End of year and beginning of a new one

Hi there, how are you today? Getting ready to celebrate the beginning of 2017 no doubt. We will be celebrating with some friends at their house so minimal preparations on my side which is great as I’m getting ready to go home to Iceland for a few days and have to prepare my bags. And I also managed to get myself a big cold with a sore throat and all! How annoying is that! Anyway that won’t stop me from having a nice evening with friends.

This past year has had its share of ups and downs. This year I have come very close to closing down my little indie dyer business but thanks to some encouragements from wonderful people and exciting propositions for 2017 I’m still open and hope to make 2017 my best year ever, business wise!

I have just completed dyeing a special order for a wonderful knitting retreat that will be held in January. I don’t think I’m allowed to disclose where or who runs it just yet, I think the yarn is a surprise so I’ll just tell you more once the retreat has begun. But that is very exciting and I hope the participants will enjoy using my yarn.

Then I have been contacted to participate in a book project which sounds super exciting for me and would be a fun project to take part in and give me a great exposure also.

And then just yesterday I was contacted by a company that sells subscription/or not knitting related boxes and they want to try my yarn and stitch markers so I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that will pan out. So that is very exciting.

I’m going to close the shop for a little while now in January to give me some time to take stock and add more items for sale and I hope that when I open again my shop will look fabulous. Next March it will be 6 years since I started my little business so I think that will call for some sort of a celebration/giveaway. I’ll need to think about that.

I’m going to continue blogging in the new year and hope to be able to add some new features to the blog. I already have something very exciting planned for you in January. I really enjoy writing my blog and even if we don’t actually meet each other, it does feel like speaking to a friend and sharing a passion and little snippets of life. I’d like to link my blog to the shop, maybe have everything in one place/website but I don’t quite know how or if I’ll do that just yet.

I’d like to develop my Ravelry group some more this new year. I admit I’m not very active on Ravelry but it is a place where knitters meet and do fun things so I think I should get more involved there. Are you active on Ravelry? If yes, what features do you like the most? Are you an active member of different groups? I’d love to hear from you on that subject.

Now on to real knitting. This year has been a year of a lot of knitting. I haven’t really counted everything that I’ve knit and I haven’t been setting up Ravelry project pages for each item either unfortunately. I’m going to try and be more serious about that in the new year. I’m also thinking about doing a knitting journal, where I would write down information about every project I knit as I think it would be interesting at the end of the year to see just how much I have achieved. This year I organised my first ever KAL over on Ravelry and that was fun and I might do that again in the new year.

I had imagined myself finishing a lot of my wips and start the new year with an almost clean slate but… suffering from startitis like I do that was never going to happen. So I currently have 6 pairs of socks I’m actively working on. I have one shawl that needs some love, one pullover that is close to being done, a cardigan that I have only just begun and then set aside and a gazillion half done socks!

What I have planned for the beginning of the new year are at least two things and both are KALs. First there is the #Shlanket mystery knitalong organised by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. This is a huge shawl/blanket knit in either worsted or aran weight yarn. I chose aran weight to get a really huge and comfy wrap.  I dyed the yarn myself and have wound one skein of each color to be ready tomorrow morning. This project calls for three colors and I have gone a little out of my comfort zone by choosing these colors

img_6394

They look kind of bright in this picture but they are actually more pastel-like in real life. I hope they will work well together in this pattern.

Then there is a Brioche Challenge KAL that Louise Tilbrook is holding. This kal also begins tomorrow January 1st and you can knit anything you like as long as it is brioche. The kal is meant both for the beginner brioche knitter as well as for those that know some brioche and maybe want to expand their skills.

I have decided to join and knit a shawl that I’ve had in my Ravelry library for a while now. It is called Briochealicious by Andrea Mowry. It is a paid for pattern on Ravelry. It looks huge and cozy and fun and it mixes brioche with garter stitch so should be a fun and relaxing knit. Here are the colors I have chosen for this

img_6391

The two yarns on the right are my own hand dyed yarns and the two on the left are store bought. I don’t knit a lot with purple but I do think this can work only now as I’m writing this and looking at the picture, I suddenly have a doubt…I may have to go for a browse in my stash or dye studio.

Of course I have planned on knitting a lot of socks and a few garments as well. What are your plans knitting wise for the new year? Will you be joining in the same kals as I am?

That’s all for today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the time spent with me this year. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my posts. Thank you for sharing and interacting. Thank you for making my life brighter and for bringing me joy. I do hope you will continue to spend time with me in 2017.

Until next time I wish you and your family and friends all the very best for the new year and look forward to checking in with you again in January.

I’m back at last! Acquisitions, fos and more

Hi there, how are you? I hope you are doing well and  enjoying the last days of summer/winter (depending on where you are in the world).

Here in Normandy, France, summer is coming to an end although the weather could have us think otherwise. We have had a big heat wave which has calmed down now thankfully! So now the weather is just perfect. Sunny and a nice temperature of around 22-24°C. Which for an Icelander such as myself is just the best temperature, not too hot and not too cold.

I have been back from hospital now for just over a week. It was great to get back home to my family and friends. What was a little less nice; was having to go back to work straight away but hey, we all have to work to make a living so no complaining!

The stay at the hospital was really beneficial for me. I learned a lot about the back in general and how to use my back and body to best preserve my health. There are a million things we do everyday that affect the health of our back and sometimes we just need to be a little more careful about how we do things to make a big difference.

Being active is also a big thing when it comes to having a healthy back. People like myself that have health issues are not good with staying in the same position for hours be it standing up, sitting at a desk or lying in bed. As soon as I got back to working 8h a day at my desk, my back pain came running back! I have changed the position of my desk a little so that the computer is now higher up so I don’t need to look down at the screen. I’m also going to look for a very good ergonomic chair. The one I have is not good enough for such long hours. Getting a new chair will certainly make a difference for me.

I’m also going to have to get organised so that I can exercise. Since I came home, I have been going for walks and that is very good. But just walking is not enough. I need to do something more like swimming which I really like. So I’m going to look up the opening hours of the swimming pools near my home to see if I can go once a week and swim. And while I was at the hospital I did a little badminton and I thought that was quite fun so I might look into doing badminton as well. That is a good sport because it makes use of the entire body so all the muscles get some exercise. My problem is going to be the hours! Because I work 3 nights a week and most sports for adults are in the evening here, finding something that can work will be a challenge. Where as swimming; I can do alone, I just need to find the pool with the opening hours that allow me to go there.

Well that is enough and maybe way more health and sport update than you bargained for! Sorry about that:) So let’s get on with the knitting and fibre side of life. Since it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted I have a ton of things to share but I feel that would amount to an epic sized post that would just be too long for anyone to read so I’m going to tell you about some of the things today and the rest later in the week.

So first of, when I was in hospital I told you about knitting shorty socks for my son. Well I finished them while I was there. I really love how they turned out, mostly because of the yarn. I used my own SOX base hand dyed yarn and the way it was dyed gives it a fun patterning when knit up. Here they are all done:

shorties matteo

I also did a little bit of spinning. I had imagined doing way more spinning than I finally ended up doing. But hey, life happens. So I finished this fibre that I had begun spinning a very, very long time ago and I then plied the yarn too. The spindle is from my friend Louise of Spin City UK. She makes gorgeous hand spindles using resin for the whorl and she uses flowers and candy sprinkles and lots of fun stuff to make her spindles totally unique. Just looking at her spindles makes me smile.

The yarn is 2 ply and somewhere between fingering and DK in weight. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. I need to wash it to set the twist and I really should measure the yardage as well. I just need to work up the courage and find the time and voila:)

And one more item that I finished during my hospital stay was the Risen

Qcardigan by Melanie Berg. I did the biggest size and I admit I was quite worried in the end that I would not have enough yarn to finish the sleeves and since I dyed the yarn especially for this cardigan I knew I did not have any extra! So I ended up playing a game of extreme yarn chicken and thankfully for me, I won! But by mere centimeters!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m happy with the outcome and I have used it once and it fits nicely and it is warm without being heavy so I think I will get a lot of use out of this. And how much yarn did I have left once I bound off? Well,

risen 5 Yebb! That’s all I had left!

I also worked on my Pinwheel blanket and while I was away I got a package with minis. I signed up for a swapless swap on Ravelry and got 10 40 yard skeins from Mint Rain Yarns. I haven’t knit any of them up yet but I’m sure they will all look great in my blanket when I get to knitting them up.

mint rain yarn minis

Another gorgeous new acquisition is a purchase I made from Andre Sue Knits! The Andre Sue of the Andre Sue podcast I’m sure you all know and I’m guessing you are also familiar with her amazing hand painted sock blanks. It’s been a while since I started stalking her shop but her work is in such high demand that the only time you have a minimal chance of purchasing anything from her is if you set your alarm for her shop update and then choose and item and check out ASAP and then go back again if you want a second blank! Well, that is just what I did! I set my alarm for just before 1am and then I stayed on Etsy and refreshed the page until I saw her update. I managed to get 2 sock blanks and they arrived in just a week which is quite quick for an order from the US.

I was not disappointed! The sock blanks are so amazingly well done. I really do not comprehend how she does it! How she manages to paint so precisely on the sock blank. When I showed the blanks to my kids; my daughter said: “you shouldn’t unravel them and knit, you should just keep them like this” and I admit I’m tempted. BUT I did buy them to knit them into socks so… At the moment I haven’t started; I’m enjoying looking at them as they are currently. But I did purchase Mina’s Beyond Vanilla Socks Part 2 patterns and I think I’ll knit her patterns using the blanks. So here they are in all their glory:

andre sue sock blanks Talk about gorgeous! These will be sure to knit into some amazing socks I’m sure.

Well that’s all for now. I don’t want to take up all your day/night so thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me. I wish you a wonderful week and hope you will have lots of time for knitting or whatever fibery craft it is you enjoy the most.

Until next time, take care 🙂

 

Pattern purchase crazyness

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer/winter (depending on where you are in the world). Here in Normandy the weather has not been very summery these last few days but this afternoon there is a glimpse of sun so maybe, just maybe we will get some nice summer days this weekend. That would be very nice.

I’d like to thank those of you who have sent me kind words and well wishes both here on the blog and on other social media. I’m almost half done with my 4 week treatment and I’m doing good. This is an intensive therapy for the back so my days are full of treatments and sports. It is difficult for someone who is used to being every sedentary like myself but I see progress already so that’s positive and everyone is very attentive to how we are doing and exercises are adapted on a need be basis. So all good news on the health front:)

So before coming here, I packed a certain number of knitting projects but finally I’m not knitting as much as I thought I would be. I don’t have so much free time and in the evenings I admit I’m quite tired so I usually don’t last very long. At the moment I’m working on the same 3 projects as last week.

I’m on square number 4 on my Pinwheel blanket

square 4 pinwheel blanket

I’m still working on my sock pattern test. I finished sock number 1 and I’m about to start the heel on sock number 2. I’m not yet at liberty to show you pictures but here is one of the yarns I’m using.

colors in sock knitting testThe main color is the blue/grey one (top right), the cuff/heel/toe is the bright yellow. Both these yarns are on my SPARKLES base. The little yarn balls are Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails in different colours for the color patterning.

The result is a pair of very colourful and fun socks. I did run into trouble with the heel and toe so I used my “normal” toe on sock 1 and the heel is a mix of the pattern instructions and my own “normal” heel. It is a bit wonky but I was too lazy to rip it out and begin again. After all, I think I knit and ripped out the heel at least 4 times before just going with what I understood! So for sock number 2 I’m not complicating matters and I’m just going with my “normal” heel and toe. The look is very similar so it should not be a problem and should not be super apparent when wearing the socks.

And then there is the cardigan, Risen by Melanie Berg. I’ve separated for the sleeves and am now knitting the body. So far I really like the pattern. The collar/neckline has a very nice stitch pattern and I think this could become a piece of clothing that I will use a lot. I’m already thinking this could be great to have in different colours.

risen cardigan 3augThis picture was taken just before I put the sleeves on hold so I’m a bit further along now. I’m not going to cast on anything new until I have finished my sock test knitting and then I’m going to cast on for the Gilmore Girls socks.

 

I did a kit with CC Almon of the Geeky Girls Knit podcast/JavaPurl Designs and I dyed a skein of yarn for myself.  CC and VeganJilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast are hosting a Gilmore Girls kal which started August 1st and runs until September 31st I believe. You do not have to knit using this particular yarn or pattern but IF you knit CC’s pattern  I believe you get extra points for the kal. Both groups on Ravelry have threads, the chatter thread is in the Knitting Broomstick group and the FO thread is in the Geeky Girls Knit group. So if  you like the Gilmore Girls show you should definitely join in. The pattern by CC can be found on Ravelry and is called Where you lead I will follow and here are a couple of pictures of the socks knit up in my yarn.

Now on the my latest acquisitions. As the title of this blog post indicates there has been some pattern purchase craziness going on! I don’t know if it is being away from everyone and having more time to browse the internet than usual or what but….I have bought loads of patterns lately! My last purchases were done on August 1st and although I did go slightly mad, to my defence, I did make use of coupon 7, patterns from Joji and amazingly they are all for cardigans! I guess I’m feeling very much like knitting up a wardrobe which is unusual as I mostly knit shawls and socks. But who can resist Joji’s patterns and her cardigans are all gorgeous. I already own a ton of her patterns; most of which I have yet to knit (can one talk about having a “pattern stash”?)

pattern purchases

Joji is having a special sale on all her independently published patterns until August 5 so you still have a few hours to make good use of her offer. You get -20% off her patterns using coupon code: jojifallkal

And then there is Andrea Mowry  which like I said before is a new to me designer. She has a number of very nice patterns that I can see myself knitting and wearing and she too is having a sale. I bought 5 of her patterns. 1 slipper socks, 2 shawls, 1 cowl and 1 hat. All very exciting patterns that I hope to knit up this coming winter. Andrea’s sale runs until August 7th and she offers -33% off her patterns using coupon code: bday33

I highly recommend you check out both Ravelry stores as I’m pretty sure you will find at least one pattern, if not 10, that you would like to make and getting them at a discounted price just makes the purchase even more exciting:)

That’s about all I have for you today. The weekend is coming up so I will have some more free time to knit and continue spinning also. I hope to finish my test sock this weekend so I can cast on for the Gilmore Girls socks. I’m donating a prize for the kal and you can find info on that by watching either or even better, both, podcasts: Geeky Girls Knit and The Knitting Broomstick. Do let me know if you are joining in and tell me what pattern and yarn you have chosen.

And before I leave you, here are a few pictures of some sights from my surroundings. The pink house is the family home of Mr Christian DIOR!

 

 

What a week!

Hi there, it’s been a while since my last post real post. With me about to leave for 4 weeks I have a ton of things to take care of, most of which have not gotten any further than the pages of my planner yet! And that is because I’ve had quite a crazy week so far.

I have been working hard on a big custom order that I’m very excited about. I’m not at liberty yet to tell you what it is exactly nor can I show you any pictures of the yarn yet but I will be posting about this in detail probably in September.

Any way, this is an order I got a while back and I was so hugely happy and excited that I of course said yes! I knew I would be going to hospital at one time this year but had no idea if that would be in August or not until December. So I could either put my life on hold just in case I got called in or I could carry on as if all was normal and just deal with it when I got called in and that is what I did. So when I got the call and new I would be going in from July 24th to August 22nd I had already committed to this order which is my biggest custom order to date and I was not going to go back on my word and cancel the order. So rather than having 4 weeks to work on this alongside other projects I knew I’d only have 1 week. So I hurriedly ordered my yarn and got working on my colors.

This week I have been dyeing for about 6 hours a day and then I have taken a break for 2-3 hours to go knit at the beach with my kids and in the evening I would reskein my yarn. I have just finished the dyeing today and now have a huge pile of yarn left to reskein and label but I made it and I’ll be able to ship my order this Saturday morning so Yeah me:)

This just goes to prove that when we want something bad enough, we can do anything we set our heart to. I’m super happy and I really like the yarn I have created and now I just need to sent it away and wait for feedback first from my client and then from whoever finally gets this yarn to knit with:) I’m super excited!

 

If you follow me on social media you will have seen me posting beach pictures every day. I’m lucky to live in a great place here in Normandy with gorgeous beaches all around and with the good weather lately I have been going to the beach every afternoon for some sun soaking and knitting. Here are some pictures of my beach trips and knitting.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Knitting at the beach is the best!

Now on to my future hospital stay. No need to worry it’s not really a hospital but rather a centre for physical therapy and physical rehabilitation. I’m going because I have a very bad back with a degenerative condition and this is meant to help me deal with pain and possibly even avoid surgery or at least push it back further. I will have a very full program from 9 to 5 every weekday so I’ll probably be quite tired in the evening but even so I’m afraid I may not take enough projects with me. I want to bring loads of books and loads of knitting projects. I haven’t begun packing yet except in my head, and some days I think I’ll take a ton of projects and others I think I have to be reasonable and that I won’t actually get to knit THAT much.

A while ago I cleaned up some in my stash and   pile of wips and I also prepared some project bags with yarn, needles and patterns – all patterns I must knit very soon. Here’s what that looks like.

pile of wips and new cast ons

It does not look like much on the picture but there actually is a ton of project bags here, some holding wips others new not yet cast on projects. I think I may be taking:

2 socks – not yet cast on

1 sock in progress. The last pattern I did in Sock Madness. I have only done one sock and the cuff for sock 2 and I need some quiet time to finish the second one as it is a complex pattern.

1 cardigan – I have chosen the pattern and dyed the yarn. It’s Risen by Melanie Berg and here’s the yarn I dyed red for raisen

I made a huge skein of 1400 yards I believe it was 1280 meters and dyed it in one go. I have since caked this up in 2 huge yarn cakes.

I’ll be bringing some minis to knit on my Pinwheel blanket by Mina Philipp and just this morning I signed up for a new shawl challenge called 5 shawls in 5 days so I’ll need yarn for that and I’m taking a skein of lace yarn to play with making a design of my own.  So here’s a part of what I’ll be bringing with me.

projects for grainville

I’ll be blogging while I’m away and I’ll share progress on my varies knitting projects and pictures from the town where I’ll be staying and so forth.

That’s all for today. I have to get back to my reskeining so I’ll be done in time and then there’s my packing and then theres….a million and one thing to do:)

I hope you are doing well and having a wonderful summer with lots of crafting time and why not, some beach knitting:)

Super Yarn Sale this weekend only

Hi there, today I’m coming to you with a short announcement. I don’t know if I have told you about having a bad back but if not here goes. So I have a bad back and I have just been called into a hospital for  a 4 week stay to work on my back. This will include massages, exercise, thalasso therapy etc and the objective is to come out of this more aware of my body and how to move and do things to minimize any pain in my back and hopefully avoid having to have a surgery. So I’ll be going there in a week. As I’ll be away for so long I’m going to have to close my Etsy shop while I’m there. And so I decided it would be a good idea to do a HUGE YARN SALE! And here goes!

I’m offering 40% off all my yarns in my shop as of now and until Monday July 18th. The coupon code for the discount is YARN40.

I ship worldwide at a reasonable price. All orders will be shipped 1-2 days post purchase. You can visit my shop by clicking here or by searching for Knitting in France on Etsy. Here are some pictures to get your appetite going:)

Happy shopping and have a great weekend:)

 

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 🙂

FOs, wips and future cast ons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mothers day gifts

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

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

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

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

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

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

ganz

Isn’t it gorgeous?

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

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

 

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.

Back from holiday

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

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

 

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

 

vanilla turtle purl

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

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

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

Take care:)

Some progress, a new pattern and a GIVEAWAY

Hi there, I hope you are doing fine and looking forward to your week. I’m super happy because I just received a great email announcing that I had WON a knitting pattern! I never win anything so this is a wonderful surprise and just goes to show that even though, like me, you usually never win anything, well you just might! So keep that in mind when you read about this weeks giveaway later in my post 🙂

So on  progress, well I finished one pair of socks for the #knitfromstash 2016 kal that I’m doing with the Addicted to Sock Knitting group on Facebook. I knit a pair of socks for a cousin of mine so this time I made LARGE socks. Luckily the pattern was fun to knit and went quicker than I thought.

IMG_4683

The yarn I used was Opal 4ply and the pattern is called Pineaux and is by Heatherly Walker. My socks are shown on the pattern page which is super nice:)

I’m also working on my Mkal socks. One is done, that is all the clues have been published and I just finished sock nr 1 for that last night. I’m not a huge fan but since I went this far, I’m going to cast on for the second one.

A230DDA8-F45E-4F48-AEFC-E14C2640DE5FHere is a link to the pattern which is now for sale as the kal is over. Its a mix of texture with knits and purls. The yarn is mine. I did have problems carrying the yarn between sections so in some places there are ugly floats along the side. I’ll try and do better on the second sock. I knit these using my Neko needles in 2,50 mm. I only changed the toe and used my own “regular” toe.

The other sock kal from Through the Loops will finish this week. I need to start on clue ” and 4 before clue 5 is published this Friday. I’ve made no progress on these since last week so no pics here.

I also cast on for a new pattern this week. It’s the Brioche Twister by Renée Callahan of East London Knits using my hand dyed Cashmerino DK.

The pictures were taken at different times as you can see – one  shows more progress than the other. You can see how different the scarf looks depending on which side you are looking at.

The Cashmerino DK is just super soft and will make this a yummie scarf and the pattern is fun. It is my first ever two color brioche and I admit that I did frog this about 3 times in the beginning but now I’ve got the hang of things and it will progress quickly I think. Just need some time to work on it:)

And since I just won a new pattern well I’ll be casting on for a new sweater very soon! I joined in a little contest I found on Instagram and I was the lucky winner! The pattern is called KITSUNE and the designer is Amanita Agata Mackiewicz.  This is a bottom up, seamless, aran weight sweater. I just got some undyed aran weight yarn last week so now I just need to dye some yarn for myself and I’ll be ready to go.

kitsuneThis is a picture taken from the pattern page. Looks gorgeous don’t you think?

So lots of fun in sight for me here:) A big big thank you to Amanita for her pattern!

And now it is time for the giveaway! It’s more than time. I have a few giveaways ready and I was planning on doing one in January but somehow time just ran away from me so maybe I’ll end up doing 2 in February in stead. I’ll see. Anyway today is a big one!

The sponsor for this week’s giveaway is a company called BURNING IMPRESSIONS II and they have a shop on Etsy that you can visit here

Burning Impressions II is a husband and wife enterprise and they produce hand made, wood carved, laser burned knitting accessories such as mitten and sock blockers, soxyzz ( for sizing your socks), needle gauges etc.

Since last December, this is their full time gig and only source of income and I highly recommend you take a look at their shop and the beautiful items they produce.

I recently purchased some of their items and as we were chatting online following that purchase the idea for this giveaway was born. Megan and Dan very generously gave me a number of items to giveaway and this week I’ll be giving away 2-3 prices depending on participation and the rest will be for a later game/giveaway.

The prizes for this week are:

The 1st prize is a Soxyzz  and here is their description from their Etsy shop:

This handy gadget idea was born from constantly having to look for shoe sizing charts every time I wanted to make socks for someone else! With the Soxyzz, all you have to do is get your person to stand on the ruler, and voila! You have their size!! Or, if they’re not right there handy, you can easily look up their shoe size on the Soxyzz and get the correct measurements.

This Soxyzz has CM measurements on one side and IN on the other. It is super handy when knitting socks as you can easily measure your progress and what I find genious also is that if you are knitting for someone else, you can measure their foot by having them simply stand on the Soxyzz and  that way you will easily be able to knit a perfectly fitting sock for them. So this is a wonderful prize to win.

knitting in france burning impressions kit

The 2nd and possibly 3rd prizes are a set of  this super handy combo which works as a needle gauge, a wraps per inch (for your yarns and yarn substitutions) and a reminder/tutorial for kitchener stitch. So a super useful set to keep in your knitting bag at all times. And to make this extra special, Megan added my shops name to it!!! I just loved that special attention! Thank you soooo much Megan.

Now that you have seen the prizes you are probably eager to learn how to join in and have a chance of winning one of these gorgeous prizes. It’s very simple:

You have until Friday 12th of February to participate and the winners will be announced on Saturday February 13th.

To join you have to go to the Burning Impressions II Etsy shop by clicking here and have a look at what they make. Then come back here and leave a comment to let me know what it is that you like most about their shop and/or what item you could see yourself buying from them. That’s all! Super simple and fun and remember, I just won a sweater pattern today so EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! You just have to participate.

That’s it for today. Best of luck and I’ll be back soon:)