Thank you!

 

Thank you to all of those that took the time to leave me a nice message on my post I’m back and so joined in for a chance to win a little something.

I so loved reading your comments and it really made this whole blogging experience even more worthwhile. It is such a nice thing to get positive feedback on something so personal as a blog. I don’t share a lot about my personal life but sharing my knitting story really means a lot to me. I don’t have any knitting friends where I live and so I’m not really able to share in person and enjoy a fun knit night for example.

My knitting is a very personal experience. It is something I do all the time almost everywhere but on my own. That is, I’m almost always the only one knitting but I don’t mind doing so in the presence of others. Most of the people I know are aware that I’m a passionate knitter and understand (I think) that I can listen/talk  and knit at the same time. But even if I knit “in public” the experience stays a personal one all the same.

Being able to share with you virtually, has become an important part of my life and it brings me joy.

I really appreciate it when people not only take the time to read my blog but to even participate and make this a place for “live” interaction by leaving comments.

I have a lot of ideas for my little blog and it’s future. I want this to grow and become a bigger thing. Not going for world domination in the knitting world but I would love to be able to bring more value to the knitting lives of my readers.

I am preparing a chapter on sock knitting for example. I am a sock knitter as you most likely know and so I often get questions relating to sock knitting techniques or patterns and I’m thinking of building up a little ressource for you here on the blog with both advice or how to from me and links to patterns that I think are good for beginners or maybe a fun challenge for the advanced sock knitter.

I once wrote a piece on knitting needles and I’m thinking I might update that text and include in my future/new resource section of the blog.

I’m also intent on actually getting a few of my designs onto paper and to sell for a small fee via the blog or Ravelry.

I want to continue with the Maker of the Month feature even if it can hardly be called Maker of the Month these days but I’m going to strive to do those more regularly. I have one planned for soon. I’m just waiting for the person to send me her responses to the interview questions. This next maker is a Canadian yarn dyer and I’m sure you are going to love to learn more about her.

I’m thinking of offering guest bloggers to do a piece. I have done so before but it was a long time ago so maybe it is time to bring this back. Would you be interested in collaborating and writing an article for my blog? If yes; please do contact me either via the contact form here on the blog or by email to knittinginfrance@gmail.com

Is there anything you would like to see more of here on the blog? Or maybe something that I have not talked about yet? I would love to hear your thoughts on how I can make my blog better for us all.

And now on to more “urgent” matters! Knitting! Well, for once I hardly have any knitting to share with you because I have been knitting on my secret test knit as much as possible. The deadline is coming up and I was worried I might not make it in time. I will be able to start relaxing a little now because the body is almost done. Just the right front to finish on the body and then on to the sleeves.

This is a sweater design knit bottom up in pieces and I’m thinking I will block the  body pieces when both are done and then the sleeves later when those are done. I’m hoping I will be able to finish the front today so I can start on the sleeves tomorrow. The sleeves are knit flat so I’m thinking of doing them two at a time on a long circular needle. A sort of Magic loop thing. I think this may be a better solution as knitting one after the other might be too much…

Again I persist in saying that I feel this sweater is taking way  longer to knit than if it had been designed to be knit in the round. But it will be nice once it’s done:)

The only other thing I have knit on is my second pair of Stitch Surfer Socks. I have finished the first sock and I’m waiting to be into my sleeves before I cast on for the second because I need some brain space to cast on for the second one correctly as I want them to mirror each other.

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Again this was a lot of fun to knit and I’m looking forward to casting on for the second sock.

I will be on vacation in a few days and so I have to make some time to plan and get my knitting ready. I want to cast on a million things during my vacation but some seriousness will have to happen and I need to limit my excitement down to no more than two new projects… I think:)

But before I say goodbye for today, there is the drawing of the winner of my little giveaway!

So 8 people commented on the post I mentioned/linked to above. I used random.org to draw a winner and the number that came up was the number 7 which is the lovely Emma!

Thank you Emma for your nice comment and for following my blog! Please send me your personal details via email as well as your preference regarding yarn weight (fingering/dk/aran) and if there is a color you dislike. I will put together a little gift bundle and send your way. I will of course take a picture and share with everyone here as well.

I wish I could send a package to each and every one of the 8 people that commented but as that is not possible I have to limit myself to only the winner as planned.

Thank you again to you all! I hope to be back next week with some more knitting 🙂

Until then, take care and enjoy your 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!

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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.

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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?

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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 🙂

This irrepressible urge to buy more yarn

Is this something you can relate to? Do you find yourself browsing online yarn shops, adding things to your virtual cart and convincing yourself that this yarn is a must have?

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that has to deal with this urge and yet I have more than enough yarn already! If you have been following my blog lately you will know that I have a sizeable stash and you will have seen pictures of it in my Spring Challenge section here on this website.

So I know that I have enough yarn to knit almost anything I want to knit in the coming year or two or three. The keyword here is almost. Meaning that yes I have hundreds of skeins of yarn but most of them are just single skeins so good for socks, scrap projects or to be combined with two or more yarns in a shawl or colourful garment.

I have very few sweater quantities in my stash, maybe about 5. I like solid and semi solid yarns for garments and yet I rarely buy such yarns and so every now and again I get this overwhelming feeling of “I have to buy some sweater quantities of solid yarns” just in case, just to be sure I have EVERYTHING I could possibly need next time I have to cast on.

Lately I have also become more of a yarn connaisseuse (I prefer that  term to yarn snob). And so I really want to try “different” yarns, yarns from single breeds, yarns from conservation flocks or yarns from a small independent mill somewhere. And I always manage to find such yarns. And of course small batch, exclusive yarns are priced accordingly so not easy on the budget.

These past few days as I have been home resting my leg (I have some strange issue with my left knee) I have been doing a lot of “virtual yarn shopping”. And it has got me thinking how strange this is. I don’t need any more yarn, I have so much currently that just finding a place to store my stash is an issue. And yet the urge is so strong. And so urgent. Like I need this particular yarn asap. Telling myself I will buy this yarn in a month or when I’m ready to actually knit with it, is no good.

But my finances are not limitless, I have spent more than can be considered reasonable on yarn already. So how can I resist? How can I control this urge?

Well, what I have been doing lately is put the yarn in my cart but not checking out. I leave the page open on my phone and then come back maybe the same day, maybe a couple of days later and I review my cart. I ask myself if I ABSOLUTELY need this particular yarn and if I could possibly reduce the quantity in my cart, maybe leave out a yarn or two. And then sometimes I do check out and other times I leave my cart for a few more hours/days of reflexion.

But it is not easy. I sometimes think that in my case this urge is so strong and the need so important that it must be akin to addiction of some sort. I know stop smoking can be very hard and I imagine that stop buying yarn must be at least as hard in my case.

This is most definitely a third world problem! I know!

I would love to hear from you, do you suffer this urge to buy more yarn on a regular basis? How do you deal with the urge? Do you allocate yourself a yarn budget per month/year? Have you ever been on a “yarn buying diet” and if yes, for how long were you able to sustain that and do you know view yarn buying with a different eye than before your “yarn buying diet”?

I have tried to go on a yarn buying diet but never succeeded as the idea of NOT being able to buy yarn makes the urge TO BUY so much stronger! But I still think I really should try to get my yarn buying under control for the good of my finances as well as just to control the quantity of yarn already in my house.

I hope you will accept to share with me your yarn buying advice/techniques/plans. I’m sure sharing with each other will bring us all food for thought:)

Until next time I’m going to try to be serious and restrain from yarn shopping and just concentrate on knitting the yarn I already have!

Happy knitting to you and have a great week ahead!

Hi there, again time has run away from me and it’s been two weeks or so since I last blogged.

Last week I had a few days off work and I spent those working on organising my stash and all my knitting and spinning supplies. That took a lot of time and effort but boy am I happy it is done! You can read all about it on my Spring Challenge page here

I have of course been knitting as well. Last time I blogged I was working on a test knit sweater and I still am. I have finished the body and am on sleeve one. I’m hoping to get close to finishing this week.

I also took on two more test knits, both are wraps. The first one is a brioche wrap. Most of the pattern is pretty straight forward but the last part will require some concentration. It will be stunning. It is two color brioche and the darker color is my own hand dyed yarn. I chose my mohair/merino/nylon yarn which is so soft and has a beautiful halo. And the lighter yarn is from Knit Cosmic Strings, a dyer based in Edinburgh, UK.

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this is a secret test knit so I can only show you the yarns at this time.

The second wrap is a mix of  lace and textured stitches and I’m knitting this with one full skein in a sort of beige color and then a set of 5 mini skeins from Sweet Georgia in blues. I forgot to take a picture so I’ll have to share later.

Because I added these two new test knits my Breathing Space sweater will have to be put on time out for a little while.

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I’m doing the bottom rib at the moment. I’m so happy I picket this back up from my mountain of wips and I’m pretty sure I will finish this soon. As soon as I have one of the 3 test knits done, I’ll be able to pick this one up again.

And then I started a crochet blanket! I know how to crochet although I haven’t done any crochet for years. I have of course seen all the nice granny square and granny stripe blankets everywhere on social media and all of a sudden I decided I too had to make one!

So I made however many stitches and started going. I’m using my own hand spun yarn and this is a barber pole yarn so one strand is white and the other is a rainbow strand. I have probably 300 gr of this so I’m thinking this might actually be enough for an entire blanket. If not I could add a border using something else to make it the size I want. It’s actually quite large/wide so I think this will be an ongoing project for the next few years. But that’s ok, I’m not in a hurry.

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I have another blanket that needs finishing and that is also from hand spun. It’s one I’m doing in linen stitch and I’m using my first hand spun yarns which are all bumpy lumpy and rather thick. The blanket is super heavy and colourful and has different feel to it due to the yarns but my oldest loves it so I’m going with it. It’s been in time out for over a year I think so I really should start to work on it again if I ever want to finish it.

I don’t have much to share with you today unfortunately. Last week was all about stash organising. This week I will work as much as I can on my test knits and try not to cast on for anything new. I really need to be strong and concentrated here!

I hope you have a great week ahead of you with lots of nice weather and knitting. I’ll be back soon but until then: happy knitting 🙂

Hi there, how are you? It´s been over a week since I last posted. This past week has been super busy for me both work wise and personally. I´m so happy it is Friday today and I will have the weekend ahead. And more importantly, next week I only work for 1 day!!! That is the best workweek ever!

So next week I of course have high hopes and lots of plans! I´m going to really get working on my Spring Challenge. If you have not heard me talk about that, I have created a special page/blog here on the website where I talk about that. Just click here.

This weekend I´m hoping I will take the time to give this some thought and maybe come up with a plan for how I want to reorganise my stash and supplies. I´m also planning a trip to Ikea for some storage solutions.

I currently have most of my stash in either cardboard boxes or plastic boxes and it´s just not beautiful. It makes my mess look even messier. So now I want to motivate myself by getting something nice but at the same time it has to be very economical and practical. I have a few ideas and hopefully they will work out.

So in my dreams, my room and stash situation will be dramatically improved this time next week! Cross my fingers and toes! Send me some good organisational vibes please! And of course don´t hesitate to join in the fun too if you are in a similar situation as I am.

So I not only have to organise my stash but also my numerous wips! I have a ton of those. I need to go through them – I did go through them already not long ago but only ripped one or two projects back. Now I need to go back and be more realistic and ruthless and just rip back everything that I don´t want to IMMEDIATELY work on.

As I have been preparing myself mentally for the task ahead, I have picked up 2 garment projects from my pile of wips and one of those is now 99% done!

This is the Veronika cardigan by Shannon Cook. So this was originally supposed to be a cabled cardigan but I had put it aside for many months. Last time I went through my wips, I decided I did not want to finish that cardigan and I ripped the thing out (I was about half done with the body) and I decided to cast on for the Veronika cardigan instead. I did cast on and knit some… Then again put it away! But now I´m almost done! All the knitting is done, the ends have been woven in. It has been washed and blocked. I only need to mattress seam it together. I think there are only two seams or something so that should be super quick.

I used Waltham yarn by Kettle Yarn Co in a very light grey. It is a worsted or aran weight yarn and I much enjoyed working with it.

Here is my Veronika as it is currently.

This is an unusual construction knit from cuff to cuff and I was trying to fold it in the first picture to resemble the finished item but it is not very successful. The stitch marker on the last picture is to show where I was the last time I put this project in time out. I was just at the beginning.

I´m so happy I finally finished this project. I´m sure I will love to wear this garment a lot come next winter.

Yesterday I took a second garment from the pile of wips, this time it was my Breathing space pullover by Vera Valimakki. I had almost finished the body when I decided to rip it back because it was way too wide. I ripped back a number of inches but not entirely. I stopped just past the sleeves and like I said, I picked it up again yesterday and I´m now knitting on it. I´m doing the same size as before but I´m not doing all the increases the pattern calls for.

I haven´t got a picture of it yet but I will share it with you next time.

This week a pattern I test knit was published. It is a pair of socks by KBJ Designs called Narcissa Socks. This is a beautiful, textured pattern that I enjoyed knitting. I have only finished one sock and the other is in a project bag next to my bed waiting for some bed time knitting progress. I knit mine using Hippo for Thanksgiving from Lolo Did It and I think it really suits the pattern.

I have to hurry up and knit the second sock.

I have another pair where one sock is done and the second I´m getting close to the heel. For some reason I have been totally absorbed with garment knitting lately. So this pair is the April sock from Helen Stewart sock club. Again this is a beautiful pattern and I chose a semi solid green yarn for this and I think it just looks so beautiful.

This pair also lives in this famous project bag next to my bed….

I recently finished a sweater that I test knit and the pattern will be released shortly so I will soon be able to share that with you.

Currently I´m test knitting another sweater and  it is top secret so I cannot share much except it is a fingering weight sweater knit top down. I´m using yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings.

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This is my swatch. I took a chance and decided to use a highly variegated yarn for this project. I´m usually not much for purple but for some reason I had amassed more than a sweater´s quantity in this colorway so I thought I should use it for something.

Now because of the colorway I thought I should change skeins every row to avoid having ugly pooling on the garment. Now I wonder if I should have gone with every two rows instead. On the side where I change skeins, even if I´m very careful about not pulling the new yarn tight, it still creates a seam like mark that I´m a bit worried about. It is under the arm but I think from now on I´m going to change skeins every two or three rows and see if that helps avoid this mark. Maybe it will become less obvious once blocked… I hope so.

test knit side seam

It might not be obvious because of the yarn but I still see it and it bothers me some. If you have any tips for how to do this in a “cleaner” way I would love to hear your advice.

And I have one FO! I finished a shawl. And this shawl I knit rather quickly. It is big and I am super happy with the finished results.

The pattern is A girls best friend by Isabelle Kraemer. It is a three color shawl and I used two single ply yarns and one 4 ply. One of the yarns, the grey one is my own hand dyed single ply.

I really love the outcome and I can see myself wearing this a lot in the future. The pattern does call for 3 small pompoms on the front/side but I haven´t made them yet.

I´m still debating whether I will add the pompoms or not.

Knitting plans for this weekend and next week are to continue with my test knit sweater, to continue working on my Breathing Space sweater and hopefully make some serious progress on my two half pairs of socks. If I have more knitting time than expected I could even cast on for the April sock from Mina Philipp´s sock club. And if I´m delusional I could even imagine casting on for this round´s sock pattern from Sock Madness- it is an amazing pattern!

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you have enjoyed your time with me. I will be back next week with info on my knitting and my Spring Challenge progress. I´m also preparing to write about my first ever colorwork/steeked cardigan and along with that there will be a little giveaway for some amazing hand made ceramic buttons! Hand made by a French artist.

After that there will be another giveaway for some self striping yarn this time from Biscottes Yarns in Canada.

So lots to look forward to in the coming weeks.

I wish you a wonderful weekend and a great week ahead. Happy knitting and I´ll speak to you soon:)

A new week

Hi there, how are you? Been knitting a lot? I have been knitting consistently but I’m not able to show you everything because one of the projects  I have been knitting a lot on is a secret test knit.

I have been trying to finish certain things lately and so I have limited myself to a small number of projects to work on because I really want them to be done before I cast on for new projects.

So this past week I have worked on 3 things: a shawl, a cardigan and a sweater.

The shawl is the A Girl’s Best Friend by Isabelle Kraemer. I really love this pattern. I had seen a lot of knitting podcasters knit this and I really wanted to get this on the needles and I’m finding it to be such a joy to knit. I’m also super happy with the three yarns I chose, two single ply yarns one of which is my own hand dyed and then one 4 ply yarn from Madeleinetosh. I really love how the yarns knit up and how the colors go together. I’m pretty sure I will get a lot of wear out of this shawl when it’s done.

girls best friend

I’m almost done. I’m on the last section which is a sort of ribbing and I’m knitting that part in the Madelinetosh yarn. The grey is my yarn and the pink is Woolberry Fibre Co. So I have about 2 1/2″ of knitting to go on this but the rows are super long so this will take a few hours to finish.

I should finish this week and when I do, I’m going to cast on for the Baubles shawl by Andrea Mowry. I dyed some luscious yarn for this already in an alpaca/silk/linen blend so I’m excited to get that on the needles but I’m being serious so not casting on till my other shawl is done!

Then I have been working on my test knit as I said. It is a top down, seamless sweater with a lace yoke. I’m knitting it using Holst Garn Tides which is a wool and silk blend. I’m totally head over heels with Holst garn now. It is such a joy to work with and the price is just amazing! It is so much less expensive than many commercially produced yarns and they have so many colors to choose from. When I go to their website I just want to buy 10 balls of every single shade they have!

And then I have done one good/serious thing this past week. I actually picked up a wip from my pile of wips/shame! I can hardly believe it myself! And oh I’m so happy I did!

So I picked up my Veronika Cardigan by Shannon Cook. This is an oversized cardigan/wrap knit on an aran weight yarn. It is knit almost all in one piece and it is so simple! I think I’m about half way done now and I’m hoping I will be able to finish in the next two weeks. This is not really the appropriate garment for the upcoming season but I will get  a lot of use from this come autumn and next winter.

The yarn I’m using is Waltham from Kettle Yarn Co. I had bought this yarn for something else, a cardigan by another designer but I had some issues with the pattern and as I was about halfway done I ripped the whole thing out and decided to keep the yarn for something else. And I’m so happy I did because it is perfect for this Veronika cardigan.

I have other sweaters in my pile of wips that really need working on so once Veronika is done I’m hoping I will pick up another one and get that done but I have a little creeping doubt that might not happen immediately. Why? Well, because I’m about to cast on for another sweater test knit – that is as soon as I finish my second sleeve on the current one. And then I want to cast on for a second Flea cardigan- this time for my mum. And I just bought and received a kit for a sweater.

I usually do not buy indie dyed kits because they are usually out of my budget but for some reason I was unable to resist this time. The sweater is the Alyeska by Caitlin  Hunter. I already had the pattern and when I saw this kit from Olann I just went ahead and purchased it!

I have never had yarn from Olann before so this is exciting too. The kit is a mix of singles and one skein of mohair yarn. I’m really looking forward to knitting this and I’m trying to convince myself I need to wait and maybe have this as my summer vacation knit. That would be fun AND in the meantime I would work on something else from my pile of wips.

alyeska kit

This is the kit. How beautiful is this! I bought the biggest kit even if I do not need to knit the biggest size but I was just worried otherwise I might not have enough yarn or something.

So that was a big splurge!

This week I’m going to finish (hopefully) my shawl so I can cast on for the Baubles next week. I also have to finish my current sweater test knit and I’m about 40% done with sleeve two now so that will not be an issue and then I’ll go on to the new test knit. So then I will have one shawl and one sweater on the needles plus my Veronika cardigan. I think I should work on my sock club socks along with those projects so I get both pairs done by the end of the month. That would be a good idea, rather than cast on for a new garment but I know resisting will be tough.

And one more thing before I leave you today. I have not forgotten my Spring Challenge. I’m going slowly, slower than I had expected. I have created a page here on the blog for this where you can read about what I’m doing and comment and share what you are doing too.  I’m currently thinking about the type of supplies I will need to start working on the re-organization. Boxes I think for the yarn and I’m currently trying to find something for the knitting needle organization so if you have a good idea, do share. I have created a board on my Pinterest page for storage solutions so if you are interested do take a look.

I think this is all for today. Thank you for stopping  by. Have a great rest of the week and happy knitting 🙂

The US stash enhancement

Hi there, so as promised here is my haul report!

When I went to California I knew I would not be able to resist yarn buying. I knew I would have to buy something if only to save on shipping! But I also did not want to buy just anything. I wanted to buy things I might have a hard time finding in France or Europe. In the end I bought way more than I should have and I now feel somewhat guilty of having used this much money on yarn and knitting stuff. But hey, I’m not in the US on a regular basis so I’m just going to enjoy and try to resist yarn buying for a while…

My very first purchase was a silly one because I bought two skeins of Regia Pairfect and this is a yarn that can be found in Europe and frankly I found it rather expensive in the US but for some reason I was unable to resist.

So I have already knit a pair for my son with one of the balls. The one on the right is for myself. I really like the patterning on this one.

knit picks felici

I also knew that I had to try some Knit Picks Felici self striping sock yarn. I see a lot of pictures of Felici yarn and socks and this yarn is not sold in France and I believe it is hard to come by in Europe. it’s also not expensive so I had to try. I bought a set of 4 balls which is enough for 2 pairs – you need two 50 gr balls per pair.

I also fell for a couple of skeins from the Legacy Fibre Artz on Etsy, Chelsea and Sue. I saw one of their podcast episodes while in the US and really liked the yarn they showed and decided to take a look if they had some in their shop. They did.

legacy fibres  And I love the sheep enamel pin – a sheep in socks how cute is that?

Then I heard that my friend and designer Nancy Whitman was having a “going out of business” sale and I had to take a look. I ended up making two orders from her and I got a lot of beautiful yarn at an amazing price.

So from left to right: Claudia hand painted and I have started a sock as you can see, Araucania and Malabrigo – both are sock yarns, Madeleinetosh Sock, Madeleinetosh Tosh Light

I rarely buy Madeleinetosh because of the high price point but on the sale I got some at 30% off and the rest 40%. Too good to passe up on.

The Madeleinetosh yarns I’m going to use for shawls mostly I think. I’m thinking of doing the A girl’s best friend shawl by  Isabelle Kramer. That uses 3 yarns I believe and then I’m looking into other three color shawls for the rest.

And then there are the project bags! So I watch a lot of podcasts and I’m always drooling over yarns and project bags and I finally let myself be totally enabled and I bought a few!

These two bags are from By the Bay Yarn on Etsy. These are sturdy canvas bags that somewhat resemble the famous Fringe Supply bags. They are beautifully made drawstring bags with a handle and two inside pockets. The pink one is a medium size and I have my Midnight Sherbet wrap in that. It is big enough for a sweater project though. And the purple one is the large size and that one is really huge. Would be great for a sweater or a blanket project.  I’m super happy with these two bags and the price is great too, so is the service and fast shipping. I truly recommend these if you are looking for quality project bags.

I was also enabled by the famous Andrea Mowry but I subscribe to her newsletter and in one of those she was promoting Madder Root bags and so I totally fell for those too.

madder root

I got a small and a medium. The pattern is like knit stitches. These are sturdy bags and take a lot of yarn. What I especially like about these is the clip on the top. You can clip them shut and so hang them from your wrist or as I did while travelling, hang them from your hand bag/carry on. Brilliant!

The last bag purchase I made was actually from Norway and I got that when I came home but as it is part of this recent haul I think it deserves to be mentioned. This is a Norwegian company and I was totally enabled by Skeindeer Knits on one of her episodes. She showed this bag and I just had to have the same! I even chose the same red color!

plystre bag

This is a canvas bag with a leather strap and I think this can be used as a regular handbag as well, not just a project bag. I like the front pocket which is quite big and can keep your wallet and phone or knitting notions. The interior has various pockets including one with 3 eyelets for knitting stranded colorwork without getting your yarns in a total mess. The company that makes these is called Plystre. They have just come out with a bigger bag that is a backpack and I really like that one too.

And to finish of, I was also gifted some yarn! I was able to meet up with a dear friend who is also a celebrity but he works with Cat Bordhi and organises knitting retreats with her all over the world. Cat and Jim have used my hand dyed yarns when they do retreats in Iceland and this was the first time we actually met in person.

Jim used to own his own yarn company that was called Frog Tree Yarns. He still has some yarn left and he gifted me two skeins of sport weight yarns and I think I will make socks with those, or mittens or hats.

frog tree

And a pack of 10 skeins of fingering weight de haired llama yarn! Ultra soft and amazing yarn! I think I will knit a stole or something special with that.

So as you can see, I have made quite a lot of purchases. So this means even more yarn and notions to organise as I embark on my Spring Cleaning Challenge! More on that soon!

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my purchases.

Happy knitting!

Happy new knitting year

Hi there! First off I would like to apologize for the long silence. I can imagine you may have wondered if I had stopped blogging all together! It’s probably been close to a month since I last posted here and I have not been very active on social media either. Not to mention that I closed my Etsy shop. So I guess I have given you all the reasons to think I was just going off the grid.

Well, I’m still here and I hope to keep blogging and growing my blog in this new year. The past month or so has been very busy to say the least. Both on a personal level as well as on a professional level. I’m hoping I will be able to get back into my rhythm of blogging once a week. I might, if I can, blog more to begin with because I have so much to share with you. Things have just been piling up!

Now I wish you and your family and friends all the very best in this new year. I would like to thank you for the past year we have spent together. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to follow my blog and my knitting adventures. Thank you for sharing your story and for commenting here on the blog. Thank you for supporting my yarn dyeing business if you are one of my clients. I hope 2018 will be a good year for you, one of happyness and good things. I hope you will be able to indulge yourself in knitting and anything else fibre related that you may enjoy. I hope you will be able to build on your skills and and learn new things. And I hope you will keep on following me on my journey as before.

I honestly don’t know where to begin. I have so much to share but I don’t have much time and I’m assuming the same goes for you so I cannot write an epic blog post. I will have to portion down all the things and share over time.

Maybe I should start where we left off, with Christmas knitting. I think I will do that.

So last time I blogged, I was knitting a lot of socks. I did not knit much for Christmas gifts. I had been intelligent enough to have set aside a few things during the year that I was able to gift for Christmas but basically I did not gift much knitwear this past Christmas. I mostly knit for myself! And mostly socks.

So here goes, and I may have shared the first two pairs with you already but I guess that’s ok as it was such a long time ago.

I made up this simple pattern to use with self striping yarn and I think it worked out great with this beautiful yarn from the Cozy Knitter called Gingerbread House. The pattern is a very simple lace pattern that is worked on the first row of each new color. I did write down the pattern and I’m hoping I will be able to write it up in a formal fashion and maybe even put up on Ravelry this year. Who knows, 2018 might become the year of knitting designs for me…

Then there was another pair of self striping socks in a Christmas colorway. This time a pair of shorty socks.

Again I made up a super simple pattern and used as I came to a new color. This one I also wrote down just in case. The yarn is Vintage Christmas from the Yarn Jar. I had some brown yarn I had dyed myself in my box of minis/left overs and used that for heels and toes.

And now on to the pairs I think I have not before shared here with you.

This pattern is called Sugarplum Fairy and is by Knitterarium. This pattern is for sale on Ravelry. I knit those with yarn from Lolo Did It called Hippo for Christmas. I absolutely LOVED knitting these socks! The yarn is nice and the pattern a total joy to work. I can definitely see myself knitting more of those. I love how high up they are, I love the lace detail on the top and all the twisted stitches just look so nice. I had begun knitting this before I left for Iceland but I finished the pair there.

Next up is a pair that I cast on on Christmas Eve or should I say the yarn is one I used to cast on on Christmas Eve. I was going to knit ‘Twas the night before Christmas by Little Bobbins Knits and after knitting the cuff and the first pattern repeat I had to surrender to reality and change pattern. This yarn was way too busy for such a delicate pattern. So I ripped everything out and lucky for me, as a patron of the Bakery Bears podcast I had received a pattern for Christmas from Kay called  And All Was Calm (I think) and I swiftly cast that on. I’m not entirely satisfied with the results. I think I should have just knit a plain vanilla sock with this yarn but I didn’t have anything else as I had tried to limit my yarn on this trip and I had to cast something on so. I did like the pattern and I think I have to knit it again in a less crazy yarn or maybe even a solid yarn. This is a patron only pattern so not available on Ravelry.

Here you see a part of the sock blank which was just amazing. I got that from Joyance Fibre. She is based in Holland and she paints the most amazing sock blanks. The very busy parts on the legs are where there was a Santa Claus on the sock blank. The sock blank was beautiful, the yarn was enjoyable to work with but it just wasn’t the right yarn for this particular pattern.

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Here you can better see the socks and the lace pattern which is somewhat obscured by the yarn.

I had started this pair just before leaving I believe and it was the first pair I finished in Iceland. The main yarn is from Lolo Did It but I don’t remember the colorway. The contrasting yarn is from Goosey Fibres. The pattern is Caramel Apple Socks by Vanillawool. I absolutely ADORE this pattern. I love the lace pattern that knits up into a delicate sock. Such fun to work. The pattern comes in one size only, 64 stitches but can easily be adapted to a bigger size and that is what I did as I usually knit 72 stitch socks on 2.25mm needles. This pattern was really fun to knit and the lace pattern soon because memorized and I just really got into a rhythm when knitting them. I’m planning on knitting these again and I could definitely see me knit those as shorty socks for summer.

Then there is another pattern I made up myself and cast on while in Iceland. I had bought my very first skein of yarn from Molly of The Homespun House. It was one of her Christmas colorways and I really wanted to knit something with that while on holiday. I was still on a twisted rib high after my Sugarplum Fairy socks and so I went for a twisted rib sock. I did twisted rib on the front of the leg and foot only and all the way to the cast off. And I’m really pleased with the results. Just what I had in mind when I cast on.

This was on a tweed base so there are some black nepps and then lots of colored speckles on top of a light green base. I really like those.

The last pair I cast on while in Iceland was the pattern I had planned on knitting on Christmas Eve; the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Little Bobbins. As the yarn I had planned for that pattern did not work out, I had gone to a LYS (and I’ll share all about that in a future post) but unfortunately I wasn’t able to buy any sock yarn suitable for that there. But lucky me, my cousin came for a knit afternoon on December 30th and she so generously gifted me a skein of yarn! A beautiful skein of yarn from a new to me Icelandic dyer! The dyer is called Dottir Dyeworks and her yarn was beautiful. I have yet to visit her shop and discover more about her and her yarns but the one I got was perfect. Of course I had to cast on for a new pair of socks and this was the perfect yarn for Little Bobbins pattern.

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern and the yarn went perfectly with it. I finished this pair shortly after getting back home.

While in Iceland I did also work on my 2nd Avenue Wrap by Amy Miller. That wrap is huge and it is taking me FOREVER to finish.

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While in Iceland I knit from the little blue marker to the top. Not a huge deal but then I was all about the socks! I have since knit a little bit more on this and am now in the next section which is knit in the black sparkle yarn. I did change the stitch pattern. I was supposed to be like in the grey section at the top; a mix of stockinette and garter stitch. I chose to knit like a seed stitch or something similar just to maintain some interest as this is somewhat boring to knit. I’m knitting this entirely out of singles yarns that I have dyed myself EXCEPT for the pink yarn which is a singles I purchased from another dyer. The pink is also the only yarn that does not have sparkle. I think this will be such a great piece once it’s done. I can really see myself wearing this and wrapping up both inside and out. But it is looooooong to knit….

Since I came home I have been knitting mostly on socks! A shocker I know! But I also have started a shawl and two sweaters.

I think this will be all for today. I hope you have enjoyed coming back and spending some time with me today. Next time I will share my knitting objectives for 2018 so stay tuned.

Hugs and happy knitting:)

This weeks knitting

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you had a wonderful weekend with lots of time to relax and knit.

Christmas is coming very soon and so the stress is building and the to do list keeps growing so a little bit of down time is even more important now. Just to stay sane and recharge the batteries don’t you think?

So I have been knitting quite a bit lately but most of what I’m working on are super secret test knits! Very exciting for me but not so much for you as I’m not able to share much with you just yet.

I hadn’t planned on doing much gift knitting for this Christmas so that’s fine. However I have a very ambitious list of “socks I must knit”! A list that keeps growing longer and longer. I’m hoping my test knitting deadlines will still allow me to get some of those going.

I have finished two objects since last week that I can share with you. One is a cowl, the Land of Sweets cowl by Helen of Curious Handmade. I did share some about that last week and now I have finished and my little one has started wearing the cowl to school.

land of sweets finished

This was fun to make and I can see myself making more of these.

I also finished a child size cardigan that I was test knitting. For the first time I was a total fail! I misunderstood the increase section at the beginning of the pattern and so the fronts are both the wrong shape and too big! I only realised my error when I was way past the error and well into the allocated time and so I did not rip back but kept going! The cardigan is wearable and my little one likes it. Instead of being a button up cardi it is more of a wrap around cardi!

cowtown one

This picture was clearly taken before I finished. I have since woven in all the ends and done both button bands and neckline. But this picture gives you an idea of how it has to be worn. I have to find a fun pin or something to keep it closed for her. Oh well, I guess we cannot succeed all the time and mistakes are there to teach us a lesson! What I learned was to ASK if something is unclear! Not to carry on as if everything will magically fix itself.

Currently as I said before I’m working on test knits, one is a pair of socks and I’m almost half done there. The other is a sweater and that is a big project and on top of that I think I asked to do a size too big! Oh well, it will end up being an oversized cozy sweater for me. The pattern calls for 10″ ease so if I have a little more that should be ok.

This garment is knit in pieces which is not how I usually knit sweaters so a little change there for me. I’m also knitting with a new to me yarn so this is a fun test knit to take part in.

I have a few ideas for more sock designs and I really need to make some time to work on those and to write of the two that I have finished so far. I’m excited to put those into the world one day and see if people like them… or not..

So my plans for this new week include continued knitting on my two test knits, cast on for a pair or two of socks and maybe even another cardigan. How about you? What are your knitting plans for this week? If you feel like sharing your plans, projects or drool worthy patterns, please do:)

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping  by today and spending a little time with me. I wish you a wonderful week ahead and look forward to check in with you again soon:)

Happy knitting

 

ps- just a quick note to say that I have put my Etsy shop into vacation mode for the moment. I’m still planning how I will work and sell my yarns in the future but most likely I will sell them here on the blog and you might see the first yarns pop up end of January 2018.

The Sale goes on

Hi there and thank you for all the kind messages. I’m slowly getting back to normal. Losing a close family member suddenly feels totally unreal and completely unjust. A lot of crying has been done and that will be going on for the foreseeable future. They say time heals all wounds so I now just need to give it time.

In spite of everything, life must go on and part of that for me is reopening the shop. I still need to sell as much of my current stock as possible to be able to continue on with my modest plan for 2018. So I have re opened the shop. It will be open from now and until December 4th or so. Then it will probably be closed for good unless… unless I still have lots of yarn left in which case I would reopen for a week or 10 days at the end of December.

So if you like my yarn, if you have yet to try it or if you just want to show a small business owner some support head on over to my shop and enjoy the discount:)

That’s all for now. I’ll be back next week with pictures of my knitting from this week. I have been doing some healing knitting as I contemplate and think of everything.

Have a wonderful and crafty weekend:)