Sock knitting for charity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

charity socks one

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

charity socks 2

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

charity socks 3

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

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

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

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

Self striping sock yarn and the Gilmore Girls

Hi there, do you enjoy knitting socks? Do you like self striping sock yarns? Do you enjoy colours? Do you watch the Gilmore Girls show?

If your answer is YES to any of these questions then you might be interested in an upcoming sock knitting kit.

I’m so happy and proud of this first collective collaboration that I’m doing with CC Almon of JavaPurlDesigns and Sam Boggia of KnitRunDig.

The three of us are working on this sock knitting kit that will be up for pre-order this coming Sunday June 12th. This is a very limited edition, only 30 kits will be made so once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!

Each kit will include a sock pattern by CC, a project bag by Sam, hand dyed yarn by Yours Truly and lots of little goodies. And everything is tied to the Gilmore Girls show.

I got to see a picture of the finished prototype sock last week and it is gorgeous! I was so happy and proud to see this new pattern all knit up in my self striping yarn. I can’t wait to get to knit a pair myself!

So all my dyeing efforts are currently concentrated on this project. I’m dyeing a 10 color self striping yarn and let me tell you, self striping is work and 10 color self striping is a LOT of work!

Here are a few pictures I have taken to share some of the preparations for this kit on my side.

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l’m showing the finished ball of yarn all grey because I don’t want to spoil anything and we have not yet shown the actual yarn and pattern but I imagine that will be done in the future, unless we decide it would be more fun for you to discover the yarn as you open your package 🙂

So if you want to join in this fun and knit a pair of beautiful socks using a limited edition self striping yarn then you need to sign up for the preorder on the Java Purl Designs website here as of June 12th.

gilmore girls

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful rest of the week:)

I need a NAME!!

Hi there, I’m working hard on my very first sock pattern. I’ve knit the first sock and am well on my way on the second sock. I’ve written the pattern  down in 2 sizes and included both written instructions for the lace panel and charted instructions with a key for the symbols etc. I think it looks ok. I’m wondering if I should try and do one more size – currently the socks are graded in M (60 stitches) and L (68 stitches) and I’m wondering if I should do a 54 stitch version as well. What do you think? What size do you usually knit or what is your sock size?

I shared pictures of my pattern in progress and I’ve had incredible feedback from people. Lots of positive things being said so I’m feeling super proud and optimistic about this first sock design. I’m hoping that if I’m able to offer/design sock patterns using my yarns that will help sales and encourage people to try them out.

This first pattern will be a free pattern. I’ve had 2 people offering to do a test knit and once that is done I will be publishing the pattern so hopefully sometime before the 1st of September. I will be offering the pattern here on the blog and then later I might upload it to Ravelry also.

So yes I’m super excited about this and I’ve got my head full of ideas of stitch patterns and ideas for future projects I could make with my yarns. All the positive feedback and likes on social media have really given me wings and I’m currently just feeling totally capable of MAKING IT BIG! So I’m going to hold on to that feeling and hopefully, little by little, I will make some progress:)

However I do need some help from you guys! My sock pattern needs a name (the yarn color as well actually). For the time being, I’m saving the pattern on my computer under the name “newborn” (you know, the first sock pattern I’ve ever given life to kind of thing) but I’d really like for it to have a “real” name but I’m feeling ….empty…uninspired name wise. So I thought maybe you could help! So here are some pictures of my design and hopefully these will inspire you and you will be able to suggest some names to me!!!!

www.knittinginfrance.com The finished sock

www.knittinginfrance.com A close up of the lace panel

www.knittinginfrance.com The Swirl Toe and lace detail

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com A close up of the sole side of the Balbriggan heel and then a close up of the heel and heel flap (sorry the picture is up side down).

So what do you think? Do you like my first design? Do you have any ideas for a good name for this design? Any ideas would be super welcome:)

That’s all for tonight. Do come back tomorrow as I’m going to be announcing some serious discount and future changes in the shop. But until then, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

Sock and sock patterns

Hi there, I’m writing late in the day today. I was too busy at work to take a break and in addition it’s pretty hot out here today so I’m sort of melting inside at my computer and I think my brain took a hit! Working in slow motion and not having many ideas for a blog post today…sniff sniff. But hey, I’m used to write a post per day and I’m guessing (hoping) you enjoy coming by every day to read me:) So here I am. By the way, do you enjoy a post a day? Am I maybe overdoing things? I don’t know. I know that some bloggers only blog once a week and others maybe 2-3 times per week. Sometimes I feel so inspired and full of ideas that I could post 2-3 times a day and so I write down ideas or make drafts for later and I kind of got used to writing everyday and I feel that’s cool. So I hope you enjoy that, and if not I’m sure you just don’t come by if you are doing something else:)

Now, what could I share with you today? Well, yesterday I told you about the generous offer from Slipped Stitch Studios and she makes the needle nooks which are so cool when knitting socks on dpns so I thought I’d talk about socks. Not long ago I was browsing Ravelry and I came across this German designer who has lots of beautiful and free sock patterns. I had never heard of her so maybe you haven’t either.

Her name is Gudrun Neumann Mack and her username on Ravelry is Calpurnia1408.  You can check out her designs by clicking here

She does not only do socks, she also has a couple of shawls in there. Her socks are mostly textured or lace patterns and I saved all of them to my Ravelry library thinking I have knit some of them up.

Here are my favorites

Dragontail free sock pattern on Ravelry

Dragontail  – I love how the patterning stands out here

Elfriede free sock pattern on Ravelry

Elfriede – I like how the pattern is constructed in an unusual way, sort of like sideways

highlander free pattern on Ravelry

Highlander – this is a simple and yet intricate pattern

sister of Leoni free pattern on Ravelry sister of Leoni free pattern on Ravelry

Sister of Leoni – I really like the cables here and the details on the side of the leg. I think I may cast on for these real soon

That’s all for today my friends. I’ll be more creative tomorrow I’m sure. Just thinking about the weekend makes me smile and think of all the things I could be doing:)

On and Off my needles

Hi there and first off I’m sorry for posting so late today, it’s almost evening here in my part of the world. I guess today just kind of flew by without notice!

Today I’d like to share with you what I have just cast off and what I have going on my needles.

First off, I finished my first pair of tube socks. I thought it would be fun to try and I used my speckled yarn for this so that was double the fun. The socks were a quick knit, no surprise there, and I really like how the yarn knits up. I think that speckled yarn really looks good in a simple knit, it could be fine in a lace project maybe but not a textured knit I think (I haven’t actually tested that myself, it’s just a “feeling”). So I’m definitely going to do more simple socks with this yarn. So this first pair is for my youngest. I haven’t had the time to try them on her and picture to see how this type of socks actually fit but I’m happy with the outcome and she likes the yarn so hopefully the fit will be great:)

www.knittinginfrance.com

I also cast off for the first part of a simple pair of afterthought heel socks. I knit those using a hand dyed sock blank. I painted half the blank with a light colour and dark dots and the other half dark colour and light dots. I used up almost all the light portion of the blank for the socks so the heels are going to be in a contrasting darker colour. It’s fun to see how the dots translate once knitted up because instead of being dots, these are just like short lines of colour. I’m quite happy with the outcome and now I just need to do the heels to see how the finally come out.

knitting from a sock blank www.knittinginfrance.com  Here you see me at the very beginning and you see how the blank was dyed  www.knittinginfrance.com And here are the socks. One is showing the front (ribbing) and the other the blank with the foot in stockinette stitch and the pink like for picking up the heel stitches. So do you see how the dyed blank knits up totally different from the handpainted blank? That’s fun I think.

And on the subject of socks, I cast on for a new pair yesterday. I’m doing Skandium by General Hogbuffer and I’m using my hand dyed yarns of course.

www.knittinginfrance.com  The dark part of the sock in the pattern picture will be neon yellow on mine and the light grey will be light grey. So I’m looking forward to getting to the patterned portion of the sock to see how my colors will play together.

I’m continuing to work on my Beetlebum shawl by Renée Callahan of East London Knits. I believe I’m on my 5th pattern repeat of the first 11, so slowly but surely. This is going to be a gorgeous shawl and I really enjoy seeing the pattern grow and I think the design is quite fun, having one pattern for the outside/wings and another pattern for the center. I’m using my hand dyed lace yarn and it is 50% extra fine merino and 50% suri alpaca I believe. I love the color!

www.knittinginfrance.com

And I cast on for yet another project this weekend! I just found out that one of the babies scheduled to be born in October, will be a girl. I’ve finished her blanket in turquoise so I decided I had to do something pink! So I cast on for the Maile Sweater from What to Knit When You’re Expecting. The yarn is Rooster Almerino Baby which is a blend of merino and alpaca, 50/50. Soft and great stitch definition. I’m almost up to the armholes, just a few more rows and then I’ll put the body on hold and do the two sleeves and then sleeves and upper body/yoke will be knitted in one piece.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is my sweater and if you have forgotten the blanket…. www.knittinginfrance.comhere it is:)

So lots of knitting to do as always! And I have to picture one more thing for later this week because baby 1 of 4 new arrivals, has arrived! It’s a beautiful baby girl. I did not have the time to knit her a blanket, but I’m giving her a dress/tunic and I bought a pair of panties and long sleeved body to go with it and I have to picture the ensemble and show you soon!

Thats all for today, take care and I’ll be back tomorrow at a more “normal” time:)

Miniature Sock Earrings

Hi there,  yesterday I was reading one of the blogs that I follow. It’s called Littleblackdogsa and I read her post on a knitting swap that you can read here.

One of the gifts she received from a swap buddy was a miniature hand knit sock mounted into a stitch marker and I thought that was such a  cool idea! The more I looked at the picture, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do something similar. So I went online and found a free pattern for a miniature sock on a blog called Life’s a Stitch! and this morning I went to work. I made a pair using lace yarn, hand dyed by myself 50% xfine merino and 50% suri alpaca. I used a circular knitting needle in size 1mm/ US size 5-0. I then mounted them into earrings and now I’m thinking I just might make some more and even sell on my stand at the I Knit Fandango show in London this May.

www.knittinginfrance.com

What do you think?

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

Progress and some neon yarns

Hi there and thanks for stopping by:)

Since last time I’ve made some good progress on my first real pair of 2 in 1 socks. I’m now passed the heel turn and working on the gusset decreases. Youpi! This sounds like a homerun! Once the heel is all done with the rest usually follows quickly I think. Here are some pictures for you

www.knittinginfrance.com

my progress on the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge

progress on 2 in 1 sock www.knittinginfrance.com

see I’m onto the gusset stitches now

I’m knitting these on my Signature Needle Arts dpn’s that I LOVE! Looking good so far I think.

Now for the dyeing. I told you that this weekend I did some dyeing, mostly Sunday as that was the Day of Women here in France and I thought I deserved some quality time with my yarn and dyes. And as I just got this new neon dye stuff, I of course had to experiment with different methods of dyeing using those. So I did 5 skeins of sock weight yarn and 2 blanks. But I’m also going to show you some pictures of other yarns I dyed recently as well. These have still not been set up for sale in the shop on Etsy – I admit I’m still debating how much of my current dye work should go online and how much should just be set aside for the show in London this coming May. But anyways, some pictures:

hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com These are my 5 sock weight skeins and here you can see how I placed the dyes – I chose to leave lots of white here on most of them

hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com This is what they look like once I’ve wound them into skeins – I just would them as they were which explains why you can see large “blotches” of colour.

my first time dyeing sock yarn with neon colours www.knittinginfrance.com

My neon coloured sock yarns

here are the same skeins but reskeined. Can you see the difference? They almost don’t look like the same set of skeins don’t you think?

I’m rather satisfied with the results myself and I hope you like what you see too.

 

Here are some more dyes

all new hand dyed yarns by www.knittinginfrance.com

My latest hand dyed yarns

At the top here, you see 2 skeins of Polwarth wool in sock weight that I dyed in stripes – in the middle you have the skeins I dyed for the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge (see below) only here they have been reskeined – and at the bottom you have 3 skeins of a cashmere blend sock yarn I dyed using a similar technique to the neon dyes and these have also been reskeined.

hand dyed glitter yarn sock weight www.knittinginfrance.com

hand dyed silver stellina yarn in soft vieux rose

hand dyed silver stellina sock yarn by www.knittinginfrance.com

gradient vieux rose hand dyed stellina silver sock yarn

And here you see the yarn that I dyed for the 2 in 1 sock knitting challenge last week

And here you see the cashmere base sock yarn I did last week or the week before that (you see this yarn reskeined in the picture above) and look how amazing the magic of dyeing can be. I love seeing the transformation from the just dyed skeins to the reskeined skeins to the actual knitted socks. I’m also loving the way this yarn knits up which is why I used a similar technique yesterday to dye my neon yarns.

multi colored sock weight cashmere based yarn www.knittinginfrance.com

multi colored yarn

multi colored sock weight cashmere based yarn www.knittinginfrance.com

reskeined multi coloured yarn

multi coloured yarn knit up into socks by www.knittinginfrance.com

my multi coloured yarn knit into socks

 

 

Thats all for today, I must go back to work now. But before I leave you here are some pictures I took from my afternoon at the beach yesterday (yes I know I’m lucky to live in Normandy, France)

IMG_2907 IMG_2906 IMG_2905

Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting 🙂