It’s all about socks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

dk-weight-socks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Knitting video podcasts and giveaways

Hi there, thank you for stopping by. As I’m writing this it is Friday evening here and I’m just beginning my long weekend! Monday is a public holiday here in France so I’m going to be able to get some more dyeing done than on a regular weekend.

I have been dotting down all the subjects and things that I want to share with  you and  there is a ton! I will have to be serious and organized and get to work!

But before that I thought I’d share something with you because there is a fun giveaway going on and you just might want to join in the fun.

So in an effort to get the word out there about my little shop and my hand dyed yarns and hand made stitch markers, I have been sending some freebies to some of my favorite knitting podcasters both for them to try out and for them to giveaways as prizes on their podcasts.

One such review/giveaway is currently running so you still have time to join in and maybe win some of my yarn and stitch markers.

Just watch Maria’s  latest episode of her podcast Stitched in Sweden and you will see the yarns I sent her and then join the giveaway. Just click here for her episode.

I both watch and listen to a lot of podcasts and Maria’s is one of my favorites. Her style is a little different and I really love her color work knitting.

If you are interested in seeing what video podcasts I follow here is my top 10 and in no particular order:

Geeky Girls Knit

The Knitting Expat

The Knitting Broomstick

Little Bobbins

Inside number 23

Sticks and Twine

YarnGasm

Susan B Anderson

Grocery Girls

AndreSue Knits

 

This is not an exhaustive list of video podcasts that I follow but a list of those I watch every time a new episode comes out. There are a number of others I’m trying out and watch from time to time.

With regards to audio podcasts these are my favorite ones:

Curious Handmade

Shiny Bees

Pom Pom Podcast

Yarn Thing

Power Purls

Also not an exhaustive list but just some of the must listen to.

I hope I have introduced you to something new and help you discover a new podcast. What podcasts do you follow if any? I’d love to hear from you what your favorite shows are.

I’m not sharing any knitting this time although I have been knitting like crazy as you know if you follow me on Instagram – where I’m @knittinginfrance.

I’ll be back later with pictures of my latest FOs and my current WIPs. I’m also working on organising a new sock themed giveaway so stay tuned for that AND there is the summer kal to think about- June 1st to Sep 1st where we would be knitting together on one of Nancy Whitman’s patterns. Do let me know if you want to join in the kal.

And just before I go, do join in Maria’s giveaway if you have the time. Have a wonderful (long) weekend and I’ll be back soon:)

 

 

 

Some progress on my projects and future cast ons

Hi there, all this week I have been sharing with you the wonderful people that I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London last week and I hope you have enjoyed reading about and discovering these artists. I’m not done yet, I have a few more to introduce to you next week but I thought I’d change the subject today and share some of my knitting with you.

So lately I have been doing quite some knitting and have actually finished 2 projects and almost finished the 3rd and 4th so lots to share.

First off, I have finished my first in a series of baby blankets. There are a few new babies expected to join my circle of family and friends this year and I thought it would be nice to give them a hand knit blanket. So I have finished the first one. I did not really use a pattern for this but it was more a stitch pattern really that I found on a blog. It is called the Heirloom Diamond Baby Blanket and I knit it on size 4 mm/US 6 size circulars and used a merino/nylon/cashmere blend that I had hand dyed myself. Not knowing if this particular baby will be a boy or a girl, I chose a bright turquoise colour which I hope will appeal to the parents as much as the baby. (Yes I decided that this particular pattern would be for this particular baby). The website where I found the pattern has a few other free patterns and is called Dragon Knits. You can click here to visit the blog. Just scroll down the landing page to see the blanket pattern.

So here are my pictures

www.knittinginfrance.com     www.knittinginfrance.com Here you see a close up of the diamond pattern. This was actually not that long to knit. The blanket has a “frame” in moss stitch and then diamond pattern all over the rest. I really love the outcome and I think that this pattern works especially well with one colour yarn or semi solids and a lush blend like this with cashmere makes it super soft to the touch. The yarn was hand dyed by myself of course. So happy with this.

Then I also just finished a pair of socks. Now this is a pair that I began a while back and I had finished the first sock and more than half the second one and then I just let it wait, and wait…. Well now I have finally finished knitting them and the pair is super nice. I love the yarn (which I dyed myself by the way) and I think the stitch pattern goes really well with the yarn. The pattern is called Regency Socks by Heatherly Walker  the pattern is for sale on Ravelry here

And then the picture

My Regency socks are done www.knittinginfrance.com

And on to my almost finished project. This is a shawl that I began as soon as I received my order from Knitcircus a while ago. I actually knitted the shawl in 2 days and then had to put it on the side as I waited for the beads to arrive. Once the beads were here, I was too busy preparing for the show in London to have the time to finish so now that I’m back, I intend to finish this for real next week. I do need to watch some tutorials on Youtube because it calls for a beaded russian bind off that I’m not familiar with.

The pattern is called Come What May by Susan B Anderson and is for sale on Ravelry here

The Come What May shawl on www.knittinginfrance.com  I put the beads there too to show you. I ordered some clear beads and some aqua beads and I like those better. So Almost done here!

Now on to my work in progress:

First I’m doing my first pair of socks by General Hogbuffer. I chose Maudie and I’m using a sparkling sock blank that I dyed myself. The pattern is quite fun and the cable pattern easy to learn although you do need to follow what you’re doing or you will (like me) do some cabling mistakes one time or another. Also the construction of the heel is quite unique to accommodate the cable pattern down the heel. So a fun pattern there. I’ve done one sock and since I took the picture this morning I’ve done a few inches of the leg on the second one.

Maudie socks by General Hogbuffer on www.knittinginfrance.com

And then there is a sort of stole/scarf/cowl thing that I’m knitting with my handspun yarn. I actually have 3 skeins of this same yarn and I wanted to retry some entrelac. I had done some a long time ago but never finished my project. Then I started this one a while ago and it too has found itself on the sidelines. But it does look nice and I do want to use my handspun yarn so now I just need some discipline to keep going and FINISHING. There is no pattern here, I’m just trying to learn and get better at doing entrelac.

Handspun yarn and an entrelec stole  Hand spun yarn on www.knittinginfrance.com The yarn is a blend of fibres with angelina for a little sparkle:)

And my latest cast on which actually only dates from this morning ! This is a shawl that a young and talented knitwear designer gifted me but as I’m going to tell you all about her next week, I’m going to keep the suspense and you’ll have to wait until after the weekend to know who this is and what I’m knitting 🙂

Then I already have a new project lined up for casting on! I actually have 2 but just pictures of this one – I’ll tell you all about the other next week because that also involves a young and talented designer I just met:) But I can tell you that both projects are socks.

So, I’m going to be knitting my second pattern by General Hogbuffer and this time a colourwork pattern. I chose Skandium and 2 highly contrasting yarns that I have hand dyed.

Skandium by General Hogbuffer What is dark blue on the picture will be neon yellow and what is light grey will be medium grey. What do you think? I know the neon yellow is NEON but I have a feeling this will work super nice. So I’m excited about casting on for this pair. Now I just need to first finish my Maudie socks and cast of my Come What May shawl and then I can go ahead and cast on! I hope I’ll have some time for knitting this weekend.

Well this is all for now. I hope you enjoyed looking at these pictures and reading about my little adventures:) Next week I’ll continue to introduce you to more wonderful folks that I met in London and share with you the project I cast on for this morning and the one I’m going to cast on soon. I wish you all a wonderful and creative weekend.

Take care:)

Works in progress

Hi there, If you follow my blog you know that this week has been a super happy mail week and that I recently received my order of gradient yarns from Knitcircus Yarns. I of course got super excited and despite my good intentions of actually finishing some of my works in progress BEFORE casting on for yet another project I was unable to resist. I chose to use the Sand Castle Yarn and do the Come What May Shawl by Susan B Anderson

huge yarn cake from Knitcircus - www.knittinginfrance.com  Come What may shawl by Susan B Anderson - www.knittinginfrance.com   And here is my progress so far

the come what may shawl - www.knittinginfrance.com

My progress so far on the Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson

Looks pretty good so far I think. And the pattern is a joy to knit, simple but not too simple and as it’s knit on size 4 mm/US6 needles it progresses super quick I feel and that is always a good perk.

I’ve not forgotten about my baby blanket although it’s been on the back burner these past 2 days, but I really love how the pattern works out, I love the colour which I hope the parents will also like and feel is unisex. I just hope I dyed enough yarn….As I never write anything down but dye “to feeling” (if that is a thing). What do you think? I do need to be careful to count my stitches because sometimes I stop and realize that I’ve crossed the stitches at the wrong place and I need to unravel a few stitches down a few rows. But so far so good, now I just need to be serious and continue so it will be finished in time for my little niece or nephew.

progress on my baby blanket - www.knittinginfrance.Com

My baby blanket so far

I’ve also been doing some work for the I Knit Fandango show which is coming up in just a few days!!! Can you believe that!! I’m so excited and I look forward to perhaps meet some of you and to share with you here the pictures of my booth and so forth. So i’ve been doing stitch markers and fibre crafts themed earrings. Do you like these?

Fibre craft inspired earrings for next weeks show - www.knittinginfrance.com

Some fibre craft inspired earrings for the I Knit Fandango show in London next week

Well thats all for today, take care and enjoy your day:)

I think I may have a problem…with online shopping…..too much…..or….

Hi there, yesterday was a happy mail day but today is an even HAPPIER mail day! I’m so happy and excited about what the mailman brought today that I started getting a bad conscience! Could it be that I spend too much time and money shopping online? After all I do have my very OWN online knitting shop with quite an extensive stock at home. So why do I still need to buy from others???? Good question! I think the answer to that question is: You can NEVER have too much yarn! (or related tools, fibre, books, accessories…. you get the picture!)

So now its show off time! And maybe one of you will get inspired to do a little shopping online as well (hi hi…this is the shopping fairy thats speaking here)

First of, like I told you yesterday I recently enrolled in a spindling class on Craftsy and after watching a few classes I went online and bought some supported spindles. I bought 2 tibetan and 2 russian style spindles. One of each from 2 different shops. So I got one set delivered yesterday along with a lap bowl www.knittinginfrance.com

And today I got the other two! The first set is sort of classic elegance I feel and this second set is more fun and full of colour. This second set comes from the USA, a shop called Woodturnerva and his work is gorgeous and the spindles are BEAUTIFUL!

supported spindles from Woodturnerva on Etsy - www.knittinginfrance.com

Supported spindles from Woodturnerva on Etsy

The Russian spindle is the multi colored one and the Tibetan spindle is the pink and black. Beautiful work don’t you think? Now I just need to find some serious alone time to work on my skills as I plan to take my spindles with me on holiday this summer. Do you spindle? If so any and all tips and tricks are more than welcome 🙂

So this was the first happy package of the day. Now on to the second! So a few days ago I was browsing Facebook and came across a post from Jaala Spiro of Knitcircus. She was having a SALE the next day. I did think: hm, better NOT check that out tomorrow as I really don’t need any more yarn and plus I have this huge to knit list and promised myself I’d get it done before casting on for any more socks etc. But hey, who can stay serious and strong in front of a Knitcircus sale? Unfortunately, or not, I’m not one of those folks. So came the big day and off I went browsing! At the end of my daydreaming, shopping session I found myself with 3 items in my cart! And now they have arrived!

huge yarn cake from Knitcircus - www.knittinginfrance.com

Sand Castle gradient yarn by Knitcircus

Knitcircus gradient yarn - www.knittinginfrance.com

Eat, Pray, Knit and Watermelon gradient yarns from Knitcircus

So do you like?????? The first picture of the big brown and blue yarn cake is 150gr  so lots of yardage there ( 600yds), the colourway is Sand Castle. I’m thinking this one needs to be a shawl. The other two are  regular size 100gr cakes with 400yds. The one on the left is Eat, Pray, Knit and the one on the right is Watermelon. I love watermelon socks so I might knit this yarn first. I’m thinking for the Watermelon, a simple pattern to let the colours really be the centerpiece of the socks. However, as this is just one regular size yarn cake, I wont be able to knit them 2 in 1 or if I do, one sock will be mostly green and the other mostly red but then I guess, even if I knit them one at a time that’s how they will be anyway. Do you think maybe I should use this for something other than socks? To let the gradient dyeing show? I hadn’t thought of this. In her yarn club I receive 2 yarn cakes and that is why I’m able to do 2 identical gradient socks. Hm, guess I need to think this a little bit.

But for the shawl thing, do you have any suggestions?  Maybe the Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson that she designed specifically for Knitcircus gradient yarn. Here’s a picture of that

Come What may shawl by Susan B Anderson - www.knittinginfrance.com

Come What May shawl by Susan B Anderson especially designed for Knitcircus gradient yarns

They say that 430 yards are needed which means that the smaller cakes are out of the picture and if I use the large one, I will have some left overs for a small pair of socks maybe unless I’m able to make the shawl bigger. This could be an idea I think. You can buy a kit from Knitcircus (pattern+yarn+beads/or no beads) or the pattern alone on Ravelry.

Now on to the last happy mail day item! This is a magazine that is published for people in the yarn industry and it is super interesting as i can read interviews with interesting people, get information about the industry, get inspiration and so for so definitely a good read for me.

my favorite magazine - www.knittinginfrance.com I love this issue’s front picture.

Well that’s about all for today. I’m off to work on my guest post for Sarah Inskeeps blog and to browse Ravelry for inspiration for my new yarn. Youpi:)

Until next time, take care