An almost monogamous knitter for once

Hi there how are things? I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. I was kept busy between work and school holidays here in France. Now the kids are back at school and things are back to the regular routine.

Since I last posted I have been concentrating mostly on my current garment test knit. I’m almost done now and really like the fit and look of my new sweater.

I am somewhat off gauge wise though as my sweater is longer/bigger than it should be according to the pattern so I have had to modify the final decrease rounds. But it still worked out nicely.

Unfortunately the sweater is taking more yarn than I had expected and so I dyed up some yarn this morning and I’m crossing my fingers hoping I was able to get very close to the previous yarns. I only have the sleeves to knit now. If the colour is not quite there I will go with a contrasting coloured sleeves. As I write this the yarn is drying in the sun so I still don’t know yet if I was successful in recreating the beautiful yellow of my sweater.

This is an oversized, raglan sweater and the sleeves are mostly ribbing as the raglan arrives at the elbow.

It is quite a heavy sweater and it made me realise that I really prefer fingering weight garments. But this sweater really is nice and I look forward to finishing it.

Other than this sweater, I also finished my warm up socks for Sock Madness. I believe the contest/challenge will start in a few days, beginning of March, so it was important I finished this pair in time.

I’m also planning on finishing my test knit sweater before then too so that I can start the challenge without any other stressful deadline.

So my warm up socks also double as my contribution to the #knitterspayitforward2019.

The 13 memories socks

I was not totally convinced at first when I saw the pattern. I was worried that the lace pattern would be obscured by the yarn. That is why I chose rather subdued colours, nothing wildly variegated. I’m very happy with the results. I still have to weave in the ends of one of the socks and then I will put together a nice little package to my lovely recipient who lives in Denmark.

If you are not aware of this #knitterspayitforward2019 this is a “thing” launched by dr Holmes, the same person as the one who organises the Marie Curie sock challenge for Christmas. This time around, the idea is to offer to knit something for another person, whether we know them or not.

In my case I posted on Instagram and said I wanted to join this fun project and knit a pair of socks for someone and asked those interested in receiving a pair of scrappy, hand knit socks to comment on my post. I only got 2 comments and the “winner” was my new Danish friend.

If you are interested in joining you definitely should and remember to use the tag so the rest of us can follow along.

In this new week my main focus will be on finishing my sweater as I have said above. I do have 2 cardigans going, one has been on hold for months and I just picked it up again today. I have 1 1/2 sleeve to finish so not much left and I’m hoping I will also be able to finish that this week.

The other cardigan is at it’s beginning so lots of work there still but it will be good to pick it up again and make some progress.

Then of course there will soon be Sock Madness, a truly mad sock knitting challenge so as soon as the first pattern arrives I will be concentrating on that.

On a more personal note, I have just started walking! I used to be active as a young woman but I have let myself go lately. I work from home so most of my time is spent sitting in front of a computer so I have very limited physical activity. I was inspired by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears who has started going for walks. I’m going for 30-40 minute walks and it really feels good. I listen to audio books and podcasts and just enjoy the incredibly beautiful weather and getting some alone time with myself and a good book. I’m really happy I started moving a little and just hope I will keep up the good work:)

That’s it for today. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my knitting progress and hope you will have a great week ahead with plenty of fun knitting.

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Some FOs and new cast ons

Hi there, I’m sorry I didn’t blog last week. I just felt somewhat “empty”.  I had a lot of work and just felt like I had not had much time to knit and so didn’t have enough to show and share with you. Sometimes I hit a low spot and just can’t get myself to blog and share and I feel that if my spirits are down, I’m just going to drag you down with me and that would not be a nice thing to no now would it ? So better to way and blog when my heart and head are in the right place:)

So I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. Here in Normandy the weather gods are not quite sure if it’s winter or not yet so we go from sun and summery temperatures to rain and cold and back to sun again. A little confusing but winter is definitely getting close though.

I have been feeling the cast on-itis seriously lately and I have cast on for 3 new projects! Kind of crazy when one has as many languishing wips as I do but then knitting is all about fun and making oneself feel good so I’m not going to bash myself about that.

But first lets talk about FOs.

I am so happy to finally get to show you my finished Zweig sweater! I finished it a while ago but for some reason did not get around to taking a finished picture. Well now I have..not of me in it unfortunately but you will get the general idea. I really like how it turned out. It fits perfectly and I’m very happy about my choice of yarn.

zweig done

I look forward to winter really coming so I can start wearing this one.

And then there is my ongoing charity sock knitting for Marie Curie. Last year I knit 4 pairs and this year I decided I would knit 6.  I have now finished 4 1/2 pairs! I really look forward to being done with this 5th pair and actually start on pair number 6. I’m not sure when I started knitting those but I think I have knit them rather quickly. And even though the main colour is the same for all, just changing the contrasting colour and the stitch I use for each pair has made this a fun project and I am not having any issues motivating myself to continue. I’m planning to have all 6 pairs finished by the end of this month so I can mail them to the UK beginning of November so they will be there plenty in time.

four and a half pair marie curie

I still have most of my ends to weave in! So the first 3 pairs are maybe more masculine as I used blue as contrast colour and because I made them a little bigger. Now I’m working on the yellow contrast colour and I’m knitting them a little smaller even though I know terminally ill patients often have retention issues and swollen ankles so I do not make any 56 stitch socks but still somewhat smaller than the first 3 pairs.

This 5th pair is a simple vanilla and I need to find something nice for the last pair. I would love a simple yet feminine pattern that can work well with this variegated yarn. If you have any ideas, please do share the pattern name or even link in a comment below!

Now on to works in progress. So on top of my Marie Curie socks, I’m still working on my Chevron Boxy only it has not seen much love lately so no picture here. It’s in a project bag next to my bed and I’m hoping I will pick it back up and just work on it like crazy to get it done soon! We’ll see…

And I also finished a shawl that I was test knitting for KBJ Designs, an Australian knitwear designer that I have test knit for on a few occasions.

Her shawl was knit in one single solid colour but I had just finished plying a beautiful gradient hand spun yarn. My yarn went from dark marine blue to a beige sandy colour. Sort of like from the beach to deep sea and I really wanted to use that for something special asap! Lucky for me the designer was ok with me using not only a gradient but a hand spun at that so off I went.

handwound ball

You can’t see all the colours here but you do get a little picture of the different hues.

This shawl pattern has not been released yet but I will let you know when it is and what it is called. I’m not going to share the name just yet just in case she had a change of mind:)

This was a beautiful design and a joy to knit and I finished way ahead of the deadline.

crimson dawn shawl beginnning

It was not easy to choose whether to begin with the darkest or the lightest colour. Finally I settled on the darkest because I really like blue and I felt it would look nice on my skin.

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I’m really happy with the finished item and knitting with my own hand spun yarn is such a thrill!

And now on to my 3 new cast ons in the order in which they were cast on!

First there is my second Damejakkalopa cardigan or a colourwork cardigan by Pinneguri. I’m knitting a second version of this one for my mum and hope to have it finished in time for Christmas.

My mom chose the colours a while ago and she asked me to omit the “lice” pattern on the body (the little dots/stitches in a contrasting colour). I’m done with the yoke so until I reach the bottom of the body it is just simple knitting in the round.

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I really like the colours here. The main colour is indigo blue which you can see on the yoke in the part just below the very light blue/grey section. I’m using yarn from the same company as when I knit mine only a different line. I used the wool/silk blend for mine but this time around I’m working with the 100% wool blend and loving it. It is the Supersoft by Holst Garn.

My second cast on was somewhat of a surprise. This weekend we had some friends over to celebrate our birthdays and I was wearing my Cactus over a tee shirt.

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One of my friends made a few not so subtle comments about why I wouldn’t knit her a cardigan too and so the next day I decided I would and cast on! Now, I don’t knit for a lot of people usually. I choose my knitwear recipients carefully because I only want to spend time and money knitting something if I am fairly certain the recipient will actually appreciate my effort and wear/use the item. This particular friend is knit worthy and I have already gifted her a shawl and two pairs of socks. So anyway, I have cast on for a second Cactus. I again used Holst Garn but in their wool/cotton blend so it does not scratch at all! I chose a very neutral colour called Dove. I literally just cast on yesterday so I don’t have much to show but here goes.

cactus two

I think this will look nice and be easy to wear with all sorts of colours.

And last but not least, I decided to join in for the new Stephen West Mystery knitalong! This started last Friday but I didn’t get the time to cast on till Sunday. The first few rows are a little confusing but I think it will be nice in the end.

As Stephens designs are often very colourful and a little “out there” I decided this time I would be very down to earth and choose subtle, neutral tones and I’m so happy with the combination of yarns I came up with.

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All are special yarns that I have purchased recently except for the mohair blend which I hand dyed myself.

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As you can see I have literally just started so not much to show. And I do have a doubt about whether or not all is correct. Also I find the mohair yarn knit on its own looks a little awkward as it is so much thinner than the other fingering weight yarns. But I’m going to keep going with this clue until it starts shaping up so I can better judge. Of course if when looking at my picture you see a huge error screaming back at you, DO let me know!

That’s it for today. I hope you have enjoyed your time here on the blog and seeing my knitting. I have enjoyed sharing everything with you. Next time I will be sharing pictures and information on a secret test knit I did this past summer and the pattern that will be published in a beautiful knitting magazine this November. I also hope to be on my last pair for Marie Curie and who knows what else!

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

Sweaters and socks

Hi there how are you? I hope you are doing fine and having a nice beginning of autumn.

It’s been two weeks since I last posted. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by work and just all the going back to “normal” this month so far. The kids are back to school so now there is homework and making sure they don’t go to bed too late.

I haven’t had as much knitting time as I had hoped and planned for. I had such big plans for this month, joining in kals etc. But finally I have to face the fact that I simply cannot knit all the things I want and that I do have to make time for boring stuff like cleaning and laundry etc.

So what have I been knitting on these past two weeks?

First there is the Marie Curie charity sock knitting. So I managed to finish pair number one. A simple vanilla pair with contrasting cuff, heels and toes.

marie curie 18 number one

And I cast on for pair number two. This time I thought I should do something different so I’m knitting a pair with some texture on the front. Nothing complicated though that would be fun but I have to be realistic which means simple is the way to go if I want to be sure I knit up at least 4 pairs in time.

I’m also not knitting them two at a time now. I find that I don’t really like two at a time on a  long circular needle. I feel it sort of breaks my rhythm always stopping to go on to the next sock. I really much prefer knitting on 9″ circulars where I can just knit round and round nonstop. So I’m doing this on 9″ and I’m also doing an afterthought heel too.

For pair number 3 I would like to do something different too. I feel the variegated yarn does not lend itself well to things like cables or lace so I feel a  little limited in choice. But maybe I am totally wrong. Are you joining the effort and if so have knit something other than plain vanilla?

As we are talking socks, let me show you the sock I’m knitting for the September/October Sock  Down in the Sockknitters Anonymous group on Ravelry. This is the first time I join one of their challenges/kals and this time the theme is Fandom!

I chose a pattern called Bella’s Truck socks by Rachel Coopey and I think they refer to Bella of Twilight. This is a simple textured pattern so not too time consuming. I would like to finish in a month but if not I do have October too.

bellas truck front

The front

bellas truck

The back

I’m not very far but they do look nice I think.

Then there are the sweaters. I’m working on two at the moment.

First there is my Zweig sweater and it is close to being done. I am about to cast off sleeve one so there is just one sleeve left. But… I have an issue…

So I bought a total of 4 skeins for this project, 1 contrast colour and 3 main colour and I now know that is a little tight for my size (XL).

So I finished the body and almost finished the first sleeve and then realised that the ribbed cuff is extra long. Sooo I didn’t have enough yarn to finish to the correct length. The sleeve itself is the right length for me but I’m debating ripping back some and making the cuff longer as per pattern. As the sleeve is now, I probably knit the main pattern longer than called for and as I’m short on yarn I have started knitting the rib in the contrasting colour only I’m not sure I like it.

zweig

And a close up of the sleeve ribbing

zweig sleeve

I could stop there and bind off. The ribbing is about 2 1/2″ but the pattern calls for 5. Maybe if I rip back I could make the cuff longer as there are less stitches so the yarn might be enough for a little longer cuff.

Or should I keep it as is? Is the white part of the cuff ok? I’m just not sure. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you have knit the Zweig sweater yourself, did you make the cuff as long as the pattern calls for?

Do chime in!

My second sweater project is the Boxy Chevron sweater. This is a fun and relaxing knit. I like the fact that one begins by knitting the sleeves and then pick up stitches from there to knit the body. It does mean a ton of stockinette knitting but it so relaxing and just the perfect project to have along with everything else and I really enjoy picking it up at the end of the day when my brain is tired and I need some relaxing.

boxy chevron 10sep

I’m not very far yet but so far so good. The sleeves are short and I do wonder what they will look like once I wear the sweater. I haven’t tried it on yet. I just want to knit around and around. That’s all!

So those are the 4 things I am knitting on these days.

I do have future cast ons on my mind. For example I need to cast on for another Damejakka Lopa for my mother. It would be amazing if I could finish that in time for  Christmas for example.

And today as I watched the Espace Tricot podcast I discovered a shawl design by one of the owners and podcasters. It is just beautiful and simple and yet I think fun to make. It is knit using lace weight yarn and I do have a lot of that and not many ideas of how to use it.

The pattern is called Virevolte and I think this would be a great ward rope staple for myself but could also be a great Christmas gift though I don’t know if I will have the time to make one.

I also saw another shawl that looked very nice. Leslie of the Knotty Knit Wits just finished knitting one and I really like her version of it. She knit hers in two colours and I actually think that looks nicer than the single colour version the designer shows on Ravelry. So you never know, I might cast that on one day. This shawl has a very strange name (I think) It is called Hephzibah.

And last but not least, I fell for another West Knits mystery KAL. I have knit a few of Stephens West shawls and  I mostly like his patterns but not all. Some are a little too out there for my taste. I wonder about this new one. I was surprised by the colour combination shown for the kits for this shawl. They were mostly soft neutral colours. Not crazy neon, contrasting colours.

I think that what got me was that it mentions “texture” so I’m imagining something with a mix of garter and brioche and maybe cables and lace and all sorts. I would love to get a kit but the prices are way out of my budget so I will do some much needed stash diving later. The kal starts October 5th so I have enough time. Are you joining this time?

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your time with me. I hope you have enjoyed your time here on my blog.

Until next time, HAPPY KNITTING 🙂

My summer FOs and current works in progress

Hi there how are you today? I hope you are fine and having a nice beginning of the week. I’m back at work after the summer holiday. I had 3 weeks off and just started again yesterday. I have to admit that getting up yesterday morning to work was a little difficult! But hey, we all have to work and after all I did get to enjoy 3 whole weeks. We spent about half that time at home and the other half in a region of France called Brittany (Bretagne) and I’m planning on blogging about my summer in a separate post and share pictures for those interested.

Anyway I’m back at work and the kids will be back to school next week except for the oldest who doesn’t start till the week after that! So life is slowly going back to its usual busy state. Soon there will be homework!

But in the meantime I’m planning on making the most of my time after work to knit, knit and knit some more!

Currently I feel like I could just knit all day long! I have a head full of dream knitting and designing ideas. I want to knit all the sweaters and socks I have been buying patterns for this summer ( a ton!) but at the same time I’m starting to feel a little uncomfortable with my amount of wips (both languishing old wips and current active ones). I seem to maybe have gotten myself into a place where I have more to do than I can actually manage and so I’m thinking I might even have to go through my wips, again, and maybe unravel some that I think are not about to be done any time soon. Just to get to a more manageable place. But I’m not sure yet, I’ll keep you posted:)

So knitting both current and future projects as well as some FOs. Where to start?

First just a word on two secret test knits that I finished a while back. One was a summer tee for Rénee of East London Knit (Nema) and the other a cardigan for Making Stories. Both these patterns have now been published and so I’m planning on sharing those with you soon but I want to do a separate post on just them as I feel I so so so much to share now and don’t want this to become the post with no end:)

As I was on vacation I was able to finish 2 1/2 pairs of socks. I shared one pair with you last time I think, my second pair of Stitch surfer socks. The other two pairs were shorty socks.

First up is a pair that I knit using the stitch pattern from the Drippity Drop pattern by Kay Jones. I used yarns from Eden Cottage Yarns and I really like how these turned out.

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The next pair was just a simple vanilla shorty pair that I knit using a new self striping yarn that I bought from Biscotte Yarns. I saw this particular colorway on the Knotty Knit Wits podcast and as I was watching, actually opened a new browser window and bought one!!!! First time I have ever been that enabled!

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I just loved the colours and all the sparkle. I added a solid black for cuff, heels and toes. My older daughter just commented on how nice they looked and as I have enough yarn left I said I’d knit her a pair too:) I’m hoping those will be knit in time for Halloween as this is a Halloweeny yarn and called The Dark Side!

So these are my only FOs.

Now I’m working on a pair of socks using the pattern 2 Color Socks by Joji Locatelli. I actually bought this pattern because I want to join her autumn knit a long that starts September 1st I think. This would be the first time for me but I was unable to wait that long so I cast on for those on vacation and I’m getting close to finishing. These will either be for one of my daughters or for someones Christmas.

I really like the pattern and the soft colours I chose. The yarn is a new one to me, a commercial sock yarn called Arwetta. I hope to have this pair done in two days maxi!

I currently have 2 sweater projects going. First there is my Zweig which I love! I’m a little worried I might not have enough of my main colour and as I used a hand dyed one of a kind colour I know I won’t be able to get any more. I’m almost at the bottom hem on the body so I’m thinking I will put the body on hold and knit the sleeves and if I see that I will not have much left after the sleeves I might either do 3/4 sleeves or make the bottom hem in 2 colours as I have enough of the contrast colour do do something.

zweig and chanel

I’m a little further now than in this picture but haven’t taken a new progress picture. Here it is with my little Chanel 🙂 I’m hoping to get started on the sleeves later this week.

And the second sweater project is a new one that I just cast on about a week ago. This is part of an informal knit a long organized by the Knotty Knit Wit girls. The kal is about knitting any pattern from Susanne Sommer. Their original idea was to knit the Shusui shrug but I was bold and asked if I could still join if I chose to knit another pattern by the same designer and lucky for me they said YES!

I have been looking as the Shusui shrug a lot but I just don’t think I would actually wear it where as the Boxy Chevron sweater I chose instead is something I can really see myself wearing. And if you feel like joining you definitely should.

So for this project I hand dyed some of my Back to Basics yarn which is a 100% non superwash merino yarn for the main colour and I used a Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light for the contrast colour.  This pattern has you start by knitting the sleeves and currently I have one sleeve done and the second very close to being done.

These are not easy to picture due to their shape and the texture (welts of reverse stockinette stitch) here you can at least see the colours. I’m hoping to have the time to finish the second sleeve and start on the body by the end of this  week.

So this week I need to finish my second sock of the 2 Colour Socks, start on the sleeves of my Zweig, finish the second sleeve and start the body on my Boxy Chevron AND knit socks for the Marie Curie Quest of socks!

This is an amazing charity project being run for the second time this year by an amazing doctor and knitter called Sarah Holmes (Sherlockknits on IG). She works as a doctor in a Marie Curie hospice for terminally ill cancer patients in the UK and last year she had the idea of knitting each of her patients a pair of socks to gift them on Christmas Day. She was able to raleigh a number of knitters and together we knit 260 pairs – enough for all the patients staying in a Marie Curie hospice on Christmas Day in the UK. How amazing is that!

West Yorkshire Spinners yarn company made a special yarn for the project and 2 £ of the price of each ball of yarn were donated to Marie Curie. All the socks were knit using this special yarn with an allowance to use complimentary colours for contrasting cuff/heels and toes if wished for.

I was able to knit and donate 4 pairs last year.

marie curie socks 4

And Sarah has decided to do this again this year and West Yorkshire Spinners have come up with a new colorway for Marie Curie. I’m hoping to knit at least 4 pairs this year with a personal stretch goal of 6 pairs.

All the socks have to be knit in the Marie Curie yarn but we can use other yarns for contrast if we wish. This year we are allowed to knit patterned socks and not just plain vanilla and so I’m planning on knitting a mix of things to keep the project interesting for myself. As the yarn is the same I don’t want to loose steam doing the same thing over and over again.

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The yarn on the right is the Marie Curie special yarn for 2018

I’m currently knitting the first pair and that is a vanilla pair! The only vanilla pair I think. I’m knitting them two at a time to make sure there will be no second sock syndrome.

For the next pair I’m going to knit them cuff to cuff – that is knit one sock at a time the first one cuff to to and the second toe to cuff without cutting the yarn.  I think that will be quicker for me than the traditional two at a time on one long circular and just a nice change. I’m going to look up some easy patterns that can go with a variegated yarn.

marie curie 218 first pair

So this is where I’m at at the moment. I really like how the yarn is knitting up and I also think I chose a great contrasting colour. I chose to do contrasting heels, toes and cuffs on this pair and probably on the others as well as that allows the yarn to stretch longer (meaning I will be able to knit more socks than if they were all one single colour).

So I have to knit 1 1/2 – 2  pairs a month to make my  goal so I’m crossing my fingers I’ll be able to knit that many pairs just for this project.

I’m hoping to do an interview with Sarah soon to share more information on this project and maybe enable you to join and you don’t have to knit tons of pairs. Every single pair makes a difference.

That’s it for today.  This has turned out to be quite a long post today so thank you for taking the time to stop by and read all about my current and future projects.

Next up are posts on my two secret test knits as well as a special French Summer Vacation post as well as two special interviews and soon (I hope) a series of informational posts/tutorials on sock knitting.

Until next time, HAPPY KNITTING 🙂