Back again with more socks

Hi there, how are you doing this week? I hope you are doing good and enjoying this beginning of summer if you are in the northern hemisphere.

I have been furiously knitting on a secret test knit that should be published soon. It is a colorwork sweater and I decided to knit two in stead of just one! I was convinced that a modified version would also look great and so I knit two versions. I do have to weave in ends on the second sweater and block it but that should be done quickly and hope to be able to share the pictures with you soon.

As I had to finish the sweaters rather quickly everything else was put on the back burner.

I did make it to round 5 of Sock Madness but then sort of left. Round 6 only 5 knitters from each team would make it to the next round and the pattern was not to my liking so I admit I did not try to compete for that round.

Since then I started and finished a pair of socks for my younger daughter. I’m a fan of selfstriping sock yarn and especially self striping yarn from Turtle Purl Yarns and I had a lot of small minis from them which I had set aside to use in my Northeasterly blanket. But that has been on hold for a few months now and I really wanted to use the minis so I decided on knitting a pair of scrappy socks.

I also wanted them to be extra cozy so I decided to make the leg extra high.

Scrappy Turtle Purl socks

How fun are these? Not everyone likes colourful non matching socks but I find them fun and my daughter loves them! So that is all that matters.

I actually think I will be making more like these. My daughter sleeps in handknit socks in winter and I think scrappy, long legged socks look extra cozy.

I am also working on a pair of socks now and I’m just inventing the pattern as I go. I’m using a self-patterning sock yarn from Turkey this time but what is different with this pair is that I’m using flexible double pointed needles from NEKO, a German brand. I’m using their bamboo version and so far so good. They are very nice in the hands and good to work with. I’m going to finish the pair before doing a proper review here and I will also be doing a little interview with the people behind these needles and I hope you will enjoy that later.

But here is the first sock

a sock on my new bamboo flexible NEKO needles
My own pattern

I was going to do a vanilla sock, then decided on a ribbing and then felt it was too simple and so added a little cable at regular intervals and I really like how this is knitting up. The cables do draw the sock in so it looks super narrow but then it stretches out when I put my hand in so I think this will be all good. These are also for my younger daughter but this time the leg is a rather short one.

I’m sort of un officially joining the SMAL or spinning makealong that Mina of the Knitting Expat is running now. I have spun up some merino fibre that I tried to spin up to a sort of DK weight and then dyed up the yarn in soft colours. I have knit a little swatch to verify if the yarn will work for what I have in mind.

My handspun yarn just out of the dye pots and drying

I want to knit the Soldotna by Caitlin Hunter but I’m a little worried maybe my yarn will not work. In some places it looks more like a worsted weight yarn. But I’m going to keep on swatching and hopefully I will be able to make this work. If not I will have to find another pattern that I could use this yarn for. If you have any good pointers or know of a colourwork pattern that calls for DK/worsted I’d love to check those out.

The colours are not showing up good here. The main colour is a light blue. The colours are more accurate in the picture above.

So this week I’m going to finish the pair of socks for my daughter, finish my swatching for my handspun so I can start the Soldotna if it works. I also will continue to work on my Olive Leaf Cardigan by Eri which I have yet to share with you. I’m getting close to being done with the body and then there are the sleeves. Friends of my husband have just had their first baby and I’m going to knit a little cardigan for their baby so I’m looking at patterns (I’m tempted by this one https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-fir-jacket) and yarns in my stash and I look forward to getting that going. It’s been a while since I knit for a baby.

I hope you are having fun with your knitting too and if you would like to share pictures or names of patterns you are working on to inspire me and the other readers, that would be great.

Until next time, have fun and happy knitting.

Lots of knitting progress

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing well and enjoying your knitting as always.

I have been on a sort of finishing sprint lately and I’m hoping I will keep on going for some time as I have sooooooo many wips to finish!

First there is the Radisson poncho by Josee Paquin. I have been working very steadily on this project. The colorwork was very fun and the Cascade 220 yarn a joy to knit with. Here are some pictures from start to finish.

What do you think? This will be a gift for a family member. Shut I’m not saying who just in case that person is reading!

So last time I believe I mentioned that I had picked up my Boxy Chevron by Susanne Sommers which had been languishing a long time. And I’m so happy to announce that I have now finished my sweater. I finished Saturday and have been wearing it since then!

I still have my mountain of shame/pile of more or less forgotten wips.

This is a very boxy garment. You start by knitting the sleeves which is actually a very good idea for such a large, stockinette garment. The parts in red in my version are textured. The red yarn is Madeleinetosh Tosh merino single and the black/red main colour is my own hand dyed fingering weight.

I was worried about the sleeves being too snug but they actually fit very nicely. I’m not used to wearing oversized garments but this one does fit nicely and I enjoy wearing it so if you are thinking about a boxy sweater you should check this one out.

And most of all I’m especially happy to have it done! I see from my Ravelry project page that I started this one on August 21st 2018.

So as I was super happy to have that done, I dove into my pile of old wips and fished out another old project. This time I picked up a cowl that I started… on July 16th 2016! Oh boy! I’m a little ashamed to admit that!

The pattern is called Midsummer Haze by Joji Locatelli. I’m knitting this using my own hand dyed yarn, an alpaca/silk/linen blend which is heaven.

I had actually put this down 3 pattern repeats before finishing! What?!!

So last night I knit one repeat (15 rounds) and I’m going to knit another repeat today so that I can actually cast of this Wednesday!

Midsummer Haze by Joji Locatelli

So the bottom of the cowl is where I’m now at, just two pattern repeats from finishing. This cowl is structured a bit like a triangular shawl only knit in the round. It also comes with tassels and I’m thinking I will add those once the knitting is all done. Can’t wait to actually get this off the needles. Can you imagine, this has been taking up a set of needles, a project bag not to mention floor space when I could have so easily finished months ago! I will have to work on being more serious.

I have yet another finished object that I can share with you. This one you have not heard about before. I have a little friend who enjoys my knitting and a few days ago she asked me if I could knit her fingerless gloves in pink. So I went to Ravelry and did some research and I found a pattern that I liked. It is called Mitt Envy by Weezalana and this is a free pattern.

I had a commercial sock yarn in pink all ready to go and I think I finished the pair in less than a week. This was a well written pattern. The only change I made was that rather than do a 2×2 rib I always did a 1×1 twisted rib. I also may have made the cuff a little longer than the pattern called for but I’m not sure.

Mitt Envy

So this was a simple pattern and a very quick knit.

I’m also knitting on my Heart warmer cowl by Justyna Lorokowska. I cast on a few weeks ago and then put it aside for no reason. Now it’s back and being actively worked on. I’m knitting this using my own hand dyed yarn in a very luxurious blend of merino, yak and silk.

Heart Warmer cowl

And I did start a whole new project Sunday! A shawl! And not even the Bubbles shawl by Stephen West that I have been thinking about lately and wanting to start.

No I decided to do some knitting with my hand spun yarns and I had planned on knitting The Shift cowl by Andrea Mowry.

However, when I looked at the 3 skeins I had chosen for that project, I thought that I might end up with lots of left over yarns… not so good. And I knew she had designed something similar only as a shawl which requires twice as much yarn! So of course I purchased that pattern, the Nightshift shawl and chose another three hand spun skeins.

And this Sunday I cast on. I love knitting with my own hand spun. It does add something a little bit more special to the whole experience. Plus the yarn is super soft and colourful. However this is a big shawl so I’m thinking this will be some time in the making.

So as you can see, I have been knitting a lot and I still have plenty to do. But then what is on my working needles now for this week?

Well, most importantly I have to finish my Midsummer Haze cowl.

Then I have to finish my Heart Warmer cowl. I need to continue working on my Nightshift shawl and also work on my Jaycee cardigan which I forgot to mention above.

Jaycee cardigan by Isabelle Kraemer

I am going to test knit a pair of socks for a printed publication and that pattern will arrive in 2 days time. And then of course the first actual round of Sock Madness is just around the corner. I don’t know when the pattern will arrive but I’m in the starting blocks ready to cast on and put everything else on hold when it does.

What about yourself? Any exciting projects you are working on? Are you maybe planning on going to EYF in Edinburgh this coming weekend? If so lucky you! I dream of going one day.

I think this is all for today. This is quite a lot of knitting I see now that I have put this all on record so to speak. Now I just have to update my Ravelry project pages with more pictures and details. It does help to have a record of the patterns I knit, especially when I then leave them to linger in my pile of shame for months…

I’m off to go knitting. I wish you a great new week and I hope you will have plenty of time to work on your knitting and take part in fun fibre related activities. Thank you again for stopping by today and sharing your time with me. I truly appreciate you:)

An almost monogamous knitter for once

Hi there how are things? I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. I was kept busy between work and school holidays here in France. Now the kids are back at school and things are back to the regular routine.

Since I last posted I have been concentrating mostly on my current garment test knit. I’m almost done now and really like the fit and look of my new sweater.

I am somewhat off gauge wise though as my sweater is longer/bigger than it should be according to the pattern so I have had to modify the final decrease rounds. But it still worked out nicely.

Unfortunately the sweater is taking more yarn than I had expected and so I dyed up some yarn this morning and I’m crossing my fingers hoping I was able to get very close to the previous yarns. I only have the sleeves to knit now. If the colour is not quite there I will go with a contrasting coloured sleeves. As I write this the yarn is drying in the sun so I still don’t know yet if I was successful in recreating the beautiful yellow of my sweater.

This is an oversized, raglan sweater and the sleeves are mostly ribbing as the raglan arrives at the elbow.

It is quite a heavy sweater and it made me realise that I really prefer fingering weight garments. But this sweater really is nice and I look forward to finishing it.

Other than this sweater, I also finished my warm up socks for Sock Madness. I believe the contest/challenge will start in a few days, beginning of March, so it was important I finished this pair in time.

I’m also planning on finishing my test knit sweater before then too so that I can start the challenge without any other stressful deadline.

So my warm up socks also double as my contribution to the #knitterspayitforward2019.

The 13 memories socks

I was not totally convinced at first when I saw the pattern. I was worried that the lace pattern would be obscured by the yarn. That is why I chose rather subdued colours, nothing wildly variegated. I’m very happy with the results. I still have to weave in the ends of one of the socks and then I will put together a nice little package to my lovely recipient who lives in Denmark.

If you are not aware of this #knitterspayitforward2019 this is a “thing” launched by dr Holmes, the same person as the one who organises the Marie Curie sock challenge for Christmas. This time around, the idea is to offer to knit something for another person, whether we know them or not.

In my case I posted on Instagram and said I wanted to join this fun project and knit a pair of socks for someone and asked those interested in receiving a pair of scrappy, hand knit socks to comment on my post. I only got 2 comments and the “winner” was my new Danish friend.

If you are interested in joining you definitely should and remember to use the tag so the rest of us can follow along.

In this new week my main focus will be on finishing my sweater as I have said above. I do have 2 cardigans going, one has been on hold for months and I just picked it up again today. I have 1 1/2 sleeve to finish so not much left and I’m hoping I will also be able to finish that this week.

The other cardigan is at it’s beginning so lots of work there still but it will be good to pick it up again and make some progress.

Then of course there will soon be Sock Madness, a truly mad sock knitting challenge so as soon as the first pattern arrives I will be concentrating on that.

On a more personal note, I have just started walking! I used to be active as a young woman but I have let myself go lately. I work from home so most of my time is spent sitting in front of a computer so I have very limited physical activity. I was inspired by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears who has started going for walks. I’m going for 30-40 minute walks and it really feels good. I listen to audio books and podcasts and just enjoy the incredibly beautiful weather and getting some alone time with myself and a good book. I’m really happy I started moving a little and just hope I will keep up the good work:)

That’s it for today. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my knitting progress and hope you will have a great week ahead with plenty of fun knitting.

A month of sock knitting

Hi there how are you? I’m sorry for not blogging last week. I meant to write and then somehow time just worked against me. I hope you had a nice week and that you were able to enjoy some quality knitting time.

As January came to a close I took stock of my projects for that month and I realised that all my FOs for January were socks and so were my HOs 🙂

Now this is not really a big surprise you may say but I still found it amusing.

I have been very busy working on my garment test knits and I did manage to finish one ahead of time. Now I just need to weave in the ends there and block but I won’t be able to share any pictures until the pattern is released and I’m not quite sure when that will be.

My other garment test knit is still going. I’m getting a little “over” this one as this is not only a big piece but one I’m knitting for the second time so I admit I look forward to this one being done. The deadline is looming so I’m trying to be serious and knit as much on this each day as possible.

But for sanity reasons, I do allow myself some distraction knitting too 🙂 Sanity is important after all.

Now on to socks, so I finished 4 full pairs and two half pairs. Out of all of those two were patterned and the rest were vanilla or vanilla-is socks.

I shared two of those finished socks and one half done with you in my last post but just to remind everyone here come pictures of them all.

Simple vanilla socks using a new to me sock yarn from Germany
Vanilla-ish pair using ribbing and again this was knit using a new to me German sock yarn
These were knit using Regia Pairfect sock yarn and those came out real nice. I do have a soft spot for Regia Pairfect. These are large adult size and I hardly had any yarn left in the end.
I knit these using the Rye Light pattern from Tin Can Knits – free pattern on Ravelry. And again I was using a new German sock yarn which worked up very nicely.

And then on to my HO.

This is sock one of my test knit -pattern will be called Arcadia socks. I really enjoy this pattern and think this can be called a vanilla-ish pattern. I really like the yarn too though I say so myself but I did dye this one myself 🙂

And on February 1st I managed to finish another pair of socks. Now those were what I think is called bed socks or slipper socks because the yarn is thicker than regular sock yarn – somewhere between sport and DK. In Iceland; where I’m from, and other nordic countries this is the most used sock yarn weight I think because it is just that cold. Here in Normandy, France, it does not get super cold except on rare occasions but my daughter enjoys using those around the house and to sleep in and she could very well wear them in her winter boots outside too if she wanted to.

My first pair using yarn from Hobbii yarns and this is their Happy Feet XL yarn line

So this is the first pair of socks I ever knit using yarn from Hobbii yarns which is a brand I discovered on Instagram. This is a Danish company and they sell lots of different types of yarns at really low prices and so I decided to go ahead and try them out.

So far I have only knit this one pair but I have more planned in other sock yarn bases from Hobbii and I will be sure to share with you what I think of those.

This yarn feels nice and was enjoyable to knit with. It comes in 50 gr balls and I had some left over of each ball but you do have to buy 2 balls when making a pair of adult socks.

I chose this particular colorway for just that – all the colours. But I actually thought once knit up they would be sort of striping but not at all. Actually each colour section is very small, maybe only 2-3 centimetres or about an inch in length so it is impossible for this yarn to stripe. I knit these using a needle size 4 mm/ US 6 and I cast on 40 stitches.

Other things I have been knitting on are my Northeasterly blanket. It got put in time out for a while as I was busy test knitting. Now I have more time so I have taken it out again.

I have 9 columns so far and I’m thinking that I want this blanket to be 12 or 14 columns width wise. When I have gotten the right width I will pick up on the first column and start to work myself upwards. I haven’t decided yet how long I want it to be so I don’t know if I will just knit each column until the right length or if I will continue to work this a little length at a time.

I’m really enjoying this more than I had expected and I am determined to keep at it so I will keep the momentum going. I’m picking minis at random, there is no rhyme or reason to the yarn/colours I use. I have a large tote bag for this project. In addition to the blanket I have two other bags in there. One is full of little balls of yarn. Those are either left overs from other projects or mini skeins that I have balled up. I’m using these as a priority. Then there is a second bag who is filled with actual mini skeins. I may not end up having to use any of those as I have so many already balled up but just in case, they are there ready to go.

Skeinanigans who wrote this pattern has published a second version called Southeasterly which I have not purchased. In my cas I prefer, I think, to just keep all in garter stitch. I think the issue with the Southeasterly, and this can be seen in project pictures on Ravelry, is that the gauge changes when you change stitch patterns and so the width of each column changes and I personally feel that not very pleasing to the eye. So sticking to garter stitch to the very end 🙂

I did cast on for a new project this weekend. I had not planned on casting on anything new but then….

On Instagram (as so often) I saw this post by Justyna Lorkowska. She has just released a beautiful cowl pattern that totally spoke to me. Both the design and the colour she chose for hers.

The pattern is called Heart Warmer and is for sale on Ravelry . Justyna knit hers with a luscious blend of merino, yak and silk in a single ply. It just so happens that I have a few skeins of this same or similar blend only in a 4ply yarn. This yarn is brown due to the yak content and so I had put it aside not sure how or what to use it for. Well this was it! I immediately purchased the pattern and dyed up two skeins of yarn – even though one is probably enough.

I wanted a colour similar to hers so something close to mustard/honey/caramel something and I absolutely love my results.

This picture does not do my yarn justice. I will have to take better pictures to show you when I’m further along.

So as you can see I have only just gotten started. But the yarn is a dream to the touch and the pattern is beautiful so I really look forward to making progress on this one.

As for this new week ahead of us I have to continue on my garment test knit. I will continue work on my blanket and cowl.

This is a picture of this new Turkish yarn I mention below. I have cast on with the second ball from the right

I have cast on for a pair of socks using a new to me sock yarn from Turkey which I look forward to sharing with you later. And I do have 2 cardigans and 1 pullover that have been in time out way too long that I’m hoping I will get some work on this week.

I am also preparing to share with you the latest knitting technique I am teaching myself, Portuguese knitting – using both knitting pins and hooked needles:) This is a lot of fun and I’m getting pictures taken and I have made a little video too so you can better see how I knit this way.

I’m hoping to have that all ready by next week. After that I am planning a review on a new/recent type of knitting needles and an interview with their creator.

So there should be some fun stuff on the horizon.

I hope you will have a good week and that you will be able to enjoy lots of quality knitting time. I look forward to blogging again next week.

Thank you for stopping by once again and showing me love and support.

Happy knitting 🙂

5 years of blogging!

Hi there, how are things with you today? I hope you are doing good and enjoying your month of January in spite of it being labelled as the most depressing month of the year.

I’m sorry I did not blog last week. Have been so busy working on my 3 test knits, two of which are big projects that are top secret on top of that! So I just felt like there wasn’t enough knitting to share.

But I’m here today and guess what! Today January 21st 2019 it has been exactly 5 years since I started blogging about my knitting and my then shop. How amazing is that? I’m sort of blown away by this fact and at the same time proud of myself for keeping up with this project and so grateful for you and your support. If I didn’t have wonderful readers this blog would not be celebrating it’s 5th birthday today! So let me send you a big virtual hug! I hope to continue with this blog for many years to come and to grow the blog and make it into the best knitting blog there is!

So lots of hard work in sight. But now unto the fun stuff, the actual knitting.

So as I said I’m working on 3 test knits currently. The secret ones are an oversized fingering weight cardigan and the second is a large wrap/shawl. Both are beautiful designs but require a lot of knitting time.

The third project is not a secret and this is a pair of socks that I’m test knitting for the talented Jo of KBJ designs.

This pattern is called Arcadia socks and I’m testing them using one of my hand dyed yarns. It is a 50/50 merino/cotton blend which feels nice to the touch and I’m sure will be very comfortable to wear. However I’m not sure I actually like this blend for socks. I’m almost finished with sock one now so I’m not ripping back. I will finish the sock with this same yarn which is a beautiful color. It just doesn’t feel like when knitting with a wool/nylon blend. I’ll have to finish and actually wear the socks some before I decide though.

I’m farther along now as I’m almost at the first toe decreases but this gives you an idea. There is a textured pattern on the sides that goes from cuff to beginning of toes. It really looks super nice and I can see myself knitting this again and maybe adapting the pattern to ankle socks.

It seems I have been busy knitting socks along with my test knits and this is not surprising as I have such large projects going that when I change projects in between I really need something small.

Lately my hand knit socks have gotten some attention from my friends and one of them even bought a few pairs from me to gift to her family for Christmas. I don’t usually accept to knit to order because I feel it is impossible to price. If I were to charge not only for the wool but my time too, a pair of socks would just be way too expensive for anyone to buy. But this time I did make an exception. She then asked for an additional pair and another friend asked for one too and so forth so I now have 3 pairs to knit. Currently 2 are done and I’m working on the 3rd and last one.

This time as they are insisting on paying me something I chose not to use indie dyed yarn but some commercial sock yarn. It is beautiful and good quality but at a lesser cost.

For the first two pairs I used a new to me sock yarn. It is called Woll Butt and is a German sock yarn. It is a 75/25 wool/polyamide blend. It feels like Opal sock yarn so I think this will be a good workhorse yarn.

An all over stockinette sock for this pair
I did ribbing for the leg and front of foot on this one

I really like the outcome and I think the yarn has knit up very nicely.

For the 3rd and last pair I’m using Regia Pairfect sock yarn.

I really like this yarn too. I think it is fun to have all the stripes on the leg and then have a “serious”, all blue foot. So this is exactly where I am now on this pair. I’m hoping I will have this finished by the end of this week.

Lately I have been buying some more commercial sock yarn to use when I’m knitting socks for family and friends as well as for my youngest who uses my hand knit socks a lot in winter. There are a lot of nice sock yarns out there and many I have never heard about. So end of December I found this shop on Etsy that sells commercial sock yarn from Turkey and I purchased 4 balls from them that just arrived today.

I really love them all. They knit up to self patterning socks. Those all have stripes but not regular stripes, but some small and some larger. I look forward to trying these out and will be sure to tell you what I think when I get working on them.

Another project that I am working on but has not seen a lot of love lately due to lack of knitting time is my Northeasterly blanket. I had put it aside to concentrate on the test knits and then last night I just had to pick it up and knit some on that. I really love how it looks and I hope I will keep at it and one day finish. But I think it is important that I knit on the blanket every now and then. I cannot let it go into hiatus or it might never be done.

My kitten just had to be in the picture. He is so curious! So last night I finished the column that is on the needles in this picture and started on column 8. So what I’m doing is first adding the width to the blanket so I knit to a certain hight and then put the stitches on waste yarn and start a new column. I’m thinking I will do this until I feel I have the right width. And then I will pick up the stitches on hold and go up and so forth. I have seen blankets where people knit to the right length they want the blanket to be and then start on the next column but that means working a very long strip of garter and I somehow find it more motivating seeing the blanket grow width wise in a relatively short amount of time.

So this week I’m as before working hard on my three test knits and I hope to finish the Regia socks. Hopefully I will be able to do a column or so in the blanket too.

I have a lot of other languishing projects like two cardigans! And I really want to work on those too so maybe I will steal a moment to do so this week. I’m not really planning on any new cast ons until I have finished the Regia socks. When those are done I’m going to cast on for a new pair of socks, probably for my daughter. I’m trying to avoid any big cast ons until the test knits are over.

I do have some fun experiences to share with you regarding new knitting needles and techniques. I’m currently trying those out and I think I have really found a wonderful new technique for knitting which is a wonderful addition to my previous knitting skills and I look forward to share that with you but I feel I need to prepare carefully for that and take lots of pictures and so forth to really do these justice. I do hope to have something ready in a couple of weeks or so and look forward to that.

Otherwise, I think I have covered everything I wanted to share with you today. Thank you again for stopping by and sharing my knitting with me. Thank you for being loyal and supportive. Without you my little knitting blog would not be here today!

I wish you a wonderful rest of the week and hope you will have lots of knitting time to enjoy this week. Take care

Christmas themed knitting

Hello there, how are you this beginning of a new week?

I hope you had a  lovely and relaxing weekend. Here in France there are a lot of riots so we mostly just stay home and do our Christmas shopping online. This meant that I got a little more knitting time this past weekend.

I have been hard at work working on my two big test knits and I’m happy to say that one of those is finally getting a little bit closer to being finished. I probably still have about 2 weeks worth of knitting left but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

This means I hardly have any knitting to actually show off. Just one sock project that I’m creating as I go along.

I’m knitting a pair of socks using my own pattern and maybe one day I will finally write a pattern down to share with the world!

I actually started knitting something completely different, that is another sock pattern, but I somehow either misunderstood the pattern or just wasn’t using the right yarn. It just didn’t feel or look right so I ripped back to the end of the cuff and did my own thing and I really like the outcome. I have no idea if there is already a pattern out there that is the same. This honestly is just from a spur of the moment inspiration.

It is a super simple two row repeat lace pattern that I have done only on the front of the sock. The idea is for me to finish in time to gift this to someone for Christmas and I really hope I will be able to do so.

These socks tie in with today’s subject which is Christmas Sock Pattern. I have been buying way too many of those lately and I was just trying to knit one of those when I got frustrated and ripped back and decided to do my own thing.

So as we get closer to the holiday season a lot of Christmas themed patterns appear on Ravelry and as a sock knitter I find myself naturally drawn to those.

Even though I have knit enough pairs of socks to not really need a pattern, I still compulsively buy sock patterns. I think I mostly buy them for the stitch patterns used and sometimes when I think it uses a technique I may not be familiar with.

So far here are the patterns I have purchased and plan to knit in the future/

The first is called Reindeer Hooves by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This is a top down pattern with an all over pattern on the leg and then the front of the foot. This is the pattern I had difficulties with. It just did not look right with my yarn but I do intend to give this pattern a second chance.

The second pattern is part of a sock pattern club by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. This pattern came as a bonus I believe for those purchasing her latest sock club (The Seasons Club) but it can also be purchased as a stand alone pattern. The pattern is called Candy Cane Socks. This looks like a fairly simple pattern that could look good in a solid or slightly variegated yarn so I will have to knit this one soon. Doesn’t have to be a Christmas sock. If this is knit in a non-Christmas yarn it will be a yearlong sock. The pattern itself is not especially christmasy I think.

Then there is another pattern by Christy Houghton of Yarn Café Creations. This time the pattern is called Santa Baby Socks.

These look really nice I think. Less patterning than on the first pattern I shared and I can really see myself knitting these.

And the last pattern I have purchased is one by Louise Tilbrook Designs. Her pattern is called Yulelight Socks. These look just lovely. The patterning is subtle but efficient and the pattern picture really screams Christmas I think.

So that is a lot of patterns that now need knitting! And as if that  wasn’t enough, I just heard of something called #Sockvent. This is a Christmas Sock Pattern advent calendar of sorts and will run from December 12th to the 24th. If you follow the hashtag on IG, each day there will be a designer offering their sock pattern with a 40% discount! Now is that tempting or what?!

Knowing myself I’m pretty sure I will not be able to refrain for buying even more sock patterns!

Are you knitting any holiday themed projects these days? I’d love to hear from you if you are and maybe you could share the pattern name with us so we too can go take a look and get inspired:)

I will be back later this week with some more knitting related chatter. Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.

Happy knitting:)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!