FOs, wips and future cast ons

Hi there, I think it is about time I show you some of my FOs. I have been doing a lot of sock knitting but not really sharing the pictures here with you so today I’m finally going to do so.

So as you may know I’m currently doing the Coffee with CC kal that Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast is hosting in her Ravelry group. So far I have finished 3 pairs.

The last pair on the left is the latest finished pair and the pattern is called Peppermint Mocha socks. It is a really fun pattern that plays with the use of yarn overs and slipped stitches. I used one of my own yarns and it is a merino/bamboo blend which is slightly on the heavier side for a fingering weight yarn and oh so soft!

I also just joined Mina’s of the Knitting Expat podcast kal. That is a kal for her newly released sock collection. The collection has 4 pairs of socks and is called Beyond Vanilla part 1 as she is currently working on part 2 of that collection. The patterns are easy and fun variations on vanilla socks. So great for the beginner sock knitter and also a welcome change for the habitual sock knitter that loves mindless sock knitting but is tired of plain vanilla socks. So I’m currently working on a pattern called Driftwood socks and I have one sock done – and I have to wait for a few days before returning back to sock number two.

On the close up you can see the pattern which uses yarn overs in a clever way. The yarn is my own on my cashmerino base which is a dream to knit with.

And then there is the year long Knit from Stash 2016 kal being held in the Facebook group Addicted to Sock Knitting. There we get one pattern a month by designer Heatherly Walker. Her patterns are gorgeous and I love getting a new pattern every month. I’m currently working on Mays pattern and have 1 1/2 sock done but again that will have to wait a few days as I will explain in a bit.

This is a beautiful overall pattern using twisted stitches. The pattern is called Rhytidome and the yarn is hand dyed by myself on my SOX base and I feel this colorway goes perfectly with the pattern which reminds me on flowers.

And last but not the least, the reason why all my socks are currently on time out, the SOCK MADNESS! The sock knitting competition that I’m doing for the very first time! I’m now in the semi finals. Only 10 knitters in each team made it this far and I’m super proud to be one of them. This round only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals so only THE fastest knitter on each team. I don’t think I will make it that far as I have a full time job that gets in the way of my knitting but I’m going to try anyway ūüôā

This round the pattern is a heavily charted sock using mini cables and twisted stitches. When I saw the pattern I thought, ouff no one will knit this in one go so I just might stand a chance. Well guess what? One knitter, and she is on THE fastest team (and probably going to be this years winner) actually finished a pair in around 24h! I think she must have knit non stop only taking bathroom brakes. Wow!

Well here are some pictures to show you what I’m talking about:

Can you believe this pattern? The picture on the pattern is of one amazing sock! I’m using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in Princess Donna and I might be playing it dangerously here because this is a very ¬†yardage greedy pattern and I just remembered now that I have actually turned the heel and started on the gusset!!!!! that I WAS going to knit heel and toes in a contrast yarn! Well I don’t have the time to rip bag and redo so I will just do the toe in this case and cross my fingers. So at this time I’m further along than the picture on the right shows and I aim to finish sock nr 1 by tonight.

On the pattern picture can you see the little mini me?

Well it was Mother’s Day here in France this past Sunday and my oldest daughter made this zipper pull out of polymer clay. It’s a mini me!

mothers day gifts

And the beautiful rose is from my son. Lucky me hah?

Wow, that is a lot of knitting! But before I say goodbye for today I do have one more thing to share with you, my summer Nancy kal! The first ever kal that I host in my Knitting in France Ravelry Group.

This kal kicks off tomorrow June 1st and runs until August 31st. The idea is for us to enjoy some relaxed summer knitting together. The rules are simple:

no wips allowed and only patterns by Nancy Whitman and there will be some exciting patterns at the end such as patterns, yarn and accessories.

I think I might actually try to knit 2 of her patterns this summer but I’m beginning with a shawl called Ganz. And I think maybe not being able to decide on a yarn/color when planning ahead of time may be a professional risk where dyers are concerned because I have had a lot of trouble finding THE yarn. I have actually dyed up 3 different sets of yarns for this shawl! And the last one I dyed up yesterday and I think the third and last is the charm and I will cake it up tomorrow before casting on. The yarn is still wet today so I will have to wait to the last minute to get it caked up. So here are some pictures of my yarns for this particular shawl.

The first is an alpaca/wool blend, the second a cashmerino and the third a 100%superwash merino. Here is a picture of the pattern I chose, Ganz

ganz

Isn’t it gorgeous?

So if you want to join in the fun, please visit my Ravelry group and sign up there. There is an information thread and a chatter thread there and the FO thread will be set up later.

Thats all for today. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week.

 

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Youpi! I’m in for round 5

Hi there, I hope you are doing good and enjoying a day off from work – that is if May 5th is a public holiday where you live. It is a public holiday both in Iceland and France so I’m enjoying a day off from my “real” job but I have a very heavy schedule for my shop and dyeing. I have two custom dye jobs in the works for two different knitwear designers but I can’t tell you about those just yet. Just know that something very exciting is happening behind the scenes:)

Now yesterday I cast off my socks for the Sock Madness competition round 4. It was a pattern with lots of charts for lace and beads. When I first discovered the pattern I got worried that I would probably not be able to finish in time to qualify for the next round. But luckily I was wrong. The pattern was a joy to knit and in spite of all the charts, it actually knit up quite quickly. I can really see myself making a second and even third pair from this pattern. Here are some pictures of my socks.

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I really love the heel on these socks. What was new and unusual for me was the cast on and the heel/gusset construction. If you like knitting socks, you should definitely check out this pattern on Ravelry, just click here.

I knit monogamously on this pair of socks because I was so afraid I wasn’t going to make it to the next round. All in all there are 7 rounds. Next round, round 5, only half of each team will make it to round 6. This time around 20 out of 30 knitters in each team made it to round5. And next time only 10 of those 20 will make it to round 6. That is probably where I’ll have to leave the competition. In round 6 only 1 out of 10 members per team will make it to round 7 which is the last round and will count only 1 knitter per team. I know I can’t win because there are knitters that seem to knit at atomic speed and I can never do that – too much life in the way for me. But I’m very happy to have made it this far and IF I were to make it to round 6 that would be a real victory to me.

Are you participating in this year’s Sock Madness? Or have you ever participated? I’d love to hear if you have and what you thought of the experience and how far ¬†you got. Do share:)

So once this pair was done, rather than pick up my wips, I of course cast on for another pair of socks! This time for the Coffee with CC kal that Vegan Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick is hosting.

I’m knitting all the sock patterns in the book as they appear and then I’ll end with the Coffee Date Shawl. So now it was time to cast on for the Espresso Macchiato Socks

This pattern calls for a self striping sock yarn. I had chosen 2 different yarns and showed them in my video review of CC’s book. I began casting on with the yarn I had hand dyed and it didn’t feel right so I ripped that out. Unfortunately I did not take a picture before I ripped it out so I can’t show you. Then I chose to cast on with the handspun yarn.

coffee with cc pattern 2 - 1

The yarn is lovely but the color changes are not regular enough I felt – after all this is handspun so I have no idea how the rest of the skein will knit up. And so I decided that this was not it. I did not rip it out though and I still have this on the needles and I just might finish this anyway or just rip back to the end of the toe and do something else.

Then I decided to choose a different yarn. I picked up a yarn by Turtle Purl, a beautiful yarn with stripes but…

coffee with cc pattern 2 - 2

There is much more grey than the other colors so I’m thinking that the pattern would not look like in the book if I only do the patterning on the red stripe. There would not be a lot of patterned rows. So again, I decided that this was not it. I did not rip this out either but left to the side and I have yet to decide if I’ll knit this anyway or just rip out to the end of toe section and do something else like I did with the handspun trial.

And then last night I cast on for yet another try. This time I chose a yarn custom dyed for Jo Milmine of the Shiny Bees podcast. It’s a self striping red, yellow/white. And I think this time I’ll call it good. I quite like how this is knitting up and because the stripes are quite large, I’m doing the patterning once per stripe and I think it looks quite nice.

coffee with cc pattern 2 - 3

What do you think? Are you joining in the Kal?

And on the topic of Kals, would you like to join in a summer kal? I was thinking we could knit one of Nancy Whitman’s patterns which you can find here and the kal would run from June 1st to August 31st and on September 1st I would draw a winner from an FO thread. I would prepare a ¬†nice prize bundle and maybe someone would like to donate something as a prize to make it even more fun. Let me know what you think.

Well, that’s all for today. Have a lovely day and a wonderful weekend ahead. Speak to you soon:)

 

Some FOs and some in progress and a WINNER

Hi there, today is Friday and I hope you are all doing good and looking forward to your weekend. I hope the weather is better in your part of the world than it is in mine. Today it is rather cold and raining non stop! Not very spring like here today.

So last time I shared with you a video review of a new knitting book called Coffee with CC which was recently published by a friend of mine called CC Almon. I hope you enjoyed watching the review and if you have yet to see it you can click here

So I have now finished my first pattern of the book. I’m going to knit the sock patterns in the order they appear in the book and then I’m going to end with the Coffee Date Shawl. So I have just finished the first pair of socks, the French Vanilla Socks. The pattern is super simple and really an ideal pattern for a first time sock knitter so if you have been thinking about jumping in at the deep end and cast on for a pair of socks, you should definitely cast on for this pattern.

french vanilla socks by cc

I used yarn from a UK dyer called Truly Hooked. This is a cashmere, merino, nylon base which is a heavenly base to knit with. I bought this yarn because it was so incredibly bright and looking at the skein I thought this would be a crazy variegated yarn but no. This is actually a self striping yarn. I’m truly in aw of the dyers talent. I really love how this yarn knit up and I look forward to wearing my new socks.

I also recently finished another pair of socks, the Geek socks (a free pattern on Knitty). I had actually finished most of the socks, I only had the afterthought heels to do and finally got to do those. The pattern is a very simple one too and a really fun pattern to use with self striping yarns. It’s the closest thing to a vanilla pattern and yet it looks more complex.

geek socks done

This week I took the yarns I had chosen for my Coffee with CC kal and wound them all up so the’ll be ready when I am and I took a little picture to show you

yarn for coffee with cc

There are more balls than sock patterns left because I have a doubt about my next pattern which is written for a self striping yarn. ¬†This is a yearlong kal and that is great because I still ¬†have a ton of wips and I’m also doing the Sock Madness competition and on that subject, I just received the round 4 pattern so I had better get my stuff ready and cast on. I’ve been to the Ravelry tread and some people are already well on their way! I got the pattern by email last night but I was already asleep so…

This time around it is a beaded lace sock with a lot of charts so I’m thinking this will be a complex knit and it just might be the one that eliminates me from the competition. I don’t think this one will be something I can work on while doing other things. This pattern seems to demand full attention.

You can take a peak at the pattern on Ravelry, it is called Sweet Nuttins

Well it’s time for me to say good by and cast on if I want a chance to go on to round 5 so I better announce the winner of last weeks giveaway!

So the winner will receive a digital copy of the book Coffee with CC and I hope the winner will enjoy the book as much as I do and maybe she will even join us in the yearlong kal with Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast.

So drumroll please!!!!! And the winner is:  Salenamom23

Congratulations to you Salenamom23, please send a message to CC aka JavaPurl on Ravelry and she will in turn send you a copy of her new book.

Thank you to all those that participated in the giveaway.

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back soon.

 

Back from holiday

Hi there, it’s been a while since my last post and this is because I went on a vacation to visit my brother in California. I had a very nice trip, I always enjoy not only seeing my brother and his family of course but also just to be in Northern California. The landscape is beautiful, the weather is nice and the food is a delight ¬†– ¬†especially all the fruit!

We visited San Francisco of course but we also went to Sonoma and Santa Cruz and Carmel to name a few places. Here are some pictures you might enjoy looking at.

 

I did do some knitting while on vacation, sock knitting. I knit one pair of simple vanilla socks using my first ever self striping Turtle Purl yarn and then I knit pair 3 of the Sock Madness and I’m happy to announce that I managed to finish in time to qualify ¬†for round 4.

 

vanilla turtle purl

This is my pair of vanilla socks. I really enjoy this yarn so I knit a pair of baby tube socks – the first pair shown. They were supposed to be for my baby niece but unfortunately they were a little small so they didn’t fit! I’ll have to knit her a new pair.

This is my Sock Madness round 3 pair. This was a fun pair to knit and the cast on was very interesting and the all over construction as well. The socks fit my daughter well and they look very nice on the foot however, unblocked they look all wonky, ¬†don’t know why.

That’s all I have time for today. I hope you are doing great and enjoying your knitting. Next time I’ll share some of my latest yarn acquisitions with you AND I have gotten my voice back so I’ll be doing a book review and giveaway next week.

Take care:)

The launch of a Mystery Kal using my DK yarn

Hi there, I while back I told you about a new design being launched as a ¬†mystery kal using one of my yarns. Today the first clue was released and I’m casting on using one of my Cashmerino DK yarns. Are any of you participating in the kal?

The pattern is called Infestation cowl by designer Devious Rose. Here is the picture she is using for the mkal

Infestation_MKAL_teaser_small2

It can be knit in rows on straight needles or in the round on a circular and that is the version I’m doing. Here’s a picture of my yarn which I’m just now winding into a ball.

IMG_4930

I think it will knit up quite nicely.

And another big info! I just cast off sock nr 2 in the Sock Madness 10 competition and that qualifies me for round 3! Super excited and a little scared because I also just discovered that I’m in the third fastest team so I might end up being eliminated soon as the competition gets tougher with each round . Here are the socks on my feet

IMG_4929

That’s all for now. I have to finish winding my ball of yarn and cast on for the Infestation cowl.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend:)

More knitting and some yarn aquisitions

Hi there, I hope your week is going well so far. I’ve managed to get some sort of a sore throat thing so ¬†when I cough it hurts and I’ve lost my voice. Lucky for me that I get a few days off now for Easter!

So lately I have mostly been knitting on my Kitsune sweater and some socks of course. geek socks 23mar

This pattern is a free pattern on Knitty and is called Geek socks I think. This is especially designed for self striping yarns and the waves are worked with slipped stitches. The yarn is from Scrumptious Purl and it is one she dyed especially for the Golden Skein yarn club. ¬†I’m really enjoying the yarn and the pattern and I think I’ll be knitting more of those with some of my recently aquired striped yarns:)

Now Round 2 of Sock Madness 10 began this week so of course I’m working on that. I cast on Monday and today Wednesday I have finished one sock and I’m a few inches into the second sock. I’m hoping to finish the second sock by tomorrow. I do have 2 weeks to finish the pair but as of now this has turned into a competition and only the quickest 40 in each team will get to go on to the next round and I definitely want to be one of those. Even though I’m a little afraid that I might not make it further than round 3 just because it starts while I’m away on holiday so 1) I don’t know in advance which pattern is next and so I could find myself on holiday WITHOUT something indispensable for the pattern and 2) because I might not have enough time to finish. But I’ll do my best and we’ll see how it goes.

So this round 2 sock has a very tough beginning. It requires a beaded cast on and boy, that was a tough one! I probably cast on and ripped out the cast on 10 times on sock 1 before getting it right. On sock 2 I only did 3 attempts so making progress there! Once you get past the cuff it is smooth sailing. The pattern is on Ravelry and it is called  Rose and Thorn by Ronni Smith. The pattern is not for sale yet but you can check out the pictures. Here are some pictures of my first sock

The pictures are not very good I’m so sorry. So the difficulty of this pattern is casting on using 2-4 needles depending on the method chosen and use BEADS. My row of beads on the cuff is not as nice and even as some of my fellow competitors have managed to make but still, I think it’s ok. I’m using West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply yarn which is a nice sock yarn, not very soft but I’m thinking that might be a good thing, maybe it will be a hard wearing sock/yarn.

So yes, I’m basically absorbed with this sock until it is done and I can work on other projects.

This week was a very happy mail week because I ordered some very special yarn that I finally got delivered yesterday.

First off, I got my special Shiny Bees Podcast yarn! If you are not familiar with Jo and her Shiny Bees audio podcast you should definitely check her out. I absolutely love her podcast. Jo is also the person behind the Golden Skein Рa yarn club that sells hand dyed yarns from  different indie dyers. So Jo had the dyer behind BerryColorful Yarnings dye some yarn for her and this was up for preorders a while back. I ordered two and they came with a little project bag. Total gorgeousness!

shiny bees yarn

Both skeins are sock weight so they will most likely end up as socks:)

This is also the first time I get yarn from  Berry Colourful Yarnings so I look forward to trying her yarns.

And the same day, I got another order and that one I had purchased just a week or so earlier and I was not expecting to get that yarn so soon so that was a great surprise.

So I ordered some yarn from Turtle Purl yarns on Etsy. I have been stalking her shop for ages and I want to buy almost every single colorway she offers but I have been trying to be strong and serious and use the yarn I already have. Well we all know that is not a realistic goal to have so……I placed an order! And I got 4 self striping yarns. They are all totally gorgeous and I can’t wait to have the time to cast on.

turtle purl yarns

Just total bliss! Love those!

I have been doing some dyeing myself lately, mostly test dyes for custom orders. One of which is a collaboration with a renowned knitwear designer. I’m not at liberty to say who just yet but I am super excited about this and I hope it will become a reality soon. So here are some pictures, these are “test colors” so I don’t know yet if she likes them or which one she will choose to use but I actually quite like these myself.

cashmerino aran test dye

This is on a new Aran base – and it is a cashmere/merino/nylon base. Totally soft and squishy.

bfl aran test dye

And this is on a BFL aran base. Not as soft as the cashmerino blend but a very nice yarn all the same.

I also dyed just for me/the shop a few skeins of self striping. I had some 50 gr skeins that I dyed 2 by 2 to get as much similarity/consistency between socks as possible and then I wound the yarn double into a yarn cake so the yarn is ready for someone to knit their socks 2 at a time. This will produce a pair of fraternal twins rather than identical twins – when winding the yarn cake I saw a slight difference between color sequences.

selfstriping fraternal

I tied the 2 threads/yarns together in a butterfly knot and added a stitch marker. I think this looks kind of cute. What do you think?

Well, that’s all for today. I’ll be back soon and probably with a new video review and a giveaway for you:)

Take care and enjoy your crafting until next time

A new week and a WIP is now an FO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what it looks like

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

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

Thank you for stopping by and take care:)