Hi there, how are you this week? I hope last week was a good week for you and that you enjoyed Halloween. At my house we had an endless stream of trick or treaters. We did decorate more than last year and I’m thinking that may have drawn extra attention to our house.

It was fun and even though we gave away a lot of sweets my youngest also managed to gain a lot too so we now have a sizeable amount of unhealthy goods in the house. Not great for a sweet tooth such as myself!

Anyway I have done some progress on my knitting and even though I only have 2 finished objects this week I still feel I achieved a lot.

First FO is the most important one! Remember the Marie Curie Quest for Socks charity knitting? Well, last year I knit and donated 4 pairs of socks and decided that this year I would do better and knit and donate 6 pairs. Using the same yarn for knitting so many socks in a row did get me down a little in the end BUT I MADE MY TARGET!

I’m so happy that I have managed to knit 6 pairs of socks! I cast off the last sock this afternoon and now I just have to weave in all the ends and package them nicely. I’m also knitting a single mini sock that I will put on a miniature wooden sock blocker key chain to gift to the amazing Sarah Holmes who is behind this charity. I have cast on for that and should be all done tomorrow with that so I’m hoping that next week I will be able to send all the socks her way. I will take pictures when everything is ready and share with you later.

I do hope Sarah reaches this years goal of knitted socks and I’m happy and proud to have taken part again.

The second finished object is a cowl.

I suddenly found myself very drawn to mustardy yarns and so I dyed some up including 2 skeins of DK yarn and I found a cowl pattern called Vignette Cowl by Suvi Simola on Ravelry.

This is a very nice pattern and easy to execute and I really love the finished item.

 

I have also been working on my Flea cardigan and I’m almost done with the knitting, I only have half a button band to knit. When that is done I need to secure the steek and then cut! Weave in ends and voila! I really look forward to this being done and I need to have this done by the end of next week as this will be a birthday present for someone special so no pictures till after the giftee has received her cardigan just in case she decided to check out the blog.

The FLOP of the month or even the year might be my Texture Time kal by Stephen West!

I was so excited about this one and love the yarns I chose. I did find the first clue intriguing and not necessarily to my liking but ok I did continue. However after clue 3 came out I started to seriously doubt if I would like the finished object and I stopped knitting!

I actually sort of put it in time out and waited for  clue 4 and then the bonus clue 5 to be published. And you know what? I know I might be going against the current here but… I really don’t like the shawl. I actually don’t want to finish…

The worst thing is that I chose beautiful and somewhat expensive hand dyed yarns for this project and I know that if I rip back I will not be able to salvage everything. In the end I am most likely going to loose close to half the yardage for some of the skeins.

But which is worse? Stop here, rip back and salvage what I can? or finish the pattern and then never wear it?

As the kal is over I can show you my version. So currently it is at a standstill as the first picture on the left shows.

I love the yarns and the colors but the finished shawl shape is just not doing it for me.

Am I crazy ? Or are there maybe others battling the same dilemma? I guess I will have to face up and make a decision soon.

On to more happy knitting now.

I started two new projects this past week.

One is a test knit for a fingerless mitten. The pattern is called Embossed Mitts and is by KBJ Designs. I have finished one of the mittens and cast on for the second one yesterday.

This is a fun textured pattern and knits up relatively quickly. I’m using Hedgehog Sock in Film Noir.

 

This will be a fun pattern for you to try out when it’s been published.

My second project is going to be a long term project/goal.

A while ago, not sure when exactly, I came across this beautiful handknit advent calendar and I just thought I had to knit one and so I got the pattern and sort of forgot about it.

Now as we are going towards Christmas yet again, I re thought about this pattern and went ahead and printed out all the charts and the pattern.

This pattern is called Mitten Advent Calendar by Katy Lewinsky of Not Crafty Enough and the pattern is available as a single pdf file for purchase on Ravelry or as a multi part download for free on her website www.justcraftyenough.com

So there are 24 small mittens to knit and they are all beautiful fair isle designs. I decided to purchase a little rustic yarn for this as that is usually best for fair isle knitting so I purchased yarn from Snaeldan, a Faroese knitting company. This yarn is like a sport weight I think as the recommended needle size is 2.5-3.00 mm and I find that anything smaller than 3 mm is too small – at least for me and this particular project.

So far I have knit one mitten minus the thumb but I’m hoping I will get to that soon. If you click the website link above you will see pictures of this pattern and understand why I fell in love.

IMG_1932

I’m not entirely happy with this first mitten. I think I need to work on my gauge and maybe even go up to size 3.25 mm needle and maybe do magic loop rather than dpns. But I still think this could be a beautiful advent calendar one day.

Have you maybe knit this pattern? If so I would love to hear how long it took you and if you made any changes and the yarn you chose to use etc.

So my knitting plans for the next few days:

  • Finish my second test knit mitten
  • Finish the thumb on my first advent mitten
  • Start a new secret cardigan test knit
  • Finish the Flea cardigan completely
  • Continue my two other sweater/cardigans that I am working on
  • possibly cast on for 2 hats and a pair of sock but that is not quite decided yet 🙂

I think this is all for this weeks blog. I have to get going and wind up my yarn for the secret cardigan test knit and then there are those every day life chores that come with being an adult!

All the best to you and your family. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Enjoy your knitting and I’ll be back soon 🙂

Some FOs and new cast ons

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

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

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

But first lets talk about FOs.

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

zweig done

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

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

four and a half pair marie curie

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

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

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

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

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

handwound ball

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

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

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

crimson dawn shawl beginnning

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

IMG_1850IMG_1853IMG_0008

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

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

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

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

IMG_1860

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

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

IMG_1488

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

cactus two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little bit of knitting and some catty cuteness

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

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

marie curie sock four beginning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

odinn eleveur

How could anyone resist such a beautiful kitten?

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

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

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

He is beautiful and I love him sooooo much!

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

odinn 18sep18

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

 

 

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

odinn and yarn

Cutest yarn lover ever!

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

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

Take care 🙂

The Marie Curie Sock Project

If you are a regular reader of my blog or/and follow me on social media, you will know that this year, as last year, I have joined an amazing charity knitting project being run by knitter and doctor Sarah Holmes in the UK.
I had been following Sarah on Instagram (@sherlock_knits) and I think I had purchased some yarn from her when she did a destash. And then one day last year, I saw a post from her on IG talking about a dream, a bonkers idea as she called it, that she wanted to make come true.
Sarah is a doctor in one of the Marie Curie hospices in the UK. Those are hospices for the terminally ill and unfortunately there are always patients that spend their Christmas in the hospice. Sarah wanted to knit  and gift sock to those patients on Christmas Day.
I like so many others, immediately wanted to join in this beautiful project.
The idea was to use yarn from UK yarn company West Yorkshire Spinners that creates a special Marie Curie colorway each year (I believe) that is then sold in this one yarn shop in the UK called City Knits. Part of the proceeds for each ball of yarn are then donated to Marie Curie. So by knitting socks with their special edition yarn, one not only participates by knitting a pair of socks but you are also offering financial support.
marie curie socks 4
Last year I knit 4 pairs of socks and I’m planning to knit 6 pairs this year.
At the moment I have finished 2 pairs and am working on my third. This year I’m trying to change and do something different for each pair so as to break up the monotony of using the same yarn for all the pairs.
My first pair was simple vanilla
marie curie 18 number one
My second had a textured pattern on the front only
marie curie pair two

marie curie pari two close

On this second picture you can see how the texture changes the look of the fabric

And for pair number three I’m doing Hermione socks
marie curie pair three
I’m just past the heel on sock number one.
The next three pairs will have yellow heel/toes and cuffs. By using contrasting yarn I am able to knit 2 pairs from one ball of yarn.
I think this project is so amazing and it really brings me joy to participate.
I would like for a lot of people to join forces this year for an even bigger result than last year and I so I asked Sarah if I could share the story here on my blog and if she would accept to answer a few questions. Luckily she said YES!
I do hope you will enjoy the interview that follows.
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Could you tell us a little bit about you as a knitter. When you learned and what knitting means to you today. What your favorite projects are etc
I learned to knit as a child – I can’t actually remember who taught me, but I think it was a combination of my grandma, my mother and a family friend. I tried every sort of crafting under the sun as a child, including crochet, lacemaking, cake decorating, knitting, tapestry, cross-stitch and never really settled on one thing, but when I left university I took up knitting again when I discovered Rowan. I subscribed to the magazine and looked forward to each issue popping through the door – I’d then head off to the local department store to buy the yarn for a garment. I was a truly monogamous knitter at that time – I’d have been horrified by the stash I seem to have built up now, and couldn’t have imagined working on more than one project at a time. My years as a junior doctor meant I didn’t have that much time to knit, so I grew out of the habit, but about 11 years ago a colleague was having a baby and I decided I wanted to make her a present, and I became hooked again. I discovered my local yarn store, Baa Ram Ewe in Leeds, who introduced me to Ravelry and my knitting life hasn’t been the same since! I discovered knitting in the round, sock knitting, colourwork and the joys of hand-dyed yarns. Now I usually have lots of different projects on the go (which can mean I am slower to finish things) which means I always have something I enjoy working on even if I get tired of one particular project. At this time of year I’m usually busy knitting socks and shawls for Christmas presents (and this year and last it has been the Marie Curie socks of course) but at the start of the year I enjoy cosying up with blanket knitting or making garments.
And now on this amazing project you are organising for the second consecutive year. Could you tell us a little about the Marie Curie hospices in the UK – their work, the number of patients (just a general idea) for example.
Marie Curie is a UK charity that has been around for 70 years. Every day of your life matters, from the first to the last and we believe everyone living with a terminal illness should be able to get the most from the time they have left, however hard that may sometimes feel. We aim to be there for people, and their families, when they may feel like no-one else is, to help them cope when they don’t know how. Marie Curie Nurses care for people in their own homes, when they need them most, day or night. The charity also has 9 hospices around the UK, at the heart of their communities offering specialist round-the-clock care, either as inpatients in the hospice wards or coming to our outpatient units for support or treatment, We also have trained volunteers and advisers who are there for people with practical information and support when they don’t know what to do. Every day matters when you’re living with a terminal illness.
Last year more than 50,000 people were helped by our services. 7,711 people were cared for by our hospices, and 33543 by Marie Curie nurses.
How are you linked to the Marie Curie hospices yourself and how was this project born?
I am a doctor and I am one of the consultants working in the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford. When I heard about the Marie Curie yarn last year, I decided I would like to knit a pair of socks from the yarn for each of the patients in the hospice on Christmas Day – 16 people in total. We always give the patients a little gift on Christmas Day, usually soap or toiletries, and I just thought it would be nice to give something a little bit different. When I posted about my idea on Instagram, lots of people offered to help, and I realised I was going to end up with more than 16 pairs of socks. So I decided to try to aim for 229 pairs instead – enough for every patient in every Marie Curie Hospice around the country. Socks came in from all around the world in the end!
What is this years objective and what are the deadlines?
This year I’m aiming to do the same and knit a pair of socks for every patient in every Marie Curie Hospice on Christmas Day, so 229 pairs in total. But it would be great to go even bigger! I’d love to be able to give a pair to everyone who comes up to see us as an outpatient , or perhaps we might have enough to give a pair to the family members visiting on Christmas day too.
I believe last year the socks were to be simple vanilla socks, is that also the case this year? And what sizes(stitch numbers) are you looking for ? 
No, any pattern is fine – it’s great seeing all the different pairs come in and how individual they all are. The only requirement is that they need to use the Marie Curie yarn please. We need a variety of sizes as we don’t yet know who will be in the hospices on Christmas Day, or what size feet they have, so we just need a good mix of sizes. As it gets closer, I should have an idea of any sizes that we might be short of, and I’ll keep everyone updated through my Instagram feed or through the FlowerPowerFund Instagram feed.
Once we have knit our socks, where should we send them?
If you could send them to me at my work address please, that would be great. Just let me know what size they are, and also who has made them and where they’re from as it’s nice for the recipient to know where they’ve come from. Samdrawsthings on Instagram has come up with a lovely sock wrapper that people can download for free from her blog, and a matching card if people would like to write a personalised note.
The address to send them to is:
Dr Sarah Holmes
Marie Curie Hospice Bradford
Maudsley Street
Bradford
BD3 9LE
United Kingdom
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Thank you so much to Sarah for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions and for allowing all to join in her amazing project.
As those are meant for Christmas Day I think Sarah would appreciate having them the first week of December so they can dispatch the pairs to all the different hospices all over the UK.  I do hope you will join the fun if you have the time and if so do share pictures of your socks. It is such fun to see all the socks that are being knit for this project on social media.
That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and plenty of time to enjoy your knitting.
Next week I’ll share pictures of the best birthday gift ever!

Sweaters and socks

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

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

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

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

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

marie curie 18 number one

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

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

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

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

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

bellas truck front

The front

bellas truck

The back

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

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

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

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

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

zweig

And a close up of the sleeve ribbing

zweig sleeve

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

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

Do chime in!

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

boxy chevron 10sep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, HAPPY KNITTING 🙂

My summer FOs and current works in progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So these are my only FOs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

marie curie socks 4

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

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

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

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

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

marie curie 218 first pair

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, HAPPY KNITTING 🙂

Summer knitting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

So I now have 3 soon 4 new cast ons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

loro cast on

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

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

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

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

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

So until next time, Happy knitting to you 🙂

Thank you!

 

Thank you to all of those that took the time to leave me a nice message on my post I’m back and so joined in for a chance to win a little something.

I so loved reading your comments and it really made this whole blogging experience even more worthwhile. It is such a nice thing to get positive feedback on something so personal as a blog. I don’t share a lot about my personal life but sharing my knitting story really means a lot to me. I don’t have any knitting friends where I live and so I’m not really able to share in person and enjoy a fun knit night for example.

My knitting is a very personal experience. It is something I do all the time almost everywhere but on my own. That is, I’m almost always the only one knitting but I don’t mind doing so in the presence of others. Most of the people I know are aware that I’m a passionate knitter and understand (I think) that I can listen/talk  and knit at the same time. But even if I knit “in public” the experience stays a personal one all the same.

Being able to share with you virtually, has become an important part of my life and it brings me joy.

I really appreciate it when people not only take the time to read my blog but to even participate and make this a place for “live” interaction by leaving comments.

I have a lot of ideas for my little blog and it’s future. I want this to grow and become a bigger thing. Not going for world domination in the knitting world but I would love to be able to bring more value to the knitting lives of my readers.

I am preparing a chapter on sock knitting for example. I am a sock knitter as you most likely know and so I often get questions relating to sock knitting techniques or patterns and I’m thinking of building up a little ressource for you here on the blog with both advice or how to from me and links to patterns that I think are good for beginners or maybe a fun challenge for the advanced sock knitter.

I once wrote a piece on knitting needles and I’m thinking I might update that text and include in my future/new resource section of the blog.

I’m also intent on actually getting a few of my designs onto paper and to sell for a small fee via the blog or Ravelry.

I want to continue with the Maker of the Month feature even if it can hardly be called Maker of the Month these days but I’m going to strive to do those more regularly. I have one planned for soon. I’m just waiting for the person to send me her responses to the interview questions. This next maker is a Canadian yarn dyer and I’m sure you are going to love to learn more about her.

I’m thinking of offering guest bloggers to do a piece. I have done so before but it was a long time ago so maybe it is time to bring this back. Would you be interested in collaborating and writing an article for my blog? If yes; please do contact me either via the contact form here on the blog or by email to knittinginfrance@gmail.com

Is there anything you would like to see more of here on the blog? Or maybe something that I have not talked about yet? I would love to hear your thoughts on how I can make my blog better for us all.

And now on to more “urgent” matters! Knitting! Well, for once I hardly have any knitting to share with you because I have been knitting on my secret test knit as much as possible. The deadline is coming up and I was worried I might not make it in time. I will be able to start relaxing a little now because the body is almost done. Just the right front to finish on the body and then on to the sleeves.

This is a sweater design knit bottom up in pieces and I’m thinking I will block the  body pieces when both are done and then the sleeves later when those are done. I’m hoping I will be able to finish the front today so I can start on the sleeves tomorrow. The sleeves are knit flat so I’m thinking of doing them two at a time on a long circular needle. A sort of Magic loop thing. I think this may be a better solution as knitting one after the other might be too much…

Again I persist in saying that I feel this sweater is taking way  longer to knit than if it had been designed to be knit in the round. But it will be nice once it’s done:)

The only other thing I have knit on is my second pair of Stitch Surfer Socks. I have finished the first sock and I’m waiting to be into my sleeves before I cast on for the second because I need some brain space to cast on for the second one correctly as I want them to mirror each other.

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Again this was a lot of fun to knit and I’m looking forward to casting on for the second sock.

I will be on vacation in a few days and so I have to make some time to plan and get my knitting ready. I want to cast on a million things during my vacation but some seriousness will have to happen and I need to limit my excitement down to no more than two new projects… I think:)

But before I say goodbye for today, there is the drawing of the winner of my little giveaway!

So 8 people commented on the post I mentioned/linked to above. I used random.org to draw a winner and the number that came up was the number 7 which is the lovely Emma!

Thank you Emma for your nice comment and for following my blog! Please send me your personal details via email as well as your preference regarding yarn weight (fingering/dk/aran) and if there is a color you dislike. I will put together a little gift bundle and send your way. I will of course take a picture and share with everyone here as well.

I wish I could send a package to each and every one of the 8 people that commented but as that is not possible I have to limit myself to only the winner as planned.

Thank you again to you all! I hope to be back next week with some more knitting 🙂

Until then, take care and enjoy your knitting.

 

A little knitting in this heat

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is pair number one:

 

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

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

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

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

The yarn is Hippo for Thanksgiving by Lolo Did It.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biscotte Yarns and more

Hi there, I hope you are doing good today and enjoying your weekend. I had intended to post yesterday but time just got away from me.

So last week I shared my first ever all over colorwork and steek cardigan and introduced you to Atelier Camelir and her hand made ceramic buttons with a follow up giveaway.

Today I would like to introduce you to a different maker and do another giveaway for the fun of it!

Today I would like to introduce you to an independent yarn company from French Canada called Biscotte Yarn. You may of course already be familiar with their yarns, they are after all quite well know for their high quality yarns. But maybe you have yet to know them and so let me introduce you:)

Biscotte yarns was founded and is still run by two talented and passionate people, Louise and Patrick.

They started dyeing back in the early 2000 and soon realized that they were on to something as people started wanting to buy their hand dyed yarns.

Biscotte Yarns was founded in 2007 and from that time they have mostly concentrated on developing self striping yarns. I think that even today they are most known for their self striping yarns even though they have lately started dyeing different types of yarns and yarn weights.

I believe they are the original or at least one of the very first hand dyers to do self striping yarns and today their catalogue has an astounding 80 self striping colorways!

As a sock knitter I love self striping sock yarn but they are not exclusively made for sock knitting of course. They can make super cute baby garments, cowls or hats and mitts.

Louise, one of the founders of Biscotte Yarns is also a knitwear designer and some of her designs have been published in Knitty for example. I think her most well know pattern must be the Stitch Surfer socks that were published in Knitty and these are perfect for a self striping yarn paired with a complimentary solid yarn. This is a free pattern and so I highly recommend you take a look and why not, try your hand at knitting these fun socks.

I have yet to knit a pair of Stitch Surfers but after seeing Michelle of the Knotty Knit Wits rave about how fun they are, I really have to cast on ASAP.

Louise has also developed an amazing free sock knitting app that you can get on Itunes and Google play and you can learn more about that here

Biscotte Yarns not only offer single skeins for sale but they also have a lot of fun kits that include a pattern and the yarn to knit it.

Not so long ago I placed my first order with Biscotte Yarns and I of course ordered self striping yarns. At the time, they were doing “Josie’s surprise bundles” and I hope they will again. Those were 200 gr bundles of a mix and match of self striping yarns. Basically a surprise package with different colorways in all sorts of quantities. I find those super fun to try out different colors and use as contrast or just a fun addition to a pair of socks.

I used one of those to knit a pair of shorty socks for my youngest.

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How fun are these!

The yarn is soft and a joy to work with so I am not afraid of recommending Biscotte Yarns to you to try out.

As I placed my order I decided to reach out to Louise and ask if I could do a little review here on the blog and if she would be willing to donate a prize and to my great pleasure she accepted.

So now, I’m happy to be able to offer you another giveaway. The prize this time is a full skein of self striping Bis-Sock in the colorway Lilas et moi.

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100 gr, 85 % superwash merino and 15% nylon – 400 meters or 435 yards.

To join and have a chance of winning this amazing skein of self striping yarn, just take a moment or ten to go over to the Biscotte Yarn website and then come back and tell us what colorway or what kit you would love to have.

I will draw a winner on Tuesday June 26th! Have fun and good luck to all.