A new week

Hi there, how are you? Been knitting a lot? I have been knitting consistently but I’m not able to show you everything because one of the projects  I have been knitting a lot on is a secret test knit.

I have been trying to finish certain things lately and so I have limited myself to a small number of projects to work on because I really want them to be done before I cast on for new projects.

So this past week I have worked on 3 things: a shawl, a cardigan and a sweater.

The shawl is the A Girl’s Best Friend by Isabelle Kraemer. I really love this pattern. I had seen a lot of knitting podcasters knit this and I really wanted to get this on the needles and I’m finding it to be such a joy to knit. I’m also super happy with the three yarns I chose, two single ply yarns one of which is my own hand dyed and then one 4 ply yarn from Madeleinetosh. I really love how the yarns knit up and how the colors go together. I’m pretty sure I will get a lot of wear out of this shawl when it’s done.

girls best friend

I’m almost done. I’m on the last section which is a sort of ribbing and I’m knitting that part in the Madelinetosh yarn. The grey is my yarn and the pink is Woolberry Fibre Co. So I have about 2 1/2″ of knitting to go on this but the rows are super long so this will take a few hours to finish.

I should finish this week and when I do, I’m going to cast on for the Baubles shawl by Andrea Mowry. I dyed some luscious yarn for this already in an alpaca/silk/linen blend so I’m excited to get that on the needles but I’m being serious so not casting on till my other shawl is done!

Then I have been working on my test knit as I said. It is a top down, seamless sweater with a lace yoke. I’m knitting it using Holst Garn Tides which is a wool and silk blend. I’m totally head over heels with Holst garn now. It is such a joy to work with and the price is just amazing! It is so much less expensive than many commercially produced yarns and they have so many colors to choose from. When I go to their website I just want to buy 10 balls of every single shade they have!

And then I have done one good/serious thing this past week. I actually picked up a wip from my pile of wips/shame! I can hardly believe it myself! And oh I’m so happy I did!

So I picked up my Veronika Cardigan by Shannon Cook. This is an oversized cardigan/wrap knit on an aran weight yarn. It is knit almost all in one piece and it is so simple! I think I’m about half way done now and I’m hoping I will be able to finish in the next two weeks. This is not really the appropriate garment for the upcoming season but I will get  a lot of use from this come autumn and next winter.

The yarn I’m using is Waltham from Kettle Yarn Co. I had bought this yarn for something else, a cardigan by another designer but I had some issues with the pattern and as I was about halfway done I ripped the whole thing out and decided to keep the yarn for something else. And I’m so happy I did because it is perfect for this Veronika cardigan.

I have other sweaters in my pile of wips that really need working on so once Veronika is done I’m hoping I will pick up another one and get that done but I have a little creeping doubt that might not happen immediately. Why? Well, because I’m about to cast on for another sweater test knit – that is as soon as I finish my second sleeve on the current one. And then I want to cast on for a second Flea cardigan- this time for my mum. And I just bought and received a kit for a sweater.

I usually do not buy indie dyed kits because they are usually out of my budget but for some reason I was unable to resist this time. The sweater is the Alyeska by Caitlin  Hunter. I already had the pattern and when I saw this kit from Olann I just went ahead and purchased it!

I have never had yarn from Olann before so this is exciting too. The kit is a mix of singles and one skein of mohair yarn. I’m really looking forward to knitting this and I’m trying to convince myself I need to wait and maybe have this as my summer vacation knit. That would be fun AND in the meantime I would work on something else from my pile of wips.

alyeska kit

This is the kit. How beautiful is this! I bought the biggest kit even if I do not need to knit the biggest size but I was just worried otherwise I might not have enough yarn or something.

So that was a big splurge!

This week I’m going to finish (hopefully) my shawl so I can cast on for the Baubles next week. I also have to finish my current sweater test knit and I’m about 40% done with sleeve two now so that will not be an issue and then I’ll go on to the new test knit. So then I will have one shawl and one sweater on the needles plus my Veronika cardigan. I think I should work on my sock club socks along with those projects so I get both pairs done by the end of the month. That would be a good idea, rather than cast on for a new garment but I know resisting will be tough.

And one more thing before I leave you today. I have not forgotten my Spring Challenge. I’m going slowly, slower than I had expected. I have created a page here on the blog for this where you can read about what I’m doing and comment and share what you are doing too.  I’m currently thinking about the type of supplies I will need to start working on the re-organization. Boxes I think for the yarn and I’m currently trying to find something for the knitting needle organization so if you have a good idea, do share. I have created a board on my Pinterest page for storage solutions so if you are interested do take a look.

I think this is all for today. Thank you for stopping  by. Have a great rest of the week and happy knitting 🙂

In a bit of a stand still

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The US stash enhancement

Hi there, so as promised here is my haul report!

When I went to California I knew I would not be able to resist yarn buying. I knew I would have to buy something if only to save on shipping! But I also did not want to buy just anything. I wanted to buy things I might have a hard time finding in France or Europe. In the end I bought way more than I should have and I now feel somewhat guilty of having used this much money on yarn and knitting stuff. But hey, I’m not in the US on a regular basis so I’m just going to enjoy and try to resist yarn buying for a while…

My very first purchase was a silly one because I bought two skeins of Regia Pairfect and this is a yarn that can be found in Europe and frankly I found it rather expensive in the US but for some reason I was unable to resist.

So I have already knit a pair for my son with one of the balls. The one on the right is for myself. I really like the patterning on this one.

knit picks felici

I also knew that I had to try some Knit Picks Felici self striping sock yarn. I see a lot of pictures of Felici yarn and socks and this yarn is not sold in France and I believe it is hard to come by in Europe. it’s also not expensive so I had to try. I bought a set of 4 balls which is enough for 2 pairs – you need two 50 gr balls per pair.

I also fell for a couple of skeins from the Legacy Fibre Artz on Etsy, Chelsea and Sue. I saw one of their podcast episodes while in the US and really liked the yarn they showed and decided to take a look if they had some in their shop. They did.

legacy fibres  And I love the sheep enamel pin – a sheep in socks how cute is that?

Then I heard that my friend and designer Nancy Whitman was having a “going out of business” sale and I had to take a look. I ended up making two orders from her and I got a lot of beautiful yarn at an amazing price.

So from left to right: Claudia hand painted and I have started a sock as you can see, Araucania and Malabrigo – both are sock yarns, Madeleinetosh Sock, Madeleinetosh Tosh Light

I rarely buy Madeleinetosh because of the high price point but on the sale I got some at 30% off and the rest 40%. Too good to passe up on.

The Madeleinetosh yarns I’m going to use for shawls mostly I think. I’m thinking of doing the A girl’s best friend shawl by  Isabelle Kramer. That uses 3 yarns I believe and then I’m looking into other three color shawls for the rest.

And then there are the project bags! So I watch a lot of podcasts and I’m always drooling over yarns and project bags and I finally let myself be totally enabled and I bought a few!

These two bags are from By the Bay Yarn on Etsy. These are sturdy canvas bags that somewhat resemble the famous Fringe Supply bags. They are beautifully made drawstring bags with a handle and two inside pockets. The pink one is a medium size and I have my Midnight Sherbet wrap in that. It is big enough for a sweater project though. And the purple one is the large size and that one is really huge. Would be great for a sweater or a blanket project.  I’m super happy with these two bags and the price is great too, so is the service and fast shipping. I truly recommend these if you are looking for quality project bags.

I was also enabled by the famous Andrea Mowry but I subscribe to her newsletter and in one of those she was promoting Madder Root bags and so I totally fell for those too.

madder root

I got a small and a medium. The pattern is like knit stitches. These are sturdy bags and take a lot of yarn. What I especially like about these is the clip on the top. You can clip them shut and so hang them from your wrist or as I did while travelling, hang them from your hand bag/carry on. Brilliant!

The last bag purchase I made was actually from Norway and I got that when I came home but as it is part of this recent haul I think it deserves to be mentioned. This is a Norwegian company and I was totally enabled by Skeindeer Knits on one of her episodes. She showed this bag and I just had to have the same! I even chose the same red color!

plystre bag

This is a canvas bag with a leather strap and I think this can be used as a regular handbag as well, not just a project bag. I like the front pocket which is quite big and can keep your wallet and phone or knitting notions. The interior has various pockets including one with 3 eyelets for knitting stranded colorwork without getting your yarns in a total mess. The company that makes these is called Plystre. They have just come out with a bigger bag that is a backpack and I really like that one too.

And to finish of, I was also gifted some yarn! I was able to meet up with a dear friend who is also a celebrity but he works with Cat Bordhi and organises knitting retreats with her all over the world. Cat and Jim have used my hand dyed yarns when they do retreats in Iceland and this was the first time we actually met in person.

Jim used to own his own yarn company that was called Frog Tree Yarns. He still has some yarn left and he gifted me two skeins of sport weight yarns and I think I will make socks with those, or mittens or hats.

frog tree

And a pack of 10 skeins of fingering weight de haired llama yarn! Ultra soft and amazing yarn! I think I will knit a stole or something special with that.

So as you can see, I have made quite a lot of purchases. So this means even more yarn and notions to organise as I embark on my Spring Cleaning Challenge! More on that soon!

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my purchases.

Happy knitting!

My works in progress

Hi there, how are you? It’s Easter weekend here now and I hope you are having some time off from work and just enjoying some nice relaxing time with your family and friends, lots of chocolate at hand as well as your knitting.

Last time I blogged I did not have the time to show you all of my current wips or the post would just have been way too long and I don’t want to abuse your precious time so I decided to share those with you now.

First up, I’m test knitting a sock for KBJ Designs, an Australian designer. This is the fourth time I test knit for her I think and the third sock pattern.

IMG_1150

This pattern is really beautiful and keeps your interest all the time. It is a pattern that you need to follow so maybe not one you can work on in front of a complicated film or at an animated knit night. But oh so enjoyable.

I’m using yarn from Lolo Did It called Hippo for Thanksgiving and I really like how that is knitting up. I was afraid the speckles might obscure the stitch pattern but I think it’s ok.

Then there is my Midnight Sherbet by Kingfisher Knits. I’m knitting this one using my own organic merino DK yarn that I dyed specially for this pattern. I’m about 80% done so really looking forward to coming to the end of this one. There is like a lozenge pattern in the middle of the wrap but I chose not to include that and just knit straight on and then continue the cable that goes all through the length of the wrap. This is a two color brioche wrap so if you want to practice brioche knitting this is a  pattern I would highly recommend.

The pink side is the front and the blue is the back but really this is totally  reversible so both can be fronts. The cable is showing up better on the pink side as the yarn is lighter.

I also started a new shawl while I was in California, I chose the Across the Pond by Mina Philip of the Knitting Expat. I have had this pattern in my Ravelry library for a long time and I knew I wanted to knit this. I dyed up some of my Back to Basics fingering weight yarns especially and cast on while in the US.

I’m not very far on and the stitches are all scrunched up on my needles but you at least see the color and the patterning. I still have a lot of repeats to do of this main section and then there is a lace border and I dyed up a light silver color for that. I think this will look really nice once it’s done.

And then there is my first colorwork, steeked cardigan. I had almost finished in February before leaving for the US. When I came home I knit the button bands and prepared the steek. Here are a couple of pictures but I feel this cardigan deserves a whole post on its own so I will be sharing more on this work later.

On the left you see the cardigan with the button bands in place and on the right I have made the crochet reinforcement and the only thing left is to just cut the steek and fasten the buttons! I have even woven in all the ends!

I’m of course working on more socks and a new test knit cardigan and will share pictures of those when I have made some progress.

That’s it for today. I will be sharing my stash enhancements next time and some of the patterns I intend to knit up with those.

Thank you for taking the time to check on me today. I wish you a wonderful weekend and happy crafting!

I’m back!

Hi there, how are you and how have you been these past few weeks? It’s been way too long since my last real post and as you may know that is because I have just come back from a 3 week stay in California:

I had a wonderful time with my brother. It was a quiet visit as both of us were working and I was there to help out with his two girls so there was a lot of family time which was just very cozy and nice.

I did get to meet lots of new people and see places I had yet to visit but mostly it was just family and work.

I did buy some stuff…way more yarn and project bags than planned for… but I really felt like taking this opportunity to save on shipping! AND a friend of mine was having a going out of business sale that was just too good not to take advantage of.

I will be sharing my stash enhancements in a later post as not everyone may be interested in  seeing and hearing about that and since it’s been such a long time since I last checked in I thought I would stick to knitting today.

So this month of March has been very productive knitting wise. I have so far knit 5 pairs of socks and one cardigan. I’m currently working on a wrap, a shawl, 2 socks, about to steek and finish a cardigan and cast on for a new test knit sweater.

So lots of things to share with you today.

First of let’s do socks!

So as you may remember I’m doing no less than three sock clubs this year, both of Mina’s Knitting Expat clubs and the Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade one. This means that I receive one or two patterns a month depending as Helen’s club is a bi monthly one. So March was a 2 pattern month and I have finished both patterns.

First there is the Winter Rose socks from Helen Stewart. I knit those using Opal sock yarn and I think they look really nice. For some reason they were slow to knit and not just because of the all over lace pattern. For some reason I just had a hard time finishing them but now I’m done I really like them. These are for my older daughter.

 

Then there is the pattern from Mina’s Wanderlust club called the Dérive socks. I knit those using a small skein from Goosey Fibres for the main color and my Back to Basics yarn for the contrasting toe.

This pattern was simple to memorise and knit up relatively fast. These are for my younger daughter.

 

As I had knit a pair for each of my daughters I had to knit one for my son too. I used one of my stash enhancements for his pair. I actually purchased two balls of Regia PairFect yarns by Arne and Carlos and one of those was for my son. He has bigger feet than I do so the socks look too big on my blockers. I used up all the yarn or almost. I think only a few grammes were left in the end so they are rather high on the leg and I do hope he will like them. Spring is around the corner so not really the right time of the year for sock gifting but hey.

regia pairfect matteo I really like the autumnal colors and pattern in this yarn. I just did my regular vanilla sock here.

And then there is Sock Madness! You may know that I decided to join for the third time. This time I was careful not to finish too quickly because I wanted to avoid ending up in the fastest team as before so I took my time although that is relatif because I ended up knitting my pair in 4 days! And to show you how crazy fast knitters there are, finishing up in 4 days got me in the 5th fastest team. I took longer than necessary because I know that I have a lot of things to do in my daily life and cannot put everything aside for SM when a new round starts so I thought this strategy would put me in a team of knitters that have similar lives/imperatives as I do and so I might be able to stay in the game longer.

So the qualifying round had just started the day before I left so I had cast on at home and then knit on my trip over and so forth. The qualifying round pattern was a nice two color pattern using slipped stitches and a broken rib. The broken rib on most of the sock was what slowed things down. I used my own hand dyed SOX yarn for this pair as the main color and a very pale green yarn from the Wool Barn for the contrasting color.

sm12 qualifying

Round 1 is about to finish in less than 72 hours so round 2 is just around the corner. The round 1 pattern was a tricky one because it had beading, knotting and duplicate stitches. Once I understood how to make the stitch where the beads were to be threaded onto and how to then knot it, I was on a roll. The rest of the sock was just simple stockinette. The difficult part was once the socks were done, one had a lot of duplicate stitching to do and I have never really done duplicate stitching so it took a while. Especially on the first sock. I was worried for a while that I might be disqualified due to my bad stitching skills but in the end my socks turned out ok and I actually like them. Lucky for me I had brought yarn for those as well as beads just in case this pattern was the first one.

It is always good to challenge oneself and try new techniques and I can definitely do with some more duplicate stitching but I have to admit I did not enjoy that so much…

Now I’m just trying to get other things done before the next round starts.

I also knit a cardigan. This is a test knit I did for Making Stories, the European knitting publication by Verena Cohrs and Hanna Lisa Haferkamp. So far they have only published one book/magazine called WOODS but the second issue BREEZE is about to be published and this test knit is for the third issue that will be published this autumn I believe.

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This design is secret for the time being so not much I can share about that but here is what I can say. This is a buttonless cardigan with 3/4 sleeves knit top down in one piece. The yarn is an italian rustic yarn that has been hand dyed. There were not a lot of color choices I felt so I picked a dark grey color. This yarn was not a total joy to knit with I must confess. It was very very loosely plied and so I had to be careful to knit all the plies and not just one strand (that did happen a few times) and also the color rubbed off on my hands so after each knitting session my hands would be all grey which I did not much like.

When I came home I washed and blocked the cardigan and surprisingly the yarn did not bleed as I thought it would.  I had also had an issue with the hem curling up on it self but once I washed it, it just fell right into place.

This is a very nice cardigan for autumn and early winter I feel. Because it does not have full sleeves and is somewhat short it is not a cozy winter garment but rather a nice layer when the weather starts to cool down I think.

This is starting to get a little long so I think I will leave my works in progress for later. Thank you so much for coming back and for your patience waiting for me as I was away and not blogging.

I hope you are doing great and happy knitting till next time!

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.

 

 

It’s looking a lot like Christmas…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hat madeleine

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

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

hat madeleine

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

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

Hi there how are you today? It’s Monday as I write this and I admit I’m still a bit tired. Weekends go by sooooo fast! I never have enough time to do everything I want to do. I really need one extra day to just relax and knit and not think of or do anything else.

I did get some knitting done though of course. I actually got a severe case of startitis! Must be my “attack all the old wips” challenge that is coming soon that spurred this. I seem to be all about colorwork and so I kept working on my Flea cardigan that I need to write an entire blog post on later.

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But then I cast on for two more things.

First was a brioche wrap. The pattern is called Midnight Sherbet by Madeleine Windsor. As soon as I saw her posts on Instagram I knew there was no way around this. I HAD to knit one. And so I set about dyeing yarn for this and chose my non superwash organic merino DK and this weekend I balled up my yarns and cast on!

midnight sherbert frontmidnight sherbert back

The top picture shows the “front” and the second the “back”. I use ” ” because I think there is no real front/back on brioche wraps. Both sides are beautiful. It’s just a question of which color you like best or which side goes best with your outfit that day.

As you see I’m not far along but I hope to work a little bit on this every day.

My second cast on was for the Ninilchik swancho by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland knitworks. I bought the pattern ages ago and have been wanting to cast on for a while. I went ahead and purchased some Drops yarn for this project and yesterday, Sunday, I cast on.

I am having second thoughts about my color choices as well as my color assignments (I mean which is color 1 etc). I thought I had chosen colors that were contrasting enough to work but once knit up, they fade into each other too much.

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The first picture shows this especially well as one can hardly make out the pattern. I do like my colors but I’m not sure they work. I’m wondering if I should switch one of them out for a white for example? I’m keeping the grey as the main color so maybe the contrasting three could be : white, plum and blue? And just leave out the brown all together. What do you think? It sucks to rip back all the way to the collar but this is a big garment and I can’t keep knitting on this if I’m not 100% sure I actually like it. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with me that the colors are too similar to work nicely here? Have you knit this pattern yourself?

Strangely enough I did NOT knit on any socks this weekend! Shocker! But I am planning on choosing my first languishing wip to work on today. So it will be all ready to go come February 1st. I’m thinking as a motivation, I should choose a pair of socks where sock 2 is already started. I’ll keep you posted on that next week.

I will be back later this week with an exciting announcement for you so I hope you will stop by again.

Thank you for taking the time today to stop by and check on my knitting. I hope you have a great week ahead of you. Take care and see you soon:)

Happy Friday

Hi there, once again I’m late… I have been quite busy at work lately and so everything else has been somewhat on the back burner unfortunately.

But today is Friday, I have finished work and am looking forward to the weekend. I have plans of knitting and lots of prepping! Yes prepping because I’m going to vend at a yarn festival here in Normandy. It is the first show I vend at since 2014 so it’s been a while. It’s also the first wool/yarn festival to be held here in Normandy so very exciting. I have lots of organising to do, lots of yarn buying and dyeing, planning etc. And I hope to get some of that done this weekend; not to mention as much knitting as I can possibly cram in.

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I will be telling you more about this yarn festival in later posts here on the blog.

Since my last post I have managed to finish 2 1/2 pairs of socks. So I thought I should show those to you today. First up is a pair called Sterntaler socks by Becky Sorensen of Sopranoknits. These were a quick knit. Fairly simple socks with a little bit of texture. It says to fade out the textured pattern on the back before knitting the heel. I tried that but didn’t like it so I just stopped when it was time for the heel and did not do any sort of transition and I think it looks just fine.

I knit these using my SOX yarn and I think they look quite nice. I’m setting these aside to use as samples of my SOX yarn knit up on my stand at the wool festival I told you about.

The second pair I finished just a few minutes ago. These are the Resfeber socks by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. This is the first pair of her Wanderlust sock club. Being the crazy sock knitter I am, I signed up for both of her sock clubs this year so I will be getting a pattern a month and the plan is to knit them all as they arrive!

This was a simple textured knit and purl pattern with a garter stitch heel which was fun to knit. I used my new favorite sock yarn which is a merino/mohair/nylon blend. It is perfect for socks and garments alike and I think it is especially perfect for colorwork projects. The yarn is ultra soft and a joy to work with and because of the mohair there is a slight halo.

I joined a sock test knit at the last moment this week. I joined on Monday, got the pattern on Tuesday and had to finish one sock by Thursday. And I made it! Well, I was only knitting the smallest size so not really a big feat but hey!

So this was a test knit for Dana Gervais. It’s been a while since I test knit for her and so I was very happy to be able to join, even if last minute.

This was a fun knit and even if the pattern looks somewhat complex it really is super simple and easily memorizable.  I knit this sock in my SPARKLES yarn in the Something about CC colorway which is a very very bright pink! Now I just have to finish the second sock so it does not become a lingering wip as so many before!

And on the subject of lingering wips, it is almost time to start my challenge! I just need to finish the second sock I just showed you and I will be ready to start fresh beginning of February. The idea now is to always have 1 new sock and one old wip sock on the go at all times. I know I will always have at least two pairs of socks at any given time so I figure if I do one from my pile of wips every time I start a new one; I might actually get something done.

I think I will be starting with the socks from my wips. I’m currently somewhat actively working on 2 cardigans so the ones in the pile will have to wait a bit longer. I’m also getting ready to cast on for a new wrap so the old shawls will have to wait too.

I’m sort of hopeless! I’m sure you are rolling your eyes at me as you read this. Thinking I’m never going to do as I say. And you may be right! But I’m going to try. I really do need to make my pile of wips disappear and I prefer to do so by knitting everything up rather than frogging everything.

Some of you have shared with me that you too have lingering projects that need love and I’m happy to have you join me. I have opened a thread in my Ravelry group so we can share and give each other the moral knitterly support needed to keep focused:)

My knitting plans for next week are to finish the second sock I talked about and to choose the first wip sock to work on. I have one cast on planned ( and many more I’m dreaming of). It is a brioche wrap in two colors called the Midnight Sherbert by Madeleine Windsor. I have dyed up some organic, non superwash DK merino yarn especially for that.

And I’m going to continue working on my colorwork cardigan that I have yet to show you…. I think I have to write a whole post about that one. I have so much to say but just to tease you, here’s a glimps

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That’s all for today folks. Thank you again for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you have enjoyed your time in my company. I hope to be back beginning of next week as usual. February is around the corner and lots of fun knitting is planned. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a good work week ahead.

Until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting:)

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!