The Maker of the Month Francofille Knits

I have admired from afar the work of Devan of Francofille Knits. She has a beautiful sense of color and I really wanted to try some of her yarns. I first approached her asking if she would be willing to do a swap and as she kindly said yes I then asked if she would be willing to do an interview for the blog and maybe even donate a skein of yarn for one of my readers. And she again said YES!

I’m currently knitting a pair using her yarn for the main color and using a pattern I have made up myself. I have sock one all done and I’m passed the heel on sock 2.

So here is my interview with Devan and I hope you will enjoy reading that and getting to know her.

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Tell me a little about yourself, where do you come from and where do you live and work today?

Let’s see.  I’m the indie dyer and designer behind Francofille Knits, and I host the Francofille Knits podcast.  For the last year, my husband and I have been living outside of a very small town in rural Indiana—our property is surrounded on all sides by corn and soybean fields!  Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, and living in college towns my whole adult life, this has been quite an adjustment for me, but one I’ve absolutely loved. Living in the country, the pace of life slows significantly, and I have more time to notice and appreciate the world around me.  I like to think that my dyeing and designing has benefited from this more intuitive and relaxed lifestyle.

Are you a knitter/crocheter/spinner/ weaver ? And if you do all, which craft is your most favorite?

I’m a knitter first and foremost, but I also dabble in crocheting and spinning.  I’m a relatively strong crocheter, but my spinning needs a lot of work!  Knitting is absolutely my happy place.

When did you learn to knit/crochet/spin/weave ? Do you remember who taught you?

I learned to knit and crochet when I was 16.  That summer, I was working as a counselor at a summer camp, and saw one of the British counselors knitting on a scarf and begged her to teach me! Lucky for me, she was patient enough to take on a student, and by the end of the summer, I was half way through the lumpiest, most uneven garter stitch scarf ever!  A few months later, I was watching a movie with one of my friends, when she pulled out an afghan and started crocheting.  Once again, I was obsessed and desperate to learn how to crochet.  I started several crochet blankets in high school, with my friend’s help, but I’m not sure if I actually finished any of them. I ended up putting both the knitting and crocheting down while I was in college, but ended up picking them both back up when I was in graduate school, because I needed a way to unwind that had nothing to do with my academic life.

Do you have a favorite type of project that you regularly turn to? Like socks or shawls etc.

I always have at least one pair of socks on the needles, and a sock pattern I’m writing up.  I usually have a shawl or two going as well.  I’m not a monogamous knitter—I need to be able to bounce from project to project as the mood strikes or I’ll quickly lose my knitting mojo.  Lace, cables, brioche, texture, I love it all!

Would you say that fibre crafts have become a lifestyle for you ? 

Absolutely!  Before starting Francofille Knits, I was a French professor—I earned my PhD in French Linguistics.  If you ever have trouble sleeping, I’d be happy to send you a copy of my dissertation—300+ pages on a specific change in word order in 13th-16th century French!  But, fate had a different plan for me than I had expected, and about a year ago, I found myself leaving my career in academia for a variety of reasons.  Thank god for fibre crafts!  My love of fibre crafts provided me with a new career, one that I have found just as fulfilling and satisfying as my previous career!

How did you come to dye yarn and how long have you been dyeing yarn ?

I’d been wanting to learn how to dye yarn for almost a decade! When the stress of writing my dissertation would get to me, I’d daydream about opening a yarn shop and selling hand dyed yarn.  I finally decided to take the plunge in April 2016 (just over a year ago!), and I haven’t looked back!  Inspired by some friends of mine (Ally & Abby of the Get Lit and Knit podcast), I took a class on yarn dyeing at YarnFest in Chicago, and it literally changed my life.

When did you decide to go professional and open a yarn shop ?

Like I said, I had been daydreaming about becoming a fibre artist for a long time.  But, I don’t think I actually started taking it seriously until June 2016.  I was having so much fun dyeing yarn, and dyeing up yarn faster than I could ever knit it.  I decided, after much Instagram support, to open up an Etsy shop to sell my extra skeins, and the rest is history!

What is the inspiration behind your shop and your yarns?

The inspiration for everything in Francofille Knits comes from my love of France and the world around me.  As you might have guessed from my shop name and previous career, I’m an absolute Francophile, and have been since I was a little girl.  I took my first French class when I was 5, and instantly fell in love with the language.  The further I progressed in my studies, the more I fell in love with France, it’s people, it’s culture and it’s history!  All of my colorways are inspired by places I’ve visited, people I’ve studied, or the French language itself.

When reading your about page on Etsy, you mention that the shop name comes from your love of France and everything French. Have you lived in France yourself ?

I have, but not for long enough!  I spent 5 months in Avignon when I was in college, way back in 2004.  I then got to spend a summer in St. Brieuc, Bretagne in 2010.  I’ve also gotten to travel to France several times, and even got married in France (St. Andiol, near Avignon) in the summer of 2015.  That was a real adventure, as I was the only person in our group of 16 who spoke French.  It was such a great experience, and I wouldn’t change a moment of it!

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Mon Coeur

What are your most popular colorways?

It’s hard to say, because it changes all the time! I change out the colorways in the shop every few months, based on my mood and the seasons.  If I had to pick a few, I’d say “Summer in Provence,” “Monet,” “Bûche de Noël” and “Sunset over the Seine” have probably been the most popular ones so far (and some of my favorites too!).

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Sunset over the Seine

Is there anything exciting going on in your shop these days ? Do you still have spaces for your Advent Calendar?

I’ve currently got a wide selection of fall colorways that I’m really quite proud of!  I also have just a few spots left for my Advent Calendar, 12 Days of Christmas, and Happy Hanukkah miniskein sets!  I’ve been having an absolute blast dyeing up all the yarn for these sets for the last few weeks, and can’t wait to get them shipped off to their new homes!

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Vendange

What do you have coming up for the shop til the end of this year? Any special deals/events/kals ?

Speaking of the holidays, in the next few weeks (mid October) I’ll be releasing my Holiday colorways and November Sock Club.  Every month, I dye up a small batch of a secret colorway and design a sock pattern to go along with it.  It’s such a fun creative project for me, and I think my customers enjoy it too as it always sells out, and there are several who sign up month after month!

Where do you see your business in say 5 years from now ?

I’d love to be able to quadruple my output and have several stores that carry my yarn. I just did my first craft fair, and loved it! I’m definitely planning on organizing a few trunk shows and signing up for some fiber festivals in the future as well.

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Macaron sock

In addition to your yarn dyeing, you also design patterns that you sell on Ravelry. Have you been designing long ?  How did you come to designing your own patterns?

I’ve been designing for almost as long as I’ve been knitting.  The first pair of socks I ever knit, actually, were my own design (I modified a vanilla sock pattern, adding a lace motif to the top of the foot).  I only started writing up my patterns at the beginning of 2016, though.  My first pattern was also my most ambitious to date—the Amboise Shawl, inspired by the Château d’Amboise. I absolutely love that triangular lace shawl, especially because it looks so impressive while being a fairly intuitive knit!

Is knitwear design something that you would like to develop further ?

Absolutely! It’s so much fun coming up with the right pattern to go with the colorways I dye up.  It’s so incredibly satisfying! 

What type of item/garment do you most enjoy designing? Does the inspiration for your patterns also come from France ?

I think the shawl designs have been the most fun, but designing socks has been a fabulous challenge, mostly because I’ve put out one (almost) every month this year.  Some of the patterns are more obviously inspired by France than others—the Amboise Shawl, and another shawl inspired by Chenonceau which hasn’t been test knit/published yet—while others are inspired by my home in rural Indiana.

And as if dyeing yarn and writing patterns wasn’t enough; you also podcast! Tell us about that. How did you come to podcasting, is that something you enjoy doing and for someone that is not familiar with your podcast, what would you say is the “theme” or main emphasis in your podcast. What will be find there.

I started podcasting at the beginning of 2016, in part because I knew that there were some significant changes coming in my life.  I knew that I was going to be changing career paths and that my husband and I would be moving, and wanted a creative outlet that would connect me with the online knitting community even more than I already was.  I had been a fan of the Knitmore Girls podcast and YarnGasm (and the long defunct Electric Sheep podcast) for years, and just decided to dive right in!  My podcast format is typically fairly standard, talking about what I’ve been working on, what’s going on in my life (just a little) and going over what yarn I’ve dyed up that week.  During the month of October, I’ve decided to challenge myself to do Vlogtober—recording videos every single day!  So far, I’ve been able to stay on track!

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Autumn Afternoon

For those that want to follow you and your shop, what would you say is the best venue for that ?

Instagram, for sure! For my personal knitting/life pics, you can follow me @bdevan, and for all things shop related you can follow @francofilleknits!

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A big thank you to Devan for taking the time to reply to all my questions. To check out her knitting patterns on Ravelry, just click here 

To check out her Etsy shop and her fabulous yarns just click here

Devan has generously accepted to donate a skein of yarn to one of you. To take part in this giveaway, just hop over to her shop and then come back and tell me what your favorite colorway is. The winner will receive this glorious skein hand dyed by Devan.

I will draw a winner using Random.org a week from today or october 24th. Good luck to everyone!

 

 

The end of an adventure and one last enabling post before we all commit to stash appreciation

Hi there, writing this post has been a long time coming. I have thought about this for a very very very long time and I think I really need to get it together and just take the plunge! The plunge in question is… closing my Etsy shop! Now I’ve said it!

I would like to take the opportunity to share with you the story of this shop adventure that is coming to an end.

In 2010 I was very unhappy with the work I was doing and I longed for a job that I would actually enjoy doing. I was already heavily into knitting and the idea of opening a shop started to take shape. At first I wanted to create a niche shop and concentrate on knitting needles. At the time, in France, knitting needles were very limited and most knitters only knit on long single pointed needles. I wanted to introduce circular needles to them. In my home country of Iceland we knit everything on circulars and I think they are fabulous. I started looking around at what was available and what I could sell. On the 1st of March 2011 I opened my shop, Knitting in France. I had my very own website and I offered a variety of knitting needles. I can safely say that I was a pioneer in France and even in Europe when it came to selling knitting needles because I introduced a number of knitting needles brands that were otherwise unobtainable in France and often in Europe at large.

I had Signature Needle Arts and was the only distributor for those in France and one of very few in Europe if not the only one. I also introduced Kollage square needles and I still have a few of those left. I was the first to sell these in France and one of very few in Europe. I also had Swallow casein needles from Australia and again the only one in France selling those. I had Indian Lake Artisans hexagonal, handmade wooden needles and still have some left in stock. Those are works of art and a joy to work with. I also believe I was their first stockist in France.

I was also the very first stockist of  Hiya Hiya in France and I’m proud of being the one to introduce French knitters to that brand and even European knitters because at the time very few shops sold these in Europe. And Chiaogoo, also the first stockist in France to offer those.

Today all the important yarn shops in France carry some of these brands that I took a chance on in 2011.

I also offered handmade knitting and crochet accessories and I took in a few commercial yarns such as Rooster yarns. I did also offer Dream in Color yarns and again I believe I was the only stockist in France at the time.

The product I took the biggest chance on was an amazing yarn, Qiviut from Arctic Qiviut company. Qiviut, if you are not familiar with that fibre, comes from the underdown of musk ox. It is a rare fibre and very labour intensive in production. It is the warmest wool you can have and Arctic Qiviut had both natural color yarn and hand dyed ones and they also offered luxurious blends with qiviut, cashmere,angora etc. A skein of this luxurious yarn costs a fortune but I did manage to buy a few for the shop and I did sell most of them though it took some time as the price was not for the faint of heart. I was of course the first to sell this yarn in France and I helped them organise a tour in England and France to introduce their yarns to other shops and today a few shops in England carry their yarns.

Later on I wanted to start dyeing my own yarn and totally fell down a rabbit hole. For a while my shop did well and I really enjoyed feeling like I was doing well. I took part in yarn shows in France and in the UK.

In 2013 we moved to Normandy and at that time I took the worst decision ever with regards to my business. I decided to close my independent website/shop and to concentrate on selling on Etsy.

Etsy is a tough platform to be on, the competition is fierce and even if you begin in one shop you can easily find yourself in another shop without noticing it. The indie dyed yarn business has exploded over the last few years and every day new dyers open shop. I think we have arrived at a crossroads where the offer way surpasses the demand. Today if you are not a podcast star as well as an indie dyer or a friend of a podcast star, it is very hard to get the word out there and sell your yarns. This is just my humble opinion and I may be totally wrong and maybe I’m just saying this out of deception. Who knows.

Anyway, I at least have come to a crossroad and I need to decide which way to go. I absolutely love my little shop, I love sourcing quality yarns, I love dyeing small batches and I love seeing pictures of what my clients then make with my yarn. But the hard fact is that I’m not selling enough for this to be a sustainable business. Unfortunately I don’t have the time needed to revamp and re-vitalise the shop. I work full time and I have three children. I also don’t have the finances to fund a big purchase of base yarn to be able to offer sweater quantities of different colors etc.  And let’s face it, maybe I just don’t have the talent!

So I have decided, with a heavy heart, that I need to close this chapter of my life. I need to just concentrate on my own knitting and this blog which I so enjoy writing. However to limit the financial loss and to make some space at the house, I need to sell as much as I possibly can of my current stock. And so I’m having a Going out of business sale! As of now and until November 1st I’m offering -30% off everything in the shop and I hope you will take the time to take a peek and maybe buy a skein or two. My base yarns are high quality and used by  a number of well known indie dyers in Europe and I have dyed them up in small batches with lots of love and care. I will include free stitch markers with every order, the more yarn you buy, the more markers you will receive:)

I know that this goes against my announced plan of Stash Appreciation that will start on November 1st but hey, if you are joining me in that, you do still have till November 1st to buy yarns no questions asked! And you would be supporting a very small home business at the same time:)

So, I’m sorry if this comes across as if I’m pleading for help. I did want to share the story of my yarn shop adventure with you and I did want to tell you about the discount just in case you were interested. Please feel free to share the info with all of your knitting buddies. There is no code needed, the prices are already discounted in the shop. I of course do worldwide shipping at reasonable prices. You can check out my sale by clicking here 

That’s all for today. Have a  wonderful weekend and enjoy your crafting:)

My Birthday yarnie gifts

Hi there, I’m sorry I did not keep my word and post a second time last week. Time seems to constantly elude me these days. I hope you understand:)

I wanted to show you some of my Birthday gifts because yes it was my Birthday not so long ago. First off, my daughter the artist made me some super fun stitch markers from polymer clay.

I love using these!

And this year is the second time I organize a Birthday swap in my Knitting in France Group on Ravelry. It is a small swap which I think suits us all well as the pressure is limited and we don’t have to send gifts every month of the year. It is however super fun when it is one’s turn to receive those yarny gifts and it just so happens that I’m the last to celebrate my birthday. I’m still waiting for some to arrive but I thought I should share with you those that I have so far.

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This was the first gift I got and it arrived the morning of my Birthday! A nice sock size project bag, amazing chocolates and a Finnish specialty. A wonderfully smelling hand cream and a fun needle gauge/key ring from Succaplokki. And two skeins of yarn. The pink one is from Wollmeise and the purple one is from a new to me French dyer called Squirrel’s Yarns. I love the colors and will most likely be using them to knit into socks. The project bag also contained a gift, a hand knit shawl!

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Yes that’s me wearing my new shawl:)

The second gift arrived soon there after.

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How fun is this Truckin’ project bag? And the yarns are gorgeous! The green yarn is Harry Potter inspired from Just a Girl and her Dog Yarns. The Teal one is actually hand spun and the label says Creek Side Farm. Both are gorgeous and the Honey straws have me intrigued.

The third gift arrived this past weekend.

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I love the lamb post card. The monkeys on the right are actually magnets and now reside on my fridge. The Minion tin contains some buttons and the yellow piece you see behind the mignon is a table cloth and I think it may have been woven.

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I absolutely LOVE this tag to attach to a hand knit gift. Not sure I’ll ever be willing to part with it though. It’s now hanging on a wall next to my desk.

When I first saw this I thought this was a crochet kit but it’s actually a knitting pattern. You can knit a 3D fish and it comes with the beads and the DMC thread. Amazing. One of my daughter has already requested she keep this once it’s done.

And to finish I got this bag of beautiful teal colored silk to spin into something gorgeous. And 2 skeins of Claudia Handpainted yarns for a future pair of socks.

Amazing right?! I do love a good yarn/knitting swap and as this is birthday related it is even more fun I think. I might organize this for the third consecutive year in 2018 so if you are interested in joining do let me know. I will be asking in my Ravelry Group soon if people are interested in joining again. Actually this year I think I only have one new participant all the others joined the first time around and jumped on the chance to join in again for this second time. We’ll see if we have enough participants for a third edition.

But I did also treat myself to some yarnie goodness using my birthday as an excuse. I know I’m an adult and that I don’t need an excuse to buy yarn BUT seeing as I already have more than I need and that I’m trying to cut down on yarn purchases, I’m using the Birthday excuse anyway!

So I purchased some yarns from a destash on Ravelry. This is the first time I have ever done this and I admit I was a bit apprehensive as I did not know the seller at all. I saw a post from this person on Instagram and the yarns pictured were all gorgeous so I had to jump over to Ravelry and take a look. Well I actually ended up buying not 1, not 2, not 3 no no no! I bought 5!!! Yes that’s right I  bought 5 skeins! And they have arrived and they are all as gorgeous as they were on Ravelry.

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Both of these dyers are new to me. I had known about the Wool Barn but never seen their yarn in person and I admit I was oblivious to Woolberry Fibre Co. The yarns are gorgeous. 3 out of 5 skeins are singles so they will be knit into  shawls or cowls in the future. The others will become socks I think.

I also bought more yarn from Lolo Did It. I of course wanted to indulge myself but I also wanted to help with Lolo’s Hurricane Harvey charity and I received my Harvey yarn this weekend. And it’s gorgeous and Lauren even added a complimentary tape measure! Always useful.

This yarn will become a pair of socks in the future.

So as you can see I have been spoiled lately with yarn. I hope I haven’t made you jealous or caused you to break your “no yarn buying” ban. I don’t often share my purchases but as I was on the subject of gifts and so I thought it would be fun.

On another note, I’m bringing the Maker of the Month feature back. I hadn’t intended on stopping during the summer but things happened. I’m hoping we will be doing the first feature in a week or two and the next maker is a yarn dyer and as always there will be a giveaway associated with the feature so stay tuned!

I think this will be all for today. I was going to show you my progress on the mystery kals but I have changed my mind and I’m not going to share until they are officially over. For the first time ever I have not shared pictures of my progress on these on social media and I have even avoided seeing other peoples pictures as well so this time it really is a true mystery knit a long for me.

I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of knitting time! Speak to you soon:)

Knitting woes and successes

How are you today? It’s actually evening and so I’m posting this later in the day than usual but now that my working hours have changed I have less time to dedicate to the blog and so I may be changing the day I publish..or not.. I’m going to see. I know it can be confusing if you are used to seeing a new article every Thursday and then things change and the blog is updated at random. I really want to avoid that as much as I can.

Anyway I’m doing good and  I hope you are too. The past week weather has been horrendous with lots of rain but today we had a beautiful autumn day with sun and warm temperatures. Of course I should not be complaining as the weather here in Normandy France does not compare to the hurricanes that have been devastating lately. I do hope that you and your family are safe and sound and not suffering due to weather.

I have lots of knitting to share with you again but I’m afraid that if I share everything this will become way too long so I’m going to try and post again later this week.

First issue has to do with some knitting successes and other not so much successful knits.

If you follow me on Instagram you will now that my Breathing space sweater is in time out. I actually finished the body and bound off. I very proudly tried it on and….disaster! It was way too large/wide. Words cannot begin to describe the deception! I had been working on the sweater since late July and I was using a very special yarn that I had dyed myself. And it just looked PERFECT! Or so I thought!

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After looking at myself in the mirror for a while I had to face the truth. I knew that it was no use to close my eyes and cast on for sleeves as if everything was perfect. I new that after washing the sweater would likely stretch a little bit and that would just make it totally unwearable. I had to RIP IT BACK!

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To ease the pain, I did so immediately! I just sat down and ripped it back to the underarms and it has been sitting in timeout since. I’m wondering if I should just rip it out entirely and begin all over again and I seriously think I might. Start with a clean slate so to say.

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I had knit the XL size as I’m both tall and rounds but clearly XL was too big so I think I will go down one size and maybe modify the pattern and do less increases on the body. I hadn’t realised it was meant to be so “roomy” . I think I would like it to fall closer to the body without being at all clingy. And I also might knit it a bit longer than I originally did.

I do want to knit on it again because I really love the pattern and my yarn but I’m thinking that maybe I need to finish a few projects BEFORE I pick it up again just to be sure I’m in the right mindset and ready to concentrate on this.

Ripping back is never easy, especially when you are 50% finished with a garment but I think I made the right choice and I’m proud of myself for having bit the bullet and ripped back immediately. A few years back, I think I would have just pouted and thrown it in a plastic bag as far back in my closet as possible. Hoping never to encounter this again. At least getting older brings some wisdom!

As for successful knitting. I can share two HOs with you today and both are test knit socks. The first pair is a Harry Potter inspired sock pattern and that pattern has actually been published as a free pattern on Ravelry now. It is called Chaussettes Knittich which in French means Knittich socks. The designer is a friend called Liisa Lanka and she is a Finnish knitter and now designer living in Paris, France.

I was lucky enough to get to test knit her first ever sock pattern. This is a relatively simple sock pattern with two text stripes inserted and the pattern comes with charts for you to follow as well as an empty one for you to try out your own text/design.

I chose to knit my pair in the Griffindor colors as my older daughter is a Harry Potter fan and in the Griffindor house. I have finished sock one and am currently working on sock 2. I used my SOX yarn base.

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Another successful knit is also a test knit sock. It’s a very interesting pattern with an unusal to be heel construction and the stitch pattern travels around the foot. It is called Convergence and the designer is Dana Gervais. This pattern will be published for sale on Ravelry this autumn I believe. Again I used my own yarn on my SOX base.

 

I’m working on two more pairs of socks at the moment, one is a second test knit for Dana and I’m only at the very beginning.

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And the other I’m actually getting close to the toe on sock 2! I’m using the Central Park Socks pattern by Mina Philipp only I have adapted the pattern to make them into shorty socks. I’m knitting the main part using my first EVER Lolo dit it yarn and then using my own SPARKLES yarn for heels, cuffs and toes. I just happened to have the perfect match in my stash! I absolutely LOVE how these are knitting up and I foresee more shorty socks in my near future.

central park shorty socks

I think this is all I have time for now. I will try to be back later this week to show you my progress on the big mystery kals of the moment, the What the Fade and Road to Rhinebeck. I also need to show you my knitting related birthday gifts because yes I did get a year older last Saturday and as I organise a Birthday Swap in my Ravelry Group I’m receiving wonderful yarny gifts, two have arrived and two more are on their way:) And by the way, please feel free to join my Ravelry Group:)

So until next time I hope you are doing good and having a great time knitting all the things. I’ll be back soon. Promise!

 

A Weekend Yarn Sale

Hi there, I hope your week has been good and the upcoming weekend will be even better.

Today I’m just posting a  little info. To make room (and some money too to be honest) I’m having a sale in the shop, my first ever US LABOR DAY SALE. The sale is on til Monday September 4th and EVERYTHING in the shop is 20% off. No code needed!

I’m hoping to sell as much yarn and other goodies as I can because I want to bring in some new yarn bases that are not usually on offer with indie dyers and so might be of interest to you.

As always I ship worldwide at low prices and I hope you will not be deterred from shopping due to shipping charges.

That’s it for tonight. I have posted about the sale on my social media and thought I should do so here too as my blog followers are not necessarily following me elsewhere and I would not want you to lose out on my sale. This might be your chance to test some of my yarns and try them for yourself rather than just read about everything I knit with my yarns:)

So if you feel like browsing/shopping just click here 

Have a wonderful weekend. Those that are in the US , happy holiday and maybe you are lucky enough to have a prolonged weekend. I hope you’ll get a chance to do lots of knitting this weekend. I started my What the Fade shawl and am hoping to finish clue 1 over the weekend. I’m also looking forward to casting on clue one of the Road to Rhinebeck mystery kal tomorrow and maybe you too are joining in those.

Enjoy your weekend, happy knitting and I’ll speak to you soon:)

 

Current and future knitting

Hi there how are you this week? It has been super hot here in Normandy over the last week or so and all of a sudden the temperature plummeted today and along came the rain. I’m not complaining though as the heat was getting to me. I don’t enjoy working when it is super hot and I spend all my day at my desk perspiring like crazy. And my hands feel clammy making knitting less enjoyable. So a cooler weather is just fine with me.

I have knit quite a bit since last time but I don’t have much to show as most of what I have been working on are test knits I’m not allowed to share just yet. Out of the 3 test knits 2 are almost done and that’s such a relief. Mostly because I have so many things I want to cast on…

The pair of socks is almost at the toe so should be finished by the end of this week. Cardigan 1 I did actually finish yesterday. I wove in the ends, washed and blocked it. But… I had knit longer than usual sleeves and after washing my cardigan grew. I know super wash yarns tend to grow when washed and that’s why I prefer to knit garments with non super wash yarns but sometimes I just don’t have any and the yarn I REALLY want to use is super wash. Anyway, I used my own hand dyed yarn for this, on my SOX base and I absolutely love the color and feel of it but I did knit the sleeves too long. So when I tried the cardigan on last night as it was close to being dry, there was no denying that the sleeves were just way too long. I did check with my daughter to see what she thought because I didn’t want to rip back and re knit part of the sleeves. My daughter told me that long sleeves were “in” so I should leave it as was. Phew. But still I was not quite sure so I reached out to a cousin of mine who is also a knitter and showed her some pictures and she agreed with me, the sleeves had to be fixed. Maybe that decision is what made me have a very restless night! Being unhappy about my sleeves! Anyway, this morning I ripped back a few inches on both sleeves and re knit the cuff. I have finished one sleeve and am working on the second and hopefully I’ll have that done tomorrow.

Even if this was not a major issue, it still had me upset. And maybe even more so because I received some gorgeous new yarn in the mail yesterday and all I wanted was to cast on something new!

The yarn I received was a gift from a wonderful fellow knitter/dyer in Australia! Her name is Andrea and you can follow her on Instagram as @yarnsalad.

She gifted me 6 skeins of a 2 ply silk/lambswool yarn that was originally spun for fashion house Missoni! How amazing is that? I don’t know how or where but she buys yarns that were spun for luxury fashion houses but are no longer needed and then dyes them using natural dyes in her home.

I think that wound up the variegated yarn looks even more amazing (on the right side on the second picture). So now I have to find a pattern for this gorgeous yarn. It’s a thin two ply so between a lace and a light fingering weight. My very first thought when I saw the yarn was RAVELLO! But I already have two so knitting a third one might be too much! And then I remembered another pattern from the same designer, Isabelle Kramaer, called A Hint of Summer and I actually own that. It’s a pattern written for this type of yarn so I’m 99% certain that’s what I’m going to go for.

Here’s a picture of that pattern taken from the Ravelry project page

a hint of summer

My version would not be striped like this but I’d rather do a color block or a few larger stripes with the grey sparkle yarn. I think this could work out very nicely. What do you think? Have you maybe knit this pattern yourself already? I’d love to hear your opinion.

I’m also getting ready for the two big Mystery Kals about to start. I purchased both the Knitting Expat Road to Rhinebeck Mkal pattern and Andrea Mowry’s What the Fade Mkal. Both are shawls and both start tomorrow. This may be too much but hey, these will be fun and I do wish I was going to Rhinebeck 🙂

So the Road to Rhinebeck calls for a DK weight yarn and I’m knitting that with my own DK yarn. I have already wound my yarn and got a project bag ready as you can see here

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I really love these colors together and the project bag… How amazing is that?! It’s a mumin bag from Knitgizmomakes.

The Andrea Mowry What the Fade shawl is a huge one, I think-, as it calls for 6 skeins of fingering weight yarn. I’m not supposed to be buying yarn at the moment but..I accidentally went on Etsy and happened upon a shop update from Trysten of Dragon Hoard Yarns Co. And she had a kit. For the What the Fade kal. So what was I to do? I have never knit with her yarn, I want to try it, I had bought the pattern, I needed yarn for the project, she had a kit, it was in stock… Well one thing lead to another and I bought the kit PLUS an extra skein for some added sock knitting pleasure. I purchased this last week and so I was prepared to maybe not get to cast on at the start as the yarn might take a while to arrive. Well my yarn arrived TODAY! And it’s amazing! As soon as I finish talking to you, I’m going to start winding the yarn into cakes and finding a project bag and just get all the last details ready to cast on tomorrow.  And here is my yarn

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What do you think? These are not the colors I’m usually drawn to but when I saw her listing I just sort of fell in love and had to get this. These have such an autumn feel to them and just look like they will knit into something incredibly cozy.

Are you joining in these kals? I’d love to see your yarns if you are:)

The only actual knitting I can share with you today is a sock I’m knitting. So as I’m not supposed to be buying yarn; I of course am constantly looking at yarn shops and being tempted and so I went ahead and placed my very first order with Lolo did it! And the yarn arrived very quickly and the shipping was not ridiculous which was a pleasant surprise. And so of course I had to cast on the same day my yarn arrived and decided on doing a pair of shorty socks for myself thinking this way I’ll be able to get two pairs out of the skein. And I went hunting for a yarn that could go with Lolo’s yarn  and I found it. I had a partial skein in this lovely purple on my SPARKLES base and it just goes perfectly with the main yarn.  As for the pattern, I’m adapting the Yorkville pattern by the Knitting Expat. This is a pattern from her current New York sock club and I just changed it to be a short version and I love it. The lace pattern is super simple and easily memorized and just works up so nicely in this yarn. I’m on the toe now and hope to cast of sock one tonight!

That’s all for today I think. Next week I hope I will be able to share more actual knitting with you. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and I look forward to checking in with  you again very soon 🙂

Happy knitting!

There has been a lot of knitting happening

Hi there, how are you? It’s been two weeks since I last posted and that’s because I had my mother over from Iceland and so I was extra busy. Also work has been very stressful lately and that has sort of drained my energy a lot and left me sort of bland, tired and just not interested in doing anything much.

I’m hoping things will slow down a bit at work but I know that realistically that is not likely to happen. I’ll be on vacation in 3 weeks and I can’t wait. We don’t know if we will go anywhere as money is very tight but at least I’ll be OFF WORK! That makes me smile!

Anyway this is supposed to be a knitting blog so here goes. As you may know, if you live in Europe or watch European knitting podcasts, we had a heat wave here and I was just melting in my room/office and yet that did not deter me from knitting. Knitting keeps me sane so I have to knit everyday whatever the temperature!

So since last time I have knit 3 pairs of socks. Two I knit for a family friend to gift to someone in South Korea! How exciting is that! She purchased some Icelandic Lett Lopi and I knit two socks out of that. I’m not used to knit so thick socks nor using Lett Lopi either as I’m a bit of a snob or a soft yarn snob should I say. But knitting with such thick yarn definitely made progress a breeze.

Here are my socks

The dark blue and grey ones, I improvised a rib pattern and just did my usual short row heel and rounded toe. The turquoise and blue ones I knit the Rye socks from Tin Can Knits. I’m quite happy with the outcome.

I also knit a pair of shorty socks for my youngest. She loved the yarn and immediately put her socks on. This last weekend she took them to a sleepover and…came home without them! GRRR, I’m so sad! I loved those socks and the yarn was not cheap! My daughter is also very distressed and we are hoping her friend will find the socks in her house. Cross our fingers and toes. And here they are

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The amazing yarn is from UK dyer Mothy and the squid.

I have also been working a lot on my sweaters and I actually managed to finish one! I have also made good progress on my other two and have now cast on for a new one that will be a Christmas gift! No I’m not THAT organised, it’s just that I recently got this pattern and purchased some yarn just for this and I couldn’t hold off any longer to cast on!

But first, drum rolls please, my 99% finished Sammal cardigan by Joji Locatelli. You have been hearing about this one and seeing my progress for the past months and I’m so proud to have finished the knitting. I now need to weave in the ends, sew on the buttons and wash and block!

I absolutely LOVE LOVE my cardigan. It looks beautiful, the handspun yarn looks and feels amazing! I’m sure I will get a lot of wear out of this one come winter. The pattern was easy to follow and fun to knit and I feel it fits me very nicely. This is the first time I have ever spun yarn for an entire garment and then dyed and knit it so this one truly is mine! From fluff to finished object!

And on to the other garments I’m still working on. I’m all about sweater knitting at the moment and sock knitting has been put on the back burner for the moment. I’m getting close to finishing my two sweaters and I already have yarn and patterns picked out for the next ones.

So first up is my So Faded sweater by Andrea Mowry. The pattern is simple and fun to knit, what I do not enjoy so much is the fading process. I don’t much enjoy the  part when one is fading from one color to the next. Also I feel that the colors in the kit I purchased especially for this knit, well they produce more of color blocks than a fading effect. At least compared to what I had imagined. I’m now on sleeve number 2 so I should be done in a few days.

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And then there is my Ravello by Isabelle Kramer. Now that is a wonderful pattern. I can definitely see myself knitting more of this. And you can personalise and change up the colors, do stripes, color blocks, fades or whatever and so have multiple versions of this sweater that will all look unique.

The grey yarn is one I hand dyed myself. This is a new base to me that I wanted to try out and I absolutely love it. It’s a mix of alpaca, silk and linen and it’s a joy to work with. It’s very light and airy and just feels so relaxed. It really feels like the perfect yarn for this relaxed pattern. The pink yarn is one I got while in the Golden Skein. Its a Wensleydale yarn and it feels totally different from my grey yarn. I didn’t much care for how it knit up in the stripes and so I only did 3 stripes and then I felt that a contrasting hem would be fun and I still think it is. Only I don’t like the texture. This yarn is stretchy and so while the sweater feels very loose and relaxed, the hem is stretched and just …not right. So I’m 99% sure I’ll rip the hem out once I’ve finished my second sleeve and then reknit it with my main yarn.

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One feature I like about this sweater is the large neck opening and the look which is sort of “un finished”. Also what I have noticed is that the sleeves go so much quicker when I knit them on short circulars. Just after half of sleeve one, I got this illumination that maybe short circulars would help me go quicker and so I changed to 9″ circulars and boum! The sleeve just flew off my needles so now I’m working sleeve 2 on 9″ circulars and I have ordered some more to be able to do the So Faded sleeve 2 also on a short circular.

And like I said earlier, I cast on for a new sweater. I thought that would be fine since I finished my Sammal cardigan. I had imagined I would finish all 3 garments BEFORE casting on for a new garment but…

So I found this gorgeous pattern on Ravelry called Rock Creek by Caitlin Hunter. I immediately knew I had to knit this and not only for myself but for my sister too! So I decided I would knit her one for Christmas. I didn’t have any suitable yarn in sufficient quantities so I ordered some online. The pattern calls for Malabrigo Rios but that was mostly variegated, at least in the shop I chose, so I went for Malabrigo Worsted which is a beautiful single ply yarn. I hope it will wear well. The pattern says that Malabrigo Rios grows a lot when blocked so I wondered if the Malabrigo Worsted would too and so asked my followers on IG if they had any experience with this and most said that all Malabrigo yarn they had used did grow. So I decided to go one size down and I hope I won’t regret that. I’ll be very careful the first time I wash and block the sweater. It is an oversized  chunky sweater that will look great over a tshirt and jeans I think. This is where I’m at now

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Sorry for the disarray on my desk 🙂 The front is seed stitch and the back is plain stockinette stitch. I like the color I chose too.

So that’s about all for today. This week I need to concentrate on a test knit that I’m doing for my friend Dana Gervais, another sock of course and it’s going nicely but slowly. I will also do my best to finish my two sweaters, the So Faded and the Ravello so I can cast on for two more. I will also be working on a new secret test knit – an open cardigan that I will be casting on for this week.

And there’s Tour de Fleece! I may have to do a post just on that! Are you taking part? I am for the first time and I have decided to concentrate on improving my spindle spinning skills rather than try and spin the most yardage. I’ll share pictures and more on that later.

Until next time, thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me. I have enjoyed sharing my knitting projects with you and maybe I have inspired you to cast on for a new sweater/cardigan too:)

 

Summer knitting

Hi there how are you? It’s been two weeks or so since I last posted and I’m sorry about that. It’s actually been somewhat hectic and stressful here lately and so I lacked the energy and time to come chat with you.

I have been super busy at work and there are a number of changes going on there which have me rather stressed out and that just sort of drained all my energy out and I found myself just on autopilot to get through the indispensable every day chores.

I did of course knit but less than usual and just wasn’t feeling very inspired. Work is still very busy and I’ve been doing extra hours but I’m feeling somewhat more inspired these last few days so I’m taking advantage of that today and so I’m going to share some of my knitting with you.

It’s been super hot here in Normandy lately and today it is super hot! Yesterday we went to the beach in the afternoon, around 4:30 and there was some wind so it was wonderful. We stayed to 7:30 and I didn’t want to leave! I could have stayed till 8 at least! The beach is so wonderful late afternoon after a very hot day. It just feels so amazing.

I spent my time knitting on a pair of test knit socks that have been languishing but need to be finished as I’m getting very close to the deadline! And as I knit I listened to an audio book and looked out over the ocean! Sounds like heaven doesn’t it?

Today I won’t be able to go to the beach but I think I’ll do some knitting in the shade in my backyard late afternoon when the heat has gone down a bit.

The thing I don’t like about summer and hot weather is that my hands sweat when I knit and so knitting is not as enjoyable as it usually is. Socks are a great summer project because they are so small but I of course have 3 sweaters on the go and these do keep me super warm and so these last few days have been a little bit neglected and yet I really want to get them done because I have so many more sweaters that I want to make!

What about you, do you knit less in summer/warmer weather? Do you have a preferred type of project you find yourself knitting in the warm weather?

So onto knitting. First lets show you my sock that I’m test knitting for Dana of Dana Gervais Designs. The pattern is called Lerwick and will be for sale on Ravelry in the coming weeks I believe. This is an all over cable and texture pattern and so slow going and it also eats up a lot of yarn I think. The pattern is gorgeous and not complicated at all.

I chose to knit this with a variegated yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings and I do like the results but should I knit this again, I would go for a solid or semi solid yarn. Its funny, or not, but as much as I love variegated and colorful yarns I still feel that solid or semi solid yarns are best suited for socks.

So I’m almost done with sock one, I’m at the toe decreases now so I’ll finish this one later today.

 

It’s not easy to show the patterning because of how busy the yarn is.

Next up is my Starting Point wrap by Joji. The last clue is out but I’m not quite done but very close. I do like the look of the wrap and the colors I chose but now that I know what the pattern actually looks like I have so many more ideas for color combinations.

starting point

This is very big and I hesitate to block it or not. Maybe I’ll just block it out loosely just to get it smoother but I won’t be stretching it as it is already very big. I have enjoyed knitting this wrap but now that I’m so close to finishing I really want to get this off my needles.

And so of my sweaters I have mostly been working on two lately, the Sammal cardigan and my So  Faded sweater. Both have the body done and a beginning of one sleeve.

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I do like the look of my So Faded sweater. When looking at it like this I don’t see the fading so much as I see color blocks but that’s ok. I was a little nervous about the lime green at the bottom but I actually really like it. I feel it gives the sweater this nice energetic pop. I’m knitting the sleeves one at a time and trying to document how I organize the colors so that my second sleeve will look as identical as possible to the first one. And one thing, the body of this sweater knit up in no time. Now knitting the sleeve that is so much smaller in circumference it’s taking way more time – I feel. Funny how that is but I really feel this is the same problem every time I have a sweater or cardigan on the needles.  Maybe I should knit to the armholes; do the sleeves and then knit the body. Maybe that way I would finish quicker as I’d get the sleeves out of the way at the beginning. Do you feel the same way about sleeves?

And then there is my Sammal Cardigan. I really want to get this one off my needles asap. it feels like such a long time ago that I cast on. The fact that this is an all over patterned garment makes it that much more time consuming. I’m at the elbow of sleeve one and I’m going to try and knit at least an inch every day on the sleeves so that I will get this done before the end of summer. How amazing will it be to have this handspun; hand dyed cardigan ready to wear this autumn when the weather cools?

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I have alternated my skeins in this project and I really like how the color is showing up. What I did is that I divided each skein in half and then paired one half with another half of another skein so all my skeins are divided and mixed up and I really like that. As this is hand dyed mixing up the skeins is almost a must and makes the end result that much more nicer I think.

I really love this cardigan and I can’t wait to finish it and the wear this winter. I’m already planning on knitting another cardigan (not this pattern though) with handspun.

So these are my current wips. I have a ton of languishing wips, mostly single socks and I just learned that the Grocery Girls are doing Second Sock of Summer Kal again this year and I definitely need to join that to keep me motivated and focused if I want to clear my basket of wips and get some of these gorgeous socks a mate.

I have also purchased and printed a ton of sweater patterns lately and I have been either dyeing sweater quantities myself or going through my stash to put together yarns that would work in a sweater so as soon as I have at least 2 out of 3 sweaters/cardi done, I’ll be casting on for more.

What about you? What are you knitting on these days? Do you have a game plan for your knitting this summer? Any special objective or challenge? I’d love to hear what you’re up to.

It might be two weeks before I post again because my mom is coming to visit from Iceland so I will be extra busy in the coming couple of weeks but I always post on Instagram so you can follow me there and see what I’m up to in the meantime.

That’s all for today. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending your time with me. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and that maybe my knitting has inspired you and I look forward to chatting with you again soon.

Happy knitting/crocheting/spinning/weaving etc:)

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a nice long weekend and that this week has begun well for you. I loved getting last Thursday off work. It was absolutely beautiful here, not a cloud in the sky and quite hot so we went to the beach with a few friends and spent hours just enjoying a lazy afternoon and all the kids were super happy swimming in the sea and playing in the sand. Just a great day and even if it was just one day, it totally felt like being on holiday. A day like that really breaks up the monotony of the workweek and gives you added stamina I feel.

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Unfortunately the beautiful weather has not lasted very long and since yesterday it rains! I do hope that will change soon. We have some of my husband’s family coming to visit this weekend. Soon there will be all the festivities and commemorations for the end of World War II here and usually we always have nice weather and hopefully this year will be no different.

Knitting wise I feel I haven’t accomplished much since last time we spoke. Thinking about this, I believe that is not due to lack of time as much as working on too many projects at the same time. Working on a gazillion things a little bit does mean slower progress on each individual thing.

So since last time I only have two finished objects and both are socks. The first one is the test knit that I had begun and shared with you last week. It’s a beautiful lacy pattern that is easily memorized. The heel construction is different from my usual heel and it was fun and easy to do. I do feel it renders a “shallow” heel. Not sure that’s the correct word but basically I think that for someone like myself that has a high instep it would be better to do a regular german short row heel or even a heel flap and gusset. I was knitting the smallest size this time so it’s for my youngest and it fits her fine so all’s well.

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I used my own hand dyed yarns and the heels and toes are in my SPARKLES base. It doesn’t show here but they do sparkle:)

The second finished object is one I cast on last week. And I will be doing more of those. So last Thursday as I was at the beach with my friends, I was knitting on the socks above and one of my friends made a few comments and hints that she would love some of my socks. I have knit her one pair so far plus some other items and she really loves my knitting and since her birthday is coming up in about 3 weeks I decided I should knit her some socks! I haven’t told her and so I’m not sharing pictures on Instagram or Facebook because I don’t want her to see them until I gift them to her.

Since it’s summer and I don’t have a lot of time either, I decided I’d do shorty socks. I recently purchased a lot of commercial sock yarn that I found at a great price online. Most were German brands I had never heard of but they seemed a lot like Regia and Opal and so I went for it and I have knit this first pair with one of those. The yarn feels wooly and so I imagine it is sturdy. It is machine washable which is good since she is not a knitter herself and I don’t think she would enjoy handwashing. The brand of yarn is called Woll Butt and the line – it’s self patterning- is called Badgastein. I think. It is 60% wool, 25% viscose and 15% polyamide. I really like how this knit up.

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And they are almost identical! I just made up the pattern doing my usual thing. I did knit 4, purl 2 for the top of the foot and then a german short row heel and my regular toe (not sure what it is called). These were super fast to make and I have now cast on for a second pair for her and this time I’m using self striping yarn from Mothy and the Squid, a UK based indie dyer. I only cast on last night so not much to show yet.

I’m of course still working on my Sammal using my handspun yarn. I’m getting close to finishing the body. I think I need to do maybe 4″ more and then I can do the ribbing. I need to check the Ravelry thread for this sweater spin for the last day of the kal which is either tomorrow, May 31st or June 30th. They did say that even if one doesn’t finish by the end of the kal, one is still eligible for the prize drawing so I need to get  picture there of where I’m at before the end. Here are some pictures I took of myself wearing the cardi about a week ago. Since these were taken I have made more progress on the body but otherwise it looks much the same.

 

And then I also cast on for a new garment! I was trying to hold off because I do have to finish my Sammal and I’m also knitting a tee shirt using some DK weight cotton yarn that I got in a swap and have yet to show you. Plus I have decided to join in the Faded knit along that Kristy Glass is hosting in her Ravelry group. Plus I have a pile of sweater patterns and yarns all waiting to be cast on! But you know me, no willpower when it comes to NOT casting on! And so of course I cast on for a Ravello sweater. I have had the pattern in my Ravelry library for a long time and I love the shape of the sweater and I have seen so many different versions of it that all look great.

I had also recently dyed up a new yarn base I wanted to test and see if I should sell. it’s 50% alpaca, 25% silk and 25% linen so it is soft, lightweight and yet warm and it has a halo. And I didn’t have any project in mind…until I decided on the Ravello by Isabelle Kraemer. And so I have cast on and I’m now past the armholes so now it’s just plain stockinette all the way to the bottom ribbing. It’s a top down raglan sweater that has some striping but the striping is more or less how you want. I knew I had this mohair and wensleydale blend hand dyed yarn from one of my Golden Skein installments. I only have one skein and I really did not know what to use it for and so I thought this might be the right project as this yarn has a halo like my hand dyed base. And this is fuschia pink and I had dyed my yarn light grey. And so I used this yarn for my stripes but there is something strange about this yarn because it knit up very unevenly. I’m hoping that once blocked it will look better and if not, well my sweater will have texture in addition to stripes 🙂

But because it looked “strange” I only did 3 stripes and I’m not going to stripe the sleeves. I am wondering though if I should knit the sleeve cuffs in this pink yarn alone (maybe it just needs to be knit on its own and not in stripes with another yarn) and maybe do a couple of rows and bind off for the body ribbing in this also. Just to give a pop of colour. I think that might be fun. Here’s a picture of where I’m at now.

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I think you can see that the pink stripes look a lot less even than my grey yarn.

And of course there is the Joji Mystery Wrap that I’m knitting on. Clue three is out and I’m almost at the end of clue 2. I got distracted so I didn’t manage to finish clue 2 before the next one was published. I really need to get a grip this week so as not to fall too far behind. Just in case you are doing the mystery kal too but don’t want to see spoiler pictures I will not share a picture here just yet.

I think this is about all for today. I recently indulged myself with some knitting magazines and I think I should share my thoughts of them in the near future and also… the Maker of the Month. Maybe you are getting impatient for the maker of this month and I want to apologize but I have just gotten so behind and so I think there will be no maker this month; after all there is just one more day left this month but I promise there will be one this June and I’ll try to do it before mid June so you don’t have to wait much longer.

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your precious time with me. Sharing my thoughts and knitting projects with you brings me such happiness and seeing the number of subscribers to the blog rise slowly but surely is so motivating. I’m thinking once I reach 200 subscribers I’ll do a giveaway to celebrate and thank you all! I believe I currently have 183 subscribers so I’m getting there:)

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to speaking to you again soon:)

Yarn Cake in Glasgow, Scotland

Hi there, I hope this post finds you in good health today. I’m doing fine and looking forward to getting my Thursday off work but Thursday is a public holiday here and in Iceland and most likely in many other countries. A short workweek is always fun. I don’t have any special plans for my day off but I believe the weather should be gorgeous so just maybe we’ll go to beach for some fresh sea air. It’s been super nice here weather wise lately and I believe the rest of this week should also be sunny and warm.

Today I’m going to share with you my trip to Yarn Cake in Glasgow, Scotland. I went there last April as you may know and for some reason I have yet to share my visit to this particular yarn shop so here goes:)

So before going to Glasgow, I had done some research online and asked for advice on Ravelry and Yarn Cake was one of two shops recommended to me.

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The shop seen from the upper level

Yarn Cake is a tine yarn shop slash café in a rather affluent part of Glasgow, close to the university. For me as a tourist, I did not find the location convenient and I would never have stumbled upon the shop by accident. It did take some time to get there and back.

As the name indicates, should you go there you can get both yarn and cake. The shop is in a tiny space and when you enter, on your left you have I think 3 little tables where you can sit down and have coffee and cake and on the right side wall you have shelves of yarns, mostly Drops when I was there. Then you can go up a few steps and there you have a kitchen (where they bake and prepare the food and drinks they serve) and some more yarn.

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Kitchen and yarns

I went there with my 16 year old son and so I just looked around and touched some yarn. Sitting down for anything else was not really an option.

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The shop offers mostly commercial yarns like Drops, Lang, Opal and WYS. They did have yarn from one local indie dyer and then also some yarns from Baa Ram Ewe too.

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So what did I think? Well, they do have some lovely yarns and the husband of the owner who was there was quite nice. What I liked less was the location (seen from a tourist standpoint) and also it felt somewhat cramped. If you have any more than 3-4 shoppers at at time, looking at yarn could get complicated.

I of course did not leave empty handed. So I bought a few things like a skein of Titus Aire from Baa Ram Ewe

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I also bought a few balls of Lang sock yarn and what is fun about this yarn is that inside each ball of yarn you have a spool of nylon thread in the same color to knit alongside the yarn when doing heels and toes. This is meant to reinforce those areas that tend to get worn out first.

 

And last but not least, I bought a few balls of Jamieson and Smith Shetland wool in different colors. I don’t have any plans yet for those. They just looked nice and they are local sort of so… I just need to find a fun fair isle pattern for maybe a tam or mittens for these.

jameson and smith yarn cake

So that concludes my tales of my visit to Scotland and I hope you have enjoyed reading about that.

Before I leave you, I thought I should give you a little update on my current works in progress.

First there is a pair of socks that I’m test knitting for Dana Gervais. I have almost gotten to the toe of sock one. I’m knitting the smallest size this time so they will be for my youngest. I’m knitting out of my own hand dyed yarns, SOX for the main color and SPARKLES for the heel and toe.

 

This is a beautiful pattern with a simple pattern repeat that soon becomes intuitive. The heel construction is rather new to me. I do think I have done this type of heel before but I’m not a 100% sure.

And then I’m working on my Sammal cardigan. This is part of the Sweater Spin kal being held by Sue of Legacy Fibre Artz and Andi of Andre Sue Knits. This is my first big spinning project as I spun all the yarn on my wheel, then dyed it and now I’m knitting the cardigan and loving it!

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The pictures show you the front at different stages of completion. This is an all over patterned cardigan so it does take some time to knit and I think the kal runs to June 1st so I will not finish in time but that’s ok. They inspired me to do my first garment spin and I definitely want to make more and already have a ton of plans for future sweaters and cardigans using my handspun yarn.

That’s all for today. I hope you are doing well and wish you a wonderful week ahead with hopefully lots of crafting time and nice weather. Speak to you soon 🙂