Some FOs and new cast ons

Hi there, I’m sorry I didn’t blog last week. I just felt somewhat “empty”.  I had a lot of work and just felt like I had not had much time to knit and so didn’t have enough to show and share with you. Sometimes I hit a low spot and just can’t get myself to blog and share and I feel that if my spirits are down, I’m just going to drag you down with me and that would not be a nice thing to no now would it ? So better to way and blog when my heart and head are in the right place:)

So I hope you have had a nice couple of weeks. Here in Normandy the weather gods are not quite sure if it’s winter or not yet so we go from sun and summery temperatures to rain and cold and back to sun again. A little confusing but winter is definitely getting close though.

I have been feeling the cast on-itis seriously lately and I have cast on for 3 new projects! Kind of crazy when one has as many languishing wips as I do but then knitting is all about fun and making oneself feel good so I’m not going to bash myself about that.

But first lets talk about FOs.

I am so happy to finally get to show you my finished Zweig sweater! I finished it a while ago but for some reason did not get around to taking a finished picture. Well now I have..not of me in it unfortunately but you will get the general idea. I really like how it turned out. It fits perfectly and I’m very happy about my choice of yarn.

zweig done

I look forward to winter really coming so I can start wearing this one.

And then there is my ongoing charity sock knitting for Marie Curie. Last year I knit 4 pairs and this year I decided I would knit 6.  I have now finished 4 1/2 pairs! I really look forward to being done with this 5th pair and actually start on pair number 6. I’m not sure when I started knitting those but I think I have knit them rather quickly. And even though the main colour is the same for all, just changing the contrasting colour and the stitch I use for each pair has made this a fun project and I am not having any issues motivating myself to continue. I’m planning to have all 6 pairs finished by the end of this month so I can mail them to the UK beginning of November so they will be there plenty in time.

four and a half pair marie curie

I still have most of my ends to weave in! So the first 3 pairs are maybe more masculine as I used blue as contrast colour and because I made them a little bigger. Now I’m working on the yellow contrast colour and I’m knitting them a little smaller even though I know terminally ill patients often have retention issues and swollen ankles so I do not make any 56 stitch socks but still somewhat smaller than the first 3 pairs.

This 5th pair is a simple vanilla and I need to find something nice for the last pair. I would love a simple yet feminine pattern that can work well with this variegated yarn. If you have any ideas, please do share the pattern name or even link in a comment below!

Now on to works in progress. So on top of my Marie Curie socks, I’m still working on my Chevron Boxy only it has not seen much love lately so no picture here. It’s in a project bag next to my bed and I’m hoping I will pick it back up and just work on it like crazy to get it done soon! We’ll see…

And I also finished a shawl that I was test knitting for KBJ Designs, an Australian knitwear designer that I have test knit for on a few occasions.

Her shawl was knit in one single solid colour but I had just finished plying a beautiful gradient hand spun yarn. My yarn went from dark marine blue to a beige sandy colour. Sort of like from the beach to deep sea and I really wanted to use that for something special asap! Lucky for me the designer was ok with me using not only a gradient but a hand spun at that so off I went.

handwound ball

You can’t see all the colours here but you do get a little picture of the different hues.

This shawl pattern has not been released yet but I will let you know when it is and what it is called. I’m not going to share the name just yet just in case she had a change of mind:)

This was a beautiful design and a joy to knit and I finished way ahead of the deadline.

crimson dawn shawl beginnning

It was not easy to choose whether to begin with the darkest or the lightest colour. Finally I settled on the darkest because I really like blue and I felt it would look nice on my skin.

IMG_1850IMG_1853IMG_0008

I’m really happy with the finished item and knitting with my own hand spun yarn is such a thrill!

And now on to my 3 new cast ons in the order in which they were cast on!

First there is my second Damejakkalopa cardigan or a colourwork cardigan by Pinneguri. I’m knitting a second version of this one for my mum and hope to have it finished in time for Christmas.

My mom chose the colours a while ago and she asked me to omit the “lice” pattern on the body (the little dots/stitches in a contrasting colour). I’m done with the yoke so until I reach the bottom of the body it is just simple knitting in the round.

IMG_1860

I really like the colours here. The main colour is indigo blue which you can see on the yoke in the part just below the very light blue/grey section. I’m using yarn from the same company as when I knit mine only a different line. I used the wool/silk blend for mine but this time around I’m working with the 100% wool blend and loving it. It is the Supersoft by Holst Garn.

My second cast on was somewhat of a surprise. This weekend we had some friends over to celebrate our birthdays and I was wearing my Cactus over a tee shirt.

IMG_1488

One of my friends made a few not so subtle comments about why I wouldn’t knit her a cardigan too and so the next day I decided I would and cast on! Now, I don’t knit for a lot of people usually. I choose my knitwear recipients carefully because I only want to spend time and money knitting something if I am fairly certain the recipient will actually appreciate my effort and wear/use the item. This particular friend is knit worthy and I have already gifted her a shawl and two pairs of socks. So anyway, I have cast on for a second Cactus. I again used Holst Garn but in their wool/cotton blend so it does not scratch at all! I chose a very neutral colour called Dove. I literally just cast on yesterday so I don’t have much to show but here goes.

cactus two

I think this will look nice and be easy to wear with all sorts of colours.

And last but not least, I decided to join in for the new Stephen West Mystery knitalong! This started last Friday but I didn’t get the time to cast on till Sunday. The first few rows are a little confusing but I think it will be nice in the end.

As Stephens designs are often very colourful and a little “out there” I decided this time I would be very down to earth and choose subtle, neutral tones and I’m so happy with the combination of yarns I came up with.

IMG_1863

All are special yarns that I have purchased recently except for the mohair blend which I hand dyed myself.

IMG_1866

As you can see I have literally just started so not much to show. And I do have a doubt about whether or not all is correct. Also I find the mohair yarn knit on its own looks a little awkward as it is so much thinner than the other fingering weight yarns. But I’m going to keep going with this clue until it starts shaping up so I can better judge. Of course if when looking at my picture you see a huge error screaming back at you, DO let me know!

That’s it for today. I hope you have enjoyed your time here on the blog and seeing my knitting. I have enjoyed sharing everything with you. Next time I will be sharing pictures and information on a secret test knit I did this past summer and the pattern that will be published in a beautiful knitting magazine this November. I also hope to be on my last pair for Marie Curie and who knows what else!

So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

Advertisements

My two latest test knits have been published

Hi there, how are you today? I’m melting…literally. It is soooo hot here in Normandy it’s difficult to knit even.  I am not a hot weather person meaning that I do not enjoy high temperatures. I like medium hot like maybe 25°C but not much more so these days I truly suffer from the heat.

But hey this is what summer is all about so I guess I should not complain.

Thank you to all that participated in my two last giveaways. There is one last one coming up in a few days so you have that to look forward to.

I haven’t shared much of my knitting with you lately because of the giveaways and little time so I thought I should remedy that now.

Both of my bigger test knits have now been published on Ravelry.

First there is the secret test knit I did for Renée of East London Knits. It is a top down sweater with a beautiful sweetheart neck line and an easy construction. The pattern is called Witching Hour.  I have linked here to my project page on Ravelry for more pictures of my sweater.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I knit mine using fingering weight yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings in colorway Moonlight.

I really like my sweater and can see myself knitting it again. The only remark I have is regarding the sleeves that I feel are too tight for my liking but I don’t really know if that is the pattern or if I just knit at a tighter gauge.

And my second garment test knit was the Cactus cardigan by Suvi Simola which I have been able to share with you here before. Again I will link here to my project page so you can get all the details.

I really did enjoy knitting this cardigan and look forward to knitting this again. The pattern is super simple to follow and the garment a joy to wear.

IMG_1488IMG_1487

I knit mine using Holst Garn Supersoft and I think I will knit one from the same yarn but different color and maybe a third in another yarn. Really this is such a wearable item.

I am now working on just one test knit, a summer garment and again this is a secret so I can only show you the yarn. This is 100% linen yarn in fingering weight and I love the colours. I’m knitting this doubled on needles size 5mm. I’m about half done with this one. I did finish one version of this pattern/test knit in size small using my own hand dyed merino/cotton yarn as I waited for this yarn to arrive. That worked out great and I gifted the garment to my youngest. When the pattern will be published I will share pictures of both versions.

IMG_1472

Currently so I’m working on this test knit, I’m also still working on my Main Street tee shirt and I’m actually working on socks from my pile of wips!

But I think very soon I will be casting on for a new pair of socks because I have joined the Knotty Knit Wits Stitch Surfer Kal which I have mentioned in a previous post. I had chosen the following yarns

IMG_1484

The “contrast color” is my own hand dyed. But I think I have changed my mind. I need something truly contrasting for this pattern to shine so I am going to change the contrasting yarn and possibly even the self striping. Depends on what I find in my stash.

That’s about it I think for now. I’ll probably be back this weekend with the third and last giveaway for a while. Until then take care and enjoy your knitting:)

Knitting, spinning and planning

Hi there how are you today? I hope you had a nice weekend and that you were able to participate in the WorldWide Knit in Public day where you are. Unfortunately I did not. I had to work and just totally worked the day away not even remembering what day it was till the evening when I took a look at IG!

I’m sure there were things going on I could have joined but hey, maybe next year.

I have been knitting seriously this past week. I finished my secret test knitting wrap! That is such a relief! I’m always happy when I finish a test knit even if it is an enjoyable one. Just knowing that I managed to finish in time feels so good. So I will be sharing pictures of that when the pattern will be released.

My second test knit is going well. Today I finished the body and started sleeve one. I’m knitting the sleeve on a 9″ circular so it should go pretty quickly. I really like knitting sleeves on short circulars as I feel it goes so much quicker when there is no cable management, no pulling on the needle to get to the right place.

IMG_1409 2

I’m knitting this with Holst Garn Supersoft. It is the first time I use the Supersoft but it is working very nicely as all their other yarns.

I really like this red color and the pattern!

IMG_1412 2

This is the yoke detail, some lace and some ribbing.

IMG_1413 2

And the  bottom hem. I really like this unusual rib she uses.

Oh and by the way, this is a design by Suvi Simola, a Finnish designer 🙂

So I’m happily working on this every day and hope to make good progress on my sleeve this week. I would love to have this cardigan finished in 2 weeks time. That should not be an issue.

Since last week, I did take on a new test knit. Again. But a small one this time, just a pair of shorty socks.

This is a very fun pattern that is great for stash busting as you can knit using your left over sock yarns. You need two contrasting colors and the designer specifically asked that the main color be a speckled yarn.

I do have those and I love the one I chose but… I think it was not the best choice for this pattern. Because even if it is mostly white, it does have a lot of colored speckles and in all the colors! So it was not easy finding a contrasting color to go with it. Each time I ended up realizing that one of the “speckles” was the same color as my contrasting yarn! GRRRR

So I actually knit the part with the contrasting yarn 3 times… So the first time I really did not knit many rounds and I even did not take a picture of my progress before ripping back but this is the yarn I used.

IMG_1396

I felt my light pink was too similar to some of the speckles and just did not stand out enough. So I decided to try a more pink yarn.

IMG_1400 2

And again I felt it was not good enough so again I ripped back. And the third and last try was with a grey yarn. Again I feel it sometimes mixes with the speckled one but I’m not changing yet again.

I’m about to start the toe decreases so this is a super quick knit. I should have the pair  done next time I blog.

I’m feeling like knitting on and on and on! And I’m just loving browsing Ravelry for pattern ideas and going through my Ravelry library which is HUGE! And as summer is coming/here I’m thinking I should resist the long sleeved wool sweaters and go for something summery.

So I have printed out 3 patterns that I would like to cast on and I have (I think) found the yarns I want to use for them. I’d love to hear what you think.

First up is a pattern called Main Street by Pip and Pin. And the yarn I’m thinking of using is from Knit Cosmic Strings

main street idea

Ok so yes this is a CRAZY yarn but I still like it and so I’m going to give it a try in this summer top.

Then there is the Tegna by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland knitworks. Everyone seems to either have knit the Tegna or be knitting the Tegna. I resisted for a long time but now I had to give in. I’m thinking of using yarn from Mothy and the Squid.

tegna idea

This is the same colorway but 2 different dye lots so they are not exactly the same but I’m thinking if I blend them together doing 1-2 rounds of each it will just melt together.

And last but not least there is Este by Justyna Lorkowska and I’m thinking of knitting this with my own hand dyed yarn. I have the same yarn base as she used in the design but I don’t have enough in one color so I’m thinking of doing a striped version or maybe one main color with one big color block/stripe …Not sure yet.

estes idea

That is a lot of knitting! Not to mention when you know that I have a ton of wips that need finishing and that I constantly accept new test knits! So maybe I will only end up knitting one out of the three. Who knows! But at least planning and coming up with the yarns has been fun.

It was a little difficult though because most of my stash consists of single skeins! I love hand dyed yarns and usually those are on the expensive side meaning I rarely buy more than one or two at at time and when I do, I usually buy different colors! The more the merrier until one starts to knit garments and all of a sudden all those single skeins are useless!

I think I will have to seriously rethink my yarn buying and by less but more to the point, with a purpose. Even if I don’t have a pattern picked maybe just buy yarn thinking I will want to make a garment with it in the future.

And spinning! I have been spinning lately and I just finished what I think is a gorgeous skein of a two ply sock yarn. This is a blend of cheviot, silk and nylon so should be the perfect yarn for socks. Now I just need a little bit of time and the perfect pattern:)

I really love this rich burgundy shade.

And before I say good bye for  today, I’m almost at 300 subscribers to the blog! How fun and how amazing is that!

When I started about 3 years ago or so I wasn’t sure I would be able to stay with it and more importantly I didn’t know if people would actually come to my blog and want to follow my story. So I’m so happy and proud to still be here and for all the fun and interaction I have with you all that take the time out of your busy days to check in on me.

So this of course means it’s going to be time for a giveaway!

I do have 2 giveaways from different sponsors that I need to organise and I will also sponsor one myself! I’m thinking these should all take place in the next 10 days or so (if I get up to 300) so stay tuned! There will be a skein of self striping yarn, hand made ceramic buttons and a mix of things for the blog giveaway. I will tell you all about these in the coming days!

That’s it for today. Thank you again for stopping by. Have a great week and lots of crafting. See you soon:)

In need of some serious genes to stay focused

How are you today? A new week has begun and summer is more or less here. This past weekend I got to knit a little bit in the garden which was very nice.

I’m struggling somewhat with my knitting because I have so many things that I want to work on and not enough time. It’s difficult to prioritise even.
Of course my test knits are the most important and get worked on the most and then the other wips get a little love from time to time.

This week I have one finished object to show off and I’m super happy about it. It’ s my summer tee shirt called Notice (spring) by Ankestrick. I knit this using Holst Garn Coast which is a wool and cotton blend. It is a joy to knit with and once washed it blooms and feels really soft.

IMG_1371

Here I only had the sleeves to do.

IMG_1370Again but with a front view.

And on the blocking matt. The sleeves were almost done actually. When the body is done you just pick up the sleeve stitches, cast on a few more and on to the ribbing.

I really like the colors and the end result. I really want to cast on for a new summer/spring project using this yarn. I’m thinking of short sleeved tee shirt called Coctail (jumper) by Maison Rililie. That pattern calls for an all wool yarn but as it is short sleeved I think I would only use it in spring/summer so a wool/cotton blend would be better suited for me.

I’m trying to hold off from casting this on until one of my two test knits is done. Both need to be finished in June so … soon:)

Talking of test knits, the firs and older project is still a secret but here is a sneak peak I took when knitting in the garden this weekend.

IMG_1383

A beautiful brioche thingy:) I think I’m about 70% done so I’m getting close.

My second test knit is a cardigan and it is not a secret! It is a pattern by Finnish designer Suvi Simola and I’m knitting the cardigan with Holst Garn supersoft which is a 100% wool yarn. It is a little rustic but once washed will be perfect. I chose a beautiful red color which I think will look good with almost anything.

IMG_1379

The only “complaint” I have is that it is knit in rows and so it is taking longer to knit than if it were knit in the round and then steeked. I’m not a huge fan of purling though it does not generally bother me. But for such a big project I really see how this slows me down and if I knit a second cardigan like this I will definitely knit it in the round with a steek.

IMG_1382

But so far so good. I think this will be a beautiful piece once all knit up and I look forward to having it in my wardrobe.

I have fallen out of sock mojo! I used to knit a ton of socks but now it has been a while since I actually finished a pair. I have a billion socks on the go of course but I’m picking them up less frequently than normal.

Not sure why, maybe this is just a result of having lots of work and not enough time to knit. Or maybe I’m just too much into garment knitting at the moment.

I have though started yet another sock. This is the Huggle socks from one of Mina Philips (Knitting Expat) sock clubs. It’s the June socks and when I saw the simple and yet stunning  pattern I new I had to cast on immediately and I also knew what yarn to use.

I had been spinning a special sock blend that I have had in my fibre stash for a while. It is a cheviot, silk and nylon blend. The fibre feels rustic to the touch so it feels like a good and sturdy sock blend. I was going to do a two ply but then was too lazy to actually prepare to do a two ply and just went with my regular Navajo ply ( 3 ply). The resulting yarn is somewhere between fingering and sport weight and I have a 120 gr so should be plenty for an adult pair of socks.

Still to stay on the safe side, I decided to use a contrasting yarn for cuff, heels and toes. I had just recently purchased Tuku Sock yarn for the first time and that looked and felt very similar to my hand spun yarn and so that felt like a match.

My hand spun yarn is all sorts of shades of green from a sort of mustardy light green to a deeper brown green and anything in between and when knit up it is actually making a sort of striping pattern.

IMG_1381

I love seeing the color variations in the hand spun.

 

IMG_1386

I’m past the heel and getting close to the toe. I hope to finish sock one this week and plan on casting on for sock two immediately after. This is going to be a pair of very woolly socks for winter. I haven’t yet decided if they will be for me or a gift.

I really like the simple pattern, just this nice cable on one side that keeps the pattern from becoming boring to knit and yet allows for a simple, relaxing knit.

This coming week as I just said I hope to make good progress on my Huggle sock. I also hope to make good progress on my two test knits because I’m feeling itchy and wanting to cast on a lot of new things.

I’m trying to be strong and remind myself that I do have a lot of languishing wips that desperately need knitting on. I don’t know why casting on seems more attractive than actually picking up a wip and finishing an item! After all ticking off a knitting project as done is always a thrill so why on earth am I not finishing wips like a crazy person?

My oldest, my 21 year old daughter just left for Iceland yesterday where she will spend the summer working. It feels so strange to be just 4 home now. It was hard saying good bye and I know I will be calling her all the time. And now that she is gone, I’m thinking of the knitting projects I have languishing for her! I have a sweater that is 90% done! I have a few inches of the second sleeve to knit and then I need to sew it together as it is knit in pieces. And I have a huge blanket that I’m knitting using my early, chunky hand spun. It is a sort of a scrap blanket as I’m using all sorts of yarns and colors and I’m knitting it in linen stitch. How amazing would it be if I could present her with these two projects finished and ready for her to enjoy when she comes back home at the end of summer? That would be amazing! I really need to get myself motivated and start working towards that goal. Don’t even know why I put these two things in time out nor what is making picking them up again so difficult.

I guess a knitters mind is a real mystery:)

That is about all for today I think. Thank you for stopping  by as always. I hope you have enjoyed spending some time with me today. I so enjoy sharing my knitting with you. And guess what, I almost forgot, I’m almost at 300 subscribers!!!!!! When I hit 300 I’m going to do something fun like a little game or a prize draw to celebrate so stay tuned.

All the best and speak to you soon. Happy knitting 🙂

A new week

Hi there how are you? I hope you enjoyed a long weekend and so a shorter working week this week. I did take a few hours extra yesterday but still it feels good to not work quite as many hours as usually.

As for my knitting, I do have some exciting news.

First and foremost my Breathing Space sweater is DONE! I started this sweater soooo long ago and then ripped back a big chunk and put into time out. My issue was with the  body increases after the sleeve separation. I also knit a size too big and so when I realised that I just ripped back. I was so very disappointed as I had actually come close to finishing the body. But I’m very happy I did rip back and start again. My sweater would have been way too big otherwise.

And so after reorganising my room/stash I picked it up again and just got going and it was done in no time.

I admit I still have to weave in the ends, wash and block but technically I’m done!

IMG_1330

And I love it! I’m so happy with my choice of yarn but I used my own hand dye yarn in my merino/mohair/nylon base and it is a joy to work with and it just looks so nice.

I also managed to finish my secret test knit sweater and I have even blocked it. I just need to get some pictures of myself wearing it so I can send them off to the designer. This is still a secret so no pictures just yet.

I’m also knitting a wrap for that same designer and that is taking a lot of time. It is a big piece and I’m not able to make much progress each day so what I do is I put in a progress keeper at the end of each day and that way at the end of one week I see the total progress I have made. That keeps me motivated and on track. I think I’m about 50% done so still some work there.

After finishing my two sweaters and seeing as the weather was getting a little summery, I decided I should knit a summer top. And so I went through my Ravelry library (and I may have purchased a pattern or two as well) and I chose my first top. Yes I’m now thinking I need to knit a few summer tops!

So the first one I’m knitting is called Notice (Spring) and it is by Ankestrik and this is a beautiful short sleeved t shirt. I decided to knit this using my Holst Garn Coast which is a wool/cotton blend and lucky for me, I actually had very similar colors in my stash to those shown on the pattern. I think this one will be super nice and I just might make a few of these if it turns out good.

`

So I’m just a few rounds from separating for the sleeves. I love how it looks so far.

And the big news this week is… that I got chosen to test knit for designer Suvi Simola. I’m a fan of her patterns but this is the first time I test knit for her. I will be test knitting a new cardigan which looks so amazing! And the best part is that the test knit is not a secret so once I get started I will be able to share the pictures and my progress with you! How fun will that be?

suvi

I  will be knitting with the yarn in the picture above. This is Holst Garn Supersoft and I think my cardi will be fab!

That’s about all for today. Rather a short post because I’m pressed for time and I absolutely wanted to get a post out today. But before I leave I really wanted to thank everyone that reached out and commented on my last post. It feels so good to know that I’m not alone! That other knitters go through the same issues as I do where yarn buying urges are. And I also got some great advice and I’m going to implement some of those such as:

  1. unsubscribe from newsletters from yarn shops and indie dyer
  2. allocate myself a set budget for yarn/knitting indulgence. This way I know that each and every month I have a particular amount that I can use on yarn buying without any qualms.

I hope you too enjoyed reading those comments and maybe you too will be able to implement these things too for your budget.

That is all for today. I hope you will have a wonderful week ahead of you and lots of knitting time of course. Until next time, Happy Knitting 🙂