It’s all about the knitting

Hi there, how are you? I hope you have read the interview I did with Caitlin of Goosey Fibres and that you enjoyed that. If you haven’t read that yet you should click here and then join in the giveaway:)

I have been doing a lot of knitting lately. It is helping me stay sane and not lose myself as I go through some difficult personal times. So today I will be showing all my finished objects and some of my current works in progress.

First off a pair of Christmas socks I’m knitting for myself. I’m making the pattern up but I’m not sure I can call this a design as it is such a simple pattern. It is fun to make and I think this is perfect for self striping yarns that have even stripes. My socks are knit in Gingerbread colorway from the Cozy Knitter. A splurge I made for myself.

I’m getting close to the heel on sock two. I’m knitting those toe up and they are somewhere between shorty socks and a regular sock. I didn’t want to lose any yarn so I had to knit to a certain point where I could pick up from for the beginning of sock two.

I’m enjoying this knit and I look forward to having them all done.

I have also finished sock one of my current sock test knit and I have cast on for sock two. This is a very nice pattern that I’m enjoying working and the result is beautiful. I’m using my new blend, 50/50 merino/cotton to knit those . The yarn is very soft and because of the merino content it does have some give. I’m interested in seeing how the socks will hold up to wear. They are super soft and comfortable to the touch.

kbj testkbj test 2kbj test 3

I’m really thrilled about the colorway I dyed up too:)

And  then there are my hats. I have finished two winter hats. The first is a new pattern from my friend Madeleine of Kingfisher knits. It’s called Vendemmia. I knit this using my 100% baby alpaca yarn in chunky weight. I did have to break into skein two which was a bummer but I think the next time I will not knit it as long because it is a little big/long on me and if I do that, one skein will be sufficient. I also had this great pompom I had bought in Iceland a while back and it goes perfectly with this hat.

Now I just need to wait till it’s cold enough to wear this:)

My second hat is a free pattern on Ravelry from the girls of  Espace Tricot in Canada. It is called Pull the Wool Over and I love it! It is a super simple pattern and it is knit using an aran weight yarn held with a mohair yarn so it has some fuzziness to it. I did put a pompom on it but it’s too small so I have ordered more pompoms and will put a bigger one on this hat.

The last picture shows the two yarns held together in the skein. I got my youngest to model and as you can see she did have some fun:)

I’m currently working on the first pattern from Knitvent 2017. If you are not familiar with Knitvent, this is a pattern collection that Helen of Curious Handmade puts out every year leading up to Christmas. And every week over I think 6 weeks you get a pattern for an accessory. The first pattern this year is for a multi colored cowl that she designed to use with the famous Advent Calendars that so many indie dyers are selling these days. Of course you can substitute that for your own leftovers or ever just knit using one or two colors. There are endless possibilities for this project yarn/color wise. I put together 24 minis and left overs and so I’m knitting as the pattern says, one color per section and as I finish one section I take the yarn out of my bag to be sure I don’t accidentally use it again. This is super fun even though the pattern itself is quite simple. The fact that you change colors/yarn every 8 rows and that there usually is also a change in stitch pattern keeps one interested and wanting to knit just one more section!

land of sweets cowl

This pattern is called Land of Sweets. I try to keep the colors close but not too close and I use the highly variegated for the stockinette sections rather than the lace ones. I’m having lots of fun with this one and I’m currently just past 65% done. And no I’m not a math genius, Helen gives us the percentage every so often in her pattern which is super nice.

And then there is the child cardigan that I’m test knitting and not finishing as quickly as I had hoped for. So I’m knitting this in size 14 years old and I’m using yarn from Rooster that I had in my stash (I used to sell this yarn in my shop). The pattern is fairly simple BUT clearly at the beginning I misunderstood the increase instructions and I kept going when I should not have! This means that my cardigan is bigger/wider in the front than it should but more importantly the neckline is not as it should be!

child cardi test knit

I think the width will not be a problem and as you can see I’m close to being done. I’m on the cuff of sleeve 2 and then I need to do the neckband and the button bands.

child cardi neck

So the cardigan should have a sort of square shaped neckline and so I should just knit the neck band and then pick up and knit the button bands. But because of my mistake, I now find myself with a V-neck cardigan and I’m not sure how I can go about making this work. Here’s what I’m thinking and maybe you can help here

  1. should I start at the bottom of the V neck and just cast on 1 stitch and then gradually increase every row until I have filled the gap and the button band can be knit in a straight line?
  2. should I try to knit a cuff/neck band all the way around the V neck? From beginning to end? And then knit the button band separately? Or maybe first knit the button band, then pick up the cast off stitches at the top and begin the neckband from there?
  3. or should I attempt making a sort of shawl collar/neckband? Knitting everything in one piece from the bottom of one side to the other?

What do you think? I’m planning on finishing the sleeve tonight and then start testing my neck options but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this matter.

These are all my finished objects and most worked on wips. I’m planning on casting on for two more big projects; both are test knits, one cardigan and one pullover. I’m also thinking about some more sock designs that I would like to work on and I even have an idea for a shawl. So many ideas and so little time!

I  hope you are doing good and that you are having a great start to your week. I will be back at the end of the week when I draw the winner for the yarn from Goosey Fibres. Next week I will be away some so I’m not sure if or when I’ll be able to post. Also I think I will close my Etsy shop in a few days. Might even be at the end of this week as next week I will be away most of the time. So just in case you are interested, everything is 25% off, no code needed and you can check out the shop by clicking here

That’s all for now. Take care and happy knitting

Knitting through sorrow

Hi there, how are you doing this week? I hope you are doing good and enjoying your week so far.

As you will know if you follow my blog or on my social media, last week was a difficult week for me and my family. The loss of a loved one is always a life changing event I think for those of us left behind. It stirs up so many feelings, brings so many questions.

As I work through my loss and my subsequent feelings and questions, I have found solace in knitting. Knitting has helped me to stay focused. It has helped me to sort through my feelings. I can knit and think, I can cry and knit. I can console myself and knit. And frankly, without knitting, I don’t know how I would have coped.

I felt a need for knitting. Not to have idle hands at any time. And yet, I did not want to work on anything that required brain power, no complicated designs, no big projects. Of course this could only lead to a lot of sock knitting! And I will be sharing pictures of my socks here in a bit.

I knit so many socks that it has become like second nature for me. I don’t need a pattern and yet I still buy tons of sock patterns – just for the stitch patterns that are used. I always do my own heel and toe and cast on and cast off. But i’m totally unable to resist a beautiful sock pattern and this past week, as I have been knitting on socks I have also bought a few new patterns!

I’m now quite quick to finish a pair of socks so that adds to the pleasure of knitting a pair as I have a finished object within days. I do still have one cardigan in the wip pile for myself and a cardigan for my  youngest and that one I’m working on these days. A little at a time. But for comfort I have really been drawn to sock knitting and here’s what I have to show for it!

These are the #MarieCurieQuestforSocks. I’m helping knitting a pair of socks for every patient staying in a Marie Curie Hospice at Christmas in the UK. The main yarn, the patterned one, is  a special yarn dyed by West Yorkshire Spinners for this charity. I’m almost done with pair 4. And for this last pair I knit them two at a time magic loop and I did them as tube socks so now I just have to pop in the heels. I should be able to send all 4 pairs off before the end of this week.

It has been a joy to participate in this project and I have dedicated my participation to a friend that passed away last week from a rare disease. I had intended on knitting a 5th pair but when a close family member died just two days after my friend, I just broke down and I think I have to just take things slowly and only work on what I can, no stress involved. And so I’m going to be proud of these 4 pairs. That’s probably more than the average donation so no need to be sorry for not knitting 5 pairs. As you can hear, I’m trying to convince myself that this is ok:) And it is! I know it is!

But I have not just been doing charity knitting. I have also finished a pair of shorty socks for myself and those I knit out of my first ever skein of Wolmeise yarn. This skein was gifted to me by a friend about 5 years ago or so and it has been sitting in my stash since. So this pair of socks counts towards my Stash Appreciation Project – where the aim is to knit using beautiful yarns from stash.

The yarn is a dark navy blue so not easy to see the pattern. It is a sort of open work patterning that I adapted from some other pattern I had purchased. I really like the look. The yarn itself feels very nice and the socks are very comfortable. Also I’m very much into shorty socks these days. They are both comfortable to wear and quick to knit so win win!

As I prepare for a Maker of the Month feature for January 2018, I’m knitting my first pair of socks with yarn from Biscotte Yarns. A Canadian yarn dyer well known for their self striping yarns. This pair of shorties is for my youngest. I don’t know the colorway name as this came from a 200 gr bundle of self striping yarns. My new favorite! You buy either 100 or 200 gr of self striping yarns, mill ends, so what you get and how much of each is a surprise. This particular yarn came in a 62 gr skein so I have enough for a shorty pair for my daughter and there will be some left over.

So the yarn feels very nice and I love working with it. But more on that later!

biscottes yarn shorty sock

And last but not least, I designed a sock pattern! I did say before that I was in a place where I needed simple, comfort knitting. Nothing that required brain power. Well before getting all the bad news, I had actually started working on a design and I would knit on this a little bit each day. Not a lot at a time but sufficient for it to grow and now I have a finished pair!

I really like the pattern. Now I just need to grade it, make sure the stitch pattern works in all the sizes I would like to have. Then I have to re knit a pair in my own yarn and of course write up the pattern.

The idea here is to start selling kits including my patterns and my yarns. Maybe that would be a good idea to help me keep my business alive in the new year.

Anyway, I’d love to hear what you think of this attempt. I used a very sparkly yarn from Yarn Lab UK. A very nice dyer that sells on Etsy. I believe this colorway is called Poirot’s Christmas.

I found a stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary and adapted that to my stitch count and I think it looks nice.

new sock design 12nov

The stitch pattern will show up better in a solid or semi solid colorway and that is how the next pair will be knit.

IMG_0495

My test knit sock has grown since this picture but not enough. I am now past the heel and about half done with the foot so hopefully I will have at least sock one done by the end of this week and can start on sock two this weekend. I really enjoy using this new yarn base, 50/50 merino/cotton. It feels nice and the stitch definition is very nice.

So that’s about all for this week. I just need to finish the heels on my last Marie Curie socks, finish my second Biscotte yarn shorty sock, finish the test knitting sock I’m still working on AND start knitting some Christmas socks! I have never been so excited about knitting Christmas socks! I have splurged on some beautiful self striping colorways from different dyers so I have plenty to work with. Hopefully next week I will be able to share something there.

Thank you for all the kind thoughts and messages you have sent my way lately. I’m not very present on social media these days as I’m just not feeling very social. I know you understand. They say time heals all wounds and time will help me to carry on and be the best I can be.

Just one more thing before I leave today. I will be publishing this month’s Maker of the Month interview this coming Friday, November 24th so don’t miss that!

Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

All my current wips

Hi there how  are you? I’m fine. This past weekend we had truly miserable weather here in Normandy so I did get to spend a nice amount of time knitting in front of the tv. However as I have a million things going, I don’t seem to have made much progress on anything.

I did manage to finish one of my current test knits. That was a two color cowl and I cast that off last night so now I just need to give it a little wash and  block. I’m not able to share pictures with you just yet though as this pattern will be part of a new knitwear collection to be published before the end of this year and the designer wants to keep everything a secret until the release. But that was good to at least get that one done.

I have made a little progress on a new sock test knit that I’m doing. This is the first test knit I do for this particular designer and I really like her pattern. I’m knitting the socks using a new base from my shop, the 50/50 merino and cotton base and it’s working up really nicely so far.

IMG_0495

This designer is KBJKNITS   from Australia and she has a number of designs on Ravelry.

The children’s cardigan I’m also test knitting (for a different designer) is now well on it’s way. I’m at the bottom edge for the body and hope to finish that tonight so then I will have to do the sleeves, collar and button bands. Still plenty of work.

And with all this test knitting I’m thinking, maybe I too could design something? I have one pair of finished socks that I designed a while back but never wrote up the pattern, I have a baby dress and a blanket in the same situation. And last night I started on a second pair of socks. This time I’m trying my hand at designing shorty socks.

new sock design 12nov

So far so good. I’m thinking in the future I could sell kits with my own pattern and hand dyed yarns. What do you think?

I also cast on for two new projects this past weekend. Both are from newly purchased patterns and the yarns are from my stash so totally in the theme of my Stash Appreciation Project!

The first is a hat. I saw the pattern on Instagram and immediately went over to Ravelry to buy it. I knew I had just the right yarn and the fur pompom! So the pattern is called Vendemmia and is by the talented Madeleine of Kingfisher Knits. I wasn’t able to knit a lot on this over the weekend because I wanted to knit on ALL my wips so I allocated a small time to each project but at least I got it going and so far so good:)

vendemmia 1

I’m using my chunky alpaca yarn for this and a pompom I purchased the last time I was in Iceland. Everything feels so squishy and luscious! I can’t wait to be able to wear this hat!

My second new project is a cowl called The Land of Sweets by Helen of Curious Handmade. This is the first pattern in this year’s Knitvent. The pattern is designed using an advent calendar from an indie designer so using 24 mini skeins in different colors. I don’t have an advent calendar of minis but I do have lots of minis and rests of yarns from projects I have knit over the years. So I found myself a christmas project bag

christmas project bag

And then went rummaging through my stash to find compatible minis. I wound them up into mini yarn balls and threw them into the bag.

land of sweets minis

The idea is to just pick a mini at random for each section of the cowl and once I have knit with one yarn/mini I take it out of the bag to be sure I won’t use it a second time.

I think this is going to be a fun knit. The idea behind all those minis is great and I think it is what will make this more fun than if it were knit in only one or two colors.

So far I have only just begun so nothing much to show you but here’s where I’m currently at.

IMG_0494

I’m also continuing knitting on the Marie Curie Quest for socks charity knitting. I’m so close to finishing pair number 3. I can feel myself losing momentum here after knitting almost 3 vanilla pairs in the same yarn but I’m going to try and stay focused and knit 4 pairs as I planned on doing.

I think this is about all for now on my knitting. Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me today. I hope you have enjoyed reading up on my knitting and seeing the pictures. I’ll be back later this week with some more info and hope to see you then:)

Test knits and knitting needle testing

Hi there, how are you today? Did you get much knitting done this past week? I did some, not a lot. I feel like I’m making such limited progress these days. I just don’t have the time or maybe I’m working on too many projects at once, if that’s a thing. I’m not sure.

I do know that I have a lot of things going. I think I have 5 pairs of socks on the needles that I’m actually knitting on (way more in my mountain of wips), I have one wrap and one child size cardigan and one cowl. So I do have a lot to choose from. The cowl and the child cardigan are both test knits and I need to finish those in November. I can show you the cardigan but not the cowl just yet.

So the cardigan will be part of a book that I think will be published next year. I was going to use my own yarn but I didn’t have  just the right thickness so I went with something from my stash. its called Rooster Almerino baby – the yarn that is. The pattern can be knit as either a pullover or a cardigan and I chose to do the cardigan and I’m knitting it for my youngest. I don’t have enough for a single color cardigan so I’m going to use 2 or even 3 colors and I think that will be fun. I’m very close to finishing the body. Then I have the sleeves, collar and button bands to do.

cowtown test knit child cardi

This is not where I’m at now, I have made good progress since I took this picture actually. I like the stitch pattern and it keeps the knitting interesting. The color is a very light green and it looks very nice. My daughter loves it.

For the socks, I haven’t really made any significant progress so no pictures today. I have though started on pair number 3 for Marie Curie and this time I’m using a blue tweed contrasting yarn for the cuff, heels and toes and it’s funny how it changes the main yarn. It really brings out the blue in the Marie Curie yarn so I feel like I’m knitting on something totally different and that is good because knitting 4 pairs of vanilla socks in a row using the same yarn can get boring. I’m thinking I might do the last pair, pair number 4, with some white – their yarn/colors are yellow, blue and green. (I’ll show a picture a bit further down in this post of the sock so you can see how it is knitting up with the blue cuff). I don’t have any more of the yellow contrast yarn I used in the first two pairs and I only have a little bit of this blue tweed yarn… I think. I might need to go stash diving though just to be sure because it does look good. AND it’s Stash Appreciation time! So I should go stash diving and use some of my “old” yarns.

I have created a thread in my Ravelry group for the Stash Appreciation project that is running as of now and until January 31st so if you are interested in joining please do. I’d love to hear what you might knit and see a picture of your yarn. I’m going to knit a sweater using some older hand spun yarn but I haven’t started yet. I feel like I need to finish the test knit cowl before I can start anything that big. i also want to knit some Christmas socks from one of my special Christmas yarns and again I think I need to finish at least pair 3 for Marie Curie before casting that on. I’m afraid if I cast on for new things now, I might not finish what I need to finish, in time.

On to other things. I have tested a few new things lately and I need to share that with you. First, the knitting needles.

I bought some new knitting needles after hearing about them on social media. The first pair was a fixed circular from LYKKE. Everyone is talking about those and I really wanted to try them out. This is a Norwegian brand but the needles are manufactured India from driftwood. I was expecting them to feel somewhat like wooden needles, a feel similar to Indian Lake Artisans needles for example but they feel super slick and sort of “plasticky” and I’m pretty sure that is not a word.

I bought two pairs, a 2.25mm and 3.50mm and I”m currently knitting a sock with the 2.25mm ones – the sock you see on the picture to the right. So back to the needles. They don’t feel like wooden needles so that was a surprise to me. They are however very nice to use. The yarn glides beautifully and they feel good in my hands so I can understand how popular they are. They are not however a game changer for me, I mean that I’m not going to go overboard and buy their entire collection to only use theirs. But they are nice so if you have been wanting to give them a go I’d say go ahead. I’m pretty sure you will like them.

The other set of needles I bought were meant for sock and sleeve knitting. I saw those somewhere and thought they looked so exotic and I just had to give them a go. These are the Addi CrasyTrio needles. As the name indicates, they come in sets of 3 needles.

IMG_0462

First I need to say that when I knit socks, I  use circulars 90% of the time. I either do magic loop or a 9″ circular. These needles are more directed towards the knitters that prefer knitting socks with two shorter circulars at a time. They actually look very much like the Neko needles except the Addi needles have  a tiny cord between the needle tips whereas the Neko needles are all plastic (no cord at all). This does make the Addi’s easier to manipulate I think. And they are definitely sturdier. I have only knit two pairs with the Neko needles and they come in sets of 4 needles – you only knit with three but they give one extra. And I broke two needles out of 4 without even noticing and I lost a bunch of stitches so that put me off those for a while. Although I must say the customer service was excellent and they sent me replacement needles.

addi and marie curie

This is pair 3 of my Marie Curie socks on the Addi CrasyTrio

But back to Addi. I have knit one sock and am on the second one (although not from the same pair) and I must say that the beginning was not fun. The needles come with an instructional booklet and a sock recipe. I followed the instructions for casting on over two needles and then taking one out so you have half of the stitches on each. Well that was just impossible to do! I struggled until everything was off and then cast on again over just one needle and then transferred half the stitches over to needle two. The very first row was fiddly but after that it was fine. If you usually use two circulars rather than magic loop or a 9″ I’m sure you would like these. I however like the flow of knitting on q 9″ and so so stopping and turning my work around seems tedious to me now. Also when knitting the needle points click on each other making noise so this is not an option for me if watching the tv with my family:)

I’m going to finish my two pairs I started with on these but I’m not convinced they will be used much. I do want to try them on a sleeve though and maybe I will like that better. Who knows. Anyway it was very interesting to try out.

You may know, or not, that when I began my online knitting shop I specialised in knitting needles. I sold all kinds of knitting needles, different styles and materials. I was the first to ever sell Hiya Hiya, Kollage, Indian Lake Artisans, Knit Stix, Swallow, Signature Needle Arts and more brands here in France and in some cases even in Europe.

Would you be interested in me doing a series of post about knitting needles? If anyone is interested I could maybe put something together and share my thoughts on different styles and brands etc. Leave me a comment below and let me know.

One more thing before I leave today. I don’t know why I have waited to the very last minute to do this properly, but I have just got my first really good looking yarn ball bands! Now my yarns can look really professional I think.

IMG_0479 I love my new label. With the future of the shop so uncertain I don’t know if I will get to use them but at least they will be a nice souvenir and I can still use them on my own personal yarn and when I dye yarn for friends and family.

I’ll be back later this week with an update on my potato peel dye experiment. Also there will be an update on the shop on the Future of Knitting in France pages- both the English and French one very soon. Not the news I was hoping to share this week but well.

Until next time, I hope you have a great rest of your week. Enjoy your crafting and thank you for stopping  by:)

All the November plans

hi thee how are you? I’m super busy these days as I have family from Iceland staying with me so any free time is taken up taking care of and enjoying their company.

I have kept knitting though but everything regarding the blog and my huge upcoming project, the crowd funding has been on the back burner due to lack of time.

On that subject, I did update my pages here on the blog and you can read the English version here or the French version here. Basically what I explain is that building a successful campaign takes time and effort and it is far from easy. I’m also worried about the timing, the end of the year is often tight financially for people, I know it is for me. But I’m trying to stay positive and after all, a lot of little things can make one big thing meaning a lot of small contributions can help me stay a float!

I’m hoping I will be able to launch the campaign next week around November 6 and I will of course notify you here.

On other news, there is my Marie Curie Charity knitting I told you about (if you haven’t read that post just hop on over here).

I’m joining Sarah of Sherlock Knits in knitting socks for all the patients in the Marie Curie hospices in the UK for Christmas. This is an ambitious task but rewarding on many levels. The original idea was to only use the special Marie Curie yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners.

wys marie curie

The variegated color on the top is the Marie Curie colorway that was meant to be the main color. However they are still in need of a lot of socks and time is getting short so they are now accepting socks in any yarn as long as it is in the Marie Curie colors; that is yellow, blue and white. Of course if you can use the special colorway that would be amazing. That yarn can only be purchased from one shop in the UK as they are the ones who actually commissioned WYS to do this and part of the proceeds also goes to Marie Curie. Here is a link to their shop if you are interested in joining in and using the special yarn: http://www.cityknits.co.uk/marie-curie~2839 As I’m writing this I see they are out of this yarn but hopefully there will be more in the future. In the meantime just use any or all of the three colours.

They are asking for men’s size socks only as patients often have swollen ankles so only size 72 stitches and I believe they should be simple vanilla socks. They need to have the socks by December 13th to be able to package them all and get them out to each of the 9 hospices in the UK.

marie curie pair one

I’m about 75% done with pair number 2 and all from one ball with contrasting heel/toe and cuff on one and only heel and toe on the second. I’m planning on knitting 4 pairs if I possibly can. I did buy 2 skeins of the Marie Curie yarn so that should be possible, just a question of time.

If you are interested in joining in this project and willing to knit a pair of socks, please let me know and I’ll get you all the info needed.

Now onto other things. It’s November 1st today and this signals the beginning of the Stash Appreciation project! I’m thinking of creating a hashtag, #KIFSTASHAPPRECIATION so if you share your projects on IG we will all be able to follow each other’s progress.

I know that this Stash Appreciation Project is not meant to be a yarn diet, it is just meant to incite us to use some of the amazing yarns we have in our stash. However I did go completely wild this past October and I bought a lot more yarn than I ever thought I would. I hope participating in this project has not had the same effect on you! Anyway I now have even more reason to only knit from stash! I think I may suffer from a mailbox syndrome. I so enjoy going out to my mailbox and getting to open up a package! It may not be normal!

So back to the stash! I’m of course going to keep knitting socks and my Marie Curie socks will be a part of that as I have had the special yarn in my stash for a few weeks and the contrasting yarn for months. I have a gazillion sock yarn skeins that I’m dying to use so no shortage there.

mothy and the squid christmas sock

This is a new to my stash yarn from Mothy and the Squid and I’m knitting a Christmas sock making up the pattern as I go.

I also would love to knit a sweater as a Christmas gift for someone and I’m going to knit that from my handspun yarn from a while back.

I would also like to work on my pile/mountain of wips and I think that can qualify for Stash Appreciation as those wips and yarns have been in my stash for longer than I care to admit. If you too have some projects waiting for your attention; this might be the right time:)

I have created a thread in my Ravelry group as I was not able to set up a forum here on the blog and the link to that is here. I look forward to seeing your yarns and your future projects. I will share mine both here and in the thread.

Another project that I’m planning on, and this is not related to the Stash Appreciation, is getting more into natural dyeing. I have tried dyeing with avocado peel and stone and now I have some Vitelotte potato peel drying and I hope to try to dye some yarn with that soon.

vitelotte potatoes

I think this could make for some beautiful yarn don’t you?

I think this will be all for now. I will be back soon with more info on my Fundraising Campaign as well as more finished objects and progress on the Stash Appreciation. I hope you have enjoyed stopping by today and spending some of your time with me.

If you are at all interested in seeing my yarns and other handmade items, please click here to browse my Etsy store; Everything is 30% off for another 24 hours!

 

 

More on charity sock knitting

Hi again, Well I’m so happy to be back again! So far I’m living up to my goal of blogging more frequently than usual in October as part of Blogtober.

So yes October is all about blogging more often, knitting all the socks and doing something related to Breast Cancer Awareness and today is related in some way to all three goals.

I recently blogged about charity sock knitting that I’m taking part in and if you didn’t read that post yet you can click here.

A lovely reader left a comment on that post sharing the project she is working on. I had heard of this project on the Bakery Bears podcast but didn’t know who organised this or how to get involved so when I saw this message I was so happy!

This project is being organised by the wonderful Sara of Sherlock Knits in the UK. Sara is a doctor in a Marie Curie hospice for terminally ill patients and her idea was to knit a pair of socks for each of her patients for Christmas. Her idea soon caught on and other knitters wanted to join and help so now the objective is to knit a pair of socks for all the patients in Marie Curie hospices in the UK for Christmas and that is 229 patients! What a wonderful project.

Sara learned that she was not the only one wanting to support Marie Curie hospices. The Yarn shop City Knits in the UK had joined forces with UK yarn manufacturer West Yorkshire Spinners to create a unique colorway for their shop only in support of Marie Curie. This yarn colorway is ONLY sold at City knits and 2£ of each purchase are donated to  Marie Curie.

Sara has also created and published a pattern for a vanilla sock she calls the Marie Curie Quest Sock and all proceeds from the sale of the pattern is donated to Marie Curie. So to go all out, you can buy the pattern, buy the yarn and then knit a pair of socks or two:)

wys marie curie

You can go on to the City Knits blog and read more about this project here  and then go on to buy a skein of this yarn if you wish.

I know that not all the patients at Marie Curie hospices are suffering from breast cancer but it does tie in with doing something for the cause and I’m thrilled to be able to participate and make a donation. I have placed an order for the main yarn, the variegated one in the picture above and I intend to make two pairs.

I’m told patients often have swollen feet so 72 stitch socks are appreciated.

The main body of the sock should be knit using the special Marie Curie color way but it is ok to knit contrasting heels/toes and cuffs using coordinating colors in other yarn brands.

Are you also participating in this project or would you be interested in joining?

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful rest of the day.

Miniature Socks

Hi there, I’m back again and true to  this month’s theme I’m yet again talking about socks.

This time though it’s all about mini socks. As you will know if this is not your first time on my blog, I’m a big sock knitter and I just think hand knit socks are so beautiful and comfortable. I also love little socks like ornaments and I recently discovered this amazing woodwork artist who makes incredibly cute miniature sock blockers and so I had to get some!

At first the idea was to make a miniature sock garland, maybe Christmas themed but 24 blockers would be an investment if bought at one time so not for now. But I could still do a small garland just for fun as a decoration element in my home office space. I’m still thinking about that idea but I have used some of the socks I have knit so far and  made key chains and they are also super fun.

So what do these look like?

mini socks 2

Cute as a bug! I say:)

I stumbled upon this artist by accident while browsing Ravelry looking for miniature sock patterns. I found this pattern with the cutest picture and it was the wooden blocker that drew me in and I immediately downloaded the pattern which by the way is free! and then went to Etsy to purchase some blockers.

mini socks 1

If you too would like to get some of these cute blockers you will find them at AlexWorkshopDesign Alexander is in Ukraine and he really does beautiful work and he has a number of products to choose from, not only these mini blockers.

The pattern that has been designed specifically for his blockers is a tube sock pattern so super easy to do. It is free on Ravelry like I said and is called the Pet Sock Project by Nailya Plaskey.  I think this could make a great little stocking stuffer or gift for a teacher or just for anyone for any occasion! I have about 14 of those and I’m sure I’m going to be getting some more as I find them soooo cute.

I have knit even smaller socks than this though. I once knit a few pairs of sock earrings! It may sound like a crazy project but it was fun and I sold out! I knit tiny socks with a short row heel on needles 1.5mm using lace yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com

I sometimes want to make more of these and sell. They are incredibly small but take up some time as the stitches are so teeny tiny.

Have you knit miniature socks? Do you maybe have a go to pattern for those? And what do you use them for? I’d love to hear from you on this subject so don’t be shy and leave a comment below.

That’s all for today, I’ll be back soon with some progress news/updates on my current life size sock knitting 🙂 Until then, have a wonderful week and enjoy your knitting:)

Sock knitting for charity

Hi there, how are you? It’s weekend here now and I hope you have the weekend to yourself with plenty of free time to just knit and enjoy some quality time with your favorite projects.

As you may know, I’m going to concentrate on sock knitting this month. I am suffering from a serious case of cast-on-itis and so am just itching to cast on for at least 3 new sweaters and a billion new socks but I’m going to try to be serious and responsible and FIRST finish the 4 pairs of socks I had already begun working on and when those are finished, only then, will I allow myself to cast on for a new pair of socks and if I’m really serious I will also pick up an old languishing sock wip and get that done too! A girl can dream:)

In my last post I shared my current sock knitting projects but I did not tell you about this particular project. So I’m not as much of a charity knitter as I would like to be for a number of reasons. Reasons include lack of time, I enjoy selfish knitting too much and then as I’m not part of any physical group of knitters I’m not always aware of charity knitting projects going around.  And here in France I think there really are very limited opportunities for charity knitting sadly.

I’m lucky enough to have made a number of good friends via the internet. I’m so happy and appreciative for all the new knitter friends in my life and I really could not imagine my life without you all. I may not know you “in person” but it still feels like we are very close. One of those friends is Andrea. Andrea lives in Australia and she is an amazing person and an impressive artist. Andrea sketches and knits and just makes magic with all things fibre related not to mention her photography which is simply inspirational. You can follow Andrea on Instagram where she has two accounts, one for her drawing art work where she is @zoozoostudio and one for her knitting and fibre related work where she is @yarnsalad.

Via her account as @yarnsalad she has launched a sock knitting charity project that I had to join in even if we live on opposite sides of the world. Andrea is knitting socks for children between 0 and 6 years old that live with their mothers in Australian prisons. I love knitting socks and I also love doing good and gifting my handknits so I immediately wanted to join in her effort.

I’m not sure what the deadline is to send her the socks but if you are interested in joining us and send a pair of socks or more, just either contact me or you can contact Andrea via Instagram. I’m sure she would be delighted if any of my readers wanted to contribute to her project.

Knitting socks for young children is fun and super quick and so I now have 2 1/2 pairs (as I write this). I chose to knit two pairs of tube socks because I think tube socks are super practical because they can fit a large range of sizes and they also maybe wear longer as you can wear them anyway; I mean there is no instep and no sole side so I imagine more wear could be had out of those. They are maybe not as cute but still I really like them. So I have two pairs of tube socks and if I have enough time I will make more of those.

charity socks one

Those are knit with a German sock yarn, I don’t have the ball band anymore but it’s an Opal type yarn so should wear nicely. These are not twins but they do look nice still I think.

charity socks 2

These I knit using my Sparkles yarn. These are much smaller than the first pair so more of a baby size versus a toddler size for the first pair.

charity socks 3

This is the pair I’m currently working on. I’m knitting this one with my Sox base yarn in grey and the yellow stripes and toe are from Berry Colorful Yarnings. I really like this sock. I think it is a sort of 3-4 year old size.

I’m happy to know that I will contribute at least 3 pairs and I hope to be able to get more done in the next 2-3 weeks. It really does not take long to make  a small pair so I don’t have any excuse!

Do you sometimes knit for charity? If so, which ones? I would love to hear about any charity knitting projects you may be participating in and who knows I might decide to join them too 🙂

That’s all for today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of this weekend. Speak to you soon!

A couple of HOs and some dream knitting/planning

Hi there, I hope you are doing great and enjoying summer/winter where you are. Here summer is proving to be quite nice and this morning it is actually super hot which is not so nice when one has to work in a non air conditioned space. But hey, I’ll be on holiday at the end of the week so lets not complain. I will spend most of my vacation time at home but we’ll do some travelling just to clear our heads and re-energise. But even if we don’t go or do anything spectacular, just the idea of having some time off work sounds amazing! I of course have big plans for my vacation knitting and imagine myself accomplishing amazing amounts of knitwear during this time. Way more than I will really be able to do I’m sure. But that’s ok; part of dream knitting is exactly that, dream and dream BIG!

But before I share my dream knitting with you, let me show you my hos. The first ho is sock one of a pair that I just test knit for my friend Dana Gervais. This pattern is called Abundance and will be published on Ravelry in August.

As always the pattern is very well written and a joy to knit. I chose a semi solid yarn as I think that was needed to really show off the patterning involved.

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The second ho is my second Ravello sweater. I have finished the body and since I took the pictures yesterday I have begun knitting the first sleeve. I hope I’ll be able to finish this one soon. I was a little wary about the yarn as it is heavily variegated and maybe more suited for sock knitting but I had 3 skeins of the same colorway so I really wanted to make a garment. I think it will be ok. When worn with jeans I think it looks fun.

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I’m still working on or should I say, I still should be working on some other almost finished projects but those might have to wait for September to be picked up seeing as my dream knitting list is somewhat substantial.

So on to the dream knitting. I don’t actually dream of the act of knitting while I sleep. I mean this more as a daydream thing. You know the sort of thing that goes through your head as you browse Ravelry and find a gazillion patterns you MUST make.

As I will get some time of work very soon, I of course see myself spending lots of time knitting. In reality I most likely will not as I do have to do stuff for my kids who might not enjoy spending all day with me while I knit, but a dream is a dream so here goes.

I decided that I needed a plan for my vacation knitting and so I put together a number of things ready for vacation…and yes I have to admit that I have cast on 3 out of 5 projects already…

So number one and this one came after all the planning was done and I’m already knitting on it a lot. It’s the Veronika cardigan by So Very Shannon. This is a worsted weight, oversized cardigan and I fell for this after seeing a picture of Tracy of the Grocery Girls wearing her’s on Instagram. It looks like the perfect thing to throw on as I work in the winter and get chilly. I have had a worsted weight cardigan on the needles for more than a year and it wasn’t working out and I just kept putting off the ripping out but when I decided on Veronika, I went ahead and just ripped it all out (I was on the yoke/shoulder section of a bottom up cardi). The yarn I’m using is hand dyed from Kettle Yarn Co in her Waltham Aran base and it is a 100% BFL yarn. I’m not far enough on to actually show you a picture as the construction is unusual and you would not really get a good picture so here is a picture taken from the designer’s Ravelry page and a link to the pattern if you too want to cast one on.

Veronika-73_medium2

Number two is another garment. It’s a sweater by Joji Locatelli called I see Spring. This is a top down raglan knit with sport weight yarn. I rarely use sport weight yarn and so for this occasion I ordered some from my yarn supplier and dyed up my version of the color Joji used for her sweater, a pink with some purple speckles. This one I have not yet cast on for but I have all the yarn wound into cakes and the needles ready along with a print out of the pattern. Below is a picture from Ravelry and again a link to the pattern.

i see spring

Number three is a cowl that looks like a shawl and this is another Joji Locatelli design called Midsummer Haze. I always wear my shawls like this, with the deepest part of the shawl in the front and the idea of this actually being a cowl is very appealing to me. I would like to make at least two, one for me and one for a Christmas gift. I also have the same yarn base as Joji used for hers. It’s the same yarn as I used for my first Ravello a 50% alpaca/25% silk/25% linen blend. I’m knitting the first one as is with the same yarn as my Ravello so a light grey. The second one I want to overdye a skein and make it either dark grey or black. So this one I have cast on and done a little bit so it’s ready for car knitting. Again below a picture from Ravelry and a link to the pattern.

midsummer haze pattern picture

Number four is also a neck piece, it’s a cowl called A Tale as Old as Time by Anne Vally and this is a kit I bought from Little Skein in the Big Wool so I’m actually lucky enough to have the exact yarn the pattern calls for. I really love self striping yarn and this one has such gorgeous colors. I’m planning on not using it all up but leave a little bit to use in either a scrap blanket or scrap socks. This is a super easy pattern so ideal for car knitting or when just wanting to not think of anything. I did modify the beginning of the pattern/cast on but I hope that will be ok. So far I have done less than 10 stripes so not much to show yet but here is a picture from Ravelry and a link to the pattern.

tale as old as time

And then number five which is the last item on my dream knitting list (for the moment at least) we have a pair of shorty socks/slippers. I saw these on Instagram and immediately fell for them as I think these look amazing in variegated yarns and I have plenty of those. The pattern is called Calentito by MediaPeruana and I can see myself knitting a pair in different sizes for gift knitting. Below is a picture and a link to the pattern as always.

calentito

That’s it for my vacation knitting…I think. What about you? Have you planned on anything special for your holidays? I’d love to see/hear about your knitting plans.

I might not post regularly over the next 3-4 weeks as I will be relaxing as much as I can and just spending time with my family but I’ll post from time to time on Instagram if you want to follow me there. I’m @knittinginfrance on Instagram.

I have some thoughts for the coming autumn regarding my little indie dyed yarn business that I would like to share with you and ask for your thoughts on. I’ll use my off time to think more about that and come up with plan A and plan B and  hopefully there will be something fun involved for you.

So until next time, have a wonderful summer(winter if you are in the southern hemisphere) and enjoy your knitting. Please subscribe to my blog if you enjoy spending some time with me and seeing my knitting. I’m almost at 200 subscribers so I will be doing something fun soon to celebrate once that milestone has been reached. Thank you again for spending some of your precious time with me today and HAPPY KNITTING!

Knitting, spinning and so forth

Hi there, how’s it going for you this week? Well I hope. Maybe you are even on holiday by now? Lucky you if you are:) I’m not on vacation yet not until the last week of July and this year we will mostly do staycation but that’s ok because we are lucky enough to live close to beautiful beaches so if the weather is nice we can do plenty of beach going and knitting.

But until then it’s work and a lot of it. Plenty of stress and hard work so thank goodness for knitting! As knitting is one of very few things that keep me sane!

And speaking of knitting, well as always I have a gazillion things on the needles, way more than I’d like to admit and that can only mean one thing: slow progress on each project!

A side effect of having a lot of projects on the needles at the same time is that progress on each one is limited and projects can even find themselves put aside for an X amount of time…some may even end up in the scary pile of …ufos.

So currently, I am mostly doing garment knitting as you will have noticed if you follow my blog and social media. I’m in a sort of sock slump. I usually knit a pair of socks or should I say finish a pair of socks every 7-10 days but lately I have been concentrating on my garments and socks have been left aside. I do need to pick them up as I have a ton to finish not to mention I signed up for Tour de Sock which starts this coming July 15th! More on that later.

so faded 4jul

So on the garment side, I’m still working on my So Faded sweater. I only have half a sleeve and a neck line to go and for some reason I keep putting the sweater aside and find myself systematically picking something else, anything else up instead. I think I really do not enjoy the “fading” process. The pattern is great and I can definitely see myself making more of these but only in one color or maybe do some stripes but no fading! I’m knitting this as part of the Fadito kal being hosted by Kristy Glass and the kal runs until August 20th I believe so I really need to finish by then and shame on me if I don’t because there really is not much left!

And then there is the Ravello by Isabelle Kramer. I absolutely love that pattern and I have finished my first one. I have shared pictures of my progress here with you and I absolutely love the yarn that I chose to knit this with and one day I might order some more to dye up for the shop because it was a joy to work with and has produced such a lightweight garment and yet so warm. If you don’t remember what that yarn was, it is a blend of 50% alpaca, 25% linen and 25% silk. And so here are a couple of pictures of your’s truly wearing the finished Ravello!

 

And would you believe that the day following my cast off, I actually cast on for a second one! I have more of Isabelle Kramer sweaters and some are similar in construction to this one and so I really should have cast on for another pattern of hers but I was just to enamoured with this one.

This time around I chose a fingering weight yarn from my favorite UK dyer, Knit Cosmic Strings in a colorway that I like. I had 3 skeins of this particular colorway and then I needed a fourth one in a contrasting color for stripes and I found this one skein in a sort of neon green and yellow with some black and purple which I thought would be perfect. Well it turns out to be too similar to my main color so the stripes don’t really show up. I was  too lazy to rip  back, find a new yarn and start over so I just kept going. Of course this was not the right way to go about this as each sweater does take a significant number of hours to complete and the price per skein of hand dyed yarn is quite high. But I think this will be ok in the end. I think this sweater will look nice with jeans and this yarn is softer and feels less warm to the touch than the other one so I’m thinking Ravello One will be great for really cold days and Ravello Two for the autumn and early spring. Anyway we’ll see but here’s a picture of where I’m at today. The two skeins below are of my main color still in the skein and then the two yarn cakes are my main color on the right and my contrast color on the left.

Looking at the picture I do see the green/orange stripe but I don’t know…

ravello 2 11JUL

Here you can see the sweater better. The yarn is very busy, I mean the main color but I like the colors and I hope this will look nice on me once it’s done.

And the last garment that I can show you and I’m working on these days is the Rock Creek by Caitlin Hunter. I’m knitting this using Malabrigo worsted which is a singles yarn and I hope it will hold up well to wear in spite of it being a singles yarn. I knit a size S as I have been told this will grow once washed and the recipient is somewhere between a size S and a size M. Cross my fingers and hope this will fit her in the end.

I’m at the arms right now. I now need to cast on for a sleeve and I think that I need to knit both sleeves and then they will be joined to the body and the yoke will be knit in one piece. It has been a long time since I knit a bottom up sweater and even longer since I knit this type of yoke. The front is in seed stitch and the back in stockinette and I did some short row shaping on the back for it to be longer than the front. I think this will be a super cozy sweater and a joy to wear with a pair of jeans in the Icelandic winter.

rock creek 11JUL

And I also joined Tour de Fleece which is an event for spinners and we spin every day along with the athletes doing the Tour de France bicycle race. My goal with this first participation was to work on my spindle spinning skills and I have but not as much as I had hoped for. I have bit spun as much as I had intended on my spindles but what little I have, I have enjoyed and I feel there is some improvement. I think the reason why I have been spinning more on my wheel than on my spindles is because I had this exciting project on my wheel already when the Tour began and I have been unable to put that aside. I’m planning on making a two ply barber pole, multi colored yarn. So one ply is a mix of all sorts of merino yarns in lots of different colors and the second ply is just undyed roving. I’m using a BFL and triobal (nylon) blend for the white ply because I might decide to make socks with the resulting yarn. I have finished spinning the multi colored merino and I’m currently spinning the BFL. On my spindle I’m spinning a beautiful blend of merino and silk; the same as what I used for my Sammal Cardigan.

 

I think this is all I have to share with you today. Like I said earlier, I did sign up for Tour de Sock and my intention was to compete but seeing as how my sock mojo has since come to a halt, I might just knit along at my own very slow pace. Anyway, at least I’m supporting a good cause since the money raised from registration goes to Doctors without Borders.

So until next time, have a wonderful week and hopefully lots of crafting time:)