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

It’s all about socks

Hi there, how have you been? It’s been over 2 weeks since I last posted and it feel like forever. I had my mother and one of my nephews over from Iceland for a visit and that was such fun. I did work most of the time they were here but I still got some time with them every day of course so that was fun.

They were very lucky with the weather while they were here, we had sun and it actually even was a  little hot, around 17°C which is super warm for this time of year. Since they left however it has become abundantly clear that winter has come and is here to stay. We have had a lot of rain and chill in the air. But that’s ok, it’s winter after all.

Now I have been doing a lot of knitting and I have actually finished a lot of projects since the last time I posted, mostly socks. And I have also cast on a number of things. I always say that’s it, I’m not casting on anything new. I’m going to work through my pile of wips….but then I never do. I always see or hear of this new pattern and I can’t resist. I’m just hopeless so I guess what I should take from this is that I should never say “I’m not casting on anything new”! I’ll try to remember that.

Now on to show off my latest FOs. So some of those were already on the needles last time but are now finished.

First off are the Dragon’s Egg socks that I knit for my oldest. These are Harry Potter themed socks that were written for men so they are actually quite big even though I knit the smallest size. I also ended up playing a game of yarn chicken which I luckily won! But the thing was that the leg of the sock was so much longer than what I usually knit and I couldn’t really shorten it because of all the patterning. I think when I cast off, I had less than a meter left of yarn! Phew, that was a close call! Luckily my daughter loves her socks and that’s one more project off my Harry Potter knits.

The yarn is not my own and I have discussed that in earlier posts so if you are interested in that you can browse my latests posts for info on that.

I had also cast on for a pair of Halloween socks for my youngest using one of my own hand dyed yarns in a colorway that I dyed up specially for Halloween. I finished those in time for Halloween so that was fun. I knit them toe up, no special pattern just a regular vanilla sock.

img_6140

And then I cast on for a pair of socks for myself. I used yarn that I had gotten in this years Knitting in France Birthday Game. It was a DK weight yarn from Sirdar called Sirdar Snuggly baby bamboo. The content was 80% bamboo and 20% wool. I very rarely knit socks using DK yarn but this was fun as they were a quick knit. I had two 50gr balls, each had 95 meters/104 yards. As I’m not used to knitting socks in such a heavy yarn I was unsure if I’d have enough so I knit them toe up as that way I could just stop the cuff when I was about to be out of yarn and that worked out really nicely. Again no pattern really just from experience. I did knit a rib pattern on the leg, knit 3, purl 1 just for some added interest.

 

dk-weight-socks

Then I made a pair of fingerless mittens and clearly this was knit with Christmas in mind. I had dyed up some of my Merino Light yarn, that’s a 100% merino single ply yarn that is super soft and a joy to knit with. However as it’s single ply and no nylon content, it would not be a good choice for socks so I decided a pair of mittens would be ideal. I found a pattern for mittens online and then adapted that to what I wanted and here they are:

img_6138

And next to them you can see a mini mitten ornament. I actually stitched that first I think, or was it the other way around? I’m not sure any more but either way, one influenced the other. I think the mittens are fun and the mini mitten ornament as well. I’m thinking I’ll use it as a Christmas tree decoration.

img_6134

I bought a few of these mini wooden ornaments to stitch and I’m thinking I’ll make them into Christmas decorations.

The last project I’m going to share with you today is another pair of socks. Of course! But it’s not just ANY pair of socks! No, these are super special because they are knit using my own hand dyed yarn in a self striping color way! I dyed the yarn a while back and I only did 3 sets. Each set was made up of 2 50gr skeins so you could knit them two at a time. I kept one for myself, I gave one away in a giveaway and I think I sold the third. Anyway it had been sitting in my stash for a while and all of a sudden I thought I really should knit a pair of socks using that yarn and see how it would knit up. This yarn was a dyeing challenge for a number of reasons. First because I dyed two skeins rather than just one regular skein. This meant that I had to make sure that both skeins were exactly the same. Second because it was a self striping yarn and that means a lot more work than when dyeing any other kind of yarn. And I did not do all the stripes of the same length and I also had a number of colours rather than just to stripes of 2 or 3 colours. So a real challenge for me as a dyer.

I then decided to knit them using Susan B Andersons new sock pattern called the Smooth Operator Sock pattern which is especially designed for self striping yarns. It is basically a pattern for vanilla socks with an afterthought heel. Well, let me tell you that it worked out perfectly and I have been boasting about my success all over my social media! If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you are bound to have seen the pictures. But if you haven’t here they are and look how PERFECTLY my two socks match! I’m so proud of my dyeing!!!!

I really love the colorway and wish I had written down how I did this so I could repeat it. Unfortunately I did not so this truly is a one of a kind colorway. I still have enough left, I think, for a pair of shorty socks for my youngest. These by the way are for her also. I knit 60 stitches on 2.25mm needle.

The success on this colorway has inspired me to work with lots of colours and I want to try my hand at more self striping colorways for the shop and I have already begun dyeing some up and I have plans for more but I’ll tell you all about that in a later post as this is beginning to be on the longer side I feel.

So I think I’ll say goodbye for now. Thank you so much for stopping  by and spending some of your time with me and my knits. I hope you have enjoyed reading and looking at my pictures and that you will come back for more later on.

I wish you all a wonderful new week and I hope you have lots of time to work on your own knits. Take care 🙂

Yes I’m still here…

Hi there, how are you doing these days? I’m sorry for not checking in on you before today but I have been very busy with work and the end of the school year for my kids and my parents visiting from Iceland.

Today will be a very short hello but I will be back very soon with lots of news and pictures of my latest FOs and wips.

Today I wanted to share with you a blog post that was published a while back and I haven’t had the time to share with you yet. It’s about my yarns!

A few months ago I saw a post on Facebook by Juliet Bernard, former editor of The Knitter magazine. She was looking for indie dyed sock yarns to review on her blog and I jumped on the chance to have such a personality test my sock yarn and so I contacted her and told her about my shop and fortunately for me she was actually interested. So she chose a base yarn from my shop to test, my SPARKLES base, and I sent her a skein to try out.

When I then read her Sock Yarn Review I was so hugely happy and proud to read that of the yarns she tried, mine was her FAVORITE!!! How amazing is that????

So of course I have to share the good news with you:)

juliet bernard the big sock review

My yarn/sock is the blue one – third from the left

So if you are interested in reading her review of fingering weight sock yarns please click here and enjoy. And if you want to test my yarn for yourself, you can browse my shop by clicking here

 

That’s all for today.I’ll be back soon with news of my latest knits which include Party on my needles by Joji Locatelli, Ganz by Nancy Whitman and loads of socks in progress 🙂

Is life all about handknit socks?

Well I guess I have to agree with you, that is a strange question BUT if you know me and especially if you have been around me or follow me on social media you will have noticed that the last few days have been ALL about knitting socks!

If you follow me on social media or regularly read my blog you will know that I joined Sock Madness this year for the first time. This is actually the 10th year they run Sock Madness and if you are not familiar with this, it is a sort of sock speed knitting contest. I believe this year we were almost 700 participants and around 50 per team. Each round we get an email announcing the start of the round and the pattern we are to knit. Even though each pattern usually comes in 3 sizes the minimum requirement is a 9″ sock so at least a medium size. Each time the pattern will present a challenge. It can be an unusual cast on or cast off, an unusual construction, a new heel design,  textured stitches, cables, beads, colorwork etc.

Learning new things is what makes this such a fun event to part take in. I have learned a lot and I have a number of new gorgeous hand knit socks:)

But there is a stress factor. Although each round runs for 2 weeks, you need to finish ASAP. Every round less and less people make it to the following round. Now round 5 is about to finish and all in all there are 7 rounds. I know I’m not going to win because there are some serious speed knitters competing and even though I’m in the third fastest knitters team (yes I had to share that little fact because I’m super proud of that), I’m still far from fast compared to the express knitters in THE  fastest team. So this round for some reason, even though I know I’m never going to win, it was SUPER important I make it to the semi finals, round 6. I didn’t get to start on the day we got the pattern until late that day and since then I’ve had a lot on my plate between work and a big custom dye job and so not as much knitting time as I had hoped for. The last day and a half I was super stressed out. I kept looking at the spread sheet and seeing less and less spots left in my team and I was knitting late at night in bed and during breakfast in the morning and all the hard work paid off! I’m so super happy and proud to say that I did make the cut! I was actually 7th out of 10 knitters in my team. So this round we went from 20 to only 10 that make it to round 6 and at the end of round 6 only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals. So round 6 will be a super short round, at least for the fastest knitters.

I really wanted to challenge myself and prove to myself that I could do this and I must admit that I’ve seen some yummie prizes that I’d love to win although I don’t know how or who will win those. Maybe just the finalists….

But anyway, I’m super happy I made it in time and I even got a compliment from one of the organisers who said that my socks were the most beautiful she had seen yet!!!! How’s that for a compliment:) Here’s some pictures of my socks:

So to celebrate I decided to launch a giveaway on Instagram. And you should definitely join in and try to win my little sock themed prize. So the prize is: a set of Two at a time socks (75/25 merino, nylon) hand dyed just for the occasion, a set of polymer clay stitch markers and a hand crafted needle gauge and kitchener stitch memo by Burning Impressions II on Etsy.

instagram giveawa

Here ‘s a picture which incidentally happens to be the picture you need to share on Instagram to join in the giveaway. So the rules are:

  1. you need to follow me on Instagram – @knittinginfrance
  2. you need to repost my photo/post
  3. you need to tag 2 or more of your friends

I will draw a random winner this Saturday May 21st.

 

I hope you will join and I wish you the best of luck. The winner will be announced on Instagram and not here on the blog as this is an Instagram only giveaway -my first ever so we’ll see how that works out.

So until next time, take care and have a wonderful day. I’ll be back soon with some more news on my knitting and more info on the Summer Kal, which will be the first ever KAL I host on Ravelry.

Hand dyed yarns and a sneak peak into my “dye studio”

Hi there, today I’m going to show you my latest hand dyed yarns. These were born out of an idea I had one morning and decided to try out. Maybe this is a technique that other hand dyers use I don’t know but for me this is  a first but definitely not the last! I’m not going to reveal how I did this (shh professional secret) but I’m so in love with the results that I have to share some pictures with you.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com All four pictures are of the same skein of Cash’Sock yarn. This is the first ever skein I dyed this way and I used 12 colors! Yes that’s right 12 colours! And it was love at first sight! And now I have to cast on…. probably a pair of socks…I was wondering about a slouchy hat like the Sock Head hat….not sure. I really want to show off this yarn so maybe a hat would  be a better choice, what do you think?

And so once I saw the results I had to dye some more so the next day I dyed up 3 more skeins and this time I used my SOX base which is 75/25 superwash merino and nylon.

www.knittinginfrance.com The first skein on the left is the Cash’Sock skein I showed you above and the others are the 3 I dyed the following day. So skein number 2 I’m calling the colour “Goth” because when I looked at it all done that’s the first thing that came to mind. The colors are a blend of black, mauve, burgundy and browns. The picture does not do it justice, it really is a fun colour. Skein nr 3 I’m calling “Butterflies”, the colours are purples, blues, turquoise and mauve. A gorgeous combination I think. And skein nr 4 is a rainbow sort of skein. I only used 6 colours so it is less “crazy” than the first one. So all 4 skeins are super nice I think and hopefully I’m not the only one to feel that way. I have not had the time yet to put them up in the shop but if you are interested in buying one, you can always leave me a message here or send and email in the meantime.

Also, I will be featured as an indie dyer in ASK winter edition – if you are not familiar with ASK it stands for Addicted to Sock Knitting and they have a huge group on Facebook which is highly addictive and Debra who runs the group also publishes a digital magazine on sock knitting which I highly recommend if you enjoy knitting socks and using indie dyed yarns. You can find her website for the magazine here and I have the privilege of being featured in the next issue. So there will be an interview with me and some pictures of my yarns and some of me working in my “dye studio”. I say “dye studio” because it is not really a studio but it is actually my washing room. It’s not big but I do have the space to stock all my undyed yarns and fibres and also do my dyeing. I usually don’t like being pictured but I had to send in a few pictures of myself so I thought I might include some here for you to see.

knitting in france dyeing 2 www.knittinginfrance.com So you see I have a small counter space with a sink where I wash and prepare my yarns and in the background you can see one of my dye pots. On the second picture you see me working on one of the skeins I showed you above. When I hand paint yarns I work on top of my washing machine and dream of having a real studio –  a small garden house ONLY for me and my hand dyeing business. Maybe one day…..

And my youngest, Ines, who is 9 loves to participate and dye with me. Here is a picture of her from last weekend

www.knittinginfrance.com Who knows, maybe she will follow in my footsteps…..

And since I’m sharing my work place with you I’d like to share my shop with you if you want to take a peak

on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/KnittinginFrance?ref=hdr_shop_menu and my new independent shop is

www.knittinginfrance.net

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and sharing my passion. Take care and enjoy your crafting until next time 🙂

In progress

Hi there, This week I have been working on a few ideas and projects.

First I made up sample “goodie bags” as a test for a future “goodie bag club” in my shop. I’m thinking this would be a fun alternative to the classic yarn  club. The idea would be to sign up and get a goodie bag every month or two. I’m thinking of something around 10€ and the test bags I made up include: 2 mini skeins (25m each – hand dyed sock yarn), 1 envelope of Soak (mini soak for washing your hand knits and try out before maybe committing to a whole bottle), some handmade stitch markers (we never have enough of those), a handmade needle stopper (same thing as with the stitch markers, we can always add a cute needle stopper to our project bag) and a pattern tamer from Atomic Knitting. This is a rough idea, I might change before committing to this. Of course each month the goodie bag would be different although there would always be 1-2 mini skeins (could be hand dyed or hand spun), a set of hand-made stitch markers and a knitting needle stopper . The rest of the items would change, there might be a needle gage or a cable needle or a stitch holder or some beads etc. You get the picture. Something yummie, something handmade, always fun and at a reasonable price.

Here’s a picture of the test goodie bags I made and will soon be sending out to lucky testers:) www.knittinginfrance.com

I’m also proud to announce that I’m participating, in a small capacity, (but participating nonetheless) in a knitting retreat that will be held in Edinburgh this autumn. The retreat is called GEEKY PUFFIN KNIT PALOOZA which is being held for the very first time. The retreat is organised by CC Almond of JavaPurls and her daughter Demeris (they also do a podcast together that I highly recommend you check out: Geeky girls knit) and their friend Sam Bogia of KnitRunDig – you can find Sam’s shop here and her blog by clicking on her name (KnitRunDig). Sam has a project bag shop on Etsy and she also has a podcast you should check out by clicking through on the links above.

So these three amazing ladies have concocted an amazing weekend for you in Edinburgh, Scotland from October 29th to November 1st. I think there may still be a few places left if you would like to sign up. Also note that they will be selling a few spots for individual classes and that the vendor market will be open part time for non-retreat visitors. So if you are in Edinburgh or close by during those dates you should definitely take a look. I’ve personally met CC and Sam and they are both wonderful fun and I’m sure the retreat will be a blast all around and I would have loved to actually attend myself. But…. not possible this time around, maybe next time? But I did say I was participating though and here’s how. The attendees will be getting goodie bags (how I envy them) and I have made two of the items in there (I’m not saying what as that is going to be a surprise for the attendees) and I’m super proud of the opportunity to participate like this and I’m super excited about getting to introduce myself and my work to the attendees of the retreat. I’ll show you pictures later on but probably not until after the retreat so as not to spoil the excitement of the future lucky attendees! Anyway, that’s exciting:)

Now on the subject of spinning. It’s been a while since I shared my spinning with you. I think I told you a while back that I bought a bump of Kauni pencil roving in their Rainbow colorway and that I wanted to try to spin that up. I love Kauni effect yarn and I wanted to see if I could make some. This is also the first time I ever spin from pencil roving and it was quite fun. Now I have not only spun the pencil roving but plied it as well. I did a two ply and I have a gazillion meters I think. I have yet to wash and finish the yarn so I haven’t measured it out yet. I love the outcome, as all Kauni yarns, it’s not soft but I’m going to wash it with a little hair conditioner and hopefully that will soften it a bit. I’m thinking I’ll make socks and mittens with this.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see the pencil roving next to my wheel. You can appreciate the gorgeous colors and how fine the pencil roving is.

www.knittinginfrance.com And here is my skein of handspun Kauni yarn. Personally I love it!!!

 

Last weekend I also did a little bit of test dyeing. I dyed 2 skeins of sock yarn using a fun technique I secretly call “candy dyeing” because I think it is such a fun way to dye and that the resulting yarn is almost as yummie as candy (yes I have a sweet tooth). So I did 2 skeins, using different main color for each and then using the same accent colors but organising the differently on each yarn. The yarn is still drying so I’m not able to show you what it looks like once reskeined yet but here are some in progress pictures.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com So you see, about 3/4 of the skein is dyed in one color and then approx 1/4 is dyed in small sections with accent colors.

www.knittinginfrance.com Here I have wound the hanks into skeins but the yarn was still humid so the skeins don’t look as yummie as they could be. They will be all dry and ready for reskeining pretty soon and I’ll be able to share with you those pictures so you can see the final result. I’ve also decided that I’m going to use one of these skeins as my travel sock yarn and I’m currently looking for a good and simple sock pattern that will show off the colorway. I don’t want cables or lace as I see these yarns as being something fun for simple vanilla type socks.

That’s all for today. I’m thinking it’s almost time to do a little giveaway! I have finally reached the milestone of 100 subscribers to my blog and I’d like to celebrate by doing a giveaway. I’m thinking something super nice like a skein of sock yarn with a set of markers and a needle holder. Maybe one main price and 2 small ones… I’m going to sleep on this and think about how, when and what and I’ll be launching this beginning of October I think as I don’t have the time now before going to the US so once I’m back it should be fine.  So stay tuned and join the fun.

Thank you for taking the time to share my thoughts and wips I know you are super busy so I’m honored you allow me to take up some of your precious time.

Take care and until next time, happy knitting/spinning/crochet

My new hand dyed yarns

I’ve been working on dyeing some new yarns. As I’m closed for business now, I’m re-evaluating my shop and the items I offer. I’m going to narrow down my range of yarns and colors. I’ve been told that offering too many choices gives the buyer angst and they are more likely to leave the shop and go elsewhere because they are not able to make up their mind. So I don’t want that to happen any more! So I’m working on a range of “basic” colors. Something kind of standard that I’d have on offer all the time, repeatable colorways, which is new to me. I also want to have maybe seasonal offers with colorways that I’d offer only for a limited time for example or some one-offs for those that like unique yarns.

As for the weight or yarn types I’ll be doing: lace, fingering/4 ply and DK. I think these are the most commonly used yarn types as you can knit pretty much everything using these 3 types of yarns.

I’m also working on ideas for yarn clubs, I’m thinking : one sock yarn club with fingering weight yarn and 1 lace club with lace only yarns. They would be like a bi-monthly thing so 6 skeins over 12 months or 3 skeins over 6 months. I’m also toying with the idea of a “Goodies” club which would be a bi-monthly thing also and that one would include knitting accessories and mini skeins. What do you think of those ideas? Are you maybe a part of a yarn club already? Which one and do you enjoy it? Or is there a reason why you would NOT join a club? Would you prefer a “pay up front” thing or a “pay as you go” thing?

Any ideas and thoughts on the yarn and goodies clubs would be much appreciated. I really want to work on those and come up with something exciting that knitters ABSOLUTELY want to join in on. And you can help me do just that 🙂

Now some pictures! I’ve begun working on my new future colorways and I’ve come up with my “basic” colors and at least 2 “seasonal/special” colorways.  So here are some pictures to show you what I’ve done so far

www.knittinginfrance.com   These are mini skeins I dyed to work on my future basic colors and these will be dyed on my merino/nylon base yarn. I’m calling this range of sock weight yarns SHADES.

www.knittinginfrance.com   Here you have Shades of Magenta   www.knittinginfrance.com  And Shades of Blue

www.knittinginfrance.com And here mixed together you have Shades of Scarlet (red) and Shades of Jade (green)

 

And I’ve just begun thinking about doing some self striping yarns also and I’ve done 1 test so far of possible contenders. This would be on a 100% superwash merino base yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com I actually quite like the colors and how they play together so the next step is to decide on the pattern. How long/short each color repeat should be so I will be doing some more testing and knitting before I can decide on the final version.

And then there is the lace. I will have 2 or maybe 3 base yarns. So far I’ve worked mostly 1 which is the merino, silk, stellina base. It is super soft and the 5% stellina gives it a little touch of glam and just overall light that brightens up the yarn I think. I don’t know about you but I’m definitely a stellina fan and I will be offering stellina yarns in all 3 weights!

www.knittinginfrance.com These are all rather soft colors that I think can work with delicate lace work. I have to work on their names as I haven’t decided on those yet but I do like the colors.

And then the “seasonal/special” colorways. Here is one that I’m doing in a stellina base fingering yarn and it is called Strawberry Frappuccino. This yarn is inspired by a sock pattern written specifically for my yarn by CC Almon of JavaPurl. This new pattern will be published this autumn, I don’t have an exact date yet but I’m really looking forward to that as it will be the very first pattern ever written specifically for MY yarn!

www.knittinginfrance.com I really like the outcome! I’ll be knitting my own pair of the socks as soon as the pattern gets published and I can buy a copy:)

What I have yet to work on is the DK weight. This I imagine will be used mostly for sweaters and hats and scarves/cowls maybe. I think this will be mostly solid or semi solid colorways. Not much varigation or stripes, at least not in the base line even though I might dye up a few “fun” ones as “seasonal/special” yarns.

Is there a color you LOVE and would like to see me dye? I know Teal is a big thing this autumn and I’ve come up with a great blend for teal and so I’m going to be doing that in all 3 yarn weights, maybe not the same exact color in all 3 weights but some variations of it at least. Other color ideas?

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful Sunday and hopefully you’ll have some time to knit and enjoy your crafting today. I wish you a great week for the new week just around the corner and I’ll be back with you soon:)

 

My latest WIPs and hand dyed yarns

Hi there, how are you doing today? I’m doing pretty good. Today is Friday and I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’d love to be able to just isolate myself and just work on my shop and my knitting but when one has a family of 5, well isolation is not really an option 🙂

So first off, I’m suffering greatly from a case of Startitis these days! I’ve got a gazillion things on my needles and rather than actually concentrating on and finishing one project after another I just keep casting on for new projects! Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but this is where I’m at now. I actually counted my projects and here is my list:

3 pairs of socks + 2 pairs of mittens + 2 shawls + 1 stole + 1 sweater + 1 blanket

I think that’s all ….. Some of these have been patiently waiting for me for more or less time but here are those I’m currently, actually working on:

Hermione’s Everyday socks – My objective now is to knit as much as I can using my hand dyed yarns and then add my yarns to Ravelry so others can create their project pages with my yarns. Also to upload pictures of projects I knit with my yarns so others can see how they knit up and maybe even tempt a few knitters to try out my yarns.

www.knittinginfrance.com The yarn is my merino/nylon blend and I’m knitting this on my Signature dpns in 2,25mm. The pattern is quite simple and going rather quickly. I’ve finished one sock and I’m just a few rows from the heel flap on the second sock.

Irma mittens – This is a pattern I purchased last week after discovering this amazing designer on Ravelry. I told you all about her 2 posts ago I think. So I chose to cast on for the Irma mittens first as those are destined to be a christmas gift for someone close to me and I thought I’d better get started to be sure I finish in time. I did have some difficulties when I came to the fair isle pattern and I sent the designer a message on Ravelry and she promptly answered back and after considering her answer and taking a really good look at the pattern again, I was finally able to UNDERSTAND and now I’m enjoying the knit. I’m using my hand dyed yarns of course. The main color is undyed and the pattern color is a bluish/black in my Sparkles base (the white one is a merino/nylon yarn).

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the picture from Ravelry and here’s where I’m at

www.knittinginfrance.com    This is the back side     www.knittinginfrance.com This is the front – you can see the horseshoe and the top of the ears

I think these will look wonderful once finished.

 

Snowflake sweater by Tincanknits – I bought this pattern a while back after seeing some gorgeous pictures on Ravelry and Facebook. I’m using my CMN base in DK weight. The lace part and cuff are grey and the main part of the sweater is BRIGHT pink. I’m currently working on the lace yoke. This is my second time around. I had almost finished when I noticed a mistake that I just could not live with and so decided to rip it back and begin again. This time around I’m using loads of stitch markers. This way I mark the beginning and end of each repeat and this way I can quickly see if I’m doing something wrong. I’m less than 10 rows from getting started on the main part of the sweater in the bright pink. I’m hoping the super bright pink won’t be too bright. I’m thinking it will look nice with a jean and the yoke being grey I won’t look too bad.

snowflake by tin can knits   This is the pattern picture.  www.knittinginfrance.com And here is my yoke. This was taken just after ripping back and getting all my markers in place. Since the picture I’ve knit most of the yoke, I think I’m about 5 rows from finishing the yoke/lace part. So far so good:)

 

And my latest project that I cast on just yesterday. It’s going to be a slouchy beanie using a sock weight yarn. The yarn is 100% superwash high twist BFL hand dyed in a nice blue/white color. I just had this vision of a slouchy hat and immediately cast on. I’m using a fun cuff pattern and a nice lacy cable pattern for the main part. And yesterday I got some gorgeous project bags (I’ll be telling you all about those in a later post) so that makes knitting it even more fun.

www.knittinginfrance.com

What about you? What are you working on these days? Do you also work on a gazillion projects at the same time? Any great patterns you’d like to share with me? I’m always open to casting on new projects:)

Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting. Have a great weekend:)

 

 

More on speckled yarn and social media

Hi there, so last week I showed you some yarn I had dyed using a new technique to produce “speckled yarn”. I found the technique quite fun and the results pleasing. But I only had pictures of the early stages of the dyeing so you did not see much. Now not only has the yarn dried but it has actually been sold as well!  Not only was this my first attempt at speckled yarn dyeing but also at selling via Instagram and lucky for me, both were a success!

So here are some pictures of the speckled yarn from last week

www.knittinginfrance.com speckled yarn www.knittinginfrance.com speckled yarn www.knittinginfrance.com speckled yarn www.knittinginfrance.com

I’m really happy about how these turned out and even happier that my first ever attempt at selling yarn on Instagram actually was a success! So I’m definitely going to do both again! I’ve already done more yarn and I’m planning on doing a second sale on Instagram this coming weekend.

So what I did on Instagram is I published the pictures you see here and I asked those interested in buying them to send me a direct message with their Paypal email address. And then I’d send them an invoice/payment request and then I mailed out the yarn this morning. So I sold the yarn slightly less than what I normally sell for as this was a sort of “first off” for me and I included the postage in the price and that worked very good. I actually sold all 3 plus a fourth skein which I had not published yesterday for this event so that was a good thing. Are you on Instagram? Do you buy stuff from vendors via Instagram? If you are on Instagram you can find me there, I’m under KnittinginFrance of course:)

So the fourth skein I sold yesterday on Instagram was from a batch of my candy yarn and I really love that particular skein so I’m planning to replicate that particular colourway as it was really super gorgeous.

candy yarn www.knittinginfrance.com  So this is the candy yarn just dyed and ready for reskeining. The skein I LOVE is the one on the right side

candy yarn reskeined www.knittinginfrance.com  Here is the same yarn reskeined. Amazing how the yarn changes once reskeined don’t you think? In this picture the yarn I LOVE is now on the left. So the other two skeins are still available, I just need to find the time to put them online in my Etsy shop.

Now like I said I did some more dyeing today and did some more speckled dyeing and here are pictures of that

speckled 2 at a time yarn www.knittinginfrance.com two at a time speckled yarn 2  So I did these 6 skeins in speckled and the one I only have 2 off is more speckled than the other 4. These skeins are BFL yarns and they are smaller than usual or 50gr so I’m going to sell these by sets of 2 which is perfect for sock knitting for example to do TAAT or even 2 in 1 socks.www.knittinginfrance.com I also did 2 candy yarn skeins and this time I used the silver sparkle yarn base which I love and I’m planning on reskeining them this week and I’ll show you how they will look ready for knitting.

Now before taking leave today, I have to show you a picture of the current pair of socks. Once my speckled yarn was done, I immediately cast on for a pair of socks to see how this knits up. This is also the first time I knit tube socks! So basically a lot of first time ever lately:) And it is super fun to knit tube socks and super quick.  These will be for my youngest one and I can see myself making more of those for the fun.

speckled yarn and tube sock www.knittinginfrance.com So you can see I’ve done one and just beginning the second one. So what do you think? Do you like the speckled look?

Thats all for today folks. Thank you for stopping by, have a wonderful day and “see” you soon 🙂

A Pin It – Win It contest – what do you think?

Hi there, I was reading up on my social media last night and in this book I’m reading about Pinterest I came upon a concept that could work great in getting the word out about my shop and also be fun for the participants. Before launching into this contest, I’d like to hear your opinion on the question and if you think that you and your followers might be interested in such a game/giveaway.

So here’s my idea:

Each participant creates a board on his/her Pinterest profile called Things I’d like to buy from Knitting in France

They would then pin 10+ items from my Etsy shop to this new board. The board that would then subsequently get the most repins would be the WINNER. So you could engage your followers asking them to check out your board and repin items from it in an attempt to win this Pin It Win It contest.

The winner would be announced after a period of 8 days – I would decide on a day the board can be published and when I will take the stats to see who the winner is.

I’m thinking the winner would get the following: 1 skein of sock yarn, the new Sock Ruler (a new and totally indispensable tool for sock/mitten knitters, and some handmade stitch markers. That would be a gift of about 25Eur worth of supplies which I think is quite nice.

Have you ever done something like this before? If so did you like it? Do you think a contest give away is a good method of promoting a small business such as mine? Would you participate if I did go ahead and launch this contest?

Please let me know and if you have other suggestions for doing this or for a different price for the winner do share your thoughts 🙂

Until next time, as always take care and enjoy your crafting