The Lorelei sweater

Hi there, how are you? How has the new year treated you so far? Well I hope. I’m doing fine, not really following my big ideas about reduced yarn purchases (more on that later) but other than that rather good. Although I am feeling a little overwhelmed just now because I just made a big investment and ordered a Chromebook… You may know that I work from home so on my desk I have my work computer hooked to two screens and to the side my personal PC. When I write my blog it means that I do so from my desk which sometimes feels like I’m still at work when all I want to do is stand up and move somewhere else. I think this in part has worked against me being a regular blogger and so I thought that in order for me to really stand under my big blogging ideas, I have to have a laptop computer so I can write my posts easily from anywhere in the house. And now I just made that purchase!

I look forward to getting this new laptop and the new possibilities I think it will bring me. And I also hope this will seriously help me refrain from any further yarn purchases until I have paid up the computer in 4 months!

So now you know! And so on to more interesting stuff like knitting:

This past week I feel like I have not had enough knitting time somehow. I worked on finally finishing my test knit sweater and I’m getting ready to cast on for the second time for my secret oversized cardigan test knit (the design did not really work out so after knitting the entire thing almost all of us are now faced with ripping back and starting over again).

I have done a tiny bit of progress on my Northeasterly blanket but nothing to show really at this time.

I did start a new cardigan by Isabelle Kraemer, the Jaycee cardigan which is beautiful.

I’m only just at the beginning so I’m not including a picture today. I’m knitting this using Drops Flora yarn for the very first time and so far so good.

This week I will continue working on that and I will start a new test knit. Again this will be a secret test knit (and yes I agreed to this before making the decision to not do so many test knits in 2019). This time it is a wrap/shawl and I just got the pattern today so this evening I’m planning on knitting a swatch.

Now the most exciting thing I want to share with you this week is my finished Lorelei sweater by the talented Agnes of Amanitaknits!

I have test knit for her on a number of occasions and I am an absolute fan of her designs. They are always so gorgeous and this sweater is no exception.

I’m sorry to say that I was late finishing and the pattern was published last week I believe but I have not updated my pattern page on Ravelry and posted pictures on Instagram.

This is a fingering weight sweater with an unusual construction. I’m not going to go more into details on the construction as this is a paid for pattern but let me just say that I’m pretty sure you have never knit a sweater in this way. I had not.

I chose to use yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings and I chose a sort of caramel colour which is totally out of my comfort zone. And I’m so very happy I did. I think the sweater looks stunning in this colour/yarn.

Can you see the beautifully patterned yoke?

And here is one of the sweater blocking. On this picture it looks like the arms are a mile long each! I was really worried I would have to rip them back some and redo the ribbing once it was dry. Lucky me, it fits perfectly. The arms are long but not too long. Maybe I’m just an unusual shape and didn’t know it 🙂

What do you think? I’m sure you agree that it is a beautiful pattern. I’m sure I will wear this a lot.

This is my main accomplishment and I don’t have much more to share with you this time around. I can however tease you and let you know that I am currently trying out two new knitting needle types. Both of which are unusual and one of them is used for a particular style of knitting which I am so enjoying learning. This is partly why I have so little knitting to share. I have been practicing knitting in this new to me way. I’m going to work on those for a little longer before I share my thoughts with you but that is definitely something to look forward to.

This is all for today. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great rest of the week. Happy knitting 🙂

Holiday knitting plans

Hi there, I hope like me you will get a few days off work over the upcoming holidays.

Time off means more time to knit and to make the most of the free time I feel like I have to plan ahead.

This is what I have come up with.

Finish my test knit. I have finished the body and started on sleeve one. When both sleeves will be done I will redo the neck/upper yoke again.

I really like the colour of the yarn and I think this will be a beautiful sweater once done.

And then there are the socks. I have three partially done pairs, one of which is a very old wip.

If we start from the left:

The red sock is my own design, one sock is done and now I need to finish the pair. Then there is the Thomasina socks by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears. I’m close to being done with sock one. Next there is a self striping yarn from Turtle Purl Yarns in their Mistletoe colorway. This is what I plan to use for Christmas Eve cast on. These will be simple vanilla socks. And then there is THE wip!

This is a pair I knit as part of the final round in Sock Madness a couple of years ago. This is by far the most complicated sock pattern I have ever worked. For lack of time I knit a size that does not fit me so I will have to gift the pair when it’s done! The pattern is called Coffee Cantata

So that means 4 pairs of socks + finish a sweater. And then there is one new project I have only just cast on for. It’s a shawl design by Isabel Kraemer called Euclid.

Not much to show yet but this is a beautiful design and I’m using my hand-spun yarn, this is a camel and silk blend so truly luxurious. And the fibre has not been dyed so this is a beautiful natural colour with some sheen from the silk. I think this will be a gorgeous, big and cozy shawl once done.

This is probably very ambitious and I may not actually finish as much as I dream I will but if I do, that would be amazing.

I will of course be taking my new knitting journal with me to document my progress as of January 1st 2019.

How about you? Have you made any special plans for some holiday knitting? Are you going to take part in the Christmas Eve sock cast on? Have you chosen your yarn and pattern? I would love to hear what you have planned.

That’s all I have for now. Have a wonderful weekend and an even better holiday week up a head. I might not blog next week, depends on the time I have available between the family and festivities.

Wish you all the best! Happy knitting

Knitting plans

Hey there, I hope you had a nice weekend and a good beginning of a new week. Christmas is happening next week! Wow how time flies! Soon we will be in 2019! 

It will soon be time to reflect on this past year and make plans for the new one, be they knitting related or not. 

The beginning of a new year can be exciting in terms of new beginnings and exciting things ahead.

Where I’m concerned I have decided to sort of make a few commitments/objectives related to my knitting and my blog.

I haven’t really thought this all through or ordered by order of importance but here are the things I need to work on for 2019:

For the blog I want: 

I want to be more consistent, to absolutely post once a week and sometimes more but to really have a fixed schedule both for me to work on and for you to count on.

I want to maybe organise something with you like maybe a knit-a-long or a game of some sort.

I want to continue interviewing interesting makers and try to offer an interview once a month.

I want to maybe find ways of making my blog better, maybe more interactive, maybe for it to reach more readers.

I would like to finally start writing down patterns I come up with and possibly offer them here on the blog for sale and some as free perks for my readers.

For my knitting I want:

I want to make a dent in my mountain of wips, a dent that can actually be seen by the naked eye!

I want to work more on my creative side and write up patterns.

I want to learn new techniques, I want to learn about different breeds of fibre animals and the yarn available to us.

I want to be more organised – don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to become a monogamous knitter but just try to control the number of wips at any given time and most importantly keep track of them via a knitting journal and this is a project I will share here on my blog too.

I’m thinking also about maybe doing less test knits, at least garment test knits as those take up a lot of time and yarn.

For my knitting related purchases I want:

Now this is a difficult objective and I know I have to be vague here or at least open for changes. I would love to refrain from any yarn buying for a year and only knit from stash but I know that is one objective I will never be able to reach.

So the idea is to come up with a yarn budget, some sort of a reasonable amount a month and IF I don’t use the amount one month I can save up and have double the amount the next month allowing me to maybe buy more yarn for a bigger project (or just buy more yarn). I have not decided on what this amount should be but I will.

I also need to stop buying so many knitting patterns. I have a gazillion knitting patterns in my Ravelry library and I am constantly buying more knowing full well that I will not be knitting them any time soon! I need to come up with some sort of a system. Maybe create a queue or a favorite’s bundle where I can add all the patterns that have me salivating and then when I actually know I have the time and yarn to make that project I can go ahead and buy the pattern.

I might also look over some of my pattern stash and pick maybe 10 patterns (that I already own) and decide to knit all those in 2019. That could be a fun thing to do and an interesting objective.

What about you? Do you take the time to look over your past projects or plan for the future knitting wise? If so I would love to hear how you go about things. Do you maybe set yourself some sort of objective like knit X pairs of socks? Or earmark a certain number of patterns you absolutely want to knit in the new year? Do share 🙂

Now my knitting these days. What’s new? Well, I have finished one test knit out of two. And this might be the reason behind me thinking of taking on fewer garment test knits.

So I just finished test knitting an oversized cardigan. Such projects require a lot of time and money (a lot of yarn) and sometimes I don’t honestly know if the finished item is something I will love to wear.

So I have just finished this big project and it looks a lot different from the designers prototype. I think that is in part due to the yarn (I chose Tuku wool fingering) and also because I may have chosen to big of a size. 

When the body was done I tried it on and it felt cozy and big. Now that the sleeves have been added, they feel awkward, as if they are not quite right. I can’t imagine ripping back to the sleeve placement and start over again so I’m actually contemplating ripping back period! Can you imagine?! 

I’m just lost at this time. I have sent pictures to the designer and I’m just waiting to hear back from her and also to seeing what the other test knitters have but at the moment I am the only one to have finished.

I’m putting this on time out and not weaving in the ends nor blocking. Maybe I will see things clearer in a few days.

But it is very frustrating and disappointing after such a long time and big effort to not be absolutely in love with the finished object.

My other test knit is coming along slowly but surely. This one also has an issue, this time with the neck line and most of the test knitters have had this issue and so the designer is going to rewrite the upper yoke part. In the mean time I continue with the body and when that is done I will do the sleeves. Only when all is done will I come back and redo the upper yoke.

I do really like the design and the colour of my yarn so far.

This colour is way out of my comfort zone but I really look forward to wearing this sweater when it’s done.

Now that I have “finished” one big project I of course have to cast on for new ones. So I cast on for a colourwork cowl in chunky yarn.

The pattern is called Midwinter Cowl and I told you about this last week. I’m knitting this out of my 100% baby alpaca. The yarn is super soft and fluffy and after knitting I am just covered in alpaca fluff!

This will be a Christmas gift I hope and I’m close to being done.

Midwinter cowl

The challenge with this pattern is that it calls for knitting with 3 colours/yarns at a time for most of the patterning. I am not used to working with 3 yarns at a time so that is slowing me down.

I chose two colours that are very close in shade, one is dark blue and the other black and so on the picture above you most likely won’t be able to distinguish between the two. I did wonder about changing one out for a stark contrast but then couldn’t be bothered…

So I have one block of colourwork left and then I will be on the bottom ribbing and cast off.

And last night I cast on for a beanie! I had knit a hat for my dad last year but it has grown in size and so he doesn’t wear it any more so I decided I had to make a new one in a different yarn and I found this pattern for free on Ravelry.

It is a super simple 2 by 2 rib all the way to the crown decreases. And one can decide on the length depending on whether we want a fold up brim or not. I’m going for the fold up. I have a week to finish and I’m hoping that will work.

When those two are done I will return to my red sock that I’m designing on the go. I have one sock done and need to cast on for the other.

And of course I have bought a few more sock patterns since last time with #Sockvent18 and all…so I might cast on for a pair or two during the holidays.

This is all for today. Thank you so much for stopping by today. I will be back later this week and then there might be a break for a week as I will be off work for a few days to enjoy Christmas with my family.

If you don’t have the chance to stop by later this week let me just wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays (which ever you celebrate). 

Hugs

Christmas themed knitting

Hello there, how are you this beginning of a new week?

I hope you had a  lovely and relaxing weekend. Here in France there are a lot of riots so we mostly just stay home and do our Christmas shopping online. This meant that I got a little more knitting time this past weekend.

I have been hard at work working on my two big test knits and I’m happy to say that one of those is finally getting a little bit closer to being finished. I probably still have about 2 weeks worth of knitting left but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

This means I hardly have any knitting to actually show off. Just one sock project that I’m creating as I go along.

I’m knitting a pair of socks using my own pattern and maybe one day I will finally write a pattern down to share with the world!

I actually started knitting something completely different, that is another sock pattern, but I somehow either misunderstood the pattern or just wasn’t using the right yarn. It just didn’t feel or look right so I ripped back to the end of the cuff and did my own thing and I really like the outcome. I have no idea if there is already a pattern out there that is the same. This honestly is just from a spur of the moment inspiration.

It is a super simple two row repeat lace pattern that I have done only on the front of the sock. The idea is for me to finish in time to gift this to someone for Christmas and I really hope I will be able to do so.

These socks tie in with today’s subject which is Christmas Sock Pattern. I have been buying way too many of those lately and I was just trying to knit one of those when I got frustrated and ripped back and decided to do my own thing.

So as we get closer to the holiday season a lot of Christmas themed patterns appear on Ravelry and as a sock knitter I find myself naturally drawn to those.

Even though I have knit enough pairs of socks to not really need a pattern, I still compulsively buy sock patterns. I think I mostly buy them for the stitch patterns used and sometimes when I think it uses a technique I may not be familiar with.

So far here are the patterns I have purchased and plan to knit in the future/

The first is called Reindeer Hooves by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This is a top down pattern with an all over pattern on the leg and then the front of the foot. This is the pattern I had difficulties with. It just did not look right with my yarn but I do intend to give this pattern a second chance.

The second pattern is part of a sock pattern club by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. This pattern came as a bonus I believe for those purchasing her latest sock club (The Seasons Club) but it can also be purchased as a stand alone pattern. The pattern is called Candy Cane Socks. This looks like a fairly simple pattern that could look good in a solid or slightly variegated yarn so I will have to knit this one soon. Doesn’t have to be a Christmas sock. If this is knit in a non-Christmas yarn it will be a yearlong sock. The pattern itself is not especially christmasy I think.

Then there is another pattern by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This time the pattern is called Santa Baby Socks.

These look really nice I think. Less patterning than on the first pattern I shared and I can really see myself knitting these.

And the last pattern I have purchased is one by Louise Tilbrook Designs. Her pattern is called Yulelight Socks. These look just lovely. The patterning is subtle but efficient and the pattern picture really screams Christmas I think.

So that is a lot of patterns that now need knitting! And as if that  wasn’t enough, I just heard of something called #Sockvent. This is a Christmas Sock Pattern advent calendar of sorts and will run from December 12th to the 24th. If you follow the hashtag on IG, each day there will be a designer offering their sock pattern with a 40% discount! Now is that tempting or what?!

Knowing myself I’m pretty sure I will not be able to refrain for buying even more sock patterns!

Are you knitting any holiday themed projects these days? I’d love to hear from you if you are and maybe you could share the pattern name with us so we too can go take a look and get inspired:)

I will be back later this week with some more knitting related chatter. Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.

Happy knitting:)

Amma Mus in Reykjavik and my yarn haul

Hi there, how are you? 

I am writing this on a Friday afternoon just at the end of my work week and outside it is raining and gloomy. I’m so happy to be done with work for the week. Unfortunately weekends never last long enough. There is always so much to do and time just flies by.

I wish all weekends were 3 day weekends, that way we could use two days for all the weekly chores like shopping, cleaning, washing, homework etc and still have one entire day to just relax and knit! What a dream that would be!

But there is not much you or I can do about that so we make do!

This weekend will be busy as always and on top of the usual chores there will be some Christmas shopping. I really do not much enjoy Christmas shopping as the shops are all crowded and busy and I end up being tired and annoyed so I often do as much online gift shopping as I can  on top of whatever gifts I make myself.

But I will have to do a little bit of actual shopping:)

But I am still planning of making sure I get a few hours Saturday and again Sunday to just relax and knit. I do have two test knits that need some serious working on on top of last minute gift knitting I suddenly decided had to be done!

But the idea behind posting today was not to just rant but to actually share with you my latest yarn haul from Iceland as well as introduce you to the yarn shop I chose so if/when you go to Iceland, you know where to go.

So I went to Iceland for a little while in November for personal and professional reasons. I of course could not refrain from a minimum of yarn shopping and I was able to visit 2 shops and I ended up buying way more yarn that I had planned on.

The first yarn shop I went to is in a village called Hafnarfjordur which is close to Reykjavik. This is not really a yarn shop as such but rather a gift shop where they sell all sorts of indie created items such as hand made gift cards, candles, leather bags and a little bit of yarn.

I will tell you more about that shop later. Today I want to tell you about the second shop I visited as that is where most of the “damage” was done.

As the title of this blog says, the shop is called Amma Mùs which in English means Granny Mouse. This shop is in Reykjavik in a rather central location with plenty of parking space.

I have been there once before but never got around to blogging about my visit.

This is a rather big shop that sells lots of yarns of course as well as knitting needles and crochet hooks, haberdashery , books and embroidery kits.

I feel like this shop specialises in nordic yarns, that is they have a very good selection of yarns from Denmark and Norway mostly. And as I’m slowly being drawn more towards more rustic yarns this is a big attraction for me.

I arrived on a Saturday afternoon shortly before closing  so I was not able to spend as much time there as I would have liked but then that is maybe just as well.

This shop has a Facebook page and they organise knitting cafes and hopefully I will one day be able to participate in one of those.

Some yarn and kits
Most of this wall of yarn is from Isager, a Danish yarn company and to the left you can see a little bit of their book shelves which are filled with beautiful knitting and crochet books
And even more yarn
Here you can see some of the embroidery supplies and kits in addition to yarns
And they have a nice selection of knitting needles, crochet hooks and accessories

So as you can see from the pictures, there is plenty for any knitter to indulge themselves.

But what did I buy???

Well…

First let me show you the nice reusable tote bag they gave me to hold all my skeins of yarn! That was a nice gesture and much appreciated.

Have you ever seen these? I had not. I went to the shop’s FB page before going and I saw a post with these and of course had to get a set. So these mini flexible needles are to be used either as cable needles or to hold stitches say for a thumb if you are knitting mittens or underarm stitches if you are knitting a garment. I thought this was just brilliant. I haven’t used them yet but I will be sure to let you know what I think once I do.

Rauma Finull

Rauma Finull Garn. If you like Norwegian patterns and follow Ellie of Skeindeer knits on YouTube, you will be familiar with this yarn brand. So I have heard Ellie say a lot of good things about this yarn and her garments and mittens all look so lovely so I had to try for myself.

I only bought 2 skeins thinking I will knit a couple of pairs of mittens and if I like it as much as Ellie, I might buy a sweater’s quantity next time.

The Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering

The shop has a small selection of yarns from the Fibre Company in the UK. I have also heard a lot about this yarn but never had a skein myself. I decided to pick up one skein of the fingering weight Cumbria. I have not decided what I will knit with this but possibly a cowl or use it in a shawl.

And then there was Isager! As I said before, this shop has a lot of Isager yarn and the yarn is beautiful! There are a number of different bases and this time I went all out on one single base called Isager Spinni Tweed.

This is a very fine almost lace weight yarn, single ply and with a somewhat rustic feel.

I bought these 3 thinking I would knit either a shawl or a cardigan. Each skein has a lot of yardage so maybe this would be enough for a 3/4 sleeved cardi. I just fell for the muted colours.

Now this is for a shawl. Before going to the shop, I had been on Ravelry and Ankestrick had just released a new amazing shawl pattern that I purchased and so I absolutely wanted to get some yarn for that shawl. The pattern does not call for this particular yarn but I’m sure it will be gorgeous anyway. The pattern is called Long Shadows and you can see it on Ravelry here

So not bad for one visit right?

Anyway if you are going to Iceland any time soon I really recommend you check out Amma Mus in Reykjavik for inspiration and quality yarns.

This is all for today folks. I wish you a relaxing weekend with plenty of knitting time (I hope). Next time I will show you some of my knitting progress and tell you about my new sock pattern buying obsession! I’m buying all the Christmas Sock patterns!

Take care for now:)

Hi there, how are you this week? I hope last week was a good week for you and that you enjoyed Halloween. At my house we had an endless stream of trick or treaters. We did decorate more than last year and I’m thinking that may have drawn extra attention to our house.

It was fun and even though we gave away a lot of sweets my youngest also managed to gain a lot too so we now have a sizeable amount of unhealthy goods in the house. Not great for a sweet tooth such as myself!

Anyway I have done some progress on my knitting and even though I only have 2 finished objects this week I still feel I achieved a lot.

First FO is the most important one! Remember the Marie Curie Quest for Socks charity knitting? Well, last year I knit and donated 4 pairs of socks and decided that this year I would do better and knit and donate 6 pairs. Using the same yarn for knitting so many socks in a row did get me down a little in the end BUT I MADE MY TARGET!

I’m so happy that I have managed to knit 6 pairs of socks! I cast off the last sock this afternoon and now I just have to weave in all the ends and package them nicely. I’m also knitting a single mini sock that I will put on a miniature wooden sock blocker key chain to gift to the amazing Sarah Holmes who is behind this charity. I have cast on for that and should be all done tomorrow with that so I’m hoping that next week I will be able to send all the socks her way. I will take pictures when everything is ready and share with you later.

I do hope Sarah reaches this years goal of knitted socks and I’m happy and proud to have taken part again.

The second finished object is a cowl.

I suddenly found myself very drawn to mustardy yarns and so I dyed some up including 2 skeins of DK yarn and I found a cowl pattern called Vignette Cowl by Suvi Simola on Ravelry.

This is a very nice pattern and easy to execute and I really love the finished item.

 

I have also been working on my Flea cardigan and I’m almost done with the knitting, I only have half a button band to knit. When that is done I need to secure the steek and then cut! Weave in ends and voila! I really look forward to this being done and I need to have this done by the end of next week as this will be a birthday present for someone special so no pictures till after the giftee has received her cardigan just in case she decided to check out the blog.

The FLOP of the month or even the year might be my Texture Time kal by Stephen West!

I was so excited about this one and love the yarns I chose. I did find the first clue intriguing and not necessarily to my liking but ok I did continue. However after clue 3 came out I started to seriously doubt if I would like the finished object and I stopped knitting!

I actually sort of put it in time out and waited for  clue 4 and then the bonus clue 5 to be published. And you know what? I know I might be going against the current here but… I really don’t like the shawl. I actually don’t want to finish…

The worst thing is that I chose beautiful and somewhat expensive hand dyed yarns for this project and I know that if I rip back I will not be able to salvage everything. In the end I am most likely going to loose close to half the yardage for some of the skeins.

But which is worse? Stop here, rip back and salvage what I can? or finish the pattern and then never wear it?

As the kal is over I can show you my version. So currently it is at a standstill as the first picture on the left shows.

I love the yarns and the colors but the finished shawl shape is just not doing it for me.

Am I crazy ? Or are there maybe others battling the same dilemma? I guess I will have to face up and make a decision soon.

On to more happy knitting now.

I started two new projects this past week.

One is a test knit for a fingerless mitten. The pattern is called Embossed Mitts and is by KBJ Designs. I have finished one of the mittens and cast on for the second one yesterday.

This is a fun textured pattern and knits up relatively quickly. I’m using Hedgehog Sock in Film Noir.

 

This will be a fun pattern for you to try out when it’s been published.

My second project is going to be a long term project/goal.

A while ago, not sure when exactly, I came across this beautiful handknit advent calendar and I just thought I had to knit one and so I got the pattern and sort of forgot about it.

Now as we are going towards Christmas yet again, I re thought about this pattern and went ahead and printed out all the charts and the pattern.

This pattern is called Mitten Advent Calendar by Katy Lewinsky of Not Crafty Enough and the pattern is available as a single pdf file for purchase on Ravelry or as a multi part download for free on her website www.justcraftyenough.com

So there are 24 small mittens to knit and they are all beautiful fair isle designs. I decided to purchase a little rustic yarn for this as that is usually best for fair isle knitting so I purchased yarn from Snaeldan, a Faroese knitting company. This yarn is like a sport weight I think as the recommended needle size is 2.5-3.00 mm and I find that anything smaller than 3 mm is too small – at least for me and this particular project.

So far I have knit one mitten minus the thumb but I’m hoping I will get to that soon. If you click the website link above you will see pictures of this pattern and understand why I fell in love.

IMG_1932

I’m not entirely happy with this first mitten. I think I need to work on my gauge and maybe even go up to size 3.25 mm needle and maybe do magic loop rather than dpns. But I still think this could be a beautiful advent calendar one day.

Have you maybe knit this pattern? If so I would love to hear how long it took you and if you made any changes and the yarn you chose to use etc.

So my knitting plans for the next few days:

  • Finish my second test knit mitten
  • Finish the thumb on my first advent mitten
  • Start a new secret cardigan test knit
  • Finish the Flea cardigan completely
  • Continue my two other sweater/cardigans that I am working on
  • possibly cast on for 2 hats and a pair of sock but that is not quite decided yet 🙂

I think this is all for this weeks blog. I have to get going and wind up my yarn for the secret cardigan test knit and then there are those every day life chores that come with being an adult!

All the best to you and your family. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Enjoy your knitting and I’ll be back soon 🙂

Hi there, how are you these days? I’m sorry it has been so long since I last posted but life has just gotten in the way somehow. I also feel I haven’t knit that much and so have less to share with you.

These past two weeks I have mostly worked on two projects. I should have finished my 6th pair of socks for Marie Curie but I’m still one sock away from that objective! I have finished 5 1/2 pairs and I have knit the cuff of the very last sock so I really just need to get my act together and finish asap! I would like to send my socks over to the UK beginning of November.

The two projects I have been working on lately are my Flea cardigan and the new Stephen West mystery knit a long:

My Flea cardigan is a joy to knit and so is the Holst Supersoft yarn. It is just such a fun pattern and the yarn is very nice so this project almost seems to knit itself.

This time I am not doing the “flea” patterning on the body because the giftee asked me not to. And I think it is just as nice without the patterning on the body.

Since those pictures were taken I have finished sleeve one and I just started on sleeve two this afternoon. So I am close to being done. Just a sleeve, the steek and the button bands. I should be done well before my mums birthday end of November.

The other project I’m working on as I said before is the new mystery shawl pattern by Stephen West. Each time he comes up with a mystery kal, thousands of knitters join in. I have joined before but have not always finished as sometimes part through the knit I find I don’t really like the item enough to finish.

Because of that I did hesitate about joining this time. But when I saw the yarn kits that had been put together for the shawl I felt they looked a little more sophisticated than usual and so I thought this one might not be as “out there” as some of his designs and so I went and bought the pattern.

Clue 4 will be published tomorrow and I am well behind schedule. I’m not even half done with Clue 3. I feel that the clues are either a little complex (like clue 2) or involve a lot of knitting (like clue 3) and so if one is not a monogamous knitter or does not have a lot of knitting time, it is easy to fall behind. But maybe that is just me looking for an excuse:)

I’m hoping I will be close to half done with clue 3 tonight. I really don’t want to fall too much behind or I’m afraid I might not make it to the finish line.

The construction for this shawl is very unconventional and unexpected. So far it is difficult to imagine the end result but I really like the yarns/colours I chose so I think I will like it anyway.

stephen west mkal

For once I was serious and got yarn from my stash and just dyed up the two mohair skeins. I feel these yarns go well together. There is not a lot of contrast between the different yarns but that does not bother me. I think they look nice.

I have decided not to show a picture of my progress here as there are knitters who want the shawl to be a true mystery and avoid seeing any spoiler pictures and so I don’t want to accidentally ruin their suspense. If you follow me on Instagram  you will able to see pictures as I do share there ( I just put in a picture of the yarn first and warn that picture two is a spoiler).

Are you also doing the mkal? What do you think so far?

I am planning a new cardigan to knit for maybe December now. I came across this new amazing brioche cardigan pattern by Lesley Anne Robinson of Knit Graffiti called La Brioheme. As soon as I saw the pictures I knew I had to knit this. It is a challenging pattern I think as there is some patterned brioche but I feel like taking on a challenge and knitting something special.

I immediately went and dyed up the yarn for this. I chose a non superwash BFL in Aran weight.

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This is not a great picture but you can see I chose a mustard yellow for my main colour and a light silvery grey for my contrast.

I can’t wait to get started on this one!

Now before I leave you for today, I have been thinking about doing something special for the blog this December as we count down the days till Christmas. A lot of dyers have Advent Calendars that are amazing but not everyone can afford to buy such calendars. So I was wondering if we could do something fun together that doesn’t cost anything but brings us all joy.

I personally love learning about knitting, knitting history and traditions and how knitters in other countries live. I was wondering if some of you, my dear readers, would be willing to join me and take an active part in the blog this December and share a little bit of your lives with us.

I could start off with an article on knitting and knitting traditions in Iceland and France and then maybe, hopefully, someone else will share some stories from their country. You could tell us if your country has a long knitting tradition and what that is, you can tell us about your favourite yarn shop, about how knitters in your country learn to knit etc. Anything that brings knitting and life in your country together. You can share pictures of you and your knitting, pictures from your hometown or LYS etc.

I think this could be such fun and depending on how many people want to join, we could have these new stories every few days on the blog in December.

I hope some of you are willing to join me. We don’t have to have 30 people join, even if just a few want to share I still think that would be fun.

If you are interested please send me an email at knittinginfrance@gmail.com and we can discuss further if you like.

That’s all for today. I need to get back to my mystery shawl knitting if I want to come somewhere close to half done with my clue by tonight.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing you time with me. All the best and happy knitting until next time:)

Some FOs and new cast ons

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

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

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

But first lets talk about FOs.

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

zweig done

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

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

four and a half pair marie curie

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

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

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

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

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

handwound ball

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

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

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

crimson dawn shawl beginnning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cactus two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little bit of knitting and some catty cuteness

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

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

marie curie sock four beginning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

odinn eleveur

How could anyone resist such a beautiful kitten?

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

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

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

He is beautiful and I love him sooooo much!

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

odinn 18sep18

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

 

 

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

odinn and yarn

Cutest yarn lover ever!

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

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

Take care 🙂

The Marie Curie Sock Project

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

marie curie pari two close

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

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