A Sweater, a scarf and a pair of socks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_6075 I love the garter stitch shoulders detail.

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

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

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

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

Here’s a picture of where I’ m at now

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

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

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

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

Lots of knitting

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

When I look back at the week that just passed, I see that I have done loads of knitting. It’s been a while since I’ve had this much to share with you. So let’s get started:

First off, I finished my Audrey cardigan or at least the knitting part. I still have to weave in the ends and sew on the buttons. I really enjoyed knitting this cardigan and I want to knit a second one.

I was unsure about which size to knit and being the not serious knitter I am, I did not make a swatch. As my cardigan grew I realised that I should have knit one size down because the pattern is written for  negative ease and my cardigan has positive ease. For the body of the cardigan that’s fine but for the sleeves it was really too much and so I knit those one size down. I also like the yarn I chose for this project, my merino singles yarn that I dyed in a subtle brown/beige color. It is super soft and the color will work with everything I think. Next time around, I’ll use my SOX base (merino/nylon) and I’ll knit the correct size that will give me the fit the pattern calls for.

But overall I’m really happy with the outcome. I just need to decide on the buttons and finish up.

The second pictures shows the three different buttons I have to choose from. The first option, the top button is the one I’m leaning towards.

Then there is my Harry Potter inspired scarf that I’m knitting for my older daughter. I’m using my own hand dyed yarn of course, that I dyed especially for this project and I’m using a wonderful base yarn. It’s Aran weight and its a merino/cashmere/nylon blend. So just perfect!

I did knit quite a bit on this last week. I’m getting close to the end. I think I need to knit to the next section of stripes and then knit on the what would be the placement for another stripe section and that’s when I’ll cast off. So maybe 10″ more or so. I might be adding fringes,not sure yet.

img_6049    It’s looking good so far and my daughter likes it so that’s the only important thing. It’s still quite warm here so she won’t be needing the scarf for a few more weeks I think so I take my time finishing this.

And then there is my pair of socks. I’m usually a big sock knitter and I do have a large number of socks currently on my needles only I’m not working on them. I think the fact that I suddenly found myself with a gazillion works in progress and not much time made all my wips look like a huge mountain to climb and I just got overwhelmed. My pile of wips is in my bedroom so I look at it everyday but I try not to worry about it and as I cast on for new projects I promise myself that I will also pick up a wip and get that done and out of the pile. The socks I’m working on were in my pile of wips/to be cast on. I had cast on for the cuff of sock one in August and then nothing happened. Once I picked them up, I really got going and to avoid having second sock syndrome, I immediately cast on for sock 2 as I finished sock 1. Now I’m close to finishing sock 2, I just need maybe an inch or so and then I’ll be at the toe. Once this pair is done, I’ll pick up another sock wip from my pile and get working on that. Here’s a picture of my pair so far.

falling-leaves-socks-26sep

The yarn is hand dyed by myself on a base I don’t carry at the moment but really like. Its 80/20 merino, bamboo. It’s super soft and yet sturdy. The pattern is Falling Leaves by Nancy Whitknits and is for sale on Ravelry. The cuff has a nice leave motif and the rest of the sock is worked in a twisted rib stitch.

Last week I also cast on for a new sweater. I had one of those nights a little time back, where I was browsing Ravelry and came upon a certain number of patterns I just HAD to have and I ended up buying probably close to 10 patterns! Way more than I intended to. And one of these patterns is called Spin Raglan by Andrea Mowry. It’s a top down, seamless sweater knit in Aran weight yarn. I dyed up the yarn especially for this project. I chose a 100% non super wash BFL yarn and dyed it in a sort of denim-y colour. Somewhere between light blue and grey. It turned out super nice I think.

img_6033 And believe it or not, this time around I DID do a swatch! I decided that after seeing my Audrey cardigan being bigger than intended, it would be a good idea to swatch and knit the correct size.

As this is knit in Aran weight yarn, it goes super quickly and I’ve made good progress. I knit a lot on this yesterday as I was being lazy in front of the television.

spin-raglan This is a simple pattern and I’m really enjoying it so far. I think this will be a really quick knit but might still take me some time as I’m also working on my scarf my pair of socks and so forth.

 

I also just cast on for the Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer. Remember I told you about that a week or two ago and I dyed up two types of lace weight yarns that I’m using for that project. I’m only a couple of inches into the cardigan so nothing interesting to show you just yet but so far I like how the yarns are knitting up together and I’ll be able to share my progress on this one with you next week I’m sure.

That’s about it for today. I hope this week will also be prolific knitting wise. I plan to finish my pair of socks and the Harry Potter scarf and make significant progress on the Spin Raglan sweater so hopefully those will all be FOs by the time I post next. Which would mean I’d also be able to share some new cast ons with you:) How exciting!

I wish you all a wonderful week and hope you will have lots of fun knitting time. So until next time, take care and happy knitting:)

 

Progress and some selfish birthday dyeing

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

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

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

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

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

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

audrey-19sep

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

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

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

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

I decided to dye one yarn in a semi solid grey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wips and Fos

Hi there, I said I’d be back soon and so here I am:)

I’m currently on vacation from my “real” job but we are not going anywhere this year but rather just relaxing at home and visiting sites near our home. So far we have had a few good days with beautiful weather and have been able to go to the beach which I always enjoy but today and yesterday the weather was not very good and the forecast for this week is not brilliant so I’m not sure what we’ll do….

So as for FOs, I have finished 2 shawls and both were part of kals that I’m taking part in on Ravelry. The first one is the Summer Nancy Kal that I’m hosting in my Ravelry group. This is a very relaxed kal going until the end of August where we knit patterns by designer Nancy Whitman.

I chose to knit a shawl called Ganz which is a DK weight shawl with some gansey inspired patterning. I hand dyed my own yarn for this project in a summery watermelon color.

I really like how this turned out and I think I’ll use this a lot come autumn and winter.

The second FO is also a shawl. That one is called Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli. This is a new shawl she released a very short while ago. I saw some podcasters working on this shawl and just had to buy the pattern and cast on. I also decided to join in the Grocery Girls Joji along on Ravelry for some added fun.

I knit the large size and I also used yarns that I hand dyed myself. The main color is a new base I tested; a yak, merino, nylon base which is a total pleasure to knit with and is super soft to the touch. The contrast color for the stripes is a Donegal nep yarn which I always feel give a bit of a rustic feel. And then the second contrast color used for the bind off is in my SPARKLES base in neon yellow.

I really like the outcome. Now I just need to build up some courage to block the shawl:)

As for my wips, I have a gazillion socks going, 2 sweaters, 1 cardigan and a new scrap yarn blanket and of course a shawl!

The shawl is again part of my Summer Nancy kal that I’m hosting on Ravelry. The pattern is called Tappan Zee by Nancy Whitman and the yarn is my own hand dyed. This time I’m trying a new base yarn in 100% superwash merino singles. And the contrast color I have just begun using is Madelinetosh merino light which is actually the same base yarn as what I dyed myself. I love the texture and feel of this yarn and it knits up beautifully. This is where I’m at for now.

Tappan zee close up

Next time I’ll share more wips, possibly some FOs and new acquisitions:) Until next time, have a wonderful week. I hope the weather is nice where you are and that you have plenty of crafting time to enjoy:)

A new rainy week

Hi there, how are you today? I hope the weather is better in your part of the world than it is here in Normandy. Last year at the same time we were already enjoying summer weather but this year its nothing but rain! Doesn’t feel like summer at all!

Nothing much has happened since I last spoke to you. Lots of work and not so much knitting. I haven’t even managed to finish my second pair in the Tour de Sock. The deadline for stage two is today and I’m only just past the cuff on sock 2. When I saw that I was not going to make the deadline I sort of lost my sock knitting mojo and put the sock on the side….I have to finish though and I’m sure I will. I have a total of 3 socks on my needles currently and strangely non of them have been getting any love at all lately. This is a picture of the Tour de Sock stage two sock I’m (supposed to be) working on

tour de sock second stage

It is a very beautiful pattern and the solid color does the patterning justice but there is just something that prevents me from knitting on as usual. Hopefully I’ll get my sock knitting mojo back very soon.

So rather than knit on socks, I have been knitting on my Ganz shawl as part of my summer kal that I’m running in my Ravelry group. I’m making slow but steady progress there.

ganz

I have done the gansey strip and picked up stitches and now I’m working on the stockinette section. It is now a very easy and relaxing knit that I can work on without thinking.

I really should just concentrate on getting that done and/or pick up my 3 sweaters that have been left dormant in project bags in my room for the last months….but….of course I did not and I just cast on for a new project! Not really a surprise there but hey. So what happened is that I was doing a test dye using possible new yarn bases. The company I was test dyeing for only needs a small amount of each yarn to knit a swatch before they choose which base they like so I found myself with some very nice, freshly dyed yarns and as I looked at them I thought of another skein of yarn that I had balled up and waiting on me. I put the side by side

party on my needles all wound upAnd all of a sudden it clicked! I need to cast on for a shawl and not just any shawl, no I need to cast on for Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli. The Grocery Girls Tracy and Jodie are doing a #jojialong in their group on Ravelry and I thought it would be fun to join and so I cast on.

The yarns are all different, the burgundy one on the left is a new base of sw merino/yak/nylon. It is super soft and gives a lovely stitch definition. The yarn is a natural light brown that I overdyed with red and that gave this beautiful sort of burgundy color.

The second yarn is a Donegal nep yarn that I have dyed and sold before. That yarn is also a darker yarn that comes in a sort of natural light grey with specks of brown and black. I space dyed that to match somewhat the burgundy one.

The third and last one is on my SPARKLES base and that was dyed in a neon yellow. The pattern calls for a high contrast bind off color and I thought this would be very fun.

At the moment I’m on the first section of the shawl where it is just garter stitch and I have not yet decided if I’ll do a small or a large version. Joji shows the small version in her pattern and it looks quite big or big enough so I’m not sure. I can knit one or two lace repeats before deciding which way I go so that will give me some time to decide.

This is where I’m at now

party on my needles shawl

Funny how the yarn looks almost pink in this picture. It really isn’t, its a burgundy/brown red shad in reality.

So that’s about all I’ve been knitting on lately.

Shop/business wise I’m still working on the Gilmore Girls sock kit.  We have had a very positive reaction to our kit and in just a week we have almost sold out. Last time I knew, only one kit was left so if you are interested you had better click the link above and grab the very last kit. There will be no others!

Dyeing self striping yarn is a huge undertaking, it is so time consuming. I’m almost done so now I’m really looking forward to shipping off all the yarn and for everything to be sent out to our buyers and then to actually cast on and knit my very own pair of Gilmore Girls socks using my very own 10 colour self striping yarn:)

That’s it for today. Thank you for coming by and spending some time with me and my knitting. I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of quality crafty time. Speak to you soon 🙂

Stash enhancements and works in progress

Hey there how are you doing? I hope you are doing good and enjoying life and crafting. I’ve been doing a lot of knitting but not really making any significant progress because, I think, I’m working on so many projects at the same time! I currently have 4 socks on the needles that I’m working on and my Ganz shawl which I’m doing as part of my summer kal. And of course I have 3 partially knit sweaters that are languishing in project bags in my room. I really need to finish my socks and then get back to knitting the sweaters finishing one after the other. Because I’m already well into each one so I don’t really have a lot left. But somehow my startitis is just way to strong and  I keep casting on for new socks and adding new shawls to my Ravelry library. I don’t know if you have the same “problem” but if you do, I’d love how you manage your startitis to actually finish what needs to be finished or if like me, you just give into urgent cast on urges.

So lets begin with some show and tell of socks

knit from stash may

I finished my #knitfromstash2016 May socks. This is a yearlong kal I’m doing as part of a sock knitters group on Facebook called Addicted to sock knitting. We get one pattern per month by designer Heatherly Walker and this was the May pattern. It’s called Rhytidome and I really like how they turned out and I feel my yarn really is perfect with this pattern.

Then there is my round 6 pair from Sock Madness that has not been getting any love lately but I’m going to get to it when I have a little less socks going because that is a pattern that needs to be knit pretty monogamously because it is quite complicated.

sock madness round 6I’m knitting these with a Lornas Laces yarn and I’m playing yarn chicken because this pattern is a real yarn eater so I knit the toe in some plain white yarn. If by some miracle I have enough yarn then I’ll rip back the toe and redo in the same yarn but that is highly unlikely.

I’m also participating in the #BeyondVanillaKal1 with Mina of the Knitting Expat Podcast. I bought her new sock pattern collection and I’m knitting them as part of the kal. I have one pair done and now I’m working on paire number 2. I’m using some fun yarn I dyed last week. I was testing a new method of dyeing and I dyed 4  50gr skeins of SOX base yarn. I’m knitting the Pebbles pattern in medium but I’m doing a short leg because I want to use just one 50gr skein. These will be for my youngest.

Here are some pictures of the socks and the yarn. I’ve done one sock and I’m at the heel for the second now.

The yarn I’m using is skein number two from the right

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And then there is the Tour de Sock which like Sock Madness is a sock knitting competition but this time it also serves as a fund raiser for Doctors without frontiers. Also in this competition everyone can do all the rounds. You get points for each pair you finish depending on how quickly you finish etc and those points will determine the winner. I’m feeling a lot less competitive this time and going quite slowly, maybe too slowly even but then this round the pattern is quite complicated with lots of charts so I can’t knit on this at work. I really need to pay attention and follow the pattern. I’m at the heel turn on sock one now and I have 6 more days to finish my pair.

So I’m definitely not going to win anything but at least I’m supporting a good cause and I get to knit gorgeous socks. So this is round 2 and here are pictures from round one and two

The pictures above are the round one pair

The pictures above are from round 2 the cabled side is the front and the knit and purl side is the back. This pattern has a very interesting heel construction. I’m using WYS Signature 4 ply. This pattern really calls for a solid yarn to really appreciate the patterning.

And then there is my summer kal which you can still join if you wish to. We are knitting patterns by designer Nancy Whitman and the kal goes to August 31st with some lovely prizes that will be drawn at random once the kal is over. I’m knitting a gansey inspired shawl called Ganz. I’m using my own hand dyed yarn, a 100%DK in a sort of watermelon red color. First one knits like a gansey inspired strip and I’ve done that and now I’m on to some short row shaping. I still haven’t understood how I go from the current shape to the final shape so this is a bit of a mystery knit for me so far. Here is where I’m at now

 

ganz 14jun

That’s all of my knitting for now. And inspite of my intention of NOT buying more yarn, well, I’m just not able to resist. So here is what I’ve gotten lately.

First, I’m doing The Golden Skein for the first time ever. I’m doing the biggest club (of course) so every  3 months I get 3 skeins of yarn and I just got the summer shipment.

the golden skein summer green

Beautiful green yarns. Now I just need to find patterns to go with these yarns. What is fun is that I have never knit with any of these yarns and that is the very fun part of the Golden Skein subscriptions for me, I’m discovering lots of interesting dyers for the very first time.

And then there was that time I lost my head on Etsy, as happens to the best of us:)

tamiwicolors yarnFirst I bought these 4 gorgeous skeins from I think, a new indie dyer in Germany. I love the colors. The yarn is 75/25 merino/nylon but feels a bit rustic, like my BASIK base so these will become socks. This dyer is totally underpriced which may explain why I got 4 skeins at once! The shop is called Tamiwicolors  and she is on Etsy. Just click on the name and you’ll find yourself in her shop. Definitely go take a look, her color combinations are lovely.

I also fell for another Etsy shop, this time for a better known dyer that I have been drooling over for a long time but not bought from until now. This is a dyer in Finland called Lanitium Ex Machina and I love their variegated colorways and I chose 3 skeins on their stellina base. The  colors are gorgeous but the yarn is not soft. Maybe it will soften with knitting and washing but now it feels rustic to the touch and the glittery thread/stellina is quite “hard” to the touch. Nothing like my stellina base which is super soft and can be used for next to skin items like shawls or cowls in addition to socks. This yarn will make gorgeous socks but definitely nothing next to the skin for me.

lanitium ex machina

So I have lots of new gorgeous yarn for loads of future socks:)

And speaking of socks, just before letting you go, I thought I’d mention again the very limited edition sock knitting kit that I’m doing with JavaPurlDesigns and KnitRunDig. It’s the Gilmore Girls sock kit which includes a pattern by JavaPurlDesigns, a project bag by KnitRunDig, a 10 color self striping yarn hand dyed by myself and a selection of little goodies for some additional fun. This kit went up for pre-order last Sunday June 12th after noon and in just 48H we have sold 80% of the kits! We are super happy about the interest for this super cool kit. And if you, like me, love knitting socks and enjoy self striping yarns, project bags and surprise goodies you need to go over to the JavaPurl website and get a kit while we still have some left.

With that, I wish you a wonderful and crafty week:) Speak to you soon

gilmore girls

The summer kal, my new sock adventure and more

Hi there, I hope you are doing well this week and that the weather is good in your part of the world. After a lot of rain the sun has finally decided to show up and that is a welcome change here in Normandy.

I have been doing a lot of knitting lately. I’m not sure if I told you but I did not make it to round 7 of Sock Madness. I didn’t think I would but I was still disappointed. I’m going to finish my pair of round 6 socks because that is one gorgeous pattern but it has been on hold for a while now because as soon as I knew I didn’t make it I dove into a new sock adventure! I guess I have not had enough of speed knitting socks! So I decided to join the Tour de Sock for the first time ever. I did join late but I was lucky they still accepted entries. This is a speed knitting contest but it also serves as a charity as the money paid to participate goes to Doctors without borders.

Again we get a sock pattern that we are then to knit as quickly as we can and in this contest as long as you finish your pair you are good to continue all the way to the end. You get an X number of points per finished pair depending on how quickly you finish and the points then serve to calculate the winner in the end. And there are a number of fabulous prizes which is something that always makes me dream:)

So like I said, I did join a little late so the first pattern had already been sent out and some had already finished their pair but that’s not a problem. I’ll just finish this one asap and for the following patterns I’ll be there from the start.

This first pattern is a lace pattern which is not only beautiful but easy to memorise as well. I decided to use one of my own hand dyed yarns of course and I found this beautiful silver colored stellina base yarn and once I had done quite a bit of knitting, I realised that I had not chosen a fingering weight yarn but a lace weight!!!! Silly me! But it actually works out fine. This particular lace yarn which in my shop is called Lace Sparkle, is on the heavier side of lace and it is super soft as it is a mix of merino and silk with a little bit of silvery stellina. And I’m thinking I just might make more socks using this base. Here is the sock

I really like it and I’m passed the heel on the second sock so I’m hoping I’ll finish by tonight. That way I will be able to go back to some of my other pairs of socks that are waiting to be finished.

Then there is the #SummerNancyKal which started on June 1st. I’m hosting this kal in my Ravelry group and we are knitting patterns by designer Nancy Whitman. The kal runs till August 31st and there will be some lovely prizes for a few lucky participants.

I’m knitting a gansey inspired shawl called Ganz and I’m using my hand dyed yarn in 100% merino yarn, DK weight. I haven’t gotten a lot of work yet but I think this will be a wonderful shawl and if I work hard I’m thinking I’ll be able to knit 2 of Nancy’s shawls during the kal. This is where I’m at now

 

The color reminds me of a watermelon:) This is knit as a strip of gansey patterns and then I will pick up stitches along one side to knit the rest of the shawl. If you want to join in the kal, please do. You still have plenty of time to join and knit one of Nancy’s patterns.  Just come join my Ravelry group here.

Before I leave you for today, I wanted to share with you that I have “revamped” my little online shop and yesterday I did a huge shop update with lots of new yarns – and some first time ever cotton yarn for the summer. I do hope you will take a look and let me know what you think of my shop if you have the time. Do you like my yarns? The colours I choose? Anything missing or something that could be done better? Constructive criticism is always a good thing. The new address for my shop is www.knittinginfranceshop.com and you can also still find me on Etsy at www.knittinginfrance.etsy.com

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful and crafty week.

FOs, wips and future cast ons

Hi there, I think it is about time I show you some of my FOs. I have been doing a lot of sock knitting but not really sharing the pictures here with you so today I’m finally going to do so.

So as you may know I’m currently doing the Coffee with CC kal that Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast is hosting in her Ravelry group. So far I have finished 3 pairs.

The last pair on the left is the latest finished pair and the pattern is called Peppermint Mocha socks. It is a really fun pattern that plays with the use of yarn overs and slipped stitches. I used one of my own yarns and it is a merino/bamboo blend which is slightly on the heavier side for a fingering weight yarn and oh so soft!

I also just joined Mina’s of the Knitting Expat podcast kal. That is a kal for her newly released sock collection. The collection has 4 pairs of socks and is called Beyond Vanilla part 1 as she is currently working on part 2 of that collection. The patterns are easy and fun variations on vanilla socks. So great for the beginner sock knitter and also a welcome change for the habitual sock knitter that loves mindless sock knitting but is tired of plain vanilla socks. So I’m currently working on a pattern called Driftwood socks and I have one sock done – and I have to wait for a few days before returning back to sock number two.

On the close up you can see the pattern which uses yarn overs in a clever way. The yarn is my own on my cashmerino base which is a dream to knit with.

And then there is the year long Knit from Stash 2016 kal being held in the Facebook group Addicted to Sock Knitting. There we get one pattern a month by designer Heatherly Walker. Her patterns are gorgeous and I love getting a new pattern every month. I’m currently working on Mays pattern and have 1 1/2 sock done but again that will have to wait a few days as I will explain in a bit.

This is a beautiful overall pattern using twisted stitches. The pattern is called Rhytidome and the yarn is hand dyed by myself on my SOX base and I feel this colorway goes perfectly with the pattern which reminds me on flowers.

And last but not the least, the reason why all my socks are currently on time out, the SOCK MADNESS! The sock knitting competition that I’m doing for the very first time! I’m now in the semi finals. Only 10 knitters in each team made it this far and I’m super proud to be one of them. This round only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals so only THE fastest knitter on each team. I don’t think I will make it that far as I have a full time job that gets in the way of my knitting but I’m going to try anyway 🙂

This round the pattern is a heavily charted sock using mini cables and twisted stitches. When I saw the pattern I thought, ouff no one will knit this in one go so I just might stand a chance. Well guess what? One knitter, and she is on THE fastest team (and probably going to be this years winner) actually finished a pair in around 24h! I think she must have knit non stop only taking bathroom brakes. Wow!

Well here are some pictures to show you what I’m talking about:

Can you believe this pattern? The picture on the pattern is of one amazing sock! I’m using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in Princess Donna and I might be playing it dangerously here because this is a very  yardage greedy pattern and I just remembered now that I have actually turned the heel and started on the gusset!!!!! that I WAS going to knit heel and toes in a contrast yarn! Well I don’t have the time to rip bag and redo so I will just do the toe in this case and cross my fingers. So at this time I’m further along than the picture on the right shows and I aim to finish sock nr 1 by tonight.

On the pattern picture can you see the little mini me?

Well it was Mother’s Day here in France this past Sunday and my oldest daughter made this zipper pull out of polymer clay. It’s a mini me!

mothers day gifts

And the beautiful rose is from my son. Lucky me hah?

Wow, that is a lot of knitting! But before I say goodbye for today I do have one more thing to share with you, my summer Nancy kal! The first ever kal that I host in my Knitting in France Ravelry Group.

This kal kicks off tomorrow June 1st and runs until August 31st. The idea is for us to enjoy some relaxed summer knitting together. The rules are simple:

no wips allowed and only patterns by Nancy Whitman and there will be some exciting patterns at the end such as patterns, yarn and accessories.

I think I might actually try to knit 2 of her patterns this summer but I’m beginning with a shawl called Ganz. And I think maybe not being able to decide on a yarn/color when planning ahead of time may be a professional risk where dyers are concerned because I have had a lot of trouble finding THE yarn. I have actually dyed up 3 different sets of yarns for this shawl! And the last one I dyed up yesterday and I think the third and last is the charm and I will cake it up tomorrow before casting on. The yarn is still wet today so I will have to wait to the last minute to get it caked up. So here are some pictures of my yarns for this particular shawl.

The first is an alpaca/wool blend, the second a cashmerino and the third a 100%superwash merino. Here is a picture of the pattern I chose, Ganz

ganz

Isn’t it gorgeous?

So if you want to join in the fun, please visit my Ravelry group and sign up there. There is an information thread and a chatter thread there and the FO thread will be set up later.

Thats all for today. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week.

 

My first ever fandom project

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing great. It’s Friday today and the weather her in Normandy is beautiful, warm and sunny. According to the weather man that is not going to last and the weekend and even all of next week is supposed to be gloomy and grey! But lets not think about that and just enjoy the sun while its here:)

Today I want to tell you about my secret custom dye project that I have alluded to before.

So this is a very fun project that I’m working on with two friends that I met two years ago now at a show in London. The three of us are collaborating on a gorgeous knitting kit that will be released early July. The theme, as you may have guessed from the title of todays’s post, is fandom related. To be precise, its Gilmore Girls fandom related. So if you are a Gilmore Girls fan or if you just like nice things, you are going to be interested in this kit. It’s going to be quite exclusive as only 30 kits will be sold so when they’re gone, they’re gone for good. The pattern itself will probably be published later on but I don’t think there will be a repeat for the project bag and as for the yarn, well it is such huge work I’m not sure I’ll repeat it either except if we get a huge response in which case we might have to reconsider the exclusivity. But that’s a “problem” for later.

So as you may have gathered already the kit will include:

a Gilmore Girls themed sock pattern by CC of Java Purl Designs

a project bag by Sam of KnitRunDig

and hand dyed yarn by yours truly

and some little goodies for surprise

The yarn is a 10 colour self striping yarn. One stripe/colour per character in the Gilmore Girls.

It has been and still is a lot of fun to prepare this kit and it’s the first time I ever participate in such a collaboration and I’m very happy and proud to be a part of this because I’m a huge fan of CC’s designs and I own a number of project bags by Sam and I use them all the time. So I know that this kit will be high quality all around.

Dyeing the yarn is very time consuming. I’m not used to do a lot of self striping and I don’t think that’s something I’m going to develop simply because of the time involved and because I’m such a small dyer that I think it’s not really worth it for me. So that makes this particular yarn even more special.

Here are some pictures of the preparations

So this kit will go on pre-order on the Java Purl Designs website as of June 12th and CC has added the exact times for a large number of time zones so you can check that out as of now to be sure to sign up when pre-orders open up.

I do hope you will sign up for this kit and maybe we’ll organise a kal around this too, I have to check with my friends and I’ll let you know but that might be fun.

And on the subject of kals, don’t forget that I’m hosting my first ever kal this summer. Kick off is June 1st and it will run to August 31st. I’m calling it the Knitting in France and Nancy kal because it’s hosted by me (Knitting in France) and it is for any of Nancy Whitmans patterns.

I have finally decided on which of her patterns I’m going to knit (first – I think I might do two during this kal). I have dyed up some yarn and I’ll be sharing that with you very soon. I will be sharing info on the kal here on the blog but the kal will live in my group on Ravelry and that is where you should sign up. I have created an information thread and a chatter thread already. Later there will be an FO thread of course. And there will be prizes at the end to make things even more fun! The prizes will include patterns, yarns, stitch markers and a project bag! These are the prizes I know of so far but who knows, there might be even more depending on how many participate. So check it out and I hope you will join in.

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to talking to you later:)

The Nancy Whitman and Knitting in France Summer Kal

Today I’m going to share with you my plans for this summer and my first ever kal, that is the first ever kal that I personally host.

It is super exciting to be hosting a kal and I hope I will be up to the task and that others will join in the fun. The idea behind the kal is to work on something beautiful and have enough time so as not having any stress related to the knitting. A pure pleasure interlude during our summer.

The kal starts on June 1st and finishes on August 31st. I have created 2 threads in my Ravelry group one to share the information about the kal and a chatter thread. I will be opening an FO thread later on. Here is a link to my group on Ravelry for you to join if you so wish.

There will of course be prizes. I love prizes and even though I very rarely win anything I still have hope:) So depending on the number of participants we will have X number of prizes. The designer herself, Nancy Whitman, has agreed to donate some patterns and I will be donating yarn and hand made accessories and if you would like to donate a prize that would of course be wonderful.

The rules for this kal are very simple:

  1. no wips allowed
  2. only patterns by Nancy Whitman can be included in this kal

Nancy Whitman has a number of gorgeous designs, shawls, cowls and socks.I have shared some of them here before and if you missed my interview with Nancy just click here and read it now before joining in the kal.

These are some of her shawls.

Personally I’m going to knit a shawl and I own a number of those by Nancy including the three shown above. I currently have two contenders which are

  1. Ganz  ganz nancy whitman

2.  Tappan Zee

tappan zee nancy whitman

Both shawls are gorgeous and it’s not going to be easy to choose and I think I might possibly just knit both so I don’t have to choose. We’ll see if I have the time or not. At the moment I leaning slightly more towards Ganz but not sure yet. Ganz is knit with a sport weight yarn but I could probably use fingering also and Tappan Zee is in fingering. I have a ton of fingering yarn in my stash but not so much in sport weight so should I go with the Ganz I’ll have to do some dyeing which will be fun.

So what do you say? Do you want to join in this kal with me? I will be sharing info here on the blog but mostly the kal will live on Ravelry so if you want to join you should join my  group there.

I have created a special coupon/discount code for those who want to join the kal and want to buy some of my yarn to knit their project with (of course you are welcome to use the code even if you are NOT joining in the kal). So this code is valid as of now and until June 15th and will give you 15% off your purchases. The code should be used upon checkout and is: THENANCYKAL

 

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will join me in this summer kal for some relaxed knitting and sharing.