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

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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 🙂

Brioche on the Beach

Hi there, today as I start my summer vacation I’m pleased to be able to share this appropriately named pattern.

Brioche on the Beach by Renée Callahan or East London Knits is one of my latest secret test knits. This is, as the name indicates, a brioche pattern. And I actually think this could be a great pattern for the beginner to intermediate brioche knitter because you get a lot of easy brioche and then towards the end when you are completely confident in your brioche skills, you get to tackle a brioche wave pattern.

This is a two color brioche and so using two contrasting colors is a good idea for maximum effect. I used fingering weight yarns; the pink color is in the colorway Sprinkles by Knit Cosmic Strings and the charcoal one is my own hand dyed in a merino and mohair blend. The colors are highly contrasting and so the result is really crisp I think.

This wrap is huge! And I could have actually made it even bigger by just knitting on for longer before starting the wave pattern but I admit I was getting impatient for something new and exciting.

This is a super squishy wrap due to the brioche texture and super soft as the yarns I chose. I used almost 2 skeins of each color so close to 4 skeins total. You can get away with less if you knit your wrap less wide.

I knit mine as per the pattern because I like large and squishy shawls/wraps.

Renée has a special offer on this wrap. If you sign up for her newsletter before August 27th you will get a 20% discount code for this pattern and so I highly recommend you do sign up. You will not get spammed but just notified when she has a new podcast out, a new pattern or if she is teaching or present at a knitting event.

And for even more discounts, when you purchase this pattern you will get a discount code for Retrosaria Mondim yarn good until August 16th – the yarn Renée used in her design.

So really you have a lot of reasons to be tempted.

Now on to the fashion/photo show. Enjoy:)

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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.

Current and future knitting

Hi there how are you this week? It has been super hot here in Normandy over the last week or so and all of a sudden the temperature plummeted today and along came the rain. I’m not complaining though as the heat was getting to me. I don’t enjoy working when it is super hot and I spend all my day at my desk perspiring like crazy. And my hands feel clammy making knitting less enjoyable. So a cooler weather is just fine with me.

I have knit quite a bit since last time but I don’t have much to show as most of what I have been working on are test knits I’m not allowed to share just yet. Out of the 3 test knits 2 are almost done and that’s such a relief. Mostly because I have so many things I want to cast on…

The pair of socks is almost at the toe so should be finished by the end of this week. Cardigan 1 I did actually finish yesterday. I wove in the ends, washed and blocked it. But… I had knit longer than usual sleeves and after washing my cardigan grew. I know super wash yarns tend to grow when washed and that’s why I prefer to knit garments with non super wash yarns but sometimes I just don’t have any and the yarn I REALLY want to use is super wash. Anyway, I used my own hand dyed yarn for this, on my SOX base and I absolutely love the color and feel of it but I did knit the sleeves too long. So when I tried the cardigan on last night as it was close to being dry, there was no denying that the sleeves were just way too long. I did check with my daughter to see what she thought because I didn’t want to rip back and re knit part of the sleeves. My daughter told me that long sleeves were “in” so I should leave it as was. Phew. But still I was not quite sure so I reached out to a cousin of mine who is also a knitter and showed her some pictures and she agreed with me, the sleeves had to be fixed. Maybe that decision is what made me have a very restless night! Being unhappy about my sleeves! Anyway, this morning I ripped back a few inches on both sleeves and re knit the cuff. I have finished one sleeve and am working on the second and hopefully I’ll have that done tomorrow.

Even if this was not a major issue, it still had me upset. And maybe even more so because I received some gorgeous new yarn in the mail yesterday and all I wanted was to cast on something new!

The yarn I received was a gift from a wonderful fellow knitter/dyer in Australia! Her name is Andrea and you can follow her on Instagram as @yarnsalad.

She gifted me 6 skeins of a 2 ply silk/lambswool yarn that was originally spun for fashion house Missoni! How amazing is that? I don’t know how or where but she buys yarns that were spun for luxury fashion houses but are no longer needed and then dyes them using natural dyes in her home.

I think that wound up the variegated yarn looks even more amazing (on the right side on the second picture). So now I have to find a pattern for this gorgeous yarn. It’s a thin two ply so between a lace and a light fingering weight. My very first thought when I saw the yarn was RAVELLO! But I already have two so knitting a third one might be too much! And then I remembered another pattern from the same designer, Isabelle Kramaer, called A Hint of Summer and I actually own that. It’s a pattern written for this type of yarn so I’m 99% certain that’s what I’m going to go for.

Here’s a picture of that pattern taken from the Ravelry project page

a hint of summer

My version would not be striped like this but I’d rather do a color block or a few larger stripes with the grey sparkle yarn. I think this could work out very nicely. What do you think? Have you maybe knit this pattern yourself already? I’d love to hear your opinion.

I’m also getting ready for the two big Mystery Kals about to start. I purchased both the Knitting Expat Road to Rhinebeck Mkal pattern and Andrea Mowry’s What the Fade Mkal. Both are shawls and both start tomorrow. This may be too much but hey, these will be fun and I do wish I was going to Rhinebeck 🙂

So the Road to Rhinebeck calls for a DK weight yarn and I’m knitting that with my own DK yarn. I have already wound my yarn and got a project bag ready as you can see here

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I really love these colors together and the project bag… How amazing is that?! It’s a mumin bag from Knitgizmomakes.

The Andrea Mowry What the Fade shawl is a huge one, I think-, as it calls for 6 skeins of fingering weight yarn. I’m not supposed to be buying yarn at the moment but..I accidentally went on Etsy and happened upon a shop update from Trysten of Dragon Hoard Yarns Co. And she had a kit. For the What the Fade kal. So what was I to do? I have never knit with her yarn, I want to try it, I had bought the pattern, I needed yarn for the project, she had a kit, it was in stock… Well one thing lead to another and I bought the kit PLUS an extra skein for some added sock knitting pleasure. I purchased this last week and so I was prepared to maybe not get to cast on at the start as the yarn might take a while to arrive. Well my yarn arrived TODAY! And it’s amazing! As soon as I finish talking to you, I’m going to start winding the yarn into cakes and finding a project bag and just get all the last details ready to cast on tomorrow.  And here is my yarn

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What do you think? These are not the colors I’m usually drawn to but when I saw her listing I just sort of fell in love and had to get this. These have such an autumn feel to them and just look like they will knit into something incredibly cozy.

Are you joining in these kals? I’d love to see your yarns if you are:)

The only actual knitting I can share with you today is a sock I’m knitting. So as I’m not supposed to be buying yarn; I of course am constantly looking at yarn shops and being tempted and so I went ahead and placed my very first order with Lolo did it! And the yarn arrived very quickly and the shipping was not ridiculous which was a pleasant surprise. And so of course I had to cast on the same day my yarn arrived and decided on doing a pair of shorty socks for myself thinking this way I’ll be able to get two pairs out of the skein. And I went hunting for a yarn that could go with Lolo’s yarn  and I found it. I had a partial skein in this lovely purple on my SPARKLES base and it just goes perfectly with the main yarn.  As for the pattern, I’m adapting the Yorkville pattern by the Knitting Expat. This is a pattern from her current New York sock club and I just changed it to be a short version and I love it. The lace pattern is super simple and easily memorized and just works up so nicely in this yarn. I’m on the toe now and hope to cast of sock one tonight!

That’s all for today I think. Next week I hope I will be able to share more actual knitting with you. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and I look forward to checking in with  you again very soon 🙂

Happy knitting!

Hi there, how are you? It’s been two weeks since my last post. I’m sorry I didn’t write anything last week and I’m sure you wondered what that was all about. Well it was all about Sock Madness!

After knitting the qualifying pair of socks, I ended up in THE fastest team! I immediately got a lump in my stomach and regretted having been so ultra competitive. I should have taken more time to finish but hey! So I’m in a team called Amaranth Zebu – don’t ask me what that means, I have no idea 🙂

So the pattern for round 1 came last Monday and I was sure, for some reason, it wouldn’t arrive until later that week so I spent Monday morning knitting on other things. At noon I discovered the pattern was there and I panicked! I immediately cast on and there was no stopping me! I knit like crazy and finished my pair in 4 days! The round is open for 14 days but just knowing that I’m with some crazy speedy knitters made me worried and I could not imagine dropping out after only one round! And so I made it to round 2!

Now only “problem” there is that I’m going to Iceland with my kids beginning of April and I’m crossing fingers and toes and hoping that the second pattern will arrive BEFORE I leave so I can work on them there. If it doesn’t, it means it will arrive while I’m away from home and if I want to stay in the game, I will have to bring a ton of yarn with me because you never know which pattern is coming next! Before the start of the competition we get a list of materials needed for each pattern so we can prepare and have everything ready to go. But if I’m not home when the pattern comes, well that’s complicated!

So I’m stressing about that now. Hopefully it will arrive before I leave and all will be good! But here’s my finished pair for round 1

The pattern repeat is easily memorizable. It is knit using two contrasting colored yarns. I chose two different bases also, the burgundy one is on my Sox base and the yellow one is on the same base as my POP only it has black nepps instead of the colored ones. I think these go together really well.

The stitch pattern is quite stretchy. Also the heel construction was totally new to me and I think it makes for a “bigger” heel, that is more rows so when I finished the socks ended up being a little big for me. But the colours aren’t “manly” enough for me to give them to my son so I’m going to keep them anyway.

These were knit toe up with an afterthought heel, but not the typical afterthought heel but a version with a small heel flap. A new to me way of knitting a heel.

So once the socks were off my needles I went back to knitting on my secret test knit cardigan. I’m only 6 rows from casting off the body now and I hope to do that today and start on sleeve one. I’m supposed to finish early next week and I’ll do my best to keep the deadline although I think I may need a few more extra days. Also I’m not able to just knit on one thing so of course I cast on for a shawl! I’m doing the Ramble shawl by Andrea Mowry. It’s half garter and half brioche. At the moment I’m on the garter portion. It’s knit using two yarns and I’m using a gradient yarn I handspun and then a hand dyed yarn. I originally chose Chai Latte from Knit Cosmic Strings which is a beige and brown yarn but it ended up being too close in color to the lightest color of my gradient so the two color stripes in the garter section didn’t show up. It was all just sort of one color so I ripped back and chose another yarn I had wound up and works really nice. It’s Smooshy from Dream in Color in the Beach Fog colorway and this time the two yarns really contrast each other. I haven’t knit much so far so no picture of my progress yet but here is my handspun yarn and a picture of the pattern with the two yarns I originally chose.

I really love the brioche portion of this shawl and look forward to getting there in my knitting.

Another project I’m preparing is the Sammal cardigan by Joji Locatelli. I’m going to knit it with my handspun yarn that I spun as part of the sweater spin organized by Andre Sue Knits and Sue of Legazy Fibre Arts. It’s been awhile since I finished the yarn and I was holding of dyeing it. It felt a bit overwhelming because the yarn was so special. I’d spent so much time making it and I had chosen a gorgeous pattern and so the dyeing had to be just so. Also I didn’t know what color to dye and then this weekend I finally took a decision. It would be grey! And so I dyed my yarn in a light grey color and luckily the weather here in Normandy was glorious this past weekend so the yarn dried up nicely in my garden and last night I wound one of the skeins into a  ball to swatch.

Now swatching is not an everyday occurrence for me. I rarely swatch for anything. But as I’m using handspun yarn which is not 100% even like commercially spun yarn, I felt swatching was a must. Not to mention the fact that knitting an intricate cardigan in handspun yarn only to find out it doesn’t fit…well that was just not an option.

So I knit up a swatch last night and washed it before going to bed so today I’m going to check the gauge and if it doesn’t fit then redo my swatch. I didn’t cut the yarn because I don’t know how many swatches I may need to do and I’m afraid I might run out of yarn which would be a catastrophe!

So this is going to be my next cast on, after I finish my test knit cardigan. I’m planning on taking this with me on Easter vacation to Iceland and knit on this and the future Sock Madness socks while I’m there.

That’s about all I think for now. The weather here is beautiful today and it is supposed to be gorgeous all the time until the weekend of course! But then bad weather on weekends is never all bad for us knitters as it’s just ideal for cozy knitting inside:)

I wish you a wonderful and productive week. I hope you will have nice weather and lots of quality knitting time. I’ll be back next week for more news on my knitting and soon ( in April) there will be another Maker of the Month feature and April’s maker is a yarn dyer so lots to look forward to!

My works in progress and a redraw for a winner

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

I have been making good progress on my knitting projects and getting ready for others and I’d like to share those with you today.

So first I have two finished objects that I think I have not shared with you yet. Both are socks. Surprise surprise:)

The first is the Lovealong Socks. A pattern by Amy Meeks of the Periscoping sisters. I knit these socks as part of a kal that is being hosted by Amy in the Periscoping sisters Ravelry group, by Dani of Little Bobbins Knits Ravelry Group and Christy of the Yarn Cafe Creations Ravelry Group – only if you knit with her yarn which I did. So I entered my pair into all three FO threads and now I just need to cross my fingers and wait and see if I win anything!

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This was a fun pattern to knit. The pattern only gives one size, and it’s not my sock size, so these will be for one of my girls. The yarn is the Banana Split colorway from Yarn Cafe Creations and it is super soft and squishy. It may be a bit on the busier side where the pattern is concerned. I mean the patterning would show up more if I had used a tonal or a less speckled/variegated yarn. But I still love them. They were actually quite a quick knit too.

I also finished another pair that was/is part of another kal. Those are the Prairie Socks by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears Podcast. I’m a huge fan of Dan and Kay’s podcast and when I saw the socks on their podcast I really wanted to knit them asap. I found a single skein of a mystery yarn base and I dyed it up specially for this project. The inspiration behind the color was just thinking of grass and colorful flowers and I really love the outcome. Both of the socks and the yarn. I have of course entered this pair into their kal/giveaway thread and cross my fingers.

The yarn is less saturated in the second half of my skein somehow and so you see that one of the socks is greener than the other. But that’s ok. I still love them.

And then on to works in progress. Of course I have numerous pairs of socks on the go as always. I’m only going to share one which is a pair that I’m test knitting for my friend Dana of Dana Gervais Designs. This pattern was actually designed using one of my hand dyed yarns! Which I’m so excited about. And of course I had to test knit this, no question about that. I did choose to you a different yarn for this than she used in the design, but it’s still one of my own. I chose the POP base, which is a  tweed base with colorful nepps in that make such a fun addition to the yarn. This yarn knits up so nicely. It’s the second time I use this base for one of Dana’s designs.

So this pattern is currently being tested and it has mirroring patterning. I’m currently working on the left sock. The picture on the left is of the front of the sock/leg and the one one the right is of the back of the leg. I’m just at the heel here. I think these will be gorgeous and I really look forward to having them finished.

I’m also working on three shawls at the moment. There’s the Snowmelt kal, a shawl pattern by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. I’ve finished clue 3. Here’s a picture I took after clue 2. I’m sorry but I don’t have a picture of it as it is now, ready for clue 4. I’m using a new base that I call Back to Basics. It’s a fingering weight 100% non superwash merino yarn and it is such a joy to knit with.

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This is a fun knit and I’m happy with the colors I dyed up for this.

Then I’m also knitting the Snow Day shawl by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat Designs. That shawl is designed for a sport weight yarn but I’m knitting it using a new base in my shop that is DK weight. It’s a 100% organic merino yarn and the color palette is similar to the one in my Snowmelt shawl.

I’m getting close to finishing this shawl and really love all about it; both the pattern and the yarn and colors I chose.

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This is a fun asymmetrical garter and slipped stitches shawl and I think it will be super cute and cozy to wear:

The last shawl I’m working on is one that I cast on in January for the Brioche challenge being held by Louise Tilbrook. Clearly I did not finish it in time! But I’m getting there, slowly but surely. I’m doing the Briochealicious shawl by Andrea Mowry. Some of the yarns are my own some are either store bought or from another indie dyer. This shawl is huge! It’s not a complicated knit, it has a lot of garter in it. I think it’s just the size, the number of stitches that make this such a slow going project. Well and then of course I’m not a monogamous knitter so I haven’t been focusing on it much lately. But now I really want to get it done. Because I have found two other shawls that I want to cast on! More about those later. I don’t have a picture of my shawl to share today. it’s such a big shawl and I’m only using a 40″/100 cm cable so it’s all scrunched up so I feel I wouldn’t be able to take a good picture of it. You’ll just have to wait and see when it’s all done and gorgeous:)

So that’s about it for knitting this week.  This coming week I’ll work on my shawls and my test knit socks and continue working on some socks that are in need of love in my pile of wip. Oh which brings me to my challenge of last week! The cleaning up/reorganising of my mountain of wips! Gosh, I was so excited to share all these works in progress I totally forgot about that until just now! But this is becoming quite a long post so I think I will keep that till next time. And I’ll also have to tell you all about the upcoming sock knitting challenge that I’m joining in on as of March 1st! Lots of things to share still! Hope you will stick around and come back for more:)

But before I leave you today, I have a winner to announce! You may remember a giveaway I did in January in conjunction with my Maker of the Month feature which for January was Knit Cosmic Strings. I did draw a winner for the giveaway only the lucky winner never contacted me! I did remind everyone of this in a post this February but still no sign of the winner so I’m considering that as a forfeit of the prize. So I have just drawn again from the comments for the giveaway and this time around I do hope the lucky winner will see this and contact me so I can send the gorgeous yarn out! And as a reminder here’s the yarn

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So drum rolls please. And the winner is….Aylin A who wrote:

The colors are all gorgeous, but if I had to decide on a favorite it would definitely be Peony!

So if you are the lucky Aylin A, please either send me an email at knittinginfrance@gmail.com or send me a private message on Instagram where I’m @knittinginfrance so I can get your details and ship the yarn out to you asap!

I’m also still waiting to hear from this month’s Maker of the Month winner so if you participated in that one, please check out the winner announcement and contact me if you are the lucky one.

I want the prizes to go out to readers of my blog, people that follow my blog and enjoy spending time with me here so I’m not looking people up. I think that when you participate in a giveaway, you should follow up and see if you won or not and so if a prize is not claimed within a month, I’m going to re-draw for a winner. I hope you understand and agree with me on that. At least this is how I’m thinking/processing for the time being.

And there will be another giveaway beginning of March for that month’s Maker of the month so you still have a chance of winning something:)

That’s all for today. Promise! Take care and have a great week:)

The February Plan

Hi there, It’s me again! Sorry if you think this a bit too much for one week but like I said at the beginning of the week I had soo much to share!

So today is or should just be  a short post but a necessary one because we are at the beginning of February and I have this big plan for what I’m going to knit this month and I thought maybe some of you would like to knit along with me.

So I’ll be knitting 2 shawls and 3 socks – that I know of for the time being – and a cowl

Here is a picture of all the yarns except the Snowmelt shawl which I had not dyed when I took the picture.

all-the-february-yarns

Row 1 (bottom) Yarns for the socks Row 2 (middle) my 3 color cashmere cowl Row 3 my Snowday shawl

First the shawls. So there is the Snowday shawl by Knitting Expat Designs. This pattern was published in January and I immediately bought it. I loved the colors Mina chose for hers and I just knew I had to knit this. I’m using my own yarn of course. Mina wrote the pattern for a sport weight yarn but I don’t have any so I’m using a DK yarn. This is a new base that I’ll introduce in the shop next week. It is a non superwash organic wool from South America and I really look forward to knitting with it and seeing how it knits up. I loved the colours Mina chose and so I decided to stay with the same theme/colours.

snowday-yarn

Mina is hosting a year long kal in her Ravelry group for all her patterns so this shawl can be entered into that.

 

The second shawl is a mystery knit along and it is the Snowmelt mkal being held by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. This is a 5 clue, 3 color shawl and the mkal launched yesterday on the 2nd of February. I have chosen another new yarn base for this shawl. This yarn is a 100% non superwash merino in fingering weight. it dyes up beautifully and it is very soft and I look forward to knitting with it for the first time. Just looking at the yarn and the ply I’m sure it will be gorgeous and give a beautiful stitch definition. I dyed up 3 skeins in complimentary colors for this and again the theme is blues.

snowmelt-yarn-1

I’ve heard Helen say that color A is the one that has the most lace and she recommends using the lightest color for that. I don’t want to use the speckled yarn for the lace so I’m thinking then the light blue on the right side. I was going to have the darkest one as color A but I should probably follow Helen’s advice. So I look forward to knitting on this.

And then there are the socks and they all come with a kal. I’m very kal these days it seems and yet I rarely participate in the chatter.

So first it is the Lovealong kal – this kal is being hosted by Dani of the Little Bobbins; Amy of the Periscoping sisters (the designer of the sock pattern) and Christy of Yarn Café Creations who dyed the yarn Amy used in her design. This means you can actually enter your socks into at least 2 threads to win a prize and if you knit the socks with Christy’s yarn then you can enter in her group too. So as I have some of her yarns, that’s what I’m doing!

Then there is the January Challenge in Louise Tilbrook Designs group on Instagram and Facebook. You are supposed to knit a pair of socks and somehow challenge yourself. I’m cheating a bit because I want to knit one of Louise’s patterns and I chose one that is not necessarily very challenging but hey I’m the boss of me so! I’ve chosen the Bleaberry Tarn socks, a paid for pattern on Ravelry and I’m going to knit it in one of my new colorways that I’ve called Baby Pink Sparkles.

The third sock is for a kal being held by designer Rachel Gibbs. I’ve never knit one of her patterns before and I follow her on IG. I saw a post about her kal that actually began in January but I believe runs till the end of February so I decided to join and knit one of her patterns. Rachel designs lots of textured/patterned socks and the patterns are really gorgeous. I chose the Time Stream Socks and I’ve chosen another one of my Sparkles yarns in a turquoise colorway I had in my stock.

The last of the planned knits for the time being is a cowl. I’ve had this pattern in my Ravelry Library for a long time and never gotten to knit it so it is time. I have chosen an amazing yarn. This is a new base that I was trying out and want to later offer in the shop. It is a pricy one because it is a 50/50 merino and silk yarn. It is incredibly soft and knits up like a dream. I already have a cowl knit in this yarn and I love it. So the pattern I’ve chosen is the Three Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli and I think this is the only planned knitting this month that is not part of a kal.

So I dyed two skeins of my merino/silk yarn and then I had one skein of a 100% silk yarn in natural, undyed state.  I think this will be heavenly and I really look forward to getting started on that one too.

three-color-cashmere-cowl

Have you planned what you want to work on in February? Are you maybe joining in some of the kals that I’m doing? I’d love to hear what you have got planned so don’t be shy and leave a comment below.

That’s it for now. I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead with lots of quality knitting time. Thank you for sharing your time today with me. And until next time, happy knitting 🙂

Hi there how are you today? I hope you are doing good, that you had a nice weekend and that this new week is shaping up to be a good one.

As always I have been knitting “like the wind” 🙂 I don’t have a finished object this week to share but I have a lot of HOs and an almost FO.

I have a ton of things to share with you but  I feel I must divide things up into at least 2 or 3 posts or you’ll end up spending the entire day reading my blog and you do have some knitting to do so that won’t work!

So I think today I’ll show you my HOs and share some news of my shop and then later I’ll share my February knitting plans which are shaping up to be quite ambitious!

So first the knitting. If you follow me here on the blog and on IG you will have seen all the socks I’m working on. I have A LOT of socks going at the moment and some are “active” and others are waiting to be picked up again and finally finished.

First there is the test knit I shared with you last week. I often test knit for designer Dana Gervais who is a very talented sock knitting designer. Currently I’m testing her Galoway sock which will soon be published on Ravelry. This is a very fun pattern. The front is all cables from cast on to toes and the back all the way to the end of the heel is in ribbing. The cable pattern is easy to memorise and you can knit it without using a cable needle which is what I did. I chose to knit this using a new yarn base that I have just introduced in my shop and I call POP. It’s a tweed yarn with colorful nepps that make this yarn super fun to work with. I have finished sock one and now need to cast on for the second one.

 

Then there is the simple vanilla sock that I’m knitting using my Valentine’s Day colorway, I call it Be My Valentine. This is a self striping yarn with a 4 color repeat and each repeat is quite short/small. The socks I’m knitting are 72 stitches on a 2.00 mm needle. I’m really happy with how this yarn knits up. The yarn base is my SOX merino/nylon base so a soft and yet sturdy sock yarn. I have finished sock one and I’m already past the heel on number two so hopefully this one will be a FO next week.

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And  then there are the two Simple Skyp socks. This is a free pattern on Ravelry that I absolutely love. It has become my sort of go to pattern rather than knit a vanilla sock. I think it works great with all types of colors and yarns. Works great with solid yarns as well as with some crazy variegated. So currently I’m knitting two pairs, one for myself and one for my youngest. So my pair is knit using yarn from KnitCosmicStrings. I shared an interview with them this January and the yarn I’m using is in the Shoreditch colorway which is the exact same yarn as the giveaway yarn. And speaking of the giveaway, the winner has yet to claim her prize and the clock is ticking…

simple-skyp-in-knitcosmicstrings

I really enjoy using this yarn and I love how the yarn knits up. I think it looks great knit up into this skyp pattern. On this picture you get an idea of how this colorway knits up both in simple stockinette (sole) and in the skyp pattern (leg and top of foot). So obviously one sock is done and the other is almost at the heel.

And the one I’m knitting for my daughter, I’m knitting out of my own yarn. It’s a dye test I did for fun using my SOX base. I’ve also finished one sock and I’m just past the heel on the second so hopefully this pair will be an FO very soon.

simple-skyp-for-ines

I’m also knitting another pair as a present for someone and again I’m using my own SOX yarn in a fun colorway that I made up just playing with my dyes so a truly one of a kind. The pattern is just a simple knit and purl pattern I found on Ravelry in a free sock pattern that I no longer remember the name of and the rest is just my normal sock formula. For this pair I have also done one sock and am just past the heel on the second so again this should be an FO shortly.

birthday-gift-socks

And to end this parade of socks, I cast on the Prairie socks by Kay Jones of The Bakery Bears Podcast. I’m a huge fan of Kay and Dan’s podcast and watch it every time a new episode is published. I saw these socks on one of the podcasts and really loved how sweet it looked. I had a skein of some unknown undyed yarn. And not knowing what it was I could hardly sell it in the shop so I dyed it up for myself and chose colours I thought would be great for this particular pattern and I really like how it knits up.

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So this is sock number one. I did an extra long leg, 7″ from cast on to beginning of heel flap. I’m knitting according to the pattern. I usually do a short row heel for my socks but decided I had to follow the heel in the pattern for this one. You can’t really see the patterning very clearly on the picture but it is a very lovely and easy pattern and could become a go to pattern just like the Simple Skyp sock. This pattern is a paid for pattern on Ravelry.

Of course I do have more socks than just these on my needles and I do need to pick them up and finish. I think I should challenge myself to picking up a pair of wip socks every two weeks or so and finish it off along with my current works in progress. I need to do something to get them off my needles and off the pile of wips in my bedroom.

And to finish, there is my almost FO this week which is the Cozy Shlanket by Knitting Expat designs or Mina Philip. This was a mystery knit a long and it has already finished. I’m at the icord bind off currently and my objective for today is to finish the bind off and weave in all the ends because I want to be able to say that I finished the shawl in the month of January. That should not be difficult!

`cozy-shlanket-at-bind-off

It’s not easy to photograph while the shawl is still on the needle because it is quite huge and all scrunched up on the needle. I think it is a very nice pattern and as I chose to knit the Aran weight version mine is really huge and super warm. I’m not sure if I will give this to someone or if I’ll keep it and  have on my office chair for when I work the evening shifts as I often get cold in winter.

I do have another shawl on my needles that I should finish by the end of today because it is part of the #BriocheChallenge being hosted by Louise Tilbrook Designs on Instagram and Facebook (The Everyday Knitter). I’m knitting the Briochealicious shawl by Andrea Mowry which is a mix of garter and brioche. I’m at the last brioche section so getting close to the end but I’ll never be able to finish today so that one will have to carry on into February. I’ll show you a picture when it’s done because it is so big that I can’t really do it justice while still on the needle.

I think this will be all for today. It’s turning out to be quite a long post. I’ll be writing more posts this week as I feel I have so much more to share and I want to share it ALL RIGHT NOW! So you’ll be seeing more posts than usual from me this week.

Thank you again for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my works in progress and until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting:)

Knitting and life in general

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a nice weekend and that this week has begun well. I had a nice weekend. Some of my husbands friends came and spent the night at our house and that was nice. We hadn’t seen them for ages. In addition they were very lucky with the weather and on Saturday morning we went to Ouistreham which is a beach town just a few minutes from our home and we walked along the beach and then had lunch in a restaurant on the beach. It almost felt like summer again:)

Then Sunday came around and boy, it felt nothing like summer! Sunday was a very grey and rainy day here in Normandy. And today, Tuesday it is cold and humid so no we are definitely in winter now.

Now with regards to knitting, I feel like I’m a bit out of it, not really feeling the mojo for some reason. I think maybe my pile of wips and to knit may be intimidating me. I have been knitting of course but I just feel like I’m not enjoying it as much as I should.

I have one finished object, I knit a little onesie for a future niece that will be arriving in December. I had the hardest time to find a pattern that motivated me to knit and yet I really wanted to knit her something. I found this lovely pattern for a onesie on Ravelry and I have now finished that, ends are woven in and buttons in place. The only thing left is blocking.

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This is a very nice pattern and once you get going, it is quite intuitive. The pattern is called Tiriltunge Newborn Onesie and this is a paid for pattern on Ravelry. I used yarn from my stash for this, Cascade Heritage Silk which is a merino and Mulberry silk blend. This is a lovely turquoise blue color which I think goes with both boys and girls. I do have a pair of little tube socks in pink and chocolate that I’m going to give her as well. But when I had this done, I felt like I should knit something else to go with it. I was thinking a hat or maybe some leggings and I have found patterns on Ravelry but not the motivation to actually cast on. So maybe I will just leave it at this, a onesie and a pair of socks. We’ll see.

I have also been working on the Harry Potter themed socks for my oldest. My choice of yarn is all wrong though and that bothers me. I chose a stellina yarn from Lanitium ex Machina and the yarn is just so harsh and just not enjoyable to knit with. I think that for socks its ok and that my daughter will not be bothered when she wears the socks (I hope) but to knit with, it’s just not enjoyable and so I’m only knitting on this  a little each time.

Also I’m thinking I should have gone with a solid color yarn because this variegated yarn hides the stitch pattern somewhat. I do like the colour but maybe it was not the right choice for this particular pattern. Anyway I have finished one sock and I’m working on the second so there will be no ripping back:)

 

 

What do you think?

I also have two new knits. One is a pair of Halloween socks for my youngest. I’m using a set of yarns that I dyed up for the shop. I called this color Candy Corn (yellow and orange) and I’m using a dark green for contrasting heel,toes and cuff.

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I’m not using a pattern but rather knitting from memory. I’m knitting them toe up and I did a short row heel. As you can see I have finished one sock and I’m already working on the second so hopefully this pair will be done in time for Halloween.

I also started the Simee Dimeh shawl by Romi Hill. Months ago I indulged myself and purchased a kit for this shawl from Miss Babs yarns. I chose the kit called Favorite Boots Sierras. This is a mosaic pattern so uses slipped stitches and I think it will be gorgeous. The yarn is really beautiful and I love the colors. I’m at the very beginning now so not much to show you but here are some pictures anyway

The first picture shows you the colours and the little I have done so far. The second picture shows you the stitch pattern for the first part of the shawl. I think the rest of the shawl is a garter stitch mosaic although I admit I have not actually read through the entire pattern.

So this week I will be working on the shawl and the Halloween socks as well as on the Harry Potter socks. Once I will have finished one of the socks, I’ll be looking for a new project and hopefully I’ll pick something up from my pile of wips rather than casting on something entirely new.

This week is winter holiday for the kids so they are home most of the time. The youngest did want to go to  what we call “point jeunes” which is a place where 10+ older kids meet up and they do all sorts of activities under adult supervision of course. This is the first time she goes and yesterday was the first day. That went really well so hopefully she will have a wonderful week. I’m not on holiday myself so that is why I let her go to the point jeunes. Working from home when all three kids are at home is not always easy and my youngest gets easily bored so this is a much better solution for her. I did put in for 2 x half day off so this Thursday and Friday I’ll get off work at 2 pm and that is great! Especially this week as my mother and one of my cousins are coming for a visit from Iceland. They will be spending 10 days here so maybe I won’t have the time to blog next week as I’ll be busy between work and my guests.

I hope the weather will be nice; or at least that it won’t rain much so that they can enjoy being outside and go places. I look forward to seeing my mum again and getting a little shipment of comfort food from home:)

I think this is all for today. I hope you have enjoyed stopping by today and I thank you for taking the time to read my post. Have a wonderful week and I’ll speak to you soon:)

My knitting, a shop update and life in general

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was just fine, mostly the same as always except that on Saturday evening I went out to dinner with my husband celebrating 23 years together! That’s actually more than half my life!

We went to a restaurant over in the next village which is very nice and we had a wonderful dinner. Every time we go out to dinner, we say we need to do so more often. But we never manage to. Life between work and family just doesn’t leave much time for restaurants or maybe it’s us and we don’t TAKE the time. Anyway, it was a welcomed change and the food was delicious.

Saturday I also took the time to do a much needed shop update. I have been dyeing a little here and there but not putting anything up in the shop. So Saturday I finally took all the pictures and labelled my yarns and the uploaded them to Etsy just yesterday, Monday. The shop has not been getting a lot of love from me lately and that has shown in less and less sales. I hope that the new yarns I put up for sale will bring a customer or two. I did a bunch of my new base, Merino Light, which is a singles yarn that is super soft and a joy to knit with. Julia of the Happy Knitting Podcast raved about this yarn in her last 2 episodes and she is about to release a new shawl design using this yarn with another fingering weight yarn. That is why I decided it might be a good time to add some more to the shop if someone wanted to knit her shawl using the same yarn.

Anyway, if you are interested in seeing my latest yarns and my shop you can click here and the link will take you to my Etsy shop.

And now on to the knitting. I feel like I have not made much progress from last week. I still haven’t finished my Dexter cardigan although I’m soooo close. And I think I can honestly say that I will finish the knitting TODAY! After all I only have a few rounds of ribbing left on my second sleeve and voila!

dexter-cardigan-sleeves

See? I’m almost there! And then I’ll need to weave in the ends and choose my buttons. This has really been an enjoyable knit and maybe that’s why I’m taking my time to finish. I don’t want to stop knitting on this. Plus the yarn is sooooo soft! I have even been thinking of casting on for a second one. But that might not be reasonable given that I have a gazillion cardigan patterns in my Ravelry library that also need knitting.

Here you can have a better look at my almost finished Dexter cardigan by Isabelle Kramer.

I really like the outcome. I think that using a solid and a variegated yarn together gives a fun result and I think this will go well with jeans. The lace yarns I used are not cobweb fine so holding two together gives me the correct gauge even though the pattern was written for a fingering weight yarn. I used 2 different variegated skeins, one for the body and another one for the sleeves. The one in the sleeves was very pastel coloured and muted so when looking at pictures you can hardly see anything but  grey. When looking at the cardigan up close the sleeves look like a muted version of the body so that is just perfect. So if you are looking for a simple and yet fun cardigan to knit, I can definitely recommend this pattern.

I have also been knitting on another Harry Potter knit for my daughter. I’m knitting a pair of socks and the pattern is called Dragon’s Egg. It’s actually designed for men so I’m knitting the smallest size and yet it looks quite big. I’m turning the heel now and once that’s done, I’m going to have her try them on to see if she wants me to continue or if this is just way too big for her.

This is a highly patterned knit so I need some quiet to concentrate and follow the pattern. I chose a yarn that I purchased a while ago and haven’t had the chance to use up until now. I saw this yarn on Etsy and just had to buy it but once I got it, my excitement dwindled quite quickly. It’s a stellina yarn but the stellina is actually harsh. It’s strange. My stellina bases are super soft and you can’t tell by touching if you are touching the merino or the stellina and I honestly thought that was how all stellina yarns were. Until I got this one… And because the yarn is hash and not enjoyable to the touch, I haven’t been making the progress I was hoping to. I don’t really enjoy knitting with this yarn and so I have to make myself pick this up to continue. And it’s a shame. Even worse, I purchased 3 skeins total in this base. All gorgeous colours but….This yarn can only be used for socks because way to harsh for a shawl and even mittens I think. The yarn company is called Lanitium ex Machina and they are on Etsy. Of course, I have only tried this one base from them so I can’t speak about any of their other yarns, but this one is definitely not for the sensitive knitter.

Anyway here are some pictures of where I’m at now and you will agree, I think, that the yarn is beautiful….to look at 🙂

 

I also cast on for something new. I have this new niece that is to be born in December and I really want to knit her something but I have been having like a “knitters block”. I have been browsing the web looking for cute baby patterns and I have found some of course and then I cast on, only to rip everything out after a few rounds. Just not feeling it. That is, util I saw a post on Instagram. I follow a few Scandinavian knitwear designers and I think their really look different and feel so fresh and just generally speak to me. And so I saw this post with pictures of a onesie by a designer I have never heard of. I liked it so much I immediately clicked through to Ravelry and bought the pattern.

Its called Trilitunge Newborn Onesie and it is gorgeous! I found a beautiful yarn in my stash from Cascade, Cascade Heritage which is a merino and mulberry silk blend. The colour is a beautiful turquoise which I feel can work for both boys and girls. I’m going to put in pink buttons and I think that will be just perfect.

I have of course cast on and I’m just past the underarms. The construction was a little confusing to begin with but now that I’m this far it’s actually easy to understand and the stitch pattern is easily memorised. So far I’m really enjoying this knit. I’m knitting the second size, 1-3 months. I think I’ll then knit a pair of socks and maybe a hat and voila! I have taken some pictures of this but because of the construction, the front being open, it’s not easy to picture at this stage but I hope you get the picture.

 

The second picture shows the back. So you see you have these cables on each side and a lace pattern for the front and back. I think this is really beautiful and I wish this was written in more sizes but the I guess one could maybe just go up a needle size or two for a somewhat bigger onesie.

That’s about it for my knitting. I haven’t yet decided what I’ll knit one once my Dexter is done! I have a gazillion single socks that need mates, another gazillion just started or half done socks. Not to mention a close to finished sweater and a cardi that needs to either be done with or ripped out! Somehow I’m not being inspired by all these and I’m thinking maybe I’ll just cast on something completely new. Like a shawl design by Romi Hill for which I actually bought a kit from Miss Babs yarns!

The shawl is called Simee Dimeh and its a gorgeous mosaic knitting shawl design. I’ve never done mosaic knitting and the idea of diving into something new to me with lots of gorgeous colours sounds so enticing. Just sitting here and writing about this, I’m getting more and more excited about this so most likely you’ll be seing that shawl next time I blog:)

Here’s a picture from Romi’s pattern page on Ravelry

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Doesn’t this look gorgeous! These are actually the colours that I chose for my kit. Have you knit this pattern by any chance? Or have you maybe done some mosaic knitting? I’d love to hear from you on that and see pictures if you have made this shawl or something similar.

Well, that’s about all for today I think. I need to finish my Dexter and wind up some new yarns before work! Oh and on the subject of work! If you have been following me here for a while, you will know that I have a full time job in addition to my Etsy shop. I like the company I work for, I like the industry I work in but the actual job itself…I feel I’ve sort of done it all, seen it all and I really want to change but it’s not easy. I’ve been doing this for so long that even imagining doing something else is difficult. It’s as if doing this same job for X years had somehow stripped me of any and all other capacities and I can’t even think  what I might be good at or what type of job I should apply for. Has this happened to you? Maybe I’m going through some midlife crisis here but I really feel I need to challenge myself and take on something new and exciting. I’m sure there are a million things I can do and as many if not more that I can learn to do. I know that. But actually putting those thoughts/things on paper and find this new and exciting job opportunity seems out of my reach at the moment. I need to motivate myself, reassure myself and throw myself out there for all recruiters to see! So if you have knowledge of an exciting job I could apply for and do from my home in Normandy, I’m all ears!

Sorry if today’s post was too personal or too much rambling for your opinion. Usually my posts are really knitting focused so this is not a typical post. I apologise if this bothered your.

Thank you for stopping by my little blog today and for sharing some of your precious time with me. I really appreciate that. I have gotten some heartwarming messages from readers saying how much they love my blog and encouraging me to continue and I really appreciate that.

So until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting 🙂