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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

simee-r1-sm_medium2

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 🙂

A new shawl design using my yarn

Hi there how are you today? Had a nice weekend? I do hope you are doing good. I had a nice weekend and today the weather is sunny and brisk. This morning it was incredibly cold so the air is definitely turning here and it is time to get out all the wooly accessories which is a good thing.

Today I wanted to share with you a new shawl design that was published on Ravelry just yesterday. The pattern was designed and knit with one of my yarns and so I’m super proud to present it to you. I will need to do a special post where I share all the patterns that have been designed and knit with my yarns so far as there are quite a few now.

But for today let me introduce you to the Antonia shawl by Madeleine Windsor. This is an asymmetrical shawl in three sizes so you will need between 1 and 2 whole skeins I believe. One skein is enough for the small size, I used just over one skein for the medium so I’m guessing 2 skeins will be quite sufficient for the large version. ** I just got a message from the designer telling me that in the end she published a one size only shawl but with instructions on how to make the shawl bigger. So if you follow the pattern 1 skein is enough but if you want to make it bigger, you need 2 skeins although you may not need two full skeins***

antonia-shawl

This is a mostly garter stitch shawl with some patterning and lace. The designer was kind enough to send me the pattern at the same time as she sent it out to test knitters. I had told her that I would not be able to commit to finishing within her time frame due to my work and the gazillion things I had on my needles. But it turns out I was actually the very first to finish! It was just so much fun!

She designed the shawl using my Cash’Sock yarn which is an 80/10/10 super wash merino, nylon, cashmere base so the yarn is super soft and a joy to knit with. I used the yarn that I had dyed for the Golden Skein, Birds of a Feather. That yarn was dyed with sock or other small circumference knit in mind so it was really fun to see how that knit up into such a large project and I really like the results.

I have now created a project page on Ravelry for all to see my version of the Antonia shawl.The pattern is being offered at a 50% discount until October 17th so that is a super great deal! Just use the coupon code: ANTONIA_IG at check out. Here’s a link to the pattern page on Ravelry.

Here are some pictures of my version of the Antonia shawl using my Birds of a Feather yarn.

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I hope you enjoyed reading about this new shawl pattern and seeing the pictures. If you like shawl knitting, I hope you will take advantage of the coupon code for a super great price on this design.

That’s all for today. I’ll be back soon with some news of my latest knitting as I have a few things to share with you all. Thank you for stopping by today and have a great week:)

Working with my Golden Skein yarn “Birds of a feather”

I little while ago I shared with you my participation as a dyer for The Golden Skein. This was the first and hopefully not the last time that I got a huge order and I very much enjoyed the process.

Now the yarn has been sent out to The Golden Skein subscribers and so far I have had nothing but good reviews which is such a joy for me.

I did keep some of the yarn for myself and then there were the “test dye” skeins and the “oups” skeins. Some I overdyed and will be listing in my shop and some I’m just keeping for my own personal use. I thought I’d share with you what I have knit with this yarn so far.

So I used one of my “test” skeins to knit a pair of socks. Well, technically I’m only about 40% done with sock 1 but this will be a pair:) This particular skein, has more of the contrasting colours than the final version of my Birds of a Feather, and so the end result is more variegated and almost stripey. I actually quite like how this is knitting up.

birds-of-a-feather-socks

As you can see there is a lot less of the light beige colour in this version.

I have also knit a shawl as part of a test knit for a designer that has just designed a shawl using my Cash’Sock yarn. She kindly sent me her pattern at the same time as she sent it to her test knitters. I had told her that I would probably not be able to finish it within the time limit she had given her testers because of work and all the gazillion things I’m already knitting. But guess what? This was such an enjoyable knit that I actually finished FIRST!

The pattern should be released soon on Ravelry and once it has been I’ll put up a project page on Ravelry and I’ll be able to share the name and a link if you too want to knit this. In the mean time, here are a few pictures of different parts of the shawl to show you how this particular yarn knit up. Had this been knit into a sock the resulting fabric would of course have been very different and that is also why I decided to use this yarn rather than another one for this particular pattern. I dyed the yarn thinking of socks because people were just getting 1 skein (although it is possible to purchase an additional skein afterwards via The Golden Skein while stock lasts) and so I knew what a sock would look like. But knitting this up into a shawl with a much higher stitch count than a sock was interesting and I wanted to see what that would look like.

What do you think? I quite like the result. This is an asymmetrical shawl and if this yarn were knit up into say a triangular shawl the results would be something different from this.

It has been such a fun process from the designing of this yarn working from an inspiration picture, to actually dyeing it up and now knitting with it and seeing how different items/stitch counts give different end results.

If you too are a Golden Skein subscriber, I’d love to see what you knit up with my yarn and I hope you will share that with others on social media and even better, with me here on my blog:)

That’s all for today. I hope you are having a nice week with lots of fun knitting/crochet time. So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting.

What a week!

Hi there, it’s been a while since my last post real post. With me about to leave for 4 weeks I have a ton of things to take care of, most of which have not gotten any further than the pages of my planner yet! And that is because I’ve had quite a crazy week so far.

I have been working hard on a big custom order that I’m very excited about. I’m not at liberty yet to tell you what it is exactly nor can I show you any pictures of the yarn yet but I will be posting about this in detail probably in September.

Any way, this is an order I got a while back and I was so hugely happy and excited that I of course said yes! I knew I would be going to hospital at one time this year but had no idea if that would be in August or not until December. So I could either put my life on hold just in case I got called in or I could carry on as if all was normal and just deal with it when I got called in and that is what I did. So when I got the call and new I would be going in from July 24th to August 22nd I had already committed to this order which is my biggest custom order to date and I was not going to go back on my word and cancel the order. So rather than having 4 weeks to work on this alongside other projects I knew I’d only have 1 week. So I hurriedly ordered my yarn and got working on my colors.

This week I have been dyeing for about 6 hours a day and then I have taken a break for 2-3 hours to go knit at the beach with my kids and in the evening I would reskein my yarn. I have just finished the dyeing today and now have a huge pile of yarn left to reskein and label but I made it and I’ll be able to ship my order this Saturday morning so Yeah me:)

This just goes to prove that when we want something bad enough, we can do anything we set our heart to. I’m super happy and I really like the yarn I have created and now I just need to sent it away and wait for feedback first from my client and then from whoever finally gets this yarn to knit with:) I’m super excited!

 

If you follow me on social media you will have seen me posting beach pictures every day. I’m lucky to live in a great place here in Normandy with gorgeous beaches all around and with the good weather lately I have been going to the beach every afternoon for some sun soaking and knitting. Here are some pictures of my beach trips and knitting.

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Knitting at the beach is the best!

Now on to my future hospital stay. No need to worry it’s not really a hospital but rather a centre for physical therapy and physical rehabilitation. I’m going because I have a very bad back with a degenerative condition and this is meant to help me deal with pain and possibly even avoid surgery or at least push it back further. I will have a very full program from 9 to 5 every weekday so I’ll probably be quite tired in the evening but even so I’m afraid I may not take enough projects with me. I want to bring loads of books and loads of knitting projects. I haven’t begun packing yet except in my head, and some days I think I’ll take a ton of projects and others I think I have to be reasonable and that I won’t actually get to knit THAT much.

A while ago I cleaned up some in my stash and   pile of wips and I also prepared some project bags with yarn, needles and patterns – all patterns I must knit very soon. Here’s what that looks like.

pile of wips and new cast ons

It does not look like much on the picture but there actually is a ton of project bags here, some holding wips others new not yet cast on projects. I think I may be taking:

2 socks – not yet cast on

1 sock in progress. The last pattern I did in Sock Madness. I have only done one sock and the cuff for sock 2 and I need some quiet time to finish the second one as it is a complex pattern.

1 cardigan – I have chosen the pattern and dyed the yarn. It’s Risen by Melanie Berg and here’s the yarn I dyed red for raisen

I made a huge skein of 1400 yards I believe it was 1280 meters and dyed it in one go. I have since caked this up in 2 huge yarn cakes.

I’ll be bringing some minis to knit on my Pinwheel blanket by Mina Philipp and just this morning I signed up for a new shawl challenge called 5 shawls in 5 days so I’ll need yarn for that and I’m taking a skein of lace yarn to play with making a design of my own.  So here’s a part of what I’ll be bringing with me.

projects for grainville

I’ll be blogging while I’m away and I’ll share progress on my varies knitting projects and pictures from the town where I’ll be staying and so forth.

That’s all for today. I have to get back to my reskeining so I’ll be done in time and then there’s my packing and then theres….a million and one thing to do:)

I hope you are doing well and having a wonderful summer with lots of crafting time and why not, some beach knitting:)

A new rainy week

Hi there, how are you today? I hope the weather is better in your part of the world than it is here in Normandy. Last year at the same time we were already enjoying summer weather but this year its nothing but rain! Doesn’t feel like summer at all!

Nothing much has happened since I last spoke to you. Lots of work and not so much knitting. I haven’t even managed to finish my second pair in the Tour de Sock. The deadline for stage two is today and I’m only just past the cuff on sock 2. When I saw that I was not going to make the deadline I sort of lost my sock knitting mojo and put the sock on the side….I have to finish though and I’m sure I will. I have a total of 3 socks on my needles currently and strangely non of them have been getting any love at all lately. This is a picture of the Tour de Sock stage two sock I’m (supposed to be) working on

tour de sock second stage

It is a very beautiful pattern and the solid color does the patterning justice but there is just something that prevents me from knitting on as usual. Hopefully I’ll get my sock knitting mojo back very soon.

So rather than knit on socks, I have been knitting on my Ganz shawl as part of my summer kal that I’m running in my Ravelry group. I’m making slow but steady progress there.

ganz

I have done the gansey strip and picked up stitches and now I’m working on the stockinette section. It is now a very easy and relaxing knit that I can work on without thinking.

I really should just concentrate on getting that done and/or pick up my 3 sweaters that have been left dormant in project bags in my room for the last months….but….of course I did not and I just cast on for a new project! Not really a surprise there but hey. So what happened is that I was doing a test dye using possible new yarn bases. The company I was test dyeing for only needs a small amount of each yarn to knit a swatch before they choose which base they like so I found myself with some very nice, freshly dyed yarns and as I looked at them I thought of another skein of yarn that I had balled up and waiting on me. I put the side by side

party on my needles all wound upAnd all of a sudden it clicked! I need to cast on for a shawl and not just any shawl, no I need to cast on for Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli. The Grocery Girls Tracy and Jodie are doing a #jojialong in their group on Ravelry and I thought it would be fun to join and so I cast on.

The yarns are all different, the burgundy one on the left is a new base of sw merino/yak/nylon. It is super soft and gives a lovely stitch definition. The yarn is a natural light brown that I overdyed with red and that gave this beautiful sort of burgundy color.

The second yarn is a Donegal nep yarn that I have dyed and sold before. That yarn is also a darker yarn that comes in a sort of natural light grey with specks of brown and black. I space dyed that to match somewhat the burgundy one.

The third and last one is on my SPARKLES base and that was dyed in a neon yellow. The pattern calls for a high contrast bind off color and I thought this would be very fun.

At the moment I’m on the first section of the shawl where it is just garter stitch and I have not yet decided if I’ll do a small or a large version. Joji shows the small version in her pattern and it looks quite big or big enough so I’m not sure. I can knit one or two lace repeats before deciding which way I go so that will give me some time to decide.

This is where I’m at now

party on my needles shawl

Funny how the yarn looks almost pink in this picture. It really isn’t, its a burgundy/brown red shad in reality.

So that’s about all I’ve been knitting on lately.

Shop/business wise I’m still working on the Gilmore Girls sock kit.  We have had a very positive reaction to our kit and in just a week we have almost sold out. Last time I knew, only one kit was left so if you are interested you had better click the link above and grab the very last kit. There will be no others!

Dyeing self striping yarn is a huge undertaking, it is so time consuming. I’m almost done so now I’m really looking forward to shipping off all the yarn and for everything to be sent out to our buyers and then to actually cast on and knit my very own pair of Gilmore Girls socks using my very own 10 colour self striping yarn:)

That’s it for today. Thank you for coming by and spending some time with me and my knitting. I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of quality crafty time. Speak to you soon 🙂