Back again with more socks

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.

Scrappy Turtle Purl socks

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

a sock on my new bamboo flexible NEKO needles
My own pattern

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.

My handspun yarn just out of the dye pots and drying

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.

The colours are not showing up good here. The main colour is a light blue. The colours are more accurate in the picture above.

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.

Until next time, have fun and happy knitting.

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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.

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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 🙂

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:)

Brioche on the Beach

Hi there, today as I start my summer vacation I’m pleased to be able to share this appropriately named pattern.

Brioche on the Beach by Renée Callahan or East London Knits is one of my latest secret test knits. This is, as the name indicates, a brioche pattern. And I actually think this could be a great pattern for the beginner to intermediate brioche knitter because you get a lot of easy brioche and then towards the end when you are completely confident in your brioche skills, you get to tackle a brioche wave pattern.

This is a two color brioche and so using two contrasting colors is a good idea for maximum effect. I used fingering weight yarns; the pink color is in the colorway Sprinkles by Knit Cosmic Strings and the charcoal one is my own hand dyed in a merino and mohair blend. The colors are highly contrasting and so the result is really crisp I think.

This wrap is huge! And I could have actually made it even bigger by just knitting on for longer before starting the wave pattern but I admit I was getting impatient for something new and exciting.

This is a super squishy wrap due to the brioche texture and super soft as the yarns I chose. I used almost 2 skeins of each color so close to 4 skeins total. You can get away with less if you knit your wrap less wide.

I knit mine as per the pattern because I like large and squishy shawls/wraps.

Renée has a special offer on this wrap. If you sign up for her newsletter before August 27th you will get a 20% discount code for this pattern and so I highly recommend you do sign up. You will not get spammed but just notified when she has a new podcast out, a new pattern or if she is teaching or present at a knitting event.

And for even more discounts, when you purchase this pattern you will get a discount code for Retrosaria Mondim yarn good until August 16th – the yarn Renée used in her design.

So really you have a lot of reasons to be tempted.

Now on to the fashion/photo show. Enjoy:)

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A little knitting in this heat

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you are enjoying your summer whether you are working or on vacation. Here in Europe we are suffering this amazing heat wave and I’m starting to crave a little cooler weather. Not cold weather, just a little less hot. Too hot makes knitting difficult (sweaty hands).

I am not yet on vacation so I’m just knitting some around my work schedule and after work.

Since last week I have managed to finish two items that I would like to share with you.

First there is my Main Street summer tee by Pip and Pin. This is now all done, washed and blocked. This was a fun pattern and I think I just might make a second one in a different yarn later. I might make the second version a little longer as the pattern calls for a somewhat cropped tee. And as there are less than 30 projects for this pattern on Ravelry I entered mine into  the Unsung Heros kal being held by Amber of the Yarn Hoarder podcast.

I also managed to finish my first pair of Stitch Surfer Socks also part of a kal this time being run by Michelle and Leslie of the Knotty Knit Wits.

This is a very fun sock pattern and it actually goes quickly. I was not able to mirror the socks as I wanted so I have now cast on for a second pair.

Here is pair number one:

 

I’m now knitting a smaller pair for my youngest daughter. I’m using the same solid yarn as in my pair and then a self striping yarn from Biscottes Yarn.

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This time around I’m hoping I will understand the instructions fully and be able to make the socks mirror each other.

I also finished another pair of socks a while ago and just never got to show you  a picture of the finished pair. I had knit sock one as part of a test knit and then had cast on for the second sock only to then set it aside in my mountain of wips.

I finally picked it up again and finished the second sock and I’m so happy with the finished pair. The pattern is just amazing. It is called Narcissa Socks by  Jo Ann Klim.

The yarn is Hippo for Thanksgiving by Lolo Did It.

I am still working on my Milu shawl. I’m now only 4 garter ridges from cast off so that should be done later this week. I really love the colors and yarns I chose for this project and I’m sure I will give this shawl lots of use come winter.

mila 24jul

This pictures gives you an idea of the color palette I chose even if it does not show the pattern well. It is all scrunched up on my needle.

So this week I’m hoping to finish the shawl, make good progress on my second pair of Stitch Surfer socks and also work as much as I can on my secret sweater test knit. Even if the sweater test knit is in a DK weight it is taking it’s time to knit, I think because it is knit in pieces and my purling takes longer than knitting stockinette.

I have until August 12 to finish and I’m almost at the shoulders on the back piece. Everything else is waiting to be knit so I  have to hurry up some to meet the deadline.

Other than that, not much news to share. I’m still running the giveaway I launched last week. Do join in and leave a comment and possibly win a personalised gift from me. You can find the details in my last post here I’m back

I hope you are doing well and enjoying your knitting in spite of the heat for those of us that are living through a heatwave:)

Thank you for stopping  by again and spending time with me. Take care and happy knitting till next time.

In need of some serious genes to stay focused

How are you today? A new week has begun and summer is more or less here. This past weekend I got to knit a little bit in the garden which was very nice.

I’m struggling somewhat with my knitting because I have so many things that I want to work on and not enough time. It’s difficult to prioritise even.
Of course my test knits are the most important and get worked on the most and then the other wips get a little love from time to time.

This week I have one finished object to show off and I’m super happy about it. It’ s my summer tee shirt called Notice (spring) by Ankestrick. I knit this using Holst Garn Coast which is a wool and cotton blend. It is a joy to knit with and once washed it blooms and feels really soft.

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Here I only had the sleeves to do.

IMG_1370Again but with a front view.

And on the blocking matt. The sleeves were almost done actually. When the body is done you just pick up the sleeve stitches, cast on a few more and on to the ribbing.

I really like the colors and the end result. I really want to cast on for a new summer/spring project using this yarn. I’m thinking of short sleeved tee shirt called Coctail (jumper) by Maison Rililie. That pattern calls for an all wool yarn but as it is short sleeved I think I would only use it in spring/summer so a wool/cotton blend would be better suited for me.

I’m trying to hold off from casting this on until one of my two test knits is done. Both need to be finished in June so … soon:)

Talking of test knits, the firs and older project is still a secret but here is a sneak peak I took when knitting in the garden this weekend.

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A beautiful brioche thingy:) I think I’m about 70% done so I’m getting close.

My second test knit is a cardigan and it is not a secret! It is a pattern by Finnish designer Suvi Simola and I’m knitting the cardigan with Holst Garn supersoft which is a 100% wool yarn. It is a little rustic but once washed will be perfect. I chose a beautiful red color which I think will look good with almost anything.

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The only “complaint” I have is that it is knit in rows and so it is taking longer to knit than if it were knit in the round and then steeked. I’m not a huge fan of purling though it does not generally bother me. But for such a big project I really see how this slows me down and if I knit a second cardigan like this I will definitely knit it in the round with a steek.

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But so far so good. I think this will be a beautiful piece once all knit up and I look forward to having it in my wardrobe.

I have fallen out of sock mojo! I used to knit a ton of socks but now it has been a while since I actually finished a pair. I have a billion socks on the go of course but I’m picking them up less frequently than normal.

Not sure why, maybe this is just a result of having lots of work and not enough time to knit. Or maybe I’m just too much into garment knitting at the moment.

I have though started yet another sock. This is the Huggle socks from one of Mina Philips (Knitting Expat) sock clubs. It’s the June socks and when I saw the simple and yet stunning  pattern I new I had to cast on immediately and I also knew what yarn to use.

I had been spinning a special sock blend that I have had in my fibre stash for a while. It is a cheviot, silk and nylon blend. The fibre feels rustic to the touch so it feels like a good and sturdy sock blend. I was going to do a two ply but then was too lazy to actually prepare to do a two ply and just went with my regular Navajo ply ( 3 ply). The resulting yarn is somewhere between fingering and sport weight and I have a 120 gr so should be plenty for an adult pair of socks.

Still to stay on the safe side, I decided to use a contrasting yarn for cuff, heels and toes. I had just recently purchased Tuku Sock yarn for the first time and that looked and felt very similar to my hand spun yarn and so that felt like a match.

My hand spun yarn is all sorts of shades of green from a sort of mustardy light green to a deeper brown green and anything in between and when knit up it is actually making a sort of striping pattern.

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I love seeing the color variations in the hand spun.

 

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I’m past the heel and getting close to the toe. I hope to finish sock one this week and plan on casting on for sock two immediately after. This is going to be a pair of very woolly socks for winter. I haven’t yet decided if they will be for me or a gift.

I really like the simple pattern, just this nice cable on one side that keeps the pattern from becoming boring to knit and yet allows for a simple, relaxing knit.

This coming week as I just said I hope to make good progress on my Huggle sock. I also hope to make good progress on my two test knits because I’m feeling itchy and wanting to cast on a lot of new things.

I’m trying to be strong and remind myself that I do have a lot of languishing wips that desperately need knitting on. I don’t know why casting on seems more attractive than actually picking up a wip and finishing an item! After all ticking off a knitting project as done is always a thrill so why on earth am I not finishing wips like a crazy person?

My oldest, my 21 year old daughter just left for Iceland yesterday where she will spend the summer working. It feels so strange to be just 4 home now. It was hard saying good bye and I know I will be calling her all the time. And now that she is gone, I’m thinking of the knitting projects I have languishing for her! I have a sweater that is 90% done! I have a few inches of the second sleeve to knit and then I need to sew it together as it is knit in pieces. And I have a huge blanket that I’m knitting using my early, chunky hand spun. It is a sort of a scrap blanket as I’m using all sorts of yarns and colors and I’m knitting it in linen stitch. How amazing would it be if I could present her with these two projects finished and ready for her to enjoy when she comes back home at the end of summer? That would be amazing! I really need to get myself motivated and start working towards that goal. Don’t even know why I put these two things in time out nor what is making picking them up again so difficult.

I guess a knitters mind is a real mystery:)

That is about all for today I think. Thank you for stopping  by as always. I hope you have enjoyed spending some time with me today. I so enjoy sharing my knitting with you. And guess what, I almost forgot, I’m almost at 300 subscribers!!!!!! When I hit 300 I’m going to do something fun like a little game or a prize draw to celebrate so stay tuned.

All the best and speak to you soon. Happy knitting 🙂

Hi there, how are you? It´s been over a week since I last posted. This past week has been super busy for me both work wise and personally. I´m so happy it is Friday today and I will have the weekend ahead. And more importantly, next week I only work for 1 day!!! That is the best workweek ever!

So next week I of course have high hopes and lots of plans! I´m going to really get working on my Spring Challenge. If you have not heard me talk about that, I have created a special page/blog here on the website where I talk about that. Just click here.

This weekend I´m hoping I will take the time to give this some thought and maybe come up with a plan for how I want to reorganise my stash and supplies. I´m also planning a trip to Ikea for some storage solutions.

I currently have most of my stash in either cardboard boxes or plastic boxes and it´s just not beautiful. It makes my mess look even messier. So now I want to motivate myself by getting something nice but at the same time it has to be very economical and practical. I have a few ideas and hopefully they will work out.

So in my dreams, my room and stash situation will be dramatically improved this time next week! Cross my fingers and toes! Send me some good organisational vibes please! And of course don´t hesitate to join in the fun too if you are in a similar situation as I am.

So I not only have to organise my stash but also my numerous wips! I have a ton of those. I need to go through them – I did go through them already not long ago but only ripped one or two projects back. Now I need to go back and be more realistic and ruthless and just rip back everything that I don´t want to IMMEDIATELY work on.

As I have been preparing myself mentally for the task ahead, I have picked up 2 garment projects from my pile of wips and one of those is now 99% done!

This is the Veronika cardigan by Shannon Cook. So this was originally supposed to be a cabled cardigan but I had put it aside for many months. Last time I went through my wips, I decided I did not want to finish that cardigan and I ripped the thing out (I was about half done with the body) and I decided to cast on for the Veronika cardigan instead. I did cast on and knit some… Then again put it away! But now I´m almost done! All the knitting is done, the ends have been woven in. It has been washed and blocked. I only need to mattress seam it together. I think there are only two seams or something so that should be super quick.

I used Waltham yarn by Kettle Yarn Co in a very light grey. It is a worsted or aran weight yarn and I much enjoyed working with it.

Here is my Veronika as it is currently.

This is an unusual construction knit from cuff to cuff and I was trying to fold it in the first picture to resemble the finished item but it is not very successful. The stitch marker on the last picture is to show where I was the last time I put this project in time out. I was just at the beginning.

I´m so happy I finally finished this project. I´m sure I will love to wear this garment a lot come next winter.

Yesterday I took a second garment from the pile of wips, this time it was my Breathing space pullover by Vera Valimakki. I had almost finished the body when I decided to rip it back because it was way too wide. I ripped back a number of inches but not entirely. I stopped just past the sleeves and like I said, I picked it up again yesterday and I´m now knitting on it. I´m doing the same size as before but I´m not doing all the increases the pattern calls for.

I haven´t got a picture of it yet but I will share it with you next time.

This week a pattern I test knit was published. It is a pair of socks by KBJ Designs called Narcissa Socks. This is a beautiful, textured pattern that I enjoyed knitting. I have only finished one sock and the other is in a project bag next to my bed waiting for some bed time knitting progress. I knit mine using Hippo for Thanksgiving from Lolo Did It and I think it really suits the pattern.

I have to hurry up and knit the second sock.

I have another pair where one sock is done and the second I´m getting close to the heel. For some reason I have been totally absorbed with garment knitting lately. So this pair is the April sock from Helen Stewart sock club. Again this is a beautiful pattern and I chose a semi solid green yarn for this and I think it just looks so beautiful.

This pair also lives in this famous project bag next to my bed….

I recently finished a sweater that I test knit and the pattern will be released shortly so I will soon be able to share that with you.

Currently I´m test knitting another sweater and  it is top secret so I cannot share much except it is a fingering weight sweater knit top down. I´m using yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings.

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This is my swatch. I took a chance and decided to use a highly variegated yarn for this project. I´m usually not much for purple but for some reason I had amassed more than a sweater´s quantity in this colorway so I thought I should use it for something.

Now because of the colorway I thought I should change skeins every row to avoid having ugly pooling on the garment. Now I wonder if I should have gone with every two rows instead. On the side where I change skeins, even if I´m very careful about not pulling the new yarn tight, it still creates a seam like mark that I´m a bit worried about. It is under the arm but I think from now on I´m going to change skeins every two or three rows and see if that helps avoid this mark. Maybe it will become less obvious once blocked… I hope so.

test knit side seam

It might not be obvious because of the yarn but I still see it and it bothers me some. If you have any tips for how to do this in a “cleaner” way I would love to hear your advice.

And I have one FO! I finished a shawl. And this shawl I knit rather quickly. It is big and I am super happy with the finished results.

The pattern is A girls best friend by Isabelle Kraemer. It is a three color shawl and I used two single ply yarns and one 4 ply. One of the yarns, the grey one is my own hand dyed single ply.

I really love the outcome and I can see myself wearing this a lot in the future. The pattern does call for 3 small pompoms on the front/side but I haven´t made them yet.

I´m still debating whether I will add the pompoms or not.

Knitting plans for this weekend and next week are to continue with my test knit sweater, to continue working on my Breathing Space sweater and hopefully make some serious progress on my two half pairs of socks. If I have more knitting time than expected I could even cast on for the April sock from Mina Philipp´s sock club. And if I´m delusional I could even imagine casting on for this round´s sock pattern from Sock Madness- it is an amazing pattern!

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you have enjoyed your time with me. I will be back next week with info on my knitting and my Spring Challenge progress. I´m also preparing to write about my first ever colorwork/steeked cardigan and along with that there will be a little giveaway for some amazing hand made ceramic buttons! Hand made by a French artist.

After that there will be another giveaway for some self striping yarn this time from Biscottes Yarns in Canada.

So lots to look forward to in the coming weeks.

I wish you a wonderful weekend and a great week ahead. Happy knitting and I´ll speak to you soon:)

It’s looking a lot like Christmas…

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

snow blainville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hat madeleine

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

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

hat madeleine

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

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

Merry Christmas to you and happy knitting

Hi there, how are you today? It’s been way too long since my last post and I apologize for that. I have been busy at work and at home with the kids on vacation and all the Christmas preparations. Not to mention all the Christmas gift knitting I have been doing.

And now it’s Christmas! It’s December 24th which for and Icelander such as myself means THE day. Christmas in Iceland is celebrated over a number of days. Christmas begins on December 24th at 6pm and ends on January 6th. The biggest celebration is on the evening of December 24th, the 25th and the 26th.

In Iceland we have 13 santa clauses who live in a mountain just outside of Reykjavik called Esja. They live there with their parents and cat. These are not your typical santa clauses because these are actually naughty and spend their time tricking people and stealing from them. 13 days before Christmas they come to town; one at a time and the last one arrived today December 24th. And the first one leaves tomorrow December 25th and so on until the end of Christmas, January 6th.

When the Santas come to town, children leave a shoe on their windowsill and if they have been nice the santa will leave a small gift in their shoe – a candy or something small. If they have not been good, they will get a potato. In the old days, children would receive a fruit such as an orange or a clementine when they were good and a piece of coal if they were not.

On December 24th the parents come to town and they are one scary couple. They are followed by their cat who eats, yes that’s right, who eats children that were not good and did not receive a gift of new clothing for Christmas. In Iceland there is a tradition of gifting children a new pyjama every Christmas that I think is linked somehow to the legend of the 13 santas.

I found this little video on YOUTUBE that shows drawings of the santas along with their names in Icelandic so have a look if you are interested by clicking here

This evening we celebrate Christmas just on our own; the five of us and tomorrow we will go to my husbands family and spend the day with them. That will be lots of fun. We will be eating and drinking good wine and opening lots of nice gifts.

I hope you will have a wonderful Christmas too if you celebrate Christmas and if you feel like sharing how you celebrate Christmas by leaving a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.

Now on to knitting as this is after all a knitting blog and so you may be here only for the knitting content. As you may know, if you follow my blog, I decided sort of last minute to knit Christmas gifts. Not one or two; but a lot! And I made it! I cast of the last one last night. I shared my progress with you in my last post and so here is the rest of my gift knitting:

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This is a cowl I knit using my hand dyed super wash merino DK. I didn’t use a pattern for this. I did a few rows of 2X2 ribbing and then I did linen stitch for the main body.

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This hat pattern is called Lake Reed and it is a free pattern on Ravelry. This was a really fun and quick knit and the end result is beautiful.

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This cowl is a modified version of the Ciao cowl which is a paid for pattern on Ravelry. It should be much longer/higher but I knit this for a young teen who is not very tall so I thought it would be better if it was not as tall as the pattern called for. Again I knit this with my hand dyed DK yarn and I really like the result. I think I might make another one for myself and then I would follow the pattern exactly for the length.

I then knit another cowl which was just from my head, no pattern. I knit it using my hand dyed Aran weight yarn on 4.5mm needles and it is just a simple ribbed pattern that flares out some at the end to go slightly over the base of the neck/shoulders.

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There is one gift that I knit a while ago and I think I haven’t shared it with you yet. It’s a cowl pattern that was designed using my Cash’merino DK yarn and it is now a paid for pattern on Ravelry, called the Infestation cowl.

I knit this when the pattern came out as a mystery knit and I’m gifting it to someone special this Christmas. Here it is:

infestation-cowl

This is a nice lace pattern and the yarn is an absolute dream to knit with. So I think this concludes my Christmas knitting 2016! Did you knit gifts for Christmas?

I have been working on other things as well such as the test knit socks for designer Dana Gervais and I’m about 75% done with the pair and then I have to finish sock number 2 of the test knit before that which I also did for her. Here are some pictures of the first sock.

 

It is a fun cable and lace pattern. Not complicated at all and as the patterning is only on the front it goes quite quickly. The yarn I’m using is from one of my favorite indie dyers called Knit Cosmic Strings and I’ll be telling you more about them in the beginning of 2017.

And just one more thing before I leave you today. If you watch knitting podcasts you are most likely aware of the Christmas Eve cast on that is hosted by Dani of Little Bobbins and joined this year by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. It is a tradition where you cast on for a pair of socks on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure if that means tonight, Dec 24th or tomorrow Dec 25th but as I celebrate Christmas tonight I’m going for a cast on tonight. I dyed up some yarn just for this, a little crazy variegated yarn and the pattern well I’m still debating. It might be Igneous which is a free pattern on Ravelry or the Simple Skyp sock which is also free on Ravelry. I think both patterns work well with variegated yarns. Will be joining in on the #Christmasevecaston ?

That’s all for today. I hope to be back next week to share some knitting news for 2017 because I already have plans and yarn wound up and ready to go, part of it at least. And some are kals that you might like to join in too.

That’s if for today. Thank you so much for spending your precious time with me today. I hope you enjoyed reading and looking at my pictures. I know I enjoyed sharing them with you. I wish you a very happy holiday with family and friends and most of all with your knitting 🙂

An interview with a talented designer and a giveaway

Hi there, I hope you are all well and getting ready to start your weekend. I just finished my dayjob and am looking forward to this weekend and hopefully I’ll get some quiet time to work on my knits. I’d love to cast off my Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson which has be waiting for that to happen for weeks! Shame on me!!!

Now, today’s post is a little bit different from usually as I’m going to present a very talented designer to you. And this talented designer has generously offered to give 2 of you one of her independently published patterns! Lucky you:) And I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.

The designer I want you to meet is called Nancy Whitman and I discovered her not so long ago. I think I first saw one of her designs on Pinterest and I clicked through to Ravelry where I fell in love! I have since then bought 5 of her patterns and have a few others just waiting to be put in my cart.

Nancy designs a lot of accessories and I particularly love her shawl designs – which is why I have bought 5 of them. She does also design socks and cowls and I just might add some of those to my library of patterns.

Before I introduce my interview with her I’d just like to show you the patterns that I have purchased from her so far. Just to give you a little idea about her work and get you drooling just a little bit:)

First there is Ganz which is a textured shawl

ganz I love the cables and gansey style patterning here. This is a shawl that lends itself perfectly for some squishy solid colored yarn.

Then there is Tappan Zee and I totally love the border detail which is inspired by beautiful bridges and a stitch pattern by Barbara Walker. I really look forward to knitting this sooner rather than later.

tappan zee

Next in line is actually the first pattern of hers I ever bought – the Piet on Point shawl – this stunning shawl was inspired by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and I’m sure you will all understand why I had to get that one.

piet on point Don’t you just love how this shawl is set up? The colors and modularity? Endless possibilities with regards to color combos of course.

Then there is the High Street Shawl but this is also a modular garter stitch shawl and it kind of makes me think of the Sweet Memories blanket everyone is knitting these days because of the row of different coloured squares. Also endless possibilities in color.

high street shawl

And last but not the least, there is the Eden Prairie shawl which is inspired by a stained glass design. This one, once again gives you the chance to play with color and come up with a unique shawl.

Gorgeous don’t you think?

So have I got your full attention now? I’m sure I do so here comes:)

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First things first. How did you come to knitting? Tell us about how and when you first learned to knit.
I learned to knit and crochet by my paternal grandmother at age 7 or 8. She had little to no education but was amazing with knitting, sewing and crochet. She relied on those skills to help support her family after she came to the US in her early 20s. I am fortunate to have many samples of her crochet work plus a ski sweater she knit for my dad in the 1950s.

Do you also crochet and maybe spin and weave too?
I know how to crochet, but prefer to knit. I don’t spin or weave. There just isn’t enough time to do all the things I would like to do!

When knitting, did you used to tweak the patterns you knit or did you scrupulously follow instructions as a new knitter?
I have scrupulously followed a pattern when I absolutely loved it, but that was not the norm. As a beginning knitter, I relied heavily on patterns until I developed the skills to go rogue.

When did you begin designing and what was the first ever design you published?
My first published design, Green Goddess Socks, was released in 2008, but I can’t say for sure when I knit my first design. I can tell you that publishing patterns was a whole other world from knitting your own designs. I tend to design on the needles with little advance planning. Sometimes I would have to fudge to get what I wanted. You can’t write a pattern that way so you have to knit and reknit to get the precise method to achieve your design. Then you have to write it in a way others can understand it. Publishing brought a new discipline to how I knit and how I kept track of what I knit. Unfortunately, the old ways creep in every now and then.

When browsing your Ravelry pattern shop, I see that you are into accessories, shawls, cowls and socks mostly. Is there a particular type of garment you especially enjoy designing?
I have been leaning toward accessories because it’s a smaller commitment than a sweater. Right now, I really love doing shawls, but that could change at any point.

What is the name of your most popular design and why do you think that particular pattern has such a success?
The shawl Eden Prairie is my most popular pattern. I have a few theories as to why that’s the case. The pattern benefitted from the general popularity of shawls over the past few years. The pattern appeals to people who like modular designs. Also, Eden Prairie is based on a piece of Prairie style stained glass and captures both the feel of stained glass and the Prairie color scheme. A different color palette changes the look so it can appeal to folks who want to knit a piece of stained glass.

What do you personally, as a knitter, enjoy knitting the most?
It changes over time. Right now I love knitting shawls and have more ideas than time to knit. When I first started publishing patterns, I was really into socks. Before that, I almost exclusively made sweaters. I think it’s important to be flexible and knit what you are inspired to knit.

Do you have a favorite yarn weight and/or blend that you especially enjoy working with?
I have always been a wool person. It wears well and has great shape retention. When mixed with other fibers that don’t do as well on their own, they become more stable. I am happy to knit with silk, cotton and linen, but only when blended with wool.

As far as my favorite weight yarn, right now it would be sport-weight yarn or lighter. Since I am knitting so many shawls, I tend to use fingering a lot now and I love tosh merino light.

Is knitwear design your primary occupation?
No it is not. I also have an online yarn shop called Whitknits.com. I stock a lot of madelinetosh yarn so that is why I use a lot of it.

How do you see your future as a knitwear designer?
To continue to self publish my designs and to expand where those designs are available. My designs sell in LYS through Ravelry’s in-store pattern sales program. They are also available as downloads and kits on other sites, as well as printed and kitted at fiber shows.

Where can we follow you on social media? Blog?
Probably the best place to follow me is on facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Whitknits/?ref=hl

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Thank you very much Nancy for sharing with us. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you and I’m so happy that you accepted my interview and super grateful for your generosity as you have gracefully accepted to donate 2 of your patterns to my readers.

So like I said, Nancy will be gifting 2 patterns and to share the joy I have decided to draw for 2 winners, so one pattern each rather than  just have one winner that gets 2 patterns. If you would like to join in the giveaway for a chance to win a pattern of your choice from Nancy Whitman’s Ravelry shop then this is how to join:

Go on Ravelry to check out Nancy’s pattern shop – you can click here

Browse her patterns and then come back here and leave a comment with your Ravelry name and the name of the pattern you would like to win. You have until Friday 18th of March to participate and leave your comment and I will draw 2 lucky winners using Random.org on Saturday March 19th. Nancy will then gift each winner the pattern of their choice. Please note that you can choose any of her self published patterns (that means excluding ebooks or patterns published by a third party).

Enjoy the browsing and good luck to you all:)