A bit of this and that

Hi there, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got some quality crafting time. I didn’t get much knitting done but I did do some dyeing and a little spinning.

First off, I have this custom order for gradient yarns. I did the test dyeing last week and then my buyer came back with her choice and this weekend I did the real dyeing of her yarn bases. I think it went quite nice and I hope she will be happy with the results. I dyed a batch for myself at the same time because I so love the colors and I think I may even have found what I’m going to knit with it.

Here are the yarns drying in my garden

www.knittinginfrance.com I hope my client will like her yarn. Now that it is dry I need to reskein and maybe wind into a ball – at least for the 2 fingering weight skeins because gradient yarns look so much better wound into a yarn cake than just in a skein where you really cannot see the real beauty of this type of dyeing. The DK weight yarn I’m not sure because she needs 3 skeins for her project so I tied 3 skeins together so that the colors will flow as if it was just one huge skein. So either I leave it as a huge skein or I wind into yarn cakes and then she has to be careful to knit them up in the correct order and always from the inside. Need to think about that. That’s all the dyeing I got done this weekend I think – I did do some pima cotton on Friday I believe so I’ll need to share the pictures of that with you later.

On to spinning. So I navajo plied a bobbin of colorful merino yarn and then wound into a skein. Now I must wash and finish the yarn. It too a huge amount of time to ply and wind into a skein so I’m pretty sure I have a large amount of yardage here. Need to think about what I’ll knit with this. It is a sock weight type yarn with distinct color changes so this could actually produce some self striping.

www.knittinginfrance.com

I also tested a new gadget that I need to tell you more about in a future post. Today I feel like telling you about a lot of stuff without getting into all the details. I promise I’ll give you more info later:)

So if you are a spinner like I am, you know that wheel bobbins can be very expensive and you also know that you need a fair amount of those or spinning will just not be any fun. So browsing the internet a while ago I ran into something I thought would be a brilliant and economic solution to the storage bobbin thing. These are inexpensive storage bobbins! You wind onto them from your wheel bobbin using a power drill or power screwdriver. Simply brilliant! I’ll tell you more about those in a future post if you are interested.

www.knittinginfrance.comwww.knittinginfrance.com Maybe I’ll do a little video to show you how this works.

That’s all for spinning. Onto knitting. So last week I finished my first sock in the Skandium pattern by General Hogbuffer and I cast on for the second one. I’m at the beginning of the pattern on the second one. I used a neon yellow sparkling yarn as my main color and a serious grey for the patterning and foot. This way I won’t look too crazy when wearing them (I hope).

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com Looks pretty nice don’t you think?

I’m also working on a baby cardigan for a future baby girl. I’m doing the Maile Sweater from the book What To Knit When You’re Expecting. The pattern is free on www.whattoknitwhen.com So I’ve done the body up to the armholes and I’ve finished both sleeves and now I have done the joining of all the pieces and am working the yoke. But I just don’t understand how the yoke decreases and patterning work. There must be something missing in the pattern on the website because I’ve read through it a number of times, knit how I think I should only to rip it out and begin again. So rather than just rip the entire cardigan out, I’ve decided to do a stockinette yoke rather than the lace pattern. Have any of you knit this pattern? If so, did you also have problems with the yoke? If any of you have the book I’d love for you to share with me just the few lines regarding the yoke decreases and lace patterning – I think that should be ok as the pattern is free on the designer’s website. Here’s where I’m at now www.knittinginfrance.com So I didn’t get much done on this over the weekend as I had such a hard time with the pattern.

Yesterday I went to the beach with my husband and youngest daughter. We went late afternoon and while they played ball I sat and knit. I really enjoy knitting on the beach. I’m not much of a warm weather person, maybe due to my origins, so I really enjoy just medium warm weather and going to the beach late afternoon and just walk or sit and knit. I didn’t want to take my Beetlebum shawl as that is an intricate knit and the Skandium sock is a “knit at work” project and the cardigan was just too frustrating so I went for a hexapuff.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com

Last week I suggested we do a scrap yarn swap for those of us who are working on either hexapuffs or other scap yarn projects, could be a log cabin blanket, a 10 stitch blanket, granny squares of anything else. I discussed this in a post which you can read here and so far there’s just me and 1 reader which is fine but I would love it if more people joined in the fun so please leave a comment on the post if you want to join.

And just one horror picture before I leave you today! I while ago I represented a yarn company called Arctic Qiviut and as such I was gifted a few skeins of their gorgeous, out of this world soft yarn. This is one such skein from the top of the line (my opinion) Arctic beauty line. I love the color and the yarn is indescribably soft! This is a blend of qiviut, angora and silk. And so, I was going to knit something with this but when winding into a ball WITHOUT a swift and ball winder (don’t ask me why) something horrible happened!www.knittinginfrance.com Yes! This! A huge mess of tangled yarn. If this were any other yarn I would probably have thrown it into the bin by now but that is out of the question. So, I had begun saving my yarn and winding into a ball. Of course the yarn broke! and my spirits too, so I left it in a little bag in a knitting basket and almost forgot about it. This weekend I actually went through the items in the basket and came across this yarn. I really want to knit something gorgeous with this so I’ve decided to finally wind the whole thing into a ball. I’ve spent hours and hours and I’m still not done but I’m hoping sometime this week I’ll be able to shout VICTORY!

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful Monday:)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supported spindles from Woodturnerva on Etsy

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

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

huge yarn cake from Knitcircus - www.knittinginfrance.com

Sand Castle gradient yarn by Knitcircus

Knitcircus gradient yarn - www.knittinginfrance.com

Eat, Pray, Knit and Watermelon gradient yarns from Knitcircus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, take care