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 🙂

Maker of the Month – Part two

Hi there, I hope you are doing good since yesterday. Being Thursday today I sort of feel like the week is coming to an end as always on Thursdays. I sort of start counting down to Friday night when I can finally relax some and enjoy more knitting time.

I hope you enjoyed yesterdays post and interview with my friend CC of JavaPurl Designs. Today is the second half of my feature on her and her work and today is all about her new book which will be officially launched tomorrow March 10th at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

This second book of CCs is co-authored with her daughter Dami and includes 7 patterns, 5 socks, 1 wrap and fingerless mitts. The book is available both as a physical book and as an ebook. You can purchase her physical book at EYF if you are one of the lucky attendees or you can go to her website . The ebook can be purchased on Ravelry and the individual patterns from the book will be released on March 12th – for those who only want to buy one or two patterns.

This second book is called Coffee with CC (and Dami too) and has 7 coffee inspired patterns. Five of those are designed by CC herself and 2 by her daughter Dami who is not yet 18! So impressive! I would never have been able to design let alone publish a pattern at that age.

coffee with cc and dami too

If you read yesterday’s post you will have gathered that I’m a fan of CC and her patterns and you will have gotten some insight into the person behind these amazing creations. And if for some reason you have not read the post and her interview, I recommend you stop for a few minutes, read the post, and then come back here for the book review.

As always CC’s patterns are very clearly written out leaving no room for hesitations or errors. All the sock patterns are written both cuff down and toe up which I find amazing. That is two times the work for the designer for double the pleasure for us knitters. Whatever our preference when it comes to knitting socks, we are sure to find the pattern and instructions we need.

The patterns are graded by difficulty level which are indicated by the number of coffee cups. One cup is light, two is medium and three is strong. This will help you gauge each pattern better and if you are a new or newer knitter you can work your way through the book from the easiest to the most difficult one and come out a hero:)  Just saying 🙂

CC has also teamed up with indie dyers for this book and so each pattern features a gorgeous hand dye yarn making the pattern pictures that much yummier.  The photography is beautiful and the overall feeling when browsing the book is one of well being. That may sound strange given that I’m reviewing a book but what I mean is that it’s a friendly, relaxed book that makes you want to knit every single pattern and not only that, but it makes you feel you can!

Clearly I cannot say enough good things about this book and I do want to knit every single pattern in there. I felt the same way about her first book and I did start to knit the patterns from that one but have not finished yet as I tend to be constantly distracted but I will knit them all and the same goes for this one and I’m planning to start after Sock Madness. Would you be interested in doing a yearlong kal? Something very relaxing, just knit at our own speed as we knit all the patterns in either this or last years book? Or better yet, a mix of both? No need to commit to knitting 14 patterns but if you want to knit a few let me know in the thread on Ravelry that I have created in my group.

And now onto the individual patterns.

CC Babyccino_Main_small2 These are the Babyccino Socks designed by Dami. I love the stitch pattern she chose and the fact that you could knit a pair for every member of your family as they come sized from baby to adult!

CC Chai_Latte_Main_small2 These are the Chai Latte socks. Again a fun stitch pattern and it works perfectly with a self striping yarn. I love self striping yarns but most of the time I only do plain vanilla socks when using a self striping yarn. Having the option of a fun patterned sock that is tailored to a self striping pattern is amazing and I think it will make the knitting only that much more fun.

CC Espresso_Con_Panna_main_small2 The Espresso Con Panna socks. Again CC has used a textured pattern and I think this will work especially well with variegated yarns and I do have a ton of those in my stash! I also love how this one looks in this tonal yarn. I’d love to make these and I can see myself doing this pattern in all kinds of yarns because I think the end result will be so different depending on the type of yarn I choose (crazy variegated, subtle tonal or solid).

CC Hot_Chocolate_Main_small2 The Hot Chocolate with pink marshmallows speaks to me louder than the others because unlike CC I’m not a coffee drinker! I know, I know! But I do love a good hot chocolate 🙂 The pattern has a beautiful X and O pattern and I think it is best shown off when knit in a tonal or solid yarn and that’s what I plan on doing.

CC Instant_Coffee_Main_small2 The Instant Coffee socks. Again a very fun stitch pattern that works beautifully with a tonal or solid yarn. It looks super  yummy and textural. They say it is as easy as making instant coffee so this might become a new substitute for vanilla socks in the future.

CC Fingerless_Mitts_main_small2 1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots fingerless mitts. How fun are these ? You have three designs in one as you can choose how far up your arm the mitts go and I love the cable design.

CC Flat_White_Main_small2 The Flat White Wrap. This is a beautiful  lace design shown here as a wrap but CC does explain that this can be modified to become a skinnier wrap, a scarf or even a cowl. That is a very versatile pattern and I think I might make the cowl version myself as I’m not a fan of scarf knitting and I think a wrap would be trying on my patience and I might put it aside to cast on some socks and then have a hard time picking it up again. So yes I’ll do the cowl.

Those are the beautiful patterns in CC and Dami’s new book being released tomorrow. I highly recommend you buy this book. The ebook is 19.20USD on Ravelry and that is good value for 7 designs I think.

A big  thank you to CC and Dami for gifting me their book and allowing me to review it before the official launch.

They have also generously offered to give one of you a copy of their ebook! How amazing is that? So in order to enter and be eligible to win a copy of the ebook, please leave a comment below with your Ravelry id and tell me which of these 7 patterns you love the most. I will draw for a winner Friday 17th of March. Best of luck to you and I’ll be back after the weekend. Until then, have a great weekend and enjoy your knitting.

 

A winner and a surprise giveaway

Hi there, I hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day yesterday with your loved ones.

As promised I have drawn for a winner for the Yarn Cafe Creations giveaway today and the winner will receive this skein of Pumpkin Carving in her fabulous fingering base yarn.

yarncafecreations-pumpkin-carving-2

And the lucky winner is…. Samantha! So Samantha, when you see this please contact me by either leaving a message here on the blog, by sending me a DM on Instagram or by sending me an email to knittinginfrance@gmail.com so I can get this skein to your mailbox asap!

To all the others, thank you so much for participating and no worries there will be plenty more giveaways this year.

And as a matter of fact there will be one here right now! And this one is a bit of a surprise even for me. Turns out I won Mina’s New York Sock Club ( Mina of the Knitting Expact podcast and designs) in a giveaway held by Andy of AndreSueKnits. Only being the impatient person I am, I had already purchased my membership to the club so I contacted Mina and she accepted to forward my prize to someone else and so I’m doing a giveaway.

If you are a sock knitter or want to become one, I love Mina’s patterns and want more of them, if you were thinking of signing up for the club but haven’t done so yet, this is the giveaway for you! To join it’s super simple, just leave me a comment below and tell me a little bit about your sock knitting journey (if you already are a sock knitter) or why you want to start knitting socks if you are a newbie to those.

I will draw a winner using Random Number Generator this Friday, February 17th, in the evening my time. So this is a bit of a “flash” giveaway. I hope you will join in and best of luck to everyone:)

A parade of finished objects

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are well and enjoying the time leading up to the Christmas holidays. I hope you will get a few days off to enjoy the time with your family. I get a couple of days off around the Christmas weekend so that will be a wonderful and welcome break from work.

We are not going to Iceland for Christmas and New Years this year. Most years we go to Iceland because the holidays are just more magical there and also we have more family there and Christmas is just generally  a bigger celebration there and New Years with all the fireworks is way better than here in France. Sadly this  year we will not be able to go so we will be celebrating with friends and family here in Normandy. We have set up our Christmas tree and decorations and feeling the Christmas spirit coming. This leads to gift shopping of course! I like shopping but I really do not enjoy it at this time of year. All the shops are so crowded, people everywhere. It just takes all the fun out of the shopping I think and so I have been doing my shopping online. Not as much fun but at least it’s less stressful.

But I’m not only doing store bought gifts this year. I wasn’t going to do any Christmas Gift knitting this year and then somehow I just am! No idea how that happened but here I am! So last year I knit the adults in my family hats and mittens and this year I’m doing hats and cowls and I’m knitting for the children as well. I have been knitting like a crazy person this past week and I still have a hat and a half to go plus 4 cowls!  Not to panic though because I plan to go to Iceland at the very beginning of next year and so I will be delivering my gifts in person. That gives me a few extra days which will me much needed.

So here are some pictures of what I have done so far:

img_6367-1This is the Antler hat – a free pattern on Ravelry by Tin Can Knits and I knit this out of my own hand dyed super wash merino DK yarn. It’s a fun pattern and I’m considering buying the mitten pattern that goes with this.

 

The Maryam hat by Mina Philipp – a paid for pattern on Ravlery and I used a 100% non super wash aran weight BFL yarn that I had all dyed up.

 

img_6370The Open skies hat also by Mina Philipp – a paid for pattern on Ravelry

img_6369This hat is knit out of some of my handspun yarn and I really love how the yarn knit up. I did a navajo ply so this is a 3 ply yarn and that explains the striping/colour distinction you see going on. This is about a DK weight I think. The pattern is Latu by Meiju K-P and this is a free pattern on Ravelry.

And then there is the Barley hat by Tin Can Knits- another free pattern on Ravelry

img_6368I again used my DK merino yarn for this hat and really like the outcome.

So just two more to finish! I hope these will be appreciated by the recipients.

Another project that I finished last week and that I’m super proud of are the O.W.L mittens for my daughter. This is  a Harry Potter inspired pattern that can be found in the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine by Interweave Press. I used my own hand dyed fingering weight yarn and I’m super happy with the outcome and so is my daughter. I did apprehend these a little to begin with but I was so lucky that Andrea of the Fruity Knitting Podcast did a fair isle tutorial in her last episode and that was a true revelation for me. It helped me with yarn management and knitting with one yarn in each hand and how to catch your floats impeccably. And so these actually were finished quite quickly once I had seen the tutorial.

The front is the owl and the back or palm has the spells written out.  That was a big “small” project that I’m so happy with having finished successfully.

I think that’s about all for today. This week I’m of course continuing on my gift knitting so hats and cowls for this week. I’m also working on socks, two pairs actually. One is for a new years gift and the other is a test knit that I will share with you next time.

I wish you a wonderful week and hope you have plenty of knitting time to destress before the holidays. So until next time, happy knitting and take care 🙂

My knitting, a shop update and life in general

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was just fine, mostly the same as always except that on Saturday evening I went out to dinner with my husband celebrating 23 years together! That’s actually more than half my life!

We went to a restaurant over in the next village which is very nice and we had a wonderful dinner. Every time we go out to dinner, we say we need to do so more often. But we never manage to. Life between work and family just doesn’t leave much time for restaurants or maybe it’s us and we don’t TAKE the time. Anyway, it was a welcomed change and the food was delicious.

Saturday I also took the time to do a much needed shop update. I have been dyeing a little here and there but not putting anything up in the shop. So Saturday I finally took all the pictures and labelled my yarns and the uploaded them to Etsy just yesterday, Monday. The shop has not been getting a lot of love from me lately and that has shown in less and less sales. I hope that the new yarns I put up for sale will bring a customer or two. I did a bunch of my new base, Merino Light, which is a singles yarn that is super soft and a joy to knit with. Julia of the Happy Knitting Podcast raved about this yarn in her last 2 episodes and she is about to release a new shawl design using this yarn with another fingering weight yarn. That is why I decided it might be a good time to add some more to the shop if someone wanted to knit her shawl using the same yarn.

Anyway, if you are interested in seeing my latest yarns and my shop you can click here and the link will take you to my Etsy shop.

And now on to the knitting. I feel like I have not made much progress from last week. I still haven’t finished my Dexter cardigan although I’m soooo close. And I think I can honestly say that I will finish the knitting TODAY! After all I only have a few rounds of ribbing left on my second sleeve and voila!

dexter-cardigan-sleeves

See? I’m almost there! And then I’ll need to weave in the ends and choose my buttons. This has really been an enjoyable knit and maybe that’s why I’m taking my time to finish. I don’t want to stop knitting on this. Plus the yarn is sooooo soft! I have even been thinking of casting on for a second one. But that might not be reasonable given that I have a gazillion cardigan patterns in my Ravelry library that also need knitting.

Here you can have a better look at my almost finished Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer.

I really like the outcome. I think that using a solid and a variegated yarn together gives a fun result and I think this will go well with jeans. The lace yarns I used are not cobweb fine so holding two together gives me the correct gauge even though the pattern was written for a fingering weight yarn. I used 2 different variegated skeins, one for the body and another one for the sleeves. The one in the sleeves was very pastel coloured and muted so when looking at pictures you can hardly see anything but  grey. When looking at the cardigan up close the sleeves look like a muted version of the body so that is just perfect. So if you are looking for a simple and yet fun cardigan to knit, I can definitely recommend this pattern.

I have also been knitting on another Harry Potter knit for my daughter. I’m knitting a pair of socks and the pattern is called Dragon’s Egg. It’s actually designed for men so I’m knitting the smallest size and yet it looks quite big. I’m turning the heel now and once that’s done, I’m going to have her try them on to see if she wants me to continue or if this is just way too big for her.

This is a highly patterned knit so I need some quiet to concentrate and follow the pattern. I chose a yarn that I purchased a while ago and haven’t had the chance to use up until now. I saw this yarn on Etsy and just had to buy it but once I got it, my excitement dwindled quite quickly. It’s a stellina yarn but the stellina is actually harsh. It’s strange. My stellina bases are super soft and you can’t tell by touching if you are touching the merino or the stellina and I honestly thought that was how all stellina yarns were. Until I got this one… And because the yarn is hash and not enjoyable to the touch, I haven’t been making the progress I was hoping to. I don’t really enjoy knitting with this yarn and so I have to make myself pick this up to continue. And it’s a shame. Even worse, I purchased 3 skeins total in this base. All gorgeous colours but….This yarn can only be used for socks because way to harsh for a shawl and even mittens I think. The yarn company is called Lanitium ex Machina and they are on Etsy. Of course, I have only tried this one base from them so I can’t speak about any of their other yarns, but this one is definitely not for the sensitive knitter.

Anyway here are some pictures of where I’m at now and you will agree, I think, that the yarn is beautiful….to look at 🙂

 

I also cast on for something new. I have this new niece that is to be born in December and I really want to knit her something but I have been having like a “knitters block”. I have been browsing the web looking for cute baby patterns and I have found some of course and then I cast on, only to rip everything out after a few rounds. Just not feeling it. That is, util I saw a post on Instagram. I follow a few Scandinavian knitwear designers and I think their really look different and feel so fresh and just generally speak to me. And so I saw this post with pictures of a onesie by a designer I have never heard of. I liked it so much I immediately clicked through to Ravelry and bought the pattern.

Its called Trilitunge Newborn Onesie and it is gorgeous! I found a beautiful yarn in my stash from Cascade, Cascade Heritage which is a merino and mulberry silk blend. The colour is a beautiful turquoise which I feel can work for both boys and girls. I’m going to put in pink buttons and I think that will be just perfect.

I have of course cast on and I’m just past the underarms. The construction was a little confusing to begin with but now that I’m this far it’s actually easy to understand and the stitch pattern is easily memorised. So far I’m really enjoying this knit. I’m knitting the second size, 1-3 months. I think I’ll then knit a pair of socks and maybe a hat and voila! I have taken some pictures of this but because of the construction, the front being open, it’s not easy to picture at this stage but I hope you get the picture.

 

The second picture shows the back. So you see you have these cables on each side and a lace pattern for the front and back. I think this is really beautiful and I wish this was written in more sizes but the I guess one could maybe just go up a needle size or two for a somewhat bigger onesie.

That’s about it for my knitting. I haven’t yet decided what I’ll knit one once my Dexter is done! I have a gazillion single socks that need mates, another gazillion just started or half done socks. Not to mention a close to finished sweater and a cardi that needs to either be done with or ripped out! Somehow I’m not being inspired by all these and I’m thinking maybe I’ll just cast on something completely new. Like a shawl design by Romi Hill for which I actually bought a kit from Miss Babs yarns!

The shawl is called Simee Dimeh and its a gorgeous mosaic knitting shawl design. I’ve never done mosaic knitting and the idea of diving into something new to me with lots of gorgeous colours sounds so enticing. Just sitting here and writing about this, I’m getting more and more excited about this so most likely you’ll be seing that shawl next time I blog:)

Here’s a picture from Romi’s pattern page on Ravelry

simee-r1-sm_medium2

Doesn’t this look gorgeous! These are actually the colours that I chose for my kit. Have you knit this pattern by any chance? Or have you maybe done some mosaic knitting? I’d love to hear from you on that and see pictures if you have made this shawl or something similar.

Well, that’s about all for today I think. I need to finish my Dexter and wind up some new yarns before work! Oh and on the subject of work! If you have been following me here for a while, you will know that I have a full time job in addition to my Etsy shop. I like the company I work for, I like the industry I work in but the actual job itself…I feel I’ve sort of done it all, seen it all and I really want to change but it’s not easy. I’ve been doing this for so long that even imagining doing something else is difficult. It’s as if doing this same job for X years had somehow stripped me of any and all other capacities and I can’t even think  what I might be good at or what type of job I should apply for. Has this happened to you? Maybe I’m going through some midlife crisis here but I really feel I need to challenge myself and take on something new and exciting. I’m sure there are a million things I can do and as many if not more that I can learn to do. I know that. But actually putting those thoughts/things on paper and find this new and exciting job opportunity seems out of my reach at the moment. I need to motivate myself, reassure myself and throw myself out there for all recruiters to see! So if you have knowledge of an exciting job I could apply for and do from my home in Normandy, I’m all ears!

Sorry if today’s post was too personal or too much rambling for your opinion. Usually my posts are really knitting focused so this is not a typical post. I apologise if this bothered your.

Thank you for stopping by my little blog today and for sharing some of your precious time with me. I really appreciate that. I have gotten some heartwarming messages from readers saying how much they love my blog and encouraging me to continue and I really appreciate that.

So until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting 🙂

A Sweater, a scarf and a pair of socks

The title is not a wish list or even a want to knit list. Not the title is actually a list of WHATS OFF MY NEEDLES! Can you believe that?

Oups, I’m so excited that I actually forgot to say hi! So, lets begin again.

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you are doing good and that you had a wonderful weekend and that your week is looking to be a good one too.

Here in Normandy we had a sunny weekend and so far it continues to be sunny but the air has cooled down considerably. A bright and sunny day no longer equals  stifling hot weather. Especially in the morning, it feels quite cool so I’m going to have to reorganise my closet and put the tshirts to the back and the sweaters and cardigans to the front. Lucky for me I have lots of hand knit woollen things:)

So back to business! Since I last posted, just over a week ago I have actually finished 3 big projects! Let me share those with you in the order of accomplishment.

So first I finished the pair of socks. The pattern is called Falling Leaves and is by Nancy Whitman and is for sale on Ravelry. I used one of my own hand dyed  yarns in a merino and bamboo base.

I enjoyed knitting this pattern and it is a fairly simple one as the patterning is only on the cuff. The rest of the sock is in 1 x 2 twisted rib. The twisted knit stitches may not be for everyones liking. Mostly twisted stitches are used in cuffs and even then I hear people complain about not liking them so if that is the case for you, you may not enjoy knitting this particular pattern as the entire sock has twisted knit stitches. If like me, you don’t mind then go ahead. The socks look really nice.

img_6076

These will either be for me or my mum. I haven’t decided just yet.

And then there was the scarf and I must admit, I still need to block it and I think I’ll steam block it rather than wash and lay out as it is really super long. I have woven in the ends and added the fringes and all and I’m quite pleased with the results and so is the recipient; my daughter. So here again, I used my own hand dyed yarn. I chose an Aran weight MCN base and I blended the colours with the help of my daughter. It was quite tricky to get the right sort of burgundy colour but I think that in the end I really did nail it! Only this was a one off, so I didn’t write down what I did so no way will I ever be able to repeat this!

Anyway, I had originally hoped she wanted a textured scarf, maybe brioche or something to make the knitting a little more interesting for me but no, she only wanted a plain stockinette scarf. It took a while to knit but not too long as the yarn is Aran weight and I knit on needles 5.50 mm or US size 9 so it did knit up quickly when I sat down to knit.

img_6071

Now that the scarf is done, I need to decide what to knit next from her list of Harry Potter inspired knitwear. On here list there are still 2 pairs of socks, 2 mittens and 2 cardigans! I will need to have her go through my stash and choose the yarn for the socks and mittens. I will then dye up for the cardigans as I know I don’t have enough of any particular yarn/colour to do them. I did not use a pattern for the scarf. I just browsed on Ravelry to see what others had done and then cast on. After all, this is a super simple project.

And then the last project to fly off my needles, and I just cast that off last night! That is the Spin Raglan sweater by Andrea Mowry. I cast that on, on September 23rd and I finished like I said last night October 3rd so super quick for an adult sized sweater I think. Of course the fact that this is an Aran weight sweater did help:)

I dyed up the yarn myself using an Aran weight base in 100% BFL, non super wash. I dyed this up in a super soft light blue/almost light grey colour. And I did a SWATCH! Amazing! Still being unsure of myself, I dyed up more yarn than I expected to need and I now have 3 full skeins left over. One has already been wound into a cake so I will use that one for a hat or mittens maybe. The other two just might find their way into the shop.

I have woven in all the ends, I just need to block it and the sweater is ready for me to wear and I’m sure I will be using it  a lot. This will be just perfect with a pair of jeans.

img_6075 I love the garter stitch shoulders detail.

I feel like I have achieved quite a lot knitting wise these past few days. I still have a ton of wips and I need to go choose one or two from the pile to give some love now. At the moment, I’m working on my daughters sweater from Drops/Garnstudio that I haven’t shown you yet. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to do. I just need to finish about half a sleeve and I’ll be ready to assemble the pieces and then knit the neck line. So that is in a project bag next to my desk just waiting to be picked up.

I also have my Brynja cardigan by the lovely Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. I think I have done something wrong so I may have to rip back and start again but that ‘s not sure so I just need to pluck up the courage to open the infamous project bag and look at what I have done so far and compare to the pattern. It is a gorgeous, aran weight winter cardigan that I know I will love and as autumn is here, I really should  pick it up and just finish once and for all.

And also in my pile of wips are a number of half done socks, just begun socks and a ton of to be knit socks and shawls. The to be knit projects are projects I definitely want to make and so I have prepared a project bag for each with the right size needles, a print out of the pattern and the yarn. All ready to go. Maybe I should not have done this because now it makes my “pile of wips” look like a mountain that I’m having a hard time climbing. So next item I take out of the mountain will have to be a half done one, not a to be knit one.

But I also have a project going that I started sometime last week I believe. It’s the Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer. It is written for fingering weight yarn but I chose to use two lace weight yarns held together. I dyed one yarn a solid grey and the other is a variegated yarn in a multitude of colours. Both yarn bases are merino and silk so super soft and the one I used for the variegation also has some stellina. I really love how the cardigan is knitting up and it is fun to see how far I can knit with just one skein of lace weight yarn. I actually dyed 3 of each yarn base, knowing I would not actually need three, but probably one and a half or so. At the moment I’ve made good progress on the body and I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough with the first skeins to finish the body. And that has brought on a new question. Should I change my plans and only do the body in the grey/variegated combo and then do neckline, button band and sleeves in solid grey? Or should I continue as I had planned and do the entire cardigan in the grey/variegated combo? What do you think?

Here’s a picture of where I’ m at now

img_6073  The colours look a bit washed out on this picture I’m sorry. Let me know what you think.

Well, I think that’s about all I have for you today. My hands felt a little tired yesterday so I think I may need to slow down a bit on my knitting as I don’t want to overdo it and not be able to knit for a few days or worse, longer than that. So I might try to just knit less each day.

Anyway I hope you have enjoyed stopping by today and seeing my projects. I do love sharing my knitting with you as where I live I don’t know any other knitters so a part from my blog and my social media, knitting wise I’m a bit alone!

I hope you have a wonderful and productive week and I look forward to posting again next week. Take care 🙂

Progress and some selfish birthday dyeing

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing good and that you had a nice weekend.

My weekend passed way quicker than I would have liked. I did get some knitting done yesterday though and that was nice. Lately I’ve been very much a semi monogamous knitter focusing most of my time and attention on the Audrey cardigan by Jane Richmond. This weekend I worked on that too and I should be finishing it this week.

I also continue working on the Harry Potter inspired stockinette scarf for my daughter. Luckily I’m knitting it in Aran weight yarn on 5.00mm/US8 needles so it does go quickly and so I usually get 4-5 inches done each time I pick it up. I have sort of left it for tv watching at night as I’m not super passionate about all this straight stockinette but little by little I’m getting there. I think I might be about 10″ short of having half the scarf done. I need to keep at it because as my daughter reminds me, I do have a ton of other Harry Potter inspired knits to do!

Last week I also picked up a  sock that I began in August but has been left in my huge basket of “wips and soon to be cast on”. It’s a pattern called Falling Leaves and it is by Nancy Whitman. It is a very simple and elegant pattern using twisted stitches. The cuff has a beautiful leaf design but otherwise it is pretty straight forward. I’m knitting it using a merino and bamboo yarn I dyed myself a while back. This is a gorgeous base, super soft and a joy to work with. I think I have just a skein or two left in the shop and I ‘m thinking I should order some more because this is a really nice yarn. Here is where I’m at currently:

img_6002

I also cast on for yet another project. This time a test knit for a shawl that was designed using my Cash’Sock base. This pattern will be published soon and the designer was kind enough to let me join the test knitters. I’m of course knitting it in my Cash’Sock base and as soon as the pattern is released I’ll be sharing pictures and more info with you on that.

But like I said my main focus has been on the Audrey cardigan. Last week I actually finished the first sleeve. But I really didn’t like it. It was much too wide and just didn’t look good so I ripped the whole thing out! Not a happy thing to do but I’m really glad I did. I then reknit the first sleeve using fewer stitches. The body of the sweater is knit in one size bigger than what I should have chosen so instead of being fitted it is quite large. When reknitting the sleeve I chose the next size down and that works perfectly. I’ve now completed the first sleeve and am close to half done with the second I think.

audrey-19sep

I’ve ordered a bunch of buttons online. I wasn’t sure what would look best with this cardigan so I’m excited for those to arrive and choose the right ones. Actually I’m really excited about finishing this cardigan and actually starting to wear it. It is a very simple pattern I think I will get lots of wear out of it. I did knit it in a size too big but that should still be ok. Also, I knit the sleeves longer than the pattern called for. Because my version will not be fitted I will be using my as a layer on top of short and/or long sleeved t-shirts and so I wanted the sleeves to be longer. I’m pretty sure I’ll knit a second Audrey and when I do, I will follow the pattern!

I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of knitting cardigans and sweaters at the moment. And it ‘s not necessarily a good thing because that means more casting on when I have this huge basket of wips just waiting for me to give them some love and FINISH them off! Usually I multitask and I knit on a number of things at a time. I also feel like I used to get more done or that I knit more than what I’m doing these days. And so now I find myself with this huge pile I’ve created and it consists of HOs and wips AND “to cast on” – projects I decided to do this summer and got the yarn wound, printed out the pattern, found the needles and notions and put everything nicely into a project bag ready to be knit. Only they haven’t been knit yet. And still I’m thinking/dreaming of new cast ons rather than tackling those that are already there ready and waiting! Don’t know whats wrong with me!!!

And so in the same line of crazy thinking, last Friday I was feeling very excited about a new project. It was my birthday and I decided I’d dye up some yarn  for myself and use to knit a new cardigan of course.

I felt like dyeing lace weight yarn that I will then knit held double. I used two base yarns, both a mix of merino and silk so super soft. And one of the blends has silver stellina for some glitz!

I decided to dye one yarn in a semi solid grey

img_6009-1   This is the merino and silk base and then I dyed the merino/silk/stellina base as a variegated yarn using lots of different colours. I used 4 colours per skein but due to the technique involved some of those blended into yet another colour. I dyed each skein individually and used different colours so none of the 3 skeins I dyed looks the same.

I think this will make the project even more fun. So I have 3 semi solid grey skeins and 3 variegated skeins which should be more than enough for a cardigan.

At first I had thought of doing the Jih sweater by Isabelle Kramer which is actually written for lace weight yarn held double – hence my inspiration for dyeing lace weight yarn.

But now I’m not so sure. I’m rather leaning towards Dexter which is a cardigan also designed by Isabelle Kramer. Or maybe even the Madewell by Joji. I have a ton of patterns in my Ravelry library that I want to knit…. But still; I’m 90% sure I’ll be doing the Dexter cardigan.

So what do you think of my pattern and yarn choice? Do you think the grey+variegated will look good? Or am I delusional?

Are you working on a garment at the moment? I’d love to hear/see what you are knitting/crocheting these days.

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today. I hope you will have a wonderful new week and may it bring you lots of knitting time and happiness:)

Pattern purchase crazyness

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer/winter (depending on where you are in the world). Here in Normandy the weather has not been very summery these last few days but this afternoon there is a glimpse of sun so maybe, just maybe we will get some nice summer days this weekend. That would be very nice.

I’d like to thank those of you who have sent me kind words and well wishes both here on the blog and on other social media. I’m almost half done with my 4 week treatment and I’m doing good. This is an intensive therapy for the back so my days are full of treatments and sports. It is difficult for someone who is used to being every sedentary like myself but I see progress already so that’s positive and everyone is very attentive to how we are doing and exercises are adapted on a need be basis. So all good news on the health front:)

So before coming here, I packed a certain number of knitting projects but finally I’m not knitting as much as I thought I would be. I don’t have so much free time and in the evenings I admit I’m quite tired so I usually don’t last very long. At the moment I’m working on the same 3 projects as last week.

I’m on square number 4 on my Pinwheel blanket

square 4 pinwheel blanket

I’m still working on my sock pattern test. I finished sock number 1 and I’m about to start the heel on sock number 2. I’m not yet at liberty to show you pictures but here is one of the yarns I’m using.

colors in sock knitting testThe main color is the blue/grey one (top right), the cuff/heel/toe is the bright yellow. Both these yarns are on my SPARKLES base. The little yarn balls are Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails in different colours for the color patterning.

The result is a pair of very colourful and fun socks. I did run into trouble with the heel and toe so I used my “normal” toe on sock 1 and the heel is a mix of the pattern instructions and my own “normal” heel. It is a bit wonky but I was too lazy to rip it out and begin again. After all, I think I knit and ripped out the heel at least 4 times before just going with what I understood! So for sock number 2 I’m not complicating matters and I’m just going with my “normal” heel and toe. The look is very similar so it should not be a problem and should not be super apparent when wearing the socks.

And then there is the cardigan, Risen by Melanie Berg. I’ve separated for the sleeves and am now knitting the body. So far I really like the pattern. The collar/neckline has a very nice stitch pattern and I think this could become a piece of clothing that I will use a lot. I’m already thinking this could be great to have in different colours.

risen cardigan 3augThis picture was taken just before I put the sleeves on hold so I’m a bit further along now. I’m not going to cast on anything new until I have finished my sock test knitting and then I’m going to cast on for the Gilmore Girls socks.

 

I did a kit with CC Almon of the Geeky Girls Knit podcast/JavaPurl Designs and I dyed a skein of yarn for myself.  CC and VeganJilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast are hosting a Gilmore Girls kal which started August 1st and runs until September 31st I believe. You do not have to knit using this particular yarn or pattern but IF you knit CC’s pattern  I believe you get extra points for the kal. Both groups on Ravelry have threads, the chatter thread is in the Knitting Broomstick group and the FO thread is in the Geeky Girls Knit group. So if  you like the Gilmore Girls show you should definitely join in. The pattern by CC can be found on Ravelry and is called Where you lead I will follow and here are a couple of pictures of the socks knit up in my yarn.

Now on the my latest acquisitions. As the title of this blog post indicates there has been some pattern purchase craziness going on! I don’t know if it is being away from everyone and having more time to browse the internet than usual or what but….I have bought loads of patterns lately! My last purchases were done on August 1st and although I did go slightly mad, to my defence, I did make use of coupon 7, patterns from Joji and amazingly they are all for cardigans! I guess I’m feeling very much like knitting up a wardrobe which is unusual as I mostly knit shawls and socks. But who can resist Joji’s patterns and her cardigans are all gorgeous. I already own a ton of her patterns; most of which I have yet to knit (can one talk about having a “pattern stash”?)

pattern purchases

Joji is having a special sale on all her independently published patterns until August 5 so you still have a few hours to make good use of her offer. You get -20% off her patterns using coupon code: jojifallkal

And then there is Andrea Mowry  which like I said before is a new to me designer. She has a number of very nice patterns that I can see myself knitting and wearing and she too is having a sale. I bought 5 of her patterns. 1 slipper socks, 2 shawls, 1 cowl and 1 hat. All very exciting patterns that I hope to knit up this coming winter. Andrea’s sale runs until August 7th and she offers -33% off her patterns using coupon code: bday33

I highly recommend you check out both Ravelry stores as I’m pretty sure you will find at least one pattern, if not 10, that you would like to make and getting them at a discounted price just makes the purchase even more exciting:)

That’s about all I have for you today. The weekend is coming up so I will have some more free time to knit and continue spinning also. I hope to finish my test sock this weekend so I can cast on for the Gilmore Girls socks. I’m donating a prize for the kal and you can find info on that by watching either or even better, both, podcasts: Geeky Girls Knit and The Knitting Broomstick. Do let me know if you are joining in and tell me what pattern and yarn you have chosen.

And before I leave you, here are a few pictures of some sights from my surroundings. The pink house is the family home of Mr Christian DIOR!

 

 

A weekend of discounted shopping

Hi there, at last it is Friday! Youpi! If you are in the USA you are probably on vacation as it is Thanksgiving but for those of us living elsewhere there is no holiday so we are just thankful that the weekend is almost here!

So yes this is a weekend of good buys everywhere! And I want to be part of the fun so I’m offering -20% off all my in stock items as of now and until midnight Sunday 29th of November in my Etsy shop. Just use the coupon code BLACK20 upon check out.

And today, Friday 27th of November is the last day of the Indie Designer Giftalong 2015 on Ravelry so you should definitely check out the patterns there if you haven’t done so yet. I bought a ton of patterns the first day and since then I must admit that I have been back a few times and even as I’m writing this, I have a few more patterns in my cart that I’m going to purchase before the end.

So you could buy a few gorgeous patterns on a discount today and then buy the yarn/stitch markers/needles you need to make those, from my shop this weekend:)

 

I have finished one of my Giftalong projects- the Fernie hat by Kate Bostwick. I used a worsted weight yarn from Eden Cottage Yarns.

 

I really love the hat and I think I might do another one for myself.

I’m going to cast on for a few more Giftalong patterns in the coming weeks such as more hats, mittens, socks and at least one shawl.

Today’s post is short but sweet. I just wanted to remind you of the Giftalong coming to an end if you haven’t had the time to check it out yet and also let you know about my special offers in the shop this week if you want to try out my yarns or other items I offer in the shop.

 

Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you make lots of good shopping deals (if that is on your program). Take care and enjoy your weekend:)

 

Pattern bonanza or the Indie Designer Gift-a-long 2015

Hi there, last time I posted about the Indie Designer Gift-a-long 2015 on Ravelry which I was excited about participating in for the first time this year. Well the Indie GAL was launched last night. I had already taken a peek at the 325 designers participating this year and added a number of patterns to my cart. Some of the patterns, I realized, I had only just purchased which was a bit of a bummer as I could have waited a few days for the discount but hey… that’s what I get for being impatient! Especially when I know that I’m buying because I MUST have the pattern and not because I’m CASTING ON immediately.

Anyway, I’ve totally indulged myself these last 2-3 days because I’ve not only participated in the Indie designer GAL but I’ve also joined Curious Handmade Knitvent 2015.

And before I tell you all about my GAL patterns let me just touch on the the KNITVENT. I think this is the second year that Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade launches a Christmas collection called Knitwent where she publishes one pattern per week for 6 weeks and of course there is a KAL going on etc. Here is how Helen describes the Knitvent on Ravelry:

“The 2015 Knitvent collection is inspired by the special radiance of winter. As the days grow shorter, light becomes something precious. Imagine the dazzle of sunlight on snow and the gleam of firelight through the frosted windows of a log cabin. Think fairy lights twinkling behind a row of icicles, and the glow of candles on the dinner table. I’ve tried to capture all that glimmering brightness and warmth in this year’s designs.

Knitvent is the Curious Handmade community’s beloved holiday tradition. Together we enjoy the sweet suspense of an advent calendar and conjure up the community spirit of a mystery knit along, with a new design to discover and knit each week. All of the patterns are ideal for gifting, but chances are you’ll cast on at least one for yourself (you deserve it!)

  • The collection will feature six beautiful accessory patterns.
  • The first design will arrive on the 5th of November, and you’ll be sent updates each Thursday as each pattern is released.

There will be chatter, fun, support, and prizes in the Ravelry group. It’s really exciting, and a brilliant way to bring an extra bit of magic to your holiday knitting”

So far 3 patterns have been published, all gorgeous, and I’m going to try to knit at least one of the 6 patterns during the KAL to actually be able to say that I did join in the fun. Are any of you participating in her Knitvent this year? If so, are you already knitting on one of the patterns and would you like to share a picture with us here? That would be super nice 🙂

And now on to the Indie Designer Gift-a-long 2015. I don’t know how many designers participated last year but this year they are 325 and I find that super impressive. You have a mix of both well known and established designers as well as totally unknown (to me at least) designers. You can choose from both knit and crochet patterns and they span all possible projects imaginable. So if you are dreaming of a new pattern or looking for something special to knit this is definitely the time to check out and join this GAL. I’m going to knit some of the patterns I just bought now so I can join in the KALs and be eligible for a prize because there are a number of incredible prizes to be won and those will be drawn at random from FOs from participants in the KALs.

Now what did I buy? Hm, actually quite a lot… more than my wallet had accepted but….what’s done is done so I’m not going to scold myself and just enjoy all these gorgeous new patterns!

I bought 1 sock pattern – 5 hat patterns – 2 shawls – 1 mitten pattern – 1 pullover pattern or a total of 10 patterns.

Some of these I’m going to knit asap to gift for Christmas and at the same time join in the KALs.  I’m going to knit at least 2 hats and 1 pair of mittens before Christmas and maybe some more but not sure because I have recently bought so many incredible patterns that I’ve already got lined up and am anxious to cast on for.

I’m just going to list the names of the patterns and designers I bought from and then later as I knit them I’ll share pictures with you.

Jump to the left socks by Fiona Hamilton-Maclaren

Riparian shawl

Nougat pullover

Sand bank hat   –  all three by Justyna Lorkowska

Loop shawl by Casapinka

Fernie hat

Kicking Horse Mittens by Kate Bostwick

Tempano hat

Coriander hat both by Carol Feller

And then one last hat which was actually not part of the GAL but I bought it anyway because I want to knit it for my grandmother for Christmas

Flavia tam by Beth Kling

That’s all 10 just from today! Wow! I think I have outdone myself in pattern purchases this month! So what about you? Please tell me you too have gone overboard buying patterns this month or that you are just about to. I’d love to hear if you are joining the GAL and what patterns you have purchased or are thinking of buying. So please do share 🙂

 

That’s all for today. Just one more thing before saying goodbye, the Birthday gift-a-long I’m organising, I’m going to work on preparing the questionnaires for the participants this weekend hopefully so if someone wants to join in it’s still time.

That’s all for today. Happy Friday to you! Enjoy your weekend, if you are knitting on the Doodler like I am then happy knitting clue nr 3.

Take care:)