May is a month for DISCOUNTS

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing good and that you have enjoyed my very active blog lately. I have enjoyed sharing so much with you and I still have a list of topics I need to share and more are being added every day. However time can be an issue so I’m probably going to go back to posting once or twice a week as before and hope that will be fine by you 🙂

As you may have guessed by today’s title, this is a blog post about good deals and knitting! So as I was browsing Ravelry this past weekend I came upon something called Mad May. I found this in the Madelinetosh Yarn Ravelry group so I’m guessing they are the instigators. Mad May is a time when indie designers and makers offer special discounts and some go up to 50% off! So just in case you are not aware of this, do click over here to check it out.

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One of these makers is yours truly! I’m offering -20% off all in stock items in my shop, Knitting in France, until May 15th with the coupon code MADMAY17. So if you are interested in trying out some of my yarns now’s the time to do so at a special discount!

I also wanted to mention one of the designers participating in MAD MAY, Elena Nodel. She is currently battling cancer and as a means to try to collect funds for her treatment, she is offering 50% off all her patterns until May 5th. I was aware of her designs although I think I have never knit any of them. I went ahead to her pattern store on Ravelry and purchased 3 of her designs and maybe you would like to take a look and get a great pattern at a big discount while also supporting an indie designer through a tough time. Just click here to go over to her Ravelry page.

I did not only buy patterns from Elena Nodel but also from a few others. I think my Ravelry library has taken on epic proportions in the last couple of years as I’m constantly buying patterns and planning on knitting a million things and then never getting to do everything because I just can’t find the time! If only my job involved a lot of knitting and yarn fondling! Yeah, that does sound like a dream! I will need to do some research 🙂

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One of the patterns I’m planning on knitting this month is the Joji Mystery wrap. I have chosen my yarns (the ones in the picture above). I’m going to use my Back to Basics yarn because I think it is just fabulous for knitting shawls and garments. it’s non superwash so it does not stretch out much and it just feels so soft and has a wonderful stitch definition. I can’t wait for the pattern to come out. But first I do have to finish the shawl that I’m test knitting as well as the Ramble shawl by Andrea Mowry.IMG_7609

This shawl has been on hold for a few weeks now and I really need to get back on it.

I only have one finished object to share today and that is a pair of socks that I test knit for Dana Gervais. This was a fun pattern as always and I used yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings in their Sea Urchin colorway. This pattern has not yet been published on Ravelry but I believe it will be this month.

I loved knitting the asymmetrical cable pattern. It’s an easy pattern repeat and soon becomes memorized more or less. The pattern is called Mitochondrial Socks. As soon as I finished this pair I started another test knit for her. I’m just at the beginning but this time I’m using my own yarn in my SPARKLES base and I really love the pattern. My yarn is also working up beautifully in the stitch pattern. Here’s where I’m at now.

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That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today.  Don’t forget to check out this month’s Maker of the Month and participate in the giveaway.   A winner will be drawn this Friday, May 5th.

Until next time, have a great day and enjoy your crafting 🙂

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.

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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.

My first ever fandom project

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing great. It’s Friday today and the weather her in Normandy is beautiful, warm and sunny. According to the weather man that is not going to last and the weekend and even all of next week is supposed to be gloomy and grey! But lets not think about that and just enjoy the sun while its here:)

Today I want to tell you about my secret custom dye project that I have alluded to before.

So this is a very fun project that I’m working on with two friends that I met two years ago now at a show in London. The three of us are collaborating on a gorgeous knitting kit that will be released early July. The theme, as you may have guessed from the title of todays’s post, is fandom related. To be precise, its Gilmore Girls fandom related. So if you are a Gilmore Girls fan or if you just like nice things, you are going to be interested in this kit. It’s going to be quite exclusive as only 30 kits will be sold so when they’re gone, they’re gone for good. The pattern itself will probably be published later on but I don’t think there will be a repeat for the project bag and as for the yarn, well it is such huge work I’m not sure I’ll repeat it either except if we get a huge response in which case we might have to reconsider the exclusivity. But that’s a “problem” for later.

So as you may have gathered already the kit will include:

a Gilmore Girls themed sock pattern by CC of Java Purl Designs

a project bag by Sam of KnitRunDig

and hand dyed yarn by yours truly

and some little goodies for surprise

The yarn is a 10 colour self striping yarn. One stripe/colour per character in the Gilmore Girls.

It has been and still is a lot of fun to prepare this kit and it’s the first time I ever participate in such a collaboration and I’m very happy and proud to be a part of this because I’m a huge fan of CC’s designs and I own a number of project bags by Sam and I use them all the time. So I know that this kit will be high quality all around.

Dyeing the yarn is very time consuming. I’m not used to do a lot of self striping and I don’t think that’s something I’m going to develop simply because of the time involved and because I’m such a small dyer that I think it’s not really worth it for me. So that makes this particular yarn even more special.

Here are some pictures of the preparations

So this kit will go on pre-order on the Java Purl Designs website as of June 12th and CC has added the exact times for a large number of time zones so you can check that out as of now to be sure to sign up when pre-orders open up.

I do hope you will sign up for this kit and maybe we’ll organise a kal around this too, I have to check with my friends and I’ll let you know but that might be fun.

And on the subject of kals, don’t forget that I’m hosting my first ever kal this summer. Kick off is June 1st and it will run to August 31st. I’m calling it the Knitting in France and Nancy kal because it’s hosted by me (Knitting in France) and it is for any of Nancy Whitmans patterns.

I have finally decided on which of her patterns I’m going to knit (first – I think I might do two during this kal). I have dyed up some yarn and I’ll be sharing that with you very soon. I will be sharing info on the kal here on the blog but the kal will live in my group on Ravelry and that is where you should sign up. I have created an information thread and a chatter thread already. Later there will be an FO thread of course. And there will be prizes at the end to make things even more fun! The prizes will include patterns, yarns, stitch markers and a project bag! These are the prizes I know of so far but who knows, there might be even more depending on how many participate. So check it out and I hope you will join in.

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to talking to you later:)

A new week and a WIP is now an FO

Hi there, I hope you had a great week and a wonderful weekend. What made my week was that I finally finished one of my shawls that was on my WIP table.

It’s a shawl I begun on December 27th and I finished last Friday 4th of March. I actually left it on my table for a few weeks not doing any work at all on it and then decided it was time to finish some of these lingering projects.

I did share with you that leaving a colour work project for a few weeks was not a good idea because I totally did not manage to continue the pattern I had back then. I seem to have understood the directions in one way in Dec/Jan and then I understood them in a totally different way in Feb! Go figure! So I ended up knitting and ripping out the colour work section at least 3 times.

The final result is very nice although I have conflicting feelings about the end colour work pattern. I almost feel that my “misunderstood” pattern looked better. But that’s another story.

The pattern is called The Love of Spiders by Melanie Berg.

So I finally did finish the shawl and blocked it lightly before gifting it to a friend. Here are some pictures

It’s quite a big shawl and the yarn which is from Sunshine Yarns is super nice and squishy. I’m really happy to have this off my needles. Next in line I’d love to cast of my Come What May shawl – I literally only have the bind off left so that should not take too much time. And then I have the sweater for my daughter and my cardigan to finish but those will need a bit more time especially my cardigan.

I’ve also begun my Sock Madness challenge and I’m knitting pair number 1. Now there were some surprises like I thought I’d get an email to tell me that the game was on and that I had a pattern waiting but no. So I was waiting on March 1st for that to happen and by the late afternoon I decided to go on Ravelry and check out the thread in the Sock Madness group and that’s when I discovered that there is no email! One has to follow the thread and that is where we get alerts about the patterns etc. A second surprise was that the first pattern was not the one I expected. So before the Sock Madness began, we got  a list of what is needed for each pattern, what kinds of yarn, yardage and accessories and the patterns were named after the alphabet: A, B, C etc so when I prepared my yarns I thought that pattern A would be the first and so I did not prepare all the way to pattern E which is the last one. Lucky for me, I had prepared the yarn for the actual first pattern so once I found the pattern I was able to cast on.

This first pattern is called SlipStripeSpiral and the designer is Mylène Pipers. This is a very nice pattern and I especially appreciate that I’m learning new things. First they are knit toe up and the toe is not the regular toe up but a round toe which is a very nice touch. Second the heel is a mix of Cat Bordhi’s sweet tomato heel and Japanese short row shaping. I do admit that the heel is a bit complicated and it did give me some trouble on the first sock. Now I’m on sock number two and hopefully this second heel will be easier to do. I must admit that the pattern does include links to YouTube videos that show the techniques use but….I was to busy/stupid to actually watch those but I just might take a look before doing the second heel. That way I can truly say I have learned a new trick:)

So I have until March 14th to finish this first pair and I think that will not be a problem. Here are some pictures

I really like the slipped stitch pattern and how it creates vertical stripes. I could see myself doing a variation of this pattern by doing both vertical and horizontal stripes, that could be quite cool I think.

So due to the nature of Sock Madness, I have to be quite monogamous while doing that  but I must not forget the Knit From Stash 2016 Kal either. I’m still on sock number one of the March sock but I hope to finish it this week and cast on for the second one. There is less pressure there as I have until the end of the month to finish my pair. The pattern is gorgeous and the West Yorkshire Spinners 4ply yarn is working up nicely and showing off the textured pattern.

calathea sock 6mars This is how far I’ve got on the first sock. The pattern is called Calathea by Heatherly Walker.

And before I leave you today I wanted to show you my latest fibre related “toy”. One night I was browsing the internet and thinking about spinning and I came upon this website for an artist that invented something called a “spindolyn”. I checked out her website and watched a few YouTube videos and naturally I had to have one! And so I gave in and placed an order. And boy am I happy I did! The spindolyn is every spinners dream (I think) for spinning on the go – or even just spinning around the house. It works like a supported spindle only it allows you to control your spinning/fibre with BOTH hands. I mostly spin on a wheel but I have a nice collection of all sorts of spindles and I admit I desperately want to get prolific at spindle spinning but it’s taking me a lot of time and so I thought maybe the spindolyn would help me work on my spindle skills. It is a true joy to work with and I can spin in front of the tv with my family – which I cannot do with my wheel because the “hissing” sound the wheel makes disturbs them. Also, I will have to go to a rehabilitation center for a month soon (for my back problems) and I cannot see myself spending a month somewhere and not be able to spin and so I will definitely be taking my spindolyn with me.

This is what it looks like

spindolyn Here it is lying on my thighs but when working I place the stand between my thighs. It is also possible to buy a floor extension which I think is quite brilliant. I probably should make a little demo video to show you how I spin on this but in the mean time you can check out the website and there you will have access to her videos as well. And she also sells other spinning accessories that are very unique too. The website is called Spindolyn

I think this will be all for today. I have a lot of things to share this week I feel so I probably will be doing some more posting this week so stay tuned.

Thank you for stopping by and take care:)

A special holiday offer from designer Nancy Whitman

Hi there, I recently had the pleasure of discovering knitting designer Nancy Whitman on Ravelry. I learned about her in a knitting group I’m part of on Facebook and she posted a generous offer in the group and said it could be shared so I decided I had to share with you!

Nancy has 23 patterns on Ravelry and her special gift to us is 1 free pattern of our choice from her pattern store on Ravelry. You choose the pattern you like the most and upon checkout use the code: HH15 and that will make the pattern FREE of charge!

When I saw this offer I immediately went to Ravelry to check her out and since she has such lovely patterns I was simply unable to choose just one so I decided that I would get my free pattern and then purchase 2 more and so I did. I chose all shawl patterns and all three finally have something in common as you’ll see.

Eden prairie shawl

Eden Prairie

High street shawl

High Street Shawl

piet on point

Piet on Point

I just loved the construction of these shawls and the colors and I feel they are just different from the shawl designs we usually see so I’m really looking forward to knitting these. I don’t know which one I’ll knit first also I need to check my stash for good color combos or simply dye something up just for each shawl. I’ll see and keep you posted once I get to this.

So I hope you will check out her Ravelry store and enjoy her generous offer of a free pattern. Her offer and coupon code are valid until the end of day December 23rd so you have a few days ahead of you to make up your mind.

That’s all for today. I wish you a nice weekend and hopefully you’ll get some quiet time to knit even though this is the last weekend before Christmas. I will not get much knitting time as we will be spending the weekend with family but I’ll knit some in the car on our way back and forth.

Take care and happy knitting until next time 🙂

One FO and some works in progress

Hi there, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was way busier than I had expected and so I was not able to post and organise the giveaway I had told you about! I’m really sorry about disappointing you on that but I promise I’ll do it next Friday – because next Friday the 11th I have a day off from work! Youpi!!!! So I’ll have the time to write my review of the products in question and launch the giveaway and that way you’ll have the weekend to participate and I’ll be able to announce the winner next Monday the 14th of December.

Now on to finished objects. I finally finished my Westknits kal, the Doodler. I’m really pleased with the colours I chose and the finishing I chose. Once it was done I admit I had a moment of doubt because of the shape. I wondered how to wear it and if I would actually use it but then I played around a bit and it actually wears well and I used it all weekend to keep me warm so thats great.

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Those of you who also did the cal, have you finished yours? Are you happy with the shape and colours you chose? I’d love to see some pictures if you are willing to share with us:)

I’m currently working on a number of projects and I still have to cast on 1-2 more for some Christmas gifts. I think I may be in over my head. I probably should have just stuck with knitting for my Christmas gifts and ONLY once I finished those should I have cast on for more! But….where’s the fun in that? So no I’m knitting a gazillion things that have nothing to do with Christmas as well!

First there is this tam that actually is a Christmas gift. I bought the pattern during the Indie Designer Giftalong on Ravelry and it is called Flavia and the designer is Beth Kling. The yarn I’m using is by The Uncommon Thread. I’m at the beginning of the decrease section so hopefully I’ll finish this one soon.

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This is me wearing the tam/hat and as you can see it is a textured pattern with twisted stitches and I think it will look great once finished.

Then there’s the non Christmas knitting. I’m working on a cardigan for myself. The pattern is by Linda of Kettle Yarn Co and I’m using her Waltham Worsted hand dyed yarn too. The pattern is called Brynja and this will make for a beautiful textured, thick cardigan that I can see myself wearing all winter long and maybe even all year round depending on the weather here in Normandy. The pattern is easily memorised and you don’t need to use a cable needle for the faux cables which speeds thing up.

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The color I chose is a very light grey and I chose that because I want this to go with whatever I’m wearing underneath. This is knit in one piece, back and forth up to the armholes, then one knits the sleeves and then the sleeves are joined to the rest of the body and the whole thing is knit in one piece to the end. This is great because it means minimal sewing up once you’re done with the knitting.

Well, this is all for today. I hope you all have a great Monday and a wonderful week ahead of you all. Take care until next time.

 

 

FOs and new acquisitions

Hi and thank you for stopping by today. I haven’t had a lot of time lately to knit so much, I think. But I still have 3 finished objects that I can share with you today.

So the first one is a hat that is part of a Christmas gift. The yarn is a DK weight 100% merino that I hand dyed in black.

www.knittinginfrance.com     www.knittinginfrance.com  Here you can see front and side view. The stitch pattern is not easy to photograph as the yarn is black but this is a sort of broken rib pattern. It is slightly slouchy but one could also fold the brim to have it snug. I’m quite happy with the outcome. Now I just have to make matching mittens.

The second finished object is also a hat. I also knit it using my hand dyed yarn in a worsted weight. The yarn is a blend of merino, alpaca and silk so it is super soft and slightly fuzzy.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see a collage of different views of the hat. The pattern is called Fairy Snowcap and is by Romi Hill. This is a for sale pattern on Ravelry and it really is super nice and a quick knit. The pattern calls for a pompom but I’m leaving it as is without a pompom as this too is a Christmas gift and I’m not sure the recipient would like a pompom.

 

And the third and last finished object for today is a pair of mittens, the Meristem mittens by M Montzka on Ravelry. The pattern is easy to knit and beautiful but I do feel the sizing is small. I knit the larger size and I think I’ll have to gift it to another person than I originally planned on because it’s just too small. That was disappointing but I’m going to try and do a second pair and make it bigger by adding stitches on either side of the lace panel on the back of the hand as well as on the palm side and I’m also going to make it longer.

www.knittinginfrance.com They are almost too small to put on my mitten blockers…. The pattern is gorgeous though so it will be ok.

As for my WIPs, I’m working on 2 pairs of Christmas themed socks for my youngest daughter and a pair of mittens that I have just cast on but might frog back because I’m not sure the pattern is right for me. What I want to share with you is my progress on the Doodler kal – the Westknits mystery kal that is going on now and maybe you are part of too. So I’m a few rows from finishing clue nr 1 – hopefully I’ll do that today and then I’ll go right ahead and do clue nr 2. I don’t want to end up way behind in the kal so I’m going to get some more knitting done on this one.

www.knittinginfrance.com So far so good. I really like the yarns I chose and the construction is interesting. I think I should start weaving in all those ends as I go or else I’ll find myself with an entire shawl and a gazillion ends to weave in which does not sound very enticing.

And then on to new acquisitions. I’m so terrible when it comes to buying patterns and yarn. I just want it ALL! And I know I have enough yarn to last me a few years and I know I have enough patterns to last my entire lifetime but….I keep buying more! This weekend I totally went overboard and bought some hugely exciting stuff but I’m going to hold off from telling you about those until I actually receive them. So today what I can share is a project bag and some yarn.

The project bag is from A Homespun House from Molly who runs an online shop and a podcast by the same name. I enjoy watching her podcast and I’ve loved seeing her bags online and heard about people rave about her bags so I decided to go ahead and buy one for myself. I also actually purchased 2 of her patterns at the same time to be honest:) She has two patterns on her website, a pair of mittens called Foraging and a shawl called Whispering pines and I bought both and those were instant download. And then I purchased one of her project bags. I must admit that I thought, from watching her podcast, that she had a huge selection of bags but when I went online there were only a few models available and all were her sweater size bags. This is the one I got

www.knittinginfrance.com It is very nice BUT not as nice I had imagined it to be. Now this may be not very nice to say but if I’m reviewing a product I have to be honest. So the sewing is very nicely done and the bag is cute but it is not as amazing as I had imagined after seeing her podcast and seeing and reading other blogs and podcasts rave about her products. It is nice and it is medium big but I do think the price was a bit stiff. I have so many gorgeous project bags that are just as nice or even nicer and bigger and their price was less hefty.  Of course, I only just got this bag so I don’t know how it will work in the long run, it might outlive all my other project bags and end up being my absolute favorite but at the moment I’m a tiny bit disappointed but that might be just my fault for imagining this to be something other than it really is. Anyway it is cute and I’m glad I did make the purchase:)

My other acquisition that arrived a few days ago is yarn from Knit Circus Yarns. Earlier this year they launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new studio space and brick and mortar shop and I backed them up and now I have finally received my rewards!

I got a shawl pattern by Jaala Spiro called the Grand Canyon shawl

www.knittinginfrance.com and then I got two skeins of gradient yarns

www.knittinginfrance.com Not sure which one I’ll use to make the shawl with just yet.

I also recently got a package from a company called Yarn Valet and I’ll soon be sharing their items with you AND there will be a giveaway with that so stay tuned!

That’s all for today, thank you again for taking the time to share my knitting and ramblings. I’ll be back soon but until then, enjoy your crafting 🙂

 

 

 

Summer knitting and more

Hi there, I hope you are all doing well. First off, if you got a notification yesterday that a new post had been published and then went to the blog to discover there was none, my apologies. Yesterday I decided that I need to stop procrastinating and that I need to push myself harder and get moving on my project of opening up my own ecommerce website. I decided to try Shopify again and yesterday I posted a test post where I intended to include a product for sale. The item was supposed to show up in my blog post with a “buy” button and all the relative information but after reading the instructions over and over again I still failed to understand how to do this correctly. So the post I published had a picture but no link to actually buy the product so I ended up taking the post off the blog. I have to study this thing more closely.

Opening up a second shop is soooooo time consuming! I have a ton of yarn and stitch markers to put online but it takes a lot of time to photograph everything and then set up online and I’m having a hard time finding the time to do so and also, I admit, I’m feeling a bit under excited – if that is understandable. What I mean is that summer time is typically a slow time for any yarn/fibre related business as the hot weather means that many prefer to not knit/crochet/spin and take time out and this inevitably means less sales. I know this is a fact and that my shop is not the only one to slow down but…..when trying to run a small business the slow times can be difficult to live. But hey, I’ve set myself the objective of either MAKING IT or CLOSING DOWN by the end of this year so if I really want this to work out for me I better stop wallowing and procrastinating and GET MOVING!

Enough about that, lets change the subject:)

So I’ve been doing some knitting and here are some progress pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is my Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. According to the pattern I’m 30% done. I’m knitting the large size and enjoying it. This is a super easy knit so you can definitely take this to the beach or knit in the car or in front of the tv. I’m not using lace yarn as the pattern calls for but a DK cash’merino yarn I dyed and I think this will look quite nice. This will definitely be a great shawl/scarf for winter as it is thick and soft and super warm. So I’m happy and I’m knitting this at work, in between phone calls as this is a sort of “brainless” knitting so I can put it down easily and pick up where I left off. So perfect for an “at work” knitting project (shh not sure if I should actually reveal this to the world online..)

www.knittinginfrance.com This is my Lady of Lallibroch sock by CC Almond also known as JavaPurl. This is the first sock and I’m using Cascade Heritage yarn. I really feel that the solid color yarn does the pattern justice. A varigated yarn would have taken the attention from the cable or at least made it less spectacular, I feel, so I’m really happy with my choice of yarn. This is an easy pattern also. The cable is a 16 row repeat and it really flows easily. So I’m coming along quite nicely. This is not a “knit at work” pattern but I do knit in front of the tv.

And then I decided to give the “Helix” color knitting method a try. I told you about this in my last post I believe. This prevents the infamous “jog” when knitting stripes. I’m knitting a sock from top down and this will either be a tube sock or an afterthought heel sock for my daughter. So far so good. I’m using some of my hand dyed mini skeins.

www.knittinginfrance.com When I’m further along I’ll show you better pictures of front and back so you can see that the stripes flow without any jogs.

I’ve also done some spinning. I recently purchased a rainbow color pencil roving from yarn company Kauni. I was already working on something else but took a break as soon as I got the roving and started spinning that. I’ve never before spun a pencil roving but wanted to try. Also I’m a fan of Kauni’s rainbow color yarn and I’ve knit things with their yarn in laceweight and this time I’m actually using the pre spun wool in that colorway and spinning it myself. I’m coming up with a heavy laceweight or maybe even fingering once I ply. I’m not sure if I’ll do a 2 ply or a 3 ply. But so far this is coming along nicely and I actually have some more of their pencil roving in my stash that I just might spin up like this too. And I also have some Icelandic unspun pencil roving also that was meant for a sweater but you never know, maybe I’ll spin that as well. But here’s a picture

www.knittinginfrance.com Don’t you just love the colors?

And before I say goodbye for today, let me show you a picture that I’m pretty sure will have you drooling. I had another  happy mail day this week! I recently placed an order online in a Germany online shop that I found when browsing the internet. They carry Lornas laces yarns and it’s been a while since I knit with any of her yarns so I went…a little … crazy!

www.knittinginfrance.com Yebb! I bought 6 skeins!! Of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn! I love it! They dye beautiful yarns. So now I have this beautiful addition to my stash and a head full of sock patterns I can use these for. I’ll share some of the ideas with you later this week. I really should not be buying yarn online when I already have a healthy stash in addition to all my own hand dyed yarns but…. But then again, looking at what others are doing is inspirational and informative so really this is a job related purchase to better myself and improve possibly my yarn dyeing etc. Hm, yes I think that’s it, no need to feel guilty about buying 6 skeins of this gorgeous (not cheap) yarn! I needed this for my business!

Well that’s all for now. I hope you are enjoying your summer and finding time to do some crafting in spite of the warm weather. Thank you for coming by to follow up on my thoughts and works.

Take care:)

Some progress on my projects and future cast ons

Hi there, all this week I have been sharing with you the wonderful people that I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London last week and I hope you have enjoyed reading about and discovering these artists. I’m not done yet, I have a few more to introduce to you next week but I thought I’d change the subject today and share some of my knitting with you.

So lately I have been doing quite some knitting and have actually finished 2 projects and almost finished the 3rd and 4th so lots to share.

First off, I have finished my first in a series of baby blankets. There are a few new babies expected to join my circle of family and friends this year and I thought it would be nice to give them a hand knit blanket. So I have finished the first one. I did not really use a pattern for this but it was more a stitch pattern really that I found on a blog. It is called the Heirloom Diamond Baby Blanket and I knit it on size 4 mm/US 6 size circulars and used a merino/nylon/cashmere blend that I had hand dyed myself. Not knowing if this particular baby will be a boy or a girl, I chose a bright turquoise colour which I hope will appeal to the parents as much as the baby. (Yes I decided that this particular pattern would be for this particular baby). The website where I found the pattern has a few other free patterns and is called Dragon Knits. You can click here to visit the blog. Just scroll down the landing page to see the blanket pattern.

So here are my pictures

www.knittinginfrance.com     www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see a close up of the diamond pattern. This was actually not that long to knit. The blanket has a “frame” in moss stitch and then diamond pattern all over the rest. I really love the outcome and I think that this pattern works especially well with one colour yarn or semi solids and a lush blend like this with cashmere makes it super soft to the touch. The yarn was hand dyed by myself of course. So happy with this.

Then I also just finished a pair of socks. Now this is a pair that I began a while back and I had finished the first sock and more than half the second one and then I just let it wait, and wait…. Well now I have finally finished knitting them and the pair is super nice. I love the yarn (which I dyed myself by the way) and I think the stitch pattern goes really well with the yarn. The pattern is called Regency Socks by Heatherly Walker  the pattern is for sale on Ravelry here

And then the picture

My Regency socks are done www.knittinginfrance.com

And on to my almost finished project. This is a shawl that I began as soon as I received my order from Knitcircus a while ago. I actually knitted the shawl in 2 days and then had to put it on the side as I waited for the beads to arrive. Once the beads were here, I was too busy preparing for the show in London to have the time to finish so now that I’m back, I intend to finish this for real next week. I do need to watch some tutorials on Youtube because it calls for a beaded russian bind off that I’m not familiar with.

The pattern is called Come What May by Susan B Anderson and is for sale on Ravelry here

The Come What May shawl on www.knittinginfrance.com  I put the beads there too to show you. I ordered some clear beads and some aqua beads and I like those better. So Almost done here!

Now on to my work in progress:

First I’m doing my first pair of socks by General Hogbuffer. I chose Maudie and I’m using a sparkling sock blank that I dyed myself. The pattern is quite fun and the cable pattern easy to learn although you do need to follow what you’re doing or you will (like me) do some cabling mistakes one time or another. Also the construction of the heel is quite unique to accommodate the cable pattern down the heel. So a fun pattern there. I’ve done one sock and since I took the picture this morning I’ve done a few inches of the leg on the second one.

Maudie socks by General Hogbuffer on www.knittinginfrance.com

And then there is a sort of stole/scarf/cowl thing that I’m knitting with my handspun yarn. I actually have 3 skeins of this same yarn and I wanted to retry some entrelac. I had done some a long time ago but never finished my project. Then I started this one a while ago and it too has found itself on the sidelines. But it does look nice and I do want to use my handspun yarn so now I just need some discipline to keep going and FINISHING. There is no pattern here, I’m just trying to learn and get better at doing entrelac.

Handspun yarn and an entrelec stole  Hand spun yarn on www.knittinginfrance.com The yarn is a blend of fibres with angelina for a little sparkle:)

And my latest cast on which actually only dates from this morning ! This is a shawl that a young and talented knitwear designer gifted me but as I’m going to tell you all about her next week, I’m going to keep the suspense and you’ll have to wait until after the weekend to know who this is and what I’m knitting 🙂

Then I already have a new project lined up for casting on! I actually have 2 but just pictures of this one – I’ll tell you all about the other next week because that also involves a young and talented designer I just met:) But I can tell you that both projects are socks.

So, I’m going to be knitting my second pattern by General Hogbuffer and this time a colourwork pattern. I chose Skandium and 2 highly contrasting yarns that I have hand dyed.

Skandium by General Hogbuffer What is dark blue on the picture will be neon yellow and what is light grey will be medium grey. What do you think? I know the neon yellow is NEON but I have a feeling this will work super nice. So I’m excited about casting on for this pair. Now I just need to first finish my Maudie socks and cast of my Come What May shawl and then I can go ahead and cast on! I hope I’ll have some time for knitting this weekend.

Well this is all for now. I hope you enjoyed looking at these pictures and reading about my little adventures:) Next week I’ll continue to introduce you to more wonderful folks that I met in London and share with you the project I cast on for this morning and the one I’m going to cast on soon. I wish you all a wonderful and creative weekend.

Take care:)