A test knit reveal and more

Hi there,

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you are doing good and that you had a nice weekend, maybe even a prolonged weekend if you live in the US. Back here in France school has started again and I’m happy to get back into the routine. When working from home, I admit that it is way easier when the kids are at school than having them all 3 at the home. Even if they are not very young. So seeing everyone return to school feels good:)

I had a sale in my shop over the weekend and if you purchased anything I would like to thank you for your support. It means a lot to me. I’m still pondering whether to continue or not. Selling on Etsy is a challenge and if I want to have a chance of continuing I will have to get my own ecommerce website and launch a crowdfunding project to get the necessary funds to set up a new website and purchase new yarn bases and other items indispensable to running the shop in a productive way. I’m not sure whether that is a reasonable thing to do or if  people are not willing to support/fund another indie dyer. There are so many dyers out there and even if we usually say there is a place for everyone, the market is already well supplied in indie dyed yarn and so a project like mine might not awake interest. I’m still thinking this over and I just might launch a Kickstarter campaign. After all either I won’t make my goal and nothing happens or I do make my goal and get to fulfill my dream. I will keep you updated of course.

Now onto knitting. As the title of today’s post says, I’m about to reveal one of my test knits. So as I told you before, I was test knitting 2 cardigans and a pair of socks. I have just finished the first cardigan and the pattern has now been released on Ravelry.

This new pattern is called Tommelise and the designer er Agata known as Amanitaknits. I have already knit a number of her patterns and this is the third time I test knit for her so I feel I can recommend her patterns without a second thought.

This time it is a fingering weight cardigan. The pattern is meant more for spring/summer/early autumn wear as it is rather short and has 3/4 length sleeves. The pattern is easy to follow and what can be called a potato chipy knit. The cardigan is knit in one piece so no sewing but a lot of purling. But that’s ok. If you don’t like purling, just look at this as your chance to work on your purling speed or why not learn to knit backwards and work on that while doing the cardigan.

I knit mine using my SOX yarn base which is a 75/25 merino/nylon yarn that I hand dyed myself is a lovely red brique color. Almost a Harry Potter red.

I did choose to modify the pattern slightly. This is the first time I ask to modify the pattern as I’m test knitting. I wanted the cardigan to be longer, the body that is. I also wanted full length sleeves. So my changes include: a longer body, longer sleeves including a longer cuff.

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Here are a few pictures of me wearing the cardigan. I actually finished this twice! What happened was that I knit the sleeves very long and after washing and blocking the cardigan, I ended up with VERY long sleeves. Too long. So I ripped back and reknit just the cuff and now it fits perfectly.

I think this pattern is beautiful and if you live someplace where the weather is mild; I would definitely recommend following the pattern to the T. I chose to lengthen the cardigan because I usually wear this type of garment in winter over a tshirt.

I really love the finished item and I’m so happy to have finished. Now I only have one cardigan and two pairs of socks for test knitting! Yes! two socks! I just accepted a  new sock knitting test knit 🙂

In other knitting related news. I have started both Mkals; the What the Fade by Andrea Mowry and the Road to Rhinebeck by Mina Phillip.  I was surprised by how short Clue 1 was in the Road to Rhinebeck shawl. It took less than an hour to finish, maybe as little as half an hour so not much to share with you.

I’m still working on Clue 1 for the What the Fade mkal. I was happy to see that it is at least partly in brioche and I’m just over half done with clue 1. For this kal I splurged and  purchased an entire Fade kit! 6 entire skeins of fingering weight yarn from Dragon Hoard Yarns on Etsy.  I’m very excited about this project as I’m a fan of Andrea’s patterns so I’m pretty sure this will be amazing not to mention of epic proportions seeing the quantity of yarn!

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How gorgeous are these yarns?! I’m using them from the top down, that is the brown skein at the top is my color A and the bottom white and speckled skein is my yarn F.

And this is where I’m at now

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According to the pattern, the first (darker) picture is the front/right side. I however think brioche can be used either side and like both equally much so far. Of course the pattern may not be entirely in brioche and so the darker side will have to be the front. We’ll see. I’m going to try my best to keep up with the clues and try not to fall behind as that might lead to me being discouraged and casting on a gazillion new things rather than catch up!

If you are doing these kals, I’d love to hear what you think so far and if you’d like to share pictures I’d love to see your versions.

This is all for today. I’ll be back soon with a super exciting new post full of pictures from Iceland’s first ever yarn crawl! I was not lucky enough to participate myself but a cousin of mine who lives in Iceland and is a great knitter, did attend and she sent me tons of pictures to share with you all and I think you will enjoy seeing those. Depending on time, I might post later this week. If times runs out on me, then this coming weekend.

Until then, thank you for stopping by and I wish you all a wonderful week with plenty of knitting:)

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Current and future knitting

Hi there how are you this week? It has been super hot here in Normandy over the last week or so and all of a sudden the temperature plummeted today and along came the rain. I’m not complaining though as the heat was getting to me. I don’t enjoy working when it is super hot and I spend all my day at my desk perspiring like crazy. And my hands feel clammy making knitting less enjoyable. So a cooler weather is just fine with me.

I have knit quite a bit since last time but I don’t have much to show as most of what I have been working on are test knits I’m not allowed to share just yet. Out of the 3 test knits 2 are almost done and that’s such a relief. Mostly because I have so many things I want to cast on…

The pair of socks is almost at the toe so should be finished by the end of this week. Cardigan 1 I did actually finish yesterday. I wove in the ends, washed and blocked it. But… I had knit longer than usual sleeves and after washing my cardigan grew. I know super wash yarns tend to grow when washed and that’s why I prefer to knit garments with non super wash yarns but sometimes I just don’t have any and the yarn I REALLY want to use is super wash. Anyway, I used my own hand dyed yarn for this, on my SOX base and I absolutely love the color and feel of it but I did knit the sleeves too long. So when I tried the cardigan on last night as it was close to being dry, there was no denying that the sleeves were just way too long. I did check with my daughter to see what she thought because I didn’t want to rip back and re knit part of the sleeves. My daughter told me that long sleeves were “in” so I should leave it as was. Phew. But still I was not quite sure so I reached out to a cousin of mine who is also a knitter and showed her some pictures and she agreed with me, the sleeves had to be fixed. Maybe that decision is what made me have a very restless night! Being unhappy about my sleeves! Anyway, this morning I ripped back a few inches on both sleeves and re knit the cuff. I have finished one sleeve and am working on the second and hopefully I’ll have that done tomorrow.

Even if this was not a major issue, it still had me upset. And maybe even more so because I received some gorgeous new yarn in the mail yesterday and all I wanted was to cast on something new!

The yarn I received was a gift from a wonderful fellow knitter/dyer in Australia! Her name is Andrea and you can follow her on Instagram as @yarnsalad.

She gifted me 6 skeins of a 2 ply silk/lambswool yarn that was originally spun for fashion house Missoni! How amazing is that? I don’t know how or where but she buys yarns that were spun for luxury fashion houses but are no longer needed and then dyes them using natural dyes in her home.

I think that wound up the variegated yarn looks even more amazing (on the right side on the second picture). So now I have to find a pattern for this gorgeous yarn. It’s a thin two ply so between a lace and a light fingering weight. My very first thought when I saw the yarn was RAVELLO! But I already have two so knitting a third one might be too much! And then I remembered another pattern from the same designer, Isabelle Kramaer, called A Hint of Summer and I actually own that. It’s a pattern written for this type of yarn so I’m 99% certain that’s what I’m going to go for.

Here’s a picture of that pattern taken from the Ravelry project page

a hint of summer

My version would not be striped like this but I’d rather do a color block or a few larger stripes with the grey sparkle yarn. I think this could work out very nicely. What do you think? Have you maybe knit this pattern yourself already? I’d love to hear your opinion.

I’m also getting ready for the two big Mystery Kals about to start. I purchased both the Knitting Expat Road to Rhinebeck Mkal pattern and Andrea Mowry’s What the Fade Mkal. Both are shawls and both start tomorrow. This may be too much but hey, these will be fun and I do wish I was going to Rhinebeck 🙂

So the Road to Rhinebeck calls for a DK weight yarn and I’m knitting that with my own DK yarn. I have already wound my yarn and got a project bag ready as you can see here

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I really love these colors together and the project bag… How amazing is that?! It’s a mumin bag from Knitgizmomakes.

The Andrea Mowry What the Fade shawl is a huge one, I think-, as it calls for 6 skeins of fingering weight yarn. I’m not supposed to be buying yarn at the moment but..I accidentally went on Etsy and happened upon a shop update from Trysten of Dragon Hoard Yarns Co. And she had a kit. For the What the Fade kal. So what was I to do? I have never knit with her yarn, I want to try it, I had bought the pattern, I needed yarn for the project, she had a kit, it was in stock… Well one thing lead to another and I bought the kit PLUS an extra skein for some added sock knitting pleasure. I purchased this last week and so I was prepared to maybe not get to cast on at the start as the yarn might take a while to arrive. Well my yarn arrived TODAY! And it’s amazing! As soon as I finish talking to you, I’m going to start winding the yarn into cakes and finding a project bag and just get all the last details ready to cast on tomorrow.  And here is my yarn

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What do you think? These are not the colors I’m usually drawn to but when I saw her listing I just sort of fell in love and had to get this. These have such an autumn feel to them and just look like they will knit into something incredibly cozy.

Are you joining in these kals? I’d love to see your yarns if you are:)

The only actual knitting I can share with you today is a sock I’m knitting. So as I’m not supposed to be buying yarn; I of course am constantly looking at yarn shops and being tempted and so I went ahead and placed my very first order with Lolo did it! And the yarn arrived very quickly and the shipping was not ridiculous which was a pleasant surprise. And so of course I had to cast on the same day my yarn arrived and decided on doing a pair of shorty socks for myself thinking this way I’ll be able to get two pairs out of the skein. And I went hunting for a yarn that could go with Lolo’s yarn  and I found it. I had a partial skein in this lovely purple on my SPARKLES base and it just goes perfectly with the main yarn.  As for the pattern, I’m adapting the Yorkville pattern by the Knitting Expat. This is a pattern from her current New York sock club and I just changed it to be a short version and I love it. The lace pattern is super simple and easily memorized and just works up so nicely in this yarn. I’m on the toe now and hope to cast of sock one tonight!

That’s all for today I think. Next week I hope I will be able to share more actual knitting with you. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and I look forward to checking in with  you again very soon 🙂

Happy knitting!

A mystery kal using Knitting in France yarn

Hi there and first of all thank you all so much for the wonderful participation in the Nancy Whitman giveaway announced last night. I’m so happy to see how many people enjoyed the interview and have left comments for a chance to win one of her gorgeous patterns. If you haven’t read the post yet just click here

And today just had to share with you some wonderful and exciting news – the launch of a new mystery knit along by designer Devious Rose using one of my DK yarns. If you would like to participate and/or get the pattern for free you have until March 17th to purchase a skein of any of my DK weight yarns and you will get the pattern for FREE.

Below is a copy of the text the designer put on the project page and I have taken the liberty of copying that for you to read and if it sounds like something you like, just hop over  to my shop for a skein or check out the pattern on Ravelry.

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From now until March 17, get this pattern free with purchase of any 1 skein of Knitting in France DK weight! Scroll to the bottom for details!

Pattern will be $1.00 until the start of the MKAL. Once it begins, it will go up to $3.00 for the remainder of the MKAL. Sign-up page:http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/deviousrose/topics/3393369. Watch this space and/or my social media for discounts and temporary freebie codes for this MKAL.

Description:
Infestation is an advanced lace cowl designed for one skein of Knitting in France DK weight. The lace pattern is my own, inspired by nature and not a stitch dictionary. It is inspired by the calla lily, my favourite flower, and thistles, as well having read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett too often. I have not seeing either of these plants much since I’ve lived in the desert, and this pattern calls out to these beautiful structures and to the scenery I imagine whenever I read The Secret Garden. Given this, Infestation is of course a springtime cowl, with very open lace, suited for cool or even slightly warm weather as a couture accessory, able to be dressed up or down. The pattern is both fully charted and fully written, and includes instructions for working flat and in the round as well as custom sizing.

This yarn has shading that adds depth and dimension to the lace pattern, and blocks beautifully. I frogged it often, and did not pill or fuzz despite being merino, and has weathered being shunted around everywhere at the bottom of my backpack while stuffed in a project bag.

Schedule:
Pattern is currently in testing, so the MKAL will begin once that is over, anywhere from March 21-March 27. Infestation is very much a springtime accessory not meant for cold weather, so don’t fret! Once schedule is determined “Week x” will be replaced with actual dates. In the mean time, the MKAL sign-up thread is: TBD

  • Week 1- Clue 1: Scattering the Seeds (in which we set up our pattern)
  • Week 2- Clue 2: Renewal (in which we work a lace inspired by thistles and wild lilies)
  • Week 3- Clue 3: In the Garden (in which we section off our wild plants, whose presence we have in our garden)

Skill Level: Thorny! Knitting several stitches into 1, changing stitch count, centered double decrease, sl1k2tog psso (or ssk), sl1k1 psso or ssk, k2tog, yo, and ability to follow charts OR written instructions. And of course, knit and purl.

Materials:

  • 1 skein Knitting in France DK weight, 231-246 yds/100 grams. 2 skeins for a larger cowl. As written, pattern used ~210-225 yards. If substituting yarn, make sure to pick something with good stitch definition, bonus points if slightly shiny. This is a lace pattern that can get easily lost in yarns that are a bit fuzzy.
  • 4.5 mm/US 7 needles
  • 2.25-3.0 mm crochet hook for crochet cast on, or do the knitted cast on
  • 5 0.5 in/1.5 cm buttons if working flat, none for cowl worked in the round. Each repeat of Clue 2 adds 2 more buttons.
  • yarn needle

Other:
if you’re on Instagram or Twitter, use #InfestationMKAL when sharing your project photo.

To get MKAL free with yarn purchase:
Simply show me a screenshot of your receipt (you may want to blur any personal emails or addresses) through Ravelry pm. Receipt must have a timestamp that indicates the yarn was purchased on or prior to March 17, 2016. An Etsy cart is not a receipt. Your receipt should look something likehttps://www.dropbox.com/s/p9n2x3gmf66zeul/receipt_example…

 
Have a great weekend:)

Iceland and works in progress

Hi there, how are you today? Fine I hope. I’m doing ok. I was going to post more last week but somehow time just disappeared into thin air! Hopefully I’ll have a little bit more time this week to do everything I need and want to do.

So like you know, I went home to Iceland for New Years. It had been a long time since I last went to Iceland so it was more than time to return. I spent a week just relaxing and meeting up with family and friends. We didn’t do anything special, no excursions or things like that. I know I probably should organise my visits better and do some sightseeing as my kids have yet to see a lot of Iceland but somehow, when I return, I just want to spend time with my family and friends. I don’t feel like doing the tourist thing so inevitably I end up just staying up late, sleeping in, visiting family and friends and eating a lot of delicious food and cakes and sweets.

This time the weather was quite nice and we did get some snow which was nice. My kids love snow, especially during Christmas and New Years. And even though I’m not much of a snow fan; I do admit that white ground really makes all the difference during the holidays.

Here are some pictures taken around where my parents live. Seeing the mountains while being “in the city” is just so nice. Don’t these pictures just scream zen? I really love the view and the landscape and the snow and the bright blue skies.

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Now one of the highlights of our visit was of course New Years Eve which is celebrated with the family in Iceland. Every year Icelanders spend a huge amount of money on fireworks and the show is amazing each time as everyone lights up the sky and I thought I’d share with you a short video I took this last New Years for you to see. You have to turn the volume on to fully “get the picture” 🙂

And now on to knitting. I finished a pair of socks, a pair that I began on Dec 31st as part of my #KnitFromStash2016 KAL. I really like how they turned out. I did find that the pattern sized small so in stead of having a pair of socks for myself they ended up being for my daughter. I think maybe it was because of the stitch pattern which was a sort of twisted stitch ribbing or maybe it was because I didn’t do a swatch! Either way, I just amended the pattern when I saw that the leg was not going to be big enough for myself and I didn’t want to rip back and start over. The yarn I used was Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock

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My progress on the Love of Spiders shawl is going slowly but surely

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Like I said last time, I was not going to cast on any new projects until I had actually finished my numerous wips but…..I’m not a very serious knitter and easily get distracted. Which means that of course I was unable to avoid casting on. So what happened is that I cast on 2 socks AND I decided to join a sock MKAL beginning this Friday, January 15th.

The MKAL can be found here. This will be a color work sock so I dyed my own yarn. I decided not to use the colours suggested by the designer but made up my own palette.

www.knittinginfrance.com There will also be some  white, undyed yarn. I’m looking forward to this sock kal, it’s the first time I join a mystery sock kal. Are you by any chance joining too?

And then there is the sock I’m knitting for my oldest. She came into my room a few days ago and picked up one of my hand dyed skeins and commented on how much she liked the color. So of course I had to cast on for a pair of socks for her! I’m using 2 colours, one for cuff, heel and toes and another for the main part of the sock. The contrast color I call Midnight because it is a sort of blue/black and sparkly color and the main color is one I dyed before Christmas and called ” Another Kind of  Christmas”.

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I really like how this is working up. I look forward to having the pair all done.

Now for the second sock I cast on, here’s a sneak peak but I’ll tell you more about that next time.

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

My first ever Mkal participation

Hi there, so like I told you last time, I’m going to join in this new mystery kal and this is the first time ever I do a KAL and so the first time ever I do a mystery one as well 🙂

This is The Doodle MKAL by Stephen West and it begins on Nov 6th. I saw the pattern page on Ravelry and looked at the pictures of the proposed yarn combinations for this shawl and I fell in love with all the yarn and the idea of knitting a shawl in 3 colors. So I decided to join in.

I haven’t made a project page on Ravelry yet but I intend to do so one of these days. I’m not one for KALs and I don’t know if I will be very present in the Ravelry thread dedicated to this KAL but I wanted to join in just for the fun.

So he recommends using Hedgehog Fibres yarn. I could of course have gone through my stash to find nice substitution yarn or even just hand dyed some yarn myself but…. after seeing all the pictures of these gorgeous Hedgehog Fibres yarns that was just asking too much of the knitter in me.

So off I went and ended up in the online shop of A Yarn Story in England. This is the first time ever I buy yarn from Hedgehog Fibres and I must admit that I could have bought at least 10 skeins! I just totally love their speckled yarns! They are all totally gorgeous. But seeing as I do not have a limitless cash supply for yarn I had to ONLY buy 3 skeins. i went with a blueish theme. And here are my yarns:

www.knittinginfrance.com Don’t you just love the speckled one in the middle?

The colors are (from left to right): Ink, Lupi, Wish

Are you going to join in this KAL? If so, have you chosen your yarns? Would you like to share a picture of your yarns with me by posting a picture in a comment below? I’d love to see what others have chosen yarnwise for this KAL.

So next weekend i’m going to wind my yarns into cakes and choose a project bag, find the appropriate needles and necessary accessories and I’ll be all set when the first clue comes out on Nov 6th.

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)