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!

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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 🙂

 

Meet Louise and Spin City

Hi, today I would like to kick off my series of blog posts on the fabulous people I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London last week. I actually met Louise for the first time at Unravel in Brighton last summer but before that I was a client of her Etsy shop (and still am).

Louise has a degree in Knitwear design and she not only runs her Etsy shop but she also teaches spinning, weaving, knitting and crochet from her studio. Louise also has a blog which you can read and follow here And then there is her Etsy shop which is full of gorgeous fibres and hand spun yarns as well as some kits for natural yarn dyeing. Just click here for some gorgeousness.

Louise is such a fun and loving person and that shows through in her booth. Her set up is so inviting and the colours so enticing that it is impossible not to be touched or want to just buy all you can carry of her stuff!

Here are some pictures from last weeks show

Spin City on www.knittinginfrance.com Spin City on www.knittinginfrance.com Spin City on www.knittinginfrance.com The pictures do not do her fibres justice as there was a lot of sunlight that “spoiled” my pictures. On the last picture you can see Louise in her blue dress on the left.  The fact that she brings actual furniture to her shows gives her booth such an inviting feeling and once your inside, the fibres call out to you “please touch me! Feel how soft I am! Buy me! You need me! ” well, you get the picture:)

So of course I bought some roving to spin and began spinning one of the two when I got home on Sunday.

Spin City roving on www.knittinginfrance.com I love the combination of bright, vibrant colours along with white silk and some black wool. It really gives a gorgeous, colourful barber pole yarn once spun. As you can maybe see, I have begun spinning the pink one at the top and will show you some pictures when I’m done.

I have purchased from her a number of times both spinning fibre and resin hand spindles and if you like spinning or want to give drop spindling a try, I recommend you visit Louise’s shop and try out some of her quality supplies.

Thats all for today. I hope you enjoyed this mini introduction to Louise and her shop Spin City.

Until next time, take care 🙂

More on guest blogging and a happy mail day

Hi there, I just wanted to say how happy I am with the post Sarah wrote for my blog as a guest blogger and I hope you too enjoyed reading about her journey knitting this perfect lace dress. I think that guest blogging can be a way to enrich my blog and the reading experience for those that enjoy reading my blog. Now in exchange for Sarahs post on my blog, I’m going to be writing one for her blog and that is really exciting. I do hope that if you are interested in sharing here on the blog, that you have the courage to reach out and send me a proposition by email – I promise I’m a kind soul so you will be welcomed! And if you do not have a blog yourself that’s fine. The idea behind this sharing is really just that, sharing a common passion with like minded people. So if you are interested in participating in this experiment/project, do contact me:)

Today I received a wonderful package by mail. I recently enrolled in a spindle class on Craftsy.com and saw the instructor do supported spindling and I thought that could be great for me. I’m not used to spindling, I mostly spin on my wheel but I do have drop spindles and from time to time I try my hand at them. To begin with I used to drop them all the time and thus quickly understood where their name comes from 🙂 Now I’m better at actually using them and don’t drop them so much any more.

Last year while doing the Unwind Brighton show I bought a couple of drop spindles from my friend Louise of Spin City UK – she makes super cute resin whorl spindles. They are super light and a joy to work with and that’s what I’ve been using lately to work on my spindling.

www.knittinginfrance.com

Here’s a picture of the two supported spindles and lap bowl I received today. One is a Russian support spindle and the other a Tibetan support spindle. The lap bowl makes spinning while seated comfortable as you keep the bowl between your legs and can then spin comfortably. As you will see I have tried the Tibetan spindle out already. I looked up some videos on YouTube and went ahead. I was able to spin some using a sort of “park and draft” method for supported spindling so I have a few meters of yarn already! I used a hand dyed roving I made a while ago. I think I can really enjoy spinning this way and I definitely want to get the hang of this before going on vacation this summer. I need to spin every day if possible and I can’t take my wheel with me so if I can get the hang of this, that would be so great. So here’s the picture

www.knittinginfrance.com  I bought those from Kerry Spindles in the UK. You can check out his Etsy shop here

As for this weekend, even though it was a 3 day weekend for me, somehow I did not get much done. I guess there are days like this when you just need to relax and not stress about getting an X number of things done. So I did knit a bit and mostly on my first baby blanket which is coming along nicely. I’ll be showing you pictures this week. I also went ahead and knit a second pair of miniature sock earrings! I really love those. My husbands thinks this is a waste of time and that no one will buy something like this. I totally disagree so we’ll soon see who’s right I guess:)

www.knittinginfrance.com

I’ll be updating the Etsy shop later today and will be adding more of my mini emergency crochet hooks. I saw this somewhere and have made a bunch of those and I just realised that I had sold out! So I went ahead and made some more and now I just need some time to put those up for sale in the Etsy shop These mini hooks can be used just as decoration on your project bag for example or you can use them to pick up dropped stitches for example which is the main intended use for those. Due to their size they will easily fit into your accessories pouch. Here are some pictures:

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com

Well, this is all for today. I’m currently working on a number of topics for the coming days. So hopefully you’ll continue to follow my blog and enjoy reading about my adventures.

So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting