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.

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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:)

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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

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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:)

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?

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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.

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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.

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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:)

A test knit reveal and more

Hi there,

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you are doing good and that you had a nice weekend, maybe even a prolonged weekend if you live in the US. Back here in France school has started again and I’m happy to get back into the routine. When working from home, I admit that it is way easier when the kids are at school than having them all 3 at the home. Even if they are not very young. So seeing everyone return to school feels good:)

I had a sale in my shop over the weekend and if you purchased anything I would like to thank you for your support. It means a lot to me. I’m still pondering whether to continue or not. Selling on Etsy is a challenge and if I want to have a chance of continuing I will have to get my own ecommerce website and launch a crowdfunding project to get the necessary funds to set up a new website and purchase new yarn bases and other items indispensable to running the shop in a productive way. I’m not sure whether that is a reasonable thing to do or if  people are not willing to support/fund another indie dyer. There are so many dyers out there and even if we usually say there is a place for everyone, the market is already well supplied in indie dyed yarn and so a project like mine might not awake interest. I’m still thinking this over and I just might launch a Kickstarter campaign. After all either I won’t make my goal and nothing happens or I do make my goal and get to fulfill my dream. I will keep you updated of course.

Now onto knitting. As the title of today’s post says, I’m about to reveal one of my test knits. So as I told you before, I was test knitting 2 cardigans and a pair of socks. I have just finished the first cardigan and the pattern has now been released on Ravelry.

This new pattern is called Tommelise and the designer er Agata known as Amanitaknits. I have already knit a number of her patterns and this is the third time I test knit for her so I feel I can recommend her patterns without a second thought.

This time it is a fingering weight cardigan. The pattern is meant more for spring/summer/early autumn wear as it is rather short and has 3/4 length sleeves. The pattern is easy to follow and what can be called a potato chipy knit. The cardigan is knit in one piece so no sewing but a lot of purling. But that’s ok. If you don’t like purling, just look at this as your chance to work on your purling speed or why not learn to knit backwards and work on that while doing the cardigan.

I knit mine using my SOX yarn base which is a 75/25 merino/nylon yarn that I hand dyed myself is a lovely red brique color. Almost a Harry Potter red.

I did choose to modify the pattern slightly. This is the first time I ask to modify the pattern as I’m test knitting. I wanted the cardigan to be longer, the body that is. I also wanted full length sleeves. So my changes include: a longer body, longer sleeves including a longer cuff.

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Here are a few pictures of me wearing the cardigan. I actually finished this twice! What happened was that I knit the sleeves very long and after washing and blocking the cardigan, I ended up with VERY long sleeves. Too long. So I ripped back and reknit just the cuff and now it fits perfectly.

I think this pattern is beautiful and if you live someplace where the weather is mild; I would definitely recommend following the pattern to the T. I chose to lengthen the cardigan because I usually wear this type of garment in winter over a tshirt.

I really love the finished item and I’m so happy to have finished. Now I only have one cardigan and two pairs of socks for test knitting! Yes! two socks! I just accepted a  new sock knitting test knit 🙂

In other knitting related news. I have started both Mkals; the What the Fade by Andrea Mowry and the Road to Rhinebeck by Mina Phillip.  I was surprised by how short Clue 1 was in the Road to Rhinebeck shawl. It took less than an hour to finish, maybe as little as half an hour so not much to share with you.

I’m still working on Clue 1 for the What the Fade mkal. I was happy to see that it is at least partly in brioche and I’m just over half done with clue 1. For this kal I splurged and  purchased an entire Fade kit! 6 entire skeins of fingering weight yarn from Dragon Hoard Yarns on Etsy.  I’m very excited about this project as I’m a fan of Andrea’s patterns so I’m pretty sure this will be amazing not to mention of epic proportions seeing the quantity of yarn!

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How gorgeous are these yarns?! I’m using them from the top down, that is the brown skein at the top is my color A and the bottom white and speckled skein is my yarn F.

And this is where I’m at now

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According to the pattern, the first (darker) picture is the front/right side. I however think brioche can be used either side and like both equally much so far. Of course the pattern may not be entirely in brioche and so the darker side will have to be the front. We’ll see. I’m going to try my best to keep up with the clues and try not to fall behind as that might lead to me being discouraged and casting on a gazillion new things rather than catch up!

If you are doing these kals, I’d love to hear what you think so far and if you’d like to share pictures I’d love to see your versions.

This is all for today. I’ll be back soon with a super exciting new post full of pictures from Iceland’s first ever yarn crawl! I was not lucky enough to participate myself but a cousin of mine who lives in Iceland and is a great knitter, did attend and she sent me tons of pictures to share with you all and I think you will enjoy seeing those. Depending on time, I might post later this week. If times runs out on me, then this coming weekend.

Until then, thank you for stopping by and I wish you all a wonderful week with plenty of knitting:)

A Weekend Yarn Sale

Hi there, I hope your week has been good and the upcoming weekend will be even better.

Today I’m just posting a  little info. To make room (and some money too to be honest) I’m having a sale in the shop, my first ever US LABOR DAY SALE. The sale is on til Monday September 4th and EVERYTHING in the shop is 20% off. No code needed!

I’m hoping to sell as much yarn and other goodies as I can because I want to bring in some new yarn bases that are not usually on offer with indie dyers and so might be of interest to you.

As always I ship worldwide at low prices and I hope you will not be deterred from shopping due to shipping charges.

That’s it for tonight. I have posted about the sale on my social media and thought I should do so here too as my blog followers are not necessarily following me elsewhere and I would not want you to lose out on my sale. This might be your chance to test some of my yarns and try them for yourself rather than just read about everything I knit with my yarns:)

So if you feel like browsing/shopping just click here 

Have a wonderful weekend. Those that are in the US , happy holiday and maybe you are lucky enough to have a prolonged weekend. I hope you’ll get a chance to do lots of knitting this weekend. I started my What the Fade shawl and am hoping to finish clue 1 over the weekend. I’m also looking forward to casting on clue one of the Road to Rhinebeck mystery kal tomorrow and maybe you too are joining in those.

Enjoy your weekend, happy knitting and I’ll speak to you soon:)

 

A couple of HOs and some dream knitting/planning

Hi there, I hope you are doing great and enjoying summer/winter where you are. Here summer is proving to be quite nice and this morning it is actually super hot which is not so nice when one has to work in a non air conditioned space. But hey, I’ll be on holiday at the end of the week so lets not complain. I will spend most of my vacation time at home but we’ll do some travelling just to clear our heads and re-energise. But even if we don’t go or do anything spectacular, just the idea of having some time off work sounds amazing! I of course have big plans for my vacation knitting and imagine myself accomplishing amazing amounts of knitwear during this time. Way more than I will really be able to do I’m sure. But that’s ok; part of dream knitting is exactly that, dream and dream BIG!

But before I share my dream knitting with you, let me show you my hos. The first ho is sock one of a pair that I just test knit for my friend Dana Gervais. This pattern is called Abundance and will be published on Ravelry in August.

As always the pattern is very well written and a joy to knit. I chose a semi solid yarn as I think that was needed to really show off the patterning involved.

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The second ho is my second Ravello sweater. I have finished the body and since I took the pictures yesterday I have begun knitting the first sleeve. I hope I’ll be able to finish this one soon. I was a little wary about the yarn as it is heavily variegated and maybe more suited for sock knitting but I had 3 skeins of the same colorway so I really wanted to make a garment. I think it will be ok. When worn with jeans I think it looks fun.

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I’m still working on or should I say, I still should be working on some other almost finished projects but those might have to wait for September to be picked up seeing as my dream knitting list is somewhat substantial.

So on to the dream knitting. I don’t actually dream of the act of knitting while I sleep. I mean this more as a daydream thing. You know the sort of thing that goes through your head as you browse Ravelry and find a gazillion patterns you MUST make.

As I will get some time of work very soon, I of course see myself spending lots of time knitting. In reality I most likely will not as I do have to do stuff for my kids who might not enjoy spending all day with me while I knit, but a dream is a dream so here goes.

I decided that I needed a plan for my vacation knitting and so I put together a number of things ready for vacation…and yes I have to admit that I have cast on 3 out of 5 projects already…

So number one and this one came after all the planning was done and I’m already knitting on it a lot. It’s the Veronika cardigan by So Very Shannon. This is a worsted weight, oversized cardigan and I fell for this after seeing a picture of Tracy of the Grocery Girls wearing her’s on Instagram. It looks like the perfect thing to throw on as I work in the winter and get chilly. I have had a worsted weight cardigan on the needles for more than a year and it wasn’t working out and I just kept putting off the ripping out but when I decided on Veronika, I went ahead and just ripped it all out (I was on the yoke/shoulder section of a bottom up cardi). The yarn I’m using is hand dyed from Kettle Yarn Co in her Waltham Aran base and it is a 100% BFL yarn. I’m not far enough on to actually show you a picture as the construction is unusual and you would not really get a good picture so here is a picture taken from the designer’s Ravelry page and a link to the pattern if you too want to cast one on.

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Number two is another garment. It’s a sweater by Joji Locatelli called I see Spring. This is a top down raglan knit with sport weight yarn. I rarely use sport weight yarn and so for this occasion I ordered some from my yarn supplier and dyed up my version of the color Joji used for her sweater, a pink with some purple speckles. This one I have not yet cast on for but I have all the yarn wound into cakes and the needles ready along with a print out of the pattern. Below is a picture from Ravelry and again a link to the pattern.

i see spring

Number three is a cowl that looks like a shawl and this is another Joji Locatelli design called Midsummer Haze. I always wear my shawls like this, with the deepest part of the shawl in the front and the idea of this actually being a cowl is very appealing to me. I would like to make at least two, one for me and one for a Christmas gift. I also have the same yarn base as Joji used for hers. It’s the same yarn as I used for my first Ravello a 50% alpaca/25% silk/25% linen blend. I’m knitting the first one as is with the same yarn as my Ravello so a light grey. The second one I want to overdye a skein and make it either dark grey or black. So this one I have cast on and done a little bit so it’s ready for car knitting. Again below a picture from Ravelry and a link to the pattern.

midsummer haze pattern picture

Number four is also a neck piece, it’s a cowl called A Tale as Old as Time by Anne Vally and this is a kit I bought from Little Skein in the Big Wool so I’m actually lucky enough to have the exact yarn the pattern calls for. I really love self striping yarn and this one has such gorgeous colors. I’m planning on not using it all up but leave a little bit to use in either a scrap blanket or scrap socks. This is a super easy pattern so ideal for car knitting or when just wanting to not think of anything. I did modify the beginning of the pattern/cast on but I hope that will be ok. So far I have done less than 10 stripes so not much to show yet but here is a picture from Ravelry and a link to the pattern.

tale as old as time

And then number five which is the last item on my dream knitting list (for the moment at least) we have a pair of shorty socks/slippers. I saw these on Instagram and immediately fell for them as I think these look amazing in variegated yarns and I have plenty of those. The pattern is called Calentito by MediaPeruana and I can see myself knitting a pair in different sizes for gift knitting. Below is a picture and a link to the pattern as always.

calentito

That’s it for my vacation knitting…I think. What about you? Have you planned on anything special for your holidays? I’d love to see/hear about your knitting plans.

I might not post regularly over the next 3-4 weeks as I will be relaxing as much as I can and just spending time with my family but I’ll post from time to time on Instagram if you want to follow me there. I’m @knittinginfrance on Instagram.

I have some thoughts for the coming autumn regarding my little indie dyed yarn business that I would like to share with you and ask for your thoughts on. I’ll use my off time to think more about that and come up with plan A and plan B and  hopefully there will be something fun involved for you.

So until next time, have a wonderful summer(winter if you are in the southern hemisphere) and enjoy your knitting. Please subscribe to my blog if you enjoy spending some time with me and seeing my knitting. I’m almost at 200 subscribers so I will be doing something fun soon to celebrate once that milestone has been reached. Thank you again for spending some of your precious time with me today and HAPPY KNITTING!

There has been a lot of knitting happening

Hi there, how are you? It’s been two weeks since I last posted and that’s because I had my mother over from Iceland and so I was extra busy. Also work has been very stressful lately and that has sort of drained my energy a lot and left me sort of bland, tired and just not interested in doing anything much.

I’m hoping things will slow down a bit at work but I know that realistically that is not likely to happen. I’ll be on vacation in 3 weeks and I can’t wait. We don’t know if we will go anywhere as money is very tight but at least I’ll be OFF WORK! That makes me smile!

Anyway this is supposed to be a knitting blog so here goes. As you may know, if you live in Europe or watch European knitting podcasts, we had a heat wave here and I was just melting in my room/office and yet that did not deter me from knitting. Knitting keeps me sane so I have to knit everyday whatever the temperature!

So since last time I have knit 3 pairs of socks. Two I knit for a family friend to gift to someone in South Korea! How exciting is that! She purchased some Icelandic Lett Lopi and I knit two socks out of that. I’m not used to knit so thick socks nor using Lett Lopi either as I’m a bit of a snob or a soft yarn snob should I say. But knitting with such thick yarn definitely made progress a breeze.

Here are my socks

The dark blue and grey ones, I improvised a rib pattern and just did my usual short row heel and rounded toe. The turquoise and blue ones I knit the Rye socks from Tin Can Knits. I’m quite happy with the outcome.

I also knit a pair of shorty socks for my youngest. She loved the yarn and immediately put her socks on. This last weekend she took them to a sleepover and…came home without them! GRRR, I’m so sad! I loved those socks and the yarn was not cheap! My daughter is also very distressed and we are hoping her friend will find the socks in her house. Cross our fingers and toes. And here they are

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The amazing yarn is from UK dyer Mothy and the squid.

I have also been working a lot on my sweaters and I actually managed to finish one! I have also made good progress on my other two and have now cast on for a new one that will be a Christmas gift! No I’m not THAT organised, it’s just that I recently got this pattern and purchased some yarn just for this and I couldn’t hold off any longer to cast on!

But first, drum rolls please, my 99% finished Sammal cardigan by Joji Locatelli. You have been hearing about this one and seeing my progress for the past months and I’m so proud to have finished the knitting. I now need to weave in the ends, sew on the buttons and wash and block!

I absolutely LOVE LOVE my cardigan. It looks beautiful, the handspun yarn looks and feels amazing! I’m sure I will get a lot of wear out of this one come winter. The pattern was easy to follow and fun to knit and I feel it fits me very nicely. This is the first time I have ever spun yarn for an entire garment and then dyed and knit it so this one truly is mine! From fluff to finished object!

And on to the other garments I’m still working on. I’m all about sweater knitting at the moment and sock knitting has been put on the back burner for the moment. I’m getting close to finishing my two sweaters and I already have yarn and patterns picked out for the next ones.

So first up is my So Faded sweater by Andrea Mowry. The pattern is simple and fun to knit, what I do not enjoy so much is the fading process. I don’t much enjoy the  part when one is fading from one color to the next. Also I feel that the colors in the kit I purchased especially for this knit, well they produce more of color blocks than a fading effect. At least compared to what I had imagined. I’m now on sleeve number 2 so I should be done in a few days.

so faded 4jul

And then there is my Ravello by Isabelle Kramer. Now that is a wonderful pattern. I can definitely see myself knitting more of this. And you can personalise and change up the colors, do stripes, color blocks, fades or whatever and so have multiple versions of this sweater that will all look unique.

The grey yarn is one I hand dyed myself. This is a new base to me that I wanted to try out and I absolutely love it. It’s a mix of alpaca, silk and linen and it’s a joy to work with. It’s very light and airy and just feels so relaxed. It really feels like the perfect yarn for this relaxed pattern. The pink yarn is one I got while in the Golden Skein. Its a Wensleydale yarn and it feels totally different from my grey yarn. I didn’t much care for how it knit up in the stripes and so I only did 3 stripes and then I felt that a contrasting hem would be fun and I still think it is. Only I don’t like the texture. This yarn is stretchy and so while the sweater feels very loose and relaxed, the hem is stretched and just …not right. So I’m 99% sure I’ll rip the hem out once I’ve finished my second sleeve and then reknit it with my main yarn.

ravello 4jul

One feature I like about this sweater is the large neck opening and the look which is sort of “un finished”. Also what I have noticed is that the sleeves go so much quicker when I knit them on short circulars. Just after half of sleeve one, I got this illumination that maybe short circulars would help me go quicker and so I changed to 9″ circulars and boum! The sleeve just flew off my needles so now I’m working sleeve 2 on 9″ circulars and I have ordered some more to be able to do the So Faded sleeve 2 also on a short circular.

And like I said earlier, I cast on for a new sweater. I thought that would be fine since I finished my Sammal cardigan. I had imagined I would finish all 3 garments BEFORE casting on for a new garment but…

So I found this gorgeous pattern on Ravelry called Rock Creek by Caitlin Hunter. I immediately knew I had to knit this and not only for myself but for my sister too! So I decided I would knit her one for Christmas. I didn’t have any suitable yarn in sufficient quantities so I ordered some online. The pattern calls for Malabrigo Rios but that was mostly variegated, at least in the shop I chose, so I went for Malabrigo Worsted which is a beautiful single ply yarn. I hope it will wear well. The pattern says that Malabrigo Rios grows a lot when blocked so I wondered if the Malabrigo Worsted would too and so asked my followers on IG if they had any experience with this and most said that all Malabrigo yarn they had used did grow. So I decided to go one size down and I hope I won’t regret that. I’ll be very careful the first time I wash and block the sweater. It is an oversized  chunky sweater that will look great over a tshirt and jeans I think. This is where I’m at now

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Sorry for the disarray on my desk 🙂 The front is seed stitch and the back is plain stockinette stitch. I like the color I chose too.

So that’s about all for today. This week I need to concentrate on a test knit that I’m doing for my friend Dana Gervais, another sock of course and it’s going nicely but slowly. I will also do my best to finish my two sweaters, the So Faded and the Ravello so I can cast on for two more. I will also be working on a new secret test knit – an open cardigan that I will be casting on for this week.

And there’s Tour de Fleece! I may have to do a post just on that! Are you taking part? I am for the first time and I have decided to concentrate on improving my spindle spinning skills rather than try and spin the most yardage. I’ll share pictures and more on that later.

Until next time, thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me. I have enjoyed sharing my knitting projects with you and maybe I have inspired you to cast on for a new sweater/cardigan too:)

 

My latest FOs

Hi there, how have you been? Well I hope. It seems that maybe, and I mean just maybe, summer is actually around the corner here in Normandy. We have had warm temperatures for a few days in a row now so it’s starting to feel somewhat summer-y. School will soon come to a close for the kids and so exams are about to start and such.

As for myself, well I have been doing quite a bit of knitting. Surprise surprise! Or not 🙂

So today I wanted to show you my two latest FOs, one you have already  heard of I’m pretty sure and the other is my secret test knit that has now been made official!

So first my Cullum t-shirt by Isabelle Kraemer. I have knit that using some lovely italian linen dyed by a friend of mine in Australia. So this is quite the international project:) The pattern is easy to follow and was actually a very quick knit and I can easily see myself knitting another one just like it. I’m currently washing it and hope to block it later today but I did try it on and if you follow me on IG you may have seen the pictures but for those of you who don’t or haven’t seen the pictures, here are some

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This is the first time I have ever knit with a linen yarn. This one felt very nice on the hands and somewhat shiny and my friend Andrea who dyed and gifted me this yarn says it’s because this is brushed linen. I was expecting this to be somewhat harsh on the hands and to the touch but not at all. It really was a joy to knit with.

I have some linen in my stash that I recently bought and that one must be non brushed linen because it has a totally different handle. Even after knitting a swatch and washing that linen, it still feels somewhat “crisp”. Not sure if it will work for a summer t-shirt or if I should just resign and make something like a grocery bag. We’ll see.

My second FO like I said is the mystery test knit I have mentioned here before. The pattern is by designer Amanita and it is a DK weight shawl. This is a triangular shaped shawl with a patterned border on one side which is knit simultaneously to the rest of the shawl which is mostly garter stitch.

This was an easy pattern to follow and it went quite quickly too. I did misunderstand the instructions for one stitch, a sort of twisted stitch surrounding the patterned section, but I think it doesn’t really show much and I love the finished item. I knit my sample using my own hand dyed DK yarn and I ended up using just over 3 skeins. Actually 3 x 100 gr skeins + 6gr of skein 4. Maybe that was a gauge thing but if you should go ahead and make this shawl and don’t want to start on skein 4 for such a small amount of yardage, I would just recommend you keep a close eye on the amount of yarn you have when you start your last pattern repeat and possibly stop a few rows early so you have enough for the bind off.

The pattern was published on Ravelry yesterday, May 16th and is called Forest Mystery and it is already on the first page for HOT NOW on Ravelry! I can highly recommend this shawl. It is huge and my yarn is so soft and squishy. I can’t wait to actually wear it this coming autumn and winter.

Not being much for modelling, I asked my youngest daughter to model the shawl for me and she gracefully accepted so here are some pictures of her showing off my shawl.

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And speaking of shawls, I have started on my Starting Point mystery wrap by Joji and I’ll be sharing pictures later, if you don’t mind spoilers 🙂

That’s all for now. I NEED to get some knitting done before work. I wish you all a wonderful day and rest of your week. Happy knitting 🙂