A little bit of news

Hello and how are you??? I hope you are doing good, enjoying your summer and staying healthy and away from Covid.

It has been months since I last blogged here and I’m truly sorry for that. If have followed me for a while you will know that the past 18 months or so have been very difficult on a personal level and unfortunately it seems bad things continue to happen so I am still somewhat shaken up and not quite feeling as good as I would like to.

But I’m taking it one day at a time and I’m sure I will get there in the end somehow.

I have not done a lot of crafting lately. My free time has been taken up with getting settled in my new rental apartment. I have been doing a lot of translating. Luckily for me it seems Icelandic translators are in high demand so I have been doing my best to pass translation tests for different clients and getting new contracts. So far so good and I’m fairly optimistic about being able to make a living as a freelance translator. The fear of running into financial difficulties still lurches in the back of my mind and probably will for a while. Maybe that is just a good thing as it will keep me on my toes.

There is one big and positive news I can give you. You may remember that I said I was a “crazy cat lady” and that I have dreamt of becoming a breeder. Well when I was laid off due to Covid last year, I used some of my compensation pay to adopt 3 queens (that is female cats for reproduction purposes). And guess what! My very first litter came into this world during the night of July 31st!

That was such a huge event for me. A real milestone and for me it marks the true beginning of my career as a feline breeder.

I was very stressed about the birth as I had never witnessed a cat giving birth and I kept thinking of all the horrible things that could go wrong. Wondering if I was cut out for this job, if I was capable of assisting my girl if there was a problem.

Lucky for me, I was not alone when she went into labor. My two girls were with me and I’m so happy that they were there to witness the birth as well. It all went well though I did have to take mother and 3 newborn kitties to the vet at 3 am as the last kitty was taking too long to arrive. She got a shot of hormones and we were sent back home to wait. Luckily she did manage to deliver the last kitty on her own.

The mom was soooo tired in the end (and I was too). It all started around 11 pm and the last baby was born at 4:45 am. My girl who is very close to me gave birth in my bed! I had prepared a cozy nursery for her but she was not at all interested. I did suspect she would choose my bed over any other place in the apartment so I had prepared. What I had not expected was that she would then refuse to leave my bed for the next 2 weeks! So yes, for 2 weeks I shared my bed with my girl and her 4 beautiful babies. You may think that is crazy but I’m not complaining:) I did try a few times to put everyone into the nursery which is in my bedroom as well but mama was NOT happy! That is until yesterday. She finally agreed that it was an acceptable place and is now settled in with her kitties who are 17 days old today!

So the new mother is my Cornish Rex cat Romy.

Romy the Cornish Rex queen

And here are a few photos of her and the babies taken over the last 17 days.

If you are not a cat person, I apologize. I don’t usually talk so much about my cats but today’s post is a little different as the past ones have been – given my personal situation at the moment.

Now on to crafting. I have managed to finish 2 pairs of socks. One of them were my pattern/invention and the other is a pattern by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears (don’t remember the pattern name just now).

I have also started to assemble a “new”/”old” crochet blanket. I don’t remember when I started this but it’s been a while. I crocheted a lot of colored squares and now I’m doing the white ones and joining them to the colored ones as I go. There are a gazillion ends to weave in so progress is slow. I also realized that as I used whatever yarn I found, well not all fingering yarns are equal and so now that I’m joining I realize that some of the squares are too big… but hey that is not a real problem. I can just crochet new ones if I need to. I’m in no shortage of minis!

This is the Battenberg Blanket by Sandra Paul and it is free on Ravelry. I’m not far along but so far I like it. I chose to use only pink and purple type colors/yarns.

My progress on the Battenberg Blanket

I’m also working on a short sleeved sweater by Petite Knit called the Friday Tee. I’m knitting mine with a linen yarn from Knitting for Olive. I like it so far and I think I’m not far from being done with the body.

So that’s about all I have going project wise. I am feeling an urge to start on a new pair of socks and for some reason I also really want to start on a new shawl only for that I need 2 identical skeins or 2 complimentary skeins.

Let me tell you, moving houses was a huge wake up call where stash was concerned and I think this actually warrants an entire post because boy do I have yarn………………………………….Hundreds of skeins! No I did not count, I was afraid to! And of course 99% of those are single skeins of ….sock yarn and 80% probably do not coordinate with any other skein or I would have to spend HOURS looking for THE possible matching skein to pull of a 2 skein project!

It did however make me realize that I was not being realistic in my yarn aspirations and I really want to start using up the stash. Don’t think I will ever deplete it but I will try to get it to a manageable size before my next move! I hope…

So thank you for stopping by and sharing some of your precious time with me. I also want to thank everyone who reached out to me and sent me wonderful, encouraging messages of hope and friendship. Your support means a lot to me and at the time brought me to tears. When we are facing a difficult situation and feel alone and vulnerable, friendship, even virtual, can make such a difference and I truly appreciate yours. Feeling appreciated and understood made a big difference and has helped me face this new life I now have. I am working on myself and I will continue to do so and improve my life and I hope to be back to blogging on a regular basis soon. This blog has been part of my life for over 5 years and I had a lot of plans for this when I started out and I want to continue working on this blog, share my crafting and musings and keep in touch with you!

So until next time, stay safe and happy crafting:)

Baby knitting

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing well and staying safe. I imagine that you, like me, are being more or less confined due to the current Covid crisis. This is perhaps less of an issue for us knitters as we can always pick up our knitting to pass the time if need be.

Here in France we are in lockdown from 6 pm to 6 am. I´m studying from home so this means I rarely leave the house or just to go grocery shopping etc. I should go out for walks, a bit of fresh air would do me a world of good both physically and mentally but I´m having a hard time committing to that. I did actually sign up for the walking challenge hosted by Dan and Kay of the Bakery Bears podcast hoping that will give me a kick in the behind but so far….not much success! How about you? Are you part of their race this year? What do you do to motivate yourself for some light workout?

As for knitting, I have been knitting everyday as always. Since last time I managed to finish 1 pair of socks, a baby cardigan and socks. I have also been working on my scrappy crochet blanket as well as the other gazillion wips I have.

So first the socks, I have finished the Snow Forest socks by Kay Jones https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snow-forest-3

I have yet to create my project page on Ravelry but I used yarn from Lay Family Yarns. This was the first time I used their yarn and I must say it is beautiful. The base itself is just the standard 75/25 merino nylon but the dye job is really beautiful and I love the finished item.

The lace pattern is only on one side so even if I pictured them facing the same direction, when worn they actually mirror each other. The pattern was clearly written and easy to follow and I like the rounded toe. These are a step up from simple vanilla socks so perfect when you are not in a mindspace that allows for complicated and intricate knitting but you still want something other than just stockinette stitch round and round. So highly recommend this pattern. It is one of 3 patterns she published end of 2020. I purchased all 3 and plan to knit the other two shortly.

For information the other two are Flurry and Winter Solstice

I recently learned that one of my cousins in Iceland is expecting her first baby. I don´t know yet if it is a boy or a girl but I immediately wanted to cast on something. I haven´t knit much for babies in a while so this is quite exciting. I have been perusing Ravelry searching for patterns and have created a list of patterns I like and you can check out if interested by clicking here.

Knitting for babies turns out to be very fulfilling in terms of productivity as they usually are small items and so can be finished quickly. The first item I decided to knit was the Newborn Vertebrae. I chose a gender neutral yarn from Regia and I modified the pattern slightly by adding a few stitches to make the cardigan cover a little more of the chest area.

I like the finished item and I´m actually wondering about knitting a second raglan cardigan though not necessarily from the same pattern.

I then knit a pair of newborn socks. I did not use an actual pattern but looked at different free patterns and made up my own. I did however have an issue with the length of the foot. I was not really able to find a good source for the sock length so maybe they will only fit the first few days of life:)

I used the same yarn as for the cardigan and they are super cute. But I will have to knit more socks in bigger sizes.

My finished set of Newborn Vertebrae and matching socks

As this was finished I had to find a new project and I chose to knit a pair of baby tights. I chose the Olive´s Tights. I chose a yellow sparkly yarn from my stash. This was already balled up from a long time ago. I had started a shawl with this yarn but then ripped it out and put away. I no longer have the ball band and I´m not even sure if this is something I dyed myself or if this is yarn I purchased.

I have only just cast on so there is not much to show but here´s a sneak peak so you can see the yarn.

This week I will be working on the Olive´s Tights and I would love to finish my Sparks socks by Andrea Mowry.

I just have one foot and knitting colorwork with one´s own handspun is such fun that I should not need much time to get these done.

I will also be working on my crochet blanket. I originally made two magic knot balls of 200 gr each and I´m almost done with the second one so last night I made a third one and this time it weighs 335 gr. What is absolutely amazing is that all that yarn, now a total of about 740 gr comes from small leftovers of sock yarns! I have not touched my stash of mini skeins! And I still have plenty of leftovers!!! Oh my!

It puts my stash a little into perspective… maybe there actually is such a thing as “enough” yarn…It is also very satisfying to use up all those leftovers that would otherwise have kept sitting in my bins for years to come.

I´m not really using a pattern for my blanket I´m just doing trebble/double crochet and I’m not sure how many I chained but I think that width wise it is about 160 cm or so.

As for spinning, I´m sad to say that I have not touched my spinning wheel for close to a year now I think. When I lost my grandmother I lost a part of myself and I´m slowly getting my act back together and I’m hoping to get back to spinning soon. My kittens have though manage to cut through my tension band (I think that is the correct name) so I will have to order a new one before I get going.

And on the personal side, well I’m studying for my Master´s degree in translation. Not an easy task after 2 decades of working to find myself on a school bench again. It is all online and sometimes that is a disadvantage as I am often tempted to cut my day short and do some knitting instead!

But I only have a few months left so I need to stay focused and also prepare for the after when I will start working as an independent translator. There are a lot of things to consider and do before I can actually start working. And at the same time I’m preparing my cattery, reading up on everything cat related, looking at what I need to invest in, look for new queens (a female cat that is not sterilized) etc.

So as you can see I have a lot of work but somehow knitting still is my favorite thing to do and that and my cats help me to stay sane!

I think this is all for now. I wish you a very good week. Stay healthy, stay happy and enjoy your knitting!

Summer is over and I’m back

Hi there, how are you and how have you been? Seems I took an unofficial, un planned hiatus over the summer. Somehow time just wasn’t there or I wasn’t in the mood for blogging or something. In fact I have been largely off social media over the summer as well. Just did not feel much like sharing even though I didn’t stop knitting as one might have thought given my absence.

I did take two small holidays over the summer with my family which was very nice and much needed. I have some pictures I plan on sharing with you later to show you the beautiful places I went.

I didn’t stop knitting, in fact I think this summer is one of my most productive summers as I finished a total of 4 short sleeved tops/sweaters. Currently I am working on short sleeved top number 5 as well as a cowl, socks and a shawl and getting ready to cast on for a wrap and a pair of socks. So lot’s of knitting going on still.

Now I have finished my summer vacation and the kids are back in school and so life is getting back into it’s usual pace and I’m thinking I will get back to blogging regularly as before.

So I’m sure you are looking forward to seeing my new handknit sweaters right?

Magnolia

So this is the Magnolia sweater by Camilla Vad. This pattern exists in two versions, long and short sleeves. I absolutely love the pattern and the finished garment and am already planning on knitting the long sleeved version.

What makes this one particularly special is that I knit this using my own hand spun and hand dyed yarn! I had planned on having it in one colour only but I ran out of yarn and then was not able to replicate exactly this same yellow/mustardy colour so I overdyed with brown and I’m happy with how that turned out.

This is a little cropped pattern and if I had had more yarn I definitely would have knit the body longer. I could have added length to the ribbing but somehow felt that would change the intended look and so chose to leave as it was. The fibre I used was a superwash merino fibre.

Next in line was the Soldotna by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. Everyone has been knitting this one and so I had to as well.

I did wonder about changing the pattern and knitting either 3/4 length sleeves or even full length sleeves but then ended up just knitting as per the pattern.

I used my own hand dyed yarns though not hand spun this time. I had spun up some yarn and dyed just for this sweater but it turned out to be too thick and I wasn’t ready to recalculate the entire pattern for this to work out so I got out some remnants of undyed yarns and dyed them up. Only the grey is a commercial yarn from Milla Mia.

I have yet to take a modeled picture showing the sweater on myself sorry:)

I’m quite happy with the outcome. I usually prefer fingering weight sweaters as I feel DK is sometimes too warm but I hope I will use this one a lot come winter. I did lengthen the body somewhat as I had seen lots of comments about the pattern being very cropped and a lot of people seem to have added repeats to the body so I did too and frankly I could have added a couple more but again yarn chicken was there to stop me…

Next in line was the Navelli again by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks.

This one is a pattern I immediately fell in love with and knew I had to knit. I even placed an order with one of my favorite indie dyers – Knit Cosmic Strings in Edinburgh, Scotland- just for this sweater.

Again I wondered about adding length to the sleeves only to end up adding just a tiny bit. I did however modify the sleeve construction in the sense that rather than knit first with the main colour and then change to a contrasting colour and turn that inside so only a few rounds of the contrasting colour show and the sleeve is basically knit double, I chose to do a classic ribbed cuff. And I’m really happy with that choice. And this is another pattern I can see myself knitting all over again but if I do, I will definitely be doing it with long sleeves or at least 3/4 sleeves for a winter version.

This is a design I really love and especially enjoyed knitting the pattern at the bottom. I can see myself knitting this again but then with longer sleeves; either 3/4 or full length sleeves.

But before I went on vacation this July I did finish another summer garment, a sleeveless top called Simply Perfect Summer . This was a quick and fun pattern to knit and I used a yarn called Belle from Drops. This is a DK weight cotton yarn I quite liked. It was the first time I used this yarn and I think I will use this again for knitting summery garments in the future.

I don’t think I actually shared finished object pictures with you so here goes.

I used a dark navy colour but on the pictures it looks more black.

But I have yet another finished garment to share with you. This is a test knit I did for a new to me designer called Wollmuschi. She designed a short sleeved summer top that I absolutely fell in love with when I saw her pictures. I was lucky enough to get to test knit and I chose to knit my version using my own hand dyed yarn. I used a blend of alpaca, silk and linen. This blend is perfect for summery garments and just any knit you want some flow and movement, a feeling of airiness. I dyed my yarn in black but the end result is more on the charcoal grey side. Still love it.

The pattern is called Nereus and has been published. I can highly recommend this pattern. It was fun to knit. I find the lace panel to be very feminine and the overall look and design to be so relaxed and just a go with everything type of garment. I am definitely knitting this one again. I can see this as one with longer sleeves or even a cardigan!

What do you think? I love mine!

So this is it for today I think. I hope I haven’t lost all my readers after my unofficial and unexplained summer hiatus. I’m happy to be back and I hope you have enjoyed coming back to my blog and that maybe you were inspired to tackle one of the patterns I worked over the summer.

This coming week I will be working on the following projects:

Ziggy by Joji

Ashes by Joji

Yuma by Isabelle Kramer

Socks I’m trying to design myself

Ship and boats by Caitlin Hunter

Lots of knitting to look forward to. I wish you all a great rest of the week and happy knitting. Till next time!

The Mara Sweater

Hi there, how are you ? All melted away with the recent heatwave maybe? I hope not!

We had a few days of seriously hot weather here in Normandy which is not my favorite as I really don’t enjoy much heat. Also knitting in 30C+ is not the best, think clammy hands and sweat! Not a nice picture;

Luckily the weather has cooled down some and so I’m feeling better and knitting like crazy.

But before I can show you what I’m currently knitting on I have to show you my latest secret test knit.

This was a pattern by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. This was a top down sweater with what looks like an all over colorwork but is in fact a slipped stitch pattern and so very easy to do and no tension issues as there sometimes are with fair isle/stranded knitting.

The pattern calls for a slightly cropped sweater with 3/4 sleeves but you can easily knit to your liking and have a full length sweater and either full length or even short sleeves.

As you decrease on the sleeves you end up not being able to keep the patterning all around

I so loved this particular pattern that I actually knit two sweaters! And I finished both before the deadline for the test knit. Though I admit I still have not weaved in the ends of the second version just yet. But it is all ready for me to finish for good.

So I chose to use a wonderful UK yarn which I have used before as I took part in other test knits for other designers. I chose yarn from Cambrian Wool in the UK. I chose their 4 ply yarn and chose too very contrasting colors, Arian and Welsh red – that is a very pale grey and a rust red.

The prototype uses a main color and a gradient set as contrast colors but I felt like just using solid colors and limiting them to just two.

The stitch pattern is very addictive and I feel the sweater was easy to knit and the pattern well written.

The only issue or point where you have to be careful is where you split for the sleeves. As there are short rows on the neck, if you miscalculate your sweater will look wonky.

I admit that I made a mistake on my primary sweater and so once I had finished it, I ripped back the neck ribbing and short rows and reknit them.

I chose to knit 3/4 sleeves on this version and I quite like that.

Here are more pictures of me wearing the sweater

Then there was the second version. For that one I wanted to see how the garment would look if I only did the slipped stitch pattern on the yoke. I also chose a different combination of yarns. I chose Holst Garn Tides which is a wool and silk blend and I knit this held double with a thread of a lace weight sequinned mohair. I then used Nateby yarn from Eden Cottage yarn for the colorwork as contrast color.

See how the sequins sparkle?

This version turned out very different from the other. Because of the completely different yarns, this version turned out looser, less form fitting on the body. Also the sleeves are wider though I secretly suspect I may have made some mistake there and maybe knit on too many stitches. But it’s ok, it is still wearable.

I also chose to do 3/4 sleeves as this version is also quite warm so full length sleeves might be too much.

So I yet have to finish weaving in the ends and have pictures taken of me wearing the sweater. I will do later this summer.

You can check out my pattern page on Ravelry here https://www.ravelry.com/projects/bogga/miara-sweater

If you feel like knitting a garment and you like the colorwork look then this just might be the project for you 🙂

That’s all for today. I hope you are doing good and enjoying your summer so far. I will be back later to show you my latest socks, Olive Leaf cardigan and summer tee not to mention my next cast on which will be the Navelli by Kaitlyn Hunter.

So until next time, Happy Knitting!

Back again with more socks

Hi there, how are you doing this week? I hope you are doing good and enjoying this beginning of summer if you are in the northern hemisphere.

I have been furiously knitting on a secret test knit that should be published soon. It is a colorwork sweater and I decided to knit two in stead of just one! I was convinced that a modified version would also look great and so I knit two versions. I do have to weave in ends on the second sweater and block it but that should be done quickly and hope to be able to share the pictures with you soon.

As I had to finish the sweaters rather quickly everything else was put on the back burner.

I did make it to round 5 of Sock Madness but then sort of left. Round 6 only 5 knitters from each team would make it to the next round and the pattern was not to my liking so I admit I did not try to compete for that round.

Since then I started and finished a pair of socks for my younger daughter. I’m a fan of selfstriping sock yarn and especially self striping yarn from Turtle Purl Yarns and I had a lot of small minis from them which I had set aside to use in my Northeasterly blanket. But that has been on hold for a few months now and I really wanted to use the minis so I decided on knitting a pair of scrappy socks.

I also wanted them to be extra cozy so I decided to make the leg extra high.

Scrappy Turtle Purl socks

How fun are these? Not everyone likes colourful non matching socks but I find them fun and my daughter loves them! So that is all that matters.

I actually think I will be making more like these. My daughter sleeps in handknit socks in winter and I think scrappy, long legged socks look extra cozy.

I am also working on a pair of socks now and I’m just inventing the pattern as I go. I’m using a self-patterning sock yarn from Turkey this time but what is different with this pair is that I’m using flexible double pointed needles from NEKO, a German brand. I’m using their bamboo version and so far so good. They are very nice in the hands and good to work with. I’m going to finish the pair before doing a proper review here and I will also be doing a little interview with the people behind these needles and I hope you will enjoy that later.

But here is the first sock

a sock on my new bamboo flexible NEKO needles
My own pattern

I was going to do a vanilla sock, then decided on a ribbing and then felt it was too simple and so added a little cable at regular intervals and I really like how this is knitting up. The cables do draw the sock in so it looks super narrow but then it stretches out when I put my hand in so I think this will be all good. These are also for my younger daughter but this time the leg is a rather short one.

I’m sort of un officially joining the SMAL or spinning makealong that Mina of the Knitting Expat is running now. I have spun up some merino fibre that I tried to spin up to a sort of DK weight and then dyed up the yarn in soft colours. I have knit a little swatch to verify if the yarn will work for what I have in mind.

My handspun yarn just out of the dye pots and drying

I want to knit the Soldotna by Caitlin Hunter but I’m a little worried maybe my yarn will not work. In some places it looks more like a worsted weight yarn. But I’m going to keep on swatching and hopefully I will be able to make this work. If not I will have to find another pattern that I could use this yarn for. If you have any good pointers or know of a colourwork pattern that calls for DK/worsted I’d love to check those out.

The colours are not showing up good here. The main colour is a light blue. The colours are more accurate in the picture above.

So this week I’m going to finish the pair of socks for my daughter, finish my swatching for my handspun so I can start the Soldotna if it works. I also will continue to work on my Olive Leaf Cardigan by Eri which I have yet to share with you. I’m getting close to being done with the body and then there are the sleeves. Friends of my husband have just had their first baby and I’m going to knit a little cardigan for their baby so I’m looking at patterns (I’m tempted by this one https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-fir-jacket) and yarns in my stash and I look forward to getting that going. It’s been a while since I knit for a baby.

I hope you are having fun with your knitting too and if you would like to share pictures or names of patterns you are working on to inspire me and the other readers, that would be great.

Until next time, have fun and happy knitting.

More sock knitting

Hi there, how are you? Once again I have let life get in the way of my blogging! I don’t know why I find blogging on a regular basis is a challenge these days. I need to work on that some.

So since I last posted I have been working mostly on socks. I made it to round 4 of Sock Madness as I believe I told you last time. And I have now finished that round and qualified for round 5. Things are getting really serious now as only 10 of the quickest knitters in each team qualified for this upcoming round and if I want to make it to round 6 I have to be among the quickest 5 to finish! As we are getting closer to the end of the competition, only the quickest knitters are left so I have some serious doubts about making it on to round 6. I’m hoping the pattern will arrive on a weekday; early morning or beginning of the afternoon. I get most of my knitting done during the work week as we stay home at night and so where as on weekends I loose time doing chores and grocery shopping, homework supervision etc and so often end up having less time than I would like to knit on weekends.

Of the 5 knitters that will make it to round 6 only 1 yes that’s right ONE will qualify for round 7. For some stroke of miracle I was one of those knitters 4 years ago but I don’t think I am this year. I think I will be fine if I’m disqualified this round even though the competitor in me really wants to make it to round 6.

Now the pattern for this last round was a fun one including cables and lace knitting and it was a fairly easy one after a while. I did have some comprehension issues to begin with but there is a questions thread on Ravelry with moderators, the designer herself and of course other knitters so each time I was able to find answers rather quickly. And once in the rhythm of things the pattern became intuitive.

This time around I made them in my younger daughter’s size but she is a 36/37 EU. And I used a new to me commercial sock yarn from HOBBII.

The Cannon socks from Sock Madness 13 round 4

I really like the toe not being all stockinette but having a little sort of ribbing to it. The lace pattern moves around the leg so it is not easy to work using stitch markers and I think, virtually impossible to knit taat.

Now on to the yarn. This is a wool and nylon blend, 75/25 in fingering weight and comes in 50 gr balls. I used one ball per sock as I did not want to join yarns part way through sock 2. But when I had finished my pair, I had a total of 33 gr left over which is quite a lot.

The yarn itself is soft to the touch and nice to knit with and I look forward to seeing how it will evolve with use. So far so good. And the best part is the price point. This yarn is very cheap! I purchased this directly from their website where they offer all sorts of yarns https://hobbii.com/

This is their Happy Feet yarn which I used for the first time. I have knit a pair using their Happy Feet XL before and they are nice though they have felted slightly with wear.

I’m not sure what yarn I will use for next round. It might be a one colour pattern but it might also be colourwork using two colours so I’ll just have to see when the pattern arrives. I have a bag of possible options all ready for cast on.

I also had a sock test knit for a publication but for the first time I really did not enjoy the pattern and so asked to quit the test as I was just not feeling it and having the hardest time to pick it up. Once I told them I was not going to finish; I immediately ripped back the almost finished sock one! That felt good though I am somewhat perplexed about this situation.

Another sock pattern I test knit has now been published on Ravelry and that was a fun pattern I enjoyed. I only had to knit one sock to finish the test so I still have to knit the second sock and will do so once I have finished Sock Madness.

That sock pattern is by Jo of KBG Designs and is called the Hidden Diamonds socks. The stitch pattern is easily memorised and fun to knit. This time I knit size small as these will be a gift. I chose to knit using my own hand dyed sock yarn in a fun orange colour. I think this pattern works best with a somewhat solid colour to really show off the stitch pattern. My yarn was not solid but not too crazy either and so I feel the pattern worked well here.

Hidden Diamonds sock

As for other knitting, I’m coming close to finishing my second Modernist by Renee of East London Knits.

This one is for a friend of my older daughter and she wants the exact same as the one I test knit and my daughter kept. So I’m knitting the same size using the same exact yarn, colour and all!

As I was looking for pictures to share I realise that I actually did not blog about this project before! So here goes.

I test knit this oversized cardigan for Renee a while ago. It is a fingering weight design and the shape is a little unusual at least for me as it is a cropped and oversized cardigan.

The construction is also unusual making the knitting all the more fun. I chose to use Holst Garn Supersoft in Marine blue, dark blue and I really like the outcome. There is an option for adding button holes but in both my versions I chose not to have buttons. My daughter wears her’s all the time and I’m hoping her friend will like hers as much too.

At the moment I am just 20 rounds of cuff from finishing the garment so I’m hoping that will be done tomorrow and then I have the weekend for finishing and blocking so she can have her cardigan next Monday.

And speaking of Renee Callahan of East London Knits, I have just started a new secret test knit for her. That is a top down sweater with some colourwork and I am having some issues finding the correct yarns for my version so I think I might actually end up knitting two versions. I have done part of the yoke in one combo and yesterday I started the yoke in another yarn combo. Im planning on knitting a bit to see how the pattern looks in each combo and then decide what I do. The deadline is short so I might finish just one in time for that and then knit the second one later. Who knows.

Well that’s it for today folks. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to follow my knitting as always. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week ahead of you with plenty of knitting and good, summery weather on top.

Happy knitting

Lots of knitting progress

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing well and enjoying your knitting as always.

I have been on a sort of finishing sprint lately and I’m hoping I will keep on going for some time as I have sooooooo many wips to finish!

First there is the Radisson poncho by Josee Paquin. I have been working very steadily on this project. The colorwork was very fun and the Cascade 220 yarn a joy to knit with. Here are some pictures from start to finish.

What do you think? This will be a gift for a family member. Shut I’m not saying who just in case that person is reading!

So last time I believe I mentioned that I had picked up my Boxy Chevron by Susanne Sommers which had been languishing a long time. And I’m so happy to announce that I have now finished my sweater. I finished Saturday and have been wearing it since then!

I still have my mountain of shame/pile of more or less forgotten wips.

This is a very boxy garment. You start by knitting the sleeves which is actually a very good idea for such a large, stockinette garment. The parts in red in my version are textured. The red yarn is Madeleinetosh Tosh merino single and the black/red main colour is my own hand dyed fingering weight.

I was worried about the sleeves being too snug but they actually fit very nicely. I’m not used to wearing oversized garments but this one does fit nicely and I enjoy wearing it so if you are thinking about a boxy sweater you should check this one out.

And most of all I’m especially happy to have it done! I see from my Ravelry project page that I started this one on August 21st 2018.

So as I was super happy to have that done, I dove into my pile of old wips and fished out another old project. This time I picked up a cowl that I started… on July 16th 2016! Oh boy! I’m a little ashamed to admit that!

The pattern is called Midsummer Haze by Joji Locatelli. I’m knitting this using my own hand dyed yarn, an alpaca/silk/linen blend which is heaven.

I had actually put this down 3 pattern repeats before finishing! What?!!

So last night I knit one repeat (15 rounds) and I’m going to knit another repeat today so that I can actually cast of this Wednesday!

Midsummer Haze by Joji Locatelli

So the bottom of the cowl is where I’m now at, just two pattern repeats from finishing. This cowl is structured a bit like a triangular shawl only knit in the round. It also comes with tassels and I’m thinking I will add those once the knitting is all done. Can’t wait to actually get this off the needles. Can you imagine, this has been taking up a set of needles, a project bag not to mention floor space when I could have so easily finished months ago! I will have to work on being more serious.

I have yet another finished object that I can share with you. This one you have not heard about before. I have a little friend who enjoys my knitting and a few days ago she asked me if I could knit her fingerless gloves in pink. So I went to Ravelry and did some research and I found a pattern that I liked. It is called Mitt Envy by Weezalana and this is a free pattern.

I had a commercial sock yarn in pink all ready to go and I think I finished the pair in less than a week. This was a well written pattern. The only change I made was that rather than do a 2×2 rib I always did a 1×1 twisted rib. I also may have made the cuff a little longer than the pattern called for but I’m not sure.

Mitt Envy

So this was a simple pattern and a very quick knit.

I’m also knitting on my Heart warmer cowl by Justyna Lorokowska. I cast on a few weeks ago and then put it aside for no reason. Now it’s back and being actively worked on. I’m knitting this using my own hand dyed yarn in a very luxurious blend of merino, yak and silk.

Heart Warmer cowl

And I did start a whole new project Sunday! A shawl! And not even the Bubbles shawl by Stephen West that I have been thinking about lately and wanting to start.

No I decided to do some knitting with my hand spun yarns and I had planned on knitting The Shift cowl by Andrea Mowry.

However, when I looked at the 3 skeins I had chosen for that project, I thought that I might end up with lots of left over yarns… not so good. And I knew she had designed something similar only as a shawl which requires twice as much yarn! So of course I purchased that pattern, the Nightshift shawl and chose another three hand spun skeins.

And this Sunday I cast on. I love knitting with my own hand spun. It does add something a little bit more special to the whole experience. Plus the yarn is super soft and colourful. However this is a big shawl so I’m thinking this will be some time in the making.

So as you can see, I have been knitting a lot and I still have plenty to do. But then what is on my working needles now for this week?

Well, most importantly I have to finish my Midsummer Haze cowl.

Then I have to finish my Heart Warmer cowl. I need to continue working on my Nightshift shawl and also work on my Jaycee cardigan which I forgot to mention above.

Jaycee cardigan by Isabelle Kraemer

I am going to test knit a pair of socks for a printed publication and that pattern will arrive in 2 days time. And then of course the first actual round of Sock Madness is just around the corner. I don’t know when the pattern will arrive but I’m in the starting blocks ready to cast on and put everything else on hold when it does.

What about yourself? Any exciting projects you are working on? Are you maybe planning on going to EYF in Edinburgh this coming weekend? If so lucky you! I dream of going one day.

I think this is all for today. This is quite a lot of knitting I see now that I have put this all on record so to speak. Now I just have to update my Ravelry project pages with more pictures and details. It does help to have a record of the patterns I knit, especially when I then leave them to linger in my pile of shame for months…

I’m off to go knitting. I wish you a great new week and I hope you will have plenty of time to work on your knitting and take part in fun fibre related activities. Thank you again for stopping by today and sharing your time with me. I truly appreciate you:)

Finished garments and Sock Madness

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing good and that so far March is treating you good.

After a spell of some incredible warm weather and sun, winter is back and it is raining a lot and the forecast for this week is mostly rain. But hey, as a knitter that is not an issue for me. Just more time to stay home and knit:)

Since my last post I have been able to finish two garments one of which was started back in October 2018.

I also finished my garment test knit, the DK sweater. I’m not allowed to show you pictures of the finished garment just yet but I believe the pattern will be revealed in a couple of weeks so soon. I’m very happy with the outcome and when my older daughter saw it blocking she asked if she could borrow it some time. Now that is validation 🙂

Here I’m about half done. Just to show you the color and give you an idea of what the pattern looks like.

I do have one but here. It’s with regards to the weight of the yarn. Most of my garments are knit in fingering weight yarns and knitting this in DK has made me realise that I really prefer fingering for garment knitting. A lot of people love knitting with heavier weight yarns and mention both how quickly the garment is knit and the warmth.

I actually prefer the lightness of fingering weight garments. Also I don’t need very heavy yarn as it never gets super cold here in Normandy. It really was eye opening to participate in this test knit with regards to my yarn preference.

And it’s funny because I do like DK shawls and hats and mitts. But for garments, I definitely prefer fingering. What about you? Do you have a preference for a particular weight of yarn for your garment knitting?

The garment I also finished and had started back in October was a second Cactus cardigan by Suvi Simola. I had almost finished the body when it was put aside and just left lingering for months. When I finally picked it up again it went super quick.

I knit my first one using Holst Garn Supersoft and this time I used Holst Garn Coast which is a 50/50 cotton/wool. This yarn feels very soft and light but it is not very elastic.

I should maybe have gone down a needle size here but it’s still ok. The fabric is very light. I only have to put on the buttons and I’m all done.

I’m very happy with the outcome. I knit this with the idea of gifting it to a friend. Now I just have to show it to her and get her to try it on and if it fits and she likes it, it will be hers. If for some reason she does not like it, well it will just be mine 🙂

The pattern is really simple and a great one to create some stable cardigan that can go with everything.

I have also started a new garment, a poncho using a DK type yarn – Cascade 220. This is a birthday gift for someone special and I really hope she will love it.

The pattern is called Radisson and the designer is Josée Paquin. I started this past weekend so I’m about half done I think. I really love the pattern and I’m being very careful with the colourwork. I stop regularly and pull on the fabric to make sure I’m not knitting too tight. I don’t want the fabric to pucker.

Here you can see all the colours. My main colour is black and then the contrast colours are blue, beige and white. This is a really satisfying knit and I’m really enjoying knitting on this.

Another new cast on was the start of Sock Madness! The pattern for the qualifying round arrived on Sunday and I of course immediately cast on. The pattern is called Smock Madness. I’m taking my time though because I don’t want to be too quick and end up in one of the quickest teams. I really want to make it to the last round as I did when I participated for the very first time. Since then I have never even come close to that! Beginners luck I suppose so now it really is time for me to repeat the performance:)

This first pattern is a fun one and not very complicated. It is an all over smocked pattern and currently I’m at the gusset on sock one.

My yarn is very dark so the patterning is not showing up very well in the picture. I’m using Arwetta Classic in colour 807 which is a deep burgundy/purple.

I have prepared the yarns for all the patterns. Before the start of Sock Madness we get a list of materials and what we need for each pattern. This year I chose to use mostly commercial yarns both to use those from my stash and also to avoid spending a lot of time winding skeins into balls. I only chose one indie dyed yarn this time and I have wound that already.

So there will be a lot of sock knitting in my future hopefully:)

This coming week I hope to finish my Smock Madness socks, make a good progress on my Radisson poncho and also continue to work on my Jaycee cardigan by Isabelle Kramaer. I’m just past the separation for the sleeves. I have yet to take pictures of this project but I’m knitting this using Drops Flora yarn for the first time.

I hope you will have a great week ahead and enjoy your knitting. Thank you for stopping by today and sharing some of your time with me.

Happy knitting:)

An almost monogamous knitter for once

Hi there how are things? I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. I was kept busy between work and school holidays here in France. Now the kids are back at school and things are back to the regular routine.

Since I last posted I have been concentrating mostly on my current garment test knit. I’m almost done now and really like the fit and look of my new sweater.

I am somewhat off gauge wise though as my sweater is longer/bigger than it should be according to the pattern so I have had to modify the final decrease rounds. But it still worked out nicely.

Unfortunately the sweater is taking more yarn than I had expected and so I dyed up some yarn this morning and I’m crossing my fingers hoping I was able to get very close to the previous yarns. I only have the sleeves to knit now. If the colour is not quite there I will go with a contrasting coloured sleeves. As I write this the yarn is drying in the sun so I still don’t know yet if I was successful in recreating the beautiful yellow of my sweater.

This is an oversized, raglan sweater and the sleeves are mostly ribbing as the raglan arrives at the elbow.

It is quite a heavy sweater and it made me realise that I really prefer fingering weight garments. But this sweater really is nice and I look forward to finishing it.

Other than this sweater, I also finished my warm up socks for Sock Madness. I believe the contest/challenge will start in a few days, beginning of March, so it was important I finished this pair in time.

I’m also planning on finishing my test knit sweater before then too so that I can start the challenge without any other stressful deadline.

So my warm up socks also double as my contribution to the #knitterspayitforward2019.

The 13 memories socks

I was not totally convinced at first when I saw the pattern. I was worried that the lace pattern would be obscured by the yarn. That is why I chose rather subdued colours, nothing wildly variegated. I’m very happy with the results. I still have to weave in the ends of one of the socks and then I will put together a nice little package to my lovely recipient who lives in Denmark.

If you are not aware of this #knitterspayitforward2019 this is a “thing” launched by dr Holmes, the same person as the one who organises the Marie Curie sock challenge for Christmas. This time around, the idea is to offer to knit something for another person, whether we know them or not.

In my case I posted on Instagram and said I wanted to join this fun project and knit a pair of socks for someone and asked those interested in receiving a pair of scrappy, hand knit socks to comment on my post. I only got 2 comments and the “winner” was my new Danish friend.

If you are interested in joining you definitely should and remember to use the tag so the rest of us can follow along.

In this new week my main focus will be on finishing my sweater as I have said above. I do have 2 cardigans going, one has been on hold for months and I just picked it up again today. I have 1 1/2 sleeve to finish so not much left and I’m hoping I will also be able to finish that this week.

The other cardigan is at it’s beginning so lots of work there still but it will be good to pick it up again and make some progress.

Then of course there will soon be Sock Madness, a truly mad sock knitting challenge so as soon as the first pattern arrives I will be concentrating on that.

On a more personal note, I have just started walking! I used to be active as a young woman but I have let myself go lately. I work from home so most of my time is spent sitting in front of a computer so I have very limited physical activity. I was inspired by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears who has started going for walks. I’m going for 30-40 minute walks and it really feels good. I listen to audio books and podcasts and just enjoy the incredibly beautiful weather and getting some alone time with myself and a good book. I’m really happy I started moving a little and just hope I will keep up the good work:)

That’s it for today. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my knitting progress and hope you will have a great week ahead with plenty of fun knitting.

A month of sock knitting

Hi there how are you? I’m sorry for not blogging last week. I meant to write and then somehow time just worked against me. I hope you had a nice week and that you were able to enjoy some quality knitting time.

As January came to a close I took stock of my projects for that month and I realised that all my FOs for January were socks and so were my HOs 🙂

Now this is not really a big surprise you may say but I still found it amusing.

I have been very busy working on my garment test knits and I did manage to finish one ahead of time. Now I just need to weave in the ends there and block but I won’t be able to share any pictures until the pattern is released and I’m not quite sure when that will be.

My other garment test knit is still going. I’m getting a little “over” this one as this is not only a big piece but one I’m knitting for the second time so I admit I look forward to this one being done. The deadline is looming so I’m trying to be serious and knit as much on this each day as possible.

But for sanity reasons, I do allow myself some distraction knitting too 🙂 Sanity is important after all.

Now on to socks, so I finished 4 full pairs and two half pairs. Out of all of those two were patterned and the rest were vanilla or vanilla-is socks.

I shared two of those finished socks and one half done with you in my last post but just to remind everyone here come pictures of them all.

Simple vanilla socks using a new to me sock yarn from Germany
Vanilla-ish pair using ribbing and again this was knit using a new to me German sock yarn
These were knit using Regia Pairfect sock yarn and those came out real nice. I do have a soft spot for Regia Pairfect. These are large adult size and I hardly had any yarn left in the end.
I knit these using the Rye Light pattern from Tin Can Knits – free pattern on Ravelry. And again I was using a new German sock yarn which worked up very nicely.

And then on to my HO.

This is sock one of my test knit -pattern will be called Arcadia socks. I really enjoy this pattern and think this can be called a vanilla-ish pattern. I really like the yarn too though I say so myself but I did dye this one myself 🙂

And on February 1st I managed to finish another pair of socks. Now those were what I think is called bed socks or slipper socks because the yarn is thicker than regular sock yarn – somewhere between sport and DK. In Iceland; where I’m from, and other nordic countries this is the most used sock yarn weight I think because it is just that cold. Here in Normandy, France, it does not get super cold except on rare occasions but my daughter enjoys using those around the house and to sleep in and she could very well wear them in her winter boots outside too if she wanted to.

My first pair using yarn from Hobbii yarns and this is their Happy Feet XL yarn line

So this is the first pair of socks I ever knit using yarn from Hobbii yarns which is a brand I discovered on Instagram. This is a Danish company and they sell lots of different types of yarns at really low prices and so I decided to go ahead and try them out.

So far I have only knit this one pair but I have more planned in other sock yarn bases from Hobbii and I will be sure to share with you what I think of those.

This yarn feels nice and was enjoyable to knit with. It comes in 50 gr balls and I had some left over of each ball but you do have to buy 2 balls when making a pair of adult socks.

I chose this particular colorway for just that – all the colours. But I actually thought once knit up they would be sort of striping but not at all. Actually each colour section is very small, maybe only 2-3 centimetres or about an inch in length so it is impossible for this yarn to stripe. I knit these using a needle size 4 mm/ US 6 and I cast on 40 stitches.

Other things I have been knitting on are my Northeasterly blanket. It got put in time out for a while as I was busy test knitting. Now I have more time so I have taken it out again.

I have 9 columns so far and I’m thinking that I want this blanket to be 12 or 14 columns width wise. When I have gotten the right width I will pick up on the first column and start to work myself upwards. I haven’t decided yet how long I want it to be so I don’t know if I will just knit each column until the right length or if I will continue to work this a little length at a time.

I’m really enjoying this more than I had expected and I am determined to keep at it so I will keep the momentum going. I’m picking minis at random, there is no rhyme or reason to the yarn/colours I use. I have a large tote bag for this project. In addition to the blanket I have two other bags in there. One is full of little balls of yarn. Those are either left overs from other projects or mini skeins that I have balled up. I’m using these as a priority. Then there is a second bag who is filled with actual mini skeins. I may not end up having to use any of those as I have so many already balled up but just in case, they are there ready to go.

Skeinanigans who wrote this pattern has published a second version called Southeasterly which I have not purchased. In my cas I prefer, I think, to just keep all in garter stitch. I think the issue with the Southeasterly, and this can be seen in project pictures on Ravelry, is that the gauge changes when you change stitch patterns and so the width of each column changes and I personally feel that not very pleasing to the eye. So sticking to garter stitch to the very end 🙂

I did cast on for a new project this weekend. I had not planned on casting on anything new but then….

On Instagram (as so often) I saw this post by Justyna Lorkowska. She has just released a beautiful cowl pattern that totally spoke to me. Both the design and the colour she chose for hers.

The pattern is called Heart Warmer and is for sale on Ravelry . Justyna knit hers with a luscious blend of merino, yak and silk in a single ply. It just so happens that I have a few skeins of this same or similar blend only in a 4ply yarn. This yarn is brown due to the yak content and so I had put it aside not sure how or what to use it for. Well this was it! I immediately purchased the pattern and dyed up two skeins of yarn – even though one is probably enough.

I wanted a colour similar to hers so something close to mustard/honey/caramel something and I absolutely love my results.

This picture does not do my yarn justice. I will have to take better pictures to show you when I’m further along.

So as you can see I have only just gotten started. But the yarn is a dream to the touch and the pattern is beautiful so I really look forward to making progress on this one.

As for this new week ahead of us I have to continue on my garment test knit. I will continue work on my blanket and cowl.

This is a picture of this new Turkish yarn I mention below. I have cast on with the second ball from the right

I have cast on for a pair of socks using a new to me sock yarn from Turkey which I look forward to sharing with you later. And I do have 2 cardigans and 1 pullover that have been in time out way too long that I’m hoping I will get some work on this week.

I am also preparing to share with you the latest knitting technique I am teaching myself, Portuguese knitting – using both knitting pins and hooked needles:) This is a lot of fun and I’m getting pictures taken and I have made a little video too so you can better see how I knit this way.

I’m hoping to have that all ready by next week. After that I am planning a review on a new/recent type of knitting needles and an interview with their creator.

So there should be some fun stuff on the horizon.

I hope you will have a good week and that you will be able to enjoy lots of quality knitting time. I look forward to blogging again next week.

Thank you for stopping by once again and showing me love and support.

Happy knitting 🙂