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.

damejakke 14feb

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.

 

Akane 14feb

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 – there 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  – If 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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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 🙂