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:)

Advertisements

A test knit reveal and more

Hi there,

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you are doing good and that you had a nice weekend, maybe even a prolonged weekend if you live in the US. Back here in France school has started again and I’m happy to get back into the routine. When working from home, I admit that it is way easier when the kids are at school than having them all 3 at the home. Even if they are not very young. So seeing everyone return to school feels good:)

I had a sale in my shop over the weekend and if you purchased anything I would like to thank you for your support. It means a lot to me. I’m still pondering whether to continue or not. Selling on Etsy is a challenge and if I want to have a chance of continuing I will have to get my own ecommerce website and launch a crowdfunding project to get the necessary funds to set up a new website and purchase new yarn bases and other items indispensable to running the shop in a productive way. I’m not sure whether that is a reasonable thing to do or if  people are not willing to support/fund another indie dyer. There are so many dyers out there and even if we usually say there is a place for everyone, the market is already well supplied in indie dyed yarn and so a project like mine might not awake interest. I’m still thinking this over and I just might launch a Kickstarter campaign. After all either I won’t make my goal and nothing happens or I do make my goal and get to fulfill my dream. I will keep you updated of course.

Now onto knitting. As the title of today’s post says, I’m about to reveal one of my test knits. So as I told you before, I was test knitting 2 cardigans and a pair of socks. I have just finished the first cardigan and the pattern has now been released on Ravelry.

This new pattern is called Tommelise and the designer er Agata known as Amanitaknits. I have already knit a number of her patterns and this is the third time I test knit for her so I feel I can recommend her patterns without a second thought.

This time it is a fingering weight cardigan. The pattern is meant more for spring/summer/early autumn wear as it is rather short and has 3/4 length sleeves. The pattern is easy to follow and what can be called a potato chipy knit. The cardigan is knit in one piece so no sewing but a lot of purling. But that’s ok. If you don’t like purling, just look at this as your chance to work on your purling speed or why not learn to knit backwards and work on that while doing the cardigan.

I knit mine using my SOX yarn base which is a 75/25 merino/nylon yarn that I hand dyed myself is a lovely red brique color. Almost a Harry Potter red.

I did choose to modify the pattern slightly. This is the first time I ask to modify the pattern as I’m test knitting. I wanted the cardigan to be longer, the body that is. I also wanted full length sleeves. So my changes include: a longer body, longer sleeves including a longer cuff.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here are a few pictures of me wearing the cardigan. I actually finished this twice! What happened was that I knit the sleeves very long and after washing and blocking the cardigan, I ended up with VERY long sleeves. Too long. So I ripped back and reknit just the cuff and now it fits perfectly.

I think this pattern is beautiful and if you live someplace where the weather is mild; I would definitely recommend following the pattern to the T. I chose to lengthen the cardigan because I usually wear this type of garment in winter over a tshirt.

I really love the finished item and I’m so happy to have finished. Now I only have one cardigan and two pairs of socks for test knitting! Yes! two socks! I just accepted a  new sock knitting test knit 🙂

In other knitting related news. I have started both Mkals; the What the Fade by Andrea Mowry and the Road to Rhinebeck by Mina Phillip.  I was surprised by how short Clue 1 was in the Road to Rhinebeck shawl. It took less than an hour to finish, maybe as little as half an hour so not much to share with you.

I’m still working on Clue 1 for the What the Fade mkal. I was happy to see that it is at least partly in brioche and I’m just over half done with clue 1. For this kal I splurged and  purchased an entire Fade kit! 6 entire skeins of fingering weight yarn from Dragon Hoard Yarns on Etsy.  I’m very excited about this project as I’m a fan of Andrea’s patterns so I’m pretty sure this will be amazing not to mention of epic proportions seeing the quantity of yarn!

IMG_8483

How gorgeous are these yarns?! I’m using them from the top down, that is the brown skein at the top is my color A and the bottom white and speckled skein is my yarn F.

And this is where I’m at now

IMG_0002IMG_0001

According to the pattern, the first (darker) picture is the front/right side. I however think brioche can be used either side and like both equally much so far. Of course the pattern may not be entirely in brioche and so the darker side will have to be the front. We’ll see. I’m going to try my best to keep up with the clues and try not to fall behind as that might lead to me being discouraged and casting on a gazillion new things rather than catch up!

If you are doing these kals, I’d love to hear what you think so far and if you’d like to share pictures I’d love to see your versions.

This is all for today. I’ll be back soon with a super exciting new post full of pictures from Iceland’s first ever yarn crawl! I was not lucky enough to participate myself but a cousin of mine who lives in Iceland and is a great knitter, did attend and she sent me tons of pictures to share with you all and I think you will enjoy seeing those. Depending on time, I might post later this week. If times runs out on me, then this coming weekend.

Until then, thank you for stopping by and I wish you all a wonderful week with plenty of knitting:)

Back after a little vacation

Hi there, how are you? It’s been at least two weeks since my last post and I hope you have had a great time during that interval and are enjoying spring/early summer. Here in Normandy the weather has been beautiful although not warm but it is supposed to change as of tomorrow and turn all grey and rainy!

After being away for two weeks and having travelled and knit a lot, I of course have a ton of things to share with you but rather than write an epic post that would take most of your day to read, I’m going to break it up into a number of posts and maybe post every other day or so until I’m back on schedule.

So if you have followed me for at least a little while you will know that I went away for a week with my kids for spring break. We went to Iceland and then I took a couple of days to go to Glasgow, Scotland with my son.  This meant that I only got  2 1/2 days in Iceland, then I went for 2 days to Scotland and then again 2 1/2 days in Iceland or so.

That was a very short break in Iceland but I did get to see my family and one friend so that was great. Being “home” always feels so good. Just being in the country where I grew up and everything is so familiar and feels so right even though I have been away for a very long time and now also consider France to be my home. Spending time with my parents, grandmother, sister, aunt, uncle and nephews and nieces… it just fills my heart with joy and charges the batteries.

I didn’t do any travelling in Iceland it was really all about family time, a little work and of course some essential shopping (that is food and sweets to bring to France and yarn of course). I visited one yarn shop and of course a supermarket that sells yarn too and I’ll be sharing pictures and info about both in a future post.

Glasgow was a fun short trip. We stayed in the center of town and we did a lot of walking! So much so that I came home with huge blisters on my feet! The weather was not the best but it did not stop us from sight seeing, shopping and just generally making the most of our short stay. I even checked out the two yarn shops that had been recommended to me! You will of course learn all about those and what I came away with after visiting:)

But since it’s been awhile since my last post I thought I might kick off by sharing my latest finished objects. I think I have 4 socks, one cowl and one cardigan so let’s get going.

First the socks. These are not necessarily in the order I finished them because I don’t actually remember which was finished when. Probably because I’m knitting on so many socks at a time constantly so let’s just pick one at random.

The first one is a test knit that I did for my friend, the designer Dana Gervais. The pattern has not been released yet but should be soon I think. Her sizes are not S,M, L but rather they go by the width of your foot so narrow, medium, wide and extra wide. I did the wide version but it turned out to be too big for me so should you knit this pattern you might want to consider doing a size smaller than usual or go down a needle size. I used yarn I purchased in Glasgow for these, Lang wool.

The pattern is very easy to remember and the heel construction is different from “usual”. However, once the test was done, I ripped back and I’m going to reknit these in a size smaller because I really enjoyed the knitting and the finished sock looks really nice.

Next up is a simple vanilla sock that I knit on 9″ circulars using yarn from one of my most favorite indie dyers ever, Knit Cosmic Strings. I didn’t use any pattern, just knit from memory, my standard vanilla sock toe up.

IMG_7620

 

Then there are the Incantation socks by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears Podcast. I’m a fan of her patterns which tend to be simple and yet fun to knit and this one is no exception and I can see myself knitting many of these in the future. For this particular pair, I used a yarn that I splurged on from La Bien Aimée. Everyone is talking about the Bien Aimée yarns all the time so I thought I should try out for myself and see what all the fuss was about. And so I indulged myself and purchased one sock set and one regular skein of sock yarn as well as a magazine and a Fringe bag!!! Anyway I used the sock set for this sock and I still have plenty of yarn left so I think I’ll knit a pair of shorty socks with the rest. The colorway is fabulous, I love both the main color and the contrast mini for heels and toes. The yarn is a BFL superwash and it is not soft to the touch but still nice to work with. The quality is just regular as could be expected from any yarn dyer – I think a lot of dyers have the same suppliers depending on where in the world they are so usually the same base/type of wool can be found in any number of indie shops. But this is not meant to be a review on their yarn so let’s just go to the picture so you can see.

 

I really love the speckled main color and the mustardy contrast. The pattern is a simple 4 round repeat I think and produces a neat textured pattern.

Then there is another pair of plain vanilla socks in a self striping yarn. The colors are super bright and fun and to keep the striping I did a contrast heel and toe. I used my own yarn for that, a SPARKLES neon yellow. The main yarn, the self striping one, is from a new to me dyer that I discovered on Etsy. She is Swedish and calls herself the Asfaltflikkan I believe. She only does self striping yarns and I purchased two skeins from her shop.

IMG_7736

Again this was just my own formula. I knit these from the cuff down and I did a short row heel.

And then there is the cowl. I have had this pattern in my Ravelry library for a long time. I knew I had to use some special yarn for this and I decided I would use a merino and silk blend that I had purchased to test the base. It is a rather costly blend/base yarn so I haven’t purchased any so far for the shop but it is a dream to work with. So I dyed up two shades of light blue/turquoise and then I had one skein of 100% silk undyed and used that as was. The cowl was a very quick knit even though it is a big/long cowl and maybe the yarn had something to do with that. I think I would like to knit more of this in different colours and maybe some would become Christmas gifts for later this year.

IMG_7719

This is the 3 Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli.

And to finish today I have the secret test knit cardigan. The pattern has now been released and I do highly recommend it. This was a fun knit and ended up being quite quick considering I was doing the biggest size and it’s a fingering weight cardigan. For the biggest size I used up about 3 1/2 skeins of my SPARKLES yarn. It fits nicely and I have been using it regularly since I finished. The pattern is called Lucille and is by the designer Amanita. This is the second pattern of hers that I knit. The first was a sweater but I won her pattern in an IG game and loved it. And currently I’m working on another test knit for her; this time for a shawl and it is also a secret knit until the pattern has been published so no sharing at the moment but here comes the cardigan.

 

It is mostly stockinette but there is a little garter cuff on the sleeves and some textured stitches on the bottom of the cardigan. If you are looking for a great cardigan that is easy but not too easy to knit, I would definitely recommend this pattern.

I think that’s about all for my FOs. I have a ton of works in progress and I’ll be sharing those later.

Thank you so much for coming back and spending some of your precious time with me. I really appreciate that. I hope you enjoy seeing my work and that you’ll be back for more later this week. Until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)

More socks

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are fine. On my side all is well. This morning was the first really winter cold morning. I even had to scrape the ice off the windshield of my car this morning! We felt the change coming yesterday and last night sitting at my desk working I felt really cold and put on my thrummed slippers:) Today I’m wearing hand knit socks and a warm sweater so I should be ok for tonights shift at work:)

I have done a lot of knitting this last week I feel and I have a ton of things to share but I’m afraid I may end up with a post that is way too long and will just put you off from the get go… So I’m going to try and prioritise and share the rest with you later..if I’m able to control myself that is:)

So on to the knitting right away! I’m in a big sock knitting phase at the moment as you may have noticed. Last week I finished a pair of socks that I was test knitting for Dana Gervais who is a designer on Ravelry and she has a lot of wonderful sock patterns. I’m actually working on another test knit for socks for her now so all in all that makes 3 socks that I have test knit for her. The pattern for the socks I finished around last week has now been released on Ravelry so I can share the pictures with you here.

The pattern is called Robin’s Egg and I knit it on 2.25mm needles and I used my SOX base in the Strawberry Frappuccino colourway. The socks have a cabled pattern on the front and a ribbed pattern on the back of the leg. The pattern repeat is quite intuitive and so soon memorised which means they sort of fly off the needles. I really enjoyed knitting these socks and I think I might knit a second pair in the future. Here are some pictures of my finished socks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The socks I’m test knitting now have not yet been released so I can only show you the back side of those. I’m also using my own yarn and this time I’m using my bronze sparkle base in very autumnal colours. This pattern is also a very fun and intuitive one. The stitch pattern is much bigger (more rows) but it feels very natural or should I say logical so they too are rather quick to knit.

img_6276These colours just scream autumn I think. I really like how they work together and the finished pair will be gorgeous I’m sure. I have finished one sock and I’m on the cuff for the second at the moment.

I also cast on for a new pair of socks this week. That was due to a purchase I made on Etsy and as soon as I got the yarn, I just HAD TO CAST ON! There was no way around it! A little bit of history here first. I follow a lot of knitting podcasts both audio and video and I had seen an episode of The Periscoping sisters and one of them ( I never know which is Amy and which is Debbie) was releasing a new sock pattern and she had a collaboration with an indie dyer called Yarn Café Creations. I absolutely adored the colourway. In the kit there was one skein for the main body of the sock and a small contrasting one for heels/cuffs and toes. I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy a kit but I absolutely needed the yarn – the one for the main body I mean. And so I went online and lucky for me, there were 2 skeins of this exact yarn in stock and so I bought both! The colourway is called Ocean Mist and it is gorgeous! I wanted to knit a pair of socks of course and I needed a simple yet interesting pattern that would let the yarn shine and then I remembered The Simple Skyp socks by Adrienne Ku. I had seen those knit by Tracy of the Grocery Girls. And thats what I did. I’ve finished sock one and I’m past the heel on sock two so I think I might finish this evening.

This is such a fun pattern, a two row repeat and I really love the  look of it. The yarn like I said is gorgeous and it is also super soft. It’s a merino/nylon blend but it is a bit more “plump” than most fingering weight yarns and just a joy to knit with.

Last week I showed you the progress I was making on a cowl. A cowl I was knitting as I was trying out this new base yarn which is 50/50 merino and silk. The yarn is of course outrageously soft and a total dream to knit with. Due to the high silk content it is pricier than regular merino/nylon fingering weight yarns of course but I really think that for a special project it is totally worth it so I might look into getting some of that for the shop. I knit the cowl in simple brioche stitch and I really love the outcome. It is so soft and warm next to my neck and the patterning created by the yarn was the cherry on the cake. I dyed the skein mostly in grey but did a small portion in gold. I didn’t know how that would knit up specially as I was doing brioche but I thought maybe it would create like a block of colour on the bias. In fact it created an overall pattern and I think that is really fun.

 

I think I will call it a day here. I don’t want to take up all of your free time today:) After all, you do have knitting to do!

I’ll be back later this week with the rest of my knitting because like I said above, I have a ton to tell you about! So until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting!