Hello there, how are you today? I hope you have had a good week and that the weekend ahead will be even better. Again this week has gone by in a wink and so I am here on a Friday!
As you may know I´m going back into translation work after having lost my job at the airline but before starting I´m doing a master’s degree in translation from French into English. Normally one always translates into one’s native language and I will too but her ein France there is no option including Icelandic. And anyway this is teaching me a lot about techniques, information sourcing and of course making me progress in English. I´m also looking to specialize in a particular area to stand a better chance of earning a decent living and have applied to 2 mentoring programs. I did a test already for one and I´m waiting for the results and I will do another test for another agency today so cross your fingers for me:) All this to say that I have a lot less knitting time than I would like to have.
But let’s not complain! So first up, I finished my Valenvent socks. The pattern is by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears podcast. This was released as a mystery pattern with a little section being published each day in the run up to Valentines day. The pattern has now been published as a “regular” pattern and you can find it here – they are called the Amore Sampler Socks.
So here is my finished pair
As you can see they are not identical but fraternal. What I enjoyed was getting all these different lace patterns which can then be used individually to create new socks using just one pattern per pair. I´m planning on doing that in the future.
On the subject of sock knitting. I finished a pair a while ago and have neglected to share with you… This is a free pattern on Ravelry and is called Feather and Fan socks by Amanda Clark.
I knit my pair using a gradient sock set from Wollelfe in Austria. She offers beautiful gradient yarns with a very large offer of ball sizes from sock sets to sweater/shawl sizes. I think this colorway is called Canteloupe, it´s a sort of watermelon color. If you are looking for an engaging, lace sock I would recommend you give this one a try.
And now I´m working on a nother pair of socks for a test knit, different designer. This pattern has not been released yet. This is a fun pattern that uses contrasting cuff and toe and has unusual features such as the lace cuff and a new to me heel construction.
I´m knitting this using Socks Yeah yarn.
The heel construction is a fun one to knit because we keep knitting in the round so there is no interruption in the flow and it fits perfectly. I finished the first sock last night but haven´t had the time to take pictures yet but I will share again when my pair is done and the pattern published.
I´m also working on my own sock design. I have finished one sock and have cast on for a second sock but this time in a different size and yarn. I´m thinking I will knit a total of 3 pairs to be sure the pattern works for all the sizes before I finish a pair.
I really hope this time I will see the design through to the end and have it tech edited and then published. This could be a way for me to help with the financing of the blog for example. What do you think? I haven’ t looked on Ravelry to see if there is another pattern out there that looks similar. It is always a possibility as there are so many sock patterns out there…
And since we are talking socks, there is a sale going on now for 50% off all sock patterns by Lisa K Ross or Paper Daisy Designs. She has a lot of fun patterns and I own a few of them. Here’s a link if you would like to take a look and remember to use the code SOCKKNITTING at checkout for 50% off .
And before I let you go on with your day I just wanted to show you the latest finished item of baby knits.
I love the self striping socks! Turtle Purl Yarns are the best! And the baby tights, I modified the pattern and chose to knit a cuff and keep it as a pants rather than knit the socks as the pattern calls for. As you can see I have cast on for a second one but in a bigger size and this time using a patterning sock yarn which is looking quite nice I feel, so far. However I think that with just 1 skein I will not have enough to knit them as per pattern (with socks) so they will most likely be like the first pair. The yellow one is in a 3 months size and the new one is 12 months I believe. The pattern I´m using is called Olive’ s Tights and is by Knitting by Olive.
That’ s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing in my knitting adventure. Next time I will be showing you my Sock Madness preparations. I have chosen the yarns, purchased the beads and some extra needles. I need to create project pages for each pattern and enter the info regarding needle size, yarn and beads to get that out of the way. Every little thing counts when in a competition and speed is of the essence.
Until next time, have a great weekend and a good week ahead. Enjoy your knitting and I look forward to sharing more next time.
Hello and how are you today? I hope you are well and staying safe and healthy. It has been way too long since my last post. I have been following a lot of webinars in relation with my new/future freelance business in addition to my regular study and so time has just flown. These past days I have found myself at my desk till 6 or 7 pm which has meant much less knitting and no time to blog. But today I decided I would make some time for my blog and so here I am:)
I have been knitting these past days but just a lot less. I don´t think I actually finished anything nor did I make any significant progress on a particular project unfortunately. So I´m going to share some of my knitting I did while away from the blog.
Yesterday I wore a short sleeved sweater/t-shirt I knit from an Andrea Mowry pattern. It is called Vintage ´83. I knit mine using all fuzzy yarns. I chose a mohair blend for the stripes and an undyed suri yarn for the main color.
Not the best pictures but you get the idea:) I really like the textured pattern on the body. It gives a lot of stretch and looks intricate. I really like this design and could see myself knitting another version without the mohair in the future.
I also purchased a kit from Wool and the Gang. My oldest is a fan of handknit clothes (lucky me) and she constantly supplies me with a list of garments she wants me to make her. So, she saw this oversized, bulky cardigan on their website and in spite of the high price tag I went along. The pattern is called Mr Honey Bear Cardigan and uses their Crazy Sexy Wool. That wool is like a thick pencil roving or partially unspun yarn. It looks lovely in the ball but boy does it ever pill!
The picture is not very good with regards to the color. It is really a sort of rich caramel color. Here it had been worn a few times and you can see on the picture how the yarn pills on the sleeves and along the underarms. It is huge! The pattern was very simple and easy to follow even for beginners as they give step by step instructions. My daughter loves her cardigan which is thick enough to be worn in lieu of a coat. However I must say we are not fans of the wool…
I also succumbed for a cardigan for myself which is on my needles already. It´s called Charlie´s cardigan
And I chose the color shown here! I have already knit the back, both fronts and 1 1/2 sleeves I think so not much left but it´s been hibernating for a few weeks. It is a cotton yarn and this time I really like the yarn, it feels nice, is a joy to work with and gives great stitch definition. I really look forward to getting it off the needles as I think this will be a great addition to my wardrope.
Ok so I have told you have fallen head over heels with the Cornish Rex cat breed and here is my lovely Romy.
Having become a “crazy cat lady” according to my family, I of course ended up wanting to knit for my little darling. I do realize that this is a controversial subject so no judging:) She is not a fan of wearing sweaters but when it is particularly cold she still enjoys a little nap in some wool.
So what happened is that I saw a post on FB from a fellow Cornish Rex fan who had knit a sweater for her cat. I contacted her and asked for the pattern´s name. It turns out she had made the pattern herself and asked if I would like to test knit. Well of course I did!
This was the first version knit using a DK weight yarn from Drops (don´t remember exactly which). However there was an issue with the sleeves. They were too close together and she was not able to walk correctly when wearing the sweater (which is partly because she had never worn anything like this). So another version was made.
This one was much better fitting. I personally chose to omit the sleeves so that there are just armholes which seems to help with comfort and walking. However, as my girl is very slim the body was a little large and not very close to her body. I think I might end up knitting this again using a fingering weight yarn in stead or keeping the DK but knitting fewer stitches to keep the body smaller/tighter.
And while in the Christmas spirit I purchased a Christmas Sweater pattern on Etsy which I knit but then have yet to assemble… typical me! But it is super cute. I just have to sew the pieces together and knit the neck.
The reindeers have a red pompom as a nose but I have yet to make those. The pattern is called Christmas Dog Sweater and is by DottyPatterns on Etsy.
If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I have sometimes made up my own sock patterns and talked about getting them published. So far just talk. But who knows maybe this year will be THE year. Anyway I just started a new sock/pattern. I haven´t looked on Ravelry to see if a similar design exists.
I´m just knitting along and seeing how this will turn out. What do you think?
This is a textured pattern using knits, purls and twisted stitches. I quite like the look. The yarn is a very dark green so maybe not the best color to show off the pattern. I will have to knit a second pair in a lighter yarn to better show off the stitches.
So I think this is all for no. I must get back to my translation studies. But just one more thing I want to mention. If you have been following the blog for a while you will have noticed that now there are some ads on the blog. I personally do not enjoy ads on blogs but the reason they are here now is that financially I was not able to renew my previous business plan with WordPress. I had to downgrade and that meant some ads. Now I see that so far I have “earned” 14 USD which is not much but I´m wondering if I might be able to reach 100 USD which would then allow me to upgrade to the previous version. We´ll see. I had thought of doing something like a paid subscription for added value like a monthly newsletter or a knit night on Zoom or a members-only podcast, something Patreon style to help pay for the hosting but I´m thinking that given the current crisis worldwide, most people do not have as much disposable income as before so leaving the ads is probably a better solution for the timebeing. Let me know what you think.
That´s all folks. I hope you have a great rest of the week. I have a busy week ahead with a full day of translation webinar on Saturday so not much knitting in the days to come. Stay safe:)
Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing well and staying safe. I imagine that you, like me, are being more or less confined due to the current Covid crisis. This is perhaps less of an issue for us knitters as we can always pick up our knitting to pass the time if need be.
Here in France we are in lockdown from 6 pm to 6 am. I´m studying from home so this means I rarely leave the house or just to go grocery shopping etc. I should go out for walks, a bit of fresh air would do me a world of good both physically and mentally but I´m having a hard time committing to that. I did actually sign up for the walking challenge hosted by Dan and Kay of the Bakery Bears podcast hoping that will give me a kick in the behind but so far….not much success! How about you? Are you part of their race this year? What do you do to motivate yourself for some light workout?
As for knitting, I have been knitting everyday as always. Since last time I managed to finish 1 pair of socks, a baby cardigan and socks. I have also been working on my scrappy crochet blanket as well as the other gazillion wips I have.
I have yet to create my project page on Ravelry but I used yarn from Lay Family Yarns. This was the first time I used their yarn and I must say it is beautiful. The base itself is just the standard 75/25 merino nylon but the dye job is really beautiful and I love the finished item.
The lace pattern is only on one side so even if I pictured them facing the same direction, when worn they actually mirror each other. The pattern was clearly written and easy to follow and I like the rounded toe. These are a step up from simple vanilla socks so perfect when you are not in a mindspace that allows for complicated and intricate knitting but you still want something other than just stockinette stitch round and round. So highly recommend this pattern. It is one of 3 patterns she published end of 2020. I purchased all 3 and plan to knit the other two shortly.
I recently learned that one of my cousins in Iceland is expecting her first baby. I don´t know yet if it is a boy or a girl but I immediately wanted to cast on something. I haven´t knit much for babies in a while so this is quite exciting. I have been perusing Ravelry searching for patterns and have created a list of patterns I like and you can check out if interested by clicking here.
Knitting for babies turns out to be very fulfilling in terms of productivity as they usually are small items and so can be finished quickly. The first item I decided to knit was the Newborn Vertebrae. I chose a gender neutral yarn from Regia and I modified the pattern slightly by adding a few stitches to make the cardigan cover a little more of the chest area.
I like the finished item and I´m actually wondering about knitting a second raglan cardigan though not necessarily from the same pattern.
I then knit a pair of newborn socks. I did not use an actual pattern but looked at different free patterns and made up my own. I did however have an issue with the length of the foot. I was not really able to find a good source for the sock length so maybe they will only fit the first few days of life:)
I used the same yarn as for the cardigan and they are super cute. But I will have to knit more socks in bigger sizes.
As this was finished I had to find a new project and I chose to knit a pair of baby tights. I chose the Olive´s Tights. I chose a yellow sparkly yarn from my stash. This was already balled up from a long time ago. I had started a shawl with this yarn but then ripped it out and put away. I no longer have the ball band and I´m not even sure if this is something I dyed myself or if this is yarn I purchased.
I have only just cast on so there is not much to show but here´s a sneak peak so you can see the yarn.
This week I will be working on the Olive´s Tights and I would love to finish my Sparks socks by Andrea Mowry.
I just have one foot and knitting colorwork with one´s own handspun is such fun that I should not need much time to get these done.
I will also be working on my crochet blanket. I originally made two magic knot balls of 200 gr each and I´m almost done with the second one so last night I made a third one and this time it weighs 335 gr. What is absolutely amazing is that all that yarn, now a total of about 740 gr comes from small leftovers of sock yarns! I have not touched my stash of mini skeins! And I still have plenty of leftovers!!! Oh my!
It puts my stash a little into perspective… maybe there actually is such a thing as “enough” yarn…It is also very satisfying to use up all those leftovers that would otherwise have kept sitting in my bins for years to come.
I´m not really using a pattern for my blanket I´m just doing trebble/double crochet and I’m not sure how many I chained but I think that width wise it is about 160 cm or so.
As for spinning, I´m sad to say that I have not touched my spinning wheel for close to a year now I think. When I lost my grandmother I lost a part of myself and I´m slowly getting my act back together and I’m hoping to get back to spinning soon. My kittens have though manage to cut through my tension band (I think that is the correct name) so I will have to order a new one before I get going.
And on the personal side, well I’m studying for my Master´s degree in translation. Not an easy task after 2 decades of working to find myself on a school bench again. It is all online and sometimes that is a disadvantage as I am often tempted to cut my day short and do some knitting instead!
But I only have a few months left so I need to stay focused and also prepare for the after when I will start working as an independent translator. There are a lot of things to consider and do before I can actually start working. And at the same time I’m preparing my cattery, reading up on everything cat related, looking at what I need to invest in, look for new queens (a female cat that is not sterilized) etc.
So as you can see I have a lot of work but somehow knitting still is my favorite thing to do and that and my cats help me to stay sane!
I think this is all for now. I wish you a very good week. Stay healthy, stay happy and enjoy your knitting!
Hi there, how are you and how have you been? Seems I took an unofficial, un planned hiatus over the summer. Somehow time just wasn’t there or I wasn’t in the mood for blogging or something. In fact I have been largely off social media over the summer as well. Just did not feel much like sharing even though I didn’t stop knitting as one might have thought given my absence.
I did take two small holidays over the summer with my family which was very nice and much needed. I have some pictures I plan on sharing with you later to show you the beautiful places I went.
I didn’t stop knitting, in fact I think this summer is one of my most productive summers as I finished a total of 4 short sleeved tops/sweaters. Currently I am working on short sleeved top number 5 as well as a cowl, socks and a shawl and getting ready to cast on for a wrap and a pair of socks. So lot’s of knitting going on still.
Now I have finished my summer vacation and the kids are back in school and so life is getting back into it’s usual pace and I’m thinking I will get back to blogging regularly as before.
So I’m sure you are looking forward to seeing my new handknit sweaters right?
So this is the Magnolia sweater by Camilla Vad. This pattern exists in two versions, long and short sleeves. I absolutely love the pattern and the finished garment and am already planning on knitting the long sleeved version.
What makes this one particularly special is that I knit this using my own hand spun and hand dyed yarn! I had planned on having it in one colour only but I ran out of yarn and then was not able to replicate exactly this same yellow/mustardy colour so I overdyed with brown and I’m happy with how that turned out.
This is a little cropped pattern and if I had had more yarn I definitely would have knit the body longer. I could have added length to the ribbing but somehow felt that would change the intended look and so chose to leave as it was. The fibre I used was a superwash merino fibre.
Next in line was the Soldotna by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. Everyone has been knitting this one and so I had to as well.
I did wonder about changing the pattern and knitting either 3/4 length sleeves or even full length sleeves but then ended up just knitting as per the pattern.
I used my own hand dyed yarns though not hand spun this time. I had spun up some yarn and dyed just for this sweater but it turned out to be too thick and I wasn’t ready to recalculate the entire pattern for this to work out so I got out some remnants of undyed yarns and dyed them up. Only the grey is a commercial yarn from Milla Mia.
I have yet to take a modeled picture showing the sweater on myself sorry:)
I’m quite happy with the outcome. I usually prefer fingering weight sweaters as I feel DK is sometimes too warm but I hope I will use this one a lot come winter. I did lengthen the body somewhat as I had seen lots of comments about the pattern being very cropped and a lot of people seem to have added repeats to the body so I did too and frankly I could have added a couple more but again yarn chicken was there to stop me…
Next in line was the Navelli again by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks.
This one is a pattern I immediately fell in love with and knew I had to knit. I even placed an order with one of my favorite indie dyers – Knit Cosmic Strings in Edinburgh, Scotland- just for this sweater.
Again I wondered about adding length to the sleeves only to end up adding just a tiny bit. I did however modify the sleeve construction in the sense that rather than knit first with the main colour and then change to a contrasting colour and turn that inside so only a few rounds of the contrasting colour show and the sleeve is basically knit double, I chose to do a classic ribbed cuff. And I’m really happy with that choice. And this is another pattern I can see myself knitting all over again but if I do, I will definitely be doing it with long sleeves or at least 3/4 sleeves for a winter version.
This is a design I really love and especially enjoyed knitting the pattern at the bottom. I can see myself knitting this again but then with longer sleeves; either 3/4 or full length sleeves.
But before I went on vacation this July I did finish another summer garment, a sleeveless top called Simply Perfect Summer . This was a quick and fun pattern to knit and I used a yarn called Belle from Drops. This is a DK weight cotton yarn I quite liked. It was the first time I used this yarn and I think I will use this again for knitting summery garments in the future.
I don’t think I actually shared finished object pictures with you so here goes.
I used a dark navy colour but on the pictures it looks more black.
But I have yet another finished garment to share with you. This is a test knit I did for a new to me designer called Wollmuschi. She designed a short sleeved summer top that I absolutely fell in love with when I saw her pictures. I was lucky enough to get to test knit and I chose to knit my version using my own hand dyed yarn. I used a blend of alpaca, silk and linen. This blend is perfect for summery garments and just any knit you want some flow and movement, a feeling of airiness. I dyed my yarn in black but the end result is more on the charcoal grey side. Still love it.
The pattern is called Nereus and has been published. I can highly recommend this pattern. It was fun to knit. I find the lace panel to be very feminine and the overall look and design to be so relaxed and just a go with everything type of garment. I am definitely knitting this one again. I can see this as one with longer sleeves or even a cardigan!
What do you think? I love mine!
So this is it for today I think. I hope I haven’t lost all my readers after my unofficial and unexplained summer hiatus. I’m happy to be back and I hope you have enjoyed coming back to my blog and that maybe you were inspired to tackle one of the patterns I worked over the summer.
This coming week I will be working on the following projects:
Ziggy by Joji
Ashes by Joji
Yuma by Isabelle Kramer
Socks I’m trying to design myself
Ship and boats by Caitlin Hunter
Lots of knitting to look forward to. I wish you all a great rest of the week and happy knitting. Till next time!
Hi there, how are you ? All melted away with the recent heatwave maybe? I hope not!
We had a few days of seriously hot weather here in Normandy which is not my favorite as I really don’t enjoy much heat. Also knitting in 30C+ is not the best, think clammy hands and sweat! Not a nice picture;
Luckily the weather has cooled down some and so I’m feeling better and knitting like crazy.
But before I can show you what I’m currently knitting on I have to show you my latest secret test knit.
This was a pattern by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. This was a top down sweater with what looks like an all over colorwork but is in fact a slipped stitch pattern and so very easy to do and no tension issues as there sometimes are with fair isle/stranded knitting.
The pattern calls for a slightly cropped sweater with 3/4 sleeves but you can easily knit to your liking and have a full length sweater and either full length or even short sleeves.
I so loved this particular pattern that I actually knit two sweaters! And I finished both before the deadline for the test knit. Though I admit I still have not weaved in the ends of the second version just yet. But it is all ready for me to finish for good.
So I chose to use a wonderful UK yarn which I have used before as I took part in other test knits for other designers. I chose yarn from Cambrian Wool in the UK. I chose their 4 ply yarn and chose too very contrasting colors, Arian and Welsh red – that is a very pale grey and a rust red.
The prototype uses a main color and a gradient set as contrast colors but I felt like just using solid colors and limiting them to just two.
The stitch pattern is very addictive and I feel the sweater was easy to knit and the pattern well written.
The only issue or point where you have to be careful is where you split for the sleeves. As there are short rows on the neck, if you miscalculate your sweater will look wonky.
I admit that I made a mistake on my primary sweater and so once I had finished it, I ripped back the neck ribbing and short rows and reknit them.
I chose to knit 3/4 sleeves on this version and I quite like that.
Here are more pictures of me wearing the sweater
Then there was the second version. For that one I wanted to see how the garment would look if I only did the slipped stitch pattern on the yoke. I also chose a different combination of yarns. I chose Holst Garn Tides which is a wool and silk blend and I knit this held double with a thread of a lace weight sequinned mohair. I then used Nateby yarn from Eden Cottage yarn for the colorwork as contrast color.
This version turned out very different from the other. Because of the completely different yarns, this version turned out looser, less form fitting on the body. Also the sleeves are wider though I secretly suspect I may have made some mistake there and maybe knit on too many stitches. But it’s ok, it is still wearable.
I also chose to do 3/4 sleeves as this version is also quite warm so full length sleeves might be too much.
So I yet have to finish weaving in the ends and have pictures taken of me wearing the sweater. I will do later this summer.
If you feel like knitting a garment and you like the colorwork look then this just might be the project for you 🙂
That’s all for today. I hope you are doing good and enjoying your summer so far. I will be back later to show you my latest socks, Olive Leaf cardigan and summer tee not to mention my next cast on which will be the Navelli by Kaitlyn Hunter.
Hi there, how are you doing this week? I hope you are doing good and enjoying this beginning of summer if you are in the northern hemisphere.
I have been furiously knitting on a secret test knit that should be published soon. It is a colorwork sweater and I decided to knit two in stead of just one! I was convinced that a modified version would also look great and so I knit two versions. I do have to weave in ends on the second sweater and block it but that should be done quickly and hope to be able to share the pictures with you soon.
As I had to finish the sweaters rather quickly everything else was put on the back burner.
I did make it to round 5 of Sock Madness but then sort of left. Round 6 only 5 knitters from each team would make it to the next round and the pattern was not to my liking so I admit I did not try to compete for that round.
Since then I started and finished a pair of socks for my younger daughter. I’m a fan of selfstriping sock yarn and especially self striping yarn from Turtle Purl Yarns and I had a lot of small minis from them which I had set aside to use in my Northeasterly blanket. But that has been on hold for a few months now and I really wanted to use the minis so I decided on knitting a pair of scrappy socks.
I also wanted them to be extra cozy so I decided to make the leg extra high.
How fun are these? Not everyone likes colourful non matching socks but I find them fun and my daughter loves them! So that is all that matters.
I actually think I will be making more like these. My daughter sleeps in handknit socks in winter and I think scrappy, long legged socks look extra cozy.
I am also working on a pair of socks now and I’m just inventing the pattern as I go. I’m using a self-patterning sock yarn from Turkey this time but what is different with this pair is that I’m using flexible double pointed needles from NEKO, a German brand. I’m using their bamboo version and so far so good. They are very nice in the hands and good to work with. I’m going to finish the pair before doing a proper review here and I will also be doing a little interview with the people behind these needles and I hope you will enjoy that later.
But here is the first sock
I was going to do a vanilla sock, then decided on a ribbing and then felt it was too simple and so added a little cable at regular intervals and I really like how this is knitting up. The cables do draw the sock in so it looks super narrow but then it stretches out when I put my hand in so I think this will be all good. These are also for my younger daughter but this time the leg is a rather short one.
I’m sort of un officially joining the SMAL or spinning makealong that Mina of the Knitting Expat is running now. I have spun up some merino fibre that I tried to spin up to a sort of DK weight and then dyed up the yarn in soft colours. I have knit a little swatch to verify if the yarn will work for what I have in mind.
I want to knit the Soldotna by Caitlin Hunter but I’m a little worried maybe my yarn will not work. In some places it looks more like a worsted weight yarn. But I’m going to keep on swatching and hopefully I will be able to make this work. If not I will have to find another pattern that I could use this yarn for. If you have any good pointers or know of a colourwork pattern that calls for DK/worsted I’d love to check those out.
So this week I’m going to finish the pair of socks for my daughter, finish my swatching for my handspun so I can start the Soldotna if it works. I also will continue to work on my Olive Leaf Cardigan by Eri which I have yet to share with you. I’m getting close to being done with the body and then there are the sleeves. Friends of my husband have just had their first baby and I’m going to knit a little cardigan for their baby so I’m looking at patterns (I’m tempted by this one https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-fir-jacket) and yarns in my stash and I look forward to getting that going. It’s been a while since I knit for a baby.
I hope you are having fun with your knitting too and if you would like to share pictures or names of patterns you are working on to inspire me and the other readers, that would be great.
Hi there, how are you doing today? I hope you are well and have had a good end of May with plenty of fun knitting. Again I have failed to post regularly….not good…
But today I have something exciting to share with you. A while back I hinted at sharing information with regarding a new type of knitting needles. Well now it’s time to tell you all about those.
I was contacted by the woman behind the needles, Alexis end of last year. She offered to send me a pair to try out and of course I was excited to try them out. After all I have always been curious about knitting needles and all the different types of needles there are. This brand of knitting needles and crochet hooks is called My Two Ladies.
This new type of needles is midway between a straight needle and a circular needle. The difference between My Two Ladies’ needles and needles called “flexible single point needles” is that there is a movable stopper on Alexi’s needles meaning you can block your stitches at any point you choose on the cable. This allows you to use her needles for a large variety of project sizes.
This is a great innovation for knitters who like to knit flat using single pointed needles. These will come in especially handy when knitting on the go like in public transport where you will be able to avoid stabbing your fellow travellers with your single pointed needles sticking out.
These needles come in sizes 3.5 mm /US 4 to 15 mm/US19.
I don’t usually knit flat when knitting garments so I don’t use my single points much these days. However I did try these out as I knit my Jaycee cardigan. I knit that one on a set of 3.5mm needles. That was a design knit front and back in one piece. The needle points are from rosewood so they have a beautiful design and are very nice in the hand and felt good working with them. I did use the adjustable stopper as at the beginning I did not have a lot of stitches on my needles and then moved the stopper along as they increased.
I found the needles to be enjoyable to knit with and if you prefer knitting with single points or like the idea of being able to use a set of needles no matter the size of your project (and don’t like using a 40″ circular for a small project) you just might fall in love.
The tools we use in our craft are very important and even more important than our choice of yarn as even knitting with gorgeous yarn, if the needle is rubbish, you will not enjoy working your beautiful yarn. So I truly believe it is well worth trying out different options and getting good, quality tools that we enjoy working with. And as part of that belief I recommend you give My Two Ladies a try 🙂
Here are a couple of links to videos where you can see better how the needles work
I was able to interview Alexis for the blog and I am so happy to introduce her and her company to you today.
Welcome Alexis and thank you for accepting to be interviewed for my blog. To begin, could you tell us a little bit about your self?
I am a native New Yorker living in the outskirts of NYC with my family. I have always been both crafty and fixing things. I worked in a legal office for many years as an administrative assistant which definitely was not creative in nature. I would work part time also in retail simply because I loved selling and meeting people. That was my hobby. I have always been proponent of volunteerism and have and continue to be very involved in the anti-bullying movement. I retired at 55, accidentally became a patented inventor, went to local university to take crash courses in entrepreneurship and business, somehow landed myself the title of President of Alexis Crafting Needles LLC and loving every minute of it. I still pinch myself.
Are you a knitter or a crocheter or both?
I am a knitter and also crocheter. Actually not a master in either. I consider myself mediocre at best. I am amazed at the talent and perplexity of projects created. I am so in awe of these fibre artists.
Do you remember how you learned/who thought you and how old you were?
I learned to crochet and knit when I was about 13 from my Italian grandmother. The interesting circumstance about learning from Nonna was that she only spoke Italian and I only spoke English. Yet these were my most cherished communications between us.
Did you immediately take to the craft or has this passion been gradual?
I have always enjoyed arts of every type even before starting school. Painting, drawing, woodworking, etc. I started sewing in high school and actually took to it quickly. My parents bought me a basic sewing machine and I started making halter tops for friends and classmates to make some money. I crocheted much more than knitting in my younger days. Dropping stitches intimidated me. I started knitting again when I was 30 and wanted to make garments for my soon to be born child. Having a purpose propelled my knitting skills. Since then I mostly knit. I retired at age 55 got very involved in a new local yarn shop that opened in my town. I spent a lot of time there, learning, creating and fostering wonderful relationships.
Would you say you are a lifestyle knitter/crocheter today? Meaning do you knit/crochet every day?
I did knit everyday once I retired, but actually since inventing my needles, going through the patent process and running my new business, I no longer knit every day. Mostly when traveling and waiting in doctors offices.
What lead you to creating your own company and developing these new knitting needles? When did this all start and what lead to it? Why create a new type of knitting needles?
I created these needles while knitting a large bulky blanket at the yarn shop. I was very frustrated with circulars for this project and straights were just too short for the hundreds of stitches. As I was complaining about my problem, somehow an idea just popped into my head. I grabbed some needles and tools from the shop and right then and there made my working prototype. The ladies at the shop just kept saying “how is it no one ever thought of this”.
When did you first commercialise your new needles ? What has the feedback been like so far?
Soon after creating my needles I started getting requests to make them for knitters in the shop. Then I started getting requests from friends of friends. I had a little business I never planned on having. I was a big fan of The Shark Tank television show and thought why not inquire about obtaining a patent. Definitely easier said than done. It is basically two years since I began the patent process and learning how to proceed with my new found journey. Coincidentally I received Patent Approval only two weeks ago (it has now been a little longer due to me not posting the interview sooner-edit from Knitting in France). It’s an amazing feeling of accomplishment and worth the 24/7 work week.
Would you say your needles have an advantage over say regular straight needles and why?
Yes there are many advantages to these “adjustable needles”. I consider these needles to be somewhat of a hybrid of circular and straights. I have discovered a definite need in the marketplace. The basic premise is that you can put hundred of stitches on these needles and knit flat, allowing you to see your pattern, take the weight off of your arms and upper body, and no more heavy bunch of your project hanging in the middle of your circular cord. But the real game changing feature of the needles is the adjustable spring activated sliding stopper that allows you to move the stopper as you are knitting and keep all your stitches at the forefront of your needles. You knit so much quicker, easier and stress free. They have been a lifesaver for those afflicted with arthritis and other hand ailments. We have a very large repeat customer client base and it is the greatest feeling when you have customers telephoning or emailing to say thank you for inventing them and how it has brought knitting back into their lives.
Other than on your own website, where can we find your needles?
I have been selling on the prestigious inventors platform The Grommet since I got my first shipment of needles. It’s been a great stepping stone for me. Then I started picking up local yarn stores and a small distributor which kept me selling enough but not too much to get overwhelmed. I was chosen to attend the Home Shopping Network – American Dream Academy conference which was a great opportunity for any new inventor/entrepreneur. Only 100 products were chosen from the entire United States. This led me to have the chance to debut My Two Ladies on the Zulily home shopping site often. I have recently hired sales reps to sell to local yarn shops in their territories. This has been extremely helpful in getting the brand out across the country. I have a few shops in Canada and plan searching for distributors in Europe.
Where are your needles produced?
My needles are handcrafted by a multi-generational family of expert woodworking artisans in a small town in India. My Two Ladies is made of sustainably produced Indian rosewood with a no wax finish. It is hand rubbed and polished with a proprietary finish that the family owns. We have grown to have a wonderful working relationship based on high quality standards and respect for each other.
I noticed that you now also sell crochet hooks and circular needles now. Are there other items you will be adding to your selection?
Yes, we started expanding our line for several reasons. Most importantly, there was a demand for luxury high quality tools. Customers like the feel and warmth of our adjustable needles. Also, selling just one item is not alluring to potential wholesalers simply because of saving time. So I had my wonderful source in India make me short runs of ergonomic hooks, circulars and others products continue to roll out. Fortunately I am now on my second run after almost selling out on the hooks and also circulars.
And what about the yarn bowls, can you tell us about those? Are they hand made?
The yarn bowls are an amazing piece of artistry. Hand made taking hours and hours to make just one bowl. I put videos up showing the workmanship on my website and Instagram/Facebook accounts which you just cannot stop yourself from watching over and over.
Where do you see your company in say 5 years time?
Well, I came upon this wonderful journey when many are wrapping up their careers. So, I am not wasting any time. I am exactly where I forecasted to be when I created my business plan. It’s been a huge learning curve for me, but with a good product, hard work and kind/helpful/supportive people, I have been able to have success. Within the next two years I will be concentrating on brand recognition. Since receiving my patent not only for the needles but also the knitting method, I have definitely seen a rise in inquiry’s and sales. In five years the plan is to be a recognised luxury brand for fibre arts tools, if not THE leading luxury brand.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about this recent addition to our world of knitting needles and learning about Alexis and her journey into product invention and entrepreneurship in the knitting industry.
I hope you will have a wonderful week and enjoy your crafting as before and why not try out a totally new to you knitting needle while you are at it:)
Hi there, how are you? Once again I have let life get in the way of my blogging! I don’t know why I find blogging on a regular basis is a challenge these days. I need to work on that some.
So since I last posted I have been working mostly on socks. I made it to round 4 of Sock Madness as I believe I told you last time. And I have now finished that round and qualified for round 5. Things are getting really serious now as only 10 of the quickest knitters in each team qualified for this upcoming round and if I want to make it to round 6 I have to be among the quickest 5 to finish! As we are getting closer to the end of the competition, only the quickest knitters are left so I have some serious doubts about making it on to round 6. I’m hoping the pattern will arrive on a weekday; early morning or beginning of the afternoon. I get most of my knitting done during the work week as we stay home at night and so where as on weekends I loose time doing chores and grocery shopping, homework supervision etc and so often end up having less time than I would like to knit on weekends.
Of the 5 knitters that will make it to round 6 only 1 yes that’s right ONE will qualify for round 7. For some stroke of miracle I was one of those knitters 4 years ago but I don’t think I am this year. I think I will be fine if I’m disqualified this round even though the competitor in me really wants to make it to round 6.
Now the pattern for this last round was a fun one including cables and lace knitting and it was a fairly easy one after a while. I did have some comprehension issues to begin with but there is a questions thread on Ravelry with moderators, the designer herself and of course other knitters so each time I was able to find answers rather quickly. And once in the rhythm of things the pattern became intuitive.
This time around I made them in my younger daughter’s size but she is a 36/37 EU. And I used a new to me commercial sock yarn from HOBBII.
I really like the toe not being all stockinette but having a little sort of ribbing to it. The lace pattern moves around the leg so it is not easy to work using stitch markers and I think, virtually impossible to knit taat.
Now on to the yarn. This is a wool and nylon blend, 75/25 in fingering weight and comes in 50 gr balls. I used one ball per sock as I did not want to join yarns part way through sock 2. But when I had finished my pair, I had a total of 33 gr left over which is quite a lot.
The yarn itself is soft to the touch and nice to knit with and I look forward to seeing how it will evolve with use. So far so good. And the best part is the price point. This yarn is very cheap! I purchased this directly from their website where they offer all sorts of yarns https://hobbii.com/
This is their Happy Feet yarn which I used for the first time. I have knit a pair using their Happy Feet XL before and they are nice though they have felted slightly with wear.
I’m not sure what yarn I will use for next round. It might be a one colour pattern but it might also be colourwork using two colours so I’ll just have to see when the pattern arrives. I have a bag of possible options all ready for cast on.
I also had a sock test knit for a publication but for the first time I really did not enjoy the pattern and so asked to quit the test as I was just not feeling it and having the hardest time to pick it up. Once I told them I was not going to finish; I immediately ripped back the almost finished sock one! That felt good though I am somewhat perplexed about this situation.
Another sock pattern I test knit has now been published on Ravelry and that was a fun pattern I enjoyed. I only had to knit one sock to finish the test so I still have to knit the second sock and will do so once I have finished Sock Madness.
That sock pattern is by Jo of KBG Designs and is called the Hidden Diamonds socks. The stitch pattern is easily memorised and fun to knit. This time I knit size small as these will be a gift. I chose to knit using my own hand dyed sock yarn in a fun orange colour. I think this pattern works best with a somewhat solid colour to really show off the stitch pattern. My yarn was not solid but not too crazy either and so I feel the pattern worked well here.
As for other knitting, I’m coming close to finishing my second Modernist by Renee of East London Knits.
This one is for a friend of my older daughter and she wants the exact same as the one I test knit and my daughter kept. So I’m knitting the same size using the same exact yarn, colour and all!
As I was looking for pictures to share I realise that I actually did not blog about this project before! So here goes.
I test knit this oversized cardigan for Renee a while ago. It is a fingering weight design and the shape is a little unusual at least for me as it is a cropped and oversized cardigan.
The construction is also unusual making the knitting all the more fun. I chose to use Holst Garn Supersoft in Marine blue, dark blue and I really like the outcome. There is an option for adding button holes but in both my versions I chose not to have buttons. My daughter wears her’s all the time and I’m hoping her friend will like hers as much too.
At the moment I am just 20 rounds of cuff from finishing the garment so I’m hoping that will be done tomorrow and then I have the weekend for finishing and blocking so she can have her cardigan next Monday.
And speaking of Renee Callahan of East London Knits, I have just started a new secret test knit for her. That is a top down sweater with some colourwork and I am having some issues finding the correct yarns for my version so I think I might actually end up knitting two versions. I have done part of the yoke in one combo and yesterday I started the yoke in another yarn combo. Im planning on knitting a bit to see how the pattern looks in each combo and then decide what I do. The deadline is short so I might finish just one in time for that and then knit the second one later. Who knows.
Well that’s it for today folks. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to follow my knitting as always. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week ahead of you with plenty of knitting and good, summery weather on top.
Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing good and that so far March is treating you good.
After a spell of some incredible warm weather and sun, winter is back and it is raining a lot and the forecast for this week is mostly rain. But hey, as a knitter that is not an issue for me. Just more time to stay home and knit:)
Since my last post I have been able to finish two garments one of which was started back in October 2018.
I also finished my garment test knit, the DK sweater. I’m not allowed to show you pictures of the finished garment just yet but I believe the pattern will be revealed in a couple of weeks so soon. I’m very happy with the outcome and when my older daughter saw it blocking she asked if she could borrow it some time. Now that is validation 🙂
I do have one but here. It’s with regards to the weight of the yarn. Most of my garments are knit in fingering weight yarns and knitting this in DK has made me realise that I really prefer fingering for garment knitting. A lot of people love knitting with heavier weight yarns and mention both how quickly the garment is knit and the warmth.
I actually prefer the lightness of fingering weight garments. Also I don’t need very heavy yarn as it never gets super cold here in Normandy. It really was eye opening to participate in this test knit with regards to my yarn preference.
And it’s funny because I do like DK shawls and hats and mitts. But for garments, I definitely prefer fingering. What about you? Do you have a preference for a particular weight of yarn for your garment knitting?
The garment I also finished and had started back in October was a second Cactus cardigan by Suvi Simola. I had almost finished the body when it was put aside and just left lingering for months. When I finally picked it up again it went super quick.
I knit my first one using Holst Garn Supersoft and this time I used Holst Garn Coast which is a 50/50 cotton/wool. This yarn feels very soft and light but it is not very elastic.
I should maybe have gone down a needle size here but it’s still ok. The fabric is very light. I only have to put on the buttons and I’m all done.
I’m very happy with the outcome. I knit this with the idea of gifting it to a friend. Now I just have to show it to her and get her to try it on and if it fits and she likes it, it will be hers. If for some reason she does not like it, well it will just be mine 🙂
The pattern is really simple and a great one to create some stable cardigan that can go with everything.
I have also started a new garment, a poncho using a DK type yarn – Cascade 220. This is a birthday gift for someone special and I really hope she will love it.
The pattern is called Radisson and the designer is Josée Paquin. I started this past weekend so I’m about half done I think. I really love the pattern and I’m being very careful with the colourwork. I stop regularly and pull on the fabric to make sure I’m not knitting too tight. I don’t want the fabric to pucker.
Here you can see all the colours. My main colour is black and then the contrast colours are blue, beige and white. This is a really satisfying knit and I’m really enjoying knitting on this.
Another new cast on was the start of Sock Madness! The pattern for the qualifying round arrived on Sunday and I of course immediately cast on. The pattern is called Smock Madness. I’m taking my time though because I don’t want to be too quick and end up in one of the quickest teams. I really want to make it to the last round as I did when I participated for the very first time. Since then I have never even come close to that! Beginners luck I suppose so now it really is time for me to repeat the performance:)
This first pattern is a fun one and not very complicated. It is an all over smocked pattern and currently I’m at the gusset on sock one.
My yarn is very dark so the patterning is not showing up very well in the picture. I’m using Arwetta Classic in colour 807 which is a deep burgundy/purple.
I have prepared the yarns for all the patterns. Before the start of Sock Madness we get a list of materials and what we need for each pattern. This year I chose to use mostly commercial yarns both to use those from my stash and also to avoid spending a lot of time winding skeins into balls. I only chose one indie dyed yarn this time and I have wound that already.
So there will be a lot of sock knitting in my future hopefully:)
This coming week I hope to finish my Smock Madness socks, make a good progress on my Radisson poncho and also continue to work on my Jaycee cardigan by Isabelle Kramaer. I’m just past the separation for the sleeves. I have yet to take pictures of this project but I’m knitting this using Drops Flora yarn for the first time.
I hope you will have a great week ahead and enjoy your knitting. Thank you for stopping by today and sharing some of your time with me.
Hi there how are things? I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. I was kept busy between work and school holidays here in France. Now the kids are back at school and things are back to the regular routine.
Since I last posted I have been concentrating mostly on my current garment test knit. I’m almost done now and really like the fit and look of my new sweater.
I am somewhat off gauge wise though as my sweater is longer/bigger than it should be according to the pattern so I have had to modify the final decrease rounds. But it still worked out nicely.
Unfortunately the sweater is taking more yarn than I had expected and so I dyed up some yarn this morning and I’m crossing my fingers hoping I was able to get very close to the previous yarns. I only have the sleeves to knit now. If the colour is not quite there I will go with a contrasting coloured sleeves. As I write this the yarn is drying in the sun so I still don’t know yet if I was successful in recreating the beautiful yellow of my sweater.
This is an oversized, raglan sweater and the sleeves are mostly ribbing as the raglan arrives at the elbow.
It is quite a heavy sweater and it made me realise that I really prefer fingering weight garments. But this sweater really is nice and I look forward to finishing it.
Other than this sweater, I also finished my warm up socks for Sock Madness. I believe the contest/challenge will start in a few days, beginning of March, so it was important I finished this pair in time.
I’m also planning on finishing my test knit sweater before then too so that I can start the challenge without any other stressful deadline.
So my warm up socks also double as my contribution to the #knitterspayitforward2019.
I was not totally convinced at first when I saw the pattern. I was worried that the lace pattern would be obscured by the yarn. That is why I chose rather subdued colours, nothing wildly variegated. I’m very happy with the results. I still have to weave in the ends of one of the socks and then I will put together a nice little package to my lovely recipient who lives in Denmark.
If you are not aware of this #knitterspayitforward2019 this is a “thing” launched by dr Holmes, the same person as the one who organises the Marie Curie sock challenge for Christmas. This time around, the idea is to offer to knit something for another person, whether we know them or not.
In my case I posted on Instagram and said I wanted to join this fun project and knit a pair of socks for someone and asked those interested in receiving a pair of scrappy, hand knit socks to comment on my post. I only got 2 comments and the “winner” was my new Danish friend.
If you are interested in joining you definitely should and remember to use the tag so the rest of us can follow along.
In this new week my main focus will be on finishing my sweater as I have said above. I do have 2 cardigans going, one has been on hold for months and I just picked it up again today. I have 1 1/2 sleeve to finish so not much left and I’m hoping I will also be able to finish that this week.
The other cardigan is at it’s beginning so lots of work there still but it will be good to pick it up again and make some progress.
Then of course there will soon be Sock Madness, a truly mad sock knitting challenge so as soon as the first pattern arrives I will be concentrating on that.
On a more personal note, I have just started walking! I used to be active as a young woman but I have let myself go lately. I work from home so most of my time is spent sitting in front of a computer so I have very limited physical activity. I was inspired by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears who has started going for walks. I’m going for 30-40 minute walks and it really feels good. I listen to audio books and podcasts and just enjoy the incredibly beautiful weather and getting some alone time with myself and a good book. I’m really happy I started moving a little and just hope I will keep up the good work:)
That’s it for today. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my knitting progress and hope you will have a great week ahead with plenty of fun knitting.