I think I’m ready for a SWEATER!

Wow! That is an unusual statement coming from me! But I really think I am. It’s been a while since I last knit a sweater. My last sweater was the Mesa by Stephen West. I had a bit of a sweater mojo in the winter 2013-2014 and actually knit 3 or 4 sweaters. Unfortunately I don’t remember which patterns I knit for the first 2 and I apologise for that but maybe the pictures will help you recognise the patterns. They all come from Ravelry and I believe all were paid for patterns.

So here is the first one, all are modelled by my beautiful daughter Anais.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com this was a rather simple sweater but with lovely neckline details

Then came the asymmetrical cardi. The middle picture shows a nice design/construction detail

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

And then I did the Mesa by Stephen West and I actually did 2 of those one for me and one for Anais. The above sweaters were both for Anais. So the Mesa was a really quick knit and Anais liked mine so much that I went ahead and made a second one for her but as I’m writing this I can’t seem to find the pictures of her Mesa so I’ll have to share those with you later but here comes mine, modelled as before by Anais.

First the yarns which are different types of yarns and from different yarn companies as well.

www.knittinginfrance.com

And the sweater

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com  I’m bigger than Anais so it looks quite big on her but you get the picture:)

And like I said at the beginning I’m feeling the sweater mojo coming back. I’ve taken out 2 sweaters worth of yarns from my stash. Yarns that I bought as kits with Craftsy classes and now I just need to cast on and take the classes as I knit. But I’m not feeling those at the moment so I’ll share them later when I do feel like getting them going. No, now I feel like doing

Snowflake by Tin Can Knits This is a paid for pattern on Ravelry and I’ve seen lots of pictures of finished Snowflakes and they all look gorgeous. The only question I have is, should I make the button placket or not? I’ve seen both versions and both look good. Leaving the buttons out means knitting in the round from the beginning and that is appealing. Also, I don’t have any buttons in mind and this really does call for some nice and color coordinated buttons. So I need to think on that.

Here is a link to the project page of one of my virtual knitter friends, LazyBene and I really love her version and colors of the Snowflake.

If you are not familiar with this pattern, here’s a picture.www.knittinginfrance.com

I love the fact that the pattern exists in a large number of sizes from 0-6 months up to 4XL so no matter what size you are looking to do, it’s there! I also love the fact that you can do a 2 color knit. Of course you can do this in one color only but the 2 color version really looks good I think. And you can play with that idea and either do 2 tones of the same color or do 2 contrasting colors.

This is knit in a DK yarn so I’m thinking maybe I’ll do my DK sparkling yarn for the yoke and then my Cash’merino DK for the rest of the body. Both are gorgeous and squishy yarns. Of course, I do NOT have any yarn in my stash so I’m going to dye some for this project. So I need to find some nice color combinations. I’m thinking maybe doing greys or grey with pink or grey with turquoise.

Have you knit this pattern? Would you like to share a picture of your knit Snowflake and tell us about your experience knitting that? Or would you maybe like to knit along with me? Maybe we could do a KAL out of this and either use whatever yarns we like OR I could dye up some yarns for you – if you just give me your colors, that could be arrainged. What do you think?

And if not, if you are just too busy or simply not interested, do you have ideas for good color combinations or maybe have a picture of a finished Snowflake you particularly like colorwise? that might help me make my choice before I dive into the dyeing. Knowing myself, I’m not going to be able to wait very long and as the weekend is just around the corner, I’m guessing I’ll be doing some dyeing this weekend:)

Well that’s all for today. Thank’s for stopping by:) I wish you all a wonderful weekend and look forward to hearing from those of you who wish to share something with me and my readers on this subject:) Take care and knit on!

Tube socks on the go go

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are fine and I hope you are enjoying beautiful weather as we are here in Normandy, France.

As you can guess from my title, I’ve fallen down a very deep rabbit hole called “Tube Socks”. Ever heard of that? Maybe you’ve even fallen down there yourself? Or maybe you are about to:)

So, as you may know, I love knitting socks and I just recently discovered tube socks and knit a pair for my daughter. I was a bit sceptic at first, you know, a sock without heels, how could that possibly work? But it actually does! And very well at that. So now I think that tube socks are the perfect socks when knitting for kids, especially when they are not at hand for testing because you can just make them long and that way you can be sure that they will fit and also the fact that there is no heel, you can be sure that if you make them long, they will be able to wear them much longer than traditionally shaped socks. So what’s not to love?

So I’ve just finished my first pair of tube socks and now I’m working on 2 pairs, yes at the same time:) And, I’ve already decided on how I’m going to do the 3rd pair. I’m into colors so I have 3 variations so far and the next pair will be yet another one. This is the first pair of tube socks I ever knit

www.knittinginfrance.com Here I used my speckled hand dyed yarn

This is one of the 2 pairs I’m currently working on. These will be for a boy and I began with a ball of gradient yarn which is why the colors are not the same on both socks. Now I have run out of that yarn and have found 2 different mini yarn cakes in similar colors that I’m using and I’m going to need to find a 3rd source of yarn to finish them. So these will be colorful yet serious as no flashy colors.

www.knittinginfrance.com

And the 2nd pair I’m working on and is very colorful. I wanted to make them identical and use lots of colors. These are for my niece. So what I did is I went to my basement and went through my mini-skeins of hand dyed sock yarn and I chose the yarns that I liked.

www.knittinginfrance.com What do you think about the colors? Now as I’m getting close to the end, I think I may not actually be able to use all the colors as the sock is getting quite long so I may actually have to finish with a ribbing in the turquoise color and not use the green on the end. I’ll have to take some more measurements and have my daughter model to see if that is the way to go or if I can continue and use up all the yarn I intended to use.

Next, I wound all the yarn into a magic ball. That is something I discovered on Youtube after having read about the concept somewhere. A magic ball, I think is the invention of Kaffe Fasset, you make up a ball of yarn using a number of different coloured yarns and you tie them together in a specific manner which gives you a very sturdy knot so no risk of the thing unravelling when being worn and it allows you to make up your own ball of “self striping” yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com Now, I made one ball from a single color and one magic ball. The small, single color was ment to be for the toe and cuff but seeing the length of my sock now, I probably will have to leave out the last color (green) and do the ribbing in turquoise rather than ending with the same yarn I began with. But this was the idea, toe and cuff same color and the rest rainbow.

www.knittinginfrance.com My sock an hour ago – now I have actually finished the purple and I’m half way through the pale blue yarn. Looking at my sock now reminds me of Pippi Langstromp, the Swedish character by Astrid Lindgren. You know, the funny girl with red hair and braids and she used to have colorful socks in different lengths? Voila:)

But I really like the outcome. I’m knitting these one at a time and I hope my little niece will love them.

For the next pair, I will also be doing colors but with shorter lengths, here I used 25 m for some and 50 m for other colors and in the future pair I will do 15 m for each color I think. I will redo the magic ball thing which I find ingenious unless I actually just dye up a new set of yarn specifically for my pair of socks. I’m thinking maybe I could do sets of hand dyed yarns and market especially for those wanting to do colorful tube socks. What do you think?

Oh time is running out for me tonight. Promise, promise, next time I’ll tell you all about the ingenious free program you can use to create your own fair isle patterns.

Until then, take care and enjoy your crafting.

Happy mail day

Hi there, yesterday was a happy mail day for me! As you know I’ve been going a bit overboard with project bags lately and seeing as I have a collaboration going with Silvia of FridaJo on Etsy I had to buy some more of her bags! So I had been looking at these 2 for a while and last week I just could not wait any longer and today I have them in my hands! And I got a bonus bag! Silvia generously gifted me with a little bag that I think will fit perfectly for sock knitting or maybe hexapuffs.

www.knittinginfrance.com So the bambi and red bags on either sides are those that I had been eyeing for a while and the one in the middle is my gift! And she even added a little owl charm to the tie! So beautiful! And once again, beautiful workmanship and super cute patterns. I’m a big fan. I also know that she is now working on knitting needle cases for her shop and I saw a picture of one for interchangeable needles on Facebook so you should definitely keep an eye out for those.

Also if you haven’t taken advantage of our special offer collaboration yet, remember that this is valid until June 30th. How does it work? You have 2 possibilities:

1) Place an order in my shop and you will get a discount code to use in her shop.  If you buy Fridajo bags for 25 Eur or more you get 10% off and if you buy bags for 35 Eur or more you get 15% off. Isn’t that nice?

2) Make a purchase at FridaJo and you will get a discount code to use in my shop (Knittinginfrance) If you purchase for 20Eur or more you get 10% off and if you purchase for 40Eur or more you get 20% off.

So I hope you will be able to take advantage of one or both of these offers this June and that way you too will have a great happy mail day too:)

That’s all for today. I hope you have a wonderful day and do tune in tomorrow because I have a little game/giveaway planned for you:)

I’m back from London

Hi there, I’m back from doing the I Knit Fandango show in London. When I think about the show I admit that I have some mixed emotions although most are good ones.

Let me just get the bad ones out of the way: So unfortunately the organisers of the I Knit Fandango did not advertise the show ANYWHERE! So to even know that there was a show, you’d have to be either a friend or family member of one of the vendors or be a client or follow them on social media. So even though there was a queue outside both mornings, there just wasn’t enough visitors to make this a successful show for anyone! This was very disappointing to me and all the other vendors at the show. Most of the vendors came from the UK but others did come from far away such as myself and another lady who also came from France (Polo & co) and then at least 1 vendor came from Germany. This means that all of us vendors had to sell for X amount of £ to break even and cover all costs involved with participating in the show and unfortunately, due to the lack of visitors not all were able to do so and those who did probably just broke even so profit is not a word that comes to mind when thinking of this show.

This was so super disappointing because the selection of vendors was really top notch. The vendors all had gorgeous products to offer and if I had been able to sell more I would have bought a LOT more from my fellow vendors than I actually did. All the vendors I spoke to had the same story so I know it was not “just me” or me items but that this was a general problem at the show what ever the vendor was offering, whatever his price range, big name or small. So even though I did just manage to break even I can’t shake the feeling of missed opportunities and deception.

OK! That’s out of the way! I’m sorry but I just had to do a little venting:)

Now on to the more pleasant topics. So these shows are never only about the money of course and what I loved was meeting all these people. Some I had met at Unraveled in Brighton last summer and some I was just meeting there. Doing a show is always so nice because I love meeting new people and see what other indie dyers are doing. I love getting inspiration, I love hearing people tell me that my yarn is lovely or that they had a pleasant experience buying from me. I love meeting knitwear designers that I’ve heard of on Ravelry, in person. So on a personal level these shows are always very enriching and this one was no exception there of.

When I walked around I would see something I wanted to buy absolutely everywhere! There was so much beautiful yarn and spinning fibre. Also there were gorgeous knitting patterns that I liked and knitting/fibre related jewelry. I did make a few purchases of course, not possible to do 2 days in such a place and go home without any goodies!

I also met a few people who had made purchases from me online and hopefully I will have made a few future clients as well 🙂

I also met someone with whom I’m going to collaborate with later in the year, but I’m not telling just yet who or what that is all about.

One morning I took the time to go photograph some of the most interesting booths (in my opinion) and I also collected business cards to be able to further explore once I was back home. I’m going to be doing post on these different indie dyers/designers on the blog because I really want to tell you about what they are doing and introduce them to you if you do not know them yet.

So I’m excited about that because I’m sure you’re going to really enjoy “meeting” these creative people as much as I did.

But that’s it for today as I now must return to my suitcases and unpack them and more importantly list all the unsold items on Etsy for you to enjoy:)

But before I leave, here are a few pictures of my booth and others at the show to give you an idea of what’s to come on the blog.

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What would you like to buy at I Knit Fandango this May?

Hi there, as you probably all know I’m preparing for the I Knit Fandango craft show that is being held in London 15-16th of May. It is tough to decide what to pack and how much of each especially when like this time, I have to travel by air and then take a taxi to the hotel ALL ALONE! So I have to pack wisely as there is just so much I can carry by myself. But then I also do not want to spend my money and time on doing a show if my booth is half empty from the beginning as missing out on sales is NOT an objective. Going home with tons of stuff is not an objective either so the balance between too much, not enough and just right is a tough one to find.

This is why I thought maybe you could help me out. If you are planning on attending the show what would you like to see/try/buy? And even if you are not coming, when you do attend shows, what do you tend to look for? Are you more on the look out for yarn? A particular yarn type? Knitting accessories? All inclusive kits?

And as I mentioned yarn, what are your favorite colours at the moment or colours you’d like to knit this summer?

I’m done, I think, almost, with the dyeing. This weekend I did dye for a crochet shawl kit that is going to be very nice. This kit uses 778 m of yarn and rather than doing 2 skeins of 400m each I decided to do  1 huge skein of 800m. This ensures that the colour is consistent throughout the project and that you only have to ball 1 skein instead of 2 – even though it is huge).

And as I found this was a rather brilliant idea (if I say so myself) I decided to do a few more and sell individually as this is a good size for many shawl designs. What do you think? Do you knit shawls yourself? If so you knit mostly with fingering weight or do you use lace weight?

I also did some sock blank dyeing, both kettle dyed and hand painted and here are some pictures. At the bottom of the drying rack you can see some balls of yarns, this is yarn that came in a wound ball and I dyed as was for a sort of varigated effect. The only problem is once it’s been dyed I need to undo the ball and wind into a skein for it to dry properly and that is not much fun):

hand dyed sock blanks and balls of yarn www.knittinginfrance.com hand painted sock blanks www.knittinginfrance.com

Well thats it for now. If you feel like sharing and helping me decide what to bring or not to bring, what to dye or not to dye, all constructive advice is appreciated 🙂

Take care and enjoy your crafting

#TestMyYarn **** Today is the day***

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Does that make your hands tingle with excitement? Do these make you want to dive in, touch, smell and knit or crochet like crazy? Well I hope so 🙂

Mini skeins are “in” at the moment and so I think this is the perfect format for my #TestMyYarn campaign.  And so as of today Friday January 31st 2015 and until Sunday February 8th 2015 all orders be it in the Etsy shop or my NEW online shop will receive a complimentary mini skein of my yarn, could be hand dyed yarn or could be hand spun yarn. If you have a preference for the yarn you would like to receive, please leave me a message with your order and I will comply to your wishes 🙂 Now isn’t that exciting? I think it is.

And as an added incentive for you, my Etsy shop has now reached 990 sales so once I reach 1,000 sales I will draw out a lucky client. Of course THE 1,000 order will receive a gift (to be disclosed later) but I will also draw a random winner out of orders 991-999 and that lucky client will also receive a gift. I’m so happy to reach this landmark in my shop and I really want to thank everyone who has supported my little entreprise and continue to do so. I hope to one day be able to make a living of my art and passion and to provide an even better shop with more variety and even more gorgeous products.

So I say let the fun begin share the #TestMyYarn campaign with your friends and social media, the more the merrier

Until next time, take care and happy crafting 🙂