And the winner is…

Hi there, today I only have a quick winner announcement to make as I have drawn for the winner for the Coffee with CC and Dami too giveaway.

I would have liked to see more people take part but hey, this just means those who did have a better chance of actually winning!

So drum rolls please:….

And the winner of the ebook Coffee with CC and Dami too is…post number 4 which is Tiffany Kornberg or whatanovelidea on Ravelry. Congratulations Tiffany, I will notify CC and she will gift you the ebook on Ravelry as soon as possible.

I hope you will enjoy the book and maybe share your future knits with me:)

To all the other participants, thank you for taking part. Next month’s maker will be a yarn dyer so again there will be soon be an exciting new giveaway to take part in.

Have a wonderful week and enjoy your knitting 🙂

Maker of the Month – Part two

Hi there, I hope you are doing good since yesterday. Being Thursday today I sort of feel like the week is coming to an end as always on Thursdays. I sort of start counting down to Friday night when I can finally relax some and enjoy more knitting time.

I hope you enjoyed yesterdays post and interview with my friend CC of JavaPurl Designs. Today is the second half of my feature on her and her work and today is all about her new book which will be officially launched tomorrow March 10th at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

This second book of CCs is co-authored with her daughter Dami and includes 7 patterns, 5 socks, 1 wrap and fingerless mitts. The book is available both as a physical book and as an ebook. You can purchase her physical book at EYF if you are one of the lucky attendees or you can go to her website . The ebook can be purchased on Ravelry and the individual patterns from the book will be released on March 12th – for those who only want to buy one or two patterns.

This second book is called Coffee with CC (and Dami too) and has 7 coffee inspired patterns. Five of those are designed by CC herself and 2 by her daughter Dami who is not yet 18! So impressive! I would never have been able to design let alone publish a pattern at that age.

coffee with cc and dami too

If you read yesterday’s post you will have gathered that I’m a fan of CC and her patterns and you will have gotten some insight into the person behind these amazing creations. And if for some reason you have not read the post and her interview, I recommend you stop for a few minutes, read the post, and then come back here for the book review.

As always CC’s patterns are very clearly written out leaving no room for hesitations or errors. All the sock patterns are written both cuff down and toe up which I find amazing. That is two times the work for the designer for double the pleasure for us knitters. Whatever our preference when it comes to knitting socks, we are sure to find the pattern and instructions we need.

The patterns are graded by difficulty level which are indicated by the number of coffee cups. One cup is light, two is medium and three is strong. This will help you gauge each pattern better and if you are a new or newer knitter you can work your way through the book from the easiest to the most difficult one and come out a hero:)  Just saying 🙂

CC has also teamed up with indie dyers for this book and so each pattern features a gorgeous hand dye yarn making the pattern pictures that much yummier.  The photography is beautiful and the overall feeling when browsing the book is one of well being. That may sound strange given that I’m reviewing a book but what I mean is that it’s a friendly, relaxed book that makes you want to knit every single pattern and not only that, but it makes you feel you can!

Clearly I cannot say enough good things about this book and I do want to knit every single pattern in there. I felt the same way about her first book and I did start to knit the patterns from that one but have not finished yet as I tend to be constantly distracted but I will knit them all and the same goes for this one and I’m planning to start after Sock Madness. Would you be interested in doing a yearlong kal? Something very relaxing, just knit at our own speed as we knit all the patterns in either this or last years book? Or better yet, a mix of both? No need to commit to knitting 14 patterns but if you want to knit a few let me know in the thread on Ravelry that I have created in my group.

And now onto the individual patterns.

CC Babyccino_Main_small2 These are the Babyccino Socks designed by Dami. I love the stitch pattern she chose and the fact that you could knit a pair for every member of your family as they come sized from baby to adult!

CC Chai_Latte_Main_small2 These are the Chai Latte socks. Again a fun stitch pattern and it works perfectly with a self striping yarn. I love self striping yarns but most of the time I only do plain vanilla socks when using a self striping yarn. Having the option of a fun patterned sock that is tailored to a self striping pattern is amazing and I think it will make the knitting only that much more fun.

CC Espresso_Con_Panna_main_small2 The Espresso Con Panna socks. Again CC has used a textured pattern and I think this will work especially well with variegated yarns and I do have a ton of those in my stash! I also love how this one looks in this tonal yarn. I’d love to make these and I can see myself doing this pattern in all kinds of yarns because I think the end result will be so different depending on the type of yarn I choose (crazy variegated, subtle tonal or solid).

CC Hot_Chocolate_Main_small2 The Hot Chocolate with pink marshmallows speaks to me louder than the others because unlike CC I’m not a coffee drinker! I know, I know! But I do love a good hot chocolate 🙂 The pattern has a beautiful X and O pattern and I think it is best shown off when knit in a tonal or solid yarn and that’s what I plan on doing.

CC Instant_Coffee_Main_small2 The Instant Coffee socks. Again a very fun stitch pattern that works beautifully with a tonal or solid yarn. It looks super  yummy and textural. They say it is as easy as making instant coffee so this might become a new substitute for vanilla socks in the future.

CC Fingerless_Mitts_main_small2 1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots fingerless mitts. How fun are these ? You have three designs in one as you can choose how far up your arm the mitts go and I love the cable design.

CC Flat_White_Main_small2 The Flat White Wrap. This is a beautiful  lace design shown here as a wrap but CC does explain that this can be modified to become a skinnier wrap, a scarf or even a cowl. That is a very versatile pattern and I think I might make the cowl version myself as I’m not a fan of scarf knitting and I think a wrap would be trying on my patience and I might put it aside to cast on some socks and then have a hard time picking it up again. So yes I’ll do the cowl.

Those are the beautiful patterns in CC and Dami’s new book being released tomorrow. I highly recommend you buy this book. The ebook is 19.20USD on Ravelry and that is good value for 7 designs I think.

A big  thank you to CC and Dami for gifting me their book and allowing me to review it before the official launch.

They have also generously offered to give one of you a copy of their ebook! How amazing is that? So in order to enter and be eligible to win a copy of the ebook, please leave a comment below with your Ravelry id and tell me which of these 7 patterns you love the most. I will draw for a winner Friday 17th of March. Best of luck to you and I’ll be back after the weekend. Until then, have a great weekend and enjoy your knitting.

 

The Maker of the Month is CC Almon of JavaPurl Designs – Part one

Hi there, how are you today? I hope your week is shaping up to be a good one.

Now as you will have guessed from the title, today it’s time for the Maker of the Month and today I want to introduce you to CC Almond of JavaPurl Designs. I have a lot of things to share with you regarding this month’s maker so this is actually going to be a two post series. Tomorrow I will be sharing something very exciting with you and there will be a giveaway too:)

I’m actually  lucky enough to have met CC in real life. We met when we were both vending at the I Knit Fandango show in London a few years ago. We were able to talk some and CC bought some of my yarn and I also gifted her  a skein which she then used to design a sock pattern with. It was the first time ever someone used my yarn for a design so I was and still am overly excited and proud.

That first pattern (for me) is called Strawberries & Cream Frappe socks: It first appeared as an individual pattern and then later was part of her first book, Coffee with CC.

Here’s a picture for you to see if you are unfamiliar with the pattern

These are the ones I knit using the yarn/colorway that I designed specially for the pattern and called Strawberry Frappuccino. Aren’t these just gorgeous ?

I later collaborated with CC and her friend Sam of KnitRunDig on Etsy but she is a bag maker. Together we made a Gilmore Girls themed sock kit. CC did the pattern, Sam the bag and I did the yarn. That was my first and so far only kit collaboration and it really was a fun one. The pattern is called Where you lead I will follow. I did a ten color self striping yarn that I called You have been Gilmored and here are some pictures for you

CC is a self proclaimed geek and a lot of her patterns are inspired by tv series/books/films such as the Gilmore Girls, Outlander and Dr Who. CC regularly does kit collaborations with other indie makers and those are always gorgeous.

I have knit a number of her sock patterns and I really love her style and that fact that all or at least almost all her sock patterns are written both toe up and cuff down. That is unusual for a sock pattern I feel and so amazing because as we all know some of us only do cuff down and other only toe up and this way no matter our preference, her patterns will work for us.

Last year CC published her very first book of knitting patterns that is called Coffee with CC. That book, as you can see from the title, was all coffee inspired patterns and my ( I say my because I’m so happy about this) Strawberries & Cream Frappe socks also appear in that book. I did a little video review of that book and you can see that here

I was able to interview CC about her work as a pattern writer, her podcast and general knitting life so here is CC of JavaPurl Designs.

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Hello C.C. and welcome to the Knitting in France blog. Before we go on to talk about your new book, would you please tell us a little about yourself?
Hiya Bogga! I’m C.C., a Christ follower, wife to the Hubs Russ (for almost 20 years), Mamma to Dami (who’ll be 18 later this year), a knitter, a designer, a fibromyalgia fighter, & 1/2 of JavaPurl Designs & Geeky Girls Knit Podcast (& I love love love coffee & anything PINK!).
You are a very prolific knitter, when did you learn to knit and do you remember how or who taught you?
I learned to knit in 2005. I used a kit from a big box store & taught myself. I’d always wanted to learn to knit (no one I knew knit though), so this was my solution.
I have been following you since we met at the I Knit Fandango in London in 2014 so you have obviously been designing for some time. When did you publish your first ever design and what was it?
I had a couple of freebie patterns & a basic shawl pattern that released in 2012, but I consider my first design release to be Rescue Me, Chin Boy, and Show Me the Stars (Doctor Who Inspired Socks) which released in 2013.
How did you come to make and publish your own designs?
The sock design I mentioned above came about because I had a skein of yarn that demanded to be a certain pair of socks, but I couldn’t find the pattern I needed. So I designed it!
I think I know the answer to the following question, but then again you might surprise me, what is your favourite thing to design?
SOCKS! I have fallen in love with socks after swearing I’d never knit them. And look at me now.
As a knitter and a designer, is there a favourite type of yarn or wool blend you prefer over all others for sock knitting?
The sock yarn I use must, must, must have nylon in it. I’m pretty flexible otherwise, but nylon is a must for me to make the socks last as long as possible (because I wear handknit socks pretty much every day).
Do you have a favourite colour or type of dyeing method for your sock designs (I mean variegated/tonal/self striping etc) ?
My favourite colour is PINK (as evidenced by my stash & hair), but most of my sock designs use variegated or tonal yarn. However, I have created some sock patterns recently that highlight self-striping yarn (which is my favourite to knit with).
I know you regularly do collaborations with yarn dyers and bag makers, what has your experience of that been?
It’s been great! I love sharing an idea theme with a dyer and/or bag maker and then see what happens. It’s so fun to collaborate!
Do you have such a collaboration coming up soon and if so what is it?
After the book releases, I’m collaborating with Julia of Pandia’s Jewels for a 12th Doctor inspired sock pattern (Doctor Who that is) and with Jess of Ginger Twist Studio for an Outlander inspired shawl pattern.
You published your first book, Coffee with CC, in 2016 how did that come about? Could you tell us a little about the process of getting your own design book published and the hoops you had to jump through to make that all work out?
I designed a couple of coffee inspired patterns & then found out I had been accepted to vend at Edinburgh Yarn Festival for the 2nd time. I had been thinking of writing a book & this gave me the push to do it. I included those 2 patterns, plus 5 more. My book is self-published & wouldn’t have come about without my sample knitter, my test knitters, my tech editor, my copy editor, my photographer, amazing yarn dyers, & the help of the Starship members who helped me with all the self-publishing info that I hadn’t dealt with before. I ended up getting the book done in a few short months & my only wish was that I had a little more time so it wasn’t a race to finish in time.
You now work with your daughter Dami on your design business and you publish both of your designs under the label JavaPurl Designs. When did Dami start to design and was it a natural move for you to add her to your business for a joint venture rather than designing separately under different labels?
Dami’s first pattern released last summer (a sock pattern inspired by the tv show Elementary). She then designed 2 patterns for our White Christmas collection & she has 2 patterns in the new book. She was already involved in the business as my sample knitter (along with lots of other help). And since we already collaborate on the podcast (which I talk about below), it was natural for us to team up in the design business.
You also have a weekly podcast that you do with Dami called Geeky Girls Knit, when did you start podcasting and how did you come to podcast?
We started podcasting in August, 2012. A knitter had shared the world of knitting podcasts with us. She & other knitter friends kept telling us that we’d be great video podcasters. So we gave in & tried. And now we have over 230 episodes because we consistently podcast on a weekly basis.
What do you like most about podcasting?
Dami was a young 12 year old when we began & it’s been amazing to watch her grow on screen. And the community we’ve come to be a part of is so special to us. My best friends are knitters & we can’t imagine life without them.
And now on to the new book. The book is called Coffee with CC (and Dami Too) ~ Another 7 Pattern Caffeine Inspired Knitting Collection, can you tell us a little bit about this new book, the inspiration behind it and how it came to be?
After my first book released, some knitters suggested some other coffee drinks that could inspire us. And we thought of some too, so we just decided to jump in and do it. This time around, we’re inspired by espresso shots, babyccino, chai latte, espresso con panna, flat white, hot chocolate with pink marshmallows, & instant coffee.
Is this new book also mostly focused on sock knitting?
Yes, there are 5 sock patterns (all of them have both toe-up & cuff-down instructions). But, there is also a fingerless mitts pattern & a wrap pattern.
When and where will you launch the new book?
The book officially launches on Friday, 10-March-2017, at Edinburgh Yarn Festival.
Where can people find you online and what is the best way/place to follow you on social media?
Ravelry & Instagram are my favourites & you’ll have the best luck finding me there. 🙂
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A big thank you to CC for taking the time to answer my questions. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing your new book with you and there will be a giveaway too so see you tomorrow 🙂

Today is all about Coffee with CC

Hi there, how are you doing today? I hope you are doing well and enjoying your weekend. I also hope the weather is better in your part of the world than it is here in Normandy today. We’ve had lots of rain and it’s not very nice outside. But I have family visiting so we just might go outside for a little drive or walk in spite of the weather being what it is.

Lately I have been working mostly on my socks. There is a small break in the Sock Madness contest so I’m using that to finish some of my works in progress. There is an optional round going on now but since it is not a round that counts in the competition I’ve decided to not join in but rather continue to work on the stuff that needs finishing.

But on the the important stuff. Today I want to share with you a review of a recently released knitting book. The book is written and self published by a friend of mine whose name is CC Almon but her designer name on Ravelry is JavaPurl.

So CC published her book just around the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and you may have either seen it there or watched reviews on it in video podcasts lately. I purchased the physical book which comes with a download code to download the digital copy to your Ravelry library. I have been planning on sharing my review of this book with you for a while but life got in the way. But now it’s done! At last.

So I decided to do a video review to better show you the book and the yarns I have put aside to knit the patterns in the book. I filmed a review and that was fun. What is not so fun is uploading the video to Youtube. I think I must be doing something wrong because the uploading took hours! and I don’t mean 2-3 hours, no more like 12-15 hours! Is that normal? If you have any experience with uploading videos to Youtube and have a tip or two to share to shorten the upload time, I’m definitely super interested in hearing about that!

So here is my review for you to watch, please come back here after watching because I have some more info to share on the topic.

 

I hope you enjoyed this little video I did. Like I said in the video VeganJilly of The Knitting Broomstick podcast is hosting a yearlong KAL in her Ravelry group for the book and I’m participating and I urge you to do the same if you have purchased CC’s book.

CC has very generously offered to donate a digital copy of her new book to one of my readers!  So it’s time for a little giveaway!!!!

To join and have a chance of winning a copy of this book you should: go visit CC’s Ravelry shop and browse here designs. Then you should come back here and leave me a comment with your Raverly name and the name of the design that you most like from CC’s Ravelry shop. It can be a pattern that is not included in the book.

I will draw a winner from the comments using a random number generator this coming Friday April 30th.

So enjoy your weekend and coming week. Best of luck it you join the fun and participate in the Coffee with CC giveaway.

My current WIPs and one FO

Hi there, how are you today? I’m happy today is Tuesday, I really don’t like Mondays because they mean I have to go back to work (non knitting related job) and that I have a whole week of that in front of me. Tuesday I’m one down and 4 to go, so that’s better:) I so envie people who work in something they thoroughly enjoy, people who actually enjoy waking up and going to work. Maybe that is why i’m so stubborn about my little business adventure even though it does not work financially it just brings me a little escape and so much fun and personal enjoyment. I’d love to feel the same way about my full time job… But enough complaining! That is not why you came to my blog! So on to knitting.

Like the title says, I have a few works in progress to share with you and one finished object. The finished object is a pair of socks. Last week I finished a total of 4 pairs of socks and I think I shared all but one so here is that picture.

www.knittinginfrance.com These are knit using one of my hand dyed speckled yarns. I called this yarn Crazy Sock because the colours and pattern look a little wild to me. So super simple socks because I feel that with a yarn like this it is all about the yarn and so the pattern has to be simple.

And the current works in progress, I have one hat, one cardigan and then two pairs of socks both patterns by my friend and fab sock designer CC Almon.

My first pair is one that I begun a while back I’m ashamed to say. I finished the first sock quite quickly and then I went on to a gazillion other projects and kind of left this one behind but now I’m determined to finish it ASAP. The pattern in question is her Outlander sock pattern called The Lady of Lallybroch and it is available on Ravelry. I’m knitting this using Cascade Heritage Sock that I found in my stash.  I absolutely wanted to knit those in a solid yarn so that the wonderful cable would shine.

www.knittinginfrance.com Aren’t those beautiful? I’m not far on the second sock but I’m getting there 🙂

And the second sock pattern is of course the Strawberries and Cream Socks also available on Ravelry. I’m especially in love with this pattern because CC designed it using my yarn:) and this is the first time a designer takes my yarn and designs something!!! So happy and proud!! And of course I dyed a yarn to match which I call Strawberry Frappuccino and it is available both in the SPARKLE and non sparkly versions in my Etsy shop.

www.knittinginfrance.com So one done and I’m just beginning the second.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is a close up of the main pattern of the sock.

To help me finish both socks quickly I’ve decided to follow someones idea (a video podcaster I recently discovered, her podcast is called Fawn Knits and you can find her on YouTube). And she uses “a buddy system” so she has two socks going and when she has worked on sock nr 1 for X rounds, she goes to sock nr 2 and works the same amount of rounds and this way she progresses consistently on both pairs. So as one sock has a pattern repeat of 8 rounds and the other of 16 rounds, I work 2 repeats on one and 1 repeat on the other and I’m hoping I can do that almost every day and that way I’ll finish in no time. It’s not that I’m not interested in them but rather that I have soon many things I want to finish and others to cast on that I’m having problems staying focused.

And now on to the Featherweight cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I heard about this one watching some of my favorite podcasts, Ahomespunhouse and Voolenvine. So I decided I too must make one and I decided to do the lace weight version first. The pattern gives you the choice of knitting either with lace weight yarn or fingering. I also decided that I’d knit two of these and so the first one will be a gift for my sister and I dyed a wonderful sparkly lace yarn for her. It’s a blend of merino, silk and stolen. Out of this world soft and the silvery colour I dyed it works so beautifully with the silver stellina in it.

www.knittinginfrance.com I’m almost there! One sleeve and the front and back collar left. It went quite quickly because this is mostly stockinette stitch. And to avoid purling I often knit backwards. That was a nice change. I’m a little worried about the size. I chose the second size which I figure is Small and this is a short cardigan with 3/4 sleeves but easily modifiable to a longer cardi and longer sleeves if one wishes. So I made it a little longer and the sleeve as well. It still looks quite small but the yarn feels stretchy and it is supposed to be close to the body so I think I’m worrying for nothing. Also the advantage of doing this in lace weight, is that lace yarns come with huge yardage so I think I’ll only need one skein. So even if the yarn is pricier than regular fingering weight, it ends up being economical because you only need 1-2 skeins depending on the size you knit. If you’d like to take a look at the type of yarn I used here, you can see them in my shop by clicking here

And the last project I’m working on is a hat that I’m knitting using handspan yarn and this is a hat I’m going to give to my father for Christmas. The yarn is quite dark in color, a mix of dark brown, black and bronze so it’s not easy to picture the pattern.

www.knittinginfrance.com I’m using a pattern called The Boyfriend set I’m doing the hat but not the scarf. And I think I’ll have enough yarn to make a pair of mittens as well. This is a thick DK/worsted yarn that I spun a while ago when I was a beginner spinner and so it is thick and thin but it doesn’t show in the hat and oh boy is it warm! I’m sure he’ll love this and enjoy his walks this winter with a super warm hand knit hat on his head!

And like I said last time, I’m going to do a lot of knitting (or try to at least) for Christmas this year and I’m planning on doing sets of hats and mittens so I really need to finish my WIPs so I can get cracking on the Christmas gifts.

Well, that’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending a little while with me. I wish you a great week and lots of knitting, crocheting and spinning.  I’ll talk to you soon 🙂

And the winners are………..

Hi there, at last I’m able to draw the winners and announce the lucky winners!

So first off, thank you to all for participating in the giveaway and for leaving a comment. I will contact the two lucky winners as of this evening and for the rest of you, I will be sending you your discount code via Ravelry tomorrow, October 15th.

So, the two lucky winners win the latest sock pattern by CC Almon called Strawberries and Cream which was designed using my yarn and 1 skein of yarn dyed specially for that pattern – a colorway I call Strawberry Frappuccino.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is a picture from the pattern page on Ravelry

www.knittinginfrance.com This is a picture of my sock in progress in the Strawberry Frappuccino Sparkle yarn

The winners can choose to either have the sparkly version or non sparkly of the yarn. Both versions can be found in my Etsy shop here

Now, I guess it is time to reveal the lucky winners. As always I chose the winners using a random number generator that picked 2 winners between the numbers 3-11 ( the first 2 comments didn’t count as one was from CC and the other from me).

And so the lucky winners of the pattern and yarn are:

NicoleS who left a comment saying: I’d love to win because this yarn would be perfect to knit a pair of socks for a specific friend.

And

Alexand knit who left a comment saying: I would love to win because a) who doesn’t need more yarn, especially as beautiful as that? and b) I’ve just started making socks!

So congratulations girls! I’ll be sending you the pattern via Ravelry this evening and I’ll be in touch for your postal address and choice of yarn base! Wow! That was fun!

Now don’t be sad if you did not win this time around, there will be other giveaways plus you will be getting a special discount code of 10% if you want to buy something from my Etsy shop.

That’s all for tonight! Enjoy your evening and enjoy your crafting until next time 🙂