The Lorelei sweater

Hi there, how are you? How has the new year treated you so far? Well I hope. I’m doing fine, not really following my big ideas about reduced yarn purchases (more on that later) but other than that rather good. Although I am feeling a little overwhelmed just now because I just made a big investment and ordered a Chromebook… You may know that I work from home so on my desk I have my work computer hooked to two screens and to the side my personal PC. When I write my blog it means that I do so from my desk which sometimes feels like I’m still at work when all I want to do is stand up and move somewhere else. I think this in part has worked against me being a regular blogger and so I thought that in order for me to really stand under my big blogging ideas, I have to have a laptop computer so I can write my posts easily from anywhere in the house. And now I just made that purchase!

I look forward to getting this new laptop and the new possibilities I think it will bring me. And I also hope this will seriously help me refrain from any further yarn purchases until I have paid up the computer in 4 months!

So now you know! And so on to more interesting stuff like knitting:

This past week I feel like I have not had enough knitting time somehow. I worked on finally finishing my test knit sweater and I’m getting ready to cast on for the second time for my secret oversized cardigan test knit (the design did not really work out so after knitting the entire thing almost all of us are now faced with ripping back and starting over again).

I have done a tiny bit of progress on my Northeasterly blanket but nothing to show really at this time.

I did start a new cardigan by Isabelle Kraemer, the Jaycee cardigan which is beautiful.

I’m only just at the beginning so I’m not including a picture today. I’m knitting this using Drops Flora yarn for the very first time and so far so good.

This week I will continue working on that and I will start a new test knit. Again this will be a secret test knit (and yes I agreed to this before making the decision to not do so many test knits in 2019). This time it is a wrap/shawl and I just got the pattern today so this evening I’m planning on knitting a swatch.

Now the most exciting thing I want to share with you this week is my finished Lorelei sweater by the talented Agnes of Amanitaknits!

I have test knit for her on a number of occasions and I am an absolute fan of her designs. They are always so gorgeous and this sweater is no exception.

I’m sorry to say that I was late finishing and the pattern was published last week I believe but I have not updated my pattern page on Ravelry and posted pictures on Instagram.

This is a fingering weight sweater with an unusual construction. I’m not going to go more into details on the construction as this is a paid for pattern but let me just say that I’m pretty sure you have never knit a sweater in this way. I had not.

I chose to use yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings and I chose a sort of caramel colour which is totally out of my comfort zone. And I’m so very happy I did. I think the sweater looks stunning in this colour/yarn.

Can you see the beautifully patterned yoke?

And here is one of the sweater blocking. On this picture it looks like the arms are a mile long each! I was really worried I would have to rip them back some and redo the ribbing once it was dry. Lucky me, it fits perfectly. The arms are long but not too long. Maybe I’m just an unusual shape and didn’t know it 🙂

What do you think? I’m sure you agree that it is a beautiful pattern. I’m sure I will wear this a lot.

This is my main accomplishment and I don’t have much more to share with you this time around. I can however tease you and let you know that I am currently trying out two new knitting needle types. Both of which are unusual and one of them is used for a particular style of knitting which I am so enjoying learning. This is partly why I have so little knitting to share. I have been practicing knitting in this new to me way. I’m going to work on those for a little longer before I share my thoughts with you but that is definitely something to look forward to.

This is all for today. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great rest of the week. Happy knitting 🙂

Holiday knitting plans

Hi there, I hope like me you will get a few days off work over the upcoming holidays.

Time off means more time to knit and to make the most of the free time I feel like I have to plan ahead.

This is what I have come up with.

Finish my test knit. I have finished the body and started on sleeve one. When both sleeves will be done I will redo the neck/upper yoke again.

I really like the colour of the yarn and I think this will be a beautiful sweater once done.

And then there are the socks. I have three partially done pairs, one of which is a very old wip.

If we start from the left:

The red sock is my own design, one sock is done and now I need to finish the pair. Then there is the Thomasina socks by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears. I’m close to being done with sock one. Next there is a self striping yarn from Turtle Purl Yarns in their Mistletoe colorway. This is what I plan to use for Christmas Eve cast on. These will be simple vanilla socks. And then there is THE wip!

This is a pair I knit as part of the final round in Sock Madness a couple of years ago. This is by far the most complicated sock pattern I have ever worked. For lack of time I knit a size that does not fit me so I will have to gift the pair when it’s done! The pattern is called Coffee Cantata

So that means 4 pairs of socks + finish a sweater. And then there is one new project I have only just cast on for. It’s a shawl design by Isabel Kraemer called Euclid.

Not much to show yet but this is a beautiful design and I’m using my hand-spun yarn, this is a camel and silk blend so truly luxurious. And the fibre has not been dyed so this is a beautiful natural colour with some sheen from the silk. I think this will be a gorgeous, big and cozy shawl once done.

This is probably very ambitious and I may not actually finish as much as I dream I will but if I do, that would be amazing.

I will of course be taking my new knitting journal with me to document my progress as of January 1st 2019.

How about you? Have you made any special plans for some holiday knitting? Are you going to take part in the Christmas Eve sock cast on? Have you chosen your yarn and pattern? I would love to hear what you have planned.

That’s all I have for now. Have a wonderful weekend and an even better holiday week up a head. I might not blog next week, depends on the time I have available between the family and festivities.

Wish you all the best! Happy knitting

Knitting plans

Hey there, I hope you had a nice weekend and a good beginning of a new week. Christmas is happening next week! Wow how time flies! Soon we will be in 2019! 

It will soon be time to reflect on this past year and make plans for the new one, be they knitting related or not. 

The beginning of a new year can be exciting in terms of new beginnings and exciting things ahead.

Where I’m concerned I have decided to sort of make a few commitments/objectives related to my knitting and my blog.

I haven’t really thought this all through or ordered by order of importance but here are the things I need to work on for 2019:

For the blog I want: 

I want to be more consistent, to absolutely post once a week and sometimes more but to really have a fixed schedule both for me to work on and for you to count on.

I want to maybe organise something with you like maybe a knit-a-long or a game of some sort.

I want to continue interviewing interesting makers and try to offer an interview once a month.

I want to maybe find ways of making my blog better, maybe more interactive, maybe for it to reach more readers.

I would like to finally start writing down patterns I come up with and possibly offer them here on the blog for sale and some as free perks for my readers.

For my knitting I want:

I want to make a dent in my mountain of wips, a dent that can actually be seen by the naked eye!

I want to work more on my creative side and write up patterns.

I want to learn new techniques, I want to learn about different breeds of fibre animals and the yarn available to us.

I want to be more organised – don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to become a monogamous knitter but just try to control the number of wips at any given time and most importantly keep track of them via a knitting journal and this is a project I will share here on my blog too.

I’m thinking also about maybe doing less test knits, at least garment test knits as those take up a lot of time and yarn.

For my knitting related purchases I want:

Now this is a difficult objective and I know I have to be vague here or at least open for changes. I would love to refrain from any yarn buying for a year and only knit from stash but I know that is one objective I will never be able to reach.

So the idea is to come up with a yarn budget, some sort of a reasonable amount a month and IF I don’t use the amount one month I can save up and have double the amount the next month allowing me to maybe buy more yarn for a bigger project (or just buy more yarn). I have not decided on what this amount should be but I will.

I also need to stop buying so many knitting patterns. I have a gazillion knitting patterns in my Ravelry library and I am constantly buying more knowing full well that I will not be knitting them any time soon! I need to come up with some sort of a system. Maybe create a queue or a favorite’s bundle where I can add all the patterns that have me salivating and then when I actually know I have the time and yarn to make that project I can go ahead and buy the pattern.

I might also look over some of my pattern stash and pick maybe 10 patterns (that I already own) and decide to knit all those in 2019. That could be a fun thing to do and an interesting objective.

What about you? Do you take the time to look over your past projects or plan for the future knitting wise? If so I would love to hear how you go about things. Do you maybe set yourself some sort of objective like knit X pairs of socks? Or earmark a certain number of patterns you absolutely want to knit in the new year? Do share 🙂

Now my knitting these days. What’s new? Well, I have finished one test knit out of two. And this might be the reason behind me thinking of taking on fewer garment test knits.

So I just finished test knitting an oversized cardigan. Such projects require a lot of time and money (a lot of yarn) and sometimes I don’t honestly know if the finished item is something I will love to wear.

So I have just finished this big project and it looks a lot different from the designers prototype. I think that is in part due to the yarn (I chose Tuku wool fingering) and also because I may have chosen to big of a size. 

When the body was done I tried it on and it felt cozy and big. Now that the sleeves have been added, they feel awkward, as if they are not quite right. I can’t imagine ripping back to the sleeve placement and start over again so I’m actually contemplating ripping back period! Can you imagine?! 

I’m just lost at this time. I have sent pictures to the designer and I’m just waiting to hear back from her and also to seeing what the other test knitters have but at the moment I am the only one to have finished.

I’m putting this on time out and not weaving in the ends nor blocking. Maybe I will see things clearer in a few days.

But it is very frustrating and disappointing after such a long time and big effort to not be absolutely in love with the finished object.

My other test knit is coming along slowly but surely. This one also has an issue, this time with the neck line and most of the test knitters have had this issue and so the designer is going to rewrite the upper yoke part. In the mean time I continue with the body and when that is done I will do the sleeves. Only when all is done will I come back and redo the upper yoke.

I do really like the design and the colour of my yarn so far.

This colour is way out of my comfort zone but I really look forward to wearing this sweater when it’s done.

Now that I have “finished” one big project I of course have to cast on for new ones. So I cast on for a colourwork cowl in chunky yarn.

The pattern is called Midwinter Cowl and I told you about this last week. I’m knitting this out of my 100% baby alpaca. The yarn is super soft and fluffy and after knitting I am just covered in alpaca fluff!

This will be a Christmas gift I hope and I’m close to being done.

Midwinter cowl

The challenge with this pattern is that it calls for knitting with 3 colours/yarns at a time for most of the patterning. I am not used to working with 3 yarns at a time so that is slowing me down.

I chose two colours that are very close in shade, one is dark blue and the other black and so on the picture above you most likely won’t be able to distinguish between the two. I did wonder about changing one out for a stark contrast but then couldn’t be bothered…

So I have one block of colourwork left and then I will be on the bottom ribbing and cast off.

And last night I cast on for a beanie! I had knit a hat for my dad last year but it has grown in size and so he doesn’t wear it any more so I decided I had to make a new one in a different yarn and I found this pattern for free on Ravelry.

It is a super simple 2 by 2 rib all the way to the crown decreases. And one can decide on the length depending on whether we want a fold up brim or not. I’m going for the fold up. I have a week to finish and I’m hoping that will work.

When those two are done I will return to my red sock that I’m designing on the go. I have one sock done and need to cast on for the other.

And of course I have bought a few more sock patterns since last time with #Sockvent18 and all…so I might cast on for a pair or two during the holidays.

This is all for today. Thank you so much for stopping by today. I will be back later this week and then there might be a break for a week as I will be off work for a few days to enjoy Christmas with my family.

If you don’t have the chance to stop by later this week let me just wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays (which ever you celebrate). 

Hugs

Christmas themed knitting

Hello there, how are you this beginning of a new week?

I hope you had a  lovely and relaxing weekend. Here in France there are a lot of riots so we mostly just stay home and do our Christmas shopping online. This meant that I got a little more knitting time this past weekend.

I have been hard at work working on my two big test knits and I’m happy to say that one of those is finally getting a little bit closer to being finished. I probably still have about 2 weeks worth of knitting left but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

This means I hardly have any knitting to actually show off. Just one sock project that I’m creating as I go along.

I’m knitting a pair of socks using my own pattern and maybe one day I will finally write a pattern down to share with the world!

I actually started knitting something completely different, that is another sock pattern, but I somehow either misunderstood the pattern or just wasn’t using the right yarn. It just didn’t feel or look right so I ripped back to the end of the cuff and did my own thing and I really like the outcome. I have no idea if there is already a pattern out there that is the same. This honestly is just from a spur of the moment inspiration.

It is a super simple two row repeat lace pattern that I have done only on the front of the sock. The idea is for me to finish in time to gift this to someone for Christmas and I really hope I will be able to do so.

These socks tie in with today’s subject which is Christmas Sock Pattern. I have been buying way too many of those lately and I was just trying to knit one of those when I got frustrated and ripped back and decided to do my own thing.

So as we get closer to the holiday season a lot of Christmas themed patterns appear on Ravelry and as a sock knitter I find myself naturally drawn to those.

Even though I have knit enough pairs of socks to not really need a pattern, I still compulsively buy sock patterns. I think I mostly buy them for the stitch patterns used and sometimes when I think it uses a technique I may not be familiar with.

So far here are the patterns I have purchased and plan to knit in the future/

The first is called Reindeer Hooves by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This is a top down pattern with an all over pattern on the leg and then the front of the foot. This is the pattern I had difficulties with. It just did not look right with my yarn but I do intend to give this pattern a second chance.

The second pattern is part of a sock pattern club by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. This pattern came as a bonus I believe for those purchasing her latest sock club (The Seasons Club) but it can also be purchased as a stand alone pattern. The pattern is called Candy Cane Socks. This looks like a fairly simple pattern that could look good in a solid or slightly variegated yarn so I will have to knit this one soon. Doesn’t have to be a Christmas sock. If this is knit in a non-Christmas yarn it will be a yearlong sock. The pattern itself is not especially christmasy I think.

Then there is another pattern by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This time the pattern is called Santa Baby Socks.

These look really nice I think. Less patterning than on the first pattern I shared and I can really see myself knitting these.

And the last pattern I have purchased is one by Louise Tilbrook Designs. Her pattern is called Yulelight Socks. These look just lovely. The patterning is subtle but efficient and the pattern picture really screams Christmas I think.

So that is a lot of patterns that now need knitting! And as if that  wasn’t enough, I just heard of something called #Sockvent. This is a Christmas Sock Pattern advent calendar of sorts and will run from December 12th to the 24th. If you follow the hashtag on IG, each day there will be a designer offering their sock pattern with a 40% discount! Now is that tempting or what?!

Knowing myself I’m pretty sure I will not be able to refrain for buying even more sock patterns!

Are you knitting any holiday themed projects these days? I’d love to hear from you if you are and maybe you could share the pattern name with us so we too can go take a look and get inspired:)

I will be back later this week with some more knitting related chatter. Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.

Happy knitting:)

Some FOs and new cast ons

Hi there, I’m sorry I didn’t blog last week. I just felt somewhat “empty”.  I had a lot of work and just felt like I had not had much time to knit and so didn’t have enough to show and share with you. Sometimes I hit a low spot and just can’t get myself to blog and share and I feel that if my spirits are down, I’m just going to drag you down with me and that would not be a nice thing to no now would it ? So better to way and blog when my heart and head are in the right place:)

So I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. Here in Normandy the weather gods are not quite sure if it’s winter or not yet so we go from sun and summery temperatures to rain and cold and back to sun again. A little confusing but winter is definitely getting close though.

I have been feeling the cast on-itis seriously lately and I have cast on for 3 new projects! Kind of crazy when one has as many languishing wips as I do but then knitting is all about fun and making oneself feel good so I’m not going to bash myself about that.

But first lets talk about FOs.

I am so happy to finally get to show you my finished Zweig sweater! I finished it a while ago but for some reason did not get around to taking a finished picture. Well now I have..not of me in it unfortunately but you will get the general idea. I really like how it turned out. It fits perfectly and I’m very happy about my choice of yarn.

zweig done

I look forward to winter really coming so I can start wearing this one.

And then there is my ongoing charity sock knitting for Marie Curie. Last year I knit 4 pairs and this year I decided I would knit 6.  I have now finished 4 1/2 pairs! I really look forward to being done with this 5th pair and actually start on pair number 6. I’m not sure when I started knitting those but I think I have knit them rather quickly. And even though the main colour is the same for all, just changing the contrasting colour and the stitch I use for each pair has made this a fun project and I am not having any issues motivating myself to continue. I’m planning to have all 6 pairs finished by the end of this month so I can mail them to the UK beginning of November so they will be there plenty in time.

four and a half pair marie curie

I still have most of my ends to weave in! So the first 3 pairs are maybe more masculine as I used blue as contrast colour and because I made them a little bigger. Now I’m working on the yellow contrast colour and I’m knitting them a little smaller even though I know terminally ill patients often have retention issues and swollen ankles so I do not make any 56 stitch socks but still somewhat smaller than the first 3 pairs.

This 5th pair is a simple vanilla and I need to find something nice for the last pair. I would love a simple yet feminine pattern that can work well with this variegated yarn. If you have any ideas, please do share the pattern name or even link in a comment below!

Now on to works in progress. So on top of my Marie Curie socks, I’m still working on my Chevron Boxy only it has not seen much love lately so no picture here. It’s in a project bag next to my bed and I’m hoping I will pick it back up and just work on it like crazy to get it done soon! We’ll see…

And I also finished a shawl that I was test knitting for KBJ Designs, an Australian knitwear designer that I have test knit for on a few occasions.

Her shawl was knit in one single solid colour but I had just finished plying a beautiful gradient hand spun yarn. My yarn went from dark marine blue to a beige sandy colour. Sort of like from the beach to deep sea and I really wanted to use that for something special asap! Lucky for me the designer was ok with me using not only a gradient but a hand spun at that so off I went.

handwound ball

You can’t see all the colours here but you do get a little picture of the different hues.

This shawl pattern has not been released yet but I will let you know when it is and what it is called. I’m not going to share the name just yet just in case she had a change of mind:)

This was a beautiful design and a joy to knit and I finished way ahead of the deadline.

crimson dawn shawl beginnning

It was not easy to choose whether to begin with the darkest or the lightest colour. Finally I settled on the darkest because I really like blue and I felt it would look nice on my skin.

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I’m really happy with the finished item and knitting with my own hand spun yarn is such a thrill!

And now on to my 3 new cast ons in the order in which they were cast on!

First there is my second Damejakkalopa cardigan or a colourwork cardigan by Pinneguri. I’m knitting a second version of this one for my mum and hope to have it finished in time for Christmas.

My mom chose the colours a while ago and she asked me to omit the “lice” pattern on the body (the little dots/stitches in a contrasting colour). I’m done with the yoke so until I reach the bottom of the body it is just simple knitting in the round.

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I really like the colours here. The main colour is indigo blue which you can see on the yoke in the part just below the very light blue/grey section. I’m using yarn from the same company as when I knit mine only a different line. I used the wool/silk blend for mine but this time around I’m working with the 100% wool blend and loving it. It is the Supersoft by Holst Garn.

My second cast on was somewhat of a surprise. This weekend we had some friends over to celebrate our birthdays and I was wearing my Cactus over a tee shirt.

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One of my friends made a few not so subtle comments about why I wouldn’t knit her a cardigan too and so the next day I decided I would and cast on! Now, I don’t knit for a lot of people usually. I choose my knitwear recipients carefully because I only want to spend time and money knitting something if I am fairly certain the recipient will actually appreciate my effort and wear/use the item. This particular friend is knit worthy and I have already gifted her a shawl and two pairs of socks. So anyway, I have cast on for a second Cactus. I again used Holst Garn but in their wool/cotton blend so it does not scratch at all! I chose a very neutral colour called Dove. I literally just cast on yesterday so I don’t have much to show but here goes.

cactus two

I think this will look nice and be easy to wear with all sorts of colours.

And last but not least, I decided to join in for the new Stephen West Mystery knitalong! This started last Friday but I didn’t get the time to cast on till Sunday. The first few rows are a little confusing but I think it will be nice in the end.

As Stephens designs are often very colourful and a little “out there” I decided this time I would be very down to earth and choose subtle, neutral tones and I’m so happy with the combination of yarns I came up with.

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All are special yarns that I have purchased recently except for the mohair blend which I hand dyed myself.

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As you can see I have literally just started so not much to show. And I do have a doubt about whether or not all is correct. Also I find the mohair yarn knit on its own looks a little awkward as it is so much thinner than the other fingering weight yarns. But I’m going to keep going with this clue until it starts shaping up so I can better judge. Of course if when looking at my picture you see a huge error screaming back at you, DO let me know!

That’s it for today. I hope you have enjoyed your time here on the blog and seeing my knitting. I have enjoyed sharing everything with you. Next time I will be sharing pictures and information on a secret test knit I did this past summer and the pattern that will be published in a beautiful knitting magazine this November. I also hope to be on my last pair for Marie Curie and who knows what else!

So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

A little bit of knitting and some catty cuteness

Hi there how are you today? This past week has been very busy at work and so I feel a little tired and don’t feel like I have a lot to show for my knitting this time.

I can tell you that I have only just bound off pair number 3 for the Marie Curie Sock Quest and have cast on for pair number 4

marie curie sock four beginning

For this and the next 2 pairs I’m thinking I will use this yellow as the contrast colour. I’m feeling quite optimistic about being able to knit 6 pairs this time around which is great I think.

For this new pair I’m thinking I will either do some sort of an all over ribbing pattern or maybe use the Simple Skyp pattern. Now that I’m on pair number 4 I really feel that variety is important to keep the stamina going:)

Other than this sock project, I recently accepted a new test knit for KBJ designs. This is a shawl pattern and it is coming along nicely. The pattern is written for a fingering weight yarn and just before being contacted for the test knit, I had just finished plying a gradient hand spun yarn. And when I decided to do the shawl I just really felt like I had to use this beautiful gradient that goes from sand/beige to dark navy. I decide to start with the navy and I am now just into the second colour. The picture below was taken before I got to colour 2.

I am looking forward to seeing this shawl finished. Knitting with my hand spun is an added bonus for sure.

Other than this not much knitting progress but as promised, I am going to introduce you to my newest family member.

So I am a kitty person. My kids jokingly (I hope) call me the crazy cat lady! I already had a mixed breed female and a pure breed Main Coon male. But those are getting old, 10 and 11 years old and I was just feeling like I really needed a baby in my life. Maybe this is linked to my age but I just turned 47!

Anyway, my birthday was earlier this month and I was just totally decided that I had to get a kitten for my birthday and I was looking online at different ads etc. I then came across this ad from a breeder not far from my home who had Main Coon kittens. I looked at the pictures and immediately fell in love with one of the kittens. (His name being that of a norse god may have helped). His name is Odin.

odinn eleveur

How could anyone resist such a beautiful kitten?

My other Main Coon is brown tabby like this one only he does not have any white. So anyway I contacted the breeder and asked a few questions and in 2 days I decided this had to be my kitten. And on my birthday I drove to get him!

He is the cutest. He is  3 1/2 months old now and he is very well educated. He has not had any accidents or anything since he got here.

To begin with my other two cats were less than impressed and made it more than clear that he was not welcome. Now 10 days later he has been accepted and I’m so happy.

He is beautiful and I love him sooooo much!

Here are a couple of pictures from his first days at home.

odinn 18sep18

I work from home and the first few days he spent like glued to me. Trying to stay in my lap, on my desk, behind the computer screen. How cute is this? I admit concentrating on work was not easy:)

 

 

And because he is a little baby still and very curious and playful, I have to learn to be careful with my yarn and knitting. The others have never been interested but Odinn has gnawed a cable on one of my circulars so badly I had to throw them away. And as you can see from the picture below, he does enjoy yarn as much as I do though in a different way 🙂

odinn and yarn

Cutest yarn lover ever!

That’s about all for today. I hope you didn’t mind the kitty talk. I know I am a little crazy about cats, about as much as I’m crazy about yarn and knitting.

I hope you have a great rest of the week and lots of time to enjoy your crafting. I’ll be back next week with more knitting.

Take care 🙂

Sweaters and socks

Hi there how are you? I hope you are doing fine and having a nice beginning of autumn.

It’s been two weeks since I last posted. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by work and just all the going back to “normal” this month so far. The kids are back to school so now there is homework and making sure they don’t go to bed too late.

I haven’t had as much knitting time as I had hoped and planned for. I had such big plans for this month, joining in kals etc. But finally I have to face the fact that I simply cannot knit all the things I want and that I do have to make time for boring stuff like cleaning and laundry etc.

So what have I been knitting on these past two weeks?

First there is the Marie Curie charity sock knitting. So I managed to finish pair number one. A simple vanilla pair with contrasting cuff, heels and toes.

marie curie 18 number one

And I cast on for pair number two. This time I thought I should do something different so I’m knitting a pair with some texture on the front. Nothing complicated though that would be fun but I have to be realistic which means simple is the way to go if I want to be sure I knit up at least 4 pairs in time.

I’m also not knitting them two at a time now. I find that I don’t really like two at a time on a  long circular needle. I feel it sort of breaks my rhythm always stopping to go on to the next sock. I really much prefer knitting on 9″ circulars where I can just knit round and round nonstop. So I’m doing this on 9″ and I’m also doing an afterthought heel too.

For pair number 3 I would like to do something different too. I feel the variegated yarn does not lend itself well to things like cables or lace so I feel a  little limited in choice. But maybe I am totally wrong. Are you joining the effort and if so have knit something other than plain vanilla?

As we are talking socks, let me show you the sock I’m knitting for the September/October Sock  Down in the Sockknitters Anonymous group on Ravelry. This is the first time I join one of their challenges/kals and this time the theme is Fandom!

I chose a pattern called Bella’s Truck socks by Rachel Coopey and I think they refer to Bella of Twilight. This is a simple textured pattern so not too time consuming. I would like to finish in a month but if not I do have October too.

bellas truck front

The front

bellas truck

The back

I’m not very far but they do look nice I think.

Then there are the sweaters. I’m working on two at the moment.

First there is my Zweig sweater and it is close to being done. I am about to cast off sleeve one so there is just one sleeve left. But… I have an issue…

So I bought a total of 4 skeins for this project, 1 contrast colour and 3 main colour and I now know that is a little tight for my size (XL).

So I finished the body and almost finished the first sleeve and then realised that the ribbed cuff is extra long. Sooo I didn’t have enough yarn to finish to the correct length. The sleeve itself is the right length for me but I’m debating ripping back some and making the cuff longer as per pattern. As the sleeve is now, I probably knit the main pattern longer than called for and as I’m short on yarn I have started knitting the rib in the contrasting colour only I’m not sure I like it.

zweig

And a close up of the sleeve ribbing

zweig sleeve

I could stop there and bind off. The ribbing is about 2 1/2″ but the pattern calls for 5. Maybe if I rip back I could make the cuff longer as there are less stitches so the yarn might be enough for a little longer cuff.

Or should I keep it as is? Is the white part of the cuff ok? I’m just not sure. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you have knit the Zweig sweater yourself, did you make the cuff as long as the pattern calls for?

Do chime in!

My second sweater project is the Boxy Chevron sweater. This is a fun and relaxing knit. I like the fact that one begins by knitting the sleeves and then pick up stitches from there to knit the body. It does mean a ton of stockinette knitting but it so relaxing and just the perfect project to have along with everything else and I really enjoy picking it up at the end of the day when my brain is tired and I need some relaxing.

boxy chevron 10sep

I’m not very far yet but so far so good. The sleeves are short and I do wonder what they will look like once I wear the sweater. I haven’t tried it on yet. I just want to knit around and around. That’s all!

So those are the 4 things I am knitting on these days.

I do have future cast ons on my mind. For example I need to cast on for another Damejakka Lopa for my mother. It would be amazing if I could finish that in time for  Christmas for example.

And today as I watched the Espace Tricot podcast I discovered a shawl design by one of the owners and podcasters. It is just beautiful and simple and yet I think fun to make. It is knit using lace weight yarn and I do have a lot of that and not many ideas of how to use it.

The pattern is called Virevolte and I think this would be a great ward rope staple for myself but could also be a great Christmas gift though I don’t know if I will have the time to make one.

I also saw another shawl that looked very nice. Leslie of the Knotty Knit Wits just finished knitting one and I really like her version of it. She knit hers in two colours and I actually think that looks nicer than the single colour version the designer shows on Ravelry. So you never know, I might cast that on one day. This shawl has a very strange name (I think) It is called Hephzibah.

And last but not least, I fell for another West Knits mystery KAL. I have knit a few of Stephens West shawls and  I mostly like his patterns but not all. Some are a little too out there for my taste. I wonder about this new one. I was surprised by the colour combination shown for the kits for this shawl. They were mostly soft neutral colours. Not crazy neon, contrasting colours.

I think that what got me was that it mentions “texture” so I’m imagining something with a mix of garter and brioche and maybe cables and lace and all sorts. I would love to get a kit but the prices are way out of my budget so I will do some much needed stash diving later. The kal starts October 5th so I have enough time. Are you joining this time?

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your time with me. I hope you have enjoyed your time here on my blog.

Until next time, HAPPY KNITTING 🙂

My summer FOs and current works in progress

Hi there how are you today? I hope you are fine and having a nice beginning of the week. I’m back at work after the summer holiday. I had 3 weeks off and just started again yesterday. I have to admit that getting up yesterday morning to work was a little difficult! But hey, we all have to work and after all I did get to enjoy 3 whole weeks. We spent about half that time at home and the other half in a region of France called Brittany (Bretagne) and I’m planning on blogging about my summer in a separate post and share pictures for those interested.

Anyway I’m back at work and the kids will be back to school next week except for the oldest who doesn’t start till the week after that! So life is slowly going back to its usual busy state. Soon there will be homework!

But in the meantime I’m planning on making the most of my time after work to knit, knit and knit some more!

Currently I feel like I could just knit all day long! I have a head full of dream knitting and designing ideas. I want to knit all the sweaters and socks I have been buying patterns for this summer ( a ton!) but at the same time I’m starting to feel a little uncomfortable with my amount of wips (both languishing old wips and current active ones). I seem to maybe have gotten myself into a place where I have more to do than I can actually manage and so I’m thinking I might even have to go through my wips, again, and maybe unravel some that I think are not about to be done any time soon. Just to get to a more manageable place. But I’m not sure yet, I’ll keep you posted:)

So knitting both current and future projects as well as some FOs. Where to start?

First just a word on two secret test knits that I finished a while back. One was a summer tee for Rénee of East London Knit (Nema) and the other a cardigan for Making Stories. Both these patterns have now been published and so I’m planning on sharing those with you soon but I want to do a separate post on just them as I feel I so so so much to share now and don’t want this to become the post with no end:)

As I was on vacation I was able to finish 2 1/2 pairs of socks. I shared one pair with you last time I think, my second pair of Stitch surfer socks. The other two pairs were shorty socks.

First up is a pair that I knit using the stitch pattern from the Drippity Drop pattern by Kay Jones. I used yarns from Eden Cottage Yarns and I really like how these turned out.

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The next pair was just a simple vanilla shorty pair that I knit using a new self striping yarn that I bought from Biscotte Yarns. I saw this particular colorway on the Knotty Knit Wits podcast and as I was watching, actually opened a new browser window and bought one!!!! First time I have ever been that enabled!

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I just loved the colours and all the sparkle. I added a solid black for cuff, heels and toes. My older daughter just commented on how nice they looked and as I have enough yarn left I said I’d knit her a pair too:) I’m hoping those will be knit in time for Halloween as this is a Halloweeny yarn and called The Dark Side!

So these are my only FOs.

Now I’m working on a pair of socks using the pattern 2 Color Socks by Joji Locatelli. I actually bought this pattern because I want to join her autumn knit a long that starts September 1st I think. This would be the first time for me but I was unable to wait that long so I cast on for those on vacation and I’m getting close to finishing. These will either be for one of my daughters or for someones Christmas.

I really like the pattern and the soft colours I chose. The yarn is a new one to me, a commercial sock yarn called Arwetta. I hope to have this pair done in two days maxi!

I currently have 2 sweater projects going. First there is my Zweig which I love! I’m a little worried I might not have enough of my main colour and as I used a hand dyed one of a kind colour I know I won’t be able to get any more. I’m almost at the bottom hem on the body so I’m thinking I will put the body on hold and knit the sleeves and if I see that I will not have much left after the sleeves I might either do 3/4 sleeves or make the bottom hem in 2 colours as I have enough of the contrast colour do do something.

zweig and chanel

I’m a little further now than in this picture but haven’t taken a new progress picture. Here it is with my little Chanel 🙂 I’m hoping to get started on the sleeves later this week.

And the second sweater project is a new one that I just cast on about a week ago. This is part of an informal knit a long organized by the Knotty Knit Wit girls. The kal is about knitting any pattern from Susanne Sommer. Their original idea was to knit the Shusui shrug but I was bold and asked if I could still join if I chose to knit another pattern by the same designer and lucky for me they said YES!

I have been looking as the Shusui shrug a lot but I just don’t think I would actually wear it where as the Boxy Chevron sweater I chose instead is something I can really see myself wearing. And if you feel like joining you definitely should.

So for this project I hand dyed some of my Back to Basics yarn which is a 100% non superwash merino yarn for the main colour and I used a Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light for the contrast colour.  This pattern has you start by knitting the sleeves and currently I have one sleeve done and the second very close to being done.

These are not easy to picture due to their shape and the texture (welts of reverse stockinette stitch) here you can at least see the colours. I’m hoping to have the time to finish the second sleeve and start on the body by the end of this  week.

So this week I need to finish my second sock of the 2 Colour Socks, start on the sleeves of my Zweig, finish the second sleeve and start the body on my Boxy Chevron AND knit socks for the Marie Curie Quest of socks!

This is an amazing charity project being run for the second time this year by an amazing doctor and knitter called Sarah Holmes (Sherlockknits on IG). She works as a doctor in a Marie Curie hospice for terminally ill cancer patients in the UK and last year she had the idea of knitting each of her patients a pair of socks to gift them on Christmas Day. She was able to raleigh a number of knitters and together we knit 260 pairs – enough for all the patients staying in a Marie Curie hospice on Christmas Day in the UK. How amazing is that!

West Yorkshire Spinners yarn company made a special yarn for the project and 2 £ of the price of each ball of yarn were donated to Marie Curie. All the socks were knit using this special yarn with an allowance to use complimentary colours for contrasting cuff/heels and toes if wished for.

I was able to knit and donate 4 pairs last year.

marie curie socks 4

And Sarah has decided to do this again this year and West Yorkshire Spinners have come up with a new colorway for Marie Curie. I’m hoping to knit at least 4 pairs this year with a personal stretch goal of 6 pairs.

All the socks have to be knit in the Marie Curie yarn but we can use other yarns for contrast if we wish. This year we are allowed to knit patterned socks and not just plain vanilla and so I’m planning on knitting a mix of things to keep the project interesting for myself. As the yarn is the same I don’t want to loose steam doing the same thing over and over again.

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The yarn on the right is the Marie Curie special yarn for 2018

I’m currently knitting the first pair and that is a vanilla pair! The only vanilla pair I think. I’m knitting them two at a time to make sure there will be no second sock syndrome.

For the next pair I’m going to knit them cuff to cuff – that is knit one sock at a time the first one cuff to to and the second toe to cuff without cutting the yarn.  I think that will be quicker for me than the traditional two at a time on one long circular and just a nice change. I’m going to look up some easy patterns that can go with a variegated yarn.

marie curie 218 first pair

So this is where I’m at at the moment. I really like how the yarn is knitting up and I also think I chose a great contrasting colour. I chose to do contrasting heels, toes and cuffs on this pair and probably on the others as well as that allows the yarn to stretch longer (meaning I will be able to knit more socks than if they were all one single colour).

So I have to knit 1 1/2 – 2  pairs a month to make my  goal so I’m crossing my fingers I’ll be able to knit that many pairs just for this project.

I’m hoping to do an interview with Sarah soon to share more information on this project and maybe enable you to join and you don’t have to knit tons of pairs. Every single pair makes a difference.

That’s it for today.  This has turned out to be quite a long post today so thank you for taking the time to stop by and read all about my current and future projects.

Next up are posts on my two secret test knits as well as a special French Summer Vacation post as well as two special interviews and soon (I hope) a series of informational posts/tutorials on sock knitting.

Until next time, HAPPY KNITTING 🙂

Summer knitting

Hi there how are you today? I hope you are well and enjoying your summer. I have a few days off work and am enjoying being lazy and generally ignoring household chores. I have also enjoyed my time knitting more than usual.

We did go away for a few days and I think I’m going to write a special summer post later on to share pictures of our travels for those interested in seeing some nice landscape and hearing about France.

Before going away I sent the prize package to the winner of my last giveaway. She lives in Australia so it is going to take some time for the package to arrive so I’m not sharing a picture of the contents just yet as I want that to be a surprise for her when the package arrives.

Now on to knitting. So since my last post I have been rather productive. First up, I finished my secret sweater test knit in time. That was a relief. It was a DK weight sweater knit in pieces and I think that is why I felt like it took forever. All the purling and then in the end sewing everything together.

I rather like the finished results except for the sleeves which in my opinion are way to snug. As we are not allowed to make modification in this test knit I knit as per pattern although I did allow myself to go up a needle size (or I would not have been able to put the sweater on and send an FO picture). I am able to fit into the sleeves but they feel like latex gloves so I think that I really need to undo the seams (arggggg), rip back both sleeves ENTIRELY( more ARGGGGGG) and reknit them using more stitches! Not a fun prospect because when I’m done with a project I just want to move on to the next. But unless my older daughter want’s to keep the sweater I don’t really have a choice.

I will be able to show you pictures later when the design has been published but for the moment it is very hush hush.

I also finished my second pair of Stitch Surfer socks. This was part of a kal with the Knotty Knit Wits podcast and honestly without them I might never have cast these on as I imagined them to be too complicated for me. Totally not true!

This time around I actually understood how to have sock two mirror sock one and I’m super thrilled about that and honestly when I look at my stash of self striping sock yarns, I now feel they all have to become Stitch Surfer socks.

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For this pair I used the same main color grey yarn (my own hand dyed) and the contrasting self striping yarn is from Turtle Purl Yarns. These are for my youngest.

I also accepted a new sock test knit and finished them in a week but then they were shorty socks. I chose yarn that reminded me of summer of the sand on the beach and the colour of the sea and that was the perfect choice as I knit these on the beach.

This pattern has yet to be published so I will be sure to let you know when it is. The design is by KBJ Designs. I have test knit for her on a number of occasions and really love her patterns.

 

The beige yarn is from Eden Cottage yarns and the blue from Cosmic String yarns.

So after finishing my sweater test knit, the second Stitch Surfer sock and the new pair of shorty socks I had to cast on something new. Because that is of course way more fun than reaching into my mountain of wips and finishing something there!

So I now have 3 soon 4 new cast ons.

First up is the Zweig sweater by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. This sweater has been on my “to knit” list for a long time and I actually purchase the yarn for this sweater a while ago. Very summery colours so also ideal for summer knitting.

I chose yarns from Tamiwicolors on Etsy. She is a German indie dyer and her yarns are very nice and not too expensive. I chose  a subtle color combination and as I started the colorwork on the yoke I had some doubts as to whether I  had made the right choice but now as I’m further along I know this was the right move. I really love the outcome.

I am past the sleeve separation and working the body now.

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I then cast on for a pair of shorty socks because I have been buying sock patterns like crazy lately. I chose the Drippity Drop pattern by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears podcast and yarns and turned that into a shorty sock with contrasting cuff, heel and toes.

I’m knitting this with yarns from Eden Cottage yarns and really love how delicate the colors make the sock look so far. The beige is the yarn I used for the test knit socks above.

And finally last night I cast on for the Loro wrap by Knit Graffiti that I purchased especially to knit during my vacation. This was a total splurge because I not only bought the pattern but also the kit from Hue Loco yarns! Like a summer gift to myself! This is the first time ever that I knit with Hue Loco yarns so that is fun and so far so good. The colors are amazing. I chose the kit shown on the pattern page as those just called out to me for some reason.

As I just cast on last night there is not much to show but here goes

loro cast on

This is a 7 color wrap and the tones are all sort of subtle earthy tones so I think this will be a fun knit and something I will be able to wear a lot.

So in the coming days I plan on continuing on my Drippity Drop socks, my Zweig sweater and Loro wrap as well as…. the Boxy Chevron sweater by Susanne Sommer! This has been on my “to knit list” for a long time and now the Knotty Knit Wits are going to do a kal for her designs so I had to join. I’m dyeing the yarn myself today so should be casting on in the next week or so.

I will also be casting on for some socks for an amazing charity project that I will tell you all about very soon as I will be sharing an interview with the organiser soon.

So lots of knitting still on the go. The heatwave seems to be done here in Normandy which is good although I would have preferred a less abrupt change in temperature as I had imagined myself going to the beach and knit everyday… not happening so far!

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your time with me today. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my works in progress and FOs.

So until next time, Happy knitting to you 🙂

A little knitting in this heat

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you are enjoying your summer whether you are working or on vacation. Here in Europe we are suffering this amazing heat wave and I’m starting to crave a little cooler weather. Not cold weather, just a little less hot. Too hot makes knitting difficult (sweaty hands).

I am not yet on vacation so I’m just knitting some around my work schedule and after work.

Since last week I have managed to finish two items that I would like to share with you.

First there is my Main Street summer tee by Pip and Pin. This is now all done, washed and blocked. This was a fun pattern and I think I just might make a second one in a different yarn later. I might make the second version a little longer as the pattern calls for a somewhat cropped tee. And as there are less than 30 projects for this pattern on Ravelry I entered mine into  the Unsung Heros kal being held by Amber of the Yarn Hoarder podcast.

I also managed to finish my first pair of Stitch Surfer Socks also part of a kal this time being run by Michelle and Leslie of the Knotty Knit Wits.

This is a very fun sock pattern and it actually goes quickly. I was not able to mirror the socks as I wanted so I have now cast on for a second pair.

Here is pair number one:

 

I’m now knitting a smaller pair for my youngest daughter. I’m using the same solid yarn as in my pair and then a self striping yarn from Biscottes Yarn.

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This time around I’m hoping I will understand the instructions fully and be able to make the socks mirror each other.

I also finished another pair of socks a while ago and just never got to show you  a picture of the finished pair. I had knit sock one as part of a test knit and then had cast on for the second sock only to then set it aside in my mountain of wips.

I finally picked it up again and finished the second sock and I’m so happy with the finished pair. The pattern is just amazing. It is called Narcissa Socks by  Jo Ann Klim.

The yarn is Hippo for Thanksgiving by Lolo Did It.

I am still working on my Milu shawl. I’m now only 4 garter ridges from cast off so that should be done later this week. I really love the colors and yarns I chose for this project and I’m sure I will give this shawl lots of use come winter.

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This pictures gives you an idea of the color palette I chose even if it does not show the pattern well. It is all scrunched up on my needle.

So this week I’m hoping to finish the shawl, make good progress on my second pair of Stitch Surfer socks and also work as much as I can on my secret sweater test knit. Even if the sweater test knit is in a DK weight it is taking it’s time to knit, I think because it is knit in pieces and my purling takes longer than knitting stockinette.

I have until August 12 to finish and I’m almost at the shoulders on the back piece. Everything else is waiting to be knit so I  have to hurry up some to meet the deadline.

Other than that, not much news to share. I’m still running the giveaway I launched last week. Do join in and leave a comment and possibly win a personalised gift from me. You can find the details in my last post here I’m back

I hope you are doing well and enjoying your knitting in spite of the heat for those of us that are living through a heatwave:)

Thank you for stopping  by again and spending time with me. Take care and happy knitting till next time.