Current and future knitting

Hi there how are you this week? It has been super hot here in Normandy over the last week or so and all of a sudden the temperature plummeted today and along came the rain. I’m not complaining though as the heat was getting to me. I don’t enjoy working when it is super hot and I spend all my day at my desk perspiring like crazy. And my hands feel clammy making knitting less enjoyable. So a cooler weather is just fine with me.

I have knit quite a bit since last time but I don’t have much to show as most of what I have been working on are test knits I’m not allowed to share just yet. Out of the 3 test knits 2 are almost done and that’s such a relief. Mostly because I have so many things I want to cast on…

The pair of socks is almost at the toe so should be finished by the end of this week. Cardigan 1 I did actually finish yesterday. I wove in the ends, washed and blocked it. But… I had knit longer than usual sleeves and after washing my cardigan grew. I know super wash yarns tend to grow when washed and that’s why I prefer to knit garments with non super wash yarns but sometimes I just don’t have any and the yarn I REALLY want to use is super wash. Anyway, I used my own hand dyed yarn for this, on my SOX base and I absolutely love the color and feel of it but I did knit the sleeves too long. So when I tried the cardigan on last night as it was close to being dry, there was no denying that the sleeves were just way too long. I did check with my daughter to see what she thought because I didn’t want to rip back and re knit part of the sleeves. My daughter told me that long sleeves were “in” so I should leave it as was. Phew. But still I was not quite sure so I reached out to a cousin of mine who is also a knitter and showed her some pictures and she agreed with me, the sleeves had to be fixed. Maybe that decision is what made me have a very restless night! Being unhappy about my sleeves! Anyway, this morning I ripped back a few inches on both sleeves and re knit the cuff. I have finished one sleeve and am working on the second and hopefully I’ll have that done tomorrow.

Even if this was not a major issue, it still had me upset. And maybe even more so because I received some gorgeous new yarn in the mail yesterday and all I wanted was to cast on something new!

The yarn I received was a gift from a wonderful fellow knitter/dyer in Australia! Her name is Andrea and you can follow her on Instagram as @yarnsalad.

She gifted me 6 skeins of a 2 ply silk/lambswool yarn that was originally spun for fashion house Missoni! How amazing is that? I don’t know how or where but she buys yarns that were spun for luxury fashion houses but are no longer needed and then dyes them using natural dyes in her home.

I think that wound up the variegated yarn looks even more amazing (on the right side on the second picture). So now I have to find a pattern for this gorgeous yarn. It’s a thin two ply so between a lace and a light fingering weight. My very first thought when I saw the yarn was RAVELLO! But I already have two so knitting a third one might be too much! And then I remembered another pattern from the same designer, Isabelle Kramaer, called A Hint of Summer and I actually own that. It’s a pattern written for this type of yarn so I’m 99% certain that’s what I’m going to go for.

Here’s a picture of that pattern taken from the Ravelry project page

a hint of summer

My version would not be striped like this but I’d rather do a color block or a few larger stripes with the grey sparkle yarn. I think this could work out very nicely. What do you think? Have you maybe knit this pattern yourself already? I’d love to hear your opinion.

I’m also getting ready for the two big Mystery Kals about to start. I purchased both the Knitting Expat Road to Rhinebeck Mkal pattern and Andrea Mowry’s What the Fade Mkal. Both are shawls and both start tomorrow. This may be too much but hey, these will be fun and I do wish I was going to Rhinebeck 🙂

So the Road to Rhinebeck calls for a DK weight yarn and I’m knitting that with my own DK yarn. I have already wound my yarn and got a project bag ready as you can see here

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I really love these colors together and the project bag… How amazing is that?! It’s a mumin bag from Knitgizmomakes.

The Andrea Mowry What the Fade shawl is a huge one, I think-, as it calls for 6 skeins of fingering weight yarn. I’m not supposed to be buying yarn at the moment but..I accidentally went on Etsy and happened upon a shop update from Trysten of Dragon Hoard Yarns Co. And she had a kit. For the What the Fade kal. So what was I to do? I have never knit with her yarn, I want to try it, I had bought the pattern, I needed yarn for the project, she had a kit, it was in stock… Well one thing lead to another and I bought the kit PLUS an extra skein for some added sock knitting pleasure. I purchased this last week and so I was prepared to maybe not get to cast on at the start as the yarn might take a while to arrive. Well my yarn arrived TODAY! And it’s amazing! As soon as I finish talking to you, I’m going to start winding the yarn into cakes and finding a project bag and just get all the last details ready to cast on tomorrow.  And here is my yarn

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What do you think? These are not the colors I’m usually drawn to but when I saw her listing I just sort of fell in love and had to get this. These have such an autumn feel to them and just look like they will knit into something incredibly cozy.

Are you joining in these kals? I’d love to see your yarns if you are:)

The only actual knitting I can share with you today is a sock I’m knitting. So as I’m not supposed to be buying yarn; I of course am constantly looking at yarn shops and being tempted and so I went ahead and placed my very first order with Lolo did it! And the yarn arrived very quickly and the shipping was not ridiculous which was a pleasant surprise. And so of course I had to cast on the same day my yarn arrived and decided on doing a pair of shorty socks for myself thinking this way I’ll be able to get two pairs out of the skein. And I went hunting for a yarn that could go with Lolo’s yarn  and I found it. I had a partial skein in this lovely purple on my SPARKLES base and it just goes perfectly with the main yarn.  As for the pattern, I’m adapting the Yorkville pattern by the Knitting Expat. This is a pattern from her current New York sock club and I just changed it to be a short version and I love it. The lace pattern is super simple and easily memorized and just works up so nicely in this yarn. I’m on the toe now and hope to cast of sock one tonight!

That’s all for today I think. Next week I hope I will be able to share more actual knitting with you. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and I look forward to checking in with  you again very soon 🙂

Happy knitting!

A winner and a surprise giveaway

Hi there, I hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day yesterday with your loved ones.

As promised I have drawn for a winner for the Yarn Cafe Creations giveaway today and the winner will receive this skein of Pumpkin Carving in her fabulous fingering base yarn.

yarncafecreations-pumpkin-carving-2

And the lucky winner is…. Samantha! So Samantha, when you see this please contact me by either leaving a message here on the blog, by sending me a DM on Instagram or by sending me an email to knittinginfrance@gmail.com so I can get this skein to your mailbox asap!

To all the others, thank you so much for participating and no worries there will be plenty more giveaways this year.

And as a matter of fact there will be one here right now! And this one is a bit of a surprise even for me. Turns out I won Mina’s New York Sock Club ( Mina of the Knitting Expact podcast and designs) in a giveaway held by Andy of AndreSueKnits. Only being the impatient person I am, I had already purchased my membership to the club so I contacted Mina and she accepted to forward my prize to someone else and so I’m doing a giveaway.

If you are a sock knitter or want to become one, I love Mina’s patterns and want more of them, if you were thinking of signing up for the club but haven’t done so yet, this is the giveaway for you! To join it’s super simple, just leave me a comment below and tell me a little bit about your sock knitting journey (if you already are a sock knitter) or why you want to start knitting socks if you are a newbie to those.

I will draw a winner using Random Number Generator this Friday, February 17th, in the evening my time. So this is a bit of a “flash” giveaway. I hope you will join in and best of luck to everyone:)

Knitting and audio books

Hi there, how are you? I hope you are doing good and enjoying your week. I’m doing fine. Christmas is getting closer and last weekend I did some cookie baking with my kids and that really put us in the Christmas spirit:) Soon we’ll be putting up our decorations and purchasing gifts. In Iceland, or at least in my family, we put up our tree on the 23rd of December and we take it down on January 6 which is the end of Christmas in Iceland. Here in France people put their decorations up earlier and I think we’ll be decorating our home this coming weekend. How about you? Do you celebrate Christmas and if yes, have you already put up your tree and decorations?

Last week we had an internet outage for two days. No internet is a total catastrophe! Not only does it mean that I cannot work as my regular job depends on an internet connexion but it also means no home phone, no tv and of course no watching YouTube or anything else! So what is a knitter to do? Well, lucky for me I have an Audible account. I have bought a few books but haven’t listened to a lot of them. As I was unable to work for two days I did get some time to knit and knitting in silence is not my thing, at least not for a long time. And so I was so happy to have my Audible account and I took the opportunity to finish one book I had been listening to and to start a new one and I really got into them. I find that I equally enjoy knitting while listening to a good book as I do while watching a podcast or tv series.

Do you listen to audio books? I like mystery and police thrillers but for audio books I see that I also like fiction. So far I have listened to the following books/

Precious Victims by Don W. Weber – this is based on a true criminal case I believe and was quite captivating.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova – this is a fiction book about a young woman that suffers from Alzheimers. This was a really poignant story and I felt really touched as my grandmother suffers from age related dementia and in some aspects that resembles Alzheimers and so this book really touched me.

The amazing Mrs Polifax by Dorothy Gilman – this is a mystery that in some aspects makes me think of an Agatha Christie mystery in the fact that the hero is Mrs Polifax, an elderly sleuth and her adventures.

And the book I started last week and am still listening to is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty –  this is a fiction with some crime mystery also. The author is Australian and the actor who reads is also Australian and I really love the exotic accent. This is a wonderful book that talks about a few women who’s lives intertwine at a critical moment in their lives. I have about 3h left and I’m really enjoying this.

If you enjoy audio books maybe you will enjoy one those books too. Also if you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear about the books that you most enjoy.

On to knitting. So last week I shared with you a color work cowl that I knit. It was the Boreal Forest cowl by Renée Callahan and it was part of this years Knitvent from Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade podcast. Last week we got the fourth pattern of Knitvent and it was the hat to go with the cowl so of course I cast on for that and I have finished, twice really because after knitting the hat once, I wasn’t happy with the results so I ripped most of it out and knit it again. Unfortunately I’m still not satisfied. For some reason the hat is too small, too shallow actually. It’s written in one size with a change of needle size to knit either the child or adult version. I did use the correct needle size for the adult version and my tension was good and yet it still is super small. I like my hats to cover my ears and this one only covers the top of the ears. I think I will grow a little with some aggressive blocking. Or at least I hope so. Here’s a picture:

boreal-forest-hatIt’s somewhat blown out but you get the picture I hope.

I’m still working on the color work mittens, the Owl ones and I hope to finish them this week. My daughter is super excited about those and can’t wait to use them.

And then there is the Project Peace. This is a free pattern on Ravelry meant for us to knit while reflecting on world peace. Thousands of people have joined and I decided to do so as well. This is a slipped stitched patterned cowl and the 4 round pattern is repeated 21 times so the idea is to knit one pattern repeat a day. Sometimes I don’t have the time and then I knit two repeats the following day and currently I’m on time. The yarn I’m using is one I got in my Knitting in France Birthday Game swap this year. It’s a new to me yarn and a very luscious blend at that. It’s from Expression Fiber Arts and the colorway is called June Alexandrite. Its a superwash merino and silk in a singles base. It feels super soft and the colour is really intense. Here are some pictures.

Last week I told you about a sock I was test knitting for designer Dana Gervais. Well she published the pattern on Ravelry yesterday so now I can share that with you. It is a very simple slipped stitch color work pattern. The sock looks super complicated but it’s actually deceptively simple to do. I really enjoyed knitting this and I highly recommend this pattern for anyone wanting to try some fun color work.

The pattern is called Beach Ball Socks and you can find this on Ravelry. I knit this using my bronze sparkle yarn and I really love the outcome. I have only finished one sock… I got caught up in all the other knitting projects… but I have cast on for sock number two and hope to finish it soon. Here are some pictures:

The newest project I’m working on this week is a hat, the Maryam hat by Mina Philipp of the Knitting Expat. I’m knitting it in my non superwash BFL Aran weight yarn. I just cast on last night so I’m not far yet but here’s a little picture of my progress so far:

maryam-hatThis is a fun pattern with some cables and as it’s Aran weight I think it will be done quickly.

This is about all I think I wanted to share with you this week. I do have plans to cast on for a pair of Aran weight mittens, maybe the Bella mittens – a free pattern on Ravelry. I think I might do some Christmas gift knitting after all….

I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of knitting time because that is just the best! Until next time, take care 🙂

FOs, wips and future cast ons

Hi there, I think it is about time I show you some of my FOs. I have been doing a lot of sock knitting but not really sharing the pictures here with you so today I’m finally going to do so.

So as you may know I’m currently doing the Coffee with CC kal that Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick podcast is hosting in her Ravelry group. So far I have finished 3 pairs.

The last pair on the left is the latest finished pair and the pattern is called Peppermint Mocha socks. It is a really fun pattern that plays with the use of yarn overs and slipped stitches. I used one of my own yarns and it is a merino/bamboo blend which is slightly on the heavier side for a fingering weight yarn and oh so soft!

I also just joined Mina’s of the Knitting Expat podcast kal. That is a kal for her newly released sock collection. The collection has 4 pairs of socks and is called Beyond Vanilla part 1 as she is currently working on part 2 of that collection. The patterns are easy and fun variations on vanilla socks. So great for the beginner sock knitter and also a welcome change for the habitual sock knitter that loves mindless sock knitting but is tired of plain vanilla socks. So I’m currently working on a pattern called Driftwood socks and I have one sock done – and I have to wait for a few days before returning back to sock number two.

On the close up you can see the pattern which uses yarn overs in a clever way. The yarn is my own on my cashmerino base which is a dream to knit with.

And then there is the year long Knit from Stash 2016 kal being held in the Facebook group Addicted to Sock Knitting. There we get one pattern a month by designer Heatherly Walker. Her patterns are gorgeous and I love getting a new pattern every month. I’m currently working on Mays pattern and have 1 1/2 sock done but again that will have to wait a few days as I will explain in a bit.

This is a beautiful overall pattern using twisted stitches. The pattern is called Rhytidome and the yarn is hand dyed by myself on my SOX base and I feel this colorway goes perfectly with the pattern which reminds me on flowers.

And last but not the least, the reason why all my socks are currently on time out, the SOCK MADNESS! The sock knitting competition that I’m doing for the very first time! I’m now in the semi finals. Only 10 knitters in each team made it this far and I’m super proud to be one of them. This round only 1 knitter from each team will make it to the finals so only THE fastest knitter on each team. I don’t think I will make it that far as I have a full time job that gets in the way of my knitting but I’m going to try anyway 🙂

This round the pattern is a heavily charted sock using mini cables and twisted stitches. When I saw the pattern I thought, ouff no one will knit this in one go so I just might stand a chance. Well guess what? One knitter, and she is on THE fastest team (and probably going to be this years winner) actually finished a pair in around 24h! I think she must have knit non stop only taking bathroom brakes. Wow!

Well here are some pictures to show you what I’m talking about:

Can you believe this pattern? The picture on the pattern is of one amazing sock! I’m using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in Princess Donna and I might be playing it dangerously here because this is a very  yardage greedy pattern and I just remembered now that I have actually turned the heel and started on the gusset!!!!! that I WAS going to knit heel and toes in a contrast yarn! Well I don’t have the time to rip bag and redo so I will just do the toe in this case and cross my fingers. So at this time I’m further along than the picture on the right shows and I aim to finish sock nr 1 by tonight.

On the pattern picture can you see the little mini me?

Well it was Mother’s Day here in France this past Sunday and my oldest daughter made this zipper pull out of polymer clay. It’s a mini me!

mothers day gifts

And the beautiful rose is from my son. Lucky me hah?

Wow, that is a lot of knitting! But before I say goodbye for today I do have one more thing to share with you, my summer Nancy kal! The first ever kal that I host in my Knitting in France Ravelry Group.

This kal kicks off tomorrow June 1st and runs until August 31st. The idea is for us to enjoy some relaxed summer knitting together. The rules are simple:

no wips allowed and only patterns by Nancy Whitman and there will be some exciting patterns at the end such as patterns, yarn and accessories.

I think I might actually try to knit 2 of her patterns this summer but I’m beginning with a shawl called Ganz. And I think maybe not being able to decide on a yarn/color when planning ahead of time may be a professional risk where dyers are concerned because I have had a lot of trouble finding THE yarn. I have actually dyed up 3 different sets of yarns for this shawl! And the last one I dyed up yesterday and I think the third and last is the charm and I will cake it up tomorrow before casting on. The yarn is still wet today so I will have to wait to the last minute to get it caked up. So here are some pictures of my yarns for this particular shawl.

The first is an alpaca/wool blend, the second a cashmerino and the third a 100%superwash merino. Here is a picture of the pattern I chose, Ganz

ganz

Isn’t it gorgeous?

So if you want to join in the fun, please visit my Ravelry group and sign up there. There is an information thread and a chatter thread there and the FO thread will be set up later.

Thats all for today. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week.

 

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:)