May is a month for DISCOUNTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Maker of the Month is CC Almon of JavaPurl Designs – Part one

Hi there, how are you today? I hope your week is shaping up to be a good one.

Now as you will have guessed from the title, today it’s time for the Maker of the Month and today I want to introduce you to CC Almond of JavaPurl Designs. I have a lot of things to share with you regarding this month’s maker so this is actually going to be a two post series. Tomorrow I will be sharing something very exciting with you and there will be a giveaway too:)

I’m actually  lucky enough to have met CC in real life. We met when we were both vending at the I Knit Fandango show in London a few years ago. We were able to talk some and CC bought some of my yarn and I also gifted her  a skein which she then used to design a sock pattern with. It was the first time ever someone used my yarn for a design so I was and still am overly excited and proud.

That first pattern (for me) is called Strawberries & Cream Frappe socks: It first appeared as an individual pattern and then later was part of her first book, Coffee with CC.

Here’s a picture for you to see if you are unfamiliar with the pattern

These are the ones I knit using the yarn/colorway that I designed specially for the pattern and called Strawberry Frappuccino. Aren’t these just gorgeous ?

I later collaborated with CC and her friend Sam of KnitRunDig on Etsy but she is a bag maker. Together we made a Gilmore Girls themed sock kit. CC did the pattern, Sam the bag and I did the yarn. That was my first and so far only kit collaboration and it really was a fun one. The pattern is called Where you lead I will follow. I did a ten color self striping yarn that I called You have been Gilmored and here are some pictures for you

CC is a self proclaimed geek and a lot of her patterns are inspired by tv series/books/films such as the Gilmore Girls, Outlander and Dr Who. CC regularly does kit collaborations with other indie makers and those are always gorgeous.

I have knit a number of her sock patterns and I really love her style and that fact that all or at least almost all her sock patterns are written both toe up and cuff down. That is unusual for a sock pattern I feel and so amazing because as we all know some of us only do cuff down and other only toe up and this way no matter our preference, her patterns will work for us.

Last year CC published her very first book of knitting patterns that is called Coffee with CC. That book, as you can see from the title, was all coffee inspired patterns and my ( I say my because I’m so happy about this) Strawberries & Cream Frappe socks also appear in that book. I did a little video review of that book and you can see that here

I was able to interview CC about her work as a pattern writer, her podcast and general knitting life so here is CC of JavaPurl Designs.

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Hello C.C. and welcome to the Knitting in France blog. Before we go on to talk about your new book, would you please tell us a little about yourself?
Hiya Bogga! I’m C.C., a Christ follower, wife to the Hubs Russ (for almost 20 years), Mamma to Dami (who’ll be 18 later this year), a knitter, a designer, a fibromyalgia fighter, & 1/2 of JavaPurl Designs & Geeky Girls Knit Podcast (& I love love love coffee & anything PINK!).
You are a very prolific knitter, when did you learn to knit and do you remember how or who taught you?
I learned to knit in 2005. I used a kit from a big box store & taught myself. I’d always wanted to learn to knit (no one I knew knit though), so this was my solution.
I have been following you since we met at the I Knit Fandango in London in 2014 so you have obviously been designing for some time. When did you publish your first ever design and what was it?
I had a couple of freebie patterns & a basic shawl pattern that released in 2012, but I consider my first design release to be Rescue Me, Chin Boy, and Show Me the Stars (Doctor Who Inspired Socks) which released in 2013.
How did you come to make and publish your own designs?
The sock design I mentioned above came about because I had a skein of yarn that demanded to be a certain pair of socks, but I couldn’t find the pattern I needed. So I designed it!
I think I know the answer to the following question, but then again you might surprise me, what is your favourite thing to design?
SOCKS! I have fallen in love with socks after swearing I’d never knit them. And look at me now.
As a knitter and a designer, is there a favourite type of yarn or wool blend you prefer over all others for sock knitting?
The sock yarn I use must, must, must have nylon in it. I’m pretty flexible otherwise, but nylon is a must for me to make the socks last as long as possible (because I wear handknit socks pretty much every day).
Do you have a favourite colour or type of dyeing method for your sock designs (I mean variegated/tonal/self striping etc) ?
My favourite colour is PINK (as evidenced by my stash & hair), but most of my sock designs use variegated or tonal yarn. However, I have created some sock patterns recently that highlight self-striping yarn (which is my favourite to knit with).
I know you regularly do collaborations with yarn dyers and bag makers, what has your experience of that been?
It’s been great! I love sharing an idea theme with a dyer and/or bag maker and then see what happens. It’s so fun to collaborate!
Do you have such a collaboration coming up soon and if so what is it?
After the book releases, I’m collaborating with Julia of Pandia’s Jewels for a 12th Doctor inspired sock pattern (Doctor Who that is) and with Jess of Ginger Twist Studio for an Outlander inspired shawl pattern.
You published your first book, Coffee with CC, in 2016 how did that come about? Could you tell us a little about the process of getting your own design book published and the hoops you had to jump through to make that all work out?
I designed a couple of coffee inspired patterns & then found out I had been accepted to vend at Edinburgh Yarn Festival for the 2nd time. I had been thinking of writing a book & this gave me the push to do it. I included those 2 patterns, plus 5 more. My book is self-published & wouldn’t have come about without my sample knitter, my test knitters, my tech editor, my copy editor, my photographer, amazing yarn dyers, & the help of the Starship members who helped me with all the self-publishing info that I hadn’t dealt with before. I ended up getting the book done in a few short months & my only wish was that I had a little more time so it wasn’t a race to finish in time.
You now work with your daughter Dami on your design business and you publish both of your designs under the label JavaPurl Designs. When did Dami start to design and was it a natural move for you to add her to your business for a joint venture rather than designing separately under different labels?
Dami’s first pattern released last summer (a sock pattern inspired by the tv show Elementary). She then designed 2 patterns for our White Christmas collection & she has 2 patterns in the new book. She was already involved in the business as my sample knitter (along with lots of other help). And since we already collaborate on the podcast (which I talk about below), it was natural for us to team up in the design business.
You also have a weekly podcast that you do with Dami called Geeky Girls Knit, when did you start podcasting and how did you come to podcast?
We started podcasting in August, 2012. A knitter had shared the world of knitting podcasts with us. She & other knitter friends kept telling us that we’d be great video podcasters. So we gave in & tried. And now we have over 230 episodes because we consistently podcast on a weekly basis.
What do you like most about podcasting?
Dami was a young 12 year old when we began & it’s been amazing to watch her grow on screen. And the community we’ve come to be a part of is so special to us. My best friends are knitters & we can’t imagine life without them.
And now on to the new book. The book is called Coffee with CC (and Dami Too) ~ Another 7 Pattern Caffeine Inspired Knitting Collection, can you tell us a little bit about this new book, the inspiration behind it and how it came to be?
After my first book released, some knitters suggested some other coffee drinks that could inspire us. And we thought of some too, so we just decided to jump in and do it. This time around, we’re inspired by espresso shots, babyccino, chai latte, espresso con panna, flat white, hot chocolate with pink marshmallows, & instant coffee.
Is this new book also mostly focused on sock knitting?
Yes, there are 5 sock patterns (all of them have both toe-up & cuff-down instructions). But, there is also a fingerless mitts pattern & a wrap pattern.
When and where will you launch the new book?
The book officially launches on Friday, 10-March-2017, at Edinburgh Yarn Festival.
Where can people find you online and what is the best way/place to follow you on social media?
Ravelry & Instagram are my favourites & you’ll have the best luck finding me there. 🙂
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A big thank you to CC for taking the time to answer my questions. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing your new book with you and there will be a giveaway too so see you tomorrow 🙂

A winner and a surprise giveaway

Hi there, I hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day yesterday with your loved ones.

As promised I have drawn for a winner for the Yarn Cafe Creations giveaway today and the winner will receive this skein of Pumpkin Carving in her fabulous fingering base yarn.

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And the lucky winner is…. Samantha! So Samantha, when you see this please contact me by either leaving a message here on the blog, by sending me a DM on Instagram or by sending me an email to knittinginfrance@gmail.com so I can get this skein to your mailbox asap!

To all the others, thank you so much for participating and no worries there will be plenty more giveaways this year.

And as a matter of fact there will be one here right now! And this one is a bit of a surprise even for me. Turns out I won Mina’s New York Sock Club ( Mina of the Knitting Expact podcast and designs) in a giveaway held by Andy of AndreSueKnits. Only being the impatient person I am, I had already purchased my membership to the club so I contacted Mina and she accepted to forward my prize to someone else and so I’m doing a giveaway.

If you are a sock knitter or want to become one, I love Mina’s patterns and want more of them, if you were thinking of signing up for the club but haven’t done so yet, this is the giveaway for you! To join it’s super simple, just leave me a comment below and tell me a little bit about your sock knitting journey (if you already are a sock knitter) or why you want to start knitting socks if you are a newbie to those.

I will draw a winner using Random Number Generator this Friday, February 17th, in the evening my time. So this is a bit of a “flash” giveaway. I hope you will join in and best of luck to everyone:)

And the winners are………..

Hi there, at last I’m able to draw the winners and announce the lucky winners!

So first off, thank you to all for participating in the giveaway and for leaving a comment. I will contact the two lucky winners as of this evening and for the rest of you, I will be sending you your discount code via Ravelry tomorrow, October 15th.

So, the two lucky winners win the latest sock pattern by CC Almon called Strawberries and Cream which was designed using my yarn and 1 skein of yarn dyed specially for that pattern – a colorway I call Strawberry Frappuccino.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is a picture from the pattern page on Ravelry

www.knittinginfrance.com This is a picture of my sock in progress in the Strawberry Frappuccino Sparkle yarn

The winners can choose to either have the sparkly version or non sparkly of the yarn. Both versions can be found in my Etsy shop here

Now, I guess it is time to reveal the lucky winners. As always I chose the winners using a random number generator that picked 2 winners between the numbers 3-11 ( the first 2 comments didn’t count as one was from CC and the other from me).

And so the lucky winners of the pattern and yarn are:

NicoleS who left a comment saying: I’d love to win because this yarn would be perfect to knit a pair of socks for a specific friend.

And

Alexand knit who left a comment saying: I would love to win because a) who doesn’t need more yarn, especially as beautiful as that? and b) I’ve just started making socks!

So congratulations girls! I’ll be sending you the pattern via Ravelry this evening and I’ll be in touch for your postal address and choice of yarn base! Wow! That was fun!

Now don’t be sad if you did not win this time around, there will be other giveaways plus you will be getting a special discount code of 10% if you want to buy something from my Etsy shop.

That’s all for tonight! Enjoy your evening and enjoy your crafting until next time 🙂

Exciting announcements

Hi there, I’m back in France after a wonderful trip to the USA. I’ll have to write a post about my trip and share some pictures of the wonderful sights I saw there. But today will be a rather short post as I’m totally jet lagged and super tired from the long hours of travel back home and the 9 hours of time difference.

First I absolutely wanted to let you know that I have reopened my shop as of yesterday evening. You will discover a lot of new hand dyed yarns  and 2 clubs. For the first time I’m doing one Goody Bag club for knitters and one Fibre club for spinners. To begin with each club will be a 3 month subscription and if they go well I’m going to launch a new edition before the end of this year for a year long club where you will receive a package every two months. So stay tuned:) Now to check out the shop and my new yarns, just click here

Second, I’m super excited to announce the publishing of the first ever sock pattern designed specifically for my hand dyed yarns! The pattern is called Strawberries and Cream Frappé Socks and is by CC Almon or JavaPurl on Ravelry.

You can find the pattern here and this is what it looks like

www.knittinginfrance.com Gorgeous don’t you think? Of course I’m going to cast on ASAP, never mind the gazillion projects I have going already 🙂 And here you can find the yarn I dyed specifically for this pattern, there is a version in the SPARKLES base which is what the designer used in her pattern and you can find that here

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the SPARKLE Strawberry Frappuccino

And the regular, SOX base yarn is called Speckled Frappuccino and can be found here

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the SOX base yarn

And to add some more excitement, I’m happy to announce that JavaPurl is celebrating her birthday today October 4th (HAPPY BIRTHDAY CC) and she is offering us all -38% off the regular price of her pattern! So head on over to Revelry and buy the pattern using the coupon code CCSBDAY. The discount is valid until October 11th.

Now it’s time for me to cast on for this very special pattern and I’ll share the pictures later this week:)

So have a wonderful Sunday and a great new week. Until next time, take care

On and off the needles and some organisational thoughts

Hi there, today is a very rainy morning here in Normandy, France. Feels like autumn is only just around the corner. This summer has been a strange summer with more clouded and rainy days than real summer days which was quite disappointing. Now September is just a few days away, School will start in just over a week and things will rapidly be going back to the usual routine. Summer vacation with the kids at home 24/7 for 2 months when I work full time just like my husband and only get 2 weeks off, well it is partly stressing because working from home with kids in the house is not always easy and then partly cool because I can sleep a little later in the day (yes I do like sleep in a little bit). When school starts I will be getting up early and I know I will more done!

I’ve shared with you before that I was planning on big changes in the shop and as of yesterday I’ve put the shop in “vacation mode”. So currently it is not possible to place any orders. I don’t know exactly for how long it will remain closed, it depends on how much work I can get done each day and also, I have a work trip coming up late September so maybe I will wait until that is over and done with to open rather than open for a few days and the either close or  just not ship anything for 10 days. Not sure just yet but I’ll keep you posted on how things go.

I’ve ordered a planner! My very first planner! I’m anxiously waiting for it to arrive and I have high hopes that it will help me organise myself better and get more things done. Writing down what needs to be done, planning a certain number of tasks that must be done in a certain time frame will help me keep focused and the pleasure of then actually crossing that task off in my planner will be a high! There are a number of planners out there and they all look good and most of them super cute as well. I chose the one called Passion Planner because I felt it would be the best for me. They have a free version of the weekly planner layout in pdf form that you can download if you want to give it a go before committing to buying one.

So although the thought of autumn weather and more rain and cold is not very exciting I am really looking forward to having more time to myself ( with the kids at school) and getting ORGANIZED. And mostly rethinking my shop and giving it all that I’ve got and more in a last ditch effort to actually make it financially viable. So fingers crossed and willing to take on lots of work and challenges, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!!!

Now, enough of non knitting related babble! On the more serious and entertaining subject of knitting!

So like I told you last week, I did manage to knit in Sicily albeit the high temperatures! And it just made me love beach knitting even more. Here in Normandy I love knitting at the beach, usually it is not super hot and even if I have to wear a fleece pullover that’s fine with me. If the sky is blue, the sun is shining and I’m in the sand facing the ocean with some knitting in hand, that works for me! Of course in winter I don’t do any knitting at the beach as the weather is not appealing for outdoors knitting but I do all the more inside:)

So in Sicily I had 2 projects that I had already cast on for the trip and  I brought an extra ball of yarn just in case I finished an object and I did so good thinking there!

The first project was a pair of tube socks for a little friend of mine. I used some of my hand dyed sparkle sock yarn and as I did not have her at hand for testing and measuring I decided the only way to go was tube socks. I also decided that I would knit these using the 2 in 1 method that I’ve come to like so much. And that got me thinking. I’d love to write the pattern for these socks using the 2 in 1 method and even try my hand at making some YouTube videos to show how I do it because this is a method that is unlike any other sock knitting method and I believe it is important for knitters to see how it is done and read the instructions and most of all to actually knit a pair of test socks. So hopefully I will actually put this project on my future Passion Planner and get it done! The socks worked out perfectly and the little girl loved her socks so that was a very successful knit.

www.knittinginfrance.com

The second project I had planned for was the Mara Light shawl by Amy Hendrix using Madelinetosh light yarn. I actually bought this as a kit on Craftsy. The kit came with 2 skeins but the pattern actually calls for 1 1/2 – at least that is what it took for me to knit to the size called for in the pattern so I have 1/2 a skein left of this gorgeous yarn. I didn’t finish in Sicily but just after getting back home. I still need to wash and block. The pattern is über simple, just garter stitch and 2×2 ribbing. This makes for some good airplane knitting, tv knitting or beach knitting. In the end, I did look forward to casting off as there is not much going on but I think that is just because it is a big project which doesn’t require much thought and I’m usually doing smaller things so maybe my attention span has been spoiled:)

www.knittinginfrance.com It doesn’t look like much like this but once washed and blocked it will be gorgeous. It is the perfect size to use as a wrap around this winter and I think I will gift this to someone in my family for Christmas.

Then there was my SOS ball of yarn! It was a ball of Lorna’s Laces Shepherds socks but believe it or not, I’ve lost the ball band so I don’t have the name of the colorway. It is beautiful though as all Lorna’s Laces yarns. Its soft blues, purples, tans and a tiny pink maybe. So first I was going to knit a second pair of tube socks, I cast on, knit a few inches and then discovered I had done THE mistake, that is mixed up my yarns and my socks were no longer 2 individual socks but siamese twins! That got me upset and I frogged what I had done and decided I’d do something else and as I had just recently purchased a book called Custom Socks by Kate Atherly I decided to make my own pattern. After all my very first sock pattern worked out quite nice so I thought a second one would be great fun! And off I went. I planned out my pattern, chose a stitch pattern and cast on.

www.knittinginfrance.com  www.knittinginfrance.com  This is a close up of the pattern.

I really love the way they look and although I have not been through all the sock patterns you can find on Ravelry I’m confident they have something unique. So I’m now going to write up the pattern and knit a second pair using my own yarn. I also need to think of a name for the pattern and that is something I don’t find easy so if you have any ideas, do share them with me.

I’m planning on doing a test knit of my two sock patterns in September so if you want to do a test knit, leave me a comment below. I’ve never organised a test knit but I’ve read up on the matter and I here’s how I think I’ll organise this. Each test knitter would get a copy of the pattern and is then free to choose a yarn to knit with as long as she gets gauge. If the test knitter wants to knit using my yarn they would be offered -20% off retail price. You would get 4 weeks to complete the pair. I would open a thread on Ravelry for the test knits for all involved to post progress pictures and ask questions or post remarks. Once the test knit phase is over and the pattern has been corrected if needed and polished up, each test knitter would then receive a pdf copy of the final pattern.

And if you don’t remember what my first sock pattern looked like, here’s a picture

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Coral Reef socks

So those are all OFF the needles. So ON the needles I’m mostly working on 2 projects. One is a pair of worsted weight socks, my pattern and my yarn, for my sister. This is super simple but I still might just write the pattern up and offer for free with any yarn purchase in the same weight category. I’ll see about that. And I’m doing a second shawl, this one also bought as a kit from Craftsy. It is Drachenfels by Melanie Berg and I’m almost up to the striped portion

www.knittinginfrance.com So far it looks nice and I’m sure the finished shaw will be very nice. I’ve already decided I’m going to gift this to someone in my family for Christmas. The yarn is from the Brown Sheep Company.

And just before I leave for today, I’m not sure I showed you a picture yet but I finished my Beetlebum shawl by Renée Callahan of East London Knits a while back now and I’m ashamed to say that I have yet to wash and block it! But here’s a picture just as proof that it is done although sadly it’s beauty is not really shown in the unblocked shawl.

www.knittinginfrance.com Even though unblocked you get the picture of the pattern and how it is worked and you can just imagine how gorgeous it will look once blocked. The yarn is my own, lace weight and super soft. This is a real stunner!

 

That’s all for today. I’d love to hear and see what you are working on now or what you have cast off this summer. Do share pictures or the names of patterns you are working on so I can take a look and maybe even add to my Ravelry queue:)

Take care and enjoy your crafting until next time:)

 

Something done and something new

Hi there, I hope you had a great weekend. I went to visit a friend and a colleague which was great. When working from home on the computer and over the phone, work can get lonely even though I’m in touch with my colleagues every day I still take my lunch break alone and I don’t actually see anyone so getting to meet up was a treat and the best part was that it was on a weekend so no work and all fun !

She lives over an hour by train away from me so I got a little bit of knitting done on the train. I was working on my 2 in 1 socks using my new Lornas Laces Rainbow colorway yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com I love the yarn and how my socks are working out. One thing though about knitting socks with this method. Once you have the hang of it, it goes rather smoothly but you do need to be vigilant. I occasionally make a mistake where I don’t switch my yarns around as I should and that means that your socks are actually joined together like siamese twins! Not the way they are supposed to work!!! And sadly, just this evening, I discovered such a mistake! At least 2″ below my working row (10 cm) I had mis crossed my yarns and my socks were joined together on 1 single stitch! Only as both socks are being worked at the same time, it is fiddly to undo and start again and in this case I had actually knitted on for AGES! So I had to rip out a good chunk and start again so in spite of today’s knitting, I’m at much the same place now as I was Saturday. So annoying!!!!! But, rather than cut the yarn and fix with a knot and so forth I chose to rip it out and do over for a perfect look! The ripping out is now done and I’m knitting on and being very careful NOT to make the same mistake again! So mark my words: if/when you knit your socks this way, ALWAYS be careful about your yarn placement!

On to more happier things. Last week I actually finished a project and a big one at that. I finished my Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. I knit the shawl using DK weight instead of the heavy laceweight or fingering the pattern called for so my shawl is probably quite bigger than the pattern meant for it to be BUT I love it! I can wear it as a shawl or I can wear it all wrapped up like a shawl and a scarf in one. The yarn is a cash’merino so super soft and warm.

I had intended for it to be a gradient grey with the last section being bright pink but I ran out of yarn! Fortunately I had some more on stock and so was able to finish the shawl using the same yarn although in a different grey color. But I think it really did work out nicely. Theoretically I should now wash and block but I’m feeling ….lazy…un-encouraged….un-inspired…. so I think I’ll actually just wear it as is!

www.knittinginfrance.com What do you think?

And before I leave you, I’m thinking that I really need to develop some patterns using my yarns. That pattern support would be really helpful and encourage sales. I’ve already got a designer working on a sock pattern that will be released in a few months probably and I’m going to see if I can find other designers to work with my yarns as well.

Yesterday, as I was looking at a pile of dyed yarn that is just waiting for me to reskein, photograph and list online, I thought ” well, why don’t I try to do some designing as well???”

And since I love knitting socks and seem to be constantly drawn to fingering weight yarn and bright colors, I naturally chose to do socks! I cast on yesterday and I’ve been working on the today as well and I’m passed the heel on the first so and so far they look nice! I’m thinking I’ll knit the first sock as I write the pattern. Then I’ll put the pattern on paper and knit the second sock by following my pattern and if all works out and the socks look wearable, I’m going to put it up online. This will probably be a free pattern as it’s my very first sock pattern. But I’m really excited about the outcome and just thinking that I could do more and that pattern support could actually help my little yarn business.

Here are some pictures and I’d really love to hear your thoughts on what’s done so far.

www.knittinginfrance.com    Here is a close up, I’ve finished the cuff and done 1 repeat of my lace panel

www.knittinginfrance.com  Here is a sideways view of the sock, there is a lace panel on the center front and back

www.knittinginfrance.com  Here you can better see the lace panel

Any thoughts on my work so far? Be honest!

Well that’s all you guys. I hope you are all doing great and enjoying your summer so far. I’m not writing as regularly as before but I hope you forgive me for that. Thanks for stopping by and until next time, take care 🙂

KnitRunDig and JavaPurl

Next in my series of talents that I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London is the lovely Sam of KnitRunDig.  I met sam for the first time at the show where she shared a booth with CC Almond of JavaPurl.

Sam sews amazing project bags which she sells in her Etsy shop as well as at craft fairs/shows such as that one. When I went to look at her booth I saw a number of bags that I wanted to snatch up but being the serious person I am (hm hm) I decided that it would not be reasonable to spend all that I earned at the show to buy from other vendors or at least not until the end of the show:) So when I came back one of the bags I really wanted was gone ( it had super cute foxes) but lucky for me the other must have bag was still there!

Knit Run Dig and Java Purl This is the booth shared by Sam of Knit Run Dig and CC of Java Purl

Here’s a picture of the bag I got from Sam project bag knitrundig along with a current project. It’s a japanese tissue and just gorgeous! It has a ‘handle” which you can see on the right side of the picture and this allows you to carry the bag on your wrist for example if knitting on the go. It is large enough to accommodate a mediums sized knitting project. At the moment I have my ball of yarn, my pattern, a notions pouch and my shawl in progress and it’s perfect!

You can visit Sam’s Etsy shop here  Currently she does not have a lot of models in the shop but I know that she can do custom orders so if you are looking for a fun and yet practical project bag you should definitely contact her with your idea and I’m sure she can do the trick for  you:) Sam also blogs and has a video podcast which you can check out here.

Sam is friends with the fun loving CC Almond which you may know as Java Purl and together they are organising a knitting retreat in Scotland later this year and I’ll tell you more about that later.

Now on to CC – she’s an American living in Edinburgh, Scotland and she is an avid sock knitter and sock designer. You may know her as JavaPurl or have heard of her Doctor Who socks. CC has her own blog which you can visit here and together with her daughter Damaris she does a video podcast under the name Geeky Girls Knit. The podcast has lots of interesting features and CC being CC, it is also loads of fun to watch and you can take a look at her podcast here if you are not yet familiar with it.

In their latest episode they talk about the I Knit Fandango show in London and share the goodies that she brought back home with her – some of which come from my shop! On this note, I agreed to produce something for the goodie bags each participant in her and Sam’s knitting retreat will get this autumn. That is super exciting and good exposure for me. Also she loved my yarns and bought one for herself:) Can’t wait to see what she’ll do with it. I also gave her a skein of sock yarn – she chose the colour herself- for her to design a pair of socks with. That is the first time I ever pair up with a designer to use my yarn in a design. Yarn support to designers is very exciting and I’m sure this will give me good exposure once the future pattern will be released (not until later this year).

Like I said above, CC is a designer and you can visit her pattern shop on Ravelry here She is probably best known for her sock designs, especially the series of Doctor Who inspired socks. After seeing her socks at the show I fell in love with one pattern which is also film inspired. The pattern is called The Lady of Lallybroch and is inspired by the Outlander.

Lady of Lallybroch by Java Purl  These are the socks on display at the show and they are gorgeous. Lady of Lallybroch by Java Purl This is a picture I found of someone’s version of those on Ravelry and I feel that the solid color shows the cables better on the picture. You have this intricate celtic cable design going from cuff to toe on the front of the sock. So these are on my todo list and I have already chosen my yarn and so they should be cast on shortly. Here’s my future version of this pattern The Lady of Lallybroch Socks and yarn The yarn is a gradient yarn from Knitcircus and I think it will show the cables beautifully.

Now on to Sam’s and CC’s knitting retreat. The retreat is called Geeky Puffin Knit Palooza and is scheduled for the weekend of 29th of Oct – 1st of Nov 2015. It will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can sign up for residential or non-residential places. In addition to taking classes, participants will take part in a yarn crawl and will have early access to the on site marketplace – before the marketplace opens up to the general public. Also participants will all receive a goodie bag (and those are going to be fantastic) and there will be gorgeous door prizes too. This is looking to be a wonderful retreat so if you are in Europe or going to Scotland, I suggest you check out their website and sign up if you can. All the info can be found here

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed meeting these two lovely ladies and hearing about their work. There will be at least one more post this week on yet another inspiring artist I met at the show so I hope you are enjoying my series.

Take care

Happy Mail Day

I just received yet another package from Knitcircus Yarns as I’m a member of their Gradient Sock Yarn Club. This month the yarn is a gorgeous pink/fig color called Fig and Prosciutto. I find the name is a great match to the colours and this feels so like spring. Have a looksy

Gradient yarn club from Knitcircus yarns  IMG_3059

Gorgeous don’t you think? Now I just have to find the perfect pattern to do this yarn justice. The yarn comes accompanied with suggestions for both toe-up sock patterns and top-down patterns. Here are those they suggested and maybe you can help me choose:

Toe-Up

Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy D. Johnson  – free on Ravelry

Hoar Frost by Louise Tilbrook – 3£ on Ravelry

Melisandre by Purrlescent – free on Ravelry

Les Chaussettes de la Schtroumpfette by Elise Dupont – free on Ravelry

And Top-down

Zora by Regina Satta – free on Ravelry

Bjork Socks by Cookie A – 6,50$ on Ravelry

Nutkin by Beth La Pensee – free on Ravelry

Spring Forward by Linda Welch – free on Ravelry and knitty.com

Hedgerow Socks by Jane Cochran – free on Ravelry

Talk about a difficult choice! Looking at these patterns I actually want to make a number of them so to choose just one will be difficult. After a simple browse my top patterns would be Melisandre and Bjork Socks but I’m not decided yet. What do you think? Have you knit any of these patterns yourself and if so what did you think of it? Do you maybe even have a picture of the socks that you would like to share with us?

That’s all for today, I’m counting on you to help me make a choice here:) So until next time take care and enjoy your crafting