A new rainy week

Hi there, how are you today? I hope the weather is better in your part of the world than it is here in Normandy. Last year at the same time we were already enjoying summer weather but this year its nothing but rain! Doesn’t feel like summer at all!

Nothing much has happened since I last spoke to you. Lots of work and not so much knitting. I haven’t even managed to finish my second pair in the Tour de Sock. The deadline for stage two is today and I’m only just past the cuff on sock 2. When I saw that I was not going to make the deadline I sort of lost my sock knitting mojo and put the sock on the side….I have to finish though and I’m sure I will. I have a total of 3 socks on my needles currently and strangely non of them have been getting any love at all lately. This is a picture of the Tour de Sock stage two sock I’m (supposed to be) working on

tour de sock second stage

It is a very beautiful pattern and the solid color does the patterning justice but there is just something that prevents me from knitting on as usual. Hopefully I’ll get my sock knitting mojo back very soon.

So rather than knit on socks, I have been knitting on my Ganz shawl as part of my summer kal that I’m running in my Ravelry group. I’m making slow but steady progress there.

ganz

I have done the gansey strip and picked up stitches and now I’m working on the stockinette section. It is now a very easy and relaxing knit that I can work on without thinking.

I really should just concentrate on getting that done and/or pick up my 3 sweaters that have been left dormant in project bags in my room for the last months….but….of course I did not and I just cast on for a new project! Not really a surprise there but hey. So what happened is that I was doing a test dye using possible new yarn bases. The company I was test dyeing for only needs a small amount of each yarn to knit a swatch before they choose which base they like so I found myself with some very nice, freshly dyed yarns and as I looked at them I thought of another skein of yarn that I had balled up and waiting on me. I put the side by side

party on my needles all wound upAnd all of a sudden it clicked! I need to cast on for a shawl and not just any shawl, no I need to cast on for Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli. The Grocery Girls Tracy and Jodie are doing a #jojialong in their group on Ravelry and I thought it would be fun to join and so I cast on.

The yarns are all different, the burgundy one on the left is a new base of sw merino/yak/nylon. It is super soft and gives a lovely stitch definition. The yarn is a natural light brown that I overdyed with red and that gave this beautiful sort of burgundy color.

The second yarn is a Donegal nep yarn that I have dyed and sold before. That yarn is also a darker yarn that comes in a sort of natural light grey with specks of brown and black. I space dyed that to match somewhat the burgundy one.

The third and last one is on my SPARKLES base and that was dyed in a neon yellow. The pattern calls for a high contrast bind off color and I thought this would be very fun.

At the moment I’m on the first section of the shawl where it is just garter stitch and I have not yet decided if I’ll do a small or a large version. Joji shows the small version in her pattern and it looks quite big or big enough so I’m not sure. I can knit one or two lace repeats before deciding which way I go so that will give me some time to decide.

This is where I’m at now

party on my needles shawl

Funny how the yarn looks almost pink in this picture. It really isn’t, its a burgundy/brown red shad in reality.

So that’s about all I’ve been knitting on lately.

Shop/business wise I’m still working on the Gilmore Girls sock kit.  We have had a very positive reaction to our kit and in just a week we have almost sold out. Last time I knew, only one kit was left so if you are interested you had better click the link above and grab the very last kit. There will be no others!

Dyeing self striping yarn is a huge undertaking, it is so time consuming. I’m almost done so now I’m really looking forward to shipping off all the yarn and for everything to be sent out to our buyers and then to actually cast on and knit my very own pair of Gilmore Girls socks using my very own 10 colour self striping yarn:)

That’s it for today. Thank you for coming by and spending some time with me and my knitting. I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of quality crafty time. Speak to you soon 🙂

FOs, wips and future cast ons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mothers day gifts

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

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

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

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

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

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

ganz

Isn’t it gorgeous?

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

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