In a bit of a stand still

Hi there, how are you feeling today? I hope you are feeling good and having a nice start to your week. I’m feeling a bit…not really under the weather but just not in a great place for some reason.

Knitting wise I have been concentrating on a few projects. One is a sweater test knit that is top secret. I’m knitting it out of Holst Garn Tides which is a wool/silk blend. So far so good. I think I will finish the body today and then get on to the sleeves.

Then there is Sock Madness round 2! And this is a clear sign I’m not quite myself but I think I’m going to quit. Yes, that’s right! What happened?

Well, so I got the pattern just after it was released and cast on immediately. This time the pattern is a mix of brioche and stocking stitch. This combination makes for a very loose fitting/elastic fabric so as I went on it just felt too big. And I’m sorry to say I did not like the pattern/outcome much.

And then I made a mistake! In the gusset section and discovered my mistake just after finishing the heel turn. So not long after but it did mean I had to rip back to the end of my flap and continue a few rows only ripping back a heel that is partly in brioche…well that did not sound so enticing. And I just wasn’t “feeling it” for some reason.

So before going to bed that night, I ripped out THE ENTIRE SOCK! And I haven’t cast on again. This is not like me but I think I’m just not in the right frame of mind at the moment and adding stress to my life is not a good idea right now. So I decided to just stop and only knit on things I truly enjoy working on.

I do have 2 pairs of socks on the go but haven’t worked on them this past week. I have just been working on my sweater and a new shawl.

I don’t wear a lot of shawls, I have a few favorite ones that I use a lot and the others just linger in my wardrobe. But I have a feeling this one may become a new favorite. It is the Girl’s Best Friend shawl by Isabelle Kraemer. I’m sure you have seen it lots of time. A lot of knitting bloggers/podcasters have made some. For extra pleasure I’m knitting mine with mostly new yarns, two out of three that is AND they are from my stash so good for me!

I still have plenty of knitting to do and I really enjoy working on this and I’m really happy with the yarn/colors. The grey is a singles I dyed. The pink is a singles too I got from a destash on Ravelry but don’t remember the yarn brand. The brown contrast color is a Madeleine Tosh Sock yarn. So pure luxury for this shawl.

Once this one is done I’m hoping I will finish my Across the Pond shawl by the Knitting Expat before I cast on for the Baubles shawl by Andrea Mowry.

So that’s all I have for you knitting wise. I am getting ready for a new Maker of the Month feature. I also am thinking about doing a giveaway when I reach 300 subscribers to my blog which should be soon. Amazing I know ! Who would have guessed that I would be able to maintain a blog for over 2 years now and grow a following of people that actually enjoy reading my blog! I’m so grateful for all those that follow and support my blogging adventures. I’m planning something nice, a giveaway that you will hopefully enjoy.

And one other thing. In February I talked about starting a Spring Challenge this April to organize my yarn and other crafting supplies and some of you expressed interest in joining me. The more the merrier and frankly if you are anything like I am, the support of others will be a big bonus.

So I haven’t forgotten. Life has just gotten in the way. I have family from Iceland visiting at the moment so I won’t be able to really get started till this weekend. I’m going to open a new page here on this website just for the challenge so that we can share ideas and progress. I’m thinking I should keep the challenge somewhat separate as not everyone may be interested in that and I want to continue blogging as usual and discuss other topics. I did think about opening a Ravelry thread in my group for this but after some consideration m I think I will keep everything here. What do you think?

I have started working on this and have a Pinterest board where I pin storage ideas to share with you for example. I so desperately need to organize not only my stash but also my many wips so I really look forward to getting started for real and if you are joining too, I hope you are gearing up as well.

That’s it for today I think. Thank you again for stopping by today for a chat. I wish you a great rest of the week and Happy Knitting

It’s looking a lot like Christmas…

Yes you read that right! As I’m sitting here at my desk and writing, I’m watching the snowfall outside. This is the first snow we have had here in Normandy this winter and it’s coming down quite heavily. We are not used to snow and even a little bit can cause serious disruption in transportation so even if it looks nice to look at, it is not really welcome. I for one do not enjoy driving in the snow. I’m way out of practice as it’s been so many years since I moved from Iceland to France.

snow blainville

So hopefully by tomorrow morning this will just be a nice memory and all the snow will have gone!

It does however create a nice knitting atmosphere, I cannot deny that:)

So this past weekend I did a lot of knitting but on a lot of different projects so nothing really made changed dramatically.

I cast on for the first pair of socks out of Mina Philip second sock club (yes I bought both! so now I get a pattern a month from her until the end of this year). The pattern is called Warm and Snug socks. This pattern is made for self striping yarns and lucky for me, I had this set of Snow White self striping yarn with sparkles from Turtle Purl that I have been wanting to knit for a while. So that just was perfect. I found some leftover yarn from my stash for cuffs,heels and toes to maintain the striping.

This pattern is rather simple, like a variation on a vanilla sock as the patterning is on the front leg only. And this is a stitch pattern I have never used before and so very fun to try out.

I have just finished sock one and I immediately cast on for sock two in an effort to avoid second sock syndrome. And so I have finished the cuff of sock two and will get going on the leg tomorrow.

It is not easy to show the texture but if you look closely you will see that certain rounds are “shorter” meaning instead of seeing 4 rounds of one color it’s as if there is just one. That is the result of this new textured stitch she has included in this pattern.

Here are a better pictures taken with a side view to show you the difference on the front and the back of the leg.

You see how certain stripes on the front are raised and only a thin line? Clever hah?

Being the sock knitting maniac that I am, I not only signed up for both of Mina’s (The Knitting Expat) sock clubs but I also signed up for Helen Stewart’s (Curious Handmade). So every other month I will have one new sock pattern and the other month I will have two! Like in February. The patterns do not come out on the same day luckily so Helen’s pattern was just published on the 5th of Feb and I immediately cast on! Thinking maybe I should knit one sock of each pattern and then go back for the second sock. Not sure. maybe I should just finish one pair and only then get going on the second!

Anyway the first pattern in Helen’s club is called Winter Rose Sock and I’m knitting it with a yarn from Lolo Did It called Hippo for Thanksgiving. It’s a light grey color with some wintery speckles in red, orange, green and yellow. I’m only a few rounds into the cuff so too early to show off here.

This weekend I also knit a little bit on my brioche wrap from Madeleine Windsor of Kingfisher Knits. This is a recent pattern of hers called Midnight Sherbet and is knit in DK yarn. I’m knitting mine with my organic merino DK yarn and it feels and works up beautifully. I’m about 20% done so far so not much but I’m enjoying it.

If you look closely on the pink side picture, you can see a cable on the right side. That was a little challenging but now I fully understand so I’m ready to tackle all the future cables. I think this will be such a great piece. Warm and cozy.

I also worked on my cardigan and sweater. The cardigan is my first ever colorwork garment and my first steek project. I’m also knitting it with HOLST garn and it is the first time I’m using that yarn. I’m maybe 40% done, I think I’m getting close to where the ribbing begins on the bottom of the body. Still a few centimeters/inches from that but should be done soon. I’m really enjoying this project a lot and this yarn is nice to work with and I’m super excited to see how it will looked once the garment has been washed as I’ve heard this yarn “blooms”.

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This pattern is called Damejakka Loppa or Flea Cardigan on Ravelry and is by Pinneguri.

I have also started a new test knit. It’s a cropped sweater by Japanese designer Eri called Akane.  I’m using yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings and the pattern is fun to knit. I’m knitting a bit longer than the pattern calls for.

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That’s about all the knitting I’m working on actively these days.

hat madeleine

I did launch my first ever yarn sale here on the blog this past weekend. I have created a new page here called Boutique where I intend to sell yarn on a regular basis. Currently you will find the Hindiber hat kit that i launched in collaboration with Madeleine Windsor of Kingfisher Knits. Each kit includes a download link for her pattern which comes in 3 sizes and a skein of my DK merino yarn. You have a number of colorways to choose from, some are superwash and others are my organic non superwash DK base.

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The price of the kit is 25€ + shipping (7€).

hat madeleine

I hope you will go take a look at the kit. I’d also love to hear what you think of the set up for the yarn sale. It is not like a regular e-shop but more like a blog post. When clicking the buy button you are taken to Paypal where you can pay with your Paypal account or a credit card so even if it looks different it is a serious set up.

That’s it for today. Have a wonderful week ahead with hopefully lots of knitting and yarn cuddling:)

More on the Hindiber hat kit

Hi there, today I would like to share with you more on the kit that will be for sale tomorrow. Here is a clip of the Kingfisher Knits podcast where you will see the designer herself, Madeleine Windsor, show her version of the hat and share more on the pattern. Just click on the link and enjoy  Kingfisher knit podcast

The Hindiber hat kit

Version Française a la fin****

Hi there, i’m so excited to tell you about this new kit that is about to be revealed.

If you have followed me on the blog and on social media for some time, you will know that I have closed my Etsy shop. I felt that I was just drowning in the million other indie dyers on there and the cost of keeping the shop was too draining on my slim finances. This brought me to the decision to close the Etsy shop and start on my own again, as I had done when everything started for me in 2011.

This is now about to become reality. This coming Saturday February 3rd, a new page will be added to this website, called Boutique. There  you will find my hand dyed yarns and kits. This will be a very small scale operation to begin with. I want to see how I manage to sell via this new medium and ease out any kinks before having a big selection of yarns.

For this first day of the new shop, I will offer a unique kit designed especially for Knitting in France. This is a hat kit that includes a skein of my DK merino yarn in either superwash or non superwash yarn and a download code for you to get the hat pattern via Ravelry.

The pattern is called Hindiber which stands for Raspberry in Icelandic. Madeleine Windsor, Kingfisher Knits, designed this hat especially for me using my superwash DK merino yarn. I have given Madeleine yarn support before and she so generously offered to design something unique for me to sell here in my new shop. The pattern will be exclusive to Knitting in France for certain amount of time and only available for those that purchase my kit.

The hat comes in 3 sizes, small, medium and large. One skein of my DK yarn is enough even for the biggest size. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. I can recommend this pattern for advanced knitters and beginners alike. Nothing complicated and yet interesting enough to hold the interest of experienced knitters.

Most of the yarns I have set up for the kits are in my superwash base as that is the yarn Madeleine used to design the hat. I do however have some in my non superwash organic merino base that works just as well. I have only dyed up one colorway in that yarn but if interested is shown, I will have more colors to offer.

I do hope you will come by my site this Saturday to take a look and purchase a kit. Each kit sold means the world to me as the benefit will go towards relaunching my little business. I had planned on doing a crowdfunding campaign but changed my mind and selling exclusive kits and small lot yarns will be my way of raising funds to be able to continue and grow. Your support means everything!

Here is a sneak peak at the yarns for the Hindiber kit

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Bonjour, je suis toute excitée a l’idée de vous présenter ma nouvelle boutique. Si vous m’avez suivi ici et sur les media sociaux, vous savez que j’ai choisi de fermer ma boutique sur Etsy. Je reviens au sources et me relance en solo ici sur mon site.

J’avais pensé faire une campagne de financement participatif mais j’y ai renoncé. La vente de mes laines en direct ici sur mon site sera finalement ma façon a moi de récolter les fonds nécessaires pour relancer ma petite affaire de laine teinté main.

Je commence petit en vous proposant un seul kit. Mais quel kit!

Il s’agit d’un kit bonnet crée spécialement pour Knitting in France et vendu exclusivement ici avec ma laine. Le modèle Hindiber sera exclusif a ses kits pendant quelque temps.

Le bonnet s’appelle Hindiber ce qui veut dire framboise en Islandais. Le modèle vient en 3 tailles différentes et 1 seul écheveau de ma laine DK est suffisant pour sa réalisation.

C’est un modèle simple mais en même temps intéressant et rapide a faire. Accessibles au débutantes tout en restant amusant a faire pour les tricoteuses chevronnées.

Le designer, Madeleine Windsor ou Kingfisher Knits est Anglaise mais elle vit actuellement en Suisse. Elle a déjà créé des modèles en utilisant mes laines et vous pouvez les voir sur sa boutique Ravelry

Le modèle ayant été créé avec ma laine superwash mérinos DK, la plupart des laines proposés pour le kit sont donc superwash mérinos DK. Mais j’ai une option appelé Normandy, qui est sur ma laine non superwash mérinos bio. C’est une laine qui convient tout aussi bien pour ce modèle. Si la laine non superwash vous intéresse plus, j’en ai d’autres que je pourrais rajouter pour ces kits.

Les kits seront en  vente ici samedi prochain le 3 février après midi. J’espère que vous passerez faire un tour et pourquoi pas que vous achetiez un kit. Chaque vente est très importante pour moi car les bénéfices serviront a m’aider a financer le re-lancement de ma petite affaire. Votre soutien m’est indispensable et apprécié du fond du coeur.

Happy Friday

Hi there, once again I’m late… I have been quite busy at work lately and so everything else has been somewhat on the back burner unfortunately.

But today is Friday, I have finished work and am looking forward to the weekend. I have plans of knitting and lots of prepping! Yes prepping because I’m going to vend at a yarn festival here in Normandy. It is the first show I vend at since 2014 so it’s been a while. It’s also the first wool/yarn festival to be held here in Normandy so very exciting. I have lots of organising to do, lots of yarn buying and dyeing, planning etc. And I hope to get some of that done this weekend; not to mention as much knitting as I can possibly cram in.

exhibiting bleu fil de la manche

I will be telling you more about this yarn festival in later posts here on the blog.

Since my last post I have managed to finish 2 1/2 pairs of socks. So I thought I should show those to you today. First up is a pair called Sterntaler socks by Becky Sorensen of Sopranoknits. These were a quick knit. Fairly simple socks with a little bit of texture. It says to fade out the textured pattern on the back before knitting the heel. I tried that but didn’t like it so I just stopped when it was time for the heel and did not do any sort of transition and I think it looks just fine.

I knit these using my SOX yarn and I think they look quite nice. I’m setting these aside to use as samples of my SOX yarn knit up on my stand at the wool festival I told you about.

The second pair I finished just a few minutes ago. These are the Resfeber socks by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. This is the first pair of her Wanderlust sock club. Being the crazy sock knitter I am, I signed up for both of her sock clubs this year so I will be getting a pattern a month and the plan is to knit them all as they arrive!

This was a simple textured knit and purl pattern with a garter stitch heel which was fun to knit. I used my new favorite sock yarn which is a merino/mohair/nylon blend. It is perfect for socks and garments alike and I think it is especially perfect for colorwork projects. The yarn is ultra soft and a joy to work with and because of the mohair there is a slight halo.

I joined a sock test knit at the last moment this week. I joined on Monday, got the pattern on Tuesday and had to finish one sock by Thursday. And I made it! Well, I was only knitting the smallest size so not really a big feat but hey!

So this was a test knit for Dana Gervais. It’s been a while since I test knit for her and so I was very happy to be able to join, even if last minute.

This was a fun knit and even if the pattern looks somewhat complex it really is super simple and easily memorizable.  I knit this sock in my SPARKLES yarn in the Something about CC colorway which is a very very bright pink! Now I just have to finish the second sock so it does not become a lingering wip as so many before!

And on the subject of lingering wips, it is almost time to start my challenge! I just need to finish the second sock I just showed you and I will be ready to start fresh beginning of February. The idea now is to always have 1 new sock and one old wip sock on the go at all times. I know I will always have at least two pairs of socks at any given time so I figure if I do one from my pile of wips every time I start a new one; I might actually get something done.

I think I will be starting with the socks from my wips. I’m currently somewhat actively working on 2 cardigans so the ones in the pile will have to wait a bit longer. I’m also getting ready to cast on for a new wrap so the old shawls will have to wait too.

I’m sort of hopeless! I’m sure you are rolling your eyes at me as you read this. Thinking I’m never going to do as I say. And you may be right! But I’m going to try. I really do need to make my pile of wips disappear and I prefer to do so by knitting everything up rather than frogging everything.

Some of you have shared with me that you too have lingering projects that need love and I’m happy to have you join me. I have opened a thread in my Ravelry group so we can share and give each other the moral knitterly support needed to keep focused:)

My knitting plans for next week are to finish the second sock I talked about and to choose the first wip sock to work on. I have one cast on planned ( and many more I’m dreaming of). It is a brioche wrap in two colors called the Midnight Sherbert by Madeleine Windsor. I have dyed up some organic, non superwash DK merino yarn especially for that.

And I’m going to continue working on my colorwork cardigan that I have yet to show you…. I think I have to write a whole post about that one. I have so much to say but just to tease you, here’s a glimps

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That’s all for today folks. Thank you again for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you have enjoyed your time in my company. I hope to be back beginning of next week as usual. February is around the corner and lots of fun knitting is planned. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a good work week ahead.

Until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting:)

My knitting plans for 2018

Hi there, like I said last time I have so much to share I need to schedule my time well and share as much as I can without invading your life too much. I hope you enjoy spending time with me on the blog but I should not abuse your time and kindness:)

So I’m not going to post everyday but maybe rather try to post twice a week until I’m back on track.

Anyhow today I’m here to share my objectives for 2018 where knitting is concerned. I’m not one for New Years Resolutions. I rarely set myself objectives at the end of the year for my personal everyday life. Even if I have a million plans and things I would like to get done. I think I may be afraid that if I set them as objectives I may not actually get them done… Silly but that’s how it is.

Knitting however is different. At least it is this year. I have become increasingly passionate about knitting over the last few years and I constantly want to learn new things and improve my skills. I also have a list of “to knit” that will probably last me 10 lifetimes. Not to mention my…mountain of shame aka pile of lingering wips!

I’m not ashamed of my knitting and I don’t regret what I have knit. Don’t get me wrong. What I mean is that I have way too many half done projects. I think the oldest might actually be 3 years old!

I’m not sharing any pictures today because my pile of wips is not nicely organized nor stored in an elegant fashion. No, my pile of wips is just that. A big pile of project bags in a corner close to my bed.

I see it every day! And still it does not get smaller!

My husband has had enough and he regularly moans about my pile of stuff that makes our bedroom look overflowing and messy.

So it is time to do something about this.

I have gone through each and every project bag in my pile. I have ripped back a few projects and stored the needles and project bags for future use. So now what is left is all (or 99%) projects I actually want to finish. Some are half done, like socks where sock one is all done and sock two is maybe past the heel already. Some sock one is done but sock two has yet to be cast on. There is a sweater that I have cast on and knit maybe 10 rows. Another one that I had ripped back to the underarms and plan on re knitting. Shawls that I need some quiet time to get back too because they are too complicated to be worked on the go or when my mind is busy.

I have counted the number of projects in the pile and please note that those do NOT include my “on the go/current” knits.

I have: 

8 wraps/scarf/shawl/cowl – so this is a mixed bunch. The single scarf is I think the oldest of all the wips and I think I might end up ripping it back. It is an aran weight colorwork scarf knit in the round and I’m not far in but I haven’t touched it for years so I think maybe I never will. There are two shawls that are complicated and I think starting again will be a challenge to find where I am in the pattern and remembering how to work them. But both are shawls I want to finish.

1 fingerless glove  – If this is younger than the colorwork scarf it is very close in age. I started this a very long time ago and I do not have much to go to finish. This is a pair of colorwork fingerless mittens and they are knit on size 2mm needles. Beautiful but time consuming.

5 sweaters/cardigans – so these are in various stages of completion. Most are barely started though so lots of work here.

18 socks – hm hm. I clearly suffer from second sock syndrome at times. A lot of those socks are test knit socks where the designer only requires one sock to be knit up. I’m constantly signing up for test knitting and so sometimes find myself at a lack of time to complete the previous pair. Also I have in there an amazing pair of socks that I started knitting during a speed sock knitting competition. This was the pair that got me eliminated. It was so complex I could not knit any faster. The pattern is amazing so I really want to finish the second sock which I think is just at the cuff. I did have an issue with the yarn though. I see I was worried about not having enough yarn and so I knit the toe in a contrasting color and I’m not very satisfied with how that looks. If I have any yarn left when I’m done with sock two I think I will undo the toe and re knit in the main yarn.

1 cat sweater – yes because my mom just got a Spynx cat and I’m head over heels in love with him. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen a Christmas picture of him.

3 blankets – I have the pinwheel blanket, one design project that is a colorwork pattern and one that I’m making up as I go using my hand spun yarn. That blanket is very old and hasn’t seen any love for ages. It does look nice though and it is super warm. I do wonder though if I should just stop here and make this a lapghan and start a totally new pattern  with all the handspun I have set aside for this project.

WOW! Talk about a pile of wips! How on earth am I going to get through knitting all of this when I suffer from a severe case of startitis and am constantly buying new patterns and wanting to cast on new things?

Well, here’s my plan. And if you too have a similar issue, you might like to join me and we could support each other.

I’m thinking that I should knit concurrently one new project and one from the pile of wips. I haven’t started yet. I’m thinking I will finish the projects I’m working on right now and when those are done and I’m ready to cast on for something new, I will choose a project from my pile to knit concurrently with the new project. So my plan will most likely go into action end of January. What do you think?

Have you or do you currently have a similar issue with wips? If you have overcome this or if you are currently working on your lingering wips, I’d love to hear your approach to this.  If there is interest, I could open a thread in the Knitting in France group on Ravelry where we could share pictures and discuss progress. Let me know what you think.

I will of course also share with you here on the blog and show you pictures of my future FOs. How exciting!

Knitting in France 2018 – version française en bas

If you have been reading my blog for a while and follow me on social media, you will know that I’m currently debating whether I should continue with the shop or not.

I think the end result will be that I will close the Etsy shop and only sell via my blog. I’m planning on making kits including knitting patterns and my yarn and I’m in discussions with a few designers about this. I’m also going to give designing a try myself and hopefully I’ll be able to offer kits that are all mine in the future.

This will inevitably mean a drastic decrease in offer but it seems like the right way to go right now.

I have decided not to go ahead with the crowd funding campaign. I have put a lot of work into preparing that but along the way it has made me realise that I’m just not very comfortable with asking for money. I know that crowdfunding is not as if I were asking strangers to give me money for nothing. That if someone donates to a crowd funding campaign they will get rewards depending on the investment they make in addition the the satisfaction of supporting someone they believe in. I have done this once myself. But still, it is hard to do and I’m not comfortable doing this at this time.

I’m going to close my Etsy shop some time before Christmas. Until then there will always be a sale of some sort going on as I need to sell as much of my stock as possible. Currently I’m offering -25% off everything. No code needed and I hope you are able to take advantage of the offer if you would like to support/help me at the same time.

In 2018 I will be offering small batches of my hand dyed yarns as well as kits for sale via this blog. Depending on how that goes I will continue or not. Basically I’m sort of cutting the pear in half. Not closing everything down but diminishing and giving things a little more time in the new year to either pick up or bite the bullet.

I’m taking this decision after a lot of thinking. I still feel that the indie yarn business is saturated and only a very few big names are able to make a living from their business. A lot of companies are doing the same thing, producing yarns that resemble those of their competitors. It is hard to stand out even if my yarns are high quality and even if I have a lot of 5 star reviews on Etsy. I’m just one in a million.

I do still enjoy working with and dyeing yarn and my style is a little different from most and so I’m going to continue a little longer only on a smaller scale and via my blog.

I want to thank everyone that have shown me support over the past weeks. Thank you for your kind messages that have warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face. Thank yo for believing in me  and I hope I can continue to count on your support and kindness in the new year.

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Si vous avez suivi mon blog depuis un moment et/ou si vous me suivez sur les autres médias sociaux vous savez sûrement que je contemple la possibilité de fermer ma boutique a la fin de l’année.

Quand j’ai annoncé que j’allais surement fermer, j’ai été surprise par le nombre de messages d’encouragement que j’ai reçu. Beaucoup de personnes m’ont contacté avec des messages de gentillesse et d’encouragement. Me racontant comment moi et ma boutique avons joué un rôle dans leur vie. J’ai été très touché et si vous êtes une de ses personnes/ merci beaucoup!

Tous ces messages m’ont donné envie de me battre et l’idée de lancer une campagne de financement participatif est née. J’ai passé beaucoup de temps à travailler dessus. A me renseigner et imaginer cette campagne pour finalement décider de ne pas la faire.

Même si une campagne de financement participatif est faite pour aider un entrepreneur comme moi même, les donateurs y retrouvent leur compte également. Malgré cela, j’ai du mal a demander de l’argent. Je préfère finalement ne pas le faire.

Je vais fermer ma boutique sur Etsy d’ici Noël. Je n’ai pas de date précise pour le moment, cela dépendra des ventes. D’ici la il y aura toujours une promo d’une sorte ou une autre. Actuellement par exemple, tout est a -25% – pas besoin d’un code. J’essaie de vendre un maximum de mon stock d’ici la fermeture. J’espère que vous pourrez vous faire plaisir tout en me soutenant.

En 2018 je vais vendre uniquement via mon blog, ici. Cela veut dire une diminution drastique de l’offre. Je vais me concentrer sur la vente de kits comprenant un model + ma laine ainsi que des petites quantités de laines teinté mains par mes soins. Je vais laisser le temps au temps un  peu et voir comment cela va fonctionner.

Peut être que ce sera un succès et peut être pas auquel cas je finirais bien par arrêter la vente de laine. Je suis de l’avis que le marché de la laine artisanale est surchargé et que seuls quelques grands noms arrivent a en vivre. Nombreux sont les indie dyers qui font cela plus pour leur propre plaisir que pour en vivre et c’est très bien. Moi mon but était de créer mon propre emploie et pour le moment cela n’est pas possible.

Le blog va continuer et je vais essayer de l’écrire en français aussi et non pas seulement en Anglais.  J’aimerais m’essayer a la création de modèles aussi et je vous les présenterais bien sur ici via le blog si j’y arrive.

Voila, je tenais a vous tenir au courant de la situation. Je vous remercie pour votre soutien et compréhension et j’espère que nous resterons en contact par la suite.

All my current wips

Hi there how  are you? I’m fine. This past weekend we had truly miserable weather here in Normandy so I did get to spend a nice amount of time knitting in front of the tv. However as I have a million things going, I don’t seem to have made much progress on anything.

I did manage to finish one of my current test knits. That was a two color cowl and I cast that off last night so now I just need to give it a little wash and  block. I’m not able to share pictures with you just yet though as this pattern will be part of a new knitwear collection to be published before the end of this year and the designer wants to keep everything a secret until the release. But that was good to at least get that one done.

I have made a little progress on a new sock test knit that I’m doing. This is the first test knit I do for this particular designer and I really like her pattern. I’m knitting the socks using a new base from my shop, the 50/50 merino and cotton base and it’s working up really nicely so far.

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This designer is KBJKNITS   from Australia and she has a number of designs on Ravelry.

The children’s cardigan I’m also test knitting (for a different designer) is now well on it’s way. I’m at the bottom edge for the body and hope to finish that tonight so then I will have to do the sleeves, collar and button bands. Still plenty of work.

And with all this test knitting I’m thinking, maybe I too could design something? I have one pair of finished socks that I designed a while back but never wrote up the pattern, I have a baby dress and a blanket in the same situation. And last night I started on a second pair of socks. This time I’m trying my hand at designing shorty socks.

new sock design 12nov

So far so good. I’m thinking in the future I could sell kits with my own pattern and hand dyed yarns. What do you think?

I also cast on for two new projects this past weekend. Both are from newly purchased patterns and the yarns are from my stash so totally in the theme of my Stash Appreciation Project!

The first is a hat. I saw the pattern on Instagram and immediately went over to Ravelry to buy it. I knew I had just the right yarn and the fur pompom! So the pattern is called Vendemmia and is by the talented Madeleine of Kingfisher Knits. I wasn’t able to knit a lot on this over the weekend because I wanted to knit on ALL my wips so I allocated a small time to each project but at least I got it going and so far so good:)

vendemmia 1

I’m using my chunky alpaca yarn for this and a pompom I purchased the last time I was in Iceland. Everything feels so squishy and luscious! I can’t wait to be able to wear this hat!

My second new project is a cowl called The Land of Sweets by Helen of Curious Handmade. This is the first pattern in this year’s Knitvent. The pattern is designed using an advent calendar from an indie designer so using 24 mini skeins in different colors. I don’t have an advent calendar of minis but I do have lots of minis and rests of yarns from projects I have knit over the years. So I found myself a christmas project bag

christmas project bag

And then went rummaging through my stash to find compatible minis. I wound them up into mini yarn balls and threw them into the bag.

land of sweets minis

The idea is to just pick a mini at random for each section of the cowl and once I have knit with one yarn/mini I take it out of the bag to be sure I won’t use it a second time.

I think this is going to be a fun knit. The idea behind all those minis is great and I think it is what will make this more fun than if it were knit in only one or two colors.

So far I have only just begun so nothing much to show you but here’s where I’m currently at.

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I’m also continuing knitting on the Marie Curie Quest for socks charity knitting. I’m so close to finishing pair number 3. I can feel myself losing momentum here after knitting almost 3 vanilla pairs in the same yarn but I’m going to try and stay focused and knit 4 pairs as I planned on doing.

I think this is about all for now on my knitting. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today. I hope you have enjoyed reading up on my knitting and seeing the pictures. I’ll be back later this week with some more info and hope to see you then:)

The potato experiment

What?! If you have not heard of my experiment you are probably thinking I must have lost my mind! Why would I want to talk to you about potatoes on a knitting blog? Well, no wonder you ask.

So it all began with some grocery shopping before Halloween. Our grocery shop had some Vitelotte potatoes and they had packaged them in a Halloween package and branding somewhat like Halloween potatoes. I had never tasted Vitelotte potatoes and it was Halloween so I thought this was just perfect timing and bought a kilo!

When I finally cooked these, just peeling them before cooking stained my hands purple and so I thought maybe, just maybe, I could use the peels to dye yarn. These potatoes have such a beautiful purple color. I could just imagine seeing some gorgeous yarn in a beautiful purple.

I looked online and found nothing about using potato peels for dyeing yarn. Maybe not strange! But I decided to do it anyway. So I put the peels to the side and let them dry.

vitelotte potatoes See why I was imagining purple yarn?

When it was dry I cooked the peels. I put them into a small mesh bag and cooked them for hours and boy did they stain! or give color! Not sure how to word that.

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It looked beautiful.

I chose to use some of my organic merino yarn as this was natural dyeing. I read up on mordanting and I had some Alun for mordanting and so off I went. I followed the instructions on how to mordant my yarn BEFORE dyeing. And then I plunged it in.

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I had such high hopes! But something strange happened! The yarn did NOT take the color or almost nothing! I put three skeins in and even after over an hour in the dye stock, there was still lots of color in the water.

I let it sit longer and checked from time to time until I decided it wasn’t working and I took the yarn out. The leftover water was still pink!

I am a beginner at natural dyeing and maybe I did something wrong. Or maybe potato peels are not meant to be used as dye stuff.  Anyway I did it and here are a couple of pictures of my yarns next to the same yarn undyed. If I had not put an undyed skein next to them you would not see these were actually dyed. It’s that subtle.

So the middle skein is undyed. The others have a sort of very light beige color.  I’m not sure if I’m going to use them as is or if I will overdye them with something else. I’m still debating that.

Anyway it was a fun experiment and a lot of people were interested in the results so I hope you have enjoyed stopping by today and seeing my pictures.

Until next time; Have a great weekend and I’ll speak to you soon:)

The end of an adventure and one last enabling post before we all commit to stash appreciation

Hi there, writing this post has been a long time coming. I have thought about this for a very very very long time and I think I really need to get it together and just take the plunge! The plunge in question is… closing my Etsy shop! Now I’ve said it!

I would like to take the opportunity to share with you the story of this shop adventure that is coming to an end.

In 2010 I was very unhappy with the work I was doing and I longed for a job that I would actually enjoy doing. I was already heavily into knitting and the idea of opening a shop started to take shape. At first I wanted to create a niche shop and concentrate on knitting needles. At the time, in France, knitting needles were very limited and most knitters only knit on long single pointed needles. I wanted to introduce circular needles to them. In my home country of Iceland we knit everything on circulars and I think they are fabulous. I started looking around at what was available and what I could sell. On the 1st of March 2011 I opened my shop, Knitting in France. I had my very own website and I offered a variety of knitting needles. I can safely say that I was a pioneer in France and even in Europe when it came to selling knitting needles because I introduced a number of knitting needles brands that were otherwise unobtainable in France and often in Europe at large.

I had Signature Needle Arts and was the only distributor for those in France and one of very few in Europe if not the only one. I also introduced Kollage square needles and I still have a few of those left. I was the first to sell these in France and one of very few in Europe. I also had Swallow casein needles from Australia and again the only one in France selling those. I had Indian Lake Artisans hexagonal, handmade wooden needles and still have some left in stock. Those are works of art and a joy to work with. I also believe I was their first stockist in France.

I was also the very first stockist of  Hiya Hiya in France and I’m proud of being the one to introduce French knitters to that brand and even European knitters because at the time very few shops sold these in Europe. And Chiaogoo, also the first stockist in France to offer those.

Today all the important yarn shops in France carry some of these brands that I took a chance on in 2011.

I also offered handmade knitting and crochet accessories and I took in a few commercial yarns such as Rooster yarns. I did also offer Dream in Color yarns and again I believe I was the only stockist in France at the time.

The product I took the biggest chance on was an amazing yarn, Qiviut from Arctic Qiviut company. Qiviut, if you are not familiar with that fibre, comes from the underdown of musk ox. It is a rare fibre and very labour intensive in production. It is the warmest wool you can have and Arctic Qiviut had both natural color yarn and hand dyed ones and they also offered luxurious blends with qiviut, cashmere,angora etc. A skein of this luxurious yarn costs a fortune but I did manage to buy a few for the shop and I did sell most of them though it took some time as the price was not for the faint of heart. I was of course the first to sell this yarn in France and I helped them organise a tour in England and France to introduce their yarns to other shops and today a few shops in England carry their yarns.

Later on I wanted to start dyeing my own yarn and totally fell down a rabbit hole. For a while my shop did well and I really enjoyed feeling like I was doing well. I took part in yarn shows in France and in the UK.

In 2013 we moved to Normandy and at that time I took the worst decision ever with regards to my business. I decided to close my independent website/shop and to concentrate on selling on Etsy.

Etsy is a tough platform to be on, the competition is fierce and even if you begin in one shop you can easily find yourself in another shop without noticing it. The indie dyed yarn business has exploded over the last few years and every day new dyers open shop. I think we have arrived at a crossroads where the offer way surpasses the demand. Today if you are not a podcast star as well as an indie dyer or a friend of a podcast star, it is very hard to get the word out there and sell your yarns. This is just my humble opinion and I may be totally wrong and maybe I’m just saying this out of deception. Who knows.

Anyway, I at least have come to a crossroad and I need to decide which way to go. I absolutely love my little shop, I love sourcing quality yarns, I love dyeing small batches and I love seeing pictures of what my clients then make with my yarn. But the hard fact is that I’m not selling enough for this to be a sustainable business. Unfortunately I don’t have the time needed to revamp and re-vitalise the shop. I work full time and I have three children. I also don’t have the finances to fund a big purchase of base yarn to be able to offer sweater quantities of different colors etc.  And let’s face it, maybe I just don’t have the talent!

So I have decided, with a heavy heart, that I need to close this chapter of my life. I need to just concentrate on my own knitting and this blog which I so enjoy writing. However to limit the financial loss and to make some space at the house, I need to sell as much as I possibly can of my current stock. And so I’m having a Going out of business sale! As of now and until November 1st I’m offering -30% off everything in the shop and I hope you will take the time to take a peek and maybe buy a skein or two. My base yarns are high quality and used by  a number of well known indie dyers in Europe and I have dyed them up in small batches with lots of love and care. I will include free stitch markers with every order, the more yarn you buy, the more markers you will receive:)

I know that this goes against my announced plan of Stash Appreciation that will start on November 1st but hey, if you are joining me in that, you do still have till November 1st to buy yarns no questions asked! And you would be supporting a very small home business at the same time:)

So, I’m sorry if this comes across as if I’m pleading for help. I did want to share the story of my yarn shop adventure with you and I did want to tell you about the discount just in case you were interested. Please feel free to share the info with all of your knitting buddies. There is no code needed, the prices are already discounted in the shop. I of course do worldwide shipping at reasonable prices. You can check out my sale by clicking here 

That’s all for today. Have a  wonderful weekend and enjoy your crafting:)