Knitting, spinning and so forth

Hi there, how’s it going for you this week? Well I hope. Maybe you are even on holiday by now? Lucky you if you are:) I’m not on vacation yet not until the last week of July and this year we will mostly do staycation but that’s ok because we are lucky enough to live close to beautiful beaches so if the weather is nice we can do plenty of beach going and knitting.

But until then it’s work and a lot of it. Plenty of stress and hard work so thank goodness for knitting! As knitting is one of very few things that keep me sane!

And speaking of knitting, well as always I have a gazillion things on the needles, way more than I’d like to admit and that can only mean one thing: slow progress on each project!

A side effect of having a lot of projects on the needles at the same time is that progress on each one is limited and projects can even find themselves put aside for an X amount of time…some may even end up in the scary pile of …ufos.

So currently, I am mostly doing garment knitting as you will have noticed if you follow my blog and social media. I’m in a sort of sock slump. I usually knit a pair of socks or should I say finish a pair of socks every 7-10 days but lately I have been concentrating on my garments and socks have been left aside. I do need to pick them up as I have a ton to finish not to mention I signed up for Tour de Sock which starts this coming July 15th! More on that later.

so faded 4jul

So on the garment side, I’m still working on my So Faded sweater. I only have half a sleeve and a neck line to go and for some reason I keep putting the sweater aside and find myself systematically picking something else, anything else up instead. I think I really do not enjoy the “fading” process. The pattern is great and I can definitely see myself making more of these but only in one color or maybe do some stripes but no fading! I’m knitting this as part of the Fadito kal being hosted by Kristy Glass and the kal runs until August 20th I believe so I really need to finish by then and shame on me if I don’t because there really is not much left!

And then there is the Ravello by Isabelle Kramer. I absolutely love that pattern and I have finished my first one. I have shared pictures of my progress here with you and I absolutely love the yarn that I chose to knit this with and one day I might order some more to dye up for the shop because it was a joy to work with and has produced such a lightweight garment and yet so warm. If you don’t remember what that yarn was, it is a blend of 50% alpaca, 25% linen and 25% silk. And so here are a couple of pictures of your’s truly wearing the finished Ravello!

 

And would you believe that the day following my cast off, I actually cast on for a second one! I have more of Isabelle Kramer sweaters and some are similar in construction to this one and so I really should have cast on for another pattern of hers but I was just to enamoured with this one.

This time around I chose a fingering weight yarn from my favorite UK dyer, Knit Cosmic Strings in a colorway that I like. I had 3 skeins of this particular colorway and then I needed a fourth one in a contrasting color for stripes and I found this one skein in a sort of neon green and yellow with some black and purple which I thought would be perfect. Well it turns out to be too similar to my main color so the stripes don’t really show up. I was  too lazy to rip  back, find a new yarn and start over so I just kept going. Of course this was not the right way to go about this as each sweater does take a significant number of hours to complete and the price per skein of hand dyed yarn is quite high. But I think this will be ok in the end. I think this sweater will look nice with jeans and this yarn is softer and feels less warm to the touch than the other one so I’m thinking Ravello One will be great for really cold days and Ravello Two for the autumn and early spring. Anyway we’ll see but here’s a picture of where I’m at today. The two skeins below are of my main color still in the skein and then the two yarn cakes are my main color on the right and my contrast color on the left.

Looking at the picture I do see the green/orange stripe but I don’t know…

ravello 2 11JUL

Here you can see the sweater better. The yarn is very busy, I mean the main color but I like the colors and I hope this will look nice on me once it’s done.

And the last garment that I can show you and I’m working on these days is the Rock Creek by Caitlin Hunter. I’m knitting this using Malabrigo worsted which is a singles yarn and I hope it will hold up well to wear in spite of it being a singles yarn. I knit a size S as I have been told this will grow once washed and the recipient is somewhere between a size S and a size M. Cross my fingers and hope this will fit her in the end.

I’m at the arms right now. I now need to cast on for a sleeve and I think that I need to knit both sleeves and then they will be joined to the body and the yoke will be knit in one piece. It has been a long time since I knit a bottom up sweater and even longer since I knit this type of yoke. The front is in seed stitch and the back in stockinette and I did some short row shaping on the back for it to be longer than the front. I think this will be a super cozy sweater and a joy to wear with a pair of jeans in the Icelandic winter.

rock creek 11JUL

And I also joined Tour de Fleece which is an event for spinners and we spin every day along with the athletes doing the Tour de France bicycle race. My goal with this first participation was to work on my spindle spinning skills and I have but not as much as I had hoped for. I have bit spun as much as I had intended on my spindles but what little I have, I have enjoyed and I feel there is some improvement. I think the reason why I have been spinning more on my wheel than on my spindles is because I had this exciting project on my wheel already when the Tour began and I have been unable to put that aside. I’m planning on making a two ply barber pole, multi colored yarn. So one ply is a mix of all sorts of merino yarns in lots of different colors and the second ply is just undyed roving. I’m using a BFL and triobal (nylon) blend for the white ply because I might decide to make socks with the resulting yarn. I have finished spinning the multi colored merino and I’m currently spinning the BFL. On my spindle I’m spinning a beautiful blend of merino and silk; the same as what I used for my Sammal Cardigan.

 

I think this is all I have to share with you today. Like I said earlier, I did sign up for Tour de Sock and my intention was to compete but seeing as how my sock mojo has since come to a halt, I might just knit along at my own very slow pace. Anyway, at least I’m supporting a good cause since the money raised from registration goes to Doctors without Borders.

So until next time, have a wonderful week and hopefully lots of crafting time:)

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.

so faded 4jul

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.

ravello 4jul

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:)

 

It’s mostly about the garments

Hi there, how are you? I was going to post yesterday but didn’t feel very inspired so I decided to wait till I did feel inspired so as not to bore you! After all you do come here to spend a few minutes enjoying yourself. I hope 🙂

So like today’s title says, it’s all about the garments. I’m suddenly wanting to knit all the sweaters and cardigans. I have a ton of yarn but mostly just individual skeins as I was always thinking SOCKS. So now that I’m all about sweaters that is a little bit of a challenge. Purchasing gorgeous yarns in sweater quantities is not always an option financially and I have to admit that I am trying to limit my yarn purchases and have been very serious about that for the past month and cross my fingers I will be for the coming 6 months or so. Being a yarn dyer I do have an advantage over some as I do have some stock of undyed yarn and can thus just use it for myself and dye in the color I want. Business wise that is of course not the greatest of ideas but hey.

So let me share with you my current most worked on wips. I do have a few socks going but I’m not really working on them these days.

So first up is my oldest of the current wips, my Sammal cardigan by Joji Locatelli. I ‘m knitting it out of my own handspun and hand dyed yarn. This is the first time ever that I have spun for an entire garment and it has inspired me to do so again. I have shown you pictures of this cardigan here before but some progress has been made since last time. I’m now on the last rows of the bottom ribbing. I’m so close to casting off the body and hope I can do so in the days to come. Then it will be on to the sleeves. Knitting on a number of garments simultaneously does mean that each garment does not get all the attention it deserves so finishing takes a lot longer. But that’s ok. This is how I’m currently rolling and as summer is here, I won’t be needing my garments till autumn and I figure I’ll have them finished by then.

So here’s a picture of my Sammal I took this morning.

sammal cardi june 8

I really love it. You may not see it in this picture but I have made a mistake in the cable the left side in this picture. Twice!!!! But I noticed when I was well beyond that and was too lazy to rip back so I’m keeping it like this. I don’t think everyone will focus on these mistakes and they just remind me that nothing in life is perfect.

ravello june 8

Then onto my Ravello. I have had the pattern in my queue for a long time. I really love the shape of this sweater and I have seen so many different versions of it. People play with stripes or color blocks. Basically you can do as you wish.

I dyed up a new yarn base that I wanted to test and used for this sweater. It’s a 50% alpaca, 25% linen, 25% silk. It is a joy to work with and so I might buy some for the shop in the future. I dyed the yarn in a light grey and love how it took the dye. For the stripes I used a skein I got from the Golden Skein. It’s a mohair and Wensleydale blend so feels somewhat similar to my yarn however it knit up all strange and crinkly. So I decided not to do more stripes and  just use the rest of the contrast yarn for cuffs and maybe the hem. This has become my bedtime knitting as it’s now just stockinette stitch round and round.

And my latest cast on is the So Faded sweater by Andrea Mowry. I actually splurged on a set of yarns from Legacy Fibre Artz for this sweater (before I went on my restricted yarn buying). The yarn is lovely and I think I will really love the outcome even though most of the colors are not really what I would normally go to.

so faded

For this sweater I have joined Kristy Glass’s first kal the Fadito! It’s a kal she is hosting in her Ravelry group where the objective is to knit a garment using the fading technique. Any garment pattern, adult size, works. If you are working on a faded garment you should join:)

Here’s where I’m at this morning.

so faded june 8

I started to fade a few rounds before separating for the sleeves so that when I separated I started on the new color and cut the old one. I’m not quite sure how much I will knit of each color before fading into the next. I’m thinking somewhere between 5 and 6 inches maybe and then the fading section is about an inch each time. I also think that beginning a new color on the separating row makes fading on the sleeves easier but I guess that will be proven or not when I get there:)

And last but not the least and this is not technically a garment but it is a current wip and has about the same yardage as a garment so I’m sharing anyway, its my Starting Point shawl/wrap by Joji Locatelli. This is a mystery kal that I’m sure you have heard all about and if you are not avoiding spoilers you have also seen what it looks like. I

If you do not want to see pictures to keep the surprise to your project, then I will say goodby to you here. Thank you for stopping by and I’ll speak to you soon 🙂

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Ah you are still here! Youpi! So on to the Starting Point. It’s a wrap/shawl that is knit in two pieces and so you knit each clue twice and as this is quite a big piece, that can make keeping up with the clues a challenge. Another challenge with this project is all the ends that need weaving in! You use 5 different colors and as a multicolored project that makes for a ton of ends! I try to weave in my ends after each clue because otherwise I would just give up.

Currently 4 clues are out and I believe the 5th and last clue is to come out tomorrow. I have finished clue 4 on one half and I’m planning on working on clue 4 on the second half tonight but I doubt I’ll finish this evening as it is a lot of knitting.

I do like how this is knitting up and I love the yarn I chose which is my own, Back to Basics, non superwash fingering weight merino yarn. I did make a mistake though. Not sure what’s up with me these days but I seem to make way more mistakes in my knitting than usual.

So what happened is that on one half I inverted colors 4 and 5. When I discovered that I was way past the mistake point and if I had ripped back I knew I would have been unable to keep up with the clues. So I wondered if I should keep the colors as I had knit them so that the two pieces would NOT be identical or if I should get back on track and these two sections would just be inverted and nothing else. I went with the latter solution and when I look at it now, even if you can definitely see this, I think it will still be ok. I admit I did actually ponder ripping back yesterday. But that would mean ripping back to the beginning of clue 2 on one piece and that is just soooooooo much knitting! So I’m just keeping this as is!

Here is a picture of the half where clue 4 is done

starting point clue 4

And here is one where you see the two halfs together

starting point clue 3 and 4

What do you think? Would you have ripped back to fix the mistake?

Well that’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your precious time with me. Have a wonderful rest of the week and an even better weekend!

Happy knitting 🙂

My knitting, a shop update and life in general

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was just fine, mostly the same as always except that on Saturday evening I went out to dinner with my husband celebrating 23 years together! That’s actually more than half my life!

We went to a restaurant over in the next village which is very nice and we had a wonderful dinner. Every time we go out to dinner, we say we need to do so more often. But we never manage to. Life between work and family just doesn’t leave much time for restaurants or maybe it’s us and we don’t TAKE the time. Anyway, it was a welcomed change and the food was delicious.

Saturday I also took the time to do a much needed shop update. I have been dyeing a little here and there but not putting anything up in the shop. So Saturday I finally took all the pictures and labelled my yarns and the uploaded them to Etsy just yesterday, Monday. The shop has not been getting a lot of love from me lately and that has shown in less and less sales. I hope that the new yarns I put up for sale will bring a customer or two. I did a bunch of my new base, Merino Light, which is a singles yarn that is super soft and a joy to knit with. Julia of the Happy Knitting Podcast raved about this yarn in her last 2 episodes and she is about to release a new shawl design using this yarn with another fingering weight yarn. That is why I decided it might be a good time to add some more to the shop if someone wanted to knit her shawl using the same yarn.

Anyway, if you are interested in seeing my latest yarns and my shop you can click here and the link will take you to my Etsy shop.

And now on to the knitting. I feel like I have not made much progress from last week. I still haven’t finished my Dexter cardigan although I’m soooo close. And I think I can honestly say that I will finish the knitting TODAY! After all I only have a few rounds of ribbing left on my second sleeve and voila!

dexter-cardigan-sleeves

See? I’m almost there! And then I’ll need to weave in the ends and choose my buttons. This has really been an enjoyable knit and maybe that’s why I’m taking my time to finish. I don’t want to stop knitting on this. Plus the yarn is sooooo soft! I have even been thinking of casting on for a second one. But that might not be reasonable given that I have a gazillion cardigan patterns in my Ravelry library that also need knitting.

Here you can have a better look at my almost finished Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer.

I really like the outcome. I think that using a solid and a variegated yarn together gives a fun result and I think this will go well with jeans. The lace yarns I used are not cobweb fine so holding two together gives me the correct gauge even though the pattern was written for a fingering weight yarn. I used 2 different variegated skeins, one for the body and another one for the sleeves. The one in the sleeves was very pastel coloured and muted so when looking at pictures you can hardly see anything but  grey. When looking at the cardigan up close the sleeves look like a muted version of the body so that is just perfect. So if you are looking for a simple and yet fun cardigan to knit, I can definitely recommend this pattern.

I have also been knitting on another Harry Potter knit for my daughter. I’m knitting a pair of socks and the pattern is called Dragon’s Egg. It’s actually designed for men so I’m knitting the smallest size and yet it looks quite big. I’m turning the heel now and once that’s done, I’m going to have her try them on to see if she wants me to continue or if this is just way too big for her.

This is a highly patterned knit so I need some quiet to concentrate and follow the pattern. I chose a yarn that I purchased a while ago and haven’t had the chance to use up until now. I saw this yarn on Etsy and just had to buy it but once I got it, my excitement dwindled quite quickly. It’s a stellina yarn but the stellina is actually harsh. It’s strange. My stellina bases are super soft and you can’t tell by touching if you are touching the merino or the stellina and I honestly thought that was how all stellina yarns were. Until I got this one… And because the yarn is hash and not enjoyable to the touch, I haven’t been making the progress I was hoping to. I don’t really enjoy knitting with this yarn and so I have to make myself pick this up to continue. And it’s a shame. Even worse, I purchased 3 skeins total in this base. All gorgeous colours but….This yarn can only be used for socks because way to harsh for a shawl and even mittens I think. The yarn company is called Lanitium ex Machina and they are on Etsy. Of course, I have only tried this one base from them so I can’t speak about any of their other yarns, but this one is definitely not for the sensitive knitter.

Anyway here are some pictures of where I’m at now and you will agree, I think, that the yarn is beautiful….to look at 🙂

 

I also cast on for something new. I have this new niece that is to be born in December and I really want to knit her something but I have been having like a “knitters block”. I have been browsing the web looking for cute baby patterns and I have found some of course and then I cast on, only to rip everything out after a few rounds. Just not feeling it. That is, util I saw a post on Instagram. I follow a few Scandinavian knitwear designers and I think their really look different and feel so fresh and just generally speak to me. And so I saw this post with pictures of a onesie by a designer I have never heard of. I liked it so much I immediately clicked through to Ravelry and bought the pattern.

Its called Trilitunge Newborn Onesie and it is gorgeous! I found a beautiful yarn in my stash from Cascade, Cascade Heritage which is a merino and mulberry silk blend. The colour is a beautiful turquoise which I feel can work for both boys and girls. I’m going to put in pink buttons and I think that will be just perfect.

I have of course cast on and I’m just past the underarms. The construction was a little confusing to begin with but now that I’m this far it’s actually easy to understand and the stitch pattern is easily memorised. So far I’m really enjoying this knit. I’m knitting the second size, 1-3 months. I think I’ll then knit a pair of socks and maybe a hat and voila! I have taken some pictures of this but because of the construction, the front being open, it’s not easy to picture at this stage but I hope you get the picture.

 

The second picture shows the back. So you see you have these cables on each side and a lace pattern for the front and back. I think this is really beautiful and I wish this was written in more sizes but the I guess one could maybe just go up a needle size or two for a somewhat bigger onesie.

That’s about it for my knitting. I haven’t yet decided what I’ll knit one once my Dexter is done! I have a gazillion single socks that need mates, another gazillion just started or half done socks. Not to mention a close to finished sweater and a cardi that needs to either be done with or ripped out! Somehow I’m not being inspired by all these and I’m thinking maybe I’ll just cast on something completely new. Like a shawl design by Romi Hill for which I actually bought a kit from Miss Babs yarns!

The shawl is called Simee Dimeh and its a gorgeous mosaic knitting shawl design. I’ve never done mosaic knitting and the idea of diving into something new to me with lots of gorgeous colours sounds so enticing. Just sitting here and writing about this, I’m getting more and more excited about this so most likely you’ll be seing that shawl next time I blog:)

Here’s a picture from Romi’s pattern page on Ravelry

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Doesn’t this look gorgeous! These are actually the colours that I chose for my kit. Have you knit this pattern by any chance? Or have you maybe done some mosaic knitting? I’d love to hear from you on that and see pictures if you have made this shawl or something similar.

Well, that’s about all for today I think. I need to finish my Dexter and wind up some new yarns before work! Oh and on the subject of work! If you have been following me here for a while, you will know that I have a full time job in addition to my Etsy shop. I like the company I work for, I like the industry I work in but the actual job itself…I feel I’ve sort of done it all, seen it all and I really want to change but it’s not easy. I’ve been doing this for so long that even imagining doing something else is difficult. It’s as if doing this same job for X years had somehow stripped me of any and all other capacities and I can’t even think  what I might be good at or what type of job I should apply for. Has this happened to you? Maybe I’m going through some midlife crisis here but I really feel I need to challenge myself and take on something new and exciting. I’m sure there are a million things I can do and as many if not more that I can learn to do. I know that. But actually putting those thoughts/things on paper and find this new and exciting job opportunity seems out of my reach at the moment. I need to motivate myself, reassure myself and throw myself out there for all recruiters to see! So if you have knowledge of an exciting job I could apply for and do from my home in Normandy, I’m all ears!

Sorry if today’s post was too personal or too much rambling for your opinion. Usually my posts are really knitting focused so this is not a typical post. I apologise if this bothered your.

Thank you for stopping by my little blog today and for sharing some of your precious time with me. I really appreciate that. I have gotten some heartwarming messages from readers saying how much they love my blog and encouraging me to continue and I really appreciate that.

So until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting 🙂

My latest knits

Hi there again, it’s only been a few days since I last posted but I didn’t share with you my progress in that post. I do hope you took a look at the Antonia shawl I told you about a few days ago and that you were able to take advantage of the 50% off coupon code. If you did purchase the pattern, I’d love to see your finished shawl in the future so hopefully some of you will be sharing pictures of that later on.

Now on to my own knitting. So since last time, I have been knitting on a few projects. First finished object is my second Harry Potter fandom knit. This is for my oldest daughter who fell in love while browsing the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine from Interweave. So that means I have now finished two projects and have 5 more to go! I will be casting on for project number 3 today.

So I just finished a pair of fingerless mittens called Hermione’s Time Turner mitts. These are an all over cable pattern with the letter H double stitched on the front. This was a small project but because of all the cables it did take me some time to finish. It’s not a pick up/put down constantly project so I only knit on this when I had enough time to do a few pattern repeats.

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I really like how these turned out. The yarn is a dark chocolate brown so the picture is quite dark but I hope you get the idea. Luckily my daughter loves them! So next up will be a pair of socks called Dragon’s Egg Socks. Those are actually written for men but I’ll knit the smallest size and just adjust the length. I have already wound up my yarn and printed out the pattern so all is ready to go.

The second finished object this week is a pair of thrummed slippers. I have been wanting to try thrums for a long time and I finally did it. The motivation was cold fee! As you may know, I work from home and so I sit at my desk for 8h a day and during the winter the house is not super warm, especially my bedroom which is where I work from. And so I find myself having frozen feet especially when I work the evening shift and so I thought I just had do something about this and decided to knit a pair of thrummed slippers. I went to Ravelry of course to look around for ideas and I found a paid for pattern by the Cozy Knitter called Thrummed Slippers. It’s a super simple pattern at a good price so I went ahead and purchased that. The pattern is written for a woman’s medium size. I’m very tall so I thought I’d go up a few needle sizes to accommodate for that….I really shouldn’t have!

I used my 100%BFL Aran yarn and some roving from my stash. The pattern is written for needle size 5mm or US8 and I used 6mm or US 10. This resulted in a very loose fabric and that is what I don’t like about my slippers. They did turn out ok though and I shared pictures of them on Instagram and got a lot of likes and nice compliments so I guess “from afar” they look better than up close:)

But it’s ok, these are just to be used when at my desk and not while I’m about the house or in the presence of others. And the other night I tried them and wow they are perfect! Super warm and fuzzy and the roving really keeps the feet warm. So all in all I’m happy with my new slippers. My kids loved them and two have asked me to knit them a pair so I have dyed up some more of my BFL Aran wool and I’ll be casting on for those next weekend I think.

But here’s a picture so you can see for yourself

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What do you think? They do look cozy, there is no denying that:)

My big wip at the moment is the Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer. I’m knitting that using two lace weight yarns held together in stead of a fingering weight yarn. I shared with you a while back the yarns I dyed up for this. One is all grey and the others are variegated. I did dye up a lot more than I actually need. Lace yarns are just never ending! Currently I have finished the body, button band and all. And I’m on sleeve number one. So I used the grey and the variegated yarn for the body and then I used only the grey held double for the ribbing, neck and button bands. Then it was time for the first sleeve. I was wondering if I should do the sleeves in all grey too. I don’t think I had enough left of the first variegated skein to knit both sleeves and as I did the ribbing and button bands in all grey, I was wondering if I should stick to that and not add a new color to the equation.

Finally I decided that I would add a second variegated skein as I had planned for. I chose the softest/lightest coloured one so it actually looks quite grey but it still has some mauve and pinks in there. I’m almost done with the decreases so I’m guessing I’ll finish the sleeve this week and get going on the second so hopefully this cardigan will be all done in a week to ten days.

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The lighting is not good on this picture but you get an idea of where I’m at and what the colours look like.

When this one is done, I really should pick up the two big wips I have abandoned for months, a sweater for my daughter and a cardigan for myself so hopefully I’ll be able to refrain from casting on another cardi or sweater and get at least one of these two done!

I’m also knitting on a pair of simple socks using a sock blank and I think I’m going to do a post just about that. A lot of people are not familiar with sock blanks or they have seen them but are hesitant to buy and use them so I think that could be an interesting topic and to see how one knits up and so forth. I have one sock done and the second is about 30% done now so once I’m all done and the socks have been blocked and so forth I’ll be sharing that experience with you here.

That’ s all for today. I hope you have enjoyed spending some time with me today. I really enjoy sharing my knitting life with you. I don’t have any knitting friends where I live so the blog is such a happy place for me to share and get positive feedback and encouragement for my work. So thank you so much for stopping by and spending some of your precious time in my company.

I hope you will have a wonderful rest of the week and an even better weekend. Take care and “see” you soon:)

A Sweater, a scarf and a pair of socks

The title is not a wish list or even a want to knit list. Not the title is actually a list of WHATS OFF MY NEEDLES! Can you believe that?

Oups, I’m so excited that I actually forgot to say hi! So, lets begin again.

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you are doing good and that you had a wonderful weekend and that your week is looking to be a good one too.

Here in Normandy we had a sunny weekend and so far it continues to be sunny but the air has cooled down considerably. A bright and sunny day no longer equals  stifling hot weather. Especially in the morning, it feels quite cool so I’m going to have to reorganise my closet and put the tshirts to the back and the sweaters and cardigans to the front. Lucky for me I have lots of hand knit woollen things:)

So back to business! Since I last posted, just over a week ago I have actually finished 3 big projects! Let me share those with you in the order of accomplishment.

So first I finished the pair of socks. The pattern is called Falling Leaves and is by Nancy Whitman and is for sale on Ravelry. I used one of my own hand dyed  yarns in a merino and bamboo base.

I enjoyed knitting this pattern and it is a fairly simple one as the patterning is only on the cuff. The rest of the sock is in 1 x 2 twisted rib. The twisted knit stitches may not be for everyones liking. Mostly twisted stitches are used in cuffs and even then I hear people complain about not liking them so if that is the case for you, you may not enjoy knitting this particular pattern as the entire sock has twisted knit stitches. If like me, you don’t mind then go ahead. The socks look really nice.

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These will either be for me or my mum. I haven’t decided just yet.

And then there was the scarf and I must admit, I still need to block it and I think I’ll steam block it rather than wash and lay out as it is really super long. I have woven in the ends and added the fringes and all and I’m quite pleased with the results and so is the recipient; my daughter. So here again, I used my own hand dyed yarn. I chose an Aran weight MCN base and I blended the colours with the help of my daughter. It was quite tricky to get the right sort of burgundy colour but I think that in the end I really did nail it! Only this was a one off, so I didn’t write down what I did so no way will I ever be able to repeat this!

Anyway, I had originally hoped she wanted a textured scarf, maybe brioche or something to make the knitting a little more interesting for me but no, she only wanted a plain stockinette scarf. It took a while to knit but not too long as the yarn is Aran weight and I knit on needles 5.50 mm or US size 9 so it did knit up quickly when I sat down to knit.

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Now that the scarf is done, I need to decide what to knit next from her list of Harry Potter inspired knitwear. On here list there are still 2 pairs of socks, 2 mittens and 2 cardigans! I will need to have her go through my stash and choose the yarn for the socks and mittens. I will then dye up for the cardigans as I know I don’t have enough of any particular yarn/colour to do them. I did not use a pattern for the scarf. I just browsed on Ravelry to see what others had done and then cast on. After all, this is a super simple project.

And then the last project to fly off my needles, and I just cast that off last night! That is the Spin Raglan sweater by Andrea Mowry. I cast that on, on September 23rd and I finished like I said last night October 3rd so super quick for an adult sized sweater I think. Of course the fact that this is an Aran weight sweater did help:)

I dyed up the yarn myself using an Aran weight base in 100% BFL, non super wash. I dyed this up in a super soft light blue/almost light grey colour. And I did a SWATCH! Amazing! Still being unsure of myself, I dyed up more yarn than I expected to need and I now have 3 full skeins left over. One has already been wound into a cake so I will use that one for a hat or mittens maybe. The other two just might find their way into the shop.

I have woven in all the ends, I just need to block it and the sweater is ready for me to wear and I’m sure I will be using it  a lot. This will be just perfect with a pair of jeans.

img_6075 I love the garter stitch shoulders detail.

I feel like I have achieved quite a lot knitting wise these past few days. I still have a ton of wips and I need to go choose one or two from the pile to give some love now. At the moment, I’m working on my daughters sweater from Drops/Garnstudio that I haven’t shown you yet. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to do. I just need to finish about half a sleeve and I’ll be ready to assemble the pieces and then knit the neck line. So that is in a project bag next to my desk just waiting to be picked up.

I also have my Brynja cardigan by the lovely Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. I think I have done something wrong so I may have to rip back and start again but that ‘s not sure so I just need to pluck up the courage to open the infamous project bag and look at what I have done so far and compare to the pattern. It is a gorgeous, aran weight winter cardigan that I know I will love and as autumn is here, I really should  pick it up and just finish once and for all.

And also in my pile of wips are a number of half done socks, just begun socks and a ton of to be knit socks and shawls. The to be knit projects are projects I definitely want to make and so I have prepared a project bag for each with the right size needles, a print out of the pattern and the yarn. All ready to go. Maybe I should not have done this because now it makes my “pile of wips” look like a mountain that I’m having a hard time climbing. So next item I take out of the mountain will have to be a half done one, not a to be knit one.

But I also have a project going that I started sometime last week I believe. It’s the Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer. It is written for fingering weight yarn but I chose to use two lace weight yarns held together. I dyed one yarn a solid grey and the other is a variegated yarn in a multitude of colours. Both yarn bases are merino and silk so super soft and the one I used for the variegation also has some stellina. I really love how the cardigan is knitting up and it is fun to see how far I can knit with just one skein of lace weight yarn. I actually dyed 3 of each yarn base, knowing I would not actually need three, but probably one and a half or so. At the moment I’ve made good progress on the body and I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough with the first skeins to finish the body. And that has brought on a new question. Should I change my plans and only do the body in the grey/variegated combo and then do neckline, button band and sleeves in solid grey? Or should I continue as I had planned and do the entire cardigan in the grey/variegated combo? What do you think?

Here’s a picture of where I’ m at now

img_6073  The colours look a bit washed out on this picture I’m sorry. Let me know what you think.

Well, I think that’s about all I have for you today. My hands felt a little tired yesterday so I think I may need to slow down a bit on my knitting as I don’t want to overdo it and not be able to knit for a few days or worse, longer than that. So I might try to just knit less each day.

Anyway I hope you have enjoyed stopping by today and seeing my projects. I do love sharing my knitting with you as where I live I don’t know any other knitters so a part from my blog and my social media, knitting wise I’m a bit alone!

I hope you have a wonderful and productive week and I look forward to posting again next week. Take care 🙂

Lots of knitting

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing great and that you had a wonderful weekend.

When I look back at the week that just passed, I see that I have done loads of knitting. It’s been a while since I’ve had this much to share with you. So let’s get started:

First off, I finished my Audrey cardigan or at least the knitting part. I still have to weave in the ends and sew on the buttons. I really enjoyed knitting this cardigan and I want to knit a second one.

I was unsure about which size to knit and being the not serious knitter I am, I did not make a swatch. As my cardigan grew I realised that I should have knit one size down because the pattern is written for  negative ease and my cardigan has positive ease. For the body of the cardigan that’s fine but for the sleeves it was really too much and so I knit those one size down. I also like the yarn I chose for this project, my merino singles yarn that I dyed in a subtle brown/beige color. It is super soft and the color will work with everything I think. Next time around, I’ll use my SOX base (merino/nylon) and I’ll knit the correct size that will give me the fit the pattern calls for.

But overall I’m really happy with the outcome. I just need to decide on the buttons and finish up.

The second pictures shows the three different buttons I have to choose from. The first option, the top button is the one I’m leaning towards.

Then there is my Harry Potter inspired scarf that I’m knitting for my older daughter. I’m using my own hand dyed yarn of course, that I dyed especially for this project and I’m using a wonderful base yarn. It’s Aran weight and its a merino/cashmere/nylon blend. So just perfect!

I did knit quite a bit on this last week. I’m getting close to the end. I think I need to knit to the next section of stripes and then knit on the what would be the placement for another stripe section and that’s when I’ll cast off. So maybe 10″ more or so. I might be adding fringes,not sure yet.

img_6049    It’s looking good so far and my daughter likes it so that’s the only important thing. It’s still quite warm here so she won’t be needing the scarf for a few more weeks I think so I take my time finishing this.

And then there is my pair of socks. I’m usually a big sock knitter and I do have a large number of socks currently on my needles only I’m not working on them. I think the fact that I suddenly found myself with a gazillion works in progress and not much time made all my wips look like a huge mountain to climb and I just got overwhelmed. My pile of wips is in my bedroom so I look at it everyday but I try not to worry about it and as I cast on for new projects I promise myself that I will also pick up a wip and get that done and out of the pile. The socks I’m working on were in my pile of wips/to be cast on. I had cast on for the cuff of sock one in August and then nothing happened. Once I picked them up, I really got going and to avoid having second sock syndrome, I immediately cast on for sock 2 as I finished sock 1. Now I’m close to finishing sock 2, I just need maybe an inch or so and then I’ll be at the toe. Once this pair is done, I’ll pick up another sock wip from my pile and get working on that. Here’s a picture of my pair so far.

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The yarn is hand dyed by myself on a base I don’t carry at the moment but really like. Its 80/20 merino, bamboo. It’s super soft and yet sturdy. The pattern is Falling Leaves by Nancy Whitknits and is for sale on Ravelry. The cuff has a nice leave motif and the rest of the sock is worked in a twisted rib stitch.

Last week I also cast on for a new sweater. I had one of those nights a little time back, where I was browsing Ravelry and came upon a certain number of patterns I just HAD to have and I ended up buying probably close to 10 patterns! Way more than I intended to. And one of these patterns is called Spin Raglan by Andrea Mowry. It’s a top down, seamless sweater knit in Aran weight yarn. I dyed up the yarn especially for this project. I chose a 100% non super wash BFL yarn and dyed it in a sort of denim-y colour. Somewhere between light blue and grey. It turned out super nice I think.

img_6033 And believe it or not, this time around I DID do a swatch! I decided that after seeing my Audrey cardigan being bigger than intended, it would be a good idea to swatch and knit the correct size.

As this is knit in Aran weight yarn, it goes super quickly and I’ve made good progress. I knit a lot on this yesterday as I was being lazy in front of the television.

spin-raglan This is a simple pattern and I’m really enjoying it so far. I think this will be a really quick knit but might still take me some time as I’m also working on my scarf my pair of socks and so forth.

 

I also just cast on for the Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer. Remember I told you about that a week or two ago and I dyed up two types of lace weight yarns that I’m using for that project. I’m only a couple of inches into the cardigan so nothing interesting to show you just yet but so far I like how the yarns are knitting up together and I’ll be able to share my progress on this one with you next week I’m sure.

That’s about it for today. I hope this week will also be prolific knitting wise. I plan to finish my pair of socks and the Harry Potter scarf and make significant progress on the Spin Raglan sweater so hopefully those will all be FOs by the time I post next. Which would mean I’d also be able to share some new cast ons with you:) How exciting!

I wish you all a wonderful week and hope you will have lots of fun knitting time. So until next time, take care and happy knitting:)

 

Progress and some selfish birthday dyeing

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing good and that you had a nice weekend.

My weekend passed way quicker than I would have liked. I did get some knitting done yesterday though and that was nice. Lately I’ve been very much a semi monogamous knitter focusing most of my time and attention on the Audrey cardigan by Jane Richmond. This weekend I worked on that too and I should be finishing it this week.

I also continue working on the Harry Potter inspired stockinette scarf for my daughter. Luckily I’m knitting it in Aran weight yarn on 5.00mm/US8 needles so it does go quickly and so I usually get 4-5 inches done each time I pick it up. I have sort of left it for tv watching at night as I’m not super passionate about all this straight stockinette but little by little I’m getting there. I think I might be about 10″ short of having half the scarf done. I need to keep at it because as my daughter reminds me, I do have a ton of other Harry Potter inspired knits to do!

Last week I also picked up a  sock that I began in August but has been left in my huge basket of “wips and soon to be cast on”. It’s a pattern called Falling Leaves and it is by Nancy Whitman. It is a very simple and elegant pattern using twisted stitches. The cuff has a beautiful leaf design but otherwise it is pretty straight forward. I’m knitting it using a merino and bamboo yarn I dyed myself a while back. This is a gorgeous base, super soft and a joy to work with. I think I have just a skein or two left in the shop and I ‘m thinking I should order some more because this is a really nice yarn. Here is where I’m at currently:

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I also cast on for yet another project. This time a test knit for a shawl that was designed using my Cash’Sock base. This pattern will be published soon and the designer was kind enough to let me join the test knitters. I’m of course knitting it in my Cash’Sock base and as soon as the pattern is released I’ll be sharing pictures and more info with you on that.

But like I said my main focus has been on the Audrey cardigan. Last week I actually finished the first sleeve. But I really didn’t like it. It was much too wide and just didn’t look good so I ripped the whole thing out! Not a happy thing to do but I’m really glad I did. I then reknit the first sleeve using fewer stitches. The body of the sweater is knit in one size bigger than what I should have chosen so instead of being fitted it is quite large. When reknitting the sleeve I chose the next size down and that works perfectly. I’ve now completed the first sleeve and am close to half done with the second I think.

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I’ve ordered a bunch of buttons online. I wasn’t sure what would look best with this cardigan so I’m excited for those to arrive and choose the right ones. Actually I’m really excited about finishing this cardigan and actually starting to wear it. It is a very simple pattern I think I will get lots of wear out of it. I did knit it in a size too big but that should still be ok. Also, I knit the sleeves longer than the pattern called for. Because my version will not be fitted I will be using my as a layer on top of short and/or long sleeved t-shirts and so I wanted the sleeves to be longer. I’m pretty sure I’ll knit a second Audrey and when I do, I will follow the pattern!

I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of knitting cardigans and sweaters at the moment. And it ‘s not necessarily a good thing because that means more casting on when I have this huge basket of wips just waiting for me to give them some love and FINISH them off! Usually I multitask and I knit on a number of things at a time. I also feel like I used to get more done or that I knit more than what I’m doing these days. And so now I find myself with this huge pile I’ve created and it consists of HOs and wips AND “to cast on” – projects I decided to do this summer and got the yarn wound, printed out the pattern, found the needles and notions and put everything nicely into a project bag ready to be knit. Only they haven’t been knit yet. And still I’m thinking/dreaming of new cast ons rather than tackling those that are already there ready and waiting! Don’t know whats wrong with me!!!

And so in the same line of crazy thinking, last Friday I was feeling very excited about a new project. It was my birthday and I decided I’d dye up some yarn  for myself and use to knit a new cardigan of course.

I felt like dyeing lace weight yarn that I will then knit held double. I used two base yarns, both a mix of merino and silk so super soft. And one of the blends has silver stellina for some glitz!

I decided to dye one yarn in a semi solid grey

img_6009-1   This is the merino and silk base and then I dyed the merino/silk/stellina base as a variegated yarn using lots of different colours. I used 4 colours per skein but due to the technique involved some of those blended into yet another colour. I dyed each skein individually and used different colours so none of the 3 skeins I dyed looks the same.

I think this will make the project even more fun. So I have 3 semi solid grey skeins and 3 variegated skeins which should be more than enough for a cardigan.

At first I had thought of doing the Jih sweater by Isabelle Kramer which is actually written for lace weight yarn held double – hence my inspiration for dyeing lace weight yarn.

But now I’m not so sure. I’m rather leaning towards Dexter which is a cardigan also designed by Isabelle Kramer. Or maybe even the Madewell by Joji. I have a ton of patterns in my Ravelry library that I want to knit…. But still; I’m 90% sure I’ll be doing the Dexter cardigan.

So what do you think of my pattern and yarn choice? Do you think the grey+variegated will look good? Or am I delusional?

Are you working on a garment at the moment? I’d love to hear/see what you are knitting/crocheting these days.

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today. I hope you will have a wonderful new week and may it bring you lots of knitting time and happiness:)