It’s all about the knitting

Hi there, how are you? I hope you have read the interview I did with Caitlin of Goosey Fibres and that you enjoyed that. If you haven’t read that yet you should click here and then join in the giveaway:)

I have been doing a lot of knitting lately. It is helping me stay sane and not lose myself as I go through some difficult personal times. So today I will be showing all my finished objects and some of my current works in progress.

First off a pair of Christmas socks I’m knitting for myself. I’m making the pattern up but I’m not sure I can call this a design as it is such a simple pattern. It is fun to make and I think this is perfect for self striping yarns that have even stripes. My socks are knit in Gingerbread colorway from the Cozy Knitter. A splurge I made for myself.

I’m getting close to the heel on sock two. I’m knitting those toe up and they are somewhere between shorty socks and a regular sock. I didn’t want to lose any yarn so I had to knit to a certain point where I could pick up from for the beginning of sock two.

I’m enjoying this knit and I look forward to having them all done.

I have also finished sock one of my current sock test knit and I have cast on for sock two. This is a very nice pattern that I’m enjoying working and the result is beautiful. I’m using my new blend, 50/50 merino/cotton to knit those . The yarn is very soft and because of the merino content it does have some give. I’m interested in seeing how the socks will hold up to wear. They are super soft and comfortable to the touch.

kbj testkbj test 2kbj test 3

I’m really thrilled about the colorway I dyed up too:)

And  then there are my hats. I have finished two winter hats. The first is a new pattern from my friend Madeleine of Kingfisher knits. It’s called Vendemmia. I knit this using my 100% baby alpaca yarn in chunky weight. I did have to break into skein two which was a bummer but I think the next time I will not knit it as long because it is a little big/long on me and if I do that, one skein will be sufficient. I also had this great pompom I had bought in Iceland a while back and it goes perfectly with this hat.

Now I just need to wait till it’s cold enough to wear this:)

My second hat is a free pattern on Ravelry from the girls of  Espace Tricot in Canada. It is called Pull the Wool Over and I love it! It is a super simple pattern and it is knit using an aran weight yarn held with a mohair yarn so it has some fuzziness to it. I did put a pompom on it but it’s too small so I have ordered more pompoms and will put a bigger one on this hat.

The last picture shows the two yarns held together in the skein. I got my youngest to model and as you can see she did have some fun:)

I’m currently working on the first pattern from Knitvent 2017. If you are not familiar with Knitvent, this is a pattern collection that Helen of Curious Handmade puts out every year leading up to Christmas. And every week over I think 6 weeks you get a pattern for an accessory. The first pattern this year is for a multi colored cowl that she designed to use with the famous Advent Calendars that so many indie dyers are selling these days. Of course you can substitute that for your own leftovers or ever just knit using one or two colors. There are endless possibilities for this project yarn/color wise. I put together 24 minis and left overs and so I’m knitting as the pattern says, one color per section and as I finish one section I take the yarn out of my bag to be sure I don’t accidentally use it again. This is super fun even though the pattern itself is quite simple. The fact that you change colors/yarn every 8 rows and that there usually is also a change in stitch pattern keeps one interested and wanting to knit just one more section!

land of sweets cowl

This pattern is called Land of Sweets. I try to keep the colors close but not too close and I use the highly variegated for the stockinette sections rather than the lace ones. I’m having lots of fun with this one and I’m currently just past 65% done. And no I’m not a math genius, Helen gives us the percentage every so often in her pattern which is super nice.

And then there is the child cardigan that I’m test knitting and not finishing as quickly as I had hoped for. So I’m knitting this in size 14 years old and I’m using yarn from Rooster that I had in my stash (I used to sell this yarn in my shop). The pattern is fairly simple BUT clearly at the beginning I misunderstood the increase instructions and I kept going when I should not have! This means that my cardigan is bigger/wider in the front than it should but more importantly the neckline is not as it should be!

child cardi test knit

I think the width will not be a problem and as you can see I’m close to being done. I’m on the cuff of sleeve 2 and then I need to do the neckband and the button bands.

child cardi neck

So the cardigan should have a sort of square shaped neckline and so I should just knit the neck band and then pick up and knit the button bands. But because of my mistake, I now find myself with a V-neck cardigan and I’m not sure how I can go about making this work. Here’s what I’m thinking and maybe you can help here

  1. should I start at the bottom of the V neck and just cast on 1 stitch and then gradually increase every row until I have filled the gap and the button band can be knit in a straight line?
  2. should I try to knit a cuff/neck band all the way around the V neck? From beginning to end? And then knit the button band separately? Or maybe first knit the button band, then pick up the cast off stitches at the top and begin the neckband from there?
  3. or should I attempt making a sort of shawl collar/neckband? Knitting everything in one piece from the bottom of one side to the other?

What do you think? I’m planning on finishing the sleeve tonight and then start testing my neck options but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this matter.

These are all my finished objects and most worked on wips. I’m planning on casting on for two more big projects; both are test knits, one cardigan and one pullover. I’m also thinking about some more sock designs that I would like to work on and I even have an idea for a shawl. So many ideas and so little time!

I  hope you are doing good and that you are having a great start to your week. I will be back at the end of the week when I draw the winner for the yarn from Goosey Fibres. Next week I will be away some so I’m not sure if or when I’ll be able to post. Also I think I will close my Etsy shop in a few days. Might even be at the end of this week as next week I will be away most of the time. So just in case you are interested, everything is 25% off, no code needed and you can check out the shop by clicking here

That’s all for now. Take care and happy knitting

Lots of stripes and a test knit

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a nice weekend and that this new week is shaping up to be a good one. Here in France it’s been raining a lot lately so the temperatures have been quite mild. But rain is just so depressing.Or is it? Well I think that for knitters it’s not so much as we can just get cozy and knit on and enjoy being inside.

Now on to knitting and dyeing. I have been on a self striping high since I knit the pair of blue self striping socks for my daughter – I showed you pictures in my second to last post. And that inspired me to continue working on dye techniques to produce self striping yarns and I have come up with 3 different colour ways so far. One is in the shop and available for purchase, that is the Christmas is Coming colour way. The other two I have not yet listed and I’m thinking maybe I’ll offer those as “dye to order” kind of thing.

Depending on how one winds the yarn before dyeing, different results can be achieved and I have been playing with that. And I have knit 2 1/2 pairs of vanilla self striping socks since then to see how my new yarns knit up. And I love it!

Here you have the yarns. So I did one ball of self striping yarn and one small ball of contrasting yarn for heels, toes and cuffs. Just seeing the yarn like this, all wound up, makes my fingers tickle. I find self striping yarn so appealing.

And here you have the socks all knit up. I’m really pleased with the results and that the stripes are perfectly calibrated so I have been able to knit two 100% matching pairs so far and I’m currently working on the third and last one. What do you think of these colour ways? Do you knit with self striping yarns? I’d love to hear your thoughts on these.

As a general rule, self striping yarns are more expensive than solid or variegated yarns because of the work involved in producing them. But a few select dyers have yet been able to build their career on those and dye exclusively self striping yarns. I’d love for these to be part of my offer but getting the word out there, that I have some, is not easy and maybe people prefer to buy only from the “Big Names”. I don’t know.

Personally, I have always liked self striping yarns but I only use them for vanilla socks. I could see myself use them for mittens though and possibly for a hat, maybe like a Sock Head Hat. I don’t often buy self striping and that’s mostly because of the price + shipping as most of the big name self striping dyers are in the US and shipping from the US to Europe is prohibitive in most cases. Funny how shipping from the US to Europe seems to be so much more expensive than shipping from Europe to the US. Not sure why that is but anyway, now that I know how to dye up a self striping yarn, I can just dye them myself:)

So since last time almost all my knitting time has been consumed by knitting these “test” socks to see how my yarn knits up. But I have also been knitting a pair of socks as a test knitter for a Ravelry designer. I’m almost done with that pair, hopefully I’ll finish today or tomorrow at the latest. I don’t think I’m allowed to show a picture just yet but I will share once she publishes the pattern. I also accepted to test knit another pair for this same designer as soon as I finish the current one so I seem to be only knitting on socks for the time being.

And speaking of test knitting, have you ever been a test knitter? I’m rather new to test knitting. So far I have test knit one cowl, a shawl and 2 pairs of socks. It is quite fun and it also means you get a free pattern which is always a bonus:)

Currently the designer Madeleine Windsor who designs under the name Kingfisher Knits, is looking for test knitters for a cowl and a beret that she has designed using one of my yarns. There are three sizes going from child to adult and this is knit using an Aran weight cash’merino yarn. This particular yarn is not in the shop at the moment but testers who want to do the test knit using my yarn are able to order the yarn directly from me and not only do they get a discount but they also get to choose their colour as I then dye the yarn to order. Once the patterns will be released I’ll be putting the yarn up in the shop for sale.

Here is a picture of the set

fragolina-beret-and-cowl

Nice don’t you think? So if you are interested in testing for her, you can get in touch with her on Ravelry, here is a link to the discussion thread she has set up for this test knit.

Other than this, not much new. I’m just working and knitting socks:) I kind of look forward to my second pair of test socks to be done and then I’ll give socks a little break I think and return to my shawl knitting or something. And oh, I almost forgot. I bought a few skeins of new and exciting new yarn bases to try out. And those are luxury bases such as merino and silk blends or a yak, merino and silk for example. So far I have only dyed one skein and that was in the 50/50 merino and silk base. it’s a fingering weight yarn so 400 meters for 100gr and boy is that a gorgeous yarn! It’s ultra soft and the silk gives the yarn a lovely sheen and I can just see that this will be something luxurious. I’m not sure what I’m going to knit with this first skein. I thought of doing socks but it feels a bit too luxurious for socks. I thought of a shawl but 400 meters is probably not enough as I like shawls to be on the bigger side. Maybe a hat, like a Sock Head Hat? Or a cowl?

What would knit with a yarn like this? If you have suggestions for a fun pattern,  please share:)

I think this is all for today. I hope you have a great week. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today. I look forward to being back and sharing more of my knitting with you next week. Until then, take care and enjoy your knitting:)