Stash enhancements and works in progress

Hey there how are you doing? I hope you are doing good and enjoying life and crafting. I’ve been doing a lot of knitting but not really making any significant progress because, I think, I’m working on so many projects at the same time! I currently have 4 socks on the needles that I’m working on and my Ganz shawl which I’m doing as part of my summer kal. And of course I have 3 partially knit sweaters that are languishing in project bags in my room. I really need to finish my socks and then get back to knitting the sweaters finishing one after the other. Because I’m already well into each one so I don’t really have a lot left. But somehow my startitis is just way to strong and  I keep casting on for new socks and adding new shawls to my Ravelry library. I don’t know if you have the same “problem” but if you do, I’d love how you manage your startitis to actually finish what needs to be finished or if like me, you just give into urgent cast on urges.

So lets begin with some show and tell of socks

knit from stash may

I finished my #knitfromstash2016 May socks. This is a yearlong kal I’m doing as part of a sock knitters group on Facebook called Addicted to sock knitting. We get one pattern per month by designer Heatherly Walker and this was the May pattern. It’s called Rhytidome and I really like how they turned out and I feel my yarn really is perfect with this pattern.

Then there is my round 6 pair from Sock Madness that has not been getting any love lately but I’m going to get to it when I have a little less socks going because that is a pattern that needs to be knit pretty monogamously because it is quite complicated.

sock madness round 6I’m knitting these with a Lornas Laces yarn and I’m playing yarn chicken because this pattern is a real yarn eater so I knit the toe in some plain white yarn. If by some miracle I have enough yarn then I’ll rip back the toe and redo in the same yarn but that is highly unlikely.

I’m also participating in the #BeyondVanillaKal1 with Mina of the Knitting Expat Podcast. I bought her new sock pattern collection and I’m knitting them as part of the kal. I have one pair done and now I’m working on paire number 2. I’m using some fun yarn I dyed last week. I was testing a new method of dyeing and I dyed 4  50gr skeins of SOX base yarn. I’m knitting the Pebbles pattern in medium but I’m doing a short leg because I want to use just one 50gr skein. These will be for my youngest.

Here are some pictures of the socks and the yarn. I’ve done one sock and I’m at the heel for the second now.

The yarn I’m using is skein number two from the right

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And then there is the Tour de Sock which like Sock Madness is a sock knitting competition but this time it also serves as a fund raiser for Doctors without frontiers. Also in this competition everyone can do all the rounds. You get points for each pair you finish depending on how quickly you finish etc and those points will determine the winner. I’m feeling a lot less competitive this time and going quite slowly, maybe too slowly even but then this round the pattern is quite complicated with lots of charts so I can’t knit on this at work. I really need to pay attention and follow the pattern. I’m at the heel turn on sock one now and I have 6 more days to finish my pair.

So I’m definitely not going to win anything but at least I’m supporting a good cause and I get to knit gorgeous socks. So this is round 2 and here are pictures from round one and two

The pictures above are the round one pair

The pictures above are from round 2 the cabled side is the front and the knit and purl side is the back. This pattern has a very interesting heel construction. I’m using WYS Signature 4 ply. This pattern really calls for a solid yarn to really appreciate the patterning.

And then there is my summer kal which you can still join if you wish to. We are knitting patterns by designer Nancy Whitman and the kal goes to August 31st with some lovely prizes that will be drawn at random once the kal is over. I’m knitting a gansey inspired shawl called Ganz. I’m using my own hand dyed yarn, a 100%DK in a sort of watermelon red color. First one knits like a gansey inspired strip and I’ve done that and now I’m on to some short row shaping. I still haven’t understood how I go from the current shape to the final shape so this is a bit of a mystery knit for me so far. Here is where I’m at now

 

ganz 14jun

That’s all of my knitting for now. And inspite of my intention of NOT buying more yarn, well, I’m just not able to resist. So here is what I’ve gotten lately.

First, I’m doing The Golden Skein for the first time ever. I’m doing the biggest club (of course) so every  3 months I get 3 skeins of yarn and I just got the summer shipment.

the golden skein summer green

Beautiful green yarns. Now I just need to find patterns to go with these yarns. What is fun is that I have never knit with any of these yarns and that is the very fun part of the Golden Skein subscriptions for me, I’m discovering lots of interesting dyers for the very first time.

And then there was that time I lost my head on Etsy, as happens to the best of us:)

tamiwicolors yarnFirst I bought these 4 gorgeous skeins from I think, a new indie dyer in Germany. I love the colors. The yarn is 75/25 merino/nylon but feels a bit rustic, like my BASIK base so these will become socks. This dyer is totally underpriced which may explain why I got 4 skeins at once! The shop is called Tamiwicolors  and she is on Etsy. Just click on the name and you’ll find yourself in her shop. Definitely go take a look, her color combinations are lovely.

I also fell for another Etsy shop, this time for a better known dyer that I have been drooling over for a long time but not bought from until now. This is a dyer in Finland called Lanitium Ex Machina and I love their variegated colorways and I chose 3 skeins on their stellina base. The  colors are gorgeous but the yarn is not soft. Maybe it will soften with knitting and washing but now it feels rustic to the touch and the glittery thread/stellina is quite “hard” to the touch. Nothing like my stellina base which is super soft and can be used for next to skin items like shawls or cowls in addition to socks. This yarn will make gorgeous socks but definitely nothing next to the skin for me.

lanitium ex machina

So I have lots of new gorgeous yarn for loads of future socks:)

And speaking of socks, just before letting you go, I thought I’d mention again the very limited edition sock knitting kit that I’m doing with JavaPurlDesigns and KnitRunDig. It’s the Gilmore Girls sock kit which includes a pattern by JavaPurlDesigns, a project bag by KnitRunDig, a 10 color self striping yarn hand dyed by myself and a selection of little goodies for some additional fun. This kit went up for pre-order last Sunday June 12th after noon and in just 48H we have sold 80% of the kits! We are super happy about the interest for this super cool kit. And if you, like me, love knitting socks and enjoy self striping yarns, project bags and surprise goodies you need to go over to the JavaPurl website and get a kit while we still have some left.

With that, I wish you a wonderful and crafty week:) Speak to you soon

gilmore girls

Self striping sock yarn and the Gilmore Girls

Hi there, do you enjoy knitting socks? Do you like self striping sock yarns? Do you enjoy colours? Do you watch the Gilmore Girls show?

If your answer is YES to any of these questions then you might be interested in an upcoming sock knitting kit.

I’m so happy and proud of this first collective collaboration that I’m doing with CC Almon of JavaPurlDesigns and Sam Boggia of KnitRunDig.

The three of us are working on this sock knitting kit that will be up for pre-order this coming Sunday June 12th. This is a very limited edition, only 30 kits will be made so once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!

Each kit will include a sock pattern by CC, a project bag by Sam, hand dyed yarn by Yours Truly and lots of little goodies. And everything is tied to the Gilmore Girls show.

I got to see a picture of the finished prototype sock last week and it is gorgeous! I was so happy and proud to see this new pattern all knit up in my self striping yarn. I can’t wait to get to knit a pair myself!

So all my dyeing efforts are currently concentrated on this project. I’m dyeing a 10 color self striping yarn and let me tell you, self striping is work and 10 color self striping is a LOT of work!

Here are a few pictures I have taken to share some of the preparations for this kit on my side.

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l’m showing the finished ball of yarn all grey because I don’t want to spoil anything and we have not yet shown the actual yarn and pattern but I imagine that will be done in the future, unless we decide it would be more fun for you to discover the yarn as you open your package 🙂

So if you want to join in this fun and knit a pair of beautiful socks using a limited edition self striping yarn then you need to sign up for the preorder on the Java Purl Designs website here as of June 12th.

gilmore girls

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful rest of the week:)

My first ever fandom project

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing great. It’s Friday today and the weather her in Normandy is beautiful, warm and sunny. According to the weather man that is not going to last and the weekend and even all of next week is supposed to be gloomy and grey! But lets not think about that and just enjoy the sun while its here:)

Today I want to tell you about my secret custom dye project that I have alluded to before.

So this is a very fun project that I’m working on with two friends that I met two years ago now at a show in London. The three of us are collaborating on a gorgeous knitting kit that will be released early July. The theme, as you may have guessed from the title of todays’s post, is fandom related. To be precise, its Gilmore Girls fandom related. So if you are a Gilmore Girls fan or if you just like nice things, you are going to be interested in this kit. It’s going to be quite exclusive as only 30 kits will be sold so when they’re gone, they’re gone for good. The pattern itself will probably be published later on but I don’t think there will be a repeat for the project bag and as for the yarn, well it is such huge work I’m not sure I’ll repeat it either except if we get a huge response in which case we might have to reconsider the exclusivity. But that’s a “problem” for later.

So as you may have gathered already the kit will include:

a Gilmore Girls themed sock pattern by CC of Java Purl Designs

a project bag by Sam of KnitRunDig

and hand dyed yarn by yours truly

and some little goodies for surprise

The yarn is a 10 colour self striping yarn. One stripe/colour per character in the Gilmore Girls.

It has been and still is a lot of fun to prepare this kit and it’s the first time I ever participate in such a collaboration and I’m very happy and proud to be a part of this because I’m a huge fan of CC’s designs and I own a number of project bags by Sam and I use them all the time. So I know that this kit will be high quality all around.

Dyeing the yarn is very time consuming. I’m not used to do a lot of self striping and I don’t think that’s something I’m going to develop simply because of the time involved and because I’m such a small dyer that I think it’s not really worth it for me. So that makes this particular yarn even more special.

Here are some pictures of the preparations

So this kit will go on pre-order on the Java Purl Designs website as of June 12th and CC has added the exact times for a large number of time zones so you can check that out as of now to be sure to sign up when pre-orders open up.

I do hope you will sign up for this kit and maybe we’ll organise a kal around this too, I have to check with my friends and I’ll let you know but that might be fun.

And on the subject of kals, don’t forget that I’m hosting my first ever kal this summer. Kick off is June 1st and it will run to August 31st. I’m calling it the Knitting in France and Nancy kal because it’s hosted by me (Knitting in France) and it is for any of Nancy Whitmans patterns.

I have finally decided on which of her patterns I’m going to knit (first – I think I might do two during this kal). I have dyed up some yarn and I’ll be sharing that with you very soon. I will be sharing info on the kal here on the blog but the kal will live in my group on Ravelry and that is where you should sign up. I have created an information thread and a chatter thread already. Later there will be an FO thread of course. And there will be prizes at the end to make things even more fun! The prizes will include patterns, yarns, stitch markers and a project bag! These are the prizes I know of so far but who knows, there might be even more depending on how many participate. So check it out and I hope you will join in.

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to talking to you later:)

In progress

Hi there, This week I have been working on a few ideas and projects.

First I made up sample “goodie bags” as a test for a future “goodie bag club” in my shop. I’m thinking this would be a fun alternative to the classic yarn  club. The idea would be to sign up and get a goodie bag every month or two. I’m thinking of something around 10€ and the test bags I made up include: 2 mini skeins (25m each – hand dyed sock yarn), 1 envelope of Soak (mini soak for washing your hand knits and try out before maybe committing to a whole bottle), some handmade stitch markers (we never have enough of those), a handmade needle stopper (same thing as with the stitch markers, we can always add a cute needle stopper to our project bag) and a pattern tamer from Atomic Knitting. This is a rough idea, I might change before committing to this. Of course each month the goodie bag would be different although there would always be 1-2 mini skeins (could be hand dyed or hand spun), a set of hand-made stitch markers and a knitting needle stopper . The rest of the items would change, there might be a needle gage or a cable needle or a stitch holder or some beads etc. You get the picture. Something yummie, something handmade, always fun and at a reasonable price.

Here’s a picture of the test goodie bags I made and will soon be sending out to lucky testers:) www.knittinginfrance.com

I’m also proud to announce that I’m participating, in a small capacity, (but participating nonetheless) in a knitting retreat that will be held in Edinburgh this autumn. The retreat is called GEEKY PUFFIN KNIT PALOOZA which is being held for the very first time. The retreat is organised by CC Almond of JavaPurls and her daughter Demeris (they also do a podcast together that I highly recommend you check out: Geeky girls knit) and their friend Sam Bogia of KnitRunDig – you can find Sam’s shop here and her blog by clicking on her name (KnitRunDig). Sam has a project bag shop on Etsy and she also has a podcast you should check out by clicking through on the links above.

So these three amazing ladies have concocted an amazing weekend for you in Edinburgh, Scotland from October 29th to November 1st. I think there may still be a few places left if you would like to sign up. Also note that they will be selling a few spots for individual classes and that the vendor market will be open part time for non-retreat visitors. So if you are in Edinburgh or close by during those dates you should definitely take a look. I’ve personally met CC and Sam and they are both wonderful fun and I’m sure the retreat will be a blast all around and I would have loved to actually attend myself. But…. not possible this time around, maybe next time? But I did say I was participating though and here’s how. The attendees will be getting goodie bags (how I envy them) and I have made two of the items in there (I’m not saying what as that is going to be a surprise for the attendees) and I’m super proud of the opportunity to participate like this and I’m super excited about getting to introduce myself and my work to the attendees of the retreat. I’ll show you pictures later on but probably not until after the retreat so as not to spoil the excitement of the future lucky attendees! Anyway, that’s exciting:)

Now on the subject of spinning. It’s been a while since I shared my spinning with you. I think I told you a while back that I bought a bump of Kauni pencil roving in their Rainbow colorway and that I wanted to try to spin that up. I love Kauni effect yarn and I wanted to see if I could make some. This is also the first time I ever spin from pencil roving and it was quite fun. Now I have not only spun the pencil roving but plied it as well. I did a two ply and I have a gazillion meters I think. I have yet to wash and finish the yarn so I haven’t measured it out yet. I love the outcome, as all Kauni yarns, it’s not soft but I’m going to wash it with a little hair conditioner and hopefully that will soften it a bit. I’m thinking I’ll make socks and mittens with this.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see the pencil roving next to my wheel. You can appreciate the gorgeous colors and how fine the pencil roving is.

www.knittinginfrance.com And here is my skein of handspun Kauni yarn. Personally I love it!!!

 

Last weekend I also did a little bit of test dyeing. I dyed 2 skeins of sock yarn using a fun technique I secretly call “candy dyeing” because I think it is such a fun way to dye and that the resulting yarn is almost as yummie as candy (yes I have a sweet tooth). So I did 2 skeins, using different main color for each and then using the same accent colors but organising the differently on each yarn. The yarn is still drying so I’m not able to show you what it looks like once reskeined yet but here are some in progress pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com So you see, about 3/4 of the skein is dyed in one color and then approx 1/4 is dyed in small sections with accent colors.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here I have wound the hanks into skeins but the yarn was still humid so the skeins don’t look as yummie as they could be. They will be all dry and ready for reskeining pretty soon and I’ll be able to share with you those pictures so you can see the final result. I’ve also decided that I’m going to use one of these skeins as my travel sock yarn and I’m currently looking for a good and simple sock pattern that will show off the colorway. I don’t want cables or lace as I see these yarns as being something fun for simple vanilla type socks.

That’s all for today. I’m thinking it’s almost time to do a little giveaway! I have finally reached the milestone of 100 subscribers to my blog and I’d like to celebrate by doing a giveaway. I’m thinking something super nice like a skein of sock yarn with a set of markers and a needle holder. Maybe one main price and 2 small ones… I’m going to sleep on this and think about how, when and what and I’ll be launching this beginning of October I think as I don’t have the time now before going to the US so once I’m back it should be fine.  So stay tuned and join the fun.

Thank you for taking the time to share my thoughts and wips I know you are super busy so I’m honored you allow me to take up some of your precious time.

Take care and until next time, happy knitting/spinning/crochet

KnitRunDig and JavaPurl

Next in my series of talents that I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London is the lovely Sam of KnitRunDig.  I met sam for the first time at the show where she shared a booth with CC Almond of JavaPurl.

Sam sews amazing project bags which she sells in her Etsy shop as well as at craft fairs/shows such as that one. When I went to look at her booth I saw a number of bags that I wanted to snatch up but being the serious person I am (hm hm) I decided that it would not be reasonable to spend all that I earned at the show to buy from other vendors or at least not until the end of the show:) So when I came back one of the bags I really wanted was gone ( it had super cute foxes) but lucky for me the other must have bag was still there!

Knit Run Dig and Java Purl This is the booth shared by Sam of Knit Run Dig and CC of Java Purl

Here’s a picture of the bag I got from Sam project bag knitrundig along with a current project. It’s a japanese tissue and just gorgeous! It has a ‘handle” which you can see on the right side of the picture and this allows you to carry the bag on your wrist for example if knitting on the go. It is large enough to accommodate a mediums sized knitting project. At the moment I have my ball of yarn, my pattern, a notions pouch and my shawl in progress and it’s perfect!

You can visit Sam’s Etsy shop here  Currently she does not have a lot of models in the shop but I know that she can do custom orders so if you are looking for a fun and yet practical project bag you should definitely contact her with your idea and I’m sure she can do the trick for  you:) Sam also blogs and has a video podcast which you can check out here.

Sam is friends with the fun loving CC Almond which you may know as Java Purl and together they are organising a knitting retreat in Scotland later this year and I’ll tell you more about that later.

Now on to CC – she’s an American living in Edinburgh, Scotland and she is an avid sock knitter and sock designer. You may know her as JavaPurl or have heard of her Doctor Who socks. CC has her own blog which you can visit here and together with her daughter Damaris she does a video podcast under the name Geeky Girls Knit. The podcast has lots of interesting features and CC being CC, it is also loads of fun to watch and you can take a look at her podcast here if you are not yet familiar with it.

In their latest episode they talk about the I Knit Fandango show in London and share the goodies that she brought back home with her – some of which come from my shop! On this note, I agreed to produce something for the goodie bags each participant in her and Sam’s knitting retreat will get this autumn. That is super exciting and good exposure for me. Also she loved my yarns and bought one for herself:) Can’t wait to see what she’ll do with it. I also gave her a skein of sock yarn – she chose the colour herself- for her to design a pair of socks with. That is the first time I ever pair up with a designer to use my yarn in a design. Yarn support to designers is very exciting and I’m sure this will give me good exposure once the future pattern will be released (not until later this year).

Like I said above, CC is a designer and you can visit her pattern shop on Ravelry here She is probably best known for her sock designs, especially the series of Doctor Who inspired socks. After seeing her socks at the show I fell in love with one pattern which is also film inspired. The pattern is called The Lady of Lallybroch and is inspired by the Outlander.

Lady of Lallybroch by Java Purl  These are the socks on display at the show and they are gorgeous. Lady of Lallybroch by Java Purl This is a picture I found of someone’s version of those on Ravelry and I feel that the solid color shows the cables better on the picture. You have this intricate celtic cable design going from cuff to toe on the front of the sock. So these are on my todo list and I have already chosen my yarn and so they should be cast on shortly. Here’s my future version of this pattern The Lady of Lallybroch Socks and yarn The yarn is a gradient yarn from Knitcircus and I think it will show the cables beautifully.

Now on to Sam’s and CC’s knitting retreat. The retreat is called Geeky Puffin Knit Palooza and is scheduled for the weekend of 29th of Oct – 1st of Nov 2015. It will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can sign up for residential or non-residential places. In addition to taking classes, participants will take part in a yarn crawl and will have early access to the on site marketplace – before the marketplace opens up to the general public. Also participants will all receive a goodie bag (and those are going to be fantastic) and there will be gorgeous door prizes too. This is looking to be a wonderful retreat so if you are in Europe or going to Scotland, I suggest you check out their website and sign up if you can. All the info can be found here

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed meeting these two lovely ladies and hearing about their work. There will be at least one more post this week on yet another inspiring artist I met at the show so I hope you are enjoying my series.

Take care