A little bit of knitting and some catty cuteness

Hi there how are you today? This past week has been very busy at work and so I feel a little tired and don’t feel like I have a lot to show for my knitting this time.

I can tell you that I have only just bound off pair number 3 for the Marie Curie Sock Quest and have cast on for pair number 4

marie curie sock four beginning

For this and the next 2 pairs I’m thinking I will use this yellow as the contrast colour. I’m feeling quite optimistic about being able to knit 6 pairs this time around which is great I think.

For this new pair I’m thinking I will either do some sort of an all over ribbing pattern or maybe use the Simple Skyp pattern. Now that I’m on pair number 4 I really feel that variety is important to keep the stamina going:)

Other than this sock project, I recently accepted a new test knit for KBJ designs. This is a shawl pattern and it is coming along nicely. The pattern is written for a fingering weight yarn and just before being contacted for the test knit, I had just finished plying a gradient hand spun yarn. And when I decided to do the shawl I just really felt like I had to use this beautiful gradient that goes from sand/beige to dark navy. I decide to start with the navy and I am now just into the second colour. The picture below was taken before I got to colour 2.

I am looking forward to seeing this shawl finished. Knitting with my hand spun is an added bonus for sure.

Other than this not much knitting progress but as promised, I am going to introduce you to my newest family member.

So I am a kitty person. My kids jokingly (I hope) call me the crazy cat lady! I already had a mixed breed female and a pure breed Main Coon male. But those are getting old, 10 and 11 years old and I was just feeling like I really needed a baby in my life. Maybe this is linked to my age but I just turned 47!

Anyway, my birthday was earlier this month and I was just totally decided that I had to get a kitten for my birthday and I was looking online at different ads etc. I then came across this ad from a breeder not far from my home who had Main Coon kittens. I looked at the pictures and immediately fell in love with one of the kittens. (His name being that of a norse god may have helped). His name is Odin.

odinn eleveur

How could anyone resist such a beautiful kitten?

My other Main Coon is brown tabby like this one only he does not have any white. So anyway I contacted the breeder and asked a few questions and in 2 days I decided this had to be my kitten. And on my birthday I drove to get him!

He is the cutest. He is  3 1/2 months old now and he is very well educated. He has not had any accidents or anything since he got here.

To begin with my other two cats were less than impressed and made it more than clear that he was not welcome. Now 10 days later he has been accepted and I’m so happy.

He is beautiful and I love him sooooo much!

Here are a couple of pictures from his first days at home.

odinn 18sep18

I work from home and the first few days he spent like glued to me. Trying to stay in my lap, on my desk, behind the computer screen. How cute is this? I admit concentrating on work was not easy:)

 

 

And because he is a little baby still and very curious and playful, I have to learn to be careful with my yarn and knitting. The others have never been interested but Odinn has gnawed a cable on one of my circulars so badly I had to throw them away. And as you can see from the picture below, he does enjoy yarn as much as I do though in a different way 🙂

odinn and yarn

Cutest yarn lover ever!

That’s about all for today. I hope you didn’t mind the kitty talk. I know I am a little crazy about cats, about as much as I’m crazy about yarn and knitting.

I hope you have a great rest of the week and lots of time to enjoy your crafting. I’ll be back next week with more knitting.

Take care 🙂

The Marie Curie Sock Project

If you are a regular reader of my blog or/and follow me on social media, you will know that this year, as last year, I have joined an amazing charity knitting project being run by knitter and doctor Sarah Holmes in the UK.
I had been following Sarah on Instagram (@sherlock_knits) and I think I had purchased some yarn from her when she did a destash. And then one day last year, I saw a post from her on IG talking about a dream, a bonkers idea as she called it, that she wanted to make come true.
Sarah is a doctor in one of the Marie Curie hospices in the UK. Those are hospices for the terminally ill and unfortunately there are always patients that spend their Christmas in the hospice. Sarah wanted to knit  and gift sock to those patients on Christmas Day.
I like so many others, immediately wanted to join in this beautiful project.
The idea was to use yarn from UK yarn company West Yorkshire Spinners that creates a special Marie Curie colorway each year (I believe) that is then sold in this one yarn shop in the UK called City Knits. Part of the proceeds for each ball of yarn are then donated to Marie Curie. So by knitting socks with their special edition yarn, one not only participates by knitting a pair of socks but you are also offering financial support.
marie curie socks 4
Last year I knit 4 pairs of socks and I’m planning to knit 6 pairs this year.
At the moment I have finished 2 pairs and am working on my third. This year I’m trying to change and do something different for each pair so as to break up the monotony of using the same yarn for all the pairs.
My first pair was simple vanilla
marie curie 18 number one
My second had a textured pattern on the front only
marie curie pair two

marie curie pari two close

On this second picture you can see how the texture changes the look of the fabric

And for pair number three I’m doing Hermione socks
marie curie pair three
I’m just past the heel on sock number one.
The next three pairs will have yellow heel/toes and cuffs. By using contrasting yarn I am able to knit 2 pairs from one ball of yarn.
I think this project is so amazing and it really brings me joy to participate.
I would like for a lot of people to join forces this year for an even bigger result than last year and I so I asked Sarah if I could share the story here on my blog and if she would accept to answer a few questions. Luckily she said YES!
I do hope you will enjoy the interview that follows.
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Could you tell us a little bit about you as a knitter. When you learned and what knitting means to you today. What your favorite projects are etc
I learned to knit as a child – I can’t actually remember who taught me, but I think it was a combination of my grandma, my mother and a family friend. I tried every sort of crafting under the sun as a child, including crochet, lacemaking, cake decorating, knitting, tapestry, cross-stitch and never really settled on one thing, but when I left university I took up knitting again when I discovered Rowan. I subscribed to the magazine and looked forward to each issue popping through the door – I’d then head off to the local department store to buy the yarn for a garment. I was a truly monogamous knitter at that time – I’d have been horrified by the stash I seem to have built up now, and couldn’t have imagined working on more than one project at a time. My years as a junior doctor meant I didn’t have that much time to knit, so I grew out of the habit, but about 11 years ago a colleague was having a baby and I decided I wanted to make her a present, and I became hooked again. I discovered my local yarn store, Baa Ram Ewe in Leeds, who introduced me to Ravelry and my knitting life hasn’t been the same since! I discovered knitting in the round, sock knitting, colourwork and the joys of hand-dyed yarns. Now I usually have lots of different projects on the go (which can mean I am slower to finish things) which means I always have something I enjoy working on even if I get tired of one particular project. At this time of year I’m usually busy knitting socks and shawls for Christmas presents (and this year and last it has been the Marie Curie socks of course) but at the start of the year I enjoy cosying up with blanket knitting or making garments.
And now on this amazing project you are organising for the second consecutive year. Could you tell us a little about the Marie Curie hospices in the UK – their work, the number of patients (just a general idea) for example.
Marie Curie is a UK charity that has been around for 70 years. Every day of your life matters, from the first to the last and we believe everyone living with a terminal illness should be able to get the most from the time they have left, however hard that may sometimes feel. We aim to be there for people, and their families, when they may feel like no-one else is, to help them cope when they don’t know how. Marie Curie Nurses care for people in their own homes, when they need them most, day or night. The charity also has 9 hospices around the UK, at the heart of their communities offering specialist round-the-clock care, either as inpatients in the hospice wards or coming to our outpatient units for support or treatment, We also have trained volunteers and advisers who are there for people with practical information and support when they don’t know what to do. Every day matters when you’re living with a terminal illness.
Last year more than 50,000 people were helped by our services. 7,711 people were cared for by our hospices, and 33543 by Marie Curie nurses.
How are you linked to the Marie Curie hospices yourself and how was this project born?
I am a doctor and I am one of the consultants working in the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford. When I heard about the Marie Curie yarn last year, I decided I would like to knit a pair of socks from the yarn for each of the patients in the hospice on Christmas Day – 16 people in total. We always give the patients a little gift on Christmas Day, usually soap or toiletries, and I just thought it would be nice to give something a little bit different. When I posted about my idea on Instagram, lots of people offered to help, and I realised I was going to end up with more than 16 pairs of socks. So I decided to try to aim for 229 pairs instead – enough for every patient in every Marie Curie Hospice around the country. Socks came in from all around the world in the end!
What is this years objective and what are the deadlines?
This year I’m aiming to do the same and knit a pair of socks for every patient in every Marie Curie Hospice on Christmas Day, so 229 pairs in total. But it would be great to go even bigger! I’d love to be able to give a pair to everyone who comes up to see us as an outpatient , or perhaps we might have enough to give a pair to the family members visiting on Christmas day too.
I believe last year the socks were to be simple vanilla socks, is that also the case this year? And what sizes(stitch numbers) are you looking for ? 
No, any pattern is fine – it’s great seeing all the different pairs come in and how individual they all are. The only requirement is that they need to use the Marie Curie yarn please. We need a variety of sizes as we don’t yet know who will be in the hospices on Christmas Day, or what size feet they have, so we just need a good mix of sizes. As it gets closer, I should have an idea of any sizes that we might be short of, and I’ll keep everyone updated through my Instagram feed or through the FlowerPowerFund Instagram feed.
Once we have knit our socks, where should we send them?
If you could send them to me at my work address please, that would be great. Just let me know what size they are, and also who has made them and where they’re from as it’s nice for the recipient to know where they’ve come from. Samdrawsthings on Instagram has come up with a lovely sock wrapper that people can download for free from her blog, and a matching card if people would like to write a personalised note.
The address to send them to is:
Dr Sarah Holmes
Marie Curie Hospice Bradford
Maudsley Street
Bradford
BD3 9LE
United Kingdom
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Thank you so much to Sarah for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions and for allowing all to join in her amazing project.
As those are meant for Christmas Day I think Sarah would appreciate having them the first week of December so they can dispatch the pairs to all the different hospices all over the UK.  I do hope you will join the fun if you have the time and if so do share pictures of your socks. It is such fun to see all the socks that are being knit for this project on social media.
That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and plenty of time to enjoy your knitting.
Next week I’ll share pictures of the best birthday gift ever!

I’m back

How are you today? It has been way longer than planned since my last blog post. I have been busy at work as always and I also had my parents over for a few days from Iceland and then my son was passing his Baccalaureate test which was quite stressful. I’m happy to say he passed and so now we are just waiting to hear back from university if he gets a space in the department he has applied to study at. Hopefully we will soon know.

It has also been incredibly hot here these past few weeks and that has made knitting a little less appealing as my hands are sweaty and my fingers bloated. But I still do knit each day of course.

So since last time I have been knitting on different projects. I don’t have an FO to share just some progress on the different items.

First up there is my Main Street summer Tee by Pip and Pin. I have had very little time to work on this one lately so I’m still not done though I’m getting there. I haven’t shown a picture of my progress on this in a while so here goes.

main street 17jul

So I have finished (I think) the front and I’m now knitting the back up to where the shoulders will join. Then I will have the neck line/rib to do and the little sleeves. Not much to go so hopefully this will be done by the end of the month.

Then there is my DK weight shawl. The pattern is called Milu and is by Tamy Gore. This too has not been getting its just share of love lately. I really love how this is working up though and the colors I chose:

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I’m hoping I will soon be picking this up to finish.

I have just recently started on a secret test knit again. This is a sweater that is worked in pieces ( at least partly) and I’m knitting this using a new to me yarn called Ulysse by De Rerum Natura. This is a French merino yarn in a DK weight. The yarn is nice to the touch and enjoyable to work with but… what is a little funny is the texture of the yarn. Both just when looking at a strand of this yarn and also looking at my knit fabric, this looks like the yarn has been partially felted. Very strange. I have never knit with such a yarn before so I am a little surprised and look forward to see my finished object and how this yarn will  wear.

Have you knit with this yarn before? What did you think? I’d love to hear. As I’m not allowed to show progress pictures I can only show you the swatch I did.

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I really love this blue color and I think my finished sweater will look really nice once its all done.

And now to finish, the project that has gotten THE most love and attention lately. The project that has had me monopolized to tell the truth. My Stitch Surfer socks by Louise of Biscotte Yarns. I’m knitting these as part of a kal being held this summer by Michelle and Lesley of the Knotty Knit Wits. I had seen this pattern a long time ago but shied away from casting on thinking this would be too complicated for me. So when Michelle decided to do a kal I jumped on board. The discussion on the Ravelry thread has been helpful as the beginning is a little tricky.

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I managed to finish my first so without too many issues. Then it was time to do sock number two.

I wanted them to mirror each other and I do believe the pattern is actually written for that, however I misunderstood something and even though I did change the MC to be CC on the second sock; they don’t really mirror each other as I had hoped.

I also ran into issues for the heel on the second sock. I don’t really know where I went wrong or what I did but once the heel was done, my yarn was not where it should have been. I did manage to continue and the mistake does not show too much.

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Once you get going on these, you quickly become fascinated and caught up in the fun. And as my first pair is not perfect and these are super fun to make and just look at, I have decided that I have to make a second pair, this time for one of my daughters.

For the second pair I’m also going to be more careful with the yarn choice. In my current pair, there are long sections where both yarns are very similar in color and this is confusing.

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On my pictures the colors show up clearly but in real life the long grey/blue section is too much like the grey/blue of the main color which had me confused at times.

That’s it for my knitting at the moment. I’m trying to be serious and finish these projects before casting on for new ones or picking up others from my pile of wîps. And yet I have found myself buying way more new sock patterns than can be considered reasonable. So I find myself with a  nice pile of patterns that need to be made asap.

This week and weekend I hope to finish my Stitch Surfers and cast on for the second pair. Make progress on my shawl, the summer tee and my sweater test knit. I’m trying to be organised and knit on each a little every day or at least every other day.

My summer vacation is coming up not too far away and I will have to organise and plan for my vacation knitting.

I also have to do the third and last giveaway of this summer! I had spoken of this way back and then just did the first two! I do apologize.

So this third and last giveaway is to celebrate this knitting blog and all of you who take the time to stop by and follow my knitting adventures. I would like to give you a little something back and so I’m thinking I will put together a little surprise package for the winner using my own hand dyed yarn or fibre (if the winner is a spinner), some of my hand made stitch markers and other fun accessories. So how should we do this?

Well I’m thinking the following/

Leave a comment below and tell me why you follow my blog. What you enjoy about your experience here and if you have suggestions for topics I could write about please include those. Tell me if you follow other knitting blogs and maybe what it is that makes you want to read a knitting blog. And then tell me if you would like a knitting or spinning prize and tell me if there is a color you absolutely do NOT like. And if you are a knitter, tell me if you would like to win a fingering or a DK or an Aran weight hand dyed yarn.

I’m thinking I will leave this open for 10 days or so and draw a winner from the comments somewhere between July 27th and July 29th. In order not to mess up the prize drawing I will not reply to any comments but depending on what you have to say, I might later blog about the replies I get and possibly announce something new if you give me an idea for something I cannot pass up.

I do hope to be back next week with  a new blog post and then end of July for the prize draw. Until then I hope you have a great week and enjoy your crafting in spite of the heat (if it is hot where you live).

Happy knitting 🙂

Biscotte Yarns and more

Hi there, I hope you are doing good today and enjoying your weekend. I had intended to post yesterday but time just got away from me.

So last week I shared my first ever all over colorwork and steek cardigan and introduced you to Atelier Camelir and her hand made ceramic buttons with a follow up giveaway.

Today I would like to introduce you to a different maker and do another giveaway for the fun of it!

Today I would like to introduce you to an independent yarn company from French Canada called Biscotte Yarn. You may of course already be familiar with their yarns, they are after all quite well know for their high quality yarns. But maybe you have yet to know them and so let me introduce you:)

Biscotte yarns was founded and is still run by two talented and passionate people, Louise and Patrick.

They started dyeing back in the early 2000 and soon realized that they were on to something as people started wanting to buy their hand dyed yarns.

Biscotte Yarns was founded in 2007 and from that time they have mostly concentrated on developing self striping yarns. I think that even today they are most known for their self striping yarns even though they have lately started dyeing different types of yarns and yarn weights.

I believe they are the original or at least one of the very first hand dyers to do self striping yarns and today their catalogue has an astounding 80 self striping colorways!

As a sock knitter I love self striping sock yarn but they are not exclusively made for sock knitting of course. They can make super cute baby garments, cowls or hats and mitts.

Louise, one of the founders of Biscotte Yarns is also a knitwear designer and some of her designs have been published in Knitty for example. I think her most well know pattern must be the Stitch Surfer socks that were published in Knitty and these are perfect for a self striping yarn paired with a complimentary solid yarn. This is a free pattern and so I highly recommend you take a look and why not, try your hand at knitting these fun socks.

I have yet to knit a pair of Stitch Surfers but after seeing Michelle of the Knotty Knit Wits rave about how fun they are, I really have to cast on ASAP.

Louise has also developed an amazing free sock knitting app that you can get on Itunes and Google play and you can learn more about that here

Biscotte Yarns not only offer single skeins for sale but they also have a lot of fun kits that include a pattern and the yarn to knit it.

Not so long ago I placed my first order with Biscotte Yarns and I of course ordered self striping yarns. At the time, they were doing “Josie’s surprise bundles” and I hope they will again. Those were 200 gr bundles of a mix and match of self striping yarns. Basically a surprise package with different colorways in all sorts of quantities. I find those super fun to try out different colors and use as contrast or just a fun addition to a pair of socks.

I used one of those to knit a pair of shorty socks for my youngest.

biscottes yarn 1biscottes yarn 2biscottes yarn shorty sock

How fun are these!

The yarn is soft and a joy to work with so I am not afraid of recommending Biscotte Yarns to you to try out.

As I placed my order I decided to reach out to Louise and ask if I could do a little review here on the blog and if she would be willing to donate a prize and to my great pleasure she accepted.

So now, I’m happy to be able to offer you another giveaway. The prize this time is a full skein of self striping Bis-Sock in the colorway Lilas et moi.

self-striping-yarn-Lilas_et_moi_1600x

100 gr, 85 % superwash merino and 15% nylon – 400 meters or 435 yards.

To join and have a chance of winning this amazing skein of self striping yarn, just take a moment or ten to go over to the Biscotte Yarn website and then come back and tell us what colorway or what kit you would love to have.

I will draw a winner on Tuesday June 26th! Have fun and good luck to all.

Stranded colorwork, steeks and a giveaway

Hi there how are you today? I do hope you have had a pleasant weekend with lots of time to craft to your hearts content.

I was able to make some progress. Not as much as I had imagined I  could but then when is that ever the case!

But hey for once, I’m not going to share about my current knits but rather share an older project with you AND there will be a giveaway too as promised!

A few months ago I decided it was time for me to make not only my first all over colorwork garment but to do my first ever steek too.

And I decided I would try the Holst Garn yarn as I had heard of that often in stranded knitting and it is a very affordable yarn too so off I went and ordered some balls of different coloured Holst Tides which is a wool and silk blend.

As for the pattern I decided on the Damejakka Loppa or Flea Cardigan by  Pinneguri.

This was a really fun pattern and it uses a number of different colours and one can totally loose one self when browsing the different versions that people have made and shared on Ravelry.

From the start I decided it would be for myself. I have since decided I have to make a second one in different colours for my mother and I hope to get to that later this year.

IMG_0841IMG_0825IMG_0842Here you see the beginning of my cardigan and the colorwork which is mostly in the yoke. After the yoke, the body has the typical Norwegian “flea” pattern which I did do as the pattern calls for. When I knit the second one which will be for my mother I will do a solid body as she asked me not to include the flea pattern on the body.

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The colours in the body are rather subtle and the pink main color is somewhat heathered which does not show in the pictures.

You can see my steek on the above picture. It looks like  a column of stitches on the front. I think there were just 5 steek stitches so it really does not add much to your knitting to do a steek but boy does it speed up the process of cardigan knitting. Not having to purl back but just knit  round and round makes for such a speedier process.

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Soon my body was done and then the sleeves went quickly. I think it was with this particular cardigan that I started knitting sleeves on 9″ circulars. I now cannot imagine doing sleeves any other way. I find that sleeve knitting on 9″ circulars is such a joy and way less fiddly than when knitting a sock as it is just round and round and  a few decreases. At least in my case; the sleeves go way quicker this way.

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Next step was to knit the button bands on either side of my steek. So I picked up and knitted stitches along the steek. And one thing I have to say, the idea of steeking and cutting my knitting has always scared me. I have imagined horror scenarios where the entire piece unravels once the steek has been cut. Or that I cut in the wrong place or just any other unlikely scenario might occur.

However I slowly overcame my fear as I knit on this garment because of the yarn. The Holst garn is not thick nor is it especially sturdy but it is a little rustic and so I was pretty sure the yarn would “stick” to itself and nothing would unravel. And of course that did turn out to be the case.

flea ready for steeking So once the button bands were done I crochet a chaine on either side of the middle stitch in my steek portion to secure the stitches before cutting between the crochet chains.

damejakka open

And tada! Here it is open just after I cut the steek. And NOTHING is unravelling.

Unfortunately I forgot to take another picture to show it after tucking back the steek sides. I did not sew a ribbon over the cutting but I think I might next time I knit this. But for this first steeked garment it was very simple. I left the crochet chains in place and just folded back/inside the part of the steek on each side and sewed it loosely down. As the yarn is  a little rustic, it just clings together and even if I did not put a ribbon on top it still looks quite good.

And then I washed and blocked my cardigan…

damejakka blocking

and promptly put it aside!

And so it languished for a few weeks, 99% done. Just missing the buttons. Why do I so dislike sewing on buttons?

As I was knitting on this cardigan I saw a shoutout from a French ceramist asking for people willing to test her products and give honest feedback. I jumped on the occasion and contacted her and was lucky enough that she accepted my proposition.

And so this first ever all over colorwork, steeked cardigan has super special hand made buttons.

camelir boutons

Are these amazing of what? These are just gorgeous. They are handmade from ceramic. They are not coated or glazed so feel “raw” to the touch. I love the little butterfly imprint and the colouring.

The creator behind these amazing buttons is a French lady called Cecile.

She creates ceramic buttons which are just amazing and really add value I feel to a garment that you have invested both time and money in making. These buttons are not fragile and you can handwash  your garment  without any worries.

Cecile has  a large selection of buttons on offer of different sizes and forms as well as in different colours so chances are that you will be able to find just the right set of buttons for yourself if you decide to go ahead and treat yourself.

Cecile also works with leather and has some handmade items out of leather on offer too.

She has a shop on Etsy as well as her own blog which you can find here 

Here is  a close up of the buttons sewn onto my cardigan.

damejakke finished with buttonscamelir close up of buttons

Beautiful right?

Now Cecile was generous enough to give me/you a set of her handmade ceramic buttons. This is not a  set like the one I used for my cardigan but rather a selection of different buttons to show you what she can make. These will look beautiful on any project that either does not require more than 1-2 buttons or one that is a little whimsical and you can allow yourself to show them all off in one fun garment.

camelir prize buttons

These come in a little linen (I think) bag, hand printed by Cecile. You will also get her business card and care instructions for the buttons. They will be well protected to travel in total security from my home to yours.

So this is the first giveaway to celebrate my blog now having reached 300 subscribers.

If you like these beautiful, hand made ceramic buttons and would like to have these to test out yourself, you can join in the giveaway by going to her shop and taking a look at what she has to offer. Then come back here and leave me a comment telling me what you liked most in her shop or if you won, what would you use these buttons for (do you have a project waiting for these or maybe these will be perfect for something you are dying to knit).

As there are more giveaways coming (yes you are lucky) this will be a short one. If you can comment to join sooner rather than later, I will draw the winner this Thursday June 22nd afternoon. I don’t know when I will get to the drawing so up until I do, you can still enter.

The second giveaway will then be launched over the coming weekend so do stay tuned for some more fun.

That’s it for today. I do hope you have enjoyed stopping buy and seeing my Damejakka Loppa and its beautiful handmade ceramic buttons. Join the giveaway and try your luck. I will ship worldwide so don’t be shy.

Happy knitting and best of luck 🙂

Knitting, spinning and planning

Hi there how are you today? I hope you had a nice weekend and that you were able to participate in the WorldWide Knit in Public day where you are. Unfortunately I did not. I had to work and just totally worked the day away not even remembering what day it was till the evening when I took a look at IG!

I’m sure there were things going on I could have joined but hey, maybe next year.

I have been knitting seriously this past week. I finished my secret test knitting wrap! That is such a relief! I’m always happy when I finish a test knit even if it is an enjoyable one. Just knowing that I managed to finish in time feels so good. So I will be sharing pictures of that when the pattern will be released.

My second test knit is going well. Today I finished the body and started sleeve one. I’m knitting the sleeve on a 9″ circular so it should go pretty quickly. I really like knitting sleeves on short circulars as I feel it goes so much quicker when there is no cable management, no pulling on the needle to get to the right place.

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I’m knitting this with Holst Garn Supersoft. It is the first time I use the Supersoft but it is working very nicely as all their other yarns.

I really like this red color and the pattern!

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This is the yoke detail, some lace and some ribbing.

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And the  bottom hem. I really like this unusual rib she uses.

Oh and by the way, this is a design by Suvi Simola, a Finnish designer 🙂

So I’m happily working on this every day and hope to make good progress on my sleeve this week. I would love to have this cardigan finished in 2 weeks time. That should not be an issue.

Since last week, I did take on a new test knit. Again. But a small one this time, just a pair of shorty socks.

This is a very fun pattern that is great for stash busting as you can knit using your left over sock yarns. You need two contrasting colors and the designer specifically asked that the main color be a speckled yarn.

I do have those and I love the one I chose but… I think it was not the best choice for this pattern. Because even if it is mostly white, it does have a lot of colored speckles and in all the colors! So it was not easy finding a contrasting color to go with it. Each time I ended up realizing that one of the “speckles” was the same color as my contrasting yarn! GRRRR

So I actually knit the part with the contrasting yarn 3 times… So the first time I really did not knit many rounds and I even did not take a picture of my progress before ripping back but this is the yarn I used.

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I felt my light pink was too similar to some of the speckles and just did not stand out enough. So I decided to try a more pink yarn.

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And again I felt it was not good enough so again I ripped back. And the third and last try was with a grey yarn. Again I feel it sometimes mixes with the speckled one but I’m not changing yet again.

I’m about to start the toe decreases so this is a super quick knit. I should have the pair  done next time I blog.

I’m feeling like knitting on and on and on! And I’m just loving browsing Ravelry for pattern ideas and going through my Ravelry library which is HUGE! And as summer is coming/here I’m thinking I should resist the long sleeved wool sweaters and go for something summery.

So I have printed out 3 patterns that I would like to cast on and I have (I think) found the yarns I want to use for them. I’d love to hear what you think.

First up is a pattern called Main Street by Pip and Pin. And the yarn I’m thinking of using is from Knit Cosmic Strings

main street idea

Ok so yes this is a CRAZY yarn but I still like it and so I’m going to give it a try in this summer top.

Then there is the Tegna by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland knitworks. Everyone seems to either have knit the Tegna or be knitting the Tegna. I resisted for a long time but now I had to give in. I’m thinking of using yarn from Mothy and the Squid.

tegna idea

This is the same colorway but 2 different dye lots so they are not exactly the same but I’m thinking if I blend them together doing 1-2 rounds of each it will just melt together.

And last but not least there is Este by Justyna Lorkowska and I’m thinking of knitting this with my own hand dyed yarn. I have the same yarn base as she used in the design but I don’t have enough in one color so I’m thinking of doing a striped version or maybe one main color with one big color block/stripe …Not sure yet.

estes idea

That is a lot of knitting! Not to mention when you know that I have a ton of wips that need finishing and that I constantly accept new test knits! So maybe I will only end up knitting one out of the three. Who knows! But at least planning and coming up with the yarns has been fun.

It was a little difficult though because most of my stash consists of single skeins! I love hand dyed yarns and usually those are on the expensive side meaning I rarely buy more than one or two at at time and when I do, I usually buy different colors! The more the merrier until one starts to knit garments and all of a sudden all those single skeins are useless!

I think I will have to seriously rethink my yarn buying and by less but more to the point, with a purpose. Even if I don’t have a pattern picked maybe just buy yarn thinking I will want to make a garment with it in the future.

And spinning! I have been spinning lately and I just finished what I think is a gorgeous skein of a two ply sock yarn. This is a blend of cheviot, silk and nylon so should be the perfect yarn for socks. Now I just need a little bit of time and the perfect pattern:)

I really love this rich burgundy shade.

And before I say good bye for  today, I’m almost at 300 subscribers to the blog! How fun and how amazing is that!

When I started about 3 years ago or so I wasn’t sure I would be able to stay with it and more importantly I didn’t know if people would actually come to my blog and want to follow my story. So I’m so happy and proud to still be here and for all the fun and interaction I have with you all that take the time out of your busy days to check in on me.

So this of course means it’s going to be time for a giveaway!

I do have 2 giveaways from different sponsors that I need to organise and I will also sponsor one myself! I’m thinking these should all take place in the next 10 days or so (if I get up to 300) so stay tuned! There will be a skein of self striping yarn, hand made ceramic buttons and a mix of things for the blog giveaway. I will tell you all about these in the coming days!

That’s it for today. Thank you again for stopping by. Have a great week and lots of crafting. See you soon:)

In need of some serious genes to stay focused

How are you today? A new week has begun and summer is more or less here. This past weekend I got to knit a little bit in the garden which was very nice.

I’m struggling somewhat with my knitting because I have so many things that I want to work on and not enough time. It’s difficult to prioritise even.
Of course my test knits are the most important and get worked on the most and then the other wips get a little love from time to time.

This week I have one finished object to show off and I’m super happy about it. It’ s my summer tee shirt called Notice (spring) by Ankestrick. I knit this using Holst Garn Coast which is a wool and cotton blend. It is a joy to knit with and once washed it blooms and feels really soft.

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Here I only had the sleeves to do.

IMG_1370Again but with a front view.

And on the blocking matt. The sleeves were almost done actually. When the body is done you just pick up the sleeve stitches, cast on a few more and on to the ribbing.

I really like the colors and the end result. I really want to cast on for a new summer/spring project using this yarn. I’m thinking of short sleeved tee shirt called Coctail (jumper) by Maison Rililie. That pattern calls for an all wool yarn but as it is short sleeved I think I would only use it in spring/summer so a wool/cotton blend would be better suited for me.

I’m trying to hold off from casting this on until one of my two test knits is done. Both need to be finished in June so … soon:)

Talking of test knits, the firs and older project is still a secret but here is a sneak peak I took when knitting in the garden this weekend.

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A beautiful brioche thingy:) I think I’m about 70% done so I’m getting close.

My second test knit is a cardigan and it is not a secret! It is a pattern by Finnish designer Suvi Simola and I’m knitting the cardigan with Holst Garn supersoft which is a 100% wool yarn. It is a little rustic but once washed will be perfect. I chose a beautiful red color which I think will look good with almost anything.

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The only “complaint” I have is that it is knit in rows and so it is taking longer to knit than if it were knit in the round and then steeked. I’m not a huge fan of purling though it does not generally bother me. But for such a big project I really see how this slows me down and if I knit a second cardigan like this I will definitely knit it in the round with a steek.

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But so far so good. I think this will be a beautiful piece once all knit up and I look forward to having it in my wardrobe.

I have fallen out of sock mojo! I used to knit a ton of socks but now it has been a while since I actually finished a pair. I have a billion socks on the go of course but I’m picking them up less frequently than normal.

Not sure why, maybe this is just a result of having lots of work and not enough time to knit. Or maybe I’m just too much into garment knitting at the moment.

I have though started yet another sock. This is the Huggle socks from one of Mina Philips (Knitting Expat) sock clubs. It’s the June socks and when I saw the simple and yet stunning  pattern I new I had to cast on immediately and I also knew what yarn to use.

I had been spinning a special sock blend that I have had in my fibre stash for a while. It is a cheviot, silk and nylon blend. The fibre feels rustic to the touch so it feels like a good and sturdy sock blend. I was going to do a two ply but then was too lazy to actually prepare to do a two ply and just went with my regular Navajo ply ( 3 ply). The resulting yarn is somewhere between fingering and sport weight and I have a 120 gr so should be plenty for an adult pair of socks.

Still to stay on the safe side, I decided to use a contrasting yarn for cuff, heels and toes. I had just recently purchased Tuku Sock yarn for the first time and that looked and felt very similar to my hand spun yarn and so that felt like a match.

My hand spun yarn is all sorts of shades of green from a sort of mustardy light green to a deeper brown green and anything in between and when knit up it is actually making a sort of striping pattern.

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I love seeing the color variations in the hand spun.

 

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I’m past the heel and getting close to the toe. I hope to finish sock one this week and plan on casting on for sock two immediately after. This is going to be a pair of very woolly socks for winter. I haven’t yet decided if they will be for me or a gift.

I really like the simple pattern, just this nice cable on one side that keeps the pattern from becoming boring to knit and yet allows for a simple, relaxing knit.

This coming week as I just said I hope to make good progress on my Huggle sock. I also hope to make good progress on my two test knits because I’m feeling itchy and wanting to cast on a lot of new things.

I’m trying to be strong and remind myself that I do have a lot of languishing wips that desperately need knitting on. I don’t know why casting on seems more attractive than actually picking up a wip and finishing an item! After all ticking off a knitting project as done is always a thrill so why on earth am I not finishing wips like a crazy person?

My oldest, my 21 year old daughter just left for Iceland yesterday where she will spend the summer working. It feels so strange to be just 4 home now. It was hard saying good bye and I know I will be calling her all the time. And now that she is gone, I’m thinking of the knitting projects I have languishing for her! I have a sweater that is 90% done! I have a few inches of the second sleeve to knit and then I need to sew it together as it is knit in pieces. And I have a huge blanket that I’m knitting using my early, chunky hand spun. It is a sort of a scrap blanket as I’m using all sorts of yarns and colors and I’m knitting it in linen stitch. How amazing would it be if I could present her with these two projects finished and ready for her to enjoy when she comes back home at the end of summer? That would be amazing! I really need to get myself motivated and start working towards that goal. Don’t even know why I put these two things in time out nor what is making picking them up again so difficult.

I guess a knitters mind is a real mystery:)

That is about all for today I think. Thank you for stopping  by as always. I hope you have enjoyed spending some time with me today. I so enjoy sharing my knitting with you. And guess what, I almost forgot, I’m almost at 300 subscribers!!!!!! When I hit 300 I’m going to do something fun like a little game or a prize draw to celebrate so stay tuned.

All the best and speak to you soon. Happy knitting 🙂

A new week

Hi there how are you? I hope you enjoyed a long weekend and so a shorter working week this week. I did take a few hours extra yesterday but still it feels good to not work quite as many hours as usually.

As for my knitting, I do have some exciting news.

First and foremost my Breathing Space sweater is DONE! I started this sweater soooo long ago and then ripped back a big chunk and put into time out. My issue was with the  body increases after the sleeve separation. I also knit a size too big and so when I realised that I just ripped back. I was so very disappointed as I had actually come close to finishing the body. But I’m very happy I did rip back and start again. My sweater would have been way too big otherwise.

And so after reorganising my room/stash I picked it up again and just got going and it was done in no time.

I admit I still have to weave in the ends, wash and block but technically I’m done!

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And I love it! I’m so happy with my choice of yarn but I used my own hand dye yarn in my merino/mohair/nylon base and it is a joy to work with and it just looks so nice.

I also managed to finish my secret test knit sweater and I have even blocked it. I just need to get some pictures of myself wearing it so I can send them off to the designer. This is still a secret so no pictures just yet.

I’m also knitting a wrap for that same designer and that is taking a lot of time. It is a big piece and I’m not able to make much progress each day so what I do is I put in a progress keeper at the end of each day and that way at the end of one week I see the total progress I have made. That keeps me motivated and on track. I think I’m about 50% done so still some work there.

After finishing my two sweaters and seeing as the weather was getting a little summery, I decided I should knit a summer top. And so I went through my Ravelry library (and I may have purchased a pattern or two as well) and I chose my first top. Yes I’m now thinking I need to knit a few summer tops!

So the first one I’m knitting is called Notice (Spring) and it is by Ankestrik and this is a beautiful short sleeved t shirt. I decided to knit this using my Holst Garn Coast which is a wool/cotton blend and lucky for me, I actually had very similar colors in my stash to those shown on the pattern. I think this one will be super nice and I just might make a few of these if it turns out good.

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So I’m just a few rounds from separating for the sleeves. I love how it looks so far.

And the big news this week is… that I got chosen to test knit for designer Suvi Simola. I’m a fan of her patterns but this is the first time I test knit for her. I will be test knitting a new cardigan which looks so amazing! And the best part is that the test knit is not a secret so once I get started I will be able to share the pictures and my progress with you! How fun will that be?

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I  will be knitting with the yarn in the picture above. This is Holst Garn Supersoft and I think my cardi will be fab!

That’s about all for today. Rather a short post because I’m pressed for time and I absolutely wanted to get a post out today. But before I leave I really wanted to thank everyone that reached out and commented on my last post. It feels so good to know that I’m not alone! That other knitters go through the same issues as I do where yarn buying urges are. And I also got some great advice and I’m going to implement some of those such as:

  1. unsubscribe from newsletters from yarn shops and indie dyer
  2. allocate myself a set budget for yarn/knitting indulgence. This way I know that each and every month I have a particular amount that I can use on yarn buying without any qualms.

I hope you too enjoyed reading those comments and maybe you too will be able to implement these things too for your budget.

That is all for today. I hope you will have a wonderful week ahead of you and lots of knitting time of course. Until next time, Happy Knitting 🙂

This irrepressible urge to buy more yarn

Is this something you can relate to? Do you find yourself browsing online yarn shops, adding things to your virtual cart and convincing yourself that this yarn is a must have?

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that has to deal with this urge and yet I have more than enough yarn already! If you have been following my blog lately you will know that I have a sizeable stash and you will have seen pictures of it in my Spring Challenge section here on this website.

So I know that I have enough yarn to knit almost anything I want to knit in the coming year or two or three. The keyword here is almost. Meaning that yes I have hundreds of skeins of yarn but most of them are just single skeins so good for socks, scrap projects or to be combined with two or more yarns in a shawl or colourful garment.

I have very few sweater quantities in my stash, maybe about 5. I like solid and semi solid yarns for garments and yet I rarely buy such yarns and so every now and again I get this overwhelming feeling of “I have to buy some sweater quantities of solid yarns” just in case, just to be sure I have EVERYTHING I could possibly need next time I have to cast on.

Lately I have also become more of a yarn connaisseuse (I prefer that  term to yarn snob). And so I really want to try “different” yarns, yarns from single breeds, yarns from conservation flocks or yarns from a small independent mill somewhere. And I always manage to find such yarns. And of course small batch, exclusive yarns are priced accordingly so not easy on the budget.

These past few days as I have been home resting my leg (I have some strange issue with my left knee) I have been doing a lot of “virtual yarn shopping”. And it has got me thinking how strange this is. I don’t need any more yarn, I have so much currently that just finding a place to store my stash is an issue. And yet the urge is so strong. And so urgent. Like I need this particular yarn asap. Telling myself I will buy this yarn in a month or when I’m ready to actually knit with it, is no good.

But my finances are not limitless, I have spent more than can be considered reasonable on yarn already. So how can I resist? How can I control this urge?

Well, what I have been doing lately is put the yarn in my cart but not checking out. I leave the page open on my phone and then come back maybe the same day, maybe a couple of days later and I review my cart. I ask myself if I ABSOLUTELY need this particular yarn and if I could possibly reduce the quantity in my cart, maybe leave out a yarn or two. And then sometimes I do check out and other times I leave my cart for a few more hours/days of reflexion.

But it is not easy. I sometimes think that in my case this urge is so strong and the need so important that it must be akin to addiction of some sort. I know stop smoking can be very hard and I imagine that stop buying yarn must be at least as hard in my case.

This is most definitely a third world problem! I know!

I would love to hear from you, do you suffer this urge to buy more yarn on a regular basis? How do you deal with the urge? Do you allocate yourself a yarn budget per month/year? Have you ever been on a “yarn buying diet” and if yes, for how long were you able to sustain that and do you know view yarn buying with a different eye than before your “yarn buying diet”?

I have tried to go on a yarn buying diet but never succeeded as the idea of NOT being able to buy yarn makes the urge TO BUY so much stronger! But I still think I really should try to get my yarn buying under control for the good of my finances as well as just to control the quantity of yarn already in my house.

I hope you will accept to share with me your yarn buying advice/techniques/plans. I’m sure sharing with each other will bring us all food for thought:)

Until next time I’m going to try to be serious and restrain from yarn shopping and just concentrate on knitting the yarn I already have!

Happy knitting to you and have a great week ahead!

Hi there, how are you? It´s been over a week since I last posted. This past week has been super busy for me both work wise and personally. I´m so happy it is Friday today and I will have the weekend ahead. And more importantly, next week I only work for 1 day!!! That is the best workweek ever!

So next week I of course have high hopes and lots of plans! I´m going to really get working on my Spring Challenge. If you have not heard me talk about that, I have created a special page/blog here on the website where I talk about that. Just click here.

This weekend I´m hoping I will take the time to give this some thought and maybe come up with a plan for how I want to reorganise my stash and supplies. I´m also planning a trip to Ikea for some storage solutions.

I currently have most of my stash in either cardboard boxes or plastic boxes and it´s just not beautiful. It makes my mess look even messier. So now I want to motivate myself by getting something nice but at the same time it has to be very economical and practical. I have a few ideas and hopefully they will work out.

So in my dreams, my room and stash situation will be dramatically improved this time next week! Cross my fingers and toes! Send me some good organisational vibes please! And of course don´t hesitate to join in the fun too if you are in a similar situation as I am.

So I not only have to organise my stash but also my numerous wips! I have a ton of those. I need to go through them – I did go through them already not long ago but only ripped one or two projects back. Now I need to go back and be more realistic and ruthless and just rip back everything that I don´t want to IMMEDIATELY work on.

As I have been preparing myself mentally for the task ahead, I have picked up 2 garment projects from my pile of wips and one of those is now 99% done!

This is the Veronika cardigan by Shannon Cook. So this was originally supposed to be a cabled cardigan but I had put it aside for many months. Last time I went through my wips, I decided I did not want to finish that cardigan and I ripped the thing out (I was about half done with the body) and I decided to cast on for the Veronika cardigan instead. I did cast on and knit some… Then again put it away! But now I´m almost done! All the knitting is done, the ends have been woven in. It has been washed and blocked. I only need to mattress seam it together. I think there are only two seams or something so that should be super quick.

I used Waltham yarn by Kettle Yarn Co in a very light grey. It is a worsted or aran weight yarn and I much enjoyed working with it.

Here is my Veronika as it is currently.

This is an unusual construction knit from cuff to cuff and I was trying to fold it in the first picture to resemble the finished item but it is not very successful. The stitch marker on the last picture is to show where I was the last time I put this project in time out. I was just at the beginning.

I´m so happy I finally finished this project. I´m sure I will love to wear this garment a lot come next winter.

Yesterday I took a second garment from the pile of wips, this time it was my Breathing space pullover by Vera Valimakki. I had almost finished the body when I decided to rip it back because it was way too wide. I ripped back a number of inches but not entirely. I stopped just past the sleeves and like I said, I picked it up again yesterday and I´m now knitting on it. I´m doing the same size as before but I´m not doing all the increases the pattern calls for.

I haven´t got a picture of it yet but I will share it with you next time.

This week a pattern I test knit was published. It is a pair of socks by KBJ Designs called Narcissa Socks. This is a beautiful, textured pattern that I enjoyed knitting. I have only finished one sock and the other is in a project bag next to my bed waiting for some bed time knitting progress. I knit mine using Hippo for Thanksgiving from Lolo Did It and I think it really suits the pattern.

I have to hurry up and knit the second sock.

I have another pair where one sock is done and the second I´m getting close to the heel. For some reason I have been totally absorbed with garment knitting lately. So this pair is the April sock from Helen Stewart sock club. Again this is a beautiful pattern and I chose a semi solid green yarn for this and I think it just looks so beautiful.

This pair also lives in this famous project bag next to my bed….

I recently finished a sweater that I test knit and the pattern will be released shortly so I will soon be able to share that with you.

Currently I´m test knitting another sweater and  it is top secret so I cannot share much except it is a fingering weight sweater knit top down. I´m using yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings.

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This is my swatch. I took a chance and decided to use a highly variegated yarn for this project. I´m usually not much for purple but for some reason I had amassed more than a sweater´s quantity in this colorway so I thought I should use it for something.

Now because of the colorway I thought I should change skeins every row to avoid having ugly pooling on the garment. Now I wonder if I should have gone with every two rows instead. On the side where I change skeins, even if I´m very careful about not pulling the new yarn tight, it still creates a seam like mark that I´m a bit worried about. It is under the arm but I think from now on I´m going to change skeins every two or three rows and see if that helps avoid this mark. Maybe it will become less obvious once blocked… I hope so.

test knit side seam

It might not be obvious because of the yarn but I still see it and it bothers me some. If you have any tips for how to do this in a “cleaner” way I would love to hear your advice.

And I have one FO! I finished a shawl. And this shawl I knit rather quickly. It is big and I am super happy with the finished results.

The pattern is A girls best friend by Isabelle Kraemer. It is a three color shawl and I used two single ply yarns and one 4 ply. One of the yarns, the grey one is my own hand dyed single ply.

I really love the outcome and I can see myself wearing this a lot in the future. The pattern does call for 3 small pompoms on the front/side but I haven´t made them yet.

I´m still debating whether I will add the pompoms or not.

Knitting plans for this weekend and next week are to continue with my test knit sweater, to continue working on my Breathing Space sweater and hopefully make some serious progress on my two half pairs of socks. If I have more knitting time than expected I could even cast on for the April sock from Mina Philipp´s sock club. And if I´m delusional I could even imagine casting on for this round´s sock pattern from Sock Madness- it is an amazing pattern!

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you have enjoyed your time with me. I will be back next week with info on my knitting and my Spring Challenge progress. I´m also preparing to write about my first ever colorwork/steeked cardigan and along with that there will be a little giveaway for some amazing hand made ceramic buttons! Hand made by a French artist.

After that there will be another giveaway for some self striping yarn this time from Biscottes Yarns in Canada.

So lots to look forward to in the coming weeks.

I wish you a wonderful weekend and a great week ahead. Happy knitting and I´ll speak to you soon:)