Something done and something new

Hi there, I hope you had a great weekend. I went to visit a friend and a colleague which was great. When working from home on the computer and over the phone, work can get lonely even though I’m in touch with my colleagues every day I still take my lunch break alone and I don’t actually see anyone so getting to meet up was a treat and the best part was that it was on a weekend so no work and all fun !

She lives over an hour by train away from me so I got a little bit of knitting done on the train. I was working on my 2 in 1 socks using my new Lornas Laces Rainbow colorway yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com I love the yarn and how my socks are working out. One thing though about knitting socks with this method. Once you have the hang of it, it goes rather smoothly but you do need to be vigilant. I occasionally make a mistake where I don’t switch my yarns around as I should and that means that your socks are actually joined together like siamese twins! Not the way they are supposed to work!!! And sadly, just this evening, I discovered such a mistake! At least 2″ below my working row (10 cm) I had mis crossed my yarns and my socks were joined together on 1 single stitch! Only as both socks are being worked at the same time, it is fiddly to undo and start again and in this case I had actually knitted on for AGES! So I had to rip out a good chunk and start again so in spite of today’s knitting, I’m at much the same place now as I was Saturday. So annoying!!!!! But, rather than cut the yarn and fix with a knot and so forth I chose to rip it out and do over for a perfect look! The ripping out is now done and I’m knitting on and being very careful NOT to make the same mistake again! So mark my words: if/when you knit your socks this way, ALWAYS be careful about your yarn placement!

On to more happier things. Last week I actually finished a project and a big one at that. I finished my Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. I knit the shawl using DK weight instead of the heavy laceweight or fingering the pattern called for so my shawl is probably quite bigger than the pattern meant for it to be BUT I love it! I can wear it as a shawl or I can wear it all wrapped up like a shawl and a scarf in one. The yarn is a cash’merino so super soft and warm.

I had intended for it to be a gradient grey with the last section being bright pink but I ran out of yarn! Fortunately I had some more on stock and so was able to finish the shawl using the same yarn although in a different grey color. But I think it really did work out nicely. Theoretically I should now wash and block but I’m feeling ….lazy…un-encouraged….un-inspired…. so I think I’ll actually just wear it as is!

www.knittinginfrance.com What do you think?

And before I leave you, I’m thinking that I really need to develop some patterns using my yarns. That pattern support would be really helpful and encourage sales. I’ve already got a designer working on a sock pattern that will be released in a few months probably and I’m going to see if I can find other designers to work with my yarns as well.

Yesterday, as I was looking at a pile of dyed yarn that is just waiting for me to reskein, photograph and list online, I thought ” well, why don’t I try to do some designing as well???”

And since I love knitting socks and seem to be constantly drawn to fingering weight yarn and bright colors, I naturally chose to do socks! I cast on yesterday and I’ve been working on the today as well and I’m passed the heel on the first so and so far they look nice! I’m thinking I’ll knit the first sock as I write the pattern. Then I’ll put the pattern on paper and knit the second sock by following my pattern and if all works out and the socks look wearable, I’m going to put it up online. This will probably be a free pattern as it’s my very first sock pattern. But I’m really excited about the outcome and just thinking that I could do more and that pattern support could actually help my little yarn business.

Here are some pictures and I’d really love to hear your thoughts on what’s done so far.

www.knittinginfrance.com    Here is a close up, I’ve finished the cuff and done 1 repeat of my lace panel

www.knittinginfrance.com  Here is a sideways view of the sock, there is a lace panel on the center front and back

www.knittinginfrance.com  Here you can better see the lace panel

Any thoughts on my work so far? Be honest!

Well that’s all you guys. I hope you are all doing great and enjoying your summer so far. I’m not writing as regularly as before but I hope you forgive me for that. Thanks for stopping by and until next time, take care 🙂

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My Pebble Beach Shawl and more

Hi there,

Lately I’ve been mostly working on my shawls. I’m almost done with the Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. Her pattern for this shawl is in an original format, a bit like an excel sheet where you have the pattern written out in rows and each row is numbered from 1 and up and every so many rows you see the percentage of completion of the project. I find that quite fun for this project. Of course seeing the size I can imagine that I’m close to finishing but seeing the actual percentage of what I’ve done so far is a great new feature to a knitting pattern I think.

Here I was approximately at 70% done

www.knittinginfrance.com My yarn was gradient dyed in grey so you have light grey, darker grey and then really dark and to finish a bright fluo pink.

Unfortunately I did not have enough pink to finish my shawl so at 80% done I had to add a third color. So I had 60% grey, 20% pink and then I needed to find a new color for the last 20%. I had the same yarn but dyed in 2 different colors and I really was not quite sure which one was the right one so I went to my followers and friends on Instagram and Facebook and asked them to help me choose

www.knittinginfrance.com Their answers were almost unanimous: LIGHT GREY! So I listened and quickly wound the grey yarn into a ball and continued and I think that was the right choice. I’ve knit a few rows of the new light grey yarn now and I think its looking rather nice even though I was not originally planning on using this new color but hey, things happen:-)

www.knittinginfrance.com What do you think? Do you think these colors will work? I sure do! I’m at 85% now so hopefully I’ll finish in 2-3 days. At this stage in the pattern, the rows are super long so the last few rows take forever to finish.

I’m also working on my Beetlebum shawl by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. I haven’t been sufficiently consistent working on this so it is going slowly but surely never the less. I really love how the pattern works up, I like the wings on each side and  I feel this gives the shawl an original look. I’m super happy also with the yarn I chose. Its my hand dyed lace yarn, 50% xtra fine merino, 50% suri alpaca. It’s super soft and squishy. I’m really looking forward to finishing this and I can see myself wearing my Beetlebum shawl this summer in the evening.

www.knittinginfrance.com

And just before I say goodby for today, I couldn’t resist all my new Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock yarns so I ended up casting on for a pair of socks. I’m doing a 2 in 1 socks using the Lornas Laces in Rainbow colorway. So far it’s looking very good. I really love all the bright colors and how they are divided up on the skein and hand painted. The  socks will either be for me or for my daughter. We’ll see later on.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see the socks and I have “opened them up” so you can see both socks. Looking good don’t you think?

Well, that’s all for now. Take care and enjoy your summer and hopefully you have some quality time to enjoy your crafting every day:)

Works in progress and FOs as well as a just discovered technique for color knitting

Hi there, I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Sunday. Yesterday the weather was really nice and I went to the beach for a couple of hours late afternoon but as I went with non knitting friends, I didn’t get any knitting done:) Today is a different story as the weather is not very nice and I’m alone with just 2 kids so this afternoon I’m planning on a relaxing afternoon full of knitting and spinning:) Not to mention some podcast watching because I’m 2 episodes behind on the Geeky Girls Knit podcast so a fun afternoon coming up for me:)

But first I decided to give you some news and share some pictures and ideas with you.

First off are the FOs

www.knittinginfrance.com I finished 3 pairs of tube socks and I really like this way of sock knitting for kids. Also when you like color, it’s a great stash busting technique and you can do like I did, make magic balls from your scraps or mini skeins of hand dyed yarns and voila:)

I also finished a pair of “regular” socks

www.knittinginfrance.com The pattern is Melisandre by Purrlescent and this is a free pattern on Ravelry. The yarn I used is Knitcircus gradient yarn in “Fig & Prosciutto”. And I’m blocking them on my Crazy Monkey Creations sock blockers. And you can see the 2 balls of yarn I’ve got left over. I knit for a size 41 (european shoe size) and I still have all this yarn left which is great for my hexapuf project and my future tube socks or other scrap projects I’m sure I’ll come up with.

As soon as I finished my Melisandre socks I cast on for a new project and I decided upon the Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of CuriousHandmade. The pattern comes in 3 sizes and I’m doing the Large. I’m not using the yarn called for – this should be knit either with lace weight yarn or with fingering but I chose a DK weight. It’s my own hand dyed yarn in Cash’merino DK. And so far so good, I hope it will work out ok even though I’m not following instructions with regards to the yarn weight.

www.knittinginfrance.com As you can see I’m not far along, approx. 11- 12% (the pattern gives you the percentage knitted every X rows)

My next cast on should be the Outlander socks by CC Almond but….. This morning browsing the internet I came upon this new technique called Helix knitting and now all I can think of is to knit something using that technique and I already know what and I have the yarn ready and all!

So for those of you that are not familiar with Helix knitting, it’s a technique for knitting stripes without ever having to deal with a jog in your colors. In fact you’re not really knitting “straight” stripes but they actually “spiral” around. So this is a technique that only works when knitting in the round and I think this can be fabulous for knitting socks and hats and maybe mitts as well.

You can knit using 2 or more colors and the number of stitches you cast on has to be divisible by the number of colors you are going to use. As I’m thinking of doing another pair of either tube or after thought socks I’m thinking of casting on 60 stitches which brings me to either 3 colors (20 stitches each) or 5 colors (6 stitches each). I’m thinking that changing colors every 6 stitches might be tiresome but at the same time, 5 color stripes must be so much more fun than 3 don’t you think? I have to take a look at my mini skeins and give this a good thinking.

I found a video on Youtube where this technique is shown and explained in a very good way – there are other videos of course but I found this one to be the clearest in my opinion. So if you too want to learn a new color knitting technique then you should definitely take a look at this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMvRafcvTvM

That’s all for today. I’ll be back next week with lots of more fun stuff to share. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and an even better week ahead of you:)