Knitting, spinning and exercise

That’s the program for the next 4 weeks for me. If you follow my blog you will know that I have a bad back and that I’m currently in hospital for a 4 week program for my back. So I arrived Sunday July 24th and I’ll stay until Saturday August 20th. Today was the first “real” day with lots of workout, more than I have done in years and years. I think I’ll probably fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow this evening. This program is to help us better understand our body and especially our back. To learn how to move and do things to best preserve our spine, to possibly find new drugs that work better than what I’m currently taking, to talk to others in the same situation and just generally to feel understood and not alone. Having a bad back is an invisible decease and while one may feel good and be able to do everything one day, that does not exclude us from having a horrible day the following day and not being able to accomplish half of what we normally do. And its not because we are lazy, its because we suffer even if it does not show on the outside.

It really feels good to be able to talk to people who have similar problems and feel understood and I have high hopes for all the exercise and just basically everything that I will do here for the next 4 weeks. But this is not a “bad back” blog and you may not be interested in the least in my troubles so lets talk some knitting:)

On my drive here, I finished a pair of socks that had been on my needles for quite a while. It was a pair of Cobblestone Socks by Mina Philipp- part of her Beyond Vanilla socks 1 collection. I knit those using yarn from a German indie dyer I found on Etsy some while ago. I really like the colours but the yarn is quite coarse to the touch but that should be ok and probably means sturdier socks. It’s just not quite as enjoyable to knit with. So here are some pictures.

The second picture shows you a close up of the patterning. It’s a simple knit and purl patterning that is only done on the front of the socks. It’s easy to memorise and I like the results so I’ll probably use this pattern in the future for some more socks.

I’m continuing my work on the Pinwheel blanket which is also by Mina Philipp. That is a very simple pattern for a scrap yarn blanket. I rather like this pattern because each square is quite big so I imagine that the blanket will feel like a quicker knit compared to the Cozy Memories blanket where you have to knit a gazillion mitred squares. It will take quite some time to complete of course but I like it. So I’m knitting a little bit on this from time to time. Here is a picture from square 3 which I’m currently working on.

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I’m also knitting my second test knit for a designer and this time it is also for a pair of socks. I’m not at liberty to show you a picture yet but I can tell you that this is a colourful pattern and it has an unusual construction based almost entirely on short rows. At the moment I’m ready to start the heel on sock 1. I’m planning to work a little on this every day. I have until August 19th to finish and I’m pretty sure I’ll be done way ahead of that deadline.

I also cast on and began knitting my Risen cardigan by Melanie Berg. I dyed the yarn for that myself and I was determined to do a swatch and block and everything like any serious knitter does……but…..somehow I never got around to it before leaving for the hospital and yesterday I could have done a swatch and just washed and laid it out flat to dry somewhere but…. again I’m not a serious knitter so rather than do the intelligent thing, I just cast on for the neckband and voila! Last night I finished the first part of the neckband and this evening I’ll get started on the neckline.

I love the look of this cardi. A bit like the Featherweight Cardi I think and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of this all year round. Here’s a picture of the beginning of the neckband.

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And my last knitting project at the moment is a mini knitting challenge with Françoise of Aroha Knits and it’s the #5shawls5days challenge. Every day for 5 days she sends an email with a pattern for a mini shawl. This is to help us familiarise us with different shawl constructions and maybe one day actually be confident enough to make our very own shawl pattern.  Yesterday was day one and that was a triangular shawl and I knit that using some of my hand dyed SOX yarn and it turned out nicely I think.

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That’s about it I think for my knitting. I did bring some fibre and spindles with me too. I was stressed out about having time on my hands on the evenings and weekend and not enough projects to work on so I took a ton! At the moment I’m spinning a braid from Sweet Georgia Fibres and I’m using my latest spindle purchase which is a type of supported spindle which allows you to use both hands for spinning/drafting where a traditional supported spindle only lets you use one hand. I find using this spindle very enjoyable and easy and so I’m making good progress.

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Thats it for today. Thank you for stopping by and sorry if my health update bothered you. Before I leave I want to include a little slide show to show you the beautiful surroundings where I am now. It’s a town called Granville and apparently Christian Dior lived here part of his life and his house and garden are now a museum that I’ll definitely visit while here. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. I wish you a wonderful week, enjoy your summer and your knitting until next time 🙂

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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

The game, the swap and the deception and some other more joyful stuff

Hi there, I’m a bit deflated this morning and I feel like ranting. Please excuse me and if you’d rather not read my ranting you can skip that and start reading at the * below (I totally understand if you’d rather not read my rantings but I still needed to write them out anyway… sorry)

A few days ago I launched 2 fun projects, or at least I thought so. One was the yarn swap between people doing scrap yarn projects such as hexapuffs, granny squares or 10 stitch blankets etc. And the other was a game of sharing an item in my shop and then entering the share link as a comment on the blog to be participate in a draw to win a Sock Ruler.

Well, both projects were a flop as only 1 person participated in each so needless to say the person that participated in the Sock Ruler game has just won herself a Sock Ruler. And the person who was willing to do the scrap yarn swap, well I guess there will just be the two of us, me and her.

This is rather disappointing as I really thought those could be fun projects to do together but I guess I was wrong. But anyway the lucky winner of the Sock Ruler is probably reading this with a big smile and looking forward to receiving her gift (I hope) and the lady that will do the scrap swap with me is hopefully looking forward to that too. I know I am.

* I do have a gazillion little balls of yarn but probably because they are mine and I’ve seen them a hundred times they have sort of lost their appeal where as I’m sure/hopeful that she will enjoy my scraps and that I will enjoy hers. So that’s fun and will get me re-motivated to continue with the hexapuffs project which feels like the project of a lifetime.

When I wrote about this a few days ago I had 66 hexapuffs, since then I have done 2 1/2. Not a lot of progress but I have prepared a project bag just for the hexapuffs where I have some yarn, my dpns, a darning needle and some cotton stuffing. So hopefully I will be taking that one with me when on small outings this summer. After all going to the beach and coming back with 2-4 FO must be sooo rewarding:)

Now on to other stuff. I’ve not done much spinning but I did ply 2 bobbins and rather like the outcome.navajo plied greens navajo plied pinks navajo plied purples

I also managed to finish my pair of Skandium socks

skandium pair done I’m very happy with the outcome. I was a little bit afraid of the neon yellow but finally I think these will be totally wearable. This pattern has a particular construction when it comes to the gusset because the decreases are nothing like what I and probably you too, are used to. And despite the fair isle patterning these were a fast knit.

Having finished a pair of socks, I did cast on for a new pair. I’m doing Melisandre by Kimberly Pieper and I’m using one of my Knitcircus gradient stripes yarn for those. I’m going them magic loop, 2 at a time and I’ve come as far as finished the toe increases (toe up construction) and done 10 rows of patterning so I’m not showing a picture just yet as they don’t look like much so far. I’m also going to do some tube socks for my niece and nephews and the Lady of Lallybroch by CC Almond. I was actually going to cast on for CC’s socks but I ran out of ink in my printer and even though I’m very digital, I still prefer to print out my patterns and keep in my project bag where I can always check them and write out any info etc if needed. But I do intend to cast on for those very soon.

I’m still working on my baby cardigan and I MUST find the time to bind of my Come what may shawl AND do the heels on my afterthought socks that I finished a while back now. I also need to continue my baby knits, so lots of things to knit but not enough time. Guess we all know that problem:)

Well, this is all for today. I have some family from Iceland for a visit for the next 2 weeks so my posts might not be as regular as usual due to less time and I hope you forgive me for that. Have a wonderful Monday and an even better week:)

A bit of this and that

Hi there, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got some quality crafting time. I didn’t get much knitting done but I did do some dyeing and a little spinning.

First off, I have this custom order for gradient yarns. I did the test dyeing last week and then my buyer came back with her choice and this weekend I did the real dyeing of her yarn bases. I think it went quite nice and I hope she will be happy with the results. I dyed a batch for myself at the same time because I so love the colors and I think I may even have found what I’m going to knit with it.

Here are the yarns drying in my garden

www.knittinginfrance.com I hope my client will like her yarn. Now that it is dry I need to reskein and maybe wind into a ball – at least for the 2 fingering weight skeins because gradient yarns look so much better wound into a yarn cake than just in a skein where you really cannot see the real beauty of this type of dyeing. The DK weight yarn I’m not sure because she needs 3 skeins for her project so I tied 3 skeins together so that the colors will flow as if it was just one huge skein. So either I leave it as a huge skein or I wind into yarn cakes and then she has to be careful to knit them up in the correct order and always from the inside. Need to think about that. That’s all the dyeing I got done this weekend I think – I did do some pima cotton on Friday I believe so I’ll need to share the pictures of that with you later.

On to spinning. So I navajo plied a bobbin of colorful merino yarn and then wound into a skein. Now I must wash and finish the yarn. It too a huge amount of time to ply and wind into a skein so I’m pretty sure I have a large amount of yardage here. Need to think about what I’ll knit with this. It is a sock weight type yarn with distinct color changes so this could actually produce some self striping.

www.knittinginfrance.com

I also tested a new gadget that I need to tell you more about in a future post. Today I feel like telling you about a lot of stuff without getting into all the details. I promise I’ll give you more info later:)

So if you are a spinner like I am, you know that wheel bobbins can be very expensive and you also know that you need a fair amount of those or spinning will just not be any fun. So browsing the internet a while ago I ran into something I thought would be a brilliant and economic solution to the storage bobbin thing. These are inexpensive storage bobbins! You wind onto them from your wheel bobbin using a power drill or power screwdriver. Simply brilliant! I’ll tell you more about those in a future post if you are interested.

www.knittinginfrance.comwww.knittinginfrance.com Maybe I’ll do a little video to show you how this works.

That’s all for spinning. Onto knitting. So last week I finished my first sock in the Skandium pattern by General Hogbuffer and I cast on for the second one. I’m at the beginning of the pattern on the second one. I used a neon yellow sparkling yarn as my main color and a serious grey for the patterning and foot. This way I won’t look too crazy when wearing them (I hope).

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Looks pretty nice don’t you think?

I’m also working on a baby cardigan for a future baby girl. I’m doing the Maile Sweater from the book What To Knit When You’re Expecting. The pattern is free on www.whattoknitwhen.com So I’ve done the body up to the armholes and I’ve finished both sleeves and now I have done the joining of all the pieces and am working the yoke. But I just don’t understand how the yoke decreases and patterning work. There must be something missing in the pattern on the website because I’ve read through it a number of times, knit how I think I should only to rip it out and begin again. So rather than just rip the entire cardigan out, I’ve decided to do a stockinette yoke rather than the lace pattern. Have any of you knit this pattern? If so, did you also have problems with the yoke? If any of you have the book I’d love for you to share with me just the few lines regarding the yoke decreases and lace patterning – I think that should be ok as the pattern is free on the designer’s website. Here’s where I’m at now www.knittinginfrance.com So I didn’t get much done on this over the weekend as I had such a hard time with the pattern.

Yesterday I went to the beach with my husband and youngest daughter. We went late afternoon and while they played ball I sat and knit. I really enjoy knitting on the beach. I’m not much of a warm weather person, maybe due to my origins, so I really enjoy just medium warm weather and going to the beach late afternoon and just walk or sit and knit. I didn’t want to take my Beetlebum shawl as that is an intricate knit and the Skandium sock is a “knit at work” project and the cardigan was just too frustrating so I went for a hexapuff.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com

Last week I suggested we do a scrap yarn swap for those of us who are working on either hexapuffs or other scap yarn projects, could be a log cabin blanket, a 10 stitch blanket, granny squares of anything else. I discussed this in a post which you can read here and so far there’s just me and 1 reader which is fine but I would love it if more people joined in the fun so please leave a comment on the post if you want to join.

And just one horror picture before I leave you today! I while ago I represented a yarn company called Arctic Qiviut and as such I was gifted a few skeins of their gorgeous, out of this world soft yarn. This is one such skein from the top of the line (my opinion) Arctic beauty line. I love the color and the yarn is indescribably soft! This is a blend of qiviut, angora and silk. And so, I was going to knit something with this but when winding into a ball WITHOUT a swift and ball winder (don’t ask me why) something horrible happened!www.knittinginfrance.com Yes! This! A huge mess of tangled yarn. If this were any other yarn I would probably have thrown it into the bin by now but that is out of the question. So, I had begun saving my yarn and winding into a ball. Of course the yarn broke! and my spirits too, so I left it in a little bag in a knitting basket and almost forgot about it. This weekend I actually went through the items in the basket and came across this yarn. I really want to knit something gorgeous with this so I’ve decided to finally wind the whole thing into a ball. I’ve spent hours and hours and I’m still not done but I’m hoping sometime this week I’ll be able to shout VICTORY!

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful Monday:)

Meet Rachel Brown of Porpoise Fur and learn about Yarn in the City Yarn Crawls

Today I’d like to tell you about Rachel Brown from Porpoise Fur. Rachel is American but now lives in the UK. She has been spinning for a number of years and after dabbling in dyeing her own fibre she launched her own online shop selling hand dyed spinning fibre under the name Porpoise Fur. You can visit her shop and blog here

I met Rachel at the I Knit Fandango show in London last week and loved her colourful wool tops for spinning

Rachel Brown of Porpoise Fur on www.knittinginfrance.com

 

But Rachel is also a knitwear designer and she sells her designs on Ravelry and I encourage you to go take a look at her designs here

I happen to have seen this gorgeous cowl that Rachel designed for or in collaboration with Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. This cowl will not be release until July but I guarantee that you too will LOVE it. So if you like cowls, then take note and check out Rachel’s designs on Ravelry for a new cowl design!

Rachel and her friend Alison (I may have written this wrongly and apologize deeply if that is the case) are responsible for YARN IN THE CITY. You can click on the name here to the left and you will end up on their website. They organise yarn crawls and this year there are 2. So the first yarn crawl will be in Brighton on Saturday 20th of June. Participants will meet up at the railway station in Brighton for a fun filled day visiting local yarn shops. If you are in the Brighton or London area I highly recommend you join in the fun. I had such fun at the Unwind Brighton festival last summer that I’m convinced a yarn crawl in Brighton has got to be the best!

The second Yarn Crawl will take place in London and this is actually the third edition of the London Yarn Crawl. This will take place on Saturday September 5th and will of course include a day of visiting a number of participating shops and also access to a pop up marketplace for even more goodies. The London Yarn Crawl and marketplace focus on UK indie artist so if you are in the area and enjoy unique, quality supplies and want to support indie artist then this is definitely an event for you.

Information for both events can be found on the Yarn in the City blog/website (see link above).

 

 

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 🙂

A new feature on the blog and my passion for craft books

Hi, you may have noticed a new feature on my blog. When you click on a blog post to read, on the right side of the page there is a new widget with my logo and the text “check out the books I like on Amazon”.  This is a test for me, I love reading and I actually own a large library of crafting books both printed and digital ones.

I’m guessing that you too may enjoy this type of books and so might like to see which ones I like. The idea is first and foremost “sharing” and as I was compiling the books for my Amazon shop, I discovered that I had read or at least owned a huge part of the books I chose. And I even bought some as I was choosing which ones to include:)

So this test is 1) to share my love of craft books with you  and 2) attempt to monetize my blog. Hm, maybe that is a term you do not like but like everyone else I need to make a living and I would LOVE to be able to do so, doing what I enjoy the most. So here goes, should you decide to buy a book that I have listed in my virtual Amazon store then I will receive a small percentage of the sale (note: the book will not cost you any more, its just that Amazon will pay me a small “commission”). So like I said, just a test. You can browse and get ideas and just enjoy looking through the books I chose and never actually buy one through my shop but if you do that means I will be getting a little something for having brought the book to you in a way.

I hope no one will be offended by this test or attempt at monetizing my blog. I don’t want my blog to be full of ads which I find annoying so I think this could possibly be a good compromise as you can check it out or not, your choice and there will be no pop ups or anything else annoying that might have your running for your mouse to close down my webpage ASAP.

So here’s a link to the shop or rather my selection of crafting books on Amazon and if you have suggestions for other books that you think I should include, please do not hesitate to let me know. I will be adding to the shop on a regular basis I hope as new and exciting books are being published all the time and I know that I was not able to list all the books that I already have and want to share with you, for lack of time, but I will not forget and hope to keep this list/shop updated on a regular basis as crafting books are so great for inspiration and it is also a way to support the designers and other crafts people that work so hard to bring us wonderful patterns and ideas to learn and grow in our craft. And even though I’m a big internet browser and do a lot of sourcing online, having a physical book in my hand, turning the pages and drooling over the pictures is just something that cannot be replaced by a web browsing session.

So I hope you will enjoy this idea of mine and before I forget again you can either click on the widget here to the right or just click here

I’m hoping to add a regular feature to the blog where I would talk about books on my list/in my Amazon shop. Share with you what I think of a particular book and maybe you will share your opinions with me as well.

Thats all for now folks, enjoy your crafts and your crafty reading until next time 🙂

I’m in heaven, I’m in Fibre Heaven

Hi there, I just had to share my joy with you all today! I just received my order from Woolgatherings after waiting for it for almost a month (yes the package was stuck in customs for almost 3 weeks). But now it is here and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my fibre and can’t wait to start spinning them.

Some day soon, these beauties will be hand spun yarn treasures that will embellish my personal yarn stash – or yours if you want me to spin some up for you or if you are a spinner like myself and take a look at her shop I know you will be tempted to do as I did. BUY!

Woolgatherings is a family run business and Kate, the dyer, does a wonderful job. I’ve ordered from them before and just loved my yarn so that is why I placed this new order. This time I went for mostly BFL + Tussah silk and Organic Polwarth + silk blends. The silk will add strength and sheen to my finished yarns. I chose bright colours, which I love and are a staple of Kate. All the rovings are super soft and the colours are gorgeous. You will soon be seing these spun into yarn here.

If you decide to take a look at the Woolgatherings shop, and I certainly encourage you to do so, be aware that you will be mesmerized and may not be able to leave the shop with an empty cart:)

So here are my beauties:   Hand dyed roving from Woolgatherings on Etsy     Hand dyed roving from Woolgatherings on EtsyDo you get why I’m so happy???

I have another favorite dyer on Etsy and I also purchased some of her work last week and will be sure to share her work with you as soon as I receive my order.

 

Until then, I’m off to my spinning wheel for an afternoon of happy spinning. Have a great  and creative day yourself 🙂

A new and exciting year – lots of changes in view

Hi there, first of all I’m sorry I haven’t written for months! Things have been hectic both in my professional and private life. But now we are in 2015 and I’m dead set on making this the YEAR OF! That being said, I wish you all a very happy new year and I thank you for your support and patience with me and I hope you will continue to follow my blog and my crafty adventures.

So what about this new year? What am I planning that is so exciting? Well, I want this to be the year when my shop really makes a name for itself. I’ve been running my shop since 2011 and I feel that slowly but surely my shop is getting better known and sales are slowly increasing. What I love is that I have clients from all over the world, from Iceland to South Korea to USA to Tazmania to France. Going to the post office is like looking at a wish list of places I’d like to visit 🙂

So my challenges this year will be to better maintain my blog and blog on a more regular basis. I’m also going to open up my own ecommerce website/shop which means I will have come full circle as I actually began this adventure with my very one online shop and then closed that down to go 100% on the Etsy platform. Now I’ve decided that Etsy is not enough and that I’d like to have my own shop that I can run and design as I wish. And so that is a huge project that will take a lot of time for me to set up. I’m already working on that and I plan on opening the shop even though the virtual shelfs will not be full but just as an incentive for me to really crunch and do what I can to fill them up in as short a time as I can. I will be linking to the shop here so you will be able to click from the blog to the shop so if you follow me on the blog you are likely to be among the first to actually see this new shop as I do not plan on advertising it until I feel I have sufficient stock for sale.

So  better blog and a new shop – those are two big challenges for 2015. I’m also going to dive more into dyeing yarn and fibre as that is what I really love doing. I have a nice set up for dyeing now which is great. I have invested in some professional tools to help me optimise my work and that will help me get more done. Also I have invested in a carding machine in addition to my blending board and I’m going to be offering more punis/rolags for spinning. Carding and blending wool is really fun to do and I’m sure other spinners will love spinning from my punis as much as I do. I also have hand spindles that I customise and will be selling in kits with wool rovings or punis.

I’ve been experimenting with mini skeins and they have met with a certain success so I’m going to work on doing the same thing with my hand spun yarn. People that have never worked with hand spun may shy away from that thinking it is not as good quality as commercial yarn or they feel the price is too high so maybe they will be more interested in a set of mini skeins for them to try out different colours, textures etc.

My shop now focuses more on my own production and less on commercial supplies. I may continue to sell knitting needles in the future but I will most likely be limiting myself to just one brand. I have however fallen for a small number of what I believe are exceptional items and I will be offering those in the shop. One of them is already for sale, the SOCK RULER! Have you heard of it? If not this is a new product that is pending its pattent in the USA. This is a flat, sort of sock formed plastic ruler that makes measuring for your sock knitting a lot simpler. It helps you to measure all the different parts of your sock in a fun and easy way. Since this item was first commercialised, late 2014 I believe, it has been a big hit with sock knitters and I believe I’m the only european retailer to offer those so I hope european sock knitters will enjoy these as well.

sock ruler 2 All measurements are in inches but as a lot of the sock patterns I knit are in inches that does not bother me that much.

I will also soon be offering some items made by crazymonkeycreations in the US, such as a row counter, sock blockers and mitten blockers.

I will be doing 1 show this year, probably the only one in 2015. At least I do not have another one planned for the moment but hey if something exciting comes my way I just might go for it. So this years show will be in London in the UK. The show will be on May 15-16. This will be a small show with indie dyers and independent producers and is organised by Iknit and if any of you live in the UK or have the possibility to come, then I’d love to meet you in person.

I have also recently joined a very addictive group on Facebook called “Addicted to Sock Knitting”. You can apply for a membership but be aware, if you like knitting socks, this can increase your passion to the point where it becomes an addiction. They have almost 10,000 members from all over the world and it is a truly fun group to be a part of and you see lots of pictures of beautiful socks and yarns and learn new techniques etc. The lady that runs the group also issues an e-zine called Addicted to Knitting that is for lovers of sock knitting and Knitting in France will have a small add in the next issue so hopefully that will draw some traffic to the shop 🙂

As for my latest dyes here are a few pictures:

IMG_2711 IMG_2720 IMG_2725 IMG_2737 IMG_2741 IMG_2748 IMG_2756

 

My latest knits have of course been socks as since I joined the Addicted to Sock FB groupe that seems to be all there is to knit

IMG_2694 These I knit with my hand dyed sock yarn  and I made these for a friend who since has admitted that she just might become addicted to hand knit socks 🙂

IMG_2733These are my wip socks, this is my first attempt at an after thought heel socks and I think I love the construction so I may be making more of these. The yarn is a Danish brand yarn that I purchased on my last visit to Iceland.

IMG_2732 These I made from my hand spun yarn. I love the way the colour and stripes come out and especially the fact that I made them from my own hand spun yarn. These are my first EVER socks with my hand spun yarn but I’m sure I will be making more but I think I have to test them some first, I worry that the fact this is 100% wool they may be fragile and I would/will be devastated if all the hard work of spinning the yarn and then knitting it was then ruined by holes in a record time so I’m going to do some “testing” before making more socks this way.

Well I think it may be time for me to say good by before this post reaches epic proportions and you just give up reading 🙂 Take care and have a wonderful and creative week