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?

suvi

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:)

Hi there how are you today? It’s Monday as I write this and I admit I’m still a bit tired. Weekends go by sooooo fast! I never have enough time to do everything I want to do. I really need one extra day to just relax and knit and not think of or do anything else.

I did get some knitting done though of course. I actually got a severe case of startitis! Must be my “attack all the old wips” challenge that is coming soon that spurred this. I seem to be all about colorwork and so I kept working on my Flea cardigan that I need to write an entire blog post on later.

flea cardigan 29jan

But then I cast on for two more things.

First was a brioche wrap. The pattern is called Midnight Sherbet by Madeleine Windsor. As soon as I saw her posts on Instagram I knew there was no way around this. I HAD to knit one. And so I set about dyeing yarn for this and chose my non superwash organic merino DK and this weekend I balled up my yarns and cast on!

midnight sherbert frontmidnight sherbert back

The top picture shows the “front” and the second the “back”. I use ” ” because I think there is no real front/back on brioche wraps. Both sides are beautiful. It’s just a question of which color you like best or which side goes best with your outfit that day.

As you see I’m not far along but I hope to work a little bit on this every day.

My second cast on was for the Ninilchik swancho by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland knitworks. I bought the pattern ages ago and have been wanting to cast on for a while. I went ahead and purchased some Drops yarn for this project and yesterday, Sunday, I cast on.

I am having second thoughts about my color choices as well as my color assignments (I mean which is color 1 etc). I thought I had chosen colors that were contrasting enough to work but once knit up, they fade into each other too much.

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The first picture shows this especially well as one can hardly make out the pattern. I do like my colors but I’m not sure they work. I’m wondering if I should switch one of them out for a white for example? I’m keeping the grey as the main color so maybe the contrasting three could be : white, plum and blue? And just leave out the brown all together. What do you think? It sucks to rip back all the way to the collar but this is a big garment and I can’t keep knitting on this if I’m not 100% sure I actually like it. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with me that the colors are too similar to work nicely here? Have you knit this pattern yourself?

Strangely enough I did NOT knit on any socks this weekend! Shocker! But I am planning on choosing my first languishing wip to work on today. So it will be all ready to go come February 1st. I’m thinking as a motivation, I should choose a pair of socks where sock 2 is already started. I’ll keep you posted on that next week.

I will be back later this week with an exciting announcement for you so I hope you will stop by again.

Thank you for taking the time today to stop by and check on my knitting. I hope you have a great week ahead of you. Take care and see you soon:)

It’s all about the knitting

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

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

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

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

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

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

kbj testkbj test 2kbj test 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

land of sweets cowl

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

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

child cardi test knit

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

child cardi neck

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miniature Socks

Hi there, I’m back again and true to  this month’s theme I’m yet again talking about socks.

This time though it’s all about mini socks. As you will know if this is not your first time on my blog, I’m a big sock knitter and I just think hand knit socks are so beautiful and comfortable. I also love little socks like ornaments and I recently discovered this amazing woodwork artist who makes incredibly cute miniature sock blockers and so I had to get some!

At first the idea was to make a miniature sock garland, maybe Christmas themed but 24 blockers would be an investment if bought at one time so not for now. But I could still do a small garland just for fun as a decoration element in my home office space. I’m still thinking about that idea but I have used some of the socks I have knit so far and  made key chains and they are also super fun.

So what do these look like?

mini socks 2

Cute as a bug! I say:)

I stumbled upon this artist by accident while browsing Ravelry looking for miniature sock patterns. I found this pattern with the cutest picture and it was the wooden blocker that drew me in and I immediately downloaded the pattern which by the way is free! and then went to Etsy to purchase some blockers.

mini socks 1

If you too would like to get some of these cute blockers you will find them at AlexWorkshopDesign Alexander is in Ukraine and he really does beautiful work and he has a number of products to choose from, not only these mini blockers.

The pattern that has been designed specifically for his blockers is a tube sock pattern so super easy to do. It is free on Ravelry like I said and is called the Pet Sock Project by Nailya Plaskey.  I think this could make a great little stocking stuffer or gift for a teacher or just for anyone for any occasion! I have about 14 of those and I’m sure I’m going to be getting some more as I find them soooo cute.

I have knit even smaller socks than this though. I once knit a few pairs of sock earrings! It may sound like a crazy project but it was fun and I sold out! I knit tiny socks with a short row heel on needles 1.5mm using lace yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com

I sometimes want to make more of these and sell. They are incredibly small but take up some time as the stitches are so teeny tiny.

Have you knit miniature socks? Do you maybe have a go to pattern for those? And what do you use them for? I’d love to hear from you on this subject so don’t be shy and leave a comment below.

That’s all for today, I’ll be back soon with some progress news/updates on my current life size sock knitting 🙂 Until then, have a wonderful week and enjoy your knitting:)