Knitting plans

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

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

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

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

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

For the blog I want: 

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

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

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

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

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

For my knitting I want:

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

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

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

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

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

For my knitting related purchases I want:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Midwinter cowl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs

Knitting journals and tracking of your knitting projects

Hi there how are you today? Yet again we are coming to the weekend and Christmas is now just behind the corner so to speak.

I’m not doing much of Christmas gift knitting this year but somehow I seem to have managed to concentrate all the gift knitting to the very last few days and in spite of my significant knitting commitments (that is test knits) I’m still being tempted by new patterns on a daily bases and I have to admit that I have cast on for yet another new project just today!

It is a bulky cowl by Laura Aylor called Midwinter. I don’t have a picture of it yet as I just started and only have a few rows done at this time. I’m knitting this with my 100% baby alpaca chunky yarn and I’m using a mix of hand dyed and undyed yarn –¬† the main colour is just undyed yarn and I think it will look and feel amazing.

So if you are anything like me, you will have a gazillion knitting projects on the go at any time and sometimes you may wish you actually kept track on those projects. I know I do.

I do try to set up Ravelry project pages¬†when I finish an item and for the most part I am successful but sometimes, when I’m finally done I don’t remember all the details and sometimes I have even thrown away the paper pattern where I have written down amendments or other while I was knitting.

This situation has led me to want to keep a knitting journal:

I have seen lots of knitting journals on IG and on knitting podcasts and I think they are all so fun and wonderful. I think that keeping a knitting journal over a few years must be so rewarding and so fun to later go back and look over what we have accomplished.

And over the time I have purchased special knitting journals at different price points, always full of enthusiasm and good intentions only to end up not using them at all.

The last journal I purchased was the Strickeplaner by Martina Behm. The name is German but all the text inside the journal is in English.

This is a small, hard backed journal that is not only like a calendar but also has lots of bits of random knitting related wisdom. You can plan out over a whole month, over a trimester and of course per week. There are also special “project” pages intended to fill out all the important details for each of our projects (though there are not enough pages like that for a prolific knitter¬† that really takes down the details for all their projects ).

Here is an example of a week overview. So you see that you can dot down maybe goals or special planning for the week asa whole and then you have boxes for each day.

For the little while that I actually used my journal, I would¬† use the first section to prioritise what I needed¬† to work on, sort of like goal setting. For the day sections, I would mostly not used those to be honest except to note down when I started a project. Then I would note the name of the pattern, the yarn used and needle size. Later when the project was finished I would use one of the “project” pages to fill out all the details including cast on and off dates.

I do regret not having been more serious about this and keeping with it through out the year. And now that 2019 is just a few days away I am more determined than ever to start and actually stay with a knitting journal for the entire year!

You heard it here first! Would you like to join me?

So I already have 2 journals ready to go. I’m not sure if I will use them simultaneously (maybe too ambitious) or one after the other. They are not quite the same which is why the idea of using both at the same time came to me. But I think I need to be realistic and just do one.

But which one to start with?

Knitting journals for 2019

The grey journal on the left is one I purchased from the Wool Barn.

This journal is similar to the one I had from Martina Behm. It includes some common knitting abbreviations and instructions for those and there is also a needle size conversion chart which is always useful. And there is an index at the front with little numbered boxes from 1 to 20 where one can add the name of each pattern.

This journal is indeed made for 20 projects.

You have 2 pages for each project. On the left page you can fill out all the details like the pattern name, designer, yarn, needle  etc and on the right page you have an empty page where you can include a little picture of your project, maybe a little bit of the yarn, sketches and what ever else you can think of.

I really like this set up and the journal. The price is of course much lower than the Martina Behm one because the material used is less costly and the journal itself much simpler. But I think this will work better for me as it is more to the point and is more “project” based versus it being more of a “journal”.

The second journal I have on had at the moment is the illustrated one on the right.

This is not really a knitting journal per se but rather a notebook with some fun lama images.

How cute is that ?  I also have a nice collection of fun knitting themed stickers I could use to decorate my pages and make this a more fun journal.

So what is the plan then? Well, I think I will start with the Wool Barn journal as it is more structured and if that works well, then I will move over to this more simpler journal for my 21st project and onwards. Maybe I will keep the set up from the Wool Barn journal to always include the same type of info for each project.

I’m actually getting a little excited about this as I sit here and write this. I think this can be a fun and rewarding activity and I really hope I will stick with it.

Do you keep a knitting journal? If you do I would love to hear from you how you organise your journal, if you have any tips or tricks, what brand of journal you use etc.

And if you would like to join me on this knitting journal adventure in 2019 do let me know. I could open a thread in my Ravelry group where we could exchange pictures of our journals and just generally chatter and get inspired by each other.

This is all for today folks. Thank you for stopping by and taking time out of your busy schedule to spend some time with me.  I wish you a relaxing weekend with lots of knitting time and look forward to being back with something new to share with you next week.

Knitting, spinning and planning

Hi there how are you today? I hope you had a nice weekend and that you were able to participate in the WorldWide Knit in Public day where you are. Unfortunately I did not. I had to work and just totally worked the day away not even remembering what day it was till the evening when I took a look at IG!

I’m sure there were things going on I could have joined but hey, maybe next year.

I have been knitting seriously this past week. I finished my secret test knitting wrap! That is such a relief! I’m always happy when I finish a test knit even if it is an enjoyable one. Just knowing that I managed to finish in time feels so good. So I will be sharing pictures of that when the pattern will be released.

My second test knit is going well. Today I finished the body and started sleeve one. I’m knitting the sleeve on a 9″ circular so it should go pretty quickly. I really like knitting sleeves on short circulars as I feel it goes so much quicker when there is no cable management, no pulling on the needle to get to the right place.

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I’m knitting this with Holst Garn Supersoft. It is the first time I use the Supersoft but it is working very nicely as all their other yarns.

I really like this red color and the pattern!

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This is the yoke detail, some lace and some ribbing.

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And the  bottom hem. I really like this unusual rib she uses.

Oh and by the way, this is a design by Suvi Simola, a Finnish designer ūüôā

So I’m happily working on this every day and hope to make good progress on my sleeve this week. I would love to have this cardigan finished in 2 weeks time. That should not be an issue.

Since last week, I did take on a new test knit. Again. But a small one this time, just a pair of shorty socks.

This is a very fun pattern that is great for stash busting as you can knit using your left over sock yarns. You need two contrasting colors and the designer specifically asked that the main color be a speckled yarn.

I do have those and I love the one I chose but… I think it was not the best choice for this pattern. Because even if it is mostly white, it does have a lot of colored speckles and in all the colors! So it was not easy finding a contrasting color to go with it. Each time I ended up realizing that one of the “speckles” was the same color as my contrasting yarn! GRRRR

So I actually knit the part with the contrasting yarn 3 times… So the first time I really did not knit many rounds and I even did not take a picture of my progress before ripping back but this is the yarn I used.

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I felt my light pink was too similar to some of the speckles and just did not stand out enough. So I decided to try a more pink yarn.

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And again I felt it was not good enough so again I ripped back. And the third and last try was with a grey yarn. Again I feel it sometimes mixes with the speckled one but I’m not changing yet again.

I’m about to start the toe decreases so this is a super quick knit. I should have the pair¬† done next time I blog.

I’m feeling like knitting on and on and on! And I’m just loving browsing Ravelry for pattern ideas and going through my Ravelry library which is HUGE! And as summer is coming/here I’m thinking I should resist the long sleeved wool sweaters and go for something summery.

So I have printed out 3 patterns that I would like to cast on and I have (I think) found the yarns I want to use for them. I’d love to hear what you think.

First up is a pattern called Main Street by Pip and Pin. And the yarn I’m thinking of using is from Knit Cosmic Strings

main street idea

Ok so yes this is a CRAZY yarn but I still like it and so I’m going to give it a try in this summer top.

Then there is the Tegna by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland knitworks. Everyone seems to either have knit the Tegna or be knitting the Tegna. I resisted for a long time but now I had to give in. I’m thinking of using yarn from Mothy and the Squid.

tegna idea

This is the same colorway but 2 different dye lots so they are not exactly the same but I’m thinking if I blend them together doing 1-2 rounds of each it will just melt together.

And last but not least there is Este by Justyna Lorkowska and I’m thinking of knitting this with my own hand dyed yarn. I have the same yarn base as she used in the design but I don’t have enough in one color so I’m thinking of doing a striped version or maybe one main color with one big color block/stripe …Not sure yet.

estes idea

That is a lot of knitting! Not to mention when you know that I have a ton of wips that need finishing and that I constantly accept new test knits! So maybe I will only end up knitting one out of the three. Who knows! But at least planning and coming up with the yarns has been fun.

It was a little difficult though because most of my stash consists of single skeins! I love hand dyed yarns and usually those are on the expensive side meaning I rarely buy more than one or two at at time and when I do, I usually buy different colors! The more the merrier until one starts to knit garments and all of a sudden all those single skeins are useless!

I think I will have to seriously rethink my yarn buying and by less but more to the point, with a purpose. Even if I don’t have a pattern picked maybe just buy yarn thinking I will want to make a garment with it in the future.

And spinning! I have been spinning lately and I just finished what I think is a gorgeous skein of a two ply sock yarn. This is a blend of cheviot, silk and nylon so should be the perfect yarn for socks. Now I just need a little bit of time and the perfect pattern:)

I really love this rich burgundy shade.

And before I say good bye for¬† today, I’m almost at 300 subscribers to the blog! How fun and how amazing is that!

When I started about 3 years ago or so I wasn’t sure I would be able to stay with it and more importantly I didn’t know if people would actually come to my blog and want to follow my story. So I’m so happy and proud to still be here and for all the fun and interaction I have with you all that take the time out of your busy days to check in on me.

So this of course means it’s going to be time for a giveaway!

I do have 2 giveaways from different sponsors that I need to organise and I will also sponsor one myself! I’m thinking these should all take place in the next 10 days or so (if I get up to 300) so stay tuned! There will be a skein of self striping yarn, hand made ceramic buttons and a mix of things for the blog giveaway. I will tell you all about these in the coming days!

That’s it for today. Thank you again for stopping by. Have a great week and lots of crafting. See you soon:)

A little knitting

How are you this week? I have been very busy at work lately and so have had less knitting time than usual. After a busy day at work I find I mostly need some relaxation knitting. Something simple that will help me relax and clear my head.

Lately I have also been semi monogamous and mostly knitting on just three things.

First there is my secret test knit wrap. I’m about 60% in I think and now the going is getting tough. It’s no longer a simple brioche but brioche patterning. This means I now only knit on this when I have a clear head and some time to concentrate.

It is going to look stunning when done and I really look forward to finishing. As I cannot show you what it looks like at the moment, here is a little sneak peak of how the two yarns are knitting up.

These pictures were taken at the very beginning but give you a nice idea of how the yarns/colors are working out.

Then I’m working on another test knit which this time is not a secret. It’s a cardigan by Finnish designer Suvi Simola.

It is knit in one piece, back and forth so I’m somewhat slowed down by the purling. So far I have not made much progress. I’m still working the yoke which has a beautiful pattern with an unusual rib section.

I’m knitting this with Holst Garn Supersoft and it is working up very nicely.

This gives you an idea of the yoke pattern.

Here is a close up of the yoke pattern. It is looking nice don’t you think?

And then there is my summer T-shirt. The pattern is called Notice (Spring) by designer Ankestrick. It is a simple top down, raglan short sleeve top. I’m knitting mine in almost the same colors as the sample in the pattern pictures. I’m using Holst Garn Coast which is a wool/cotton blend. I really like how the yarn feels when knit up.

I’m getting close to the bottom ribbing so I’m hoping next time I post I will be able to show you the finished garment.

I really like the colors I chose and I look forward to wearing this.

I’m not sure if I told you I was working on a new sock pattern. I wanted to design a new pattern and I have knit one sock. Next step will be to write down the instructions and try to knit the second sock by following those. If that works I will grate the pattern and knit a second pair to be sure the patterning works on the bigger sizes as well.

The yarn is quite busy but I hope you can still see the pattern. I’m thinking of knitting the second pair in a solid color so it will maybe show up better.

I think I have about 5 sock patterns that I have partly worked and “just” need to grade and write up and have tech edited to maybe sell on Ravelry.

I have also been asked a few times to do a tutorial on sock knitting and even if I am not an expert sock knitter I can share how I knit socks. I would like to hear from you if you would be interested in a tutorial. So please leave a comment below if you think that would be of interest.

That’s about it for today. I’m going to continue working on the same projects this week and if I manage to finish one I might cast on for something new or better yet, get a project from my pile of wips !

I hope you will have a wonderful week ahead with plenty of knitting and pleasant times.

Thank you for stopping by today and for sharing your time with me. Until next time….Happy Knitting:)

In a bit of a stand still

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Endless new projects and rabbit holes to fall down

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing good. I was supposed to post yesterday but I just felt out of energy and needed some quality knitting time and so here I am today!

As you may deduct from the title of today’s post, I’m not being very successful at working on my Mountain of Wips! Shame on me!!

If you have been following my blog for a while you are probably not surprised at all and I shouldn’t be myself only I really did mean to work on my wips and it was and still is a goal for 2018. Only I keep getting sidetracked! Constantly finding new patterns I need to make or apply for a test knit for which I’m subsequently accepted! So the current state of affairs is Zero wips progress but lots of fun knitting nevertheless.

So let’s get this going and I’m going to share with you my current works in progress.

I had started on the Winter Rose socks by Helen Stewart but they are the first pattern in her new sock club. I started off with a Lolo did it yarn but changed my mind and found a solid Opal yarn that I thought might do the pattern better justice. I’m not far along as I have managed to put myself into a deadline situation so I’m going to put these aside and will knit on them in March.

So first off is my colorwork cardigan the Flea Cardigan or Damejakke loppa by Pinneguri. I’m going to write a post on this one because it is my first ever all over colorwork garment and first ever steek. I’m not quite at the steek just yet but I am almost done with the body. I’m at the beginning of the bottom rib and then I need to see if I steek or if I knit the sleeves first. I’m not quite sure.

I absolutely LOVE knitting this garment and the colorwork has been such fun. I’m using Holst Garn in a wool and silk blend and it knits up so nicely and once it will be washed and blocked I think it will be gorgeous even if I say so myself!

I’m even dreaming of knitting more of this pattern, maybe another one for myself plus one for my sister and one for my mum… The yarn and the gazillion colors available from Holst are definitely enabling.

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The bottom ribbing and the button bands on the front as well as sleeve cuffs will be in this orangey/brick/red color you see at the collar/neck band.

And then there are the test knits! I am a big sucker for test knitting. Not quite sure why. Maybe because I always want to knit everything and I’m constantly looking at new patterns to buy and test knitting gives you instant access to a not-yet-published pattern in exchange for your work.

So now I’m working on two test knits, one has to be done at the end of the month and the second needs to be done beginning of March. However as I’m going away beginning of March (more on that later) I actually need to finish both by the end of February.

First up is a sweater that I’m test knitting for Japanese designer Eri. This is a very fun pattern for a somewhat boxy and cropped sweater. I did lengthen it some for my taste though. The stitch pattern is easy to follow and soon becomes memorized. I’m using fingering weight yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings in colorway Rasberry Ripples and I think it is really looking very nice. I’m not even alternating skeins, I felt the yarn was that similar that it would be ok and so far so good.

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Here you see the pattern a little closer –¬† and the picture above is truer to color than the one below.

 

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I’m almost at the shoulders on the front. The back is done so I’m super close to finishing the body and hope to get going on the sleeves tomorrow at the latest. I really love the design and I have seen a picture from the designer wearing a lace yarn version and it looked amazing so I’m already thinking I will need to knit another one in a different yarn! Crazy, crazy me right!

The second test knit was a sort of last minute one. This designer I like and have test knit for before sent out a call for shawl testing. I wasn’t going to say yes but her shawl did look nice but then I saw that she had a tight deadline and so all her usual testers were saying they were not available so I of course contacted her and said that if she could extend the deadline by a few days I’d love to test knit for her. And she said YES!

So here I am, test knitting the Temperance shawl by KBJ Designs. This is a fingering weight shawl and I’m using my own hand dyed yarn in one of my favorite blends; the merino/mohair/nylon blend and I love the outcome.

temperance shawl 14feb

I have actually been able to knit consistently on this shawl and so I’m almost at the end of this stocking/eyelet section and ready to start the lace border. I’m hoping this will be done in a week or so.

So hopefully I will finish both test knits by the end of this month…ready to cast on for next month’s test knit! Yes that’s not a typo! I applied to and was accepted to knit a cardigan for a future edition of the Making Stories magazine. I have just ordered the yarn today (we must test knit with the same yarn as the designer used) and I plan on casting on March 1st. This is a tight deadline, only 1 month to finish so I’m going to try and be serious for once and limit new cast ons in March.

As for the rabbit hole I mentioned, well that is sock related. So as you may know, I do love sock knitting although there are no socks on show today. Two years ago I participated in my first ever Sock Madness- a sock speed knitting competition. The first year I actually was put on the second fastest team (learned my lesson) and I made it to the final round though I did not win Рthere were some seriously fast knitters there! The second time around; that is last year, I made sure I took a little bit longer to finish my pair in order to be placed in a somewhat slower team and that worked. Only I was eliminated after 4 or 5 rounds I think after  misunderstanding a colorwork chart. I actually knit sock one twice. Knit it up showed a picture and it was wrong so I ripped back and started again. I finished my pair and sent it in all in time to be qualified for the next round only the following day I was contacted and told I had misunderstood the chart and so was disqualified! Talk about deception! Needless to say I felt like crying and NEVER taking part again!

Yet when I saw sign ups were opening for this year I of course went ahead and signed up for as they say third time’s a charm or something like that!

I think the qualifying round is in March and then the serious stuff will start end of March or so. During my time in the Sock Madness competition I will be solely concentrating on the competition and all other knitting will be set aside for in between rounds knitting. Are any of you taking part this year? Have you taken part before?

I just printed out the list of materials today so I can get everything ready and this year the theme is clearly colorwork as most of the patterns include 2 yarns/colors unless they all use contrasting yarns for heels and toes. But usually the patterns are innovative and demanding so I’m expecting complicated colorwork.

Well, I think this is all for now. Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your time with me. I hope to be more punctual next week. I hope you have a great rest of the week and enjoy lots of knitting, crocheting, spinning or just general crafting happiness.

 

 

My knitting plans for 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So it is time to do something about this.

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

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

I have: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy new knitting year

Hi there! First off I would like to apologize for the long silence. I can imagine you may have wondered if I had stopped blogging all together! It’s probably been close to a month since I last posted here and I have not been very active on social media either. Not to mention that I closed my Etsy shop. So I guess I have given you all the reasons to think I was just going off the grid.

Well, I’m still here and I hope to keep blogging and growing my blog in this new year. The past month or so has been very busy to say the least. Both on a personal level as well as on a professional level. I’m hoping I will be able to get back into my rhythm of blogging once a week. I might, if I can, blog more to begin with because I have so much to share with you. Things have just been piling up!

Now I wish you and your family and friends all the very best in this new year. I would like to thank you for the past year we have spent together. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to follow my blog and my knitting adventures. Thank you for sharing your story and for commenting here on the blog. Thank you for supporting my yarn dyeing business if you are one of my clients. I hope 2018 will be a good year for you, one of happyness and good things. I hope you will be able to indulge yourself in knitting and anything else fibre related that you may enjoy. I hope you will be able to build on your skills and and learn new things. And I hope you will keep on following me on my journey as before.

I honestly don’t know where to begin. I have so much to share but I don’t have much time and I’m assuming the same goes for you so I cannot write an epic blog post. I will have to portion down all the things and share over time.

Maybe I should start where we left off, with Christmas knitting. I think I will do that.

So last time I blogged, I was knitting a lot of socks. I did not knit much for Christmas gifts. I had been intelligent enough to have set aside a few things during the year that I was able to gift for Christmas but basically I did not gift much knitwear this past Christmas. I mostly knit for myself! And mostly socks.

So here goes, and I may have shared the first two pairs with you already but I guess that’s ok as it was such a long time ago.

I made up this simple pattern to use with self striping yarn and I think it worked out great with this beautiful yarn from the Cozy Knitter called Gingerbread House. The pattern is a very simple lace pattern that is worked on the first row of each new color. I did write down the pattern and I’m hoping I will be able to write it up in a formal fashion and maybe even put up on Ravelry this year. Who knows, 2018 might become the year of knitting designs for me…

Then there was another pair of self striping socks in a Christmas colorway. This time a pair of shorty socks.

Again I made up a super simple pattern and used as I came to a new color. This one I also wrote down just in case. The yarn is Vintage Christmas from the Yarn Jar. I had some brown yarn I had dyed myself in my box of minis/left overs and used that for heels and toes.

And now on to the pairs I think I have not before shared here with you.

This pattern is called Sugarplum Fairy and is by Knitterarium. This pattern is for sale on Ravelry. I knit those with yarn from Lolo Did It called Hippo for Christmas. I absolutely LOVED knitting these socks! The yarn is nice and the pattern a total joy to work. I can definitely see myself knitting more of those. I love how high up they are, I love the lace detail on the top and all the twisted stitches just look so nice. I had begun knitting this before I left for Iceland but I finished the pair there.

Next up is a pair that I cast on on Christmas Eve or should I say the yarn is one I used to cast on on Christmas Eve. I was going to knit ‘Twas the night before Christmas by Little Bobbins Knits and after knitting the cuff and the first pattern repeat I had to surrender to reality and change pattern. This yarn was way too busy for such a delicate pattern. So I ripped everything out and lucky for me, as a patron of the Bakery Bears podcast I had received a pattern for Christmas from Kay called¬† And All Was Calm¬†(I think) and I swiftly cast that on. I’m not entirely satisfied with the results. I think I should have just knit a plain vanilla sock with this yarn but I didn’t have anything else as I had tried to limit my yarn on this trip and I had to cast something on so. I did like the pattern and I think I have to knit it again in a less crazy yarn or maybe even a solid yarn. This is a patron only pattern so not available on Ravelry.

Here you see a part of the sock blank which was just amazing. I got that from Joyance Fibre. She is based in Holland and she paints the most amazing sock blanks. The very busy parts on the legs are where there was a Santa Claus on the sock blank. The sock blank was beautiful, the yarn was enjoyable to work with but it just wasn’t the right yarn for this particular pattern.

IMG_0778

Here you can better see the socks and the lace pattern which is somewhat obscured by the yarn.

I had started this pair just before leaving I believe and it was the first pair I finished in Iceland. The main yarn is from Lolo Did It but I don’t remember the colorway. The contrasting yarn is from Goosey Fibres. The pattern is Caramel Apple Socks by Vanillawool. I absolutely ADORE this pattern. I love the lace pattern that knits up into a delicate sock. Such fun to work. The pattern comes in one size only, 64 stitches but can easily be adapted to a bigger size and that is what I did as I usually knit 72 stitch socks on 2.25mm needles. This pattern was really fun to knit and the lace pattern soon because memorized and I just really got into a rhythm when knitting them. I’m planning on knitting these again and I could definitely see me knit those as shorty socks for summer.

Then there is another pattern I made up myself and cast on while in Iceland. I had bought my very first skein of yarn from Molly of The Homespun House. It was one of her Christmas colorways and I really wanted to knit something with that while on holiday. I was still on a twisted rib high after my Sugarplum Fairy socks and so I went for a twisted rib sock. I did twisted rib on the front of the leg and foot only and all the way to the cast off. And I’m really pleased with the results. Just what I had in mind when I cast on.

This was on a tweed base so there are some black nepps and then lots of colored speckles on top of a light green base. I really like those.

The last pair I cast on while in Iceland was the pattern I had planned on knitting on Christmas Eve; the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Little Bobbins. As the yarn I had planned for that pattern did not work out, I had gone to a LYS (and I’ll share all about that in a future post) but unfortunately I wasn’t able to buy any sock yarn suitable for that there. But lucky me, my cousin came for a knit afternoon on December 30th and she so generously gifted me a skein of yarn! A beautiful skein of yarn from a new to me Icelandic dyer! The dyer is called Dottir Dyeworks and her yarn was beautiful. I have yet to visit her shop and discover more about her and her yarns but the one I got was perfect. Of course I had to cast on for a new pair of socks and this was the perfect yarn for Little Bobbins pattern.

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern and the yarn went perfectly with it. I finished this pair shortly after getting back home.

While in Iceland I did also work on my 2nd Avenue Wrap by Amy Miller. That wrap is huge and it is taking me FOREVER to finish.

IMG_0757

While in Iceland I knit from the little blue marker to the top. Not a huge deal but then I was all about the socks! I have since knit a little bit more on this and am now in the next section which is knit in the black sparkle yarn. I did change the stitch pattern. I was supposed to be like in the grey section at the top; a mix of stockinette and garter stitch. I chose to knit like a seed stitch or something similar just to maintain some interest as this is somewhat boring to knit. I’m knitting this entirely out of singles yarns that I have dyed myself EXCEPT for the pink yarn which is a singles I purchased from another dyer. The pink is also the only yarn that does not have sparkle. I think this will be such a great piece once it’s done. I can really see myself wearing this and wrapping up both inside and out. But it is looooooong to knit….

Since I came home I have been knitting mostly on socks! A shocker I know! But I also have started a shawl and two sweaters.

I think this will be all for today. I hope you have enjoyed coming back and spending some time with me today. Next time I will share my knitting objectives for 2018 so stay tuned.

Hugs and happy knitting:)

Christmas Socks and a Murder Mystery

Hi how are you today? I hope you are doing good. Maybe you are busy getting ready for Christmas. Maybe you are feverishly knitting on all the Christmas gifts you have planned. I had not planned on doing many handmade gifts this year. I did last year. This year I only have one handknit gift and I finished that a while ago. I might add some socks to certain gifts and just take those from my box of socks. I have been putting some of my socks aside rather than directly in my sock drawer so I have a few I could gift.

And speaking of Christmas and socks, I’m currently knitting on THREE Christmas themed socks!¬† That is the yarn is Christmas themed.

First up is a sock that I’m making up myself, it’s almost a vanilla sock. There is just this tiny detail on each side of the foot to break up the monotony of the stockinette stitch.

christmas sock one

This yarn is called Vintage Christmas and is from a US dyer called The Yarn Jar. A beautiful yarn and I love the colors she chose here. These will be for me:) And they are shorty socks by the way.

Next pair is most likely going to be a gift for a friend. Again this is yarn from The Yarn Jar. And I’m just doing a plain vanilla shorty sock.

christmas sock two

I really love the colors in this one and I’m hoping I will have enough yarn for a second pair of shorty socks that I would knit with contrasting heels and toes.

And the third pair is knit in Hippo for Christmas colorway from Lolo did it. The pattern is called Sugarplum Fairy by Knitterarium. This is a fun pattern with a lace panel at the top of the leg and the rest is in twisted rib.

sugarplum fairies

I’m at the heel here and look forward to continuing on this one.

I’m also working a little bit from time to time on the Second Avenue Wrap by Amy Miller. I’m knitting it out of singles yarns. All but one are my own hand dyed singles WITH sparkle! Talk about fun! It is a big project and I’m not usually a scarf/wrap knitter so it is somewhat on my back burner but it is such a beautiful pattern and the yarns I have chosen, I love, so I’m looking forward to having it done. Even if that may be a long time to get done.

second avenue des17

The bottom is a sort of wavy thing and at the moment it is rolling up on itself. I hope I will be able to block this correctly once the wrap is done. The sparkle is not showing in this picture but there is silver stellina in all the yarns except for the pink yarn that is the main part of what I have knit so far.

I’m also working on the test knit sweater and that is taking a lot of time. It is an over sized sweater knit in pieces and I think it is going to be somewhat slow going. It is fun though and I’m looking forward to wearing the finished garment. However it is top secret so no pictures yet:)

Now something I wanted to tell you about and maybe introduce you too is a book and an author I just discovered. This past weekend I finished a book that I thought was a fun read. It is a murder mystery with some yarn and knitting involved. Two of the things I enjoy the most!

This is a murder enquiry that takes place at a stitch show where everything is all about yarn and knitting designs.¬† This book is called Malice in Wonderland and the author’s name is Hilary Latimer. At the end of the book there is some bio on the author and turns out she is not just a writer but also a pattern designer! And she sells patterns on Ravelry and she also has some books out that can be bought on Amazon! How amazing is that?

Hilary has a group on Ravelry called Criminal knits …for the serial knitter in all of us. She has kals and seems like the group is a fun one to join.¬† So if you, like me, enjoy reading a nice, not too violent murder mystery with the added bonus of yarn then you should definitely check out this book and maybe even join her group on Ravelry.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a wonderful and creative week. I hope you are taking the time to enjoy your knitting as we get ready for the holidays. And if you have any knitting related books you think we might want to put on our list for Santa, I’d love to hear about them!

Happy knitting:)

And the winner is…

Hi there, today I only have a quick winner announcement to make as I have drawn for the winner for the Coffee with CC and Dami too giveaway.

I would have liked to see more people take part but hey, this just means those who did have a better chance of actually winning!

So drum rolls please:….

And the winner of the ebook Coffee with CC and Dami too is…post number 4 which is Tiffany Kornberg or whatanovelidea on Ravelry. Congratulations Tiffany, I will notify CC and she will gift you the ebook on Ravelry as soon as possible.

I hope you will enjoy the book and maybe share your future knits with me:)

To all the other participants, thank you for taking part. Next month’s maker will be a yarn dyer so again there will be soon be an exciting new giveaway to take part in.

Have a wonderful week and enjoy your knitting ūüôā