One FO and some works in progress

Hi there, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was way busier than I had expected and so I was not able to post and organise the giveaway I had told you about! I’m really sorry about disappointing you on that but I promise I’ll do it next Friday – because next Friday the 11th I have a day off from work! Youpi!!!! So I’ll have the time to write my review of the products in question and launch the giveaway and that way you’ll have the weekend to participate and I’ll be able to announce the winner next Monday the 14th of December.

Now on to finished objects. I finally finished my Westknits kal, the Doodler. I’m really pleased with the colours I chose and the finishing I chose. Once it was done I admit I had a moment of doubt because of the shape. I wondered how to wear it and if I would actually use it but then I played around a bit and it actually wears well and I used it all weekend to keep me warm so thats great.

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Those of you who also did the cal, have you finished yours? Are you happy with the shape and colours you chose? I’d love to see some pictures if you are willing to share with us:)

I’m currently working on a number of projects and I still have to cast on 1-2 more for some Christmas gifts. I think I may be in over my head. I probably should have just stuck with knitting for my Christmas gifts and ONLY once I finished those should I have cast on for more! But….where’s the fun in that? So no I’m knitting a gazillion things that have nothing to do with Christmas as well!

First there is this tam that actually is a Christmas gift. I bought the pattern during the Indie Designer Giftalong on Ravelry and it is called Flavia and the designer is Beth Kling. The yarn I’m using is by The Uncommon Thread. I’m at the beginning of the decrease section so hopefully I’ll finish this one soon.

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This is me wearing the tam/hat and as you can see it is a textured pattern with twisted stitches and I think it will look great once finished.

Then there’s the non Christmas knitting. I’m working on a cardigan for myself. The pattern is by Linda of Kettle Yarn Co and I’m using her Waltham Worsted hand dyed yarn too. The pattern is called Brynja and this will make for a beautiful textured, thick cardigan that I can see myself wearing all winter long and maybe even all year round depending on the weather here in Normandy. The pattern is easily memorised and you don’t need to use a cable needle for the faux cables which speeds thing up.

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The color I chose is a very light grey and I chose that because I want this to go with whatever I’m wearing underneath. This is knit in one piece, back and forth up to the armholes, then one knits the sleeves and then the sleeves are joined to the rest of the body and the whole thing is knit in one piece to the end. This is great because it means minimal sewing up once you’re done with the knitting.

Well, this is all for today. I hope you all have a great Monday and a wonderful week ahead of you all. Take care until next time.

 

 

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Some exciting new aquisitions

Hi there, I hope you are doing good and that you had a great weekend. I spent the weekend meeting friends I hadn’t seen for over a year so that was a lot of fun. As a consequence, not much knitting got done this weekend but it was for the good cause so that’s fine.

I don’t have any finished objects to share with you today but some works in progress.

First there is the Stephen West Mystery KAL, the Doodler. So the fourth and last clue has been published and yesterday I just finished clue number three so I’ll be working on the last clue later today. The last clue is basically just the bind off so not much left – which is not quite true because at this stage there are a gazillion stitches per row so even if I only have a few rows left, those will take some time to complete.

The pattern offers 3 possibilities for bind off and I’m going with option number 2 which is to do a few rows of garter stitch before doing an icord bind off.

Here’s a picture of my shawl today. It’s not easy to photograph because it is so big and as it is still on the needles it is all scrunched up.

www.knittinginfrance.com

The Doodler after clue 3

I’m thinking of doing the small garter stitch border in color A which is the speckled one and then bind off in color B which is the one used in between wedges on the main part of the shawl and for the cable at the top.

Now as today’s title says, I have some nice acquisitions to show you today.

First off, I saw a post from Laura Nelkin on Facebook a while ago about a new mystery pattern that she designed for this knitting cruise she is doing  now beginning of December and for those of us not lucky enough to go on the cruise, it was possible to purchase the kit anyway. So I did! I have now received the yarn and beads and the pattern will be delivered once the cruise has ended or December 10th. So that is super exciting. Also the yarn is a silk/linen blend hand dyed by Anzula fibres and that alone was enough to make me buy the kit because I’ve never tried their yarn before. Here’s a picture of my kit

www.knittinginfrance.com

The Crucero Shawl Kit by Laura Nelkin

Don’t you just love the colour of the yarn and beads? I think it looks very Caribbean:) And the coconut chocolate that came along with it was delicious too:) So I’m excited about knitting this.

And my second purchase was also a complete kit of sorts, this time from Kettle Yarn Co in the UK.

I purchased Linda’s design as well as her yarn. The pattern is for a thick cardigan and is called Brynja

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I bought her Waltham Worsted yarn as the pattern calls for and I have just cast on. I think this will make for a gorgeous cardigan that I will probably use a lot this winter. I work from home in front of a computer so I don’t move around a lot and in winter the house is sometimes chilly so I always have layers on and this will be just perfect!

Here’s a picture of my progress so far

www.knittinginfrance.com

Brynja Cardigan by Linda of Kettle Yarn Co

www.knittinginfrance.com

Kettle Yarn Co Waltham Worsted in Graveney

This is a very subtle, soft grey and I chose this color as I think it will go with absolutely everything.

Also for next week I’ll be sharing with you my first real experience at sewing! Yes as it seems that sewing is the new “Black” for knitters judging by all the knitting podcasts I’m watching these days, I now want to try sewing myself! And I have found a lady in my town that teaches sewing and I’m going to my first class this coming Saturday! I’ve booked 2 classes so far and I’m planning to sew my very first project bag! So I really look forward to doing that and I’ll be sharing that adventure with you next week.

That’s about all today I think. I will soon be sharing a review of some exciting new knitting accessories/tools and there will be a giveaway with that so stay tuned. I’m hoping that will be on for next weekend.

So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

Holiday knitting – that is the BIG question!!

Hi there, I hope you are enjoying your summer so far. Personally I wish the weather here in Normandy was better and that I had more vacation!!!! However there is light at the end of the tunnel and in just a few days I’ll finally have my summer vacation!!! Can’t wait!!

So now my big dilemma is what should I knit during the vacation??????? I have to have 2 projects. Not too voluminous as I will travel some but not too small either as the fear of finding myself out of knitting would just be overwhelming. So I’m thinking maybe a shawl and a pair of socks. What do you think? Do you bring knitting/crochet on your vacation? How do you choose your projects? Would you like to share your choice/s for this summer?

Now for the shawls I might have 3 choices. I say “might” because I actually bought some yarn online – 2 were kits that included a downloadable pattern + yarn. The third I had already bought the pattern and then later bought the right yarn and that one has arrived.

So what could definitely be a contender is the Bagatelle Shawl by Rachel Brown of Porpoise Fur. This cowl was designed as part of the Boardwalk collection from Kettle Yarn Co. I actually saw the cowl “in person” at the I Knit Fandango in London last May. My stand was opposite Linda’s of Kettle Yarn Co and my friend and I immediately fell in love with the pattern so as soon as it was released I went online and purchased it! And just last week I finally got around to ordering the same exact yarn and same exact color as the sample was made with! Now I’m sure you’re curious so here goes:

www.knittinginfrance.com You should definitely check out the pattern on Ravelry (I included a link up there). It really is gorgeous and Kettle Yarn Co’s yarn is simply gorgeous!! So I’m really looking forward to getting started on that. And I would also encourage you to check out the entire Boardwalk Collection that Kettle Yarn Co just released. It includes 6 gorgeous patterns all knit with her beautiful yarns, all designed by women, photographed by a woman, modelled by women etc! So a wonderful enterprise and 6 wonderful patterns. Just click on the name a few lines up and it will take you to the collection:)

Now on to my second contender and this one I have the pattern which I downloaded from Craftsy which is also where I bought the kit. The pattern is called Drachenfels and is by Mairlynd and here is a link for more info on that. I chose the colorway shown on the picture below and that is called Fire. The yarn is Brown Sheep Company. So I’m really looking forward to actually receiving the yarn and cross my fingers and hope it will get here in time!!!

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And the last contender is also a kit I bought from Craftsy and same thing here, I have the pattern but not the yarn! This one is called The Mara Shawl Light kit.www.knittinginfrance.com The pattern is by Amy Hendrix and the yarn I chose is Madelinetosh Merino Light in Cosmic Wonder Dust ( love the name) and that is actually the colorway you see in the picture above.

So all gorgeous patterns with beautiful yarns!!!!

Now for the socks! Should I take some yarn and try to design a new pair? Should I pick one of the billion sock patterns I have in my Ravelry Library? Or should I just choose something completely soothing and just let the yarn do the job – here I’m thinking of doing a 2 in 1 socks using one of my Lorna’s Laces hand dyed sock yarns I recently indulged in. ??? Lots of questions here and I’m going to have to decide as I always cast on and do a few rows BEFORE leaving on vacation! A habit of mine, don’t know why but I just need to do this! Maybe to be 100% sure that I’ve chosen THE right project for my holiday knitting!

And on the question of sock knitting, as I’m working on my current pair of 2 in 1 socks which I think I just might call “Siamese socks” as of now, I’m thinking that this could actually be THE most soothing knitting I ever do. I just love the rythm to this and even though I’m basically “just” producing vanilla socks, the fact that I knit them simultaneously and that one is inside the other, one is entirely purled and the other knit, there is just something about that which keeps the interest going and at the same time gives you this soothing, relaxing feeling. So I’m actually rather leaning towards that. I’d love to be able to make up a new pattern using that technique, same basis but just do something with the stitch pattern for example. So I just might but I’m not sure. After all vacations are made for relaxing so I might end up just doing a regular 2 in 1. Here’s  a picture of my current pair of Siamese socks. I’m knitting them in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in Rainbow

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I think this is about it for tonight. I’d love to hear your take on holiday knitting so do join in the discussion and share your thoughts on the matter:) Also don’t forget that I’m doing a huge RENEWAL sale in my Etsy shop as I’m hoping to carry out a number of significant changes this autumn.

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That’s all so until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting time:)

Kettle Yarn Co and East London Knits

Hi there, lets continue the presentations of all the wonderful talents I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London this May. I didn’t have the time to post yesterday so we are a day behind “schedule” but I’m sure you’ll forgive me for that. Long weekends are not necessarily good production weekends and this one was spent with friends and family so not much knitting or writing got done:)

Now on to today’s subject. So at the I Knit Fandango show my booth was across from the talented Linda of Kettle Yarn Co and she was assisted by her friend and designer Renée Callahan of East London Knits. Both Linda and Renée were present at Unwind Brighton last summer but I did not get to know Linda until now. Renée however I did get to know last year and was pleased to get a chance to meet her again in London.

Linda founded her company Kettle Yarn Co in 2013 and her focus is on luxury yarn, quality blends of British yarns that are ethically sourced. She has a great sense of colour and the yarn bases she has chosen to work with are all gorgeous. Her booth was full not only of her beautiful yarns but also with knits made from her yarns – shawls and sweaters and those all drew people in and made people want to cast on for one of those in her yarn immediately!

Linda is an independent hand dyer like myself only she has reached a stage where she is able to focus solely on her yarn business as a full time job – something I currently dream of:) Another thing that inspires me about Linda is that she has worked hard to create colourways that she can repeat and thus dye a number of skeins in the same colour which in turns makes it possible for you to knit a large piece such as a sweater using skeins from the same dye lot or if not the same dye lot at least of an identical colour. I need to think more like Linda and take her as an example and come up with my own repeatable colourways because at the moment I’m all in the “inspiration of the moment” phase which means my yarns are more for small projects such as mittens, socks, hats, cowls, shawls and not so much for larger projects like  sweaters (unless you place a private order for X number of skeins for your project).

You can visit Linda’s website/shop/blog here

Kettle Yarn Co

Like I said above, Linda had a helper in her booth, her friend Renée Callahan which you may know as the designer behind East London Knits. Here she is in Linda’s booth (Kettle Yarn Co)

Renee Callahan in Kettle Yarn Co booth  Many of the designs displayed in the Kettle Yarn Co booth were designs by Renée knit with yarns from Kettle Yarn Co. Renée has a background in fashion studies and works as an independent knitwear designer. She self publishes her own patterns and also does patterns for third party publications. One of the things that differentiates her from many designers of hand knits, is the fact that she is also a skilled machine knitter. On her website/blog you can see some of her work as she does commission designs as well as her own projects. I don’t know if the machine knitting skill adds to her performance as a hand knit designer but I do know that it does not subtract from it:) You can buy Renées patterns on Ravelry and if you click here you’ll be taken directly to her Ravelry pattern shop.

As a fan of her designs I own a few of her patterns myself such as:

Beetlebum of East London Knit Beetlebum shawl

Frost and Flame of East London Knit Frost and Flame shawl

Rhombolution of East London Knit Rhombolution double knit scarf

The first picture is of a shawl called Beetlebum which was actually gifted to me by Renée herself! Thank you soooo much Renée 🙂

Here are some pictures from her Ravelry page:

Beetlebum of East London Knit Beetlebum by Renée Callahan of East London Knit I love the combination of patterns and how the diamond shapes are “hugged” with a “stripey” lace pattern on each side.

Renée gave me this pattern last week and I immediately went about casting on. I cast on twice, once using a lace weight yarn and once using a fingering weight yarn. The pattern calls for lace but when looking at the pictures I thought the yarn looked a bit heavier than the lace yarn I had on hand so I decided to try both fingering and lace.

Beetlebum shawl in fingering www.knittinginfrance.com Beetlebum shawl on www.knittinginfrance.com  You can clearly see the different results here. I like both. The fingering gives this a “sturdier” look and is maybe a more “everyday” look whereas the lace version is “ethereal”, delicate and lightweight. After sharing my little test knits on Instagram I decided to go for the lace version which was getting more likes than the fingering version (but I just may cast on for the fingering version anyway after this one is done). And so I undid everything and cast on FOR REAL.

Like I said before, this weekend I did not get much knitting done but I did knit a bit in the car on my way to our family event and before going to bed. After all a day with no knitting at all is just not an option 🙂 So here is where I’m at today:

Beetlebum by East London Knits Looking good so far I think.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about these two young and talented ladies and encourage you to visit their websites and support their work by sharing what you like and why not purchase a pattern/skein or two:)

That’s all for today. More fun stuff to discover tomorrow, until then take care and have a lovely day.