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

Advertisements

Where do you look for inspiration for your next project?

Yesterday I shared with you my thoughts and progress on trying to create my own design for a cowl and today I’d like to follow up and think about where we go to look for ideas for our next project.

Do you find inspiration in shops or on the street and then go see if you can find something similar on Ravelry or another pattern website? Or do you browse Ravelry/Patternfish/Craftsy etc for a new pattern? Or do you go to Pinterest?

I used to always turn to Ravelry but more and more I go to Pinterest. I find an incredible amount of gorgeous patterns there and the pin usually links to the website where the pattern is either free or for sale. I have added a large number of both free and for sale patterns like this to my Ravelry library.

I started using Pinterest not that long ago only to find that it is incredibly addictive. I follow a number of knitting, crochet, spinning and DIY boards and inspiration is EVERYWHERE. I can spend hours on end just browsing Pinterest. I’ve of course created my own Pinterest account with a number of boards and my followers have been steadily growing and today I actually have 2.423 followers. Isn’t that amazing? I’m super happy to have such a following and I love seeing the number just go up every time I look. My most popular boards are the Crochet, Knitting inspiration and Hand dyed yarn boards.

Rather than doing separate boards for say: shawls/socks/ how to/ particular technique etc. I include everything knitting related in my Knitting Inspiration board for example. I feel it is easier for me when pinning and repinning and I think others enjoy that because I keep getting new followers/subscribers. If you want to take a look at my Pinterest profile and boards and maybe even follow some of them, you can click here I’d love to see you there:)

Do you use Pinterest for inspiration like I do? Would you like to share your Pinterest profile by leaving a comment below with a link to your Pinterest profile for us to check out and maybe follow you? Do you maybe have a tip or a great Pinner or board that you’d like to share with us? I’d love to hear from you on the subject. After all, we all love (I assume) looking at pictures of beautiful projects and growing our to knit/to crochet list:)

I wish you all a wonderful weekend with lots of crafting time for even more fun:)

Socks and more socks

Hi there, this morning the weather here in Normandy, France is just beautiful! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and its slightly warm. Weather like that always brings my spirits up, even though I do have to work and won’t be able to go to beach! In the last two days I’ve made some progress on my latest knits and so I decided to show you some pictures – please not I did not knit all this in 2 days its just to show you that one thing is finished and the rest almost there:)

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the pair of 2 in 1 socks I’ve been working on lately and as of this morning I just finished! The yarn is gradient yarn from Knitcircus and this pair was actually knit using the rest of a skein that I had used to knit another pair of socks. So from this one skein, I actually got 2 pairs – one medium sized and the second in a child size for my youngest daughter. Would you believe that both pairs came from the same set of gradient striping skein?www.knittinginfrance.com Also both pairs were knit using the 2 in 1 method I learned from a pattern by Kate Atherley. I must say that I have totally fallen for this method of sock knitting. What I need now is to discover how to use this and knit patterned socks, like with lace panels or something because so far, I’m only able to knit plain stockinette socks using this method and I’ve lately discovered a million gorgeous sock patterns online that I’d love to knit but am bothered because I can’t use the 2 in 1 method to do them! On that subject, I’m going to prepare a post soon about all those free and gorgeous sock patterns I’ve discovered lately and maybe you will see something you too will want to knit.

So, one pair of socks done! On to the next 3! Yes, I said 3! Good (or not) that they are all “in progress” so should not take long to finish. So first off, there is my pair of Regency Socks by Heatherly Walker. I’m knitting those using one of my own hand dyed sock yarns in a gorgeous blue colour www.knittinginfrance.com

Then there’s my pair of Philosophers Walk socks by Lesley Melliship  and I’d like to  add that I sell kits for those online and will also offer kits at the I Knit Fandango show in London 15-16th of May 2015. I’ve completed one sock and the second one is almost done so this really should become my priority now as I’d love to show them in London to show people that are interested in buying the kit. So here are mine www.knittinginfrance.com  I really love how purple and yellow go together.

And then the last pair of socks that I have going at the moment, and I’m planning on writing  a post on these later on, are socks knit from a sock blank. A sock blank is a piece of machine knit yarn that is either knit double or single and then you basically “unknit” it as you knit. No need to wind into a ball, you just get going immediately. This is also a fun medium to try with regards to handpainting yarn. This particular blank was a test on my part where I did 2 different colours and dots and the knitted result is rather fun. The pattern is just simple stockinette and ribbing.

www.knittinginfrance.com You see how I inverted the colours- half is dark with dark green dots and the other half is light with dots the colour of the other side’s MC. Hm that sounds complicated but I hope you get the idea 🙂

So, I’m still hooked on sock knitting as you can see. Now before I say goodbye for today, I want to let you know of an update in the shop. I just received the NEW version of the Sock Ruler – the new version has measurements both in inches and centimeters so no matter what pattern you want to knit, the Sock Ruler will be perfect! If you are not familiar with this new awesome tool, then let me explain. The Sock Ruler is a Ruler like the name indicates and you use it instead of a tape measure. It is made out of rigid plastic and has the shape of a sock on one end. It makes measuring the different parts of your sock a breeze as your sock can lay flat so it is way less fiddly than using a tape measure – not to mention I have not lost one Ruler so far where as my tape measures have  a tendency to disappear into thin air making it necessary to have a gazillion on hand all over my project bags and house basically.

This is what the new ruler looks like – On the left side you have the CM and on the right side the IN. IMG_3127

The Sock Ruler www.knittinginfrance..com Here you see how I measure the length of my leg for example. So if you too would like to give this tool a try, here’s a link to it in my shop

Thats all for today my friends. Have a wonderful day and I look forward to writing to you again soon:)

ps- my last post on a Pin It Win It Contest has got quite a few likes so I’m still thinking about maybe doing one just for the fun. Someone mentioned that “small bloggers” would not have a chance to win due to lack of followers but my blog is small too and this is a way to draw attention to my blog as well as my shop and I think it could also draw attention to your blog if you have one. And also no need to have a blog to participate, if you have a Pinterest account you could participate and share on your Pinterest. I’m not expecting the winner to have a 1000 shares of the board, I’m guessing more like 10-15 so this would basically be more for the fun of it for all of us. So this is still working its way in my head, I’ll let you know what I decide and if you have further thoughts on the matter, do share 🙂

A Pin It – Win It contest – what do you think?

Hi there, I was reading up on my social media last night and in this book I’m reading about Pinterest I came upon a concept that could work great in getting the word out about my shop and also be fun for the participants. Before launching into this contest, I’d like to hear your opinion on the question and if you think that you and your followers might be interested in such a game/giveaway.

So here’s my idea:

Each participant creates a board on his/her Pinterest profile called Things I’d like to buy from Knitting in France

They would then pin 10+ items from my Etsy shop to this new board. The board that would then subsequently get the most repins would be the WINNER. So you could engage your followers asking them to check out your board and repin items from it in an attempt to win this Pin It Win It contest.

The winner would be announced after a period of 8 days – I would decide on a day the board can be published and when I will take the stats to see who the winner is.

I’m thinking the winner would get the following: 1 skein of sock yarn, the new Sock Ruler (a new and totally indispensable tool for sock/mitten knitters, and some handmade stitch markers. That would be a gift of about 25Eur worth of supplies which I think is quite nice.

Have you ever done something like this before? If so did you like it? Do you think a contest give away is a good method of promoting a small business such as mine? Would you participate if I did go ahead and launch this contest?

Please let me know and if you have other suggestions for doing this or for a different price for the winner do share your thoughts 🙂

Until next time, as always take care and enjoy your crafting

Branching out on social media

Hi there, it’s been a very busy week and not a lot of blogging or preparation for the show has been done. This weekend will have to be well used as the I Knit Fandango show is practically around the corner so I have to finish my sock knitting kits and my kits for the Marin shawl by Ysolda Teague. I’m also going to prepare kits for a crochet shawl –  a design by a young French designer. The pattern is called Muscari by Mam’zell Flo. I’m excited about this new crochet kit which will be my first crochet kit and also the first kit including a pattern by a French designer. So lots of work for me and I hope that next time I come back to post I will be able to share some success stories and pictures with you here of my finished/prepared kits and yarns.

Now the title of todays post is “branching out on social media”, we all enjoy and use social media up to a certain extent, some use it more than others. I began using Facebook and it was really the only social media I used for my business. Then I went on to Twitter but that is something I have not really used to its full potential so that is something I need to look into. I also created an account on instagram and Flickr but have more or less abandoned those unfortunately.

Today I mostly concentrate on Pinterest which I find to be super inspiring and I spend a lot of time there just looking at great ideas and beautiful things. My following on Pinterest is growing and I hope to continue in that direction. I didn’t quite understand the interest in using Pinterest at the beginning but boy has my opinion changed since then! I just love finding inspiration for colours, knits, crochet items, jewelry, and so forth. Endless daydreaming and inspiration for any crafter.

And then there is Google+, now I’m told it is important to be present on Google + so I just recently did something about that and I now actually share my blog posts on Google +. I’m curious, what is your favorite social media? Where do you connect with friends/family and other crafters? Do you think that it is important for a company to be present on ALL social media outlets or would you think it is better to just concentrate on 1-2 and do them to the fullest ?

And what about Youtube? I’m on Youtube a lot as a consumer of tv shows, films and of course how to videos of all sorts. I was wondering if you too used Youtube for crafting related purposes? Do you go there for tutorials? For podcasts? To learn something new? Do you have a favorite crafting channel or a favorite crafting youtuber? Something you would like to share with us in case we are not familiar with those? I would love to hear from you on the subject. So I thought, why not create my own Youtube channel, not necessarily to post videos of myself or my crafts but to sort of create a library of interesting crafting channels and how to videos and then share this with my followers. A channel that could be like a reference for you when you are looking for something knitting/crochet or fibre related. Well I did start but it is going to take quite some time to do this well so I’m not going to talk about this everywhere for the time being as I need to work a lot on this but I did want to tell you about it and you can check it out and any suggestions for this new Knitting in France Youtube channel are welcome. So check what I have got so far here

That is all for today folks, I have not done a lot of knitting this week so no pictures of in progress items. I do have a confession, I did RIP my socks out again!!! This must be like a limited curse on me these days and hopefully I’ll escape from it soooon! I ripped out the socks and cast on immediately so now I’m doing them 2 in 1 style and of course so far so good:) Cross my fingers and hopefully I’ll be able to share a picture of these future socks soon.

Until next time, take care, enjoy your weekend and I hope you will have the time to do lots of knitting/crochet/spinning or any other craft you enjoy 🙂

Pinterest and inspiration for all things crafty

Hi there, it’s been a tough week but I thought I’d write one last post to make for a good beginning for this weekend. Today I’d like to talk about Pinterest . Are you familiar with this social media platform? I’m told it is the fastest growing social media in the world these days and I’m honestly not surprised.

I will admit that when I first heard of and discovered Pinterest I was not especially interested in what it had to offer. I did not really see the point neither of publishing anything there nor spending time looking at pins from others. Boy, has my opinion changed since those early days!!! Yes it has 🙂

If you already have a Pinterest account and are active I’m sure you agree with me and if you do not yet have an account, be warned, Pinterest and pinning can be highly addictive and may increase your passion for fibre, crafts and stash enhancement:)

So why do I find it so great? Well because it is like a virtual library with billions of genious ideas for everyone and everything. You can virtually search for pins in every domain and that is so great. And just wandering through these pins I continually find myself jotting down new things to do, new techniques to try out, finding an idea for my business, my office, my dream work studio etc.

I created an account on Pinterest in the name of my business, Knitting in France, and I invite you to check out my profile and look at my pins and boards and why not, subscribe to some of them. I have also created a board that I call “Knitting in France hand mades” and I’d love for that to be a joint board for us where we could share pictures of my items/your purchases and most importantly what you do with them, your finished objects etc. Only for you to be able to add things to this board I have to invite you, so if you would like to participate, please contact me by leaving a message below or by sending me an email to: knittinginfrance@gmail.com

I’ve created boards for different things I’m interested in and not all are for knitting or crochet (though most are). My most popular board is the one called Knitting Inspiration and at the moment that is where I share all things knitting related. Rather than making separate boards for patterns/tutos/techniques/socks/shawls etc I have chosen to include all my Knitting Inspirations in one board. And since I started this board my “to knit” list has grown exponentially. But I have also learned new things and discovered new patterns, new designers and fun ideas.

I also have a similar board for crochet which I just call Crochet which also includes patterns, tutos etc for regular crochet and tunisian crochet.

But I also have boards for beading and jewellery as I have fallen for those and now use techniques learned through Pinterest to improve and make new stitch markers. I also have some boards for fibre and spinning and hand dyed and hand spun yarns. There are so many ideas out there.

All in all I have 40 boards but when I look closely I’m probably only active on 10-15 of them so I may have to do some cleaning/reorganising there.

For me Pinterest is a place where we can share great ideas and show off our accomplishments as well as learn from others when we are not teaching our fellow pinners something we do well. And in my case I really think that I’m more inspired by Pinterest than Ravelry when it comes to my work with fibres – and we all know that Ravelry is huge so that says something for Pinterest.

So if you are looking for inspiration for your work or just enjoy looking at beautiful things, learning something new and sharing your finds with others then Pinterest is definitely a place for you. I invite you to subscribe to my boards for inspiration and also if you already are on Pinterest, share your username with us so we too can subscribe to your boards for even more fun and inspiration.

And talking about inspiration,  I just had one! I’m going to offer sock sets for knitting socks with 2 colours, 1 main colour and a second contrasting colour for cuff and toes. How does that sound to you? And since I’m constantly knitting with my test dyes to be able to show you the results and learn if I’m doing things right, I just might include a free pattern with those 🙂

More on that later, so until then have a great and creative weekend.

Take care