitwear designer and she sells her designs on Ravelry and I encourage you to go take a look at her designs here

I happen to have seen this gorgeous cowl that Rachel designed for or in collaboration with Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. This cowl will not be release until July but I guarantee that you too will LOVE it. So if you like cowls, then take note and check out Rachel’s designs on Ravelry for a new cowl design!

Rachel and her friend Alison (I may have written this wrongly and apologize deeply if that is the case) are responsible for YARN IN THE CITY. You can click on the name here to the left and you will end up on their website. They organise yarn crawls and this year there are 2. So the first yarn crawl will be in Brighton on Saturday 20th of June. Participants will meet up at the railway station in Brighton for a fun filled day visiting local yarn shops. If you are in the Brighton or London area I highly recommend you join in the fun. I had such fun at the Unwind Brighton festival last summer that I’m convinced a yarn crawl in Brighton has got to be the best!

The second Yarn Crawl will take place in London and this is actually the third edition of the London Yarn Crawl. This will take place on Saturday September 5th and will of course include a day of visiting a number of participating shops and also access to a pop up marketplace for even more goodies. The London Yarn Crawl and marketplace focus on UK indie artist so if you are in the area and enjoy unique, quality supplies and want to support indie artist then this is definitely an event for you.

Information for both events can be found on the Yarn in the City blog/website (see link above).

 

 

Meet Louise and Spin City

Hi, today I would like to kick off my series of blog posts on the fabulous people I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London last week. I actually met Louise for the first time at Unravel in Brighton last summer but before that I was a client of her Etsy shop (and still am).

Louise has a degree in Knitwear design and she not only runs her Etsy shop but she also teaches spinning, weaving, knitting and crochet from her studio. Louise also has a blog which you can read and follow here And then there is her Etsy shop which is full of gorgeous fibres and hand spun yarns as well as some kits for natural yarn dyeing. Just click here for some gorgeousness.

Louise is such a fun and loving person and that shows through in her booth. Her set up is so inviting and the colours so enticing that it is impossible not to be touched or want to just buy all you can carry of her stuff!

Here are some pictures from last weeks show

Spin City on www.knittinginfrance.com Spin City on www.knittinginfrance.com Spin City on www.knittinginfrance.com The pictures do not do her fibres justice as there was a lot of sunlight that “spoiled” my pictures. On the last picture you can see Louise in her blue dress on the left.  The fact that she brings actual furniture to her shows gives her booth such an inviting feeling and once your inside, the fibres call out to you “please touch me! Feel how soft I am! Buy me! You need me! ” well, you get the picture:)

So of course I bought some roving to spin and began spinning one of the two when I got home on Sunday.

Spin City roving on www.knittinginfrance.com I love the combination of bright, vibrant colours along with white silk and some black wool. It really gives a gorgeous, colourful barber pole yarn once spun. As you can maybe see, I have begun spinning the pink one at the top and will show you some pictures when I’m done.

I have purchased from her a number of times both spinning fibre and resin hand spindles and if you like spinning or want to give drop spindling a try, I recommend you visit Louise’s shop and try out some of her quality supplies.

Thats all for today. I hope you enjoyed this mini introduction to Louise and her shop Spin City.

Until next time, take care 🙂

The I Knit Fandango show in London

Hi there, today I’m leaving for London, UK for the I Knit Fandango show. Later today I’ll meet a friend who’s coming from Iceland to help me at the show and once we’ve settled in our hotel room, we’ll be going to the venue to set up my boot and meet and greet the other vendors and organisers.

This is the first time I do a show in London and the second time I do a show in the UK. Last summer I did a show in Brighton which was a great success. I found that doing a show in England was quite different from a show in France. The British knitters are more passionate maybe, more open to new brands and indie designers and they are aware of prices and willing to pay for the work behind a gorgeous yarn. Also I met a lot of clients of my online shop and introduced myself to future ones and I of course met lots of very interesting people that are part of the fibre crafts world. Here are some pictures from that show

IMG_1922 IMG_1921 photo 5 (27) IMG_1920 IMG_1919

This time my set up will probably be similar. I have 2 tables and I will be offering my hand dyed yarns, hand dyed sock blanks, sets of handspun yarns, knitting and crochet shawl kits (a project bag, yarn, pattern, accessories) and lots of accessories. The accessories will be mostly handmade by myself but also some commercial ones such as pattern tamers from Atomic Knitting, sock and mitten blockers from Crazy Monkey Creations, The Sock Ruler – the new must have tool for all sock knitters, needle gauges and wpi tools from Sukkaplokki to mention a few. So I think I have chosen a good mix of yarn, spinning fibre, kits and accessories that will please the visitors and attract buyers to my booth.

So if you happen to be in London or close by during May 15th and 16th this week, please do come by! The show has lots of wonderful vendors and I can guarantee that you will have the time of your life browsing all the wonderful supplies. Plus you will meet loads of great, like minded people which is always such a pleasure.

So if you haven’t already bought your ticket to the show of if you haven’t checked out the list of vendors, just click on the following link and hopefully you’ll join the fun and come say hi to me in my booth. Here’s the link

I won’t be blogging this weekend (I think) but I’ll be sure to tell you all about the show and share pictures after the weekend. So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

More on Sock Blanks

What is a sock blank? Some of you are sure to be familiar with those and others maybe not so much.

A sock blank is a machine knit “blank” or a piece that looks like a short, wide scarf. A sock blank can be knit single or double and it is important to know which type you are buying because this will determine how you can use the blank for your knitting.

A hand dyed sparkle sock blank by www.knittinginfrance.com

A single knit blank will be twice as long, more or less, than a double knit blank. But the most important difference is that a single knit blank means that you only have 1 thread to work with which is fine if you are knitting one sock at a time or one mitten at a time or something like that. However if you were planning on doing a TAAT sock project or something similar you will want a double knit blank where you unravel 2 threads at a time and can thus knit 2 separate pieces.

Sock blanks by www.knittinginfrance.com

Dyeing sock blanks is a challenge I feel. You can do different things and maybe more with some regards versus dyeing a hank of yarn. However you should keep in mind that the pattern on your blank is not going to be reproduced exactly in your pair of socks for example. If you have a striped design, your socks will be striped but the final patterning will be different as everything depends on your needle size, the amount of stitches used and of course your pattern. Also if you design has dots or geometric designs for example, these will translate into a more sort of varigated design in your socks or other small circumference knit.

hand dyed sock blanks by Knitting in France

Here’s a picture of a pair of simple socks that I’m currently knitting using a blank that I dyed a while back. This was one of the first blanks I did and I first dyed each half in a different colour. Then I decided to overdye by doing a sort of dot design on top of the main colour. And on the picture below you can see the blank and its design and how the pattern then translates into the actual socks that I’m knitting. These will be simple afterthought heel socks and the front is 3×2 ribbing.

www.knittinginfrance.com You can see the dots in the blanket and how this gives a varigated end result. This is a double knit blanket which enables me to knit 2 socks at a time.

I will be selling some of my hand dyed sock blanks at the show in London this weekend and if you are coming I hope you will come by my booth for a chat and maybe even purchase something you like 🙂

Take care

General Hogbuffer

Does that name sound at all familiar? If not, then I’m so happy to be able to introduce you to this fantastic sock designer! A while back I was browsing Ravelry for some Sock patterns and I found this amazing designer that has a lot of gorgeous sock patterns and they are all FREE!

You can check out his Ravelry page here and he also has a blog on crafting which you might enjoy reading and for a peak just click here

I really admire his work and he does both colourwork and patterned/cabled designs and also has a few socks with innovative or unusual construction. So far I have not had the pleasure of knitting one of his socks but since I’m looking for a new sock to knit (yes I know, What a surprise!), I’m going to choose one of his designs. Actually, I think I’ll choose 2 because I have my latest Knitcircus Gradient Yarn Sock Club yarn waiting and then there is the upcoming show in London and I really can’t be seen there knitting with a yarn that is not mine 🙂 So as for the socks using my own yarn, I’m thinking of using a sock blank that I have dyed.

A hand dyed sparkle sock blank by www.knittinginfrance.com This is a sparkle sock blank, 75% super wash merino, 20% nylon and 5% silver stellina. This is a yarn that I adore! I love the sparkle and it is just so super soft and wonderfully comfortable for next to skin wear be it for socks or any other accessory. I just recently got theses sparkle sock blanks so this will be my first time knitting with one of those although I’m very familiar with the yarn itself. I dyed this with a new method of kettle dyeing where I left parts of the blank in the simmering dye pot for different lengths of time which in turn gives me a blank with different tones of fuchsia which I quite like. I did dye a few of these and will be selling them at the I Knit Fandango Show this week (May 15th and 16th) in London.

Now as for the pattern I chose, it’s called Maudie by General Hogbuffer of course and here is a link to the pattern on Ravelry

And here’s a picture of the sock Maudie sock pattern by General Hogbuffer I love the “braid/cable” design on the side.

As this particular blank is knit in single, it means that I will not be able to do a TAAT knit but as I have chosen a detailed pattern that is maybe for the better.

Anyway, I’m going to have to cast on today so that I have some rows worked before leaving for the show and I’ll be showing you some pictures next week. I may not have made much progress between casting on and then but that will just be a good thing as that would mean I was way to busy selling stuff in my booth to do any knitting:)

That’s it for today, take care and have a wonderful day

Its almost SHOWTIME

Hi there, like I said it’s almost Show Time! Yes, the I Knit Fandango in London is just around the corner – May 15th and 16th. My weekend was spent reviewing my stock for the show. What to bring and how much and then fitting it all into 2 big suitcases! Now I just need to find a way to get from the airport (Southend) to my hotel without too much hassle. So if you are familiar with London and maybe shuttle services I would much appreciate any advice or tips for this:)

So I’m bringing lots of hand dyed yarns, knitting and crochet shawl kits, sock knitting kit, plenty of accessories both handmade by myself as from some select companies that I appreciate. Also one of the things I’m excited about introducing to you is this yarn that I’ve been keeping for the show. It’s called Silverspun and it is made by the Feel Good Company. This is a blend of cotton and sterling silver! Yes you read that right – 11% silver! And the yarn is not only soft but in addition silver is renowned for its healing powers. This is the only yarn on the market today that includes silver. You can read all about the company and this unique yarn on their website here

Silverspun cotton and silver yarn - www.knittinginfrance.com

Now I’m also going to find some “travel knitting”. I know I’m not going to have much time to actually knit, but if you are anything like me, you know that travel WITHOUT knitting, is just not possible. So, I’m knitting a baby blanket and getting well on the way with that but it’s too big for a travel knit so I may need to cast on for some socks.

baby blanket in progress www.knittinginfrance.com Looking pretty good don’t you think?

Now as for the travel knit/socks I need to find some nice sock yarn or possibly a sock blanket. I really want to do a 2 in 1 pair again so just simple knitting that I can lay down and pick up easily. Anyway I really look forward to the show and if you are in London or close by I really hope you will come by and check out the show which promises to be super exciting with a large number of wonderful vendors. You can check out the list of vendors here

On another subject, I just wanted to mention, again, that I’m super proud and excited that I just did my very first guest post on blog other than my own! Remember the guest blog Sarah Inskeep did on my blog a few days ago? Well, she offered me to do the same and write a post on her blog. My post was published this weekend and I’m super happy and grateful for the opportunity to write for a new audience and I hope you will check out the post and her blog. I wrote about my beginnings as a professional in the knitting business and share some pictures of my knits from way back when. You can read the post and enjoy Sarah’s blog here

 

That’s all for today. I’m off to work. Take care and enjoy your crafting

ps- wish me luck for the show:)

 

What would you like to buy at I Knit Fandango this May?

Hi there, as you probably all know I’m preparing for the I Knit Fandango craft show that is being held in London 15-16th of May. It is tough to decide what to pack and how much of each especially when like this time, I have to travel by air and then take a taxi to the hotel ALL ALONE! So I have to pack wisely as there is just so much I can carry by myself. But then I also do not want to spend my money and time on doing a show if my booth is half empty from the beginning as missing out on sales is NOT an objective. Going home with tons of stuff is not an objective either so the balance between too much, not enough and just right is a tough one to find.

This is why I thought maybe you could help me out. If you are planning on attending the show what would you like to see/try/buy? And even if you are not coming, when you do attend shows, what do you tend to look for? Are you more on the look out for yarn? A particular yarn type? Knitting accessories? All inclusive kits?

And as I mentioned yarn, what are your favorite colours at the moment or colours you’d like to knit this summer?

I’m done, I think, almost, with the dyeing. This weekend I did dye for a crochet shawl kit that is going to be very nice. This kit uses 778 m of yarn and rather than doing 2 skeins of 400m each I decided to do  1 huge skein of 800m. This ensures that the colour is consistent throughout the project and that you only have to ball 1 skein instead of 2 – even though it is huge).

And as I found this was a rather brilliant idea (if I say so myself) I decided to do a few more and sell individually as this is a good size for many shawl designs. What do you think? Do you knit shawls yourself? If so you knit mostly with fingering weight or do you use lace weight?

I also did some sock blank dyeing, both kettle dyed and hand painted and here are some pictures. At the bottom of the drying rack you can see some balls of yarns, this is yarn that came in a wound ball and I dyed as was for a sort of varigated effect. The only problem is once it’s been dyed I need to undo the ball and wind into a skein for it to dry properly and that is not much fun):

hand dyed sock blanks and balls of yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand painted sock blanks www.knittinginfrance.com

Well thats it for now. If you feel like sharing and helping me decide what to bring or not to bring, what to dye or not to dye, all constructive advice is appreciated 🙂

Take care and enjoy your crafting

Branching out on social media

Hi there, it’s been a very busy week and not a lot of blogging or preparation for the show has been done. This weekend will have to be well used as the I Knit Fandango show is practically around the corner so I have to finish my sock knitting kits and my kits for the Marin shawl by Ysolda Teague. I’m also going to prepare kits for a crochet shawl –  a design by a young French designer. The pattern is called Muscari by Mam’zell Flo. I’m excited about this new crochet kit which will be my first crochet kit and also the first kit including a pattern by a French designer. So lots of work for me and I hope that next time I come back to post I will be able to share some success stories and pictures with you here of my finished/prepared kits and yarns.

Now the title of todays post is “branching out on social media”, we all enjoy and use social media up to a certain extent, some use it more than others. I began using Facebook and it was really the only social media I used for my business. Then I went on to Twitter but that is something I have not really used to its full potential so that is something I need to look into. I also created an account on instagram and Flickr but have more or less abandoned those unfortunately.

Today I mostly concentrate on Pinterest which I find to be super inspiring and I spend a lot of time there just looking at great ideas and beautiful things. My following on Pinterest is growing and I hope to continue in that direction. I didn’t quite understand the interest in using Pinterest at the beginning but boy has my opinion changed since then! I just love finding inspiration for colours, knits, crochet items, jewelry, and so forth. Endless daydreaming and inspiration for any crafter.

And then there is Google+, now I’m told it is important to be present on Google + so I just recently did something about that and I now actually share my blog posts on Google +. I’m curious, what is your favorite social media? Where do you connect with friends/family and other crafters? Do you think that it is important for a company to be present on ALL social media outlets or would you think it is better to just concentrate on 1-2 and do them to the fullest ?

And what about Youtube? I’m on Youtube a lot as a consumer of tv shows, films and of course how to videos of all sorts. I was wondering if you too used Youtube for crafting related purposes? Do you go there for tutorials? For podcasts? To learn something new? Do you have a favorite crafting channel or a favorite crafting youtuber? Something you would like to share with us in case we are not familiar with those? I would love to hear from you on the subject. So I thought, why not create my own Youtube channel, not necessarily to post videos of myself or my crafts but to sort of create a library of interesting crafting channels and how to videos and then share this with my followers. A channel that could be like a reference for you when you are looking for something knitting/crochet or fibre related. Well I did start but it is going to take quite some time to do this well so I’m not going to talk about this everywhere for the time being as I need to work a lot on this but I did want to tell you about it and you can check it out and any suggestions for this new Knitting in France Youtube channel are welcome. So check what I have got so far here

That is all for today folks, I have not done a lot of knitting this week so no pictures of in progress items. I do have a confession, I did RIP my socks out again!!! This must be like a limited curse on me these days and hopefully I’ll escape from it soooon! I ripped out the socks and cast on immediately so now I’m doing them 2 in 1 style and of course so far so good:) Cross my fingers and hopefully I’ll be able to share a picture of these future socks soon.

Until next time, take care, enjoy your weekend and I hope you will have the time to do lots of knitting/crochet/spinning or any other craft you enjoy 🙂

Sock knitting kits in the making

I’m currently dyeing like crazy for the show in London (I Knit Fandango) and now I’m working on sock kits. These will be for the Philosophers Walk Socks by Pleximo who has graciously given my authorisation to include her pattern with my yarn.

I’ve almost finished a pair of these myself and I find the pattern both amusing to knit and a beauty to look at. It is great for two colour knitting and I think that stark contrast colours work great for this. I’ve already done kits like this before for my Etsy shop. There is one kit left there – for the shop the kits included 2x 50gr skeins of the main colour and 1 x 50gr skein of the contast colour. This time I will be doing 2 x 100 gr skeins, one of each colour so you can decide yourself which will be the MC and which will be the CC. You could even do one set up for the first sock and then do the opposite for the second sock. Either way the choice will be yours 🙂 The yarn I’m using is 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon which is just perfect for socks.

Here are is picture of my first sock – I really love the look and I’m quite proud of the work I did there even though on close inspection I did notice some errors on the sole side but hey, that just makes them more unique 🙂

The Philosophers Walk socks knit by www.knittinginfrance.com

I really love the way purple and yellow come together so I decided to do more of those and here you can see my first batch of yarn for these kits

hand dyed yarn for future sock kits www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarns for my sock kits www.knittinginfrance.com So there will be: purple and yellow, blue and orange and today I’m doing some pink and grey and maybe some coral and light blue/green sort of colour. The kits will be in their own coton project bag and will include some hand made stitch markers as well. I think those will be quite nice and hopefully a success at the show.

Well, thats all for today, I have some more yarn dyeing to do not to mention all the reskeining and tagging etc so I better get to work. I wish you all a wonderful weekend with some quality crafting time 🙂